Economic Stimulus

Locals bring ideas to Wednesday forum

Tucked inside Sen. Rick Metsger's report from the Senate Special Committee on Economic and Job Stimulus, was an interesting suggestion put forth by John Arens, Hood River County Commissioner.

"Consolidate county and state service facilities, such as road maintenance facilities in Hood River County" was Arens suggestion to Metsger and legislative associates in a forum last month on meeting the state's estimated $830 million budget shortfall.

Metger terms the report "a preliminary analysis of short-term and long-term ideas on ways to attract and grow business in Oregon, as well as other actions to improve Oregon's economy and create jobs."

The report consists of over 270 action ideas collected from invited witnesses, public comment, and legislators; Hood River's turn was Dec. 18. Ideas pertained to economic development structure, regulatory systems, taxation, government efficiency, and public contracting.

Arens also suggested supporting "an initiative to increase the limitation on property taxes going to schools."

Arens' fellow commissioner, Carol York, urged the senators to "allow the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs to develop a casino at Cascade Locks."

Other locals' ideas on the list were:

Revamp Oregon tourism marketing with a regional emphasis. -- Craig Schmidt, director, Hood River Chamber of Commerce;

Rein in regulatory activities facing agriculture and other small business, especially work rules. -- Camille Hukari, orchard owner;

Support federal efforts to increase Medicaid funding. -- Barbara Archer, La Clinica del Carino Family Health Care Center;

Enhance support for cooperative tourism marketing. -- Dave Riley, Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort;

Endorse "country-of-origin" labeling legislation. -- County Commissioner Chuck Thomsen.

Those ideas, and others, will be on the table tonight when Metsger holds a town hall meeting on the economy, at 6:30 p.m. at Hood River Valley Adult Center.

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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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