Letters to the Editor for March 29

Rumor rumor

Say it isn’t true. Sorry; it really is.

The bust of Winston Churchill, who was so powerfully instrumental in helping America, England and all our allies gain victory over our enemies in World War II, was disgracefully removed from the White House and sent back to the U.K. in 2008 by newly elected President Obama.

What an arrogant and disrespectful slap in the face of Great Britain. Why, I wonder, would Obama feel resentment toward Churchill? After all, as we living eye witnesses clearly remember from World War II, Winston ruled good — like a Prime Minister should.

Bill Davis

Hood River

Editor’s note: (From Snopes.com) Lately, there’s been a rumor swirling around about the current location of the bust of Winston Churchill. Some have claimed that President Obama removed the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office and sent it back to the British Embassy.

Now, normally we wouldn’t address a rumor that’s so patently false, but just this morning the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer repeated this ridiculous claim in his column. He said President Obama “started his Presidency by returning to the British Embassy the bust of Winston Churchill that had graced the Oval Office.”

This is 100 percent false. The bust is still in the White House. In the Residence. Outside the Treaty Room.

True locals

Has anyone asked any Native Americans what they think about the “locals only” debate?

Jerry Giarraputo

Hood River

Big stink

Dear fellow citizens: If you have been affected by the chemical odors discharged by the creosote plant at the east end of The Dalles, as many of us have, please contact Oregon DEQ at: office 541-388-6146; direct phone 541-633-2019; fax 541-388-8283; or email messina.frank@deq.state.or.us.

Kindly call and complain as soon as you can, and whenever it stinks, as DEQ is in the process of issuing a new Air Quality Permit for Amerities West, the corporation that operates this plant.

In an informational meeting on Feb. 7, DEQ indicated that not very many people were complaining despite the fact that the plant emits several cancer-causing chemicals, including napthalene at four times the carcinogenic limit, benzene and polyaromatic hydrocarbons.

I feel that this plant is not compatible with human habitation and should be relocated. I get headaches and feel sick almost as often as I drive by the site. I wonder what they are thinking, as they have been continuously cleaning up their groundwater for 22 years, while they still store treated ties over open area, polluting the ground water all over again.

Many years ago the DEQ odor regulations were much more protective of human health. Up to now, Amerities has no continuous fence-line pollutant monitoring program, has no plans for additional emission control equipment, and has done no comprehensive studies with respect to health impacts on local residents.

I’m sure that there are several employees on site, but the company’s emissions probably create more jobs at local hospitals.

So, fellow citizens, please call DEQ and let ‘em have it!

Dave Berger

Lyle, Wash.


In July 2008 the Forest Service changed its policy to never again designate timber sales as “timber sales.” Agency leaders knew most Americans do not want their national forests logged. Top USFS officials were becoming increasingly aware that the American citizens wanted their national forests to remain intact, undeveloped and wild for future generations to enjoy.

The forest supervisors in America were directed to mislead the public by referring to timber sales as “restoration projects” in spite of the fact the only thing they restore is the financial bottom line of the corporation that logs them. Skidders weighing 30,000 pounds with spinning wheels used to remove logs do not restore the fragile conditions in the forest.

At the present time, the Umatilla, Wallowa-Whitman and Malheur National Forests in eastern Oregon are revising their Forest Plans. The draft revised Blue Mountains Forest Plan is available for public comment until June 10.

The USFS’ preferred alternative will double the “restoration” treatments (aka logging) in these three forests each year for the next 15 years.

It’s time to tell the USFS to spend our tax dollars to actually restore our forests which wouldn’t include logging. The draft EIS and Plan are online.

Dick Artley

USFS -retired

Grangeville, Idaho

A keeper

Believe it or not, civil society does need government — one that works.

And, it will only work when it produces policy that secures the health and well being of all society. You know, “of, by, and from the people.” And, in spite of our Supreme Court, money does not constitute nor promote free speech.

Envision the woman on her soap box in the town square competing against a dozen sound trucks blaring out the good news from the likes of the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Ann Coulter, Karl Rove, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, Greg Walden, etc.

Think of our Senator Jeff Merkley who could conceivably lose his seat in November if Oregonians believe the noise paid for by wealthy interests from out of state whose only interest is to eliminate any and all from office who strive, as he does, to protect the economic futures of all Americans, especially Oregonians.

Getting big money out of elections and legislation, and protecting the markets from destructive self-interests are at the top of Jeff’s legislative agenda. I think he’s a keeper.

Russ Hurlbert


Two-edged sword

The effects of marijuana use are that of a two-edged sword. On one hand, helpful/good effects are noted:

  1. The increase of appetite and decrease in nausea and vomiting could help chemotherapy patients who usually lose their appetites and suffer from nausea.

  2. The effect to reduce pain might help those who have severe painful conditions to avoid narcotics with their disadvantages.

  3. Perhaps it would reduce pain and spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis.

  4. Music sounds better and things look more beautiful with a marijuana “high.”

On the other hand, adverse effects can be noted:

  1. Adverse psychological effects can be a disoriented sense of time, paranoia, random thinking, short-term memory loss, anxiety and depression.

  2. Adverse physiological signs include rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, increased respiratory rate and a slowed reaction time.

  3. Impaired coordination, difficulty thinking and problem-solving with disrupted learning and memory may occur.

  4. In young people, heavy use may produce effects on thinking and memory that last a long time or permanently. A study in New Zealand showed an IQ drop in teens who smoked marijuana heavily.

For these reasons, I think a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries should be in effect until these important issues are addressed to reduce adverse effects as much as possible.

Don Rose, M.D.

Hood River

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Latest video:

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

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