A `Haven' for talent: youth create dramas

The culmination of two weeks of hard work by students at the The Next Door's Klahre House happens Friday with a performance at CAST Performing Arts Center.

Eight Klahre House students have been part of the Haven Project, a Portland-based theater company that pairs disadvantaged young people with professional playwrights, actors and directors who teach them how to tell and present their stories through theater. The students have worked one-on-one with playwrights over the past two weeks to create their own stories for stage. On Friday, professional actors from Haven will perform all eight of the two-character plays for the public.

"We saw this as an opportunity to tap into some of our students' talents that might not otherwise be recognized," said Larry James, program manager for Klahre House. "Many of the young people we work with don't think they have much value or much to offer. This project gives them the chance to demonstrate that they do have something of value to offer."

This is the first time the Haven Project has worked with students in a community outside the Portland metro area. James and others involved in the project hope to make it an annual event.

"There's a tremendous potential in this project for inspiring creativity in these kids," said Larry West, director of the Columbia Gorge Arts & Culture Council which helped sponsor the project. "(It's) helping them to dig deeply into their experience and develop what may be a new or more focused perspective on their lives."

West said the Haven Project has had great success with at-risk youth in Portland over the past several years, and he expects more of the same here. "I've been awed to watch the process unfold for the Klahre House kids over the past week," he said.


Friday's event starts at 7 p.m. and is free. CAST is located at 105 4th Street in Hood River.

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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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