Great American Conversations
                    With The Alumni of RHS
                 Issue 110 ~ November 9, 2000

  "Do not look back in anger, or forward in fear,
   but around in awareness." -- James Thurber 


  Schools: Promoting A Safe Environment For Learning
  Phil Jones '69

  Slant Drilling Called For
  From: Bill Didway (66)

  What Can We Do About Telephone Solicitors?
  Chuck Monasmith '65

  Real Discourse
  Kathy Hodgson Lucas (76)

  Many Mea Culpi
  Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson '54

  Thank God for Tree Huggers
  Linda McKnight (65)


Subj:  Schools: Promoting A Safe Environment For Learning
From:  Phil Jones '69

This is my first contribution to the Sandbox. I just
recently discovered the site and have sort of jumped in
the middle of some heated e-mail conversations. The
debate on homosexuality vs heterosexuality is great
reading. And I'm not going there!! I do want, however, to
thank my old friend, Mike Franco, for his support of
schools in his contribution to Sandbox #100, "Give Our
Schools a Break." As a high school counselor, I can
report with confidence that public schools are not
promoting homosexuality.

There has been a push in recent years to promote the
elimination of sexual harassment in school. But don't
make the mistake of confusing the effort to discourage
harassment (and the use of terms like fag or queer) with
promoting homosexuality. The effort to eliminate sexual
harassment has not only included staff training to
eliminate the obvious kinds of harassment between
employees, but has included messages to the kids that
it's not okay to harass other students

This includes behavior and name-calling that was routine
in my school years. We certainly didn't shy away from
expressing our contempt for anything that didn't conform
to our nicely packaged views incubated in sheltered
small-town America in the 50's and 60's. You bet we were
homophobic, and commie-phobic, and nuke-bomb-phobic to
boot. Our treatment of other students would be grounds
for expulsion today.

Today we are attempting to insure, perhaps naively, the
right of each student to be educated in a safe
environment free of harassment and name calling. Is it
working? Who knows. I don't assume we can change the
minds of all kids with a few posters, an assembly and a
stern reprimand but we can try to make a point whenever
we hear or witness an incident. Being aware that it is
not okay and encouraging the staff to be active and not
ignore this behavior, is a start.

Schools today face the impossible challenge of meeting
the needs of every student, from the most dysfunctional
to the future Rhodes Scholar and everybody in between. In
Washington State, we are in the middle of some
revolutionary (and controversial) education reform. When
the two presidential candidates talk about accountability
and higher standards for schools they could use
Washington Sate as a model. We are way ahead of the norm
in this effort with alignment of curriculum with
essential student learning, WASL testing, Initial
Certificates of Mastery, Advanced Mastery and Culminating
Experiences (Senior Projects) are all law designed to
increase student learning and to make schools accountable
for your kid getting an education. (That even includes
the kids who don't seem to not want to exercise their
rights to an education.)

There is conversation about schools providing "character
building" as part of school reform which is a very
sensitive area to get into. If that means respecting the
rights and freedom of others and assistance in
understanding what you are all about, than I'm for that.
If that means encouraging kids to be honest hard working
members of society, than I'm for that too. But I'm like
Mike Franco in my reluctance for schools to get into the
business of teaching morals. We have enough to do

Phil Jones 69

From: Bill Didway (66)
Slant Drilling Called For

My solution to the oil shortage and the Arab control over
it was suggested many years ago by a very smart comedian.
Near Florida we drill down and then over to and under
Saudi Arabia an all dem other oil producing countries.
After all they just happen to be sitting on top of the
                    Bill Didway (66)
                    Sedro Woolley, WA


Subj: What Can We Do About Telephone Solicitors?
From:   Chuck Monasmith '65

A new topic:

Let's talk about telephone solicitors... I don't want to
hear any sassy comebacks like "Can I call you at home at
dinner time?"  "I work for the company you are selling
and I don't like what you said."

What I am talking about is a grass roots effort to ban
the damn people who bother us at dinnertime and other
inopportune moments.

Should we just force them to have caller ID? Should we
ban them completely?  Should we just remove the soft
fleshy parts of their bodies?  What should we do with
those damnable telephone solicitors?

      Chuck Monasmith '65  
      Still in the great backwater of Richland WA


Subj:   Real Discourse
From:   Kathy Hodgson Lucas (76)  ~

To Marc Franco (66)

Thank you for your reply and clarification of intent.
Your tone was much calmer and more conducive to
informational discourse than your previous entry that I
responded to in which you called Mary Ray Henslee's fuel
shortage concerns hysterical.  I felt you were the
hysterical party.  I still disagree with your foregone
conclusion that the changes we have recorded in the ice
pack thickness, or in global temperatures cannot be
naturally caused, even in such seemingly drastic
increments.  We do not have that long a history of
records, and especially accurately calibrated records to
assume that such changes are beyond the scope of nature.
A very recent news story had two atolls in the Solomon
Islands, previously told they were going to be flooded
soon, due to melting ice pack, actually experiencing
lower tides than ever.

But let's assume some action should be taken. Shall we
take a suggestion from the extremist environmentalist
crowd as in removing billions of dollars worth of dams,
irrigation, electricity production, barge transportation,
and private industry on the chance that salmon population
will return up river despite ocean fishing, gill net
fishing, terns, sea lions, etc.?  We have replaced CFC's,
despite some dispute over the efficacy of it. We are
developing revolutionary fuel cells.  Bush is proposing
stricter emission controls on electric power plants and
tax credits for alternative fuel sources.  Before we go
any further, how do we address the global part of the
problem?  The three worst offending countries wouldn't
sign the Kyoto Treaty, and most of the rest wouldn't
ratify it.  A friend just returned from Beijing, China,
appalled at the horrendous air pollution belched
continuously from countless coal plants.  I'll have a
hard time justifying trading my Ford van for an electric
car while conditions in the rest of the world contribute
so much more intensely to any possible global warming
theory.  Given facts instead of unfounded fears, most
problems, even global in scope, can be eased or resolved
if we don't go off message with emotion and alarm.  We
aren't refusing to act, we are just acting in prudent
steps while we search for more definitive information.
Perhaps you're right, it may be too late.  Or perhaps
you're wrong, and we overestimate our global impact.  Or
perhaps we're both a little right.  At least we're having
civil discourse without name calling or hysteria.  That's
the only way to resolve world problems.

                  Kathy Hodgson Lucas (76)


Subj: Many Mea Culpi
From: Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson '54

By way of apology-

For Jenny Smart Page;

    Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. 

 Perhaps I have an unfair and biased opinion of you. And
that is so very wrong. You are, without doubt, doing an
excellent job of raising your children and teaching them
good values. Too bad other parents don't do this, but
leave the job instead to the schools; and then blame the
system for the children's failure. And to think you are
doing all this in the culturally deprived area of West
Richland (just kidding).

 Now, the donnybrook over gay Boy Scout leaders is
becoming tiresome and tedious. In some ways the Scouts
are correct in their stance. These "people" are not
"morally straight" and therefore do not deserve to lead
our youth.

 But, are caring and nurturing persons of the "gay
persuasion" any worse than thirty-year old teachers who
become pregnant via their twelve and thirteen year old
charges? Or pedophilc priest "preying" on altar boys?

 Maybe we should let gay men become coaches of girls swim
or gymnastic teams and gay women become priests and
teachers of young boys. Would that help the Boy Scouts?
Probably not, but it certainly might change someone's

 And, finally, who cares if Gush got a DUI or Bore didn't
really give Tipper "full tongue" on national television.
I've said it more than once in these pages. Don't worry
about either of them lying, they are both "Politicians"
and we all know that politicians lie.

 By the by, Al. In the beginning the vice president was
the guy who came in second. But that made for some
interesting legislation.

 Anyway, that's my opinion and I'm welcome to it.

             Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson '54
             Albany, Oregon


Subj:   Thank God for the Tree Huggers
From:   Linda McKnight (65)  -  Portland, Oregon

Okay, I am proud to be a Bomber, and to have grown up in
a wonderful, safe spot of the world, even with the threat
of nuclear war upon our heads. We survived. But, my
allegiance to Richland, Washington ends after the
reunions are over, after the Thanksgiving decorations are
put away and all the other family things that bring me
home to Richland. I am and will probably always be to the
end of my days, an Oregonian and proud of it.

I really am dismayed with Jenny Smart and her comments
regarding the environment. Jenny, you sit there in your
house in West Richland and dare to find fault with people
who want to save the rivers and streams from pollution.
My God, girl, what about Hanford and the biggest nuclear
waste dump in the world. Are you truly proud of the fact
that the core of the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant was
brought up river to you? 

Most Portland people are leery of swimming in the
Willamette River these days. When Gov. Tom McCall cleaned
up the river back in the 70s it was because businesses
were throwing chicken parts in the river because all
chicken factories and processing plants were next to the
river. Now, we have horrible chemicals being dumped in
river which have caused the fish and frogs to grow extra
parts. Somebody has to take care of the environment for
your children, Jenny. You have protected them from all
sorts of mythical evils. When are you going to start
protecting them so they can continue to breath clean air?
On Election night, I thank God for all the tree huggers
and environmentalists who wish to save the salmon and our
trees. Clean water should be available to everyone, not
those who can afford filters for their Brittas. 

      Linda McKnight (65) Milwaukie, Oregon, 
      a suburb of Portland, Oregon

That concludes this issue of THE SANDBOX folks. Please
include your class year and maiden name, (if applicable),
in all correspondence and subscription requests.  You may
also include your current locale if you wish.  It's easy
to join us in the ongoing conversations here.  Just send
your comments to:!  We are the 
Alumni of Richland High School, Richland Washington,
AKA Columbia High School, representing classes from 1942
through 2000. Visit the THE SANDBOX website.

Al Parker (53)
Shippenville, PA
                            - 110 -