Name the sandbar!

September 30, 2011



For almost five years now people have been drawn to the ever- expanding “Sandbar” — a new bit of real estate deposited, like a baby in a basket, on the front doorstep of Hood River.The Sandbar’s visitors come for challenging windsurfing, kiteboarding, dog frolics and romantic early morning walks. But the moniker “Sandbar” just has never seemed to capture, in title, the spirit of the place — that is, according to Hood River Mayor Arthur Babitz. Babitz, who is proposing finding a new name for the 60-acre delta-style landmass found just off the end of the Hood River where it empties into the Columbia, plans to remedy that.

“We can’t make this a legal name; we don’t have the power to do that; but we can still hold a contest and a ceremony,” said Babitz, hoping the formal recognition by the city would “stick” even in lieu of a printed name on a map.

The timing of Babitz’s proposal allows his vision to be in place before Nov. 7 — the five-year anniversary of the initial appearance of the sandbar following a massive flood.

Residents and visitors alike may submit names for consideration either in person at the Hood River News, or via the contest-dedicated email inbox at:, or through links on any Hood River News social media site.

Deadline for submission is Sunday, Oct. 9. Panel review and selections will occur Oct. 10 to Oct. 16. Public voting on top contenders will begin Oct. 17 and close Oct. 21. The winning name will be announced Oct. 24 at the Hood River city council meeting and on the News website.

A judging panel, including representatives from city council, Hood River County administration, the Port of Hood River, the Hood River News, the Chamber of Commerce, the Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association and the Columbia Gorge Kiteboarding Association, will select three to five top contenders, which will then be posted for public electronic voting.

Watch for voting site links at, and the HRN Facebook page, Twitter account and Constant Contact once name submissions are posted on Oct. 17.

The individual who submits the winning entry will receive a proclamation from the City of Hood River along with Hood River News coverage.

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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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