Recent local blog posts

Oly Freakdown Fest

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 11:00am

Friday and Saturday, October 24th & 25th

Evergreen Noise, FLY, Bones Cvlt, OPP and OCS presents..

OLY FREAKDOWN FEST 2014
Olympia’s own loud rock costume party!

BANDS:
Motion (Tour Homecoming!)
Vessels (Tour Homecoming!)
Believer
Bréag Naofa
A God or an Other
Toarn
Countless The Dead
For the Likes of You
Lo’ There Do I See My Brother
Mi Amore Cadenza
The Lion in Winter
Thistopia
Redeem the Exile
The Further
A Friend
Brightside
Sorrow’s Edge
Heathen Washington
Gunslinger

MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED

Buy tickets at:
http://olyfreakdown14.brownpapertickets.com/
PRESALE ONLY: $12 Two Day Pass
DAY OF EVENT: $8 Per Day

When:
October 24th and 25th, 2014
Shows start each day at 2PM!

We are accepting band submissions for consideration. Please contact Joey Cristina joey@ourcityshows.com

www.olyfreakdown.com

Facebook Invite

olyfreakdownfest

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Oly Freakdown Fest

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 11:00am

Friday and Saturday, October 24th & 25th

Evergreen Noise, FLY, Bones Cvlt, OPP and OCS presents..

OLY FREAKDOWN FEST 2014
Olympia’s own loud rock costume party!

BANDS:
Motion (Tour Homecoming!)
Vessels (Tour Homecoming!)
Believer
Bréag Naofa
A God or an Other
Toarn
Countless The Dead
For the Likes of You
Lo’ There Do I See My Brother
Mi Amore Cadenza
The Lion in Winter
Thistopia
Redeem the Exile
The Further
A Friend
Brightside
Sorrow’s Edge
Heathen Washington
Gunslinger

MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED

Buy tickets at:
http://olyfreakdown14.brownpapertickets.com/
PRESALE ONLY: $12 Two Day Pass
DAY OF EVENT: $8 Per Day

When:
October 24th and 25th, 2014
Shows start each day at 2PM!

We are accepting band submissions for consideration. Please contact Joey Cristina joey@ourcityshows.com

www.olyfreakdown.com

Facebook Invite

olyfreakdownfest

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Teach Me Equals // RedRumsey (new project of Vern Rumsey, ex-Unwound) // Hamartia // Sounjaneer

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 5:00pm

Wednesday, September 3rd, doors at 8pm

Teach Me Equals … Florida “scrape rock” on Minorlit Records, touring w/ RedRumsey
http://teachmeequals.com/
https://www.facebook.com/teachmeequals

RedRumsey … Olympia solo alternative artist, ex-Unwound
http://www.redrumsey.com/
https://www.facebook.com/redrumsey

Hamartia … Seattle freak/folk/punk
https://fatalflaw.bandcamp.com/

Sounjaneer … Oakland CA experimental/mystical/folk
http://sounjaneer.wix.com/legaseeds
http://sounjaneer.bandcamp.com/

Facebook invite

RedRumsey

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Fun in the summer sun….Vashon Island

RBB logo2 copyIt’s been a busy RBB summer!  Since the last post, in early August, I’ve led FOUR trips of enthusiastic Rebels.  Each and every trip enjoyed our (unusually) gorgeous sunny summer.  The trips were with three different groups.  Two trips were with the South Puget Sound Community College, one with South Sound Senior Services, and one with the Boardwalk apartments (this was the first trip with this delightful group of eager travelers).

This post is about Vashon Island.  This has been a popular RBB trip for good reason.  Vashon is vashon art decovery laid back and easy to get to from Olympia.  Vicki took some great pictures of this trip.  This is a picture of the view from the Pt. Defiance ferry dock (where we waited for about 20 minutes anthonyswaiting for our ferry) looking west towards Anthony’s restaurant.

 

 

 

One of the highlights of going to Vashon via public transit is that we have the pleasure of riding with Larry, the wonderful driver for Metro Route 118 on Vashon Island.  The bus was waiting for us as we departed the ferry from Pt. Defiance.  He greeted ubikeintrees, and insisted on taking a group photo.  He also stopped along the side of Vashon Highway so we could take a short walk to see the famous “bike in the tree”.  He led the way, and again took pictures to document the sight.

The town of Vashon is quaint; a throw back to an earlier era.  Most of us ate at the Hardware Restaurant, which is the oldest continuously operated commercial property.  The food is very good, and reasonably priced.  Several of us  admired the great independent bookstore.  There are several fun shops to browse.

We caught the bus mid afternoon, and has a leisurely trip back to the ferry and two bus legs back home.

Another satisfying trip.  Thanks, Rebels!

 

 

Categories: Local Environment

Gladness & Dick Dagger And The C Monsters & Big Idiot & Crack House & Fuzzy Math

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 5:00pm

Friday, August 29th, doors at 8pm, show starts at 8:15 sharp!

GLADNESS … alt/gaze/wave from Portland, OR
http://gladness.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/gladnessbandpdx

DICK DAGGER AND THE C MONSTERS … psych/garage/glam from Eugene, OR
http://dickdaggerthecmonsters.bandcamp.com/releases
https://www.facebook.com/DickDaggerAndTheCMonsters

BIG IDIOT … skaterthrash/powerviolence from Olympia
https://www.facebook.com/bigidiotoly

CRACK HOUSE … stonerfunkbluespunk from Olympia
https://www.facebook.com/crackhouseolympia

FUZZY MATH … alt/indie/pop from Olympia
https://www.facebook.com/FuzzyMath.OlympiaWA

Facebook Invite

dickdagger

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Something Wicked Goes Back to School

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 3:57pm
Event:  Wed, 09/03/2014 - 8:00pm - 10:00pm

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It’s that time of year again– leaves are turning color and students everywhere are preparing for classes to start back up. But Something Wicked is here to eliminate those post-summer blues with a new improv show, Something Wicked Goes Back to School! Harlequin Productions’ celebrated group of improv comics presents a show about the joys (and tragedies) of going back to school. They’ve grabbed their letterman’s jackets, their pom-pom’s, and their prom dates, and all they need now is you and your suggestions!

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North Thurston Public Schools Refinances Bonds, Saves Taxpayers Another $4.4 million

Thurston Talk - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 2:09pm

ThurstonTalk

 

Submitted by North Thurston Public Schools

North Thurston Public Schools recently refinanced a portion of its outstanding bonds in order to take advantage of lower interest rates.  The recent refinancing will save the District’s taxpayers a total of $4,459,088 during the next 11 years.  These savings flow directly to taxpayers through reduced tax levies and are not available for District expenses.

“This refund to our taxpayers is part of our ongoing effort to be good stewards of the resources approved by voters in our community,” said Deputy Superintendent John Bash, who oversees operations and finance. “We are excited to give back to our supportive community.”

Lacey-area voters approved a $175 million Neighborhood School Improvements, Technology and Safety upgrade bond measure in February 2014 with a historical 68 percent approval. The refinancing is for bonds issued in 2007.

This refunding decision, combined with three prior refunds since 2008, has saved North Thurston taxpayers a total of $10,023,219. “It’s very gratifying when we can be strategic and accountable to our voters,” said Board President Marcia Coppin. “We appreciate the community’s ongoing support of our students and our schools.”

Clippers Hire Assistant Coach Mike Moore to Lead Women’s Program

Thurston Talk - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 2:02pm

ThurstonTalk

 

Submitted by South Puget Sound Community College

Front Row (L-R) Chloe Cummings, Kaneetah Pridgen, Stysha Paoa, McKenzie Raben Back Row (L-R) Renee Willey, Sarah Houchen, Stephanee Stedham, LaKeisha Anger, Kami Owens

Front Row (L-R) Chloe Cummings, Kaneetah Pridgen, Stysha Paoa, McKenzie
Raben Back Row (L-R) Renee Willey, Sarah Houchen, Stephanee Stedham, LaKeisha Anger, Kami Owens

South Puget Sound Community College will have a familiar face on the bench when the women’s hoops season begins. Assistant coach Mike Moore has been hired to take the reins for the Clippers, succeeding Mychael Heuer, who stepped down in July to focus on his personal health. Moore had been an assistant under Heuer from 2010-13, including a short one-month stint as interim head coach during the 2011-12 season.

Moore, who has also coached at Black Hills and Olympia high schools, said he is excited to take control of the program.

“I am honored, humbled and thankful to again be a part of the South Puget Community College family,” Moore said. “I am a product of all of my past coaches and players who have taught me an incredible amount along the way. I’m eager and excited to help these returning and incoming young women succeed on and off the court. That process starts today. Go Clippers!”

Moore has coached in various capacities for 12 years, and is currently coaching SPSCC’s summer workout program. SPSCC Athletic Director Pam Charpentier said Moore is a perfect fit to take over the squad.

“I am looking forward to working with Coach Moore,” Charpentier said. “He is familiar with the college, the Northwest Athletic Conference and the traditions of playing in the Western Region. Since he worked with our sophomores and incoming freshmen during summer league, it should make the transition for the student-athletes and coach Moore much smoother.”

The Clippers begin the season Nov. 16 at home against the Pacific University junior varsity team.

 

Review: “Middletown” at Harlequin Productions

South Sound Arts - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 1:11pm



Published in The News Tribune
Alec Clayton
Bill Johns as John Dodge and Jenny Vaughn Hall as Mrs. Swanson in Harlequin's "Middletown"Harlequin Productions’ “Middletown” is the surprise hit of the season. The play by Will Eno, which has been called absurdist and surrealistic and an “Our Town” for the 21st century, is brilliantly written and performed with style and sincerity by an outstanding cast on a minimalist set.
The set by Jeannie Beirne consists of simple drop-down windows and a few tables, chairs and beds that are unobtrusively moved about between scenes. Video projections by Amy Chisman cast scenes from the past to the future in small town America. The projected opening scene looks like an idyllic small town as painted by Edward Hopper, but this town is populated by citizens who could have been invented by Eugene Ionesco or Samuel Becket.
Right off the bat they break the fourth wall when Mike Dooly as a droll commentator in the “Our Town” mold welcomes the audience. It is unclear if what we’re experiencing is a curtain speech or a part of the play; what is clear, however, is that he is hilarious. And then the play-proper begins with Dooly again, now a drunk on a park bench being hassled by a cop (Scott C. Brown) who is frightening because he changes in the blink of an eye from friendly and down-to-earth to bully with gun and night stick.
There doesn’t seem to be any story arc at first, as we go from scene to scene viewing the citizens of Middletown from a range of perspectives, from that of a librarian (Walayn Sharples) to stereotypical, photo-shooting tourists (Josh Krupke and Lorrie Fargo) being given a tour by Elex Hill, to an astronaut viewing the town from outer space. But gradually a sweet and sad story begins to emerge as a budding relationship develops between a newcomer to town, Mrs. Swanson (Jenny Vaughn Hall), and a handyman named John Dodge (played brilliantly by Bill Johns). John Dodge is a sad misfit. Mrs. Swanson, whose working-out-of-town husband we never see, is friendly and loveable, but underneath her charm also lies a deep sadness. Sparks between these two are evident from the moment they meet.
I cannot praise the acting in this play enough.
Johns, in his first role at Harlequin, comes to the Olympia stage from Seattle, where he has performed in “The Adventures of Kavelier and Clay” and “Frankenstein,” both at Book-It Repertory Theatre. He has a way of quickly changing expressions that reminds me of Tim Conway from the old Carol Burnett show. He goes easily from comedy to tragedy in what may well be the best acting I’ve seen this year.
Also exceptional is Dooly as the mechanic who comments wisely on the absurdities of life in his drunken manner and who also touches the hearts fellow characters and audience alike.
Hall is charming and expressive as Mrs. Swanson. Like Dooly and Johns, she touches the heart and makes the audience want to root for her.
I’ve been following Brown’s career since I first saw him as Salieri in “Amadeus” and as R.C. McMurphy in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” at Lakewood Playhouse (I chose him as Best actor in my annual Critic’s Choice for both roles). No matter what part he plays, he becomes the character. As the cop in this show he starts out as an almost demonic bad guy but becomes a real softy by the tragic end.
“Middletown” is as funny, as intelligent, and as heart wrenching as any play can be. Eno’s writing is rife with sharp observations on the human condition, but is never pedantic. The philosophy and psychology, the pathos and humor, is all served up in the words of everyday people who are absolutely believable.  I highly recommend this play.
alec@alecclayton.com
Check Alec’s blog at alecclayton.blogspot.com for reviews of other area theatrical productions. Watch for a review of “Blithe Spirit” at Olympia Little Theatre and “And Then There Were None” at Lakewood Playhouse.
SIDEBAR: Middletown WHEN: Thursdays through Saturdays, 8p.m., Sundays 2 p.m. through Sept. 13WHERE: State Theater, 202 E. 4th Ave., OlympiaTICKETS: prices vary, call for detailsINFORMATION: 360-786-0151; http://www.harlequinproductions.org/
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Session Notes: The Pinheads

K Records - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 11:10am
The Pinheads tore in from Pittsburgh ready to rock’n'roll.  They were well rehearsed, had set realistic goals, and (mostly) sober. If you are paying for studio time BE THESE THINGS. You’re gonna get a lot more done. I took our new Chameleon Labs TS1 MKIIs out for a spin on the drums, using the large […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Thurston EDC and VCB Partner to Host US Open Information Breakfast

Thurston Talk - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 11:00am

ThurstonTalk

 

Submitted by the Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor & Convention Bureau

Rivers EdgeThe Thurston EDC and the Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor & Convention Bureau have teamed up to host a breakfast meeting to share information with the community about the Business Opportunities the Golf Tournament will offer to the South Sound Region. The U.S. Open is scheduled for June 15-21, 2015 at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place.

Bennish Brown, President and CEO of the Tacoma Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau and Hunter George Communication Director for the Pierce County Economic Development Department will present strategies and impart ideas on how local businesses can benefit from the proximately to the US Open. Brown and George both traveled to the 2014 US Open at Pinehurst, North Carolina. “The Pinehurst Experience was amazing and I’m excited to share the information we learned about the event to help prepare our region for one of the greatest events in golf that would put our area on the map.” Said George.

The breakfast will be held at the Rivers Edge Restaurant at the Tumwater Valley Golf Course on Friday, September 5, 7:30 to 9am. Cost is $15. Reservations are required. Contact Rachel Reischman at rreischman@thurstonedc.com, 360-754-6320.

 

Economics for Everyone - Olympia

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 9:35am
Event:  Wed, 09/03/2014 - 6:30pm - 9:00pm

From today's inbox:

Economics for Everyone - Olympia

Free, monthly workshops and presentations addressing economic literacy and inviting dialogue and discussion on inequality and the crises of capitalism.

Wednesday September 3rd, starting at 6:30, we will be discussing Christian Parenti's book, Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence. We will only discuss chapters 1, 2, 15, and 16.

Economics for Everyone - Olympia chose this for its reading group because climate change will have an enormous impact upon how we struggle for, and even think about, economic justice in the years to come. After we discuss the readings we will have a quick planning meeting to shape upcoming workshops and events. 

Feel free to come for either the seminar or meeting, or both! (However, only come to the seminar if you have completed the readings.) 

Bring snacks if possible!

Agenda

6:30 - 8 PM 

Seminar discussion of Christian Parenti's book Tropic of Chaos. Ch. 1, 2, 15, and 16 (about 50 pages)

8 - 9 PM 

Planning for Economic for Everyone future events. 

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Mind Drumming

South Sound Arts - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 9:04am



A long time ago I was a drummer in a country and western band called the Southern Playboys, and after that in a kind of Lawrence Welk type quintet. The leader of the band played accordion. I kid you not. I also used to be a painter. I have a master’s degree in art and spent most of my life making art. But then I quit that, too. I still make art in my head, and in bed at night I sometimes have lucid dreams about painting. As for drumming, I constantly drum with my fingers on my thighs or a table top or the steering wheel when I’m driving—to whatever song is in my head at the time. Sometimes I wake up about four o’clock in the morning and start drumming in my head. I will visualize sitting at a drum set with sticks in hand and playing a masterful solo.When I make art in my head it can be as frustrating and as fulfilling as making an actual painting. You see, I remember that when I was actively painting I would often—more often than you can imagine—screw it up; and the more I tried to fix it the worse it got. When this happened (notice I put that in the passive voice: it just happened; I had nothing to do with it) I often had to scrape everything off and start over. You’d think I could avoid stuff like that when I’m painting in my head, but I don’t.Drumming in my head usually goes better. I do things I was never able to do when I was actually drumming. I’m talking like things only a Buddy Rich or a Ginger Baker can do.You’d think that if I do all this painting and drumming in my head I’d want to pick up a brush or a pair of drumsticks and do the real thing, but I really have no desire to do either. I have a pair of drumsticks that sit by the TV. I often think about picking them up but, you know, I’d have to get up and walk across the room.The thing is, doing these things in my head is just as satisfying, if not more so, than doing the real thing. I know I can never be as good as Michelangelo or Jackson Pollock or Phillip Pearlstein, but in my mind I can. Besides, painting is messy. As for drumming, do you have any idea how physically demanded drumming is? At my age and as out of shape as I am I could never last through a couple of rock songs, and I know I could never be another Ginger Baker.But in my mind . . . damn I’m good.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Dillingers: How a Prohibition-Era Bar is Breathing New Life into Olympia’s Security Building

Thurston Talk - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 6:39am

ThurstonTalk

 

By Kelli Samson

greene realtyWhat does John Dillinger, the notorious gangster of the Prohibition Era and the Great Depression, have in common with Olympia? We have to go way back, so stay with me on this one.

olympia history

Walter Chambers and Joseph Swanton had such a successful butcher shop in Lacey that they had to move to a much bigger location on the site where the Security Building now sits. (Image courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society)

John Dillinger was the reason J. Edgar Hoover formed the FBI. The government needed a way to start cracking down on organized crime in the 1930s, and Dillinger’s gang was the biggest thorn in their sides. He was responsible for two-dozen bank robberies, four police station robberies, and the homicide of one police officer. He was known to be wild and proud of his crimes. Dillinger died in a shoot-out with police in 1934.

Dillinger got his start in the world of crime in the 1920s, a time known as the Prohibition Era – think “The Great Gatsby.” It was a time of flapper girls and secret bars (speakeasies) where alcohol was served illegally.

Dillingers Cocktails and Kitchen, located at 404 South Washington in downtown Olympia, is housed in the old Security Bank Building, which was built in 1927.

The building is on the corner of Washington and Fourth Avenue and was so tall in comparison to the other buildings at the time, people referred to it as a skyscraper. It’s a whopping five stories tall. Prior to the Security Building’s construction, the corner was home to Chambers and Swanton Meat Market, a full-service butcher.

olympia bar dillingers

The Security Building sits on over 300 pilings over filled-in tidal marsh.

The building’s designer was Abraham H. Albertson, an architect from Seattle who primarily designed buildings for the University of Washington and who also designed Cornish College of the Arts.

The Olympia-based construction company known as the Dawley Brothers, which was owned by Leo and J.M. Dawley, constructed the structure. They also built the Hart-Dawley house in the South Capital neighborhood, which was the home of Governor Louis Hart.

The Security Building was built in the Sullivan-esque Style (think rosettes and pineapple details) and boasts nothing but the finest materials available at the time. There is marble from Europe and granite from Canada, not to mention prized mahogany from the Philippines throughout. The structure has remained sound all these years later, even though it’s built on fill over the natural location of tidal marshes, it rests on hundreds of pilings, and it has weathered two major earthquakes.

olympia bar dillingers

The ladies behind Dillingers’ success: (from left) Sandy Hill, Lela Cross, Denise Alonso, and Sherilyn Lightner.

The style of the building certainly makes an establishment like Dillingers seem like it truly belongs there.

Dillingers is owned by Lela Cross (of the former culinary gems Capitale and Cielo Blu), Denise Alonso (who formerly ran the bakery at Saint Martin’s University), and Sandy Hill (formerly of Batdorf and Bronson). “There’s nothing that compares to the fun, the vibe, or the stress of owning a restaurant,” says Hill.

Dillingers is full of swank. There are bold chandeliers and dark walls with custom-made wallpaper in places. There is a gorgeous bar, designed by Hill, that’s high on gloss. Everything is plush and fancy.

After leasing the space, Hill’s father took one look at the original teller’s booth and into the old bank vault in the back and declared that it brought to mind the days of John Dillinger. Thus, downtown Olympia’s melting pot of hipsters, legislators, and all kinds of people in between was given its name.

“The customers send us things about Dillinger all the time,” says Cross.

The old bank vault and the name helped shape and guide the vision Alonso, Cross, and Hill had for the establishment that opened this past winter. In a building with 1920’s architecture and a name harkening back to the time of bank robberies, and gin joints, there was only one direction to go: Prohibition Era cocktails.

The Prohibition Era is known more for cocktails than food, so the owners were free to bring in their own favorites when it came to planning a menu. The seafood is a nod to Olympia (and supplied by Olympia Seafood Company), while dishes like red beans and rice are reminiscent of Houston, from which Hill originates. Cross is from New Mexico, and she likes colorful foods. Hot Babe Hot Sauce is sourced from Sandra Bocas in Yelm.

olympia bar dillingers

The Security Bank Vault is Dillingers most-requested area for reservations.

The real star on the menu, though, is the whiskey bread pudding. Why? Well, there’s no bread in it, for starters. Instead, you’ll find doughnuts to be the secret ingredient in Alonso’s brilliant “creation that everyone loves.”

The authentically-crafted cocktail menu is divided by the darlings of the Prohibition Era: whiskey, cognac, gin, rum, tequila, champagne, wine, beer, and hard cider. Dillingers uses spirits from local distilleries and breweries. You can, of course, order whatever kind of cocktail you want. But why would you do that when you can put yourself in the hands of these master cocktail craftspeople and drink something called a Mary Pickford, named after America’s first sweetheart of film, instead?

“We have probably the best bartenders in town,” smiles Cross. “They have such a passion for what they’re doing.”

The bar manager is Sherilyn Lightner. She has researched the cocktails of the era by reading old cocktail books. If you’re unsure of what to order, here are the favorites from the insiders themselves:

  • Vieux Carre’: Lightner affectionately refers to this as “The Manhattan’s richer, more-sophisticated uncle.”
  • French 75: Alonso enjoys that this is “pretty fresh and simple.”
  • Blood and Sand: Cross loves this bright nod to the Rudolph Valentino film of the same name.
  • Viejo Verde: Hill describes this as a “smoky margarita.”
olympia bar dillingers

Many of Dillingers spirits are sourced from local distilleries such as Wishkah River in Aberdeen.

Next up for Dillingers is their “Gin Punch Brunch,” which premieres September 14. They also have an artist-of-the-month. Pairing up with the community is clearly important to Dillingers.

Meanwhile, the ladies of Dillingers will continue to enjoy the little moments that make it special for them. For Cross, this happens every night. “I stand out on the sidewalk and I wait for someone to open the door to go in so I can hear the roar of the happy crowd inside.”

Adds Alonso, “I work in the kitchen, which is between the vault and the bar. I love how people stop by and introduce themselves.”

“I really love the way people come together here. They end up making friends or running into people they haven’t seen in years,” shares Hill.

While it’s true that John Dillinger never set foot in Olympia, it is also true that you are not John Dillinger. Lucky for you (for lots of reasons), because that means you can enjoy Dillingers Cocktails and Kitchen – perhaps even tonight.

You can learn more about Dillingers by visiting their Facebook page or their website.

 

Taking the Plunge: Local Resident Learns to Swim for 70th Birthday at Discover Aquatics

Thurston Talk - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 6:10am

ThurstonTalk

 

By Gale Hemmann

oly ortho logoDonna Killelea is proof that you can do anything you set your mind to, at any age. The Olympia resident decided to take on a life-long goal for her 70th birthday: learning to swim. With the encouragement of staff at Discover Aquatics Swim School, she was able to make this dream happen.

Killelea wrote a moving letter to the Discover Aquatics staff about her experience. She writes, “Six months ago, I resolved to check an item off my ‘bucket list,’ to acquire a skill I had always thought unreachable. I vowed I would learn how to swim. For nearly 70 years, my relationship with the water has been tentative, tinged with trepidation, conditional:  If I could stand up or use the aid of a life jacket, I was fine. Now I longed to delve deeper, to gain the confidence of a true swimmer.”

olympia adult swim lessons

Donna Killelea thanks her Discover Aquatics swim instructors, Peter Emmons (pictured here) and Curran Colins, for helping her transcend her fear of water and enjoy swimming. Photo credit: Gale Hemmann

Killelea got the spark of inspiration from an adult education class she was taking at her church, where she participated in an exercise about manifesting your dreams. When she thought about goals she wanted to accomplish, conquering her fear of water and learning to swim was at the top of her list. She also wanted to overcome her fear so she could share a positive attitude about water with her grandchildren.

She approached the staff at Discover Aquatics and immediately felt encouraged by how warm and welcoming they were. She enrolled in weekly one-on-one swim lessons, and step by step (or rather stroke by stroke) worked toward achieving her goal. Her biggest triumph: the moment she was able to cross from the shallow end into the deep end fear-free.

She writes in her letter, “At Discover Aquatics, I met Peter and Curran, who were more than swim teachers – they taught me that the simple act of blowing bubbles could cause panic and fear to melt away. They did more than teach technique: they provided a safe, secure place for me to cultivate confidence and skill. They showed me that with patience, determination and lots of practice, I could leave the safety of the shallow water and explore the depths (and my own abilities) in the deep end. I could swim!”

Killelea’s story is truly inspiring. I met with her and several staff at Discover Aquatics who were involved in her journey. Killelea and I joined owner Holly Nichols, Event Coordinator Debbie Williams, and one of Killelea’s swim instructors, Peter Emmons. Everyone was friendly and positive – it’s no wonder Killelea immediately felt comfortable here.

The staff were all elated to watch Killelea reach her goal. She worked with Emmons for about two months, and then with instructor Curran Colins. Emmons was a competitive swimmer at Timberline High School and combines his strong knowledge of swimming with the ability to relate to people to help put new swimmers like Killelea at ease. He says they moved in steps with the lessons, going a little further in the water each week. Colins swam while at Capital High School and originally learned to swim at Discover Aquatics years ago. While Killelea is quick to praise her teachers, Emmons says she really deserves the credit for her determination.

Killelea describes the process eloquently: “In the last several months, lesson by lesson, I have witnessed my own miraculous transformation from a floundering novice to someone who could venture from one end of the pool to the other. I can do what I never imagined possible: I can tread water. I can float on my back. I can breathe. I can kick. I have options. The pool has become my playground, the warm water my dear friend.”

olympia adult swim lessons

A triumphant moment: Killelea invited her friends and family for a “Splish Splash” party at Discover Aquatics for her 70th birthday. She demonstrated her new swimming skills and says it was an amazing moment. Photo courtesy Donna Killelea.

The final touch to celebrate Killelea reaching her big goal? Hosting an official “Splish Splash” birthday party at Discover Aquatics earlier this month. Killelea notes in her letter, “Yesterday, I turned seventy years old. Over the weekend, my family and I celebrated more than seven decades of a life well lived. I invited them to join me at my very own ‘Splish Splash’ party at Discover Aquatics and witness my new and improved water-capable self as I swam – truly swam – from one end of the pool to the other. It was beyond wonderful. Afterwards, we enjoyed a sweet celebration in the party room orchestrated by a very attentive hostess, Debbie, complete with beach decor, music, cupcakes, and a beach ball for guests to autograph. I will keep that beach ball as a reminder of this unforgettable birthday – a symbol of the not-so-small ‘bucket list’ item I tackled with the help of Discover Aquatics.”

I asked Killelea what words of inspiration she would share with others who want to take on a big goal, whether learning to swim or tackling another dream. She says, “If you have a goal, just try it. Jump in. It’s never too late.” Nichols notes that Killelea was very focused in reaching her goal, which also contributed to her success.

So what’s next for Killelea? She will be continuing swim lessons at Discover Aquatics in the future. She enjoys the senior swim time on Tuesdays and Thursday mornings. She says in her letter, “Who knows what new challenges and depths I’ll reach this year at the pool? I can’t wait to find out.”

Killelea has already talked to other adults who want to learn to conquer their fear of water, and shared her story with them. In fact, if you’re considering learning to swim as an adult, Killelea’s happy to talk with you (contact the Discover Aquatics office to get in contact with her).

olympia adult swim lessons

Donna Killelea (seated) poses with Discover Aquatics staff (from left to right) Peter Emmons, Debbie Williams and Holly Nichols. Photo credit: Gale Hemmann

Discover Aquatics offers lessons for all ages, as well as open swim times and special events. One thing that makes their pool unique is that it is saline-based. Many people, including myself, find this a more pleasant alternative to chlorine-based pools. The pool is also kept at a comfy 89 degrees, ensuring that you are comfortable in the water. To learn more about swimming lessons, hosting a Splish Splash birthday party, and pool schedules, visit their website. Adults interested in private swim lessons can also call the office and talk to staff, who will be happy to help them get started.

Killelea says she feels an increased sense of self-confidence now that she can swim and feels more comfortable in social settings where swimming is involved. She says it’s fun to be in with the other swimmers at the pool.

Nichols also notes that swimming is an important life skill. She says six out of ten Americans adults are uncomfortable in water where they can’t touch the bottom. Nichols says it’s a wonderful thing to be able to enjoy the relaxation, therapeutic and exercise benefits of swimming. She says it is very empowering for adults to learn to feel in control and skilled in the water. Nowhere is this more evident than in the joy Donna Killelea exudes when talking about her experience.

As Discover Aquatics reminds us, “Life is great…swimming makes it better.”

 

Olympia Labor Day Weekend Event Calendar

Thurston Talk - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 6:09am

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Purists will disagree but I consider Labor Day weekend the END of summer. Last minute BBQ’s, shopping for the final few items on the school supply list, packing away the sunscreen, and shifting towards “normal” bedtimes are all tasks that I undertake over the holiday weekend.  I recognize that the “official” end to summer is still many days away but once the school bell starts ringing then it’s back to the grindstone for me.

Three cheers to all the teachers, administrators and school staff that are already back in the classroom… we’ll give you a high five on Wednesday morning.

Here’s what is going on around Olympia this weekend.  Squeeze in some last minute summer fun.

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 submit@thurstontalk.com.  For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here.

 

Northwest Harley-Davidson’s Guide to Essential Riding Gear

Thurston Talk - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

 

NW Harley Womens ApparelYou’ve got a motorcycle.  You are ready to ride.  Throw on a helmet and you are good to go, right?  Not so fast, say the experts at Northwest Harley-Davidson.  There’s a lot more to safe, comfortable riding than just wearing your helmet.

NW Harley-Davidson wants riders to enjoy their riding time and having the right gear can make or break a good ride.  Check out this list of essential riding gear before your next ride.

Helmet – Yes, wear a helmet.  Always.  Even if it’s not required by law.  But, more than simply wearing a helmet, ensure that yours fits properly by having it assessed by a NW Harley expert.  Fit ensures proper function.  Helmets should also be replaced every three years as padding and straps degrade over time.  And, if you have been in an accident, or even have simply dropped your helmet, it needs to be replaced.  It’s your head – protect it well.

Pants – Experienced riders know that the right pair of pants makes all the difference when logging miles in the saddle.  Comfort is key, but just as important is protection.  Be sure you have heavy duty pants, preferable leather, or are wearing leather chaps.  The protective quality of leather cannot be overstated when making contact with the road.

Gloves – NW Harley-Davidson recommends wearing full finger protective gloves every time you ride.  Not only does it improve your grip on the handlebars, but keeps your hands insulated from wind, debris in the air, and the pavement should you fall.  Even in warm weather, full fingered gloves are best.

NW Harley Womens apparel 2Proper Footwear – Motorcycle specific boots should be worn while riding.  They provide the best protection and comfort for your feet while on the bike as well as having oil-resistant soles.  This added feature is essential when on and off the bike frequently.

Goggles/Glasses – You only get one set of eyes.  Protect them while riding.  You never know when another vehicle will kick up a rock or piece of debris.  Goggles and glasses come in a wide variety of styles and lens tints and NW Harley-Davidson always has a full stock to choose from.

To have a great ride, be sure you have great gear.  If you need a gear update, or to check the fit of your helmet, swing into Northwest Harley-Davidson.  Their staff will outfit you for a great ride.

 

Summer Shows in Seattle

Olympia Dumpster Divers - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 11:32pm

Seattle has a lot of artists who work with recycled materials.  One of our all-time favorites,  Ross Palmer Beecher, has been making art out of recycled materials since 1980, yet she continues to inspire us with her ingenuity, craftsmanship, and wit.  Her ability to find new ways to reuse stuff other folks throw away was on display this summer at Greg Kucera Gallery.

My Palette by Ross Palmer Beecher, 2009  23 x 16 x 2 inches

My Palette by Ross Palmer Beecher, 2009
23 x 16 x 2 inches

Two of our new favorite pieces from this recent show are “My Palette,” made out of tins, paint brushes, paint tubes, and enamel paint, and “My Palette #2.” The former takes the traditional shape of an artist palette and incorporates the traditional paints and brushes in a fresh, recycled-artist-kind-of-way, creating a sampler of some of her techniques and materials. “My Palette #2″ is made out of spray cans, paint tubes, and foil, arranged in a traditional multi-pieced star quilt pattern.  It is this juxtaposition of the traditional images and the non-traditional/unexpected materials that never fails to excite us.  More Ross Palmer Beecher HERE and HERE

My Palette #2 by Ross Palmer Beecher, 2013 46 x 38 inches

My Palette #2 by Ross Palmer Beecher, 2013
46 x 38 inches

Another fabulous Seattle artist that works with tin is our friend Jenny Fillius, who had a solo show at Gallery4Culture back in the beginning of June.  The Stranger described her work as “energetic, wall-mountable tin sculpture pieced together from salvaged metal pieces (toys, religious iconography, advertisements). It sometimes looks like it was made by a junkyard savant in a delirium.”  We regret to admit that we managed to miss seeing this show in person, but we can attest to the fact that Jenny knows what she is doing, and she does it with craftsmanship, intelligence, and humor.  See more Jenny Fillus HERE and HERE

Jenny Fillius Stay On the Sunny Side

Lastly, while we are posting about shows in Seattle that we are sad to have missed, we need to tell you about our friend and mentor Barbara De Pirro, whose work was in ”Vorfreude” with Katie Miller at Method Gallery this summer.  Barbara’s current medium is reclaimed plastic bottles, which she transforms into elegant, organic shapes.

Vorfreude is a German word meaning “the joyful anticipation of future pleasures.”
“Vorfreude” explores the anticipation of growth, transformation, and renewal in life through the installations of Katie Miller and Barbara De Pirro … De Pirro examines renewal through using reclaimed materials. The resulting relationship between each installation is the process of transformation, exploring the expected potential of materials, their lifespan, and connection to their environments. The audience is linked with the exhibition as they observe its transformation and await the final event.

Metamorphosis by Barbara De Pirro at Method Gallery, 2014

Metamorphosis by Barbara De Pirro at Method Gallery, 2014

Our next chance to view Barbara De Pirro’s work will be September 5 – October 12, when it will be part of the group show “Ethnobotany: An Artists’ Study of Plants” at the Seymour Botanical Conservatory in Tacoma; this time, Olympia Dumpster Divers vow to be there!  More Barbara De Pirro HERE and HERE

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Saint Martin’s University Receives Major Gift from Community Bank

Thurston Talk - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 10:17pm

ThurstonTalk

 Submitted by Saint Martin’s University

St Martins Cebula Hall

Saint Martin’s University Cebula Hall

A $100,000 gift toward the second phase of the Saint Martin’s University Engineering Initiative has been pledged by local community bank Olympia Federal Savings, University President Roy F. Heynderickx announced today. The initiative’s second phase will fund construction of a new $2.7 million industrial laboratory building.

“Olympia Federal Savings leadership gift provides important momentum midway through our campaign effort,” Heynderickx says. “We are very grateful to them for supporting our vision of new facilities to support our growing enrollment in engineering.”

Saint Martin’s University launched its $10.2 million Engineering Initiative in 2010, with the first phase earmarked to fund construction of a new $7.5 million “green” engineering building, Cebula Hall. The cutting-edge, teaching and learning engineering facility – dedicated April 22, 2013 – was designed to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum certification. This past fall, it earned the distinction of being the highest-rated LEED -certified building in the Western Hemisphere.

With the second phase of the Engineering Initiative nearing completion, the University plans to break ground this fall on a 14,000-square-foot industrial laboratory building that will house the facilities necessary for civil and mechanical engineering students to conduct hands-on experiments with fluids, manufacturing, robotics and mechatronics, soils and materials testing. The building also will include a technology classroom, regular classroom and faculty offices.

Olympia Federal Savings has a long history of philanthropy and leadership with Saint Martin’s University.  President and CEO Lori Drummond serves on the Saint Martin’s University Board of Trustees, and retired presidents and CEOs Wayne Staley and Ed Wack also served as University trustees. The bank has been a benefactor of past capital projects, including Cebula Hall, Charneski Recreation Center and the O’Grady Library, and is a staunch sponsor of the University’s community events, such as the Saint Martin’s Gala and Jingle Bell Run 5k.

“Olympia Federal Savings’ commitment to giving back locally is certainly demonstrated with this generous gift,” says Heynderickx, “and we thank them for their ongoing commitment to this institution and its OlyFed cornerstudents.”

Katie Wojke, interim vice president of institutional advancement, says the Olympia Federal Savings gift provides a major boost for the initiative, bringing the second phase total to $1.5 million, more than halfway to the $2.7 million goal.

“We are so blessed to have Olympia Federal Savings, its board members, and employees and customers as part of our greater community. Saint Martin’s University relies on alumni, friends and organizations like Oly Fed to support our efforts in educating the current and next generation of students,” she says.

Zella Kahn-Jetter, Ph.D., P.E., dean of the Marcus School of Engineering, says, “We have seen a 39-percent growth in engineering enrollment since 2009. It is expected that the industrial lab will continue to attract students who want to study civil and mechanical engineering, and engineering management. The industrial lab will also house a technology classroom for those students pursuing a degree in computer science.”

 

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