EndNotes archive for Feb. 2014

FRIDAY, FEB. 28, 2014

Alice Herz-Sommer, believed to be the oldest Holocaust survivor, died Sunday. (Associated Press)

Sustained notes

The music Alice Herz-Sommer knew and loved sustained her through the suffering of a Nazi death camp. Herz-Sommer, the oldest Holocaust survivor, 110, died last week. When she was 16, Herz-Sommer attended conservatory studies in Prague and as an older teenager, she was performing concerts...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 27, 2014

Senior shoppers

One of our local grocery stores offers a seven per cent discount on Wednesdays to shoppers who are 55+. I make an effort to shop there on Wednesdays when I need groceries mid-week. The best part is watching the poor check-out clerks determine whom to...

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TUESDAY, FEB. 25, 2014

“Downton Abbey”

Lords and ladies of Sunday night 

Downton Abbey has become a Sunday night ritual for many television viewers. The program gives a glimpse into England during the last century as well as offering a greater understanding of what class differences brought –living upstairs or serving downstairs. The program’s writing is snappy...

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MONDAY, FEB. 24, 2014

Suicide among our elderly and boomers

Boomers worked to have it all – or at least as much of life as we possibly could. But boomers may not be as happy as once thought: And our unhappiness may be reflected in the increase in suicide among this generation (born between 1946-1964)....

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SUNDAY, FEB. 23, 2014

A cyclist pedals along Second Avenue at Napa Street past empty lots where homes stood before being removed by the Washington State Department of Transportation. The sites are minimally maintained by the DOT and it could be 15 years before construction will begin for the planned freeway expansion. (Dan Pelle)

The shame of mental illness – healed

Evonne Agnello lived through the loss of her dad and brother. Both men took their own lives. She wondered if she would fall to the disease, too. Then, she started to write. Writing offered a path to understanding herself and healing her pain. She shares...

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SATURDAY, FEB. 22, 2014

American Flag

Medal of Honor 

President Barack Obama will honor 24 soldiers when they finally receive the commendation they deserve. Soldiers who willingly put themselves in the middle of exceptionally dangerous situations and acted heroically were overlooked at the time for the military’s highest honor – the Medal of Honor...

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FRIDAY, FEB. 21, 2014

Present day: This view looking east shows St. Aloysius Church on the Gonzaga University campus. (Jesse Tinsley)

Thanks, Jesuits

A Gonzaga University student called the other night asking for a contribution to the university. I always say “yes.” I donate money not because I am wealthy - I am not - but because I am grateful. A college education should be the right of...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 20, 2014

Gus Kenworthy (8), Joss Christensen and Nick Goepper (1) made Olympic history. (Associated Press)

Puppy love

Yes, Americans are nuts for their dogs; even crazy for dogs wherever they travel – to Sochi, for example. Olympian and U.S. silver medalist Gus Kenworthy has been adopted by several puppies and their mama. Yes, seems they have adopted him – that’s how dogs...

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 19, 2014

What’s the Diff?

An unusual remedy is performing miracles for people who suffer with a potentially fatal infection called Clostridium difficile or “C. diff” as it is known in health care settings. The gastrointestinal infection kills 14,000 people each year and is caused by anti-biotics that kill off...

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TUESDAY, FEB. 18, 2014

The Spokane River roars over the Monroe Street Falls Wednesday June 15, 2011. In the background are the Spokane County Courthouse and Public Health buildings.   (Christopher Anderson/The Spokesman-Review)

Listen to me!

The foster children in our state are not being heard when it comes to the courtroom. No court-appointed attorney for our foster kids. An advocacy group rates Washington state 48th - that is right: 48th - when it comes to giving our vulnerable foster children...

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MONDAY, FEB. 17, 2014

The rattlesnake is a part of the vast diversity of animals and plants that survive the searing heat, arid climate, and flash floods of one of the most spectacular wildernesses left in the U.S. -- the Sonoran Desert. The National Geographic special features an amazing portrait of this complex American landscape. NBC Photo (NBC Photo)

Charmed to death

The preacher who claimed his faith would keep him safe from snake bites has died – from a snake bite. Jamie Coots of Middlesboro, Kentucky, died hours after the rattlesnake he was handling at a church service bit him. He declined medical treatment – going...

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SUNDAY, FEB. 16, 2014

For valentines: A flock of migrating starlings flies over the southern Israeli village of Tidhar on Wednesday. (Associated Press)

First love ~ last love

They met as young adults, fell in love, but then he, Marty, left to serve his country. She, Kay, was a single mom who didn’t want a relationship. Eventually, each married someone else – and divorced. Decades later Kay started an online business and one...

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SATURDAY, FEB. 15, 2014

In this handout photo provided by the Rafn Company, a mammoth tusk is fully exposed after being excavated overnight and into early Friday morning, Feb. 14, 2014. The mammoth tusk was discovered days earlier during work at an apartment construction site just north of downtown. Measured at eight and one-half feet, the tusk appears to be one of the largest and most intact specimens ever found in the area. The plaster protects the tusk from bending and cracking throughout the drying process, which may take up to 12 months. (Craig Leckness / Rafn Company)

The name game ~ Wooly Mammoth who?

Last week Bertha excavated her way through downtown Seattle and into history when the tunnel-drilling machine struck ancient gold...ummm…ivory. The find: an ancient mammoth's tusk that measures 8.5 feet in length and will be carbon dated to determine its age, estimated between 22,000 and 66,000...

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FRIDAY, FEB. 14, 2014

Lessons from the trek: Kilimanjaro

My sister is in her fifth day of trekking up Mt. Kilimanjaro. I read succinct summaries of her journey from the sponsoring group’s website. Here is what I have learned: Day 1: Immediately the group had to take a three-hour detour due to muddy roads...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 13, 2014

Former U.S. vice president Walter Mondale arrives for the funeral mass of former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro at the Church of Saint Vincent Ferrer in New York, Thursday, March 31, 2011. Ferraro, who was Mondale's running-mate during his presidential bid in 1984, died on March 26, 2011 of multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer. She was 75. (Stephen Chernin / Associated Press)

A true Minnesota man - Mondale

Former Vice-President Walter Mondale has undergone successful heart surgery and is expected to recover fully. His wife, Joan, died February 4 after a long illness. A tough month for this man of gracious ways and soft-spoken humor. He is from my home state – Minnesota...

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 12, 2014

Three polar bear cubs born in November last year, play on snow at the Moscow Zoo, in Moscow,  Tuesday, March 13, 2012. The cubs have only recently been revealed to the public as they have mostly stayed in the seclusion of their den. (Alexander Zemlianichenko / Associated Press)

Death by Prada?

A polar bear has died at a Stuttgart, Germany zoo from ingesting a purse – and a coat. Anton, a 25-year-old beloved polar bear, presented strange behavior and started spitting out pieces of fabric, alerting zookeepers that perhaps something was wrong. Heroic attempts to save...

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TUESDAY, FEB. 11, 2014

Shirley Temple dies

She sang and tap danced her way into the hearts of anyone who watched her perform. She was adorable and talented. Shirley Temple became America’s first and most famous child star. Temple, 85, died Monday at her home near San Francisco with loved ones near....

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MONDAY, FEB. 10, 2014

Dawn's first light illuminates Barafu, the base camp. From here, at 14,950 feet, climbers begin their final push to Kilimanjaro's summit. (Nick Follger)

Big steps

One of my three sisters left today to trek Mt. Kilimanjaro – and I can follow her journey from the comfort of my computer. She is the athletic and adventurous one of us. Her life has been filled with big transitions in the last year...

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SUNDAY, FEB. 9, 2014

Meet Anne Heyman

Obituaries offer a glimpse into a person's life. Often we learn of remarkable accomplishments through these brief summaries. Anne Heyman is a woman who transformed lives, offering life-saving hope.She is a woman whose legacy we should know. In 2005, when Anne Heyman learned of the...

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SATURDAY, FEB. 8, 2014

Spokane Public Schools nutrition services worker Julia Rowe places slices of pizza into the display area for Ferris High School students’ lunch Friday in Spokane. Made locally and delivered daily, pizza is the most popular among a variety of food choices. (Dan Pelle)

What if...?

What if each of us went into our local school and paid for the lunch of just one child – for the whole year? What difference would that make? One Texas man paid off the lunchroom debt of all 60 students who could not afford...

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FRIDAY, FEB. 7, 2014

Sunny Walker, a stranded motorist on Interstate 285, holds her two dogs while in her truck Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 in Dunwoody, Ga.  Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said early Wednesday that the National Guard was sending military Humvees onto Atlanta's snarled freeway system in an attempt to move stranded school buses and get food and water to people. Georgia State Patrol troopers headed to schools where children were hunkered down early Wednesday after spending the night there, and transportation crews continued to treat roads and bring gas to motorists, Deal said. (Branden Camp / Fre171034 Ap)

Family matters

The Catholic sisters lost their beloved dog to lymphoma; an elderly dog languishing in a nearby shelter needs a home. Together they form a new family. Many shelters across America house abandoned or lost pets. According to The Humane Society of the United States each...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 6, 2014

Smokin' hot decision

Retail pharmacy CVS will no longer sell tobacco. The company will lose an estimated $2 billion in sales, but CVS Pharmacy president Helen Foulkes believes it is a move that makes sense. CVS is the first large retail pharmacy chain to eliminate tobacco from its...

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 5, 2014

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson laughs with head coach Pete Carroll during a television interview after victory. (Associated Press)

A lovely endnote

The Seattle Seahawks will ride down 4th Avenue this morning in celebration of their Super Bowl win. Friends set their alarm clocks for before sunrise to bundle up and commute into the big city seeking a good spot along the parade route. Amid all the...

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TUESDAY, FEB. 4, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman 

He was an Oscar-winning actor, Screen Actors Guild winner, too; he was esteemed, wealthy, talented, a drug addict. The face of drug addiction seems to always surprise us – as though the addiction could be canceled out by an Oscar acceptance speech or a winning...

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SUNDAY, FEB. 2, 2014

Birthday wishes 

I am 59 years old today. I wrote a reflection when I turned 49 about all the birthdays I had ending in “9” and how good they were. A happy childhood at 9 –skating on those Minnesota ponds in winter; birthday cake and hot cocoa....

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.



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