Our Northwest

One-room schoolhouse preserved for Waverly

Friday, January 3, 2014by  Jon Osterberg

Waverly, Wash. – population 107 – has a “new” one-room schoolhouse.
  The historic Prairie View School, which housed Palouse students from 1904 to 1938, has been moved into town from its original location five miles southwest of Waverly. The decaying wood structure now sits on a new foundation with new flooring and a new roof.
   The original bell from the bell tower disappeared decades ago, but a rebuilt interior and new wiring will help preserve the school for future generations to admire.
   Around $50,000 in private donations has funded the effort so far.
   I got excited when I saw the Spokesman-Review news headline, thinking I was familiar with the school. But I had confused it with Pleasant View School, another historic structure, built in 1909 near Stateline east of Spokane.
   When I was 13 and bucking hay bales in the summer of 1967, we worked a field that overlooked Pleasant View School (left, in distance beyond truck). Years later, when my brother became the historic preservation officer for Kootenai County, Idaho, I was pleased to learn Pleasant View was under consideration for protection.
   Some quick research for this blog post taught me that Pleasant View School is now renovated and protected on the National Historic Registry.
Why salmon like biogas: Snohomish County cow manure will protect native fish for the next five years, thanks to a new contract with the local PUD.
   Nonprofit Qualco Energy is taking manure from about 1,200 cows, converting it to biogas, and selling it to Snohomish PUD. Left unattended, the manure would pollute streams, endangering salmon and other fish.
   But Qualco pumps the poop into a huge underground tank that percolates and emits methane gas. The gas is pumped to a generator, creating electricity that will be used locally to power 300 homes.
   Residual matter becomes fertilizer, spread at nearby farms.
Dry winter not yet record-setting: Abnormally dry conditions continue to plague the Northwest, frustrating skiers and snowboarders.
   Most Oregon counties have snowpacks below half of normal levels. The Summit at Snoqualmie Pass remains closed for snow sports, three weeks past its usual opening date.
   Hoodoo Ski Area in Central Oregon also remains closed with just eight inches of white stuff on the ground.
   Washington and Oregon’s mountains did receive a few good late-fall snow squalls, but warm air brought rain that melted those meager totals.
   Through Dec. 31, Eugene had recorded just 21 inches of rainfall, breaking a city record that stood nearly 70 years.
   It’s not like we’ve endured a record-hot year. For example, Seattle did record less annual rainfall than normal, 32.5 inches versus the typical 37.5. But Seattle’s record high for the year was just 93 degrees, reached on June 30 and Sept. 11.
   That’s a far cry from the summer of 2009, when Seattle hit a record 103 degrees on July 29. I shot a photo of PEMCO’s rooftop temperature sign hitting 101 that day, but I retreated inside and never saw it go higher.
   Perhaps more amazing, the Seattle low temperature that night never dropped below 71.

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