Etcetera - 10/3/12

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Jim Sonne, Blue Mountain PF Chapter 258 president, said the local group has several conservation projects planned for this area:

A 10-acre site up Woodward Canyon was planted with four native grasses in February.

Mowed by the owner for weed control on Sept. 4, "the grasses responded very well and are gradually taking over the site," according to an email from PF members Larry and Elizabeth Boe.

Some 2,320 trees and shrubs were planted in tarps there and the chapter ordered a guzzler for the site.

Two types of shrubs they're planting are thriving: Wood's rose and antelope bitterbrush.

"They're easy to plant, have a high survival rate and have proven wildlife benefits," the Boes said.

They're using a blend of secar bluebunch, Sherman big bluegrass, Critana thickspike and basin wild rye grass, a mix that provides a shorter grass planting making it easier to spot and deal with noxious weeds.

"Basin wild rye grows to a height of five to six feet and provides good cover. It can be seen at the Whitman Mission," the Boes said.

It costs about $60 an acre. Possible sites for this include Walla Walla Community College, Frog Hollow and elsewhere.

They plan to install a 300-foot by 15-foot tarp this fall on Sand Pit Road; put in replacement trees and shrubs and probably grass seed at Frog Hollow; and a tree and shrub planting in Columbia County.

For more details, email Jim at bmpf258@charter.net.


Former Waitsburg and Richland resident Lauren Broom earned a doctor of pharmacology degree from the School of Biomedical Sciences, Kings College, London.

The daughter of Gayle and Jeff Broom of Walla Walla, Lauren and husband Otto Bjortomt live in Lund, Sweden, where she is doing postdoctorate research focusing on Parkinson's disease.

Jeff attended high school in Waitsburg and graduated from Washington State University.

"After a career of moving around" the couple moved to Richland in 1981 when Lauren was a baby.

She graduated from Richland High School, and majored in psychology at WSU.

"All this time, my parents were still in Waitsburg and we all spent a good deal of time here," Jeff said.

Lauren studied for a year in York, England, as a junior, then got her degree from WSU in 2002.

During her college years she again made her home base in Waitsburg, as Jeff retired and they moved there in 2001.

Lauren went to Scotland and began studying at Edinburgh University, where she received her master's in neuroscience in 2004.

She moved back to England and was a researcher before starting on her Ph.D. at Kings College.

"We are of course very proud of her," Jeff said.

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