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Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Timberline High School Baseball Shakes Off Last Year

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 9:38pm

ThurstonTalk

 

By Tom Rohrer

hanson motors sponsorTimberline High School baseball coach, Matt Acker, sent his team off in the proper way, following an indoor practice away from a typical Thurston County spring rain shower.

All 55 members of the Blazers program, from beginning freshman players through seasoned varsity athletes, shook hands with the second-year head coach, where they each received a series of similar good-byes.

“Have a good weekend,” Acker repeated.  “Enjoy Easter with the family.”

timberline baseball

One of the top prospects of the state’s junior class, Timberline starting pitcher Matt Mercer anchors a Blazer staff that has seen only 16 runs scored against it the entire season.

Such minor intricacies and post-practice traditions have helped make up what has so far been a big season for the Blazers program.

After falling a game short of the 3A State playoff tournament a season ago, the Blazers now stand at 15 – 1.  The seasons only loss (2-1) was an extra inning defeat at the hands of cross town and Narrows League rival, North Thurston, on Monday, April 21.  According to various rankings, Timberline stands near the top of the list of state championship contenders among 3A and 4A teams.

Acker took over for his friend, Derek Weldon prior to last season.  He is in the midst of carrying out his program plan, formulated through his years of coaching experience both in Washington and across the country.   The daily handshake, though simple, represents the attitude Acker has worked on instilling in the program.  Traveling throughout the country while coaching during the summer, Acker witnessed players from all regions of the country perform the routine.

timberline baseball

The “quarterback” of the team according to teammates, starting catcher Brennon Kaleiwahea provides both leadership and production for the Timberline baseball team.

“It didn’t dawn on me until I coached in Hawaii. In Hawaii, there are hugs, gifts and it’s a more genuine ‘thank you for your time’ message. ‘I had a great time today.  I saw learning from you.’  I just appreciated the heck out of that,” said Acker. “I explained to our guys, that there’s a sincere shake, and an insincere one. Once they got comfortable shaking hands and looking you in the eye, that carried over to other aspects of the game… It’s a mutual appreciation and the impact is noticeable.”

Also noticeable has been the response by the Blazers to the disappointing 4-3 loss to Bonney Lake in a state tournament play-in game last May to end their season.  A hard-working senior class has combined with a talented and deep junior conglomerate to provide on field instruction and guidance for the vast collection of underclassmen within the program.

“We have a great mix and that has started with the older guys,” said junior outfielder and relief pitcher Taylor Adams. “They’ve set the example, and you can see how it’s helped us all develop into better players.”

Junior right handed pitcher Matt Mercer, a former Washington State University commit who has since opened up his recruitment, is at the top of the list of Blazer players in terms of collegiate and professional player potential.

timberline baseball

A senior captain for the Timberline baseball team, third baseman Tyler Gartner has enjoyed the loose, yet competitive, approach from the team this season.

“He’s got a great focus and just approaches the game like a veteran,” said Acker of Mercer. “He brings it up a notch in the big moments and can really dial it in.”

Leadership wise, senior captain Tyler Gartner and standout senior catcher Brennon Kaleiwahea both provide production and the right example for others to follow.

“Our seniors – they’re huge for this team just because of the attitude they bring,” said Mercer. “Not only that, but we know we can rely on every one of them in the field or at the plate. They just have this confidence and it spreads to everyone else.”

Thanks to a simple and location oriented pitching approach, the Blazers have allowed only 16 runs throughout the entire season (upon publishing date.)  Mercer appears to be the staff “ace,” but senior Brandon Olson (four wins) and junior Zach Owens (four wins) each have been extremely effective as well.  Pitching coach and Acker’s assistant, Pete Peppley, has seen his stable of arms buy into the coaching staff’s philosophy and put their instruction to use.

“We like to work the zone a lot more with fastball and locations. Kids typically think we need to throw three to five pitches. We focus on two maybe three,” said Peppley, who coached Acker’s son Cole in T-ball.  “We have a great defense and our pitchers know to trust that defense.  We want to get ground ball outs, and pound the zone and our guys are trusting that approach.”

timberline baseball

After coaching at Green River Community College for 10 years, Timberline head coach Matt Acker took over at the beginning of last season. The Blazers are 15-1 this season and considered a state championship contender at the 3A level.

“We’ve all bought in to what Coach Peppley and Coach Acker want,” said Mercer. “It’s about getting innings and working on everything mechanically to get better.”

Playing in a top heavy Narrows League, the Blazers have won five (3A Narrows) league games by ten or more runs and have posted four shutouts in league affairs.  While these may be considered “easy” wins for the Blazers, such contests provide an opportunity for Timberline to work on situations they may face in district and state playoffs.

“We use it as a chance to work situational approaches, like squeezes and bunting guys over to manufacture runs,” said Kaleiwahea. “Every game is an opportunity to improve how we play, and we take advantage of that no matter who we’re playing.  We’re going to need to score runs in a (variety) of ways in the playoffs, so it’s important we get work on that now.”

The building blocks for this season’s success was installed last year through the drills and routines featured in Acker’s practices.  The former Green River Community College head coach and Saint Martin’s University assistant has been pleased by his players’ improvement in the routines and enjoys witnessing the instruction they provide each other.

While at Green River, Acker developed a 24 chapter plan that focused on player development over a two-year period.  The program remains in place at Timberline, and the Blazers are steadily advancing further into the book.

“These kids are so talented, that we still had a pretty good run last year even though we never got past chapter one.  Now some guys are at level six, but as a program we’re at three, which is a big improvement and you can see that in their approach to the game,” Acker said. “We instilled routines and the idea of efficiency last year. This year, the older guys help me teach routine and are refining routines of the young guys. By teaching, you learn a tremendous amount yourself.”

timberline baseball

Head coach Matt Acker’s drills focusing on the fundamentals of the game have paid off for the Timberline baseball team at the plate and in the field, as evidenced by Blazer first baseman’s Tony Ortiz’s stretch for an out during the team’s 2-1 loss to North Thurston on Monday, April 21.

Taking on the process together has brought the team closer, which in turn leads to trust on the field and results on the scoreboard.

“I think just our flow together is a big key. Everyone’s comfortable and confident,” said Gartner, a starter for the Timberline basketball team the last two years. “The players, the coaches, we’re making it fun.  Feeling comfortable and having fun out there is as important as anything.”

With the playoffs nearing the horizon, the Blazers hope to be playing their best ball of the season in late April and early May.  Early on, Timberline defeated Mt. View (4-3) and West Seattle (5-1), the first and second place finishers respectively in the 3A State Tournament a year ago.   Armed with the confidence of beating talented teams, the Blazers believe they can carry their momentum all the way to the state championship.

“Our focus is one game at a time, and we think of it as we’re 0-0 going into every game,” Mercer said. “It’s worked well for us, and we’ve been able to get on a roll.  Obviously we’ve got a bitter taste in our mouth from last year.  With our talent and experience, anything less than a state title is unacceptable.”

 

High Rolling Hot Rods at Quinault Beach Resort and Casino

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 8:50pm

ThurstonTalk

 

richard rawlins

Richard Rawlins, from Gas Monkey Garage, will be one of the celebrity guests at the High Rolling Hot Rods at Quinault Beach Resort on Saturday.

To use an apropos gaming expression, the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino hosts some of our region’s most epic events.  Whether it’s dancing in the New Year, giving mom the Mother’s Day of her dreams, or raising money through charity events like the Sun and Surf Run, they’ve become synonymous with having a great time, no matter what the occasion.

On Saturday, April 26, they’ll continue this tradition by hosting the fifth annual High Rolling Hot Rods at the Beach car show with the Push Rods of Hoquiam.  No matter what the weather, the day promises to be overflowing with famous automotive personalities, over $140,000 in cash prizes, and even a custom 2014 Ford F-150 truck give-away.

Among the celebrity guests will be Lance Lambert from the Vintage Vehicle Show, there to autograph his new book Fenders, Fins & Friends: Confessions of a Car Guy, Richard Rawlins from Gas Monkey Garage and the Discovery Channel’s Fast & Loud and his side-kick Dennis Collins.

Push Rods of Hoquiam is a group of car enthusiasts founded in 1953, over 60 years ago.  They raise money to provide college scholarships in automotive and business studies at Grays Harbor College, and support Meals On Wheels, the Center for Domestic Violence, and the Aberdeen High School Auto Shop.

This fun-filled event is free to all members of the Casino’s Q Club.  Non-members can join on the spot if they’re over 21 and show a valid driver’s license, so no-one misses out on the fun.  There will be a meet and greet, photography opportunities, autographs, and casino drawings throughout the evening culminating with the new truck give-away.

gas monkey garage

One lucky attendee will win a custom Gas Monkey Garage Ford F-150.

Quinault Beach Resort and Casino’s director of casino marketing Michael Broderick can’t wait.  ”We couldn’t be more excited to host Richard and to give one of our lucky patrons a chance to win a custom Gas Monkey Garage Ford F-150!”  Even the guest of honor chimed in, “If you’re not excited about this weekend, well, you just might need to get yourself to a doctor!” said Rawlings.

Room specials at the casino are available for April 25-26 and the event runs from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  There will also be an amazing array of food specials, car show participation events, prizes, and live music.  While you visit the casino, be sure to take in their wonderful spa, beachfront, or dining opportunities, turning a fun-filled day into an easy, close to home stay-cation.

Questions about the event can be directed to 888-461-2214 or visit www.quinaultbeachresort.com.

 

Vacancies for Thurston County Lodging Tax Advisory Committee

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 1:29pm

ThurstonTalk

 

Submitted by Thurston County Commissioners

The Board of Thurston County Commissioners is currently recruiting for four vacancies on the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee.
The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee is charged with the responsibility of annually recommending to the Board of County Commissioners how to best use lodging tax revenues. The Committee is comprised of five board members who serve three year terms.  By statute, one member must be an elected official of the county, two members must be representatives of businesses that collect the lodging tax in unincorporated Thurston County, and two members must be representatives involved in activities authorized to be funded by lodging tax revenues in unincorporated Thurston County.

The Lodging Tax is an excise (sales) tax authorized by Chapter 67.28 RCW Public Stadium, Convention, Arts and Tourism Facilities. It is paid by people who stay overnight in a lodging establishment such as a hotel, motel, bed and breakfast facility, or camp ground.

The Lodging Tax may be used to promote tourism events, locations, and activities for the purpose of attracting visitors to our area. Lodging tax revenue may also be used to pay for capital and/or operating costs for some tourism-related facilities, the operation of visitor/convention agencies, and the operation and marketing of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists.
If you are interested in serving on the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, you may download the application at www.co.thurston.wa.us/bocc/boards.htm, contact Becca Pilcher by email, pilcher@co.thurston.wa.us or by phone, 360-786-5747.  All applications must be received no later than 5pm Monday, May 5.

Commissioners Celebrate Earth Day, Thank Volunteers

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 1:27pm

ThurstonTalk

 

Submitted by Thurston County Commissioners

To celebrate Earth Day , Thurston County Commissioners presented their annual Earth Day proclamation at their regular weekly meeting. But with all the fanfare, flowers, costumes, dancing and dozens of special guests, today’s festivities will be remembered as something far beyond simple regular meeting proceedings.

The proclamation declaring Tuesday, April 22 Earth Day in Thurston County was welcomed with daffodils presented by students from McLane Elementary School, and a rousing song and dance from Samba Olywa that has become a delightful annual tradition at the county commissioners’ Earth Day presentation event. Commissioners also congratulated Eli Sterling and all of the volunteers that contribute to the Procession of the Species parade as they celebrate the 20th procession this Saturday.

“This special day gives us a chance to highlight the work and dedication of our local environmental heroes,” said Commission Chair Karen Valenzuela. “These volunteers are the heart and soul of this community. Thurston County is a greener and healthier place to live because of your hard work and commitment to the environment. Thank you all for everything you do for Thurston County.”

“I look forward to our Earth Day celebration each year,” said Commission Vice Chair Sandra Romero. “It’s a fun and festive way to acknowledge the serious business of protecting our environment. Protecting our clean water, our fertile agricultural lands, our forests, our prairies, our wildlife, and Puget Sound protects our own quality of life and our own health here in Thurston County. Our children are counting on us to do the right thing and leave them a healthy community and a healthy planet.”

“We truly could not accomplish all of the things these fabulous volunteers and environmental stewards do without the gifts of their time and tireless efforts. Thurston County as a government body could not afford all of the programs and projects that our volunteers donate to this community. What they do benefits us all, and for that we are all in their debt. They have given us all the gift of a healthier environment,” said Commissioner Cathy Wolfe.

 

WDFW Plans Additional Razor Clam Digs in April and May

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 1:24pm

ThurstonTalk

 

Submitted by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

razor clam digWashington’s remarkable razor clam season continues as state shellfish managers plan to add digs in late-April and early May.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced a tentative schedule of new digs in light of updated harvest estimates that show a sufficient number of clams to support the additional openings.

“This has been a great year for razor clams,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW shellfish manager.  “Clams this year have been bigger than average and abundant enough to add another series of digs.”

Final approval on upcoming digs will be announced after marine-toxin test results confirm the clams are safe to eat.

“Digging at Mocrocks has been fabulous lately,” Ayres said, noting that the upcoming series of digs includes three dates at that beach.

The upcoming digs are scheduled on the following dates, beaches and low tides:

  • Apr. 27, Sunday, 5:53 a.m.,  -0.3 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach
  • Apr. 28, Monday, 6:39 a.m., -0.8 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach
  • Apr. 29, Tuesday,  7:22 a.m., -1.1 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach
  • Apr. 30, Wednesday, 8:03 a.m., -1.2 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach
  • May 01, Thursday, 8:43 a.m., -1.0 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach
  • May 02, Friday, 9:23 a.m., -0.7 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks
  • May 03, Saturday, 10:04 a.m., -0.3 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks
  • May 04, Sunday, 10:47 a.m., 0.1 feet,  Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks

WDFW shellfish managers will analyze harvest data after this series of digs is completed. If enough clams remain for more digs, the best tides are around the weekend of May 17, Ayres said.

Under state law, diggers can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container. Razor clam diggers are reminded that they may not harvest any part of another person’s daily limit, except for those who possess designated harvester cards.

Diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2014-15 fishing license to harvest razor clams on state beaches. Fishing licenses of various kinds are available on the department’s website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.

For updates on upcoming digs, visit the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.

 

Local Students Excel at Evergreen Math Meet

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 1:18pm

ThurstonTalk

 

Submitted by The Olympia School District

Local students from South Sound high schools scored high during the state championship round of a national math tournament on April 12, with the majority qualifying for the national tournament, to be held May 16 in Kansas City.

Olympia High School won the meet in terms of overall team scores, making them the 2014 Washington State Math Meet Champions.

“The overwhelming success of the students in this round of the math meet is a wonderful thing,” said Brian Walter, math faculty at Evergreen and one of the organizers of the event. “We’re delighted some local students will go ahead and compete in Kansas City at the highest level.”

The Evergreen State College, which offers a broad range of math programs, hosted the state championship round of the mathleague.org national high school math competition. Twenty students from Olympia, River Ridge, North Thurston, Henry Foss, and Capital high schools in the South Sound area competed, with fourteen qualifying for the nationals.

The meet was by invitation only, open to those students who qualified in the earlier tournament held at Evergreen last fall.

Here are the results of the meet:

1st place overall team:                               Olympia HS

2nd place overall team:                             Henry Foss HS

3rd place overall team:                              North Thurston HS

 

1st place Freshman/Sophomore team:   Olympia HS

2nd place Freshman/Sophomore team:  Henry Foss HS

3rd place Freshman/Sophomore team:   North Thurston HS

 

1st place overall individual:         Ernest Gu, Olympia HS

2nd place overall individual:        Min Choi, Olympia HS

3rd place overall individual:         Henry Hua, Henry Foss HS

 

12th grade – 1st place:        Abby Santos, River Ridge HS

12th grade – 2nd place:      Liam Lloyd, Olympia HS

12th grade – 3rd place:       Hiep Can, Henry Foss HS

 

11th grade – 1st place:        Ernest Gu, Olympia HS

11th grade – 2nd place:      Min Choi, Olympia HS

11th grade – 3rd place:       Dan Tran, North Thurston HS

 

10th grade – 1st place:        Henry Hua, Henry Foss HS

10th grade – 2nd place:      Daniel Grimm, North Thurston HS

10th grade – 3rd place:       Theodore Jeremy Ong, Olympia HS

 

9th grade – 1st place:         Warren Gu, Olympia HS

9th grade – 2nd place:        Breanna Smith, River Ridge HS

9th grade – 3rd place:         Morgan Wohosky, River Ridge HS

 

Celebrate the 27th Anniversary of Lacey Spring Fun Fair

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 12:54pm

ThurstonTalk

 

Submitted by The City of Lacey

Lacey Spring Fun Fair Grand Parade (8)You won’t want to miss the 27th Anniversary of Lacey Spring Fun Fair at Saint Martin’s University on Saturday and Sunday, May 17th and 18th.  This free family event draws more than 16,000 attendees who come to enjoy great entertainment and fun for all ages!

This much-loved family-oriented festival features special exhibits, huge interactive inflatables, a 300’ Zip Line, circus train, pony rides, junk chimes and Wild Kingdom.  Highlights for Saturday will be Blitz (11-1), Reptile Man (Noon), Ronald McDonald (1:00pm to 1:45pm) and Mariner Moose (2-4pm). Highlighting Sunday will be Chicken Rider.

Spend some time shopping for arts & crafts from local artisans, commercial vendors and then enjoy some delicious food offerings. Step inside the Pavilion to experience “Kids World,” which offers free games, face painting & children’s crafts.  The 2-stage entertainment schedule includes a wide range of entertainers from local school groups, various dance troupes, and bands including Off Boulevard, Slieveloughane Irish Dancers, and Studio One Dance and Acro Centre, plus various other great musical talents!

The Grand Parade will begin Saturday at 6:00 pm with Stephanie Hemphill, Lacey Chamber of Commerce Executive Director as Grand Marshall. Come enjoy the floats, horses, and various community organizations as they delight the crowds. The Lacey parade route can be found on laceyspringfunfair.com.

The “All Star Talent Show”, sponsored by WSECU, will be on Sunday at 2pm. Watch as singers, dancers and other amazing displays of talent compete for cash prizes.

On Sunday, fair attendees will be able to enjoy the Classic Car Show, featuring treasured cars from around southwestern Washington. Come vote for your favorite!

Festival hours are Saturday, May 17, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, May 18, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is a free round trip bus shuttle service Saturday only 10:00 am – 5:15 pm from the South Sound Mall, near the Flag Pavilion parking lot. Fair-goers are also encouraged to use Intercity Transit.

To view more information visit the website at www.laceyspringfunfair.com.

 

A note to our readers (still the smartest, sexiest people alive):

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New Biz Oly: the Pet Works

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Olympia Power & Light - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 6:32am
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Bailey Docter – Talented Black Hills High School Junior Headed to State Choir Championships

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

 

By Gale Hemmann

russell dentistry logoBailey Docter is one to watch. As a junior at Black Hills High School, she already has a strong start to her career as a singer.  She will be competing as a soloist in the mezzo-soprano category at the State Choir Championships in Ellensburg on April 25.

I met with Bailey Docter and her mother, Marie Docter at the Tumwater Starbucks. Fashionably dressed and with a big smile, Bailey immediately radiates a dynamic presence. As we talked, I could tell that Bailey has star quality: composed and articulate, she told me about her passion for singing and her future goals. As her resume shows, she has accomplished an incredible amount for a teen (or anyone, for that matter). This will be her second time singing at State, and she has participated in numerous competitions and given many performances around the area and beyond. The classically-trained singer also performs with the Olympia Youth Chorus (OYC), where she has been a featured soloist. She was the lead in the Black Hills High School musical this year. Bailey is also adept at many styles of music, from pop to jazz to Broadway. You name it, this girl can do it.

Photo courtesy Bailey Docter Music

Photo courtesy Bailey Docter Music

Docter has already released an album, Just Sing. She recorded the album when she was just fifteen years old (studio time was a Christmas gift from her parents). She feels that she has already grown since her debut album; however, she cites favorite tracks as “Easy Come, Easy Go” and “Smoke and Mirrors.”  You can listen to samples and purchase the CD (or individual tracks) on her website. You can also “like” her page, Bailey Docter Music, on Facebook. If you want to see her in action, you can check out some of her YouTube videos – Bailey and her mom shared with me that a favorite is Bailey singing “Kalinka” with the Black Hills High School Chamber Choir at their Winter Program. She is hoping to produce another album before she graduates from high school. Docter has also been learning mixing and editing, which she’s excited to add to her repertoire of skills as a musician.

Docter is truly a student of the arts. Her mother says Bailey would hum along to music before she was speaking; she wrote her first song at age six. In addition to voice, Bailey also plays several instruments (drum, piano and guitar), dances at Debbi’s Dance, Etc!, acts, and does some modeling work. She also writes (she’s working on a novel series) and loves the visual arts (she paints and recently restored a mural at her school).

Though a typical week is packed with activities for this ambitious teen, she also finds some time to serve in youth leadership roles at her church and to have “down time” with her friends and just hang out (she enjoys gaming and at one point wanted to start a band with her friends). She and her family are currently looking at colleges with top-notch music programs. Bailey’s dream career is to sing and perform on Broadway.

Photo courtesy Bailey Docter

Photo courtesy Bailey Docter

Yet for all of her accomplishments and wisdom beyond her years, Docter is refreshingly down-to-earth, friendly, and quick to support the accomplishments of her peers.

She thanks her mentors and teachers along the way. Her family has been incredibly supportive since they realized Bailey’s true musical talent in middle school. (Bailey comes from a musical family; both brothers are singers, and her dad is an accomplished guitarist who now makes guitars.) In addition to Kathleen Alviar, choral music director at Black Hills, Docter also cites OYC’s Cindy Dinsmore as a huge influence, and her vocal teacher, Denise Daverso.

A second Black Hills student, Jacob Anderson, is also making waves.  He was selected as “first alternate” to compete in the Baritone category at State this year. Kathleen Alviar notes that she is very proud of his accomplishments, and Bailey, a good friend of Anderson’s, says he is an amazing singer.

 Peppin Photography

Photo credit: Peppin Photography

Docter notes what an honor it is to be part of the Black Hills High School Music Choir, and to attend a school that has such a rich arts program. This is a big year for the Black Hills High School choirs: for the first time ever, in addition to sending soloists/duets, the entire Chamber Choir is headed to the state competition. Black Hills has three choirs: Chamber Choir (which Docter sings with), Con Brio (a treble choir), and the Concert Choir, and all three groups earned a score of “superior” at Regionals this year.

The dynamic Alviar is the person behind the group’s accomplishments. Over email, she shared with me that the school has been working hard to build their choir program over the past several years, and that going to State represents a huge achievement for them. Students are quick to point out her supportive role in the choirs’ development. Bailey notes that Alviar is great because she is very positive and dedicated to her students’ success, and that she gives each student a chance to perform. Alviar has an accomplished history in teaching music; she holds a Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting, and served as the Tumwater School District Music Coordinator for several years. Alviar teaches music at Tumwater Middle School in the mornings, in addition to teaching at Black Hills.

So, ThurstonTalk readers, let’s root for the Black Hills Chamber Choir at State and for Bailey Docter as a soloist. Bailey and her peers are definitely rising youth stars in Thurston County.

 

Sunset Air Helps You Keep Up with the Seasons Remotely

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/23/2014 - 5:59am

ThurstonTalk

 

olympia remote thermostatThese days, your phone can do just about everything.  My phone even seems to make calls when safely ensconced in my back pocket…whether I want it to or not.  Now, however, I can teach it more helpful tricks, thanks to the knowledgeable employees of Lacey’s Sunset Air.

Home thermostat systems are now accessible via smart phone, laptop, or tablet, says Residential Division Manager Randy Norris.  Manufacturers like Carrier are able to connect via your home’s wireless internet which makes them remotely reachable, any time or place.

Ranging in price from approximately $450-750, these interfaced thermostats offer a greener solution so that any change in occupancy or schedule can be addressed.  Decide to extend your vacation?  Simply access your status and keep the heaters off for those extra days.  Sent home early on a snow day?  Log in from work and quickly turn up the settings for a toasty homecoming.

This technology isn’t just for folks with money to burn either.  The Carrier Infinity thermostat offers energy tracking features which allow for more detailed usage statistics.  This lets landlords and homeowners alike study their heating habits and make small, key adjustments that add up to money saved.  The online access is protected via password and your home wi-fi router offers secondary password security.

Sunset Air has long been a hub of new technology, superb maintenance, and up-to-the-minute information.  Whether it’s helping install new LED streetlights or create the hemisphere’s highest rated LEED-certified building for Saint Martin’s University, they make our region brighter, warmer, and more efficient.  Helping introduce technologies like these, which once had the ring of science-fiction about them, goes a long way towards what Randy Norris calls the ‘smart grid.’  This is what the US Department of Energy refers to as “a class of technology people are using to bring utility electricity delivery systems into the 21st century, using computer-based remote control and automation. These systems are made possible by two-way communication technology and computer processing that has been used for decades in other industries. They are beginning to be used on electricity networks, from the power plants and wind farms all the way to the consumers of electricity in homes and businesses. They offer many benefits to utilities and consumers—mostly seen in big improvements in energy efficiency on the electricity grid and in the energy users’ homes and offices.”

carrierOne example of this can be seen locally at the University of Washington where computer monitored energy usage statistics have been used to save $130,000 a year.  Said Norris “I had an opportunity to visit the Carrier factory in Indianapolis a few months back and a major topic of discussion was that the upcoming trend is to incorporate the new ‘smart’ thermostats as a hub capable of controlling the entire home automation system including, security, lighting, sprinklers, etc.   (Soon to follow is a smart thermostat control capable of walking the dog!)”

While dog-walking is probably a few years away, it’s comforting to know that technological advancements are available to anyone, in any living situation.  We all want to save money, stay warm, keep our cool, and enjoy the tricky climate we live in.  The staff at Sunset Air can make that happen.

Visit Sunset Air at 5210 Lacey Boulevard SE or call 360-456-4956.

 

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