YAY: SHERIFF’S DEPUTY
Thurston County Sheriff’s Deputy Mickey Hamilton deserves a shoutout for rescuing an infant from a Yelm home where the mother, who had tested positive for methamphetamine during her pregnancy, was hiding the baby from authorities.
Hamilton’s suspicions were aroused when he visited the home, and the woman denied she had given birth. He obtained a search warrant, returned to the home and found the baby in a car seat in a bedroom, in need of immediate medical attention.
Hamilton’s tenacity and policing instincts were put to good use: He helped save the life of a child.
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BOO: JBLM OFFICIALS
Court documents released last week paint a pretty strong picture that former Joint Base Lewis-McChord civilian employee John Towery wasn’t acting independently when he spied on an Olympia anti-war group in 2007. Otherwise, it’s hard to explain a certificate Towery received in December 2007 from a JBLM lieutenant general, praising his “exceptionally meritorious achievement while providing crucial police intelligence during the 3rd Stryker BDE redeployment from the Port of Olympia to Fort Lewis.”
JBLM officials owe the public an explanation of just what Towery’s assignment was, and whether his spying activities targeting the Olympia Port Militarization Resistance were sanctioned by superiors.
YAY: SOLAR GRANT
The city of Tumwater has earned a $20,000 solar power grant from Puget Sound Energy for signing up 100 residents in the utility’s green power program. The city has a chance to earn another $20,000 grant, if it can top similarly size communities of Anacortes, Bainbridge Island, Kirkland and Snoqualmie with the highest percentage of new enrollments by the end of the year.
BOO: DRUG OVERUSE
A study published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics in April showed that two-thirds of a sample of more than 5,000 patients diagnosed with serious depression in the past 12 months did not fit the criteria outlined in the mental health bible — the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
No wonder the use of antidepression medication has grown sharply in the past two decades. One in 10 Americans now takes antidepressants, a number that suggests depression is being overdiagnosed in doctor’s offices across the land.
YAY: THE ERECTOR SET
New generations build their fantasies in a virtual reality. But for those of us of a certain age, those flights of imagination were created with the Erector set, which celebrates its 100th birthday this year. We played with pulleys and strings, nuts and bolts, and built towers and cranes, an exercise that inspired many to pursue mechanical engineering degrees. For most, it was just plain fun.
It was magician who graduated from Yale University, not an engineer, who invented the Erector set. Alfred C. Gilbert introduced the toy in 1913 after using similar parts to build props for his magic tricks. Happy birthday.
YAY: HOME SALES
Sales of U.S. homes jumped 6.5 percent in July, and have surged 17.2 percent in the past 12 months to an adjusted rate of 5.4 million a year.
It’s the first time since 2009 that previously occupied houses are selling at a rate equal to a healthy housing market, which is defined as 5 million to 5.5 million per year. Here in Thurston County, the real estate market experienced one of the best months of the year as home sales rose more than 14 percent, compared with a year ago.
Yes indeed, this key indicator of economic recovery is looking better, even in the face of rising mortgage rates.