‘Nuf fun’?

Third ‘Tongue Twister’ event

Tongue Twister Tournament is back.

The third-annual benefit for Hood River Start Making A Reader Today (SMART) will be April 26 at Hood River Middle School.

The SMART nonprofit literacy program serves elementary students in Hood River County.

The tournament is a spelling bee-style competition among local residents, but instead of spelling out words, contestants must flawlessly repeat tongue twisters — ala “‘round the rugged rock, the ragged rascal ran,” but slightly more complex.

The evening kicks off with an appearance by Mark Saltveit, a Portland comedian and world champion palindromist. Saltveit publishes The Palindromist magazine and recently mounted the first Symmys awards, an international event honoring spoken and written palindromes — phrases that are spelled the same frontwards and backwards.


Tongue Twister Tournament

April 26, 7 p.m.

Hood River Middle School auditorium

Admission: $5 at the door.

Note: program will begin promptly at 7.

Among Saltveit’s palindromes are: “Stare, elf, is a tuber Irish, sir? I rebut as I flee rats” and “Evita, gentle, felt negative.”

Returning to defend her 2012 Tongue Twister Tournament crown will be Kim Vogel, principal at Cascade Locks and Parkdale Elementary schools. Also on the slate of contestants are County Commissioner Maui Meyer, actor Tom Burns, Kristen Reese of The Next Door, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mike Glover, Janet Davis of Our Children’s Place, Riverside UCC Pastor Vicki Stifter, HRVHS senior Duncan Krummel, fresh off his role as Hamlet, and his mother, HRVHS drama director Rachel Harry.

The audience can also try their hands at open mic tongue twisters and win prizes for perfect recitation.

Tongue twisters in the competition and in open mic will be a combination of the familiar — some dating back hundreds of years — and others written expressly for the competition and never heard before. Palindromes will also be mixed in as tongue twisters.

“This year, with Mark Saltveit’s help, we’re celebrating language and literacy by pairing the two mischievous cousins of word play, tongue twisters and palindromes. On their own, the forms are a lot of fun to speak and to hear, and we think that combining them will give the evening an added zest,” said tournament organizer Kirby Neumann-Rea.

SMART: The program serves children grades K-3. Adult volunteers and kids read for an hour a week and the kids get to take home two books a month. Oregon SMART is assisting in the event, and representatives will be on hand to provide information on the service.

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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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