Foundation's luncheon helps needy students

OlympianOctober 14, 2013 

North Thurston Public Schools Administrative Center.

LISA PEMBERTON, STAFF WRITER

 YAY: NORTH THURSTON

The North Thurston Education Foundation packed the Worthington Center last week for a lunchtime fundraiser. It was a good thing, because so many North Thurston students lack basic needs, such as adequate food and clothing.

The numbers are staggering. More than 43 percent of children in North Thurston public schools qualified for free or reducedcost lunch, and that’s up 5 percent over last year. Another stat: An additional 133 students listed themselves as homeless this year, bringing the total to 502.

Congrats to everyone who made a donation.

YAY: GOV POWER

Gov. Jay Inslee has spoken out strongly about the negative impact of the federal government shutdown on Washington’s economy. Perhaps a bipartisan group of state governors, including Republican moderates such as Chris Christie of New Jersey and Gary Herbert of Utah, could lead a nationwide protest to stop this madness. Even conservative Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona has called on House Republicans to stop fighting Obamacare and move on.

BOO: INSURANCE CHEAT

We’ve never hit a hole-inone, let alone at a charity golf tournament where it might have won us a car or a big pile of cash. Still, we’re as teed off as state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler at the Connecticut phony, Kevin Kolenda, who was selling illegal insurance policies to charity golf organizers.

It probably seemed like a sure-fire scam — after all, how often does a hole-in-one happen? Kolenda has been charged in about a dozen states. But the lesson is: Don’t mess with Kreidler; he’ll hunt you down.

YAY: CHATTING AT STARBUCKS

Buy a coffee for someone, and get one free. It was a corny and obvious promotion by Seattle’s international coffee chain that lasted only a few days, but we can’t help applauding the spirit of the idea. Random acts of kindness make people feel good about themselves, others and the world in general. Maybe downtown Olympia coffee shops could make a similar offer. Maybe it would encourage conversation about the city’s downtown issues.

YAY: RETURN OF THE TROUT

Salmon and cutthroat trout have been spotted in the restored estuary at Priest Point Park. The Port of Olympia funded the project with $120,000, and combined with the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group to win another $80,000 grant to repair a 1.4-mile section of Mission Creek. After decades of blockages, water and fish are flowing freely today.

BOO: POWER FOOTBALL

Here’s a sobering statistic from The Wall Street Journal: The Dallas Cowboys’ new football stadium uses more electrical power during a Sunday game than the entire nation of Liberia and its population of 3.7 million people.

YAY: HAPPY THANKSGIVING

No, we don’t have our calendar pages mixed up. Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Or, as they might say up north, le jour de l’Action de graces. So, eat some turkey and watch Monday Night Football and give thanks that you didn’t have to fight a mob of crazy shoppers today.

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