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June 9, 2011     The Quincy Valley Post-Register
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June 9, 2011
 

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A4 June 9, 2011 VALLEY FORUM 0000!00,00POST-REGISTER Learning about student debt I was happy to see that the vast ma- jority of Quincy High School gradu- ates were planning to continue their educa- tion at some form of university, college or technical school. But I was also a bit dismayed at the same time as I thought of how expensive it will be for many of those students. Ramble on Chuck Allen versity of Washington or Washington State University. As someone who :recently paid off his student-loan debt in my late 30s, I can't imagine being saddled with that kind of debt before I have even earned a single paycheck with my degree. Imagine some poor college graduate trying to get a job With the ever-increasing cost of in today's job market and at the same higher education (most state univer- sities are raising their tuition and fees by double-digits this year), it is now common for students to earn a bachelor's degree with as much as $100,000 in student loan debt, and that isn't for students going to some kind of fancy-pants private university. This is for students go- ing to a state school like the Uni- time trying to figure out how to pay back his or her student loans. I do not think this is a sustain- able model. How can you ask someone gradu- ating with an education degree to pay back more than $100,000 when they are going to start out earning less than $35,000 a year? What kind of life will they have being a slave to that amount of debt? We were asking the same ques- tion about housing in the middle of the last decade as we saw the price of starter homes in many of our country's major cities rise at an astronomical rate, creating a bubble that burst. Will the same thing happen with higher education? I don't know, but we have some of the same signs -- a dramatic spike in cost, easy credit, borrowers who need everything to work right to make their payments, and a shrinking job market. This situation can't go on much longer. So, rather than waiting for the bubble to burst, I hope we can have some kind of sensible defla- tion of this education bubble, or it will hurt all of us, because we -- the government -- guarantee those student loans when they go into default. PROJECTED WATER LEVEL (INSIDE STU010) RIGHT, WE'VE HAl>THREE 1OO-YI00AR FLOODS IN A DECADE - BIK, 1OO YI00ARS AIWT WHAT IT USEDTO LLS CATASTROPHIC PHLOODING WIDENS CORRESPONDENCE CALENDAR THURSDAY, JUNE 9 Quincy Rotary Club - noon at the Quincy Senior Center, 522 F St. SE. Quincy Kiwanis Club - noon at Zack's Pizza, 704 F St. SW. Quincy Lions Club - 6 p.m. at Zack's Pizza. ESL and SSL Classes - 6 to 8 p.m. at the Quincy First Baptist Church, 707 J St. SW. FRIDAY, JUNE 10 Alcoholics Anonymous - 8 p.m. at the Quincy Masonic Temple, 406 H St. SW. "Celebrate Recovery" - 7 to 9 p.m. at Faith Commu- nity Church worship center, across from the hospital, 10 th Ave. SW. Last day of school. Summer Reading Program begins at the Quincy Public Library. SATURDAY, JUNE 11 Dru Gimlin 3-on-3 tourna- ment - all day in downtown Quincy. George Community Farmer's Market - 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the George Commu- nity Park. Free Quincy bus tour "What Crops Are Made Of" - leaves at 2 p.m. from the Reiman-Simmons House. SUNDAY, JUNE 12 "Tires on the Turf" - 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. - at Parties on the Green, 7737 Rd L.5 NW. Moose Lodge scholarship fundraiser golf tournament - Colockum Ridge Golf Course. MONDAY, JUNE 13 TOPS meeting - 6 p.m. at the Quincy Senior Center. Farmer-Consumer Aware- ness Day meeting - 7 p.m. at the Masonic Temple, 406 H St. SW. G.Q.'s 4-H meeting - 7 p.m. at the George Community Hall. TUESDAY, JUNE 14 Alcoholics Anonymous - 8 p.m. at the Quincy Masonic Temple, 406 H St. SW. ESL and SSL Classes - 6 to 8 p.m. at the Quincy First Baptist Church, 707 J St. SW. VFW meeting - 7 p.m. at Quincy City Hall, 104 B St. SW. AMVETS meeting - 7:30 p.m. at Quincy City Hall. WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15 AWANA program - 6:15 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 707 J St. SW. Dating class - 7 p.m. at the Quincy First Assembly of God Church, 526 H St. SE. For ages 11 and up. Storytime with Deb McVay - 11 a.m. at the Quincy Pub- lic Library. THURSDAY, JUNE 16 Quincy Rotary Club - noon at the Quincy Senior Center, 522 F St. SE. Quincy Kiwanis Club - noon at Zack's Pizza, 704 F St. SW. Quincy Valley Lions Club - 6 p.m. at the Christian Reformed Church, 420 H St. SE. ESL and SSL Classes - 6 to 8 p.m. at the Quincy First Baptist Church, 707 J St. SW. Blood Drive -1 to 6 p.m. at the Quincy Community Center. FRIDAY, JUNE 17 Alcoholics Anonymous - 8 , p.m. at the Quincy Masonic Temple, 406 H St. SW. "Celebrate Recovery" - 7 to 9 p.m. at Faith Commu- nity Church worship center, across from the hospital, 10 'h Ave. SW SATURDAY, JUNE 18 Rock 'n Ride - at the George Community Hall. Quincy Valley Lions Fund- raiser Golf Tournament - 9 a.m. at Colockum Ridge Golf Course. George Community Farmer's Market - 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the George Commu- nity Park. Thanks from the Gimlin family As we come up on the Dru Gimlin 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, I am once again reminded of how thankful I am to live in Quincy. It is such an honor to have Dru's name linked to a foundation and scholarship fund that does so many amazing things for our youth. It takes many people to make this event a success. We, the Gimlin Family, would like to thank everyone who helps to make this event happen. Lisa Karsetter and Levi Heyen have been invaluable in their time and effort to make this event the success that it is. Every year three or four seniors make this their senior project and I know that the time they put into this is much more than re- quired. They also have help from other students who are willing to volunteer their time. The staff of LarsonAllen donate their time and their office, and the businesses of Quincy, who are asked to donate to so many good causes, also keep on giving. And a big thank you to all the court monitors and score keepers for your time. There are so many people who give their time to making this a success and you are truly appreciated. We are so blessed to to be sur- rounded by a community who cares! - Richard and Mikki Gimlin and Family Cemetery looks nice I want to thank and congratulate all those responsible for making the Quincy Valley Cemetery look so very nice this year. My son and my husband are bur- ied there and for the last few years I have been so disappointed at its appearance. This year, it is absolutely beautiful and I,m hoping it can be kept like this in the years to come. -- Juanita Wilson, Wenatchee Ag director talks pesticides With modern agricultural practices in our state and across the nation un- der attack, growers are standing up for legal and appropriate use of the chemical tools that make conventional farms successful. The ongoing battle is being fought over federal protections for endan- gered species that may be harmed by agricultural pesticides. It's not a new story, to be sure. From my perspective, I don't be- lieve the path forward lies in overhaul- ing the law that protects threatened wildlife, the Endangered Species Act. While some farmers may not like it, that debate is over. The law requires measured, effective safeguards for endangered fish and animal popula- tions. For me, the question is: are we taking the right steps to protect endan-. gered species? Or are environmental advocates attacking agriculture be- cause farmers make an easy target? Here in Washington, the story has played out around threatened salmon and the possible impacts of agricultural pesticides on recovering salmon runs. At the Washington State Department of Agriculture, we've been studying the issue for nearly a decade. Working closely with our col- leagues at the Department of Ecol- ogy, WSDA researchers have been analyzing surface water in agricultural areas, looking for signs of pesticides or pesticide legacy chemicals that are impacting fish populations. During our period of study, the data show that the levels of pesticides found in salmon-bearing streams would not directly affect the health of endan- gered fish. And yet, the biologists at the National Marine Fisheries Service lend more credence to "modeling" as opposed to real-world monitoring data that reflects today's agricultural practices. These federal scientists play a central role in determining what changes in pesticide use are required to protect salmon. Those models could have a real impact on Washington agriculture - altering current practices on up to 75 percent of farmland in some areas. If Fisheries has its way, buffers up to 1,000 feet wide would prohibit the use of certain pesticides around streams and ditches running through farmland. Remember, that's without any data to show that salmon populations would benefit. Ongoing litigation keeps those new buffer requirements on hold. There have been a few glimmers of hope. Recent conversations with our federal partners have proved to be constructive as we seek to find a reasonable way forward. After six years of deliberation, the Environmental ProtectionAgency, the federal pesticide regulator, recently determined that WSDA scientists are generating the kind of water quality data suitable for making pesticide registration decisions. And Fisheries biologists have now told us what level of pesticide residues they believe to be harmful for salmon populations, giving us a hard target at which to shoot. But now we're moving into a new era when this issue moves beyond the Northwest to become a major national controversy. An environmental group has filed suit against the EPAthis year, claiming that the agency has not taken the required steps to protect more than 200 endangered species from the ef- fects of unintended exposure to more than 300 pesticides. If the lawsuit is successful, the existing regulatory framework would require a wildlife or fisheries biologist to perform a detailed impact study for every one of those farm chemicals on every potentially impacted threatened species. Now imagine that immense workload during an era of declining federal budgets that we'll be navigat- ing for years to come. It's a recipe for disaster. The lawsuit has already had one striking effect: it's awakened the national agriculture community. Be- cause this story will be playedout in every major agricultural production area in the nation, concem among farmers has spread like wildfire. My colleagues, the heads of other state agriculture departments, are hearing from their stakeholders. In May, our Congressman Doc Hast- ings, Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, convened a joint hearing with his colleagues on the House Agriculture Committee on this issue. More outside scrutiny of the pesticide review process is coming, this time from the National Academy of Sciences. We're going to continue to raise our voices. WSDA water quality research shows that growers have been respon- sible users of agricultural pesticides. Farmers need the right chemicals in the toolbox to combat harmful plant pests and diseases. Consumers de- mand high-quality, abundant foods and our international trading partners require us to certify that our exports are pest free. -- Dan Newhouse, director, Wash- ington Department of Agriculture What do you think? Send letters to the editor to editor@qvpr.com, P.O. Box 217 Quincy WA 98848, fax them to 787-2682, or drop off 840 F St. SW. Letters should be typed or neatly printed and less than 300 words.