ROUND TABLE: Taking bids on assorted asphalt observations

No solid center stripe on what follows, but tell me, if, as a column, this can pass ...

With so much road and street work going on these days, it’s a good time for a few asphalt observations.

n The State Street project (story, A5) is a worthy one, but it makes a good cause for two things: walking, telecommuting, and riding CAT transit.

n If you see the city crew taking up the parking meters on State Street, don’t get too excited: There will be no parking available on State between Front and Second for a few months as work proceeds on new sidewalks and retaining wall.

n Speaking of parking: has anyone else noticed the growing trend of parking on Serpentine, just south of Sherman Street? It’s on a curve and a hill, so buyer beware.

(Or does the city plan to move the State Street meters there? Not that we’re advocating it …)

n The water pipeline installation project on West Belmont had the unique distinction of routing traffic through a school parking lot while crews dug up the road.

n Wine Country Avenue is coming along and should be open in about three weeks, much to the relief of the two businesses most affected by construction of the new road, Stonehedge Restaurant and Mid Columbia Marine and Motor Sport, who both have new access ways due to construction.

The new road, connecting West Cascade and Country Club, is so-named at the urging of vintners located west of town via Country Club.

n Meanwhile, just below the elevated roadway on Wine Country, there’s an interesting kind of outdoor living room/office ensemble of weathered tables, chairs, desks, and even a TV, awaiting collection by the auctioneers who used the land last month. As it stands, the new city road looks like the road to the dump.

n On the other hand, just around the corner at Red Carpet Inn, the outdoor amenities of the establishment have recently included revival of the horseshoe pit just west of the patio.

That’s a good way to toss a few at the tavern.

n On that note, getting back to Wine Country Avenue, it’s a good name and all, but we hope to report to you the first time that police pull a driver over on that road and issue a DUII.

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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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