Ballot Time

Deadline nears on a lively Measure 28

The clock is ticking on ballots for the Jan. 28 mail-in Special Election.

Voters who have not turned in their ballots should remember that for ballots to count, the Hood River County Elections Division must have them by 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Measure 28, the three-year income tax surcharge, is the only question on the ballot.

The Hood River County tally is ahead of schedule, reflecting the state-wide trend, according to county elections supervisor Lee Shissler. He said that in the first four days after ballots went out, his office received ballots at the rate of 190, 836, 1,017, and 644. That’s a total of 2,771.

An average rate of 687 ballots per day would equate to a total turnout of 7,307, which is 70 percent of the 10,438 registered voters in the county. Shissler predicted a total turnout of between 60-65 percent, “if it continues this way and got the typical last-minute rush on the last couple days.”

Either way, and whatever the outcome of Measure 28, the numbers show that a public issue that many had written off as dead in the water has actually got some paddle to it.

As Shissler pointed out, “It looks like a pretty good turnout for this election. Most people had predicted low turnout and certain defeat, but some of the polls have the election pretty close.”

Measure 28 is a question that matters. To have your voice count in this close race, ballots must be turned in — postmarks don’t count — to the County Courthouse or to Cascade Locks City Hall drop site by 8 p.m. Tuesday.

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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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