While summer is an important time for our local businesses, especially those that cater to the tourist trade – some rely on summer earnings to help tide them over the winter, our chambers of commerce kind of go into hibernation. That’s probably because many of the chamber’s officers and board members are also business people trying to earn their daily bread.
Oroville’s chamber heated things up with an evening meeting, their first meeting following the summer hiatus, last Thursday. The chamber had a guest speaker who talked about the Hot Lake, a scientist who talked about microbes and how the lake is a hot bed or should we say mat, of microbes and how their study could lead to breakthroughs in things like bio-fuels.
There’s a lot going on at the lake and the team, from the Pacific Northwest National Lab in Richland, Wash. is also making a study of the environment around Yellowstone. I can’t say I understood even half of what was going on at the Hot Lake, but I’ve always been curious about the lake. I’ve never seen it other than in photographs and hearing stories about people using the water for mining epsom salts and for it’s perceived healing properties. I guess I wasn’t the only person who was curious because we had a good turn out of Oroville people as well as the Mayor of Tonasket, Patrick Plumb and Tonasket Chamber of Commerce President Julie Alley.
The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s mission “is to transform the world through courageous discovery and innovation. Our vision: PNNL science and technology inspires and enables the world to live prosperously, safely, and securely.”
While some may complain about public money going for research – who wants to pay more taxes anyway – the benefits can be returned many fold. Without research into medicine, energy, defense and a whole gamut of things, we would not be better off. Imagine if our little Hot Lake, less than two miles from Oroville could be the key to finding a cheap form of energy, that would be something.
I appreciate the scientist coming to talk with us and answer our questions and Oroville Chamber President Clyde Andrews for arranging the meeting. I’m just glad we aren’t being tested on what we learned. I’ll do my best to try and bring a fuller report on the meeting in next week’s issue.