Etcetera - 4/16/13


I’m all shook up after reading about a geology report given to Milton-Freewater Rotary Club recently by Whitman College geology professor Kevin R. Pogue.

It’s unsettling to say the least that the area could have a significant earthquake at some time in the future, according to Kevin’s talk.

Kevin has also worked of late with local viticulturists to prepare documents that identify a special viticultural area. Once identified and approved, it will be referred to as “The Rocks of Milton-Freewater.”

But back to that earthquake reference: A series of faults forms the Olympic-Wallowa Lineament, a line that stretches from the Oregon-Idaho border northwest to the Seattle area.

Milton-Freewater lies along the OWL and the segment between Milton-Freewater and Wallula Gap is called the Wallula fault zone.

Kevin said that, when driving to Tri-Cities, evidence can be seen of recent fault movement along hillsides separating the Walla Walla Valley from windfarms atop the hills.

The steep slope of these well-exposed fault scarps just east of Wallula Junction indicate that significant activity has occurred in the recent geologic past. The last large earthquake occurred in July 1936 in the Umapine area, rated at a magnitude 6.

Due to the nature of faults in this area, earthquakes are likely to be relatively shallow, resulting in more ground movement. In other areas of the world, they occur deeper and less violently. There have been several events along this fault over the last 50 years but all were relatively mild, wrote Rotarian Robby Robbins, who provides reports of meeting presentations to the U-B.

Kevin outlined actions residents can take to lessen an earthquake’s impact, including securing water heaters — especially gas-fired — in place so they won't break loose.

Homes built before the safety requirements for reinforced walls and foundations are especially at risk. Brick, concrete block and similar construction materials installed many years ago were not built with reinforcing rods to add extra strength in such events.

“Similar problems would affect old bridges and highway overpasses that have not been rebuilt or refurbished to meet earthquake safety standards,” Robby reported.

If caught in an earthquake, attempt to get outside, away from any structures that might fall or buildings that may collapse.

If unable to get outside in time, get under a solid structural part of the building and avoid areas near outside walls or around chimneys that might collapse.

In areas where large modern buildings are present, watch for falling glass from upper levels as buildings flex under the movement of the earth beneath them.

For more details, contact Kevin at 527-5955. Contact Robby for more information about Rotary at 541-938-6523 or The group meets at 11:45 a.m. Tuesdays in the Milton-Freewater Community Building, 109 N.E. Fifth St.

Exchange Club of Walla Walla observed its 64th anniversary at a recent meeting. Member Tracy Shrouf assembled some of its history while researching club archives and said “it was fun to see all the various stories in the U-B over the years.”

The vice president of programs for Exchange, Tracy said Exchange Club was chartered in March 1949 and the Walla Walla club, 71 members strong, received its charter presentation from Ivan Bronson of San Francisco, president of the California State Exchange Club, at a dinner dance on March 26 in the Marcus Whitman Hotel ballroom.

John Tuttle and Frank Buckman served six-month terms as the first two presidents.

The group celebrated its 25-year anniversary with a banquet in 1975 at the Walla Walla Little Theatre. The club received the seventh consecutive Big E Award for Education, Efficiency and Membership Growth, a Northwest District record for consecutive wins of the award. And with 103 members, it was the largest Exchange Club in the district at the time. The club won the Big E Award 10 times in those first 25 years, Tracy said.

Many past presidents attended, some returning to town from Spokane and Portland. Other local past presidents were Fred Campbell, 1950; Dare Chamberlain, 1953; Vern Kegley, 1958; Art Griff, 1961; John Reese, 1963; Dave Dilts, 1966; Doug Taylor, 1967; Roy Nishi, 1968; Donald Jones, 1971; Biff Brotherton, 1973; and Dick Worthington, 1974-75.

Early local club projects included contributions to nurture such organizations as the Veterans Administration Hospital, Camp Fire Girls and Stubblefield Home for Boys. It was the first service club in town to sponsor a blood drawing. It was also active in promoting a change in the national bylaws to remove racial restrictions for membership in the 1950s, she said.

During the 1950s, the club supported the drive to bring Walla Walla Community College here.

Over the next five years, it started its crime prevention program, and the fish pond project at Jefferson Park in 1957.

The first club-sponsored Freedom Shrine was presented to the YWCA. In the 1960s and 1970s, Freedom Shrines were presented to Pioneer Junior High School, DeSales High School and Waitsburg High School. Such shrines now are displayed in every school in the Walla Walla School District and at Walla Walla University.

In 1986, Walla Walla Exchange began a Youth Talent Program, which was held for many years at the Walla Walla College Fine Arts Center in College Place.

The club made history in 1986 by being the first in the Northwest District to elect a woman to its board of directors when Joanne Dumett served as director for club activities.

Kathy Covey was elected to serve as the first female president of the local club in 1991. Current member Liz Conover is the only one of the original women who joined the club to still be a member, Tracy said.

In 1990, Exchange Club moved its popular easter egg hunt from Wildwood Park to Pioneer Park. The hunt accommodates children from birth to 10 and those with special needs.

There have been many fundraising events over the last 64 years, including a celebrity auction, Jail and Bail, Christmas tree sales, Walla Walla County Fair food booth and the College Rodeo since 1969.

In 1998, the club organized its first Ducky Derby. In 1999 the big inflatable duck disappeared overnight from outside Eastgate Baker Boyer Bank. “It was later recovered and now sits proudly high above downtown on the top of the Baker Boyer Main branch during most of the Duck season,” Tracy said. The 16th annual Ducky Derby is coming up on May 18.

An increase in Prospect Point Elementary’s water bill — to the tune of $500 to $1,000 per month over five months — was discovered recently by Walla Walla School District Energy Manager John Butenhoff.

District detective-plumber David Locken used a water leak detector with an acoustic listening device to locate and repair the leak at Prospect Point, according to the Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review online newsletter.

They were commended in the item for collaborating on the project and curtailing a drain in thousands of dollars and water resources.

Late in March, Pioneer Middle School hosted the Washington and Oregon state Odyssey of the Mind competition, the Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review online newsletter reported.

Pioneer teacher Dan Calzaretta coordinated the event, which had three teams from Walla Walla — all from Pioneer; two each from Oregon and Spokane; and one from Yakima.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international competition. This was the state final for Washington and Oregon, and was the first time the state event had been held in Walla Walla.

Teams competed in several categories, including a vehicle creation in which the cars navigated a course; balsa-wood structures were built and judged on how much weight they could hold; and literature and drama were presented in a public performance.

“Odyssey of the Mind encourages creative thinking and problem-solving,” Dan said. “It is a perfect competition for middle school students.”

Aron Wulf received a $1,000 scholarship from Noon Rotary Club of Walla Walla. The son of Melissa Wulf and Cameron Martin, Aron was cited as a talented artist and actor who has excelled in art, drama, music, English and science.

One of Lincoln High School’s most accomplished actors, he has performed in four productions while at the school. Next fall he plans to enroll at Eastern Washington University to pursue music, art, theater, design and writing.

Aron has already completed his high-school requirements and is currently enrolled in one class.

The remainder of his time each day is spent serving as chief caregiver for his mom, a single parent who suffers from a number of debilitating health conditions.

“The noon Rotary Club of Walla Walla is honored to award its first high school scholarship of 2013 to Aron Wulf, an artist, a survivor, and a person who teaches us what is most important in life — our families,” said Rotarian Linda Hardy in a release.

Rotary will award six more scholarships to graduating high-school seniors from each of the Walla Walla Valley’s high schools.

Walla Walla Branch of American Association of University Women is offering mini-grants to local community educational projects that meet and address their mission statement.

Funds raised through AAUW’s recent Used Book Sale and last fall’s Kitchen Tour are also used for local scholarships. Information and applications for both mini-grants and scholarships are available online at

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


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