Recent local blog posts

Alejandro de Acosta: Wednesday, April 29th, 11:30-1:00 pm in Lecture Hall 1

Evergreen Artists Lecture Series - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 2:35pm


Alejandro de Acosta describes his Art Lecture  as”a discussion of the work of Argentine poet Antonio Porchia (1885-1968), and his translation of Porchia. Porchia developed and wrote solely in a singular form he called voces (voices). His single book, named, precisely, VOCES, was little known when it appeared, due in part to his distance from literary circles and to its unclassifiable short, aphoristic poetry. Alejandro will discuss Porchia’s poetry and poetics, his finished and unfinished voices, and his approach to sharing them; their influence on subsequent Argentine poets; and the process of his current collaborative translation of them, opening out onto a larger set of ideas about language and translation, poetic forms and how they are circulated and made public.”

Alejandro was born in Buenos Aires in 1972, and grew up in Caracas, Madison (Wisconsin) and Cleveland (Ohio).  Tertiary education in Amherst, MA (Hampshire College, bachelor’s degree) and Binghamton, NY (doctorate at Binghamton University).  A onetime participant in the zine and mail art milieu, in Austin, Alejandro founded mufa::poema, a micropress that freely distributed a dozen poetry and prose chapbooks. Long standing interest in sound art and poetry reading led to a two-year radio and podcast project, “Sector Phy,” on KPWR-FM, as well as numerous audio performances under the moniker JANO (THING) SELECTOR.

Back in Binghamton, study of the history of Western philosophy and contemporary continental thought brought Alejandro to write a dissertation on Spinozan themes, not without a discussion of exhortatory graffiti.  These studies subsequently displaced themselves in the direction of, first, Latin American philosophy, and second, an articulation of (for lack of a better word) anarchist ideas in various genres of prose.  An outcome of this second trajectory, informed by continued engagement with poetry and poetics, are his two recent collections of critical and experimental essays: The Impossible, Patience (Ardent Press, 2014) and How to Live Now or Never (Repartee/LBC Books, 2014).

For many years, Alejandro taught philosophy and poetry at Southwestern University (Georgetown, TX), as well as in popular education settings.  Readings, lectures, and presentations in Albany, Austin, Berkeley, Denver, Morelia, Portland, Seattle and elsewhere.  With Joshua Beckman, Alejandro has translated the poetry of Jorge Carrera Andrade (Micrograms, Wave Books, 2011) and Carlos Oquendo de Amat (Five Meters of Poems, Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010).  Most recently, Alejandro translated Fabian Luduena’s H.P. Lovecraft: The Disjunction in Being (Schism Press, 2015).  Two current projects are an anthology of writing by and about Antonio Porchia and The Ponge Stone, a manuscript of translations, essays, and letters emerging from the study of Francis Ponge’s Pour un Malherbe.  Alejandro’s ongoing research is in U.S. and Latin American poetry, and, still, philosophy.  Alejandro de Acosta currently lives in Olympia, WA.



Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Green Hill Youth Presentation on the School to Prison Pipeline

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 11:17am
Event:  Wed, 05/13/2015 - 1:00pm - 2:00pm Youth from Green Hill School will speak about their experiences including the school-to-prison pipeline and racial and ethnic disparities in the justice system. Green Hill School is a juvenile correction facility with the mission to transform lives by providing meaningful educational/vocational opportunities that will inspire and prepare young men for successful living, learning and working. The school provides academic high school coursework as well as vocational training in wood shop, welding, automotive maintenance, horticulture and landscaping, and computer drafting and technology. They partner with the Evergreen State College Gateways for Incarcerated Youth for college credit and academic mentoring. Youth on the United Youth Council have testified before the State Supreme Court, legislators, and schools across the state. Location: Tumwater Timberland Library, 7023 New Market St SW, Tumwater WA 98501. Phone: 360-943-7790. Intercity Transit route 12/13. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Tumwater May-hem Comic and Game Fest

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 11:15am
Event:  Sat, 05/02/2015 - 12:00pm - 4:00pm Drop by to get free comic books, play games, make personalized superhero insignia necklaces, and other superhero-related activities! Local comic and game stores have provided fantastic prizes. Win just for showing up, or by entering our family cosplay contest! Ask at the library’s information desk for a schedule of events or for more information. Sponsored by the Friends of the Tumwater Timberland Library Location: Tumwater Timberland Library, 7023 New Market St SW, Tumwater WA 98501 Phone: 360-943-7790 Intercity Transit route 12/13 logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Comics Can Take Us Places

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 11:14am
Event:  Sat, 05/02/2015 - 11:00am - 12:00pm Comics tap directly into our sense of memory, time and place – sometimes without words. In this fascinating presentation, cartoonist Megan Kelso explains how she uses memory, her own life, research, and photo references to create sequential panels that evoke the feeling of a specific, inhabited world. This Presentation is co-sponsored by Humanities Washington and the Friends of the Tumwater Timberland Library. Location: Tumwater Timberland Library, 7023 New Market St SW, Tumwater WA 98501 Phone: 360-943-7790 Intercity Transit route 12/13 logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

The Olympia Tumwater Foundation Invites Applications for Early Childhood Education Grants

Thurston Talk - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 7:54am



Submitted by the Olympia Tumwater Foundation

Deadline to apply for early learning grants is May 1 The Olympia Tumwater Foundation (OTF) is inviting grant applications from early childhood education providers (K-3) to implement innovative, sustainable classroom projects.

Submissions must be received in the Foundation office by 5 p.m. on May 1. Any Thurston County school district, nonprofit organization, early learning provider, or collaboration thereof may apply for funds. OTF is especially interested in supporting strategies that stimulate student creativity, increase motivation to learn, and enhance the current learning environment. Individual award amounts range from $250 to $3,000.

The Olympia Tumwater Foundation’s education program has awarded over $1.6 million in scholarships and grants to hundreds of talented and deserving students and teachers. An application and more information can be found under “Scholarships & Grants” on the Foundation’s website: or by phone at 360.943.2550.

Olympia Arts Walk & Procession Weekend Event Calendar

Thurston Talk - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 6:45am



Budd Bay cafe logoI would classify this weekend as the granddaddy of community events.  Three massive events culminate in one weekend of free, family-friendly entertainment in downtown Olympia.  Here’s my suggestion for the best strategy to be able to experience all three events while still leaving some time to hit some other activities.  Click on the links below to get complete event information.

  1. Start Friday night off with meandering through downtown Olympia for Spring Arts Walk.  Visit shops and galleries through Saturday.
  2. Grab breakfast on Saturday morning and head back to downtown Olympia. Get a Springs Arts Walk map here.
  3. Watch the Dragon Boat Festival throughout the day on Saturday.  The event includes free entertainment at the Port Plaza.
  4. Stake out your spot, make some chalk art, and experience Procession of the Species which kicks off at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.  The Procession route can be found by clicking on this link.

Want to try something else this weekend?  Here are even more ideas for activities and events around Thurston County on April 24 – 26.

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.

Pursuing Paper: A Hollander Beater at Last!!!

Sherwood Press - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 5:52pm

It’s been a long ambition to make paper. In my early twenties I took up bookbinding and ended up working for Don Guyot at Colophon Book Arts Supply in Olympia, Washington. As part of my job, I was able to attend the Paper Book Intensive a couple of times, helping to run the small store and taking amazing workshops with some of the finest teachers in the country. I took classes in hand lettering, box making, paper marbling, alternative book structures, paper decoration and more. It was at the Paper Book Intensive that I was exposed for the first time to hand papermaking. I remember thinking… “I’m going to come back to this.” And I have.

In the last few weeks my partner and I have acquired a Hollander beater (A 1.5 pound Voith-Allis Valley type beater) and have undertaken to restore it. It has been living outside for some time and was in such a condition I almost passed on it. But it looked sound in spite of some rust and dirt. And I had looked for so long for a beater and this one needed some serious and dedicated love. I felt up to the task, especially with Terry’s help. There is no better help than his. He can do anything. And he has been enormously generous with his time and skills.

Down in Waldport, Oregon we slid the hollander into the car on some wooden rails. Heavier than we thought. Not sure why I didn't trust a document I found online that listed the ship weight. "Naw," I thought. "It  can't be THAT heavy." It was. It was so heavy that there was no way we were going to slide it back out, so we rented a "cherry picker." The PERFECT thing. Now I want one. Hanging in mid-air. No biggie. My parter Terry posing for scale. It's not that big, really. But it's CAST IRON. This shows how degraded... the diaphragm is totally destroyed, and quite a bit of rust.  the grinding-in bracket was with the machine, even though it hadn't been used by the previous owner. The stand he had built won't accommodate it. The weights all cleaned up and ready for some paint. A bit of primer over the areas treated for rust. Brand-spanking new diaphragm I cut from a sheet of 1/16" live rubber from an online industrial supply company. I bought steel punches from Harbor Freight to punch the holes. I wish I could start my life over again so that I could have owned one of these handy mechanic's trays earlier in my life. Freshly-punched diaphragm. The old diaphragm was luckily preserved by the previous owner. The one he made was inner tube material, which didn't last very long, I understand. Our second trip to Oregon was to pick up the stand. This time we spent the night on the Oregon Coast so that we didn't have to do all ten hours' driving in one day. SMART. This old carbon paper will be used to test the fit of the bed knife to the beater roll. A little recreational reading. Great book so far. The beater stand was in fact quite a beater. IMG_6608 After careful cleaning, the beginnings of a primer coat. Now upside down, the painting begins in earnest. New casters and new paint. It looks SO different. Terry has mad Skilz. Before the wood has been treated with spar urethane. The old top used to start the pattern for the new top. Creating a pattern for the hole that must be cut in the top for the beater.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

West Olympia Farmers’ Market Opening Day is May 12

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 4:50pm


Submitted by West Olympia Farmers’ Market

flowers - West Oly Farmers marketWest Olympia Farmers’ Market is pleased to announce the opening of its fifth season on Tuesday, May 12th at 4:00 pm. The market has brand new location this season at 1919 Harrison Ave. NW in the West Central Park. Hours are Tuesday evening from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, mid-May – mid-October 2015. Keep an eye out for the signs on Harrison Ave and Black Lake Blvd.

In addition to a great selection of local food vendors, this season will feature a monthly Crafter’s Market showcasing handmade goods from local artisans. Also, to make shopping even more convenient and accessible, West Olympia Farmers’ Market accepts EBT and debit transactions. Drop by the Market Information booth for more information on all of this year’s happenings or check the West Olympia Farmers’ Market website and facebook page.

West Olympia Farmers’ Market (WOFM) is your neighborhood market. WOFM strives to help build a vibrant local food economy by supporting small-scale and beginning vendors. All of WOFM’s farmers, artisans and producers are based in Thurston, Lewis, Mason, or Grays Harbor county, with the majority based in Olympia. Products at this years market include fresh produce, baked goods, pastured poultry and meats, flowers, veggie starts, crafts, and much more.  Everything is locally grown and produced, so come on out and support your local producers.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Dres at and find us on facebook.



48 Teams Will Compete in Dragon Boat Festival

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 4:47pm



Submitted by The Port of Olympia

dragon boat festival

The amount of paddlers participating in the race has nearly quadrupled—from 260 in 2006 to 1,000 in 2015.

Paddles up! Two teams from China will join 46 local and regional teams in the race for the gold at the 10th annual Saint Martin’s University Dragon Boat Festival on April 25 at Port Plaza.

More than 6,000 spectators are expected to cheer the racers on, enjoy cultural performances, and browse the booths along the boardwalk. Booths include food, fun and cultural arts and crafts.

The Dragon Boat teams represent colleges, universities, high schools, school districts, government agencies and community organizations.

Saint Martin’s University (SMU) hosts the festival in cooperation with Kaikane Events. The event is free and open to the public.

If you go: Saturday, April 25, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Port Plaza on Budd Inlet, immediately north of Percival Landing at 701 Columbia Street NW. Look for the large viewing tower.

The Port of Olympia is a proud sponsor of this community event.

For more information, including ways to support the festival or organize a team, visit or contact the SMU Office of International Programs and Development at 360.438.4521.

Four actors, two readings – Visual Liberties

South Sound Arts - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 4:45pm

Alec Clayton with wife, Gabi, at a reading of Return to Freedom at Kings Books in Tacoma
It was a few years back, I had done a few readings in a couple of bookstores and a library and thought I had done it fairly well, when it dawned on me that professional actors could make readings a much more dynamic experience; and since I am a theater critic and know a lot of actors, it was not hard to find actors who were willing to read for me. The first time was a revelation. It was ten times better than me reading my own stuff. The actors seemed to love doing it, and the audience reaction was terrific. That first reading with actors was from my book, Reunion at the Wetside with Dennis Rolly, Jim Patrick, Jennie Jenks and Chris Cantrell breathing life into my made-up characters.Friday, May 1 at Orca Books in Olympia, Michael Christopher and Heather Christopher will read from my latest novel, Visual Liberties, and then on Tuesday, May 12 at Kings Books in Tacoma a different pair of actors, Scott C. Brown and Syra Beth Puett, will read the same selections. Each of these actors has read for me before. Scott C. Brown read the part of Pop Lawrence and directed the full movie script from The Backside of Nowherein a reading at Lakewood Playhouse. In that same performance, Syra Beth read the part of Pop Lawrence’s wife, Shelly. Later she read multiple parts in a reading of selections from all three books in the “Freedom Trilogy” at the Tacoma Library. Michael and Heather, a married couple who have often acted together, were mesmerizing as the married couple Malcolm and Bitsey Ashton in Return to Freedom in readings at Orca and at the Olympia Library. When they read the part with the couple arguing I thought they were going to draw blood.These four actors are highly skilled professionals. Whether acting in full-length dramas or comedies or standing behind a music stand reading brief selections from a novel, they immerse themselves in the parts. In these readings they will not be in costume, and they may not be called on to physically act the parts beyond facial expressions and maybe posture or a hand gesture, but they attack the roles in a professional matter, studying and rehearsing and getting to know the characters; and when they read their parts, you in the audience will feel what they feel.Heather Christopher with Tim Hoban in How I Learned to Drive. Photo by Elizabeth Lord.
Michael Christopher at an Olympia Stobists meetup. Photo by Martin Kimmeldorf. Whether playing the parts of one of the witches in Macbeth (Heather Christopher) or McDuff in the same show (Michael Christopher) or “Blonde” and “Pink” in all-male and all-female versions of Reservoir Dogs, the Christophers have the kind of chemistry you would expect of professional actors who have been married for almost two decades. It’s exciting to see them play off each other like jazz musicians improvising while being different people (in this case Molly Ashton and Francis Gossing among others).Scott C. Brown (center) as R.P. McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at Lakewood Playhouse, with Randy Clark and Julie Wensel Scott C. Brown is a triple Best Actor selection in my “Critic’s Choice” column in The News Tribune, once as Salieri in Amadeus and once as Randle McMurthy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, both at Lakewood Playhouse, and as Bobby in Sins of the Mother at Harlequin Productions. He’s also been in more than a dozen Feature length films, and a number of TV/New Media series and in well over 30 local plays since 2000. Expect him to read Red Warner and Freight Train Taylor with humor and gravitas.Syra Beth Puett in The Lion in Winter, with Kat Christensen. Photo by Dean Lapin.Syra Beth Puett, among other attributes, does a great Southern accent. She’s a Southerner by birth. Local theater goers might have seen her in Driving Miss Daisy at Dukesbay Productions. Tacomans will also remember her for her commanding performances as Queen Eleanor in The Lion in Winter and Mousetrap at Lakewood Playhouse and in On Golden Pondat Tacoma Little Theatre. The readings at Orca and Kings Books will be brief, but with such fine actors they should be memorable. Each reading will be followed by a discussion and book signing.Visual Libertiesis the final book the “Freedom Trilogy,” the saga of the little Bayou town of Freedom, Mississippi. It all started with The Backside of Nowhere and was followed by Return to Freedom. In this final book of the series, Molly Ashton is now a college student majoring in art. She is trying hard to grow up, find her way in the world, but it seems she does nothing but make bad choices ... until she makes friends with Francis Gossing.Francis is socially awkward but an artistic genius, and he is haunted by a frightening vision of his mother and a man with a gun. He can’t tell if the vision he’s obsessed with is a memory or a nightmare from long ago.Struggling to find their way in the world, Molly and Francis find an unexpected ally in the person of Travis Earl Warner, the once famous artist known as Red Warner who has abandoned the world of art to live a hermit’s life at a fishing camp on the Mary Walker Bayou.
Orca Books, Friday, May 1, 7 p.m., 509 4thAve. E., OlympiaKings Books, Tuesday, May 12 at 7 p.m., 218 St Helens Ave, Tacoma

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Sub Pop U.S.A. in Ellensburg, Moscow!

K Records - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 1:38pm
The Sub Pop U.S.A. road show is heading east! Bruce Pavitt recently bundled his Subterranean Pop fanzines from 1980-’83 with his Sub Pop U.S.A. columns for Seattle’s The Rocket magazine and published them in book form as Sub Pop U.S.A. the Subterranean Pop music Anthology 1980-1988 (Bazillion Points). it’s a lively read through the musical […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

The Sonics Boom (K folk lend a hand)!

K Records - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 12:18pm
To you, it was just another Record Store Day. To us, it was a magical dream come true! Last Saturday Easy Street Records hosted a ver special Record Store Day event at their West Seattle store to celebrate the release of the Sonics new album This Is the Sonics. The Sonics are Tacoma, Washington true […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Susan Aurand and Lucia Harrison at TESC

South Sound Arts - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 11:25am

Published in the Weekly Volcano, April 22, 2015
Susan Aurand, The Diver I (lower detail), 2015, oil on wood panel, overall 44" x 12", detail 21" x 12"
Lucia Harrison, Beneath the Forest Floor II, 2015, handmade paper, watercolor, ink, photopolymer prints, and thread,  9” x 1 ¾” x 9”
The latest show at the gallery at The Evergreen State College is a two-person show with longtime and recently retired TESC art faculty members Susan Aurand and Lucia Harrison. Each has taught both art and science classes, and each brings meticulous observation of nature to their work. Stylistically they are much alike, especially in their paintings and charcoal drawings.
One of Aurand’s charcoal drawings was the first piece of art by a local artist I saw when I movied to Olympia in 1988. I was impressed with her technical skill and with the lush tones of her hyper-realistic drawing, even though I thought at the time that the subject matter was a tad trite. There are two charcoal drawings in this show from the same period (1986). “Anna’s Idea” and “No One Could Account for It” both picture young girls and birds drawn in exquisite detail. Two earlier charcoals (from 1974) are detailed views of flowers. The drawings are crisp and rich in dark and light contrast with the blackest blacks and white that glows like snow in sunlight.
More recent work includes a group of landscapes painted on wooden and mixed-media constructions with carved and painted feathers, specimen bottles and other objects on structures shaped like houses with peaked roofs. Local art lovers should be familiar with these because works from this series have been shown often at Childhood’s End Gallery.
New to me is a group of paintings from her “Driver” series. There are four of these, each a vertical panel made up of five-to-seven sections with something different painted on each: grass, sky, reflections in water, and textured panels that could be anything from old fence boards to pieces of rock.
Harrison’s “Ancient Forest of Fraying Pan Creek” is a mixed-media installation that is hard to describe consisting of circles of hand-made paper with leaves, roots, paints representing, among other things in nature: decomposing leaf litter, Mount St. Helens ash, minerals from unknown volcanic eruptions — hung on the wall and hanging from the ceiling and displayed in Plexiglas trays.
Her prismacolor drawings from Red Salmon Creek are mounted on board and arranged in a set of 10, including “beaver,” “kill deer,” “red winged blackbird” and other images from nature, mostly seen in extreme close-up with density of detail. These are realistic but not as photographically realistic as Aurand’s paintings.
Like Aurand, she also shows paintings and charcoal drawings taken from nature. The charcoals in particular are similar. Had they not been labeled I would not have been able to tell which were by which artist.
Harrison is also showing a number of intricately constructed and painted (or drawn and lettered) art books that are simultaneously records of nature observation and stand-alone works of art.
Both artists are highly skilled, and their work reflects a deep love for their subject matter and for their craft. Teachers from all over the Puget Sound area should bring their students to this exhibition, and when its much-too-short run is over it should move to other venues from colleges to major museums. It would be an ideal exhibition for the Department of Ecology.
"Nature: Observation, Metaphor, Transformation," 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, 12:30-5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, through May 6, The Evergreen State College Gallery, 2700 Evergreen Parkway NW, Library 1st floor, Olympia, 360.867.5125
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Dead Man Walking Author, Sister Helen Prejean Speaks at Pope John Paul II Gala

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 10:32am



Submitted by Pope John Paul II High School

Author of New York Times Best Seller Dead Man Walking, Sister Helen Prejean C.S.J., will be the Keynote Speaker for Pope John Paul II High School’s Light & Truth Gala on May 2 at St. Martin’s University in Lacey.  Prejean has been instrumental in sparking national dialogue on the death penalty and is helping to shape the Catholic Church’s newly vigorous opposition to state executions.

A life-long resident of Louisiana, Prejean moved into the St. Thomas Housing Project in New Orleans and began working at Hope House from 1981 – 1984. During this time, she was asked to correspond with death row inmate Patrick Sonnier at Angola.  She agreed, becoming his spiritual adviser, and eventually accompanying him to his death. She has since accompanied five other men to their deaths.  In 1995 Dead Man Walking was made into a major motion picture featuring Susan Sarandon as Prejean and Sean Penn as Sonnier.

Of tackling one of the most complex issues of our day, Prejean stated, “I have no doubt that we will one day abolish the death penalty in America.  It will come sooner if people like me, who know the truth about executions, do our work well and educate the public.”

She has also been featured on an NBC series on the death penalty and has appeared on 60 Minutes, and ABC World News Tonight.  Published articles have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the St. Petersburg Times, and the Baltimore Sun.  She has received no fewer than 60 honorary degrees from colleges and universities throughout the world.

This Fall, JPII students brought Dead Man Walking to the stage, marking the high school’s first full-scale dramatic production.

In it’s fifth year of operation, Pope John Paul II High School provides a college preparatory education to South Puget Sound students in the rich tradition of Catholic education. The mission of JPII is to educate young men and women who are intellectually strong, spiritually alive, and committed to serving the needs of others. The school is located at 5608 Pacific Avenue in the former Lacey fire station building, just east of St. Martin’s University.

JPII is open to all young men and women, regardless of their faith tradition. We are committed to serving students from all economic backgrounds and provide financial assistance to families in need. The Light & Truth Gala is JPII’s primary source of scholarship funding.

Reservations for the event can be made by calling JPII at (360)438-7600 or visiting the website at

SPSCC Wins Gold Honors for Catalog, Artist & Lecture Series

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 10:19am



Submitted by South Puget Sound Community College

Paragons Award SPSCCSouth Puget Sound Community College recently won two Gold Paragon Awards at the national convention of the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR). The 2015 national conference was held March 22-24 in Portland, Ore.

SPSCC, represented at the conference by Dean of College Relations Kellie Purce Braseth and Communications Consultant Aaron Managhan, earned Gold Paragon awards in two categories, placing those entries as the top submissions for community and technical colleges in the U.S. and Canada.

The college won for its redesigned print catalog, taking the gold in the Academic Catalog category, as well as for the marketing successes of the relaunched Artist & Lecture Series, which was honored with gold in the Communications Success Story category. The latter category focuses on media coverage and outreach of a college event, program crisis, news story or feature.

The NCMPR is the representative trade group for public relations and marketing professionals at community and technical colleges in the U.S. and Canada. The NCMPR’s Paragon Awards recognize outstanding achievement in communications at community and technical colleges. It is the only competition of its kind that exclusively honors excellence among marketing and public relations professionals at two-year colleges. While at the district level, the awards are judged by other member colleges in other districts, the Paragon Awards are judged by marketing and public relations professionals in the private sector.

WDFW Plans Additional Razor Clam Digs at Mocrocks

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 10:16am



Submitted by  Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

razor clam digRazor clam diggers will have another beach to consider in May, thanks to a decision today by state shellfish managers to add Mocrocks to the list of tentatively scheduled openings.

Updated harvest estimates for Mocrocks show that beach has sufficient clams to support additional digs, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“We have reviewed our harvest levels to date and are excited to offer additional dates to round out a great razor clam season at Mocrocks,” Ayres said.

Final approval on upcoming digs will be announced after marine-toxin test results confirm the clams are safe to eat. For additional information about upcoming razor clam digs, see WDFW’s website.

Proposed digs are tentatively scheduled on the following dates, beaches and low tides (newly added digs are in bold):

  • May 2, Saturday; 6:23 a.m., 0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • May 3, Sunday; 6:59 a.m., -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • May 7, Thursday; 9:30 a.m., -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • May 8, Friday; 10:14 a.m., -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • May 9, Saturday; 11:03 a.m., -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • May 10, Sunday; 11:58 a.m., -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • May 15, Friday; 4:58 a.m., -0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • May 16, Saturday; 5:50 a.m., -0.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • May 17, Sunday; 6:38 a.m., -1.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • May 22, Friday; 10:18 a.m., -0.8 feet; Mocrocks
  • May 23, Saturday; 11:03 a.m., -0.2 feet; Mocrocks
  • May 24, Sunday; 11:51 a.m., 0.3 feet; Mocrocks

Under state law, diggers are required to keep the first 15 clams they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2015-16 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website at and from license vendors around the state.


Thurston County Commissioners Honor Local Environmental Heroes at Earth Day Event

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 8:43am



Submitted by Thurston County


Procession of the Species founder Eli Sterling presents Commissioner Blake with his first “sparkle” parade pennant.

Thurston County Commissioners today proclaimed Wednesday, April 22 to be Earth Day in Thurston County and celebrated the event with the fanfare, music and dancing that have become the hallmark of the county’s annual Earth Day recognition.

“Our Earth Day proclamation is our chance to thank the people in our community who really do the heavy lifting when it comes to protecting the environment,” said Commission Chair Cathy Wolfe. “There is no government, no institution that can accomplish our environmental protection goals alone. We need partners in the community just like the wonderful people who joined us here today. It’s great to see so many people in our community who embrace the environmental protection effort on Earth Day and every day of the year.”

Commissioner Bud Blake said, “I think it’s important to remember that protecting the environment is serious business. No matter where you live in Thurston County, you need clean water to drink, you need clean air to breathe, and you need clean soil and clean water to grow the food you eat every day.”

samba olywa

Thurston County Commissioners are photographed with members of SambaOlyWa.

“I always look forward to our annual Earth Day celebration—it’s so much fun and our guests always bring such spirit with them,” said Commissioner Sandra Romero. “This celebration is well-deserved in our community. Thanks to our partners and volunteers throughout the years, I think we can say we’ve truly accomplished a lot since the first Earth Day in 1970. That said, we know there’s so much more we can do to protect our air, our water, our forests and our prairies. But when we put community first, great things can happen.”

Wednesday’s Earth Day proclamation event included presentations from:

  • Eli Sterling, Director of Earthbound Productions and Founder of the Procession of the Species. Founded in 1995 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Earth Day, the Procession of the Species celebrates cultural connections between communities and the natural world each year with a parade in Olympia. This year’s Procession of the Species parade will be Saturday, April 25.
  • David Moseley and the music group Samba OlyWa. Samba OlyWa is an all-volunteer amateur group that performs music and dance in the South Sound. The group formed in 1995 as part of the Procession of the Species celebration, and performs annually at the parade along with other performances throughout the year. Samba OlyWa’s mission is to build community and honor the natural world through art, music and dance.
  • Jacqueline Freeman, owner of Friendly Haven Rise Farm, expert beekeeper and author of the book “The Song of Increase: Returning to Our Sacred Partnership with Honeybees.”
  • Laurie Pyne, President of the Olympia Beekeepers Association. Pyne has worked in the South Sound region to raise awareness about the harm certain pesticides like neonicotinoids can have on pollinators like bees, which can have a negative effect on the environment and the agricultural economy.
  • Josh Cummings, Thurston County’s Sustainability Coordinator. In honor of Earth Day this year, Thurston County employees will be participating in an “Earth Day Unplug” event. Employees in office spaces throughout the county will unplug personal use space heaters on Earth Day, which each cost the county about $400 annually to run. The energy savings from the Earth Day Unplug event will be calculated and presented to commissioners later this spring.

To view more pictures and video of today’s Earth Day celebration at the Board of County Commissioners meeting, visit the Thurston County Facebook page.

Property Tax Payments Due April 30th

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 8:08am



Submitted by Thurston County

The deadline is April 30 for Thurston County residents to pay their 2015 first half property taxes.

Property taxes can be paid through the Thurston County Treasurer’s web site.  There is no additional charge for the electronic check payment option on-line, but there is a 2.5% fee for a major credit card payment and a flat $3.95 fee for a VISA debit card payment.  Payments can also be made in person at the Treasurer’s Office or the courthouse parking lot drop box – located at 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Building One, Olympia 98502. The same fees apply for payments made in person.

Treasurer’s office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Payments made by mail must be postmarked by the due date.  Penalties and interest will be charged for those who do not have their payments in on time.



Thurston County Brings Out Marchers of All Ages Raising over $75,000

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 8:05am



Submitted by March of Dimes

It was the best feel-good moment of the week in Olympia when 400 residents joined together in support of the smallest citizens in Thurston County —babies—by participating in March for Babies to benefit the March of Dimes.  Heritage Park in Olympia was packed with strollers, families and teams today to celebrate raising more than $75,000 to help babies be born healthy.

“We’ve seen how important it is to help our babies,” said State Director Jean Allenbach with the March of Dimes Washington Chapter.   “It is so rewarding to be part of a community where people come together for such a great cause.  This has been an incredible event, and I am so proud of what we have accomplished here together today.”

Money raised from the event funds research, awareness, education and local community grants to see that all babies are born healthy.

The most urgent infant health problem in the U.S. today is premature birth. It affects nearly half a million babies each year.  Babies born too soon are more likely to die or have disabilities. The March of Dimes is committed to reducing this toll by funding research to find the answers to premature birth and providing comfort and information to families who are affected.

About the March of Dimes

For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. Find out how you can help raise funds to prevent premature birth and birth defects by participating in March for Babies at  For the latest resources and information, visit or  Find us on Facebook @marchofdimeswa and follow us on Twitter @marchofdimeswa.

The 2015 March for Babies is sponsored nationally by the March of Dimes number one corporate supporter Kmart, Macy’s, Famous Footwear, Cigna, Mission Pharmacal and United Airlines.

March for Babies is sponsored locally by KeyBank, Twin Star Credit Union, Olympia Federal Savings, Providence Southwest Washington Region, Capital Medical Center, Les Schwab Tires, Heritage Bank, Hardel Builders Center, John L. Scott, KING 5, WARM 106.9, Click 98.9 and MOViN 92.5.


When Cascadia lost to Washington in a poll in the Post-Intelligencer. And, are we named after Martha Washington?

Olympia Time - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 6:14am
As the long history of the Washington Territory was being rolled up, and statehood was on the horizon, a few people wondered whether it was a good time to change the name of the political organization. As long as we're changing the nature of the organization itself, right?

So in May 1888, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ran a poll, asking readers to suggest a new name. We've already read about how a few years earlier, our territorial representative suggested the name Cascadia for the possible new state.

From the PI:
The main cause of the desire for a change seems to arise from the fact that giving of the name Washington to the new state would lead to confusion, and that endless trouble and annoyance would arise from the confounding of the national capital and the political division on the northwest Pacific coast.Washington not only won, but dominated:
Out to of 695 replies, 564 were in favor or Washington and these were scattered evenly over all parts of the territory. Interesting fact:Another fact worthy of note is that there was an entire absence of any local prejudice. Yakima was favored by more non-residents of the valley of that name. Tacoma was the choice of more people in King county than the people in Pierce county, while nearly all of the expressions favorable of Rainier  were outside of Seattle.

Columbia finished second with 21, Tacoma 19 and Olympia 14. Cascadia was seventh overall, beating out variations of Washington and Idaho.
Towards the end of the story, the names relating to the Grays expedition was cited as a reason that Washington is so important and vital to our region. Just weeks after the constitutional convention was wrapped up in Philadelphia, Robert Gray left for the Northwest with his ships the Columbia and Washington.
Of course, now we have Grays Harbor, the Columbia River and obviously Washington State. Except the ship Washington's full name was Lady Washington. Martha Washington.

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