Roots of Friendship

News staff writer

March 29, 2006

Tsuruta Middle School boys, from left, Takeshi Osanai, Tsuyoshi Kanda, Kohei Yamamoto and Masahiro Munakata watch over the cherry tree-planting ceremony at Waucoma Park Saturday afternoon.

The event welcomed the Sister City contingent to Hood River. At right, Tsuruta Mayor Kenji Nakano and Hood River Mayor Linda Streich wield shovels during the ceremony. In turn, Streich presented her counterpart with a picture of Hood River and Mount Hood.

The cherry trees are a gift from Tsuruta to Hood River to honor the memory of Ray “Chop” Yasui, a Hood River orchardist who teamed with Nakano in 1977 to found the Sister City program. The Tsuruta group leaves Sunday; the community is invited at 6 p.m. Saturday to attend a potluck farewell dinner (bring a fruit dish or salad) at Hood River Valley Christian Church, 975 Indian Creek Road.

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