New flag flies over Hood River

Traffic noise could not dilute the spirit of a flag dedication at one of Hood River's busiest corners Nov. 7.

About 60 people gathered at 12th and May streets as a new American flag was raised, replacing the huge banner that was stolen from the site in mid-September.

Cubmaster Mitch Hicks said 11-year-old Scout Jesse Schull "took the leadership" in Pack 798's efforts to raise $500 to buy a new flag. Police are still investigating the theft, which came at a time when national spirits were still reeling from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"It was a visual and proud symbol of our country and our community," Hicks said. "Jesse was able to accomplish this and we want to congratulate him."

Jesse said he approached many downtown businesses and raised more than $200 in just a few hours. His pack also helped raise funds.

"It was kind of hard work, but it was worth it," said Jesse, a fifth-grader at May Street Elementary. Jesse also gave some of his own savings to the project.

Mayor Paul Cummings attended Wednesday's service, along with police chief Tony Dirks and other members of his department, and numerous representatives of Providence Columbia Gorge Health Services staff. The flag was taken from Providence property.

"We are very proud to see that flag flying," Jim Clair told Jesse during the ceremony. Clair is chairman of the Providence Hood River board of directors.

Engine noise and the wind interrupted Hicks and other speakers at times, and when it came time to unfurl the flag it burst open in a gust of wind. The Scouts grabbed it to keep it from grazing the ground.

When the banner made it to the top, the pack led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance. Accompany Schull were Aaron Halbert, Jake Gross, Joel Viramontes, Hector Marquez, Ryan Lowe, Zev Braun, Calvin Alexander, Charles Dannon and Lawrence Dannon.

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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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