Etc. - 10/09/09


Joe Gribnau's first book, "Rocky Mountain Night Before Christmas (Night Before Christmas Series)," was so much fun, I'm looking forward to his next one. The Berney Elementary School teacher recently published "Kick the Cowboy," as reported in the Thursday Marquee. It's his second fully illustrated children's book and is available at Book and Game and online retailers.

In it, a grumpy cowboy named Kick loses his friends because he's mean. A little girl who's lost her puppy helps him find his heart and learn how to respect others.

Illustrator Adrian Tans provides vibrantly colored artwork to enhance the tale.

Joe told the Walla Walla Public Schools online newsletter Week in Review that the story reminds readers to not think too much of themselves and put others first. Joe has organized writing workshops that help students improve their writing skills.

The Washington Army National Guard 81st Brigade Combat Team (Heavy) is due home soon from a year-long deployment in Iraq and volunteers are encouraged to participate in the Welcome Home Dinner slated for Nov. 7 in their honor.

The brigade is headquartered in Seattle, according to its Web site, and comprised of units from around the state with approximately 2,900 citizen soldiers filling its ranks.

The Brigade typically focuses on convoy security, force protection, provincial reconstruction and base operations.

They deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from August 2008 to August 2009, the Web site said.

The 81st previously deployed in support of OIF from March 2004 to March 2005. And 81st soldiers were instrumental in responding to the December 2007 floods in Southwestern Washington.

Folks at Hot Mama's Espresso are coordinating the effort to serve dinner to the 36 women and men and their spouses and significant others.

Donations may be made by contacting Jenny or Cathy Rasely at Hot Mama's or through Blue Mountain Veterans Coalition. Cash donations and items for door prizes and 36 gift baskets are also being sought.

To get involved, call 520-3887 or e-mail

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at or afternoons at 526-8313.


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