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The Gateway encourages community submissions for this page. They must be received by noon Friday prior to publication. They can be sent to: The Peninsula Gateway, P.O. Box 407, Gig Harbor, WA 98335, or faxed to 253-851-3939. Contact Susan Schell at 253-853-9240 or e-mail

Indy goes to New York

Dogue de Bordeaux gets chance at Westminster Dog Show SUSAN SCHELL


of the Gateway

f New Yorkers are known for being cold, they had a hard time staying in character when the Key Peninsula’s “Evergreen’s Indigo Sky” was in town for the Westminster Dog Show at Madison Square Garden. The big red Dogue de Bordeaux with the wrinkly face and her brother, “Evergreen’s Big Bruiser,” melted the hearts of even the staunchest Manhattanites at the Hotel Pennsylvania. “They were quite enamored with her,” said her owner, Cheryl Ozbirn. “She spent half an hour on her back, just getting pet. They’re not used to seeing big dogs, and there were two of them. Her brother drew them in with his wrinkly face, and she took over with her personality.” It was Ozbirn’s first visit to Manhattan for a whirlwind four days of showing her Bordeaux, also called a French Mastiff, at the widely televised event. “It was the hardest, most stressful, crazy, wonderful experience,” Ozbirn said. “And I would absolutely do it again.” Sleep was not a big part of the schedule. Ozbirn said Westminster is a “bench show,” which means the dogs must be on display all day so people can visit them. “The worst part was being benched all day,” she said. “And the best part was being benched all day. With the kennel club, we chat by e-mail, but at the show, you get to know the person. You get to meet new friends and develop new connections in those four days.” When she compared the real thing with the popular movie parody “Best in Show,” Ozbirn laughed. “It is so like that,” she said. “It’s very much like that. The personalities in the movie were magnified, but there are real people like every one of those characters. Like the busy bee lady — we met someone just like that.” Ozbirn and Angie Reed, a professional dog handler from Puyallup and Bruiser’s owner, had their own adventures in New York. The women had to hire a professional minivan service that specialized in transporting animals from the airport to their hotel. The driver was no New Yorkcabbie. In fact, he apparently didn’t know his way around town and got completely lost. After several hair-raising attempts to negotiate the concrete jungle, Reed saved the day by tracking down the hotel’s coordinates with her GPS system. Then there was the little problem of finding a place for big dogs to relieve themselves in the city.

“There’s no grass,” Ozbirn said. “We found some trees with little rocks around them, and there were some snow drifts. That helped.” Indy took it all in stride and shined at the show. “She loves being in shows,” Ozbirn said. “She thinks everybody is there to see her.” At the beginning of the show, Ozbirn “championed” the dog herself, which means she acted as her handler. But as the show progressed, she thought Indy would have a better chance in the hands of a professional. Indy didn’t place in the show, but her sister won “Best of Opposite,” for the breed. That means they were the runner-up of the opposite sex to whichever dog placed “Best of Breed.” “At least we kept it in the family,” Ozbirn said. Indy’s family has an impressive bloodline. Both her parents were AKC champions and her father was a UKC champion, too. It only took her two years to get to Westminster — her first dog show was at the nationals in Shelton in 2007. During that time, she has attained the status of No. 3 in her breed in the country and No. 1 bitch. “She got a personal invitation to go to Westminster,” Reed said. “She’s the only female in the top five in the country.” Reed has been showing dogs for 12 years and said it was a dream to go to Manhattan. She said the most important thing she learned was that the dogs encounter a lot of stress. “If your dog is skittish, don’t go,” she said. “It’s a crowded place with really bright lights, and people are totally in the dogs’ faces all day. But Indy and Bruiser were like, ‘Bring it on.’ I was really proud of how both of them handled it.” Ozbirn said she plans to retire Indy and breed her this spring. She hopes to have a new litter of Bordeaux puppies by March or April. Reach Lifestyles Coordinator and reporter Susan Schell at 253-853-9240 or by e-mail at

Gateway photo/Lee Giles III

Indy shows off one of her “Pick Me” looks — the one that melts judges’ hearts at dog shows.

Gateway photo/Lee Giles III

Above: Indy gets a hug from owner Cheryl Ozbirn at Donkey Creek Park in Gig Harbor. Upper Right: Ozbirn takes Indigo Sky on a lap in front of the judges at Madison Square Garden. Lower right: The judging on the floor at Madison Square Garden can become pretty intense during the show. Photos above courtesy of Roger Ozbirn

Two Waters Alliance to present annual Spring Fling


wo Waters Arts Alliance, the Key Peninsula-based promoter and supporter of local artists and art events, is celebrating its eighth year since its founding. The eighth annual Spring Fling, a popular evening that showcases local artists, will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. March 6 at the Key Peninsula Civic Center in Vaughn. The usual display and sales of art work is the focal point of the event. A no-host bar is available, along with hors d’oeuveres by caterer Jacquie Hickey. The featured artist this year is Pat Meras, whose “Vaughn Bay 1” is featured on the invitation and poster. Meras will oversee the work on display that evening and jury the student art awards. Lorraine Hart’s Jazz Musette will perform lively music for attendees. A silent auction has been canceled this year in order to focus on the displays and sales of the art work that will continue for the duration of the event. Artists who wish to participate can find an application on the TWAA Web site on page 5 of

the online newsletter. Artists also can bring up to two pieces to the KPCC between 4 and 6 p.m. on Friday, March 5. There is no charge to enter. Participating artists also are invited 6 to attend the Colleen event for free. Slater Artwork that exceeds 48 inches by 30 inches will be accepted and displayed only at jury’s discretion. All work must be ready to hang. Work for sale is subject to a 30 percent commission to TWAA. Small work — smaller than 12 inches by 12 inches, prints and jewelry for sale — must have an inventory for all items. All artwork must be picked up at the end of the event. A student art exhibit, coordinated by Merilee Kennedy, will feature the work of students from

out our way

Key Peninsula Middle School, Peninsula High School and Henderson Bay High School. Other committee members and volunteers include Laurie and Doug Austin, Kathy and Phil Bauer, Britta Brones, Lisa Bryan, Frank and Carol Garratt, Trish and Dale Goodvin, Margo and Bruce Macdonald, Laura Mosley, Bev Pedersen, Robin Peterson, Mark Runions, Molly Swenson and Pat and Ruth Thompson. Trish Goodvin is the coordinator for volunteers, and more help can always be used. Those who are interested can e-mail her at For more information, e-mail New memberships are encouraged now, as there is a $5 discount on the ticket price for members. Discounts for other events and classes sponsored by TWAA also are available to members and patrons. Membership information is available online or by contacting other members. Tickets will be available at the door. They will be $20 for members or $25 for non-members. Two Waters maintains a

partnership with the Peninsula School District, promoting teachers and artists and working together to enhance arts programs and curricula. Teachers can select artists to work with them on a particular focus in their teaching, and the artists can share their work and passion with the students. Varied classes and workshops are offered throughout the year, including pottery, drawing, painting, tapestry, writing, sculpting and other areas. Some are scheduled for April and May. Scholarships are available for those in need. Children’s workshops, such as an annual mask making, are offered for free or by donation. Special camps for children, such as the upcoming theatre workshop scheduled for spring break, are exciting adventures for Key Peninsula kids. The theatre camp will focus on basic aspects of theatre and include a short play for family and friends. Registration is availalbe online at or by calling 253-884-9240. Space is limited, so early registration is

Photo courtesy of Pat Meras

Pat Meras, whose artwork is above, will be a featured artist at this year’s Spring Fling, which is sponsored by the Two Waters Arts Alliance. encouraged. For more information about Two Waters, visit www.twowaters. org.

Out Our Way columnist Colleen Slater writes a monthly column for the Neighbors page. She can be reached by e-mail at



The Gateway encourages community submissions for this page. They must be received by noon Friday prior to publication. They can be sent to: The Peninsula Gateway, P.O. Box 407, Gig Harbor, WA 98335, or faxed to 851-3939. Contact Susan Schell at 853-9240 or e-mail to

Gateway photo/Susan Schell

Michael Haines on a recent visit to his hometown, Gig Harbor.

GH native works for peace in Afghanistan Peninsula High School graduate named Deputy Country Representative by the U.S. Congress. Their main thrust, Haines said, is to provide access to education and access to ichael Haines looked like an ordinary guy justice. “Women are very protected by dressed in casual clothes and a baseball cap, re- their families over there,” he said. laxing at the Tides Tavern. Quite a switch from “We provide grants to girls’ schools training for young women. We the photographs that showed him dressed in a and provide services so they don’t have to business suit and engaged in serious conversations with digrely on the government.” Haines comes from a long line of nitaries in Kabul, Afghanistan. educators, so teaching is a natural “I live in an ordinary house, but it’s for him. His brother is a teacher and The Gig Harbor native was rein the compound where I work,” he cently in the area for a very short his mother, Barbara Julian, is a private tutor. time to visit his mother before jetting said. “Basically I live at work.” Haines has not lived in the United “He’s teaching young women and off to the middle east. In January he was named Deputy States since 2003. He served in the that’s very good,” she said. “I teach people how to read, but he teaches Country Representative for the Asia Peace Corps in the Ukraine, worked for public affairs at the Pentagon and them how to live. He’s trying to make Foundation in Afghanistan. “I joined the Asia Foundation ear- worked in Iraq helping the Iraqi mili- people literate so they can make their own decisions.” lier this year after nearly two years tary communicate with the public. Like every mother, Julian worries in Azerbaijan with Eurasia Founda“Nobody does the Peace Corps about her son living in a dangerous tion,” he said. “Afghanistan is one unless you have a standard of idealism,” he said. “I joined the corps fully country, but she and his brother of the most important and pivotal intending to return home and never plan to visit him in Afghanistan in a countries on the geo-political and few weeks. economic scene for centuries if not did.” One “small world” story he shares “He feels comfortable and is most millennia. This complex society, a is when he got together with a fellow productive when he’s under extreme true melting pot of ethnicity, reliPeninsula High School graduate in pressure,” she said. “Everything he gions, civilizations, and languages, Iraq. does is always looking at the big picis not only a lynchpin for global “I got an e-mail from Gerald Ostture. He really likes to help people.” energy policy, it is the key to security challenges in the Middle East, South lund, a guy I hadn’t seen in 12 years,” Haines said building good govAsia, and indeed the world, as 9/11 he said. “He learned I was working in ernance in a country leads to the demonstrated.” elimination of corruption. That Iraq and said ‘When you’re in BaghHaines said the Asia Foundation is dad lets get together.” involves providing for their welfare with hospitals, schools and all the a premier international organization The two met up in a coffee shop elements that make a society. and its Country Representative in located in one of Saddam Hussein’s Afghanistan, Dr. George Varughese, former palaces, The Green Bean. “It’s a very challenging enviis an iconic figure in the industry. The Asia Foundation is supported ronment,” he said. “People view SUSAN SCHELL


of the Gateway

Ministry of Labour Workshop on Women’s Rights under the new Afghanistan Labour Law: left to right, Deputy Minister of Labour Bashiri, Michael Haines, representatives of various ministerial gender units.

Photos courtesy of Michael Haines

Haines meets with the new U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry. Afghanistan. as a lawless nation, but they just need help. Now there seems to be a breath of fresh air with the Obama administration. Obama seems committed to providing resources and political support. Bush was supportive, but seemed unable to provide the political support.” Haines said natives that fled the country during Taliban rule are beginning to return with skills they picked up elsewhere, and that’s what the country needs. He works down the hall from Tariq Osman, Senior Religious Advisor and Technical Consultant, and former member of the Taliban. “Living here requires you to look below the surface,” he said. “People want things mostly packaged in black and white. During the time of war many people joined the Taliban because they were provided jobs, but they didn’t necessarily buy into the ideology.” Haines said the Taliban gave Islam a bad name. “They used Islam as their cover,” he said. “People pervert religious beliefs for their own gain. Most Talibs are illiterate and haven’t ever read the Holy Koran, so they don’t even know what it says.” Haines said the Asia Foundation has tried to make life for the Americans as normal as possible. There are two deputy country representatives — the other one is from Croatia. “The U.S. is just one player,” he

said. “It’s supported by nine countries. The foundation has dozens of projects around the world.” The reason why developed countries would spend so much time and money on underdeveloped countries is simple, Haines said. “Democracies don’t war with each other. But we can’t build it in our own image. They have to find it in their own youth.” Haines pointed out that a country becomes very dangerous when it becomes lawless and can’t police its own borders. “When there’s a fractured state it leads to instability. If it fails it breaks the whole system. And we know what the price is of failure.” Haines meets with the ministry of labour regularly and helps develop labour laws in Kabul. But he said it takes more than just training the police and college professors. The key is to train those that can turn around and give their knowledge to others. “It’s harder for a country to support terrorism when you have working cities,” Haines said. “We know what happens when there’s a failed state. When police uphold the laws you have a working society. If those elements are there then terrorism goes away.” Reach Lifestyles Coordinator and reporter Susan Schell at 253-853-9240 or by e-mail at

Photo courtesy of Michael Haines

Michael Haines, center, in Afghanistan with Tariq Osman, senior religious advisor and technical consultant, left, and Fazel Rabie Wardak, senior program officer.



The Gateway encourages community submissions for this page. They must be received by noon Friday prior to publication. They can be sent to: The Peninsula Gateway, P.O. Box 407, Gig Harbor, WA 98335, or faxed to 851-3939. Contact Susan Schell at 853-9240 or e-mail to

Gateway photos/Lee Giles III

Tasha was a handful for Simpson in the beginning, but with patience and commitment, the two became fast friends.

Gig Harbor equestrian packs her bags for Kentucky 4-H student will represent Washington at Nationals SUSAN SCHELL


Special to the Gateway

hen Tavia Simpson first met Tasha, she had no idea that this spirited, mischievous horse would take her all the way to the 4-H Nationals in Kentucky.

“She was wild,” Simpson said of the dark bay Arabian Thoroughbred. “And huge. She was totally untrained and had barely been ridden. The people who had her before kept her as a pet and she was allowed to run free. But she has a great personality and she’s very sweet.” The story of the Gig Harbor High School senior and Tasha is one of pure patience, perseverance and the special bond that can develop between a human and a horse. Last month, Simpson competed with Tasha at the Western Washington State fair in Puyallup. She placed first with her Equine Public Presentation and will represent Washington state at the 4-H Horse Roundup in Louisville, KY. Simpson’s mother, Sherry Stump, bought the horse for pleasure riding, but soon found that she was too much to handle. Stump comes from an equestrian background — her parents were involved in the thoroughbred racing industry. Nevertheless, Stump admits that years of city living made her “green” again when it came to dealing with difficult animals. When she had had enough of being battered and bruised, she let her daughter tackle the horse as a 4-H project. “It was either that or I was going to sell her,” Stump said. “I just didn’t have time for all that.” When the wayward animal was paired with the energetic, ambitious teenager, she found a kindred spirit. Simpson is finishing high school

while enrolled full time in the Running Start program at Tacoma Community College in Gig Harbor. She is involved with 4-H and knows exactly where she wants to go in life. “That’s why we get along so well,” Simpson said of her horse. “She’s busy and she doesn’t like to stay still. We figured each other out, like our body language. We’re totally in tune with each other.” Not that the journey was easy. Simpson suffered two broken ribs and injured her back before bringing her case to a higher authority. Her 4-H leader told her she had to spend at least two hours a day with the horse. She took that to heart and put everything she had into it. Working with the silent, strong animal was therapeutic. “When she’s stressed out she spends time with Tasha,” her mother said. The horse came to the family with the name “Pepsi.” “We don’t like to change animals’ names,” Stump said. “But she didn’t look like a Pepsi.” If it’s true that it’s all in a name, Tasha was transformed from a bubbly, sugar-injected drink marketed toward a youthful generation into something more sophisticated. “It was a slow process,” Simpson said. “It was all about winning the small battles. But when I started working with her every day she began to turn around. She’s awesome now and her cues are perfect.” The two eventually became so in sync, they went on to compete in

Simpson lives with a menagerie of animals including horses goats, chickens, ducks, cats and dogs at Treasure Trove Farm in Gig Harbor.

Simpson’s goats place at fair Tavia Simpson also showed her two goats, Teagan and Tribute, at the Puyallup Fair. Teagan was named Best Nigerian Dwarf in Washington State.

county shows. “When I’m riding I can tell what she’s going to do five steps before she does it,” Simpson said. “It’s so nice to be that in tune with someone.” The two ended up competing at the state level in Puyallup and Tasha showed just what she was made of in the barrel racing, keyhole and figure eight competitions. She struck a pretty picture for the judges. “She cleans up well,” Simpson said. “And she dropped a second in every show.”

The teenager explained that state fair competition is based on a point system and that even a fraction of a second faster in races can make a big difference. Only seven students from Pierce County made it to the state level. It was Simpson’s equine presentation that put her over the top. She gave a speech on equine infectious anemia, EIA, also called swamp fever. “It’s related to the HIV/AIDs virus and goats can get it as well,” she said. “I just want to spread the word about this. Everyone can help and do what they can to keep it from spreading.” She will be giving this same presentation in Kentucky and has also had the opportunity to practice the speech again in front of her 4-H members. She said she’s not particularly nervous about giving the presentation. “I’m just going to go with it,” she said. “This is something I really like doing, talking to people.”

“The 4-H puts a high level of importance on education,” Stump said. “That’s what they shoot for. They can utilize the skills they learned here in other parts of their life.” Simpson studied under an internship with Dr. Larry Castle at the Deschutes Animal Clinic. She plans to go into human medicine for job security reasons, but said her long-time goal, not surprisingly, is to be an equine veterinarian. Simpson is not sure where the presentation in Kentucky will lead, but hopes college recruiters will be on hand to take notice of her talents. But whatever happens down the road, she will be able to look back at how she got there —with patience, commitment, love and the help of a special friend. Reach Lifestyles Coordinator and reporter Susan Schell at 253-853-9240 or by e-mail at

MARITIME GIG: Annual celebration brings out the inner pirate/SPECIAL PHOTO PAGES, 4 AND 5A

Special Graduation section inside

Meet the Class of 2009 at Gig Harbor and Peninsula High Schools JUNE 10, 2009




City at odds with developer over rezone

Remembering Normandy Veteran reflects as another D-day anniversary slips by SUSAN SCHELL


of the Gateway

ich Rinde opened a tiny black box containing one of his prized possessions. The gold-plated medal is the Jubilee of Liberty Medal minted under the direction of the French government to honor the World War II veterans who invaded Normandy. Rinde received the medal from Congressman George R. Nethercutt Jr. at the Olympia National Guard Armory in 2004.

His other prized possession is a corroded belt buckle emblazoned with a swastika. Rinde found it on Omaha Beach in 1944. “It was about a month after D-day,” he said. “By then the Americans had control of the beach and we could go ashore. It was an enlisted man’s belt buckle rusted from the salt water. It could have been some young kid like me. That’s about 100 percent German.” Rinde was just 17 years old when his U.S. Navy LST (landing ship tank) left the banks of Portland, England and slipped into the black of night on June 5, 1944. The crew was unaware of their destination. “Nobody said anything,” Rinde said. “We had heard something about an invasion. But it wasn’t until we were out of sight of England that the skipper said, ‘The invasion’s going to be tomorrow morning in France.’ I was just a snot-nosed kid who had never been away from home.” The “kid from Minnesota” ended up on the “worse beach” of the invasion — Omaha. “Other beaches, like Utah, were flat,” he said. “But Omaha had a huge cliff with Germans on top. When our guys came ashore the Germans shot down on them like fish in a barrel.” Rinde’s boat slipped into the Bay of the Seine under cover of darkness in the midst of scores of invisible ships. The amount of company they had in the bay is what struck the youth when dawn broke on a gray, stormy day. “It was pitch black and you couldn’t see anything,” he said. “The ship was running on radar. When it was light enough I remember thinking, ‘My god, look at all the ships.’ The place was filthy with ships. I don’t know how we navigated. You could almost walk from ship to ship.” The weather did not cooperate with the invasion. Rinde remembers hearing that President Eisenhower was debating whether to put it off.

“Finally he said, ‘To hell with it, let’s go,’” Rinde said. “And those were his words. The weather was so bad the engines on the ship were third-speed forward and the anchor was out just to maintain position. Otherwise we’d have been drifting all over the place.” The Germans were hunkered down in concrete bunkers, “pill boxes” up on the cliff, firing down at the troops while allied battleships shot back from the water. “At around 6 a.m. all hell broke loose,” Rinde said. “The battleships were firing 18-inch shells at the pill boxes. You could hear them whistling over your head. The Germans had a lot of pillboxes. They spent a lot of time and money on those things.” The allies did have a lucky card —the Germans didn’t know where the invasion would take place and were spread thin along the coast. “They had no idea where it would be,” Rinde said. “They were spread out clean up into Denmark.” Each ship had barrage balloons attached to them —baby dirigibles filled with helium and attached to the ship with a stainless steel cable to counter air attacks. “If an airplane hit one of those cables it would rip their wing off,” the seaman said. “Some bonehead shot a rifle and hit our balloon and it caught fire. The whole bay lit up.” It took Rinde’s crew almost two weeks to unload all the supplies off their ship. The going was often tedious and slow. The ship could not go ashore with all the firing, so barges came out to retrieve supplies like guns and tanks. The decks of the two boats wobbled up and down in the stormy tide. The crew had only split seconds to race across the threshold from one deck to the other. “It was a ball,” Rinde said. “The whole time we didn’t lose anything.” The ship returned to England to retrieve supplies again and again. When the fighting died down over time the

Pioneer and Stinson, LLC, looking to take two-acre parcel off City’s Height Restriction Area Map NATE HULINGS of the Gateway

SUSAN SCHELL of the Gateway

Popular Gig Harbor resident and manager of the Green Turtle Restaurant Anthony Choe lost his battle with leukemia last weekend. The 26-year-old had been battling the disease for three years. “It is so hard for me to describe him,” said his mother, Sue Glenn. “He was literally perfect — very smart and very handsome. He was the most loving, kind, giving person. He was well known and well respected even at his age. He had the soul of a hun-

The City of Gig Harbor and a local developer are butting heads over an application to take land off the City’s Height Restriction Area Map. At the Hearing Examiner meeting last week, Pioneer and Stinson, LLC, requested the two-acre parcel at 2700 Grandview Street be removed from the map, allowing future structures to reach more than the current 16 feet. The applicant, Carl Halsan, points to Gig Harbor Municipal Code 17.62, which notes that the purpose of the height restriction area is to “be a limitation on height so as not to restrict views from adjacent properties.” “The project has no impact view,” William Lynn, Haslan’s legal representative, told the Hearing Examiner last Thursday. Mayor Chuck Hunter said the city’s biggest concern is that a rezone will allow taller buildings to be constructed, diminishing the feel of Gig Harbor. The site’s sloping topography allows future structures to have a downhill height of more than 35 feet, he said. Structures within the area currently cannot exceed 16 feet in height. If the hearing examiner approves the rezone, the applicant would rezone the property from a residential-business low to residential-business medium. A residential medium designation would allow 4-12 dwelling units per acre, the city says. According to the Gig Harbor municipal code, four criteria must be met for a parcel to be taken off the map. First, the request must “further the goals, policies and objectives of the comprehensive plan.” This amendment was argued on both sides. The city pointed to parts of the plan that relate to the need for a “small town scale,” while the applicant says the only

Gateway photos/Susan Schell

Rich Rinde with a photo of his crew. He suspects that only a few of them are still alive. ship was able to unload directly on shore at high tide. “We crossed the English channel more then any other ship — 42 times,” Rinde said. It took a month after the invasion started for the seaman to walk on the shore and find his treasure in the sand. It would take another 60 years to receive a medal for his duty that year. He is thankful that the French government took the time to honor the surviving veterans, but is puzzled when he hears that a lot of the French don’t like Americans. “It’s a different world now,” he said. “A lot of the younger ones don’t realize what we did to save their rear ends. But a lot of old timers know what we did. They know if it weren’t for us they’d be speaking German.” Reach Lifestyles Coordinator and reporter Susan Schell at 253-853-9240 or by e-mail at

Popular restaurant manager loses battle with leukemia Anthony Choe is remembered affectionately as ‘Gig Harbor’s son’

 $1.00

dred-year-old.” Glenn said her son was a perfectionist and everyone in the harbor loved him and cherished him. She called him “Gig Harbor’s son.” Choe loved the harbor and if he went across the bridge he couldn’t wait to get back, his mother said. He raced motocross and loved photography. His father, Nolan Glenn, said Choe held the highest regard for others, their feelings and needs before his. “It’s been amazing being his father,” he said. “We are so proud of him.” Nolan said his son never complained throughout his ordeal and when people came by to bless him they ended up feeling blessed themselves. Choe “We’re so grateful for everyone’s love and grateful for everyone honoring him” we will join him and see him again. That’s he said. “We look forward to the day when what keeps us going.”

Call 253.851.9921 to subscribe $25 per year in Pierce and Kitsap Counties

Arts & Entertainment Business Classifieds Legal Notices

Some of Rich Rinde’s treasures include photos of a naval crew, LST boats and the youth having a drink with his buddies (Rinde is the third from the left), his Jubilee of Liberty Medal and a belt buckle with a swastika.

Please see Rezone, page 3A

Maritime Gig Festival weaves maritime narrative Events tell story of Gig Harbor’s past and present maritime history NATE HULINGS of the Gateway

Pancakes, pirates and precipitation flooded the streets of Gig Harbor for the annual Maritime Gig Festival last weekend. The weekend festivities started with a pancake feed, courtesy of the Gig Harbor Kiwanis. Joe Loya, Kiwanis member and pancake flipper extraordinaire, joked around with other volunteers, including Peninsula School District Superintendent Terry Bouck, and made sure no one left with an empty stomach. “We’re all working to give something 4B 8B 6-7C 7C

Obituaries Opinion Records Real Estate

back to the comMaritime m u n i t y,” L oy a said. “That’s what Gig photo Gig Harbor is all about.” pages, Loya would flip 4 and 5A about 3,000 pancakes before the end of the morning. Two stomachs that came empty but left full were those of Rork Cogan, 9, and Hunter Schreiner, 13. They sat down beneath the overhang of QFC to avoid the morning drizzle and discussed weekend plans. Both are from out-of-town, here for a cousin’s graduation from North Kitsap High School. A short walk down Pioneer Way to Harborview Drive put you smack in the middle of street vendors and the parade route.

6B 16-17A 6-7B 1-5,8C

Please see Festival, page 3A

Religion Schools Sports Weather & Tides

5B 13A 1-2B 7B



The Gateway encourages community submissions for this page. They must be received by noon Friday prior to publication. They can be sent to: The Peninsula Gateway, P.O. Box 407, Gig Harbor, WA 98335, or faxed to 851-3939. Contact Susan Schell at 853-9240 or e-mail to

CAMP AGAPE gives kids, parents a break

Heimena Aramde, 5, of Seattle poses with Registered Nurse Melanie Stauffer, also of Seattle. Aramde was getting her many morning medications from Stauffer and her mom, Lem Lem Beddada.

from disease, treatment

Cancer patients and their families can focus on other aspects of life

Camp Agape Northwest

 The camp at the All Saints Center

on Raft Island has existed for 13 years. The church owns the property where the camp is located.  The camp is an offshoot of The Ladies Philoptochos Society, members of the Greek Orthodox Church. Philoptochos is the root word of “Philanthropy.”  The first camp was held in 1989 at Saint Nicholas Ranch in Fresno, Calif., to serve as a retreat for families with children with cancer.  The camp is supported by fundraisers and sponsors like The Greek Orthodox Philoptochos Society, The Puyallup Tribe of Indians, The Emerald Queen Casino and the Kitsap County Rodeo/Dance for a Wish.  The next fundraiser for the camp will be the Seattle Chocolate & Wine Ball on Nov. 8. For more information, visit  On the Web: www.campagapenw. org.



of the Gateway

group of laughing children gather around a kneeling adult, pelting him with shaving cream. As the camp counselor and others like him become slathered with the foaming white liquid, the children scream with delight.

Two young men wearing muscle padding and grey sweatsuits meander through the crowd and joke around, speaking with Austrian accents. “Hans and Franz” is the theme for the camp, director Emilie John said, based on the “Saturday Night Live” characters. But the underlying theme is happiness — everyone is here to have a good time. And a good time is a profound need for these campers, struggling under the dark cloud of cancer. Camp Agape Northwest on Raft Island is a cost-free, weeklong camp, complete with cabins and tents for cancer victims and their families. “The philosophy is that, if a child has cancer, the whole family is sick,” John said. “This gives them a break and relief from the suffering.” This was the first year at the camp for Rick Fisher, whose family is still reeling from the punch they received when his 16-month-old daughter, Olivia, was diagnosed with the disease three months ago. “We’re still processing it,” he said. “We’re in survival mode. This gives us a chance to absorb it.” Fisher found out about the camp through his oncologist at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma. “He made sure Livy’s (white blood

Heimena Aramde, 5, of Seattle runs from the nurse’s station after taking her medications.

Gateway photos/Lee Giles III

Camper Hans Bennett, 9, soaks counselor Josh Borgan with a water gun during morning activities last week at Camp Agape on Raft Island.

Camp Agape counselor Arianna Vokos tries to escape the deluge of Super Soaker water gun fire as a camper tries to spray her shaving cream beard from her face.

Emma Koertzen, 7, gets her morning medications from her mom, Lauren. Koertzen has been battling Osteosarcoma for the past two years. The illness didn’t mask the fact that she was having fun with her fellow campers.

cell) count was up so we could come here. It’s great to talk to other parents who know what you’re going through and that you’re not alone.” Cancer sufferers must have their white blood cell count up to a certain level to attend the camp, because they have to be healthy. Nurses are on staff 24 hours a day to monitor medications and the children’s health. Children are paired with a counselor who acts as their mentor for the week. “This gives the parents a chance to relax without having to keep an eye on the children,” John said. “We have a secure environment here, so mom and dad can take a break and not have to worry.” “The first day, they’re bewildered, not knowing what to do without the kids,” John said. “At the end, they’re relaxed, happy and feel renewed.” The camp purposefully admits a 5050 mix of new families and returning families to create a unique blend of

ing, but they don’t really understand 100 percent. Here, people finish your sentences for you.” His daughter, Jessica Caudle, said the camp made her happy. “I didn’t expect it to be so funny,” she said. “We did a lot of arts and crafts, and I made a lot of friends here.” Those friendships can turn out to be everlasting. Camp counselor J.J. Jester, 18, first attended the camp with his family four years ago, when his younger brother was suffering from cancer. He applauded the camp for giving the victims’ siblings attention, too. “When kids get cancer, their siblings get thrown off to the side,” he said. “Here, they give as much attention to the siblings as much, if not more, than the patients. “It changed my life, seeing all these little guys up and running around,” Jester added. “It made the problems in

 “This is somewhere in the world they get to feel normal and they don’t feel alone.” Sharmarie Dares

communication between the two. “They get a sense of community here,” Agape board member Sharmarie Dares said. “This is somewhere in the world they get to feel normal and they don’t feel alone.” Wally Caudle said attending the camp changed his life because it introduced him to people who know what it’s like to have a child with cancer. “The main thing is, you share your story with people who have truly been there,” he said. “Other people are car-

my life seem so miniscule.” The parents also are given a heavy dose of consideration. During the week, men are whisked away for an afternoon of golf, and the women are treated to high tea. Date Night lets weary parents enjoy their company together after spending so many hours attending to their child’s needs. “There is a huge opportunity to give respite to families who’ve been fatigued,” Dares said. Sarah Brown, whose son, Parker, is struggling with cancer, explained the breath of fresh air the camp gives to parents with a cancer-stricken child. “You feel like you have to do all these horrible things to your child,” she said. “This place is like heaven on earth. You feel you get a little chance to go to heaven, because you’ve been through hell.” Reach reporter Susan Schell at 253-853-9240 or by e-mail at

Ten or more ways to stay cool with a 5-year-old


t’s hot and I’m cranky. My 5-yearstate Route 302. old, Abby, is crankier. Her red, We spent many days at the YMCA sweaty, sullen face is evidence that, pool (253-853-9622) one, we do not have an air conditioner, and, two, the five fans in our with its instructional and lap pools, house just blow hot air around. but there are also So, I spent the past week of this heat wave finding fun things for her to do the pools at Gig Harbor High School while staying cool. (253-530-1400) and Fifteen bucks bought a plastic wading pool at Fred Meyer. What I didn’t Peninsula High School (253-857anticipate was how disgusted a 5-year3530). old would get at the amount of drool entering her pool when our dogs started Surrounded by drinking and wading in it to get cool the cold waters of 6 themselves. Puget Sound, we Joanne So we went to our favorite local lake, sought out two of Haffly Horseshoe Lake. It has a swimming our favorite spots to area, picnic tables, a baseball field, restvisit: the Purdy Spit room facilities and a playset with swings (along state Route 302), because it is so close to home and great for exploring and slides at 15931 Sidney Road SW in tide pools; and the Narrows Park (1600 Port Orchard, located a few miles off

day by day

Lucille Parkway in Gig Harbor) beneath the Narrows bridges, because the beach has pockets of sand to dig in and the overhang of trees offers shade to her tender skin. We visited the new toy store in Uptown Gig Harbor called Teaching Toys Too (253-514-6113). While each time the doors were propped wide open, it still provided a distracting excursion from the summer swelter. I really liked the way they encourage the children to test out the toys. We saw a movie. The Galaxy Theater at Uptown (253-857-7469) is playing the newest Harry Potter movie and Ice Age 3. It’s a time-honored way to take a break from the heat and brightness of the day and gorge oneself on salty popcorn — yummy. The Pierce County Library System is free, air-conditioned and offers books,

crafts, puppet programs and movies. Abby discovered these nifty devices called Playaways, which have recorded books for all ages. Just add your own headphones to listen to the stories. Reach the Peninsula branch at 253-8513793 or the Key Center branch at 253884-2242. Of course, summer means ice cream and other frozen treats. No one can beat the price at McDonalds, at 5050 Borgen Blvd. NW, which offers a 50-cent cone and an indoor play area. Jamba Juice at Uptown Gig Harbor is our favorite destination for fruit smoothies — so cold you suffer brain freezes. I like that the menu offers ones only 160 calories for 16 ounces. The outdoor seating area is right next to a large water fountain, which is very soothing. The kids splash in it, too. We found traditional dipped cones

at both Kelly’s Café and Espresso at 7806 Pioneer Way, and at a toy store and consignment shop called Animal Crackers Kids Store, 3026 Harborview Drive, which has a cute collection of toy kitchen food and utensils, art supplies and rain gear in pirate, dinosaur and ladybug themes. But, most of the time, cooling off was as simple and timeless as playing in the sprinkler and eating Popsicles. We even made our own with fruit juice, paper cups and wooden sticks. It’s still hot, and August won’t hit until this weekend. Abby walks around smelling a bit like sweat, sunscreen and grape Popsicle, but the grin on her freckled face makes it all seem worthwhile. Joanne Haffly’s Day by Day column appears monthly on the Neighbors page. She can be reached by e-mail at

Feature writer of the Year  

Susan Schell, reporter for The Peninsula Gateway of Gig Harbor, Wash.