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Why would I purchase plastic food containers when I already have some?  I wouldn’t.


The amount of plastic waste generated by a single family American home, by a single person home for that matter, is staggering.  We, as a culture, generate an amazing amount of non-composted trash, and much of this will not be  making it into the post-consumer recycle process or breaking down in our landfills.

I heard someone say once “when they dig us up in 2000 years they’ll call us the “plastic civilization”.  That is ironic on several levels, but I also found it rather embarrassing, and admit I thought it true. Considering the treasures we ourselves have dug up from past civilizations, things we place in museums and see auctioned off for millions of dollars, golden artifacts, once beautiful pottery and the like, our buried treasures are going to pale in comparison.

It may seem like a small contribution to re-use the plastics we all end up with once the foods they came in are gone, but multiply your plastic encased or covered purchases by the number of houses on your street or number of houses attached to your school district or town, and I hope you’ll realize too, that plastics are all of our problem.

We see much more recycling of plastics than we’ve seen in the past, but recycling plastics is an expensive business and there aren’t nearly enough companies doing it.  Much of the plastic you see with the recyclable sign do not get recycled.  It’ll be a good day when there’s enough companies to recycle the majority of plastics people throw away each day, but that day has not arrived.  As it is, there’s an active association of plastics recycling companies and that is good, but until I am assured the majority of plastics are being recycled I’m going to keep using the ones my foods come in and otherwise lessening my purchases of items encased in plastic.

Granted some of the post-consumer containers I use are not see-through, and I suppose that’s part of the attraction to people’s need to purchase “glad ware” and the like.   I use a sharpie pen and/or tape to easily mark and identify what’s in a particular re-used container in my freg, freezer or pantry.

Have you heard of Garbage Island?  Garbage Island is a floating mass of trash twice the size of Texas, floating out in the Pacific Ocean. Journalist Thomas Morton did a documentary on Garbage Island.  When I saw that documentary, I was once again shocked and embarrassed.  NOAA – the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Assoc., calls these floating phenomenons “garbage patches” and has some very interesting information about them on their site.    I don’t want to be part of a culture that creates such things.  But, since I am, I’m going to do what I can to decrease my contributions.   Click on the NOAA map, below, for more information on our garbage patches.

All of us, or at least most of us, remember the campaign to cut the plastic six pack rings that hold a six pack together so they would not harm our natural wild-life.  I do not see that campaign publicized anymore.  Surely those who invented this plastic six-pack holder did not imagine that their invention, something that made them wealthy and helped an industry keep their cans together, would harm wild-life and otherwise start a national campaign to cut each of the circles on the thing to save wildlife from certain death getting caught in them.  But, those little plastic six pack things have been very harmful to wildlife, resulting in deformation, starvation and death to animals who unwittingly get stuck in them. The picture, at the end of this post, of a turtle who sadly became deformed by a six-pack net is linked to a blog post by eco-logical on the harms of these, and other, plastics to our environment.  That post also includes a lot of pictures of six-pack plastic trapped animals.There’s been a lot of information published, filmed and covered on all of this plastic trash we create, what happens to it and what doesn’t, and as an environmentally minded person I’ve read or seen a lot of it, but this week I’m adding my voice to the reminder, we still need to work against our trash making it into our oceans, our landfills and our homes.

Xtra trash is not necessary and while cleaning out the cupboards is a labor of necessity, this week it is also a seed for a new blog post, and acknowledgement that I’m interested in working on lessening my plastic consumption.  When they did us up I hope they’ll see our art, our science and many of our efforts to better ourselves and how we leave our planet.

Hope you’ll, consider your own purchases as a way to lessen our plastic foot print, and even save money, cut all of your six-pack nets, pick up plastic trash you find on our beaches and otherwise do your best to lessen the amount of harmful plastics in our environment.

– Best wishes – Gwen

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

PS:  My lack of posts in the last year is attached to other commitments and issues that have monopolized my time.   I am glad to report that I am seeing the other side of both and look forward to being motivated to more blogging more often.

With Lotto prizes around the country reaching historic peaks – the question circulating around the net is “WHAT WOULD YOU DO if YOU WON?”

I know what I would do, and have had this plan for A LONG TIME!

Firstly, call my lawyer, call my broker (invest), pay down bills, pay off all family member homes, UNDERWRITE 50 MOTOR HOMES, 50 Veterinarians, 50 Vet assistants and all their supplies to provide FREE SPAY AND NEUTER services in every state for as many years as my investments will allow.  Following that I would spend a butt load of money putting heavy restrictions on and regulating animal breeders.

WAIT – there’s more ( I hope I win A LOT!!!) I would start an abused living creature organization to help people and animals who are unable to defend themselves from cruelty…

Then I’d buy a vintage truck, AND OF COURSE – GIVE! GIVE! GIVE! to human many assorted services and sustainable agriculture organizations.

Human and animal abuse is a tragic and horrible result of our throw away society, in my opinion.  Humans have always had the ability to be cruel – but with our wants and needs today it seems we are ever more able to produce sad and pitiful existences for many living creatures (humans included) who could otherwise be happy and healthy

Sounds like big projects – OH – Well – I’ve always been one to THINK BIG!

And if I win one of the smaller amounts – I’ll down size the plans you read here and generally do the same.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR BIG BUCKS!  NO need to be philanthropic in your desires if you don’t want to be.  Don’t let my plans trip you into not being honest about your plans.  Different strokes for different folks with their big bucks.

Happy lotto ticket buying!

It’s all about NEUROSCIENCE 

FRIDAY – JANUARY 27th, 2012 – 1pm – PST! 

Mark Brady, Ph.D. is a neuroscience educator.  He co-founded the Children’s Grief Program at Kara, a public service agency in Palo Alto, California where he only stopped volunteering upon moving to Whidbey Island.

In addition to being a long-time member of  the graduate research faculty at the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology, he writes a weekly column on social neuroscience for parents (The Committed Parent).

He is the prize-winning author of a number of books, magazine articles and academic papers. Two recent titles are: Safe and Secure: A Guide to Parenting with the Brain in Mind and A Father’s Book of Listening. These and other titles can be ordered wherever fine books are sold on the Internet or by emailing: He is currently working on a new book on helping children escape childhood unscathed. It will be available in September, 2012.

It’s was a BUSY 2011 – with TOO MANY EGGS in the carton!

Gwen was involved in so many projects from May of 2011 to January 2012 – she was unable to sit in the chair and do her own shows.

So after working with others, training new hosts, some heady business building projects, a couple trips here and there, she’s back in the chair & behind the board at KWPA Whidbey Air.

TUNE or STREAM in for her music show – Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday – from 4 to 7pm Pacific Standard Time

Music will be guided by listener feedback and Gwen’s own strangely assorted genre library.

Gwen’s TALK show Whidbey Chat – will be back on it’s regular time soon!  STAY TUNED.

Whidbey Giving Circle

Gwen was joined this week by Larry Lowry and Jody Watts of the Whidbey Giving Circle

Listen to Jody and Larry share with Gwen just what the Giving Circle is, what they do, and how you can get involved with this powerfully generous group of island residents.  People who do good work and have a good time doing it.

Re-broadcast of interview can be heard on

Thursday – April 7th at 9am

Friday – April 8th at 4pm

and Saturday April 9th at 7pm.

Tune in to 96.9fm around the Penn Cove of Whidbey


stream from anywhere you can connect to the internet at KWPA’s listen page.

The Whidbey Giving Circle is a community of Island County citizens who pool resources to support LGBTQ equality and young people on the island. Membership is open all who make a financial contribution of any size.  Annual gifts range from $15 to $5,000.  Every gift is powerful and earns the donor opportunities to vote on key Whidbey Giving Circle grants and scholarships.  Members are encouraged to help guide the annual grant and scholarship cycles by reviewing applications and working with a committee to determine annual awards.  Affiliated with Pride Foundation, the Whidbey Giving Circle began in 2007 and has since grown to nearly 70 members, providing approximately $20,000 of annual support to organizations, community leaders and students.

From September to January, the Whidbey Giving Circle hosts houseparties and educational sessions on the island to link community members and provide key opportunities to learn, socialize and make an annual membership commitment.  From February to June, both grants and scholarships are determined.  The group celebrates their investments and enjoys the sunshine together through an annual summer picnic.

Prior grantees include: Citizens Against Domestic & Sexual Abuse for their work to support LGBTQ youth across Whidbey Island and the Whidbey Children’s Theater for productions that address LGBT related issues and spur thoughtful conversation and learning within the community.  The Whidbey Giving Circle has provided 8 scholarships to student leaders.

Pride Foundation has invested over $20,000 in eleven organizations that serve Island counties LGBTQ community. Much of this funding comes from the Whidbey Giving Circle, a group of Island residents that come together every year to raise and distribute funds on Whidbey. In addition, numerous Pride Foundation scholars hail from this area.

Currently, grants to nonprofits (besides those made by the Whidbey Giving Circle) are made from Pride Foundation’s Cascadia cycle, which is administered in Seattle, WA. A key goal of Pride Foundation’s is to have an active Pride Regional Community established in this area, so all funding decisions are made at the local level. We have begun working towards this goal and will continue to update the community as we progress.

If you would like to learn more about getting involved with the Pride Foundation please send us an email or call us at 1-800-735-7287.

Available Grant: Whidbey Giving Circle
The Whidbey Giving Circle is accepting grant applications for organizations and programs on Whidbey Island that benefit LGBT youth or raise awareness.
Grant application must be postmarked by April 5, 2011. – Download the application
Unavailable Grant: Cascadia Grants – Grant application will be available in Summer 2011.

Joining Gwen on KWPA’s Whidbey Chat this week were Coupeville Lion’s President, Dennis Bullock and, member and “Zone Chairman” John Kohlmann, for an interview about the Coupeville Lions Club.

Anyone who has been to Coupeville has seen the big Lion’s emblem on Coupeville’s welcome sign at Hwy 525 and Main St.  But, do they know just how many lives and community projects they touched.  Dennis Bullock, sitting Coupeville Lions president and member John Kohlmann are just two of our island citizen’s who are members of just one of our 5 island Lions clubs.

With a membership of 112 – the Coupeville Lions is the larger of the 2 clubs in the central Whidbey area.  The other is Central Whidbey Lions with a smaller membership, but no less good work done.  Dennis and John say there are multiple clubs for multiple reasons – could be the meetings are on the wrong day for some one’s schedule so they choose to start another club to better fit theirs and others free hours.  None the less, it doesn’t matter, as these Lions said, all Lions Clubs are good Lions clubs.

The Coupeville Lions, in particular, hold the infamous Garage Sale people come from miles around to attend.  They also hold an annual Scholarship benefiting dinner and auction, where Gwen’s co-host on What’s Up Whidbey, Harry Anderson seems to always get the heritage turkey up for auction, and that’s just two of the big events Coupeville Lions maintain annually.

LISTEN to this interview for more!   AND contact the Coupeville Lions to inquire about their annual open house – if you’d like to find out about joining the club –  April 13th, 2011 at the Methodist Church in Coupeville.  YOU must make contact & have a Lion invite you to attend this event – per the limited number of seats available.

Contact information for the Coupeville Lions – PO Box 473, Coupeville, 98239 – 360-678-4105

Visit the Coupeville Lions website:

Coupeville Lions Calendar pdf.

Listen to this interview re-air on Thursday March 24th, 2011 at 9am & Friday, March 25th, 2011 at 4pm.  YOU can tune into 96.9fm around the Penn Cove area of Whidbey Island – OR listen through your computer at the KWPA listen page.

This interview will appear on the podcast page of KWPA in 30 days.


The Penn Cove MusselFest Headquarters is located at the Coupeville Recreation Hall.
Tickets for Saturday and Sunday festival activities must be purchased there.

Parking is available next to the Coupeville Library off of NW Alexander Street and at the Island County Buildings on Main Street (a 3 block walk to downtown and the Rec Hall)

Friday, March 4, 5:30pm-8:30pm
Saturday, March 5, 10:30am-9pm
Sunday, March 6, 10:30am-5pm

Click on the 2011 Penn Cove Mussel Festival poster to go to their official site.


A Day on the Radio in 1946

A presentation of KWPA Radio – Whidbey Island’s Community Radio Station

North, Central or South Whidbey – there’s a performance for you!


May 21st, 2011 – 7pm

South Whidbey High School Auditorium

5675 Maxwelton Road, Langley – Whidbey Island


May 28th, 2011 – 7pm

Oak Harbor High School Auditorium

350 South Oak St. Oak Harbor – Whidbey Island

KWPA has brought back, by popular demand, their Old Time Radio – Live on Stages Shows.

Only 2 performances – Tickets go on sale April 1st

Don’t miss this one of a kind production benefiting Whidbey Island’s community radio KWPA


Come enjoy 4 wonderfully performed LIVE radio programs

from days gone by




The Boston Blacke radio series began on June 23, 1944, on NBC as a summer replacement for Amos ‘n’ Andy.

The original Boston Blackie, by Jack Boyle, his only book, was written in 1919. The character “Boston Blackie”, real name Horatio Black*, was a young, handsome, well educated, gentleman that loves women and children. However, he is also a hardened criminal, a jewel thief and safe cracker, who’d served time in a California prison. His wife, Mary, is “his best loved pal,” and his collaborator on all his capers. This can be better understood when you realize that the Mary in the Boston Blackie stories has an underworld crook for a father.

Come see Boston Blackie fight crime live on stage – on Whidbey Island.




Whidbey’s own Carolyn and Rich Tambler

return as the funny duo!

Fibber McGee and Molly was a radio show that played a major role in determining the full form of what became classic, old-time radio. The series was a pinnacle of American popular culture from its 1935 premiere until its end in 1959. One of the longest-running comedies in the history of classic radio in the United States, Fibber McGee and Molly has stood the test of time in many ways, transcending the actual or alleged limitations of its medium, form and concurrent culture.  The program struggled in the ratings until 1940, when it became a national sensation. Within three years, it was the top-rated program in America.



The series had its beginnings in 1938 on Chicago radio station, WGN. Created by Robert M. Burtt and Willfred G. Moore, the creators of The Air Adventures of Jimmie Allen, the series was sponsored by the Skelly Oil Company. The program was syndicated, recorded on 16″ glass discs at a studio in an office building at LaSalle St and Wacker Drive at the ad agency of Blackett, Sample and Hummert.

In the beginning, “Captain Midnight” was simply an undercover name for Jim “Red” Albright, who regularly piloted cargo and passengers. As an undercover agent, Albright was trying to gather information on a gang of criminals. Captain Midnight was constantly trying to stop the plans of the evil Ivan Shark and his daughter Fury. Shark remained as Midnight’s evil nemesis throughout the length of the radio run.



The Romance of Helen Trent was one of the most beloved of all the old time radio shows, and its loyal fans faithfully followed, year after year, the unending triumphs and heartbreaks of their glamorous star-crossed friend, Hollywood dress designer Helen Trent. Like a good friend, Helen was there for them, sharing her innermost secrets in heartbreaking fifteen-minute slices, for nearly three decades. The grand romance finally ended after over 7, 200 episodes in 1960. In fact, Helen outlived most of network radio!


Tickets go on sale on April 1, 2011 at

Support you Whidbey Island Community Radio




May 21st, 2011 – 7pm

South Whidbey High School Auditorium

5675 Maxwelton Road, Langley – Whidbey Island


May 28th, 2011 – 7pm

Oak Harbor High School Auditorium

350 South Oak St. Oak Harbor – Whidbey Island



TONIGHT – Friday – February 25, 2011 at 6:00 pm



Come help the Pacific Northwest Art School for their 25th Anniversary Open House! Come celebrate 25 years of offering exceptional visual arts education at our annual Membership and Volunteer Appreciation Evening as well as attending the opening of our “Celebrating 25 Years of Art” gallery Exhibition and Sale.” Cake and refreshments will be served. Free and open to the public.

Pacific Northwest Art School 15 NW Birch St, Coupeville, WA 98239 – 360-678-3396


Gwen was pleased that Carla Jolley could join us on Whidbey Chat today.

With the intent on providing a valuable experience for the KWPA listening audience, and the many people on our island facing tough health care realities, Gwen invited Carla into the KWPA studio to enlighten us about her important work in palliative care.  Palliative care is specialized care focused on the pain, symptoms and stress of very serious illness.

The way Carla approaches her work, how she helps her patient’s, and their families, face necessary and difficult health care decisions, is based in her genuine concern for people and her sincere commitment to proper and ethical palliative care. Carla is easy going, deeply devoted, funny (in the most respectful ways), and not afraid to broach the most difficult topics many of us are unable face, let along navigate.

For those caring for a sick loved one, friend, or client, Carla also had a lot to say about care giving, caregivers and the personal needs people face while caring for someone.

All told, this interview contains important information and resources from a woman who is truly interested in people, good at listening and easy to listen to.  THANK YOU Carla!

This interview will re-broadcast on Thursday, Feb. 24th at 9am & Friday, Feb 25th at 4pm from KWPA’s 96.9fm around central Whidbey and streamed over KWPA’s website.

A podcast of this interview will be available on the KWPA website in 3 weeks.

Carla Jolley’s Bio

Education: University of Washington, Post Masters Adult Practitioner Certificate, 1994; University of Washington, MN/Oncology Program, 1990; Oregon Health Sciences University, BSN, 1984; Oregon State University, Pre-nursing, 1982

ONS Participation (national and local):

2010–present: Team Leader: Institute for Evidenced Based Practice/Oral Chemotherapy Project

2010–present: Team Leader: ONS Foundation Pat McCue Chapter End of Life Care Nursing Career Development Award

2008–2009: Committee member: Role Delineation Study for Advanced Practice Nurse, ONCC

2005–2007: Committee member: Membership/Leadership Panel Advisory Board

2003–2004:  Participant: Leadership Development Institute

2001–2002: Committee Member: APN Retreat/Online & Educ Committee

1991–1995: Chair: Education and Program Committee for Puget Sound Oncology Society

Work-Related Skills and Leadership:

2005–present: Co-Chair: Practice Council of Nursing for Whidbey General Hospital/Using Evidence Based Practice Concepts, implement policies/procedures/education initiatives/set competencies

2002–present: Chair: Interdisciplinary Pain Committee for Whidbey General Hospital/provide leadership for infrastructure needs, organize Pain Awareness Month/address community and institutional needs

2002–present: Chair: Palliative Care Education/Training for Whidbey General Hospital/plan and oversee program/present content and mentor/support others to build internal experts

1989–present: Committee member: Cancer Committee, Whidbey General Hospital/assist with ACOS accreditation needs/participate in program planning and implementation/provide ongoing community education program

Healthcare/Cancer Organizations Experience, Other Professional Nursing Organizations/Additional experience (community, political etc.):

2007–2010: Treasurer/Central Whidbey Investment Club: Financial records and monthly reports, buying and selling stocks, filing taxes

1997–1998: Committee member/ American Nurses Credentialing Center: Role-Delineation Committee for Clinical Nurse Specialists ANCC

1995–2002: Committee member/American Nurses Credentialing Center: Test Development Committee for Clinical Nurse Specialist in Home Health Nursing

1990–2008: Relay for Life/American Cancer Society: Almost annually, participated in team and fund-raising in particular played the role of Madame Zorba

ONS member: 24 years; Special Interest Group member: 5+ years; Chapter member: 23 years



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