Arts center seeks new designs

Transformation begins on former Legion hall

The board of the Columbia Center for the Arts is looking for a few good artists. Actually, it’s looking for any artists interested in helping to develop concepts for the design of the exterior of the new center, at 215 Cascade Ave.

“We want their creative juices to just flow,” said Judie Hanel, chair of the center. The Columbia Center for the Arts will bring together the Columbia Art Gallery and the CAST Performing Arts Center under one roof in the building previously owned and occupied by the American Legion.

The artists’ concepts can be in any format — including sketches, paintings and three-dimensional models. A packet, including line drawings from architect Art Larsen showing the building with proposed entryway and window additions, is available for interested artists.

The center’s board plans to kick off a formal fundraising campaign later this summer to raise money for the purchase of the building from a private entity as well as for the renovations. According to Hanel, $150,000 of the $900,000 goal has already been raised.

The renovations will begin after at least $475,000 has been raised to purchase the building — a goal Hanel hopes to reach within a year.

In the meantime, Hood River artist Mark Nilsson has offered to paint murals on the building’s north side. The west side of the building, on 3rd Street, will soon bear a sign announcing its future as Hood River’s arts center. Mark Dane, chairman of the renovation committee, also plans to have artists — including school children — paint small, interchangeable murals to brighten up the walls on that side of the building until renovations begin.

The Columbia Center for the Arts will host an open house during July’s First Friday — which is also the Fourth of July. The center will be open from 2 to 8 p.m. for tours. Visitors will have an opportunity to see the board’s vision for the new center, including potential renovation plans.

Artists who have finished concepts done by July 4 will be able to display them during the open house. The deadline for the artists’ concepts is July 25.

Packets are available to artists at the Columbia Art Gallery, or by contacting Mark Dane at 387-3586 or by e-mail at

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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