Gov. Kitzhaber visits Hood River Wednesday

Public invited to round-table, 11:15 a.m. at HRMS

Gov. John Kitzhaber will visit Hood River today for a meeting he is billing as an “Education Reinvestment Roundtable” at Hood River Middle School.

The event, in the Media Center, is open to the public and starts at 11:15 a.m. and is scheduled to go for one hour. The media center is a separate building located just east of the main campus, 1602 May St..

Kitzhaber will meet with local education and business leaders. He held similar meetings in Salem and in Clackamas County this week.

In a press release, Kitzhaber said he is interested in hearing about the current state of schools and what impact additional dollars from a Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) revenue package could have on Hood River students and educators in the coming school year.

Kitzhaber said the meeting will focus on the question, “Can we put an end to teacher layoffs and lost school days this year?”

According to reporter Harry Esteve on the Oregonian website OregonLive: “The Democratic governor is picking up where he left off in the closing days of the 2013 legislative session, when attempts to cut a deal on Public Employee Retirement System cuts fell short. His goal is to call lawmakers back into special session, providing he can secure enough votes for a PERS cut and a set of tax increases.

“To get there, he needs at least two Republicans in both chambers to get on board. Although Democrats control the Legislature, tax votes require a supermajority to pass.

“In Salem, Kitzhaber will make the case that the school district there would be in far better shape if lawmakers could agree to a set of changes that would carve away some $5 billion in PERS costs over 20 years,” writes Esteve. “To sweeten the deal, he’s pushing for an additional $200 million or so in tax revenues in the short term.”

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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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