Recent local blog posts

The Right Stuff: Saint Martin’s Engineering Team Takes Second Place in National Big Beam Contest

Thurston Talk - Tue, 08/16/2016 - 5:53pm


Submitted by Saint Martin’s University For a hardworking team of Saint Martin’s University civil engineering students, several months of planning, building and testing ended triumphantly when the team’s 17-foot-long concrete beam bested all but one of the competition in the annual Big Beam Contest. The Saint Martin’s team placed second in a matchup against major […]

Harmony Farms Conservation Easement Tour

OlyBlog Home Page - Tue, 08/16/2016 - 2:32pm
Event:  Sat, 08/27/2016 - 10:30am - 12:30pm

You are invited to tour the privately owned, forever protected, Harmony Farms.  This 55-acre property is located on the eastern shores of Henderson Inlet.  Come explore the forests and see the fresh and salt water wetlands. You may get a chance to watch the many species of birds and mammals that frequent this property!

You will also learn more about our Inspiring Kids Preserve vision.  This site is part of the proposed location for this exciting new initiative for Capitol Land Trust.

Saturday, August 27, 2016
10:30 AM
Harmony Farms, Henderson Inlet 

This is a free event. Registration is required at logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Love Our Local Fest – A Reminder of a Thriving Local Community

Thurston Talk - Tue, 08/16/2016 - 11:56am


LOL isn’t just an abbreviation to use while texting your best friend. It also applies to the sixth annual Love Our Local Fest on Sunday, August 21 beginning at 1:00 p.m. A block party for all ages, Love Our Local Fest (or simply LOL Fest) is a guaranteed good time. Head over to the corner […]

It’s (always!) Seahawks Fan Fest Time at Quinault Beach

Thurston Talk - Tue, 08/16/2016 - 11:16am


Even before our recent Super Bowl adventures, the Pacific Northwest is Seahawks crazy. And we’re not alone. Polls report that football is still the number one watched sport in most households and viewership of the Super Bowl topped 110 million for the last three years. Maybe such fervent fandom isn’t a bad thing. Vince Lombardi […]

Dwayne Boggs: A Life Built on Honesty and Integrity

Thurston Talk - Tue, 08/16/2016 - 6:00am


Since 2004, Dwayne Boggs has been guiding homeowners through his in-depth home inspections. Dwayne built Boggs Inspection Services from the ground up in Olympia and is now one of the fastest growing inspection companies in the area. Dwayne grew up in Brunswick, Ohio, about 25 miles south of Cleveland. He was in the middle of […]

SCJ Alliance Coordinates Stakeholders in North Lewis County Industrial Access Study

Thurston Talk - Tue, 08/16/2016 - 6:00am


Bringing back an abundance of family-wage jobs is the driver for improving access to industrial properties in north Lewis County. “This rural community wants their children to have opportunities for decent paying jobs without having to move away,” shares SCJ Alliance’s Thera Black. “Leaders are determined to find a solution and restore an economic base […]

2016 Men’s Soccer Schedule Announced

Thurston Talk - Mon, 08/15/2016 - 10:35pm


Submitted by Saint Martin’s University Saint Martin’s University men’s soccer team will play seven regular-season home games and three scrimmages to open the 2016 schedule announced today by Director of Soccer Rob Walker. The Saints will play three scrimmages starting on August 19 at 1:00 p.m. against The Evergreen State College, will face Pacific Lutheran […]

Thurston County Coalition for Women’s Health Launches Campaign Against Violence

Thurston Talk - Mon, 08/15/2016 - 9:26am


Submitted by Thurston County Public Health & Social Services Tackling tough issues in our community is made easier when organizations work together with a common purpose. A great example of this is happening locally through the Thurston Coalition for Women’s Health. The Thurston Coalition for Women’s Health is a group of 18 organizations who are working […]

Brenda Williams Appointed to National Women United Board

Thurston Talk - Mon, 08/15/2016 - 9:14am


Submitted by United Way of Thurston County Olympia business owner and community volunteer Brenda Williams has been appointed to serve on the board of the national United Way Worldwide Women United.  She is the first woman from Washington State to be appointed to this countrywide board.  Williams, who is co-owner of TAGS Awards and Specialties, […]

Jack Bell Goes to Cleveland as Washington’s Youngest Delegate

Thurston Talk - Mon, 08/15/2016 - 6:00am


It wasn’t your typical senior prom for Olympia High School’s Jack Bell. Earlier in the day, while most of his classmates were getting ready for the big dance, Bell was in Pasco delivering a speech in front of 3,000 people at the State Republican Convention. At stake for the 18-year-old was an opportunity to be […]

ThurstonTalk Uses Insights and Analytics to Guide Customers’ Marketing Decisions

Thurston Talk - Mon, 08/15/2016 - 6:00am


There are countless ways to advertise your business. Businesses have lots of options when it comes to reaching their audiences, including sponsoring events and airing commercials on the radio. In the digital age, one of the most common ways businesses do this is by placing ads online. From banner ads to pop-ups, the options that […]

Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week

Thurston Talk - Mon, 08/15/2016 - 6:00am


Submitted by Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton Pepper is a young female Pit Mix who is ready to find her new home. We believe she is about one year old and has a beautiful black and white Brindle short coat. Pepper is learning to walk well on leash and understanding basic commands. She could make a good […]

More than 30,000 Visitors Attended the 2016 Thurston County Fair

Thurston Talk - Sun, 08/14/2016 - 8:40am


Submitted by the Thurston County Fair  The 2016 Thurston County Fair saw a total of 30,523 visitors for fun, food, animals, hobbies, and rides! Community participation in the Thurston County Fair has steadily grown in the last five years, making the Thurston County Fair one of the signature summer events in the South Sound region […]

Biblio-Bliss: The Joy of Book Clubs

Thurston Talk - Sun, 08/14/2016 - 6:00am


What book is on your nightstand? I get noticeably nerdy; lately it’s brain science and food sociology. For more variety in my reading and for pleasures to my spirit, I’m part of my neighborhood book club. The second Thursday of each month is reserved and as long as I’m in town, I’m attending. My compatriots […]

Olympia Harbor Days Festival is Ship-Shape for Labor Day Weekend

Thurston Talk - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 11:12am


Submitted by Olympia Harbor Days The 43rd Annual Olympia Harbor Days Tugboat Races and Festival will open Friday, September 2 at 5:00 p.m. and run through Sunday, September 4 closing at 6:00 p.m.  This Olympia favorite is located in downtown Olympia along the Waterfront from the famous Kiss Statue on the boardwalk at Percival Park on 4th Ave., north […]

Harlequin Productions Partners with Other Local Non-Profits in Community Partnership Program

Thurston Talk - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 9:44am


  Submitted by Harlequin Productions Harlequin Productions is taking applications now through October 31, 2016, for the company’s Community Partnership Program 2017. Non-profit partners receive 150 tickets to Harlequin Productions’ final dress rehearsals, which they may sell as a fundraiser or give as thank you gifts to donors or volunteers. The intent is to provide […]

Westport Winery Develops Four Seasons of Spice

Thurston Talk - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 9:31am


Submitted by Westport Winery and Garden Resort Westport Winery has developed its own wine cocktail spices called Four Seasons of Spice. Each of the mixes is packaged in a hand-blown mini-float as part of the winery’s collaboration with artists Johnny and Darlene Camp of Opal Art Glass in Cosmopolis. Winery co-founder Kim Roberts said, “Our […]

Urban Sketchers at Handforth Gallery

South Sound Arts - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 7:24am

Candid shots of T-town in pen, ink and watercolorPublished in the Weekly Volcano, Autg. 11, 2016“Theater District Downtown Tacoma,” masthead sketch for Urban Sketchers Tacoma website by Mark RyanThe Urban Sketchers exhibition at Handforth Gallery in the downtown Tacoma Public Library is delightfully lightweight.The walls are filled with quick sketches in pencil, pen and ink, watercolor and other media of mostly local scenes familiar to many Tacomans—some by well-known local artists and some by artists known only to friends and family.Urban Sketchers is a nationwide movement for artists who love to draw the area where they live, work, or visit. Their works are executed while looking out a window at home, from a cafe, standing by a street-corner, or other convenient location.
The local group, Tacoma Urban Sketchers, typically meets at a designated spot in the morning and then disperses to sketch until noon. During the summer, there is an afternoon sketching session. There are sketch outings on the first Saturday of each month and on the third Wednesday year around. Works from this group currently on display in the library are like candid photos of local people and places,only they’re not photos; they are artworks typically done in a loose, free and quick manner.  “Neck Brace Guy,” a pencil sketch by Helen Phillips  pictures a man wearing a neck brace seated in an airplane as seen from the side and back. I can imagine he never suspected he was being drawn. The style looks a lot like a lithograph, which is interesting because it lends to the picture a gritty texture not usually seen in pencil drawings. “The Breakfast Club,” pen and wash by R.J. Lane, is one of the few pieces in the show not of a Tacoma-area scene. It is a sketch of patrons in Carla’s Country Kitchen in Morro Bay, Calif. The great casually rendered expressions on their faces are fun to contemplate. A watercolor called “Blanket Stories” by Kate Buike pictures the great sculpture by the same name that is on permanent display against the front wall of the Tacoma Art Museum. It is cropped and pictured from an intriguing angle with the dome of Union Station seen in the background.“Fort Nisqually Southwest Corner” by Ken Fulton is one of a few almost pure line drawings in the show, with strong dark and light contrasts in the rare shaded areas.A similar drawing, but less sketchy and more nicely controlled is Frances Buckmaster’s ink drawing “Breakwater Marina, Point Defiant.”There are three excellent line drawings by Paul Morris: “Union Station,” “Thea Foss Waterway” and “Downtown Library Alley View.”A couple of other works of note are K.D. Keckler’s “Swiss House Gathering,” another scene of diners, and Roy Steiner’s “Abandoned Van Lierop Farm,” depicting an abandoned barn painted blue with tall grasses and a leafless tree in front of it. This is the only picture in the show that has no line-drawing element. The media was not listing on the wall label, but it looks like gouache.
Find out more about the local Urban Sketchers at and
Handforth Gallery at Tacoma Public Library, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays-Saturday, through Sept. 6, 1102 Tacoma Ave. S, Tacoma
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

StoryOly final slam and Grand Slam

South Sound Arts - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 7:07am

Published in the Weekly Volcano Aug. 11, 2016On the 16th of August, South Sound storytellers will entertain a sure-to-be packed house at Rhythm and Rye in Olympia for the last of this year’s StoryOly story slams before the 12 top storytellers of the year meet in the Grand Slam on Sept. 17.Every month on the third Tuesday approximately 10 storytellers show off their skills and vie for first place in the raucous storytelling event. I’ve attended all but a few of the events this year and can attest that they truly are raucous, and the crowd responses are fabulous. The majority of the stories are funny; many are risqué; a few are sad, scary or touching — such as the wonderfully sweet story Keith Eisner told in July about the birth of his now 40-year-old son. Eisner is a professional writer, actor and director. Many of the storytellers are professional writers or entertainers, as are co-founders Elizabeth Lord and Amy Shephard, but even more are amateurs who mount the stage and tell their personal stories for the first time, usually in the face of great fear. And they are usually great.Elizabeth Lord. Photos courtesy Story OlyCommunity members come together every month to share, compete and tell true stories based on a monthly theme. Past themes have included “I Got What I Deserved,” “Family,” and “Revenge.” People who want to tell a story put their names in a hat, and 10 names are drawn at random. Each storyteller is allowed eight minutes. The stories must be true and personal, no rants, speeches or religious testimony, and no reading from notes or scripts. After each story volunteer judges from the audience hold up cards with scores from one to 10. The judges tend to be kind; I’ve never seen a score lower than five. The winner from each month gets to compete in the Grand Slam in September. Winners are: Devin Felix (Nov.), Jim Foley (Dec.), Sam Miller (Jan.), a three-way tie between Billie Mazzei, Maggie Lott and Christian Carvajal, (Feb.), Lori Nesmith (March), Rey White (April), Matthew Trenda (May), Anders Hornblat (June), Eisner in July, and a final winner to be determined this month. Eisner will be out of town the weekend of the Grand Slam and unable to participate.Shepard is an actor and choreographer well known for her work at Harlequin Productions, most recently in Little Shop of Horrors as both choreographer and one of the singing and dancing Doo-Wops. “It's been incredible to see how StoryOly events have blossomed since we started last November,” Shephard says. “Elizabeth and I are so grateful for the attendance and participation of our community. With each show we get to hear stories from many different voices, perspectives and backgrounds. If that weren't wonderful enough, there is the fact that when a patron buys a ticket, they know that not only will they see an amazing show but that half of their ticket price is going directly to Olympia SafePlace. So when you come to a story slam you not only support us, you support victims of sexual and domestic violence through wonderful organizations like SafePlace.”Lord, a professional storyteller and member of the Heartsparkle Players, is also founder and host of Lord Franzannian's Royal Olympian Spectacular Vaudeville Show. Lord says, “I love StoryOly. I especially love how successful it's been. Full houses most nights. Its success is a confirmation of something I've always known to be true: live, oral storytelling is a powerful medium. Nothing replaces a human telling you a story, right there in front of you. Plus, with StoryOly (Like the Moth Storytelling events) the audience hears true personal stories that resonate with the universal human experience. Oral Storytelling makes the world smaller, more understandable, and of course entertaining.”Story Oly, every third Tuesday, 5:30-8 p.m., Rhythm & Rye, 311 Capitol Way,
Olympia, 360.705.-0760. Grand Slam Sept. 17.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Greg Amendala Builds the American Dream at the Village at Mill Pond

Thurston Talk - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 6:00am


In this information age, it’s not uncommon to have a job with no end product. Many of us have positions which engage almost exclusively over the internet or on the phone with very little tangible output. But that can’t be said for Greg Amendala, the builder behind Olympia’s live/work/play community The Village at Mill Pond. […]

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