Odessa High School Teacher Wins Award

Odessa High School science teacher Jeff Wehr has added yet another accolade to his impressive resume. He is one of only five recipients in the nation of the Siemens Founders Award.

This award is given in recognition of an individual or school for encouraging students to participate in math, science or technology research programs and efforts to provide the necessary support consistent with Siemens Foundation mission of enhancing math and science in American high schools. Only five educators are selected from across the United States each year. The Siemens Founders Award is given in honor of Albert Hoser, founder and chairman emeritus of the Siemens Foundation.

The Siemens STEM Academy provides an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C., presenting the award during a black-tie ceremony at George Washington University. Wehr and his wife Julie Wehr will attend the ceremony at which he will receive this national honor.

Along with this honor, the Siemens Foundation provides an opportunity to participate in a hands-on summer research immersion program at Oak Ridge National Laboratories in Tennessee this summer (STARs program). The STARs program is a two-week professional development course designed to empower teachers to bring the excitement of authentic research into the classroom and inspire students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

Working in small groups, teachers will collaborate with ORNL scientific teams to conduct individually designed research projects that will give them real-world experience to bring back to their classrooms. This immersion into authentic research, professional scientific collaboration and educational enhancements will provide insight, resources and scientific contacts to the participating teachers.

Thousands of educators apply to attend this elite research retreat, yet only twenty are selected each summer. Having been selected for the Siemens Founders Award, Wehr has automatically been accepted into the STARs program this summer along with the other four Siemens Founders Award recipients.

From www.odessarecord.com, December 1, 2011.

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Advantages of small town living

Are you tired of the hustle and bustle of the city, air pollution bothering you? Are you tired of your children being stuck in classrooms that are too big and the anonymity that goes with living in a city? Perhaps it’s time to leave the city and head to a smaller town. There are many advantages of small town living.

If you think small town living might be for you I encourage taking some time to visit several small towns! What’s the first thing you’ll notice?

No hustle and bustle! A few cars straggling down the street, plenty of people walking are common sights. No long lineups of traffic on the freeway or bypass. No cars zooming up and down busy roads. Heck no streetlights. You can instantly see the streets are much safer. And of course car accidents are few and far between.

Did you notice the fresh air? Little or no smog, lots of green space, plenty of parks to enjoy with the children, and peace and quiet. Instantly you feel yourself beginning to relax. The frown lines begin to disappear from your face. Suddenly it feels like all your burdens are gone.

Now stop and have a look up and down the main street. The markets bustling, people are coming and going and all seem to be greeting each person they pass along the way. Suddenly anonymity is gone. There’s a sense of belonging, of people caring and knowing each other, even if just a little bit.

The brick buildings in the town core all have character and seem to welcome you with open arms. Oh look over to there is the city hall. Small, compact, and well organized.

Now take a tour towards the school. The first thing you’ll notice is children laughing and playing. The atmosphere is relaxed and the group of children relatively small. Many small towns have one school for all grades, and some have one primary school, and one junior high and high school combined.

Yes there are fewer teachers but there are far less students and classrooms are a comfortable size and the learning environment is greatly enhanced. Here the teacher has time for every single student. And even at the schools community spirit is strong. Dates of upcoming school events are posted on the wall. The year is well planned. Looks like the students may be the entertainment for the year.

Down the road you spot the local doctors office. One doctor who knows everyone by name. He’s a busy guy but not too busy to take a few minutes out to chat with one of the locals on his walk over to the hospital. The hospital is small and offers the basic facilities and top notch medical care. Serious injuries are quickly transported to a metro hospital.

Then it’s time to check out the neighborhoods. Older homes, newer homes, there’s a great mix available. Nice large lots for some privacy and perfect for the kids. No condos, and few apartments. Here families get the opportunity to own their own single family dwelling and they can afford those homes!

But where would you work. Well there are a handful of jobs within the small town communities and many people that are moving back to these small towns make their livelihood online so where they live is not a factor. Some choose small towns that are within commutable distance of the city where they continue to work. And if you’re retired then work is not an issue. There are lots of options to explore!

Small town communities are once again thriving. For many small communities the decline of population and threat of extinction have gone. City folk are quickly recognizing the advantages of small town living. In fact each year millions are heading back to rural communities.

So which small towns did you visit? It didn’t really matter did it? Of course each has there personal characteristics which might draw you more than the next, but in general what you saw was characteristic of almost all small towns.

There’s a character and an atmosphere and a charm that develops when the community is small enough to become intimate and know each other. When someone becomes ill the entire community quickly jumps in to help the family. When someone dies the community quickly comes to the aid of the grieving family. When someone new moves into town the are quickly greeted with open arms and a big welcome. Community spirit is alive and strong!

And no matter how hard you try it simply cannot be duplicated in the city. Too many people coming and going. Too much hustle and bustle. Too many lives that are far too busy to get to know the people in their neighborhood. No time!

In the city schools are overcrowded reducing the effectiveness of the education. Child poverty is high, child crime seems to be rising, and children can’t play in the park by themselves without adult supervision for fear of harm. In fact children seldom walk to school on their own anymore due to safety concerns.

Small communities are like traveling back in time to an era where life was less complicated, less stressed, where everyone knew their neighbor, and children could enjoy a game of ball at the park or walk to school without fear for their safety. And it’s a lifestyle more and more city dwellers are once again seeking.

So if you are tired of the big city, tired of the crime, the smog, and the lifestyle. Consider moving to a small town where time almost stands still and you’ll get to know your neighbor by their first name. There are many advantages to small town living!

An online article by: Jude Minar

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New owners and managers of the Odessa grocery store

The new owners and managers of the Odessa grocery store have written the following message to the members of the Odessa community:

“With over 100 years of combined grocery and customer-service experience, Bob and Bonnie Dewey, owners, and Jeff and Debbie Norris, managers, are excited to become a part of the Odessa community by presenting you with ‘Odessa Foods.’

We all come from small communities and know how important it is to be able to provide our customers with excellent customer service by installing a new service counter and check stands, along with ongoing updates in the produce department, as we replace the existing cases to help guarantee top quality and freshness, along with future updates throughout the store.

We plan to bring your community store to the next level by providing you with a greater selection of products in the near future, such as take-and-bake pizza and hot deli items.

We also plan on extending the stores hours for the community’s convenience, and we enjoy doing special events such as outdoor produce sales and BBQs along with indoor holiday events.

You can look forward to many changes taking place inside and out, and we want you to be as proud of your Odessa Foods as we are. We welcome any suggestions that will help to enhance your neighborhood market.”

Odessa Record – July 21, 2011 | 111th Year, Number 14

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School District Wins Distinction

The Odessa Chamber of Commerce congratulates The Odessa School District on their recent accomplishments:

  • •    Washington State School Of Distinction
  • •    U. S. News and World Report “Bronze” school
  • •    Scholastic Cup Champion for 1B schools sponsored by WIAA
  • •    US Department of Education selected Jeff Wehr, HS Science, as a American Star teacher, one of only 50 across the nation
  • •    WASL scores in grades 3,4,5,7, 8, 10 continue to be above state averages in nearly every category
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89% of Odessa students are in school activities.

Over 89% of our Junior High School students participate in the extra-curricular program. The activities program at Odessa Middle and High School is designed to provide students with the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities year round. Through participation in sports, music groups, clubs, and other extra-curricular activities, they are helped to develop physically, socially, and emotionally in order to become better citizens in our society. The activities program is an integral part of the total school program. In addition to serving students, the activities program acts as a cohesive force, unifying the school and community. Students have been recognized for exemplary performance in athletics, music and academic competitions. As a member of the Bi-County Athletic League, we are proud of individual and team success as illustrated by past State Championships in Football, Tennis and Volleyball, and recent state trophies in Basketball and Volleyball. Please visit the schools website at www.odessa.wednet.edu

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Rocky Coulee Brewing Company pours craft beers in Odessa

Rocky Coulee Brewing Co. was founded in 2001 and opened for business in June of 2002. Originally planned for construction at their family farm in Adams county just southwest of Odessa, the Brewery was named after the Rocky Coulee which lies just to the south of the farm. After encountering several problems with the State and local organizations due to water regulations they decided to purchase property in Odessa. They began construction in the Fall of 2001 and opened their doors on June 1, 2002. In just over 4 short years they have outgrown their building and are currently adding an addition to provide more storage and space as they continue to grow.

Visitors are always welcome at the brewery. They are always open on Fridays from 2:00 pm until at least 11:00pm. Make sure to visit them during Deutschesfest, when they have a large tent with live music and a beer garden. They run expanded hours during Deutschesfest weekend and look forward to seeing you Friday and Saturday.

Rocky Coulee Brewing has always prided itself on creating quality hand crafted beers. They usually have at least 6 different beers on tap and available for take home at any given time. They currently have Fireweed Honey Blonde, Golden Ale, Dunkel, Brown Ale, Creamed Copper, and our newest beer “The Bail Out Ale.”

www.rockycouleebrewingco.com

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Shopping locally adds value to community.

For those who don’t care to dare the crowds and bright lights of all-night shopping, there’s another option: Shopping locally.

While smaller retailers in rural communities may not be able to offer the variety found in larger stores, there are many benefits that may offset that lack.

Most of Odessa’s businesses are owned by residents of the community, who in turn support other local businesses. That is, money spent here tends to stay here.

Then there are the benefits that may be somewhat less obvious. Business owners pay taxes in the community, which in turn provides the services residents receive. And at least a portion of the sales tax on purchases made here stays here.

Another benefit of shopping locally is convenience. Shoppers can take their time, and are not limited by how much will fit in the trunk of their car. And think of the savings in fuel costs!

The Odessa Record has come up with a series of suggestions for various people on your list:

First, if you are looking to do some Christmas shopping, remember that every year, Odessa holds Christmasfest at the Community Center every December. There are always a number of vendors selling a variety of items ranging from the handmade and vintage to personal care and jewelry. All day entertainment keeps the atmosphere festive, and you can take a lunch or pie break when you get tired of shopping. And don’t forget to pick up your poinsettias for the home or office – the FFA table always has a great selection.

Several nice potential gifts might be had for the price of a raffle ticket, as the Friends of the Odessa Library hold their raffle in the Library. Later in the afternoon, also in the library, Santa is available for pictures with the kids.

Don’t forget to stop by the Tree of Sharing to pick up a name or two to shop for this year. In these tough economic times, there are a number of people in need right here in our community.

Many of the businesses around town participate in the festivities of Christmasfest, with in-store specials and/or refreshments. Be sure to check out the flyer that will be in the paper during that time.

For the cook on your list, “The Staff of Life” is available at Odessa Drug, Odessa Clinic or Hospital. The cookbook is only $12.50 and contains the best recipes submitted by area cooks. The drug store also carries past editions of “The Staff of Life” as well as other cookbooks, including “The Burntwater Cook’s Kitchen Guide,” by Harrington’s David Michaelson (also available at The Odessa Record.)

Odessa Drug also carries a constantly-changing assortment of kitchen gift items, including aprons and table linens, gourmet food items, kitchen accessories and gadgets.

For the creative person on your list, Odessa Drug carries a variety of art supplies, ranging from construction paper, glue and scissors to sketchbooks and paints. Encourage the kids to take a break from electronic entertainment and make something themselves.

Then there’s the Quilt Crossing, which carries a selection of beautiful, high-quality fabrics, instruction books ranging from beginning quilting techniques up to advanced design. If there’s a quilter or wanna-be on your list, this is the shop to visit.

For Mister Fix-it, Ramm Hardware has everything from the basics up to extensive tool kits and the boxes to put them in. The store also carries a selection of high-quality pocket knives for the hunter (or just the macho) on your list, as well as appliances or kitchen ware.

For the gardener, the hardware store carries tools, decorative pots and so on. Take one of the bright plastic pots, throw in some potting mix, gloves and a trowel or some pruning shears. Maybe a little Miracle-Gro if their thumb isn’t quite so green.

For the driver, a “clean car” kit for their car, with a selection of items from Odessa Auto Parts/NAPA. Fill a bucket with a wash mitt, chamois cloth and various products guaranteed to make your ride gleam. Often over looked, but needed items, like a tire pressure guage or an LED work light are also available.

If there’s a dyed-in-the-wool Case IH fan on your list, there is something for every age group at Odessa Trading Company’s parts division. They carry jackets, sweatshirts and fleece wearables in just about every size. An entire wall display is devoted to toys, from cars and fire trucks up to combine harvesters and crawlers. Case IH premium items include duffle bags, folding chairs, even dog collars and leashes. Other possibilities include real romance (to a farmer, anyway), with air compressors and power tools, even an APS unit for the tractor.

The college student or young adult on your list might enjoy an on-line subscription to The Odessa Record for only $25. They can keep up with hometown news while they’re on the go.

For the coffee, tea or smoothie lover: A pre-paid coffee coin or gift certificate from Crab Creek Coffee Haus.

For those who prefer a different kind of beverage, both Odessa Foods and Odessa Drug carry holiday gift packages of adult beverages, along with accessories such as glassware, mixers and rim dips, ice buckets and flasks. Be sure to provide a designated driver!

For the family that plays together, you could put together a pizza and game night package with a pizza gift certificate to of the two restaurants in town that serve it (Chiefs Bar & Grill or Crab Creek Coffee Haus), and a selection of card or board games from Odessa Drug. This reporter highly recommends Skip-Bo or Phase 10 card games.

For the person who is really hard to buy for, check out My Sisters’ Closet, where the new mingles with vintage and everything is reasonably priced. High-heeled “stockings” or sachets are the latest creations, mingling with other decorations, cookware, jewelry and the truly unique.

The not-so-well-adjusted individual could probably use a pre-paid visit to Eldridge Chiropractic.

Just want to brighten someone’s day? Sweet Pea Floral can make it happen, with arrangements in a range of sizes and cost as well as potted plants or poinsettias.

Odessa Foods can contribute to the gift selection as well. The new managerse have stocked quite a few novelty items which might make great gifts.

Virtually every business in town has gift certificates available in a range of denominations. Treat someone you love to a meal at one of our three eateries: The Odessa Drive In, Crab Creek Coffee Haus, or Chiefs Bar & Grill.

Sometimes the best gift is the gift of warmth. In these days of escalating utility and fuel prices, a payment made on account at Odessa Grange Supply, Avista or Inland Power might be greatly appreciated.

Or a month of internet service from Odessa Office Equipment can fit neatly into someones life.

In short, maybe doing your shopping in Odessa won’t let you buy that newest expensive electronic toy you’ve seen advertised on TV, but it could provide some bonuses: you’d get to exercise your creativity, a part that goes unnoticed and unnurtured all too often, and your community would receive the benefit of your economic support.  So whether it be for a birthday, an anniversary, Christmas, or just because–Shop Locally!

From odessarecord.com, December 1, 2011.

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