The blessings of America | Sumner Mayor Update

In a week that includes both elections and Veteran’s Day, it’s an appropriate time to be reminded of the freedoms we have in America. I got extra perspective of that last week.

  • Thursday, November 10, 2016 9:40am
  • Life

Mayor Enslow with Mayor Bulis from Latvia. Submitted photo.

The following is written by Sumner Mayor Dave Enslow:

In a week that includes both elections and Veteran’s Day, it’s an appropriate time to be reminded of the freedoms we have in America. I got extra perspective of that last week. On Friday, I had the honor of meeting and welcoming Mayor Janis Bulis and Lauris Karlsons to Sumner. They were visiting from Mersrags, Latvia.

Mayor Bulis spoke about many things that sounded very familiar: the challenges of being a smaller city in the shadow of a large, urban area; supporting jobs; building a family-friendly community; responding to the unfunded mandates handed down by the Federal government, in their case the European Union.

But talking further, there were many differences, and I realized that I really had no idea what they face. They gained their independence from the Soviet Union only in 1991. Since then, they’re dealing with the after-effects of communism: things like environmental atrocities of oil being run right down creek beds, or significant alcoholism among its citizens and the corresponding challenge of domestic violence. As if all this wasn’t challenging enough, Russia would clearly like to have the country back, routinely conducting illegal flyovers, entering their waters with warships, and so on.

I realized that I was meeting with a man who had to start his own city’s municipal police force, build a jail, and stand in front of motorcyclists involved in drug dealing racing down their streets. My challenges as mayor suddenly seemed small in comparison. We may live with some uncertainty at times in America, but we also don’t know what it’s like to raise a family and live an “ordinary” life while our neighboring country lines tanks up along our border. We don’t know what it’s like to try to build a democracy from scratch out of the rubble of communism. We are truly blessed in America. A big part of those blessings comes from our veterans who continually defend America and so many other burgeoning democracies around the globe. This Friday, please take a moment to thank our veterans for their service.

More in Life

Get your fill of winter activities on Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier’s landscape undergoes a dramatic transformation in winter.

Bonney Lake, Sumner gear up for holiday festivities

Plateau holiday festivities are right around the corner.

Enumclaw, Buckley busy during the holidays

What’s going on during the holiday season on the Plateau? Here’s a list of activities you and your family may enjoy!

Giving Trees help kids with Christmas

Nexus Youth And Families Enumclaw is asking local residents to help a child in need this Christmas by participating in the organization’s Giving Tree program.

Art display by local teachers, students

For the next month, the city of Enumclaw, 4Culture of King County and Arts Alive! will present an exhibition of current works by students of local art class teachers.

Surplus van benefits Enumclaw seniors

A surplus Metro Transit van was donated last week to the Enumclaw Senior Center to assist the facility in meeting a variety of transportation needs.

Preventing a Hepatitis A outbreak | Public Health Insider

Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by a highly contagious virus. A large outbreak in San Diego, along with outbreaks in Los Angeles and in Salt Lake City has Public Health officials concerned that a hepatitis A outbreak could occur in King County. Dr. Jeff Duchin, King County’s Health Officer, explains who’s at risk and what can be done to prevent an outbreak.

Rescue group aims to save dogs’ lives; Saturday fun run will benefit the cause

All great dogs end with a tail, but this great tale begins with a dog.

Annual quilt show coming to Expo Center

The Crystal Quilters are preparing for a return to the Enumclaw Expo Center, getting ready for their 22nd annual quilt show.

Scottish Country dancers return to Enumclaw for 23rd year

For more than two decades, this group of dancers — now led by Jim and Pat McDonald — has been encouraging people from all over South King County and East Pierce County to learn more about their Scottish heritage or, barring a clan bloodline, to just get out and try something new.

Learn to compost with some red wrigglers

The Dinkelman Worm Farm is hosting a vermiculture demonstration — or the cultivation of earth worms — at the Delvin Farms Good For All Plants event next weekend to help people create compost in their own homes to help benefit their gardens or farms.

Free series provides insight from expert on death, dying

As a funeral home director in the 1980s, Duane Weeks began wondering why people weren’t dealing with death very well.