Idlewild Market meets niche needs

If you’ve got an urgent need for some of life’s basic necessities, Nina Buckley of the newly opened Idlewild Market, on Fourth Street and Cascade Avenue, has got just what you’re looking for.

Buckley is striving to provide a good mix of snacks (both healthy and otherwise), beverages (with and without alcohol), toiletries, quick dinner options, sandwiches and coffee. Patrons might find a few trinkets available for sale as well.

Since acquiring her lease in May, Buckley has been sprucing up the former “That’s Swank” vintage clothing store into a fast and convenient one-stop shop for downtown pedestrians and drive-by visitors.

“I’ve heard from a lot of locals that they want quick, affordable lunch items. I’m also planning on bringing in Four & Twenty Blackbirds’ catering to provide fresh take-away items,” said Buckley, on just one aspect of her growing business.

While quick energy snacks may be downtown day-trippers’ first choice, Buckley is hoping to build up her local clientele by responding to year-round needs. This includes providing a downtown site for video rentals, morning coffee options from 10-Speed Coffee and a planned grab-and-go pastry section.

“I really have to thank all of the downtown merchants for being phenomenally supportive,” said Buckley. “I’m also so touched by the teenagers and skateboarder who have been Tweeting and Facebooking about the market.”

With a plethora of wall space in the newly remodeled store, Buckley is planning on displaying local artists’ work on the walls on a rotating basis.

“I really also want to feature a lot of locally made products,” said Buckley. That includes creating a whole foods section that she hopes to stock with Hood River labeled goods.

Idlewild Market is open Sunday to Thursday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 8 a.m. until midnight. The late-night hours are currently some of the busier times in the store.

“We get a lot of traffic from people late at night,” said Jerad Warren, manager of the store. “We are trying to accommodate people who are leaving Double Mountain and other downtown pubs.”

Buckley stepped away from a longtime career as a physician recruiter.

“I used to travel quite a lot — two to three weeks a month,” said Buckley. “I had a real love-hate relationship with my job.”

With the help of Columbia Gorge Community College’s Small Business Development Center, Buckley developed a business plan, applied her existing skills and retirement funds and sought out additional financing.

With the help of a silent partner, Buckley is now bent on making a new lifelong career, meeting the quick-shopping needs of Hood River’s bustling downtown.

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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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