Thefts darken Bowe neighborhood

Residents of an otherwise peaceful Hood River neighborhood are frustrated by the theft of solar lights from their street

“Every day I feel blessed that we are living in this town but I think there is a little bit of an awakening that needs to happen here,” said Gupta Prashant, treasurer of the Bowe Addition Homeowners Association.

He said the subdivision off St. Charles Place appears to have been hit by culprits who are also committing criminal acts in other locations. On Monday, Prashant reinstalled 12 solar lights at the entrance to his neighborhood. He had removed the beacons in late August after several were destroyed within days of being set in place as part of a continuing beautification project.

“They just cost $100 but they added a lot to our community,” he said.

Although Prashant decided to give the lights another try, he said it is troubling that residents now have to be watchful of activity along their streets. He said homeowners are no longer able to just enjoy the landscaped setting around the welcoming sign that was installed last year. The Homeowner’s Association decided to purchase the solar lights because they wanted more illumination along the roadway but didn’t want to pay the high cost of a pole light. In addition, Prashant said the smaller illuminaries are also energy efficient since they didn’t require the use of electricity.

“If these lights can be taken from this place then anything can happen here,” said his wife, Priti.

The Prashants said the issue isn’t really just about missing lights; to them it is about what appears to be an ongoing problem with juvenile behavior throughout the county.

Hood River County Juvenile Department Director Donita Huskey-Wilson said that parents hold the key for stopping their children from becoming involved in negative behavior. She said the best defense is a strong offense — know who the teen is spending time with, where he/she is at and set up perimeters about their activities.

“Parents have the ultimate responsibility for the actions of their child until they are 18, they need to make provisions for their child to be in an activity when they are not available or get a babysitter,” said Huskey-Wilson.

She also said the community can help fight crime by reporting all incidents to the police so that an investigation can be promptly conducted.

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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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