Clem’s and Valley Ag add biodiesel service

June 15, 2005

What many recognize as the distinct odor of a diesel engine may soon be a thing of the past with the advent of a new technology: biodiesel.

Biodiesel is a new type of fuel that utilizes vegetable oil instead of, or in addition to, petroleum. “It smells like french fries instead of diesel,” said John Alley, owner of Clem’s Country Store.

For the past month, Clem’s has been selling a type of biodiesel know as B20 — 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel. “Just running B20 reduces emissions by about half,” Alley said.

But biodiesel, which goes for about $2.40 at Clem’s, has been a slow-growing business. “I’ve only sold about 475 gallons in the past month,” said Alley. “People are interested in it, but some are afraid to try it until they’ve read up on it. Most manufacturers won’t honor warrantees if you’ve run biodiesel through your car.”

Alley trusts the biodiesel, though. In fact, he trusts it so much that he runs B100 — 100 percent biodiesel — through his vehicles. “I’m not afraid,” he said.

Right now, the biodiesel technology is only readily usable for diesel engines, although there is research behind ethanol-based fuel for other types of engines.

Alley stated that he would eventually like to sell B100, but the biodiesel manufacturers don’t recommend it right away. “It’s better to run B20 for a while to let it gradually clean your car’s system,” 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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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