Back to the MHC - Schools should get behind realignment

HR News editorial

Put Hood River Valley High School back in the Mt. Hood Conference.

That proposal is positioned to go next month before the Oregon School Activities Association, or OSAA.

To this request, the state agency ought to say Oh-Yes-AA.

Credit the HRVHS administration for keeping an Eagle eye on regional education matters and perceiving an opportunity.

That opportunity is last month’s decision by North Wasco County School Board to make one high school for The Dalles and Wahtonka students starting this September.

The new, unnamed Wasco County high school would be large enough to be a 4A high school, like HRVHS, and a more natural choice for inclusion in the Intermountain Conference. HRVHS was realigned from the MHC to the IMC a year ago, and is halfway through its second season of competition with central and eastern Oregon schools, including Bend, Crook County and Pendleton.

Realignment to IMC was done for the convenience of every school other than HRVHS, despite pleas by fellow MHC schools to keep HRVHS where it was.

At tonight’s school board meeting in Cascade Locks, the Hood River County School District will consider requesting that the OSAA executive committee look at such a realignment proposal in its Dec. 8 meeting. Athletic director Mitch Sanders and co-principals Martha Capovilla and Steve Fisk made the request in a letter to the school board that cautioned it is unlikely the change would be made in time for the 2004-05 school year.

“Although it is unlikely that the effort this year will produce a change in alignment, we will need to make a major effort in the 2004-05 school year to prove the momentum to motivate the OSAA to recognize our position.”

The letter concludes with the statement, “We are not going to go away on this issue.”

Indeed, the district should not go away. The administration polled its coaches and found support for the idea of returning to MHC. The school board should honor the request to make the OSAA agenda Dec. 8, and then get behind whatever lobbying effort it takes to convince the ruling group that HRVHS should be realigned.

The factors are numerous: travel times — and costs — would decrease as would loss of class time, MHC is a more cohesive conference, and participation in MHC would lead to more parent and fan participation.

For all these reasons, Hood River Valley belongs in the Mt. Hood Conference.

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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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