Mayors take wheel in go-cart ‘test’ race

Cascade Locks Mayor Roger Freeborn is taking to the road with a new community event.

He expects Sunday’s “test” go-kart races to draw even more people than the popular Mayor’s Ball he held earlier this year. He is hoping the preliminary race in the Gorge will lead to an annual full blown competition each summer.

“We initially set out to attract 30 drivers and karts for the test day but have since succumbed to the fact that there are a lot more than 30 drivers interested,” said Freeborn, who obtained sponsorship for the event from Brian Ferguson, owner of Hot Track Indoor Go-Karting in Vancouver.

Freeborn has challenged Hood River Mayor Paul Cummings to get behind the wheel for a duel at the event — a challenge that Cummings will not pass up.

“Due to my past racing nature, I can’t refuse that one,” said Cummings, owner/operator of an automotive repair shop.

The activities at Port Marine Park will start at 8 a.m. when drivers, ranging in age from under 14 years old to over 50, will be introduced to the track and answer public questions while setting up their karts.

Freeborn recruited drivers from the big four Kart Shop owners in Portland and members from two of the largest tracks in the Willamette Valley.

“You will be pleasantly surprised to discover what a family-oriented sport this is, you will see fathers, mothers, sons and daughters all working together on their karts which is quite a reassuring sight that the American family is indeed still intact,” said Freeborn.

“This event is absolutely rated ‘G’ for all audiences.”

Racing will begin at 12:45 p.m. and continue non-stop until 4:30 p.m., with a brief halt for a drivers meeting about 2 p.m.

There is no charge to attend and Freeborn said a number of classes will be running, including children in their 50, 60 and 80cc automatic clutch karts, senior citizens with the Briggs and Stratton Animal and Raptor engines, Rotax and Leopard 125cc, KT100cc, 80cc Shifter Karts and the popular 125 Shifter Karts.

Three of the Kart Shop owners will be available to provide more information about the vehicles that are capable of accelerating from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than seven seconds with some capable to speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour.

“These aren’t exactly the same karts you may remember as a child,” Freeborn said.

He is available to answer questions about the races at 374-44460 or by e-mail at

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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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