The Porch for April 16

THE CROSSWALK is not the coffee shop. Take your debate to the curb.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
THE CROSSWALK is not the coffee shop. Take your debate to the curb.


Work on Rand starts April 27 — The City of Hood River will be installing an eight-inch water line on Rand Road from Cascade Avenue to Sherman Avenue, tentatively scheduled to start April 27. Completion should be in mid-August. Rand Road will be closed to through traffic 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the duration of the project. Also, the City will be replacing a section of sanitary sewer pipe on Sherman Avenue and the Second Street stairs. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin May 2, with a completion date of June 30. During construction, Sherman Avenue will be closed to through traffic. The Second Street stairs will remain open as much as possible. For details contact Rick Peargin, City of Hood River Right of Way Inspector at 541-387-5220.

WELL SAID: As City Council and staff discussed the water line installation project for busy Rand Road set to happen next month — see notice at left

— Public Works director Mark Lago was asked by Councilor Mark Zanmiller if sidewalk improvements could be done at the same time (answer, no, this is being done with water line funding) so Planning Director Cindy Walbridge joked, “How about a kind of slip and slide for the summer?” That drew a laugh, but City Manager Steve Wheeler’s wry remark was, “Cindy is a great planning director, but perhaps she is not ready for the job of parks and rec director.”

SEEN AND HEARD: Businesses with doors open to spring air … denim pillows on chair in front of restaurant … tourists standing in crosswalk for several minutes while pointing in different directions … a green-and-black toddler’s shoe, sitting atop one of our news racks for a couple of weeks … 7 a.m., on Oak Street, an upright, opened, full bottle of cider, sitting in the middle of a parking spot … girl, 6 or 7, wearing Santa cap while walking dog with her grandpa … with weekend temperatures in the 70s and 80s, the first front porch kiddie pools of spring … en route to school, Mom walking ahead of daughter turns, points to the sidewalk and shouts, “Ella, there’s poop here!” … another mom telling a friend, “My family wants me to get a puppy — but I said, ‘No way, I raised two sons.’”

CARTOGRAPHY: Summer must be coming: the food cart pod is back at Fifth and Cascade: Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Gustavo’s Tacos, and Noodle Heaven.

FREE-WAY SPIRIT: This one goes back a ways, but our balmy days come and go, so … Early March, cold but bright day, a man sits bare-chested, sunning himself in the grass next to the exit 62 on-ramp …

ONE EASTER takeaway from a Hood River first grader: “It was so cool, because we were in the desert, and we even found plastic eggs floating in our hot tub, and it was all brought by the Easter jackrabbit.” — from a SMART reader at Westside, who had just finished the book “Wheels on the Bus Go ‘Round and ‘Round.’”

SIGN OF THE WEEK: “Let our studs remove your studs.” — River’s Edge Towing

DEPARTMENT OF Taking My Business Elsewhere: A man asks for $2 in quarters at Dog River Coffee, leaves, goes to his car, plugs the meter, and walks across the street and into Bette’s Place for lunch.

GOOD IDEAS whose time has gone: speaking of parking meters: whatever happened to the “Fine-o-Meters” installed in 1956? They came with a slot for depositing your parking ticket. The old photo of the new devices was featured in the April 13 Yesteryears column, thanks to the sharp eyes of reporter Trisha Walker, who compiles the weekly column. Interesting to note that the “Fine-O-Meters” were installed downtown and uptown. They used to have parking meters on the Heights? (One of Hood River’s many quirks: today there are just two on the Heights. Another parking meter quirk? Those nine-foot ones on Oak just up from Mike’s Ice Cream, where the street is six feet above the sidewalk.)

SCANNER CALL of the week: dispatcher tells a deputy about a call from someone who said “they are at Lover’s Cliff. I googled it and came up with Ruthton Park.” Is that a historical nickname for the park at the end of Westliff Drive? ’Cause that place is a long drop for sheer …

PURSE SNATCHER SEEN — but in a good way: Setting — front row of crowded hallway seats at Monday’s SRO City Council; Time — a few minutes after the Mayor’s “please turn off your cell phones” request; Incident — with the meeting in full swing, an elderly woman’s phone goes off in her purse, ringing loudly. She jumps, attempts to open her purse, fumbles with it, and the phone keeps blaring some show tune ring tone. The woman frantically tries to open her purse, but cannot and virtually wrestles with. Suddenly, a man — a friend? — reaches over her shoulder, and she thrusts her purse into his hands, and he beats a retreat down the hall, cell phone ringing one last time.

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