Legislations saves roadside restrooms

April 4, 2012

SALEM - A bill that brings funding to the Government Camp rest area on U.S. Highway 26 along with 16 others throughout Oregon was signed by Gov. John Kitzhaber on Wednesday.

In attendance at the ceremony were chief sponsors Sen. Chuck Thomsen, R-Hood River, and Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, according to a press release from Thomsen's office.

Also in attendance were Rep. John Huffman, R-The Dalles, Clackamas County Commissioner Jim Bernard and Welches resident Bob Reeves, who each played significant roles in advancing SB 1591.

Senate Bill 1591 transfers management of 17 rest areas to the Oregon Travel Experience, the semi-independent state agency credited with cleaning up and revitalizing the Baldock rest area on I-5 just south of Wilsonville.

"We went from impending closure of my district's rest stop to achieving unanimity in making 17 rest areas better - all in the span of a few months. That is what happens when we listen to people, and when leaders come together," Thomsen said.

The Government Camp rest area near milepost 54 and the Tillamook rest area on U.S. Highway 101 near milepost 70 will be transferred to OTE next month.

In January 2013, management of the five rest areas along the I-84 Corridor will be transferred to OTE. They include Memaloose, in the Gorge; Stanfield, east and westbound (west of Pendleton); and Charles Reynolds, east and westbound (east of La Grande).

In January 2014, management will be given to three additional rest areas along I-5.

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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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