Friday, November 16, 2012
In its first regular meeting since the Nov. 6 general election, the Hood River County School District board of directors celebrated the passage of the local option levy.
“It was a fantastic victory, with 62 percent of the vote,” said Liz Whitmore, who headed up the local option committee. “I think it shows there’s a lot of confidence in what we’re doing.”
She went on to thank each person who worked particularly hard on the campaign, including Paul Blackburn, Jennifer Johnston, John Fine, Kelvin Caulkins, several board members and administration members and PageWorks.
“Hip, Hip Hurrah, as my dad would say,” Whitmore said.
Board member Bob Danko added that thanks were due to Whitmore, as well.
“Liz coordinated the whole thing and we really couldn’t have done it without her,” he said.
“I would like to voice a thank-you from the school district staff to the local option committee,” Superintendent Charlie Beck said. He also issued thanks to the community, board members and bargaining groups for their part in getting the local option passed.
The levy was a renewal of levies passed in 2004 and 2008 and will continue funding to help maintain: core academic programs; a full school year; current average class sizes; full-day kindergarten; elementary PE and music; and electives and co-curricular activities including sports, band, and choir.
In other business, the school board was given an update by Financial Director Nick Hogan on the remaining funds in the construction bond levy account.
“We have $392,000 of remaining construction bond levy funds,” Hogan said. “All bond levy work is done and all construction company retainage payments have been made.”
Hogan had consulted Facilities Director Randall Johnston as to the most pressing need for the funds, and his recommendation was for the funds to go toward a section of new roof for Westside School.
“In addition, there has been some discussion about the possibility of an artificial turf field,” Hogan said. “If the school board wishes to look into this possibility, I propose a site-specific analysis to provide a more detailed cost estimate for this project.”
Such an analysis would consist of a topographical survey, a geotechnical survey (soils analysis) and a preliminary (conceptual) design, he said, with an estimated cost of $20,000.
In the end, the school board agreed to both recommendations; the Westside roof section (estimated to cost $600,000) and the feasibility study for artificial turf for Hood River Valley High School’s field.
Liz Whitmore recommended that the school district work with other groups such as the county and Parks and Recreation before scheduling the feasibility study, since the field would benefit all groups.
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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge