Kathy Watson named to Oregon Travel Council

Hood River chef appointed by Gov. Kitzhaber

Oregon Travel Experience recently welcomed Kathy M. Watson of Hood River as the newest member to its governing board, the Oregon Travel Information Council.

Gov. John Kitzhaber appointed Watson, owner of Nora’s Table restaurant, to represent the Second Congressional District.

Watson is an accomplished communications and public relations professional and served for several years as press secretary for Oregon’s Senate Majority Office. Her prior employment with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries as well as the Oregon Economic Development Department endowed Watson with a broad view on fostering jobs and economic prosperity within communities across the state.

Watson is also a former Port of Hood River commissioner

Oregon Travel Experience is based in Salem, and is responsible for a variety of transportation information services to the public.

At Nora’s Table, Watson and her staff use sustainably produced and locally sourced ingredients.

“As a restaurant owner in a community that is very dependent on tourism, I get to talk to a lot of people who are visiting Oregon, many for the first time,” said Watson. “I know how important it is to be good guides and hosts to our visitors, and I think our rest areas can play a critical role in introducing people to the Oregon story.”

In addition to her duties on the OTIC, Watson is currently a board member of the Hood River Chamber of Commerce and served for five years as an elected Port of Hood River Commissioner.

Gwenn Baldwin, chair of the OTIC, extended a warm welcome to Watson.

“I am delighted that Kathy Watson has joined the Council,” said Baldwin. “As an active community advisor and business owner, Kathy is able to have daily conversations with both visitors and local residents. Her relationship with I-84 travelers from Hood River to Ontario will be invaluable to us as we move forward with our rest area strategic plan.”

Oregon Travel Experience CEO Kyle Walker said that she looks forward to working with Watson.

“Kathy Watson is going to offer a vibrant and unique viewpoint to the Council,” said Walker. “Her appointment came at exactly the right moment. As OTE expands its relationship with Eastern Oregon and smaller communities along I-84, her perspective is critical to advancing our mission.”

Oregon Travel Experience is a semi-independent state agency located in Salem, with a focus on transportation. The agency and its governing Council’s mission is to ensure a safe and convenient motoring experience.

OTE oversees highway safety rest area management, helps motorists find essential services through blue highway logo signs and helps connect the first-time Oregon visitor to tourism partners through its travel information centers.

OTE also administers two Oregon heritage programs: historical markers and heritage trees.

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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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