Columbia River Gorge Commission adds new members

Blaine replaces Reinig for HRC

Three new commissioners have joined the ranks of the Columbia River Gorge Commission, including one new representative from Hood River.

Gorham Blaine, fourth-generation resident of Hood River, brings a farmer’s perspective to the oversight organization charged with developing land use and natural resource policy for the National Scenic Area within the Gorge.

Blaine and his wife own and operate pear and apple orchards in both Odell and Parkdale. He will serve a four-year term.

“The Columbia Gorge has always played a prominent role in my life, from hiking and windsurfing on the river, to living in and being a part of the community. I want to participate in and help shape the continuous balancing act ... preserving the natural beauty and ecology, maintaining access and supporting a successful and sustainable business environment,” stated Blaine.

According to Darren Nichols, CRGC executive director, “the new commission appointments add a unique and valuable perspective to the impressive set of skills already on the Gorge Commission.”

Blaine was appointed to the commission as the Hood River County representative. Joining Blaine are Janet Wainwright, appointed by Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, and Bowen Blair, appointed by Oregon’s Gov. Kitzhaber.

Blaine is stepping into the shoes of recently retired Hood River representative Joyce Reinig, who served on the commission since its inception over 25 years ago.

“I believe Joyce felt she had accomplished everything she could possibly do. She served us well,” said Ron Rivers, Hood River Board of Commissioners chairman.

“Blaine has a passion for preserving the Columbia Gorge. He is very articulate and intelligent. He will do well in representing us,” said Rivers.

The 13-member commission is comprised of one representative chosen for each of the six counties in Oregon and Washington that line the Gorge. The governors of each state also appoint three commissioners per state, with the final, non-voting seat allotted to a U.S. Forest Service representative appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture.

The commission operates as the appeals board for land use decisions tied to properties within the National Scenic Area in the event they are challenged after issuance by a county or by the commission’s executive director.

According to Nichols, the board is working to incorporate the skills and leadership of its newest members in preparation for the upcoming year, with the first scheduled meeting slated for Sept. 11 in Corbett.

“We are pleased to welcome the new commissioners and look forward to working with them to build strong regional partnerships that support our communities and protect this beautiful place we call the Gorge,” concluded Nichols.

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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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