Life in Bay Center on Willapa Bay

Living in a maritime fishing village in Southwest Washington state on Willapa Bay

Congressman Brian Baird’s Successfully Civil Town Hall Meeting in Ilwaco – Health Care Reform

Posted by pallix on September 2, 2009

Kudos to the Congressman and his staff for hosting a successfully civil discourse Town Hall meeting last night in Ilwaco, in Pacific County, WA. And of course, the primary range of questions had to do with Health Care/Insurance Reform.  Death threats to the Congressman aside, he still managed to conduct his usual in-person Town Hall meetings in several Southwest Washington counties.

What was the process? 

I can’t speak to the in person Town Hall meetings he held in other counties except for what I’ve read in media (some of which has been reported at Washblog).  I can speak to the TH we attended in Ilwaco last night.  Also Baird has added telephone Town Hall meetings as well to his usual array of in-person TH meetings in the SW counties.  

The Ilwaco TH meeting was orderly and permitted the many to hear both the questions and Baird’s responses without interruption or interference.  Which is precisely what I wanted – information and not the drama of interference that has been the hallmark of many other TH meetings across the nation.

We arrived at the high school, and yes, there was a tiny contingent of less than impressive ‘protesters’ with their home-made cardboard signs.  They kept their behavior under control and did not molest the people as they were coming into the auditorium.   We signed in, and we were asked if we wanted to ask a question of the Congressman; if so, we were given a number (kind of like at an auction). 

We were seated and it was explained by the moderator that corresponding numbers were in a twirl cage (bingo comes to mind), and numbers would be picked at random.  Those persons who held those numbers would come forward to be seated in the first row of seats.  Each would then get 3 minutes of time at the microphone to state their concerns, ask their questions and the Congressman would have 3 minutes of time to respond.

Questions came from both parties.  I think people are sophisticated enough to filter out what is rhetoric and focus in on the actual question, when there is a question and not just a 3 minute pulpit for speech making.  The Congressman’s opportunity to respond, or better said, give the facts as he knows them, provided a format that helped enormously to dispel some of the rhetorical myths, giving the auditorium of people an opportunity to listen to and hear the information.

In Congressman Baird’s Town Halls that we have attended in the past, even when my own emotions have been highly charged, (ie, his vote in 2007 for the Surge in Iraq where our son-in-law was deployed), he has been respectful to all, including us, in responding to concerns and questions.  Last night’s Town Hall was no exception.  He was respectful, courteous, and responsive to every question, even the few who formulated their questions in what seemed designed to bait him.  He actually was skillful in handling those baiting type questions, both responding and further elaborating on concerns and situations that led to the current Health Care Reform issue.

It was a 2 hour TH meeting, so obviously, there was not time for everyone who might have wanted to ask a question to have a turn at the microphone.  But with the quality of the kinds of questions asked, and Baird’s informative responses, I think probably most of the concerns people had in their minds received air time in a very Civil dialogue.

Earlier in August, I was also on one of Baird’s telephone TH meetings (Pacific County), and got to ask my question of him; specifically what concerns about the Health Care Reform Bill did he have as he has said he is unsure how he will vote when it comes up for vote in Congress.  Frankly, I would like to see him vote for the Bill with all of it’s warts and flaws rather than to vote against it.  I sense that voting for the Bill starts the ball rolling, probably with a lot of tweaks needed in years to come.  Whereas to vote against it because of it’s imperfections does little to alter or change the current deeply flawed Health Care ‘system’. 

As Baird explained he has heard from doctors, it is not really a system so much as an evolution that has evolved into a complex hodge podge of health care that some get and some don’t.

On a personal note, I do have to be a bit amused at one of the questions last night.  The Chair of the Republican Party in our 3rd Congressional District was among one of those whose number was called, giving her time at the microphone.  She has had time at earlier Town Hall meeting in another county to state her concerns to  the Congressman and she did make an offer of her home as a venue for the Congressman to hold an in- person Town Hall, guaranteeing him an assurance of safety she would personally provide.  He did thank her for and it did seem he accepted the offer; I’m not sure he intended to hold a Town Hall in her home, nor would that be logical.  He did hold the in person Town Hall in Ilwaco, at the high school – a more appropriate venue and approximately 2 miles from her home.  She has not been deprived of opportunity of access to the Congressman, nor of opportunity to state her concerns or questions. 

She has had a beef with what she terms his rejection of her offer, labeling it as evidence of an unwillingness on the part of Congressman Baird to hold in-person Town Hall meetings.  She has both blogged it and arranged for a newspaper article in The Columbian, of her account of his rejection of her offer.  In my opinion, it goes to show the ‘slant’  of her perspective in presenting the situation as a rejection, as an unwillingness on Baird’s part to conduct in person Town Hall meetings. And it is a perspective she is pleased to broadcast in the media and telegraph to her party. It was, in fact, Baird offering a more appropriate venue with a wider opportunity, for the larger populace in the area to participate in an in person Town Hall. Probably safer for everyone also, with the County Sheriff there, and the presence of uniformed officers stationed along the side corridors.   

Her concern as she stated it in the question last night to Congressman Baird were some remarks he had made in earlier years; favoring universal health care and duration terms of office. Baird corrected the perception she had of his earlier remarks on terms of office.  She spoke again indicating she was in favor of all people having access to health care, and when Baird asked if she was in favor of universal health care, she said no, she was not, and promptly sat down.  There was a bit of a buzz talk after that exchange amongst the people in the auditorium. 

Highlighting this more to illustrate, in my opinion, a tactic of intent on the part of the Republican party in trying to direct attention away from the Health Care Reform issue, while offering little of substantive value as an alternative method to adjust the disparities in health care as we know it today.  Congressman Baird is not the issue, nor is the next election.  Health Care Reform is the issue on many people’s mind and they seem to want information, not politicking.

My thanks to Brian Baird for the opportunity to learn what I felt I wanted and needed to learn about Health Care Reform – less the noise of disruptive interference.  Good job in putting together the Ilwaco Town Hall meeting. 

Posted in 3rd Congressional District, Health Care Reform, Pacific County, Town Hall Meeting, U.S. Representative Brian Baird | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Our weekend out of town; The Story.

Posted by pallix on July 13, 2009

Our weekend;   The Story.  I have a peridontist appointment about every three months, in a town about 2 + hours from where we live.  So we have turned it into a weekend getaway, and a visit with my mother who lives in a nearby town to the town where my peridontist is located.

Had my peridontist appt Friday and the report was good – some small improvement actually.  Not much improvement, but far better than deterioration.    Then we went to my mother’s home, spent the weekend. and then came home to our animals.   Our cat and dog remain at home, and so our time away is limited to a safe duration for the cat and dog to fend for themselves.  Now that my cat bite is healing and the cat is healing, life is returning to normal.   (A couple weeks earlier the cat was bitten by an animal, and in not knowing she was bitten, I picked her up, more rather tugged her out of her hiding place and she bit me…not at all her usual behavior, she is a very loving cat.   We didn’t see her wound at the time, but knew something was wrong with her.  Arthur spotted her wound, and we took her to the vet, who gave her a vaccine, and told me was more concerned that I get myself to hospital to treat the cat bite.  I did, was vaccinated and given antibiotics, the incident reported to County Health, the cat quarantined at our home for 10 days and we are both mending without incident, the primary concern being exposure to rabies).   When we returned home, our dog Jake resumed eating again.  He misses us when we are gone and gets sad – depressed.  Dogs have feelings.  Oh, and our cat too, she has feelings, misses us and glad when we return home. 

After my peridontist visit on Friday afternoon we drove to my mother’s home, picked her up and went out to eat.  We live in a rural town, and there aren’t a lot of restaurants or places to eat, so we enjoy the opportunity of eating out at different restaurants on the days of  my peridontist appointments.  It’s an eating out together date we look relish.  Choosing a restaurant in the town where my mother lives proved not to be as obvious as it might seem.  We kind of scoured what we knew to be restaurants in her neighborhood, opted to go further away, settled on Black Angus, since I was hankering for a nice steak lunch.  We got there and it no longer has lunch, open for dinner only.  Must be the economy.  The hour was growing late into the afternoon, I was hungry now, and we had not eaten breakfast that day,  or at all, so we wound up at (oh yuck!) Old Country Buffet.   Arthur likes the many choices of buffet restaurants, and sometimes so do I, but Old Country Buffet is not one of my favorites.  We both really enjoy the buffet variety of primarily healthy choices at  Sweet Tomatoes restaurant, but there were none the town where my Mom lives.    

Saturday Arthur spent the day home, defrosted Mom’s freezer for her because it had become so full of ice that the ice on all the shelves were touching each other, no room for food.   He took care of some other taskings for her, then spent the rest of the day fooling around with installing stuff in  his old fashioned computer.  Not the laptop kind, the big bulky kind.  Some guy he knows had given him some Linus software to download or told him about it.  Anyway, it was a dead computer (not working) and when Arthur finished the download it sprung back to life, installed Windows XP and is sort of functional again.  He was delighted.  Still needs an audio driver and something else that would permit it to link to internet.  He was just intrigued that it started working again…kind of like a guy tinkering in his garage with his power tools, only Arthur likes to tinker with puter.

Saturday I took Mom to Farmers Market in Proctor area of Tacoma.  That is a district that more resembles Portland or some Seattle districts; organic, green living, conscientious choices – that sort of thing, and an amazingly cool, fun grocery store with very upscale item choices.  For a mere $309.00 you can purchase a wheel of gourmet cheese!  An experience in itself.  (I’m being a bit snarky – it would be very unlikely we would ever spend that kind of  money on cheese.)  We visited a new consignment shop in her immediate neighborhood – delightful items, colorful, fun, upbeat, cheerful.  I liked it.   But I didn’t buy anything, because in truth, neither of us need another thing!

And more for the hunt of treasure than because either of us need anything more in our homes, we went to a few garage sales. What was being offered wasn’t the kind of garage sales we were looking for – more like junk sales.  We had fun anyway because we toured many of the University Place neighborhoods, the million + $$ homes with breathtaking views of the Narrows water, Narrows Bridge, the outlying island.  And alongside the million + $$ homes, are more modest ranch style homes.  You can be on a ‘house of dreams’ street and turn to go down the the next street which could well be a quiet and modest street of different ranch style homes.    University Place neighborhoods are in interesting mix of income levels.   After our tour of neighborhoods,  I took her to visit Charlie at cemetary where his ashes are placed.  It is a beautiful, peaceful cemetary, a place of quiet serenity amidst the hubbub of getting from here to there.  Nice place to quietly reflect on life.  I know, it may sound like a strange juxtaposition to reflect on life when at a cemetary where the dead are buried…..but that is how it works for me.

We went back to Proctor district that evening to have dinner at a niche Mexican restaurant (not a restaurant chain) because Mom said she heard good things about the food and atmosphere there.  Lively atmosphere with mix of old and young people dining.    I had a Taste Assault dish called Chicken Mole, although it would be better named Chicken in Mole (prounounced molay)  Sauce, because the sauce was Outrageous -  6 ingredients, and I can remember plums, almonds, mole (an unsweetened chocolate), and some other ingredients.  It wakes up your taste buds like wowza!   Not hot or even spicy, flavorful would be the word I would use to describe it.  Flavorful with each bite.  Arthur took a menu and will experiment at home with making the mole sauce because I liked it so well. 

Sunday we took Mom to her church (St Andrews Episcopal Church).   A bit of history here; my mom lost half her sightedness recently and is vision impaired now.  Mom had been saying she felt she needed something inspirational amidst all the doctor appointments and bad news.  Along the way, I decided to call the Priest at St Andrews to talk to him about Mom.  When she was a child, she attended Episcopal church in Spokane.  I explained to him her childhood church exposure, and her current medical condition with being sight impaired, being told by her doctors not to drive anymore. He agreed to visit Mom immediately and arranged for someone to pick her up and take her to church on Sundays.  

She has been to St Andrews now, a few times, and wanted us to visit her church.  We wanted to visit it also, as I enjoyed the upbeat conversation with the Priest – he was energetically young, even though he isn’t young.    That Sunday they had special guests, a singing group who livened up the entire worship service with renditions of the hymns done to foot tapping music.  Guitars, tambourines, horns, and one of the gals playing guitar was barefoot!   Felt like we were at a campfire gathering!  Geesh!  But the worship service having a combination of traditional liturgy, the laying on of hands for healing, the Eucharist, and the lively music with a welcome invitation to all does reflect ‘The Emerging Church’.

We loved the church, it had accommodations our little church building isn’t equipped to have, and if we lived in that area, we would likely attend that church.   Afterwards we ate at a restaurant in her immediate neighborhood that she is fond of – an old fashioned restaurant left over from approximately the 1950’s era.     So lots of eating this weekend, way too many calories, and Mom had a nice weekend.  So did we.  

Oh and at the Farmer’s Market I bought some snow peas that were priced below what is usually charged for snow peas, so I bought enough to freeze.  Bought a couple of tomato plants already bearing tomatoes, and a basil plant.   I didn’t plant a vegetable garden this year, and haven’t spent much time outside with the herb and flower gardens, so keeping it light this year.   Weather hasn’t been too cooperative where we live – cold, rainy, then unseasonably blistering hot, then cold again.   At the market, I found a growing salad bowl planter that I wanted and Mom bought it for me for my birthday gift.  The planter has growing  lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro plants  – salad ingredients, and that is the extent of my vegetable garden this year.   Except all the herbs I have been growing for a few years now. 

And I was delighted to learn about a lovely tasty sauce called Chimichurri?  Oh, I tasted some at the market, and just had to buy one – lime Chimichurri.  Great to use as braising sauce for grilled vegetables, on meats, or just straight on healthy chips or fresh veggies.   Taste delight!

It was a rather sweet weekend.  Last year around this time, we had visited Mom and she and I went to Lavender Festival on Vashon Island, ferry ride over and back, a beautiful, clear, sunny day, making the waters deep blue and picturesque. There was a Farmer’s Market there too, and we visited that Farmer’s Market

Posted in cat bite, farmers market, Neighboring communities | Leave a Comment »

Make Your Own Seed Tapes

Posted by pallix on June 18, 2009

Make Your Own Seed TapesMore DIY How To Projects

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Win This Business – Cool Cow Coffee Company in Naselle, WA

Posted by pallix on April 24, 2009

Came across this information this morning from another blogger.  An ad she found at Facebook and at YouTube.    I wasn’t able to find what she found at the source on Facebook, so it is copy and paste with a shout- out to her blog

In Naselle, Washington, just down the road from us, another local business person is having to close up shop.  The why details are included in her offer (below) to win her business, and have it relocated to within 500 miles. 

The Cool Cow Coffee Company

             The Cool Cow Coffee Company

You Could Win This Business!!

Enter by May 31st 2009

Host: Natalie Morgan – Owner – The Cool Cow Coffee Company

Type: OtherRetail

Network: Global

Start Time: Friday, March 19, 2010 at 3:55am

End Time: Monday, May 31, 2010 at 6:55am

Location: Naselle, WA

Street: SR4 & SR401

City/Town: Naselle, WA

Email: nmorgan@wwest.net

Description

Business Owner
Offers Hope to One Lucky Entrepreneur
And It Could Be You!
Pacific County, Washington

Natalie Morgan, owner of The Cool Cow Coffee Company in Naselle, closed its doors for good, after the town’s most recent disaster. Ms. Morgan had owned the drive thru espresso and deli for eighteen months when she witnessed the rising water from the Naselle River engulf the entire neighborhood before encompassing her business. Now she is hoping to give the opportunity of ownership in a new location to one hopeful entrepreneur and create even more jobs in the process.

Natalie had spent almost two months on the remodel after purchasing the business from its previous owner in June of 2007. She painted it apple red, added cedar shingles to the base of both of the buildings and adorned the structures with all sorts of country details including a life size Holstein cow that had been shipped in from Texas and proudly displayed on a platform at the front of the building. The cow is such an eye catcher that people would often stop to take pictures of her. Natalie even held a contest to name the cow and then let her employees pick the winning name. She planted flowers and hanging baskets in the summer to make the space even more beautiful and painted the picnic tables outside to match the buildings. No detail was overlooked, from the black and white cow patterned tip cups which read “Cow Tipping Allowed” to the little chocolate cow cookies that were given out with each and every beverage and ice cream treat, it was apparent that the new owner had poured her heart into every detail and it did not go unnoticed.

On the day of the flood the water had already overwhelmed the local fire and rescue building located directly across the parking lot from her espresso stand when the phone call came in from the red cross warning people in the area to evacuate. Natalie and her husband quickly moved as much of the equipment as they could up off of the floor, and then they locked the door and drove out through the rising flood water now just inches from the base of their building.

The Cool Cow Coffee Company had already been struggling in it‘s present location and the weak economic condition of one of the poorest counties in the state was not helping the locals to afford the luxury of one of the treats from the towns best coffee kiosks and delicatessen. In December of 2007 Naselle, Nellie the life-size Holstein cow that is perched high above the drive through eatery withstood the one hundred mile an hour winds that had crumpled the metal roof of the fire department next door, but this December that cow would find herself abandoned due to heavy snow fall and an inaccessible mountain of snow and ice left at the entrance of the business by plows clearing the nearby highways.

By the time a local contractor was finally able to clear the two feet of snow surrounding the coffee stand, it had only been open for five struggling days when the flood waters surrounded the buildings causing a power outage to the storage unit and a complete loss of perishable inventory.

The shop has not been opened since that dreadful day, January 6, 2009. With revenue dwindling, cash flow almost nil, inventory gone, quarterlies and property taxes soon due, Natalie had no choice but to close her shop. She applied for assistance from the Small Business Administration’s Disaster Loan program, but was denied because of her inability to pay back the loan due to her recent loss of income.

Even before the flood, like so many other communities and businesses in and across the nation, Naselle’s economy has also been hit hard and with the impending threat to close one of the areas main employers, the Naselle Youth Camp, Ms. Morgan feels that there is simply no hope for her shop to prosper in its present location. Buyers in the area are far and few and even if a buyer were to come along and make an offer equivalent to her initial investment, she could not sell it with a clear conscience knowing full well that it will probably flood there again.

It’s become obvious that if this business is to prosper, than it needs to be moved to an area with improved economic demographics, but Natalie and her husband, Pete, have spent the past five years physically building their home in Naselle and they still have a great deal of work to complete before they could relocate, so moving the business and relocating themselves is not an option at present. With so many people out of work, so many layoffs and so many struggling financially right now, she hoped that somehow she would be able to turn this tragedy into a positive experience for someone whom lived in a more prosperous and populated area and maybe even create a few more jobs in the process.

So she logged onto the Washington State Gaming Commission’s website and while reading through the state gaming regulations, she came across something called an essay contest. In this type of contest the prize is awarded to a winner based on a skill not chance and in this case the skill that each person’s entry will be judged on will be a creative writing project where the subject matter is based on a desire as well as a need to become self employed.

Interested persons are asked to write an essay describing why they should be given her coffee shop and are to pay a $25 entry fee with their essay. The entry fee will help Natalie to recover her initial investment and pay for any sales tax due to Washington State, the cost of the structure(s) relocation including relocation permits and fees by the contractor, free consultation on new site selection and location, all of the business’s equipment by way of a U-Haul rental truck, one week of free training in the shop at it’s new location by the shop‘s previous owner, all signage, menus and $2,000.00 cash to aid with the business’s start up costs, plus a new floor and sub floor to be installed at the building(s) new location.

It’s a win-win for everyone involved. Especially in today‘s difficult economic times. Natalie gets her investment, not to mention her health, back, the state gets a healthy sum of revenue out of the deal, some lucky, possibly even presently unemployed person gets the chance at owning and running their own business and perhaps even creates a few jobs in the process.

Here’s how to enter…

Write an essay explaining your current economic struggles and why you would like to own The Cool Cow Coffee Company.
250 Words Minimum – 500 Words Maximum

Mail it to:
The Cool Cow Coffee Company Essay Contest
Attention: Natalie Morgan
PO Box 502
Naselle, WA 98638

Be sure to include your written essay with your name, address and telephone number printed on the top, include a self addressed stamped envelope and the $25 entry fee. Entries must be postmarked no later than May 31, 2009. We must have at least 2,500 entries in order to award the prize. If we do not receive enough entries by May 31, 2009, your entry fee will be mailed back in the SASE you provide.

If all goes well and we get enough entries to award new ownership, the winner will be notified by phone on June 6, 2009 at 7PM.

Please, due to the high cost of structure relocation we can only relocate this business within five hundred miles of its present location in Naselle, WA. If the business’ new location is to be outside of that five hundred mile radius you will be responsible for paying the difference in relocation costs at the time of signing. The winner must sign title of ownership within 5 days of acceptance of The Cool Cow Coffee Company and will have 30 days from the date of signing to find and prepare a new site for the business to be relocated upon.

A foundation for the main structure of 9‘X18“, all utility hookups, local permits, fees, lease contracts and/or rental agreements are the sole responsibility of the winner. All such arrangements should be made within 30 days of signing the title. The business structure(s) and their contents must be relocated within 30 days of new ownership, or no later than August 15, 2009. The $2,000.00 cash award will be given to the winner on the first day of training. However if financial assistance is needed to aid the new owner with utilities, rent/lease, fees and permits etc., arrangements can be made to draw off of the cash award in the form of checks written directly to these agencies and/or land owners, but not to exceed the total sum of $2,000.00. Training will begin on a date specified by the new owner and will not exceed a 7 day training period in succession.

If you have any questions you may e-mail Natalie at nmorgan@wwest.net. If you would like to see more pictures of The Cool Cow Coffee Company go to You-Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoDrEXR8PQA and view my video.

Posted in Coffee Stand, Naselle, Neighboring communities, neighbors, Pacific County, restaraunts | Leave a Comment »

Flowers Arrived; doesn’t the gift of flowers just make you smile!

Posted by pallix on April 23, 2009

 

Daughter and son-in-law had flowers sent to my house; meant to arrive Easter weekend.  Since we live as far away as we do from urban centers, it takes UPS a bit longer to deliver, so the flowers arrived a couple days later than they planned, but the flowers did arrive. 

 

Came in a florist box that looked like long stemmed roses might be inside.    Opened the box to find fresh spring flowers, a hefty square glass vase and florist preservative packet, along with a happy greeting card from my daughter and son-in-law.

 

I learned later in talking to my daughter that she had chosen another arrangement, but where we are located there are no florists in close by vicinity that could accommodate the choice she made.    I am happy with what was sent – fresh spring flowers that are still looking fresh a week later.   Picture below.

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S7301441

Posted in flowers, gifts | Leave a Comment »

Two new oil paintings – just finished and still Wet! Unoriginal title of ‘Cabin by the Lake’

Posted by pallix on April 23, 2009

After a too long time away from my paints, brushes, and the messy operation that is oil painting, yesterday I completed two paintings! The paintings I’ve accomplished grow fewer and fewer over the years since 2006. Lots of reasons why, but I hope this change in momentum means ‘I’m Back’!

I sought out the old painting clothes and found I’ve outgrown them (that means I weigh more now than I did when last I wore them). Time to set aside another set of painting attire, in larger size.

Painted this scene in 16 x 20 size. And then painted the scene again in 11 x 14 size, although it has variables from the larger size, making both ‘originals’.
I took photo of the larger size and the paint is still Wet!

The house just doesn’t have much accommodation room for paintings to dry. There is the cat who can jump up anywhere, so the paintings need to be in a room with a door that closes. And as I looked around the house, I see we don’t have many ‘roooms’ that have doors that close. Then there is the odor of oil painting that can permeate the air. If I’m going to paint frequently, I need to figure out the logistics for these challenges.

So we put the Wet Painting on top of a wardrobe (a place the cat has not yet figured out how to climb) and I snapped a few photos … not very good photos due to the angle of looking up at the painting, and the paint is still ….. well Wet!

 

S7301461

Posted in oil painting, painting | Leave a Comment »

Lewis and Clark National Heritage Area moves forward…what about Chinook Tribe recognition?

Posted by pallix on April 11, 2009

It’s been on my radar to keep an eye out for the progress being made to have this region declared a National Heritage Area.  My interest is more along the lines of what seems a corresponding and relevant action to recognize the Chinook Tribe as a declared Tribe.  To my way of thinking, the naming of  Lewis and Clark National Heritage area,  requires a recognition of the Chinook people as a federally recognized tribe. 

 

Without the friendship and aid of the Chinook people, Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery expedition may well have not survived once they arrived in this area – the mouth of Columbia River where it flows into the Pacific Ocean.  Legislation has been introduced to give recognition to the Chinook Tribe.  That legislation has not moved along; while simultaneously legislation to declared this area a Lewis and Clark National Heritage area seems to be moving along.  To my way of thinking, these are hand in glove actions, complementing each other, and it seems to me it would be hypocritical to have one without the other.

Link to article at Daily Astorian;   excerpt

Having just returned from a trip overseas, David Szymanski, superintendent at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, is canvassing the North Coast to update communities on the proposed National Heritage Area.

He presented to the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners an update on the proposed Columbia Pacific National Heritage Area Wednesday in the Judge Guy Boyington Building. Heritage areas define a region where communities can use federal funds to benefit local economies.

"This project will not go forward until we’ve heard from local governments and the public," Szymanski said.

The Columbia Pacific heritage area would incorporate portions of Clatsop County and Pacific and Wahkiakum counties in Washington.

"People are probably surprised to learn that the National Park Service often has skepticism about National Heritage Areas," Szymanski said. "Some have not been well thought out."

Szymanski said the most important requirement for a heritage area is finding the right coordinating entity. A lot of heritage areas focus on tourism, rather than broader economic development.

ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia was recently selected for the coordinating entity for this heritage area, in large part because the nonprofit organization focuses on investment and capital building.

Posted in 19th Legislative District, 3rd Congressional District, Chinook Nation, Lewis and Clark National Heritage, Native Americans, Neighboring communities, neighbors, Pacific County, Pacific ocean, recreation, U.S. Representative Brian Baird, wetlands, willapa, willapa bay, Willapa National Wildlife Refuge | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Another of the views we see in Bay Center

Posted by pallix on April 8, 2009

Dock on Palix River side of Bay Center

Dock on Palix River side of Bay Center

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What is Bay Center Association?

Posted by pallix on April 8, 2009

We do have in our little community what is called Bay Center Association.  It is a service-oriented group comprised of willing volunteers from among the community of Bay Center.  Residents of Bay Center are automatically members of the Association.  The Association goes back to the early origins of the formation of Bay Center. 

palixbridgeconstruction1

the old Palix River Bridge

I’ve seen documents in the Association records that show the sense of community in advocating that males in the community donate one day a month towards helping with the heavy work in making improvements within the community.   I’ve seen an old photo at the Dock of The Bay which shows what looks like a community dinner with long tables set up for a shared meal. 

Since we moved here to Bay Center, in Nov 2002, my husband agreed to hold the office of President, when a neighbor was telling us as newcomers about the Association and the timing was such that it was time for a new slate of officers.  We were too new to the community then to know much of anything about how the community works together.  Both of us were employed at the time and I helped him where I could and we rather bumbled our way through that first year of holding office.   At that time it was called Bay Center Improvement Association.

By March 2003, our country had invaded Iraq, and two from our immediate family who were active military deployed to Iraq; my son-in-law and my nephew.  I left my employment to be more available to my daughter and  her three children  (my grandchildren) while her husband was deployed.  Spending intense years in activism from 2003 through 2008 as a military family speaking out against the Iraq war, I did not get much involved in local region community, nor in my immediate community of Bay Center.  (Not wanting this to be a blog post about Iraq war, you can see more about my activities if you are interested at my blog; Dying to Preserve the Lies).

With the winter windstorm (hurricane) in Dec 2007, my attention quickly was turned to the immediacy of living in our small community within this sparsely populated county.  I began attending the different meetings of the different groups that are at work in our unincorporated village to get a stronger sense of how we interact as a community, especially in times of severe weather crisis situations and other crisis situations.  I did attend some of the Bay Center Association meetings and like many groups or organizations, the heavy lifting is handled by the few who do volunteer for as long as they are willling to lift or until they say no more.  Then the hunt is on for who else would be a willing volunteer. 

And that is how I came to agree to take on the function of president for the Bay Center Association for this next year (May 2009 – April 2010). I agreed when two other new to the Association meeting attendees agreed to take on some of the other offices, which gives the Association a slate of ‘new’ and probably green officers.  So it should be interesting to see what develops over the next months, and if nothing else, it will make for some material for blog posts here. 

First thing I do is create a website for Bay Center Association… check it out!  Content will likely be developed from the monthly meetings.

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Chinook Tribal Office Has Moved to Bay Center – Welcome!

Posted by pallix on April 8, 2009

excerpts from article in Chinook Observer

BAY CENTER – The Chinook Indian Tribe has moved its office from the Sea Resources building in Chinook to Bay Center.

Tribal Chairman Ray Gardner said the move had been in the works for quite some time. "When you look back historically, it made sense to move to Bay Center because 90 percent of our staff live there and there’s a very large volunteer group there."

The opportunity to move the tribe’s headquarters north came last year when tribal member Zoe LeCompte donated her grandfather’s home to the group. The house, at the entrance to Bush Park, had been empty for years and was in danger of being demolished. It has been rehabilitated with the help of Naselle Youth Camp crews and tribal members.

Now, after five months of work, Office Manager Jennifer Lagergren and office staff Beverly Buckner and her daughter Audrey Anderson are moved in and handling tribal business at their new digs.

The tribal office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The new phone number is 360-875-6670.

Posted in Bay Center, Chinook Nation, Chinook Observer, Chinook Tribal Center, Native Americans | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Video – making seedling pots from newspapers

Posted by pallix on March 4, 2009

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Voters voted No extra funding for Timberland Libraries

Posted by pallix on February 4, 2009

Well that is too bad, because we have a beautifully working library system here in Southwest Washington, one I rely on heavily, and hope the voters didn’t vote the  wonderful library services into extinction.  

Voters in five Washington counties rejected additional funding for libraries Tuesday

The library-funding proposition passed in Pacific and Mason counties, but was overwhelmingly rejected in Lewis, Thurston and Grays Harbor counties.    – Chinook Observer

Relief to see that Pacific County where I live voted more generously, as did Mason County.  The more largely populated counties, Lewis, Thurston and Grays Harbor were not feeling as generous. 

Given the difficult economic times, and that these counties are mostly considered on a lower economic strata, it is perhaps understandable that some voters did not see the value in an additional $34.00 annual increase in taxes on $200,000 leverl homeowners.  But then, for me it would be a bit like the pot calling the kettle black since I overlooked and forgot to vote on this special levy.  I would have voted yes, had I remembered to fill out my mail-in ballot.

I use the library services extensively, and welcome that the services are available.  I can order on my computer library account whatever the Timberland Library System has available throughout the system in Southwest Washington.  My requests are couriered  from other libraries in other towns and counties throughout the system to the South Bend Library, where I am  given a courtesy phone call, and I can then pick up my requests at the library on the days it is open = 3 days a week.  It has worked out well, served me well, and often times when I am into a research project, I might well have an order for 40 or more books at a time. 

Timberland Regional Library has 27 community libraries, 5 cooperative library centers, and 2 library kosks in Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston counties in Southwest Washington State – Timberland Regional Library website.

It’s too bad though, because from the parameters outlined for libraries, it looks like Timberland Regional Library was already fiscally responsive working well under the parameter guidelines;  – under state law library districts can assess a tax of up to 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Currently, the district is collecting 32.9 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation – The Olympian  newspaper.

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Chesapeake Bay future of Willapa Bay?

Posted by pallix on December 28, 2008

Article I came across this morning at Washington Post turns out to be much more than one article.  It is an article collection in a series on the clean up efforts and lifestyles of the  Chesapeake Bay reported by the Washington Post.  I read with interest, recognizing that I could well be reading the future of Willapa Bay were it to become more densely populated; were it to become less ecologically sound due to carelessness of it’s stewardship.   Were it to lose it’s oyster population as it already once historically did when the native oysters were harvested into extinction.  

We moved here about 10 years ago from an upscale urban center in Seattle area, with an eye to the pristine beauty of the Willapa region, the historical context, and to downshift gears to a calmer, quieter way of life.   While we are indeed ‘transplants’, we settled in with intention of integrating into a lifestyle that somehow seems to have maintained keeping the Willapa region not too much undisturbed by carelessness of  human contaminations.   We are, for the most part, still considered ‘newcomers’ to the area and we recognize that some families are generational families, having lived here over many generations.  Of course, we are newcomers to that kind of generational family history.  Yet we have felt welcomed, embraced, and if there has been any joking sense of us as newcomers, it has been in good humor.  We have not felt at any time unwelcome.  

 I recognize that is in large part due to the sparse population and towns of Pacific County and a rather untouched land.  One of the things I find myself thinking as we go from place to place within the county is that this must closely resemble how this land looked one hundred, two hundred years ago.  This land must look a  lot like it did to the early settlers.  This must be something close to what Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery saw when they arrived here.   This land must still look much like what it was like for the Native Americans who dwelt here, primarily the Chinook people.  

We habitat as guests in this region comparative to the history of the region, and we recognize that we are guest dwellers on this land.  Our lifestyle is not that of living off the land, in fishing, in timber/lumber, in farming (unless our  small kitchen vegetable garden counts).  By osmosis we become somewhat acquainted with the reality of the issues that beset the mix of people choosing to live in this region.    Some of our neighbors are oyster farmers, and we learn a bit about what is important to them in their livelihoods as oyster farmers.   At least one of our neighbors owns and operates a modestly sizeable dairy farm, and we learn a bit about issues important to their livelihood.  Some neighbors are agricultural farmers, and we learn a bit about issues important to their livelihoods.  And many of our neighbors are part of the timber/lumber industry, consequently we learn about issues important to their livelihoods, for example, the environmentalists efforts to save the spotted owl, which people in the timber/lumber industry will tell you about killed off their entire livelihood in that industry. 

Gradually, over time, we come to know a little bit about a bit of what are important issues to the people who live in this county, who reside along the Willapa Bay, who live in the Willapa Hills .. all our neighbors in the Willapa region.    What is highly important to the livelihood of some does encroach on the livelihood of others and it seems to me a harmonious disharmony has developed over the generations.  

Where we reside now,  homeowners buying one of the older properties still standing in this community, we have a strong regard for the history of not only our immediate community, but the region where we have chosen to live.  We did not buy ‘weekend getaway property’ and we do have a fair share of new residents who are weekenders, along with a fair share of  new residents from out of the area who choose to settle here, buy existing property or build new homes and live here  year round.  We have lived here only ten years, but we can ‘feel’ the shifting tides as the older sense of not only this immediate community but the older sense of the community gives way to the new sense of community in this region.  

For property developers, driven by the property bubble, they began to look upon this region as one of the last vestiges of property development, having developed everything else along the Interstate 5 corridor regions.   As they began to look, signs of what I consider encroachment began to appear; the very things we wanted to get away from – housing developments, condos, and with that the people who buy them and want the accompanying convenience of close by stores and malls and I began to fear the beautiful landscape would give way to …. well, what development looks like, pretty much cookie cutter one to the next.    

But Willapa is an estuary, and as such has environmental protections, making too much development too quickly unlikely.    And, as my own concerns began to take root, the property bubble burst — the mortgage crisis we are in now.  With it the start up developments in our region seemed to quickly wither.  I can’t say I’m sorry to see that happened.  But I also realize it is momentary, contingent on recovery,  the marketability and at some point will once again be back on the developers map as an area to develop.  

Which brings me back to the Washington Post series on the Chesapeake Bay and the seemingly unsuccessful efforts to revive that bay.   Several components are cited as contributing factors to the demise of the vibrancy of the Chesapeake Bay, and they are the very components that affect Willapa Bay.  Why, one might ask, is one bay (Willapa Bay) still considered pristine, vibrant and productive where the Chesapeake Bay is considered contaminated and nearly beyond repair?   The Washington Post series or articles attempts to answer the question of what went wrong, what is trying to be fixed and what is or is not working about the Chesapeake Bay, so there is little need for me to repeat or condense it here.  But it has caused me to look protectively at our own Willapa Bay in a new light, perhaps in recognition that the fact of the wilderness aspect of the region which has a still manageable human population could easily go the way of the Chesapeake Bay in over development, over population, and carelessness of human contaminations. 

The thing weighing a bit on my mind is that this region is under study as part of the Columbia – Pacific National Heritage Area (link to House bill and Senate bill)  , spring boarding from the historical Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery.  Regions designated National Heritage sites promote tourism, tourist $$ and enterprise and perhaps expand the regional economy, but at what cost over the short run?  I have been asking myself this question since I learned of the Columbia-Pacific National Heritage Study Act last summer.   With that question, also comes the issue of Federal recognition of the Chinook people as a recognized tribe – Chinook Nation.  It can hardly be on one hand acknowledged that the concept of  the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery could be used to advance  this region into a National Heritage site without simultaneously acknowledging that  the Chinook people, as a recognized tribe, who gave considerable aid to the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery, and are the backbone of what makes this region historically noteworthy.

I watch with interest the events ahead, with the efforts to make this region a National Heritage site, the progress for the Chinook people in being officially recognized at Federal level, the land and property development market, the responsive reaction from the various industries in the region; tourism,  commercial fishing, timber industry, agricultural community, and the newcomers who are less responsive to the history and more anxious to make the area into a region not unlike the area from which they came — overly developed with more cookie cutter type housing developments, malls,  stores and Starbucks on every other corner.   Should that happen, the unique richness of this region will be forever lost.   Should that happen, the arguments are made and some might consider it a good thing for an ailing local economy, livlihoods unlikely to sustain in the coming years, and necessity to make way for change, lest……..  

 

And I ask lest what?  Lest the region remain pretty much the same as it is, and if so, what is terribly wrong with that?

Posted in agriculture, Chinook Nation, estuary, oyster farms, oysters, willapa, willapa bay | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Craftivism, what is it? Where did it come from? Who thought that one up?

Posted by pallix on December 26, 2008

Well, whewww, someone put it together – activism + craft = craftivism.  That works for me! 

 

Because it is possible to go beyond banners, email petitions and chants as ways of fighting for a cause you believe in. You could have a knit-in, papier-mache puppets, teach a crafty class for kids- all ways of turning that energy into a more positive, more useful, force. Atrocities are happening in our front yards and on our televisions and we need to find ways to react against what is happening without either giving up or exploding.

This is less about mass action or more about realizing what you can do to makes things around you better.

Read more – link here   -  Craftivism.com, created by Betsy Greer, who advanced ‘craftivism’ as a Masters thesis.    Now she’s talking, no, excuse me, now she’s crafting — with a message!   

Gives me that elusive concept that I have been struggling with for over a year now.  How can I go from 5 years of intense and passionate activism to end the Iraq war to dabbling in exploration of hobby crafts – how are those two things congruent at all?   Looks like maybe there is a common thread, after all.  

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Holiday Gatherings are Gaily Wrapped Gifts

Posted by pallix on December 13, 2008

Lovely holiday luncheon yesterday.  Dear Lady put on a sit-down holiday luncheon for about 20 women in our community.  If  it had been 1950, the luncheon might have looked like women wearing shirt-dresses with petticoats to make them flounce, hats and gloves, and a fashionable purse.   But it isn’t 1950, and that is not what the women looked like at our luncheon yesterday.  Although, our dear hostess, bless her heart, had a gift for each of us at the close of the luncheon — individual hand-sewn aprons that she had been making since the previous summer.  She made them specifically to gift to each of us at her holiday luncheon.

 

I would share photos, but I haven’t obtained permissions from the women, so in respect for their privacy, if I have photos that don’t reveal faces, I’ll post those later. 

 

I’m just tickled with the holiday festivities this year right here within our small little village.  Open house party, holiday luncheon, church potluck, Women’s Club potluck coming up next week, annual Christmas play put on by the children, Open house party on New Year’s Eve, chili dinner – bring breads later in January.  Perhaps these gatherings have been the norm here for several years, but I’m just entering into all the festive fun this year, so it’s all new to me.  And as such, it’s like opening a lot of gaily wrapped presents, different in form and shape.

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Neighbors down the road, Seaview on Long Beach Peninsula

Posted by pallix on December 8, 2008

This must just be our week for meeting lots of new to us neighbors.  It happens on occasion that my google alerts set to Willapa and Pacific County, alert me to a neighbor who is blogging.  Such was the case this morning, and I encountered this blog  seaviewwa – a couple who moved to Seaview and are refurbishing a home there.  She’s been blogging as long as I’ve been blogging.

Where she has devoted her blog to highlighting life in her community, my blogging has shifted focus resulting in 20 different blogs with varying focus themes and  the building of several websites.  I feel like I’ve left too scattered an imprint over the internet.  I’ve begun a bit of the process of trying to whittle it down to fewer blogs, and fewer websites.  Meanwhile though, the social networking communities continue to develop and grow and now I find I am connected to too many of the social networks.  And then there are the multitudes of  ‘news-sharing’ social networks. 

But back to the Seaview neighbor.  I enjoyed reading her blog backwards entry after entry post to the start of her blog. Good representation of the community and nearby neighboring attractions.  I learned fairly quickly in reading her blog that she and I do not share similar political views since her blog tells of her own political activism activities, but that didn’t keep me from enjoying and appreciating her blog.

We are sort of neighbors – here in Pacific County, there are only a few small towns dotting the county – the rest of the county is wilderness, wetlands, trees and I jokingly refer to it sometimes as Weyerhauser’s county ( Weyerhauser owns a lot of the forested tree lands in the county) – so from town to town in Pacific County, we are essentially community  ‘neighbors’.   I love visiting Seaview, the community where she lives,  which is located right next to Long Beach and just a holler down from Ilwaco.  

Not sure that many know about Bay Center, in Pacific County though.  We are still a bit of a hidden treasure here, not so well known.   Lately, we’ve had a fair amount of ‘artist’ types moving here to Bay Center.  At this rate, we may become an artist colony in harmony with the historic Chinook families, another aspect for which Bay Center is known.   (btw, take a look at The Chinook Nation Restoration Act – H.R. 6689 )

Where ever one lives in Pacific County, we do share in common the beauty of this country.   We have heard more than a few times that living in Pacific County is living in  God’s country, or God’s county, or God’s landscape, or God’s valium, or other takes on that theme.   Can’t say as I disagree, although having been raised as a child what is affectionately known as a ‘military brat’ which meant moving around every couple of years, I’ve come to appreciate most landscapes as having their own unique beauty. 

Posted in Long Beach peninsula, Neighboring communities, Pacific County, Seaview | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Meeting our brand new neighbors via Facebook

Posted by pallix on December 8, 2008

Met our  newest Bay Center neighbor via Facebook.  How interesting!  He or they contacted me via my Facebook to let us know they were new neighbors, and paid us a nice compliment on our house.

 

They bought the house that I so love – the one I’ve been drooling over practically since we moved here and bought our house.  Two owners ago, we were guests of the then-owners of that house and I was so taken with the house and the view.  When that couple divorced, the house went up for sale, and eventually it sold to a couple in Seattle.   While it was on the market I was looking for creative ways that we might think about buying it while keeping our own historic house.     The house went back on the market after a tragedy befell the Seattle couple, and now another couple from Seattle is buying it. 

 

Looking forward to meeting them, and welcome to the community! 

Posted in Bay Center, Bay Center proper, Facebook, neighbors | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Weekend, meeting our neighbors in new venues

Posted by pallix on December 8, 2008

Lovely weekend activities.  Last year at this time, everyone was still digging out from the storm (Dec 1-2, 2007) with those hurricane-strength winds at 140 + mph.  Can’t really know the full strength of those winds because the gadget that measured and registered the winds at 140 mph broke. 

This year, no windstorms, some temperate, cool weather, bits of sunshine, some normal rainfall, fog and mist.  Just the kind of mix of winter (well, guess technically it is still Autumn) weather to have her on the bay.

One of the ‘new’ neighbors who built their beautiful new home here in Bay Center right on the edge of Willapa Bay held a holiday Open House gathering Saturday.  Seemed like most of the people living here in BC attended.  I’ve been working to integrate into community activities after the long six years of intense and heightened political activism where we have focused so much of our attention, time and energy with efforts to end Iraq war, get the troops home.   It’s been a nice change, quieter, and I’ve had chance to get to know our neighbors on a different level.

Arthur, on the other hand, hasn’t had that kind of time to get better acquainted so it was delightful to be able to introduce him to many of our neighbors he hasn’t yet ‘officially’ met.

At the Edwards holiday open house, (and happily looks like this will be annual gathering here in BC ) we met a few of the  newly moved here neighbors who are either building new homes or refurbishing existing homes.   Bev Olson was there, and I was happy to get a chance to congratulate her on her upcoming trip to the other Washington (DC).  She was invited by Rep. Brian Baird to be his guest at President-Elect Barack Obama inauguration.  How exciting for her, and she certainly deserves the opportunity.

I have decided to visit the 2 churches in our community to see what kind of a fit we can find.  I’m impressed with the one that is building it’s new church building on the pay as you go system.  They have made progress with the building and it is looking modestly beautiful since they broke ground a few years back.  We went to the services Sunday, and I was impressed with the warm welcome, the humility of the people and the sense of community amongst them.  

I do miss our Episcopal church community at St John’s in South Bend, where we were training to be come licensed lay preachers.   We did revisit last year.  Not much about it has changed, and we know we are not ready to return to being involved with the level of activities we had given at St John’s.  The tug and pull in discerning our passion in ministry we felt was calling to us to challenge the morality of the Iraq war, both as lay preachers in church fellowship and as a military family with loved ones deployed in Iraq.  

As the intensity of the war rose, we felt more compelled to put our energies into civic activism, as we were receiving numerous invitations to speak at various events along with our obligations to Sunday services at our church.   In discernment meeting within the Bishop’s Committee, we came to decide to follow the passion of what we believed was our ministry calling, notifying our church family we would need to be freed from the weekly Sunday responsibilities. 

That was four years ago.  We had already moved, began buying our home in Bay Center, but continued to attend  services in nearby South Bend.  It will be interesting to see if we can adapt to a different church with a different belief set.   Thus, we will attend services at both churches in our little Bay Center community to see if there is an adaptable fit.

One church is conservatively evangelical or pentecostal, and I’m surprised we can even begin to consider continuing to attend after these politically charged years of evangelicals inserting their religious philosophy, such as it is, into the political arena and heavily influencing the controversial polarization of the last eight years.  I had a talk about this with the pastor after services, and he seemed a bit perplexed at what I was asking, assured me he did not tell his congregants how to think, how to vote, and remained free of politics. 

The other church is Methodist, and I really don’t know much about Methodist religious philosophy.  I do remember reading that George W. Bush was a member of Methodist church.  That, sadly, is enough to put me off right there, but again, somehow these tiny church congregations in our community do not seem to be aware or part of the bigger picture with religious insertion into politics that have led to the  election of George W. Bush, and his decision as President and Commander-in-Chief to invade and occupy Iraq, bringing with it the immense carnage on all sides that has marked the last six years in Iraq. 

 

Following my own thoughts, back to this past weekend.  It was refreshing to meet with so many of our neighbors in the community in new venues.  It was refreshing to just be one among many of the neighbors who make up our community in Bay Center.

Posted in Bay Center, churches, holidays, willapa, willapa bay | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Willapa Harbor Care Center business manager bilks residents of nearly $60,000.00.

Posted by pallix on December 5, 2008

Every once in a while, the news events that derive from Pacific County are startling.  Mostly not, but when there is bigger than usual news, it catches my attention.

excerpts;

Nursing home worker sentenced for stealing from residents

PACIFIC COUNTY, Wash. – Sandra Gilbert was trusted to watch over the accounts of nursing home residents, but instead she stole thousands of dollars from them to support a slot-machine addiction.

The sentencing marked the end of a scheme that bilked nursing home residents for nearly $60,000.

As business manager at Willapa Harbor Care Center in Raymond, the 63-year-old paid herself with funds taken directly from accounts of seniors on Medicaid.

Gilbert cashed the checks by stealing the identities of two co-workers. She said she used the money to feed her gambling habit – one forged check at a time. Most of it was lost in slot machines at the Shoalwater Bay Casino in Tokeland.

The Pacific County judge sentenced Sandra Gilbert to 10 years in prison and she must reimburse the people she stole from. However, some have passed away since she took their money.

Sandra Gilbert has prior convictions for embezzlement, burglary and forgery dating back to the 1970s.

read entire article and video snippet at NWCN.com

This is not an unusual story, but when it hits this close to home, it is more startling.  We, in Pacific County, are a group of small communities and a sense of neighborly trust.  It is disheartening to read this news of a person in the community going to deliberate lengths to both hide and feed her own bad habit at the expense of vulnerable people in her care and charge.   Being driven to believe she could take the steps she did because of a compelling ‘addiction’ over which she has no control as she claims is one thing, but in light of her prior convictions that include same kinds of behaviors with embezzlement, burglary and forgery, it becomes a coat of a different color.  She is a learned thief, a practiced thief, hired into a position of trust.  Sad, sad, sad. 

Posted in elderly, Willapa Harbor Care Center | Leave a Comment »

A nation of gardeners

Posted by pallix on December 1, 2008

Fruit and vegetable gardens in the US are rising in popularity as environmental consciousness meets depression economics

Last week, while helping a friend turn over her soil, I came across a giant bean that had grown out of old compost. “Fava beans,” said my friend the gardener. I opened the pod and there they were, nestling in fuzzy little pockets. How come I had never seen a fava bean pod before?

These epiphanies of mine usually follow the same pattern. The way a pinch of herb smells or the precise indentations on the body of a bean reduce me to mute wonder. This is immediately followed by a resolution to plant my own kitchen garden. Technicolour fantasies come after, featuring the same homegrown cherry tomatoes and basil that I have been fantasising about for years now. And then … nothing.

The excuses are legion. It’s winter, too cold for plants to grow. I don’t have enough outdoor space. It’s illegal to use the fire escape for anything other than escaping from fires. And what is this strange new language of annuals, biennials, perennials, hardy through zone six, pinch back and soil pH? Will I really remember to water the plants everyday?

Yet, as we move into the holiday season, and then the new year with its promise of newer improved versions of ourselves and the world, my fava-bean-inspired resolution seems to have something it did not have in previous years: a socio-cultural momentum.

Roger Doiron, the founder of Kitchen Gardeners International, reminds Barack Obama that he is the eater-in-chief. To Michael Pollan, Obama is the farmer-in-chief. Both men have asked for parts of the White House lawn to be replaced by an organic fruit and vegetable garden as a symbolic and practical measure to meet the growing food crisis. (As symbols go, this is guaranteed to be a smarter gesture than outgoing President Bush’s comment about Indians and Chinese eating more and more.)

The case against lawns has been growing increasingly hard to ignore over the last two decades as we learn more about the ways in which human consumption is destroying the earth. In 2008, the artist Fritz Haeg published Edible Estates, a chronicle of the garden as art and activism. Haeg links the seemingly insignificant fruit and vegetable garden with larger issues: where our food comes from, how it is cultivated, creating communities in neighbourhoods, ownership over what we eat and whether it will rain tomorrow.

We may be approaching the tipping point of the kitchen garden movement as environmental consciousness meets depression economics. In the US, vegetables have gone from fourth place to second place in the average garden budget. Greenhouse managers report more first-time gardeners coming to their door. (In the UK, vegetables are being stolen from community gardens on an unprecedented scale.)

 

read more at link here

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