Summer Notes: Go carefully, but go

A few not-so-random thoughts as we reach midsummer:

n Looking for a summer walk with meaning? The community is invited to spend some time at Relay for Life as friends and neighbors walk to raise funds for cancer research and assistance to families and survivors. It all happens starting at 9 a.m. Saturday and the inspiring Survivor’s Walk ceremony starts at 10:30 a.m. At any time, the public is welcome to come out to the HRVHS track, enjoy food and vendors, and encourage the relay participants.

n There’s plenty to learn at Sunday’s annual meeting of the Hood River Valley Residents committee (details on page A6.) Rep. Ben Unger, County Commissioner Les Perkins and Mayor Arthur Babitz are guest speakers. The committee’s interest is in the health of the entire valley, from mountain slopes to the river, and you don’t need to be a member to attend.

n Flaggers are our friends: “Give Them A Brake.”

In this time of year, plenty of paving and excavating are in full swing along our roads and streets. The vinyl “Road Work” signs seem to get bigger every year, but accidents still happen.

The men and women in orange vests who stand in the roads and direct us to “stop” or “slow” deserve our care. Give yourself that extra 10-15 minutes if you’re heading out Belmont or Indian Creek, or up Highway 35, where projects are ongoing this summer. Look for the same on State Street later this summer, and fully involved work downtown after Labor Day.

n And finally, there’s the Hood River County Fair, which gets going in earnest on Wednesday, with early judging on Monday and Tuesday as entries are accepted for baked goods, textiles and horticulture, to name a few of the contests that are open to anyone in the county. (See the fair book for details, and our article on page A8.)

Whether you enter or not, the fair is a fulfilling (and low-cost) opportunity to learn, to be entertained, and get to know the people and organizations that make up the community.

The events mentioned are just a few of the rewarding events and activities to be found in our midst this time of year. With fair weather in sight, it’s a good time to get out and about: Just drive safely as you go.

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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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