On the Waterfront

Port, city want to get public behind revised plan

Hood River’s city and port officials are determined that plans to develop the waterfront will not be scuttled by either a lack of cooperation or funding.

“I really feel the money is out there and it’s going to take some trust on the part of the city, the port and the citizens to buy into this project and make it happen,” said City Manager Lynn Guenther at a joint meeting of the agencies on Monday.

Guenther advocated for an intergovernmental agreement that would expedite planning efforts and unite the search for money to construct a new park and a riverfront trail. He was joined in that message by Dave Harlan, port director, who said the bottom line was that if the current plans did not “pencil out” they would be added to a pile of past failed efforts.

Steve Everroad, city finance director, briefed the Port Commissioners and City Councilors about a mix of funding options, including putting a bond levy request before county voters on the ballot in the spring of 2004.

“It’s really very simple, you develop a plan for what you want for a park and go out to the voters — either the public is behind the project or it isn’t,” said Everroad.

Of special interest to the officials was the development of Lot 7, a four-acre parcel that currently houses the Western Power building. When that company went out of business in early 2002 the port decided to consider demolition of the empty plant and locate the park there instead of the adjacent Lot 6.

Harlan said the advantage to that move was that, while both shoreline parcels were about the same size at four acres, Lot 7 had the advantage of being located next to the riverside jetty known as the Hook. He said that site would also be solely dedicated to recreational use while development plans for Lot 6 had included either 30 or 40 percent light industrial use.

Guenther said the changes made to the master plan since it was mothballed in 1999 needed to be explained to the public when it was formally presented. He outlined that some of these changes included an increased height allowance on the buildings and less distance for waterfront setbacks.

“I think it’s important for the public to understand that the port earmarked changes to make an economically viable project,” said Guenther.

Harlan said citizens would be provided with ample opportunities to hear that message at upcoming meetings. He said the port would finalize its plans for presentation to the city by June. At that time, the documents will be reviewed in public hearings before the waterfront zoning is adopted.

Meanwhile a port/city task force will begin scouting out funding options and the port will undertake choose one of six contractors to undertake the waterfront development.

“I think we have an eager public that wants to look at this and see what zoning has been established,” said Councilor Chuck Haynie, a member of the taskforce.

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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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