Thought for the Week

Happiness is not someting you postpoe for the future, it is something you design for the present.     – Jim Rohn

Correction on Flags

I have been notified that the flags honoring Bruce will be put in place starting at 8am at the Community Center.

Bruce Crockett’s Memorial

The memorial service for Bruce Crockett is tomorrow, Sunday, March 1, starting at 2:00 at the Veteran’s Memorial on Third Avenue. American Legion Postt 44 will present the ceremony,

Flags will be put up to honor Bruce. Be at the community center at 8am if you’d like to help put out the flags.


The ceremony will be followed by a potluck luncheon at the Community Center. Please bring a photo of Bruce doing volunteer work if you have one.

Did You Know Ridgefield School District will celebrate Youth Arts Month by partnering with the Ridgefield community?

March is Ridgefield Youth Arts Month!

Ridgefield School District will celebrate Youth Arts Month through partnerships with Ridgefield businesses, organizations, and community members to offer opportunities for children to create and display art throughout the month of March, recognized nationally as Youth Arts Month.

Sean McGill, Matthew Harris, and Dr. Nathan McCann watch as the Ridgefield Youth Arts Month banner is hung over Pioneer Street

Sean McGill, Michael Harris, and Dr. Nathan McCann watch as the Ridgefield Youth Arts Month banner is hung over Pioneer Street

“Participation in the fine and performing arts provides our students a creative outlet to express their emotions, thoughts, and skills,” said Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent of Ridgefield School District. “Art experiences enhance critical-thinking skills and foster important values such as empathy and tolerance.”

Ridgefield's youth may partake in a variety of free activities throughout Youth Arts Month

Ridgefield’s youth may partake in a variety of free activities throughout Youth Arts Month

Art classes will take place at all four of Ridgefield’s schools throughout the month both during the school day and after school. In addition, businesses and organizations throughout Ridgefield have teamed up with Ridgefield School District. “I would like to express my gratitude on behalf of Ridgefield School District to the Ridgefield community for partnering with the district to provide so many classes and events free-of-charge,” said McCann. “Seeing the groundswell of support for Youth Arts Month is one of the many reasons that make Ridgefield such a great place to live and learn.”

Some of the enriching events and classes that will be offered for Ridgefield’s youth to create art include:

  • Artistry Night at View Ridge Middle School
  • Cell Phone Photography with Chris Biddleman
  • Children’s Authors Gala
  • Craftapalooza
  • Drumming Up a Story
  • Introduction to Oil Painting Classes
  • Jazz Band and Jazz Choir Concert
  • Jazz Funk Dance Lessons
  • Library LEGO Lovers
  • Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Anatomy of a Masterpiece
  • Missoula Children’s Theater presenting Hansel & Gretel
  • Musical performance by Three Together
  • Poetry Contest at the Ridgefield Community Library
  • Preschool Paint
  • Preschool Story Time
  • RHS Band Concert Concluding Event
  • Ridgefield Arts Experience
  • Ridgefield Gaming Group
  • Teen Tech
  • Thursday Afternoon Story Time – Oh, Yes!

… and much, much more!

Youth Arts Month started in 1961 when the Council for Art Education and National Art Education Association named March as Youth Arts Month to recognize art education and the value of art to create a better quality of life for all people.

For more information about Ridgefield Youth Arts Month including details on events taking place throughout March, please visit

Did you know you can submit story ideas for upcoming Did You Knows? Submit your story idea via the District’s online form here:

For more Did You Knows, visit the district website. You can also get more district news from their Facebook page or on Twitter. You can also subscribe to receive the Did You Knows directly in your inbox by clicking here.

Blood Mobile in Ridgefield

The American Red Cross blood donation group will be at the Church of the Nazarene Thursday, February 26 from 11am to 4pm. Schedule an appointment at or 1-800-RED-CROSS.

I’ll be there – will you?

Bruce Crockett Memorial

Bruce Crockett’s memorial service will be Sunday, March 1, at 2:00 at the Veteran’s Memorial, next to the fire station on Third Avenue. American Legion Post 44 will have a short presentation memorializing Bruce’s life, after which there will be a potluck lunch at the Community Center. The entire community is invited to attend. If you have a picture of Bruce that shows him volunteering in some way, please bring it.

Bruce asked that no flowers be sent, but would like everyone to volunteer in some way. If you wish to make a cash donation, he asked that you send it to American Legion Post 44, PO box 1566, Ridgefield.

Thought for the Week

“The Golden Rule is a two-edged sword. If some of us treated others as we treat ourselves, we would be jailed.”   – Richard Paul Evans in The Mistletoe Promise.

Remember to submit your nominee for Ridgefield School District’s Hall of Fame by February 28!

Ridgefield School District Logo

Ridgefield School District seeks nominees for long-standing employees and alumni for its inaugural Hall of Fame induction. Community members are invited and welcomed to submit their nominees.

The Hall of Fame provides a method to honor Ridgefield High School’s exemplary graduates and Ridgefield School District’s exceptional employees who have made a positive impact on the local community and/or provide role models for today’s students. Additionally, the Hall of Fame seeks to promote increased awareness and pride in the alumni and employees of the Ridgefield School District, and their contributions to society at local, regional, and even national levels.

Nominations are due by Saturday, February 28, 2015.

For more information, including how to nominate your nominee online, please visit the district’s website by clicking this link (

For more Ridgefield schools news, visit the district website. You can also get more district news from their Facebook page or on Twitter.

Computer Problems

I am having a problem loading photos to the blog –  I will take my computer to Mike Bonebrake on Monday to get the problem repaired. Until then I won’t be able to show show any pictures. Will catch up later – there’s lots to share from our Community Service Day.

Flag is Lowered in Honor of Bruce Crockett

The City of Ridgefield lowered the flag at city hall to half staff Friday February 20th in honor of Bruce Crockett. This was a very kind and considerate act for the city to take, not to mention it shows just how much an impact Bruce had on the entire city, not just a few.


Community Service Day and Volunteer Fair

Just a reminder that tomorrow, Saturday, February 21, is Community Service Day and Volunteer Fair.

Come to the Community Center at 9am to sign up for a variety of opportunities to improve, clean up, and beautify our community. There will be indoor and outdoor opportunities. This is a good way to connect with others in our town and do good works at the same time.

Return to the Community Center for a free pizza lunch at noon. Representatives from many organizations that depend on volunteers will be on hand to explain their needs and offer you a chance to join them.

It’s a Ridgefield thing! Be there!

Port’s Remediation Project Explained

The Washington State Department of Ecology and the Port of Ridgefield have been working to clean up the environmental contamination caused by the former Pacific Wood Treating Company (PWT) mill on the Ridgefield waterfront.  The mill operated between 1963 and 1993.  The clean up project is nearing completion.  However, in investigating the extent of contamination emanating from the mill property, elevated levels of dioxin were discovered in the public right-of-ways between Mill and Maple Streets and Main and the railroad.

Ecology is concerned that dioxins may also be present in people’s yards. When ingested, dioxins may cause cancer.  Therefore, Ecology is seeking permission from property owners to collect soil samples from people’s yards.  Ecology will then test these samples for dioxins.  Ecology will then report their findings back to the property owners.  If elevated levels of dioxin are found in the study area, Ecology will determine what additional actions are necessary and inform the residents and property owners.

Washington State Department of Ecology is hosting an open house for residents and property owners in the neighborhood between Mill and Maple Streets and from Main Avenue to the railroad.  Ecology is proposing to sample soil from people’s yards to test for the presence of contaminants related to the Pacific Wood Treating Company Mill. The meeting is scheduled for March 10th at the Ridgefield Community Center.  The meeting is open to the public.  Ecology will be making a formal presentation, however a firm start time has not been announced.

Bruce Crockett

It is with great sadness that I announce that Bruce Crockett died last night. Bruce was a driving force in our community. He was past Commander of American Legion Post 44, and instrumental in building the Veterans’ Memorial at the Fire Station. He was president of the Ridgefield Art Association for several years. He was a wonderful wood worker, creating furniture, bowls, kitchen cabinets, among other things. Bruce worked behind the scenes in many things benefiting Ridgefield.

A long time ago, way before he got sick with cancer, Bruce sent me the story of his life, which I am attaching. Bruce’s passing leaves a big hole in our community.

Bruce Crockett

My story,

I was born and raised in Montana and lived north of Great Falls on the Bootlegger Trail.  As the name suggests it was the route to bootleg whiskey in from Canada during prohibition.  My grandmother who also lived there said she could remember the bootleggers driving by.

This area was homesteaded in the early 1900’s and the usual homestead was 320 acres and therefore most of the plats were that size and were all usually surrounded by barbwire fences.  I can recall my younger years talking to some of those homesteaders.  Each plat of land to this day carries the name of the family who homesteaded it. Example: the Brooks Place, the McClure place.   I have read in stories about this period of time when you opened a fence gate you must close it.  Why?  Some of the homesteaders had devised a telephone system using the fence wire.  If the gate was opened the phones were dead.

Let my life with technology begin:

After being married, having a daughter, and roaming around through various job markets including farming, assembly line at GMC, digging sewer ditches by hand in Phoenix and driving a truck route in northern Arizona selling candy, cigarettes, and sundries, I somehow got a job at Motorola in Phoenix, AZ.

I believe my father helped through a friend of his whose son worked there.  I had no college education or technical experience and worked on third shift.  It was just me and the janitors.  My job was to profile the high temperature furnaces (up to 2500 degrees C) that were used to diffuse N and P type atoms into silicon wafers to make NPN transistors.  This happened to be the time when the industry was shifting from using Germanium wafers to Silicon Wafers.

After being there several years a couple of technicians from a lab across the hall came over and explained how they had put two transistors, a resistor and a capacitor all on one chip.  WOW! Let the first of the integrated circuits begin and of course now you can multiply that by several thousand components.

One day I came home and found a letter from Uncle Sam. I opened the letter and found an invitation telling me to come be part of the US military service.  I of course showed the letter to my management and they said no way.  We need you to do what you are doing (managing a government project) and we will get you deferred.  As many of you know government and common sense are not synonymous.  The government replied that since I had no degree it was not possible for me to be in charge of a government project.  One day Wilf Corrigan, who some of you might know as a famous part of the semiconductor world, called me into his office and said he was sorry but the deferment had been denied. Off to basic training at Fort Bliss Texas, advance training at a fort in Dothan Alabama and then to work at Fort Riley Kansas.  Then a call to go to Vietnam.

Prior to going to Vietnam someone from Motorola heard I was in Phoenix on leave.  He had a program that needed help and I worked my entire pre-Vietnam leave.   A pat on my own back from me.  I came up with some neat methods to solve the problem.

I went to Vietnam in combat aviation and arrived just prior to the famous 1978 TET offensive.  I rarely tell war stories but here goes.  During the TET offensive the Bad Guys commandeered a locomotive, mounted a 50 caliber machine gun on it and came into the town I was in.  If any of you know what a 50 cal can do, imagine one mounted on a locomotive.  That got taken down but meantime the bad guys were coming at us from behind.  A young troop laid his weapon across some steps and began firing at the enemy.  We made it out of that mess.  The next morning we noticed that all of his shots had gone into one of the steps above.  It was a good day for Charlie and him also since the step could have blown up in his face.

While in Vietnam I traveled a great deal because of my job. Ban Me Tuot is where Teddy Roosevelt went to hunt tigers.  I’ve been there.  Also Pleiku, which is the area where the montagnards came from.  They had sent my brother Burke to Vietnam also so when we would both have been in country for equal amounts of time (They sent him over as a short timer) they sent me home.  I was discharged after being in the states about 20 hours.  Of course this was the time when the press and the left hated all military people.  I came home to being spit at, called a murderer and all the rest of the gratitude for serving my country.  Even when out of uniform everyone knew who you were since at discharge they gave us a whitewall haircut which takes a while to grow out.   I hope this never happens to any of our military again.  It wasn’t pleasant being called a murderer after helping so many good people.

A funny story.  Everyone who went to Vietnam had a short timer’s calendar.  On one of my trips somewhere I went into a latrine.  On the wall someone had a short timer’s calendar going.  The first entry said 310 days to go and the second may have been 280 days and then 210 days and on and on.  Under that someone wrote “you sure don’t take a shit very often.”  A great laugh till this day.  That was a great latrine. Where I was we had 55 gallon barrels cut in half with a board across it.  Every morning we poured diesel on them and lit them on fire.  If you went out at night and sat down you could feel fuzzy little things going across your feet.  Rats!

When I came home I went right back to work at Motorola and stayed there for a short time.  While I was in Vietnam a person I had worked for before I left and moved to Silicon Valley, asked me to join him there to work at Fairchild Camera and Instruments in the Bay area.  Still with no college education, but always working at having a good attitude, I moved into management and had several PhD’s working for me and with an idea I had and the help of Bruce Cairns, a PhD working for me, we applied and received a patent to use titanium dioxide in a poly-carbonate to diffuse light.

I then moved to Commodore Business Machines in Palo Alto, CA.  After cleaning up several older manufacturing problems, Jack Trameil, the founder of Commodore, put me in charge of worldwide manufacturing including the USA, Europe, and Japan.  As such I traveled a great deal including several times around the world.  Jack and his wife Helen were both Polish, Jewish survivors of the German POW Camps.  During that time I had some good lessons on what happened prior to and during WW II and life in those camps from Jack.  Look out USA – it can happen to you.

The predecessor to the Commodore 64 computer was called the VIC-20 and built at home by Bob Yannes using a video chip developed by Albert Charpentier.  I was part of the team that introduced the Commodore 64 computer (the first low priced computer) to the world.  Shortly after that introduction Bob, Al and I left Commodore and started a company named Ensoniq (in sound spelled a crazy way, for those who wonder what the hell does Ensoniq mean). We designed and built keyboards for pro, semi pro and home musicians. Our first keyboard was a sampler called the Mirage.  This keyboard changed the way sounds were made at low costs to this day.  Over the years we introduced several other keyboards that had major effects on the keyboard world.  We always focused on price and features, maximizing features and low cost.  Many of the features in keyboards today are things we developed.  I say we, but my part was management as CEO and Chairman of the Board.  They and their teams of course were the technology suppliers.

Our distributor for Canada was Fred Kalisky.  Fred was a survivor of Auschwitz and wrote a book about his experiences in Auschwitz.  If your library can get it you should read it. Again after listening to him – look USA, it can happen to you.  I have the book but since it is autographed I only lend it to very careful people.

We also developed the very first digital hearing aid called the Sound Selector.  It cost us a lot of money (try $7,000,000) with no return but today all hearing aids are digital and work much better than the old analog types.  Most can be programmed to the person’s type of hearing loss.

One of the people who developed the first computer was Mauchley.  His son worked for us and could tell many stories of the first computer. Why are problems called bugs?  Because of the heat involved while the computer was on, spiders and such would crawl in and make a home for themselves.  Their home would short out the system.  Therefore there was q bug in the system or software or whatever.

Since I had traveled so much, I also set up worldwide distribution.  As such and with my Vietnam Service, Fairchild, Commodore and Ensoniq travels, I have been to every state and 71 other countries.  That being said there is nothing in the world like sleeping in your own bed every night.  Take my word for it.

Now I live in Ridgefield, WA and am a woodworker and do a great deal of volunteer work.  Visit my WEB site at to see what I have built

Soon I am going to list all of the countries I have set foot on.  Be prepared for a long list.

News from Paul Snoey on ‘our’ salmon

salmon fry

I went to the incubator this afternoon to check on the developing fry and to flush the incubator of sediment that had settled in after all the heavy rain ending a week ago.  The fish are very well-developed but still have some of that egg yolk gut. They are developing faster than expected and may be ready to leave  at the end of the month.

There have been three hooded mergansers, a species of fish-eating duck, and two double-crested cormorants in the pond above the incubator.  If the birds happen to discover the outfall when the fish leave it will be like the take-out window at Burgerville, so we’re thinking of a way to protect them.  The fry are about 1.5 inches long and are very alert and fast swimming.

Umpire local baseball and softball games and earn extra cash

Lower Columbia Umpire’s Association is recruiting men and women to umpire high school baseball and softball and local youth league baseball games (Cal Ripken & Babe Ruth). You will be trained and mentored and you control the schedule of dates and times you can umpire. We can also help you find and purchase new/used gear. In 2014 we had umpires earn up to $5,000 in one season!

To contact Lower Columbia Umpire’s Association: Email: Call/text: 360-751-5575.

Games begin in mid-March. LCUA will welcome new registrations through May. Make the right call…contact LCUA to find out more!