NY Times article features Touchet family of e-readers

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Touchet's on the East Coast radar because of a family of readers from the Walla Walla Valley town who made it into a Feb. 4 New York Times article, said Punkey Adams, executive director of the Walla Walla County Rural Library District, in an e-mailed alert.

"I don't think it is often that Touchet gets a mention in the New York Times," Punkey said.

Touchet Library, one of the Rural Library District's branch libraries, has e-books as well as the standard variety.

Punkey heard about the article from Matt Berube, former Walla Walla County Rural Library District deputy director, went home to Massachusetts in December and now works for the Amherst Public Library.

The article mentions 12-year-old Mia Garcia, who received a Sony Reader from her grandparents at Christmas. The Touchet girl downloaded "Little Women," by Louisa May Alcott. That story and "Hunger Games," the second book she downloaded, both made her cry, she told the New York Times.

Eight-year-old brother Tommy also received an e-reader has loaded a variety of books onto his, including "The Trouble Begins at 8," a biography of Mark Twain that's geared for readers in the middle grades.

Eryn Garcia said she and her children visit the local library, which has 3,000-plus e-books in stock. They download the titles free which prevents her from having to tote "40 pounds of books."

"There's something I'm not sure is entirely replaceable about having a stack of inviting books, just waiting for your kids to grab," she told the New York Times. "But I'm an avid believer that you need to find what excites your child about reading. So I'm all for it."

An 11-year-old in the article, headlined "E-Readers Catch Younger Eyes and Go in Backpacks," said she went two weeks without watching one TV show because she was engrossed in her reader.

E-sales are spiking with such titles as the "Chronicles of Narnia" series, "Hush, Hush," and the "Dork Diaries" series. See more at www.nytimes.com/2011/02/05/books/05ebooks.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

Friends at Life Church and Christian Aid Center are rallying around Chris Garinger. The Walla Walla man needs to undergo surgery for a total shoulder replacement, according to Michelle Mitchell. The procedure does not come cheap so an effort is under way to raise about $72,000, she said.

They are working to set up the Garin-

ger Fund at US Bank and online donations may be made to "Garinger Fund" on Facebook, Michelle said.

Chris underwent arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery about seven months ago, information on Facebook noted. Originally insurance was to cover the cost, but post-surgery, the insurance denied payment. A more recent exam revealed his body rejected the surgery, there is tissue damage and in December 2010, he found out he's acquired Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome.

With extensive tissue damage, Chris needs a specialist to perform the surgery. "The outcome of a successful surgery is higher" if performed by an experienced surgeon," Michelle said

The father of four resides in transitional housing through Christian Aid Center with his wife and children, because he is unable to provide for his family in his current medical condition.

Until he lost the use of his left arm, he had worked for Keystone in Pendleton, Double D Logging in John Day and was a wildland firefighter for Greyback, Michelle said. He attends Life Church.

"Our goal is to get the cost of this surgery covered so he can get the treatment he needs so him and his family can move on with their lives and become a regular part of the community again," the Facebook posting said.

A raffle event is being planned for 3 p.m. Aug. 27 in Pioneer Park. Anyone who buys at least $20 in tickets will get free food and beverages at the event, Michelle said. Organizers would like to have live music and a beer garden or wine tasting."

For more details, contact Michelle at 509-200-3534.

A local pilot used to buzz small remote African airfields to encourage the baboons hanging out there to move so he could land. That's back when George Wolf was a commercial pilot with Somali Airlines in Africa. He also encountered many other animals that appreciated sitting on a flat runway, in 1963-1964, early in his career when he went to Africa with Sinclair Oil Co. to deliver freight.

George talked about his career during a recent Milton-Freewater Rotary Club meeting, reported member Robby Robbins. George initially studied aviation mechanics, but while in New Jersey studying, he became interested in flying and built up hours as both a mechanic and pilot. He was certified for single-engine aircraft and furthered his training in Oklahoma to become certified for multi-engine aircraft.

For 15 years George flew the Pacific route from Australia to Hawaii with Continental Airlines, piloting DC-10 aircraft. He told the Rotarians his long over-water runs were routine most of the time but situations arose en route with weather, navigation equipment and aircraft problems along the way to keep them interesting.

1984-88 found him with Saudi Arabian Airlines flying the Airbus aircraft. Before taking command of the new, very modern aircraft, he took his training in France.

He continued with lengthy over-water routes in the Far East for 10 years with Japan Airlines. Altogether, he logged nearly 25,000 hours in his aviation career and has flown over most countries in the world except South America and Antarctica. He particularly enjoyed Japan, New Zealand and Micronesia.

Nearing retirement, he and his wife moved into the Willamette Valley and started farming, mostly in hazelnuts. They were drawn to this area to be near relatives and get away from the big-city environment on Oregon's west side, George said. The Wolfs now have a farm near Milton-Freewater.

If you're expecting visitors from out of town or the troops at home are getting restless, have I got a diversion for you: Fort Walla Walla Museum, the Museum Store, Headquarters Art Gallery and Research Library are open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays through March 31, according to Paul Franzmann, communications manager. The museum is a 755 Myra Road. Admission is $7 for adults; $6 for seniors 62 and up and students; $3 for children 6-12; and free for those under 6. For more details, contact 509-525-7703, info@fortwallawallamuseum.org or www.fortwallawallamuseum.org.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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