A new era

Budget woes have forced HRVHS and the community to re-evaluate athletics

Six sports at Hood River Valley High School could take on a different shade of “Blue and Gold” during the 2003-04 school year.

The April 16 proposal to reduce funding for five of the school’s 13 sports programs, plus the club sport of lacrosse, has been met with varying degrees of speculation and trepidation.

“It’s really sad for me because I helped build a very successful program that seemed to be doing just fine,” said boys golf coach Bill DeBorde, who also teaches at the high school.

“I believe that there will be a golf team next year, but with my commitment to teaching, I won’t be able to take an active role like I did this year,” he said.

Girls golf coach Lynn Mitchell, who is retiring at the end of the school year, doesn’t know what his role might be with the team.

But he has faith that the two local courses, Indian Creek and Hood River Golf Course, will do everything they can to support competitive youth golf teams.

“Giving these kids an opportunity to golf is their livelihood,” Mitchell said, referring to the two local greens. “It makes sense for them to get behind the teams

because the kids represent their future members.”

Like Indian Creek and HRGCC, sports facilities such as the Hood River Aquatic Center, Mt. Hood Meadows, Timberline and the Hood River Sports Club have all greatly contributed to the growth and prosperity of three more sports that are in potential danger: swimming, skiing and tennis.

“We’ll do anything we can to keep tennis going in Hood River,” said Hood River Sports Club tennis pro Kevin Beeson. “I think we can make it work, even if it’s club tennis. Our courts are available to the kids whenever they want to use them.”

Hood River Parks and Recreation, which maintains the Aquatic Center and the May Street tennis courts, also plans to stay behind the effort to preserve the five “lifetime sports” that could be lost if the Local Option tax levy fails on Sept. 16.

If the county-wide measure does not pass, it will be up to the school board to decide how to cut $80,000 in “co-curricular” expenditures, including sports and activities such as drama and cheerleading.

“If the high school tennis program were to be cut, it could

potentially ruin the growth of junior tennis in Hood River,” Beeson said. “Especially with the young kids. If they don’t have a ‘high school team’ to go out for, it may persuade them to play another sport.”

HRV tennis coaches Barb Hosford and Shayla Moline share Beeson’s fears, but both are committed to maintaining a program that is on the rise.

“We had a great turnout this year,” Hosford said. “This was the biggest group we’ve had in years, and it’s hard when you can’t find playing time for everyone. But the good news is, more and more kids want to play.”

The same can be said about the HRV cross-country teams, coached by Rich Hedges and Kristen Uhler, as well as the swimming (Jane Nichols), golf (DeBorde, Mitchell) and skiing (Jessica Gunesch) programs.

“We just want to keep the program together and keep the interest there,” Uhler said. “We’re not sure what kind of a team we’ll have next year — we don’t even know who is going to coach. But there are some really great young runners coming up, and it would be a shame to see their talent go to waste.”

But, in the meantime, all Uhler and the other coaches can do is wait and hope.

And have their back-up plans ready.

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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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