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Congratulations to Cape Meares’s Seasons Kaz Sparks on the publication of her first children’s book, “Flock of Gerrys—Gerry Loves Tacos.” Her book about an adventuresome seagull, Gerry, was front-page news in this newspaper. You may view the character Gerry the seagull and the rest of the Salty Raven art and line at www.saltyraven.net or search kickstarter.com for “Flock of Gerrys.”

The Ayerses’ place is teeming with tomatoes! Cape Meares resident Arla Ayers is a Master Gardner and has been gearing up for this year’s Master Gardeners’ plant sale. She started tomato plants from seed in Feb., carefully nurtured them in the house, and finally moved them to a heated part of her garage and to her greenhouse. She has over 100 tomato plants, Siletz and Stupice varieties and Lil Bites cherry tomatoes for hanging baskets, to bring to the plant sale. She also has geraniums to contribute. The Master Gardener group keeps plants in the large greenhouse at Tommie’s Cleaners (thank you, Jerry and Priscilla!) as well as the Hoop House in the Learning Garden at the fairgrounds, too. All these vegetables plus some perennials and annuals will be available for sale Saturday, May 4, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the 4-H and FFA Pavilion at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds. The money raised will be used for scholarships, to put on classes, and for other good gardening causes. Arla gives credit to Karen Saranaker, the tomato specialist, and Sarah Ostermiller, who is in charge of the overall event, for their great organizing skills and energy. Put it on your calendar and come to the Tillamook County Master Gardener plant sale this Saturday. Get your garden growing!

Congratulations to Olli Ollikainen for receiving a 15-year service award at Tillamook Fire District’s Annual Awards Banquet. Cape Meares is fortunate to have Olli, Randy Klobas and Mike Smith protecting our community. These men have put in hundreds of hours training for and responding to fire, medical and water rescue calls. They started with eight weeks of basic training, undertook extra training for EMR (Emergency Medical Responder) certificates, have ongoing weekly drills, attend once-a-month emergency medical training, participate in specially scheduled live fire training, and carry pagers to be available 24/7. Just last July 4, they used the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) located at our community center to save a life; they were recognized for that success at this year’s awards banquet. All have fought fires on our beach that were started in driftwood and burned up toward the brush. Because we have these volunteers, Cape Meares is allowed to house two emergency vehicles (Station #73). One is a pump engine that carries 1,000 gallons of water, tools, a fire hose, air packs, and ladders for fire attacks. The other is a brush engine with medical supplies and more water, able to go off road to fight wildland fires. Many thanks to our volunteer firefighters for their dedication and service to our community!

My apologies to Rob Freedman for misspelling his name in last week’s column. I should have looked on the front cover of his book, “Beach Bum, a Life in Pieces.”

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