Etcetera - 9/26/12


I urge food and travel writers waxing eloquent about Walla Walla Valley to tap into our Native American roots as they have everything to do with why this is called Walla Walla.

Yet not for the first time, one writer opened his piece this way: “So, apparently sometime around the start of the new millennium this town, whose name was synonymous with its penitentiary became ‘the next Napa Valley.’”

That just continues to perpetuate a misnomer. It’s the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, not the Walla Walla Penitentiary. I suppose I could repeat the correct version until blue in the face, but well, it’s not becoming.

At any rate Seattle Times staff reporter Tan Vinh’s travel/outdoors article on Aug. 23, “Is Walla Walla ‘the next Napa’?” is complimentary, from its history, natural and culinary features and other reasons to visit.

To clarify an item in Sunday’s Etcetera column, McCaw Army Hospital is not the same place as the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial Veterans Affairs Medical Center. McCaw was situated between Poplar and Rose streets adjacent to the VA facility on land that in part is now home to Key Technology. It was built during World War II to accommodate critically injured troops.

Among the eight new commissioners to the Board of ArtsWA appointed by Gov. Chris Gregoire is Mark Anderson of Walla Walla.

ArtsWA is the new name for the Washington State Arts Commission.

Mark and representatives from elsewhere in around the state were appointed to fill vacancies created by expired terms on the Board. New commissioners represent a variety of artistic interests and geographic regions.

Mark is managing director and founder of Walla Walla Foundry, which specializes in casting contemporary sculpture in bronze, silver and aluminum.

“I am very pleased with the professionalism and experience these appointees bring to ArtsWA,” the governor said in a release. “Serving on a state commission is truly a generous service to the public, and I applaud our arts commissioners for stepping up to do their part in advancing the role of the arts in peoples’ lives statewide.”

Commissioners guide the direction, set policy for the Commission, and advise the Governor and legislators on the state of the arts in Washington. By state law, 19 Governor-appointed commissioners and four legislators appointed by their caucuses comprise the Board.

“Our new commissioners help to reinforce the fresh direction we are taking the Arts Commission,” said Kris Tucker, Executive Director of ArtsWA.

Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at or afternoons at 526-8313.


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