Hood River Port affirms kiteboarding policy

News staff writer

June 24, 2006

After meeting last week with its Waterfront Recreation Committee and discussing options with nearly two dozen kiteboarders present – at a meeting prompted by Columbia River access that has become difficult due to temporary high water – the Port of Hood River has affirmed its policy of allowing kiteboard launching only at two designated sites: the Spit and the Hook.

Temporary kiteboard launching at other Port sites, including Port Marina Park, were explored at length. Problems with any of the short-term sites are many and complicated, especially with increased use by families and visitors, says Sherry Bohn, Port Commission president. Safety is the key reason, and the high potential for an accident involving a non-kiter, she adds.

“While we recognize and understand what the high water has done to the kiteboard schools and kiteboard launch area, the Commission is not changing its policy at this time and will continue to limit the sport to the designated areas at the Spit and the Hook,” Bohn said.

She adds that safety to all users of the waterfront is key to that decision.

The Port’s policy does not allow the mixed use of kiteboarding and other water-based recreation, whether passive or active, due to safety and liability issues. Because of the large space required for launching and landing of kites, the Port has and will continue to limit kiteboarding only on the Spit and at the Hook.

“The Commission is working with the schools to mitigate some of the financial impact on their operations,” said Bohn. “While the issues of safety, access and mixing uses on waterfronts are not unique to Hood River, the Port is aware of the contributions, both economically and recreationally, that the kiteboard community brings here. The Port will continue to work with the various groups in order to help find the balance for all waterfront users now and in the future.”

The Port encourages kiters to use launch sites identified for their sport to help ensure that kiteboarding can continue in Hood River. Launching anywhere other than the Spit or the Hook is in violation of the Port’s Ordinance 22, which can result in a citation of $250.

For more information about the Port’s kiteboarding policy and launch points, visit: www.portofhoodriver.com and follow the “Events” link. Other details are available by contacting the Port of Hood River at 386-1645.

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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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