Submitted by South Puget Sound Community College
South Puget Sound Community College has received a five-year, $2.25 million Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant, the largest single grant in the college’s history, was announced by Congressman Denny Heck, D-10th District, at the college’s Oct. 4 Foundation event, The Experience.
The college will receive $450,000 per year from 2014-2019 to establish the Graduation and Achievement Initiatives, Networks and Strategies (GAINS) program. GAINS is a comprehensive, integrated student success program for all new credit students who intend to earn a degree or complete a program.
“Our students’ ability to persist through their studies and complete their educational journey with us is central to their long-term success and to the overall prosperity of our community,” said Tim Stokes, president of South Puget Sound Community College. “The Strengthening Institutions Grant gives us the resources to build clear pathways to achievement for our students. We are thrilled to be awarded the funds and grateful for the support of the Department of Education.”
Among the program strategies the grant will cover are:
South Puget Sound Community College is a public, comprehensive, two-year institution and is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The college serves approximately 6,000 students each quarter.
Submitted by The Oly Town Artesians
The Oly Town Artesians will host the Tacoma Stars on Saturday, November 22 to open their inaugural season in the Western Indoor Soccer League.
The Artesians will play four regular season home games at Olympia Indoor Soccer and one mid-season home friendly during the 2014-2015 season and will hit the road for a preseason tournament on November 1 at the Tacoma Soccer Center and four regular season away games.
Below is the 2014-2015 schedule for the Oly Town Artesians. Game times will be released at a later date.
Saturday, November 1 – @ Northwest Indoor Invitational – Tacoma Soccer Center
Saturday, November 22 – vs. Tacoma Stars – Olympia Indoor Soccer
Saturday, December 6 – vs. Wenatchee Fire – Olympia Indoor Soccer
Saturday, December 13 – @ Arlington Aviators – Soccer First Indoor Soccer, Arlington
Saturday, December 20 – @ Bellingham United – Bellingham Sportsplex
Saturday, January 3 – vs. Bellingham United – Olympia Indoor Soccer
Saturday, January 10 – @ Tacoma Stars – Tacoma Soccer Center
Saturday, January 17 – @ Wenatchee Fire – Wenatchee Valley Sportsplex
Saturday, January 24 – vs. TBD – Olympia Indoor Soccer
Saturday, January 31 – vs. Arlington Aviators – Olympia Indoor Soccer
February 7/8– WISL Playoffs – TBD
February 14/15 – WISL Championship – TBD
The Artesians have a bye in the first week of WISL play. The league’s opening games will be played on Saturday, November 15 with a pair of games. Bellingham United visits the Tacoma Stars and the Arlington Aviators hos the Wenatchee Fire.
Season tickets will be available for purchase shortly. $20 will get fans into all five home games. Individual tickets will be priced at $5 in advance and $6 at the door. Children 5 and under are free.
The National 4-H Council will launch its fifth annual Fall Paper Clover Campaign on Wednesday, October 8, this raises thousands of dollars each fall for local 4-H programs in Thurston County and across the country.Each year in the fall and spring, the National 4-H Council teams up with Tractor Supply Company and Del’s Feed and Farm Supply stores to raise money for local 4-H programs with the sale of paper clovers in local stores for a donation of $1 or more at checkout. In Thurston County, the Del’s Feed and Farm Supply stores in Olympia and Yelm will sell the paper clovers from October 8 through October 19, with 65 percent of the funds raised at the two stores going directly to fund 4-H programs in Thurston County. As in years past, 5 percent of Paper Clover proceeds raised in Thurston County will go to the statewide 4-H office in Pullman, and 30 percent will go to the National 4-H Council. “The Paper Clover Campaigns have become our major fund raiser for the Thurston County 4-H program, and we are so grateful for the help that our friends at Del’s Feed and Farm Supply give each spring and fall to support these kids,” said Dianna Ullery, 4-H Program Coordinator for the county. The Thurston County 4-H program is a partnership between the private, non-profit National 4-H Council, the Washington State University Extension program, and Thurston County government. What started as a handful of agricultural clubs for youth in the late 1800s and early 1900s has grown into a community 414 members supporting 53 clubs in Thurston County, and 6 million young people across America learning about agricultural techniques, technology and research through practical “hands-on” learning. The national 4-H organization is a unique partnership of the National 4-H Council, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 100 land-grant universities across the country, and more than 3,000 county offices that form the land-grant university Cooperative Extension System. To learn more about the Thurston County 4-H Fall Paper Clover Campaign, or to find out more about the WSU Thurston County Extension 4-H programs and membership, click here or call (360) 867-2157. WSU Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination.
I think the highlight of this area is the Harborside Park. This picture shows a small section of the park. Huge graceful carved stone are found throughout this two-block strip of land. Water, many sizes of stone, and lovely plantings add to the serenity. Three huge metal sculptures (reminiscent of a submarine tower?) sit in a shallow pool, and “explode” with rushing water periodically. The paved pathways wind among the pools, sculptures and gardens. Benches and tables are abundant.
Our trip on October 7th was a loop trip. We left west Olympia and headed to Shelton. From Shelton we took a bus to Belfair, then transferred to a bus that dropped us right by the ferry terminal. It was lunchtime, so we scattered to find a place to grab a bite before we independently explored the town. Several of us ate at the Bremerton Bar and Grill, which is on Pacific Avenue, just one block up the street from the Ferry terminal. The menu has some interesting twists… like a BAM burger (beef and lamb combination). All were satisfied with their meal.
Several Rebels visited the Kitsap Historical Museum, located on 4th Avenue. The admission is $3.00. I especially liked the recreation of “main street” from the early 1900′s. A few Rebels went of a self-guided tour of the USS Turner Joy, a Vietnam era destroyer.
Since this was a loop trip, we left Bremerton via the State Ferry. This 60 minute ride is very relaxing. The sun was shining, which is always a nice treat. Coming into the city reminds us that Seattle is a beautiful city… what a great skyline! (As a bonus: this direction of travel is FREE!)
After getting off the ferry we strolled south on 1st Avenue through Pioneer Square. The gorgeous hanging baskets were still blooming! At Jackson Street, we headed east toward the Sounder train station. At 4th Avenue, we turned south for a block or so to get to the pedestrian bridge and stairway which took us to the Sounder train. LOVE this train!
We exited the train at the Tacoma Dome station, where we caught the (free) Light Link which took us several blocks to downtown Tacoma. From Pacific Avenue and 19th, we caught the bus to take us back to Olympia.
A long day, but a fun and very satisfying trip! Thanks, Rebels!
From today's inbox:
509 East 4th Avenue
Astrobiology: Life in its Cosmic Context
Space missions have given us hints of planets and moons in the Solar System that may have once been inhabited or perhaps possess life today. At the same time, recent astronomical data show that most stars have planets around them. Closer to home, we’re learning more about the vast range of habitats for microbes on Earth and signs of life in Earth’s earliest rocks from billions of years ago. Given these findings, the new interdisciplinary science of astrobiology asks: How did life originate and evolve on Earth? Are we alone in the universe? And how should we look for life beyond Earth?
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The future of 150 acres of woods is at stake Tuesday night. Please be a voice or warm body to show your support for saving this forest at the City Council Meeting Tuesday, October 14, 7 p.m. City Council Chambers, 4th and Cherry St. downtown Olympia
The 150 acres surrounding LBA Park in Olympia is the last large forested area within Olympia and its Urban Growth Area not already a park. The owners of the two parcels have expressed their willingness to sell, but unless the City of Olympia acts quickly to secure the woods, the developments planned for those parcels will proceed.
The LBA Woods Park Coalition has gathered over 5,200 signatures of area residents asking the Olympia City Council to purchase the woods for a park before these woods are lost to housing developments. The City’s Parks, Recreation, and Arts Advisory Committee voted to move forward to study the feasibility of purchasing the parcel as a city park.
LBA Woods are a true gem--an old-fashioned Commons of sorts in that the property is privately owned, though it is neither gated nor posted with no-trespassing signs or welcome signs. I believe many who visit the woods believe it is part of LBA Park. The community takes care of the woods and allows for multiple uses.
The woods have more than 4 miles of wooded trails through varied terrains, including mature conifer forest (a dozen or so trees over 36 inches diameter) and alder groves. Hundreds of people walk and run there. It is especially popular for walking dogs, and the gentle slope trails are accessible to seniors. Black Hills Audubon birders have identified fifty-eight bird species in the woods, including twenty-one species recently identified by the National Audubon Society as at-risk from climate change. The woods provide critical habitat--a refugia--for birds and wildlife that residents enjoy seeing in their yards and streets.
A significant body of new scientific research has shown that walking in larger forest parcels provides a number of surprising health benefits. Those benefits include: immune system boost, lower blood pressure, reduced stress, improved mood; increased ability to focus (even in children with ADHD), accelerated recovery from surgery or illness, increased energy level, improved sleep.
The demand for open space forest trails will nearly double in the next 20 years. Over that period, Olympia’s population is projected to increase 20,000 and Thurston County’s by 120,000. This begs the question, if Olympia does not act now to secure the woods, where will the children play? How will we address the nature-deficit disorder that will increasingly undermine our physical and mental health.
Funds exist to purchase the parcels. In 2004, City residents approved the “voted utility tax” to raise about $2 million a year for parks until 2024. The voters’ pamphlet and the City mailer stated that the tax-generated park funds would be prioritized for park acquisition before the remaining lands are lost, and estimated the funds would acquire about 500 acres, mostly open space. To date, the City has acquired only 51 acres.
The City can use the park acquisition funds from the voted utility tax to finance purchase one of the 75-acre parcels ("Bentridge"), which is currently on the market for $6.5 million. As Jane Kirkemo, the City Finance Director, has explained, the City could issue a bond anticipation note now to pay for the parcel, and pay off that note in 2016 when it sells a new round of general obligation bonds that would in turn be paid off using the voted utility tax revenues.
If the City supplements its bond funds supported by the utility tax with funds from other sources such as County conservation futures and state grant programs, the City would likely be able to purchase Trillium also by 2016.
The Save the LBA Woods effort is not about neighbors protecting 150 acres of woodland for their own private nature sanctuary. The LBA Woods Park Coalition has suggested creating a multi-use City Park, with the flat areas (now "old-growth" Scotsbroom) developed as much-needed soccer fields, an off-leash dog park, to complement the existing network of walking trails and dense woods.
Supporters of LBA Woods successfully lobbied the City Council to fund a suitability study of the property for use as a park. The 90-day study of teh LBA Woods and three other parcels . Shortly after the study is released in November, it is expected that the City Council will make a decision whether to proceed to buy either of the two LBA parcels.
If you want to help save the LBA woods and create LBA Woods Park, please write the City Council at firstname.lastname@example.org .
For more information or to sign the LBA Woods Park petition or to donate, please go to LBAWoodsPark.org .
This article has been provided by the LBA Woods Coalition, which I support, and tweaked by me.
By Barb Lally
The old, but well-preserved engine is a constant reminder of the commitment a group of special local citizens had to start a fire department there more than 50 years ago.
History Told from the Fire Station
“Most settlers came to the Littlerock area in the mid 1850s,” says Lt. Lanette Dyer, Public Information Officer for the West Thurston Regional Fire Authority in Littlerock and an avid local history buff.
Early on, Littlerock was known as Black River, though the name didn’t work because it was used elsewhere. A Rutledge family member filed paperwork to name it “The Rock” after the rock in town that helped the ladies get off and on buckboards and side saddles and served as a meeting place for mail and supplies.
“I was told that someone at the post office didn’t like the name and somehow the application got approved as ‘Littlerock’,” says Lanette. “That same rock sits today in front of the old Rutledge farm covered with moss with no reference to its historical value. But I know. I love that old rock.”
Two Fires in One Year
On June 27, 1925 the town of Littlerock was engulfed in fire, and the established Olympia firefighters had to be called in to keep the fire from spreading through the whole community.
The next month another massive fire in the area destroyed the Maytown Mill, nine homes and ten bunk houses. Two fires, just a month apart, were devastating to the community.
Fire was one of the biggest threats of the era. In an effort to improve public safety the Washington State legislature provided for the formation of fire districts in 1939.
A Fire Department for Littlerock, WA
Community fire departments began forming, but Littlerock was not quite ready. By 1956, five families in the area knew something had to be done to prevent history from repeating itself.
In August of 1957, at the request of those local citizens, a special election was held to determine if Fire Protection District No. 11 should be formed. The ballots cast were 121 “yes” votes and 4 “no” votes. The first fire district commissioners— Alvey Morehouse, John Seed and Homer Hedgepeth—were also elected.
The vision of those five families had paid off. But the story of their commitment doesn’t end there. They still needed a fire truck and had no money to get one. The only way to get a fire engine was to go buy it themselves. A 1936 Ford was purchased in 1958 from the Kent Fire Department for $500.
“I have been told for years that those five families mortgaged their homes to buy that engine,” Lynette relates. “What they paid doesn’t seem like much but in 1958 a new Ford started out at around $2,000 and people around these parts made less than $4,000 a year.”
The Engine that Could, Did
The names of those responsible for the formation of the fire district are memorialized on the plaque affixed to that 1936 Ford. Harold Bade, Davie Brown, Homer Hedgepeth, Lloyd Jones, Alvey Morehouse, John Seed, and Carlos Winkle had the commitment to sacrifice their personal finances to acquire the district’s first fire engine.
“When I hear the word hero, I think of that 1936 Ford that sits quietly in the bay next to my office,” says Lanette. “It tells a story of vision, sacrifice and a lot of trust. They are not forgotten by those who serve here.”
Citizen Sacrifice Pays Off
When first established, the Littlerock fire district was only 55 square miles.
Today, the West Thurston Regional Fire Authority, a partnership between Thurston County Fire District 1, 11, and 14, now has a 168 square mile response zone serving 25,000 residents in the communities of Bordeaux, Delphi, Gate, Grand Mound, Littlerock, Maytown, Michigan Hill, Rochester and Scott Lake. Nearly 70 of the 100 professionals that work in the firehouse on Littlerock Road are volunteers from the community.
“Our district founders’ commitment continues today in our many volunteers, some who have been serving for over 25 years,” says Russ Kaleiwahea, Chief of the West Thurston Regional Fire Authority. “Just last month they contributed a total of 1855 hours. They are crucial to our duty of providing timely service for our growing communities. It makes a difference in saving lives and saving properties.”
Special thanks to Lt. Lanette Dyer for her help with the article. She credits her knowledge of the history of Littlerock and its fire station to the late Mr. Dale Rutledge and to information passed down from fire department forefathers and from the archives.
By Gail Wood
In an age of specialization where kids often focus on one sport, Johnson is a three-sport starter, playing football, basketball and baseball at Capital High School. A couple of days after he takes the helmet off and plays in his last football game, he’ll be running up and down the basketball court. Then a couple of days after his last basketball game, he’ll be swinging at the plate, turning out for baseball.
“It’s fun,” Jacob said. “I’ve just always liked playing sports.”
And he’s not a benchwarmer, cheering his team to victory. He’s an all-league selection in both football and baseball. He’s a starter at guard in basketball.
This year Jacob’s football season will be extended a week in January. He’s been selected to play in the ninth annual Offense-Defense High School All-American Bowl in Orlando, Florida, on Jan. 4. It’s a prestigious game. Some of the game’s biggest names have played in it, including Dez Bryant, DeAndre West and Cam Newton.
“It’s pretty cool,” Jacob said with a wide grind. “I’m excited.”
And the all-star game that matches the east against the west won’t be his last football game. Jacob is being recruited by several colleges, including Eastern Washington, which nearly upset the University of Washington Huskies earlier this season. He’s also talked with coaches from the University of Montana and Montana Tech. The UW has also talked with him and has invited him to watch some home games this season.
His future in college football will be as a safety, where he’s started at Capital since his sophomore year.
Whether he’s on pass coverage (he had three interceptions after five games), or he’s flying up to stop the run (he had a season-high 15 tackles against Lincoln), Jacob has proven he’s got the knack for picking a pass or tackling a tailback. He’s double trouble for opposing quarterbacks.
“He’s not afraid of contact,” Capital coach John Johnson said. “He’s a great hitter. He’s got great form. He had a great game against Lincoln. He was the bright side for us on both sides of the ball in that game even though the outcome didn’t come out like we wanted.”
It didn’t take Jacob long to earn a spot on Capital’s varsity. As a freshman, he played on special teams and showed his tenacity for racing down field on punt coverage.
“I was the gunner,” Jacob said. “You just go as fast as you can. Make a big hit.”
At 5’11″, 185 pounds, Jacob isn’t the biggest player on the team. But he just might have the biggest heart. He comes to play.
“He’s not afraid of contact,” Coach Johnson said. “He’s a great hitter. He’s got great form. He just shows up and plays. You never have to worry about him showing up on Friday night.”
That tenacity, that drive to win, isn’t something that just turns on under the Friday night lights. It’s the approach Jacob takes in everything he does. In the classroom, he’s a 3.2 student. On the baseball field, he batted over .400 last season, earning second-team all-league as a center fielder. Last year as a junior, he was first team all-league as a safety. As a sophomore, he was second-team all-league in football.
Those that know him say that playing in an All-American game is appropriate.
“Jacob is an All-American kid,” said Karen Johnson, Jacob’s step mother. “I think if you talk with any of his coaches or his teachers, they’ll all say he’s reliable. He’s always consistent. He does what’s asked of him.”
That’s definitely true on the football field. On offense, he plays slot or the “Z position” in Capital’s Wing T offense and free safety or strong safety on defense. So he’s in the game a lot. After returning punts as a sophomore and junior, Jacob is now on the sideline, resting, during special teams.
“This year we’ve got a different guy back there returning punts,” Coach Johnson said. “He’s on everything else. So, there’s got to be some time we get him off of the field.”
With 4.7 speed, Jacob has good speed, but he’s not the fastest player on the field. However, his coach said he is quick – quick reacting, quick with the reads on a play, quick to make a decision on coverage.
“He’s quick,” Coach Johnson said. “He understands the game well. He puts himself into the positions he needs to be to be successful. And he makes quick decisions.”
By Mary Ellen Psaltis
I don’t mean finding nickels and dimes. I’m talking dollars – to the tune of at least $300 per year, but as much as $1,560.00 annually. Did you realize that the average American family throws away more than $300 worth of edible food per year? This is according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Another accounting estimates that the actual cost is $130 per month for a family of four. I can think of way better places for my money than the garbage can.
Where do you begin?
First, take a look inside your own cabinets. Mine are filled with recipe ideas represented by cans of small red beans, chunky soup and bright mandarin oranges. They were meant for someday. Perhaps this would be a good week to use a few of these treasures. Cans last a long time, but not forever.
Then, consider the meals you will be eating at home over the next few days. There’s no need to plan for Friday’s dinner if you are going out for pizza. Overbuying is not a money saving strategy. A list can be helpful. The idea is to eat all the food that you buy. Promptly.
Next buy smaller amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables that can be used within a few days. As soon as I bring in my bag of weekly farm-share vegetables or purchases from the grocery store I look at all my items reminding myself of when they will be ready for the table. What’s the plan? There’s no time like the present to chop and sort. Make sure that your produce can be seen when you put it into the refrigerator. If it’s not in a clear bag, it’s too easy to forget what is inside.
Thurston County Public Works Department wants you to keep your food and your money out of the trash. They have devoted pages of their website to tips, contests and ideas and even recipes to maximize your food dollar and minimize your food waste footprint. You can even take the Waste Less Food Challenge. It’s amazing, especially if this is all new to you. Check it out.
As I became more aware of my food waste, I became interested in worms. Not the night crawler-types, but with red wigglers. They’re recycling worms that eat my food scraps. A friend gave me a baggie of worms to start my own bin, and I was hooked immediately. These little (quiet) beings graciously take the pieces of fruits and vegetables that I don’t eat such as avocado skins, banana peels, egg shells, apple cores and beet skins as well as coffee grounds and tea bags and turn it all into worm castings, which are fertilizer gold.
We do the upmost in our house to eat up all the edible food, even if the worms would enjoy it. However, they are the recipients when some dish becomes no longer fit for eating. This ‘garbage’ goes out to my worm bin instead of to the landfill. My big plastic box (recycle bin) is home to handfuls of red wigglers who work 24/7 to turn my waste to nutrient rich worm castings. Mixing this into your soil provide readily absorbable nutrients for all your plants.
There is a lidded glass jar on my kitchen counter for food scraps. When it’s full, I dump it into my bin conveniently located outside not far from the back door. One of my favorite health tips is this: If you are unable to sustain a worm bin, then you are not eating enough fruits and vegetables.
Local expert Alex Weisser, owner of Wiser Worm Farm, is a long-time vendor at the Olympia Farmers Market. He sells Liquid Organic Fertilizer (worm tea) and containers of worms to get you started on our own bin.
Weisser says he got into the business somewhat accidentally after noticing two things: The plants that grew near the liquid runoff of the worm bed grew well, and that worm castings (digested and excreted worm food) were “pretty expensive.” Weisser noted that people continue to turn to worm tea (the liquid fertilizer) for home and garden use because they want to “keep away from chemical fertilizers.”
Make no mistake, worm tea is not a poor substitute for chemical fertilizers – it’s perhaps a stunning step beyond! The microbial activity increases growth and health of plants. And, it will not burn even sensitive plants. Ask Weisser how using worm tea can make a difference at your home. Just to be clear, worm tea is not for human drinking. It’s the liquid that passes through a worm bin and is collected underneath. It happens to be the color of a dark brewed tea. At the market you can buy your first worms, worm tea and castings and you can also make purchases through his website.
Worms don’t eat everything. You’ll need to dispose of bones, meats, oils and most of your citrus, but you can give them your newspaper. You will be impressed how much lighter your garbage can becomes.
Here’s one more tip, which you probably already do, but it’s worth noting. When I do have food leftovers that appear to be going nowhere fast, I put them in a small container and pop it into the freezer before they go bad. These small portions are perfect for lunch or a small dinner when fewer people are at home.
By spending a bit of time noticing what is in your cabinets and in your refrigerator, you can plan to make the most of your purchases. Eating more fruits and vegetables tastes great and is beneficial to maintaining your optimal weight. Worms make excellent pets. They are totally quiet, provide an invaluable service and they don’t mind if you go away for the weekend.
Eat Well – Be Well
By Gail Wood
Forty-seven years later Vasereno is still living the dream, working a job that most everyone else calls a vacation.
“Where do all the years go,” Vasereno questioned. “I’m still loving it.”
For 25 years, Vasereno and his wife, Karyl, have owned their own fishing boat, the Gold Rush. It’s a white 43-foot boat that’s up and running seven days a week during the summer. For 33 years, Vasereno held down two jobs. During the week from September to June, he was “Mr. Vasereno” to his chemistry and physics students – first for 18 years at Tumwater High School and then 13 years at Black Hills High School. During the summer months and on weekends in the spring, he was merely “Kevin” to the fishermen looking for a good “pole bending” time.
Then in the spring of 2012, Mr. Vasereno became Kevin permanently. After 33 years, he retired from teaching and picked up his fishing pole full time.
This is the third fall he hasn’t returned to school to teach. While he enjoyed teaching, he doesn’t miss it.
“I love it,” he said about retirement from teaching. “I don’t miss it because I’m keeping so darn busy. It would be a lot harder to give up my fishing business, which I’ve done for 47 years. Now, that would be hard to quit.”
In the summer of 1975, when he was attending college to get his education degree, Vasereno became a captain when he got his Master’s License from the United States Coast Guard at the age of 19. He officially became “Skipper.”
Kevin has two objectives when he pulls his 43-foot fishing boat out of Westport. His primary goal is to make sure everyone going fishing has fun. The second goal is to catch fish, returning with the best catch possible. Casey Lowe, who has gone out fishing on Vasereno’s boat many times over the years, gives his former high school teacher a double thumbs up.
“He’s amazing,” said Lowe, a Tumwater grad. “You’d think since he’s the Skipper, all he’s going to do is drive the boat. No way. He’s sprinting around helping. If you need a herring on, he’ll put it on and get you back in the water.”
Lowe, along with his brothers Derrick and Tom and some co-workers at Capital Business Machines, recently went tuna fishing on the Gold Rush. Lowe figured they caught over 80 fish.
“It was crazy,” Lowe said. “We had such a great time. Kevin is super friendly.”
Fishing is truly a family affair for the Vaserenos. Karyl handles the booking, taking the phone calls from people wanting to schedule a day of fishing. As for his deckhand, he’s got his son, Colin, who also has captain’s license. Like his dad, Colin began working as a deckhand at age 12.
“He’s been my full time deck hand since he was 16,” Vasereno said. “He’s got a ton of experience. Some day he may want to take the business over. It’s hard to tell right now.”
Colin, his dad’s deck mate for eight years, makes sure everyone’s line is baited and in the water.
“He’s just like his dad,” Lowe said. “He’s making sure everyone has a herring on their hook and in the water. When you’re on Kevin’s boat, you’re going to catch some fish. If you’re not puking, you’re going to catch some fish.”
Coming off a good fishing season when the catch count was up, Vasereno has no complaints about his fishing business.
“We were a team this year on the boat,” he said. “It worked out really well.”
Occasionally, Karyl hangs up the phone in their office and joins her husband and son for a fishing outing on their boat.
“Every so often she comes,” Vasereno said.
But there’s one other “chore” that limits her to a handful of fishing trips a year.
“She’s so busy with our granddaughters and things like that,” said Vasereno, who is selling his Tumwater home and moving to Westport. “She got to go tuna fishing once, halibut fishing once and salmon fishing once. She’s a very good fisherman.”
Vasereno’s job as a teacher, with his summers off, was ideal for being a charter boat owner. Working spring break and weekends during the spring, Vasereno was able to get out on the water for fishing a lot.
“We really didn’t miss much of the season even when I was teaching school,” he said.
Lowe talked fondly of his days in Mr. Vasereno’s electricity class at Tumwater High School. Vasereno had a reputation of being an enforcer, a disciplinarian who made sure all his students were on task, getting their work done.
“In his class, you learned,’ Lowe said. “He was one of the best teachers I had.”
With owning his own boat for all these years, Vasereno has a lot of repeat customers. But he doesn’t really look at them as customers.
“I’ve got great customers. Guys who been coming out for so long,” Vasereno said. “They’re more friends than customers. We just have a great time. It’s always fun going fishing – great to see the people. Every day is different.”
He said owning a charter boat business isn’t for everybody. It can become a job, a business that has no weekend getaway. But for Vasereno, it’s heaven.
“For me it’s just been one of the things I like to do most,” he said.
To schedule a trip with Versereno aboard the Gold Rush, click here.
A free reading at Orca Books, 509 4th Ave E in downtown Olympia: marine naturalist Sandra Pollard will be talking about her new book, Puget Sound Whales for Sale: The Fight to End Orca Hunting.
In November 2005, Washington's iconic killer whales, known as Southern Resident orcas, were placed on the endangered species list. It was a victory long overdue for a fragile population of fewer than one hundred whales. Sandra Pollard traces the story and destinies of the many Southern Resident orcas captured for commercial purposes in or near the Puget Sound between 1964 and 1976. During this time, these highly intelligent members of the dolphin family lost nearly one-third of their population. Drawing on original archive material, this important volume outlines the history of orca captivity while also recounting the harrowing struggle--and ultimate triumph--for the Puget Sound orcas' freedom.Google Plus One Facebook Like