Governor signs off on Mill Bill

Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed off on legislation co-sponsored by Hood River’s bipartisan team at a special ceremony on Tuesday.

With the stroke of his pen, Kulongoski enacted a new law that will put old mill sites back to work. He applauded both Patti Smith, R-Corbett, and Sen. Rick Metsger, D-Mt. Hood, for their success at crafting House Bill 2691-B and rallying their peers for its unanimous passage earlier this year.

“It has been an honor to work across branches of government and party lines to develop a common sense solution that meets an immediate economic need in our state,” said Smith, the chief sponsor, in response to that praise.

Kulongoski also said, “this legislation offers new hope to many places in Oregon by turning abandoned property into economic opportunity.”

HB 2691-B allows cities and communities across the state to “fast track” the redevelopment of more than 150 abandoned or or diminished lumber plants. It streamlines the regulatory process to house other industrial uses on those properties.

“The Mill Bill is a critical piece of our economic development strategy. It is one of the most important bills this session to create family wage jobs in rural Oregon,” Metsger said.

Metsger and Smith were joined at the signing ceremony by Hood River County Planning Director Mike Benedict, who helped draft the language for the bill, Economic Development Coordinator Bill Fashing, County Chair Rodger Schock and County Commissioner Chuck Thomsen.

The Hood River officials concurred that the Mill Bill would cut the red tape to help Cardinal Glass Industries get settled on the lower Hanel Mill site. They said it could also attract other industries to the closed Upper Hanel Mill and Dee Mill sites.

“It’s the first time in recent history that we’ve seen a real significant land-use change that people did not quibble about because they realized the need for economic development,” Benedict said.

“This is a step forward in bringing new jobs to town, it will make the next step a whole lot easier,” Schock said.

Both Smith and Metsger were appointed to key job creation roles following last November’s re-election to their respective offices. Metsger’s role as chair of the Senate Economic Development and Transportation Committee and her position as chair of the House Trade and Economic Development Committee allowed a united effort in moving HB2691-B forward.

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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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