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Op-Ed

Op-Ed (4)

Thursday, 28 May 2015 12:39

Living Close to Nature

Written by

An abundance of fresh food on the KP

In a world where our food has become a toxic, inadequate version of what it once was, it's no wonder there has been a push for organic, locally grown food in recent years.

We are fortunate on the KP. We have local, fresh, organic food all around us. Between our neighbors and locally owned businesses, we have all the resources we need to feed ourselves a high-quality diet. 

Here on the KP, we can buy fresh eggs and raw honey from our neighbors. We are surrounded by fresh, organic produce, whether it is from our neighbor's garden, a local co-op or a fruit stand. Our local grocery stores on the KP and in Gig Harbor offer plenty of organic options. 

When you buy local and organic, you support your neighbors and local economy. You eliminate pollution from transportation and factory farms. You avoid harmful pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and GMOs. You consume healthier food, which results in a healthier body.

The following is a list of local businesses and farms where you can buy everything from raw milk and fresh-baked bread to organic produce and soap.  It is by no means a complete list, but is a great starting point. 

Local Raw Honey

The Bee Lady, Chanetta Ludwig, (253) 298-2226, located south of Key Center: honey, bee pollen, beeswax, soap, lotion, lip balm and candles.

Maychen's Honey, (360) 801-5696, Port Orchard: honey, beeswax, candles, soap, moisturizer and lip balm.

Fresh Eggs

Swainston Homestead, $3/dozen, (253) 884-9973, swainstonhomestead.com.

Sunny Key Farm, $3/dozen, one mile south of Key Center.

Bill Fold Farm, (253) 857-4127, 302 and 94th.

Bea's Flowers, (253) 857-7566, 118th and Creviston.

There is a long list of your neighbors who sell their eggs on the Key Peninsula, WA Facebook page.

Dairy

Fessler Farms, 15610 92nd St KP N, Key Center, (253) 509-9995, fesslerfarms.com. Milkman service that delivers raw, organic milk and other groceries right to your door.

Bakery

3 Clouds Bakery, located inside of Ravensara, 302 and 118th, (253) 853-3349, bread and pastries baked fresh daily.

Produce

Fresh Food Revolution Co-Op, 17010 South Vaughn Road KPN, freshrevolution.org. Become a member of this KP-based co-op and pick up local produce every Wednesday from 4-5:30 p.m.

Local Boys Fruit stand, 6702 Tyee Dr NW, Gig Harbor (at the Purdy Spit) (253) 858-5355: local produce and homemade preserves. Although not certified organic, their produce is grown using organic methods.

Swainston Homestead, (253) 884-9973, swainstonHomestead.com, organic produce.

Bill Fold Farm, (253) 857-4127, 302 and 94th, organically grown produce.

Meat

Ray's Meat Market, 6702 Tyee Drive NW, Gig Harbor (at the Purdy Spit next to Local Boys), (253) 432-4241: beef.

Swainston Homestead, (253) 884-9973, swainstonhomestead.com: chickens, goats, turkey.

Bill Fold Farm, (253) 857-4127, 302 and 94th: pork.

 

Monica Rakowski owns KP Indoor Garden Store in Key Center.  You can contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thursday, 28 May 2015 12:38

Key Pen Parks moving forward with plans

Written by

As spring reaches into the summer season and the warmer weather tempts people out of their homes, Im reminded of our emerging and blossoming community.

Although we are connected to each other by a preference for a quiet lifestyle, Key Peninsula is growing in resident numbers. Many local organizations have been planning for the future growth of our peninsula. Key Pen Parks is also looking toward the future and how we play a role in the enrichment of our community.

Over the past months, we have been busy on several new things. In brief, we launched a new website, which hopefully makes it easier for you to find information you are seeking related to our parks and park business. We also created a brochure that you can find throughout the greater Gig Harbor area.

We started a new event this year, the 360 Trails Poker Pedal. This unique event raised money for the further development of 360 Trails.

If you havent been lately, there are new trails to enjoy and we have dotted the landscape with information kiosks that show your location, but also have a quick response (QR) code that puts the trail map right on your smart phone.

Looking ahead to this summer, we are excited about a few new youth camps and events coming up. The closest event is the Fourth of July Community Hot Dog Social. With the support of Food Market of the Key Center and Lake Katheryn, residents are invited to come and meet their friends and neighbors for a free hot dog lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Volunteer Park. We will have games and music, and hope you will join the fun.

Of course, the big project that were working on will be one of Key Pen Parks largest future community enrichment contributions: Gateway Park. In my last column, I talked about the public input process on developing a conceptual plan for the 39-acre park.

A master plan (concept E-1) was approved by the park districts board of commissioners at the March 9 board meeting, as was the motion to move forward with phase 1 of construction. At completion, phase 1 includes redesigning existing entrances with street lighting, paving the west parking lot and adding a toilet structure. We encourage everyone to follow the Gateway Park progress on our website.

We have increased our grant application efforts to enhance and possibly help expedite the Gateway project, one of which is the Pierce County Conservation Futures Program grant. The Key Peninsula Parks and Recreation Foundation also is working on fundraising plans.

I hope by my next column, well have good news regarding the Conservation Futures grant and will be well underway with the permitting process for phase 1 construction.

The change of season brings increased energy levels and optimism, and for us at Key Pen Parks, we are very optimistic about the future of recreational opportunities for the Key Peninsula.

 

Scott Gallacher is the executive director of Key Pen Parks and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thursday, 28 May 2015 12:38

Winds, Tides and Weathers

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What would happen to the Key Peninsula if all of a sudden the Earth stopped spinning or even just slowed down?

The centrifugal force of the spinning of the Earth causes the seas to be much deeper at the equator than at the poles. The result is that the Earth is not a perfect sphere; it's flattened at the poles and fatter at the equator.

If it stopped spinning, the seas would migrate north and south, covering the poles with water, along with much of northern Canada and Siberia. Meanwhile islands would pop up near the equator, where the ocean level would drop by about 6 miles. Puget Sound would very likely empty completely and not fill up again. The Key Peninsula would be a sort of mountain, about 20 miles long perched between the bottoms of Carr and Case inlets.

How about weathers in that scenario?

At the equator, the Earth spins at about 1,037 miles per hour. It would be somewhat less here, maybe only 900 miles per hour. The air mass would not stop moving, so we would experience a 900-1,100 mph windstorm. That would absolutely knock everything flat, including our homes and our Key Pen skyscrapers, including the Longbranch Improvement Club and the KP Civic Center. The population on the Key Peninsula might very well end up in the Cascade Mountains. Me, Im hoping for Crystal Mountain, where my family enjoyed years of skiing fun even though all the snow would have been blown away.

So what else?  Well, like the moon, one side of the Earth would have daylight all the time and the other freezing cold nighttime all of the time. Vegetation would be dramatically affected and our clocks and calendars would be meaningless. 

So, why does Earth spin in the first place? A few billion years ago, the Big Bang explosion started most heavenly matter spinning in the same counter-clockwise direction (it was mostly hydrogen molecules, they say), some of it condensed to form our solar system, the sun and all our fellow planets, and in frictionless space it all simply keeps on spinning forever. Not all heavenly bodies spin. Our moon, for one, does not rotate. It has one side always facing the sun and the other in perpetual darkness.

So what's the likelihood of Earth slowing down or stopping spinning? Because space truly is frictionless, the only thing that could cause that would be some kind of massive collision with another equally big heavenly body. If that were to happen, we'd surely have some warning, but there's really not much we could do to prevent that big of a collision.  Asteroids, meteors, maybe, but another planet, fugetaboudit.

Bottom line, it aint gonna happen, but if our Earth stopped spinning, the tide would go out and not come back.

 

Bill Trandum is a guest columnist for the Key Pen News and a self-described student of all things winds, waters, tides and weathers.

Thursday, 28 May 2015 12:37

“Writing by Faith”

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A friend of mine once bought some beach-front property and set out to build the largest house he could. He didnt need the space, but was determined to eke out every single square inch allowed, because he said, because  its my right to do so.

He alienated neighbors, destroyed ancient animal trails, lost many friends, and built an unnecessarily extravagant home just to prove he could. As a veteran, he said, This is the freedom I fought for.

We give a lot of attention to our freedom and the price paid by many to maintain it, but I grow concerned that we increasingly ignore the responsibility freedom brings. Freedom from tyranny, oppression and government interference has too often turned into freedom to misbehave, to be careless with neighbors and to pursue pleasure at any cost.

But I have my rights is the cry of obnoxious neighbors. Freedom of speech is the defense of the bellicose bully. Get over it is the response to requests for more socially acceptable behavior.

In his book Religious No More, author Mark D. Baker writes, Freedom is not an autonomous independence that means a person can do as he or she wantsFreedom does not diminish our responsibility to each other.  

In other words, freedom is not an excuse for everyone to do whatever is right in their own eyes. Freedom has a twin sister known as responsibility. Or, in more familial terms, neighborliness.

Freedom gives us choices, and neighborliness asks that we choose responsibly, considering what is best for the community beyond ourselves.

Freedom without a sense of neighborliness isnt healthy. Freedom shouldnt mean we can destroy the Earth just because I have private property rights. Freedom shouldnt mean corporations can treat employees as medieval serfs, just because they have the right to maximize investor profits.

I was given a lecture when I was handed my first drivers license: Driving a car gives you a lot of freedom. But its also a huge responsibility. One false move can hurt a lot of people. So enjoy the freedom, but drive responsibly.

Freedom is not a license to drive like a maniac, to spout off insulting comments toward online neighbors, or to pollute the neighborhood with your choice in bad music. Others share this space around us. With freedom comes responsibility toward them.

Paul wrote this to a cluster of small churches in Asia Minor: You were called to be freeso become servants to one another in love. This is the idea of neighborliness. We are free; free to be good neighbors, free to look out for each other, free to give a helping hand to one another.

Freedom is not about doing whatever I want whenever I want, while ignoring the consequences. Freedom asks that we be respectful and responsible toward our neighbors, our descendants and our planet. Without that responsibility, too many will get hurt and freedom will be lost.

 

Dan Whitmarsh is pastor at Lakebay Community Church. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..