Thank you for a warm welcome to the Granite Falls community. It’s amazing that my first year here is wrapping up. Attending all the end of the year award programs, talent shows, poetry nights, concerts, and graduation activities was a wonderful way to close the school year - seeing firsthand the highlights of student success! This has been a year of many accomplishments – from small to large. We had individual staff and student achievements inside and outside of the classrooms, including: • Staff recognized as teacher-leaders at the local and state level. • Students competed in state and national academic competitions. • A student was named as a Commended Student in the 2009 National Merit Scholarship Program. • One student was the first in Washington State to successfully complete the National Association of Student Councils Student Leaders Program. • An administrator became a published author. • Student-athletes qualified for state athletic competitions. A new math curriculum was adopted and implemented at the High School. • The School Board adopted a mission, vision, and Strategic Plan that will keep our focus on instruction That is a partial list of a very productive, successful school year! A more detailed list is on our website at www.gfalls.wednet.edu as well as more information on the Strategic Plan. With all that good news, it was a very unusual year. In fact, I think this was the most unusual year of my career due to the severe budget issues we faced. Looking back throughout the entire process, I am so thankful for all the staff and community support and input we had to help with the decision-making. You shared suggestions and concerns; you asked questions and provided solutions. Given the depth of budget cuts that we had to make, I feel we did the absolute best we could and can now move forward and keep student achievement as our priority goal. The Strategic Plan will be our guide to continue to improve student instruction. I am confident we are on the right path to track student progress, to help staff deliver instruction with fidelity, and to maintain a culture of collaboration with students, staff, and the community. If you would like to be part of the strategic planning work, please let me know. Now that we have the Strategic Plan in place, we will begin to develop the action steps necessary to carry out the plan. It’s been wonderful getting to know so many of you this past year, and more importantly, getting to know your children.
Karen Koschak, Superintendent Granite Falls School District
Family shares gratitude for Glenwood staff Dear Editor,
The Watson’s have left the building! I wanted to thank all the staff at Glenwood for 10 great years! Yes, we are officially done with elementary school and as our last one leaves for middle school I really wanted to express our thankfulness for all the great teachers and staff. I will miss all of you. Have a wonderful, relaxing, enjoyable summer - you all deserve it. Dawn Watson Lake Stevens
Menzel Lake Gravel Pit welching on promises
Dear Editor, I have reviewed the county public records with respect to the currently proposed 60 year to indefinite Menzel Lake Gravel Pit expansion, which calls for a two and one half fold increase in dump truck traffic through Granite Falls through a residential area and right past the middle school. Unfortunately, this pit is not on the side of town that the bypass will be on. It is part of a proposed seven-fold expansion of the Menzel Lake Gravel Pit operations just outside of Granite Falls. The pit is brazenly and shamelessly walking away from its well-memorialized original commitment that got its permission to operate as a pit in the first place. It represented that it would provide park and ball field space to the community after what it said would be a relatively short period of operations. Back then the City of Granite Falls made a big deal of the importance of the pit providing the ballparks and recreation space, in a letter and in a tonnage agreement with the pit. Now the pit has thrown it all out the window and is welching on the deal and stiffing the community at large. It does so openly and without shame. The pit now speaks of a 60 year plan with no actual permit expiration at all, and will not ever provide the community space and facilities despite the promise that served the pit so well back when it got permission to start up. There is no way the community or its elected representatives should allow any business to treat the public interest (or the city) with such disdain or trickery. The Mayor of Granite Falls and the City Council members should vigorously oppose the pit expansion because it is a bad idea that will degrade the quality of life in the city generally. It should also be opposed on the grounds that any business that tries to pull a stunt like that should come up short as a matter of public policy and based on the most fundamental notions of fairness. I urge all concerned citizens to contact their council member and the Mayor and express opposition to the expansion of the pit. It’s not like we have a gravel pit shortage around here, after all.
Paul Winter Granite Falls
Superior Court judges are only doing their job
Dear Editor: In his article on Justice Blackmun, Kendall Wingrove is harsh about the “final judgment” of Harry Blackmun for writing the plurality opinion of Roe v. Wade.The article is unbalanced in its condemnation of the Supreme Court work regarding the very difficult issue of abortion. Most unbalanced is placing the blame on the court for the actions of individuals. The decision to abort a child, if a sin as presented, is not caused by the Supreme Court. The parent or parents involved make the decision - it is not Harry Blackmun’s. If Wingrove’s logic regarding Justice Blackmun is appropriate, then Justices who have upheld the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms would have to “bear the burden even further” as Wingrove states. Every death by gunfire would thus be caused by the Supreme Court allowing people to have guns under this interpretation of the Constitution. Also unbalanced in Wingrove’s logic is the condemnation of Justice Blackmun for abortion deaths without a condemnation for politicians (including Presidents) who commit grown babies to die in war as combatants. Why such outrage at the death of unborn children without similar outrage for the death of children in war? Both are biblically condemned. Consistency allows people to work together to eliminate the need for war and abortions instead of blaming and condemning others. Consistency can begin by asking ourselves what have we done or said to help eliminate the need for abortion or war. The burden is on us, not the courts or politicians, to make decisions consistent with our stated morals. Condemnation of Justice Blackmun and politicians for their morals will not bring back the children lost by abortion or war. Harsh words and actions are a hindrance, not a help.