Friday, October 12, 2012
Republican Mark Johnson made good on at least one promise when he went to Salem two years ago as state representative from District 52: that he would work on both sides of the aisle. That collaboration gets him high marks with many of his peers in Salem, and it’s just one reason the Hood River News is endorsing the incumbent in his bid to return for a second term in the state legislature.
Johnson, a 55-year-old Republican, is facing retired educator Peter Nordbye for the House seat that includes Hood River County, and parts of Multnomah and Clackamas counties. Because of their backgrounds, both candidates understand the importance of improving Oregon’s educational systems — which continues to garner most of the attention of lawmakers in Salem.
Johnson is a general contractor by trade, owning a small business for 25 years. He served on the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and the House Business and Labor Committee. He has the support of some of the state’s top business organizations, such as Associated Oregon Industries — and the money that goes along with them. His campaign finance transactions filed with the state of Oregon show cash contributions of more than $111,000 since last December. That fact gets the attention of some Democrats, who tout Nordbye’s campaign genre of accepting only donations up to $50 from local residents. (Not surprisingly, Nordbye’s financial transactions show about $13,000 in cash contributions since Dec. 2, 2011.)
Nordbye, who spent more than three decades as a teacher and administrator, should be applauded for his grassroots approach. But, at the same time, voters shouldn’t penalize Johnson because he recognizes the need — and has the knack — to raise money. Some of Johnson’s “handlers” from the Republican Party go out of their way to point out that he received a $500 cash donation from Democrat Gov. John Kitzhaber. Johnson is nonplussed about the gift; he knows political affiliation can no longer be a barrier to progress.
Johnson will continue to be an advocate for Hood River County in Salem. He understands the need for quality education, as a standing member of the county school board since 2004 and as the co-chair of Oregon’s Higher Education Committee. He is familiar with budget processes — locally and statewide. He knows challenges small business owners face. He has shown an ability to work with political allies and opponents.
The Hood River News encourages voters to vote for Johnson as state representative for the 52nd District.
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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