Opinion

Paying tribute

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Last Friday, my son Duncan and I paid our respects to Hazel Wolf.

Along with about 900 others, we attended the overwhelmingly

wonderful memorial service in Seattle at Town Hall, celebrating her life and legacy.

She was a tireless activist and advocate for social justice and

environmental protection, and a model for how to successfully blend determination

and persistence with good humor and compassion, bringing people of all

walks together to make the world a better place.

Hazel was born on March 10, 1898 and lived for almost 102 years.

Duncan and I were among the 600 guests at the gala party honoring

her 100th birthday. We've known Hazel for 20 percent of my life, 83

percent of Duncan's - that's 10 percent of Hazel's life - and cherish the

inspiration and insights that friendship has given us.

As Duncan and I entered Town Hall, sunlight streamed through

the stained glass windows, a string trio onstage played Bach chamber

music, friends smiled, greeted, hugged. On stage, in lieu of banks of flowers,

was a small forest of live, potted evergreen trees, the two largest adorned

with ferns and flowers. Protect our remaining ancient forests had been one of

the many items on Hazel's agenda, and it was as a member of Seattle

Audubon's board of directors that I came to know her (she served as secretary for

over 30 years!) and admire her, and work with her and others to protect our

Ancient Forests.

The celebration was rich and varied, just like Hazel herself. It was

an apt reflection of her. And as it turned out, she had helped plan it out.

Her guidelines included that it be a fundraiser (for Kids for the

Environment, an endowed fund that benefits young people and nature through

education), that there be friends of many races in the service, that there be

a voice for children, and that if anyone attending wasn't registered to vote,

to "snag `em."

We were inspired by the opening drumming by a Lummi

spiritual leader. Ron Sims' welcoming remarks reminded us what a tidal wave

Hazel could be, making us believe that the world could be a better place.

The dazzling vibrancy of Leschi Elementary Choir's rendition of "Lean on

Me" brought a standing ovation, as did Pat Wright and the Total Experience

Gospel Choir's "Reach Out and Touch." We were transported through

decades of activism by this wisp of a woman who didn't hesitate taking on the

big ones, standing firm, and bringing people together to work out solutions.

The world did not pass Hazel by. She wouldn't allow it! Carpe Diem!

Seize the Day! Last fall she broke her hip. She'd just been to testify

about dams and salmon on the Snake River. She couldn't finagle escaping the

confines of Providence Hospital to join labor and environmental activists

in the WTO protests. So instead she shared her concerns, with all who

were near, about the consequences of corporate globalization and her

support for decent working conditions and protecting the environment

worldwide.

The last time my kids visited with Hazel we were at a mutual

friend's birthday party in Seattle. It was a hot summer day and we'd left off

haying in the Valley for a few hours. We found a shaded breezy spot on the deck

- overlooking the sparkling Sound - and sat with Hazel and swapped some

stories. "Isn't is wonderful, isn't it just wonderful!!" she said looking west.

For me, that was like her baseline: optimistic, marveling at this life,

at this earth that sustains us ... which naturally leads to thoughtful

care-taking of what we have and persistent vigilance and reminders to "do the

right thing" to those who are careless, make a mess or for whatever reason

take more than their fair share. And her hopes for this wonderful world

centered on ordinary folks - and kids. "Everything connects -

absolutely everything ... You can't solve all the world's problems. But you can

take on one project at a time, and then another. You can do that your entire life."

I know Hazel would be happy that Duncan and the other kids were

there - along with the governors, the senators, and all those adults - to

celebrate her life and spirit.

PPP

Port Blakely may want to shove the Treemont subdivision onto the

toe of Tolt Hill, but friends and neighbors aren't rolling out the welcome mat.

People who think a big subdivision leap-frogging into the rural area is

a bad idea are joining together to appeal the recent Hearing Examiner's

decision which gave the project a green light. Concerned citizens are

invited to a 4 p.m. meeting this Sunday, Feb. 20, at Jubilee Farms, which is

located on the "back" road to Carnation,

between the Tall Chief and Carnation golf courses. For more

information, call (425) 222-4558 (leave message if no one picks up.)

PPP

Then, in the opposite direction, is the ill-conceived Falls

Crossing project Puget Western wants to plop down right above the Falls. One

can't help but wonder if the attorney for Puget Western would have had

so many uncomplimentary things to say about the Department of Wildlife

scientist who concluded that the project was not in the best interest of

creatures great and small if that scientist had said the project was a good idea.

And if she'd said it was a good idea, would her superiors have tried

to muzzle her and downplay the legitimacy of her findings? And as for

the citizens who highlighted their concerns for this public servant, Bravo!

Keep on talking! Falls Crossing is a bad idea. Good science and good

social science will hopefully prevail over the chance for one more big

developer to make more money without truly investing in the community.

PPP

Recently there has been a surge in the number of virus "hoaxes"

being propagated on the Internet. While hoaxes are generally not damaging

to your computer, they do waste bandwidth, disk space, and other

resources. Is there any cause for alarm? Most, if not all, have turned out to be

nothing more than hoax e-mail. If you receive a "virus warning" e-mail from a

friend, or another colleague, please don't forward it on to others until you

check the URL below.

http://www.networkassociates.com/aspset/antivirus/library/hoaxes.asp

(Save the URL in your Favorites.) This is a handy reference list for

determining whether the threat is real or not and also has some useful info on how

to prevent being the victim of a virus attack. (This information courtesy

of Jeff Hogan at the Snoqualmie Valley School District.)

News Notes items may be

submitted to Janna Treisman

at Box 1329, Fall City, WA 98024; or phone (425) 222-5594 or

e-mail treismaj@hotmail.com.

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