Tennis courts reopen

FINAL TOUCHES were completed this week on the new tennis courts.

Photo by Adam Lapierre.
FINAL TOUCHES were completed this week on the new tennis courts.

With fresh coats of bright blue and white paint, the newly remodeled city tennis courts are all but complete, and anyone who frequented the old courts is going to notice a dramatic difference when they step onto the $132,000 “Premier Court” surface.

Although landscaping and final touches around the outside are yet to be completed, courts are open to the public starting today.

Workers have been busy the last couple of weeks with the most distinctive element of the $260,000 renovation project: a new and entirely different court surface. Made of a composite material and acrylic coating, the new surface feels relatively soft and forgiving underfoot; a contrast to the cracking asphalt surface that it replaced. After patching cracks and leveling the old court — and fixing drainage issues around the court that caused chronic problems in the first place — workers painted on thick layers of the new surface and finished with a color scheme of dark green edges, bright blue courts and white boundary lines.

A crew from the Eugene-based Home Court Construction finished painting boundary lines Monday afternoon and installed posts and nets Tuesday, just in time for the start of a three-week middle school and high school tennis camp that runs weekdays from 3:30-4:45 p.m. (to 5:30 p.m. Thursdays). Other than those times, the courts will be free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

An improved lighting setup means improved after-dark visibility, as the old lights were relocated to the outside of the courts facing in and new ones were added between the three courts.

Hood River Tennis Court Committee, which was responsible for raising the funds for the project, chose the Premier Court surface in part because it is backed by a 25-year crack-free warrantee and is boasted as a playing surface that will stand up to the region’s wet weather and the heavy use of a public court. It is also softer and more forgiving than asphalt, so is particularly friendly for players with joint or injury issues.


A community event to celebrate the reopening of the May Street facility — officially named the Tsuruta Tennis Courts — is planned for Sept. 21, from 9 a.m. to noon. Community work days will run 9 a.m. Sept. 14 to help with bench building and installation and Sept. 19-21 starting at 9 a.m. each day to work on some planting and spreading bark. Volunteers for Sept. 19-21 are asked to bring buckets and shovels if possible.

Hood River’s Boy Scout Troop 386 and the Hood River Valley High School tennis teams are also working on building and installing benches and beautifying the tennis viewing area outside the court fencing.

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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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