Recent local blog posts


Maria Mudd Ruth - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 4:53pm

In the science and weather books I am reading, a thermal is described as a “pocket,” “bubble,” “blob,” “column,” or “parcel” of air. Two of my meteorology textbooks include illustrations of thermals and diagrams of how thermals produced clouds. I studied the illustrations carefully, read the relevant chapters on cloud formation, but when I began explaining how a warm patch of ground became a thermal, I couldn’t do it. I was not willing to write “warm air rises and develops into a thermal.”

If I can't explain how a thermal develops, I can't explain how convection worked. And if I can't do that, I can't tell you how a cumulus cloud forms.

So I  e-mailed my meteorologist for help. He referred me to a specialist.

The specialist is a friend of his who specializes in cloud dynamics. I wrote the specialist a long e-mail describing my problem in great detail.  I attached the photographs I had taken of the thermals in my meteorology books--the lovely, simple ones posted here. 

Yellow oozy magma becomes globuless or blobs that  rise up from earth and become egg yolks and then mashed potatoes (above).  Though described in the  caption as "blobs," the illustration (below) shows thermals as straight columns rising up to form a cloud. Hmm....somethings not right here.

Yellow oozy magma becomes globuless or blobs that  rise up from earth and become egg yolks and then mashed potatoes (above).  Though described in the  caption as "blobs," the illustration (below) shows thermals as straight columns rising up to form a cloud. Hmm....somethings not right here.

Within an hour, he wrote back.

“Those are awful pictures of thermals,” he began.

I was strangely relieved.

“My concept of thermals is based on the results of numerical modeling studies and flying a sailplane in them.”

“Near the ground the air is very turbulent or chaotic. But several hundred feet above the ground these turbulent eddies coalesce to form a buoyant blob of air which we call a thermal…Some thermals are more or less bubbles of buoyant air that rise and expand. Some thermals have long tails and resemble more a jet of buoyant fluid.”

  I had to pause and think about this. I imagined chaotic air whirling around my bare ankles and blowing my hair blowing into my face. I imagined eddies of water swirling around boulders in a river. I thought about the rising bubbles in lava lamp and about jelly fish with long tentacles. I pushed images of tidy air “parcels” from my mind.

    “…thermals are more jet-like under low wind conditions,” he continued, “and you can sit on the ground when it is almost calm and recognize the passage of a thermal overhead by a short-lived gust of wind. Sometimes thermals become rotating columns of air which we can see as dust devils or blowing leaves, etc.” 

This gave me goosebumps. I had never thought of such gusts as anything but isolated, inexplicable puffs and swirls of wind. I began looking forward to experiencing my next gust, knowing it might be connected to a thermal and a potential cloud.

And then, best of all, the specialist included this image of thermals.

This shows rising heat--not so much in columns or blobs--but in more organic shapes like mountain peaks or stalagtites. In this modeled image the thermals are rising up--but have not yet reached the condensation level. The might never reach it, but sink back to earth instead.

NEXT BLOG: More on how thermals form.

Categories: Local Environment

Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County Combats Learning Loss with Summer Brain Gain

Thurston Talk - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 1:00pm



By Lisa Herrick

boys girls clubs thurston county

Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County serves school aged kids throughout Lacey, Tumwater, Olympia and Rochester.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America contends that most youth lose about two months’ worth of math skills during summer, but low-income youth also lose more than two months’ worth of reading skills while their middle-class peers make slight gains. Keeping kids’ brains stimulated during summer is a challenge for any parent, but for many low-income and disadvantaged families who do not have the financial means to send their kids to summer programs, the learning loss their children experience over the summer is even greater. By the end of fifth grade, disadvantaged youth are nearly three grade equivalents behind their more affluent peers in reading. When left unaddressed, summer learning losses can stack up from year to year, causing low-income children to fall further and further behind, ultimately endangering their chances for high school graduation.

Summer Brain Gain is a program specifically designed for Boys & Girls Clubs to prevent summer learning loss and foster critical creative-thinking skills. The program engages youth to learn through discovery, creative expression, group work and a final project, so they don’t fall behind in the summer. Composed of one-week modules with fun, themed activities for elementary school, middle school and high school students, Summer Brain Gain offers an interactive approach to hands-on summer learning.

brain gain boys girls clubs

A common focus of Summer Brain Gain is reading to ensure kids do not fall behind in their reading abilities over the summer.

“Within Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County, each of the local branches is able to tailor Brain Gain to their local area and kids’ interest. We want to excite kids about education in the most fun ways possible. Over the course of last summer over 300 kids were served through educational enrichment opportunities at Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County,” explains Shellica Trevino Director of Operations. Summer Brain Gain will be offered through the local branches in Lacey, Tumwater, Olympia and Rochester. Last summer each of the clubs presented a slightly different focus.

Reading was the big hit in Lacey. Kids took field trips to the Lacey Library and registered for library cards. Each day participants had opportunities to read, discuss books and complete book related activities. For example, the children wrote poems after reading The Velveteen Rabbit. “Comics are very popular in the Lacey Club, so we sure to incorporate comics as reading options,” shares Kirk Van Irvin, Lacey Club Education Program Staff.

In Rochester the focus was science. Each day the kids had an opportunity to work on different experiments such as making gak a slimy putty, combine soda and Mentos, make play dough, build marshmallow architectural structures, as well as time to read.

boys girls clubs tumwater

A favorite activity at the Tumwater Branch of Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County Summer Brain Gain was the Wonder Wall where kids posted questions and answers on topics of curiosity.

According to Kaila Rants, Education Room staff in Tumwater Club, “The Tumwater kids loved the ‘Wonder Wall,’ which is a wall where they could write questions on subjects they were curious about. Then other kids who knew about the topic would write back to answer the questions. If no one knew the answer the staff would let the kids wonder on it a bit then would help them research it.” The Tumwater Club also included a science session. They designed cloud formations to investigate rain fall activities and built structures to protect eggs from breaking when dropped from a balcony.

At the Olympia Club, each week had a theme such as Mad Scientist Week where the kids built volcanoes and learned about volcanoes from an educational video produced by National Geographic. Mike Babauta, former Olympia Club Director shares, “I was hesitant to offer the volcano activity thinking it has been over used. But the kids were absolutely thrilled to build and then see their volcanoes erupt. The finale of the week was the kids getting to dress up as mad scientists.”

Boys & Girls Club of Thurston County is only able to offer Summer Brain Gain and other Summer Camp programs because of crucial funds raised during one of its two main fundraisers, the Foundation for the Future breakfast, held on May 28, 2015 at the Saint Martin’s University Marcus Pavillion.

Christine Hoffmann Communications & Events Manager explains, “The Foundation for the Future breakfast helps us raise about 20% of our overall operating budget which funds activities for over 2,700 kids per year in Thurston County. Our programs are focused on three overall outcomes which are academic success, healthy lifestyles, and good character and citizenship. We hope to raise $325,000 at the breakfast via donations from attendees and from the support of our matching fund partners Titus-Will Family Foundation, Bruno & Evelyne Betti Foundation, and the Jernigan Foundation. We are thrilled to have the 1964 Olympic Gold Medalist 10,000 meter runner as our keynote. His story of overcoming all odds to be a game changer for the USA Olympic team is phenomenal.”

Visit Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County website to learn more about Summer Brain Gain and Foundation for the Future breakfast.


ThurstonTalk High School Interns Reflect on their Year of Writing

Thurston Talk - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 12:41pm



Compiled by Kate Scriven, ThurstonTalk Associate Editor

Hometown logoWe met back in August in the ThurstonTalk office.  A group of nervous, yet excited, group of dedicated high school students ready to stretch their boundaries and build their resumes through an internship with ThurstonTalk.  And, here we are in May, at the close of their time with us.  They have grown in their understanding of what it takes to be a professional writer, how to manage deadlines and time, and willingness to step outside their comfort zone.  These talented writers have created powerful pieces about their community that give ThurstonTalk readers a different, fresh perspective and a sneak peek into the lives of our area’s amazing youth.

In their own words, our interns reflect on their year with ThurstonTalk.  To learn more about our internship program, click here.

Sara Hollar – Olympia High School Intern

Sara Hollar, Olympia High School

Sara Hollar, Olympia High School

This ThurstonTalk internship has seen two years of my life, and those two years have seen some good memories and big changes. When I started writing for ThurstonTalk I wanted to be a lawyer. Now I know I’ll be a writer. I may be a lawyer who writes or an artist who writes or a journalist who writes, but I will never stop putting pen to paper. I’m so thankful for ThurstonTalk because this internship taught me to believe in the power of a quote, to capture an individual’s passion in words and to always love telling stories.

I work hard on each of my articles but I think the one I’m proudest of is about Olympia High School’s Bear Crew Two, a club I’m personally involved with. My experience with Bear Crew Two has been about friendship and joy and those are the qualities I tried to portray in the article. Those are the stories I like to tell, the ones about people coming together to be positive forces in each other’s lives.

This internship allowed me to write about a lot of beautiful things, neighbors helping neighbors, students striving for excellence and the amazing Thurston County community. I can’t express how grateful I am to have two years full of experience behind me as I look to a future in writing. I now know that there is more than one way to be a great writer and I should never let the fear that I won’t be “good enough” stand in the way of telling the stories that are important to me.

Claire Smith – Capital High School Intern

Claire Smith, Capital High School

Claire Smith, Capital High School

I truly don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t taken a risk two years ago and applied for my ThurstonTalk internship. I know that sounds cheesy and overrated, but this job has had a huge impact on my life.

By working with Thurston Talk, I get to visit businesses and meet people I normally would not get a chance to interact with. I know so much more about the Thurston County area than ever before. There is a true level of depth within Thurston County that simply goes undiscovered unless you look for it. I’m grateful for the special interactions I’ve been blessed to have. The lessons and values I’ve learned from this internship are a gift.

Writing for ThurstonTalk has also helped me share my passions with the community. I’ve had the privilege to write about some ladies that mean a lot to me – the Capital High School Cougarettes. My dance team is my life. I see these girls every day. We’re each other’s best friends, always lending a helping hand when needed. To make the community aware of this special bond has reminded me how blessed I am to have these young women in my life.

I’ve also learned a lot of real life skills from this internship. Deadlines are realities that are hard to ignore. I’ve had to learn a lot about time management and balance. Balancing school, dance team and writing isn’t easy, but clicking into a routine where you’re comfortable is the best feeling in the world. Discovering balance, and figuring out how I work best is a gift.

As I end my second year of interning, I look back feeling blessed. I am truly lucky to be able to see as much of Thurston County I see and to be able to share about it in writing is an indescribable joy. I have loved this past year, and am looking very forward to continuing with ThurstonTalk next year.

Lauren Frasier, Capital High School Intern

Lauren Fraiser, Capital High School

Lauren Fraiser, Capital High School

Over my past year as an intern, I’ve gone many places, from football fields, to debate competitions, to bowling alleys. I’ve been all around Thurston County, but I always end up in front of my laptop with my notebook and cup of tea for good measure, typing away and trying to do justice to the story that I’m trying to tell. It’s been such a rewarding experience. First was the interview, pushing me out of my comfort zone, forcing me talk to different people and posing questions, all of which gave me more confidence. Next was my writing. I’ve always loved to write, but I never made time for it until ThurstonTalk.  Looking at the notes I’d jotted down during the interview, an article slowly starts to take shape.

I love being able to tell the amazing stories of people all around our community who are working hard and doing extraordinary things. They don’t do it for the recognition, but it’s well earned. Seeing a jumble of quotes and explanations slowly become an article was gratifying, and my favorite part was being able to send a copy of the finished product to the team, club or person it was about. Telling their stories not only recognized all they had accomplished, but also inspired those who read them. Along the way, I learned a lot about myself. I’ve seen my skills improve, and now the essays I have at school are no longer daunting. It wouldn’t have happened without ThurstonTalk, a notepad, a pen, and a good cup of tea.

Taylor Tryon, Tumwater High School

Taylor Tryon, Tumwater High School

Taylor Tryon, Tumwater High School Intern

My time as an intern for ThurstonTalk has showed me much, about not only myself, but the community around me. From stepping out of my comfort zone to interview people I had never met, to balancing school, sports and interning, this opportunity has been challenging, exciting, and most of all, rewarding.

My personal favorite article that I’ve written during my time with ThurstonTalk is my very first, a look inside the THS Friday Night Football scene. This article was such fun to craft. Seeing the excitement others at Tumwater High School had for the topic was amazing and made me realize right off the bat that the work I was doing with ThurstonTalk mattered to Thurston County.


Cebu – A Taste of Traditional Philippine Cuisine

Thurston Talk - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 8:01am



By Rachel Thomson

creative officeAngel Vano wants to take diners on a culinary tour of the Philippines. His passion is introducing locals to a culture rich with history and international influence, which they may not be familiar.

Vano is the owner and cook at Cebu (pronounced SAY-boo), a restaurant offering Filipino cuisine. Named after one of the more than 7,100 islands in the Philippines, Cebu has been offering traditional Filipino dishes to diners since 2001.

“I enjoy promoting culture and heritage through food,” Vano says. “Filipino food transports you to another place.”

The Philippines’ history and influences borrowed from other countries are evident in the culinary offerings found on Cebu’s menu.

olympia restaurant

Angel Vano is the owner and cook at Cebu, an Olympia restaurant featuring traditional Filipino food.

An example of this is Cebu’s adobo, a meat dish slowly marinated and stewed with vinegar originating from Spain. In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived in the Philippines and claimed the islands for Spain, thus marking the beginning of a 300-year rule by Spain. The Spanish version of adobo is made with oregano, salt, vinegar and paprika, which gives it a spicy flavor. However, paprika was not a spice common in the Philippines, so the Filipino version features ingredients such as soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves and black pepper, which allows the tanginess of the vinegar to come through.

Another example of Asian fusion on Cebu’s menu can be found in the restaurant’s take on pancit (PAN-set). In the 13th and 14th centuries, the Chinese established colonies in the Philippines. With them, the Chinese brought noodle dishes and bean curds. The Cebu version of pancit starts with your choice of three different types of sautéed noodles: sotanghon (bean thread), bihon (rice), or canton (egg), which are then mixed with your choice of chicken, pork, prawns or tofu and vegetables like carrots, yellow peppers and red cabbage.

Cebu also offers appetizers such as lumpia (pronounced Loomp-YA), which are similar to Chinese egg rolls. However, lumpia are stuffed with mainly pork and shredded carrots and their wrappers are thinner, which gives the lumpia a pronounced crunch. Cebu’s dessert items allude to the Philippines’ Polynesian roots, featuring a Halo Halo (pronounced HALL-oh, HALL-oh) shaved ice that is mixed with tropical fruits and topped with ice cream.

olympia restaurant

Lumpia is one of the appetizers diners can try at Cebu. Lumpia is similar to an egg roll, but is traditionally filled with pork instead of a vegetable medley and the wrapper is thinner, which give the lumpia a crunchy texture.

Vano opened Cebu in Olympia with his wife, Kim, in 2001. He met his wife in Cebu and they immigrated to the United States more than two decades ago. Van attended Pacific Lutheran University, earned a degree in business, and worked in the banking industry for 11 years. However, he says opening his own restaurant has “always been a dream” of his. One day, he decided to leave the banking world, but put his knowledge of business to work into his restaurant.

“It was kind of a now or never kind of dream,” Vano says.

Cebu’s menu is created from family recipes that have been passed down for generations. Vano considers himself the sous chef and says most of the recipes come from his wife’s family. Prior to immigrating to the United States, Kim worked as a dietician and nutritionist and prepared meals for nuns at a hospital.

Since opening the restaurant on Marvin Road, Vano says he’s been able to educate the community about Filipino culture and heritage. He is the president of the Filipino American Community of South Puget Sound (FACSPS). The organization, which started in 1982, is a non-profit committed to promoting and preserving Filipino American heritage in the United States. The organization runs a “Visiting Artists” program, which hosts performing artists such as The Philippine Ballet Troupe and choral singers. The group also runs a humanitarian relief program called “Uhaw,” derived from a tagalong word meaning “thirst.” The organization also sends basic aid to victims of mass disasters and crises in the Philippines and the United States. Recently, FACSPS held a benefit dinner to send aid to victims of the category 5 typhoon Haiyan, which killed thousands of people in 2013. The group also provides a limited number of scholarships to local graduating seniors in Thurston County schools and regularly participates at the annual Ethnic Celebration at Saint Martin’s University.

olympia restaurant

Pancit is a popular noodle dish in the Philippines. This serving of pancit features egg noodles, but can be made with bean thread noodles or rice noodles.

Vano says the best thing about running Cebu is the opportunity he gets to educate the community about the cultural diversity of the Philippines. He remembers a group of students from an Asian and International Studies course at South Puget Sound Community College who came in for lunch one day for an assignment. They had to try an international type of food and discuss it in class. Vano says none of the students had tried Filipino food before and they began taking pictures and writing notes.

“I’m glad to be here to represent that cuisine,” Vano says. “I didn’t think that educating people would be such a big effect of opening a restaurant, but it bloomed into that. Food is culture and I like being able to bridge culture through food.”


9408 Martin Way

Olympia, WA 98516

Hours: Monday – Friday: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Saturday: noon – 9:00 p.m.

Sunday: Closed

Cebu also hosts special Filipino buffets on holidays such as Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, which features a wider variety of Filipino food not on the regular menu, and Cebu also offers a full-service catering menu. For more information call Cebu at 360-455-9128.


Meconi’s Meals Made from Scratch: A Difference you can Taste

Thurston Talk - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 7:59am



meconis subs olympia

Cookies are made in large batches, but using the same methods and ingredients you’d use at home.

When talking about food, people throw around the phrase, “just like mom used to make.” In the case of family-run business, Meconi’s Italian Subs, it’s literally the truth. The Thurston County favorite has a reputation built on quality and of course, their delicious scratch baked bread, made fresh each morning. But it’s not just the bread that inspires sub lovers and gourmet foodies alike to sing the praises of this local favorite.

“We make so many of our menu items from scratch and most people don’t even realize it,” shares general operations manager Robin Vaughn. The recipes for many of these favorites come straight out of the Meconi family kitchen where restaurant founder Wayne Meconi has been cooking for his family for years.

What’s on the homemade list? For starters, the store’s popular meatballs found in their meatball sub (my husband’s absolute favorite menu item). “The meatballs are Wayne’s recipe and are made from scratch,” shares Vaughn. “They are laborious and time-consuming, but we know doing it this way makes a difference. They are truly a labor of love.”

The meatballs are mixed with fresh ingredients in Meconi’s production facility in Lacey and hand-formed before being baked. Yes, you read that right. The hundreds of meatballs served each week are made the same way you would make them at home (or the way mom used to). Head baker Callie Robello heads up the team ensuring the freshest ingredients are on hand and Wayne’s recipe is followed exactly.

meconis subs olympia

Meconi’s chili is crafted from scratch using the Meconi family recipe.

Wayne’s recipe is also followed closely for the scratch-made chili. “It’s a sweeter chili,” explains Vaughn when describing the recipe. And while everyone has their own favorite variety of chili, this is the Meconi family recipe and the store is going to stick with it. Likewise, the chili is made in big batches and sourced out weekly to each location.

“It’s a lot to keep up with,” Vaughn admits. “But, it’s worth it to ensure we are serving the best quality, best tasting food we can. Now that we have grown larger, it would be easier to compromise on that quality and purchase pre-made foods, but we know the value of scratch made food and are committed to keeping it on our menu.”

In addition to the meatballs and chili, most of the salads served alongside the famous subs are made by hand. “We make our potato salad, macaroni salad, pasta salad, egg salad and tuna salad all from scratch,” Vaughn shares. These are the same recipes used when the store opened and customers love the nostalgic taste of the classic sides. “We are looking to add new salads to the menu soon,” she shares. “Maybe something with quinoa or couscous, but also made in house, from scratch.”

As I listened to the description of these scratch made items I couldn’t help but think of the two to three times a year I make potato salad. I tell myself “never again” after laboring over each hot, peeled potato, shelled and chopped egg, and endless ingredient mixing. Yet, the crew at Meconi’s does this week in and week out, and customers keep coming back for more.

If you are among the many green salad devotees at Meconi’s, you’ll be happy to know their Balsamic Vinaigrette, Raspberry Vinaigrette, and Honey Mustard dressings are all made by hand as well. Despite cheaper and easier options, Meconi’s won’t compromise.

meconis subs olympia

The secret ingredient in a Meconi’s sub is the savory “Italian Oil,” created from a secret recipe on-site.

Do you finish your meal off with one of the Meconi’s signature cookies? You guessed it – they are baked fresh from scratch as well. “Snickerdoodles are the most popular by far,” says Vaughn although I’m partial to the chocolate chip.

Ok, you say – that’s pretty impressive. But, those subs…what makes them taste so good? “Well, it’s kind of a secret,” admits Vaughn. I probe for more information. “Ok!” she laughs. “It’s our Italian Oil. It goes on all of our cold and ‘cosmo’ subs and it’s our secret recipe we make from scratch, but that’s all I’m saying.” The concoction is made by infusing good quality olive oil with a secret mixture of herbs, spices, and parmesan cheese and comes standard on all subs. “It really sets the flavor profile apart from any other sub you’ll find.”

Next time I order a sub, a side or a salad at Meconi’s I will know why everything tastes so good. Kudos to Meconi’s for sticking with quality in a world filled with shortcut options. There are no shortcuts here. It’s truly a quality, homemade taste “like mom used to make.”

Meconi’s has four convenient locations in Thurston County.

Olympia Memorial Day Weekend Event Calendar

Thurston Talk - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 6:43am



olympia furnitureWhile the weather forecast isn’t 80 degrees and sunny, it does look to be fairly decent after we get through today’s spitting rain.  As we enjoy a long weekend, ThurstonTalk remembers and thanks the servicemen and women who lost their lives fighting for our country.  We also salute the current service members near and far.

Here’s what is going on around Olympia this weekend.

Submit an event for our calendar here.

ThurstonTalk aims to be your source for positive information and events happening in Olympia. If you have a suggestion for a post, send us a note at For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here.

Port of Olympia and ThurstonTalk: When “Journalism” Isn’t What It Seems

Janine's Little Hollywood - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 11:46pm

Little Hollywood Investigation Reveals Paid Contract

By Janine Unsoeldwww.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.comWhen the Port of Olympia put out an article on May 5 by Kate Scriven for ThurstonTalk called, “Port of Olympia: Snapshot of Current Projects, Recent Changes, Plans for Future,” via the Port’s list serv, I read it. The public and the media are invited to subscribe to this list serv in order to keep up on Port activities.The article was an interview with Port of Olympia executive director Ed Galligan and read like a one-sided industry puff piece, so I discredited it, but then, I became curious. The next day, I wrote an email to Port staff and commissioners:“I think it is very strange that the Port of Olympia would select this story written by a blog called ThurstonTalk to send out to those who have signed up to receive Port related information. My blog, Little Hollywood, has written many timely, well researched Port related stories worthy of sending out via this list. I am wondering how you determined that this story was more worthy for broader public dissemination than any of mine. What is your policy for selecting articles?” Kathleen White, communications director for the Port, was prompted to respond to my inquiry on May 15 when Port Commissioner Bill McGregor sent me an email on May 14 wondering if I had received a response and what the answer was to my inquiry. White’s answer revealed that the ThurstonTalk article was not just one-sided journalism, but was, in fact, a paid piece of marketing disguised as journalism, the product of a Port-ThurstonTalk contract signed on March 5.  “….In an effort to reach a broad local audience, the Port at its discretion chose to contract with ThurstonTalk for the writing and publishing of a select number of articles about the Port which can then be forwarded to the Port's email list,” White wrote Little Hollywood in an email May 15.I immediately expressed confusion and responded that I was not aware of ThurstonTalk’s business model:“…I heard that they pay their writers. That's all I know…. It sounds like they are a public relations firm that the Port contracted with to promote the Port, but it's made to look like independent journalism.  So, how much is the Port paying ThurstonTalk for this contract and what are the terms of that contract? I would also like to know what articles the Port is paying to be produced. Was the one sent out by Ed Galligan the first one? As you can imagine, I am very alarmed and disappointed that the Port wasn't more transparent about this when it sent out the article. Future articles from ThurstonTalk should contain a clear disclaimer, something like, “The following message from the Port of Olympia is a paid advertisement,” I wrote.White responded that ThurstonTalk was hired by the Port of Olympia to produce four such “articles.” The article sent out May 5 as a “Message from Executive Director Ed Galligan” was the first article.“Thank you for drawing the Port's attention to the need for a disclaimer on the article written and published by ThurstonTalk. Should the Port send out any future such articles, the Port will indicate that the article was paid for by the Port of Olympia,” wrote White.White said that in 2015, the Port will pay $1200 per year for publication of all its news releases and $600 for the writing and publication of four articles about the Port, for a total of $1800. White said that the topics for the other three have not yet been determined.  The Port's contract was signed on March 5 by White and Martin McElliott of ThurstonTalk.According to its website, ThurstonTalk calls itself an “information source” serving the Thurston County community and was launched on January 1, 2011.It says, “A vibrant community needs an information source that has the ability to interact with community members through multiple tools, while adding a meaningful advertising platform for local businesses.”Asked to comment on its business model and how a discerning reader could know which articles are paid for, McElliott responded, “All of our writers are contractors.  Not all of our content is paid for by our sponsors.  Generally the articles that have a business logo attached are sponsored.  We write positive feel good stories and showcase why we all live work and play where we do,” said McElliott in an email today.Generally? The Port-ThurstonTalk contract says that their package includes all news releases by the Port, but when asked today after the Port’s work session, White said she wrote the May 20 press release about Olympia Beekeepers Association members installing hives in an Olympia Airport field that will be full of flowering blackberries this summer, and was not related to the ThurstonTalk contract. According to the contract, ThurstonTalk features a variety of marketing and content packages ranging in monthly prices for articles from $150 to $3,100. For example, customer driven articles cost $500 per article, or $900 for six short posts. An event focused article is $450 per article.Eight Port of Olympia Candidates To Be Interviewed For Commissioner PositionAt today’s work session, Commissioners Barner and McGregor agreed to interview all eight candidates for the open commissioner position on June 1 and June 2 between 1 – 5 p.m. at Tumwater Town Center, 7241 Cleanwater Drive SW, Tumwater.  Each interview will last about 40 minutes.One candidate, Bill Wells, asked the Port to withdraw his name from consideration. Port commissioners George Barner and Bill McGregor are expected to reach a decision by June 10, but have until June 30 to do so.Full Disclosure: Janine Unsoeld does not write any article for her blog, Little Hollywood, in exchange for payment. A small sidebar on her blog asks for donations if folks appreciate independent journalism and like what they are reading. Janine works fulltime as a caregiver for seniors and while she appreciates the donations she receives, it is safe to say that she writes what she is able to as a community service.Janine is also under contract to write a book, “Legendary Locals of Olympia and South Puget Sound,” through Arcadia Publishing/History Press. The publishing company found her through her blog and felt she was qualified. No money will be exchanged as a result of this contract until actual books are sold. Due to the ridiculously low royalties one receives from book writing, unless you are someone like a certain Ms. Rowling, it can safely be said that both this blog and the book project is a labor of love.

Olympia Community Comes Together After Police Shooting of Two Men

Janine's Little Hollywood - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 10:37pm

Above: Olympia Police Chief Ronnie Roberts gives an overview of the day's events regarding the shooting of two African American men at a forum tonight at Temple Beth Hatfiloh in downtown Olympia.
By Janine Unsoeldwww.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.comHundreds attended a public forum held tonight at Temple Beth Hatfiloh in downtown Olympia in response to the police shooting incident of two young African American men on Olympia’s westside early Thursday morning. The forum provided an opportunity for community members to share their feelings about the incident and engage in dialogue. About 15 clergy members from various faith communities and City of Olympia officials, including Chief of Police Ronnie Roberts, Mayor Stephen Buxbaum and other councilmembers, and city staff were in attendance.Over 30 speakers spoke for an hour and a half, voicing feelings of sorrow, fear, hurt, disappointment, anger and many other emotions. Reiko Callner, a local attorney, human rights activist, and member of the City of Olympia’s Civil Service Commission, facilitated the open mic session. Speakers had at least three minutes each to speak.Rabbi Seth Goldstein welcomed everyone, saying that the purpose for the evening was to come together to hear diverse points of view in unity…with intention…open hearts, open hands, and prayers for peace, justice and healing.”Speakers were eloquent, passionate, and spoke from the heart. Many called for an independent citizen advisory review board, police dashboard and body cameras, better training of police officers, and transparency and openness in the investigation process. Below are some people’s thoughts:“Police don’t get a chance to apologize because it would bring lawsuits like fleas on a dog…I wish we could include that without tearing them down…They’re just human….” said a man.“I do support law enforcement…hindsight is 20/20, we all don’t know what happened last night…I believe we all need to stand together as a community…it’s sad when lives are lost and people are hurt….God be with us….” said a woman.A man who heard the incident said, “This shooting incident happened about 100 yards from my house. I was awakened by the first three shots and…the shooting was all over in about 10 seconds. There were three quick, evenly spaced shots, then an interval of perhaps five to 10 seconds, and then four more shots again, evenly spaced. And, in between, I could hear shouting. I couldn’t hear voices or what was being said but there was audible shouting between the shots and after the shots. I certainly don’t know anything about the officer’s state of mind or to what degree he was threatened or felt threatened but I do feel that…there wouldn’t have been any time before that…it was swift and it was over. And, well, what that means to the investigation or anything, I don’t know. That is what happened, that is what I heard.” [Editor's Note, 5-22-2015: This reporter was in the back of the room. The man was questioning the police version of events. The ellipsis means the speaker went on to say more important information that I have not included here. This man's quote as included here is not to be used as fact in a court of law or to be used as evidence.]A man said, “It was wrong to have those boys get shot, in my opinion…because they stole some beer…there’s a pattern going on in this country where the cops do these kinds of things and they walk away from it…and that bothers me a lot…The racial question cannot be avoided….It’s so clear…I don’t understand…I look at you (Ronnie Roberts) as the chief, what’s going on? People are getting shot, particularly black people and Hispanic people….This cannot be handed over to the police to investigate….”Another man said, “My primary concern is that the process work for as many people as possible. The ideal process should find out the truth, a sense of fairness for all…and an outcome of compassion, justice, accountability…and a plan for moving forward….I want an investigative body besides Thurston County…I don’t know what that would look like…I am struggling with the issue of process going forward….”A social worker said he is highly concerned that officers are not being held accountable when in his profession, he is held highly accountable to state standards.One man admitted that he had shoplifted when he was young. “…I was never in fear that I was going to be shot…I have one daughter who is perceived to be white, and one who is perceived to be black. I suspect that if they were caught shoplifting, they would be treated differently…I don’t trust the police after what I’ve seen in the last six months….” He lamented that he has not heard our local police say a word about the incidents that have occurred nationwide. “Where are the police?” he asked.One woman said that she has felt sad all day, hearing helicopters over the westside neighborhoods all day. “I watched the press conference and heard the tone of defensiveness (from the police) that maybe this officer was acting appropriately….That scares me that I live in a community that somebody can throw a can of beer and no one is saying, '“Wow, we made a mistake…a mistake was made…”' She expressed that there are too many police with military training. “Military training is very different from community policing….What are we going to do to make sure this never happens again?” She said she was grateful that this gathering was happening and that, as a grandmother, she knows her blue eyed, Caucasian grandson is privileged, and her heart grieves for African American mothers who fear for the lives of their children. One woman asked why a Taser couldn’t have been used instead, and expressed her support for the young men’s mother.Another woman said, “Everyone is human, and racism is foundational to the creation of our country and continuation of systems of power….As a white person…I look at my own racism…It’s hard to sit through this stuff…As white folks we don’t know our own privilege, and we need to call it out, what’s happening.…(if we don’t) it’s the worst kind of racism….”Another woman said, “I don’t trust the Sherriff’s Department to lead the investigation…listen to the audio recording….The militarization of police force across the United States is a disease, and now we have this disease in Olympia….”A man said, “….I have more questions than answers…a shift has occurred in me. I feel like I’m afraid of the police, and I’m not homeless, I’m not mentally ill, and I’m white. Why am I afraid? I don’t know. There is a disconnect and I don’t know how to fix it….”One woman asked, “Why pursue in the first place?” That started the whole sequence of events…What’s the outcome of this?”A clergy member asked, “How will we heal?” This is a good first step…Healing needs to be an intentional thing amongst the media and our community….”Another clergy member asked, “….I wonder about a community that has trained its police and empowered people in the community to confront two people under suspicion by themselves without backup….”A woman said she could pick out someone that she loves seated in every row. “We deserve better than this and we are better than this….” A man who lives in the Goldcrest neighborhood said he was detoured this morning from his usual route to work and just got off work to attend the forum. “….This is hard to imagine in Olympia that unarmed people could be shot by police…I hope we’ll give benefit of the doubt as to motives until we know differently….I hope we’ll look at every way to learn from this….”“I’m horrified this happened in Olympia…and it did….I have no faith that Thurston County officers are going to say it wasn’t a justified use of force…I want from the city council a clear and specific recognition that implicit racism is at play here…explain it, describe it, and hold people accountable for it…we are now a community that an officer shot two unarmed black boys….” said a woman.A woman who identified herself as a member of the Christian community at The Evergreen State College said she is frustrated about the call to not rush to judge the police’s actions. “What’s so frustrating is that these two black boys were not given the opportunity… to defend themselves….Black men are demonized…. I remember reading about...Officer Darren Wilson saying that Michael Brown was like a demon coming after him, and that’s how black lives are viewed…so I think it’s about more than body cams, although that’s a good start…I think it’s about how people with privilege and power choose to view…marginalized communities….What happened this morning is not an isolated incident….We need to model something different….”A registered nurse with 20 years’ experience said that the young men deserve our prayers. “…Even if they recover, their spiritual and body wounds will be long….” She said the shooting was irresponsible in light of the national climate and oppression, and did not believe that race had nothing to do with the incident. “I don’t believe that…I’m the mother of a teenage boy who is light-skinned…I fear for his safety but I can’t image what it’s like for African American mothers who worry about their children….”That woman’s son also spoke up, saying there is racial inequality at his school, eloquently closing by saying, “A color should not determine whether you live or you die….”A woman who said she’s lived in Olympia for four years said, “I love Olympia…but I’m not surprised that something like this has happened in our community because people of color are harassed…We’re neck deep in right now….” Another woman said, “If I accidently hit somebody with my car, I’m held accountable….Everybody is responsible for what they do….” A clergy member said, “There’s one truth – love is greater than fear…As we embrace and resist fear that is out there and fight the fear and find the treasure of love, people will look at Olympia and say, “We do things different here….”Another clergy member, Rev. Amy Walters, of First Christian Church, said, “I am troubled and hurt for our city but I’m going to leave here with some hope to continue to take steps forward to have dialog and we’ll work things out together – we are better – and clergy are committed to this process…While my heart is heavy, I’m going to leave with hope.”For more information about the incident from the City of Olympia, including the 911 audio recording of the incident, go to www.olympiawa.govFor previous articles about the City of Olympia Police Department on Little Hollywood, go www.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.comand use the search button to type in key words.

Providence St. Peter Hospital Achieves MSC Certification for Sustainable, Wild-Caught Seafood

Thurston Talk - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 5:19pm



Submitted by Providence St. Peter Hospital 

Providence St. Peter Hospital  Photo Courtesy of Providence

Providence St. Peter Hospital Photo Courtesy of Providence

Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, WA, has announced that it is the first hospital in the Providence Health Care System, and the second hospital in North America, to achieve Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Chain of Custody certification for sustainable, wild-caught seafood. MSC certification ensures that seafood products bearing the blue MSC ecolabel are fully traceable to a fishery that has been certified to the global MSC standard as sustainable and well-managed.

In line with Providence Health & Services’ mission and core values of respect, compassion, justice, excellence and stewardship, patients and guests at Providence St. Peter Hospital now have the option to contribute to the health of the world’s oceans by choosing menu items with the blue MSC ecolabel. More than 1500 meals are served daily at Providence St. Peter Hospital, which include MSC certified pan seared Pacific cod and Thai peanut salad or Caesar salad with Oregon pink shrimp.

MSC Chain of Custody certification assures that in every step of the chain – from the fishers, to the processor, to the distributor and the end user – MSC certified seafood is not mixed with or substituted for non-certified seafood. To achieve certification, Providence St. Peter Hospital worked with MSC Chain of Custody certified food service distributor, Food Services of America (FSA), to ensure complete traceability through the supply chain.

seafood olympia

Certified sustainable seafood is provided to patients and guests at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia.

Sustainability is essential to core value of stewardship

“We’re proud to offer MSC certified sustainable seafood to patients and guests and provide the choice to support healthy oceans,” said Gerald Roundy, director of Hospitality, Providence Southwest Washington Region. “Sustainability is essential to our core value of stewardship and we continuously strive to lead the way to a healthier future for our people, resources and the earth.”

Providence St. Peter Hospital has been recognized for additional sustainability initiatives including a high recycle rate, increased energy efficiency from recycling boiler heat, and excellent indoor environment standards, resulting in being named the Smartest Building in America by Siemens Industry, Inc. for demonstrating sustainable and efficient facility operations. St. Peter has also reduced water use from 61 million gallons a year down to 28 million gallons a year during the past 15 years.

Leadership contributes to health of the world’s oceans

“We congratulate the demonstrated leadership of Providence St. Peter Hospital as the second hospital in North America to earn MSC Chain of Custody certification,” said Geoff Bolan, MSC’s U.S. Program Director. “By looking for the blue MSC ecolabel and choosing MSC certified seafood, patients, guests and staff are able to reward sustainable fisheries and help to ensure the health of the world’s oceans for this and future generations.”

About the MSC Chain of Custody certification

Initiated by Gerald Roundy, who led the MSC certification of Virginia Mason Hospital with his team in 2014, the MSC Chain of Custody certification of Providence St. Peter Hospital was completed by an independent, third party assessment body, SCS Global Services. For more information on the MSC Chain of Custody certification process, visit



Boycott! The Poster Show

South Sound Arts - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 4:15pm

 The Art of Economic Activism
"Boycott" by Ricardo Levins Morales, Northland Poster Collective, digital print2002, Minneapolis, MN
“Rosa Parks” by Donnelly/Colt, offset print, 1990. Courtesy American Friends Service CommitteeThe featured art exhibition at Obsidian Café in Olympia is Boycott! The Art of Economic Activism, a traveling poster exhibit of 58 posters highlighting diverse historical boycott movements, from Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott that fired up the civil rights movement in the 1950s to today’s Palestinian call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions.
The exhibit features posters for more than 20 boycotts, including, in addition to those mentioned above, the United Farm Workers’ grape and lettuce boycotts in the 1970s and divestment from Apartheid in South Africa in the ’80s.
Protest posters are designed to be bold and grab immediate attention. Like advertising art of all types, poster art tries to convey the most information with the fewest words, to have an emotional impact and to move the viewer to action — whether that action is to attend a lecture or meeting or to spread the word or to not buy lettuce. Unlike a lot of advertising art, such posters tend to be less than aesthetically sophisticated or sophisticated in a way not normally associated with fine art – although that lack of sophistication itself can have an aesthetic impact, as witnessed by much of pop art or, as a prime recent example, rock posters by the likes of Art Chantry (see my recent review of Art Chantry Speaks in the Weekly Volcano).
Some of these posters are all words with no images, crudely hand-written, such as Ricardo Levin Morales’ poster that reads: “If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let’s work together.”
Some are simple and elegant, such as the Rosa Parks poster with a sepia-tone photograph of the civil rights icon seated on a bus and the words: “You are the spark that started our freedom movement. Thank you sister Rosa Parks” — lyrics from the song by the Neville Brothers.
Bob Zierings’ poster “Divest Now” from 1978 is an anti-apartheid poster that combines strong and beautifully rendered drawing of a face with hands breaking chains with bold and simple Helvetica type in all caps: “FREE SOUTH AFRICA – DIVEST NOW.”
Another poster from the same year has a black and white line drawing of a stereotypical black mammy with a head scarf in the style of 19th century woodcuts and the legend “Del Monte Profits from Apartheid.”
One of the strongest images with the simplest message of all is a fairly recent (1992) poster by an unknown artist that has nothing on it but the words “Boycott Colorado” in all-caps with white letters over a black silhouette of a mountain range. Without knowing the story behind it there would be no way of understanding that it was in protest of an amendment of Colorado’s state constitution that prevented any city, town or country from recognizing LGBTQ individuals as a protected class. At the time, no explanation was needed.
Overall the posters in this show are bold and colorful, innovative and well designed. Artistically they accomplish what good posters should, and the show as a whole presents a history of political movements over the past half century that should be appreciated by everyone, whether or not they agree with the advocated political positions.
The show was organized by the American Friends Service Committee and Center for the Study of Political Graphics and is sponsored in Olympia by the Rachel Corrie Foundation.
Boycott! The Art of Economic Activism, through May 30, Obsidian, 414 4th Ave E, Olympia
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

13th Annual Day of Champions Crowns Winners

Thurston Talk - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 4:11pm



By Laurie O’Brien

greene realtyA ThurstonTalk camera was on hand for Annual Day of Champions at Tumwater High School on Thursday, May 21, 2015.

Nearly 600 students with special needs from all eight Thurston County school districts participated in the 13th annual event. Students rotated around the stadium, participating in 14 different track and field events staffed by leadership students from local high schools.

This year the Tumwater Kiwanis Club stepped in to help Day of Champions’ organizer, Justin Gurnsey, with financial and organizational assistance. Club president Randy Reynolds and other Kiwanians were on hand to help in a variety of support roles including lunch preparation, t-shirt sales, and on-field assistance.

Champions 2015 20This year’s sponsors included the following:

Stephen B. Kern Family Dentistry

Northwest Endodontics

Olympia Credit Union

ABC Pediatrics

Color Graphics

Edgewood Dental Lab

Seattle Dental Arts

AU Dental Ceramics

Miller Dental Lab

Pacific Dental Arts

Sutton Chiropractic and Massage

Nakanishi Dental Lab

Mercurio’s Heating and Electrical

Weichert Realtors/Reynolds Real Estate

Western Meats

Shama Dental Lab, Inc.

Karen Schoessel Consulting

Click to view slideshow.


Washington State Announced as 11th Partner State in AAC&U’s LEAP States Initiative

Thurston Talk - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 3:52pm



Submitted by The Evergreen State College 

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the Washington Consortium for the Liberal Arts (WaCLA) announced today that Washington is now a state partner in AAC&U’s Centennial Campus Action, Advocacy, and Research Initiative, Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP): Excellence for Everyone as a Nation Goes to College.

“The Washington Consortium for the Liberal Arts sought to become a LEAP partner state out of a deep sense of shared mission,” said Michael Zimmerman, WaCLA Chair and Vice President for Academic Affairs at The Evergreen State College.  “Formalizing our alignment with LEAP will greatly strengthen our success in advocating for the value of the liberal arts for the broadest range of residents in preparation for work, life, and meaningful participation in our democracy.”

The national LEAP initiative provides an expanded platform for WaCLA to continue a dialogue with key state stakeholders about the role of liberal education in advancing goals for economic and civic vitality.

“We are currently exploring additional avenues for students to find and use their voices to advocate for the critical roles a liberal education has played in their lives.  We’ve come to see how great an impact students can have on the thinking of employers and legislators,” Zimmerman said.  “Additionally, activities of this sort build confidence in students, which helps them reach their goals as they leave college.”

Formed in 2012, the Washington Consortium for the Liberal Arts (WaCLA) is an association of Washington state public and private higher education institutions, organizations, and individuals promoting the value of a liberal arts education to the people and communities of the state.  WaCLA has a membership of 37 public and private colleges and universities across Washington*, along with seven educational organizations and consortia. In 2014, WaCLA was given the Phi Beta Kappa Key of Excellence Award, with a prize of $10,000, for its work promoting the value of the liberal arts.

“AAC&U is pleased to welcome Washington to LEAP,” said AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider.  “AAC&U and WaCLA educators share a passion for liberal education and a commitment to help all students achieve both broad learning about the world they will inherit—through studies in science, humanities, the arts, and the social sciences—and the critical skills they need to help create solutions for our future.  Given these shared commitments, we are delighted to work with WaCLA to ensure that college students throughout the consortium receive the best possible preparation for purposeful work and citizenship, and flourishing lives.”

Concern for Animals Annual Community Garage Sale Boosted by Large Donation

Thurston Talk - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 3:42pm



Submitted by Concern for Animals

Rob Rice Homes is donating a large amount of barely used furniture from their model homes.

Rob Rice Homes is donating a large amount of barely used furniture from their model homes.

Concern for Animals will hold its annual community garage sale on Saturday, June 6, 2015 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm at Rick’s Automotive, 3527 Pacific Ave SE* from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  One of the group’s biggest fundraising events, it has been significantly boosted this year by a sizable donation of show quality furniture.

Concern for Animals is an organization that for 35 years has assisted low income families with the food and medical needs of their pets and rescue animals. The local non-profit depends on donations, membership, small grants and fundraising events like the annual garage sale to fund its programs that include low-cost spay and neutering, emergency medical care and a pet Food Bank.

“For at least 15 years the sale has drawn a lot of people looking for real bargains while supporting our mission,” says Janey Hanson, board president of Concern for Animals. “The community goes all out to donate items and attend the event. We couldn’t provide the help for animals and their owners without all of the amazing generosity.”

This year, the sale will feature an entire house-full of model home furniture donated by Rob Rice Homes, a regular supporter of the group’s efforts.

The new Concern for Animals building was completely remodeled by Rob Rice and his sub-contractors at no charge.

The new Concern for Animals building was completely remodeled by Rob Rice and his sub-contractors at no charge.

“Being animal lovers, Rob and I recognize the incredible work of Concern for Animals,” says Helena Rice, wife of the local builder. “We are thrilled the furniture will help families and seniors care for their pets. We have family members who are rescue animals and we understand the deep bond between pets and their owners. It is a great cause.”

Those wishing to donate items for the sale may do so on Thursdays in May between 4:00 pm and 6:00 at Rick’s Automotive location. Concern for Animals will provide tax-deductible donation forms for each donation. Concern for Animals cannot accept clothing, TVs, computers, electronics or workout equipment for the sale.


*To get to Rick’s Automotive for donations and the sale, follow Pacific Ave to Fones Road in Lacey. Once on Fones, make a left on to 6th Street and follow the garage sales signs back to a large warehouse with a sign to Rick’s. There will be event garage sale signs that will mark the location.

More about the Concern for Animals can be found at

The Crabs Sleep EP

K Records - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 3:22pm
Last month The Crabs went back to the Unknown studio in Anacortes, WA and made some noise, the way only they can do! Sleep is a three song EP from the new expanded Crabs line-up featuring original members Lisa Jackson and Jonn Lunsford with Vince on drums, percussion and Zinnia, keyboards. Three songs that pack […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Women’s Leadership Council awards $25K in Grants to Support Women and Children in Thurston County

Thurston Talk - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 3:21pm



Submitted by United Way of Thurston County

shelter shower The Women’s Leadership Council announces its fifth year of funding to support women and children in Thurston County. Thanks to members of the Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) and the philanthropic community, $25K in grants will help strengthen and support five nonprofit organizations during the 2015-2016 funding cycle.

“We know the economy is impacting lives of women and their families so we hope that by supporting programs with effective outcomes, our women will be more financially stable, healthier and safer,” said Maria Robinson, WLC and grants committee member.

The WLC received $65K in requests and granted $25K to support nonprofit programs that aligned with WLC’s mission to, positively impact the lives of women and children in Thurston County by promoting self-sufficiency and financial stability.

“Nationwide, only seven cents out of every charitable dollar is currently invested in programs that specifically benefit women and children,” said WLC Co-Chair, Leatta Dahlhoff. “When equipped with the proper resources, women and children have the power to elevate their families and improve the economy.”

The WLC empowers women and children in Thurston County to achieve their highest potential. Currently, more than 60 members serve the WLC group by contributing a leadership gift of $1K annually or a participating gift of $250 annually. Membership plays a critical role in supporting women and children in our community.

“Women need access to information about entering the workforce, attaining financial stability, and managing their money,” said Robinson. “This year’s grant recipients will provide programs with funding to help fulfill that need, and it would not be possible without the help of WLC members and community supporters.”

Below are the 2015-16 Grant Recipients:
Summer GIG (Girls Institute for Greatness) | YWCA
Parents for Parents (P4P) | Family Education & Support Services
The SPSCC Foundation | South Puget Sound Community College
Effective Communication Workshops | South Sound Parent to Parent
From the Fabric of our Lives | CIELO


All Your Friend’s Friends, NW Folklife 2015!

K Records - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 1:29pm
Thee XNTRX has a heavy presence at the 2015 Northwest Folklife Festival this weekend! The All Your Friend’s Friends [KLP255] road show lands Sunday, May 24 at the EMP Sky Church at the Seattle Center, preceded by a screening of the All Your Friend’s Friends documentary film at SIFF Film Center. Thee XNTRX is a […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Olympia Police Shoot Two African American Men

Janine's Little Hollywood - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 11:37am
 Above: Olympia Police Chief Ronnie Roberts answers questions from the media and the community at a press conference in Olympia City Hall this morning about a police shooting of two African-American men early this morning in Olympia. Mayor Stephen Buxbaum, to his left, also addressed questions.

By Janine Unsoeldwww.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.comThurston County Critical Incident Team InvestigatingA formal Olympia Police press release, below, was issued shortly after 7:00 a.m.: “At about 1am this morning, Olympia Police responded to a call from the Westside Safeway store at 3215 Harrison Avenue West.  Store employees reported that two black men had attempted to steal beer and, when confronted by employees, threw the stolen items at them then fled.  As police investigated the matter, an officer found two men matching the suspect descriptions a short distance away.  A few minutes later, the officer notified dispatch that he had been involved in a shooting.  Two men were shot by the officer.  Preliminary reports indicate the men were both shot in the chest.  Both men were transported to St. Peter’s Hospital in critical condition.  Both men are in their twenties and believed to be from the Thurston County area.The officer, who has been an officer for 3 years, has been put on administrative leave while the incident is investigated, following Olympia Police Department policy.  The Thurston County Critical Incident Team is investigating the shooting.  The Critical Incident Team is composed of detectives from five local agencies. More details will be released as they are available.  An initial briefing for the media will be at 6am at the Olympia City Hall Council Chambers, 601 4th Ave E.  A second briefing is anticipated at 10am this morning.” For more information, contact Paul Lower, Public Information Officer, 360.753.8410,
Press ConferenceThe 10:00 a.m. press conference in Olympia City Hall lasted about 40 minutes. Several regional television stations and reporters were present, as well as many city staff, Councilmember Cheryl Selby, and members of the public.Mayor Stephen Buxbaum, City Manager Steve Hall, and Olympia Police Chief Ronnie Roberts answered questions.Mayor Buxbaum, when asked by a reporter why he was present, and whether or not he thinks this incident is going to “blow up,” responded:“We don’t experience this every day. Unfortunately, what’s happening across the nation makes these kinds of incidents compelling, to meet in an honest, direct, and forthright way. Olympia is a community that cares deeply about social justice and I think that it’s important that anytime there’s a dramatic incident like this – and I call this a dramatic incident – that we stand together as a community and model respectful, thoughtful, inclusive dialogue, so I’m standing here because I want to represent those values and I think our community, I believe can, learn from events like this and become stronger as a result, so I’m here to support the young men that are in the hospital, to support the police officers involved, and I’m here to support the families that are involved, both directly and indirectly, and I’m here to support our community at large. I think that’s the role of the mayor….”Buxbaum continued:“I believe Olympia is going to heed this – honoring the values and principals we hold dear as a community – nonviolence, inclusive dialog, and good, solid relationship building. I believe in this community. We have had challenging times, and certainly this is one of those times. Being proactive in these situations, I think is another way of representing our values as community. I think it’s my responsibility to be here. And I do want to emphasize talking with Interfaith Works and members of our clergy that we are committed to open dialog where people can gather and share their perspectives, feelings, show their compassion and stand up for what I think, again, represents our values, is learning from things that are challenging.”Copies of CDs of the initial 911 call were made available, as well as copies of the Olympia Police Department policies on use of force, equipment and proficiency, and the Washington State Legislature statute, RCW 9A.16.040, on Justifiable homicide or use of deadly force by public officer, peace officer, person aiding, and RCW 9A.16.020 Use of force - when lawful.More will be added to this story by Little Hollywood as time allows. For past stories on the Olympia Police Department, go to Little Hollywood at and use the search button to type in key words. 

Amjad Faur: Wednesday, May 27th, 11:30-1:00 pm in Lecture Hall 1

Evergreen Artists Lecture Series - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 9:44am

imageAmjad Faur currently teaches photography and visual arts at The Evergreen State College, in Olympia, Washington. He came to Evergreen from the University of Arkansas, where he primarily taught art history and critical theory. His current research involves the overlapping visual languages of colonial Europe in the Middle East and the tropes/signifiers scattered throughout Western art history that harmonize with these expansionist tendencies.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Downtown Olympia in context

Olympia Time - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 6:19am
One of the things that strikes me about the dialogue about downtown is how the people with different perspectives about it seem to talk past each other. One side seems to discount anyone's fears about being downtown. The other side discounts the other's want of a vibrant, real and therefore not necessarily clean and refined downtown.

I think one of the reasons for this is how each frames downtown. What context they put the oldest part of Olympia into.

1. For people who fear downtown, their context is literally other places they could go to buy things. The newish commercial westside. Lacey. Commercial area of Tumwater or Hawks Prairie. These areas also have bookstores, movie theaters and restaurants. They're convenient because there is ample free parking and people know what they're getting.

Downtown on the other hand is inconvenient and vibrant to the point of unknowing. You can't know what to expect, so you choose a more convenient option. There are plenty of places to go that aren't downtown, so they just go there.

And, when it comes time to think about downtown at all, the easiest thing to go to are the reasons not to go there at all.

2. For people who love downtown, they also think about it in context of the extreme local options. But, they also think about it in terms of the regional. Seattle and Portland are two remarkably great cities. And, are a lot of which Olympia strives to be, but on a more local scale. Downtown Olympia (and its nearby west and east side institutions) define Olympia for folks who like downtown. Olympia is the quirky little artsy city because we have what we have downtown. This is true even though the combined acreage of downtown and nearby neighborhoods is a small fraction of the North Thurston urban area.

These people are literally seeing different places.

Upcycled Style Trash Fashion Show at the Schack Art Center

Olympia Dumpster Divers - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 8:31pm

We promised you pics from the Upcycled Style Trash Fashion Show at the Schack Art Center in Everett, WA, and we intend to keep our promise!

Nancy Judd of Recycle Runway with Ruby Re-Usable of Olympia Dumpster Divers

Nancy Judd with Ruby Re-Usable
Nancy is wearing her “Caution Dress,” made from caution tape, along with a “Throw Caution to the Wind” fascinator by Ruby Re-Usable; Ruby is wearing her “Once Is Not Enough” dress, which is made from a Mason County recycling sack & a thrift store frock, plus a plastic bag flower fascinator and pop top jewelry by Ruby.

As guest curator/co-producer, Ruby Re-Usable had her hands full and therefore does not have many photos of her own (but lots of learning experiences/stories she could tell …).  However, there were folks on hand to document this trashtastic event:

You can view every outfit from the show on Ruby’s Upcycled Style Trash Fashion Show Pinterest board, which features a selection of the fabulous photos from Josh+Rosemary Photography.  There is also a marvelous set of pics by Annie Mulligan/Everett Herald

Lana Landfill, Ruby Re-Usable, Lova Landfill, and  Lena Landfill Lana is wearing "Go-go Organic," Lova is in "Plastic Bag Blues," and Lena is modeling "Six-pack Princess," all designed by Ruby

Lana Landfill, Ruby Re-Usable, Lova Landfill, and Lena Landfill
Lana is wearing “Go-go Organic,” Lova is in “Plastic Bag Blues,” and Lena is modeling “Six-pack Princess,” all designed by Ruby Re-Usable

Monica Today posted this video of Six-pack Princess, designed by Ruby Re-Usable in true recycle/reuse style: it is a revised version of the original Six-pack Princess that Trashie Cassie wore last year.  The dress was created out of discarded blue packaging paper from ACT Theater, six-pack rings from various friends and family, and unused/unwanted mylar cookie packaging that was originally donated to the Museum of Glass art studio.  The jewelry is made from cat food can pull rings and soda pop tops.  Watch Lena Landfill, our spokesmodel for a greener world, sashay down the runway:

More short vids from Monica Today of the Upcycled Style Trash Fashion Show at the Schack Art Center HERE

Kudos to the Upcycled Style Trash Fashion designers: Kitty Center, Lynn Di Nino, Marita Dingus, Selena Eon of Rock Eon, Jane Grafton aka Tinker’s Dam, Monica Ann Guerrero Yocom aka Monica Today, Terra Holcomb, Susie Howell, Nancy Judd of Recycle Runway, Kristie Maxim aka Elle Poubelle, Rebecca Maxim aka Alotta DeTritus, Ruby Re-Usable, Loran Scruggs, Britni Jade Smith, and Robin Worley aka Rayona Visqueen.

Thank-you to all of the marvelous models: Robyn Lang, Leska Ratliff, Rosemary Jones, Marissa Motto, Megan Mullan, Jules Anslow, Russ Morgan, Stuart Gullstrand, Steve Jensen, Elinor Paulus, Lorelei Paulus, LisaLou Gogal, Heather Reiki, Allison Grable, Jana Rekosh, Kristen Humphries, Kahley Mae Estenson-Montez, Beth Dodrill, Abby Storwick, Joss van der Put, Raniere, and Christy Smith.  Thanks to Kallipso Rose for doing make-up, Steven Lough and Nancy Judd for being MCs, and to Jill King for doing flamenco dance during intermission.  And thank-you to the staff and volunteers of the Schack Art Center for hosting this event, especially gallery director Carie Collver!


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