Editorial: HR council opening provides opportunity to serve

October 15, 2011

Several opportunities for public service are on the horizon, including one - on Hood River City Council -standing open and ready for applicants.

Council Member Dawna Armstrong stepped down earlier this month, and the city is now preparing to appoint someone to her position. The deadline to apply is imminent: Oct. 18. See page A10 in the City Council article, for details.

Mayor Arthur Babitz, who served on the council before being elected mayor said that the position really depends on "what people choose to put into it - it's kind of open ended." Council members are at minimum expected to attend two meetings a month and read through their preparatory packet for each meeting, which can range from between 20-200 pages depending on the issues at the meeting. There are also voluntary committee assignments and weekly meetings during the city's budget month.

We would add that council members need to be prepared to answer questions from constituents, sometimes at odd times and places, and usually presented in civil tones.

Following her resignation from the position, Dawna Armstrong said she had learned a significant amount about local government in a short time and said the spot was a good way for citizens to volunteer for their community.

Replacing Armstrong will be a fairly long commitment, as appointments go. There are three years left on her term.

There is no November ballot planned in Hood River County, but now is the time to be thinking of stepping up to run for a variety of other local offices on the May 2012 primary ballot. These include county Sheriff, the Board of County Commission president and positions 1, 2, and 4, and several positions on both the Hood River and Cascade Locks city councils.

The deadline to file is March 6.

Sounds to savor

Sinfonietta offers musical bounty

Harvest Fest this weekend is not the only event where you can savor the joys of "locally grown".

Full musical pieces written by local composers will provide a full entertainment plate next weekend.

The Columbia Gorge Sinfonietta, all Gorge musicians, will perform four pieces of music written by Oregonians, including pieces by Sydney Stevens, a private music teacher in Hood River, and Mark Steighner, best known as man behind the baton at HRVHS music department director.

Stevens presents her new work, "Seasons Suite," and Steighner unveils "Nightmare Ballet, as part of the "Music Made in Oregon" bill.

The Sinfonietta will be performing a 10-minute dance number that opens the second act of Steighner's "Avalon: A Steampunk Musical," which premieres in full this November at HRVHS.

See page A1 for details on the Oct. 21 and Oct. 23 concerts. Also on the bill is "Two Poems" by German-born composer Ernest Bloch, who lived at the Oregon coast, and a piece by Seth Stewart, winner of the first CGOA Composition Prize for Oregon college composers.

The Sinfonietta is expanding its wings with this month's concert. In this season of bounty, the event is a chance to sample some of the freshest musical flavors available anywhere.

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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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