Welcome, Governor

Kulongoski makes a timely visit to HR

Gov. Ted Kulongoski is in town today. His visit fulfills the wish of numerous local officials, and this newspaper, that the newly-elected Oregon chief executive visit Hood River within his first month of office.

The governor is doing just that, and it should be the start of a positive conversation about Hood River County’s long-term economic development needs. See page A1 for an article about local officials’ new plan to change state land use regulations so that unused industrial property can be converted so that other enterprises can invest and create jobs. This effort should be encouraged, and it is perfect timing that the governor will be in town to hear about it while he looks at the lay of the land.

We welcome Gov. Kulongoski, and wish him a dry walk up Oak Street as he meets and greets local merchants and citizens.

Economic development will be the focus of the governor’s visit, and that is as it should be. The governor cleared his schedule to make the trip, and he will be short on time.

Notable, too, is that the governor has chosen to visit this high unemployment county on the day after Tuesday’s fateful Special Election (see www.hoodrivernews.com for results) on Measure 28, the income tax surcharge proposal.

Though jobs and the economy are the main focus, there are certain other questions the governor should expect to be asked in his time in Hood River.

Such as, “What do you plan to do about a casino in the Columbia River Gorge?” The question is bound to come up, if not about which site he favors — Hood River or Cascade Locks — at least how he intends to proceed.

No matter what your point of view on the casino issue, the fact remains that it is an economic development issue, and we encourage the governor to find whatever facts he can in his first official visit to this county.

Another question is “How’s your bowling game?” It’s not simply sports small-talk. The governor ran for office with a fun-loving bowler image; why not encourage him to keep in touch with that sensibility?

With all of the tough and painful choices in the offing (as in the possible results of Tuesday’s election) it’s important for the governor to remind us all to have a little fun sometimes.

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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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