The Porch

WELL SAID: “Grant us a common faith that man shall know bread and peace — that he shall know justice and righteousness, freedom and security, an equal opportunity and an equal chance to do his best not only in our lands, but throughout the world. And in that faith let us march toward the clean world our hands can make.” — Stephen Vincent Benet, 1942

WELL DONE: Monthly upper valley breakfasts are back.

Members of the Parkdale Grange decided it was time to fill the need for once-a-month group breakfasts that ended last year when the Lions stopped serving them.

On Jan. 13, families can join neighbors and friends from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Parkdale Grange Hall for a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage patty and your choice of pancakes or biscuits and gravy.

Fresh-cooked applesauce will also be served, along with your choice of coffee, tea, hot chocolate or local fresh apple juice.

The cost is $6 for adults and $4 for children ages 5-12. Children under 4 are free.

PANCAKE DAY: Dine with the Grange as a warmup for a great new American tradition; Feb. 5 is National Pancake Day.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Hood River Middle School presents the play “Three-and-a-half Wishes” Feb. 15-16. This one features students and staff, including (for the second year in a row) Principal Brent Emmons.

TREE TIME: Hood River City Public Works Department accepts Christmas trees at its facility, 18th and May streets, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays through Jan. 18.

There will be no curbside pickup this season. Check in at the office before dropping trees off.

Hood River Transfer Station, 3440 Guignard Road (541-386-4676) will also accept Christmas trees. Yard debris and tree disposal on Wednesdays is free.

RADIO TIERRA: “Here in the Gorge” is back from holiday break. Every Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. hear interviews with people who make the Gorge fun, livable, interesting, with hosts Susan Hess and Gale Arnold.

Community radio Radio Tierra is at 95.1 FM Hood River.

On Jan. 15, hear Janet Hamada, The Next Door executive director, on how her staff of 80 works in four counties helping families.

Mosier firefighter Ellen Dittebrandt was the guest for Jan. 8.


“The Porch” is back after a long hiatus, and we hope it’s as much fun as, well, a pancake breakfast.

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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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