Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Winter Driving in Corbett

Winter Driving Tips
As we get ready for winter driving, here are a few tips to keep in mind to keep your trips safe.

Any safe winter travel starts with a bit of prior planning:

1. Is your vehicle ready?

Did you follow your manufacturer's recommendations regarding operating systems, fluids, and care? How about other winter specific needs like tire chains, a shovel, or the regular emergency breakdown essentials like blankets, flashlights, flares/reflectors, etc?

2. Are you ready for your vehicle?
Do you know how your vehicle will handle in adverse weather? Drive very defensively, anticipate well ahead, and stay off the brake when you can.

3. Do people know what you are doing?

Whenever you travel in winter weather, let someone know where you are going, how you are going to get there, when you should arrive, and any emergency pre-plans. Keep your "safety" contact informed of any deviations from the plan and always check in when you arrive.

As a reminder, like bundling up in added layers of clothing, here are a few items to add to your vehicle's emergency supplies for winter travel:

-Tire chains that fit (practice putting them on if you can)
-Snow shovel (full sized or collapsible)
-Airtight container of ice melter (plastic coffee can works well)
-Leather or work gloves, spare warm gloves/mittens, plus consider extra warm clothing.
-Small tarp or closed foam pad (to lie down on the snow without getting too wet)
-Blankets or sleeping bags
-Emergency food (don't snack on it as you drive, its for emergencies).
-Flashlights with fresh batteries
-Cell phone car charger. Keep your cell phone plugged in unless its an emergency


Plan ahead, stick to your plan, and let somebody know what you are doing. Especially if traveling when winter conditions are forecast, stick to main highways and roads where possible. Finally, make sure you call your contact to let them know you've arrived safely. Just as important, before setting off make sure your contact knows what to do if they do not hear from you by your estimated time of arrival.


Whether due to weather or backed up traffic, count on at least double the time to reach your destination as you would take in non-winter conditions. Take it nice, easy, slow, and anticipate well ahead of time when accelerating, braking, turning, or otherwise changing the direction or movement of your vehicle.

Check the weather forecasts prior to leaving, and stay tuned to a station that has weather information if traveling any distance in winter conditions, especially if they are forecast to worsen as you go. Keep alert for signs that tell you to tune into a radio channel to get localized weather advisory information. Especially in the dark, if conditions worsen to the point where you are having trouble seeing or staying on the road, it may be advisable to find lodging for the evening and give it another go in the morning.

Most importantly, HEED ALL WARNINGS. If a roadway is closed DO NOT attempt to travel on it regardless of how you are equipped or how experienced you are in driving in adverse conditions. Roadways are closed because travel on them has reached such a hazardous level that it is dangerous for emergency responders to attempt.


If the unforeseen happens and you either break down or find yourself unable to proceed, there are two main issues that you will need to address sooner than later:


Put out a flare behind your vehicle, put up your reflective triangles, tie something bright and reflective onto your antenna, do whatever you can to be seen by other traffic and any potential rescuers. If you can run your vehicle intermittently, keep your emergency flashers on while your vehicle is running.


Decide early on whether your problem is mechanical or environmental. Unless you know how to fix a mechanical problem with your vehicle, don't waste your time. If you are simply stuck in the snow you may have the ability to dig yourself out, put on chains, or otherwise take measures to get yourself going again.


If you have cell reception, being stranded in extreme winter conditions with a non-functioning vehicle is a life threatening situation; call 911 for assistance. If your vehicle runs but you are stuck, call non-emergency. If you do not have cell reception, you will need to be able to take care of your situation until your contact person initiates an emergency response to find you because you have not arrived as anticipated.


If you cannot move your vehicle, in most circumstances, you are better off staying with it and sheltering in place even if your vehicle is not running. If your vehicle does run, as a rule of thumb turn on the motor for 10 minutes for every hour you are stuck. If you are forced to leave your vehicle, make sure to leave a prominent note in it as to who you are, who is with you, and what direction you intend to travel. Stay on or near the roadway and be visible.

Monday, November 25, 2013

This Corbett Home has been listed "For Sale" for 11 YEARS straight!

Hard to believe that a home as beautiful as this could still be without a buyer....even after ELEVEN years on the market! The home is located at 31031 NE Lampert Road and first went on the market Sept. 5, 2002. There have been five different Realtors over the years that have tried to list and sell the home and property, some of them the most "elite" Realtors in the Portland area. Why such a challenge to find the ideal buyer? The home and property consist of 14,000 sq. ft. on 96.69 acres. Not your average family home out in the country. :) There are two 7,000 sq. ft. levels, with an additional heated parking garage for NINE cars. There is also an 8,000 sq. ft. barn, an outdoor pool overlooking vast views of the city of Portland and the Columbia River Gorge and more. There are six full bathrooms and two half baths.The home was custom built in 1995 and includes numerous fireplaces as well as a heat pump and air conditioning. There is even an interior elevator and living quarters for a mother-in-law! Currently the property taxes on this home and property are $34,216.20 per year and the current asking price? $3,995,000. The highest asking price over the years was in 2007 when they had it listed at $7,950,000. Anyone interested in making an offer???!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Corbett Thanksgiving at the Grange Hall- RSVP

NOT everyone gets to go to Grandma's house for the yearly Thanksgiving holiday. If you want Grandma's home style cooking, a beautifully set table and fabulous company to chat and share a meal with, head to the Grange! All residents are invited to a NO COST homemade turkey dinner with all the trimmings on Thursday, November 28th at 2 pm. The only requirements are to be a Corbett resident, and bring a side dish to share. ALL ages are welcome and wanted. I personally have enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner at the Grange in the past and it is better than fantastic!! Everything is made from scratch and the tables are all very nicely set. The best part is- no hassle, local and you get to meet new community members. If you and your family are interested, you NEED to RSVP- ASAP to Jeri Yoder at the Grange. #503-695-6674.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Larch Mtn. Road to Close Winter Gate Today!

The upper section of Larch Mountain Road in east Multnomah County will close for the winter on Thursday, November 21, 2013.

Mike Pullen, spokesman for Multnomah County, said the road is closed each year about this time for the winter by installing a snow gate near mile post 10.  

Pullen said in a news release that the closure is designed to protect members of the public from from getting in trouble in adverse weather conditions and also reduces maintenance costs related to snow removal. The gate is opened in the spring.

Pullen said that Larch Mountain Road is the highest road in Multnomah County, reaching an altitude of 4,055 feet.   For more information, visit

Photo Credit: Barry Smith (My husband!)

Monday, November 18, 2013

WHO keeps Corbett SAFE???

Multnomah County Deputy Joe “Rocky” Graziano has earned himself an award for leading two major community safety efforts over the past year in Corbett.
Every year the Oregon Peace Officers Association recognizes police officers who have distinguished themselves through bravery, heroism and exemplary public service.
On Friday, Nov. 8, the police organization held its 44th annual awards banquet at the Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde.
by: OUTLOOK FILE PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Deputy Joe Rocky Graziano
by: OUTLOOK FILE PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Deputy Joe Rocky Graziano
There Graziano was one of four officers who received the Oregon Peace Officers’ Public Safety Award, for his exemplary leadership within the state police department.

The Public Service Award is awarded to officers who distinguish themselves by unusual acts in the performance of police duties or acts that rise above the expected norms of police or community service.
A 20-year veteran police officer, Graziano has served as Corbett’s community resource officer for the past four years. His most recent efforts to enhance safety and security for Corbett residents and visitors, and reduce crime in the area, were recognized.
“It is evident that ensuring community safety is the heart of Deputy Graziano,” read the Oregon Peace Officers Association’s awards announcement.
“His determination and continued efforts demonstrate the high quality of service the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office places on its outlying communities and the citizens they serve,” the announcement said.
Citizen’s Patrol
As the entryway to the Columbia River National Scenic Area, the small community of Corbett attracts more than 2 million visitors per year, but the police presence is minimal.
Harnessing local resources to ensure greater safety coverage in the area, Graziano created the “Corbett Volunteer Citizen’s Patrol.”
The group’s goal is to deter criminal activity by acting as a visible presence in the community.
Graziano established the groups’ mission, wrote the proper protocol and coordinated the training program for the Citizen’s Patrol.
He helped organize and train the 30 or so citizen volunteers who make up the patrol group.
Citizens were trained in parking enforcement, patrol tactics, interactions with the mentally ill, trauma prevention and disaster preparedness.
School safety response plan
The second project Deputy Graziano is recognized for involves school safety.
Following two highly publicized shootings locally and nationally, Graziano met with school officials in Corbett as well as other members of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and public safety partners to discuss their concerns related to security at the school.
In response, Graziano developed a safety response plan and held trainings for school staff.
He also helped develop and instruct an “active-shooter” response simulation for deputies and school staff at the school, and he conducted several two-hour trainings for community groups, public schools, summer camp facilities, community colleges and public safety agencies.
A problem solver
and good friend
Graziano received positive feedback from the community for his instruction.
Capt. Monte Reiser of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office wrote in Graziano’s nomination for the award, “Deputy Graziano’s personalized service delivery has established him as a well-respected problem solver and good friend to many citizens and visitors to the Corbett area.”
Reiser continued, “The development of these two separate programs has already had a positive impact and will continue to positively improve the quality of life to our community in the future.”
Founded in 1968, membership in the Oregon Peace Officers Association is open to all law enforcement-related professionals of any rank. It is one of Oregon’s largest law enforcement associations with nearly 1,500 federal, state and local members.
Communications Supervisor Ronda Griffin of the La Grande Police Department, and Communications Specialist Tina Holt and Senior Officer Larry Shryer of the Salem Police Department also received Public Safety Awards at the banquet.

According to its website, the Oregon Peace Officers Association is the only statewide organization to hold an annual awards ceremony specifically honoring those law enforcement professionals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dave Dahl Visits Corbett Grange Hall

It all started a few years back. I was already volunteering at the Corbett Grange Hall to serve seniors in the Corbett community a free hot meal every Monday for lunch. Dave's Killer Bread donated such an abundance of bread to our Helping Hands food program, that there was enough for me to also share with my church and some needy families in Corbett not able to make it to the grange on a regular basis. Each Saturday I would pick up bread from the grange and then would deliver bread from my Subaru station wagon. Everyone treated me like I was delivering GOLD as the bread was THAT good. Never one for eating bread filled with healthy nuts and grains, I wondered what all the fuss was about. I finally took my first bite. Insane. BEST. BREAD. EVER. Fast forward. I am in Clackamas Costco picking up a few items. I see a Dave's Killer Bread booth. I walk up to get a sample and end up telling the kind folks that I am thrilled to share the bread with others and someday would love to "actually meet this Dave guy." They laughed and told me to turn around. There was Dave, leaning up against a display of green beans or something. I smiled at him and he returned the gesture. We ended up talking at least 20 minutes, and exchanged business cards. I walked away thinking he was one of the MOST down to earth and authentic people I had ever met. In my line of work, I meet a variety of people on a regular basis. I came home and told my husband about the encounter. He laughingly said I should invite him to lunch at the Grange with all my senior friends. I thought- "Why not? Nothing to lose." Both he and his fiance, Michelle came a few weeks later- all the way out to Corbett just to meet my friends and have lunch with us. He brought everyone a fresh "Sin Dawg" and sat and talked for a long time with everyone at the grange, engaging and sharing bits of his life and struggles and hearing also about theirs. Dave and I continued to stay in touch, and one of the seniors there that day invited him to his home for dinner. Dave CAME and so did some of his friends. I also was invited, with my husband. After dinner, Dave and friends played guitar and talked into the night about life. Dave continued to be very open about his struggles with depression and addictions, wanting to reach out to others and also help them. When I saw Dave in the news for the recent incident, I was pretty shocked at how rude and judgemental some folks were being - without even knowing him or the facts of his struggles. Personally struggling with depression myself for years, it is really unsettling that people choose not to better understand, but to be harsh and judge. No matter where Dave lays his head at night, I KNOW him to be one of the kindest, most generous and most authentic people I know.

Friday, November 15, 2013

WHO would buy a home in Corbett in the winter?!

This coming spring will mark seven years of my selling real estate- mostly in Corbett, Oregon. Being a rural property specialist has taught me MANY things and there is still so much more that I will continue to learn as I face new challenges and opportunities on a regular basis. Here are some fun facts that I want to share about real estate in Corbett.
Did you know???
1. There are several homes/properties in Corbett that have a Troutdale address? (Cabbage Hill)
2. There are also several homes with a Corbett address and yet they are located in the Sandy school, water and fire district.
3. EVERY home in Corbett has a septic tank (of SOME sort!!)
4. There is NO NW natural gas line to ANY home in Corbett. If you want gas heat or appliances, you need to either rent or own a propane tank.
5. Folks are either on Corbett water or have their own well or spring! Corbett water is NOT available to all homes, as their lines do not extend out far enough.
6. Currently, there are just 18 homes actively listed For Sale in Corbett.
7. The most expensive listing is $3,995,000.00 and has 14K sq. ft. on 96.69 acres.
8. The median list price is $369,000.
9. The median house size is 2,268 sq. ft.
10. The MOST popular time to list a home is between Spring Break and Halloween.
11. Corbett averages just 24-27 homes SOLD each YEAR.
12. Every single property in Corbett has it's own zoning and possible tax deferrals. Each are unique!
13. Currently, average days on market are 108 for Corbett homes and properties.
14. I have been in EVERY single home that has come on the market in Corbett (except TWO) in the past almost seven years. That means walking the acreage and going into every single outbuilding on site.
15. Because we are unincorporated in Corbett, Multnomah County is our "Big Brother" with zoning, permits, tax and land use issues. I know the planners all by name. :)
16. Does anyone purchase a home in Corbett in the winter? Very few. We average no more than ONE Sold home per month during November- February.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Grocery Shopping in Corbett?!

Helping Hands
The Columbia Gorge Helping Hands Food Salvage Program is a 501c(3) non-profit community outreach program. Run by volunteers, it is an outreach program that gathers salvage food and personal items for families in the rural communities east of the Sandy River. The tenets of the program are family and community. The program started over a decade ago with a conversation between neighbors. Today there are well over 100 volunteers and serves more than 900 families. Volunteers travel up to 2800 miles per week to collect, offload, clean, organize and provide the personal items- usually store overages- donated by grocery stores and other businesses throughout the Portland and Gresham areas.
Shopping days for community members are each Monday and Thursday from 2 pm to 6 pm. Located in the basement of the Grange Hall at 37493 Grange Hill Road, the cost is just $10 to fill two cloth shopping bags. Enjoy organic produce, dairy products, packaged and bagged food, bakery items and other products.

There are FRESH fruits and vegetables available on a regular basis-in abundance!! NO reason not to shop and eat healthy!! Stop by to try it out. Cloth shopping bags are available for purchase at $1 each. They can be used over and over again each week. Must show photo ID that you are a local resident.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Corbett Children's Theatre

The Sound of Music: Directed by Angel Williams and a choreography/musical direction team.

Dates: November 15, 16, 17 (Friday at 7 pm, Saturday at 1pm and 7pm and Sunday at 3 pm) November 21, 22, 23 (Thursday at 7 pm, Friday at 7pm, Saturday at 1pm and 7pm)

Location: The Chapel, located at 27132 SE Stark Street in Troutdale, Oregon.

To reserve seats, please visit our website at:

Corbett Children’s Theater was founded in June 1998. Musicals, stories from classic literature and comedy are all part of CCT’s continuous repertoire.

The mission of the Corbett Children’s Theater is to provide entertaining, professional quality theater, performed by children for audiences of all ages. We educate, challenge and inspire youth, support the learning environment, and build strong community values.


CCT seeks to be a model of excellence in theater. We provide a professional quality performance arena encompassing all aspects of theater, both technical and artistic. We develop the skills of teamwork, self confidence and collaboration in members. We seek out funds that allow us to improve our programs and facility.

Core Values
  • The educational power of the arts encourages teamwork and communication skills and allows participants to experience the pride of accomplishment.
  • High expectations of our members performance and behavior encourages them to reach their full potential and become both strong team players and confident leaders.
  • It is the responsibility of the all adults at CCT to create a positive, supportive, nurturing environment in which we assist young people as they face life’s challenges.
  • By providing a positive environment, we foster the innate creativity and curiosity of youth while encouraging critical and independent thinking.
  • We embrace the fundamental attributes of young people: curiosity, risk taking, candor and imagination and we strive to foster that creativity and encourage critical and independent thinking.
  • All who pass through our doors deserve equal respect, courtesy and care.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Original Columbian Garden Club

Columbian Garden Club- "Preserving our past secures our future"

Organized in 1949.
Federated in 1950 with the Oregon State Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc.

Conservation Pledge- I pledge to protect and conserve the natural resources of the planet earth, and promise to promote education so we may become caretakers of our air, water, forest, land, and wildlife.

Club Purpose- To provide educational opportunities for member and the general public in the area of home gardening, landscaping and horticulture, while promoting interest and activity in the conservation of our natural resources, the beautification of our communities, and creation of sustainable environments.

The Columbian Garden Club is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit, charitable corporation. We meet at 10:00 a.m. on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Corbett Fire Hall. 36930 EHCRH, Corbett. All meetings are open to the public.

Club Officers:
President- Gary Simone
Vice President- Chris Witka
Secretary- Debby L. Simone
Treasurer- Gary Law

State Theme for 2013-2014
"Growing for the Future, Planting in Special Places"

Holiday greens fund-raiser
Annual Spring Plant Sale fund-raiser
Tours of member and special gardens

Fundraisers have been used to support:
Corbett Head Start, The Oregon Garden, Corbett High School landscaping, Historic Springdale School landscaping, Scholarships for Corbett High School, Renovation of Corbett Fire Hall, Support of Blue Star Memorials, Install/maintenance of Multomah Falls Blue Star Memorial Marker Landscape,  4H, Jeff Lucas Memorial, Columbia Grange for ADA ramp, Corbett Post Office landscape.

A typical meeting begins at 10 a.m. with flag salute and conservation pledge, followed by short "spotlight" and "Audubon" presentations. Then we have the business meeting consisting of approval of minutes, treasurers report, discussion of old and new business. Around noon, we brake for lunch, hosted by a rotation of club members. After lunch we have a special program. Finally we share horticulture- samples of what's blooming in our gardens for each to see, touch and smell.

Spotlight- "Winter storage of Dahlias" by Sandy Cartisser
Program- "Soil preparation methods; composting and cover crops" by Gary Law

Spotlight- "Attracting hummingbirds year round in Corbett" by Inga Winters
Program- Holiday Party!!


Friday, November 1, 2013

Corbett Weather- From Springdale to the top of Larch Mountain

Corbett weather is different than the Portland metro area due to elevation and our location at the west end of the Columbia River Gorge.   First, almost the entire area is above the 500 ft. elevation, with some homes as high as 1,800 ft.  That means temperatures run 5-10 degrees cooler than Portland year-round.  As a result summers are perfect with very few hot days and overnight temps that drop off quickly.  Hardly a need for air conditioning here!  In the winter that means harder freezes and a better chance for snow at times, especially once you get east of "Downtown Corbett" up around 1,000 ft. and above.  

Of course Corbett is known for THE EAST WIND.  The most common misconception Portlanders make is thinking the wind blows all the time out here.  Not true; it's generally a cold season wind.  It's caused by cooler air east of the mountains moving through the Gorge, then accelerating out the west end.  East wind tends to ramp up after Halloween, gradually increasing in strength and occurrence through November. During the peak of the "wind season", in December and January, it can blow for many days in a row without letting up.  Meanwhile if you go a few miles south or west it'll often be calm!  Then in early March it suddenly disappears.  During that 3-4 month period, Corbett is often the windiest place in the Pacific Northwest.  When the wind is accompanied by temperatures below freezing (Brrr!), the liquid rain we normally see in the winter falls through this thin layer of wind and cold.  It freezes on contact into an icy glaze that covers anything outside.  It's beautiful, but slippery!  The Corbett area gets more of this freezing rain in the winter than any other part of the Pacific Northwest.  Eventually the wind goes back to a warmer southerly direction, the ice melts, and we're just getting plain wet like the rest of the Portland Metro area.  This cycle of east wind, freezing rain, and then warming sometimes happens only once per winter, but in cold winters can show up several times.

Mark Nelsen
Chief Meteorologist KPTV/KPDX