Walden supports students’ bids for military academies

December 31, 2005

Two Hood River County students have been nominated by U.S. Rep Greg Walden for acceptance at prestigious United States military academies.

Dane Jacobson of Mt. Hood and Samuel Seal of Parkdale have received Walden’s endorsement for four key reasons. He said both high school seniors exhibited strong academic performance, athletic participation, extracurricular involvement and good character.

“Being nominated to one of America’s service academies represents years of hard work and discipline,” said Walden. “Competing with the best and brightest of America’s youth for an appointment to a military academy is both a tremendous opportunity and a great honor.

“I have every confidence that these talented students will represent their families and communities well in that effort. I commend Dane and Samuel for their desire to serve our country.

“It takes a special commitment to accept the challenges of an academy education, and these young men are continuing a long line of patriotic Oregonians in their endeavor. I share the pride of their parents, teachers and friends in congratulating them both on this significant achievement,” he continued.

Jacobson, the son of Frank and Pam Jacobson, is a senior at Hood River Valley High School. He maintains a 3.90 grade point average and is a member of the soccer team. In addition, Jacobson is active in golf, cross county, Snowboard Club, Aviation Club and Club Soda. In his spare time, he likes to windsurf, ski, snowboard and play with computers.

“I was pretty happy to get this nomination, it was one of the obstacles that I had to get over,” he said.

Jacobson will learn in May whether he has been accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. He plans to earn his bachelor’s in social science and become a pilot.

Seal is the son of Kim and Sieglinde Seal and a senior and student body president at Horizon Christian School. He maintains a 3.88 grade point average and is active with the school’s newspaper and yearbook and soccer team. Additionally, he volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and participates in his church’s youth group.

When asked how he felt about receiving Walden’s stamp of approval, Seal said, “It really made me happy. I was pretty nervous and I didn’t feel like I would get the nomination so, when I got the letter, it felt great.”

Seal, a Parkdale native, will learn in March whether he has been accepted to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. He plans to earn his bachelor’s in engineering and then study law.

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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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