Vandals damage middle school addition

The shiny new construction at Hood River Middle School was marred by vandalism last week.

School Resource Officer Tiffany Hicks said it appears the damage was done by skateboarders and rollerbladers, culprits who could face jail time if caught.

“It’s just really aggravating that people have been working all summer long to make this school a nice place for students and it’s been thrashed before it’s even finished,” said Tiffany.

Sometime between Thursday evening and the early morning hours on Friday, the handrail to the new courtyard was gouged down to the metal.

Tiffany said it appears the grooves were carved by a skateboard being ridden down the rail. In addition, the criminal mischief extended into numerous black skidmarks being left on the recently poured pavement and trails cut across the newly seeded lawn facing May Street.

“We’re talking a lot of work to get this back to the way it was,” said Principal Bob Dais. “What really bothers me is the insensitivity they have shown for something the community is really proud of.”

He estimates the cost of repair at between $400-$500 for labor alone, an expense added to the $2.5 million for the renovation approved by voters in 2000.

To prevent future problems, or make it easier to prosecute suspects, Dais said the school will post no skateboarding and rollerblading signs that clearly spell out the penalties for violation.

“It’s a shame the kids are not taking any pride in this themselves — after all it’s for them,” said Hicks, who asked that anyone with information about the misdemeanor offense call her directly at 387-5259.

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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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