Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Day: July 9, 2007”

Naming rights

The Coeur d'Alene Tribe, like others around Idaho (and elsewhere) has been pushing for elimination of the word squaw" in place names, saying the term is offensive. Okay; place names change from time to time. Life moves on.

So who gets naming rights to the places from which "squaw" has been erased?

Formally, in Washington, the decision falls to the State Board of Geographic Names. But who's request on this should they honor? Richard Roesler of the Spokesman-Review has an interesting post on this, and the contest between the tribe (which has a suggested replacement term, from its tribal language) and area residents (who have other ideas).

All gone

Umatilla depot construction/DOD

Umatilla depot construction/DOD

Something of a regional milestone: As of now, all the nerve gas and mustard gas stored at the Army's Umatilla Chemical Depot are gone.

That's no small amount. The base used to store 7.4 million pounds of the stuff; it's hard to imagine how many people that could kill. (Put another way in another report: the gas destruction "construction site covers 33 acres, has eight separate buildings that, when complete, will house five incinerators and dispose of 220,599 weapons and 3,717 tons of deadly chemical agents."

And it has been there a long time: It was created in 1941. It has gone into the physical and psychic Oregon landscape.

It is one of 11 depots around the country; the closest others are one in California and two in Utah.