The Porch, Nov. 23


“Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.” – Jonathan Kozel


It’s the thouhgt that counts: “I LOEV YOU, MOM” painted on a car window ...

EASY TO SEE he loves walking: In Odell, a man wearing a reflective vest walks his dog using a leash made of lights.

DEPARTMENT OF DOWN IN FRONT: The scene at the Nov. 13 school board meeting in Mid Valley Elementary library was a familiar one: six rows of eight chairs for the audience, the reporter sitting in the third row — and no one else between him and the board members. Four people sat in the fourth and fifth rows, while about 15 staff and other visitors grabbed chairs from the sides or the hallway, and wedged them into every available space in the back of the room. It created an elbow-go-elbow grouping, right next to the table full of cookies that no one touches. The most surprising thing about the borderline agoraphobic seating arrangements was that not once did board chair Liz Whitmore or anyone else comment on the fact the closest chairs were vigorously left vacant. The usual line in these cases is “just like church, no one wants to sit up front.” It must be another of those things we’re all getting used to.

JUST WONDERING . . . What’s the statute of limitations on “open soon” – as in the seven-week-old sign in the new Tortillas shop next to Hood River Glass on 12th Street.

Care to join this occasional observance of the sweet and the offbeat? Send your Porch view to kneumann-rea@

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Latest video:

Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive

The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge

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