Eric Schwartz

Eric Schwartz 

From time to time, I like to dive into the local news scene and emerge with a list of Power Rankings, a nonsensical list of the week’s happenings ranked in no real order. This is mostly tongue-in-cheek with a little satire sprinkled in, so don’t take it too seriously. 

Here goes...


1. Maybe don’t send a video of your genitals to a stranger. Or maybe don’t send them at all? This seems like unnecessary advice, the type of wisdom that comes with the inherent knowledge that nothing done on the internet is ever really private and there are some really, really terrible people out there. Alas, the advice could’ve come in handy for a randy 18-year-old Yelm man who sent a video of his undercarriage to a stranger he met on Facebook last month. The woman (this is an assumption — it could have been a 50-year-old man for all we know) demanded $100 or else she would send the video to his family members. The man didn’t pay, the woman followed through on her threat and now his family has been treated to what I can only imagine was a very unwanted look at his unmentionables. The next family gathering will be a bit awkward. A police officer provided the obvious advice, and the victim promised to never again star in his own low-budget flick for a stranger. “I told (the victim) that he should never send photos of himself over any communication device for this very reason,” a responding officer wrote in his report. “(He) agreed.” I’m glad that’s all cleared up. 


2. Signing Day. Not everyone is blessed athletically. My greatest honor was being named an honorable mention to the all-league team as a designated hitter in high school. There were just two designated hitters in the league, and the other one actually made the all-state team, so I probably deserved a dishonorable mention. But I digress. In today’s Sports section, you’ll find photos of students headed off to college to play sports. Several took part in signing days, facing the camera to make their decisions official. I’d like to suggest a new tradition — signing days for graduating seniors taking regular jobs to pay for school. “Billy Inks Deal With Dairy Queen,” “Carissa Locks Down Short-Term Contract With Macy’s,” and “Johnny Walks Away From Subway, Signs With Quiznos” are a few possible headline options. This gives some recognition to the regular Joes and Janes who will be working and studying for the next four years or so, and those who are simply heading right into the workforce. I’m not sure this will catch on. 


3. Girls Only Fishing. There was no shortage of “WELL I’VE NEVER BEEN TOO INTIMIDATED” sentiments from readers on Facebook following our coverage of the Girls Only Fishing Derby last week. The purpose of the derby, held at Lake Lawrence, is to create a low-pressure atmosphere for local women and girls to catch a fish or two and maybe win a prize. It’s a great concept, one I’ll be happy to take my own daughter to when she’s a little older. Still, this leaves out guys like me. The last time I baited a hook, I was 11 years old and used cheese as bait. Shockingly, I didn’t catch anything. Last weekend was Free Fishing Weekend in Washington, and I debated buying a rod and seeing what I could do. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get past the nagging feeling of inevitable failure. What if a REAL angler saw me? How about a Schmucks Only Fishing Derby next year? 


4. Graduation. You know how those sleazy television talk shows that occasionally bring in a drill sergeant or grizzled prison inmate to yell at unruly children and scare them into better behavior? I think we should consider an adaption of this, except as a feature of local high school graduations. Bring in three or four mid-30s alums who are crippled by college debt and give them five minutes each in front of the microphone. “I SOLD MY KIDNEY TO PAY FOR MY DEGREE!” one might yell. “I STILL LIVE IN MY PARENTS’ BASEMENT,” another might scream. Let’s scare some financial literacy into the next generation of the American workforce. 


Eric Schwartz is regional executive editor of the Lafromboise Communications, the company that owns the Nisqually Valley News, The Chronicle in Centralia and The Reflector in Clark County. He works out of Yelm daily and encourages you to drop into the office for a visit. Schwartz can be reached at or 360-960-1615.

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