Recent local blog posts

Clay & Elijah Hill – Father Son Duo Committed to Tumwater Baseball

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 6:42am



By Gail Wood

volkswagenAt Tumwater High School, there’s a special bond between their baseball coach and their all-league pitcher. They’re father and son.

Clay Hill, Tumwater’s long-time coach, is both “coach” and “dad” to Elijah Hill, a first-team, all-league pitcher last year for the Thunderbirds.

tumwater baseball

Elijah Hill is a returning starter for the T-Birds and was all-league last season.

“You’ll have to ask him if it’s been good for him,” Clay said with a chuckle, rubbing his forehead as he talked. “But I’ve loved it.”

Getting a chance to coach his son is something Clay pursued, accidentally. For 19 years, Clay coached the Tumwater fastpitch team, spending 15 years as the head coach. Then three years ago when Elijah was a freshman pitching on the varsity, Clay started getting involved with the baseball team. He volunteered to do the scoreboard, but the former minor league catcher was invited to coach. That led to him leaving one coaching job for another.

“That’s why I’m doing this,” Clay said, pointing to his son prior to a recent game.

Actually, Clay, who is head baseball coach for the first year, got involved with coaching fastpitch for the same reason. He’s got three daughters who played fastpitch for Tumwater.

“You only get one chance to coach your son, so I walked away from fastpitch,” Clay said.

And there’s no one nudging a buddy while sitting in the stands watching a Thunderbirds game and saying, “He’s only playing because the coach is his dad.” Elijah isn’t the T-Birds number one pitcher because of nepotism. He’s earned it. Last year, he had a 1.25 ERA, helping Tumwater place third in the 2A state tournament and finish with a 25-5 record.

tumwater baseball

Clay Hill (left) has enjoyed coaching his son, Elijah.

By now, Elijah is used to having his dad coaching him. Clay, who was a standout catcher at Capital High School in the late 70s and reached Triple A in the minor leagues after being drafted, used to catch his son pitching in their backyard, teaching him how to throw.

“He was my coach as a kid, so I’m used to it,” Elijah said. “He doesn’t treat me any differently. I’m just another player.”

Jeff Brooks, Tumwater’s pitching coach, is the buffer between dad and son.  Brooks pitched at Saint Martin’s University after a standout career at North Thurston High School.

“It allows that separation,” Hill said, then added with a smile. “I make all the decisions, but he makes all the recommendations.”

Tumwater has only three returning starters off last year’s team that won a league title. Besides Elijah, there’s Keenan Mulligan in centerfield and Riley Owen at third base and at pitcher. Counting the seven seniors who started on last year’s team that lost to Lake Washington in the state semifinals, Tumwater has lost 12 seniors who started over the last two seasons.

tumwater baseball

Senior Elijah Hill throws to first to keep the runner close.

“We’re kind of starting all over again,” Clay said.

With so many new faces, there were some who doubted how well Tumwater would do. But not Elijah, the only returning starter at pitcher.

“I’m not surprised,” Elijah said. “Everyone else didn’t expect us to do this well because we lost so many guys. Last year’s senior class was like a powerhouse. We’ve got some sophomores and juniors now who kind of got overlooked. I’m not surprised how well they’ve done. I know everyone else is.”

Tumwater is off to a 5-2 start, which includes an 11-4 win over R.A. Long and a 20-6 win against River Ridge.

When Elijah throws his last pitch for Tumwater this spring, he won’t be done with baseball. The 6-foot-4 senior will pitch at Bellevue Community College next year. To make sure he had a good senior year, Elijah has lifted weights hard for the past year, adding 50 pounds to boost his weight from 160 to 210 pounds. That’s added some pop to his fastball which is now in the high 80s.

tumwater baseball

Tumwater’s Elijah Hill lets loose with a fastball in a game against Timberline. Timberline won the game 3-2.

Elijah’s athletic talents aren’t limited to catching the corner of the plate, striking out a batter. He was also the punter and place kicker on the T-Birds football team, making all-league and all-state the last two years. He was good enough to get a scholarship offer from the Air Force Academy. Initially, Elijah, who one day wants to be a pilot, accepted the offer.

“I was on it, then I realized the whole commitment, the whole military thing. I backed out,” Elijah said.

He said it’s a nine-year commitment to the Air Force.

“I wasn’t too into it,” Elijah said. “I want to fly. I don’t know if I want to go that route.”

So for now, Elijah is just hoping to fly high with the T-Birds as they try to reach the playoffs again.

Thrifty Thurston Takes the Family to Spring Arts Walk, Procession of the Species

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 6:25am



By Alyssa Ramsfield

Heritage bankSpring Arts Walk is the official start to a season of downtown Olympia fun. The free, family-friendly event is a highlight in Olympia and is scheduled for Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25.  Sculptures, photography, paintings and more will be on display throughout downtown Olympia. Along with viewing beautiful pieces of art comes a variety of activities for the youngest members of our community. With kids in mind, here is a glimpse of this year’s unique event.

Procession of the Species

procession of the species

Procession of the Species is an annual tradition to honor the community and natural world.

Children of all ages find the annual Procession of the Species to be a wondrous sight. People from around the area participate with pageantry, dance, and music. From the flowing tentacles of an octopus to a life-size giraffe puppet, the natural world is represented for all to see. Procession of the Species begins at 4:30 p.m. rain or shine on Saturday, April 25 and is an event that should not be missed.  Find the route map here so you can stake out your viewing spot.

Chalk in the Streets

Prior to the start of the Procession of the Species, spectators can create unique chalk art. Chalk in the Streets takes place along the Procession of the Species route at 3:30 p.m. This cultural exchange allows for people to draw art based on nature for everyone to see. Sidewalk chalk is provided and artists of all ages are encouraged to share their masterpiece.

Hands On Children’s Museum

One of the top spots for the kids to participate in this year’s Spring Arts Walk is at the Hands On Children’s Museum. The museum will display local art pieces throughout the weekend. Admission is free on Friday, April 24 from 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. On Saturday, April 25, art tours are available all day with the price of admission. Children will also have the opportunity to create their own art with craft projects including dot art and silk screening.

Olympia’s Timberland Regional Library

spring arts walk

The Fiddlie-I-Ay Family Stringband picks a tune during the 2014 Spring Arts Walk. Photo courtesy City of Olympia.

The Olympia branch of the Timberland Regional Library is actively participating in the Spring Arts Walk festivities. Families can stop in to view art from children in our area and enjoy musical performances by Sambalincolnwa, a youth percussion ensemble. Children can also take part in an art project and vote for their favorite Peeps dioramas. All of the Arts Walk entertainment takes place after the library’s regular business hours.

Downtown Entertainment

Spring Arts Walk always includes a variety of musical performances throughout the weekend to get every family member dancing and singing. Acts include rock, blues, guitarists, folk, reggae and jazz musicians. There is even a belly dancing show. There are also play performances available for viewing during this time. Pinocchio and Olympia Family Theater and Brady Fowler’s Puppet Show are just a few of the family friendly shows taking place. For a complete schedule of entertainment, click here.

Youth Art

spring arts walk

Dancing in the streets is encouraged during Spring Arts Walk in downtown Olympia.

Art exhibitions not only include professional artists but also many local youth will be on display as well.  To inspire the youngest artist in your family, stop by Olympia Family Theater to view art from Preschool and Kindergarten students. The Intercity Transit’s Olympia Transit Center will display mixed media art from Washington Middle School, Olympia Timberland Library will have paintings from Lincoln Elementary, Propel Insurance will have mixed media from North Thurston Public Schools, and Buck’s Fifth Ave will have mixed media from Olympic View Elementary. Your child can even participate in an all community painting event during the weekend called “Come Paint!” at Let’s Paint. Their hard work will be presented for all of the community to see.

To explore everything this year’s Spring Arts Walk has to offer check out the official site and map here.

Boggs Inspection Services Welcomes Bill Ryan to Its Growing Team

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 6:00am



olympia home inspector

Bill Ryan joins the Boggs Inspection Services team, bringing their total number of inspectors serving south Puget Sound to four.

Boggs Inspection Services helps homeowners when buying, selling or simply investigating the status of their home. Founded by Dwayne Boggs, the team has grown steadily in the South Sound over the last ten years and today boasts four inspectors. Office manager Heather Rowell keeps them all in line.

The most recent member of the team is inspector Bill Ryan. Bill was born and raised in Olympia and has deep family roots in our community. The Capital High School grad began his career below the waters of the Puget Sound and Pacific Ocean as a commercial shellfish diver, working from Olympia up to southeast Alaska.

As the fisheries industry slowed, he looked to move on, exploring a hobby he’d always loved, aiming to make it a career – cooking. He had no formal training or experience, but knew from his days cooking at home that it was something he was passionate about. “As kids, we would go to Gardners Restaurant for really special occasions and I always loved it there,” Ryan shares. With no credentials to back him up, he simply approached then owners, Leon and Jane, and asked if he could wash dishes for them while watching the cooks work. The owners agreed.

“I’m a hands-on person,” shares Ryan. “I like to see things done and can pick them up quickly.” The owners noticed his quick learning and when their sous chef left, they offered Ryan the job. “I loved the family atmosphere, the low turnover, and the consistent quality,” he explains. “It was there that I learned to deliver great customer service. If you do that, your customers will almost always go away happy.”

During this time, he worked part-time for a general contractor. “The pay was great,” shares Ryan, “and even though I loved to cook, when they offered me full-time I had to take the job.”

He worked for 15 years in commercial and residential construction with his last seven as a foreman for long-time local builders, Kaufman Construction. Bill is well respected by his peers and many colleagues in the industry for his work ethic and honesty along with his knowledge of construction.

But, as happens to all of us, Ryan was getting older. “I just didn’t want to carry a tool bag around any longer,” he laughs. He knew Boggs Inspection Services owner Dwayne Boggs as they are both avid bird hunters and had met in a training group for their dogs. They struck up a friendship, began to hunt a bit together and about a year ago, Dwayne offered Ryan a job on his inspection team.

olympia home inspector

Bill and his wife Jennifer love living in the Pacific Northwest and spend their free time exploring the great outdoors.

“I wasn’t quite ready a year ago,” says Ryan, “but I kept thinking about the position and knew that it was a good fit.” Ryan shares that what he enjoys most is getting to know people and interacting with them. On a construction job site the opportunities were slim to meet and know people outside his small crew. The offer was still open from Boggs and Ryan jumped in with two feet.

“I attended the most thorough training for inspectors there is,” he shares of the two-week intensive certification class he completed. But, just like cooking at Gardners, Ryan is learning “hands-on,” watching the veteran inspectors, reading and engaging in continuing education.

“Home inspecting is fascinating,” says Ryan. “You have this two to three hour window into someone’s life during one of their biggest moments, buying a new house. Being involved in that and making an impact is really great.” These small windows of time happen multiple times a day and Ryan loves meeting new people, being presented with new situations, every day.

“It’s not monotonous, that’s for sure,” he laughs of a job where you never know what you may find in the attic or under the house. There are a wide variety of issues to explore during an inspection and Ryan’s long experience in construction benefits him daily.

Ryan has come a long way since his days under the water and in the kitchen and is thrilled with his new career. “I’m excited to be a team member of a successful, local company. I look forward to being part of the business Dwayne has built based on excellent customer care, consistency and quality service, which is the foundation of this company.”

Bill and his wife of 12 years, Jennifer, live in Olympia and spend their free time exploring the great outdoors of Washington and Idaho. And of course, bird hunting with his new colleague, Dwayne.

To learn more about what the Boggs Inspection Services team can do for you, visit them online or call 360-480-9602.


Here is that meta blog open thread you've been waiting for

Olympia Time - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 5:56am
Well, maybe I've been waiting for.

Either way, I think its about time to take a pause in the blog and let you tell me what you think about what's going on here.

It has been about five years since I changed the tone of this blog and just over two years since I've really been trying hard to blog twice a week.

And, to be honest the last few weeks, I've been very close to missing that twice a week deadline more than once. Mostly, I think, I've not been feeling inspired by what I what I've written about and I need to touch base.

So, please, tell me what you think. What do you think of the blog lately?

Thee XNTRX “Dancefloor on the Warpath”

K Records - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 1:06am
Techno-clash of the masses, a badge of honor.  The end of all time, take two. You dig? K Song of the Day: “Dancefloor on the Warpath” from the NW hip hop compilation album All Your Friend’s Friends [KLP255], produced by thee XNTRX. The NW hip hop compilation album All Your Friend’s Friends [KLP255] is available […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Paddles Up and Onward! #SMUDragonBoat

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 3:53pm



Submitted by Saint Martin’s University

dragon boat festival

Saint Martin’s University will host the 10th annual Dragon Boat Festival at the Port Plaza on April 25.

Colorful dragon boats and a record-breaking 48 local, regional and international teams of paddlers, including two teams from China, will descend on Olympia Saturday, April 25, at the 10th annual Saint Martin’s University Dragon Boat Festival, a celebration steeped in rich, cultural traditions, exciting racing and fun activities for the whole family.

Approximately 5,000 people are expected to attend this year’s festival, which will begin at 9 a.m. in the Port Plaza of Olympia near the Marine Terminal. This is a beautiful location with views of the Washington State Capitol buildings and Olympic Mountains. The event site is downtown, near the Olympia Farmers Market and popular, local restaurants. The day-long celebration, presented by the University in cooperation with KaiKane Events, is free and open to the public.

“We reach a milestone this year as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Dragon Boat Festival.  We had no idea ten years ago that the festival would grow to its current size,” says Josephine Yung, vice president of International Programs and Development.  “We have grown from the inaugural year of 260 paddlers to 1,000 paddlers this year.  It’s wonderful to see how much the community embraces the festival.”

The teams will be competing in the Dragon Boat Races throughout the day. The paddlers are members of teams from universities, high schools, school districts, government agencies, community organizations and local businesses, hailing regionally from Seattle to Portland. The two China teams are from Saint Martin’s sister universities in that country, Shanghai Maritime University and Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Dragon boat racing dates back to fourth-century China, commemorating famed poet Qu Yuan, who threw himself into the Milo River to protest the political turmoil and suffering of the people at that time. Today, dragon boat races are an opportunity to celebrate culture and community.

The Dragon Boat Festival is a multi-cultural event that started in 2006. The purpose of the festival is to raise cultural awareness, build a sense of community and provide a day of family-oriented activities to South Sound residents. The festival was moved from Capitol Lake to the Port Plaza in 2010, drawing a lot of foot traffic from downtown Olympia and the adjacent Farmers Market.

dragon boat festival

Over a century old, this dragon head will be on display near the festival entrance.

A major delight for festival participants is the distinctive dragon boats, which feature ornately carved dragon heads and weigh 500-800 pounds each. The hulls of the boats are painted with scales and the paddles used to steer the vessels symbolically represent claws. Every boat is constructed to contain 20 paddlers, as well as a steer person and a drummer who keeps the beat to help the paddlers work in unison. The paddle teams are divided according to skill level.

“Dragon boating is not a sport that’s built on brute force,” says Brother Ramon Newell, a monk at Saint Martin’s Abbey who annually serves as advisor and coach to various paddle teams. “It’s more about timing, technique, synchronization and people working together.”

Saint Martin’s University has been actively involved in education and cultural exchanges with China since 1995. Each year, members of Saint Martin’s faculty travel to China to teach international business, accounting and general education courses. Saint Martin’s students regularly participate in China study tours. In addition, about 50 students from China are currently studying at Saint Martin’s University.

Following welcoming remarks at 9 a.m. by Saint Martin’s University President Roy Heynderickx, Ph.D., and Joe Williams, honorary chair of the Dragon Boat Steering Committee and Chairman of the University Board of Trustees, the festival will kick off at 9:10 a.m. with the traditional “Dotting of the Eye” ceremony, a blessing of the dragon boats. The races will begin at 9:30 a.m.

In addition to the races, there will be Chinese traditional art demonstrations, culinary delights, martial arts performances and music. The beloved Lion Dances will take place between 11:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. There will also be an elaborate Dragon Dance, which was added to specially recognize the festival’s 10th anniversary.

Other scheduled performers include the Taiko Drum Group from River Ridge High School; the Crow Drummers; Saint Martin’s University students ; the Olympia Kung Fu and Tai Chi Club; and Guma Imahe. The competitions will conclude shortly after 4 p.m. The closing and awards ceremony begins at 4:30 p.m.

Organizations supporting the Dragon Boat Festival are American Life Inc., Capital Mall, Capitol City Press, City of Lacey, City of Olympia, City of Tumwater, Lucky Eagle Casino, Olympia Area Chinese Fellowship, Olympia Federal Savings, Port of Olympia, Red Lion Hotel, Saint Martin’s University Board of Trustees, and Squaxin Island Tribe.

Those who plan to attend the festival are requested to be mindful of parking and leave vehicles in locations designated for the Saint Martin’s University Dragon Boat Festival or in a public parking space. There is plenty of free street parking downtown that festival attendees can utilize. In addition, please consider using the Dash Shuttle for riding to the event.

For more information about the festival, click here or contact the Office of International Programs and Development at 360-438-4504.

City of Lacey Annual STEM Fair and Electric Car Rally to be held May 2

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 11:14am



Submitted by The City of Lacey

Lacey STEM Fair (2)Lacey’s S.T.E.M. Fair and annual Electric Car Rally will be held Saturday, May 2, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Huntamer Park in Lacey. The free, award winning, event will showcase school clubs, teams, and businesses from all over Thurston County.

S.T.E.M. stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, all of which are vital fields that shape our future.  The S.T.E.M. Fair is a great way for students and the community to learn more about how S.T.E.M. subjects are used in real world applications in a fun and exciting atmosphere.

Highlights from this year’s event include the robotics demonstrations, air powered rocket launches, a solar powered ducky dash, interactive Lego activities, and a demonstration by the Physics Phactory’s very own Professor Fickelstein at 12:00pm. Your kid’s won’t want to miss the Discovery Quest, where they can learn more about S.T.E.M while competing for a chance to win great prizes, including a school-wide assembly featuring Professor Fickelstein!

Lacey STEM Fair (1)The crowd favorite, the Lacey Grand Prix, is an electric car rally where high school teams and hobbyists race their custom made electric cars in an effort to drive the most laps around the quarter-mile course in one hour. Teams are from the Pacific Northwest and include River Ridge High School’s Electric Vehicle Club. Races begin at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Why S.T.E.M.?  The Washington State S.T.E.M. Organization website states “S.T.E.M isn’t just for scientists and engineers. Washington’s economy is rooted in S.T.E.M. It’s simple: in the 21st century, STEM opens doors for every student to succeed.” For more information about this event, visit the city’s website at or call the Lacey Parks and Recreation Department at (360) 491-0857.

Olympia and LIHI Announce Partnership for a New, Affordable Housing Project

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 11:04am



Submitted by The City of Olympia

The Olympia Commons will be sited on the corner of State and Adams in downtown Olympia.

The Olympia Commons will be sited on the corner of State and Adams in downtown Olympia.

The City of Olympia and the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) announced today that they are working in partnership to create a new, affordable housing project for the community. The goal is to provide well-designed, attractive apartment homes for homeless veterans, disabled individuals, and homeless youth. An added benefit is revitalization of a currently vacant parcel on downtown Olympia’s State Avenue corridor.

“We are excited to work with the City to provide this much needed housing in the Thurston County area with convenient access to public transportation and other amenities,” says Sharon Lee, Executive Director. “LIHI believes that innovative partnerships, creative project development, and sustainable design features in affordable housing make for a healthy, strong, and committed community.  We bring to the project a quarter century of affordable housing expertise and funding from a variety of public and private sources including the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.”

At its Tuesday, April 14 meeting, the Olympia City Council approved the sale of the parcel at 318 State Avenue NE, the corner of State and Adams in downtown Olympia. The purchase price is $100,000 with an option for LIHI to secure an adjacent city-owned parcel within five years.

“Olympia has long supported affordable housing for our most vulnerable residents,” says Olympia Mayor Stephen H. Buxbaum.  “The Thurston County housing gap analysis shows that this area is deficient in decent housing for homeless veterans, low income disabled residents, and homeless youth. This partnership will provide these individuals with housing and supportive services in a convenient, central location.”

The proposed housing will consist of 43 one- and two-bedroom apartments and studios, including one for an onsite resident manager. The design includes support spaces for activities that will help the residents become more self-reliant. These include a community room with a kitchen area and computer bank, a classroom, management office and a resident garden. LIHI and the City will reach out to surrounding neighbors and the community to define the project and answer questions.

Founded in 1991, LIHI has grown to be one of the most productive affordable housing developers in the Northwest. LIHI owns and/or manages over 1,700 housing units at 50 sites in six counties throughout the Puget Sound region. A majority of LIHI housing is reserved for households earning less than 50 percent of the area median household income. LIHI provides a variety of supportive services to help residents maintain their housing and develop self-sufficiency. Efforts include providing residents with case management, life skills training, technology access and training, financial literacy training and savings programs, and activities for some of the more than 500 children in LIHI housing.

The City of Olympia has historically supported public and private partnerships to provide affordable housing in the Capital City. Most recently, the City partnered with the Family Support Center to convert the former city office building at the corner of Plum and 8th (Smith Building) into the Pear Blossom Place shelter and apartments for families with children. Olympia also provided funding for Catholic Community Services Drexel House Shelter on Devoe Street for homeless men and women. In addition, the Olympia Council adopted the first ordinance in Thurston County to allow temporary homeless encampments sited in cooperation with the local faith community.


Dystopian Violet “Wednesday Knows”

K Records - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 1:37am
The irrepressible Jeremy Jay is at it again with a new combo of moderns who know no bounds when it comes to the gently moody modish rock and sway. The imagery accompanying “Wednesday Knows” is from the animated short Ships Passing in the Night (Mystery Films London) directed by Oliver Twisted. The most recent Jeremy […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Celebration of the Species-- Feathers : Form and Function with Chris Maynard @ Olympia Library

OlyBlog Home Page - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 5:33pm
Event:  Wed, 04/29/2015 - 7:30pm - 8:45pm As part of Celebration of the Species, a series of library programs honoring Olympia's Procession of the Species, we will have local artist and author Chris Maynard at the Olympia Timberland Library to talk about his art and his new book Feathers : Form and Function on Wednesday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m. Feathers : Form and Function is a gorgeously crafted book, written and designed to share new ways of seeing the natural world - through the eyes of an artist, biologist, philosopher, and, of course, through the eyes of a bird. This program will be held after hours and no other library services will be available. All Timberland Library programs are free and open to the public. 

The Olympia Timberland Library is located at 313 8th Avenue SE. For more information, contact the library at (360) 352-0595. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Artstalk with Sarah Utter @ the Olympia Library

OlyBlog Home Page - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 5:30pm
Event:  Wed, 04/22/2015 - 7:30pm - 8:45pm In honor of ArtsWalk, we will have an ArtsTalk with local celebrity, Sarah Utter at the library on Wednesday, April 22nd at 7:30 p.mSarah Utter is an Olympia-raised artist and musician who blends her love of the natural world with vibrant color and pattern. Painting and printmaking are her predominant mediums, but she is also well known for her poster and graphic design work; Sarah's 'Reading is Sexy' stickers, shirts, buttons and more can be found distributed worldwide. Sarah's presentation will revolve around her experience of dropping out of the regular work week and "winging it" with painting and graphic design. 

All Timberland Regional Library programs are free and open to the public. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

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Sister Spit @ the Olympia Library: An Evening of Queer and Feminist Memoir, Poetry and Performance

OlyBlog Home Page - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 5:23pm
Event:  Wed, 04/15/2015 - 7:30pm - 8:45pm Sister Spit presents an evening of queer + feminist memoir, poetry + performance at the Olympia Timberland Library on Wednesday, April 15 from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. Celebrate the close of the 2015 West Coast Tour at this very special grand finale before the van takes these road-weary radicals back home.Sister Spit was founded in 1994 as an all-girl open mic, to challenge the overwhelmingly male open mic events of the time. Since then it has become an annual, multi-gendered queer/feminist performance tour. At the center of it all are multi-talented members Kate Schatz, Myriam Gurba, Mica Sigourney, Thomas Page McBee, and Virgie Tovar. Sister Spit welcomes artists of all genders, so long as they mesh with the tour's historic vibe of feminism, queerness, humor and provocation.In 2012 Sister Spit entered into a partnership with the esteemed City Lights Publisher, and the imprint Sister Spit Books was born. The new publishing label launched with an anthology, “Sister Spit: Writing, Rants and Reminiscence from the Road.” More publications, some of them award-winning, followed: novels, poetry, and even a logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

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Tammie Rutledge joins Genworth Life Insurance Company

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 2:51pm



Submitted by Tammie Rutledge, FLMI

tammie rutledgeTammie L. Rutledge has been appointed as an independent long term care insurance agent in Washington, producer with Genworth Life Insurance Company. Tammie Rutledge specializes in long term care planning information and guidance. She has been in this business for many years and looks forward to working with clients and prospects in the State of Washington.

She is known for her expertise and straightforward approach to helping people understand potential solutions for their long term care needs. She helps people assess their long term care requirements and build long term care insurance plans to help protect their financial futures.

Genworth Life Insurance Company helped pioneer the development of long term care insurance and is a leader in terms of individual long term care insurance policies in force. Genworth’s comprehensive long term care insurance products help people protect their retirement savings and preserve their financial independence.

Genworth Life Insurance Company, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA


Time Stands Still at Harlequin Productions

OlyBlog Home Page - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 2:40pm
Event:  Thu, 05/07/2015 - 8:00pm - Sat, 05/30/2015 - 8:00pm

On May 7th, Harlequin Productions opens Time Stands Still by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies. This bold and provocative drama, which received a Tony Award nomination for Best Play in 2009, runs through May 30th at the State Theater in downtown Olympia.


Set in an industrial loft in Brooklyn, Time Stands Still explores the conflicted imperatives of Sarah, a photo journalist who has returned from covering the Iraq war after being injured by a roadside bomb. She and her professional and personal partner James have spent their lives living on the edge, risking everything to tell the world’s most important stories. They now find themselves confronted with the prospect of a more conventional life.

     WHEN:             May 7th – May 30th 2015; Thursdays-Saturdays at 8:00pm, Sunday matinees at 2:00pm

     WHERE:          The Historic State Theater – 202 4th Avenue East, Downtown Olympia 98501

     PRICE:             General: $32, Senior/Military: $29, Student/Youth: $20 logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

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Westport Winery Earns Gold in New York

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 2:34pm



Submitted by Westport Winery 

westport winery 2013 Shorebird PosterWestport Winery brought home five medals from the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in Rochester, New York. This is the competitions 15th year with 73 judges from around the world judging 3708 wines from 27 countries.

Director of Winemaking, Dana Roberts, earned a gold medal on Boom Runner, a sparkling pomegranate wine that benefits Hoquiam’s Polson Museum. Silver medals were awarded to Smoky Nor’wester Sangiovese, Shorebird Chardonnay, and Elk River Riesling.

Smoky Nor’wester benefits the Museum of the North Beach in Moclips and features grapes from the renowned Red Willow Vineyard in the Yakima Valley AVA. Shorebird Chardonnay benefits the Grays Harbor Audubon and features grapes from Conner-Lee Vineyard near Othello. Elk River Riesling, also from Red Willow Vineyard, benefits the Twin Harbor Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Cidermaker Carrie Roberts earned a silver medal for Mercy, her hard apple cider. Each of Westport ciders (Mercy, Courage, Hope and Grace) benefits Mercy Ships an organization providing surgical care to the poorest of the poor in Africa.

Westport Winery’s award-winning wines are exclusively available at the winery. The tasting room, gift shop, produce market, plant nursery and bakery are open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurant is open for lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and for dinner on Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information contact Westport Winery at 360-648-2224 or visit the website at

Launch spring at the winery’s unique sculpture garden, lavender labyrinth, musical fence, 9-hole executive golf course, giant chess set, outdoor scrabble game, and grape maze, all located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road halfway between Aberdeen and Westport. You will see why Westport Winery was named Best of the Northwest Wine Destination.

Maintenance is Key for Lasting Lawn Beauty: Tips for Homeowners

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 2:19pm



Submitted by Rob Rice Homes

Lawn“Without being meticulously maintained, any landscape will not look good, even if a lot of dollars are spent and it is landscaped to the hilt,” explains Ernie Unroe of Pacific West Landscape, LLC who has worked with Rob Rice since he began building homes 30 years ago and has watched Rob’s communities flourish.

“A lot depends on the homeowners associations to maintain the neighborhoods, Ernie explains. “Rob works with those associations, many of them well beyond his builder responsibility.”

Ernie says that from his experience a beautiful lawn is not just about the landscaping. Its ongoing health is about maintenance.

“A yard that is maintained really well will, in the long run, be much better off than one that isn’t maintained,” Ernie continues. “Homeowners can get frustrated because their lawn doesn’t look as good as the one across the street. We carefully lay them out with the same quality plants, trees and grass around the same time. The difference is how they are maintained.”

Ernie’s Top Three Tips for Lawn Care

  1. Fall fertilizing – If you are only going to fertilize your lawn one time a year, the most important time is the late fall. Fall fertilizer is different than the one used in the growing season, it encourages root growth and strength. You don’t want a high nitrogen fertilizer that would promote a lot of green top growth, but going into winter that will weaken it. Use a fertilizer that provides good root structure that is going to make the grass stronger during the winter and will give it a much better bounce coming into spring.
  1. Watch for crane flies - In the spring we see a lot of damage from crane flies. Home owners often think the big dead spots or thinning patches are just damage from the winter, but it can be crane flies, typically in the early year. Crane flies eat the grass right down to the roots. By the time you see it is too late. February or March is the time to treat for it.
  1. Use the right spreader – You tell people to fertilize and they end up with bright green stripes on their lawn. To avoid those stripes do not use a drop spreader. Fertilizer works where it is placed. Use a broadcast spreader that turns and whirls the fertilizer out everywhere. Or do it out of a five gallon bucket and fling it like you are feeding the chickens.


Furniture Works Shares Contemporary Designing Trends

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 2:07pm



Submitted by Furniture Works

Furniture Works contemporaryFashion trends no longer dictate the way we dress or decorate our homes. Eclecticism and contrasting style directions reign in home design. More and more people develop a taste of mixing contradictory furniture trends in their home decor, combining contemporary furniture with vintage finds and exotic art pieces.

An uncertain economy has resulted in the further insulation of people within their home cocoons. This cocoon lifestyle has given a boom to the house ware and furniture industry, since more and more people turn to home entertainment and dinner parties instead of “going out.”

The “cocoon boom,” which originally started after September 11, 2001, transformed the modern home into a family sanctuary and hideaway. Casual living remains as the major theme with contemporary furniture today, with an emphasis on home entertaining and informal dining.

furniture works contemporary 1From modern furniture to accessories and dinnerware, people look for items that possess a strong sense of personal style. The casual living trend in modern furniture translates into multi-functional furniture with clear non-cluttered design and extended seating furniture pieces such as extra-long and curved couches and sofas.

Modern furniture today encourages family values, promotes quality family entertainment, supports traditional values and generally helps people connect. Another noticeable trend in home décor is a return to ‘formal’ for special occasions. People tend to make a greater effort preparing for special occasions or dinner parties and spend more time selecting dinnerware, candles, photo albums, seasonal decorations and table linen. Another important modern furniture trend is sensuality which means luscious fabrics, soft warm colors and simple shapes.

Many furniture items are adjusted for use for the targeted group of single men. This means sleek minimalist design and an emphasis on the use of multi-media applications. Flat screen TV’s are accommodated in hi-tech entertainment centers, and flat loudspeakers are incorporated into lean, spacious sofas, covered with dark trendy upholstery fabrics. This trend is also reflected in one-of-a-kind furniture items, such as art pieces having a functional meaning. Wide use of LED lighting technology helps transform a coffee table into a futuristic object that will change colors depending on a situation.

furniture works contemporary 2Light woods still dominate the modern trends today. Oak, cherry, and birch are the most popular woods, with rattan and bamboo on the rise. Many woods are artificially stained to resemble exquisite tropical woods, for example, zebrano, mahogany, or palisander. A varnished solid front is often combined with a veneered body. Stainless steel, polished or brushed, and aluminum are used widely, often combined with innovative satin glass and boldly colored fiberglass.

In the upholstery, modern furniture designers favor refined large abstract patterns or sophisticated monochrome surfaces. Stripes and checks, as well as floral patterns are slightly out of fashion. The most popular materials are wool, cotton and leather, with wool felt gaining popularity.

The main characteristic feature of modern furniture is its understatement. Giorgio Armani, a couturier turned furniture designer says, that a subtle richness, not an obvious beauty, is most important in contemporary furniture design. Like a beautiful woman, furniture today reveals itself over time.


Evergreen to Sign “Real Food Challenge” April 22

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 1:48pm



Submitted by The Evergreen State College

Photo by Shauna Bittle, Courtesy of The Evergreen State College.

Photo by Shauna Bittle, Courtesy of The Evergreen State College.

On Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22, The Evergreen State College will sign the Real Food Campus Commitment, thereby committing the campus to source 28% of food for its dining program from local and sustainable vendors. Evergreen’s President, Dr. Les Purce, will sign the commitment at 5 p.m. in the Olympia Campus Longhouse, at a reception catered by Aramark, after which a conversation with international activists/pranksters/parodists, The Yes Men, will follow.

The Real Food Campus Commitment is part of the The Real Food Challenge—a national, student-led movement to steer college dining service vendors away from highly processed food and industrial farms with unfair labor and inhumane farming practices. The Campus Food Coalition at Evergreen led the campaign for better school food.

About The Real Food Challenge

The Real Food Challenge encourages U.S. college campuses to source 20% of their food or more from humane, fair, ecologically sound, local and community-based farms, ranches and manufacturers. Already at 25% real food, Evergreen and its dining services vendor, Aramark, have set a goal of annually procuring 28% real food by 2020.

Evergreen joins notable colleges already striving to meet the Real Food Challenge nationally, among them Johns Hopkins and Cornell. Evergreen will be the first public school in Washington State to make this commitment, and the second school that contracts with Aramark. Gonzaga University was the first school in Washington to join, and student leaders at Western Washington University and the University of Washington are campaigning for their universities to commit.

Evergreen Celebrates Earth Day

In addition to the Real Food Challenge, Evergreen, a college known for its commitment to sustainability, will host a student-led Earth Day festival from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 22.

Activities will range from tours of The Organic Farm, aquaponics facilities, and shellfish garden to an open mic and acoustic performances in the Student Art Gallery. There will be baby lambs visiting from the Evergreen Sheep Club, and trail maintenance, mushroom inoculation, and Generation Waking Up workshops, among others. Aramark will be on hand with their ‘real food’ vendors to hand out free samples.

The Electronic Music Collective will DJ a dance party in the Longhouse from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

For the full schedule:

All events are FREE and open to the public.




Saint Martin’s University Debate Team to Compete at ICW Ethics Bowl

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 12:35pm



Submitted by Saint Martin’s University 

st martin debate teamThe Saint Martin’s Debate organization, now in its second year, will compete April 17 in the 2015 ICW Ethics Bowl, an event hosted by the Independent Colleges of Washington at Seattle Pacific University. The Ethics Bowl, which is free and open to the public, was selected by the ICW as the main, student-centered event to mark the organization’s 60th year of serving the 10 non-profit liberal arts college and universities in Washington.

This is the second annual ICW Ethics Bowl, a full-day, judged competition among the ICW’s member institutions of higher education. It is designed to showcase the students’ knowledge of applied ethics as a hallmark of their college experience at an ICW-member institution. Each of the 10 members is sending a team of up to five students to explore and defend real or hypothetical ethical cases that range from Affordable Care Act kickbacks to Zoo-thanasia, spanking and social media experimentation.

The Saint Martin’s Debate members for the 2015 Ethics Bowl are: Evan Lake ’17, Matthew Tietjen ’15, Simone Smith ’15, Alyssa Hancock ’15 and Jessica Varvil ’18.

The team members are working under the guidance of faculty advisors Father David Pratt, assistant professor of philosophy, and Michael Artime, adjunct professor of political science. “This is an exciting opportunity for our students to showcase their hard work this semester, evaluating the ethical considerations surrounding topics such as the distribution of Ebola vaccinations, campaign finance and progressive vacation policies instituted by businesses throughout the country,” Artime says.

“This is the final ethics bowl for Tietjen, Smith, and Hancock,” he adds. “These three students are the reason Saint Martin’s Debate exists, and it is going to be bittersweet to see them finish their collegiate debate careers and move on to exciting opportunities after Saint Martin’s.”

Business, community, judicial and political leaders will act as volunteer judges and moderators at the Ethics Bowl, including executives and staff from Boeing, Foss Maritime, Microsoft, Redfin, Saltchuk, the Seattle Ethics & Elections Commission, U.S. Bank, the Washington State Supreme Court, ICW’s Board of Directors and other notable local companies and organizations.

Member institutions of the Independent Colleges of Washington share a commitment to high-quality, academically rigorous learning, and to an education that emphasizes critical thinking, lifelong learning, ethics, leadership and community service.

The winning team will be announced later that evening at a private reception.

Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week – Ferdinand

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 12:15pm



Submitted by Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton

Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week, Ferdinand

Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week, Ferdinand

Meet Ferdinand (Ferdi), a 3yr old, super affectionate,  55 lb black Chow.  He was a stray and has discovered how much he really does appreciate human attention, a safe home and good meals. He has come a long way since arriving at the shelter and is now ready to find his very own home with someone who will give him all the attention he deserves.

Ferdi would do best in a home with calm adults or older kids. He would not be comfortable around young, noisy, active children. We are not sure about cats so best in a home without.
We have lots of great dogs and always need volunteers to help them. Contact Adopt-A-Pet dog shelter on Jensen Road in Shelton at or contact us at or (360) 432-3091.

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