Oregon Blue Book: online and full of information

Secretary of State Kate Brown on Feb. 14 unveiled the online version of the 2013-14 Oregon Blue Book, the state’s official almanac.

“The publication of the Blue Book is a special occasion for all Oregonians,” said Brown. “It’s an opportunity to review our state’s history and revel in its natural beauty and cultural institutions.”

The release fell on the 154th anniversary of Oregon statehood.

The Blue Book has been published every other year since 1911. It contains up-to-date listings and descriptions of government agencies and educational institutions. It includes an almanac, maps and facts about Oregon history and elections as well as information about the arts, media and other cultural institutions in Oregon. It also provides a concise analysis of Oregon’s economy, government finance and education strategy.

For lovers of Oregon’s scenic beauty, the online version gives a sneak peek of the two photographs that won a contest to grace the covers of the print version of the Blue Book, which will be released in March.

History buffs will enjoy a new online exhibit on how Oregonians have used their ocean beaches over the decades. The exhibit features dozens of photographs and highlights visionary leaders such as Tom McCall and Bob Straub, who both worked to protect public access to these treasured natural resources.

The online version of the Blue Book also offers hundreds of pages of exclusive content designed to help Oregonians explore their state and its history. It includes biographical sketches of notable Oregonians as well as descriptions of some of the best movies and books with Oregon connections. It even includes games, trivia, quizzes, and polls — all focused on Oregon history and culture.

Video clips in the Blue Book include a photo tour of Oregon bridges, health care and agriculture, as well as 2012 Oregon Duck football.

An excerpt on the section explaining the governor’s duties states:

“The governor provides leadership, planning and coordination for the executive branch of state government. He appoints many department and agency heads within the executive branch and appoints members to nearly 300 policymaking, regulatory and advisory boards and commissions.

“The governor proposes a two-year budget to the Legislature, recommends a legislative program to each regular session and may also call special sessions. He reviews all bills passed by the Legislature and may veto measures he believes are not in the public interest.

“The governor chairs both the State Land Board, which manages state-owned lands, and the Progress Board, which sets strategic goals for Oregon. The governor acts as Superintendent of Public Instruction, directs state government’s coordination with local and federal governments and is commander-in-chief of the state’s military forces.”

A hard copy Blue Book order form is available at: Bluebook.state.or.us.

The Oregon Blue Book is produced by the Archives Division of the Secretary of State’s office.

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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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