Citizens take walk to celebrate peace

As the sun crept above the trees shading Wilson Park Saturday morning, a crowd of nearly 40 people gathered to chat, sing and begin a one-mile walk through city neighborhoods.

The “Peace Walk” was part of the week-long series of events organized by Columbia River Fellowship for Peace to commemorate 9-11. Participants — ranging from the elderly to toddlers in strollers — sang songs at the park and selected flowers to carry from jars set on picnic tables. Then the group set off to walk to Overlook Memorial Park downtown.

Organizer Theresa North came up with the idea for the walk when the Fellowship was planning the series of events, called “From Ground Zero to Common Ground.”

“I was trying to think of things that we enjoy in our country,” North said. “One of the things we get to enjoy is walking through quiet neighborhoods.” The Peace Walk offered a way to celebrate that, she said, while acknowledging that many people in the world don’t have that simple luxury.

As the group walked west on Montello Avenue, then down the steep 7th Street hill, they sang songs. People doing morning yard work greeted the walkers; others waved from passing cars.

Karen Murphy-Mendez of Hood River pushed her 2-year-old son, Diego, in a stroller.

“I’m just here to make a statement for peace in the face of all that’s going on,” she said.

Among the walkers were Lou DeSitter of Hood River and Paul Woolery of White Salmon, both of whom were participating in the 9-11 memorial fast, and hadn’t eaten for seven days.

“It’ll be okay going downhill,” Woolery said. “But I’m not coming back up.”

At Overlook Memorial Park, the group sang more songs while kids played in the fountain.

“It was really sweet,” said participant Mark Nykanen, who walked and sang with his wife, Lucinda Taylor, and their 4-year-old daughter, Anika. “I had tears in my eyes.”

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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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