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September is national Hunger Action Month – a month where people all over America stand together to fight hunger. It’s a month to spread the word and act on the hunger crisis to aid in the awareness in finding a solution so no child, adult or senior experiences enduring hunger.

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The excitement of high school football, “Friday Night Lights” returned to the Lower Valley and brought out all the community spirit of cheering on our hometown teams with a resounding first class sportsmanship quality.

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The BNSF trains which I love photographing from a distance, but detest as they run the town’s corridor starting just a block from home, always at high speed with whistle blasting nonstop, broke a record for longest blast that night, at 2:22 a.m.

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Although a community volunteer since 17, when I learned how to knock on doors for a presidential candidate, and I’m early 60s now, I still am dazzled by the level of volunteerism buzzing away in every community.

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18 years ago, terrorists declared war on America with four coordinated attacks against the United States on the morning of September 11 - taking the lives of 3,000 people, injuring over 6,000 others, and destroying both World Trade Center buildings and severely damaging the Pentagon.

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Five years ago, Washington state experienced the most catastrophic wildfire in its history. The Carlton Complex fire raged through Central Washington, burning more than a quarter of a million acres and leaving more than 500 homes and structures destroyed in its path.

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The City of Sunnyside and Port District agencies each share in economic development pursuits; they receive taxpayer monies to move binding interests forward with a goal of generating revenues which strengthen long term growth. The port’s success coupled with its leadership stability has created a powerful authority which rises above their city colleagues.

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Having experienced my first lighted farm implement parade as a Sunnyside resident with a new job and company back in December last year, I was attracted to capturing as much hometown character as possible while taking part in making the experience memorable – I was looking forward to soaking up the spring and summer fun of other lower valley events.

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As the back to school intensity begins to pick up throughout the lower valley for students and parents, there’s a momentum of building advanced programs at area campuses with the construction of facilities. These facilities when complete, will accommodate expanding educational opportunities …

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A story out of Ritzville recently gained national attention: Larry Yockey is a fourth-generation wheat farmer, and for nearly 50 years, he hasn’t missed a harvest. Sadly, Larry was recently diagnosed with stage four cancer, allowing him to only spend a short amount of time in the fields. He was worried that his streak would come to an end, but his neighbors wouldn’t allow that to happen.

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As the granddaughter of tough Kansas stock, and a long line of farmers, dairy people and social worker type helpers, I was always proud to hear the story of my role model grandma, Laura Pearl, who not only received her teaching certificate following high school, but she went on, decades later to earn her LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) degree.

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Sunnyside’s National Night Out was a community summer party which brought residents together as neighbors and strengthened the relationship between families and law enforcement while enhancing our hometown values of public safety, education and old fashion fun.

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The timing of Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s Federal Civil Rights lawsuit against the city of Sunnyside one week before the primary election day was a well prepared and calculated announcement to bring statewide attention to both parties and their communications breakdown in failing to resolve the city’s Crime Free Rental Housing Program (CFRHP) issues.

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In every town of our valley, city employee cubicles are bursting with white board numbers and excel sheet scenarios. Staff are vigilantly creating figures and values to accompany ideas and information for their department heads.

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Joanne Vining and Lois Chilton, along with the Ladies of Immanuel Church in Grandview, were spiritually guided to create a community project which would provide children or seniors traumatized from a horrific emergency requiring public safety response, the comfort and security of a handcrafted blanket.

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Carrying out the duties of public office can be a thankless job. The sacrifice of time lost with family and the disruptive scrutiny of representing your community whether you’re in agreement with constituents or not – all our lower valley elected officials should be thanked for their willingness to serve their respective communities.

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Discussing life with my 35-year-old Portland son, who was born with some type of fabulous wiring which compels him to call his mother every single day at 12:30 p.m., for 15, not 12 or 14 minutes, through college, through law school, during his study for the bar.

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Summertime recreational fun of cooling off with family and friends or swimming laps as part of a fitness routine at the Sunnyside pool should be open to all, even on Saturdays – an entire day of private pool rental availability, from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. prohibits community-wide accessibility of the city’s downtown public attraction.

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Last week, the House of Representatives voted on the Raise the Wage Act, which would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, despite warnings from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office that this would result in the loss of nearly 4 million American jobs.

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A Roger Brooks video, detailing the strengths and the weaknesses of navigating Sunnyside, is the basis for a grassroots movement set to shake up our snoozing downtown area.

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One of Congress’ most important Constitutional responsibilities is providing for our military and national defense. For the past 58 years, this has been a bipartisan affair. Members of the House and Senate from both sides of the aisle have come together to pass a bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that provides for our military and our troops who fight to protect and defend us.

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The Roman Catholic Diocese of Yakima posted a page with a document listing names of priests and deacons with substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor on Wednesday, July 10 — more than 17 years following the Boston Globe’s investigation of the scandal titled, “Spotlight Investigation: Abuse in the Catholic Church.”

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On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed, and the United States of America was established. Last week, families across the country celebrated this momentous anniversary with firework displays, parades, and barbeques. Many of us prayed for the men and women who sacrifice th…

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After more than 100 years of having no Fourth of July celebration in Sunnyside — the Sunnyside Lions in 1995 decided to hold a celebration in the park — just a few games and a couple of eating contests and sack races. Plus, a few speakers, from patriotic to military hometown heroes.

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