Recent local blog posts

Hallowzine: a Fundraiser for the Olympia Zine Fest

Come help us raise money to reserve a space for the Olympia Zine Fest in 2015! This bash will feature:
* Spooky mixes by DJ Wildman James
* Tarot readings by Sage Adderley
* Dancing (if you’re into it)
* A costume contest with awesome prizes
* A raffle of great items including a collectible one of a kind zine created in realtime and a free table at the zinefest!
* Kombucha mocktails and bake sale delicacies to slake your thirst and curb your hunger

$5 entry includes one raffle ticket, you can buy more for just a buck each.



Categories: Arts & Entertainment

The Real Barbers of Southgate Shopping Center in Tumwater

Thurston Talk - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 7:04am



By Barb Lally

NW prosthodonticsWalk into The Barber Shop & Co. at Southgate Shopping Center in the heart of Tumwater and you would think you had walked into a great reality TV show.

All three chairs are filled and more clients are waiting for a barber. The buzz of electric trimmers is constant and over it, the banter is colorful and the stories are lively – people conversing about sports to what’s happening with mutual friends and neighbors.

For these three barbers, it is their first day working together. Doug and Cookie Parsons, cleaned out Doug’s Bullpen, their shop of more than 20 years, the day before and moved up the street to work with Cathy Hawkins who had remodeled her Southgate barbershop a few years back and added additional chairs.

tumwater barber

Real life barbers Cookie (left), Cathy (center) and Doug (right) have joined together at The Barber Shop in Tumwater.

Together, the three have a lot of barber talent, serious respect for their profession, and a lot of loyal clients, judging by the steady stream into the shop.

Reflecting back and looking forward

The years at Doug’s Bullpen are less than half of Doug’s 54 years as a barber.

Doug started cutting hair at the age of 16 in his Dad’s shop near the old post office on Pacific in Lacey in 1959. “That was before South Sound Center even existed and there was a drive-in theatre where Fred Meyer is located now,” Doug reflects.

The requirements to be licensed as a barber were tougher then. “When we went to barber school you had to take a test for a haircut, shave, shampoo and facial in an hour and a half,” Doug says. “The schools don’t do that anymore.”

Prior to Doug’s Bullpen, the Parson’s had a barber shop for 25 years on Littlerock Road when there was so little traffic the band from Tumwater Middle School would march down the middle of road for practice.

When the school had after-school activities, Doug and Cookie often stayed at their shop with the lights on so that students could wait there and stay warm until their parents picked them up.

Doug and Cookie didn’t move from Doug’s Bullpen for lack of customers. “We can barely handle what we have now between the two of us,” says Doug who explains that running a small business is not easy. But they want to keep working.

“We enjoy the people,” says Cookie. “We like our lifestyle.” 

Customers are family

tumwater barber

Doug and Cookie Parsons on the day they moved out of Doug’s Bullpen, their barber shop for more than 20 years.

“You get to know your customers pretty personally, it’s like a family,” says Cookie.

Rick C., arrived on Doug and Cookie’s first day at Cathy’s shop. Doug has been cutting his hair for 15 years and says that real barbers are a dying breed.

“It’s not just a haircut, it’s great conversation,” Rick says while Doug clips his hair. “You become friends after a while. Doug gets to meet my grandkids and my wife. When we see each other in the store we greet each other.”

“I bribe them with Tootsie Rolls,” says Doug, who is well known as the “Tootsie Roll man.”

Doug also prides himself in serving many generations of a single family. “At one time I was in a photo with four generations of family members,” he says.

Any mention of a topic or place can prompt a story about their clients.

“Doug used to cut Dan Evans hair before he was governor,” Cookie says. “He also used to cut the hair of the pilots that flew for the governor.”

And, Doug remembers cutting the hair of the oldest living retired Federal Marshal who was in his 90s at the time. “This guy would tell stories you wouldn’t believe,” Doug says.

Haircuts aren’t digital

tumwater barber

All chairs were filled on the first day the three barbers worked together and conversation was lively.

Four years ago, Cathy Hawkins commissioned local artist Jim Whaley to paint a beautiful mural of the Southgate Center on the wall just outside her shop.

“Lots of people come and see it,” says Cathy. “I had a travel agency here for 25 years, which we opened in 1979, so that’s what I was trying to capture in the mural.”

Cathy has a brother-in-law who is a master barber with 21 barber shops who encouraged her to open her own shop.

“You can’t get a haircut online,” says Cathy who decided to go to barber school while she still had her travel agency. “It’s the truth. You can get airline tickets, but you can’t get a haircut online.”

Cathy, a grandmother of 12 and great grandmother of two, owns a second shop in Olympia and intends to keep cutting hair for awhile. “I like working,” is her simple explanation. 

Inspiring another generation

Cathy Hawkins bought her shop from barber Ky Johnson. “I used to cut his hair when he was a little kid,” Doug adds. “He went to barber school to come to work with me before he got his own shop.”

tumwater barber

Doug still has his Dad’s barber poll that dates back more than 65 years.

Cookie remembers another local that followed in their footsteps. “Doug cut Brian Seymour’s hair when he was a kid. Now he owns Clippers Barber Shop down the road.”

“Used to cut his hair when he was in a diaper,” Doug explains further.

Doug and Cookie, who are grandparents to 10 and great grandparents to 14, have three children, one of whom is a barber and worked with them at Doug’s Bullpen. 

A New Start

The antique barber chairs dating from 1901 and 1854 from Doug’s Bullpen are now in storage, but Doug and Cookie look forward to serving their loyal customers at The Barber Shop & Co.

If you call there sometime, Cathy will answer the phone. She will simply answer “Barber Shop” because that is purely what it is, a real barber shop with the real barbers of Southgate Shopping Center.

To contact The Barber Shop & Co. at Southgate, call (360) 352-7070.


Olympia Halloween Weekend Event Calendar

Thurston Talk - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 6:52am



My daughters turn into a bird researcher and the milk-half of a “milk and cookies” costume tonight.  For the sake of their cardboard costumes, I hope that the rain subsides so they don’t become a soggy mess.  We live in a rural section of Thurston County and while we will go say hello to a couple of neighbors, the majority of the trick-or-treat fun happens in town.  Whether you opt to swing into a neighborhood, stand in line to get a candy bar from Governor Inslee or take a stroll through Capital Mall to stay dry, ThurstonTalk has loads of ideas to help you organize your Halloween fun.  My wish (beyond a stall in the rain) – may you all revert to a kid tonight and eat too much candy.

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.


Happy Trashoween 2014

Olympia Dumpster Divers - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 11:55pm

Recycled Tin Monsters:

Frankenstein Checks a Text by Jenny Fillius Recycled Tin

Frankenstein Checks a Text by Jenny Fillius Recycled Tin

Trash Fashion Zombies:

Maddie the Rad Recycling Zombie

Maddie the Rad Recycling Zombie is Ruby’s inspiration for her recent recycled art soda tab jewelry

Trash Fashion Skeletons, too:

photo by Amy Neiman via LA Times

photo by Amy Neiman via LA Times
The gown is made from styrofoam cups, paper plates and plastic utensils — reused or repurposed?  We don’t know for sure, but still think this image is trashtastic!

and the Recycled Beer Capped Crusader:

Recycled Beer Capped Crusader Costume (Drinking in the Name of Art!)

Recycled Beer Capped Crusader Costume (Drinking in the Name of Art!)

Happy Trashoween 2014 from Olympia Dumpster Divers!

(more ODD Halloween posts HERE)


Categories: Arts & Entertainment

"I Feel Your Pain," and Similarly Presumptuous, Phony Bullshit

Mojourner Truth - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 10:07pm
Someone's scorched earth. Avert your eyes.
A week ago, a kid shot his friends, and then himself. I can tell you no more than that, even though I may 'know' more about the situation than you do. This one happened closer to where I live than usual, and when I spoke with family elsewhere, they mentioned it and expressed regret, but did not dwell on it and did not pretend to make sense of it.

On the other hand, another friend who had not been in touch for a while emailed a message fraught with 'concern' for how my own high school daughter dealt with it, seemed to fish for inside info, and mentioned how a mutual acquaintance sorta kinda knew (OK, recognized) the guy who has been arrested in a notorious murder in her part of the world.

How the hell would I know what happened with that kid, even if I knew him? Why would I speculate if I didn't know him? Why would having fewer degrees of separation from the anguish of several families and tribes make me an 'expert'?

Many people in our society play a sick sick game in the aftermath of murders and suicides. News media try to find out why, and adopt variously sensitive approaches to their prying into victims' and relatives' feelings, often as not posting interviews with people the killers and the killed would never have thought would speak for them. People with no real connection concoct one. The unaffected try on trauma to see how it befits them. 'Sensitive' people affect a variety of emotional effects, and in so doing display an appalling insensitivity to what is for someone (but not them) a tragedy.

It disgusts me and pisses me off, for reasons I won't tell you. You don't know how the killers and the killed felt, and if you are not an immediate relative or friend, or maybe a member of the same tribe, you never will. You should shut up and leave them alone until they ask you to say something.

Suicide is the ickiest paragraph of this sick commentary. Like whe Robin Williams killed himself, and every Tom, Dick, and Henry Rollins* needed to express their personal feelings about it. Aside from a handful of humans, nobody had the authority to speak to this, yet we were all besieged by co-workers, family members, reporters, media-friendly psychiatrists, and publicity hungry celebrities telling us why, or angstily telling us they didn't recognize the signs, or some other brand of bullshit. He might not even have seen it coming until it was too late. The people ostensibly bemoaning his loss did nothing productive, saved nobody, and displayed their own self-centeredness by treating tragedy as opportunity.

Mourn the dead if you knew them. Feel sad even if you didn't. But stop acting like death(s) you heard of on TV or the internet or the radio are personal to you. They are not, and it is an insult to the dead and their loved ones to make it personal to you. If some killing moves you to become an activist against guns or whatever, OK, but don't appropriate the souls of the dead to your cause. "He would have wanted..." is one of the all-time most presumptuous, bullshit-infused opening clauses in the English language. If you are just using someone else's tragedy to act sensitive, or publicly wring your hands, then you are full of crap.

Some people go beyond the show of mournfulness and try to figure out why. They won't know, and should cut it out. Killers and self-killers don't necessarily know why, so who is some outsider to waltz in and speculate?

*Former punk rocker and current media whore, who published an essay about how he no longer respected Williams, and was rightly excoriated for saying so.

Tumwater Issues Stop Work Order on Development at Old Brewhouse

Janine's Little Hollywood - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 5:44pm

Above: Construction equipment and maintenance debris seen around the Old Brewhouse building in Tumwater on October 8 and October 18 indicated a dramatic difference in recent road construction and water diversion efforts. Multiple areas with black tubing were seen in place, diverting water which was streaming from a nearby hillside. The hillside contains at least nine artesian springs.
By Janine

The City of Tumwater has issued a stop work order to Old Brewhouse developer George Heidgerken and Falls Development, LLC.In a voicemail yesterday, Chris Carlson, permit manager for the City of Tumwater, said, “We have issued a stop work order to the property owner down there, and he’s basically graded without a permit, and he has also filled a portion of a Category 3 wetland, a slope wetland, on the south side of the access road…the site is under stop work.

“We have contacted Alex Callender, over at the shoreline section of the Department of Ecology, letting him know where we’re at with this. The lead official right now is in the process of actually issuing the notice of violation….”
Carlson also said that the city will be setting up a meeting with both Ecology and the Army Corps of Engineers in the next couple of days to discuss what each agency’s course of action will be.

“We’re working on a solution to try and get the project in compliance,” he said.

Above: Excavation, road grading, and drain pipes as seen on the south side of the Old Brewhouse building on October 18, 2014.

Stop Work Order Details

City of Tumwater building official John Darnell visited the site this week after receiving a complaint that grading and filling work was being conducted on the south side of the building. Darnell confirmed that this work was being done without permits required under several Tumwater city codes including grading, wetland protection standards, and fish and wildlife habitat protection.

The stop work order, dated October 28, also requires that a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) be in place.

“With the exception of immediate erosion control measures, the Stop Work Order will remain in place until all plans, mitigations and approvals have been completed....You are required to submit a SWPPP plan designed and stamped by a licensed professional engineer to mitigate the potential erosion and stabilize the disturbed area....You also need to prepare a report/plan prepared by a licensed wetland biologist and civil engineer showing how the wetland and habitat area will be mitigated. Once we have the report and plan we will schedule a meeting with you and the agencies involved to determine if the mitigation is acceptable....” said Darnell. 

Citizen Complaints

The City of Tumwater is in the process of preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed redevelopment of an area that includes the Old Brewhouse. The city determined that this redevelopment is likely to have a significant adverse impact on the environment. Three land use scenarios for the site was identified by the city and the public comment for these scenarios was due to Tim Smith on October 20. As a private citizen, this reporter requested a stop work order at the Old Brewhouse site after she witnessed, on two occasions, extensive construction being done at the site.

She was taken on two tours of the property, one led by Tim Smith, planning manager at the City of Tumwater on October 8, and one led by the Old Brewhouse Foundation on October 18. On both tours, it was apparent that significant road construction and water diversion work was being done at the site. Other citizens were also on both tours.

The letter dated October 20 by Janine Unsoeld was written and submitted in a timely manner as a public comment and says, in part: “I request that the public comment deadline for TUM-14-0741 be extended to allow the public more time to research the three land use alternatives. I request a stop-work order on all activities on the property until these roles, and all environmental considerations under WAC 197-11-444 are better understood by all concerned parties.”

City of Tumwater Response

On October 22, Smith sent Unsoeld an email, saying, in part: “City staff will continue to work with the landowner regarding ongoing maintenance work onsite. Any site work that requires a permit will be enforced by staff.”

On October 23, Little Hollywood emailed several staff members in charge of wetland and shoreline permits at the state Department of Ecology, including Callender, and the state department of Fish and Wildlife expressing concerns. Little Hollywood also sent them a particularly disturbing picture and described the scene:

“…Water is flowing directly from the hillside (I've been told there are nine artesian springs there) into the moat, and going under the building and presumably, going somewhere, most likely the nearby wetlands and into the Deschutes River. The old metal pipes are being dug up at the base of the hillside, which I saw in place, in disarray. The big black tubes are replacements, it appears. There are new trenches and a road being built. “….Can you clarify for me the role of when Ecology and Fish and Wildlife may get involved, and wetland and shoreline issues will be monitored with regard to this property? I am concerned about possible conflicts of interest at the City of Tumwater….”

Above: Another view of the excavation, road grading, and drain pipes as seen on the south side of the Old Brewhouse building on October 18, 2014. Falls Development Response to Stop Work Order Jon  Potter, Old Brewhouse project manager for Falls Development, LLC, was reached late this afternoon by telephone and asked about the stop work order.“It shouldn’t have happened…it wasn’t intentional…it was ignorance. We dropped the ball on two things: the wetland, and not keeping people apprised of what was going on….” said Potter.According to Potter, a paint shop used to exist next to the old keg house between the existing road and the building. When Heidgerken bought the property, he could have gone after Miller Brewing Company to clean it up, but since they were in negotiations with Miller to lift the brewing deed restriction, Heidgerken decided to pick his battles and do the environmental clean-up himself.The deed restriction was lifted, and under a voluntary cleanup agreement with the state Department of Ecology, Falls Development excavated the area and handled dumpage fees for the contaminated soil. Potter said this cost developer George Heidgerken about $70,000. The excavation created a large hole where groundwater monitoring wells are expected to be placed. Since the hole was so big, it was necessary to bring in rock so that the monitoring wells could be placed.“….As part of that effort, drainage pipes were draining into that hole. George went back in and removed pipes on the other side….What should have happened, and didn’t happen on our part, is say, ‘Listen, this backfilling is bigger than anticipated.’ He didn’t go through the proper channels to remove the pipes….I’m angry with, but sympathetic with George that he tried to take the pipes out, but not in the right way. He felt like he was doing the right thing….”Potter said AEG Engineering in Olympia is their consultant who developed their remediation plan and said they didn’t need a grading permit.“It’s got to be done the right way and I am furious to put city staff in the position they are in….This is truly a public-private partnership and for us to screw up like that was not good. I can’t say it any other way….” said Potter.Potter said that their staff and the city’s staff will look at the issue to come up with a proposal regarding the wetland encroachment, which will determine the project’s future schedule.“When it’s all said and done, it’ll be spectacular….” said Potter. Above: Old Brewhouse Tower reflected in a puddle on October 18, 2014. For more information, go to Little Hollywood at, and see articles dated October 12, “Tumwater Seeks Public Comment on Old Brewery Proposed Development,” and October 16,“Developer Heidgerken Shares Old Brewery Vision.” 

Studley The Cat Brings Home ASPCA Cat of the Year Award

Thurston Talk - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 3:57pm



Submitted by Providence

Studley - ASPCA - Peds - Sept 2014The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® recently announced Studley, a cheerful white-haired feline with one gold eye and one blue eye from Olympia, has been named the recipient of the ASPCA “Cat of the Year” award.  Studley, who manages his own Facebook page and has more than 4,200 followers, began volunteering with the Providence Animal Assisted Activities and Therapy program in 2007.

The PAAA/T program was created in 1989 to share the unique benefits of the human-animal bond with the patients, staff and visitors of Providence St. Peter Hospital. Danni Sabia, PAAA/T program coordinator says, “Animals bring comfort and a sense of normalcy to patients in the sterile atmosphere of a hospital.”

Studley is the only therapy cat in the program out of more than 30 animals, and has been a regular visitor to Providence St. Peter Hospital, where’s he’s been offering comfort  to patients primarily in the psychiatric unit. Sabia says, “Studley is at his best visiting with patients on the psychiatric unit. His calming presence has brought comfort to patients during very difficult times in their lives.”

Following a nationwide public call for nominations, an ASPCA-appointed committee reviewed hundreds of entries and selected winners in six categories. Studley, along with the other ASPCA honorees, will be honored at this year’s ASPCA Humane Awards Luncheon Nov. 13 in New York City. According to the ASPCA, the ceremony recognizes “animal heroes who have demonstrated extraordinary efforts as well as individuals who have shown great commitment to animal welfare during the past year.”

Studley’s human handlers, Keith and Pam Phillips, adopted Studley in 2006, after Studley had been abandoned along the side of a road and rescued by Joint Animal Services. They nursed him back to health, and he quickly became a therapy cat, giving love and comfort to people in need. “It’s difficult to say who was more fortunate the day that Studley found Pam and Keith,” says Sabia. ”But, without a doubt, it was a lucky day for the hundreds of people whose lives Studley has touched during his seven-year tenure at Providence.”


Wynne Family Gifts The Wynne Farm to Southwest Washington Conserving Upper Schneider Creek Valley Forever

Thurston Talk - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 3:54pm



Submitted by Capitol Land Trust

530 acres in upper Schneider Creek watershed protected… forever Wynne family completes gift to southwest Washington valued at almost $2 million

 Greg Mennegar

The Wynne Farm Photo Credit: Greg Mennegar

The entire 530-acre Wynne Farm has now been conserved, protecting most of the upper Schneider Creek valley, announced Capitol Land Trust today. The Wynne Farm is one of southwest Washington’s signature working-lands properties, containing a vibrant mix of forests, streams and wetlands. The Wynne family sustainably harvests trees, while protecting water quality and wildlife habitat. Forests on the property protect Schneider Creek, a vital salmon stream that empties to the Kennedy Creek Natural Area Preserve on Totten Inlet, along Puget Sound in Thurston County.

Seven years ago, Tom and Charlene Wynne donated a conservation easement to Capitol Land Trust on 355 acres of their sustainably-managed tree farm. Today’s announcement recognizes the signing of a second conservation easement on an additional 175 acres in the incredible Schneider Creek valley. Now, the 530-acre property will never be subdivided or developed.

“The family—from Tom’s parents to Tom and me—wanted to ensure the property never got broken up and developed, and wanted to keep the property as wildlife habitat,” said Charlene Wynne.

The farm’s forested hillsides rise steeply from the valley floor, where hayfields, flooded in part by beavers, provide habitat for native amphibians. Hawks and other raptors look from overhead for movement in the grass, and elk, cougar and other large mammals feed along the edge of the forests and fields. Streams flow for 3.5 miles through the property, tumbling down from the hills to empty into wetlands along the valley floor. This clean, cool freshwater flows through the Kennedy Creek Natural Area Preserve and estuary, to the benefit of salmon and the health of Puget Sound. Conservation of the upper Schneider Creek—when added to the Kennedy Creek Preserve— effectively protects about 10% percent of the entire stream system’s habitats.

  Laurence Reeves

Tom and Charlene Wynne Photo Credit: Laurence Reeves

“The Wynnes are true heroes in our community. They recognized the value of their lands – for open space, wildlife habitat and protecting our water – and made the ultimate commitment to ensure these values remain for future generations. Completing this conservation agreement also took the help of the County and many Capitol Land Trust members and is a testament that conservation is critical to our community’s well-being,” said Amanda Reed, Capitol Land Trust’s Executive Director.

Funding to complete the conservation easement process and to ensure long-term stewardship of the land was provided by Thurston County’s Conservation Futures Program, Capitol Land Trust members and the Steamboat

Conservation Partnership, a unique collaboration between the Griffin Neighborhood Association and Capitol Land Trust.

The Wynne family has owned property in the Schneider Creek Valley since 1916, and Tom and Charlene hold a powerful connection to the land. They lovingly manage the land as a tree farm, giving equal consideration to their family business and to the environment. Harvesting trees in small patches with 75 years between cuttings protects water quality and enables the property’s forests to remain healthy. In 1990, the Wynne Tree Farm was awarded the national “Green Tag” for sustainable forest management — only the fifth in the state to achieve this honor!

Learn more about Capitol Land Trust at

Comcast Customers Can Now Drop Off Equipment at More Than 4,400 UPS Stores

Thurston Talk - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 3:41pm



Submitted by Comcast

Comcast and The UPS Store are working together to simplify the process of equipment returns.  Comcast’s Xfinity customers can now bring their equipment directly to the nearest The UPS Store location, where it will be processed, packed and shipped back to Comcast, free of charge.

In addition to Xfinity Stores in Olympia, Tacoma and Frederickson, as well as across the country, customers can choose from more than 4,400 conveniently located The UPS Stores nationwide. Equipment can be returned as-is, without wrapping or a box, and customers will receive a confirmation of receipt and tracking information from UPS, eliminating any questions about the status of their return.

“This is all about convenience for our customers,” said Tom Karinshak, SVP, Customer Service, Comcast Cable.  “The process is super simple and will streamline equipment returns.  Customers can walk into any The UPS Store location, drop off their equipment and take their receipt.  And this is all free for our customers.  The UPS Store is known for its efficiency and customer service so we’re excited to be working with them.”

“At The UPS Store, our objective is to make our customers’ lives easier by providing a one-stop-shop that meets all their shipping, packaging and printing needs,” said Jeff Giboney, Vice President of Corporate Retail Solutions.  “Our stores are focused on offering convenience and delivering an outstanding customer experience, and we’re looking forward to serving Comcast’s millions of customers for all their equipment return needs.”


Third Party Fanfare

OlyBlog Home Page - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 11:40am
Event:  Sun, 11/16/2014 - 6:00pm

In our Third Party Fanfare, four "minor" parties will flourish their ideas, resulting in some dissonance and some harmony.   Libertarians, Greens, Socialists and Anarchists will present their philosophies, and explain how they would respond to some real-life situations.  You may find you relate to one or another minor party, perhaps better than you relate to the D's or the R's.  Questions will be taken from the audience.  It will be a fun and informative free event, with potluck dessert bar.   Sponsored by the Green Party of South Puget Sound; call 360-232-6165 if questions. 

Traditions Fair Trade Cafe, 300 Fifth Avenue SW, in downtown Olympia. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Halloween at Sherwood Press

OlyBlog Home Page - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 11:19am
Event:  Fri, 10/31/2014 - 6:00pm - 10:00pm

From today's inbox: logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Harvest Dinner

OlyBlog Home Page - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 11:11am
Event:  Sun, 11/02/2014 - 5:00pm - 9:00pm

 From today's inbox:

This Sunday November 2nd from 5-9pm,
Local Foods, Local Farms, Local Chefs

Harvest Dinner
at Eastside Urban Farm & Garden Center
(2326 4th Ave E, Olympia) 


Tickets are $40 and are available at the door this Sunday, at, and at the Garden Center.

The all-local feast will be prepared by Chefs Thomas Humbock of Swing Wine Bar and Café, Lisa David of Nineveh Assyrian, and Laurie Nguyen of Dockside Bistro, with dessert by Jordan and Melanie of Bearded Lady Food Co.

The event is held not only to raise awareness of our local farms and the abundance of our region, but also to raise funds for the educational activities that Eastside Urban Farm & Garden provides.  EUFGC has been providing (at low cost to the public) a whole series of classes on growing, raising and storing food. From year-round gardening, to cheese-making, to bee-keeping, poultry keeping and processing, and much more, EUFGC focuses on providing educational facilities where people and groups can go to collaborate, learn, and teach about sustainable agriculture, food resiliency, and enjoying the great food our region has to offer. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

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Nathan Barnes’ “Open Ended” at Pierce College

South Sound Arts - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 10:25am

Published in the Weekly Volcano, Oct. 30, 2014
Emergent WorldFor lack of a better term, I’m tempted to call Nathan Barnes’ paintings pop surrealism, but his paintings are about 10 times better than most of what falls into that category. And yes, there really is such a thing. You can find it on Google and Wikipedia. Among famous artists who have been labeled pop surrealists (also called lowbrow) are Art Spiegelman, Tony Oursler, John Currin, Cindy Sherman and Robert Crumb. Most of these are outstanding artists, but I’m not so sure about Oursler, and I think Currin is a charlatan who has milked sophomoric humor and stupid looking so-called erotic imagery to get rich and famous.
CNSThe New York Times said of the show at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum that gave pop surrealism its name, "Surrealism mines dreams and the unconscious, while popular culture is concerned with surface and commonplaces,” a comment meant to highlight the obvious fact that pop surrealism draws from both surrealism and popular culture. That seems a good description of Barnes’ paintings.
There are only four paintings in Barnes’ show “Open Ended” at Pierce College Steilacoom, but they are large and impressive. His pop imagery is beautifully painted with skill, control, ingenuity and luminous colors. Forget all those “lowbrow” artists listed in the opening paragraph. If I were to compare him to any famous artist it would have to be James Rosenquist. The parallels between Rosenquist’s “F 111” and Barnes’ “Buoyant World” are undeniable. Both combine disparate images of people and objects and are painted on connected panels in a slick, hyper-realistic manner. Both appear to be playful but may contain serious narrative content (I leave it up to the viewer to interpret any possible meaning, as I am more interested at this point in the painting’s aesthetic qualities). In both paintings the images vary from panel to panel. Rosenquist’s images are more disjunctive. The images in “Buoyant World” are more unified and relate to each other better both formally and in terms of content.
A Partial Conjunction“Buoyant World” is 19-inches tall by 192-inches long. Do I need to remind anyone that that’s almost 20 feet? The images morph from one to the other, beautifully held together by subtle color and value changes, repetition, and meandering lines that flow from one to another. Reading left to right there are: folded cloths that blend into gray hands with interlocking fingers with delicate line drawings of feet underneath to a face to abstract shapes that look like jigsaw puzzle pieces to an upside-down face to more gray hands and folded cloth to a Miro-like abstraction to a couple of faces and finally to white contour drawings of sumo wrestlers over silhouettes of trees on a blue background.The other three paintings are equally large but in more traditional rectangular formats. “Emergent World,” seen in last year’s juried show at Tacoma Community College, combines images of an old man, a young woman, stacks of tires, factories with smoking smokestacks, and a dog, all woven together in an intricate design that is somehow threatening.
The other two paintings are “CNS” and “A Partial Conjunction,” both of which might also be seen as threatening, The boy in “A Partial Conjunction,” looks happy enough, but the helmeted man looks like he’s in agony, and there are bodies broken apart and tossed about helter-skelter amidst industrial equipment and piles of rocks. I look at “CNS” and think of Jonah and the whale — an interior view of the whale’s ribcage transported into a warehouse.
Nathan Barnes’ “Open Ended, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mon.-Fri., through Nov. 31, Pierce College, 9401 Farwest Drive SW, Lakewood.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Halloween at the press!

Sherwood Press - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 10:02am


Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Saint Martin’s University Theatre Studies program presents “Uncle Vanya”

Thurston Talk - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 7:33am


Submitted by Saint Martin’s University 

Uncle VanyaVanya and his niece Sonya lead predictable lives, keeping their emotions buttoned up while maintaining a country estate and sending all the profits from their work to Vanya’s brother-in-law. But their daily routine quickly unravels with the return of the brother-in-law, a retired professor named Serebryakov, and his young, very beautiful wife, Yelena, who manages to trigger within the entire family hidden passions born of unrequited love, thwarted ambition and enduring hope.

This is the plot of what many consider to be Anton Chekhov’s greatest play, “Uncle Vanya,” which will be presented by the Saint Martin’s University Theatre Arts Program in November under the direction of David Hlavsa, professor of theatre arts.

Hlavsa has chosen a new translation of the play by critically acclaimed playwright Annie Baker.

“Baker’s version of ‘Uncle Vanya’ really brings out the humor and the emotional depth of the play,” says Hlavsa.  “It’s reasonably true to the original, but it doesn’t make us feel like we’re watching a museum piece — the play feels quite contemporary and relevant.”

Hlavsa adds that he’s wanted to do the play for years, but this is the first time he’s had a group of students who are right for the parts and up to the challenge of Chekhov.  “The actors really have to have a keen sense of comedy and irony — and they have to have the emotional range and intelligence the work demands.”

Performances will run November 14 – 16 and November 19 – 22 in Kreielsheimer Hall, the performing arts building, located on the University’s Lacey campus, 5000 Abbey Way SE. Tickets at the door cost $12 for general admission and $7 for students, seniors and military personnel. November 19 is Pay-What-You-Will. Tickets can also be purchased online at

Performance times are as follows:

7:30pm, November 14, 15

2:00pm, November 16

7:30pm, November 19, 20, 21, 22

For additional information contact David Hlavsa, Professor in the Theatre Arts program at 360-438-4345 or through email at


Thurston County Democratic Central Committee, Answer These Questions (in 1938)

Olympia Time - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 6:14am
This is a more things change, more they say the same sort of thing for the week coming into election day.

Click here for a much larger version.
This is an a full page ad that the Thurston County Republican party ran in the Olympian in the weeks leading up to the 1938 election. It is full of amazing statements (amazing!), mostly either rehashing parochial battles or drastically weird statements about socialism and communism.
They really get going in the middle of a list of questions:
Is is not true that many of your leaders were also sponsors of the dictatorial scheme for Zoning Thurston County.
Is it not true that your program is fundamentally socialistic to take over private business? With more taxes?

Is is not true that some of your politicians aspire to offices under a socialistic dictatorship?
The first question in that list seems to echo to our current debates (at least over the last 20 years in the era of growth management and endangered species) over land use. I don't know enough about what was going on in Thurston County in 1938 over zoning. But, it smacks of a rural control by urban interest sort of thing.

And, after all this huffing and puffing, the Republicans were smacked down in Thurston County in 1938. Only winning a close race for clerk, the Republicans failed to capitalize on what was a fairly good year for Republicans nationwide. Not in Washington though. Or in Thurston County.

The Roots of the Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural Project

Thurston Talk - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 6:13am



By Katie Doolittle

Budd Bay logoThe corner of State and Capital just might be the only intersection on Earth where I find myself actually hoping for a red light. Stopping there gives me a chance to admire the mural. If you’ve ever visited downtown Olympia you know the one I’m talking about: a tree spread over four thousand square feet, its glorious profusion of color a pleasing contrast to the adjacent gravel parking lot.

The roots of that tree stretch back to 2006, when Susan Greene first travelled to Olympia. Greene is an artist and one of the founding members of Art Forces (known back then as Break the Silence Media and Art Project). She came here to visit peace activist Rachel Corrie’s home town, and to meet with members of the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice about a potential collaborative project.

downtown olympia mural

Elizabeth Moore is the Program Coordinator for both the Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural Project and the Rachel Corrie Foundation.

Thus was the Olympia Rafah Solidarity Mural Project (ORSMP) initiated.

To understand the mural, you need a bit of background. In 2003, 23-year-old Olympia native Rachel Corrie was killed by an Israeli army bulldozer while protesting the demolition of a Palestinian home. Rafah, incidentally, is where she died. In response, her parents founded a nonprofit that “encourages and supports grassroots efforts in pursuit of human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.” This nonprofit co-produced the mural with Art Forces.

Corrie’s interest in Palestine provided a guiding vision for the mural. As activist Elizabeth Moore explains, ORSMP sought to bring together multiple, diverse contributors. The commonality would be that all participating organizations “found the struggle for justice in Palestine tied to their [own struggle or mission].” ORSMP spent three years “scouting locations and doing the outreach to connect with other groups.”

Moore got involved with the project in 2010, which is the same year the actual art installation began to take shape. Olympia residents may recall the mural in its earlier stages. For quite some time it was a two-dimensional painting of a tree, awesome in scale with compellingly twisted roots and branches. It’s an olive tree, Moore tells me. I assume this references the olive branch of peace.

And yes, the metaphor–based on ancient Greek and Roman symbolism–is certainly apt. But there’s more to it than that. Here again, the mural harks back to Corrie’s particular passion. “The olive tree is an iconic symbol of Palestinian liberation,” Moore explains.

Intriguingly, the olive tree mural in Olympia has taken on its own symbolism. Spend some time looking at the beautiful leaf images affixed to the tree. These were contributed by over 150 local, national, and international participants. What ultimately emerges from their combined efforts is a message that transcends political particulars. When I ask Moore to describe the main theme of the mural, she sums it up nicely by referencing an Audre Lorde quote: “There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”

olympia downtown mural

This in-process photo of the mural’s olive tree base was taken in 2010.

ORSMP’s thorough website supports the message of interconnectivity. Here, interested readers can find close-up images of each component of the art installation. Each image links to further information about the group or person who created that particular component.

Efforts to improve interactivity are ongoing. ORSMP hopes to put in a reflection bench near the downtown Olympia mural. They’d also like to install high-powered binoculars for detailed viewing of the highest leaves.

Other project additions are afoot in the virtual world. “Call the Wall” is a new section of the website which assigns each component of the mural an extension number. Call 360-252-9779 and dial a specific extension to hear more details about that aspect of the mural.

To make this new audio presentation as dynamic and relevant as possible, ORSMP is recording interviews with all of the original contributors. “The audio project turned out to be a much bigger project than originally anticipated,” Moore says. Contacting participants “four years after the fact” can be difficult, given the fluidity and turnover inherent in activist organizations.

olympia downtown mural

Many international artists worked on the mural, including both Israeli and Palestinian contributors.

Still, Moore finds the work worthwhile. Not only does it offer perspective on each aspect of the mural, but it’s also a chance to reconnect–to reestablish relationships and find out how the various groups have evolved since the mural’s completion in 2010.

Currently, Moore serves as Project Coordinator for both ORSMP and the Rachel Corrie Foundation. As such, she has a special appreciation for the project’s continued significance. Moore notes, “It’s not just a stagnant piece of art. It’s a relevant conversation starter.” She’s proud of the fact that the gravel lot near the mural has become a community space used in a variety of ways by a multitude of artists, activists, and students. Says Moore, “It continues to be a touchstone for groups.”

ORSMP was co-produced by Break the Silence Mural and Arts Project (now Art Forces) and the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice. It was co-sponsored by the Middle East Children’s Alliance, the International Trauma Treatment Program, and the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme.

To learn more, visit the ORSMP website or email  You can see the mural at the corner of State and Capital in downtown Olympia.

All photos courtesy  Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural Project.

Thrifty Thurston Explores the Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail

Thurston Talk - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 6:08am



By Kathryn Millhorn

oly ortho logoNature is the best teacher.  American botanist Luther Burbank summed things up by saying “every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, water-bugs, tadpoles, frogs, mud-turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, trees to climb, brooks to wade in, water-lilies, woodchucks, bats, bees, butterflies, various animals to pet, hay fields, pine cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets: and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best of his education.”

The US Fish and Wildlife Service determined that “if children are raised with little or no connection to nature, they may miss out on the many health benefits of playing outdoors.  Nature is important to children’s development— intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and physically…Studies show that schools that use outdoor classrooms and other forms of experiential education produce significant student gains in social studies, science, language arts and math.”

olympia salmon viewing

Students of all ages love the trail and show their appreciation with adoring fan-mail.

Found locally halfway between Olympia and Shelton, the Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail has served as inspiration for thousands of life-long learners.  Jerilyn Walley, Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail Coordinator, loves the site’s appeal for school field trips, hikers, families, and nature lovers.  She explains that “last year, the ‘classes’ that visited the Trail ranged from Pre-K to Senior Citizens.  Most of the classes are 3rd-5th grade, but we do get the occasional college class and the South Sound Seniors are coming back again this year.  Two 7th and 8th grade teachers used the opportunity to teach both poetry and science.  Students studied salmon anatomy in class through dissection, visited the trail to view spawning behavior, and wrote poetry about the sights and smells at the Trail.”

The site is “our region’s premiere salmon-viewing experience.  Every November, over 5,000 people visit the Trail to learn more about the salmon life cycle and to observe Chum spawning and courting behaviors.  Thanks to our volunteer docents, no questions go unanswered and all visitors get a rich Pacific Northwest experience.”

An easy half-mile walk, the trail offers 11 informative viewing stations to watch as 20,000 – 80,000 salmon return to their spawning grounds.

Because visiting the trail is free for everyone—with donations always appreciated—the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group will host two Chum, Chowder, and Chocolate open house fundraisers from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on November 15 and 22 featuring geoduck chowder from Xihn’s Clam and Oyster House and steamed clams and mussels from Taylor Shellfish.  The Trail is run by volunteers and community support so every little bit helps.

No matter the weather, dress warm to explore the Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail.

No matter the weather, dress warm to explore the Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail.

The Trail is open to the public on weekends through the month of November from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  You can also access the trail on Veteran’s Day and the day after Thanksgiving.  Teachers can find scheduling information online, for weekday field trips, before contacting Jerilyn Walley to schedule a trip and arrange for visit-specific curriculum.

In the Northwest, our mild climate means we can explore mountains, rivers, oceans, plains, and forests.  Hidden gems like Kennedy Creek prove that even with no money, using only minimal gas, you can fully experience all nature has to teach us.

Visit their Facebook page for amazing photos and updated trail information.  To reach Jerilyn, email her at or call 360-412-0808, extension 107.

Driving directions to Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail can be found here.

Thrifty Thurston highlights inexpensive family fun in Thurston County.  The weekly series focuses on family-friendly activities throughout our community.  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.


Your Healthcare Connection: Olympia Orthopaedics Welcomes Dr. Tim DuMontier

Thurston Talk - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 6:07am



oly ortho

Dr. Tim DuMontier has recently joined Olympia Orthopaedics Associates.

Oly Ortho is growing.  That’s evident by the influx of newly hired physicians and staff at the Olympia based single-specialty group.  But, what’s not so evident when looking just at the statistics is the increase in nationally-recognized experts who are choosing to make Olympia Orthopaedic Associates their home.

One of these experts is Dr. Tim DuMontier, joining Olympia Orthopaedics Associates in November 2014.

Dr. DuMontier was born and raised on a ranch in Montana just north of Missoula in the town of Arlee.  His parents split their time between ranching and running the nearby service station in Ravalli.  Both endeavors were family affairs, but Tim felt a connection to the land.  “My job was at the ranch, feeding horses, exercising horses, putting up hay – all that’s involved with keeping a ranch running,” he explains.  He credits this upbringing with instilling a solid work ethic that carries over into all aspects of his life, including his work as an orthopaedic surgeon.

Despite his love of the horses and wide open spaces, he was ready to experience the “big city” and headed to USC in Los Angeles.  “I wanted to go someplace different.  It was sunny and there was a good football team,” he laughs.  Coming from a high school of 130 students total, USC was about as different as he could get.

Dr. DuMontier continued his studies at the University of Washington Medical School in Seattle where he also completed his Orthopaedic Surgery residency.  “It’s one of the top programs in the nation and I felt fortunate for the opportunity to be there,” he says.

Dr. DuMontier and his wife settled into the city for the challenging years of residency, all the while knowing he wanted to go back to Montana.  “I tried to really pay attention to all aspects of the orthopaedic training, not just one specialty,” recalls Dr. DuMontier.  “I knew if I was in a small town in Montana, I wouldn’t just be dealing with one part of the body – I’d have finger injuries, knees, shoulders – the whole gamut.”

oly orthoHowever, while at Harborview Medical Center, he was drawn to the field of foot and ankle injuries.  “The effort and quality of the very talented surgeons impressed me and I was drawn to the idea of working with these types of traumatic foot and ankle injuries,” shares DuMontier.

He completed a fellowship in Foot and Ankle near Detroit, Michigan and upon completion, Dr. DuMontier came full circle and returned to Montana.

While he knew he wanted to return to his roots, he was also obligated to return.  “When I left for USC, part of my schooling, as well as part of my medical school, was paid for by an Indian Health Service Scholarship.  To pay it back, you are required to serve an Indian population for four years,” he explains.

He spent four years serving the Flathead Indian Reservation, only about 10 minutes from his childhood home.  He focused about 40% of his time on foot and ankle and the rest general orthopaedics.

oly orthoHe then shifted to work in Kalispell, Montana, in a larger medical center.  “I did some general orthopaedics but foot and ankle were my focus,” he explains.  “It was a large service area and people came from far around with complex problems so it was very challenging and rewarding.”

After several years, he was again looking for opportunities for growth and challenge.  “I like the challenge of learning new things and believe when you do something, you should try and do it the best you can,” he shares.

He saw the opportunity at Olympia Orthopaedics Associates advertised and knew Dr. Agtarap from time spent together in Seattle when he was Chief Resident.  “I just had a good feeling about it.  They were looking for someone to do foot and ankle and help establish a Foot and Ankle Center and I thought, ‘wow – that would be an exciting challenge and a great way to utilize my expertise.’”  With the support of all the other specialties and departments, Dr. DuMontier is excited to join a team where he remains laser focused on his work in foot and ankle.

Once the family all visited Olympia, something clicked.  “I just knew we could be really happy here,” he shares.

What else attracted him to the area?  Dr. DuMontier is an avid sailor and is looking very much forward to learning to sail on the Puget Sound.  He also loves to run and stays active with his whole family including three children ages seven, nine, and twelve along with their Schnauzer, Walter.

oly orthoWhen I asked him about his hobbies off the water he shares, “I love to raise orchids. I dabble in yoga, and have classic cars.”  Yes, Dr. DuMontier could be described as well-rounded.

As he joins the team at Oly Ortho, Dr. DuMontier knows he’ll be able to impact patient’s lives for the better.

“The reason I do what I do is that foot injuries can be significant and life altering.  The limitations you experience when your foot is injured are huge,” he explains, when referencing Oly Ortho’s motto of Life in Motion.  “It’s very rewarding to help people get back to function, back on their feet so to speak.”

To schedule an appointment with Dr. DuMontier, call Oly Ortho at 800-936-3386.


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