Tuesday, June 18, 2002
Time for thanks
We would like to acknowledge and honor the actions of the crew of the 939th Rescue Wing Pavehawk which crashed during the rescue attempt of climbers on Mt. Hood, May 30:
Capt. Grant E. Dysle, pilot; Capt. Kelvin B. Scribner, pilot; Staff Sgt. Martin M. Mills, flight engineer; 2nd Lt. Ross S. Wilson, combat rescue officer; Staff Sgt. Andrew V. Canfield, pararescue specialist and Staff Sgt. Darrin Shore, pararescue specialist.
To the community of Hood River — our friends, colleagues at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, the faculty and students at May St. School and Village Kids Educare — your support in the aftermath of the crash reminded us, yet again, of why we choose to live here. Thank you.
Lynette, Nicole, Rocne
and Taylor Scribner
Regarding the June 15 Hood River News story about Wal-Mart, it’s good that Wal-Mart’s managers enjoy their jobs and I wish them well. However, the article misses the point. Wal-Mart’s proposal to build a big-box retail store on Country Club Road will be decided based upon its meeting the site plan review criteria and conforming to the comprehensive plan. Luckily for the Wal-Mart developer, the decision does not hinge on the pay scale of Wal-Mart.
Having read the latest Wal-Mart proposal, the development misses the mark by a wide margin. The development is required to be compatible with the site and the surrounding buildings. It does neither. It is supposed to preserve natural features on the site. It does not. Wal-Mart proposes to re-engineer the site; remove most natural features, and move and channelize Phelps Creek so their building will fit onto the site. In essence it stands the criteria on their head; re-create the site to fit the building.
The building is also supposed to be compatible in scale with the site and its surroundings. The building and parking lot will fill the site with one small area of landscaping. The building will be more than eight times the size of the largest nearby building, the Columbia Gorge Hotel. It will be 2 1/2 times the size of the largest building in town (the current Wal-Mart.) It will be over four times the size of one city block.
If the decision hinged on jobs and pay, as the article tried to imply, Wal-Mart would fail miserably. As reported, Wal-Mart, the largest company in the nation, pays a department manager with 10 years service $21,200 to $25,000 per year (is it 34 hours per week or 40 hours?) One can earn more in Hood River waiting tables, working as a grounds keeper, or as a grocery clerk. Some in these jobs earn almost twice as much as a Wal-Mart department manager. If I were corporate spokesman for Wal-Mart, I would be embarrassed by these numbers.
One of the successful things about the local businesses in Hood River is their emphasis on carrying locally made product. When shopping at Rosauers, for example, I see salad greens from The Dalles, picked that day, and organic fruit grown locally. I even run into John, from Mt. Hood Organic Farms, checking product display, and chatting with customers. As a consumer, purchasing local products is satisfying not only because the quality is outstanding, but it also helps our local economy, while minimizing shipping expense and time. In contrast, I have never seen a locally made product at Wal-Mart.
Please say no to the supercenter megastore, especially in light of their supposed policy change hi-lighted in George W. Earley’s letter to the editor June 5. I would like to echo his request here:
Will Wal-Mart spokesperson Amy Hill please tell us why a mega-store is still planned for Hood River?
Earlier this week I attended the 8th grade promotion of my oldest granddaughter at Wy’east Middle School. This was a well-planned and executed event. It was scheduled at 6 p.m. and was started at 6 p.m., a fact that I especially appreciated. There were only two things that I felt went wrong. The first was that the sound system did not allow many of us in the stands to hear what was going on at times. The second was far more disturbing to me. One of the speakers from the high school gave his entire presentation in Spanish.
I am not anti-Hispanic but I really felt this was an outrageous action on the part of the school. These young people were being promoted from 8th to 9th grade in an American school. The language of this country is English. If these students cannot speak English they have no right being promoted. We are in a time period when our school districts think that we as taxpayers have deserted them and do not wish to (as they see it) properly fund the schools. As taxpayers we see actions such as this and say, are you teaching the subjects and values that we wish to have taught? We also ask if the monies are actually going to the classroom.