The Chipmunks + Pogo + Dilbert = Walla Walla?

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Diana Schmidt wondered in an e-mail just what Alvin and the Chipmunks and Walla Walla have in common. The question arose when she was on the Walla Walla Artists Alliance page with Art Walla and Art Forum for Walla Walla. (As of Thursday, this page was blocked, identified in the computer as an attack page, which we hope will be fixed.)

Diana just had to see what an item on the Web site, headlined "Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance Spotlight," was all about. It opened to a page about Ross Bagdasarian, an American Grammy Award-winning pianist, singer, songwriter, actor and record producer. As Bagdasarian and as David Seville, a character Bagdasarian portrayed with The Chipmunks, he composed many songs, including their first tune, "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" in 1958.

When Ross's uncle moved to Walla Walla, he wrote The Chipmunks' No. 1 song, "Witch Doctor," which includes the words "Oo ee, oo ah ah, ting tang Walla Walla bing bang."

Diana also spotted a Walla Walla reference in the Nov. 22 Dilbert strip. In it, Dilbert says to the Pointy-Haired Boss, aka PHB, "My insolence safety zone has expanded."

PHB: "Your what?"

Dilbert: "It's a measure of how rude I can be without fear of consequences. You have no budget to give me a raise, so I have no potential gain from acting professionally. And it would be inconvenient for you to fire a highly experienced engineer and try to bring a new one up to speed. So from now on, when you ask me to do something stupid, which is most of the time ... I'll roll my eyes, make a dismissive grunt (phhht!) and do this dance. Hey Walla-Walla Walla! Boopita Boopita Boopita! You finally raised my morale. Good work on that."

To which PHB responds with a non-verbal teeth-baring grimace.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention cartoonist Walt Kelly's comic strip character Pogo, famously sang "Deck Us All With Boughs of Holly," which includes the lyrics, "Deck us all with Boston Charlie, Walla Walla, Wash., an' Kalamazoo! Nora's freezin' on the trolley, Swaller dollar cauliflower, alleygaroo!"

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The fifth-grade Walla Walla Heat boy's basketball team finished first in the local YMCA

Shootout over Valentine's Day Weekend. They defeated teams from Hermiston, Kennewick and Pullman to reach the Sunday morning final against the Pasco Future. With three seconds left in the game, the score was tied 40-40. Mitchell Lesmeister, guard for the Heat, put up a three-point shot to win the game at the buzzer. "It was a very exciting, close game all the way to the end," said Peggy Needham, wife of Mike Needham, coach, and mother of Jacob Needham. The Heat will travel to Burbank in two weeks to play in the Coyote Invite on a 22 game winning streak for the past five tournaments.

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Area students spoke with Community Facilities Task Force members about the condition of their schools recently, according to the Feb. 12 Walla Walla School District Week in Review online newsletter.

Lincoln Alternative High School students Caleb Sherlock and Muffy Wimberly and Walla Walla High School's Olivia Welker and Anna Tupper-Bridges represented their schools at the meeting. Lincoln students report the facility is too hot in the fall and spring, too cold in the winter, lacks enough bathrooms and is in overall in poor condition. They recommended a new school.

Wa-Hi students also reported that their school is too hot in fall and spring and too cold in winter. They said the science labs are too small and inadequate, locker rooms are cramped, the commons area is too small, and despite having three lunches daily, there are still not enough seats for students to sit and eat. They said they appreciated some aspects of the open campus, but that slick walking conditions and cold during the winter make it a challenge to get from class to class. They said the overall condition of their school is poor.

Task Force member Ruth Ladderud presented to the group the finding of the High School Facilities Task Force work completed in 2008. She summarized the process the group used and then reported on its conclusions and recommendations. For more details online, see the High School Facilities Task Force complete report at www.wwps.org/schools/hs_taskforce.htm

Community Facilities Task Force members will hear from Pasco School District Facilities Operations Director John Morgan on the process used in Pasco to develop a long-range facilities improvement plan.

Members will also see a slide show of new and modernized schools in Eastern Washington to learn more about 21st Century learning environments.

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Walla Walla Valley Quilt Guild wanted to honor fellow member Carrie Fernald's generosity of service to the community and to teens affected by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis after her death in 2009.

Carrie started the initiative within the past couple of years. The guild worked for several months on teen-sized quilts and in December donated 13 quilts at an ALS Support event in Tri-Cities in Carrie's honor.

Carrie's husband, Jeff, was there, making it even more special to present them to the patient care coordinator who took over for Carrie after her death.

WWVQG exists to contribute to the growth and knowledge of quilting techniques, patterns, history, and quiltmaking by providing educational meetings, fun and fellowship; to sponsor and support quilting activities, to encourage quiltmaking and collecting; and to promote the knowledge and enjoyment of fine quilting. Meetings are on the second Tuesday of the month at Blue Mountain Community Church Fellowship Hall. All interested parties are encouraged to attend and join WWVQG.

To see some of the group's work online, see www.wwvqg.com. For more details, contact Marlene Oddie, 2009 co-chairwoman, at 509-386-5715 or www.kissedquilts.com .

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The local chapter of Pheasants Forever is hosting its annual fundraising banquet Feb. 27 at the Walla Walla Fairgrounds.

Organizers with Chapter 258 are planning the happy hour from 4-6 p.m. and a prime rib and salmon dinner at 6 p.m.

The event includes raffles and the chance to win prizes.

Tickets vary from $60 per person to $350 for a special chapter sponsor and include one or more dinner, PF membership (except for the $30 youth tickets) and various other features. A one-year subscription of five issues to Pheasants Forever Journal of Upland Conservation is included with some ticket prices.

Attendees will be able to bid on a variety of items, including binoculars, GPS, fly fishing and bass master, gardener, handyman, mechanic, kids, spa, golf, artist, camping, dog, duck, chef and barbecue, Blue-ray and many other things, some available individually and others in packages.

Proceeds from this event help the habitat organization in its conservation efforts locally.

For more information about the banquet, contact Lori Fischer at 509-540-9518, lorifischer@ymail.com or Al Alpass at 509-529-3829 or aplass@sitestar.net.

Pheasants Forever has been active in this area for the past 18 years, said member Jim Sonne.

For the first time they sponsored a youth hunt in September 2009. Seven young people came to the activity and bagged 17 birds, Jim said.

The group has also planted hundreds of trees and shrubs to help along rivers and creeks. They offer seed to farmers and other landowners to put in on land that's not in agricultural use. It provides food for habitat and protection from erosion.

There are more than 650 Pheasants Forever chapters with 115,000 current members in the U.S. and Canada. Hunters, non-hunters, farmers, ranchers, landowners and conservation enthusiasts and wildlife officials are involved in the organization.

Contact Annie Charnley Eveland at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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