Summer fun for everyone at county library branches

Hood River County Library District welcomes everyone — kids, teens, and adults — to participate in the libraries’ special reading programs this summer. Prizes will be given out to those who reach their goals.

Children up to the age of and including next fall’s fifth graders are invited to “Dig Into Reading.” Sign-up for the reading incentive program began at the June 14 kick-off parties in Parkdale and Hood River, and continue with the party in Cascade Locks June 19.

At the Cascade Locks kick-off party, which begins at 11 a.m., prepare to be amazed at the hilarity and dexterity of Rhys Thomas, juggler extraordinaire. Refreshments provided.

Thomas will also perform at the Hood River library June 19 at 5:30 p.m.

Throughout the summer, the libraries will have various performers, including musicians, puppets, reptiles, comedians, and more. The Friends of the Library have supported some wonderful entertainment for the kids. G. Williker’s Toy Shoppe is also providing regular “crafternoons” and monthly game nights.

All this will be wrapped up in August with a pirate party, featuring a pirate band, costumes, a treasure hunt, and ice cream donated by Mike’s.

Prizes will be awarded for the number of hours spent reading. There are loads of fun programs for middle and high school students to attend all summer long.

Adults may join in on the fun this year, too. Every book, audiobook or movie counts for an entry into the prize raffle for an e-reader or gift certificates to great local businesses. There will be some great programming for adults, too, including sessions on beekeeping, ghost towns, gardening and more.

For more information, including a summer reading program schedule, contact the Hood River County Library District at 541-386-2535 or, or visit

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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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