Library groups work toward July opening

March 16, 2011

The Hood River County Library Special District and community supporters have received a giant boost in their efforts to restart library services this summer.

Meyer Memorial Trust last week approved a $61,000 grant supporting the library's reestablishment, reported Heather Staten, Hood River Library District board member.

According to Sara Duckwall Snyder, library district board chair, notice of the grant award was received on Friday, March 11 -- and provides "bridge funding" for a new director's salary, recruitment and interim staff support, until tax dollars begin to flow into the Library Special District next November.

"We are very excited to be able to receive the Meyer grant. This will allow us to hire our director and start the planning process for the July limited opening. We were fast tracked by Meyer and we are very grateful," said Duckwall Snyder.

Before receiving the funds, the Hood River County Board of Supervisors, who serve as fiscal agent for the library district, must review the grant conditions and requirements and vote to accept the funds.

"We hope to have a check in hand by mid-April," said Duckwall Snyder.

In November, voters passed a levy providing a tax base to reopen the library which closed in June 2010 after its operational funding was removed from the Hood River County general fund budget.

Though levy funds won't become available until the fall of 2011, the Hood River Library Foundation and the district board of directors have been working this winter to develop implementation strategies and funding options in order to open limited library services in July.

"The library board has determined that we need $200,000 in hand before tax revenues arrive in mid-November in order to be open in July. With the Meyer grant, we are at $110,000 to date," said Staten.

Additional fundraising events are currently being planned by the Library Foundation board, including a "Feast of Words" dinner and dessert event. The date is not yet finalized, but the event will coordinate book-themed dinner parties in private homes followed by a large gathering for dessert at the library itself on either May 14 or 21.

The goal of the evening is to raise $15,000 toward the "Open Early" campaign -- again targeting the July opening date for service provision.

Staten also reported that additional grant applications are still being written and an individual donor request letter is being sent out this week to all library patrons who have donated in the past.

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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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