Lessons I’ve learned as a beachcleaner

Editor’s Note:  The following is a chapter from the forthcoming book: Retreat from the Sea, which explores how mankind is currently dealing with sea level rise and examines options for the future.

By Bruce A. Smith

I was once a beachcleaner.

During the 1980s, I owned and operated a couple of beachcleaning machines that sifted beach sand, removing trash and debris. My business was called Sandsifter, and the machines were modified potato-harvesters with balloon-sized wheels. The machines had solid screening plates that dropped into the sand, and conveyor blades would draw a bit of sand over the plates as they oscillated, shaking the grains of sand back on to the beach and sweeping the garbage into a rear hopper.

I did this for eight seasons, from 1982 through the summer of 1989. My services were sought by dozens of municipalities and beach clubs throughout the New York-New Jersey area, especially those who could not afford specialized equipment like this but had a need for clean beaches.

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Posted in Back East, Business, Culture, Environment, Nature, Politics, Ramtha, Self Reliance, Spirituality, The New Physics, Yelm News | 5 Comments

Resistance – Why are we so polarized as a country, and what can we do about it?

By Bruce A. Smith

The Trump election seems to have cracked open fissures within society. Not only are Red and Blue States divided with some talking secession, such as California, but non-protesting liberals are angry at other liberals for marching. It seems as if everyone is angry at everyone else, at least in my life. Oddly, for the first time in my life I don’t care.

I’m tired of trying to be nice. After a life-time of holding my tongue when conservative friends, neighbors and family members spout their invectives against people I care about, I’m not doing it any more. I’m done. I don’t care if my country is divided. I don’t care if everyone is angry at me – I’m done with trying to build community. Good luck America with your new TrumpLand, USA.

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Posted in Culture, Politics, Science and Technology, The New Physics, Weather | 10 Comments

Fears of the Resistance – What will Trump and the Republican Juggernaut do to the country?

By Bruce A. Smith

As the country ends its first week as Donald Trump as President-elect, fears of the coming Trump administration remain and the protests continue. Adding to this tension is the realization that the Republican Party now controls all forms of the national government, and two-thirds of the governorships. The combination frightens progressives to their core, so the question pressing upon the minds of many is: what will happen and when.

The simple answer is that the Republicans will probably pursue their long-stated goals of small government and ultra-conservative social agendas. Hard-core Republican beliefs seems to be mostly supported by Trump’s public positions, so it is possible that many social advancements will be rolled-back. Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Environment, Family, Health, Paula Morris, Politics, Ramtha | 48 Comments

People take to the streets to protest the Trump presidency

By Bruce A. Smith

Protest marches and rallies have sprung up across our nation in response to the election of Donald Trump. People are angry, and I am too. I applaud the protests and wish I had the means to join them.

Simply, Trump is not my president. His stated policies and views are not mine. He seeks to harm people I care about, such as gays and lesbians. Hence,  I will work in every way I know to peacefully and legally oppose the implementation of his policies.

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Posted in Culture, Environment, Family, Politics | 12 Comments

DB Cooper is coming to Graham – Tuesday, November 8, 2016

DB Cooper is coming to Graham!

At least a local expert and author, Bruce A. Smith is coming to the Graham Library to present his findings on the famous skyjacker.

DB Cooper is the only sky pirate in the history of the Untied States to get away with his skyjacking. Or did he?

Smith, a former investigative reporter with the Pierce County Dispatch, has been researching the case since 2008 and will provide the details of the case, along with his assessment of the FBI’s investigation. Smith is the author of the DB Cooper and the FBI – A Case Study of America’s Only Unsolved Skyjacking, the most comprehensive and objective examination of this iconic true-crime mystery. Continue reading

Posted in DB Cooper, Graham News, Remarkable men and women | 17 Comments

Fran and the Volvo

By Barbara Jean Heller

Behind the heavy double wooden doors, in its dark chamber resides a Volvo, a four-door sedan, circa 1992, locked. The garage is connected to the brick Tudor at 84 Jeff Street, Garden City. Behind its double doorsstorm door and house door, both lockedresides Fran Smith, circa 1924.

On a cold 2016 January morning at 7:45 AM, Fran called Horace Palmer to let him know she was ready. Horace had set up the drivers’ training program for the Knights of Columbus at St Anne’s Church, and had agreed to pick her up. Continue reading

Posted in Barbara Jean Heller, Family, People Profiles, Remarkable men and women | 2 Comments

The Project to Fix a Bad Road – the Graham Hill Section of SR 161

By Bruce A. Smith

First of a series.

The Accident, Thursday October 6, 2016, 6:30 pm:

As I crested over the top of Graham Hill I could see a line of three cars stopped in front of me. I slammed on my brakes and I skidded, but there was no screech. It was raining, so I just slid into the first car.

BAM! The front-end of my van crumpled and the read-end buckled on the car I had just hit. Its bumper and rear quarter panel folded into his trunk space, and then the whole car slid forward and smashed into the car in front of him. My van continue to roll and pushed those two cars into the third car – the one at the front of the line.

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Posted in Graham News, Health, Politics, Wayne Cooke | 3 Comments