Our local writers and industry experts share their knowledge, insights and passion on topics that include home, garden, community events, outdoors, things to do in West Sound and more. Have a topic idea or a blog post to pitch? Email blogeditor [at] wsmag [dot] net.
Jennifer Bailey is the communications and outreach manager for Martha & Mary. Martha & Mary has been caring for children, seniors and families throughout Greater Kitsap for over 125 years. The nonprofit's exceptional care services include rehab, senior housing, home care, care management, long-term care and early learning programs. Find out more at www.marthaandmary.org.
(see all articles and blog posts by Jennifer Bailey)
Growing up around the alligator-edged rivers and lakes of Florida, Jennifer Beard developed an appreciation for the subtle beauty of the swamps, springs and wetlands. Her desire to explore nature led her to the University of Alaska Fairbanks to study plant and soil science. Not only did she live in a beautiful state with snow and mountains, but she also experienced her first real winter. Thankfully, studying plants involved spending time in the warm greenhouses. The unspoiled beauty of Alaska inspired her to study natural science illustration at the University of Washington. Jennifer enjoys drawing, gardening and exploring the beaches and trails of Washington with her two children. She is the development associate for Harbor WildWatch, assisting with marketing and volunteer management, and cultivating support for the nonprofit. Her initial exposure to Harbor WildWatch was as a parent, when her son enrolled in the Sea Star & Beyond program.
(see all articles and blog posts by Jennifer Beard)
A Gig Harbor artist potter and community activist, Barb Bourscheidt is a freelance writer who writes on subjects of personal interest, usually the arts, gardening, cooking and the environment. A working artist, she creates pottery that reflects her love of nature, incorporating leaf motifs on surfaces of functional kitchen, garden and decorative ware. Although posts are infrequent, Barb has a personal blog at clayladybarb.blogspot.com.
(see all articles and blog posts by Barb Bourscheidt)
Educated at Olympic College, Central University and LA Art Center College of Design. An artist who is a fourth-generation Bremertonian, she currently lives in Bremerton, is married to Earl Sande and owns and operates the Amy Burnett Fine Art Gallery. Amy also produces films and documentaries, is a columnist and author of several books.
(see all articles and blog posts by Amy Burnett, A.A.,B.A., B.A.ed., M.A.)
A founding member of Kitsap Audubon, the local chapter of the National Audubon Society, Joan Carson is a columnist whose primary subjects are birds, birdwatchers and birding. For more than four decades, her columns have appeared regularly in the Kitsap Sun, Tacoma News Tribune, The Olympian and the Peninsula Daily News. Joan is past president of the Northwest Outdoor Writers Association and has traveled throughout North America and the world while enjoying and writing about outdoor subjects. The granddaughter of Kitsap County pioneers, she lives with her husband in Poulsbo in their own Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary that was established with the National Wildlife Federation and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in 1976.
(see all articles and blog posts by Joan Carson)
Wendy Dutenhoeffer is a mortgage loan advisor with Evergreen Home Loansand also supports her affiliation as a Homes for Heroes Lending Specialist (NMLS 1965346). She has a passion for helping people and finds it incredibly rewarding to be a small part in someone's homeownership journey. Dutenhoeffer is an award-winning finance director with over 25 years of experience and has a bachelor's degree in business administration and finance from Idaho State University. She loves serving others and is especially proud of her time as a search-and-rescue K9 handler. Dutenhoeffer is published in Police Magazine and Women in Law Enforcement, and was a featured blogger for GovLoop.
(see all articles and blog posts by Wendy Dutenhoeffer)
The owner of Harmonia Landscapes on Bainbridge Island, Luba Fetterman is an ecoPRO certified horticulturist. Whether designing a garden, teaching clients how to care for their own landscapes, or providing fine pruning or maintenance services, Luba's focus is on gardens that nurture people while remaining in harmony with the natural world. She has a bachelor of science degree in marine biology from Texas A&M University as well as an associate of technical arts degree in ornamental horticulture and landscape design from Edmonds Community College. Luba has been a Kitsap County Master Gardener since 2008. When not busy in her own or her clients' gardens, she can be found sailing on her 30-foot Lyle Hess cutter that she built with her husband, or backpacking in our beautiful mountains.
(see all articles and blog posts by Luba Fetterman)
With nearly four decades of hands-on involvement in nonprofit leadership and philanthropy, Stephanie George has dedicated much of her career to making a positive impact, particularly within Kitsap County. Her extensive experience in the nonprofit sector has given her a front-row seat to countless acts of generosity and a keen understanding of our enduring need for community — not just as a place, but as an experience as well. Her passion for philanthropy, coupled with a wealth of practical experience, continues to drive her commitment to making a meaningful difference in the places she calls home. She and her husband live in Gig Harbor and can often be found cruising the Salish Sea.
(see all articles and blog posts by Stephanie George)
Landscape designer and horticultural expert Maureen Gilbert has more than 30 years of experience in the industry and has written 18 books on gardening. She has practiced in a wide range of climates and currently resides in the high desert of California. Her newest book, "The Colorful Dry Garden," is due for release on Jan. 30, 2018. Through color photos, easy to read keys, Q&A sections, budgeting information, timelines and more, readers will learn about many beautiful, bold, blooming plants that thrive in areas with limited water, and how to incorporate them in all areas of the garden for a gorgeous, environmentally friendly landscape.
(see all articles and blog posts by Maureen Gilmer)
A native Washingtonian, Judy Granlee-Gates has lived in Poulsbo for nearly 30 years. She and her husband own Joe Gates Construction, Inc. in Poulsbo, specializing in custom building and remodeling. The company is also an authorized StarMark cabinet dealer. Judy has been in the construction industry for 28 years and enjoys seeing a home go from ho-hum to fantastic. She has been recognized nationally by Custom Home magazine for outstanding customer service, and on the state and local level for the company's new home construction and remodeling excellence. She is a past president of the Kitsap Building Association's Remodelers Council and past board member of the Kitsap Building Association.
(see all articles and blog posts by Judy Granlee-Gates)
An avid fly angler and fisheries professional, James Harrington currently works for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife conducting stream surveys for spawning salmon. James previously oversaw the education program at the Gig Harbor Fly Shop and was a regular contributor to the shop's blog. He grew up in Gig Harbor before spending a number of years in Texas. He has a bachelor of arts degree in English from Texas State University and a master's in environmental studies from The Evergreen State College. His thesis work was focused on land-use effects on salmon and steelhead streams in the Hood Canal region. James is committed to addressing conservation issues surrounding fisheries in the Pacific Northwest.
(see all articles and blog posts by James Harrington)
Laureen Lund is a Silverdale native who has spent the past 25 years living in Gig Harbor. Retired from a career in marketing, media and public relations, Laureen and her husband, Arne, are on a multiyear world tour that will take them to all corners of the globe in search of adventure in their fabulous 50s. Laureen is a freelance writer and manager of the popular blog:
(see all articles and blog posts by Laureen Haydock-Lund)
Molly Erin McCabe, an award-winning designer, writer, presenter, community volunteer and principal designer of McCabe by Design LLC (formerly A Kitchen That Works LLC), a full-service residential design firm serving Kitsap County and beyond. Her professional certifications include Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer (AKBD), Certified Living in Place Professional (CLIPP), Certified Green Professional (CGP), and Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS).
(see all articles and blog posts by Molly Erin McCabe, AKBD, CLIPP, CGP, CAPS)
A Kitsap Peninsula resident, Angie Narus grew up in Southwestern Pennsylvania and moved out west with her husband more than 21 years ago. She is a school counselor, author and personal blogger. Inspired by the places she visits and the people she meets, her writing focuses on sharing her knowledge of gardening and points of interest in Washington state. Angie also loves photography, hiking, kayaking, camping, visiting small towns, going to festivals and cultural events, and road trips to the coast and mountains — which makes the Pacific Northwest an ideal choice to call home. Angie also features her book and occasionally blogs on her website.
(see all articles and blog posts by Angie Narus)
Currently the recycling coordinator for Kitsap County's Solid Waste Division, Chris has worked in the environmental industry for nine years. Seven of those have been in the solid waste management industry. He received his bachelor's degree in environmental science from Western Washington University. Chris grew up on the Kitsap Peninsula and is passionate about keeping the peninsula green and preserving the natural wonders available in this wonderful area. He is an avid golfer. Chris, his wife and their three dogs enjoy spending their weekends exploring the great Northwest by land and water. 360-337-5777
(see all articles and blog posts by Chris Piercy)
Franco Ramos is the program coordinator at Harbor WildWatch, a nonprofit environmental education organization based in Gig Harbor. Its mission is to inspire stewardship for Puget Sound by providing learning opportunities about the environment to the people in the local community. Through more than 600 fun and interactive programs each year, Harbor WildWatch hopes to inform residents and visitors about local marine life and elicit their involvement in preserving our natural resources.
(see all articles and blog posts by Franco Ramos, Harbor WildWatch)
Peg Tillery is a retired WSU Extension horticulture and water quality educator. Her columns appeared in the Kitsap Sun and Kitsap News Group. She wrote articles for WestSound Magazine for a decade and also served as garden editor. She has also produced and appeared in several gardening shows on BKAT (Bremerton Kitsap Access Television). She volunteers as a WSU Master Gardener.
(see all articles and blog posts by Peg Tillery)
An award-winning writer who lives on the Key Peninsula with her husband and three sons. She is a contributing editor and blog manager for WSHG, and also writes for several local publications and produces videos. Her work has been published in regional and national publications; she also writes for companies and organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Alaska Anchorage, where she received the Outstanding Journalism Graduate of the Year award; she is also a graduate from the University of Washington’s Master of Communications in Digital Media program. (See WSH&G Contributed Videos)
(see all articles and blog posts by Rodika Tollefson)
Retired U.S. Navy captain, Bill Trandum, is an avid boater and retired sailboat racer. He has sailed in ocean weather conditions ranging from dead calms to typhoons and is a self-described student of all things waters, winds, tides and weathers. He lives on the Key Peninsula.
(see all articles and blog posts by William I. Trandum)
Despite having been born and raised in rural Montana, Stena Troyer has a love for the marine world that was inspired at an early age. On trips to visit family in Washington, she became fascinated with the intertidal zone. She later received her SCUBA certification that allowed her to explore the wonder beneath the surface for the first time. Torn between following her father's footsteps and becoming a dentist or pursuing her childhood dream of becoming a marine biologist, Stena attended Pacific Lutheran University to study biology. As a naturalist with Harbor WildWatch, Stena is thrilled to have an opportunity to share her passion for learning about and protecting the Puget Sound.
(see all articles and blog posts by Stena Troyer)
Sallie Wagner Brown is a former teacher who has a bachelor's degree in French and English literature and a master's in education and counseling. She is a blogger, freelance writer, traveler and rookie boater. Sallie's stories have been published in "Cup of Comfort," "Chicken Soup for the Soul," "Not Your Mother's Book" and "Blended, Writers on the Step-Family Experience."
(see all articles and blog posts by Sallie Wagner Brown)
A farmer with her family at The Brothers Greenhouses and the Davis Farm, Elise Watness is dedicated to connecting local producers and eaters both through farmer' markets and online with Victory Garden Media. Elise is also a Montessori teacher and studied ethnoenvironmental journalism and Spanish at Western Washington University. She has a passion for travel to expand her worldview. In 2012, she and her husband were in Costa Rica for a three-month, cross-cultural study of agritourism and sustainable farming methods. Elise worked in restaurants to pay for school and loves to explore new ways to grow, cook and eat locally grown foods.
(see all articles and blog posts by Elise Watness Maupin)
Executive director of retirement community Heron's Key, Amy Webb holds more than 20 years of experience in senior care. Webb earned a bachelor of arts degree in education, bachelor of science degree in occupational therapy and certification in project management from the University of Washington. She is also a certified Eden Alternative Associate. She currently oversees day-to-day operations at Gig Harbor's largest Life Plan Community in Gig Harbor, Heron's Key.
(see all articles and blog posts by Amy Webb, Executive Director of Heron's Key)
An American Rose Society Master Consulting Rosarian, Elena J. Williams grows 160 roses in Kitsap County. Sixty of those roses were moved from Minnesota ten years ago and are thriving better than they could have in the frozen tundra. Elena is retired from being a teacher librarian and she participates in Kitsap Rose Society and Tacoma Rose Society.
(see all articles and blog posts by Elena J. Williams)
A longtime Bainbridge Island Designer, Juris Zommers first opened his firm under the name Daina Design in Seattle in 1962. He moved the business in 1974 to Bainbridge Island, where Stephanie Harris joined him in 1980. As Harris/Zommers Interiors, they have worked in all phases of residential design and specialize in window coverings and fabrics/reupholstery services.
(see all articles and blog posts by Juris Zommers, ASID)