Chamber seeks unified front

Jan. 12, 2011

"I hope to bring together all of the formerly separated groups representing various parts of Hood River's business sectors," said Kerry Cobb, executive director of the Hood River Chamber of Commerce. This is no small goal. As was well acknowledged during the Heights Business Association meeting where Cobb spoke on Jan. 6, each region of the county has distinctly unique characters and economic concerns. "The downtown retail and service folks are different from both the Heights and the Fruit Loop businesses in many ways," said Cobb. "But, everyone can benefit from economies of scale and effective, coordinated use of common resources." The chamber board and Cobb are working together to better serve the ongoing event planning and marketing activities that benefit every business in the valley, in addition to increasing tourism to the area. To further the goal of a unified valley-wide business sector, Cobb, along with current and retiring Heights Business Association presidents Tony White and Dave Mason, have been in discussion on a potential merger of organizations. "There is no specific structure yet identified," said Mason. "But, we might benefit from becoming an advisory council to the larger chamber and connecting our resources and events together with the broader business community." The Heights Association members present during the proposal presentation had many questions on how such a merger could take place, as well as questions on why it would be of benefit. Cobb responded to questions by recounting details on the recent Downtown Business Association's decision to merge with the chamber. "There has been a decrease in duplication of effort and an increase in effective use of existing marketing tools and resources," said Cobb. "By taking over the logistics of existing events we are allowing owners more time to focus on their businesses," Cobb added. "Most events share similar work details like permitting, advertising, soliciting donations and recruiting volunteers and this is what the chamber is already doing." Heights Association members are encouraged to seek information from the organization's officers on the potential merger, according to White. A vote on the proposal will be held at the Jan. 20 meeting, to be held at the Hood River campus of CGCC from 8-9 a.m.


Member celebration gala - Jan. 22, from 6-10 p.m. at the Gorge Room of the Best Western Hood River Inn. Guest speaker will be Rep. Greg Walden. "Reviving Disco" is the theme with "hustle" dancing and photos with a John Travolta look-alike. Member tickets are $35; deadline for purchase is Jan. 19.

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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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