Windfest hits town this weekend

Drive along Oak Street and you know immediately windsurfing season has arrived. Cars loaded with boards and sails vie for parking spots. Colorful rows of sale items crowd the sidewalks outside downtown windsurfing shops.

To celebrate the return of the warm west summer winds, the American Windsurfing Industry Association (AWIA), along with the Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association (CGWA) have put together three days of activities, called Windfest, that anyone can enjoy and take part in.

AWIA will be offering the chance to try all types of brand new windsurfing gear from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday, at the Event Site. Cost is five dollars a day to demo as many boards and sails as you want. Free lessons will also be offered.

Saturday night from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., CGWA will host its 9th annual Pray for Wind Party at the Best Western Hood River Inn. The Northwest’s premiere Reggae band, Byron Mercurius & Rhythm Culture will play. There will be a silent and oral auctions, along with numerous raffles. There will be a full barbeque menu for $5 a plate. Tickets for the Pray for Wind Party can be purchased in advance for $10 at Big Winds, Windance, and Windwing, or for $12 at the door. Sunday morning from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. bargain hunt at CGWA’s all recreation gear swap meet held in the Hood River Expo parking lot.

For more information on Windfest weekend, visit www.cgwa.net.

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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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