40 years of helping communities’ older population

May 20, 2013 

YAY: HELPING SENIORS

Growing out of an idea conceived in a local church four decades ago, and now a multicounty, multifaceted, multimillion-dollar program, Senior Services for South Sound is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. It’s hard to understate the importance of this nonprofit organization to the healthy lives of an increasingly older population.

Whether it’s serving hundreds of lunches per day from seven sites in two counties, or tutoring seniors on how to use of computers and software, Senior Services is making a difference every day in the lives of our community’s low-income and at-risk elders.

And with the baby boomers about to swell the ranks of senior citizens, we’ll need this well-run nonprofit more than ever.

YAY: CHOWDER CHALLENGE

The only thing better than a great bowl of chowder is the opportunity to sample multiple bowls of unique chowder recipes. We’re excited the Port of Olympia brought back the Boatswap and Chowder Challenge to Swantown Marina on Saturday. It previously ran from 1997 through 2007. This year’s 12 chowder entries tickled our palettes.

YAY: HONORING OUR HERITAGE

People from many different cultures and ethnic heritage played important roles in shaping the Olympia-area community throughout its history. On Saturday and Sunday, the Olympia Heritage Commission honored many of those people who have — for too long — been forgotten. The commission reminds us about those who influenced local culture and early development around the South Sound.

YAY: COMMUTER CONTEST

There’s just two weeks left in Intercity Transit’s Bicycle Commuter Contest, plenty of time to rack up some miles and do the Earth a favor. The annual contest encourages people to leave their vehicles at home and do all their commuting — to work or to the grocery store — on two-wheeled transportation. During the seven years of the IT contest, officials estimate participants have prevented more than 300 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the atmosphere. That’s some serious pedal power.

BOO: MILITARY WOES

This is no joke. After all of the media attention to the disturbing growth of sexual assaults in the military, the Army suspended a solider assigned to coordinate a sexual assault prevention program in Texas pending an investigation for “abusive sexual contact.” That disturbing news came just a week after police arrested the Air Force officer directing that branch’s sexual assault prevention office on charges he groped a woman in a parking lot. ’Nuff said.

YAY: FOSTER PARENTS

May is National Foster Care Month, a time to celebrate those who selflessly offer a stable and loving environment to the average of 380,000 children needing a home at any given time in the U.S. Barbara Wakefield, development coordinator at Community Youth Services, says we have a shortage of willing foster families, forcing young people to sleep in DSHS offices.

Even the successful Therapeutic Foster Care Program at CYS, the 43-year-old child welfare agency, has a shortage of foster families. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re willing to experience the challenges and benefits of foster parenthood, give CYS a call at 918-7817.

BOO: SELF-EVIDENT REMARKS

The lawyer for James Holmes, the man accused of gunning down 12 people and injuring another 70 in a Colorado movie theater while wearing a costume, is now claming his client is insane. Public sentiment: Of course he’s insane. No sane person would do such a thing. In law, however, an insane murderer doesn’t possess the capacity to form the intent to do harm. Public sentiment: So what? Is that sufficient reason to waive the death penalty? Fortunately, the insanity defense is difficult to prove.

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