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PENINSULA PROFILE

SUNDAY, AUGUST 19, 2012

PENINSULA DAILY NEWS

Generations

Brown: She harnesses

energy she generates CONTINUED FROM C5 When she thinks of Brown, she thinks of “her brightness. She keeps the energy up.” How she does this dates back to Ohio and that toobig bicycle. Brown harnesses the energy she generates herself, on her road and mountain bikes. She pedals to and from Sequim as many times a week as she can; it takes as much time as “a movie and a couple of sit-coms,” or about three hours. And then there are the dirt trails: Her fiance, Shawn Sinskie, introduced her to mountain biking, which she now loves. Oh, and on any given evening, she’ll row 5,000 meters in about 27 minutes, on the machine out in her garage where she has a view of the Olympic Mountains.

Perspectives of three Peninsula residents PHOTOS

AND INTERVIEWS BY

DAVE LOGAN

This week’s question: What’s been the highlight of your summer so far?

Restorative time At the office, Brown likes to do the vacuuming. It’s a restorative time, she says, amid brain-intensive days. Perhaps the most unusual fitness routine in her repertoire, though, is standing all day while answering the phone and working at her computer. Yet she is not the allaround queen of exercise. Sinskie is a CrossFit instructor, and she has not dived into that regimen. “I want to do it. But something is keeping me back,” she says. “I want to overcome the road block.” That’s a personal goal. Professionally, Brown hopes for something similar: the removal of communication blockages.

DIANE URBANI

Help communication The PDRC’s services “can help people understand how to communicate differently,” she says. Volunteer mediators start by helping clients explain their perspectives. Then they can break down the problem into manageable pieces by making a list of items to be discussed. Next comes negotiation, often with creative approaches, and finally a written settlement. Not everyone reaches that settlement, Brown acknowledges. She and the volunteers hope, however,

that clients come away with new communication skills. For the PDRC, the most common mediation cases are those involving custody of children and parenting plans between divorced parents.

Foreclosures Mortgage foreclosures are also keeping mediators busy. In some cases, a modified plan is made, and the foreclosure averted. There are also all kinds of workplace disputes, conflicts between neighbors, landlords and tenants. “I’ve always been fascinated by people and groups,” says Brown, “and how we interact. I’ve always observed — trying to understand — the culture of a neighborhood, of a community.”

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working in the hospitality industry for companies big and small, including Princess Cruises. Brown’s formal education includes a degree in leadership and cultural studies from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, which she earned while working full time.

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Woman feels attraction to male friend DEAR JOHN: OVER the last year, I have developed a close friendship with “Ted.” As we have openly talked about our thoughts and life experiences to each other, I have developed a deep attraction to him. I am single, but Ted is in a relationship with someone else. They have been together for six years. Although they’ve never lived together, they see each other approximately three times a week. Ted says they both feel that the relationship is

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this, I am very careful to point out both sides to him and not allow my own feelings toward him to sway him one way or the other. But now I wonder: Should I tell him how I feel, or should I remain silent? — Uncertain in Kansas City, Mo. Dear Uncertain: Definitely, you should test the waters to determine whether his feelings are similar. But since you’ve expressed your very noble concern about swaying him away from his current relationship and wanting to wait until he is unattached, you might consider saying something like this: “Ted, you know I have a tremendous regard for you and our friendship, and I’d never do anything to dishonor it. I feel it’s important to let you know that I’m also attracted to you. I realize that you are currently involved with someone. Should that situation change, I hope you will keep that in mind.” That only needs to be said once. If he feels the same, he will not need to hear you say that again. Dear John: I am 23 and recently divorced after three years of marriage. Now I have met someone else who is very kind to me, and I would like to slowly start a romantic relationship with him. He is interested in me as well. I have one major problem. I don’t find him to be really physically attractive, although I am emotionally attracted to him. Do you think this may happen in time, after getting to know him better? — Looking Deeper in Charlotte, N.C.

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“My highlight would have to be that we moved here from Las Vegas about two months ago. My husband grew up here and has now found a job here, too. “I like it a lot more than Vegas. The weather is much more mild, and the people are nicer. “We have our two kids, 6 and 2, with us, so it’s all new experiences so far. We enjoyed taking the kids to the shoreline at Port Williams near Sequim the other day. We just got to hang out, skipped rocks and enjoyed friends. It was real fun for our kiddos.”

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“We’re finally getting some good weather. “I grew up in Eastern Washington, and we had lots of warm weather over there. So I happily have had a chance to spend more time out in my gardens. “I enjoy and maintain six flower gardens. I also have strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, which are ready for picking. I go out and tend our gardens almost every day. We have about 41/2 acres of land. “I guess I’m just a farm girl from way back. My grandfather was a produce farmer, so we do have family roots in the garden.”

Come to love it

When she first heard about Port Angeles, she had her doubts about living here — but has come to love it. “Everything is so close,” she says, including the big playground that is the Olympic Mountains and coast. At work, “every day is different,” Brown says, adding that she would love to expand the PDRC’s work with young people. Her Lived all over message on behalf of her organization is that conflict Brown moved to Port Angeles in 1991 after living will always be with us and in England with her former that we need not shrink husband, who served in the away from it. “Conflict is good,” she U.S. Air Force. says. “It helps us learn to She also has lived all over the United States, communicate in new ways.”

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Karen Brown works long days in her office at he Peninsula Dispute Resolution Center — standing, since she chose not to have a chair by her phone and computer.

“I work at Shirley’s Cafe on Lincoln Street [Port Angeles], and my highlight would have to be all the different people I get to meet. “I’ve seen visitors from Australia, Switzerland, France and all over the States. I love to meet people and visit with them. I’m a waitress there and a people person. “My sister lives in Australia, and so when I met some folks from there it was so interesting to talk differences. “We talked about the weather, of course, prices of things and the way they pay their bills. They do it all on a weekly basis, even their rent.”

Dear Looking Deeper: Great relationships are made up of several important components. Definitely, physical attraction is one crucial ingredient. But so are trust, honor, consideration and a strong moral compass. TURN

TO

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