Recent local blog posts

Psycho Mama Art Opening with Emma Kohlmann and Sonya Sombreuil Cohen

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 5:00pm

Sunday, August 17th, 8pm opening.

Emma Kohlmann
Sonya Sombreuil Cohen

With a conceptual DJ set by Alex Coxen.


Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Olympia Hardcore Fest

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 4:00pm

Saturday, August 9th & Sunday, August 10th- varied locations. Save the dates- more info coming soon.

Tercer Mundo (Monterrey, MX) Best 7″ of 2013
Ooze (Chicago/NW Indiana) American Hardcore
Nudes (Seattle, WA) Filthy Hardcore Punk, US Tour Return Show
Gag (Olympia, WA) Kings of Rock
Bad Blood (Olympia/Chicago) Members of GAG, Raw Nerve, Strangers
Vexx (Olympia, WA) Too Talented For This Fest
Snob (Vancouver, BC) Better Than You
G Spot (Fountain Valley, CA) Snotty and Fast, Think Gang Green
Big Zit (NW Indiana) Best Band In America
Dirty Work (Kansas City, MO) Punk Done Proper
Beta Boys (Kansas City, MO) More Kansas City Insanity
Bricklayer (Seattle/Olympia, WA) New Grimace
Provos (San Francisco, CA) Franciscan Soldiers
Convict (Olympia, WA) Raw, 80s, Pissed Off, Ol’ School, Crucial Response
A Priori (Oakland, CA) Kiss Your Posteriori Goodbye
Burial Suit (Olympia, WA) Birthday Suit Rockers
PMS 84 (Portland, OR) Lace Up Your Boots
Turtle Neck (Olympia, WA) High Voltage Rock N Roll
Mercenaries (Olympia, WA) Oly’s Answer to early 80s Ohio
Nerv (Iowa City) On Tour and Ready to Rock
US Disorder (Olympia, WA) New Hardcore Punk

Facebook invite and more info:


Categories: Arts & Entertainment

CABANA + Dorotheo + Francisco & Madero

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 5:00pm

Friday, August 8th, 8pm. More info soon!

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Violent Vickie // Garlicman & Chikn // Vibrissae // Nightspac3

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 5:00pm

Thursday, August 7th, 8pm. More info soon!

Categories: Arts & Entertainment


Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Sat, 08/02/2014 - 5:00pm

Saturday, August 2nd, 8pm

CONVICT – loud fast bitchin’

Heatwarmer – sonic wizards from Seattle playing shred heavy synth rock dance jams and electric clarinet

GURAM GURAM – Duran Duran covers played backwards and half speed on the harp

And local support from our friendsWHELP


Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Yonatan Gat (ex-MONOTONIX) + Calvin Johnson + Arrington de Dionyso

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Fri, 08/01/2014 - 5:00pm

Friday, August 1st, 8pm

YONATAN GAT (ex-Monotonix)
w/ local support from CALVIN JOHNSON

A masterful guitarist, Gat recently won Village Voice’s “Best Guitarist of 2013″. His power trio is experienced on the floor inside the audience, tearing through “a wholly fresh fusion of psychedelic sounds and rhythms from around the globe, with nods to free jazz and served with an unabashed punk spirit”. Gat’s genre-bending and border shattering (quite literally) guitar assumes simultaneous lead and rhythm duties blending punk rock with Middle Eastern styles, backed by Gal Lazer’s hard-hitting African-influenced grooves and Sergio Sayeg’s (of Brazilian psychedelic rockers Garotas Suecas) melodic anchor.

“Monotonix guitar virtuoso Yonatan Gat has reinvented himself as a world-music riff maven” – Time Out New York

“Tropical psych-pop shredding” – Orlando Weekly

“Kaleidoscopic” – SPIN

“Gat’s Jimi-Hendrix-meets-Godzilla guitar tone is the instrument by which the band brings the arena-rock experience within your immediate reach and, because of the energy level relative to the scale, makes it more explosive and cathartic than anything you could ever see on a bigger stage” – NY Press

“While Monotonix exploits every cubic inch of a venue with vigor, Gat seems to want to scour every corner of the world, with equal intensity” – Chattanooga Pulse

Facebook invite!


Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Stephen Steinbrink + Whales Whailing + Johanna Warren

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Tue, 07/29/2014 - 5:00pm

STEPHEN STEINBRINK … OLY contemporary yet nostalgic alt-pop

WHALES WHAILING … PDX devotional psych-folk GROUP

JOHANNA WARREN … PDX psych-folk SOLO/acoustic

Facebook invite


Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Mere Mention Comedy Show- July edition

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Sun, 07/27/2014 - 4:30pm

Mere Mention Comedy show- Sunday, July 27, 7:30pm

GUYS, It’s back! Mere Mention, Northern’s beloved but little seen comedy show, the Buzzcocks of comedy shows, is back! And this month is going to be stellar!

We are proud to be welcoming Ryan Kruse, Nathaniel Wolf, Taylor Rae Sikorski, and Sam Miller to our stage. Each have been killing it at the local comedy rooms and I am excited to see their feature sets. I will be hosting and I’m going to work really hard to be funny, but also charming, but also grateful to have you there.

We are also happy to have, as sort of the 5th act of the night, SUMMER ITSELF. Shining in through the windows, making our comedy show seem like some Emersonian speech on the grass.

So bring some sod to sit on and a jar of sun tea to drink, and enjoy some of the finest comedy Olympia has to offer!

Facebook invite


Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Christmas at Helsing Junction Sleep Over 2010

K Records - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 6:41pm
A dynamic performance by Christmas at the Helsing Junction Sleep Over, Summer 2010. Filmed by Eric Becker, additional assistance by Rodrigo Valenzuela.  
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Wauby + Fruit Juice + Calliope

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 5:00pm

Wednesday, July 23 at 8:00pm

WAUBY … Oly indie pop

FRUIT JUICE … Oly psych glam

CALLIOPE … Oly experimental electronic indie

Facebook invite


Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Northwest Literary Showcase

K Records - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 10:54am
  The Northwest Literary Showcase at this year’s Helsing Junction Sleeopver, August 15-17, presents a broad mix of essayists, novelists, zinesters, and poets from around the Northwest. Combining seasoned award-winning authors with up-and-coming writers, the showcase brings an entertaining assortment of local talent. Some of the artists appearing this year are: Sarah Mirk lives most of her life […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

South Sound YMCA Child Care Lends a Helping Hand

Thurston Talk - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 9:46am



olympia ymca child careJerry Seinfeld could have been speaking of summer vacation when he claimed “There is no such thing as fun for the whole family.”  At this midway point in the school holidays, most parents are counting the days until school starts and routines are firmly back in place.

If a helping hand is needed in the childcare arena, the South Sound YMCA is always there.  For nearly 25 years, they have provided a safe, welcoming environment for children from 4 weeks of age through 12 years.  Over that time more than 30,000 children have shared in their mission; as they advertise “at the Y we provide more than a place for kids to go.  We care for kids by providing nurturing development, healthy lifestyle choices, self-reliance through positive relationships, and values-based learning.”

South Sound YMCA Child Development Director Ron White is proud that “many of our families stay with us for years.”

ymca summer campThe Y’s team of caring and highly-trained staff provides many options for care, depending on the need and time of year.  As White explains, “We have three distinctly different experiences:  Campus is an early learning center at SPSCC that provides care and curriculum for children from 4 weeks until kindergarten.  They are focused on social and emotional growth and provide curriculum that is geared to help children be kindergarten ready when they leave the program.  Many of the children that attend this program go on to Y Care afterschool at their home elementary school.”

White continues, “Afterschool care is available at 30 different local elementary schools and is focused on recreation, health & wellness and homework assistance.  We have worked hard on transforming our program into a child-driven one.  We want them to feel the center is their own and enlist their help in designing it.  The curriculum is theme-based and focuses on learning in an experiential way.”

ymca healthy kids dayDuring the summer months, the Y offers at least five different specialty focused camps each week, with various themes.  “We continue to bring the fun because we want the children to enjoy their summer, but with a strong focus on learning around the theme,” explains White.

For military families, the Y offers Army School-Age Programs In Your Neighborhood (ASPYN).  Families in this program often qualify for reduced childcare fees.  “This has been a fantastic partnership,” White says.  “Through the Army we have received the resources to have three of our programs nationally accredited and have been able to provide numerous trainings to the staff at all of our school-age locations.  We have also had the opportunity to provide a tutor at three locations.  The tutor gives the children extra focus on school work.”  Because military life can include frequent moves and transitions for children, this extra support helps maintain continuity in education and provide a caring place for friendship and play.

YMCA_Military_BoysTo contact the YMCA Child Care Office, visit 108 State Avenue, Olympia or call 360-705-2642.

The Campus Early Learning Center at SPSCC runs Monday through Friday from 6:45 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and summer camps will continue through the week of August 25.  Camp hours are Monday-Friday from 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. for campers aged 5-12.

The South Sound YMCA is so much more than just a place to exercise or take swimming lessons.  It is a tremendous resource for all residents interested in prevention, community, and caring support.  By offering childcare with an endless variety of options, the Y helps local families stay strong and successful.


Owen Timms No Stranger to National Sailing Competitions

Thurston Talk - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 7:24am



By Tom Rohrer

duncan sponsorThere’s something about being on the water that brings out the best in Owen Timms.

The 13-year-old, soon to be eighth grader at Nova Middle School, has gone from sailing enthusiast to amateur racing expert in less than half a decade.

olympia youth sailing

Owen Timms sails at Cascade Rocks in Oregon.

“I love being out on the water.  Sailing is one of the only sports to allow me to be out on water,” said Timms.  “It’s a challenge just being out there and I love that challenge.”

Timms is a junior camp instructor at the Olympia Yacht Club as well as a member of the OYC High School sailing team and the Seattle Yacht Club Junior Race Team.  He has traveled around the country to compete against the best young navigators in the country.

Timms enrolled in a sailing camp through the OYC at age eight and after receiving encouragement from former coach Jan Visser, he joined the Northwest Youth Racing Circuit.

“She wanted me to give it a shot,” said Timms of the instruction he received from the late coach Visser.  “Without her, I wouldn’t have had that chance.”

Along with the NYRC, Timms has traveled to Florida, California, Maine and most recently Sanford, CT., for the USA Team Trials regatta.  Later this week, Timms will head to down to Marina Del Rey, Calif., for the Club Flying Junior National Championships held Thursday, July 24 through Saturday, July 26.

Timms’s extensive national competition experience has not only made him a stronger sailor, but has brought him a boat-load (pun intended) of new friends.

“The bigger the regatta, the more experience you gain.  The competition is tough and you feel good just being there.  You gain more confidence,” Timms said of his national experience.

olympia youth sailing

Owen Timms took his first sailing class at age eight. Now 13, Timms is a junior instructor at the Olympia Yacht Club summer sailing program.

“I love meeting new people in new places,” Timms continued. “I have friends in Florida, Bermuda, all over.  It’s pretty weird to think that I wouldn’t have met them without sailing.”

While making friends is an objective for Timms at regattas, the main goal is to perform as well as possible.  Barley a teenager, Timms still finds the competition is a driving force for his passion.

“I love the competition.  The challenge really pushes you to stay focused (at regattas) the whole time,” he said.

In terms of national competitions, one of Timms best performances came in March down in Florida.  On the first day of the event, Timms boat finished 17th out of 260 vessels.

“That really boosted my confidence a lot,” said Timms. “It was a huge regatta.”

Though he has proven himself on a national stage, Timms has room for improvement.  No one recognizes this fact more than Timms himself.

“There are still a ton of things to work on.  My technique is not perfect, and really there’s always something to do,” he said. “There’s never been (a sailor) who has known everything.”

Timms has benefitted from coaching and instruction since his infancy.  He estimates he first went on his father’s sailboat at age two.  Six years later, he was enrolled at the OYC and has been absorbing tips and tactics along the way.

“I’ve had great coaching my whole life,” Timms said. “Seattle, Olympia and people I’ve met (at competitions), it’s all helped me get to this point.”

One such coach was Visser, the Olympia Yacht Club Sailing Director, who passed away in late April at the age of 73.

olympia youth sailing

Timms sails at Shilshole Bay in Seattle. He competes across the country in a variety of sailing events.

“She was the one that wanted me to try and go for it. I did, and now I’m hooked on it,” he said.  “I owe her a lot.”

Timms is also grateful for the sacrifices his family has made to allow him to compete at such a high level.

“Without my parents, I wouldn’t be able to go to Seattle almost every weekend or to the big regattas.  I think they enjoy it as well, but it’s a challenge for the entire family,” Timms said. “I really appreciate how hard they work to (allow) me to sail.  I have a little brother who is six, and he has to miss things too.  They all make sacrifices.”

Timms continues to make the most of his family’s sacrifices and appears headed on the right track towards a successful sailing career.   Even at a young age, Timms has set goals for himself and plans on accomplishing them in due time.

“I’d love to get into a great college that has a varsity sailing team. That would be perfect,” he said.

Until then, Timms will continue spending time in his natural element.

“I can’t get away from the water.  The wind, the views, the smells, I love it all.”

For more information on the youth sailing camps and lessons in Olympia, visit


Meet Mike McKinnon, Owner of Thurston County’s Dairy Queens

Thurston Talk - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 5:53am



dairy queen franchise

Mike McKinnon’s parents started their first Dairy Queen franchise in 1976 in Lacey.

Think back to playing sports as a kid. Odds are, you didn’t go celebrate after the big game with a formal, sit-down dinner at a fancy restaurant. You probably went out for ice cream, right?

My family and I can often be found at the Tumwater Dairy Queen after one of my older daughter’s summer soccer games. We happily pop in for a dipped cone or a Blizzard and are quickly on our way, smiling from ear to ear.

It’s the stuff of which fond family memories are made.

Mike McKinnon, a graduate of Olympia High School, knows a thing or two about this. He and his parents own of all of the Dairy Queen’s in Thurston County as well as the location in Centralia.

“My parents got into the business back in 1976,” he recounts. “They purchased their first store in Lacey on Pacific Avenue, and then they expanded through the years. They built stores in Tumwater, Rochester, Olympia, Yelm, and Centralia.”

Dairy Queen “is in the family DNA,” admits McKinnon, who worked briefly at his parent’s old South Sound Mall location as a young teenager, but didn’t come into the business officially until 1998.

“We call it ‘fan food,’ not ‘fast food,’” he states. “Dairy Queen is tied to happy memories and the celebrations of life’s great little moments. Everyone lays claim to ‘My DQ’. It’s a great business.”

dairy queen franchise

Mike McKinnon believes in giving teens a start in the business world at one of his Dairy Queen franchises.

McKinnon believes strongly in giving local teens their first taste of what it means to be a part of the work force. A teenager can expect a solid foundation of work ethic to form as an employee at a local Dairy Queen.

“This industry is where many young people learn how to have a job – how to show up on time, to listen to instruction from managers, and how to work as a team. If they don’t get that in sports or other high school activities, this is another place for them to get that experience.”

Teenagers today are different from even five years ago, yet their role at work at Dairy Queen remains unchanged and unaffected by their need to connect in an increasingly digital age. “Kids can learn to work and have fun within a structure here,” explains McKinnon. The demands of the job haven’t changed much. Employees still make burgers, sandwiches and soft serve ice cream treats.

What has changed is that Dairy Queen has shifted to an online application process. However, the old-fashioned advice to following-up on an application in person at the place of business still holds true.

“Just don’t come during the lunch rush,” cautions McKinnon with a smile. “We’re always hiring,” he adds.

Currently, McKinnon provides work for anywhere from 225 to 240 individuals in our area. He is giving back to our community by sponsoring sports teams, along with sponsoring the high school internship positions here at ThurstonTalk. He is generously giving kids an opportunity to learn about the world of journalism outside of high school.

dairy queen franchise

At the Tumwater location, Mike McKinnon and his father reminisce about how Dairy Queen is tied to “life’s happy little moments.”

As for his own favorite item on Dairy Queen’s menu?

“The Blizzard is still king. My favorite is the cappuccino-Heath Blizzard.  I like the coffee, and I’m a toffee guy.”

Next up for McKinnon’s Dairy Queen empire? Local Dairy Queens will soon have mobile loyalty programs, much like those you see at businesses like Starbucks. Customers will scan something with their smart phone to receive rewards at the checkout.

2015 marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of Dairy Queen as a brand. “We will have some very exciting things coming that are very fan-driven. There will be contests for determining Blizzards of the Month, and a lot of the flavors that have been our greatest hits will be making an appearance,” explains McKinnon.

Unfortunately for this local soccer mom, one of those flavors will not be Reese’s Pieces. Lucky for my kids, though, the cotton candy flavor may make a comeback.

You can learn more about the online application process for Dairy Queen by visiting


2014 Lakefair Fireworks

Thurston Talk - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 6:35pm



Thurston County’s long-standing summer festival, Lakefair, celebrated it’s 57th year on the shores of Capitol Lake last week.  And once again, the grand finale of the 5 day event was the Lakefair Fireworks show.  With music synchronized on  KGY AM-1240, viewers “oooh-ed” and “ahhh-ed” through the spectacular show which started at 10:00 p.m..  Thank you to local photographer and ThurstonTalk reader Chris Hamilton for these amazing photos of the night.

Lakefair 2014 1 Lakefair 2014 2 Lakefair 2014 3 Lakefair 2014 4 Lakefair 2014 5 Lakefair 2014 6 Lakefair 2014 7 Lakefair 2014 8 Lakefair 2014 9 Lakefair 2014 10 Lakefair 2014 11 Lakefair 2014 12 Lakefair 2014 13 Lakefair 2014 14 Lakefair 2014 15 Lakefair 2014 16 Lakefair 2014 17 Lakefair 2014 18 Lakefair 2014 19 Lakefair 2014 20 Lakefair 2014

Conversations with Painters - Salon Refus

OlyBlog Home Page - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 5:43pm
Event:  Tue, 07/29/2014 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm

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One Week Left for Thurston County Fair Pre-sale Discounts

Thurston Talk - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 5:40pm


Submitted by The Thurston County Fair

DDM Thurston County Fair-33If you want to beat the stampede and get savings for the whole herd, you’ll have to hurry—discounts on advance purchase carnival armbands for this year’s fair end on Tuesday, July 29.

Get your biggest savings with your advance purchase of carnival ride armbands for only $19 each—that’s $5 off the regular price. Carnival armbands are good for unlimited carnival rides for one day during the 2014 fair that runs Wednesday, July 30 through Sunday, August 3. Season passes are also bargain at 40 percent off the full price daily admission rate. Family Passes will get you five admissions for $25 when purchased in advance, but Family Pass supplies are limited, so get yours today. Remember, admission for children 5 years old and under is always free! All advance purchase passes and carnival armbands are available only at the Thurston County Fair Office in Lacey. For even more savings, bring your carnival armband on July 30 for “One Buck Wednesday.” All adult, youth and senior admission prices are just $1 with a non-perishable food donation per person to the Thurston County Food Bank. Doors open at 10 a.m. on One Buck Wednesday. Be sure to check out all of the One Buck Wednesday specials, including one buck food specials, and other One Buck Wednesday deals at participating vendors. Kid’s Day is Thursday, July 31 when all admission tickets for kids 6 to 14 years old are just $2 when purchased at the gate. August 1 is also Buddy Day when you can get two carnival armbands for $24 if you and a buddy are both present at the time of purchase (no advance purchase available for Buddy Day special). Friday, August 1 is Military Appreciation Day at the fair, when fairgoers can get $2 admission tickets when they present their military ID at the gate. There are also lots of other vendor and food deals—just ask about Military Appreciation Day specials and present your military ID.   Discount Advance Purchase Fair Passes & Carnival Ride Armbands
  • One-day unlimited carnival rides armband advance purchase — $19  Ends July 29! (gate price $24; ride tickets $1.25 each)
  • Family Pass (limited quantities available, buy now!) — $25
  • Season Pass (40 percent off the daily admission rate) — $10 to $21
  • *Children ages 5 and under are always FREE!
On sale now through Tuesday, July 29 at the Thurston County Fair Office at 3054 Carpenter Road SE in Lacey, 98503. To learn more about 2014 fair events, entertainment and exhibits, contact the Thurston County Fair Office at (360) 786-5453 or visit   “Fun for the Whole Herd at the Thurston County Fair!” July 30 – Aug. 3
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