Kids Today: A ‘Soup’ and play show strengths of our youth

Hmmm ... these young people today.

They’re up to plenty of good.

See for yourself and support two creative and cooperative community projects this week.

We refer to Kids’ Gorge Soup, and “The Kid Next Door” musical (details on page A1) opening Friday.

Both have a word in common and the emphasis is on the hard work of youth, but the beauty of both events is that they are collaborations of kids and adults: In one case, a dinner where kids get a real-life taste of what it is like to be an entrepreneur, and the other a theatrical production involving people of all ages.

If you ever wanted to find a way to support kids doing good things, this is the week to do so.

Tickets for the HRMS production are only $5 for adults and $3 for kids, and what you will see is at least three layers of community connections: on-stage youth and adult talent directed by Rebecca Nederhiser doing dialog and music written by Mark Steighner of Hood River Valley High School, on and around sets built by the engineering class.

It’s a real conjoining of talent, and the musical itself has plenty to say, with the uplifting but edgy blend that Steighner brings to bear so deftly, having worked with youth as musical director for three decades.

Kids’ Gorge Soup, in its third year, gives diners a chance to taste great soup and hear five young people give pitches in hopes of going home with start-up funds taken from the dinner proceeds.

Tickets were reduced to $25 this year and a few are left. The event is at 6:30 p.m. at Springhouse Cellar Winery, and it’s a chance to enjoy a meal and tap into set of community projects at their ground level. Gorge Soup organizers (there’s an adult version later in the year) saw fit, quite rightly, to expand the kids’ version to projects in addition to businesses. This change makes sense because in its first two years, the businesses the kids’ originated had a dominant theme of being nonprofits and doing things for the community, including the 2013 winner, New Leaf Gallery for young people.

Kids Soup and “The Kid Next Door” are prime examples of the way Hood River young people, and supportive adults, combine to help build community, and both deserve support.

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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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