Apology offered for a 2010 drive-by murder – from Jimi Blakeney to Lisa Melancon

By Bruce A. Smith

The following is a touching and powerful correspondence that I received from a former client of mine, Olujimi Blakeney. In it, Olujimi, via his wife “Jay,” utilizes the pages of the Mountain News to offer a written apology to the woman he murdered during a drive-by shooting in Tacoma in 2010. Olujimi also asks the family of the deceased for their forgiveness. Continue reading

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Posted in Cops and courts, Culture, The Men of Honor of Unity House | 2 Comments

Into the land of used cars – a car shopper’s tale

By Bruce A. Smith

After living without a vehicle for the past seven years, my sister gave me $5,000 to buy a car. Of course, I’m grateful, but it’s also scary. I want to purchase the right vehicle and not get a junker, so I’m taking it slow and doing research. Here is what I’ve learned over the past two weeks. Continue reading

Posted in Business, Culture, Puyallup, Yelm News | Leave a comment

Pinwheels spin in Pierce County to raise awareness for child abuse prevention

Special to the Mountain News-WA from the Pierce County Juvenile Court:

Pinwheels, PC ampaign to end child abuse, 3. 30. 18

The Pierce County Juvenile Court is recognizing National Child Abuse Prevention Month and the “Pinwheels for Prevention” campaign, where pinwheels will be planted across the Juvenile Court lawn and throughout Pierce County during the month of April.  The pinwheels symbolize the fun and carefree childhood that every child deserves.  Continue reading

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Great TV comes to Netflix: “Occupied,” and “Nobel”

By Bruce A. Smith

For those who like well-written dramatic TV series with excellent production values, I recommend two recent additions at Netflix: “Occupied,” and “Nobel.” Both are made by Norwegian TV outfits, and both are sub-titled. But English is used as the common language on screen when characters interact with non-Norwegians. It works, trust me. Continue reading

Posted in Book reviews, Culture, Entertainment, Environment, Nature, Politics, Resistance and Justice, Weather | Leave a comment

WSDA to conduct Gypsy Moth spraying in parts of Graham

By Bruce A. Smith

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has announced that it will conduct a pesticide spraying program in selected neighborhoods in northern Graham to control a Gypsy Moth (GM) infestation. The spraying will commence in late April or early May, according to Mike Louisell, the Public Information Officer for the WSDA, and will consist of three aerial applications of a chemical pesticide known as BTK.

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Posted in Back East, Bethel News, Environment, Health, Nature, Self Reliance | 11 Comments

Wauwepex – a tale of a scout camp and a young man – from “Stories from the Journey”

By Bruce A. Smith

Wauwepex was the Boy Scout camp that saved my life growing up. Or at least my soul. It was a place I loved – and still do – but it was also a place where I felt absolutely alive as a kid, and true to myself.

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Posted in Back East, Stories from the Jounrey | 20 Comments

GKCC to host 15th Annual EXPO

Special to the Mountain News:

The Graham-Kapowsin Community Council is hosting its 15th Annual EXPO in support of the dozens of community programs it administers, most notably a food service for children in the Bethel School District.

As in years past there will be a crafts fair and fun run, but this year the event moves to Frontier Park. Here are the details: Continue reading

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