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December 24, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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December 24, 2015

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CHENEY FREE PRESS Thursday, December 24, 2015 Write to the Point By AL STOVER Staff Reporter "Star Wars" is everywhere. Like the Death Star's tractor beam, there's no way to escape it. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," the latest installment in the multi- billion dollar franchise, opened last week, bringing fans - young and old - to the theaters in droves. Not surprisingly, the film has brought in an estimated $247 million in the United States and at least $358 mil- lion worldwide, according to the Hollywood Re- AI Stover porter, beating last summer's hit "Jurassic World" in both catego- ries. My social media timelines were filled with friends whose posts were buzzing with their excitement of going to watch the film and re- actions of finally seeing it, some going as far as to take pictures of themselves dressed in costumes "If I had $1 for every 'Star Wars' related post, or reference I've seen in the last month, I'd have more than enough money to pay off Han Solo's debt to Jabba the Hutt." AI Stover chastising me for thinking I'm go- ing to go on a tangent about how I hate "Star Wars," just know I plan to watch the film - there's just a laundry list of things I have on my plate before rushing to the theater. I like "Star Wars," but I can wait to see it. However, I've grown tired of the massive amount of hype sur- rounding the film, which started months before it hit theaters. I'm not talking about the trailers that introduced us to the new characters or featured a gray-haired Han Solo (Harrison Ford) telling his best with their lightsabers, and sitting friend Chewbacca "We're home." in the theaters before the screen That brought a smile to my face. turned black. I'm talking about the oversatura- I haven't seen "The Force Awak- tion of "Star Wars" branding in the ens" yet and before you begin consumer marketplace, most nora- iff By RICHARD BADALAMENTE Contributor I stepped out the front door of our new home to get some groceries" from the car. We'd just moved in and I was stocking up. A young boy hurried over from across the street and said, "Welcome to the neighbor- hood!" "Well, thank you," I said, surprised by this kid's en- thusiastic welcome. "How do you like it here?" he asked. He was a slender kid, with black hair, dark eyes, and an infectious smile. "We just got here," I said, shrugging my shoul- ders. "It's a nice neighbor- hood," he said, and turning to look across the street said, "We live right over there." I ran into the kid a lot after that. He played with' a boy that lived next door to us - football, baseball, soccer, hockey - and all in the front yard and the street. The tennis ball with which they played baseball invariably ended up in my yard and after I'd fetched it a few times, they invited me to play "home run derby" with them. I was assigned pitching duties. Thanks to the kid, I got to know his family a bit - fa- ther, mother, a brother and three sisters. Nice people. Good neighbors. The family moved af- FREE PRESS Vol. l19-No. 36 Press Production Manager Randy Warwick Editor John McCallum Pressman Reporters Mark Cordes . Paul Delaney AI Stover Sales Graphics Steve Barge Brittani Montecucco DeeAnn Gibb John Myers Front Office Dawn Chernak Rachel Stuart Bookkeeper/Office Manager Debi Lab!sh Publisher Harlan Shellabarger The Editorial Board is composed of Paul Delaney, AI Stover, Brittani Montecucco, John McCallum and Harlan Shellabarger The Cheney Free Press iS published every Thursday by the Free Press Publish- ing Company, William Ifft, president. Periodical post- age 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 re- quests that contributors observe the following dead- lines, which will be strictly enforced: OBITUARIES, MEETINGS OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES -- Tuesday, 10 a.m. CHURCH, CLUB MEETINGS, ALL SOCIAL NEWS -- Monday, noon DISPLAY ADVERTISING -- Monday, 4 p.m. LEGAL NOTICES -- Monday, 5 p.m. CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING -- Tuesday, 11 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. Subscription cancellations are non-refundable! HOW TO CONTACT US Phone: 235-6184 Fax: 235-2887 emaih cfp @ bly cereal boxes, toys and clothes that flood the stores. Of course Disney, which owns the rights to "Star Wars" is loving this. In an interview with CNN, Tim Nollen, a senior media analyst for Macquarie Securities, said Disney is estimating making $5 billion in global sales from "Star Wars." In terms of revenue, the company will take 10 percent of the cut, generat- ing "about $500 million." Of course when a big block- see ad- dise all dly gets n "Star buster movie opens, we vertisements and mercha] over the place, but what re me is the media attenti( Wars" is getting in place we normally wouldn't se( or entertainment: Many sports website Sports, and ESPN a few - reran a story fr where artist John Raya crea Wars" -inspired football he all 32 NFL football teams. There's also a lot of. in the backlash that astro Neil deGrasse Tyson is from fans for "debunkin ence of 'Star Wars." Then there's the po!iti where movies -- CBS to name ~m 2013 ed "Star mets for average hysicist ~ceiving the sci- ,1 realm. Now, I'm not referring to I~resident Obama closing his end-of-~he-year / . briefing by telling reporters he was going to a White House screening of "The Force Awakens," with Gold Star families who lost loved ones during the Iraq War. That was a beautiful gesture, though I could have done without seeing the two people dressed up as stormtroopers and R2D2 at the press conference. I'm referring to presidential candidate HillarY Clinton's clos- ing statement of "May the Force Be With You" during last week's Democratic debate. To show you I'm not just picking on the Democrats, I'm also going to point at Republican presiden- tial candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, who launched a contest on his mobile app where users who earned the most points from Dec. 13-15 could earn free tickets to "The Force Awakens." The way users earn points on Cruz's app is by sharing, retweeting or liking his posts on social media or making a contribu- tion to his campaign. If users want to get more points, they can share their friends' contact information with the app. If Cruz or Clinton are fans of the "Star Wars" franchise and want See Write to the Point page 5 ter a year or so -- not far, but far enough so that my baseball career was over. The next time I saw the boy he had walked over to see his friend and stopped by my house to say hello. He asked after my wife and son. "Fine," I said, and asked after hi, s family. They were all good. He was wearing his soc- cer uniform. I asked him how he was doing on the high school soccer team and he told me he wasn't playing, because he was experiencing bad back pain. I asked him if he'd hurt himself. He said no. "They don't know what's causing it." It turned out the boy had childhood leukemia. He required an aggressive regime of chemotherapy, targeted drugs, and ra- diation a a hospital in another city, three hours away. He|spent a pro- longed sta) for treatme infection. After h father dro~ the hospital two-day t~ father's co ness was pl I went o ly's new ho~ during this on the boy. He'd lo had no apt weight. H And he ask. things in th How's you your son?" The boy hair has g he' s gaine playing sc still has to in the hospital ~t, and to avoid s release, his e him back to i every week for eatments. The ~tracting busi- t on hold. rer to the fami- se several times period to check ;t his hair. He etite. He'd lost ., looked pale. d me, "How are ~ neighborhood? wife? "How's is 16 now. His 'own back and weight. He's cer again. He be taken to the hospital every month for maintenance chemotherapy. This will go on for two years. The family is doing well. The father is working full time again. They just had their sixth child .... another boy. They- are str~ngiin their faith. It sustains th~ -- "Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds, the Compas- sionate, the Merciful." Ahmed is happy. He just got his learner's permit. He told me he wants to be a doctor. "I want to cure can- cer," he said. Richard Badalamente is a retired senior staff scientist from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Rich- land, Wash. and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. Disclaimer: The views ex- pressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of the Cheney Free Press. Thank you from StageWest Community Theatre StageWest Community Theatre has wrapped up the final production for 2015. "Miracle on 34th Street" was a great hit. Thank you to all the audience members that came to the different per- formances, the cast and crew and their families for all their hard work, Mike Hartman for another deli- cious din~ all to Emn Church fo: use of thei] auditions, performan We ha blessed b port. We wo the peop Plains are~ er and most of anuel Lutheran their unselfish building for our rehearsals and '.es. re truly been all your sup- ld like to wish e of the West a Merry Christ- mas and a Happy New Year. Come back and see us spring of 2016 when we will be performing the l ilarious play "Getting SaraMar- ried" by Sam Bobrick and directed by Chris Booth. Nancy Kuonen Director Publicity and Advertising StageWest Community Theatre, Inc. ~iiiiiiiiiii!iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii#i John McCaUum t Editor Sta Main contact for all editorfal content. Coy- Covers all EO ers Cheney, Medical Lake and Airway Lake and East~ Heights news as well as selected Cheney as well as sel~ High School sports. jmac @ al @ ch~ 3 Stover Paul Delaney Reporter Staff Reporter cation (Cheney, Medical Covers all Business, Medical Lake High m Washington University) Schooland Eastern Washington Univer- :ted Cheney High School si~y Sports. Contact for miscellaneous Sports. spot. ~eyfreepm~s.c~m