Skate Slalom races through the Hood

Professional slalom skateboarders from the United States and abroad roll into Hood River this weekend to test their skills on Columbia Street outside Full Sail Brewery.

The competitors are gathering for “Haulin’ in the Hood,” the sixth installment of the 2002 Professional Slalom Skateboarding tour, which includes stops in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, Calif., and Breckenridge, Colo. The eight-race series culminates in October with the world championships in Morro Bay, Calif.

In the electronically timed head-to-head elimination races, winners are decided by hundredths and even thousandths of a second. Those small slices of time are crucial — they’re worth thousands of dollars in prize money and overall series point standings.

The first Hood River event will be held Saturday. Racers launch from an elevated starting ramp and scream into dual slalom courses. The next day, racers go head-to-head at high speeds in a dual tight slalom event.

On each day, open class qualifying races will be held at 9 a.m., with eliminations following immediately after, and pro class qualifying races will be at noon, followed by eliminations. Finals will be held each day at 3 p.m., followed by an awards ceremony on Sunday.

Slalom skateboarding, which reached its peak in the late 1970s, has re-emerged as a world-class event in the last few years. After a hiatus of more than 20 years, Fat City Racing and race organizer Jack Smith hosted the 2001 Morro Bay World Championships.

A year later, fresh faces and seasoned masters alike return for FCR’s eight-race series. This weekend, current professional class points leader Paul Dunn will defend his lead against Gary Cross, the 2001 world champion.

Other skateboarding personalities in attendance will include commentator Roger Hickey, the world standup downhill champion and inventor of street luge.

Most competitors are from California, but a few hail from as far away as Sydney, Australia. The weekend’s races aren’t just for men, either. The open class racing features women’s and junior divisions running the same course as the pros.

For more information on the series, visit For an updated list of registered racers visit the “Contest Calendar” link at

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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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