Recent local blog posts

Adult Beginning Fiddle/Violin Class

OlyBlog Home Page - Sun, 07/05/2015 - 1:55pm
Event:  Mon, 07/13/2015 - 6:30pm

Have you always wanted to learn to play the violin/fiddle?

Introductory class starts July 13 at the Olympia Center. For course description/registration: logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Olympia Pop Rocks- New Local Podcast Features Olympia Artists , Musicians, and Community Activists

OlyBlog Home Page - Sun, 07/05/2015 - 1:49pm

I've been really enjoying "Olympia Pop Rocks" a locally produced, bi-monthly podcast that features interviews with Olympians involved in art, music and community activism. Recent interviewees include story-teller and performer Elizabeth Lord, commedian Sam Miller, and Meg Martin of Interfaith Works Emergency Shelter. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Return of Daylighting Moxlie Creek

OlyBlog Home Page - Sun, 07/05/2015 - 1:09pm

From today's inbox:

A need for folks who will come to City Hall on July 7 at 7 PM (That is next Tuesday evening) and testify for Moxlie Creek.

We are seeking to draw attention to this creek-in-a-pipe. Moxlie Creek has not been studied by the City of Olympia since 1993. We want to see City of Olympia act as lead agent and draw in the Port, Dept of Ecology, LOTT and citizens to study the needs of this forgotten creek.

After Deschutes, Moxlie Creek is the largest stream flowing into Budd Inlet. Moxlie and Indian Creeks flow through Watershed Park. Prior to being encased in a pipe from Plum and Union, Moxlie was a salmon bearing creek. It provided drinking water in early days of Olympia.

The creek needs more than an occasional man-hole inspection. Moxlie Creek has salt water flowing up in the dark pipe twice a day!

Help us and come to City Hall. Just say, "We want a committee to look at the feasibility of bringing Moxlie Creek into the daylight."

Zena Hartung, Harry Branch, Daniel Einstein, and 100+ others from a recent on-line petition

The study of the Moxlie/Indian Creek basin that the County did in 1993 included a brief discussion of daylighting the creek: logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

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Running is a Way of Life for Coach and Teacher Linda Huyck

Thurston Talk - Sun, 07/05/2015 - 7:05am



By Isabelle Morrison

Hometown logoRunning is more than the act itself; it is empowering, and it can keep you both physically and emotionally healthy.

Linda Huyck, a cross country and former track coach at Timberline High School, knows the truth in this statement.

Certain people are simply born to do something, and I’ve come to the conclusion that Huyck was born to run. The sport is a massive part of who she is, and through it she’s been able to uplift not only herself, but others as well.

linda hyuck

Dog lover Linda Huyck celebrates her victory at the 2011 Turkey Trot 5k with “Sally Dog.”

Huyck began running in the 4th grade when she was having trouble finding a niche at her new school. “The kids were kind of mean so I would go off and read by myself,” she says. One of her teachers noticed this, and asked if she wanted to join a student track team that he was forming, so she did. “I enjoyed it so much that I started running a couple days a week with some of the teachers and counselors from the school,” Huyck shares.

After winning her first race, Huyck knew that running was something that she wanted to continue. “It was field day, and I was doing the 400 meter. I ran so hard that I cried and threw up!” she laughs. Despite being sick, Huyck believes that the success she felt after winning triggered something in her – perhaps it was confidence?

In the near future, Huyck’s natural talent and passion for the sport would land her a spot in the Olympic trials for the 2000 Olympic games. Prior to the trials, she had undergone many months of intense training led by Larry Weber, the cross country coach at Northwest Christian High School. “It was a lot of months of long miles. We were regularly hitting high 60’s and low 70’s for our mileage. There was a point where we were in the 80’s for three weeks in a row,” says Huyck.

linda hyuck

Huyck ran “back-to-back rim-to-rims” at the Grand Canyon in 2013.

When she was actually at the trials, Huyck was well aware that she would not be advancing to the games. “I wasn’t a top runner so there was no pressure. I was just like ‘ooh I’m in the Olympic trials!’ and I couldn’t help but smile.” Huyck also had the honor of meeting her idol and running icon Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first women’s Olympic marathon champion, at the trials.

Although the Olympic Games were not Huyck’s destiny, she would eventually channel her running skills into coaching.

After graduating from Timberline High School, she was offered a coaching position at Saint Michael Parish by her former principal, Dave Lehnis. From there, coaching opportunities seemed to just spring up for Huyck.

“I love seeing my kids travel new distances and do things they never thought about doing. It’s so exciting to see someone doing something that brings them confidence and pride,” she shares. “Coaching is actually what made me want to be a teacher.” Huyck is currently an English teacher at River Ridge High School.

She has made an impact on so many young runners, and still keeps in touch with several of her former pupils. “I just got an email from someone who was in the first group of kids I ever coached. When you find out that your kids are lifelong runners, it’s pretty exciting.”

Today, Huyck is still doing what she loves; training and competing in races – but this time on a bit smaller scale than the Olympic trials. Her most recent race was the Capital City Marathon on May 17, 2015.

Huyck was reunited with her old coach for the trials, Larry Weber, in preparation for this event. “He had me running a two hour run and intervals every week for the last four weeks, which is not common – usually you get some sort of reduced run in there.”

linda hyuck

Running and racing is a way of life for Linda Huyck.

She spent a total of eight months training for the marathon, and even faced an injury. In late February, Huyck was in crutches and unable to train. “I stepped in a pothole while training and tore all kinds of stuff in my ankle. I didn’t run for a full month.”  Fortunately, Huyck was able to recover quickly enough to compete.

After coming in second place for women’s by a mere ten minutes back in 1991, Huyck had returned better, faster, stronger, and over twenty years older. She was the first woman to cross the finish line at this year’s Capital City Marathon.

Huyck was ecstatic after her victory, but like always, is still looking for improvement.

“I think I realized early on that running is a good way to bond, whether it’s an athlete and a coach or a person with a friend or peer. It’s just a great way to spend time with my friends – we work through a lot, whether it be work issues, family issues, or retelling the good times that make us super happy. Running is just a really good way to stay emotionally healthy.”

Huyck also added that new runners should try to bring a friend along, “Not only is it fun, but if you have someone you’re accountable to, you’re more likely to do it. Think about all the hideous things you can do if your friends will go with you and you’re like, ‘I will if you will.’ Then eventually, you’ll find out that you like it.”



Stillwater Dental Wellness Center – Creating Beautiful Smiles and Changing Lives

Thurston Talk - Sun, 07/05/2015 - 6:00am



olympia dentist

Dr. James Telloian opened his first practice in Tumwater in 1990. He moved to the current Black Lake location in 2005.

Dr. Jim Telloian is a family dentist, and he is the only dentist on staff at Stillwater Dental Wellness Center, which is intentional because he believes it improves patient care.

“We see kids from the time their first tooth erupts, and every age thereafter. My oldest patient is turning one hundred this summer,” he said. “I consider myself a ‘grand dentist,’ because I have patients that I saw as children that are now grown up and are bringing their kids here.”

Dr. Telloian explains why this matters, “We like to know our patients, who their spouse is, what their hobbies are. This creates a caring practice, but it also creates continuity of care. When I’ve seen someone for 20 years I know their mouth. I know what’s been done and what needs to be done.”

Born and raised in Southern California, Dr. Telloian spent a lot of time in Olympia with his grandparents who lived along Black Lake. “I learned how to water ski here and spent most of the summers of my teen years here and loved it,” he said.

When he was in dental school and had to make a decision about where to set up his practice, it was easy. He thought about quality of life, knowing he wanted to avoid the rat race of California. He opened his first practice in Tumwater in 1990, and then moved to the current Black Lake location in 2005. A few years later the name of his practice changed from James E. Telloian to Stillwater Dental Wellness Center.

“It is a privilege to practice here, because [Thurston County] still has a little bit of that small town feel. I can go to the mall or Red Robin and I get to see my patients,” said Dr. Telloian. “They invite me to weddings and graduations and it feels like one big extended family.”

Focus on Wellness

olympia dentist

Prevention is the focus at Stillwater Dental Wellness Center.

At the core of Stillwater Dental Wellness Center’s philosophy is a focus on prevention. For example, research links a type of bacteria in a patient’s mouth to cardiovascular disease. Treating the bacteria can also improve the health of the entire body. “We offer Laser Assisted Bacterial Reduction (LABR) or Laser Periodontal Therapy. This procedure uses laser at a very low level to clean deep pockets that are difficult to clean properly with scraping,” he said. “Laser keeps the bacteria away for two months, allowing the gums to heal and the ligaments to reattach, compared to a deep cleaning that only keeps the bacteria at bay for 24 hours.”

Dr. Telloian and his team also offer orthodontics without braces, using a system called Myobrace. Using an appliance worn only at night, like a sports guard, the tongue habit and lip postures are corrected so the teeth are able to come in straight. “For most kids this is a good starting point. The system has been available in Europe for over 20 years, and is now catching on in the United States,” he said. The cost is comparable to traditional braces, but the benefits are substantial. “Braces can cause shortening of the roots, are hard to clean, and can break down the enamel. We see none of that with this system, plus by correcting swallowing and breathing problems it may prevent future sleep apnea,” he said.

Another unique aspect of Dr. Telloian’s practice is the use of a Neuromuscular based approach to TMJ or jaw dysfunction. Dr. Telloian explains, “This is an area of dentistry which looks at the relationship between the muscles in your face, your teeth, and your bite related to TMJ. Our theory is these issues are muscle related, so if we can get your muscles to relax, then your symptoms will go away. We have a computer system that helps find a position for your jaw where your muscles are relaxed and we create an appliance to put your mouth in that position.” Dr. Telloian has treated dozens of patients over the years using neuromuscular dentistry and they usually notice a difference after the first night, such as a lack of headaches the next day.

olympia dentist

Another unique aspect of Dr. Telloian’s practice is the use of a Neuromuscular based approach to TMJ or jaw dysfunction.

“Our philosophy is that we want to treat people in the most conservative way possible without surgery and drugs. Surgery can be a great option, and I’m glad we have it available, but it should be a last resort. I’ve had people come see me who were supposed to have surgery for TMJ and all they needed was to have their bite corrected. I make a splint for them and their pain goes away,” he said.

For Dr. Telloian, a large part of practicing preventative dentistry and promoting wellness is staying up-to-date on new research and techniques. In fact, Dr. Telloian was one of the first dentists in town to stop using silver fillings. “We realized that if we did a silver filling, and had any leftover material we had to dispose of it as hazardous waste. I wouldn’t want that in my mouth, so I’m not going to put it in my patient’s mouth. That was over 20 years ago,” he said.

And while Dr. Telloian and his team focus on wellness, they know the power of a great smile. “Cosmetic dentistry is a big part of what we like to do, and I’ve had a lot of training in this specialty. The biggest compliment I get when I do a smile makeover is people telling the patient they have pretty teeth or a beautiful smile,” he said. “The fun thing about smile makeovers is that they are instant. People look at their smile in the mirror and often begin to cry. It is very emotional. I love this work, because it changes people’s lives.”

Stillwater Dental Wellness Center

1930 Black Lake Blvd SW

Olympia, WA 98512



South Sound BBQ Festival Promises Fun Music, Good Company, and Great Food

Thurston Talk - Sun, 07/05/2015 - 6:00am



By Morgan Willie

south sound bbq festival

A barbecue enthusiast takes a bite during the South Sound BBQ Festival. Photo credit: Dan Nicholson.

Summer brings on a particular assortment of smells we’re all pretty familiar with. ‘Tis the season for wafts of sunscreen, salty air, fruity drinks, and fresh cut grass.

But, for Dan and Shelley Nicholson, co-chairs of the South Sound BBQ Festival committee, the smell of summer really lies in the piquant and memorable scent of a good old-fashioned backyard cookout.

The South Sound BBQ Festival is a celebration of Thurston County’s camaraderie and excellence among local businesses and associations. It’s a jamboree for all ages, featuring live music, children’s activities, a beer garden, raffle prizes, contests and – of course – grilled favorites by the plenty.

Barbecued beef brisket, chicken thighs, baby back ribs, and seafood will collide in a massive, mouthwatering spectacle at Huntamer Park on July 11. It’s an event you won’t want to miss.

Dan and Shelly both agree that sunshine and the smell of barbecue are enough to make for the perfect summer day, but the committee’s provided alternative and extra highlights so that everyone has something to enjoy.

A variety of vendors and booths will be attending the festival. You’ll find non-profits such as Homeless Backpacks and Habitat for Humanity, and for-profits like Westfield Capital Mall and Fred Meyer all lined up together. Plus, the Seattle Sea Gals are scheduled to make an appearance and our local radio stations too – Mixx 96.1, 96.9 KAYO, and 94.5 Roxy.

Sierra Burton, Event Coordinator for the Lacey Chamber of Commerce, has given her heart and soul these past months in preparation for the barbecue festival, working in tandem with Dan and Shelly. Sierra has a special affection for the event, and she can’t wait to see how this year’s occasion pans out.

south sound bbq festival

Lacey Chamber of Commerce event planners Karissa Benjamin and Sierra Burton pose with Dan and Shelly Nicholson of the South Sound BBQ Festival committee.

“Put it on your schedule now,” she urged. “I’m not just saying that because I’m in charge of it. Don’t question whether or not you should come because the festival is something where, if I’d known about it sooner, I would have been bringing my family each year.”

Sierra reminisced about the festival saying, “Last year was my first year, but my favorite part was probably the music. I was in ‘go-mode’ all day long, but I loved hearing the music as I was working. It was good to see how happy everybody was, and how much fun they were having.”

Dan also mentioned the jovial ambiance of the event.

“The overall atmosphere of the entire festival is awesome,” he said. “Everybody is happy and the community comes together. It’s fun for the whole family, I mean, it really is.”

Shelly noted that her favorite bit of the South Sound BBQ Festival is watching the kids division of the chicken wing eating contest.

“They get their faces covered,” she said. “They’re so intense.”

Shelly recommended getting to the festival as early as possible to sign up for the wing eating contests. She also noted that the first 750 people to arrive would receive a complimentary recipe booklet to recreate some of the festival’s menu items at home.

south sound bbq festival

A Backyard Joe and Jane cook up their signature dishes at the South Sound BBQ Festival, showing off what Thurston County brings to the table. Photo credit: Dan Nicholson.

The barbeque festival is your chance to experience the smells, sounds, and tastes of summer at full strength while contributing to local businesses and making new acquaintances. As Sierra said, “Put it on your schedule now.” It’s sure to be a grillin’ good time.


South Sound BBQ Festival

July 11 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Huntamer Park

618 Woodland Square Loop SE

Lacey, WA 98503


Calling All Vendors for 2015 Thurston County Fair

Thurston Talk - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 11:57am



Submitted by Thurston County Fair 

DDM Thurston County Fair-29Whether you sell clothing or crafts, tools and gadgets for home and garden, or toys and trinkets that are just plain fun, the 2015 Thurston County Fair has the perfect place for vendors of all kinds to get noticed and get customers. Vendors throughout the South Sound are invited to reserve a booth at this year’s fair, which opens Wednesday, July 29 and runs through Sunday, August 2.

Spaces throughout the fairgrounds are available, including inside spaces, covered outdoor spaces, and uncovered outdoor spaces, as well as spaces reserved for food concessions. Electrical and water hook-ups are also available. Contact the Thurston County Fair Office to find the best booth to fit your needs.

A booth at the Thurston County Fair is a great investment for any vendor, with an average of 33,000 fairgoers enjoying the sun and fun of Thurston County’s signature summer event each year. Local South Sound growers, artisans and business owners can get the best bang for their marketing buck with a booth at the fair where vendors can talk directly with customers and make sales on the spot.

For more information on the 2015 Thurston County Fair and to apply for a vendor booth or food concession space, contact the Thurston County Fair Office at (360) 786-5453 or visit

“Picture Yourself at the Thurston County Fair!”

July 29 – Aug. 2

Summer Fun is Heating Up with Thurston County 4-H Programs

Thurston Talk - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 11:51am



Submitted by Thurston County 4-H Program

thurston county fair

Talk with local kids about their animals during the Thurston County Fair.

School is out and the weather is warming up, which means the Thurston County “4-H Summer 4-Kids” program is just around the corner.

Registration is open for the Thurston County 4-H signature summer event. The 2015 program runs from Monday, July 13 through Thursday, July 16 for youth ages 8 to 12. The program includes action-packed days filled with activities and projects that are hands-on, educational and fun. Many of the projects can also be entered to compete at the Thurston County Fair July 29 through August 2.

The 4-H Summer 4-Kids program is open to 4-H members and non-members. Participants can choose to do a half-day program of just morning or afternoon sessions Monday through Thursday for $60, or they can choose to do the full-day program of morning and afternoon sessions Monday through Thursday for $120. But hurry, classes are limited to 10 students each, and registration is due by Wednesday, July 8. All sessions will be held at the Thurston County Fairgrounds at 3054 Carpenter Road SE in Lacey.

To learn more about the 4-H Summer 4-Kids program or to register your child, contact the Thurston County 4-H Office at or (360) 867-2153. The Thurston County 4-H Office also has lots of information about other 4-H programs available throughout the year for youth of all ages.

Be sure to join Thurston County 4-Hers as they show their projects and celebrate their accomplishments this year at the Thurston County Fair July 29 through August 2. Everything from animals to artwork will be on display, and 4-H club members will compete for the chance to show their projects at the Washington State Fair in September. Details about contests and events are on the Thurston County Fair web site at

thurston county fairThe Thurston County 4-H program is a partnership between the private, non-profit National 4-H Council, the Washington State University Extension program, and Thurston County government. What started as a handful of agricultural clubs for youth in the late 1800s and early 1900s has grown into a community of 400 members supporting 55 clubs in Thurston County, and 6 million young people across America learning about agricultural techniques, technology and research through practical “hands-on” learning.  The national 4-H organization is a unique partnership of the National 4-H Council, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 100 land-grant universities across the country, and more than 3,000 county offices that form the land-grant university Cooperative Extension System.

To learn more about all of the Thurston County 4-H programs and membership, visit or call (360) 867-2153. WSU Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination.

Healthy Homes Grow Healthier Kids

Thurston Talk - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 11:25am



Submitted by Thurston County Public Health & Social Services

olympia baby store

The home environment can play a big role in a child’s health.

Actions that protect and support healthy babies and young children can benefit those children their whole lives. Sadly, the flip side is also true: unhealthy conditions for babies and young children can adversely affect them throughout their lives as well.

The home environment can play a big role in a child’s health. For example, exposure to mold can lead to asthma and other respiratory problems. Household products (like some cleaning products or pesticides) can contain chemicals that cause immediate harm to an exposed child and/or disrupt development. Exposure to even a small amount of lead, which may be present in older homes due to lead-based paint, as a baby or young child can have life-long impacts on learning, reduce IQ, and cause behavior or hearing problems, slowed growth, and anemia.

How do we assure healthy living conditions for our children? Policies and regulations are one way. For example, beginning in 1978 lead was no longer added to paint; it was phased-out of use in gasoline beginning in the mid-1970s and was banned altogether from gas after 1995. Policies such as these have reduced our exposure to lead and have helped create healthier communities. But, we can’t rely on policies alone to protect our health; we can all take voluntary, preventive measures to promote healthier families and communities.

As a strategy to ensure healthier living conditions for all members of our community, Thurston Thrives partners are working to increase the number of well-maintained and weatherized rental homes, which will help reduce residents’ mold exposure, prevent other indoor environment problems, and cut energy costs.

County residents and businesses can bring hazardous waste to Hawks Prairie facility.

County residents and businesses can bring hazardous waste to Hawks Prairie HazoHouse facility.

A component of this is a rental housing rating system that measures health and energy efficiency criteria, which will provide people looking for rental housing with information about the quality of the units available to them, and create an incentive for landlords to improve their properties Fixing up the current housing stock in our community will make more housing available to meet the needs of a growing population, including those with limited incomes. Other strategies to achieve affordable, adequate and safe housing are highlighted in the Thurston Thrives housing strategy map:

What can you do in your home to protect yourself and loved ones from home environment hazards, including asthma triggers and toxic products? Start by cleaning your home regularly and keeping it well-maintained. Add regular damp dusting to your cleaning routine (lead is frequently found in dust, especially in homes built before 1978), prioritizing areas where painted surfaces are likely to rub and produce dust (around doors, windows or drawers), and keep painted surfaces in good repair. Take your shoes off at the doorway to avoid tracking lead and other hazardous materials found on roadways and soil into the home. Store products with warning labels that say DANGER, POISON, WARNING or CAUTION safely out of reach of children.

Dispose of these products at HazoHouse. Wash hands, pacifiers, and toys often, particularly if your child is at the stage where everything goes into her mouth. See our website for more information on creating Healthy Homes and other practical things you can do to protect kids from household hazards.

Stable and healthful housing is important to the health of each person in our community. This includes taking individual steps to improve our own living space. We also need to look at policies and systems that affect the whole of housing in the community for its affordability and quality, so that residents, and their children, live in healthy conditions whether they rent or own their homes.


Evergreen Named “Best Buy” College by Fiske Guide

Thurston Talk - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 11:19am



Submitted by The Evergreen State College

The Evergreen State College was named a "Best Buy" college by Fistke Guide, the only college in Washington; one of three on the west coast.

The Evergreen State College was named a “Best Buy” college by Fistke Guide, the only college in Washington; one of three on the west coast.

The Evergreen State College has been named a 2016 Best Buy School by the prestigious “Fiske Guide to Colleges.”

For the past 30 years Fiske has compiled an annual list of select educational institutions noted for quality academic offerings and affordable cost. The guide includes more than 300 of the nation’s best colleges and universities. The 2016 Fiske Guide Best Buy list is comprised of 20 public and 24 private colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain.

Evergreen is the only college in Washington state to be listed as a Best Buy institution and one of three on the West Coast, along with the University of Oregon and Oregon State University.

All Best Buy schools fall into the inexpensive or moderate price category and most picks have four or five-star academics ratings. “Fiske Guide to Colleges” was created by former “New York Times” education editor, Edward B. Fiske, once the top independent voice in college admissions.

The Evergreen State College serves more than 4000 students and is nationally recognized for its distinctive interdisciplinary approach, narrative evaluations and emphasis on learning by doing. The college also offers an upper division program in Tacoma and three graduate programs: Master in Teaching, Master of Public Administration (including a tribal governance concentration) and Master of Environmental Studies. Thanks to recent legislative action, Evergreen’s resident undergraduate tuition is expected to be reduced by five percent for the 2015-16 academic year and another 15 percent for the 2016-17 academic year. Evergreen also offers more than 100 scholarship opportunities based on merit, need or course of study.


Kickstart Your Summer at South Sound Trucks in Olympia

Thurston Talk - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 7:00am



south sound trucks

South Sound Trucks features a selection of more than 300 used trucks, jeeps and SUVs.

Summer is here and your calendar is full with fun-filled getaways and adventures. There is just one tiny problem: your commuter car does not have the power you need to tow, climb and tackle the off-road routes you have penciled in on your summer itinerary.

Like with any vehicle purchase, choosing the big rig that best suits your needs and budget is important. With a wide selection of used trucks, jeeps and SUVs, and a knowledgeable staff who can help you navigate your way through your options, finding the right pickup or sports utility vehicle is easy at South Sound Trucks in Olympia.

From boating and camping to home improvement projects and more, many of the activities people enjoy during the summer months require a little bit more horsepower than a sedan can provide. Because of this, South Sound Trucks in Olympia is not surprised that the days between June and September are its busiest of the year.

“Right now, this is when our season really turns on,” said South Sound Trucks’ Sales Manager, Brian Edwards. With camping season just beginning, Edwards said people are flocking to the lot in search of powerful vehicles equipped to tow their campers, boats and other gear.

For serious campers who plan on doing a bit of off-roading, Edwards recommends Forerunners, Pathfinders and jeeps for hauling your tent and coolers to the campground, with Jeep Wranglers being one of the dealership’s top sellers.

Of course, if you have a bigger haul to tow, Edwards recommends a 250 or 350 diesel truck for pulling boats and campers. “You can pull your travel trailers, dirt bikes and quads. A 250 or 350 diesel truck will pull all of that,” said Edwards. And you will not have to retire your truck come winter if activities like snowboarding and skiing pique your interest. Edwards said these trucks pack a big punch of power for climbing snow-covered mountain passes in the winter.

south sound trucks

Your next truck or SUV is waiting at South Sound Trucks.

With more and more trucks featuring bigger, roomier cabs, Edwards said smaller F150s like Chevy Silverados and Toyota Tundras are ideal for towing small boats and trailers, all while providing room for the whole family to squeeze in. In fact, Edwards said with more spacious interiors, F150s are becoming a modern-day replacement for once popular minivans, offering parents the versatility of two vehicles in one.

When it comes to choosing which truck, jeep or SUV is right for you, Edwards said the best way is to simply visit South Sound Trucks in Olympia firsthand and seeing what is available on the sales lot with your own eyes. “Come down to the dealership and drive a few,” said Edwards. “Depending on what activities you are into, we can pick out two or three vehicles that match your interest.”

Edwards said at the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. “We sell pretty much every make and model, and if we don’t have exactly what you want, we have the ability to go out and purchase what you’re looking for,” Edwards explained. As part of I-5 Cars, South Sound Trucks has access to hundreds of trucks, jeeps and SUVs, so even if you do not see what you are looking for, South Sound Trucks in Olympia can help you find the pickup or sports utility vehicle you want.

And with South Sound Trucks’ new accessory shop, Edwards said it is easier than ever to outfit your truck, jeep or SUV with aftermarket-everything. From LED light bars and custom bumpers to tinted windows and more, South Sound Trucks’ accessory shop has everything you need to personalize your new ride or update your old one. “We do it all,” said Edwards.

If you are thinking about adding a vehicle to your driveway that can better accommodate your summer adventures, South Sound Trucks is a great place to start your search.

South Sound Trucks in Olympia is open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

For more information about South Sound Truck, visit South Sound Trucks’ website or call South Sound Trucks in Olympia at 888-289-5111.

Six Quintessential Hood Canal Hikes

Thurston Talk - Sat, 07/04/2015 - 6:44am



By Douglas Scott

glen ayr lucky dog casinoWashington’s Hood Canal is known for natural beauty, stunning views and some of the best hikes in America. With glaciated mountains, gorgeous river valleys, incredible waterfalls and jaw-dropping panoramic images, it is little wonder why the Hood Canal region of the Olympic Peninsula is one of the fastest growing tourist areas in Washington.

Along Hood Canal, hundreds of miles await hikers and explorers of all levels, which can make finding the perfect hike a little overwhelming. However, there are six hikes that are each perfect representatives of the beauty of the wilderness along the Hood Canal. From views of Seattle and the volcanos of the Cascades Mountain Range, to glaciated mountains with goats, and gorgeous river side trails passing waterfalls, the trails of Hood Canal need to be your hiking destination. For more hikes on Olympic Peninsula, get your copy of the definitive guidebook to the region.


hood canal hikes

Family-friendly and dog-friendly, Murhut Falls gives impressive views to Hood Canal hikers.

Murhut Falls:

Distance: 1.6 miles round trip

Elevation gain: 250ft

Level: Easy

Murhut Falls is one of the more iconic waterfalls on the Olympic Peninsula, and the trail to get here is family-friendly, dog-friendly and accessible year round. Located above the Duckabush River, Murhut Falls is a two-tiered beauty, plunging a total of 170 feet. The trail is well-maintained and easy to follow, leading to a small observation area where both sections of the waterfall are visible. Those more adventurous can access Murhut Creek and the falls at their own risk, descending a steep embankment.


Mount Walker:

Distance: Less than 1-5 miles round trip

Elevation: 0-2,000 feet

Level: Easy to moderate

Mount Walker is accessible by a long, steep hike, or a short drive up a winding dirt road, both offering incredible views of the entire Puget Sound, including great views of the city of Seattle. Most will take the driving option to the top, as it makes for a perfect side trip from the drive up Highway 101, often times getting above the marine layer of clouds. With vistas of the Olympic Mountains in one direction, and the Puget Sound and Mount Rainier in the other, Mount Walker is a local favorite. For those looking to hike to the top, the trail is dog-friendly, fun and well-maintained, making it a great hike year round.


hood canal hikes

Take a dip in the Skokomish River during a warm day hike at Staircase.

Staircase Rapids Loop

Distance: 2 miles round trip

Elevation: 200 feet

Level: Easy

Weaving along the Skokomish River, the Staircase Loop Trail is one of the best loop trails in Olympic National Park. Passing old growth forests, tumbling rapids, and herds of elk, the Staircase Rapids Loop trail gives families and day hikers a chance to see the beauty of the rarely visited northeastern corner of Olympic. Mostly flat, this will maintained trail is phenomenal year round, even giving hikers a place to dip in the Skokomish River on a hot summer day. The trail is capped off with a nice bridge that crosses just above the rapids section of the river, with places to have a picnic located on either side. The Staircase region has numerous hiker of all levels, but the loop trail is one everyone should hike.


hood canal hike

Mount Ellinor offers an expansive, panoramic view.

Mount Ellinor

Distance: 3.2 miles round trip

Elevation: 2,400 feet

Level: Moderate

Mount Ellinor is possibly the most popular hike on the Hood Canal, and for good reason. Offering one of the best panoramic views in America, hikers who make the steep trek up to this rocky summit are rewarded with views of the Cascade volcanos, the entire Olympic Mountain Range, Hood Canal, Lake Cushman, Puget Sound, and even views of the city of Seattle. Populated with mountain goats and occasional marmots, the Mount Ellinor trail is a hike that everyone needs to complete. The trail is steep, but if you start at the upper trailhead, you save miles and elevation gain, making it a long day hike for even the newest of hikers, as long as they are prepared. Be aware that mountain goat encounters are common, so remain 50 yards from them at all times.


Mount Rose

Distance: 6.3 miles round trip

Elevation: 3,334 feet

Level: Moderate

hood canal hikes

Marmot Pass is another dog-friendly hike with outstanding views.

Mount Rose is often overlooked, as it sits above Lake Cushman in-between the more popular hiking destinations of Mount Ellinor and Staircase, yet this short, family-friendly, steep trail offers amazing views and great memories. The trail starts out flat, but quickly starts to climb, eventually leading to a fork in the trail after a series of switchbacks. Both forks lead to the summit, but the option to the right is the best way to go. The route might be a little longer, but it is less steep and more manageable. At the summit, take in the views of Lake Cushman, the Skokomish River valley, Mount Rainier, Mount Adams and Mount Saint Helens.


Marmot Pass

Distance: 11.5 miles round trip

Elevation: 3,500 feet

Level: Marmot Pass gives day hikers some of the best of everything on the Olympic Peninsula. Starting off, the dog-friendly trail gets hikers alongside the beautiful Big Quilcene River before climbing up through a valley, leading to a saddle of a ridge. Climbing to 6,000 feet, the trail slowly climbs through a small valley, leading straight up to Marmot Pass. With amazing views behind you, hold off on looking back until you reach the iconic signpost. With views above the Dungeness Valley and the Olympic interior to the east and the mouth of the Hood Canal and Mount Baker looking over the Salish Sea to the east, the view from 6,000 feet will leave you in awe. Buckhorn Mountain is near, seemingly easy to climb in this uniquely dry terrain on the famously wet Olympic Peninsula.

Orca Books event: Geologist Dave Tucker will talk about his new book "Geology Underfoot in Western Washington"

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 8:12pm
Event:  Fri, 07/24/2015 - 7:00pm

A FREE author event at Orca Books, 509 4th Ave E. in downtown Olympia.

Geologist Dave Tucker will talk about his new book "Geology Underfoot in Western Washington", a popular field guide to 22 geologic sites, including the Mima Mounds, Rainbow Falls State Park, and more. Geoscientist Dave Tucker narrates Western Washington's geologic tales, covering sites from its low-lying shorelines to its rugged mountaintops.

Dave Tucker has a master's degree in geology and is a research associate in the geology department at Western Washington University. He is a director of the Mount Baker Volcano Research Center, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that raises funds to support research at the active volcano and educate the public about volcanic hazards of Mount Baker. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Roger Shimomura’s An American Knockoff

South Sound Arts - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 8:22am

Pop Art that Packs a Punch
Published in the Weekly Volcano, July 2, 2015"American Infamy #5" acrylic on canvas, collection of Jordan Schnitzer, Portland, Ore. Photo courtesy Tacoma Art Museum
The Roger Shimomura painting exhibition at Tacoma Art Museum mines the tradition of pop art and the history of Japanese-American relations to skewer prejudice and stereotype with painfully satirical paintings.Shimomura, an American artist living in Seattle, was born to a Japanese family shortly before the outbreak of World War II. He and his family were interned in the Minidoka War Relocation Camp in Idaho for two years when he was a small child. Wall text for the show states that his earliest memories are from the camp. Much of the history of his years at Minidoka are illustrated in paintings in this exhibition.“Far too many American-born citizens of Asian descent continue to be thought of as only American knockoffs,” Shimomura writes. “This latest series of paintings is an attempt to ameliorate the outrage of these misconceptions by depicting myself battling those stereotypes, or in tongue-in-cheek fashion, becoming those very same stereotypes.”There are self-portraits of the artist in the guise of American icons including George Washington, Superman, Popeye, Mickey Mouse, and a host of comic book characters. We see him fighting other Americans, and we see him fighting Japanese, Chinese and other enemies, all to satirically prove himself a real. In some of these battles — most noticeably those with the Chinese, wherein he appears as Chairman Mao among other apparitions — he is battling the notion that all Asians look alike.Although most of his images attack stereotypes with humor, his paintings of life in the internment camp are dead serious depictions of too-real history. The most powerful image in the show, both graphically and in terms of content, is “American Infamy #5.” Painted in a comic-book style, it is a birds’-eye view of the camp with three soldiers on a guard tower in the foreground. Two of the soldiers are holding rifles; one mans a machine gun. In a printed statement, the artist explains that while the government said the machine guns were aimed outside, they were in fact aimed inward at the people living in the camps. Ominous black clouds hang over the camp.  One of the soldier’s faces is black and in shadow, while the other one grimaces. None look toward the viewer. It is a menacing image.Also powerful is a simple group of 10 small, childlike paintings depicting 10 days in the camp. One of the last ones is called “Santa comes to visit in the mess hall.” Santa is seen in silhouette through a window and behind barbed wire. Next to it is a picture of when a child from back home in Seattle comes to visit and they can touch each other only by reaching through the barbed wire.The paintings are executed in a style derived from comic books and from pop art. The majority of them are  large, colorful, and beautifully designed, with figures grouped to create abstract patterns that force the eye to move around the canvas. One group of four paintings acknowledges Shimomua’s influences by containing a “brushstroke” borrowed from Roy Lichtenstein and copies of Andy Warhol’s portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor in collage-like compositions with Japanese women in traditional garb.“Halloween” depicts a group of kids trick-or-treating in Halloween costumes. They are all white except for one African-American, and they are chasing the kid in the Japanese soldier costume like angry villagers with pitchforks and brooms chasing the Frankenstein monster. In a wall text, the artist explains that when they were kids nobody wanted to wear the Japanese costume because they were all taught to hate and fear the Japs. In various forms, some humorous and some not, this is the underlying message of all his paintings.This is the kind of show that makes Tacoma Art Museum a local treasure.Roger Shimomura’s An American Knockoff, Tue.-Sun. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Third Thursday 10 a.m. to –8 p.m., through Sept. 13, $12-$14, Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave. Tacoma,

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Olympia 4th of July Weekend Event Calendar

Thurston Talk - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 6:12am



washington center logoIt’s a simple formula – beautiful sunshine, delicious food on the BBQ, and good friends.  This is the recipe for what makes an Independence Day celebration memorable at our house.  Regardless of how you choose to celebrate your freedom, stick with

Show us your patriotic spirit by sharing a photo of how you like to celebrate the 4th of July.  Email it to us at

Here is what is going on around Olympia this weekend.

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 For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, visit our events calendar.


Take an Award-Winning Beer Tour around Thurston County (Plus 4 Summer Brew Fests)

Thurston Talk - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 6:00am



By Nikki McCoy

VCB logoIn Thurston County, we love our beer. Since the close of our historic Olympia Brewery in 2003, there has been a resurgence of craft breweries, bringing delicious beers and passionate brewers back to our region.

We’re lucky each of these craft breweries is unique. While the goals of brew masters and bar owners are ultimately the same – great beer and happy customers – the passion behind each of these breweries shines through, both in atmosphere of the establishment, and flavor of the beer.

It’s the latter quality that determines which breweries won Washington Beer Awards during the 10th annual Washington Brewers Festival June 19 -21. Using blind format under the Brewers Association Style Guidelines, 716 beers were judged in the competition, entered by 107 Washington breweries. Out of those entries, three Thurston County Breweries took home medals. Neighboring Lewis County took home one.

top rung brewery

Top Rung’s My Dog Scout Stout took Gold in the American Stout category of the Washington Beer Awards.

Here, we take at look at those winners, as well as some up-and-comers. Plus, get the lowdown on this summer’s brew fests.

Top Rung Brewing – 8343 Hogum Bay Lane NE, Lacey

Top Rung Brewing garnered Gold for their My Dog Scout Stout in the American Stout category of the Washington Beer Awards. The brewery is known for its family-friendly atmosphere (games available, but bring your own food) and of course, the origin of the company – beer-loving firefighters.

“I feel there is a kinship with the brewers being firemen. I hear all the time how a fireman in a customer’s life has come to their need or aid,” says Mike Besser, beer ambassador for Top Rung. “With that it is easy to see how my brewers Jason and Casey have developed a great following.  They have been brewing for five years as home brewers and now as professionals a little over a year.  They take the passion and love for great beer and pass it on in what they brew.”

Fish Brewing Company – 515 Jefferson Street SE, Olympia

Fish Brewing Company was awarded Washington State Brewery of the Year Award, based on wins in multiple style categories. Fish’s longevity in the community is sustained by their menu, their beers and ciders, and their pub, all boasting Northwest flair.

Fish Tale Organic IPA, Leavenworth Boulder Bend Dunkelweizen, and Leavenworth Premium Lager all won gold medals while Leavenworth Whistling Pig Hefeweizen took home Silver.

“Capturing this award is enormous,” says Sal Leone, CEO and president of Fish, in a press release. “It has been our priority recently to improve our beers and company branding. This award proves that our hard work has paid off. I am extremely proud of our brewery staff and their hard work.”

three magnets olympia

“Olympia Brewfest is a wild mix of people,” says Three Magnets manager Blake Brady, “but it’s really fun to just nerd out about beer.” Visit Blake along with head brewer Pat Jansen, and owner Nate Reilly, at this year’s Olympia Brewfest, taking place Saturday, Aug 1, at the Port Plaza in downtown Olympia.

Three Magnets Brewing – 600 Franklin Street SE, Olympia

Downtown Olympia’s Three Magnets Brewing Company, the love-child of Darby’s and great beer, took home Bronze for their Barley Wine. A great place to bring family and out-of-town guests, ‘3 Mags’ is a hub for beer enthusiasts. They also serve a delicious Jamburger.

Head brewer Pat Jensen speaks to the state of the brew scene in Thurston County. “There is an incredible and sustained amount of enthusiasm. I expect to see several more nanos open in the next few years as well as several more production/brewpubs,” he says.

“We are all extremely busy keeping up with production so the interest from the public is strong,” Jensen continues. “One of my main concerns is the knowledge base of our brewing community and an understanding of beer quality at a fundamental level. To this point, we have all been real open in challenging each other to keep quality up. The free exchange of information – so much a part of the wider brewing community – is strong in Thurston County. My personal goal is, as always, clean beer and having fun.”

Dick’s Brewing Company – 3516 Galvin Road, Centralia

While not technically in Thurston County, many locals embrace Dick’s Brewing Company, with company headquarters based just south of the county line.

Picking up Bronze for both their Cream Stout and Imperial Red, Dick’s is also recognized for their custom sausage. Sample their award-winning beer at the brewery itself, or head down the street to Northwest Sausage & Deli, to try one of 11 Dick’s Beers on tap (or homemade root beer) while enjoying craft made lunch meats and sausages. Keep an eye out for their new location in downtown Centralia, set to open this summer.

dicks beer homebrew contest

Dave Pendelton, Brew Master at Dick’s Brewing, celebrates two recent medals for his beers.

Back in Thurston County, new kids on the brew block include Triceratops Brewing Company, a nano-brewery in West Olympia. Production only, the beers are on rotation at Three Magnets, Rhythm & Rye, Eastside Club Tavern and Northwest Beerwerks.

Also on the radar is O – Town Brewing. Formerly Kastelan Brewing, this one is also a production-only nano-craft brewery with influences in Northwest and European styles. It’s also the first brewery to open and stick around since Fish Brewing. Find it at restaurants and in tap rooms.

In downtown Olympia, Cascadia Homebrew is both brewing and selling on premise. A hybrid of taproom/supply store/nano-brewery, the shop also features a guest tap.


Keep an eye out for local breweries at the following summer festivals:

  • Olympia Brewfest – Saturday, Aug 1, 30+ breweries, $25/advance, $30/door, Port Plaza, Olympia.
  • Tumwater Artesian Brewfest – Saturday, Aug 22, 45 breweries, $20, Tumwater Valley Golf Course, Tumwater.
  • Brats, Brews and Bands – Saturday, Sept 12, $15, Area/Building 27, South Puget Sound Community College, Olympia.
  • Oktoberfest – Saturday, Sept 26, Fish Brewing Company, Olympia.


fish brewing olympia

Fish Brewing Company won Washington Beer Awards Brewery of the Year. Visit them as part of Thurston County’s Award-Winning Brewery Tour and taste for yourself.

Beer Bonus – To keep posted on the area’s brew happenings, follow these folks:

Peaks and Pints – Daily Beer and Mountain Culture – also on Instagram – In search of the Ultimate Barley Pop (Top Rung’s Mike Besser)

Washington Beer Blog – Everything Beer in the Evergreen State

South Sound Craft Crawl – Join this crawl club, and tour Top Rung, Fish Brewing and Three Magnets, as well as 12 other South Sound breweries.


Summer Libations to Keep Cool around Olympia

Thurston Talk - Fri, 07/03/2015 - 6:00am



By Mary Ellen Psaltis

olympia furnitureI love the sunshine and the long days. When it’s warm I also love being refreshed. It’s time to keep the liquids flowing, especially when the temperatures climb. What are you drinking to stay cool and hydrated? I asked around.

Tamarind-Peach Ade

Giovanni Shore lets his inner chef shine. Any time I stop to chat at his stand at the Olympia Farmer’s Market, Sullivan’s Homestead, he tempts me with inspired recipes that he creates with a collage of herbs, spices and all things fresh. “I’m into tamarind lately,” when I quizzed him about summer drinks.

summer drinks olympia

Bonnie Butler volunteers for every Harlequin Productions show. She’s enthused about The Flower Child drink created by Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs.

Though lesser known in the United States, tamarind, a pod-like fruit, is often used in Africa, Southeast Asia, China, Mexico, to name a few. Shore’s latest concoction is Peach-Tamarind Ade. As he explained, “It’s very refreshing and pleasantly astringent.” I will concur. I had planned to get a piece of tamarind paste and soak it in water, but found a tamarind and sugar mixture at Ramirez Mexican Store. The tamarind flavor was mild but a nice compliment to the peaches, which were straight from the market. All you need is some tamarind, peaches, sugar and water. You can mix the amounts as you please. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime, shave in a little ginger or drop in a spring of mint. Look for the next wave of peaches, Brittany Lane and Early Red Havens, to arrive soon.

The Flower Child

Harlequin Productions’s summer show, Sixties Chicks, is making a big splash. Hopefully you already have your tickets. Linda Whitney, Artistic Director, designed a signature cocktail: The Flower Child. With the help of Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs, the bright beverage features hibiscus liquor, chilled vodka and a splash of San Pellegrino Limonata. Be warned – they go down smooth and easy. Mark Alford, Development Manager, sighed, “It’s so good… it’s very good.”

You can easily create cocktails of your own with the many choices at Salish Sea. Sam Desner considers the hibiscus the most versatile, getting reports from customers who use it over ice cream, and in truffles, frosting and in Italian sodas. Liquors are meant to add character and impart flavors. Sam’s favorite summer cooler at the moment is hibiscus mango lemonade. The mango lemonade comes from the grocery store and the liquor from his own stores.

Raspberry Wheat Beer

summer drinks olympia

Casey Sobol, firefighter and Brewery Operations Manager for Top Rung Brewing is happy to find a beer for your taste.

My customary bike route takes me past Top Rung Brewing Company on Hogum Bay Lane. I’ve seen customers relaxing outside at the tables under the umbrellas and wanted to see inside. It’s big, as they are brewing everything right there. Casey Sobol, co-owner and Brewery Operations Manager, showed me a chalkboard of choices, but suggested the Raspberry Wheat as a summer delight. It’s a little sweet and pleasantly light. Sobol noted that the Initiative ISA is also popular. ISA is Indian Session Ale, which means the alcohol content is 4.5% or lower. This can be important if you are drinking more than one.

Iced Tea and V-8 Vegetable Juice

Will Wilson, fitness enthusiast, has been lifting weights since he was a teenager. He recently celebrated his 60th birthday. To say the least, he’s in excellent condition. Wilson is retired from 21 years in the Army, which included serving in the Gulf. Perhaps being a mail handler for the last 16 years has contributed to his fitness. Or maybe it’s the Monday morning Pilates and body conditioning classes he teaches at Briggs Community branch of the South Sound YMCA. Wilson nudges up his vegetable intake by drinking a V-8.

summer drinks olympia

Army veteran, Will Wilson, keeps in shape with V-8, tea and lots of working out.

He’s also fond of sweet tea. By my definition, the sweet tea purchased at the store is overloaded with sugar (about 5 teaspoons per cup.) It’s easy and inexpensive to make your own, and you can still have it sweet if you must. Brew your favorite black tea (or any tea) for 5 minutes. Add refined sugar (it melts quickly, but regular granulated is fine). Three teaspoons per cup ought to be sweet enough. Test this yourself.

Iced Mocha

A pedicure is an excellent way to cool off on a warm day. I asked LA Nails owner Phuong Nguyen and her sister Hoa Nguyen what they likes to drink. The consensus was an iced mocha. There are lots of options for that drink in the county. You might go check out one of these options. Click here.

Good Old Fashioned Water

Fill your own bottles and jars at the Olympia’s Artesian Well. There are also various events there. This delicious beverage is amazingly free.

Eat Well – Be Well


Top Rung Brewing Releases “Falconer’s Flight 7C’s the Hop” Pale as part of Pale Series

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/02/2015 - 9:21pm



Submitted by Top Rung Brewing Company

top rung featuredOn July 3rd we will release the third beer in our Pale series.  “Falconer’s Flight 7C’s Hop” Pale will be the third of our Pale Ale’s released throughout 2015.  In each Pale release we will highlight and celebrate a different hop.

This is a citrusy and fruity hop which adds to the Pale Ale malt flavor.  You will find a good amount of pineapple and peachy citrus bite to the beer.  The finish has an earth like quality which is a quality of the Falconer Flight 7C’s Hop.

This will be a great summer beer with the dog days of summer approaching.  We have found that this beer will be perfect for that backyard BBQ. Great with Burgers, Hotdogs and those famous big flavor Ribs. Developed in 2011 at Hop Union a pellet blend comprised of seven “C” hops and additional experimental varieties.

Top Rung Brewing is a 10 barrel production brewery with tasting room at the brewery. Top Rung Brewing is a destination for craft beer drinkers to enjoy their beverage and view a production brewery facility.  Our tasting room is family friendly and while we will only offer snacks, we partner with local food vendors and food trucks as well as allow patrons to bring in their own food of their choice or have it delivered.  Top Rung Brewing: bringing quality craft beer to Lacey.

Falconer’s Flight 7C’s the Hop Pale Ale Statistics:  ABV: 5.7%, IBU: 40, SRM: 10


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