Man and dog ride in Roses parade

Hood River viewers tuning in to the 2002 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day may spot a familiar face on their television screens.

Local celebrity Ken Jernstedt spent last week practicing his parade wave in preparation for his Jan. 1 ride on the 45-foot float operated by Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Jernstedt will be accompanied by his own guide dog, Driscoll, a yellow lab he brought home almost six years ago after learning handling skills from the Boring branch of the national nonprofit organization.

The two special guests from Hood River will share the spotlight with Michael Hingson of New Jersey, whose seeing-eye dog, Rosell, led him from his office on the 78th floor of the World Trade Center to safety following the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.

Along for the ride and walking alongside will be graduates of the Guide Dog program as well as puppy raisers and instructors. The float will feature the sculpture of a working dog in-harness that will overlook a basket of animated frolicking puppies.

"It's been quite a year and it sure makes growing old interesting, I'll tell you that," said Jernstedt, 84, who had the Hood River Airport renamed in his honor this fall.

Jernstedt is Oregon's first flying fighter ace and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross as a member of the elite Flying Tigers in World War II.

Following his military duties, Jernstedt served as a state senator for 20 years and in the House for two years prior to that. He was also the mayor of Hood River from 1959-60 and again from 1989-90.

In 1979 Jernstedt began losing his sight to glaucoma and a detached retina left him legally blind in his right eye two years later. But that vision impairment hasn't slowed the aging veteran down and he and Driscoll are a familiar sight on Hood River streets. The pair make their rounds each day to keep abreast of local news and volunteer time with the Hood River Lions and American Legion.

"I'm looking forward to the parade, I've never been in one this size -- and Driscoll will probably behave better than I do," said Jernstedt, who will be flown to California on Monday and return to Hood River on Wednesday.

The parade will kick off the 60th anniversary of Guide Dogs for the Blind, an organization that was founded in 1942 in California to serve blinded veterans of World War II returning home from the Pacific Rim. It is now the largest school of its kind in the country and provides free services to people who are blind throughout the United States and Canada.

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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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