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Staff Report

Staff Report

"Be Our Guest, featuring Historic Hotels and Resorts of the Key Peninsula," announces Judy Mills, Key Peninsula Historical Society president. We will have tea and scones for our first visitors of the new year,she adds, when the museum holds the grand re-opening on Feb. 2, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Early Key Peninsula Hotels and Resorts will be the new exhibit for 2016.

According to Mills, the main focus is on the history of the Delano Hotel and Resort. Other hotels on the Key Peninsula were the Wauna Hotel and Lodge in Wauna, the Wyatt Hotel in Longbranch, Coopers Hotel in Lakebay and the Glencove Hotel, still in operation today.

The Delano Hotel and Resort drew customers from all over the country.

“How Captain George Delano and his wife Edith arrived on the Key Peninsula and built this prominent hotel is a wonderful story that all began with a shipwreck off the Washington coast,” said Cathy Williams, exhibit chair.

Musuem members want the community to learn about this resort that opened in 1891 and operated for some 30 years, and “The Austria” that Captain Delano piloted when it hit the rocks on Cape Alava and sank on a stormy January night in 1887.

There will be photos of the hotel with an 830-foot pier that greeted guests as they arrived on various boats of the Mosquito Fleet. A guest register with the names of prominent people from our state and beyond is also available.

New display cases in the VFW room are being filled to show off some of the many items the museum has collected over the years. The cases were purchased with a grant from the Ben Cheney Foundation.

Key Peninsula Traveling History Totes were developed with funding from the Angel Guild. Organizers say they are for third and fourth grade classes who visit the museum to gain a living history experience.

The museum is open Tuesday and Saturdays, 1 to 4 p.m. with free admission. Many books and other gift items are available for purchase.


For information, call 888-3246 or visit

Sunday, 03 January 2016 01:12

Band raises funds for Red Barn Youth Center

On Dec. 12, The Bluegrass Minstrels Festive Christmas Revelry drew a crowd of some 120 community members, filling Lakebay Community Church’s Morgan Hall to benefit the Red Barn Youth Center. 

The night was filled with music, comedy, sing-a-longs and all around fun. 

According to band member Dorene Paterson, the band would like to thank the attendees for their generosity, as $1,422 was raised and given to Laura Condon, director of the Red Barn Youth Center, who was present and gave a brief presentation on what the center is and does for the kids on the Key Peninsula. 

For videos or links, visit

The 31st annual Key Peninsula Citizens of the Year Awards Banquet will be held March 26 at 6 p.m. at the Key Peninsula Civic Center in Vaughn. The Keynote speaker for the event is Congressman Derek Kilmer.

The sponsoring KP Lions Club requests that nominations for KP Citizen of the Year be submitted before Jan. 13, to: KP Lions CoY, P.O. Box 63, Vaughn, WA 98394, or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Nominees must either live on, work on, or own property on the Key Peninsula. Non-resident persons who volunteer on the Key are considered workersand are eligible. Members of the KP Lions Club are not eligible.

Throughout the year, community members submit nominations to the KP Lions Club, the members of which (via secret ballot) vote for the nominees, all of whom are designated citizens of the year.

This year, the folks nominating potential candidates will be sent a short email template asking who and why their community contender was chosen. 

Each year, the KP Lions conduct an award dinner ceremony culminating in the identification of the the citizen of the year.

For more information, call (253) 884-3319 or (253) 853-2721.

Communities In Schools earned another 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America's premier nonprofit evaluator. This is the sixth consecutive time that Communities In Schools has earned this top distinction based on its sound fiscal management practices and commitment to accountability and transparency.

According to Charity Navigator, receiving four out of a possible four stars indicates that CIS adheres to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way.

Only 3 percent of the charities rated by Charity Navigator have received at least 6 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that Communities In Schools National Office outperforms most other charities in America.

Its important our donors trust that were using our funding wisely to reduce the dropout rate and improve outcomes for low-income students,said CIS President Dan Cardinali. Our 4-star Charity Navigator rating demonstrates to our supporters that we take our fiduciary and governance responsibilities very seriously.

Since 2002, using objective, data-driven analysis, Charity Navigator has awarded only the most fiscally responsible organizations a 4-star rating. In 2011, Charity Navigator added 17 metrics, focused on governance and ethical practices as well as measures of openness, to its ratings methodology. These Accountability & Transparencymetrics, which account for 50 percent of a charitys overall rating, reveal which charities have best practicesthat minimize the chance of unethical activities and whether they freely share basic information about their organization with their donors and other stakeholders.

Communities In Schoolscoveted 4-star rating puts it in a very select group of high-performing charities,according to Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator. Out of the thousands of nonprofits Charity Navigator evaluates, only one out of four earns 4 stars –– a rating that demands rigor, responsibility and commitment to openness. Communities In Schoolssupporters should feel much more confident that their hard-earned dollars are being used efficiently and responsibly when it acquires such a high rating.

CIS has been ranked among the top 100 national nonprofits by the Nonprofit Times and Philanthropedia, a nonprofit aimed at helping donors give more strategically, and recommends Communities In Schools as a high-impact nonprofit working with at-risk youth in the U.S.

The local affiliate, Communities In Schools of Peninsula (CISP), recently received the 2015 Nonprofit of the Year Award,given by the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce. The mission of Communities In Schools of Peninsula (CISP) is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.Believing that every single child has the potential to succeed and contribute positively to society, CISPs programs are designed to equip students with the academic and social skills needed to graduate from high school and succeed in their future endeavors.

Incorporated in 2000, CISP met the needs of 361 young people with ongoing services in 2014-2015, and over 5,000 kids received one-time services. For more information or to volunteer, call (253) 884-5733.

The Key Peninsula Historical Society (KPHS) and current owners of the former Vaughn Library Hall are pursuing possible preservation of one of the last remaining pre-1900 buildings on the Key Peninsula. 

The hall was originally built as the bowerydance floor for the July 4th celebration in 1889, the year of Washington statehood,said Judy Mills, KPHS president  

Walls and roof were added in 1893; a library was included in 1894 and extended into a separate room in 1926. It became the community center for the Vaughn area until the library was moved to the Key Peninsula Civic Center and the hall was sold as a private residence in the 1950s.

As part of the process and in preparation for restoration, there is a need to obtain funding through a variety a resources that can be enhanced by becoming registered through national, Washington state and Pierce County registries,Mills said. Therefore, we need as much accurate history and documentation about the hall, its structure and activities that occurred there as possible. 

KPHS is asking people with past memories or pictures to help fill in the gaps of the timeline.

They have a list of questions they need answered. They want to know what historical events the public attended. What organizations used the hall? Did anyone visit the library? At what age did you go to the hall? Was the front porch on the hall?  Did you go up in the tower? Do you remember what color it was? Did your parents tell you any stories about their experiences at the hall?  Was there a basement in the hall?  

Mills said the answers, including dates and times, are important to the preservation of the landmark which sits on a piece of property on Hall Road near the junction of Van Slyke Road.  

If you have pictures of the inside or outside or activities, we would be glad to scan them and return them to you,Mills said.

Mills is hoping the community can help. Contact the Key Peninsula Historical Society at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling (253) 888-3246.

Chuck Cuzzetto, the superintendent for the Peninsula School District, will retire from his position with a departure slated for June 2016.

  Randy Dorn, the state superintendent of public instruction (SPI) will not seek re-election in November 2016.

  Larry Seaquist, former state Rep., is planning to run for the vacant SPI position in November 2016.  

Monday, 05 October 2015 11:39

Emergency preparedness fair comes to area

Ready, set, prepare.

If you dont prepare for a disaster you are preparing to be a disaster victim.

Barbara Nelson with Pierce County Department of Emergency Management said the more you do now before a disaster hits, the better your chances are of making it through. Preparedness begins at home with yourself and your family, then extends out to your community.

The Peninsula Emergency Preparedness Coalition, a nonprofit group dedicated to promoting preparedness, is hosting a free fair sponsored by Peninsula Light Co., Puget Power, and Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church:

The preparedness fair is Oct. 10,from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church at 7700Skansie Avenue in Gig Harbor.

 Increase your knowledge and skills about how to plan for and respond to emergencies of all kinds.

The group is offering a hands-on fire extinguisher class and showing how area schools are planning for the safety of your children. 

Discover what products are available to make preparedness easy, learn survival techniques and much more.

Organizers say there be child-friendly activities to help children understand about preparedness. In addition, first responders from police and fire departments, as well as military units active in rescue operations. will be there to answer questions and demonstrate their skills and equipment.

For information, visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Get ready for sneaky schemes, spooky silliness and spellbinding sweets at Key Pen Parks seventh-annual All Hallows Eve Celebration from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, at Volunteer Park.

According to organizers of this free event, It is perfect for families looking to enjoy a little ghoulish time outdoors roasting smores, searching for treats, launching apples, or traveling through the Red Barn-created haunted forest at the park.

There will be a costume contest, music by a local DJ, and some new, hair-raising features to thrill you. Bring your already-carved pumpkin for the ghastly gourd face-off,said Christine Hallock, marketing coordinator/recreation specialist.

For information, visit, click Stuff to Doand Events.

Volunteer park is located at 5514 Key Pen Hwy. N., Lakebay.

The flu season is approaching, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year.

Adult flu shots will be available to all members of the Key Peninsula community on Oct. 17 from 10 to 2 p.m. at the Key Medical Center, at 15610 89th Street Court KPN in Key Center, as part of the health fair being sponsored that day at the clinic.  

According to organizers, Medicare will generally cover these shots, and they will also be available to adults without insurance for a donation to the nonprofit Key Peninsula Health Center.

During the Oct. 17 event, skin cancer screening by qualified clinicians from Cascade Eye & Skin Centers will also be available, as well as tobacco cessation information and resources and mammogram referrals for qualified candidates. To schedule your skin cancer screening contact (253) 530-2936, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Flu shots for adults will also be available on Wednesday Oct. 21 at the noon senior luncheon at the Key Peninsula Community Service Center, 17015 9th St, KPN.

Influenza is a viral infection that can cause serious illness and death, especially in the elderly. Each year is different, depending on how the virus has evolved over time. Scientists and doctors develop a new vaccine each year based on what they expect the new virus to be.

The flu shot works by introducing each person to a killed virus. That virus cant make anyone sick, but the immune system learns to recognize the virus so that if the immunized person gets exposed to the virus later, one is able to avoid an infection.

It is recommended that everyone more than 6 months old should get a flu shot.

If you have questions about either flu vaccination event, call 884-9221.

For information on the flu, visit

Wednesday, 02 September 2015 16:12

Senior Housing on the Key Peninsula moves forward

The Mustard Seed Projects (TMSP) plan to build senior housing on the Key Peninsula is moving forward, and the public is invited to share their ideas of what they want and need as they consider aging in community.

In broad strokes, TMSPs plan is to build 10 one- and two-bedroom cottages for independent living, three 10-bedroom homes for assisted living, with a central commons to house a café, office and meeting spaces.

There are days when I am completely amazed by all we have done since we presented the results of our feasibility study last November, and equally amazed by all that remains to be done , said TMSP Founder and Executive Director Edie Morgan.

TMSP, established in 2007, is a nonprofit senior service organization located in Key Center. With a small staff, a cadre of dedicated volunteers and partnerships, the organization provides senior transportation and volunteer assistance, produces a resource guide for services and holds informational meetings once a month.

Senior housing has been identified as a top priority for years. With a generous donation from longtime supporter Lois Crandall, TMSP hired a housing consultant who did a preliminary study to confirm the need for housing and to determine that it was economically feasible. Last November the results of that study were shared.

The next steps have been many. Sara Thompson, board president, gave a brief summary: We established a housing advisory committee, bringing together people with the expertise we needed to move the project forward. We have received a predevelopment loan to allow us to fund the next steps. We have hired a project management team –– Mauro Hernandez and Sharon Nielson from the Portland area –– and are working to secure a site, she said.

Thompson said they have also hired an architecture firm to determine site suitability and to design a concept plan. 

Together, the project manager and the architect will determine the actual costs –– not a theoretical budget as we had with the initial feasibility study, but the cost of actual site development and building as well as operational costs.

This is really still part of due diligence. We need to know that we can secure the financing and raise the additional funds to make this a successful venture. We will be planning a capital campaign as we fully understand the budget, she added.

The architectural firm Rice Fergus Miller, from Bremerton, was hired last month.

Steve Rice, who will be the chief architect for the project, has deep roots on the Key Peninsula. He grew up in Minter, and fell in love with architecture as a youngster when he watched his parents new home take shape there, Thompson said.

According to Thompson, the firm has experience with senior housing, has worked extensively in Pierce County and brings expertise in environmentally sustainable building. Rice and his team have made several visits to the Key Peninsula to get a good feeling for the sensibility of the region. And they are excited to begin getting community input into the project, she said.

The meeting, scheduled for 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Blend Wine Shop (8914 Key Peninsula Hwy N, Lakebay) on Tuesday, Sept 29, will be informal. 

This will be an opportunity to meet the project manager and the architect team and to give feedback to the team before they begin concept design work about what people living on the Key Peninsula want and need as they consider aging in community, Thompson said.


Comments from community members will be taken throughout the meeting. The public is welcome. For information, call TMSP office at (253) 884-9814.