Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Controlled by the state
The state-controlled media is becoming famous for suspending reality when covering the White House news. Do you ever wonder who is actually in charge? Wait! Don’t look over there! Pay no attention to that man behind the Oval Office curtain. It’s not what you think. Just because the state controlled media gets airborne when he says jump, doesn’t mean we should jumpstart our brain, then jump to conclusions.
Do you ever wonder what the state-controlled media quarterback says when they huddle? Probably “Foil FOX.”
Listen and learn
I look forward to attending the forum this week sponsored by Gorge Ecumenical Ministries (GEM), “Stories of Love, Faith, and Struggle” which will be held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (corner of Eugene and 11th) on Thursday, March 20, from 6:30-8 p.m.
As a person of faith, I am aware that the question of marriage for gay and lesbian people in our state is a sensitive one in many of our churches. For this reason, I am grateful that GEM will provide us with an opportunity to listen to the stories of our neighbors in a safe and respectful environment.
Though I sometimes find it difficult to hear stories that challenge me or cause me to feel uncomfortable, I know that I am often changed by such encounters. I believe that listening deeply to the stories of others is another way of showing love for my neighbors.
I hope that other people of faith will join me this Thursday — not to be told what to do, think or believe, but to listen deeply and respectfully to our neighbors.
Recycle and help others
Save yourself time. Help keep recyclable beverage containers from going into the landfills by bringing them to the south side of Rosauers Supermarket parking lot on April 5 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Hood River Leos Club and the Robotics Team at Horizon Christian School are joining hands to recycle all the beverage cans and bottles you can bring.
Once a month, every first Saturday, the Leos Club performs this worthwhile community service. The group gets paid by the providers of the beverage containers and they in turn donate most of the money to organizations throughout Hood River County.
I hope to see a good turnout. Thank you, Leos.
Check for dyslexia
In the article about Hood River County School District’s student absenteeism and its impact on reading performance, one study finds kindergartners who missed 10 percent or more of school are likely to be behind at least one grade level in reading by third grade. While we don’t doubt the finding, we wonder if poor reading is really a consequence of missing school. Or is high absenteeism a result of being a poor reader?
Twenty percent of HRCSD first graders miss more than 10 percent of school. If Hood River follows the national average, the same proportion, approximately 20 percent of its student body, is dyslexic. People with dyslexia have an inherited neurological difference in the brain that causes an unexpected difficulty with reading, writing and spelling, given their level of intelligence.
Since HRCSD does not recognize dyslexia, teachers are not trained to identify it, understand it, or adapt their instruction. This leaves dyslexic kids frustrated and confused in the classroom.
In early grades, when the focus is on reading, writing and spelling, wouldn’t it stand to reason that the kids who are having trouble, simply because they process language differently, are the ones who don’t want to be there?
We are moms of children with dyslexia, and we know firsthand about the desire to be absent. We know about resistance, the stomachaches, headaches, the tears, and the strong feelings of not liking school.
Perhaps the way to improve student attendance is to address the absence of teaching methods that allow these kids to learn. The solutions are there: Implement multisensory, phonics-based reading instruction derived from the Orton-Gillingham method. Provide teacher training on dyslexia. Screen for dyslexia in K-3 to identify children early on, and spare them and their families worry and anxiety.
Out of frustration, we and other parents have formed the Columbia Gorge chapter of Decoding Dyslexia-Oregon. Its statewide mission is to raise awareness, empower families and improve resources in schools for children with dyslexia.
We plan to work with Hood River County schools to help them meet the needs of dyslexic students — and hopefully lower the absentee numbers along the way.
Locals have seen change
Mike Gundlach asks the question in his letter, “Locals only” (March 12), “How many of us locals complain about ‘outsiders’ yet want the local economies to keep growing?”
It sounds to me that Mike’s question stems from a pretentious position that no one has informed him he has taken, for the locals I know hadn’t worried about the local economy until outsiders started to manipulate it.
Since “outsiders” have continued moving here, rent has tripled; drive time for getting out for suitable hunting and fishing has drastically increased; and mobility, especially in Hood River, has become strained.
Locals didn’t complain about the economy until you and your “outsiders” changed it. Outsiders changed the economy and they did it as soon as they arrived by getting involved in local politics. They complained about “ugly locals,” logging, and just about everything else that had to do with rural living with the exception of property prices and the cost of living; those two things helped them to become rich at locals’ expense. How convenient for them.
Klickitat county officials even began printing rural information pamphlets to help negate the constant complaining by newcomers of the smells and noises associated with farm animals and rural living. That’s one other example of complaining by outsiders.
Mike also said that, “defining and dividing ourselves as ‘outsiders’ or ‘locals’ does not serve to build a stronger community; only a more divisive one.” I believe, from what I’ve witnessed, that outsiders have only sought to change our economy and way of life to one of tourism and the like. They never really accepted us and our culture, only forced us to accept them and theirs.
Define anything any way you like, but if you’re a local, you’ll never worry about other locals complaining about outsiders. Making fun is our favorite pastime.
White Salmon, Wash.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge