Governor visiting Hood River December 8

December 3, 2011

Gov. John Kitzhaber visits Hood River Thursday for the first time since his election last year.

The governor will start his visit with a 10:30 a.m. tour of economic development works in progress at the Port of Hood River, then meet in a "round table discussion" with local business and government leaders at the port office.

Kitzhaber will be guest of honor and speaker at Hood River Rotary at noon, meeting at the Gorge Room at Best Western Hood River Inn.

Kitzhaber's spokeswoman, Amy Wojcicki, said the visit came at the suggestion of Rep. Mark Johnson, a Hood River Republican who is in his first term serving Dist. 52.

"Rep. Johnson invited the governor out, and he accepted. The governor is trying to get around the state, and it worked out well to come out now," Wojcicki said.

She said the governor's talk to Rotary will be "a forward look to the next legislative session and includes topics such as education, jobs and health care."

Wojcicki added that the subjects could change, after talking with local leaders before lunch.

"He'll be listening to them about what's going on, getting a feeling for things in Hood River," she said.

The round table session will include Irene Firmat, CEO of Full Sail, Jean Godfrey of Columbia Gorge Growers-Shippers and local business owners and developers Jeff Pickerd, Seth Tibbets, Dave Ryan and Andy von Flotow.

Government leaders present will include Mayor Arthur Babitz and County Board Chairman Ron Rivers and administrator David Meriwether.

"This is a terrific opportunity for the governor to hear from businesses in Hood River County and understand the progress we're making and understand the challenges," said Michael McElwee, port executive director, who will host the round table.

"It's a short visit, but it's the governor, and we're appreciative of it," McElwee said.

The governor is scheduled for a short press conference following the Rotary meeting.

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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