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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.
Local residents: Join Nextdoor to see GNA events, plus many more goings-on here in our neighborhood!
It was standing room only at the Griffin Fire Department Headquarters when the Annual Community Meeting of the Griffin Neighborhood Association was convened this last week. The keynote speaker was Matt Blankenship, a wildlife conflict specialist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, whose presentation was entitled “Living with Wildlife.” The Association held its Board election, and a video presentation provided a photo review of some of the Association’s activities over the last year. Representatives of several local organizations were also available to meet with residents interested in learning more each group.
The Year in Review
In 2018 the GNA continued its tradition of offering a summertime community picnic. Musical guests Humor & Heart played. Taylor Seafood Farms made a generous donation of seafood and staff to prepare and serve shellfish delights we’re fortunate to offer at a community event of this kind. Association Board members and volunteers crewed the event and local businesses and organizations pitched in with donations and staffed informational tables. We covered the event in two pieces published before and after the picnic.
This last November the Association hosted a town hall on traffic safety, featuring representatives of the Sheriff’s Department. If you’re on Nextdoor, you can read a thorough summary here.
Volunteers associated with the GNA also conducted several trash clean-ups along area roads in the last year. A schedule of future clean-up events will appear on our Facebook Page and Nextdoor’s Events calendar.
Local Organizations Featured
Here are the names and links to information for the not-for-profit organizations that provided information at the Community meeting:
Arbutus Folk School. Local contact is David Paul.
Fences for Fido. Local contacts are Mike and Becky Reavis.
St Christopher’s Church and Food Pantry. Local contacts are Lindy Vincent or Bill Hanna.
“Living With Animals”
Matt Blankenship’s presentation greatly interested all of us. Before this meeting who knew Fish & Wildlife employed “wildlife conflict specialists”? Mr. Blankenship described many of the animals with whom we share our Peninsula and provided tips about how to enjoy them and, in some instances, how to protect our property from them. His presentation highlighted the presence of deer, woodpeckers, coyotes, bobcats, black bears, and cougars in our area. There were a lot of questions at the Q&A that followed! One big takeaway had to do with the variety of resources available to us from the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. Also discussed was the importance of reporting especially large animal sighting (for example, bears and cougars) to Fish & Wildlife. Their phone number is (877) 933-9847, and there is a web page for making reports of dangerous wildlife at https://wdfw.wa.gov/living/dangerous/reports/
Thank you to Board members Jan Hopwood and Jim Goldsmith for this year’s keynote speaker.
Board Election Fails to Fill All Positions
GNA bylaws permit a Board of Directors of between 10 and 17 members. Each year, half these positions on the Board are put up for election and this year there were six open positions to be filled. We were able to fill one of these positions at the meeting.
The Association can continue to operate with a Board of closer to 10 members, instead of the full 17. However, this is a volunteer-run organization and it benefits all if we can fill more positions on the Board. Anyone living or owning property within the boundaries of the Griffin School District can serve on the Board. And we can continue to add Directors throughout the year; it does not require a community meeting.
For more information about serving on our Board, please click here to view our Board Member FAQ. Contact any Board Member, if you have questions. Board meetings are open to the public and the 2019 schedule of meetings will be published on our Facebook Page and on Nextdoor shortly after the Board’s February organizing meeting.
The Annual Community Meeting of the Griffin Neighborhood Association will be held on Thursday, January 24th. This meeting is at the Griffin Fire Department Headquarters. Doors will open at 6:00 PM for a half-hour of socializing. Snacks and beverages will be provided and local non-profit organizations have been invited to set up at tables within the meeting room. This is a nice opportunity to meet with neighbors and catch up on what’s happening in the Griffin area.
The formal program begins at 6:30 PM. There will be a brief business meeting of the Griffin Neighborhood Association. This includes nominations and voting for half the positions on the Board of the Association. The Bylaws of the GNA provide for a Board of between 10 and 17 members in size. Folks owning property or residing within the Griffin School District are eligible to serve on the Board and each year about half the Board positions come up for election.
Please consider this your invitation to join our Board. If you or someone you know are interested in serving on the Board of the GNA, this link to the Board Member FAQ (frequently asked questions) may answer some questions about what it means to work on the Board.
This year’s keynote speaker is Matt Blankenship from the Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife. Mr. Blankenship is a “wildlife conflict specialist” and he will speak on the topic of “Living With Wildlife.” In our rural environment, this is a topic sure to be of interest to all of us!
If you represent a local non-profit organization and would like to host a table at the Community Meeting, please email Becky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annual Community Meeting
Thursday, January 24
Griffin Fire Department Headquarters
We look forward to seeing you at this year’s Community Meeting!
Did you know your purchases on Amazon.com can benefit the Griffin Neighborhood Association? It’s true. At no additional cost to you, any purchases you make on Amazon can return a modest commission to the GNA, but only if you visit Amazon using our special Internet address.
It’s easy. Just begin your browsing at SteamboatIsland.org/Amazon It’s that simple. Or, find our link, near the links to our Facebook Page, Twitter feed, and Nextdoor, located to the right of our website’s masthead.
Any purchase you make, when you start your shopping at SteamboatIsland.org/Amazon will return a little commission to the Association. The price you pay will not change.
Thanks for your support! from the Griffin Neighborhood Association.
For this election, “local candidates” include offices in the County government, District Court, and the Thurston Public Utility District.
As I have noted in the prior pieces of this series, a good starting place to familiarize yourself with the candidates is the online voter’s guide. This is an online version of the paper one you probably received a week or two ago. The online version, however, includes links to campaign
Among the offices within County government there are only three positions where there is a contest between two candidates. The race for Commissioner of the Public Utility District also has two candidates. For the other five non-judicial positions, the incumbent is running unopposed for reelection. Let’s focus our attention first on the races that involve actual contests between two candidates. These are the Auditor, County Commissioner (District 3), Prosecutor, and Commissioner of the Public Utility District.
The incumbent is Mary Hall, a Democrat. Hall was first elected Auditor in 2013 and she is running for re-election.
The challenger is Stuart Holmes, an Independent.
It may be worthwhile to take a pause here and point out there are no candidates running for the County’s partisan positions who describe themselves as Republicans. The easiest way to determine the political leanings of any candidate is probably to look at who’s contributed directly to the candidate’s campaign. This won’t easily answer questions about non-campaign spending – that spending made by interest groups working for or against specific issues of candidates – but a visit to the state’s Political Disclosure Commission’s website can be enlightening. In the online voter’s guide, too, there are links to “Who donated to this candidate’s campaign?” that provide the same details.
The Griffin area is within District 3 and this seat is our district’s commissioner. We choose, in the primary, what candidates are promoted to the General Election. But, in the General Election, all voters in the County will be eligible to vote for the Commissioner.
Tye Menser, Democrat, is running to unseat Blake.
Both candidates have extensive lists of endorsements and additional information on their campaign websites. By clicking on any candidate’s name here, you will be taken to that candidate’s website.
Jon Tunheim, a Democrat and Steamboat Peninsula resident, is looking to retain his seat for another 4-year term.
Victor M. Minjares, also a Democrat, is the challenger.Read More