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Articles from the January 13, 2022 edition

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  • County digs out

    Justin Johnson|Jan 13, 2022

    Torrential rain on top of significant snowfall a week earlier led to flooding and collapsed structures in northern portions of Mason County last week. Rain gauges at Sanderson Field in Shelton recorded 5.54 inches of rain in a 48-hour period that ended at 3:53 a.m. Friday. On the Tahuya Peninsula, the swollen Tahuya River and other streams and tributaries inundated roads, land and homes. Northshore Road was closed briefly. "North Mason experienced a significant rainfall event Thursday and...

  • Commissioners declare state of emergency

    Matt Baide|Jan 13, 2022

    Mason County commissioners declared a state of emergency due to the snowstorm and low temperatures at an emergency meeting Jan. 5. According to the declaration of emergency, designated departments are authorized to enter into contracts and agreements to combat the emergency for the health and safety of people and property and to provide emergency assistance to the victims. It allows the departments to meet the demands without procedures or formalities prescribed by law. It lasts until Jan. 19....

  • New Shelton mayor 'the face of the city'

    Gordon Weeks|Jan 13, 2022

    The new mayor of Shelton said he sees his role as being "the face of the city." At the Jan. 4 Shelton City Council meeting, Eric Onisko was elected to be the new mayor by a 5-2 vote, with Joe Schmit receiving two votes. Onisko and Schmit were among the four council members sworn in for four-year terms earlier that evening. This is the second term for the 54-year-old Onisko, who owns the Hillcrest Shell and the Bayshore Texaco. "I think we work well together, and we have nowhere to go but up,"...

  • City wants to make dangerous roads safer

    Gordon Weeks|Jan 13, 2022

    The Shelton City Council will pursue federal money to improve the safety on some of its most dangerous roads, which include the East Wallace Kneeland Boulevard business corridor and the North 13th Street/Shelton Springs Road intersection. The council Jan. 4 gave preliminary approval to a Road Safety Plan. The council can vote to give the plan final approval at its Tuesday meeting. The city report states that if the council had declined to adopt the plan, the city would have missed out on the...

  • The night of breaking trees

    Kirk Ericson|Jan 13, 2022

    This is the second time I’ve written the headline “The night of breaking trees” for a newspaper. The first was for a story in The Olympian about an ice storm that hit in the final week of 1996. It worked then, and after talking to Lake Kokanee-area residents Charles and Frieda Osborne last week, it works for this story in this edition of this newspaper. Sometimes 25-year-old headlines don’t age. The ill-effects of last week’s storm were multiple and freakish: Trees toppled across U.S. Highway 1...

  • Letters to the Editor

    Jan 13, 2022

    Thank your school board Editor, the Journal, January is School Board Recognition Month. It is a great time to recognize our elected community members who selflessly give their time and energy in support of high-quality public schooling for our youths. School board members in the Grapeview School District are entrusted by this community with responsibility for an annual budget of over $3 million, two hundred-plus students, 37 employees and three main buildings. School boards are charged with making decisions that can sometimes be quite difficult...

  • Washington can't wait

    League of Women Voters of Mason County|Jan 13, 2022

    Call it climate change, or global warming: we are seeing the effect of carbon we put into Earth’s atmosphere with our industrial emissions, traffic and razing of tropical rainforests. Warming is coming far more quickly than scientists predicted even a few years ago. Top climate scientists are studying the relationship between global warming and extreme weather. Consider what we have seen in recent months: ■ Multiple tornadoes and thunderstorms that devastated the Great Plains and upper Midwest. The Dec. 15 tornado that left a 223-mile path of...

  • What is the soil food web?

    Alex Fethiere|Jan 13, 2022

    This week, I started writing a column on massaging a water extract out of compost. Halfway through, I realized you might wonder why I'd bother with all that. It's been an odyssey for me to realize that compost is multifariously alive. As such, I may never have experienced it fully. I've made compost that did the job for years, but I didn't know why or aspire to better. The complexity of interactions that comprise a good compost can't be knocked together at a dumpsite. It has to be cultivated...

  • County Briefs

    Compiled by reporter Matt Baide|Jan 13, 2022

    County responds to tribe’s letter on water rights Mason County commissioners approved a letter in response to the Squaxin Island Tribe’s letter about a Memorandum of Agreement on water rights between the county and tribe signed in February 2019. The Squaxin Island Tribe wrote a letter to the commissioners Dec. 8 addressing the MOA. The tribe summarizes its letter by saying “the county has failed to complete many tasks under the MOA in a timely manner and appears likely to miss upcoming deadlines. Please understand that the tribe may need to in...

  • COVID cases hit record high

    Matt Baide|Jan 13, 2022

    Mason County recordwed 657 COVID-19 cases in the past week, according to the Division of Emergency Management. There were 362 cases recorded from Jan. 7 to 9. The county recorded five died last week, including a woman in her 60s, two women in their 70s, a man in his 70s and a man in his 80s. The county’s pandemic death toll is 89. The seven-day case rate per 100,000 people is at 798.2 and the 14-day case rate is at 1,352.6. Nine people were hospitalized with COVID as of Tuesday and the county i...

  • Shelton School Board proposes field trip rules

    Matt Baide|Jan 13, 2022

    The Shelton School Board had a first reading on a proposed change to the out-of-state field trip rules at its meeting Tuesday. According to the information packet, the most notable change regards out-of-state travel. The current policy is the Shelton School Board approves out-of-district overnight trips, regardless of costs to the district. If there is a cost to the district, the trip must be submitted in advance to the board and all trips without a cost to the district must still be submitted t...

  • Retired teacher becomes 'Paladin' for climate change

    Kirk Boxleitner|Jan 13, 2022

    Retired teacher Nancy Snyder has found a way to educate people about the causes of extreme weather, and the Climate Change Committee of the League of Women Voters of Mason County is but one of the recipients of the knowledge Snyder has gained in the past year. Snyder was originally slated to attend an in-person training session offered by the nonprofit Climate Reality Project, which was founded by former Vice President Al Gore in 2005 as the Alliance for Climate Protection. However, COVID-19...

  • Nonprofit briefs

    Compiled by reporter Gordon Weeks|Jan 13, 2022

    Al-Anon Family Group meets in Shelton Serenity in Shelton Al-Anon Family Group meets at noon Jan. 20 at 1900 King St. in Shelton. Blood donations needed The weather conditions have caused canceled appointments to donate blood, and Bloodworks Northwest is accepting blood donations Jan. 20 and 21 at the Shelton Church of Nazarene, 1331 E. Shelton Springs Road. To make an appointment, call 1-800-398-7888, sponsor code 443B, or go to

  • Connecting legendary novelist to Hoodsport

    Gordon Weeks|Jan 13, 2022

    Did one of the country's greatest novelists, John Steinbeck, spend a week in Hoodsport during the 1940s? And did a Hoodsport logger named Ernie Dahman teach the author of "Grapes of Wrath," "Of Mice and Men" and "Cannery Row" how to shoot a gun? The answers to these questions are "holy grails" to Gig Harbor historian Michael Kenneth Hemp, author of "Cannery Row: The History of John Steinbeck's Old Ocean View Avenue and Its Connections to the Pacific Northwest." "That's the crucial part of it...

  • How far is too far to drive to a dive bar?

    Mark Woytowich|Jan 13, 2022

    I heard about the Brooklyn Tavern 10 years ago from a guy who grew up in Raymond. He was never much for description, and he didn't let me down this time, either; he just managed to convey that it was far, far away. So about eight years pass and I'm at the Artic Tavern with George Stenberg, watching the Kansas City Chiefs spank the hapless San Francisco 49ers in whatever Roman numeral Super Bowl it was that year. That's where I learn that the Brooklyn Tavern is 17 miles straight up the road from...

  • Legislators speak at 2022 legislative sendoff

    Matt Baide|Jan 13, 2022

    State representatives Drew MacEwen and Dan Griffey and state senator Tim Sheldon were given a Mason County sendoff at the Shelton Yacht Club last Friday before the 2022 legislative session. The event was put on by the Shelton-Mason County Chamber of Commerce, North Mason Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Council of Mason County. Sen. Sheldon, D-Potlatch, spoke first at the event and said there weren’t a lot of highlights to report from the 2021 legislative session. He said the b...

  • Infrastructure among Sheldon's top priorities

    Matt Baide|Jan 13, 2022

    The 2022 legislative session kicked off Monday, and it is another virtual session due to COVID-19. The Journal sent questionnaires to Sen. Tim Sheldon and Reps. Drew MacEwen and Dan Griffey, with only Sheldon responding before the Journal’s print deadline. Q: What are some of the goals you would like to accomplish during the 2022 legislative session? Any legislation you are planning on introducing? Sheldon: The 2022 legislative session will be a short 60-day session in an election year, and I d...

  • Inslee proposes criminalizing lying about election results

    Brooklynn Hillemann, Washington State Journal|Jan 13, 2022

    One year to the day after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Gov. Jay Inslee announced he supports legislation criminalizing lying about election results. “It should not be legal in the state of Washington for elected officials or candidates for office to willfully lie about these election results,” he said speaking to reporters in Olympia on Jan. 6. Making false statements about election results without evidence would be classified as a gross misdemeanor under his proposal, Inslee said. A draft is undergoing finishing touches, but it doesn...

  • 'Boba Fett' charts former lone wolf's social evolution

    Compiled by reporter Kirk Boxleitner|Jan 13, 2022

    Is it possible to evolve (or retain) a social conscience while remaining an unrepentant criminal? Gangster fables have contemplated that question for generations, with "The Godfather," "Pulp Fiction," "The Sopranos" and "Breaking Bad" serving as some of the more notable examples. And while the answer has been "no" in all the aforementioned examples, none of those tales have been set in a world as lawless as Tatooine, where there aren't even any cops to bribe. It's no exaggeration to describe...

  • Harlequin postpones productions until March

    Staff report|Jan 13, 2022

    Harlequin Productions in Olympia is postponing further production until March because of the surge in COVID-19. “Murder for Two” is now scheduled for March 11 to April 2. The production initially planned for that period, “Samuel Beckett’s Endgame,” has been canceled. “We realize that producing work in the middle of a surge like this new wave would be dangerous and next to impossible,” Harlequin Productions Artistic Director Aaron Lamb said. “We have hope that this will pass quickly and we will be able to produce work on a regular basis moving f...

  • Belfair Self-Storage hosts 'Art From My Living Room'

    Kirk Boxleitner|Jan 13, 2022

    Sunday promises to see Belfair Self-Storage test out a new approach as owner and manager Barbara Treick invites the public to enjoy “Art From My Living Room” at 2 the business’ location at 23270 NE state Route 3. Although Belfair Self-Storage’s previous art receptions have showcased some of the artists in-person with their pieces, and even included a couple of live performances, Treick said the post-holiday months can be slow for foot-traffic. Treick described Belfair Self Storage...

  • Return to the court

    Jan 13, 2022

  • The Seahawks season is done. What comes next?

    Matt Baide|Jan 13, 2022

    The NFL regular season ended Sunday and the Seahawks are getting ready for another postseason run. Just kidding! Seattle didn’t have a good season, finishing 7-10, last in the NFC West, and the only team in the division to not make the playoffs. It has been a weird year for the Seahawks. They started slow, and then Russell Wilson got hurt, and things went downhill from there. Let’s look at why the Seahawks weren’t good this season and what the offseason could look like. Let’s start with why the...

  • Prep Roundup

    Compiled by Justin Johnson and Matt Baide|Jan 13, 2022

    Shelton Girls basketball The Shelton girls were finally back in action and fell 45-31 at home to Rochester on Monday at Terry Gregg Court. Climbers’ junior Gabi Munro led Shelton with 11 points. Ana Pinon and Jasmine Rivera each added five for the Climbers Shelton briefly led in the first quarter and trailed 14-10 after one. Rochester built a 34-24 lead at halftime. The Climbers closed the gap to single digits several times in the second half, holding the Warriors to just 11 points after halftime, but could not convert on several key o...

  • Hanging tough

    Jan 13, 2022

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