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Linda Thomson

What should people do who fear public speaking even more than their own death, or poisonous snakes? It is the number one fear in our nation, with death and snakes lining up as second and third, according to Bill Slach, a 20-year member and past District Governor of Toastmasters International in Kitsap County.

There are ten Toastmasters clubs in Kitsap, and they exist to give people a safe place to learn and practice how to speak in public, beginning with a one-minute, self-introductory ice-breaker, and if desired, over time, entering speaking contests at the international level. read more »


Ron Ross of Silverdale Realty owns an “old, wooden-hulled, commercial tuna boat,” with about a nine-person capacity. This will be his 20th year to spend time on it in Alaska. read more »


“If you really like boating and really like your business, taking people out on it for business purposes will not only improve your business relationships but also add personal joy to your life,” says former insurance executive Paul Gauthier of Bellingham, speaking from personal experience. “If you can offset some of your costs, then all the better.”

Then he warns, if you intend to buy a boat and use it “100 percent of the time for business,” your business will only go downhill, due to neglect. Ongoing maintenance takes a great amount of time and money. read more »


Hospice exists to “improve the quality of life during the end-of-life,” says Jim Pledger, executive director of Hospice of Kitsap County.

“Hospice is about life and living it right up until death,” adds Valerie Youngren, director of development and community relations.

The two are passionate about their work. “People who work here find great satisfaction and fulfillment,” says Youngren. Hospice workers treat people with dignity, compassion and respect, and provide only those services families desire. read more »


An injured worker is never in the best interest of the company. Working in an office is relatively safe, compared to the construction industry, for example. Still, injuries happen, but many may be prevented. read more »


With a background in sales, Susan Lanyi of Silverdale is an event coordinator, putting together various local exposition shows each year.

Lanyi began her business, The Direct Approach, in 1992. She had been selling advertising, and one of her clients was Kitsap Mall. The mall’s marketing manager, Joanne Nelson, invited Lanyi to put in a bid to conduct the Home and Garden Show that year. She was successful in her bid, and coordinated the Home and Garden Show for three consecutive years. read more »


There are no pesky seams in those socks to annoy your toes, either.

These products are made from a combination of lambs wool and acrylic, which makes them warmer and longer lasting than 100 percent wool. Lewis says the super-soft brushed lambs wool is the part that touches your skin. She advises not wearing a shoe or boot that is too tight, as the breathability of wool is an important quality that keeps in the heat. read more »


North Wind Farm, near Banner Forest in Port Orchard, is a place for horses and riders, and perhaps for the fulfillment of a dream interrupted. read more »


Hazardous waste is being produced daily by most businesses in Kitsap, Mason and Pierce Counties. In Kitsap County, the Public Works Department is charged with helping dispose of it properly. The Health District helps businesses with technical assistance to manage their hazardous waste and reduce the amount produced or its toxicity.

Rick Gilbert, Moderate Risk Waste Facility Supervisor, defines hazardous waste as “discarded material that meets one or more of the following characteristics: ignitability ; corrosivity ; reactivity or toxicity . read more »

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