Odds, ends from the editor’s desk — Nov. 16, 2016

Want to make a difference in your local schools? You don’t even have to leave the house.

The Sequim School District is hosting an online Community Needs Assessment survey (find it at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CNA1617).

The survey takes 20-30 minutes and helps the district set priorities for how to improve teaching and learning, where to spend funds for discretionary projects and more.

Don’t have access to a computer? No problem. The district office (503 N. Sequim Ave.), other Sequim school offices and the Sequim Library have print copies of the survey and there are copies in Spanish as well.

School district officials received a little more than 500 responses last year and hope to double that.

The survey, which started Nov. 9, runs through Nov. 30.

Eye-catching wildlife

A day after a letter-to-the-editor ran in our Oct. 26 edition decrying the act of poaching in the area — and mentioning two deer moving about the Sequim-Dungeness area with arrows still in them — a local resident let us know he spotted one of the deer with an arrow in its eye. After making contact with the Department of Fish and Wildlife and local veterinarians, the resident kept watch for the deer, who returned day after day and eventually somehow lost the arrow. “The buck appears to be doing very well with only one eye and has been chasing the does,” the resident said.

Adjusting to sequimgazette.com

Some readers are having an issue finding how to send our newsroom items via the new Sequim Gazette website (www.sequimgazette.com). To send press releases, photos, comments for staff and other items, go to the upper left-hand portion of the main page and click on the menu bar and then click “News.” Also in the menu bar, you can search, go to different sections of the website, sign up for email newsletters, look at our “green editions,” place a classified ad and more. We are admittedly still working through some kinks on the site, but we hope to have it all figured out … before we change the site again.

So now you know

Every wonder why leaves change color in the fall? I had that thought driving down Sequim’s Fifth Avenue last week, as the fragile remaining leaves clung to trees lining the busy street. When I got back to my computer, I had the unsolicited answer in my email inbox.

The State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry notes that, “As the days get shorter and the temperature cools, the food-producing chlorophyll in a plant’s green leaves breaks down and the green color disappears making the yellow and orange colors in the leaves more prominent. Other chemical changes may occur which may give rise to reddish and purple fall leaf colors. Where the stem is attached to the tree, a special layer of cells forms and gradually severs the tissues that support the leaf and the tree seals the cut. The leaf is blown off or falls of its own weight, leaving a leaf scar.”

Put that in your pocket for dinner party conversations.

Oddball factoid of the week

Speaking of odd things in the old email inbox, Estately — a free online real estate resource based on the East Coast — sent out a press release recently noting the “how-to” questions residents in each state searches on Google more frequently than any other. (The list does not show what each state googles the most, it simply shows the searches each state googles more than the 49 other states and D.C.)

Some are predictable. Colorado: “How to grow marijuana.” Alaska: “How to fish.” California: “How to spot a narcissist.” Wisconsin: “How to impeach a governor.” Florida: “How to get out of Florida.”

Some are not so predictable. For example … Hawaii: “How to be a ninja.” Wyoming: “How to battle in Pokemon Go.” Illinois: “How to sell Beanie Babies.” West Virginia: “How to delete Facebook.” Vermont: “How to tip cows.”

And Washington state, you ask? “How to survive an earthquake.” Of course.

Bora Bora, the Swiss Alps … and Sequim

Rand McNally recently has released “Worldly Escapes,” a new hardcover pictorial filled with photo-illustrated vignettes of 120 destinations around the world. The book takes readers to such “blissful retreats” as “golden sands of Hawaii, sunsets at Santorini” and “wilder endeavors … (such as) wildlife in Kenya, Puerto Rico rain forest, volcanic wonders in Hawaii” and more, according to its Amazon.com description. And yes, Sequim is featured. Just in case you’re doing some early Christmas shopping for the out-of-towners.

Real cliff-hanger

It’s not 15 miles through the snow one-way or anything, but these kids are going to have a great story for their sons and daughters in their old age.

In case you missed it, CNN did a short profile of a group of school children in the mountains of southwest China’s Sichuan province who must descend an 800-meter (half mile) cliff to reach their school.

Their village recently spent $150,000 to construct steel pipes to replace the vine ladders they previously used to scale the cliffs to reach classes … instead of, I guess, hiring someone to teach them in their village atop the cliffs.

Reach Sequim Gazette editor Michael Dashiell at editor@sequimgazette.com.

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Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He recently retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and now lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
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