Dedicated to the citizens of Mason County, Washington since 1886

Articles from the May 25, 2023 edition


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  • Man dies in Saturday skydiving accident

    Matt Baide|May 25, 2023

    A 33-year-old Snohomish County man died in a solo skydiving accident Saturday afternoon in the 11000 block of U.S. Highway 101 near Sanderson Field. According to Mason County coroner Jaime Taylor, the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the chest. Taylor said the parachute clipped a tree, causing the person to hit the tree. “We don’t get skydivers all of the time,” Taylor told the Journal. “We’ve had a few but it’s not unusual.” Taylor identified the victim as Kapil Dinani....

  • Seven candidates for Shelton City Council

    Gordon Weeks|May 25, 2023

    Seven candidates have applied for three positions on the Shelton City Council on the Aug. 2 primary ballot. Friday was the deadline to register for the election, with 85 people applying for 63 offices. The primary will whittle the candidates down to two finalists per race for the Nov. 7 general election. Three of the seven positions on the Shelton City Council are up for grabs. The winners have four-year terms. Mary Eagleson, Tristen Smith and George Blush will compete to replace James Boad for council position 1. Boad, the owner of Wilde...

  • 'Lift as you climb'

    Justin Johnson|May 25, 2023

    From the moment she was born, Erin Ranney has been surrounded by the outdoors. Whether it was exploring her family's Mason County tree farm or tagging along on a fishing trip to Alaska before she could walk, Ranney has always heard the call of the wild. "I was surrounded by wildlife," Ranney said. "And I was always really excited by wildlife." Building upon that love and passion for the outdoors, Ranney has carved out a career as a wildlife cinematographer that has taken her around the globe. Ra...

  • 'A true leader and visionary'

    Gordon Weeks|May 25, 2023

    Richard Knight, who was fire chief for Mason County Fire District 5/Central Mason Fire & EMS for 55 years, died May 20 at his home in Allyn. He was 87. A date for a memorial service had not been set when the Journal went to press. Knight joined what was then Mason County Fire Protection District 5 in 1955. The next year, he was named fire chief. He retired at the end of June 2011. "Chief Knight's dedication to the citizens and the members of Central Mason Fire & EMS will forever be remem...

  • Legislative Briefs

    Compiled by reporter Matt Baide|May 25, 2023

    State reps vote ‘yes’ on drug bill State Republican Reps. Dan Griffey and Travis Couture, both from Allyn, voted ‘yes’ on a law on drug possession and use May 16 during a 2023 special legislative session. According to a news release, the state Supreme Court invalidated the state’s felony drug possession law in 2021 in a case known as the Blake decision. “If you do compromise correctly, not everyone gets what they want — no one is totally happy. That is what we have here,” Griffey said in a news release. “This bill is miles...

  • An Olympic task: Identifying our home mountains

    Kirk Ericson|May 25, 2023

    On a sunny afternoon in early May, I was at the Olympic Gateway Center up the hill from downtown Shelton. From the parking lot, you could see an immense, snow-covered, hulking presence to the north. I entered The Shopper and asked a woman inside if she'd mind coming outside to look at something. We walked out to the parking lot and I pointed to that mountain.  "You know the name of that mountain?" I asked her. "I'm not sure," she said. "Mount Rainier?" "No," because I knew that for sure. I turn...

  • Roger D. Berens

    May 25, 2023

    Roger D. Berens, beloved husband, dad, grandpa, brother and friend, passed away April 23, 2023, at St. Michael's Medical Center in Silverdale, WA. He was born October 30, 1950, in Arkansas City, KS to Theodore and Alma (Price) Berens. He attended school through 6th grade in Arkansas City when the family moved to California. They then moved to Oregon and back to Campbell, California, where Roger graduated from Campbell High School in 1968. He attended college in Campbell before moving to... Full story

  • Richard Thele

    May 25, 2023

    Richard Thele, 62, lost his five-year battle with ALS on May 8, 2023. He was born on February 27, 1961, to Kenneth and Marlene Thele in Puyallup, WA. In high school he played the trumpet and ran cross country track, graduated in the SHS class of 1980. He later worked as a pipefitter (Union 026) and especially loved working on the big ships like the USS John Stennis. Rick loved photography and videography and usually had several cameras with him most of the time. He enjoyed garage sales and was... Full story

  • Willobelle Valentine

    May 25, 2023

    Willobelle Valentine (Hampton) was called home to our Lord on Friday, May 12, 2023. She was born on August 3, 1935, to Leagon and Mildred Hampton. Willobelle was a unique and caring individual who touched the lives of all who knew her. She was raised in the Wynoochee Valley, outside of Montesano, WA and there she met a young man named Karl Valentine. They quickly became friends, and that friendship grew into young love. She married Karl Valentine on June 21, 1952, before he shipped out to serve... Full story

  • Eugene "Duck" Wadel

    May 25, 2023

    Eugene (Duck) Wadel was the youngest of six children born in 1936 to Ervin and Bessie Wadel in Melrose, Wisconsin. He went into the U.S. Army and served three years in Germany before relocating to Fort Lewis, WA, where he met the love of his life, Jeanette Bellack (Jeanie). They quickly married and had four children, Nick (Mary), Bruce (Karen), Dean (Lisa), and Roxann (Mike), which led to six grandkids and five great-grandkids. They settled in Fife, WA, for 35 years, where Duck stayed involved... Full story

  • Recently Passed

    May 25, 2023

    Ronald James Morken, 63, a resident of Lacey, WA, passed away May 11, 2023, at home. Arrangements are by Forest Funeral Home and Crematory. Fremont Snyder, 85, a resident of Shelton, passed away May 17, 2023, at Providence St. Peters Hospital, Olympia, WA. Arrangements are by McComb and Wagner Family Funeral Home and Crematory. Alice Hawkins, 94, a resident of Hoodsport, passed away May 17, 2023, at Alpine Way Continuing Care in Shelton. Arrangements are by McComb and Wagner Family Funeral Home and Crematory. Donald Keith Sears, 53, a resident... Full story

  • Letters to the Editor

    May 25, 2023

    Editor's note: The Journal generally does not publish original letters by candidates for public office during election years, however in the interest of public debate, we're publishing this letter from Superior Court Judge Cadine-Ferguson-Brown to serve as her response to previous letters appearing in the Journal regarding her actions in a case involving a woman accused of shooting her boyfriend in Shelton in February. Judge responds...

  • The beginnings of Kneeland Park

    Jan Parker|May 25, 2023

    In a letter to the Journal in the 1970s, Emma Richert wrote about her memories of Kneeland Park as it was in 1912. "It was an inlet or slough of saltwater at high tide, spotted with a big uprooted stump, rubber tires, etc., all decorated with barnacles. The wooden sidewalk on First Street crossed the slough area considerably above the water level. When walking across, it was fun to slow down and listen to the echoing sound of our footsteps. It runs in my mind that the area originally belonged...

  • News Briefs

    Compiled by reporter Matt Baide|May 25, 2023

    Shellfish hearing moved to June 14 The Taylor Shellfish proposed floating oyster bag proposal in Oakland Bay has been moved to 1 p.m. June 14 at Mason County Building 1. According to the agenda on the hearing examiner’s website, Taylor Shellfish is applying for a shoreline substantial development and shoreline conditional use permit to grow Pacific oysters and install a floating oyster bag system in Oakland Bay. The system will use an estimated 9.1 acres of surface water within a 50-acre area for the floating oyster gear. Also seeking public...

  • Sign up for Goldsborough Creek Run/Walk/Jog

    Gordon Weeks|May 25, 2023

    Runners and walkers can sign up for the annual Goldsborough Creek Run/Walk, staged June 2 as part of the Mason County Forest Festival. The Centennial Guild of Mason General Hospital Foundation stages the event, with the proceeds helping purchasing hospital equipment and providing scholarships in the memory of longtime nurse and Guild member Kristi Armstrong. To register, go to www.runsignup.com. Participants can also sign up the day of the event starting at 6:30 a.m. The event includes a 7-mile walk, a 7-mile run, a 2-mile walk or run, a...

  • Community Briefs

    Compiled by reporter Gordon Weeks|May 25, 2023

    Chamber cuts ribbon at basketball court The Shelton-Mason Chamber of Commere celebrated the opening of the Lincoln Gym Memorial Court at 425 W. Cota St., adjacent to the Shelton Civic Center parking lot by cutting a ribbon Wednesday. Ferguson featured at Kennedy dinner Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson —a candidate for state governor — Washington Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti and Democratic state Party Chair Shasti Conrad are the featured speakers at the Mason County Democratic Party’s annual Kennedy Dinner and fundraiser June 11 at...

  • Fire 12 recall makes August ballot

    Matt Baide|May 25, 2023

    Mason County Fire District 12 commissioners John Pais, Albert Wilder and Brian Jutson could lose their positions after the county auditor certified recall petitions filed against them. The recall measure will be on the Aug. 1 ballot. Matlock resident Kristin Masteller, who is one of the leaders of the recall effort along with Matlock resident Amanda Gonzales, told the Journal she was given papers for the recall effort for all three commissioners, dated May 9. "I am very pleased that we were able...

  • Port of Hoodsport seeking state, local money for docks

    Kirk Boxleitner|May 25, 2023

    The Port of Hoodsport’s efforts to satisfy the conditions of renewing the lease on the port’s dock from the state Department of Natural Resources have yielded mixed results. Port Commissioner Cody Morris reported May 10 that he had found more than one engineering firm to receive bids on the dock pilings. He expressed optimism that this would enable the port to strive for “the best price possible.” Morris has reached out to state Sen. Drew MacEwen, and state Reps. Dan Griffey and Travis C...

  • Education Briefs

    Compiled by reporter Gordon Weeks|May 25, 2023

    Harstine theater group offers scholarship The Harstine island Theatre Club is offering a $500 scholarship. Applications and guidelines are available at CHOICE, Cedar, Shelton, Mary M. Knight and North Mason high schools, and at Olympic College Shelton. Aug. 1 is the deadline to apply, and the winner will be announced by Aug. 15. Completed applications can be mailed to Scholarship Committee, Chair Dee Ann Meacham, 12 East Wilson Road, Shelton 98584 or emailed to [email protected]. Shelton High concerts perform May 31 Shelton High School stages...

  • Annual Spell-E-Bration fundraiser June 2

    Gordon Weeks|May 25, 2023

    The Shelton-based nonprofit Sound Learning hosts the 27th annual Spell-E-Bration fundraiser June 2 in the Shelton Civic Center. The silent auction begins at 5:30 p.m., and the spelling competition begins at 6 p.m. Teams of three spellers, some in colorful outfits, will showcase their skills during the spelling bee. Each team is sponsored by a business or group. The event features a silent and live auction, a band, loads of desserts and other food, banter between the teams and the judges -...

  • 'Mrs. Davis' uneven; 'Marvels' heroine safe in the MCU

    Kirk Boxleitner|May 25, 2023

    'Mrs. Davis' on Peacock I promised I would offer a final verdict on Peacock's "Mrs. Davis" streaming series once it had aired all eight of its episodes. As of May 18, its entire run is now online, but I still find myself left with mixed reactions to the whole affair. First off, credit to series co-creator Damon Lindelof for not choking in the clutch on "Mrs. Davis" in the same way he did on "Lost," because it wrapped up with all its plot threads tied up so neatly that, in retrospect, it becomes...

  • State bound

    Matt Baide|May 25, 2023

    Mason County qualified 11 track and field athletes for the state track and field meets today through Saturday in Tacoma and Yakima. In the state 2A track and field meet at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, Shelton junior Anthony Sanchelli will be the first local athlete to compete in state in the 2A boys discus finals at 3:10 p.m. today. Shelton junior Maryjane Hageman will compete at 3:30 p.m. today in the 2A girls 100-meter hurdles. North Mason senior Kezlie Thygesen will compete in the 2A...

  • Miracle on Montlake

    Justin Johnson|May 25, 2023

    The torrent of emotion on Sami Reynolds’ face was unmistakable. It didn’t matter if you were sitting under the light drizzle of rain at Husky Softball Stadium or, as I was, sitting comfortably at home watching on television. Reynolds stood safely on second base, hands on her face, eyes glistening, as she looked back at the dugout and roared “LET’S GO!” Just moments before, Reynolds and her University of Washington softball team looked dead in the water. The Huskies, who hadn’t scored in 16 straight innings, trailed McNeese State...

  • Prep Roundup

    Compiled by reporter Matt Baide|May 25, 2023

    Shelton boys tennis Shelton’s Jayden Lovingfoss and Wyatt Wagner play in the opening round of the state 2A boys tennis tournament Friday at Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle. Lovingfoss and Wagner will face a Fife opponent in the opening match. If the Shelton duo wins at least one match, they will compete Saturday for a chance to earn a medal. Shelton track The Shelton boys finished seventh and the girls ninth at the 2A District IV track and field championships at Columbia River High School in Vancouver. In boys results, Shelton senior...

  • North Mason schools rebuild student bus ridership

    Kirk Boxleitner|May 25, 2023

    The North Mason School Board's May 18 meeting saw Transportation Director Maurine Simons present data on ridership, maintenance and the costs of running her department. The district bought four new buses, getting rid of four buses that were 20 years old. Prior to that, 62% of those buses were off the depreciation schedule. That went down to 46%. Big buses run on a 13-year depreciation schedule. Small buses are on an eight-year schedule. The average age of the district's small buses is 9.1 years,...

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