State vetoes park funding

City manager says funding for next year is more probable

August 13, 2005

Hood River has lost out on its bid for $500,000 in state funds to develop a waterfront park.

Bob Francis, city manager, and Christine Knowles, cochair of the Park Development Committee (PDC) said this week’s bad news was disappointing. But they both remain hopeful about next year’s chances. Knowles said the PDC is more likely to get its request approved by Oregon Parks the second time around. She said many of the proposed projects had been on the list much longer, and most successful ventures had already scored federal dollars.

“The state sort of said we were now in the queue and we’ll be in an even better position to get the money next year,” said Knowles.

“The community could look at this loss of funding as a big deterrent, or they could say, ‘We really want this park so let’s make it work,’” said Francis.

He has chosen to take a pro-active stance and has applied for two separate grants of $200,000 from the University of Portland and Pacific Power and Light. Francis’ enthusiasm grew on Thursday after he learned the Oregon Investment Board was going to turn over $10,000 for the project. Francis expects to know the fate of his other grant requests sometime this fall.

Even without that money, he and Knowles believe the longtime dream of a waterfront park could still become reality. They said citizens will just need to fill in the gaps by stepping forward to donate labor and money. Already thousands of in-kind services and cash contributions have been pledged. The PDC has compiled a “wish list” of equipment that residents are invited to sponsor. For example, an interactive spray park can be installed for $40,000, a picnic bench for $700, or even a shrub for $40.

The Port of Hood River has turned six acres of property along the Columbia River over to the city for a public park. The $1.4 million donation is tied to basic development standards, including restrooms, a children’s play area, group picnic facilities and landscaping.

The PDC wants the community to help design the final look of the park so that it serves as a year-round gathering place. Officials estimate it will cost about $1 million to turn the barren parcel known as Lot 6 into a multifaceted public recreation area.

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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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