Recent local blog posts

Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 11:08am



Submitted by Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton

Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week - Remi

Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week – Remi

Meet Remi. This special soul is a 3 1/2 year old black Chow mix. He was hit by a car when younger and did not receive medical attention so has a limp in his back leg. Remi is the sweetest, calmest, most loving and appreciative boy you will ever meet.  He just needs a chance.

We have many great dogs and always need volunteers to help them. Contact Adopt-A-Pet dog shelter on Jensen Road in Shelton at or email us at or call (360) 432-3091.

George Romansic at the Drums!

K Records - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 10:57am
In 1980 Seattle took four giant steps toward a cultural revolution; the reverberation from those stomps are still being felt. The Beakers (in above photog: Franke Sundsten, Mark Smith, George Romansic, Jim Anderson) lived their brief frantic life that year, one of the many underground Seattle combos in which George Romansic was behind the drums. […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Garden Courte Invites Community to 15th Annual South Sound Alzheimer’s Conference

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 6:52am



alzheimers conference olympia

Dementia-care education specialist Teepa Snow will be the keynote speaker at this year’s 15th Annual South Sound Alzheimer’s Conference on May 8.

Alzheimer’s is a scary diagnosis for patients and caregivers alike. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, “the only cause of death in the top 10 in America that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed.” Because this is a diagnosis which touches one in three American seniors, continuing education is a definitive step that can help alleviate some of that fear.

Locally, the South Sound Alzheimer’s Council is made up of “professionals, volunteers, and family members who are dedicated to providing local and affordable access to quality education, support, and resources about Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias.” Many of the council and organization members work with, for, and on behalf of care centers like Olympia’s Garden Courte Memory Care Community. This May, the Council will host their 15th annual South Sound Alzheimer’s Conference.

The conference is scheduled for Friday, May 8, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at Westwood Baptist Church. This year’s keynote speaker is Teepa Snow, who describes herself as “a dementia-care education specialist with a background in occupational therapy and over 30 years in clinical practice.”

Snow explains that “I help people go from what they think they know about dementia to greater awareness. I help build knowledge (the why and the how) behind why people with dementia, or other forms of brain change, are doing what they are doing. And, I help build skill because, if you are going to make a difference, you’ve got to change. The condition is changing them. The question is what are you going to do about it?”

Dawn Peterson, Garden Courte’s Community Marketing Director, invites everyone to this event, “caregivers, families, and the community at large.” Their participation in the Conference is part of the facility’s longstanding commitment to both patients and their families.

garden courte

Even the springtime weather appreciates all Garden Courte’s staff does for our region.

“Garden Courte prides ourselves on being one of the places in the community where you can come to a safe environment to our monthly support group, and share with others that are going through the same thing you are with your loved one,” shares Peterson. “Our Monthly Speaker Series offers many presentations from physicians, geriatric care managers, elder law attorneys, the Alzheimer’s Association, coping with stress in taking care of a loved one, financial planners, and much more.”

The conference is free but a suggested donation of $25 will help cover costs, which include a continental breakfast and lunch for attendees and sponsors. Caregivers needing a break for the event can find Social Day Care available by appointment. This is arranged by contacting Cheri Knighton beforehand at 360-407-3967, extension 106.

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that “someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s every 67 seconds. In 2050, someone in the United States will develop the disease every 33 seconds.”

Continuing education and support from both community educators and caregiving peers is one simple tool available to help mitigate the tremendous emotional and psychological toll of the disease. Motivational speaker Leo Buscaglia admitted that “too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” For those facing a fear of the unknown, education and fellowship can do a world of good.

Westwood Baptist Church is located at 333 Kaiser Road Northwest, on Olympia’s west side. You can register for the Conference online here or by calling the Senior Center at 360-586-6181.

Garden Courte is located at 626 Lilly Road NE and can be reached with any questions at 360-339-5080. Keep abreast of current events, classes, and community fundraisers they host via their calendar. Through May 1, they are holding a sock drive to benefit local school children and regularly host charity events for non-profits throughout Thurston County. Why not help out those who so lovingly care for our loved ones?

Olympia Woman’s Legacy Lives with Food Trucks at 4th & Plum

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 6:42am



By Heidi Smith

red lionIt’s hard to imagine today, but not so long ago the multicultural dining spot at 4th and Plum was a mostly vacant lot. When Olympia restaurant manager Cindy Dickson first took over The Filling Station espresso stand on the property, “It was sort of a bad spot,” says her daughter Carissa. “It was an easy place for people to congregate at night.”

But Dickson, who passed away in January from cancer, had a dream of what the site could be. “She really wanted to make a space for the community,” says Carissa. Dickson began working with a friend who was a landscaper, creating a garden space. Over time, she added the food trucks, which have become a destination for the Olympia lunch and dinner crowd.

food trucks olympia

Ian Shulman of All Fed Up Curbside Kitchen appreciates the rural aspects of Olympia. “We have farmers with the mud of the farm still on their boots dropping off cases of produce down here. You don’t get that most places.”

“Cindy had the vision for it, to put the different trucks together,” says Jacob David, who operates the Nineveh Assyrian food truck along with his sister, owner Lisa David.  “We’ve got four very distinct ethnic cuisines here. We’re not necessarily in competition with each other. We actually complement each other. You see groups of people come from an office building and someone gets a burrito, someone gets arepa – then they all just sit in the garden and eat. It’s a wonderful thing to watch.”

Dickson’s vision has allowed a growing group of entrepreneurial chefs to pursue their own dreams on the site, bringing welcome diversity to Olympia cuisine and culture. The newest addition is Arepa Latin Street Food, named after the type of Venezuelan street food it serves.  Husband and wife team Marianne Socorro and Luis Amengual were inspired to start the business when, “We couldn’t find anything from our country,” says Marianne. “Luis was a corporate chef at the Hyatt, and it’s what he loves. We moved to Olympia and decided, why not here?”

Martin Moreno was the first to bring a food truck to the site nearly nine years ago with Tacos California. “I love tacos and there was not a taco place in the area,” he says. “I wanted people to know what real Mexican street food is.”

olympia food trucks

Olympia restaurant manager Cindy Dickson passed away in January, but leaves a legacy of community-building at 4th & Plum.

For Jacob and Lisa David, the motivation was similar. “We’re Assyrian and we wanted to have really traditional food available in Olympia,” says Lisa. “Both our parents have a deli in Toledo, Ohio, so we’ve done restaurant work our whole lives,” adds Jacob. It was Cindy, along with some neighbors who run a tattoo shop, who first contacted them. “They just called me up one day and said, ‘Would you ever consider having a food truck? We really want to have your food here,’” recalls Lisa.

Ian Shulman, whose All Fed Up Curbside Kitchen offers vegan and vegetarian cuisine, has fond memories of Cindy. “She was a really special lady who did a lot of things for a lot of people,” he says. “It was always her dream to have this kind of thing. It’s nice to be part of something bigger.” For him, that means exceeding expectations. “We just think we can do sandwiches and really fresh food better than most,” he says.  “The one goal that I have is to raise the bar a little bit. It’s fun to blow people’s minds and show people that there’s more out there.”

All of the owners say they’ve been embraced by the Olympia community. “Since we started, it’s been way better than I expected,” says Moreno.  He originally started the Tacos California as a hobby along with his wife at the time, but soon got so busy that, “I had no choice but to quit my regular job and come help.” Today he owns five food trucks in the South Sound.

Socorro agrees. “It’s been beautiful,” she says. “It was hard in the beginning because people didn’t recognize Venezuelan food. They had to get out of the box. But once you get out of the box, you don’t want to go back again. People keep coming back and every day gets better.”

Shulman says he’s willing to bend over backwards for his regular customers. “They’re easy to take care of because they’re such nice people,” he says. “We want to remove obstacles so they come back, even when it’s rainy and nasty and blowing sideways.” Every year has gotten better since All Fed Up opened three and a half years ago, he says, and now “People are supporting us from outlying areas for miles around.”

food trucks

Jacob and Lisa David have been “overwhelmed and touched” by the community support not only for their food but for the events they host to raise funds for refugee relief organizations.

During the recent conflict in Syria, Jacob and Lisa David have discovered that the community supported more than just their food. “We’ve done different events and the turnout for those has been great,” says Jacob.  “We did a dine-out event where we donated the proceeds to a relief organization working in Iraq and Syria. The community support for it was really overwhelming in a way and really touching.”

For Carissa Dickson, it means that her mother’s vision is being fulfilled. “It’s so amazing to me to see how many people congregate here every day,” she says.  “It’s exactly what my mom wanted.”

Shulman has a similar view.  “It’s hard to miss Cindy because I feel like she’s never really left,” he says. “There’s always a piece of her down here.”

To find the food trucks, go to the intersection of 4th Avenue and Plum Street in downtown Olympia.

ImageSource – Local Company Successfully Competes With Tech Industry Giants

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 6:00am



By Heidi Smith

greene realtyIf you think innovative technology comes only from places like Silicon Valley and Redmond, think again.

Right here in Olympia, home-grown company ImageSource Inc. has moved into the software development industry and everyone from Washington’s Department of Transportation to superior courts in California are using their ILINX products. “We have a great development team and we realized that we can actually build our own software and make it better,” says ImageSource Marketing Director Carol Carbone Jellison.

imagesource olympia

Taylor Osborne, Cory Hofland, and Kevin Huynh are part of the Training, Accounting and Marketing teams at ImageSource.

After years providing integration services for software from industry giants like Oracle and IBM, ImageSource developed their own line of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) tools, based on principles of speed, ease of use and flexibility. Their main areas of focus include capture, workflow, content management and eForms. “It brings a whole new tool kit to enterprise services,” says Richard Norrell, Senior ECM Systems Engineer at the DOT. “They’ve got their own interfaces, they’ve got their workflows, and their retention management is one of the easier that I’ve ever seen.”

“We’ve seen many other vendors, what they can do well and what they can’t,” says Randy Weakly, Vice President of Software Development at ImageSource. “Our unique perspective when we talk to a customer is the understanding that we need to deliver the best solution we can. Rather than pushing a product, it’s more about what problem are we trying to solve and what we can deliver for you.”

That means making things more efficient for their clients. In California, ILINX has helped the superior courts go paperless. “They’re using our suite in conjunction with their case management system, capturing information that is coming in electronically and scanned in paper documents,” says Jellison. “We’ve integrated with their web calendar so that a judge at the bench can see all of the hearings that they have for that day. It pulls case related documents from a repository in the way they want to see it, so they can customize how they’re viewing it. Eventually it’s going to let them process cases more quickly. And just as importantly, our solution prevents courts from losing or misplacing essential documentation.”

imagesource olympia

Ruben Kerson and Richard McDermott are members of the Inside Sales team that nurture long term relationships with customers.

Financial institutions also benefit from ILINX’s speedy delivery, Jellison says. “We have an ILINX solution in place at a large Alaska credit union that’s used for consumer lending for automobiles. When an auto dealer has a potential buyer apply for financing, they immediately fax that application to several financial institutions and the fastest to respond are most likely to win the business. Several ILINX products work in conjunction to inject the applications from faxes, emails and scanned paper into a workflow to process the applications electronically. This allows them to get an extremely quick response back to the auto dealer. A senior level executive at this credit union recently remarked that this automation project helped them gain about 160 hours of processing time through increases in efficiency.”

“What’s innovative about ImageSource is that when we see that there’s a hole or a niche or a need, we respond to that,” says Jellison. “Ease of use has always been our mantra for everything, not only from an administrator or implementation point of view but also for our users.”

As a result, they’ve developed long term relationships with many of their clients. “As their business grows and changes, we can help them adapt and solve business problems as they arise,” she says. “You’re not starting from scratch and you don’t have a manufacturer coming in and peddling a product without the knowledge about how to actually integrate it with your existing systems.”

For Randy Weakly, delivering that level of service is an ongoing source of satisfaction. “I came from the second largest software company in the world,” he says. “It is so refreshing to be in an environment where we can satisfy customers easily – not painlessly, but with a lot less pain than much of what’s out there.”

imagesource olympia

The Support and Professional Services team includes Jesse Kinney, Andrew Skovran, John Hart, Jason Downer and Julie Painter.

A key to the company’s success is its culture, says CEO and co-founder Terry Sutherland. “It’s really about the people. Our vision has always been to hire and retain a great staff – people who have freedom to grow and expand,” he says. “We’re not a micromanaged company – we’re a company of people that are entrepreneurs.”

Jellison agrees. “It’s very collaborative environment,” she says. “There’s a culture here where it doesn’t matter what level you are, people are happy to help you and jump in and assist. There’s no fear of going to find information or a resource when you need it.”

While Seattle might be a more obvious place to base a tech company, there are reasons ImageSource remains in Olympia. “There’s always been a good work/life balance here and because we’ve attracted a good core of people, they want to stay,” says Jellison. “People like this community. It’s an educated city but it’s not too big and it’s a great place to raise families.”

For Sutherland, the reason is closer to home. Both he and ImageSource co-founder Victor Zvirzdys were born and raised in Olympia. “This area is part of our company culture and DNA,” he says. “It has so much potential.”

To learn more about ImageSource, click here.

City of Lacey Named “Tree City USA” for 24th Year

Thurston Talk - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 5:01pm



Submitted by The City of Lacey

 Candra Grim

Photo credit: Candra Grim

The City of Lacey has once again been named as a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation — the twenty-fourth consecutive year the city has received this national recognition.

The city is proclaiming the month of April as Arbor Month, and is encouraging residents and businesses to plant and properly care for trees.

In honor of Arbor Month, the city will hold its popular annual seedling giveaway on Saturday, April 11, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (or until supplies run out) at Huntamer Park in Woodland Square. Species available this year include Japanese Maple, Ginkgo Biloba, Golden Raintree, English Oak, and Noble Fir. The seedlings, up to three feet in height, are limited to one per person, so bring the family!

Lacey was one of the first cities in Washington State to earn the Tree City designation. Since initially receiving the honor in the early 1990s, the community has invested more than $3.25 million on tree planting and care, and distributed nearly 27,000 free tree seedlings to residents. The city also maintains more than 1,200 acres of parkland and open space — comprising one of the largest municipal park systems on South Puget Sound — much of it permanently preserving natural forested areas.

For more information, please contact Stephen Kirkman, Lacey Public Affairs, at (360) 456-7788 or

Spring Fundraisers Help Local Dog Shelter

Thurston Talk - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 4:31pm



Submitted by Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton

dog adoptionAdopt-A-Pet announces spring fundraisers to help with the costs of daily operations of their dog shelter. Mark your calendars and get ready for some fun.

Gardeners can find everything they need for spring planting at the May 9 plant sale. The annual event will be held at Our Community Credit Union at 2948 Olympia Highway North from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Next up is the Memorial Weekend Yard Sale for great bargain hunting. This three day event is held at the shelter and runs Saturday through Monday, May 23-25 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day. Donated items are gladly accepted for both events.

Adopt-A-Pet will also be holding a raffle through June 1.  Alderbrook Resort and Spa, our local pet-friendly gem, has kindly donated a night’s stay in the beautiful Canal View room. This is a $500 value during the summer months. Tickets are $3 each and will be available at both the plant and yard sales. Locals can also purchase tickets by stopping in at the shelter from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on any Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday between now and June 1.  Not-so-locals can send a check and self-addressed stamped envelope to:  Raffle c/o Adopt-A-Pet, 940 E. Jensen Road, Shelton, WA 98584.    The lucky winner will be notified on June 2, 2015 and results posted on our Facebook page.

Adopt-a-Pet is a non-profit dog shelter, run completely by volunteers.  In 2014, the team saved the lives of 247 unwanted, abandoned and abused dogs and found loving forever homes for them. If you are interested in volunteering, the application is on the Adopt-A-Pet website at

For more information, or to donate items, please contact the Adopt-A-Pet office at (360) 432-3091 or

Demand for Commercial Real Estate on the Rise in Thurston County

Thurston Talk - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 4:06pm



Submitted by The Rants Group

Market Cycle-You - Rants groupThroughout Thurston County, demand for commercial real estate is on the rise across all three major product types. Small industrial spaces lead the pack with big demand for space <5,000sf, although spaces larger than 10,000sf remain weak. Retail follows in a close second, with increasing demand for high quality, newer space in some of the premier retail sub-markets such as those along Harrison Ave, Pacific Ave, and Martin Way. Our office market, the largest by total SF, was hit the hardest during the recession and although it is recovering steadily still has further to go than the other two types.

What does this mean for you and your business? It means now is the best time to move, renegotiate, or extend your lease term at favorable rates which are not likely to last much longer. One of the services we provide is free review of your current lease, and a recommendation for the best way to capitalize on the resurgent market conditions.

Additionally, with sales prices still near recent lows, this could be the perfect time to consider purchasing the right building for your business. We can perform a detailed lease/purchase analysis for your business to help you determine which route works best to help you reach both your short and long term goals.

So don’t let these unique market conditions pass you by. Contact us today so we can get the review process started and you on the right path for your business!

Sister Spit: Wednesday, April 15th, 11:00-1:00 pm, Lecture Hall 1

Evergreen Artists Lecture Series - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 2:46pm

Screen-Shot-2014-12-22-at-8.04.50-PM-1Sister Spit began in San Francisco in the 1990s as a weekly, girls-only open mic that was an alternative to the misogyny-soaked poetry open mics popular around the city (and the nation) at that time. Inspired by two-bit punk bands who managed to go on the road without hardly knowing how to play their instruments, Sister Spit became the first all-girl poetry roadshow at the end of the 90s, and toured regularly with such folks as Eileen Myles, Marci Blackman, Beth Lisick, and Nomy Lamm. The tour was revived as Sister Spit: The Next Generation in 2007, and has toured the United States annually since, with authors and performers such as Chinaka Hodge, Dorothy Allison, Lenelle Moise, Justin Vivian Bond, and many others. In this next incarnation, out of respect to the changing gender landscape of our queer and literary communities, 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 addition to the authors of Sister Spit Book’s two most recent publications, Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man, and Rad American Women A-Z, the tour incorporates artists and activists with wide-ranging audiences, styles and voices. Furthermore, the Sister Spit Tour invites local guest writers to add to the lineup.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Scholarships Offered for Innovative Classic Choral Presentations

Thurston Talk - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 2:30pm


Submitted by PARC Foundation of Thurston County  The Jocelyn Dohm Endowment invites grant applications from Thurston County individuals and organizations for projects that will advance the quality, visibility, and appreciation of choral music in Thurston County. Jocelyn Dohm, a life-long resident of Olympia, was active in myriad civil rights and social justice issues, and an active supporter of the arts and education. In her bequest she wrote that her funds were to be used for “the support and benefit of classical choral music” in our local area. As administrator of the endowment, the PARC Foundation is committed to honoring the full breadth and depth of Ms. Dohm’s choral music legacy. In consultation with her friends and associates, and by the example of her life, we have come to recognize that “classical” to Ms. Dohm meant more than choral music from the composers of the period 1750 and 1820.  The PARC Foundation believes that she intended to further and support “choral art music.” In honor of Ms. Dohm’s bequest, it is not the intention of this endowment to support jazz, Broadway, pop or ethnic musical genres. The purpose of this endowment is to perpetuate quality choral music throughout Thurston County, exclusively. Applications must be received on or before April 16, 2015. Awards will be announced on May 18, 2015. About PARC Foundation of Thurston County The PARC Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, works in partnership with local parks and recreation jurisdictions to create and sustain engaging and educational activities and events for kids, families, and seniors. Additionally, the Foundation seeks to develop and maintain financial and physical resources in order to leave a legacy of Parks, Arts, Recreation, and Cultural programs and facilities for present and future citizens of Thurston County to enjoy.


The Olympia Wooden Boat Association announces 36th Annual Olympia Wooden Boat Fair

Thurston Talk - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 2:18pm



Submitted by The Olympia Wooden Boat Association

Olympia Wooden Boat Festival 2013 (14)The Olympia Wooden Boat Association is proud to announce the 36th Annual Olympia Wooden Boat Fair May 9 and 10, 2015.

The fair, a traditional community and family event, is held at Percival Landing Park in downtown Olympia on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. On display will be all types of wooden boats including power, sail, row boats, dinghies, kayaks, and canoes.

Handmade items from local artisans will feature artwork, pottery, wooden décor, jewelry, clothing, homemade food products, and many more nautical-related items.

When the family gets hungry, walk through the International Food Alley booths offering traditional burgers, seafood, international choices, along with tempting desserts.

There will be a children’s boat building booth on Saturday. The fair is also known for showcasing local musical entertainment starting at noon.

Saturday, May 9

  • Noon   The Aspirations (Aspire School Jazz Band)
  • 2:00     Blue Pickup (Bluegrass band)
  • 4:00     Tumwater High School Jazz Ensemble

Sunday, May 10­

  • Noon   Olympia Highlanders Bagpipe Marching Band
  • 1:00     Slieveloughane Irish Dancers
  • 2:30     The Burren Boys (Celtic Music)

The fair officially closes on Sunday at 5:00 pm.

For more information, directions, or boat and vendor applications, visit our web site at or send us an email at Always held on Mother’s Day weekend, bring Mom and the family to our FREE, fun-filled Boat Fair!


Ballet Northwest Presents Don Quixote 

Thurston Talk - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 1:55pm



Submitted by Ballet Northwest

Don Quixote - Ballet NorthwestIt is an Olympia tradition – for years Ballet Northwest has staged a ballet performance over Mother’s Day weekend. This year Ballet Northwest continues the tradition and is pleased to present the Olympia premiere of the classic ballet Don Quixote at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts on Friday May 8 through Sunday, May 10.

First presented by the Ballet of the Imperial Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow, Russia in 1869, Don Quixote is now a famous classical ballet performed all over the world, but mainly in larger cities. The story follows legendary hero, Don Quixote and his squire, Sancho Panza as they journey to find Don Quixote’s love – Dulcinea.

“It is very exciting that we are able to offer this performance in Olympia. It is so different from the other ballets that we stage. I love the Spanish flair, the use of fans, capes and tambourines. For our gypsy dance, we are having a flamenco teacher come. There is also a lot of comedy in Don Quixote, which makes it fun for audiences of all ages,” said Ballet Northwest’s co-artistic director, Ken Johnson.

In order to stage a ballet brand-new to the company, Ballet Northwest has been working hard on conceptualizing and designing a new set, costumes and choreography.

Jill Carter and Steve Bylsma are leading set design, working with a team of professional artists and volunteers to create a vibrant, sun-drenched tableau.

Local professionals and volunteers designed and created the costumes. “The costumes are new, built from scratch, though a few we were able to pull from past productions,” said Johnson.

Joshua Grant, a professional dancer with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, will join Ballet Northwest for Don Quixote May 8 through 10.

Joshua Grant, a professional dancer with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, will join Ballet Northwest for Don Quixote May 8 through 10.

There are 75 dancers from Thurston, Lewis, Mason, and Pierce counties performing in the ballet, and guest artist Josh Grant will dance as Basilio, a barber. Mr. Grant dances professionally with Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle. Anna Thorton will dance as Kitri, an inn-keeper’s daughter. Jim Eychaner will perform Don Quixote, an errant knight.

“We’re excited this year to have such a strong cast of local dancers, as well as such an experienced professional dancer like Josh Grant,”, said Co-Artistic Director Josie Johnson.

Ballet Northwest continues its rich tradition of outreach into the community with its Dance Literacy program, in conjunction with Don Quixote.

Co-Artistic Director Ken Johnson explained, “Over 900 elementary-age kids from the Olympia School District, Tumwater School District, and North Thurston Public Schools will be bused to a free student matinee abbreviated performance, followed by a question and answer session at the Washington Center. We pay for the transportation costs, supported by grants. This is a great opportunity to expose children to the arts.”

Ballet Northwest presents Don Quixote with the support of the Nisqually Indian Tribe, Dr. Andrew Kapust, DDS, PS, Olympia Federal Savings, The Olympian, and 94.5 ROXY. In addition, Ballet Northwest received several grants to underwrite the cost of the new sets from the The Norcliffe Foundation, Horizons Foundation, and the Nisqually Indian Tribe.

Don Quixote will be performed at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Olympia May 8 through 10, Mother’s Day Weekend 2015.

Curtain time is 7:30pm on Friday and Saturday and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets range from $14 to $30, with discounts available to students, seniors, and youth. Student Rush tickets are available one hour before curtain.

Tickets are available through the Washington Center Box Office at 512 Washington Street SE in Olympia or by calling 360-753-8566. Visit for more information or buy tickets online at


Kindergarten Open House at The Northwest Christian Private Schools

Thurston Talk - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 1:11pm



Submitted by The Northwest Christian Private Schools

Preschool teacher and childIs your child ready for kindergarten? Join us for an informative hour on how you can help your child prepare for their transition to kindergarten. Tour our child-friendly classrooms, meet our principal, and speak directly with our teachers.

Check out how our curriculum and activities will create a love for learning in your child and prepare them for future learning endeavors. Kindergarten is where foundations for life are made! Come be a part of our amazing program. Noted early learning consultant and child care expert, Julie Weber, will also be on hand to help answer your questions.

Join us on April 19 for one of our two informational sessions.  The first session starts at 1:00pm and the second session starts at 2:00pm.

Community Christian Academy kindergarten and elementary school is located on the campus of Northwest Christian Private Schools in Lacey. Our address is 4706 Park Center Ave NE Lacey, WA 98516.

The Northwest Christian Private School campus consists of a preschool and childcare center, our Community Christian Academy K-8 program, and Northwest Christian High School, home of the Navigators. We offer preschool through twelfth grade on one beautiful 14 acre campus.

If you are looking for a safe, warm, loving school where your child can flourish, come visit us at our kindergarten Open House or call today for a tour.

For more detailed information about our Kindergarten Programs, please visit our web site.

To learn more about all of our schools on The Northwest Christian Private Schools Campus, go our web site.


A Geocaching Adventure?! Who Said Science Wasn’t Fun?

Thurston Talk - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 12:57pm



Submitted by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

olympia geocacheThe U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service teams up with the YWCA of Olympia to provide exciting educational programming for the Girls Without Limits! Spring Break Camp on Thursday, April 9th.

It is conservation science, youth education and the Amazing Race all wrapped up in one.

The YWCA of Olympia’s Girls Without Limits! 2015 Spring Break camp will be participating in the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s “Chehalis Basin Pacific Lamprey Geocaching Challenge.” These young women, and future scientists, will learn about GPS technology, physics, biology, environmental science, conservation and science careers as they complete this technological treasure hunt by solving puzzles and locating all six “mystery caches” throughout the Chehalis River Basin on April 9th.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently launched the Chehalis Basin Pacific Lamprey Geocaching Challenge in an effort to connect people with nature, raise Pacific Lamprey awareness (“the forgotten fish”) and educate the public about the Chehalis watershed (2nd largest in WA) and the conservation partners within. In order to find the exact latitude and longitude coordinates for the hidden caches, participants must successfully answer questions about the species and watershed. They must then follow the clues, locate the caches and stamp their “passport” for each site. The competed passport is then redeemed for a custom commemorative coin.

Girls Without Limits! is a low/no-cost weekend, spring break and summer camp, Girls Winter Summit and afterschool club that encourages girls ages 10-14 to develop skills in science, technology, engineering, & math (STEM), gain career awareness via mentorship with professional women, and foster self-esteem and leadership skills in a positive and fun learning environment like the Geocaching Challenge. Adolescent girls face tremendous social pressure that can deter them from pursuing science and math activities. However, GWOL! empowers girls to be confident in their abilities and invites them to explore future STEM careers and college majors.

A USFWS crew (biologist, AmeriCorps service members & volunteers) will work with the campers on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 8th as they prepare for the big event the next day. The USFWS crew, who will also serve as spring break mentors, will then join the camp participants on Thursday, April 9th as they attempt to complete the geocaching challenge in one day. Will they be successful?

For more info about GWOL!, click here or call 352-0593.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, click here, or connect with us through Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Flickr and YouTube.

Westport Winery Earns Four Medals at Great Northwest Wine Comp

Thurston Talk - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 12:01pm



Submitted by Westport Winery

2013 Bella PosterThe Great Northwest Wine Competition was held on March 25 and 26 at the Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River, Ore. This year set a record of 1,204 entries from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho, with more than twenty West Coast wine professionals as judges.

Bella and Jetty Cat, two of Westport’s most popular red blends, earned silver medals. And two white wines from Red Willow Vineyard, Lighthouse White and Elk River Riesling, earned bronze medals.

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.



Apple Tree showcase

South Sound Arts - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 11:09am
A fundraiser for special needs students Apple Tree Productions in Olympia is hosting a concert featuring Caspar Babypants in April as a fundraiser for the company's Special Needs Acting Showcase.

Apple Tree Productions invites students of every need and ability to a free summer performing arts program, taught by Heidi Fredericks. Students learn about acting, singing and movement through group activities, games and exercises designed for special needs students. Suitable for all ages and ability levels.  There will be one final performance for family and friends. Students do not need to have prior experience.  Several experienced teachers and volunteers will be on hand to help Heidi guide students through fun acting and singing lessons.

Heidi is public school teacher and is the proud mother of a 6-year-old autistic son, but has no other formal training in working with special needs students. This program is not intended to take the place of therapy. She has taught drama for almost 20 years, and has found through working with her son that singing and acting games excite his imagination, maintain his focus, and ease their connection to one another. She has taught a free special needs acting class for three years, and understands the need for a free class instead of further additional expenses.

April 11 at 2:30 p.m., Tumwater High School Performing Arts Center

For more information and to request an enrollment form, contact Apple Tree Productions  at

For more information on Apple Tree Productions see my article in Thurston Talk.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Plan Today for a Better Financial Tomorrow

OlyBlog Home Page - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 10:09am
Event:  Tue, 04/21/2015 - 5:30pm - 7:00pm It's Smart Money Week! Get the lowdown on saving, budgeting and planning for retirement at this workshop presented by Lyn Peters from the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions. Location: Tumwater Timberland Library, 7023 New Market St SW, Tumwater WA 98501 Phone: 360-943-7790 Intercity Transit route 12/13 logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Waste Less Food!

OlyBlog Home Page - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 10:04am
Event:  Sat, 04/18/2015 - 11:00am - 12:00pm The average family wastes more than $130 a month on food they don’t eat--and this has huge environmental and social impacts. Come learn more about the issue with outreach staff from the Waste Less Food program. As part of the presentation, you’ll hear ideas on ways to waste less food in your own kitchen. Take-home tools and information provided. Location: Tumwater Timberland Library, 7023 New Market St SW, Tumwater WA 98501 Phone: 360-943-7790 Intercity Transit route 12/13 logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Black Hills’ Bailey Weatherby Takes A No Ruffle Approach To Tennis

Thurston Talk - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 6:00am



By Gail Wood

capital medical centerJust call Bailey Weatherby a quick learner.

Two years ago as a freshman, Bailey tried out for Black Hills High School’s tennis team.  She was a rookie in the truest sense.

“She had never played tennis,” said Barbara Weatherby, Bailey’s mom and biggest fan.

She had never even picked up a racquet as a kid. But that didn’t matter. It didn’t take Bailey long to convince her coach Greg Bert that she’s got talent. She quickly became her team’s No. 2 singles player as a freshman and took over the No. 1 spot last year as a sophomore. Forget about the tennis lessons, the private instructions from sixth grade up. And forget about the year-around club play. Just hand Bailey a racquet and get out of the way.

black hills tennis

Bailey Weatherby has been Black Hills’ No. 1 singles player for the past two seasons.

“She’s a good, all-around athlete,” Bert said as he watched Bailey warm up for a match. “She’s got all the tools. And she’s really easy to coach. I think her strength is her self-confidence.”

Bert will occasionally go to her during a match with a tip. And Bailey will just nod her head.

“She’ll say, ‘Oh, I know. I’ve got this,’” Bert said with a smile. “She can figure things out. She’s good at thinking on her feet.”

In the fall of Bailey’s freshman year, she did another first. She turned out for volleyball and made the varsity team at Black Hills, again proving that she’s a quick learner. Although she is quiet, soft spoken, she’s a competitor.

“I like playing against other people and like going against people,” Bailey said when asked what she liked about tennis. “It’s fun.”

Bailey has always had this “let’s try this” attitude. Any sport that involves a ball, she’s tried it. She’s played T-ball, soccer, softball, and volleyball. And she’s tried swimming, diving and drill team. So, when the spring of her freshman year rolled around, she asked her mom a question.

black hills tennis

Coach Bert says Bailey Weatherby was a quick learner on the tennis court.

“Can I turn out for tennis?” Bailey asked.

And without any expectations, Bailey’s mom bought her a tennis racquet and she turned out, not knowing what to expect. But that’s always been Bailey’s approach with everything. And whether she wins or loses, she keeps the same approach – even keeled. No highs. No lows. No tears.

“I feel like I’m the luckiest mom in the world,” Barbara said as she watched her daughter and only child warm up before a tennis match. “She a great kid all around. She gets along with everyone.”

As Barbara puts it, there’s just no “drama” to Bailey. No typical teenaged outbursts – just this steady-as-she-goes approach to life. And that doesn’t just apply to sports. As an “A” student, Bailey also takes care of business in the classroom. As for life-long ambitions, this teen with adult maturity already has a list of what she wants to be when she grows up that includes an anesthesiologist, a veterinarian and a pediatric doctor.

“Kids love her,” Barbara said. “I hope she does something with kids. She’s just amazing with kids.”

black hills tennis

Bailey Weatherby warms up during a recent match.

And she’s not too bad with a tennis racquet in her hands. While Bailey’s been the top player on her team for the past two years, Bert is hoping she takes another step this year.

“She’s a good player,” Bert said. “My goal for her is to get to state this year or next. It won’t be easy.”

Bert knows what it takes to get there. He’s been coaching tennis at Black Hills since the school opened in 1998. Nine years ago, he took a couple of years off from coaching the boys team so he could watch his son, Ryan, play.

“It’s been really fun. They are very competitive and have been to state a number of times,” Bert said. “I’ve had some really good players. Bailey is just the next one up. She’s a good player.”

Playing No. 2 singles for the Wolves behind Bailey is Hope Johnston, a sophomore who transferred from Castle Rock. Brittany Ryser is playing No. 3 singles. Johnston is pushing Weatherby in practice.

black hills tennis

Barbara Weatherby is always at the matches, cheering for her daughter.

“That’s going to help Baily and help Hope,” Bert said. “I’ve got three good singles players. Our strength this year is singles. In the past, it’s been doubles. But this year I’ve got three good singles players.”

Since the fall of 2012, there’s been two things you can be sure you’d see at a Black Hills volleyball and tennis match. First, there’s Bailey at outside hitter on the volleyball team and in the spring she’s on the baseline hitting down-the-alley shots in tennis. Then there’s always Bailey’s mom, cheering and supporting.

“She comes to all my events,” Bailey said. “I definitely appreciate that.”


3 editors and an amazing photo. Just amazing. I'm not often amazed. (Olyblogosphere for April 6, 2015)

Olympia Time - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 5:58am
1. Did you know that Ken Balsley used to edit the Lacey Leader? Ken still covers Lacey and grades his mayor: B-.

2. Did you know the former publisher of the Olympian had a blog? Here you are.

3. This photo. Don't go your day without seeing this photo. Very much. I mean, the way he's laying there, still straddled. I also assume not awake. With his bag over his shoulder.

I'm just saying, photos don't take my breath away, almost as a rule. This one does.

4. Alec Clayton, editor at Mudflat Press, blogs about the latest exhibit at SPSCC. Which also features one of the above editors. Guess which one!
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