Wrestling: A Story of
Hope and Peace
ON A MISSION TO SERVE
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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
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
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Because We Care.
4700 Pt. Fosdick Drive Northwest
Gig Harbor, Washington 98335
(253) 858-9941 . Fax: (253) 851-9942
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7083 Wagner Way
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
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Accepting New Patients!
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Volume 7 Number 4
IS RELOCATION IN YOUR FUTURE?
Don’t wait to plan ahead
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW WHEN REMODELING
Tips for a smooth process, start to finish
CHOOSING THE RIGHT REALTOR
Six tips to help you find your match in a real
Virtual chat with our design team
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Stop and smell
A HEALTHY, JOYFUL COMMUNITY
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
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
May blessings abound this Easter season,
and health and happiness to you and your
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The latest tips and trends in home, garden,
finances and life.
LIFE & COMMUNITY
Paddle Faster! Annual race postponed,
but not forgotten
BUSINESS IN THE
Postal Annex: Gig Harbor’s neighborhood
business service center
Below the Surface: Local diver shares
BUSINESS IN THE
Rocket Fish Digital: Your partner in
HEALTH & LIFESTYLE
Tips and informational articles about living
a healthy, active lifestyle
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
Nurturing Success and Ownership, One
Dress at a Time
PenMet Parks Puts Public Health First:
Events postponed, but commitment to a
healthy, happy lifestyle remains
Calendar of April happenings to
celebrate at home
You’ll feel right at home.
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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
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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
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.
Gig Harbor Cabinets is focused
on providing high-quality
products and customer
satisfaction. We will do
everything we can to exceed
» All plywood boxes
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8803 State Route 16
Gig Harbor, WA 98332
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.
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.
• Parenting plans
• Child support
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
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
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
Get started now so you can take full advantage
for the warmer days ahead—without the
TEACHER OF THE MONTH
By Colin Anderson
Employment Training and
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
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.
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
“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
to our local teachers!
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L I F E
C O M M U N
I T Y
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.
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253.857.0835 | 3519 56TH ST. #260, GIG HARBOR, WA 98335
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
OF GIRLS, AND 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
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.
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
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
“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.”
If we cannot add days to the life of a child,
we will add LIFE to their days.
1215 4th Ave. Suite 1200 Seattle, WA 98161
UNIVERSITY PLACE | PUYALLUP
SUNRISE | AUBURN
GIG HARBOR | BONNEY LAKE
Gig Harbor’s neighborhood business
BY JILLIAN CHANDLER
POSTAL ANNEX (GIG HARBOR)
5114 Point Fosdick Drive, Suite F
Gig Harbor, Washington 98335
“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
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).
• 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
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.
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
“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.
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.
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
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.
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.”
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253.857.5950 | 888.809.8021
13315 GOODNOUGH DR. NW | GIG HARBOR, WA 98332
Karen Smith, ARNP
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Gig Harbor, WA 98335
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
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
PHOTO BY VERONICA FOLEY
as the spirit coordinator for Peninsula High.
He enjoys music and is vice president of the
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,”
A great career and bright future ahead for
Luke, who has learned very early in life the
rewards that hard work and determination
“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
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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
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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
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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
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.
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Rocket Fish Digital is your partner in
BY ABIGAIL THORPE
ROCKET FISH DIGITAL
“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.”
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
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
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
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Gig Harbor | 360.798.3061
NEW LEAF HYPNOSIS
At New Leaf Hypnosis Center, they help people
reduce anxiety and stress, conquer fears and
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improve sleep and low mood—faster than you
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the first step to feel better today!
Gig Harbor | 253.617.4818
2801 Hollycroft St, Suite B
CUSTOM PRINTS NW
Gig Harbor’s premier shop for screen printing,
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Call or email for a free design consultation
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DESIGN / BUILD
Our approach is to discover a design that
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They understand the disruption an auto
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A customized itinerary your way, Cruise
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They are your paint and specialty contractors
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today! Estimates and advice are always free, and
don’t forget your satisfaction is guaranteed!
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For additional information and to find Classy
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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
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
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.
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.
FOR YOUR VOTES!
EXPOSURE TO THE
BLUE END OF THE
CAN CAUSE LONG-
TERM DAMAGE TO
YOUR EYES AND TO
for All Ages!
Accepting New Patients
Family Medical Services
Annual & Sports Physicals
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Health Education & Management
Acute Illness Treatment
Located in the
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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
• 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
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
Scot Fleshman, ARNP, FNP - BC
4423 Point Fosdick Dr NW, Suite 306
THE IMPORTANCE OF
OCCUPATION AS THERAPY
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
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
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
Dr. Greg Messer
Dr. Keri Messer
11430 51st Ave NW Ste 101A
Gig Harbor, WA 98332
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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
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
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
• 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
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
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.
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.
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.
IN GIG HARBOR!
NOW OPEN IN GIGH
Pictured Dr. Rachael left to right Shannon : Dr. Rachael | Dr. Shannon, Amy Becken Dr. Amy| Tina Becken, Koths Tina| Koths, Eva Gagnon, Eva B.A. B.A.
October is Audiology Awareness Month
Complimentary Complimentary Consultation
for your personal hearing
At Kitsap Audiol
pride in caring f
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TWO LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU!
5775 Soundview Drive, Suite C-206, Gig Harbor, WA 98335 • (253) 514-8224 2601 Cherry Ave,
5775 SOUNDVIEW DR., STE. C-206
GIG HARBOR, WA 98335
2601 CHERRY AVE. #206
BREMERTON, WA 98310
Wrestling: A Story of
Hope and Peace
NORTH IDAHO NATIVES LARRY
AND SHELLY STECKMAN ON A
MISSION TO SERVE
BY ABIGAIL THORPE
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
philanthropic and faith-sharing efforts in developing
countries—a dream that would be realized beyond their
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
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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IN IN IN THE THE THE COLLISION BUSINESS
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
“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
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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
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,”
Dan, Conrad and Larry still support and
encourage the wrestling program back in
Peace is built on
is a universal
is dealing with
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.”
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your life, your story,
IS RELOCATION IN YOUR
DON’T WAIT TO PLAN AHEAD
BY ABIGAIL THORPE
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
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?
SO YOU’VE MADE
the decision to move.
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
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
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
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
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.
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What you should know when
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
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,
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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.
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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
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
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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
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
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.
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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.
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
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.
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DESTINATION: SAN ANTONIO
A Blend of Cultures Makes for an
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.
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
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
The Speci f ics
WHERE TO STAY
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa
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
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
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.
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Your local Dining Guide
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RECIPES LOCAL FLAVOR SPOTLIGHTS
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MANCHEGO AND CHORIZO
Recipe courtesy of Stephanie Lynn Gertrude Brown
Yield: 1 - 9”x13” Casserole Pan
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
• 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
• 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
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.
Coffee and Crepes
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
SPRING & Summer
Get Y our
S P R I N G
Feet BREAK Wet
It’s all about the
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
Plus july & august
• Live dive underwater
• 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
Sign-up on our
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
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
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
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
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
5247 Olympic Drive, Suite A | Gig Harbor
253.649.5123 | GrandNutritionCo.com
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
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
that tastes good!
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 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
5247 OLYMPIC DR, SUITE A
GIG HARBOR, WA 98335
Check out ideas for
celebrating at home!
TASTING ROOM • EVENT VENUE • CORPORATE RETREATS
OLALLAWINES.COM • 253.851.4949
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.
Connect. Inspire. Act. Luncheon
Long Table Dinner
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
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
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
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.
CELEBRATE WITH FAMILY
FOR MORE EVENTS, VISIT GIGHARBORLIVINGLOCAL.COM.
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.
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.
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
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!
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!
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Main Floor Master Suite
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WHAT YOU IMAGINE,
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Coldwell Banker Bain
“We Sell Homes.
We Build Relationships.”
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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
demonstrate our commitment to excellence!
Located in Bremerton, only a 20-minute drive and lower sales tax!
800.458.5808 | PeninsulaSubaru.com
3888 W. St. Hwy. 16, Bremerton, WA (between Bremerton & Port Orchard)
Fax (253) 530-7301