Candy in, candy out

Halloween offers recycling options, healthy ideas

Good news for those of you who love trick-or-treating with the young’uns: The free Heights Safe Halloween event will still be offered this year at the Hood River Armory on the Heights Halloween evening, 5-7 p.m. The Heights Business Association, the City of Hood River and Hood River Lions are hosting the event.

Other Safe Halloween trick-or-treating events will be held downtown, with its Oak Street closure from 5-7 p.m.; at Providence Senior Village (Brookside and Down manors) from 4:30-7 p.m.; Hood River Care Center, 5-7 p.m.; Parkhurst House Assisted Living, 5:30-6:30 p.m., and at the Immanuel Lutheran Church carnival, 5:30-8 p.m.

However, if you are concerned about all the sugar that event might add to your family’s cavities or waistlines, there is another piece of good news.

Hood River Dental is hosting a candy buy-back (for the troops) program Thursday, Nov. 1, through Friday, Nov. 2, entitled Ca$h for Candy to prevent Cavities! All collected candy will be sent to U.S. troops overseas, along with toothbrushes.

Bring in your unwrapped candy and Dr. Curtis Haynie will give you $1 for each pound!

The event is open to everyone and participants will receive fun prizes as well. Haynie’s goal is to donate 50 pounds of candy to the troops. Stop by at 1805 Belmont Ave. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

If you are trying to skip the candy altogether and instead wish to turn the treats into something life-saving, the Hood River Library is coordinating the “Trick or Treat for UNICEF’ program. Cash donations are collected by children at Halloween and are offered to support food, clean water, medicine and education to needy children worldwide. Participating families may attend the UNICEF 5:30 p.m. party Oct. 31 at the library.

If you are contemplating how best to manage this season’s plethora of goodies, Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital has some helpful tips for you:

n Buy candy you don’t like — you’ll be less likely to pilfer from the stash.

n Stick it to your sweet tooth — buy yourself sugarless gum to have on hand and reach for that instead when the candy bowl calls.

n Give it away — donate it, bring it to work, use it to decorate upcoming Christmas cards or packages. Get creative.

n Bust a move — think of each piece of candy as a package that requires something physical: an extra flight of stairs, a walk at lunch, a few sit-ups before bed.

n Cut yourself a deal — if you indulge in the first piece, pair it with something healthy as well. Eat an apple, some carrots or a banana as a follow-up. Or, try to drink an 8-ounce glass of water before the next bite.

n Go to the dark side — if you just must, choose dark chocolate. Look for 70 percent or higher cocoa content — numerous studies show health benefits with dark chocolate eaten sparingly.

n Give yourself a break — ease up on guilt by finding a balance between sweet treats and nourishing.

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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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