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  • These Times

    Kirk Ericson|Jun 13, 2024

    “Ya know, Nietzsche says, ‘Out of chaos comes order.’ ” — Howard Johnson “Oh, blow it out your alpaca, Howard.” —Olson Johnson Note: I’m taking three weeks off of paid labor, so this space will be filled with reruns of some favorite columns. The following ran in the March 23, 2023, edition. Fresh, unfocused-group content returns June 27. This is a newspaper. It should remain free of profanity inside and outside of quotation marks, so we’ll substitute words when talking about the movie “Blazing...

  • From the Publisher

    John Lester|Jun 13, 2024

    It's 6 a.m. and I'm on the road. Approximately 30 minutes from home I was preparing to visit one of the five restaurants I oversaw when I got the call. "I think my water broke." Shifting into race car driver mode, flashers on, 68-mph in a 45-mph zone, no problem. Barely getting my work van into park, I am running into the house. Expecting to find Kelly, in a chair in the kitchen doing those breathing techniques. Nope, she's in the bedroom ironing her clothes to wear when she comes home from the...

  • Letters to the Editor

    Jun 13, 2024

    Assessor responds Editor, the Journal, In response to Mr. Gripp's letter to the editor, "Assessor's Math." In accordance with Washington State law, all property must be valued and assessed at one hundred percent of true and fair value, unless otherwise provided by law. "True and fair value" means market value and is the amount of money a buyer of property willing but not obligated to buy would pay a seller of property willing but not obligated to sell (WAC 458-07-030). There are three...

  • Journal Letter Policy

    Jun 13, 2024

    The Shelton-Mason County Journal encourages original letters to the editor of local interest. Diverse and varied opinions are welcome. We will not publish letters that are deemed libelous or scurrilous in nature. We reserve the right to reject any letter for any reason. When submitting a letter, please observe the following guidelines: Writers are limited to one original letter plus one rebuttal or counter-rebuttal per calendar month; Letters should be no more than 300 words; Letters will be edited for grammar, spelling, style, clarity and... Full story

  • These Times

    Kirk Ericson|Jun 6, 2024

    Note: I’m taking three weeks off of paid labor, so this space will be filled with reruns of some favorite columns. The following ran in the Dec. 23, 2021, edition. Fresh, unfocused-group content returns June 27. This is a story about a gift my father gave me when I was 5 years old. This memory is as true as any memory can be that’s summoned from a long-gone Christmas. I’m child No. 4 in a four-child family, and when we were wee our family was the type that put Christmas presents under a Chris...

  • Letters to the Editor

    Jun 6, 2024

    A thank you to groundskeepers Editor, the Journal, The Shelton Memorial Park is nice all year but it was especially nice this Memorial Day weekend. Thank you to the groundskeepers and everyone who keeps it up. Florence Wood, Shelton Informative article Editor, the Journal, I finished reading Jan Parker’s great historical article about “Professor Loop” in the April 25th Journal. As a kid growing up in Shelton, we knew little about him except that he was some kind of early Shelton legend and t...

  • These Times

    Kirk Ericson|May 30, 2024

    Carrie Brownstein, a singer and the guitarist for the punk group Sleater-Kinney, and the co-creator and co-star of the off-kilter TV series “Portlandia,” lived four homes down from us for a few years in Olympia. You know how hard it can be to find a movie or show that anyone of any age in your house will watch on TV? Mrs. Ericson and I discovered, when our youngest son was about 14, that we all liked “Portlandia.” For a couple of years on New Year’s Eve, we watched “Portlandia” episodes all...

  • Letters to the Editor

    May 30, 2024

    Thanks for aiding Fire District 12 Editor, the Journal, I commend our elected Mason County commissioners Randy Neatherlin, Kevin Shutty, Sharon Trask, Sheriff Ryan Spurling and Auditor Steve Duenkel and staff at Mason County for their actions to stabilize Fire District 12. I was impressed seeing the auditor, sheriff and our county commissioners at community meetings regarding the fire district where they offered support and answered questions from the public. Our state Reps. Dan Griffey and...

  • These Times

    Kirk Ericson|May 23, 2024

    Kathryn Hamilton Wang remembers the dinner parties in their Shelton home on Grant Avenue. The plates were of fine china, bracketed by sterling silver, and their guests’ lips cusped the elegant rims of Waterford Crystal. “Appetizers and drinks were served ahead of time,” Kathryn, now an Olympia resident, wrote me in an email. “We girls [Kathryn is the oldest of four sisters] helped pass the hors d’oeuvres which might include stuffed mushrooms or ham and egg balls. We’d fill trays with these...

  • Letters to the Editor

    May 23, 2024

    Editor’s note: The following letter to the editor was submitted by Shelton High School student teacher Shalisa Smith on behalf of Lily Bennett, a student and athlete for the Highclimbers. A letter to female athletes Editor, the Journal, Dear athletes, Nobody warns you about how different things are once you are in high school sports. It is often overlooked how much things change from the time we are preteens to the time we are teens. We used to be on an even playing field with all the boys, now biology limits how much we can grow. The most i...

  • Guest Column

    Patti Case|May 23, 2024

    Mason County's annual Forest Festival is a celebration of the abundant forests that surround us. This year, as our community gathers for the 80th annual fete, the future of our working forests gives even more cause for celebration. Washington Gov. Clarence Martin issued a proclamation in 1940 creating the Keep Washington Green Association to promote prevention of human-caused wildfires in Washington. Four years later, Forest Festival was born under the banner of Keep Washington Green. Mason...

  • These Times

    Kirk Ericson|May 16, 2024

    I received a text Thursday morning from our youngest son, Ryan, a 19-year-old almost junior at the University of Washington in Seattle. His text included a photograph of the Quad, a pastoral rectangle of stone and flora on the campus that’s hemmed in by Gothic academic buildings. The rectangle is filled with cherry trees, finely tended grass, and it’s segmented by several brick walkways, all precisely considered and precisely placed. You feel smarter just walking through it. But the pho...

  • Letters to the Editor

    May 16, 2024

    Advice for Shelton graduates Editor, the Journal, Subject: Advice for SSD graduating seniors Managing your money and planning for the future are such a big part of being an adult. In life you will find that not all people or organizations are good at managing their money. Don't follow the example the Shelton School District has set for you regarding money management. Do set aside a reasonable reserve for those rainy days that will surely come. You see, SSD has been borrowing from the Mason...

  • These Times

    Kirk Ericson|May 9, 2024

    “Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.” — Clive James, author When I was a youngster growing up among the sticks and hicks of Eastern Washington, an adult volunteered some of his precious time to tell me I didn’t have any common sense. I can’t remember what behavior prompted the comment, but I do remember wondering what “common sense” could mean. I wondered for so long that I finally decided that...

  • Letters to the Editor

    May 9, 2024

    Editor's note: The following letter appeared in last week's Journal with an incorrect headline. The Journal regrets the error and is re-running the letter with the correct headline. Belfair Masons say thanks Editor, the Journal, The Belfair Masons who meet at the hall of Hood Canal Lodge hosted the 71st annual Easter dinner on Sunday, March 31. They have held this annual dinner every year since 1951 and it's open to the public. The only years this dinner has not been held were the periods not...

  • These Times

    Kirk Ericson|May 2, 2024

    Happiness is merely a momentary suspension of dread. -------------------------------- Here’s an extreme manifestation of liberalism in America in 2024: Pet owners get angry at you for using the wrong pronoun for their pets. -------------------------------- The key to a long marriage is making sure your spouse marries the right person. -------------------------------- You don’t need to lift weights to build muscle mass. The weight of gravity is available to all of us, everywhere, pretty much all...

  • Letters to the Editor

    May 2, 2024

    Sales impact value Editor, the Journal, An informational response to Davis Zanot’s letter to the editor in the April 25 Journal. The Assessor’s Office is responsible for valuing all taxable property at 100% of its true and fair market value according to the highest and best use of the property, as mandated by state law. It’s important to note, however, that the Assessor’s Office does not set the market but interprets these market transactions, often set by Realtors in which both sellers and buyers agree. Values are adjusted annually based u...

  • These Times

    Kirk Ericson|Apr 25, 2024

    From “Gloria and the Riddle,” an episode that aired on CBS in October 1972: Gloria: There’s this father and his son and they’re driving along in the car. The car crashes and the father is killed. Edith (Gloria’s mother): Oh, that’s so sad. Archie (Gloria’s father): Oh, geez. It’s only a story Edith. Gloria: Anyway, the father is killed, and the little boy is badly injured so they rush him to a hospital and take him into the operating room. The surgeon walks in and says, ‘I can’t operate on this...

  • Letters to the Editor

    Apr 25, 2024

    I'm OK paying property tax bill Editor, the Journal, Last year I purchased my first home, after over 15 years of renting and five years of saving. It hurt to pay nearly double the price the house sold for previously in 2017, but that pain is dulled by the facts that I can even afford to buy due to the circumstances afforded to me being a childless 30-something with marketable skills. I recently got my first tax bill, and the assessor definitely paid attention to the sale price and adjusted my...

  • From the Publisher

    John Lester|Apr 25, 2024

    "Distinguished or different from what is ordinary or usual" is the Random House Dictionary definition of special. My mom, Jean Lester, is special and has the gift of making those around her feel special. My first memory of how special she made me feel was while I was in second grade in Mrs. Whipple's class at Chief Kamiakin Elementary in Sunnyside. In the office, rings were for sale prior to Mother's Day. I gathered my pennies, nickels and perhaps a dime and bought the pink sparkly one at the...

  • Editor's Chair

    Justin Johnson|Apr 18, 2024

    Since the first edition of the Shelton-Mason County Journal rolled off the press in 1886, three years before the state of Washington joined the union, the Journal has been dedicated to covering the news and events that affect the City of Shelton and Mason County at large. From cover to cover, the newspaper our readers pick up is written by people who live in the area about things that happen here. Whether it's the Shelton City Council, the Board of Mason County Commissioners, one of our...

  • These Times

    Kirk Ericson|Apr 18, 2024

    “In 1858, three days after the first Atlantic [telegraph] Cable connected New York and London, The New York Times asked if the news would become ‘too fast for the truth.’ ” — From the book “Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington” “Too fast for the truth.” That phrase should be stamped on every cellphone, tablet and laptop sold in this country. It could read like this: “Warning: This product is too fast for the truth. Wait before forming an opinion on information presented.” Before...

  • Letters to the Editor

    Apr 18, 2024

    What is nice? Editor, The Journal, I must wonder, does the Journal’s editorial cartoon artist even read your paper or research his chosen topic? Based on last week’s cartoon, I would have to say no. The cartoon depicted a citizen complaining to the school board about free speech. That has happened recently; however, the cartoonist’s point was that the complaint was about being asked to be “be nice” while the citizen wanted to “name call, insult.” I assume the cartoonist was referring to recent public comments at the Shelton School Distri...

  • These Times

    Kirk Ericson|Apr 11, 2024

    “When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.” — Abraham Lincoln The grand unified theory in physics is the belief that there is a single explanation that can predict all the behaviors of all the forces in the universe. Theoretical physicists are searching for that elegant explanation of why forces behave the way they do, from the subatomic to the outer bands of the universe. Could there be a grand unified theory for the world’s religions? Could there be a thread t...

  • From the Auditor

    Steve Duenkel, Mason County Auditor|Apr 11, 2024

    It seems as if 2024 is running at "fast forward" speed. Your elections team certified two of the five elections scheduled for the year, including the March 12 presidential primary. Many voters expressed concerns with having to identify a political party affiliation on their ballot return envelope. Presidential primaries are conducted for major political parties as part of their respective candidate nomination processes and the parties want to know who voted in their primary. From an elections...

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