Newspaper Week

Newspapers, this one included, are working through a new period of changes as we observe National Newspaper Week, Oct. 7-13.

We used to type up the news with manual typewriters and “soup” our film in smelly chemicals.

Now copy is speedily written on computers and photos are all digitally made and processed.

It used to be that color photos were a rare exception, and readers had few ways of communicating news besides the rotary phone and face-to-face contact.

We now run color as a matter of course and our phones are cellular and mobile — and photos taken on those devices increasingly make their way into the paper and onto our website.

The only news-gathering method that will NEVER diminish is face-to-face. We rely on that, no matter what techno changes take place.

The point is that newspapers and their technology and formats have changed many times over the years — single-sheet, two-page editions were once the norm — and there will always be these evolutions in the trade.

We are in such a phase now, and as we celebrate National Newspaper Week we also celebrate that our newspaper is part of a larger, faster, more responsive set of communication tools.

We are classified as a weekly, but our work is daily.

n Hood River News is published twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It “hits the streets” (a term we will always love) by 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays, which is one reason you see items about Oct. 5 events in this Oct. 6 edition.

n Our website is one week into a extensive remodel — a real makeover. More improvements are on the way, but if you have not looked at the website in the past week, you’ll enjoy the greatly increased variety, speed and accessibility. Viewers see something new there every day.

n Readers increasingly communicate with this newspaper on Facebook and Twitter.

In fact, phrases such as “You should get this in the HRN” is one refrain among commenters via social media.

This National Newspaper Week, we say with a sense of modesty that we view ourselves as a “news service,” and that role is one that changes daily.

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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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