July 2023 edition

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In this issue

  • Gratitude For Minter Creek Elementary

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    With my daughter moving on to Key Peninsula Middle School this fall, I wanted to extend my thanks to all the teachers and staff at Minter Creek Elementary that guided her from kindergarten to the …

  • Save Burley Lagoon From Geoduck Farming

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    A fight has been brewing over the fate of a beautiful estuary just north of Purdy Spit. On one side of the tug-of-war is Taylor Shellfish Co., which owns the leases and is turning the beaches into an …

  • Charlie Sehmel

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    I moved to Herron Island from Seattle around 2015 after being a weekender for years. The Key Peninsula had been flyover country for me until that time, but once I made the move the place and its …

  • A Wolf in Fish Clothing

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. That warning is a paraphrase of a passage from the Gospel of Matthew. As a much younger man I made my living as a carpenter. It seems like a lifetime ago, …

  • Smartphones at School?

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    During a recent chat with my 14-year-old niece, I was surprised to learn that she takes her phone to school every day. Not only that, but she uses it while she’s in class, with no …

  • Practicing Without A License

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    Practicing medicine requires training and certification. Few legislators are qualified, so can they be held liable for practicing medicine without a license? Since June 2022, 24 states including my …

  • Wound Care

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    Who among us on the Key Peninsula has not been wounded by blackberries? Even when taking the utmost care, those persistent vines can open up an ugly wound quicker than you can say ouch. It is …

  • PC Fire Marshal: Fireworks Allowed Only July 4 (and New Year’s Eve)

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    The Pierce County Fire Prevention Bureau wants the Key Peninsula to enjoy fireworks on the Fourth of July. Just don’t do them before or after.

  • Pierce County Updates Its Solid Waste Program

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    This spring Pierce County upped its game in collecting organic waste. It will now allow vegetable and fruit trimmings, tea bags and coffee with paper filters in yard waste collected at curbside and …

  • County Roadside Vegetation Management Program Changes

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    In late May and early June drivers may have noticed wider than usual swaths of dead vegetation along the sides of many Key Peninsula roads. A combination of factors, including unusual early spring …

  • Key Free Clinic Reopens in Key Center Corral Office

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    Founded in 2013 and closed since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the Key Free Clinic reopened in new quarters June 22 in the KP Community Council office in the Key Center Corral, located at …

  • Wildfire Danger Increasing on Key Peninsula as Summer Heats Up

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    Vegetation and wildland fires have been occurring more frequently and earlier in the season on the Key Peninsula in recent years, according to Public Information Officer and Volunteer Battalion Chief …

  • Longbranch Photographer Shares Her Art of Storytelling

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    Gretchen Shepherd was getting ready to head to church camp at Camp Ghormley near Yakima. It was summer in the 1960s, and to capture the special moments between all the worship and fellowship, her …

  • PSD Names New Assistant Principal to KPMS for Next School Year

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    After interviewing numerous candidates, Peninsula School District announced that Kim Kinney was selected as the new assistant principal of Key Peninsula Middle School beginning in the 2023-24 school …

  • Hugh McMillan Memorial

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    A memorial service honoring the life of Hugh McMillan of Home was held June 18 at the Peninsula High School gymnasium. Family, friends and dignitaries including US Rep. Derek Kilmer eulogized the …

  • Remembering Ted and Joanna, Our Friends and Colleagues

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    The Key Peninsula community lost two family members when Ted Ralston and Joanna Gormly were murdered in May 2020. It was the beginning of the pandemic, and we hardly knew how to react, what to do …

  • Local Students Win Pierce County Artwork Awards

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    Two Peninsula School District students received awards for their artwork in the 27th annual Our Own Expressions Teen Writing and Art Contest presented by the Pierce County Library System May 20. …

  • The Heart of a Survivor: Playing Bad Cards With Strong Hands

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    If you see Mary McGriff shopping at Key Center Food Market and ask what happened to her hands, she’ll tell you more than you probably wanted to know.

  • KPMS Student Takes Bike Riding to a Whole New Level

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    For many middle schoolers, hopping on a bike during the summer months means goofing around with friends or riding around the neighborhood streets.

  • Learning to Love Worms and Their Gardener’s Gold

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    This spring I fell in love with worms. Red wiggler worms to be exact.   Why do I love them? Let me count the ways. They have five hearts! They eat half their body weight each day! They …

  • What’s All the Stink About Septic System Inspections?

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    Septic systems are the unsung heroes for homeowners on the Key Peninsula. They work tirelessly and discreetly handling nature’s call, and until something nasty happens, they’re often …

  • Even Dolly Parton’s Coleslaw is Larger Than Life

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    Dolly Parton and I go way back.   In the earlier 1970s, my siblings and cousins and I got ferried around a lot by one of our slightly older cousins in a sky blue Plymouth Valiant, the one …

  • Bears on the KP: Stories and Notes on the Local Bear Situation

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    Last October, for the first time in recent memory, a bear paid a visit to Herron Island. By the time word got out and folks went looking, it was nowhere to be found, swum back to the mainland. …

  • ‘The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows’

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    One day last month I was standing in line at my neighborhood gas station with a six-pack in one hand and a three-day-old corndog in the other when a tall, younger (than me) Black man with a …

  • KP Fire District Still in Planning for Properties, Existing Facilities

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    The Key Peninsula Fire District 16 board of fire commissioners is nearing completion of its research to determine the future of Key Center real estate parcels it purchased in 2021 for a possible new …

  • Guilty Verdicts For Vaughn Couple’s Murder and Arson

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    The last two of four defendants accused of murdering Vaughn couple Ted Ralston, 71, and Joanna Gormly, 73, in their Vaughn home in 2020 were found guilty at trial in Pierce County Superior Court June …

  • Becoming One With Nature

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

    Morning comes early in summer. Between the light and the rising chorus of birdsong, catching a few extra winks of sleep is hard to do.

  • Out & About July 2023

    Wednesday, June 28, 2023

  • Melvin Riley

    Monday, June 26, 2023

    Melvin was born in Maryville, Missouri, June 19, 1944, and resided in Washington state most of his life. He was a registered nurse and contractor. He built many houses in Mason and Pierce Counties. …

  • Naomi Lavonne Spear

    Monday, June 26, 2023

    Naomi Lavonne (Dear) Spear of Gig Harbor passed away at Tacoma General Hospital April 3. She was born Nov. 27, 1948, in Massillon, Ohio, to the Rev. Roy and Alice Dear. Naomi graduated from …

  • Anthropocene Haiku

    Wednesday, May 31, 2023

    Graphic notes on local life


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