The Porch, Feb. 8

WELL SAID: “There is only one class in the community that spends more time thinking about money than the rich, and that is the poor.” — Oscar Wilde

WELL DONE: Art, then music:

n Interested in learning how to paint still lifes? Every Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon Hood River artist Cathleen Rehfeld hosts a drop-in still life class at Columbia Center for the Arts. Bring your paints and enjoy three hours of instruction from one of Hood River’s best-known still life painters. Cost is $20. (And check out the new exhibit, “Still Life,” opening Feb. 7 at CCA.)

n Quartets from the local Harmony of the Gorge chorus will be delivering roses and songs throughout the Gorge area all day Valentine’s Day.

For more information and how to place your orders visit

Make sure to place your order early — but the group will also try to fit in last-minute deliveries. Phono-grams are also available.

ANYONE ELSE notice how much the granulated green de-icer salts thrown on sidewalks resembles shattered glass?

SEEN AND HEARD: Sports car passing a mailtruck on a narrow Heights side street … a shopping cart half-filled with crushed aluminum cans sat for a week on Sherman next to the county courthouse … dog on leash tugging man around a corner, and onto a patch of ice where the man had a brief canine-led ice skiing moment.

SAVE THE DATE: They are calling it “Scandinavian Romance,” a pair of performances by Gorge Sinfonietta, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. at The Dalles Civic Auditorium and Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at Wy’east Middle School in Odell. Admission is by suggested donation of $10.

The “Scandinavian” tag is a little quizzical, given that two of the three featured composers — Georg Telemann and Oskar Bohme — were German. But the great Finnish composer Jean Sibelius fits the bill, and the inclusion of his Second Symphony is a rare treat.


Whether you do or not, a great opportunity to learn or revisit a difficult part of the Gorge’s not-so-distant past comes along Feb. 22 in The Dalles, the community most affected — other than Antelope — by the strange events at the former Big Muddy Ranch in the early 1980s.

Oral historian Julie Reynolds presents “Close Encounters: Wasco County Residents Remember the Rajneeshees,” the next in the Courthouse History Series. Coffee and cookies will be served (but not salad).

The event will be at 1:30 p.m. at the 1859 Courthouse, 410 W. Second Place, The Dalles.

DEPARTMENT of the Exterior (“DOE”) Hood River County Forestry Office — see photo — puts out the welcome mat, unless you’re Bambi.


Care to join this occasional observance of the sweet and the offbeat? Send your Porch view to

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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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