By Judy Woods
What a wonderful town Sultan is. If you want to know if a concept called democracy is still alive and being practiced then you should have been to the “Get out the Vote for the School Levy” meeting. It started at 6:30 in the Chamber of Commerce building last night. Tasks for getting out the vote were listed, introductions were made and people most qualified for each task were appointed or volunteered.
We learned that this current levy renewal request concerns school sports programs, marching band and cheerleading, the unicycle programs, technology, building maintenance, transportation, teaching and training materials and more. The levy in question covers 20 percent of all of this.
The difference between a bond and a levy is that a bond is for major new investments such as a new building. A levy is just to maintain everything as it is now. That levy will last for another four years, then we will have to vote to renew it again. All of this does not add to your tax burden, again it just stays the same.
The date for the next planning meeting is Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 6:30 p.m. Anyone who wants to participate is welcome.
Now, walk across the street to the City Council meeting which is already in session, and the City Council is discussing the adoption of the new fee schedule to better suit the use of city services. Several fee charges have been eliminated as they are no longer needed, some have been combined with other scheduled fees to simplify the fee process and some have been reduced. The idea is to bill the amount needed to cover the cost of providing the service rendered. The annual fee for an existing business has been reduced from $75 to $50 and the fee for a new business is $25, down from $50.
Bonita at the Senior Center is asking for additional volunteer help. She has been down to just soup and salad for lunch several days this last week because she didn’t have any help to assist her in preparing more.
The schedule for this next week (as far as I know) is the Annual Community Christmas Caroling on Dec. 16 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Block Watch is at 7 p.m. This is a potluck meeting that is being held at the City Chamber on Wednesday, Dec. 18.
Another Get out the Vote on the School Levy meeting is on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Visitor’s Center.
The Christmas Concert by Bronn Journey is being held on Sunday, Dec. 22, at 2 p.m. and 7p.m. at the Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave. A portion of the ticket price will go to Susie Hollenbeck if you choose to go at the evening performance and purchase your tickets through Mayor Eslick.
We were very pleased to be able to visit Bronn Journey today. What a nice person he is.
When he was in school, there was a teacher who taught harp on the side. Bronn was able to learn harp using a borrowed harp from a harp music company. There was a group of boy students who were learning how to play so it didn’t seem like such an oddity for him. His mom was delighted. She was Welsh, and in Wales, the harp is the national symbol. A harp is found on all of the currency in Wales as well as Ireland. It is also found on alcoholic beverages.
It intrigued me that all of this talk about the harp and the Welsh and Irish, that Bronn’s name is actually Dutch. He was named after his great-uncle.
Bronn lived in Seattle as a young man. So he is a native of the Pacific Northwest. When I asked him, “Why Sultan?” he replied that it was the pastoral lifestyle of this area that his wife, Katheryne, and he liked, and as far as travel goes, it is no further to go to Florida from Sultan than it is from Seattle.
Bronn said that, like it or not, entertainment is a small business with all of the usual book and recordkeeping and there are always taxes. So Katheryne not only accompanies Bronn onstage, she is also the “Front Office.” They belong to an organization called “The Community Concert Association,” which books their shows. It suits Bronn and Katheryne because they are able to entertain in a smaller, less formal venue. They are booked all over the country, from coast to coast. Their orchestra travels with them for their Christmas shows. All of their equipment is loaded up in a large van and taken with them. Bronn is the truck driver and drives them to where ever they are going. After being on the road for a while, Katheryne becomes the laundry woman, washing and ironing shirts and etc. They are good partners.
They are able to go out on the road every other year, leaving the other year for much needed “R&R.”
Bronn’s first show was at the Queen City Yacht Club when he was 13 years old. It was Hawaiian night, so Bronn had to get a Hawaiian shirt, and buy a pair of white tennis shoes for the show. He earned $20.