Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Welcome back, welcome signs:
The wooden signs with Hood River fruit and salmon scenes that greet visitors near exit 62 and 64 are back in place.
The signs have been down for a few months, after becoming weathered and cracked. One sign blown down by wind. Dayna Reed of SignMedia of Hood River repaired the signs and repainted them, adding accents at the tops. City Public Works crews put the signs back up this week.
The replacement of the signs comes at a good time, as Interstate 84 construction is going on at the height of the visitor season, according to Kerry Cobb, Chamber of Commerce executive director.
She said the visitors center has had more than 12,500 visitors through July 31 - surpassing the 2010 total of 12,050.
The center welcomed 4,000 visitors in July alone, a surprising fact according to Cobb given the construction at the freeway off-ramps, making it more difficult to find the center at exit 64.
The wooden signs direct people once they are off the freeway. They were made by Chas Martin, now of Portland, in the early 1990s. Artist Lee Jensen painted the mountain portion of the north-facing sign at exit 64.
"It is with great pleasure I was allowed to take part in preserving a bit of unique history of the Hood River Valley and its residents," Reed said.
"Dayna did an excellent job on the signs," said public works foreman Dave Smock.
"Any idea we can give people about how to get here is certainly helpful," Cobb said.
Eastbound drivers need to turn on exit 63 in order to get to exit 64, while contractors hired by ODOT replace the freeway bridge at exit 64.
Other signs around exit 64 telling drivers how to find the visitors center were removed as part of the construction project, according to Cobb. The chamber has asked ODOT to replace the signs, and put up some of its own, she said.
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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