It's been one of those weeks, where random thoughts keep popping in and out of my mind. Nothing earth-shaking, maybe not even worth sharing, but putting them down on paper usually helps clear the clutter from the brain.
• Why are ice cream prices soaring? I know when summer rolls around the price of gasoline always takes a jump, but now ice cream, too?
I've always been a sucker for ice cream...eat way too much of it. Up until last week I was stopping nearly once a day, sometimes twice, at a convenience store located on Yakima Valley Highway for one of those 99¢ Klondike ice cream sandwiches. I think Klondike calls it a "Big Bear." Maybe a Grizzly Bear, I don't know, but it's the best ice cream sandwich on the market. And for 99¢, although I wouldn't call it a bargain, the price was fair considering the quality of the product. But last week that little store raised the price of those ice cream bars, to well above a buck.
I was buying my gasoline at that store, as well as my smokes and a few other essentials. Nearly everything I was getting there jumped in price. I don't shop there any more.
In searching for another ice cream sandwich outlet, I tried the little convenience store across from where I work. They didn't carry my favorite, but the Nestles cookie dough ice cream sandwich looked tasty, so I tried one. It was good, even if I had to fork out just over a buck and a half for it. Went back today for another one, and the clerk informed me I owed him just over $2.25 for it. I stuck the Nestles treat back in the freezer, muttering....well, it doesn't really matter what I was muttering as I walked out the door.
Apparently I can no longer afford to treat myself to ice cream on a daily basis.
• Had to wonder to myself when I read the front page story in yesterday's Daily Sun News about the 26 teens from Iowa, Michigan, California and Wisconsin who are spending the week in Sunnyside performing community service projects. Always thought these Christian-based summer programs sent kids to ghettos and poverty areas to clean up those communities. Sunnyside, though, is a frequent destination for teens who sign up to spend their summers helping out others.
I've always known that our little corner of the world is full of people who are at or just below the official poverty line, in terms of personal income. Just never have really considered us a "third world" type community.
• Did someone change the start of summer from June to late July, or early August? Where is the weekly summer entertainment that was going to be offered at Sunnyside's Centennial Square gazebo? I distinctly remember Rado Harrington, the director of both the Chamber of Commerce and the Sunnyside Economic Development Association, standing before city council, assuring the city fathers that the gazebo would be put to good use this summer. So far, I haven't heard a single musical note wafting from the gazebo this summer.
• Am I the only one tired of Sunnyside Councilwoman Bengie Aguilar's personal agenda of furthering the Latino cause? When it comes to filling a vacancy on one of the city's boards or commissions, what's wrong with choosing the best person for the job?
• I've always wanted to know for whom my wife really votes, and now I'll have that opportunity. Thanks to our county commissioners, all of our elections will be done through the mail. I could never follow my wife into the voting booth before, but now in the comfort of our home I'll be able to see for myself where she marks the 'X.'
Heck, maybe I can threaten her with refusing to take out the garbage or mow the lawn unless she votes for my candidate.
Yeah, vote by mail, eliminate the privacy of voting that we all enjoyed before. That's the ticket.
• Not a surprise, I guess, that more of the rights of us common people were taken away yesterday. The state Supreme Court ruled to uphold an emergency clause declared by state lawmakers (namely Democrats), which means only a simple majority is needed in Olympia to raise our taxes, as opposed to a super majority that was required in the past.
Several groups pushed the case to the Supreme Court after Secretary of State Sam Reed denied their referendum petition to get things back to the way they had been before. Reed prohibited the referendum from being filed based on the emergency clause in question.
So much for us regular folks having a say.
• The Washington Education Association is lamenting the fact that the average annual salary of a teacher in this state, $45,434, is lagging behind the average salary of teachers nationwide.
There are a lot of us lagging behind that $45,434 figure. We feel the pain, but we don't have a lot of sympathy for the teachers.