November 30, 2008

Wealth and Community...

In this time of political tension with the changing of the guard in the American Presidency I feel a great desire to set it aside and consider what really matters; Wealth. Financial experts would claim that the true definition of wealth is " having sufficiant assets that would sustain you indefinately at your current lifestyle". Nice, but...

Let's bring it a little closer to our humble real lives. Wealth may alternatively be defined as, " The means to survive on ones own sufficiant to maintain safety, welfare and Joy indefinately ". I would be remiss to ignore financial security. But what if everything around our community collapsed and all we had was each other? History repeats itself, and even the most prostperous nations go through dark times and people suffer. Take the great land of Russia, once (albiet communist) a great 1st world nation, now a country full of poverty and saddness. The Great Depression in the US in the 20's, etc...

What if we started taking an attitude of Old America. The time when we had gardens, and those who didn't shared with neighbors who in turn would mend their fence. A time when the town doctor made a living through barter; heck a childbirth may fetch two chickens, a gallon of milk and a dozen eggs! The days when we met and got to know people and found security of like minded people. The days when late life care of the elderly was always assisted by friends and neighbors.

Today life is not agriculture based, and truly not all of us can find what we need locally. But imagine saving some gas money so that you could pay a little more to a LOCAL vendor, and by getting to know that person may inspire them to use your business or services. It was my discovery of a person with those beleifs that brought me to participate in the Plateu community, and as a result I found part time work in this here, consequently I spend money around town. I live in a nearby area where I pass on the same habits to shop the local hardware store, rather than the big box, I give away eggs and produce to neighbors. I do this all to gain the wealth of self sustainability, and community sustainatbility.

This could be a turn for the future to return to those old ways, tried and true. Just like any insurance policy, we may never have to use it for it's ultimate purpose in a catastrophe', but the peace of mind, and the goodness of it all will pay dividends and make us all "rich beyond our dreams."

Brian M. Dotson

October 29, 2008

A few hours in Buckley

I thought I'd share a few Buckley businesses I dropped by this morning. I had a meeting to tour Cascadia (future review) which got cancelled and so I had some time to drop by The Hometown Restaurant for breakfast. I'd heard they sunk a ton of money into the renovation and I was pleasantly surprised by the transformation. They reopened in June after 6 months of construction. Not just construction but loving care and attention to detail. The entry is beautiful natural wood and they pealed the carpet up to reveal a lovely hardwood floor. Diane, one of the owners greeted me with a bright cheery 'hello, what can I get for you'. It definitely has that Hometown feel that I love. I tried the Malted Waffle and really enjoyed the experience. Not too sweet a little eggy, soft inside, crispy outside just how I like my waffles. I was brought a nice selection of teas, chatted with Diane a little more and left with a smile on my face and an intention to share the experience with our Mindful Intent community. The owners of this restaurant are definitely invested in the Buckley community and committed to sharing their love for people and food.

Next I headed over to Dell's farm supply. You know the one in the wonderful old historic building near the museum. How wonderful to walk inside and be greeted by Scruffy the calico cat. Steve Whitehead the manager and Torina were also there to greet me and fill my order for flax seed. The flax seed is for some eye pillows I'm making for Brennan's school mates. I stayed and talked for a while. According to my son I do too much of that when I'm out on my errands, and now he's doing it too. It's amazing the things you learn when you hangout for a few minutes with the local business owners. I found out that the current Dell's has been a feed store for decades and there is some debate as to when the building was put up. Some say 1909 and others 1919, no one really knows for sure because the records were destroyed in a fire at the Buckley city hall. I was tempted to stay longer and find out all sorts of things but duty to the studio and magazine beckoned me back to Enumclaw.

Next time your in Buckley check out the transformations taking place along main street and support our local businesses on the plateau.


It seems that my last email caused a ripple of discomfort for some of our readers. I assure you that was not my intent. Nor do I plan on using this blog or the Mindful Intent magazine as a political forum. I must however admit that I am indeed skewed towards the liberal viewpoint. I own a yoga studio and I'm starting a GREEN magazine, of course my beliefs are a bit skewed. I loved reading Travis's letters in the Courier Herald. The post on the Courier Herald website were even more fun. As a business owner is it suicide to voice these views? In a small town such as Enumclaw it might be, in which case I've already made the blunder.

I'm sometimes oblivious how my comments effect people, and if you only knew the verbal blunders I've made, you'd never visit this site again. I ask that you accept my mistakes with tolerance. I truly do not wish to offend, but it's impossible to please everyone, and stay true to my own personal beliefs at the same time. One thing I will not be, is a hypocrite, yes I vote democrat for most things. If that goes against your beliefs I hope you'll resist the urge to unsubscribe from future email and continue to support this blog and e-mag anyway.

Many of you know that I live with my parents. If you didn't then yes I was one of very few who at the EHS 1983 class reunion stood up and said "I live in my childhood home". I also live with a very conservative father. Imagine the heated conversations we have at the dinner table. One of my best friends and her husband are also conservative.

In fact I had dinner with them Sunday night and watched a program called "The top 10 reasons not to vote for Obama". I had a great time, as I always do with this couple. We talked about the show, we disagreed and then agreed that we were skewed towards opposite ends of the moderate line.

We talked about Unions a little, cap and trade policies and Joe the Plumber. It was fun in my opinion. What ever happens in the election these are still my friends and my family. I would not be a very good yoga instructor if I did not accept and tolerate differences. I hope you will do the same....and most importantly I hope you vote. Either party, just vote and encourage everyone you know to do the same. Vote that is. Okay, that's it for this occasional political activist.

(This comic was sent by my brother-in-law after reading this post. I think he's a conservative, at least that's what his liberal leaning UW daughter tells me.)

October 20, 2008

Faith: Red, Blue? Why Not Purple?

For the past few weeks I have been submitting articles to the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, in large part because of my interest in the 2008 elections, and the recent conservatism I have encountered since returning from my first year of college at the Art Institute of Seattle. It is not that I was under the impression that Enumclaw was the twin sister of the Emerald City in the way of political opinion (after all, I grew up here)—just that the opinions of our Republican-skewing residents seemed to be manifested in a way that made me wonder how factual their arguments actually were.

From the moment I submitted my first letter, I found the process a rewarding mix of both expression and mitigation. And while this platform generated a few conversations on the Courier-Herald’s online counterpart, it wasn’t until Jean Hoiland, creator of Mindful Intent, and thus this blog, contacted me about a possible writing position that I truly felt proud of what had (hopefully) been accomplished. That being said, let me start my inaugural post by saying how truly appreciative I am to be a part of the Mindful Intent team, and that I look forward to discussing my various opinions on political matters with all of our readers in the weeks and months to come.

There is a troubling aspect of the divide between the two dominant political parties that seems to have escaped unnoticed—or perhaps with little consideration—for quite some time. If anyone has visited the Enumclaw Courier-Herald’s website and read the comments listed below the published “Letters to the Editor,” they will know exactly what I am referring to. It’s this notion that liberals, those so-called “left wing nuts” have no right referring to themselves as Christians.

“Gov. Palin dangerous? Why? Because she is pro-life, pro-family, and a fiscal and conservative Christian?” As you can see, that quote—offered up by a frequent reader of the paper’s website—tries to tie my suspicions surrounding Sarah Palin’s judgment and readiness to serve to the fact that she believes in God, and instead ignore the two painful interviews she has so far been allowed give and her shameless stump speeches, intended to do nothing more than divide this country and stir up hatred.

“In regards to the use of the term ‘hate’. The left has mastered that quality. The hatred the left exhibits towards, conservatives, Christians and anyone that disagrees with them.” A quote penned by one of Enumclaw’s most printed conservatives, we are again reminded that we who lean left have no right belonging to the same religion as those who vote red, but instead should be delegated to the sidelines when it comes to the religious arena. After all, Jesus was a conservative, not a liberal.

There is nothing in politics more baffling, in my opinion, than the idea that those who skew Republican have a patent on the Christian faith. If I am not mistaken, there’s a certain bestseller, in print for quite some time now, which states that the only person whose judgment holds precedence is…what’s His name, again? I can’t…oh, yes. His name is Jesus. Interesting. How then, if you are the only party containing every Christian value in which we liberals are apparently so devoid, can you pass judgment on those who prescribe to a different political platform?

Let me make something clear: I am in no way trying to attack those Republicans out there who possess a deep faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, or those who may feel very strongly against abortion, and follow the Bible’s declaration that homosexuality is, indeed, a sin. And to give credit where credit is due, there are members of the conservative side that express their opinions with eloquence and grace. While I may disagree with their philosophies, I can, and will, respect those with differing opinions and religious preferences. What I do not respect, however, is the notion that because my ideas may differ with theirs, I am somehow a lesser man of faith. You want to attack my position on the war in Iraq? That’s fine. You want to accuse me of being a socialist who believes only in the expansion of government? Fair enough. But religion is where I draw the line, and I will not be bullied into the postulation that my faith is without merit.

September 9, 2008

National Parking Day 2008

What is National Park(ing) Day you may ask, and that's just what I was wondering when it came through an email today. I was intrigued so I linked through to the 'Conserving Land for People' website. Essentially the goal is to celebrate parks in cities and promote the need for more parks by creating temporary public parks in public parking spaces. National Park(ing) Day is Friday, September 19, 2008.

Okay so we are not a big city devoid of greenery and open space, but it got me thinking just the same. Here on the Plateau we have open space all around, should we be concerned about parks? I think we should. The economy might be weak now but our building moritorium is soon to be lifted and the building boom will be ON. As our downtown grows will small pockets of greenery be preserved or better yet implemented into design plans. I wonder about these things.

How great would it be to have a small kids park downtown Enumclaw with monkey bars, tire swing and the whole deal. The logging memorial is wonderful and Rotary park is truly a blessing, but how long do either hold the attention of a 5 year old?

... and what about Enumclaw's development of a city wide equestrian theme? Wouldn't it be cool to see hitching post and horses calmly munching grass waiting for their loyal owners to finish their beer at the local 'saloon'. I mean really what's an equestrian theme without a few trails leading into town and designated "hitch your horse" areas.

What do you think? Start letting your city (whether Black Diamond, Enumclaw, Buckley or Burnett) know what you'd like your town to look like. They'll never be able to satisfy our needs if we don't speak up.

June 15, 2008

Article on Bottled Water Ban in King County

I found this in the news section of the King County website.

June 11, 2008

Compile a list of questions for city council and Nestle

We should compile a list of questions for the city council and Nestle. I for one want to see if there has been a comprehensive ground water study done to measure the impacts of private wells and municipal water withdrawal on groundwater supply. In other areas including Covington and Ravensdale wells have run dry from over allocation of ground water. What happens to the future of our water supply?

Who decides about Neslte Water North America?

There is an adhoc committee being formed to gather information about Nestle Water.

The only council members to adamantly say they were against continuing negotiations were Liz Reynolds and Jim Hogan. The others all said they would like more information in order to best represent the public. I don't know about you but I've yet to speak with anyone who is for this.

Michael Innis will chair the AdHoc committee along with Kevin Mahelona and Jeff Beckwith. The first meeting is 6/19 Thursday at 6pm and open to the public. (Call the city to make sure this time and date has not been changed. )

If you can make it please try. (I have a prior engagement to watch my son perform in a musical. Obviously I cannot miss that.) Get in touch with council members and voice your concerns. I've sent emails, but I've only heard back from Jim Hogan and Richard Elfers. Please keep in mind the council members found out about these negotiations the same time all of us did. They had absolutely nothing to do with bringing Nestle Water to town, so be respectful in your communications with them.

I was very impressed with comments from Jim Hogan and Liz Reynolds. Liz has put a lot of care and thought into researching Nestle Water and speaking with other communities that now regret their decision to bring Nestle into their towns. A key point she made was: Enumclaw is investing a lot of money to develop our tourism plan. How does it look to be hosting a "GREEN" King County Fair and then sporting a 250,000 square foot bottling plant. Plastics rely heavily on the use of petroleum as well as the hundreds of trucks that will be using ours roads 24/7.

I'm with Liz and Jim lets just stop the negotiations and use the council and admitstrators time to pursue talks with industries who are already authenticly exhibiting social and environmental responsible business practices.

Nestle's lip service to being GREEN is just that. A LEED certified building does not erase the fact they plan to pave over 30 acres of prime pasture land and fertile dirt. How about finding a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farmer willing to come in and set up an organic farm. We are going to need locally grown food not bottled water.

Share your thoughts and comments.

June 6, 2008

Nestle Update - Missing Council Minutes

This was forwarded to me by John and Doreen Anderson regarding some missing Council Minutes with information about the water bottling. I'm having a hard time finding anyone who supports Nestle coming to town. I want to know what you think.

June 5

Doreen noticed that the Council minutes posted online stopped with the February 25, 2008 meeting. I inquired about this in the city clerk’s office June 6. The secretary immediately emailed the web director, and when we got home, the minutes for subsequent meetings were posted. The first of the missing meeting minutes (March 3, 2008) contained the first mention of the bottled water plant proposal, a brief three-word insertion. The April 7 minutes briefly summarized city administrator Mark Bauer’s report about the Nestle Bottling Company proposal.

City Council Study Session Monday, March 3, 2008


I. Emergent Opportunities – 20 minutes
iv. Bottled Water Plant

City Council Study Session Monday, April 7, 2008


G. Emergent Opportunities – 20 minutes
iii. Bottled Water Plant

Bauer discussed the proposition of the Nestle Bottling Company to use the spring water from Boise Creek for a water bottling plant. This business would employee about 50 people and plans to operate indefinitely. He noted the City has the rights to the water source but selling a large quantity of the City’s water source would cap the water available in the future. Searcy added that with water source improvements, we could supply water for the next 20 years of growth.

June 3, 2008

What do you think of a water bottling plant in Enumclaw?

Are Enumclaw city administrators considering selling our spring water to Nestle Water North America? I wasn't the only one concerned about this bit of news to come out in last weeks Courier Herald. The court house was full last night for the first in what is likely to be a series of public forums to discuss the pro's of selling our precious spring water.

To me spring water is a precious commodity. From the looks of the crowd in the court house others felt the same way. Chris Searcy cited reports that we would be at our "capacity" within 30 years, with or without Nestle coming to town. So what does that mean exactly? I don't know about you but to me 30 years is not a very long time. Unfortunately I didn't have a copy of the charts and pies Chris was reading from nor the handout provided by Nestle from their presentation.

Were any of you at the meeting last night? I came in late and had to leave before the community was allowed to ask questions. What are your thoughts about selling our water to a huge Swiss corporation? Personally I think we need to close the door on those negotiations but since I try to keep an open mind I'll be seeking more information before making my final decision.

I'd love to hear your comments.