One out of five teenagers seriously considers suicide. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death of teens. If you know someone who is considering death by suicide, you can help them. Suicide is an issue that we all need to help prevent. To prevent suicide, we need to be good listeners, ask the hard questions and be on their side.
Be a good listener. Put judgement aside, and be emotionally supportive. Empathize instead of criticize. Acknowledge their feelings, and don’t try to make it better.
By confronting the issue, you are not pushing them further. Ask the hard questions. Be direct. Use the word suicide. Don’t be scared to face the situation, and if they say yes.
If they have a plan for suicide, support them in getting the help they need. Be on their team. Be upfront with your intentions and next steps to get help. Let them know you are ready to follow through with an action plan.
It’s important to be educated on how to prevent suicide. Suicide is preventable, and you can take a leading part in that prevention. L.E.A.R.N. how to Look for signs, Empathize, Ask about suicide, Remove dangers, and plan Next steps. You might just be the one to save a life.
ILC Junior Advisory
Editor’s note: The Junior Advisory is made up of ninth- and 10th-graders at the Independent Learning Center.
It’s been a long time since we have been able to attend a community function, over 14 months since the pandemic hit. On Sunday, April 11, we had the privilege to attend a poetry reading by Greg Wright and two guest speakers, called “The Gospel of Doubt.” It was held at the Methow Valley Community Center (MVCC) with the perfect backdrop of a lush green hillside, several deer grazing, and a clear evening sky, as seen through the huge gym windows.
The readings were hopeful and invigorating like a fresh walk through familiar biblical stories. The verse covered honest dialog about the doubts many of us from varied backgrounds, lifestyles, and cultures experience.
Thank you, MVCC, for hosting a much-needed outing. Looking forward to many more!
We’ve known for a long time that the poor pay more for many goods and services than the wealthy do. Obvious examples are credit and insurance costs. Lower-income earners also pay much higher income tax rates than many of the richest 1%.
I was surprised to learn recently that there is similar discrimination in our county (and nationwide) in real estate assessments. A University of Chicago study compared sales prices to assessed values for millions of homes in hundreds of U.S. counties. “On average, in Okanogan County the ratio of assessment to sale price for the lowest-priced 10% of properties is 1.3 times the ratio for the highest-priced 10%.” Some counties do worse, some much better, according to the study.
Using actual sales prices for the study avoided the fiction of “comparable sales.” Two houses of similar size and exterior condition may be dramatically different inside, and the quality of their acreage may be dramatically different as well. The same is true for the quality (value!) of any land, views, or riverfront. This often won’t show up in “comparables.” It will show up when a house is sold.
Homeowners and renters also suffer from unfair PUD electric rates. Small users pay much higher rates than big users, and the disparity is getting worse. In 2013, a prudent user (small home, good insulation, possibly wood heat or some solar power, etc.) could pay as little as $35/month, or $420/year, for their total bill. That included 500 kWh/month. In 2013, those people saw their annual rates increase to $681, a 62% increase in one year. Yearly rates for much bigger homes (using 2,000 kWh/month or more) went up less than 1% that year.
In 2021-22, that same prudent user will pay $.14/kWh, or $817 for the year. That is a whopping 95% increase in nine years! The 2,000 kWh/month users will pay $.075/kWh, including the base charge. Their nine-year increase is tiny.
The PUD rate system is contrary to encouraging greater conservation and use of solar power, which are essential in a time of climate change. It is also plain unfair.