ETCETERA - Young swimmers save child's life in Lake Umatilla

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A simple outing escalated from swimming into a life-saving event when Ariel and Bradley "Bud" Sandau went to Irrigon, Ore., with mom Veronica Sandau, according to Brad Sandau, the kids' dad and Veronica's husband.

The kids were accompanied by their maternal grandmother, Molly Rubalcaba, and their aunt Sylvia Leon, who was visiting with family in Walla Walla from Riverside, Calif.

While Veronica played in a softball tournament there, Ariel, 11, Bud, 9, Molly and Sylvia popped over to Lake Umatilla so the kids could swim.

Once in the water the siblings heard a child yelling for help, Brad said. They saw a young girl in the deeper water bobbing and going under. They swam over to the child who grabbed at Ariel and began pulling her under as well, Brad said.

"Long story short, Ariel and Bud were able to bring the child to safety in shallow water." However, they weren't able to get the names of the child or her parents, Brad said.

"The swimming lessons Ariel and Bud have taken at the YMCA the last few years clearly have paid off," Brad said. "I am so proud of my kids."

Ariel and Bud "were very excited when they came home and told everyone they could about the child they helped." This fall, Ariel will be a student at Pioneer Middle School and her brother will head back to Green Park Elementary.

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A movie co-written by a member of the Walla Walla High School Class of 1995 has just been released to DVD and Netflix. Elaine Fogg, daughter of Joyce Fogg of Walla Walla, was a screenwriter on the 2010 film "Hard Breakers."

A premiere for the summer comedy was in San Diego in June and stars Tom Arnold, Chris Kattan, Cameron Richardson, Tia Carrere and Sophie Monk, among others.

In the story, best buddies Lindsay and Alexis have experienced a long list of dating disasters and frustration with men. To remedy that, they take the caveman approach: lure unsuspecting men close enough to knock them out and drag them back to their place.

One of the girls' father and an obsessive ex-boyfriend force Alexis to confront her issues with men. The girls' plan goes awry and Alexis falls for one of her male conquests, an online plot synopsis notes.

Ultimately, the two friends recognize the strength of their friendship and their self worth determines how men will treat them.

Joyce said while the film is not necessarily family oriented, it's funny anyway.

Elaine's friend Leah Sturgis, the film's co-writer, director, co-editor and producer, said in a chud.com interview with Ryan Mason that "The reason I teamed up with Elaine was because I wanted to write this kind of outlandish fun comedy and we had gone to college together.

"I always told her that she should do stand up. She's just great with these one-liners. She has a really funny sense of humor so I thought for the two girls (in "Hard Breakers") to banter back and forth and create this relationship would be perfect because we already had that relationship so it would be more realistic.

"We'd have the voices of both her and I in there. It was more of a fun process. It helps to have that other voice there when there's two main characters. So I was more of the structure and traditional-what-you-learn-in-screenwriting-classes, and she's great with the clever one-liners, so I wanted to bring that together."

Elaine attended The Evergreen State College and studied in South Africa, Mexico and Namibia, Joyce said.

Elaine and Rodney Outlaw announced their engagement in the U-B July 17. The Valencia, Calif., residents plan to wed here on Oct. 8. Elaine expects to be in town Aug. 15-18 to prepare for their big day, Joyce said. Elaine will continue script writing.

A trailer of the film is viewable at hardbreakersthemovie.com .

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Google Noah Leavitt and you're bound to find the Walla Walla man wearing the hats of teacher, author, community organizer and attorney. In early July he added a new chapeau when he began serving as assistant dean for student engagement at Whitman College.

A new position in the Dean of Students office, Noah will oversee and develop most of the programs and initiatives that involve Whitman students engaged in meaningful out-of-class opportunities, whether jobs, internships, volunteer roles or other community service-type positions, Noah said.

"One of the results of this change is that I completed my work with the Walla Walla Asset Building Coalition, effective June 30. While I remain highly supportive of the Coalition I no longer have any formal staffing role with that project. My understanding is that Steve Moss and Kathy Covey will be overseeing projects there, which is perfect given the growth and evolution of the Coalition over the past three years."

Noah earned a bachelor's from Haverford (Pa.) College, a master's from University of Michigan and his juris doctor from the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor , where he was an editor and contributed to the Michigan Journal of International Law. After graduation, he clerked for the Hon. Steven. D. Pepe, with the U.S. District Court in Eastern Michigan.

Findlaw.com notes that Noah gained international legal experience at the International Law Commission of the United Nations in Geneva, the University of Cape Town Legal Aid Clinic in South Africa and the International Court of Justice in The Hague. He was also a delegate of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty to the United Nations Racism Conference in Durban and regional follow-up meetings.

Stateside, Noah has worked for the U.S. Department of Justice, Michigan Poverty Law Program and Center for Civil Justice, for which he was awarded one of three John J. Curtin Jr. Justice Fellowships from the ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty, and as advocacy director for the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs.

At whitman.edu, Noah's bio says he teaches social problems and field lab in applied sociology and teaches in the general studies program.

The thesis for his master's in social sciences, "The Ends of Ethnicity," analyzed the shifting perceptions of identity among leaders of interethnic networks in the Midwest.

Through his writing, Noah has analyzed contemporary legal, cultural and political events, which have been published in print and online publications such as The Forward, Slate, Michigan Journal of International Law, CNN, The Housing Law Bulletin, FindLaw, International Herald Tribune, Jurist and the blog of the American Constitution Society.

Noah is currently working on a research project with wife Helen Kim to understand how American Jews and Asian-Americans who are married to each other think about their racial, religious and ethnic identities.

Helen is an associate professor of sociology at Whitman. After she and Noah got together more than 14 years ago, they wanted to know about other interracial couples like themselves. Their research examines such subjects as childhood and adolescent experiences, family dynamics, religious and cultural practices, professional involvements and civic and community commitments.

In the Feb. 25 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, he and Helen were interviewed about their study after the brouhaha over Yale law professor Amy Chua's controversial book "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother."

At lawyers.legalhelpmate.com one can see that Noah has a law practice in Walla Walla. At bechollashon.org it shows that Noah is a research scholar for Be'chol Lashon, (translated as In Every Tongue), which through research and community building "grows and strengthens the Jewish people through ethnic, cultural, and racial inclusiveness."

He is president of Congregation Beth Israel. He was advocacy director for the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, guiding many campaigns that combat poverty, racism and anti-Semitism in partnership with Chicago's diverse communities.

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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