Council arms chief with new nuisance ordinance Policy makes private properties subject to citation by city police

By RAELYNN RICARTE

News staff writer

July 27, 2005

Hood River City Police Chief Bruce Ludwig wants to keep life in neighborhoods under his watch not only safe — but peaceful.

He is encouraging citizens to call the non-emergency dispatch number, 386-2711, in the evenings about ongoing noise and conduct violations.

During the workday, he and his officers can be reached at 386-3942.

Ludwig is now armed with a new Chronic Nuisance Property Ordinance to deal with frustrations created by “troublesome neighbors.”

On July 13, the City Council adopted a new municipal code to crack down on undue noise and disorderly conduct.

“I think the purpose of the law is to stop problems that are happening frequently and to require that landowners deal with the situation,” said Ludwig.

Under the ordinance, property can be declared a chronic nuisance after law enforcement officials have taken three actions within a 30-day period.

Qualifying offenses include: felony drug activity; assault; out-of-control behavior; discharge of a firearm; underage drinking; and loud or disturbing noises.

If a property owner fails to alleviate the continuing concern, Ludwig said the city is authorized to take legal steps that restrict access to the site from 30-180 days.

In addition, a fine of $250 per day can be levied for failure to stop the problem following notification. The city is also allowed by the code to recoup attorney fees related to the case.

“There’s significant teeth here for the city whenever needed. Our hope is that it will keep Hood River a great place to live,” said Ludwig.

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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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