Sometimes I wonder whether national morning new shows realize how trivial they appear to us under our Pacific Northwest January 50-degree sunshine where we’re worrying about thin layers of snow for skiers and orchardists.
A news item that excited ABC national news reporters concerned New Jersey Governor Christie’s aide who sent an email suggesting an artificially created traffic jam would be appropriate political punishment because a local mayor didn’t support Christie in the last election. Who cares up here?
After ABC newsmen analyzed whether Christie’s performance in a two-hour interview with over 20 apologies, contrite behavior and openness to subpoenas of thousands of emails would help or hinder him in a presidential election he might seek two-and-a-half years away, I decided to send an open letter about issues that are more important to us in our far-a-way farmland.
In December Waterville public schools hosted regional educational leaders who wanted to learn about its successful “Seven Habits of Effective People/Leader in Me” program.
Students and staff described their successes. Students in pre-calculus on their own initiative are tutoring students in algebra and geometry. The superintendent has fewer references to her office and she believes it’s because people are solving more of their own issues.
The Mosquito Control Board developed its abatement plan and requested a levy to raise funds for three to five years. Eastern news people, you may not think taxes and spraying helicopters overhead are a big concern, but it can be very controversial with children, gardens, pets, animals and crops outdoors in a rural community.
Our residents are planning on attending WSU extension horticulture workshops on crop yields and management of pests and weeds for apples, pears and stone fruit. (In case you don‘t know what stone fruit are they’re indehiscent fruits with delicious exocarps and mesocarps that surround a pit, such as cherries and apricots).
Lest you think we don’t care what is happening in Washington DC, let me assure immigration reform and the Farm Bill are very important.
What interests us are last week’s emails from Jon Wyss of Gebbers Farms in Brewster who sought input for his face-to-face meetings with our state’s congressional delegation in Washington DC this week. Eastern journalists will probably be meeting with reporters harvesting suspicious specious emails from government aides.
Wyss included press reports that House Speaker Boehner believes comprehensive immigration reform is an issue that cannot be ignored. Several sources on POLITICO.org reported Boehner is preparing for their annual legislative goal setting by presenting principles for a package of immigration reform bills to guide House Republicans.
Wyss emailed that he is scheduled for a half-hour meeting with Sen. Bob Goodlatte, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee who is a powerful force on immigration enforcement, amnesty and citizenship reform.
“I will do my best to represent the views of this group on getting the house to move forward on an immigration bill that is comprehensive,” emailed Wyss.
Passing the Farm Bill is important to many of us and now passage may be a problem.
House Agricultural Committee Chairman Republican Frank Lucas told POLITICO reporter Frank Reynolds that plans to create a compromise farm bill in January may be delayed, and any delay could threaten the bill already in the works for two years.
The problem is insistence on ways to limit costs of dairy farm price insurance when oversupply drives market prices too low. Ranking committee member Democratic Collin Peterson called for the controls but House Speaker Boehner says the regulation is already too restrictive.
That Farm Bill is essential to a local reader and her husband from Coulee City who have been dryland farming for fifty years. She wrote me that Government programs have supplemented their income in hard times. They’re enrolled in the Conservation programs she believes improve their land and yields. She’s proud to be the type of small family farm that feeds us. She doesn’t believe they survive without government farm bills
This is friendly reminder that I and others tune out news that’s not relevant for building our communities. When we tune out, we eventually turn it off.