Local crazyman heads to Africa

April 13, 2011

If there's such a thing as a renaissance man of extreme sports, Jon Malmberg is it.

Malmberg, who calls the Gorge his home base, is an extreme skier, kiteboarder, basejumper, paraglider, speedflyer and lover of most things that turn normal people's legs to jelly at the thought of doing.

And among his favorite thrills, paragliding is at the top of the list. And why not? Why find the highest hilltops with the steadiest wind, attach yourself to a large kite and run off the edge; drifting slowly away and circling over treetops and freeways with the birds.

As a certified instructor of several sports, including paragliding, Malmberg's interest is not entirely about self-satisfaction. Teaching others, he says, and helping people experience the joys of flight is a worthy pursuit.

And it's that pursuit that is leading him to Africa.

"I am indeed off to Ghana to help support a local charity event and introduce the local people of Nkawkaw to the power of flight through my tandem paragliding skills," he said about his trip next week. "Part of the event, besides our local pilot fundraising, is highlighting the fantastic paragliding and tourism of the local area. Our role as invited tandem pilots is to fly and share the power of flight with the local people."

Malmberg was invited with only a handful of other pilots across the country, by the government of Ghana, to take part in the festival; travel expenses paid by the local government.

"We are not there to be on vacation," he said of the trip. "We will be working very hard as tandem pilots at the event."

In addition to sharing the joys of flight with the locals, Malmberg and the other pilots are raising money for a paragliding-based charity called the Cloudbase Foundation, which uses donations for charity work in areas where they fly.

To help raise money for the foundation, Malmberg is putting on a raffle for people who donate in his name. The winner, which will be drawn next week before he leaves, will get a full day of instruction in one of the several sports Malmberg is certified to teach (ski/snowboarding, paragliding or tandem flying and kiteboarding).

For more information or to donate, contact Malmberg by the weekend at: jbamphoto@gmail.com or 541-490-1040.

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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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