Just  a quick note to say I hope you are enjoying the Holiday Season with family and friends. Please make an extra effort to be  patient and kind to those you love since the holidays can be tough for people.
  You've brobably notices I've taken a vacation from my page for the past couple of months as I've needed some time for my family as well as some personal goals I've been persuing. However I do plan to return in the future.
    Wishing you all the best!
    I have been actively collecting information to support an alternative plan for our community. I am working toward becoming educated about other possibilities as well. 
    I am aware that the creation of an alternative plan is difficult for some to accept as it may feel like you are giving up on saving the City of Pacific. However, this should be considered "Plan B"  or a "Back up Plan". It would not be in effect unless the city unincorporates. A friend made a comment to me that made a great deal of sense. Are we really going to wait for the Titanic to sink before pulling out the life boats? If that is our position, we will lose our community services along with the city. At this point, we don't have a lot of choice as far as the city's status is concerned. However, the community is ours and I'd like to save what we can so we at least have a foundation to build the type of the community we'd like to live in. 
    Thank you for reading and have a good weekend = )
    What does it mean to be a Community Leader? I can only offer my own vision of what a Community Leader looks like, however I would encourage you to ask yourself this question and after some thought, see what you come up with.
    My definition of a Community Leader is someone who is involved with and has a vested interest in the community. Let me clarify "vested interest". Someone who resides in the community owns a business in the community, offers community based services to the community, is a member of a church in the community, someone whose children attend a school in the community, someone who is a recipient of services in the community, and/or someone who devotes their time/resources to the community. At this point you may say, "That could be anyone". Here are the defining factors; INTEGRITY, COMMITTMENT, and NO HIDDEN AGENDAS. These people are fair, unbiased, honest, and willing to serve their community for the sole purpose of serving their community. 
    It's important that the people who choose to be involved are able to check their personal feelings about Pacific's politics at the door. At this point nothing good could come from rehashing  "who did what" to contribute to the downfall of the city.It won't change the facts and it will create undue animosity. I understand that while emotions are running high right now given the circumstances, it may be difficult. However I'm going to request that those who can't honor this responsibility please don't involve yourselves until you can. This is about building, not distruction. This is how the community faced with adversity will show it's resiliency.
   With that said, it's time to unite these people who share these Community Leader qualities as well as this common purpose. It's a huge task, but saving the community services we have is essential. That's why I am proposing the creation of a Community Council. I made a promise to the seniors at the Pacific/Algona Senior Center that if it came down to the demise of Pacific, I would do whatever I could to secure their center and the services provided there. I feel just as strongly about preserving the Rec Center. We may need more services when all is said and done, not less services. At the very least, I want to hang on to what we have. It's going to take a lot of work and in a short amount of time. I am putting my best foot forward but flying by the seat of my pants. If you are willing to help or wish to suggest a Community Leader who may be willing to step up to the plate, please contact me. If you have an opinion (good or bad), I want to hear it. Let's not just stand here, let's do something!
    Thank you for reading and try to stay dry today! Fall is definitely here = )

  Months ago, creating a "back up plan" for our community was an option. Today, it's a necessity.
    Yesterday a letter written by Pacific City Attorney, Ken Luce, and addressed to Pacific's City Council and Mayor, was released on the Committee to Recall Cy Sun Webpage. The letter explains Pacific's disasterous state of affairs and acknowledges the reality of Pacific's disincorperation when the City's Insurance is cancelled December 31st 2012.
    In my blog entry Committees Hard at Work, I suggested a "back up plan" for our community. I am ready to move forward with this now. I am meeting with community based supports at this time. I will be in attendance at the City Counciil Meeting October 22nd at 6:30PM and I encourage others to attend also. It's imparative at this time that we focus on the preservation of our community. The city and it's government do not represent the community, which shall remain dispite the downfall of the city. I was prepared for this outcome (the City of Pacific failing) however it was still difficult to read Ken Luce's words and
it's still sinking in for me. I can imagine some of you feel the same. I do believe with careful thought, consideration, and planning we (as a community) can overcome this and prevail. Afterall, it's not the name that defines us. 
     I will post updates concerning community building efforts, community announcements, and opportunities as I come accross them. In the meantime, I have faith in us, let's stay informed, and most importantly let's support eachother in this time of uncertainty. Thank you for reading. = )
    UPDATE: As of this evening, the lawsuits against the City (which surpass Pacific's insurance coverage limits) have been filed as reported by King 5 News..
    Just when I thought I had it all figured out..... It seems the free time I had been looking forward to has been almost non-existent.  I can't wait to be able to focus more attention on Taking Back Pacific as it really is my virtual happy place. I appreciate you all bearing with me and just know that is my goal to get back to my favorate past time ASAP! Until then, I hope you all are well and enjoying our extended Summer weather = ) 
  When you reach out and lend a hand, you are often times setting off a positive sequence of events which will reach far beyond anything you could have imagined. 
    When I was a young child, my father took us to spend Christmas Downtown Seattle handing out clothing and cash to homeless folks on the streets. What an impact these experiences had on me. I got a lesson about appreciation, compassion, acceptance, empathy, and an early realization about how important community is. There was a man sitting in Pioneer Square on a bench in the cold and alone. At 8 years old, I knew just what I'd give this man. I walked over to him and handed him a new navy blue baseball cap and two $1 bills. I smiled and said "Merry Christmas Sir". He returned the smile and looked at me with excitement in his eyes when he replied so sincerely, "oh thank you child, now the birds won't sh** in my hair anymore!" Of all the folks I met that year, he is the one I'll never forget. It is because of these experiences I don’t walk by folks who are down on their luck and pretend they don't exist like so many others do, instead I look them in the eye and smile when I say hello. I think of that nice man who appreciated the simplest little gift like it was the greatest present ever, every time I lose sight of what's important in life. I think of him when I give the man who is standing at the freeway entrance a couple of dollars and whatever snacks I may have in my car. I think of that sweet man when I'm working on strengthening my community because that Christmas gift he gave me that year really was the greatest gift ever. It's been over 25 years and he still inspires the choices I make. It's because of him that I've gone out of my way to help others. I care to make an effort in my community because my very first community involvement was such a positive experience. All of these years later, the man I met that day has no idea the impact he had on my life. I took those gifts he gave me that year and to this day,  I still pay it forward. 
    Another lesson I learned is to teach my children the importance of community at a young age. It encourages them to think about the needs of others and that's really the foundation of community. Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more of Pay it Forward = )

    Get ready for more of Our Community's Finest this week. I look forward to writing these stories as it such a positive way to spend  my free time. The past few weeks have provided little free time unfortunately. Now that the new school year is off and running smoothly, things have settled down a bit and I can shine the spotlight on more of the quality folks we are fortunate to have in our community.
    I am also pleased to announce a new addition to the blog titled "Pay it Forward". Has a stranger ever gone out of their way to lend you a hand? Someone who expected nothing in return? Their heart was just in the right place, and for them, reaching out to help just seemed the right thing to do? Well this would be the place to share your story. If the details are personal and you wish to change the names in the story, thats no problem. If you wish to write your story in the form of a thank you letter, that's great too. This is YOUR story and you can give as much or as little detail as you choose. If this person's act of kindness affected a choice you made later on, I'd love to hear about it. The purpose of this piece is to inspire others to "Pay it Forward". Do something for someone else for no other reason than it was the honorable thing to do. No matter how big or small. If they ask you how they can repay you, just smile and say, "pay it forward". This is in no way an original idea, but it sure brings out the good in people. I've heard so many of these stories over the years and everytime I hear a new one I'm motivated to be a better person myself. Never forget that your small act of kindness may be a defining factor in someone else's life. 
    I will post a few stories which reflect the true meaning of "Pay it Forward". Please submit your story by e-mail to takingbackpacific@yahoo.com or via the contact form on the main page. Thank you for reading and enjoy your Sunday = )
As Summer Vacation comes to an end and our kiddos are headed back to school next week, it's a perfect time to contact local schools in search of sprouting community builders. After all, this generation is our future so it's never too early to start recognizing their contributions! We will of course need parent's consent to show appreciation for their child's efforts in  "Our Community's Finest" as another positive form of acknowledging students for giving back to our community. If children are encouraged at a young age to "give back" to their community, it's a great experience for them and it encourages further acts of kindness throughout their lives. If you know of an inspirational child or teen who enjoys helping others in our community, please submit their story via the "contact form" on the main page.
Have a beautiful Labor Day Weekend

I am looking to bridge the gaps in our community. I don't like the lines that have been drawn between cultures. I can't fix any injustices that have occured in the past, but I would like to take some responsibility in the rebuilding of our community, the right way, where everyone is treated justly and valued equally.  I am interested in meeting other folks who, like myself, genuinely embrace diversity. People who wish to take it a step beyond embracing diversity and are willing to make an effort to "ditch the good ol boys club" reputation our little town has aquired over the years by creating a community built on acceptance, appreciation, and equality. I believe it's long over due......
Thanks for reading and please feel free to voice your position on this matter. Goodnight = ).

******UPDATE*******  It's been 2 days since this entry was made and I'm a little surprised after 119 views, there hasn't been any feedback. So I'm wondering if I'm the only one who sees a problem with the cultural devide, or  are folks feeling intimidated regarding this issue? Is there another reason that I'm not aware of?

I am honored to introduce Darrel and Kathy Smith, an unforgettable couple who have left footprints on the heart of our community. The Smiths were married 21 years ago and moved to Pacific the following April in 1992, when they found their lovely home. Kathy says she and Darrel were impressed with the nice neighborhood with new homes and kids playing outside. One particular attribute to the area that the couple enjoyed over the years, was the walking path around the river. The Smiths truly appreciated the beauty of nature and the river trail was one they admired every season, all  year-round. This nature loving couple also looked forward to traveling to the coast with all of the impressive scenery where they would fly kites and walk the beach. Furthermore, the Smith's had a special connection to the Sedona, Arizona area which felt spiritual and inspirational to them and they cherished their time there together. By trade, Darrel was a teacher at Green River Community College and Kathy spent many years in the banking industry as well as utilizing her skill as a technical writer. Another high priority in this couple's life has been their active community involvement. In fact, they have both been devoted members of Pacific Partnerships from day one. Unfortunately, around the time Pacific Partnerships was founded, Darrel was diagnosed with a rare illness. For many years, Darrel's health seemed unaffected so he and Kathy were able to live a full life together. Even as Darrel began experiencing symptoms, his positive and resilient personality shined through. He had always been one who asked for little and gave a lot, who accepted what he had and worked with it. It was his positive outlook that encouraged others and everyone who knew him loved him. Darrel and Kathy were inseparable much of the time. They are truly soul mates. Already having been blessed with a wonderful family, combined with strong friendships which blossomed through their involvement in Pacific Partnerships, the Smiths had a strong support system which has been priceless in the past several months. Sadly and suddenly, Darrel's condition deteriorated and 3 months ago, he peacefully passed away at home surrounded by those who loved him most. Only days after he attended his last Pacific Partnerships meeting as he was determined never to miss them.... now that's devotion.  Our city's flag flew at half mass to honor the life of such an amazing man. Kathy is such an inspiration as she is left to carry the torch for herself and her best friend. Despite her intense grief and loss, her good will is still extended to all who cross her path.  
Kathy and her canine companion will be relocating soon so before they move forward, let's give our thanks and let them know how much Kathy and Darrel impacted our community in such a positive way.  Darrel and Kathy's story is one of strength, unconditional love, commitment and devotion. We can all learn something from role models like these. Thank you to the Smiths and Kathy we wish you all the love and happiness in your new home. Please don't be a stranger, we miss you already!
In closing, Kathy would like to see our community members inspired to take an active role in the development of their own community and thinking beyond the 4 walls of their own homes. Thank you for reading and please stay tuned for more of Our Community's Finest = )