College board delays bond vote to 2004

Failure of a key state senate bill in the latest legislature is delaying plans for a bond measure at Columbia Gorge Community College, where directors Tuesday night agreed to place the measure before voters in November 2004 — a year later than they originally planned.

Senate Bill 720 would have created a statewide fund for capital construction at Oregon’s 17 community colleges, which would have been responsible for matching any monies they obtained.

But the measure faltered as legislators struggled to trim agency budgets in the wake of Oregon’s financial crisis, and a last-ditch attempt by community college presidents to resurrect the bill, which failed on the last day of the session.

That eliminated funds Columbia Gorge Community College directors had counted on in proposing a bond measure to voters this fall.

Proceeds, matched by the state fund, would have been used to build college classrooms in Hood River and overhaul The Dalles campus, where buildings are deteriorating to the point that one facility — the skills center — was closed outright last January.

As of yet, there is no firm amount for the November 2004 bond, since this will depend in part on other fundraising initiatives by the college, which is now looking toward potential federal sources of financial assistance, as well as a new assessment of priorities.

“This is to say, OK, no more sliding,” college president Dr. Frank Toda told his board Tuesday night, announcing a formal timeline for the Nov. 4, 2004, measure. That’s a general election date, where a “double majority” will not be required for bond passage.

The timeline adopted Tuesday night includes review of priorities at a work session this coming November, together with an update on current facilities status. The bond amount will be determined this December and reviewed next June, and a public survey will be conducted in January.

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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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