Editorial: Spring will have to wait

March 2, 2011

Winter contended with spring on Monday - and winter won.

The snows of the past four days caused a mix of pain and frustration, with some unfortunate injury accidents, along with an inclination among many folks to enjoy a late-winter opportunity for skiing, snowboarding and sledding.

Monday was to be the first day of spring sports at Hood River Valley High School.

While state skiing and snowboarding athletes geared up with bindings and poles at state competitions at Mt. Bachelor, some of their classmates walked the halls of HRVHS with their lacrosse sticks in hand, ready to take to the green fields.

But spring sport athletes were to be disappointed. The fields quickly turned white and all after-school activities were canceled Monday, followed by school itself on Tuesday.

While some folks skied to work on the Heights Tuesday, at least one man was seen shoveling show, wearing shorts.

Recollections were mixed when valley residents were asked whether or not this seemed to be an unusual amount of snow to fall in a 24-hour period in late February.

Mostly, folks dealt with it in their own ways.

Among the strangest anomalies of Tuesday's snow day was this: At Odell's Chevron Station, Butch Gehrig's tow truck stayed in the shed.

"People are coming in for gas. They know they need to stay gassed up," Gehrig said.

His counterpart at Windmaster Market, Russ Gray, said, "People are pretty smart about what to do when we get this much snow."

March and April blizzards are not unprecedented, so the smartest advice of the day should be kept in mind in case more snows are to come:

Said OSP's Sgt. Pat Ashmore, "I encourage people to stay off the roads if possible in this kind of weather."

As temperatures rise in the next few days, shorts may feel the right apparel, but the snowpants might still win the next round, too.

Filing time

Sign up to serve by March 17

Every community in Hood River County, from Crystal Springs Water District to the Port of Cascade Locks, has a stake in the May 17 Special Districts Election.

Positions are open on the Hood River County School Board, Port of Hood River, Hood River County Parks and Recreation District, the county Transportation District, and two other entities serving all or most of Hood River County: Columbia Gorge Community College and Region 9 Education Service District.

Port of Cascade Locks commission will also be on the ballot, as will Mt. Hood Community College district board, which includes Cascade Locks.

Every water, fire, and sanitation district as well as the school Local Committees will be on the ballot.

The key date is this:

March 17 at 5 p.m. is the deadline to file for office.

Hood River News ran a full list of seats in the Feb. 19 edition. Call the Elections office at 541-386-1442 for details.

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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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