We went to the Timberland Library in Aberdeen and asked bibliophiles about the books they have currently read and how they rate them (out of 5 stars) and this is what they said:
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Question & Answer
We cruised around and asked people how long they have lived here and what they liked about this time of year. This is what they said:
Longtime Raymond High School sports public address announcer Doug Allton is retiring after 28 years in calling football and boys and girls basketball. He and his wife, Wannette, are planning to tour the country after she retires in August. A resident of Willapa Harbor for 37 years and a former employee of Bud’s Lumber and Harbor Saw &Supply, among other companies, Allton coached youth baseball, from Little League to Babe Ruth, for 20 years, and spent five years broadcasting Willapa Harbor high school sports. The 68-year-old Allton has three children, son Mike of Westport and daughters LeeAnn and Toni, both of The Dalles, Ore.
Hoquiam resident Jen Gillies-Alvarez works at Grays Harbor College as a coordinator of the Food Employment Training and Opportunity Grant programs. She and her wife, Sarah Gillies-Alvarez, have two children: 14-year-old Leif and 11-year-old Cassidy. Before earning her bachelor’s degree at The Evergreen State College, Jen Gillies-Alvarez studied at Grays Harbor College and was a founding member of the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). Gillies-Alvarez and other local activists are working to create more resources for Grays Harbor’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community through the Out &Proud Grays Harbor Coalition. The coalition will host the first Grays Harbor Pride Festival Aug. 23 in Hoquiam.
Sue Keltner has been an Aberdeen resident for nearly 50 years. Originally a Seattle native, she met her husband Jerry in an “Intro to Theatre” class while attending Western Washington University. When Jerry was offered a job with the Aberdeen School District, they moved back to where he grew up. Keltner would eventually teach at Aberdeen schools, but is now retired. Family has always been a large part of her life. Their son Larry, his wife, Sue, and their youngest granddaughter, Lanna, live in Shelton with family also living in Olympia and Shoreline. Sue and her husband joined the Driftwood Players in 1969 and have been active members ever since.
Just before the Port of Grays Harbor took ownership of Satsop Business Park in 2013, Alissa Shay was named manager of business development. She oversees the daily operations of the park, including business recruitment and retention. A Harbor native, Shay previously worked as a city planner for the City of Hoquiam and holds a master’s degree in public administration from The Evergreen State College. She lives in Montesano with her husband Brian. Their large family includes Brian’s daughters Rachel and Emily, two dogs, four cats and three chickens. She enjoys cooking, gardening, shopping local, volunteering and staying active with spin class at Monte Fitness and walking her dogs.
Longtime Harbor resident Pat Gordon has been involved with helping cancer patients for around 52 years. She is the licensed cosmetologist who helps with the wigs given to women fighting cancer for the “Look Good, Feel Better” program at Grays Harbor Community Hospital. She also runs Pat’s Trim &Style, where people can come for help donating to Locks of Love, to get their wigs restyled or just for a cut and style. She also volunteers to help kids going through difficult times.
A long-time tennis player and instructor, Ashley Kohlmeier is a Hoquiam native (HHS Class of 2004) who parlayed her love of the sport into an intrical part of her teaching — English and Technology — and coaching as the second-year Aberdeen High School girls tennis head coach. Kohlmeier graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with a teaching credential. Kohlmeier was a four-year varsity tennis player at Hoquiam, a tennis instructor at WSU and coached boys and girls tennis at Renton High School while she was student-teaching. Her parents — Ed and Kerry — still live in Hoquiam and she has three brothers — Ryan, Deryck and Shane.
Peter Muschke became Port Director for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection for Grays Harbor and Westport in 2011. Prior to that he worked as an immigration officer and served in both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force for a total of 20 years. He was born in Bremerhaven, Germany to a German mother and father from the U.S. He has one daughter and a grandson. His wife of 20 years passed away in 2006 after a short bout with pancreatic cancer.
PUD Commissioner Arie Callaghan is a third-generation Harborite. He lives in Elma with his wife Tina and has worked for Mason Trucking Company in Aberdeen for 24 years. In his free time, Callaghan collects vintage dirt bikes, drives his 1979 Jeep CJ-7 and watches NASCAR. He also enjoys spending time with his daughter Erin, son-in-law Jeff and granddaughters Sawyer and Hadley, who also live in Elma.
Tom Jensen is president and CEO of Grays Harbor Community Hospital, a position he has held since September of 2010. Prior to his time on the Harbor he worked in the health care industry for more than 20 years, as the Director of Finance at Inland Northwest Health Services, the Director of Operations at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute and as the CEO of Coulee Medical Center in Eastern Washington.
Grays Harbor Pasha Automotive Services General Manager Matt Raasch is new to the Harbor, but he knows the auto shipping business inside and out. He’s lived in his historic Montesano home, built in 1903, for about seven months with his 15-year-old son. In his free time, he enjoys, golfing, fishing, poker “and the toughest hobby — raising a teenager.”
Valerie Busch has worked as the circulation manager at Grays Harbor College for the past 12 years. She also guides the planing and organization behind numerous art shows that adorn the hallways below and leading up to the John Spellman Library.
Craig Dublanko of Aberdeen has been the CEO for the Coastal Community Action Program (CCAP) since 2010. A former golf pro, stockbroker and business manager and housing coordinator for Evergreen Counseling center, Dublanko joined Coastal Community Action Program as a finance officer in 1999 and worked in that capacity for the next 11 years. He and his wife Kristen have three children, 19-year-old Heather, 16-year-old Joel and 13-year-old Ben.
When Bob Waite came to work at the Aberdeen Building Department 35 years ago, there were no computers, just what he calls Stone Age technology to go through the permitting process. He is set to retire March 28. “It’s been a great place to work. I am going to miss all the people I have worked with.” The 1966 Aberdeen High School graduate went into the Army for two years and spent a year in Vietnam. He attended college at Grays Harbor and Contra Costa colleges. He lived in the Bay Area for several years, then returned to the Harbor to work for the department in 1979. He rose to head the department. Waite has two sons by his first marriage: Morgan, 37, who works for Grays Harbor PUD, and Brian, 40, who works for Asplund Tree Service and lives in both Totten Inlet and Laguna Beach, Calif. He and his second wife, Kathy, have been married 19 years and have six grandchildren between them. His father, Jack, who is in his 90s, still lives in Aberdeen.