Another Voice Gov. Kulongoski gains valuable insights in HR

Another Voice

By Sen. RICK METSGER, State District 26

Special to the News

As you are aware, Gov. Ted Kulongoski was in Hood River Jan. 29. I extended an invitation to the Governor to visit the Gorge along with Representative Patti Smith.

Less than a week after our invitation, he accepted and we enjoyed a wonderful day in the Gorge. Oregon is facing many challenges right now, and I wanted the governor to see some of the economic struggles in Hood River.

There is universal agreement that getting Oregonians back to work is the most effective way to improve our economy and protect the valuable public services we all demand. That is why this trip was so intently focused on economic development and job creation.

The decision by the governor to visit Hood River demonstrates that early in his tenure, he is willing to engage our rural communities in an effort to ensure that all Oregonians have opportunities to prosper. We organized a series of meetings and visits that showed the governor a microcosm of key industries in the state.

The governor was able to see the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities facing Hood River and Oregon. We also spent time meeting with local business and civic leaders in an effort to better understand how the state of Oregon can help our communities to thrive. It was particularly notable that the governor brought his senior officials from his administration with him, including the Director of the Department of Agriculture and the Director of the Department of Economic and Community Development. This trip provided important context for the decisions the governor will make in the months ahead.

As we return to Salem, our next challenge is to translate the lessons and experiences of this trip into concrete action to get Oregon’s economy moving. This will include developing new markets for our agricultural products, streamlining government regulation, promoting tourism, recruiting new businesses to settle in Oregon, and investing in infrastructure projects like roads and bridge repair that create living wage jobs.

As Chairman of the Senate Economic Development and Transportation Committee, I will be working closely with the Kulongoski administration to get Oregonians back to work. The road to economic recovery in Oregon will pass through my committee, Rep. Smith’s committee, and the governor’s desk. That is why this trip was so critical and why it is imperative that we continue to work together.

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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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