Cardinal Glass ready to start

January 10

ODELL — In less than two weeks, Cardinal Glass Industries will fire up its first assembly line and begin producing insulated glass windows.

David Windsor, general manager, said he is pleased that the Highway 35 plant was able to be constructed within five months to meet its Jan. 19 opening timeline. He credits the initial success of the venture for the united efforts of Hood River County officials. When Cardinal announced in early 2003 that it had purchased 12 acres of the lower Hanel Mill, local government leaders helped the company gain startup tax breaks and streamline the regulations for redevelopment of the industrial site.

“It’s amazing how it all came together as planned. We expected to make our first unit in mid-January and that’s exactly what happened,” Windsor said. The first 75 new Cardinal employees from the Gorge are ready to take their places at the line. These workers have spent three months receiving hands-on training in the cutting, tempering and insulating of glass. They were sent in small groups to obtain that specialized education at other Cardinal holdings in Wisconsin and Indiana.

But Windsor is not done hiring yet. He anticipated that the employee count could double by the end of 2004. In the immediate future, he is bringing 15 more workers on board. Since a single shift can produce about 1,000 window units, he wants to start a swing shift by March and will need an additional 20-25 laborers. A couple of months after increasing production, he will start interviewing between 40-45 potential staffers so that he can open up a second insulating glass line.

Windsor looks for production to climb steadily since new orders are coming in faster than he expected. “We’ve had a much stronger reception with window manufacturers in the Northwest than we hoped for because we’ve established a presence here,” he said. Windsor said Cardinal is striving to be a “good neighbor” in return for the warm welcome by county officials and community members.

For example, he said 50 trees have been planted to screen the 186,000-square foot industrial building from Highway 35 to protect the viewscape. In addition, he said the grounds around the facility have been completely landscaped to help it better blend with the surrounding countryside. Windsor believes that Cardinal is a “good fit” for the Mid-Columbia since it has a proven track record of being environmentally-friendly and brings much-needed jobs.

“We’ve found a lot of local talent and support here and we are very appreciative of that,” he said.

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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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