Special Olympics athletes ski at state

MT. BACHELOR — Twelve Gorge-area Special Olympics athletes participated in the state ski and snowboard competition last weekend at Mt. Bachelor. And what a time they had.

Athletes from Hood River, Wasco, Sherman and Klickitat (Wash.) counties represented the Columbia Gorge chapter of the Special Olympics, and everyone who competed medaled.

“Everyone did really well, but I was mostly impressed with our sportsmanship,” head coach Carole Schmidt said. “Our athletes were encouraging each other as well as other teams. I’d say that’s where we really excelled.”

Local skiing highlights were Eric Foxley of Hood River, who won two silver medals in the adult intermediate downhill and giant slalom events, and 9-year-old Alek Taylor-Hope of White Salmon, who won gold in the junior slalom race and bronze in the GS.

Local snowboard highlights came from The Dalles competitors Matthew Hodges, Kardell Mann and J.J. Petty, who made up the Gorge’s new three-person team. Hodges and Mann each won a gold and a silver, while Petty won two bronze medals.

“Those kids were determined to snowboard this year,” Schmidt said. “The Summit Snowboard Team better look out.”

Summit team members Jordan Schmidt, Isaac Stranz and Meghan Ferns have all donated time to the program this year.

“We really couldn’t do this without the high school kids and the volunteer coaches,” Schmidt said.

Coaches Nick Berthold, Devin McKenna, Greg Dearholt, Marcie Logan, Fran O’Brien and Keith and Janis Robinson also helped make last weekend a success. If you have questions about Special Olympics, call Schmidt at 541-478-3716.

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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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