Debating the ‘cable’ question

Large crowd weighs in on Nichols basin park proposal

Hood River showed up in force Wednesday night to make its feelings known on a potential cable park in the Nichols Boat Basin.

Dozens of people took to the podium in front of the Hood River Port Commission to express support or opposition to the project.

At its peak the crowd in the Hood River Inn’s Columbia Room numbered over 100 and was standing room only.

One after another, citizens on either side of the issue, and a few who signed up as neutral, rose to speak their allotted three minutes on the issue.

While the port will continue to accept written public input up until it makes a decision — likely in November — the public comment session offered a chance for many to make their voices heard.

Proponents of the cable park largely focused on the economic upside of the cable park, and on cable wakeboarding as a less costly and more accessible alternative to kite boarding, windsurfing or stand-up paddle boarding.

Opponents focused on what the basin currently is and what it could be if left as a publicly accessibly recreation area.

Those who signed up as neutral gave a wide range of statements, ranging from asking the port to look at what the Naito Development should pay to lease the basin, to raising the Hook as an alternative recreation area.

By the end of the night around 18 more opponents than proponents had taken to the mike, with many of them hanging around until the end of the meeting to speak — by which point the room was about a third full.

Opponents said that spoke to their dedication in opposing the project.

“That says something,” said attorney Brent Foster, who has filed a lawsuit to block the hotel project with which the cable park is associated.

Foster asked those still in the audience who were opposed to the project to raise their hands, and a vast majority of the audience did so.

“The people to whom this really matters have given up their dinners and time with their families and are still here,” he said.

After hearing around three hours of public input, port commissioners said both sides deserved commendation for devoting the time to coming to the meeting to speak on the issue.

“Thank you all for coming,” said Commissioner Rich McBride.

“A big round of applause for Hood River tonight,” said Port Commission President Jon Davies to close the proceedings.

The port is not likely to make a decision on whether to begin lease negotiations with Naito Development until November, but in the interim all five of the commission members are likely to take a trip to Wake Nation cable park in Cincinnati.

The commission will go individually or in groups of pairs and one on an individual trip over the next several weeks.

The trips will be paid for by the port.

According the port’s current timeline the port commission will receive staff analysis of the proposed cable park — without a staff recommendation — at its Oct. 16 meeting and is slated to take a vote on the matter Nov. 6.

The future of the basin has been up for debate since Naito Development proposed a hotel and commercial building at the south end of the basin and a wakeboarding cable park in the basin itself.

The hotel and commercial building were approved by the City of Hood River but are currently being appealed by Friends of the Hood River Water Front — which is also leading the effort to oppose the cable park.

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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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