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April 28, 2011     Cheney Free Press
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April 28, 2011
 

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,m Page 4 Free Press OPI? 00ION Thursday, April 28, 2011 ML skate park supporters need to step up The Medical Lake skate park has been a reliable nui- sance for the city since it was built eight years ago. It has been temporarily closed dozens of times fol- lowing countless acts of property damage - the most serious in 2008 when someone went so far as to set fire to one of the ramps. Now the city has locked it up indefinitely after a particularly nasty case of vandalism there earlier this month. On the afternoon of April 12 a dty maintenance worker found the ramps painted with swastikas and slogans such as, "white power," "I support racial hatred" and much worse. After careful deliberation last week, City Councif members opted to keep the park dosed until the Spokane County Sheriff s Office completes an investigation into the matter - which could be weeks away. It would be easy for skaters and their parents to get angry at the city, arguing (rightly) that there's no solid evidence users of the skate park are those responsible for the damage. City Council members raised this point themselves but eventually agreed that they don't have many other tools at their disposal to deal with the problen The city can't spend money it doesn't have on a security camera, which would probably get vandalized anyway, and emphasis patrols by the city's sole law enforcement officer are probably not going to be much of a deterrent, seeing as the most recent acts occurred in broad daylight. The fact is that the city has just about had it with this headache, and for a long time now has been trend- ing toward closing the park for good. But rather than falsely scapegoat city officials as a bunch of hot-heads out to punish skaters for the actions of a few idiots, the park's supporters should realize it's up to them to turn things around. Those who are serious about the sport should get serious about protecting both the park and their own image. It gives a black eye to skateboarders everywhere when the place they hang out in is constantly marred by gang graffiti and hateful slogans, not to mention the otler vandalism, littering and drug activity. Back in 2008, the last time the city dosed the park for a substantial period, skaters rallied by posting call- to-action signs around town" "If we want the skate park back open we have to clean it up. If the City Council sees that we are making an attempt to do our part then we will be able to get it open." They followed this up by holding a "Skate Park Cleaning Rally" that May. This time around it might take a little more effort. Skaters need to lay aside their skewed sense of pro- priety and start reporting any suspiciousactivity they see at the park. Telling the authorities about a crime is much cooler than taking the bus into Spokane every time you want to skate. This would also be a prime time for adults to step forward and show some leadership - maybe a school counselor, the parent of a skater or even a City Council member. Adults are often more able toget the ball roll- in& and a councilperson or counselor has the authority to call people together around a solution. While one or two people are probably responsible for most ofthe trouble around the skate park, it's going to take the whole community to convey the message that it won't be tolerated any longer. GUEST COMMENTARY A server's timely reminder about kindness For the past hour or so, a woman I've never met has been calling me ,honey." You decide what you want, honey? Honey, would you like more coffee? You stay as long as you need to, honey. Here I am on a rainy Tuday in Ohio, feeling specialina corner booth at the Sugar Shak Cafe after owner Jeanine Reed bestows upon me the same term of affecti'on she .. uses for every . single person she lays eyes on. The odd- est thing: This doesn't both- Connie Schultz er me in the leasL In fact, having a middle-aged woman act as if she's known me forever feels a lot like home, when every mum in the neighborhood used to smile - and yell at me, too -- as if I were one of her owrL Maybe I'm finally growing up. Maybe I'm mellowing. Or maybe I'm just so sick of the digital-crazed trend of ignoring people right in front of us that I'm just grateful for the reminder that we all have to take a turn weeding the high road. Reed's diner is like a lot of small- town restaurants. Lace curtains shade the windows, and coffee mugs are printed with advertising from local businesses. Each customer is gseeted with a sign by the door. "Please clean the mud off your shoes outside." We all do, earning the "thank you" printed at the bottom. I pulled in to order a quick lunch and write a response to David Cards recent New York Times piece about etiquette in the digital age. . As he wrote, it's still rude if a stranger looks over your shoulder to see whether someone more interest- ing is on the horizo "If, however/' he continued, "she is not looking over your shoulder, but into a smartphone in her hand, she is not only well within modem social norms, but is also a wired, well-put-together persorL" . Te digital revolution, C,arr "has made it fashi 4 Says who? On Tuesday, I was the only stranger in the Sugar Shak Cafe, as Reed greeted everyone else by name. She was up on everybody's life, too. "How's that new dog of yours?" she asked one of the guys at the counter. "You want me to wrap a sand- wich separate, lik I usually do?" she asked an elderly marl "Name's Willy," she told me later. "He comes here twice a day." Nearly all of Reed's lunchtime patrons are men from nearby shops and factories. It was dear by the hum of familiar banter that they knew one another. For the entire time I was there -- about an hour and ahalf- Iwas the only one who pulled outa digital tablet, computer or smartphone. When one man's cellphone rang, he stepped outside to take the call. I asked Reed whether that was typical. "We don't see alot of cellphones or computers in here," she said. "It's not considered polite, you know. People come here to eat and to visit." once in a while, a new cus- tomer will take a seat and pull out a cellphone as Reed approaches the table. "I never yell at them," she said. "I just tell them I'll come back when they're ready to talk to me and give me their order." After she told me that story, I immediately felt guilty for the laptop on my table. "Don't you worry," she said after I asked whether she'd like me to move to a smaller table to free up the booth. "if people want more space, they can move to the front room, honey." There was a tae when I would have bristled at such familiarity, even from a woman. I was all about the respect, earned and otherwise, that I thought should be flowing my way. My mother saw this change in my personality as one of the only downsides to my being the first in my family to go to college. "Kindness is kindness," she'd say with a rare, withering look. "And don'tyou ever forget who gets to sit and who has to stand while you' re getting offended." Some lessons don't take hold right away, but my mother's notions of how to treat people burrowed into me like lhe roots of aweeping willow. There' s no digging'em out now. And women like Jeanine Reed remind me that kindness never goes out of style. Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize- winning cohmnist fvr The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. FREE PRESS Vol. 115-No. 1 Publisher Harlan Shellabarger Sales Steve Barge Carol Campbell DeeAnn Gibb Graphics John Myers Karen Robinette Editor John McCallum Reporters Paul Delaney Ryan Lancaster Becky Thomas Bookkeeper DeN Labish Circulation Manager Sharon Tennison Press Production Manager Randy Warwick Pressmen Mark Cordes Ed Geary Front Office Rubi Geary Rosa Lopez The Editorial Board is  of Paul Delaney, Bill Ifft, Ryan Lancaster, John McCallum. Harlan Shellabarger, Becky Thomas The Cheney Free Press is published every The Free Press requests that contributors observe Thursday by the Free Press Publishing Company, the following deadlines, which will be strictly en- William Ifft, president. Periodical postage paid at forced: Cheney, Wash. 99004. Published at 1616 W. First OBUAB.ES.MEETINGS OF GOVERNMENT AGENOES - Tuesday, 10 .... Street, Cheney, Wash. 99004. CHURCH, WEDDINGS, CLUB MEETINGS, ALL SOCIAL NEWS- Monday, POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: noon Cheney Free Press, p.o. Box 218, Cheney, Wash. D.SPL^VADVERT,S.NG-Monday.4 m. LEGAL NOTICES - Monday, S p.m. 99004-0218. ID PUBLICATION # 102240 CLASSIFIEDADvERTISING-Tuesday, ll 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-refundable[ HOW TO CONTACT US Letters We welcome letters to the editor of 350 words or less. Deadline is Monday at 4 p.m. Letters must be signed and include a daytime phone number. We reserve the right to edit for length, style, policy and libel laws. Phone: 235-6184 Fax: 235-2887 emall: cfp@cheneyfreepross.om online at www.cheneyfmepress.com Letters Wedding shows royalty still holds a place In retrospect, I still remember seeing the old imperialist war horse Sir Winston Churchill on the old Pathe News film, wait- ing at the bottom of the aircraft ramp in order to bow to a very young girl who was now official- ly Queen Elizabeth II of the British Commonwealth of Nations - and what was left of the Empire. The year was 1953 and I was nine years old, a young "laddie" born and bred in Ab- erdeen, Scotland. Churchill said it best - as always - when he stated, "I, who grew up in those far forgotten Victorian days, may well feel a thrill to pro- claim and invoke the national anthem - again - God save the .:=_,Queen!" With her official coronation at Westminster Abbey, every school age child throughout the Empire received a small bible and a tin of Cadburys choco- lates. I still have the Bible to this day. The Empire is long gone and the young girl Churchill bowed to now approaches the total years of Victoria's reign, but the mystique of royalty and all that it means to the British people, and others, remains. Tarnished a bit to be sure, but the mystique and his- torical connections going back over a thousand years are still there. So, I suppose I'll be one of the millions watching "The Wedding" in a few days. Corny Willy Wonka If you missed the Shining Stars production of Willy Wonka you missed a lot! I can't stop reflect- ing on the play a week after I saw the April 16 performance at the Cheney Middle School stage. Lavertta Lawrence was the director. She and a crew of family and other volunteers do amazing things with "kids" of all ages. The "kids" with challenges are part of the Cheney Parks and Recreation Department's programs. The cast was a blend of "kids" with production allowed Shin challenges, such as autism and Down's Syndrome and some great volunteers from a large age range. I have worked with many of the cast while working in the Cheney School District. For ex- ample, I was in awe of the autistic young man I recently saw, in what should have been a comfort zone for him. He would not make eye contact or answer a simple ques- tion such as, "How are you?" In his fairly good sized role he was in today's world and obsolete in this day and age? Perhaps. But there is a lot of truth in the old saying that there are only five great house's left in this modern world. The house of clubs, the house of spades, the house of diamonds, the house of hearts - and the House of Windsor! Don't sell them short from a historical point of view. Many a British prime min- ister has tried to subvert the power and influence of the throne since 1953, and many of them have wound up in the historical trash can. Just ask Tony Blair where his seat will be at the wedding! Graeme Webster Cheney ing Stars to shine speaking lines loud and clear to an audience of many people he did not know without even a prompt! He was one of numerous examples of the magic I saw in those performances. Cheney, thank yourselves for supporting the programs of the Cheney Parks and Recreation Department throug h your utility taxes. These are very worthwhile endeavors. Ruth Van Kuren Cheney Medical Lake Kiwanis thanks community for egg hunt help The Medical Lake Kiwanis would like to thank the following organizations and individuals for helping with this year's Easter Egg Hunt: Medical Lake Dental Clinic, Rockwood Clinic of Medical Lake, Denny's Harvest Foods; Medical Lake Pizza Factory, LinDeBee's Diner, Lakeland Village kitchen staff, Medical Lake High School Key Club, Medical Lake Food Bank, BSA Medical Lake Troop 307, Cheney Free Press, Medical Lake Fire Department, City of Medical Lake, Medical Lake Ki- wanis and family. Special thanks to the Easter Bunny - great job. Daniel W. Dorshorst Medical Lake Kiwanis Opinions wanted. Send letters to the editor at dp@chene) f reepress.com .Your Cheney Free Press editorial staff John McCallum Editor Main contact for anything regarding editorial coverage. Covers all Cheney High School sports, Eastern Washington University news. jmac@cheneyfreepress.corn Becky Thomas Staff Reporter Covers all Cheney govern- " ment, community and school district news and events. becky @ cheneyfreepress. com Ryan Lancaster Staff Reporter Covers all Medical Lake government, community and school district news as weft as Airway Heights news. ryan @ cheneyfreepress.com Paul Delaney Staff Reporter Covers all Medical Lake High School and Eastern Washing- ton University sports. Contact for miscellaneous sports. pdelaney @ chenereepmss. com i ]Ill ]"V " I i II III1 |limliBim]ll lllllllllFllMIlllI-Blll ........................................................