News earns honors from ONPA

Hood River News took home first place in General Excellence at the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association Better Newspaper Contest on Friday.

News Publisher Joe Petshow accepted the award at the ONPA annual convention in Bend.

Hood River News also won first place in Lifestyle Coverage for the May 2012 series “Acts of Injustice,” written by Julie Raefield-Gobbo, Kirby Neumann-Rea and Maija Yasui.

Adam Lapierre won two awards, including Best Sports Photo, for his “Local Style” image of a stand-up paddler cruising the rapids of the Hood River past a fly fisherman on the far bank.

Lapierre also won third place in Best Photo Essay for “Restoring the Run,” his article and photos on bringing salmon back to the Hood after removal of the Powerdale Dam in 2011.

The News took first among papers with similar circulation for the General Excellence Award; Gresham Outlook took second, and McMinnville News Register placed third.

General Excellence judging takes into account writing, photography, headlines, editorials, graphics, printing quality, ad design and layout, and other overall factors.

The “Acts of Injustice” series was a collaboration with community members and groups, including The History Museum of Hood River County, and local author Maija Yasui, who has spent years documenting the plight of local Japanese-American families before, during and after World War II.

Raefield-Gobbo, who now works for the Providence Hospital Foundation, worked with Yasui, Tualatin author Dr. Linda Tamura (a Pine Grove native) and others on the three-part series involving seven separate articles about how residents of the Hood River valley were forcibly removed by train to internment camps in desert area of the west, 60 years to the date of their deportation.

Yasui wrote poignantly about letters from the camps from children who were students of her aunt Vienna Annala Van Loan.

Yasui wrote: “Hood River’s Japanese had three options prior to evacuation: to entrust their belongings to neighbors for safekeeping, to sell their items for pennies on the dollar or to abandon their homes, orchards, businesses, cars, tractors, farm, animals, pets and personal possessions. They were only allowed to take what they could carry onto the awaiting train.”

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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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