Tuesday, July 29, 2003
By SCOTT BECKER
Hood River WaterPlay has been the victim of a series of acts of vandalism over the past several weeks.
The vandalism has prompted Jak Wilberscheid of WaterPlay to offer a reward for information leading to incarceration of those responsible.
“Every week I’ve sustained between $1,200 and $1,500 worth of damage,” said Wilberscheid. “It’s getting to where I’m spending more on labor and security to prevent these acts, than daytime wages. I’ve had to hire security personnel put in a security system and a surveillance system.”
Wilberscheid said there has been an occurrence before a major event every week for the past six weeks. “That means that these aren’t random, someone planned them,” said Wilberscheid.
One week, mast bases were stolen the night before Fast and Fun, a free sailing clinic, making it impossible to attach any sails to boards.
“Luckily, we had a supplier come through,” said Wilberscheid. “Otherwise Fast and Fun would not have been able to take place.”
Other incidents include damage of a vending machine at the WaterPlay building and a sliding door that was pulled off a van kept on the spit for storage, as well as other damage done to equipment used for windsurfing lessons.
Wilberscheid believes that much of the damage was done by the same person.
“I don’t think that kids who are just bored would think to steal mast bases,” he said. “Acts of sabotage like that are done by someone who knows what they are doing.”
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge