April 2020 Gig Harbor Living Local

livinglocal360

April 2020 Gig Harbor Living Local

APRIL 2020

LIVING LOCAL

pg.58

Wrestling: A Story of

Hope and Peace

ON A MISSION TO SERVE

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

1

+

PenMet Parks

PUTTING PUBLIC HEALTH FIRST

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

when remodeling


SERVING GIG HARBOR

Pharmacy . Full Service Repair . Home Delivery . Exceptional Patient Care

Olympic Pharmacy and Healthcare Services has grown into a leading provider of medical supplies and

equipment to the Puget Sound area. Our mission is to provide our customers with the highest quality products,

exceptional customer service and to be an active participant in our patients’ healthcare and well being.

We believe that offering exceptional patient care is a collaborative effort. Our trained and knowledgeable

staff understand that every patient is unique and strives to promote a warm and caring environment

where our patients feel comfortable.

Because We Care.

4700 Pt. Fosdick Drive Northwest

Gig Harbor, Washington 98335

(253) 858-9941 . Fax: (253) 851-9942

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WESTMORELAND PROPERTIES

Premier Luxury Listing Brokerage

Kicking off our Spring Collection of

Luxury Homes

Carolyn’s listing ~ Pending in 8 days!

We are thrilled to showcase

Parkview Point ~ Harbor Living at 3323 9th Ave Ct NW.

Offered at $1,180,000.00 | MLS# 1562353

CAROLYN WESTMORELAND

Broker/Owner

JENSEN WESTMORELAND

Broker

253-961-5596

carolyn@westmorelandproperties.net

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Exceptional Service, Exceptional Company.

Mark Wambold

NMLS ID 248580 State Lic. MLO-248580

Direct 253.225.3352 | mwambold@fairwaymc.com

www.wamboldhomeloans.com

This information is not intended to be an indication of loan qualification, loan approval or a commitment to lend.

Other limitations may apply. ©2014 Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation FIMC NMLS ID#2289 (www.

nmlsconsumeraccess.org) EQUAL HOUSING LENDER WA. License Number MLO-248580.


“My parents absolutely love this place! The food is delicious, caregivers

and staff are friendly, patient and caring. They are currently independent

and have their privacy, but know that if they need help, it is available.

We strongly recommend The Lodge.”

— Erin Slagle, Resident Family Member

Beautiful Independent Living

Cottage Now Available!

• Two bedroom cottages

• Full kitchen with appliances

• Outdoor patio or deck

• Full-size garage

• Washer & dryer in home

• Monthly rent – No buy in!

Call today to schedule a

tour and ask about our

New Year Special!

(253) 830-5107

Monthly Rent includes water, sewer, garbage, electricity,

maintenance, weekly housekeeping, life enrichment and

activity program, and choice of meal plans,

served restaurant-style in the main dining room.

Enjoy being part of The Lodge at Mallard’s Landing’s

Residential Community while maintaining your

independence in a beautiful Cottage.

www.thelodge-gigharbor.com

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7083 Wagner Way

Gig Harbor, WA 98335


Live Life

Smiling

Dr. Brian Dansie

Pediatric Dental Specialist

Accepting New Patients!

CALL TODAY TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT

WITH DR. BRIAN DANSIE AND HIS STAFF.

3316 56th ST. NW, STE 100 | Gig Harbor, WA 98335 | 253.329.KIDS (5437)

frontdesk@thekidsdentistgh.com | thekidsdentistgigharbor.com

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Why an Independent Mortgage Broker?

We’re home to lower rates and costs,

not the high interest rates of retail institutions.

“GREAT PEOPLE AND GREAT SERVICE! I BOUGHT MY HOUSE WITH THEM

AND THEN REFINANCED A FEW YEARS LATER! THEY SAVED ME HUNDREDS

MONTHLY AND GUIDED ME THROUGH THE PROCESS, LISTENING TO MY

CONCERNS AND DESIRES.” - MARK GIG HARBOR

LOCAL VETERAN-OWNED

INDEPENDENT MORTGAGE SERVICES

Abel Hernandez

MLO # 1718944

Loan Officer

abel@northwestmortgageservices.com

Jeff Carr

MLO#102392

President

jeff@northwestmortgageservices.com

info@northwestmortgageservices.com • NorthwestMortgageServices.com

253.851.1687 • 7116 Stinson Ave., Suite A205 • Gig Harbor, WA 98335

NorthwestMortgageServices • Abel_NWMortgage • Northwest-Mortgage-Services

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NO SPLITS

650,000+ BUYER

DATABASE

FLAT TRANSACTION FEE

8,500 AGENTS

600 OFFICES

$8 BILLION ANNUAL

TRANSACTION

VOLUME

ADVERTISE LISTINGS

INTERNATIONALLY

100%

COMMISSION

BUYERS FROM

ACROSS 140

INTERNATIONAL

MARKETS

IT’S A NO BRAINER.

JOIN UNITED!

CALL TO JOIN OUR TEAM OF EXPERIENCED AGENTS!

MEL SANTOS

253.514.0065

www.unitedrealestatepugetsoundwest.com

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APRIL2020

Volume 7 Number 4

inside

IS RELOCATION IN YOUR FUTURE?

Don’t wait to plan ahead

68

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW WHEN REMODELING

Tips for a smooth process, start to finish

72

CHOOSING THE RIGHT REALTOR

Six tips to help you find your match in a real

estate agent

78

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Virtual chat with our design team

on the house. 253-376-7935

GIGHARBORLIVINGLOCAL.COM

MARKETING

WASHINGTON DIRECTOR

Cassie Riendeau | 360.798.3061

cassie@like-media.com

MARKETING & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Nicole Seefried | 253.225.7820

nicole@like-media.com

MARKETING & SALES ASSISTANT

Morgan Selenius | 360.865.6511

morgan@like-media.com

EDITORIAL

EDITOR IN CHIEF

Jillian Chandler | jillian@like-media.com

STAFF WRITERS

Colin Anderson | colin@like-media.com

Abigail Thorpe | abigail@like-media.com

DESIGN

CREATIVE DIRECTOR | Maddie Horton

LEAD GRAPHIC DESIGNER | Darbey Russo

GRAPHIC DESIGNER | Kennedy Pew

DIGITAL CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Whitney Lebsock

OPERATIONS

MANAGING PARTNER | Kim Russo

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | Steve Russo

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS | Rachel Figgins

Let’s talk while you show us your space.

We specialize in small spaces & big dreams.

compact design, accessory dwelling units (ADUs), small footprint,

cottage houses, aging in place, on-grid-off-grid, new build & remodel

First consultation is complimentary.

BRETT MARLO DESIGN BUILD

brettmarlo.com/virtual - LICENSE # BRETTMD892QP

CONTRIBUTORS

Nikki Luttmann, Felicia Soleil, Nicole Betcher,

Rachel Kelly, Kristin Carlson, Mariel Kraus,

Rhonda Savage, Robina Gaines, Taylor Shillam,

Stephanie Lynn Gertrude Brown, Marguerite

Cleveland

GIG HARBOR LIVING LOCAL MAGAZINE

is brought to you by Like-Media.com. If you would like to

advertise with us please call 360.798.3061 or email

cassie@like-media. To submit articles, photos, nominations

and events, email us at events@like-media.com.

Living Local magazine is published monthly and

distributed freely throughout the Pacific Northwest and

Inland Northwest; Gig Harbor, Edmonds, Bonners Ferry,

Sandpoint, Dover Bay, Coeur d’Alene, Hayden, Rathdrum

and the Spokane Valley. Opinions expressed in articles or

advertisements do not necessarily reflect the opinions of

the publisher. Living Local magazine is not responsible for

omissions or information that has been misrepresented

to the magazine. Living Local magazine is produced and

published by Like Media, and no part of this publication

may be reproduced or transmitted without the permission

of the publisher.

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

10


Green Cottage Pets

See what a difference a good diet will do for your pet.

A Health Food Store for Dogs & Cats

Doing Business Since 2002!

Featuring Human Quality Foods,

Treats and Supplements

3028 Harborview Drive

Gig Harbor, Washington

253.851.8806

greencottagepets1@gmail.com

www.greencottagepets.com

Coco, a mini Australian-doodle, has been a long time

customer. And here is Coco in a canoe!

How cute is that?

OLYMPIC ALZHEIMER’S RESIDENCE

She May Need Something More…

If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia,

you should know about Olympic Alzheimer’s Residence,

featuring Expressions Memory Care.

We approach life differently.

• Compassionate caregivers take the time to understand

the elements of a person’s life story so we can personalize

and tailor each service

• Specialized ongoing training for staff in the latest and

most advanced forms of memory care

• Expressions of My Life programming specifically

developed to nurture body, heart, soul and mind

Call (253) 851-5306 to

schedule a tour today!

Olympic Alzheimer’s Residence

3025 14th Avenue N.W.

Gig Harbor, WA 98335

www.PrestigeCare.com

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Stop and smell

the tulips

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PUBLISHER’S

Note

A HEALTHY, JOYFUL COMMUNITY

W

e are in the midst

of uncharted waters

as a country, and as

our nation’s leaders

and leaders from around the world work

together around the clock to contain the

COVID-19 outbreak, we are all struggling

with uncertainty and worry. Many of us

either own, run or work for small business,

and we know what it takes every day to keep

the doors open. Most importantly, we all

know that it is our own passion, hard work

and dedication to our craft that really drives

us to be the best we can be. Our reward at

the end of the day is our ability to take care

of not only our families but others as well. In

our small community that we call home, our

businesses not only provide excellent service

and quality products, we also contribute to

the well-being of our town in a multitude

of ways. Many of us donate time, money

and resources to the local nonprofits and

organizations that help take care of many

people in need. There is a lot that takes place

behind the scenes, and without the help of

local businesses, these needs simply cannot

be met.

Here at Like Media and Gig Harbor

Living Local, our mission is to positively

impact the communities we serve. We

do this by providing local resources that

serve as a platform for many nonprofits,

organizations, and groups. Whether it is our

stories, local events calendars, social media

channels, local websites or e-newsletters,

our goal is to tell the stories that most likely

would never be told. Our goal is not only

to build community awareness but to put

names and faces behind the causes and to

tell the stories the way they were intended

to be told. And all of this is made possible,

again, by the businesses that partner with us

each and every month.

In these uncertain times as the coronavirus

pandemic continues to spread not only

sickness but fear among our fellow men

and women both young and old, remember

it is our local businesses that will need

your support now more than ever because,

without them, we all will suffer a great loss

as this pandemic subsides. Keep in mind,

it is the love and compassion that we share

that makes those in the community proud

to call Gig Harbor home.

As we enter a new season of spring with

warmer weather on its way, we are still

promised that the sun will continue to shine

down on our faces, the joyful giggles and

laughter from children playing outside will

continue to echo throughout the streets

and that April will be a time of renewal and

hope as we look forward to spending time

with our families celebrating Easter and the

resurrection of our Lord. This, my friends,

more than ever, makes this a special time of

renewal and hope for us all.

Be conscious of your actions to ensure the

best protection for all, stay positive and keep

the faith alive. It is the love and compassion

that we share for the common man that

binds us together in this place we all call

home!

May blessings abound this Easter season,

and health and happiness to you and your

loved ones.

Steve Russo

Executive Director | steve@like-media.com

ABOUT THE COVER Interior Design: Breanna Howard Design | Photo by Crosby Dove

Proud To Partner

Would you like to receive this issue and future issues

in your inbox? Visit GigHarborLivingLocal.com and

sign up for our FREE Digital Edition.

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14


YOU’RE LOCAL. WE’RE LOCAL.

THE JONES TEAM

YOUR RELOCATION EXPERTS

CALL US TODAY: 253.514.1988

GARY & SANDY JONES

CONNECT WITH US

Debbie Mishko

NMLS #109688

American Pacific Mortgage

5151 Borgen Blvd, Suite 101C,

Gig Harbor, WA 98332

Branch NMLS #1370632

Cell: 360-239-1942

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

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GET CONNECTED WITH GIG HARBOR LIVING LOCAL!

stanley_meets_world via

c_photons via

lighthouse212 via

2.

#GIGHARBORLIVING

Your photos will show up

on our Get Social page at

GIGHARBORLIVINGLOCAL.COM

and you’ll have the chance to see your

photos in print right here!

facebook.com/gigharborliving

instagram.com/gigharborliving

pinterest.com/LikeMedia_

LIFT OFF YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING WITH

Social Media Management | SEO | Branding and Creative | Content Development | Website Building

Reputation Management | Google Optimization | Podcast Production | And More

CASSIE RIENDEAU

Washington Director | 360.798.3061 | cassie@like-media.com

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

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CH R I ST M A S T R E E S

• E V E N T V E N U E • FA M I LY FA R M

G I G H A R B O R

EST. 2018


WA S H I N G T O N

PARTIES | WEDDINGS | CORPORATE EVENTS

10924 Bliss Cochrane Road NW | Gig Harbor, WA 98329

253.313.8522 | info@blissmanorfarm.com

blissmanorfarm.com

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

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Contents

42

28

36

30

GET FEATURED 16

Join us on Instagram @GigHarborLiving

for a chance to get your photos, recipes,

ideas and much more featured

ESSENTIALS

The latest tips and trends in home, garden,

finances and life.

LIFE & COMMUNITY

Paddle Faster! Annual race postponed,

but not forgotten

20

28

BUSINESS IN THE

SPOTLIGHT

Postal Annex: Gig Harbor’s neighborhood

business service center

IN FOCUS

Below the Surface: Local diver shares

his experiences

BUSINESS IN THE

SPOTLIGHT

Rocket Fish Digital: Your partner in

online marketing

34

36

48

HEALTH & LIFESTYLE

Tips and informational articles about living

a healthy, active lifestyle

FEATURE STORY

Wrestling: A Story of Hope and Peace

TRAVEL & LEISURE

Destination: San Antonio, Texas

FOOD & DRINK

Your local guide to the tastiest hot

spots around town and local recipes

82

52

58

82

86

GOOD NEWS

Nurturing Success and Ownership, One

Dress at a Time

30

LIVING LOCAL

42

PenMet Parks Puts Public Health First:

Events postponed, but commitment to a

healthy, happy lifestyle remains

ARTS &

ENTERTAINMENT

Calendar of April happenings to

celebrate at home

92

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

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You’ll feel right at home.

3520 Kitsap Way, Bremerton

360.377.5582 | arnoldshomefurnishings.com

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

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Arnold’s Home Furnishings has been serving the

Kitsap Peninsula and beyond for more than 68 years.

We offer a tremendous selection of furniture for the

living room, dining room and bedroom along with rugs,

lamps and everything that makes a home. Known for

our quality and superb customer service, Arnold’s can

help you select your new furniture, mattress and home

furnishings purchase on any budget.


What’s The Best Choice?

DECODING INTERIOR PAINT FINISH OPTIONS

BY NIKKI LUTTMANN, INTERIOR DESIGNER

Paints today come in a whole range of colors and finishes. While

choosing a color can be difficult and even agonizing, choosing

the correct finish for your application shouldn’t be.

The rule of thumb used to be gloss for trim, satin for living

spaces and semi-gloss for bathrooms and kitchens. Please don’t do this!

The new paint finishes are mainly water-based acrylics and have been

developed to be very, very durable, even in low-luster finishes.

While high-gloss paint can certainly be used for trim, it can also be used

for a wide variety of techniques, including “lacquering,” which entails

layering a rich-pigmented oil-based paint to achieve a glossy, polished,

jewel-like finish. While this sounds impressive, it is certainly not for

everyone, and something that high gloss accomplishes very well is

highlighting every little flaw in the drywall or woodwork. This technique

is best left to professional painters and requires perfect smooth-finish

drywall and doors without dings of any kind. Glossy paint is very

unforgiving, and I seldom recommend it, even for trim work.

Instead, I recommend a semi-gloss or even satin finish for trim and

millwork. The smooth finishes of these paints do a great job of repelling

dust and grime and can be easily wiped down, but they are not so glossy

as to call attention to little flaws or nicks that most of us have lived with

on our doors or baseboards.

As far as using satin or semi-gloss on bathroom and kitchen walls,

don’t do it. These finishes can look cheap and are hard to touch up. It

is far better to use a more matte paint that touches up easily than to

use something with a high sheen to it. The thought is that the glossier

the paint, the more waterproof it is, but this is no longer the case. Any

paint you use today is going to have a level of water protection, as most

are synthetic latex paints, otherwise known as acrylic. In essence, we

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

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4 Areas of Carpet

Cleaning for $145

* Covers up to 850 sqft, pretreatment included

Call Us Today!

(253) 874-4377

* Estimates are FREE

Carpet Care Northwest

Upholstery Cleaning • Tile & Grout Cleaning

Serving the Gig Harbor Community and Surrounding Areas Since 2002

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

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I recommend a semi-gloss or even satin

finish for trim and millwork.

are coating our walls in thin layers of plastic. Now, does

shinier plastic protect better from moisture than matte

plastic? Not really.

Does that mean you should go with the flattest of

the flat paints? Something with no sheen at all? I

wouldn’t recommend going that direction either. Flat

paints can show imperfections in another way—their

light-absorbing surfaces show any change in color or

texture. In addition, they are particularly susceptible to

fingerprints, grease, or cracks of any kind.

My recommendation when choosing paint is to stay

away from the extremes. For walls and ceilings, choose

a matte paint, something with a light sheen that is still

washable. This will be your most flattering—and most

forgiving—surface. It bounces just enough light around

to be beautiful, while still being durable enough for most

interiors. These finishes can be called matte, eggshell

or sometimes velvet, depending on the brand. Ask the

paint specialist for the finish they would consider their

“washable matte.” They will know how to help you.

For trim and millwork, choose a satin or semi-gloss

finish. This will be easier to care for and look good in

the long term. It also contrasts nicely with a more matte

wall paint.

Always keep a bit of each paint on hand for touch-ups (I

like to keep mine in labeled mason jars under the sink),

and don’t be afraid to wipe down your trim regularly

with a mild abrasive-free cleaner. Usually a little dish

soap and water will do the trick. This will keep your new

coat of paint looking great well into the future.

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

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EXCEEDING

EXPECTATIONS

Gig Harbor Cabinets is focused

on providing high-quality

products and customer

satisfaction. We will do

everything we can to exceed

your expectations.

» All plywood boxes

» Soft-close doors and

drawers with dovetail

drawer boxes on all styles

» Wide variety of styles

» DeWils

» J&K Cabinetry

253.858.3005

gigharborcabinets@gmail.com

www.gigharborcabinets.com

8803 State Route 16

Gig Harbor, WA 98332

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

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Outside Influence

DON’T LET BAD PORTRAYALS OF LAWYERS IN MOVIES DETER YOU FROM

GETTING THE HELP YOU NEED

By Felicia Soleil, Attorney/Mediator

As a divorce mediator and family law attorney, the last

thing I usually want to do during my time off is watch

divorce-related movies. However, with the popularity of

the latest award-winning Netflix offering “A Marriage

Story,” I decided I needed to conduct some “research” after

several clients made comments relating their feelings about their

impending divorce to scenes in the movie.

Early in the film, my first impression (as usual with these shows)

was anger at the blatant stereotyping of all the legal professionals

involved. They include laughable caricatures, from high-priced “pit

bull” lawyers, to “overly Zen” mediators, to frumpy and judgmental

parenting investigators. How does this help people? They certainly

do nothing to console a vulnerable couple who may be thinking of

ending their marriage to believe they will be in good hands should

they need professional help.

Fortunately, the film redeemed itself with the accurate portrayal of

the very realistic emotions experienced by divorcing couples (as

played by Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver) as they navigate

their separation, negotiate relocating residences, sharing their

son, and relating to family and friends, with a commitment to

attempt to work through their transition without causing each

other more strife than necessary. This couple firmly expressed

a mutual goal, which I hear frequently in my own practice: “We

want to do this without getting nasty and without lawyers.” To

them, involving lawyers seems to ensure an ugly battle as the legal

process of divorce practically invites furthering hurt rather than

encouraging healing. In other words, these couples don’t want the

divorce process to make things worse than they already are.

As my viewing of “A Marriage Story” progressed, I was reminded

of two other popular “divorce-with-children movies” of decades

past: “Kramer vs Kramer” and “Mrs. Doubtfire.” A universal theme

in all three movies is the breakup of a marriage against the forces

of legal professionals and an intimidating legal system, while trying

to stay together as a family. The story arc appears to be an initial

commitment to one another to “do no harm,” followed by lawyers

and the legal system (and perhaps well-intentioned friends and

family) trying to convince them it should be “every man/woman

for themselves.” Sound familiar?

Gratefully, these films all conclude with the parties coming back to

resurrecting and honoring their wholehearted values and finding

a path to a new family structure with a different version of love

with which to move forward. What these films also portray well

are fathers desperate not to be marginalized as parents, mothers

fearing the repercussions of seeking financial and emotional

independence from that of their disintegrating marriages, and

children experiencing their connections with each parent while

feeling the uncertainty, sadness and hopefulness that each child’s

perspective brings to their story. All three of these films are

from vastly different decades, yet the emotional path of a family

transitioning through divorce has not changed.

Fortunately, what has changed is the progression of options

for professional help (despite mass media’s entertaining

characterizations to the contrary). You can make a commitment

to one another to separate and divorce with grace and dignity—

and have the legal help you’ll need to figure out how to handle

your house, retirement accounts and debts, how to consider your

incomes for financial support, and how to create a co-parenting

schedule that works well for all of you. How do you do this?

By doing your research into the styles, training, focus and

experiences of the professionals you’ll choose to work with, whether

through mediation, collaborative law or through legal coaching and

consulting, and making sure those you hire share your and your

spouse’s values of a peaceful and respectful transition. Steer clear

of believing entertaining stereotypes and recognize when you need

professional assistance, while holding firm to your commitment to

one another to “do no harm.”

Felicia Soleil is a family law attorney and mediator located in Gig

Harbor. She helps her clients in achieving resolutions that foster both

a compassionate ending to their union and a healthy new beginning

for them and their families so they can focus on moving on, rather

than simply moving out. Felicia can be reached at 253.853.6940. All

consultations are strictly confidential.

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

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Changing the Face

of Family Law

For almost 30 years, Felicia Soleil has helped

families in Gig Harbor and Pierce County transition

through divorce with an emphasis on reducing and

alternative to dissolving a marriage. Considering

divorce or separation? Felicia focuses on helping

people move on, not simply move out.

Divorce

Mediation &

Collaborative

Law

Legal support,

education &

case management,

from simple

to complex:

• Legal

separation

and divorce

• Parenting plans

• Child support


Prenuptial

Prenuptial

agreements

Agreements

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APRIL SHOWERS

Now’s the time for that spring cleaning and home inspections

By Nicole Betcher, Owner, SERVPRO of Gig Harbor/North Tacoma

Can you feel it? Can you see it? We

are getting such small glimpses of

spring and summer approaching.

I love seeing the daffodil and tulip

shoots popping up. Having the sun earlier and

brighter on days is refreshing. This is the time

that spring cleaning can start coming into full

effect too. Here are some tips for cleaning and

inspecting your home as we transition seasons.

We had an average winter, not too many

windstorms, power outages, freezes or snow.

But we did have some consistent rain this

winter. In fact, January 2020 was the seventh

wettest January on record, with just a little over

9 inches of rain for the month—9.23 inches to

be exact. In my line of work, we saw this hit

homeowners hard. Outside water leaking

into homes is not always covered under your

insurance. Now is a good time to reread your

insurance policy, call your local agent and

ask questions. It’s better to know now instead

of when you’re in the thick of it. It’s also a

good time while you’re going through your

basement storage area to see if your sump

pump needs any tuning up and is functioning

correctly. While you’re down there, do a

general walk around, inspect the area and look

for any inconsistencies.

With the colder temperatures mildly going

up, it means our hibernating friends will be

waking up and coming out. Have they made

homes in small holes in the insulation of your

home? What about your crawl space; has it

been moved into lately?

This time of year is a great time to inspect

and clean those gutters too. This can be an

opportunity to replace any sections needing to

be fixed.

While you’re cleaning and moving furniture,

take this time to have your upholstery, carpets

and area rugs cleaned. Get rid of all those

unwanted dust mites while also freshening up

heavy trafficked areas.

You should also schedule your home air

conditioning unit to be inspected and looked

at, eliminating any road bumps come the

warm days of summer. Nothing is worse than

going to put on your air conditioning on a day

you’re expecting temps exceeding 100 degrees

and come to find it’s not working properly. As

local air conditioning and heating companies

are busy during peak times, now is the time to

schedule an appointment to avoid ending up

on the waitlist.

Take care of any needed sprinkler maintenance.

Were any lines damaged as a result of the

colder temperatures?

Keep in mind that spring and summer are

fun times to travel and have fun. In my line

of work, we see more damages happen whilst

people are out of town and not able to help in

person. No one can plan their water damage,

mold or fire/smoke damage in advance, but we

can always do our best to prepare, inspect and

educate ourselves on prevention.

When you’re out enjoying all that spring and

summer have to offer, be sure you let the

neighbors you trust know about your time

away. It’s a good idea to ask them to do a check

one to two times while you’re gone. This way,

if anything fishy happens, they can get a hold

of you.

Get started now so you can take full advantage

for the warmer days ahead—without the

worry.

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

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TEACHER OF THE MONTH

By Colin Anderson

Debbie

Hughes

Employment Training and

Transition Educator

Gig Harbor High School

April’s Teacher of the Month,

Debbie Hughes, has a unique

position within Gig Harbor

High School. Debbie is an

Employment Training and Transition

(ET&T) educator for grades nine through

12. She incorporates specially designed

instructional plans on math, reading and

writing while simultaneously teaching

social and daily living skills, as well as job

and vocational skills. Her approach helps

prepare students for entering the workforce

and life after high school.

“I love teaching at the high school level

because I get to help students generalize

all the skills that their expert

teachers at the younger

grades taught them, and I

get the opportunity to help

those students hone those

skills,” she said.

Debbie gives her students

a lot of responsibility as

they are not only given

assignments and goals in

the classroom but are also

sent out into the community

for hands-on experiences.

“The experiences that stand

out the most in my mind

are when I get to witness students in my

program being successful and finding their

place in settings other than my classroom,”

she said. “I enjoy watching my students

find success in community settings and

vocational (job site) placements.”

Equally as important is building students’

self-esteem, showing them their self-worth

and getting them to understand that they

have all the skills they need to become a

"I GET TO WITNESS

STUDENTS IN MY

PROGRAM BEING

professional once they leave high school.

Debbie says seeing the “get it” moment

whether on a social or skill level is also

something she cherishes.

Without doubt, high school can be a

challenging time for everyone, from

evolving friendships, commitments to

athletics, clubs, academics and growth.

One thing Debbie continues to instill in her

students is that being kind to one another is

one of the greatest things you can do.

“I’m consistently inspired how the young

adults at Gig Harbor High School don’t

see helping someone who is struggling as

an insult of their abilities.

They know giving

someone a kind word, a

smile and thumbs up can

really make their day and

their struggle a little more

bearable,” she said.

SUCCESSFUL AND

Being able to build

FINDING THEIR PLACE IN student emotional

confidence while teaching

SETTINGS OTHER THAN them practical life skills is

MY CLASSROOM." a position Debbie is truly

thankful for. She’s seen

many of her students go

on to successful careers,

and sometimes just the smallest wins are

even better.

“I cherish when I can stand back and

watch students interact with their general

education peers in a social setting, whether

it be in a classroom, lunchroom or at an

after-hours activity. Their willingness to be

compassionate and inclusive toward one

another has been an inspiration to me,” she

said.

Thank You

to our local teachers!

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GigHarborLivingLocal.com

27


L I F E

&

C O M M U N

I T Y

PADDLE FASTER!

ANNUAL RACE POSTPONED, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

By Colin Anderson | Photos by Cathy Kasperbauer

If your vessel is powered by a paddle, then it’s likely you’ll find a

race opportunity at the annual Gig Harbor Paddlers Cup. Now

in its ninth year, this much anticipated community event is open

to people of all skill sets who want to have a fun and competitive

day on the water. Put on by the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing

Team, the event draws serious racers, as well as families, kids and

companies looking for a good time.

Due to the current health concerns and safety for our local community

and beyond, races, which were originally set for April 4 and 5, have been

rescheduled and will now take place October 3 and 4. Held at Skansie

Brothers Park, the regatta features paddle racing for kayaks, canoes,

stand-up and prone paddleboards, outriggers and para-canoes, and

dragon boat races. Saturday events kick off with a 2k youth distance

race for ages 13 and younger. Competitive and recreational paddlers

of all ages can then compete in the 5k/10k distance race. There is also

a sprint competition where paddlers go head to head in 100m sprints,

knocking each other out until a winner is crowned.

Many people love to turn out Sunday for the Dragon Boat Races. These

boats feature 20 paddlers who all have to work together to get their

large vessel moving to top speed. Even those with no experience get

to participate as coaches from the Canoe and Kayak Racing Team put

on a clinic early Sunday morning for all competitors. At least a dozen

teams had registered to compete this year.

On shore you will find food and other area vendors, and there is no

cost to watch the events. While much of the action will be centered at

the park and public docks, you can also visit GigHarborPaddlersCup.

com for course maps, a schedule of events and classes. Up-to-date

information can also be found on Facebook.

If you were still yet undecided to participate in this year's Paddlers

Cup, what are you waiting for? Mark your calendars for the first

weekend of October, and get training.

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

28


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GigHarborLivingLocal.com 29


NURTURING SUCCESS AND OWNERSHIP, One Dress at a Time

ALI’S PROM PROJECT

PHOTO BY FRANK OWEN SHAW

By Rachel Kelly

Photos Courtesy of

Ali's Prom Project

THE PROJECT HAS

SERVED HUNDREDS

OF GIRLS, AND THE

OCCASIONAL BOY,

THROUGHOUT THE

COMMUNITY IN NEED

OF RESOURCES FOR

THE INFAMOUS PROM.

Ali was completely unprepared for the

interest generated on Facebook. An

overwhelming amount of dresses, shoes

and other such in-kind donations were

pouring in. The sheer volume of messages necessitated

the need for a separate Facebook page.

“What should we call it?”Ali asked her husband. He

answered with, “Ali’s Prom Project.” The name stuck.

That first year Ali collected donations at a local

business, stored the dresses in a donated storage

room, and did her first spring pop-up at the Tacoma

Police Department. Local foster teens that Ali had

been in contact with over Facebook showed up to try

on dresses, shoes and accessories in preparation for

their prom. Many had never even been able to pamper

themselves in preparation for a school dance before,

much less wear a beautiful dress.

But it wasn’t until the Kiro 7 and the News Tribune

covered the project that things really got out of hand.

Before, there were donations coming in from all over

the community. Now they’re being mailed to Ali from

all over. What was originally a one-time thing was

now gearing up to become an annual event. Foster

kids could continue to have access to a much taken for

granted milestone. Ali’s Prom Project is about more

than just getting gussied up for a dance—it’s about

communicating worth.

But there were some bumps in the road as Ali

learned just what her project could achieve. After

the advertised pop-up, Ali was getting even more

messages from teens and families. She just wasn’t ready

for all of it. Against her better judgement, she accepted

one request. She got the proper sizes from the storage

shed and met the student for a fitting. That’s when she

quickly realized that no one knows their dress size.

None of the dresses she picked out fit. That was when

Ali set out to open a permanent location.

When foster kids come into the Prom Project,

oftentimes they shuffle in without making eye contact.

Head bowed, shoulders folded inward, they’re shown

dresses with the price tags intentionally left on and

allowed to try on as many as they would like until they

find the one that’s “just right.” By the time they leave,

they’re holding themselves a bit higher. Such a simple

thing: having access to a pretty dress. It communicates

success and ownership. Foster teens practice what has

been true all along: They’re worth it.

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

30


GigHarborLivingLocal.com

31


FROM THE TIME THEY WALK IN

TO THE TIME THEY LEAVE, EACH

TEEN IS SHOWN PERSONAL

ATTENTION AND CARE.

Why foster kids specifically? Ali and her husband were foster parents

for 10 years. At a foster parent meeting, one parent had decided to forgo

paying bills so that her four foster teens could attend the prom.

“It was then that something in my mind just clicked. I had a few formal

dresses in my closet that I had maybe worn once. Why not see if some of

the girls might want to wear them?” recalls Ali. She reached out to her

local community for donations and opened her home closet for fittings.

It was then that she discovered the overwhelming amount of interest and

need, which led to the culmination of Ali’s Prom Project and its current

growth.

Today the project has achieved federal 501(c)(3) nonprofit status; all

donations are tax deductible. The project can also apply for grants. They

have opened an official boutique. It’s not open to the public but laid out

as if it was. The back room is full of hundreds of dresses in a variety of

sizes and five dressing rooms. The waiting room is newly carpeted, with

a couch, mirrors, shoes and a beautiful array of accessories. Every girl or

boy who wants a dress is assigned a volunteer who acts as their personal

stylist while they shop. From the time they walk in to the time they leave,

each teen is shown personal attention and care.

In a three-year span the project has served hundreds of girls, and the

occasional boy, throughout the community in need of resources for the

infamous prom. Due to the amount of donations, Ali’s Prom Project

opened their boutique to all low-income teens across Pierce county. The

project is gearing up for quite the prom season!

This increase in donations and service has also required that the project

become more creative with their resources. For instance, most of the inkind

donations are dresses. Which makes sense. Lots of dresses, but no

shoes. Shoes! Any girl will tell you that it’s the shoes that make the dress.

What’s a ball without a glass slipper?

Ali’s Prom Project resourcefully fundraises to buy items not donated,

such as shoes, accessories and plus-size dresses. On one such fundraiser

the project collects textiles (all textiles) to give to Value Village. They are

then paid 25 cents per pound. If the textiles are not sold through the

thrift shop, they are reused and recycled. This year the project is holding

a 21 and older Great Gatsby Gala, with food, dancing, auction and

drinks. Tickets can be bought at AlisPromProject.org under “Events.” It’s

advertised as a “Prom Take 2” event; perfect for those who want to give

that prom thing another go. The event, which was scheduled to take place

April 25, has been postponed and will now take place May 30—and will

be pushed out to an even later date if necessary.

With the current world-wide health concerns, you can follow Ali's

Prom Project on Facebook or at AlisPromProject.org for up-to-date

information.

“Some schools have canceled (prom) all together and others have not yet

announced a decision,” says Ali. “We have canceled all appointments for

April and will be reevaluating as the time gets closer and see where the

status of the state is as time goes on.”

The dresses will all remain at the boutique so Ali and her team are ready

for students whenever the next big dance may be. “In the meantime, we

are working with schools and families to provide essential items (food,

toilet paper, baby wipes, soap, etc.) to families that have transportation

barriers keeping them from getting to the pick-up sites.”

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

32


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GigHarborLivingLocal.com

33


Your One-Stop

Shop

Gig Harbor’s neighborhood business

service center

BY JILLIAN CHANDLER

POSTAL ANNEX (GIG HARBOR)

5114 Point Fosdick Drive, Suite F

Gig Harbor, Washington 98335

253.858.5360

“Coming from a background in the

military, I really love the feeling of

being part of something bigger than

myself, having purpose, and making

things better for those around me."

There’s a new place in town ready to help you with all of your business

service needs! This past January, Postal Annex opened its doors in

Gig Harbor, and owner Patrick King and staff are ready to provide

you with everything you need when it comes to your shipping

needs—and much more.

“We are your neighborhood business service center, offering many needed

services under one roof,” smiles Patrick, who has served in the Navy for 20

years and is still active duty. “Shipping is something not a lot of people know

about and understand, and I love helping customers learn about the process,

what services are available and how to get them the service they need at the

most efficient price.”

When asked what inspired him to become a business owner, he says, “I wanted

to create something to continue serving the local community while building

a heritage.”

Postal Annex in Gig Harbor offers you the benefit of being able to get many of

your to-dos done—all under one roof. Clients can:

• Compare UPS shipping rates, FedEx shipping rates and USPS shipping rates.

• Get packaging supplies (boxes, packaging peanuts, tape, bubble envelopes).

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

34


• Rent a private mailbox, offering safety, security and privacy.

• Find a notary public at Postal Annex, commissioned and insured.

• Get documents copied and printed in color or black and white.

• Utilize mailing services.

• Pick up most office supplies.

“We can save you time and travel by offering you shipping with your

choice of carriers, private mailbox rental for keeping your home private

and secure, copy services, notary public services, office supplies and

much more.”

In addition, they offer packaging supplies to carefully pack items as if

they were their very own, fax service, postage stamps, greeting cards, gift

items and more. When you stop in at Postal Annex in Gig Harbor, it’s

like having your own personal assistant. Patrick is truly grateful for the

support he and his business have received and attributes its success to his

loyal and valuable employees and the Gig Harbor community.

At Postal Annex Gig Harbor, they handle all carriers, meaning Patrick

and his team can tailor shipping experience to each customer’s needs,

shopping for the best services while comparing shipping rates. And no

shipment is too large or small! From letter to large freight items, they are

happy to help customers, saving them the trouble of packing themselves.

“Another unique option we offer is the ability to ship wine, which you

will not find at almost any location,” Patrick says. “You can purchase

your favorite wines from local wineries in the area and ship them at very

reasonable rates to your friends and family in almost any state.”

Patrick has called Gig Harbor home for the past three years, settling

here after several years being stationed away and multiple deployments.

“Coming from a background in the military, I really love the feeling of

being part of something bigger than myself, having purpose, and making

things better for those around me,” he affirms.

Whether it’s that office supplies you’ve run out of, that precious package

that needs to be shipped to a loved one, or anything in between, Patrick

invites you to stop by Postal Annex in Gig Harbor. He and his team can

ensure they’ll get the job done right and efficiently, and you’ll leave a

satisfied customer sure to return.

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

35


While a good portion of Gig

Harbor residents enjoy

playing on the water whether

boating, sailing, kayaking,

fishing, paddle boarding or swimming, there

are many who also enjoy going all the way to

the bottom for their recreation. Many assume

that scuba diving is something done only

while vacationing in warm water places like

the Caribbean, Australia or Hawaii, but locals

know that some of the most amazing waters in

the world can be found right here in the South

Sound.

“It’s like the whole Pacific Ocean is brought

shallow. Some things that are often 1,000

feet down you can find in the Puget Sound,”

explained Tom Larson.

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

Tom is an avid recreational diver and

Professional Association of Diving Instructors

(PADI) certified Master Scuba Instructor.

He’s also a board member and volunteer with

Harbor WildWatch. He’s been diving for 45

years, getting his first taste at 17 while working

at a Boy Scout camp in New Hampshire.

He enjoys telling his first dive story to all his

students, as it sounds like something straight

out of a 1970’s comedy.

“Camp had a couple of scuba units, and one

day one of the older counselors asked me if I

wanted to put on the gear and sneak over to the

girls’ camp on the other side of the lake. ‘Don’t

take the regulator out of your mouth’ was the

extent of instruction,” laughed Tom.

36

While the adrenaline rush of being a sneaky

teenager surely helped make his first scuba

experience a positive one, Tom believes the

initial feeling of freedom under the water he felt

that day set him on the course to discovering

one of his great passions in life.

“Underwater, I was completely at peace,” he

said. “Now it’s the place I find most connected

to the environment; at 100 feet underwater, I

feel no stress.”

Having dived many places around the world,

the Puget Sound remains one of Tom’s favorites.

While living in Dallas, he would keep up the

activity, but that meant flying to Cozumel,

Mexico, for the weekend. He eventually came to

the Pacific Northwest for work and was taking


GIG HARBOR

IN FOCUS

BELOW THE SURFACE

LOCAL DIVER SHARES HIS EXPERIENCES

By Colin Anderson

Photos Courtesy of Tom Larson

a stroll near Titlow Beach in Tacoma when he

noticed a couple of people getting scuba gear on

and their vehicle had an Idaho license plate. “I

talked to them and they had driven seven hours

just to dive here for the day. At that point I knew

there had to be something special about this

place,” Tom recalled.

Now 16 years into his residency in the

Northwest, Tom has seen firsthand so many

of the sites that make the South Sound such a

unique place for divers. “You have the biggest

octopus in the world here, anemone, 12-footlong

wolf eels, and algae blooms and plankton

that support a huge amount of sea life,” he said.

While Tom received his first lesson rather

hastily, it’s not something he recommends for

those who are looking to get into the sport.

Instead of trying to buy your own equipment or

learn the finer points of snorkeling via YouTube,

Tom recommends utilizing your local dive shop

as the best resource. There are many reputable

ones in the area that offer PADI-certified courses

for those new to scuba. Courses are reasonably

priced and include all the gear you will need to

get going. They include a couple of weekends

and begin with a book or video to help give you

some knowledge before class time.

Classroom instruction includes learning the

science and safe practices of scuba. After study,

students are transferred to a shallow pool where

they get to try on the gear, find the best fit and

get comfortable being underwater.

“There is a swim test as well. There are not a

lot of advanced swimming skills used while

diving, but if someone comes under distress it is

important to everyone’s safety that they are able

to swim to the surface,” explained Tom.

As students continue to gain comfort underwater,

they are taught additional safety skills, how to

take a mask on and off while underwater, and

how to properly clear a regulator. Once they’ve

completed pool training, it’s time to hit the

ocean. Just about every Saturday you’ll find

students at the more popular beginner parks

like Sunnyside Beach, Les Davis Marine Park or

Edmonds Underwater Park. “The vast majority

of people make it through class, with some going

recreationally a couple times a year—and for

others it becomes a lifelong passion,” said Tom.

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

37


While the initial expense of getting all the equipment can quickly add up,

you don’t have to get everything at once. According to Tom, most students

buy their mask, fins and snorkel first and continue to rent the additional

equipment from their dive shop. Tom says the more often you hang out

at the shop the more likely you are to get your rentals discounted, as the

dive community is very tight knit. While you can’t speak to one another

underwater, that doesn’t mean diving is a solo activity. Tom loves taking

people of various experience out and says organized group ‘Shop Dives’ are

another great way to make friends and find new places to see. “I take a lot

of joy in taking out beginners. When they see a giant Pacific octopus in the

wild, their reaction is fantastic,” he said.

Tom has seen all manner of sea life including lion’s mane jellyfish, steller

sea lions and harbor seals that will often swim circles around divers and

playfully nip at their fins. Never knowing exactly what he is going to find is

a big part of the excitement that keeps Tom in the water as often as he can.

With advancements in technology, those who might not want to take the

plunge themselves can still see what’s lurking just offshore with a couple of

programs put on by Harbor WildWatch. Pier Into the Night is a program

where divers like Tom go for a night dive with an underwater drone

searching for sea life. The live stream is broadcast back to those standing

on the pier who get to see everything the divers are seeing in real time.

Participants might see a variety of crabs, sea stars, moon snails, shrimp that

only come out at night or the occasional seal or famed octopus. You can

find a schedule at HarborWildWatch.org.

Besides the wealth of marine life in the area, Tom’s enjoyment of scuba also

comes from the camaraderie amongst divers. After a dive he’ll meet up with

the others at a local restaurant or bar and recall the experience over a meal

or drink. He wants to encourage as many people as he can to take up the

sport he cherishes so much.

“It’s a little more challenging here with the cold water and more gear, but

if you can dive the Puget Sound, you can dive anywhere in the world—it’s

absolutely worth it.”

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

38


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GigHarborLivingLocal.com

39


ATHLETE OF

BY COLIN ANDERSON | PHOTO BY BOOMER BURNHAM

Your friendly,

neighborhood

Gig Harbor dentist.

Your community is the most

important thing in your life;

Your friends

Your family

Your hometown businesses.

Your healthcare providers.

New patients welcome.

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Lane, Suite 6

Gig Harbor, WA 98335

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LUKE GOLDEN, SENIOR

Peninsula High School

Luke Golden knows that to be

successful you have to put in the

work, and if you want to truly achieve

your goals you’ll need to go even

further. The Peninsula High School senior

recently wrapped up a decorated career on the

football field—and especially the wrestling

mat. Luke earned conference honorable

mention as a linebacker for the football team.

He is also a multi-time state competitor and

regional finalist in wrestling. Luke made it all

the way to the state tournament during his

junior season but failed to achieve his goal

of placing in the competition. While he came

up short of his goals, his determination and

commitment only grew stronger from there.

“After junior year I did a lot of wrestling in the

offseason like freestyle and Greco practices

and competitions. I also went to wrestling

camps over the summer to get better—and it

paid off,” said Luke.

Luke excelled throughout his senior season

and made it to the state tournament. The hard

work paid off with a fourth-place finish at

state to wrap up a great career.

What Luke enjoys most about the sport of

wrestling is that you get out of it what you put

into it. He believes you can only be successful

if you earn it by working hard. He’s enjoyed

the coaches who push him to be his absolute

best.

While wrestling is one-on-one competition,

it’s also very much a team sport, and Luke

enjoys celebrating his teammates’ success as

much as his own. “Watching my teammate

Brock Allen place in state and my practice

partner Nolan Casey become a state

champion felt just as good as placing myself

because we’ve all been in this together since

we were freshmen,” said Luke.

Cheering on his teammates won’t surprise too

many people around school. Luke was elected

Spirit King during homecoming, and also acts

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

40


THE MONTH

PHOTO BY VERONICA FOLEY

Support Small

Local Alum

Owned Business

as the spirit coordinator for Peninsula High.

He enjoys music and is vice president of the

Peninsula Choir.

Sports have taught Luke that the harder you

work the more fulfilling the results will be,

and he plans on continuing this mantra after

high school graduation. He’s maintained a 4.0

GPA throughout his senior year and hit the

Honor Roll every semester since he walked

through the doors. College is definitely in

Luke’s future, but first he will embark on a

two-year mission trip with the Church of

Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which he has

been a member of his entire life.

When his mission is complete, Luke plans

to enroll in BYU - Hawaii where he plans on

studying medicine. “My dad is a doctor and

my mom is a nurse, so growing up in that

environment I just feel comfortable talking

about and learning how to care for people,”

said Luke.

A great career and bright future ahead for

Luke, who has learned very early in life the

rewards that hard work and determination

can bring.

“Watching my teammate

Brock Allen place in state

and my practice partner

Nolan Casey become a

state champion felt just

as good as placing myself

because we’ve all been

in this together since we

were freshmen.”

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GigHarborLivingLocal.com

41


PENMET PARKS PUTS

PUBLIC HEALTH FIRST

EVENTS POSTPONED, BUT COMMITMENT TO A HEALTHY,

HAPPY LIFESTYLE REMAINS

BY ABIGAIL THORPE | PHOTOS BY CLINTON WARD

In the midst of the COVID-19 virus, our lives have been upended.

From school closings and social distancing, to the more serious case

of loved ones getting sick, many of the things we take for granted

have become strikingly obvious.

Faced with closures of public events and in light of the pandemic, PenMet

Parks was forced to reevaluate its events, including the beloved annual

Spring Egg Hunt. As things play out, the board will consider whether to

postpone the event or ultimately cancel it.

“To begin with, safety is really the name of the game, even before word of

the COVID-19 virus started to spread, safety is a number one priority,”

says PenMet Parks Executive Director Doug Nelson. “Making sure

that our parks are maintained and cleansed at a level that makes our

customers and staff feel safe is important. That hasn’t changed. It’s even

more important now that we pay close attention to those details.”

Once it’s determined that it is safe to get back out and participate in

group activities, Nelson is hopeful they will be able to reschedule many

of the spring events they were forced to postpone, including the egg hunt.

In the meantime, they are thankful people have been so understanding.

“I'm really impressed with the staff, the community, our board and how

we’re adjusting in changing things. Information is just flying so quickly,

so people have been very respectful and adapting well,” he says.

The PenMet Parks team has also been considering ways they can help

and provide safe activities for families in the midst of the crisis—like a

possible take-home egg hunt package that families can hide in their own

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

42


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Knowledge • Experience • Dedication

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253.260.4147

info@harborfamilylawgroup.com

2615 Jahn Ave. NW, Suite E7

Gig Harbor, WA

harborfamilylawgroup.com

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

43


safety is the name of the game

backyard. These are just ideas, and nothing is set in stone, particularly as

things change on a daily basis while the epidemic is being monitored. “At

the end of the day we want to provide some type of recreational fun, and

if we can’t hold it on its regularly scheduled date, we are considering all

of the alternative options to still do something fun that the community

can benefit from,” says Nelson.

The open-air parks are a popular place for kids and families to get some

exercise and fresh air in light of school closures, while still maintaining

social distancing. PenMet has increased maintenance and cleaning of

these areas to help contain the spread of germs and is committed to

providing what outlet they can for the local community, while heading

what public health officials are advising and making sure that they’re

taking all of the necessary steps to contain the virus as much as possible.

(As of press time, playgrounds were to remain closed through March 31,

though the date may be extended. They encourage the community to

visit PenMetParks.org/new/special-announcements for updates.)

“We’ve been firm about making sure that we are as a public agency

forwarding that message on and making sure it’s readily available for our

customers to see,” says Nelson. “Our staff is doing their due diligence.”

But it still rests on the individual to make sure they are doing their own

due diligence when visiting the parks. “Social distancing probably means

something different to everybody, but recognizing that there are ways to

go visit a park, and being respectful [is important],” continues Nelson.

“I think people understand under the circumstances, we’re happy to

see that people are exercising those types of precautions when they’re

visiting the parks.”

PenMet Parks is all about providing opportunities for recreation, and

they still maintain their commitment to personal health and happiness

in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, keeping parks available

to the public and providing safe and mood-boosting alternatives is a key

ingredient they want to contribute to keeping people healthy.

“One of the things that I appreciate about being in this profession ... we

provide opportunities to recreate and to be healthy, and along with that

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

44


Maritime

Jewelers

Exceptional Collection

Estate & Consignment

Fine Jewelry

Diamonds & Rare Gems

All at Estate Prices

Custom Designs

Jewelry Repair

Master Jeweler and Graduate Gemologist

Featuring Montana Sapphires

and Estate Diamonds up to half

off of other retailers.

It’s not the good life,

it’s the best life!

Welcome home

to Harbor Place!

From morning to night,

you’ve got friends to

meet up with, activities

to share and a beautiful

environment around you.

From fine dining, to sunny

courtyard lunches, our

chef prepares meals

meant to be savored.

Choose from a range of

active living options that

complement your personal

requirements and lifestyle.

Winner

“Voted Finest Jeweler”

253.853.4579 • 866.346.GEMS

3116 Harborview Drive,

Gig Harbor, WA 98335

Open Tuesday - Saturday 11am - 5pm

www.maritimejewelers.com

Independent Retirement &

Assisted Living Community

1016 29th Street NW

Gig Harbor, WA 98335

253.853.3354

HarborPlaceRetirement.com

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

45


comes good health and good happiness,” says Nelson.

“During tough times, being able to do something

that lifts your spirits and lifts your mood, and maybe

even improves your health, would certainly go a long

way in keeping our communities and our individuals

healthier.”

We could all use a little happiness and positivity—

especially in the midst of all the heavy news and difficult

times. So even if PenMet’s events are closed, find your

own way to recreate the fun and joy, and consider safe

ways to get outside and enjoy the fresh air.

“If you're happy and healthy, it feels like you can

take things that life throws at you a little bit better

sometimes,” says Nelson.

Once it’s determined that it

is safe to get back out and

participate in group activities,

Nelson is hopeful they will

be able to reschedule many of

the spring events they were

forced to postpone, including

the egg hunt.

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

46


At TURCO’S AUTOMOTIVE,

we don’t just care about your car,

we care about you!

TURCO’S AUTOMOTIVE

Reliability and quality service comes standard

Located just down from the new

Fred Meyer in the Westside Business Park.

SPRING IS HERE!

Get your car checked with us!

• Servicing Foreign & Domestic

• Scheduled Maintenance

• Brake Service

• Oil Changes & More

Call Today!

253.851.0500

WE LIKE TO GIVE BACK!

Please ask about our Military & Senior Rewards

3523 57th ST CT NW, Gig Harbor, WA | turcosautomotive.com

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

47


Digital: The

Strongarm of

Modern Marketing

Rocket Fish Digital is your partner in

online marketing

BY ABIGAIL THORPE

ROCKET FISH DIGITAL

RocketFishDigital.com

208.946.0901

“ALL OF THESE PRODUCTS

FUNNEL POTENTIAL CLIENTS AND

CONSUMERS TO YOUR ONLINE

PLATFORM—EITHER A WEBSITE OR

SOCIAL MEDIA SITE.”

As a business owner, do you ever wonder how people are finding out

about your business, what’s drawing them in, and what potential

customers you might be missing out on? In-person customer

interaction can provide a sliver of this information, but to see the

big picture you need to look to the digital side.

While 90 percent of all purchases take place in a physical store, 86 percent of

customers read reviews before visiting, and a whopping half of all local online

business searches end in that customer visiting the store within 24 hours.

What does this mean? Your digital presence, reputation and interaction with

potential customers is key to success.

“People are receiving their information in a variety of ways. We are a society

that is on the run, tied to our phones and social media, so it is critical to utilize

many platforms for spreading your message—everything from print to digital

to traditional,” says Steve Russo, executive director of Rocket Fish Digital and

owner of Like Media, Inc. “All of these products funnel potential clients and

consumers to your online platform—either a website or social media site.

When potential clients or consumers search for your business online, it’s

necessary that you be found easily. In order to be found online, every business

needs to employ a good SEO strategy with a focus on local search.”

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

48


Russo saw the need for a digital marketing platform that provides clients

with the tools to improve their digital footprint and track their analytics,

while going a step beyond to successfully connect customers with local

businesses.

The result was Rocket Fish Digital, launched in 2018 with a goal to help

clients effectively market their businesses online, track just how their

message is being received, and determine what marketing avenues are

best for them.

Rocket Fish Digital combines industry-forward techniques with localized

content to monitor and optimize a company’s online presence, integrates

its platform to work seamlessly with other digital products, and tailors

and targets original, local-specific content to appeal to prospective

customers.

The team at Rocket Fish Digital can provide social media pages for your

business, keep them updated and optimize their exposure on a regular

basis, and with the platform managing, interacting with, generating and

reporting on all reviews posted about your business, you can successfully

manage your online reputation.

Each month, Rocket Fish Digital provides its clients with an extensive

report covering their digital product analytics in real time, including

topics such as listing search terms, Google search queries for each

weekday, Google phone calls broken down by the hour, and more.

How do they do this? Russo explains that a key part is analyzing the

average number of times consumers took action from a business’

Google My Business listing by detailing whether they clicked the “call,”

“directions” or “website” links.

“We have already witnessed great success with the clients who have

signed up for Rocket Fish Digital,” says Russo. “We launched this service

after years of research, and we can now provide our clients with every

tool necessary to be relevant online, improving their Google rankings

and overall digital footprint at a fraction of the cost of most competitors.”

The next time you are considering your advertising options, be sure to

check out Rocket Fish Digital!

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

49


253.380.7554

www.YardsByPacific.com

Find us on Facebook!

Gig Harbor's

HOMETOWN

EXPERTS

An Outdoor Experience

SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES

CANNACARE

CannaCare at Home will teach you how to

grow your own medicine at home! Want

to feel confident your medicine is clean and

have a hand in creating it? CannaCare brings

everything needed to produce a bountiful

indoor harvest and teach you how to do it

on your own. Contact CannaCare at Home,

and they will guide the way to clean, tax-free

medicine.

Gig Harbor | 253.514.9633

cannacare253@gmail.com

f CannaCare253

WilliamsTreeAndStump.com

We Specialize In:

Pruning, Tree Removal,

Stump Grinding, View Enhancement

Dead Wood Removal, Wind Sail Reduction

253.229.4119

24-Hour Emergency Storm Work

GIG HARBOR OWNED AND OPERATED

CASSIE RIENDEAU

GIG HARBOR LIVING LOCAL

Cassie brings years of marketing and creative

experience to help local businesses brand

themselves in unique and effective ways. Cassie

knows the Gig Harbor community and how

business in the harbor operates. Please contact

Cassie for all of your advertising and marketing

needs.

Gig Harbor | 360.798.3061

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

cassie@like-media.com

f/GoGigHarbor

NEW LEAF HYPNOSIS

At New Leaf Hypnosis Center, they help people

reduce anxiety and stress, conquer fears and

phobias, heal past painful experiences, quit

unhealthy habits, stop unwanted behaviors,

improve sleep and low mood—faster than you

ever imagined! Book a free consultation to take

the first step to feel better today!

Gig Harbor | 253.617.4818

NewLeafHypnosis.com

2801 Hollycroft St, Suite B

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

50


CUSTOM PRINTS NW

Gig Harbor’s premier shop for screen printing,

embroidery, signs and promotional items.

Call or email for a free design consultation

today, by appointment only. When you need

orders on time and looking great, contact

Custom Prints NW!

Gig Harbor—2801 Hollycroft St.

253.225.7725

Jessica@CustomPrintsNW.com

CustomPrintsNW.com

AMBROSE LOBATO

DESIGN / BUILD

Our approach is to discover a design that

reflects you and your way of living. We are a full

service design company that can satisfy your

architectural and building needs for residential

and commercial products from concept

through turnkey delivery.

Gig Harbor

253.303.1993 Office | 206.251.3983 Cell

AmbroseLobatoDesign.com

N

E

ED

A BODY SHOP ?

FIX AUTO GIG HARBOR

253-858-3522 • WWW.FIXAUTOGIGHARBOR.COM

FIX AUTO

They understand the disruption an auto

accident can cause in your life. This is why

they offer one-stop shopping for vehicle repair,

whether it’s a door ding, fender bender or major

collision. Their claims experts communicate

with insurers, helping you get back on the road.

Remember ... you have a friend in the collision

business!

Gig Harbor—2905 Jahn Ave. NW #8

P: 253.858.3522

TF: 866.328.3861

FixAutoGigHarbor.com

HARBOR VIEW DENTISTRY

At Harbor View Dentistry, they are a

neighborhood dental office in the heart of

downtown Gig Harbor where they spend

the time and energy to get to know YOU as a

person while providing state-of-the-art dental

care. They do this simply because they care

and see you as a part of their family. If you are

looking for friendly quality dentistry at a fair

price, you will like it there. As always, they are

accepting new patients!

Gig Harbor—3220 Uddenberg

Lane, Suite 6

253.858.2560 | HarborViewDentistry.com

f Harbor View Dentistry

ANCHOR BAY MORTGAGE

(MB-71863)

Locally owned and operated by Tracy Hacklin

Dennis (MLO-94066) with 16 years of

experience! They provide the personalized

attention you deserve. Their clients aren’t just

customers, they’re friends and neighbors. VA

Home loan specialist, Jumbo, Purchase, Refi,

2nd home and Non-Owner, get your FREE

no-obligation quote.

Gig Harbor—7700 Pioneer Way #202

253.224.1408 | AnchorBayMtg.com

f/anchorbaymtg

YOUR LAND AND CRUISE SPECIALIST

CRUISE PLANNERS

TRAVEL SERVICES

A customized itinerary your way, Cruise

Planners is a local Gig Harbor travel company

that can assist you with all types of travel: ocean

and river cruises, land-based travel, or even

a safari adventure! We are here for our clients

from the very first call until they return from

their trip. Let us do the research to save you

time, frustration and money.

Gig Harbor | Esperanza and Tony DeMarco

253.649.4292 | f TeamDeMarco

esperanza.demarco@cruiseplanners.com

BellaLunaTravels.com

WILLIAMS TREE &

STUMP REMOVAL

Modern and efficient tree removal equipment

that will make your Gig Harbor area tree

removal job go quickly and efficiently. Because

of this advantage, your tree removal project will

be completed in half the time of competitor

companies. Zero impact to your property, their

crews provide exceptional cleanup service. Call

them today for a free estimate!

Gig Harbor | 253.229.4119

WilliamsTreeandStump.com

f Williams Tree and Stump

VALONA PAINTING COMPANY

They are your paint and specialty contractors

that provide not only interior and exterior

paint services, but also drywall repair, wood

work and wood repair, stain and varnish

services, furniture refinishing and floor

coatings. Whether your needs are residential or

commercial, call them today! Licensed, bonded

and insured. VALONAPC853MS.

andrew@valonapainting.com

253.303.0359 | C: 253.985.0342

Carpet Care

Northwest

CARPET CARE NORTHWEST

Superior service at a fair price! Carpet Care

Northwest uses premium cleaning agents

in conjunction with state-of-the-art truck

mounted steam cleaning systems to achieve

superior results for their customers. They also

offer upholstery cleaning, carpet stretching,

repairs and tile and grout cleaning. Call them

today! Estimates and advice are always free, and

don’t forget your satisfaction is guaranteed!

253.874.4377

carpetcarenw@comcast.net

CarpetCareNW.com

GigHarborLivingLocal.com 51

CLASSY CHASSIS CAR

WASHES & DETAILING

Locally and family owned, Classy Chassis

Car Washes & Detailing has been serving

Pierce County for 35 years! Now offering 11

convenient locations—including Gig Harbor.

Here you will find their soft-cloth automatic

tunnel car wash, express lube oil change, 24-

hour self-serve wash bays, self-serve vacuums

(free with car wash) and self-serve dog wash.

For additional information and to find Classy

Chassis locations, visit their website.

Gig Harbor - 6750 Kimball Drive

253.284.9274 | ClassyChassis.com


BLUE LIGHT

What it is, its effects, and how to protect yourself and your skin

By Kristin Carlson, Medical Esthetician

What is blue light, and why is it bad? Blue light is a color in the

visible light spectrum. It has one of the shortest wavelengths

in the light spectrum, resulting in the highest amount of

energy. In its natural form, blue light comes from the sun

and helps regulate the body's circadian rhythm—the natural sleep and wake

cycles. It also boosts alertness, heightens reaction times, elevates moods and

promotes an overall feeling of well-being. Blue light in its artificial form

comes from digital screens (TVs, computers, laptops, smartphones and

tablets), electronic devices, and fluorescent and LED lighting. Prolonged

exposure to blue light in this form causes eye strain, headaches, physical and

mental fatigue.

Over time, exposure to the blue end of the light spectrum can cause longterm

damage to your eyes and to your skin. The natural filters in our eyes

are not capable of providing enough protection against blue light rays in

any form. Prolonged exposure to blue light may cause retinal damage and

contribute to age-related macular degeneration—and in some cases, vision

loss.

While blue light in small amounts can help elevate your mood, increase

alertness and regulate sleep patterns, chronic exposure to blue light,

specifically at night, can have the opposite effect, lowering the production

of melatonin the hormone that regulates sleep, by disrupting the circadian

rhythm and negatively affecting your mood.

It is common knowledge: UV light can cause damage to the skin. Because

of its shorter wavelength, blue light penetrates deeper than UV light. Longterm

blue light exposure can cause skin damage, including discoloration,

inflammation and weakening of the skin's surface, which causes collagen and

elastin to break down, resulting in fine lines, wrinkles and sagging.

HEALTHY TIP

GET OUTSIDE!

It is recommended to get at least 150 minutes of moderateintensity

aerobic activity every week. With the warmer

temperatures fast approaching, it makes it that much easier

to get outside for a stroll, brisk walk or jog while breathing

in the fresh air.

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

52


FOR YOUR VOTES!

EXPOSURE TO THE

BLUE END OF THE

LIGHT SPECTRUM

CAN CAUSE LONG-

TERM DAMAGE TO

YOUR EYES AND TO

YOUR SKIN.

Primary Healthcare

for All Ages!

Accepting New Patients

Services:

Family Medical Services

Annual & Sports Physicals

Preventative Care

Immunizations/Flu Shots

Well Woman & Child Exams

Same-Day Sick Visits

Health Education & Management

Acute Illness Treatment

Referrals

in Healthcare

Located in the

Gig Harbor Corporate Center

Across the street from the Gig Harbor Library

How to protect yourself?

• Wear an SPF rich in antioxidants, vitamin

C and/or iron oxide. Unfortunately, not all

sunscreens block blue light, so read the labels

before you buy.

• Stylish eyewear is in! Purchase a pair of blue

light blockers for the time you spend in front of

any screen. There are some great inexpensive

options out there.

• Also, invest in screen protectors with blue

light blocking technology for all your screens,

including your desktop computer and cellular

device.

• Use the settings on your smartphone to shift

the colors of your display to “night mode.” This

emits warmer tones with longer wavelengths,

causing less strain on the eyes at night when the

body is more susceptible to blue light effects.

• Limit your screen time in the evening. Resist

the urge to scroll social media when you crawl

into bed at night. Instead, opt for a book or

magazine to help you settle down for a good

night's rest.

For most of us, avoiding screen time is next

to impossible, but we can take simple steps

to ensure we are taking care of the long-term

health of our eyes, skin and overall well-being.

And don’t forget about your kiddos! Their young

minds and bodies are still developing and need

protection too.

Scot Fleshman, ARNP, FNP - BC

4423 Point Fosdick Dr NW, Suite 306

(253) 432-4437

www.rainierfamilymedicine.com

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

53


THE IMPORTANCE OF

OCCUPATION AS THERAPY

PART II

By Mariel C. Kraus, OTR/L

April is Occupational Therapy (OT) Month, and it is my

privilege and honor to educate people about the value and

relevance of occupational therapy for healthy communities.

During the late 19th century, our profession became an

established medical-rehab service, and in 1917 it became an essential

part of the mental hygiene movement of the early 20th century. We

helped rehabilitate wounded soldiers physically and mentally in the

aftermath of the Civil War, WWI, WWII and beyond.

Prior to WWI, OTs were instrumental in the deinstitutionalization of

individuals with mental illness by therapeutic use of manual crafts during

the Arts and Crafts Movement that gave the in-patients a purposeful

and meaningful use of their time, interests and abilities (“occupations”).

Community mental health services branched out from this movement,

and we can all agree that mental asylums were not therapeutic, humane

or cost-effective.

OTs are much more than behavioral/mental health therapists! We have

been whole-person physical rehabilitation therapists from the start. We

help people across the lifespan from birth to death and in every setting,

where people need to thrive in occupations unique to each setting. We

specialize in sensory, physical and cognitive disorders. Our methods can

be applied to patients of all age groups: low-tone infants, children in

school settings, people in hospice and elders in long-term care.

OTs use proprietary methods to help patients accomplish everyday

tasks efficiently. We aim to mitigate pain that interferes with functional

mobility (how people move in bed, how they can safely rise from surfaces

such as chairs and toilets). We support caregivers because they get

injured or become ill from the demands of caring for chronically ill or

disabled loved ones. OTs are distinctly trained and qualified to analyze

the relationship between the person in their environment and the tasks

they must successfully perform to meet their needs as independent and

capable people.

Our assessments are client-centered and thorough to help patients

reconstruct their lives after an illness or injury. We are the “big picture”

therapists who also address the smallest of deficit components that

interfere with independence by rehabilitating hands and fingers that

no longer work normally after a stroke, brain injury or various types

of arthritis. We capitalize on our patients’ strengths as the foundation

of our treatment plans for successful outcomes. As you can see, OTs do

not fit in a tidy box; we are outside of the box in our history, philosophy,

treatment settings, patient demographics and skill sets. We are natural

problem-solvers and patient educators.

At Integrative Therapeutic Solutions, we are sometimes the last place

people come to for help after failing to thrive elsewhere, therefore it is

our mission to give our patients the time and effort they deserve, so as

a team, we may find answers and relief. But the longer a person waits to

get the proper care, the more difficult a condition is to solve. If you or

someone you know is not living up to their potential in their home and

community, don’t wait to remediate. Integrative Therapeutic Solutions is

uniquely qualified to help!

Visit IntegrativeBody.net/blog to read more on this topic and to find

additional articles.

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

54


Gig Harbor

Chiropractic

& Massage

www.GigHarborWellness.com

Dr. Greg Messer

Dr. Keri Messer

253.857.6500

11430 51st Ave NW Ste 101A

Gig Harbor, WA 98332

f gigharborchiropractic&massage

MORE THAN A GYM

Visit our website to take

advantage of our

New Patient Special!

Orangetheory is a science-backed, technology-tracked,

coach-inspired group workout designed to produce

results from the inside out.

MORE results. MORE confidence. MORE life.

* TRY YOUR FIRST CLASS FREE

253.358.2232 | 4935 Point Fosdick F500, Gig Harbor, WA | www.orangetheoryfitness.com

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

55


A WOMAN’S PERSPECTIVE

MENOPAUSE, MIGRAINE AND SLEEP APNEA

BY RHONDA R. SAVAGE, DDS, UPTOWN DENTAL & WELLNESS CENTER

“An archaeologist is the best husband

any woman can have; the older

she gets, the more interested he is

in her!” - Agatha Christie

Don’t you just love Agatha Christie! She

loved mystery and problem-solving. Sleep

apnea isn’t as much of a mystery to people

as are TMJ and migraine-related issues. This

is partially because you can’t see a headache,

and there can be a stigma associated with

headaches and/or TMJ pain. To people who

don’t experience this discomfort, it may seem

as though you’re making them up or using

them as an excuse.

You can experience the outward symptoms of

sleep apnea, however, with the visible events

of snoring, gasping for air at night, tossing

and turning, or frequent trips to the bathroom

at night. You might also experience a rough,

raspy voice or constant congestion, or a dry

mouth. Clinically, sleep apnea is measurable

with a sleep study, and the sleep study can be

done in your own bed.

The great news, however, is we can now

measure and quantify headaches and TMJ,

scientifically, with the only FDA-approved

technology in this field that’s been cleared for

medical use!

With this technology, you can have a

comfortable bite. Throughout your life, you

can develop a habitual or accommodative bite

relationship that isn’t healthy for your TMJ

joint. With EMG muscle tracing, a threedimensional

tracing of your jaw movement in

the TMJ area and recorded audiology of the

joint, you can have your bite corrected into

your natural, physiological position of rest.

When this process happens, your TMJ, head

and neck muscles, nerves and blood vessels

say “Ahhhh!”

So, what role does menopause play in sleep

apnea and TMJ issues?

If you suffer from sleep problems, which can

be causative factors of anxiety and depression,

you need a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Lack of oxygen from sleep apnea can also

be a cause of migraines and/or headaches.

There are different treatment options for sleep

apnea, including an oral appliance for sleep,

CPAP therapy, orthodontic treatment, and

airway management by an ENT.

Facts you should know:

• Weight loss can decrease the severity of sleep

apnea, but it’s not the total answer.

• Before menopause, a woman’s risk of

obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is less than

men, but women still experience more sleep

problems than men. Sleep apnea is one of the

major risk factors for heart attacks and stroke

in both men and women.

• Women with sleep apnea have a higher risk

of issues with pregnancy than women without

OSA.

• Women with OSA experience more

depressive symptoms than men.

• Sleep apnea, headache/migraine and TMJ

issues (related to bite disorders or clenching/

grinding) occur more in women than men.

• In the USA, 25 percent of women are at

a high risk for OSA. Snoring is the most

frequent symptom.

For headache/TMJ symptoms, or if you’re

interested in an oral sleep appliance for sleep

apnea, seek out the care of a qualified dentist.

Your head, neck and shoulders can be much

better if you have the right bite and you’re

sleeping better!

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

56


FALL PREVENTION

TIPS FOR SENIORS

BY ROBINA GAINES, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AT OAR

Are you worried about falling, or

have you recently experienced a

fall? Perhaps you have an older

family member that you feel is at

risk of falling?

According to the Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three

older adults, age 65 or older, fall each year.

Falls in older adults also result in more than

2.5 million emergency room visits and over

700,000 hospitalizations annually.

A common misconception is that falling is a

natural part of getting older. But just because

falls become more common as we age does

not mean that they aren’t preventable; there

are many steps you can take to help reduce

your risk of falling.

Manage Medications

According to the CDC, four out of every five

older adults take at least one prescription

medication daily, and more than one third

take five or more each day, commonly referred

to as polypharmacy. Side effects from these

medications, or interaction of medications,

can greatly increase an individual’s fall risk

by affecting their reaction time, balance,

vision and cognitive function. Every year,

and every time a new medication is added

to your list, consult with your doctor about

possible side effects and interactions with

other medications you are taking. It is

important to note that you should not stop

taking any of your medications unless told to

do so by your doctor.

Check Your Environment

One of the easiest factors you can control

when reducing fall risk is your environment.

Throw rugs, liquids, cords, wires and objects

in your pathway can all increase your

chances of falling; try your best to remove

these items from your frequented routes. If

you do have rugs in your home, make certain

they are properly secured with non-slip

backing or double-sided tape. Do your best

to create clear walking paths by strategically

arranging furniture and always keep your

home well-lit. According to the CDC, most

injuries in the bathroom, around 81 percent,

occur because of slips and falls, so you may

want to also consider installing handrails in

high-risk areas, such as in the bathroom or

on the stairs.

Move More

Recent studies show that regular exercise

can reduce falls by up to 35 percent. Regular

exercise in seniors has also been shown to

build healthy muscle mass, increase balance

and stability, and improve quality of life by

helping you maintain your independence.

The key to maintaining an exercise routine

is to think about activities you enjoy and

finding ways to incorporate them into an

exercise. Some examples include taking

pictures while on a nature hike, window

shopping while walking laps at a mall, or

catching up with friends while taking a

stroll around the block. As always, be sure

to consult your doctor before beginning any

type of exercise routine.

Receiving just a single fall intervention

could prevent a fall and avert serious injury.

Throughout the month of April, Olympic

Alzheimer’s Residence is offering free fall risk

assessments. These assessments are designed

to help determine your risk of falling and

create a course for change. Call Olympic

Alzheimer's Residence at 253.851.5306 to

book your free fall risk assessment today.

Kitsap Audiology

NOW OPEN

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57


Wrestling: A Story of

Hope and Peace

NORTH IDAHO NATIVES LARRY

AND SHELLY STECKMAN ON A

MISSION TO SERVE

BY ABIGAIL THORPE

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

58


It was the late 1970s. Larry Steckman was a wrestler for Bonners Ferry High School, and his to-be wife, Shelly Barton, was a wrestling

cheerleader at the same school. Seventy miles away, family friend Conrad Garner was wrestling for rival Lakeland High School in

Rathdrum, Idaho. It was the beginning of a lifelong love of wrestling for both men—and also the seed for something bigger. Larry, Shelly

and Conrad would all go on to use wrestling as a means to create positive change in communities, both locally and internationally:

Garner as the wrestling coach for Bonners Ferry High School, the Steckmans working with the US Wrestling Foundation’s Wrestling for

Peace, and beyond.

As Larry and Conrad competed in North Idaho, wrestler Dan Russell was in Southern Idaho working for another state wrestling

championship. He would go on to be a world-class wrestler and coach, dear friend of Larry and Shelly, and a driving force behind their

ultimate life work and vision.

“We are so very proud of the work of men like Conrad Garner and Dan Russell in helping to shape the minds of the future leaders of our

communities and world,” says Larry. “I never knew then that God would use wrestling and these relationships to give me a vision for sharing

the love God has shown so generously to me.

“This story is really about relationships, faith, hope and love,” shares Larry. In the early 2000s, he and Shelly met Dan, who was living with

his wife Joy and kids in Battleground, Washington. The two connected over their shared love of wrestling, and their desire to utilize the sport

as a vehicle for spreading the message of love throughout the world.

Larry and Shelly purchased a fuel testing laboratory called FOI Laboratories, which tests fuel for various reasons, and serves ASTM, EPA,

Amazon, airports, various municipalities, hospitals and the military. Their hope was to use the profits from the company to help fund

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

59


philanthropic and faith-sharing efforts in developing

countries—a dream that would be realized beyond their

expectations.

Soon after, the couple founded a project called Hope

for Her in conjunction with a Ugandan NGO called

Hope for Restoration Initiative founded by Robert and

Pam Kiggundu. The mission of Hope for Her was to

help sexually exploited and abused women in Uganda

gain employment manufacturing reusable sanitary

pads in a safe workplace, provide free sanitary pads to

those in need, and promote environmentally friendly

manufacturing and sanitary practices.

“Many young women (high school age and younger)

prostitute themselves for the price of a pad,” explains

Larry. “While our work was very under the radar,

something very special was happening. You could

tangibly feel the tremendous love coming from the

women and girls receiving the pads.”

“In the beginning, it wasn’t easy,” he remembers.

“There wasn’t enough material or pads or money—in

fact, we sometimes still don’t have enough due to the

overwhelming need.” Larry was discussing the challenges

of the sanitary pad design as well as quality control with

new friend and supporter Dan, when Dan provided a

solution: an award-winning retired nurse who was an

avid seamstress and was struggling with feeling needed

after retirement. She helped them design a stitching

pattern, pad design and production method that would

result in the current production of almost 8,000 pads a

month. The nonprofit now distributes in Ugandan high

schools, Entebbe, and on the various islands on Lake

Victoria.

During this time, Dan was serving as a coach and

ambassador with USA Wrestling. The Steckmans were

still passionate about using wrestling to share a message

of love and giving, and partnered with Dan to find a way

to serve. “We spent many hours discussing how to utilize

wrestling as a vehicle in our message of love,” recalls

Larry. “One of our next steps in faith was a chaplain

program to serve alongside the world of Olympic and

world-class wrestlers traveling with the team.”

This program would serve as the beginning of Dan and

Joy Russell’s vision for Wrestling for Peace—a nonprofit

organization with the US Wrestling Foundation that

provides support to various communities throughout

the world through leadership development, sports

diplomacy, medical aid, emergency response,

prefabricated buildings, outreach, and wrestling gear and

equipment donations. “These seeds of faith continue to

grow deep and produce fruit today,” says Larry.

COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF

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GigHarborLivingLocal.com

60

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Wrestling for Peace is built on the foundation that

wrestling is a universal struggle in that everyone is dealing

with some trial. The program “embraces this universal

struggle to help communities in need.” Ambassadors for

the program use wrestling as a sport to help transcend

borders and cultures in an effort to bring humanitarian

aid to those most in need.

Dan and Larry traveled together to Algeria and the Sahara

Desert as ambassadors in the beginning stages of Wrestling

for Peace. While spreading the message of love and

providing medicine to the Sahrawi Tribe—a four-decade

refugee community—they met Austin Landes, founder

of the nonprofit Make it Rain, who ultimately became a

medicine partner of Wrestling for Peace and partners with

Hope for Her. “We have merged our work, and I currently

serve on their Board of Directors,” says Larry.

Make it Rain is an organization consisting of a collection of

individuals whose sole focus is utilizing their networking

skills and abilities to help others. They focus on providing

medicine, medical clinics and other aid initiatives to

regions in the Sahrawi Democratic Republic, Uganda,

Zambia and Mexico. It was the perfect pairing for the

Steckmans, Hope for Her and Wrestling for Peace, and a

great way to unite efforts and connections in a desire to

serve the underserved.

The Steckmans continued their work with Hope for Her

and Hope for Restoration Initiative, partnering with Make

it Rain, while also working as ambassadors for Wrestling

for Peace. All shared the same mission of providing hope,

love and aid to communities in need. “The next act of faith

was to let go and let God be in charge,” says Larry. The

support they needed would come in a major way not long

after.

“I don’t remember the day, but Austin called me and said,

‘The First Lady of Zambia wants to talk about the pads

... when can we go?’” recalls Larry. “Now it’s one thing

to do some traveling and field work with a school or the

Red Cross; it’s another thing entirely to be vetted by a

government’s First Lady. ... There was absolutely no reason

for me—a rough around the edges guy—to be discussing

pads with the First Lady of Zambia, but I did it and we are

very close friends to this day. The pad project touched her

heart in a very special way.”

This meeting with the First Lady of Zambia marked the

beginning of incredible opportunity and impact for Make

it Rain, Hope for Restoration Initiative and Wrestling

for Peace. Last season, Hope for Her delivered 1,000

sanitary pads and through the First Lady’s Foundation

created educational training for girls in the school

system to manufacture and produce sanitary pads. In

partnership with each other, the nonprofits were able to

deliver medicine that impacted over 60,000 men, women

and children, says Larry, and they have developed and

approved designs for medical outpost clinics in rural areas

in partnership with Virginia Tech and AutoDesk. These

outposts will provide access to much needed medicine and

hygienic medical aid in regions that currently suffer from

a lack of resources.

“It’s no secret that wrestling builds toughness,” write Austin

and Julie Landes in a recent Wrestling for Peace update of

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

62


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their work. “Some of the toughest people we’ve

met live in remote areas of the world, battling

harsh climates, debilitating disease, intense

conditions, limited job opportunities and

desperately lacking resources. Our hope is that

through these initiatives and those of the USA

Wrestling for Peace Program, we can increase

the amount of lives impacted. Wrestlers are

made for overcoming obstacles and life’s

toughest challenges, and we’re looking

forward to our continued efforts together.”

The Steckmans have seen many doors open

as they continue to follow their calling and

passion for reaching those in need. The First

Lady of Zambia is not the only influential

figure in Africa to show interest in the work

the Steckmans, Landes and Russells are

doing. “We have invitations this year to meet

two other first ladies and possibly a king and

a prince,” shares Larry. “Again, God’s favor in

play.”

Despite their many travels, Larry and Shelly

choose to make the Pacific Northwest their

home base, and although they now live in

Vancouver, Washington, they are still very

connected to their hometown of Bonners

Ferry, Idaho. “We find great pleasure in hearing

the many stories of love that come from our

hometown, stories like Conrad’s and Dan’s,”

says Larry.

Dan, Conrad and Larry still support and

encourage the wrestling program back in

Wrestling for

Peace is built on

the foundation

that wrestling

is a universal

struggle in

that everyone

is dealing with

some trial.

Idaho, and in particular Bonners Ferry, sharing

a passion for the common bond they share, the

sport that has taken them from wrestling on

the mats, to fighting for peace and prosperity

for those in need.

“We love finding ways to give back to our

community however we can,” says Larry.

“There are many great unselfish relationship

stories that the residents of Bonners Ferry are

constantly making anew. You don’t have to

look very hard to find what the hard-working

people of Bonners Ferry are involved in.”

Larry and Shelly still look to North Idaho

and Bonners Ferry’s spirit of giving and

community as an early formative part of their

desire to extend their message of peace and

love beyond the borders of the U.S.

“The Pacific Northwest and beyond have

amazing stories of service and love,” adds

Larry. “If you peel back the love, you will

more than likely find a wrestler’s heart

beating somewhere in the fight.”

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

64


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your life, your story,

Your home.

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

66


GigHarborLivingLocal.com

67


IS RELOCATION IN YOUR

future?

DON’T WAIT TO PLAN AHEAD

BY ABIGAIL THORPE

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

68


Facing the prospect of a new town, a new house and a new job

is daunting in itself without the added pressure of how you’re

going to go about the move and all the details involved. If you’re

moving interstate, the stakes go up. The decision to move a few

thousand miles away is much different than skipping to the next town

over—though both will require a lot of preparation and work before,

during and after the move. Here are some key things to keep in mind

when relocating.

Before

Considering a new move is exciting, it can also be overwhelming. Should

you make the move? Is the job worth it? These and other questions are all

common when facing the looming question of whether to relocate. Here

are some ways you can help cut through the fog.

Research. Before you make the commitment to move somewhere, do your

homework. There are lots of things to consider besides the cuteness or

“curb appeal” of a city. If you’re used to using public transportation, make

sure you look at how that city or town compares. Are there alternative

options that work for you?

Look at the city stats, like crime, housing costs, schools and taxes. How

does the cost of living compare to your current residence? If travel

is important to you, check to make sure you have easy access to an

international airport—or at least don’t mind the extra drive.

Finally, consider what the city or town has to offer as far as culture goes. If

restaurants, nightlife and the arts are important to you, chances are you’ll

get pretty stir crazy in a small town with limited options. Conversely, if

the outdoors are central to your lifestyle, make sure there are plenty of

outlets for your adventurous side.

Visit. Doing your research is vital, but it’s also important to visit a place

before you move—even if you’ve been there before. You’ll notice new

things when you visit with the mindset of moving there. In the long term,

the cost of a visit will pay off.

Consider the Long Term. Is this a stopping point, or are you looking to

stay? If there’s a possibility that this will be your long-term home, make

sure you take a look down the road. Is the town growing? Is it moving in

a direction you like? If the area is growing fast, will you be able to keep

up with the market? Moving to a popular new hot spot is great, but if

you’re going to be outpriced down the road when you look to buy a new

(or larger) home, it might not be worth it. Can you see yourself raising a

family here? Are the schools/childcare/job market good?

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

69


SO YOU’VE MADE

the decision to move.

NOW WHAT?

Job Talk. If you’re moving somewhere for a job, do some simple

comparisons, and make sure you know what you’re getting into.

Sometimes a great job can be worth moving to a less favorable place,

but you should know beforehand what you’re willing to give up, and for

what return.

Make sure you get to know your potential new job, company and team

so you can set realistic expectations. How does your salary compare to

the job you’re leaving when taking into consideration any changes in cost

of living?

During

OK, so you’ve made the decision to move, now what? The decision may

be off your back, but the heavy lifting is just ahead. Here’s how to get

started.

Budget. Even if you’re not in the practice of keeping a budget, this is one

time you’ll want to make an exception. Moving is expensive, and you

don’t want to get caught with a hefty bill you’re not prepared for, or even

worse, no available funds for necessities.

According to the American Moving and Storage Association, the

average cost of an interstate move is $4,300, and an intrastate move is

$2,300. First thing, see if your new company will provide any relocation

assistance or bonus. It doesn’t hurt to ask, and you can save yourself a

bundle of money.

Add everything into your budget. Are you paying movers, or moving

yourself? Will you need to rent a truck? What will it cost to move into

your new home? Travel expenses? Food? You get the picture. Just keep

in mind, the first month you move into a new place, expenses are usually

40 to 60 percent higher than normal—after all, you’ll need to replace

that cleaner you threw out and the hangers and laundry basket you left

behind last minute, not to mention restock your pantry.

Plan. Get a reputable realtor to help you find a home or apartment for

rent or to buy. He or she will have a better understanding of the area and

will be able to guide you through the process. If you don’t know the area

well, consider renting for six months or more before buying a home.

Don’t wait until after you move to line up the internet and electric, as

you’ll have plenty else to do. Make sure your utilities are canceled or

transferred out of your name in your old residence, and get everything

set up to start in your new home the day, or day before, you move in.

Forward your mail in advance so you don’t miss receiving important

bills.

Finally, make a list! Keep track of everything you need to do, and make

lists for everything. It’ll make your move far less stressful.

With the right preparations, your relocation to your new home will be

that much more rewarding.

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

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What you should know when

REMODELING

TIPS FOR A SMOOTH PROCESS, START TO FINISH

By Abigail Thorpe

The arrival of spring has us Marie Kondoing our closets and

deep cleaning our kitchens, but being able to see the back of

our closet or how aged that grout really is has us thinking about

more than decluttering. Warm weather means it’s time for those

updates you put off last year—or just a fun excuse to finally add some

personal touches to the spaces you spend the most time in. Whether it’s

to update an existing home, remodel a new purchase that needs some

updates or prepare a home for resale, remodeling some part of our space

is something most homeowners have had to face at one time or another.

With any home improvement project, it can be daunting to know where

to start, what to focus on and when to call in the professionals. Here are

some tips to keep you on track and help make the process a bit smoother.

Budget. Naturally budget is a main concern when it comes to remodeling

your home. Under budget or set your expectations too high, and you can

end up with a half-finished project and no money left. Ask any contractor,

and they’ll tell you a project always costs more than you expect and takes

longer to finish. Plan on spending more than you expect, and you won’t

be caught unawares mid project. Carefully allocate money to each stage

of the project, and never start a remodel before creating the budget. This

way you can plan the stages of the process, starting with what’s most

important to you, and working on each stage of the project as you’re

financially able.

Set expectations/go in stages. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither

will your dream home be. Start with a space that you spend the most time

in, that is the most important to you to update, and prepare the work

in stages from there. If you have the budget, it may be cost effective to

schedule multiple things at once, so you’re not having subs return, but

make sure you can complete the project if you start it.

“Kitchen upgrades will make a difference in your lifestyle, as this is

usually the room where folks spend more time,” advises Jackie Suarez,

a real estate agent with Century 21 in Sandpoint, Idaho. “More efficient

HVAC and water heater upgrades should save you money over time.”

Professional or DIY? You might be the king or queen of DIY, but there

are certain things you just shouldn’t touch. “For buyers, the first thing

to remember is to have the home inspected by a professional inspector

or trusted contractor during the inspection contingency period,” says

Suarez. “This will usually identify any hidden costs or surprises.”

A priority is making sure a home is structurally sound—something a

contractor or inspector can help with. Outside of the structural, electrical,

plumbing and any heating or air conditioning updates require a licensed

professional and inspection, so don’t try to tackle these on your own.

Some demolition, countertop removal, painting, etc. can be self done,

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

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ut when it comes to key updates or something you don’t feel

comfortable with, it’s always best to consult a professional.

Keep resale front of mind. “Making a home ‘market-ready’ is

very important. It gives the seller an advantage over other homes

that buyers may perceive as requiring more of their time and

resources than they are willing to spend,” suggests Suarez.

If you’re planning on selling the home in the future, make sure

major updates focus on areas of the home that buyers notice first.

“It’s no question that the kitchen often sells the house,” says Brooke

Stebbins, project coordinator for Monarch Marble & Granite.

“People spend a lot of time in their kitchens, and it’s most often

the focal point of family gatherings. An inviting kitchen is a sound

investment in resale value as well as quality of life, in addition

to catching prospective buyers’ eyes. It is a lot easier to tackle a

bathroom remodel, so a buyer may be more willing to overlook

an outdated master suite, for instance, if they love the kitchen.”

Be careful making updates that are very specific to your personal

style if you are looking to sell. Stick with updates that are fairly

neutral and on trend. Quartz and granite are popular options

for countertops, advises Stebbins, as both are durable and fairly

versatile. “Consider hard-surface flooring instead of wall-to-wall

carpet, as area rugs are easier to replace,” adds Suarez.

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

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75


Rome wasn’t built in a

day, and neither will

your dream home be.

Make your money count. Key updates can make a major difference,

without requiring extensive work. “Replacing your countertops can have

an amazing transforming effect on the space, it may not even feel like the

same room when you’re done,” says Stebbins. While the countertops are

most obvious in the kitchen, this goes for the bathrooms as well. New

vanity tops can update a bathroom without the need to replace the vanity.

“Paint is typically the highest return for the investment, as it makes an

immediate impression, followed by updates in cabinet hardware and light

fixtures, bath mirrors, and if possible, flooring and countertops,” advises

Suarez.

Personal touches. If you are planning to resell and still want to add

personal touches to your space, paint, hardware and light fixtures are easy

to replace, so feel free to add some style-specific flair. “Most of all, get good

professional advice, enjoy the process and make it your own,” says Suarez.

Curb appeal. Interior is important, but it’s important to consider how your

home looks from the street, particularly for resale. “Remember exterior

paint, yard maintenance and sprucing up plantings will entice buyers to

come through the front door,” says Suarez.

Just remember, prioritize what is most central to your lifestyle or the

resale of the home, budget out accordingly and stay flexible! Everything

is not going to go to plan, but sometimes great outcomes come from the

unexpected.

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

76


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GigHarborLivingLocal.com

77


CHOOSING THE

Right Realtor

Six tips to help you find your match in a real estate agent

By Taylor Shillam

Choosing the right partner is about trust, communication and

moving forward toward the same goal. Finding your match in

a real estate agent is very similar.

Buying or selling a home is a major commitment and important

milestone—most of us can’t do it alone. Finding the

right realtor to help you along the way will likely make or

break your entire experience. While the process is personal

and every situation is unique, there are steps you can take to

ensure you make the most informed decision. Here are six tips

to start with:

DEFINE WHAT A “GOOD” REAL

ESTATE AGENT MEANS TO YOU.

The most important qualities of an effective

real estate agent can differ according to

who you ask; it’s important to define these

standards for yourself. A few qualities are

generally non-negotiable: professionalism,

current licensure in the state, market

knowledge. Agents who have been in the

market for a while have had time to build

upon their professional networks and

are more likely to have inside knowledge

on what will be hitting the market soon.

Regardless of experience, many great

agents are willing to negotiate, strategize,

effectively use their resources and take

initiative. Decide what you need most

from your agent, and look for someone

whose communication style, community

presence and level of professionalism can

best match your expectations.

SEEK OUT GOOD

CHEMISTRY.

When it comes down to your final decisions,

even an agent with glowing reviews and top

referrals still may be the wrong fit if your

personalities don’t mesh. Just as important

as the cold hard facts behind an agent’s

qualifications are the way they make you feel

and your ability to communicate with them

openly. This partnership is the foundation

of your home buying or selling experience,

so it’s critical to choose someone who you

feel is honest, can support you in getting

what you need and who you’ll be excited to

work with. You’ll be spending a lot of time

together throughout the process, so trust

your gut in choosing the agent you want to

spend that time with.

ASK THE RIGHT

QUESTIONS.

Just as you wouldn’t allow yourself to

settle on just any new home, you likely

wouldn’t want to settle for the first realtor

you meet. After deciding on the qualities

you’re seeking, it’s perfectly warranted to

take a deeper look and get full details on

prospective agents before you commit

to working with them. According to

research by Zillow, 61 percent of seekers

only contact one agent—but by talking

with multiple and asking the right

questions, you’ll be able to find one

who is genuinely the right fit. Take each

meeting as a job interview, choosing

a set of questions to ask each realtor to

effectively compare answers and decide

on the right fit. The questions should be

unique to your individual situation.

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

78


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79


DO YOUR RESEARCH.

Find out which real estate agents or teams

are active in the area you want to buy a

home in. Pay attention to local marketing

efforts, signage, and agencies actively

represented in the area, and check sites

like Realtor.com and Zillow, which allow

buyers to see which agents have been

active most recently. A professional who

has sold in the area recently will have

the most familiarity of the local housing

market, inventory and neighborhood

details such as nearby schools, traffic

concerns and any neighborhood issues.

KNOW THE TERMINOLOGY.

As you begin your search, you’ll come across

professionals with titles like associate, agent,

independent broker or Realtor. While all are

licensed to sell real estate, there are a few

nuances to note. A real estate agent must

complete hours of coursework (varying by

state) and pass a written licensure exam that

qualifies them to work with buyers, sellers

and renters. A real estate broker has passed

an additional exam, has generally more indepth

training and business education, and

is held to a higher standard of knowledge.

Brokers can sell independently or choose to

work with a firm. As for Realtors, to hold

that title, an agent must become a member

of the National Association of Realtors

and is held to the association’s standards

of conduct and code of ethics. There are

certainly similarities and overlap between

the terms, but it’s important to know the

qualifications of the agents you come across

as you begin your search.

DON’T UNDERESTIMATE

REFERRALS.

Previous buyers can be one of the most

important assets to your search for an

agent. Start by asking the people you

trust: family, friends and coworkers.

You’ll have the comfort in knowing you’re

receiving honest feedback, and personal

experiences can help provide valuable

insight that research alone can’t. If you

can’t glean enough insight from those

close to you, turn to other resources. It

can be as easy as looking up the agent’s

Facebook page for online reviews. The

local chamber of commerce or real estate

association can be helpful resources to

begin with.

Buying or selling a home is an exciting milestone that can be exponentially enhanced with the help of the right real estate professional. Investing the

time in finding your ideal match in an agent can reduce major stress on both you and your wallet. Find someone who you can trust to help reach your

goals and prioritize your needs—and don’t forget to enjoy the process.

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

80


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81


DESTINATION: SAN ANTONIO

A Blend of Cultures Makes for an

Interesting Destination

By Marguerite Cleveland

San Antonio is blooming with spring blossoms as the winter chill dissipates. Enjoy alfresco dining along the San

Antonio Riverwalk, bike to historic missions or explore Texas Hill Country in this mild season. Viva is the city’s

bus and trolley service which has three distinct routes to take you to the most visited sites and attractions at a

very economical rate for a day pass.

Where to Stay

Make the most of your stay by splitting your visit into two sections. For the first half stay in the Texas Hill Country at the

Hyatt Regency Hill Country. This fabulous resort has so many activities and dining venues, you won’t need to leave the

grounds. Avid golfers will appreciate the onsite 18-hole course while those looking for a more relaxed experience can

Zen out at the Windflower Spa. Kids of all ages will love the landscaped lazy river that looks like you are floating down

a stone-strewn stream past waterfalls. Throw in a waterslide and a Flowrider where you can surf, and it is a complete

waterpark. The grounds are lovely with plenty of shady trees and a nature trail.

For the second half of your stay, move downtown to the historic Hotel Gibbs, which is so close to the sites you can see

the Alamo from your hotel window. The Gibbs is a charming boutique hotel located in the heart of Downtown San

Antonio with “The Alamo” just one block down and in sight of the hotel. The hotel has kept all the historic details and

is a comfortable place to stay while exploring the downtown area. It is within walking distance of all the major sights

including the Riverwalk. Rates include breakfast in the morning and a taco bar in the evening in the Taproom 1909,

which offers a nice selection of beer and wine.

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

82


PHOTO BY MARGUERITE CLEVELAND

ENJOY ALFRESCO DINING ALONG THE

SAN ANTONIO RIVERWALK, BIKE TO

HISTORIC MISSIONS OR EXPLORE TEXAS

HILL COUNTRY IN THIS MILD SEASON.

Where to Eat

The question should be where not to eat, as the rich culinary heritage of

San Antonio will make it difficult to choose. In 2017, the United Nations

Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated

San Antonio a Creative City of Gastronomy. It is the second city in the

U.S. to earn this honor—and the first in Texas. It is not a surprise with the

cultural influences of Mexican, Spanish, German and French that make

for a truly unique culinary experience.

Start at Pearl, located just north of Downtown San Antonio and set on

a former brewery that was built in 1883 and continued operating until

2001. The prestigious Culinary Institute of America established its third

campus here and offers culinary instruction not only for professionals

but for food and wine lovers as well. Consider taking a class on local

cuisine. Make sure to visit the restaurant, Savor, for a truly unique

experience. Enjoy a three- or four-course gourmet meal for less than $50.

Your dinner is prepared and served by senior CIA students under the

supervision of the professional faculty. Watch these rising culinary stars

hone their craft. Pearl has a variety of shops and restaurants as well as a

food hall and weekly farmers market. Well worth a visit.

Culinaria, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit promotes locally sourced food and wine

experiences in San Antonio. Their website offers a variety of food trails

which will take you all over the area. Although not on their curated lists

of food trails, the Chef Trail is a neat way to find a great place to eat. Who

would know better than a local chef? These are the places they go when

not cooking their own food. The Taco Trail will take you to authentic

Mexican food, each stop providing a unique experience with delicious

handcrafted tacos.

What to Do

San Antonio has a rich history enmeshed in modern amenities. There are

so many things to do from exploring the remarkable Spanish Missions to

riding an electric boat along the iconic Riverwalk.

Plan to spend a day at SeaWorld and Aquatica, both located less than 1

mile from the Hyatt Regency Hill Country, an official partner hotel. You

can book a package online which includes accommodations and tickets

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

83


The Speci f ics

WHERE TO STAY

Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa

Hyatt.com/HillCountry

Hotel Gibbs - HotelGibbs.com

WHERE TO EAT

Pearl - AtPearl.com

Culinaria - CulinariaSA.org

WHAT TO DO

SeaWorld San Antonio - SeaWorld.com

Visit San Antonio - VisitSanAntonio.com

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

NPS.gov/saan

Go Rio Cruises - GoRioCruises.com

to the parks, and you can tailor other addons

like animal encounters or meals. Some

of the animal encounters are surprisingly

reasonable in cost, or you can go all out and

book a Beluga Whale Swim Experience. A

must do is purchasing fish to feed the sea

lions. These guys are so funny with their

antics to capture your attention so you will

toss them a fish. Insider Tip: For just a few

dollars more, you can upgrade to up-close

parking, an amenity you will appreciate at

the end of the day.

The five Spanish colonial missions of the

San Antonio Missions National Historical

Park and the Alamo are a UNESCO world

heritage site. Established in the 18th century

by Spanish priests, the five missions are the

largest concentration of Spanish colonial

missions in North America. An adventurous

way to explore the missions is by bike along

the River Walk’s Mission Reach, an 8-mile

recreational trail with the missions about 2 ½ miles apart. San Antonio

has a well-run bike share program with docking stations at the missions.

You can bike the whole route and at the end hop on a VIVA bus on

the Mission Route, which stops at all the missions and will bring you

back downtown at a stop in front of the Alamo. VIVA is part of the VIA

Metropolitan Transit and offers visitors an inexpensive way to tour the

area. A day pass is less than $3.

If you only have time for one, make it Mission San Jose y San Miguel

de Aguayo, which celebrates its tricentennial in 2020. It is known as the

“Queen of the Missions” and is the largest. It also has the main visitors'

center for the missions with a small museum and a movie about the

missions offered throughout the day. The grounds of Mission San Jose

are lovely, making for a nice stroll as you explore the mission.

No trip to San Antonio is complete without a visit to the famed River

Walk. The 15-mile urban waterway flows through the downtown area just

below street level. It includes downtown with attractions like the Alamo.

Further out, visit the river’s Museum Reach, where you can access the

Pearl mentioned earlier. There is shopping and restaurants and museums

all along the route. The best way to see it is by taking a Go Rio Narrated

River Cruise, which points out the highlights as well as the history of

this area. The boats are all electric, making for an eco-friendly quiet

ride. Although not the fastest way to get around, Go Rio also offers a

River Shuttle with multiple stops along the river walk and goes out to the

Museum Reach.

A visit to San Antonio offers all the possibilities of a big city while

imparting a unique historical and cultural experience like no other city

in the United States.

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

84


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85


YUM

Your local Dining Guide

LOCAL FLAVOR SPOTLIGHTS

RECIPES LOCAL FLAVOR SPOTLIGHTS

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

86


Experience the Flavor

Thai & Vietnamese Cuisine

Serving Traditional Taste - Family Owned and Operated Since 2001

TAKEOUT AVAILABLE!

4747 Point Fosdick Dr. NW, Ste. 200 | Gig Harbor, WA 98335

Hours: Every Day, 11am - 9pm | 253.514.6382 | lelegigharbor.com

lelerestaurantgigharbor | lelerestaurant

Traditional and Contemporary

Vietnamese Coffee, Milk Tea and Boba

TAKEOUT AVAILABLE!

5160 Point Fosdick Dr. NW, Suite C101 | Gig Harbor, WA 98335 | Hours: Every Day, 11am - 9pm

253.649.0915 | mssaigongigharbor.com

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

87


MANCHEGO AND CHORIZO

EGG BAKE

Recipe courtesy of Stephanie Lynn Gertrude Brown

Yield: 1 - 9”x13” Casserole Pan

INGREDIENTS:

2 tbsp. melted butter

2 cups hash brown potatoes, cubed or shredded

1 lb. chorizo sausage

1 cup manchego cheese, grated

1 cup asparagus, chopped

1 cup bell peppers, chopped

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

10 whole eggs

1 ½ cups whole milk

½ tsp. smoked paprika

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

METHOD:

• To get things started, preheat your oven to 350°F.

• While the oven is heating up, prepare your 9”x13” baking dish

by brushing with melted butter, and add the hash browns in an

even layer across the bottom of the dish.

• In a large sauté pan, cook the chorizo over medium-high heat

until fully cooked. Drain excess oil from the pan, and let it cool

down.

• While the chorizo is chilling in time out, go ahead and use the

same pan to sauté the bell peppers and asparagus. Less dishes is

always the way to go!

• You can now sprinkle the chorizo and veggies in an even layer

over the hash browns. Add the manchego and cilantro; just

sprinkle them liberally across all the goodies. It will all get nicely

mixed in when we add the eggs!

• Next you will need to whisk the whole eggs in a mixing bowl to

get them evenly combined, then add the milk, salt, pepper and

paprika and mix thoroughly.

• Pour the egg mixture slowly over your lovely layers in the pan

and allow to soak down between all the pieces. You can give the

pan a little jiggle to speed this process along. If some bits are

not completely covered, that’s OK, as it will add some color and

texture to the top of your egg bake.

• Bake uncovered for 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden brown and

set. You can test it by inserting a knife into the center; if it comes

out clean, it will be good to go.

• Serve immediately alongside all your other favorite brunch

treats!

Tips and tricks: You can substitute other veggies you have on

hand, like spinach, broccoli or onions. This dish can also be

prepared the night before; just cover the dish and remove from the

refrigerator 20 to 30 minutes before baking.

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

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Occasions

Coffee and Crepes

INDULGE YOUR

Tastebuds

Serving Paninis & Sandwiches, Crepes,

Salads & Soups, Forza Coffee. Gift Cards Available!

Be sure to also check out Clay & Cloth Designs!

April Crepe Special :

Smoked Sockeye Salmon & Asparagus

4700 Pt. Fosdick Dr. NW, Ste. 109, Gig Harbor, WA

253.851.2576 | www.OccasionsCoffeeAndCrepes.com

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

89


SPRING & Summer

ECO CAMPS

with harbor

wildwatch

Get Y our

S P R I N G

Feet BREAK Wet

CAMP

APRIL 14-15

Over 600

Education Programs

It’s all about the

evidence! Students

ages 8-12 will spend

time Annually being wildlife

detectives and looking

for signs of animal

• Guided beach, wetland,

activity. and estuary Exploration walks of

the park habitats and a

hands • Citizen on activities! science

monitoring and training

opportunities

Plus july & august

SUMMER

CAMPS

• Live dive underwater

experiences

• Cocktails & Fishtales

science Enrolling socials now for 21+

• seaStars Salish Sea & Beyond Scientists youth

naturalist and Park training Adventurers program

abound! Students ages

• 8-12 Hands-on will explore exhibits Fox in

Downtown Gig Harbor

Island and Sehmel

Homestead Park.

Sign-up on our

website!

HarborWildWatch.org

(253) 514-0187

HarborWildWatch.org

(253) 514-0187

BBQ2U

There’s nothing like a plate of pure Southern comfort.

BBQ2U brings all the smoky flavors of Texas-style barbecue

right here to our backyard. Patrons are treated just like

family and will enjoy the unique dining atmosphere. Open

seven days a week from 11am to 8pm.

4814 Point Fosdick Drive NW | Gig Harbor

253.313.5656 | TexasBBQ2U.com

MARKETPLACE GRILLE

American cuisine with a Caribbean flair. The best fish and

chips and clam chowder in Gig Harbor! Located next to

Anthony’s Restaurant, they offer an expansive view of the

harbor. Family owned and operated. Beer and wine, take-out

menu available. Monday through Thursday 11am to 8pm,

Friday and Saturday 11am to 9pm, Sunday 11am to 8pm.

8825 N. Harborview Dr., Unit C | Gig Harbor

253.858.3487

MOCTEZUMA’S

Voted best Mexican Restaurant in South Sound Magazine

for 2015! Since 1978, Moctezuma’s has been the favorite of

those seeking authentic Mexican food and award-winning

Margaritas. Go visit their Gig Harbor location and enjoy

their Tequila Bar for daily happy hour specials and an array

of delicious appetizers.

4628 Pt. Fosdick Dr. NW | Gig Harbor

253.851.8464 | Moctezumas.com

GERTIE AND THE

GIANT OCTOPUS

At Gertie and the Giant Octopus, located in the Uptown

Mall next to the Galaxy Theater, patrons will be treated to

a warm and inviting staff complemented by a delicious yet

affordable dinner menu, taking its inspiration from French,

Italian and Spanish cuisine. Each dish is thoughtfully

prepared and meant to share. They invite you to dine with

them Tuesday through Saturday 4 to 9pm.

4747 Pt. Fosdick Dr. NW, Suite 600 | Gig Harbor

253.649.0921 | GertieAndTheGiantOctopus.com

PHO EVER WOK

Whether it's a hot lunch or dinner you're looking for, look

no further than Pho Ever Wok, where their traditional

Vietnamese pho is always sure to satisfy. Whether you like

your soup mild or spicy, they'll prepare it just the way you

like it, and vegan and vegetarian options are available as

well. Even better, the prices can't be beat, and there's plenty

of parking. Also available for take-out. Open Monday

through Saturday 10:30am to 9pm.

4819 Pt. Fosdick Dr. NW | Gig Harbor

253.858.8399

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

90


GRAND NUTRITION

Grand Nutrition says goodbye to bland and hello

to delicious, serving up food that feels as good as it

tastes. Customer favorites include smoothies, acai

bowls and oatein. Grand Nutrition also offers meal

planning and nutrition coaching. Open Monday

through Friday 8am to 6pm, and Saturday from 9am

to 3pm.

5247 Olympic Drive, Suite A | Gig Harbor

253.649.5123 | GrandNutritionCo.com

OCCASIONS COFFEE

& CREPES

Gig Harbor’s home for coffee and crepes! Located in

the heart of Gig Harbor at the Franciscan Medical

Building, Occasions Coffee and Crepes offers

premium, hand-crafted espresso drinks, smoothies,

fresh salads, hot paninis, fresh made deli sandwiches,

soups and of course made-to-order crepes!

4700 Pt. Fosdick Dr. NW #109 | Gig Harbor

253.851.2576

OccasionsCoffeeandCrepes.com

PORTO CUCINA HARBOR

KITCHEN & BAR

Porto Cucina serves up familiar classic Italian dishes like

Eggplant Parmesan, as well as newer ones like Salmon

and Sweet Potato Risotto. The restaurant offers a little

something for everyone with a range of vegetarian, glutenfree

and dairy-free options. In the bar you will find a great

selection from local breweries, wineries and distilleries.

Open Sunday through Thursday 11am to 9pm, Friday and

Saturday 11am to 10pm.

3108 Harborview Drive | Gig Harbor

253.851.9200 | PortoCucina.com

Healthy

that tastes good!

Smoothies

Acai Bowls

Oatein

Herbal Tea

Tea Bombs

Meal Planning

Nutrition Coaching

LELE'S RESTAURANT

When Grandma is the head cook, you know the food will

be authentic, delicious and made with heart. Every day they

work to create a traditional taste of their homeland for their

guests, serving each bite of Southeast Asia with a story of

culture, authenticity and survival. Lele’s is open daily from

11am to 9pm.

4747 Point Fosdick Drive NW, Suite 200 | Gig Harbor

253.514.6382 | LeleGigHarbor.com

MS. SAIGON

VIETNAMESE CUISINE

Ms. Saigon provides Vietnamese cuisine accessible to

everyone, with a menu that includes grain-free, vegetarian

and vegan options. Celebrating their grand opening back in

April of 2019, Ms. Saigon is a new and welcome addition to

the Gig Harbor dining scene. Open daily 11am to 9pm.

5160 Point Fosdick Drive NW, Suite C101 | Gig Harbor

253.649.0915 | MsSaigonGigHarbor.com

253.649.5123

5247 OLYMPIC DR, SUITE A

GIG HARBOR, WA 98335

GrandNutritionCo

GrandNutritionGH

grandnutritionco.com

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

91


gig harbor

ENTERTAINMENT

Check out ideas for

celebrating at home!

APRIL 2020

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

92


World Class

Wines

TASTING ROOM • EVENT VENUE • CORPORATE RETREATS

OLALLAWINES.COM • 253.851.4949

SAVE

DATES

THE

The Zoo Society engages our community

in support of Point Defiance Zoo &

Aquarium’s education, conservation,

research and preservation efforts through

the Pacific NW, Pacific Rim and beyond.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Apr 21

Connect. Inspire. Act. Luncheon

Jul 17

Long Table Dinner

Oct 16

Zoo BOOze & Bites

Nov 20 - Dec 11

HoliZooDay Online Auction

Feb 27, 2021

Dive In: Exclusive Evening Under the Sea

5400 N. PEARL ST., TACOMA, WA 98407 | 253.404.3694 | MDAVIDSON@THEZOOSOCIETY.ORG | THEZOOSOCIETY.ORG

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

93


HOME

ENTERTAINMENT

AWAITS

BY

JILLIAN CHANDLER

April

ALL MONTH LONG

Spring is always a joyful time of year for the community, as the

sun shines brighter and the days become warmer and longer. This

is the time of year for many of those much-anticipated events the

community has been waiting for—since last year—to once again take

place.

This month would have marked the 87th Annual Daffodil Parade, ninth

annual Gig Harbor Paddlers Cup, PenMet Parks Annual Spring Egg

Hunt, the Washington State Spring Fair and so much more. But due to

the current situation facing the entire world, all has been put on hold,

with some events canceled until next year.

But if you can look at the bright side, now is the time to reflect and

find new ways to find enjoyment—without leaving the comfort of your

own home.

Many of us find ourselves wishing we had more time to spend with our

loved ones, but with the busyness and stresses of everyday life, it can

be hard to find the time. As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread (as

of press time), endangering our local communities and our way of life,

it is important to take this opportunity to spend this valuable time in

a positive way.

From board games and movie nights to preparing home-cooked meals

with your significant other, children or roommates, embrace what

you have and make the most of it! When is the last time you played

charades or Win, Lose or Draw? How about reading a book aloud to the

entire household, or having one of the kids read to the family? Learn

a new recipe and get everyone involved in planning and preparing a

meal together. Dim the light, turn the music on, and have your own

dance party (or maybe you do this already?). Have races in the yard,

work in your garden. Enjoy the things you rarely have the time for.

It’s not where you are but who you are with, and any time spent

together is a time to be cherished. Entertainment and fun await, but

it’s up to you to make it happen.

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CELEBRATE WITH FAMILY

/April

FOR MORE EVENTS, VISIT GIGHARBORLIVINGLOCAL.COM.

08

APRIL

12 APRIL

22

APRIL

ARBOR DAY

08

Many states observe Arbor Day on different dates throughout the

year based on best tree planting times in their area.In Washington

state, Arbor Day is always celebrated on the second Wednesday

of April. J. Sterling Morton founded Arbor Day back in 1972

with a simple idea—to set aside a special day dedicated for tree

planting. And today, that idea is more important than ever. Trees

provide the very necessities of life itself: Trees clean our air, protect

our drinking water, create healthy communities and feed the

human soul. The Arbor Day Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit

conservation and education organization, is dedicated to inspiring

people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. Call your local nursery

to find the perfect tree for your family to plant in your yard this

Arbor Day. Visit ArborDay.org for more information.

EASTER

12

This year, all of us will most likely be spending the day a bit

differently than years past. As many of us celebrate the resurrection

of our Lord Jesus Christ by attending church services, where the

choir and church congregation fill the building with song, this

year the celebration may be at home. But don't be discouraged.

Thanks to technology, the family can still dress in their Sunday

best and gather around the TV to take in a church service of their

liking. And though larger gatherings of friends and family are

discouraged, spend the day with your close loved ones at home,

with an Easter egg hunt in the yard, followed by a meal spent

together in the comfort of your own home. Make this the most

memorable Easter celebration that you and your children will

remember with fondness for years to come.

EARTH DAY

22

2020 marks the 50th year that Earth Day has been celebrated across

the globe. The theme for this year's Earth Day is Climate Action.

Though at this time the community is not encouraged to participate

in large gatherings, you can still do a small part in taking care of our

planet. Take a walk in your neighborhood with the kids, and pick

up any trash you come across. Make yourselves more aware of the

products you are disposing of at home, separating the recyclable

items from the trash. Work together to make a list on what positive

changes you can all make in your daily lives to positively impact

our environment. The first Earth Day is credited with launching

the modern environmental movement and is now recognized

as the planet’s largest civic event. Read more about Earth Day at

EarthDay.org.

SUBMIT YOUR EVENTS ONLINE!

Want your event to appear on the largest event site in the

Northwest? Submit your events to us online at

Events.DirectoryNorthwest.com 24/7, 365 days a year!

GigHarborLivingLocal.com

95


JUNE 20, 2020 | CHAFE150.ORG

Sandpoint Rotary presents the 13th Annual CHAFE 150 Gran Fondo,

named one of the top charity rides in the US! The 150-mile route is a

grand loop around the Cabinet Mountains through gorgeous lake and

river valleys. CHAFE offers magnificent routes of 150, 100, 80, 40, 25

and a Family Fun ride, awesome ride support and a fabulous after-ride

party on the shores of beautiful Lake Pend Oreille in Sandpoint. Ride

proceeds support after-school reading and literacy programs of the Lake

Pend Oreille School District and other Rotary youth and educational

programs. Registration now open at chafe150.org.

OUR SPONSORS MAKE IT HAPPEN. WE THANK YOU!

PRESENTING SPONSOR:

PLATINUM SPONSORS:

GOLD SPONSORS:

ORGANIZED BY:

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96

BONNER COUNTY

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2020 SUBARU OUTBACK

C L O S E D O N S U N D A Y F O R F A M I L Y D A Y

YOUR LOCALLY OWNED SUBARU DEALER.

JOHN DIONAS | President-Owner

Come meet Duke!

Peninsula Subaru in Bremerton, WA, treats the needs of each individual

customer with paramount concern. We know that you have high

expectations, and as a car dealer we enjoy the challenge of meeting

and exceeding those standards each and every time. Allow us to

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(253) 530-7300

(253) 530-7300GigHarborLivingLocal.com

Fax (253) 530-7301

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