Gorge Games are a no go

Organizers say popular outdoor lifestyle festival is cancelled for 2003

The ax has officially fallen, and the Gorge Games will not return to Hood River in 2003.

After months of negotiations and searching for a title sponsor, Connecticut-based Octagon Marketing has decided to abandon its plans for the annual outdoor lifestyle festival until next year.

“Basically, the companies that expressed interest didn’t step up,” said Gorge Games part-owner Peggy Lalor. “Octagon didn’t want to put themselves out on a limb, so they chose to focus on 2004 instead.”

Octagon had set a Feb. 15 “drop dead” date to find a title sponsor, and when nothing concrete had surfaced, they decided to focus their efforts on the future.

Lalor said the Gorge Games could return in 2004 and that no one is to blame for the cancellation. She pointed to the failing economy and the stance many companies have right now of not taking unnecessary risks.

But Lalor also insisted that the Gorge Games concept is still very much alive, and that by focusing on the future, both she and Octagon can ensure an even better festival than in years past.

“It’s going to come down to what makes sense for the future,” Lalor said. “We’re not going to put ourselves at risk right now, but we’re still going to listen to ideas for how we can do something this summer.”

Lalor has organized a community meeting for March 5 at 5 p.m. in the Hood River Hotel ballroom, to discuss alternatives for the Gorge Games. Anyone interested may attend, and “everything will be on the table.”

“We’re going to give an overview of what has happened, and then talk about what we can do to support a more locally driven festival,” Lalor said.

“There are so many if’s right now, and it’s going to depend on how much the community wants it.”

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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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