County sites go tobacco-free

In closed session, commissioners examine LUBA ruling on Barrett Park

A cadre of Barrett Park supporters turned out in hope of encouraging Hood River County Commissioners to reconsider approval of the proposed park. Sophia Stromquist of Hood River, shown here, jumped atop a meeting room chair, spoke up and displayed her homemade sign during the public comment period. Commissioners considered park litigation details during their closed session.

Photo by Julie Raefield-Gobbo.
A cadre of Barrett Park supporters turned out in hope of encouraging Hood River County Commissioners to reconsider approval of the proposed park. Sophia Stromquist of Hood River, shown here, jumped atop a meeting room chair, spoke up and displayed her homemade sign during the public comment period. Commissioners considered park litigation details during their closed session.

Three members of the Hood River Commission on Children and Families arrived in force to hear the Hood River County Board of Commissioners’ decision during its May 20 regular meeting on whether to make all county properties “Tobacco and Smoke-Free.”

To the delight of Commission Director Joella Dethman, Prevention Coordinator Maija Yasui and Tobacco Prevention Specialist Belinda Ballah, the commissioners opted, in a four-to-one vote, to support the resolution.

Commissioner Bob Benton opposed the inclusion of smokeless tobacco in the language of the resolution.

Although the resolution is not an ordinance, all county properties will be considered smoke and tobacco-free zones, including county forestlands.

Those county properties which operate under separate citizen boards, including the fairgrounds, Mt. Hood Town Hall, the library and the museum, will be allowed to undertake implementation questions independently.

The HRCCF offered to provide signage throughout the county. Dethman reiterated that there were no enforcement provisions tied to the resolution but offered that self-enforcement has been shown effective at reducing overall smoking in public.

That reduction will, according to Dethman, Ballah and Yasui, translate to lower health care costs and improve health status for smokers and secondhand smoke health impacts on non-smokers.

Ballah said, “The statement we make to our kids is important.” The signs from HRCCCF will include a telephone number for access for information on how to quit smoking.

The commissioners were also greeted with a small contingent of Barrett Park supporters.

Six adults and one youngster provided public testimony in favor of the development of Barrett Park through the Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District.

The timing of the pro-park testimony follows the recent ruling by the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals that found errors in the commission’s decision to deny the park.

The speakers had hoped the commission would begin formal, public reconsideration of its park decision at the meeting; Chair Ron Rivers thanked the speakers and informed them that the board would not be speaking publicly at that meeting. It opted instead to take up the LUBA ruling later in the evening in a closed executive session, as an instance of pending litigation.

LUBA remanded (sent back) the board’s decision citing errors in both the board’s process and ordinance interpretation.

The board will need to determine whether to remand the original planning commission ruling (approving the park) back to that commission with directions, open a new hearing itself or maintain its original position denying the park.

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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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