Tuesday, January 18, 2011
The Port of Hood River Board of Commissioners interviewed four candidates at a special meeting Thursday to fill an empty seat vacated by former commissioner Kathy Watson, who resigned in November for business reasons. After interviewing each of the four candidates who applied for the position, board members Hoby Streich, Fred Duckwall, Sherry Bohn and John Davies selected applicant Richard McBride to fill seat 3 of the board for the remainder of the term, which will expire June 30. The appointment will be short-lived, as the seat - and seats held by Bohn and Streich - will be up for election in May. McBride, who ran against Davies for position 2 in 2009, was chosen by commissioners Davies, Bohn and Streich, which was enough for a motion to select him as the temporary commissioner over fellow candidates Jon Benton, Brian Shortt and Erlene Veverka-Smith. The board then voted unanimously to select McBride, who will be sworn into the position at regular session later this month. "I really didn't expect this to be such a difficult decision," Davies said during an open discussion from the council. Commissioner Duckwall added, "All the candidates have the background and experience to serve in the public sector. I could serve happily with three of the four candidates." Duckwall said the fourth candidate, Veverka-Smith, was at a disadvantage from his perspective because she indicated she would not run for the position in the next election.
Port commissioners are elected by voters of the Port's district for four-year terms. Seat three was vacated in the fall by Watson, who was originally appointed by the board in 2004, when her successor resigned. She was re-elected to the position the following year, but did not serve out her term. The situation is not uncommon, as both Bohn and Streich, current board president, were originally appointed to their positions on the board. "I've been in that seat before," Bohn said to the applicants before announcing her vote. "But I think there were 16 applicants when I applied. I think the fighting - well, most of the fighting - is over. "All of the candidates said they have seen great progress from the port in the last five or so years; and that is very reassuring." As stated on its website, the chief responsibility of the commission is to make policy for the Port of Hood River. Policy is then implemented by staff under the direction of the Executive Director, who is currently Michael McElwee. Commissioners are paid a monthly stipend of about $100 for their service.
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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