School safety comes first

Tuesday, kids return to school

and they are all in our care

Parents like to point out to their children that this is the last full week of summer vacation.

School resumes Sept. 4 for many students in Hood River County, Sept. 5 for the rest.

Time to start thinking of homework instead of home runs, buses instead of beaches, grades instead of Gameboy.

The return to fall represents those basic responsibilities of youth.

This is also the time to start thinking vehicle caution, the basic responsibility of adults.

The new Hood River school superintendent, Jerry Sessions, has two primary concerns for the school year: reading excellence, and safety for kids on the way to their buildings. Sessions is really articulating a community concern, but one that we must all be reminded of as students go to and from school, on foot, on bikes, and in cars.

The city has repainted crosswalks around town, and updated traffic control signs in the school zones. Police have mounted recent pedestrian right-of-way campaigns in recent months. Yet nationally, half of all traffic injuries were in crosswalks.

For the most part, walking to school is a joyful activity, where friends are met, the sweet smell of morning sweeps away the sands of sleep, and first thoughts of the day unfold.

Drivers can all do their parts to keep the experience a happy one. Starting next week, the kids are out there. They're in all our care.

Safety instead of speed.

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I Can't Keep Quiet singers at "Citizen Town Hall"

‘I can’t keep quiet,’ sing members of an impromptu choir in front of Hood River Middle School Saturday prior to the citizen town hall for questions to Rep. Greg Walden. The song addresses female empowerment generally and sexual violence implicitly, and gained prominence during the International Women’s Day events in January. The singers braved a sudden squall to finish their song and about 220 people gathered in HRMS auditorium, which will be the scene of the April 12 town hall with Rep. Greg Walden, at 3 p.m. Enlarge

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