Scouts repurpose castoff Christmas trees

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A cadre of College Place, Walla Walla and Dayton Boy Scouts teamed up one recent weekend to collect and repurpose Christmas trees that had been retired to the front curb.

The castoff trees continue to be useful as they are used to build habitat for upland game and small birds and animals at the Mill Creek project around Bennington Lake.

Overcoming the cold, mud and sharp pine needles, some 35 scouts collected 1,000-plus trees from residents, said tree collection coordinator Al Sutlick in a release.

Many people who donated their trees also made financial contributions to the organization, although it wasn't necessary, Al said. The funds will help many of the boys attend a week-long summer camp or participate in other scouting activities.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cooperated in the work and other adults pitched in as drivers, safety officers, accountants and occasionally as medics, Al said.

The scouts aimed to check every street and alley to gather as many trees as they could.

"Our e-mail system was overwhelmed with requests this year, so we may have missed a few pickups."

Financial contributions may still be made to Troop 305, P.O. Box 2665, Walla Walla 99362. Al may be reached at 509-240-2197.

Jean Tobin's debate students continue to do well in competition. The Walla Walla High School Debate Team earned sixth place overall in sweepstakes and fourth place in individual events at the Conway Classic Debate Tournament Jan. 7-8 on the Gonzaga University campus.

Competition in Moses Lake is next, then the Wa-Hi team will host a tournament Feb. 5 at Wa-Hi.

"Great job everyone, I'm so proud of you," Jean told students in an e-mail. "It was tough competition, but not tough enough to stop you all."

Results from the Conway Classic Open Division include: Machado Mijiga, first editorial commentary, third in impromptu speaking and broke to Octa-Finals in LD Debate.

Rosa Tobin made it to finals in editorial commentary and broke to Octa-Finals in LD Debate. Calvin Brigham took third in editorial commentary and broke to Octa-Finals in LD Debate. Carrie Moore took third with Marisol Beck in dual interpretation and made it to finals in expository speaking. Marisol also took third in expository speaking and made it to the Super Congress (finals round).

Hope Grant-Herriot took first in expository speaking, made it to finals in interpretive reading and made it to Super Congress.

Julia Cosma and Kera Parsons had a winning record in Public Forum (3-2) and just missed making it into quarter finals in public forum.

Novice Division: Ori VanDyke, first tournament, took third in interpretive reading novice.

Konor Clark made it to finals in impromptu speaking and quarter-finals in LD debate (losing on a 2-1 decision). And Kendall Dunovant took third in impromptu speaking and made it to Octa-Finals in LD debate.

Whitman College professor emeritus Jay Eacker recently published "It's About Skiing and Not the Skis, Behavior Theory, Skiing, and Ski Teaching."

He will sign copies of the book on the psychology of skiing from 2-4 p.m. Jan. 22 at Hastings, 617 S. Ninth Ave. The 119-page paperback book from outskirtspress.com is $19.95.

A professor of psychology for three-plus decades at Whitman, he used behavior theory when he taught introductory psychology, applied and experimental analysis of behavior, the history of psychology and the psychology of health.

He believes that skiing has a theory. "It's just that no one has taken the time to point out what it is," he said in the book's introduction.

He's working to bring back into circulation two previous books that have gone out of print, "Problems of Philosophy and Psychology" and "Problems of Metaphysics and Psychology."

Jay retired at 70 and now at "oh double seven," he finds himself in the same boat as a friend who's so busy he'd considered hiring help.

Jay perceived himself as a behavior analyst ala B.F. Skinner, but "now, I am just an old guy who still likes to ski and who has spent a lot of time thinking about it."

To keep up the pursuit he's enjoyed for more than 30 years, Jay stays in condition through bicycling, hiking and fishing and playing tennis about three times a week.

He's planning a ski trip to Utah and skis at Bluewood.

A level-two certified ski instructor, he taught at Park City (Utah) Mountain Resort for four years and several years ago was voted Ski Bluewood Instructor of the Year by peers.

Jay earned a doctorate in general experimental psychology from Washington State University. He said he's "working on 'About Behavior Analysis,' which identifies some of its limitations but also directs psychology back to behavior. While cognitions, or thinking, are also what we do, they do not explain what we do. They are to be explained along with our other, more overt behavior."

He said that "skiing is what we do with boards on our feet and ... ski teaching is what we do to change it."

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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