A season of red -- and green -- for Hood River downtown

GIFT CARDS say thanks to businesses that paid for lighting on downtown trees.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
GIFT CARDS say thanks to businesses that paid for lighting on downtown trees.

Fourteen Oregon towns, including Hood River, are celebrating the holiday season with a healthier type of holiday lights.

Hood River is one of a dozen Oregon communities with town holiday lighting displays using renewable energy.

Hood River’s tree-lined streets and leaping salmon display at Second and State is one example of Blue Sky energy powering holiday lights. Other examples are the glowing snowflakes in Grants Pass and a shimmering ice skating rink in downtown Redmond.

Grant funds from Ryan’s Juice, Columbia River Bank and the Chamber of Commerce paid for holiday tree and fountain lighting in Hood River, while downtown businesses paid $250 each to illuminate Oak Street trees for the season.

Throughout Oregon, Pacific Power communities are getting the power for their local lighting celebrations offset by emission-free renewable energy. Taken together, these holiday lighting displays are being greened with nearly a quarter million kilowatt hours of Blue Sky renewable energy.

According to Pacific Power, the renewable energy supported on behalf of these holiday lighting displays will: avoid approximately 270,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, which is the environmental equivalent of eliminating 278,000 miles, or 671 roundtrips from Prineville to Lincoln City.

“These lights go right to the roots of our communities,” said Pat Reiten, president and CEO of Pacific Power. “Bringing light to the holidays is part of Pacific Power’s commitment to its customers today, and for more than a century.

With renewable energy becoming part of the fabric of the state, we’re proud to have our Blue Sky participants ‘green’ these traditional festivals, lighting the season.”

Pacific Power customers can also celebrate the season by greening their own homes and businesses. Buying just one, 100-kilowatt hour block of Blue Sky power costs only $1.95 per month.

Customers can buy as many blocks as they wish or even match all of their usage with renewable energy through the Blue Sky Usage or Habitat options.

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Latest video:

Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive

The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge

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