Library on track for Thursday opening

By ERIK HIDLE

News intern

The Hood River Library will officially reopen Thursday with a celebration of magical proportions.

Harry Potter, young wizard and hero of the “Harry Potter” story collection, will get some help celebrating his birthday.

To accompany the grand opening of the new building, the commemoration of Potter’s birthday will be a party for all to partake, according to library director June Knudson.

Beginning at 2 p.m. there will be screenings of the Harry Potter movies, birthday cake and pumpkin juice, Harry Potter related games and a Harry Potter raffle which will include such items as duffel bags, t-shirts, hats, and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books.

The library, which has been moved out of its original Carnegie building for the past year, is ready for the influx of guests both young and old alike. Boasting a new 18,000 square foot building and improvements to the style and structure, the new building is waiting for its first visitors.

“It’s tremendous to finally be in here,” Knudson said of the recent move. “We have been gone for a long time, but when you look at the finished product, you can tell it was worth it.”

The library now offers an expanded fiction section, a new “Columbia Room” to house historic and special interest books regarding the Columbia River Gorge, two study rooms, a meeting room and expanded children’s library.

The original building has been completely rebuilt, broken down to its frame and reconstructed with the idea of the historical library in mind, according to Knudson. She said the new look with the old feel will allow members of the community to feel right at home with the renovation while offering them the comforts of the new additions. Among the improvements to the library’s amenities, 10 new computers, all wired for high-speed Internet access, will be scattered in small groups around the building offering, anyone who wishes access to the Web.

With all of the books currently on the shelves, the Hood River Library is prepared to welcome the first of its visitors with the same service and hospitality it has in the past, according to Knudson.

“Everything from our temporary location is sorted and on the shelves,” she said, “There are still some small issues regarding wiring, but I’m optimistic they will come through before the opening. We still have quite a few books we put into storage last year which will be added in a few weeks time, but right now, the library is ready to open.”

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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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