Table of Contents Special Feature 10-12 Celebrating Christmas in the Touchet Valley
The Touchet Valley is loaded with great Christmas activities, including Dayton's Christmas Kickoff Celebration and Waitsburg's Hometown Christmas. Be sure not to miss them.
6 News: State Cuts Put Dayton Hospital at Risk 7-9 News Briefs 13 The Arts 14 Books 16-17 Calendar of Events 19 One More Thing... All I want for Christmas is a bowl of marshmallow charms
On the Cover Fun and activities for kids of all ages are in store during Dayton' s Christmas Kickoff celebration. Photos by Ken Graham. Cover design by Vanessa Heim.
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Blue Mountain NEWS
Fifty Issues and Counting
he newspaper you’re holding in your hands (or Badly. Tanya’s been on board ever since, and she’s helped out looking at on your screen) is the 50th issue of Blue with just about everything. It’s no exaggeration to say that Mountain News. If this were a daily paper, we’d be Blue Mountain News couldn’t have survived without her. Just over a year later, even though I wasn’t looking for nearly two months old. But we’re not a daily paper. We’re a monthly paper that takes a couple of months off a year, which anyone, I received a resume from a young woman who was graduating from WSU with a means that we’ve been at this for graphic design degree. She had almost five years. That’s nearly grown up in Dayton, but I’d twice as long as Gilligan’s Island never heard of her. Her name lasted on TV. And it’s almost was Vanessa, and she obviously as long as I spent getting my had much better design skills four-year college degree. than I do, so I hired her. She A lot of things had to go actually has better design skills right for Blue Mountain News than just about anyone. Thanks to make it this long. Most to Vanessa Heim, we have one importantly, you all read it – or of the best looking newspapers many of you did. I know there around, I think. are lots of interesting things to And of course I have to do besides read our newspaper, also thank my mother, Julia so we owe you huge thanks for Mark, who, with one or two that. We have an advantage, of exceptions, has proof-read every course, because we write about issue of Blue Mountain News a wonderful place that most of before it went to press. So any you care deeply about. And typos or other mistakes you’ve besides that, we show up in your seen on these pages over the mailbox every month, whether years have been her fault. But you want us to or not. thanks to her, there haven't Every bit as important as Back in the days of Lewis and Clark been many. our readers are our advertisers. At the end of that first I’m deeply grateful for the wonderful support we’ve gotten from many businesses Blue Mountain News issue, I wrote a little piece in which around here who have used our paper to promote themselves. I described how, though I had no experience working on a We couldn’t have survived without them, obviously. I hope newspaper, I’ve been an enthusiastic reader of them all my we’ve been able to help them improve their businesses a life. I pointed out that some of them caused me to lose track of time, while others lost my interest after only a couple of little bit as well. When the first issue of Blue Mountain News was thrust minutes. I’m particularly grateful to everyone who has told upon the world in March of 2007, I was working mostly me they often sit down and take the time to read the Blue alone. Out of some form of faith or delusion, I called that Mountain News cover-to-cover. It’s because of you that we’re first issue a “monthly” newspaper. But really, I had no idea still doing this after 50 issues. how I was going to keep it going. A week later I ran into Ken Graham Tanya Patton at the grocery store, and she told me she really enjoyed that paper. I thanked her and told her I needed help.
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Comment Wanna Keep our Hospital? Fire Up Your Email
hinking about government finances and health care costs hurts our brains, and probably yours too. But sometimes we have to do it. We may think our taxes are too high, and we may not all agree with how the government spends our money, but there are times when spending cuts the government proposes are unfair and will only make things worse. To help fix the state’s budget problems, Washington Governor Chris Gregoire has proposed to eliminate costbased reimbursements for Medicaid patients at critical access hospitals in the state, including Dayton General. This cut would save the state, which is facing a $2 billion shortfall, about $40 million in 2012. But it would cost our local hospital more than $400,000 in lost revenue next year, and could lead to its eventual closure. This is for real, and it’s explained in more detail in the article on Page 6. Columbia County Health System CEO Charlie Button says that cost-based reimbursement to small rural hospitals for services to Medicaid patients was put in place because the fixed-payment schedule used to reimburse large urban hospitals doesn’t come close to covering Medicaid costs for small hospitals like Dayton’s. The proposed change would mean that Dayton General Hospital would be reimbursed using the same fee schedule as the large hospitals. The state of Washington has committed to be part of the federal Medicaid program which provides health care for lower-income Americans. Medicaid is an extremely expensive program, and getting more so all the time. The proposed reduction in reimbursements doesn’t change the state’s commitment to Medicaid or our local hospital’s
obligation to serve Medicaid recipients. What it does is pass much of the burden of that obligation on to local citizens – either by us agreeing to pay higher local taxes to make up for those non-reimbursed Medicaid costs, or else by the loss of our local hospital. Got a headache yet? The cut the Governor has proposed is not a done deal. It must be passed by the state legislature. The legislature will go into special session on November 28th to address the state’s budget shortfall, and their regular session begins in January. When we spoke with Representative Terry Nealey, of Dayton, he said he wasn’t sure when the legislature would take up the Medicaid reimbursement issue, but it will be sometime in the next two or three months. We urge all of our readers, as does Representative Nealey, to call or email state legislators and urge them to preserve the Medicaid reimbursements to critical access hospitals as they are now. Key legislators, and their contact information, are listed in the box below. Representative Nealey told us that it helps to write your own personal message, and not copy and paste a pre-written one. And an email is as good as a letter. (He also told us this is already his number one issue, so you don’t have to convince him.) Tell the legislators how important having local health care is to our community, and how important those jobs are. And tell them we’re not asking for a hand-out or a subsidy. We’re simply asking the state to live up to its duty to cover the costs our local hospital incurs to meet the Medicaid obligation the state has committed to. And when you’re done, you can go take some aspirin. q
Contact Information for Key Legislators Representative Terry Nealey
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Representative Shelly Short
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Representative Maureen Walsh
Senator Bob Morton
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Representative Mike Armstrong
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Senator Linda Evans Parlette
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Blue Mountain NEWS
State Budget Cuts Put Dayton Hospital at Risk By Ken Graham
he effort to shore up Washington’s state budget could have a devastating impact on health care services in Columbia County and Waitsburg. With the state facing a $2 billion revenue shortfall between now and June 30, 2012, the Washington State Health Care Authority has proposed – and Governor Chris Gregoire has endorsed – a plan to eliminate cost-based reimbursements for Medicaid patients at critical access hospitals. Dayton General Hospital is one of 38 hospitals in Washington designated as “critical access” because they provide vital health care services in rural areas. According to Charlie Button, CEO of Columbia County Health System (CCHS), Dayton’s hospital will face a revenue reduction of more than $400,000 in 2012 if the cut is implemented. “This is a cut our hospital simply can’t absorb,” he says. Button says that the proposed revenue reduction represents about 4% of the Health System’s annual budget. “CCHS has already made major cuts in the past few years because of the financial difficulties we’ve experienced,” he says. “There’s simply nowhere we can cut another $400,000 without significantly reducing our services.” State Representative Terry Nealey, Republican of Dayton, is working hard to make sure the state’s payments to critical access hospitals are maintained at current levels. “This is my number one issue right now,” he says. “By far.” Nealey says he is talking with legislators throughout the state to make sure critical access hospitals are not put in jeopardy. The Washington State Hospital Association says that the proposed cuts in Medicaid payments to critical access hospitals will result in a savings to the state of $34.5 million. However, those hospitals will lose a total of $69 million in revenue because of the loss of federal matching funds. The association warns that as many as half of the 38 critical access hospitals in the state could end up closing their doors if this change is implemented. Button and Nealey fear that Dayton General may be one of them. Currently, all critical access hospitals in Washington are reimbursed on a “reasonable-cost” basis for services they provide to low-income patients who qualify for the state’s Medicaid program. These include
Blue Mountain NEWS
Columbia County Health System may soon face a dire budget emergancy.
emergency room visits, acute care, physical therapy and lab work. According to Button, at the end of each year Dayton General Hospital prepares detailed cost breakdowns which are audited by the state. The state’s Medicaid reimbursement to the hospital is based on those costs. Button points out that the proposed cuts affect only Medicaid services provided by the hospital, and not those at CCHS’s two clinics or its nursing home. Button says hospitals in the state that are not designated “critical access” – mostly larger facilities in urban areas – are reimbursed for Medicaid patients on a fixed-payment basis. If the proposed change is approved by the legislature in the next few months, critical access hospitals will be reimbursed on the same basis as larger hospitals. “Small hospitals are not able to operate as efficiently as large ones,” says Button, “so those fixed payments don’t come close to covering our costs.” Button used the example of the emergency room, which must have staff at all times, even though they’re often not being used. “In a large hospital, the ER is busy much of the time. In ours it’s not, but we still have to keep it staffed.” Button says that if the proposed change is put into effect, local taxpayers will almost certainly be asked to make up much of the difference. “That will be up to the (Columbia County Hospital District) board,” he says. “But I’m sure they would request a
Maintenance and Operations (M&O) levy that would allow us to continue our services. That would be a big hit to local property owners, but we’re committed to do everything we can to keep the doors open.” Local residents are being encouraged by community leaders to contact state legislators and ask them to oppose the proposed cuts in Medicaid reimbursements to critical access hospitals. A list of contact information for local legislators and those on the committees that will address the issue are shown on page 5. “If we lose our hospital, Dayton and Waitsburg residents will have to drive to Walla Walla for healthcare services, including emergencies,” Button says. “And we will lose the largest employer in the county, with 130 jobs.” He points out that closure of the hospital would affect not only local residents, but also businesses like Ski Bluewood, and others that attract visitors.” Representative Nealey says that Medicaid is one of the most difficult budget issues faced by the state legislature. “Medicaid is a huge part of the budget, and it’s getting bigger,” he says. However, both Nealey and Button point out that Medicaid reimbursements to critical access hospitals are a small part of the state’s total Medicaid budget – only about 3%. “This $400,000 is critical,” says Nealey. “If the hospital loses that, I see it as starting down a slippery slope.” He points out that major cuts in staff and services would inevitably lead to more reductions in revenues. “I fear that ends with closing the hospital, and that would be absolutely devastating, both in terms of health care services and job losses.” q
News Briefs Downtown Playground Up and Running
Above: Three-year-old Ava Atwood and her four-year-old brother Tanner can't get enough of the play structure at Dayton's new downtown playground next to the Historic Depot, as their cousin, Morgan Breland, watches. Right, Ava gives one of the structure's three slides a test run. The new playground is the first phase of a project by the Dayton Development Task Force to improve city-owned property along East Commercial Avenue between Front and Second Streets. A group of volunteers, including Bob Yost, Pat Barker, Roger Becker and Steve Martin, spent time excavating and bringing in gravel and bark for the playground. Special thanks goes out to John Watts, who spent many hours assembling the playground structures, pouring concrete and spreading gravel and bark. The Task Force's playground committee will begin work on the wooden fence beside the playground shortly. (Photos by Ken Graham.)
What is this?
This odd fruit was found by Dayton resident Clarence Spenard somewhere in the Touchet Valley. It is bright green-yellow when ripe and contains white, milky sap and several hundred small seeds. The seeds are edible but the fruit surrounding the seeds is not. This plant is native to the Red River Valley of southern Oklahoma and northern Texas. The fruit gives off a faint orange odor when ripe. People use the fruit in and around their house to repel spiders and other insects in the fall but scientists have not "proven" this effect. The wood is very strong, but flexible so it was and still is highly prized for making bows. It also has the highest BTU content of any wood. Over 220 million of these were planted in long hedges in the 1930's as part of FDR's "Great Plains Shelterbelt" project in an effort to curb erosion. They were also planted as living fences to keep livestock contained before barbed wire was invented. The trees are relatively easy to grow from seed, but only a few trees have been identified in the Touchet Valley area. Watch for them. They're hard to miss! Don’t know what it’s called? Find out on page 15.
Blue Mountain NEWS
Local Kids Tour WSU The 4H dog club, the Columbia County Krazy K-9s, went to WSU on October 7th to visit the Vet Med school. Two Vet Med students, Caleb and Matt, gave a presentation about veterinary science. We used the scientific method to see what happens to blood when we exercise. Also, what happens to heart rate, respiratory rate and PCV (Pack cell volume)? We learned that PCV is how to measure red blood cells. We formed a hypothesis and tested our hypothesis by doing an experiment. We used two dogs. Aspen was the control dog and Rocky was the exercised dog. We drew blood from both dogs before and after the experiment, measured the PCV and then compared our findings to reach a conclusion. That is the scientific method in action. Science rocks! We also went to the Creamery. There was an observation room where we watched 2 videos about how they make ice cream and cheese. Everyone got to sample their favorite flavor of ice cream. Yum Yum! That’s not all. We also went to the Wildlife Museum. We saw dinosaur fossils and all kinds of animals and bird models. Finally, we visited the bear observatory. It was a fun-packed day! We can’t wait to go again.
Contributed by Club Reporter Jacob Breaux
Club members at sculpture on campus grounds.
Lawrence Turner to Retire From Port Commission
Blue Mountain NEWS
Lawrence Turner will retire this year after more than 25 years on the Port of Columbia’s Board of Commissioners. The Port will hold a celebration and lunch for Commissioner Turner on Wednesday, December 14th, at noon at the Port office. Lawrence was appointed in March 1986 to a vacant position on the Port’s board. He was on the board during the development of the Rock Hill Industrial Park, from the first building constructed in 1988 (Dayton Tractor and Machine) to the most recent building constructed in 2009 (Columbia County Public Transportation). The business park now has ten buildings housing 13 businesses which employ 70 people. Lawrence also oversaw many changes at the Port-
managed Lyons Ferry Marina. He has supported the Port’s Blue Mountain Station project, participating in the first purchase of new property by the Port since the early 1980s, and the installation of infrastructure on eight acres. “I can’t tell you how much I’m going to miss him,” Says Jennie Dickinson, Port manager. “He has been so very helpful to me over the last four years in getting to know the history of the Port and creating a vision for the future.” For more information about Lawrence Turner’s retirement lunch, call Amber or Jennie at the Port at (509) 382-2577.
Mike and Melissa Ferrians are Hometown Heros The Columbia County Coalition for Youth and Families has made Mike and Melissa Ferrians their latest Hometown Heroes award winners for their work with the youth in the Touchet Valley. The Ferrians are being recognized both for their Salt and Light Traveling Musical Ministry and for their involvement with productions at the Liberty Theater. Both programs reach many young people in the valley. Salt and Light provides middle and high school kids from Dayton and Waitsburg an opportunity to sing worship songs and build strong, healthy relationships. On their annual tours, the Ferrians teach positive biblical behaviors, setting goals for how youth act and treat Coalition for Youth and Families president Rea Culwell (center), presents the each other.Â Hometown Heroes award to Melissa and Mike Ferrians. The Ferrians have been involved with the Liberty Theater for ten years, beginning with the second fall musical production. They in children to counter their Adverse Childhood Experiences have worked closely with local youth and encouraged their (ACEs). For more information on the Hometown Heroes award or the Coalition for Youth and Families, contact theatrical development, growth, and accomplishments. Hometown Heroes are sponsored monthly by the Coalition Peggy Gutierrez at Blue Mountain Counseling at (509) as a way to acknowledge local citizens who help build resiliency 382-1164.
Bluewood Plans November 26 Opening
Get out your skis and snowboards and unpack your hats and gloves. It's been snowing at Bluewood and they're planning their opening for Saturday, November 26th. As Blue Mountain News was going to press, Bluewood was reporting 24 inches at the summit and 20 inches at the base. And lots more snow was scheduled to arrive in the next week.
Blue Mountain NEWS
Christmas in th Dayton's Christmas Kickoff Celebration What better time than the Christmas Season for a parade and fireworks. Once again this year, Dayton’s two-day Christmas Kickoff celebration gets into full swing the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 25th with . . . Fireworks A full day of activities on Friday will be capped by a giant fireworks display just east of downtown right after dinnertime. The Fireworks are sponsored by Pacific Power. Main Street Lighted Parade The fireworks come on the heels of Dayton’s third annual Main Street Lighted Parade. This year, organizers are expecting more than forty floats and other entries to light up downtown Dayton starting at 6:00 p.m. Participants will be on foot and in vehicles, ranging from bicycles to fire trucks – all lit up for Christmas. Don’t miss all the Croft’s Characters, including Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, polar bears and gingerbread people. The parade begins on East Main Street at North Fifth, near the Seneca office building. It will move west through downtown. The Main Street Lighted Parade is sponsored by Inland Cellular Hayrides Downtown Free hay rides will be given to the public Friday and Saturday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Doug Kruegar’s mule-drawn wagon will be on the street during those hours, weather permitting. The Hayrides leave from the Depot and are sponsored by Puget Sound Energy. Santa Claus Kids can visit Santa on Friday and Saturday at the Dayton Chiropractic office at 164 E. Main. Bring your own camera, or have Relay for Life members take the kids’ photo, with a five dollar donation. Santa’s hours are 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. Friday and noon to 4:00 p.m. Saturday. Dayton’s Community Christmas Tree is back with decorations made by Dayton Elementary School students. It’s located in the Elk Drug parking lot at First and Main Streets. The Liberty Theater will offer two free showings of the 1983 classic “A Christmas Story, The Movie”. It will play at noon and 3 p.m. The Dayton Historic Depot will feature their annual Christmas Market and art display and
Blue Mountain NEWS
sale upstairs. Artworks b along with high-quality h to 7:00 p.m. Friday and 1 The Boldman House from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. F will enjoy stepping back flutes for the kids. The Weinhard Hotel w the lobby from 2:00 to 8 In addition to all of th retailers, restaurants and late Friday and will featur For a complete listing of a com.
The Touchet Valley M living nativity Friday aft lot behind Dingle's of D p.m. and again at 5:30 p This is the second year th to the commercial aspect decided to pull together lighted parade," says Dayt Greg Bye. "The attendan us to do it again this year Volunteers will be cos designer, Mary Luce. Each story read from the Bible shepherds, angels, Mary of course, live animals. Iz back again this year along donkey. A couple of she Mary's donkey) will com A coloring book, crea tells the biblical Christm and lists the names and churches of the Touche coloring books will be fr "Nothing against Sant folks to pause and con Christmas."
he Touchet Valley
by local artists will be available for sale handcrafted gifts. Hours are 10:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday. e museum will be open for free tours Friday and Saturday. The entire family k in time, with live music and free nose
Waitsburg's Hometown Christmas
will feature live music performances in 8:00 p.m. Friday. hese great activities, most Main Street d many other businesses, will be open re special activities Friday and Saturday. activities, or go to www.historicdayton.
Turkey Bingo will be held on Saturday, December 3th at 4:00 p.m. Festivities will begin with the American Legion Auxiliary’s Friday, 18, 7begin p.m.with (All lots tickets annual event at the TowneNovember Hall. The games of $10) Saturday, November 19, 7 p.m. turkeys and other prizes being given away. Sunday, November 20, 3 p.m. Craft Vendors will set up at theNovember Towne Hall 23, at noon and offer Wednesday, 7 p.m. a wonderful selection of hand-made gifts and other products. Saturday, November 26, 3 p.m. & 7 p.m. Rainbow Girls will be serving free coffee and Sunday, November 27,cookies 3 p.m.throughout the afternoon. The Waitsburg Rainbow2,Girls club includes 14 Friday, December 7 p.m. girls ranging in age from 11 through 18. 3, 3 p.m. Saturday, December
Ministerial Association will present a fternoon November 25th in the vacant Dayton. Performances will be at 4:30 p.m. hat a live nativity will offer a counterpoint t of the Christmas season. "Last year we r a live nativity instead of a float in the ton's Redeemer Lutheran Church pastor nce and response by folks encouraged ar." stumed by Dayton's resident costume h performance will feature the Christmas e, singing of Christmas carols, wisemen, and Joseph and a baby doll Jesus, and zzy, Waitsburg's resident camel will be g with his buddy Whinny, the miniature eep and Jack the pony (standing in as mplete the scene. ated especially for this year's nativity mas story in pictures and scriptural text d contact information for all member et Valley Ministerial Association. The ree to interested youngsters. ta," says Bye. "But we want to encourage nsider Jesus Christ as the Christ in
Christmas Carolers the Waitsburg Schools Ticketsfrom available at the theater or will online at sing Christmas www.libertytheater.org. songs at the Towne Hall throughout the afternoon. Ticket Prices $12 - $20 except as noted above. Santa Claus will be taking requests all afternoon at the Towne Liberty Theater, E. to Main Hall beginning atThe 1:30 Sunday. Kids are344 invited comeSt., andDayton, WA sit on Santa’s lap, and parents are invited bring cameras and (509)to382-1380 take photos.
Waitsburg celebrates Christmas each year with a wonderful community celebration at Ye Towne Hall the first weekend in December. This year, the Commercial Club has another excellent lineup of activities for the whole family on December 3rd and 4th:
"A Christmas Carol"
Special Merchandise Drawings will be held beginning at 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Drawing tickets are available at retailers in Waitsburg. Receive one ticket for every $5 spent. Gifts and prizes have been donated by merchants from Waitsburg, Dayton and Walla Walla. The Commercial Club has also donated gift certificates. Must be present to win! Waitsburg’s Christmas Lighted Parade – will begin at the north end of Main Street at 5:00 p.m. Sunday. Anyone with or without wheels is invited to light up their vehicle and/or themselves and take part. Trucks and farm equipment are particularly invited. Santa will make an appearance in the parade as well. If you’re not participating, please come and watch. Chili Feed – At the conclusion of the parade, Waitsburg’s Christmas Chili Feed will begin at Ye Towne Hall, sponsored by the Commercial Club.
More on Page 12
Blue Mountain NEWS
Special Feature (continued) Dayton's Community Christmas Tree Takes its Place at Elk Drug
First Annual Holiday Lighted Home Tour in Dayton For many families, driving around town looking at Christmas lights is a holiday tradition. This year let Columbia County Public Transportation (CCPT) employees do the driving so you and your family can sit back, relax and enjoy the show. Dayton’s first annual Tour of Lights, sponsored by CCPT, will kick-off on Friday November 25th immediately following the fireworks show. Buses will leave from the Elk Drug parking lot and drive by all the houses that are decorated and entered in the Tour and “Best of Show” contest. Bus passengers will get to vote for their favorite house. The winner, which will be announced December 15th, will receive a cash prize of $100. Subsequent tours will leave Elk Drug at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, November 26th and 27th, December 3rd and 4th and December 10th and 11th. The fare is just $1.00 for passengers age 60 or older and $1.50 for everyone else. Monthly bus passes do not apply. Park the car, join your neighbors and enjoy the show.
It all started with a spark, an idea, and before the week was over, Dayton had a lovely community Christmas tree standing proudly in the Elk Drug parking lot at the corner of Main and 1st Street. And what a difference a few hours make. Waitsburg resident, John Watts, began his quest to dig the required two-foot deep hole for the tree trunk at approximately noon on Saturday, November 19th. The small jackhammer made lots of noise but appeared to have minimal impact. However, by 3:30 p.m. the tree, donated by Broughton Land Company, was set in position and ready for decorating. Its presence is sure to add extra sparkle to Dayton’s Main Street this holiday season.
Hometown Bazaar and Gingerbread Contest Dayton residents and crafting enthusiasts Marna Moore and Lois Hemphill have organized a Hometown Bazaar featuring crafts and handmade gift items during Dayton’s Christmas Kickoff weekend, November 25th and 26th. They will set up shop at 270 E. Main in the building formerly occupied by Passmore Family Dentistry. The organizers will also host a gingerbread contest and free "makeand-take" crafts for kids. Hours for the Hometown Bazaar are 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The Hometown Bazaar and Gingerbread Contest are sponsored by the Village Shoppes. For more information, call Marna Moore at (509) 382-2188 or Lois Hemphill at (509) 520-8838.
Project Timothy Christmas Food Baskets Reservations are now being taken from families wishing to receive holiday food baskets. According to Ruth Peterson, of the Project Timothy board, approximately 80 baskets will be available this year. Families living
Light up the Tree of Life! Walla Walla Community Hospice
25th Annual TREE OF LIFE
Dedicate a light to honor the life of someone special.
A $10 donation sponsors a light on the Tree of Life
Receive a beveled glass ornament with a $25 donation. Call WWCH at 525-5561 to make your donation. More information at www.wwhospice.org.
TREE AND CANDLE LIGHTING CEREMONY Sunday, December 11, 2011 7:00 pm Die Brucke Building, Downtown Walla Walla Plan to attend this special event to pay tribute to those remembered on the Tree of Life.
Blue Mountain NEWS
in Columbia County are eligible to receive baskets. Baskets will include a whole or half ham – depending on family size – along with potatoes, rolls, dessert and various canned goods. Baskets will be distributed on December 17th. Project Timothy is encouraging local residents to make donations of cash or canned goods to the holiday food basket program. To make a donation, reserve a basket, or for more information, contact Ruth Peterson at (509) 337-8849.
Waitsburg Lions Smoked Turkey Sale The Waitsburg Lions are once again cooking up Turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas. In November they cooked and sold 168 turkeys. On December 8th, they will cook up a whopping 420 turkeys at the Waitsburg Fairgrounds. Lions smoked turkeys can be purchased and reserved at the Waitsburg Grocery, and picked up there after December 10th. The price is $30. This is one of the biggest fundraisers for the Waitsburg Lions, and proceeds from the turkey sale go to fund their many community activities throughout the year. For more information, call the Waitsburg Grocery at (509) 3376641
The Arts Nathan Riley Photos and Metal Sculpture at Palus Museum in Dayton
The work of Walla Walla photographer and sculptor Nathan Riley is on display at Dayton’s Palus Museum. The show, “Photo Images and Metal Sculptures Inspired by Rural Columbia County Landscapes and Vintage Farmsteads”, is dedicated to Riley’s grandfather, the late Skip Thronson, a longtime local farmer and rancher. Riley grew up in Salem, Oregon, but spent many summers working on his grandfather’s ranch north of Dayton. He is
a veteran photographer who has made photo series of the Lewis and Clark Trail and the Oregon Trail. The work in Riley’s show is available for sale. The Palus Museum is located at 426 East Main Street in Dayton and is open 1 – 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through December 17th. The museum will be open until 7 p.m. Friday, November 26th. For more information, contact Elizabeth Thorn at (509) 382-4820.
Local Artists in Holiday Shows Steve Henderson at Fort WW Museum Oil Paintings and watercolors by Dayton artist Steve Henderson are currently showing in the Grand Hall of the entry building at the Fort Walla Walla Museum. Henderson’s work includes portraits and landscapes. Fort Walla Walla Museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, through December 23rd, except Thanksgiving Day. For more information, contact the museum at (509) 525-7703.
Monica Stobie at Dumas Station Dayton pastel artist Monica Stobie is showing her work this fall at Dumas Station Winery, west of Dayton. The
tasting room will be open during Christmas Kickoff weekend, Friday from 1 – 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The show will also run during Walla Walla’s Holiday Barrel Tasting Weekend, December 2 – 4. Stobie’s subjects include primitive rock art and wildlife. Her work is painted on hand-made bark paper. For more information, contact Dumas Station Winery at (509) 3828933.
Art at the Depot Several local artists are showing at the Dayton Historic Depot through December. For more information, call the Depot at (509) 382-2026.
Blue Mountain NEWS
Read Any Good Books Lately? By Tanya Patton
asked the members of the Columbia County Rural Library Board to each recommend a book this month. Library folks are generally pretty passionate about books so I knew they would rise to the challenge. Bonnie Williams has been a Board member since the District was formed in 2006 and a Dayton resident since 1966. She worked in a number of places around town before retiring as Port of Columbia secretary several years ago, Bonnie reads A LOT and she admits that she’s not real hard to please. She enjoys a variety of genres and will randomly pull books off the shelf and “give them a try.” Bonnie recommends Unsaid, by Neil Abramson. The book is written from the first person perspective of Helena, a young veterinarian who has died from breast cancer. After her death, she reflects on her life experiences, relationships and decisions, afraid that her life has had little meaning and will be forgettable. The book is about her finding resolution and peace with her life. Bonnie writes, “Through her animals, friends, family and coworkers her story touches many experiences we have all had. A good read for animal lovers and people observers.” June Riley, the newest member of the Board, recommends The Quest for the Lost Roman Legions (Discovering the Varus Battlefield) by Tony Clunn. She writes, “Lieutenant Tony Clunn is an officer in the British Army who has a passion for archeology. In his spare time, while stationed in Germany in the mid-1980's, he searched for the Varus battlefield, where in 9 A.D, three Roman legions, nearly 20,000 men, were slaughtered by the German tribes. He used a metal detector, researched other archeologists' ideas of the battlefield's location and his own common sense of
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battle strategies to make an educated guess of the battlefield location. In 1987 he found the Varus battlefield in the Teutoburger Wald in Kalkriese. "Mr. Clunn intersperses the telling of his archeological work with fictionalized stories of the legions and their deadly enemies. "Some of the reasons I found this book so enthralling was that it was written by the man who found the battlefield. He is an amateur archeologist who, because of his passion for history found a battlefield lost for 2,000 years. He paints a picture of life in the legions in Germania 2,000 years ago. You can feel the fear of the battle, the anger of the oppressed German tribes and the loss of the individual legionnaire. If you love history, you will love this book. "I work as the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney here in Columbia County. I have three wonderful children, a man who manages to put up with me, two dogs, a crazy cat, and many wonderful friends. I too would love to go out into a field and make some amazing discovery that would transport me back in time by holding a piece of history. When I read this book I was able to share Tony Clunn's experience of doing that very thing.” Dawn McGhan has worked as an elementary school teacher for 32 years. She gets just as excited about well written children’s fiction as adult fiction. Although Dawn thoroughly enjoys “escaping” into fiction, she has resolved to read more non-fiction in the future. Sara Donati’s Into the Wilderness five book series is near the top of Dawn’s list of favorite books. “I didn’t just read these books, I lived in them,” she says. “They are pure escapism – danger, adventure, romance, history. They touched my imagination.” The series takes up where The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper leaves off. The setting is upstate New York in the late 1700s. Dawn describes it as a sweeping, satisfying saga of the Bonner family. When she and husband Mike finish their mountain cabin, she plans to cozy up by the wood stove and read the entire series all over again. q
This Month at
The Dayton Memorial Library 111 S. 3rd Street (509) 382-4131
Teen Movie Matinee Friday, December 16th 3-5 p.m.
Adult Basic Computer Class Tues.: 10-11 a.m. (Except 12/6) Using the Internet. Space is limited to 9 participants-come early.
Preschool Storytime Mondays: 2:30 - 3:15 p.m. No storytime December 26th.
Toddler Storytime Tuesdays: 11 - 11:30 a.m. No storytime December 27th.
Infant Storytime Tuesdays: 11:30 - 11:45 a.m. No storytime December 27th.
Adult Book Discussion Wednesday, Dec. 14th: 7-8 p.m. If you participated in the regional Everybody Reads program by reading Blue Heaven by C.J. Box, plan to the book with others.
MEETINGS American Legion Legion Hall, 211 E. Clay, Dayton 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Blue Mountain Artists' Guild Delany Room at Dayton Memorial Library, 111 S. 3rd Meredith at 509-382-2372 Last Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Blue Mountain Heritage Society Delany Room at Dayton Memorial Library, 111 S. 3rd Contact Elizabeth Thorn at (509) 382-4820 2nd Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. Columbia County Commissioners Commissioners’ Chambers 3rd Floor, County Courthouse, Dayton. Call (509) 382-4542 1st and 3rd Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. and 4th Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Columbia County Fair Board Youth Building at the Columbia County Fairgrounds, Dayton 3rd Monday at 7:30 p.m. Columbia County Fire District #3 Commissioners Fire District #3 Station 206 W. Main St, Dayton Call (509) 382-4281 2nd and 4th Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Columbia County Levee Roundtable Dayton City Hall 111 S. 1st St, Dayton Last Friday at 10:00 a.m. Columbia County Livestock Association Columbia County Fairgrounds Youth Building Randy James (509) 382-2760 1st Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Columbia County Motorcycle Club Dayton D.O.T Building Contact Bret Harting for more information. (509) 382-4602 2nd Wednesday at 7:00 p.m Columbia County Planning Commission County Planning Office 2nd and 4th Monday at 7:00 p.m. Columbia County Rural Library District Board Dayton Memorial Library 111 S 3rd St, Dayton Call (509) 382-4131 3rd Monday at 7:00 p.m. Columbia County Shooting Society American Legion Bldg., Dayton, (509) 382-3189 3rd Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Dayton AA Group First Congregational Church, 214 S. 3rd St. Tuesday & Thursday at 7:00 p.m. & Wed. at noon
Dayton City Council Dayton City Hall 111 S. 1st St, Dayton Call (509) 382-2361 2nd and 4th Monday at 7:00 p.m.
Prescott Community Club Prescott Lions Hall (509) 849-2892 Second Thursday at 2:00 p.m.
Dayton City Planning Commission Dayton City Hall 111 S 1st St, Dayton 3rd Monday at 5:15 p.m.
Prescott Fire Commissioners Call Tim Mayberry for info: (509) 849-2262
Dayton Development Task Force Board The General Store W. Main St, Dayton 4th Wednesday at noon Dayton Historic Preservation Commission Dayton City Hall 111 S 1st St, Dayton 2nd Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. Dayton High School Alumni Association Sand Trap Restaurant 3rd Thursday Dinner at 6:00 p.m. Meeting at 7:00 p.m. Dayton High School Boosters Dayton High School Library 1st Monday at 7:00 p.m. Dayton Kiwanis Delany Room at Dayton Memorial Library 111 S Third St, Dayton 1st & 3rd Thurs. at Noon Dayton Lions Club Delany Room at Dayton Memorial Library, 111 S. 3rd Contact Terry Hoon (509) 386-8889 1st and 3rd Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. Dayton School Board Administration Building 609 S. 2nd St, Dayton Call (509) 382-2543 1st and 3rd Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Dayton Young Life 227 N. Cherry 2nd & 4th Mondays at 7:17 p.m. Dayton Wyldlife Dayton Elementary School Multi-Purpose Room 302 E. Park St, Dayton 3rd Friday at 7:00 p.m. Friends of the Dayton Memorial Library Dayton Memorial Library 111 S 3rd St, Dayton 4th Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. Friends of the Prescott Library Dayton Memorial Library 103 S D St, Prescott 3rd Tuesday Port of Columbia Commissioners Port Office 1 Port Way, Dayton 2nd Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Prescott City Council Prescott City Hall 101 S D Street, Prescott Call (509) 849-2262 2nd Monday at 7:30 p.m.
Prescott Lions Club Call Chris Scudder (509) 849-2478 Prescott Parks & Rec. District Board Community Center of the Lion’s Hall, corner of D St. & Hwy 124, Prescott. For more information contact Joan Tatum at (509) 849-2690. 2nd Thursday at 7:00 p.m. Prescott School Board Last Thursday, 7:00 p.m. Starbuck City Council Starbuck City Hall 200 Main St, Starbuck Call (509) 399-2100 2nd Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Starbuck School Board Starbuck School Library 717 Tucannon, Starbuck 4th Thursday at 5:30 p.m. TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Dayton Dayton Methodist Church 110 S. 3rd St, Dayton Every Tuesday at 8:45 a.m. Touchet Valley Men's Golf Club Touchet Valley Golf Course Clubhouse, Dayton Call (509) 382-4010 1st and 3rd Thursday 6:30 p.m. Waitsburg City Council Lions Memorial Building Call (509) 337-6371 3rd Wednesday 7:00 p.m. Waitsburg Commercial Club Ye Towne Hall, Waitsburg (509) 337-6533 1st and 3rd Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Waitsburg Historical Society Call Jeff Broom for more information: (509) 337-6688 Waitsburg Legion and Auxiliary For location information call Ike and B.A Keve at (509) 337-6546 First Monday at 7:00 p.m. Waitsburg Lions Club Lions Memorial Building Scott Branson, President (509) 337-8895 2nd & 4th Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. Waitsburg School Board Preston Hall, Main St 2nd and 4th Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. VFW Post 5549 Legion Hall, 211 E. Clay, Dayton Contact Jerry Berg at (509) 382-4525 3rd Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
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Events Calendar November
25-26, Fri/Sat Christmas Kickoff
Dayton, “The Town That Still Believes”, kicks off the holiday season with a twoday celebration downtown. See feature on Page 10 for more information.
Christmas Market at the Depot Friday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Dayton Historic Depot 222 E. Commercial, Dayton (509) 382-2026 Local foods and crafts and other activities. See the feature story starting on Page 10 for more information.
A Boldman House Christmas Friday and Saturday, 1 – 4 p.m. The Boldman House Museum 410 N. First Street, Dayton (509) 382-2026 “A Boldman House Christmas” takes visitors magically back in time. See the feature story starting on Page 10 for more information.
Gingerbread Contest and Hometown Bazaar Friday, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. 270 E. Main St., Dayton (Former Passmore Dental Building) Vendors selling crafts and gingerbread contest. See the feature story starting on Page 10 for more information.
Live Music: The Lentil Bros. Friday, 4 p.m. & 7 p.m. Saturday, 8 p.m. Mace Mead Works 250 E. Main Street, Dayton (509) 540-0000 The Lentil Bros. bring classic Christmas and folk songs with a modern twist.
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You can also enjoy the 10x10 Art show, featuring art work by region artists smaller than 10" square and priced at $100 or under.
25, Friday Artist’s Reception 4 – 7 p.m. Wenaha Gallery 219 East Main, Dayton (509) 382-2124 Reception for artists Bonnie Griffith and Andrea Lyman.
A Christmas Story: The Movie Noon & 3 p.m. The Liberty Theater 344 E. Main St., Dayton (509) 382-1380 The 1983 holiday classic A Christmas Story returns to the Liberty Theater for two Friday matinees Christmas Kick-off weekend. Admission is free.
Live Music – Rubberneck 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. Woody’s Bar and Grill 214 E. Main, Dayton (509) 382-2364
26, Saturday Live Music – Money for Nothing 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. Woody’s Bar and Grill 214 E. Main, Dayton (509) 382-2364
26-27, Sat/Sun Fall Musical: A Christmas Carol Saturday, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, 3 p.m. The Liberty Theater 344 E. Main St., Dayton (509) 382-1380
Live production of the Dickens classic continues. Tickets available at the theater or online at www.libertytheater.org.
Holiday crafts for kids 4-5 p.m. Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. Prescott Community Center
Turkey, ham and all the traditional fixings and beverages are provided. Attendees are encouraged to bring a side dish or dessert to share. Caroling starts after dinner. Sponsored by The Community Club, the Prescott Lions Club and "Your Prescott Friends and Neighbors". For more information, contact Libby at (509) 849-2621 or Sue at (509) 849-2825.
Acoustic Jam Night Starts at 6:30 p.m. Skye Book & Brew 148 E. Main, Dayton (509) 382-4677 Musicians of all ages come together to make music. Every jam is fresh and exciting. Participate or sit back and enjoy the music.
Live Music 8 p.m. Mace Mead Works 250 E. Main Street, Dayton (509) 540-0000 Double solo sets by Walla Walla musicians Zack Winterton and RJ Baker share the stage at Mace Mead Works.
Fall Musical: A Christmas Carol
Waitsburg Turkey Bingo
Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. The Liberty Theater 344 E. Main St., Dayton (509) 382-1380
4 p.m. Ye Towne Hall, Waitsburg
Live production of the Dickens classic concludes. Tickets available at the theater or online at www.libertytheater. org.
2-4, Fri- Sun Walla Walla Valley Holiday barrel tasting Winemakers and their cellar staffs from valley wineries provide samples of future releases. Wineries offer art, music, food and more. Many use the event to raise funds and awareness for a host of worthy causes. For more information, visit www. wallawallawine.com or call (509) 5263117.
3, Saturday Prescott Community Holiday Dinner
An evening of fun for the entire family. Sponsored by American Legion Auxiliary.
Waitsburg Hometown Christmas Beginning at Noon Ye Town Hall, Waitsburg Crafts, Music, Food and More. See the feature story starting on Page 10 for more information.
Time Out for Tea 4 – 6 p.m. Delany Room at Dayton Memorial Library 111 S. 3rd Street, Dayton Christmas Tea on Sunday (no Friday tea this month). All ladies are invited for free tea, dinner and Christmas fun. Bring a couple dozen of your favorite holiday cookies or candy for our Christmas Cookie Exchange. On-site childcare provided. Call (509) 382-2248 for more information. RSVP's appreciated.
9, Friday Music: DJ Failsworth 8 p.m. - Midnight Mace Mead Works 250 E. Main Street, Dayton (509) 540-0000 Celebrate with the artists of the 10x10 Art show at the Mace Mead Works Art Party featuring the smooth beats of DJ Failsworth from 8 p.m. to Midnight.
Acoustic Jam Night Starts at 6:30 p.m. Skye Book & Brew 148 E. Main, Dayton (509) 382-4677 Musicians of all ages come together to make music. Every jam is fresh and exciting. Participate or sit back and enjoy the music.
10, Saturday Music: DJ L-Dub 8 p.m. - Midnight Mace Mead Works 250 E. Main Street, Dayton (509) 540-0000 The Mortal Vintner is throwing a Barrel Party. Dance to the groovy tunes of DJ L-Dub from Walla Walla.
Karaoke Night 8 p.m. – midnight Tuxedo Bar and Grill, Prescott (509) 849-2244
Walla Walla Community Hospice 25th Annual Tree of Life 7 p.m. Die Brucke Building, Downtown Walla Walla Dedicate a light to honor the life of someone special. Call Walla Walla Community Hospice at (509) 525-5561 for information or to make a donation. Or go to www.wwhospice.org.
14, Wednesday Christian Women’s Connection (CWC) Lunch & Auction 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Seneca Activity Center, Dayton Ben Gish and the Praise Ringers from Walla Walla Valley Academy will perform our special music. If you have a favorite short Christmas poem or card saying that means something special to you, please bring a copy to share. For information or reservations, call Judy Jackson at (509) 399-2005. Cost: $10. Catered by CWC Committee. Child Care provided.
16, Friday Open Mic Night 7 - 10 p.m. Mace Mead Works 250 E. Main Street, Dayton (509) 540-0000 Bring your instruments, talents, and friends to share the stage.
3 p.m. Walla Walla University Church 212 S. 4th St., College Place
7 p.m. The Liberty Theater 344 E. Main St., Dayton (509) 382-1380
The Walla Walla Symphony under the direction of Yaacov Bergman performing with the Walla Walla University Choir and the Mid-Columbia Master Singers. Visit www.wwsymphony.org for more information or call (509) 529-8020.
The Nutcracker 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Cordiner Hall Whitman College Campus The Walla Walla Symphony under the direction of Yaacov Bergman performing with the Mid-Columbia Ballet, and Walla Walla area dancers under the supervision of Idalee Hutson-Fish. Visit www.wwsymphony.org for more information or call (509) 529-8020.
Live Music: David Reutercrona 8 p.m. Mace Mead Works 250 E. Main Street, Dayton (509) 540-0000 David Reutercrona brings his modern bluegrass sound to the stage at Mace Mead Works for the first time.
17-18, Sat/Sun All-You-Can-Eat Breakfast 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. Prescott Community Center Enjoy a hearty home-cooked breakfast and help raise money for the Prescott community. Lions Club members will be cooking up a feast of eggs, hashbrowns, pancakes, sausage, bacon and more. Cost is $5.99. Contact Jeanne McIntyre at (509) 849-2425 for more information.
22, Thursday White Christmas/ Cookie auction
Kaye and Rosemary Clooney. Cookie auction to follow, with proceeds benefiting the theater. Admission is free. Call (509) 382-1380 for more info.
23, Friday Open Mic Night 7 - 10 p.m. Mace Mead Works 250 E. Main Street, Dayton (509) 540-0000 Bring your instruments, talents and friends to share the stage.
31, Saturday Footloose Movie & East Coast New Year countdown 7 p.m. The Liberty Theater 344 E. Main St., Dayton (509) 382-1380 New Footloose movie stars Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough and Dennis Quaid. New Year’s countdown after the movie just before 9. Tickets are $15 and include drinks and dessert.
Eastern Time New Year's Eve with Bobby K and Mike 7 – 9 p.m. Skye Book & Brew 148 E. Main, Dayton (509) 382-4677 A New Year’s Eve Party for folks who don’t want to stay up late!
7 p.m. The Liberty Theater 344 E. Main St., Dayton Enjoy the 1954 holiday classic, White Christmas, starring Bing Crosby, Danny
Enjoy an evening of Christmas music and song with your friends and neighbors. Admission is free.
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One More Thing . . .
All I Want for Christmas is a Bowl of Marshmallow Charms By Ken Graham
t’s that time of year again when I look forward to other people giving me things. The problem is that it’s tough for all of you who are shopping for my gifts because there isn’t much I need. Already this year I’ve gotten a new smart phone, a new Kindle tablet and a big flat-screen TV. I also got a new Sawzall, which is fantastic. It’ll cut anything – I can even carve the turkey with it. But in my never-ending quest to make life easier for my family and friends, I’ve done some research and discovered some other great gifts that I don’t already have. Herewith:
fresh brew will fly through the air and land in your hands – like you’re catching a pass in the end zone. Remote control snack and drink float: If you’re more into floating in your pool than flopping in your recliner, here’s another wonderful device that keeps drinks – and snacks – always at the ready. It’s a little boat with a motor and propeller and a tray on top that holds up to four drinks and a big bowl of your favorite chips or snacks. You can drive it around the pool and serve your friends. Or you could buy two or three and have Dorito races.
iPhone Touch gloves: It totally sucks when you want to use your smart phone or tablet on a cold day, and you have to Lucky Charms Cereal Sifter: This take off your gloves to make the touch is brilliant. Unless you’ve been living screen work. Right? But if you give me in space for the last fifty years, you these gloves, I’ll be able to make a phone know that about three-fourths of call or browse the internet in the most Lucky Charms consists of healthy inclement weather, while my fingers and whole-grain oat cereal. Yuck. But oh, thumbs stay toasty warm. They have those marshmallow charms that make conductive material at the tips of the up the rest. They’re the bomb. This little thumbs and index fingers so I can device is shaped like a coffee cup but has operate a double-touch screen. And Lucky Charms, c small holes in the bottom. Fill it with Lucky irca 196 7 they also have urethane palms “for Charms, shake for a minute or two, and enhanced grip of gadgets and gear”, that nasty oat cereal is gone. You’re left with as the website says. That’s good, because that phone’s a cup full of marshmallow charms. Yum. a nightmare to find when you drop it in the snow. You can give the oats to your kids. Shoot-a-Brew: Since it’s no longer socially acceptable to Bacon of the Month Club: “Yes, it’s true. No need to pinch expect your girlfriend to bring you a beer whenever you yourself.” That’s what it says on the Bacon Freak website about want one, this is just the ticket. Shoot-a-Brew looks and this awesome gift. For just under 150 bucks the recipient functions a lot like a plastic cooler. It’s blue with a white top, will receive two one-pound packages of different varieties and it holds 24 cans of beer (or pop) and lots of ice. But it of gourmet bacon at their door every month – for three includes a nice added feature: a spring-loaded device that months. I know that sounds expensive. But hey, this is me operates by remote control. Set it next to the TV and point you’re shopping for, and I love bacon. q it toward your recliner, and then there’s no need to wait for the Seahawks to call a timeout. Just press the button and a
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