Wagonfeld represents Hood River in Tsuruta

October 15, 2005

The Hood River-Tsuruta Sister City Committee has announced their new Coordinator of International Relations (CIR).

Temira Wagonfeld will replace Ernie May, who has filled the position for the last five years. The CIR is responsible for communication between the two towns, which involves setting up exchange programs and teaching English to the students of Tsuruta.

Wagonfeld has lived in Hood River on and off for the last eight years. In that time, she has become a pillar of the local windsurfing community, competing, teaching free clinics and inspiring others to challenge themselves on the water. In 2004, to the delight of the assembled locals, she won the Gorge Games. If you haven’t seen her windsurfing, you may have seen her at 2nd Wind or you may have eaten her cooking at one of Hood River’s many fine restaurants. She’s currently working in the kitchen at Abruzzo.

Wagonfeld applied because she enjoys the Japanese culture, loves Hood River, and wants to be a liaison between the two communities. She holds a minor in Japanese from the University of Washington, and spent the summer of 1995 studying Japanese in Japan’s Gujo-Hachiman, a small town of 25,000 people. Her experience working with children includes having been a YMCA camp counselor and an Explorer Search and Rescue volunteer.

The sister city program aims to foster relations between Tsuruta and Hood River. Tsuruta is an orchard town of 15,000 people located in the northern part of Japan’s main island, Honshu. Like Hood River, Tsuruta is in close proximity to skiing. There are four mountains within 40 minutes of the town. Each year, Tsuruta sends junior high and high school students to learn about American culture, and every other year, Hood River sends a group of students to experience Japanese culture. Occasionally, adults make the trans-Pacific pilgrimage.

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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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