City manager cleans up on mayors’ bet

CASCADE LOCKS — A racing duel between two mayors last Sunday ended well for both parties — but perhaps not so tidily for unsuspecting Hood River City Manager Lynn Guenther.

On Monday afternoon, a surprised Guenther learned that he would be covering the bet lost by Mayor Paul Cummings to Cascade Locks Mayor Roger Freeborn. Guenther will clean the Cascade Locks City Council Chambers for Freeborn.

“My last words to Mayor Cummings were ‘don’t hurt yourself,’ I had no idea he was leading me down the primrose path or I would have given him some driving tips,” said Guenther.

In the interest of fairness, he is demanding that Freeborn’s victory be swept away in a “grudge match” between himself and Robert Willoughby, his Cascade Locks counterpart.

“We have no control over our honorable mayors and the not-so-honorable deals those two get themselves into,” grumbled Guenther.

But Freeborn said Guenther doesn’t need to worry that his manual labor will be in vain, since the council will make sure to schedule the cleaning after a particularly bad mudslinging session.

“We really appreciate Mayor Cummings’ offer to send Lynn to clean for us and will try to make it worth his while,” said Freeborn.

The contested go-kart race at Port Marine Park in Cascade Locks on Sunday involved more than 46 vehicles and drew about 200 contestants and spectators. Although Cummings willingly took the wheel to challenge Freeborn on the one-half mile track, he questions his loss on several key points — the most important being that Freeborn failed to disclose that he is almost a professional in that field.

Cummings admitted that he had hoped to garner the victory because Freeborn did not know about his past experience with dragsters.

“Even though I’m not sure the race was fair and square, I will be gracious in my defeat and volunteer Lynn to do something here,” said Cummings.

Freeborn said he can magnanimously overlook any aspersions upon his character since he believes that losing is harder for some individuals than for others — although he can’t really relate to that problem.

“I take my hat off to the mayor for stepping up to the challenge and maybe I can give him some pointers next year,” he said.

Freeborn and Cummings hit the road in a “test” go-kart race that was well attended enough to turn into the first full-blown competition next summer.

The Cascade Locks mayor said he organized the event with the help from Hot Track Indoor Go-Karting in Vancouver, Wash., and the big four Kart Shop owners in Portland.

Besides the fun it offered, Freeborn said he organized the informal competition to demonstrate to other community members how much local interest there was for almost any recreational activity. He said entertaining programs would also draw tourists into the economically-distressed community.

“Anyone who has an idea and a little ambition can put an event together,” said Freeborn, who has now thrown down the gauntlet for Cummings to best him by holding a Mayor’s Ball this winter that can rival his first-ever extravaganza in early 2002.

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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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