Judge Will Carey celebrates 30 years on the Bench

Feb. 5, 2011

The gavel fell at 9:30 a.m., on Feb. 1, the case concluded and the courtroom doors opened to allow in a stream of well-wishers.

Not the usual scene following a trial, but on this day, the celebrants were there for the judge, not the suspect.

Will Carey, municipal court judge for the City of Hood River, has now been "seated" for 30 years. An impressive showing of former and current city employees and friends filed in to acknowledge the dedication and service Carey has brought to that venerable seat.

Bob Francis, Hood River city manager, presented Carey with a certificate of appreciation for his service and expressed the appreciation of the citizens of Hood River for the quality and care Carey has taken in conducting judicial process.

"Judge Carey is one of the best resources we have in our judicial system. I hope that he will carry on for another 30 years," Francis said.

In a semi-serious reply, Carey agreed to extend his contract another 30 years, as long as he continued to have the help of the people in the room.

"Everyone here has been a big help to this court," said Carey. "We are all really fortunate to live in this beautiful city that has been good to us and good for us. I truly thank everyone."

Sgt. Stan Baker from the Hood River Police Department teased Carey a bit, noting that several of the current police officers "were born around the time you took office."

"What I really appreciate about Judge Carey is that he takes time to really talk to the people who come before him, instead of just dropping the hammer," Francis said.

Arthur Babitz, mayor of Hood River, showed up to share an old photo of Carey, posing with the Crag Rats mountain rescue group at their 1991 reunion.

With exceptional memory skills, Carey proceeded to name off many of the faces in the photo, chuckling along the way with remembered stories for each.

Francis recalled a particularly good story that he felt illustrated Carey's wisdom on the bench.

"A few years back, Judge had an older guy come into court refusing to pay his traffic ticket. He asked to be sent to jail instead. Rather than accommodate his wishes, Judge sentenced him to write out a history of Hood River."

Carey laughed at the recollection, "Yes, he was a crusty old guy. I planned on submitting his written history to the paper for publication, but it turned out to be just a lot of dirt on a lot of people around town, so I thought better of it. I do remember he lighted up though when I read him his sentence."

Several of Carey's current and former assistants and Spanish language interpreters also joined the crowd of admirers.

"We are all like a big family here," said Angeles Gomez, Hood River court administrator.

Gomez also presented Carey with a thank you gift on behalf of the court and city staff. "Thank you for your service and the wonderful job you have done for our community," said Gomez.

Carey opened the handcrafted pen set and thanked the room again, his voice showing a slight embarrassment at all the attention.

Carey has maintained a private law practice in Hood River since 1973, following his move here in 1972, and has served in many public capacities.

Originally a deputy district attorney for Hood River County, Carey has also served as Hood River County legal counsel; Cascade Locks city attorney and land use attorney for the Hood River County Commission.

Carey was a graduate of the University of Oregon law school and served a tour in Vietnam as an army captain where he received military honors for injuries sustained during the Tet Offensive in 1968.

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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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