Mel Taylor earns top Realtor honor

The Mid-Columbia Association of Realtors has named Mel Taylor of Don Nunamaker Realty in Hood River "Realtor of the Year."

The association, with 180 members from five Oregon and Washington counties in the Columbia Gorge, is the area's largest trade association, and is affiliated with both the Oregon and Washington Associations of Realtors.

Taylor moved to Hood River from Montana with her family in 1963. After serving in local schools as a substitute teacher and teacher, she began her career in real estate in 1969 with the then-Kingsley Realty. One year later, she joined Don Nunamaker Realty, where she has worked for 31 years.

Taylor was modest about the award. "I was shocked," she said. "I just try to look after the people."

Her selection as Realtor of the Year was the result of voting by committee of former Realtors of the Year and the Mid-Columbia Association of Realtors' general membership.

Jennifer Bickford, executive director of the association, explains that the purpose of the nonprofit organization is to promote good ethics and standards among people involved in real estate, and to offer them opportunities for industry education and information. The group annually selects a Realtor of the Year to honor one of their own for being exemplary.

Bickford noted that Taylor was cited by her peers for her high ethical standards, and for her involvement in, and service to the local community.

Taylor and her husband, Cliff, a math teacher and tutor, have five adult children, three of whom still live in the Hood River area -- including Joella Sellers, who recently followed in her mother's footsteps by becoming a sales associate with Don Nunamaker Realty.

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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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