The Olympian ushers in the new year with a fresh slate of Board of Contributors who will continue the 10-year tradition of bringing community voices to the editorial page through weekly columns.
Beginning next Monday, a Board of Contributors column will appear each week on the editorial page and online. Our 180,000 readers in print and online should find food for thought each week in their offerings.
By way of introduction, here’s a little background on these volunteer columnists:
• Curt Andino is executive director of South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity. Schooled as a cultural anthropologist and criminologist, he’s been a student and problem solver in the world of American poverty for nearly 30 years.
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Andino expects to use his column as a platform to talk about possible consensus-driven, community-based solutions for affordable housing, temporary homelessness and chronic homelessness, all related but quite different issues. All three are front-burner issues facing the South Sound region, and Andino’s perspective should be thought-provoking.
• Pamela Boyd is an Olympia-area resident and longtime educator, teaching for more than 20 years in the Tumwater School District, and serving two terms on the Olympia School Board. She holds a master’s degree in elementary education from Western Washington University and has family roots in South Sound dating to the 1880s.
Boyd’s expertise in the field of public education will be invaluable as the Legislature, governor and other elected officials struggle with the state Supreme Court mandate to fully fund public education. Boyd is also a member of the Screen Actors Guild and has a vote each year in choosing the SAG award winners.
• Vincent Palazzo is owner of Vince’s Motorcycle Store in Lacey and a small-business owner the past 26 years. Married and the father of three children, Palazzo has some stories to tell about how the Great Recession has impacted small businesses.
“What I have to offer to the board is the unique perspective of having been in the front line trenches of the recession,” he said. “I went bankrupt and came within 10 days of losing everything, including my home.”
• Kathleen Rogers, a Lacey resident, has been a registered nurse for 35 years. She also has a degree in creative writing from The Evergreen State College, has performed in live theater and plays a pretty mean piano.
“My head and heart enjoy writing, diving into a subject while challenging my thinking as well as the thinking of others,” she said.
• Martha Pierce is another Lacey resident who loves to write. She has a graduate degree in American studies, taught at community colleges and served as president of the Olympia Symphony Guild.
“I have many passions, but art, music and writing are among the top tier of interests,” she said. “As I say this, the teaching of American history and political science has made me a lifelong political wonk.”
• Wayne Keller of Olympia is a retired Presbyterian pastor, an environmentalist and uncle to Kasey Keller, the Lacey native who gained international fame as a professional soccer player.
Keller has plenty of experience expressing his opinions on a wide range of topics: He spent five years as a columnist for the Bellingham Herald and more than eight years writing a column for The Puyallup Herald in Pierce County.
Welcome to The Olympian’s 2013 Board of Contributors. Let the columns begin.