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February 18, 2010     Cheney Free Press
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February 18, 2010
 

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OP[' 3N Page 4 Free Press The time to honor volunteers is right now Quite often we don't realize the individual com- munity treasures we have until they're gone. Then it's too late to express our appreciation for their work through honoring them with something public - like naming a field or a street or park after them. The treasures we speak of are the individuals who give of themselves to make our communities, our kids, and even ourselves, better. These individuals come in different guises: coaches, teachers, state workers, plumbers,  carriers, a bank manager - the list goes on. We all know someone who epitomizes what it means to be a community volunteer. These folks go above and beyond the standard for volunteerism the rest of us can only hope to achieve. One of those individuals in Cheney is Homer DickersorL Another one in Medical Lake is Howard Jorgenson. These and others serve as role models to US all. And yet quite often their efforts are innocently taken for granted. And often these volunteers wouldn't have it any other way, choosing to stay out of the limelight as it were in order to focus attention on their cause or organization. That humility is also what makes them special. Whether they were raised in an atmosphere of com- munity involvement, or took it on later in life because they felt called, these volunteers give back because it's the right thing to do. But volunteers do say there is a payback. It's an internal feeling of well being, of satisfaction they can play some part, even if small, in creating a better com- munity, a better world. Volunteerism is not something that comes easy to many people. It often takes a great deal of energy, sacrifice and dedication. There is a high amount of turnover that makes it even more difficult because new volunteers must be found and retrained, and sometimes that leads to confusion and a slowing of the organization's efforts. That's all the more reason why we need to find ways to demonstrate our thanks now to those who devote much of their personal time and energy as volunteers. Some have been recognized through various community awards, and those are wonder- ful sentiments. But why not go a little bit further. If not naming something after the individual, how about at least a mayoral proclamation of a specific day in their honor? Such efforts might even spur others to volunteer who have contemplated doing so but shied away for various reasons. Maybe these individuals would realize the extent of the community's gratitude, even if in stepping up it is gratitude they least wish to receive. [ .............................................. ................... Write to the Point Backpack ban gives students a chance for real learning In case you missed it, a small but significant battle was fought, and by some accounts won, in Medical Lake late last week. When Medical Lake High School administrators announced last Thursday that, following the three-day weekend, backpacks would no longer be al- lowedinclass- rooms -dte ,. to safety and contraband concerns, students ex- pressed their outrage. Fliers were posted around the school urging backpacks to be worn to class on Tuesday as a show of civil disobedience. "No back- packs?" the posters read, "Our school is a complete joke." Someone called in the cameras and students made the most of the media coverage to voice their op- position. One student complained that it didn't make sense to have to pile everything into a locker when he could have easy access through- out the day to his books and cloth- ing. Another student said it was outrageous that administrators didn't give them more warning before springing such a sizeable new rule on them. A few parents complained about the rule as well, with one mother saying her child was sus- pended for posting a picture of a backpack on her locker. Principal John McSmith defended his con- cerns about drugs and weapons being smuggled in the bags, and told reporters the oversized "life packs" were crowding classrooms , .................... , and leading to a dangerous situa- 'i tion if there was ever need for a quick exit. ' ,$21 But by Friday afternoon, Mc- Smith had apparently appraised thedcate,tion ,and took a  step back, agree/ngto allow back- packs for the time being while an acceptable compromise is hashed Ryan Lancaster out with student input. To be honest, when I first heard about this whole episode my initial thoughts centered on two words and a question mark: Who cares? It was tempting to just chalk the whole thing up to the melodra- matic tendencies of teens. After all,.I'm still just young enough to remember how quickly a typical weekend day could be immedi- atelytransformed intoa pure hell rivaling any Shakespearean trag- edy the moment my dad told me I had to help him chop some wood for an hour. Viewing the concerns of youth as meaningless is stodgy and shortsighted, however, and there's nothing like looking down on the young to make you feel old. SO I tried to see things from their angle. They had a point. MLHS ad- ministrators could probably have come at this thing with a little more deliberation. It wouldn't have hurt to send a letter home to pents and gather some input from the ASB before unleashing such a jolting ruling on the unsuspecting teenaged masses. But in the end McSmith saved the day by choos- ing negotiation over an iron fist. His willingness to listen and retreat doesn't just bode well for a resolution to this relatively minor issue, it could serve as a priceless bit of hands-on learning for all of those young minds he and other educators have been entrusted to help shape. As long as administra- tors follow through and actually listen to the student body, Medical Lake's saga of the sacks should have a happy outcome for all. By allowing students to protest a perceived injustice (i.e., taking away something that's important to their everyday lives) and then responding to those objections with cooperation, administrators have shown the workability of civil civic involvement. Too often, teens are scowled at for their lack of interest in politics and the im- mediate world around them. If more authority figures listened to the concerns of youth instead of imposing tactless rules on them, we might have a more grounded, engaged generation to rely on in our old age. I Keep those letters coming.. A wbrant open,on page leads to a vibrant commun,ty FREE PRESS Vol. 113-No. 44 Publisher Editor Press Production Manager Harlan Shellabarger John McCallum Randy Warwick Sales Reporters Pressmen Steve Barge Paul Delaney Mark Cordes Carol Campbell Ryan Lancaster Ed Geary DeeAnn Gibb Becky Thomas Sergio Reynaga Bookkeeper Front Office Graphics Debi Labish Rubi Geary John Myers Circulation Manager Wendy Westby Karen Robinette Sharon Tennison The Editorial Board is composed of Paul Detaney, Ryan Lancaster, John McCallum, Harlan Shellabarger, Becky Thomas The Cheney Free Press is published every Thursday by the Free Press Publishing Company, William Ifft, president. Periodic postage paid at Cheney, Wash. 99004. Published at 1616 W. First Street, Cheney, Wash. 99004. POSTMAsTER: Send address changes to: Cheney Free Press, P.O. Box 218, Cheney, Wash. 99004-0218. ID PUBLICATION # 102240 The Free Press requests that contributors observe the following deadlines, which will be strictly en- forced: OmTUARIES, MEETINGS OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES - Tuesday, 10 a.m. CHURCH, WEDDINGS, CLUB MEETINGS, ALL SOCIAL NEWS - Monday, DISPLAY ADVERI'BING - Monday, 4 p.m. LEGAL NOTICES - Monday, 5 p.m. ED ADVERTISING - Tueeday, 11 a.m. Rates: Addresses in Spokane County, $24 per year within Spokane County; $36 per year outside Spokane County; senior citizens in Spokane County, $22 per year. For other rates, call 235-6184. Subscription cancellations are non-refundablel HOW TO CONTACT US Letters We welcome letters to the editor of 300 words or less. Deadline is Monday at 4 p.m. Letters must be signed and/ndude a daytime phone number. We reserve the fight to edit for lensth, style, policy and libel laws. Phone: 235-6184 Fax: 235-2887 emaIl: clp@cheneyfrpmss.com online at www.cheneyfreepress.com Thursday, February 18, 2010 Letters Open letter to the patrons of the Cheney School District The Cheney School Board would like to express our profound appreciation and heartfelt thanks to all the voters in the Cheney School District for the passage of the Capi- tal Bond for new middle schools. In particular we wish to ac- knowledge our voters' foresight and willingness to support a qual- ity education for all our kids, even in these difficult economic times. These are big decisions and we very much appreciate our voters looking at the current facilities, see- ing the need for action and voting their support. This is truly a great community. We would also like to acknowl- edge the efforts of James Whitley, Chairman of the Committee for the Support of Good Schools, and Less Harris, Chairman of the Facli- ties Planning Committee. They and their volunteers worked tire- lessly and enthusiastically for many months to get the information on the need for new facilities out to voters. We thank them all. Thank you for the faith and con- fidence your vote shows. In part- nership with you, we will continue to workhard to fulfill our obligation to support our children. The Cheney School Board Kerry O'Connor Cheney Cheney Boy Scout Troop 356 thanks community for giving Cheney's Boy Scout Troop 356 would like to say some thank yous. Thank you to the Kiwanis for sponsoring the troop for the last decade or so. Thank you to the American Legion for being out Charter Organization this year. Thank you to the VFW who sponsors Pack 356 where most of us come from. Thank you to the UCC Church for giving us a place to meet. Thank you for buying our popcorn and our Christmas trees. We went with a different source this year and need your feedback. Please call 235-2908 and leave a message about your Boy Scout tree. In spite of having 25 trees "walk" we earned enough to help the boys go to camp. Thank you for generously giving to our food drive. Every November the Boy Scouts nationally hold a food drive and we Ush/flly collect a ton of ' 6od fbr eney''F Sank. ' Finally, Boy Scouts of Amer- ica is 100 years old this year and soon Troop 356 here in Cheney will be too. Please continue to support these young men. I will be moving on in September, but I hope the troop here in Cheney not only makes it to its 100th birthday but continues for at least 100 more. Carol Campbell Troop 356 Committee Chair Cheney City of Cheney should I'm always annoyed when I receive the Parks and Recreation activities brochure knowing that its information could be dis- seminated at much less cost, i.e. using newsprint paper. I once complained to a councilperson who disagreed because it was a "classy" publication and obvi- ously worth the cost. This week I received my new garbage can. The instructions for use contain 20 full-color copy pho- tographs. I cannot believe that black and white copies would not have been as effective and at less cost. re-examine unneeded expenditures While the taxpayers are strug- gling with this current economy, it's disconcerting that the city does not seem to worry about their (our) budget. Only the best for Cheney! Phylis Mitzel Cheney More CSD recognition innevitable thanks to school bond Thank you, thank you, thank you to our wonderful Cheney community. Despite the difficult economy and the nay saying of certain factions, you were able to see the way to a clear conclu- sion regarding the school bond. You understood the need and responded with a resounding "yes for kids!" Cheney can now continue its long and proud tradi- tion of providing a high quality education for our current and future generations. Stay tuned U.S. News and World Report: our elementary students of today will be winning your high school award for many tomorrows to come! Thank you Cheney! Mary Robinson Cheney CHS Choir thanks supporters for successful fundraiser The Cheney High School Con- cert Choir sends a very big thank you for the community's very generous support of the 17th an- nual Dessert and Silent Auction. Special recognition to the following: Business sponsors- Iqorthern Quest Casino, Cheney Free Press, Cheney Subway, Dealer Auto Auction, Wendy's, J&J Truck and Auto Repair in Airway Heights, Cheney Credit Union, Owl Pharmacy, Cheney Safeway, Remington's Airport Ra- mada, Cheney Trading Company, Mitchell's IGA, Cheney Starbucks and Chet's Flowers. Individuals thanks to Dorothy Dishman, Chuck Cone, Rick Ur- dahl and Cissy St. Claire. Thank you to everyone in the Cheney School District commu- nity for your helping fund the students' trip to Disney! "e event was indeed a tremendous success because of our community of sup- porters! CHS Concert Choir Parent Group Cheney Your Cheney Free Press editorial staff John McCallum Editor Main contact for anything re- garding Cheney Free Press editorial coverage. Covers all Cheney High School sports, Eastem Washington University news. jmac.heneyfmepmscom Becky Thomas Staff Reporter Covers all Cheney govem- ment, community and school district news and events. bcky @ chenereepress corn Ryan Lancaster Staff Reporter Covers all Medical Lake government, community and school district news and events. an @ cheneyfreepress.com Paul Delaney Staff Reporter Covers all Medical Lake High School and Eastern Washing- ton University sports. Contact for miscellaneous sports. @ cheneyfreepress. com