Pear shined for honor

By RAELYNN RICARTE

News staff writer

April 19

Sen. Rick Metsger walked into Rep. Patti Smith’s office with a tasty treat on Monday to celebrate their fruitful victory. Metsger, D-Mt. Hood, delivered a Bosc and an Anjou pear to the office of his Republican teammate — along with some good news.

Metsger had just gotten the full Senate to approve the pear as Oregon’s official state fruit. Metsger was feeling triumphant that he and Smith, who had also been given a nod by the House, were successful in their bid to elevate the status of the pear.

“I think the legislature clearly understood that this is, by far, the highest value food crop in Oregon and is a vital part of our economy,” said Metsger. “It’s only right that we acknowledge it as a symbol of our state’s agriculture.

Smith enjoyed the tasty treat and the satisfaction of knowing that House Resolution 8 now awaits only the signature of Gov. Ted Kulongoski to become official.

“This is just a real positive for Oregon’s agriculture economy, especially in the Hood River Valley where the pear has proven its value,” Smith said.

They were joined in their celebration by the Pear Bureau Northwest, which had broached them with the idea on behalf of the state’s 370 pear growers.

Pears are Oregon’s top fruit crop and its 10th agricultural commodity overall with a value of $72 million in 2004.

Oregon ranks second in fresh pear production in the country, producing an average of 140 million pounds of Bartlett pears and another 264 million pounds of other winter pears, such as Anjou, Bosc and Comice.

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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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