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Young Frankenstein at Tacoma Musical Playhouse

South Sound Arts - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 4:09pm
From left: Igor, Frau Blüche, Dr. Frankenstein and Inga. Photos by Kat Dollarhide

Monster and blind manDr. Frankenstein, Inga and Igor
Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” is one of the funniest musicals ever written. The stage musical, which came after the popular movie by Brooks and Gene Wilder, premiered at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre in 2007 before going to Broadway. I reviewed it then for The News Tribune and said it was outstanding, but other reviewers did not rave, and it had a less than stellar run on Broadway.

The local production at Tacoma Musical Playhouse drags a bit in the first act, but the second act more than makes up for any shortcomings in the first.

Both the 1974 movie and the play are spoofs of genre horror films with upbeat song-and-dance numbers and Borscht Belt humor. The scenario is that Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Stephen Bucheit), grandson of the notorious Dr. Victor Von Frankenstein, creator of the monster, is a well-respected Dean of Anatomy at the Johns, Miriam and Anthony Hopkins School of Medicine in New York. Upon the death of his ancestor, he visits the family castle in Transylvania and is seduced by the lovely Inga (Allyson Jacobs-Lake) into taking up his mad grandfather’s work. With help from his grandfather’s house keeper, Frau Blücher (Shelleigh-Mairi Ferguson) and humpbacked servant, Igor (Jeffrey Bassett), he creates a new monster (played by James Walters, who also doubles as the ghost of the original Dr. Frankenstein).

The early scenes are contrived and seem to be straining for comic effect – particularly the going away scene with Frankenstein and Elizabeth (Dana Johnson). Elizabeth’s song, “Please Don’t Touch Me” is a great comic idea that doesn’t quite work. But things get livelier when Dr. Frankenstein goes to Transylvania and meets with Igor and Inga. Igor is one of the best comic characters of all time, and Bassett plays him beautifully, rivaling the great Marty Feldman, who played Igor in the movie; and Inga’s hayride song, “Roll in the Hay” is the first spark to enliven a play that until that moment had been plodding like the neighing horses that pull their wagon (and who neigh hilariously and oddly every time Frau Blücher’s name is spoken). Inga’s yodeling in this song and later in the love scene, cracks the audience up.

Things get much livelier once the monster comes alive and insanely brilliant when the monster and the ensemble sing and dance Irving Berlin’s “Putting on the Ritz.” This number is proof positive that Brooks is a comic genius, and the cast and crew (and let’s not forget Jeff Stvrtecky’s orchestra) do it to perfection.

The blind hermit vignette with John Miller (who doubles as Inspector Hans Kemp) belting out a great and passionate rendition of the poignant “Please Send Me Someone,” is like something out of Monty Python but with a huge hearts – moving enough to forgive his ludicrous wig and beard. After an unexpected plot twist in a cave in the deep forest, Johnson sings the love song “Deep Love” with conviction, dropping the nasal lisp she adopted in earlier scenes, and later still, Walters, an accomplished operatic tenor, belts out the reprise of “Deep Love” with even more passion.

The first act is a moderately funny extended set-up for the explosive and joyous second act, which is so great I would sit through a reading of the phone book to get to it.

Kudos also to Bruce Haasl for a great set and as always to Stvrtecky for his fabulous music.

WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Aug. 3
WHERE: Tacoma Musical Playhouse at The Narrows Theatre, 7116 Sixth Ave., Tacoma
TICKETS: $20-$29
INFORMATION: 253-565-6867,

Coming up: a review of Animal Fire Theatre’s outdoor performance of “Two Gentlemen of Verona” and Harlequin Productions’ “Middletown.”

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Help the City of Olympia Choose a New Playground for Sunrise Park

Thurston Talk - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 1:22pm



Submitted by City of Olympia

The playground equipment at Sunrise Park, a neighborhood park in West Olympia, has reached the end of its life and will soon be replaced. Five different vendors have submitted design proposals and the City wants your help selecting the most best one!

Visit to watch a short intro video, view the five design proposals and tell us which design you think would be the most FUN for the kids at Sunrise Park. If you do not have access to a computer but still want to provide input, contact Jonathon Turlove, Associate Planner, at 360.753.8068. This forum will be open through August 15, 2014.

Sunrise Park is located several blocks northwest of the corner of Harrison Ave. and Division St. at 505 Bing St NW in Olympia, Washington. The park was opened in 1995 and the existing playground equipment is 18 years old.

In addition to the playground, Sunrise Park features a community garden, a basketball court, a restroom, and a sledding hill. For more information about Sunrise Park, please visit

Port Invests in Small Cities’ Economic Development Projects

Thurston Talk - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 11:14am



Submitted by Port of Olympia

Bucoda Mayor Alan Carr addresses members of the Thurston  Regional Planning Council in the new Bucoda Community  Center. The Port’s Small Cities Program has helped the town  create a center that contributes to local economic development.

Bucoda Mayor Alan Carr addresses members of the Thurston
Regional Planning Council in the new Bucoda Community
Center. The Port’s Small Cities Program has helped the town
create a center that contributes to local economic development.

Projects in each of Thurston County’s small, incorporated cities will receive an economic boost from Port of Olympia in 2014. Bucoda, Rainier and Yelm will each receive $10,000 and Tenino will receive $5,000. The Port Commission approved the funding awards at their July 14th meeting.

The intention of the Port’s Small Cities Program is to assist with projects that will contribute to local economic development. The program requires an equal cash match from the city. A city receives the funds after completing the project and submitting the required information to the Port.

This was the second year that all four of the County’s small cities–Bucoda, Rainier, Tenino and Yelm–applied for funds through the program. Small cities are defined as incorporated cities within Thurston County with a population of 10,000 or less.

On July 8, the Board of Directors of the Port Economic Development Corporation reviewed Finance Director Jeff Smith’s analysis of the cities’ applications, qualified the eligibility of the projects, and recommended that the Commission approve the funding awards.

Here is how the cities will use their 2014 Small Cities Program funds:

·        Bucoda’s renovation of the historic Oddfellows Building into a community center will receive funds for the fourth year. Two rooms will be restored for a free clinic, museum and other uses.
·        Rainier will use the Port funds to plan for a waste water treatment facility so that commercial development can go forward in a cost-effective manner and generate new jobs.
·       Tenino will enhance the prospects of additional jobs related to tourism by using the Small Cities’ funding award to prepare a Tenino Park Master Plan.
·        Yelm is planning a new community center which will bring activity and regional customers into the historic downtown. The Port funds will assist with project design.


Troy Nichols Named Executive Office of Olympia Master Builders

Thurston Talk - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 11:08am



Submitted by Olympia Master Builders

Olympia Master Builders (OMB) announced that Troy Nichols has been selected, and will begin serving, as Executive Officer of the five-county region building industry association at the beginning of August.

Nichols comes to OMB after nearly 20 years of experience in government and political affairs, including the past five years as the Director of Policy Development for the Washington State House Republican Caucus.

“I am very excited to have Troy join the OMB family,” said John McKinlay, 2014 OMB President. “Troy’s legislative experience along with his other outstanding qualities will be an asset to OMB and our membership as we continue our mission of keeping housing affordable.”

Nichols replaces Laura Worf who led OMB for seven years, including successfully guiding the association through a severe, nationwide housing recession.

“The recession hit homebuilders especially hard, but hopefully the worst is behind us,” Nichols said. “It is truly a privilege to be able to advocate for this fantastic group, and I’m looking forward to fighting on their behalf to create jobs and grow our local economy.”

Nichols expects membership will rebound as OMB continues to advocate for better housing policies, provide members with educational and promotional opportunities, as well as the better performing return on industrial insurance program.

Mark Shaffer chaired the selection committee in a search facilitated by the Specialized Recruiting Group, a division of Express Employment Professionals. “I’m pleased that we were able to find such a well-qualified candidate for the role of executive officer. I’m excited for this new chapter at the OMB to begin,” Shaffer said.

Formed in 1959, Olympia Master Builders is a professional trade association dedicated to improving the construction industry and providing affordable housing for people in all economic segments.  OMB provides services in 5 counties:  Thurston, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Pacific and Mason.


Meals on Wheels Calls for Help, Funding Cuts Leave Seniors Hungry

Thurston Talk - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 10:58am



Submitted by Senior Services for South Sound

Elizabeth Raybould prepares fresh fruit to be included in a lunch at the Olympia Senior Center.

Elizabeth Raybould prepares fresh fruit to be included in a lunch at the Olympia Senior Center.

On July 9, Senior Services for South Sound (SSSS) started a waiting list for seniors in need of Meals On Wheels (MOW) in Mason or Thurston Counties. This means that community elders in need of a home-delivered meal who are not already enrolled in the program as of that date will not be served until additional program funding is secured. People need Meals On Wheels for a variety of reasons, including that they can no longer safely drive to the grocery store or stand long enough to cook their own meal. Some are just being released from the hospital or nursing home and need meals on a temporary basis. In addition to the Meals on Wheels waiting list, they are currently considering closing meal service days at two of our community dining meal sites.

“Our program provides seniors with nutritious meals, social support and a chance to have fun. We run an efficient and effective program, but we can’t tighten our belts any further,” said Cathy Visser, Senior Nutrition Director at Senior Services for South Sound. “More seniors than ever are in need of our services…unfortunately, food and fuel costs continue to increase and traditional funding streams are decreasing. Last year we lost federal funds.  This year, the decreases are being seen locally as community priorities have changed. It’s the perfect storm. At this point, I feel that the community needs to step forward and say enough, we support our community seniors!”

Each year, Senior Services for South Sound serves over 100,000 meals to 2,700 seniors in Mason and Thurston Counties. The meals are planned by a Registered Dietitian to meet 1/3 of a seniors daily dietary needs; and are modified to meet special dietary restrictions. The emphasis is on serving freshly prepared food and includes at least three servings of fruits and vegetables per meal. The program provides more than just food.

“Our Meals On Wheels volunteer delivery folks spend time with Meals On Wheels clients and develop friendships with the people they serve. For some of our more rural clients, their volunteer driver may be the only person with whom they have human interaction for the day or week. Our drivers provide a check on the welfare of seniors they serve…more than once a driver has arrived to deliver a meal and found a senior in distress. We’ve called “911” on a senior’s behalf twice in the past 6 months.” Cathy stated.

Senior Services for South Sound is now reaching out to the general public for help. “We can’t solve this problem in isolation,” said Eileen McKenzieSullivan, SSSS Executive

Rick Miller helps prepare chicken salad for Meals On Wheels lunch.

Rick Miller helps prepare chicken salad for Meals On Wheels lunch.

Director. “We want the local community to know that there is a need for meals for seniors and we need their support to make it happen.” Eileen explained that they cut Friday meals in Olympia and Rochester last year when a portion of their federal nutrition funding was lost. At that time, they reached out to the local senior assisted living community for help. “We were lucky to have a number of local Senior Living centers such as Evergreen Convalescent, Bonaventure, Capital Place and Puget Sound Health Care provide us meals for our site. We thought we would need their help for a few months, but they have continued to support Friday meal service at our Olympia Senior Center.”

Cathy and Eileen both explained that there are many ways to help. “While making a donation is a direct way to support our program, we are also in need of volunteers to prepare, serve or deliver meals. There are eight meal sites in Mason and Thurston County, stretching from Yelm, Tenino and Rochester in Thurston County up to Belfair in Mason County.” Eileen continued, “Every dollar really helps. While the meals are provided to clients for a suggested donation of $3-$6 per meal, they cost nearly $7 to prepare and the average donation we receive per meal is less than $2 dollars.” Eileen and Cathy both also mentioned that they are grateful for the ongoing partnership they have with the Lewis-Mason-Thurston Area Agency on Aging. “Really without their partnership, we wouldn’t be able to continue serving the meals we do.” Eileen stated.

If you would like to donate to the Senior Nutrition Program at Senior Services for South Sound or learn more about volunteer opportunities please call them at 360.586.6181 or visit their website at



Olympia Lakefair Weekend Event Calendar

Thurston Talk - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 7:08am



You know it’s summer in Olympia when the classic Lakefair ferris wheel starts going up.  Whether you choose to spend an hour or ten hours as the Olympia festival, it’s without a doubt part of the fabric of our community.  The parade flows through Olympia on Saturday at 5:00 pm and the fireworks extravaganza end the weekend on Sunday night at 10:00 pm.  And, if you opt to avoid all the Lakefair hustle and bustle then use this link to find out all the road closures and plan your route efficiently to other Olympia destinations this weekend.

  • Get the skinny on how to enjoy Lakefair on a budget in this article.
  • Keep the Yashiro Japanese Garden clean at a work party on Friday morning.
  • Check out the Lakefair car show on Friday evening at Marathon Park.
  • Celebrate 20 years of Bagel Brothers with a special event at their West Olympia storefront on Saturday.
  • Donate a bike to Alaffia and help a girl in Togo get to school.  The bike drive is happening at Ralph’s Thriftway on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  Get more details here.
  • Take a tour of Olympia’s public art.  Meet at the Farmers Market at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday.
  • Follow the Lakefair parade on Saturday beginning at 5:00 p.m.  The route can be found here.
  • Dance to a free outdoor concert during the Lacey in Tune series at Huntamer Park.  Tunes begin at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday evening.  Find the complete schedule here.
  • Enjoy the Lakefair fireworks on Sunday night at 10:00 pm.  Get complete details here.
  • Plan ahead for Marine Creatures Monday at Boston Harbor Marina.  Advance reservations are required.  Click here for more information.
  • Catch a performance of Harlequin Productions‘ Twelfth Night all weekend.
  • Plan your summer with our list of 25 free things to do with kids around Olympia.
  • Find a complete list of summer camps around Olympia here.
  • Visit an open house event this weekend.  Click here to see the list of Van Dorm Realty’s open houses.

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, click here.


Sisters Annie Johns & Amy Evans Treat You Like a Guest at Spruce and Bon Lemon

Thurston Talk - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 6:56am



By Kelli Samson

heritage bankI am a fiercely loyal customer. No one was more surprised than me when I broke up with my decade-plus aesthetician after just one visit to Spruce.

And why? Well, it’s a combination of things that all add up to feeling pampered. Why would anyone want to feel anything less?

Annie Johns, founder of Spruce, opened her doors in 2009. Massage therapist and friend Alison Herd of Kneaded Relief joined Johns at her location. “We’ve got a really good working relationship,” smiles Johns. It wasn’t long before John’s sister, Amy Evans, turned the duo into a trio of adjoining, female-owned businesses by opening up her well-curated shop, Bon Lemon, in an adjacent space.

spruce bon lemon

Spruce owner Annie Johns and Bon Lemon owner Amy Evans are two sisters lucky enough to share a work place.

The businesses have unique products at a great value that I do not see anywhere else in town. The hosts are charismatic and positive. “We are aware that we wouldn’t be here without our customers. We feel like they are family, and we want to give them a special experience,” says Amy Evans, proprietress of Bon Lemon.

Adds her sister Annie, “Our clients aren’t lucky to get in. We are lucky that they chose to be here. We never want to take that for granted.” This customer-based philosophy is amplified at the recently-opened new location of Spruce, Bon Lemon, and Kneaded Relief, located together at 4419 Harrison Ave NW in Olympia.

The strong customer base of each woman’s business has lent itself well toward what Evans calls “a very symbiotic” model where the three institutions easily share clientele.

The rest is a sparkly, well-polished history. “We’re lucky,” chime the sisters.

Annie Johns is a woman with a quick laugh and a twinkle in her eye. A self-described tomboy growing up, she is now a busy mama of two small children. She used to be an economist, but that didn’t make her heart sing. “I worked at Hoopla for three years, and I loved being there and helping women. I liked connecting with people. I decided I wanted to use my brain for creating a business that could go in many different directions, so I went to esthetician school.”

spruce bon lemon

For a full line of Votivo candles and other gifts to delight your friends, Spruce and Bon Lemon is your one-stop gift shop. You may as well get a facial while you’re in!

“Annie’s really good at the business side of things,” boasts her sister.

Spruce employs the cheeky mantra “We are not high maintenance, just well maintained.” These words guide the customer’s experience while receiving services. Makeup, waxing, and other skin care regimens are not presented as guilty-pleasures. Rather, they are smart, routine maintenance procedures for today’s modern woman (or man).

Spruce’s clinical skincare products are located on one side of the concierge’s desk, and Bon Lemon’s baubles can be found on the other. The space is very intentional. Spruce boasts a plethora of lotions and potions for everything from eyebrow care to sun blocks, serums to the perfect remedy for ingrown hairs. “I only stock natural, clinical skincare, which can be really hard to find,” explains Johns.

Evans, a former lawyer who has currently been filling in as the interim executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters, embraces the motto “when life gives you lemons, put on something sparkly.“ Bon Lemon’s products include all kinds of jewelry at reasonable prices. She even has a jewelry bar where customers can choose from a selection of charms to make their own, customized necklace.

spruce bon lemon

The new location for Spruce, Bon Lemon, and Kneaded Relief was a labor of love.

In addition to jewelry, Evans showcases scarves, champagne glasses, and fun tank tops. She teams with Sarah Quartucci and Brenna Weaver in deciding which items to buy for the shop. She has a special set of shelves just for the things she is currently in love with, and they consist of eye candy (and real candy) at its finest.

“Altruistic capitalism” is very important to Evans. “I believe that meaningful employment is what changes communities.” She currently donates 25 percent of Bon Lemon’s profits to charity. “We try to support charities in all the places where we have customers,” explains Evans.

“I admire that my sister is so philanthropic,” says Johns.

What’s refreshing about Evans is that she shows that women can be socially conscious and still have fun. Every Friday she hosts a happy hour from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m., complete with champagne and 20 percent off of selected items.

And did Johns and Evans, sixteen months apart and both graduates of Capital High School, ever envision themselves sharing a business space?

spruce bon lemon

Spruce carries quality candles, makeup, and skincare products.

Not at all.

Like many sisters, they irritated one another growing up. But family ties run deep, especially in their clan, and they found their way back to one another.

The sisters are very different, but they have a strong commitment toward both their relationship and business. “We want to be generous with one another,” says Evans. “We both want to be professional but fun. We really want success for one another,” adds Johns. “Amy’s a risk-taker, and I am more conservative. It works out.”

All three businesses recently made the move from a space on Limited Lane. The location was charming, but they were out-growing it. Spruce had recently expanded from three to four estheticians with the recent hiring of Natalie Hubbard in order to better meet the demand for their services.

The new location was funded and constructed by the Morris family, owners of JA Morris Construction and MPH Holdings. “They really partnered with us and shared our vision. Everything came out exactly as I expected,” explains Johns. The location features a modern ambiance – lots of windows, vaulted ceilings, and funky fixtures. The treatment rooms are all separated from the lobby area so that Johns, Hubbard, Chelsea Bouchee, and Ryane Bensley can be serving guests quietly.

The sisters’ dad has hand-constructed many of the fir-accents in the shop, including shelves and stump end tables, each contributing a unique and earthy feel to the space.

spruce bon lemon

Bon Lemon owner Amy Evans takes a cue from Oprah with her “Favorite Things” shelf. She explains, “The little luxuries are what life’s all about.”

“Our family has always been interested in design, and the design of this whole space has been a family activity,” states Johns.

Another bonus? The new location will give the trio of businesses much greater exposure to the public.

“Right now, this is super fun for us,” concludes Evans. “Who knows what the next chapter will hold?”

You can help the sisters celebrate their official grand opening by dropping in anytime from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. on August 12 to fill the new space with lots of sparkle. You can learn more about Spruce at and Bon Lemon at

Spruce, Bon Lemon and Kneaded Relief

4419 Harrison Ave NW in Olympia

Appointments: 360-701-1380



Grandma And Grandpa Get the Cheers At Washington’s Senior Games

Thurston Talk - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 6:00am



By Gail Wood

oly fed sponsorThe one-time cheerer has become the cheered. It’s role reversal.

Because of the Puget Sound Senior Games, the grandparent who once cheered for the grandchild to get a hit, score a basket or make a tackle, they are now the ones getting the cheers, the “that away” yells.

“All of us, at this age, have had kids and grandkids that we’ve supported at games,” said Jack Kiley, president of the Puget Sound Senior Games. “This reverses that. You see grandkids cheering on their grandmother as she’s swimming to the finish in the 100 meters.”

There’s going to be lots of cheering.  From July 24 – 27, the Washington State Senior Games will organize 25 events at sites throughout the South Sound, drawing over 2,300 contestants.

senior games

The senior games will be competing at 25 sites throughout Thurston County between July 24 – 27. Photo credit: Burton Johnson

From track, where 97-year-old George Rowswell will again be throwing the shot put, to swimming and softball, there will be competitors from across the Northwest entered. Since the inception of the Senior Games 18 years ago, turnout has grown from 183 in all sports in its first year to 2,207 two years ago. Kiley is expecting an even bigger turnout this year.

“We’ve grown a lot,” said Paul Kelly, commissioner for the field events in track. “These games are among the biggest attendance in the nation.”

Kelly, who has helped put on the event each year as a volunteer since its inception, credits the huge turnout to the quality of the organization. The turnout and the passion shown in athletes involved has kept Kelly coming back year after year. He plans on retiring this year.

“I have a lot of passion for it,” Kelly said. “I’m more of a field events guy. I was never a runner. I was  a thrower. There isn’t any other place in the world that I’m happier than at the track. I’m your classic track rat.”

The mission of the Washington State Senior Games hasn’t changed. It’s about fitness, about getting senior citizens off the couch and into some sport.

“Our fundamental theme has always been to get off the couch,” Kiley said. “You probably did something in high school or college. Why don’t you think about getting back to that?”

senior games

Pat Kenworthy (161) takes the lead in the 5k road race and doesn’t look back, winning the race and the 50-54 age division with a time of 19:08.3 last year. Photo by Burton Johnson.

The Senior Games, with its wide variety of sports, offers plenty of reasons to get off the couch. The events for this year’s Senior Games are archery, basketball, badminton, bowling, cowboy action shooting, cycling, dancing, golf, pickleball, power walking, race walking, racquetball, 5 & 10K runs, rock climbing, shuffleboard, soccer, softball, swimming, ping pong, tennis, track, trap shooting and volleyball.

Track, after drawing about 20 competitors in its first year, has drawn as many as 236, making it one of the more popular events. Softball, with about 600, has the biggest turnout.

Typically, at the end of the 800 meters or after a point in tennis, their will be a pumped fist, a celebration. Even if they’re gray haired or no haired, that inner drive to win hasn’t faded.

“Absolutely,” Kiley said. “They aren’t going to give in. They are going to do whatever it takes. They’re going to go kicking and screaming.”

There is a perception that if you’re older than 60 then you are too old to care or to old to try. Kelly said there will be plenty of examples this week contradicting that perception.

“I don’t think you ever get rid of those competitive juices,” Kelly said. “I think they’re always going to be there. To get the opportunity to get out there and do it against people your age really sharpens up the competitive drive.”

senior games

Joe Gilfillan blasts out of a sand trap on hole #9 during the senior games. Photo by Larry Stranz

Kelly said the heart of the Senior Games is “health and well being and fitness” for people over 50. The average age of entrants is the late 60s. But it’s not about winning. It’s about getting off the couch.

“Our games need not to be intimidating and welcoming to anyone who wants to come out and do it,” Kelly said.

Rowswell, who coached the throwing events at North Thurston High School from when the school opened in the 1950s up until three years ago, is the oldest entry. He continues to inspire.

“You won’t find any more committed seniors than that,” Kelly said.

Kiley has been a driving force to the Senior Games.

“He’s good at it,” Kelly said. “He does an incredible job. I don’t know where he gets all the horsepower to do what he does, but he does it.”

Kelly encourages people over 50 to join in on the fun, fellowship and friendly competition. He wants them to sign up with a friend and start training at the South Sound YMCA, health club, fitness center or in your own home. The Washington State Senior Games is a registered non-profit organization that relies on individual and corporate financial contributions to continue to provide these games.

For more information visit




Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 5:00pm

Thursday, July 17, 8pm

Dead To A Dying World —> on tour from Dallas, TX!

UZALA —> ripping stoner doom from Boise/Portland!

Shadows —> yr fave local psych doom band!

Burial Suit—> awesome local metallic hardcore!

Facebook invite!


Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Experienced Planner, Kell McAboy, Joins SCJ Alliance

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 3:24pm



Submitted by SCJ Alliance

Kell McAboy, AICP, joins Olympia-based SCJ Alliance.

Kell McAboy, AICP, joins SCJ Alliance as a Senior Planner.

Kell McAboy, AICP has joined SCJ Alliance as a Senior Planner. SCJ is a consulting firm specializing in transportation planning and design, civil engineering, and land use/environmental planning.

“Kell thrives in working through complex regulatory environments, finding solutions that benefit both the community and individuals and that are legally defensible,” said SCJ Senior Vice President Jean Carr, LEED AP BD+C. “She has experience across Washington State and great expertise related to the State’s Shoreline Management Act and Growth Management Act. We look forward to our clients benefitting from Kell’s many skills.”

McAboy heralds most recently from the Port of Tacoma where she was the Senior Planner for five years. Prior to that she served Mason County as the lead planner for complex and controversial land use and shoreline permit applications. McAboy also has planning experience with the City of Spokane and City of Airway Heights, located just east of Spokane.

Consistent with SCJ’s culture, Kell has a collaborative approach to problem solving. She was the project manager for many successful endeavors including the Port of Tacoma’s Land and Transportation Plan, Comprehensive Scheme of Harbor Improvements (CSHI), Shoreline Public Access Plan, Tideflats Area Transportation Study.

Since its founding in 2006 as Shea Carr Jewell, SCJ has grown steadily from three employees in one location, to nearly 60 employees in six locations across three states — Lacey, Seattle, Vancouver and Wenatchee, WA; Boise, ID; and Westminster, CO.

Some of SCJ’s current high visibility efforts include planned transportation improvements around Joint Base Lewis-McChord spanning five miles and four interchanges; civil engineering for WinCo Foods across the United States; an environmental assessment of the historic Tumwater Brewery site; civil engineering design for a 120-acre industrial parcel for the Port of Tacoma; and the High Roller in Las Vegas, the world’s largest observation wheel.





SPSCC Student Kangiser Wins Gold at SkillsUSA Championships

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 3:20pm



Submitted by South Puget Sound Community College


Front row L to R: High School medalists—Silver-Abigail Ramsey, Allen High School (Texas); Gold-Aracelis Salce, Atlantic County Institute of Technology (N.J.); and, Bronze-Ian Sinclair, River Ridge High School (Wash.). Back row L to R: Postsecondary/College medalists—Silver-Michael Valdivia, Chaffey College (Calif.); Gold-Mike Kangiser, South Puget Sound Community College (Wash.); and, Bronze-Schwann Brown-Richardson, Georgia Piedmont Technical College (Ga.). Photo courtesy of SkillsUSA.

South Puget Sound Community College Automotive Technology student Mike Kangiser claimed a gold medal at the SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City, Missouri. Kangiser claimed gold in Customer Service at the June 23-27 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference.

The championships included keynote speaker Mike Rose of “Dirty Jobs” fame, and included more than 17,000 in attendance. Kangiser said the event was a “once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

“To have my name called at the top, gold-medal contestant in my field in such grandeur was an unforgettable moment,” he said. “I felt fortunate to differentiate myself from a large field of candidates.”

“He represented our school very well,” SPSCC Worker Retraining Program Manager Christina Winstead, who accompanied Kangiser on the trip, said. “He was an outstanding delegate for our school. And he did amazing.”

SkillsUSA is the national organization for students in trade, industrial, technical and health occupations education. It sponsors the SkillsUSA Championships annually to recognize the achievements of career and technical education students and to encourage them to strive for excellence and pride in their chosen occupations. Working against the clock and each other, participants proved their expertise in job skills for occupations and through competitions in leadership skills. The customer service contest evaluates students’ proficiency in providing customer service. Contestants demonstrate their ability to perform customer service through telephone and computer skills, communications, problem solving, conflict resolution and business etiquette.

Kangiser also won the state competition in April at in Pasco. SPSCC student Steven Severson placed third in the state competition in extemporaneous speech. Thanks to his nationals win, Kangiser is now invited to the WorldSkills competition in 2015 in Brazil. He plans to fundraiser to try to make the trip.

Saint Martin’s University Adds Two New Degree Programs, One New Minor

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 3:15pm



Submitted by Saint Martin’s University

Saint Martins CourtyardSaint Martin’s University will begin the 2014-2015 academic year with two new programs leading to a bachelor of arts degree, the first in communication studies and the second in educational studies. The University also will offer a new minor in social justice this fall.

The programs, approved by the University’s Board of Trustees and the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities, bring the number of majors offered by the University to 25.

Associate Professor of Communication Irina Gendelman, Ph.D., who is the director of the communication studies program, describes the major as an interdisciplinary program in which students will study the central role of communication in society by using critical and cultural studies to understand it. The major will provide an overview of various areas of communication. It also will examine self-reflective citizen engagement and creation of communication media, she says.

“Our program focuses on social justice and critical cultural theory, developing critical thinkers who are also engaged citizens,” Gendelman says. “It is a perfect fit for students with diverse talents and interests. With our area’s rich cultural environment, governmental backdrop and deep traditions of activism and originality, the program will be an excellent fit.”

She says the major will prepare students for careers in a variety of fields, from those focused on production – such as public relations and advertising – to more theoretically oriented fields. Students also can use the degree as a springboard to graduate studies in several fields.

Joyce Westgard, Ph.D., dean of the College of Education and Counseling Psychology, says the University’s new educational studies program is designed to teach individuals the best teaching practices to support learning and how to administer learning programs. While it does not lead to teacher certification, it provides students with the in-depth knowledge and skills necessary to become effective teachers in those non-school careers in which teaching is an important element.

Belinda Hill, Ph.D., who chairs the School’s department of educational foundations and will be directing the new program, says, “While students majoring in the new program are gaining solid skills in the broader field of education  they develop a specific focus area to meet their career goals from one of five areas offered. For instance, a student interested in a career with a cultural component might choose foundation studies in education and culture, a focus that would prepare him or her to work with international students, immigrant services, teaching English abroad or teaching English as a Second Language.”

Other focus areas offered are early childhood education, community education, health and fitness, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).

Saint Martin’s new social justice minor explores the complex nature of social justice and alternative venues that foster justice, says the program’s originator, Robert Hauhart, Ph.D., J.D., professor of criminal justice and legal studies.

The new interdisciplinary minor, which complements a major in fields such as political science, criminal justice or sociology, focuses on non-legal forms of justice in society and the corresponding societal settings for injustice. It will offer many innovative courses, including a course in Genocide Studies being taught for the first time this fall.

“I teach criminal justice and legal studies, which are the official systems for justice in the United States and for most other countries,” he says. “One learns the outcomes from those systems are not always just. There are students who are looking for alternate routes that foster justice, who are committed to justice but do not see themselves working within either the criminal justice or legal systems.”


Hands-on Cloud Identification

Maria Mudd Ruth - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 3:09pm
What kinds of clouds are these? Aren't sure? Stratus? Cumulo-something? Do you need a field guide or an app? No.

What kinds of clouds are these? Aren't sure? Stratus? Cumulo-something? Do you need a field guide or an app? No.

It's not altocumulus, mid-level clouds with individual cloudlettes the size of your thumbnail when you hold it at arm's length 30 degrees above the horizon. (Some say altocumulus are between one and three fingers wide.

It's not altocumulus, mid-level clouds with individual cloudlettes the size of your thumbnail when you hold it at arm's length 30 degrees above the horizon. (Some say altocumulus are between one and three fingers wide.

It's not cirrocumulus, higher clouds with cloudlettes the size of your pinky nail (or rice grains some say).

It's not cirrocumulus, higher clouds with cloudlettes the size of your pinky nail (or rice grains some say).

They are larger than my they could be cumulus or stratocumlus but....

They are larger than my they could be cumulus or stratocumlus but....

...these are even bigger than my very large outstretched hand. The clouds don't have well-defined edges, flat bases, or the look of cumulus clouds. This leaves stratocumulus--a large, lumpy cloud that forms at low altitudes and is often formed as layered stratus clouds (fog) rise as they move inland over low hills. These clouds come in a variety known as stratocumulus fractus, which are the smaller (factions) of the stratocumulus cloud as it breaks apart or evaporates. Sure enough, when I checked the National Weather Service's forecast discussion, the morning cloud cover was described as "low clouds" and "stratus" and were predicted to rise, evaporate, and give way to mostly sunny skies.

...these are even bigger than my very large outstretched hand. The clouds don't have well-defined edges, flat bases, or the look of cumulus clouds. This leaves stratocumulus--a large, lumpy cloud that forms at low altitudes and is often formed as layered stratus clouds (fog) rise as they move inland over low hills. These clouds come in a variety known as stratocumulus fractus, which are the smaller (factions) of the stratocumulus cloud as it breaks apart or evaporates.

Sure enough, when I checked the National Weather Service's forecast discussion, the morning cloud cover was described as "low clouds" and "stratus" and were predicted to rise, evaporate, and give way to mostly sunny skies.

Categories: Local Environment

Savor South Sound at the Thurston County Fair

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 3:08pm



Submitted by The Thurston County Fair

whitewood cider

 Photo credit: Whitewood Cider.

It’s time to savor the best flavors that Cascadia brewers, ciderists, and vintners have to offer at the second annual Savor South Sound at the Thurston County Fair.

The two day event will highlight over a dozen local producers with a focus on unique recipes, blends and techniques with a Pacific Northwest touch. Savor will also feature local shellfish prepared by the Nisqually Indian Tribe and farm-to-table tastings by Friends of the Market.  Organized by WSU Extension Thurston County, food tasting is new to Savor this year.

“The tasting event hearkens back to the traditions that make county fairs so special,” said Lucas Patzek, Director of WSU Extension Thurston County. “County fairs have historically been one of the only times each year when farmers, craftsmen, and businessmen could market and showcase their products. Our goal with Savor South Sound is to tap into that tradition and celebrate what’s growing and brewing right here in our own backyard.”

You’ll sample creations from South Puget Sound favorites like Fish Tale Ales, Whitewood Cider Co., Madsen Family Cellars, Stottle Winery, NW Mountain Winery, and Kastellan Brauerei. From the greater Cascade region we’re also featuring Dick’s Brewing (Centralia, WA), Stina’s Cellars (Lakewood, WA), Vino Aquino Winery (Tacoma, WA), NoLi Brewhouse (Spokane, WA), Hoodsport Winery (WA), Bateaux Cellars (Toledo, WA), 10 Barrel Brewing Co. (Bend, OR), and Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider (Portland, OR).

A ticket to the event is just $10 and includes a commemorative Belgian-style beer glass and five tasting tickets (ticket price is in addition to cost of Fair entry). The event is located at the Gazebo Green near the Food Court Stage on Friday, August 1 and Saturday, August 2 from 5:00 – 10:00pm. Bring your Market Sale bid number on Saturday for $3 off the ticket price.

This year’s Fair will also include the second annual Live and Local Concert Series featuring regional music sensations like The Brown Edition, The Blackberry Bushes, and DBST. You’ll also find time-honored activities like the tractor pull, judged contests and 4-H and FFA youth proudly preparing their livestock for Market Sale.

This event is presented by The Thurston County Fair Foundation, WSU Thurston County Extension, and Fish Tale Ales.  Visit for more information about Savor South Sound and other happenings at this year’s fair. Savor is a 21+ event.


K Records - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 2:49pm
Last week I took a much needed vacation. Polly and I biked out to Grayland State Park on the Washington Coast and laid around on the beach. Got sunburned. Whenever I travel I like to do field recordings.  Most field recordists are looking to isolate and capture specific sounds, but I’ve always been much more […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Center Stage: Spotlight on Evergreen Trees and Shrubs

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 12:52pm



Submitted by The Plant Place Nursery

Evergreen shrubs and conifers rarely get the spotlight, but they are a vital part of a well-rounded landscape plan.  Evergreens provide essential background and filler; a framework for other more noticeable plants.  What would a beautiful portrait be without a lovely frame?  Who would pack a fragile vase in a box with no padding?  Evergreen shrubs are that padding;  Mother Nature’s bubble wrap surrounding perennials and flowering shrubs.

If you already have beautiful, seasonal flowering plants, but it still seems like something is missing then maybe what your garden needs is some trusty, hard-working evergreen trees and shrubs.  They come in so many sizes, shapes, and colors ranging from dark green to lime yellow.  Give your landscaping that ‘little something extra’ that will set it above the rest.  Fill in the gaps, plump up your garden, and go from wonderful to WOW with evergreen trees and shrubs, the unsung heroes of home landscaping.

Now is the perfect time to shop at The Plant Place Nursery Retail Lot located at3333 South Bay Rd. NE Olympia, WA 98506.  Come see us from July 15th – August 9th for our big Summer Sale:  Everything is 15% off.

Evergreen8 Evergreen 12 Evergreens 1 Evergreen 8 Evergreen 13 Evergreen 5 Evergreen 14 Evergreen 6 Evergreen 10 Evergreen 4 Evergreens 2 Evergreen 11 Evergreen 3 Evergreen 9 Evergreen 7


Olympia Firefighters Rescue Window Washer

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 12:08pm



Submitted by Olympia Fire Department

olympia fireOlympia Firefighters responded to a report of a fallen window washer just before 10:00 on July 17, 2014.  Two window washers were working on the back side of the Capitol Terrace Apartments, a six floor complex at 1517 Capitol Way south in Olympia, just up from the capitol Campus.

The first arriving unit, Olympia Ladder Truck found two window washers, believed to be from Ace Window Cleaning, hanging from their safety lines on the back of the building.  One window washer was bleeding from the head.

Three Olympia Firefighter crews immediately went to work on the rescue.  One crew accessed the patient through a window on the fifth floor.  A second crew went to the roof to assure that the safety lines would continue to hold the window washers and their malfunctioning window washing platform.  A third crew carefully moved the articulated ladder truck into the narrow alleyway behind the building and extended the ladder up to the window washers.

olympia fireCrews assisted the first window washer out of their tangled equipment and down the ladder.  This person was treated for a head laceration and transported to the hospital.  The second window washer was then helped down the ladder.  He was uninjured.

Olympia Fire Department responded with one engine, one ladder truck, a medic unit, and a command unit.  The County Special Operations and Rescue Team (SORT) was dispatched but not needed.  There were no injuries to any of the firefighters during the rescue.

Olympia Fire Department remained on scene until a representative from the state of Washington Department of Labor and Industries arrived.


P.W. Elverum Posting for the Unknown!

K Records - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 11:42am
Here’s Phil Elverum of P.W. Elverum & Sun stepping out of his auto in Olympia while making the rounds of prime posting locations. Ms. Mariella Luz greets him with her usual aplomb: Mr. Elverum carefully places a poster for the Anacortes Unknown Music Series on the door of the Dub Narcotic Studio: The Anacortes Unknown […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Flowers by Susan Christian

South Sound Arts - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 10:17am

The Weekly Volcano, July 17, 2014

Artist and gallery owner Susan Christian worried that it might not be kosher to exhibit her own paintings at her own gallery, Salon Refu, but many friends coaxed her into it so she set up a show of her own paintings — not her most recent work but some odd little flower paintings she did about 20 years ago. As with many of Christian’s paintings, these take some getting used to.
In order to explain why her work takes some getting used to I have to look back to about 1989 or 1990. She was doing paintings that I thought were too sparse and inelegant. Minimalist painting is hard enough to like because there’s not much there; so what is there has to be outstanding, striking in form and color. But her paintings were not so striking. What stands out most in my memory was a series of mountains — nothing so grand or exciting as, say, Cezanne’s faceted views of Mount St. Victoire, but rather just a lump of  a mountain with ground and sky, all painted with very little variation in form and rather dull in color. But the more I looked at them the more I began to realize that there was something strong, unpretentious, yet audacious about those paintings.
These flower paintings have much the same quality about them. They grew out of a series of batiks she attempted after a trip to Thailand in about 1994. They are paintings in acrylic on plain brown wrapping paper. Most of the pictures are of no more than two little clumps of flowers with one or two blooms on sinewy tendrils that either snake out from the edges of paintings or float on a flat, monotone background. There is no way to describe them without them sounding clunky and unappealing; yet I like them very much, and the longer I look at them the more I like them.
They also have cool titles like “Chastity,” “Remember My Name,” “Warning the Tourist” and “White Music.”
There are a couple with small clumps of flowers floating on acid yellow backgrounds that are particularly pleasing, and a group of four small paintings on the south wall on black backgrounds that seem to defy logic. Flowers at night visible without light or displayed on black velvet like specimens? These are some of my favorites.
“Warning the Tourist,” an acrylic painting with collage is the largest work in the show and the one that is totally different from all the rest. There are mountains and sea and smack-dab in the center a collaged image of flowers that look like they came out of a catalog. Something about this one reminds me of paintings by Fay Jones, although it’s not nearly as strange. I’m not crazy about this one, and it does not fit with the rest of the show.
Another one that I like a lot is called “Snake.” I like it because of the intense pink on the edge of a white flower and because of the strangeness of the circular form on the bottom left edge of the painting. I guess it is an unopened flower bud.
It may seem ironic, but one of the reasons these paintings are good is that the flowers are not particularly lovely. This is an admittedly personal bias: I have an aversion to paintings of beautiful subject matter like flowers and sunsets and pretty but coyly posed nudes. The ART should be beautiful, not the subject matter. If you just want pictures of pretty subjects, photographs are just fine. Christian’s flowers are not beautifully arranged and are on the verge of being wilted, so what you see is not the beauty of the flowers but the aesthetic quality of the colors, shapes and placement on the paper, and the visual interaction between the subject and the background. The placement and stark simplicity of the flowers — the slap-dash quality of the painting — makes the nuanced backgrounds come alive. Furthermore, these paintings do not look contrived; they looked like they just happened. I strongly suspect that Christian did not give much thought to what she was doing but approached the pictures in the manner of an athlete or a dancer, without much conscious thought but trusting that years of practice and study are ingrained in their bodies, eyes and hands, which react almost independent of thought.
This is a good show to see and maybe go back and see again.
Salon Refu, Thursday-Sunday, 2-6 p.m. through July 27, 114 N. Capitol Way, Olympia.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Thrifty Thurston Throws Snowballs during Christmas in July at Huntamer Park

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 8:08am



By Kathryn Millhorn

huntamer park

Huntamer Park is the site for many family friendly outdoor events throughout the summer. On July 26, it will be Christmas in July at the park.

As much as we revel in long days, cool evenings, and free vitamin D, sometimes the sunny weather can overdo it a little.  With this in mind, the wise souls behind Lacey In Tune’s Summer Concerts in the Park are hosting a freebie that’s sure to do the trick: Christmas in July.

On July 26 at 7:00 p.m. make your way to Lacey’s Huntamer Park in Woodland Square for snacks, entertainment, snow (yes, I said snow!), and even a visit from Santa himself.

The fun begins with a concert featuring David Correa and Cascadia, a Latin guitar and international fusion band known for their global influences.  With the mood set, the night is simultaneously warming up and cooling down.

“There are just so many fun things about Christmas that we thought we’d bring a little Christmas cheer to Lacey on a warm summer night,” says Jeannette Sieler, Recreation Supervisor for Lacey Parks and Recreation.  “After the concert by David Correa and Cascada featuring world music and summer sounds, we will shift gears and celebrate.  We will have snowball fights, snow to play in, a fun ‘gingerbread tent’ making activity (think s’mores meet gingerbread house with a camping theme) and it’s going to snow.”

olympia toy run

While Santa will likely not be arriving via motorcycle, he will be in attendance during the July 26 Christmas in July festivities at Huntamer Park.

Sieler enthusiastically adds that Santa will also be making an appearance. “Then we’ll settle in for a showing of ELF on the giant screen in the park,” she describes.

Lacey In Tune offers an array of summertime entertainment, from mid-day musical offerings to evenings of family-friendly comedy.  These amazing movie and music nights are BYOB (bring your own blanket or chair) and snacks are available either from on-site vendors, nearby restaurants, or your own picnic basket.  Concerts start at 7:00 p.m. with movies beginning at dusk on a large, easy to see screen.

After the music has died down, the last snowball has been thrown, and you’re ready to sit in the dusk digesting a belly full of gingerbread, it’ll be time for the enthusiastic arrival of Buddy the Elf.  Whether or not you can finish the quote of “Santa’s coming!” with “I know him!,” you’ll be sure to laugh the night away.

Lacey In Tune is one of our region’s best freebies for a reason.  Where else can you be swept away by such a motley cast of characters all for free?

Lacey In Tune 4Because Huntamer Park is accessible either through plentiful parking or via any of the busses which pass through the Lacey Transit Center, it’s an easy evening out.  Bear in mind that Intercity Transit busses only run until approximately 9:00 p.m. so arrange a ride home if that’s your preferred mode of transportation.

Come early, stay late, and have a wonderful night of community and laughter.  If you enjoy the evening and don’t want the fun to end, there will also be movie and concert pairings on August 2 and 9.  August 2 features Terry Holder, a performer of original heartfelt songs, followed by The Lego Movie, and the season wraps up with Global Heat’s hip hop soul with break dancing and world beats and a double feature of Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2.

As Buddy the Elf would say, don’t be a ‘cotton-headed ninny muggins’ and miss this truly magical evening.

Thrifty Thurston highlights inexpensive family fun in Thurston County.  The weekly series focuses on family-friendly activities throughout our community.  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, click here.

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