Recent local blog posts

Saint Martin’s Society of Fellows Welcomes Fulbright Scholar as Spring Colloquium Speaker

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 9:11pm


Submitted by Saint Martin’s University

Jeff BerkensteinThe Saint Martin’s University Society of Fellows cordially invites the community to join its members for the Society’s Spring 2014 Colloquium on Wednesday, April 9, at 7 p.m. The event, free and open to the public, will be hosted in the Norman Worthington Conference Center on the Saint Martin’s Lacey campus.

The celebration will feature distinguished speaker Jeff Birkenstein, Ph.D., a Fulbright Teaching and Research Award recipient and chair of the University’s Department of English. Birkenstein will speak on, “Notes on a Fulbright Semester at Petrozavodsk State University, Republic of Karelia, Russia.”

Birkenstein’s 2013 Fulbright grant enabled him to spend the fall 2013 semester at Petrozavodsk State University’s Institute of Foreign Languages, where he led advanced courses in English and taught courses on Russian and American short story literature. He has also been conducting joint research with Igor Krasnov, a professor at Petrozavodsk State University, on best practices for teaching the history of the modern short story across cultures.

“I just returned from 3-plus months in Russia, months spent teaching, writing, thinking, traveling, napping, eating, exploring and trying my darndest to be a cultural and academic ambassador — whatever that means,” Birkenstein says. “Although you may have noticed that when I first returned from Russia, I was walking around in a very surreal space — I would go back and forth between feeling that I was gone for five minutes and, alternatively, five years — I would like to share some of these thoughts about this experience.”

Birkenstein strives to break down walls between the classroom and the world. For example, watching a plane crash into New York’s World Trade Center live on television led to a conference and then a class (co-taught with anthropologist David Price), followed by a book: Reframing 9/11: Film, Pop Culture and the “War on Terror” (Continuum 2010), co-edited with Anna Froula (East Carolina University) and Karen Randall (Southampton Solent University, UK). Another example: a successful eater for his entire life, he uses these diverse experiences when teaching a course called “Food & Fiction,” which has, in turn, led to more writing, more traveling, more team-teaching and, of course, more good eating. Along with co-authors Froula and Randall, Birkenstein recently published The Cinema of Terry Gilliam: It’s a Mad World (Columbia UP/Wallflower is P). Birkenstein earned his doctorate in English, as well as a master of arts degree in Teaching English as a Second Language, from the University of Kentucky. He received his first MA, in English, from California State University, Long Beach. Birkenstein earned an undergraduate degree in English from the University of California, Los Angeles.

During the colloquium celebration, newly inducted members of the Society of Fellows will receive medals. Graduating Fellows will wear their medals with their regalia at Saint Martin’s commencement on Saturday, May 10.

The Society of Fellows, an academic honors organization at Saint Martin’s University, was founded in May 1971 by Father Michael Feeney, O.S.B., the University President, to distinguish members of the faculty and student body who, with their outstanding work in teaching and learning, contribute to the intellectual life of the University. Since its inception, the society has existed to recognize and encourage academic excellence throughout the Saint Martin’s University community.

Among its activities, the Society of Fellows publicly honors student achievement and regularly sponsors academic colloquia and convocations. It traditionally advises the University President on recipients of such academic awards as honorary degrees and the Martin of Tours Medal and it suggests, when requested, each year’s commencement speaker.


Internationally Known Pianist, Stephan Moore, Ph. D. to Conduct Music Workshop at Saint Martin’s University

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 9:00pm



Submitted by Saint Martin’s University

Stephan MooreThe Saint Martin’s University Music Program will be hosting internationally recognized pianist Stephen Moore, Ph. D., as he conducts a workshop on the Dalcroze approach to music education on Saturday, April 12, on the Lacey campus in Kreilsheimer Hall. Moore will also be a guest at the University’s final installment of the Music @ 11 series on Tuesday, April 15.

The “Putting It All Together” workshop will focus on beginner and intermediate levels of activities for teachers, students and  performers in movement, singing and improvisation.

Developed by Emile Jaques-Dalcroze in the early 1900s, the Dalcroze approach teaches an understanding of music through techniques that incorporate rhythmic movement, aural training and physical, vocal and instrumental improvisation.

The influence of Dalcroze has been felt worldwide within the field of music, as well as in dance, therapy, theatre and education. The comprehensive Dalcroze approach consists of three components: Eurhythmics, which teaches concepts of rhythm, structure, and musical expression through movement; Solfège, which develops an understanding of pitch, scale, and tonality through activities emphasizing aural comprehension and vocal improvisation; and Improvisation, which develops an understanding of form and meaning through spontaneous musical creation using movement, voice and instruments. It was Dalcroze’s intent that the three subjects be intertwined so the development of the inner ear, an inner muscular sense, and creative expression can work together to form the core of basic musicianship.

Registration for the workshop begins at 12:30 p.m., with the workshop to follow at 1 p.m. and concluding at 4 p.m. Pre-registration and ticket information is also available for the workshop, which is free for students at Saint Martin’s.

For the Music @ 11 event, Moore will perform a piano recital, “Carnival in Venice,” as well as conduct a master class on the Dalcroze approach with a focus on Eurhythmics. This event will be held in Kreilsheimer Hall at 11 a.m. and it is free and open to the public.

Moore is a piano performance specialist and associate professor of music at California State University, Dominguez Hills. He is a former tenured associate professor of the Oberlin Conservatory. He has performed nationally and internationally in Tokyo, Taipei, Hsinchu, Graz and Salzburg. Moore is co-author with Julia Schnebly Black of two books published by Alfred Inc.: “The Rhythm Inside: Connecting Body, Mind and Spirit” and “Rhythm One-on-One.” He holds a Ph.D. in music theory from Indiana University. His latest CD, “The French Connection” (2012), is a collection of French solo piano music. Moore holds the Dalcroze Certificate from the Manhattan Dalcroze Institute and the License from Columbia University, Teacher’s College. Since 1997, he has taught at the Marta Sanchez Summer Training Center (Carnegie Mellon University) and at the Northwest Dalcroze Summer Training Center since 1993. Moore also offers a three-week, intensive summer course in Dalcroze Eurhythmics at California State University, Dominguez Hills, for public school teachers.

University Associate Professor of Music Darrell Born, chair of the University’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts and the Music Program director, created the “Music @ 11” recital series, now in its ninth year, to raise awareness of the musical arts and provide opportunities for students and the community to experience various kinds of music in a recital setting.



Westport Winery’s Rapture of the Deep Wins at Capital Food & Wine Festival

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 8:39pm



Submitted by Westport Winery

Rapture of the Deep_Front_COLAWestport Winery’s sparkling cranberry wine Rapture of the Deep earned a gold medal and Best of Class at the Capital Food & Wine Festival in Lacey, Washington on Saturday, March 29. Rapture is made from 100% Ocean Spray cranberries and the wineries most award-winning creation. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this wine benefits Aberdeen’s Driftwood Theater.

The winery earned silver medals on Swimmer’s Petite Sirah with grapes from Jones Vineyard and Captain Gray’s Gewurztraminer from grapes from Red Willow Vineyard. A portion of the proceeds from these wines respectively benefit Grays Harbor Children’s Advocacy Center and the Grays Harbor Symphony.

The partnerships and collaborative relationships Westport Winery has built with their grape growers and local charities are integral to their remarkable growth and success in their six year history. Westport Winery was the first winery on the Washington Coast and remains the westernmost vineyard in the state.

Westport Winery and Vineyards By-the-Sea with its unique sculpture garden, lavender labyrinth, musical fence, 9-hole executive golf course, giant chess set, outdoor scrabble game, and grape maze, is located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road halfway between Aberdeen and Westport. Their award-winning wines are exclusively available at this location. 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

Appeals Court Upholds Food Co-op's Boycott

OlyBlog Home Page - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 7:50pm

From today's inbox:

April 7, 2014, Seattle – Today, the Washington State Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by five members of the Olympia Food Co-op against current and former members of the Co-op’s Board of Directors for their decision to boycott Israeli goods. The court held that the lawsuit was a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, or SLAPP, and that participation in the boycott is protected by the First Amendment. The court also affirmed $160,000 in statutory damages, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs for the board members, and awarded attorneys’ fees for the appeal.

The lawsuit is part of a broader pattern of targeting pro-Palestinian activists in the United States, particularly in legislatures and across college campuses. “Those who would try to intimidate concerned citizens speaking out on behalf of Palestinian human rights should take note,” said CCR Senior Staff Attorney Maria LaHood. “The law and history are on the side of peaceful boycotts for social change, and today’s ruling reaffirms that this time-honored tradition is protected by the First Amendment. Instead of trying to suppress speech calling for Palestinian human rights, opponents should address such speech on the merits.” logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

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Tumwater Boys Soccer Matches Up Against Stadium in Relay for Life Fundraiser

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 6:29pm



By Tom Rohrer

les schwabAlong with his desire to be a strong and loving father, husband and son, Chris Miller is driven by another belief.

“I strongly believe that in my lifetime, there will be a cure for cancer,” said Miller.  Along with his wife, Christy, he serves as the co-captain and creator of Lords of the Track Relay for Life Team. “That’s why I do this, why (Relay for Life participants) do this….We’re driven by this belief.”

relay for life thurston

During the 2013 Together We’re Kick’n Cancer Fundraiser between the girls soccer teams of Tumwater and Olympia High School, the two squads came together to make the shape of the cancer ribbon.

Miller, a board member for Relay for Life of Thurston County, helped organize the annual Together We’re Kick’n Cancer fundraiser hosted by the Tumwater High School boys soccer program.  This year’s fundraiser features a match between Tumwater and Stadium High School of Tacoma. The match will be held on Thursday, April 10, at Tumwater District Stadium beginning at 5:00 p.m.  Those in attendance can make a donation at the door or through an on-site bake sale.

Started by former T-Bird head coach Bryan Winkler, the fundraiser was taken over by Miller along with first year Tumwater head coach, Brett Bartlett, and Tumwater Athletic Director, Tim Graham.  Winkler is now in his first season as head coach of the boys team at Clover Park High School in Lakewood.

Miller and Lords of the Track also organized a similar same fundraiser by hosting a match between the Tumwater and Olympia High School girls soccer teams, last fall.

The husband of a leukemia survivor who lost his mother to kidney cancer seven years ago, Miller believes fundraisers involving athletics brings the community together and helps set a positive example of good health.

relay for life thurston

A moment of silence was held during the 2013 Together We’re Kick’n Cancer Fundraiser match between Tumwater and Olympia High School. Expect a similar scene during eh 2014 fundraiser, which will be held at the Tumwater vs. Stadium High boys soccer match on Thursday, April 10.

“A sport like soccer is all about the team.  It’s just like Relay for Life, where it’s essential you work as a team.  You have a team full of people striving towards a common, positive goal, so there are these parallels that make it very easy for the public to relate to,” said Miller, who continues to play in the Southwest Washington Soccer Association league. “It also promotes nutrition, exercise and healthy living.  We know that nutrition and exercise can have an effect on cancer, so again, you have these parallels,” adds  Miller.  ”People see these kids participating in a healthy activity and that can be very inspiring.”

Miller was drawn to Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society due to the organization’s stance on working towards a cure for all cancers, not just one particular type.  Miller appreciates the emotional power of Relay for Life and sees the same positive aspects in the soccer fundraiser.

“At (Relay for Life) everyone has a similar story or set of circumstances.  We are there for a common cause.  You can go hug, pat on the back or talk to anyone and people will share their emotions with you,” said Miller. “With this game, Tumwater and Stadium will be opponents, but they’re in this journey together.  They have a common cause and know that together, they are having a positive effect on their communities.”

Earlier this season, Miller worked with Olympia High School senior soccer captain, Bryce Winkler, to create a similar fundraiser for a match between Olympia and his father’s Clover Park team.

“I’m great friends with Bryan and Bryce and to see that event come to life, it was pretty special.  I’m very proud to have helped Bryce and even more of him,” Miller added referencing Bryce’s commitment to the sport and completing his senior project.

Traditions started by the Winkler’s, such as the two opposing teams gathering arm-in-arm at midfield for a moment of silence, will take place at the Stadium vs. Tumwater match.  During halftime, the two teams will listen to a speech from an individual involved in Relay for Life that has been affected by cancer.

relay for life fundraiser

Chris Miller is organizing a Relay for Life fundraiser during Thursday’s game between Tumwater and Stadium High School.

“It’s a way for the kids to get another perspective and to hear someone else’s story,” Miller said. “This is about informing the public about the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life and how special those organization are.”

The Thurston County area has a rich history of supporting such fundraisers and so far, Miller has noticed that tradition continued.  Nearby school districts have also posted information about the fundraiser.

When he took over the job, Bartlett reached out to Miller about continuing the fundraiser.  According to Miller, the support from Bartlett and Graham both has helped keep the fundraiser going.

“They have both done so much and it’s really amazing seeing them go out of their way to make sure this happens,” Miller said. “The work they’ve done, it’s almost indescribable for me to talk about.  They’ve been very special.”

As a child playing youth soccer, Miller remembers playing his best when his parents were in the stands supporting him.  Miller now gets to carry that tradition on as his son Ryan Dow-Murrey, a junior, is the T-Birds back-up goalie.

“I can’t make the away games normally, but I’m at every home game and will support him there,” said Miller, who has another son in sixth grade. “I know how important it is to have your parents there because I was once in that same position.”

Working to set a positive example for his children to follow has always been a main objective for Miller.  Miller is hoping to continue setting that example by working towards another goal that will have a positive impact on their future.

“My goal is for them to live in a world without cancer, a world with more hope,” said Miller.  “I think we can get there.”

For more information on the Together We’re Kick’n Cancer Fundraiser, please click here.


Tumwater’s Office Bar and Grill – A Perfect Pit Stop for Washington Beachgoers

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 6:17pm



Submitted by the Office Bar and Grill

olympia bars

Located on Mottman Road, The Office Bar and Grill is a popular gathering spot.

What’s halfway between Seattle and the sandy beaches of Washington, with no swimming but a free Sunday pool? It’s Tumwater’s Office Bar and Grill. If you are looking forward to some summer fun, you can drive 65 miles (from Seattle), take a break at The Office for a delicious Burger and a quick game of pool, then travel another 65 miles to the vacation beach of your choice. In Olympia, take the Mottman Blvd exit off 101, cross the freeway and turn south on Mottman Blvd. The Office is located in the first block, across from South Puget Sound Community College.

Westport is one of the closest Pacific Ocean beaches to Seattle and a favorite of local surfers, with lots of great hotel rooms and vacation rentals available. The beach is a wide, long stretch of sand that’s perfect for strolling. On a cold day you can build a beach fire with the abundant drift wood and settle in with a bottle of local vintage and some fresh fish. This area is known for tasty crab, tuna, salmon, prawns, and oysters. Have fun and see you at the beach!

Calvin is on tour in Europe!

K Records - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 3:17pm
It is hard to believe but Calvin is on tour for SIX WEEKS!  Seems like forever, here are his dates.  You should go to one of his shows and tell him how much we miss him already (but that we’re working hard while he is gone, promise!).   April 3    Colmar,   Federation Hiero, 7, […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Appeals Court Upholds Olympia Food Co-op's Boycott of Israeli Goods

Olympia Food Coop - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 1:32pm
Hello friends,

We received notice yesterday that the Court of Appeals has upheld Judge McPhee's ruling in favor of the 16 co-defendants (Board, former Board, and Staff members) of the Co-op who are being sued over the decision to honor the Israeli products boycott. For more information about this latest ruling please click the link to the Center for Constitutional Rights.
Categories: Local Food Blogs

Nadine Narindrankura at Media Island, Olympia WA, 4-9-2014 AT 7PM

OlyBlog Home Page - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 11:51am

Nadine Narindrankura,  Dine’ Nation  will be talking about Peabody coal/Black Mesa/ Big Mountain. Nadine is a young Dine’ woman who is part of the fight against the horrors of Peabody coal’s relentless 30 plus year assault on Dine’ people and Mother Earth, and is interested in meeting with Native people here to talk about Peabody and in learning more about the struggles against Coal especially on tribal lands here .


Media Island ,816 Adams St SE, Olympia, WA 98501
(360) 352-8526 logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Hirsch Center for Integrative Medicine: Transforming Community One Patient at a Time

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 6:00am



olympia alternative medicine

Dr. Evan Hirsch

The Hirsch Center for Integrative Medicine stands apart the moment you walk through the doors. It is a place where the relationship between clinician and patient begins at the threshold- for you are welcomed, not by a receptionist, nurse or assistant, but by your health care provider- and so begins your journey to better holistic health.

A Provider for Any Need

The health care practitioners at the Hirsch Center for Integrative Medicine (HCIM) provide care across all types of issues, patient ages, and health perspectives. They collectively have been trained in both conventional and natural medicine, integrating knowledge from a variety of healing modalities.

Primary care needs are met by Dr. Evan Hirsch, Dr. Louise Boxill and Anne Rhody, PA-C. Evan Hirsch, MD, the center’s founder, is Board Certified in Family Medicine and Integrative Holistic Medicine with additional trainings in Functional Medicine, and Medical Acupuncture.

Dr. Boxill, completed her training as both a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, a Nurse Practitioner and a Medical Acupuncturist. She is passionate about Women’s Health and uses her expertise to “serve, listen, teach and coach women and families to reach their highest health goals.”

olympia alternative medicine

A welcoming entry greets patients to The Hirsch Center.

Anne Rhody, PA-C, moved her family from Oklahoma to join the practice. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge to assist people in dealing with the toughest cases, like Autism, Fatigue, and Fibromyalgia using tools such as, IV therapy, Oxygen Therapy and Far Infrared Sauna. She was a bio-molecular chemist for seven years before pursing coursework in Applied Kinesiology and Craniosacral Therapy.

At HCIM primary care can be augmented with consultations from ancillary care providers. David Lerner, EAMP, MTCM, provides Functional Medicine expertise on cancer support, as well as digestive, hormonal, cardiovascular and autoimmune conditions. He helps patients create a whole-life wellness plan combining specialty lab testing, nutrition support and food-based supplements.

Working with Doug Walsh, MEd, NTP, brings patients to a new level of understanding about the role food plays in their health. As a nutritional therapist, he guides people to “transform their lives by transforming the way they eat.

olympia alternative medicineRobin Aisha Landsong, LMP, is a Craniosacral Therapist who works with children, adults and families. She treats patients who have experienced many forms of brain trauma or discomfort including injuries, accidents, headaches and migraines. Robin is also an artist and is currently working on her second book. Her expressive artwork is hung along many of the walls at HCIM.

Patients are emotionally supported on their journey towards better living through the work of integrative health coach Stacy Hirsch, MES, ACC. Hirsch partners with clients on their path of self-discovery. Her clients are people learning to identify and manage stress in their lives; people recovering from autoimmune or chronic health conditions; and people who want to create more connection, more peace, and to live their lives with more vitality.

When talking about the mission of the HCIM team, Stacy says, “We want to give people permission to expect this kind of care. To say ‘I want more from my healthcare and to understand the role they play in making that happen..

Warmth with Every Touch

HCIM is situated in two buildings, joined by an outdoor courtyard. Across from the patient exam offices is the newest expansion of the center, Evolve Medical Spa. The spa was renovated in partnerships with local businesses and artisans, continuing HCIM’s belief in the power of community.

olympia alternative medicineThe spa offers many different kinds of services and products. It is a place to find high quality supplements and environmental health products for enhancing heath and home. There is an oxygen therapy room, as well as a far infrared sauna that is open to both HCIM patients and the general public. As with many of the HCIM offerings, appointments can be scheduled online. The spa is also home for massage therapist Kenda Stewart, LMP. Stewart has extensive training in various massage techniques and her work often combines deep tissue, shiatsu, lymphatic drainage, and Swedish massage.

A Class for Every Community

The practitioners and staff of the Hirsch Center for Integrative Medicine believe in the power of community not only for patient support, but as it extends to the larger community as well. They sponsor outreach programs on evenings and weekends. Classes and group discussions are lead both by HCIM providers and other community leaders and educators. Recent events have included talks by Doula Diksha Berebitsky of Blissful Birth Initiations on Placenta Medicine, The Psychology of Color by the Red Door’s Lara Anderson, Nonviolent Communication by Liv Monroe and the Center’s Doug Walsh spoke about Food Allergies, Sensitivities and Intolerances.

IV Therapy RoomBeginning in April, HCIM is partnering with local Homeopath, Patricia Kay, MA, to offer a 12-week class on Cell Level Meditation based on the book she co-authored, Cell Level Meditation: Breathing with The Wisdom & Intelligence of The Cell. David Lerner will also be offering a 21-day Community Detox and Cleanse to support patients and the public in doing the important work of detoxification for better health.

The Hirsch Center for Integrative Medicine strives to heal and serve the community by nurturing it one individual at a time – Whole Body. Whole Health. Whole Family. Whole Heart.

Hirsch Center for Integrative Medicine

3525 Ensign Road NE, Suite G and N

Olympia, WA 98506



Fresh Lobster, Fish Under a Tent at Bayview Thriftway

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 6:00am



By Mary Ellen Psaltis

shellfish olympia wa

Bayview Thriftway will move their fresh fish outside on Friday, April 11 for their lobster tent sale.

Lucky us. We can eat fresh fish without exerting much effort. Simply go to either Ralph’s Thriftway or Bayview Thriftway and point to what you want.  There are icy beds topped with halibut, shrimp, salmon and more. This Friday, April 11, Bayview will pitch a huge tent in the parking lot for their giant lobster sale. You can pick ones that are cooked or still alive. Hoping for clams or oysters? They will be there, too. If you call the meat department any day this week before 5:00 p.m., you can order ahead to make sure you get exactly what you want. The sale begins at 9:00 a.m. and will last as long as the fish do.

Did you know that one cup of cooked lobster provides 28 grams of protein, which is about half the daily needs for a woman or a man. There’s not much fat on a lobster – likewise, you won’t find much fat in its meat either. Yes, there is sodium and cholesterol but also B12 and potassium. And, at 130 calories it’s diet friendly.

Many dine on the sweet meat of lobster with only a bowl of drawn butter nearby (that’s where the calories are hiding). Some may add pressed garlic to the butter. Your choice. A glass of crisp wine, a stack of napkins and a sunny afternoon are perfect ads. My gourmand friend suggests lobster pairs elegantly with slices of avocados and mangos.

Both Storman grocery stores are stocking halibut (already caught and cleaned.) This fish is another nutritional powerhouse and pure deliciousness when it comes to a creamy, fresh taste. You won’t find a tent in the parking lot at Ralph’s, but you will find help and choices inside in the meat department.

When you eat fresh fish, you reap the benefits of optimum nutrition with versatility and excellent taste – all in a single meal. Inside both Storman locations are salad fixings, wine and whatever else will make your fish feast complete.

Eat Well – Be Well


Gardner’s Seafood & Pasta has come to our aid by offering a zesty recipe for halibut.

Owners and sisters Sarah Felizardo and Chelse Pagel, are preparing this in their restaurant, but you can make it at home. Thanks for a fabulous recipe.

Gardner’s Halibut with a Roasted Mango and Habanero Salsa

olympia fresh fish

Prepare a mango salsa to top halibut.
Photo credit: Gardner’s

Season halibut with salt and pepper and prepare to your liking. Grill, bake, pan sear, etc.  We use a flat grill.

Salsa Recipe

1.5 pounds of cubed mango.  Fresh is preferred, but frozen can be used.

1/4 medium red onion diced

1/4 red bell pepper diced

1/4 cup honey

1/8 cup sugar

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/8 cup fresh lime juice

1 habanero, roasted, take seeds out and dice

salt and pepper to taste

Grill the mango and habanero until slightly charred. Let cool.  Combine all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until desired consistency. Can be served over halibut warm or cold.

Maybe you are in the mood for crab cakes.  Budd Bay Café Executive Chef Adam Setterstrom has provided a classic recipe.


Fish Tale Brewery

Fish tacos is another way to use halibut.

Budd Bay Café’s Crab Cakes

1 pound Dungeness crab

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

½ cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 egg

1 cup panko

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce

¼ teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

2 cups panko for breading

Drain the crabmeat, if necessary, and pick through it for shells. Remove. Put the crab in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk mustard, mayonnaise, garlic, parsley, egg, Worcestershire, Tabasco sauce, pepper, salt and Old Bay seasoning. Scrape the mixture over the crab and mix gently until well combined. Gently break up the lumps with your fingers but do not over mix.

Sprinkle the panko over the mixture and mix in thoroughly but gently; try not to turn the mixture into a mash. It should still be somewhat loose. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate from 1-3 hours.

Shape the crab mixture into 2 ounce cakes about 1 inch thick. Carefully roll the cake in panko. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat canola oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the cakes to the pan. Cook until dark golden brown on the underside – about 4 minutes. Flip the cakes, reduce the heat to medium low and continue cooking until the other side is well browned, about 4-5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the cakes.


GRuB Garden – The Greenest Investment You’ll Make This Year

Thurston Talk - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 5:30pm



Submitted by Cecelia Watkins for GRuB

grub gardenThe large room is full of people, standing and sitting, some with hands in pockets and others holding gently onto their kids. A nervous but excited air permeates the space, and one man begins.  “Collard greens,” he announces. “Yep, definitely collard greens.” The original question was what vegetable people were most excited to grow this year. Someone across the room shouts, “Wait, what are collard greens? I mean, what do you do with ‘em?” Someone else laughs and says, “They eat them down South a lot. Cook ‘em up with garlic and a little oil and they’re good to go!”

The location is St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in the heart of Lacey, and the event is the first Kitchen Garden Project (KGP) Gardener Orientation of the season. Every year GRuB (Garden-Raised Bounty), a local non-profit, builds at least 60 vegetable garden beds with people in Thurston and Mason Counties. For the past 20 years, GRuB and its KGP have been building these beds free of charge, in partnership with families and individuals of low-income. This year, GRuB is trying out a pilot program in which they build gardens for people of all income levels, on a sliding fee scale. This project, dubbed Food Investment Gardens (or FIG—because everything needs a good acronym at GRuB) will generate earned income for the non-profit, and support community members in jump-starting their 2014 garden.

We all know gardening is supposed to be a good thing, but the question is, how good? What kind of an investment are you making when you commit to a vegetable garden, and what kind of returns can you expect? The prospect of starting a garden can be daunting, and requires sizable upfront costs: lumber for a raised bed, nutrient-rich soil, tools, watering equipment—or a hefty payment to GRuB. So is it worth it?

Let’s begin by looking at a garden’s impact on physical health. Tending a garden can involve a lot of low-impact movement and stretching, which makes it an ideal physical activity for people who find more intensive movement a challenge. In the words of a KGP gardener, “My daughter and I have had an amazing summer outside because of our gardens. We spent quality time together outside planting, weeding, watering, sometimes eating dirt. We got outside so much more that we would have before the gardens… the gardens brought together everyone in our lives.”

grub kids gardenYou can also design your garden to meet your own physical needs—if you want a great work out, you can install a big in-ground garden, which will inevitably get you sweating. On the other end of the spectrum, if you struggle with mobility you can raise your garden beds up to waist height and tend them from a chair. Either way, it is exercise with a purpose and context beyond your own physical ability—you aren’t just moving in place in the gym; you’re using your body to grow food. Additionally, in both cases you’re outside, hopefully basking in the sunshine, and soaking up vitamin D. Committing yourself to a garden could be the best thing you do for your body this year.

As far as being good to your body, the dietary benefits of gardening are well-known for being fabulous.  Having an abundance of fresh vegetables right outside your kitchen means you will inevitably cook with them more often. Plus, once you taste lettuce that you grew yourself, you’ll never want to go back to the store. Many new gardeners actually report that their fresh garden veggies are so flavorful and delicious they find themselves using less oil, creamy dressings and salt: good veggies means simpler, more healthful meals.

Kids who will sneer at vegetables in the school cafeteria will rejoice at picking their own cherry tomatoes and eating them like candy. One KGP gardener said, “This story happened more that once: the looks on my children’s faces. I would show them something I’d picked, [and say] ‘That came out of our garden!’ and they would echo my words with their voices full of a mixture of excitement, wonder and delight.” Beyond getting you and your family to eat more vegetables, by growing your own you’ll have full control over what goes into your soil, on your plants, and into your bodies. Even those of you who doubt your thumbs could nurture anything green may surprise yourselves—between good soil and a sunny Pacific Northwest summer, it can be hard to go wrong. If all else fails, you’ll inexorably have more kale than you know what to do with.

Gardening is also proven to relieve stress and reduce depression. In one study, participants did a stressful task, then either read a book indoors for half an hour or worked in the garden outside. After the half hour was up, the gardening group’s stress was significantly lower than the reading group. The gardening participants had also returned to a fully positive mood. Another study found that seniors who garden regularly have a 36% lower risk of developing dementia, thanks to the combination of walking around the garden and learning new gardening skills. A study from the University of Essix shows that as little as five minutes of outdoor, mild physical activity will improve mood and reduce stress.

grub gardenOkay, sure, so a garden is good for your health, but what about your wallet? Is it possible to actually save money through backyard vegetable gardening? The short answer is yes, it’s possible. The longer answer is, it depends on how gardening savvy you are. National Gardening Association estimates point to the average gardener doubling their investment, producing $100 worth of veggies for a $50 investment. The Department of Agriculture gives the average number as $10 of crops grown for $1 of seed. Burpee seed company argues that a gardener can get an average return of $25 worth of produce for every $1 worth of seed you plant (with green beans being the most lucrative at $75:1 investment and potatoes being the least at $5:1).

In recent years, GRuB’s Kitchen Garden Project gardeners have weighed everything they’ve produced from their three 4×8 foot raised garden beds, and calculated generating over $600 of produce (averaging produce cost at about $2/pound) in one year. The beds should last around five years, meaning some $3,000 worth of produce. The gardens themselves, including seeds and vegetable starts, cost GRuB about $500 to put in.

Of course, the variable that isn’t factored into any of these equations is time. If you have a 100 square foot garden, you’ll find yourself working several hours each week to fight back weeds and keep your veggies happy. Once we put a monetary number on your time and include it as a garden input, suddenly the math gets skewed—unless you’ve got magic thumbs, your veggies will probably pay significantly less than minimum wage by the hour.

Lucky for us gardeners, when we’re out with our hands in the dirt, sun shining on our faces and kids laughing, it’s easy to not worry as much about money. Investing in a garden isn’t a guarantee that you’ll grow produce worth much more than the initial price—between deer, cats, and curious kids, things can go wrong. Things can also go very right.

Investing in a garden is a guarantee that you’ll spend more time outside, breathing in fresh air and waving hello to passing neighbors. A garden investment has a terribly high risk of improving your overall life satisfaction and personal well-being. Plus, it’s a guarantee that any curious kids who might be around will learn the powerful lessons of patience, appreciation, and wonder. You might just re-learn a few of those lessons yourself. Yes, starting a garden is an investment, and although it may not bear fruit financially, it will definitely bear many other things—including vegetables.

GRuB’s mission is to inspire positive personal and community change by bringing people together around food and agriculture. This year we are supporting even more of our community in making the investment in their land, their health, and their food by offering sliding scale gardens for purchase through the Food Investment Garden (FIG) pilot project. GRuB can get you growing with seeds, vegetable starts, and gardening workshop access in addition to building your new garden.

Contact to get your order in today —help make this project a success and make an investment not only in your own well-being, but in the well-being of our community.



Naturescaping for Water and Wildlife Field Class

OlyBlog Home Page - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 2:37pm
Event:  Sat, 05/03/2014 - 10:00am - 5:00pm

Learn about sustainable landscaping techniques that will save you time and money while attracting birds and butterflies to your garden and protecting water resources. “Naturescaping for Water & Wildlife” will be offered on Saturday, May 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Olympia. A classroom session will be followed by a field trip to local private gardens; bus transportation will be provided.

Seasoned horticulture experts Linda Andrews, a professional landscape designer, and Erica Guttman of Washington State University Extension will lead the class. Topics include how to make a landscaping plan; design ideas for outdoor living spaces; managing drainage, slopes and other trouble spots; how to reduce unnecessary lawn; how to create habitat for birds and butterflies; and selecting water-wise plants for all four seasons.

The class is free, but advance registration is required as space is limited. Visit for online registration; or contact 360-867-2167 or The class is co-sponsored by WSU Extension's Native Plant Salvage Project and Thurston County Stream Team. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

The Adventures of Cyndi Nelson and Her Seniors

Thurston Talk - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 1:20pm



By Barb Lally

sunset air“Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Realtor Cyndi Nelson reads mystery novels, watches NCIS, and helps seniors with their housing needs. To her, they are all adventures that involve problem solving and putting together the pieces of a great puzzle.

With a calm demeanor, Cyndi tells tales of exciting experiences that led up to what she calls her passion, helping seniors make smart decisions for a new phase in life.

olympia realtor

Cyndi Nelson is a Realtor with MVP Realty Group, a member of the Senior Action Network and finds working for seniors her greatest adventure.

Despite an “Ozzie and Harriet” middle class upbringing, Cyndi has always had a thirst for adventure. Her first job was working at Bruce’s Poodle Parlor on the beach in California, followed by a lengthy list of new experiences and places that rival the storybook Alice.

There was a job as a court reporter in Alaska, selling billboards in California, opening a daycare center in South Lake Tahoe, a stint as a dispatcher and jail matron at the Eldorado County Sheriff’s office and then a return to Alaska to work for a state legislator. Gathering no moss, next stop was Boston where her husband, Carl, was earning his masters degree at Harvard and Cyndi worked for Ernst and Young. And that’s not the half of it.

Eventually, the Nelson’s settled in Olympia. Soon after, Cyndi did more than just get her real estate license, she found her greatest adventure.

She has not moved since.

Hooked on Helping Seniors and Their Families

Two years after getting her broker’s license in Washington, an estate attorney asked her for a market analysis on a home when its owner had passed away.

“It was an amazing, quaint place and the property had a huge barn,” Cyndi describes. “But it was packed with clutter and toxic debris.”

The wheels began to turn in Cyndi’s head. “I recommended that the family put a couple of thousand dollars into clearing and cleaning the place to increase its value. The property sold for $40,000 more than they expected. I was hooked. I had put the pieces of the puzzle together for them to get the most value for the home. That’s the thrill of it all and I have been working on estates and for seniors since.”

olympia realtor senior

Cyndi Nelson helps Rose put together the pieces of the puzzle on the sale of her home.

Today Cyndi will tell you with a flash of her winsome smile that she will only admit to being a senior for the discounts. She was born on the early cusp of the baby boomer generation, between 1946 and 1964, a demographic that makes up nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population and faces its own challenges.

“Boomers are now a ‘sandwich’ generation. At 65, not only are they caring for their elderly parents but they also have kids who are moving home because of the economy. They get caught between the two.”

“Fortunately, our son Adam was just accepted to grad school, but my brother, sister and I are supporting our parents, a financial pressure that affects our own future,” Cyndi says knowingly. “We all ought to pre-plan for those years and not make the same mistakes.”

Resources help solve the senior puzzle

As a member of the Senior Action Network (SAN) and with years of experience helping seniors, Cyndi has gathered a network of experts who help her clients with any phase of their moves and care.

olympia realtor

Cyndi and Rose walk the Chehalis Western Trail on one of their visits.

“It is not just about real estate,” says Cyndi, who has earned the Realtor designation of Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES). “When seniors make changes in their housing there are other lifestyle decisions. The possibilities are exciting and the options are many.”

“Some want to sell their home and use the equity to move into one of the many assisted living choices here,” she continues.  ”Seniors who own their home ‘free and clear’ can choose to rent it out for monthly income. Some may need to de-clutter and move into a ‘right-size’ home. And, there are seniors who want to stay in their home or buy a second home, using a reverse mortgage. I know people in the area who are experts for all those options and more.”

She often visits one of her senior clients who lives at The Firs in Olympia to give her an update on the sale of her home. Rose finds it comforting and often tells Cyndi that she just couldn’t do it without her.

“She goes above and beyond,” Rose says without hesitation. “There aren’t many people who would do as much as she does.”

Cyndi tries to explain to people what her work as a Realtor means.

“When people ask me, how did you get into sales? My answer is that this is as far way from sales as you possibly could be,” Cyndi firmly states.

“We facilitate. You can’t sell anyone just anything and have peace of mind. It is all part of the big puzzle of a person’s needs and wants. When you put the pieces together it makes a great picture. I find it rewarding to help the senior community with a new picture of their next big adventure in life.”

To learn more about Cyndi Nelson, call MVP Realty Group at 360-915-9123.


Washington Guaranteed Education Tuition: GET the Outlook

Thurston Talk - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 11:57am



GET-OutlookThe Guaranteed Education Tuition Program, GET, is the second-largest and fastest-growing prepaid tuition plan in the nation.  At the close of the 2013 enrollment period, there were over 152,000 accounts.

Currently in its sixteenth year, families who enrolled their young children in the college savings plan are now sending their students off to college which means that GET has paid out nearly a half billion dollars from over 34,000 accounts of students attending colleges, universities and technical schools in all fifty states and fourteen foreign countries. Washington families are resoundingly choosing GET as part of their college savings planning and are reassured by the unique state guarantee.

Just as families debate how to fund their child’s college education so do lawmakers discuss the issue of funding higher education in our state. “There were some tense moments during the 2013 state legislative session as lawmakers wrestled with the challenge of how to fund higher education,” said Betty Lochner, GET Director.

“We’re happy to report that as the session progressed, several legislators, state officials and citizens spoke up and made it clear that this important program should be preserved for future generations,” added Lochner.

It became apparent that GET is a valuable asset to Washington families and plays a critical role in making a college education possible for our state’s families. Not only does offering a college savings plan to our Washington State residents assist in making college more affordable in the long run because you pay a lower price now for future, more expensive tuition and reduce the need for student loans in the future but it helps motivate children toward higher education.

Students who know they have a college savings account are seven times more likely to attend postsecondary education.  GET helps in setting financial and educational goals.

For more information on the GET program or how to enroll go to the GET website, call 800-955-2318 or email

Enrollment is open through May 31.


Signs of spring (Olyblogosphere for April 7, 2014)

Olympia Time - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 6:03am
1. Sue Gunn, despite sounding environmentalist, is still holding the conservative line in Thurston County. At least according to Ken of Lacey.

2. One little post about Moving to Olympia becomes the meta-fight of the city.

Says one:

Statistically we have a much higher population of youth homeless than is common.
Says another:

You're still focusing all of your energy onto the symptom and not the problem.
And, another:

Young people choosing irresponsibility in life shouldn't be the burden to bear of those who are responsible enough to pay our own way through life. Move to Olympia. Get more of this. Just don't move here without a job. Seriously.

3. Ryan Williams lives around here and he's a pretty good writer. The Myth of the Day Off. Look, here are all of the books by him.

4.There are a lot of local guys in professional baseball. More than you think.

5. Via Olyblog, through a tweet by me, copying and pasting an email I got which included an attachment of an essay by Bethany Weidner. Things are getting warm in the Planning Commission.

test gallery post

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 5:32pm
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Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Top Ten Home Inspection Problems

Thurston Talk - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 12:17pm



Submitted by Submitted by Boggs Home Inspection with permission of ASHI

When buying a home, a professional home inspection will reveal a lot about your future dream house. Besides learning about all the mechanical operation of your home the inspection will reveal any obvious defects. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) recently surveyed its members to find out what were the ten top home inspection problems.

1.  Improper surface grading and drainage. This was by far the most frequently-found problem, reported by 36 percent of inspectors. It’s responsible for many common household maladies: cracked slabs and water penetration of the basement, footings or crawlspace. The most effective remedies for bad drainage include re-grading the ground around the house, repairing or installing a gutter and downspout system and providing positive drainage away from the foundation.

2.  Improper and undersized electrical wiring. Many inspectors, about 20 percent, found this to be the most common home inspection problem. It includes such situations as insufficient electrical service to the house, aluminum wiring, inadequate overload protection, improper grounding and dangerous amateur wiring connections. The inspectors say that much of the improper wiring they see was put together by do-it-yourselfers. This is a serious safety hazard, not just a cosmetic defect.

3.  Older and damaged roofs. About 9 percent of inspectors cited this as the most-common home inspection problem. Many wooden roofs are at the end of their useful life. Asphalt shingle roofs only last about 15 to 20 years. Roof leakage caused by old or damaged shingles or improper flashing is a frequent problem. It can be easy and inexpensive to repair damaged tiles and shingles and to re-caulk the roof penetrations. But, expensive, major roof repairs may be required down the road, if the repairs are put off.

4.  Deficient and older heating systems. Problems in this category include broken or malfunctioning controls, blocked chimneys, unsafe exhaust flues and cracked heat exchangers. These conditions represent more than simply inefficient heating. They are a major health and safety hazard. Heating systems should be serviced and maintained annually by a professional heating serviceman according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Although expensive, the newer more efficient central heating systems will help to recoup your investment by reducing heating and cooling costs

5.  Poor Overall Maintenance. Americans, on average, take better care of their cars than they do their homes. That’s the consensus of many home inspectors, who often come across cracked, peeling or dirty painted surfaces, crumbling masonry, make-shift wiring or plumbing and broken fixtures or appliances. Although some of these problems may seem more cosmetic than serious, they reflect the overall lack of care that has been given to a home.

6.   Structural Problems. As a result of problems in one or more of the other categories, many houses sustain some, although usually not serious, damage to structural components such as foundation walls, floor joists, rafters or window and door headers. These problems are more common in older homes.

7.  Plumbing problems. Plumbing defects ranked high among the house problems encountered. Included are the existence of old or incompatible piping materials, faulty fixtures and waste lines and improperly strapped hot water heaters. Surprisingly, some home inspectors reported finding natural gas leaks in the homes they inspected.

8.  Exteriors items. Flaws in a home’s exterior, including windows, doors and wall surfaces are responsible for the discomfort and damage caused by water and air penetration. Inadequate caulking and/or poor weather stripping are the most common culprits of a cold and drafty home.

9.  Poor Ventilation. Due to overly ambitious efforts to save energy, many home owners have “over-sealed” their homes, resulting in excessive interior moisture. This can cause rotting and premature failure of both structural and nonstructural elements. Moisture from unvented bathrooms and kitchens can damage plaster and may also lead to the accumulation of mold, which often causes allergic reactions.

10.  Miscellaneous items. This category included various interior components, such as sticky windows or dripping faucets, as well as a number of environmental concerns, such as lead-based paint and asbestos.

To sum up the list, ASHI notes that 4 of the 10 items relate directly to the damaging effects of water. After a home is built, protecting it against water is the homeowner’s most important and continually challenging task. Also, it is important to remember that the list represents a national average. Problems vary by climate, building codes, and the age of a structure, among other things.


Helping Your Child Become a Good Problem Solver

Thurston Talk - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 11:48am


Submitted by Gyro Psychology

olympia pediatric psychologist

The staff at Gyro Psychology specialize in children ages 2 to 21.

Encouraging children to develop an effective process to solve problems is an important life skill that can be applied at home, in school, in social situations and in community environments. Apart from the confidence that comes along with having successfully calmed down, thought through a problem, generated creative solutions and worked toward implementing those solutions are critical skills that can be applied in multiple settings across the lifespan.

Adults can encourage children and teens to solve problems on their own in the following ways:

Encourage children & teens to describe the problem
When you see your child or teen having a problem hold back to let them recognize and describe the problem. Taking this first step will allow your child to understand the problem and begin to generate solutions on their own. Children and teens may not perceive the problem they same way adults do but it is important for them to describe the problem and what is happening from their perspective in their own words.  In doing so, they begin to trust their observation and analytical skills. Not only is this process part of the foundation of emotional development but lies at the heart of rational thinking.

Early in their development children may not be able to verbalize the problem they just know that things are not working out the way they intended. In such cases, simply state the problem for the child. If you use phrases such as, “So the problem is…” children will eventually understand that clearly identifying problems leads to generating solutions.

Give children & teens time to come up with their own solutions
While a parent’s solution might be more effective or efficient, simply giving it to the child would deprive them of the opportunity to learn and develop confidence in his or her problem solving ability.

Talk to children & teens about what is and what’s not working
To help children and teen move from a trial and error approach to a more systematic approach to problem solving, encourage them to think about the results or consequences of their actions.  Parents can ask and make comments and ask open-ended questions to help them consider alternatives.

Talking with your child or teen about what they did to solve or not solve a problem helps to establish a cause-and-effect connection in their mind. Once they have this mental association they are more apt to use this type of approach when faced with a problem in the future.

Need Emotional Support?

If you think your child would benefit from some additional support, consider calling us to set up an appointment with one of our psychologists at Gyro Psychology Services, Inc. (360.236.0206). We serve children and adolescents ages 2-21 with a variety of emotional, mental, and behavioral health needs.

We are located at 5191 Corporate Center Ct SE, Lacey, Washington, 98503. Or, check out our website for more information on parenting issues, anxiety, ADHD, and other tough issues that kids/teens face


Champions for Kids Awards Honor Twenty-Two Local Volunteers

Thurston Talk - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 11:32am



Submitted by TOGETHER!

Twenty-two people from many points of Thurston County received Champions for Kids awards March 24 for the work or volunteering they do to support children and youth. Honorees were nominated by local organizations and ranged from educators to students, law enforcement to service workers, and even a singing firefighter. About 280 people attended the Champions for Kids Celebration to listen to the stories of these individuals, some of whom have volunteered on behalf of children for decades.

The honorees were: Mimi Alcantar, Sean Bell, Kevin Davenport, Kimber Earp, Ruth Furman, George Johnson, Barbara Kuenstler, Lynn Ledgerwood, Johnny Lewis, Donna McPeak, Greg Ostrom, Christy Peters, Mike Reid, Danielle Salinas, Lyall Smith, Tammie Smith, Avery Stegall, Tamara Suting, Melanie Watson, Ken Westphal, Michaela Winkley, and Barbara Wischer.

The Champions for Kids Celebration is an annual event put on by TOGETHER!, a local nonprofit that works to advance the health, safety and success of young people in Thurston and Mason Counties. Over the 13-year history of the event, over 300 people have received this award for their dedication and volunteerism. These heroes often go unsung, and their recognition is well-deserved. Community sponsors help to make this recognition happen, including The Stars Foundation of Thurston County and Olympia Federal Savings.

Nominations for the 2015 Champions for Kids will open this fall.

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