Monday, September 29, 2008

Cascadia State Park

We're having one of those great Oregon Indian Summers - beautiful weather, warm and clear, just perfect for camping.

Our weekend was spent camping with friends in Cascadia State Park. This is an old park just off highway 20, established originally as a health spa called the Geisendorfer hotel. Built on Soda Creek, the spa took advantage of the supposed health-restoring properties of the mineralized water. When the hotel was closed the park was established, and it has that wonderful old-style feel, with really old trees, carefully constructed bridges and outbuildings, and large wooded campsites. All that's left of the hotel is a nice stone patio beside the creek.

On Saturday Daph and Grayce hiked to what is called Cascadia Cave. It's more of a rocky overhang than a cave, and filled with what our guide described as the highest concentration of petroglyphs in this quadrant of the state. Tony Farque (Archaeologist, Sweet Home Ranger District, Willamette NF)was at the site with a group from Portland State U. working on recording the glyphs. With them were Richard Archambault (AKA Painted Horse) and James Keyser (archeologist and rock art expert). We were given a very informative overview of the site, allowed to take photographs, and received "bear clan" pins from the ranger district. After a quick lunch Grayce and Daph hiked up to Soda Creek falls. Two hikes in one day seemed like a good idea at the time, but not really recommended for full-time desk jockeys!

Back in camp just in time for the game...The Ducks blew away the Washington State Cougars 63-14, and as Steve and Bill had spent the better part of two days locating the correct satellite alignment (quite a challenge with all those lovely old trees in the way) and stringing wire so we could watch the came, we really enjoyed that final score!

Monday, September 15, 2008

From Kendra on the Ike Evacuation

I have been working at one of the area shelters during the Ike Hurricane. I got called up at 130 am Friday morning, told to report at 6 am at Crockett High School. I worked 12 hours on Friday and another 12 on Saturday. I just found out today that I am on the list to possibly go work at one of the consolidated shelters during this week, but have not heard further.
I just wanted to send this out to you all, to let you know what it was like at these shelters, and what my observations were during my experience.

I arrived early Friday morning to find 609 evacuees from the Galveston area hungry, tired, cold, and very upset. They arrived at this shelter at 2 am Friday. There were no cots, no blankets, no pillows, and no food or water. I quered the Red Cross staff that was there as to why nothing is here to take care of these people. My response was "we're only supposed to provide a roof over their heads". Which would have been ok, if they had told the folks that when they got on the busses. They were told, leave you stuff, just get on the bus, we'll stop and get supplies on the way. Once on the road, they weren't allowed to stop. So they arrived with nothing.Now mind you, the people that took these busses, were people who had no other means of evacuating. Many of them were elderly with special needs/medical conditions, many were mentally handicapped, and many were on federal assistance. These people mainly had nothing when they left, and still have nothing to this day.

Friday was hell. We had a two level building, with the cafeteria on the second floor, and many people unable to get to the cafeteria to get food. I made up plates for all the people unable to get their food, and was told by Red Cross that they didn't want people eating in the gym to keep bugs down. I'm sorry, PEOPLE NEED TO EAT! Most people hadn't eaten since noon the previous day. Everyone stayed on the floor or in chairs all night with no blankets and were freezing. There was one drinking fountain for everyone to drink out of, but oh by the way, it wasn't working. There was no bottled water provided. We continued to ask Red Cross, the Emergency Operations Center, and FEMA for water, blankets and beds, and kept being told, its on its way. It never showed up. Finally in the afternoon, a citizen brought enough water for all the evacuees and we passed it out, while Red Cross yelled at us that we couldn't accept this donation. More on the Red Cross later.

On my shift we served all three meals, which was bare minimum food, but was at least something. We had a battle with the asst. principal of the school as well. School was in session, but was getting out at 3 pm. He wanted us to LOCK in all the evacuees from 8 am to 3 pm. We told him no, we couldn't and wouldn't do that, and he flipped his lid. Luckily I had APD officers backing me up. He eventually just went away and we did our own thing.

Saturday I showed up and things were pretty much the same. We had asked repetedly for EMS to come evaulate people to move people with special needs and medical needs to the Convention Center which was set up for those folks. They never showed up Friday, and finally arrived Saturday, after we had already had 3 people run out of oxygen in their tanks, people go to the bathroom in their pants because we couldn't get them upstairs to the bathroom in time, a heart attack, pnemonia, and a grand maul seizure. Luckily for the seizure, Chief Acevedo (APD) was there talking to myself and an officer when the guy grabbed onto me and started seizing. He was able to see the type of people in our care and that this was not an appropriate place for them. When I left Saturday evening we had 480 evacuees (30 over capacity) and still had approx. 100 people that needed to have special care.

Problems with this evacuation:
City of Austin, Red Cross, and FEMA KNEW how many people would be evacuating into austin days before it happened. Supplies were not stockpiled at the shelters in advance and no help was sought for additional supplies they did not have.
Evacuees were LIED TO when evacuated, when told they would get supplies along the way.
Red Cross repeatedly refused donations at the sites, saying they couldn't accept donations, only money, which they didn't want at that time either. The Officers and myself and other city of Austin volunteers have to sneak donations in to people.
FEMA would not offer any assistance until AFTER the storm had passed. Not even to evacuees that were safe.
The Media was kicked off of shelter property in an effort to control the information that was being released, thus hindering donations further.
Evacuees were not property screened for medical/special needs conditions, parole status, or sex offender status.

I found out today that the Convention Center had beds for 1000 evacuees with special needs, and as of Saturday evening only 87 people were there.I will be continuing to help throughout the week. Many wonderful citizens have come forward to give donations. Many were turned away by the Red Cross, but we tried to take as many donations as possible.

You can decide for yourself, but I will NEVER volunteer with the Red Cross or donate money or items to them EVER AGAIN. If you pray, please pray for the people of Galveston and surrounding cities. If you don't, please spread the word. And please remember the only true way of helping people in this situation is by being there with them, because otherwise, the help will not get to them.

Thanks for listening to my rant! Kendra


What can I say. This was like the Ducks of old. Take it to the brink of disaster and come back and win it in the end. It's enough to drive you to drink (more beer). It is too bad about Roper but we have at least played the two back-ups.

Interesting weekend for football. USC is obviously the powerhouse the experts say that they are. What a monster. Even though it was a PAC 10 loss it was good to see Newweasal get his butt handed to him. (ha ha!)

Coming up next is Boise St. I'm glad we have them at home. I've always had this game marked as a potential loss but they have to play the game.
Looking forward to tailgating this weekend. Jim and Kelly are staying over and we will be having Mexican food. John's burritos are the best.

Kendra had a very frustrating and interesting weekend working in a shelter for Galveston evacuee's. The storm totally missed us.

Have a great week!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The "Tweeners"

Most of this will never forget this day seven years ago. The event changed history for our country, the world and all of us individually. After the shock of the attack of 9/11 I recall vividly how this country and we individually came together. Unfortunately that has changed and I hope it doesn't take another attack to bring us back together again. I recall the first Oregon game after 09/11 and how respectful everyone was of each other and the country.

The DUCKS have played the first two games in a dominate fashion and go on the road Saturday to play a mysterious Purdue team. Up to now we don't know how good the DUCKS are so hopefully this Saturday we will have a good idea. Game will be on ABC at 12:30 PST.

The last two tailgates have been great! Heidi, Ryan and the kids are doing a great job. The turnout has been good and we are keep John D. healthy with Vitamin water and Coors. Check out the slide show on the right side of the blog.

On a personal note we are not getting any action on the house and I have reconciled myself with the fact that it may not sell this listing. The housing and loan industries are in total shambles and it will take time to get back on track. We are bummed about this and want to "get the show on the road" but we can't change what we can't control.

Hurricane Ike is barreling towards the Central Texas coast. It will be a tropical storm by the time it hits our area but if the track predictions hold we will be the best position we can be in despite the circumstances. Kendra is getting prepared to hunker down with friends and Skot's family who live on the coast. They plan on evacuating inland.

So here we are "tween" football games, the house sale and move, storms, civility, and hopefully not another event like 9/11.