Port ways: There is still plenty of time to plug into planning

As footprints increase, a blueprint is in the works at the Hood River waterfront.

The Port’s ongoing Strategic Business Plan actually affects not just the waterfront but all the holdings and facilities of the taxing district known as Port of Hood River.

The Port just wrapped up the fourth of four shareholder input meetings on Lot 1, which is the linchpin property on the waterfront and the chunk of land that Port Executive Director Michael McElwee accedes is “job one” in terms of overall planning. The SBP will dominate the Port commission docket in the last part of 2013 and into 2014.

The SBP will guide operations and investments for the next five years, and it affects what the Port policies or actions will be for the Hood River bridge, Ken Jernstedt Airfield, Waterfront Business Park and other commercial and recreational assets in the county.

The first of two public meetings on the SBP happens next week in Hood River (details on page A1). If you miss that one, plan to attend the Oct. 23 meeting at Mt. Hood Town Hall. The Port district covers all of the county except for Cascade Locks, so it’s healthy that the Port is taking the SBP process on the road and to the upper valley.

Much is changing on the waterfront, with Hood River Juice Co. expansion and the rise of new commercial buildings along Portway Avenue. Grant funding from the state will enable progress on improving waterfront pedestrian access along Nichols Boat Basin, and that ties directly to the future of Lot 1, the massive piece of land that is spread like an empty canvas at the base of the Second Street off ramp, the only access point to the main waterfront area.

Just how people get to and from the waterfront, and onto such amenities including the waterfront trail, will be another major question to be answered once the Port takes up Lot 1 planning in earnest in 2014. Areas affecting the issue are the Event Site, Nichols Boat Basin, use change at Expo Center, the growing Waterfront Park and the burgeoning commercial district.

The Port is looking into transportation planning that could include shuttle service for waterfront district employees.

With a finite service area identified, a transportation provider (CAT) in place, and a clear need, this type of idea is excellent ballast for all aspects of the planning.

Advance consideration of how people actually get there is a critical piece of the overall vision of what can and should happen in the vibrant mixed-use area that is gradually redefining the cityscape and cultural map of Hood River.

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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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