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The Heritage Foundation asks applicants for a future Republican administration a series of questions about their ideology, showing the extent to which “America First” has shaped the modern G.O.P.

The Chronicle - Centralia

Downtown Chehalis community tree lighting event to be held Saturday; attendees invited to bring their own ornaments

Among the many Christmas events this month is the annual community tree lighting event in downtown Chehalis, scheduled from 3 to 4 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 2, in front of the Lewis County Historical Museum. 

Admission to the event is free. While this isn’t the first year the city has held a tree lighting, this will be the first year where guests will be invited to bring an ornament to donate and place on the tree. 

Those ornaments will be included on future trees as well, according to an Experience Chehalis news release. 

Additionally, the Southwest Washington Dance Center will be performing scenes from The Nutcracker and the W.F. West High School choir will be on hand singing classic holiday carols. Coffee and hot cocoa will be provided free of charge courtesy of the Lewis County Historical Museum. 

“We are delighted to invite everyone to join us for this special event celebrating the holidays as a community," Lewis County Historical Museum board member Kate McDougall said in the release. "It's a time to come together, share in the holiday spirit and create memories with family and friends.”

The Lewis County Historical Museum is located at 599 NW Front St. in downtown Chehalis. 

Originally known as the Chehalis Community Renaissance Team, Experience Chehalis is an organization that aims to cultivate relationships and celebrate community by engaging in projects to make Chehalis a more attractive place to live, involve the youth and enhance economic growth through promoting tourism to support local businesses. 

For more information, visit

 In loving memory of John Fasano: 1935-2023

John Milo Fasano was born a logger. 

He displayed this passion on fia trip five years ago when he was in Yellowstone National Park and saw wildfire-scorched trees. His immediate response was, “there’s a lot of logs there I could haul off.” His love of logging was only superseded by his love of his children and pets. 

John owned a logging business most of his adult life, shutting it down in mid-2023. As a child, his father worked in the woods, and as an adult, after a stint in the Army, he began this long career working in the lumber industry, which ended with decades as a business owner and log truck driver. 

John was proud of and remembered fondly his military service in the Army’s 14th Cavalry Division. During his service in Germany, he met his wife, Edith, with whom he had four children and adopted one. John was a nice guy who would give you the shirt off his back. He loved road trips and sand-railing. He will be greatly missed. 

He leaves behind three children, Heidemarie (Mick) Caswell, of Gresham, Oregon, Michele Fasano Wilsie, of Lacey, Washington, and Curtis Fasano, of Chehalis, Washington. He was also blessed with many grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Enid and Michael J. Fasano; brothers, Michael G. (Jerry) and Floyd Victor (Vic) Fasano; and sons, Leroy John and Frank Henry Fasano. 

John was born on Nov. 7, 1935, and was a lifelong resident of Lewis County. He passed on Nov. 24, 2023, peacefully with his family present. 

His life will be celebrated on Dec. 8, 2023 when viewing will be available at Cattermole Funeral Home in Winlock, Washington, from 10 a.m. to noon and a graveside services will be held at Claquato Cemetery in Chehalis, Washington, at 2 p.m. A celebration of life will be held after the graveside services at Centralia Square Grand Ballroom in Centralia at approximately 3 p.m. The family requests any donations be made to the Veterans Memorial Museum in Chehalis in honor of his military service.

In loving memory of Vaneta Malone: 1936-2023

Vaneta Elaine Malone died at the age of 87 on Nov. 27, 2023. She was born April 29, 1936, and grew up in Rufus, Oregon. 

After marriage, they settled in Adna, Washington, on the family farm, raising five children and lots of animals. Vaneta was a member of Crego Grange and the Rebekah Lodge and spent many years as a volunteer at her church, the Lewis County Historical Museum, the hospital gift shop and the information booth at the Centralia Outlets. 

Vaneta was preceded in death by her husband, Francis John Malone, son, Rollie Malone, and a whole host of other family members. Survivors include son, John Malone; daughters, Chris Knudsvig, Gloria Millam and Karen Malone; brother, Tom Morris; sister, Sue Williams; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

The family would like to extend their deep appreciation to Swaza Adult Family Home for their love and care of our mom. 

Visitation and service will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, at Cattermole Funeral Home in Winlock. The burial service will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, in Crawfordville, Oregon. 

At peace singing a new song 


When the perishable 

has been clothed with 

the imperishable, and the 

mortal with immortality, 

then the saying that is written 

will come true: 

“Death has been swallowed 

up in victory.” 

Where, O death, is your victory? 

Where, O death is your sting.” 

-1 Corinthians 15:54-55 

Centralia School Board seeks applicants for vacant position following resignation

The Centralia School District is accepting applications for director position 3 on the school board after Andrea Ware, who ran unopposed in the November general election, announced her resignation this week. 

Ware would have replaced incumbent board member Vicki Jackson, who did not run for re-election. Jackson’s four-year term on the board began in December 2019 and expired on Thursday, Nov. 30. 

The Centralia School Board held a special meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 29, to announce the vacancy and the timeline for appointing someone to fill the position. 

The application period is open through 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 15. To apply, applicants should send a letter of interest and a resume to Executive Assistant Brittany Kindall by email at or by mail to 2320 Borst Ave., Centralia, WA, 98531. 

Applicants must be registered voters and reside in the district. 

Director position 3, like all positions on the Centralia School Board, is an at-large position. 

The Centralia School District expects board members to attend study sessions on the second Wednesday of each month at 5 p.m. and attend board meetings on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 5 p.m. Board members may also participate in committees related to education and attend school events throughout the year, according to the Centralia School District. 

Whoever is appointed to the vacant position will join Debra L. Parnham, Martiza Bravo, Tim Browning and Sarah Holmes on the five-person board. 

Bravo, who was appointed to a vacant position in November 2022, ran unopposed for director position 2 in the November general election and began her first full four-year term on Dec. 1. 

Newcomer Holmes beat incumbent Mandi McDougall, who was seeking a second term, in the director position 4 race 51.46% to 47.52% in the November general election. 

She and Bravo will be sworn in during the Centralia School Board’s regular meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 13. 

No increases: Lewis County PUD fulfills two-year budget plan, will maintain customer rates in 2024

The Lewis County Public Utility District (PUD) will not increase customer rates next year, officially carrying out a two-year budget plan adopted by the Board of Commissioners that a former commissioner argued could leave the PUD ill-equipped.

The move fulfills the campaign promises of two commissioners — Mike Hadaller and Michael Kelly — who vowed to stabilize rates and argued the PUD previously spent beyond its means.

In a Thursday news release, the PUD announced the three commissioners opted to maintain current rates for 2023 during their Tuesday, Nov. 21, regular meeting. Community-owned, the PUD provides infrastructure, power and telecommunication services to roughly 35,000 customers in Lewis County and surrounding areas.

“When we talk to our ratepayers, keeping rates low is always a top priority,” Board President Ed Rothlin said at the meeting. “With all the costs around us going up, we are pleased that we are able to keep ours steady.”

While 2024 is the second year the board has kept rates even, the decision has not been without disagreement.

In October 2022, the board voted 2-1 on a two-year budget proposal that didn’t include rate increases for either 2023 or 2024, with now-former commissioner Tim Cournyer the lone dissent. When voting no, Cournyer argued the move would impact PUD training, maintenance and equipment purchases, according to previous reporting by The Chronicle.

Cournyer lost in the 2022 primary, and Commissioner Mike Hadaller now occupies the board seat.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Hadeller said he was happy the PUD was doing its part “to keep the pressures of the rising costs away from our community.”

“We are doing our best to serve our neighbors and this is a great way to accomplish that,” said Hadeller, who argued in the 2022 election cycle the PUD had overspent.

During his first meeting as a commissioner on Jan. 3, Hadeller voted with seatmate Kelly — who has also argued the PUD overspent — to fire General Manager Chris Roden without cause.

On Tuesday, Kelly echoed the sentiments of his fellow commissioners and maintained that keeping rates low has been a priority since he was elected.

“We know how much it means to our ratepayers that our service is not only safe and reliable but affordable as well,” Kelly said.

Now in the role for nearly a year, current General Manager David Plotz credited the rate stability to the “lean, efficient work and reprioritization of capital investments” of the PUD.

“We found opportunities to cut expenses and save, but inflation pressure continues,” said Plotz. “When increases are needed, our goal is to have them be small and gradual rather than steep spikes.”

When hired in January, Plotz wrote in a statement to the board that keeping rates for families and businesses as low as possible was among his priorities, according to previous reporting by The Chronicle.


To submit a news tip to The Chronicle, send details via email to Information can also be mailed to The Chronicle at 321 N. Pearl St., Centralia. Call 360-736-3311 for additional information. 

Going the extra mile: Pe Ell celebrates 'UPS Kevin Day' to recognize longtime driver

While a delivery truck means a long-awaited package has finally arrived, one town is just as appreciative of the man behind the wheel.

So much so, the town has named a day after him.

“His dedication to us all does not go unnoticed,” a proclamation declaring Dec. 1 as “UPS Kevin Day” in the Lewis County town of Pe Ell reads.

Adopted through a proclamation passed on Nov. 21, the day recognizes longtime UPS driver Kevin Aselton for the “punctuality, honesty and reliability" he's brought over the past 20 years. The proclamation encourages “all businesses, citizens and members of all nearby communities” to “show our appreciation to a man who goes far beyond what is required of him.”

After 34 years with UPS, Aselton said he was touched by the gesture, adding that residents of Pe Ell are “like family.”

“I’m just treated great,” he said. “I’m very lucky.”

The idea was proposed by Shawna and Patrick Oeschner, Pe Ell residents who said they wanted to celebrate Aselton for his kindness and commitment. Shawna, a Pe Ell elementary school teacher, said Aselton is “one of the nicest people you could ever meet.”

“My kids, when little, always screamed in excitement whenever they saw a UPS truck,” Shawna said. “He always makes sure packages are delivered in a dry spot when we are not home.”

When presented with the idea, Pe Ell Mayor Lonnie Willey was instantly on board. Celebrated on Dec. 1, the day comes during the busiest time of year for UPS as deliveries increase ahead of the holiday season.

“He deserves it,” Willey said. “He goes above and beyond.”

When presented with the idea, Aselton said he was “blown away.”

“I was shocked. It means a lot,” he said. “I’m very lucky.”

While he doesn’t have big plans for the day, Aselton said he appreciates those who stop to thank him while on his route. A lifelong Lewis County resident, Aselton said work days typically speed by.

For him, the best part of his job is the relationships built through the years.

“When I wake up in the morning and go to work, I never dread it,” he added.

His dedication and positive attitude inspired 3-year-old Grayson Toepelt, who dressed up as a UPS driver for Halloween this year.

“I truly believe we need more people like him in the world,” Grayson’s mom, Amber Toepelt, said. “Kevin just goes above and beyond.”

Aselton described the costume as “an honor.”

“It was great,” Aselton said of seeing the costume. “I thought it was something special.”

And despite the stereotype of a dog attacking the mailman, four-legged friends seem just as happy when the big brown truck stops by.

“Dogs love him and try to get in with him for their treats,” Shawna said.

The resolution is the latest honor for Aselton, following his induction into the UPS Circle of Honor in February 2021. 

The Circle of Honor recognizes drivers with at least 25 years of a clean driving record and includes just over 10,500 drivers.

“Kevin is the embodiment of what UPS wants out of their employees,” Supervisor Jake Gieseke wrote in an email. “His dedication to his customers goes well beyond just the time he spends on the clock. Fielding calls and relaying instructions to drivers who fill in for him when he is away, and holding them accountable for any mistakes made in his absence. He holds himself, and his co-workers, to the highest standard of the company’s last name, service. He performs his duties safely and timely, earning a spot in the company’s coveted Circle of Honor. A distinction only given to drivers who go accident-free for over 25 years.” 

In February, Aselton will reach 29 years of safe driving, a career that includes 840,000 miles driven and almost 1.5 million packages delivered. 

“We here at UPS are incredibly proud of Kevin and his faithful execution of the core values of UPS: safety, service, performance,” Gieseke wrote.

A father of three, Aselton said his family is his backbone. His wife, Juli, said Aselton has “made many friends throughout the years and I’m so proud of him.”

“He’s just always so thankful for the customers on his route,” Juli said. “Everyone treats him like family. It always amazes me how generous the Town of Pe Ell is.”


Sirens: Officer revives man who overdosed; Woman with no food, money requests help for child; 'A bunch of the kids' fight at Green Hill School



• A 39-year-old Centralia man was cited for third-degree theft at 10 a.m. on Nov. 29 after he allegedly stole gas from a vehicle parked on private property in the 1000 block of South Gold Street. 

• Alcohol was reported stolen from a store in the 500 block of South Tower Avenue at approximately  3:15 p.m. on Nov. 29. 

• A 38-year-old Rochester man was cited for shoplifting groceries and dog food from a store in the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue at approximately 6:50 p.m. on Nov. 29. 

• A 33-year-old Chehalis woman was cited for shoplifting groceries from a store in the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue at approximately 7:15 p.m. on Nov. 29. 


Criminal trespass 

• A 29-year-old Centralia man was cited for trespassing on property in the 100 block of South Silver Street just after 1:05 p.m. on Nov. 29. 

• Criminal trespass charges against a 24-year-old Texas man who was found trespassing at  a park in the 100 block of South Pearl Street just after 9:25 a.m. on Nov. 30 have been referred to the prosecutor’s office. 


Drug violation 

• A 48-year-old Rochester man was cited for possession of narcotics at the intersection of Prospect and Meridian avenues just after 1:50 p.m. on Nov. 29. He was also arrested and released on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant. 



• A hit-and-run was reported in the 1100 block of South Gold Street just before 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 29. 

• A hit-and-run was reported in the 200 block of North Diamond Street at 7:25 a.m. on Nov. 30. A witness reported seeing a neighbor collide with another neighbor’s vehicle then flee the scene. 



• An overdose involving an adult male was reported in the 2800 block of Russell Road just after 12:50 a.m. on Nov. 30. The man had reportedly been unconscious for about 10 minutes before 911 was called. An officer arrived on the scene, assessed the man, and administered two doses of Narcan. The man regained consciousness but refused additional medical aid, according to the Centralia Police Department. 



• A homeless man from Centralia was given a verbal warning for camping in the 100 block of South Tower Avenue just after 9 a.m. on Nov. 30. He was also provided with shelter and resource information. 

• A homeless woman from Centralia was given a verbal warning for camping at the intersection of Old Airport Way and Mellen Street just after 10:10 a.m. on Nov. 30. She was also provided with shelter and resource information. 


Malicious mischief 

• At approximately 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 30, a citizen reported their vehicle had been “egged/vandalized” in the 1000 block of West Pear Street. 



• An assault was reported in the 1100 block of Scammon Creek Road just before 9:10 p.m. on Nov. 30. A 30-year-old Centralia man was later arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for two counts of second-degree domestic violence assault. 



Aid request 

• Just after 9:10 a.m. on Nov. 29, a caller in the 100 block of Southwest Interstate Avenue reported “she can’t take care of her 4-year-old child, doesn’t have any money or food, and doesn’t want her child out in the cold anymore.” She requested direction toward crisis services.


Vehicle accidents 

• A non-injury, two-vehicle collision was reported in the 300 block of North Market Boulevard just before 11:25 a.m. on Nov. 29. 

• A non-injury, two-vehicle collision was reported in the 1700 block of North National Avenue at 12:20 p.m. on Nov. 29. 

• A non-injury, two-vehicle collision was reported at the intersection of Northeast Kresky Avenue and Northeast Hampe Way at 5:25 p.m. on Nov. 29. 

• A vehicle accident with injuries that was reported in the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue at approximately 5:45 p.m. on Nov. 30 is under investigation. 


Criminal trespass 

• A subject was trespassed from a business in the 400 block of North Market Boulevard at approximately 11:50 a.m. on Nov. 29. 

• A subject was cited for trespassing in the 300 block of Northwest North Street just before 11:05 a.m. on Nov. 30. 


Disorderly conduct 

• A case of disorderly conduct reported in the 100 block of Southwest Interstate Avenue just before 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 29 is under investigation.



• A possible physical dispute between a man and a woman was reported in the 300 block of Southwest Third Street just after 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 30. 



• Just after 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 30, a business in the 1200 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue reported a customer had not returned a U-Haul. The customer was referred to a local prosecutor’s office on vehicle theft charges. 

• A subject was cited for shoplifting in the 1700 block of North National Avenue just before 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 30. 


Prison riot 

• An incident that occurred at Green Hill School in the 300 block of Southwest 11th Street on Nov. 2 involving “just a bunch of the kids fighting” was reported just after 10 a.m. on Nov. 30. 



• Just after 12:05 p.m. on Nov. 30, a caller in the 200 block of Southwest 13th Street reported the driver of a white van with an intercom had followed his vehicle for the last 20 minutes as he drove through the city, onto the freeway and back yelling, “Pull over, you broke the law” through the vehicle’s intercom system. The van reportedly had “lights” and “a dog in the front.” 


Drug violation 

• A marijuana violation reported in the 100 block of Northeast Hampe Way at 1:40 p.m. on Nov. 30 is under investigation. 


Juvenile problem 

• A runaway juvenile was reported in the 2100 block of North National Avenue at approximately 2:20 p.m. on Nov. 30. The child’s grandfather picked up the child before officers arrived. 



• People were reportedly setting up tents next to a business in the 1500 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue at 2:25 p.m. on Nov. 30. 


Malicious mischief 

• A case of third-degree malicious mischief reported in the 700 block of North National Avenue just before 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 30 is under investigation. 



As of Friday morning, the Lewis County Jail had a total system population of 144 inmates, including 131 in the general population and 13 in the Work Ethic and Restitution Center (WERC). Of general population inmates, 113 were reported male and 18 were reported female. Of the WERC inmates, 11 were reported male and two were reported female. 


Sirens are compiled by reporter Emily Fitzgerald, who can be reached at The Centralia Police Department can be reached at 360-330-7680 and the Chehalis Police Department can be reached at 360-748-8605. If you were a victim of physical or sexual abuse, domestic violence or sexual assault, call Hope Alliance at 360-748-6601 or the Youth Advocacy Center of Lewis County at 360-623-1990.

Death Notices: Dec. 1, 2023

• RICHARD JOSWICK, 78, Chehalis, died Nov. 24. Arrangements are under the care of Sticklin Funeral Chapel.

• TINA RANDALL, 61, Pe Ell, died Nov. 25. Arrangements are under the care of Sticklin Funeral Chapel.

• JUAN MARTINEZ CANIZAL, 77, Forest Grove, Oregon, died Nov. 26. Arrangements are under the care of Sticklin Funeral Chapel.

• JOHN J. STILLER, 79, Toledo, died Nov. 23 at Providence Centralia Hospital. Arrangements are under the care of Cattermole Funeral Home.

• JOHN M. FASANO, 88, Chehalis, died Nov. 24 at Providence Centralia Hospital. Arrangements are under the care of Cattermole Funeral Home.

• VANETA E. MALONE, 87, Napavine, died Nov. 27 at an adult family home in Napavine. Arrangements are under the care of Cattermole Funeral Home.

• ROY MICHAEL KALICH, 79, Elma, died Nov. 25 at his home. No public services will be held. Arrangements are under the care of Twibell’s Fern Hill Funeral Home.

Seattle Times Opinion

State ferries: ‘No more missteps, Washington’
Author: Letters editor

I wholeheartedly agree with every word of the Op-Ed “Save our ferry system: A plea for help from an islander” [Nov. 29, Opinion]. I am not an islander but I am a proud Washingtonian who feels like our ferry system should be one of the top sources of state pride. To read details of how […]