Waste not

I enjoyed reading “Waste Not” in the Spring ’17 issue of Washington State Magazine. I learned a lot and was especially intrigued by the part about microwave sterilization and preservation.

I thought I would clarify to readers that, while composting food waste still releases greenhouse gasses, if treated properly with balanced carbon-to-nitrogen ratios, aeration, and moisture, decaying food waste favors carbon dioxide and releases less methane than that same material would in a landfill, where moisture, aeration, and the rot recipe are far from optimal. Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

Animal husbandry is the missing link (in your excellent article) between rescuing leftovers and composting. That fermenting fruit salad at the back of the fridge, though no longer fit for human consumption, would just suit the taste of the five hens in my front yard. Though we might not all have the space or expertise—or zoning privileges—to raise goats or hogs, laying hens are some of the easiest and most rewarding animals to keep. Many urban codes have been updated in recent years to allow backyard chickens in the city, and instructional resources for beginners abound.

Washington State University Extension’s online resources are a great place for my fellow readers to start learning about backyard animal husbandry and proper composting methods if they haven’t already.

Paul Froese ’12, BS, ’14, MS

Walla Walla

 

In his memory

I was saddened to read in your Winter 2016 issue of the passing of Henry Zimet ’45 DVM. Dr. Zimet maintained a veterinary practice in nearby Moscow, which conveniently served as a means for pre-vets to gain “practical” experience required by the admissions committee at the vet school. He also would provide helpful advice to anyone who asked, and always as a devoted alumnus. Dozens, if not hundreds, of WSU students benefited in this way from Dr. Zimet’s generosity and assistance over the years; in addition to me, I recall at least four others in my class who were helped by his kindness and support 40 years ago. I invite those with a similar experience to join me in returning the favor by making a donation to the vet school in his memory.

Steve Niemi, ’82 DVM

Cambridge, Massachusetts

 

Olympic connections

In “Cougs at the Olympics” in the Talkback section of the Fall ’16 issue of Washington State Magazine, Don Brust asked the question regarding what other Cougs had the opportunity to go to the Olympic Games. I was a biathlon judge for the ’80 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, an official for the ’84 Summer games in L.A. (where I wrote the official procedure manual for all 13 summer Olympic shooting events), and was a biathlon coach for the 1988 Winter games in Calgary. Additionally, I coached rifle shooting at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s. My neighbor, Richard Zollars, also worked the winter Olympic downhill ski events in the Salt Lake games and maybe other games.

Richard Domey, ’80 PhD

 

Noteworthy class note

I thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful Class Notes section article on Dan Maher. In the ’70s, a “guitar every 30 feet” was indeed the case. In that era my friends (and WSU alumni) Mary Brelsford, Bonnie Channing, Drew Zimmerman, Kurt Bergeron, Carl Eckhardt, and my brother Jim wore our fingers raw jamming at the K-House (Koinonia House). The skills I learned and the friends I made continue in my life today. I still play my 1970 Martin and jam with brother Jim. Those memorable days of Vietnam War campus unrest, Palouse River floods, the stadium fire, student strikes, and others were balanced with the laughter, camaraderie, and easy flow of music created by fellow musicians in the intimate surroundings of the K-House. Go Cougs!

Roy Draggoo ’73 

Environmental Biology

 

Correction

Per WSU media guides, Jeanne Eggart Helfer (1,967) is the leading career scorer for women. Isaac Fontaine (2,003) scored more points in his career. The article in our Spring ’17 issue mistakenly stated she was WSU’s all-time leading scorer in WSU basketball.

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