Recent local blog posts

We Call This Home: Kathy Gore-Fuss at Salon Refu

South Sound Arts - Tue, 10/18/2016 - 9:15am
Photo: “And They Call This Home,” oil on linen panel by Kathy Gore Fuss, courtesy of the artist

Reviewed in the Weekly Volcano and Oly Arts

“And They Call This Home,” oil on linen panel by Kathy Gore-Fuss, courtesy of the artist“Windswept,” oil on paper by Kathy Gore-Fuss, courtesy of the artistThe exhibition of drawings and paintings by Kathy Gore-Fuss at Salon Refu offers proof positive that practice makes perfect. Gore Fuss has been making art for a long time. She was one of the first artists I met when I moved to Olympia in 1988. She was good then, and she’s been getting progressively better ever since. When she started plein air painting in the dense forests in and around Olympia and later at the gritty, industrial Port of Olympia a few years ago, she found her truest voice and her raison d’etre. She and the subject of her painting have become one. 

Read the complete review inOly Arts.
the Weekly Volcano. 
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Running, Writing and Metals – The Many Interests of Olympia Senior Max Leung-Wagner

Thurston Talk - Tue, 10/18/2016 - 8:54am


Before entering high school, Max Leung-Wagner’s days consisted primarily of writing and watching TV. You could usually find him on the couch, channel surfing in his pursuit of something interesting, or at the computer, writing fiction. He would never be working on just one novel, but a handful of stories forcing him to constantly juggle a […]

Elephant & Piggie's "We are in a Play!" at Olympia Family Theater

South Sound Arts - Tue, 10/18/2016 - 8:34am
Joanna Gibson as Piggie and Isaac McKenzsieSullivan as Gerald, photo by Alexis SarahJoanna Gibson plays Piggie in her OFT debut. Gibson is an acrobat and circus aerialist who teaches at Olympia Community School. She is a bundle of energy, running and jumping and dancing all over the place with a smile that lights up the world. Her exuberant acting reminds me a lot of another OFT favorite, Kate Ayers, who happens to be the director of this play.
Read the complete review on Oly Arts
Also in the Weekly Volcano
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Lauren Love Brings New Energy to SPSCC’s Drama Department

Thurston Talk - Tue, 10/18/2016 - 6:00am


Drama professor Dr. Lauren Love was drawn to the incredible facilities at South Puget Sound Community College. The Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts is a state of the art auditorium. But, it is the community that has cemented her belief that she made the right choice in coming to Olympia and the drama […]

The Painted Palace & Miss Moffett’s Mystical Cupcakes Announce Partnership

Thurston Talk - Mon, 10/17/2016 - 7:47am


Submitted by Miss Moffett’s Mystical Cupcakes  The Painted Palace, which was once known simply as a party venue for princess parties and paint & sip events, now offers all of that plus a lot more. Open seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., they are a full service café, offering espresso, crepes, beer […]

Adopt-a-Pet Dog of the Week

Thurston Talk - Mon, 10/17/2016 - 7:35am


Submitted by Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton This lovely young girl is Coco who is a 3-year-old, 56-pound, Pit mix who is super sweet. She has been spayed, is current on her vaccinations, and is now ready to find her forever home. Coco is a very loving and gentle girl who loves kids of all ages. She […]

The Extraordinary Life of Prairie Rose Hyde

Thurston Talk - Mon, 10/17/2016 - 6:00am


Born in rural Idaho and raised in Washington’s Okanogan County, Prairie Rose Hyde came from humble beginnings. “My parents were very ‘back to the land’ types,” Hyde said. “We were very poor. My dad worked for ranchers but we lived on assistance programs.” Fortunately Hyde excelled in school and was awarded a scholarship to Whitman […]

Jack Potter – Homeless Olympia Veteran Creates Charity For Other Homeless Vets

Thurston Talk - Mon, 10/17/2016 - 6:00am


Jack Potter never expected to be homeless. He’d actually begun working on Veterans Christian Charity, an organization to help homeless veterans get off the street, when his life took a dramatic turn. On April 13, 2016, he suddenly found himself on the other side of the equation when violence in his living situation left him […]

Digital Cold Turkey: Black Hills High School Students Give Up Phones as Part of Today Show Television Episode

Thurston Talk - Mon, 10/17/2016 - 5:55am


Jessica Aguilar had no desire to give up her cell phone – not for a day, let alone a week. But when NBC’s Today Show came calling at Black Hills High School, looking for students willing to conduct a seven day experiment on teenagers’ relationship to digital technology, she found herself agreeing. “I actually did not […]

Volunteer Planting & Habitat Revegetation Workshop

OlyBlog Home Page - Sun, 10/16/2016 - 3:49pm
Event:  Sat, 11/12/2016 - 10:00am - 4:30pm

Replant a Wetland/Riparian Buffer
On Saturday, November 12th volunteers will enjoy a day of restoring a wetland buffer and riparian forest in this South Thurston Capitol Land Trust property, supported by staff from WSU Extension/Native Plant Salvage Foundation and Thurston County Water Resources/ Stream Team.  This is a great opportunity to learn about native plants best suited to different conditions while restoring the ecological function of this wetland and adjacent forest complex. 

Volunteers are also invited to assist on November 9th & 10th to prepare for the event.

Register by emailing or at Directions and further information will be sent out to registered volunteers prior to the event. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Volunteer Planting and Beaver Habitat Exploration

OlyBlog Home Page - Sun, 10/16/2016 - 3:46pm
Event:  Sun, 10/30/2016 - 10:00am - 4:30pm

Join us at a beautiful Capitol Land Trust property to learn about beaver habitat and ecological restoration, all while helping re-plant a restored wetland system. All helping hands are welcome to volunteer, supported by us and our partners, Thurston County Water Resources/Stream Team, for an invigorating day of volunteering and learning.

Volunteer for however many (or few!) hours you want to, or just come to learn this Sunday, October 30th anytime between 10:00 a.m. - 4:30p.m. We'll have hot drinks and food to keep you fueled throughout the day.

Location:  The Tilley Wetlands Preserve is an extraordinary ecosystem, providing important habitat to wildlife including elk, beavers, porcupine, innumerable songbirds, and diverse waterfowl species.

Workshop:  At 10:30 a.m., Thurston Co. environmental educator Chris Maun will provide an overview of beaver habitat and behavior. We’ll spend the rest of the time learning about the plants that will help return this area to natural function while replanting the wetland. 

Carpools will be organized from Olympia’s west side, or meet at the site. Volunteers are also invited to assist on October 27th & 28th to prepare for the event. Please let us know if you are interested in one either of those prep dates.

Ask questions or RSVP by emailing Directions will be sent upon registration.

Don't forget to check out our website for more great fall and winter opportunities! logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Explore a Bog and Help Restore a Forest

OlyBlog Home Page - Sun, 10/16/2016 - 3:40pm
Event:  Sun, 10/23/2016 - 12:00pm - 4:30pm

Curious about what bog habitat looks like? Want to help restore forest habitat? Join WSU Extension/Native Plant Salvage for a bog workshop and planting event in South Thurston County on Sunday, October 23, from noon to 4:30 p.m. Volunteers will have the chance to explore a special bog habitiat on property owned by the Capitol Land Trust (CLT) and learn about the unique plants visible in fall. Volunteers will be replanting a forest understory on where CLT has recently removed invasive ivy.

Directions and more info upon registration by contacting or calling (360) 867-2167.  

More great upcoming events can be found at: logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Experience Another World at Wat Prachum Raingsey

Thurston Talk - Sun, 10/16/2016 - 6:00am


Cold rain drizzles outside but inside is an explosion of color, light, sound and scent. Hundreds of people, all decked out in their finest clothing, crowd into the small gathering space at Wat Prachum Raingsey in Yelm. Everyone is laughing, talking and greeting friends and family, each bearing food and other offerings for the ceremony. Today marks […]

Lisa Gifford – Leading Business, Growing Community for 35 Years at Alliance Enterprises, Inc.

Thurston Talk - Sun, 10/16/2016 - 6:00am


Thirty-five years ago, a woman leading a technology company was nearly unheard of. In fact, women simply working in the emerging technology field was fairly rare. Defying stereotypes, Lisa Gifford and her husband Rick started Alliance Enterprises, Inc. in 1981. Although not re-named Alliance until 1996, the team at the helm has consistently led the […]

John Hutchings (yet everyone knows him as Hutch) preaches ignorantly about how Home Rule and county government works

Olympia Time - Sat, 10/15/2016 - 7:53am

During a recent debate with Jim Cooper, John Hutchings told a tale about why he isn't necessarily in love with the idea of county government becoming more representative.

But, he get's most of it really really wrong. A little disclosure, I am a member of Better Thurston, which advocates for Home Rule and a charter form of government. So is Jim Cooper.

1. Hutchings says we would need to amend the comprehensive plan if we decided to have home rule.

Just quickly, the comprehensive plan is a document required by the Growth Management Act, basically where certain buildings will be built and where people will eventually live.

A charter is how county government is organized.

They have nothing to do with each other.

2. He says we'd have an unelected super bureaucrat vetoing decisions by elected officials. Hutchings:

The charter would also have a component of an executive manager for the county. And no matter what the people want and what the commissioners vote on, the executive manager, who is not an elected position would have veto power. And, I don’t think I like that because that takes what the peoples’ wishes are away from the people. 
Oh man, where to start.

First, in the charter process it is up to an elected group (a disappearing committee) to write a county charter, essentially a county constitution of how political power is divided up through the county. How many seats on the county commissioner? Is the clerk elected? That kind of thing. So, that anything at all (like a veto wielding bureaucrat) would be required is false.

If you look at charter counties throughout Washington, you see a significant diversity of how they manage their own affairs. Whatcom has a non-partisan county commission with seven members and an elected executive. Both San Juan and Clallam stuck at three commissioners.  King County has a nine-member non-partisan council.

That said, Hutchings says that an executive manager could veto decisions by an elected body. So, more than a few of these charter counties did decided to go with a council or commission appointed administrator. This is, in fact, very similar to the forms of governments of Lacey, Tumwater and Olympia. The elected officials approve a budget and policy and the manager executes it.

While this gives the administrator day-to-day control of the county government, they can not veto a damn thing. In American government terms, a veto is literally turning back a decision by the elected board and saying "nope, we're not going to do this."

Veto power does not exist with any single unelected administrator with any local  anywhere in Washington State.  Seriously.

Also, while the Washington State constitution envisioned noncharter commissioners as a cross between executive and legislative actors, Thurston County has in fact had one of these unelected administrators for decades. So, if elected, Hutchings would step into a power structure very much like the one he fumbled through describing.

3. I understand that the county charter process is complicated. So it makes sense that people oftentimes don't get the nuances. But, there's a reason why it's complicated. Its serious business changing our form of government.  And, people running for office should be serious enough to understand it.

This late in the game, you'd hope that a county commission candidate would have ironed out any confusion they had with the process.

But, you know. I don't think Hutchings thinks he's wrong. I think he's pretty confident about his understanding of how the charter process would work.

Listen to the confident way he explains his understanding of the relationship between a county manager and elected officials. He's trying to walk the listener through a complicated arrangement that he is just not getting himself. These aren't shades of gray either here, or things that honest people can disagree about. This is literally a question of elements of government existing or not.

By this point in time, Hutchings or any candidate for county commission, should have their facts straight. Especially about such a hot topic (of which, there are many).

Two Olympia Schools Spawned Tacoma Colleges

Thurston Talk - Sat, 10/15/2016 - 6:00am


Two colleges in Olympia provided early boosts to schools that were later founded in Pierce County. Both the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma and the Pacific Lutheran University had forbearers in Olympia in the late 1800s and the early 1900s. It might go too far to say that each of those Pierce County schools […]

Irene Emmons-Perez Creates Journeys of Distinction

Thurston Talk - Sat, 10/15/2016 - 6:00am


With travel arrangements just a click away, why use a travel agent? Actually, there are plenty of reasons a travel agent can help you plan your next trip. The first would be that you’d benefit from the wealth of experience of Irene Emmons-Perez owner of Global Express Cruise and Travel. She’s been helping people in […]

Fraser Named “City Champion” by Association of Washington Cities

Thurston Talk - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 3:31pm


Submitted by the Washington State Legistlature Sen. Karen Fraser, D-Thurston County, has received the “City Champion” Award from the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) in recognition for her distinguished legislative career in service to cities and local governments. Fraser received the award during the October 11 AWC Regional Meeting at Lacey City Hall. “It is a great […]

Saint Martin’s Welcomes Kathleen Boyle as Dean of College of Education and Counseling Psychology

Thurston Talk - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 3:17pm


Submitted by Saint Martin’s University Saint Martin’s University is pleased to welcome Kathleen M. “Kate” Boyle, Ph.D., as its new dean of the University’s College of Education and Counseling Psychology. As dean, she oversees the University’s broad range of undergraduate and certification programs, three master’s programs and post-master’s certification programs. Some 283 students are currently […]

Volunteer at JBLM on Public Lands Days

Thurston Talk - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 1:45pm


Submitted by South Sound Prairies Program Come help build bird and bat boxes and pull invasive weeds on Public Land Days at Joint Base Lewis- McChord (JBLM) on October 18 and 19 from 9 am to 3 pm. These actions will help restore prairie habitat and provide habitat structures for wildlife. You will also get […]

Syndicate content