Tech Alliance forum March 22

March 12, 2011

Ever ponder how mobile computer applications are changing our lives and where these electronic guides are taking us?

You may find answers at the final free event of the "Leading Edge of Technology" Speakers Series March 22 at 7 p.m. at Columbia Center for the Arts.

The event is organized by the Gorge Technology Alliance (GTA), a membership group open to Gorge residents involved with technology businesses.

Four nationally known Portland-based computer application (app) developers will provide an insider's view of mobile app development and trends.

"Local connections with the Portland tech community helped us identify who's really leading the pack in mobile app development," said Jessica Metta, executive director of GTA, on how the presenters were selected.

Featured speakers include Raven Zachary with Small Society; Jason Grigsby with Cloud Four; Dave Howell with Avatron and Marcelino Alvarez with Uncorked Studios.

These successful industry designers have developed mobile apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

All four speakers regularly work with businesses and other organizations to change the way people connect with each other and experience the world around them.

The presentation is designed to interest anyone who uses apps, as well as businesses thinking about mobile or web application strategies.

As a result of a grant from Google sponsoring the series, the presentation is free to the public

Columbia River Gorge Tech Alliance seeks to promote the technology business sector of the Gorge by helping start, grow, expand and sustain high-tech companies.

GTA meets regularly and provides networking opportunities with education-based or speaker events focused on technology business resources in the area.

"The tech-networking community is very active in the Gorge and always welcoming new people to get involved. GTA has two events every month for people to connect through," noted Metta.

Learn more at or contact Jessica Metta at 541-296-2266 or

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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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