County seeks place to play

Hood River County is ready to look for new sports field locations.

At last week’s County Commission meeting the commission announced that it would be forming a working group to identify possible locations for sports fields and how to acquire them.

And while the appeal to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals by the Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District over the County Commission’s denial of Barrett Park winds it way through the system, both sides may have to find a way to work together again.

In the coming weeks the county will be convening a stakeholder meeting for groups and individuals looking to expand access to sports fields in the county.

Despite several members of the commission expressing displeasure over how the Barrett Park process had gone so far, particularly over a newspaper opinion piece by Parks and Recreation Director Lori Stern, the board stated that Parks and Recreation would be invited to the process.

“We want to keep working together,” said Chairman Ron Rivers after the county held a lengthy executive session getting a briefing from legal counsel on the Barrett Park issue.

Meriwether said Parks and Rec’s input is important in the process and that the county “certainly hopes” Parks and Rec will have a spot at the table.

The working group is likely to convene at some point in mid-November.

Parks and Recreation District Director Lori Stirn said Parks and Rec would gladly participate in the process of identifying new sports field locations.

“We’d love to work with those guys on trying to meet the community needs for ball fields,” Stirn said.

She added that Parks and Rec would like to help the county identify stakeholders for the meeting and share any information it could with them on the matter.

On the other side of the coin, Parks and Rec, the county and Fritz and Joann von Lubken have elected not to participate in mediation over the Barrett Park LUBA appeal filed by Parks and Recreation over the commission’s denial of Barrett Park, and will instead allow the appeal to play out.

Stirn said she understood the county’s position on that, and that Parks and Rec was focusing on preparing for the appeal.

Meriwether noted while the county would be filing a brief with LUBA to support its decision, most of the “heavy lifting” in defending the county’s decision would be done by the von Lubkens’ attorney.

While the Commission was still raw over Parks and Recreation decision to appeal to LUBA over Barrett Park, they were unanimous that Parks and Rec should have a spot at the table as the process moves forward for finding space for sports fields in the county.

Latest stories

Latest video:

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



Log in to comment

Columbia Gorge news and businesses