Service Examples: Giving to community knows no off-season

The answer to the question of “What do orchardists do in the middle of winter?” has never been a simple one: the tasks include pruning, vehicle repair, and product development, to name just a few.

But suddenly, the answer gets more complex, thanks to three diverse community events planned for the next two weeks. To summarize:

n Shooting basketballs: The first ever “Orchard Shoot-out” will be Friday at the Horizon Christian School Hawks Nest. (Details on page A1.) This event will take place during the halftime of Friday’s boys game. Six orchardists and fruit industry representatives will compete in the first-ever fun event.

n Talking history: Randy Kiyokawa of Parkdale speaks Feb. 5 in the “Sense of Place” lecture series, at Columbia Center for the Arts.

n Doing local drama: Mike Oates of Odell performs in a star-studded new local production, the Feb. 14 Valentine’s Dinner at Elks Lodge, presented by St. Mary’s Church. Also in the cast are Sheriff Matt English and District Attorney John Sewell. (Tickets are available through Feb. 6 — details on page A3.) Oates is an old hand at writing and performing in Lions Follies productions, but Sewell and English are hitting the boards for the first time.

All three events are worthy of support and, any kidding aside, they are a reminder of the wide range of involvement by local business owners and civic leaders, people from all walks of life.

As to the people who are giving their time to diverse examples such as the Orchard Shoot-out, Sense of Place and Valentine’s Dinner, the important work of such things as growing fruit, as well as catching and prosecuting criminals, still goes on, but otherwise busy people find the time to contribute to the community.

There are many such cases to be found: the Chamber recognition event and senior meal at Mount Hood Town Hall, described in section B, point to more examples of ways people double up by doing their jobs and doing something in the spirit of service.

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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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