Editorial: Quietly, local campaigning begins

City council candidates at Hood River's Thursday night Farmers market.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
City council candidates at Hood River's Thursday night Farmers market.

Elections in the cities of Hood River and Cascade Locks look to be interesting, if not lively.

Cascade Locks mayoral candidates Lance Masters (the appointed incumbent) and long-time council member Tom Cramblett have verbally sparred on numerous occasions, usually seated three feet away from each other.

(It’s all part of the ballot for the Nov. 6 General Election, which also includes statewide measures, county and state positions, and of course that Obama v. Romney race.)

Cascade Locks council member Jeff Helfrich is seeking re-election to his post, and appointee Randy Holmstrom will be looking for voters to retain him.

The rest of the field is Bruce Fitzpatrick, Richard Randall, Glenda Gross and Ralph Hesgard.

Cascade Locks politics have been notably vibrant in the past 18 months, though the process of policy making had calmed down with interim city administrator Paul Koch (now on contract extension through mid-2013) as chief appointed officer.

How vibrant the election campaign becomes is largely up to the voters there. Oct. 16 brings a candidates night for mayor, City Council, and Hood River County Sheriff starting at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

The first election forum on record this season in Hood River County will be at 3 p.m. Sept. 30 at Center for the Arts in Hood River, with District 52 elected incumbent Mark Johnson talking about the issues with challenger Peter Nordbye.

Meanwhile, in Hood River, Mayor Arthur Babitz will be running unopposed for a third term, while four candidates will be seeking three city council positions; they are current council members Laurent Picard, elected in 2002, and Kate McBride, appointed in January 2012, along with city planning commissioner Nikki Hollatz and Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation board member Mark Zanmiller.

The quartet appears to have set a collegial standard for the campaign. Zanmiller suggested, and the others agreed, to share an information table at Thursday’s Gorge Grown Network market at Hood River Middle School.

They’ll be back at the market on Sept. 27, 4-7 p.m., and may schedule other joint appearances as the campaign proceeds. “It’s in keeping with the cooperative spirit of Hood River,” McBride said.

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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

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