Letters to the Editor

NK Optimists

School project brings out kids’ best

For the past six weeks the North Kitsap Optimist Club has been conducting two after-school classes at Wolfle Elementary, one in “Exploding Boxes” and one in Woodworking. Each class was advertised and the youngsters were able to choose which class they would like to take from a choice of six after-school programs. Each class has had about 10 children in it and we have had such fun.

The Exploding Boxes were the idea of our member Constance Gooding after she herself took a class on how to make them. It involves cutting three paper boxes, each just a little smaller than the previous one, then decorating them, and gluing them in one spot in the middle.

Of course there is a lid, also made of heavy color card stock, cut to hold the top of the box together until you decide to open it and explosion! The boxes open revealing all of your decorations, pictures and creative ideas. The children had a blast making them. At their last class on Monday March 10 they will finish their boxes or make a bookmark for reading their favorite book. Helping Constance from the club were Elizabeth Haney and Adele Heinrich.

The Woodworking Class made two projects with the assistance of Casey and Sandy Cutlip and Bob Heinrich. The adult guys made patterns in wood of ferryboats and then an A-Framed Birdhouse.

The ferryboats were lots of fun and the painting was very colorful. The birdhouse project will be completed Monday at the last class meeting when the birdhouses go home with the youngsters. Surprisingly this woodworking class was made up mostly of girls from first to third grade and they loved doing things with their hands.

All the children will go home with a certificate of completion for their efforts and hopefully some great memories of the fun they had. The adults had a great time also and I think it is safe to say that we would all love to do another after-school class at Wolfle anytime.

Adele Heinrich,


Flood victims

Flood victims thank those who helped

On the morning of Monday, Dec. 3, two Pacific weather systems met up with a third front coming north through Oregon. Storm rainfall readings from Dec. 1-4 for the region show just under 20 inches in the upper Chehalis River Valley of the Willapa Hills feeding both branches of the Chehalis River into the Centralia-Chehalis City basin.

The Chehalis River Watershed is a vast area of Inland Southwest Washington comprising broad valleys surrounded by many rivers pouring out of surrounding mountains and has always been prone to flooding. The 2007 flood event brought never-seen-before attributes to the normal flood scenario, extreme high rain volumes, landslides, an accumulation of trees and debris, and the buildup of debris dams. When it all added up, an inland tsunami brought a wall of full sized timber, water, and mud into areas that had never flooded, or even been thought of as floodable lands.

Nighttime helicopter evacuations kept the death toll to zero, but by Wednesday, Dec. 5, river levels had lowered enough to allow for the movement of people and people were shocked by the levels of flooding and devastation. Log debris, homes washed off foundations, thousands of dead farm animals, and the mud — 36 inches in some homes and making former farmland appear to be an alien wasteland.

Many a community has discovered that natural disasters bring out the best in people.

That was certainly the case when the flooding hit Lewis County. Neighbors helped neighbors, strangers lent a hand to strangers, businesses provided supplies at no charge, and emergency workers served tirelessly.

It’s very humbling to be on top of the world one week and lose everything the next. In the midst of this disaster, as well as loss of community, we’ve had some moments of clarity — reminders of what is really important: family, friends, health, and a realization that we know we will never have a chance to repay or thank those who assisted us, but we wanted to try by sending this letter throughout the state.

In the midst of the worst devastation Lewis County has ever experienced, we saw an enduring human spirit coming from citizens, employees, school children, faith based groups and so many more to mention that truly lifted the spirits of Lewis County residents and delivered all we could hope for and more.

So, if you were one of those who came for a few hours, a few days, or for the duration to volunteer and to help get our great community back on its feet, or brought tons of cleanup and recovery materials, tons of food, tons of clothes, and tons of household goods, please accept this letter as our thanks - your kindness and concern truly has lifted the spirits of our community when we needed it most. Your help made miracles happen. Please keep us in your prayers as we continue the process of rebuilding.

Residents of Adna, Boistfort,Centralia, Chehalis, Doty and PeEll Washington.

Iraq War

War is in vain

It has been five years since our illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. This has been a fiasco since day one. This “war” is in vain. It is one of oppression and exploitation.

Over 4,000 U.S. troops have died and many more have returned extremely damaged: physically, mentally and emotionally. They will never be the same.

Hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis have died. Many more have become refugees. They will never be the same. Not one of the current candidates has a plan for getting out of Iraq. It costs us $450 million a day. Guess who is paying?

If you are outraged, do something. Become informed. Become involved. Turn off the television. Make your opposition known. Make phone calls. Write letters to your representatives and your newspapers. Join a peace group. Vigil for peace. Protest the war. Start a revolution! Dissent is a form of patriotism. Just please do not be complacent! All of us are guilty of complicity in one way or another.

A toll free number to reach your congressional representative is (888)-460-0813.

Patti Bass,


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