Stories for June 2013


Wednesday, June 26


What ‘fix’ will the rest of us have?

The newspaper Politico reports that dozens of members of Congress and their staffers are so worried about rising premium costs under the Affordable Care Act that they may quit or retire before the law fully goes into effect Jan. 1.

June 26, 2013 midnight read more..

What must I see in The Okanogan?

Although I’ve spent most of my life in Washington, I also lived in Arizona for a time and spent about five years in Oregon, just prior to moving to Omak.

June 26, 2013 midnight read more..

Wednesday, June 19

Wordsmith Webster enriched the world

He was one of the giants of the early days of this nation, though no one may have known it then. He volunteered and served in Washington’s troops when the war broke into his study of law.

June 19, 2013 midnight read more..

Don’t mandate community service

The 7th Legislative District Senate debate Monday night shed some light on a hot-button issue that’s sure to come up again. The issue is whether state law should be enacted to require volunteer service for high school students to graduate. Candidate Sen. John Smith said he supports the idea; challengers Mike Brunson and Brian Dansel both opposed it. Smith said mandating community service teaches leadership. He has a point. You don’t have to go very far in our neck of the woods to see who the movers and shakers are. In fact, it’s likely they are volunteering on a number of boards from chambers to rodeos to booster clubs; you get the picture. Dansel and Brunson said schools are in place to teach academics, not how to act as a member of society. They have a point, too. How can you mandate community service, something that is supposed to be voluntarily given? I’ll side with Dansel and Brunson on this issue. Coercing our youth to give s0-called “freely” of their time cannot guarantee leadership. In fact, that’s just the opposite. Leadership stems from making a decision, not being told what to do. If we want our youth to grow and develop, we definitely should encourage them to volunteer in activities they believe in, not order them to “volunteer” in activities and social programs we believe in. The bottom line is public schools were created for one single purpose — to educate students on reading, writing, mathematics and other academic subjects. In supporting that effort, shouldn’t our students choose where to spend their time and effort? Nothing irks me more than seeing parents use children to further political causes they do not understand. Mandating community service can devolve to just that. Given a chance, our high school students will find a way to make our communities a better place to live. But it only becomes better if they choose to do something. Indeed, several students already choose to make their hometowns better. Look at the ranks of the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Civil Air Patrol, etc. and you’ll see they have chosen to join a group that emphasizes volunteerism and helping others. And yes, there are also many students who choose not to be a part of those groups. But having choices is a fundamental building block of American society. Forcing youth into community service is counter-productive to making our communities better and building leadership. Rather than thinking about how to make our communities better, this type of coercion leads to “How can I fulfill another graduation requirement?” I’d rather reward students for taking initiative, than coerce them into helping out a teacher’s or parent’s pet project. Roger Harnack is the editor and publisher of The Chronicle. He can be reached at 509-826-1110 or via email at

June 19, 2013 midnight read more..

Gray wolf issue viewed differently

The Chronicle’s June 12 editorial on the federal proposal to take wolves off the list of endangered species could leave readers less informed than if they hadn’t read the paper.

June 19, 2013 midnight read more..

Google can’t solve it all

The beautiful thing about the Internet is the sheer volume of information it contains. At the same time, the worst part of the Internet … is also the sheer volume of information it contains.

June 19, 2013 midnight read more..

Stash is still hidden

I have an addiction, but I’ve been able to suppress it for several years without the help of counseling or a 12-step program. Even so, I still have a “stash” in the house, hidden in drawers, plastic tubs, closets and boxes.

June 19, 2013 midnight read more..

Wednesday, June 12


Residents celebrating ‘Old Glory’

June 14 celebrates “Flag Day” – a day when millions of homes, schools, government buildings, businesses, and gravesites across the country will display the most recognized American symbol that captures the spirit of our ideals and freedoms – the American flag.

June 12, 2013 midnight read more..

To spray or not to spray

Recently, the weather has been absolutely gorgeous. And nobody has enjoyed it more than your friendly, local mosquito horde.

June 12, 2013 midnight read more..

Bear kicks in U17

Cristian Talavera of Brewster will be the youngest player on a Spokane Shadow under-17 soccer team this summer.

June 12, 2013 midnight read more..

Wednesday, June 5


Congratulations to area graduates

Right now across Central-Washington, caps and gowns are being handed out, well wishes prepared and parties are being planned, as students get ready for graduation. I want to take a moment to recognize the Class of 2013 and congratulate them for their achievements.

June 5, 2013 midnight read more..

Graduations elicit advice

With the first wave of local high school graduations in the books — and one more surge still to come — I’m reminded that this year marks the 10-year anniversary of my own college graduation.

June 5, 2013 midnight read more..

Cat’s curiosity leads to sticky situation

Cats can get into the stickiest situations. Years ago, when I was in junior high or high school, our cat was a great trophy hunter. He’d catch birds, mice, moles, flying squirrels and, occasionally, a weasel.

June 5, 2013 midnight read more..