Clutter signs draw fines


News staff writer

August 10, 2005

Hood River City Recorder Jean Hadley recently marred the paint on a phone booth outside of her office while peeling off an outdated political sign.

The taped message was one of dozens that had been posted around downtown blocks — and left for city employees to remove weeks later.

Bob Francis, city manager, has become so frustrated by the continuing problem that he is urging police officers to levy a $250 fine against violators. He said “snipe” signs — unofficial notices that are fastened to public property, such as trees, utility poles, trash cans, and traffic signs — make the city look “dirty, cluttered and unattractive.”

He said many of the signs taped, nailed or stapled up to advertise a garage sale or other event are primitively drawn on paper, cardboard and even paper plates. And most remain up long after the happening is over — or they are blown down by the wind to become trash along the street or sidewalk below.

“Hood River is recognized as one of the most beautiful communities anywhere in the country and snipe signs detract from our good image,” said Francis.

He is asking residents not only to cease posting illegal signs, but to remove any postings that they come across. Francis said people wanting to circulate a publication are provided with ample space on numerous community bulletin boards. For example, there is a message center in the foyer of city hall, the hallway of Oak Street Mall, the county library, the county administration building and most major retail outlets.

“Snipe signs are illegal and are no different than any other litter you see on the street. As a citizen or visitor to our community you have every right to pick up litter, whether it is lying on the ground or attached to public property,” Francis 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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