State board of Education asks to meet with OSAA officials

Hood River Valley High School is still in the ballgame to stop a sports redistricting that would lower classroom time and hike transportation costs.

That’s the latest word from Sen. Rick Metsger, D-Welches, who learned on Friday that officials from the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) have been asked to appear before the state Board of Education at Thursday’s meeting in Salem.

“I don’t know what the ultimate outcome will be but last month I asked the board to intervene and the fact that they have taken that recommendation is good news,” said Metsger, who plans to be present at the forum to answer any questions that might arise.

At issue is the OSAA decision to move Hood River from the Mt. Hood Conference next school year into the central- and eastern-Oregon based Intermountain Conference.

That would require HRVHS athletes to make drives of three and four hours to Bend, Redmond, Crook County, Pendleton and Hermiston. The purpose for the action presented by OSAA was that the Intermountain schools needed to add Hood River so that they would have the eight teams necessary to have two playoff berths instead of one.

The school district and Metgser, whose District 26 encompasses Hood River County, have both protested the redistricting because it will add $30,000 in sports program costs and cause students to lose valuable class time. However, the first round was lost earlier this year when an appeal to state hearings officer Michael Reed was overturned.

At that point Metsger decided to take the issue before the board of education, which has the final authority over the issue. He told these officials in April that first priority had to be given to the fiscal, education, parental and community impacts that the OSAA action would have.

Last Friday, Mestger was notified that the board had placed a stop on any final decision from the Secretary of Public Instruction’s office until they had questioned OSAA further about the matter.

“We’re viewing this as something positive since a decision has not been made at this point so we’re still in the game and we’re pleased that the board is taking an interest in our plight,” said Jerry Sessions, superintendent of Hood River schools.

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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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