Families in the Park to start Thursday

The 2003 Sprint Families in the Park series begins on Thursday featuring the music of the Swingline Cubs. The Cubs is the premier dance band in the Northwest and consists of eight members who perform a variety of music from the Big Band era, Calypso, Reggae and Rhythm and Blues. Lead singer Rupert Blaize is an established entertainer known for making everyone involved in the music.

The 21st season of Families in the Park consists of four Thursdays with the main entertainers taking the stage at 7 p.m. All Families in the Park will be held at Jackson Park at 13th and May in Hood River.

Rounding out the remaining three Thursdays of music will be the bluegrass sound of the Knott Brothers on Aug. 14, national jazz recording artist Tom Grant and his band will perform on Aug. 21, and then on Aug. 28 it’s the fun sound of the 10-piece Satin Love Orchestra with their 70s sound and stage antics. Each concert is free to the public due to the generous donations of dozens businesses and organizations.

On opening Thursday, it will be Hood River Heights Business Association and US Bank Night in the park. Gorge Gymnastics will be performing as the warm-up entertainment from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m. The evening starts off with a fundraising dinner in the park put on by the Lions Eyeopeners Club. They will be serving a Fajita dinner starting at 6 p.m., and will continue to serve food well into the evening. There will be many food vendors in the park offering tastes from root beer floats to kettle corn. The opening night will feature a raffle for a special prize. Concerts last until 9 p.m.

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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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