Make way: Community Ed shifts youth indoor soccer season to extend basketball program

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Hood River County Community Education’s popular indoor youth soccer league starts a month earlier than usual this year to give the even more popular youth basketball season an extra month of playtime. Registration for the indoor soccer program, for youngsters ages 4-9, is still open, with sessions starting next week at Westside Elementary School.

The indoor soccer program will run from Oct. 1 to Nov. 20, with 16 sessions from 5:30-7 p.m. every Tuesdays and Wednesday. It had typically started a month later, but high feedback for a lengthened basketball season meant something had to give.

“This is something we’ve been talking about for a long time,” said John Rust, HRCE director in regards to extending the basketball season. “Building one program means we have to adjust others; it’s a give and take.”

Unlike many communities, Hood River’s fall youth soccer season is held indoors due to a lack of available field space outside. The move inside, however, comes with its share of benefits. Weather can get pretty bad in November, and kids tend to have a lot less fun when they’re cold and wet. The season focuses on skill development and friendly competition, with games played with foam soccer balls. The league is school-based, with travel between each elementary school for games.

“The indoor environment is also good for skill development,” Rust added. “There aren’t many sports that kids of that age can pick up and participate in so quickly. Soccer is one of those sports that every kid can have fun at almost immediately.”

The youth basketball season, for kids grades 3-6, will start Dec. 3 this year, with two practices per week and a six-game season (games played on Saturdays). The extended program means kids will have an additional month of skill development to get ready for games. Players are placed on teams based on school, grade level (3/4 or 5/6) and gender, with practices at players’ home schools and games at various elementary schools around the county.

Another new addition to the youth basketball program this year is the Junior and Little Ballers programs for kids grades 1-2 and ages 3-6 running Saturdays through Nov. 23. The skill-development program introduces young players to the fundamentals of basketball with the help of parents, who get to run drills and activities together with the kids.

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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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