Register: Few candidates, numerous voters?

The sparse slate on the May 20 Primary Election for Hood River County is either a confirmation of the work of the incumbents or a suggestion that more attention should have been paid to the fact that the elected positions are up to a vote.

Challengers had until last week to file to run against the three incumbents on the County Board of Commissioners, but no one did. When the deadline passed, the only names were those of chairman Ron Rivers, Karen Joplin of Position 1 and Bob Benton of Position 3.

Probably no one more than the officer holders would have liked there to be a contest. But, short of a write-in effort, the three incumbents get a free pass. (Note: Hood River and Cascade Locks mayor and some council seats are up for vote in November; those filing dates are this summer.)

So the focus on participation in the Primary now is on the act of voting, and this is a good time to point out another pending deadline: April 29 is the final day for new voters to register in order to be eligible to cast ballots the May Primary. The deadline is the same for anyone who wishes to change party affiliations. A quirk in Oregon’s election laws is that a postmark of April 29 is acceptable for registration, but a change of party requires the form to be in the Elections office by 5 p.m. on April 29; postmarks do not count.

Stuff of Life: Celebrate Red Cross in March

Each year, the President of the United States proclaims the month of March as “Red Cross Month” to honor the lifesaving work the organization does throughout the year. Show your support by donating blood and asking a friend to do the same.

The Red Cross helps save lives each day by managing nearly half of the nation’s blood supply. In the United States, every two seconds someone needs blood. It must be readily available for accident victims, people undergoing routine surgeries, people with rare blood disorders and premature babies.

In Oregon, someone needs blood every two seconds. Therefore, it takes the effort of blood donors every business day to help ensure that an adequate blood supply is available for patients in local or area hospitals. Any healthy person age 18 (age 16-17 with signed parental consent) or older and weighing at least 110 pounds may be eligible to donate blood. Valid identification is required for all donations.

Beta Sigma Phi will host a blood drive March 26 in Hood River; see the 3 to Go page listing on page A1 for details.

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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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