Recent local blog posts

The Conference Room at Mud Bay Coffee Company Offers a Unique and Tasty Meeting Experience

Thurston Talk - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 6:00am



mud bay coffee

Set the right tone for your next meeting: When you meet in the Mud Bay Coffee Company’s conference room, you’ll find yourself downright excited for your meetings. Photo courtesy of Mud Bay Coffee Company

Imagine you’re in a meeting. But it’s a different kind of meeting. You are sitting around a comfortable café table, your favorite espresso drink in hand as you nibble a locally-made pastry. Or perhaps you’re a little hungrier and want a quiche or personal pizza. As the backdrop to your meeting you have large, floor-to-ceiling picture windows, with sunlight streaming in. The room is air-conditioned and bright. There’s art hung on the walls and graceful overhead lighting. You can close the double French doors and have a private meeting, all while having the amenities of a coffee shop nearby.

This ideal meeting can be a reality if you hold your meeting at Mud Bay Coffee Shop. Their conference room has been gaining a reputation as the “it” meeting spot because of their great atmosphere, hand-crafted beverages, and convenient location on Olympia’s West Side. The room seats 12 -18 people comfortably, and provides a professional-yet-inviting place to meet.

I stopped by Mud Bay Coffee Shop to meet with co-owner and coffee roaster Ken Campbell. Campbell notes that one reason the room is popular is because the room rental fee can be applied to food and beverages purchased at Mud Bay. Everyone likes a treat during meetings or gatherings, and Mud Bay offers a practical, affordable way to make meetings more enjoyable.

mud bay coffee

While meeting in the Mud Bay Coffee Company conference room, you’ll have your pick of delicious hand-crafted beverages and food items to pair it with. Photo courtesy of Mud Bay Coffee Company

When asked what kinds of groups typically use the room, Campbell notes that it suits a vast variety of purposes. From business and political meetings to knitting groups, Bible studies, book clubs (and even a bridal shower), people are finding the room a great value and a favorite spot. Law enforcement and EMS groups have also met there. They are glad the conference room can meet such a wide variety of needs.

Part of the space’s inviting quality is that the building was custom-designed by Mary Campbell and her son, Brian Gregory, who originally co-owned the business together (Mary and Ken took over co-ownership together about a year and a half ago). The large windows, soothing feel and gracious layout of the café make it a pleasant atmosphere for getting together with people any time you have a meeting or group to host. Expert baristas, who will help you have the best meeting possible, complete the experience.

Your attendees can choose from a full menu of espresso beverages and a full tea lineup. You also have your choice of pastries, including gluten-free items from Smiling Mo’s Bakery. Mud Bay takes great care in their food selections, and don’t use any products with high-fructose corn syrup.

They source as many local products as possible, and work with a company in Gig Harbor to create their custom chocolate sauce, as well as white chocolate and caramel sauces, which they use in all their drinks. They use local milk and source most of their pastries from local bakeries.

mud bay coffee

Who knew meetings could be this fun? Plan to have your next meeting in the conference room at Mud Bay Coffee Company, where you can get work done while enjoying the environment and tasty treats.

Mud Bay also offers some appealing breakfast and lunch items. You can enjoy a breakfast burrito at a morning meeting. And for lunch fare, Mud Bay offers quiche, burritos and personal-sized thin crust pizzas. There are also fresh smoothies and milkshakes available. So there is definitely something for everyone. How many meetings can you say you’ve attended with a mango chai smoothie or chocolate milkshake in hand?

This coffee shop has been in Olympia for over a decade, and it’s easy to see why it’s gained such a loyal following. Stepping into the conference room, you’ll be downright looking forward to your meeting: you can get work done while feeling like you’re not in an office, but in a chic café instead. You will feel like you are stepping into a calm, tranquil oasis of great coffee in the midst of a busy day.

Want to make your next work meeting or group get-together unique and memorable? To reserve the meeting room, visit their website or call them at (360) 754-6222.

You can also find Mud Bay Coffee Company on Facebook.


mud bay coffee

Located on Olympia’s West Side, Mud Bay Coffee Company offers gracious conference room amenities and a convenient location for your next business or social gathering.

Mud Bay Coffee Company

1600 Cooper Point Road SW

Olympia, WA 98502

Business Hours:

Monday through Friday: 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Saturday: 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

You can reserve the conference room here.


Sleep: The Secret Ingredient to Achieving Fitness Goals and Weight Loss

Thurston Talk - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 6:00am




Don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep as part of a healthy fitness and weight loss routine.

When Amanda Price-Salazar, certified personal trainer, nutritionist, and owner of Edge Fitness trains for an event, it’s not just her workouts that are important, but what she does in her down time as well.

Price-Salazar shares that when training hard daily, weekly, and monthly, sleep becomes even more important. Exercise increases the body’s need for sleep and recovery. The average adult should aim for seven to eight hours of sleep a night.

“Sleep is crucial. Lack of sleep creates chaos with your hormones and your body will begin to crave sugar, fats, salts and refined carbs.  Your body wants everything that is not healthy for it, ” she explains.

To make matters worse, energy drinks and coffee can interrupt sleep patterns and cause increased fatigue over time.  It’s easy to get into a cycle of sleep deprivation followed by drinking energy drinks or extra caffeine to compensate. Eventually, your fitness goals are sabotaged by overwhelming fatigue.

Getting enough sleep, however, will help you reach your goals more quickly.

olympia personal trainer

Edge Fitness encourages healthy habits including group fitness classes, personal training, proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.

“Sleep is one of the key elements to having a successful weight loss program. If your body can’t function or recover properly, it is maintaining a constant state of ‘fight or flight’ and eventually you will see negative changes in your body,” she explains.

“A lot people work long hours and don’t get enough sleep,” Price-Salazar says. “Lack of sleep makes it difficult for your body to function and it struggles with pushing toxins out. This can lead to increased illness, fatigue, weight gain, and more.”

Additionally, when you don’t get enough sleep, your body tends to produce an increase of cortisol in the liver that in turn can make it more difficult to lose weight.

Finally, sleep has a huge impact on performance.  Whether in the gym, at work, or at home, it is difficult to perform your duties with 100% efficiency and enough energy when sleep-deprived.

She offered a few tips to ensure good sleep:

  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet including whole foods.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Manage stress.
  • Turn off all electronic devices at least an hour before sleeping.


Arrington de Dionyso, Elliott Sharp, Greg Saunier at Silent Barn

K Records - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 1:17am
On a sojourn to New York City in September, 2014 to make exhibition arrangements for his visual art Arrington de Dionyso found time for a few spontaneous get down sessions with the local weird-outs. Here is an improv performance with Arrington throat singing and playing bass clarinet accompanied by Elliott Sharp on guitar and Greg […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Oysterfest Photojournalism

OlyBlog Home Page - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 9:18pm


You can see the rest of these at Shelton Blog: logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Cotton, Fall of Electricity, Woolen Warrior and Howdy Rowdy

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 5:00pm

Thursday, October 9th, doors at 8pm

Cotton (Portland)
weird songs lay claim to your skull

Fall of Electricity (Oly)
righteous math frees you from your mortal shell

Woolen Warrior (Oly)
contemplative gnar shreds power pop ambience

Rowdy Howdy (Oly)
a new shoegazy thing from Garrett, Aaron, and Sam

Facebook Invite


Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Studio News: Artswalk Fall 2014

K Records - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 2:51pm
This past weekend was Fall Artswalk, which is just about the biggest thing that happens in this neck of the woods. Packs of newly minted Evergreen students wandered the streets, ignoring the art and complaining about the crowds. To celebrate the season, the studio participated with a sound installation, from local artist, Ben Kamen, seen […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Local Young Lady Competes For The Miss Jr. Pre-Teen Tacoma/Seattle Title

OlyBlog Home Page - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 10:44am


Local Young Lady Competes For The Miss Jr. Pre-TeenTacoma/Seattle Title logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

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My First Time at Centerstage

South Sound Arts - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 9:28am
left to right: Hannah Ruwe, Joe Cummings and Joshua Williamson. Photo by Michelle Smith Lewis

In 1998 a website was created that allowed people to share true stories about their “first time”.  It was an instant phenomenon as 100,000 stories poured in from around the globe: silly, sweet, absurd, funny, straight, gay, shy, sexy and everything in between. These true stories are brought to life in the acclaimed play by Ken Davenport, author of Altar Boyz.

Recommended for 18+ My First Time runs Thursday-Sunday through October 26
Tickets and 253 661 1444

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

3 reasons why I wish I could tell you to vote for none of the above in the Clerk race, but I won't

Olympia Time - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 6:24am
1. For the love of Pete, would someone return a damn email?

I know I'm not anyone that important, it isn't like I contribute money to that many (if any campaigns). But, I emailed both campaigns months ago about what I consider to be a pretty big issue. And nothing. Not even an "I got your email, I'll get back to you later" or a "No, this isn't that big of a deal."

Just silence.

2. Could you make the race any less relevant to voters?

This race is so damn insular, the one time (one time!) I ever received any communication about this race from anyone connected to the campaigns, it highlighted an issue so low and degrading, that I would never repeat it here. Suffice to say, this race has been issue free.

Even the one difference that the campaigns bring up publicly is about an internal court system. Really? An internal office data management system? Wow. Killer stuff.

Here's a better issue to chew over.

3. I feel like I shouldn't even be voting in this election.

This post is starting to become a trip around my own favorite issue, but be patient with me. Yes, I feel that public access to court records should be easier than it is and that county clerks should serve the public in this regard.

And, when I poked around, the Whatcom County clerk provided the best answer to why he makes court records free and searchable online:

We wouldn't charge for someone to come into the office to look at a file. If they chose to make copies, there would be a cost and staff time. I believe it actually saves money by freeing up staff time to do more important tasks. We have had significant reductions in force over the past several years. Further, it provides equal access regardless of financial resources.The difference here is that the clerk in Whatcom county is appointed, while the clerks here are elected. I'm not sure it makes sense, but that means an appointed clerk is more willing to provide for the public than an elected one.

The only reason this makes sense to me is that an appointed clerk would possibly see their role as providing services to the public and the county as a whole. While, an independent, elected clerk would be interested in protecting their own budget and the structural power of their office. So, a creaking and old document management system that doesn't serve the public, but rather charges them for public documents, possibly makes sense.

So, I suggest you vote in this election and vote for Linda Enlow. At the very least, she seems like she's willing to change the office.

But, what we really need is a clerk that is willing to go out on a limb like the Whatcom County Clerk. And, we need to change the law that allows clerks to charge crazy fees for public documents.

But, in the end, support a Home Rule effort for Thurston County. This would allow us to rewrite how Thurston County government operates. And, if we decided to change the clerk position to an appointed one, we could do that.

Thrifty Thurston Picks a Pumpkin Patch

Thurston Talk - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 6:16am



By Megan Conklin

Capitol City Honda sponsorIt’s pumpkin time. We know this because, in addition to the newly falling leaves, glowing harvest moon, and crisp, cool morning air, flashes of orange are appearing on neighborhood porches. Pumpkins are fundamental to fall, and a trip to the pumpkin patch makes for lasting family memories. In Thurston County, we have an abundance of patches to pick from, and they are all unique. In my family, when autumn arrives and a trip to the patch is on everyone’s mind, we always ask ourselves the following question: Do we go big or go small? Are we in the mood for an all-out harvest experience that includes hay mazes, farm animals, tractor rides, and games? Or do we want a quaint, beautiful field full of pumpkins to choose from and nothing else?

olympia pumpkin patches

Massive pumpkins and loads of activities occur during October at Hunter Family Farm.

Because this is the perennial pumpkin patch question, I have decided to group my round-up of area pumpkin patches into two categories.

The Biggies

Hunter Family Farm

Hunter’s will always be referred to as “the giant slide place” by my children because its kid friendly hay maze ends with a super fun trip out of the hay loft and down a large metal slide. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Hunter’s also has pony rides, camel rides (yes, you read that right), a carousel, a pumpkin sling shot, kiddie trains, and loads of other out-of-the-ordinary pumpkin patch activities. The tractor ride to the pumpkin patch is just bumpy enough to be exciting for the little ones, and the patch itself is vast and loaded with pumpkins. Some of Hunter’s exciting events and activities are week-end only, so check their website or Facebook page for details and pricing.

Open daily through October 31 from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

7413 Yelm Highway SE in Olympia



Lattin’s Country Cider Mill and Farm

olympia pumpkin patch

Pick a pumpkin at Lattin’s Country Cider Mill and Farm.

My family adores visiting Lattin’s Cider Mill for the fritters, cider, animals, and country store. In fact, there is so much to love about Lattin’s, sometimes I forget that they have an amazing pumpkin patch as well. It is large and holds pumpkins of all colors, size and shape. Be sure to wear your boots, because Lattin’s patch is authentic and muddy on a typically drizzly northwest day. Read more about the fun things to do at Lattin’s during their annual Apple Festival here.  Find more details via their Facebook page.

Open: Monday – Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. plus Sundays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

9402 Rich Road SE in Olympia

(360) 491-7328


Schilter Family Farm

olympia pumpkin patch

Schilter’s hay maze is a fall favorite for the kids.

Schilter’s farm in the Nisqually Valley is the “field trip” pumpkin patch to me because I have been there with many preschool groups and have loved it every time. Schilter’s is a family run farm and is about as kid friendly as they come with hay and corn mazes, a giant sand table in the barn, and even a playground. While the added activities do cost extra, they offer affordable family pricing and “activity bracelets” that let parents to pay a flat rate for all the fun games and rides. And the fun really does abound during Schilter’s annual Harvest Festival. This year they are also hosting a Wizard of Oz themed corm maze that promises to be spooky and surprising – not intended for small children!  Keep track of the farm by following their Facebook page.

Open daily through October 31 from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (closing at 4:00 p.m. on 10/31)

141 Nisqually Cutoff Road SE in Olympia



The Smalls

Shorty B’s

pumpkin patch olympia

It’s nothing but pumpkins at Shorty B’s patch off Rainier Road.

You may not have noticed, but Shorty B’s Christmas Tree Farm on Rainier Road also has the sweetest pumpkin patch. It is this mama’s favorite spot to pick pumpkins with the kiddos each year for a variety of reasons. As much as my kids (and my husband and I, we admit it) love the big patches and all the fun that is to be had there, sometimes we just want to pick pumpkins. At Shorty B’s, you never encounter parking issues. You never have to say no to a ride or a deep fried food item, because there aren’t any. There are no animals to pet, no ponies to ride, and no giant bouncy things as far as the eye can see. Just pumpkins – and they are all $3. The only thing to do at Shorty B’s is to grab one of the charming, rusty old wagons parked by the tiny farm stand, and wade out into the patch to hunt for the perfect jack-o-lantern pumpkin. Seriously, just thinking about this place makes me happy.

Open: Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

1842 Rainier Road SE in Lacey


Helsing Junction Farm

olympia pumpkin patch

Which local pumpkin patch will your family choose this Halloween season?

We were part of Helsing Junction’s CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture program for many years and loved receiving our weekly, bountiful, certified organic box of produce from the farm. When we journeyed out to Rochester (a beautiful thirty minute drive from Olympia) to visit the farm one fall, we realized that they also have a sizable pumpkin patch and sell pumpkins to the public. This year, their plan is to harvest the pumpkins (due to the large and muddy fields one would have to cross to pick their own) and sell them at the farm stand along with the other delicious and nutritious fall veggies. This time of year affords some of the most beautiful views of the changing leaves and fall colors on this amazing farm – it is well worth the drive.

Open daily through Thanksgiving from 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
12231 Independence Rd in Rochester



Pigman’s Organic Produce Patch

Jan and Dean Pigman have been running their farm in the Nisqually Valley for almost a quarter of a century and this quaint, beautiful pumpkin patch is high on my list of the small and not to be missed.  The simple, but truly lovely patch offers the pumpkin picking experience of years past, when getting muddy in the field and scouting the picture-perfect carving pumpkin was more than enough fun. The farm is also certified organic, so be sure to pick up a few pie pumpkins for the holidays while you are there.

Open:  Monday – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

10633 Steilacoom Road SE in Olympia


Thrifty Thurston highlights inexpensive family fun in Thurston County.  The weekly series focuses on family-friendly activities throughout our community.  If you have a suggestion for a post, send us a note at  For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here.


Everything Old is New Again – Lost Arts Become Today’s Hobbies

Thurston Talk - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 6:15am



By Kathryn Millhorn

rivers edgeDon’t throw the past away, you might need it some rainy day, dreams can come true again, when everything old is new again… wrote Peter Allen in his famous song.

Life seems to move in cycles, be it clothing, politics, baby names, hairstyles, or hobbies.  What was the height of fashion is often decried as tacky before making a full, celebrity-endorsed rebound.  Good, bad, or otherwise, there is nothing new under the sun.

olympia sewing class

Olympia is a wealth of hobby classes and opportunities

In 2009 Forbes magazine asked the question, “Have old-fashioned hobbies gone out of fashion?  Quite the contrary: It turns out that traditional hobbies are simply evolving, not disappearing…Maybe it’s because of high unemployment, which can result in idle hands.  Or could it be a sense of nostalgia that leads us to desire something more tactile in a virtually run world?”

Whatever the reason, Olympia is a hotbed of crafty geniuses.  Want to make sweaters for lamp-posts?  Done.  Drink craft beer while knitting?  Got you covered.  Create jewelry for friends and family from the comfort of your own home?  Easy!  Fly a miniature helicopterDance the night away?  Walk a tightrope?  Check, check, check.

Forbes goes on to say that “while many of the hottest hobbies are new riffs on old traditions, there are some plainly traditional crafts, such as sewing, that are experiencing a renaissance–driven in part by modern necessity.  The act of sewing itself hasn’t changed, but the reasons for doing it have. While affordable ready-to-wear made at-home sewing [was] a dying hobby in the 1980s and 1990s, the popularity of fashion competition shows like Project Runway–combined with dwindling incomes–has once again made sewing one’s own clothes an attractive alternative.”

olympia sewing class

(re)fabulous and shops like it are open to anyone and everyone, regardless of age or skill.

Locally, crafters are all ages and skill levels.  On the west side, (re)fabulous offers training and so much more.  As they explain, “(re)fabulous is the place to play and find the creative in YOU. We are committed to green-inspired projects with such a passion that it will make you think twice about what you are tossing out. We offer classes, community and inspiration mixed with an example of how fabulous repurposed creating can be.”

Their training includes everyone aged 4 and up and occasionally culminates in a fashion show spotlighting the results.  The next such event takes place on October 12 and showcases items made by local tweens and teens.  The designers themselves will walk the runway, with hair styled by Dell’s Hair Design.  The evening will be a fundraiser for Community Youth Services Haven House, an Olympia youth shelter for 12 – 17 year olds.

Four local students will be amongst those showing off their items.  Alina Benson, 14, attends Olympia High School and has been sewing for four years.  She learned with her grandmother and created a sunny yellow dress made entirely from bed sheets.  Eleven-year-old Karena Meinhardt goes to Holy Family School and grew up wanting to be a fashion designer.  Her two-piece pink and black outfit is the result of two years as a sewer, mostly through classes at (re)fabulous.  Erin Joe is 12 and attends Jefferson Middle School.  She watched her mom sew for years and this is her first event through the studio.  She’ll wear a knit hooded dress with a belt purse in dark blue.  Finally Genevieve Nguyen, 10, of the Olympia Waldorf School made a blue and green dress.  She not only crafted the item but designed the pattern herself.  All four girls are excited to learn—and do!—more though the studio.

olympia sewing class

Sewing students will host a fashion show on October 12 to benefit local charities.

Local pattern designer Rebecca Anderson finds her classes contain many younger members these days.  “I’ve noticed that young sewists are interested in making their own clothing as a creative outlet.  It expresses individuality and is fun.”  On an outdoorsy note, gentleman farmer Dave Toht (author of ‘Backyard Homesteading’) says that “I find young families much prefer a big garden and a flock of chickens to a meticulous lawn. They like the fun of growing their own.”

Whatever the reason, hobbies once considered dead or dying are now experiencing a healthy rebirth.  We’re blessed that living somewhere like Olympia makes trying a new hobby easy, fun, and affordable.


Have Your Cake and Eat It Too – Holiday Celebrations with Bayview Catering

Thurston Talk - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 6:12am



olympia catering

Bayview Catering staff can arrange, serve, and clean up after your holiday party.

School’s back in session, rain has returned to the forecast, and it’s time to settle in to the ups and downs of a Northwest winter.  While this is often a nose-to-the-grindstone time of year, we can look forward to the season of holiday parties, celebrations, and time spent with family and friends.

Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis acknowledges that “the holidays stress people out so much.  I suggest you keep it simple and try to have as much fun as you can.”  But too simple and you lose the magic; reminds Julia Child, “a party without a cake is just a meeting.”

Whether you’re planning a gorgeous autumnal wedding or a simple office celebration, Bayview Catering can handle it.  Located in Bayview Thriftway in downtown Olympia, they partner with some of our region’s best party suppliers and planners to insure your event is all you hoped for and more.

Catering Manager Kelly Young explains that they have offered catering services since 1984 and “are a full service catering company, the only part we are missing is a venue.  Celebrations is available for the dishes, linens, tents, tables and chairs, Finishing Touch Florist and Gifts is our floral department and Classic Creations Bakery makes the wedding cakes.”

olympia caterer

No event is too big or too small for Bayview Catering.

Bayview Catering is truly a one-stop shop for party needs.  Says Young, “we offer full service catering with delivery, set up, onsite catering staff, bartending, take down and clean up.  We also are available if a customer just needs a tray of lasagna or a veggie tray.  We can have them ready to pick up at Bayview.”

Complete menu planning services are also available, and they “can create a menu just for you which will accommodate your special diet needs, ethnic preferences, budget, time or space limitations.”  Beverage service is available as well and can include beer, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks.

After a summer of salads, we all love the richer, heartier dishes of autumn.  These are some of the highlights of the seasonal menu available for your event or party.  “Fall favorites are heartier foods like sweet potato with pineapple, yam and cranberries, beef stew, chili, beef stroganoff, roasted veggie lasagna rolls.  Holiday favorites are: prime rib, beef tenderloin, garlic mashed potatoes, roasted turkey breast, shrimp, and Rumaki with scallops.  Foods that make a special occasion and that people don’t eat all the time,” says Young.

To schedule services with Bayview Catering, a simple phone call, email, or online submission is all it takes.  As with any busy holiday event, booking early is always better.  Simple meat and cheese or vegetable trays are usually available for instant pick-up but 7+ days notice is preferred.

olympia caterer

The Bayview Catering team can work within any dietary needs, budget, or guest list.

No event is too big or too small and it never hurts to make an initial inquiry.  Their accolades page lists praise from the hosts of 200-250 guest wedding receptions, a 400 person company picnic, an intimate 30 person in-home Christmas party, and a 500+ attendee Legislative reception.  Young remembers “one memorable catering event was a Christmas party in the warehouse of Brown and Hayley in Tacoma.  We saw where they made the Almond Roca and the conveyer belts were running over our heads!”

Parties are stressful enough without having to remember the many intricacies involved in a successful get-together.  This is especially true over the holiday season when many stores operate on shorter hours.  Why fret when you can leave everything in the capable hands of Kelly Young and the team at Bayview Catering?  Whether you need a last-minute veggie tray or a feast fit for your mother-in-law, they can handle it all, including service and clean-up.

As the days darken and everything gets soggy, it’s therapeutic to treat yourself every once in a while.  Whether it’s something pumpkin spiced or allowing yourself to sit back and pass the turkey stress-free, don’t forget to give thanks for family, friends, and our talented local community.

Bayview Catering can is located inside Bayview Thriftway at 516 West Fourth Ave.  Give them a call at 360-357-8016 or email the to set up an appointment.


Ziya Laura – Local Young Lady to Compete for Miss Jr. Pre-Teen Tacoma/Seattle Pageant

Thurston Talk - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 3:41pm



Submitted by Adrienne Cherry

miss jr. preteenZiya Laura of Olympia was recently selected to participate in the 2014 Miss Jr. Pre-Teen Tacoma/Seattle pageant competition that will take place on Saturday, October 11, 2014.  Ziya learned of her acceptance into this year’s competition when the pageant announced their selections following interviewing in the local Tacoma/Seattle area.  Ziya submitted an application and took part in an interview session that was conducted by this year’s Tacoma/Seattle Pageant Coordinator.

Ziya will be competing, for her share of thousands of dollars in prizes and specialty gifts that will be distributed to contestants. Ziya will be competing in the Miss Jr. Pre-Teen division, one of four divisions that will have young ladies ages 7 and 19 competing in modeling routines, which include casual wear and formal wear.  Most important, Ziya will display her personality and interviewing skills while interviewing with this year’s Tacoma/Seattle judging panel.  Personality is the number one aspect that each contestant is judged on during all phases of competition.

If Ziya were to win the title of Miss Jr. Pre-Teen Tacoma/Seattle, she would represent Tacoma/Seattle and the surrounding communities at the National Competition that will take place in Orlando, Florida.  Over $30,000.00 in prizes and awards will be presented at the National Competition while each winner enjoys this expense paid trip of five nights and six days in Orlando, Florida.

Community businesses, organizations, and private individuals will assist Ziya in participating in this year’s competition by becoming an official sponsor to her.  Through sponsorship, each contestant receives all the necessary training, rehearsals, and financial support which will allow Ziya to become a very confident and well-prepared contestant in this year’s Tacoma/Seattle Pageant.

Ziya sends her thanks to her local sponsors – Elly Molina, did, inc., McLendons Hardware, and Vision Health.

Emily Abendroth: Wednesday, October 15th, 11:30-1:00 pm in Lecture Hall 1

Evergreen Artists Lecture Series - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 2:05pm
Headshot PicEmily Abendroth is a poet, teacher and anti-prison activist. Much of her creative work attempts to investigate state regimes of force and power, as well as individual and collective resistance strategies to the same. Her poetry book, ]Exclosures[, was just released from AEmily AbendrothPress this May. Her works are often published in limited edition, handcrafted chapbooks by small and micropresses such as Belladonna (New York), Horse Less Press (Denver), Little Red Leaves (Texas), Albion Press (Philadelphia), and Zumbar Press (San Francisco). She is an active organizer with Decarcerate PA (a grassroots campaign working to end mass incarceration in Pennsylvania) and is co-founder of Address This! (an education and empowerment project that provides innovative, social justice correspondence courses to individuals incarcerated in Pennsylvania).
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Pink Elephant’s Gravecast 018

K Records - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 1:12pm
 The Pink Elephant’s Gravecast is also available from Stitcher and iTunes. As the repository of all things uniquely K, the Pink Elephant’s Graveyard is pleased to explore the new Northwest hip-hop compilation, All Your Friend’s Friends [KLP255].All Your Friend’s Friends is produced entirely off of samples pulled from the catalogue of said legendary K. Featuring 30 […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

High School Students From Across The State Coming to Olympia For A State Leadership Conference

Thurston Talk - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 11:10am



By Gail Wood

dairy queenAbout 900 high school students from across the state will come to Olympia for a three-day leadership conference Friday, sharing insights to fundraisers, helping-hand projects like food drives and other community service events.

The objective is to learn from others.

“Our theme this year is capitalizing on leadership,” said Tyler Bonnell, the ASB president at Olympia High School. “What we’re hoping to do is build networking connections between all the schools.”

olympia high school

Olympia School District students are excited to host the Association of Washington Student Leaders.

It’s the first time in over 20 years that Olympia has hosted the leadership conference, which is now called the Association of Washington Student Leaders (AWSL) Conference. Two years ago, Olympia applied to host the conference and got the go ahead last November.

“We’ve been planning for it ever since,” said Angel Elam, the Capital High School activities director who also teaches leadership. “It’s a full year of planning.”

In addition to sharing insights on how to do certain projects and events, there will also be four motivational speakers coming to share about the values and qualities of leadership.

“If we can learn what they’re doing well in their own communities and see what works, that will help everyone,” Bonnell said. “The networking is a big part of this conference. But we’re here to also learn about leadership philosophy, to hear the different philosophies of the keynote speakers.”

olympia high school

Over 900 students will arrive in Olympia this weekend for a leadership conference.

Speaking at the three-day conference that begins Friday will be Jeff Yalden, a tell-it-like-it-is youth motivational speaker, and Scott Backovich, who says his objective is to connect with students and not talk at them.

Also speaking will be will Stu Cabe and Geoff McLachlan. In 2004, Cabe started the Ovation Company, which stands up for good. McLachlan, who recently joined the Idaho Drug Free Youth team in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, says he couples a youthful approach to life  with an “old world charm” that makes speaking and teaching a good fit.

“This conference is a pretty big deal,” Bonnell said. “It’s the big one for Washington. We’re trying to pull out all the stops.”

In addition to trying to put on a quality conference, the conference leadership is also trying to save money for the students attending. They’re doing that by finding host families, saving students hotel costs for two nights.

“Each school has been in charge of trying to find home space,” Bonnell said. “It’s a big deal. We’re still looking for home space. Anyone interested can contact me via email at” With families hosting between three and as many as eight students, they will need about 150 families to host students. Bonnell’s parents will be hosting eight students.

olympia high school

“It’s been a lot of work. But it’s been a good experience,” says Olympia High School ASB President, Tyler Bonnell

“Eight sounds like a huge statement. But it’s not that big of a commitment,” Bonnell said. “They’re at the school all day. The only meal they need is Friday night dinner. And two breakfasts.”

Students arrive at Capital at 3:30 p.m. Friday. On Saturday, the conference will begin with some of the guest speakers talking in the morning and then the students will be given a tour of the Capitol Campus. After the tour the students will have a parade around Capital Lake. They’ll be holding posters promoting the projects and objectives of their leadership conference.

“We like to call it a demonstration,” Bonnell said. “We want to really make a statement about how our student leaders are doing incredible things.”

Bonnell said the intent of the parade is to highlight the projects that were successful at other schools across the state.

“It’s also another way to network with other students,” Bonnell said. “The main idea is to show the events they’re proud of at their school.”

The students will gather for an evening of talks from the guest speakers at Olympia High School and conclude around 10:00 p.m. The evening talks on Saturday will conclude a full day that began at 9:00 a.m. with guest speakers.

Organizing the statewide leadership conference took a lot of time and effort in inviting the speakers and planning the activities.

“To put it into perspective,” Bonnell said. “We’ve really been planning this since last November. We’ve been meeting with all the schools. We’ve had our planning team. It’s been a lot of work. But it’s been a good experience.”

olympia high school

Motivational speakers will be on hand during the state leadership conference.

Bonnell said he’s learned a lot from the 11-month experience of planning the event. There’s book knowledge, information and insight gathered from reading. And then there’s practical roll-up-the-sleeves experience. He said his hands-on experience has taught him more than he could have learned in a book.

“What people have to realize is the practical knowledge that’s gained from leadership classes like this,” Bonnell said. “That’s why I’ve been in leadership for three years. It’s a real world experience.”

Michelle Anderson, Capital’s Vice Principal, is part of the Washington Association of Student Councils. She first pitched the idea of Olympia hosting the statewide conference in 2012.

“She heard that there was an opening,” Elam said. “We put in for this two years ago. Then you have to be selected and we were chosen to be a host site.”

Elam said the hardest part was finding enough host families. Without enough hosts, all the students couldn’t come. As of Tuesday, Elam still had 10 students to find a place to stay for the weekend.

“You don’t want to say you can’t come,’ Elam said.


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Laurie Barta Lovingly Sells Raw Milk at Cozy Vale Creamery Farm

Thurston Talk - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 7:36am



By Lindsey Surrell

hirschTwenty miles from Olympia, off a small road, and down a long driveway, you will find Laurie Barta’s 70-acre farm. Having moved from Wisconsin in 1988 to become a student at Yelm’s Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment, Laurie also sought out her dream to live on a farm.  After her first purchase of a 20-acre farm in Tenino, she said that the transition to owning land and raising cattle was not difficult because she loved animals.  Plus, “hands on learning has always been the best teacher.” Currently, Laurie still loves animals, and even though she has become a slightly hardened farmer (“At the beginning, I use to cry every time I put down a cow”), she still calls each cow by name and pets them lovingly while we chat.

olympia raw milk

Laurie Barta, owner and founder for Cozy Vale Creamery, enjoys farm life.

Laurie bought the land that became Cozy Vale Creamery Farm in 2003 but did not become a full time farmer until 2008 when the mortgage crisis occured and she left her job as a mortgage loan counselor. Noticing the growing interest in a local food movement, and the lack of raw milk dairies in Washington State, Laurie started her raw milk creamery in 2009. In addition, she loved raising her cows and the taste of raw milk and knew this would be the best business for her.

Currently with nine shorthorn and Jersey cows and one friendly bull (“if they’re not nice, they leave”), Laurie runs this farm with her 15-year-old son and one other worker who helps on the weekends in exchange for housing on the land. In addition to cows, the farm also houses Katahdin sheep, horses, chickens, a cat and a dog.

She milks her cows twice a day, usually producing eight gallons per day, depending on the cows.  Although she tries to schedule her cow’s pregnancies, three of her cows will deliver in the next month and milk production will significantly increase. Cows, like humans, are pregnant for nine months.

olympia raw milk

Cozy Vale Creamery is one of only few raw milk dairies in Washington State.

Cozy Vale Creamery is also licensed for cheese making, but Laurie, with her Wisconsin roots, has high standards for how her cheese tastes and is still working on the art of cheese making. In addition the cheese, eggs and lamb are sometimes available at the farm for sale.

Although she has no plans on stopping her creamery any time soon, Laurie has considered raising more Katahdin sheep.  Since the Katahdin variety do not produce fleece, they are low-maintenance and as Laurie said “I am not as strong as I once was and since the sheep are not as big as cows, I have to think of the future.”

One big difference that Laurie points out about her farm compared with big dairy farms is the smell.  Even though we are feet away from her cows, she encourages me to take a deep breath. I agree with Laurie – it smells more like grass than any overwhelming cow waste. With 70 acres, the ten cows have plenty of room to roam. The cows are mainly grass-fed and supplemented with organic alfalfa grains in the winter.

Although her farm is not certified organic, Laurie tries to keep her production as organic as possible, including no antibiotics unless necessary. Washington State Department of Agriculture visits Cozy Vale Creamery once a month and tests for pathogens and coliform bacteria within the milk. Laurie recommends using or freezing her milk within two weeks.

olympia raw milk

The farm is open on Saturdays for visits and purchases.

For those wanting to try Laurie’s local milk and live in the Olympia area, Westside Olympia Food Co-op and Eastside Olympia Food Co-op both carry Cozy Vale Creamery milk, available in whole and skim.  Laurie does the deliveries to Olympia on Mondays and delivers to Shop N Kart in Chehalis on Friday, and Marlene’s Market in Tacoma and Federal Way on Thursdays.

But I believe one of the best parts of having local farms is being able to visit and see where your milk comes from. Every Saturday, customers can journey down the long driveway at Cozy Vale Creamery Farm and purchase their milk ($4 for half gallon at the farm) based on the honor system.  With luck, you might also be able to pet the cows.

Cozy Vale Creamery Farm

7018 Churchill Rd SE, Tenino, WA 98589

360-264-GOOD (4663)



John Erwin Remodeling Helps with Small Jobs around the House

Thurston Talk - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 6:49am



olympia remodeling contractor

Billie’s threshold was improved by John Erwin Remodeling so that visitors could more easily access her home.

Billie M. called John Erwin Remodeling for a relatively small, but necessary fix to improve the safety and comfort of her home. One can understand why. Billie is a senior and lives in a condo where the threshold—the strip of wood and metal across the bottom of her doorway that everyone must cross to enter her home—was too high, a potential trip hazard for her and her friends that visit.

“Working with the people at John Erwin Remodeling, Inc was a pleasure from the beginning (the pleasant helpful voice on the phone) to the finalization of my small project,” wrote Billie. “My new threshold is perfect and a great help to those who visit my condo. Two folks with walkers were completely thrilled. Good work, timely, pleasant as well as competent crafts people.”

There is no job too small for John Erwin Remodeling.

“Sure, we do major bathroom and kitchen remodels, but we put the same care and quality into a small project too,” says John Erwin, the owner of the award winning company. “It was a one-hour minimum of labor, and a $75 rubber transition, but to Billie that threshold made a difference in her quality of life.”

Need to paint, treat a deck, pressure wash your walks and patio, clean gutters, install a closet, do custom trim and woodwork or even change a light bulb that is located on a vaulted ceiling?

Sometimes like Billie, you just need a little help to update things in your home and John Erwin Remodeling brings decades of combined experience to any job large or small.

Small work projects are when people ask for a new screen door or having a couple of grab bars installed, or maybe their front door doesn’t lock,” says Erwin. “At John Erwin Remodeling, it is not about how big the job is, it is about how important it is to you.”

Call John Erwin Remodeling, Inc for a quote at (360) 705-2938. Visit their website at John Erwin Remodeling, Inc .


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