Thursday, August 4, 2011
Signs of the times, urban and rural:
Travel to the Hood River County Fair and you'll see the portable speed indicator sign on
either Summit or Wy'east roads.
There, in 2-foot changeable numbers, you can see how fast your vehicle is traveling. And it's a fair way to avoid a ticket.
Motorists going to the fair should use caution, based on the sheer number of cars that are certain to be present. Plenty of folks walk and bicycle to the fair, too, and it's good to keep your speed down for their sake.
Crowds will be biggest at the fair late Saturday afternoon and evening as people will gather for the fun of the Jo Dee Messina concert, nighttime on the carnival midway, and all the other joys of the last hours of the fair.
The end of the fair is not quite the last rites of summer, but it is a signal (along with "back-to-school" ads) of the impending change of seasons.
A related indicator of the time of year is the welcome repainting of the crosswalks and stop lines at local intersections, partly in preparation for the return of school-bound pedestrians.
Repainted crosswalks and portable speed signs remind us of the need to be careful any time of the year.
They can also help us remember to savor the summer while it is still with us. In the words of Joseph Krutch, "August creates as she slumbers, replete and satisfied."
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge