ETCETERA - Young CP poet writes his way into publication


An avid biography reader, Nicholas Cueto, son of Faye and Rey Cueto of College Place, wrote a poem about one of his book's subjects and it was published in "Acclaimed," through The America Library of Poetry.

The 12-year-old Rogers Adventist School sixth-grader wrote "A Noble Man," about Martin Luther King Jr., who "had a voice, a big loud voice, to use to talk and sing. ... He wanted people to be kind in spite of how they're treated; he went against the Jim Crow laws, and those were soon defeated."

"Then one sad day on April 4 in 1968, James Earl Ray shot Dr. King for to assassinate. But even though he died so young, he left a legacy; and one fine day when Jesus comes, he'll live eternally."

This poem was also printed in Short Stuff, the Rogers School newsletter.

Nicholas wrote the poem near the end of his fifth-grade term at age 11 and it was published in Acclaimed toward the end of 2011. Nicholas loves to read and likes to write, his mother said. "He loves math and school in general. He wants to be an architectural engineer, loves to draw and build with Legos. He plays bass in school orchestra and piano on the side and is a member of his school's library club," Faye said.

Of particular note, Nicholas is into biographies, World War II history, Hardy Boys mysteries and how-to books that explain drawing technique and how things are made.

He said he especially enjoys learning about history and admires the work of Dr. Ben Carson, an American neurosurgeon and director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, as well as MLK and presidents George Washington and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Nicholas recently designed his own house, drawing a floor plan that puts a library, his bedroom and kitchen in close proximity as well as a patio, den, living and dining rooms. It's a single level now, but he would consider maybe two to three levels if he gets married and has kids, he said.


Walla Walla University alumni Mark L. Smith and Shaen Tarter are in the thick of the vital fuel supply to storage tanks in Nome, Alaska. News stories have been following historic efforts, including "Nome's first winter fuel delivery comes across the ice," an article by Sandra L. Medearis in The Nome Nugget, "Alaska's oldest newspaper, a weekly published on Thursdays.

Mark is CEO of Vitus Marine, a barge service company that staged the fuel supply project. He said precautions were in place for safety of the environment. Vitus Marine LLC specializes in meeting marine transportation and fuel distribution needs of Western Alaska maritime communities, according to its website. Company principals Mark and Shaen have operated marine assets in Alaska for more than 20 years. The company is located on Northern Lights Boulevard, Suite 200, Anchorage, Alaska.

Russian tanker Renda began offloading fuel to storage tanks in Nome midday on Jan. 15. The transfer took several days. The tanker received an escort from Dutch Harbor with the U.S. Coast Guard ice breaker Healy, hauling 1.4 million gallons of gasoline and diesel to replace a failed shipment that Bonanza Fuel distributors needed to top off a winter supply for vehicle travel. The diesel fuel may go into heating tanks drained by prolonged cold weather, before winter ends.

For more than a week, Renda followed the icebreaker through 350 miles of ocean coated by four-foot-thick ice.

Bonanza Fuel contracted with Vitus Marine to transport the fuel. "Vitus Marine found the tanker idle after a completed charter in Vladivostok; the fuel supply project weighed anchor and got underway," Sandra reported.

"The ships paired up at Dutch Harbor and headed north Jan. 2 after Vitus Marine fought to bring the Renda through weather, ice and maritime laws in four languages. They sought and received a waiver of the 1920 Jones Act, a U.S. law that requires ships carrying cargo between American ports to be built in American and operated by American crews," Sandra reported.

The fuel delivery resulted from more than a month's planning and support by many state and federal agencies as well as local stakeholders.

But Mark added that "the mission is not over, just out of the news. We are fighting strong winds and below zero temperatures as the USCG ice breaker Healy and tanker Renda pound through thickening ice. As of 2 p.m. (Jan. 25), the vessels are approximately 200 nautical miles south of Nome and have another 250 miles to go to break free of the ice pack."

Mark said there are great images at KNOM radio's Facebook page and Flickr stream as well as from the Coast Guard at

Although his mother, a College Place resident, died in May 2011, Mark still has plenty of family to visit with in this area.

His sister, Margaret Smith Duhart is in College Place, and a sister- and brother-in-law, Wilda Treadwell and Dwight Gladden, live in Walla Walla. Mark's wife Ivy Gladden Smith is from Walla Walla where her sister Margaret Duhart lives along with a large clan of aunts, uncles and cousins.

Mark grew up in Aleknagik, Alaska. He came to the Walla Walla area after working summers in Alaska to attend high school at Walla Walla Valley Academy because his home village didn't have a high school. Starting in 1975 he lived with an aunt here while attending WWVA. He graduated in 1983 from WWU. Cameron Libby, who also works at Vitus Marine, is a WWU grad and currently is on its Board of Trustees.


The Walla Walla High School Debate team competed Jan. 6-7 at the 79th annual Puget Sound High School Forensics Tournament on the University of Puget Sound campus in Tacoma.

"The students' successes exceeded my expectations and our varsity students were wonderful role models for our newer competitors, said Jean Tobin, their coach.

The UPS tournament is one of the largest in the state and draws competitors from as far away as California and Canada. Fifty-three schools competed and over 500 students. At this tournament students had to be ready to debate new topics in all three forms of debate: Congressional, Public Forum and Lincoln-Douglas. WWHS students spent many hours over the break researching, writing and practicing.

Among Jean's highlights that weekend included the student who was afraid in September to speak a sentence in front of a small group of students but made the finals in her speech event; all but one of their newest team members broke into the final rounds of competition; students repeatedly heard comments from judges and fellow competitors about the high quality of Wa-Hi debaters; even less successful students were extremely supportive and kind to teammates who were successful; for the first time in a debate event, a Wa-Hi student (Kendall Dunovant) placed first at a major tournament, in her division of Lincoln-Douglas debate.

"We have repeatedly placed first in speech events even at large tournaments and have placed first in debate at small tournaments," Jean said.

She also said the team has incredible parent support, five of whom travel with the group and work 14-hour days to help judge at the tournament. This time the adult crew included Annie Capestany, Joe Cooke, Katie and Carl Christianson and Vanessa Prull.

Awards in Speech: Hope Grant-Herriot, second place open original oratory; Maggie Grant and Kurt Funk, first novice duo interpretation; Anna Apostolidis-Morefield, first in novice expository; Ben Parsons, fourth place novice expository; Kate Kuhlmann, finalist novice expository and the only student to break into finals in both debate and speech from the Wa-Hi team; Lupe Beck, finalist novice oral interpretation

In Lincoln-Douglas Debate, students debated the topic, "Resolved: It is morally permissible for victims to use deadly force as a deliberate response to repeated domestic violence." In the open category, Rosa Tobin went 3-3 and missed breaking by one round; in juniors, Kendall Dunovant went 5-1 in preliminary rounds and placed first overall; in novice, Tristan Moore went 5-1 in preliminary rounds and was a quarter finalist.

Public-Forum Debate students debated "Resolved: The costs of a college education outweigh the benefits." In the open category, the team of Kera Parsons and Julia Cosma went 4-2 and broke to Octa-Finals; In the open category the team of Bryan Preston and Sean Hamilton went 3-3 and missed breaking by one round; in novice, the team of Malcolm Gabbard and Emily Prull went 5-1 in preliminary rounds and placed second overall;

In Congressional Debate, students debated 25 different bills, which included discussion of the Keystone pipeline, legalizing marijuana, extending the Bush tax cuts, amending the 14th amendment and many other topics. In open Congress, Machado Mijiga was a finalist. He was also invited to participate in a select tournament at Eastside Catholic as one of the top Congressional Debaters in the state, but could not attend.

In Junior Congress, Nathen Myers and Kate Kuhlmann were finalists.


Shipmates ahoy! The USS Maddox Destroyer Association (DD731, DD622 and DD168) is planning a reunion Aug. 16-19. Check in with Dennis Stokhaug, 571 W. 14562 Hidden Creek Court, Muskego, WI 53150, 262-679-9409 or


The results for 2011 Walla Walla community blood drives are in and the numbers are good.

Altogether, 1,669 participants donated 1,488 units of blood and that includes 118 first-time donors. That tops results from 2010: 980 people donated 882 units and there were 33 first-time donors.

"This is absolutely a great response by our local citizens to help meet the needs of others. It is gratifying to know people are willing to help others - even those people they do not know and may never meet," said Jerry Cummins, executive director of the Blue Mountain Chapter of American Red Cross.

Several open monthly blood draws are held here, including 1-6 p.m. Feb. 14 at First Congregational Church, 73 S. Palouse St.; and noon-5 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Eastgate Adventist Church, 380 N. Tausick Way. College and high school students are eligible to donate, but like everyone else, are limited to donations every 56 days.

The appointment telephone number can direct donors to the most convenient location for each individual, Jerry said.

Call 800-787-9691 for appointments; 1-800-280-3632 for blood suitability inquiries or see

Jerry, new to his post, Jerry appreciates the work and guidance offered by members of the local board of directors. Its members are Chris Coates, chairwoman; Kristi Spurgeon, Melissa Buckley, Nabiel Shawa and Shirley Anderson.

"It is hard to imagine the untold hours our local volunteers put in to meet the mission of this local Red Cross Office to our local citizens," Jerry said.

"As an example, our Disaster Assistance Team is on call 24/7 in the event local individuals have emergencies and are ready to mobilize to assist those in distress. ...In the past week, we have responded and provided assistance to two families that had devastating fires (one on Fern Avenue and one in Milton-Freewater)."

Volunteers for the board and to be active with the chapter are always welcome, Jerry said.

Blue Mountain Chapter is at P.O. Box 3067, 175 S. Park St. Call 509-525-7380 for more information

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


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