[EDITOR’S NOTE: Please welcome our newest Writer, 17-year old Katalia Alexander, a journalism student at Mt. Rainier High School who nearly single-handedly led a successful effort to revive the school’s newspaper during the 2016-17 school year.]

By Katalia Alexander
When Scott offered me the opportunity to write a column for The B-Town Blog, my first thought was:

I don’t have anything to write about. What do I have to say that is both interesting and relevant to our community? I’m 17. I haven’t travelled the world, or done anything earth-shattering; I haven’t even graduated high school yet. I’m just an ordinary member of the community. Sure, I have a story, but how can I make my story a part of something bigger than myself?

And then I thought: everyone has a story. The people who live in Burien, who work there, who go to school there, who shop there. Those people deserve to have their stories told, and to tell how they see the community, because these people are the ones who shape the community. Suddenly, I knew what I wanted my column to be about. Each installment of this column will focus on different people who are part of the Burien community and the stories they have to tell about their experiences here. Some of the people will be pillars of the community: police officers, city council members, the mayor. Others will be ordinary people: high school students, small business owners, the person standing in front of you in line at the grocery store. Every story will be different, like the individuals who are telling them, but together, they show us who Burien is, and who we, as a community, want to be.
I decided to start this first installment at the Burien Farmers Market, which is held every Thursday from 11am-6pm in Downtown Burien, and runs from May-October. During the summer, the farmers market is a center of activity and brings together a wide variety of people.

Shirley Hays (pictured above) is the face of the Forest Fairy Bakery booth at the Farmers Market here in Burien. When asked about her experiences as a vendor at the Burien Farmers Market, she shared:
“We started with the Market when it was at the old site, a few blocks down. We’ve been doing this for probably over ten years.”
She added that, though she has been to Farmers Markets in many other communities as well, Burien’s has always stood out.
“We’ve been coming for a long time, and there’s people from when we first started coming that we still see, who still come and shop here, say hi… It’s exciting to meet all the different people in the community.”
Shirley added that it was easy to tell that there is a strong sense of community in Burien, and that people are very involved in the things that are going on here. For Shirley, that’s enough to keep bringing her business to Burien, and she plans to continue coming to the Burien Farmers Market for many years to come.
Shirley Hays is just one person who makes Burien the place that it is. In the coming months, I look forward to getting to talk to more of the people who shape our community in both big and small ways.

If you would like to share your experiences in Burien or what you think makes Burien the wonderful place that it is, please email me at kataliaalexander@hotmail.com.


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3 replies on “Katalia's Community Corner: Meet Shirley Hays of the Forest Fairy Bakery”

  1. Good for you Katalia. You have chosen a great orofession. Uninhibited journalism and a free press are the bulwarks of our democracy and they are under attack in certain sectors today.
    I am sure that you have read “All the Presidents Men ” by now but you should keep a copy under your pillow. Also anything about Ida Tarbell and the muckrakers. These brave journalists changed history. And of course there’s Nellie Bly.
    I look forward to reading your bylines. Tom

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