YAY: ORCA CENSUS
The numbers of orcas in Puget Sound are still low, reflecting ongoing problems with the health of our inland sea. The yearly July census of killer whales found 81 of the endangered animals. That includes four newborns that have only a 50 percent survival rate. But the total is slightly better than the 78 orcas counted a year ago. Causes of the species’ struggle include food scarcity and ongoing pollution.
BOO: DAILY SHOOTINGS
The killing of two people and wounding of seven others inside a Lafayette, Louisiana, movie theater Thursday evening by a mentally ill man was horrible enough. But the Washington Post’s Wonkblog reports that it was the 204th mass shooting in 2015, if mass shooting is defined by at least four victims, and it occurred on the year’s 204th day. That is one a day too many and cause for a more serious national discussion of violence in our society.
South Sound’s corny nod to carnivals and fairs of an earlier era is done for another year. Lakefair is a nearly 60-year-old tradition and ended a week ago with a popular Sunday night fireworks show. That capped a five-day run of food booths, fun rides, and music, as well as a traditional parade with floats along Capitol Way. This year’s Lakefair royalty was led by Queen Madeline Poultridge of Avanti High School.
BOO: EX-AIDE CHARGED
A former legislative aide to Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, has been charged with forgery theft based on accusations that she stole $2,000 from Ranker’s checking account. Jennifer Eberle, 41, no longer works for Ranker. The aide, who worked for the senator for just two months, faces unrelated theft charges in Tumwater.
YAY: CHARLES McCANN
Charles McCann was the first president of The Evergreen State College in 1971, and his six-year tenure provided the quiet leadership needed to channel the early creativity of its founding faculty.
The innovative school is now a mature, respected center of learning. McCann, a Yale-educated professor of English literature, died July 8 at the age of 89.
One fitting way to honor the gift he and his wife brought to our community is by donating to the Charles and Barbara McCann Scholarship fund.
UPS drivers might fit right in at our state Capitol Campus. Visualize brown uniforms on a browning landscape.
We totally agree with water conservation. It makes sense given that we’re in the middle of a regional drought. But the 30 to 40 dead azaleas counted so far are testament to taking a good thing just a bit too far. There is a smarter way to do this.
YAY: MONICA ALEXANDER
The Washington State Patrol promoted Monica Alexander to the rank of captain recently. In a long overdue move, Alexander became the first female African American officer to serve in that rank. She’ll oversee media relations for the agency and have a high profile as liaison to the Legislature. Her husband, Johnny Alexander, also was promoted to captain by Chief John Batiste.
YAY: NORTHWEST TREK
Many South Sound residents have been to Northwest Trek Wildlife Park near Eatonville to watch free-roaming animals from the safety of a tram. Everything from bison to caribou, mountain goats, beavers and bighorn sheep live in the 725-acre fenced compound.
Northwest Trek marked its 40th year this month, a noteworthy milestone for a Pierce County-run facility that began as an idea from former Trek land owners David “Doc” and Connie Hellyer.