"a bi-monthly journal of environmental news and commentary..."

SPEECH President's Message

by Janine Gates

As Spring finally decides to make an appearance, a lot is happening at SPEECH and with the state. In Olympia, the legislative special session, and our budget crisis, is still in full swing.

Indeed, many are struggling, but organizations and individuals featured in this issue of the South Sound Green Pages are part of local efforts toward greater resilience and self-sufficiency. The effort featured on our cover is a great example of community members working together to improve our local economy, our quality of life, and our neighborhoods.

For SPEECH, spring has already been busy and full of learning and growing: we held our annual meeting/birthday party in March, celebrating our 21st year of incorporation as a local environmental nonprofit. Board member Gail Sheikhizadeh had to say goodbye to us, but continues to stay involved. We are thrilled to have a new board member join us, Bob Vadas, Jr., a fish and wildlife scientist. His expertise and enthusiasm to pitch in and volunteer with several projects has already made a difference. Board member John Newman stepped up to take on the role of SPEECH vice-president, Krag Unsoeld is Secretary, Mark Bergeson is Treasurer, and I am staying on as president. Thank you all.

Also exciting, as promised in our end of the year fundraising letter to members and friends, we completed our research and bought a new MacBook laptop computer and current software! It was so desperately needed! Using our new technology, the next issue will feature a new look and format which literally has not changed much in 21 years.

We know we are appreciated, but we were surprised last month when SPEECH received an anonymous, unrestricted $1000 donation. This community member expressed general appreciation for the care we were taking to make wise decisions with membership donations and was particularly impressed with our rather torturous computer research and deliberations. To this person, thank you so much. We used $300 to sponsor a timely film last month - Into Eternity, a thought-provoking film about nuclear waste disposal efforts in Finland - for the Olympia Film Society's second annual environmental film festival.

Finally, thank you also to enthusiastic SPEECH friend Zack Butler who surprised and honored us by creating three large collages made of past Green Pages articles, headlines, photography, and plant life pressed onto handcrafted, reclaimed window frames. These two-sided works of art were featured at Olympia Federal Savings for Artswalk last month. Zack said he was inspired to make them after sitting in on several board meetings and seeing our behind-the-scenes efforts. See his art on our website at http://www.oly-wa.us/greenpages

As we all continue to learn and grow, I invite you to join us! Individuals can make such a difference in our community and our organization. SPEECH volunteer positions are open for organizational membership outreach and retention, newsletter production, special events, fundraising, volunteer utilization and general office assistance. Or, surprise us!

Janine Gates is president of SPEECH and can be reached through her website at http://www.janinegatesphotography.com or her Olympia news blog at http://www.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.com

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Updated 2015/01/07 21:14:22