Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Health, safety, and postage stamps
Happy New Year.
You might be reading this on New Year’s Eve, or even as early as Monday, thanks to the accelerated deadline in light of the postal holiday Wednesday.
A simple wish for (most) postal workers, a day free of heavy lifting after the burdensome year of budget cuts, growing debt and talk of no Saturday mail.
The six-day mail week is secure, for now. A further wish in 2014 for postal workers: people buying stamps and sending a letter or two.
Here is a brief 2014 New Year’s wish list, far from exhaustive, for there are many worthy recipients. Many are inspired by a review of the Slice of Life features (see Kaleidoscope), which reminds us of the many people doing good works this year.
n Classrooms full of learners, and a continued field of motivate teachers, for Hood River Community Education. This vital program has seen some setbacks and challenges in 2012-13, and thanks to Director John Rust they have weathered them; but the best way to keep the program going is sign up for a class. That, and say yes when Community Ed requests sponsorships for Families in the Park and other programs we have all grown to love and expect.
n Bon appétit, and thank you, to the many restaurateurs who donate proceeds and sometimes even whole meals to local causes.
n A full calendar of events at the excellent facility known as Mt. Hood Town Hall, which just received a major grant (page A7).
n A full slate of host sites for the Hood River Warming Shelter (and kudos to Immanuel Lutheran Church for stepping up to host the shelter during Christmas week, its second in a row). See page A2, How to Help, for details.
n An added dose of patience for Naito Corp., which at last report plans to continue pursuing its Nichols Landing project.
n A stream of young people to use the new “teen space” at Hood River Library. Director Buzzy Nielsen and his staff saw fit to get young people involved in planning the space last year. The comfortable, book-lined corner of the library is a “see and be seen” kind of space, with plenty to offer.
n Continued energy from, and for, the Health Media clubs of Wy’east and Hood River middle schools and Hood River Valley High School.
Here’s hoping that more retailers will go along with their “bottle shock” sticker campaign, held twice a year (including pre-Super Bowl) and that the community at large will pay close attention to the anti-abuse messages creatively communicated by these dedicated youth.
n Health and safety to our police, our deputies and our troopers, to our paramedics, firefighters, and all others who train hard and dedicate themselves to helping others, often putting themselves in harm’s way. This includes flaggers, lifeguards, and ski patrol and mountain and trail rescue volunteers.
n Clear sight and proper planning by every visiting hiker who sets out on the trails of the Gorge; may they read the maps and safety precautions, and have enough food, clothing and water to tide them over until, or instead of, rescuers arriving.
n Full houses for performances this year by Hood River Lions Follies, Plays for Non-Profits, and theater productions at CAST, HRVHS and CGCC.
Finally, one that is out of our human hands but it does not hurt to ask:
May we see a winter that is cold enough to bring a few more feet of snow to the mountain, for the benefit of our skiers and snowboarders — yet mild enough to provide sufficient spring and summer water for our orchards and other farm enterprises, and avoid harsh freezes or rains that threaten our economic vitality.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge