Recent local blog posts

Northern Closure

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 7:59pm

Northern will be closing its doors at the current Legion Way location and reopening in late January or February as part of the Midnight Sun. Stay tuned for more news! And remember, Northern loves you.


Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Northern Craft and Rummage Sale!

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Sat, 12/06/2014 - 12:00pm

Once again, Northern is providing you, the consumer, with a premiere hyperlocal shopping opportunity that will empower you to find all of your perfect holiday gifts in one convenient location. Vendor’s table fees support Northern/the Olympia All Ages Project as we prepare for our next new adventure hosting shows at The Midnight Sun?. There will be beverages, snacks, and good cheer abounding for this evening shopping experience.


Antiquated Future
Antiquated Future is a store for independently-created artifacts of the heart. Zine distro, tape label, and pop-up shop out of Portland, Or. and Olympia, Wa.

Blissful Wunders
Hand rolled chocolate truffles, dairy, vegan, diabetic friendly, gluten free/wheat free.

Catacomb Collectibles
Vintage and oddities for the masses.

Chelsea the Baker
Chelsea the Baker sells comics for all ages and one-of-a-kind illustrations drawn right before your very eyes. She takes requests, too!

Community Print
Letterpress and other fine printing from the Community Print collective, an Olympia arts institution for over 20 years. Help us to raise money for our upcoming move! Ask us about our proficiency classes!

Cuddle Manor (aka Mike and Sunday)
Olympia’s most unremarkable couple bring you the Bad Neighbors card game (incredibly easy to learn and playable in 15 minutes or less!) and Sunday’s first novel in print, the acclaimed* E Galactic Mu (*almost a dozen reviews!). One look and your friends and family will know you “bought local” this year!

Duck Duck Bags and Accessories
Handmade goods by Kailey Dawn, thoughtfully designed and crafted for the Northwest with cotton duck canvas, recycled sail cloth and waterproof vinyl.

Little General Food Shop
Food gift baskets in a variety of sizes for your grandma, your sweetheart, or your colleague.

May Day Press- Catherine Alice Michaelis
May Day Press is a print shop creating artist books & prints using a variety of techniques since 1992.

Mercy Me Designs
Handmade clothing and accessories using organic and natural fibers.

Oddfellows is a mother daughter run business. We specialize in handmade canvas bags and cold pressed soaps. We make the soaps and the bags in our homes. We also curate small gift bags that include lip balm, spoon butter (for oiling wood), hand towels, kitchen towels and aprons. We make all our products from hand using fine and exquisite materials. Our bags are made from quality, durable canvas and our soap making process is palm oil free.

Polly’s notecards and calendars are handprinted using linoleum blocks, on 100% recycled paper with high-quality inks using handcarved linoleum blocks. The designs are inspired by nature and what Polly finds around her West Olympia home throughout the year.

Pope Press
Pope Press Olympia is a Letterpress and Book Arts teaching studio in Olympia, Washington. Pope Press offers classes and workshops with local artists, press rentals and open studio hours. Come and learn how to print with us!

Roni Moran
Roni makes paintings, coffee tables & a lamp or two. Once in awhile she has an Etsy listing- but usually her mom buys it.

Roseroot Herbes: Community Supported Apothecary
Offering a variety of botanical products made exclusively with plants grown on our farm in NE Olympia or ethically wildcrafted from local forests. These include tinctures, tea blends, salves and balms, infused vinegars and honeys, bulk herbs, spice blends, elixers and syrups, and flower essences.

Space Diamond Jewelry
Space Diamond jewelry designs are made with a vision of simplicity; combining antique and new pieces alike to compliment one another; joining both time and space to jewelry pieces. The result is in each piece, simple yet bold designs which are each unique. Most all pieces used are antique and not one piece is exactly the same.

Tea Time, Inc.
Tea Time, Inc makes clothing inspired by anything Victorian, Edwardian, Steampunk, Lolita, Sci-fi, Gothic, or related to maps at all.

Tea Toast Threads
Caps for sale! Wool caps and other apparel to keep you and your friends toastea.

The Twisted Twigster
A variety of beautiful handcrafted wooden housewares. Natural or live edged, made from locally sourced wood. Ramon makes most of his own finishes, all natural with no petroleum products.

Vinny and Vernelle
All available pieces from The Black Market Collection of one of a kind reworked vintage jewelry will be up for grabs as well as my new fine silver work

Warm Shape
Solid color knitwear from Lindsay Schief.

northern craft 2014


Categories: Arts & Entertainment

OP&L's 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

Olympia Power & Light - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 9:48am

(Note: to see the pretty pictures of these items, pick up a paper copy of OP&L)

Buttons make great gifts! We have the best button selection in town. . .shells, wood, leather, metal, glass, vintage, sparkly. . .one of a kind. 

Lady Lynn's Fabrics, 1715 Harrison Ave NW  360.943.3074


Instructions on wrapping coffee as a gift:

1. Buy the Batdorf and Bronson Coffee gift tube containing three bags of remarkable coffee (Familia Fernandez, Holiday Blend, Dancing Goats). 2. Done.

Batdorf & Bronson,


Simple Cloth stocks Ergobaby doll carriers, which are perfect for toting beloved dolls and other toy friends. A perfect gift for any child, especially big brothers and sisters who want to wear their baby just like Mom and Dad! $25

Simple Cloth, 210 4th Ave W, 360.753.2420


Become a member of Olympia’s only bakery share program. Members receive an assortment of tasty baked goods each week. Gluten free, vegan, or traditional options are available!

8 Arms Bakery,


The Rudy Tiki Head Tissue Box Cover.  Why look at an unsightly tissue box when it’s so easy to class up your décor. $25

g. miller, 510 Capitol Way S, 360.786.6634


The gift of Yoga! In a beautiful historic building overlooking Capitol Lake, Yoga Loft, Find Yourself Here.... Any denomination

Yoga Loft, 219 Legion Way SW, 360.870.7876


At Archibald Sisters experience the miracle of a PNW Christmas. Capture your very own Bigfoot Christmas Ornament! See joy on your friends and families faces when you relocate Bigfoot to the protected habitat of your Christmas tree.

Archibald Sisters, 406 Capitol Way S, 360.943.2707


Give them more Green this holiday season with Aveda Wellness and Beauty, at Olympia’s Premiere Salon & Spa

Premiere Salon & Spa, 111 Market St NE, 360.753.3299


This unique incense is a natural solution for creating a relaxed atmosphere in the home. Great to enliven social settings, or deepen yoga and meditation practices. Shoyeido’s pure incense is timeless way to enhance atmosphere.

Radiance Herbs & Massage, 113 5th Ave SE, 360.357.5250


Hand bound journals, handmade flax fiber covers, linen sheets, archival acid free and a joy to hold in one's hands.



Tickets for a live performance!  Either select a show for your loved one, or give a gift certificate and let them choose a show.  Available in any denomination through our box office.  Easy-peasey!!

Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 360.753.8586


Danger Room comics has the Chibi Tarot for sale. They're legit tarot cards, but done in a Mario Brothers/video game/chibi art style. Made by a local web designer!

Danger Room, 201 4th Ave W, 360.705.3050


The Belgian Farmhouse Ale is a festive brew well-suited to any celebration or special occasion. And don’t forget: Le Voyeur t-shirts are wacky as hell all the time.

Le Voyeur, 404 4th Ave E, 360.943.5710, 


A fresh, artistic floral arrangement is a beautiful gift without obligation to wear, eat, or even keep it. We offer delivery, gift certificates and subscriptions.   

Capitol Florist, 515 Capitol Way S, 360.357.5757/800.761.9321


“Two years ago I gave a group of 4 friends of mine the gift of a great meal on me.  A few months later we made reservations at Basilico, invited another couple or two and had a great time with wine, appetizers and the works.  It was better than me getting gifts for $25 or more each and not quite hitting the mark.”


Hot new titles from Olympia authors, including Heather Lockman's comic novel "Indian Shirt Story”, "Little Is Left to Tell”, experimental fiction from Evergreen professor Steven Hendricks, and Mary Gentry's collection of humorous essays ”Quite Contrary”.

Orca Books, 509 4th Ave E, 360.352.0123,


Ruby Re-Usable upcycles soda pop tops and pull tabs from cat food cans to make statement jewelry with an elegant and artsy eco-conscious message. Available at Duck the Malls!


The Brotherhood’s FREE and stylish 2015 calendars will be available starting Nov 26, in addition to Broho tees and tanks, and the ever-popular casual gift option of buying a round for your pals.

The Brotherhood Lounge, 119 Capitol Way N,


“OlyRaw is going to release Elderberry Kefir soda, which tastes awesome by the way.

And I really want a mini keg of Citrasaurus double IPA from local microbrewery Triceratops Brewing Company (occasionally on tap at Rhythm and Rye or Vic’s).”


“For those peeps that  you don't like: I just found out a gift worse than coal, where you can send poop anonymously: - SWEET revenge at its finest.”


Fremont Dark Star from Gravity Beer Market: it’s a bourbon-barrel-aged oatmeal stout available in either “coffee” or “spiced”.

Gravity Beer Market, 1001 4th Ave E, 360.352.5107


Crain’s Office Supply has a Sheaffer fountain pen with an all-metal barrel that comes in a variety of colors. Bonus: name-brand quality gift at an affordable price. 

Crain’s Office Supply, 1006 4th Ave E, 360.754.1055


One of a kind chairs! Repro Eames Howard Miller lounge chair, original 50s butterfly chairs with brand new handmade leather covers, Harry Bertoia original 60s dining chairs. Plus lots more midcentury modern furniture and decor.

Peacock Vintage, 512 E 4th Ave, 360.250.0885


Finders Keepers is 42 stores under one roof! Something for every taste and pocketbook.

Finders Keepers Antique Mall, 501 4th Ave E, 360.943.6454


Olympia Olive Oil has smoked brown sugar (try saying that without salivating). Perfect for seasoning holiday hams, or adding some out-of-the-ordinary class to your favorite recipe. It only takes a little!

Olympia Olive Oil, 321 4th Ave E, 360.878.9571


Excellent stocking stuffer idea for your favorite metalhead: five-buck cassette tapes! A variety of metal bands on tape. Nostalgic yet undeniably relevant.

Funk Fuzz Records, 302 4th Ave E, 360.754.3491


Give unique! You’ll never see someone else wearing the same wool or flannel shirt, or toasty winter jacket, as the one you bought at Dumpster Values. Men’s and women’s. A ton of them!

Dumpster Values, 302 4th Ave E, 360.705.3772


This Neiman Marcus vintage western dress from Fashion Nation. Plus cool shoes, purses, jewelry and more! Men’s and women’s fashions, very affordable — many gift possibilities.

Fashion Nation, 207 4th Ave E, 360.350.0682


Awesome lamps by Joe Carnevale including Squid, Umbrella Bot, and Goldar. Made of welded steel transmission parts, worn out interior components that were bound for meltdown … until they became functional art!

Matter! Gallery, 422 Washington St SE, 360.943.1760


Festive holiday decor! Light up a room with illuminated signs made from distressed metal in seasonal designs, from a snowflake to a deer, to the words “Faith” and “Eat”. Made in the USA.

Red Door, 430 Washington St SE, 360.357.7799


Blabla kids knit dolls include elephants, sheep, cats, people, and Luigi the Frog. For those who prefer landforms to animals, there is a stuffed mountain range made by Three Bad Seeds. Staff pick? Magnet tiles.

Captain Little, 121 5th Ave SE, 360.352.5441


Noodler’s Ahab flex-nib fountain pen uses piston-filling technology, so it’s cartridge-free! Add Noodler’s ink and Midori paper, and you’ve got a splendid gift package. The most pens and markers … of any place!

Olyphant Art & Media, 119 5th Avenue Southeast, 360.943.1295


Self-Care Clutch! A ‘purse’-onalized gift bag that could include such goodies as decadent scarves, gift cards, black lipstick, perfume, self-love spray, and tarot cards, among other things.

Psychic Sister, 109 5th Ave SE, 360.943.9595


Authentic crystal ball made of leaded crystal, 150 or 200 mm sizes. Mesmerizing clarity, hypnotic beauty, an enchanting object. 

Druid’s Knook, 528 Capitol Way, 360.878.8901


This wicker trunk could be filled with other high-end, gently used, good quality stuff from Blue. For example, a Burberry  suit that would normally cost thousands of dollars, or these shoes, or that fur-lined coat over there…

blue Boutique, 534 Capitol Way S, 360.705.0843


Desigual bags from Spain (in Europe everyone has them), a variety of Stop Staring dresses, over-the-knee panda socks, and t-shirts with whimsical messages such as “The Pope Abides”.

Hot Toddy Apparel & Jewelry, 410 Capitol Way S, 360.753.0868


An acoustic guitar that traveled with Patton’s troops, carved with the names of the cities it visited, is not for sale. But there are others from the 60s and 70s with stories of their own. 

Capital City Guitars, 108 4th Ave E, 360.956.7097


Art Expressions! Beautiful, unique pieces of art created by members of the Capital Recovery Center, our local peer-run mental health agency. Support art! Support positive outlets for mental health recovery in our community!


GVWM has wines on special for holiday entertaining and gift-giving needs! Try something new at complimentary tastings Fridays and Saturdays, and don’t miss our special Champagne tasting on December 12th!

Grand Vin Wine Merchants, 1003 4th Avenue E, 360.350.4896


We’ve moved! Come see our new location across from Olympia Coffee Roasting Co. and find the perfect book for winter. Order new & used books for Christmas. Trade-ins welcome anytime.

Last Word Books, 111 Cherry St NE, 360.786.9673


The twisted turmoil of tentacles on these hand blown glass octopi make each one unique. Available in a sea of colors, gift giving just got eight times more fun!

Childhood’s End Gallery, 222 4th Ave W, 360.943.3724


POP! Figures include an unprecedented variety of properties, from Disney to Game of Thrones, Star Wars to Star Trek, Seahawks to Supernatural. Everybody’s got a favorite character, and chances are, you’ll find it here.

Gabi’s Olympic Cards and Comics, 4230 Pacific Ave SE, 360.459.7721


Rachel’s Ginger Beer, made with so much fresh ginger and whole lemons, is a welcome addition to any holiday gathering. Pictured here with Nineveh pickled beet and turnip. Also, custom gift baskets for all tastes!

Little General Food Shop, 313 5th Ave SE, 360.352.3663


ION Max LP record player: plays your music, can digitize your beloved record collection. Has its own speakers, and you can hook it up to anything. Plus browse a huge collection of new vinyl!

Rainy Day Records, 301 5th Ave SE, 360.357.4755


Neometal “snap together” thread-less jewelry is an alternative to standard threaded jewelry. Machined from solid titanium with crimp-set gems, no glue used. Beautiful and effective it's the perfect holiday gift.

Metro Body Piercing, 215 4th Ave E, 360.352.5114


Give someone you love the gift of Creativity and Self-Empowerment! Give them a Sewing class experience at (re)Fabulous and the results will make them smile all year long!

(re)Fabulous, 1025 Black Lake Blvd 2D, 360.489.1852


What is soft, stylish and fits almost everyone?  These fairly traded alpaca arm warmers keep the students, the drivers and all the women in your life warm and happy.

Traditions Fair Trade, 300 5th Ave SW, 360.705.2819


Local, sustainable, canned tuna! For the local, sustainable seafood lover in your life... Olympia Seafood has the convenient pop-top habanero tuna - a stocking stuffer with heat!

Olympia Seafood Company, 411 Columbia St NW, 360.570.8816


The Olympia Farmer's Market offers our Olympia Community an array of unique, handmade and locally grown delights from our many talented artisans, processors, and farmers.

Olympia Farmer’s Market, 700 Capitol Way N, 360.352.9096


Courtyard Studio 721 is new DIY Home Decor Studio with a great class room for teaching Home Decorating. Gift Certificates available. 

Courtyard Studio 721, 721 4th Ave E, 360.489.1340

Sports City: Oly Town Artesians prove Olympia could be a contender

Olympia Power & Light - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 9:30am

    It was a stark contrast in terms of history: the Tacoma Stars – the current incarnation of the most storied indoor soccer team in the Pacific Northwest, originally founded in 1982, and once featuring Brian Schmetzer (now assistant coach with the Sounders) and Preki – were up against the Oly Town Artesians, who were playing their first game. As in, their first game ever.

    It was not to be a Cinderella story. Tacoma won 8-5. But that’s not the important part. The important part is that Olympia has a semi-pro indoor soccer team: the Oly Town Artesians.

    Indoor soccer is, well... soccer played indoors, on a field that resembles a hockey rink, including clear plexiglass walls. It’s fast like hockey, too, as the ball can go up the field, back, off a couple of walls, up the field again, and back again, all in a few seconds.

    The Artesians are the brainchild of Brandon Sparks, also the guy behind the blog. He previously helped out with the Tumwater Pioneers, which lasted only one season two years ago. “With a little more effort, [the Pioneers] could have had good crowds and a lot of fun,” says Sparks.

    So this time, he became General Manager, and recruited the money guy: owner Tim Smith, who formerly owned The Loft. They set up shop at a former warehouse in the industrial area near the Tumwater airport, Olympia Indoor Soccer, also the home of indoor tennis. The bleachers, folding chairs, and old couches (Sparks says, “I donated my couch”) can hold a crowd of about 300.

    The newly formed Western Indoor Soccer League includes five teams: Tacoma, Bellingham, Wenatchee, and Arlington (Snohomish County), in addition to Olympia. 

    Finding players was easy. “Once I announced it, [players] were interested,” says Sparks. “We’ve got three college  programs. There are a lot of guys who want to play in the winter.”

    Led by player-coach Nate Salverson, most of the players are recent graduates of Evergreen, SPSCC, or St. Martin’s. They don’t get paid, but some may aspire to joining minor league professional soccer teams, indoor and outdoor, such as the Seattle Impact or the Kitsap Pumas. Others are still in college, plus a couple of high-schoolers.. 

    “Hopefully, [the audience] will be a lot of families,” says Sparks. The atmosphere certainly seems family friendly, with lots of kids’ entertainment during breaks in the game. But when the ball’s in play, most of the kids are glued to the action. With ten or more goals scored in a typical game, the action is pretty constant.

    And the culinary selections are pretty good, too. Offerings include pulled pork sandwiches, chili, and hot dogs, as well as the essentials: the espresso stand and the beer garden.

    Sparks’ ambition doesn’t end with indoor soccer. He would like to form a semi-pro outdoor team as well, that would likely play at a high school stadium. Plus, “I would love minor league baseball, but there’s no stadium around here.”

    At the game against Tacoma, the fans seemed to leave happy despite the loss. Sparks says, “the challenge is to get new fans out here.”

    “Olympia hasn’t had good luck with semi-pro teams,” says Sparks. “I want to prove that Olympia can be a minor league city.”

    “I think we’re gonna put on a really good show and have some fun.” ◙


The Oly Town Artesians play at Olympia Indoor Soccer, 7845 Center St. SW, Tumwater. They have home games on December 6, and January 3, 24, and 31, all at 6 PM. Tickets are $7 advance, $8 door, $5 kids under 13, and kids under 5 free. Find more info at 

Cavalier Attitudes

Mojourner Truth - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 10:33pm
Shut up and take it, b****

[To my one steadfast reader, who has noticed some Virginia-bashing here, I regret to inform you that it's happening again. Click elsewhere and come back next week, knowing that there are Virginians I love and admire, including you, sister. Likewise, good people who happen to be associated with University of Virginia, sorry you have to be connected with the subject of this post.]

Once again the Old Dominion has hit the news in a most sinister way. This time, it's the Rolling Stone article calling out University of Virginia for its utter failure to tamp down the rape impulse throbbing on Rugby Road, Frat Row to what is arguably Virginia's most prestigious institute of higher learning.

I never made such an argument. Being a smart kid in a suburban Richmond high school, I was of course encouraged to seek admission to UVA, but balked at the idea, much to the bafflement of certain counselors and teachers. Partially, this stemmed from a budding rebelliousness; fuck if I was gonna go where all the uber-preppies went, worship the old dead white guys, and give in to The System. After my knee-jerking settled down, though, there were other reasons to avoid UVA: people I knew who were most enthralled with it tended to be assholes who genuinely believed that "nice" clothes equate to civilization, a founder who fucked his 14 year old slave and sold off some of their progeny didn't inspire the same reverence in me as it did in the spawn of Virginia's finer families, wearing ties and swilling cocktails didn't strike me as recreation, going to college less than an hour away didn't seem like much of a horizon expansion,...and so on.

The Rolling Stone article scratches the surface but does not draw blood from the beast that is the Entitled Rich White Boy. He whose dad was a Wahoo, and whose son will be. Maybe he earned the grades to deserve entry, maybe he's even smart at something. But he's gonna sow his wild oats for a few years before moving on to daddy's firm. And those girls better comply. The article failed to name any of these rapists, and won't send any of them to jail.

In addition to the inexplicable "Wahoo," the UVA teams are known as the "Cavaliers," which is illustrative. Originally, Cavaliers were the royalists who opposed Cromwell's rebellion. It doesn't take a Cromwell apologist to suspect that Cavaliers were the vicious dandies who supported the old elite order. In the Crown's Virginia Colony, the influx of cavaliers came when the Roundheads were winning, and the self-proclaimed noble fighters took off rather than nobly face the music. Somehow, this dubious legacy became a swashbuckling logo.

Echoing this history, UVA has in my lifetime (and I suspect at least back through my William & Mary and Mary Washington educated grandparent's matriculations) been a refuge for elites and elitists. Sure, others make it there, but the aura of one of our nation's "Public Ivies" has long been one of wealthy entitlement. Graduate from there, and people acknowledge your academic achievement as well as suspect your birthright, even if you didn't, ahem, "earn" it by being born rich.

Even as "The" University's admissions policy has slipped into allowing non-FFV's, women, and black people to attend, UVA fraternities have proudly flown the Cav flag and maintained sanctuaries for Entitled Rich White Boys.

Women stepping foot into one of these refugia along Rugby Road risk rape. Sadly, women in any college stand a greater chance of being raped than women in general. Unsurprisingly, women walking into a frat house on any campus stand a greater chance of being raped than college women in general. Understandably, both fraternities and universities have a vested interest in protecting their reputations, and tend to deal with the spoilsport women who object to being raped through means other than law enforcement.

At UVA, the ability to avoid having the cops come in and arrest violent felons is enhanced by wealth and tradition. I don't have empirical evidence (such as that available to prove all of the previous paragraph's assertions) to prove this, but the Rolling Stone article makes a pretty good case, and my experience as a Virginian and American certainly fits. Rich guys avoid imprisonment pretty well. Reinforced by the aura of a centuries-old institution founded by a Founding Father, consistently rated highly as an academic institution, posessed of many traditions and a well-heeled sense of Decorum (whatever that is), UVA is not easily dragged through the mud. Not that long ago, one of it's drunken preppie athletes murdered his girlfriend, and yet the Rolling Stone article is still presented by many as an anomaly, an affront, maybe some sort of deviant leftist (or feminazi) plot.

Where Power is worshipped and Money talks loudly while it's partner Tradition silences dissent, people get raped.

Westport Winery Wins at American Wine Society’s 47th Annual Conference

Thurston Talk - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 11:42am



Submitted by Westport Winery

Going Coastal Westport wineryGoing Coastal, the wineries most award-winning selection, brought home a gold medal. This sparkling Gewürztraminer is brisk and bright, like a spring sea breeze. The winery suggests this be enjoyed with a slice of their homemade raspberry cream pie and accompanied by the song Champagne by Andrea Bocelli. A portion of the proceeds of this wine benefits the Coastal Interpretive Center in Ocean Shores. The label was painted by Krister Lile.

Bordello Blonde, an off-dry blend of 80% Gewürztraminer and 20% Riesling grown at Red Willow Vineyard, earned a silver medal. Like its name suggests this selection is sexy and soft as “she goes with anyone and anything.” This is well-paired with Corks, Crab and Cheese from the winery’s Farm to Fork Restaurant while listening to Bad Romance by Lady Gaga. This wine benefits the Aberdeen Museum of History and features original art by winery co-owner Kim Roberts.

Both Nirvana and Bog Berry Blush were awarded bronze medals. Nirvana is a balanced blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from Discovery Vineyards in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA. The tasting notes suggest it is like a magic, inviting red sunset that feels like fire. A Shut The Front Door Burger pairs perfectly with this wine as you enjoy Come As You Are by Nirvana. This wine benefits the West Coast Search Dogs of Washington. The label, an homage to Nirvana’s Nevermind album features an underwater photo of Carrie Roberts (now the winery’s cider maker) at six months of age.

The label of Bog Berry Blush by Tokeland artist Wally Mann tells the story of this delightful blend of cranberry and Gewürztraminer. The flavor is tingly, tart, refreshing, spirited and racy. It is terrific with Beachcomber Sandwich of cranberry chicken salad with crispy bacon on grilled whole wheat. The tasting notes suggest listening to Love Shack by the B-52s along with this meal. Proceeds from this wine are donated to the WSU Cranberry Museum and Research Station in Long Beach.

More than 600 wines were entered from across North America in this competition, one of the oldest in the nation. “The diversity of wines submitted and awarded is a testimony the quality wine being produced throughout the country,” said Joseph Dautlick, Director of Competitions.


Three Student Groups Win Project Grants from TOGETHER!

Thurston Talk - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 11:05am



Submitted by TOGETHER! 

Three high school groups have been awarded grants of $1,000 each from TOGETHER! to fund youth health projects they themselves have devised. The projects address issues that create

barriers to the health, safety and success of youth in Thurston County. Applications were reviewed by a committee made up of both youth and adults, so the winners were chosen with input by both professionals and teens.

These three projects were selected:

  • Black Hills High School: “Choose Love,” an all-school assembly by anti-bullying presenter Houston Kraft, is planned. They will also provide leadership training to about 150 students.
  • Olympia High School: “OSNAP After-School Program for At-Risk Youth.” This after-school program will help students at risk of dropping out of high school. Participants can find support through hands-on and group learning.
  • South Sound High School: “Breaking Silence” peer educators. The school will use the grant and some training from TOGETHER! to help students become peer educators, they will be able to educate and support their peers who seek change.
South Sound High School - Mrs. Grizzle; Patty May; Rocky Levin; Kasandra Shilman (in order from left to right)  Photo Courtesy of TOGETHER! Olympia High School; Alysse Normoyle; Darek Ball; Rocky Levin; Kasandra Shilman  Photo Courtesy of TOGETHER! Black Hills High School  - Alysse Normoyle; Rocky Levin; Celeste Setterstrom; Lauren Fura; Dale Reeves; Jennifer Gould; Kasandra Shilman (not pictured; Casey and Gabi Jones) Photo Courtesy of TOGETHER!

TOGETHER!, a local nonprofit that has spent the past 25 years working to advance the health, safety and success of our youth, offers congratulations to the winners and was happy to see such a clever variety of health-supporting projects. This is the first distribution of what will hopefully become an annual grant process. Schools and youth groups will be able to apply for grants such as these to support health promotion projects in their communities. To keep up with news and grant announcements, follow at

LASIK Eye Surgery: Friend or Foe?

Thurston Talk - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 10:34am



Submitted by Clarus Eye Centre

clarus olympia

Dr. Jay Rudd, of Clarus Eye Centre, answers patient questions during a surgical consultation.

Since its inception in the 1990s, LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis) has successfully given millions of people excellent vision without glasses.  However, as with any surgery, early complications created a public awareness that LASIK is, in fact, surgery.  Despite the high satisfaction rate, there were patients who suffered from disabling night-time glare, dry eyes, and poor vision that required the on-going — and for some, unexpected — use of glasses or contacts.

Fortunately for all of us, surgeons and industry leaders have made remarkable improvements to the procedure to help reduce the risks and improve the quality of vision following surgery.  I will describe some of these changes below:

  • Improved Treatment Algorithms – The initial treatment programs used very small treatment “zones.”  As the patient’s pupil dilated outside the area of treatment, they would experience significant glare at night.  Current treatment algorithms have enlarged the treatment zones.  In addition, current Wavefront Guided or Wavefront Optimized treatments are customized for each patient, reducing undesirable side effects and improving night vision.
    • It is important to have Wavefront Guided or Wavefront Optimized treatments to ensure the best outcomes.
  • Safer Flap Creation – LASIK surgery starts with the creation of a flap of tissue on the surface of the cornea (front window of the eye).  The initial flap-makers used an oscillating blade that cut the flaps of a desired depth.  Unfortunately, the devices were not terribly accurate, leading to flaps that were too thick, too thin or even incomplete.  Now we use a femtosecond laser to create the flaps.  With this technology, the accuracy of the flap depth is excellent and the risk of incomplete/partial flaps has nearly been eliminated.  We have been using laser-only LASIK exclusively for the past six years.
    • It is important to have blade-free, all-laser LASIK with a femtosecond laser to help reduce the risks associated with the creation of the flap.  While it does not eliminate flap risks, it is a much safer procedure.

Overall, LASIK is a very successful procedure that will reduce your need for glasses.  It can treat high levels of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.  However, the procedure is not for everyone.  It is very important that you have a thorough evaluation by your surgeon to make sure the procedure is right for you.

Contact our office today to schedule a free screening with our refractive coordinator, Craig Shoulders.  Freedom from glasses is just a phone call away.


Elderly at Risk in Extreme Cold

Thurston Talk - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 10:25am


Submitted by Olympia Home Instead Senior Care

Olympia Home Instead Senior Care Advises Family Caregivers to Keep a Close Eye on Older Adults during Frigid Temperatures

Olympia Home Instead Senior Care Advises Family Caregivers to Keep a Close Eye on Older Adults during Frigid Temperatures

The extreme temperatures and snow of winter can be particularly dangerous for older adults. The elderly and those with heart disease are at special risk, according to the American Heart Association.

As people age, their ability to maintain a normal internal body temperature often decreases. Because elderly people seem to be relatively insensitive to moderately cold conditions, they can suffer hypothermia without knowing they’re in danger, the Heart Association reports.

Hypothermia means the body temperature has fallen below normal. It occurs when your body can’t produce enough energy to keep the internal body temperature warm enough and the condition can kill. Heart failure causes most deaths in hypothermia, the American Heart Association notes.

The following tips, from the local Home Instead Senior Care® office, will help you safeguard a senior loved one or neighbor.

  • Fill the cupboard. Help your senior stock the staples and groceries they’ll need in the event of a large snowstorm or cold spell.
  • Maximize energy. Encourage your senior to make sure they have adequate insulation and to check and clean the fireplace and furnace. Replace furnace filters monthly.
  • Minimize drafts. Help your senior fill old socks with sand and use them in drafty windowsills and door jams. Weather-strip around windows and doors. Keep doors closed to unused rooms and close curtains at night.
  • Stay toasty. Advise your senior to add an extra blanket to the bed and warm the bed in advance with a hot water bottle. Never use electric blankets.  A senior may not be able to operate the controls if the temperature needs to be adjusted in the night.
  • Dress warmly. A senior’s circulation decreases with age. Encourage your senior to wear an extra sweater or sweatshirt, and sweat pants during the winter.
  • Monitor the thermostat. Check with your senior to make sure that they’re keeping the thermostat above 65 degrees during the cold weather. Older adults are particularly susceptible to hypothermia, which can develop over a few days and weeks even in the mildly cool indoor temperatures of 60 to 65 degrees.
  • Beware of budget problems. Make sure your senior isn’t trying to save money by keeping the thermostat down. Many communities have energy assistance programs for low- and fixed-income households.
  • Avoid slips. Make sure your senior has made arrangements to have driveways and walkways cleaned. Salt and sand should be available to speed melting.
  • Stay in touch. Check on your neighbor or loved one frequently during periods of cold and snowy weather.
  • Build a network. You can’t always be around to help your elderly loved one. Call on neighbors, family and church members to help. Or contact the local Home Instead Senior Care office in West Olympia.  They serve the Lewis, Mason, Thurston & Grays Harbor County area.

For more information about senior and caregiver well-being, please click here.   

For more information about the cold, visit the National Weather Service Web site at and the Federal Emergency Management Agency Web site at Or, to learn more about Home Instead Senior Care, visit our website.   


Your local Home Instead Senior Care agency was founded in 2007 with mission to serve seniors and employ Certified Nurse Assistants & Home Care Aides across the South Puget Sound community.  At Home Instead Senior Care, it’s relationship before task, while continuing to provide superior quality service that enhances the lives of seniors everywhere. With a great staff and round the clock availability, they focus on quality over quantity.  Read more about Home Instead Senior Care by clicking HERE.


Eliminate Every Excuse at Lacey’s Rock Fitness

Thurston Talk - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 6:20am



lacey rock fitness

Enter Lacey’s Rock Fitness. New clients are treated to a full body profile and analysis.

Autumn may be a crisp, colorful, spice-scented time of year but it also begins a dangerous cycle.  The weather shifts in ways far less adorable than poet Carl Sandburg’s “the fog comes on little cat feet” into the doldrums of Seasonal Affective Disorder and lethargy.  Without the push of a New Year’s Resolution on the horizon, holiday parties and hearty fall meals can pack on pounds and increase the likelihood of long-term health problems.

No matter what your level of fitness, age or desired outcome, from individuals to corporations, the skilled trainers at Lacey’s Rock Fitness will make it happen.  Master Trainer David London built his 16,000 square foot studio with “no commercialized processes or applications to eliminate every excuse you have.”  As an industry leader for 25 years, he knows what it takes—and what to avoid—to insure success.

The following statistics, disturbing and unsettling as they are, are one of the primary reasons Rock Fitness was created. Since his career origins, London has witnessed a steady decline in health of Americans.


According to London and various reports:

  • 35.1 % of adults Nationally age 20 years and over are obese: (2011-2012)
  • 69.0% of adults Nationally age 20 years and over are overweight, including obesity. (2011-2012)
  • Moreover, childhood obesity is now the number one health concern among parents in the United States, topping drug abuse and smoking.  18% of children ages 6 – 11 are obese and 21% of children between the ages of 12 and 19 are in this category. (2012)
  • In Washington State alone, 62.5% of the population are overweight and 25% of are obese.  These numbers are some of the highest in the US according to a 2012 Gallup-Healthways Poll.
  • These numbers illuminate an even more disturbing image – $120 million in annual production loss which equates to $5.6 billion in gross revenue loss annually.  (WSDOH)
lacey rock fitness

Master Trainer David London uses every tool available to insure your success at Rock Fitness in Lacey.

Ironically, 55.7% of adults report exercising three or more days per week for at least 30 minutes. Clearly, there is an informational and specific programming issue here. This is why Rock Fitness was created!

In every way possible, London’s business is unique.  His goal is to be member-centric, because “my life mission is creating opportunities for transformation which for me is personal training.”  His facility has no mirrors, clocks, televisions, salespeople, or restrictions.  As he says, “we built this whole place to focus on the needs of the people, not the needs of us.”  Their goal is to have potential clients walk in and say “this does not look or feel like a normal gym.”

The studio’s mission is showcased on the wall as you enter, directly underneath the word ‘Vision’: “To introduce health and fitness to the community in a simple, successful and validating way that ensures their journey, regardless of their goal or age, is what they intended it to be.”

Instead of new members arriving with a ‘What do you offer?’ inquiry, London and his team begin with ‘What do you need?’  They don’t offer feature tours to spotlight the facility which he calls a ‘museum tour’ but rather provide results tours to illustrate an individualized perspective of health and fitness.  In addition to more than 40 classes per week and brand new top of the line machines, the team offers nutritional counseling, video conferencing, and online personal training to help you achieve your specific goals. For willing guests, on their inaugural visit to Rock Fitness, a complimentary full body composition analysis using the InBody 570 is done to assess their immediate needs, goals are clarified and the member leaves knowing exactly what they need to do, and how long it will take, to achieve their life long goals.

lacey rock fitness

London pulls together every tool possible to make each client’s journey to fitness and health successful.

London’s personal journey began as a fitness trainer for the U.S. Marine Corps.  Though an injury ended his military service, he will celebrate 25 years as a professional personal trainer on December 28; “now having performed over 100,000 workouts with members and clients, personally trained 10,000+ clients and walked as a trainer over 75,000 floor hours, I have been blessed to be a part of so many life altering transformations in addition to supporting my beautiful wife and three awesome children.  I couldn’t think of a better career!”  Their Lacey location opened in June 2013 and business has more than quadrupled. As he’s proud to say “you don’t get referrals if you don’t do your job” and the Rock’s cutting edge approach does just that.

Aside from their vast array of equipment, class offerings and true Corporate Wellness Plans, the Rock offers access to two fully integrated fitness apps.  MyWellness records calories, movements, and uses a cloud-based dashboard to manage all manner of exercise and lifestyle activities.  The Rock’s equipment generates QR codes which can be scanned via your smart phone so users can monitor and compare duration, frequency, and results.  Driven clients can also compare their statistics to other users of that machine, other gym members, and MyWellness users worldwide.  The Rock Fitness app allows you to sign up for classes, schedule personal training, participate in trainer consultations, pay dues, view account, attendance, share Facebook and Twitter invites for gym events, contact gym staff, and keep abreast of studio news and even hosts your membership card. With this app, losing touch with members is, according to London, “not an option.”

Above all, Rock Fitness wants to “eliminate every excuse you have” says London.  He knows that simply showing up at the gym is an acknowledgement that you want to be healthy, may need help and are ready to begin.  The staff will never push you into activities or goals you don’t want or aren’t ready for-it’s not a competition, it’s an elevation of life. Their chief aim is a “supportive, positive environment with no pass or fail” because it’s about performance and longevity, not simply physical appearance.  With an attrition rate of less than 2%, this philosophy is definitely working.

rock fitness lacey

The Rock Fitness team participates in at least one community event each month.

London’s key philosophies also extend to his role as a local small business owner.  He and his team commit to participating in at least one fitness-related community event each month having recently completed the Rampage at the RAC, Puddle Jump and the GORUCK-Challenge and he strives to be physically involved within the region.  As he says, “I’m not in the fitness business, I’m in the fitness industry.  It’s imperative you are a product of your product; I’m not in this to make money but to serve and help people get the lives they want.  If you make money from a community you need to give back and be involved.”

Rock Fitness is located at 5001 Pacific Avenue SE in Lacey.  The gym is open 6 days a week and additional details can be found on their website at  A new, expanded site should be unveiled in time for New Year’s Resolutions.  Call David and his team with any questions: 360-359-4470, what have you got to lose?

Color Consultation: Make Your Home “Pop” with Color

Thurston Talk - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 6:00am



design smart living room fireplaceAdding color to your home is an easy, inexpensive way to make a home feel cozy and to express your individual personality. You can add color with paint, furniture, pillows, window treatments and accessories.

Paint: bold or beige?

Unless you are using a truly neutral color—like cream or beige—pick your paint color based on furniture, artwork or bedding.

Each color evokes its own psychological and physiological emotions, so consider a color based on a room’s function. For example, blue is a calming, relaxing color and is good for bedrooms but can destroy the mood in a dining room where it would serve as an appetite suppressant.

If you plan on selling your home soon, consider whether you want to go bold with your color. If you chose bold, be willing to paint back to “neutral” before you put your home on the market.

Beyond the paint color

design smart couch and chairsStick to a neutral color when purchasing a large, expensive piece of furniture like a sofa that you want to last a long time. A colorful side chair will add interest at a much lower cost. Colors and patterns go out of style faster than neutrals. It is easier to replace a chair than a sofa if the style becomes dated.

If your furniture is neutral, spice it up with colorful throw pillows. They are easy to mix and match and are relatively inexpensive to change for a different look.

You can create a completely different feeling in a room with the texture, color and pattern of a window treatment, including curtains and valances.

Accessories, such as art, vases and knick-knacks add “pops” of color and transform the feel of a room. Try shopping right in your home to change around your existing accessories for a new look.

Call the experts at Design Smart Home Staging and Redesign for a Color Consultation for your home at (360) 480-5810.


Wildcard “The Odyssey”

K Records - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 12:43am
Life story time with Wildcard, “The Odyssey”. Speed and agility. Wildcard, who resides in Spokane, Washington, appeared at the All Your Friend’s Friends [KLP255] album release parties in Seattle and Olympia. All Your Friend’s Friends is a NW hip hop compilation produced by thee XNTRX. Wildcard appears on “Find Your Shine” (based on a Jeremy […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Scientists defend water quality studies, Tribe tells of low salmon survival

Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 5:25pm
Ecology Hosts Technical Discussion on Water Quality in Capitol Lake


By Dani Madrone

On November 3, 2014, Ecology hosted a discussion for scientists, modelers, and reviewers of the technical studies related to Capitol Lake and Budd Inlet to identify specific areas of agreement and disagreement on the conclusions. Attending this meeting were three scientists from Ecology, Dr. David Milne and two others from the Capitol Lake Improvement and Protection Association (CLIPA), a representative from Squaxin Island and their technical reviewer, Dr. Jonathon Frodge, and a representative from DERT.

Ecology presented their modeling that demonstrated that, with the 5th Avenue dam in place, the Deschutes Watershed will not meet EPA requirements for dissolved oxygen under the Clean Water Act, explaining the nationally accredited modeling protocol and the results. Milne countered that the modeling did not provide accurate results and was not appropriate for the research.

Dr. Mindy Roberts of Ecology stated, “The model has gone through several stages of very well documented calibration and review by outside experts. We are confident in the model.”

Scott Steltzner of Squaxin Natural Resources reminded everyone the Tribe is a government agency co-managing natural resources. They are pro-science, not necessarily pro- estuary. He also described several regional, state and federal processes with technical committees that had also reached the conclusion of estuary restoration.

Overall, south Budd Inlet is affected by invasive species, altered circulation patterns due to the dam, a shallow and warm basin with excessive algae, water quality issues, and poor salmonid survival.

Milne’s paper was never formally peer-reviewed, and sub- mitted as proof of the benefits of Capitol Lake before being reviewed by the many technical teams involved in this process. The Tribe had Milne’s analysis independently reviewed by Dr. Jonathon Frodge, past president of the Washington State Lake Protection Association, who found he ignored changes in circulation patterns and effects on plant decomposition on water quality. Frodge also stated that both Ecology and Milne ignored the significant issue of the impacts of invasive species.

Steltzner alerted everyone of the concerns around salmon mortality. “We have an introduced hatchery Chinook run that has one of the lowest survival rates in all of Puget Sound. We also have an introduced but naturally producing coho run that is declining, and the one year class is functionally extinct. This is in contrast to other runs in South Sound that are staying steady or actually going up.”

salmondam Scientists defend water quality studies, Tribe tells of low salmon survival

Frodge backed his claim. “I think it’s related to the dense growth macrophytes. In Lake Washington, we got significant mortality… survival of smolts below dense beds of macrophytes was zero, equated to low dissolved oxygen. When you look at Capitol Lake, the actual amount of habitat for out-migrating smolts is significantly less than the actual surface area.”

Frodge also stated, “The issue with Capitol Lake is that it is an impoundment in a very wrong spot that creates more environmental problems then the primary benefit… of a reflective pool for the Capitol. If I were biased, it would be towards preservation of lakes, but in my opinion, Capitol Lake is not really a lake. It’s an impoundment in an area that functionally should be an estuary.”

During the discussion that followed these presentations, CLIPA did not address these issues. Instead, they continued to debate the validity of the model and the merit of the process. Roberts defended Ecology’s work, stating they have established confidence in the model and have followed a good protocol. Ecology sought feedback from the TMDL technical advisory group, identifying potential scenarios and priorities to model. CLIPA participated in this process, and the study was peer-reviewed twice.

Roberts responded to CLIPA’s uncompromising challenges by stating, “I’m sorry that it does not support the position that you have, but when you look at it from a scientific perspective, this model is a way to dispassionately understand the impacts… We need to move on.”

The documents and audio from this meeting can be found here:
Agenda – November 3, 2014
Draft science summary statements – Mindy Roberts, Ecology
Materials for Budd Inlet and Capitol Lake Science Meeting Presentation Slides – Anise Ahmed, Greg Pelletier, Mindy Roberts, Ecology
Modeling Budd Inlet. II. Sharpening & Validating the Tools Presentation Slides – David Milne
Recommendations for further refinement of the Budd Inlet simulations – David Milne
Squaxin Island Tribe, Natural Resources Department, Project Review, Presentation Slides – Scott Steltzner, Squaxin Island Tribe
Capitol Lake/Budd Inlet Technical Discussion Summary – Lydia Wagner, Ecology
Capitol Lake/Budd Inlet Technical Discussion Audio Recording – This is an mp3 file.

Categories: Local Environment

Shop and Win on Small Business Saturday at the Shipwreck Beads Winter Artisan Market

Thurston Talk - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 1:33pm



shipwreck beads market

Vendors from across the region bring holiday treats of every kind.

Forbes magazine and the US Small Business Administration recently released updated statistics regarding the vital role of small businesses: “There are almost 28 million small businesses in the US and…Over 50% of the working population (120 million individuals) works in a small business [and] small businesses have generated over 65% of the net new jobs since 1995.”

These hardworking entrepreneurs work tirelessly to support their families, keep hard earned dollars local, and become a vital part of the community.  On Saturday, November 29, Lacey’s Shipwreck Beads will host more than 80 such vendors as part of their Winter Artisan Market. The Market is part of the growing Small Business Saturday movement, founded in 2010 by American Express which “encourages people to shop at small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.”

This year’s event makes helping fun, easy, and the perfect pre-holiday/one-stop-shopping extravaganza.  Pat Simmons, Shipwreck’s Creative Director, is proud that “last year’s market was a great success thanks to the support of our amazing and talented local community, and this year’s promises to be even better.”

“You can celebrate the season and discover a treasure trove of hand-crafted wares from over 80 local vendors. We’ll also have a live broadcast from our friends at 94.5 ROXY,” continues Simmons. “Buying local and participating in Small Business Saturday helps keep our unique community strong and vibrant!  Why not shop fabulous, one-of-a-kind selections of crafts, wood-working, fine art, jewelry, soaps, clothing, baked goods, and more for this gift giving season?  Also, be sure to bring two nonperishable food items to be entered into our hourly raffle so you can win amazing prizes donated by our talented vendors as well as Shipwreck Beads Gift Cards.  All food donations will be given to Thurston County Food Bank to help local families in need.”

shipwreck beads market

Come have a holiday good time while supporting your local community on Small Business Saturday.

Shipwreck Beads’ Social Media Coordinator Kelsy Vincent says the only requirement for vendors is that the goods they sell be handmade.  They host the event twice a year, making this the fourth—and biggest—session of the Market.  As she explains, “our second Annual Winter Artisan Market is held in conjunction with Small Business Saturday.  Shipwreck Beads got their start selling at small craft shows and we are excited to be able to offer our customers an opportunity to share their goods.  Being able to give back to our community is very important to our store and we are happy to be a positive force in our community.”

The epitome of a small business success story, Shipwreck Beads began as a family-run shop more than 40 years ago.  Through attention to customer service, high quality products, and amazing classroom learning opportunities, they’ve grown into one of our region’s greatest attractions.

They are located at 8560 Commerce Place Drive NE in Lacey. Additional details about the event can be found online or by calling 800-950-4232.  Bring your holiday shopping list, canned food donation, and civic pride…your friends, neighbors, and community will thank you for it.


The Tramp

Griffin Neighborhood - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 11:16am
Few residents are aware that our community is named after a tramp. This is not Charlie Chaplin, the famous Little Tramp, but our own Tramp, Judge Arthur Eugene Griffin.
Judge Griffin, namesake of our school district, fire district, and community, was a colorful figure who was called "The Tramp" by many of his family members. The nickname referred to his wanderlust ways, rebellious streak, and varied careers, including cook, merchant, post master, inventor, lawyer, judge, gold prospector, rancher, and investor.
Judge Arthur Eugene Griffin
Griffin's tenuous connection with Charlie Chaplin extended beyond their similar nicknames. Perhaps Chaplin's most famous movie was the 1925 hit, "The Gold Rush", depicting the Little Tramp's adventures at the Klondike or Yukon Gold Rush. Our namesake was bitten by the gold bug in 1897 and was one of tens of thousands who sought their fortunes in the Yukon. The Little Tramp climbed the famous Golden Stairs of Chilkoot Pass to reach the fabled gold fields. Our Tramp rode a horse over the nearby White Pass on his journey to the goldfields.
Arthur Griffin was born during the Civil War in 1862 at New Haven Township, Olmstead County, Minnesota. His parents were farmers. Griffin graduated from the Chicago Business College and immediately left the Midwest to seek his fortune without returning home as a prodigal son. His first job was as a cook for a Canadian Pacific Railroad survey crew. The Tramp had started his wanderlust ways.
Several years later, while passing through Enumclaw on a railroad car, Griffin took note of a good location for a store next to a saloon and boarding house. He and a partner later built Griffin and Blake Store at that site. Griffin soon was smitten by and married Gabrielle Paumell, a young French woman who was the first teacher in the community. When residents wanted to incorporate the settlement into a town, they asked Griffin to "draw up" the necessary documents. Griffin borrowed some books from a Seattle lawyer and drafted the necessary papers. After this initial success in the legal field, Griffin studied for and passed what constituted the Bar Exam in those days. He eventually became an expert in Indian law and wrote a number of short Indian stories and legends. The Griffin School Library has a compilation of these stories entitled Washington Indian Fables.
The Griffins eventually moved to Seattle. After the steamer S.S. Portland docked at Seattle's Coleman dock with over a ton of gold from the Klondike in July of 1897, the alluring gold bug bit Griffin. He joined the stampede to find gold. Many of the thousands seeking Yukon gold traveled through Seattle and purchased their supplies there. This surge of economic activity not only put Seattle on the road to prosperity but was the catalyst to pull the nation out of its worst economic depression. Griffin opened a law firm with two other attorneys in a log cabin in Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada. He both prospected and practiced law.
After returning to Seattle from the Gold Rush, Griffin practiced law, became a superior court judge in King County, and made a number of investments. Of particular importance to us was his ill-fated attempt at ranching on Schneider's Prairie. Griffin purchased much of Schneider's Prairie in 1917. He expected to make a fortune during World War I when the price of wool skyrocketed. However, his purebred Ramboulet sheep soon died of lung worms. Griffin then tried raising registered Holsteins, but the prairie's thin grass and wild flowers were too meager to support the cattle. Finally oyster beds where diked and he grew Pacific Oysters. This venture apparently was not successful when the market for oysters fell. Griffin then subdivided the land in a final attempt to make money on Schneider's Prairie.
The Schneider's Prairie District No. 33 school house burned to the ground in August of 1926. As a temporary measure, grades one through four were moved to the then abandoned schoolhouse of the prior Frye Cove School District No. 52 off what now is Gravelly Beach Loop NW.  Grades 5 through 8 were held at the second story of the old Grange Hall. The Grange had organized in 1909 and had a two-story building with an outside stairway to the second floor. Griffin donated five acres to the Schneider’s Prairie School District for a schoolhouse and grounds as part of his subdivision. Residents must have seen the deeding of the land as a grand gesture because they renamed the school district Griffin School District. The new school opened in March of 1927 with three rooms.

A new schoolhouse was constructed in 1969 and 1970, eventually becoming a 12 room building.  The new school building was constructed in phases with different grades moving into the new building as space became available. First, in early 1970, grades 6-8 moved out of portable buildings into the partially constructed new schoolhouse and grades 2-5 moved from the old schoolhouse into the portable buildings. The principal, kindergarten and grade 1 remained in the old building for the remainder of the school year. During the summer of 1970, the old building was torn down and rooms were added to the new building on the site of the old schoolhouse, allowing all grades and administration to be located in the new building by the 1970-71 school year. In 1977, a new junior module was added and grades 6-8 moved out of the 1970 structure into the addition. In 1989, six more classrooms, a gym, music room, kitchen and cafeteria were added. In 1991, two portable buildings were added supplying an additional four classrooms. In 2004 a new addition and other remodeling was completed.

The wanderlust Tramp, Arthur Eugene Griffin, died in an auto accident at the age of 86 in 1947. A large portrait of our benefactor is in the Griffin School library.
By Steve Lundin
Copyright 2014 by Steve Lundin
Reprinted from the January 1999 issue of "Neighbors", the newsletter of the Griffin Neighborhood Association. Revised 2014.
Steve Lundin is a long-time resident of the Griffin community located in northwest Thurston County.  He received a B.A. degree from the University of Washington and a J.D. degree from the University of Washington Law School and recently retired as a senior counsel for the Washington State House of Representatives after nearly 30 years.
He is recognized as the local historian of the Griffin area and has written a number of articles on local history and a book entitled Griffin Area Schools, available from the Griffin Neighborhood Association at a cost of $10.

Lundin also wrote a comprehensive reference book on local governments in Washington State entitled The Closest Governments to the People – A Complete Reference Guide to Local Government in Washington State.  The book costs $85, plus shipping and handling.  It is available on the web from the Division of Governmental Studies and Services, Washington State University, at or from WSU Extension at

Interested in reading more about our local history? Click here for the whole series.


Shrine of forgotten blog posts (Olyblogosphere for November 24, 2014)

Olympia Time - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 7:05am
1. Northern closed.

2. Some actual good advice (if not spurious descriptions) of how to buy stolen goods stolen from Oly.

3. One of Olympia's best artists has two new books out. And, is releasing even more soon. Damn.

4. One more LBA update from Olympia's best blog.

5. Shrine of Forgotten Objects in TESC Woods.

A Walk Through Downtown Olympia

Thurston Talk - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 6:55am



By Olivia Richards, Avanti High School Intern to ThurstonTalk

As the temperature drops and winter approaches, people need a place to cozy up outside of their homes. There are lots of warm small shops and cafés that you can duck into and grab a quick bite to eat, shop, hangout with friends, and much more. So get out and take a walk on Olympia’s lit up streets. The pictures below include shots of Batdorf & Bronson, Compass Rose, Hot Toddy, Archibald Sisters, Browsers’ Books and Rainy Day Records.

downtown olympia broswer books (2) Downtown Olympia Batdorf (1) downtown olympia broswer books (1) Downtown Olympia Compass Rose (3) Downtown Olympia Archibald Sisters (3) Downtown Olympia Batdorf (2) downtown olympia Hot Toddy jewelry (1) Downtown Olympia Rainy Day Records Downtown Olympia Postcards Downtown Olympia Compass Rose (1) Downtown Olympia Archibald Sisters (2) downtown olympia Hot Toddy jewelry (3) downtown olympia Hot Toddy jewelry (2) Downtown Olympia Archibald Sisters (5) Downtown Olympia Rainy Day Records (2) Downtown Olympia Rainy Day Records (6) Downtown Olympia Archibald Sisters (1) Downtown Olympia Batdorf (3) Downtown Olympia Compass Rose (4) Downtown Olympia Rainy Day Records (3) Downtown Olympia Compass Rose (2) Downtown Olympia Capitol Theater Olympia Film

Capital High School Freshman Naomi Reyes Never Backs Down from a Challenge

Thurston Talk - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 6:19am



By Lauren Frasier, Capital High School Intern to ThurstonTalk

dairy queenThe challenge – two fall sports, three practices, all while handling her first year of high school.  To Naomi Reyes, it’s just daily life.

A lifelong competitive swimmer, Reyes also decided to turn out for Capital High School’s cross country team this year. “I’ve always liked running and I wanted to try something new,” she says.

While some athletes may have chosen to put swimming on the shelf for a season, Reyes instead decided to do both. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, she heads to the pool before school from 5:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. She then attends CHS, runs during cross country practice from 2:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. and then is off to the pool again from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m a couple nights a week.

Capital High School freshman Naomi Reyes swims competitively with The Evergreen Swim Club.

Capital High School freshman Naomi Reyes swims competitively with The Evergreen Swim Club.

Her swim coach, Randy Trowbridge, isn’t surprised. “She never backs down from a challenge.  She’ll go after it. She’s fearless,” he shares.

Swimming comes naturally to Reyes.  She’s been doing it since she was three, and competitively since age eight. She swims for the Evergreen Swim Club. Right now she’s training to make PNS champs times and regional cuts. Reyes competes in the 100 and 200 breaststroke, and distance freestyle. One event, the mile, is 66 laps in the pool. Having to swim that far requires a lot of endurance, and that quickly translated into running.

Though an incredibly gifted athlete, she’s not just in it for herself. She loves to be a part of and to support both of her teams. Janessa Schulte, one of her fellow swimmers, says, “she’s always that person at the end of the lane to cheer you on no matter what.”

Trowbridge agrees. “She’s the smallest person on the team, but she’s one of the biggest parts of it because she’s a leader.” Whether that’s taking on a challenge or cheering for others, she’s a valuable part of both teams.

“Naomi understands what work ethic is,” cross country coach Kevin Wright explains. “We needed someone like her to come in.” She consistently pushed herself and her teammates throughout the season. Capital’s team finished tenth in 3A state, while they had previously been classified as a 2A team.

“She works hard, she doesn’t give up, and she gives it her all in every single race,” says teammate Inanna McCarty.

Her cross country races are 5Ks and her personal record is running a 19:26. She’s the second fastest freshman coach Kevin Wright has ever had on his team. As the number two varsity runner, Naomi recently competed in 3A state, taking 33rd.

In her first year running cross country, Naomi Reyes made it all the way to WIAA 3A State competition.

In her first year running cross country, Naomi Reyes made it all the way to WIAA 3A State competition.

Fellow varsity athlete Marin Farrell adds, “She doesn’t look intimidating, but when she runs, people get scared.” Reyes was a very competitive racer, placing fourth in districts and second in league.  She didn’t let the fact that she was a freshman intimidate her.

In the state meet, there were only two other freshman ahead of her. With three more seasons to grow and improve as a runner, Reyes has a bright future. “She has high expectations and high goals. I wouldn’t put anything past her,” says Wright.

The same goes for swimming, and Reyes has already seen improvement in the pool since she started running. “I can feel myself being able to kick stronger and faster,” she says.

For her, all the hard work and time was worth it. “It was pretty chaotic the first couple of weeks, but once I progressed and got used to it, I was so glad I stuck to it,” Reyes explains.

Swimming and running are two very different sports, but both are physically demanding and extremely rewarding, too. At the end of one of her crazy busy days, she is glad she can peruse both her passions.

Two teams, two sports, two passions – but Reyes isn’t choosing a favorite. While they are unique, Naomi loves to be a part of both teams, saying, “They’re both families.”

Because of her determination, and fearlessness, she worked hard throughout the season and pushed herself and her teammates. But Reyes is not done yet.

Her next challenge? She says, “I’m getting ready for track.”


Shop Local on Black Friday at Bayview and Ralph’s Thriftway

Thurston Talk - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 6:00am



black friday olympia

Ralph’s Thriftway will offer special Black Friday deals from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on November 28. Find the same deals at Bayview Thriftway.

Halloween candy still languished on the shelves when the annual cries of ‘Black Friday!’ began.  Those two words often cause your heart to flutter with either excitement or dread.  This year, why not enjoy the benefits of the day without all the drama?  After all, who doesn’t love saving money?

Ralph’s and Bayview Thriftway will host their first annual Black Friday extravaganza on November 28 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  Savvy shoppers can pick up amazing deals in every department without camping in the parking lot or pitching tents on the sidewalk.

Marketing Manager Carly Brettmann explains that “our ThrifteCard Black Friday Deals will allow customers to earn 10% back in their ThrifteCard wallet on almost everything in both stores.  ThrifteCard members will get back 10% on all groceries, housewares, Starbucks Coffee, Subway, Dancing Goats Coffee Bar and more.  Even sale or reduced items are part of the Black Friday Deals!”

This expansive list means that even if your holiday shopping takes you all over town, stopping by for lunch or mid-afternoon caffeine pick-me-up will earn rewards towards future purchases.  Plan your list in advance and grab stocking stuffers, baking supplies, Secret Santa presents, or even your entire Christmas dinner.

black friday olympia

Black Friday shoppers can support locally owned businesses by stopping by Bayview and Ralph’s Thriftway stores on November 28.

Sick of cooking?  The deal covers ready made bakery and deli purchases.  Headed to another family get-together?  Choose a stunning bouquet of flowers for the hostess.  Starting your New Year’s Resolutions early?  Health, beauty, and bulk food items are all part of the sale.  Overdo it altogether?  Black Friday deals include Ralph’s Online Shopping too.

In 2013 alone, Black Friday shopping accounted for almost $15 billion in sales, nationwide.  A recent study shows that “if every family in the U.S. spent an extra $10 a month at a locally owned, independent business…over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to our economy.”  In our region, “both Ralph’s and Bayview Thriftway are the only two locally owned, independent supermarkets in Thurston County.”  Picking up your daily necessities—and maybe a holiday treat or two—is an easy way to support your friends, neighbors, and community.

Once the feast has been packed up for a weekend’s worth of sandwich-makings and the tryptophan-fueled nap is over, put on your walking shoes for a mid-day stroll around the Thriftway nearest you.  Your wallet—and waistline—will thank you for the effort.


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