Wednesday, February 26, 2003
Hood River County residents who need help with tax preparation may benefit from the Tax-Aide program being offered from now to April 10 at three area locations.
The Tax-Aide program provides free tax assistance to low- and middle-income and elderly individuals. Trained volunteers assist in preparing both federal and state returns. Free electronic filing and direct deposit of refunds are both available, as well as assistance to shut-ins.
At Hood River Adult Center, help will be available on Mondays (through April 7) from 6-8 p.m., Tuesdays (through April 8) from 6-8 p.m., and Thursdays (through April 10) from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
At Parkdale Community Center, the program will be held on first and third Wednesdays (through April 2) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on second and fourth Thursdays (through April 10).
At Cascade Locks Library, help will be available on second and fourth Wednesdays (through April 9) from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Eligible persons must bring:
This year’s tax forms booklets received in the mail;
All forms, W-2 and 1099s;
Information for other income (pension, Social Security, interest, etc.);
A copy of last year’s tax return;
Social Security numbers and birth dates of all dependents;
All receipts and cancelled checks if itemizing deductions.
The Tax-Aide program is sponsored jointly by the Internal Revenue Service and the AARP Foundation. Volunteers must pass an IRS test to be a part of the program.
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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