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Daily News editorial

Eclipse

For those flocking to Oregon to experience the solar eclipse coming later in August, be prepared to be stuck in traffic. The Oregon Department of Transportation predicts the event will cause the biggest traffic mess in Oregon history. That says a lot.

ODOT likens the eclipse traffic to the snow storm last January where people left vehicles on the side of the road or were gridlocked for extended periods of time. Plans are in place to cease highway construction in anticipation for approximately 1 million visitors who want to get the best view.

The center path of the eclipse crosses between Lincoln City and Newport, Oregon. But there is no need to rush off. According to NASA, there should be 94-99 percent visibility from the Portland metro area.

For those lucky enough to witness the mid-day phenomenon, be safe and plan ahead.

Sheriff K9 Deputy Fritz

Last Tuesday, Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office K9 Deputy Fritz passed away after a brief illness. According to a sheriff’s office Facebook post, “Fritz went on to play in heavenly pastures with Nitro, Xaran, Trux, JJ, Raccer, Brix, and Toby.”

K9 Deputy Fritz joined the sheriff’s office in 2008 and has been by Deputy Brent Harris’ side ever since. The pair has been through a lot over the years. Together they tracked down and caught many suspects, even sustaining a few injuries along the way. Fritz was known for “never refusing to give up.”

Chief Criminal Deputy Charlie Rosenzeig said, “Fritz was unique in the sense that he was excellent at adapting between public and children, but could get very serious tracking dangerous and armed suspects. He was so successful making that switch, with a lot of the credit going to Deputy Harris. Not all police dogs can do that.”

We offer our condolences to the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office, especially to his handler, Deputy Harris.

Thank you for your years of service K9 Deputy Fritz. You will be missed.

Thank you

Last weekend, a TDN employee experienced kindness that doesn’t come around too often. The employee broke down in a rural area and was unable to leave the roadway. A volunteer firefighter came by and assisted her by directing traffic.

Unfortunately, she was unable to catch the gentleman’s name. We appreciate his willingness to stop and help a stranger. His goodwill does not go without being noticed.

Lower Columbia School Gardens

In Friday’s paper, a story by Rose Lundy featured the Lower Columbia School Gardens and the pizzas they were serving at the Lake Concerts Thursday night at Lake Sacajawea.

If you haven’t read about the gardens, we encourage you to do so. The program started in 2010 and teaches kids at 18 schools how to grow their own food.

In addition to selling pizzas at the concerts, you can also buy produce from the school gardens every Wednesday mornings throughout the growing season at Northlake Elementary School.

We encourage everyone to go and check it out.

Ten-digit dialing

Starting Saturday (July 29), you will need to dial the area code when calling someone locally. This is a change to 10-digit dialing from our customary seven digit system. With more people and more households throughout the state, we will also be getting a new area code.

While we’ve had a 360 area code for many years, new phone numbers will get a 564 area code. The weird thing about this new 564 area code is that it won’t be attached to a designated geographic area.

Currently, most people know the 206 area code is a King County phone number and 360 covers most of Western Washington outside the Puget Sound area.

Under the new system, anyone who gets a new phone line, regardless of where they live, will get the 564 area code. This means you might have a 360 area code number, but your brand new next door neighbor has a 564 code.

We’re not sure if this will create other problems, like if a business adds another phone line will it be a different area code than existing phone numbers?

With the prevalence of cellular phones we wonder how long it will be before most homes don’t have a landline at all.

Whatever the future of landline phone numbers, we all will be dialing 10 numbers to get someone on the phone from now on.

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