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Table of Contents Feature Story

the New 10 Facing Economic Facts of Life Story and photos by Ken Graham

State Representative Terry Nealey, a Dayton Republican, is working to help change the spending culture among legislators in Olympia. It’s not a job for wimps.

News Dayton Schools Seek 5-7 $250,000 M&O Levy Downtown Dayton Playground Receives Grant Award Sarah Lyman to Celebrate 100th Birthday

Outdoors New Owners of Bluewood 8-9 Ski Area Enjoy a

More 4 Comment 12,13 News Briefs 14-16 Calendar of Events 17 Real Estate & Business More Thing . . . : 19 One Tips for a Successful

Successfull Opening

On the Cover:

Post-Christmas by Ken Graham

Design by Vanessa Saldivar Heim

Blue Mountain News is mailed FREE to every home and business in Dayton, Waitsburg, Starbuck and Prescott.

Ken Graham

Also available at fine retailers throughout the area. Subscriptions out of the area are $12 per year.

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Blue Mountain News is published ten times per year by: Back of the Moon Press, 242 E. Main St., Dayton, WA 99328

(509) 540-2752

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Copyright © 2010 by Back of the Moon Press No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher.

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Editor and Publisher (509) 540-2752 ken@bluemtnnews.com

Associate Editor & Advertising Representative (509) 382-4458 (509) 540-4644 tanya@bluemtnnews.com

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January/February 2011 Blue Mountain NEWS

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Comment

An Economic Fact of Life: Schools Need Our Help

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hen the economy goes into the tank and the unemployment rate doubles, one result is that less tax money gets paid to governments. Another result is that more people look to the government for assistance. The end result is that governments face big deficits. Right now, these facts of life apply to our beautiful state of Washington in spades. A budget deficit is looming in Washington for the 2012/2013 fiscal biennium that is projected to approach $6 billion. This is unprecedented. Our feature article, starting on page 10, discusses Washington’s budget crisis in much more detail. The Washington State constitution requires the legislature to balance the budget each year. Normally they would do that with a combination of tax increases and spending cuts. However, in November, voters in Washington approved, for the second time, a measure that requires a two-thirds majority in the state legislature in order to pass any tax increases. They might as well have made it 99%, because, with that requirement, tax increases won’t happen. We won’t debate the wisdom of closing a budget hole the size of Washington’s with all spending cuts and no revenue increases (even though calling Washington’s budget crisis a hole is kind of like calling the Grand Canyon a hole). The voters have spoken and cuts it is. During our conversation with State Representative Terry Nealey in preparation for this issue, he told us that he believes the economic landscape in Washington is permanently changing. No longer can local communities look to state governments for the same level of services and funding they may have sought in the past. The money simply isn’t there. Local communities are going to have to step up and help more to pay for the services they feel are most important. Perhaps this is as it should be.

In the legislative session that begins this month, Washington’s lawmakers will make the necessary cuts. The State’s annual general fund budget is (or was) approximately $31 billion. Public schools are financed primarily by the state, and more than 40% of the state’s budget is spent on K-12 education. It won’t be possible to make the necessary cuts in the state budget without significant cuts in education. The Dayton School Board is preparing now for the reductions they know are coming. In December, they decided to ask voters to approve a supplemental Maintenance and Operations Levy of $250,000 for 2012. They made clear that they are not asking for the money to start new programs. The money will be needed simply to keep the schools operating at the level they have been for the past few years. (For more information on the upcoming levy see the article on the following page.) Superintendent Doug Johnson says he knows for sure that two significant programs the school has relied on to keep class sizes down will be going away. That means that if this money isn’t replaced, Dayton will have fewer teachers and much larger classes. Property owners in the Dayton school district are feeling the economic slump just like everyone else. But our tax rates are considerably lower than they were five years ago, thanks to the addition of the local wind farms to the tax rolls. The increase in the levy rate will be a small fraction of the reductions taxpayers have seen recently. The best way we can assure a strong economy far into the future is to step up and pay for a quality education for our kids today. We urge voters in the Dayton School District to vote yes for the upcoming M&O Levy which will be held in February. q

Letters Invited Blue Mountain News welcomes Please send to: letters to the editor on subjects of news@bluemtnnews.com interest to our overall readership. or 242 E. Main St., Dayton, WA 99328 Letters should be 400 words or less and should be submitted by the 20th of the month. We reserve the right to edit or decline letters.

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Letter Assistance from Ken Much Appreciated Dear Editor, On behalf of the Dayton Historical Depot Society, I would like to express our organization’s appreciation for the assistance provided to the Depot recently by Pacific Power. We were in need of help replacing non-working lights on the steep Depot roofline just a few days before Dayton’s Christmas Kickoff event. One call to Pacific Power and the help we needed was immediately provided. Ken Much, a long-time Pacific Power employee, worked through the snowstorm that blanketed the area and made sure our beautiful building was lighted in time for the community event. It has recently come to our attention that Mr. Much is retiring after a long career with Pacific Power. Considering the countless hours he has spent putting up and taking down banners and lights on our Main Street, helping when our community used to put up a Christmas tree at Flour Mill Park, the volunteer assistance he has given trimming Main Street trees, and the willingness he has always shown when our organization was in need, our board felt it was appropriate to give Mr. Much and Pacific Power this public acknowledgement of the value we place on the service you bring to our community. Sally Ogden President, Dayton Historic Depot Board of Directors Dayton

News Dayton Schools Seek $250,000 M&O Levy

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n a special February ballot measure, the Dayton School District will ask voters to approve a $250,000 supplemental Maintenance and Operations levy for 2012. This one-year levy would be in addition to the $1.1 million M&O levy that was approved last year for 2011 and 2012. The Columbia County Assessor’s office estimates that, if the measure passes, county property owners will pay an additional 45 cents per thousand dollar valuation on their 2012 property tax bills. This is significantly less than the original levy rate estimated by the District in December. According to Dayton Schools Superintendent Doug Johnson, the District is facing significant cuts beginning this year because of the state’s budget crisis. Local legislators have informed the school board that they can expect reductions in a number of areas to help close a projected deficit of nearly $6 billion in the state’s 2012/2013 fiscal biennium budget. Johnson says he knows of at least $120,000 in cuts that will be coming in the next couple of years. These will eliminate programs that were put in place to help reduce class sizes. Additional cuts are likely.

Johnson says the District is not planning any new programs. “At this time we are simply trying to hang on to what we have, eliminate losses, and with any luck at all perhaps restore some cuts made during the past five years,” he says. Johnson points out that voters approved a capital improvement levy for 2011 last year, but the District is not seeking a capital improvement levy for 2012. If the upcoming levy is approved, the District will receive half the levy funds late in the 2011/2012 school year and the other half early in the 2012/2013 school year. Ballots for the school levy measure will be mailed to voters around January 19th, and votes will be counted on February 8th. q

January/February 2011 Blue Mountain NEWS

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News Downtown Dayton Playground Receives Grant Award Story and Photo By Ken Graham

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he Dayton Development Task Force received word in December that it has been awarded a $20,000 grant for its Downtown Dayton Playground project by the Inland Northwest Community Foundation (INWCF), of Spokane. The grant comes from the Foundation’s “Community Strategies Grant Program”, which provides financial assistance in a number of areas, including community and economic development. The program serves nonprofit organizations in ten eastern Washington counties and ten northern Idaho counties. The playground project is the kickoff phase of a larger Task Force project to improve parking and create more pedestrian-friendly areas on city-owned property north of Main Street and between the Columbia REA parking lot and the Dayton Historic Depot. The lead grant writer for the playground project is Jessica Atwood, who is co-chair of the Task Force’s Downtown Playground committee. “This was the first grant application I’ve written,” says Jessica, who is a Deputy Auditor for Columbia County. “I’m so excited that it was successful. Marcene Hendrickson was a great teacher, obviously.” Marcene, who is a long-time Task Force board member and incoming board president for 2011, assisted Jessica in preparation of the INWCF grant. “I wrote my first grant application in 1980,” she says, “and I’ve written many more of them over the years. My mentors were City Planners Bob Stowe and Jim Lapinski.” Marcene estimates that she has secured nearly $2 million in grant funds for projects in Dayton in the past 30 years. “Jessica is a natural,” says Marcene, “and it’s time for a new generation to step forward and carry the baton. She’ll do a great job in the future, I know.” The planned site for the downtown playground is in the parking lot behind the Weinhard Hotel, next to the lawn of the Historic Depot. The location will be finalized after completion of a downtown parking study early this year. The budget for the project is approximately $50,000, and the playground committee hopes to complete fundraising by spring and have the playground completed by October. Besides the INWCF grant, the playground has received sizable contributions from Columbia REA, the Puget Sound Energy Foundation, the Dayton Kiwanis Club and the Task Force. Jessica has also submitted a grant application to the

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Marcene Hendrickson and Jessica Atwood.

Pacific Power Foundation. She expects to write for a number of additional grants in the first part of this year. In addition to grant funds, the playground committee is about one-third of the way toward its goal of raising $10,000 through the sale of personalized fence pickets. “We plan to construct a demonstration fence soon and install it when the weather begins to improve,” says Cara Breland, who is Jessica’s sister and committee co-chair. “With that, and all the grant success, we hope many more people will be encouraged to contribute to this successful project by buying pickets.” Jessica and Cara, who are both mothers of energetic young playground users, suggested the idea of the downtown playground last summer during a Task Force workshop. “This is a great step forward,” says Jessica, of the grant award. “There’s no question the playground is going to happen now.” More information about the playground project and the fence picket fund raiser can be found in the ad on page 18. “It’s fun when grant applications are successful,” says Marcene, “and it becomes addicting.” q


News Sarah Lyman to Celebrate 100th Birthday Story and Photo By Ken Graham

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arah Woodward and her future husband, Bill Lyman, both worked in retail stores in Downtown Dayton in the 1930s – Sarah at J.C. Penney and Bill at the Edwards-Hindle department store across the street.

Sarah was born in the Woodward family home in Dayton on January 2nd, 1911. She had five older brothers and no sisters. She attended the “Upper Primary School” which was located near the Dayton City Cemetery.

“Penney’s closed at eleven on Friday and Saturday night, and I liked to work then,” Sarah says. “That’s when the men would come in to buy their clothes. I’d wrap the clothes up in paper that was like newsprint, and then tie it with a string. To pay, I’d put the customer’s money in a tub that slid up a long wire to the office upstairs. They’d put the change in and slide it back down. That’s how everyone paid.”

Soon after she and Bill were married, Sarah stopped working to start a family. Bill began working for Green Giant Company as a truck driver in the early 1940s, and retired from there in 1976. Sarah says that in those years she often drove trucks for local farmers during harvest.

Sarah and Bill got to know each other during their time working in Downtown Dayton. “After work, we’d go to the dance hall above Dingle’s,” says Sarah. “Everyone loved to dance then.” Sarah had graduated from Dayton High School in 1929. “My dad had a real bad back, so he taught me to drive when I was eleven,” recalls Sarah. “Driving seemed perfectly normal to me, but I was the only student at the school with a car.”

Sarah Lyman relaxes in her living room at Booker Rest Home.

After high school, Sarah spent a year attending LaGrande Normal School before returning to Dayton. She and Bill married in 1939. “We went to Spokane and stayed in the Davenport Hotel,” Sarah says of her honeymoon. “It was very snowy and slushy when we drove up there, I remember that.”

Sarah has a daughter, Joannie and a son, Bill. Joannie Tollman is retired and lives in Walla Walla. Bill worked for the Union Pacific Railroad for many years and now works as a railway consultant. He lives in Elmhurst, IL. Sarah also has two granddaughters and a grandson. Sarah’s husband Bill died in 1992. After his death, Sarah moved from the family home north of Dayton to a house she bought in town. She continued to live there until this past September, when she moved to a room at the Booker Rest Home. On Sunday, January 2nd, Sarah’s family will celebrate her 100th birthday with a party that afternoon at the Booker Dining Room. It will be an open house, and everyone is welcome to come say hi to Sarah and help celebrate. q

January/February 2011 Blue Mountain NEWS

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Outdoors

New Owners of Bluewood Enjoy Successful Opening Stories and Photos by Ken Graham

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ike and Kelly Stephenson knew that what was needed most to get their first season running Bluewood Ski Area off to a successful start was a lot of hard work and good snowfall. They were blessed with both. “Our numbers are well ahead of last year’s, we know that,” says Kelly, “and we’re thrilled.”

a lot of time getting the lodge in shape for the season. “We had some work days when a lot of people came up and really pitched in, and we really appreciated that,” says Kelly. The maintenance crew, which returned from the previous season, put in many seven-day weeks getting the lifts ready for safety inspections.

Bluewood, which is located 22 miles south of Dayton, opened on December 3rd. That was less than three months after the Stephensons and a group of investors agreed to purchase it from Stan and Nancy Goodell. “Ski areas rarely change hands,” says Mike. “And when they do, it’s usually a long process. I feel like we did a year’s worth of work in three months.”

Mike’s 28-year-old son, Travis, is the ski area’s new general manager. “Travis has stepped up and done a great job,” says Mike. “He keeps saying he can handle more, so we give it to him. And he does.” Mike’s 23-year-old son, Bryant, is also working at Bluewood, as the lift crew manager and terrain park boss.

Mike says that one of the major challenges in the ownership change was transferring US Forest Service permits. Since the ski area is on land leased from the Forest Service, new permitting had to be set up. “There was a lot to do, but the Forest Service has been great,” says Mike. “They’ve bent over backwards to make this happen.” The Forest Service allowed the new owners to operate under the Goodells’ permit until the transfer process was completed.

Travis says that Bluewood currently has 146 employees. That includes about 70 ski school instructors. “We held a job fair in Dayton on November 7th, and that was very successful,” says Travis. Ian Warner has begun his third ski season as mountain manager, overseeing the lift crew and the ski patrol, and Steve Leitner was hired this year as lodge manager, overseeing ticket sales, ski rentals, retail and food service. Steve is the former manager of Pete’s Sports in Walla Walla.

The Stephensons, along with some of their business partners, many family members and other friends, put in

Mike has been a ski instructor at Bluewood for fifteen years, so he knows the mountain well. He will continue

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Outdoors to give lessons occasionally, but he and Kelly plan to leave the day-to-day operation of the ski area to Travis. “It remains to be seen how much time we’ll spend up here,” says Mike, but we both have our other jobs.” Mike and Kelly have been married for about two years. They met on the slopes of the Schweitzer Mountain Ski Area in Northern Idaho when Mike went there with a church group a few years ago. Mike is a Tri-Cities area native, and Kelly grew up in Post Falls, ID. They live in Kennewick now. Mike is co-owner of Professional Agricultural Services, which provides infrared aerial photography and neutron probe irrigation monitoring services for farmers. He purchased the business in the mid1980s. Kelly is employed at Faith Assembly Christian Center in Pasco. The Stephensons say that, for the next couple of years, they plan no major changes in the overall operation at Bluewood. “We’re just focusing on getting the facilities and equipment fixed up and get everything working smoothly,” says Kelly. “Later we’ll start thinking about adding new things.” One of the Stephensons’ long-term goals is to make Bluewood a year-round destination. “There are lots of potential opportunities for using Bluewood in the summer,” says Travis, “like hiking, mountain biking, camping and even possibly having concerts. We’re not planning that far ahead right now though.” q

Business Investment is Also a Chance for Outreach

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hep Gauntt is a Tri-Cities area farmer and has been a regular skier at Bluewood Ski Area since it opened in 1979. Now he is part owner of Bluewood. Chep and his wife, Kay, are members of the investor group that joined with Mike and Kelly Stephenson to purchase the ski area this year from Stan and Nancy Goodell. “Mike’s the managing partner,” says Chep, “And we’re just silent partners. But we believe strongly in the plan he and Kelly have put together.” From 1974 to 1984, Chep was employed by Green Giant and worked in their Tri-Cities facility, prior to becoming an independent farmer. “I spent a lot of time in Dayton when I worked for Green Giant, and it’s always been a special place to me,” he says. “Our daughter started skiing at Bluewood when she was four. Now our grandkids are skiing here.” Chep says that when Mike Stephenson approached him about the idea to purchase

Bluewood, he was very impressed with the plan. “Mike used the word ‘outreach’,” says Chep, “and that really meant something to me.” All of the Bluewood investors are from the Tri-City area, and Mike says that some are regular skiers and some aren’t. But all of them share the Stephensons’ vision for Bluewood. “It’s critical that this be a successful business, of course,” says Mike. “But it’s also important to us to do something that will make a difference in the lives of a lot of kids, and help the local economy as well. That’s what ‘outreach’ means to me.” Mike says that Bluewood has always had good relationships with local schools and youth groups, and has supported youth racing programs. “We hope to build on that,” says Mike. “We want to do everything we can to provide a great recreation opportunity for kids who may not have good ones otherwise.” q

Thank you for reading

Blue Mountain News

Opposite page: Mike and Kelly Stephenson and Kay and Chep Gauntt relax at the Bluewood lodge after a hard day of skiiing. Right: Skiers and snowboarders adjust their equipment near the Bluewood lodge.

January/February 2011 Blue Mountain NEWS

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Feature Story

Facing the New Economic Fac State Representative Terry Nealey, a Dayton Republican, is working to help change the spending culture among legislators in Olympia. It’s not a job for wimps.

Stories by Ken Graham

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n late November, new tax revenue forecasts for Washington State were released. Due to the weak economy, they projected significant reductions in revenue for state government for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, which ends June 30th. The resulting state budget deficit for the next seven months was estimated to be $1.1 billion. In a special session on December 11, the state legislature closed about half of that gap, but there’s much more work to do. In addition, the forecast for the fiscal year 2012/2013 biennium, which begins next July, shows a projected deficit for the state’s general fund of nearly $6 billion. That’s almost a ten percent deficit, based on an annual general fund budget of about $31 billion. On January 10th, the Washington State Legislature will begin a 105-day session in which it must close those gaps. Since the state’s constitution forbids deficit spending, the Legislature has no choice but to either increase tax revenues or decrease spending in order to make ends meet. Republican State Representative Terry Nealey, a Dayton attorney who represents Washington’s 16th legislative district, is entering his second legislative session. We asked him if he’s having second thoughts about having to step into the middle of such a dire budget situation. “This is exactly why I ran,” he replied. “In 2007 the state had a $2 billion surplus, and the Democrats passed a bunch of new programs that used that up. I know no one could have predicted the extent of the economic collapse we’ve had, but I still felt that was very irresponsible.” Nealey says that, since Washington voters have twice approved initiatives requiring a two-thirds legislative majority in order to increase taxes, it is very unlikely that any tax increase will be enacted by the legislature this year. The Democratic majorities in the state House and Senate are less than two-thirds, so “they still have to talk to us,” he says, referring to the Republican caucuses. And he feels it’s very unlikely that any Republican legislators would vote to approve a tax increase. “I am not in favor of increasing any taxes,” says Nealey, “and especially in this economy in which citizens don’t have extra money. They’ve had to tighten their belts and they expect government to do the same.” Since the latest economic forecasts were released, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire has released a budget cut proposal for the 2011-2013 biennium which includes spending reductions of approximately $4 billion. “In the past few weeks the Governor has finally stepped up and begun to address this very serious situation,” says Nealey. “I give her credit for that.” Nealey feels the Governor’s actions have come far later than they should have, though. “The Republican Caucus has been pushing for something like this for two years,” he says. Making the necessary budget cuts is particularly difficult, Nealey says, because more than half of the state’s budget is protected and can’t be cut. “Depending on who you talk to, it’s between 60 and 70 percent,” he says. “All of these cuts will have to come out of the unprotected portion of the budget, which is around $14 billion per biennium.”

State Representative Nealey speaks on the House floor during the 2010 legislative session. (Photo courtesy of Terry Nealey.)

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Much of the protected spending is made up of education and the state’s portion of the Medicaid program, according to Nealey. “The state constitution requires us to

fund what it calls ‘bas broadly. It’s more than up with advancing tech requirements, Nealey s in the past few years w

Nealey says that lif that includes our loca priorities,” he says. “Th law enforcement and c

Beyond those things many of the things they nor should that be exp growth while the priva not government. The o to reverse this trend an

Nealey says a lot of remaining state worke costs of their health b reductions in their ben

“This is going to put what we feel is importa talked to the Dayton S coming,” Nealey says. of those cuts, and it’s i

During the past yea Technology, Energy and Since Pasco is part of has made a point of f nuclear energy.

“The state is going says. “It’s important th He points out that eve nuclear energy produc has been a good thing wind has to be accomp choice for the long hau

As an example of his a member of the Educa passed this year by thir basically good program more money on things

State Repr contacted 786-7828, t Hotline: 1www. hous


cts of Life

Terry Nealey Relishes His Role as a Legislator

sic education’,” he says. “The courts have defined that pretty n just the ‘three Rs’. As examples, we have to help kids keep hnology and we have to fund special education.” Despite these says that a number of educational programs that were enacted will definitely be eliminated.

fe will be different in the next few years in Washington, and al communities. “I see three areas that are the state’s highest hose are: first, education; second, public safety, with things like corrections; and third, helping our most vulnerable people.”

s, Nealey says, citizens need to look less to government to pay for y’ve been used to. “Government cannot be all things to all people, pected,” he says. “For too long, we’ve seen rapid government ate sector loses jobs. It’s the private sector that creates wealth, only way we’re going to fix the state budget in the long term is nd to help employers create jobs in the private sector.”

f non-essential government jobs will be eliminated, and many ers will likely be taking pay cuts and contributing more to the benefits. He also says that welfare recipients can expect some nefits.

t more pressure on our local communities to step up and pay for ant,” Nealey says. He gave the example of local schools. “We’ve School Board and the Administration, and they know cuts are . “They are running an M&O levy this year to help cover some important for voters to pass that.”

ar, Nealey has been a member of three legislative committees: d Communications; Transportation; and Education Appropriations. the 16th district, and many Hanford workers live there, Nealey familiarizing himself with issues relating to Hanford, and to

to need a big increase in baseload energy sources,” Nealey hat we get started working on new nuclear energy production.” en if we start today, it’s expected to be many years before any ction could be up and running. “The expansion of wind energy g for the state, and great for our local economy,” he says, “but panied by baseload energy sources. And nuclear is the obvious ul.”

s approach to fiscal austerity, Nealey points to his recent role as ation Appropriations Committee. “There were two measures that rteen-to-one votes,” says Nealey, “and I was the ‘one’. These are ms, but they’re expensive. We just can’t afford to keep spending s like that.” q

resentative Terry Nealey may be through his Olympia office at (360) through the toll-free Legislative -800-562-6000, or via his Web site: serepublicans.wa.gov/Nealey.

Terry Nealey at his law office on Dayton's Main Street. (Photo by Ken Graham.)

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ashington’s 16th legislative district is home to approximately 135,000 people. Dayton’s Terry Nealey, who represents the district in the state House of Representatives, understands that he needs to know the issues that are important to all of his constituents, not just the six thousand or so folks who live in the Touchet Valley. “Being a long-time resident in Dayton, I’m keenly aware of the concerns and challenges that face our local residents,” says Nealey. “But this is a large and diverse district, so I’ve also really enjoyed getting to know the issues in Pasco and Walla Walla.” Unlike the rest of the district, Pasco has been growing very rapidly – the Tri-Cities area has been the fastest growing part of the state. Nealey says that two of the most important issues there are energy and education. He points out that the student population in Pasco is around 80% Hispanic. “With the school district growing so rapidly, the educational needs in Pasco are much different than in Dayton or Waitsburg,” he says. Nealey has just completed his first year in office and is preparing for his second legislative session, which begins January 10th and ends in early April. “I’m glad I ran,” he says. “And I feel I’ve been very successful in meeting and dealing with people in the legislature that I need to.” Nealey and his wife, Jan, have rented a furnished house in Olympia for the three months that the legislature is in session. “It’s very fortunate that Jan is able to be in Olympia with me

during the session,” says Nealey. “Our son Keith and daughter Kristen, and their kids, are all living in the Seattle area, so Jan can go spend time with them. And I see them a little more. “Being a state legislator is more than a part-time job,” says Nealey. “We’re in session for between two and four months. During the rest of the year, I’m attending committee hearings, meeting with constituents, and working on legislative issues whenever I am needed. Although many hours are involved, it’s also very satisfying to help people resolve issues with state agencies or state government.” Nealey says some people don’t realize that he still has his law practice. “I’m still a lawyer in Dayton doing my regular job,” he says. “I’ve had to cut my practice back some, but I’m still very active. I’ve learned to balance the duties in my law firm with being a state legislator, while effectively meeting the needs of both my clients and constituents.” Nealey and his law partner, Scott Marinella, operate the Nealey and Marinella law firm, along with associate Kimberly Boggs. “Our excellent staff in the office has made this transition work very well,” he says. Nealey encourages local residents to visit him in Olympia while the legislature is in session. “We have a pretty structured schedule,” he says, “but we have many blocks of time when we can meet with constituents and others who want to discuss legislation with us.” q

January/February 2011 Blue Mountain NEWS

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News Briefs 2011 Columbia REA Lineman Scholarship The Columbia REA Lineman scholarship is available for applicants wishing to pursue a career in the electric industry as a journey lineman. This type of training helps new employees in the electric industry become more knowledgeable, skillful, and valuable to their employers. The program will provide scholarship funding for training at a lineman training school that offers an Electrical Lineworker Program for 2011. The scholarship is available to any applicant; it is not a requirement to be a member or a dependent of a member served by Columbia REA. This scholarship was established in remembrance of Jeff Meredith, who was

a journeyman lineman with Columbia REA. The Jeff Meredith Scholarship is for $1,000 and for one year only. Applications are available at Columbia REA’s offices in Dayton and Walla Walla and at all high schools within Columbia REA’s service area. An application form is also available on the Columbia REA web site at www. columbiarea.coop. The deadline for submitting applications is February 18, 2011. The recipient will be notified by March 31, 2011. The winner of the scholarship will be introduced at the annual membership meeting in April 2011.

This Month at

The Dayton Memorial Library 111 S. 3rd Street (509) 382-4131

Family Game Night

Friday, January 14th 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Turn off the TV and video games and come spend an evening playing games together with your family and friends. There will be games available for all age levels and puzzles too! Refreshments provided.

Adult Basic Computer Class

Tuesdays: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. In January: Internet, email, library website and databases. In February: Microsoft Word. Space is limited to 9 participantscome early.

Preschool Storytime

Mondays: 2:30 - 3:15 p.m. Storytime and crafts for children ages 4-6.

Valentines Card Making Party

Saturday, February 12th Noon - 2:00 p.m. Kids of all ages will have fun making Valentine’s Day cards for all their special valentines. All materials and refreshments provided.

Toddler Storytime

Tuesdays: 11:00 - 11:30 a.m. Fun and developmentallyappropriate interactive activities for children ages 18 months to 3 years. Led by Sue Hagfeldt.

Baby Storytime

Tuesdays: 11:30 - 11:45 a.m. Simple activities to help develop babys' listening and pre-language skills.

For more information about any of these activities, call the library at (509) 382-4131. Page 12 Blue Mountain NEWS January/February 2011

Presentation to be Held on State of Local Economy Washington State Labor Economist Arum Kone will give a presentation in January on the state of the economy in Columbia County. He will review a wide range of current and historical economic data specific to Columbia County and Dayton. Topics will include: • Economic Sectors • Employment and Commuting Patterns • Community Characteristics • Largest Employers • Retail Spending • Tourism Trends The event will be held January 20th at the Liberty Theater in Dayton, and will begin at 7:00 p.m. It is sponsored by the Port of Columbia. According to Port of Columbia Manager Jennie Dickinson, the presentation was organized to provide information for local business owners and government agencies that will help them in their planning efforts and better understanding our local market. Kone has been employed by the Washington State Employment Security Department in their Walla Walla office for the past three years. He provides economic analysis for nine eastern Washington counties. He is a native of Portland, and he worked for several years as an economic researcher in Kodiak, Alaska. Following Kone’s presentation, Dickinson will give a short update on the Port’s Blue Mountain Station project. For more information on the state of the economy presentation, call the Port of Columbia at (509) 382-2577 or go to www.portofcolumbia.org.


News

Dayton’s First Christian Church Celebrates 125 Years

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n 1882, a group of worshipers joined together in Baileysburg to form what they called the “Touchet Congregation”. It was the first organized church in what is now Columbia County. In 1886, the Touchet Congregation joined with a group that was meeting in Downtown Dayton to form the First Christian Church. It was incorporated February 7th of that year. One hundred twenty five years later, Dayton’s First Christian Church will hold a special celebration on Sunday, February 6th. All previous pastors and missionaries sent out from the church have been invited to attend. An open house and fellowship time will begin after the regular Sunday morning church Top right: an artist's rendering of the First Christian Church as it looked service which begins at 9:30 a.m. A in 1886. Above: the Church today. special program about the history of the church (complete with some members in period costume) will be presented Jim Edwards has served as the First Christian Church’s from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. followed by a catered dinner from pastor since 2004. While the church’s congregation enjoys 6:00 -7:00 p.m. celebrating and honoring its past, they are busy looking At the time of its incorporation, the First Christian Church towards the future. Sunday morning worship offers a mix of had about 185 members. Two hundred dollars were raised traditional and contemporary music. The church encourages in 1886 to help purchase the lot on South Third Street where and supports community volunteerism. the church now stands. A church trustee, T. Dittemore, put up “We want to continue to meet the needs of people in additional money to pay for the lot and took responsibility practical ways like offering the Dave Ramsey Financial for the mortgage until the church could pay him back. Peace classes,” says Virginia Smith. “We also welcome new The original church building was dedicated in October members and are especially glad to have young families of that year. join our congregation. Our future depends on reaching new By 1903, the church had 275 members. The building members who bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm for Christ was added onto in 1903 and then in 1908 it was completely and our community.” remodeled again to accommodate the continued growth Anyone planning to attend the dinner is asked to RSVP of the congregation. by calling the church office at 382-2330. q

Pomeroy/Dayton Jr. Gun Club Trap Shoot The Pomeroy/Dayton Junior Gun Club is sponsoring a youth trap shooting series beginning Saturday January 8th at 8:00 a.m. Every Saturday for ten consecutive weeks, young shotgun enthusiasts can hone their skills at the Pomeroy Gun Range located in Pataha, WA., for a one-time fee of just $10. Targets and ammunition are provided by the Club, as well as safety equipment and both 12 and 20 gauge shotguns if needed. Beginners are welcome. “This is a great opportunity for kids to find out if they enjoy trap shooting without going

out and purchasing a gun,” says John Laib, a leader in the Columbia County Marksmen 4-H Club. “The gun club members are knowledgeable and supportive of every kid and the $10 fee is very affordable,” he says. Pomeroy resident Elton Brown started the Junior Gun Club over 40 years ago. The shoot is funded through ongoing fundraisers and grants. “Shooting is a sport you can enjoy your entire life,” says Junior Gun Club President Carl Wade. “We want to help kids get started and improve year after year.”

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Events January 8

Karaoke Night 8:00 p.m. – midnight Tuxedo Bar & Grill Prescott, WA (509) 849-2244.

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Business After Hours Dayton Chamber of Commerce 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. 166 E. Main Street Come see the Chamber office’s total makeover – new carpet, paint, furniture, lights – The Works! Refreshments provided.

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Christian Women’s Connection Luncheon 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Seneca Activity Center, Dayton Cost: $9.00 - Catered by: Dayton General Hospital If you have never been to a CWC luncheon, start the new year by attending this one. Bring your husband or a male friend. (Yes, men are welcome!) Martin Venneberg, a former engineer at Boeing, will be speaking about Problem Solving in an Engineer’s World. To continue our male spotlight, Chuck Reeves will inspire us with his music. He often sings with the Waitsburg Quartet, but this time he is performing solo. Since January is National Eye Care Month, Catherine Schuck, O.D., of Dayton’s Blue Columbia Eye Care will be our special feature. Learn about how you can take better care of your eyes, before it is too late to do something about them. RESERVATIONS ARE NECESSARYAND BABYSITTING IS

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AVAILABLE. Please call Judy Jackson at (509) 399-2005 to reserve your lunch. Please honor your reservation; “gift” it to a friend, or call Judy by Monday, January 10th to cancel if your plans change; otherwise, we are obligated to pay for your meal if you do not attend. Sponsored by Christian Women’s Connection and Stonecroft Ministries, www.stonecroft.org.

Time Out for Tea 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Dayton Memorial Library Delany Room, 111 S. 3rd Street Ladies, it’s time to Get Back in Shape. Come enjoy a free lunch and tea, meet new friends and pick up some tips on how to beat the “battle of the bulge”. Free on-site childcare is provided. For more information, contact Annie at (509) 382-2248.

Acoustic Jam Night 6:30 p.m. Skye Book & Brew 148 E. Main, Dayton Play an instrument? Grab it and enjoy an evening sharing your talent with fellow musicians and an appreciative audience!

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All-You-CanEat Breakfast 8:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m. Prescott Community Center The Prescott Lions Club cook and serve a hearty all-you-can-eat breakfast of pancakes, biscuits and gravy, bacon, hash browns, sausage, eggs, juice and coffee, all for just $5.99. Proceeds benefit the Prescott Community Center.

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FREE Seminar: Transition Planning For Farm Families & Businesses 9:00 a.m. until noon, followed by a catered lunch The Weinhard Hotel 235 E. Main Street, Dayton Please see the ad on page 18 for more information. RSVP requested.

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FREE Lecture: State of the Economy in Columbia County 7:00 p.m., Liberty Theater, Dayton Attend this informative lecture by Labor Economist Arum Kone to learn more about our local economy.

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Dinner with Nevada Slim & Cimarron Sue 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Tuxedo Bar & Grill, Prescott, WA Live dinner music performed by Prescott’s own cowboy minstrels.

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4th Annual Ground "Hog" Day Sausage Fest 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. Youth Building, Columbia County Fairgrounds, Dayton


Events Shake off those winter blues. Bring your family and friends to the Blue Mountain Heritage Society's 4th annual Ground "Hog" Sausage Fest. Enjoy fun, fabulous entertainment, and a great meal. Special-themed baskets full of goodies will be raffled off. Your attendance will benefit the Society’s Smith Hollow School project. Tickets are $12.50 per person or $35 per family. Tickets are available at the Village Shoppes on Main Street in Dayton or at the door. For details, contact Jacque Sonderman at (509) 382-8919 or e-mail her at jacquejs@bmi.net.

February 4,11,18,25 & March 4 FREE Movie Night

6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Dayton Memorial Library Delany Room, 111 S. 3rd Street Over a five week period, the Columbia County Rural Library District will be showing the DVD, The Civil War: an Illustrated History by Geoffrey Ward, Ric Burns, and Ken Burns. This is a PBS series that brings to life the Civil War, interwoven with more than 500 illustrations, rare photographs, paintings, lithographs and maps. Showing of the DVD is part of the We the People Bookshelf ‘A More Perfect Union’, a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant that the County Library District received.

Meetings American Legion Legion Hall, 211 E. Clay, Dayton 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m.

Dayton City Planning Commission Dayton City Hall 111 S 1st St, Dayton 3rd Monday at 5:15 p.m.

Blue Mountain Chorus of Sweet Adelines Unity Church of Peace, Walla Walla Airport. To carpool, call Barb Knopp at (509) 386-8901. Mondays at 6:30 p.m.

Dayton Historic Preservation Commission Dayton City Hall 111 S 1st St, Dayton 2nd Tuesday at 6:00 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 1:00 p.m. Columbia County Commissioners Commissioners’ Chambers 3rd Floor, County Courthouse, Dayton. Call (509) 382-4542 1st and 3rd Monday at 10:00 a.m. and 4th Monday 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 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Dayton City Council Dayton City Hall 111 S. 1st St, Dayton Call (509) 382-2361 2nd and 4th Monday at 7:00 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 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 for more information. (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.

Prescott Parks and Recreation 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 at 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 Library of the Starbuck School 717 Tucannon, Starbuck 3rd Thursday at 5:30 p.m. TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Dayton Dayton United Methodist Church 110 S. 3rd St, Dayton Every Tuesday at 8:45 a.m. Waitsburg City Council Lion’s Club Building at Waitsburg Fairgrounds Call (509) 337-6371 1st and 3rd Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.

Waitsburg Commercial Club Ye Towne Hall 121 Main Street, Waitsburg (509) 337-6533 Dayton Wyldlife 1st and 3rd Tuesday Dayton Elementary School at 6:30 p.m. Multi-Purpose Room 302 E. Park St, Dayton Waitsburg Economic 3rd Friday at 7:00 p.m. Development Committee Friends of the Dayton Nothing New Antiques Memorial Library First Monday at Dayton Memorial Library 10:00 a.m. 111 S 3rd St, Dayton 4th Wednesday Waitsburg Historical at 10:00 a.m. Society Call Anita Baker for Port of Columbia more information: Commissioners (509) 337-6157 Port Office 1 Port Way, Dayton Waitsburg Legion and 2nd Wednesday Auxiliary at 7:30 p.m. For location information call Ike and B.A Keve Prescott City Council at (509) 337-6546 Prescott City Hall First Monday at 7:00 p.m. 101 S D Street, Prescott Call (509) 849-2262 Waitsburg Lions Club 2nd Monday at 7:30 p.m. Lions Memorial Building Waitsburg Fairgrounds Scott Branson, President Prescott Community Club (509) 337-8895 Prescott Lions Hall 2nd & 4th Tuesdays at (509) 849-2892 or 7:00 p.m. (509) 849- 2425 New members Waitsburg School Board always welcome. Second Thursday at 2:00 Preston Hall, Main St 2nd and 4th Wednesday p.m. at 8:00 p.m. Dayton Young Life 227 N. Cherry 2nd & 4th Mondays at 7:17 p.m.

Prescott Fire VFW Post 5549 Commissioners Call Tim Mayberry for info: Legion Hall 211 E Clay, Dayton (509) 849-2262 Contact Jerry Berg at (509) 382Prescott Lions Club 4525 for more info. Call Chris Scudder Refreshments served. for info: Every 3rd Wednesday (509) 849-2478 at 7:30 p.m.

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Events 11

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6:30 p.m. Skye Book & Brew 148 E. Main, Dayton

8:00 p.m. – midnight Tuxedo Bar & Grill Prescott, WA (509) 849-2244.

Play an instrument? Grab it and enjoy an evening sharing your talent with fellow musicians and an appreciative audience!

Evening of Elegance

Acoustic Jam Night

Time Out for Tea Guns & Roses 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Dayton Memorial Library Delany Room, 111 S. 3rd Street Ladies of the local SASS (Single Action Shooting Society) group will tell us about all the fun they have dressing up and slingin’ lead Old West style. Enjoy a free tea and lunch and meet new friends. Free on-site childcare provided. For more information, contact Annie at (509) 382-2248.

News LIVE BAND: Frog Hollow

6:00 p.m. Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center, Walla Walla Enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres, elegant dining, and a live and silent auction. Proceeds from this event benefit the Walla Walla Community Hospice—a non-profit organization committed to providing quality hospice care to adults and children facing a limited life expectancy. The full auction catalog will be available for preview on the hospice website (www.wwhospice.org) beginning Feb. 9. Cost of the evening is $90 per person. Contact Walla Walla Community Hospice at 525-5561 or e-mail laurie@wwhospice.org for more information or to make reservations.  Reservations must be confirmed with payment by February 8.

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Walla Walla Symphony Concert Viennese Romance 7:30 p.m. Cordiner Hall Whitman College Campus

Enjoy a Celebration of the Strauss Family—Voices of Spring, Blue Danube, Radetsky March, and more. Strauss—Horn Concerto No. 1, and Schubert—"Great" Symphony in C Major. For ticket information visit www.wwsymphony.org or call (509) 529-8020.

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All proceeds from this all-you-can-eat breakfast go to the Prescott High School Memorial Scholarship Fund in honor of Sam Erwin, a founding member of the Prescott Lions Club. Enjoy a hearty meal of pancakes, biscuits and gravy, bacon, hash browns, sausage, eggs, juice and coffee all for just $5.99.

Christian Women’s Connection Luncheon 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Seneca Activity Center in Dayton COST: $9.00 Join us at our February lunch and your heart will be wonderfully fed as well as your body. We will have an outstanding guest speaker, a special feature and some great entertainment. Invite a friend to come with you and you’ll both be glad you came. RESERVATIONS ARE NECESSARY, AND BABYSITTING IS AVAILABLE. Please call Judy Jackson at (509) 3992005 to reserve your lunch. Please honor your reservation; “gift” it to a friend, or call Judy by Monday, February 14th to cancel if your plans change; otherwise, we are obligated to pay for your meal if you do not attend. Sponsored by Christian Women’s Connection and Stonecroft Ministries, www.stonecroft.org

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Sam Erwin Memorial Breakfast 8:00 -11:00 a.m. Prescott Community Center

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Pheasants Forever Banquet Blue Mountain WA Chapter #258 Social Hour 4:00 p.m. Dinner 6:00 p.m. WW Fairgrounds Community Ctr. A delicious catered prime rib or salmon dinner, thousands of dollars worth of raffle prizes, fun and games for the entire family and the satisfaction of supporting a good cause, that’s what the annual Pheasants Forever banquet is all about. Since 1991 the Blue Mountain Chapter of Pheasants Forever has completed over 50 habitat projects in Columbia and Walla Walla counties to benefit all upland wildlife species. Contact Jim Sonne at (509) 525-3550 or jimsonne@ aol.com or Alison Bruggeman at (509) 432-6425 or ali_rose01@hotmail.com for ticket information.

Reduce Debt and Build Wealth Dayton First Christian Church is planning to offer another Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University beginning in late February, if enough people show interest by pre-registering before January 30th. Dave Ramsey is a well-known radio show host who provides both encouragement and practical strategies to help people take control of their personal finances by getting out of debt, saving for the future and building personal wealth. The class is broken into 13 weekly two-hour sessions. Half of each class is instruction by Dave Ramsey via DVD. That is followed by group questions and discussions. Dayton residents Jesse and Misty Yost attended the Fall 2010 class and found it to be especially helpful in improving their communication about finances. “The class gave us the tools we needed to talk about our financial goals as a couple and develop a budget,” says Misty. “Just making the commitment to pay cash for groceries and gas really helped us reduce our spending so we could apply that money to reducing our debt.” A $93 fee covers all printed class materials, audio CDs, and free access to online resources and support. Couples pay just one fee. Child care is provided. Call Gary Schroeder at (509) 3822866 for more information or to register. A minimum of 10 participants is needed to offer a class.


Real Estate & Business January Opening for New Dayton Barber Shop

Next Generation Keeps Steve's Grocery Going

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ammy Hersey was just four years old when her father, Gail Bennett, leased the original Steve’s Cash Grocery store from his father-in-law H.W “Steve” Stephenson in 1961. The store was located on Dayton’s West Main Street, where the State DOT building now sits. Tammy loves to tell stories about the mischief she used to get into while minding the store. “It was illegal to sell beer before 2 p.m. on Sunday back then, so my cousin Colette and I would open the store at 8 a.m. Tammy Hersey greets customers and have a ball playing games like at the front counter of Steve's shopping cart roller coaster. We were Grocery. maybe 10 or 12 years old.”

Ray Romero and his wife, Angie, try out the vintage barber chair at the soon-to-open Ray's Barber Shop at 112 North First Street in Dayton. Ray has owned and operated Headmaster Style Shop in MiltonFreewater for the past 12 years. He plans to work in Dayton Mondays and Wednesdays, starting in MidJanuary. He will continue to work in Milton-Freewater four days a week. Call Ray at (541) 938-4551 for more information.

When her grandmother decided to sell the store and property around it in 1973, Tammy’s father purchased the 4th Street Market from Clarence Bartlett. The Market, located at 724 S. Fourth Street in Dayton, was originally built in 1937 by Ray McCauley. “Maggie” and Dorothy Jewett then owned the Market before selling the property to Bartlett. Gail ran the store as Steve’s Cash Grocery until his death in May 2010. Tammy and her brothers, Tim, Theron and Thane Bennett, knew that if they closed the store it would never open again. “Dad was Steve’s Grocery,” says Tammy. “Closing the store would have been like losing him all over again.”

Instead, Tammy and her siblings committed themselves to at least one year of operation to see if they could run the store as a profitable business. Tammy quit her job in Coeur d’Alene to take care of the day to day store operation. Her siblings all help as much as they can. “We’re trying to run the store like Dad did,” says Tammy. “That includes purchasing fresh summer produce direct from the growers, selling fresh Christmas trees and treating customers with kindness and respect.” Steve's Grocery is open from 11:00 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday and 12:30 p.m. to midnight on Sunday. q

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One More Thing . . . Tips for a Successful Post-Christmas By Ken Graham

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ost of us put a lot of time and effort into planning for the holidays. (Well, I actually don’t, but let’s pretend.) The problem is that very little thought or effort goes into how to successfully get past them. So here, as a public service, after copious research (actually about five minutes on the internet) are three strategies to help you wind down your holiday season and move seamlessly into the new year. Plan your re-gifting carefully Let’s face it, when you’re a guy in his fifties, running around telling all your friends and relatives what you want for Christmas isn’t quite as cute as it was when you were nine. So I don’t do it – they just have to guess. The result, of course, is that people who buy me gifts don’t always get it right. And, quite frankly, sometimes I get the feeling they didn’t even really try. But rather than just throwing that unwanted stuff away, or going to the hassle of returning it, I’ve created a highly organized “re-gifting” plan. Among its many advantages is that it saves me a lot of time and money the following year. There are many excellent re-gifting suggestions online, such as don’t re-gift something to the same circle of friends you got it from, and don’t re-gift something that you’ve used. For example, your recipient will be suspicious if she receives a candle from you that’s already been lit, or a gift card with a balance of $11.37 left on it. One of the best re-gifting suggestions I read was that, before you put them away for next year, you should attach a tag to each of your re-gift items and write on it the name of the person who gave it to you. Think of the embarrassment that will be avoided later. Leave your decorations up all year According to the Herald Journal, of Logan, Utah, there’s a woman there who decorates every nook and cranny of her home for Christmas. “…even the ceiling where paper

flakes and metallic spheres hang down like falling snow. The living room alone contains more than 100 snowmen, Santa Clauses and German-made nutcrackers.” So where does someone store so many Christmas decorations for eleven months of the year? The woman easily solved that problem: "Most of my decorations just stay up all year," she said. The time-saving aspect of this plan is definitely appealing. But I have to say that living year-round in a house like that would almost surely cause me to go look for a bridge to jump off. It would, however, have the added advantage of allowing me to avoid having to consider the next suggestion. Eat your Christmas tree When I first saw this one, it seemed pretty far-fetched. But it was in an article in the New York Times, which, to me, conveyed credibility. However, after I read it, it seemed even more far-fetched. After a lot of guilt-inducing sermonizing about how wasteful it is to casually discard a tree that took eight to twelve years to create, and then got used for only about three weeks, the author suggests that the only morally acceptable thing to do is what you do with other plants you kill: turn it into food. Even if that sounds promising to you (it didn’t to me) the author’s main plan for ingesting your Christmas tree is to use the tree’s needles as a spice. Really? To do this, the needles first have to be removed from the tree. Then they must be dried and crushed. (Of course, if your tree is like mine, the needles will be plenty dry, and half of them will be on the ground already. And in the high-traffic areas… naah.) I like food flavored with herbs and spices as much as anyone, but how much pine-flavored food can a person eat. This seems like a really slow way to recycle a Christmas tree. q

January/February 2011 Blue Mountain NEWS

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Blue Mountain News - January February 2011  

News, Arts and Recreation for Columbia and Northern Walla Walla Counties

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