Hunt for Missing Hiker Ends in Tragedy on Rainier...

      News Release
      from Kevin Bacher
Public Information Officer, Mount Rainier National Park
      June 19, 2006

    The search for missing hiker Jeff Graves at Mount Rainier National Park concluded this afternoon  when
his body was found on Eagle Peak. Mr. Graves was spotted by helicopter at about 3:00 p.m. Ground searchers
reached the location and confirmed the discovery about 4:00, and the extrication was completed by helicopter.
    Today's events brought a sad end to almost three days of intense searching, which began on Sunday morning after Mr. Graves was reported overdue from a dayhike on Saturday evening. At its peak today, the search involved sixty individuals, including twenty ground teams and a helicopter. Poor visibility had kept the helicopter grounded until late morning on Monday.
    Based on interviews with searchers, it appears that Mr. Graves left the trail on his descent from Eagle Peak in a steep, heavily forested area, then lost his footing and fell about 200 feet. He came to rest at the base of a 75 degree slope, hidden by the trees, about an eighth of a mile from the trail at an elevation of 4000 feet. (The approximate coordinates are 46.7500 degrees north, 121.7916 degrees west.) The weather at the time was cool, wet, and foggy.
   Jeff Graves was 47 years old and an engineer at the manufacturing company Stratasys Inc. in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His wife, Randi, their seven-year-old son, and several other relatives were in the park when he was found. Jeff’s mother, Ruth Graves, of Ypsilanti, Michigan, is serving her third year as a volunteer in the Longmire Museum and Jackson Visitor Center in the park.
   The Eagle Peak Trail is a strenuous dayhike that climbs 3000 feet in 3.6  miles beginning at Longmire, in the southwest corner of Mount Rainier National Park. The area around the trail is rugged, heavily forested, and intersected by numerous cliffs and ravines.

Day-Hiker Jeff Graves Missing at Mount Rainier...

      News Release
      from Kevin Bacher
     Public Information Officer, Mount Rainier National Park
     June 18, 2006

    A search continues at Mount Rainier National Park for Jeff Graves, 47, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Despite
an extensive effort today, searchers found few clues to narrow a search that has lasted for two days.
     Mr. Graves was reported missing when he did not return from a day-hike on Eagle Peak the evening of Saturday, June 16. A search began at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday. Forty individuals assisted, including ten search teams and three teams from German Shepherd Search Dogs of Washington State. Vehicles patrolled the U.S. Forest Service roads outside the south park boundary, and rangers contacted and interviewed day-hikers who had been on the Eagle Peak trail on Saturday. A helicopter remained on standby all day due to poor weather conditions.
   The search continued at 5:30 a.m. on Monday, June 18. Fifty-two people assisted in the search, including fifteen ground teams. Two volunteer dog teams from Northwest Bloodhounds Search & Rescue tracked scent from Mr.  Graves’ vehicle, parked at the Longmire Museum. Both dogs showed interest in the drainage to the north of the lower Eagle Peak trail; however, a ground team searching the drainage did not find anything remarkable. 
    A team positioned along the roads used binoculars to search the cliffs on the north and northwest sides of the peak. The weather progressively improved throughout the day, and a helicopter from WorldWind Helicopters in Renton, Washington was able to join the search shortly after noon. No conclusive clues were found.
   Tuesday’s search will emphasize high-priority areas, expanded search areas to the south, and aerial searches. It is expected to involve between fifty and sixty searchers. Additional hikers who had been on the Eagle Peak Trail on Saturday have been identified and will be contacted.
   Jeff Graves was in the park visiting his mother, Ruth Graves, who is now serving her third year as a volunteer interpretive ranger. Jeff and his wife, Randi, have a seven-year-old son.
   The Eagle Peak Trail is a strenuous day-hike that climbs 3000 feet in 3.6 miles beginning at Longmire, in the southwest corner of Mount Rainier National Park. The trail is currently snow-covered above 5100 feet. The search area includes rugged, heavily forested wilderness with many cliffs and ravines. Saturday and Sunday nights were cool with rain, fog, and low temperatures in the mid 30s. Mr. Graves was wearing fleece and a
red Gortex jacket, and carrying a daypack.

Three Council Positions and Three School Board Positions Open This Year...

      June 7, 2007     

     The Pierce County Auditor's filing deadline for town council and school board elections closes at 4:30 p.m. June 8.
    There are three council positions open: Council Position 3 - currently held by Meridith Weilert Wright; Council Position 4 - currently held by Bobbi Allison and Council Position 5 - currently held by Mike Gallagher.
    The Town Treasurer position is also open - currently held by Melode Akervick. This is the only position requiring a filing fee. This year the fee is $92.27.
    There are also three positions open on the District 404 School Board of Directors: Director District 1 - currently held by Robert Miller; Director District 3 - currently held by Kirk Heinz and Director District 4 - currently held by Tim Patterson.
    The primary election is August 21 and the general election is November 6, 2007.

Town Council Filings... 

      June 8, 2007: 3:30 p.m. - Planning Commissioner Jim Valentine has filed for Council Position 5.
                                                   Councilmember Bobbi Allison filed for Council Position 4 June 7.

     June 8, 2007: 5 p.m.         Planning Commission Chair Steve Lind has filed for Council Position 3.
                                                   Citizen Brenden Pierce has also filed for Council Position 3.

     Update: The filing for elective office in Pierce County closed at 4:30 p.m. tonight, June 8. The last update from the Pierce County Auditor's office indicates that two council seats are unopposed. As of 5 p.m. there were no candidates who filed against Jim Valentine or Bobbi Allison. 
      According to the auditor's update Bob Miller, Kirk Heinz and Tim Patterson are unopposed for school board.

School District Director Filings...

      June 8, 2007: Bob Miller has filed for Director District 1
                                Kirk Heinz has filed for Director District 3
                                Tim Patterson has filed for Director District 4

Late Filing for Town Treasurer...

    June 15, 2007: This position was part of the Pierce County Auditor's three day re-opening of the filing period as no one had yet filed. Councilmember Meridith (Weilert) Wright filed for the treasurer's position after voting yes on a council resolution to retain the town treasurer instead of combining the positions of town clerk/treasurer.

Olympia Couple Killed in Logging Truck Accident...

     June 1, 2007: An elderly couple from Olympia died around noon Wednesday, May 30 in an accident on Highway 7 (Mountain Highway) near Eatonville. The couple, Joseph Fortune, 80, and his wife, Helen, 77 were in a minivan and “blew” the stop sign at the intersection of the Eatonville Cutoff and Mountain Highway. They died at the scene and had to be cut from the twisted, mangled remains of their vehicle.
    A loaded logging truck, owned by T. L. Fitzer Hauling, was driven by Randy Fisk survived the accident but suffered a broken rib. Fisk has been a truck driver for thirty years and worked for Fitzer Hauling the past six years.
    Logs spilled out on the highway and traffic was detoured until about 6 p.m. Wednesday evening.
A commuter coming home from Tacoma to Eatonville called ENN, around 5:30 p.m. and said the accident was terrible. At that time traffic was still being rerouted to avoid the accident scene. 
Fisk could not avoid broad siding the minivan and no charges will be filed against him. 

Youth Connect with Cleanup

                                                                                                                                             (photo by Bob Walter)

     May 26, 2007 - by Bob Walter: As a small army of helpers look on, staff member and former youth participant Jodi Kelly hoists a seat-less bicycle up to an unidentified helper standing in one of the huge dumpsters at Smallwood Park Saturday. The annual clean up benefits the Youth Connection. It was 3 p.m., and two shifts of volunteer workers - about a dozen kids and ten adults - had worked for six hours, helping unload yard waste, dilapidated furniture and tons of other garbage. This work was done for donations.
     Of the five dumpsters, one was for yard waste, the other four for the truck and trailer loads of trash cleaned out of sheds, garages, homes and yards. Diane Carney (far left in photo), Executive Director of the Youth Connection, had arranged a bar-be-cue at mid-day with hot dogs, chips and sodas for the workers. Carney said the spring clean-up, going on for ten or twelve years, raised $757.25, the largest amount raised so far. 
     The dumpsters and disposal were again donated by the LeMay Company, which has been providing the free, one-day service in Eatonville and other communities for years. 
     Every dumpster was filled to capacity by the end of the scheduled drop-off period - a sign of a very successful
effort. A couple of vehicles rolled in right at 3, but had to be turned back, as there was no room for their loads. 

Farewell to the Chief, Town Mascot Accidentally Killed...

                                                                                                              (photo by Chrystal McGlone)

     May 19, 2007 - by Dixie A. Walter: Sometime around February 2003 this handsome, stray cat adopted the Eatonville Fire Department and Town Hall. The black and white cat quickly became the official "Chief" and mascot of EFD, and other parts of the town hall. He was given cat license number 43 which is the call number of the department.
     Chief was quickly taken to be neutered and was given his shots. He made the town hall, and fire hall, his home for the next four years, delighting citizens and staff alike. He was smart and friendly, but also reserved and dignified.
     Sadly, Chief was killed instantly by a truck in front of town hall on Mother's Day, May 13. Town Clerk Chrystal McGlone and  Assistant Fire Chief, Sheila Wicks Dudley, buried him in Sheila's yard with love and a lot of tears.
     There is an empty space at town hall with his death. Chief will be greatly missed, and mourned, by many in town for a very, very long time.

Chief in March 2003...

                                                      (photo by Bob Walter)

Chrystal McGlone Eulogizes Chief, Everybody's Friend...

      He was a stray that started hanging around four years ago and we started feeding him. Then we adopted him and had him fixed and got his shots. He kept the fire hall and town hall rodent free. 
      We loved Chief very much. He had many admirers. People paying their bills would sit down and pet him afterwards. People passing by would notice him waiting by the door to get in, walk up and let him in and then just carry on.  
      Everyone knew him.  He greeted us every morning by our cars, and ate lunch with us every afternoon.  He often slept on my lap, or on my desk, as I did my work. It was no mistake that he came into our lives and we came into his. 
      He will always be a part of us. 

Honey Bees Swarm in Hilltop Neighborhood...

                                                             (photo by Bob Walter)

      Thousands of honey bees have swarmed in the Eatonville area looking for a new home.

Lady Honey Bees, and a Few Drones, Look Around Eatonville for New Hive...

      by Bob Walter
      April 29, 2007

     A swarm of honey bees searching for a new place to hive has taken up residence in the yard of Eatonville's  Jeffrey and Karen Bowles up near the reservoir at the south end of town. The bees arrived Saturday, April 28, and remain there, in a football-sized pod hanging onto a branch about seven feet up in a small pine tree near the Bowles' house.
   Bowles said when they first landed, the bees were in a group of clusters spread out for several feet, but gradually formed into one as they all moved in close to protect the queen bee. His neighbor, Eatonville Elementary School teacher Steve Kastama, came to investigate, and shared his knowledge of the natural history of honey bees. 
    This is a period in which "scouts" fly out and try to locate good sources of nectar, then come back and communicate the information on what they've found to their hive-mates. Eventually, they will fly off to a promising new place found by one of these scouts to colonize  - unless a beekeeper and escorts them to a new location. Or they may choose to stay in the same area.
     According to studies done about honey bee swarms the scout bees do a "waggle dance" to inform the others in the swarm about possible places to hive. The dances are similar to the form of communication bees use to tell others in the colony about food sources. Scientists say once the scouts have "discussed" their various sites, a "quorum" is formed and "decisions" are made as to which place scouted has the most potential. Usually, if about fifteen bees "agree" on a new spot and enter it the rest of the swarm will follow and a new colony is formed.
     Honey bees swarm for various reasons, sometimes the previous hive has become overcrowded or a new queen
flies out and is followed by her workers, all female. Studies indicate the death of the older queen is not a reason to swarm. Bees in swarms don't tend to be aggressive, apparently because they do not yet have a hive to defend

Honey Bees are Disappearing "Rapidly"

   It is interesting to see these bees in Eatonville, when on the larger scene, amateur and professional bee
keepers in the U.S and Europe  have witnessed a rapid decline in their colony sizes this past year. Craig Mackintosh, writing about the collapse of honey bee colonies for Celsiam, April 13 states, "...accumulating reports tell us that the problem is not constrained to the U. S. alone - but that, to one degree or another, empty hives are becoming common in Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Poland, and now possibly the U.K. Canada, so far, seems unsure if they have the problem or not. We've now also had unconfirmed reports from Brazil" Some reports estimate that one in every three bites of food we eat has been pollinated by honey bees.
    A report to Congress by the Congressional Research Service dated March 26, 2007 says, "Honey bees are the most economically valuable pollinators of agricultural crops worldwide...bee pollination is involved in about one-third of the U. S. diet, and contributes to the production of a wide range of fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, forage crops and other specialty crops. The monetary value of honey bees as commercial pollinators in the United States is estimated at about $15 billion annually.
Bees are vitally important pollinators of many fruit and vegetable crops upon which humans depend, so there is a growing concern about the mystery of what has been termed the "colony collapse disorder (CDD)." Are the bees dying in the fields? Becoming disoriented? Succumbing to mites, temperature extremes or the stress of being transported? Some theorize cell phone towers may interfere with the bees ability to find their hives. Anywhere from 30 percent to 70 percent of bees in hives have disappeared, in come cases, leaving hive boxes completely empty. Meanwhile, scientists continue to search for the answer to the question, why?

Can You Find the Queen?

(photo by Bob Walter)

      Thousands of translucent, silver wings quiver in the light as the queen's workers protect her. Most humans can't find her, but those bees surrounding her,  keeping her warm and safe, know exactly where she is. The queen communicates by emitting a pheromone which her workers respond to with complete devotion. 
     The Bowles' were going to contact a local beekeeper who might want this swarm. Experts recommend you don't worry if a swarm is in your yard, they often stay only a few hours or days before moving on. The bees are unlikely to sting. They have eaten well before they swarm and being well fed their ability to sting is hampered. However,  it is always wise to keep your distance, especially if you have an allergy to bee stings. A bee keeper should be contacted if you want the bees away from you.

Fishing Season at Kids Pond
Photos and Story by Bob Walter...

     April 29, 2007: A young boy proudly hoists his catch. For many Eatonville families, opening day of fishing season means going across the Mashell River to the Kids' Pond, and trying your luck for some great kids' prizes at the Fishing Derby put on by the Eatonville Lions Club. There were bicycles, fishing rods and sleeping bags given away each hour to the top fisherkids.
     In addition to the prizes awarded, the Lions served piping hot coffee, hot chocolate and hotcakes to an appreciative crowd. Parks lead Bill Adkins, who assisted with the stocking the pond, said a string of cars followed him into Smallwood Park when he unlocked the gate at 5:45 a.m., and hadn't stopped by 9:30 a.m.

Looks Like Spiderman was Here...

     It took some careful casting and reeling in this crowd. Trout lines bobbed and floated one after the other toward the center of the pond. Parents and grandparents, brothers and sisters, everyone was helping the young ones with fishing techniques in this annual ritual. 
     Most were having a good time, fishing, eating, visiting and mentoring. One male adult, however, was heard to angrily chastise his excited novice for almost letting the catch flop back into the water. To a few, this is serious business, no foolin' around. But to most, its just a good time.

Girls on Horses Paint a Pretty Picture...

     It may have been opening day of fishing season, but for these girls, it was a morning to ride their horses to Smallwood Park for some exercise and play. On the left is Charlie, on Beau, and on the right is Janessa, on Zoe.     
    Though they look like they could be related, these horses were acquired at different times from different sources, said Charlie. The horses were jumping the cottonwood logs lying along the park road. Later they could be seen galloping through the trees along the road behind the kids' pond. Most of those along the shore didn't even seem to notice.

Beautiful Beau...

Beau, in braided mane, cuts a fine profile as Janessa looks on.


HAPPY Spring!

(photo by Bob Walter)


Meet Chelsea Newkirk,
 Eatonville's 81st May Queen

                                                                               (photo by Bob Walter)

     April 9, 2007: Eatonville High School Senior lovely  Chelsea Newkirk, 17, was selected as May Queen last week from a field of over twenty candidates. Chelsea is the daughter of Phil and Dawn Newkirk and attended Weyerhaeuser Elementary School. Her mother, Dawn, owns Dawn's Floral and Gifts located at 100 Washington Avenue North.
     Blaine McNichol, 17, was chosen eighty first May King. Brian is the son of former Eatonville Police
Sergeant Rex McNichol and Bonnie. Rex left the Eatonville Police Department last November to work for the Pierce County Sheriff's Department.
     May Day festivities will be held Friday, May 4 at Eatonville High School.



Mountain Wears a "Hat"

                                                                                                            (photo by Debi Hamilton)

      This photo of Mount Rainier was taken last month by Debi Hamilton who works in the Eatonville School District Office. To the left is a glimpse of South Hall, part of the high school which is due for renovation. Debi says, about the mountain, "I cannot imagine living somewhere I can not watch her. I feel blessed some days when I look out my window to gaze upon such beauty."

New Fire Chief Named...

                                                                                           (photo by Bob Walter)

      March 26, 2007: During the March 26 council meeting Mayor Tommy Smallwood introduced "new interim fire chief Josh Wikander." Smallwood praised Wikander for his "leadership skills." Wikander lives just out of the town limits with his wife, Teckla and their two young sons, Wade, six and Ladd, three-years-old.
      Wikander is the son of John and Sandy Wikander and is a home town man. He graduated from Eatonville High School in 1993, and joined the Eatonville Volunteer Fire Department in 1992 while still a student. Wikander works for Randles Sand and Gravel. When introduced by Mayor Smallwood Wikander, a friendly young man who is quick to smile, simply said, "I'm proud to serve." He replaces long-time chief Bob Holt who resigned recently.

Eatonville Regional
 Trail Plan 
 Launch of Planning Project to Create a Trail Plan for the Town of Eatonville with Regional Connections to Surrounding Communities, Areas and Attractions  

      from Town Planner, Nick Bond
     February 17, 2007

     The Town of Eatonville is beginning a planning project to develop a trail plan for Eatonville with regional connections to Mount Rainier National Park, surrounding cities, existing trails, and other nearby destinations and attractions.  The ultimate goal of the project is to create a plan that will describe the community vision for such a trail network including proposed routes; type of use; design concepts; potential management and operation needs; partnerships; likely funding sources; and recommendations for implementation.
      To help facilitate the process, the Town of Eatonville successfully applied for assistance from the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program of the National Park Service. ‘Rivers and Trails’ is a program of the National Park Service that provides non-financial grants of planning assistance to communities working to protect local open space resources and enhance close to home connections to recreation and nature.
      The Mayor of Eatonville, Tom Smallwood, had this to say about the project, “A trail network emanating from Eatonville will provide many health, recreation, and economic benefits to residents and visitors to Eatonville and throughout the Upper Nisqually Valley.”  The National Park Service and the Town of Eatonville will be working with an advisory committee consisting of representatives from other public agencies and interested community members to develop the trail plan. 

        A public involvement component will be a key feature of the planning project.  This will be accomplished in the following ways:

·         Consultation with an advisory committee during preparation of the plan

·         Newsletters will be prepared and distributed by regular mail, email, and posted on the Town of Eatonville website

·         A public open-house will be convened half way through the project to display and discuss preliminary maps, ideas, and concepts

·         A public meeting will be convened to release the draft plan

·         The draft plan will be available for public review and comment for 30-days.

      For more information, or to have your name placed on the mailing list, please contact Nick Bond, Eatonville Town Planner, at 360.832.3361.


Donations Being Accepted for June Potter and Family...

     February 22, 2007

    "Friends and Neighbors of June Potter and Her Family" are accepting donations to help ease the financial burden of laying to rest Brenda Potter who was killed Saturday, February 17 in a motorcycle accident near Eatonville on Highway 161. June lives in Eatonville on Washington Avenue.
    Donations may be dropped off at Venture Bank, 121 Washington Avenue North or The Holly Hut, 129 Washington Avenue North. Holly Hut owner Nancy Iames says they will be collecting donations for about two weeks. 
    Brenda was riding on the back of her father, Chuck's, bike when he lost control and slid into an oncoming pickup truck near Ohop Valley Road East. The father is currently in critical conditions, in a coma at Tacoma General Hospital.

Fatal Motorcycle Crash Near Ohop Valley Road Saturday

      February 18, 2007

     Brenda A. Potter, 36, from Roy was killed Saturday afternoon when a motorcycle driven by her father smashed into a Ford pickup truck near Ohop Valley Road East on Highway 161. The father, Chuck Potter, 62, from Graham, was critically injured and, at last report, was on life support. The accident happened about 4:30 p.m., in daylight, as the father and daughter followed another motorcyclist through the dangerous Ohop Valley curves.
     The motorcyclists were heading north, were driving recklessly through traffic and passing on blind curves according to witnesses. The Graham man lost control of his bike and crashed into the pickup which was southbound, killing his daughter who was riding with him. The pickup driver wasn't injured.
     The other motorcycle driver was booked at the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of vehicular homicide. It is believed alcohol is implicated in the deadly crash.

Revitalization Moving Ahead
"Ball Park" Costs Close to Ten Million Dollars... 

                                                                                                                                                               (photo by Bob Walter)

     February 2, 2007: Jennifer Dvorak of Parametrix Engineering points out traffic options to about twenty people, less staff and consultants, who attended the last Town Revitalization meeting recently. Once again there was a lot of discussion about traffic flow and building a new street between Washington Avenue North and Mashell Avenue. 
     Mark Spitzer of Arai Jackson Ellison Murakami Architects told the group he had met with some members of the LeMay family who own a large portion of property on Washington Avenue North. Spitzer said LeMay was still cautious about some of the revitalization proposals, but wasn't against the project.
     "Ball park costs" put forward regarding how much the revitalization might cost the town add up to about ten million dollars. The figures presented at the last meeting are:

     New Street                                                           $750,000
     Rainier/Larson Street Improvements            1,800,000
     North Town Entrance                                        3,400,000 
     School Street                                                         550,000
     Washington Avenue/Center Street                   500,000
     Mashell Avenue/Center Street                          250,000       
     Parking                                                                  750,000
     Town Plaza                                                          1,100,000
     Retail Plaza                                                            800,000

     "North Town Entrance. " This  figure of three-million-four-hundred thousand dollars represents a change in the entrance to Eatonville below the high school which would require a retaining wall. Spitzer explained this figure could be lower by half. None of the figures are set in stone. They could go lower or higher.

      The next steps for revitalization include going to various groups for grants. To keep informed, and see what progress is being made, please see the Revitalization Web site Downtown Revitalization Home Page and follow the links to diagrams, grants and funding information. You will also find information about the Eatonville Downtown Development Association (EDDA).
      EDDA officers are President Kirk Heinz, Vice-President Rich Williams, Secretary Bob Williams and
Treasurer Mike Jeffries. The EDDA board meets February 6 at 6:15 p.m. in the town hall.
      For more about EDDA please see  
Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws

Town Planner Requires 21 Conditions Regarding Airport Development... 

     Artist's rendition of Aviator Heights Development at the Eatonville airport, Swanson Field. The red strip down the middle of the graphic represents hangers. The airport is being developed by Jerry Nybo with backing by Summit Properties. 
      After a three-hour special planning commission meeting January 29, the commission, consisting of five members, voted unanimously to approve the airport development and send the issue to the Eatonville Town  Council for final approval.
      The motion to approve the preliminary plat was made by Commissioner Bob Schaub, who lives near the airport. Elizabeth  (Betsy) Harris, attending her first meeting as an appointed commissioner, seconded the motion. Town Planner, Nick Bond ,has put twenty-one conditions on the development. The project shouldn't be approved unless all conditions are met. To read the conditions please see
21 Airport Conditions

Meet Aubrey Meadows...

      from Proud Grandmother Pam Holt
February 12, 2007

It's a Girl!

Aubrey Elizabeth Meadows
6 pounds 10 ounces 18 1/2 inches long
Born February 6, 2007
Welcomed into the world by Dave and Lacey Meadows and big sister Katie Jean!
Very Proud Grandparents: Bob and Pam Holt of Eatonville and Aubrey and Harriet Meadows of Yelm

 Thank Heaven for little Girls!

Tony Catches the Image of Lenticular Clouds...

                                                                                                                                                        (photo by Tony Sirgedas)

     January 23, 2007: Tony Sirgedas preserved  "a nice stack of lenticular clouds over Mount Rainier just before noon," Tuesday, January 23. Lenticular clouds form at high altitudes when stable moist air flows over mountains. This type of cloud has been mistaken for Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) which may be the reason Mount Rainier is believed by some to be a "home" for UFOs.
     Few areas of Mount Rainier National Park are open to the public as the November flood damage repair continues. It is estimated the park sustained $36 million in damages. Norm Dicks, Washington's U. S. Representative is working hard to help the national park find the money to get it back into full operation. 
     Dicks, a Democrat,
is now chairman of the House Interior appropriations subcommittee. This committee controls money given of many federal agencies, including the National Park Service. So far Dicks has managed to get the National Park Service to generate $18 million for park repairs. Two million dollars will go toward opening roads to Olympic National Park which were destroyed by storms.
     More money needed for road repairs is supposed to come from the Federal Highway  Administration funds for emergency repairs on roads owned by the federal government. Everyone hopes the park, including Paradise will be open in the spring. The devastating floods, rock and mud slides, at Mount Rainer came from the November 6 and 7 storm which dropped eighteen inches of rain on the park. Repair of the park has been hampered by winter weather.
     To view Paradise at Mount Rainier Web cam please see

New Planning Commissioner Elizabeth (Betsy) Harris...

(photo by Arlen Paranto)

     January 29, 2007- by Dixie A. Walter: Elizabeth Harris took her seat on the Eatonville Planning Commission during a special meeting/public hearing about Aviator Heights, the controversial airport development.  
Mayor Tommy Smallwood said he spent forty-five minutes with Harris, found her a very "pleasant person," and felt she would be an asset to the commission. She has lived in Eatonville around seven months and, according to Smallwood is a friend of former commission chair Phil Beach. Smallwood added that Harris moved to Eatonville to be near a relative, Jack Westerfield, and thought she was a very "pleasant person." He also pointed out the town is in "short supply on planning commission people." 
    The planning commission, by Eatonville Municipal Code, should consist of nine members. Prior to the appointment of Harris the commission has only had five members for two months after the resignation of Steve Pruitt in November 2006. Before his resignation the commission had six members for several months.
    Harris, who did not attend the meeting, lives in town and is retired from Wachovia, a financial service. She has a BA in social studies education from the University of Illinois and a MBA in accounting and information services from Emory University. Her husband was a city manager. Harris also volunteers weekly at Mountain Community Co-op as office manager and cashier.
    After over three hours of hearing from town staff, developer Jerry Nybo's attorney,  Eatonville's new town attorney, commissioners and citizens, the commission surprised no one by unanimously voting to approve the preliminary plat application and send it on to the Eatonville Town Council for approval or disapproval. Harris seconded Commissioner Bob Schaub's motion to approve the plat.
    Planning Commissioners attending were: Chairman Steve Lind were: Elizabeth Harris, Jim Valentine, Bob Schaub and Phil Beach. Commissioner Larry Frink, with an excused absence, did not attend.

Planning Commission Chair Welcomes 
New Commissioner...

                                                                                                                     (photo by Arlen Paranto)

     Steve Lind, Chairman of the Eatonville Planning Commission, (with back to audience) welcomes Elizebeth Harris by presenting her with the official name plate. The pair were posing for town photos.

Council Member Voted Vice-Chair of PCRC

                                    (2006 photo by Bob Walter)

     by Dixie A. Walter
    January 19, 2007

    Thursday, January 18 the Pierce County Regional Council (PCRC) voted Mike Lonergan, Tacoma City Council, as chair and Bobbi Allison, Eatonville Town Council, as vice-chair. Allison has been attending PCRC meetings nearly six years. She began participation while a member of the Eatonville Planning Commission, then as an alternate and as the town's representative. Allison is also on the PCRC sub-committee for affordable housing.
    "Having Eatonville represented at the PCRC level is a benefit to the town. We need to be present to make ourselves and our needs known," Allison explained. The first Eatonville official to hold a chair position on PCRC added, "Participation never hurts and it builds our town's respectability which has been hurt in the past."
     She is in her fourth year on the Eatonville Town Council and served two years on the Eatonville Planning Commission prior to being elected to the council.
     The Pierce County Regional Council consists of elected officials from twenty-three towns, cities, Pierce County, and the Port of Tacoma. PCRC's responsibility is "to ensure that the Growth Management Act requirements are coordinated with the County and the region." For more information please see Pierce County Regional Council Home Page   
     Also during the January 18 meeting the Buildable Lands Employment targets were passed. 

Harmony Potts to Wed 
Steven Knight...

                                                                                                                                         (courtesy photo)

     January 23, 2007: Harmony Marie Potts, daughter of Madeline and Larry Potts will marry Steven Ralph Knight Saturday, January 27 at the Pendleton Center for Arts in Pendleton, Oregon. Harmony graduated from Eatonville High School in 1997 and went on to the University of Washington to get her Bachelor's Degree in English. She was also an exchange student in Ireland, and will complete her registered nurse studies in May. Steven is from Wallowa, Oregon.  

New Owners of Aaron's Ark

                                                                                                    (photo by Bob Walter)

     January 15, 2007 - by Bob Walter: Drew and Bobett Pruitt have just signed the papers and purchased Aaron's Ark Restaurant from her parents, Kim and David Babcock, who had owned it for about 20 years. The original restaurant, built by Keith and Delores Malcom, was called The Deli. Today, Sunday, is the Pruitts' first day as the new owners, and they are very excited. The young couple, wed just last September, had planned to follow job opportunities out of town, when the Babcocks asked them if they wanted to buy the popular restaurant. At first they hadn't really wanted to go that direction, but after talking it over, they made their decision to buy. 
     They come into it well-qualified. Drew has a degree in Business Marketing from Azuza-Pacific University in southern California. Bobett, who for awhile was a Communications major at Pacific Lutheran University, brings years of experience to her new role, working in various capacities at the restaurant since she was 13.  She may eventually complete her course work for her degree, but for now, there's a business to be run. And while the two are new to business ownership, they are a formidable team.  Says Bobett, "I've known Drew since third grade. He worked here, too, when we were in high school."  
     They will share the management duties and oversee the staff of about ten employees, with Drew handling most of the paperwork and the night manager duties to start, and Bobett running things during the day. There are many details to be worked out, but as Drew says, "We're taking the first steps [in that process] right now. Everything came together very quickly." 
     Aaron's Ark is at the corner of Washington and Center Streets, at the stoplight. Winter hours are 7:00 am to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Stop by and offer your congratulations to the newlywed- new-business-owners!

Tony Captures the Comet
Photos and Story by Tony Sirgedas...

The comet first became visible Friday evening shortly after the sun set.     

     January 13, 2007 - From Tony: Friday evening, January 12, the light clouds and haze broke enough at sunset to allow viewing of Comet McNaught low over the western horizon. Friday was the last day the comet will be visible in the Northern Hemisphere as it will pass behind the sun's glare and then be visible in the Southern Hemisphere after January 15. Officially known as comet C/2006 P1, it was only recently discovered  August 7, 2006 by Rob McNaught who has discovered several other comets that also bear his name. More information on the comet can be found at NASA - A Bright Comet Is Coming  


Ducks and Comet McNaught over Kreger Lake on Friday January 12.

Town Attorney Change...


     Right: Edward Greely Hudson now advising Town of Eatonville replacing long-time Town Attorney Robert Mack. Hudson is with the firm of Smith Alling Lane and Mack was also with the same firm until recently.

Who is Edward Hudson?

      by Dixie A. Walter
      January 5, 2007

     According to the Smith Alling Lane Web site Hudson is a Senior Governmental Affairs Consultant who "advises businesses with regard to management decisions and alternative approaches to the resolution of legal matters." He served six years on the Tacoma City Council and "one year as President of the Puget Sound Council of Governments (today the Puget Sound Regional Council...)." 
     Hudson also provides guidance with modern land use policy. He is a Viet Nam veteran who served in the Army. He grew up in Tacoma, is married with two daughters. Wife, Dorothy is a high school teacher. He obtained his law degree at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and has a business degree from the University of Washington.
     The Web site reports Hudson was a member of the Washington State China Relations Council, member and president of the Washington State Arts Commission and chair of the International Section of the Washington State Bar Association. In addition he is licensed to practice law in not only in this state but also before the federal U. S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.
      Areas of practice - business and corporate law; business succession; collection; employment law; environmental and land use law; estate, probate and elder law; personal injury law, property and real estate law. 
      He volunteers with the Regional Governance Project, the Tacoma Actors Guild's Board of Directors and Rotary's International Student Exchange Committee. Hobbies include mountain climbing, skiing and reading.
      Ed Hudson and Robert Mack represented the town in two major cases. The first was the sale of Van Eaton Park which was taken to Pierce County Superior Court by Steve Van Cleve. This case, which never went to trial, was dismissed by Judge Sergio Armijo. Armijo's decision to dismiss was overturned by the State Court of Appeals in November 2006. The Court of Appeals remanded the case back to Superior Court for a jury trial. To read the Court of Appeals decision please see Court of Appeals Decision .
      Hudson and Mack also represented the town against a petition for review regarding Aviator Heights
brought in front of the Central Washington Growth Management Hearings Board. The hearings board decision itemized a number of problems regarding the town's "flaws and inconsistencies" in relation to the proposed development stating the town's development regulations were "clearly erroneous." To read the hearings board decision please see Hearings Board Decision 2006
      Edward Hudson's eddress is

Where Did Mack Go?

     Former Town Attorney Bob Mack has joined the Tacoma Public Utilities to lead that organization's public affairs activities. Mark Crisson, director of utilities appointed Mack deputy director of public affairs effective January 1, 2007. Part of his duties include overseeing the Public Utilities' Community/Media Services Office.
     Mack worked on major land use and utility issues, including the Growth Management Act. His background included advising clients on natural resource, environmental and land-use issues. He was picked as one of the best lawyers in America for environmental and natural resources law.

Jebinos to Open This Week

                                                                                                                                                               (photo by Bob Walter)

     January 1, 2007 - by Bob Walter: Amidst the ambiance of Rat Pack memorabilia, colorfully-lit  glass bricks, and a starburst chandelier, a willing crowd enjoyed a $100 per couple, prime rib or prawns dinner, and a preview of Jebino's on New Year's Eve. When someone suggested, on short notice, to proprietors John and Tammi Bratholm, that they host a  New Year's Eve dinner, a couple of calls were made to gauge interest. Word of mouth began to spread, calls for reservations began coming in, and in a day or so, every table was booked. The Bratholms were just disappointed more of their friends couldn't be accommodated.
     But they are happy the long-awaited opening of Jebino's is finally imminent. They plan to formally open the new restaurant at the corner of Mashell Avenue and Carter Street in Eatonville this Thursday, January 4, after a couple of days of practice with the new kitchen equipment. Reservations are being taken now.

Park May Not Open Until Spring, or Close to It...

                                                                                                                                             (National Park Service Photo)

    December 11, 2006: Mount Rainier National Park may not be open to vehicles until sometime in March. The early November floods devastated many areas of the park and now heavy snow at Paradise is hampering efforts to repair the water system. Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga estimates the park will lose about $250,000 in entrance fees by the end of the year. The damage done by Mother Nature has reached nearly $30 million and the park has is looking at the longest closure since World War II.
    A report from the Federal Highway Administration regarding repairs may come this week, but the earliest repairs probably won't begin until January. Electricity and sewer haven't been re-established at Longmire although the national park is awaiting approval of funding to assist the other damages. Repairs have already eaten up $791,000 and climbing. 
    The park is thinking about shuttling visitors to Longmire, giving tours of the damaged park. They are also giving thought to allowing hikers, snowshoers and Nordic skiers on the Westside Road.
    Some Eatonville businesses report a slowdown of customers, but hardest hit by the park closure are the various small businesses in Ashford and Elbe. People are being laid off which is always difficult, especially during the holiday. To help keep business alive and bring people to the area the Mount Rainier Visitor Center is promoting activities in the area. Please see
Activities Up-the-Line .
     For detailed information regarding the park closure, repair efforts and more photographs of flood damage please see Recovery



Meet Nate Smith, Eatonville's Newest Citizen...

     December 12, 2006: Skip Smith sent the following happy announcement: We have a new addition to the family we would like to share. His name is Nathaniel James Smith. Born at Good Samaritan hospital in
Puyallup on Monday,  December 11, 2006 at 3:20 p.m. He weighed a hefty 9 lbs. 2 oz. and measured 21.5" in length. He joins his two big brother's Derrick Laclef (14) and Trevor Smith (7). His parents, Dena Laclef and Skip Smith are very excited to bring this little bundle of joy home to Eatonville.

Anne's World...

     November 25, 2006 - by Dixie A. Walter: This drawing was created by my eight-year-old granddaughter, Anne Shore at Thanksgiving. I asked her what her world would like if she could make it any way she wanted. Anne answered saying the sky would be pink and orange, the grass would be blue, the trees would be different colors. Finally she said, "I'll draw it for you," which she did.
     I enjoy talking to children, their imaginations haven't yet been limited by the same restrictions put on adults. Grass doesn't have to be green, a tree can be purple or blue and lots of purple birds can fly in the orange and pink sky.

Christmas Parade 2006
Photos and Story by Bob Walter...

     Frosty the Snowman, sandwiched between two giant snow globes, waves to onlookers at the  Christmas Parade in Eatonville Saturday evening. There were floats, fire engines, horses, bright lights and candy to delight the children in the crowd.


Mrs. and Mr. Claus Greet the Children...

     Photographer Cheryl snaps a photo of a girl with Santa at Keybank, with Mrs. Claus and three elves looking on. In the left foreground is Dawn Newkirk, organizer of the event.


One is Delighted...

     Kylee and Kidder Kindelspira are all smiles as they meet with Santa Claus to discuss their Christmas wish lists. Each child received a candy cane and a fresh orange from Santa during their visit.


The Organizer... 

     Always ready to help the community through her creativity and hard work, Dawn Newkirk greeted grateful parents who brought their children to see Santa at Keybank, making sure they all had a memorable experience. The Greater Eatonville Chamber of Commerce supplies oranges and candy canes for the kid's who visit Santa.
     Dawn is a longtime business woman in Eatonville being the proprietor of Dawn's Floral and Gifts and Jillian's. She also worked for a very long time at Nancy Iams' Holly Hut. Dawn is also the driving force behind Eatonville's Daffodil Float. 

See The Jessica and Emily Show at Victorian Christmas

                                                                           (photo by Bob Walter)

       Emily Randolph Banford of Eatonville posed with some her prizes after winning the South Hill Mall Idol contest in the seven through twelve age category late last summer. Emily attends fourth grade in the Eatonville School District. Emily and Jessica Molly Steves of Yelm are making their debut at the Victorian Country Christmas Festival. The MC for the show is Tabitha Simolke, also from Eatonville.

Some Great Youthful Christmas Entertainment...

     from Carol Slevett
    November 29, 2006

     Emily Randolph Banford of Eatonville has teamed up with Jessica Molly Steves of Yelm to create a new show called "The Jessica  and  Emily Show." Jessica is a very experienced performer with an incredible voice. She has been performing for most of her life and is a joy to watch.  Emily has been performing for five of her eight years and was recently chosen the South HIll Mall Jr. Idol.  Emily sings and dances and is a pretty seasoned little performer.
     Tabitha Simolke, also from Eatonville, is a talented MC who also does a little dancing and singing. The teaming up of a twenty-year-old and a nine-year-old makes for a very entertaining show full of variety and incredible singing.
    They will be performing at the Victorian Country Christmas Festival on Sunday, December 3 at noon on the Crystal Castle Stage in the Show Plex Building, now called the North Pole for the Christmas event.
    It was truly an honor to be given a spot in this festival.  Jessica, Emily and Tabitha hope that some of the people of Eatonville will come down and support them in their very first show.


Eatonville and Environs Wake to More Snow and Ice
Photos by Bob Walter...

     November 28, 2006: Several inches of snow fell on Eatonville and other parts of the state overnight causing dangerously icy roads, causing closures of many businesses and making school kids happy with the longed for "snow day." The Fantasy Lights event in Spanaway was cancelled because of the "inclement" weather. All Pierce County government offices opened two hours late and Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium were also closed. Most of the town, county businesses, schools and events hope to be functioning by Wednesday.
    Although the temperature stayed in the twenties in most places most of the day, some of the roads packed with ice and snow melted enough to ensure black and sheet ice for evening and early morning commuters. 


Tale of the Ruler...

      At 8 a.m. the snow measured about four and a half inches, however, some places had more and some had less. Dogs and children enjoyed the white stuff. 


Christmas Trees Get Ready 
for the Season...

     Mother Nature had the upper hand in decorating Christmas trees at Mel Cox's tree farm by Barney's Corner. It was often a dreary day, but the sun and sky occasionally  fought through the snow clouds to brighten things up.

Firefighter Bell Honored by American Legion...

                                                                                                                 (photo by Bob Walter)

     November 17, 2006 - by Bob Walter: Eatonville Fire Department Lt. Aaron Bell received the Officer of the Year award last week from American Legion's Mt. Tacoma Post 148, for his years of outstanding service to the community, saving lives and property, and treating the injured. He is pictured here with his wife, Michelle, and Eatonville Fire Chief Bob Holt. Members of the American Legion District Headquarters attended the Eatonville American Legion's annual spaghetti dinner honoring Veterans and the ceremony honoring Lt. Bell.

Farewell Cake From Council for Sgt. McNicol...

                                                                             (cell phone photo by Councilmember Bobbi Allison)

     November 15, 2006: The Eatonville Town Council took a cake break Monday, November 13 to share and enjoy a chocolate cake and to thank Sergeant Rex McNicol for his eight years of service to town. Many of his fellow officers, Chief Jim Lewis and Gaille Finley, attended the small "party." McNicol said he really appreciated the opportunity to serve in Eatonville and has enjoyed his duty here. He added, "I love this town so much I moved my family here and I plan to die here."

Sgt. McNicol Leaving Eatonville Police Department
Taking a Position with Pierce County Sheriff's Department...

                                                                                                                 (photo by Bob Walter)

     November 12, 2006: Sergeant Rex McNicol has been with the Eatonville Police Dept since April 1999. He started as a patrol officer and was promoted to Sergeant in September 2000. McNicol was offered a position with the Pierce County Sheriff's Department and will be leaving EPD November 19. "Sergeant McNicol has done an outstanding job for the Town of Eatonville," said Police Chief Jim Lewis.
    The popular officer intends to remain a resident of Eatonville, "I'm not going anywhere," he told ENN.

Santa Visits Early...

                                                              (photo by Bob Walter)

     November 11, 2006: Scott Snyder and his older sisters, Mia and Isabelle had a happy time  with Santa during the Cottage Merchants event last weekend. These are the adorable children of Amy and Eric Snyder. Santa was at Melly Rodriguez's new business Good Home Dry Cleaners and Gifts located at 104 Washington Avenue South. The new shop features Madame Alexander dolls and other gifts. You can also drop off your dry cleaning and pick it up within two or three days. 
     Santa will also visit the shop December 2 and December 9. 

Mount Rainier Evacuated For Public Safety...

                                                                                  (Courtesy photo from Mount Rainier National Park)

      Tahoma Creek Monday afternoon. Rivers and creeks in Western Washington are deluged by days of heavy, consistent rains labeled "The Pineapple Express." The weather forecasts call for more heavy rain until Wednesday. By 5 p.m. emergencies had been declared in eighteen counties.
      According to news sources the Nisqually River is expected to have a "major flood." The  Nisqually  is roiling with huge pieces of debris and trees. Those who saw the Nisqually after Mount St. Helens erupted say the river looks like it did at that time.
     The Kernahan Bridge looked to be in danger of going out but crews are working to save it. School Transportation and Maintenance Supervisor Dan Dawkins said loads of rock were being in dumped around the bridge in a effort to keep it standing. Dawkins noted that there was one car on the bridge at 6:30 a.m., but didn't know what happened to it.
     One source said the Lewis County end of the bridge has some damage which is being repaired. Dawkins also said he watched the Nisqually River for about fifteen minutes and it was a mess with trees and other debris racing past. 
     Eatonville Police Office Supervisor and Director of Emergency Management, Gaille Finley, reports that the town is "okay." She explained, "Our public works are checking and clearing storm drains." And added, "There is no problem with flooding currently." 

Heavy Rains Force Park Closure...

     Press release
     November 6, 2006 - 3:30 p.m.

     A torrential storm dropped more than seven inches of rain on Mount Rainier National Park on Sunday, with another ten inches expected on Monday. Park rivers are raging bank to bank, with chocolate-colored water carrying trees, rocks, and mud. Several park roads and campgrounds are threatened by flooding and mudslides.
    Park officials closed the main park road from the Nisqually Entrance to Paradise and are turning people back at the park gate. Highway 123 is also closed, due to a rockslide. “We want to prevent visitors getting trapped inside the park.
    The road is vulnerable to washouts in several key places, and there is only one way out.” said superintendent Dave Uberagua. Park employees working at Longmire were encouraged to leave the park while the roads are still passable rather than finish their work day. 

Gaille Finley Discussed 911 Procedures with Seniors...

     November 1, 2006

     Gaille Finley, Eatonville Police Office Supervisor and recently appointed Director of Emergency Management spoke at the senior meal site Friday, November 3. She explained enhanced 911, how and when to call 911, what to expect when calling, when not to call 911, helpful hints and other pertinent information. 
     Senior citizen meals are served in the Community Center at 305 Center Street beginning at 11:30 a.m. For in-depth information about 911 please see

Eatonville's Relay For 
Life 2007...

                                                                                                 (photo by Bob Walter - Relay For Life 2006)

      Among the many poignant reminiscences of each Relay in Eatonville is the Wall of Memories and Wall of Hope where messages are written to those who have not survived cancer, and those who are fighting the disease.  

It's About a Community Who Takes up the Fight!

       by Tiffany Salesdy
       October 27, 2006

       EATONVILLE. – Relay For Life is a unique, overnight, community event where people of all ages and from all walks of life come together for a common cause – to fight cancer. Relay For Life represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated. 
      The 2006 planning committee would like to thank everyone for their participation and support of the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Eatonville 2006. Our community raised $55,000 to support cancer research, education, advocacy and services.
      Committee planning has now begun for the fifth annual Relay For Life of Eatonville, which will take place  July 14 - 15, 2007 at Eatonville High School's B. W. Lyon Field.
      The planning committee is currently recruiting new committee members and new teams. Event Co-Chairs, Karen Woodcock and Jan Kusler would like to extend an invitation to all community members to join the 2007 Relay For Life Committee. The committee is responsible for planning and organizing this remarkable event. Having a full committee is crucial to making the event a success and we need your help to make that happen!  A committee retreat will take place on November 4 to kick off the year, all committee members, old and new, will be invited. 
      Please contact Tiffany Salesky, Community Relationship Manager for the American Cancer Society at 1.800.ACS.2345, or  if you would like to join the planning committee, form a team, or participate as a survivor at the event. We hope to see you at Relay!
    The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives from cancer, and diminishing suffering from cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. For twenty-four hour cancer information, call the American Cancer Society at 1.800.ACS.2345 or visit

Jillian's Closet Changes Consignment Policy...

                                                                                                (photo by Bob Walter)

     October 29, 2006: Jillian Newkirk recently announced her store on the corner of Mashell Avenue and Center Street has changed from the sale of clothing on consignment, to donated items only - "everything except appliances." Receipts will gladly be given for tax purposes. Contact Jillian's, 360.832.5455, for more information if you have items to donate.
    For ENN readers not familiar with the "main drag" of Eatonville - the reflections in Jillian's Closet window are Kirk's Pharmacy on the right, with murals on the wall, and Key Bank on the left.

Abstract of Jebino's

                                                                                                                     (photo by Bob Walter)

     This reflection of the cloudy sky makes Jebino's appear to have the sky as its ceiling. It looks as if there is still a lot work to be done before the highly anticipated new restaurant is set to open around the end of this month.

Candidate's Forum 2006
Photos and Story by Arlen Paranto...

      Left to right: Darcy Burner (D) running for United States Representative, 8th  Congressional  District; Jim Mcune (R) State House 2nd Legislative District, Position 1; Tom Campbell (R) State House 2nd Legislative District, Position 2; Jean Marie Christenson (D) State House 2nd Legislative District, Position 1 and Jeff Stephan State House 2nd Legislative District, Position 2.

Candidates Well Received During Forum...

     October 19, 2006

      There was a nice crowd at the candidates forum Tuesday, October 17. Most were people I have never seen at the usual planning and council meetings or around town, so I assumed most were from the outskirts or beyond.
     Possibly drawn in to see Darcy Burner who is running for the U. S. House of Representatives opposite Dave Reichert (R) who did not accept the invitation to attend the forum. Burner got hung up in traffic coming from Bellevue so did not arrive until thirty minutes late. But she was graciously received by the audience, knowing what a bear Meridian can be.
     Each candidate, or incumbent, for office gave an  introductory speech about their background. Jim McCune is a business man in Graham, Tom Campbell is a licensed Chiropractor in Roy, Jean Christenson a counselor from Rainier, Jeff Stephan is a union carpenter and Burner is a former executive from Microsoft.
     The moderator, Eileen Fox, with the Tacoma/Pierce County League of Women Voters, and the timer asked all questions of each candidate and allowed specific times to respond, which all complied with.
     Many of the questions were asked by the audience on written on four by five index cards and were presented to the candidates by Fox.

Burner Explains her Positions...

      While League of Women Voter's moderator Eileen Fox listens U. S.  House of Representatives candidate Darcy Burner (D) responds to questions from the audience.

      My question as to what committee Darcy Burner would like to serve on in Congress was the first one she was asked. and she answered it quickly. One of the committees she would like to serve on dealt with the Internet where she has demonstrated expertise. 
     When asked how she felt about gun control. Burner said she has a 9 mm pistol and a permit to carry and is trained to  use it. In previous years she was stalked and even a restraining order was ineffective so the police told her she should protect herself.
      She jokingly opened her jacket to show that she was not carrying at the moment. This drew a chuckle out of the audience.

Jeff Stephan Addresses Voters...

     Eatonville resident Jeff Stephan (D) described his agenda to the local electorate.

      Stephan got a big hand when he said he was for abolishing the sales tax and using an income tax system. His
point was that the current raising sales tax hurts the low and medium income people and many of those would be exempt from the income tax. Stephan also pointed out the need for domestic and alternate energy sources and even our town's recycling shortcomings.
     Christenson spoke of her job experiences at Washington State Reformatory and the need to improve prevention to reduce future criminal activities. She offered a different view than the other candidates.
     Jim McCune,in a short speech, talked of his experiences and was proud of his involvement with getting Meth lab reduction laws in place.
     Tom Campbell's eloquent speech on his history and government accomplishments was very effective in getting his agenda across.
     In summary I would say that the League of Women voters, assisted by Michael Jeffries and Judy East, did an excellent job in getting this meeting together and managing it's forum.
     All candidates were treated with respect and covered a wide variety of subjects that was well received by the audience. Well Done!

The Audience Listened and Learned...


What Color Will I Be?

                                                                                                                    (photo by Bob Walter)

Color Contest Update...

       October 6, 2006:

       The two top colors chosen by citizens for painting the town hall are beige with sage trim and almond with dark trim. Town Clerk Chrystal McGlone says Bill Atkins, parks supervisor, plans to paint sections of the building with the top colors so people passing by can get a better idea of which color they would like to see all the time.

Town Hall Due for a Change...

      September 29: Eatonville's town hall is due for a change. Next year the town plans to paint the building and is currently holding an "informal" contest to choose which colors the town's office should wear. To vote for your favorite color combination just tell whoever is at the front counter your favorite of the five colors listed and your vote will be duly noted. 
     The list of colors is taped at the far left end of the front counter. For your convenience here is a list of the five choices: beige with sage trim; almond with dark trim; Mashell red with light putty trim; dark green with soft white trim and natural colored doors or light green. The contest should run until the end of the year 

"Suspicious" Brush Fire...

                                                                                                  (photo by Bob Walter)

     October 8, 2006: An estimated quarter-acre of young forest at the end of Berggren Road in Eatonville was burned in a fire recently. There are homes near this site. The Eatonville Fire Department put out this fire while another brush fire in the area near Lynch Creek Quarry's Class B pit. Jeff Burgess and some other quarry employees took the water trucks and put out the fire by the B pit. Eatonville Fire Chief Bob Holt said the fires are "suspicious" and "are under investigation." 
      Chief Holt also emphasized the area is still bone dry even with the recent rainfall. Presently the Palmer Drought Index map shows our area needing nine to twelve inches of rain to get back to normal. Please see  Map showing Additional Precipitation Needed to Bring Palmer Drought Index to -0.5 inches  

Area is Still Very Dry and Very Dangerous

                                                                                          (photo by Bob Walter)

     The fire, in a triangular section of trees and shrubs, was bordered by the town road on the west side and by Randle's Lynch Creek Quarry property on the east side. To the south was more forest, and several hundred yards further are homes.

Eatonville Grad Starting Quarterback in College...

                                                                                                                (photo by Donny O'Brien)

O'Brien pitches out to his left...

     October 9, 2006: 2004 Eatonville High School graduate Ian O'Brien is currently the Frontier Conference Total Offensive leader with 1009 yards in five games of conference play. O'Brien, a former EHS stand out and four sport letterman (football, basketball, soccer, track) is a red shirt sophomore and starting quarterback for the Eastern Oregon University Mountaineers. 
     This past week O'Brien lead his team to a 28-21 victory over the University of Montana Western  Bulldogs in Dillon Montana. O'Brien rushed for 104 yards and one touch down and passed for 119 yards and one touch down on the day. O'Brien has averaged over 200 yards a game with six games played.

Ian Fights His Way in For Six Points!

(photo by Donny O'Brien)

Did You See It?  
Meteor or UFO?

      October 1, 2006

      Tony  Sirgedas writes: "Did you see it? About 8:20 p.m. what appeared to be a large meteor fell directly down in front of Mount Rainier east of town. It was aqua green, emitting sparks as it came apart and other bits of light lasting about four seconds lighting up the sky.

     October 6, 2006: Marlayne Elliff writes to ENN, "I saw the green streak and I just said "Oh."I ran out side and I thought maybe it was a plane but nope...So I wasn't crazy in what I saw....aliens among us.

Price Miller Jr. Trial Jury Set for November 8
Former Scout Leader Charged with Five Counts of Child Rape, Two Counts of Child Molestation...

                  (photo by Pierce County Sheriff's Department)

Price Nick Miller Jr. 

Pierce County Superior Court Criminal Case 06-1-03069-1

     by Dixie A. Walter
     October 4, 2006

    Price Nick Miller Jr., fifty-nine, a former resident of Gig Harbor, and owner of the "Buffalo Ranch," one-hundred-sixty acres, a few miles outside of Eatonville, was arrested July 6, 2006 and charged with five counts of child rape and two counts of child molestation. Miller, whose bail was set at one million dollars pleaded not guilty.
     Initially the charges were brought by one minor child, a boy, called T. J. in court documents. A few days later five more victims alleged child sex abuse by Miller. No new charges resulted from those allegations. Miller was a Boy Scout leader and some Boy Scouts may have been involved in Miller's predations. T. J. was not a Scout.
     Court papers state that T. J. was fifteen years old when made the allegations against Miller. Some excerpts from the Pierce County Superior Court, Declaration for Determination of Probable Cause. "T. J. disclosed that defendant had molested him since he was 7 or 8 years old. The first incident occurred at one of the defendant's rental homes. They played hide-and-seek."
      The "declaration" describes a graphic incident when T. J. said he hid in a closest and when the "defendant" found T. J. he touched him in a sexual manner over his clothes. The defendant allegedly took him into a bedroom for a back rub. After the back rub the defendant allegedly touched him in a sexual manner under his clothing. T. J. then alleges the defendant had the young boy touch him in a sexual manner.
       From then on, until T. J. was fifteen, Miller allegedly molested him "at least 3 or 4 times a week." According to the court document filed July 7, 2006, T. J. was sexual abused in "Gig Harbor, in Eatonville, in Lakebay and in Key Peninsula. Among the charges are acts of oral sex which T. J. alleges began when he was "7 or 8 years old." 
       The document also states, "When T. J. was 12 years old, defendant allowed T. J.'s mother to live in one of his rental homes rent free while T. J. lived in a foster home. The last incident happened when T. J. was 15 years old, during spring break of 2006. 
       "In June of 2006, T. J. contacted the defendant by phone. Their phone conversation was wire tapped. T. J. mentioned in the phone conversation how they had sexual contact, and the defendant did not deny or question T.J.'s comment. 
        "According to Detective Ray Shaviri of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, defendant is a Boy Scout Leader. He has access to many young children." 
         Miller is married and has three children. He is a retired Gig Harbor businessman and  was a volunteer firefighter.
        "Miller's trial date was originally set for August 23 but was changed to November 8, 2006. Trial  dates are always subject to change, and often do. Miller will have a jury trial.
        For more about the Miller case please see
Boy Scout Leader Arrested

       For more information about court proceedings please see Pierce County Superior Court Criminal Case 06-1-03069-1

         (Publisher's Note: After a great deal of thought I have decided to publish the declaration document. I want to warn y
ou that it is very graphic and very sad. I made the decision to publish because sometimes we cannot get the full impact of such a crime when it has been even somewhat sugar coated. The court documents tell it like it is and it isn't a pretty, sanitized story. However, if you decide to read the document perhaps it will give you some insight into how pedophiles (alleged) behavior. Dixie A. Walter. If you wish to read the document please see
T. J. Declaration )

Fire Alert:

Area in "Severe" Drought,  Fire Threat Extremely High

     by Dixie A. Walter
     September 7, 2006

     Our area, and most of the state, are in the midst of the driest spell in recorded history. The area is in a "severe drought" according to the U.S. Forest Service's Wildlife Fire Assessment System (WFAS). The Keeth-Bryram Drought Index (KBDI) says the area would need six to nine inches of rain just to bring moisture content back to normal. 
     Although rain is in the forecast this Saturday, it is highly unlikely Eatonville and environs will even come close to getting the amount of rain necessary to alleviate the severity of the current drought. Large Douglas fir trees are dying in many places from lack of moisture. These evergreens have a very shallow root system and cannot reach down through the soil far enough to find water which is about seven to nine inches deep currently.
     Dying fir trees can fall and hit homes, cars etc. Putting a hose at the base of the trees which may endanger property and watering them for about twenty minutes can help save your trees and possibly save damage to homes, vehicles, yards etc. 
     The threat of fire from humans has caused the woods to be closed to logging for fear of sparks, matches, cigarettes etc. Lightening could also cause a wildfire which could spread rapidly. In these tinder box conditions KBDI warns that our state is in the 600 to 800 bracket - which is, "Often associated with more severe drought with increased wildfire occurrence. Intense, deep burning fires with significant downwind spotting can be expected. Live fuels (living trees, shrubs) can also be expected to burn actively at these levels."
      Please be extremely careful. Burn bans are in effect all over the state and campfires have been banned also.  For more information please see the following sites: Drought Maps - Keetch-Byram Drought Index and Plamer Drought Map -
US Palmer Drought Index - Map showing Additional Precipitation Needed to Bring Palmer Drought Index to -0.5 inches - Drought Monitor

In Memoriam
September 11, 2001

     September 9, 2006: Four months before the horrific and tragic terrorist attack of 9/11 Eatonville residents Harold and Rosana Hefley visited New York City and the Twin Towers. To see their photographs of the towers and an unsuspecting, peaceful city please go to Twin Towers Before the Attack

Emily Randolph Wins South Hill Mall Idol Contest...

(courtesy photo)

    Eatonville's newest star. Emily Randolph won the first ever South Hill Mall Idol contest today.  She was in the seven through twelve age category. Emily is eight and will attend fourth grade school in the Eatonville School District. 
     Her very proud grandmother Carol Slevett said, "Emily sang  'I Want to be a Cowboy's Sweetheart' and she was a huge hit. She has learned to yodel pretty well. She won lots of prizes and will be performing at some of the Mall events that they have for the next year." Above is beaming Emily with some of her prizes.

Emily has Quite the Resume for her Age

      from Carol Slevett
     September 1, 2006

   Garay Music Studios was the sponsor of the Idol competition. I don't remember exactly how many were entered all together. I think it was twelve or thirteen in Emily's division. This is the way it worked -  last week they had the preliminaries. The performers sang without music sort of like American Idol.  Then they narrowed it to six finalists in each age category. The finalists competed last Sunday, August 27. They picked only one winner in each category. Emily had some tough competition. Emily dances with Eatonville Dance Center.  Jessica Steeves arranged the routine.   
    Asked by ENN to explain more about her talented granddaughter Carol joked, "Okay, you asked for it. You should never ask a proud Grandma to talk about her grandchild!" Carol added the following information about young Emily. "People ask me how she learned to yodel. Emily has always been able to copy sounds. When she was two she could whinny just like a horse, and she whinnied for a least a year! Emily's instructor, Jessica Steeves, is a wonderful singer and she yodels as well. Jessica taught Emily how to yodel and she picked it right up.
    Carol explained further, "Emily has been performing for her family, friends and anyone who would watch her since she could walk. I noticed she could sing on key when she was about two. She would cry if anyone around her sang off key, it was funny."
    "Emily started out with the Eatonville Dance Center when she was two and a half years old. At four, she was a good little dancer and Justine Thornton, the studio owner, suggested she try competitions. So Emily did a tap number to "Animal Crackers in my Soup." She did well with that so she competed the next year and the next. Every year I asked her if she wanted to try a song and dance routine but she said, "No" until last year. So, at age seven, she did her first song and dance routine and she loved it. She just can't seem to get enough of it. Emily has a lot of confidence for her age and is having so much fun with all of this, she has never seen a stage she didn't like. It's a great experience for her."
Carol added, "Emily also sings Broadway songs. She performed "Castle on a Cloud" from Les Miserables for her recital last June. She also sings, jazz, country and pop. Emily loves dancing too, and takes ballet, jazz and hip hop and competes in those as well."
     Emily's mom is Shannon Antos, who will soon be married to Larry Banford of Eatonville. Amanda is Emily's little four-year-old sister who has started dancing and singing too. Carol notes, "Guess it runs in the family. Both girls love animals and love to ride horses." Love of animals must run in the family too as Carol devoted many years to animal rescue.
     Emily and Amanda also have a proud Grandfather, Carol's husband Tom.   

 Emily on Stage in Eatonville...

                                     (2005 photo by Bob Walter)

 Emily Randolph struts her stuff last fall during a benefit at Eatonville Elementary School for Katrina victims.

What's Happening on
 the Hillside?

                                                                                                           (August 12 photo by Bob Walter)

     August 18, 2006: by Dixie A. Walter: ENN asked Town Planner Nick Bond what was happening on the hill above Tim Daniel's home. Bond explained that dirt was creeping into Daniel's garage and he decided to "terrace" the hill to "stabilize it." Daniel had a geo-tech report done on the hillside and also has a grading permit Bond said. 
     The town council on January 23, 2006  unanimously passed Ordinance 2006-3 "Vacating land dedicated to the town for a street right of way along Rainier Avenue from its intersection with Prospect Street north to its intersection with Larson Street, and a portion of Larson Street between Rainier Avenue and Mashell Avenue" Street vacate requested by Tim Daniel." Bond also noted that the town gave Daniel permission to begin the project before the rains came even though the paperwork for the street vacant was not completed.
      Bond said it was his understanding that Daniel would park his logging truck "tucked away" behind his garage. This would remove the huge rig from being parked on the street.

Seven Days Later, August 25...

                                                                                                       (August 25 photo by Bob Walter)

Two Days Later, August 27...

                                                                                                            (August 27 photo by Bob Walter)

Five Days Later - September 1...

                                                                                          (September 1, 2006)

Senators Enjoy Corn Feed...

(photo by Bob Walter)

     August 28, 2006: U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, prompting a laugh here from Senator Rasmussen and the crowd, said she was enjoying being among the friends invited to Marilyn's farm for her famous corn feed.       Marilyn visited with as many guests as possible, and took the microphone to introduce many elected officials, current candidates, friends old and new, her family members and members of the Ohop Grange.
     Those in attendance enjoyed a perfect summer evening, mingled with close friends, and acquaintances they hadn't seen for a year, and feasted on the wonderful wonderful, home-grown corn on the cob, which seemed to dominate most plates. 
     Cantwell, a Democrat, was elected to the United States Senator in 2000 with a victory over long-time Republican Senator Slade Gorton. She is running for re-election this year. Cantwell serves on the Indian Affairs Committee, the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. 
     In December 2005 Cantwell blocked Alaska senator Ted Stevens' efforts to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.     
     When she was a Washington State Representative, Cantwell helped write the Growth Management Act of 1990, which
requires municipalities to develop comprehensive growth plans, and she negotiated its passage.

Round'em up and Park'em...

     Rosie, a Morgan horse, and her rider were happy to show you a parking space in Senator Marilyn Rasmussen's north pasture, at her annual corn feed fundraiser Saturday, August 26th. The corn feed was very well attended so horses and riders got a work out.

Salmon Saver Serves Salmon...

(photo by Bob Walter)

     Jeannette Dorner, salmon restoration program supervisor for the Nisqually Indian Tribe, served barbecued salmon freshly caught by the Tribe. Dorner has spent a lot of time in the Eatonville area working with many others on restoring salmon habitat. Currently the group is doing intense rehabilitation of the Mashell River. For more information about the salmon restoration project please see The Water Front

Ed's Always Cookin'

(photo by Bob Walter)

     A fixture at Rasmussen's cornfeeds is Ed Wright who has cooked for countless years. He has cooked thousands of burgers and fed thousands of visitors to the Rasmussen ranch each year and always ready with a smile and a quip.

Block Party Fun...

                                                                           (photo by Bob Walter)

      The street, from Carter to Lynch, was cordoned off to vehicle traffic, and instead had chairs sitting under shade canopies, music playing, a clothes pin toss, coolers, a food table, door prizes.

Enjoying the Block Party...

                                                                                      (photo by Bob Walter)

Linda Cossalman and JoAnne Williams relaxed Saturday at the first annual Orchard Street block party. 

Kids Do Their Art...

                                                                                        (photo by Bob Walter)

     A couple of desks where the neighborhood kids were trying their hand at art.  Janelle Johnston (left) was getting help and advice from her older friend, Rhiannon at the coloring table. 

Let the Sun Shine in...

                                                                                       (photo by Bob Walter)

     The kids had fun decorating Orchard Street. This is a detail of the happy sun drawn on the sidewalk.

Lead Contaminated Toys Recalled by U. S. Libraries...


     These cute, bendable toys are deceptive.  The toys were given away across the United States by library systems as an incentive to encourage reading under the "Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales" program. Hundreds of the toys, some testing positive for dangerous levels of  lead were handed out in the South Sound area and Eatonville as well. 
    The Eatonville Library is a branch of the Pierce County Library System. According to report in The News Tribune Eatonville ordered forty-eight of the poseable, twenty-seven cent toys and gave out thirty-six. Eight have been turned in since the recall.

Parents/Caregivers Should Promptly Return Toys to Libraries...

     by Dixie A. Walter
     August 16, 2006

    The seemingly innocuous cat and dog toys were "awarded" to American kids who completed five hundred minutes of reading from May 22 to July 22, 2006. They are about four inches high and are shaped somewhat like a  lollipop. The toys were bought from Oriental trading and are stamped "Made in China." After testing by the Indiana Department of Health the alarming amounts of lead found in the contaminated toys which prompted warnings and a recall of the small toys.
    Among the states were the toys were distributed are Wisconsin, North Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Oregon, California and Washington State. About three-thousand of the toys were shipped to twenty libraries in Washington State. Some of the toys tested were found to have 0.4 and 0.24 percent of lead. The top safety limit is 0.06 percent. Highsmith Publications said the toys had been shipped to one thousand one hundred libraries across the country. 
    Not all of the toys have test positive for lead. However, health officials urge parents to return all the toys to local libraries for proper disposal. Officials also urge the people who handle these potentially toxic toys to wash their hands very carefully.
    Youngsters are at the greatest risk for lead poisoning since their small bodies absorb more lead. Even healthy appearing children can have dangerous levels of lead in their bodies. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says childhood lead poisoning continues to be a major environmental health problem in American kids. Lead, a highly toxic, heavy metal, is mainly found in paint.
    Prolonged exposure to lead can cause serious and irreversible health effects, including damage to the brain, nervous system, and kidneys. It may also cause hearing, behavior and learning problems in young children. According to the EPA..."If not detected early, children with high levels of lead in their bodies can suffer from: 

     -  Damage to the brain and nervous system 
     -  Behavior and learning problems (such as hyperactivity) 
     -  Slowed growth
     -  Hearing problems
     -  Headaches 
     -  Children's brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead.

    This matter has been referred to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for further investigation and follow-up.

Kid's Camp - Paint a Mural with Fred Oldfield...

                                                                                                 (courtesy photo 2005)

Fred Oldfield teaches youngsters to appreciate art and tap into their creative abilities.

      by Joella Oldfield
      August 18, 2006


     The Fred Oldfield Western Heritage Center will be holding its last Summer Art Camp August 21-24. Forty children will be joining Western Artist Fred Oldfield and painting twelve eight- foot murals to be mounted on the roof of their building.  
     Last year the children painted a marvelous fifty-foot mural on the side of their building. The children range from six to eighteen years of age. This will be an outdoor project and a wonderful photo opportunity. Fred Oldfield is known around the country as the "Grand Daddy" of Western Art and he painted the first mural for the Toppenish Mural Society as well as two others there.  
     The children will benefit from this eighty-eight-year old artist's experience and knowledge. Please join us for a wonderful art experience for the kids! Thursday and Friday will be the ideal photo opportunity days as you will be able to see the murals close to completion.  The Heritage Center is located at the Red Gate at the Puyallup Fair & Events Center.


Fred Oldfield Gives Personal Attention to His Camp Kids...

                                                                                                                 (courtesy photo 2005)     

    Fred Oldfield Western Heritage Center Free Fun Family Day - August 26 from noon until 4 p.m.

Mural Unveiling

     Be the first to see the unveiling of the new outdoor Children’s Mural! See many of Fred's murals at Oldfield Center the children will paint this mural at the “Paint a Mural with Fred” Summer Camp. It will delight and amaze you. Stop by and see the children at work Aug 21-24 – 9:30 to noon. See fun activities and entertainment below:


      Artists in Action

      Crafts for Kids

     American Indian Dancing & Storytelling

     Amanda Lee Little – Puyallup Idol 2004

     Bluegrass Music

     Square/Line Dancing ~ Demos/Lessons

     Come and learn about Railroad “Date Nails” while you enjoy the Collection and Expertise of Mike Hansen.


    The Center is located at the Red Gate at the Puyallup Fair & Events Center.


A Few Scenes from the Pierce County Fair...

                                                                  (photo by Bob Walter)

     August 15, 2006: by Bob Walter We caught up with 2006 Pierce County Fair Queen Toni Tonetti, a student at Sumner High School, as she consulted with an aide on her next royal duty. Busy as she was, she graciously paused long enough for us to get a photo.

Fair Provides Fertile Bounty

                                                                          (photo by Bob Walter)

     Even the day's production of eggs, laid by the show hens and collected by their handlers, were on display in the Poultry Barn, revealing a scramble of sizes and colors. This multi-colored batch of eggs were laid Saturday, August 12.


Flying Fingers Create Delicate Lace

                                                               (photo by Bob Walter)

   Lacemaker Lorri Ferguson deftly creates a ribbon of lace, following a pattern imprinted on the wheel - her fingers weaving the tiny spools in a dizzying flurry of movement.

Fabric Art

                                                                                                         (photo by Bob Walter)

    An explosion of color greeted visitors to the Quilt Barn at the Pierce County Fair. Each type of pattern or design has a name, and requires specific cuts of fabric, sequence of application and stitching.

Men Like Flowers Too...

                                                                                                               (photo by Dixie A. Walter)

     The flower and vegetable show includes floral arrangements, individual flowers, even whimsical "veggie animal" creations, that are judged each year. 

This Moment of Beauty Courtesy of Dawn Newkirk...

                                                                                                            (photo by Bob Walter)

    August 15, 2006: These dramatic petunias are just a few decorating Dawn's Floral and Gifts on the corner of Washington Avenue and Center Street. Dawn's " magic secret" to growing amazing petunias? Miracle Gro plant fertilizer just about every day, and plenty of water.

Little Ones Enchanted by our Enchanting Mountain...


     August 9, 2006: This wonderful photograph was sent to ENN from Cathy Farwell for everyone to enjoy. The photo was taken "this past week." The little ones are Colby Dunivan, three, and his sister Chloe Dunivan, who is five. They live in Eatonville with their parents Robin and Cody Dunivan. Their very proud grandmother is Rhonda Tracy. Photo by Cody Dunivan.

Chrystal McGlone Named New Town Clerk...

      by Dixie A. Walter
      July 29, 2006

     Chrystal McGlone who has been acting as Interim Town Clerk since former Town Clerk Carrie Lynn Loffelmacher was fired June 6, was hired Friday to fill the clerk's position by Mayor Tommy Smallwood. McGlone has been Deputy clerk for many years and is a popular figure at the town hall.
      You will recognize our new clerk by her long, blonde hair, frequent smiles and eagerness to serve the public. Mayor Smallwood said the town had fifteen applicants, four of which were very well qualified for the job. He also said the "office" was happy when Chrystal was tapped for the job. 

4             Meet Adorable Baby Amelia

      Genetically blessed little Amelia Spencer is the image of her lovely Mother, Lindsay Knelleken, lovely Grandmother Kathy Knelleken and equally lovely Great-Grandmother Delores Malcom. Her daddy, David, is a very handsome young man also.

      July 29, 2006

     Amelia Louise Spencer was born on May 4th at 10:20 a.m. to proud parents Lindsay (Knelleken) Spencer and David Spencer of Seattle. She was seven pounds and twenty inches long. 
    Her grandparents are Kathy and  Mike Knelleken of Eatonville and  Anne & Brian Spencer of Iowa City, Iowa, and great-grandparents are Delores and Keith Malcom and Shirley Knelleken of Eatonville and Hal Richerson of Iowa City, Iowa. Dad David is studying medicine at the University of Washington.
     Amelia is the first great-grandchild of Keith and Delores Malcom. The Malcom family have been business people in Eatonville since 1917. The family patriarch, Olaf (Ole) Malcom was born in Fredrickstad, Norway in 1883 and came to America in 1903.
     Ole opened a meat market and packing plant in the area in 1917. After World War II Keith bought the meat market in the old Red and White Grocery store. After seventeen years the energetic Malcoms bought the grocery store and began the odyssey which led them into numerous other business ventures in Eatonville. 
     Malcoms built the town's first supermarket, motel and mall and it's hard to count how many other businesses they built. Keith, Delores, Kathy, Mike and Lindsay are all graduates of Eatonville High School.  Always committed to the community's future, the Malcom family have set an excellent example for their first great-grandchild to follow. 

      For more family photos of little Amelia please see More Amelia

Great-Granddad Keith Malcom

                                                                                           (family photo)

     Uber local businessman Keith Malcom has become Uber Great-Granddad since the birth of tiny, delightful Amelia, his first great-grandchild.



Eatonville Police Department Bike Patrol...


                                                                            (photo by Bob Walter)

     Eatonville police officer Kevin Wade with the department's Ziegler-Lam 24 speed men's mountain bike.


     by Officer Kevin Wade - EPD
     July 12, 2006

     The Eatonville Police Department began its bicycle patrol in 1994 as a Community Oriented Policing Unit. Bicycle officers patrol the downtown area of Eatonville in addition to parks and neighborhoods. Due to the staffing demands bike patrol officers are only available to be on patrol when there is another on-duty patrolman in a vehicle.

     There are currently three certified bike patrol officers in the Eatonville Police Department. Certification requires the officer attend an eight-hour hands on course.  We have one Ziegler-Lam 24 speed men’s mountain bike purchased in September 1998. It is the goal of this department to have at least two new bikes purchased and outfitted for patrol.
      Putting a police officer on a bicycle has many advantages. It makes the officer more approachable by the public without the car doors and windows forming a barrier between the officer and citizen, allowing for more informal interactions. This approachability augments the Eatonville Police Department’s commitment to community policing, working in partnership with the community we serve. The bicycle also creates a learning situation for safe riding discussions with children.
     Bike officers are better able to patrol areas in a manner, which is not as noticeable as a marked patrol unit. A bicycle has access to areas that a car cannot go, such as trails, side yards and some alleys. This broadens our patrol abilities, especially when it comes to pursuing suspects who are on foot. A bicycle is also less obtrusive and more low-key than a patrol car. It allows the officer to approach a situation without being observed and without as great an interruption in “normal” activity than driving a car into the area. This type of patrol of course extends a greater access to those whom may be violating the law.

     Bicycle patrol is another positive approach to community oriented policing for the Town of Eatonville.



Excerpt from July 10
 Council Report
Questions About Signs...

     by Bob Walter
     July 11, 2006     

     "At the July 10 Eatonville Town Council meeting, John Bratholm, co-owner with his wife, Tammi, of The Pizza Place, presented the council with a sketch of the sign planned for their new restaurant under construction - Jebino's.
    "Bratholm asked the council for an ordinance 'provision' that would allow the sign. Town Planner Nick Bond responded, saying the sign ordinance would have to be changed, so as to include this type of sign as one of those which would be allowed by variance. He stated there are currently only two sign types presently allowed through this process: roof signs and historic or antique signs.
   "The town's sign ordinance does not allow variances for height restrictions or square footage requirements, and painted wall signs are regulated differently than free-standing signs, which are limited in area based on the speed limit for the street(s) and/or the length of street frontage.
    "Mayor Tom Smallwood and Councilmember Meridith Weilert both suggested the next town revitalization meeting, scheduled for Tuesday night (July 12), would be a good place to discuss the sign ordinance, and any changes that might allow for more appropriate regulations and more effective commercial signage.
   "The mayor expressed his hope that any sign ordinance changes could be accomplished within a month, so that Bratholm could move ahead. Councilmember Bruce Rath said the sign ordinance has been broken many times, and the council needs to do something, 'fairly fast,' to allow business owners to comply with the ordinance and still advertise their businesses."

    Below are three examples of Jebino sign John Bratholm gave to the council showing showing the signs various angles. A sign committee was established during the July 11 Revitalization meeting.

Proposed Signage for Jebinos...


     Sunrise Area Celebrates 75th Anniversary...

     Press release
     July 12, 2006

    Mount Rainier National Park announces the 75th anniversary of opening the Sunrise area on the northeast slopes of the mountain. A special observance of the anniversary will be held on Saturday July 15 at the Sunrise Visitor Center (open 9 a.m.-6 p.m.). 
   Special guided walks featuring the history of Sunrise, with great views of wild flowers and the mountain, will be held.  Walks will begin at the Visitor Center at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. For more information contact the Sunrise Visitor Center at 360.663.2425. Come to the Sunrise side of the mountain for a special day. Everyone is welcome.

Rod Knockers Decorated "Main Street"
Photos by Arlen Paranto...

     Outstanding cars and trucks lined both sides of Mashell Avenue for blocks Saturday, June 24. There were 270 270 vehicles of all sizes, colors and ages which have been lovingly cared for, and restored by Rod Knockers car club members. Photographer Arlen Paranto had a penchant for 1950s era pick up trucks this year, with the exception of the innards of a Ford GT Coupe which costs $150,000 without accessories, please see last photo.




Park Dedicated on a Very, Very Hot Day...

                                                                                                       (photo by Arlen Paranto)

     June 26, 2006: A small crowd braved the eighty-some degree weather to attend a brief ceremony dedicating Mill Pond Park. Mayor Tommy Smallwood thanked several people for their devotion to the success of the park. Many in the audience were town staff, park committee members and some elected officials. 
      Among those thanked were former Councilmember Ray Harper, present Councilmember  Meridith Weilert, parks committee members Bruce Lachney, Nancy Ellis, Dixie and Bob Walter, planning commissioner and park committee member Bob Schaub and former Mayor Harold Parnell.  Mayor Smallwood said former mayor and present Councilmember Bruce Rath "took ownership of the park." Lachney reminded everyone of the role of Erin Brock, who as a young skateboarder, went with him to the County Council requesting funds. Brock is now in college.

Town Launches New
 Web Site...

     June 13, 2006

     During the Eatonville Town Council meeting June 12 Mayor Tommy Smallwood announced the launch of the town's Web site. Smallwood said the site was still under construction and explained that much more would be added in the future. Ted Slatten, Eatonville resident, has been working behind the site to set it up and town employee Christina Dargan is Webmaster.
    To view the new site please see

ENN Fourth Anniversary...

     June 11, 2006 was launched June 8, 2002 and readership has steadily climbed in readership since then. We have never advertised, but relied on the grapevine to spread the word about electronic local news. All services are free. 
     During the month of May ENN had 42, 114 pages viewed.

New Lighting at Park...

(photo by Bob Walter)

      June 19, 2006: New lights have sprouted at Mill Pond Park in preparation of the park's dedication ceremonies and the Founder's Day Auction this Saturday, June 24 following the Rod Knockers car show which ends at 3 p.m. The vintage appearing lights are made from fiberglass and are a very attractive addition to the park.

Eatonville Searching for
 New Town Clerk...

      by Dixie A. Walter
      June 7, 2006

     ENN has learned from Mayor Tom Smallwood that a search is in progress for someone to replace former Town Clerk Carrie Lynn Loffelmacher. In a brief statement to ENN the mayor said, "When I took the Mayor's office I said that I would not make any changes for six months.
    "It has been six months and I have decided to change the Town Clerk who works at the will of the Mayor.  I will do both an internal and external search to pick the best person for the Town. Currently [deputy clerk] Chrystal McClone is acting Town Clerk."
      Loffelmacher was appointed town clerk by former mayor Harold Parnell. Her last day in the position was Tuesday, June 6.

National Flag Day and National Flag Week...

      In August 1949 Congress designated June 14 of each year as Flag Day and in June 1966 Congress also requested the President to annually proclaim  the week in June in which June 14 occurs as National Flag Week. The President calls upon all citizens to fly Old Glory during the third week in June. 

Legion's Dignified Disposal of
 Unserviceable Flags...

                                                           (photo by Dixie A. Walter)

     June 14, 2006: Jody Johnson, Commander, American Legion Post 148 in Eatonville salutes as the ceremony to dispose of "unserviceable" flags gets underway near the Van Eaton Cabin/Stage Stop Museum at Mill Pond Park June 13. Below is an excerpt from the American Legion's ceremony:

    Dignified Disposal of Unserviceable Flags 

    The sergeant-at-arms tells the commander there are a number of unserviceable flags which have been inspected and deemed disposable.

     At this poing the commander then makes the following brief, but touching statement. "Comrades, we have presented here these Flags of our Country which have been inspected and judged as unserviceable. They have reached their present state of tribute, memory or love. 
     "A flag may be a flimsy bit of printed gauze, or a beautiful banner of finest silk. Its intrinsic value may be trifling or great; but its real value is beyond price, for it is a precious symbol of all that we and our comrades have worked for, lived for and died for - a free nation of free men and women, true to the faith of the past, devoted to the ideals and practice of Justice, Freedom and Democracy.
      "Let these faded Flags of our Country be retired and destroyed with respectful and honorable rites  and their places be taken by bright new Flags of the same size and kind, and let no grave of our soldier, sailor or airman dead be unhonored and unmarked. Sergeant-at-Arms, assemble the Color Guard, escort the Flags and destroy them in an honorable manner. The members shall stand at attention.

      Then a prayer is said and the flags are soberly burned.

Legionnaires Begin the Flag
 Burning Ceremony...

                                                                                     (photo by Dixie A. Walter)

     Thirty-two retired American flags were solemnly  burned during the American Legion's annual flag disposal ceremony at Mill Pond Park. The Legion disposes of about the same number of old faded, tattered and torn flags each year. 

Another Flag is Placed on the Pyre...

                                                               (photo by Dixie A. Walter)

      After the flag disposal ceremony Legion members enjoyed a picnic dinner, then held their meeting and installed new officers.

Development Could be Costly to Existing  Residents...

                                                                                                                       (photo by Bob Walter)

      This recent logging operation on Airport Road East is in preparation for a six-house development, which required the town's approval of a short plat. Local residents along Airport Road and Lynch Creek Road are concerned over impending sewer and water line construction along the roads, set in motion by the development, and their apparent obligation to help pay for the lines and their own hook-ups. The town will be meeting with the residents soon.

      by Bob Walter
      May 19, 2006

      Should an out-of-town developer’s money-making decision force existing local residents and property owners to pay for sewer and water hookups and user fees? That appears to be the case along Lynch Creek Road and Airport Road East, where residents are being told that even though they have perfectly functioning private wells and septic systems, they will have to help pay for the cost of extending sewer and water lines past their homes, through the installation of water meters, and hooking up to the system.
      An owner of a three-and-a-quarter-acre parcel of land along those streets, who does not live in the area, plans to build six houses on the property. His approved short plat of the property will increase the density, thus requiring water and sewer lines to it. But who should pay for a developer’s decision?

    Bud Lucas, who, along with his wife, Nan, moved into their home in the woods two years ago, lives  on Airport Road East. He was told by the adjoining landowner that he would probably build three homes, in which case, without further short platting, he could construct septic systems. But now, out along the street sits a sandwich board sign announcing a mitigated determination of non-significance, or MDNS, from the Town of Eatonville, for a planned short plat dividing the three lots into six. The developer listed on the sign is MJK Contracting.
   The town plans to schedule a meeting with all property owners in the near future to discuss the issues. Hal Burlingame’s home is further east along Airport Road, and he, too has been informed that he will eventually be subject to the required meter, hook-up and user fees for sewer and water. 
    The corner of Bob and Gail Schaub’s home is adjacent to Lynch Creek Road below the development, closer in to town. Bob Schaub says as they prepared to build a few years ago, [then Public Works Director] "Jamieson Van Eaton said the town was going to extend the sewer line. When we started to build, they changed their minds. We even offered to pay more than the cost of a hook-up." An offer that was rejected by the town at the time. The Schaubs, too, will now be required to hook-up to the lines as they are extended. 
    Burlingame, who owns nearly a thousand feet of road frontage, is anxious to see the plans and proposals being prepared by the town, and is very concerned about the prospect of having to pay for hook-ups to help a developer turn a profit.
   The property to be developed borders the Lucas property on three sides. The land surrounding the Lucas home has now been logged. Huge slash piles now sit where the forest once stood. They must either be hauled away or chipped. So far, this has not been done, though town representatives have told Lucas they are working on getting the developer to clean up the slash.
The Lucases are now contending with both the loss of the surrounding forest, and the prospect of paying for sewer service they don’t need. The sewer line requirement is especially hard to swallow, since Lucas was initially told by the landowner that he did not plan to short plat. And facing the prospect of paying for extension of the town’s water lines is very discouraging for him, since his family’s water needs are supplied by a one-hundred-eighty- five foot well. “The well water we have now is perfect," Lucas said, “and I‘m not thrilled about going to treated water.” Lucas also told town officials he would pay for the water lines going by his property. The response, he said, was that he would have one year to actually hook up to the water system.


Krista Returns to School after Being hit by Bus in January

                                                                      (photo by Bob Walter)

    by Dixie A. Walter
     May 8, 2006

     High school senior Krista Bondo, with her beautiful eyes, wide, happy smile and plucky determination, returned to school "last week." Krista was spotted Community Day enjoying the great weather and lively times during the festivities the Eightieth 
     Krista was hit, run over and dragged about 60 feet in early January on Washington Avenue. She was on a crosswalk on her way to school when the accident happened. Most of her clothes were shredded and they were new clothes too. Krista has always felt her backpack was instrumental in preventing from more serious, and perhaps, deadly injuries. Krista has used the same backpack since she was a young girl. It will have a special place in her life forever.
     As will her relationship with Robin Hill who witnessed the accident and took control of the moment as best she could. Robin's quick thinking and courageous actions are credited with saving Krista. Which she did.
     Krista suffered a fractured leg and underwent surgery - she spent weeks and weeks recuperating. It can't have been easy, yet you just don't hear a word of complaint from this young woman. There's is always that sunny smile which is genuine, Her eyes prove it. She's happy to be alive and she's happy to be rid of the cast and all the paraphernalia that went with her mending leg although she said she still has some pain in her knee.
     For more about Krista's story please see
School Bus Accident

Who Torched this Car?
Photos by Bob Walter...


     May 8, 2005 - by Bob Walter: What was once a brand new, Hertz rental car, had been driven to a wooded spot 10 miles outside of Elbe and deliberately torched. The new car had only 486 miles on it. Stamped license plates were traced back to Hertz where it was identified as being rented with a false ID and a stolen credit card. The tow truck driver speculated the car may have been used in a crime of some kind or a "victim" of gang activity.     
     Authorities are searching records to determine if the car was used in some type of criminal activity. The  driver commented that at least they had parked the car in the middle of a forest road away from trees so the inferno did not ignite a forest fire. The fire was so intense, all the rubber, fabric, bumpers and other burnable material were gone, and parts of the wheels had melted into unrecognizable shapes. Piles of ash and dust lay beneath the car where it sat on the bed of the truck. It was even impossible to tell what color the car had been. 


It's a Mess from Every Direction...


This Used to be the Engine...


Metal Turned into Shiny Drops...


Spencer, the Little "Trooper" Continues to Fight...

     May 6, 2006: From Spencer's Mom Betty Van Eaton: "Spencer continues his long road to recovery. He had been doing fairly well for the month following his release from the hospital.  He had even started back to school during the mornings when he started to run fevers again.  
    We took him back to the doctor, hoping this did not mean a return to the hospital. It turned out that somehow, he had contracted a case of Bronchitis! The doctor changed the antibiotic he was on, which seem to help him quite a bit. The most recent chest x-rays show the right lung is still half filled with the pneumonia/
    Functioning with one healthy lung and one struggling lung is one of the main reason he continues to tire so easily. Surgery on the right lung has still not been completely ruled out. Things like running, jumping and climbing are much harder for him right now. But, he is really a trooper and trying very hard to get his strength back. We go back to the doctor next week for more blood tests and chest x-rays to see how things are progressing.

* Empyema is caused by an infection that spreads from the lung and leads to an accumulation of pus in the pleural space, the cavity between the lung and the membrane that surrounds it. The infected fluid can build up to a quantity of a pint or more, which puts pressure on the lungs, causing shortness of breath and pain.


Friends Visit Virg Butler...

                                                                                     (photo by Arlen Paranto)

     Virg Butler, a longtime resident of Eatonville, who now lives with a daughter, Robin Jaquish, in Covington, holds a toy made by Warrent Lofquist and given to Virg on an earlier visit along with Lad Van Cleve. Arlen Paranto says, "Warren made the wood gizmo for Virg to keep him busy."

     by Arlen Paranto
     May 6, 2006

Virg Enjoys Visits from Old Friends...   

     Bill Jones, Larry Doll, and I spent an enjoyable afternoon with Virg, where he resides at his daughter's home in Covington. She had arranged for a luncheon at their home so we could just stay there and visit. Bill used to work with Virg at Alder Dam, he took Jim Dean's place when Jim retired.
     Virg has not lost a  bit of his humor and seems to be doing very well in a very nice, quiet wooded  neighborhood. He has a dog and a cat  to  keep him company and he enjoys them.  
     He lives close to Marge [Butler, his wife] who is in an assisted care home and sees her often. He also lives near his other daughter, Joyce. Virg said that his Eatonville friends come occasionally to visit and he really enjoys talking to them.

Buddies had Fun and Laughs with Virg...

                                                                                     (photo by Arlen Paranto)

     Left to right: Bill Jones, Virg Butler, Larry Doll and Arlen Paranto. According to Arlen Virg regaled them with funny stories, jokes, he has "tons of them." Virg also talked about his experiences during World War II.

Town Square Location will Likely be Changed...

       by Dixie A. Walter
      May 1, 2006

    During the April 24 town council meeting Mayor Tommy Smallwood announced the hiring of a new temporary employee and major changes in the location of the proposed town square. Smallwood said the new hire will basically be a utility person and will be used where he is needed. The man will also help with parks as he has experience in that area. The town has money in the budget for the new employee who will " from two to four months."

Town Square Update...

     Good news about the town square. The mayor explained that he and Town Planner Nick Bond had been talking to the LeMay family for about two months, and had drawn up some preliminary plans for the town square if the "Van Cleve" property could be obtained. (LeMay bought the former Van Cleve properties on Mashell Avenue and Washington Street.)
    Smallwood said, "I got a call Thursday night. The LeMay family likes the ideas and basically they are very much willing to trade some property. It looks like we are going to put the park between Washington Street and Mashell Avenue, and probably haven an eighty to one hundred foot wide park with a cobblestone alley where people can walk." There would be parking on Washington and visitors could walk to the heart of town.
     The mayor further explained, "On both sides of the park there will be  businesses. Maybe a bookstore, an art gallery, coffee shop, maybe a restaurant. It's hard to say what will go in there. I'm going to a revitalization meeting with some council members, Gary [Armstrong, town administrator] and Nick, and learn how to get some of these grants to revitalize the area."
    Smallwood also mentioned the town is, "...getting ready to put out some contracts for revitalization of Eatonville with different people. There is going to be getting a lot of people involved in the next several months..."
    As for the land the mayor noted, "We haven't agreed to any terms or anything, but the LeMay family have agreed to it in concept. I talked to them again tonight and they wanted to make sure it was fair, as long as there is something in it for the LeMay family and for Eatonville. I'm really excited; they walked through it with us...they said their board was very happy with the idea of what should take place.
      "Basically it will open up that corridor when we revitalize the streets on Mashell and Washington, just the way we all feel it should be. I was very excited to hear this Thursday night and wanted to share it with you. It looks like it could be a super thing for Eatonville and what the town needs. Mainly it will stop people coming through town and we could get a little bit of their money. But the main thing is we will have nice shops and nice businesses for Eatonville and that's one of the keys I was looking for."
      Some of the ideas suggested for the site to attract visitors would be benches and the old town fire bell.


Steve Van Cleve Named Volunteer of the Month...

     May 1, 2006

     The following article appeared in the AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Assocition) Magazine naming Steve Van Cleve Volunteer of the Month for May. Van Cleve is a local and commercial pilot. He has worked tirelessly to ensure safety is primary at the Eatonville Airport, Swanson Field. According to their Web site AOPA has a membership of 408,000 and is the largest and most influential aviation association in the world.

     Steve Van Cleve, the ASN volunteer for Eatonville-Swanson Field in Eatonville, Washington, has been oposing the town's development However, the Town Council approved the new development regulations, paving the way to allow improper use of the aerospace zone and incompatible land use.
     But Van Cleve has not given up on protecting his airport. Van Cleve filed a petition at the state level for a review against the town's decision to adopt the development regulations. The state's review board must rule on Van Cleve's petition, which challenges the legality of the town's new development regulations. His argument is that the regulations are incongruent with a Washington state law that requires growth plans to provide for public health and safety. Should the state find in Van Cleve's favor, the town will be forced to adopt measures to protect the airport.
     Thanks to Van Cleve's determination and organized effort that included various groups, the town council might be forced to amend the development regulations to include airport protections.

A Peaceful Day at Clear Lake

                                                                                                                   (photo by Tony Sirgedas)

     April 30, 2006: Tony says, "This was shot Friday morning, most likely the last morning for a while when there will be no boats out on Clear Lake now that fishing season has opened up."

Virg Butler Honored for Sixty Years with American Legion

                                                                                            (photo by Jody Johnson)

     Virg Butler, a long time resident of Eatonville, now living in Covington, was honored by last month by the Amercian Legion for sixty years of continuous membership in the Eatonville Post.

     From Jody Johnson
      Commander American Legion Post - Eatonville
      April 24, 2006 

      On  March 25, Mr. Virgil [Virg] Butler received an award for sixty years of continuous membership with the American Legion. The award was presented at his residence in Covington, Washington by Commander Jody Johnson and Vice Commander Fred Mathews.
     Virg was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1945 from Akron, Ohio through Indian Town Gap, Pennsylvania. Among many countless achievements, Mr. Butler obtained five Battle Stars while with the 3rd Division, 82nd Airborne, and 1st Airborne Task Force under Gen. Gavin and with the 7th Army.
     On his return trip home Virg endured a ride on a “40 & 8” from Metz, France, to Marseille. From Marseille, he flew to Casablanca aboard a B-17 then to Dakar, on the west coast of Africa. Sergeant Butler flew across the Atlantic to Natal, Brazil  aboard a C-54. The final leg of his journey home was from Natal to Miami in the same airplane.
    Virg deserved the special trip as it is great mile stone for one to achieve, not to mention the honor and pleasure for Fred and I to meet with him and hear some of his stories.
    Virg reached his eighty eighth year on April 12. We wish him Happy Birthday with many more to come.

Madison's a Winner!

                                                                                                                   (Courtesy Photo)

     April 21, 2006

    Beautiful eight-year-old Madison Doucette won an Honorable Mention in the Northwest Trek poster contest. Invitations to the contest were sent to area schools and Madison was the only students in Rosemary Nordstrom's Eatonville Elementary's second grade class who took up the challenge. Her charming poster is depicted above. 
     The theme for the contest was Living with Washington Wildlife - How can animals and humans live peacefully in the same habitat? Students from kindergarten to sixth grade were invited to participate in the contest to celebrate National Wildlfife Week. Madison will be recognized with a certificate during an awards ceremony at Trek soon. There is also an awards assembly at the elementary school Wednesday, April 26 at 8:30 a.m. in the elementary school gym. 
     Madison is the daughter of Deneen and Chris Doucette and has a younger sister Mallory, five.

Eatonville Kids Make Final Cut for Spring Fair...

                                              (photo by Bob Walter 2005)

     Christi Grohs with the Explosion Extravaganza dance troupe expresses the joy of dance during a benefit by the kids for hurricane relief last fall. Another groups of dancers, Kids in Motion, also joined in for the benefit. Explosion Extravaganza will be strutting their moves during the Spring Fair at the Puyallup Fairgrounds Friday.

Eatonville Dance Troupe will Perform at Puyallup Spring Fair...

     from Carol Slevett
     April 19, 2005

     Explosion Extravaganza will be performing at the Spring Fair? We are very proud to be invited.  We beat out over a hundred groups that wanted to perform there. We are a 4-H Performing Arts group from Eatonville.  Hopefully the town will take some pride in us. We have amazing talent this year. We perform at the Fountain stage at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Both performances will be for 1 hour. 
    We are a variety show, featuring singers of all ages and a dance team. One of our singers, Antonia McFadden, was on "Step Up to the Mic" which was on TV. Another of our singers, Amanda Little, was last years Puyallup Jr. Idol.  Jessica Steeves, another singer has done a lot of her own shows and Emily Randolph and Christy Grohs are our young singers.

It's a Boy for Sarah Cole!

     from Lacey Meadows
     April 16, 2006

     Sarah Cole gave birth to a big, bouncing baby boy April 14. Named Bennett Jay Cole, he weighed in at 8 pounds, 6 ounces and was 21 inches long. Baby Bennet is happy and healthy, mom is doing great and the rest of his family, Brad, Petra and Gavin are all very proud. 
     Mom is co-chair of the Relay For Life and baby Bennet, I'm sure will be ready to Relay in June! Congratulations to the Cole family and their newest member.

Town Loses $60,000
Really Dropped the Ball...

      My View
     by Dixie A. Walter
     April 10, 2006

     Someone in the Town of Eatonville overlooked a routine emergency medical services levy which should have been put on the November ballot. This SNAFU means the town lost $60,000 which was slated for another police officer and vehicle. This costly oversight was known during budget talks in December but evidently wasn't told to the News Tribune until last week when the Tacoma daily ran a front page story about the "mess."
     Although three days ago ENN asked Mayor Tommy Smallwood in an email if he wished to make a statement, nothing has been forthcoming from him. According to the Tribune article, Smallwood said he didn't know who was to blame, " clerk, town administrator, former mayor or fire chief..." The mayor is also quoted as saying it doesn't do any good to blame someone. One question being asked is, "Why shouldn't the person responsible be blamed?" That is a lot of money and somehow we will end up paying for the mistake. Why shouldn't we know who did it?
      A read through the job descriptions of all four people named by Smallwood certainly appears to point to the town clerk. The clerk's job description is about budgets, finances, etc. Although the Fire Chief, like a gentleman, is prepared to take the "hit," no where in his job description are any kind of finances mentioned. The town administrator is supposed to lead grant/loan activities. It is usually the job of the clerk to take care of the levy in other municipalities. And even though the mayor should be on top of such issues, it's not his job either.   

     To read what the code says please see Eatonville Municipal Code Table of Contents and make up your own mind.

In Your Easter Bonnet
photos by Bob Walter...

     The Relay For Life team, the Red Hat Calendar Girls, raised $1,000 for the cause at their annual spring luncheon and raffle Sunday, April 10 at the Rainier Building in Eatonville. Next up for this team is a garage sale at the Holly Hut May 26 and 27.

     Cassidy and Madi Tobin, looking elegant in their Easter finery, smile for the camera before performing two musical numbers for those in attendance at the spring luncheon of the Red Hat Calendar Girls.

     An array of donated raffle items helped generate a portion of the $1,000 raised at the spring luncheon. Christine Blackett, who MC'd the event, said it was definitely a group effort. "All the Red Hat Calendar Girls team members were in on it - getting donated items, decorating, preparing the meal..."

Spencer Van Eaton's Family Thanks Community...

     March 30, 2006

     We find ourselves completely overwhelmed and humbled by the support and generosity of this community!  The donations and work that has gone into helping us is more than we could have ever imagined. The dinners delivered to our home during Spencer's extensive hospital stay removed a huge burden from our days away from the older boys. 
     The efforts that went into the penny drive, gathering food and basket donations and the success of the benefit dinner/auction were incredible. The many monetary donations are truly appreciated.  Your thoughts and prayers helped us find the strength to face a very frightening situation.  And, to each and every person who contributed their time, their talents and their constant abilities to find the right words of encouragement, WE THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS!!!

     Tom & Betty Van Eaton


Spencer Update, Good News!

     Spencer Van Eaton first grader at Eatonville Elementary has been critically ill with phnemonea and spent over a month in ICU at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. A benefit was held for Spencer and family March 17, St. Patrick's Day, where people were greeted with the happy news that Spencer had been able to go home the same day. Below is an update from his mom relating his visit to the doctor today, March 30.

Young Spencer Surprises Doctors with his Ability to Fight a Deadly Disease...

     from Betty Van Eaton
    March 30, 2006

     We went to the infectious disease specialist doctor today - who is pretty much leading up the group of doctors who are treating Spencer. Even though he is still weak and has a long way to go, the doctor was very surprised to see how well Spencer is doing. The blood test results came back showing there are still a significant but declining number of stubborn infectious cells, but definite continued improvement. So he decided to send us for a chest x-ray.  
     In the one week since he has been home, his right lung has improved from about one third functional to about half functional.  This is HUGE and not something they really ever expected to see!  The lower half of the lung is still infected with the pneumonia goo, with most of the concentration being in the bottom third of the lung.  
    Surgery is still a possibility, but less of one at this point.  They are going to continue the antibiotics for approximately another two months, BUT (this is great) he will probably only have to be on the IV for one more week! We go next Thursday to see this doctor again and he is hoping they can remove the IV line at that appointment!  YIPPPEEEEE!!!!!!  Then everything will be in pill form after that. That makes going back to school (at least for mornings) a realistic plan.
    From all the doctors we talked to this week, we got the impression that they did not expect Spencer to survive past that first week in the hospital. I know his guardian angels watched over him where I couldn't, but I am positive that all the thoughts and prayers played a part in his miracle recovery.

Steppin' Out at the 2006 Firefighter's Ball...

                                                                                                                  (photo by Bob Walter)

     The Annual Firefighter's Ball, held at the Eatonville Eagles Hall Saturday, March 18, was an occasion to get down and boogie! Dancing to a selection of mostly 70's and 80's rock and roll music played by a DJ, the revelers definitely enjoyed themselves.
     During the month of February Eatonville's volunteer firefighters responded to nine fires, three auto accidents, twenty-one aid calls and three service calls. There were ten mutual aid responses with District 15 and two mutual aid responses with District 23. Total responses so far this year - seventy-seven. 

Activists Mark Third Anniversary of Iraq
 War Onset...

Photos and story by Bob Walter


       March 19, 2006 In what has become a familiar sight in Eatonville for most of the past three years, a group of citizens has come to the corner of Washington Avenue and Center Street on Friday afternoons to quietly express their stand for peace, and an end to the war in Iraq. They were even there at the corner over three years ago, conducting a candlelight vigil before the war began, hopeful it could be averted, but to no avail. 
      Their persistence speaks volumes. After intermittent vigils early in the war, they began to appear weekly, and now have been here for thirty-one consecutive weeks with their message - as many as twenty, as few as one. Sunday marked the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, so in addition to their Friday stand, they came out again on this day - men, women and children - smiling and waving at passing motorists, many of whom smile, wave, flash the peace sign or honk in return. The reaction of a few drivers is not so positive; yet others stop to discuss the war, and the merits and flaws of U.S. policy, with the demonstrators

Our Constitution at Work...

      Ten-year-old Jack Wisley-Paul flashes a grin during the Sunday peace demonstration in Eatonville. This is the young activist's third stint on the corner, waving and holding up his message for motorists.

Shoulder to Shoulder for Peace...

     Four of the faithful demonstrators line the curb Sunday, March 19, taking a stand for peace. Since the Iraq War began three years ago reports 2,316 Americans dead as of March 20. - Special Reports. At least 17,124 U. S. troops have been wounded according to the Pentagon. The "body count" for Iraqi civilians is conflicting - the minimum number is 33,679 or the maximum is 37,795 says
    Information Clearing House quotes Les Roberts from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,
who led a study of Iraqi civilian deaths, Roberts says a figure of 100,000 was based on "conservative assumption." The cost of the war is approaching a quarter of a trillion dollars. Experts project the war will eventually cost one trillion dollars.

Spencer Now at Home...

                                                                                                                  (courtesy photo)

     March 18, 2006: The crowd gathered for the Spencer Van Eaton benefit heard some wonderful and heartening news. The little guy, who has struggled so valiantly, was allowed to come home on the very day of the benefit. Spencer is the son of Tom and Betty Van Eaton. The Estes put up a Web site where you can follow Spencer's progress. 
      The March 16 Web site update from his mom, Betty, gives a cautiously optimistic view of his condition. See the update below. To learn more about Spencer please visit  

      March 16 Update...

      "Well, we finally had some spectacular possibilities presented to us today.  Spencer's right lung is making progress - although very slow progress - it is still progress.  He is taking two of the antibiotics orally now, but the penicillin remains through the IV because of the strength and dosage.  His shakes are a little less and even though he tires very easily, he is walking much better.  
      "So we just have the eating and pesky fever to consider. The doctors think that maybe he could do with a couple of weeks of TLC at home.  IF he can make it 24 hours without vomiting or a fever spike, he might be able to come home some time next week.  They would have to teach me how to administer the IV antibiotic and he would come home with a portable 24/7 pump.  
      "A home health care worker could come once a week to check on things, change the dressing and draw a blood sample.  And I would have to take him back once a week to get checked out by the doctor and have chest x-rays done.  This would be the routine for 3 weeks and then they would reassess the situation.  They would continue the IV or maybe even lower the dosage.  
      "There is still a real possibility of surgery down the road, but they would like to continue with the antibiotic treatment as long as the lung is showing any sign of additional improvement.  He wouldn't be able to return to school yet, but he would be sleeping in his own bed, eating his favorite foods and soaking in his own bathtub (he does not like using the hospital tub!).
       "I find this an interesting turn of events on the eve of the day where treasures are found at the end of the rainbow!"

    Love, Betty

Spencer Van Eaton Benefit a Loving Success
Benefit for Spencer Brings in Over $4,682

Photos and Story by Bob Walter...

      The benefit auction, raffle and dinner for little Spencer Van Eaton, held Friday evening at Eatonville Elementary School, once again displayed the caring and concern of our community for a family in need. Young Spencer, a first grader at Eatonville Elementary, was critically ill for several weeks and in ICU at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. His family has no medical insurance. 
      Benefit Coordinator Charlene Estes announced on the Spencer Van Eaton Forum Web site that the amount brought in by the event so far was $4,682.00, with the coins still to be counted. Estes added there were donation boxes around town still to be picked up, and approximately $2,600 already in a bank account set up for the family.
      Those in attendance were entertained by several young performing dance troupes, while feasting on a delicious spaghetti dinner, donated, prepared and dished up through the combined efforts of many. Here, auctioneer Ray Arment, assisted by Yvonne Patterson, prepares to take bids on an original watercolor of a bighorn ram donated by famous, local artist Dale Thompson.

Woman Batters the Competition...

      Marge Bailey proudly displays the double chocolate truffle cake she won during the auction of a wide variety of homemade baked goods. Cinnamon rolls were going for $30, cookies for $40, after auctioneer Ray Arment asked the children to come up and peruse the tasty selection, then go back and tell their parents which items they would most like them to bid on (Nice strategy, Ray, despite the good-natured moaning by parents.). With bids by Marge Bailey and others, the bidding for this chocolate cake had quickly reached $75, when she decisively ended the competition by shouting, "One hundred dollars!" Sold!

Citizens Recognized for Their Generosity...

      In addition to the dinner, auction and entertainment, the Spencer Van Eaton Benefit raised money through the raffle of dozens of donated gift baskets. The raffle items were grouped into two categories - one group, which extended the entire length of the auditorium, at one dollar a chance, the other at five dollars a chance. 
      On Saturday morning, benefit coordinator Charlene Estes posted a message on the forum Web site  which said, in part, "You guys are so wonderful and the amount of support everyone has shown for the Van Eaton's is truly a blessing.  Thank you to EVERYONE who has helped in every way in making this night what it was.  I can't thank you all enough.  This shows what this town can really do when a family is in need!!!"

Spencer and His Family Get
 an Anonymous Boost... 

      During the benefit, the audience learned of another generous donation to the Spencer Van Eaton fund, a check for $1,000 made possible through the generosity of a "private benefactor," and the "Eatonville Bond Walkers," who were given the option of accepting $20 from the donation for their work, or donating it to the fund.  These were volunteers who canvassed neighborhoods last Sunday to get out the vote in the school bond election, which passed by a solid 69 percent "yes" vote. 
      Adding to the hopeful mood of the evening, the auction crowd also heard the happy news: Spencer's condition had improved enough that  he was discharged from the hospital and brought home earlier in the day.


Mini-Daffs  Spring Up...

                                                                                                        (photo by Bob Walter)

     March 18, 2006: Spring arrives at 10:26 a.m. our time, Monday, March 20. The equinox occurs when the sun crosses straight over the equator. What becomes spring for us in the northern half of the planet becomes autumn for the southern half. Equinox means that night and day are of equal length for that very short period. And, if you get the timing down perfectly, you really can balance an egg for the duration of the "equallness." 
     Also around the corner is Daylight Saving Time (DST). The longer hours of light begin at 2 a.m. April 2. DST is not recognized in Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, Hawaii, American Samoa, the eastern time zone of Indiana and Arizona. However, the Navajo Nation does take part in DST because the nation is part of three states.

Taking A Stand for Peace

                                                                                                                  (photo by Bob Walter)

     March 11, 2006 - by Bob Walter: Showing their persistence in spite of a cold winter day and an ever-lengthening war in Iraq, a group of citizens again took their place at the corner of Washington Avenue and Center Street in Eatonville, Friday afternoon, from 4 to 6 p.m., to express their desire for peace in the world. A woman driving by asked, "What are you protesting?" A member of the group replied, "We're not protesters. We support our troops. We're standing up for peace."  
     Michael Hill, at the far right, said this is the thirtieth consecutive Friday that like-minded individuals have stood at the corner, holding their placards and waving at passing motorists, many of whom honk and wave in return. 
     Hill said at times there have been as few as one person, and as many as nine. When asked how long they plan to continue the Friday ritual, Hill replied, "As long as the war goes on." The group also plans a Sunday afternoon vigil on March 19th, to commemorate the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by the U.S.- led, military coalition. 

Alder Street Update...
Problem Plagued Project Picks up Steam

                                                                                                                 (photo by Bob Walter)

      March 11, 2006 - by Bob Walter:  Now that the unusually long stretch of rainy winter weather has subsided somewhat, progress on construction along Alder Street has picked up. The street now has a bed of gravel in preparation for paving, and the sidewalk and parking strip are beginning to take shape. In the background is the Van Eaton Cabin, home of the future Stage Stop Museum, and the town shops. The iron beams lying to the right of the "Snowman" are part of the Charles Matheny sculpture, which will soon be installed in the field near this spot.

Young Spencer Needs
 Your Help...

Spencer Van Eaton Fund


Spencer has been in Mary Bridge ICU since February 13th with Phnemonea and expected to remain in ICU for another 4-6 weeks.  The family has no Medical Insurance and in need of financial assistance to cover medical bills and living expenses.   Please open your heart to a local family in need.

March 17th 7PM ~ at Eatonville Elementary School

~Dinner, Bake Sale & Raffle~  

For more information please call or email Charlene Estes

253-381-3651 or

You can stop at any Key Bank to make a donation under Spencer VanEaton


     A message from Charlene. You can visit where her husband has set up a forum for "everyone who is interested in helping. The emails and phone calls are getting really overwhelming so I am trying to organize everything this way."
     The forum is brand new and still being worked on. There you will find updates on little Spencer's progress, information regarding donations, general discussion and a place to volunteer.

Team Spirit For a Cure

                                                                                            (photo by Bob Walter)

     March 11, 2006 - by Bob Walter:  Eileen Johnson and Ruth Nelson, members of the Relay For Life fundraising team sponsored by the Ohop Grange, volunteered a shift selling fresh, homemade, baked goods in front of the Plaza Market on Saturday. 
     Making a purchase is cancer survivor Sharon Van Eaton, a Relay participant from another team, Isabelle's Angels, named after Sharon's granddaughter - young Isabelle Snyder, another cancer survivor. The Relay For Life theme this year is "Lights, Camera, Action!" The Relay is the American Cancer Society's national event to raise funds for cancer research and support services. 
The next Relay For Life Planning Committee meeting will be Thursday, March 16 at 6 p.m. in the Mill Village Motel meeting room. The Team Captain's meeting will follow at 7 p.m.  Please RSVP is you cannot attend the Team Captain's meeting which is the first of this season.
      The Relay committee has set goals for 2006 - $65,000, twenty-five teams and seventy-five cancer survivors are the numbers they want to reach. Team registration is $100. Fundraisers are happening now (see photo above) and will continue throughout the twenty-four hour event which will be held at B. W. Lyon Field June 3 and 4 from 10 a.m. to 10 a.m.
      One poignant fundraiser is a memorial quilt which will be put together by three-time cancer survivor Jan Kusler. Quilt squares are being sold for $5 and can be decorated with permanent fabric magic markers. You may make your own square. Some craft stores carry photo transfer fabric so you can put a photograph of your loved one(s) on one square or more. If you make your square(s) you may make a $5 donation when the square is turned in by April 1. A seam allowance of one-fourth inch must be left undecorated.
       Jan and her friend, Sue Biles, will put the quilt together and it will be auctioned at the Relay. For more information please contact Jan Kusler - 360.832.3089 or email her - 
For more information and names of Relay contacts please see
For more information and names of Relay contacts please see For more information and names of Relay contacts please see For more information and names of Relay contacts please see For more information and names of Relay contacts please see For more information and names of Relay contacts please see Relay Kick-off 2006

Farmers Fight Cancer Team in Relay For Life...

       by Louise Kazda Carson
       March 7, 2006

     Any one who would like to join me on a Relay For Life team, Farmers Fight Cancer, is so welcome. This is not about how much you farm but about where your heart is. If you have a love of growing vegetables, flowers, shrubs or you raise animals and would like to walk in this year's Relay For Life in June, please call me at TLC Forge & Farm at 253.847.3235.
     People who raise food often work on the old ways of fighting cancer -- through healthy eating and working the soil. I was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia (CLL) during a routine physical in 1993. For something that sounds so ominous, this is actually nothing. There doesn't seem to be any negative progression and I don't do anything for treatment but enjoy life and eat very well. So many other people have truly suffered with cancers of many kinds. I now realize one way to show support for them and their families is in something such as the Relay for Life. Besides, it will add to my Frequent Walker Miles in Eatonville.
     I will be attending this week's Team Captain's meeting and the one in April. Hopefully, someone else on the team can go to the May meeting. Remember, this is not about defining "farming" but walking in support of those whose lives have been so altered by this plague.

The White Stuff Visits...

                                                                                                                   (photo by Bob Walter)

     A March snow falling Wednesday evening etched Nature's architecture in white. By Thursday afternoon most of the snow was gone, but more was falling intermittently.

Town Highlighted by Snow...

      Viewed from the corner of Larson Street and Orchard Avenue South on the hill, the businesses, homes and high school of Eatonville are highlighted in white by the late winter snow. More snow is forecast for our area over the next several days.

Looking for Browse...

                                                                                                 (photo by Arlen Paranto)

     This blacktail deer was photographed in the yard of Arlen and Johnny Paranto the morning of March 9. Deer habitually visit Parant's area but usually blend into the background better. Snow is a good time for animal watching, and animals does include birds.

Think Independence Day!

                                                    (photo by Tony Sirgedas 2005)

     by Audrey Thompson
     February 25, 2006

     Planning for the annual Third and Fourth of July community celebration is underway. We are very pleased to announce our sponsor again this year will be Century 21 Real Estate Center. There will be a few changes this year, but most all will be about the same. The Fire Works Show will still be on July 3 and the parade will begin at noon July 4.
     We are hoping to raise enough money so we can have some free amusements for the kids. If your business or organization would like to sponsor an amusement please let us know. If you choose to do this we wil have a sign made letting the community know this amusement was sponsored by you.
    Applications will be available soon for vendors such as food, games and other types of amusements. If your application is approved you will be notified by the board with a letter requesting your vender fee [$25] and proof of insurance. Also, if you have a band who would like to donate their time to play on July 3 please let us know.
     Again we would like to thank all of the people and businesses who made last year's celebration such a great family event. Without your help it would not have happened. We will again be asking for donations. If you have any questions you can call 360.832.6668 - Jan's Salon, or 360.832.8366 - Thompson's Vehicle License Agency. Or you may write to us at P.O. Box 1086, Eatonville, Washington, 98328.
     If you or your club would like to get involved with us please feel free to call. Let's make this year's parade the best it has been in years. How about every business and organization in our area submit a parade entry. 
     Thank you again. The Committee for the July Community Celebration.

Power Outages Frustrate Residents and Businesses... 

                                                               (photo by Bob Walter)

      March 5, 2006 - by Bob Walter: On Tuesday evening, just before dusk, power to the town of Eatonville was mysteriously cut off. Over the next couple of hours, the town was plunged into darkness many times, as electric crews first worked to isolate the source of the problem, then to repair it. During the process of pinpointing the problem, relay switches near the problem kept kicking off as they warmed up again; thus the repeated outages. "They're designed to do that," said Mayor Tommy Smallwood, in a phone interview.
      Shortly after the first power failure, town electrical supervisor Nestor Sundita, having met water  and sewer superintendent Mike Tiller at the Ohop Valley Substation, was able to restore the power temporarily. Sundita then used the long lighted pole seen above to check for shorts where the high voltage lines leave the substation compound. Suddenly, the substation let out a moan, the lines began to bounce, and the town was dark again. 
      Said Mayor Smallwood, "Someone reported seeing a big arc and a flash along the highway between the substation and the town." Armed with this information, the town crew was able to determine the source of the problem, a bad insulator on a pole near the end of Ohop Valley Extension Road. They replaced it, solving the problem. 

Local Blacksmith Helps Forge Massive Sculpture...

                                                                                                      (photo by Mike Bondi/Mirto)

"Second Iron Age"

      February 23, 2006 - by Louise Kazda Carson:  The forged helix above is one of the largest forged sculptures done during what blacksmiths refer to as the Second Iron Age. Each piece weighs somewhat over two-hundred pounds and there are eighteen pieces of the helix. When the base is done the entire sculpt will be around two tons This is a birthday gift to Willene Jaqua from her husband, in center of photo in red jacket, Russell Jaqua. He designed it while undergoing treatment for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.   
     Presently he is unable to speak or swallow but is mobile and was delighted to find the sculpture completed to his specifications on Monday morning, February 20. Some blacksmiths involved fondly described Russell as "very picky" on this project, "just as he's always been with his art."
     The Port Townsend artist/blacksmith relied on about thirty smiths to help out on this project. In the photo, center left, is Mike Bondi from the Bay area of California who helped Russell organize the technical aspects of the project. Trixie, is the Nimba Forge dog.
     On the right center is Jerry Culberson from Allyn, Washington who is a fellow Viet Nam Veteran and worked tirelessly through the President's Day Weekend on the project. Jerry and other smiths donated time other weekends as well as this last weekend including Terry Carson, Eatonville blacksmith of TLC Forge & Farm who went up on Sunday, February 12. Carson is in his third year as president of the Northwest Blacksmith Association. Fellow smiths and friends are making plans to follow up that weekend because it was much too wonderful to let go of.
     Russell and Willene share the same birthday, February 17, and Willene will always celebrate that day as a joint birthday. A large party at a Port Townsend restaurant, Sweet Laurette's, started the weekend last Friday, with Russell in a place of honor.
     Good food accompanied the hard working smiths throughout the weekend and plenty of fresh oysters were "forge cooked" on utensils made for the happening or eaten raw. 
     Russell and Willene Jaqua own Nimba Forge in Port Townsend and also make some of the finest anvils in this country, according to discerning blacksmiths. Quality is core with Russell and Willene in every way and that never ends.

State Representative Tom Campbell returns...

                                                                                   (photo by Bob Walter)

      February 19, 2006 - By Bob Walter: State Representative Tom Campbell dropped in for a town hall meeting at the Eatonville Library Saturday, afternoon February 18, after visiting Yelm and Graham. Campbell fielded questions from the eight area residents who attended, and talked about several bills that are moving through the state legislative process. 
      The first one, House Bill 1015, which he is working hard to pass, would require the reporting of infections acquired in health care facilities. Campbell said hospitals are opposed to the bill, and would rather devote all of their efforts toward prevention rather than routing some health care costs toward reporting. 
      Another bill, House Bill 1071, would amend and add new sections to the Uniform Disciplinary Act, regulating fifty-nine health care professions. This act protects the health and safety of patients from unprofessional conduct. The bill would create greater consistency in the sanctions imposed, and would redistribute the duties of the secretary of health and the various health boards, for greater efficiency.
      "Jessica's Law," which would add twenty-five years to the sentencing of one convicted of rape of a child, is scheduled for a vote very soon. Representative Campbell also talked about transportation projects, the state's budget, and the issue of basing compensation upon performance, in both the education and health care fields. "We're almost to the point of revolution," he said, adding that incompetence in these fields should never trump performance, regardless of longevity in the position.  Campbell encouraged his constituents to contact him by phone, 360.786.7912, or via email from the Washington State Legislature home page on the Web. He said he will always respond.

Mayor Tells Chamber about State of the Town...

                                                                                           (photo by Dixie A. Walter)

     Mayor Tommy Smallwood with his wife Karen  attended the Greater Eatonville Chamber of Commerce Luncheon Thursday, February 16. The couple celebrated thirty-eight years of marriage on Valentine's Day. Smallwood chose to give his report sitting rather than standing.

"State of the Town"

     by Dixie A. Walter
     February 17, 2006

     Explaining that he was a little "scared" when asked to give a "State of the Town" report to the chamber as he had only "been mayor two days over sixty days," Mayor Smallwood began by telling the group the "town is healthy financially." However, he added, the town is "not rich" and we can't "do everything we would like to do."  
     Smallwood said, in his opinion, Eatonville had a "strong and good" council and planning commission. He added that he believed the town council was "the strongest council in a long time." He explained a compromise had been reached regarding the airport component of the Comprehensive Plan. 
     Regarding growth, Smallwood told chamber members it is inevitable. Growth is happening and there isn't anything the town can do about it except to handle growth "responsibly." He said the new water filtration plant is being built and should be pretty much on schedule for opening in June and running in September. The mayor is very optimistic this new plant will provide excellent water for the community.
    Smallwood also said the town has a grant for new sidewalks on Carter Street. Roads are a priority, but he doesn't know when the new Alder Street will be completed. The project was started during the winter and has been stalled by many weeks because of the extreme rainy weather the area has experienced. The mayor emphasized that he won't put an end date on the project at this time. The Alder Street project is months behind schedule.  
    The new mayor drew laughs when he told the gathering he had changed the name of the town "retreat" to "advancement," because retreat means going backward, and the town needs to go forward. He passed out copies of the "Advancement" agenda : the vision statement; values statement; mission statement; goals and action plan (please see
"Advancement" Agenda He also wants to see the community working together harmoniously much like a family, with town government being just one part of the community.
  Stressing the importance of goals Smallwood said he has set goals for himself all of his life and said "That's how I got through my life." He used the recent Seahawks loss at the Super Bowl as an example of not setting goals high enough. According to the mayor, the Seahawks lost the Super Bowl game because that hadn't been their goal. Their goal was to make it to the Super Bowl but not to win it. 
     Although Police Chief Jim Lewis would like to have seen an animal control officer hired "a month and a half ago," the process has taken longer than expected. Smallwood said they would probably begin interviewing next week, and whoever is hired will be attending a class soon after taking the position.
     He also pointed out how kind people were to one another at Christmas. Telling how he observed several instances of community members going to town hall and paying utility bills for others. Smallwood noted these were only the ones he had seen personally and there probably were other instances he didn't witness.
     Mayor Smallwood also wants a town sign at the north entrance to town listing various service groups, churches etc. He wants to see "neighborhood pride" and he discussed various committees for the town including: water; sewer and storm water; electric; and parks. He pointed out how he wants the town to be "safe, ethical and legal" stressing how important "legal" is to him.
      The town will soon have a Web site, perhaps the preliminary site will be online in a "week or so." The site will only post government documents and issues and will link to other groups, such as the chamber, for tourist information. Also the town's eddresses are being changed "," to ""
      On the subject of the "Advancement" meeting the mayor explained that muffins and coffee would be supplied beginning 9 a.m. and lunch will include an assortment of sandwiches. He said he would love to see forty or fifty people attend the meeting which is scheduled to end at 3:30 p.m.      
      Smallwood thanked everyone, including his wife, Karen, for the support he's been receiving since being elected mayor and said he would do it all over if he had to. 

Baby, It's Cold Outside...

                                                                                                               (photo by Bob Walter)

    February 18 -  by Bob Walter:  When ice forms on the surface of a river moving as fast as the Mashell, you know it's getting cold. The temperature was cold enough that the effect of a large boulder in slowing down the surface speed of the water was enough to cause a long slab of ice to form. Ice can also be seen in the slower-moving eddies along the shoreline.

Ice Paints River's Edge

                                                                                                              (photo by Bob Walter)

      Several days of freezing temperatures have caused a layer of ice to form along the edges of the Mashell River, and on other streams in the area. White trails of bubbles, formed by the flow of water around stones, have been frozen in place.

Fur, Feather & Fins
 Donates Dog Food...

                                                                                (photo by Bob Walter)

      February 4, 2006: Arron Pemberton of Fur, Feather & Fins, 107 Mashell Avenue North, stands beside a 200-pound stack of dog food before loading it into a vehicle bound for The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County's animal shelter. This is the second donation the Eatonville pet supply store has made to the shelter in the past few months. The food will feed the hungry dogs whose owners seek temporary assistance through the Society's Pet Food Bank.

Home From one Historical Project, Advising on Another

                                                                                                    (photo by Bob Walter)

      February 5, 2006: Eatonville's John Carney inspected the south wall of the Van Eaton Cabin Sunday morning, helping pinpoint the sources of several water leaks which became apparent during a particularly windy, rainy day last weekend. The South Pierce County Historical Society is fortunate to have such expertise.
      Carney is team leader for another historical project: the reconstruction of Fort Clatsop, the winter quarters of the Lewis & Clark Expedition in 1805-06. Carney and several other craftsmen from Mount Rainier National Park are rebuilding the fort at the Clatsop County Fairgrounds, with help from volunteers who are helping to de-bark the logs. 
      Once completed, the fort will be disassembled, and the logs hauled to a lumber mill where they will be pressure treated, then reassembled at the original site of Fort Clatsop, near the city of Astoria, Oregon. Decades of wet, northwest weather all but consumed the original fort, which was reconstructed in 1955, but burned in a fire last October. 


Watch your step!

                                                                                              (photo by Bob Walter)

      February 4, 2006: The Alder Street construction project, begun last November, has come to a virtual standstill. According to Eatonville Mayor Tommy Smallwood the weather has stopped the project. Here a four-foot deep, eighteen inch wide trench, near the corner at Mashell Avenue South, sits collecting water with no safety barrier. Deep ruts, piles of saturated dirt, construction cones and barricades litter the street, while the open field around the Van Eaton Cabin is a mass of mud. Some Alder Street residents wonder when their new street construction will be completed. 

The (Mighty) Mashell Runs Fast and High...

                                                                                                        (photo by Bob Walter)

      February 4, 2006: Like other streams in south Pierce County, the Mashell River ran high Saturday, as seen here at the east end of town near the Alder Cutoff Road bridge. Heavy rains and windy weather continued to pound the area this week.

Lot Eighty at Hamner Springs Pours Forth Water...

                                                                              (photo by Bob Walter)

      February 4, 2006: After several days of rain, a steady stream of water poured from this lot into the street, in the southwest corner of the Hamner Springs development. No construction has begun on the lot, which sits near the base of the ridge.

Too Much Water?


                                                                                               (photo by Bob Walter)


     February 3, 2006: This photo of Ohop Creek was taken Thursday evening, February 2. The creek is estimated to be one to two feet higher than normal. The incessant rain has swollen all bodies of water in the area and more rain is in the forecast. However, next week is supposedly going to be drier. 


Lynch Creek...


                                                                                              (photo by Bob Walter)


     White water rages in Lynch Creek. 



"Stormy Weather"

                                                                                                                (photo by Bob Walter)

     by Bob Walter
     January 31, 2006

Winds whipped around Eatonville cracking off branches and blowing away anything in its path. This
evergreen in the 200 block of Washington Avenue North  had already been cleared from the street but still blocked the sidewalk late Tuesday evening.
      Most people stayed protected in their homes but others ventured out to view what damage may have been done. Town power went off about four times, but snapped back on within seconds. The town crew was out in the dangerous weather keeping our electricity working.
      Eatonville Mayor Tommy Smallwood explained,  "We were lucky that we only had two small outages in town. The light crew, with help from the water crew, did a great job getting everything back to normal. They worked until about 2  a.m. to get the power back on."


House Strengthens Sex Offender Laws

Legislation to Protect Victims and Catch and Convict
 More Sex-offenders passes House with Firm Bi-partisan Support...

     Press Release
     February 1, 2006


    OLYMPIA - Today the House of Representatives passed a comprehensive package of legislation designed to lock-up more sex offenders and protect their victims.  Mandatory 25-year sentences for most serious sex offenses against children and vulnerable adults led the reforms.
   “The protection of our children has always been my top priority in Olympia,” said Representative Tami Green (D-Lakewood).  “This legislation was crafted with the input of police, prosecutors, advocates and victims to put more sex offenders behind bars and to make sure we get a conviction of those who hurt our children.”
   County prosecutors, local police officers, and victims’ advocates were instrumental in crafting the package, and predict it will give law enforcement necessary flexibility to secure more convictions and protects victims from further harm. 

   "These pieces of legislation seek to protect our most vulnerable. I am pleased that our community and legislators have become educated enough to want to support victims and hold offenders accountable,” said Carolee Wynhoff, Exec Director of the Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County. “We will never understand why predators do what they do, but through this legislation victims will gain the tools and support that they need to regain healthy and productive lives."
   Tom McBride from the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys testified in support of House Bill 3277.  “The thing about child abuse prosecution is ... it is often a game of leverage,” said McBride.  “You are giving us leverage with this bill to force good outcomes.”


    The package of legislation includes:


House Bill 3277 – creates mandatory 25-years to life sentences for:


·          For child rape or molestation in the first degree committed by strangers or teachers, coaches and other trusted authority figures.


·          Offenders convicted of rape in the first or second degree, forced sexual acts or first degree kidnapping with sexual motivation. The law applies when the victim is under fifteen, developmentally disabled, mentally ill or an elderly adult.


House Bill 2576 – Establishes protection orders for victims of sexual assault.


House Bill 3252 – When a conviction is the result of a guilty plea, in order to receive sentencing alternatives the offender must admit that they committed all elements of the crime.


House Bill 3238 – Makes it a felony to distribute false sex-offender notices.


     All the measures were passed from the House with unanimous bi-partisan support and will now be considered before the Senate.

Guess Who is Going to the Super Bowl in February?

     January 22, 2006: From Arlen Paranto, "I have been wearing this sweat shirt for years and sometimes  I felt like I should cover it up, but not today!" Paranto, like all Seahawks fans, was euphoric Sunday night after the Seattle team beat the Carolina Panthers 34 -14 to clinch the NFC championship and head to Superbowl XL in Detroit. It took thirty years for the Hawks to win the prize. They will play the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, February 5 in Detroit. The big game starts at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time.

Meth Lab Busted in Town...

                                                                            (photo by Bob Walter)

     This sign is posted on the door of a duplex unit located behind the mini-mall on Rainier Avenue South in Eatonville where the occupants had been allegedly cooking, and selling the deadly drug methamphetamine The duplex is owned by Chuck McKasson and Tim Daniel. The alleged perpetrators had the audacity to carry out their illegal, and highly dangerous, activities across the street from the Eatonville town hall and police department.

 Alleged Meth Makers Behind Bars...

     by Dixie A. Walter
     January 19, 2006

     Eatonville Police Department report for January 16 says that a thirty-seven-year-old man and twenty-seven-year-old woman from Mena, Arkansas, along with a sixteen-year-old Eatonville youth were "arrested for Unlawful Manufacture of a Controlled Substance - Meth."
     EPD officers "obtained consent to search the residence. The Pierce County Sheriff's Department Lab team and a number of deputies assisted with the search. A lab was found and rendered safe. A search warrant was obtained and the Lab team removed over seventy pieces of evident including a loaded pistol."
     Sgt. McNicol, Officer McGuire, Officer Watton and Pierce County Sheriffs did an excellent job ridding the duplex unit of the perilous meth lab. Eatonville Mayor Tommy Smallwood said, "I am very proud of how our police department in how they handled the case and how professional they were. The Eatonville police was the lead on the case and called in the proper support to handle the situation."
    Those arrested were booked into the Pierce County Jail and Remann Hall. It was discovered the man was also wanted in Polk County, Arkansas for manufacturing meth. The case was forwarded to the prosecutor. 
     In an article dated January 18, 2005 the New York Times reported on two methamphetamine studies released in Washington D.C. Wednesday. The Times report explains how hospitals are being inundated by meth users. "A sharp increase in the number of people arriving in emergency rooms with methamphetamine-related problems is straining local hospital budgets and treatment facilities across the county, particularly in the Midwest..." And since the majority of meth addicts have no insurance taxpayers are paying for their treatments.
     The studies were done by the National Association of Counties. Last July the association said that an "overwhelming number of sheriffs polled nationwide declared meth amphetamine their number one law enforcement problem."
     Street names for meth include speed, crank, crystal-meth and glass. It is also called the "poor man's cocaine." It can be cooked in "labs" as small as a suitcase, or even in the trunk of a car, using easily obtained toxic household chemicals and over-the-counter medicines. The association studies say that many people going to hospital emergency rooms have been burned in the manufacturing and are also children exposed to the chemicals. Meth labs are a very real menace in neighborhoods where they repeatedly blow up. One meth cooker teaches ten more cookers a year. 
     The meth scourge, originally concentrated in the West and Southwest states has spread to middle America and is now common in rural areas. Methamphetamine is legal in America if prescribed by a doctor. It can be used for attention deficit disorders and obesity. However, a few hundred dollars in legal medicines and chemicals can produce thousands of dollars worth of illegal meth.



Coats and Other Warm Clothing Being Collected...


     December 11, 2005


     The Eatonville Third and Fourth of July Committee is sponsoring a clothing drive this year. You will find donation boxes for coats, sweaters, sweatshirts, pants and other warm clothing at Jan's Salon, 201 Carter Street East and Thompson Vehicle License Agency, 320 Center Street East. Clothing may also be taken to the Community Center, 305 Center Street West. Presently only warm clothing is needed. The clothing drive by the committee will continue into the New Year.


Unopposed Councilmember Moves her Agenda Quickly

Meridith Weilert Pushes for Restoration of Urban Growth Area in Ohop Valley Three days Before Being Sworn Into Office...

Planning Commission Chair, Phil Beach Wants Even More Land included in UGA...

     by Dixie A. Walter
     My View
     January 9, 2006

     Meridith Wielert, an unopposed candidate for Eatonville town council, was "elected" November 8, 2005. Before she took the oath of office on December 12, Weilert sent a letter, dated December 9, 2005, to  council appointed "Mayor Rath." 
     Weilert's letter is an interesting study in "Let's get my agenda going right now!" Of course that's only my opinion. However, I've been observing various people and their agendas for some time now, about forty years. After a while it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see where various people are headed. Some, like Weilert, don't even try to finesse their ambition, or the ambition of their friends/supporters.
     Before Weilert, the mother of four young children, ran for council she was appointed to the planning commission by former council appointed Mayor Bruce Rath. She was on the planning commission for a scant period of time and now sits on your council. 
     Looks like one of her first orders of business is to bring the Ohop Valley Urban Growth Area (UGA) issue back to the forefront of controversy. 
     This was an issue many people thought was dead. Approximately two years ago a number of Eatonville citizens, concerned about the future of Ohop Valley, went to sub-committee meetings of the Pierce County Council and requested the council pay close attention to Eatonville's Urban Growth Area (UGA) as pertains to Ohop Valley. 
      Their testimony helped the committee make up its mind to keep the valley out of Eatonville's UGA. Does Weilert have "connections" to property owners in the valley who might profit from a change in the UGA?  If you want to find the answer ask Weilert if she knows, or is acquainted with, anyone whose life would be financially improved by building in the valley. 
      What Phil Beach wants is a whole lot of land taken into the UGA in that area. Is he going for the splatter effect? Throw as much as there as possible and maybe something will stick. Or is he just being swept along with the tide of change in the community without looking into the history of the past several years. We will see, will we not?
      To read both the Weilert and Beach letters please see
Hurry Up - Ohop Valley UGA


Is Rain Affecting Housing Development on Mapped Landslide Area?
What do you think?

     January 11, 2006 - Dixie A. Walter: The persistent rain in the area has posed many questions about Hamner Springs, a development built, in part, on a mapped hazardous landslide area. Above you will see the answer to one question. Will it slide after all the rock and concrete was finally put up to hold back the hillside? Yes, it will slide, and has. 
     Weather experts say this area has fourteen to twenty steady days of rain in the future.  If they are correct will this hillside hold? It was cut away in a dangerous manner, with seemingly little thought given to the possible jeopardy of rain and landslides. 
     This activity produced a man-made, sheer wall of earth which began eroding almost immediately. Slides on the sheer face dictated something must be done to protect houses being built directly across the street. A concrete retaining wall was eventually built and tons of rock was piled up the side of the sheer cliff in an effort to stop sliding. Is it working? Would you like to live across the street today as rainfall gets closer and closer to breaking a record which has held since the 1930s?


Another Hamner Springs Slide...

     Part way up "Skylar" is a trail of mud which came down through the trees to the edge of the road. It's now a nice, oozing mess that clogs the ditch next to the sidewalk.

Area Inundated by Rain
Rain Expected to Continue for Two Weeks or More...Records May be Broken

                                                                                           (photo by Bob Walter)

     January 11, 2006 - 8 a.m.: Bob Walter estimates Ohop Creek is about two feet above its banks due to the nearly non-stop rain which has continued for twenty-four days and counting. Ohop Creek is a salmon bearing creek.


The Other Side of the Road...

                                                                                           (photo by Bob Walter)

     Ohop Creek is getting closer to reaching the bottom of the bridge. With no respite from the rain in sight, according to weather experts, more flooding will probably happen in Ohop Valley which is a flood plain.


Brand New Lake Schactler... 

                                                                                                                    (photo by Bob Walter)

      Looking east from Highway 161 near Dogwood Park Scenic Viewpoint you will find a new body of water brought by Mother Nature to fill part of Schactler's field. Water fowl haven't missed a chance to utilize the new, temporary lake.


The Mashell River is also Overflowing...

                                                                                                            (photo by Dixie A. Walter)

     This photo was taken Tuesday afternoon, January 10 from Smallwood Park. The river is roiling, dirty and over its banks. Tanwax Creek is also flooding and more water is pouring down from the heavens. Mudslides are happening all around Pierce County. Orville Road is still closed after a week of problems. Close to our area over half of the road to Camp One east of Kapowsin is now closed until further notice.

Santa Visits Town One Last Time Before Christmas...

                                                                                                                  (photo by Bob Walter)

     December 17, 2005: Santa Claus made his annual visit to the Eatonville Fire Hall, after first hitching a ride through all the neighborhoods on one of two gleaming red fire engines, presumably to keep his reindeer fresh for the Big Night. In between blasts from the sirens and air horns, his lead driver beckoned all the town's children to come and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. Santa has been visiting Eatonville for many decades to the delight of all ages.
     After sitting on Santa's lap and sharing their Christmas wishes, the kids got white Teddy Bears and oranges, and everyone warmed their insides with steaming hot chocolate. Pictured above with Santa are Damon and Dyson Hammond, who, rumor has it, are related to the Big Guy in some way. Could it be?



Toys for Local Kids Collected at Mountain Fitness...


                                                                                                 (photo by Bob Walter)

     December 12, 2005: By Bob Walter - Mountain Fitness owner, Nancy Mettler's son, Mark,  has been coordinating the toy drive. The toys must be new and unwrapped, and dropped off at the Eatonville Family Agency (EFA). Mountain Fitness, and other sites like Kirk's were providing easy drop-off, to support the EFA. However, the sign at Mountain Fitness said the drive was to end today, the 12th. You can still take toys to the EFA, where parents in the Eatonville School District area who rely on the agencies can come in and pick a couple of toys for each child, and their kids can have a happier holiday.
    The agency is also still collecting toys for girls and boys to put under their Christmas tree at 
the Community Center, 305 Center Street West in Eatonville.




Icy Beauty...


                                                                                               (photo by Bob Walter)


   A large boulder and a fallen cottonwood leaf covered with ice crystals were etched by the light of the rising sun at Smallwood Park early Saturday morning. The temperature was 28 degrees.



IRBQ Quilt Winner...


                                                                                                               (photo by Don Cook)


     December 12, 2005: From Don Cook - Karen Hanson is shown with her daughter holding on to the quilt she won in the I'd Rather Be Quilting (IRBQ) raffle. Her number was drawn at IRBQ's annual Christmas dinner and when she was called she came down to claim her prize. 



Katrina Support Movie...

(photo by Jeffrey Audirsch, Decature, Georgia)

     December 6, 2005

     This short, touching "movie" was put together with photographs by Director of Turtle Homes Rescue and Director of Tortoise Aid International Annie Lancaster. The slide show was beautifully crafted by Rachel Pierson. Music comes into the piece after a little time so turn up your sound. This short is more about people than animals. 
To view the movie please see Hurricane Support

About Tanwax Creek
 Group's Second Meeting...


      by Bob Walter
      December 12, 2005

     The Tanwax Community Group held the second Nisqually River Basin Plan public meeting Wednesday evening, December 7, at the Weyerhaeuser Elementary School library. The meeting was coordinated by Tanwax Lake resident David Hymel. Tanwax Creek and its tributaries are part of the Nisqually River Basin, one of ten watersheds in Pierce County for which basin plans are being developed. Four have been completed and adopted, while six more, including the Nisqually, are still under development.

     The creation of the basin plans is funded through annual surface water management fees paid by property owners. The management fees have been accumulating, and a good plan is needed to ensure the maximum public benefit is achieved using the funds.

     Surface water fees from property owners in the Nisqually Basin generate $191,000 per year, and the account currently contains $1.4 million. How this money is spent depends a lot on input from local citizens, but the primary goals are to reduce flood hazards, improve fish and wildlife habitat, improve water quality and coordinate responsible use of public resources.

     Staff members from Pierce County Public Works and Utilities, Water Programs Section, spoke at the meeting about the Tanwax Basin’s characteristics, impacts of human development, and the somewhat “laborious” planning process. Already 1705 questionnaires were sent out, and 118 responses received.

     After receiving input from planners and citizens, the Surface Water Advisory Board makes recommendations to the Pierce County Planning Commission. The county executive and the Pierce County Council also review and decide on the plan. Residents with questions or comments are encouraged to call Roy Huberd or Randy Brake at 253.798.2725.

     The Tanwax Basin is 13 miles long, consisting of 26 square miles of land and waterways, including nine lakes. For the purposes of surface water planning, it has been divided into three sections: the first being from the creek’s outflow at the Nisqually River to Rapjohn Lake, the second section extending from Rapjohn to the Tanwax Lake outflow at Highway 161, and the third extending from there to its upper end in the Benbow Lakes area.

     Individual parcel owners can nominate areas for survey and improvements. Some sections have flooding problems, while others have diminished habitat quality due to invasive plants such as reed canary grass. Citizens looking for opportunities to learn more about basin planning and wetlands enhancement are encouraged to contact David Hymel at 360.832.8148.  

     Hymel mentioned a training program coming up in March or April on how to conduct a water basin survey. At the conclusion of the meeting, the 30 or so people in attendance thanked Hymel for his work in coordinating the meeting and informing the public about basin planning issues.



Last Full Moon of 2005...

                                                                                             (photo by Tony Sirgedas)

      December 13, 2005: Tony captured this stunning image of the last full moon of the year Tuesday night. This moon has many names. In Medieval England it was called the Oak Moon, Colonial Americans referred to this moon as the Christmas Moon, in China it's called the Bitter Moon, Celts named it Cold Moon and some Native Americans named it the Snow Moon.
     The Farmer's Almanac defines this final full moon of the year as, "The Full Cold Moon or the Full Long Night's Moon: During this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. It is also sometimes called the Moon before Yule. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun."

County Councilmember Roger Bush Swears in Tommy Smallwood as New Mayor...

(photo by Bob Walter)

Bush Swears in New Council...

                                                                                            (photo by Bob Walter)

Left to right: Roger Bush, Meridith Weilert, Rich Adams and Bruce Rath. Weilert and Rath ran unopposed.

Smallwood takes the Mayor's Chair...

                                                                         (photo by Bob Walter)

      December 12, 2005: Because Bruce Rath was a council appointed mayor his term was up when the election was certified. The same situation applied to Waylan Jumper, also appointed by the council. Wielert took his seat. Adams and Rath will take their seats in January. There is no council meeting until 2006.
     Mayor Tommy Smallwood spoke briefly about the direction he hoped to take the town. He said there were about three pages in front of him detailing what he would like to see accomplished, and explained the pages would be published in the future.

Medicare Part D Could Cost Seniors Thousands...

     by Bev Keaveny, Adjutant
     American Legion Post 264
     December 13, 2005

     Failure to choose a plan or making the wrong choice about Medicare Part D could cost seniors thousands of dollars. Since many seniors have found it difficult to determine which of the more than 40 Medicare Part D plans will provide them with the best benefit, Rainier American Legion Post 264 has invited Alice Carvo from the WSU College of Pharmacy to discuss what seniors on Medicare need to know to make an educated choice. The seminar will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 17 at the Rainier Chapel, 307 Binghampton Street East in Rainier.
     Coverage begins January 1, 2006 for people who join by December 31, 2005. People currently on Medicare have until May 15, 2006 to sign up without a penalty, so seniors should take the time to find out which plan will give the best benefit for their needs. Like other insurance, if they join, they will pay a monthly premium, which varies by plan, and a yearly deductible (no more than $250 in 2006).
   They will also pay a part of the cost of the prescriptions, including a co-payment or co-insurance. Costs will vary depending on which drug plan is chosen. Some plans may offer more coverage and additional drugs for a higher monthly premium. If individuals have limited income and resources, and they qualify for extra help, they may not have to pay a premium or deductible. 
    Some pharmacies may not accept all of the plans available. If they want to stay with a current pharmacy, they should contact the pharmacist to make sure the plan they choose will be accepted by the pharmacy. Once a plan is chosen, they will only be able to change plans once each year during in November/December.
    Seniors should bring a list of their current medications and the dosage of the drug as well as how many times each day they take the drug, to the seminar. For more information call 360.446.3194.


More Garbage about 
the Dump...

      December 10, 2005

       (Less than one week's advance notice of these meetings was given by the Health Dept. during the holiday season.  George Wearn, CROWD president.) (Below is the notification sent to "residents.")

      Dear Resident:

     Pierce County Recycling, Composting and Disposal, LLR dba LRI (LRI), the owners and operators of the LRI Landfill, located at 30919 Meridian St. East, is requesting re-issuance of their solid wastehandling permit.  The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD) is required by state law (Chapter 173-351 WAC, Criteria for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills) to review this re-issuance application and to make a determination.

     As a part of this solid waste permit re-issuance process, the TPCHD will be holding two public meetings and will be accepting the public's comment on the re-issuance application through January 13, 2006.  Comments are welcome in several formats, as described below.  You are encouraged to visit the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department's (TPCHD) website ( ) , where you can review LRI's Re-Issuance Application packet

     Comments in writing: Public comment  (MS 304) Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department 3629 South D  Street, 304 Tacoma, WA  98418-6813

     Comments electronically: Submit on-line at Comments can be sent via email to

      Comments in person:  Public meeting December 13th   5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Graham-Kapowsin High School, 22100 108th Avenue East Graham, WA 9833

      Public meeting December 15th   2 - 4:30 p.m. Nature Center at Snake Lake, Corner of South 19th and Tyler St., Tacoma WA 98405

     The TPCHD will consider all comments before making a decision on the landfill permit re-issuance request.  The TPCHD will respond in writing to all comments, concerns, or questions related to the permit re-issuance application raised during the public process.  This response will be posted on the the TPCHD website.

     Copies of LRI's Re-Issuance Application are available for review at the Eatonville, Spanaway/Parkland, and Graham public libraries as well as the TPCHD's website (

     Please note that the TPCHD maintains many files and documents regarding the LRI Landfill.  These are all public documents and may be reviewed upon appointment at  3629 South D Street, Tacoma, WA 98418  (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday). To schedule an appointment please contact the Solid Waste Program at 253. 798.2940.

     Thank you for your interest.


    John Sherman, Environmental Health Liaison
Environmental Health Programs


Second Snow of the Season...

                                                                                                    (photo by Dixie A. Walter)

     December 1, 2005: Under three hours of small snow flakes coated Dixie's car with just over two and a half inches by early afternoon. The weather report for December 2 says we can expect the same tomorrow, also with freezing temps in the evening as already predicted for this evening. Please drive carefully or stay home if possible.


First Snow of the Season...

(photo by Tony Sirgedas)

      November 29, 2005: We lucked out on the morning commute with no snow today and then this afternoon a few good snow showers left the ground white and frosted the Christmas trees waiting to be cut at Mel Cox's Tree Farm .


A Break in the Storm

(photo by Tony Sirgedas)

        November 17, 2005: Another moment in time captured by Tony Sirgedas: "While out elk hunting it's not always about seeing animals or filling the freezer. Most of the time it's being able to enjoy short moments like this when the sun pops through the clouds in a storm and casts its magical light on the valley below."

Tony's Cautious Deer...

                                                                                             (photo by Tony Sirgedas)

     November 12, 2005: Tony says, " Here's one buck that made it through the general hunting season.  Most likely it's because he resides inside the city limits munching on the local rose bushes. He even looked both ways before crossing."


Meet Your New Council...

                                                                        (photo by Bob Walter)

Councilmember Elect Rich Adams


                                                                           (photo by Bob Walter)

Councilmember Elect Meridith Weilert


                                                               (photo by Dixie A. Walter)

Councilmember Elect Bruce Rath


American Legion Officer of the Year...

                                                                                                            (photo by Dixie A. Walter)

    Superintendent of Schools, and a veteran, Ray Arment, congratulates The American Legion's Officer of the Year Sergeant James Heishman. Heishman was honored Tuesday, October 9 during the Legion's annual spaghetti dinner. Chatting between the two men is Commander Jody Johnson. Johnson read the following letter listing Heishman's impressive accomplishments during his seventeen years in the sheriff's department. 

Letter of Commendation 

     November 9, 2005

   Sergeant James Heishman is a seventeen-year veteran of the Pierce County Sheriffs Department.  He was recently assigned as supervisor to the Pierce County Sheriffs Mountain Detachment in 2004.  He supervises a detail consisting of one investigator; eighteen patrol officers, and one civilian office assistant.  His detachment is responsible for an area covering 700 square miles with a population of approximately 50,000.
    Jim’s supervisors and peers describe Sergeant Heishman as an individual with high morals.  He has the ability to follow and meet the objectives and goals established by his department regarding crime suppression.  At the same time he is always working at streamlining the unit’s operation in an attempt to accomplish more with less.  He maintains teamwork within the detail and other units by working with Patrol, Crime Analysis, the Special Investigation Unit, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Courts.  One of his most notable traits is his desire to train his deputies in an effort to make their work more efficient and professional.
    Sergeant Heishman brings a wealth of experience and skill to the Mountain Detachment. During his seventeen years with the Sheriff’s Department, he has worked full time assignments in Patrol, Narcotics, Major Crimes (special assault and homicide team) and the Mountain Detachment. He has held the ranks of Deputy, Detective, Detective Sergeant and Sergeant. He has also held additional duty positions with the department’s honor guard, air operations, field training officer, critical incident stress management team through the Department of Emergency Management and the special weapons and tactics (SWAT) team. Within SWAT, he has worked all duty positions except negotiator and was selected as the SWAT team commander in 2000, a position he still holds. He has also held an elected regional executive board position within the Washington State Tactical Officer’s Association for 10 years and teaches basic and advanced SWAT tactics at the state level.
     In 1991, he accepted a two-year assignment with Narcotics Division as a Narcotic and Vice Investigator and also won an additional duty position with the Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT).  In 1993, Jim was selected as a resident deputy with the Mountain Detachment and was also elected to a Washington State Tactical Officers Association (WSTOA) executive Board position for region 1, which serves nine Washington counties as their representative.  
He taught new hire deputies in Criminal Law, Geography and Report Writing and was also worked as a Field-Training Officer. In 1997 Sergeant Heishman was promoted to the rank of Detective and Assigned to special Assault Unit.  In 2000, Jim applied for a lateral transfer from Detective Sergeant to Sergeant and was assigned again to East Patrol.  In 2004, Jim was again assigned to the Mountain Detachment as the swing shift supervisor.
     Sergeant Heishman also brings a wealth of training to the community he serves.  He is a graduate of Indian Hills Community College, Ottumwa, Iowa.  Jim is also a graduate from the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission’s (WSCJTC) Basic Law enforcement Academy.  He is certified as a Critical Incident Stress Management peer support debriefer.  Jim has attended Washington State Criminal Justice courses on Child Abuse, First level Supervisor, Death Investigation, Budget and Grant writing, and Homicide Investigation.
    Within the Sheriff’s Department, Sergeant Heishman has earned numerous awards. A portion of them being; 1995 Officer of the Year, Team Merit, 4 Patrol Impact Awards, SWAT Merit, SWAT trainer of the year in 1992, 1995, 1998 and 2000. While attending the basic law enforcement academy in 1987, he was president of his class, graduated first in his class and was also awarded the best academic and best physical fitness awards.
     Sergeant Heishman has an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice and has received formal training in many areas, a portion of which include; critical incident stress management, homicide investigation, death investigation, budget and grant writing, first level supervision (certificate awarded), middle management supervision (certificate awarded), active shooter response and all levels of tactical training.
     Sergeant Heishman’s public service is not just limited to Pierce County or the State of Washington. He also serves his country in the Air Force Reserve. He is currently assigned to the 90th Security Forces Group in Cheyenne, Wyoming as their IMA Operations Superintendent.
     Within the Air Force, Sergeant Heishman has also earned numerous awards. A portion of them being; Air Force Commendation Medal, Achievement Medal, Outstanding Unit Award, Good Conduct Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, 2004 IMA Senior Non Commissioned Officer of the Year for 90th Security Forces Group (Space Command) and Outstanding Enlisted IMA Non Commissioned Officer of the Year for McChord AFB and/or Air Mobility Command in 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000. He also earned honor graduate at Air Force basic training, Security Forces technical training school and while attending military police investigator’s school.
     It is with great pride that The American Legion Post 148 acknowledges Sergeant Heishman’s leadership abilities, dedication to duty, commitment to the community he serves and the country that he served so well, by recognizing his as their officer of the year 2004.

    Jody Johnson
    American Legion Post 148

Smallwood Elected Mayor...

     November 8, 10:55 p.m.

      Eatonville: Bruce Rath - unopposed - 478 votes - 36 write-in votes... 

      Meridith Weilert - unopposed - 489 votes - 17 write-in votes...

      Bobbi Allison - 173 votes: Tommy Smallwood - 453 votes...

      Rich Adams - 427 votes: Jeff Stephan -146 votes...

    For election updates please see November 8, 2005 General Election

Local Author will Sign
 Book at Borders...

The cover of Barbara Carroll Brendel's new book.

     by Dixie A. Walter
     November 7, 2005

    Local author Barbara Carroll Brendel has written a children's book, "Where Angels Tread." The book is religious fiction for children under twelve years old. According to Brendel, "Some of the accounts are based on true life experiences from my missionary grandmother."
    Borders Books at South Hill have ordered the books and scheduled a book signing Saturday, November 12 from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.
    "Where Angels Tread" is a forty-seven page paperback. Brendel explained, "The profits are being donated to Daystar Television Network for children's programming. The books are for sale on and as well. The books are also for sale to libraries through PMA Resource Directory. It is also available from Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Spring Arbor and published by Christian Services Publishing. The publisher is handling the donation to Daystar."
     On the back cover of the children's book Brendel describes her belief in angels. "I acknowledge that some of the accounts in this book involving angels are based on true life experiences. I know from personal experience that angels are real and that the spiritual world exists and is ever present around us."

$150,000 Study Grant Still not Secured...

      by Dixie A. Walter
      My View
      November 5, 2005

     There is a certain amount of confusion being generated by the status of the $150,000 study grant approved for the Town of Eatonville. Fact: No one is attempting to "derail" the grant as was recently reported by Michael Jeffries. In yet another flimsy, and transparent, attempt to discredit Mayoral Candidate Bobbi Allison he supposedly quotes Town Planner Mart Kask as saying, "There was a last minute effort by an individual or group of people to derail the project."
       Whether or not this is an accurate quote is open to question. However, the only last minute effort by anyone regarding the grant was an attempt to save it from being lost or postponed for several months. The town's handling of the issues involving certification of the Comprehensive Plan's airport component has been lax at the very least. An important October 1 deadline was missed, but the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) has been lenient with the town and has overlooked the town's inability to understand the situation, so far.
       Commercial pilot Steve Van Cleve, who also owns a plane hangered at Swanson Field is an advocate of the Puget Sound Regional Council's Rural Corridors SR 161 study grant. He has repeatedly spoken at public meetings stating the importance of the grant and expressing his support. This is all a matter of public record.
        Discouraging incompatible land use around airports through Comprehensive Plans is a state law and part of the Growth Management Act adopted in 1996. Safety issues are most important. In order for the town to receive the grant the transportation element of the plan must be certified by the PSRC. The town must adopt
goals and development regulations to comply.
        During the July 11 council meeting the
goals were passed along with local adoption, by reference of   Federal Aviation Regulations part 77 (FAR 77). There has been no action on the development regulations as erroneously reported by Jeffries. Goals and regulations are not the same issues. No council action has been taken regarding these regulations.
        Van Cleve said he mailed a copy of the Comprehensive Plan to PSRC Senior Planner Stephan Kiehl. Van Cleve also sent Kiehl information from John Shambaugh, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Aviation Division, that the council adopted July 11. Van Cleve stated, "I sent the Shambaugh letter to the PSRC also, because I wanted them to see that there was some progress being made."
        He adds, "The deadline for Eatonville to submit their plan to PSRC was October 1. They didn't do it. They would have nothing so far if I hadn't sent the information. Everyone knew the comp plan was a draft and they were waiting for the final form from the town via Mart Kask."
        Mayor Bruce Rath wanted the planning commission to pass the comp plan
without the airport planning. Mayoral candidate Tommy Smallwood was appointed by Rath to lead a committee to work with the airport people and develop these regulations months ago. Only landowners were invited to the meetings, but the law requires consultation with pilots and airport users as well. There have been no results reported from the few meetings held.
        Joe Price, also a pilot, and Van Cleve are both members of the Aircraft Owners and Pilot's Association (AOPA). According to Van Cleve, "We are both airport support network volunteers. Our motives are obvious and very public. We report to the AOPA to protect airports. Joe is the volunteer for Shady Acres airport near Fredrickson and I am the volunteer for Swanson Field. It's all about saving airports."
        Van Cleve further explains, "I have been speaking to the planning commission and later the town council since early 2004 on this issue, well before Van Eaton Park became an issue [Van Cleve has a Superior Court lawsuit pending against the sale of the park].
        "Jerry Nybo is developing at the Eatonville Airport. He is in violation of FAR 77. If the development is in violation of Far 77 it's incompatible land use. Since FAR 77 has also been adopted by the town, the Nybo development is in violation of the Eatonville Municipal Code as well." He adds, "I supported the Nybo development and told Jerry I would fly him to other airports to see how they developed. He did not take my offer. I still support the development as long as it's compatible with airports and aviation.
        "If the town had simply completed the development regulation when they should have the transportation element would be certified. The grant would be assured. The town could have helped Nybo do a development that would be compatible with airports and all of this would be a non-issue. The sooner the town gets this done the sooner they get the grant. The goal Joe and I are working on is to save the airport. The way we do this is to make sure incompatible land use does not happen as per state law."
        There is speculation that perhaps Rath deliberately delayed the development of the airport incompatible land use regulations to allow a private individual to become vested and develop an incompatible airport development. If that allegation were true was Tommy Smallwood, airport committee chair, a party to this delay by not following through with his responsibility? Are these people attempting to blame Allison, Price and Van Cleve because they may have accidentally caught them while trying to clean up the airport SNAFU? A question needing answers, but with this administration with it's behind closed doors policy will never give citizens answers.

ENN October "Circulation"

     November 1, 2005

   Web sites differ from hard copy newspapers in many obvious ways. One of them is the ability to closely, and accurately, monitor the amount of traffic coming to the site on a daily basis. Online sites have statistics pages which keep track of how many persons visit the sites, how many pages they viewed, what country viewers are from. Contrary to the thinking of some, viewers are not identifiable. 
    ENN is a free publication "staffed" by volunteers and launched in early June 2002. In the forty weeks since the site was launched readership has grown remarkably for a small local Web site. Although ENN does get visitors from other countries such as Peru, Italy, Netherlands, Germany etc. -  it is on the World Wide Web after all - far and away most viewers log in locally, and most from Rainierconnect.
    The month of October was ENN's best month yet with 21,592 "Unique Viewers" and 36,600 "Pages Viewed." As described by ENN stats page "Unique Viewers are the number of client hosts (Internet Protocol address) who came to visit the site (and viewed at least one page). This data refers to the number of different physical persons who reached the site in any one day."  
    Pages viewed means, "Number of times a page of the site is viewed (sum for all visitors for all visits). This piece of data differs from 'hits' in that it counts only HTML pages as opposed to images and other files." Number of pages viewed is preferred to hits for marketing purposes. Please see below for stats page graphic.

Statistics of  
First visit Month Oct 2005
Year 2002   Year 2003   Year 2004   Year 2005  
Last visit
01 Oct 2005 - 00:01 31 Oct 2005 - 23:59
Unique visitors Number of visits Pages Hits Bandwidth
(1.24 visits/visitor)
(1.36 pages/visit)
(24.9 hits/visit)
38.05 GB
(1484.15 KB/visit)

Mineral Man Shot and Killed by Long Time Friend...

     by Dixie A. Walter
     November 1, 2005

     Fifty-seven-year-old Ross Hansen was killed in Mineral October 25 by an unnamed forty-five-year-old  friend. The men had been friends for many years. The deadly dispute began over a woman when each man attacked the other with baseball bats.
   Hansen's forty-eight-year-old girlfriend, from whom he was separated, was apparently visiting at the shooter's home. The situation angered Hansen who went to the shooter's home on Mineral Hill Road and was told to leave the property by the younger man. The forty-five-year-old purportedly was attempting to defend himself when he hit Hansen with a baseball bat. Hansen reportedly left the scene and returned a short time later wielding his baseball bat.
   Hansen hit his male friend with the bat and allegedly attempted to strike him another time when the younger man fired a small-caliber handgun and Hansen was hit in the stomach. He died at the scene. Although initial reports by authorities say one shot was fired, neighbors maintain three shots were heard. The victim was only hit by one bullet.
   Lewis County Sheriffs had not arrested the shooter as of last week. This may be considered a case of self-defense. The investigation continues.
    Hansen leaves three sons, his wife Judy died two years ago from cancer. 


Meet Sarra, Eatonville's New Daffodil Princess... 

                                                                     (photo by Bob Walter)

     October 20, 2005: Eatonville High School Senior Sarra Schlegel smiles for the camera minutes after being crowned Eatonville's 2006 Daffodil Princess during the selection program Thursday evening in the high school auditorium. Her escort is Chris Matthiesen, son of Mike Matthieson and Tracy Anderson.
      Sarra, eighteen, is the daughter of Dean and Stephanie Schlegel. She is a soccer player who works at the Yelm Safeway after practice. Sarra says she enjoys "being involved in sports - bowling, soccer and fastpitch." She also "enjoys art and working with animals." She hopes to attend Western Washington University and major in elementary education. Her GPA is 3. 2.

Pierce County Regional Council New Web Site...

     October 23, 2005

     From the Web site, "The Pierce County Regional Council (PCRC) was created to ensure planning between Pierce County and its cities and towns was accomplished in a coordinated consistent manner. The organization is comprised of elected officials from Pierce County, each of its twenty-three cities and towns, and the Port of Tacoma. The primary responsibility of the PCRC is to ensure that the Growth Management Act requirements are coordinated within the County and the region." Councilmember and candidate for Eatonville Mayor, Bobbi Allison, represents the community on the regional council.
    To visit the site and learn more about this very important council please see

Is a Partial Fence Safe?

                                                                                                                    (photo by Bob Walter)

     October 20, 2005: Someone put a partial barrier around the rubble left over when the Lions Club storage building was torn down. However, a child can still get into the dangerous area because the fence is only three-sided. The board full of nails seen below has been removed.
     October 24, 2005: The rubble was finally cleaned up and the safety issues taken care.

Safety Issues at Park...

(photo by Bob Walter)

     October 18, 2005: The remains of the Lions Club storage building lie in rubble about 20 feet from play structures at Mill Pond Park. The rubble has been there since at least Saturday. There are nails sticking upright and there is no barrier or construction fencing to keep children away from the danger area. It would have been simple to erect some kind of barrier for safety measure. This photograph was taken late Tuesday morning.

Rubble Lies Near Toys at Park...

                                                                                                 (photo by Bob Walter)

     Children are at risk from nails and broken pieces of wood left near toys at the park. Some children were observed behind the rubble climbing on the Matheny Sculpt which has been taken apart by the town and left in pieces by the historic Van Eaton cabin. It appears that safety isn't an issue. The Lions Club building which stood at the park for decades was built by the late Elwin Haynes and served as the building center for many, many years before being moved to the park area by the Lions.

Another Mountain Mood...

                                                                                                             (photo by Tony Sirgedas)

     October 16, 2005: Tony says, "Mount Rainier had a new dusting of snow and the trees next to the high school were full of fall colors last Thursday." There are three different types of clouds near the mountain in the above photo.

A Future Daffodil Princess...

(photo by Dixie A. Walter)

     Daffodil Princess candidates from left to right: Sarra Schlegel, Rachel Tweet, Arielle Dalrymple, Rebekah Black and Karianna Hansen. One of these lovely young women will become Eatonville's Daffodil Princess Thursday, October 20 during the Princess selection in the high school auditorium beginning at 6:30 p.m. There is no admission to the event.

Or Perhaps a Daffodil Queen?

      by Dixie A. Walter
October 15, 2005

      To be eligible for Daffodil Princess, girls must be high school seniors with a 3.2 grade average. The festival's Royalty Program offers each princess a generous scholarship. Eatonville's princess will compete with nineteen other princesses from participating high schools.
      All of Eatonville's candidates are extremely busy students and are willing to make the time commitment needed to represent Eatonville, the busiest time being March and April.  
      Sarra, eighteen, is the daughter of Dean and Stephanie Schlegel. She is a soccer player who works at the
Yelm Safeway after practice. Sarra says she enjoys "being involved in sports - bowling, soccer and fastpitch." She also "enjoys art and working with animals." She hopes to attend Western Washington University and major in elementary education. Her GPA is 3. 2.
      Rachel is seventeen; her proud parents are Tim and Lesa Tweet. A Running Start student, Rachel says she doesn't have as much time this year to be as involved with school activities. This active young woman has been ASB secretary (2004-2005), President of the SADD club as well as secretary of the club in 2003-2004. Some of the other activities Rachel has been involved with include: drama; Knowledge Bowl; Honor Society; school paper; soccer; tennis; track; swimming; choir and Who's Who Among American High School Students.
      Included in her list of hobbies and interests are: reading; learning; music - vocal, piano and guitar; community activities such as feeding the homeless. Paint Tacoma Pierce Beautiful and Thirty Hour families, ballroom and swing dancing, travel and theology. Rachel plans to attend a four-year Bible college this fall. She also plans to obtain a double major in "Bible and communications or humanities." Her GPA is 4.0.
      Seventeen-year-old Arielle's parents are Peter and Susan Dalrymple. She has participated in the  Knowledge Bowl for three years and is also involved in Project Linus - crocheting; drawing and painting; baking; choir; drama; creative writing - poems and short stories; archery and gardening.  Her plans for college are "to attend an art school such as the Art Institute of Seattle" with hopes of "getting a job in animation, i.e. game design, cartooning and graphic design." Arielle recently helped Eatonville's Project Linus make blankets for hurricane victims. Arielle's GPA is 3.2.
       Also a Running Start student, Rebekah, daughter of Frank Black and Evelyn Popa, works as a legal secretary and enjoys tennis, photography, reading and school. She plans to attend the University of Washington for her four year degree, then join the Air Force and become a pilot. Rebekah's GPA is 3.67.
       Karianna, whose parents are Alex and Karen Hansen, is a four-year member of the National Honor Society, and is very interested in Eatonville High School's drama club productions, past and present. She also participates part time in the Knowledge Bowl. 
       Acting; singing; dancing; sewing; quilting; embroidering; crocheting; reading and acting Shakespeare,
as well as "hanging out with my friends and scrapbooking" are included in Karianna's interests. She has applied to Pacific Lutheran University and the University of Washington. "I plan to graduate and work for a Master's in either English or Music Education," says Karianna. Her GPA is 3.5.
       Linda Moffitt, school nurse and Daffodil Princess Coordinator at EHS for seven years, also coordinated Daffodil Princesses for seven years at Franklin Pierce. Linda is a former princess from Lincoln High School and remains enthusiastic about Eatonville's "beautiful" candidates year after year.
      The Daffodil Festival theme this year is "Daffodil Delights." This is the event's year seventy-three. The Junior Parade will be held April 8, 2006 and the Grand Floral Parade is April 22, 2006. 

Barb Conant Big Winner in Chili Cook Off...

                                                                     (photo by Bob Walter)

     October 13, 2005: Barb Conant took first place at Eatonville's Youth Connection sponsored "Hot Chili Cook Off" October 11 before the candidate's forum at the Community Center. Seven entries were tasted, and enjoyed, by hungry chili lovers from 5 p.m. until 6:45 p.m. For a $5 tasting fee participants were able to eat their fill of the various dishes.  
     After trying all seven entries chili enthusiasts voted for their favorite. Tasters didn't know who the cooks were. Each pot of chili carried a letter and a funky name such as " D. Rocket Fuel Chili," " B. Two Alarm Chili," and " F. Chicken Noodle Chili." When the votes were counted Barb Conant's "Potluck Chili" was the crowd favorite.
     First prize was a one night stay at the Cabinette and dinner for two at the Wild Berry Restaurant; second place, won by Regina Adams, a $75 gift certificate from Gary's Video and third place was taken by Shaunna Tweet with her "Chicken Noodle Chili." Third place prize was dinner for two at the Pizza Place and four movie passes for the Roxy Theater.  

Meet the Chili Chefs...

                                                                                                         (photo by Bob Walter)

     Chili Cook Off entrants from left to right: Bobbi Allison, Regina Adams, Marlayne Ellif, Barb Conant, Kris Johnson, Tommy Smallwood, Shaunna Tweet and Meridith Weilert. The entries were numbered A through G from left to right.

Dancing Kids to Hold Benefit for Katrina Kids and Pets...

                                         (photo by Yvonne Sanchez, Director - Kids in Motion)

     Local dance teams have joined together to volunteer their talents for Hurricane Katrina victims, human, as well as non-human. The benefit will be in the Elementary School gym, Saturday, October 1. Give the kids a  great, big hand, the benefit was their idea.

Eatonville Kids are Generous and Caring

     September 24, 2005 - From Lori Groh, Director of Explosion Extravaganza. "Some of the kids from Explosion Extravaganza and Kids in Motion dance groups. These kids are teaming up to raise money for the Katrina victims and their pets. They really want to use their talents to raise the money. So there will be a Fundraiser Show on October 1 in the Eatonville Elementary School gym at 7 pm. We are hoping the town of Eatonville will support their efforts and come out and show the kids that they care about the Katrina victims and their pets.  
     "No tickets sales but a donation at the door would be nice.  Half of the money will be given to the Red Cross and half to the Humane Society.  There will also be a bake sale and all of that money will be given too.  Our sound is being donated by Greg Martin (Sonic Tangerine)  and John (Pizza Place) will be our Master of Ceremonies. We are grateful to Greg and John for helping us. We want to thank the town ahead of time for being so supportive of our two groups of kids.  
     "This is a great life lesson for these kids to learn how to give of themselves and give to others who are in need.  This is the kids idea. So we would love to have the support of Eatonville to come and watch the show and support this Community Fundraiser.  As we see it Eatonville is filled with very talented youth so they will put on a wonderful show for their town."

Eatonville Talent Going to Help Others...

                                                      (photo by Bob Walter)

     Cassidy Wisley-Paul tap dances at the Puyallup Fair September 12. Explosion Extravaganza Director Lori Grohs explained, "We received a standing ovation at the Puyallup Fair. The stage manager told me we were the best show so far. She loved the quality of the numbers and invited us back next year. We loved being at the Puyallup. The kids are very excited about getting the opportunity to perform and look forward to going back.
     "The kids who performed Brittany and Christi Grohs - Eatonville, Alyssa Selfors - Eatonville,  Emily Randolph-Eatonville, Cassidy Wisley - Paul, Tabitha Simolke and our singers were Antonia McFadden - Spanaway and Amanda Little - Puyallup.
      "We are going back to the South Hill Mall to perform and then on to the National 4-H Agents Convention the end of October. We are taking December and January off because three of the girls, Christi and Brittany Grohs and Cassidy Wisley-Paul, will be in the Nutcracker that is put on by the Prairie Dance Center, previously The Yelm Dance Shop. It will be at the Yelm High School." 

Putting Heart and Soul into her Song... 

                                                              (photo by Bob Walter)

     One of Explosion's singers Amanda Little.

Energetic Dancers...

                                                                                              (photo by Bob Walter)

      Front row left to right Brittany Grohs and Christi Grohs, back row left to right is  Cassidy Wisley Paul and Emily Randolph.

4-H Kids are Big Winners...

                                                                                                                                                  (photo by Lori Markeson)

      September 24, 2005 - From Lori Grohs-Horsewise & Otherwise 4-H Club.  "These are some of the kids from Horsewise & Otherwise 4-H Club. Horsewise is out of Eatonville. Horsewise brought home many Pierce County 4-H Year End trophies as you can see and three of our kids went on to the State Fair in Puyallup. 
     "Making it to state is not easy and you must be at least Middle School age to go. Back row from left to right Daniella Browning-Int. Green Horse trophy,  Lindsey Grip Hi. Point Herds Award,  Brittany Grohs-Int. Performance trophy, Int. Horse Judging Trophy, Ind, Horse Judging Medal, Int. Showmanship Trophy,  Made the State Int. Performance Riding Team, State Int. Horse Judging Team, State Hippology Team and State Horsebowl Team. State fair accomplishments-Made it into all the championship classes and was 7th in the State for her Huntseat Eq. and 6th in Trail out of 125 horses and 10th in the State for her Horse Judging.
     "Next is Thomas Gilmore-Hi Point Herds, Megan Gilmore-State Senior Performance Riding Team and Hi Point Herds,  Alexa Brockamp-Hi Point Herds, April Porter-Hi Point Herds, Bottom Row left to right Brooke Markeson-Jr. Dressage Trophy and Jr. Novice Performance Trophy and Hi Point Groom Squad Award, Christi Grohs, Jr. Performance Trophy and Hi Point Groom Squad Award, Nicole Caseber-Hi Point Herds and Hi Point Groom Squad Award, Alyssa Selfors- Int. Mini Horse Trophy and Lindsey Clark- State Int. Dog Team and Hi. Point Herds and not show is Bekka Held-Senior Mini Horse Showmanship Trophy. 
    "As you can see they all worked very hard this year and the hard work paid off.  They had great attitudes and it was a pleasure to work with them and their families. They brought a lot of joy to me and my co-leader Shelly Selfors. 
    "But a club is only as good as your parents and we have amazing supportive parents.  Therefore the kids are great.  I can't say enough about 4-H and all that it has to offer. The kids must also turn in Record Books and they all received blues on those and they all did posters and community service last year, which consisted of a food drive.
    "Horsewise & Otherwise offers-Horses, Dogs,  Photography and Performing Arts  (Explosion Extravaganza). October. is enrollment month for 4-H.  So we are excited about our new year.  Thanks to Eatonville for their wonderful support of our club and we hope we make them proud."   

Planning Commission Meeting September 19...

                                                                                                         (photo by Bob Walter)

     September 19, 2005: On the left, Earl McKasson, appointed to the planning commission by Mayor Bruce Rath, looks intently on as fellow Planning Commissioner Tom Smallwood, also appointed by Rath, comments about setting a public hearing date for a variance request, at the commission's Monday, September 19 meeting in the Eatonville Community Center. 
     Smallwood is one of two candidates for mayor in Eatonville, the other being  former  Planning Commissioner and present Councilmember, Bobbi Allison, who also attended the Monday night meeting.
     During commissioners' comments, Commissioner Steve Pruitt spoke passionately about wanting full disclosure from the town, or other parties, about the intent behind each decision the commission is asked to make, so that they can reach informed conclusions.
    Pruitt was speaking specifically about the decision before the commission, at this meeting, to vacate an alley running through Van Eaton Park property being sold for development. Pruitt said that until citizen Arlen Paranto spoke up and explained the location of the alley, he did not realize all the possible implications of the decision.

ENN "Circulation"

     September 3, 2005

   Web sites differ from hard copy newspapers in many obvious ways. One of them is the ability to closely, and accurately, monitor the amount of traffic coming to the site on a daily basis. Online sites have statistics pages which keep track of how many persons visit the sites, how many pages they viewed, what country viewers are from. Contrary to the thinking of some, viewers are not identified. 
    ENN is a free publication "staffed" by volunteers. In the three years since the site was launched readership has grown remarkably for a small local Web site. Although ENN does get visitors from other countries such as Peru, Italy, Netherlands, Germany etc. -  it is on the World Wide Web - far and away most viewers log in locally.
    The month of August was ENN's best month yet with 11, 695 "Unique Viewers" and 20,936 "Pages Viewed." As described by ENN stats page "Unique Viewers are the number of client hosts (Internet Protocol address) who came to visit the site (and viewed at least one page). This data refers to the number of different physical persons who reached the site in any one day."  
    Pages viewed means, "Number of times a page of the site is viewed (sum for all visitors for all visits). This piece of data differs from 'hits' in that it counts only HTML pages as opposed to images and other files." Number of pages viewed is preferred to hits for marketing purposes.

Donate to Katrina Victims...

     September 2, 2005

    Hurricane Katrina destroyed most of the historic city of New Orleans. The world renown city is currently being abandoned. Hundreds of people have died in Mississippi and officials project thousands have died, and continue to did in New Orleans. Doctors say they are working under Third World conditions. Water, food, medicine, diapers, milk, baby bottles and just about everything required for life is needed. 
   If you wish to contribute to the victims of this American disaster please see
American Red Cross


Boeing to Give One Million Dollars to Katrina Relief...

     Press Release
     September 3, 2005

     CHICAGO, Sept. 1, 2005 - The Boeing Company announced today that it will donate $1 million to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and will match employee and retiree contributions to that organization through the company's Employees Community Fund. The match is dollar-for-dollar for employees and fifty cents-on-the-dollar for eligible employees retired from Boeing. It extends through September 26.
    Employees all over the company responded soon after the scale and scope of the  tragedy  emerged, according to Toni Bailey, vice president, Boeing Community and Education Relations. "Our hearts go out to all who have been affected by this tragic event," she said. Bailey added that the company remains in close contact with the American Red Cross and will receive regular updates on the progress of relief efforts.
   The Employees Community Fund of The Boeing Company is the world's largest  employee-directed charitable organization, investing nearly $33 million per year in communities around the globe where Boeing employees live and work. Employees manage the funds locally at more than 50 Boeing sites and choose the community organizations that receive help. 
    For more information contact
Susan Birkholtz, Boeing World Headquarters, 312-544-2927


Auditor's Exit Meeting with Town Planned...

     by Dixie A. Walter
     My View
     September 17, 2005

     In a letter dated September 1, 2005 Mark Rapozo CPS, Audit Manager, Audit Services, Washington State Auditor's office, writes to the town, "We are completing our audit of the Town of Eatonville and wanted to share our preliminary results and recommendations with you."
     The letter asks for "participation" by..."policymakers," explaining this is "an essential part of our audit process. It gives you and opportunity to learn first hand our conclusions and participate in the resolution of issues we have identified."
     Rapozo adds that he would prefer not to have a quorum of the council " least until the audit is final and the report is issued. If a quorum of Council Members were to attend, the sessions would have to be subject to requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act."
     In other words, the mayor and other policymakers are invited to attend this preliminary meeting, but on the other hand warned that if a quorum attended the meeting would then have to be opened to the public. The public meaning you, the taxpayer. So it appears the invitation is offered but with the caveat that if too many of the officials attend that would trigger a public meeting.
     ENN has learned the date of the meeting has been tentatively set for Monday, September 19. 
     To read the auditor's letter please see 
Audit Letter

Association Errs...


     by Dixie A. Walter
     September 13, 2005

     The Pierce County Cities and Towns Association (PCC&TA) recently appointed Eatonville Councilmember Bobbi Allison to a seat on the Pierce County Lodging Tax Advisory Committee. As it turned out PCC&TA made a mistake in appointing an Eatonville official because Eatonville is not a participant of the lodging and tax committee.
    In a message dated September 9, 2005 Susan Clough, Secretary/Treasurer of the group stated, 

   "It has been brought to the attention of Pierce County Cities & Towns Association President Bob Young that the Association erred at their September 1 meeting in appointing Bobbi Allison to be the representative to the Pierce County Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC). The Committee includes an elected official identified by the PCC&TA from one of the following: Bonney Lake, Carbonado, DuPont, Edgewood, Fircrest, Milton, Orting, Roy, Ruston, South Prairie, Sumner, Steilacoom, or Wilkeson. This appointment will be on the PCC&TA November 3 meeting agenda to correct this mistake."
     Clough, who is also city manager of Fircrest added, "This had nothing to do with Bobbi. It had to do with the association not reading the requirement being limited to certain cities. Bobbi Allison had nothing to do with this and we are very sorry if this has caused problems for anyone."
      Councilmember Allison had this to say about the error,  "My main interest was in furthering Eatonville's attempts at revitilization and felt that this committee would a good place to begin. This will not stop me from continuing to look for ways to further Eatonville's revitalization. I will just look in another direction and approach the current administration about exploring the idea of Eatonville participating in the Lodging and Tax group. Clearly there are definite benefits in doing so, since the Lodging and Tax Advisory Committee facilitates grants and funding.  'Why not Eatonville?'  I ask."

Another Toy Added to Park

                                                                                                                (photo by Bob Walter)

     September 10: A little "big" toy has been added to the Millpond/Alder Street Park. Included with the toy, but not shown, is two small horses on a heavy spring for kids to bounce on. The toy was purchased with funds from a $15,000 grant from Starbucks. More toys are scheduled to be incorporated at the park in the future, among them Spacenet - $25,000 and a basketball court - $9,000.

Old Building Coming Down...

                                                                                                               (photo by Arlen Paranto)

     Suited against asbestos two of the wrecking crew began tearing down the Fitzer Building Monday as a passerby  stops to watch.

     by Dixie A. Walter
     August 23, 2005

     After years of preparation and stress the "Fitzer Building" on Center Street is finally being demolished. Adding to the difficulties of razing the historic building was the large amounts of the killer insulation, asbestos. Christine Fitzer gave ENN a brief background of the vintage building which was a landmark in town for decades.   
    Christine recalls, "I believe the building was built in the late 1920s. It is not quite square because it sits on four tree stumps that were growing in place, cut down, then the stumps were used as a base for the building.
   "Interestingly, my grandfather Kenneth Fitzer lived in the building for a while in the 1930s. My parents, Bill and Beulah Fitzer, bought the building in the early 1970s from the late Anita Jones.
   "My grandparents, Vic and Vera Byrd, ran their Standard Oil business out of the building from the time my parents bought it until they retired around 1980.
   "After that, the building housed two different ceramics shops, a jeans store, and then the second hand store that my parents ran from 1986-1995. One of the upstairs apartments served as a meeting place for the local girl scouts for several years in the 1980s.
    Christine added, "The cost is significant. The known asbestos will come off and then as much of the building as possible will be salvaged/recycled, so that increases the total time, a bit more, than if it was all just going to the landfill." 

     (Publisher's Note: Recently a local woman who lived in one of the upstairs apartments as a youngster, remembered lying in bed during warm summer nights, with the windows open, and listening to the springs across the street. Those springs are part of Van Eaton Park land.)

Another View of the Demolition...

                                                                                                                (photo by Bob Walter)

     The Fitzer Building in mid-demolition as viewed from Rainier Street side. 


(photo by Bob Walter)

The Fitzer Building was gone early August 24 leaving a view of Mount Rainier and power lines.

"Give Peace a Chance"

                                                                                                              (photo by Bob Walter)

     August 18, 2005 by Bob Walter: A candlelight vigil gathered just before dusk Wednesday, August 17, at the intersection of Washington Avenue and Center Street in Eatonville. The vigil was in support of Cindy Sheehan, the Texas mother whose son Casey was killed in the Iraq War last year. Sheehan is camped outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas.
    Cindy Sheehan camped just outside the President's Crawford ranch, on August 1, asking to meet with him. Her requests have been denied, and she remains camped there. A neighbor has offered his property to the growing number of supporters coming to Crawford. Nationally, a groundswell of support has appeared for Cindy Sheehan. The organization posted a notice on its Web site of the planned Eatonville vigil. Early reports showed that fifty-some vigils were scheduled. As of today, the site reported 1,627candlelight vigils had taken place across the U.S. The Eatonville vigil consisted of about twenty-five people. 
      For more story and photographs of Eatonville's peace vigil please see
Peace in Eatonville


Explosion Extravaganza
 4-H Dance Team...

                                                                                   (photo by Arlen Paranto)

      August 18, 2005: Eatonville's happy and talented dance troop performed at the Pierce County Fair last weekend.  Front row from left to right - Casey Reece-Eatonville, Emily Randolph- Eatonville, second row left to right - Nicole Caseber-Graham, Christi Grohs-Eatonville, Cassidy Wisley-Paul-Eatonville, last row left to right -  Brittany Grohs, Eatonville, and Director Lori Grohs, Eatonville.
According to Lori Grohs, Explosion Extravaganza's Director and Horsewise & Otherwise 4-H Club leader, "All the dances performed by the Explosion's Dance Team at the Pierce County fair won blue ribbons, and they will be performing for a second show on September 20 at the Puyallup Fair. In order to perform at the Puyallup Fair under 4-H you must win blue ribbons. Our song and tap dancer Emily Randolph won a blue, along with the Jazz Duo Brittany and Christi Grohs and Cassidy Wisley-Paul tap solo won a blue along with Christi Grohs with her jazz solo and Brittany Grohs with her ballet solo."       

                                     (photo by Arlen Paranto)

     Blue ribbon winner Emily Randolph of Eatonville performed at the Pierce County Fair. For more photos and story please see Dance

New Businessman in Town

(photo by Bob Walter)

      Owner Brent Sorensen checks the status of an order at the new Eatonville Auto Center, which had its grand opening Saturday, August 13. Brent said, "Business has been good!" The repair shop and office at the corner of Mashell Avenue North and Carter Street has been completely renovated.


Small World Department...

    by Dixie A. Walter
   August 14, 2005

    A couple of weeks ago Seth Roberson contacted ENN from Japan to request permission to use a photograph of Annie Carson, woman blacksmith, for an article he was working on about metalsmithing. Naturally we were happy to accommodate Seth. Seth says, "It's only a short article as it's for English language learning. I'm British and as well as being a silver craftsman I teach English here."
    Seth explains, "I am living in Japan and have written a short article about blacksmiths and how when I was a young boy I watched on making a horseshoe, and some other metalwork, and this was my inspiration to get involved in metalwork. The article is for a local TV station's Web site. I have a metalwork diary for the TV company. I update it about three times a month for Japanese people who are interested in learning English and interested in a foreigner who is learning about Japanese culture. I am also studying a Japanese metalwork technique. "The blacksmith article is titled "My Motivation."
    To read the article please see - You will get a small message box asking if you want to install the Japanese language package. If you don't want to install it you will still be able to read the English version of the story, but instead of a Japanese translation of the English you will get computer code. The piece will only be online for about five more days.


J. P. Patches Recognized as "Mayor of City Dump"

                                                                                       (photo by Arlen Paranto)

     August 15, 2005: Julius Pierpont Patches, J. P. to his "Pals, receives a "Certificate of Recognition" during his only show at the Pierce County Fair Saturday, August 13. According to Arlen Paranto, "When watching J. P. it was announced that a special award was going to be presented. Fast, running, athletic looking Congressman Dave Reichert came up on the stage and presented J. P. with a special award as the "Mayor of the City Dump. J. P.'s TV show setting was the city and dump and he was the so-called Mayor."
      J. P. was a fixture of children's television for decades. He started his Seattle show in 1958 at the then new channel - KIRO-TV. His Web site states that "the only Seattle icons older than J. P. are slugs and geoducks." 

Arlen Paranto with J. P. - A Living Legend...

                                                                                                   (photo by Leslie Wood)

     Arlen says, "The reason I went to the fair yesterday was to see J. P. Patches, a legendary TV figure for kids here for over 20 years. He was my son's favorite TV show and most all other kids of his generation. You can ask any one of that generation that lived in Washington who their favorite TV character was, and most will say J.P.

He is a nice accommodating guy and I enjoyed talking with him. Got his autograph, of course, on  a J.P. poster." Arlen adds, "My son, Steve, was an ardent Patches' Pal." Steve is now a popular school teacher in Oregon and well as an accomplished ventriloquist. 

     To visit J. P.'s clever and humorous Web site please see  J.P. Patches!

Tragedy in a Small Town..

       by Dixie A. Walter
       August 11, 2005

      A  loving, lovely, mother,  grandmother,  business woman and  lifelong citizen of Eatonville died today, too soon. And too suddenly. Those of us who knew Judy Bertram, wife of Pat, will not only miss her sweet, and glowing personality - but we will miss her style. And she had it.   
      We talked about appearances frequently, we liked clothes. We also  talked about town politics, jewelry and  all things feminine. One of the topics we liked to discuss was turtles and tortoises. At one point in her life Judy was the owner of  a musk turtle. She was so into that turtle, she got excited when she found out I had a very large tortoise. In fact Judy was so excited she asked me to please do a story about Bogie, my baby giant tortoise, on ENN. I did the story just for Judy. She got a big kick out of it.
      I hadn't seen Judy for several weeks. Her only daughter gave birth the day before Judy died. I was told Judy didn't see her new grandchild, that she wasn't feeling well and didn't want to put the new baby at risk. As it turned out Judy's illness was not contagious and the new little one was not in danger.
    Judy was beyond doubt a special lady. Our community will be lucky if we see her like again. My family extends our deepest compassion to Judy's family. She will be missed by everyone who was fortunate enough to know her.
     To read the tortoise story I wrote for Judy please see
About Animals

34th Annual Art Festival Starts Friday...

                                                                     (photo by Bob Walter)

     July 31, 2005: This beautiful, original common yellowthroat warbler was painted by Internationally known, local artist Dale Thompson in 2003. Thompson, along with other about one hundred fine artists, photographers and crafts person will attend the 34th Annual Eatonville Art Festival sponsored by the Lions Club. This year the festival dates are August 5, 6 and 7. The Quick Draw will be Saturday, August 6 at 5 p.m. with the auction at 6:30 p.m. The Silent Auction is at 2 p.m. Sunday, August 7.
     The three-day festival is by far Eatonville's largest event and was the brain child of former Lion Vince Troccoli. The festival features a variety of food, a popular beer garden where wine is also served and live entertainment as well as auctions and a quick draw. 
     For a list of artists scheduled to attend and the medium they work with please see
Artists -  Art Director Joella Oldfield says, "Sorry I can't give you all the names but I never have a completed list until we set up."
     To see the schedule of entertainment please go to
Art Festival Entertainment

This Cozy, Loving Scene is by Chip Heinz

(photo by Bob Walter)

     This charming and meticulous miniature scene was created by local artist Chip Heinz. It was crafted in 2003 and is titled "Imminent Grounding." Heinz often displays his works in the display windows at the liquor store. 

More Wonderful Music from Cindy McTee...

(photo by Bob Walter)

       by Dixie A. Walter
       July 29, 2005

      July 29, 2005: Cindy McTee, daughter of long-time local residents Jackie and Chuck McTee, has once again produced a great piece of music. The world debut of Dr. McTee's "Einstein's Dream" was performed from March 31 through April 2 by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Her work has been performed at dozens of  prestigious symphony halls and centers. To hear hear part of her latest work please listen at Finish Line and click on "first complete draft."
    Among them, two invitations, in 2002 and 2003, from the famed Carnegie Hall in New York City. A few of the other performances of Cindy's compositions are the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington D. C. (2002), Chicago Symphony Orchestra, (2003), Seattle Symphony Orchestra (2001), and Pacific University Symphony Orchestra (2003). Her compositions have been performed by orchestras, bands and chamber ensembles in America, Japan, South America and Europe. For a complete list of Cindy's past performances please see Cindy McTee Past Performances
    Cindy taught for three years at PLU and joined the University of North Texas College of Music Faculty in 1984, was promoted to Full Professor in 1995 and to Regents Professor in 2000. She is presently an elected member of the Board of the American Music Center in New York City, a position she has held since 2003.
     The Eatonville High graduate who made her mark in the world of music has received too many awards to list here. Among the more notable are two awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2002 and 1992; a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2001; a Fulbright Fellowship in 1990; and a Composers Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts in 1994.
     For a complete list of Cindy's awards please see Cindy McTee Awards
    To hear snippets of Cindy's wonderful music please go to Cindy McTee Music



Lavender and Wine
Photos by Bob Walter...

      Fields of wonderfully fragrant lavender can be picked up to, and including,  this weekend, which is likely the last time this year the striking aromatic flowers can be picked before John Adams' of U-Pick Lavender will harvest the flowers.

      by Bob Walter
      July 18, 2005

     Lavender lovers, if you haven’t already gathered a winter’s supply of John Adams’ U-Pick Lavender on Eatonville Cutoff Road, you’ll probably only get one more chance. This, John says, will likely be the last weekend to pick, before he harvests the remaining flowers. You can catch him there during the week as well. John's eddress is or call 360.832.4743.

A Growing Winery...

John Adams stands amidst his growing vineyard

      While you’re there, you might want to stroll through John’s rolling vineyard. If he’s not too busy, he will show you the original reason he bought and converted the Christmas tree farm that used to exist on the property - for the beauty of grapes. As John will tell you, the beauty of grapes is that once their roots are established, they don’t need watering. It’s really more than that, though. His meticulous labor over the past few years has created a five-acre trellis system that seems to flow in waves, and now supports rich, green, young vines, already producing little green clusters of grapes. Row after row. Beautiful.
     John is a true connoisseur. He travels to other vineyards to find out what is grown there, and why. If he learns a grape variety he has planted does not produce tasty wine, he will pull up the vines and begin anew. When he first began growing grapes, his cuttings came - a carload of 20 at a time - from a friend’s vineyard in South Hill. His two, now established, vineyards on Stringtown Road serve as a sort of incubation and experimentation plot. 

Young Grapes on Young Vines...

Tender, tiny grapes have started to appear on the young vines.

       Many cuttings are now transported only a mile or so, to his five-acre (and growing) vineyard on the Cutoff Road, dominated by rows of poles, along which the vines’ training wires are strung. The bottom strand on each row, providing a hand-hold for the youngest tendrils, will eventually be leap-frogged to become the highest strand, and higher the vines will climb. Some rows have yet to be planted, but John has plans for just the variety of grape that will grace them.
     His label, yet to be designed, will read: "Stringtown Cellars." That label will likely include a French variety named Viognier (pronounced something like, vee-oh‘-nee-yeah), a blood-red Hungarian called Agria, and the Mediterranean Saperavi grape. Vineyards in Pierce County? There are at least three other vineyards of varying sizes in the Eatonville area alone. One of the secrets to the success of Pierce County vineyards, is planting varieties that are “early-ripening.” “That’s what you need [to grow] on this side of the Cascades,” explains John. You get your harvest before the wet, fall season hits. Still, there are the usual farming risks. A March freeze wiped out hundreds of new cuttings John had just planted.
     Says, John, “Everything is based on heat units.” It’s a rather complicated formula, but put in simple terms, the more heat you can capture, the faster the growth and the better the harvest. One of the ways to gain heat units is by building berms, the little ridges on which the vines are planted. The few extra inches of height raise the plants enough off the cool ground level to add five to eight units of heat.
     Another example of heat capture is the black weed barrier John has laid out between his rows of lavender - which, like grape vines, also loves heat. The fabric absorbs and then radiates heat to the plants.
Are you unable to make a trip to the Mediterranean this summer? Stop in at Stringtown Farms, preferably in the early morning if the forecast is for sun (John will be there.), and cut yourself several bunches of lavender flowers. You’re bound to take back with you, a fragrant, naturally calming memory of a walk in the vineyard.

The Lavender Store...

     Dried lavender, soaps and essential oils are for sale at John Adams' store.  The soaps are also offered for sale at the Mountain Community Co-op, King Feed and Dave Wuller's Fine Woodworking shop at 127 Washington Avenue North in Eatonville. Hours are from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Clippers for cutting the lavender are provided by John as well as baskets for collecting the sweet-smelling blooms. The price is $5 for as many stems a you can fit in a six-inch twist tie.


Getting Ready for Sorensen's Auto Care and Repair...

                                                                                                                   (photo by Bob Walter)

     What was once Van Eaton Chevrolet, then Baydos, will soon be Sorensen's when Brent Sorensen opens his new automotive repair and care business in Eatonville. The building has been getting a much needed remodel and new, attractive facade by Rich Williams who is selling the shop to Sorensen.

      by Dixie A. Walter
      July 10, 2005

      Brent Sorensen, who will soon open his automotive business in Eatonville, is as close to being an Eatonvilleite as you can get without ever actually living in the area. Sorensen is in the process of buying the Van Eaton Chevrolet, and later the Baydo building at 203 Mashell Avenue from Rich Williams. According to Sorensen, " The scheduled opening is late July or early August (so much to do)."
     Sorensen added, "
I am buying the building from Richard Williams after it is remodeled. His family has a long history in Eatonville. He purchased all three corners from Terry Van Eaton. I am only buying the shop corner." Williams in a direct descendent of Nate Williams who came to what is now Eatonville with town founder Thomas Cobb Van Eaton. Nate Williams was a colorful man who was married to a sister of Van Eaton's, Sarah Elizabeth. 
His parents were both born in Graham where his grandfather was the postmaster until 1968. His folks bought "...the home and business at 224th Street in 1965. The business was on one side of the road and the house on the other side."
     Sorensen explains more about his family and the once familiar Sorensen's business in Graham. "
My brother, one sister and I worked all together and ran the family business with my parents. Another sister became a teacher and is now a vice principal at Fife High School.
     "In 2000 my parents retired, I bought the auto repair and towing portion of the business and my brother bought the auto parts portion. I ran the repair shop for my parents from about 1990 before I bought it.
We continued in the same location until the frontage was taken for widening the road. I then moved to 213th and Meridian. My brother continued in original location until Walgreens purchased his business and the rest of the land."
      Eatonville's newest businessman has a soft spot for this community because his grandmother, Del Hogan, owned a farm in Ohop Valley. Sorensen remembers seeing his first movie, "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" at the Roxy theater in town. And jokes, "You can guess how long ago." His aunt Rhea still lives on a "portion of the original farm" in the valley.
Del Hogan was in real estate for a time. Sorensen notes, "She later
remarried, then her last name was Weppler. Later she remarried Bill Bartell who survived her and still lives up on Hilligoss Lane. Oh yea, Mrs. Hiligoss was my sunday school teacher from about age six to twelve. We went to a church in the Masons hall.
     "My grandmother was a very active volunteer at Northwest Trek also. My brother and grandmother were involved in the historical society and helped to start Dogwood Park [across from Williams Corner]. My brother told me the Mount Rainier sign at the park is the original one from a pull-off which was by the dump near 176th Street and Meridian. My grandmother found it and had it placed there. That dump really spoiled the view for visitors who would stop while traveling."
     Sorensen told ENN
, "I am very excited to be involved in the Eatonville community. My goal is to provide quality automotive care and repair to the Eatonville community. I have been doing this business for a long time and feel that I will have a positive impact. The actual closing should be in the middle of July."
Eatonville welcomes Brent Sorensen and his new business. The town has lost several businesses lately and is eagerly awaiting the opening of the auto care and repair shop.

Meanwhile Across the Street

                                                                                  (photo by Bob Walter)

     July 10, 2005: One day, after remodeling and adding on to the existing building, John and Tammi Bratholm will move their highly popular Italian eatery into what used to be the car display building for Van Eaton Chevrolet and Baydos. They are buying the property from Rich Williams whom John Bratholm describes as "a saint." 
      According to Bratholm the new restaurant will not be called John and Tammi's Pizza Place, but Jebino's. However , the Rat Pack/Italian ambience will be carried over to the new establishment. The community spirited couple have been scouting for used restaurant equipment and hope to get started on their huge new project soon. They have already begun moving the "new" equipment into the old showroom.
      There have been "rumors" that a snag in the property sale developed because Jebino's will have a lounge, and is directly across from the United Methodist Church on Mashell Avenue. The rumor being the church was concerned about liquor being sold within a certain distance from them. Bratholm said the church has been great and didn't try to cause conflict about the lounge. Jebino's will be closed Sundays so will not be open when church is in session.

Get Ready to Say Good-Bye to the Pizza Place One Day...

                                                                                       (photo by Bob Walter)

     When John and Tammi Bratholm finish readying their new place on Mashell Avenue the Pizza Place will be no more. This isn't going to happen overnight, Bratholm's have a lot of work to do on their new site. However, someday Eatonville will say Arrivederci to this colorful, happy looking eatery. 

Relay For Life this Weekend!

                                                                  (photo by Dixie A. Walter)

          The theme of this year's Relay is "Wild, Wild West; Stompin' Out Cancer." Above Travis Woodcock has fun modeling a mini-cowboy hat during the March Relay Kick-Off ceremony at the Roxy Theater in Eatonville.

      July 7, 2005

     After a year's preparation Eatonville's third Relay For Life will begin Saturday, July 9 with opening ceremonies scheduled for 10 a.m. According to Co-chair Lacey Meadows, "We have eighteen very large teams and have raised about $28,000thousand so far.  With many more donations coming in soon." More funds are raised during the two-day event. Lacey's other Co-chair is Sarah Cole.
     Part of the opening ceremonies is the Survivor's Lap which is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. This year there is almost non-stop entertainment. 

More Goodies at Mountain Takeout...

                                                              (photo by Bob Walter)

     July 2, 2005: Susie Robinson has a lot to smile about. She has recently survived cancer, the restaurant, Mountain Take Out, she and husband, Mike, own is a going concern and Susie has recently added some none food items to the establishment. Included in the new additions are great jewelry, Windrift Hill goat milk soaps, lotions and "butter," and J. E. Robinson (no relation) beautiful wildlife greeting cards. 
    Some of the jewelry came from the Schafer Gallery which closed a few weeks ago. And some of the baubles reflect Susie's taste in Southwestern motifs. Kokopeli dances and pipes and there's something for the turquoise lover too. Susie says she plans to add hand-dipped candles and C. Popek pottery items in the future. 
    Mountain Take Out is located at 106 Washington Avenue South. You will be greeted by the new additions when you walk through the door of the quaint, homey eatery. You may also be greeted by Fish and Chips, brother cats who love to amuse customers.

A Closer Look...

                                                                                                 (photo by Bob Walter)

Is a Pioneer Child Buried in Van Eaton Park?

Perhaps an Infant from T. C. Van Eaton's First Wife is Buried in the Park Land...

          by Bob Walter
         July 2562005

   A discussion of local cemeteries and burial grounds during Sunday's meeting of the South Pierce County Historical Society has uncovered possible information which could impact the development Van Eaton Park.  A descendant of town founder T. C. Van Eaton's second wife, Mary Jane Osborn, remembers a conversation over lunch when someone pointed to the hill where the park stands and said a Van Eaton baby boy was buried there. 
      T. C. and his first wife, fourth cousin Lenora Van Eaton,  had two sons. Lenora became ill on the trip west, and died in 1891 two years after T. C. homesteaded Eatonville. Both of Lenora's sons died at a young age. It’s believed the younger of the two was the child referred to by the descendant.
According to the story a baby boy was buried on the hill above the original Van Eaton cabin which was below  the park. Pioneers did bury their dead on high places because of flooding. And the Eatonville cemetery's first grave wasn't placed at the present site until many, many years later.
      If, indeed, a person, or persons, were buried at the park site, every means must be taken to prove it, and no work on the land should be done until the town is positive the little park is not a grave site.    


Tom Campbell Visits Town...

                                                                                                      (photo by Bob Walter)

      by Bob Walter
      June 21, 2005

     State Representative Tom Campbell (R - 2nd District) spoke to a group of about ten people who attended his "town hall meeting" Saturday morning June 18. Originally scheduled to occur at the Eatonville Branch Library, the meeting was moved to the town hall.

     Campbell focused mainly on transportation issues, pointing out that the mass transportation projects such as bus lines, light rail and park and rides address the needs of people in highly-populated areas, but are generally not helpful for rural folk. In these areas, money should go toward fixing roads that are badly in need of repair and maintenance. 
    Said Campbell, "Many of our roads out here are poorly maintained, and the legislature got us here, but I can tell you, I've always fought for [better] roads." Campbell also pointed out that money from the gas tax must go toward roads and highways, not to mass transit projects.  He believes in the concept of user fees, praising the beautiful toll roads in states such as Florida, and suggesting they will help pay for more new highway projects in our state.

    Campbell said the seven-mile-long Cross-Base Highway planned between Spanaway and I-5 at Thorne Lane will eventually bring in thousands of jobs once completed by linking the Port of Tacoma's Frederickson complex to points south. "We have to have freight mobility to increase our economy," he said.

    Talking about the district's capital budget, Campbell reminded the group that Eatonville has received government loans through the Washington State Department of Community, Trade & Economic Development for the installation of a water filtration plant ($807,500) and for the new Eatonville family park ($50,000).



Town Meeting to Discuss Revitalizing "Downtown"

     July 22, 2005

     A meeting to bring forth ideas to help determine ways to invigorate Eatonville's "Downtown Corridor and Town Center" will be held at the Community Center Thursday, June 23 at 7 p.m. The town has been awarded a $150,000 planning grant from the Puget Sound Regional Council. The Pierce County Regional Council (PCRC) was instrumental in securing this grant for the town. Councilmember Bobbi Allison sits on this council as Eatonville's representative. 
    People who plan to attend the meeting are asked to, "Please bring your ideas, thoughts and an open mind..." To read the entire invitation please see
Town Meeting

More About the $150,000 Planning Grant...

      The synopsis below is taken from a June 2, 2005 memo addressed to the Transportation Policy Board and an attached handout titled Exhibit A: 

     "PSRC (Puget Sound Regional Council) Rural Town Centers and Corridors Program has selected two projects from Pierce County to be selected for its FY 2006-2007 Program Funding. Eatonville is one of these selected, and Orting is the other.  
      "Eatonville's grant is a Planning Grant for SR 161 Eatonville Town Center design and traffic circulation from Lynch Street to Mashell River Bridge for $150,000. The work program is to conduct planning and professional engineering to define town center circulation and access plan for revitilized downtown business area.  Eatonville should receive the funding in January 2006 if all goes well."
       This grant is specifically for a "planning study." The street which is the focus of the study is SR 161 more commonly called Washington Avenue. Many people in Eatonville refer to "Main Street" which is really Mashell Avenue. This is where most of the local business district is actually located. This $150,000 study grant money is not for "Main Street"/Mashell Avenue. 


A Father Figure from

 Long Ago...

Al Walter: October 3, 1912 - August 27, 1995

     by Bob Walter
       June 18, 2005

     My dad, Al Walter, on the way to becoming the father of five, works his post as a Tacoma Police patrolman, circa early 1940s. Al had been orphaned at two-years-old. The occasion here is the Daffodil Festival Parade. This photo which ran in the Tacoma News Tribune, caught the gaze of an admiring boy, a look of wonder on his face, looking up at Dad, while he, and all the girls, have turned their eyes toward the camera. Who are all these kids? I don't know. But their faces show a comfort, even in a crowd, that he as a trusted policeman, and father figure could provide. Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

Little Kids - Big Toy...

                                                                                                               (photo by Dixie A. Walter)

     June 9, 2005: There was a lot of activity from little ones on the newly opened Big Toy at the Alder Street Park around 5:30 p.m. Thursday evening. More toys are slated for the park in the future. 

Big Toy - Big Responsibility

                                                                               (photo by Arlen Paranto)

Warning stickers on the new Big Toy.

     by Dixie A. Walter
     July 13, 2005

     With the installation of a massive Big Toy at the Alder Street Park massive safety responsibilities must also be "installed." According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) Handbook For Public Playground Safety, "More than 200,000 children are treated in U. S. hospital emergency rooms each year for injuries associated with playground equipment. Most injuries occur when children fall from the equipment onto the ground."    
      Since 1981 CPSC has issued its Handbook. It is the industry standard all across the nation. Communities all across the country build their playgrounds to these safety specifications. The Handbook notes that "...
after assembly and before its first use, equipment should be thoroughly inspected by a person qualified to inspect playgrounds for safety." Was this done in Eatonville? Councilmember Bobbi Allison asked this question during the  July 13 council meeting. She didn't receive an answer. However, after the meeting, upon being questioned again, Councilmember Ray Harper said the company which installed the toy were certified to inspect it and did so. 
      The Handbook also gives this "Warning: Children have died when hood or neck drawstrings on jackets and sweatshirts caught on slides or other playground equipment. Parents are advised to removed hood and neck drawstrings from clothing to prevent entanglement and strangulation."

 To read the Handbook for Public Playground Safety please see


Safety Fill is Supposed to Cover Blue Labels

                                                                                                              (photo by Arlen Paranto)

      The safety fill under the huge Big Toy does not reach the blue labels as it is supposed to. Thousand of children are injured annually on playground equipment. On school playgrounds children's activities are monitored by teachers, aides and parents. In public parks playground equipment may not be monitored. Parents need to be aware of the safety issues concerning all playground equipment.



Army Corps of Engineers   Halts One of Nybo's Projects...

     by Dixie A. Walter
     June 2, 2005

     According to a letter sent to local developer Jerry Nybo by the Army Corps of Engineers, he must stop work on his project, which includes filling in wetlands in the Hamner Springs/Rath Addition area. The May 27  certified letter states, "It appears that you have placed fill material in wetlands, which are waters of the United States, without a Department of the Army permit. I consider this work to be in violation of Federal Law.
    "I direct you to do no further work waterward of the ordinary high water mark or in wetlands at this site..." The letter, a result of citizen complaints, is signed by Jonathon Smith for Debra M. Lewis, Colonel, Corps of Engineers, District Engineer.
     In a perfect world the town would take an active role in supporting the Corps and their red-flagging of this project. Eatonville citizens can only wait and see how important wetlands are to town government. 
    To read the entire letter, plus the wording of the Clean Water Act, which describes possible fines and punishments, please see
Army Corps of Engineers 

     Publisher's Note: The wetlands in question were being filled in near Eatonville Highway in full view of anyone traveling that road or traveling to Hamner Springs/Rath Addition. ENN believes the town administrator/public works director should have been on top of this problem, and the mayor should also have been aware of this issue. The mayor drives past that area numerous times daily/weekly as the road leads to his house. 

Eatonville Cleans Up...

     Trett Dempster and Austin Tillery were part of Eatonville's Clean-Up day. The kids are members of Youth Connection formerly known as PSIA (Parents and Students in Action.) Four huge containers were filled with tons of "stuff" Eatonvilleites threw away. The collection was held at the Alder Street Park.

Town a Bee Hive of Activity...

     June 1, 2005

     Eatonville was a bee hive of activity over the Memorial Day weekend. The Red Hatter's Relay For Life team held a successful yard sale at the Holly Hut, there were private family sales all around town, the United Methodist Church had a huge Rummage Sale and the Historical Society sold lots of goodies during their bake sale at Plaza Market.
     The first Farmer's Market inaugurated the 2005 season, Clean-Up Day inspired citizens to fill four huge dumpsters with tons of throwaways. The big toy is being installed at the Alder Street Park, safety material, not part of the installation price, needs to be added before the toy is ready for use.
     Memorial Day was a poignant and many people came to the Eatonville Cemetery to honor those who fought and fell for our basic freedoms.  

Big Toy Being Installed at Park...

    June 1, 2005: This Big Toy being installed near the skateboard facility at Alder Street Park cost $46,626.43. Installation cost $19,404 for a total of $66,030.43. This total does not include the safety fill which must be in place before children can play on the huge toy.

Detail of Big Toy... 

                                                                                                       (photo by Bob Walter)

    The Big Toy is supposed to be open for energetic  play over the weekend of June 3.

     Big Toy Update June 5, 2005:
Although more work was done on the enormous Big Toy, it wasn't able to be opened to kids over the weekend. It appears that quite a bit of work still needs to be done before the apparatus is ready for little ones...

Farmer's Market Begins 2005 Season...

     The Farmers’ Market will be offering locally grown produce and related products on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the parking lot of the Rainier Group, during the summer.

Cranberry Juice from Rapjohn Lake...

     Anne Lachney, her daughter, and a friend greet the public Saturday, May 28 on Washington Avenue North, in Eatonville, at their booth at the first Farmers’ Market of the season. The Lachneys – Anne and Bruce – grow cranberries on their farm at Rapjohn Lake, and operate Tahoma to the Sea, with their business partner Allen Devlin of Grayland, Washington, selling delicious cranberry concentrate. 

Convicted Killer Kills
 Self in Jail...

      by Bob Walter
      May 31, 2005

     According to the Pierce County Superior Court Website, Robert James Lemieux, recently convicted murderer of local man Terry Rohr, is "deceased." Unconfirmed reports allege Lemieux may have hidden away some type of anti-depressant medication until he had enough to overdose. He was being held in the Pierce County Jail awaiting sentencing for his crimes of murder and arson.
ENN made several phone calls today, to court, corrections and jail administrations, requesting confirmation of this news. The "real" people spoken to were not authorized to address our question - did the convicted man kill himself in jail? There is no question the killer is dead. The question was, and is, how did he die? And where did he die?
    ENN was given the phone number of Detective Ed Troyer, public information officer with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. Calls to Detective Troyer have not been returned.
At 3 a.m. last July 21, Robert James Lemieux carried out his terrible plan. He poured gasoline at the front
door of Terry Rohr's home, lit it, slipped across the road and watched from the darkness of the woods. When Rohr and his girlfriend, Karen (Lemieux's estranged wife), awoke and jumped from the window of the burning home, Lemieux shot Rohr several times with a rifle, killing him.
    Five days ago, May 26, Lemieux was convicted of first degree murder, aggravated first degree murder, and first degree arson ( (please see below - Terry Rohr Killer Convicted). His sentence hearing was scheduled for July 1.
    For more information about the case please see below, and please see  Pierce County Superior Court Criminal Case 04-1-03599-

Terry Rohr Killer Convicted

     by Bob Walter
       May 26, 2005

     Robert James Lemieux was convicted in Pierce County Superior Court today of the murder of Terry Eugene Rohr, 49, at Rohr's Eatonville area home on Wednesday, July 21, 2004. As reported in EatonvilleNews.Net on July 25, 2004, Rohr had been shot multiple times with a rifle as he and his girlfriend, Karen, were escaping from Rohr's home, which had been set ablaze by the shooter. 
     With Judge Ronald Culpepper presiding, Lemieux was convicted of premeditated first degree murder with aggravating circumstances, felony murder in the first degree, arson in the first degree, and three charges of assault in the second degree (against the deputies responding). There will be an additional five years added to the sentencing for each of the assault convictions, since a firearm was used. 
     Pierce County Sheriff's Deputies had been fired upon from the nearby woods by the suspect, as they arrived and began investigating. According to the anonymous juror who contacted ENN, over 20 witnesses testified in the trial, which lasted approximately three weeks. 
     After the conclusion of closing arguments, the jury deliberated today for about six hours, before reaching the guilty verdicts. The juror said the entire jury worked together well, in weighing and exploring every point brought up in the trial. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 1, 2005.
     For details about this tragic story please see
Rohr Murder 


Buffalo Valley Camporee...

                                                                                                             (photo by Bob Walter)

     May 23, 2005:  The 2nd annual Buffalo Valley Camporee, a spring festival of scouting activities, was held this weekend along Alder Cutoff Road near Eatonville. Cheryl Miller, who along with her husband Price, owns the property where the event was held, said the Camporee brought in 248 people - double last year's participation. 
   The scouts enjoyed 20 separate activities, including fly casting, zipline traversing, Buffalo wrestling, (bumping into each other while protected by inner tubes - pictured above) canoeing and others. The organizers avoided conducting many of the competitive events held at most Camporees, in favor of just having fun.
     When asked how this second year of the event differed from the first, Cheryl pointed out that spring allergies had a big impact last year, while heavy rains prior to this year’s event created “parking issues,” by turning the planned parking area into an impassable quagmire.

A Scout Enjoys a Long Ride...

                                                                                                         (photo by Bob Walter)

     This scout, assisted by a leader, has a long, happy ride on the zipline.


A Peaceable Kingdom - Heaven for Kids...

                                                                                                                (photo by Bob Walter)

     Between events at the Buffalo Valley Camporee, two boy scouts enjoyed a walk in the lush meadow, next to a pasture where four bison quietly rested. Only a wire fence separated them.  

Opening Day at Kid's Pond...
Photos by Lion Don Cook


       May 2, 2005: Opening day at the always popular Kid's Pond saw about 100 youngsters angling for the "big one" early Saturday morning April 30. Opening day of lowland lakes is one of the most popular family sporting events in the state. The Eatonville Kid's Pond was stocked with 1000 average size fish and 25 big ones.
       A contest to bestow a bike upon the youth with the biggest catch is sponsored by the Eatonville Lions Club who also serves breakfast to the hungry fisherkids and parents.
       Kid's who fish the pond must not be over 15 years old. There are prizes given every hour for the biggest fish and a Grand Prize, the bike, given at the end of the day. This year's big winner was thirteen-year-old Ian Smith with a 23 inch, six-pounder. 
      According to a Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife press release lowland lakes were stocked last spring and fall with three-inch trout fry which grow to legal size by the late April opening day. Among the 22.4 million stocked are:

  • 7,387,000 trout fry, now of catchable size, that were stocked into 396 lowland lakes last year
  • 11,868,000 kokanee fry, expected to show in this year's catch, that went into 38 lakes
  • 3,042,000 catchable-size rainbow, cutthroat, brown and eastern brook trout now being stocked in 380 waters
  • 62,000 triploid (one-and-half-pound) rainbow trout being stocked in 91 lakes
  • 24,000 two-year-old and surplus hatchery broodstock trout being planted in 82 lakes
      According to Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists, "This year's last-day-of-the- month opener should extend good fishing opportunities well into summer, provided drought conditions don't get worse." 

A Couple of Cuties who Caught a Couple of Those Big Ones...


    Happy little ones show off their fish...pretty good catch when dad has to help hold the "trophy."

The Day After the Day Before...Still Some Good Fishin' Going On...

Photos by Bob Walter

       Billy Early displays the three and a half pound, nineteen-inch rainbow trout he caught just after noon on Sunday April 30.

Are There Any More Big Ones? Yes!

      Jacob Henricksen, eight, holds his smaller catch just as proudly as his cousin, Tanner Miller, also eight  - holding the big lunker he reeled in at the Kids’ Pond Sunday.

The Old Fishin' Hole...

     Opening day of fishing season saw mild weather and many satisfied fishermen, young and old. Sunday morning, the weather was even balmier. The action was heavy at the Kids’ Pond in Eatonville’s Smallwood Park both days, though some of the big ones did not fall for the first onslaught of lines and bait. The Eatonville Lions say a hearty "Thank you" to the Washington State Fish and Wildlife Department and Ken Kildahl, former Lion and department agent.

Insurance Carrier Puts Town on Notice....

     April 6, 2005

    The Town of Eatonville is a member of the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) insurance pool. The on-going controversy regarding the sale and development of Van Eaton Park prompted AWC to send a letter to the town, mayor and council members to "formalize notice...of our concern.." 
    Van Eaton Park is located on a mapped hazardous landslide area and is considered by many to be unsuitable and dangerous for building houses. The Rath administration wants to sell the park and use some, or part of the money, to buy a piece of property on Mashell Avenue North for a "town square" and parking. 
     Citizens have contacted AWC with concerns about the dangerous area, possible injury or death to homeowners and possible liability to the town if the site is developed and a landslide occurs. AWC RMSA's  (Risk Management Services Agency)  position about this matter is clarified in the letter. To read the letter please see
AWC Letter to Town 

     To learn about AWC and its role regarding state municipalities please see (AWC)


Another Lawsuit Filed Against Town...

      by Dixie A. Walter
      April 13, 2005

      A former town employee, Roy resident Charles Chappell, filed a lawsuit in Pierce County Superior Court against the Town of Eatonville March 22. The suit claims the plaintiff was discharged without cause. At present the trial is scheduled for trial March 21, 2006 if the case is not settled out of court. Superior Court Judge Linda C. J. Lee is listed in court documents as presiding over the trial.
     According to court papers the plaintiff has requested a jury trial. Chappell is being represented by Attorney Dan Matthew Albertson and the Town of Eatonville is represented by Patricia Kay Buchanan, not Town Attorney Bob Mack. If the case goes to trial it is estimated to last three days.

    To read the court papers please see Pierce County Superior Civil Criminal Case 05-2-06219-9

The Other Law Suit...

     In December 2002 The Town of Eatonville and Rowland Litzenberger, Carriage House Inc., were served with a "Petition for Judicial Review: (Land Use Petition Act)" regarding Liztenberger's request for a conditional use permit to build 100 storage units near the Mashell River. 
     The project would be built upstream from the town's intake pipe.The site, off Center Street East on the Eatonville Cut Off  Road, is on a "critical aquifer recharge area" and  is "approximately 600 feet from the town's new water source wellhead." The proposed project is "within a mapped aquifer recharge area; the sole recharge area for the Town's public water system."
     In that suit Superior Court Judge Thomas Larkin stated the following in his decision dated March 15, 2003: "Rules are an important part of our justice system. Legislative bodies determine what laws, rules and regulations guide our daily activities. There is an expectation by the public that these will be adhered to, especially by those in public leadership positions. In reviewing the procedures followed by the planning commission and the town council, I find the proper procedures were not followed." 
     Judge Larkin remanded the matter back to the town council to "incorporate all applicable provisions of the storm water management and erosion control ordinance." The judge also said the council "needs to set forth in the DNS (determination of non-significance) what mitigating conditions exist so that it is clear and consistent with SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act). During this review by the council, an opportunity should be provided to the public, to allow comments as to whether the requirements for this project are adequate to protect the aquifer that underlies this particular site." 
     This project has not been completed to date.

Another Planning Commissioner Resigns...

     by Dixie A. Walter
     April 19, 2005

     Mike Williams, a member of the Eatonville Planning Commission for about ten years, has resigned his position. Commission Chair Phil Beach announced Williams' resignation at the beginning of the April 18 commission meeting.
    Contacted by phone Monday evening Williams explained that he has two businesses, Barney's Corner  Mini Mart and C. & W. Electric, and felt he didn't have the "energy" needed to be an effective commissioner. He is a life-long resident of Eatonville, having graduated from Eatonville High School in 1973. 
    Planning Commissioner Steve Lind thanked the absent Williams and said he had appreciated Williams' "institutional knowledge" about the commission and had helped many times by reminding commissioners of the history of various issues before them. 
     During the planning commission meeting of March 21 Williams stated, "I find the actions of the council insulting, and we may not be needing a planning commission..." This statement was made in response to a memorandum sent to the council and commission by Phi Beach pointing out that the council had bypassed the commission on several key town issues. Williams never attended another meeting. To read the memo please see
Planning Commission Memo     
     Presently there are two openings on the commission.

Price of Van Eaton Park Set by Council at Last Minute

$355,000 Value Agreed to by Councilmen...

      by Dixie A. Walter
     April 11, 2005

     During the regular town council meeting Monday, April 11, an executive session was held from 7:15 - 7:25  p.m. to discuss "land sale." Councilmember Chelan Van Eaton Jarrett recused herself from the executive session.
     About an hour and a half later, minutes before the closing gavel fell, the result of this meeting was presented to the council, and public, by Councilmember Ray Harper. Harper, who kept a low profile most of the evening, began his motion seconds after the last council vote, to raise the mayor's spending limits. 

    Councilmember Ray Harper: Mr. Mayor, I’d like to make a motion that we set the selling price for the recent surplus property on Orchard Street South at $355,000 and authorize the mayor to be the agent for the town.

    Councilmember Mike Gallagher seconds the motion.

    Mayor Bruce Rath: We got a motion and a second on the motion to set the price on the property at $355,000. Any discussion?

    Councilmember Chelan Van Eaton Jarrett: I recuse myself.

    Town Attorney Robert Mack: Mr. Mayor, a few comments…The sale of the property would have to come back to the council so the delegation of the mayor as agent is to offer the property for sale and to consider offers by purchasers, but the delegation of the mayor of agent is not to complete the sale as I understand it.

     Rath: So, no questions on the motion? All in favor.

    Mike Gallagher, Waylan Jumper and Ray Harper voted “Aye.” Bobbi Allison did not vote.

Price of Van Eaton Park not on Agenda - Will it be Added at the Last Minute?

     April 10, 2005

    At the council meeting of March 28 council members, and the mayor, decided they would wait until the April 11 council meeting to settle on a price for Van Eaton Park which the council declared "surplus" by a vote of four to one on that date.
    However, on the council agenda released to the public Friday, April 8, there is no mention of this matter. Did the council decide not to set a price on the little park because of a "Petition for Review" sent to the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board by concerned citizens and served to the town March 29?
    Or is the issue of setting a price for the park going to be one of the last minute additions to the agenda which citizens find as they arrive for the council meeting? Last minute additions to the preliminary agendas are common. Stay tuned.


Planning Commission Holds Public Hearing on Sunrise Estates...

     April 4, 2005: The Eatonville Planning Commission held a public hearing concerning a new seven-lot subdivision, Sunrise Estates, planned by developer Jerry Nybo near Hamner Springs/Rath Additon. The map above shows Sunrise Estates in purple. Nybo explained to the commission that he had a ten-acre parcel and planned to build on two point three acres. The rest of the land, on a steep slope and crossing the Mashell River, will be deeded over to the town as open space. This land will not be a park. The commission was satisfied with the subdivision.
   On the subject of Van Eaton Park Mayor Bruce Rath said the town will use "some or part of the proceeds" from the sale of the park to buy property on Mashell Avenue for a "town square." He also stated there would be a merchant's meeting along with the planning commission in a few weeks to discuss "revitalizing Mashell Avenue." 
    Again, on the subject of Van Eaton Park the commission decided to "drop the park" as there was no motion to pursue more information. Chair Phil Beach said he was probably the only person around who had no opinion about the sale of the land. He explained that if the park issue came to a vote and he had to break the tie he didn't have enough information to make the decision. 
    The planning commission was bypassed on the park issue, rendering that board impotent. Commissioner Chris Bertram wanted more information about the issue and made a motion to that effect, but other commissioners, Tom Smallwood and Rod Kelly, wanted to "move forward," and let the council deal with the park. Commissioner Earl McKasson suggested there should be a date set for the addition of park material. Bertram's motion died for lack of a second, thus the matter was dropped without the commission taking any action.
     Steve Van Cleve, a former chair of the commission and former councilmember, praised the commission for taking no action. He explained that taking action would be "inappropriate" as an appeal is pending before the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearing Board regarding alleged violations of the State Growth Management Act.
     The planning commission postponed action on the Draft Comprehensive Plan and Development Regulations until their April 18 meeting. Photo by Bob Walter.

State Representative McCune Visits Eatonville...

                                                                                                                        (photo by Dixie A. Walter)

     April 2, 2005: A handful of Eatonville area citizens attended a gathering to meet State Representative Jim McCune (R) Saturday. The meeting was held in the foyer of the New Baptist Church, and various issues were discussed briefly. McCune said he was very concerned about drugs and related problems and is focusing on methamphetamine (meth) production, an epidemic in our area. He also praised the Fred Meyer chain for voluntarily removing "precursor drugs" from their shelves. 
     Other chains such as Wal-Mart and Target McCune described as "sloppy" for leaving such precursor drugs as ephedrine and pseudo ephedrine on shelves out in the open where they can be stolen. He is a co-sponsor of legislation which would "cut meth production and use..." House Bill 2266 has moved to the Senate after approval by the House of Representatives.
      McCune explained that he doesn't believe "we need new taxes." That the state budget could be balanced without adding new taxes. He briefly touched on discussion of a twenty cent gas tax increase and said he was against this. As for the budget McCune said he sees funding in the budget for class room sizes but not for a raise in teacher's wages. Bethel high school teacher Lynda Schlosser was told by McCune that he would put teachers at the top of his list.
      Arlen Paranto described how the town was in "severe financial straits" and wondered how the community could get state funding for a town square and keep Van Eaton Park. McCune suggested Paranto discuss the subject with Pierce County Councilmember Roger Bush who also attended the small meeting. Bush reminded citizens that all funding would require matching funds. If a community received $30,000 they would have to come up with $15,000 in matching revenue. 
      McCune also touched on the cross-base highway which is still in the works and said he wasn't in favor of a National ID.

Van Eaton Park Council Decision Sparks Appeal to State Board...

     Dixie A. Walter
     March 29, 2005

     Last night's three to one council decision to pave the way toward selling Van Eaton Park (please see below) prompted troubled citizens to file a petition today for review with the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board  (the Board). The Town of Eatonville was served notice of this petition today also. The petitioners are: Dr. Stephen Cossalman, Charles (Chuck) McTee, Arlen Paranto and Steve Van Cleve.
    The appeal is not "site specific" according to Steve Van Cleve. The petition includes several areas of alleged land use violations within the town. Van Cleve explained that the petition points to the fact the town's revised draft Comprehensive Plan was not adopted by the state's December 1, 2004 deadline. An issue brought up several times during town council meetings by Councilmember Bobbi Allison since last fall. The comp plan hasn't been adopted by the town as of today.
     This means the town is out of
*compliance with their Comprehensive Plan. The petition also contends that the town failed to follow proper procedures under the Growth Management Act (GMA) and violated policies of the current Comprehensive Plan. Failure to adopt the revised draft plan means the town must adhere to the rules in the 1993 version of the comp plan until such time as the revised draft plan is adopted by the town council. The revised draft comp plan is with the planning commission at this time. From the planning commission it goes to the town council for review and adoption or changes.
     In 1990 the State of Washington passed the GMA. This act is designed to mandate "smart growth." "...The Growth Management Act was adopted because the Washington State Legislature found that uncoordinated and unplanned growth posed a threat to the environment, sustainable economic development and the quality of life in Washington," according to the GMA Website. The GMA's purpose is to encourage "wise land use and planning." 
     In 1991 growth management boards were formed to settle land use disagreements in a timely manner. There are three such quasi-judicial boards in the state. The Board which was petitioned by Eatonville citizens serves Pierce, King, Snohomish, Kitsap Counties and the cities in these counties. 

    For more information about the GMA please see The Growth Management Act

   *Compliance: "conformity in fulfilling official requirements" - Merriam Webster

Town to Receive $807,500...

     Press Release
     April 1, 2005

    On March 28, 2005 Governor Gregoire signed HB 1049. The bill approves $155 million in Public Works Trust Fund loans to finance 64 critical infrastructure projects in 54 jurisdictions statewide.  
   The Public Works Board staff are excited to be working with the local governments who are receiving these loan funds. Several loan agreements for these projects are already executed

    Listed below are jurisdictions that will be receiving a loan agreement as a result of HB 1049:

    Pierce County has been awarded a $2,942,000 low-interest loan for their major widening and reconstruction of the Canyon Road E / 176th Street E Intersection. A  local contact person is Ms. Christine Smith at: (253) 798-2762 or e-mail at:
   The Town of Eatonville was also awarded an $807,500 low-interest loan to install two-350 gpm alternative filtration plants for their water system. A  local contact person is Ms. Carrie Loffelmacher at: (360) 832-3361 or e-mail at:

Council Votes Three to One:  Sell Van Eaton Park...

                                                                                                                   (photo by Bob Walter)

     March 28, 2005: Concerned citizens filled the Eatonville Community Center meeting room Monday night to hear the town council's decision regarding Van Eaton Park. After citizens' comments were heard, and a petition to save the park was presented to the council, the body voted three to one to declare the land surplus and sell it.
    Councilmember Ray Harper made the motion to pass Resolution 2005-O. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Waylan Jumper. Councilmember Bobbi Allison was the only official voting "No" on the controversial issue. Councilmember Chelan Van Eaton Jarrett recused herself because sale of the little park with the great big view would generate funds which reportedly will be used to buy property from her uncle Terry Van Eaton. 
     Mayor Bruce Rath wondered if the council should set a "special meeting" to set a price for the park or wait until the next scheduled meeting April 11. It was decided to wait until Monday, April 11, to put a price tag on the little park. More to come.


Planning Commissioner Ron "Grins" Pierce Resigns...

                                                       (photo by Dixie A. Walter)

     March 21, 2005

     Planning Commission Chairman Phil Beach announced at the commission meeting Monday, March 21, that he received an email from Commissioner Ron "Grins" Pierce, that day, resigning his position as a planning commissioner. His resignation leaves an empty seat on the nine-member commission, an advisory body. Pierce was also secretary of the commission, Chris Bertram was elected to take that post. 
     Pierce took his seat on the Eatonville Planning Commission September 18, 2000. He was appointed by then Mayor Cliff Murphy. He gave no reason for his resignation. Planning Commission terms are seven years. 
     The three-hour planning commission meeting covered several subjects in detail. Among them was more information about Van Eaton Park. Commissioner Steve Pruitt made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Mike Williams, to retain the name Van Eaton for the park. The commission voted unanimously to save the name. The name had been changed in the town's Draft Revised Comprehensive Plan. The park was given two names in the new draft comp plan, but in the 1993 comp plan the Van Eaton name is used. Until the latest revision of the comp plan is adopted by the council the 1993 plan is the town's working document.
     Among the items on the agenda were "Final revisions to the Draft Revised Comprehensive Plan, Adopt Draft Revised Comprehensive Plan and send it to the Town Council for adoption, Final Revisions to the Draft Development Regulations (Critical Areas Code and Administrative Procedures), Adopt the Draft Development Regulations and send them to the Town Council for adoption." 
     Steve Van Cleve, former chair of the commission and a professional pilot, raised several important questions about the lack of defined safety zones at the airport. He explained to the commission that the town was out of compliance and shouldn't even be considering the comp plan at this point. Stating, "These safety issues simply must be addressed," Van Cleve convinced the commissioners to wait until the next meeting, Monday, April 4, or later, to finalize the comp plan and send the weighty document to the council for adoption.
    This decision also put the Draft Critical Areas Ordinance and Draft Development Regulations on hold. 

Tiffany Van Eaton Chosen for Girl Scout Event...

                                                                             (photo by Holly Van Eaton)

     March 14, 2005: In the midst of the controversy swirling around the park named for her great- great-grandfather, T. C. Van Eaton, Tiffany Van Eaton calmly lends a hand to a unique Girl Scout project. Every year the Girl Scouts of Totem Council create a quilt to give to the first baby born on March 12 which is the Girl Scout's birthday. The first troop meeting of Girl Scouts in the United States was held in Savannah, Georgia March 12, 1912 making the organization 93 years old. Tiffany, who will be ten in July, was one of six girls selected to present this special quilt to the mother and baby. Tiffany is the granddaughter of Pat and Edwinna Van Eaton of Eatonville.
     The baby boy who received the quilt was born in  Overlake Hospital in Bellevue. There was one Brownie, two Juniors, and two Cadets who presented the quilt. Each year the council chooses a different hospital; each troop in Totem Council is asked to have their girls make a square for the quilt.

Soil Sample Taken from Van Eaton Park...

                                                                                             (photo by Arlen Paranto)

     March 17, 2005: Yesterday, Wednesday, March 16 the above rig drilled deeply into one area at Van Eaton Park. According to a resident of the area the soil they found was "wet and sticky" and the workers had a hard time cleaning it off their shovels. Geotechnical Testing Laboratory out of Olympia is reportedly doing the soil testing. During the last council meeting, February 28, it was decided to have a geotech report done on the little park to discover whether it was suitable for building even though it is on a mapped hazardous landslide area. To see a Pierce County map defining the slopes on the small property please see Slopes Map

This is Below the Ground at Van Eaton Park...

                                                                                (photo by Arlen Paranto)

      Above is a portion of the soil taken from Van Eaton Park March 16. It was wet and sticky when removed from the ground. The soil sample appears claylike. However, a geologist will identify the goop soon. 

Yes, Madora, There's a Sign in Your Tree...

                                                                                                             (photo by Bob Walter)

      March 20, 2005: This "Save Van Eaton Park" sign mysteriously, and humorously turned up in one of Madora Dawkins'  50 year old trees over the weekend. Madora's home on Center Street in Eatonville has that Norman Rockwell look except there's a sign in her tree. It's a crow's eye view of the logo to save the little park on the hill above town. Madora, a retired Eatonville Elementary School teacher, also has a sign on her fence and has been collecting signatures on a petition to preserve the small park with the great, big view and the dangerous slopes. Please see below for more information about the citizen's meeting.  
Madora Dawkins'  50 year old trees over the weekend. Madora's home on Center Street in Eatonville has that Norman Rockwell look except there's a sign in her tree. It's a crow's eye view of the logo to save the little park on the hill above town. Madora, a retired Eatonville Elementary School teacher, also has a sign on her fence and has been collecting signatures on a petition to preserve the small park with the great, big view and the dangerous slopes. Please see below for more information about the citizen's meeting.  

     March 20, 2005: On Thursday, March 17th, at the Pierce County Regional Council (PCRC), King Cushman from Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC)  gave a briefing on the Rural Town Centers and Corridors Program. Councilmember Bobbi Allison represents the Town of Eatonville at PCRC, and will make copies of the handouts that Cushman presented to PCRC available at the council meeting scheduled for Monday, March 28. 
    The Puget Sound Regional Council dedicated $1 million/year to support rural centers/corridors projects for application/selection in 2005.  For more about the Rural Program, please visit: To see eligibility guidelines and requirements please see PCRC

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