Touchet Valley people show their love
Over the past two weeks our family has experienced something amazing. This experience has reminded us why we are so fortunate to live in the Touchet Valley.
Once the word of the death of our dear son Andrew hit the streets of Dayton and moved throughout the Valley, Bill and I could feel the love from our neighbors. People rallied to make sure our families were fed and our spirits were comforted.
Within 24 hours, members of the Valley had organized a candlelight vigil to honor the sweet spirit of our son. Hundreds of neighbors, classmates, teammates, students, friends and family gathered at the spot our son loved so - the Bulldog football field. The next day, the crew at the Columbia County Fairgrounds prepared the buildings and the area next to the golf course where he spent so much time, so people could gather to honor Andrew again. He would have been shocked to see how loved he was.
But this is the message we want to share with everyone. No matter how inconsequential you may think your life is, it isn't. There are so many who love and support you in this Valley.
When you feel the darkness closing in, call someone. If you know someone is being overwhelmed by the darkness, tell someone. There are many professional organizations and churches that have counselors just a phone call away. Don't keep it to yourself.
Those of us who have grown up in this Valley often wonder why so many people move here for no apparent reason. However, during the past two weeks we were reminded why people choose to live here. It is a special place. Our entire family is blessed to live among so many people who care.
With love for this beautiful Valley and the people in it,
Two-lane roundabouts can be trouble
Good article about the new roundabouts by Rick Eskil.
I moved here recently from the land of roundabouts (the Tri-Cities). My experience with them is that the one-lane roundabouts work quite well because they are simple to understand, even for out-of-towners.
However, the two-lane roundabouts are confusing and generally chaotic. People hesitate, switch lanes and often cut in front of cars to exit the circle.
If WSDOT has to put detailed explanations and videos on its website to train people to use the roundabouts, then they are obviously too complicated to be understood intuitively. And in an area that attracts many visitors from other states, this confusion can be downright dangerous.
Will the Chamber of Commerce have to send information to potential visitors directing them to WSDOT's website for training? Many people in the Tri-Cities take alternate routes avoid the double-lane roundabouts and I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing happens here.
Lyme disease is serious disease
I would like to gratefully acknowledge all generous merchants and townspeople who participated in the recent fundraiser for my friend, Cathy Desmond.
Cathy is a victim of Lyme disease, many related diseases and congestive heart failure. The event was put together very quickly so Cathy could obtain crucial, immediate help from a specialist in Seattle.
Cathy said this has saved her life. The Desmonds are very encouraged by Cathy's treatment. I am still in awe at witnessing the outpouring of love and support from people in our generous, caring Valley, with special appreciation to the employes of Washington State Penitentiary and board members of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
We in the Pacific Northwest are under a common but huge misconception that Lyme disease is not in this part of the country.
LD is, in fact, everywhere. Dubbed "silent" and "a monstrous epidemic" and "potential plague of the 21st century," from sources of The Center for Disease Control to articles in medical journals, books, and by individual doctors who regularly work with and treat Lyme patients. According to the Townsend Letter July 2004, LD is the "fastest growing infectious disease in the world" and January 2005. "It is estimated that Lyme disease may be a contributing factor in more than 50 percent of chronically ill people." Also, "90.3 percent (patients with CFS) were found to be ill as a result of Lyme disease."
Considered a "tick-borne, multisystemic disease," LD may also be transmitted by mosquitoes, fleas and by a mother to her unborn child. It has been proven to cause or be an integral factor in over 350 well-known diseases, such as ADD, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), Alzheimer's, arthritis, autism, CFS, depression, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, OCD, Parkinson's, even some forms of cancer and heart disease. (The active form of the LD bacteria has been found in brain tissues of people with Alzheimer's, ALS and MS. This answers the question of the extremely high incidence of MS in the Pacific Northwest.)
But it does not stop there. Once settled in its host, the bacteria alters the environment, making it a suitable home for many other stealth pathogens, parasites and viruses.
The bottom line, as all Lyme literate doctors preach, if you have a chronic health condition, please test for Lyme disease. It is mandatory to find a Lyme-literate doctor for an accurate diagnosis; Seattle has many. Lyme disease support-group information is available through Kadlec Neurological Resource Center in Richland.
Meadowbrook Fun Run was a success
While traveling to the Post Office in College Place my husband and I noticed a young girl with a big table of paper cups and containers of water near the corner of Larch Avenue and 12th Street.
I mentioned to Don that this time of day was odd for selling lemonade and that no one was around to buy. As we got closer to College Avenue each corner had adults with colored flags and on the sidewalks were large poster signs MEADOWBROOK FUN RUN. Then we encountered groups of young people and adults running up from College Avenue and turning on to 12th Street.
They continued down Larch and onward. They were all wearing white T-shirts emblazoned with the school name. Traffic was controlled by the adults on the corners as they encouraged the students running by.
The kids ran in pairs, small groups, even an occasional loner but the camaraderie was very evident. There were additional refreshment tables of fluids along the way.
When I called to comment on the success of the venture I was informed that it was a combined effort of Aubrey Shaver, one of the teachers, and Curtis Sloan, PE director. Kudos to them, the parent volunteers and the students for a well-organized and safe outing.
Involvement of this size, a 3-mile run, takes great planning and this was done very successfully.
Mary Ann Applebee
Political ads on public buses concerning
It is my humble opinion that public transportation buses should not be used to advertise one particular candidate over another!
I recently saw a big sign plastered on the side of one of the buses endorsing Bill White for sheriff. I am not saying I am for or against Bill White for sheriff.
What I am saying is I feel it would be more appropriate for a public-service agency such as the Valley Transit to not allow political advertising and instead have signs that read: "Get out and vote for your choice for sheriff."
Give John Turner chance to lead
Recently we had an opportunity to attend a meet-and-greet for John Turner, who is running for Walla Walla County sheriff. I was impressed with this man's character, his education and his world experiences.
John is a young man with family roots in Walla Walla, as does his wife, so he has an interest in Walla Walla's future and its safety.
He comes to us with a wealth of knowledge, world experiences and ideas to run a sheriff's department that we desperately need today to keep us safe. In 1970 my mother was murdered in Walla Walla County. I know what it feels like not to feel safe in Walla Walla and I would feel a lot safer here with John Turner as sheriff.
I encourage everyone to meet John Turner and be informed in this election. Compare his qualifications and character with that of the others running for this position.
Walla Walla is not the sleepy little town we think it to be. We have big-city crime here and it would be a big mistake not to elect John Turner for sheriff and allow him to protect, serve and lead our community
Jeanne Wilson Ziska
Early Head Start a needed program
It was recently announced that the Early Head Start program at Lillie Rice Center would be closed at the end of August. This is disappointing news for many families in this community.
A significant percent of children, age birth to 3 come from single-parent families and families who are struggling economically. This center-based Early Head Start program emphasizes and promotes healthy development, and the prevention and detection of developmental concerns. It supports healthy parenting and is a vital service to our community.
Especially at this time of economic crisis, low-income families need a safe, structured and nurturing center where they can bring their infants and toddlers. Young children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of a negative care-giving environment and this Early Head Start program has filled a big need here in Walla Walla.
Even though Children's Home Society may continue with home-based services, our community should join together to support the continuation of Early Head Start center-based services. Perhaps the Walla Walla School District and CHS or other nonprofit groups could join together to meet this vital need.
Magazine article gets general fired?
An "only in America" story.
Only in America could a career student-politician, "a citizen of the world," who reluctantly wore an American flag while campaigning and without one day of military service or one day of executive leadership experience, be elected president and fire a U.S. Army general, a true American hero with many years of service to his country and service ribbons from shoulder to belt because of an article in a magazine.
Only in America. God bless our troops!
Apocalypse may not be quick
Contrary to the belief of some of my Christian brothers and sisters, it is not God's greatest desire that the apocalypse should occur as quickly as possible. The inevitable End of Days that all of us will face, individually or collectively, need not be hurried along.
In fact, a loving God's greatest desire is that the gift of life bestowed upon this tiny blue dot hanging in the blackness of eternity should flourish. That was the plan. Why then do my Christian brothers and sisters not hear the cries of anguish resonating between God and the deaf heart of humankind? To me, I feel it with the same force as that of the oil that blasts from the Earth beneath the gulf.
As storms winds rage, fueled by global warming and drive blood clots of oil up the Potomac River from seas turned apocalyptic, will we finally listen and save our grandchildren's world?
Pacific Power rate request is outrageous
I‘m extremely troubled over the recent Pacific Power request for a 21 percent rate increase for the coming year. This, in addition to the 7 percent average rate increase for each of the past three years, is simply outrageous.
Pacific Power officials claim to be seeking to increase their revenues by $57 million. Well, my message to Pacific Power is we would all like to increase our revenues, but that's not likely to happen for most of us!
I highly suspect that Pacific Power's shortfall largely stems from political mandates for "green power" generation.
The concept of green power has been an effective tool for politicians and a profitable one for certain corporate interests. But unfortunately, the consumer always seems to end up "holding the bag" for such policies, irrespective of their economic viability.
And such is the case for renewable sources such as wind and solar. By their very nature and our current state of technology, they're simply not ready for prime time. The operational availability and efficiency deficits for these sources of power simply make them cost prohibitive.
And consumers, especially those on a fixed income, are feeling the inevitable pinch. It's about time to give consumers a break!