Kiters ask for temporary use of beach

By SUE RYAN

News staff writer

June 10, 2006

Two kiteboarders asked Port of Hood River commissioners Tuesday night to temporarily lift the ban on kiteboarding at Marina Beach.

Hood River resident Stephen Ford said he moved to the area last year and started kiteboarding 10 days ago.

“As a beginning kiter, it is hard to launch from the other site (off the Hook),” he said. “I’m just asking for two, three, four weeks until the water goes down.”

While Ford referred to a group of kiteboarders having the same concerns, he came alone. Middle school wind sports teacher Eric Cohn wrote in an e-mail to the commission that he felt the marina beach was underused at this time of year.

“I think it noteworthy that this time of year the marina beach is very lightly used, as both the weather and water are not yet warm, and kiters are looking for wind, not calm,” he said. “ The current situation of a nonexistent sand spit coupled with a very safe vacant launch site 200 feet upriver at the marina beach is very frustrating indeed.”

The commissioners said kiteboarders might want to consider reactivating the Kiteboard Association.

“I would say, have the sailboard and kite groups get together and have cooler heads prevail,” said Don Hosford.

Commissioner Fred Duckwall said it would be helpful to have an association to address rather than individuals. He stressed, though, that the current rules remain in place and that there have been some communication problems.

“The problem has been with staff going down and asking people not to use it (the beach) and kiters being confrontational over the issue,” he said.

Commissioner Hoby Streich asked Ford what would happen after the three-week period. Ford replied he thought peer pressure would have the kiters respect going back to the Spit after the water level went down. Commissioner Kathy Watson recommended that the commission ask the waterfront recreation committee to come together next week and discuss a solution.

“But safety first,” she said. “Within that framework would be safety and other people using it … balancing all the needs at the waterfront, not just wind sports.”

No meeting has been set yet. In other business, the commissioners discussed the unresolved issue of installing a cardlock pump at the airport, and a request by a Willow Valley Drive resident to take care of some sewer line issues that had developed. They also:

Adopted the 2006-07 budget in the amount of $20,648,609. The budget is comprised of the $354,552 general fund, $14,804,394 PHR revenue fund, and the $5,489,663 bridge repair and replacement fund.

Passed a resolution to apply for a Transportation Enhancement Grant from ODOT for developing a public bicycle and pedestrian system on waterfront property.

Approved the sale of Lot 3 in the John Weber Business Park at Odell to Brian Prigel for $60,000.

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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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