By Lisa Herrick
April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder following Alzheimer’s. It is a progressive disorder affecting approximately one million people in the United States.
In recognition of Parkinson’s Awareness Month, Panorama is inviting the community to attend a patient education program at Panorama Continuing Care Retirement Community on Wednesday, April 29. Panorama will be hosting guest speaker Dr. Pinky Agarwal from the Booth Gardner Parkinson’s Care Center and she will present Parkinson’s Disease: Medication and Non-Medication Options.
Panorama offers a support group to its residents who are battling Parkinson’s or for those who have been affected by the disease. The Living with Parkinson’s (LwPD) group was originally started by a Panorama resident in 2009. Due to the growth of the group and increased interest amongst residents, the LwPD group is now facilitated by Sara Wasser from Panorama’s Independent Living Social Services Department.
Sara explains, “What’s so incredibly special about LwPD is it’s more than just a monthly meeting where we hear from guest speakers and share information. It’s more like a family gathering.”
“I refer to my group members as ‘cheerleaders’ because they are constantly encouraging other residents affected with Parkinson’s disease to join the support group, exercise class and dinner group,” continues Sara. “They help each other from offering simple suggestions to driving someone to a medical appointment and lending a listening ear. They truly welcome everyone with open arms and that is the best invitation of all.”
“This month, Panorama wants to open its doors to educate, support and renew hope by inviting community members to this special event,” she adds.
Sara continues, “My group members, my cheerleaders, live with Parkinson’s every day. Some of these folks were diagnosed over 25 years ago and their spouses have provided loving care and support through their ongoing journey. Residents who have lost their spouse or partner to Parkinson’s continue to attend the meetings and dinners to maintain their strongly bonded relationships with one another. That’s how deeply rooted this group of residents are to one another. I couldn’t be more proud of what has developed over the last six years. This is why it’s personally important to me to help raise awareness in April and show support for them. I want others to learn about the disease and how coming together truly makes a difference.”
The LwPD support group is just one service provided by the Independent Living team at Panorama. Working alongside Sara is Adele Hadley and Corrine Wasmundt. Adele, Corrine and Sara are well known for their concierge style of service to the independent living Panorama residents. They offer convenient amenities and supportive resources that are free and confidential to the residents.
There are approximately 1,100 people living independently between the ages of 62 and over 100 at Panorama. Adele shares, “Panorama residents are truly out there living independently so we are not in constant contact with them. But we are here and accessible if anyone needs us. We average about 300 ‘referrals’ a month, which means we are providing some type of direct service about three hundred times monthly. This could be anything from a medical crisis that requires more intensive attention for a short period of time to ongoing nutrition counseling to a one-time referral for a bookkeeper. Regardless, our main focus is to maintain safety and quality of life for those residents living independently.”
Support services run the gamut such as providing assistance and education on long-term care goals including assisted living, rehabilitation center and long-term care policies. The trio also provides referrals to various agencies and programs which could include anything from elder law, pet care, housekeeping to hearing services and much more. Additionally, they assist with updating records, liaise and advocate with physicians and agencies, and offer a comprehensive resource library.
While Sara’s expertise has centered on Parkinson’s she also facilitates a bereavement group. Adele provides a support group for those who are a primary caregiver for a loved one at home or in a long-term care facility. Corrine facilitates a group for any resident or caregiver coping with cancer. All three professionals offer a deep understanding and care about the aging process, knowledge of safety in independent living, and expertise on how to enhance the quality of life.
Click here to learn more about the Panorama Independent Living Services.
For more information about the Parkinson’s Informational Event hosted at Panorama, please contact Sara Wasser at 360-438-7776 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parkinson’s Patient Education Program at Panorama Auditorium
Wednesday, April 29 at 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
1670 Circle Loop SE in Lacey
By Gail Wood
Six days a week, you can find Alex swimming up and down the 50-yard pool at The Evergreen State College. Three days a week, Alex, a freshman at Olympia High School, squeezes in two workouts, one in the morning before school and a second one in the evening.
“It can get hectic,” Alex said with a chuckle about his busy schedule. “But it’s fun. I enjoy it.”
It’s not the seemingly endless workouts – he’ll swim as many as 7,000 yards (about four miles) in a workout – that’s so rewarding. It’s the end result, the end goal. In December at the Pacific Northwest meet, Alex, who swims for the Evergreen Swim Club, won all six of the events he entered and broke five meet records. His meet-record time of 15:50 in the 1,650 meters was the fourth fastest in the nation for 14-year-olds at the time.
“It’s amazing to spend that much time in the water and to really dedicate yourself to one thing. I think he sacrifices a lot,” said Alex’s mom, Tiffany.
Alex, who just turned 15, isn’t the only one making a sacrificial commitment. Add Tiffany, who doubles as her son’s taxi driver. Besides the two-a-day workouts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, there’s the afternoon workouts five days a week. Then on Saturday mornings, there’s the early morning workout. When kiddingly asked if her son had gills, Tiffany said, “They’re growing.”
But Alex’s blue-collar work ethic, his dedication to training, isn’t his only attribute. He’s a competitor. He doesn’t melt under the pressure and challenge of a big swim meet.
“He’s a very fierce competitor,” said Tiffany, who for the past three years has coached on the Evergreen Swim Club and volunteered in other tasks. “It’s very interesting if you look at Alex’s splits. He’s able to turn these 50s over and over again. A lot of kids can’t do that. He’s mentally a very strong kid too, which I hope for his sake that will carry him a long ways.”
In Orlando, Alex swam a lifetime best in the 1,000 meters, finishing in 9:23 for 30th place. That ranks him 20th in the United States for his age group.
“The top swimmers in the country were there,” said Randy Trowbridge, the Evergreen’s Swim Club’s coach. “And to be ranked in the top 20 is impressive.”
Trowbridge and Alex’s dad, James, made the trip with Alex to Orlando, cheering him on. James grew up in Olympia and attended Olympia High School, graduating in 1989. But he played tennis and didn’t swim. Tiffany, who attended high school in Port Orchard, was the swimmer. Both Tiffany and James are supporters of both their sons, Alex and Andrew, who is a junior and a state qualifier on the Olympia High School swim team.
“My parents are great,” Alex said. “I love them.”
Driven by his goal for national rankings, Alex has decided not to turn out for his school swim team. He’s already swimming faster than his brother, who also swims for the Evergreen Swim Club, in nearly every event they swim.
“The only stroke Andrew is ahead of him is breaststroke,” Trowbridge said. “I think it does motivate him to have an older brother who has done well. For a while they were competing, but Alex has surpassed him in a lot of events.”
At practices, Trowbridge doesn’t have to keep reminding Alex to push himself or to swim his laps faster. But the Evergreen coach might have to occasionally remind Alex to get into the pool.
“He’s motivated and he gets in,” Trowbridge said with a chuckle. “But he’s not the first one in. Getting him in the pool is the hardest thing. During the workouts, he applies himself. He does a good job on his workouts.”
Tiffany is proud of what her son has done as a swimmer. But for her, the real takeaway from swimming is the life lessons her son is learning.
“You learn a lot,” Tiffany said. “You’re learning how to get along with others. You’re learning time management. You have to do your homework somewhere and study for that test. He does that.”
At the meet in Orlando, Alex met some college swim coaches, which was another learning lesson for a young teenager.
“He learned how to make that firm, steady handshake,” Tiffany said. “Making eye contact and making conversation – those are some skills that will carry him far. There are a lot of things sports teaches you. And it teaches you a lot about yourself.”
Swimming, Tiffany has discovered, not only builds endurance, it builds responsibility.
“We can get him to the pool, but I can’t make him work hard once he’s in the water,” Tiffany said. “That’s all him. We support him as best as we can. Once he gets into the water, it’s all him.”
Photos by Shanna Paxton Photography
Spring Arts Walk matches local artists with downtown Olympia shops. Visitors travel through the shops, gazing at the art work while enjoying live music and street performers outside the walls of the local businesses. Walk through the downtown Olympia event with us.
Photos by Shanna Paxton Photography
Despite heavy rain showers, Olympia residents flocked to downtown Olympia on Saturday, April 25 for the annual Procession of the Species. In its 20th year, the spectacle is a passionate display of “all things great about Olympia.” Read more about the dedicated volunteers who pull together the event in this article.
Jennifer Chevalier has always had a passion for math. So much so, that she studied the subject through college, earned her teaching credentials through The Evergreen State College and now teaches 8th grade Math at Bush Middle School in Tumwater. The mother of two has always shown a true commitment to teaching math and adding Mathnasium Owner to her list of passions is a natural fit.
“When my son was first born we were looking for a way for me to stay home,” explains Chevalier. “We looked into Mathnasium and my husband and I fell in love with the idea behind the franchise. We became very invested in the ideas and methods being used, but at the time just couldn’t afford to do it. When my husband passed away I was given some life insurance money. I thought about my options of what I could do with the money and decided to invest it into something we both believed in: Mathnasium.”
The idea behind the Mathnasium Method is simplicity. “It’s all about breaking down the problems and focusing on the vocabulary,” says Chevalier. “The creator of the method, Larry Martinek, used his knowledge of math and watching students struggle with math to come up with the concepts we use. It’s about changing the way a student looks at the problem. For example, instead of saying, ‘What is seven times eight?’ we approach the problem and ask, ‘What is seven eight times?’ This simple change can lead to so much more understanding for a student.”
Mathnasium focuses on the gaps to build the foundation. “The first thing we do is give an assessment to discover the gaps in student understanding,” explains Chevalier. “The assessments are built for different grade levels and include visual, written, and verbal problems. Based on the assessment, we are able to find those gaps of understanding. Our goal is to fill those gaps. We don’t want to have to have a student rely on a tutor forever. Our goal is to build a solid foundation that they can depend upon to tackle any problem.”
Changes in curriculum and state standards has made learning difficult for many students in our area. “Parents are afraid of Common Core and new curriculum. We get a lot of calls and business based on this fear. As state testing approaches, parents want to know how we can help boost their child’s score. There is no quick fix. It does take some time, but the Mathnasium Method addresses those needs. While we start seeing results after the first few weeks of attendance, it does take time. Once we can help build a basis of math knowledge, the students easily adapt to any changes in curriculum.”
Mathnasium is comparable to the price of a tutor, but with a different goal. “If you break it down our monthly price is similar to, or even less than, that of one-on-one tutor twice a week. With our monthly membership, students can come in as often as they want. We recommend 2-3 times per week as we do not want students to burn-out. We also have a summer program that can either help a student catch up from the previous year or build their math strength for the upcoming school year,” she explains.
“The people who work here love working with kids, have a background in math, and are well trained in our method. It’s a great place to encourage confidence in students and we keep math engaging,” adds Chevalier.
“I’ve been passionate about Math for many years,” says Chevalier. Mathnasium is a great fit for me to continue that passion. It’s all about changing the way kids approach the problem making it more feasible to tackle. We want to celebrate what students do know and focus on teaching what they don’t know. We want our students to be successful in the future, not just right now.”
4331-B Lacey Blvd SE, Lacey, WA 98503
Hours of Instruction:
Monday – Thursday: 3:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
By Lynn West
Have you ever noticed the bold black and white sign flapping against the bricks on the old Olympia City Hall and Fire Station? The Olympia Free Clinic sign is poised between the signs for the Family Support Center and South Sound YMCA child care facility. It is obvious this building provides an important bridge to needed services in our community.
On Wednesday and Thursday evenings, residents enter the side door just off Capitol Way on State Street in desperate need of medical care. Head up a flight of stairs and you will be amazed by the services offered by the Olympia Free Clinic. Staffed entirely by volunteers, except for the multi-tasking director, Paula Rauen, the clinic is kept alive by generous benefactors.
Shortly after The Lacey Free Clinic closed in 2009, work began to establish the Olympia Free Clinic as a nonprofit. After a brief time at another location, the Olympia Free Clinic found a home in this welcoming historic building.
“On May 25, 2011, two days after the clinic opened here, I stepped in as Executive Director,” Paula Rauen said with a smile. “The operation has been evolving and expanding ever since.” After 26 years working at Community Youth Services and three years sailing around the world with her husband, Paula obviously enjoys the daily tasks of organizing and supporting the 250 volunteers who have contributed almost 15,000 hours to the clinic since its inception.
“After the first year of operations, we changed to two consecutive nights of service,” Paula told me. ”We realized how difficult it was for the patients who couldn’t be scheduled one night to wait several days to come back. We are always making adjustments in order to serve as many clients as possible.”
Since the Union Gospel Mission closed their Chronic Care Clinic in 2014, the caseload at the Olympia Free Clinic has increased. It is now open to both chronic and acute patients. “The good news is more patients are insured under the Affordable Care Act but the bad news is many are also underinsured or hampered by huge deductibles,” explained Paula.
After a patient has registered, a triage nurse prepares an intake form. At least two physicians and two nurses staff the clinic. Patients either self-refer or are directed to the clinic by Department of Social and Health Service caseworkers. The clinic is open to anyone 18 or older. Most evenings a Spanish language interpreter is available.
Here is just one story about how patients are served by the Olympia Free Clinic. A middle-aged woman who had no insurance heard about the clinic after a lump on her neck had been growing for many months. Indeed, as she feared, it was malignant. Paula unpinned her thank you letter to the Clinic from a wall of such letters and, the woman’s gratitude was boundless. “You saved my life,” she said.
Patients like this woman are grateful for the many doctors, nurses, and staff who served them. However they may not realize the depth of support from other medical facilities in the area.
“A recent contribution from Capital Medical Center was so important to our continued work,” Paula emphatically stated. “We are extremely grateful for their staff’s generosity.”
That donation along with in-kind contributions from other health care companies for free pap smears, lab work and imaging, and by the Union Gospel Mission for accepting referrals to their dental and vision program keep the work of the clinic moving. Approximately 90 patients receive medical examinations each month.
Last August, a grant allowed the Olympia Free Clinic to open a Mental Health Access program, which is so important for the population they serve. The Clinic supports about 24 sessions of mental health counseling a month.
Each patient seen in the clinic has an exit interview with a social worker before discharge. Patients then are assessed for future needs and often referred to other agencies.
In addition to working with the volunteer coordinator, Paula also writes grants, works with other non-profit groups, and seeks donations from neighborhood businesses and professionals.
“Most of our volunteers come right after leaving work,” according to Paula. “Having food for them before they start their shift is crucial.” Recently the volunteers have been enjoying treats from Old School Pizzeria, Bagel Brothers, Bread Peddler, and Blue Heron Bakery.
Our volunteers are so caring. “We very often heal the spirit as well as the physical well being of a patient,” Paula told me. “In assessing the quality of respect and courtesy exhibited by the staff at the clinic, the patients rate them 90% and above.”
When the staff at Capital Medical Center chose the Olympia Free Clinic as the recipient of their recent staff fundraiser, they must have known more about the amazing work of the clinic than a casual passerby. Not everyone in Thurston County can contribute by volunteering, but everyone can enjoy an evening of Wine and Jazz at the Clinics’ Annual Fundraiser on June 6 at Albee’s Garden. Be there and join the many others who work to keep this community asset alive and well.
The Olympia Free Clinic is open Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Submitted by City of Olympia
After the structure fire in the abandoned church at 911 – 4th avenue East on April 20, 2015, cadaver dogs detected signs that suggested there may be human remains in the rubble pile left after the fire was extinguished. To confirm that no such remains were present, a City of Olympia team composed of Olympia Fire, Police, Public Works, Parks and Community Planning & Development departments, along with Advance Environmental as the technical specialists and Quigg Brothers, Inc. managing the heavy equipment, searched the debris. No human remains were found.
The pile still remains a potential public safety hazard so the careful removal and disposal of the debris will continue until the site has been completely cleared.
The city is bearing the costs at this point but the property owner and or future property owners will ultimately be responsible for the costs incurred.
Due to the complete destruction of the building and the potential safety risks, origin and cause of the fire could not be determined, although it is likely that it was started by an unauthorized person or persons in the building as there were no utilities connected to the building at the time of the fire.
Clean-up efforts will continue until all fire debris is appropriately disposed.
A visual distraction from any equipment involved in the clean-up will be the only impact on traffic along the 900 block of 4th Avenue.
Previous stories about the fire can be found here.
Photos by Shanna Paxton Photography
The Luminary Procession is the first event marking a weekend of packed with family-friendly entertainment in downtown Olympia. The Luminary Procession occurred at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, April 24. Between rain showers, Procession goers traveled the streets of downtown Olympia. Spring Arts Walk continues today. Maps are available here as well as a planning guide for experiencing the event with children. Procession of the Species begins at 4:30 p.m. in downtown Olympia. The route can be found here.
Alejandro de Acosta describes his Art Lecture as”a discussion of the work of Argentine poet Antonio Porchia (1885-1968), and his translation of Porchia. Porchia developed and wrote solely in a singular form he called voces (voices). His single book, named, precisely, VOCES, was little known when it appeared, due in part to his distance from literary circles and to its unclassifiable short, aphoristic poetry. Alejandro will discuss Porchia’s poetry and poetics, his finished and unfinished voices, and his approach to sharing them; their influence on subsequent Argentine poets; and the process of his current collaborative translation of them, opening out onto a larger set of ideas about language and translation, poetic forms and how they are circulated and made public.”
Alejandro was born in Buenos Aires in 1972, and grew up in Caracas, Madison (Wisconsin) and Cleveland (Ohio). Tertiary education in Amherst, MA (Hampshire College, bachelor’s degree) and Binghamton, NY (doctorate at Binghamton University). A onetime participant in the zine and mail art milieu, in Austin, Alejandro founded mufa::poema, a micropress that freely distributed a dozen poetry and prose chapbooks. Long standing interest in sound art and poetry reading led to a two-year radio and podcast project, “Sector Phy,” on KPWR-FM, as well as numerous audio performances under the moniker JANO (THING) SELECTOR.
Back in Binghamton, study of the history of Western philosophy and contemporary continental thought brought Alejandro to write a dissertation on Spinozan themes, not without a discussion of exhortatory graffiti. These studies subsequently displaced themselves in the direction of, first, Latin American philosophy, and second, an articulation of (for lack of a better word) anarchist ideas in various genres of prose. An outcome of this second trajectory, informed by continued engagement with poetry and poetics, are his two recent collections of critical and experimental essays: The Impossible, Patience (Ardent Press, 2014) and How to Live Now or Never (Repartee/LBC Books, 2014).
For many years, Alejandro taught philosophy and poetry at Southwestern University (Georgetown, TX), as well as in popular education settings. Readings, lectures, and presentations in Albany, Austin, Berkeley, Denver, Morelia, Portland, Seattle and elsewhere. With Joshua Beckman, Alejandro has translated the poetry of Jorge Carrera Andrade (Micrograms, Wave Books, 2011) and Carlos Oquendo de Amat (Five Meters of Poems, Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010). Most recently, Alejandro translated Fabian Luduena’s H.P. Lovecraft: The Disjunction in Being (Schism Press, 2015). Two current projects are an anthology of writing by and about Antonio Porchia and The Ponge Stone, a manuscript of translations, essays, and letters emerging from the study of Francis Ponge’s Pour un Malherbe. Alejandro’s ongoing research is in U.S. and Latin American poetry, and, still, philosophy. Alejandro de Acosta currently lives in Olympia, WA.
Submitted by the Olympia Tumwater Foundation
Deadline to apply for early learning grants is May 1 The Olympia Tumwater Foundation (OTF) is inviting grant applications from early childhood education providers (K-3) to implement innovative, sustainable classroom projects.
Submissions must be received in the Foundation office by 5 p.m. on May 1. Any Thurston County school district, nonprofit organization, early learning provider, or collaboration thereof may apply for funds. OTF is especially interested in supporting strategies that stimulate student creativity, increase motivation to learn, and enhance the current learning environment. Individual award amounts range from $250 to $3,000.
The Olympia Tumwater Foundation’s education program has awarded over $1.6 million in scholarships and grants to hundreds of talented and deserving students and teachers. An application and more information can be found under “Scholarships & Grants” on the Foundation’s website: www.olytumfoundation.org or by phone at 360.943.2550.
I would classify this weekend as the granddaddy of community events. Three massive events culminate in one weekend of free, family-friendly entertainment in downtown Olympia. Here’s my suggestion for the best strategy to be able to experience all three events while still leaving some time to hit some other activities. Click on the links below to get complete event information.
Want to try something else this weekend? Here are even more ideas for activities and events around Thurston County on April 24 – 26.
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 email@example.com. For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here.
It’s been a long ambition to make paper. In my early twenties I took up bookbinding and ended up working for Don Guyot at Colophon Book Arts Supply in Olympia, Washington. As part of my job, I was able to attend the Paper Book Intensive a couple of times, helping to run the small store and taking amazing workshops with some of the finest teachers in the country. I took classes in hand lettering, box making, paper marbling, alternative book structures, paper decoration and more. It was at the Paper Book Intensive that I was exposed for the first time to hand papermaking. I remember thinking… “I’m going to come back to this.” And I have.
In the last few weeks my partner and I have acquired a Hollander beater (A 1.5 pound Voith-Allis Valley type beater) and have undertaken to restore it. It has been living outside for some time and was in such a condition I almost passed on it. But it looked sound in spite of some rust and dirt. And I had looked for so long for a beater and this one needed some serious and dedicated love. I felt up to the task, especially with Terry’s help. There is no better help than his. He can do anything. And he has been enormously generous with his time and skills.
Submitted by West Olympia Farmers’ Market
West Olympia Farmers’ Market is pleased to announce the opening of its fifth season on Tuesday, May 12th at 4:00 pm. The market has brand new location this season at 1919 Harrison Ave. NW in the West Central Park. Hours are Tuesday evening from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, mid-May – mid-October 2015. Keep an eye out for the signs on Harrison Ave and Black Lake Blvd.
In addition to a great selection of local food vendors, this season will feature a monthly Crafter’s Market showcasing handmade goods from local artisans. Also, to make shopping even more convenient and accessible, West Olympia Farmers’ Market accepts EBT and debit transactions. Drop by the Market Information booth for more information on all of this year’s happenings or check the West Olympia Farmers’ Market website and facebook page.
West Olympia Farmers’ Market (WOFM) is your neighborhood market. WOFM strives to help build a vibrant local food economy by supporting small-scale and beginning vendors. All of WOFM’s farmers, artisans and producers are based in Thurston, Lewis, Mason, or Grays Harbor county, with the majority based in Olympia. Products at this years market include fresh produce, baked goods, pastured poultry and meats, flowers, veggie starts, crafts, and much more. Everything is locally grown and produced, so come on out and support your local producers.
For more information, please contact Jennifer Dres at firstname.lastname@example.org and find us on facebook.
Submitted by The Port of Olympia
Paddles up! Two teams from China will join 46 local and regional teams in the race for the gold at the 10th annual Saint Martin’s University Dragon Boat Festival on April 25 at Port Plaza.
More than 6,000 spectators are expected to cheer the racers on, enjoy cultural performances, and browse the booths along the boardwalk. Booths include food, fun and cultural arts and crafts.
The Dragon Boat teams represent colleges, universities, high schools, school districts, government agencies and community organizations.
Saint Martin’s University (SMU) hosts the festival in cooperation with Kaikane Events. The event is free and open to the public.
If you go: Saturday, April 25, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Port Plaza on Budd Inlet, immediately north of Percival Landing at 701 Columbia Street NW. Look for the large viewing tower.
The Port of Olympia is a proud sponsor of this community event.
For more information, including ways to support the festival or organize a team, visit www.stmartin.edu/dragonboat or contact the SMU Office of International Programs and Development at 360.438.4521.