Saturday, December 2, 2006
By RAELYNN RICARTE
News staff writer
November 11, 2006
U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., did as well as his Democratic colleagues from across the state in Tuesday’s election — no small feat with an anti-Republican movement sweeping the nation.
Walden was one of five Oregon incumbents winning another two years in the House. He captured 71 percent of the 2nd Congressional District vote, more than a 2-1 ratio.
In Hood River County, Walden beat out Carol Voisin, a professor at Southern Oregon University, by a 60.7 to 37.5 percent margin.
“That’s huge — especially in the environment where I was the only Republican in the delegation. I’m humbled by the support,” he said.
The Democrats picked up well above the 15 seats they needed to become the majority party in the House. So, Walden will, in January, find himself a member of the minority for the first time since taking office in 1999.
But he isn’t overly worried about the change in leadership because he has a history of working well with Democratic peers.
“Voters analyzed their own members of Congress and, in my case, they saw how I reach across the aisle to solve problems and get things done,” said Walden. “I think people sent a message that they don’t want partisan bickering -- they want their elected officials to take care of business.”
Walden will lose his role as chair of the House Resource Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health. He is unsure how that will play out in his quest to lessen the danger of wildland fires by removing diseased and overstocked stands of trees from national forests. Or revamp the Endangered Species Act to make recovery rates more effective and base new listings on peer-review science.
“It’s going to be a different world. It will be interesting to see what the Democrat’s agenda for America is,” said Walden.
He remains optimistic that the multi-tiered master plan for Mount Hood that he crafted with U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., will become law in the near future.
“I had a very productive conversation with Earl before the election and we both remain wholly committed to moving the House-approved plan forward. We want to see if we can get it done by the end of the year,” said Walden. Walden and Blumenauer, who netted 74 percent of the 3rd District vote, will continue discussions with U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Gordon Smith, R-Ore., to reconcile their legislation on Mount Hood.
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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