Etcetera - 06/24/10

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This column on Wednesday conveyed observations about Gen. Stanley McChrystal made by journalist Thomas Ricks. Ricks also mentioned U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Jim Mattis, who has local connections.

Jim's brother and sister-in-law, Tom and Theresa Mattis, reside in Walla Walla. Tom said Jim is currently commanding general of Joint Forces Command.

"However, my brother's retirement plans include moving either to Walla Walla or the Tri-Cities (where we grew up) and where our mother lives and where he has many ties."

Tom said Jim serves at the pleasure of the commander in chief. Any retirement plans are subject to change should he be asked to serve in another capacity.

"At present, his billet as Commanding General of JFCOM is slated to end around Nov.1, when he is to turn over his command to Army Gen. Ray Odierno as part of the usual command cycle. Given the fluidity of the current situation, however, nothing is yet certain."

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Four Walla Walla High School students will embark on an incredible musical adventure as they travel to Europe this summer as Washington Ambassadors of Music, said Paula Livingston.

"The excitement began this past spring when they were nominated to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime adventure by their High School Choir Director, Mr. Norbert Rossi."

Paula said that as ambassadors, Kaitlyn Jessee, Mallory Livingston, Kelsey Palmer and Faith Volkers will visit England, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy, and Germany. They will get to sing in some of the most beautiful and famous cathedrals and open theaters along the way. Their journey begins in early July with a three-day camp where they will meet approximately 200 other ambassadors from around the state and learn the music as a group.

Mark Lane of Central Washington University is tour director and "has done a fantastic job of organizing everything," Paula said. Host families will greet the group when they arrive at each countries' airport. The hosts will guide them through activities and performances.

"How exciting that these teens from our community have this opportunity to explore these European countries' cultures, architecture and lifestyles," Paula said.

Three of the students will be seniors at Wa-Hi this fall and include Mallory, Paul and Jeff Livingston's daughter; Kaitlyn, daughter of Guy and Liz Jessee and Kelsey, daughter of Richelle Palmer and Tim Palmer. The daughter of Jeff and Bridget Volkers, Faith plans to major in American Sign Language interpretation at Spokane Falls Community College this fall.


Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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