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Peace on earth may still be a ways away, but this year, Bonney Lake and Sumner middle school students explored what peace meant to them by competing in the Lions Club International Peace Poster contest.
When Ben O’Leary first thought about pursuing a career in law enforcement, he started out going on-ride alongs in his last year of high school for his senior project. After graduating from the Washington State University with a degree in criminal justice and political science, O’Leary came back to his hometown to join the Bonney Lake Police Department as a reserve officer.
You normally have to travel to see a national treasure; Arizona has the Grand Canyon, Detroit hosts Rosa Park’s bus and the Statue of Liberty stands tall in New York. This weekend, though, living national treasure Bob Milne will be visiting Enumclaw to perform ragtime and boogie-woogie music at the Chalet Theater. Milne was declared a national treasure by the Library of Congress in 2004 after three days of interviews and filming his piano skills.
East Pierce Fire and Rescue Commissioner Rick Kuss announced he will be retiring from his position on the board on March 1. “I have been in public service since I was 17 years old and planned to retire at 62,” Kuss wrote. “So after 44 years I am retiring and to do so I need to resign my position at East Pierce.” Kuss wrote in an email that his retirement has nothing to do with his recent disagreement he had with the rest of the board concerning the process for recruiting and hiring a fire chief.
Check out the awesome game between the Bonney Lake/Sumner and Franklin Pierce!
State Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, is about two months into her seventh term and she has already been admonished for abusive and inappropriate behavior by Lt. Gov. Brad Owen who serves as president of the Senate. Owen sent a letter to Roach Feb. 13 in response to a complaint filed against the 31st District senator concerning her behavior as chair of the Governmental Operations and Security Committee.
According to the Pierce County Beyond the Boarders program, access to transportation helps makes healthy communities. This is why starting this month, Beyond the Boarders is expanding into the Sumner and White River school districts with a pilot transportation program for low-income families.
While research on the long-term health effects of marijuana use and Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC have only just begun, the cannabis plant itself has been thoroughly studied. The anatomy of the plant is well-known; the iconic five-leaf plant is easily recognizable in popular culture. The science of growing and processing the cannabis plant is also well documented and studied, giving both businesses and medical dispensaries innumerable ways to utilize the plant. On a chemical level, we know how THC affects the human brain and can even synthesize those same chemicals in a lab. Consider this your Cannabis 101 class - the science behind the plant.
The East Pierce Fire and Rescue Fire commissioners have decided the direction they will be taking the fire department in the near future. During the Feb. 11 special meeting, the commissioners voted 6–1 to hire Greg Prothman to perform a national search for a new fire chief. Commissioner Kevin Garling said he believed it is the board’s responsibility to make sure the department is not rudderless when Fire Chief Jerry Thorson retires at the end of April.
Sumner High School students hit all the right notes last weekend when they competed at this year’s Valley Region Solo-Ensemble Contest. The contest, which included all Puyallup, Sumner and Federal Way schools, was held at Puyallup High School on Feb. 7. “This Saturday was an incredible performance by all Sumner High School soloists and ensembles,” said Karlene Miles, the choir director at Sumner High School. “I couldn’t be prouder of their preparedness, professionalism, and sheer talent.”
Think back to high school health class. You may have seen the old propaganda film “Reefer Madness,” originally released in 1938, though it was revived and brought back to schools in the 1970s. Sparing the plot details of the film, it paints marijuana as “the new drug menace which is destroying the youth of America in alarmingly increasing numbers.” The film claims marijuana is a violent and soul destroying narcotic which leads to “acts of shocking violence, ending often in incurable insanity.”
After what may be East Pierce Fire and Rescue’s hardest months now behind them, Fire Chief Jerry Thorson announced his retirement during a special meeting Jan. 28. Thorson said he has been thinking about retiring for several months, and has settled on April 30 as his official retiring date.
East Pierce Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief John McDonald has seen the fire department grow from a small city fire department to the largest fire district in the county. And now, after 18 years of working with East Pierce, McDonald will be retiring at the start of March. “I set a goal for myself to do 30 years and retire while I was still young enough,” McDonald said. “As I got into my career, I thought that was a good goal I set when I started.”
In order to stay on top of their duties, East Pierce Fire and Rescue firefighters constantly practice and train to work equipment, fight fires and navigate hazardous environments. Recently, Firefighters Jeffery Collins and Adam Lathrop lead a construction project for a new training roof for the department, and received Certificates of Commendation during the Jan. 20 Board of Commissioners meeting for their efforts.
It's been six years since Bonney Lake resident Melanie Roach competed in weightlifting at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, placing sixth. Last month, though, Roach came back into the spotlight by winning the American Open, a biannual national weightlifting competition. The competition was held last December in Washington D.C., where Roach placed first in the 53 kilogram (116.8 pounds) division.
The official vote for a ban on marijuana businesses in Bonney Lake brought about one of the largest City Council meetings of the year. Many citizens voiced their approval, or disapproval, of a recreational marijuana store in the city at the meeting. Although citizen comments appeared to split the room nearly in half over the issue, the City Council remained unswayed by residents who wanted a recreational marijuana store and voted 6–1 to approve Ordinance No. 1502 (D15-08A) on Jan. 13.
Patrons of the Sumner library can now be a part of a new pilot program that allows Pierce County Library members to check out laptops for a day. The program, which started on Jan. 5, gave the library 15 Chromebook laptops for public use.
As Bonney Lake’s year long moratorium on legal marijuana businesses nears its end, city residents should expect to shop elsewhere for their marijuana.During the Jan. 6 City Council meeting, an unofficial poll showed the majority of council members in favor of an outright ban of all marijuana growers, processors and retail shops from the city.
From flat-screens to freezers, gym lockers to rusty lawnmowers, many Bonney Lake residents took advantage of the high school’s electronics recycling event last Saturday by bringing their unused and broken electronics and recyclables to the school to be recycled and scrapped.
Mireia Pinies is a fairly typical high schooler. She enjoys classes that her friends are in, competes on the Spartan swim team and while we talk, her cell phone buzzes and rings as her friends try to get a hold of her. What makes Mireia different from most teenagers is she decided to spend a year going to school in a completely different country – America.