Schock, York win board seats in county elections

The Hood River County Commission will have a new chairman at the head of the table next January, with Rodger Schock ousting incumbent John Arens by a 12 percent margin in Tuesday’s primary.

Schock, who was also elected as the Democratic Committeeman for Precinct 8, garnered 51.1 percent of the 4,930 votes cast for that race, with Arens netting 39.3 percent.

Conversely, incumbent Commissioner Carol York retained her District 1 seat by a 36 percent lead against challenger Ladd Henderson. York captured 63.6 percent of the 1,628 votes, up significantly from Henderson’s 27.6 percent.

Schock admitted that he was “amazed” by the election results, especially since he had run a “stealth campaign” and refused to post yard signs or accept campaign contributions.

“I thought I had a chance but I don’t have a clue about why I won by a margin like that and I really don’t think you can put your finger on any one thing,” said Schock. “You look for reasons in a deal like this and you could come up with 20 or more but I hope it’s because I said exactly what I would do and where I would focus.”

Please turn to page A5 for complete county voting results.

Arens acknowledges that the well-publicized problems between the Mid-Columbia Council of Governments, which he heads, and Hood River senior citizens may have contributed to his defeat.

“I’m sure the bad press for the past couple of years has caused some concern,” said Arens. “Timing is pretty critical on issues like that and, unfortunately, it takes government longer to work through things than it does in the private sector so it’s hard to tell what effect that had.”

York was out of town this week and unable to be reached for comment about her victory but Henderson said he believed his low-key campaign worked exactly as he intended to get a discussion going of what he believes are serious flaws in the local political processes.

“I simply ran because I thought there were issues that need to be discussed and we discussed them and I am happy,” said Henderson, who also refused to accept campaign contributions or advertise his candidacy.

Henderson said he knew his moral opposition to a casino anywhere in Hood River County would cost him the votes of Cascade Locks residents, who are lobbying to have the gambling center sited in their community. However, he believes the county has brought a “dilemma” upon itself by spending money to fight the facility in one location but supporting it in another.

“Have we not lost the moral high ground?” asked Henderson, who plans to stay involved in the looming casino battle, hearings over the Wal-Mart super center application, and probable destination resort planning.

After 20 years of friendship, Henderson is confident that Schock will not resort to the “backroom” politics that he believes has guided several key commission actions in the past year.

Because they were running in non-partisan races, both York and Schock will have their names listed singly on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

As he spends the next seven months getting briefed on county issues, Schock said he has vowed to always deal with his constituents “straight up” and help them understand the legal and procedural regulations that guide much of the local decision-making processes.

“I think everything should be above board and out on the table,” said Schock, who plans to focus his energies on creating more economic development opportunities.

He also refutes statements by some dissenters that because he has voiced strong opposition against a Mt. Hood Meadows destination resort he will not be fair and impartial during a review of that application.

“I know the difference between the personal bias we’re all allowed and I know what the law requires and I’m going to take an Oath of Office that will hold me to that law,” Schock 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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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