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.

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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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