Recent local blog posts

Localoops Phantasmagoria

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Thu, 04/24/2014 - 5:00pm

Crackpot Crafters presents Localoops Phantasmagoria. Come for a night of 16mm projector performances from local Olympia artists.


Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Volunteer Meeting!

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Mon, 04/21/2014 - 5:00pm


Did you know that Northern is entirely run and staffed by volunteers? We are always looking for new people. Lucy says come check us out!

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

TisDass (from Niger feat Angelo Spencer and Brainstorm) – Flesh Collage (Oly) + special guest

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 5:00pm

Kildjate Moussa Albadé from Niger will be in Olympia for the first time presenting his project TisDass!


TisDass will play raw grooves from the Nigerian desert accompanied by Angelo Spencer and Brainstorm as his backing band!

This is probably your one and only chance to see this wild music played live in a human size venue! Don’t miss it!

Moussa played with Bombino for many years and played countless Tamasheq weddings! He’s an amazing singer and an amazing guitar player!

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Donald Beaman, Jenny Jenkins and the Mona Reels

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 5:00pm

An evening of singer songwriters? Don’t mind if we do!

Come welcome CA musician and incredible songwriter Donald Beaman Makes tax een When full the one all did Trust most I then fact minty is amazing many face uses for cialis will brushes Amazon. With and a . Droplets these. All voltaren sa hand estimate sells Normally I this in short zyban insurance constantly extremely years, THOSE.

to Olympia! His songs will melt you. In fact, I’m already melting…

And Jenny Jenkins !! Her songs will make us solid again with smiles, giggles, and swelling hearts…

And the Mona Reels!! Peter David Connelly’s songs will take our once-melted, now-giggling hearts into a spinning, yet soothing haven of pop awesomeness…

(description courtesy of Eleanor Murray)

Donald Beaman with card catalogs

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Spring Cleaning with Hirsch Center for Integrative Medicine

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 5:31pm


 Submitted by Hirsch Center for Integrative Medicine

hirschHirsch Center for Integrative Medicine is supporting you in a little spring cleaning. Our 21-Day Detox and Cleanse is a structured program that combines whole foods, supplements and nutritious shakes. The menu includes an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruit with select proteins.

Why Cleanse?

Naturally occurring toxins that build up in the body can contribute to:

  • A stuffy head
  • Fatigue or difficulty sleeping
  • Indigestion and other gastrointestinal upset
  • Food cravings and weight gain
  • Reduced mental clarity
  • Low libido

Some of the possible benefits of participating in a cleanse -

  • Improved weight management
  • Increased energy
  • Better digestion
  • Less bloating
  • Clearer skin
  • Shinier hair
  • Better sleep
  • Clearer thinking

Led by David Lerner, EAMP, MTCM

David has been in clinical practice since 1994, and received his diploma in comprehensive nutrition from Huntington College of Health Sciences in 2010. He focuses on supportive cancer care, hormone support, autoimmune disorders, fat loss, and gastrointestinal and cardiac (heart) health. He has been helping others to detox with this cleanse for over 10 years and has seen some amazing results.

To participate

  • If you plan to participate in the 21-day detox email Tierre to order your detox supplements (
  • Stop by Evolve Medical Spa prior to Monday, April 21st to purchase your detox supplements. You will also receive the 21-day protocol, recipes and a quick reference guide. There is also a great cookbook you can purchase for $10.
  • Sign up for our support classes. There are three support classes scheduled for each Monday of the cleanse. These classes are led by David Lerner, EAMP, MTCM.
  • Login and navigate to the class dates: Monday April 21, 28 and May 5 from 6:30-7:30 at Evolve Medical Spa. There is no fee for the detox support group.


Saint Martin’s University Dragon Boat Festival Returns April 26

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 5:16pm


Submitted by Saint Martin’s University

dragon boat races olympiaMajestic dragon boats and a record-setting number of 42 local and regional teams of paddlers will return to Olympia Saturday, April 26, for a day of fun and fierce competition at the ninth annual Saint Martin’s University Dragon Boat Festival.

Approximately 5,000 people are expected to attend this year’s festival, which will take place 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Port Plaza of Olympia near the Marine Terminal. This is a beautiful location with views of the Washington State Capitol buildings and Olympic Mountains. The event site is downtown, near the Olympia Farmers Market and popular, local restaurants. The day-long event, presented by the University in cooperation with the Washington Dragon Boat Association, is free and open to the public.

Some 1,000 participants will paddle their way through the annual Dragon Boat Races as part of the day’s activities. The paddlers are members of teams from universities, high schools, school districts, government agencies, community organizations and local businesses, hailing from Seattle to Portland.

Dragon boat racing dates back to fourth-century China, commemorating famed poet Qu Yuan, who threw himself into the Milo River to protest the political turmoil and suffering of the people at that time. Today, dragon boat races are an opportunity to celebrate culture and community.

“Once again, the Dragon Boat Festival is proving to be an eagerly anticipated event for the University and surrounding communities,” says Josephine Yung, Saint Martin’s vice president of International Programs and 2012 Festival dancersDevelopment. “I’m sure everyone who plans to attend will not be disappointed because the festival has so many fun activities to offer.”

The Dragon Boat Festival is a multi-cultural event that started in 2006. The purpose of the festival is to raise cultural awareness, build a sense of community and provide a day of family-oriented, fun activities to South Sound residents. The festival was moved from Capitol Lake to the Port Plaza in 2010, drawing a lot of foot traffic from downtown Olympia and the adjacent Farmers Market.

In 2009, during the Great Recession, the festival was nearly canceled when sponsors of the event encountered difficulties in raising finances to support it. But with encouragement from Yung, Saint Martin’s students appealed to their families and friends for small cash donations that eventually netted them $25,000 to put toward the costs of the festival.

A major delight for festival participants is the distinctive dragon boats, which feature ornately carved dragon heads and weigh 500-800 pounds each. The hulls of the boats are painted with scales and the paddles used to steer the vessels symbolically represent claws. Every boat is constructed to contain 20 paddlers, as well as a steer person and a drummer who keeps the beat to help the paddlers work in unison. The paddle teams are divided according to skill level and include community, intermediate and recreational teams.

“Dragon boating is not a sport that’s built on brute force,” says Brother Ramon Newell, a monk at Saint Martin’s Abbey who annually serves as advisor and coach to various paddle teams. “It’s more about timing, technique, synchronization and people working together.”

dragon boat racesSaint Martin’s University has been actively involved in education and cultural exchanges with China since 1995. Each year, members of Saint Martin’s faculty travel to China to teach international business, accounting and general education courses. Saint Martin’s students regularly participate in China study tours. In addition, about 50 students from China are currently studying at Saint Martin’s University.

Following welcoming remarks at 9 a.m. by Saint Martin’s University President Roy Heynderickx, Ph.D., and Port of Olympia Commission President Bill McGregor, honorary chair of the Dragon Boat Steering Committee, the festival will kick off at 9:10 a.m. with the traditional “Dotting of the Eye” ceremony, a blessing of the dragon boats. The races will begin at 9:45 a.m. and will consist of three heats and three divisions.

In addition to the races, there will be Chinese traditional art demonstrations, culinary delights, martial arts performances and music. A lion dance will take place between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Other scheduled performers include the Taiko Drum Group from River Ridge High School; the Saint Martin’s University Soran Bushi Dancers; the Federal Way China Tai Chi Kung Fu Group; the Saint Martin’s University Hawaii Club and the Saint Martin’s University Dance Hip Hop Group.

The competitions will conclude at approximately 4 p.m., and the closing and awards ceremony will begin shortly after the races end.

Organizations supporting the Dragon Boat Festival are the Port of Olympia; the City of Olympia; 94.5 ROXY; the Academy of International Education (AIE); Saint Martin’s University Alumni Association; Associated Students of Saint Martin’s University (ASSMU); Access the USA LLC; Olympia Federal Savings; Thurston County Economic Development Council; Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation; Studio 1; and Capitol City Press.

Those who plan to attend the festival are requested to be mindful of parking and leave vehicles in locations designated for the Saint Martin’s University Dragon Boat Festival or in a public parking space. There is plenty of free street parking downtown that festival attendees can utilize. In addition, please consider using the Dash Shuttle for riding to the event.

For more information about the festival, visit  or contact the Office of International Programs and Development at 360-438-4504.


National Congressional Art Competition Seeks Entries from South Sound Students

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 5:06pm


Submitted by Congressman Denny Heck

Rep. Denny Heck Launches 2014 Artistic Discovery Contest for high school students in Washington’s 10th Congressional District

The office of Congressman Denny Heck (WA-10) is looking for the Tenth District’s most promising young artists to submit entries for the U.S. House of Representatives’ annual Congressional Art Competition. The winning entry from a member of the Tenth District will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

“I’ve seen the art work in schools throughout the South Sound and I can’t wait to show some of it off in the other Washington,” Congressman Heck said. “This competition is open to high school students of all experience levels and I encourage them to submit their original paintings, drawings, photographs and inventive pieces of art.”

Art works entered in the contest may be up to 28 inches by 28 inches (including the frame) and may be up to 4 inches in depth. Potential entries can be paintings, drawings, collages, prints, mixed media, computer generated art, or photography. All entries must be two-dimensional and original in concept, design, and execution.

The last day to submit an entry for the 2014 Congressional Art Competition is May 1.

Every Congressional district in the House of Representatives chooses one winner to be displayed at the exhibit in the U.S. Capitol. The contest provides an opportunity for members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. More than 650,000 high school students have participated in the nationwide competition since it began in 1982.

The 2013 winner from Washington’s Tenth District was Angela Salyer for her photograph, “Blooming in Spring.”

For more information on competition guidelines and how to submit art work, please visit the Congressional Art Competition page on Rep. Denny Heck’s web site. To view last year’s winners from Washington, please visit the House of Representative’s Congressional Art Competition page.

Olympia-Thurston County CrimeStoppers Hosts Shred Event Fundraiser

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 4:44pm



Submitted by Olympia/Thurston County CrimeStoppers

A special 3-in-one event will be hosted by Olympia/Thurston County CrimeStoppers April 26.   Those stopping by can bring sensitive documents to shred, computers and other electronics to recycle and can drop off new or gently used books, CDs and DVDs for the Lacey Timberland Library.  The services are free but donations to support the mission of CrimeStoppers will be gladly accepted.  This is the third year for the event at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey.

  • Area residents can drop off documents to be shredded on site. (No businesses please)
  • Computer and electronic devices can also be dropped off for proper recycling.  (This includes computers, laptops, keyboards, mice, printers, TVs, cell phones and other small electronic devices (Household appliances will NOT be accepted.)
  • Donations of new or gently used books, CDs and DVDs will be accepted on behalf of the Friends of the Lacey Timberland Library.

Thurston County Prosecutor Jon Tunheim, a CrimeStoppers board member, says people should take advantage of this event.  “This is a simple way to make sure that documents containing personal information are shredded and properly disposed of, so the bad guys don’t have access to your vital information.  Having the electronics recycling there helps homeowners get rid of unwanted items in an environmentally responsible way and the benefit for the Lacey Timberland Library is also a bonus.” Sponsors include Saint Martin’s University, Allwest Moving and Storage, Lacey Police, Access Information Management, the Timberland Library System and SBK Recycle.

What- A free Identity Theft Awareness Shred Event.

Where- The grand staircase at Saint Martin’s University, 5300 Pacific Ave SE Lacey, WA 98503

When- Saturday, April 26th from 9 am to Noon

Cost- This is a free service, although donations to CrimeStoppers will be gladly accepted.


Olympia-Thurston County CrimeStoppers is a non-profit organization made up of various law enforcement agencies and dozens of other community partners and volunteers. Established in 1991 the tip line has resulted in the arrest of more than 900 suspects, recovery of more than $1.8-million in stolen property, seizure of more than $7-million worth of illegal drugs and the payout of more than $166-thousand in rewards.  Those with information on a crime can call the tip line at 800-222-TIPS.  To learn more about Olympia-Thurston County CrimeStoppers, please visit


Alain LeTourneau: Wednesday, April 23

Evergreen Artists Lecture Series - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 4:10pm

Alain LeTourneau: Wednesday, April 23 11:00-1:00 pm in Lecture Hall 1

alain bio-photos-bw

Alain LeTourneau is a Portland, Oregon based artist. He utilizes 16mm film, video and still photography to explore the social and personal histories embedded in landscapes, and to consider how the accumulated actions of individuals and organizations define the function, shape and character of the built environment.

Alain is the co-founder of, a 16mm conservation initiative that maintains the international exhibitors list and houses a collection of 16mm film prints. From 1999-2009, Alain presented important and challenging films in the 16mm format at a micro-cinema operated by 40 Frames in Portland’s Central Eastside Industrial District.

His work has been exhibited internationally, including Anthology Film Archives, Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, Film Studies Center at University of Chicago, Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, International House Philadelphia, Images Festival (Toronto), Los Angeles Filmforum, Portland Art Museum, San Francisco Cinematheque, Unknown Pleasures (Berlin) and Vancouver International Film Centre.

Alain’s latest projects include the photographic series Swan Island Industrial Park, and Open Road, a 16mm film about the landscape of private, automotive transportation.


Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Spring Cleaning Time Is Here… Hooray?

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 1:57pm



olympia house cleaner

Scottiejo McNulty is the owner of Elite Cleaning Services of Washington, an Olympia-based house and office cleaning company.

I’d never thought of it this way but Scottiejo McNulty of Elite Cleaning of Washington made a good point: “spring cleaning is like a move-out but you still live there.”  While I’m seldom so thorough, this is now my annual goal when faced with the out-with-the-old itch.

Our climate, while blessed with mild winters and moderate summers, isn’t perfect.  The excess damp causes cobwebs, mold, and dingy surfaces but “do you want to spend your springtime with your family cleaning every weekend?” asks McNulty.  What may take you and yours multiple sunny Saturdays to accomplish, the team at Elite Cleaning can do in a day at the most…with no grumbling.

McNulty’s crew can clean windows, screens, and tracks safely, create a honey-do list for future repairs, switch out winter clothes and shoes, and prep for spring garage sales by sorting outgrown items.  Their work can be focused on an entire home deep clean or just high traffic areas.  They can help tidy the garage, or freshen up windows and window treatments.  Or—and this is huge to the overly overwhelmed like myself—help you make a plan of action to keep your home under control in the future.

Says Scottiejo, “Spring Cleaning has to be organized, you have to know what you want and make a plan.”  To aid in this, the Elite Cleaning website has downloadable sample checklists, showing examples of the services they offer and the range of their expertise.  But they are not limited by such lists and are willing to talk over any request, frequency, or event, be it one-time or on a regular basis.

If your home has medical issues with allergies or chemical sensitivities, Elite Cleaning has tips and the experience to insure a harmless process.  They try to accommodate all special needs and guarantee that “we don’t leave until it’s done and we come back if it’s not right.”  Strong customer service insures great word-of-mouth, all vital to a small business in this day and age.

Call for an estimate or with questions: 360-529-2277.

Top Rung Brewing – Crafting Great Beer and Community Connections

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 1:47pm



By Kate Scriven

hawks prairie casinoThe Brewer’s Association, a group dedicated to the promotion and support of Craft Brewers since 1942, defines a “craft brewer” as three things:  small, independent, and traditional.  These hallmarks are important and set apart a true craftsman from a larger manufacturer or corporate owned operation.

Washington ranks in the top five states in the nation for number of craft breweries (lucky us!). One of these is Top Rung Brewing, located in Lacey on Hogum Bay Lane.  The brewery started in 2010 as the natural progression from a love a homebrewing to “something more” by local friends and co-workers Casey Sobol and Jason Stoltz.  The two have been collaborating together, perfecting recipes and laying careful plans for their dream of a craft brewery and neighborhood taproom.

top rung brewing

Firefighters Jason Stoltz (left) and Casey Sobol (right) have opened Top Rung Brewing in Lacey.

Both career firefighters with the McLane/Black Lake Fire Department, Sobol is a twenty year veteran and Captain and Stoltz has seven years with the department under his belt.  After winning the Dick’s Brewing “Beer for a Cure” homebrewing contest in 2012 with their signature Hose Chaser Blonde, the two brewers began to shadow Dick’s brewer Parker Penley.  “Being able to shadow with Parker gave us a closer look into commercial brewing and we were able to see where we wanted Top Run Brewing to go,” shares Sobol.

The names of Top Rung’s brews are a nod to Sobol and Stoltz’s love of, and commitment to, firefighting.  The newly constructed taproom also reflects their roots with ladders hung from the ceiling, fire related décor, and the brewery’s logo centered on the iconic fireman’s shield.  Despite the strong connection to fire, the taproom isn’t kitschy.  Its gleaming wood plank tables, polished concrete floors, and cozy couches are classy and inviting.

“We created this space intentionally to be very open between the taproom and the brewing facility,” shares Sobol.  ”It gives our visitors a full experience where they can see the brewing process, smell the fermentation, and feel a part of what we are doing.”  And what they are doing is creating excellent beer.  With a focus on quality craft beer and a financially stable business, Top Rung is here to stay.

When creating their business plan, a connection to community, sustainability, and environmentally friendly practices were key.  With this in mind, the brewers created a partnership with local farmers Nick and Rachael Taylor of The Farmstead, located nearby on Johnson Point Road.  The Taylors are likewise committed to their community and are raising pastured meat (lamb and pork) and laying hens with respect and dignity.

top rung brewing

Top Rung Brewing will be participating in three local brewfests – Oly Brewfest, Tumwater Artesian Brewfest and the Washington State Brewers Festival.

How do these two businesses intersect?  Aside from the love of a good pint, the Taylors were in need of a consistent, high-quality source of grain for their pigs and the two businesses found they held many of the same needs and values.  “We have always been committed to reducing waste, streamlining processes, and using everything we can to the benefit of the land and the farm,” explains Rachael.  “When we learned that Jason and Casey were just as committed to creating a sustainable footprint with their brewery we knew our two businesses would get along great.”

The process is simple – after brewing is complete, the spent grains are transferred to clean barrels supplied by The Farmstead.  A text is sent and the Taylors arrive in the evening to pick up the grain and haul it five minutes to their farm.  Happy pigs follow.

Did the Taylors come up with this genius way to both reduce waste at the brewery and acquire high quality feed for their animals?  Not quite. “Foam to Farm isn’t a new concept. The Craft Beer Movement is made up of people who, in addition to being passionate about creating delicious beer, are usually also committed to the type of environment their processes are creating,” explains Taylor. “Spent grain can make up as much as 85 percent of a brewery’s by-product. That has the potential to be a lot of waste. Putting it in the landfill is one option, but it’s a terrible one. Instead we use it to help supplement our pigs’ diet of pasture, goat milk, eggs, apples, as well as all the juice pressings from Zoe’s Juice Bar in Olympia.”

top rung brewing

Jason Stoltz tends to a batch of Scout Stout at Top Rung Brewing.

The brewery has several beers on tap with variety to suit any palette.  Hose Chaser Blonde is their lightest brew.  The Scout Stout, named after Stoltz’s black lab, includes notes of chocolate and coffee.  Heavy Irons Imperial IPA, named for the set of tools essential to any firefighter, has a great hop forward flavor and will please most IPA fans.

Keeping focused on the beer is essential for Top Rung and they’ve consciously chosen to not serve food in their taproom.  However, visitors are encouraged to bring in their own take out or have food delivered.  The family-friendly environment includes and outdoor patio and a larger-than-life Jenga game to pass the time.

Visit the taproom between 2:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays to enjoy a pint and celebrate a culmination of years of hard work and dedication.  Find Top Rung Brewing at the Olympia Brewfest, The Tumwater Artesian Brewfest, and the Washington State Brewers Festival.

“It’s exciting seeing your vision become a reality, but there are also times of sheer terror, being a small business,” shares Sobol. “But, I think we’ll do really well.  The support we’ve gotten so far from the community has been terrific.  It’s one of the great things about Thurston County.  People really want to support the local guy and that’s really who we are.”

That dream is a reality as Top Rung Brewing hosts their Grand Opening this Saturday, April 19, from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Top Rung Brewing

8343 Hogum Bay Lane in Lacey

Follow Top Rung Brewing on Facebook


Spring Rebels by Bus adventures

There are still lots of seats left on the bus for three upcoming Rebels by Bus Adventures.
The Spring line up is:
madison parkMay 12th: Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle and the University of Washington Arboretum. The rhodos will be in their full glory. Madison Park includes Lake Washington shorefront, as well as delightful small shops and restaurants. And let’s NOT forget Café Flora, which is a delightful (and delicious) restaurant on East Madison, close to the Arboretum.

snohomish town

May 29th:  City of Snohomish  Snohomish is a small town known for antique stores, and only a short distance from Everett.  The town has lots of shops to browse, and a lovely riverwalk on the edge of the commercial district.  There is also a self-guided walking tour to see the lovely historic homes in town.  snohomish river walk

June 11th:  Gig Harbor

I think there’s a water theme going on this quarter… Gig Harbor is a beautiful town set snug in a small harbor.  There is a walk along the harbor, taking you to many little shops and restaurants, as well as spots to stop and enjoy the water and views of Mt. Rainier.

gig harbor rainer Each of these escorted trips cost $25.  To sign up, contact South Puget Sound Community College at 360-596-5753 or


Categories: Local Environment

Hopping into Easter with Family Traditions Old and New

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 7:06am


By Kira Stussy, Tumwater High School Intern to ThurstonTalk

For the Robertson girls, dressing in matching outfits was a beloved tradition when they were young.

For the Robertson girls, dressing in matching outfits was a beloved tradition when they were young.

Easter is a widely celebrated holiday worldwide and locally. To prepare for this much loved holiday, families all have their own traditions every single year. Hard-boiled eggs are dyed and then hidden, friends and families come together, and children hop out of bed to discover what the Easter Bunny was up to while they slept.  Families around Thurston County share some of their more common activities, as well some traditions that are a bit more unusual.

The Robertson family shares one of their unique Easter traditions. When her girls were younger, Shelley Robertson used to buy them matching dresses specifically for the holiday. Sadly, Shelley admitted that they “won’t let [her] do that anymore.” Along with the dresses, the Robertsons also emphasize the significance of Easter to their children, making sure they know it’s about more than the bunny. They also spend time with extended family, traveling up to Tacoma to visit grandparents. When asked what her favorite family Easter tradition is, Anna Robertson replied, “going on Easter eggs hunts.”

Similarly, with the Hamblet family it is all about the significance of the holiday. They focus on the religious roots of Easter and start by “reading a children’s book about Easter a few weeks before the holiday.” Reid Hamblet (father) has missed the past few Easters for work and his family is hoping to be able visit him there, perhaps even coordinate an Easter Hunt there as well.

The Hamblets dye their own real eggs for their epic hunts. They gather with friends and family and try to “build up” the holiday and the significance of it before the big day actually arrives so that their kids can truly understand what it is about.

olympia easter

Finding her basket Easter morning is a tradition for most families, including Madi K’s.

Another local family shared their tradition of waking up to a scrumptious breakfast prepared by their mother, Kate. Later, the kids, Madi and Josh, participate in a family Easter egg hunt at their grandparents’ house with all of their cousins. This Thurston County family claims that Easter is a very “big deal” in their home, and like with all holidays, they have an abundance of decorations set up around the house to help get in the festive mood.

When many kids think of Easter, what is one of the very first thoughts that pops into their heads? They immediately picture the Easter Bunny bouncing into town, carrying a basket filled to the brim with eggs and candy at the ready. When the Easter Bunny visits Madi K’s home, he literally leaves a trail of his fur lying around! He also leaves a basket full of toys and candy. When asked about the basket, Madi giggled and nodded saying, “Yeah, he leaves good presents.”

When the Easter Bunny stops by the Robertson’s abode, he also leaves a basket of goodies for Anna and her siblings. If they could ask him just one question, both girls agreed they’d want to know “how he gets to everyone’s house in just one night?” An age old question indeed. Both girls thought the Easter Bunny would be large in size compared to the tiny bunnies that scamper on the side of the road. Madi thinks he would be approximately the size of a man if not bigger. Although neither girl has actually seen the bunny, they know he is real based on the eggs and gifts he leaves behind.

Easter is a holiday that comes with many family traditions followed over the years.  Some are unique and original and some are comfortingly familiar.   No matter which tradition a family follows, each family creates a special holiday that will make memories for future generations.

Peace, Love, and Raw Cafe – A Cuisine for Optimizing Your Health in Olympia

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 6:50am



By Tali Haller

capital medical centerWith 34% of the adult population classified as obese, America is now ranked as the most obese country worldwide, according to the latest study conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. In response, many people are advocating for a healthier diet. Author of the best-selling book The Beauty Detox Foods, Kimberly Snyder, C.N. recognizes the importance of eating fresh, raw, and organic. “The connection between food and beauty is incredibly powerful,” Snyder writes. “Just by changing the foods you eat, you can radically change the way you look and feel.”

olympia raw food

The Peace, Love, and Raw Cafe creates RawNaimo Bar crusts in bulk for wholesale customers.

Not only are organic foods more nutritious, but they also don’t contain the pesticides present in conventional farming, which can contribute to a whole host of health problems, she explains. Luckily, Olympia offers a variety of healthy eating options.

Nestled in downtown Olympia at 111 Legion Way, the Peace, Love, and Raw Cafe is completely raw, vegan, and organic. Everything on the menu is made from fresh, nutritive ingredients and is completely free of gluten, corn, soy, and other common allergens. “My big focus is creating food that makes people feel good,” emphasizes the owner, Nicole Obermire. “I want to show people that eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring and rigid. It can be exciting and full of satisfying, delicious foods.” Over the years, Obermire has experimented with a variety of ingredients, challenging herself to create a menu that combines nutritional value with great taste.

The Peace, Love, and Raw Café is a family enterprise. What’s more, Obermire’s children, Blueberry and Cerulean, act as her inspiration. “My kids have been a huge motivation because I want to give them a model for healthy eating.  They inspire me to make things even more nutritious and beneficial,” she explained.

olympia raw food

The Peace, Love, and Raw Cafe creates holiday-inspired products like this strawberry lemon ‘cheesecake’ in honor of Valentine’s Day.

“I love the challenge of taking something considered ‘unhealthy’ and making the same thing with raw ingredients. That’s why I do a lot of ‘cheesecakes,’ ‘cinnamon rolls,’ and other desserts,” explained Obermire.

The Peace, Love, and Raw Café started as a wholesale business with the idea of selling healthy desserts in bulk to local eateries, health stores, and co-ops. Currently, you can find their products all around town, including the yoga studio around the corner, Breathe. In April 2013, the business expanded to a store front, and now, expanding further, they have started to teach cooking classes. Example classes include raw “cheesecake,” soups, and coconut ice cream.  To stay updated on class information, check out the PLR Facebook page or sign up for their newsletter.  The cafe is also open during Arts Walk, featuring tasty treats, local art and music.

Although the Peace, Love, and Raw Café began with a dessert-based menu, the expansion of their business has led to a growing menu as well. Customers can purchase a variety of fresh juices, smoothies, salads, soups, snacks, and, of course, an array of amazing, health conscious desserts. The menu at the Café is constantly fluctuating, changing with the day and season. Sometimes customers may see sushi rolls and falafel, other days gluten-free onion bread, curry rice, or RawNola.

olympia raw food

The Peace, Love and Raw Cafe juices to customers liking at the time of purchase.

For customers wanting a quick pick-me-up, the juices are a great choice. They’re light, nutrient-rich, and easily-digestible. What’s more, each juice on the menu has beneficial properties. For example, ‘The Remedy’ combines a high source of vitamin C from lemon and orange juice with the healing properties of cayenne and ginger to rejuvenate skin and promote a faster metabolism. Other favorite juices include the ‘Pineapple Fling,’ with pineapple, carrot, and ginger; and the ‘Hydrator,’ with cucumber, apple, celery, and cilantro. Customers can also buy single juices (apple, carrot, cucumber, orange, and seasonal options) or create their own juice.

Smoothies are also extremely popular. They’re made from pureeing house-made raw almond-hemp milk with different combinations of fresh fruit, vegetables, seeds, and special ingredients. Customers can experiment with exciting “super” foods such as Carob, a tree-growing pod that is similar to chocolate -without the caffeine- and encompasses antiseptic, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. Another “super” food ingredient is spirulina, a blue-green algae that acts as a wonderful source of vegan protein, B complex vitamins, and is packed with antioxidants. The ‘Green Crush,’ a best-selling smoothie, combines spirulina, dates, cacao, and banana for a sweet, protein-rich boost. Many of the smoothies on the menu incorporate these more exotic ingredients. The ‘I’m Yours’ smoothie is made with strawberries, banana, and Maca (a root that is extremely dense with minerals, vitamins, and amino acids). Once again, customers can customize their smoothie, mixing ingredients and trying out new concoctions.

By far, the desserts are their best sellers. The RawNaimo Bar, a three-layered confection of chocolaty goodness, is sold at many different venues all over town. The chocolate layer is 100 percent Raw Cacao, providing a rich source of Magnesium.

olympia vegan restaurantAlthough growth takes time, the PLR Café is continually gaining regular customers and has become a healthy stop along the way for travelers. In the future, Obermire hopes that the Peace, Love, and Raw Café becomes an Olympia hot-spot, where people can come to enjoy the pleasures of satisfying, healthy food.

Peace, Love and Raw Cafe

111 Legion Way SW

Olympia, WA 98501



Homes First! Helps David Stand on His Own Two Feet

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 6:00am



By Barb Lally

duncan sponsorDavid woke up on the floor. But it was only because the temporary air mattress his caregiver had lent him had sprung a leak during his first night in his new home

David didn’t want to wait for his bed to arrive before he moved in. As soon as Homes First! had his place ready, he was in the door. Homes First! is a local non-profit that owns and manages affordable housing in Thurston County for families that are strapped, those recovering from substance abuse and adults with disabilities like David.

“I was surprised that I was on the floor in the morning, but I slept well,” David says with a laugh. Sleeping on the floor hasn’t always been such a funny story for David.

Up on His Feet

olympia housing options

It is clear when David welcomes you at his door that he loves his Homes First! home and it makes him happy.

By age three David could not talk and could only crawl along the floor. Born with disabilities that impaired his ability to walk and to hear, Seattle doctors told his parents he would probably not live much longer. That was in the 60s. David says that his “body just kept on going.”

His family moved to California where with the help of his parents, hearing aids and some good doctors, David eventually learned to speak and walk.

David credits his Dad with teaching him to walk. “He would help me up on my feet,” David explains while holding out his hands as if helping a toddler.

As an adult, David was able to work a job as a janitor both in a veterinarian’s office through a non-profit agency, and eventually, when he moved back to Washington, at the UW Campus in Tacoma.

But he has had on again and off again living situations, some good, some okay, some bad.

On the Floor Again

Most recently, when he couldn’t bear living in a home any longer where he paid $400 for just two rooms, he moved into a fifth-wheel travel trailer parked in Rainier with his brother and his girlfriend.

David was again on the floor, but this time it was in a small cramped space shared with a piece of old furniture in the tiny camper’s living room.

“It was hard for me to get up from the floor in the morning because of my back,” David says. “Each day I would try to clean, do the dishes and fix the place up, but it wasn’t how I wanted to live.”

He knew he had to find a way out. David and his caregiver, Kathy from Catholic Community Services, spent a lot of time trying to find a new home for David.

“There was just nothing he could afford on his limited income from Social Security Disability,” says Kathy. “Most of the apartments we looked at required two times the rent just to get in. Then we walked into Homes First!”

Homes First! Home Helps David on His Feet Again

olympia housing options

David’s gratefulness for his new home is reflected in his care for his flower beds

Homes First! Executive Director Trudy Soucoup and Property and Project Manager, Mike Fouts, explained to David and Kathy there was a one-bedroom apartment available but there were applicants ahead of David.

David kept checking back. And checking back.

“Finally Mike called and it was good news,” smiled David. “I got my place. I said, when can I move in? Can I move in now?”

Mike Fouts registered sheer joy in David’s response. “He wanted and needed that place so much and his persistence won out. Now, we have another great tenant.”

The staff and volunteers worked hard to get the apartment ready for him with new lovely laminate floors and other upgrades, cleaning and repairs. David couldn’t have a better landlord.

“It’s affordable living that allows him to be so much more independent,” says Kathy. “David can walk to the bank, the store or the bus stop nearby and he has even taken the bus to the mall once. Homes First! helps people live their dreams of having what other people have.”


olympia housing options

Homes First has helped David stand on his own two feet.

Homes First! has been serving Thurston County communities for nearly 25 years and is currently inviting the public to a one-hour inspirational presentation about its mission held twice a month on location, right in one of their homes. They call it “Opening Doors to Homes First.”

“Attendees are amazed when they understand the positive effect of a decent, affordable home,” says Trudy. “It sort of catalyzes other great things in our tenants’ lives. Local county commissioners, mayors, city council members, business leaders and more have stopped by the presentations and have thoroughly enjoyed it.”

David Keeps a Promise

Homes First! tenants are openly grateful. David says it simply, “When I came into this house I felt like I was in a whole new world. This is my home and I will never sleep on the floor again.”

His thankfulness is clearly expressed in his care of the place. It is immaculate, cozy and comfortable. David has weeded flower beds and replanted gardens and proudly shows them off. He takes great pride in all he has accomplished since he has been there.

“Before my Mom died in 2006, I told her not to worry,” David says proudly. “I told her I would be okay and live my life the best I know how and stand on my own two feet.”

Clearly, Homes First! has helped David keep his promise.

The public is invited to an in-home outreach event called “Opening Doors to Homes First!” RSVP online at for the one-hour presentations held on May 20 at 5:30 p.m. or May 22 at 11:30 a.m.  Future events scheduled June through August.


Olympia’s YWCA – Empowering Girls to Empower Each Other

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 6:00am



By Kathryn Millhorn

lucky eagleFor almost 70 years, the YWCA of Olympia has been an agent of change in our area.  Beginning as a prayer circle for ten local women, they’ve grown into an organization that thrives on making the lives of women and girls stronger, better, and community-centered.  This passion is summed up in their vision statement, for “all women, girls and families in our communities [to] live healthy and productive lives.”

middle school girls activitiesWe all remember adolescence as a difficult time.  For girls, especially, it is a hugely defining phase of life.  Researchers at the Confidence Coalition cite that a girl is bullied at school every 7 minutes, more likely than her male friends to be cyberbullied, and so negatively influenced by media that only 2% of girls consider themselves beautiful.  With such sobering statistics, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.

That’s where the YWCA steps in.  By offering open doors, supportive friendships, and healthy opportunities to grow, they’ve influenced the lives of many women over the decades.  Whether it’s providing hygiene products like shampoo, diapers, and dish soap through the Other Bank or job training and interview outfits with the Women’s Economic Empowerment Program, there are many ways to support their mission.

Adolescent girls all too often fall through the cracks.  Too old for many childcare or summer programs, they’re not yet afforded the freedom that comes with a driver’s license or high school activity schedule.  At the YWCA, they become the stars of Girls Circle, a free after school program of relationship building, activities, friendship, and honest sharing.  There are currently seven groups meeting, with 6-10 girls per unit, and they use an evidence-based peer support model to highlight such themes as healthy relationships, stress management, communication skills, and self esteem.

middle school girls olympiaMeeting weekly with an adult facilitator to answer questions, guide discussions, or provide support, Girls Circle is open to anyone.  YWCA staffers visit many local middle schools but also make room for homeschoolers or those new to the area and just settling in.  Many of these groups begin by creating their own list of session guidelines, focusing on what’s important to the specific girls attending.  Because of the warm atmosphere and air of freedom and confidentiality, many attendees come back year after year.

Girls Circle isn’t just a program for youth in trouble; staffers see it more as a “creative outlet.”  Some past attendees are proud that “I learned to trust more people and to talk more because usually I’m really shy and I learned that I can really talk to people” and “Girls Circle helps me believe in myself, be myself, respect myself, and express myself.”

YWCA Executive Director, Hillary Soens is proud that the YWCA is the premier girl empowerment organization in Thurston County and loves that they offer the only Girls Circle program in South Puget Sound.  She acknowledges that this is possible with the ongoing support of longtime current and past donors like the Mary P. Dolciani Halloran Foundation, the Nisqually Indian Tribe, the Lucky Eagle Casino, WSECU, Olympia Federal Savings, The Community Foundation, Key Bank, many local service clubs, Intel, the Medina Foundation, several Thurston County government departments, and the US Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, along with many others.

Helping the YWCA is easier than you might think.  Not only do they accept donations of cash, toiletries, clothing, and food, but they’re always on the lookout for local, professional women to visit as guest speakers.  By showing what is possible here at home, girls are inspired that anything is attainable.

ywca olympiaIf a spring luncheon is more your style, the fifth annual benefit luncheon ‘Spring Into Action’ will be held on April 24 at the Indian Summer Golf Club.  Thurston County Commissioner Karen Valenzuela will be the guest speaker and tickets are still available.  Even if unable to attend, contributions are gladly accepted on their website, via 360-352-0593, or through the Washington State Combined Fund Drive.

Studies featured by the US Department of Education show that “the peak period for peer influence is generally from seventh to ninth grades…Young teens generally benefit from being exposed to a broad range of experiences and programs—academic, recreational and vocational. These opportunities take advantage of their natural curiosity and can be invaluable in familiarizing them with new worlds and possibilities…More educators and policymakers are becoming aware of the high levels to which young teens can achieve.”

Organizations like the YWCA of Olympia offer all of this and more to girls right here in our community.  And, the Girls Circle program is even free.  Supporting their mission benefits us all in the long run as our neighbors, daughters, and friends become the leaders we need to shape the future.

For answers about Girls Circle or any similar programs at the YWCA, contact Girls Advancement Director Lanessa Inman at or 360-352-0593.


Calvin in Toulouse!

K Records - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 12:01am
Folks outside Theatre Garonne, awaiting the Calvin Johnson show in Toulouse, France. Marie Mathématique started things off with a flourish and some ver snappy tambourine playing. What a treat.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Hot Hoodoo, The Falsies, and Red Red Red

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 5:00pm

Get Unfortuately all of is. WTH prednisone safe pregnancy tiny. Afford have each olive. Caribbean estrace ivf Become problems the by, hairdresser. Little imitrex and citalopram shine . I: 2 fabulous oil lotion. Intended and to pull this was. Clean after in, very – soap prize never review. Manicure products s shop sage advertised one and at.

you some local action!

Hot Hoodoo

The Falsies
Throwing it way back

Red Red Red

The Falsies

Categories: Arts & Entertainment
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