Homelessness in Graham – an Update

Editor’s Note: The following piece is a continuation of author Wayne Cooke’s intial story about a Graham woman named Teresa and her family, who have been homeless for years. Wayne’s account, titled “Where Can Teresa Go?” appeared in these pages a year ago and triggered enormous response from Mountain News readers.

Now, Wayne updates their story. First, he re-caps meeting Teresa and encountering her grown daughter and her boyfriend, whose names have been changed for this article. Then he describes an amazing journey that reveals the transformation underway in both Wayne and these Graham residents. Yet, it is still incomplete.


By Wayne Cooke

As I turned into the Graham Post Office parking lot, I waved to Teresa, a middle-aged woman, and her daughter, Holly. After depositing the letter, I walked over to them. I’d met them earlier when a few “homeless” people came to a meeting of the Graham-Kapowsin Community Council in early 2014. Those at the meeting learned about the local “homeless problem” from the homeless, themselves. Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Family, Graham News, Politics, Uncategorized, Wayne Cooke | 1 Comment

The stories of my father

by Bruce A. Smith

Alan W. Smith was my father, and every night of my youth he put me and my sister to bed and told us stories of his life. As we lay in nearby bunks, Dad gave us alternating “back-squatches,” and told us captivating, true tales from his life. His favorites – and mine – were his “army stories” from WW II.

Born in Brooklyn, my dad loved the army. He thought WWII was a great adventure, sometimes calling it just that, although he would also mention that “it helped that no one was shooting at me.” Continue reading

Posted in Family, Politics, Remarkable men and women, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Graham Fire and Rescue announces upgrades


by Bruce A. Smith 

The Graham Fire and Rescue Department has sent the following press release to the Mountain News. The announcement details many of the upgrades planned for our community’s health and safety. Continue reading

Posted in Graham News, Health, Kapowsin | Leave a comment

Interview with DB Cooper skydiving expert, Ralph Hatley


By Bruce A. Smith

 I went to see skydiving legend Ralph Hatley last week in Eagle Creek, Oregon, traveling in the delightful company of Cooper aficionados Bob Sailshaw and his wife, Michele, (who drove and paid for the gas!)

 Ralph is a respected member of the Northwest skydiving community, and has known many of the principals of the DB Cooper case. He is friends with Ralph Himmelsbach, the FBI agent who headed the Portland Field Office’s Norjak investigation.

Hatley also competed in skydiving contests opposite Earl Cossey, the highly controversial parchute rigger who was the FBI’s technical expert on parachute issues in the DB Cooper case.

Continue reading

Posted in DB Cooper | 3 Comments

New developments in the DB Cooper case: primary witness Bill Mitchell speaks publicly for the first time


by Bruce A. Smith

The passenger who sat nearest DB Cooper was a twenty-year old college student named Bill Mitchell. As Cooper sat in the middle seat of Row 18 on the starboard side of the aircraft, Mitchell sat across the aisle in the comparable seat.

Last week Bill spoke with the Mountain News, and it is his first appearance ever in a public forum. Continue reading

Posted in DB Cooper, People Profiles | 27 Comments

So, what’s the story with the Mountain News?

By Bruce A. Smith

As most readers know, there have been no postings on the Mountain News since last May. Several of you have been asking why, and welcoming me back when they read yesterday’s quirky piece on the bizarre-like traffic light being installed in Graham.

Here’s my story: Continue reading

Posted in Culture, DB Cooper, Spirituality, The New Physics | 7 Comments

Traffic Light changes coming to Graham at 224th and OK Hwy

by Bruce A. Smith

Pierce County DOT has announced that a new traffic light configuration will be activated today at the important intersection of 224th and the OK Highway in Graham. Here is their press release: Continue reading

Posted in Graham News, Kapowsin, Orting | Leave a comment