At the close of each year, we tend to reflect on the past twelve months. At GraysHarborTalk we are no different. And, in a reflective spriit we have asked each writer to pick a favorite article from the year and share a few sentences about why the article was impactful. During 2016, GraysHarborTalk.com has published more than 370 positive stories about what it’s like to live, work, and play in Grays Harbor County. We hope you enjoyed learning more about your community and will enjoy the reflections of our GraysHarborTalk writers on their most memorable pieces. Thank you, readers, for making our stories part of your day.

Daniela Werner

My favorite story this year that I wrote was definitely the one about Phyllis Shaughnessy and the Green Lantern Lunches program. Having known her personally for over 10 years and at one time having served as a site to distribute the lunches I knew firsthand the importance of this in our community. But, after spending the day on her delivery route taking the lunch to the families I was humbled by her tireless efforts and positive attitude. Phyllis wasn’t only delivering food , she was delivering hope. Just recently Phyllis and her organization were awarded a $10,000 grant from” Kind”. Knowing she would have a little relief and allow her and her team. to do even more made my heart happy.

Grant Clark

Paige Folkers was just an incredible individual to talk to. Overcoming one knee injury is impressive, but Paige was asked to overcome three such injuries – one per year. A lot has been thrown at her and she remained positive throughout. Extremely active within the community, she has also been involved in Foodball since her freshman year at Hoquiam.

Nikki McCoy

I was born and raised in western Washington and have never once been clamming. Thanks to the timely reports and interesting stories like this oneI now have a New Year’s resolution – to go out and get some of my own fresh clams, and to share that experience with my kids!

Kristine Lowder

Every once in awhile a writer gets to interview a subject who’s “champagnesque.” Bubbly. Effervescent. As full of life and flavor as a hot cuppa Joe. Sam and Christina Nazario, proprietors of The Jitter House in Hoquiam, fill that bill. I can’t remember the last interview I did that was as much fun as my recent chat with the Nazarios. It became my favorite story of 2016 – More Than Coffee: Hoquiam’s Jitter House is ‘All in the Family.’ Sam and Christina are living proof that nice guys can indeed finish first – one conversation and cup of coffee at a time.

Steven Wetzel

Sassy Seafood-Tuna From Boat to Belly by Lisa Shell captured an original story of two entrepreneurs, Teresa Reeves and Libie Cain, who together took the product of two fishing families in Westport to a successful artisan seafood business. The couple utilized their local skills and knowledge in launching their enterprise, inspiring this writer and others of the possibilities in one’s own backyard.

Douglas Scott

I can’t pick just one, so these are my top three stories from 2016. The story about the logging history of Grays Harbor was fascinating to research and write, as the industry shaped our region. Leaning more about the area’s logging history helped give me a deeper connection to a place that I already was in love with. 

As a child on the coast, I would stand in awe, watching the migration of Gray Whales from the sandy beaches of Ocean Shores. Every year, we would watch them swim by, but one year we actually went on a boat. Seeing these huge sea creatures up close and personal is something that I will never forget and I was eager to share the incredible experience with the community.

The big cedar at Lake Quinault was a special place for me. It was where I first experienced the Quinault Rainforest and one of the reasons I started dedicating my life toward preservation and celebration of our wild lands. Seeing it had fallen was tough, but it helps tell a story about the culture and historical significance of every living thing on the Peninsula. 

Amira Umphres

My favorite article this year was Douglas Scott’s article on salmon fishing. As new transplants to the harbor, and with a daughter determined to get her feet wet and get started fishing, this article was a great place to start. I always love the bit of history and culture Scott infuses into his writing as well.

Gail Wood

Elma’s Justin Sample knew the price of victory. But he also knows about the reward. Many of his family are on Elma High School’s wrestling Wall of Fame. Getting to share that story was special. “It motivates me to be good,” Justin said. I also enjoyed writing about Montesano’s Jordan Spradlin, an over achiever in sports and the classroom. Writing about Montesano’s Kasie Kloempken and Makenzi Howard, who wanted to win in softball to say thanks to the community, was also a pleasure.

Christine Vincent

My favorite story from 2016 is Jane Reibel: Healing Holistically at Harbor Natural Health. I felt privileged to give some exposure to a selfless and gifted lady who does so much good behind the scenes. It was fascinating to learn about how holistic nutrition works.

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