Rotary Skatepark officially on course

Skateboarders from all over Oregon — even from as far away as Milwaukee, Wisc. — turned out in droves Saturday, April 21, to help Hood River Parks and Recreation and the local Rotary chapter officially open the new skate course at 20th and Wasco streets.

Although the upgraded course has been in use for a few weeks, the ribbon cutting ceremony was held Saturday to coincide with Blossom Fest and Mt. Hood Meadows’ Vegetate Ski and Snowboard Festival, which will be held today through Sunday.

“We were very happy with the turnout,” said District Director Lori Stirn. “We appreciate all the help from our sponsors and the support within the community.”

Heading up the ribbon-cutting committee was Hood River mayor Paul Cummings, Rotary President Paul Thompson, and Parks District chair Peggy Bogard. The ceremony was followed by a skate competition in the afternoon.

Also contributing to the event’s success were sponsors such as Rosauers, Shred Threads, Da Kine, Obsidian Snow and Skate, Doug’s Sports, McDonald’s, Taco Del Mar, Coca-Cola, Holsteins, Andrew’s Pizza, Heelside, Savier and Frolik.

Stirn said most of these sponsors have been behind the skatepark project since the inception of the Skatepark Revival Committee in fall 2001.

The committee’s goal over the past year-and-a-half has been to upgrade the existing skatepark facility, introduced in 1996, to be on par with some of the state’s best facilities in Redmond, Astoria and Portland — home of the original Burnside Skatepark.

Hood River Parks and Recreation was awarded funds in late 2001 to proceed with the project, and contracted Dreamland Skateparks in February to begin phase one of the four phase project.

Saturday’s kick-off not only showed that the committee is heading in a positive direction, it also signaled the beginning of a new era of skateboarding in Hood River.

“We’re still in the beginning stages, but it’s nice to see all of our hard work come together like this,” said volunteer coordinator Julie Tucker.

Tucker and the committee hope to begin construction of a new mini bowl later this year. Fundraising efforts will continue through the spring and summer.

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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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