Kulongoski arrives in HR Wednesday

Gov. Ted Kulongoski will arrive in Hood River this afternoon to learn more about rural economic issues.

He was issued a formal invitation for the visit last Thursday during a private meeting with Sen. Rick Metsger, D-Welches, who also delivered the request on behalf of Rep. Patti Smith, R-Corbett.

Both legislators were impressed that not only did Kulongoski give his immediate acceptance —- he cleared his schedule to tour the Gorge within the next week so that he could learn more about the “urban/rural divide.” Metsger believes that commitment came, in part, because he and Smith will both be heading key economic development committees in their respective offices that will play a strong role in guiding Oregon’s financial recovery.

“We will be the drivers for anything (economic initiatives) that succeeds in the Legislature and I think the Governor is serious about learning where changes need to be made and keeping us all on the same page,” Metsger said.

The governor’s first stop will be in The Dalles where he will visit with officials and area business owners. Smith and Metsger will then escort him to Hood River for a private lunch at the Columbia Gorge Hotel that features an overall economic update from some local business leaders and government officials. That meeting will be followed by a brief press conference and one hour stroll, starting about 2:30 p.m., through the historic downtown business district. Kulongski’s tour will end at Full Sail Brewing Company, home of one of his favorite choices of microbrews.

“I am looking forward to having the Governor meet with our constituents face-to-face and providing them with the opportunity to talk about the economic challenges facing all of us in the Mid-Columbia,” said Smith.

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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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