Teacher’s many allies show up in force to help out

April 22, 2013 

YAY: MILES FOR MCDOUGALL

Olympia High School teacher and coach Mike McDougall has a lot of allies in his fight against inoperable brain cancer. More than 500 friends, family members and other supporters showed up April 13 at Marathon Park for a five-mile run/walk fundraiser to help the McDougall family defray medical costs.

Clearly, McDougall has touched a lot of lives in the classroom and on the athletic playing fields of Olympia High School.

YAY: TENINO JOINS BAN

The Tenino City Council took a positive step toward implementing a Thurston County ban on single-use plastic bags recently. In passing a recommendation to pursue the ban, Tenino joins Olympia, Bucoda and Tumwater.

Elected officials in Lacey and Yelm support a countywide vote on the issue and Rainier officials have called for grocery bag tax to be imposed on plastic bag suppliers or manufacturers, not consumers.

Clearly there are more issues to work out, but the Tenino vote means South Sound has moved a step closer to an environmental victory.

BOO: MEASLES OUTBREAK

British children by the hundreds have suffered from the measles in recent months, thanks in large part to parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated. Seems they are still clinging to discredited research by British scientist Andrew Wakefield who 15 years ago claimed a link between vaccines and autisim.

YAY: CUSTOMER HELP

Bismark Mensah, a Ghanian immigrant who works at a Seattle Walmart store had just finished unloading a customer’s groceries from a shopping cart into her car when he discovered an envelope containing $20,000 in the cart.

Rather than pocketing the money, he ran after the woman’s car and returned the envelope. Mensah, who earns a minimal wage, wouldn’t even accept a reward for being a good Samaritan, adding that his conscience would never allow him to keep the money.

BOO: IDENTITY THIEVES

Tax time is a field day for identity thieves who use their ill-gotten data to file fraudulent tax returns valued at billions of dollars each year.

Florida is particularly hard hit by these scams, which can take the Internal Revenue Service months — sometimes years — to unravel.

YAY: CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

The Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia is the first children’s museum in the world to receive Green Globes certification for following a sustainable path in building the museum on the East Bay neighborhood.

The Green Globes award is similar to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification the museum is also expected to receive.

The 28,000-square-foot museum, which opened to the public in November, is a shining example of green architecture, bringing a state-of-the-art environmental education center to what was a former industrial site.

YAY: BRIAN SONNTAG

Former state auditor Brian Sonntag has been inducted into the State Open Government of Hall of Fame, in recognition for his years of hard work on behalf of government transparency and accountability.

The Hall of Fame is a joint project of the National Freedom of Information Coalition and the Society of Professional Journalists. Sonntag is the 13th individual chosen for induction since the hall’s inception in 2003.

BOO: DEMENTIA

As the American population ages and lives longer, dementia has surfaced as one of the country’s most expensive medical conditions, according to a 2010 RAND study.

Medical costs directly related to dementia reached $109 billion in 2010. That compares with $102 billion for heart disease and $72 billion for cancer.

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