YAY: CAMERON PECK
Former Timberline High School student Cameron Peck won last week’s Washington State Men’s Amateur golf tournament at Chambers Bay by five strokes. He previously won the 2008 United States Junior Championship. The North Thurston School District star just finished an outstanding golf career at Texas A&M University and plans to turn pro at the end of this summer.
Maybe we’ll see Peck back at the University Place links course in 2015, when the U.S. Open comes to Chambers Bay.
YAY: STATION 35 REOPENING
Please excuse Lacey residents for not knowing whether fire station 35 in the Hawks Prairie area is open. The station was closed during 2008 budget cuts, but reopened in 2009, only to be closed again last year after voters rejected a levy lid lift. It’s reopened now because of a $2.5 million federal grant to hire enough firefighters to staff the station. But when the grant money runs out in two years, the station could close again.
We hope the first district will find a stable source of funding. Station 35 provides quicker response times for a critical area that includes the 55-and-older Jubilee community.
YAY: PROVIDENCE CHARITY
Providence Health & Services of Southwest Washington, which includes St. Peter Hospital, provided $16.7 million in free and discounted care last year to those in need. The health care system, which serves five counties, just released its 2012 Community Benefit Report showing it contributed $48.9 million in total community benefits, including more than $33 million of that at St. Peter Hospital.
We wish the need for charity care didn’t exist, but it does, and Providence is fulfilling its mission of compassionate service.
BOO: CAFFEINE FOODS
Cracker Jacks laced with as much caffeine as a cup of coffee? Caffeinated maple syrup for your pancakes? The number of ordinary foods and beverages being spiked with high levels of caffeine has become a national worry. The Food and Drug Administration is wisely putting a hold on new caffeinated products until it can study health effects and whether new rules are needed.
The trend might be popular with long-haul truck drivers and exam-cramming college students, but when Wrigley introduced chewing gum with high levels of caffeine in every stick, it’s time for a timeout.
YAY: SCHOOL OFFICERS
Like airport security measures, armed police officers patrolling the halls of public school have become common in the South Sound. It’s a sad reality. But today’s school resource officers are earning the trust of students and helping to mentor troubled kids. “It’s less about arresting people than it is about helping,” said one SRO interviewed in The Olympian.
Almost any program that discourages gun violence seems like a good idea, especially one aimed at impressionable young children. But a “toy-gun buyback” event held in a California elementary school goes over the top. Kids were asked to bring their play guns to school and exchange them for a free book. Good intent, silly idea.
The days might be getting shorter now, but there’s no shortage of strawberries. A bumper crop of the popular summer treat started delighting berry lovers last week. This year’s ideal growing conditions produced enough to last another week or more. And then, of course, we can look forward to the harvesting of raspberries, marionberries and blackberries.