Recent local blog posts

“Being Mortal” Explores End-of-Life Care at Free Screening

Thurston Talk - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 2:37pm


  Submitted by Providence Health and Services Providence and Senior Services for South Sound are proud to present a free, community screening of the documentary “Being Mortal” on July 12 at Olympia Senior Center (222 Columbia St. NW) and July 26 at Lacey Senior Center (6757 Pacific Ave. SW). The time on both dates is

Gateway Rotary Club Receives Numerous Awards

Thurston Talk - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 2:06pm


Submitted by The Gateway Rotary Club The Gateway Rotary Club in Lacey, Washington was recognized for their many achievements this last year at the Rotary District 5020 Annual Conference in Olympia, Washington on June 25, 2016.  There are currently ninety Rotary Clubs in District 5020.  The Gateway Rotary Club was recognized with the following District

Westport Winery Wins Washington State Dry Red Winery of the Year in New York

Thurston Talk - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 1:51pm


Submitted by Westport Winery At the sixth annual New York International Wine Competition Westport Winery was awarded Washington State Dry Red Blend Winery of the Year with Smoky Nor’wester. According to event organizers, “Almost 1200 wines were submitted from over 25 countries and less than 45% won a medal.” Smoky Nor’wester, a blend of 35%

2016 South Sound Science Symposium

Squaxin Natural Resources Blog - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 11:04am

The sixth South Sound Science Symposium will be held September 20th, 2016 at the Little Creek Resort Event Center. A save the date announcement and a call for poster abstracts can be found here.


Categories: Local Environment

Country Music Star Sammy Kershaw to Perform Benefit Concert

Thurston Talk - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 8:00am


Submitted by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington Country music star Sammy Kershaw will perform in concert benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington. The concert will take place Friday, August 12, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. at the Lucky Eagle Casino and Hotel in Rochester. Ticket prices range from $30 for general admission

Peacock Meadows — Home Sweet Home in the Heart of Gig Harbor

Thurston Talk - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 7:48am


Looking to relocate? There are many things to consider when uprooting your family and settling in a new community. Whether you want to be closer to work or are just looking for a change of pace and scenery, finding your dream home in a community you love can be a challenge. Puyallup based builder RM

June 29 Event Could Bring Thousands to Capitol Campus

Thurston Talk - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 7:40am


Submitted by The Department of Enterprise Services The Department of Enterprise Services has issued a permit for a Wednesday, June 29 event that organizers say could bring up to 5,000 attendees to the Capitol Campus.  Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, will bring his “Decision America Tour” to the area near the Tivoli Fountain for

Find Tourbillion Stars over Hood Canal on the 4th of July

Thurston Talk - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 7:36am


In fireworks parlance, “a tourbillion is a type of star that spins in the sky and gives off large quantities of gold, silver, or white light.” This is not to be confused with a titanium salute, sky rocket, rising tails, or Saturn shells, all of which make the 4th of July a delight to behold.

Find Wonder on Mount Rainier’s Wonderland Trail

Thurston Talk - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 6:00am


You may have heard someone, with big eyes and a bit of awe, mention The Wonderland Trail. Spoken in a reverent hush, or perhaps with boisterous excitement, by backpackers everywhere, this world-class trail is the adventure of a lifetime, and it is right in our backyard. Before I moved west of the Cascades, before I

Gary Edwards should tell the truth about who is responsible for the Tyson Seafood plant purchase

Olympia Time - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 7:22pm
Gary Edwards, now candidate for county commission, gives a long-winded interview to a local conspiracy theorist. It includes this small little gem about a listless county commission, stumbling into a multi-million dollar problem:


Gary, you're so smart. Only if we'd listen to you then. Or your supporters.

But, it turns out that not only was Edward's complicit in the purchase of the Tyson Seafood plant in the late 1990s, but two of his supporters help guide the purchase and early development.

First though, I should back up and say that Edwards glosses over the legal situation the county was in at the time, by simply saying "I was running an overcrowded jail."

Back in the late 90s, the Thurston County jail wasn't just overcrowded. It was beyond that, it was inhumane. To the point that the ACLU was pressuring the county to improve the conditions in the jail. Edwards was running a bad jail.

In a letter from that era from the ACLU:
As long ago as 1996, we reported to you some of the complaints that inmates relayed to us. These included:
  • severe overcrowding, with many inmates forced to sleep so close to toilets that they were stepped on or urinated on by other inmates
  • poor sanitation and lack of access to hygiene supplies
  • infrequent changes of clothing and linen
  • denial of prescribed medications and lack of treatment for health care
  • limited indoor or outdoor exercise areas
  • lack of access to a law library
  • inmate kites or grievances not answered
  • broken plumbing and poor ventilation
Most of these problems were directly attributable to overcrowding. We received complaints from corrections officers as well as inmates, who also expressed their concerns that the dangerously overcrowded situation made their jobs unreasonably dangerous due to the enhanced risk of injury from assault, fire, and communicable disease.So, as a way to push back against overcrowding, the county commissioners spent $3.8 million to buy an old fish processing plant only a few miles from the current county jail.

So, who was on the county commission then? Diane Oberquell, who is listed as an Edwards supporter, Judy Wilson and Dick Nichols (both Republicans). When Edwards was serving as county sheriff at this point, he was also a Republican.

And, since even satellite jails take time to develop, the Tyson plant (though purchased by this point) was still a topic in 1999. By this time Nichols had retired from the commission and had been replaced by Kevin O'Sullivan. Commissioner O'Sullivan was part of the county commission (along with Wilson and Oberquell) that continued to push for the use of the Tyson plant as a jail. O'Sullivan also currently endorses Edwards.

I can't find anything in the record during those years Edwards speaking up against the Tyson plant purchase. In fact, what I did find was advice by the sheriff's office to move forward despite growing public opposition to the plan.

Here is a portion of county commission minutes that show not only one of Edwards' undersheriffs pushing for the Tyson plant, but also Oberquell.

When it came time to decide whether to purchase the seafood plant that Edward's now criticizes, it was his supporters and employees were at the helm. Also, as county sheriff, he was in a choice position to publicly call out what he says now was a horrible waste of money.

By being vague about it now Edwards seems to hint that the current commission (the longest tenure of which didn't begin serving until 2000) is at fault. But, when you scratch the surface just a little bit, the people now surrounding Gary Edwards first dug the Tyson Seafood plant money pit.

Olympia Music Club Invites Music Lovers to Join Together at DescoAV

Thurston Talk - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 12:06pm


Submitted by DescoAV Most people love music – so much so that they buy it on-line and fill their iPod or phone with thousands of tunes. Others purchase CDs or increasingly, vinyl, and listen on their home stereo. So, where in Olympia can people gather to share their music, sample what others are listening to,

2016 Southwest Washington Juried Exhibition Showcases Local Artists At SPSCC

Thurston Talk - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 11:46am


  Submitted by South Puget Sound Community College South Puget Sound Community College will feature an array of artists from around the region at the 2016 Southwest Washington Juried Exhibition.  This unique exhibition includes 38 works from 30 artists in Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, Skamania, Thurston, and Wahkiakum counties.  The 38 works

Dirty Dash Photos 2016

Thurston Talk - Sun, 06/26/2016 - 6:23pm


The Dirty Dash rolled through McCleary on Saturday.  Step inside the messy obstacle course mud run with Sam Powell’s photographs.

Olympia’s Free (and Cheap) Movies of Summer

Thurston Talk - Sun, 06/26/2016 - 6:00am


Summertime is just ramping up. Our jar of “fun things to do together this summer” is brimming and so are our positive attitudes. But, this mama has a few summers under her belt and I know the creative crafts and active outings tend to wear thin before the jar is even half empty. In comes

Something Wicked – Jumping off a Cliff with Improv Comedy

Thurston Talk - Sun, 06/26/2016 - 6:00am


Ask anyone who has ever performed improv and they will tell you: The more you practice, the better you become. Wait. What? That seems contraindicated. How do you rehearse something that is supposed to happen spontaneously? The key is that rehearsals aren’t scripted, either. Practicing improv involves exercises designed to sharpen an actor’s ability to

Four New Hires at SCJ Headquarters

Thurston Talk - Sat, 06/25/2016 - 11:16am


Submitted by SCJ Alliance  SCJ Alliance is pleased to announce the addition of four new team members in our Lacey office. Kevin McCoy, David Cuffeld, Sam Dunn and Samantha Ordonez join four different teams in the multidisciplinary firm. SCJ is a consulting firm specializing in civil engineering, transportation planning and design, environmental and urban planning,

Stay, Play, and Explore Your Own Backyard during Lacey Days

Thurston Talk - Sat, 06/25/2016 - 6:00am


Summer means freedom from routine, spending time outdoors, and enjoying lazy days with friends and family. But the first few weeks after school is out often finds kids recuperating from the year’s hectic pace. Stick close to home without missing a beat thanks to Lacey Days. City of Lacey Community Liaison Mary Coppin explains that

Corey Thompson Builds Fine, Handcrafted Bicycles

Thurston Talk - Sat, 06/25/2016 - 6:00am


Raw metal working can sometimes seem hard and brutish, a job with a predilection for welding gloves and dirt. At the opposite end of the spectrum, though, there is brazing, a technique used in the construction of traditional steel frame bicycles. The lugs (the parts of the bicycle where two or more tubes are joined),

Olympia High School Captures Third Place in WIAA Scholastic Cup Championships

Thurston Talk - Sat, 06/25/2016 - 6:00am


Olympia High School’s strong spring sports showing – both on the field and in the classroom – has helped the Bears finish third in the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s (WIAA) 2015-2016 Scholastic Cup. Presented by the WIAA and the Washington Army National Guard, the Scholastic Cup is the WIAA’s most prestigious annual school award. The

Drip Espresso Bar Celebrates One Year

Thurston Talk - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 2:39pm


Submitted by Drip Espresso Bar Summer has begun and here at Drip Espresso Bar we are quickly approaching our one year anniversary. Make sure to join us on Wednesday, June 29 for our one year anniversary party. We will be celebrating with free coffee samples, pastries, prizes and more. We could not have done it

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