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APRIL 18, 2013 | Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune

Page A11

Okanogan Valley Life

Local knifemaker/ chef sharpens his trade

The art of the blade

By Brent Baker

TONASKET - The kitchen isn’t the only place Salem Straub is skilled with a knife. Actually, his skill with knives outside the kitchen has more to do with making them as using them. Straub, who partners with his wife Heather to run Cafe Lune five mornings a week in the Community Cultural Center of Tonasket, is a knifemaker by trade - or perhaps more accurately, a bladesmith as he employs a small forge to do some of his work - as the owners of Promethean Knives. His work varies from the mundane to the complex, including folding knives, Bowie knives, kitchen knives, integral hunting knives, or whatever strikes his imagination. “I kind of aspire to an Asian aesthetic,” Straub said. “Clean lines and a restrained beauty with function being foremost. That’s not to say I wouldn’t like to branch out to high embellishment, I just haven’t gotten there yet. “It helps to try to do a range of things,” he added. “Kitchen knives, for example, are a great market to get into. They get used more than the others and a lot more women use them, too. Even swords, but with those you really need to tool up and learn a lot for years before you’re ready to do the big blades.” Tooling up, learning a lot for years, has helped Straub develop and impressive and varied resume of blades. While living on Maui, Straub got his start making hunting and fishing knives for pig hunters. “It’s quite barbaric,” he said. “Dogs, knives, no guns.” When he later moved to Oahu, one of his neighbors turned out to be Ken Onion, who is as close to a household name as there is in the world of knifemaking. “I just went up and introduced myself, and he said he’d take me on as a learner,” Straub said. “Before I moved off the island I spent four or five months with him and really got my work polished and my basics more solid.” Other than Onion, and some engraving instruction from Tonasket’s Walter Henze, most of Straub’s learning has come

Above left, Salem Straub hammers at the beginnings of a blade just after heating it in his forge; bottom left, a partially completed folding knife; top right, one of Straub’s completed folding knives; bottom right, the workmanship on one of Straub’s knife handles.

Photos by Brent Baker and Salem Straub

through the local library. “I’ve read a lot of books,” Straub said. “The Tonasket Public Library either has on their shelves, or through their system, at least five good books on blacksmithing. The internet has been a huge help, too. “Other than that, it’s been trial and error.” Most of Straub’s “tooling up” has involved rescuing other people’s junk off the scrap heap at little or no cost and resurrecting it himself. His drill press, sitting derelict behind a factory, cost $20 and took an hour to get working; his bandsaw was a $45 Craigslist purchase; his lathe had been broken for a decade but Straub had it working shortly after taking possession of it; his power hammer came out of a Chesaw barn for $500 and took six months to rebuild; and his hydraulic forging press he built from scratch. “I have to get into these things

and puzzle them out,” Straub said. “I’m always looking for machines and tools that just need a new owner and a little love.” He learned to build his own tools out of necessity after his parents bought a Cobey Creek property above the Aeneas Valley. “I moved there that summer to help them with a log house,” Straub said. “They’re 40 miles out of town and off the grid by quite a bit. Occasionally we’d need a tool or some hardware that we didn’t want to drive that far to get. “So I just had a little railroad track anvil, made my first forge using wood charcoal that I would find in the area. I made hinges and draw knives and frontiertype stuff. Within a year or two I made a couple of knives and I really enjoyed that, so I started collecting tools when I could.” Now, he and Heather’s garage deep in the Okanogan Highlands bristles with the tools of his trade, though running the cafe has

taken some time away from his vocation. “(Productivity has) dropped sharply because of the cafe,” Straub said. “I was full time for three years before that. During that time, a I completed couple a of knives. The emails, the shipping, making sheaths takes time too. A lot of guys bang them out more quickly but I’m not really a production assembly kind of guy. You don’t have to forge to make knives - guys forge because

it’s cool. And it opens up your options a little bit more.” Different types of knives provide different challenges. Straub said that folding knives in particular require a lot of concentration. “There’s a lot of little parts in these dudes,” he said. “You can screw one up in a heartbeat. All it takes is for your mind to wander, and with a tolerance of a thousandth (of an inch), you can ruin it. You might have to cut out a

new piece entirely, right back to the drawing board.” Integral hunting knives, though they don’t have moving parts, pose a different set of challenges. “The bolster is made out of same metal as tang and blade,’ Straub said. “It’s quite simple, three pieces, but very difficult to get the radius to match and to size the stack pieces for thickness. “I can keep focus real hard for short periods, but when you are your own boss, with no one looking over your shoulder, it can be hard to stay focused and stay on task.” Straub conducts much of his business over the internet (his web site is at prometheanknives. com), and prices range from the low $200 range for a simple hunting knife, the high $200 range for chef knives with carbon steel, or Bowies and collector pieces between $400-500. The site is illustrated with pictures of dozens of Straub’s creations, as well as tutorials on how he does a lot of his work. “It’s a good place to just waste time and look at some pictures,” Straub said. “I helping people learn. I’ve had to learn the same things, and it wasn’t always easy. My website has a ton of tutorial material I’ve written over the years. “I’ve gotten a ton of random emails about it over the years. I got one from a dude in Malaysia the other day. ‘Hi, my name is something unpronounceable, I was wondering about your opinion on machines for basic knifemaking.’ So when someone from Malaysia writes, they’re pretty surprised that I’ll even write them back. But I enjoy that.” When it comes to the complexities of crafting a quality knife, Straub points out that it all comes down to one simple simple concept. “I spend a lot of time in here turning steel into dust,” he said. “That’s the old basic answer to, ‘How do you make a knife?’ You take a bar of steel and grind away everything that doesn’t look like a knife.”

COPS & COURTS Superior Court Criminal The court found probable cause to charge Theodore Storm, 25, with possession of a controlled substance and use of drug paraphernalia. He was found guilty and received three months confinement. The court found probable cause to charge Timothy Edwards, 39, with possession of a stolen motor vehicle. He was found guilty and received 12 months. The court found probable cause to charge Jonathon Michael Day-Wedin with rape of a child second degree. He was found guilty and received 16 years and six months confinement with the possibility of life in prison. The court found probable cause to charge Karilyn Cline, 22, with theft second. She was found guilty and received one month confinement. The court found probable cause to charge Alicia Flores, 34, with unlawful possession of a firearm second. She was found guilty and received nine months confinement.

District Court

Brett Carlson, 23, Omak, was charged with two counts of DWLS third. Carter Coates, 25, Okanogan, was charged with DWLS third. Cory Cornella, 20, Omak, was charged with DWLS third. Robert Lange, 36, Tonasket, was charged with criminal trespassing second. He was found guilty and received two days confinement and a $608 fine.

Alfred Oliver, 37, Oroville, was charged with DWLS third. He received an $818 fine. Juan Ontiveros, 42, Omak, was charged with DWLS third. Brenda Webster, 50, Omak, was charged with two counts of DWLS third. Darwyn Zacherle, 18, Omak, was charged with two counts of DWLS third.

911 Calls and Jail Bookings Monday, April, 8, 2013 In Omak, on Hubbert Road, a resident has been told a male subject is going to retaliate against her by damaging her vehicle. The male subject is her ex boyfriend and has been harrassing her via text messages. In Okanogan, a male subject came to the location claiming that his four year old child was being abused by the mother. In Tonasket, on Aeneas Valley Road, items were placed in storage without the owner’s permission. There is also jewelry missing. In Okanogan, on First Avenue South, a woman’s son has not returned home since Saturday. In Oroville, on South Cordell Road, a male juvenile did not return home on the bus like he was supposed to. Marcos Rosas, 28, was booked for DWLS third and a detainer. Tuesday, April 9, 2013 James Dable, 39, was booked for a warrant. Shawn Best, 29, was booked for

failure to appear and DWLS third. Wednesday, April 10, 2013 In Okanogan, on Elmway, a resident was assaulted by an unknown subject in his early twenties the night before. No weapons were involved. Jimmie Smith, 20, was booked for assault. Jason McDaniel, 38, was booked for residential burglary and malicious mischeif second. Joseph Bowers, 21, was booked for non-support of a child and failure to appear. Thursday, April 11, 2013 In Tonasket, on Spur Road, a female subject came onto the property throwing clothes in the yard. She had sent threatening texts in the past making several threats. Dennis Goble, 46, was booked for failure to appear and DWLS third.


DUI – Driving Under the Influence DWLS/R – Driving While License Suspended/Revoked POSC – Possession of a Controlled Substance MIP/C – Minor in Possession/Consumption TMVWOP – Taking a Motor Vehicle without Owner’s Permission DV – Domestic Violence FTA – Failure to Appear (on a warrant) FTPF – Failure to Pay Fine RP - Reporting Party OCSO – Okanogan County Sheriff’s Officer USBP – U.S. Border Patrol CBP – U.S. Customs and Border Protection ICE – Immigration and Customs Enforcement

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AUGUST 15, 2013 | Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune

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Okanogan Valley Life

Star partiers visit Okanogan Highlands Eden Valley Guest Ranch hosts group displaced by Table Mountain fire By Brent Baker

OROVILLE - Amateur astronomers tend to be a hardy bunch, rolling their telescopes into the night when more sane folk are tucked away in their beds. So when the site of the annual Table Mountain Star Party burned during last fall’s wildfire in the mountains between Ellensburg and Wenatchee, there was no question as to whether or not there would be a 2013 edition of one of the nation’s foremost gatherings of stargazers. The only question was, where? An exhaustive search of dark, highaltitude, dry-climate sites throughout Eastern Washington brought TMSP organizers onto the grounds of the Eden Valley Guest Ranch, 10 miles east of Oroville, where about 300 night-sky denizens and their telescopes gathered for four days last week. With activities winding down on Saturday afternoon, both TMSP Chairman Thom Jenkins and Eden Valley proprietors Robin and Patrick Stice all seemed more than pleased with how the transplanted event translated to new grounds. “These guys have been wonderful,” Robin Stice said. “They’ve been very courteous, very eager to explain how their (telescope) systems work. “I was so excited, I couldn’t contain myself. I was just so honored they selected us... These guys, the layout (of tents, RVs, telescopes, vendors, food) ... They’ve done this enough they’re very clever. They know how to use the space and how to protect the land because they’ve worked with the Forest Service (at Table Mountain).” The new location meant a smaller event than in recent years (which averaged between 550 and 700 attendees), partly because of the increased travel for most, and partly because space was more limited than at the Table Mountain site. But Jenkins said Eden Valley had a number of advantages, including a darker sky. “Our site near Ellensburg is about twice the elevation,” he said. “But there we have sky glow from Ellensburg, Wenatchee and Yakima. It’s dark here, very dark. We don’t have the elevation advantage but the dark skies more than make up for it.” What that means to the uninitiated, well, that takes some explaining.

What’s a star party? First off, most astronomer-types do not like being confused with astrologers. So asking a TMSP goer what their “sign” is would be a big faux pas. But the biggest no-no of all is turning on a light after dark (unless it is red, in the traditional darkroom style). Allowing the eyes to stay adapted to the darkness is sacrosanct, and red light doesn’t ruin one’s night vision the way a regular flashlight would. More than anything, the amateur astronomer craves photons of light, and not from the lamp across the road or the headlights of the neighbor’s car. When it comes to telescopes, the larger the diameter of the lens or mirror, the more light can be corralled from the depths of space and brought to focus in the eye of the observer. The trick is finding a place where there isn’t glow from nearby cities obscuring the lights of the heavens, or nearby street or porch lights to ruin night-adapted vision. Since most people live in cities these days, it can be hard to use a telescope from one’s back yard where there is all sorts of unwanted light. Hence the popularity of “star parties,” which are held in more rural areas, usually at higher altitudes (thinner air helps with telescopic observations), and with like-minded friends. Origins In the early 80s, Table Mountain, just north of Ellensburg, started growing in popularity as a gathering spot for regional groups of astronomy-lovers and telescope owners. The first “official” Table Mountain Star Party, according to its web site, was held in 1990, thanks in large part to the efforts of the four men referred to as its Founding Fathers: Dale Fiske, John Philip, Gene Dietzen and Thom Jenkins. Jenkins, the last of the four still living, is the current chairman on a board of 12 that keeps the TMSP at the forefront of astronomical community events, including its emphasis on being a familyfriendly gathering. “When Table Mountain started, the first few years it was just astronomers,” Jenkins said. “A bunch of us were concerned about science in the schools, not turning out many kids with capabilities. We wanted to do something at this event that would draw families with kids and include science-related things for the kids to do that would pique their interest. “A big emphasis was to make it a family event, something that was attractive, educational to kids and fun.”

Above, Zach Drew of Des Moines captured this spectacular lightning strike that lit up the Table Mountain Star Party during Friday’ night’s storm. No one was injured, but the ensuing heavy rains did cause about half the guests to pack up and head home a day early. Left, Eden Valley Guest Ranch owners Pat and Robin Stice received a Hulan Fleming print from the amateur star party group for their hospitality in hosting the 2013 TMSP.

Photos by Zach Drew and Brent Baker

Not just at night Dark nights, bright stars To that end, TMSP features three full That, of course, is the daytime. But days of student-oriented programming, what people really come for is what hapincluding science-related arts, games pens after dark. and hands-on instruction on building a There are strict rules about when and telescope from a kit. This year, thanks what kinds of lights to use. Arriving or to being in the Okanogan, there were departing the telescope area after dark daytime geology tours featuring paleon- in a vehicle is ... well, don’t try it. Don’t tologist Dan Wood. even think about it. “Astronomy and geology are related, The hardware is impressive, and varso they had fun with that,” Jenkins ied. Some roll out massive Dobsonian said. “They had Jovian soccer with this reflectors (the design originated and 6-foot-5 soccer ball - we tried to wear the popularized by the aforementioned John kids out so they go to sleep at night. Plus Dobson) that yield impressive views we had some competito the eye but in most tions with water-filled cases are low-tech in stomp rockets.” terms of operation. “We had about 60 Then there are those kids this year,” said with fully automated, chairman-elect Russ computerized teleVodder. “They make scopes that do all the a lot of neat friends sky hunting for you, every year, and then festooned with camenjoy coming back and eras and filters and an seeing them again.” ever-expanding array Adult programming of observing aids. included a number of It can be either the guest speakers, most ultimate low budget notably internationally hobby, or a very, very, renowned astrophotogvery expensive one. rapher Jack Newton There are “observand his wife, Alice, er’s challenges” - lists who are household of challenges to comnames in stargazing plete, designed to circles. Brent Baker/staff photo test skill level, visual “Some years we’ve Thom Jenkins, one of four “found- acuity and equipment had astronauts, shuttle ing fathers” of the Table Mountain alike. commanders, David Star Party. For some, it is the Levy the comet huntrare opportunity to ply er, Jack Newton, Al their passion under the Nagler, John Dobson a couple times - we velvety dark skies sometimes taken for get some big names.” granted in the Okanogan. For others, it’s “Well, big names to us,” Vodder added. about the communal experience, passing “You rattle that off in a bar downtown on knowledge. And for many, it’s about Seattle, they’ll be like, ‘Huh?’” indulging in the envious pleasure of The Stices also sold out their horse- looking through a telescope that is three back rides, on which the guests got a times larger than the one they can afford. thorough Okanogan Highlands educaJenkins cautioned that it can be a mistion. take to seek out the most impressive tele“We only take about nine people at one scope on site and catch a view through it, time,” Robin Stice said. “We’re small by especially right off the bat. design. We talk to everybody - we coach, “We’ve had them as big as 42-46 we remind people the way to control inches (in diameter, which is primary the horse, teach horse psychology, herd measure of a telescope’s ability to gather dynamics. We talk about the wildflowers, faint light). But those are pain in the native species vs. invasive species and neck. You have to climb an 18-foot the local geology. We talk about local ladder just to look in the eyepiece. Of birdwatching, lakes, waterways, back course the image once you get up there roads to take for birdwatching.” is incredible.

“But don’t do that first. It’s like having your first date being a Playboy bunny it’s not reality.”

The fire North Central Washington won’t soon forget the 2012 fire season, but more so than most, Table Mountain Star Partiers watched with dismay as their traditional site was engulfed by a 42,000 acre fire that burned for weeks. By November, after discussions with the Forest Service, the final determination was made to move TMSP for at least one year. “My brother is a county commissioner in Douglas County,” said Jenkins, who was born and raised in Bridgeport and now lives in Spokane. “We got up a couple of mornings and drove from here to Mansfield, to Jameson Lake, to Badger Mountain, to 25-mile Creek on Lake Chelan, to Mazama, across the top, up to here, down to Canaan Ranch, the Boy Scout Ranch on Disautel Pass. “We collected data on whatever sites we could. (In terms of) accessibility and dark skies, this was the best one.” “We took ideas that people tossed out, or that we read about, that could accommodate large crowds,” Vodder said. “We just hit them all.” As it turns out, the TMSP directors dodged a bullet as one of their other highly-rated choices, Satus Pass near Yakima, was engulfed in flames just a few weeks ago. “We do like Okanogan County,” Jenkins said. “The skies are a lot darker than Table Mountain. Finding a location we can get everything into isn’t easy.” The Stices weren’t aware of the star party’s existence before they were contacted by the TMSP board. “It was these guys who came across what we were doing at the ranch and said hey, that would be a good location,” Robin said. “So they short-listed us and eventually selected us. “Pat has much more background with stars than I do and he’s an engineer,” she added. “We both like stargazing and we both have kind of a science bent.” A little excitement One reality all amateur astronomers must cope with is the unpredictability of the weather, and that was a factor at the 2013 TMSP, especially during an

eventful Friday night thunderstorm. “It was nuts up here,” said Jenkins. “I’ve spent my whole life in this country and don’t think I’ve ever seen a storm quite like that one.” Star partiers did their best to keep their equipment dry while keeping a wary eye on nearby lightning strikes, but a number of families that came and stayed in tents weren’t so lucky, and the rain-saturated crowd thinned out considerably on Saturday. But unlike at Table Mountain, Eden Valley Guest Ranch has its lodge, which the Stices kept open past midnight to shelter the drenched astronomers. “We really want to thank our neighbors, too,” Robin said. “They called to offer whatever help they could if we needed it. That was really great.” Her husband said that, despite the natural fireworks, the stargazers actually were in a good spot. “You’ll notice if you look around,” Pat said, “with the number of trees we have around here, they’ve not been hit by lightning. You don’t have to go far to find ones that have, but not here.” The hospitality was certainly appreciated by the TMSP crowd, and they expressed their thanks by giving them a print by noted Western artist and amateur astronomer Hulan Fleming. “Robin and Pat have been wonderful,” Jenkins said. “They’ve been so nice to us. They’ve just been very helpful, and they’re good people.” What this means for the future is still up in the air. It’s a virtual certainty that the TMSP will eventually return to Table Mountain, but the decision for next year won’t be made until the Forest Service determines that the area has sufficiently recovered from the fire to be reopened. “Our exact site didn’t burn but everything around it, including the approach roads, are toast,” Jenkins said. “They’re toothpicks. There are safety issues as far as widowmakers (detached broken limbs that could fall from trees), roads being blocked by downfalls ... (The Forest Service) has been great about keeping us in the loop but we just don’t know. “As for this place, we won’t really know either until we find out if Pat and Robin are happy with what we’ve done here,” he added. “They’ve been wonderful; we just want to make sure we haven’t caused them too many problems.”

NOVEMBER 7, 2013 | Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune

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Okanogan Valley Life

Reserve National Champions

Tonasket FFA Rituals team earns program’s second national runner-up finish in three years

Quotable “It was almost surreal when they called out my name. I still haven’t fully accepted the fact that I won a national title.” Rade Pilkinton, individual national champion

By Brent Baker

LOUISVILLE, KY. - The Tonasket FFA program has filled its “headquarters” - advisor and ag teacher Matt Deebach’s classroom - with so many banners that the walls and ceiling are running out of space. None has been more prized than the national runner-up banner won by the 2011 Parliamentary Procedure team. For a small, out-of-the-way school like Tonasket, that might have seemed like a peak of success that could never be matched. Well, that banner is going to have some company. The Tonasket FFA’s Rituals team, which as freshmen claimed the state championship last spring, earned Reserve National Champion honors at the FFA National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, last week, outperforming all but a team from San Luis Obispo, Calif. The seven sophomores - including one who moved away over the summer, and another who didn’t join the team until after the state convention - overcame some first round jitters to deliver the performance of a lifetime in the championship round of six national title contenders, missing out on the overall national title by the closest of margins. And when the tallying of individual scores was complete, Tonasket’s Rade Pilkinton was awarded the national title for individual performance. Pilkinton, Jordan Hughes, Jenna Valentine, Rachel Silverthorn, Sammie Earley, Madison Bayless and Janelle Catone weren’t sure if they qualified for the final round and had to wait for several hours before the final six out of 23 (and two out of their pool of seven) were announced. It was a long and uneasy wait, which is saying something considering there was at least one case of nervous preperformance vomiting to kick off the day. But given their chance in the finals, the group shone in what is also referred to as the novice version of the Parliamentary Procedure event for underclassmen. “They were nervous at the start, but they calmed down as they got going,” Deebach said. “They missed some of the oral questions in the opening round but had a great performance other than that. They did great on the debate (portion of the competition), and did excellent on the tests.” The team had to run through the competition twice: first in the flight round, and then in the final round of six national title contenders. Tonasket’s flight also included teams from Virginia, Louisiana, Indiana, Florida, Arizona and Oregon. But one of the strongest parts of their repertoire, the oral questioning, didn’t go as well as anticipated. With only two of the seven teams advancing there was no margin for error. “I was very nervous about not making the finals, because I know how close it is,” Deebach said. “The difference between first and third is so tiny, and I didn’t know any of their other scores. I just knew what I’d seen. I was definitely more nervous than with the Parli team (two years ago) - those kids had all the oral questions right.” As it turned out, Tonasket had excelled in the other parts of the competition, more than making up for the missed oral questions. “We beat the next closest team to us on the written tests by 20,” Deebach said. “But we didn’t know that until later. Sammie had the second-highest written test score. Opening those (scoresheets) up, I was like a kid opening a present.” Deebach wasn’t the only one unsure about making the finals. “I honestly could not believe we made it to finals because we did not do very good in the preliminary round,” Pilkinton said.

“When our chairman, Jordan, rapped the gavel to start the presentation my stomach filled with butterflies. I was worried I would fumble my words and mess up my part. The butterflies were just there to ensure me that it meant I wanted to do well. And that we did.” Janelle Catone

Above, the Tonasket FFA Rituals team and family members who made their trip show off their national runner-up ribbons. Pictured are (l-r) Lisa Hale, Shannon McLean, Sierra Hughes, Jordan Hughes, Teresa Hughes, Jenna Valentine, Madison Bayless, Christina Silverthorn, Rachel Silverthorn, Janelle Catone, Ryan Pilkinton, Rade Pilkinton, Bobbi Catone, Sammie Earley and Matt Deebach. Left, the team had a long and stressful wait to see if they made the championship round of six finalists. Below left, when not competing, there was time for the team to do some sightseeing in the Louisville area, including at the track where the Kentucky Derby is run. Hughes, Catone, Silverthorn and Bayless hammed it up as jockeys. Below right, the Rituals (novice Parli Pro) team in competition. Lisa Hale & Ryan Pilkinton/submitted photos

Madison Bayless

“Mr. Deebach had given us a little pep talk before each round just to focus, do our best, and have fun. But all throughout this week he had given us pep talks not only about competition, but life lessons I will remember forever.” Jenna Valentine

“The final round was crazy. There were so many people watching us, but I didn’t feel pressured.” Rachel Silverthorn

“It was hard at first because I felt out of place, but I was dedicated enough to the team to where I got comfortable and tried my hardest.” Sammie Earley, joined the team after the state finals

“I honestly was much less nervous than state. (Matt) Deebach told us that we can’t get any better now, so just do your best. There were no nerves left.” Jordan Hughes

“I would say finals was a lot less nerve-racking because we only had to wait 30 minutes rather than the couple hours in the preliminary round (to find out how they finished). We had less time to think about things.” “When it was time to hear the announcements of the preliminary round, (we) walked into the room and sat down,” Catone said. “We all held hands and bowed our heads. The announcer was getting ready to announce the final six teams and we were freaking out. ‘Washington’ was the first team announced and our team raised our hands and screamed.” “It was the best feeling in the world,” Silverthorn said. “We were more excited then than about getting second in the nation.” The primary goal, of course, was to win the national championship. Valentine, for one, did her best to convince the team to expect the best. “I did have a goal: it was to be the national champions,” she said. “I knew if we worked hard and kept our head in the game we could do it. Remember (from talking about the state finals last May), it’s never ‘If we make it into the final round,’ it’s ‘When.’ “I was always right until now, and I was just off by a hair. It helps to stay positive. But also

the experience was amazing; I had done something beyond my dreams.” Reaching the final round of six, took a lot of the pressure off. With that achieved, the Tonasket team’s performance in the finals was much more than what they had hoped for. “The final round felt like any other run we have done,” Hughes said. “The only difference was in the holding room and getting to talk to the other teams from other states, and making new friends.” “After the first run I was like, I just want to make it to finals,” said Bayless, whose older sister Hayley was on the 2011 Parli Pro team. “When we made it to finals I was all for getting first, but then we watched California’s run. (After that) all that was going through my head was second place. That is what I wanted to get and it happened! “ The younger Bayless had another goal as well. “I wanted to do just as good as my older sister,” she said, “and I did just that. I think we both get equal bragging rights, although I might get a little more because I made it to nationals my freshman year and she made it her senior year. I just wanted to share the same experience as my sister did and now we get to share it

together.” For Bayless, a mid-summer move to Connell complicated things. Since the FFA “season” runs through the calendar year she was still considered part of the Tonasket team, but had to do a lot of practicing on her own, as well as a number of trips back to Tonasket to work with the rest of the group. It was also an interesting ride for Earley, who was added to the team in the Rituals advisor’s role, which at the state level was filled by Deebach. “At our state level it’s a sixperson competition, but at the national level it’s seven,” Deebach said. “At state, the advisor doesn’t do anything but read off questions. But at the national level they do the whole event like everyone else. I’m sure they’ll be changing that in the future.” Earley, who was part of another Tonasket Rituals team at state, said it took some time to feel like she was part of the rest of the group. “It was hard at first because I felt out of place,” she said. “But I was dedicated enough to the team to where I got comfortable and tried my hardest.” Ryan Pilkinton, Rade’s father and a longtime math teacher and coach at Tonasket High

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“(Advisor Matt Deebach’s) reaction didn’t only last that day ... It lasted to rest of the week. He would start laughing out of the middle of no where and he would tell us how proud he was.”

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“This is two totally different groups of kids in different events from the same little town. To pull this off at this level is just really cool.”

School, was one of several family members that made the trip to Louisville. He said he currently has five of the seven kids in class, and was wrapped up in the competition in all three of those roles. “The mental toughness those kids displayed was really remarkable,” he said. “To perform the way they did, at this level, with judges hanging on every word, it’s hard to describe. “I was wound up so tight. I coached in a state championship football game, and I was coaching baseball when we went to the regional finals. I was more wound up for this than for any sporting event. ...Part of it was that it was my kid, and part of it is you can’t do much other than sit and watch. I can’t imagine doing what they did when I was 15. The looks on their faces when they knew they were in the top two were priceless.” As for Rade’s national title? “I didn’t see it coming,” said his dad. I’m really happy and proud of him. He’s highly competitive and motivated. He has a knack for being able to perform on the spot, and frankly I don’t know where he gets that from.” “ I didn’t even know that there was an individual national championship,” Rade said. “When I heard about it I just figured that

some other kid from another state would get it, but when they said the person was from Washington State I kind of had hope it would be me. It was almost surreal when they called out my name.” “Matt deserves a ton of credit,” Ryan Pilkinton said of Deebach. “Without his guidance and the time he puts into this, none of this happens. We need to make sure his efforts are recognized. There’s something working here, for sure.” Hearing Deebach tell it, it was the time and work the seven super sophs put in that made the difference. “After the kids won state I had them write down their goals,” he said, noting that the bar set by the team two years ago didn’t hurt the motivation aspect. “They wanted to make the finals. They see it, they want to be it. It’s really been neat to see them work so hard, follow through to achieve their aspirations and then get the reward.”

Something For Everyone


¼ mi. N. of Tonasket on Hwy 97. Ph. 509-486-4496

Matt Deebach, FFA Advisor, on leading two teams to 2nd place finishes at nationals

GAZETTE-TRIBUNE 1420 Main St., Oroville, WA 98844 509-476-3602

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Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune | NOVEMBER 14, 2013


Viet Nam vet carves out a new life Ken Fulford faces PTSD, life issues with humor, ingenuity By Brent Baker

TONASKET - The outcast military veteran living alone in the mountains is almost as much a part of Pacific Northwest folklore as the Sasquatch. But in Okanogan County, the off-thegrid veteran is quite real. Some live that life by choice. Others find withdrawal from society the only way to carve out a life in a world that seems only now learning how to accept and cope with the damage Viet Nam wrought on those who physically survived the conflict. The living hell that was Nam came home with many who served there, and Ken Fulford was no exception. “Yeah, I’m a Viet Nam veteran,” Fulford said. “I have issues and I’ve had issues. “I filed (with the VA) in ‘84 and wasn’t allowed my retirement until 2003. It’s just the way the VA works. I was honorably discharged Feb. 2, 1980. I spent six years as a US Navy Reserve. “I filed knowing I was having some problems. For one thing I liked to stay drunk all the time. And I had nightmares a lot. My lady friend and I were fighting all the time. Money became an issue. All of the normal things of life became hurdles.” Fulford now lives in a self-built solarpowered log cabin on Mt. Hull, in the center of what can be a “wild west” environment. He not only knows the Okanogan Sheriff’s deputies by name, he likewise can identify the voices of each of the county dispatchers. He even willed his property to the Sheriff’s department a few years ago. His only connection to the “grid,” as it were, is a phone line. Hard-wired, not cell. “I always told everyone that asked, we didn’t win the war but we haven’t stopped fighting it,” Fulford said. “We brought it home with us. That anxiety attack that started when I was 20? It hasn’t stopped yet. “There was a time when I would get so angry I’d start shaking. A lot of guys figured I had Parkinson’s. No, I have PTSD (post traumatic stress syndrome). I was just pissed off enough to want to choke you to death.”

Nam Fulford served in the U.S. Navy as an F-4 mechanic in VF-213 Black Lion Squadron on the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk (CV-63). In 1974-75, that meant taking part in the evacuation of U.S. forces that led to the fall of Saigon. “It was Nixon that said we were going to stop shooting,” Fulford said. “Thing was we didn’t get Charlie (the Viet Cong) to promise to stop shooting. Obstinate little bastards.” U.S. forces evacuated not only their own, but tens of thousands of South Vietnamese refugees as Saigon was overrun. “They was coming down through the whole length of the coast, overrunning little bergs here and there like Dien Bien Phu,” he said. “We were pulling first Marine Recon, Big Red One, and Ranger units and Special Forces and SEALs as fast as we could to get them out of the way. So when we did have to open up and create an ‘incident’ they wouldn’t be there to be in the way.” Once enemy forces reached Saigon, chaos ensued. “Charlie decided it was easier to go through the international airport that we couldn’t shoot at that to get to our embassy three blocks away,” Fulford said. “So instead of going through the gates of Saigon, he come through the gates of the airport where we couldn’t shoot at him. “If you ever watched the TV pictures of it, it was a bloody mess. We pushed helicopters overboard, tried to make room in every hole for people. We put them everywhere we could, got them blankets, shoes and clothes.” Even while still in the Navy, Fulford’s temper could get the best of him, one time earning him a demotion. “I smacked my chief petty officer after I caught him in bed with my first wife,” he said. “He’s lucky I didn’t kill him. I got 30 days in the brig, he got two weeks R&R in Hawaii. “I split his lip; I’m surprised they didn’t give him a Purple Heart.” The aftermath Nam doesn’t leave a man; Fulford struggled after his discharge. “I went and filed with the VA, tried to get Social Security to kick in and they denied me three times,” he said. “It got worse. I had some issues by ‘87 that got me four months in jail. Lost my so-called family and all of that. My sister, brother in law, nephews, dad and mom. “They started having this idea that I was someone they didn’t want to have around.” Fulford eventually settled in with a job at Osterman Fisheries in Anacortes. “I had done four years apprenticeship

Brent Baker/staff photos

Left, Ken Fulford and his cat with an attitude, Tai Chi, manage to co-exist as roommates in Fulford’s home on Mt. Hull. Above, Fulford built his log home despite a number of misadventures, including a two-year delay in getting the logs delivered and a fall from the second floor roof that left him feeling fortunate to be alive.

since I’d got into trouble, and 12 years “I know one who would really like to get to where I had my own crew and to be here. Our poor officers, they can’t worked for three different companies,” even get their own damn bullets.” he said. But in 1997, he said, he was diagnosed Building a home with cancer. He worked until 1999 Fulford won his retirement compensa“Until I couldn’t stand up,” he said - tion in 2003, but it came with strings when was asked to take a month off. attached: because of his background, “I was sicker than a dog,” he said. he wasn’t allowed to manage his own “My dad said, ‘Well, if you’re going money. He reached out to Bertha and to die, come home.’ Herb Wandler of He said he couldn’t Tonasket, whom he’d afford to come and get known for some time. “We brought (the Viet After passing a backme.” A Tonasket native, check, Bertha Nam War) home with ground he’d bought the prophandled his finances, us. That anxiety attack and Fulford set about erty he now lives on seven years earlier, his home. that started when I was building but it hadn’t yet been “It took two years to cleared. He took up 20? It hasn’t stopped get the logs,” Fulford residence down by said. “It was amazing yet.” the river in a 20-foot the amount of agony Ken Fulford trailer he owned. we went through to get “I thought I could that to happen by ‘05. move up here, God We had the roof on it willing, cut firewood, create a life and by that fall, primarily Larry Brown and do the right thing for myself,” Fulford I working at it, driving the nails and said. “I moved everything - cars, trucks, screws.” projects - over from the coast. I don’t That was after pouring the foundation know what I thought I was doing. I was more than a year earlier. Struggles with just constantly busy. I think I was just the log home builder he’d hired proso afraid of the cancer that I just worked tracted the process. as hard as I could to keep from thinking “I was amazed a log home builder about it. Just an insecure kid, really, like couldn’t build a log home, and it went I was when I was overseas.” downhill from there,” Fulford said. “I The self-medicating with alcohol and insulted him, because he was being marijuana wasn’t helping, but poverty insulting to us. helped start the drying-out process. “It’s like a boat - like a hole in the “I didn’t really stop the drinking but water you keep throwing money into. I by the time I got here I didn’t have realize, it’s livable and I’ve been living the money to continue,” Fulford said. here since the fall of ‘05, but I lived “Every once in a while a neighbor would down in my shop for a year. It took thouget me a beer or a pint. Or bring me a sands of dollars, and every time I would bag. Then I found out it wasn’t just mari- have to go to Bertha and ask for money juana you were getting. It was laced with to get things done. Insulation, roofing, all sorts of stuff.” you name it.” One thing he decided not to pay for An unusual will was electricity after being told it would Fulford said his relationship with the cost $2,500 to get it to his house from Sheriff’s department began shortly after the road. he moved onto the property in about “I was probably looking at $5,000 2001, when he says someone poisoned with permits and all,” Fulford said. “And his dog. I know me pretty well. I would have to “With those kinds of issues, I needed go buy a TV, a better stereo, get me a help,” he said. “I had a lot going on. mixer and can opener and all the goodI met (Sheriff) Frank Rogers through ies. Then I’m getting a bill every month, Bertha Wandler. for the pleasure of spending my money “We had a nice long talk. I promised on all these other attachments. Frank I would get clean as far as my “The way its laid out is excellent for medications at the time - I was self- solar power. I can go a week before I medicating. I had nobody else. I tried to have to fire up a generator, thought in the get family to come and help, tried to get winter it’s harder.” somebody else here with me. Eventually Fulford was allowed access “I have no family. I couldn’t get any- to his own money. one in my family to pay attention or “Within two years I was on my own care.” feet and proved to the state that I was His familiarity with the Sheriff and capable,” he said. “Bertha gave me a deputies has ruffled some feathers, to springboard and gave me a chance to say the least. step out there. Then getting to know the “I’ve got neighbors that would real- guys on the Sheriff’s department, that ly like to poke a bullet through me,” probably kept me out of prison. I was Fulford said. “I’ve had four busted out getting pretty hot about the antics up of here. I’ve pushed some issues with here.” others. When you’re talking meth labs, grow ops, hot rod motorcycles, bandito- Near-death experiences types, you’re putting your life on the A couple of incidents changed line. Fulford’s outlook on life and, ultimately, “I had to talk it over with Frank... I had his direction. At about the time his log to figure out a way to make this balance cabin was finally going up, Fulford went out in the long run.” down. He hopes the department will allow “I was pretty badly poisoned,” he said. one of its deputies to live in Fulford’s “I can’t say their names but I can point to residence once he’s gone. the evidence of them poisoning my cat, “A young officer coming to work me, putting stuff in my water. I had to needs a place that doesn’t cost much,” pour everything out that I had because I he said. “This county doesn’t pay noth- was afraid of it.” ing. To give the county a place to put Fulford went to the sheriff, both askhim and his family is probably more ing for and offering help. important than anything they can do on “He convinced me that in order for their own. me to have anything worth saying that

he can bank on that I can help him with, Maybe they just didn’t get the kid.” I had to be clean,” Fulford said. One of his neighbors started feeding It also led to a trip to the hospital, the cub pablum. At the time, Fulford was where tests revealed both that his cancer living on $30 a week, but that didn’t stop was in remission, and proved he was him from feeding the bear. drug-free. “I made peanut butter sandwiches, “My white blood cells were coming stew, anything to get him to shut up at back,” he said. “I had complete blood night,” he said. “I’d go out and put it on work done at the VA, and I had that sent the stump, and I’d turn around and he’d to Frank because it showed I was clean, be there. He was spoiled. and I was in remission. “We got him through the first winter. “The doctor thought it was the fresh Buckshot (Fulford’s dog) was really glad air, clean living, eating better foods, when I got him to go to bed (hibernate), putting my home together. It gave me one sandwich at a time down to his more than I was getting in society. mama’s den. Then he was home and he I’ve been clean ever since, but I grew calmed down. When he came out in the a ponytail.” spring he was huge, as big as me.” Fulford doesn’t have a ponytail at the BB disappeared for several years, but moment. made an unexpected return. “I had to cut it off,” he said. “It was “In ‘09 BB came into the yard and ruining my life. It was being a problem.” he was huge. He came right up on Three years later, Fulford was trying the porch,” Fulford said. “Bear just to install a cap on his chimney. thought he’d come out and check out “I fell off the roof,” he said. “From the Missy, (a dog) that I hadn’t had when top. The ladder decided we needed to go BB had been around. I stepped out back down to the ground level... the door, had the pistol in my belt. “I don’t know how long I laid there but He stood up and he was so big you I realized I’d better get up. Something couldn’t see out the door. I thought, was saying, you’d better get your butt I’m way too close. And he looked at up. Or you’re not ever getting up.” me the same way. Unfortunately, he’d left his phone “He rared back and I didn’t know upstairs on a windowsill. So, he said, what to do. I didn’t want to talk ‘cause despite four fractures in his back, he he could knock my head to Republic. had to climb back up the ladder to get So I yelled, ‘What the hell do you think the phone so he could call for help. And you’re doing? You don’t come up on the then it took three hours for an ambu- porch!’ He literally motioned - stands lance to find him in the up, motions toward the labyrinth of dirt roads, dog, like he’s asking unmarked driveways who the new guy is. and threatening signs I go, ‘Get the hell off “Tai Chi has been a characteristic of Mt. the porch!’ blessing. Without him Hull. “He turns around “It was six weeks and walks off, grumI’d have gone way off before I could start bling, like a kid in the deep end a long trouble.” working on the house again,” Fulford said. Fulford said that time ago. Now I’m just That was, in part, BB eventually got into off the end of the pier a the grease running a what got him thinking about passing his neighbor’s biofuel little bit.” property on to the plant and was removed Ken Fulford Sheriff’s office. from the area. “To fall off a roof “I think they took and there’s nobody him over to Starvation around except Tai Chi, Ridge and let Seattle you don’t realize the power that has,” kill him,” Fulford said. “So, BB is dead.” he said. “Now I can call Dispatch and Despite the difficulty of losing some everybody knows me.” of his companions, he said having them around has definite benefits. “None of the animals seem to notice Talking to the animals Living alone on the mountain, with that I don’t have power,” Fulford said. some neighbors friendly, others not “Even Tai Chi doesn’t complain.” so nice, and all craving their privacy, Fulford has poured his love into ani- Legacy Fulford often thinks of what Tonasket mals. His constant companion, Tai Chi, a Siamese cat, knows he’s Fulford’s room- and Okanogan County were like when he was young, and said he is trying mate, nothing less. “He’s got a personality that won’t quit to leave a positive legacy despite the and he’ll let you know,” he says. “He struggles both external and within. “When I was a kid we went to church wakes me up every morning. Hardly ever uses his box, but when he does he’s - the Lutheran Church, the Brethren desperate. Lets me know when he needs Church, the Free Methodist Church,” he said. “My dad always said if you needed to go out; he’s worse than a dog. “But he’s been a blessing. Without help you go to the Rampleys, or Herb him I’d have gone way off the deep end Yarnell. Ray Attwood. Ed Buchert. I had a long time ago. Now I’m just off the end family. I was so proud. “I have flashbacks from the days when of the pier a little bit.” He also usually has at least one dog I was a happy camper. I thought it was on hand. And there are a plethora of deer best that I tried to remedy the problems and other wildlife that make the area that the county has incurred. I wanted to home, so Fulford has made it is mission make sure I left a legacy in the place I was born. to look out for them. “I have put a lot of time and effort into About 12 years ago, he was awakened one night by the sound of something he this, trying to make it nice. All them guys (county officers) are welcome here and I thought was yelling “Mama!” “I put up with it a couple nights,” make it known. Some of them are pretty Fulford said. “I called (WDFW officer) good friends. Some of them are a little Troy McCormick. I told him I thought standoffish, a little worried about me.” He paused, then laughed. I had a bear cub out there missing his “I would be, too, if I didn’t know me mommy. He told me they’d killed a 500 pounder across the line from me up here. as well as I do.”




Saturday, March 1, 5:00 p.m. Tonasket High School Commons

See Pages A10-11



SINCE 1905


Group asks for blues fest at Deep Bay Park New music festival would be in conjunction with Run for the Border motorcycle ride, May 17 be opened to camping and that only motorcycles be allowed to park at Deep Bay during that Saturday. “Having bikes where you are is really a OROVILLE – A new group is planning on holding a blues festival in conjunction part of the whole deal,” she said. Oroville Police Chief Warnstaff, himwith the annual Run for the Border charity motorcycle ride and asked the city self a rider and a member of the comcouncil for exclusive use of Deep Bay mittee, said the festival committee would provide security at the park during the Park over Armed Forces Day weekend. The request came from Vicki Hinze at event to make sure all who attend were the council’s Tuesday, Feb. 18 meeting. of age and the event was something Hinze, owner of the Pastime Bar & Grill, attendees could enjoy, whether they were is a member of Destination Oroville, riders or not. “We want to run the event in a safe, a group working with the Chamber of Commerce and city to promote tour- clean, healthy and presentable way both ism in the area. She said the Rally at for Oroville and ourselves,” Hinze said. Other comthe Border Blues mittee members Festival would be a “What they don’t know is the discussed efforts way to take advanabsolute best places we have to get a shuttle to tage of the up to 300 riders who to ride on both sides of the and from town to the park for those make the journey border.” who don’t ride in, from Wenatchee to as well as a parking Vicki Hinze, Oroville each May Rally at the Border Blues Fest lot nearby for those to raise money for who arrive in cars. various charities. “The plan is This year the Run is on Saturday, May 17. Hinze has pulled for the rally riders to arrive, get settled together members of the Chamber and and have time to eat in our restaurants. Destination Oroville, as well as local Then at two or three o’clock we will motorcycle and music enthusiasts to help have the festival until about 10 p.m. Sunday morning we plan a poker run plan for the festival. “These guys (Run for the Border rid- with seven or eight locations in places ers) are actually heading to Oroville and in Oroville and Chesaw and a couple in we’re very excited about it. But they were Tonasket. During the two days time we here for about two and a half hours then I will encourage people to do some of the turned around and they were gone,” said ten routes between here and the other Hinze about last year’s rally. “We want Okanagan,” she said. Hinze asked the council for their “go them to come to Oroville for an event... ahead” so the committee could confor a destination.” She said that she and her husband tinue to pursue the event, which she used to live in Elko, Nevada where she said would be advertised in Washington, helped with an event that brought in Oregon and Idaho, as well as north of the border. 7000 motorcyclists. “Plus we need to start securing the “That’s not our goal here. They have casinos, etc., what they don’t have is the entertainment. The raffle and poker run absolute best places to ride that we have money will be donated to a charity for on both sides of the border,” said Hinze, children. This is a non-profit event... we who with the other committee members just want to sustain ourselves and donate are mapping out several of the most to charity,” said Hinze. “It sounds to me like there has been popular routes in the areas surrounding a lot of work that has gone into this. Oroville. She said that people that are interested It’s nice to see so many volunteers get in blues music are often the same peo- involved,” said Mayor Chuck Spieth. Councilman Ed Naillon added, “I’m ple who are interested in motorcycles. Hinze asked permission for the park to excited. Hopefully this will become a be closed that Saturday except to those mini tradition. It looks like you’ve got a attending the blues festival. She said all fine group of folks.” The council then voted to approve givpark entrants must be 21 years of age or older because alcohol will be available at ing the “go ahead” for the festival and use the festival. She also asked that the park SEE RALLY BLUES | PG A4 BY GARY A. DEVON


Above, the Bonaparte Lake Resort cabin that Joey Dunkin and Halla Fuhrman lived in burned to the ground last Friday. Right, Dunkin and Fuhrman, prior to sorting through what remained of their belongings on Monday, expressed gratitude to all those who have donated clothing, furniture and money to help them start to rebuild their lives.

Photos by Dave Anderson (above) and Brent Baker

Outpouring of support Young couple overwhelmed by donations after fire BY BRENT BAKER BBAKER@GAZETTE-TRIBUNE.COM

BONAPARTE LAKE - Most lessons on what is truly important in life come in the form of trials and tribulations that test the spirit.

Joey Dunkin and Halla Fuhrman have been living that experience these past few days after the Bonaparte Lake Resort cabin that housed the engaged couple’s studio apartment burned to the ground Friday. The fire claimed all their worldly possessions and their beloved dog, as well as one of the primary cabins used by the resort. But they have also been overwhelmed by the support they’ve received in the days since, including donations of clothing, furniture, and (as of Tuesday morning) $3,200 donated through a website set up by Halla’s mom, Heather Cruz. “It’s just amazing that in two and a half days that people have been giving that much to us,” Halla said. “We’re just super grateful. A lot of people have done so much, but especially Mike and Bridgette Sterling. The Red Cross gave us a donation, so I want to thank them. People have been dropping off stuff. It doesn’t matter if people have donated $5, $10 or more, anything has helped and we appre-


iPads helping non-verbal students communicate New calendars move school start to after Labor Day; end to mid-June BY GARY A. DEVON MANAGING EDITOR

OROVILLE – Along with approving changes to the future school calendars, the Oroville School Board heard how iPads had replaced picture cutouts as one way non-verbal students could communicate. The presentation was made to the board by Jennifer Burgard at their Monday, Feb. 24 meeting. Burgard, a Life Skills teacher at Oroville Elementary School, explained how the iPads, use the Sonoflex vocabulary app, turns symbols into speech and includes “thousands and thousands of words.” She passed out three of the iPads, housed in brightly colored protective cases, to the board. Each of the five students who have the devices in the district has a different color, she said. “The iPads help to communicate basic needs. Food is a big motivator... we start with ‘I want’ and add a food item,” she said. “We use ‘I want’ for everything.” The students press a button that speaks “I want” and another

button with a picture representing what they want, according to the teacher. Burgard next showed the board several short videos of students using the devices to communicate with their instructors and to socialize with other, non-special needs students. A young boy showed his frustration at trying to get his needs across and then his enthusiasm when he was able to use the iPad to do so. One young girl was shown communicating her age and birthday, what color shirts people were wearing and answering other questions from other students. “She also knows how to communicate things like her lunch number,” said the Life Skills teacher. “I’ve worked with her and have seen just a massive difference from when she was still using the cards,” said Rocky DeVon, chairman of the school board. “She’s interacting with people now,” said Burgard, adding that she is helping another young boy learn how to use the device. “I know when I communicate with them they are getting pretty fast (at pressing the buttons),” DeVon said. The Life Skills teacher said that photos can be taken with the iPads and added to the symbols and pictures that come with the app and labeled appropriately by one of the teachers.



Gary DeVon/staff photo

Jennifer Burgard, a Life Skills teacher at Oroville Elementary School, demonstrates one of the iPads equipped with the Sonoflex vocabulary app that is used to help non-verbal students communicate. Using pictures and symbols, the iPad “speaks” for the child.


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Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune | FEBRUARY 27, 2014

Rally Blues | FROM A1 of the park.

Veterans Memorial Park Clerk Kathy Jones reported on proposed changes to the reservation system for the city’s Osoyoos Lake Veterans Memorial Park. “The company we have been contracting with has offered a web-based system that looks like it would be easier for our staff to use. The company said they would wave the $500 fee if we change to this program. It would still cost the same $1500 and $4 per reservation as before, with a minimum of $3000 a year, which we greatly exceed anyway. I think if we switch we will be able to use this system for a lot longer,” said Jones. She added that the new program comes with a training video and would use the same data base and that the system is used in Canadian parks and by the state of Michigan. “Washington State has moved over to a web-based system as well because it is more user friendly,” she said. Rod Noel, head of the parks department said that the program also included new features not available in the old program, which was run from the park itself. The new program will allow reservations to be taken in the winter time from city hall and times when the park is not fully staffed. “It sounds like the way to go,” said Mayor Spieth. In a related issue, the council discussed a letter from two Brownies. The girls asked the city to try and find a way to clean the beach sand at the park. “I think it is very astute of the girls to bring the issue to us,” said Councilman Walt Hart.

There are various machines that are used to groom beaches, cleaning glass and other trash hidden in the sand, according to Noel. “We’ll look into it. Veranda Beach has a machine. I’m not

sure how it works, maybe we can ask if they would rent it to us,” Noel said. The Council next meets on Tuesday, March 4 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers located at 1308 Ironwood St.

North Valley Community Schools

This income tax preparation is sponsored by North Valley Community Schools and is completely free of charge to residents of our community with low to moderate incomes. All ages are welcome, and elderly citizens are especially encouraged to take advantage of this assistance. The tax preparers are volunteers who have been trained by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). They use IRS materials to provide several tax services including Form 1040, 1040 EZ, 1040 A and a variety of other

forms and schedules. This service is not available for those who have difficult or complicated returns. This is an appointment only service. Appointments will be accepted in Oroville on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will take place at Oroville High School. Tonasket appointments will be scheduled on Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Tonasket Veterans Service Office (Legacy Park). Appointments

generally take about an hour and your confidentiality will be completely respected. For more information about what you need to prepare for your meeting and to make an appointment, please call Angela Lorz at (509) 486-1115. If you wish to have more information about the qualifications of the volunteers, call (509) 422-2345. Please note that this service will be available until April 15 and that appointment times will fill quickly.

Donkey Basketball returns to THS TONASKET - Tonasket High School’s ASB will be hosting Donkey Basketball on Wednesday, March 26, at 6:00 p.m. in the high school Ticket prices at the gate are $9.00 for adults, $7.00 for students (grades 7-12) and children (grades kindergarten-6) $5.00. Advance ticket purchases receive a $1.00 per ticket discount. Tickets may be purchased from Deb Michels in the high school office or by contacting Anita Asmussen at (509) 4862161 or

Okanogan Valley

CHURCH GUIDE Come join us!

The Ralley at the Border poster up on the festival’s Facebook site, https://

Trinity Episcopal Church located at 604 Central Ave. in Oroville

Pancake Feed. Tues., March 4th, 5 to 7 pm. Sausage, pancakes & homemade applesauce. Donations: Adults-$6.00, Seniors-$5.00, Children 12 & under-$3.50


NEW Hope Bible Fellowship

upstairs apartment to try to save belongings and the dog, but quickly became disoriented and was fortunate to get out. “I kind of got lost and started to panic a bit,” he said. “I had to feel my way out.” Okanogan County Sheriff and EMS responded, and Joey was treated and released at North Valley Hospital, primarily for smoke inhalation. Fire response, though, took more than two hours, Heather said. They had been unaware that they were not in a fire district, so they were left to watch the building burn and attempt to keep the fire from spreading on their own. “That’s a tough way to learn that lesson,” Heather said. “Tonasket Fire came pretty much out of the goodness of their hearts, but there were just ashes to spray down by then.” Halla and Heather had been hiking near Tonasket when Heather’s husband Eric called with news of the fire. “We didn’t know what had happened and I didn’t want to believe it,” Halla said. “I still can’t. Mom and I started back up here, but when we were at about Aeneas Valley we saw the ambulance coming down so we turned around and waited for Joey at the hospital.” Engaged since October, Halla and Joey, both 18, are looking at other living options. She’s been working at the lodge and he was laid off from his job last October,

Ruth Moody at CCC Submitted by Janet Culp

though he said news of the fire may have provided him at least a part-time job opportunity. “We’re looking for a place,” Joey said. “We have some ideas, but if we need to we have a trailer we can stay in for awhile.” It’s been a challenging stretch for the Bonaparte Lake Resort proprietors. Heather is recovering from a near-fatal bout with Lyme disease contracted through a tick bite. “You just have to keep a positive attitude,” Heather said. “Bad things happen in the world all the time. It’s what you make out of them. There’s things to be learned from everything you experience. Being sick, I wouldn’t change it. I’ve learned so much about what’s important and what’s not. It’s certainly been an interesting journey. “It’s brought tears to my eyes how many people, even strangers, have stepped up to help, especially Halla and Joey that have lost all they have,” she added. “It’s a great reminder that in a small community a lot of people treat each other like family. That’s been a huge growing experience for those kids to see how loving and caring people can still be in this world.” And as Halla said, she and Joey are now part of the long history of the resort. “Someday people will look back and talk about the year the cabin burned down,” she said. “And we can say, yeah, that was us.”


Monuments & Bronze


CCC of Tonasket

TONASKET - The Community Cultural Center of Tonasket will be hosting singer/songwriter/ multi-instrumentalist Ruth Moody (a founding member of the Wailin’ Jennys) on Saturday, March 1. She has performed in sold-out venues around the world, made numerous critically-acclaimed albums, received five Juno Award nominations, and has appeared more than a dozen times on “A Prairie Home Companion”. Ruth is an artist of exceptional depth and grace in her own right. Her songs are timeless, universal, and carefully crafted--all sung with an intimacy and honesty that is unmistakably her own. Her latest album, “These Wilder Things”, will be available for purchase at her concert. She will be accompanied by her remarkable touring band. Dinner will be served from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the CCC dining room. The concert begins at 7:00 in the concert hall. Cost for this wonderful evening will be: Dinner and Concert $18.00 for CCC members and

Se Preparan Declaraciones de Impuestos Gratis (income tax) Submitted by Jackie ValiquEtte

Bonaparte fire | FROM A1 ciate it so much.” “It’s amazing, people we don’t even know have been trying to help,” Joey added. “But it’s hard to look at the website and know why people are giving to you.” Heather and Eric Cruz, along with Heather’s parents Dave and Sandy Anderson, have owned the resort since 2010. It recently hosted the Bonaparte Lake Snow Drags, and the cabin that burned down was booked from May through most of the summer. “I’m waiting on the insurance timeline,” Heather said. “If we can, we will rebuild it by summer. That’s our intention, anyway, but we’ll have to see.” “People have sent in their deposits,” Dave added. “So it will be a big impact if we can’t rebuild that quickly.” Though the fire is still being investigated, Heather said that it apparently started in or around the wood stove that heated the shop on the lower floor. “The wood stove was closed,” she said. “So we don’t know if it was a flue fire or an ember that popped out.” Joey had been working in the shop, and he and Dave were the only ones on site when the fire started. “I needed to make a phone call (from the main lodge) and while I was on the phone I saw smoke in the doorway,” Joey said. “I called 911 but for some reason it wasn’t working. So Dave ran in and tried calling again.” Joey tried to get into the

Tax returns prepared for free


~ 62 years of serving you ~ Where pride in craftsmanship still exist today!

Sales Representative Joy Lawson

submitted photo

Ruth Moody $20.00 for the general public. Concert only will be $10.00 for CCC members & $12.00 for the general public. You can get a preview of her music at or see our website at This performance is made possible by a grant from the Washington State Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Please save the date for the following upcoming Spring Concerts: Ian McFeron on March 21, and Laura Love on May 3.


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(Formerly Oroville Community Bible Fellowship)

Service Time: Sun., 10:30 a.m.  Wed., 6:30 p.m. 923 Main St. • Mark Fast, Pastor

Faith Lutheran Church

11th & Ironwood, Oroville • 476-2426 Sunday Worship 9:00 a.m. “O taste and see that the Lord is good!” Pastor Dan Kunkel • Deacon Dave Wildermuth

Immaculate Conception Parish

1715 Main Street Oroville 8:30 a.m. English Mass 1st Sunday of the Month Other Sundays at 10:30 a.m. 1:00 p.m. Spanish Mass every Sunday Father Jose Maldonado • 476-2110

PC of G Bible Faith Family Church

476-3063 • 1012 Fir Street, Oroville 8 - 8:30 Holy Grounds - Coffee, Tea & Conversation 8:30 - 9:45 Service@8:30 10 - 10:35 L.I.F.E.  10:35 - 11:00 Holy Grounds 11:00 - 12:00 Service @ 11:00 6 p.m. - 7:30 Pursuit (Pursuing God & Friendships) Pastor Claude Roberts Come enjoy song service with Project 3:16

Oroville United Methodist

908 Fir, Oroville • 476-2681 Sunday Worship: 9 a.m. Rev. Leon Alden

Valley Christian Fellowship


Chesaw Community Bible Church

Nondenominational • Everyone Welcome Every Sunday 10:30 a.m. to Noon Pastor Duane Scheidemantle • 485-3826

MOLSON Community Christian Fellowship

Molson Grange, Molson Sunday 10 a.m., Worship 10:30 a.m. Wednesday 6:30pm, Bible Study “For by grace are ye saved through faith...” Eph. 2:8-9 “...lovest thou me...Feed my lambs...John 21:1-17

RIVERSIDE Riverside Lighthouse - Assembly of God

102 Tower Street Sunday Bible Study 10:00am Sunday Worship 11:00am & 6:30pm Wednesday- family Night 6:30pm Pastor Vern & Anita Weaver Ph. 509-826-4082

TONASKET Holy Rosary Parish

1st & Whitcomb Ave., Tonasket 10:30 a.m. English Mass 1st Sunday of the Month Other Sundays at 8:30 a.m. 7:00 p.m. Spanish Mass every Saturday Father Jose Maldonado • 476-2110

Pastor Randy McAllister 142 East Oroville Rd. • 476-2028 • Sunday School (Adult & Teens) 10:00 a.m. Morning Worship 11 a.m.• Sun. Evening Worship 6 p.m. Sunday School & Children’s Church K-6 9:45 to 1:00 p.m. Open to Community! Located at Kid City 142 East Oroville • Wednesday Evening Worship 7 p.m.

Immanuel Lutheran Church

Trinity Episcopal

Tonasket Foursquare Church

602 Central Ave., Oroville Sunday School & Services 10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist: 1st, 3rd, & 5th • Morning Prayer: 2nd & 4th Healing Service: 1st Sunday The Reverend Marilyn Wilder 476-3629 Warden • 476-2022

Church of Christ

Ironwood & 12th, Oroville • 476-3926 Sunday School 10 a.m. • Sunday Worship 11 a.m. Wednesday Bible Study: 7 p.m.

Seventh-Day Adventist

10th & Main, Oroville - 509-476-2552 Bible Study: Sat. 9:30 a.m. • Worship: Sat. 11 a.m. Skip Johnson • 509-826-0266

Oroville Free Methodist

1516 Fir Street • Pastor Rod Brown • 476.2311 Sun. School 9:15 am • Worship Service 10:15am Youth Activity Center • 607 Central Ave. Monday 7:00 pm • After School M-W-F 3-5pm

1608 Havillah Rd., Tonasket • 509-485-3342 Sun. Worship 9 a.m. • Bible Study & Sun. School 10:15

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast.” -Eph. 2:8-9

“To every generation.” Celebrating 100 years 1905-2005

Crossroads Meeting Place 415-A S. Whitcomb Ave. • Pastor George Conkle Sunday: 10 a.m. (509) 486-2000 • cell: (509) 429-1663

Tonasket Community UCC

24 E. 4th, Tonasket • 486-2181

“A biblically based, thoughtful group of Christian People”

Sunday Worship at 11 a.m. Call for program/activity information Leon L. Alden, Pastor

Whitestone Church of the Brethren

577 Loomis-Oroville Rd., Tonasket. 846-4278 9:15am Praise Singing. 9:30am Worship Service 10:45am Sunday school for all ages

Ellisforde Church of the Brethren

32116 Hwy. 97, Tonasket. 846-4278 10am Sunday School. 11am Worship Service

“Continuing the work of Jesus...simply, peacefully, together”

Pastor Jim Yaussy Albright.

LOOMIS Loomis Community Church

Main Street in Loomis 9:45 a.m. Sunday School 11 a.m. Worship Service Pastor Bob Haskell Information: 509-223-3542

1420 Main St., P.O. Box 250 Oroville, WA 98844 509-476-3602 or 1-888-838-3000

To place information in the Church Guide call Charlene 476-3602

332 features  
332 features