Ivan the gorilla was a familiar beloved attraction at the B & I shopping center in Tacoma for 27 years. He died Aug. 21, 2012 in the Atlanta zoo at the age of 50. Ivan’s artwork is now on display at the Key Center Library through October.
Local author Leslie Bratspis’s third self-published novel is hot off the press. The carefully crafted plot unfolds among the isolated, wind-swept sands of a fictitious California desert town called White Dunes, where the worst of human nature meets its match in a series of life-altering events.
The Key Peninsula is gearing up for the Oct. 1 Farm Tour. Preliminary activities start with an art show at Blend Wine Shop in Key Center featuring pictures related to farming. The show runs from Aug. 31 to Oct. 4.
Steve Weigley and his wife, Barbara Davenport, the owners of Packleader Farm at the north end of the Key Peninsula, train unwanted dogs to locate and save endangered species worldwide.
With the resignation of the previous pastor of the Key Peninsula Lutheran Church, the church council moved quickly to find a replacement. David Castner has been there since August. The congregation voted to offer him the permanent position in April and he was officially installed in May.
At their annual meeting March 19, the Key Peninsula Historical Society voted to accept donation and undertake preservation of the last remaining historic community meeting hall on the KP.
The Easter Seals pool at Camp Stand By Me has remained closed since last fall due to understaffing, as well as mechanical and maintenance issues.
STEM may stand for Science Technology Engineering Math, but Minter Creek Elementary School students got to touch and experience future educational possibilities during the mind stimulating “STEM ROCKS” evening, sponsored by the school’s PTA.
The school opened its doors the evening of Thursday, Jan. 14, inviting students to explore with a barrage of hands-on participation.
“We have been doing this for five or six years,” Minter Creek School principal Ty Robuck said. “PTA president Maria Kusche brought in the shipyard last year.”
One event, the Bridge Buster, used a weight stress test to break wood stick bridges. A crowd of people gathered to watch the mechanical weight press pound student-created bridges to the breaking point.
Brianna Murphy and Sidney Van Scoyk, from Mrs. Severson’s fifth-grade class, built a bridge that broke at 51 pounds of pressure. “It’s fun hanging out with friends learning math and science,” Murphy said.
“This event’s great,” Mike Lupro said. His grandchildren, fifth-grader Nevaeh Bradley and second-grader Miliah Waisanen were participating this year. “I thought Miliah’s bridge would do better. We’d have built it different if we’d known how the stress test would work,” Lupro said.
Chief of pediatrics at the Naval Hospital Bremerton, Beverly Glauber, was chairman of the STEM committee.
The hospital was invited to come to educate students about first aid. They have done it with other schools. A nurse asked participants how they would bandage particular injuries and allowed them to do it. Then she followed up to demonstrate correctly. Students were also shown how to make first aid kits.
Students from Key Peninsula Middle School built simple rockets on site. Rocket launchers blasted them toward the gym ceiling.
“I’ve been making rockets almost since the start of the year,” Alyssa Garcia said. “Mr. Miller is our teacher. We’ve been working on Arduinos, tiny mini computers. We are trying to program launching rockets. The rockets are made out of card stock and duct tape.”
Small robots tracked across the floor, more of Mr. Millers KPMS students were in control. “It’s pretty fun to do,” Frankie Kelley said.
Harbor WildWatch program coordinator Rachel Easton brought animal skulls to challenge identification skill. She described how a particular animal lived and asked the students to identify which skull belonged to the creature she was describing. Mink, raccoon, both river and sea otters, skunk, deer, sea lion, harbor seal, coyote, black bear, cougar, beaver, bobcat, muskrat, bald eagle and house cat were species displayed.
Skills of telling time and drawing a clock face were useful in this digital age. A simple but difficult problem was to guess how many candies filled two-quart jars. The Price is Right booth gave the younger generation the chance to test their shopping prowess by matching shopping prices to items.
Are cards glued together stronger than unglued cards? The Glue is the Clue station gave students the opportunity to find out.
How much sugar is in different kinds of foods or drinks? The answers were surprising.
Puget Sound Navy Museum in Bremerton and the Naval Undersea Museum in Bangor were represented by Carolyn Lane and Valerie Johnson comparing robots to machines.
Seven small plastic three-dimensional shapes and large cardboard box replicas posed a challenge to create a Soma block cube puzzle. That was a creative concept to use spacial relationships, they said.
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard was very involved with a number of the demonstrations and hands-on activities. There was something for everybody, from high and low frequency soundwaves with spouting bowls, elastic reactions to frequency, aluminum foil boats carrying metal washers, water tension, robots and puzzles.
Stamps at each station were used to fill the 26 space passport. Each Minter Creek student turning in a passport at the end received a prize funded through the Federal Title One Program as part of Minter Creek’s Parent Involvement Plan.
“STEM night had a great turnout this year,” teacher Alice Kinerk said. “There were a great variety of new games and interesting things to see. Most importantly, students had fun and learned something, too.”
They came by car, bus, truck, or plane, including enthusiasts from 48 of 50 states and several countries. Rabbit breeders from around the world gathered in Portland for the 92nd annual American Rabbit Breeders Association national convention from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4.
The convention has not been in the northwest since Portland in 1998. Washington hosted the last one in this state in Puyallup, back in 1993. Few venues have enough space to house the cooping, and meeting room requirements for the yearly event.
The Portland Expo Center, with more than 330,000 square feet of exhibition space, was filled to capacity with booths, judging tables and two and three-tiered rows of nearly 15,000 rabbits and cavies.
There were youth competitions for knowledge and judging, an art contest, judge’s conferences for both rabbits and cavies (guinea pigs), and all the specialty club meetings, as well as the ARBA general membership meeting, board meetings and banquets judging. There was a rabbit agility section for the more agile. The convention was packed full of things to do.
RabbitCon VII is a learning symposium covering everything about the industry by top experts, to verything from breeding, to nutrition, anatomy, rabbit reproduction, raw plant diet to showmanship and purchasing rabbits on the internet.
One new breed, the Argente Brun, a silvered chocolate brown commercial rabbit originating from France, passed its third and final showing.
Security was tight. One exhibitor was caught trying to smuggle a rabbit out of the building in a tool box. Another person tried to smuggle a cavy outside under her coat.
Jeff Jewett, an all-breed rabbit judge from Fox Island, was one of three co-superintendents. Jewett raised rabbits most of his life. He gave up the rabbits, but continues to judge after moving to Fox Island with wife Pam.
I first met Jeff and his dad, Bob Jewett, and the other breeders when I started raising rabbits in 1974. Bob and Jeff’s mom Loretta lives on the Key Peninsula on forested land above the beach near Key Center. Bob still comes to local rabbit shows sponsored by West Puget Sound Rabbit Club at Kitsap Fairgrounds.
I have been raising rabbits for 41 years and have been an all-breed rabbit judge for 33 of those years. I took one rabbit with me to the show. My Polish rabbit won best chocolate doe. It was nice to do well with my only entry.
This was one of the best conventions I have ever attended. The only negative aspect for me was the drive to Portland from my hotel seven miles away in Vancouver. Stuck for an hour every weekday morning in the stop and go traffic made me long for my much loved country roads on the Key Peninsula.
Julieann Kohn’s creative mind knows no bounds. She finds images in the unlikeliest of objects and enjoys turning her visions into artistic form.
After their kids were gone, Kohn and her husband Sean Kohn decided to settle on the Key Peninsula. She was attracted here by the large community of artists.
They moved into a home that is steeped in a tradition of artistry and family ties in Longbranch. The house and large unattached art studio were built by her sister Michelle and her husband Bill. They left the trees and built the buildings around them. The house was sold to Sean Kohn’s mother, potter Tricia and her then husband Pat Thompson another artist. Tricia moved out of state. Pat Thompson now has an extensive garden and art studio farther south in Longbranch.
Julieann Kohn modified the potter’s studio to create a more open space to work. There is a covered outdoor work area where she cuts and grinds logs. Cedar, fir and lodge-pole pine pieces are transformed into bears, pigs, owls and other creatures and taken on the roles of candlestick holders and lamps.
The Angel Guild gives her broken lamps and lamp parts. “I’m a thrift store addict,”Kohn said. “I volunteer there one day a week.”
Originally from Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Kohn studied art at Lake Tahoe Community College.
“They have a great art program and have a foundry for bronze sculpture. I studied every kind of art from 1998 to 2012,”Kohn said.
Her first soap stone carving, a dragon, took first prize in the school competition. One school project was a lifelike skier composed from duct tape.
She became a paid teacher’s assistant in the 3-D art studio.
“I used to make custom log beds, but when you get over 50 it becomes too much work. “I’m looking to do more in stone,”Kohn said. “That’s where my passion lies.”
She has silicone bear and wolf prints for sculpture use and is also working on experimental garden sculptures. She is experimenting with resin that glows in the dark.
“I have a project room,”Kohn said. “I’m like a mad scientist. I come up with weird ideas. I’m trying to come up with nautical ideas for this area.”
For information on Sound Shores Studio, call (253) 282-9618.