County will decide Barrett Park’s fate Monday night

31.4-acre Barrett Park, if completed, would include open playfields, space for radio-controlled flyer areas, a mountain bike skill development area, picnic shelters and trailheads for the Indian Creek trail.

Photo by Adam Lapierre.
31.4-acre Barrett Park, if completed, would include open playfields, space for radio-controlled flyer areas, a mountain bike skill development area, picnic shelters and trailheads for the Indian Creek trail.

Hood River County Commissioners will deliberate and render a decision Monday night on whether or not the controversial Barrett Park planned for the west side of Hood River can be developed.

The public hearing will be held Monday, Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. in the County Business Administration Building, 601 State St., Hood River. This is a de novo hearing, meaning no new testimony will be accepted from the public or any party. Both applicant and appellant have been allowed to submit final arguments and findings of fact to commissioners, who will have to decide whether the 31.4-acre park will significantly impact or raise the cost of farm or forest practices on surrounding lands.

Fritz von Lubken, a local orchardist who is the appellant, argues that the park will significantly impact his farming operations, altering everything from spraying operations to the transportation of his fruit to local packing houses. Hood River County Parks and Recreation District, the applicant, argues that other local farmers have refuted this testimony and argue that the park will not significantly impact farming operations.

The county commission’s decision on the matter will solely be made on final written arguments submitted by both parties as well as the record from the last public hearing held on Barrett Park, which was Oct. 9. At that hearing, The Hood River County Planning Commission deadlocked in a 3-2 vote in favor of the park. However, since two commissioners recused themselves, not enough affirmative votes were received to render a decision.

This situation will likely be avoided at the county commission hearing as only three votes are needed for a majority and any commissioners who might recuse themselves from the meeting due to conflicts of interest can be called back to vote. State law requires the county to render a decision by Dec. 16.

Those who want a seat for the meeting should get there early. The county meeting room for the last Barrett Park hearing was standing-room only as approximately 60 people showed up to listen to the proceedings and in some cases, testify.

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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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