Panorama peek: Events and photos needed

Among the happiest of information slip-ups occurs when March hits, and people say, “it’s springtime.” Technically, not until March 21, but a happy spirit moves people to hasten the calendar.

Naturally, springtime also brings us to “Panorama time.” It’s about the same thing, here at Hood River News.

We’re compiling our blend of agricultural, historical, recreational and just plain personal stories for the special April 13 publication, and inviting the community to get involved, in two ways.

First, Panorama will include an exhaustive (we hope) list of events in the mid-Columbia for April through August. If you have an event you’d like listed, please send it by March 15 to Trisha at

Second, we invite photographers to submit “My Favorite Photo of the Gorge.” These are quality images taken at any time in the past year. (Size: 100K to 3 MB is ideal for a digital image.) Add a brief description of where the photo was taken, and the circumstances, add “My Favorite,” in the subject line and sent to Please include your name and contact information. We want all submissions by March 16 – two weeks from today.

Send us your favorite, but if you can’t restrain yourself and want to make it two or three, go for it. We reserve the right to pick one.

Thanks in advance for your photographic contributions to this popular piece of Panorama. Again, the photos can be of any season, but sending them in is a way of saying “Happy Spring.”

Letters Policy reviewed

The novelist Mark Helprin equated the challenge of writing to being closed in a room with “a thousand white cats.”

Perhaps Hood River News letter writers feel this way at times. A thousand words can come and go in a blink, or so it feels sometimes.

This is a friendly reminder to letter writers that our letters policy contains the 350-word limit.

We’ve kept to that, mostly, since declaring we’d be stricter about the maximum, in reminders at the start of 2012 and reiterated in January 2013.

Hit “word count” on your computer or take a few moments to count, before sending your letters. It will speed the process and open up room for more writers to make sure they are as close to 350 as possible. There are almost always one or two we have to hold for the next issue.

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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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