Several of the reasons ‘Hood River is so great’

“A huge thank-you to all the businesses, individuals, and organizations who contributed so generously to this year’s Project Graduation,” writes Cindy Yoshimura of the 2012 Project Graduation committee.

“We would especially like to thank Paddock’s Appliance for their help in obtaining one of our large raffle prizes. Their name was inadvertently left off the thank-you ad, and we apologize for this mistake. The support of all who donated helped us put on a safe, fun, all-night party for the graduating Class of 2012.”


Pam Ritzenthaler of the Mid-Columbia Lyme Support Group writes, “We had a full house at the showing of the ‘Under Our Skin’ movie June 7. Thank you to everyone that attended and to those who helped organize this Lyme disease awareness event!”

“Thanks especially to Mary Jane and Steve Heppe’s public relations efforts — extra especially to Mary Jane for spearheading this whole effort! Audible gasps from the audience were heard throughout the movie as the Lyme controversy was explained. After the movie a lot of great information was shared during the question- and-answer session. A big thanks to Dr. Rafferty for coming to Hood River and answering Lyme testing, diagnosis and treatment option questions.

“Some people asked what they could do to help politically advance Lyme awareness — the two best ways to contribute to that effort would be to help with a tick sweep of our county and to get every politician and doctor that serves our area to view the ‘Under Our Skin’ movie. The movie is available on Netflix and for free on You can make a difference: Never doubt what the actions of a few intelligent people can accomplish (Margaret Mead said something like that).

“A special thank-you to Andrew McElderry for donating the use of the Skylight Theatre and to his staff for helping the success of the showing. It is the community that helps people learn of Lyme and we so much appreciate the support of local businesses and community members for helping us get the word out. With your help, we can help others prevent years of treatment and suffering that could so easily be avoided when this disease is diagnosed early. Best in health.”


The Leonard Hay Family wishes to publically express their heartfelt thanks to the Hood River Fire Department for the recent dedication of the Leonard Hay Community Room in their new building.

Writes Iris Hay, “We know Leonard would be pleased, proud and honored for this nice tribute in his memory for his 32 years of service (and enjoyment) with the fire department. It is something our family can visit, value and share through the ensuing years with the future generations. Fire Chief Devon Wells and all of the participating dignitaries performed excellently and we thank each of them with appreciation and gratitude. The ‘ribbon cutting/hose uncoupling’ was very clever and it could not have been a nicer dedication. Our thanks extended to all those in attendance also.”


“After an exceptional step in service, I felt I had to write about it,” writes Georgia Donnelly.

“I recently purchased a new mattress at Murray’s Clearance Center here in Hood River. I go there first when I need furniture, wall hangings, lamps, and in this case, a mattress. Not only did I receive exceptional advice about the mattress I chose, Gary took a huge second step. By the time I had checked in at home to be sure we were getting the mattress we wanted, and returning the next day to buy it, I found out that it wasn’t possible to deliver it for two days because of the demand they were having in their sales and deliveries. My heart sank as we had already torn down our very old, very sad waterbed, and didn’t know what we’d do for the next two nights waiting for a new mattress to be delivered. Nevertheless, I knew we had to get it, so made the decision to at least make the purchase. Then came the ‘exceptional’ part. Gary contacted his delivery guys who were booked solid until 5, and worked out an arrangement that allowed delivery to my home that same day after all. That meant that Gary made the step of checking in with his guys, and they agreed to another delivery when they actually should be going home.

This is one of the reasons Hood River is so great. We have so many quality family businesses, and Gary proved we have just as many outstanding owners who take extra steps that big stores and big cities just don’t. Though thank you is not even close to expressing my gratitude, I hope anyone who is considering a purchase for their home start with Murray’s — and Gary if possible. Great selection, great prices and simply incredible person to person extra steps. Murray’s is the best!”


Keri Sprenger of Vancouver writes, “I wanted to send a note of thanks to some unsung heroes in the Hood River community.

To the Hood River Sheriff’s Department: “Sheriff Joe Wampler and Deputy Lloyd Frasier responded quickly to our 9-1-1 call and rescued my partner Tracy when she had a seizure and fell off the Eagle Creek Trail on Friday, June 22.

“If not for their quick response and clear-headed thinking, the operation might have been a recovery instead of a rescue. Let’s just say that where we lived in North Carolina years ago, you wouldn’t find law enforcement officials who were capable of rappelling down a steep slope to rescue someone.”

The Crag Rats: “I also wanted to thank the Crag Rats for their quick response time and finely honed skill set that was used to bring her back up to the trail. I know these guys are completely volunteer-run and they were truly angels for us on what would have been the worst day of my life. Thank you to all who participated in this rescue, including the seven to eight people who literally waited hours with me during a time of great uncertainty.

“I hope other members of the community realize their great fortune in having all these unsung heroes as part of your community.”


“A huge thank-you to Matt Klee and HRATS for their amazing work reviving our glorious Post Canyon,” writes Julie Gonzales and Curtis Haynie.

“After the ice storm damage, it was heartbreaking to see our favorite riding spot devastated. You guys came charging through with Superman capes and shovels making this year’s riding a reality. Every time we ride, there’s an awesome new feature, cleared trails and more riding. We also appreciate the work you have done in Family Man to make it safer for everyone to enjoy. Standing ovation for your tireless energy!”

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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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