Police ticket 36 in crosswalk ‘blitz’

Thirty-six motorists were ticketed during Tuesday’s law enforcement crackdown for pedestrian safety.

The average amount of those citations was $87 and 14 were written out for drivers who failed to yield to foot traffic in marked crosswalks. One additional infraction involved a speed violation, five were written to drivers failing to carry insurance, an additional five for operating privilege violations, six for equipment failures and the remaining five for occupants not wearing seatbelts.

“The safety of motorists and pedestrians alike is foremost in our minds during these enforcement activities,” said City Police Lt. Jerry Brown, who has scheduled the next crosswalk blitz on June 17 if the weather permits.

Because of major construction currently underway on Cascade Avenue, the May 13 operation was set up in the Heights. It involved a plainclothes officer who acted as a “decoy” civilian using a defined crosswalk. That individual was accompanied by a spotter who alerted four patrol cars parked down the street whenever a vehicle failed to stop. The violator was then pulled over and issued a ticket.

Brown said there are five more of the enforcement events planned during the summer and fall months. He said since the police focus on pedestrian safety began in May of 2001, there have been no fatalities in Hood River crosswalks. The special focus has been funded by state grant dollars that were granted following two deaths at a Heights crosswalk in 2000.

The police advertise the pedestrian safety stings in advance, and only conduct them when there is clear weather visibility during daylight hours. They also give more leeway in stopping distance and standard reaction times and videotape the activities.

“It is our goal to continually educate motorists and citizens on the rights of pedestrians,” Brown said.

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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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