School volunteer makes most of UNICEF error

The OlympianNovember 11, 2013 

If you have a lemon, make lemonade. Ellen Rice, a volunteer with the Griffin School District, ordered 200 UNICEF boxes for young trick-or-treaters but was mistakenly sent 20,000.



If you have a lemon, make lemonade. Ellen Rice, a volunteer with the Griffin School District, ordered 200 UNICEF boxes for young trick-or-treaters but was mistakenly sent 20,000. Many people would have a giant bonfire, but Rice called on friends and friends-of-friends and distributed more than 7,200 of the extra boxes. If each of those unexpected boxes returned a dollar, it could provide water pumps for 15 villages or schools, or clean drinking water for nearly 30,000 children. Nice work, Ellen.



Downtown Olympia has a rich and colorful theater history that will come to life in a historical display Olympia historian Ed Echtle is preparing for the city of Olympia. It will unveil next year in the lobby of the Washington Center for the Performing Arts.

For instance, the site of the performing arts center has also been home to two other theaters, the Liberty and Olympic movie houses, dating to 1924.

The worthwhile project reminds us that Olympia’s downtown theaters and performing arts centers have been for decades and will remain long into the future the entertainment hub of downtown Olympia.



The state’s new marijuana law prohibits smoking pot in public places. But who’s enforcing the law? A walk around downtown any given day is likely to include inhaling the tangy odor of someone smoking a joint. In Seattle, a controversy arose recently when police allegedly declined to intervene when a citizen complained about someone smoking in public after a Seahawks game. Drinking alcohol on city streets is not acceptable, and neither is smoking marijuana.



A simple reminder :Although the Thurston County Food Bank has embarked on its first-ever capital campaign to raise

$3.5 million for new warehousing and a renovation of its downtown location, it still needs ongoing operational support. With the holidays coming up, don’t forget to drop off some food items or send them a check.


Citizens have accused mayors of Thurston County cities of many things, but never of smoking crack cocaine. With the exception of a former Tenino mayor who proudly admitted to smoking marijuana and a Lacey council member with a medical marijuana prescription, our mayors have been relatively drug-free. Up in Toronto, however, Mayor Rob Ford has not only acknowledged he smoked crack while in one of his “drunken stupors,” now a new home video shows him spewing profanity and threatening to kill somebody. Oh, Canada!



The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office collected seven firearms and several thousand rounds of ammunition in a recent take-back event at the Black Lake fire station. It wasn’t a big haul, but those guns and bullets now will not fall into the hands of nefarious individuals. A bigger success was the collection of 150 pounds of prescription drugs on the same day. Not much, perhaps, but we are safer as a result.



The big bad United States is taking it on the chin these days for spying on other countries and world leaders. But did anyone notice that Russia was caught red-handed, so to speak, handing out gift bags at the recent G20 summit that included bugged computer devices, such as memory sticks and power cables? If you live in a glass house ....



What is it with our fascination with former President John F. Kennedy? Since his assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, more than 40,000 books about him have been published, and dozens more are on their way.

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