On to greener pastures

he Class of 2005 presented 51 firsts Friday night. And six lasts.

June 15, 2005

Through high school, Rick Vaughan was that guy, who worked hard in basketball every single year. And every single year, the coach cut him. But he always turned out the next year, a little more skilled and a lot more determined.

He told this story how his father died eight years ago; how his mother burned in a house fire months ago and how the thing he wanted more than anything else was to have a house ready for her to come home to for when she recovered.

It was a rousing speech, one that brought the thousands gathered Friday night at Henderson Memorial Stadium for graduation to their feet.

"I thought it was marvelous," said Hood River Valley High School co-principal Martha Capovilla. "A very powerful speech that was certainly from the heart. I think it had a wonderful message for his classmates as well as people in the audience."

Hood River Valley High School graduated 275 students Friday night, in a ceremony that lasted two and-a-half hours.

"The class of 2005 has shown tremendous passion for humanities, in terms of they're outreach to the community for community service," Capovilla said. "I think they have really exemplified what it takes to be good citizens as a group. We were so proud of how the students responded and performed through the ceremony. Not one glitch on behalf of students. That is a good example of how as a group the class just matured and will move forward to become great citizens."

Six of those students completed the 26.5 credits necessary to graduate without ever receiving a grade less than an A. Abby Capovilla, Alicia Friend, Meghan Flink, Sarah Hourston, Jillian Jones and Rose Kelter were the valedictorians of the Class of 2005. To achieve this, all six had to survive a sophomore year up to which dozens of students were still in contention for valedictorian status.

The last to drop off the valedictorian list was Diana Chen, a semester before the ceremony.

This group might be the last in an era of multiple valedictorians at Hood River Valley High School. Starting next year, the school will execute a long-anticipated system that should produce a single valedictorian by awarding merit to grade point average, class difficulty and study of emphasis.

All students who receive 4.0s next year will be salutatorians.

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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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