Vol. 23, No. 2


Ongoing HPCC Board Business

Firefighters Appreciation Dinner
Emergency Response Report












Download the PDF of this edition


Scroll down to read online


 Anne Kanter 

Good news! The HPCC’s capital budget grant request has been approved! Through the capital budget, Washington funds public-construction projects like school building, correctional facilities and infrastructure to support economic development and jobs. State Representatives can sponsor capital funding requests for local community projects that do not fit easily into the state’s existing grant and loan programs. Our Representative, Gina Mosbrucker, sponsored this year’s HPCC capital budget grant request (THANK YOU, GINA!). When the Washington legislature approved the state’s 2023-25 capital budget on April 22, included in it was funding for several HPCC and Fire District projects. 

The HPCC Board had applied to the State of Washington for a grant previously, and been disappointed. This time, in order to maximize our chances of having our request approved, we decided to make a few changes to how we applied. 

The most significant change to our grant request was the amount, which we scaled down drastically from more than $800,000 to a little less than $250,000. Upon consideration of the most important things HPCC and HPFD wanted to accomplish we decided we ought to be able to meet our goals within the smaller budget. We wouldn’t be completely remodeling the Community Center kitchen or adding a finished outdoor gathering space, but we could (hopefully) complete the items we had identified as being the most important from a public safety and public service standpoint. Additionally, any grant amount in excess of $250,000 would require a bond; we all agreed we preferred to avoid that. 

The other significant change to our grant request was how we characterized our goals for the grant money to the State. Everything we want to accomplish is geared towards public safety and public service: outfitting the HPFD with fire-proof cabinets, having a generator installed as back-up should the power go out, commercial washer and dryer for the HPFD, installing outdoor lights, upgrading the building’s electrical and HVAC systems so the building can be used as a warming/cooling shelter for the community during extreme weather events, and replacing the kitchen’s commercial range and dishwasher so that, should the building be activated in the event of an emergency, food preparation and clean-up would be much easier and more efficient than the current kitchen allows. If you’re interested, there’s a copy of the grant application at the Community Center, or ask Chris Sattem. 

The bylaws of the HPCC state that our objectives are,“to promote the health, safety, education, development and preservation of the High Prairie neighborhood…” and the HPCC specifically geared this grant request to help us continue to achieve those ends. It’s an exciting time! Now that our grant has been approved, the hard work begins of getting bids, planning the work, and executing those plans in the most effective and efficient way possible. 

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 Ongoing HPCC Board Business 

 The HPCC Board will continue to meet on the 3rd Monday of each month (except December), at the Community Center, to take care of the business of the organization. The meetings are open; the public is invited to attend. 

The Board will be updating the HPCC Bylaws section by section at the monthly Board meetings. The purpose is to update/clarify the language and terminology in the Bylaws. The Board will also continue to plan and help organize community events. And, with the approval of their capital budget grant, they’ll soon be embroiled in the process of making the approved projects a reality.



Erin Hartford 

Bingo Night returned to the High Prairie Community Center on Thursday, April 13. What an awesome kickoff night for our High Prairie Bingo event! It was a great turnout! It was a full house – around 45 to 50 people. Great friends, food and fellowship. Thanks to everyone who helped and all who came out to support! We had a truly successful evening. Hooray for our community!!! 

By the time you read this, we’ll have had a second wonderful bingo night, on Thursday, May 11. Be sure to join us for the next one on Thursday, June 8, at 6pm. The meal itself will be worth it. In April, we had ham, scalloped potatoes, and salad. May’s bingo night offered a loaded baked potato bar and ice cream sundaes. The June meal is still TBD, but it’s guaranteed to be delicious. Cost is $10 per meal. 

All proceeds from this recurring event support District 14 firefighters. Let us know if you are available to help with this event as many hands make light work. Volunteers are needed to help in the kitchen and with clean up. This is an awesome way to have some fun, meet your neighbors, and support community efforts. 

Come and join us! Second Thursday of each month, April through November 

10 games with increasing prizes 

1 set of boards (1 for each game) $6 

3 sets of boards (1 for each game) $10 

6 sets of boards (1 for each game) $15



Gwen Berry 

High Prairie’s annual spring cleaning begins this weekend with Phase 1 – Roadside Clean- Up. On May 18, 19 and 20, anyone who’s interested can get together and help remove litter and trash from High Prairie’s neglected roadways. The roads are broken down into reasonable-sized sections, with a volunteer in charge of each section. Once again, we’ll be making use of Klickitat County’s “Litter Gitter” program. Their free Litter Gitter kits include safety vests, gloves, grabber sticks, and trash bags. They’ll provide pick-up of the litter that’s collected and dispose of it through a partnership with Republic Services and the Washington Department of Ecology. In addition, a team of people doing community service will clean up Centerville Highway within the Fire District 14 boundaries. Call or text Sharon at 509-310-9172 to be connected with volunteers in charge of road sections. 

Phase 2 of Community Clean-Up is… 

….“Dumpster Days,” where dumpsters will be available for community members to toss the results of their own spring clean-ups. On June 22, 23, and 24, dumpsters will be parked at the Old Fire Hall at 704 Centerville Highway. There may be an additional dumpster for yard waste. Some volunteers are bringing coffee and cookies. Particulars such as open hours and what trash can be accepted will be announced later. And – don’t forget – while the dumpsters are open you can also drop off donations at the Old Fire Hall for… 

Phase 3 – …another Mini Firehouse Sale 

Phase 3 is a repeat of last year’s Mini Firehouse Sale at the Old Fire Hall, coordinated with a Community Yard Sale event, on July 28 and 29. HPCC is asking for donations of items that are clean and in good shape for the Mini Firehouse Sale. 

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Firefighters Appreciation Dinner

Tom McMackin / Chief Sarah Hancock

The High Prairie Community Council and other members of the com-munity coordinated their efforts to revive the tradition of presenting a Firefighters’ Appreciation Dinner for High Prairie’s Fire District volunteers and their families, invited guests from Lyle Fire, and High Prairie commu-nity members. This celebration had been canceled in 2020 by the onset of the COVID pandemic.
The dinner was held at the High Prairie Community Center on Satur-day, April 22. The Community Center and all the tables were beautifully decorated. A slide show played in the background, with photographs of Fire District 14 members and events over the years. An excellent lasagna dinner, catered by Beniventi’s, was served to the enjoyment of all. It was topped off by a self-serve (and non-judgmental) dessert buffet. It was delightful! In all, 75 dinners were served. Thank you to all those involved in organizing, decorating and preparing the meal in appreciation of High Prairie Fire’s volunteers.
Acknowledgments of service were presented at the conclusion of the dinner. (Photos on the right.) Chief Hancock used this opportunity to introduce herself to the attending members of the community. She presented each Fire District volunteer to the community members in at-tendance with her very personal commentary on each one. Fire Com-missioner and Fire Captain Philip Haner presented Chief Tim Darland with a handsome fire department plaque honoring and highlighting his almost 8 years of dedicated service as KCFPD #14’s Fire Chief. KCFD #14s Firefighter ot the Year Award went to Ron McDonald; Brenda Edin & Chris Roper were selected together as KCFPD #14’s Rookies of the Year; James Day was presented KCFPD #14’s Humanitarian Award for service to members of the community; Tom McMackin received KCFPD #14’s Fire Officer of the Year Award; and Dave Thom was cho-sen for the KCFPD #14 Mentor of the Year Award. New department T-shirts and an honor challenge coin memento were also issued to each firefighter in attendance. Administrative Assistant Glenna Scott was unable to attend, but will be acknowledged for her service to the department at the next Fire Commissioners Meeting on May 16, 2023.
All three High Prairie Fire Commissioners were in attendance: An-thony Perry, Philip Haner, and James Amery. Other guests included Lyle Fire Commissioner Kris Joy, Lyle Firefighter Elisha Neipp, and Lyle EMT Glenda Lovejoy. And, last but not least, there was a sizable crowd of community members, friends, and family members — the Fire District’s most important supporters.
As a special treat at the end of the evening, HPCC President Sharon Aleckson announced that the HPCC has been awarded a $248,000 grant to improve our community center for emergency shel-ter purposes. These improvements will include a permanent generator, an improved kitchen, air conditioning, and an extractor to clean our structure turnouts. Read more about the grant on page 1.

Clip/tap images to view enlargement

First image: from L to R: Philip Haner, Tom McMackin, Brenda Edin, Ron McDonald,, Chief Sarah Hancock, James Day, Chris Roper, Tim Darland, Samuel holman, James Amery.

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Emergency Response Report

As of May 12, 2023, your Klickitat County Fire Protection Disrict #14 / High Prairie had logged 48 runs this year. Again the ma-jority of these incident responses were medical in nature. There were no significant wildfire incidents, however our member have responded to 5 structure fires. We participated with firefighters from Lyle, Bingen and White Salmon and had supporting High Prairie crew members in the initial attack phase of the fire that damaged the Hot Wok restaurant in Lyle. The speed of response and the practiced professionalism of the volunteer fire crews ar-riving to this emergency kept damage and loss to a minimum.
If you would like to see the kinds of activities that occupy our volunteers or are interested in joining KCFPD #14, please feel free to stop by the Struck Road Fire Hall at 701 Struck Road on the 1st/2nd/4th Tuesday of the month. You are welcome to come and look at the department’s infrastructure and equipment and talk with a volunteer or two about what we do and the types of services we provide. Questions and comments? Please leave contact information with time and date by phone at Station 1 (1-509-637-2576) or at either of these email addresses: chief@ highprairiefire.com or HighPrairie1489@gmail.com.

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Barb Parrish

Sometime last year, I had an idea to put a “Little Library” at the old firehall (704 Centerville Hwy). Fire Chief Tim Darland approved the site, so the idea was off to a good start. Megan McCamy took the plans to her husband, David, who is a cabinet maker, and in a very short time he had the library built, using heavy ma-rine grade plywood. Jessie Schneider put a coat of var-nish on it, Arlen Aleckson put a metal roof on, Barb Parrish contacted “call before you dig” to see that no utilities were in the way, and Ben Parrish put it on a metal pole, dug the hole and put it in place using 2 bags of ce-ment. A new neighbor, Paul Radke, was driving by, stopped, and helped lift it into the hole and level it. Voilà! Thanks to everyone who helped, the new Little Library is ready for use.

The community is invited to stop by and

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Barb Parrish

We had a visitor three times this week. I finally got a picture of him today, May 2nd. So far, he has messed up our wooden fence and stolen the bird feeder. When I saw him in the back yard about an hour ago, I called the game department and spoke with Todd Jacob-sen (360-600-4920). He asked that I share some information regarding bears visiting your yard:

  1. Remove any attractants such as a barbecue, garbage cans, or bird feeders. He recommends that you don’t put bird feeders out until the end of November.

2. Usually bears will return to a place where they found food before. 

3. Make some people-kind of noise to scare them off. (I used the siren app on my phone, but most loud noises will work.) 

4. Todd said he has not had to deal with a bear entering a building, though they had over 500 bear nuisance calls last year. 

We live at the bottom of Schilling Road on Centerville Hwy. The bear headed towards Schilling Road when I scared him.

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Josh Harrison 

The High Prairie Farmers Market is up and running! The market will be open from 10am to 4pm on the 1st and 3rd Friday of every month, May through September. It’s located at the High Prairie Community Center at 701 Struck Road. Our opening day was May 5th; the next market day will be May 19th. Here are our vendors so far: 

1) The Hillbilly Farm (Christopher Kroeskop) (https://www.facebook.com/Thehillbillyfarm) selling baked goods, jams, syrups, eggs, veggies, melons, tomatoes, plants & herbs 

2) Upon High Prairie (Terry Harmon) selling homemade baked goods, bread, cookies, pickled eggs, crafts, flower pots, homemade designs & towels 

3) Patrick’s Eggs (Patrick Hartford) selling farm fresh eggs and maybe garden veggies later in the season. 

4) Homestead Wellness (Joshua Harrison) https://www.etsy. com/shop/HomesteadWellness?ref=profile_header selling ice cream, kombucha, coffee, eggs, jams, pie filling, canned juice, homeopathic remedies, jewelry, pottery, and his artwork. 

5) Bobby Koffler selling handmade hats, sweaters and other crocheted items. 

We have two more 10×10 indoor spaces available for May 19th. Spaces are filling fast! If you’d like to be a vendor, call/text Josh at (509) 281-0971.


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Terra McLeod, Branch Manager 

The Goldendale Community Library is very happy to share some popular and new programs to look forward to this year. Also look for us on the Klickitat County Bookmobile with special Saturday visits during the spring and fall as well as at local fairs and parades! 

In celebration of Klickitat County joining FVRL 50 years ago this year, we have a special reading challenge for all ages. Simply read 50 hours throughout the year, log it either on paper, or online at https://fvrl.beanstack.com/ and be entered in a drawing for a $50 gift card. Here’s to the next 50 years! 


June 10, 2023, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM Revolutionary Reads: Author Visit with Joshua Frank, discussing the Hanford site and his book, “Atomic Days: The Untold Story of the Most Toxic Place in America* Hybrid Event 

Revolutionary Reads is an annual community reads program with the goal of galvanizing the southwest Washington community to read the same book, on a topic of revolutionary importance. Revolutionary is defined as “involving or causing a complete and dramatic change” and/or “radically new or innovative; outside or beyond established procedure, principles, etc.”. Free books available at all libraries and bookmobiles beginning in May, supplies limited. 

June 20, 2023, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM: Library Board of Trustees Meeting, Goldendale Community Library Camplan room 

July 8, 2023, 10:00 AM – ?: Friends of the Goldendale Library Community Days book sale, 


July 22, 2023, 2:00 PM- 4:00 PM: Teen Self Defense Workshop 

Children & Families 

Wednesday, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM: Family Storytime 

1st Saturdays, 10:30 – 11:30 AM: Family Storytime 

Seasonally: Learn & Play @ Goldendale Primary School Library, ages 0 – 6 and caregivers. Call the library for more information. 

4th Fridays, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM: CrafterNoon 

June 24, 2023, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Build It! 

October 28, 2023, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Build It! 

Summer Performers 

June 23, 2023, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Reptileman 

June 28, 2023, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Meet the Birds with the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center *at the Lyle Activity Center, Lyle, WA* 

June 30, 2023, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Angel Ocasio’s Comedy for the Kids/Comedia Para Los Niños (English/Spanish) 

July 11, 2023, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Chayag en Familia – Andean Music, Culture and Dance (English/Spanish) 

July 22, 2023, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Storigami with Yuki 

August 3, 2023, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Wolf Haven – Ways of the Wolf 

August 10, 2023, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM: Ice Cream Social, hosted by the Friends of the Goldendale Library 

**Refreshments at programs sponsored by the Friends of the Goldendale Library**

Bookmobile Schedule For High Prairie/Lyle/Dallesport 

Every other Wednesday June 14, 28; July 12, 26; August 9, 23 

Old High Prairie Fire Hall 9–10:00 

Lyle Market* 10:30–11:15 

Dallesport Community Center 1:15–2:45 

High Prairie Mini Firehouse Sale 

Friday, July 28 – dates & times TBD 

*Book return located at this location 
Times are approximate depending on road conditions 

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Bill Weiler 

Thanks to the mighty efforts of Joy Markgraf, her tenth “Wild About Nature” series recently returned to White Salmon. These fascinating natural history talks were held on the four Fridays in April and the first Friday in May. Each evening featured two speakers. The first Friday’s (outstanding) presentations this year focused on western pond turtles and the Pacific fisher, both now found in the Columbia River Gorge. These were inspiring and hopeful wildlife talks. 

Even just 25 years ago, the last stronghold for northwestern pond turtles in Washington State was a handful of ponds near Lyle, WA. Now there are six populations with growing numbers, including two sites in the Puget Sound region. The turtle population has grown from 150 individuals to more than 800. 

The Pacific fisher was actually extinct in Washington; but through successful releases in three locales including just north of the Columbia Gorge, the porcupine-eating, forest dwelling carnivore has returned. 

I took my grandson Allen to the event, and it was simply fun greeting, meeting, and catching up with many familiar faces. Allen noticed my conversing and asked me whether I knew everyone there. Great question, and I replied, “It feels that way.” And it did. 

The mood at the multi-generational meeting was utterly relaxed, positive, and represented an outpouring of common purpose, intellectual curiosity, and even detachment. Of course, there were initial “technical difficulties” with the power point system, but no one seemed to mind the delay. The wall-based projection screen fell down, and many rushed in to ensure the safety of the person, who ended up being fine. 

It was the combination of education and social engagement that made the night so special. There was plenty of time before the first presentation, and between the first and second talk, to view artwork and just be relaxed in conversations that were not political or divisive, but instead, endearing and light. 

Besides learning about the fascinating biological traits of pond turtles and fishers, what moved me was the incredible number of people who work tirelessly on behalf of these wild animals: A large team of utterly dedicated people spend most spring and summer days removing the main threat to pond turtles…bullfrogs. They have been amazingly successful after their multi-year efforts. Biologists track the turtles using radio telemetry, and veterinarians from universities across the country are trying to figure out the cause and cure of turtle shell disease. The Oregon and Washington Park Zoos, and prisons involved in the Sustainability Project, take in baby turtles through a head start program and raise them until they are large enough not to be consumed by the bullfrogs. 

With fishers, I tip my hat to the scientists in subzero temperatures tracking the movements and behaviors of these endangered mammals, and to the non-profit organizations, Tribal Interests, federal and state agencies in Canada and the US who respectively raised funds, lent their support, and actually conducted the live trapping to return an important ecological piece back to Washington State. 

There were approximately 80 folks who attended the April 7 Wild About Nature program, yet many more are directly involved in ensuring a bright future for two of Washington’s wild creatures. Wild About Nature is about community and conservation. 

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Tom McMackin 

The 2023 wildland fire season is here and ready to roll! Please be safe enjoying our beautiful areas of the Gorge and all that it has to offer. Prepare for potential emergency events, particularly wildland fire, because it is a natural part of this environment and only a matter of when, not if, a fire will visit these places! 

Firewise Actions – things you can do to prepare protection zones for a wildland fire: 

Here is a brief reminder about the basic Firewise concepts you can put to work to help protect and provide wildland firefighters with a defensible property in order to increase their potential for success if a wildfire comes to visit. 

1st – [ 0-5’ ] – Inspect your home and other structures from the top down / from foundation out 5 feet… 

** Clean-up debris & Clear up materials these zones (Now!) 

2nd – [ 5’-30’ ] – From your buildings’ foundations out into your surrounding natural vegetation areas 

[30’ is a minimum buffer area between structures or other fuel sources for defensive firefighting & protection] 

** Create ‘green’ water lawn or garden areas or clear underbrush, crowded clusters of brush or small trees 

3rd – [ 30’-100’ ] – From the close-in Firewise buffers above – prepare your wild, rural environments. 

** Clean-up & Clear up so the fire has little fuel available in the dry high grasses, weeds and brush. 

Contact & resource information is provided for Firewise at the end of this article. 

Klickitat County Code Chapter 8.24 – Burn Ban Regulations Amendment 

On May 9, 2023 the Klickitat County Board of County Commissioners, after a Public Hearing, have approved a proposal to amend Klickitat County Code Chapter 8.24 to clarify the outdoorburning ban regulations in the unincorporated areas of Klickitat County. The primary focus of the amendment was to clearly define what outdoor burning is not, and what is allowed during a Klickitat County burn ban. 

To view the approved amendment resolution, and the Burn Ban Code Educational Material please visit: 


Other Klickitat County emergency information: 

Sign up for Emergency Notifications through our website 

Klickitat County Department of Emergency Management 


Prepare for Disasters – Be informed – Plan Ahead 


Firewise Resources on High Prairie: 

Contact me, Tom McMackin, if you’d like more information on the ‘Firewise’ and ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ programs; if you have comments or suggestions; or if you would like to be more involved with the High Prairie Firewise effort. I can answer questions and get you connected with the resources we have available as a recognized Firewise Community. Contact me by email at Firewise.onhighprairie@gmail.com or by phone message by calling 509- 365-2786. Please, if you don’t receive a response from your email, call me! 

Online resources: 

Firewise – http://www.Firewise.org or http://www.Firewise.org/wildfire-preparedness/be-Firewise/home-and-landscape.aspx 

Ready, Set, Go! – http://www.wildlandfirersg.org or http://www.wildlandfirersg.org/Resident 

Preparedness & Evacuation 


https://www.readyforwildfire.org/prepare-for-wildfire/go-evacuation-guide/ pre-evacuation-preparation-steps/ 


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Lori Sweeney 

“I don’t have false teeth. Do you think I’d buy teeth like these?” 

~Carol Burnett 

The pearly whites. At my age, like Carol, I’m glad to still have them, given what I’ve invested in their maintenance. Yet, of late, I seem to be finding more and more stuff stuck in my teeth. It’s like those ridiculous bugs dying by the thousands in our windowsills: embarrassingly evident. Who hasn’t had a piece of lettuce from lunch that is still stuck up there between your gum and lip, or, worse, in between your teeth? Stuck fast like the squirrel that got caught in our empty cylinder of a bird feeder. Flailing to get out. (We have a picture of this – the squirrel, not the lettuce.) 

And hey, I floss. I am one of those who was shocked into flossing in my 20s by a fiery dentist who threatened that I would lose all my beautifully straight teeth. He was cute and fiery, so I became a BELIEVER right then and there. I even perfected a technique of subtly asking my dates if they flossed or not; I would not kiss them goodnight if they didn’t have good dental hygiene. This may be one reason I didn’t marry until I was 36. 

But it was an important question to ask. Gums count. 

Growing up, I could not understand the proliferation of toothpicks in restaurants like Denny’s. And then recently I had a Chinese chicken salad with sesame seeds. Evidently those seeds lodged in my pearlies right across the front, like ebony on ivory. And I didn’t know it. Went through the whole day and not a person said a word (what is with that? hello! take the plunge and whisper “honey, you have something the size of Gibraltar in your teeth and, and you need to swish and swallow”). Geez, now I carry toothpicks AND a floss card and yes, I take an immediate gander in the rear view mirror the minute I get in the car, like everybody else over 60. 

THEN, I began to wonder about whitening. Talk about does she or doesn’t she. But unlike with my gray hair, I decided to go first class. Thanks to the influence of another cute dentist, I had trays made and fill them with some goop every quarter and wear them around like night cream, talking with what I imagine is a pretty sexy lisp, sort of like Lauren Hutton. I do this religiously every quarter, right after getting my 401(k) statement. Whiter teeth and good retirement savings, that’s my motto. 

Because of these good habits, we are all going to have our teeth longer. That’s the good news. The bad news is that there is going to be a shortage of dentists to take care of all these teeth we own. You think social security is a problem. Try finding a dentist when we’re 85. 

I tell you it’s enough to make one think about skipping the flossing while camping, but then I think, with my high standards, what if I also need a date when I’m 85? 

Lori Sweeney is a new full-time resident to High Prairie and will be the first to tell you if you have something in your teeth.

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Jon Hancock 

Making a plan puts you on the road to financial security and comfortable retirement years. The goal is to leave you with sufficient assets so you can maintain your current lifestyle AND pursue new interests that you may develop in retirement. Dog sledding in Alaska? Surfing in California? Sounds like a ton of fun! 

Your goals play a big role in how you plan for retirement. You might ask yourself some open-ended questions: 

• When would you like to retire? 

• What goals do you have for retirement? 

• What would you like to do in retirement? 

• How would you spend your days? 

• Do you enjoy traveling? 

• What are your hobbies? 

• Do you want to stay in your home or are you considering a smaller place? 

• Would you like to live in a different location? 

• Would you move closer to family or kids? 

• Or would you choose a location based on climate or quality of life? 

What might a plan look like? 

Most folks want to save for retirement at a more reasonable pace. Here is a moderate plan that works well for a majority of people: 

1. Set aside six months of expenses in an emergency fund. While skyrocketing interest rates have hampered stock market performance over the last year, savers can now earn up to 5% risk-free. We’d be happy to point you in the right direction. 

Save up to 15% of your income in your company’s 401k. If zero to 15 in one paycheck leaves you short of breath, start small and ratchet it up every couple of months. You won’t miss the cash. 

But if it turns out that 15% is too difficult or interferes with other financial goals, at least always capture your company’s match. It’s free money. Why leave any behind? 

2. Get out of debt. This includes student loans, credit cards, and auto debt. We can talk about whether you should try to pay down your mortgage in a timelier manner. 

3. Max out IRA and HSA. Consider fully funding an IRA account and max out your Health Savings Account if it’s offered as a part of your health coverage. 

4 . Are you 50 or older? If so, consider catch-up contributions for retirement savings. For an IRA, you may contribute up to $7,500 in tax year 2023. 

5 . I nvest using an asset rotation strategy. “Perfect” doesn’t exist in investing. However, momentum based asset rotation (tilting a portfolio toward performing assets and away from under-performing assets) has been proven to minimize painful drawdowns that we cannot afford as we enter retirement. 

There are no easy roads, but a disciplined approach that emphasizes consistent savings, a modest lifestyle based on your income, and minimal debt will serve you well as you travel the road toward financial security and a comfortable retirement. 

I hope you’ve found this to be educational and informative. If you have any questions or would like to discuss any matters, please feel free to give me a call at 360-776-6600. 

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Chris Sokol 

I have been working on repopulating some of the open grasslands that may have once been grazed with Balsamroot seed collected and sorted after blooming. These plants do not take well to transplanting because of their long tap root and do best direct-seeded into the ground ½ inch deep in full sun and well-drained soil. I sow thickly, and germination rates are still generally low. I plant the seeds and mark the area with small red popsicle sticks to check for propagation Some plants have a lifespan to between 40-80 years old. As I am working hard to cultivate them, I do not personally forage them. 

Below: Stages of Balsamroot Growth

Click/tap image to for an enlarged view

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Scott Wayne Indiana 

There have been recent advancements in technology that allow software to generate images from text prompts. Artificially Intelligent tools such as Midjourney, DALL*E and many others allow a user to enter any amount of a text description and within seconds the program returns four completely original and unique images. These are not pictures found online or in a database the way a Google image search works. These images are entirely new, created by the software. 

I have been following this emerging phenomenon and thought it would be interesting to enter a handful of “High Prairie text prompts” into Midjourney. Below are my series of text prompts and resulting images. I generated a range of styles to illustrate the capability of the software, but of course the images can be vastly further-ranging across a spectrum of any style, genre, material or subject you can think of. Anyone is free to use these sorts of image-making tools. 

“colorful oil painting in the style of van gogh of the high prairie landscape above the town of lyle, washington, USA, very detailed, include oak trees and any inspiring surrounding views” (xample on the right.) 



“colorful oil painting in the style of Andrew Wyeth of the high prairie landscape above the town of lyle, washington, USA, very detailed, include oak trees and any inspiring surrounding views” 

“colorful oil painting in the style of Basquiat of the high prairie landscape above the town of lyle, washington, USA, very detailed, include oak trees and any inspiring surrounding views” 

Number 4 from the last group, standing alone: 

“high contrast, bright, black and white photo in the style of ansel adams of the high prairie landscape above the town of lyle, washington, USA, very detailed, include an oak tree forest, an oak grove, and sweeping inspiring surrounding views” 

“high contrast, bright, black and white photo in the style of ansel adams of the high prairie landscape above the town of lyle, washington, USA, very detailed, include a family on a horseback ride on a dirt road, and sweeping inspiring surrounding views” 

“high contrast, bright, black and white photo in the style of ansel adams of the high prairie landscape above the town of lyle, washington, USA, very detailed, include a four people on four horses on a horseback ride on a dirt road, and sweeping inspiring surrounding views” 

“a retro wooden toy deer standing on top of a barn by an oak grove on the high prairie above lyle, WA” 

“colorful oil painting in the surreal style of salvador dali with melting dripping pickup trucks of the high prairie landscape above the town of lyle, washington, USA, very detailed, include oak trees and surrounding hilly views” 

“surreal style of salvador dali, a melting barn on the high prairie landscape above the town of lyle, washington” 

“surreal style of salvador dali, a woman and her horse melting dripping liquid into the ground on the high prairie landscape above the town of lyle, washington” 

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High Prairie Wildflowers, Photos by Gwen Berry

Click/tap for an enlarged view

Row 1 (L–R); Apple Blossom, Arrowleaf Balsamroot, Ballhead Waterleaf, Cluster Lily
Row 2: Hounds Tongue, Larkspur 1, Larkspur 2, Barestem Biscuitroot
Row 3: Desert Parsley, Lupine, Oregon Grape, Woodland Star
Row 4: Yellow Violets

Mt. Hood over Canola Fields Photos by Jason Eatwell