Recent local blog posts

Home Ownership Plan for Millennials – Part I

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/28/2016 - 5:57pm


Submitted by Chris Johns for On Q Financial You’ve finally decided to “go for it” and buy a home. Great! Now what? It might be tempting to talk to your brother, mother, best friend, or coworker about it. It’s easy to let excitement run the show from here on in and immediately start scanning the

5 reasons Bill Bryant could run as an Independent

Olympia Time - Thu, 04/28/2016 - 5:16pm
It sure is a little (R) up there:

1. Use Bud Blake as a template.

A couple of years back an unknown Independent, with deep support from conservatives throughout Thurston County, upset a sitting county commissioner. How did Bud Blake do it?

Basically, in every precinct in Thurston County, from the most liberal to the most conservative, he used the Independent brand to beat the average Republican vote just two years before. In fact, some of Blake's best returns vs. a stand-in Republican average came in some very liberal districts.

The short lesson of Budd Blake in 2014 in Thurston County: party ID can mean a great deal to voters. And, people like the idea of an independent.

It seemed that there was a group of voters that didn't like the idea of voting for a Republican, but were plenty happy to vote for someone who acted and talked like a Republican, but called himself and independent.

2. Bill Bryant is not locked in as a Republican.

He has until the filing deadline on May 20th to lock in his actual party preference.

3. Bryant could use the Top Two primary to build a financially formidable independent campaign.

And because Washington uses a Top Two primary, Bryant doesn't actually need to be affiliated with a major party to move along. He simply needs to build a financially stable campaign and build his name recognition statewide to get through the primary onto the general election ballot. And, Bryant has raised $1.4 to Governor Jay Inslee's $4 million. So, at least he's in the ballpark.

The problem is timing. The May 20th deadline for filing is just four days before the Presidential primary in Washington State. If Trump is predicted to win the Washington Primary, would Bryant buck the tide of Republican primary voters?

4. Organized Republicans aren't exactly running towards Trump.

The Democratic Party in Washington State ready to tar him with his party's presumptive standard bearer. But, it seems like a lot of Republicans are trying to keep their distance from Trump.

No doubt their reticence was influenced by the polls and prognostications that a Trump candidacy could have a damaging domino effect on them and other GOP candidates. The theory is independent voters will be turned off by Trump and vote for a Democratic president, then continue voting against Republican candidates down the ballot.An Elway Poll released earlier this month found 55 percent said they would vote against a congressional candidate in Washington who endorsed Donald Trump. Although the poll didn’t ask about candidates for state offices, Democratic Party operatives drool at the possibility of a coming landslide of victories in legislative races. At every opportunity, they are pressing Republican candidates to reveal their presidential choice.“If you’re a member of the Democratic Party state committee, every Republican candidate’s middle name is Trump,” pollster Stuart Elway said.Unless of course, Bryant doesn't end up becoming a Republican candidate.

So, possibly Bryant could still raise money from conservatives not hung up on party names. And, even though I doubt the Thurston County Republicans were super happy Bud Blake spurned their party, conservatives in the county still gave him enough to win.

5. The ultimate non-establishment candidate

So, here's the crazy thing, and I admit this doesn't exactly make sense, but what better way to show that you're surfing into the anti-establishment wave by dropping your major party identification? Even when the party is nominating the establishmentarian-in-chief? Bill Bryant is such a rebel, he's going to rebel against the rebel.

Here's one last sort of bonus thought.

Between Republicans, Democrats and Independents, what is the largest political group in Washington?

According to a 2012 poll (I know, four years ago), the largest group is Independents. And, that number has been growing steadily since 2004. They've actually been in first place in Washington State since 2008 and in the mix since the start of the poll period.

More importantly, actual Republicans only made up 23 percent.

Daniel Cherniske Connects People to the Environment and Growing Food

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/28/2016 - 6:00am


Daniel Cherniske tries not to get bogged down in the problems of the world. As a teenager he spent a lot of time reading articles about world issues ranging from environmental degradation to social injustice. “I spent my teenage years rather depressed about the state of the world,” he shares. Being an informed citizen was

Thrifty Thurston Attends Healthy Kids Day

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/28/2016 - 6:00am


The sun is shining and temperatures are rising which are a sure sign of the approach of summer. Children from all over Thurston County will be exiting their classrooms and preparing for time spent at home. The South Sound YMCA is hoping to encourage kids to make healthy choices for the summer by hosting the 25th annual

Tribal Responses to Climate Change

OlyBlog Home Page - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 10:11pm
Event:  Thu, 05/12/2016 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Geography of Opportunity for Olympia

Olympia Time - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 5:26pm
If Opportunity for Olympia gets a little less than 5,000 people to sign a petition by the middle of June, we'll be voting on an income tax to fund at least one year free community college tuition.

The income tax would only be levied on households making more than $200,000 a year. So, my immediate reaction was wondering where those rich folks lived in Olympia.

Here is a map of median income  by neighborhood:

This map tells you what neighborhoods are richer, but not necessarily where the households above $200,000 are concentrated.

Here's a map of the top five percent of household incomes across the city.

Because this map slices away the bottom 95 percent and deals only with an average of the top five percent, I think this is a better map of how the geography of the initiative rolls out.
I'll admit, a lot of this map seems counter intuitive to me. While I get the South Capitol and Governor Stevens are obviously the dead center of the top 5 percent in Olympia, that East Bay Drive didn't do better was surprising. 
Also, Holiday Hills being the most rich? Driving through that neighborhood, it seems like a fairly unimpressive collection of split levels. But, at the same time, there might be a few lakeside or near lakeside households that drive that smallish neighborhood up.
Interestingly, if you slice the geography by block group, you come up BG 011710-2, where the highest proportion of plus $200,000 families live in Olympia (though it includes some streets outside Olympia). Again, this is the area surrounding Ward Lake in southeast Olympia.
But, again, the general trend of the south and east of Olympia being where wealth is concentrated.
The problem is being that these are also the neighborhoods where the most people vote
Granted, there's a reason why this initiative in in Olympia, we tend to support school levies (via property taxes). And, so even rich folks voted their pocketbook, they don't hold enough sway to defeat school levies.
I will say this though: I wonder about the psychology of voting for a school levy that supports the district itself and its operations against voting for individual students.

Just Add Color

OlyBlog Home Page - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 4:40pm
Event:  Sat, 05/07/2016 - 12:00pm - 4:00pm

Do you have a passion for coloring? If so, or if you want to find out, drop in between noon-4 p.m. for a coloring extravaganza! Adults welcome. Supplies, music and light refreshments provided. This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Olympia Timberland Library.

Please call 360-352-0595 with any questions. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Bloodworks Northwest Calls All High School Filmmakers

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 3:10pm


Blood donors are rare and we need more people to pick up the habit of donating on a regular basis. This is where budding cinematographers are needed. Bloodworks Northwest, our local blood center, is hosting a film competition with $1,500 awarded to the winning school or club. Between now and May 16, any high school

Diary Disclosure

OlyBlog Home Page - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 2:15pm
Event:  Thu, 05/05/2016 - 8:00pm - 10:00pm

At Diary Disclosure, adults read from the funny, sweet, and otherwise amusing writings of their adolescence. Each edition of Diary Disclosure benefits an organization that serves youth. Proceeds from May's event will go toward youth involvement at Olympia Zine Fest!

Thursday, May 5
Obsidian, 414 4th Ave. E
7pm doors, 8pm show, $7 suggested donation, 21+ logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Company Launches Online Marketplace for Off-Duty Cops in Olympia

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 10:05am


Submitted by CopsForHire CopsForHire (CFH) is an online technology platform marketplace that allows individuals and businesses to hire off-duty cops for private and public events. Founded by Seattle-area entrepreneur David Bluhm and retired Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Finley, CFH provides a streamlined solution for law enforcement jurisdictions, the officers who work off-duty and the

Griffin School Archery Team Heads to National Tournament

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 6:00am


“When the kids found out they just exploded,” said Stacey Nelson, a physical education teacher at the school and the archery team’s coach. “It actually just wasn’t the kids though. The parents were crying tears of joy. They were just so happy to see all the hard work these kids put into it finally pay

The True Story of Lacey’s Racetrack

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 6:00am


Submitted by Lanny Weaver for the Lacey’s 50th Anniversary Committee Edited by Erin Quinn Valcho from a longer version written for the Lacey Historical Society “Perfect!” gushed the April 10, 1891 Morning Olympian in describing the just completed Woodland racetrack built by Isaac Ellis of Olympia. The mile-long oval track featured level stretches, well-designed turns

Saint Martin’s University’s Dragon Boat Festival Back With A Big Splash On Saturday

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/26/2016 - 2:22pm


James Dunbar wasn’t sure what he was getting himself into. Encouraged by some friends, Dunbar turned out for a boat paddling team his junior year at Cleveland High School in Portland, Ore. It was a decision he’s never regretted. “I was hooked that first day,” Dunbar said. “It’s really interesting and there’s no other sport

Vintage Lovers’ Paradise: Girlfriends Vintage Market Spring Market Is Here

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/26/2016 - 6:00am


She’s there at every show, the first person in line, smiling as she waits to enter. Sometimes she brings her two daughters, sometimes she goes away and comes back with her husband, but at every single Girlfriends Vintage Market the same woman is always at the front of the queue. “She just buys for her

SPSCC Drafting Students Prepare HomesFirst for Construction

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/26/2016 - 6:00am


Both South Puget Sound Community College and the local non-profit HomesFirst are focused on changing lives, and this time they’re doing it together. The partnership will help others learn, grow, and succeed. Mike Murphy is a fixture of the SPSCC drafting program, teaching for almost 30 years. Each fall new students arrive eager to earn

Thee XNTRX “We Never Look up”

K Records - Tue, 04/26/2016 - 1:17am
Quite a number of All Your Friend’s Friends [KLP255] alum, including the three Thee XNTRX MCs who appear on “We Never Look up”, IAME, Goldini (pictured above), and Miz will be in Olympia Friday April 29 performing as part of the Onry Ozzborne‘s Duo tour. For a list of other Duo tour dates go HERE. […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Sarah Sawatzky, Katharine Cowan Set to Take the Stage in Cinderella

Thurston Talk - Mon, 04/25/2016 - 5:50pm


This time around the glass slipper will be a perfect fit for two maidens. Sarah Sawatzky and Katharine Cowan will both play the title role in Studio West Dance Theatre’s production of Sergei Prokofiev’s Cinderella at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts. The two 16-year-old dancers will each assume the lead role twice during

Local Students Invited to Enter Coldwell Banker’s “What Makes a House a Home” Scholarship Essay Contest

Thurston Talk - Mon, 04/25/2016 - 2:42pm


“Home is where the heart is.” “There’s no place like home.” “This feels like coming home.”  These well-known quotes all describe what a home is. Yet, not one of them talks about siding, paint, or landscaping. None of them describe granite countertops and a soaking tub. Why? Because making a “home” is not the same

"Stick Your Neck Out to Create Change—Why and How," with John Graham

OlyBlog Home Page - Mon, 04/25/2016 - 1:22pm
Event:  Wed, 04/27/2016 - 11:00am - 12:15pm

Evergreen is hosting a series of lectures on thinking about the Anthropocene - the idea that our effects on the planet are changing it so profoundly that we're entering a new geological era. The next one is this Wednesday at 11:00 AM in the Communications Building at Evergreen. (Earlier talks in the series, and other recent talks at the college , are now available on YouTube.)

Stick Your Neck Out to Create Change—Why and How, John Graham

 ”The main reason why important challenges such as climate change don’t get met as they should is not that people lack ideas or ideals. There are plenty of smart people with fine ideals. But becoming an agent of change can be scary and too many people hesitate to put the ideas and ideals they have into action. ” So says John Graham, a Director of the Giraffe Heroes Project, a global NGO that for more than 30 years has been inspiring and training people to stick their necks out to help solve tough public problems, from climate change to inner city violence to crimes against women. He’ll share with you what he’s learned about sticking your own neck out for what you believe in–lessons from the more than 1300 brave activists honored by the Giraffe Heroes Project so far–and from his own lifetime as a risk-taking adventurer, helping people the world over take on the problems that test our times.” logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week

Thurston Talk - Mon, 04/25/2016 - 8:04am


Submitted by Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton My name is Spice and I am a 1 year old Female Lab/Pit Mix/something else. Check out my great ears and try to guess what other breed is in my DNA?? I am a very sweet girl, who has been on her own trying to survive for a while. The

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