Legislature approves funding for ‘Regional Center for Innovation’

Rep. Mark Johnson, R-Hood River, announced Monday that the Legislature approved the Committee on Capital Construction’s recommendation to fund $7.35 million for the Columbia Gorge Community College Regional Center of Innovation for the 2013-15 biennium.

“I am very happy to learn that we have been able to secure the needed bonding assistance from the state to enable the development of the Regional Center of Innovation to proceed,” Johnson said. “I’ve worked hard this session to focus attention on the great work that Columbia Gorge Community College is doing in our area and the good news today means that they will be able to expand their mission to assist more residents of the Gorge.”

The Regional Center of Innovation is a rural, bi-state model for manufacturing, innovation, investment, training and education. One of the main priorities of the CGRC is developing a training and education system for incumbent workers, veterans and at-risk youth in the Gorge.

“Gov. Kitzhaber’s vision of a seamless K-20 educational system demands an active partnership between all levels of education, the community and private enterprise. The Columbia Gorge Regional Center of Innovation will demonstrate how the knowledge students learn today will translate into marketable careers tomorrow,” said Dr. Frank Toda, president of Columbia Gorge Community College.

The Regional Center of Innovation strives to achieve partnerships between school districts, community colleges, employment trainers, regional universities and economic partners to facilitate the relationships that create opportunities for new jobs in the community.

“The Advanced Technology Center is a critical piece of this regional initiative to connect partners together in Hood River with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math. Students will learn how math, science, reading and social skills apply in the real world. The result will be a trained workforce and a vibrant regional economy,” Toda said.

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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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