Is peace possible?

Princehouse to moderate discussion on Middle East

One of Susan Princehouse’s extra-pastoral assignments has been acting as moderator at community forums. In February she moderated at a discussion on civil liberties held at the church. Tonight, she will serve as moderator for “Palestine and Israel: Is Peace Possible? A Discussion and Debate.”

The forum features a debate on the current crisis in the Middle East by Rabbi Daniel Isaak and Palestinian Frank Afranji. Each speaker will present his point of view for up 30 minutes, then together will take questions from the audience for up to an hour.

Susan likes her role as moderator. “It’s all sort of familiar,” she said. “I’m used to being in situations where people have conflicting opinions but they have to remain respectful.”

That’s one reason members of Columbia River Fellowship for Peace, co-sponsor of this forum and sponsor of the February civil liberties event, approached Susan for the job.

“We figured that (her) experience in the courtroom as well as at the pulpit would serve her very well,” said organizer Mark Nykanen. “What I noticed most about her (at the last forum) was how she was able to sharpen the points of discussion and, when necessary, smooth the emotional rough edges.”

Susan has been impressed with both the speakers and the audience at past forums.

“While there were many people there with strongly-held opinions, they were also there to learn,” she said. She credits the small community with making the forums both thought-provoking and civil.

“People can disagree very passionately, but you’re aware that you’ll meet your opponent in the grocery store,” she says.

Tonight’s forum begins at 7 p.m. at Riverside Community Church. Doors open at 6:45. The event, co-sponsored by Columbia River Fellowship for Peace and Community Education, is free and childcare will be provided.

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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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