Sister City plans Tsuruta exchanges, seeks more involvement

October 15, 2005

An anonymous $500 donation to the Hood River-Tsuruta Sister City program is just one highlight for an organization with plenty of coming and going.

A delegation of students from Tsuruta is set to arrive Oct.23-26 for a full itinerary of sightseeing and interaction.

Anyone interested in hosting a student may call Leslie Melby at 386-2323. The students and chaperones will spend a day at the high school and a day touring the Hood River Valley; the Sister City board is making the schedule arrangements.

Meanwhile, a group of local students is preparing to go to Tsuruta, in August 2006. Melby and Sue Collins of the Sister City board are working with the students on studying Japanese culture and are planning fundraisers to help with expenses.

The anonymous donation will be used for the Tsuruta scholarship fund.

Most recent winners were Kendall Rutherford of Cascade Locks and Diana Chen of Hood River.

Justin and Amy Williams, who have opened the Sushi Okalani restaurant in the Yasui Building, have offered to help with the Sister City program, according to committee member Betty Carrithers.

Students need to have completed the seventh grade before going on a Tsuruta exchange. Any money raised will be held in Sister City funds until the time of ticket purchases and then paid to individual travelers as earned.

Anyone interested in the opportunity should call Collins at 386-6800 or Melby at 386-2323.

In addition, Tamara Logsdon of Hood River won the prize for designing the Sister City program’s first logo.

Middle school and high school students were asked to submit logo entries and first and second prizes went to Logsdon ($50) and Matthew Yasui ($25).

The Sister City program symbolizes understanding between people of the two cities. Logsdon’s entry features Mt. Hood and Mt. Iwaki, near Tsuruta, as well as apple trees as a shared feature of the two regions. Yasui agreed to serve as a youth representative on the the Sister City board.

Sister City membership is open to everyone. For information, call Melby, Collins, or Carrithers at 386-3276.

Sister City members are also planning for an annual meeting the first week of December, with election of board members and officers. The Taste of Tsuruta fundraiser will be in early February.

“We need lots of help with these projects, as well as a board secretary. Call us if you can help,” Carrithers 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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