Festive 4th A grand and personal Independence Day

Hood River News Editorial

July 6, 2005

Those responsible for a splendid — and safe — July Fourth deserve the thanks of the community.

July Fourth is based on the grandest of events — a nation’s freedom and the creation of a democratic society — but in Hood River, like many places, the day was a celebration of community, in loud and quiet ways.

For while it was the nation’s birthday it was Sally Moore’s, too.

During Monday’s entertaining parade, the St. Urho’s Queen received a greeting from a member of the crowd: her friend Vi Thomas was seated along 12th Street when she saw Moore, and Thomas jumped up and handed her a birthday card as Moore rolled by in the Finnish festival’s famed green-and-purple car.

“I figured I’d run into her at some point today, but I hadn’t planned to do so (give her the card) in the parade,” Thomas said.

It was the kind of thing that could happen in any community where people care for each other, and it was hardly surprising to see such a personal touch in the Hood River parade.

Things got noisy Monday night with the Eyeopener Lions’ annual pyrotechnics. The group outdid itself this year, slipping in as sort of trick grand finale, and then following it with another 10 minutes of eye-poppers resembling exploding jelly beans, vibrating coral reefs, and giant sparkling clamshells — before jettisoning a giant booming glittering barrage to cap things off at about 10:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, all those illegal fireworks going off around town and the valley were like puppies yapping outside the pedigree dog show: the real (and legal) pleasure came from watching the Lions’ riverside roar.

Thanks to that civic group for providing such an amazing show, and to the firefighters and law enforcement officers who patrolled the streets after dark, keeping the night remarkably fire-free.

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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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