Around the Sound: Island Dragon produces great cider

The humble potato harvester, developed in the 1950s, primarily for scooping potatoes from the fields and into waiting trucks, is a versatile device: it’s not just for potatoes.

A few decades ago, one Northern Idaho community, finding itself strapped for cash to purchase fancy, state-of-the-art snow removal equipment, instead rounded up a couple of potato harvesters. By the time the snow fell that year, a city crew and the revamped harvester went to work handily removing accumulated snow from downtown streets.

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Non-peak season ferry rates in effect Oct. 1

Non-peak season fare rates apply starting Oct. 1 for Pierce County ferry passengers that drive a vehicle or motorcycle onto the ferry. Passengers driving vehicles 21 feet in length or less will see their rates decrease from the peak season rate of $21.65, to the non-peak season rate of $17.30, while motorcyclists will see a decrease from $11.65 to $9.30. The five-trip value pass for vehicles 21 feet in length or less remains at $69.15, while the five-trip value pass for motorcycle commuters remains at $37.20. [Read more…]

Several Pierce County ferry runs to be canceled for construction

Several Pierce County ferry runs will be canceled while construction crews make improvements to the Steilacoom ferry landing. On Sunday, Sept. 14, Thursday, Sept. 18, Sunday, Sept. 21, and Thursday, Sept. 25, the runs departing Steilacoom at 8:40 p.m., Anderson Island at 9:10 p.m., and Ketron Island at 9:30 p.m. will be canceled. These runs are the last runs of the night on Sundays and Thursdays. On those dates, the last runs of the night will depart Steilacoom at 7:30 p.m. and Anderson Island at 8 p.m. A run departing Ketron Island at 8:20 p.m. has also been added on those dates. [Read more…]

Around the Sound: Islanders rally to save ill eagle

As told to Nancy Covert

This past Friday night Anderson Islander, Jeanne McGoldrick, phoned some neighbors to report that her young grandson, Andrew, spotted an injured eagle on the beach (the kids love to swing on the Stephensons’ swing down there). The eagle could not fly, and seemed hungry. Dave McGoldrick brought down some salmon for the eagle, who I will call “him”, but it could be a “her.” [Read more…]

Pierce County Ferry fares to increase 3 percent

Fares to ride the Pierce County Ferry will increase by 3 percent in 2014 and again in 2015 across all rider categories except for youth.“This two-step increase is needed to help cover increased operational and maintenance expenses,” said Deb Wallace, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities airport and ferry administrator.

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West Pierce’s Endeavor Makes another Rescue on the Puget Sound

On August 1, 2013, Fire Boat Endeavor was training on the East side of Anderson Island at approximately 10:20 am when they were called to perform a water rescue near Eagle Island. Endeavor quickly headed toward the incident and arrived in seven minutes. They found a 70 year old male in the water, clinging to his boat. The fast moving tide had pulled the man’s boat off the shore despite having bow and stern anchor lines in place. He swam to the boat, but was unable to get onboard. The man held on to the bow anchor line in the strong current for about ten minutes when he decided to swim to shore. The boater, who was not wearing a life jacket made it back to shore just as Endeavor arrived on scene.

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