Gorge Earth Center benefit Saturday at Saloon

The Columbia Gorge Earth Center will feature local music, art, and creativity in a fall benefit at the River City Saloon on Saturday. The benefit raises funds for the group’s annual Earth Day in Hood River and other new projects.

Local bands the Cult Evaders and Blue Trick will provide live music starting at 8 p.m. The event will also include an auction for prizes donated by community members. An art contest will feature art pieces crafted from recycled materials that will be judged by local artists and community members. The contest pieces will be included in the auction.

The Columbia Gorge Earth Center (CGEC) seeks to advance public awareness of the link between the ecology, economy, and community in the Columbia Gorge. The group is focused on activities that raise awareness of these issues, such as Hood River’s Earth Day. The CGEC has hosted an Earth Day in Hood River since 2000 using community volunteers without corporate or government sponsorship.

“Our 2003 Earth Day is going to be bigger and better than ever,” says Peter Cornelison, CGEC board member. “We need the community to come out for this benefit to learn about our group and help us to plan, work, and celebrate our beautiful home place.”

Another goal of the CGEC is to start a Columbia Gorge rebuilding center. Inspired by Portland’s successful rebuilding center, such an effort would recycle used building materials and sell them cheaply to promote reuse. “We need to keep these items out of dumpsters and promote reuse,” says Cornelison.

To focus awareness on the rebuilding center, a “recycled art” contest will be conducted at the auction. The CGEC encourages all interested members of the community to tap their creativity and build an art piece from reused or recycled materials. Pieces should be brought to the benefit for display and donation. Entries will be judged by local artists with the winner declared at the benefit. All pieces will be auctioned that evening. The auction will also feature new prizes and art donated by interested citizens.

A $5 donation will be collected at the door for the event. All proceeds from the donations, contest, and auction will benefit the CGEC.

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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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