Recent local blog posts

Thee XNTRX “Welcome to Forever”

K Records - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 12:43am
We live in a giant disc of wha? In the middle of nowhere? Fug yeah. Simple and Smoke (in above photog) welcome us to forever.   K Song of the Day: “Welcome to Forever” from the NW hip hop compilation album All Your Friend’s Friends[KLP255], produced by thee XNTRX. The NW hip hop compilation album […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Listen Here: A Lunch Break Story Time for Adults

OlyBlog Home Page - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 7:59pm
Event:  Fri, 03/06/2015 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Corey Snow, professional audiobook narrator and voice actor, will entertain and inspire us with selections from the wide, wonderful world of short fiction. Bring your lunch or your knitting, but most importantly, bring your imagination.

This event happens EVERY first FRIDAY of the month from 12:10 p.m. to 12:50 p.m.

For March's Listen Here, Corey will be reading "The Bravest Rat in Venice" and "The Hand" by Patricia Highsmith. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

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Shivas, Better off Dead Session!

K Records - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 1:14pm
Last month the Shivas made the trip to Dub Narcotic Studio to record their new K album, Better off Dead [KLP258] with Calvin Johnson. It is mixed and on the release schedule for next autumn. Excitement. Within days of finishing Better off Dead the Shivas left on a U.S. tour with La Luz. For a […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Rachmaninoff's "All-Night Vigil" presented by The Esoterics

OlyBlog Home Page - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 12:52pm
Event:  Sun, 03/08/2015 - 3:00pm - 4:15pm

BDENIE commemorates the centenary of the premiere of Sergei Rachmaninoff's "All-night vigil," which took place in Moscow on March 10th, 1915. Rachmaninoff wrote his 70-minute, 15-movement vigil in January and February of 1915, and it was first performed as a fundraiser for war relief efforts. Rachmaninoff's masterpiece proved to be so popular with both critics and the public that it was performed five more times within the month. Rachmaninoff based 10 of his 15 movements on extant chants from various traditional styles, including Greek, Kievan, and the Russian "Znamenny" style. The remaining five movements were entirely of the composer's own creation, although he admitted their style to be "a conscious counterfeit of the ritual." For this concert series, The Esoterics has expanded to 48 voices, and will intersperse Rachmaninoff's movements with phrases of Slavonic chant. More concert information is available at

WHERE: St. John's Episcopal Church, 114 20th Ave SE, Olympia

WHEN: March 8th, 3:00 pm logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

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"Modeling the future of coastal wetlands through hell and high water"

OlyBlog Home Page - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 12:16pm
Event:  Fri, 03/06/2015 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm

From today's inbox:

PLATO Lecture Series 2015
Computer-aided Environmental Science; Fridays 12-1 pm
Lecture Hall 1, The Evergreen State College

Modeling the future of coastal wetlands through hell and high water"

Friday March 6, 2015: Dr. J. Adam Langley from the Villanova University, Department of Biology

Dr. Langley is interested in how ecosystems respond to, and may feed back to, global change. The most complex and uncertain questions regarding future ecosystems occur in the rhizosphere where plant roots interact intimately with the soil microbes to carry out the majority of terrestrial carbon and nutrient cycling. Dr. Langley uses novel isotopic and gas exchange techniques to address these questions. He is also working on a global change experiment in a brackish marsh on the Chesapeake Bay examining plant and microbial response to elevated CO2 and nitrogen pollution and sea level rise.

Dr. Langley’s logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

A Rainy Day Surprise Downtown Olympia

Thurston Talk - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 11:33am



Submitted by WET Science Center

Rainworks-4“Rainy days are going to happen no matter what. Why not do something fun with them?” This quote from Peregrine Church, a 21 year-old Seattle-based artist, reminds us to embrace the weather the Pacific Northwest is known for.

No one likes small talk about the weather, but maybe that’s because we are talking about it in the wrong way. Rather than dwell on the dreariness of rainy days around Puget Sound, Church has decided to take a creative approach to our wet region. Church and his partner, Xach Fischer, were recently featured on Evening Magazine for their “rainworks” – positive water-themed messages they have been stenciling on sidewalks around Seattle. Playful phrases like “proud to be rainy” and “I ♥ rain” show up only when the rain starts falling.

After learning about the rainworks installations in Seattle, staff at LOTT and the WET Science Center contacted Church to see if he would bring his unique art to Olympia. He happily agreed and began to dream up his largest installations to date. The process is fairly simple, but the result is a welcome surprise to unsuspecting passers-by. First, Church creates a stencil, called a drop-scotch, out of paper. Then, he sprays a nontoxic superhydrophobic (water repellent) substance through the stencil’s negative space and onto the concrete. Once dry, the repellent will last from four months to a year, depending on wear. Finally, the rain falls, darkening the surrounding concrete but leaving the sprayed portions dry, and the rainwork emerges. What on a dry day appears as a plain sidewalk suddenly becomes a mural when wet.

Rainworks-5These recent installations are located on the East Bay Public Plaza, in front of the Hands On Children’s Museum, and all around the WET Science Center. Images include stylized versions of salmon swimming upstream, frogs in a lily pond, the water cycle, and an image of Puget Sound and the marine animals that live there, reminding us that “a healthy Puget Sound starts with each of us.”

So the next time a family member is complaining about the rain, mention Peregrine Church’s rainworks, and his mission to make people smile in all types of weather. After all, Church is right – rainy days are going to happen no matter what – so zip up that raincoat and check out the rainworks at Olympia’s East Bay Public Plaza. Let them remind us of all the wonderful things the rain brings.


Nisqually Land Trust to Host Annual Auction and Conservation Dinner

Thurston Talk - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 10:46am



Submitted by Nisqually Land Trust

Nisqually land trust

The Land Trust annual auction is known for its offering of impressive Pacific Northwest Indian art.

The Nisqually Land Trust will host its 23rd annual Conservation Dinner & Auction from 4:30 to 9:00 p.m. on March 21 at St. Martin’s Worthington Center. The evening includes a three-course dinner and live and silent auctions with more than 150 items up for bid. All proceeds go to support protection and management of critical wildlife habitat in the Nisqually River Watershed, from the Nisqually Glacier on Mount Rainier down to the Nisqually Delta.

Auction highlights include a four-night stay at a resort-winery in Argentina, a Seattle Seahawks game-day getaway, a studio tour with local artists Nikki McClure and Jay Scott, an antique table and spindle-back chair set and a Salish Indian mask commissioned for this event to honor the late Billy Frank, Jr. Attendees will have the opportunity to bid on exciting recreational activities, exclusive tour packages, and goods and services from local businesses and talented artists.

The Land Trust will also present its President’s Awards, which this year will go to South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group and to the Nisqually River Education Project. The awards highlight the ongoing restoration of wildlife habitat in the Ohop Valley, near Eatonville, which includes over 5 miles of restored salmon-friendly shoreline.

South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group has provided management and oversight on this multi-partner project for more than a decade. For many years the Nisqually River Education Project has made it possible to include students from across the watershed in habitat restoration through the planting of native trees and shrubs. In the most recent planting season, 2,500 plants were installed in the Ohop Valley alone!

Nisqually Land Trust Auction

Auction attendees toast the 25th anniversary of the Land Trust at the 2014 Auction. Photo Credit: Scott Hayden.

The evening will include a tribute to Billy Frank Jr., the late champion of tribal rights in the Nisqually Watershed. Recent strides in protecting the disappearing Nisqually steelhead population will also be highlighted.

Auctioneer Cindy Schorno will preside over this year’s event, which has become a must-attend for South Sound conservationists and is known for its fine Native American and Northwest art. “And for many folks, the attraction is that it’s a great party,” said Land Trust Executive Director Joe Kane. “It’s a fun way to help protect some of the most important habitat in the Pacific Northwest.”

Tickets include dinner with a choice of entrees and cost $75.  For reservations and information, call 360-489-3400, or register electronically at

The Land Trust protects 4,850 acres between Mount Rainier National Park and the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. “That includes habitat for salmon and threatened wildlife,” said Kane. “With the help of our supporters, we are also protecting water quality, creating local jobs, planting trees to combat climate change and providing opportunities for children to experience nature. We’re working together to protect an irreplaceable legacy forever, for everyone.”

Kane said that funds from events like the auction are critical to the organization’s success because they leverage grants and partnerships. Olympia Federal Savings, Hancock Forest Management, CalPortland, Conservation Forestry, Prairie Hotel and Re♦Solve are major sponsors for the event. The Trust’s goal is to raise $70,000. Visit to see this year’s auction catalog.  Proxy bids will be accepted.

Upholstery Furniture Cleaning Helps Safeguard Your Investment

Thurston Talk - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 8:09am



Submitted by The Furniture Works

Upholstery Cleaning 2Upholstery furniture cleaning helps preserve your investment. Relying on an expert will ensure that the upholstery in your home receives the care and maintenance it deserves. Next to your home and your car, buying furniture is one of the biggest investments you’ll make. Buying quality furniture is important, but it’s only one part of the equation. The other? Upholstery furniture cleaning that will safeguard your investment.

Fabric Selection

The furniture cleaning process starts with proper fabric selection, care, and maintenance. Whether you’re buying a new piece of furniture or having an existing piece of furniture reupholstered, it’s important to select a fabric that is a good match for the use it will receive. If you have a family with small children, for example, it’s probably not a good idea to choose satin or brocade for the family room since the surface of the fabric is likely to wear with heavy use. It’s a much better bet to select a tightly woven fabric that will withstand the dust, grime, and friction of daily use. For well-used pieces, it’s also a good idea to add a stain-resistant treatment to the fabric. While this treatment won’t make the pieces waterproof, it will increase the longevity of the furniture.

Furniture Care

You can increase the longevity of your upholstered furniture by following a few simple guidelines. First,

  1. Wipe up any spills as soon as they occur. This prevents stains from setting in to the piece. Dab a dry microfiber cloth on the spill to soak up most of the moisture. Do not rub or scrub the stain, this will only embed the stain deeper. If the spill has already begun to stain, mix a table spoon of baking soda with ¼ cup vinegar. Soak your cloth in the mixture and dab gently on the stain.
  2. Remember to vacuum or brush your upholstery at least once a week. Doing this weekly prevents grime and dirt from building up between the fibers and will extend the life and quality of the fabric.
  3. Flip over your cushions once every two weeks to prevent them from becoming misshapen or worn. Ultraviolet rays also cause premature deterioration, so try to keep your pieces out of direct sunlight.

Furniture MaintenanceUpholstery Cleaning

The third prong of safeguarding the investment you make in your upholstered furniture is making sure to have it professionally cleaned once each year. Although it may be tempting to try upholstery cleaning yourself, resist the urge. Fabrics are generally labeled with “cleanability codes,” namely W, S, WS, and X. These codes relay information about the type of cleaning products that can be used on the fabric.

The caveat about relying on professional upholstery cleaners especially holds true if your sofa is covered in a microfiber or leather. If that’s the case, you should leave maintenance to a microfiber sofa cleaning or leather furniture cleaning expert.

Finding Expert Furniture Cleaners

Because your furniture represents a major investment, be wary of upholstery cleaners who clutter your mailbox with offers for cheap cleaning. Instead, depend upon a company that prides itself on its network of furniture cleaning experts. You should be able to go online and find a directory of trained experts in your area who will provide you with quality, affordable upholstery furniture cleaning.

When you do, you can expect that the technician will come to your home and inspect your furniture for potentially permanent stains or damage. He or she will typically first vacuum the furniture to be cleaned, and then pre-treat potential stains. Following that, he or she will perform the upholstery cleaning according to the fabric care specifications, and perhaps even speed drying time with a blow dryer. At the end of the process, the technician will talk to you about the cleaning and allow you to inspect his or her work.

Remember, upholstery furniture cleaning helps preserve your investment. Relying on an expert will ensure that the upholstery in your home receives the care and maintenance it deserves.


Pine Hill Haints “Total Zero”

K Records - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 12:33am
“It’s the end of the world and i can’t let you go” – a sentiment to which we can all relate. K Song of the Day: Pine Hill Haints “Total Zero” from their The Magik Sounds of Pine Hill Haints [KLP254] album. The Pine Hill Haints album The Magik Sounds of Pine Hill Haints [KLP254] […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Journalist Chris Hedges Comes to Olympia

Janine's Little Hollywood - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 10:43pm

By Janine Unsoeld
Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and columnist for Truthdig, spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans, with fifteen years at The New York Times. Hedges will be speaking on Monday, March 9, 2015, 7:00 p.m., at South Puget Sound Community College’s Minnaert Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $10 for community members and free with SPSCC student identification. Tickets are available online at or by calling (360)753-8586 or at the Washington Center or the Minnaert Center box offices. The event is sponsored by B.R.I.C.K.Hedges, who said he has never been to Olympia before, took the time to respond this morning to a few questions posed by Little Hollywood.

Hedges is the author of numerous bestselling books, including Empire of Illusion, Death of the Liberal Class, War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning, and Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt. His latest book, Wages of Rebellion, will be released in May.According to Hedges’ press release: Revolutions come in waves and cycles. We are again riding the crest of a revolutionary epic, much like 1848 or 1917, from the Arab Spring to movements against austerity in Greece to the Occupy movement. In Wages of Rebellion, Chris Hedges—who has chronicled the malaise and sickness of a society in terminal moral decline in his books Empire of Illusion and Death of the Liberal Class—investigates what social and psychological factors cause revolution, rebellion, and resistance. Drawing on an ambitious overview of prominent philosophers, historians, and literary figures he shows not only the harbingers of a coming crisis but also the nascent seeds of rebellion. Hedges’ message is clear: popular uprisings in the United States and around the world are inevitable in the face of environmental destruction and wealth polarization.Focusing on the stories of rebels from around the world and throughout history, Hedges investigates what it takes to be a rebel in modern times. Utilizing the work of Reinhold Niebuhr, Hedges describes the motivation that guides the actions of rebels as “sublime madness” — the state of passion that causes the rebel to engage in an unavailing fight against overwhelmingly powerful and oppressive forces. For Hedges, resistance is carried out not for its success, but as a moral imperative that affirms life. Those who rise up against the odds will be those endowed with this “sublime madness.”Interview with Little Hollywood:Little Hollywood: You have a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University. In secular media, do you notice a bias against people who share their thankfulness or faith in God? How does your religious training influence your writing? Hedges: I worked at The New York Times for 15 years where they looked any anyone who expressed any appreciation for religious thought as slightly unhinged.  I would say all my writing is rooted in my theological studies and my reverence for the sacred.  That said, I am no friend of institutional religion.  The theologian Paul Tillich got it right.  All institutions, including the church, are inherently demonic. Little Hollywood: Regarding terrorism, ISIS is a gang and seems to be effective in attracting disaffected young people – it gives them a purpose, an identity and a feeling of belonging. Is there a way to attract people toward good motives and purposes?  Hedges: We created ISIS.  We did it by dropping missiles, artillery and carrying out air strikes for 13 years in the Middle East.  We did it with our militarized drones.  We have decapitated far more people, including children, than ISIS.  During the Vietnam War we carried out saturation bombing of Cambodia and got Pol Pot.  This is the modern equivalent.  When you brutalize people they become brutal.  And we would be no different.  ISIS burns a pilot in a cage because our air strikes burn whole families in their homes.  What ISIS did is cruder, but it is morally no different.  Employing more violence to solve a problem caused by indiscriminate violence is idiotic.  But it makes the merchants of war rich.Little Hollywood: You are currently teaching prisoners at the maximum security prison in New Jersey and just posted a story about Siddique Hasan, a man on death row in Ohio. What are you teaching the prisoners, how often, and what are you learning? Hedges: I teach college credit level courses to prisoners at the maximum security prison in Rahway, New Jersey.  I teach something different every semester.  This spring I am teaching a course on conquest so we are reading The Open Veins of Latin America, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Black Jacobinsand Roll Jordan Roll: The World the Slaves Made.  Last fall I taught W.E.B. Du Bois, James Baldwin, Black Boy and Invisible Man.  The year before I helped prisoners write a play about prison called “Caged” (see my column "The Play's the Thing) that will be performed by a theater in New York in January.  Mass incarceration is the most important civil rights issues of our time.Little Hollywood: You’ve won awards for your online journalism. In a question about online vs. print journalism, how do citizen online journalists get their stories noticed by a wider audience than the already converted? Do you read anything in print? Hedges: I write a weekly column as if it was for a print publication.  I do not like social media -- I do not have a television, a web page, a Facebook page or tweet -- because I see it as a form of self-promotion and intellectually shallow. I remain rooted in a print-based culture.  There are 5,000 books in my house and I read for a few hours every night.  I wrote a book about the importance of remaining rooted in the world of ideas called Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of SpectacleLittle Hollywood: You left The New York Times after being issued a formal reprimand for denouncing the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq in a graduation speech. In an interview, you said The New York Times acted as nothing less than a stenographer for the Bush White House pumping out lies used to justify the war. What stories is The New York Times currently getting wrong?  Hedges: The New York Times is an elitist publication.  Its unwritten credo is: do not significantly alienate those on whom we depend for money and access.  That said, it can still do great journalism.  But it is an establishment organ.  Its biggest sin right now is that it continues to treat centers of power, both political and financial, with respect and deference when they have become criminal.  This includes Wall Street, the courts that defend wholesale surveillance and a system where money replaces the vote and our political leaders who are corporate puppets.  The longer they continue to play this game the more credibility they lose. Little Hollywood: You’ve been fortunate to travel to get first-hand source information and interviews, especially since you know three languages in addition to English: Arabic, French, and Spanish. In a 2007 interview, you said that you don’t own a television. Is this still true, and for how long have you not had a television? How has this influenced your children’s development and understanding of the world? Hedges: I have never had a television.  I did not grow up with one.  Neither have my children.  This is why they are readers.  We spend a lot of time outdoors.  We unplug from the electronic hallucinations of modern culture.  And we are much healthier for it.  As a writer I do not want to speak in the language the corporate state gives to us.  This is why reading is so important.  You cannot challenge systems of power unless you understand those systems -- including the nature of capitalism -- and this requires you pick up, for example, Marx's Capital Volume I and read all 940 pages.  There is no short cut to knowledge. Little Hollywood: Many environmentalists seem to arrive upon an issue too late, or chase the latest issue du jour. A lot of energy is wasted participating in structured public hearings that are designed to involve the public too little and too late. How can activists work smarter on issues that really matter, and really make a difference? Hedges: By realizing that the system is gamed.  The corporate forces that are destroying the environment are writing the regulations.  This is why after the three decades-long struggle by environmental groups things are worse.  We can't halt the destruction of the eco-system by asking those who are destroying it to regulate themselves.  This is ridiculous.  We have to create acts of mass civil disobedience to make this destruction difficult for them.  Not one in the Democratic or Republican parties at this point is going to help us.    Little Hollywood: I’ve told you a little bit about the types of issues local environmental activists are interested here in Olympia: land use, climate change, growth, food sustainability, Puget Sound water quality, the Port of Olympia’s acceptance of ceramic proppants from Asia used in the fracking industry and the export of raw logs to Asia, proposed oil train-to-marine transfer terminals in Washington State, and more.  In general and environmentally, what types of stories do you feel are most underreported that, if covered, will help progressive citizens get to the root of making a difference? What would that look like?Hedges: No one writes about the poor, now about half the country.  They have become invisible.  What is being done to the poor, especially the poor in our sacrifice zones, such as the coal fields of West Virginia, is key to understanding what corporate forces are now doing to us.  Joe Sacco and I wrote a book out of the poorest pockets of the United States called Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, that tried to show what unfettered capitalism looks like.  When there are no impediments to capitalism it becomes, as Marx wrote, a revolutionary force.  People and the nature world become commodities to exploit until exhaustion or collapse.  We are all being sacrificed now and we better wake up and overthrow the corporate state or we will be complicit in the extinction of the human species. Little Hollywood: You wrote about a hike you took in 2010 on the Appalachian Trail. It sounds like you appreciate nature and turn to it where you live to unwind and help you process the atrocities you have seen in so many war-torn areas of the world. How do you keep from getting overwhelmed with all the world’s issues and how do you choose what to write about? Hedges: I unplug from the world, go into the woods for days on end with my backpack, look at the stars at night and connect with the vastness of the universe.  This gives me peace. Little Hollywood: I read in your column, “Saving the Planet One Meal at a Time,” that you became a vegan three months ago.  You wrote:My attitude toward becoming a vegan was similar to Augustine’s attitude toward becoming celibate—“God grant me abstinence, but not yet.” But with animal agriculture as the leading cause of species extinction, water pollution, ocean dead zones and habitat destruction, and with the death spiral of the ecosystem ever more pronounced, becoming vegan is the most important and direct change we can immediately make to save the planet and its species. It is one that my wife—who was the engine behind our family’s shift—and I have made.” How is it going? Hedges: I remain a committed vegan.  No one who cares about saving the planet, and who believes life is sacred, can eat animal products.Little Hollywood would like to thank Chris Hedges for taking the time to respond to my questions. To learn more about future Building Revolution by Increasing Community(B.R.I.C.K.) events, go to: or on Facebook at you require disability accommodations for this event, please contact the Office of Student Life at or call (360) 596-5306.

Joy Harjo Reads at Evergreen

OlyBlog Home Page - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 8:11pm
Event:  Thu, 03/12/2015 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

From today's inbox:

Joy Harjo's Poetry Reading
March 12th, 7-9PM
The Recital Hall
The Evergreen State College

Joy Harjo is an award winning Mvskoke (Muscogee Creek) poet, musician, memoirist, playwright and performer whose books of poetry include What Moon Drove Me to This (1980), She Had Some Horses (1983), Secrets from the Center of the World (1989), In Mad Love and War (1990), The Woman Who Fell From the Sky (1994), and How We Became Human; New and Selected Poems, 1975-2001 (2001). Her memoir, Crazy Brave (2012) won the 2013 PEN Center USA literary prize for Creative non-fiction. In additions she has plays saxophone, and has produced four award-winning CD.s of original music. She has received numerous honors including 2 National Endowment of the Arts writers fellowships (1978 and 1998), and National Endowment of the Humanities Summer Stipend in American Indian Literature and Verbal Arts (1987) logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

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Supporting the Community Arts that Perform at The Washington Center

Thurston Talk - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 12:44pm



thurston first bankChristopher Forbes, the Vice Chairman of Forbes, Inc., once said “When we participate personally in the arts, we strengthen our ‘creativity muscles,’ which makes us not just a better ceramicist or chorus member, but a more creative worker—better able to identify challenges and innovative business solutions.”

Whether you prefer music, dance, comedy, theater, silent film, lectures, or a patchwork compilation of them all, the Washington Center for the Performing Arts is the place to go. Their ever changing calendar of events reflects not only the gems of local talent all around us but regional, national, and international performances for every taste, interest, and budget.

ballet northwest nutcracker

Ballet Northwest is one of the local performing arts groups that partners with The Washington Center. Photo credit: Jerome Tso.

Mike Ryherd, President of the Board for the Olympia Symphony Orchestra acknowledges, “As a key Artistic Partner with the Washington Center, we are blessed to have a ‘House’ such as this in which to perform.”

Gary Whitley, a member of the Masterworks Choral Ensemble echoes Ryherd’s words. “Masterworks Choral Ensemble has 30 years of great memories performing at the Washington Center. The reason these are ‘great memories’ is because of the wonderful and supportive crew and staff. Their goal is to help the performer put on the best show possible, and they do so with a smile!”

“For five magical concerts a year our season ticket holders, guests, students, orchestra members, and Guest Artists from all over the world, get the chance to enjoy the incredible acoustics and intimacy of a truly wonderful performance venue,” continues Ryherd. “Olympia should be very thankful for having this unique ‘European’ style space in which to enjoy the accomplished musicians and other artists that grace its stage.”

thurston first bank

Thurston First Bank President and CEO Jim Haley is a generous supporter of the arts in Olympia.

On Thursday, March 5th, the Center will host a fundraising breakfast exclusively sponsored by Thurston First Bank to both educate the community and seek support from corporate, business, and individual donors. Executive Director Jill Barnes is excited because “This breakfast is a wonderful opportunity to really talk with our community about the Center’s mission and passion.” To attend, or to gather more information, email Anne Larsen at

“We are well-known for bringing in national and international touring shows, and we love the diverse programming and opportunities that develop as a result. But our mission is two-fold,” adds Barnes. “We are also the venue for our more than 20 local performing arts groups who call the Center home. With almost 300 performances annually, most South Sounders have come to see a family member, neighbor, or co-worker perform with groups like Ballet Northwest, Masterworks Chorale Ensemble, and the Olympia Symphony Orchestra. When our community supports the Washington Center, they are really helping us support all these local performers!”

washington center olympia

The Washington Center, located in downtown Olympia, is the place to go to enjoy regional, national and international arts.

The Washington Center prides itself on being “South Puget Sound’s largest performing arts facility…committed to providing a wide variety of entertainment and cultural activities for the residents of five counties. Located in the heart of Washington State’s capital city, The Center has become a community gathering place, providing a focus for the performing arts unique to the region.”

Whether you go to learn, laugh, or socialize, the Center has something for everyone. Simply attending one of their many, varied offerings shows that you appreciate all they have to offer. As actress Imelda Staunton insists, “We all must support the arts, as it is our culture. It makes us better people. It makes us happy; it gives us empathy and shows us how to live. It is so important.”

The Washington Center for the Performing Arts is located at 512 Washington Street SE and the box office is open from 12-5:30pm Tuesday through Saturday. Tickets and event calendar information can be found at Call (360)753-8586 with questions about fundraising, site rental, or upcoming events.

Seven Ways to Get There

South Sound Arts - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 11:11am

from left: Kirsten Potter, Bob Williams, Bradford Farwell, Jim Lapan, James DeVita, Ty Boice, Charles Leggett and Darragh Kennan. Photo by Truman Buffett.
from left: James DeVita, Kirsten Potter, Ty Boice and Bob Williams. Photo by Truman Buffett.
lifting Peter (Charles Leggett) in trust fall. Photo by Truman Buffett.

Playwright Bryan Willis has outdone himself with his new play Seven Ways to Get There now playing at ACT’s Allen Theatre in Seattle. Co-written by Dwayne J. Clark, the play is based on Clark’s experience some 16 years ago when he took part in men’s therapy group. Seven men come together under the guidance of therapist Michelle (Kirsten Potter) for raucous group therapy sessions—the “seven ways” of the title referring to the paths each take to reach their goals. The sessions change them all, but not necessarily all for the better.Vince (Ty Boice) is a tall, handsome and, at first, silent man whose problem seems to be that women want to make love to him. He says he’s had sex with a thousand women, perhaps as many as two thousand. And apparently he gets little pleasure out of it.Nick (James DeVita) is filthy rich, arrogant, and in counseling only because his wife has threatened to divorce him if he doesn’t get help.Also having wife problems is Mark (Bradford Farwell), a less-than-successful artist who believes his wife is having an affair with her rock climbing instructor.Anthony (Darragh Kennan) has a severe enough anger management problem that he has been court ordered to therapy.Richard (Jim Lapan) is a happy-go-lucky fellow who is addicted to porn. He doesn’t want to cure his addiction, he wants to form a porn co-op with the guys in the group.Peter (Charles Leggett) prays a lot.Mel (Bob Williams) says he hasn’t decided yet why he is in therapy and he can’t decide anything.And the therapist, Michelle, has a hard time keeping the group from getting totally out of control. Seven Ways to Get Theredeals with some tough stuff and is also outrageously funny. The clashes between these seven men and their therapist are brilliantly written. Scenes such as when the men suddenly break out in dance and when Richard points out that it is International Talk Like a Pirate Day are genius.Director John Langs does a masterful job with pacing and blocking. The pace is often furious, but interjected with moments of quiet and often uncomfortable hesitations that make it all feel natural.The in-the-round configuration of the Allen Theatre is like the Roman Coliseum with the audience looking down into the pit of a gladiator battle, which in many ways is what’s happening on stage as these seven gladiators battle their demons and each other. It is an adult-only comic tragedy, not recommended for children younger than 14. Seven Ways to Get There runs through March 15 at ACT's Allen Theatre with shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Forget the Couch – Paddle Boarding is the Latest in Restorative Therapy

Thurston Talk - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 8:45am



By Leslie Merchant

oly ortho logoGot an hour in the middle of the day? Need a little friend therapy? Instead of making plans to meet for lunch or at the coffee shop, why not get out and meet on Puget Sound? Five Steamboat Island moms (and one Steamboat Island pup) recently decided to shake things up a bit and test the waters despite the fact that the water temperatures are brisk in the Pacific Northwest.

Taking time to stop and smell the roses, or in our case, the salty air is easier than you think. All you need is a paddleboard (borrowed is just fine), a friend (four legged varieties included) and a bit of time of personal freedom. You might want to pack a sense of humor in case you get wet, but it’s not necessary.

paddle board olympia

Two busy moms take a break from the hustle of raising kids to reconnect while paddle boarding in Puget Sound.

Five of us crazy busy ladies decided to carve out an hour and a half of our week to reset our clocks in a healthy and relaxing way. We are all amateur water enthusiasts and professional good-time seekers, and we were determined not to let the weather dictate our experience. Mother Nature obliged by giving us one of those spectacular (albeit rare) sunny and breezy days to venture out of our usual comfort zone. Our shouts of delight when we all arrived at our prearranged meeting spot (one of Eld Inlet’s many coves) could probably be heard up and down the Sound.

Kelly O’Sullivan, a recently back-to-work mom of two, says that paddle boarding has transformed her perception of Puget Sound. She only just took up the sport last summer and muses, “I feel like I am on vacation every time I go paddle boarding. It is so relaxing and such an escape from everything. It is something the whole family can do together and each time we see something different to wonder about.”

Erica Smith, another busy mother of two, has a slightly different attitude towards paddle boarding in Puget Sound. “I am scared to death every time I get on one (that I am going to fall in) but then it’s so peaceful and I forget to be nervous.”

paddle board olympia

Test your balance by taking your dog along for a paddle board trip.

“It’s a way better perspective to see the water from a board,” adds Erica.  “I love to look for starfish and seals. You just forget that you are balancing on basically a surfboard and all of the sudden you are having a great time.” Erica is undeniably a bit fearful of falling in the chilly water, but admits that once you find your balance, paddle boarding is very easy to master. Going out with a group of friends makes the sport that much more enticing for her, and she was delighted that the only thing that got wet on our recent excursion were her feet.

Besides looking for creatures in the water, paddle boarding offers a unique angle from which to do some land-looking. By that I mean it’s amazing how many incredible homes, beaches and coves dot Puget Sound that are completely hidden from the roads. Part of the wonder of being on the water is dreaming about what it would be like to live in a certain home or discovering the treasures of a particular cove. The relaxed pace of paddling is perfect for conversation and exploration. Throw in a couple of good friends and what would have been a routine coffee date turns into a much cherished experience. And just think of the story you will be able to tell if someone actually does fall in the water.

paddle board olympia

Capture a beautiful sunset while paddling the Puget Sound waters.

Bree Warjone, another of our party of five, joined us in her daughter’s kayak. She has always been a passenger in a motor boat rather than being directly on the water in a personal craft, and this was her first time fending for herself. She says she was surprised how easy it was to take up and how much she is looking forward to this summer on the water.

Many people let the weather decide their agendas. The beauty of the board is that rain or shine, there is always an opportunity to get out and paddle. As long as the wind is minimal, it is a sport that can be enjoyed year-round by people of every athletic ability.

It is relatively easy and inexpensive for even the most novice to find a board and a friend and learn Paddle Boarding 101. It seems almost scandalous to live in the Puget Sound area and not at least make an effort to appreciate our enviable surroundings. The next time you look around and think, “I live in one of the most beautiful places in the entire country! Why don’t I ever seem to get out and enjoy it?” consider paddle boarding on Puget Sound. With a friend or two and a couple of hours, it might be the best mini-vacation you have ever taken.


Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week

Thurston Talk - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 7:30am



Submitted by Adopt-a-Pet

BRADLEYAdopt Bradley. This hunk of love is a male adult Anatolian Shepherd/Great Pyrenees who is one of the most gentle souls you will ever meet. He is a dream to walk on his leash and always happy to go where ever you want.Bradley was found as a stray and was malnourished when he arrived at Adopt-A-Pet. He is now enjoying a warm bed, good food and lots of love but wants his own forever home.   You will never find a more loyal and loving dog.

We have lots of great dogs and always need volunteers to join our crew.  Adopt-A-Pet dog shelter on Jensen Road in Shelton at or contact us at or (360) 432-3091.

Seven Contestants Vying for the Miss Thurston County Crown

Thurston Talk - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 7:01am



miss thurston county

Seven contestants are competing for the title of Miss Thurston County. Pictured (from left) are Ciara King, Kalina Springer, Jenise Davis, Cat Murphy, current Miss Thurston County Clista Rakow, Shelby Gebb, Emily Hamack, and Tarin Bracher. Photo credit: Shanna Paxton Photography

While the ultimate goal is to have a crown placed on top of her head, the women competing for the title of Miss Thurston County aren’t princesses at all.

These smart women are using the Miss Thurston County pageant to earn valuable scholarship dollars. Continuing their education beyond high school, the seven candidates have a diverse set of interests way beyond sparkly dresses.

Meet the seven women competing for the crown while making an impact in the community along the way.

Tarin Bracher – The South Puget Sound Community College student is studying architecture. More than a pageant princess, Tarin is also an equestrian. Her platform is to inspire youth to be involved in their community.

Jenise Davis – The Tumwater High School athlete is interested in furthering her education in arts and music. She is focused on breast cancer awareness.

Shelby Gebb – A student at Yelm High School, Shelby is intent about informing children of alcoholics that they are not alone. The musician can be found rocking on her electric guitar.

Emily Hamack – Studying at South Puget Sound Community College, Emily believes in stamping out human trafficking by sharing a message that a “hope and future belong to everyone.”

Ciara King – Sending a message about mentorship, Ciara is focused on helping “youth find someone to guide them.”   She plans on becoming a teacher.

Cat Murphy – Looking toward a career in education, the South Puget Sound Community College student is intent on encouraging people under the age of 30 to vote. Cat is also an enthusiastic cosplayer.

Kalina Springer – A German language and literature major at Pacific Lutheran University, Kalina believes that Special Olympics gives the community a chance to develop strength and confidence.

miss thurston county

The Miss Thurston County scholarship pageant is scheduled for March 13 at 5:30 p.m. Photo credit: Shanna Paxton Photography

The seven contestants all live, work or attend school in Thurston County. During the scholarship pageant, each woman will individually perform a talent live on stage for 90 seconds.

Prior to the big day, contestants are active in the community. The scholarship pageant asks the women to make a commitment to workshops, community events, and fundraisers for the three months leading up to the event.

The Miss Thurston County board spends months choosing pageant judges. They look for individuals that are diverse and receive instruction on proper judging procedures.

Miss Thurston County is run entirely by volunteers who believe in supporting the candidates in their future educational goals.

A special thanks goes to this year’s sponsors including Dirty Dave’s Pizza Parlor, Edward Jones – Tim Scheuffele, Shanna Paxton Photography,, D Zines, The Creative Office, Merle Norman, KAYO Radio, KGY Radio and Center Stage Dance Academy.

Watch the pageant live. Timberline High School will host the 2015 Miss Thurston County scholarship pageant on March 15 at 5:30 p.m. The $15 tickets can be purchased online here or at the Lacey South Sound Chamber of Commerce office, Merle Norman Cosmetics in Lacey, at the Edward Jones office of Tim Scheuffele in Olympia.

Click to view slideshow.

Review: The Miracle Worker at Lakewood Playhouse

South Sound Arts - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 6:18am

Published in The News Tribune, Feb. 27, 2015 (L to R) JAMES A. GILLETTI (Mr. Keller), GRETCHEN BOYT (Mrs. Keller), LIBERTY EVANS-AGNEW (Helen Keller) and DEYA OZBURN (Anne Sullivan). Photo by KATE PATERNO-LICKI attended the preview performance of “The Miracle Worker” at Lakewood Playhouse. The preview is the final technical dress rehearsal and the cast’s first opportunity to try it out in front of a live audience. As Managing Artistic Director John Munn explained in his curtain speech, things are expected to go wrong during a preview performance. In this case, nothing of significance went wrong. It was practically flawless.
“The Miracle Worker” is the story of the developing relationship between young Helen Keller (Liberty Evans-Agnew) and her teacher, Annie Sullivan (Deya Ozburn). The title comes from Mark Twain, who called Annie a miracle worker. It was also alluded to in the beginning of the play when Annie’s teacher, Anagnos (Dennis Worrell) sends Annie off to Alabama to work as Helen Keller’s governess. Anagnos says, “No one expects you to work miracles, even for twenty-five dollars a month.”
Unable to see, hear or speak, Helen expresses her frustration by violently acting out, and thereby throws the Keller household into a constant state of turmoil. When Annie arrives at the Keller home and meets Helen and the family, she quickly realizes that she has to somehow teach her how to understand and sign words, and perhaps more urgently, she must figure out some way to discipline her. Helen is essentially feral.
(L to R) LIBERTY EVANS-AGNEW (Helen Keller) and DEYA OZBURN (Anne Sullivan).
Photo by KATE PATERNO-LICKJames Venturini’s set design is attractive and functional, with separate rooms in the Keller house in the back corners of the in-the-round stage area and a large central area that doubles as dining room, yard, and Annie’s school for the blind. And there is a large window high up that Annie has to climb out of when Helen locks her in her room. The only drawback to the set is that audience members on two sides have to turn heads in order to see certain scenes.
Rachel Wilkie’s period costumes are outstanding, Daniel Cole’s lighting design works beautifully, Pug Bujeaud’s direction is superb, and the acting is of the highest caliber imaginable. Gretchen Boyt as Helen’s mother and James A. Gilletti as her father are totally believable. Boyt’s acting is relatively subdued for such a highly emotional character. The audience can see and feel her sometimes tortured changes of thought and feeling conveyed through posture and facial expression as she struggles against her natural inclination to indulge Helen’s every whim. This is tellingly displayed particularly in her background acting when others are speaking.
Gilletti also convincingly portrays inner struggles as his autocratic nature butts heads with his softness of heart. His Southern accent is spot-on in conveying both place and class.Ozburn’s Annie and Evans-Agnew’s Helen are mesmerizing. Ozburn is a seasoned pro whose performances I have been praising for years (most recently in “The Children’s Hour” at Lakewood Playhouse) and she nails it as Annie. Evans-Agnew is a newcomer to the stage. She is 13 years old, and her only other stage appearance was as Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird” at Tacoma Little Theatre. If they handed out Tony Awards for community theater it would be hard to decide which of these two deserved it most. The intensity and the reality of their physically demanding performances are mind-boggling. I can’t imaging watching their performances without aching for them and celebrating their final triumph.

WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, through March 15WHERE: Lakewood Playhouse, 5729 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd., LakewoodTICKETS: $25.00, $22.00 military, $21.00 seniors and $19.00 students/educators, pay what you can INFORMATION: 253-588-0042,

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Test Drive the 2015 Motor Trend Car of the Year at Volkswagen of Olympia

Thurston Talk - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 6:00am



2015 Volkswagen Golf TSI front view.

The 2015 Volkswagen Golf is Motor Trend’s Car of the Year.

What kind of cars are you attracted to? Sleek and stylish sports cars? Family friendly sedans? Maybe something in between? No matter what your preference is, chances are you will find something to appreciate about Motor Trend’s 2015 Car of the Year, the 2015 Volkswagen Golf.

Featuring an all new design that is sleek, solid and efficient, Motor Trend says this car may not make your head turn at first glance, but take a closer look and you will notice that the “devil is in the details.”

In the Golf’s 40-year lifespan, it has only received the prestigious title of “Car of the Year” once before, and that was back in 1985. But, after 30 years of redesigns, upgrades and modifications, the Volkswagen Golf has emerged in a whole new light, earning its way, once again, to the top of the vehicular food chain.

So what made the 2015 Golf a near-unanimous choice as the 2015 Motor Trend Car of the Year? Some might say it’s the Golf’s sleek and sporty design, others may say it is the vehicle’s fuel efficiency, but Volkswagen of Olympia Sales Manager, Ryan Hughes, said it is the car’s versatility.

2015 Volkswagen Golf TSI interior.

The interior of the 2015 Volkswagen Golf has been redesigned to have a simple, stylish design.

Hughes said when he is helping someone find a new vehicle he does not go into a sale with a particular car in mind, but rather helps his customer find the car that best suits his or her individual needs. Does the customer have a family or kids? How about a long commute? These are the types of questions Hughes likes to ask his customers. But, what Hughes said is so great about the 2015 Volkswagen Golf is that the versatility of the vehicle makes it a great car for all different kinds of people. Motor Trend thinks so too.

In Motor Trend’s review of the Golf, the authors said with its “’crisply sculpted bodywork,’ sleek and sporty style, and gimmick-free design, the Golf appeals to consumers both young and old.” But, appearances are not everything. As for how the car performs, Motor Trend said the 2015 Volkswagen Golf is an example of engineering excellence. Whether you opt for the TSI, GTI or TDI model, the reduced weight of the 2015 Volkswagen Golf offers improved efficiency and fuel economy gains. Did we mention that it is safe, too? With six airbags, stability control, and an automatic post-collision braking system, the 2015 Volkswagen Golf is safe enough to haul your kids to-and-from school in, worry free.

“There’s enough room in the back for the kids, and it’s a fun car to drive, too,” said Hughes. “It’s got the little hatchback so it has room for groceries. It’s very versatile.” Because the Volkswagen Golf is both sporty and safe, stylish and comfortable, and compact and roomy, the versatility of the vehicle makes it a great car for all kinds of drivers.

2015 Volkswagen Golf TSI rear view.

With its sleek, simple design, Motor Trend said the 2015 Volkswagen Golf appeals to customers both young and old.

Volkswagen of Olympia Sales Associate Mike Davis agrees with Hughes and said, “There is not another car with more versatility. The quality of the interior is up there with Audi. The ride quality is incredible. They are super fun to drive, and [they are] economical and very practical.”

With so much versatility, the 2015 Volkswagen Golf is a great car for commuters, families and even people just looking for a fun, stylish ride. And, what makes the 2015 Volkswagen Golf even more appealing is its price. At just around $25,000 (depending on whether you opt for the GTI, TSI or TDI), the 2015 Volkswagen Golf is an affordable option in excellence.

Hughes said the 2015 Volkswagen Golf, which has been on the market since late 2014, has been popular among local customers at Volkswagen of Olympia. Hughes said the dealership has sold quite a few already and even pre-sold two of Volkswagen’s 2015 Volkswagen Golf R. While two cars may not seem like very many, considering the fact that Volkswagen has only made 500 of the Volkswagen Golf R (and they sold out in just eleven hours) to date, Hughes said it was pretty exciting to have sold two of the 500 available nationwide locally at Volkswagen of Olympia.

Of course, there is no better way to know if a car is the right one for you than to see it in person and test drive it yourself. If you are interested in learning more about Motor Trend’s 2015 Car of the Year, visit Volkswagen of Olympia (located at the Olympia Auto Mall on Cooper Point Road) to talk to a sales associate and take the car for a spin. After a few minutes behind the wheel, you may not be able to see yourself driving anything else.


It isn't about a primary vs. a caucus, it really just is about what's best for the party

Olympia Time - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 5:32am
The proposal by Secretary of State Kim Wyman to hold a presidential nominating primary in Washington came with one interesting wrinkle. The partisan preferences of individual voters would become public. 

Now, I am leaning on my memory of previous caucus vs. primary fights, but this is the crux of the debate. Primaries are fine (according to the parties) but, they should serve the parties, not the voters. In this case, its a matter of making the primaries closed to only partisans. Or, at least partisans that will declare themselves publicly. 

In that case, the parties get nice updated lists of registered voters that will pick a side. And, those voters will get mailed to, hit up for donations and cajoled into supporting the parties and candidates.

And, unless those lists are strong (and with cross over voting allowed under the old system, they're not) its not worth it for the parties to go along (at least in large part). And, this is how we get the caucuses.

Because, if the parties can't get mailing lists, they should at least get volunteers.

This old presentation from the 2007/08 presidential season really spelled it out for me. While partisans will often talk about the grass-roots and participatory nature of the caucuses, what they're really about is foot soldier recruitment. If you find someone who is excited to attend a caucus, a good number of those folks will be good for other work.

From the presentation: 
Every four years thousands of new Democrats attend the caucuses.

Hundreds of them work on that year’s campaign for President, Governor, Congress, Legislature, and down the ticket.

After the election dozens of these new recruits come around to our monthly meetings.

By February or March or April a handful of new recruits are active in their local Democratic party.Don't get me wrong. I'd rather have this political party than one that depends on mailings and over the air ads. It isn't bad to get people involved in politics and recruit foot soldiers. Some of my happiest and fulfilling public moments were at Democratic party meetings. Its good stuff.

But, don't also mistake that if the parties do commit to closed primaries here, that they're going to replace the excitement of the caucuses with some other sort of grass-roots event. It will not happen. They delegates will be chosen by a state-funded primary, all the energy from the caucuses will be lost.

Mirah “No Direction Home”

K Records - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 12:43am
Drama. Birds. Giving it all up slow. So intimate.  K Song of the Day: Mirah, “No Direction Home” from her Changing Light [KLP253] album.   The Mirah album Changing Light [KLP253] is available now from the K mail Order Dept.  
Categories: Arts & Entertainment
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