No IMC for HRV

Committee hears input, recommends maintaining Columbia River Conference

Hood River Valley High School administration breathed a sigh of relief Wednesday after learning of the Oregon School Activities Association Classification and Districting Committee’s final recommendation to keep the Columbia River Conference intact for the 2014-18 cycle. The committee last month proposed a merging of the Columbia River Conference with Central Oregon’s Intermountain Conference, but after receiving significant and impassioned feedback from CRC schools, decided to revert back to the status quo for the next four-year time block, leaving HRVHS in a four-team conference with Pendleton, Hermiston and The Dalles-Wahtonka.

The committee’s final recommendation will go to the OSAA Executive Board and Delegate Assembly, which will make a final decision on the matter at an Oct. 28 meeting.

In a show of camaraderie between rival schools, administrators from HRVHS, The Dalles and Hermiston joined forces by presenting OSAA with combined statements and a letter signed by superintendents of all three schools lobbying against a move to the IMC. Pendleton representatives drafted its own letter taking a more neutral stance, saying it has been happy with the CRC but is open to a change.

“We decided to band together on this,” said Keith Bassham, HRVHS athletic director. “We get along pretty well in the Columbia River Conference and being able to stick together and not get grouped into the IMC is the best thing for us. Being in the IMC would have literally cost us thousands and thousands of dollars.”

In addition to significantly higher travel costs, CRC schools argued a move to the IMC would, among other things, lead to more missed class time for students, less athlete and parent participation and an increase in risky travel, particularly in winter months. In its rationale for proposing the merger, the committee saw a more balanced 5A arrangement with four leagues consisting of similar numbers of teams in each, which would simplify scheduling and state championship processes.

“The initial proposal gave us (athletic directors) an opportunity to talk to each other; to discuss what we really wanted and what is best for our schools and our athletes,” Bassham said. “The committee made the right decision. We still want to schedule games with IMC schools, but this gives us a choice. If we were grouped together in the same conference, we would have no choice in traveling down there all the time.”

“We wanted to put the idea out there and see how schools felt about it,” said Peter Weber, OSAA assistant executive director. “I think this speaks to the process we have. We knew when we put the idea out there that it might not get the support it needed, but we wanted to give schools the opportunity. The feedback we got was clear, so the committee changed its recommendation to account for that.”

Weber said from what he heard from IMC schools, they were open to the idea of a combined conference if it had north and south delineations (CRC North and CRC South) but probably wouldn’t be interested in returning to the combined IMC/CRC that was in effect prior to the current four-year cycle.

If approved, the new 5A IMC would include its current schools — Bend, Mountain View, Redmond and Summit — and the addition of the Ridgeview Ravens of Redmond, currently in the two-team 4A Special District 1 conference with Crook County. The other three 5A districts would be the Midwestern League, with seven schools, the Mid-Willamette Conference, with eight schools and the Northwest Oregon Conference, with nine schools.

Because of uneven numbers of teams in each league, the current 5A State Championship setup is based on a ranking system. For sports in which the system applies, teams ranked in the top eight at the end of their regular season advance automatically to the second round of the playoffs; teams ranked 9-16 host in the first round and teams ranked 17-24 have a play-in game to try to make the first round.

A separate OSAA State Championship Committee will be meeting over the next several months do determine what changes to that system to recommend for the next four-year cycle. According to Weber, one option the committee is considering is doing away with the ranking system and returning to one in which a certain number of the top teams in each league qualify for the championship tournament.

The OSAA board will make a decision on the Championship Committee’s recommendations in February.

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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