Corps, BPA celebrate Bonneville’s 75 years

During the Depression of the 1930s, one of the darkest economic times for the United States, a beacon of light shone forth from a monumental project spanning the Columbia River.

The Bonneville Dam and the Bonneville Power Administration were created by then-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt 75 years ago, bringing jobs and easily accessible electricity to the Pacific Northwest.

This Saturday, noon to 4 p.m., the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who now control the dam, will hold a commemoration of the anniversary that will feature educational displays, music, regional Native American representatives and a recreation of FDR’s dedication speech with a professional re-enactor.

According to Diana Fredlund, public affairs specialist for the dam, the event is “an opportunity to share with the public information about BPA, the Corps and Bonneville Dam and their mission to serve the people of the Pacific Northwest.”

One of the special events of the day will be the arrival of “FDR” via vintage motorcade, who will then give the speech originally offered by the original FDR, who dedicated the dam personally in 1937.

“He will read a portion of the original speech and then speak about the dam in the present, as well,” said Fredlund.

Acknowledging that the damming of the Columbia also represented a severe loss to the Native Americans who lived along the river, the ceremonies will also include tribal elders from regional tribes, and information on the impact.

To welcome visitors and encourage people to learn about the dam’s history, the day will feature live music, booths and activities suitable for the whole family.

Several Oregon and Washington state representatives are slated to attend the event. Featured speakers will include Steve Wright, BPA administrator and chief operating officer; Col. Anthony Funkhouser, commander, Northwestern Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Lori Faeth, deputy assistant secretary for policy and international affairs, Bureau of Reclamation; and tribal representative Roy Sampsel, Institute for Tribal Government, Portland State University.

With more limited parking on the Oregon side of the dam, visitors may use the larger lots on the Washington shore, with shuttles running to the dam available throughout the event.

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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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