Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I clearly remember the first time I touched a computer keyboard. It was a crazy large thing, the screen was black with green font, and I was working on my second degree at the University of Washington. The year was 1983.

I clearly remember my first home computer. We spent as much as our car cost us at the time, for a Mac SE. The hard drive and monitor were all in one and the screen was so tiny. The year was 1990.

I clearly remember first getting email and internet. I really wanted email at home because I was working from home and my husband didn’t think I would really use it. I remember figuring out what a ‘website’ was and how much easier it was to find information than the phone book. It was a revelation. The year was 1998.

Twelve years later, it’s hard to imagine a day without a computer in my life. Email, website, facebook, twitter and blogging are as much a part of my day as brushing my teeth. And that is not necessarily a good thing, but at least I still find time to brush (usually twice a day).

My job as the marketing director for Gig Harbor (or your Gig Harbor Guide, my “handle”) has certainly required me to keep on top of the fast paced world of technical and social media. Not always an easy task. And often a little frightening. Take blogging for instance;

Only a little more than a year ago did I begin blogging about Gig Harbor. I was concerned that blogging would seem too self-serving, and that it might result in nasty comments or feedback that was unpleasant. Being the Polly-Anna I am, I really didn’t want to deal with any of that. But, I also felt I was missing another opportunity to tout the wonders of Gig Harbor if I did not dive in to the blogging and the social media world.

So, I took the plunge. And a year later, I can say it has been a great opportunity, one that has grown enough that we are upgrading our blog as well as our website this month.

Our blog that has been hosted on is moving to – now officially part of our visitor website. The website is also newly refreshed and, though still working out the bugs, has some great new features and upgraded technology to keep it as the number one website for information about the greater Gig Harbor area.

Please check it out. Please comment on our blog. Please join us on Facebook and Twitter (@GigHarborGuide) and please, remember to brush your teeth!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Gig Harbor's TravelChair® Wins 2010 Good Housekeeping VIP Award

GIG HARBOR, WA- TravelChair, worldwide leading designer and manufacturer of outdoor chairs was one of 10 winners chosen from 1,650 products evaluated by the Good House Keeping Research Institute as “Best New Products 2010.” The 2010 VIP (Very Innovative Products) selects new breakthrough products that solve every day problems in new and innovative ways.

According to Holly Roso, CEO of TravelChair Company, “we were excited to be one of the 10 products recognized by the Good Housekeeping VIP Award. The scientists and engineers at Good Housekeeping Research Institute, with their state-of –the-art laboratory, evaluated our Insect Shield chair for its performance and safety, and for our forward thinking approach. It’s a good feeling when your brand is recognized for the very things you strive for as a company, which for us is innovation and performance”

TravelChair, who is known for its state of the art designs and high endurance chairs, has embedded the chair fabric with Insect Shield’s EPA-registered insect-repellent. This shield is an invisible and odorless protection against mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers, and midges (no-see-ums) and is deemed appropriate for use by children and pregnant women.

For more information about this revolutionary new product visit TravelChair at

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


But look again – something isn’t so fishy this year!

April 2010, Gig Harbor Wash; Gig Harbor welcomes the return of SalmonChanted Harbor again this year beginning in May. But this year there is a new twist…those salmon look suspiciously like heron!
Organizers of the third annual art event decided to shake it up in 2010, with heron sculptures instead of salmon. The heron is a bird frequently seen in and around the waters of Gig Harbor bay and other bays and estuaries in the area. These amazing resin sculpture shells have been distributed to 15 local artists. The artists were chosen from a pool of candidates for their unique ideas to make the heron shell into a work of art.
Each artist will create a different themed heron (see list below) and each piece of art will be displayed at a different location throughout historic Gig Harbor from late May through early September. The heron will then be auctioned at the SalmonChanted Evening event, scheduled for September 18th at the Gig Harbor Yacht Club.
All of the sculptures will debut at an event at the Gig Harbor Civic Center, 3510 Grandview Street on Wednesday May 26th from 6-8p.m.

This year’s artists and locations are;

1. Nancy Fiala presents “Mardi Gras Heron” at The Green Turtle Restaurant
2. Nancy Keck Harris presents “The Ghost” at Simply Charmed
3. Nancy Corey presents “Stepping Out in Gig Harbor” at Gallery Row
4. Alexis St. John presents “Life Force” at Kit Kuhn, A Jeweler Designed for You
5. Kathleen Casteel & Brad Dinsmore present “Eyes of Action” at Threshold Building
6. Joan Sain presents “The Gambler” at Ebb Tide Gallery
7. Jody L. Whalen presents “Patchwork Heron” at Timberland Bank
8. Harvey D. Kolln presents “Canary in the Estuary” at Columbia Bank
9. Giorgina C. Wells presents “A Latin Heron” at Birdnest Gallery
10. Charles A. Anderson presents “Gogh Heron Gogh” at Wild Birds Unlimited
11. Laura Jacobson presents “Penny Land the Crane” at Harbor Gallery
12. Delaine Gately presents “Gig Harbor’s Peacock” at The Maritime Inn
13. Christina Hella Thompson presents “The Glass Heron” at For Arts Sake
14. Loretta J. Anderson presents “An Attitude of Patience” at Anthony’s Restaurant
15. Christina Burris & A/P Art Class Students present “Recycle for the Environment” at Water to Wine

SalmonChanted Harbor 2010 is dedicated to the memory of Pauline Winchell, founder of the event and long time Ebb Tide Gallery artist.

This year’s SalmonChanted sponsors are;
The City of Gig Harbor
Gig Harbor Kiwanis Club
Willis Marketing, Inc.
The Russell Family Foundation
Threshold Group
MultiCare Gig Harbor Medical Park
Timberland Bank
Columbia Bank
Lloyd M. Silver Harbor Center
Wild Birds Unlimited
St. Anthony Hospital, a part of Franciscan Health System
Anthony’s Restaurant
Walt’s Auto Care Centers
Fosberg Media Group
Eric Peavy
The Green Turtle Restaurant
The Maritime Inn
Neurosurgery Northwest
Water to Wine
Bruce and Carol Murdock

SalmonChanted Harbor is produced by the Gig Harbor Gallery Association in support of the Peninsula Hands On Art program. Learn more at

To learn more about visiting or overnight accommodations in Gig Harbor go to Gig Harbor – Washington’s Maritime Village.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Gig Harbor, Wash. – April, 2010 – Gig Harbor is the place to be this summer. This vibrant and exciting community has many shops, movie theater and restaurants, but keeps it’s authentic maritime charm with fun, friendly and for the most part, free, events through out the summer season. Launching the summer season is the fourth annual Gig Harbor Street Scramble on May 29th;

May 29th Gig Harbor Street Scramble (253) 857-4842
The City of Gig Harbor

June 5-6th Maritime Gig Festival (253) 851-6865
Gig Harbor Peninsula Area Chamber of Commerce

June 22nd Summer Sounds At Skansie (888) VIEW GIG
The City of Gig Harbor- each Tuesday from 6:30-8:30 – this week Raucous Band

June 26th & 27th Gig Harbor Garden Tour (253) 853-3554
Tacoma Community College Adult Literacy Program

June 29th Summer Sounds At Skansie (888) VIEW GIG
The City of Gig Harbor- each Tuesday from 6:30 – 8:00 pm – this week Soulstice

July 6th Summer Sounds At Skansie (888) VIEW GIG
The City of Gig Harbor- each Tuesday from 6:30 – 8:00 pm – this week Army National Guard Band

July 9th & 10th Cinema Gig Outdoor Movie (253) 857-4842
The City of Gig Harbor Friday and Saturday nights
Friday’s movie at Donkey Creek Park is Airplane!
Saturday’s movie at Skansie Brothers Park is Where the Wild Things Are

July 13th Summer Sounds At Skansie (888) VIEW GIG
The City of Gig Harbor- each Tuesday from 6:30 – 8:00 pm – this week Blackberry Bushes

July 17th Chalk the Walk (253) 514-0071
Gig Harbor Historic Waterfront Association

July 17th & 18th Gig Harbor Summer Arts Festival (253) 857-4222
Peninsula Art League

July 20th Summer Sounds At Skansie (888) VIEW GIG
The City of Gig Harbor- each Tuesday from 6:30 – 8:00 pm – this week The Beatniks

July 23rd – 24th Cinema Gig Outdoor Movie (253) 857-4842
The City of Gig Harbor Friday and Saturday nights
Friday’s movie at Donkey Creek Park Mamma Mia
Saturday’s movie at Skansie Brothers Park Goonies

July 27th Summer Sounds At Skansie (888) VIEW GIG
The City of Gig Harbor- each Tuesday from 6:30 – 8:00 pm – this week Freckles Brown Band

August 3rd Summer Sounds At Skansie (888) VIEW GIG
The City of Gig Harbor- each Tuesday from 6:30 – 8:00 pm – this week Danny Vernon

August 7th Gig Harbor Food and Wine Festival (253) 514-0071
TheHarbor History Museum presents this new event in downtown Gig Harbor
Gig Harbor Historic Waterfront Association

August 6th-7th Cinema Gig Outdoor Movie (253) 857-4842
The City of Gig Harbor Friday and Saturday nights
Friday’s movie at Donkey Creek Park The Pink Panther
Saturday’s movie at Skansie Brothers Park Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

August 10th Summer Sounds At Skansie (888) VIEW GIG
The City of Gig Harbor- each Tuesday from 6:30-8:00 pm – this week Your Fathers’ Manouche

August 14th Gig Harbor Rocks (253) 857-4842
Downtown Gig Harbor steps back to the 1950’s!

August 17th Summer Sounds At Skansie (888) VIEW GIG
The City of Gig Harbor- each Tuesday from 6:30 – 8:00 pm – this week The Coats

August 20th – 21st Cinema Gig Outdoor Movie (253) 857-4842
The City of Gig Harbor
Friday’s movie at Donkey Creek Park The Blind Side
Saturday’s movie at Skansie Brothers Park Disney’s Finding Nemo

August 24th Summer Sounds At Skansie (888) VIEW GIG
The City of Gig Harbor- each Tuesday from 6:30 – 8:00 pm this week Island Jamz

Sept 18th – 19th Open Studio Tour (253) 549-7551

September 18th Harbor Hounds Walk the Town (253) 851-1170
Gig Harbor Mid-Day Rotary

September 25th Gig Harbor Chowder Cook Off (253) 884-9672
Gig Harbor Farmers Market

Also don’t miss – Every Saturday April – September the Gig Harbor Farmers Market at the Kimball Park and Ride from 8:30am- 2pm. And every Wednesday June – September the Gig Harbor GREEN Market on the waterfront in historic downtown Gig Harbor from 11am – 7pm.

Gig Harbor has two performing arts theater groups offering a variety of exceptional indoor and outdoor performances through out the summer. From classical musicals to hilarious comedies there is something for everyone. See the line up at and

Originating from two-miles of walk-able harbor front and boasting one of the most scenic skyline views of Mt. Rainier, Gig Harbor is the first destination on the Kitsap Peninsula after crossing the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and an ideal spot for unique, leisurely get-away. This vibrant community is notable for its maritime heritage, marinas, waterfront inns, bed and breakfasts, public parks, upscale and one-of-a-kind shops, art galleries, jewelers, harbor tours, and harbor-front restaurants, as well as its eye-catching gardens and garden centers. For overnight packages, event and visitor information, please access or call the Gig Harbor Visitor Information Center at (888) VIEWGIG.

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Monday, March 29, 2010


Washington Counties, Cities Able to Track Percentage of Households Mailing Back Questionnaires

The U.S. Census Bureau has launched an interactive Website on Google Maps showing initial 2010 census participation rates. The state’s mail-participation rate is presently at 10 percent, 10 points lower than the national participation rate. Census officials anticipate that the participation rate will significantly increase throughout March and April, as households continue to receive and mail back the questionnaires.

Currently, Lincoln County in Eastern Washington has the highest participation rate in the state at 35 percent. Yakima County trails all counties with 1 percent participation. The rate is 9 percent in King County, 11 percent in Pierce County, 8 percent in Snohomish County, 18 percent in Thurston County and 4 percent in Spokane County. At the city level the following participation rates are:
• 10% in Seattle
• 9% in Bellevue
• 11% in Tacoma
• 20% in Olympia
• 8% in Vancouver
• 3% in Spokane
• 1% in Wenatchee
• 11% in Bellingham
• 8% in Kent
• 12% in Bremerton

The collaborative partnership with Google allows communities the ability to track how their area is responding to the once-a-decade count. The Census Bureau will provide daily updates of the percentage of returned census questionnaires using Google Maps and Google Earth.

Individuals are encouraged to go to to monitor their area’s mail-participation rate at city, county and state levels. In addition, the map offers the ability for areas to compare with nearby communities and states.

Most households in Washington State received the much-anticipated, 10-question form in mailboxes last week. Census officials hope that households will fill out their 2010 census questionnaires and mail it back.

It costs the government just the price of a postage stamp when a household mails back the 10-question form. However, it costs the Census Bureau $57 to follow up with a non-responsive household. In 2000, the nation reversed a three-decade decline in mail rates, achieving a mail-participation rate of 72 percent.

Mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the census takes place every 10 years. Census Day is April 1, 2010. Census data determine boundaries for state and local legislative and congressional districts. More than $400 billion in federal funds are distributed annually based on census data to pay for local programs and services, such as schools, highways, vocational training, emergency services, hospitals, unemployment benefits and much more.

Learn more about the 2010 Census at .

Join the Gig Harbor BoatShop for Lofting the Thunderbird Sailboat!

Dates: April 17 & 18 (weekend class)
Dates: May 1 & 2 (weekend class)
Time: 9:00am to Noon (lunch break) 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Instructor: Steve Helgeson, GHB Program Director
Fee: $150.00 (GHB member) - $165.00 (Non-GHB member) cost for weekend (2-day) class
Limit: 6 participants (per weekend) only!
Where: Lofting Room at the Historic Eddon Boatyard - 3805 Harborview Drive Gig Harbor WA
Phone: (253) 857-9344

Lofting is the first step in building a new boat. It involves drawing the design of the vessel full scale on the loft floor. Once the initial design is laid down, the lines are “faired”, a process of correcting minor errors in the design caused by the small scale in which designs are created. Once the fairing is complete, the builder uses the loft to generate all of the patterns and templates necessary to setup and build the hull.

Class participants will loft the Thunderbird sailboat using the table of offsets and lines given in the original plans. Interested participants can take the first or second session, or both - and learn the process of lofting. The loft will be preserved and used for a variety of purposes in Gig Harbor BoatShop’s on-going work with the Thunderbird Sailboat.

For more information about the program, instructor, or hotel package for our out-of-town guests (Gig Harbor’s Maritime Inn), please call (253) 857-9344 – or log onto our website at

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sip. at the wine bar & restaurant Gig Harbor Celebrates Birthday with New Spring Menu, Events

Gig Harbor Local, Daniel Jackson Named Lead Captain; Adds Focus on Community Partnerships
GIG HARBOR, Wash.—(March 25, 2010)—On March 26, Sip. at the wine bar & restaurant in Uptown Gig Harbor marks its one-year anniversary with a new spring menu, addition of Gig Harbor local Daniel Jackson to the team, and a host of community-fostering events through partnerships with Gig Harbor organizations and festivals.

Daniel Jackson’s career began in 1983 at Triples in Seattle, and his palate and talents were honed at the acclaimed Fullers in the Seattle Sheraton. Most recently he developed the wine program at Brix 25 Restaurant in Gig Harbor, which, in turn, led him to Sip. Jackson has an appreciation for and extensive collection of Northwest wines: 98 percent of his personal cellar is comprised of Northwest bottles.

“Right now, there’s a lot happening in Uptown Gig Harbor, and I’m excited to be here, working with Robert Green and the rest of the team,” says Jackson.

Jackson has an exciting spring lined up for Sip. guests, including a recently added full bar and cocktail program, a new spring menu from Gig Harbor’s well-loved, Executive Chef Robert Green, and a series of community events.

New Spring Menu Additions –
• BBQ Shrimp—Jumbo shrimp, apple-wood bacon, fresh basil and housemade Asian BBQ sauce, 13.
• Fried California Roll—Spicy crab with soy dipping sauce and wasabi aioli, 12.
• Crab Salad—Fresh Dungeness crab, watercress, marinated tomato, hard-boiled egg and lemon-caper vinaigrette, 13.
• Duo of Duck—Seared breast and leg confit with cherry sauce, potato gratin, fresh daily vegetable, 27.
• BBQ Salmon—Wild Alaskan salmon, grilled and basted with housemade Asian BBQ sauce, roasted fingerling potatoes, fresh daily vegetable , 23.
• Hand Cut Ribeye—10 oz. Certified Angus with housemade steak sauce, duck fat-whipped potatoes, fresh daily vegetable, 25.

Winemakers Dinner with Barons V and DeLille Cellars, April 13, 5 p.m. –
Sip. Gig Harbor’s first winemakers’ dinner will include Chef Green’s specially prepared four-course dinner paired with award-winning wines. Special guests include Gary McLean, co-owner of Barons V; Matthew Logo, Barons V winemaker; and Greg Lill, co-owner of DeLille Cellars. Cost is $80 per person not including tax and gratuity. For reservations and more information, call Sip. at (253) 853-3020.

“Sips & Tips” Monthly Women’s Networking Event –
From 5 to 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month, Sip. provides an opportunity for women to meet, mingle and network in the spirit of community and learn about local businesses and organizations. Enjoy half-price glass pours, get a chance to win the door prize, and stay for a three-course dinner for just $30, exclusive of tax and gratuity. For more information, e-mail Karen Lawler at

Sip. in the Community –
A committed member of the Gig Harbor business community, Sip. is thrilled to be a partner in the Gig Harbor Film Festival and a contributor to the Gig Harbor Rotary Club and FISH food bank.

The staff at Uptown Sip. is grateful to the people of Gig Harbor for their patronage throughout their first year in business, and is looking forward to further developing their relationship with the community and its residents.

The Napa Valley-inspired Sip. at the wine bar & restaurant offers an approachable, global wine selection featuring nearly 70 by-the-glass choices, wine flights, and more than 250 bottles from the Pacific Northwest, California and around the world. The Northwest-driven food menu comforts and inspires, and is sourced locally whenever possible. Locations include 909 5th Ave., Seattle 98101 (206) 682-2779; 1084 NE Park Dr., Issaquah, 98029 (425) 369-1181; and 4793 Point Fosdick Dr. NW, Suite 400, Gig Harbor, 98335 (253) 853-3020. For further information, visit

Follow Sip. at the wine bar & restaurant online:
Twitter: @SIPwinebar
Facebook: Sip at the wine bar & restaurant