Submitted by Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County
Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County has hired Katya Miltimore as the new Resource Development Director.
“Katya is an inspiring new member of our team. Her reputation as a talented fundraiser and her experience working to support youth programs make her the perfect person to help move the Clubs’ mission forward. We couldn’t be more excited to have her aboard!” – Joe Ingoglia, CEO
Katya joins the team at Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County after two and a half years as the Development Manager at South Puget Sound Community College Foundation. In addition to her experience with fundraising at the community college, Katya has raised funds on behalf of Madison Elementary School for a variety of programs, as well as the Madison Playground capital project. She is a member of West Olympia Rotary Club and South Sound Partners for Philanthropy, serving on the Boards of both organizations. She is also a Board member of the Olympia School District Education Foundation, and chairs the annual Expanding Your Horizons conference – a math and science event for middle school girls. Katya is passionate about serving and supporting youth in Thurston County through quality programs like the ones at the Boys & Girls Clubs.
Katya is a native of St. Petersburg, Russia, but has called the United States home since 1999 and has lived in Olympia with her husband Michael and two daughters for the past seven years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Evergreen State College.
“Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County has an incredible reputation. The quality of their programs, accessibility to all families, and the support of the greater community, all speak to it as an outstanding organization, and it is a privilege to join this team,” says Katya.
Submitted by Bryan Chiropractic Center
Ten years ago, if you could even find a kettlebell in an American gym you would have been hard pressed to find a safe place to swing it, and even more rare would have been to find somebody that actually knew how to use it. Now, it is becoming standard equipment at chiropractic offices, physical therapy centers and chain gyms.
The kettlebell is the original functional movement training tool and has been used by Russian athletes and military for over 100 years. Kettlebells have only recently made their way to the states as Health and Fitness research has been increasingly showing the value of training and improving movement instead of training and developing muscles. It seems movement improvement is vital to both treating and preventing mechanical pain of the body as well as developing a person’s athleticism. The research has also shown that regardless of the sport your skill development will never exceed your movement quality and poor movement is associated with repetitive strain injuries. Movement quality is improved with whole body movement therapy called Functional Training and often involves tools like kettlebells which add unique balance and resistance challenges that increase the therapeutic benefit of exercise.
Everyone, from professional athletes in the NFL, NBA and MLB to the Navy SEALs are turning to Functional Training to enhance performance and as an injury treatment and prevention tool. Functional exercises involve fundamental human movement patterns like squatting, climbing, twisting, lunging, carrying, crawling, pulling and running. This is because muscles don’t naturally operate in isolation-not a single sport requires bicep curls and life never demands a seated leg extension. When you lay down or sit down to exercise on a machine with a fixed pattern of movement, you are developing the limbs but not the core. Think of a tree with limbs overdeveloped compared to its trunk and remember life can sometimes be a storm. Functional exercises on the other hand mimic and improve the way you move in real life. The exercises are upright so the body has to balance while multiple parts learn to work together to accomplish a task. This ensures the core and stabilization muscles are developed in balance with the large prime mover muscles.
Exercise scientists that study functional strength and its effect on athletic performance have found that the whole body is interconnected with a fibrous tissue called fascia and muscular action in one area of the body feeds power to other interconnected areas of the body by acting on this fascia. In addition, certain muscles when contracted stimulate the nervous system to promote strength in other muscles by irradiation and summation. This helps to explain why functional strength is whole body strength and why it is improved with functional exercises as they develop the efficiency in which multiple areas of the body work together to accomplish a task. Bruce Lee is a good example of what optimal movement and muscle function can do to improve your functional strength and power transfer. At 135 pounds he was able to generate more punching and kicking power than men almost twice his size. He was able to do this because his movement and muscular activity allowed him to kick and punch with his whole body and with great efficiency and very little energy loss. At 135 pounds he did not have exceptional muscular strength, but he did have exceptional functional strength, agility, and quickness.
Evaluation of the world’s strongest man competitors found the key to the tremendous power needed to pull trucks, lift and flip telephone poles and carry 400 pound bags of sand came from the linkages of the body efficiently working together to accomplish the task. When power output was tested separately at the arm, shoulder, core, hip and leg, their sum was measurably less than what was needed to accomplish these feats of strength, even though all the athletes tested were successful in each of those events. Thus, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and the answer to athletic power and performance isn’t just creating bigger parts but instead it seems to be as much about improving how those parts work together. They say you cannot shoot a cannon from a canoe, so getting bigger guns would not be practical if you didn’t learn to stabilize the canoe. These strongmen know this so they use kettlebell training to teach the linkages of their bodies to work together efficiently. Regular training insures it’s in their muscle memory so it will be automatic when they compete the various events of their sport. Don’t be confused, these elite strength, athletes also need to train with heavy weights for structural strength and train the skill of each event, but they know they need the kettlebell training to improve their muscle software so they can get the most out of their hardware.
Functional training should be approached like any other new activity as there is a learning curve – you don’t start to snow ski on double black diamond runs instead you take some lessons and learn on the easier slopes. To be successful with functional exercise you must first move well when performing primary functional movements and most of us don’t. It’s common to have movement problems from past injuries, degenerative joint problems, poor conditioning and the most common source of movement dysfunction is our modern sedentary lifestyle. Ironically, compensation in movement feels normal to most people-the compensation has become their new normal. Thankfully, there are chiropractors and other professionals that have studied biomechanics and corrective exercise strategies so they have the skill needed to evaluate your ability to properly perform the primary movements associated with functional training. If you demonstrate compensation in movement and muscle activity, or if you have balance, mobility or stability problems with any movement you would be smart to fix it before you train that movement. Fortunately these movement problems are usually the result of stuck joints and muscular imbalances and can be corrected with chiropractic treatment and corrective exercise. The bottom line is you need to move well before you move aggressively or repetitively. If you don’t, you will just enhance your dysfunction and eventually develop mechanical pain and/or a repetitive use injury. Once you develop the form, flexibility, stability and muscle memory for proper movement and use of equipment you can progress to fitness level functional exercises on your own
It is helpful to envision a scale of movement quality and associated functional strength. At one end is poor movement and how it promotes mechanical pain and repetitive use injury. At the other end is optimal movement and functional strength that is found in elite athletes. This disparity exists because stuck joints and muscle imbalances cause compensation in movement which compromises the efficiency in which the body can work as a unit. This affects flexibility, balance, power transfer and functional strength. This creates energy leaks during activity that diminishes performance and creates unnatural loading of joints and ligaments. Unfortunately, most movement dysfunctions go unnoticed until the person develops mechanical pain or has a repetitive use injury or if they are fortunate and have their movement evaluated by a trained professional. The fact is if we train and improve our movement quality it will improve our physical potential. Your goal may be to eliminate back pain or prevent knee replacement or it may be to improve your performance in a sport or at work. Whether you are young or old, chiropractic care and functional movement training can improve your physical performance.
Dr. Mark Bryan is a chiropractor who has practiced in Olympia, Washington for over 25 years. His post graduate training includes: Functional biomechanics and movement assessment, orthopedics, kettlebell training and corrective exercise strategies. He practices at Bryan Chiropractic Center on Yelm Highway where he has successfully helped thousands of patients with mechanical pain involving the spine and the extremities. The office also has a fully equipped exercise suite where Dr. Bryan can evaluates a person’s ability to perform functional movements and then design and teach corrective exercise strategies to correct movement problems and muscle imbalances.
Submitted by Community Youth Services
Although Friday marks the 12th Annual Have a Heart for Kids Breakfast, it’s the FIRST visited by a feathered Seahawk!
Blitz, the official mascot of the 2014 Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks, will be swooping in to help get the Community Youth Services “Breakfast for Champions” under way.
It all begins EARLY, at 6:30 a.m. at the Red Lion Hotel, 2300 Evergreen Park Drive SW. Blitz will be posing for photos with fans before the program begins, from 6:30 to 7:15 a.m. About 500 guests are expected; seating is by reservation only and space is very limited.
It’s a “championship” week for the 44-year-old child welfare agency serving more than 3,800 youth and their families annually. Not only is this its oldest and biggest annual fund-raiser, it also marks a major expansion of CYS facilities.
Rosie’s Place, the daytime shelter serving more than 50 youth daily, is moving to the agency’s new facility at 520 Pear Street, the Brighter Futures Youth Center, where several CYS programs will now be based, including Rosie’s, the Young Adult Shelter, Street Outreach and Gravity High School, which helps youth get their GEDs.
An official “grand opening” of that facility is set for 4 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 28. For more information about photos or articles regarding the breakfast, please contact Barbara Wakefield, CYS development coordinator, at 360-918-7844 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Limited seating available and reservations are required by Thursday.
When the City of Lacey started their Alternative Energy Fair over 15 years ago, the technology showcased felt almost like science-fiction. But now homes are powered by solar and wind power, cars fueled by biodiesel, hydrogen, and electricity, and no-one bats an eye. Schools which once focused on the basics of reading and writing now offer students entrance into the awesomely titled Robotics Federation. With the exceptional now commonplace, the Fair’s founders realized it was time to re-charge things to highlight our amazing local educators, students, businesses, and talent.
Graeme Sackrison retired from the Employment Security Department and is now a self-proclaimed “compulsive volunteer.” During his 13 years on the Lacey City Council and time spent “engaged in city events” he discovered the Fair’s founding event: River Ridge’s electric car race, the ‘Electrathon’. This humble race soon became the Alternative Fuel Fair and then the Alternative Energy Fair. But now that such things as green power and zero-footprint are commonplace, the founders decided to turn towards the vital new trend of STEM education.
STEM is an educational focus on the topics of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The results of this training can be seen locally in the global success of the Saint Martin’s University Engineering program, Sunset Air’s award-winning designs, and the LOTT Clean Water Alliance. Says Sackrison, STEM is “important in economic development” and as such local groups, schools, businesses, and engineering firms are all invited to participate in this year’s Lacey S.T.E.M. Fair & Grand Prix Electric Car Races on Saturday, May 3, at Lacey’s Huntamer Park.
Carl Schlegel has been racing electric vehicles for 13 years, and teaching locally for almost 20. He’s currently a teacher at River Ridge High School and his students are the legacy of those first Electrathon inventors. When attendance at the Alternative Energy Fair started to drop, he wasn’t ready to “pull the plug on the kids” and is now a key player in the transition. He believes that this shift will show the public that it’s “just not shop programs anymore” but all too often “the public has no way to see that. This will showcase some of the things these schools are doing.”
Some of those things include internationally recognized robotics clubs, middle school experimental aircraft designs, and “things people can do, not just attend.” The fair will spotlight hands-on demonstrations and the work of award winning teachers like George Christoph. Says Schlegel, there will be “as many things as we can do to showcase STEM—a lot of really neat stuff is going around.”
Applications are still being taken for potential participants, relevant business promotions, and cars for the Electrathon America Lacey Grand Prix. Questions and registration details can be directed to Jeannette Sieler at email@example.com or 360-438-2631. For more information, click here.
By Kelli Samson
I recently asked Joel Christopher, a film student of mine at Capital High School (CHS), how he feels about nearly being through with his very successful high school golf career. He said all the right things, but ended with a wistful hesitation: “I just wish we could’ve made it onto Mr. De Bruyne’s wall.”
CHS history teacher Joe De Bruyne is known and loved for greeting his students at his classroom door each day with something personal – a nickname, a question, a comment, a little teasing. His connection to his students is also undeniably evident in “the wall” that Joel Christopher referred to.
The wall of fame wraps all around De Bruyne’s outer doorway, climbs to the ceiling, and stretches down and around a corner. It’s covered in newspaper clippings of CHS students new and old.
De Bruyne said it all began years ago when he started asking kids going on trips to bring something back to show him, like a ticket stub or a postcard. Then he started to cut out newspaper articles about students and history began.
The wall has become like a museum that, according to De Bruyne, “keeps the kids connected to the legacy of CHS,“ much like a trophy case. “Our kids like to be acknowledged by their peers. The wall helps create an atmosphere of comaraderie.” It spans rodeo, football, academics, cross country and everything in between.
A hole in the contents? The CHS golf team.
The CHS golf team has been coached since 2011 by Steve Hamilton, who himself was a golfer on the team in the 1980s after being introduced to the sport as a nine-year-old by his dad. He made it to the state tournament three out of his four years at CHS and went on to play golf for the University of Portland.
This year, along with freshman-phenomenon Gabriel Barnes, two seniors will be playing in the state golf tournament. This will be Brent Chapin’s second time at state and Joel Christopher’s third. What do these two seasoned golfers bring to the CHS team? According to Coach Hamilton, it’s stability.
“They’ve both had a leadership role in the last year. Joel learned to help the younger players. Brent has always been – even as a freshman – the person that made everybody laugh,” he said.
Chapin began golfing as soon as he could walk. He credits his parents for his early start. “We would go on vacations, and they would golf and bring me along with some tiny clubs, and I would just hit balls,” he says. When it came time for high school golf, he was excited to play for CHS. “We have a great history with golf. My other coach [Chris Swanson of PLU] played and won a state title for Capital.”
Christopher came to the sport much later than Chapin. He didn’t pick up a club until the summer before high school. He says his mom nudged him to get out on the course. “Her dad and grandpa were both really good golfers, and she thought it would be a good sport for me.” He humored her by giving it a try, but, “after my first time out there playing, I realized I loved it. I knew that I wanted to play in high school.”
Both golfers say that golf is not something they have to work into their schedules. It’s actually the other way around. “Everybody in my family just assumes that I’m going to be spending two to four hours at the golf course every day when I’m in season,” says Christopher. Chapin adds, “It’s more of fitting everything else around golf. During the golf season, the guy that cuts my hair gets off at three every day, but one day he stays late just so I can get my hair cut after golf practice.”
A typical day in the season starts at the crack of dawn for Christopher.
“Sometimes I’ll go down to the course before school at 6 a.m., when it’s light out, and practice down there. Then I’ll try to focus on school, but go to the course immediately after school and keep playing.”
If that seems like a lot of golf, it used to be even more intense when he was a newer player. “During freshman year, I would visualize stuff throughout the day,” says Christopher. “I’d be sitting in class and trying to imagine the play-by-play of the match we would have later in the day and try to visualize myself playing well and getting myself mentally prepared for the match. Now I don’t really do that as much.”
Chapin says he tries to “zone it out all day, otherwise I would get too stressed.” Both players often stay up to an hour later on the course after practices, getting extra pointers from the coach.
While the boys are both under the guidance of Coach “Hammy” Hamilton, they are extremely different players.
Hamilton describes Christopher as “very self-driven, almost a perfectionist.” However, he also states, “Golf is a sport that’s different from any other sport because it’s you against you. So you deal with your own emotions more than anything else.”
Because Christopher is a perfectionist, says Hamilton, “he’s always struggled with attitude on the course.”
This is something Christopher knows and understands about himself.
“I can be explosive, which can be good and bad,” he admits. “It can make me play great, and I can fuel off of my good emotion and play better, or sometimes it affects me negatively, and if I start to play bad, it spirals downhill.”
It’s something he and Coach Hamilton have worked on for four years. “Without him, I don’t think that I would still be playing, honestly,” says Christopher.
“We both play with emotions,” adds Chapin. “But when I play badly, I kind of implode on myself and just get quiet.”
Hamilton describes Chapin’s style on the course as laid-back. He is “unassuming, but just a natural swinger. He is the rock of the team. He has played in every varsity match in our four years together. The team has always loved Brent. He’s just always brought fun to it.”
Both golfers have nothing but love for one another. “I’ve always admired Brent’s ease and grace when he’s playing, because he makes it look so easy,” says Christopher. “He’s been doing it for such a long time, and I also just think he’s so naturally gifted. Off the golf course, he’s a really funny guy.” Though shy, “When he opens up, he’s hilarious, and everybody loves him. He’s just naturally one of the favorites and has been all four years.”
Chapin is very proud of Christopher’s growth in the sport. “I admire how Joel puts so much time and effort into getting better, since he did start later,” he says. “He kind of had a gap, but he worked hard enough to make that gap as small as possible.”
Christopher cites his dad and Coach Hamilton as his inspirations on the course. “My dad was one of the people who immediately told me I was good at golf, and he was the one who got me dreaming,” he says. “And Hamilton “helps me when I play bad and when I play good. He’s a consistent presence.”
Chapin feels buoyed by his two coaches, his parents, and “probably Tiger Woods. I still like him.”
Both golfers plan to head to college in the fall, though neither wants to play golf competitively after the state tournament. “I’ve come to realize that I appreciate it a lot more when I just play for fun. It’s a game,” says Chapin.
Ten years from now, adds Christopher, “I want to be winning men’s club tournaments at some private golf course and just racking up dollars in the gift shop, playing with buddies.”
One thing is for certain: These two golfers who have worked so hard and for so long are ready to take their place on Mr. De Bruyne’s wall, leaving behind a legacy of quiet dedication for future students to emulate.
Submitted by Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has released a list of proposed digs in March and April, adding to one previously announced for February 26-28.
None of those digs has yet received final approval, but the list will allow diggers to start planning their next trip to the beach, said Dan Ayres, WDFW shellfish manager.
“We expect to add some digs at Mocrocks and Copalis in April, but we need to measure harvest levels next month before we can do that,” Ayres said. “As usual, we’ll give the final word on all of the scheduled digs once we receive the results of upcoming marine toxin tests.”
Ayres also noted that the seasonal shift from evening tides to morning tides will occur March 30, four days into a proposed six-day dig.
“That’s another reason to announce these tentative digging dates as soon as possible, he said. “The last thing we want to do is take people by surprise.”
Proposed digs are tentatively scheduled on the following dates, beaches and low tides:
Seasonal switch to morning tides
Ayres noted that the 2nd Annual Long Beach Razor Clam Festival will be held April 19-20.
Under state law, diggers can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.
All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2013-14 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website and from license vendors around the state.
For updates on upcoming digs, see WDFW’s website.
By Nikki McCoy
Candyce Bollinger is a woman that waters her plants with leftover tea, she is a woman who has thick bouncy curls that frame kind eyes and seemingly perpetual smile, and Candyce Bollinger is a woman who changes lives.
Born just outside of Seattle, Bollinger has spent much of her life in Olympia. She has been a parent educator at South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) for 32 years and has offered private parenting services for 28 years. A mother of four, with one grandchild, she also speaks at area schools, and helps with re-structured family and conflict resolution within the state court system. And since it’s opening at the new location, she has been giving monthly lectures at the Hands on Children’s Museum (HOCM).
“Her insight, the way that she tackles parenting issues and her approach are very much in line with the ours,” says Genevieve Chan, communications manager for HOCM. “She has a lot of understanding that this is a lifelong process, that parenting isn’t about getting all the nuts and bolts at the beginning. It’s a journey that parents and children have to go through together. Her philosophy is very much something that we support – both in the way we try and bring families to learn in the museum, and in the way that we can help make those connections she illustrates in her workshops.”
Bollinger’s workshops at the museum are presented every first Tuesday of the month and range in topic from positive discipline to resiliency. Chan says the classes regularly sell out.
Randy Weeks, principal at Pioneer Elementary and former principal at Mountain View Elementary, was a student of Bollinger at SPSCC after his first child was born, and has since invited Bollinger to both schools to lecture to eager parents.
“She just gave such great advice,” reminisces Weeks. “We talked about issues as a group. It was just a really supportive setting. I appreciated it.”
“I chose to bring her in to the schools because as a parent. I knew I got a lot out of her,” continues Weeks. “She’s got a nice, informative, relaxed way of teaching that honors you for where you are. She’s not judgmental, isn’t like ‘my way or the highway,’ she just honors you as a parent, but also gives you accountability and motivation.”
Part of Bollinger’s teaching technique comes from time spent in Africa, where she has participated in humanitarian projects every other year since 1985.
“I call it my graduate school because a lot of my ideas I have gotten for lectures will often come out of my work in Africa,” shares Bollinger.
“Like my idea to do resiliency,” she adds. “I’d say ‘wow, these kids are definitely having way more physical and emotional challenges than our kids typically have here and they seem to be able to navigate those challenges and still maintain an optimistic perspective on life.’ That made me think, ok what’s so different about this culture and resiliency and how can we build from that.”
Now, she’s taking her combined experience and making it even more accessible to the community with an audio lecture series launched in early February. Two years in the making, the collection is a series of twelve, two-hour lectures, at $10 per download. This allows busy parents, grandparents and caregivers an opportunity to listen to them in the car, via a mobile device.
The topics explored in the series include positive communication, resiliency, over-indulgence, discipline, emotional intelligence, sibling relations, and other topics..
Another project in the works is a book, where Bollinger is compiling newsletters she’s written for the last seven years. She says she has the bones of the book, and hopes to finish it by next year. It will carry the same title as the audio series, called Map of Parenting.
As lucky as the community is to have Bollinger, she reciprocates the gratitude.
“I just consider myself so incredibly lucky to do this work,” says Bollinger. “I’m really grateful that I get to see people grow and become aware and more connected to their kids. I’m incredibly impressed with people and their willingness to have the courage to really look at themselves and admit their weaknesses and grow. I think that probably affects me more than anything – just that daily reminder of how incredible people are.”
For more information on parenting workshops at HOCM, click here.
For more information about Candyce Bollinger and links to her audio series, visit her website.
Submitted by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Plenty of fat clams await diggers who turn out for the next razor clam dig, set to run Feb. 26 through March 3 on various ocean beaches.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the dig after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.
As in previous openings, all digs are scheduled on evening tides. No digging will be allowed on any beach before noon.
Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, said razor clams sampled in recent days are noticeably heavier than those tested earlier in the season.
“With all the plankton in the water, the clams seem to be “fattening” up earlier than usual,” Ayres said. “Those clams will make for some tasty meals after the next opening.”
The upcoming dig is scheduled on the following dates, beaches and low tides:
Ayres noted that the beaches open for the greatest number of days are those with the most clams still available for harvest.
Under state law, diggers can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.
All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2013-14 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.
For updates on upcoming digs, see WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.
By Alyssa Ramsfield
It’s a well known fact that reading is essential to learning for students. For many students, reading is so much more than that. It is an escape route from reality. Immersing yourself in a new world filled with unique characters is part of the fun in reading. This fun is celebrated annually through Lacey Loves to Read events.
Lacey Loves to Read is celebrating its 11th year in the community. Since 2004, the program has brought award-winning authors to speak to children about the importance of literacy through community engagement. These experiences have included over the years the use of Skype sessions, contests, book clubs, workshops, and discussions. They have also spent time partnering with community business members to spread the word about reading during the month of February.
Lacey Loves to Read is all about getting the community involved in reading. Part of this involvement includes some one-on-one time with a notable author. This year, the event is featuring Patrick Carman. Carman has written many distinguished books for young readers. Some of his bestselling works include The Land of Elyon, Atherton, Elliot’s Park, 39 Clues, Thirteen Days to Midnight, and Skeleton Creek.
The Salem, Oregon born author has talked to many students about his award winning work. “I’ve been to at least 1400 schools to speak to students,” explains Carman. “My goal is to leave them with two or three writing tools that are useful for them.”
“I use a lot of jokes and humor in my speeches,” describes Carman. “I like to personalize it by giving stories about my mischief as a child. It helps kids become more comfortable with me. I was such a reluctant reader. I was really into comic books and spent most of my allowance on them. I didn’t really get hooked onto a book until I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was the first time a chapter book came along that was as visual as a comic book to me.”
The author will visit local North Thurston schools and talk to students about reading and writing as part of Lacey Loves to Read assemblies. Carman will also take part in a free Meet the Author event at Lacey Community Center on February 27 at 7:00 p.m.to meet with people around the community.
The event is sponsored by Lacey Timberland Library, North Thurston Public Schools, City of Lacey and Lacey Chamber of Commerce.
“To help engage our students and community around real-life reading applications, the Lacey Chamber Education Committee is promoting a new activity to involve local businesses and families with the ‘Read Around Lacey’ Literacy Adventure,” states the official Lacey Loves to Read website. Students are challenged to visit businesses to learn about why reading is so important. If the students visit four or more locations they are put into a drawing to win some wonderful prizes including: a Kindle Fire, gift certificates for books, and coupons for Round Table Pizza. The winners will be announced at the Lacey Community Center author event.
Another way this event is spreading reading importance is through a school-wide bookmark contest. Students were asked to design bookmarks based on their love for a good book. Bookmark winners were featured on bookmarks that are distributed to public and private schools throughout Lacey, as well as City Hall, Timberland Library and sponsoring businesses for the entire community to enjoy.
Lacey Loves to Read is all about spreading the love of reading. Whether it’s through contests or time spent with an established author, this event brings the community together to share the enjoyment of a good book across Thurston County.
February 27 at 7:00 p.m.
Lacey Community Center
By Tali Haller
Careers in the technology arena are quickly becoming some of the highest-paying, most respected jobs in the workforce. The U.S. News Rankings of “The 100 Best Jobs in 2014” recently filled their top positions with Software Developer (1), Computer Systems Analyst (2), and Web Developer (9). Olympia High School senior Brennan Shacklett is at the forefront. Already, he has been accepted to the prestigious Stanford University, California’s Ivy League, and intends to pursue a degree in computer science.
Starting small, Shacklett’s interest in computer science was first sparked in 6th grade when his grandfather gave him his first computer. It was a Mac. Initially, Shacklett enjoyed playing with the pre-installed “shiny” programs. But after awhile, the “newness” wore off. “I didn’t have the money to go out and buy new software for entertainment,” said Shacklett. Instead, he turned towards Linux, a computer operating system designed to be free, open source software for collaborative development and distribution. The beauty of open source software is that it can be modified by users. Basically, it’s free for anyone who has the skill to use it. “I wanted to change programs, customize them to my liking. Linux will let you do that,” he explained.
Motivated to uncover the Linux world, Shacklett learned through experimentation, buying books to help him through the process. Shacklett’s learning was propelled throughout his middle school years. He attended NOVA, an independent middle school dedicated to offering a challenging and engaging curriculum. It was there that his understanding of Linux would progress. “NOVA utilized the Linux software system, but it was slow and full of kinks because the computers were rather ancient,” said Brennan. “One of my teachers in 7th and 8th grade gave me a lot of time to work with the Linux computers he had. Having somebody who was actually willing to spend money on hardware that I could use and learn on was an enormous opportunity for me to advance.”
Upon reaching high school, Shacklett had many interests. His schedule was quickly filled with core classes, orchestra, and Spanish. There didn’t seem to be any room for computer science. But propelled by his passion to learn about coding, Shacklett inquired with the computer science teacher, Marc Turnbow.
“He walked into my classroom one morning and said he could smell computers, said he could smell the Linux and he wanted to know how he could help,” explained Turnbow. With the ‘Go ahead’ from Turnbow, Shacklett arrived at 7:00 am each morning to work on the computers. It essentially became an unofficial independent study that was completely self-motivated. “At first the learning curve was huge and my main focus was just to get a strong grasp on programming,” said Shacklett.
Coming into sophomore year, Shacklett and Turnbow created an official independent study contract so that Shacklett could get credit for his time. This zero hour credit has continued on into his senior year. “Now, I actually write programs and help maintain the school’s Linux computers,” he said.
With four years of experience, Shacklett now has more knowledge about the Linux systems than almost anyone else at OHS. He’s the go-to guy when something goes wrong. All of this knowledge has been put to use at his job working for Generation YES (Youth and Educators Succeeding), a company that writes software for project-based learning in schools. Centered on the idea that technology tends to be a burden for teachers, GenYES aims to provide ways for students to help teachers solve technological problems. Students can also do technology projects which can be assessed by national standards, thereby empowering students and aiding teachers simultaneously.
Shacklett’s connection to Turnbow ultimately landed him the job. At the beginning of his sophomore year, an opening came up at GenYES. Turnbow, who works both as a teacher and at GenYES as a network specialist, recommended Shacklett for the job, knowing that he had all the necessary skills. With Turnbow’s recommendation, Shacklett got the job. “It was basically, ‘You’re going to start getting paid and if you can pull it off, then we’re good!’” recalls Shacklett. “It was a trial-run and my boss made it very clear I was getting paid to learn,” he said.
According to Shacklett, his job was not all smooth sailing. “It was really hard at the beginning. Not only was there a huge learning curve for me, but also my predecessor wasn’t there to explain what he had been doing or how to work the website.” True to his determined and curious nature, Shacklett pushed forward, figuring it out on his own. Early on, his boss came to recognize Shacklett’s skill, resulting in continual raises over the years as a motivator for Shacklett to work more. His schedule has varied, but he currently works at the GenYES office location on Wednesday and Friday for 3 hours. The rest he does remotely, either at his house or in Turnbow’s classroom. “They’re long days,” Shacklett commented, “I don’t get to spend as much time socializing as some people, but I think it’s worth it.”
However, with senior year coming to a close, Shacklett is beginning to move on. “I love working for such a great and innovative company but at this point I’m not sure how much learning is going on. I feel like I’ve plateaued,” he said. Alas, there are still new skills he is learning. “Since I’m moving on next year, I am now in charge of two new sophomores so I’m learning a lot about management and training others,” he explains. Not everything comes easy though. “I’m not the most patient person so it can be a challenge to train the new programmers. But I love seeing them progress!” he said with a smile.
Aside from his job, Shacklett has maintained a 4.0 GPA with honors and AP (advanced placement) courses. On top of that, he contributes to open-source coding projects and maintains the school servers. “My contribution to the Linux Kernel have really given me credibility and the chance to work with other developers,” said Shacklett.
During his junior year, Shacklett and his friend and fellow programmer, David Garber, formed a programming club to teach interested students how to program. Going into senior year, they transitioned the club to focus more on competitions. So far they have competed at the University of Washington, placing in the advanced division, and at Pacific Lutheran University, placing in both the entry and advanced divisions. The competitions are among high school students. Each team is given a set of problems and a specific time frame (for example, three hours) to complete the problem set.
Outside of computers, Shacklett has continued playing his violin in the school symphony. He also has maintained his health over the years, bicycling when he can. “I don’t get to exercise as much as I would like, but as long as I’m not turning into some computer blob, I think I’m doing okay,” he said jokingly. In the summers, he makes up for it, taking an annual six-week sailing trip with his dad.
All of these focused extracurricular activities have given Shacklett a great playing hand for college. “If you look at what I’ve done, it’s very focused. You can really see the drive and I think that’s impressive to colleges,” stated Shacklett. Recognizing his love for programming, Shacklett’s main goal was to find a school with a stellar computer science program. Shacklett applied to Massachusets Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford, UC-Berkeley, and University of Washington. Soon, Shacklett received an acceptance from Stanford. “I was so excited: Stanford has great financial aid, it’s on the west coast in a beautiful location, and it excels at computer science,” explained Shacklett.
Once accepted to Stanford, UW and UC-Berkeley were out of the race. However, he is still considering MIT. “The great thing about MIT is that its thing is computer science, that’s the focus. There, I’m going to find a community of like-minded people. Plus, the surrounding city, Boston, Massachusetts, is potentially more interesting,” he said. Either way, he’s got two great schools lined up.
Both of which will allow him to follow his dream: “I want to get a degree in computer science and get involved in some kind of start-up. It’d always be cool to be the next Twitter or Facebook but I’m hoping to be involved in something more useful,” he said. To him, the most meaningful project would incorporate technology and the environment.
At his young age, Shacklett is loaded with experience, skill, and ambition. Turnbow commented that he saw his great potential from the beginning, even going as far to say, “I would love to get him into my family somehow.”
“I’ve had dealings with Brennan on lots of different fronts. I know him as a student, as a friend, and as a fellow worker at GenYES. I saw him come into high school as a volunteer and now as somebody who’s the master of a huge website,” Turnbow continued. “I’m really going to miss him. And yes, he would be a great addition to anybody’s gene pool. I’ve done everything I could to marry my daughters off to him -he’s just a little too young.”
On a last whim, Turnbow summed up Shacklett in a few words, “Brennan never boasts. You really have to dig to find out what he’s up to. But he is one of the brightest, certainly one of the sweetest, human beings I’ve ever met in my life.”
There are a few constants in every Northwest winter: kids will outgrow coats, you won’t find that missing mitten until late August, and you’ll get sick of the early dark well before Christmas. But within the hustle and bustle of this soggy season, there are still ways to help others even after the holidays are over.
Garden Courte Memory Care Community is an active and vital part of our community. They not only provide loving care to many of our older family members, they open their doors and hearts in outreach activities to veterans and military families, schoolchildren, and those in need throughout the county.
This spring’s annual fundraiser comes in the form of a challenge. Care organizations from up and down Lilly Road will compete to bring in the largest number of donated coats for the Little Red Schoolhouse Project. Between February 14 and March 15, donations of new or gently used coats, hooded sweatshirts, and new underwear will be collected, tallied, and the facility who brings in the most will win a staff-wide pizza party. Prizes for second and third place will be an amazing array of treats provided by Garden Courte’s renowned Chef Rubi.
Some of the participating donation sites include Garden Courte, The Sequoia Assisted Living Community, Group Health’s Olympia Medical Center, Providence Mother Joseph Care Center, Emeritus Senior Living, and Evergreen Nursing and Rehabilitation. While a few will simply encourage their employees to donate in-house, Garden Courte is open to receiving donations from anyone and everyone.
Marilyn Richards of Garden Courte says there is a “desperate need right now” for coats and hopes many will participate in the drive. Cheryl Huffman, a committee member from the Little Red Schoolhouse Project, agrees that these items are things they “have a hard time getting enough of.” Sizes can range from toddler through adult as they provide supplies for students through high school.
The Little Red Schoolhouse Project is a community organization which focuses primarily on providing schoolchildren in Thurston County with adequate school clothes, supplies, and coats. While focused on Olympia and the surrounding areas, Huffman assured me that no-one is ever turned away empty handed. Partnering with organizations like Garden Courte has “made a huge difference in being able to provide these things.” For over 20 years they have partnered with local churches, care organizations, business partners, and community members to help our children succeed. With no bricks-and-mortar building of their own, they rely on the kindness and support of others to fulfill their mission.
Questions about the drive can be directed to Marketing Directors Marilyn Richards or Dawn Peterson of Garden Courte at 360-491-4435. Donations will be accepted there from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more details on the Little Red Schoolhouse Project or how to participate, please visit their website.
Brad Rossman has an affable, warm personality. Rossman worked in marketing and sales for 30 years. As part of his job, he worked with hospitals and clinics. Now he’s the General Manager of the Olympia branch of Synergy HomeCare.
Synergy provides non-medical in-home care to seniors. There are 130 different locations across the United States including six in Washington. “We receive a tremendous amount of support and resources from the corporate office,” says Rossman. “We are trained so we can provide the best possible care.”
Rossman and his team of caregivers offer a variety of services. A caregiver can do simple household chores, provide transportation or help with bathing and cooking. For clients with advanced needs Synergy offers round-the-clock care.
Rossman decided to change careers because he wanted something different. “I have a passion for seniors and people with special needs,” says Rossman. He also has a passion for the Olympia area. “My wife and I have lived in Olympia for 28 years. We raised our kids here and we’re excited to do something good for the community.”
To learn more about Synergy follow the link by clicking here or you can call 360-338-0837.
By Margo Greenman
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has been an internationally renowned, modern dance company since its conception in the late 1950’s. In continuation of the company’s success, founder, Alvin Ailey, formed Ailey ll during the late 1970’s. Ailey ll was aimed toward bringing together the country’s best, young, dancers and pairing them with up-and-coming choreographers. In the years that followed, Ailey II has become one of the most recognized and celebrated dance companies in the United States.
Serving as a stepping stone in which young dancers are able to gain professional, dance experience that eases the transition from the classroom to the stage, Ailey ll has been helping young dancers establish themselves professionally since 1978. Artistic Director for Ailey ll, Troy Powell, says he started at the Ailey School when he was just 9-years-old, and propelled forward joining Ailey ll, then moving on again to join the main company. Having been able to experience each stage of the Ailey process, Powell explains that he understands the support and guidance these young dancers need, and describes his job as being “second nature.”
Powell says that many of Ailey ll’s dancers continue on after their time with the company to dance on Broadway, in film productions, or the Alvin Ailey company. But, often, more important than the dancers that Ailey ll “grooms” are the dancers who move on to become choreographers. “People want to see what’s new, what’s young, what’s fresh – as years go by, that’s what happens with Ailey ll,” explains Powell. In order to keep their performances fresh and current, Ailey ll turns to talented, emerging choreographers.
Combining compelling, choreographed works with the talent of Ailey ll’s dancers makes for entertaining performances that Powell describes as being more than just dance. “These dancers are very well trained, but they are also very smart. They integrate their experiences with the movement,” says Powell. He continues to explain that people anticipate to see movement when they come to watch dance, but when you sit and watch Ailey II, you see so much more.
After spending some time overseas touring across Germany and France, Ailey ll is stopping in Canada then making their way to Olympia, for a performance at the Kenneth J. Minneart Center for the Arts on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Brought in partnership by South Puget Sound Community College and Ballet Northwest, Kenneth Johnson, co-artistic director for Ballet Northwest, says, “We’re thrilled that Ailey ll is coming to our community. The show will be rewarding for seasoned dance enthusiasts, but also exciting for those new to modern dance. Ballet Northwest is committed to increasing the quality and breadth of dance in the South Sound, and partnering with SPSCC to bring Ailey ll to town is a huge part of that,” says Johnson.
So what exactly can viewers of the performance anticipate to see? Powell says that Ailey ll will be performing three pieces. The first, choreographed by Polish choreographer Katarzyna Skarpetowska and titled “Cuore Sott’Olio,” follows a woman as she revisits three previous relationships with three different men. “You see this woman going on this journey, then the next part introduces these three men. It has a story, and it’s very unique,” says Powell.
The next piece, a work titled, “Alchemies,” choreographed by Adam Barroch, is a series of abstract movements portraying human interactions. Powell says, “[Barroch] really wanted the dancers to consider their human interactions. I think it’s more about the textiles of the movement, and for them to really feel their muscles, feel their skeleton, and have that relationship with that human part of the body.”
The third and final piece Ailey ll will perform during their visit to Olympia is a piece choreographed by Jennifer Archibald. The work, which is titled “Wings,” is, as Powell describes, more of an angelic piece. “The dancers are making a connection with angels. It’s about that higher place – heaven – and having those interactions with angels,” says Powell. The piece poses questions such as, what would you say to an angel? And even depicts movements that suggest the dancers are writing messages in the air. Powell also notes that Archibald challenges the dancers to improvise, making “Wings” a difficult piece for the dancers.
On their upcoming visit to Olympia, Powell notes, with laughter in his voice, “we’re not coming for the weather.” But says Ailey ll is looking forward to their visit to Washington, and that for most, if not all of the dancers, this will be their first time in Olympia.
As for the performance, Powell suggests guests bring their seat belts along with them. “These dancers are really well trained. They’re passionate about their art and have no problem showing it. People are going to see this and just jump out of their seats.”
To purchase tickets for the performance, click here. Ailey II dancers will hit the stage at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25. SPSCC students, faculty and staff are eligible for one free ticket by calling 360-753-8586 in advance.
For more information regarding Ailey ll, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and a full list of tour dates, visit alvinailey.org.
Time does not stay static like frost at midnight, but instead flurries forward like an eternal storm front. Which is to say that it is the last Sunday of the month, and with this comes MERE MENTION!
I am mad excited for this Mere Mention. From Seattle we have Patrick Higgins and David ZoeNoyoudidnt Leon, from Olympia we have Abraham Behaliu, and from Tumwater/Seattle we have Kelli Tokos! We also have, as a guest host, the unflappably fantastic Taylor Rae Sikorski. We have the greatest host to grace the stage, the finest comedians, and the best audience in town. That’s you, you guys.
Doors open at 6:45, show starts at 7. It’s only $5 and it’ll be the best $5 you’ll spend that Sunday.