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December 17, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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December 17, 2015
 

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CHENEY FREE PRESS Thursday, December 17, 2015 y in ' And it s spawned other similar services - programs like local [ • ]. I i: i ;[. books that dig into government Meals on Wheels that benefits, spending of all types, so many fixed-income seniors, Some estimates have somehow lost funding. ,, Merry Christmas, and a pegged waste in the govern- In Cheney 150 families :iii ~ii7'~~" ' ~, ~,,~i happy New Year in the corn- ment spending at about 15 were helped by the efforts ing days. percent. With a requested bud- of local charities, thankfully It's that time on the calen- dar again when our minds and hearts turn to giving and helping. But the Cheney Free Press Editorial Board could not help but wonder how much more we all might be able to help those less fortu- nate; and maybe add to our own economy, if we had a little fatter wallet. Perhaps that comes from the savings realized next year by not building a gas station in Afghanistan that pumps only compressed natural gas and cost $43 million of Department of Defense money. Are there really cars in that country? The Afghan filling station was just one of 100 things out- lined in the 2015 edition of the Congressional "Waste Book" that is published each year in early December. The publication was devel- oped over the years by retired Oklahoma Republican Sen., Dr. Tom Coburn, but is now com- piled by Sen. Jeff Flake, a fel- low Republican from Arizona. get at the federal level of $3.34 trillion for fiscal year 2016, the money burning equates to over $500 billion. Anyone care to calculate the zeros? Maybe then we'd have a hair on fire moment where WE were burning up the phone lines and clogging congres- sional emails asking why the US Agency for International Development is spending $2.1 million to promote tourism to Lebanon, despite a State Department warning asking Americans not to go there? It's sometimes said one person's pork is another's eco- nomic development. Is that what you call the New York National Institute of Drug Abuse receiving $780,000 to study if pizza is as addictive as crack cocaine? The truly sad thing is a study like this gets that kind of money when during the "government shutdown" of 18 days from Sept. 30 -- Oct. 17 - which in essence was just the loss of a smidgeon of down from nearly 200 in 2014. But while donations for some charitable causes show some downward trends imagine howmany people could have been helped if an Illinois study was not given $276,000 to figure out how a less attrac- tive person can attract some- one more attractive? But if you thought the Deptartment of Defense spent frivolously with its gas station, how about $6.8 million with various pro sports to pro- mote displays of patriotism at events? You think the NFL, the most profitable nonprofit on the planet needs our help? Wealthy donors at the Uni- versity of Washington pony up millions to help make their football coach, Chris Petersen, the highest paid employee in the state. So you still think we taxpayers need to help them to the tune of $1.3 million with a National Science Foundation grant for some department to study how a can koozie keeps a beverage cold? Or how about the Environ- mental Protection Agency's spending $8 million on clean- up of mine waste adjacent to the Animas River and in doing so -despite being warned against it - triggered a flood of toxic gunk that will take untold more millions to mitigate? And speaking of pork, is there a reason a government sponsored board paid the National Pork Producers $3 million to retire "The Other White Meat," sloganthey used for years, replacing it With, "Pork: Be inspired." (Huh?). The content of the "Waste Book" is as eye-rolling comi- cal as it is stomach-turning disgusting. As we often do this time of year offering suggestions for New Year's resolutions for the greater good, how about one we make Congress abide by, such as insisting they at least begin to cut into fat we see on display in the "Waste Book?;' Write to the Point Christmas time By JOHN McCALLUM Editor I'm having a hard time get- ting into the Christmas spirit. Normally I would have had my tree up and house deco- rated about a week or so ago. Instead, I just finished getting lights and some decorations John McCallum on the tree, a couple nutcrackers in place and a few other knickknacks houldn't be humbug, now or later FREE set up. I still have more to go, and I've had my boxes of decorations in my living room and kitchen for over a week now. I think part of it is a time thing. Since changing our coverage beats and assuming all news reporting duties, I have had less free time than before to spend with family, friends and personally. What spare moments I have are dedicated to home mainte- nance and operations. The other part is I'm beginning to see this time SS Vol. 119 - No. 35 Editor John McCallum Press Production Manager Randy Warwick Pressman Mark Cordes Sales Steve Barge DeeAnn Gibb Reporters Paul Dolaney AI Stover Graphics Bdttani Montecucco John Myers Bookkeeper/ Office Manager Debi Labish Publisher Harlan Shellabarger Front Office Dawn Chernak Rachel Stuart The Editorial Board is composedof Paul Delaney, A, Stover, Brittani Montecucco, John McCallum and Harlan Shellabarger The Cheney Free Press is The Free Press re- published every Thursday quests that contributors by the Free Press Publish- observe the following dead- ing Company, William Ifft, lines, which will be strictly president. Periodical post- enforced: age paid at Cheney, Wash. OBITUARIE S, MEETINGS OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES - Tuesday, 10 am* 99004. Published at 1616 W. c,u c,. CLUS MEETINGS. SOCIAL First Street, Cheney, Wash. NEWS -- Monday, noon* 99004. DISPLAY ADVERTISING -- Monday, 4 p.m." POSTMASTER: Send LEGAL NONCES-- Monday, S p.m." CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING -- Tuesday, 11 a.m.* address changes to: Cheney he,days Free Press, P•O. Box 218, Cheney, Wash. 99004-0218. ID PUBLICATION # 1022 0 tw. m Rates: Addresses in Spokane County, $24 per year; $36 per year outside Spokane County; senior citizens in Spokane County, $22 per year. For other rates, call 235-6184. of year as irrelevant in the That's why I am begin- "You can't fight in here, grander scheme of things, ning to see the Christmas this is the war room!" Now, before you fly off theseason as irrelevant, in asDoes it really diminish handle and begin angrily at- much as its place in forming our internal goodwill if we tacking me as waging war onthe backbone of my faith. Idon't see a Nativity scene ev- Christmas, or even being un- have my reasons, erywhere we go? If someone Christian, please understand First, we treat it as just wishes you "Seasons Greet- I don't expect you to feel as I that: a season, a once a year ings" rather than "Merry • ,~1, do, and I hope you do not. event• Football has a season. Christmas. I'm not trying to persuade Baseball has a season. It's a good day when anybody to my viewpoint. In "A Christmas Carol," you receive any friendly But, if you are angry, you Charles Dickens got it right acknowledgement• It's an may have just experienced awith Ebenezer Scrooge's opportunity, a door opening sample of what I mean and conversion. Not that he noto something more meaning- will explain• longer sees Christmas as aful. Also, understand some- "fine time to pick a man'sThird is a lack of charity. thing about me. I am a Chris' pockets once a year," but that Not the charity of giving to tian. I come from a long line he understands its meaningthose in need, but the charity of Disciples of Christ pastors is timeless, and vows to keep extended to the thoughts and on my dad's side and a de- it all year long. It would be actions of others throughout rout, practicing Presbyterian nice if we could do some- the year. family on my mom's, thing similar• We are too quick to find I grew up in the church, Second, the "War on fault and assign blame. We and after a time of straying Christmas•" rush to judging others based away because of disagree- Does it st.rike anybody up°ntheflimsiest°finf°rma- ments, have returned and else besides me as ironic,tion. We are easily affronted, been active in my church ineven hypocritical, that wequick to anger and often Spokane since 2006. are waging war over aspects over the littlest of supposed I read my Bible• I know of the traditionalbirthday of slights or disagreements. my Bible, perhaps not as the "Prince of Peace?" It's as How easy it is to forget much as others or as I knowif we're living the Peter Sell- in celebrating the birth of the back of my hand, but ers line fromthe 1960s movie enough tobe dangerous. "Dr. Strangelove." See Write to the Point page 5 John McCallum A1 Stover Editor Staff Reporter Main contact for all editorial content. Cov- Covers all Education (Cheney, Medical ers Cheney, Medical Lake and Airway Lake and Eastern Washington Univer- Heights news as well as selected Cheney sity) as well as selected Cheney High I High Schoolsporls. School Sports. , jmac @ cheneyfree~ress.cora al @ cbeneyfreepress.com HOW TO CONTACT US Phone: 235-6184 Fax: 235-2887 emall: cfp@ cheneyfreepress,com www.cheneyfreepress.com ii!iiiiiiii!iiiiiiliiiiiiiiiiiiiii!iii!i ~iiiii![ii!iii!ii!i!i!i!i!iit[iiiiiiiii!iiii[iii i iiili iiil ii!iiii: jii!i!ii!ii]iiiiil i]iiiiiiiiiil i Paul Delaney Staff Reporter Covers all Business, Medical Lake High School and Eastern Washing- ton University sports. Contact for miscellaneous sports. ' ixlelaoey @ eneyfreepress. rn /