Safe target

No easy bull’s eye, but attainable

May 18, 2005

Good neighbor awards should go to Longview Fibre and Julie Semple in the matter of the illegal shooting site near Odell (details on page A2.)

And from it could come an idea to give target shooters a legitimate venue while helping the community in general.

As RaeLynn Ricarte reports, Longview Fibre is taking aim to stop shooters from using an old rock quarry off Lower Neal Creek Road for target practice. The company has banned motor vehicles from the area and has put up additional signage after they were contacted by Semple, a nearby resident, about a frightening incident in early spring: Semple and her dogs were nearly — and accidentally — shot while walking near the site.

Semple pointed out what should be stressed: that most people who use informal target sites act safely and respect private or public property; it is the careless few who make things bad.

Unfortunately, such target/trash locations are likely to crop up again. There is no easy solution. Liability and funding concerns all but negate opening law enforcement ranges to the public; certainly those are valid concerns to law enforcement. Such ranges cannot be opened to the public unless they are staffed by trained officers.

But here’s an idea: schedule officers to staff the shooting range, and pay them to do so on a shoot-for-a-fee basis. This would provide an outlet for people who are willing to pay a nominal fee for their past-time. Some of the proceeds could be used to offset the departments’ operating expenses, such as the increased patrols on Lower Creek Road to keep that site safe and clean.

Once a month, range fees could be dedicated to projects such as Helping Hands Against Violence or the Fair Winds fund for the underprivileged.

As our population grows, more and more pressure is placed on formal and informal recreation areas. There are other illegal target sites out there that have not been identified. In the interest of safety and protecting our natural resources, some public-private partnership to meet this need is indeed a good target.

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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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