Click on an image above for more information.
We Are Now a Nextdoor Neighborhood
Click here for more information about our Nextdoor neighborhood. If you live in the Griffin Area, click here to join Nextdoor.
Now on Facebook
Now on Twitter
Support Us While Shopping Online
Now you can support the GNA while shopping on Amazon.com. Simply start shopping at www.SteamboatIsland.org/amazon. Any purchases you make during your session that begins here will generate a small commission paid to the GNA, at no additional cost to you.
Is there a big blank spot, between this line and the line above that begins "Simply Click Here to Shop Amazon"? If yes, then you may have an ad-blocker that is preventing you from seeing some of our web site. Please whitelist our web site.
Who is the Griffin Neighborhood Association?
The Griffin Neighborhood Association (GNA) is registered with the State of Washington as a non-profit organization. We are a nonpartisan group of neighbors living within the boundaries of the Griffin School District, Thurston County, Washington.
Any person owning property, a business, or residing in the Griffin area is eligible to become a member and participate fully in the Association. Membership is also open to community groups and students of the Griffin School District. If you live or work in the Griffin neighborhood or Steamboat Peninsula, the Griffin Neighborhood Association is you.
Originally organized as the Oyster Bay Neighborhood Association in 1990, we were registered with the State of Washington as the nonprofit Griffin Neighborhood Association in December, 1995.
The mission of the Griffin Neighborhood Association is to help build community consensus on major issues confronting the Griffin area, including growth, land issues, habitat, water quality, transportation and school planning. When appropriate, we research issues as honest brokers of information, provide forums for debate, attempt to arrive at community consensus and issue resolution, and present this consensus to appropriate decision makers.
The Griffin Neighborhood Association also undertakes and supports projects that benefit our community, help to build a sense of community, and educate the community on topics of interest.
Our Board and Officers
Our Board is comprised of current members of the Association, elected by members of the Association present at the Annual Meeting. Officers are elected from Board membership by members of the Board.
Our Upcoming Events
Local residents: Join Nextdoor to see GNA events, plus many more goings-on here in our neighborhood!
Three candidates are vying for a single empty seat on the Thurston Conservation District’s Board of Supervisors. Every registered voter in the Griffin area are eligible to participate in the election. However, the balloting is done outside the County’s normal process. If you are not familiar with the Conservation District, let me take this opportunity to provide a little background. I also want to describe the very odd ballot procedures and encourage you to participate, even though the cumbersome process seems designed to discourage voter participation.
What is the Thurston Conservation District?
Created in 1947, our conservation district is a legal subdivision of state government. It administers programs to conserve natural resources. The Conservation District is self-governed by volunteers who establish priorities and set policy. According to the TCD’s web site, “Conservation Districts exist in practically every county throughout the United States.”
Many of us, particularly in rural and semi-rural parts of the county, have used services from the TCD. “From a one-time soil test to an in-depth Conservation Plan, we’re here to help people feel comfortable and prepared when working with and on their land.” Equipment rental, access to advice and resources for habitat restoration and preservation, and a wealth of information to help property owners to manage their land are all available – some at no extra charge – from the Thurston Conservation District.
The TCD receives financial support through a number of means. You may be familiar with the District’s annual plant sale (this year’s is March 3rd). Some modest revenue is also generated from equipment rental and soil testing. TCD receives most of its money from state, federal, and private grants. An important source of financial support comes from a per-parcel assessment, included as part of our property taxes. I am seeking confirmation of the amount of that assessment, and how it is paid to the TCD. I’ll update this article, as soon as I get some clarification.
In 2017 TCD’s budget was for nearly $1.7 million in expenses. This budget was for projects that conserve soil, restore water quality, protect shellfish and salmon, and educate the public.
The TCD is a very useful resource, whether you are a farmer or simply wish to maintain your parcel of land in a way likely to preserve its highest value.
Five members comprise Thurston Conservation District’s Board of Supervisors, each serving three-year terms, without compensation. Three of the five Supervisors are elected by registered Thurston County voters, and two are appointed by the Washington State Conservation Commission.
– TCD web site
Since the TCD is governed by a volunteer Board of Supervisors, it’s very important that competent and dedicated individuals be elected. Board members who don’t participate threaten the success of the TCD and potentially squander the funds that support the important services provided by the District.
One of the candidates named on the ballot – Deston Denniston – has withdrawn from the race. There are three candidates remaining. [Update: A second candidate, Edward Steinweg, has now dropped out.] Official statements by each of the candidates are posted on this web page. Beyond advising you to search online for information about these candidates, I am at a loss to provide additional information about the qualifications of each. But click here and scroll to the bottom if you would like to leave a comment, particularly if you have an informed opinion or a line on a good online resource.
There is a candidate forum, sponsored by the Sierra Club and Thurston County League of Women Voters. That forum is Tuesday, February 13! Click on the image of the flyer here, to get a larger view.
Normally, I’d say the easiest way to vote is by mail. But this election appears not to be “normal”. There are two ways for you to vote.
Vote By Mail (“absentee ballot”)
Begin by requesting a ballot. They are calling this an “absentee ballot.” One way to get one is by phoning the Thurston County Auditor’s Office at (360)786-5408 and requesting that a ballot be mailed to you. Absentee ballots may be requested between February 5th – February 28th, 2018. You can also get a ballot by going to the Auditor’s Office, 2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW, Building 1, Elections – Room 118. I assume, if you request one to be mailed to you, what will arrive is a ballot similar to the ones you normally receive, for things like general elections.
Another way to get a ballot is online using this link. You enter your name and date of birth and, if the County Elections system can identify you, you are given the opportunity to either enter your vote or download a ballot with no vote (you can then manually enter your vote). No matter which online method you choose – enter a vote for a candidate or request a blank ballot – you’ll need to download and print out a four-page PDF file.
One of the pages is a set of Ballot packet instructions. Another is the ballot itself. A third page is a Declaration and Signature Sheet containing language like that you normally see printed on the outside of your mail-in ballot. The fourth page is a “Return envelope cut-out template.”
Here’s where the fun starts. It’s what I’m calling “ballot origami.”Read More
The Griffin Neighborhood Association works to promote local business on and around the Steamboat Peninsula. You can see some of these efforts if you follow us on Facebook or Twitter. In case you don’t, here’s some news you might have missed.
The Steamboat Square is on the grow. Our Community Credit Union recently opened a branch. This Saturday, the new Flying Heron Yoga will begin its regular schedule of studio classes. Owner Heidianna Brown has announced an opening schedule of Gentle Yoga and Flow (Vinyasa) Yoga. A meditation class, Warm Slow Flow, and Strength and Balance class is also on the schedule. Additional classes and class times will be added.
The last Sunday of each month is a community class, offered at no charge. It’s “teacher’s choice” of class style and RSVP is required, due to limited space.
Flying Heron Yoga is located right on Sexton, next to the Subway Sandwich shop. Click on the image here, for a larger version of the class schedule that includes contact information at the bottom.
Sovereign Cellars, our local winery on the Eld Inlet side of the Peninsula, has announced a special Sweetheart Sale on its gold medal-winning 2014 merlot. Regularly sold at $35 a bottle, it’s available for a limited time at $20 a bottle. This special price ends on Valentine’s Day or while supplies last. Contact Dennis Gross, the winemaker at Sovereign Cellars, at (360) 866-7991 and firstname.lastname@example.org, for purchase details.
Are you a local resident who owns or operates a business? Let us help you tell your story. Add your business to our online directory. And, if you’re a resident on or near the Steamboat Peninsula, visit our local business directory whenever you are looking for services close to home.
The Annual Community Meeting of the Griffin Neighborhood Association will be held at the Griffin Fire Department Headquarters on Thursday, January 25th. The doors open at 6 PM and the meeting begins at 6:30 PM. Everyone is invited. Each year, the GNA hosts an opportunity to reconnect with area residents, meet representatives of local organizations, participate in a brief Association business meeting, and hear from a group of speakers on a topic of general interest.
We’ll also receive an update from Drake Nicholson, on the Steamboat Tennis and Athletic Club and Steamboat Golf Driving Range.
Local organizations will be providing information about their work here in the Griffin area. The half-hour beginning at 6:00 PM provides you with a chance to meet these representatives. Some of the groups attending this year are:
Providence Behavioral Health Services
Steamboat Island Cooperative Preschool
Steamboat Peninsula Lions
Empowerment 4 Girls
St. Christopher’s Outreach Program
Annual Community Meeting
Thursday, January 25
Griffin Fire Department Headquarters
At this meeting, the Association will call for nominations to its Board of Directors. Current members of the Association will vote on a slate of Board members. This meeting is a good time to renew your membership with the Griffin Neighborhood Association, since only current members can vote in the election. Or, you can join or renew your membership online at steamboatisland.org/joinus
The Association exists only through the service of volunteers from our community. Board membership is a terrific way to give back to the Griffin area. You can be a member of our Board! For more information about Board membership, click here to read our frequently asked questions. Or contact any Board member. To learn more about our more than 25-year history here, click this link. ‘Think you can’t make a difference? We do, right here in the community where we live. Join us!
This year we are especially asking members of the community to help support the St. Christopher’s Community Church Food Bank. This is a satellite of the Thurston County Food Bank and provides important assistance to families in need, right here on the Steamboat Peninsula. Our focus this year is on collecting non-food items that are often provided by our food bank. Please consider whether you can bring any of these to the Community Meeting:
- Toilet tissue
- Laundry soap
- Dish soap
- Personal items, such as shampoo and hand soap
- Travel shampoo, conditioner, soap, in the sizes made available at hotels
- Gift cards for gasoline
Any other items, including furniture donations, are welcome donations. To make arrangements to donate large items, please contact St. Christopher’s directly, at (360) 866-2111 and leave a message. Lindy Vincent will call you back.
Thank you in advance for your generosity.
Do you need to have your name added to the monthly food distribution from our food bank? Call (360) 866-2111. All names are kept confidential.
Come to our Annual Community Meeting this Thursday. Doors open at 6 PM for a social gathering before the meeting begins at 6:30 PM. Snacks and beverages will be served.
Humans have a unique relationship to land; it is at the same time familial, emotional and legal. Some land is passed down from one generation to the next and represents family history and significance beyond its physical attributes. Some landowners bought their land because of the beautiful setting or the richness of its natural features. Landowners who cherish their land often want to ensure it is managed in a way that maintains what they love about it into the future, including after they’re gone. One way to ensure the land is used in line with the owner’s wishes is through a conservation easement.
A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and another party – often a land trust – regarding how the land will be used for years to come. This agreement is recorded by the appropriate government entity and becomes part of the permanent legal description of the land.
Capitol Land Trust has partnered with many landowners to develop these agreements, which can be tailored to the desires of the owner while protecting important ecological values – Capitol Land Trust’s goal. Conservation easements also can be employed to maintain working farms and forests ensuring they can continue to produce agricultural or forest products, often for local use.
An easement can identify different uses for distinct parts of a property. For example, land surrounding a stream might be left in its natural state, while a field can be used for growing crops, and yet another area for residential use.
With an easement, the landowner continues to own the land while the land trust agrees to ensure that the land is used in accordance to the agreement. This includes making sure future owners comply with the easement and, if necessary, bring legal action to enforce the agreement.
Capitol Land Trust’s first conserved property was protected through a conservation easement. While the trust also has purchased land for conservation purposes, protecting land through conservation easements can be cost-effective and lessens the burden of long-term management on the land trust. With 38 easements in our portfolio, this partnership with private landowners has meant that some of our area’s most ecologically significant and important working lands are protected forever.
– reprinted with permission from the Issue 63, Fall 2017 of the Capitol Land Trust News
In 2009, the Griffin Neighborhood Association and Capitol Land Trust formed the Steamboat Conservation Partnership. Conservation easements are one important tool available to help the Partnership meet its goal of conserving the rich and diverse natural landscapes of the Steamboat Peninsula region. Click here to learn more about the Steamboat Conservation Partnership.