OSAA sends HRV packing

All the "what if's" surrounding a potential conference move for Hood River Valley High School have suddenly turned to "oh no's."

The Oregon School Activities Association Executive Board upheld the redistricting committee's Oct. 15 recommendation to move HRV from the Mt. Hood to the Intermountain Conference, by a vote of 8-1 at the Dec. 3 meeting in Wilsonville.

As a result of the decision, HRV will begin playing football, soccer, volleyball and cross-country next fall against Hermiston, Pendleton, Redmond, Crook County and three Bend-area schools -- Mountain View, Summit and Bend.

"We're not shocked, but we're certainly disappointed," HRV Athletic Director Glenn Elliott said. "We were hoping for an upset."

Elliott traveled to Wilsonville Monday with HRV principal Ben Kolb and Hood River school district superintendent Jerry Sessions to make one final appeal to the board. They also presented a student petition with more than 500 signatures, but were unable to sway the decision.

"The whole process moved rather quickly," Elliott said. "The board heard testimony for about two hours and returned with their verdict at 11:30 a.m.

"The only dissenter who sided with us felt like the economic hardship would be far too great for a school like ours to absorb, but unfortunately, he was in the minority."

Other 4A conference changes approved Monday were St. Mary's Academy moving from the Metro to the Mt. Hood Conference, and Lebanon leaving the Valley League for the Midwestern League.

"After listening to a great deal of input from all the schools affected by these proposed moves, the board reached a conclusion that these changes were in the best interest in the state as a whole," OSAA assistant executive director Mike Wallmark said.

"The concept of these sessions is to look at how to improve Oregon high school athletics every four years," he said. "The representatives will reconvene in 2005 and look at similar changes. How that will affect Hood River Valley in the future, I don't know," he said.

Similarly, Elliott does not yet know how the logistics of athlete travel, lodging and meals will work next fall.

"There will be a number of budget questions presented to the school district, but any decisions about next year won't happen right away," he said. "We can't speculate right now about how individual programs may be affected. All we can do is accept the ruling and try to move forward as planned."

HRV officials, coaches and athletes aren't the only ones affected by this decision. Hood River resident Kathy Nishimoto and her family are just one example of the many people whose lives will be altered by this ruling.

Her son, Bryan, is an HRV freshman involved in football, basketball and baseball, and his athletic future at the school is now in question.

"I just think this is really sad for the kids," said Nishimoto who, along with Fred Duckwall, helped organize a community-wide petition before the redistricting committee's final meeting Oct. 15.

"The freshmen on the basketball team have been playing together for three years and have been waiting all this time to play together at the high school level," she said. "Now there are kids who won't be able to play because of the travel issue. I just don't understand."

Elliott said there is very little he and the HRV administration can do to block the decision, and he accepts this ruling as the final word.

"Membership in the OSAA is voluntary," he said. "When you join, you agree to abide by the recommendations set forth by the board. You hope to have a chance to persuade them, but they have to consider what's best for all of Oregon high school athletics, not just one or two schools."

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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

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