The Porch

WELL SAID: “Looking forward into an empty year strikes one with a certain awe, because one finds therein no recognition. The years behind have a friendly aspect, and they are warmed by the fires we have kindled, and all their echoes are the echoes of our own voice.”

Alexander Smith, 1863

WELL DONE — The Dec. 8 First Lego League competition at Wy’east Middle School, organized by HRVHS students, a first in the five years FFL has happened in Oregon.


Staged readings of plays is a grand tradition newly revived in the past couple of years in Hood River at CAST Theater.

On Jan. 18-19, you can see “Travesties,” by Tom Stoppard, directed by Gregory Baisden. In November, audiences enjoyed “Glengarry Glen Ross,” by David Mamet, directed by Judie Hanel. Hood River actor Tom Burns was in “GGGR” and is in “Travesties.” (James Joyce and Shelley “The Machine” Levine in less than three months; that is versatility.)

A trained director and actor, Burns is also a playwright, and passing under our radar this year was the fact that one of his works, “Tonight Must Be Wednesday,” was staged in New York this fall.

In the spring of 2011, Hood River theater-goers were treated to a read-through of the one-act TMBW, a dark comedy Burns wrote more than 30 years ago. It received its full production premiere Oct. 18-21 at The Players Theater, MacDougall Street.

On the same bill were “A Killer Day” by Neer Asherie; “B.F.F.” by Andrew Rothkin; “A Halloween Fantasy,” by Ellis Gaskell; and “Bad Christmas Sweater,” by Mark William Butler.


“The Porch” is back after a long hiatus, just in time for the “awards season.” Got something whimsical or unusual to share? If it doesn’t quite fit Facebook, the classifieds or the Post Office wall, send it to

No charge, so it is cheaper than skywriting.

Latest stories

Latest video:

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

Log in to comment

News from our Community Partners