Kiteboarding schools reduced for 2013-15

Crowding on the Hood River sandbar — one of the reasons the Port of Hood River cites in its decision to trim the number of schools with kiteboarding permits from seven to five.

Photo by Adam Lapierre.
Crowding on the Hood River sandbar — one of the reasons the Port of Hood River cites in its decision to trim the number of schools with kiteboarding permits from seven to five.

The number of kiteboarding schools operating on Port of Hood River property will be reduced from seven to five through at least the summer of 2015. The number of windsurfing schools will remain at three.

The decision came after a committee of five community members reviewed proposals from eight kiteboarding and windsurfing schools. Based the on evaluation criteria of experience (30%), operating plan (30%), emergency response plan (20%) and instructor training plan (20%) , the committee ranked each school and made a recommendation to the Port Board of Commissioners as to which schools to grant concession permits to for the 2013-15 term.

The board voted unanimously to approve the recommendations during Tuesday evening’s bi-monthly meeting.

On the windsurfing side, Big Winds, Brian’s and Hood River WaterPlay will receive permits; for kiteboarding, Brian’s, Cascade Kiteboarding, Kite the Gorge and New Wind were approved. Kite schools that submitted proposals but were not granted permits were Hood River WaterPlay and Gorge Gradients.

Port Waterfront Coordinator Liz Whitmore said the reason for reducing the number of kite schools is to help increase the level of safety on the water and communication between schools and the port.

“Even the schools themselves encouraged the port to reduce numbers,” Whitmore said. “They expressed concerns about both safety and market share. From the port’s perspective, safety is the top concern.”

Of the schools chosen, five will operate from the Hood River Event Site and have their customer booths arranged in a north to south row along the upper cruise ship dock at the entrance of the parking area. The other two schools operate from different locations (Kite the Gorge from the Spit and Hood River WaterPlay from the Marina and the Hook).

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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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