Mt. Neahkahnie overlooks Manzanita, Oregon.
I climbed the mountain with watercolour and stationery in tow to write a letter for the “Letters from Russia” project (I wrote each by hand, one at a time, in situ, in “character”). As it goes, i “warmed up” by scribbled a bit of freeverse about surrounding, circumstances, and sensations of the location, on the back of a notepad.
South Sound Internet Mogul in it for the Glory – Business Examiner newspaper’s “Fishbowl” – 6/28/04
Zhonka Broadband Secretary General Jacob Stewart says he runs an Olympia-based Internet Service Provider for the glory. “I started my current business with an eye toward making a living,” Stewart says, “not striking it rich.”
Stewart is no novice to the Internet game. He started OlyWa.Net in 1995. That first company grew quickly and was netting some $1 million a year before merging with Advanced Telecom Group in 2000.
After the OlyWa.Net merger, Stewart says he took a much needed break from the hectic day-to-day stress of building and running a tech company. “I needed time to decompress,” he says.
That break didn’t last long. In the wake of the Internet boom, Stewart decided to build a leaner, more efficient business. With the help of a small team of investors, Stewart created Zhonka in 2003.
The life of an entrepreneur can be tough, Stewart says. Entrepreneurs should be prepared for long hours, hard work, planning and perseverance. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t love his job. “To any would-be entrepreneur I’d say go for it,” Stewart says, “And don’t let anybody tell you it can’t be done.”
NEW BILL KEEPS THE INTERNET TAX-FREE PRESS RELEASE – April 28, 2004
Washington Association of Internet Service Providers
Ron Main of Cable Communications Assoc., Dave Olson of Zhonka Broadband, and Jacob Stewart & Gary Gardner of WAISP join Gov. Locke for SB 6259 bill signing on March 26 2004.
OLYMPIA – During the recent Legislative session, local Internet businesses and industry groups supported a bill to keep Internet services tax-free, in Washington at least. SB 6259 extends the moratorium on cities and towns imposing new taxes on Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
Jacob Stewart, Vice-President of the Washington Association of Internet Service Providers (WAISP) suggests, “This tax moratorium extension is important to encourage the use of new Internet technologies by not encumbering users with confusing and redundant taxes.”
Gary Gardner, Executive Director of WAISP, hopes for a fair chance for ISPs who continue to pay the Business and Occupancy (B&O) taxes assessed to general service businesses. “We don’t feel ISPs should pay a separate rate of B&O tax than other businesses, and we continue to oppose any sort of tax on either ISPs or their customers simply for the privilege of accessing the Internet.”
Dave Olson, of Zhonka Broadband, an Olympia-based ISP, sees some comfort from the extension. “This bill enables ISPs to confidently expand broadband service to under-served markets across the digital divide, resulting in increased marketplace choice in areas like Grays Harbor and the Olympic Peninsula.”
A similar Federal bill (HB 49) passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last year. However the companion Senate bill (SB 150) failed, opening the door for municipalities to levy additional taxes on ISPs and their customers.
As the U.S. Senate again debates the Internet Tax Nondiscrimination Act, President Bush offered his encouragement, saying, “If you want broadband access throughout the society, Congress must ban taxes on access.”
In Washington, we already have.
Contact: Dave Olson, Zhonka – Gary Gardner, WAISP
“President Unveils Tech Initiatives” April 26 2004http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/04/20040426-6.html
PRESS RELEASE – April 6, 2004
FREE WI-FI IS THE “SOUP DU JOUR” FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES
OLYMPIA – As part of Zhonka Broadband’s unique “Surfbreak” program, innovative businesses around the Puget Sound are serving up free wireless Internet access for customers.
While other companies offer “wi-fi” (short for wireless fidelity) for a charge, Zhonka’s Surfbreaks are no-cost and hassle free with no login, password, or membership required. With diverse locations from grassy parks to late-night diners, there is a Surfbreak location to suit most anyone’s preference.
As Zhonka’s Secretary General Jacob Stewart notes, “It’s great to see business people and students escape the office or classroom to meet or study in cafes or parks instead.”
Zhonka, an Olympia-based Internet service provider, introduced this unique program in early 2003 and interest quickly spurred expansion to numerous cafes, espresso shops, computer stores, taverns, and public markets throughout Western Washington.
Recent additions include coffee roasters Batdorf & Bronsons’ Dancing Goats cafe, CafŽ Allegro’s two locations near the University of Washington, and the Olympia Farmer’s Market plus a few micro-brew taverns. A complete list – including contact information – is located online athttp://www.zhonka.net/surfbreak/. Locations are also identified with distinctive “Free Wi-fi for the People” posters and window stickers.
The Surfbreak locations use high speed Zhonka DSL connections to power the wi-fi hot-spots. A customer simply brings a wireless ready laptop or PDA to a Surfbreak locations and “Voila!” they are online.
Dave Olson, Zhonka’s Minister of Marketing Affairs puts forth that everyone involved stands to gain from this arrangement, “The Surfbreak program offers participating businesses a strategic advantage over competitors who charge for use. While we certainly enjoy the goodwill and publicity, the biggest winners in this scenario are folks using this exciting new technology.”
Dave Olson Minister of Marketing Affairs
Man I am crushed sad about Elliott Smith dying. He was my age, walked the same Division street, drank in the same bars here in Oly when recording for Kill Rock Stars.
Now he’s all dead and another rock n’ roll sidebar – cynical comments about drug and alcohol abuse and pressures of fame.
Sure he was sad, sure he tangled with the bottle but damn, it has been already to hard of a few months – Tommy Chong in jail for 9 months(!), Dan Snyder slipping away, Dany Heatley tortured and hassled — and now Elliott Smith, another talent, impossible to replace.
Either/Or was in the CD player when I heard the news – oddly great loving music for being so sad. I wasn’t sure what to do. I took a few minutes and walked past Kurt Cobain’s house a couple block away and thought of the pain he felt to make that fateful decision. A knife? in the chest? Damn LA. Damn grammy, damn movies soundtracks and publicity shoots or whatever other contrived demon drove him…. geez I hope he’s happier now.
It rained more here than ever before (that’s saying something in the NW), flooing even – seemed a fitting mood to say so long to such a emotionally sophisticated song-crafter.
Re-watching my beloved Canucks trounce the Sabres made me feel only a little better. Elliott was/is to music what Artem Chubarov is to the Canucks – hard working and solid on the details, underrated despite the accolades and not a pretty dude outside, just like the rest of us.
either gone because of the pain or in spite of it
10/23/03 (posted 10/15/04 & 11/17/06)