Tom Jay Walks On.

This came to me from Katherine Baril last week. It was written by a friend of Tom’s.


Tom Jay passed away in Jefferson hospital at 5:50 tonight in hospice care. High praises for the hospital, the staff, the care and the spirited compassion. Friends, who are tantamount to family were present.

Tom Jay was as close as our community could get to having our own “Watershed Shaman”  for the last 30 years.

Some knew Tom  from his nationally recognized art work, others from his poetry, more from the inspiration he gave us  with his words and the gift of reminding us we are all Salmon People. As our community grows and changes, and our ecosystems are destroyed and restored,  Tom was the holder of our flame, the hot, burning center reminding us that life was magic but short, that the job before us was big and heavy  and that the  metal of our spines needed constant strengthening and civic courage  before we would get too cold and brittle.

Some of us know Tom as the voice of Puget Sound clean up and restoration in the l980s.  It was Tom, in his  humble way that would speak to us quietly at first, paint images, and then cheer us on to invite us to  the magic and wonder of salmon.

We were each reminded of our own experience with  Tom. Some of us knew him in wet suits swimming upstream with salmon. Some worked with Tom to restore a  raise eggs in a small hatchery in  Discovery Bay under a unique agreement with State Fisheries to increase the run in one stream and then move eggs to Chimacum after a landslide that had destroyed that stream’s native runs. Tom would share  almost in a whisper. “you know that the eyes of salmon smolts would lock eyes with us and if you listen you hear them say,” give us a chance and we’ll come home,  our ancestors and elders will come home, lay eggs, and restore your streams”. Today, volunteers and students work with North Olympic Salmon to count those reds. Tom and the salmon taught us restoration is possible.

Tom also taught us, that we are all salmon people, bound together by the silver thread of returning salmon. Tom and Sara started the award winning Wild Olympic Salmon-  school children plant trees each fall, volunteers raise eggs and count redds. In November, each year, Tom and hte Wild Olympic Salmon volunteers would provided a  the clarion call with lights in dark tents to come home-  to celebrate, educate and restore. His gentle bringing together  of heavy  burnt metal and fire with little tiny fragile salmon eggs taught us that the crux of our challenge- the  privilege of being salmon people was to live in place long enough to understand our ecosystems and care enough to make a difference as if our life depended on it- Tom’s salmon are here as our teachers

Some of us will remember Tom always focusing on the salmon, telling us that as loggers, fisherman, environmentalists, young families  could work together, Many of the wonderful young leaders who are coming home after graduating from local high schools, planting trees when they were young, being raises on the annual Festival where salmon wore tails, candles lit trails to magic and music, and fall chum came home.

We, and our rivers and streams,  are all better because of Tom and Sara,  Tom’s voice is in the habitat trees that generations of students planted each winter. His voice is in the tree planting poetry of a generation of hippies that followed logging with new trees.   HIs spirit is in  the soil, the mychorizal network, the landscape, the knowledge that we share an extraordinary place and each of us as salmon people have the opportunity and the challenge to restore and preserve it. That community is about restoring ourselves as salmon people- diverse, generous, and needing a place to call home.

Tom will be  remembered in  his art, his poetry, his vision, his leadership, his belief in us. Tom called upon us to build and restore a community.  We who were lucky enough to know Tom had  a true friend.

Tonight I will go through the books, the poetry, the photos, the t-shirts from Tom and Wild Olympic Salmon.  I will remember Tom talking about the silver thread that salmon use to come home to us all. November will be the month chum return and Tom “walked into the forest”We can take long quiet fall walks and hear the returning chum.  We can reach out to gently touch Tom’s sacred bells in our watersheds.  I will remember Tom’s hands, his poetry, his quiet wisdom, his knowledge of the roots of words, his immense physical and moral  strength. Who else could pull together the vision, imagination, genius and funding to build a thirty foot bronze sculpture of a Native woman greeting Raven returning home to her in his canoe with a circle of  strong and fragile salmon swimming around them

I hate loosing you, my dearest friend, it came too soon- Its like you gave us everything you had, like the salmon, so we could swim again.

Thank you for teaching us so much, we will continue to walk the path.

A “WAKE / CELEBRATION” will take place at Finnriver in Chimacum in the afternoon on TUESDAY NOVEMBER 12

2 PM viewing of Tom in a special open casket
4 PM Wake and Celebration
PIE POTLUCK (sweet or savory)

Poems, sayings, expressions, stories, music welcome.

Bring tokens of love and blossoms to leave with Tom.

Poems, sayings, expressions, stories, music welcome.

Bring tokens of love and blossoms to leave with Tom.

Growing Blueberries Workshop – Wed September 18th

Growing Blueberries Workshop – Wed September 18th *New*

If you are interested in blueberry production, then this workshop is for you! Come on out and gain knowledge and practical experience with WSU specialists and local farmers! Workshop topics will include soil management and nutrient needs for optimal blueberry production, pruning for controlling bush size and concentrating ripening earlier in the season, pathogens  including phomopsis twig blight and mummy berry, weed management, and spotted wing drosophila and other pests. Guest speakers include Lisa DeVetter  Assistant Professor, Small Fruit Horticulture, Beverly Gerdeman – WSU Assistant Research Professor in Entomology and Janet Aubin  Farmer, Finnriver Farm. Janet will walk us through her 25 year old and 2 year old blueberry fields. Cost is $25 per person (*scholarship assistance available, please contact Kellie Henwood at least two weeks before the event or call (360) 379-5610 ext. 201. Preregistration required, click here.
Time: 9:00 a.m. – noon. Location: Finnriver Home Farm, 142 Barn Swallow Rd., Chimacum

WSU Master Gardener Training’ Course – Class starts September 16th

WSU Master Gardener Training’ Course – Class starts September 16th *New*

Interested in becoming a Master Gardener? The next WSU Master Gardener Training class starts soon!  This eleven-week course includes professional education from WSU educators via online training, lectures from local experts and field trips to outstanding local and regional gardens.  Upon completion, participants give back to the community by volunteering in one of our many programs, including our Growing Groceries class, WSU Seed Library, food bank gardens, native plant outreach, and Plant Clinics.  Lectures and field trips take place on Thursdays; September 12th through November 21st from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.  The class is held at the Jefferson County Library and the WSU Classroom in Port Hadlock. .  Cost is $265.  For more details click here,  or contact Bridget Gregg.

EVENT: Beyond Waste Action Group 9/10

Beyond Waste Action Group – Local 20/20 – Tues  September 10th
The Beyond Waste Action Groupmeets the second Tuesday of each month at either 10:30 a.m.-12:00 or 7pm-8:30pm, depending on the month.  The group looks at a number of issues including food-waste composting, plastics reduction and recycling, reduction of garbage on an individual and community level, and various other waste-related topics that spontaneously come up during the meeting.  Newcomers are always welcome. Email Lisafor info on monthly agenda and meeting time and venue. Location: Uptown PT.
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Location:  contact Lisa.

EVENT: State attorney general Ferguson, DNR commissioner Franz to speak Aug. 25 at Democrats’ annual Fish Feast

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, undefeated in 22 lawsuits so far against the Trump administration, will be one of two keynote speakers Sunday, Aug. 25, at the 25th annual Fish Feast in Port Townsend of the Jefferson County Democrats. Its theme this year: “There’s a Lot on the Line.”

Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz, who spearheaded the development of a 10-year statewide plan to fight and prevent wildfires, will be the other keynote speaker.

Tickets for the event at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds are available for $60 at jeffcodemocrats.com and by mail at Jefferson County Democrats, P. O. Box 85, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Tickets will also be available at the door (cash, check or card).

Doors open at 4 p.m. for the bar and socializing in the Erickson Building. Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m., and speakers begin at 6 p.m. The party donates one dollar of each ticket to the Jefferson County Fair Board.

“The Fish Feast is our major fundraiser of the year,” said party Chair Marty Gilmore. “Each ticket purchase supports the vital work we do year-round to elect Democrats! It’s also an opportunity to hear the latest on current issues from our guest speakers – and fun time to see friends.”

Recent successes by Ferguson’s office include the largest-ever trial award in a state consumer protection case, debt relief from predatory lending for hundreds of students, and defense of the constitution by defeating the Trump administration’s attempt to add a discriminatory citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

Franz’s office has led state efforts to make Washington’s lands resilient in the face of climate change, investing in carbon sequestration and clean energy with wind, solar and geothermal infrastructure. Her office has also allocated millions of dollars to struggling rural communities to spark economic opportunities.

Fish Feast attendees will also hear from U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, state Sen. Kevin Van de Wege, state Reps. Mike Chapman and Steve Tharinger, state party chair Tina Podlodowski, and local Democratic elected officials.

Before the feast is served, guests can mingle with candidates, campaigns, and organizations in Campaign Alley outside the Oscar Erickson Building.

Rep. Kilmer has sponsored tickets for 20 Young Democrats (under 35 years old). Contact Libby Wennstrom (360-301-9728) or Chelsea Pronovost (425-256-0626) to pre-register as a guest.

“We’re also offering 20 discounted tickets at our cost,” said Fish Feast organizer Claire Roney. “$25 each – first come, first serve.” For more information—or to volunteer for the Fish Feast, contact Roney at (360) 531-1177.

The Fish Feat menu will include sockeye salmon from Key City Fish, BBQed by chef Larry Dennison; shellfish from Taylor Shellfish; greens and veggies from local farms; rolls from Pane d’Amore; and cake. Beverages will include wine from the Wine Seller and beer from Port Townsend Brewing Co.

For more information about the Jefferson County Democrats, visit its website at jeffcodemocrats.com or its Facebook page, @jeffcodemocrats.

EVENT: Global Earth Repair Conference – PT May 3-5 Gofundme now

These folks are planning a conference in May. They are raising funds for it now. Please check it out.

https://earthrepair.friendsofthetrees.net/

EVENT: Movie – What Lies Upstream

Event Date:

Friday, December 7, 2018 – 7:00pm
Event Location:

Maier Performance Hall

Please join Peninsula College’s Magic of Cinema and the Sierra Club North Olympic Group on Friday, December 7th, at 7 p.m. in the Maier Performance Hall for a screening of What Lies Upstream.

In this documentary exposé, investigative filmmaker Cullen Hoback travels to West Virginia to study the unprecedented loss of clean water for over 300,000 Americans.

In January 2014 West Virginia citizens notice that their tap water has a peculiar smell. It is discovered that a mysterious chemical, MCHM, has leaked into the Elk River, poisoning the drinking-water supply for nearly half of West Virginia. Hoback arrives at the state’s capital during the heart of the crisis, his interest piqued by his family ties to the state and a desire to understand why this contamination happened. But getting to the bottom of this seemingly simple question is about to lead him down a rabbit hole of an unimaginable scale.

Initially all the blame seems to be directed at Freedom Industries, the company that spilled MCHM, the chemical that traveled downstream before entering the water intake. But locals reveal that Freedom Industries is only one small facility in the area they call “The Chemical Valley.” While it’s obvious that Freedom Industries plays a key role in this contamination, it is equally obvious that their chemical tanks were allowed to completely erode over time without proper government oversight or inspection.

As Hoback continues his investigation, he meets West Virginia Cabinet Secretary Randy Huffman, who serves as the head of the state’s Department of Environment Protection, which regulates all the industry in the state and handles all inspections. Huffman admits that Freedom Industries’ tanks hadn’t been inspected since 1993, but initially dismisses fears that MCHM is harmful. At the same time, Dr. Rahul Gupta, who runs the local health department, is the only official who seems concerned that the chemical might have negative long-term health effects. Yet, despite little scientific evidence, the CDC determines what amount of MCHM is safe for residents to drink.

Hoback continues to expand his study of drinking water in West Virginia to include outlying areas, where it quickly becomes clear that coal and chemical production have gone unchecked for decades. Virtually all the rivers and streams aren’t suitable drinking water sources.

Upon examination, he discovers a shocking failure of regulatory framework from both state and federal agencies and a wrecked political system. While he’s deep into his work in West Virginia, a similar water crisis strikes Flint, Michigan supporting the case that the entire system to protect drinking water in America is fundamentally broken.

The film also focuses on the 80,000 plus chemicals used in the US that enter our sewer streams, contaminate our water systems, and create runoff threatening our food and waters

The public knows very little about what chemicals are in the water supply and even less about the weak regulations and enforcement practices meant to protect it. Just because you don’t live in West Virginia or Flint doesn’t mean your water is safe.

This screening is free and open to the public. Following the film, there will be a speaker on WA State water pollution.

For more information contact Dr. Helen Lovejoy@ hlovejoy@pencol.edu.

 

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