Why is earthly phenomena different?

The other day, a friend asked, in all earnestness, why it is that some parts of the nation have one kind of weather or earthly phenomena and other parts have different ones. Why, for instance, does one section of the country get earthquakes and another have to contend with tornados? Each can be shattering.

Technology changing everything

­­Twenty-five years ago, I stood in a newsroom in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., with a razor blade and a waxing machine putting a newspaper together in my first job.

May 14, 2014- Our View "County deserves kudos for position"

Usually, we think of our president or governor as the individuals charged with protecting our rights and freedoms.

Wildlife area to be feted

Sinlahekin to celebrate 75th

The 75th anniversary of the state’s first wildlife area will be celebrated June 7 at the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area.

Giant trees inspire

Nash-Mendez runs to record time

The giant old growth redwood forests of northern California were under siege. Rain pelted the giant trees, which let little precipitation hit the ground hundreds of feet below, where waves of runners competed in The Avenue of the Giants Marathon last Sunday.

Truth rises through geologic research

During the latter part of the 19th century, a considerable brouhaha was going on in Europe, and perhaps the U.S., as well.

Three Rivers can’t afford Graham

J. Scott Graham isn’t yet a resident of Brewster and already he’s one of the highest paid public employees there.

The allure of fishing

Anglers’ successes in Curlew Lake are intriguing

I haven’t been fishing in years, but I still enjoy hearing about fishing successes. Most of my fishing successes were of the small variety – the kind that will fit in a 10-inch skillet with not much tail hanging over the edge. In short, I never caught any lunkers.

Kokes still here

Fishing is good in Conconully

Kokanee were caught in the two bodies of water next to Conconully opening day. The Chronicle posted online statistics from the state, which included a note about no kokanee checked at the Conconullies.

Audience ecstatic over ‘Wiazard of Oz’

All the work to put on musical was well worth it

An ecstatic audience left the opening night performance of “The Wizard of Oz” on Friday at the Omak Performing Art Center.

Replay, good or bad

Does reviewing plays hurt sports?

Would the world be better with or without instant replay?

Social promotion caught up to us

For years, teacher competency has been a topic of contention in our state’s public schools. And for years, rather than focusing on the basics of education, our school curricula has slowly transitioned into a feel-good system where few failing students are held back.

Tiger sets record

Republic among fastest in 1B track

Shania Graham of Republic won the 1,600-meter run in a school record at a league meet April 22 in Colville.

Top bulls heading to Tonasket for Proctor PBR

I love when a handshake produces something like the Professional Bull Riders bringing the inaugural Shane Proctor Invitational to Tonasket on May 30-31. Paul Vickers approached Proctor, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s world bull riding champion in 2011, during last year’s Omak Stampede rodeo in Omak. From that came the rodeo that will be the first PBR event in Tonasket. “It ought to be one whale of an event,” Vickers said. “I know it’s costing us enough to put it on. We need all the support we can get from the community.” Tonasket has had bulls in the past, but this event will bring many of the top riders to town seeking a big purse. The Tonasket Comancheros are putting up $10,000 to the purse. “We will have 35 bull riders a night,” Vickers said, said about 18 head of horses will be bucked, too. The Top 10 bull riders then advance to a short go-round each show. “The Northwest is rich in rodeo history, not only with the Omak Stampede and everything else,” said Lake Roosevelt High School graduate Proctor, 29, from his Mooresville, N.C., home. “Stand-alone bull riding is an exceptional thing. There are a lot of exceptional bulls raised in the Northwest. “That’s why PBR was created. The big draw for a lot of the crowd is bull riding.” Also, the overall winner will receive a free pass to the Built Ford Tough Series final. “What separates the PBR from everything else is the money involved,” Proctor said. “These are top elite athletes and they want to go up against the top elite bulls. Tonasket has put up the money to do it.” After talking with Proctor, Vickers and his wife, Teena, attended a PBR event. “It looked like a good event to do,” he said. PBR is taking entries, with Dakota Beck, Cody Riley and newcomer Ben Jones of Australia already signed, Vickers said. “I think we will have lot of guys that ride the Built Ford Tough series here,” Vickers said. PBR bulls are coming from as far away as North Dakota and South Dakota, including Guns and Donuts and Buck Wild from Silver Creek and Pandemic from C’N Stars Bull Co. Pucker Up and Jumanji are coming from 5 Star Bucking Bulls out of North Dakota. The Katich family will bring El Smacko and Dr. Love, which has bucked off 89 percent of its riders. Mike Corey is bringing Major Impact, Big Cool, Mr. Buddy, Rapid Revolver and Crazy Bull. Proctor anticipates being here, but he won’t be competing. He underwent surgery earlier this year to repair his free, left arm, which was stomped on the last ride in the 2011 world championship. He’s projected back July 1. “They said 24 weeks for recovery,” Proctor said. “I am hoping they release me a couple weeks early.” Proctor’s bull school in Nespelem earlier this month drew 31 young riders that bucked close to 250 head. Al Camp is the sports editor for The Chronicle. Email him at

Life is full of those ‘almost’ moments

Have you ever had cold chills over something unpleasant that nearly happened but didn’t quite? I call it having an “almost.” This one happened some 50 or 60 years ago. I was working in a school of music in downtown Chicago, commuting from home, some 20 miles from home to work. One of the students invited me to her home for dinner. I went home, and got ready. My mother and I agreed that since it was a dinner invitation, it would be inappropriate for me to eat before going to the dinner. I caught the interurban, went to the proper stop, walked the few blocks to her house and knocked. She came to the door and exclaimed, “Elizabeth, you’re on time! Come in.” A little surprised at such a greeting, I did. Other people began to arrive, and presently there was a congenial group. But no sign of food. The evening wore on, and presently I realized that it was almost time for the last train. Making my excuses to the hostess, I left to walk to the train stop. For a time I had the feeling I was being followed. Arrival at the train stop ended that. I reached the station platform to see the light of my train just approaching that stop. With a gasp of relief, I got on. My mother gave me something to eat. I never got an explanation for the dinner that wasn’t, and the student and I have not kept in touch. I do not even know if she is still alive. Now, we jump many decades and half a continent to Okanogan County. Here people do not invite others to dinner and then forget it. They feed them when they have not been invited. There are people who, if you drop in for a visit, won’t let you go until they have offered refreshments. It’s sort of like having to eat your way out. And since there are wonderful cooks hereabout, this is a great pleasure. I think they would be horrified at not giving a guest something to eat after a visit. And it’s delicious. As I said, they are fine cooks. It’s one of the tenets of the code of hospitality out here, and there are no frightening almosts, of the kind here described, in visiting friends here. Elizabeth Widel is a columnist for The Chronicle. This is the 2,885th column in a series. She may be reached at 509-826-1110.

Latest blog posts