Public Servants: In appreciation for taking on the challenge

Transitions at city halls in Hood River and Cascade Locks officially happen Monday as a new Cascade Locks mayor takes the reins and new city councilors take on the role of decision-makers.

Longtime council member Tom Cramblett succeeds Lance Masters, whom he defeated in November, and new councilors Bruce Fitzgerald and Glenda Groves will also take the oath.

Meanwhile, in Hood River, Kate McBride and Laurent Picard will be sworn in, along with newcomer Mark Zanmiller.

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Meanwhile a dual “power couples” distinction takes hold, in both communities, with the election of Kate McBride and Glenda Groves in November.

In both Hood River and Cascade Locks, a married couple now bridges the Port Commission and City Council: Kate’s husband, Rich McBride, serves on Hood River Port Commission, and Glenda Groves’ husband, Jesse, is the Cascade Locks Port Commission chairman.

We have no idea whether this is unique, but it is unprecedented in this area, and certainly there will be no shortage of dinner table discussion topics in those households.

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In all cases, those serving in elected positions deserve the community’s thanks for taking the time to serve and demonstrating the willingness to put themselves in the oft-challenging position making decisions that affect the public.

So appreciation is in order, followed in due time by the necessary scrutiny, sometimes resulting in something other than appreciation from all quarters.

With the economy still in recovery, and laws and regulations growing increasingly complex, and revenues ever receding, combined with growing expectations and potential for rancor, the challenge of serving in public office is as great a one as it has ever been.

To borrow a sailing analogy that Cascade Locks and Hood River have in common, the same winds that fill the sails can throw a vessel off course or stall completely and leave it in doldrums. It’s a matter of expecting the gusts and relishing the breezes.

Happy, or at least effective, sailing to all those who have their hands on the rudders.

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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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