Local youth organizes ‘Stand Up 4 Water’

We have so much to learn about our water.

Blow-Out finalist Fiona Wylde is turning her love of the river into a learning experience for fellow young people.

Wylde, 16, has put together a July 22 event, Stand Up 4 Water Awareness (SUP4Water), for youths who want to spend a day learning to stand-up paddle and finding out more about water quality on the Hood River waterfront.

“It’s going to be a great day, jam-packed and full of fun stuff playing on the water,” said Wylde, who spoke from the Event Site beach after she was the lone female to finish the June 25 Blow-Out race from Stevenson to Hood River. She competes internationally in windsurfing and stand-up paddling.


SUP4Water is July 22 at the Event Site

Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cost for SUP4Water is $20. Register at standup4waterawareness.com.

Wylde said, “We will start the day with stand-up paddle instruction, followed by lunch, a tour of the waste treatment plant, and then everyone will come back and perform tests on water samples,” from sites including The Hook, Waterfront Park and the boat basin, with help from Veoli Water, a water quality testing company from Portland.

Registration starts at 9 a.m., and the day will conclude at 3:30 p.m.

Wylde has help from a $1,400 grant she received in May from Gorge Soup for Kids, a nonprofit event in which young people “pitch” their entrepreneurial ideas to a group of adults, over soup, and the proceeds from the meal are turned into the grant funds.

Wylde said last week’s E.coli alert at the Event Site served to raise awareness about the need for events such as hers.

“Having seen how these hundreds of people are here for this Windfest event, playing on the water, and when you realize how just yesterday no one was allowed to go in the water, it severely affects the community.

“So that’s one of the things we’re really going to talk about throughout the day; how clean water is so important to our community and how you can keep it clean and become a little more aware,” Wylde said. “We can use this as an example to show how really lucky we are to be able go down and jump in the river whenever we want to — almost — because some of these things (pollution incidents) do happen and sometimes you have to be aware and pay attention.”

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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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