New slide, fall hours at pool

A few changes are in the air this fall at the Hood River Aquatic Center.

First and foremost, the pool will now be offering a new fall schedule, with Open Swim hours from 6-8 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The new fall schedule also features Open Swim on Saturdays from 1-5 p.m., but will be closed on Sundays starting in October.

“The people have spoken, and we listened,” said activities director Scott Baker. “We will be open later in the fall, winter and spring, but that also means we have to close on Sundays.

“But, based on what people have said, we don’t anticipate many problems,” he said.

Another big change this fall is the introduction of a new 7-foot-tall water slide. It is open to people of all ages, and sends swimmers through 450 degrees of turns before plunging into the water.

The slide, which was funded in part by the Lions Foundation, is available for use during all Open Swim hours.

Hood River County Parks and Recreation director Lori Stirn thanked the Lions as well as the City Public Works for helping install the slide in 30 inches of concrete.

“The city put off other projects so they could get to the slide even sooner,” Stirn said. “And we definitely appreciate it.”

Also coming up this fall is the third-annual Doggy Paddle on Sept. 29, and the weekly Family Night on Fridays, which costs $1 per swimmer.

After the Doggy Paddle, the pool will be closed for maintenance until Oct. 9, with a reopen date scheduled for Oct. 10.

“We’re excited for all the changes,” Baker said. “We just hope everyone will adjust well to our new schedule.”

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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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