May Primary: The season is upon us

Seasons change, or keep cycling around, and so it is with the next season.

Spring, yes, eagerly awaited March 21 (with Daylight Saving Time this weekend a welcome harbinger).

But the other season that will be upon us soon is election season.

March 11 is the filing deadline for anyone wanting to run for three open positions on the Hood River County Board of Commissioners on May 20 Primary Election ballot.

This is a great opportunity for citizens who want to have a big effect in local decisions. The three incumbents are back on board for re-election, but so far no one has signed up to run against them.

Ideally, we should see races for all three of these positions. The incumbents probably want it, because it keeps things fresh and brings to the forefront active discussions about those key issues such as growth, affordable housing, economic development, and how best to provide public services.

Candidates must file in person by 5 p.m. March 11. The Elections office is located at the County Administration Building, Sixth and State streets. Call 541-386-1442 for details.

The ballot will include at least one local ballot measure: from Cascade Locks, Resolution 1296, which sends the measure to the May 20 primary ballot. If approved, the measure would apply the fee to all City of Cascade Locks electric utility customers in the EMS department’s “designated or contracted ambulance service area,” which runs from the east end of the parking lot at Multnomah Falls (exit 31 on Interstate 84) to the east end of Viento State Park (milepost 56). The proposal would tack on a $6 monthly fee to the electric bills of residential customers within the city limits and a $7 fee for commercial and public agency meters. Outside the city, residential customers would pay an $8 monthly fee and commercial and public agencies would pay $9.

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With elections comes election letters, and we welcome them. We will clarify our policy in more detail in later issues, but in general we encourage writers to keep it positive, tell us what you like about a candidate, resolution, or issue, and remember that newspapers reserve the right to limit publication of boilerplate letters. If the candidates or measure supporters are going to take the time to run or place something up for consideration, the least their supporters can do is take 10 or 15 minutes to write something original on their behalf.

Oh, and if you’re going to write a political letter, please register to vote first. Not a requirement and we don’t check, but it gives you a good feeling and it’s a nice preparatory step to taking a stand.

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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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