Two avenues

Get involved with city survey and Homecoming

October 15, 2005

Table top or out and about — two avenues for community involvement await residents of Hood River city and county this week.

The table top is the City of Hood River’s visioning survey, which arrived last week in the mail.

“What things in the community should be preserved?” the survey asks.

It also asks “what is the biggest issue facing Hood River over the next several years?”

Citizens can also rank the importance of such issues as quality of life, economy, community services and housing, and give their three top priorities for growth and development in Hood River.

This is a critical time for community members to give their opinions to city officials, considering that new housing is rising all over town and adding pressure to the ability of the organizations such as the schools and the city to meet residents’ needs.

If you have not yet filled out the lime-green questionnaire, take a few minutes this weekend to do so, or certainly by Nov. 15, the deadline for return to the City Administration building. (Call 387-5210 if you need another copy.)

The out-and-about is an annual opportunity: Hood River Valley High School. Homecoming Week, Oct. 17-22.

Homecoming is a celebration of what has gone before and the traditions that distinguish the Hood River Valley and its educational community. The valley is blessed with the perspectives of newcomers, but it is also blessed with the knowledge and dedication of native and long-term citizens.

The Homecoming traditions include public events such as athletic activities and the Oct. 21 Homecoming Parade. Students will decorate their floats at the fairgrounds Wednesday and Thursday after school and bring them into town on Friday morning.

The parade is about more than floats, however. To see the full range of activities that keep our local high school youth busy, grab a lawn chair and head to the Heights at about 1 p.m. Friday and enjoy the show as well as the music afterward at Jackson Park.

One change in Homecoming events this year: The traditional bonfire has been cancelled.

But the good news is that the school still plans a “Bon Gone,” at the usual time of 6:30 p.m. Thursday, with marshmallows and hotdogs roasted over a barbecue. Either way, it’s a tradition to warm to.

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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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