Annual Meeting Reviews 2020, Elects New Board Members, Discusses COVID Vaccines

This year’s Annual Community Meeting began with two videos. One highlighted the activities of the Griffin Neighborhood Association and its partners, in 2020 and the other is entitled “Coping with COVID.”

A required bit of business at each Annual Meeting is the election of Board members in positions whose terms of office have expired. This year we are grateful that several board members have allowed themselves to be nominated for a new term. Those were joined by three new Board members.

Returning Board members are:
Katherine Ball
Michael Ball
Paul Frindt
Michelle O’Dell
Mike Reavis
Joan Thomas

New Board members are:
Jan Robbins
Rick Robbins
Biene Wood

Many thanks to departing Board members Jan Hopwood and Dave Shuett-Hames. Your service to our community is greatly appreciated.

For this year’s meeting, the keynote speaker was Danny Veenhouwer, PharmD, MBA, Senior Manager Pharmacy Services at Providence St. Peter Hospital. Mr. Veenhouwer presented information and answered our questions about COVID vaccines.

We were privileged Mr. Veenhouwer was able to take time out of his evening to address the community on this very timely topic.

2020 was the Griffin Neighborhood Association’s thirtieth year! We are grateful for the support from all our neighbors and we’re looking forward to 2021.

Virtual Annual Meeting of the Griffin Neighborhood Association, Thursday, February 18

Each year the Griffin Neighborhood Association convenes an Annual Community Meeting. This meeting combines some Association business required in its bylaws with an opportunity to present a program of interest to the general community. This year we have planned an online meeting.

The meeting begins at 6:30 PM, when we will present two video programs. One is the GNA 2020 Year in Review, where we’ll recap some of the Association’s activities over the last year. The other video, “Coping With Covid,” includes many neighbors’ contributions here in the Griffin area. Thanks to all of you who contributed images that describe how you are coping with the ongoing pandemic.

At about 7 PM, we will hold our annual election of Board members. Each year, half the board of directors’ positions must be filled, either with returning or new members. Only those currently-paid up members of the Association can vote in the Board election. If you have not yet made your annual contribution, you can do so online using a secure transaction at this link. Make sure you’re paid up before the Annual Meeting to vote in our Board election.

At about 7:15 PM, our keynote speaker will begin. Our keynote speaker is Danny Veenhouwer, PharmD, MBA, Senior Manager Pharmacy Services at Providence St. Peter Hospital, who will present information on “COVID Vaccines.” The differences, the availability, and the safety of them.

GNA Virtual Annual Community Meeting
Thursday, February 18
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Use this link to attend the Annual Meeting:
https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_ZDViMmE1YjAtNzBlNy00Y2VkLWFiMTEtYjAyOTgzMjQxMTc1%40thread.v2/0?context=%7B%22Tid%22%3A%223db789f8-e3f1-45fd-ac6b-de5cea47e7bb%22%2C%22Oid%22%3A%22025428ce-9fac-476e-a9e1-6809ec591410%22%2C%22IsBroadcastMeeting%22%3Atrue%7D

A screen will appear that gives two options. Select “watch on the web instead’ (no need to install anything unless you are on your phone or tablet). Set back and enjoy the show! Simple as that.

The Annual Meeting will take place online as a live event using Microsoft Teams. As GNA President Mike Reavis explains, “This will be a little different than the Zoom sessions I am sure you are all familiar with.” For this event, there is no need for a camera or microphones on your part. Only the meeting host and our presenters will have the ability to speak, share their presentations, and have the option of turning on their camera.

“We are hoping this format will make it easier for everyone to attend the annual meeting and we will make a recording available after the event. As we all know, we cannot meet in person, so we are hoping this will be the next best thing.”

If you attend the meeting using a personal computer, you won’t have to install any software. Just attend it using a web browser. You can also choose to attend anonymously. If you attend using a mobile phone, you may have to install the Microsoft Teams mobile app, either from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

When you attend the event, you will find a Question and Answer tab on-screen, for you to type in questions during the meeting, and the presenters will then answer them.

For technical questions about what to expect with Microsoft Teams, please click this link.

We are looking forward to this year’s Annual Community Meeting. We hope you are, too.

Join Us for Tree Lighting at Companion Cove

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Come join us Saturday, December 5th, to watch a tree lighting ceremony from the comfort of your own vehicle. Join in singing Christmas carols with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Saturday, December 5
6:00 PM
Companion Cove

On Saturday, we will also be collecting non-perishable food items for the satellite food bank at St. Christopher’s Community Church. Please bring something to donate.

Then, beginning December 6th and continuing until Christmas, children can make an ornament and hang it on the Griffin Neighborhood Christmas tree at Companion Cove (please hang ornaments on the lower branches).

Presented by the Griffin Neighborhood Association.

See you on December 5th!

Trunk or Treat This Halloween at Griffin School and Companion Cove

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Join the Griffin Neighborhood Association and Griffin PTO for a Trunk or Treat on Halloween evening. This drive-through event will be held at the Griffin School and Companion Cove parking lots.

Griffin School and Companion Cove
Sunday, October 31
5:00 to 8:00 PM

Social distancing will be observed and we ask you remain in your vehicle. Non-costume masks are required.

Donations of bagged candy are needed. If you would like to donate, there are drop off boxes at Griffin School, Griffin Fire Station, and Companion Cove. Please make your candy donations by October 28th.

Trunks wanted! If you’re interested, contact Becky at furacres@gmail.com. Prize for the best trunk?

New Local Residents Amy and Streiter VanQuaethem Join VanQuaethem Family Chiropractic

2020 has certainly been a crazy year for this world and for our family!  In March, my husband, Streiter, daughter, Laney, and I headed on spring break from our Maui home. What was supposed to be a fun vacation turned into a complete shift in life as we knew it. While we were enjoying the Florida beaches, Coronavirus started taking its toll. My father in law had a sudden stroke here in Olympia, and Florida was closing, so we flew to Washington to be with our family. Thankfully, he recovered. However, he would be unable to practice Chiropractic again.

After much consideration and a couple of trips home to Maui, we decided that, during this challenging time, it was more important to be near family. We joined our enthusiastic brother, Dr. Taylor VanQuaethem’s office in West Olympia and started our new practice here. It has been humbling to go from a large practice that served the islands of Maui and Lanai to a practice that we are building from scratch. We are optimistic for the future, appreciative of our new life, and grateful to have found a great home on the beautiful Steamboat Peninsula.

Update: Local residents Amy and Streiter VanQuaethem have moved from VanQuaethem Family Chiropractic to Steamboat Island Chiropractic, located at 6541 Sexton Drive NW, Ste A201, Olympia, WA 98502. That is above Urraco Coffee. They are accepting new patients. Call (360) 943-6206 to schedule an appointment. The Griffin Neighborhood Association is happy to welcome the VanQuaethem family to the Griffin area and to add Steamboat Island Chiropractic to our local business directory.

Election Day is November 3, Ballots to be Mailed Oct 8

It’s election season! Here’s what you need to know this year to vote smart.

Important Dates

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To the right is a table from the County Elections website. Ballots will be mailed October 8. The ballot drop boxes will be locked at 8 PM on November 3.

Your Voter Registration

If you are not yet registered to vote there’s still time. Click here to register online. The last day to register online is October 26, but you should plan to register as soon as you can. After that date, you can register all the way up to Election Day. For more information about voter eligibility, updating your registration, or canceling it, see this web page. This page also contains information useful if you would like to update your voter registration because of a name or signature change.

If you have moved or changed your name, click here to update your current voter registration online.

You can confirm your voter registration status online or by calling the County Auditor’s Elections team at (360) 786-5408.

You can contact Thurston County Elections directly at elections@co.thurston.wa.us and by phone at (360) 786-5408. 711 Washington Relay. Visit ThurstonVotes.org for in person hours and
locations.

From October 14 though November 3 the Elections Office has a service center opened. It is located at South Puget Sound Community College Mottman Campus, 2011 Mottman Rd SW, Olympia.

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Mason Transit Authority Returns Limited Saturday Service

The Mason Transit Authority has returned limited Saturday service, including service on Route 6, which runs between Shelton and Olympia. This service, now running Monday through Saturday, allows Steamboat Peninsula residents to call ahead to get the bus to make a stop. Just call Mason Transit at 360-427-5033 and request that a bus pull off US-101, either heading to Olympia or to Shelton.

The bus will stop at different locations, depending on whether you are heading to Olympia or heading toward Shelton.

If you are heading to Olympia, the bus will stop at the corner of Whittaker Rd. NW/Steamboat Island Rd. and Old Highway 101 NW. In the illustration below, you can see the little blue bus symbol marking that location.

If you are heading to Shelton, the bus will stop on Sexton Dr. NW, in front of the Island Market.

Here is a link to the timetable running from Shelton to Olympia. The bus continues from Steamboat Island to Westside of Olympia, Mud Bay Rd, Harrison Ave, and the Olympia Transit Center.

And here is a link to the timetable running from Olympia to Shelton. The bus leaves the Olympia Transit Center and its first stop will be at Steamboat Island. From there is goes on to the Kamilche Transit Center, Cole Rd Park & Ride, Shelton Outfitters, Transit-Community Center, and Kneeland Plaza (7:40PM Route only).

The fare is $1.50 one-way, Seniors (65+) are $0.50 and children under age 6 ride free. Exact change is required.

Griffin School K-5th Grade “Drive Through Parade” Tuesday, September 8

If you have a child at Griffin School, Kindergarten through 5th Grade, this Tuesday’s “Drive Through Parade” is for you!

Load up the kids and drive them through the school parking lot to come and “meet” their teachers! Make a sign with your child’s name and his/her teacher’s name so we can find each other! Teachers will gather by grade level with clear signage to help locate them. Other staff will join to wave hello. Please wear a mask when you drive through to say a quick hello to Griffin Staff! We cannot wait to see all of your happy faces. We are ready to kick off our new school year!

Back to School
Welcome to the School Year Drive Through Parade
Tuesday, September 8
4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Griffin School bus loop

GNA Board Members Prepare BBQ for Griffin Fire First Responders

We all feel safe in our beautiful Steamboat community and that is in great part because of our wonderful first responders. The Board of the Griffin Neighborhood Association wanted to show our gratitude to them by cooking up and serving a meal. It pales in comparison to the risks they all take for us, but it definitely came from our hearts.

We were able to do this for them on Saturday, August 22nd. We also took this opportunity to welcome our new fire chief, Corey Rux. What a great time we all had getting to know one another and making plans for future endeavors together. We even managed to have some ‘entertainment’ of sorts after we ate. Did someone say Karaoke? Yes, they did and a few brave souls brought even more joy to the day with a song or two.

Fire Chief Corey Rux

Fire Chief Corey Rux

Thanks to all of the board members that participated and to our fire chief and crew, it was a perfect day.

For more information about the Griffin Fire Department, click here to see their website (check out their free services and resources page). You can email them at admin@griffinfd.org or give them a call at 360-866-9000. Their office hours at the Headquarters (3707 Steamboat Loop NW) are 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM, Monday through Friday.

Local Resident Peter Reid’s New Book is “Every Hill a Burial Place”

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This September, local resident Peter Reid’s latest book, Every Hill a Burial Place, will be available.

In 1966, Peace Corps Volunteer Peverly “Peppy” Kinsey mysteriously fell while out on a picnic with her husband, Bill. The two were both volunteers for the Peace Corps in Tanzania. Local authorities arrested Bill and charged him with murder as witnesses came forward claiming to have seen the pair engaged in a struggle, a bloody iron bar was found near the scene. The incident had the potential to be disastrous for both the Peace Corps and the newly independent nation of Tanzania.

Reid, who was also a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania at the time, has exposed inconsistencies and biases in the case and a prosecution “severely overmatched” by the resources the defense brought in to argue for Bill Kinsey’s acquittal.

“Peter Reid has written a meticulously researched and fascinating true story about the ambiguous death of a female Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania in the 1960s and the subsequent prosecution of her husband, a fellow Peace Corps volunteer, for murder. Equally compelling is the backstory about a range of issues receiving intense local and worldwide attention, including calls to “send in the Marines” to rescue the accused, an apparent lack of concern about justice for the deceased, and the perception of special treatment for a white American in a newly independent African nation.” — Skip McGinty, 1960s Peace Corps Africa Volunteer and Peace Corps Country Director, Oman

You can order a copy at Orca Books or online, on Amazon.

Peter H. Reid, past member of the Griffin Neighborhood Association and one of the principal organizers of the Steamboat Conservation Partnership, is also the retired founding director of the Community Law Clinic at Stanford Law School. Peter previously served for more than thirty years as executive director of the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County. He lives in here on the Steamboat Peninsula and in Santa Cruz, California, with his wife Barbara.