Community coaches react to proposed cuts

People speak out about HRV’s decision to cut six sports for 2003-04 school year

As the Hood River County School District braces for the inevitable budget cuts for the 2003-04 school year, the local sports community is starting to consider ways it can help save a list of five lifetime sports currently on the chopping block.

On the heels of an April 16

announcement that Hood River Valley High School may have to cut funding for six sports — including lacrosse, which is a “club” sport — local coaches and community members are looking at ways to help competitive tennis, golf, swimming, cross-country and skiing survive.

“I don’t think these sports will die out,” said HRV girls tennis coach Barb Hosford, who has been coaching tennis for 21 years.

“I honestly believe Mitch (Sanders) when he says this isn’t a done deal. The community will find a way to back them, and no matter what decisions we come to, the community and the high school will be working together to keep these lifetime sports going,” she said.

Hosford credited the Hood River Sports Club for its active involvement in youth tennis the past few years, and she believes that support will only grow stronger.

“Sports like tennis and golf are going to happen here no matter what,” Hosford said. “We’ll just have to figure out different ways to keep them going, and that may include learning how to run them better.”

Similarly, swimming and skiing will also continue throughout the year, with local clubs such as the Hood River Valley Swim Club and the Cooper Spur Race Team.

Cross-country doesn’t have a current year-round club, but athletes will still have an opportunity to compete in track-and-field during the spring.

However, youth runners in the community may still have a year-round competitive outlet, with devoted coaches like Kristen Uhler, Rich Hedges, Tom Moline, Dave Lucas and Traci Lucas doing everything they can.

“What this is going to mean for the sport of cross-country is that it will have to move to a ‘club’ status,” said Traci Lucas, who coaches the Hood River Middle School cross-country program along with her husband, Dave.

“For us, it would be relatively inexpensive, and there is every reason to believe that (HRMS principal) Bob Dais would help support us in whatever way he can,” she said.

The main thing that bothers Lucas, Hosford and other coaches in the valley is that the school district is only saving $64,000 of a $2.5 million shortfall by cutting funding for these sports.

“I know the school is trying, and I hope all the sports survive,” said HRV swim coach Jane Nichols. “But the burden is going to fall more on the parents and the community now.”

Another concern is that most of the proposed cuts involve lifetime sports — sports that can be played well after high school.

“Life is not about team sports,” Hosford said. “It’s more about personal fitness and participation.”

Latest stories

Latest video:

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



Log in to comment

Columbia Gorge news and businesses