Successful River Ridge alum returns to inspire grads

The OlympianJune 16, 2014 

River Ridge graduates pose for the "ultimate selfie" photo for guest speaker Dr. Raphael Moffett - a graduate of the River Ridge's first class - during commencement ceremonies at Saint Martin's University in Lacey on Saturday morning, June 7, 2014. From right are Ilyana Brewer, Josh Boutwell, Rachel Bittner, Kalyn Bevan, Morgan Bernathy and Vaughn Berg.

TONY OVERMAN — Staff Photographer Buy Photo


Dr. Raphael Moffett, vice president for student affairs at Langston University in Oklahoma, delivered a rousing and enthusiastic commencement address for his alma mater, River Ridge High School.

Moffett, a member of the school’s first graduating class at, began by taking a selfie with the graduates in the background, and then, channeling the 12th Man mantra — “why not us?” — he encouraged the Ridge’s Class of 2014 to be a force for change.

His sent an upbeat and positive message to the graduates that they, too, can succeed.



City of Olympia and regional law enforcement officers worked together to make the first arrest in one of the five recently approved drug-free zones in the downtown area. The suspect now faces additional penalties if convicted.

Confirming why the city needs these zones, the Tumwater man admitted to selling methamphetamine to 10 people per day, some of them juveniles.



Question: What do Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch and the U.S. Department of Energy have in common?

Answer: They both want to break legally binding contracts.

Lynch is holding out to renegotiate his four-year contract signed just two years ago. The federal DOE wants to ignore deadlines for cleaning up the Hanford Nuclear Reservation that were ordered by court in 2010 as part of a lawsuit settlement.

We hope the Seahawks and the state of Washington both respond by shouting, “Stop freakin, and stop breakin!”



We’re not taking sides, but we applaud anyone who encourages a conversation that may some day— but most likely far, far away into the future — lead to a resolution of the Capitol Lake versus tide flat mixing salt- and fresh water from the Deschutes River issue.

Lake advocates are sponsoring a community meeting June 25 that features Dr. David Milne, professor emeritus of The Evergreen State College, talking on topics related to the urban watershed.

The community ran into a logjam about five years ago over what to do about the tens of thousands of cubic yards of sediment flowing down the river every year and clogging the lake and Budd Inlet. Since then, everyone has tried their best to ignore the issue. But we can’t keep hiding our heads in the mud.



Many people have found relief from pain and other conditions through medical marijuana. But recent tests have proved that the chemical content and genetics of marijuana strains don’t always match its label. These inconsistencies argue for stronger regulation of the medical marijuana industry, and matching contents to labels. Patients need to know what they’re ingesting.



A recent study on a half-million people in France has shown that those who work longer in life, rather than retiring, have a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s or other dementia conditions. The researchers said the risk of dementia declined by 3.2 percent for every year retirement was delayed.

The study supports a “use it or lose it” theory of retaining cognitive skills and memory. This isn’t good news for the over-65 baby-boomer crowd.



A 22-year-old woman tried to cancel graduation ceremonies at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut by calling in a bomb threat. She didn’t want her parents to discover she had dropped out of school and was spending their tuition money. No word if the folks popped for bail money after police arrested her.

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