Stargazing talks March 28-29

Join amateur astronomer Jim White for an evening with the stars, at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, Saturday, March 29. The evening will start with a gourmet burger bar dinner at 6 p.m., followed by a Spring Stargazing presentation by Jim White at 7 p.m. If weather allows, there will be a telescope sky viewing at 7:30 p.m.

White will talk about the upcoming lunar eclipse on April 14-15, planets, and other celestial events.

The sun sets at 7:30 p.m., so White will bring his telescope along, and if skies are clear you will get a look at Jupiter in the southwest through a telescope after the presentation. Jupiter still reigns as the brightest object in the night sky, except for the moon.

White will also talk about the total solar eclipse coming in three years that will pass over Central Oregon on Aug. 21, 2017. The last total solar eclipse in this area happened in 1979.

Jim White lives in Trout Lake, Wash. A forester by profession, he has had an interest in astronomy since his youth on a Michigan farm. White holds a stargazing event at the Trout Lake Fair, helps at the Goldendale Observatory, makes presentations within the mid-Columbia area, and writes a column monthly in the White Salmon Enterprise.

Dinner reservations are required by March 26 by calling 541-296-8600, ext. 201. Ticket prices for the dinner and presentation are $15 for adults, $10 for children. The presentation only is $3.

The Discovery Center is located off I-84 at exit 82, 5000 Discovery Drive, The Dalles. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit gorgediscovery.org.

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White will also give a presentation March 28 at the White Salmon Library, beginning at 7 p.m. White will be featuring upcoming celestial events; if skies are clear, attendees will also get a chance to take a look at the planet Jupiter through a telescope.

For more information contact the library at 509-493-1132 or visit fvrl.org.

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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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