Radio Tierra will bridge two cultures

A dream long in the making is getting closer to reality for a group of Hood River residents. Dardo Salas, along with seven board members — and many volunteers — of the non-profit Radio Tierra, hope to launch a community radio station in the central Gorge within the next few months.

The station will play a variety of multi-cultural music and broadcast programs in English and Spanish.

“We want to be a bridge between the two cultures,” said Salas, who has been working on the project for two years. In March, the FCC granted Radio Tierra a construction permit for a low power FM station — meaning transmitting at a maximum of 100 watts. The station has 18 months from the time the permit was granted to begin broadcasting or it will lose the permit.

Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital has given Radio Tierra permission to mount a tower at the hospital — an ideal location for transmitting around Hood River and across the river to a range of about 10 miles. In return, the hospital will be able to broadcast health-related information to the community.

Radio Tierra’s board needs to raise about $14,000 for equipment, according to Salas. It has applied for a Lion’s Club grant and is doing other fundraising in the community. Half the proceeds from this weekend’s Hoodstock music festival at the Hood River Marina will go toward the radio station.

In addition to funding, Radio Tierra is seeking a small space for a studio. A temporary recording studio has been set up where those involved in the station have already begun pre-recording programs for use when the station gets up and running. A music library has been started and proposals are being accepted by community members and groups for radio shows.

“Anyone can have their own program, even people with a terrible voice,” Salas said. “You can speak on the radio, the only condition is that you respect everyone.” Salas says the station’s goal is to offer a wide variety of voices and perspectives within the community, as well as provide vital information about meetings and other community events that the area’s Spanish-speakers might not get anywhere else.

“We want to serve the community in the best way we can,” he said. The station will also play a variety of music, with an emphasis on Latin American music and local bands that don’t get radio play elsewhere.

Radio Tierra — tierra means “earth” — gets its name from the founders’ belief that the earth is what ties us all together.

“We all play in the tierra,” Salas said. “The tierra is something that touches us all together, all the community.” For Salas, getting Radio Tierra on the air means all that and more.

“In the news we hear about bombs and war, but we don’t hear about when your neighbor gives you flowers,” he said. “There are a lot of good things happening. This is what pushed me to get this going.”

For information about Radio Tierra go to or call 387-3772.

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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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