The ebb and flow of the year 2001 rose and fell like the water level of the Columbia River, our timeless, harried ribbon.
In Hood River County, our consciousness last year was dominated by questions over a casino, stances on a super-store, murmurs of a mountainside resort.
In addition to Wal-Mart and the casino, other smaller furors arose in 2001, two of them defined by non-decisions: the city decided not to pursue, for the time being, the proposal to fluoridate city water, and not to put to voters a proposal to annex land west of Hood River. Both questions are dormant, not dead.
And pitched over all of the local arguments are the echoes of Sept. 11. Hood River County citizens went to New York City to help out after the terrorism attacks, and locally many others rose to the awful occasion with fundraising.
The events of 9-11 redefined us, but life cycles onward.
"Time, peaceful as a hurricane eye," wrote Paul Simon.
In 2001 the Pear and Wine Festival went away for a year, but plans are to renew it in 2002. The Hood River Valley High School Community Work Day went away for a couple of years; students and businesses made it successful in May 2001.
The Port is still devising an affordable plan for waterfront redevelopment, but next to the marina the county museum gave a new home to one of its centerpieces, the M.S. Henderson wheel.
Meanwhile, downtown, in August the clock at 3rd and Oak chimed again after 20 years of silence.
And so the clock ticks into 2002.
We can hope that matters will calm down this year, but the ebb and flow are likely to be just as consistent, just as fluctuating, as in 2001.
But how's this for a consistent ticking: early in 2001 the drivers for Hood River County School District celebrated one million miles without an accident. That string continues into 2002.
As we roll into 2002, the Hood River News and Columbia Gorge Press bids its readers a year of positive change.
(Hood River News: Rhen Adamson, classified ads manager; Steve Annala, circulation; Janet Cook, reporter; Jack Dancy, composing; Joe Deckard, general manager; Allen Diers, composing manager; Jim Drake, composing; Ray Edwards, delivery; RaeLynn Gill, reporter; Ailene Hibbard, archives; Tom Lanctot, publisher; Dave Leder, reporter; David Marvin, composing; Stacey Methvin, classifieds; Kirby Neumann-Rea, editor; Sandy Peterson, display sales; Jim Semlor, photographer/reporter; Chris Stenberg, office manager; Erik Steighner, reporter; Debbie Trujillo, receptionist.
Columbia Gorge Press: Scott Beard, printing; Ron Bolyard, mailroom; Omar Cripps, press; Jason Edwards, press; Kristi Freda, mailroom; Todd Jensen, printing; Jesse Johnson, press; Debbie Jones, print sales/display; Marjorie Kahler, mailroom; Jesse Krieger, mailroom; Loretta Laughlin, mailroom; Cecelia McFall, mailroom; Gabriel Mercer, press; James Mercer, press; Tony Methvin, general manager; James Redshaw, mailroom; Patt South, press; Kristi Taylor, pre-press; Rick Ursprung, printing.)