Saturday, October 06, 2007

Some of the dahlias ordered for summer 2008.

Here are some of the dahlias that I will be adding to my garden in 2008. These have been ordered from The Dahlia Barn in North Bend, Washington.

From top to bottom the dahlias are:
  • Who Dun It
  • Tar Tan
  • Swan's Sunset
  • Silhoette
  • Patches
  • Lauren Michele
  • Hakuyou
  • Foxy Lady
  • Center Court

The last of the dahlias.

Here are the last photos of dahlias from my 2007 garden. I will be cutting down the dahlia plants over the next couple of days. It has been a great year in my dahlia garden and I am looking forward to the garden’s expansion for 2008.

The dahlias listed from first to last are:

  • Wee Willy
  • Silvia Hunter
  • Purple Passion

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sheldon Jackson College—Transform or Close? (Part 7)

Dahlia of the day: Tahiti Sunrise.

Another option for Sheldon Jackson would be to continue to train teachers for rural Alaska. Alaska law requires that every town/village have a state-funded school. Many of those schools are located in remote areas and are very small. It is not uncommon for there to be only two or three elementary teachers in grade school. High schools are may have only two or three teachers. Sheldon Jackson could continue to provide the training to meet these educational needs. My wife got her teaching degree (before she became a CPA) from Central Washington University. She had very good training. Still, the question needs to be asked, “Was she trained to be a teacher in a small Alaskan village?”

Another option for Sheldon Jackson would be to continue to operate its salmon hatchery and train people to work and manage fish hatcheries. Salmon fishing is a vital component in Alaska’s economy. Many native corporations have opened hatcheries. SJ could continue to be a leader in this arena. Additionally, they could branch out to include raising other types of aquaculture “crops.” An elder at the Kake, Alaska, church went to SJ at the same time that I attended as a student. Kake is a small village in Southeast Alaska. Logging and salmon fishing have been the main economic engines for Kake. The logging is finished and the salmon runs have not been very good for a number of years. The church elder has started his own business—he raises oysters. He ships them all over the world. SJ could serve as a training ground for others looking to the ocean for sustainable food sources and employment.

Now for the big question—how can SJ do all of this?

· Possibility #1: Become “Whitworth North.” Whitworth College is a very successful, highly regarded college in Spokane, Washington. Whitworth has a strong connection to the Christian faith and the Presbyterian Church. It is one of the few Presbyterian-related colleges that meet the requirements of the Christian College Association. The Board of Directors of SJ should begin a dialog with Whitworth. SJ has enough property that it could sell some of it to cover the existing debt. Then, SJ could give Whitworth all of the remaining property, buildings, etc. I firmly believe that this would be a win-win-win-win situation. SJ would be a winner in that it would keep operating in a unique setting. Whitworth would be a winner because it could expand in scope and influence in Washington and Alaska. Alaska would be a winner because the needs of its rural citizens would continue to be met. The Presbyterian Church and the church in Alaska would be a winner because of the spiritual training that local church leaders could receive. IMHO this is SJ best future.

· Possibility #2: The PCUSA takes ownership of the SJ campus and use it as a retreat center/educational center/church leadership training center. With the right people in charge it would be possible for some of the needs of Alaska to be met.

· Possibility #3: Die!

There may be some other possibilities, but I can’t think of any. I think that the best option would be to become “Whitworth North.”