The celebration of Christmas and the New Year got off right, with 326 family members enjoying a bountiful amount of food from 107 boxes gathered and packed by the dutiful exertions of a few organizations in our area. The Lion’s Club was the home base from where the family vehicles lined up for the coveted boxes. The food was obtained mainly by the Dallesport Fire Department’s food drive, from the generous local residents, plus area food businesses The cartons were filled by dedicated people who form the Lions Club, Lyle Good Food, Lyle Community Council, and other residents who donated their time and effort, not to mention the muscle to tote those boxes out to the long line of vehicles that drove through the designated area. On a separate note, the Lyle Food Pantry is controlled by the weather and has to close when conditions are unsafe for travel. Otherwise their winter hours continue to be 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of the month. These fine people and businesses deserve a standing ovation.

A major milestone in the Port of Hood River’s progress to replace the Hood River-White Salmon Interstate Bridge was reached in late November with the publication of the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement by the Port, in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), and the Bi-State EIS Working Group. The diagrams shown in this publication depict a modern structure that is pleasing to the eye and will be successful to travel. Double lanes, with a walk way and viewpoints—it’s going to be grand. This project has been a long time planning, and I hope this one gets past the designing stage.

I’ll speak briefly on the virus by saying that masks aren’t perfect, so if one can exercise at home rather than at a gym, or their work, or attend church remotely, it stands to reason you’re reducing your risk. Many activities allow less risk, such as the lesser need of wearing a mask when going for a walk, jog, or bike ride. The social distance rule outdoors is more important. One may also feel safer wearing the mask during the needed errands of shopping at a grocery store or pharmacy, but all in all the standard rule still applies: wear a mask, keep social distance, and wash your hands often.

A longtime High Prairie resident, Elroy Wolff, passed away at his home on New Year’s Eve, following a lengthy illness. Those who were fortunate to be his family, his friends, and his neighbors knew him as kind, gentle, and always willing to help wherever it was needed. Elroy was a veteran and a skilled craftsman who built a legacy of structures with his talented hands. He was a lover of all creatures, from the tiniest spider to his beloved cattle. He leaves a large, extended family in the Lyle and Beaverton areas. His sweet presence will be deeply missed.