Editorial: Ballot time

Special Districts election deadline is near

We are not quite at “last chance” for getting ballots in on time, but close to it.

Consider Thursday, May 16 as your deadline for mailing in your vote for the May 21 Special Districts election. After that date, a mailed ballot runs the risk of not getting to the county on time.

Ballots must be in the hands of County Elections by 8 p.m. on May 21. Drop boxes are located at the county building, Sixth and State streets and at Cascade Locks City Hall.

At stake are numerous positions on local government boards in the community: the Hood River and Cascade Locks ports, Hood River County School District Board, fire, water and sanitation districts and more.

The ballot includes two contested posts on the county Parks and Recreation Board — See page A9 for details on the four candidates.

While there is only one contested School Board race on the ballot — incumbent Jan Veldhuisen Virk and challenger Timothy Counihan — an organized write-in campaign is being staged by Mary Reynolds of Odell, against eight-year incumbent Mark Johnson.

Another important note on the ballot process: registered voters who have had a change of address or other ballot status should inform the elections office prior to May 21.

So far, turnout is light: 1,213 ballots, or just over 10 percent, have been turned in as of Tuesday morning, according to county clerk Brian Beebe.

If you have not yet taken some time to examine your ballot and consider how to mark it, remember that you still have six days to do so.

The positions on these boards, though most are uncontested, are nonetheless important to getting done the work of local governments, which touch all our daily lives.

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Latest video:

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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