Scenes from the Nutcracker at HRMS

Local ballet students from Columbia Gorge Dance Academy perform their annual holiday show, "Scenes from the Nutcracker," on Saturday in the auditorium at Hood River Middle School.

There will be two shows, at 1 and 4 p.m., with different casts performing at each one. The performances are a fundraiser for FISH and Hospice of the Gorge; audience members are asked to bring canned food for FISH or a cash donation for Hospice.

The majority of the ballet is staged by Nancy Clement, ballet director at the academy, and is based on the version by the late William Christensen. Laurissa Pennington and Nicole Sherrell, both seniors at Hood River Valley High School, will share the lead role of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Julie Stanley and Rachel Nice will dance the role of Clara. Dolls will be danced by Lydia Diers and Allison Byers, and the Bears are danced by Christa Chandler and Ariel MacMillan. The Snow Queen will be danced by Krista Apland, and Maddie Priest and Hannah Jacobson share the role of the Dew Drop Fairy. A "fight scene," the battle between the mice and soldiers, is a new addition to this year's performance.

This will mark the fourth year dance academy students have staged the program at the middle school. The production involves coordination and volunteer help from many in the community: Janet O'Rourke, Kathleen Priest, Jacquie Barone and Shelley Hight have clocked many hours coordinating costumes and scenery art; Rachel Krummel, HRVHS drama director, and her students coordinate the lights and volunteer as back stage assistants; and numerous "helping moms" sew costumes and donate money for sets, costumes and other necessities.

"It is truly a community event," Clement said.

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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