The beautiful colors of fall are starting up everywhere — vine maple and birch yellows; Japanese maple fiery reds; tamarack/larch, oaks, and cottonwood oranges. Then some, like my cherry trees, have no leaves at all. Our one-legged friends are putting themselves to sleep for the winter.
Meanwhile, some of us humans are gathering books for reading by the fire; making sure we’ve got enough wood to last through the cold months ahead; and thinking of soup recipes we’d like to try. And wondering (at least I am), “Where did my summer go? Wasn’t it just last week when I was sitting in the yard in shorts and sunglasses under the shade of a crooked umbrella taped to a walking stick?” (OK, maybe not everyone has this jury-rigged-is-good-enough approach to life…)
I’m always amazed though that even when Mother Nature starts to slow down, the pace of the Peninsula still races ahead, sometimes stronger than ever. I always try to listen to Carol Newman’s “Arts Live and Local” — Fridays from 3 to 4 p.m. on KMUN — to keep up with what’s shakin’. And this week Carol squeezed in so many amazingly talented folks that the calendar listing bulged on beyond zero. What a surfeit of cultural riches we have on the North Coast!
And who can put out of their minds the political circus we find ourselves in these days? Between quid pro quo, Syria, Hunter Biden, Trump National Doral Miami, Mitch the “Grim Reaper,” whistle blowers, and “moots” with alligators and snakes — what’s a sane person to do? At home, in bed, head under the pillow might be appropriate. Unfortunately, some of us feel we have to keep up with the news, for good or ill.
The divisiveness and nasty tone of political affairs even hit the Peninsula last week when the fire commissioners’ candidate forum got into some unseemly territory. My good friend Steve Kovach is running for a spot on the Fire District No. 1 board and I support him wholeheartedly. I won’t go into detail but some unnecessarily mean words were spoken at the forum.
Folks, let’s try to be kind and supportive of our friends who are interested in public service. We should be lucky that there are skilled, committed, and passionate individuals still willing to serve in the current climate. There’s no need to be offensive if disagreements on values or policies arise. A candidates’ forum should be about discovery: it’s a time to listen deeply, to question, to find clarity in order to make a decision that we as individuals believe represents our views and supports our needs and best interests.
Coffee with Carolyn
In this vein, a small but robust coffee klatch recently took place at a private home in Ocean Park. As you may know, Carolyn Long is challenging Jaime Herrera Beutler again in the Third Congressional District after losing by a sliver in 2018. (Long’s website here: https://electlong.com/about). She met with a group of local residents to get a renewed sense of the issues important to us.
Carolyn is and was well informed on every issue we brought up. She is working on a platform with four primary planks: 1) investing in local infrastructure; 2) providing affordable healthcare, including choice for all, and lowered prescription drugs; 3) legislation that addresses climate change with a focus on creating sustainable and living-wage jobs; 4) and increased investment in education.
In the run-up to the 2018 election, Carolyn held 46 town halls in the district. That is a heckuva lot of traveling and listening; it shows her deep commitment to our region — and now she’s back for more. (Very few of us have seen Jaime since she was elected.)
Carolyn grew up in a working class family — her dad ran a produce stand — and she was the first in her family to get a college education (which she paid for by becoming a journeyman at Safeway in UFCW Local 555). She taught political science at WSU Vancouver for 24 years and has written two books on constitutional law; so she understands government inside and out.
Sitting in a circle with Carolyn, just nine of us, we went through a wide range of issues from fisheries and salmon recovery to septic systems; from money in politics to the effects of climate change in our area. (Who can forget our king tides or the Washaway Beach dilemma?) We talked about increasing broadband options in our county, and about re-engaging friends who’ve withdrawn from the political debate because it’s just too frustrating.
Carolyn is genuine, articulate, knowledgeable, approachable and she cares deeply about where we live because it’s her home too. She has a work-ethic that’s off the charts, and she wants to work for us on issues that will make a difference in our lives.
Jaime voted with Trump 92 percent of the time in the 115th Congress. She’s gotten a tiny bit more able to think for herself this year — at least she opposed Trump’s horrific betrayal of our Kurd allies in Syria and his “emergency” border wall funding. But, in my opinion, Jaime has too often been swayed to support questionable (perhaps even unconstitutional) White House policies.
My vote goes to Carolyn — we need a change, and Carolyn fits the bill in “Capital” letters.
Let’s get legal
The South Pacific County Community Foundation (https://spccf.org) is changing its name to simply Pacific Community Foundation (PCF). In its continued support of local non-profits working for community good, PCF is sponsoring an upcoming workshop — open to the public — entitled “Let’s Go Legal,” Friday, Oct. 25, 1 to 4 p.m. at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco. (A complete description of the workshop here: https://tinyurl.com/y37j46dh).
Topics include how to use non-profit by-laws to strengthen your organization’s advocacy, growing your mission, fund raising, protecting intellectual property, compliance with state and federal law and other issues. If you are a board member or staff for a non-profit, this will be an invaluable use of your time. If you’re exploring how to form a non-profit, this workshop might be a good place to start.
Who moved my scone?
The word is out now — Jayne of Bailey’s Bakery and Café has closed shop. Those of us who counted Jayne and Bob’s establishment as a major part of “Downtown Nahcotta” are crying into our cappuccinos. We Nahcottans have been spoiled by being able to grab our mail and then pop in to Jayne’s for a just-out-of-the-oven scone. My favorite was butterscotch, baked on Thursdays and Saturdays. But lately on these cooler days, I’d also stop in for one of Jayne’s exquisitely spiced soups, always accompanied by a couple slices of baguette. (Bob was the baker who got up before the sun to have loaves ready for us hungry hordes.)
Of late, I’d switched my sweet-tooth favorite to lemon coconut cake. OMG luscious. I have no idea how I’ll scratch that itch now. But as Jayne said to a friend, “Fifteen years is enough.” No, it wasn’t — it went by all too fast! Losing Bailey’s is simply another lesson in being grateful every day for what’s offered and assuming nothing.
Jayne, bon chance as you rest up and cook up (we hope) your next adventure.