School officials explain OSAA appeal

Change doesn't happen overnight. And if the local school district has anything to say about it, the recent change imposed on Hood River Valley High School may not happen at all.

School Superintendent Jerry Sessions and HRV Athletic Director Glenn Elliott met with approximately 70 parents, teachers and administrators Jan. 17 at HRVHS to discuss the Oregon School Activities Association's proposal to move HRV into the Intermountain Conference in fall 2002.

"Most of us here tonight are seeking relief for what many feel is an unfair decision," said Sessions, who has drafted two letters of appeal -- one to the OSAA and one to the state Board of Education.

"But we have to understand that making these appeals is a process. We will first appeal to the OSAA and if that fails, we will appeal to the state board. But seeking a legal injunction is not the first step," he said.

Sessions said that the Mt. Hood Conference -- where HRV athletic teams currently reside -- has been informed of the appeals and has agreed to support HRV if schedules must be revised.

Thursday's forum also provided an opportunity to discuss HRV's options if it does not agree to join the IMC. One idea that has been floated around the community is to eliminate entire programs. But Elliott and Sessions don't believe such drastic measures will be necessary.

"My goal is to not cut anything," Elliott said. "I think all the coaches understand that we're going to have to tighten our belts a bit, and I honestly believe we can run the same quality programs even if funds are tightened," he said.

Another suggestion is to form independent schedules and rely on the school's long-time alliance with the MHC. But becoming an independent means HRV would not be eligible for state competitions, either as teams or as individuals.

Elliott said that if HRV joins the IMC, some programs -- such as cross-country, swimming, golf and track -- will be forced to take on an independent schedule because intra-conference dual meets would no longer take place. Instead, the IMC would hold one district competition at the end of the season to determine eligibility for state playoffs.

However, most of HRV's athletic programs would not be affected by the elimination of head-to-head competitions. The football, basketball, baseball, soccer and softball teams would play the same number of games and continue to compete against MHC schools in nonconference events.

The biggest issue for the students will be travel and having to play back-to-back games on overnight trips to places such as Bend and Redmond. Most parents are concerned with the issues of winter travel and loss of study time, and one mother even said she would commute from Portland every day so that she and her husband can remain involved in their children's lives.

"Being at each one of our kids games over the years has helped us keep them on track," Kathy Nishimoto said. "I'm not willing to sacrifice the limited time I have to communicate with my kids, and sports are a big part of that. I would rather commute from Portland than miss this time in their lives," she said.

Sessions and Elliott plan to move forward with the appeals process "aggressively," but are also prepared to begin competition in the IMC next fall.

"We believe we can put something together and do what's best for our kids and our athletic programs," Elliott said.

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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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