You can gaze across the great forests of the eastern Cascades and see an unnatural landscape. After a century of fire suppression and mismanagement, in many locations the slopes and canyons are clogged with trees at densities 10 times greater than when we European descendents arrived on the scene. They are starved for moisture, dry, ready to burn.
What an opportunity. We live in a community where our homes, businesses and schools are only minutes away from a portal to the natural world. For Wenatchee’s fifth-graders, it happens every year. Just a quick trip from their everyday classroom and they are in the greatest classroom of all, a world begging to be explored.
It was one of the great mysteries revealed in the devastation of the Carlton Complex fires that should you lose your home in a hurricane, flood, tornado or other natural disaster, you may then be eligible for federal disaster assistance. If your home burns to the ground in a wildfire, even one that began on federal land, you are out of luck.
It begins today, for the 25th time. Thousands of athletes, coaches, family and friends arrive in Wenatchee for the Special Olympics Washington Winter Games. We hope these guests know just how welcome they are, and how flattered this city and region are to host such a wonderful and inspiring event for the last quarter century. The Winter Games are a highlight of the sporting year.
There was some interesting economic development news that came out of the latest “Port Side” meeting convened by the Chelan County Port District. The meeting was held at the Wenatchee Community Center on Wednesday.
From deep in my college memories, I recall one definition of politics as “the exercise of power, influence and authority.” In the Northwest, salmon are politicians. They are power for the metaphorical machine that drives decisions on billions of dollars of public spending. They influence our outlook, our actions and plans for the future. They supply political leverage and motivation for countless government actions, programs and appropriations.
Accidents come with statistical near-inevitability. Unless you cease your risky behavior, it is difficult technically to reduce the chance of an accident to zero. If the probability is something above zero, then accidents will happen, somewhere, sometime. You can do what you can to reduce the chances, and lessen the consequences, but whatever you do, it will happen. You or your successors will have to deal with it.
To see Dr. Ed Farrar take steps with the help of an exoskeleton device is thrilling. After spending five years in a wheelchair after an accident, Farrar first tested one of these computerized rehabilitation devices in California last year.
There is a hero near you who deserves something — recognition. These are the selfless, active volunteers in service, the people who make this a better place. They may not care for attention, but it’s important, because recognition creates more of them.
It’s all the buzz on the national wires today. Walmart, largest private employer in the United States, will raise its minimum wage to $9 per hour soon, and $10 by February, 2016, says the New York Times. That applies in some degree to 500,000 of its 1.3 million employees.
I had the mumps. If you don’t know, mumps is a once-common childhood disease. It is a memorable infection, at least the parts after the fever subsides. I remember well the primary symptom, severe swelling of the salivary glands until you look like Dizzy Gillespie going for a high C. It was painful enough to stick in my memory for nearly 60 years, even if I avoided the more common complications, like meningitis. You do not want your child to get the mumps. Believe me.
Tib Plughoff of Omak remembers his paperboy days. He writes: “Before I obtained my route I sold by the Mecca barbershop. The trick was to put the paper into the person’s hand while they still had their change (haircuts were 75 cents and they had two bits change) so often the 10 cent paper was purchased for a quarter. Pretty tricky, I might add. But then Wenatchee Daily World paperboys (there were no girls) were resourceful and did not like to take no for an answer...only one thin dime made ...