RUSSIA SCHOOL PROGRAM OFFERS GLIMMER OF LIGHT

September 18, 2001 11:00 pm

While thoughts have turned negative over the past week as Americans have faced the reality that there are some extraordinarily nasty people in the world intent on destroying and disrupting the lives of thousands of people and their families, three Wallowa County women are hoping to help some disabled people in Russia.

Lynn Doherty of Enterprise and Jodi Burgess of Wallowa, both students at Eastern Oregon University, and Wallowa High School student Andrea Martin are planning to assist in an EOU project next summer in Sergiev Posad.

The Russia project, under the capable hands of Eastern business professor emeritus Verl Anderson, already has been engaged in helping the Childrens School for the Deaf and Blind.

Most of the schools students, ranging in age from 18 months to 24 years, do not have families. They must leave the school at age 24 and some of them with no place else to go are faced with the dark prospect of being put into institutions.

Thats where Anderson and Easterns business students come in. The students are using their advising and consulting skills to help create small business opportunities for the deaf and blind school graduates.

A few years ago Russia, as part of the Soviet Union, struck fear into the hearts of Americans. Now American-Russian partnerships like the one that exists between EOU and the school for the deaf and blind are bringing hope and help to people who otherwise might be societys castaways. It is bringing opportunity for people who could easily be forgotten.

Through donations and participation in fund-raisers, the community should back the three Wallowa County women and others intent on making a difference in the lives of the handicapped students in Russia.

NOT SO FUNNY

Theres a time to be funny. And for David Letterman, host off of CBSs Late Show, that time is every night. Except for Monday.

Letterman had no opening music or stand-up comic monologue, however, as he began his show from New York. He sat at his desk, stating that he had a few thoughts he wanted to share before introducing his guests, news anchor Dan Rather and quiz show icon Regis Philbin.

Letterman spoke about how proud he was of the New York policemen and firemen responding to the Sept. 11 World Trade Center disaster. He praised New York Rudolph Giuliani as the personification of courage. He questioned how religious fervor could ever drive anyone to take the lives of more than 5,000 people.

Letterman wasnt funny; he was poignant. The usually wise-cracking, self-deprecating TV clown was serious, but not to a fault. His approach was entirely appropriate given the tragic events that unfolded in his city a week ago.