Outlook The Othello
THUR SDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2010
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OPD takes to the airwaves By Bob Kirkpatrick Editor
Coming to you live from KRSC 1400AM each Monday morning at 10 a.m. is the Make Othello a Better Community show, a partnership between the local Hispanic radio station and the Othello Police Department. The program, broadcast entirely in Spanish, features officers from the OPD who field calls on a variety of topics designed to develop dialog to bridge the communication gap between the police dePhoto by Bob Kirkpatrick partment and Othello’s HisOfficers Aaron Garza and Homer Montemayor take calls during their show on Monday, Feb. 22. The topic of discussion focused on traffic issues. Station panic community. manager Eleno Topete manned the control board. Officer Homer Montemayor
took the initiative to get the program started “I contacted the station manager Eleno Topete and we talked about broadcasting some public service announcements and that discussion generated the idea for a live broadcast,” he said. “The first broadcast on Feb. 8 was a halfhour long and we talked about the impact of a person’s immigration status when witnessing or being the victim of a crime.” Montemayor said the program’s original targeted audience was undocumented individuals living in the area, the majority of which will not report the incidents of crime See OPD, Page A5
High school student has good reason to relay By LuAnn Morgan Contributing writer Hayley Guse has been participating in the Heart of the Basin Relay for Life since it started five years ago. That means she was only 10 for that first relay. At first, she showed up to help because her mother was a member, but that perspective changed as she grew up. Today, she has her own reasons
for being there. “I want to help people who have cancer, especially those who can’t afford the medical bills,” Hayley said. “And I like to volunteer.” Two years ago, Hayley set up her own team when she was a student at McFarland. She and her team worked hard and raised $1,100 for the cause. They sold candy, held a yard sale and did a car wash. In fact, she was working the
of the adult teams,” Vicki said. “But others came then just to show their support.” Vicki said that’s typical of all the teams’ families and friends. Besides Hayley’s McFarland team, there hasn’t been any other youth team. So, this year, Hayley is hoping to organize a high school team. Her goal is to bring in Photo by LuAnn Morgan more money than she did with her previous team. Vicki, Hayley and Randy Guse have been involved with Relay for Life since See Relay, Page A7 it began. Hayley is working toward organizing a high school team this year.
car wash when her dad was rushed to the hospital because he was very ill. “Randy hadn’t been feeling well for several months,” Vicki, Hayley’s mom, said. “That night, he had surgery for (kidney) cancer.” That, in itself, became an additional motivation for Hayley. It also helped encourage other kids to participate. “A lot of kids came that year — and every year — as part
Adams County Juvenile Services administrator bids fond farewell
are in school there at Bethel one who spent some 20 years venile court so this is a smallSchool of Supernatural Minis- working for Juvenile Services. er work sphere than the one I “Yeah, it’s a big change,” he am going into down there. But try and as a family, we see our said. “Here I was working for it’s the same sphere as far as Dave Gowan, long-time Othel- future there.” See Gowan, Page A7 Quite an adjustment for some- the county government and julo resident, respected community member, mentor to innumerable youth and their family members and Adams County Juvenile Services Administrator for the past 19 years, is stepping down from his position effective Feb. 28. “We are moving to Redding, Calif.,” Gowan said. “I have accepted an exciting offer in Red Bluff just south of Redding as executive vice president of the Red Bluff-Tehama County Chamber of Commerce.” He was one of 97 applicants for the position. The decision to leave was difficult given the decades of community service he’s put in, but nonetheless, a good one as the move will present new challenges and re-unite the Gowan family. “I am really excited about it,” he said. “We have spent Photo by Bob Kirpatrick a lot of time there last three years. Three of our children Bob Fuller shares a laugh with Dave Gowan and his daughter Hannah Gowan at his going away celebration. By Bob Kirkpatrick Editor
Danny DeBoer instructs three men from Wulensi on how to use the donated tractor to cultivate their fields.
Shipment arrives in Othello’s Sister City By Bob Kirkpatrick Editor Danny DeBoer flew to Accra, Ghana, Jan. 18 to take possession of the contents in the container that had arrived in port carrying the John Deere tractor,
tools, equipment, onion seeds and bicycles sent from Othello. But as he and his fellow workers were about to unload the cargo, they ran into a bit of a snag. “The first trailer we tried to See Wulensi, Page A5
Masons honor local men By LuAnn Morgan Contributing writer
In celebration of the Othello centennial, the local Masonic Lodge presented two Othello men with special recognition
plaques at the annual Corn Beef and Cabbage Feed Tuesday, Feb. 16. The event was part of Past Master’s Night, which was attended by members of several See Masons, Page A6
Opinion A2 | Community A3–A7 | Neighbors A8 | Sports B1–B2 | Schools B3 | Ag B4 | Cops & Courts B5 | Classifieds B7 | Outdoors B8
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The Othello Outlook – Thursday, February 25, 2010
Sister: The road to Wulensi was in bad shape after the rainy season continued from page A1
load the tractor in wasn’t wide enough to get it in,” he said. “Then, the normal five-hour drive to Wulensi took us 10 hours to get there.” DeBoer said the dirt road leading to the village washed out during the rainy season last summer and it had not been graded since. “When we were here last, you could drive 170 kilometers per hour, but we could only drive 60 this time,” he said. “Along the way, the truck broke a spring and it poked a hole in one of the dual tires, but the driver kept going. We also busted the exhaust.” DeBoer finally arrived in
Wulensi, but he had to wait until the next day to unload the contents inside the trailer. With no loading dock and fork lift available in the village to offload the tractor, DeBoer and some tribesmen had to improvise. “We had to lower the ground at the base of a cliff to lower the height of the truck and then back it up to the ledge to have an even surface to unload the tractor,” he said. “We also had to stick some logs under the wheels of the tractor to get it to roll out.” Once the tractor was unloaded, DeBoer proceeded to give the men of the village lessons
on how to plow the terrain. The goal for the village people of Wulensi is to plant and harvest 30 acres of yams and onions. And although DeBoer said there is no set date for the next return trip, he does plan to go back in the near future. “We will be talking a lot over the phone after they get things up and running,” he said. “But I want to wait until they get power to the village.” That could take up to two years, DeBoer said, as power is just getting to villages outside Accra as most don’t even have land phone lines. People Courtesy photo can, however, communicate via cell phones. People of Wulensi gather together for a council meeting. Quite a contrast to the Othello City Council chamber.
OPD: ‘I think the program is really going to help bridge the gap between our non-English speaking population and the police department’ continued from page A1
for fear of deportation if not properly documented. But OPD Chief Steve Dunnagan said he wants people to know their immigration status should not be a concern. “We won’t even ask what their status is,” he said. “We don’t care about that and just want to address the issue and nature of the crimes.” The demographics, Montemayor said, are not solely aimed at undocumented individuals but are also inclusive of non-English speaking people. “It’s for anyone who doesn’t
have a good command of the English language,” he said. “ Montemayor said there was no actual format for the initial broadcast, so he wasn’t quite sure how the program would be received. “I was told by Eleno not to be surprised if no one called in, but we did have an individual call from Pasco who was concerned about immigration status and how it would impact a person reporting a crime,” he said. “So, I guess you could say the first broadcast was a success.” The second broadcast on
Feb. 15 lasted an hour. “We had people call in wanting information about domestic violence assault,” he said. The third broadcast on Feb. 22 the officers fielded several calls on traffic issues. “We talked about driving on a suspended license and having valid identification on your person,” Montemayor said. “One caller wanted to know if it was OK to drive without a license if you had a temporary visa.” The fourth broadcast will air March 1. And just like the
three weeks prior, the officers will let the callers decide the topic of the program. “We encourage people to phone in with their question, Montemayor said. “And we’ll try to give them the answer the best we can. If we don’t have the answer, we’ll get it for you.” So far, the broadcast is being well received in the community and surrounding areas. “I think this program is really going to help bridge the communication gap between our non-English speaking population and the police depart-
ment,” Officer Aaron Garza said. “Especially after people get used to hearing police officers on the radio.” Four officers, Jason Gilbert, Aaron Plummer, Garza and Montemayor, will rotate on the program on a weekly basis. And although the broadcast is still in its infancy, Dunnagan said it seems to be reaching its intended audience. “We are hearing a lot of positive comments and that’s really cool,” he said. “We have some huge culture dividers here. There are lot of misun-
derstandings about the police force in the Hispanic community and we hope this radio program will help us narrow the communication gap.” The program is gaining popularity and has even been heard in the Tri-Cities. What started out as a 30-minute broadcast has now evolved into an hour show, which airs on Monday from 10 to 11 a.m. If you have questions for the officers on the Make Othello a Better Community show, dial 488-3616 and you may just get them answered on air.
Alex Kaylor appointed to planning commission By Bess Reneau Contributing writer
The Othello city council beginning with the approval of made quick work of its brief a new planning commissioner. agenda on Monday evening, After several weeks of advertising and “as much public outreach as we could muster,” city planner Darryl Piercy reported only one person had applied for the position, local builder Alex Kaylor. Piercy recommended appointing him to the position. “It will be vital in March that we have full quorum,” Piercy said of the need to fill the position in time for upcoming projects. Mayor Tim Wilson disclosed that Kaylor is his son-in-law. Photo by Bess Reneau City attorney Jim Whitaker stated the relationship would Councilmembers Marc Spohr and Dan Dever review a budget amendment.
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not constitute a conflict of interest, because the position is unpaid and because Kaylor does not reside with Wilson. Mark Snyder made a motion to approve the appointment and Kaylor was unanimously voted into the position. The council approved a budget amendment that included providing the mayor and council with laptop computers to use in conducting city business. An estimated $11,000 was requested for the purchase. “We got the idea this year,” finance officer Mike Bailey said. “This would be a way to cut down on the use of paper and there are other processes
we could save time on.” The use of laptop computers will eliminate the need to print and assemble the paper packets distributed to councilmembers for each meeting. The budget amendment was approved by unanimous decision. Other council action included the approval of a memoranda of understanding allowing the Othello Police Department to participate in the Spokane Regional Gang Net database. The database contains centralized intelligence information on gang members in eastern Washington, which would benefit the Othello PD in its investigations of gang-related crimes.
The annual user fee of $980 was already budgeted for the year. In new business, councilmember Marc Spohr reported standing water on the new tennis courts despite the design of a sloped surface to facilitate run-off. “I’d like us to check that we have the right level and slant,” Spohr said. “They were very puddly. I’d like to investigate that a little bit.” City administrator Ehman Sheldon noted the new court surfaces are still under warranty if any corrective measures need to be addressed.