On Monday, expert arms citizens for meth battle

By RAELYNN RICARTE

News staff writer

June 24, 2006

Sen. Rick Metsger, D-Welches, has invited a national expert to arm Hood River citizens in the battle against methamphetamine addiction and related crimes.

Rob Bovett takes the podium as keynote speaker at Monday’s “Fighting the Meth Epidemic” forum. Bovett, legal counsel for the Oregon Narcotics Enforcement Association, will be joined by Hood River County Circuit Court Judge Paul Crowley, who oversees the local drug court. The panel also includes Jerry Brown, chief deputy for the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Hood River County Library, 503 State St.

Metsger said the recent series of articles on recovering meth addicts in the Hood River News illustrated the complexities of treatment. He is hopeful the June 26 forum will further educate citizens about the growing number of crimes related to the drug, such as identity theft. He said audience members will be invited to share concerns and ask questions of the professional panel.

“I look forward to this opportunity to have a conversation with members of the community and hear what is important to you,” said Metsger.

He said, in 2005, the Legislature made it a top priority to stop the scourge of meth in Oregon. Metsger said new laws were passed that increased penalties, expanded the scope of punishable crimes and restricted access to materials used in the manufacturing of meth.

However, he said the popularity of the drug continues to grow — and so do the associated crime challenges.

“We have won some victories but the battle is far from over,” Metsger said.

Bovett authored Oregon’s meth lab chemical control laws and is a member of the Governor’s Meth Task Force. He is also chair of the Drug Endangered Children Subcommittee and co-founder and president of the Oregon Alliance for Drug Endangered Children. He is a member of the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission’s Meth Steering Committee and the founder of the Lincoln County Meth Initiative, focusing on prevention, enforcement and treatment.

To date, Bovett has provided more than 250 presentations on meth-related topics and has appeared on Good Morning America, National Public Radio, KATU-2’s Town Hall, PBS NewsHour, Frontline, and the Oregon Public Broadcasting network.

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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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