Wednesday, December 9, 2015
I’m not one to brag, but the other day I said to myself: Self, if I send a very brief letter to the editor suggesting there are scientists who disagree with the theory of global warming, I’ll wager that my tiny, diminutive paragraphical “investment” will pay me back huge, gigantic dividends in a responding letter chock full of superfluous, retaliatory, redundant paragraphs galore. It seems I won that bet with myself.
It is correctly asserted in Hood River Basin Water Use Assessment that municipal water districts are using spring water for the public supply.
However, that water is chlorine-treated when it is stored and distributed as municipal water. It is no longer pure spring water, and not the same quality as water to be bottled from Oxbow Springs for Nestlé’s Arrowhead brand. Additionally, tribes who bottle water for their casinos don’t do so in the quantities that Nestlé intends, and the water is only distributed locally, not exported out of the watershed.
These are not accurate comparisons for the Cascade Locks project, and the proposed ballot measure makes allowance for small-scale operations with local distribution.
Did you know there is no officially recorded long-term precipitation data for Cascade Locks? That means any number you hear for average rainfall is at best a guess. Also important to know is that a water year is measured from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. Rain and snow that fall in the final quarter of this calendar year are part of the 2016 water year. And please do not discount the importance of snowfall. Even though the total quantity of water may be less, it absorbs into the ground more slowly instead of saturating and running off as in a heavy rainstorm.
That is more beneficial for vegetation. Bonneville (the nearest station with long-term data) may have gotten over 90 percent of the average rainfall, but it only received 11 percent of its average snowfall in the 2015 water year.
Congratulations to the Local Water Alliance for getting signatures for the Water Protection Measure so quickly! Since all water is a publicly-held resource in Oregon, the public should have a voice in how those resources are used. It has been a most frustrating year watching the citizens I was elected to represent on Cascade Locks City Council be dismissed and ridiculed by the people who are making these big decisions in secret. These same people are adamant about only using materials provided by the company making the proposal in their decision-making. That is not what many consider due diligence. I’m happy the people are asserting their power. We CAN do better!
As we are reeling from multiple televised mass shooting events recently in the U.S., I am compelled to write. I cannot sit silently. Mass shootings are something that I very badly want to have a civic discourse about. I feel like the solution will be a blending of people for gun rights and supporters of gun control. The two are intricately linked.
By working together on creating long term solutions to adapt the Second Amendment to our current century, we can create more safety for everyone. For example, if assault rifles continue to be sold to the general public, there should be the same training requirements and restrictions placed on the ownership and usage of these weapons as our military and police personnel receive. Owning these weapons of war comes with a huge responsibility that needs to be treated accordingly.
I believe in representative democracy. Massive change is possible with enough public support. Our laws, in the end, reflect the will of our population. Apathy and non-participation in the system is a personal choice. The vacuum created by our country’s collective silence and inaction on gun rights and gun control has left us without easy solutions. I believe that in our collective silence on how to affectively deal with this problem, we all bear some responsibility for the escalation of violence.
I think we can all agree that mass shootings happen here in the United States at a rate and severity that far exceeds other developed countries around the world. I believe any long term, lasting solution will accommodate supporters and detractors of the Second Amendment. I’m inspired by the thought of working together to keep each other safe from the harm of random gun violence. While not every attack can be prevented, we can and should take concrete steps to make it harder for criminal and terrorist elements to purchase and use these weapons. Gun ownership for sport and personal protection can and should be maintained while achieving more safety for everyone.
‘Guns for terrorists’
What in the world is wrong with congressional Republicans? Does the NRA have a gun to the head of every one of them? Is politics, Republican politics, more important that the prevention of acts of terrorism in the U.S.? Senate Republicans voted down an amendment to stop any gun sale to people on the terrorist watch list. House Republicans refused to allow any discussion of any such amendment or bill. According to the Government Accountability Office, the watchdog agency of congress, more than 2,000 suspects on the FBI’s Terrorist Watch list legally bought guns over the last 11 years. But Texas Republican Senator John Corny even went so far as to say preventing gun sales to those listed people was “un-American.”
It is not just the Obama administration or Democrats in general that congressional Republicans refused to listen to when they are asked to close gun sales loopholes or restricting gun sales. They refuse to listen to their own party members who advocate the same thing. They did the same thing to George W. Bush’s Administration, too.
If congressional Republicans put the NRA, gun manufactures and gun sales profits before the safety of the American people, maybe the whole National Republican Party should be declared a terrorist organization. At the very least the attorney general should arrest and charge any congressperson blocking or voting against any such legislation with aiding and abetting terrorists.