New leaders in the new year

Best wishes to Schock, Ward, Eggers

January 4

It’s a good time to point out that three new leaders in the Mid-Columbia come to positions of responsibility in the first week of the New Year.

We wish good luck and strong backs to Rodger Schock, Rick Eggers and Bill Ward.

Schock will be sworn in Jan. 6 as chairman of the Hood River County Board of Commissioners. Schock, a businessman who is active in the community, defeated John Arens way back in May.

Our wish for Rodger is that, after so long a waiting period, actually taking office won’t be anticlimactic. But that is unlikely for a man with a take-charge spirit. Schock spent a large portion of 2002 in another field of leadership — he organized and led the Friends and Neighbors Choir that performed at Memorial Day services in May and at the Sept. 11 ceremony in Hood River.

Ward, a Mosier City Council member, will be sworn in as Mosier’s mayor on Jan. 8. Two new City Council members, Marco Long and Bob Simpson, will also take their oaths. Growth issues and a long string of civic improvements will fill Ward and company’s plate for the next two years. We wish them patience for what will seem like an endless string of meetings.

Rick Eggers is another familiar face, in an interim position he is well-qualified for: interim superintendent of Hood River County Schools. Eggers, despite his quiet demeanor, has shown leadership in the past few months, taking on a higher profile at district meetings following the resignation of Jerry Sessions. Eggers recently praised Sessions for working hard, despite “lame duck” status, in his last few weeks on the job. Yet it has been clear since October that Eggers and fellow assistant superintendent Marcia LaDuke sensed the need to step up and take a firm hand with district business. (LaDuke, unlike Eggers, has indicated an interest in applying for the superintendent’s job.)

Eggers will be among the first to share a joke during a public meeting, while still keeping things businesslike. And a recent statement showed that, as chief of a school district facing negotiations and a difficult budget process, he means business:

“This time around a lot of time will be spent on determining district priorities, because we know we will have less revenue. It will be a discussion that will have to involve a lot of groups,” he said.

For Eggers, we wish him a continued sense of humor throughout what will be a trying six months.

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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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