Homecoming week: early and eventful

It was the start of a new week at Hood River Valley High School. Buses arrived Monday, teachers drove in, all ready to begin the day.

Strangely enough, five colors -- gray, black, blue, yellow, and red -- unmistakably appeared on the staff and student body. Yet none of this was unplanned.

It wasn't just a normal Monday -- it was the start of Homecoming Week.

Homecoming normally comes at the end of October, not in the first week of the month. It caught some of the students off-guard, but in spite of the alteration, students and staff have been actively participating in the school activities.

Homecoming was moved up to avoid a conflict with next week's teacher in-service, in which students are out of school Thursday and Friday. The football team has an away game scheduled the following week, and Oct. 28 would have been too late, said assistant principal Steve Fisk.

"We know it's early for Homecoming, but it'll be a nice weekend for a football game, and the kids have adjusted well," Fisk said. "We've got some great hallway decorations, and we'll have a great homecoming."

Monday (class color day) started off with the annual kick-off assembly. Tuesday (sports/western day) was Ribbon Day, had karaoke at lunch, and held the first Homecoming games for volleyball and girls soccer. During lunch today (camo/red, white, and blue day) there will be a pie eating contest, and the ever-impressive bonfire at 6 p.m. Thursday ('80s and pajama day) contains the long awaited Air Guitar at 10:40 and the next sports events for volleyball and freshman football, both starting at 5 p.m.

Friday starts with the Homecoming Parade at 1 p.m in the Heights. At 4 p.m. is the freshman boys soccer game, which is topped off with the varsity football at 7:30 p.m. At the game, the Homecoming court will make their grand entrance, and this year's king and queen will be announced.

This year's princes are Kevin Collins, Nestor Elisea, Juan Garcia, and William Peng. The princesses are Mickie Halliday, Tara Level, Angie Martin, and Mari-Beth Ortega. Voting for king and queen is today.

Saturday ends the week with the Homecoming Dance from 8 to 11:30 p.m.

"We encourage all parents and community members to see the parade on Friday and the game that night," Fisk said. "We've got some great kids here and they're doing some great work. Homecoming is a truly positive activity at Hood River Valley."

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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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