Recent local blog posts

Find Family Friendly Tennis This Summer at Woodruff Park

Thurston Talk - Sun, 06/21/2015 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

 

By Nikki McCoy

kids tennis olympia

Ryland Swanson (10), and his brother, Joshua (8), have fun on the court.

There comes a moment every summer, when the kids are fighting, the dishes are piling, and the phrase, “go outside and play” is returned with “but mom, that’s boring.”

A possible cure? Rallying balls back and forth in a beautiful park setting. Where tantrums turn to giggles, competitiveness takes a friendly turn, and families can unwind and have fun together playing tennis.

This summer, City of Olympia Parks, Art and Recreation has formed a new partnership with United States Tennis Association (USTA) Pacific Northwest section, to create Family Friendly Tennis at Woodruff Park.

Beginning June 22 through August 26, from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., every Monday and Wednesday, families are invited to learn techniques and activities for their age and skill level, listen to music and enjoy exercising on the courts.

“It feels more like a party than a traditional sports class,” says Pamela Judge, director of marketing and communications for USTA. “Anyone can play…you don’t have to be someone who goes to the gym five times a week. It’s a great opportunity for families to get together, have some fun and get out and enjoy the weather.”

The program, based off of other successful USTA partnerships, is flexible and uses modified equipment. The tennis racquets are various lengths from 19 inches to 27 inches to be height appropriate. And there are four tennis balls used instead of standard size, with 25 percent to 75 percent of the compression normally used.

kids tennis olympia

Cindy Rambo, City of Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation employee and USTA instructor, gets ready for friendly competition with the Swanson brothers while fellow instructors look on.

With less bounce, the balls are easier to control and keep on the court, which means it’s easier for beginners, and still fun for those with experience.

A group of instructors break the families into groups by age and skill level, teach games and techniques, and then invite the families to rejoin and show off their new skills.

“People love the program,” says Judge. “What we’ve found is people really enjoy the opportunity to get out and try something new and to be able to do with the whole family. Because we make it easy, and we make it fun, people want to come back and do it again.”

On a recent afternoon, I visited with Kathi McKay, USTA’s Southwest Washington coordinator for recreational and youth programs. She was conducting training for the seven staff involved in the summer program, and it was a pleasure to see the group in action. One of the staff brought along his sons, and it was apparent anyone can play.

The staff was laughing, dancing and playing games. “Dingles,” a rotating combination of singles and doubles, with background music of “What Does the Fox Say,” was entertaining to watch, and I could easily imagine my own family on the court.

Cayla Stahley, 22, who played tennis while attending Olympia High School, is one of the instructors.

“My biggest thing is seeing kids getting out and being active rather than watching TV or playing video games,” she says. “To get families together and create those long-lasting relationships is also really special.”

olympia tennis kids

The USTA group of instructors is ready to “serve” Olympia families with their twice-weekly family friendly tennis sessions at Woodruff Park.

Alison Wood, 17, who has played tennis at North Thurston High School the last two years, agrees with Stahley about the physical fitness and family components, but also chooses to coach because of the game itself.

“It’s so amazing. When I play, the whole world around me doesn’t matter, my head’s just in the game,” Wood says.

Another benefit of family-friendly tennis is that it can be a great way to bridge the age-gap between siblings as well, with Judge noting that sometimes it can be hard to get teenagers engaged.

“This is something both 6-year-olds and 14-year-olds can do,” she says.

“I think it’s important that families do activities together,” agrees McKay. “And I think it benefits parents. They don’t have to be the teacher or the critic – they can be the positive one.”

This summer series is just one way the USTA Pacific Northwest is providing new recreation opportunities in the South Sound area..

The Pacific Northwest group already has a partnership with area schools including East Olympia, Griffin and Evergreen Christian. Geared at third through fifth graders, Judge says the afterschool program keeps kids active and off their phones.

For more information on USTA PNW, click here.

Registration for the family-friendly summer sessions can be found here. Sessions run $25 for a group of four, with an additional $10 per extra person. Register for four sessions and get the fifth free.

 

Lorquin's Admiral Butterfly in the Pollinator Garden

Bees, Birds & Butterflies - Sat, 06/20/2015 - 11:30am
     In our last blog, I wrote about butterflies.  I remarked that our warm sunny spring was going to provide great opportunities for butterfly sightings.  This week we had more evidence of this.
     Nancy was in her pollinator garden early one morning, watering the plants.  The sun had just come out:  lo and behold what should appear but a Lorquin’s Admiral butterfly.  This is one of our common June butterflies;  it can be found in city backyards, often around apple trees, where the males defend the trees and allow females to lay eggs on the leaves.
     This butterfly perched briefly on Nancy’s hose and then moved over to a compacted mole hill, now wet from Nancy’s watering.  You can see it as it flies in and starts to do a series of complex butterfly behaviors.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaVShIJ4nQs
•  First, it pumps its wings open and closed.  When I saw that I knew it must have just gotten up:  this is a butterfly behavior in early morning, akin to how we humans stretch as we get out of bed.  They stretch their wings, pumping hemolymph (an insect’s version of blood) from their bodies into their wings, getting ready for flight.  •  Secondly, it carefully positions its body to receive the strongest rays of the sun.  Butterflies are solar powered and rely on the sun’s light and heat to warm them up enough to get ready for action.  It has placed itself in such a way as to collect heat right on its body and the flight muscles just underneath.  This  helps prepare the animal for a day of flying, feeding and mating.•  Finally it chose to do all these things on a pile of wet soil.  Butterflies are known to do something called “mud-puddling”;  the males in particular gather in clubs around muddy puddles, stick their drinking straw (aka proboscis) into the slurry and drink in mineral rich water.  It seems as if they especially need sodium, which is otherwise in short supply in their 100% nectar diet.  Here is a link that talks about this behavior:http://insects.about.com/od/butterfliesmoths/f/why_butterflies_puddle.htm
     Nancy had never seen this butterfly behave in this way in her garden.  This is yet another example of how nature can show us amazing things, even when we are in the middle of ordinary tasks.  
     Janet
Resources
All photos & videos by Nancy PartlowThe Butterflies of Cascadia by Robert Pyle
Categories: Local Environment

Olympia School of Guitar Takes Unique Approach to Lessons

Thurston Talk - Sat, 06/20/2015 - 7:01am

ThurstonTalk

 

olympia guitar

Nicholas Anderson puts his master’s degree in music composition to good use by teaching Thurston County residents how to play guitar.

When Olympia resident Nicholas Anderson first took up the guitar in his teenage years, he struggled immensely as most beginning students do. He felt frustrated, down on his luck, and untalented. Yet, Anderson didn’t let these feelings hinder his progress as a musician. He only practiced more intently.

Anderson’s enthusiasm for the guitar led him to pursue and attain a master’s degree in music composition at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. He remembers rehearsing for hours upon hours on even the most mundane passages. Anderson knew there must be a more efficient method to practice – an easier path to achieving his dream of becoming a great guitarist.

Today, Anderson shares his wisdom and zeal with Thurston County residents who’ve sought out his training at The Olympia School of Guitar.

“My mission is to help people, especially people who’ve taken guitar lessons before and didn’t find much success, to realize that there are better ways to learn guitar than what are typically taught,” Anderson says. “I help people know what they need to do when they’re not sitting across from me in their lesson so that they can make the most progress on their own.”

Anderson notes that a musician’s success or failure often stems from their ability to practice effectively or not. He uses a sort of well-rounded, multi-dimensional system when coaching his students.

“A lot of teachers use a linear approach where you focus on one aspect of your playing for a certain length of time until you’ve mastered that, and then you move onto something else,” Anderson says. “I take more of a geometric approach where you’ll learn several different techniques at the same time, and then you learn how to integrate those things together.”

And, apparently, this system works exceptionally well. There is a student that has been working with Anderson for around six months, and she claims to have learned more from his instruction than from all her teachers in the last 10 years.

“There are a lot of guitar players out there who are stuck. They’re frustrated because they had this dream that they would be able to play their favorite songs, or play with their friends around a campfire, or be in a band, or write their own music,” Anderson mentions. He tries to reconnect those players who’ve lost some spirit or motivation to the reason they began playing guitar in the first place.

There was a time in Anderson’s playing career when he thought strumming an F-chord was the most difficult task to do on the guitar. Now, he says it’s one of the easiest things he could think of. It just goes to show that a lot of patience and a little diligence go a long way.

olympia guitar lessons

Olympia-area students find success with Nicholas Anderson’s guitar lessons.

Music can positively impact us more than we might pay heed to. Playing an instrument or learning to read music may help you focus better, it could raise your intelligence quotient, and it allows for a beautiful, creative outlet.

For Anderson, the benefits of playing guitar have been plentiful. “Anecdotally, I was not very good at math until I started playing music, especially classical music,” he grins. “At a very practical level, especially for parents who maybe see their kids struggling at school, scientific studies have shown that music can help in this respect.” He also finds that playing guitar helps him relax after a stressful day.

The only thing Anderson loves as much as playing guitar is helping others learn the guitar too. He grew up in Olympia and believes that his work as an instructor allows him to reimburse the county that’s given him so much to be thankful for.

“I took guitar lessons at Music 6000 from a guy who still teaches there today. My root as a musician is here. In a way, things have kind of come full circle,” Anderson notes. “I went to college in California, then trekked over to the east coast and did my music studies there, and now I’ve come back here. I guess in a way you could say I’m giving back to the community what I took from it when I left.”

Nicholas Anderson

The Olympia School of Guitar

2633A Parkmont Lane Southwest, Suite C

Olympia, WA 98502

360.836.1289

Rainbow Cloud Kombucha: Healthy, Delicious and Local

Thurston Talk - Sat, 06/20/2015 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

 

By Margo Greenman

south sound trucksWhat happens when you combine tea, sugar and yeast in a barrel and let it ferment for a few weeks? You get the effervescent probiotic drink best known as kombucha — a delicious drink that’s not only good, but good for you, too.

With origins tracing back to China around 221 BC, kombucha was revered for its healing properties and became a commonly consumed beverage in countries like Russia and Japan for many years. However, by World War II, the once widely consumed beverage began to lose its international prominence.

Today, the naturally carbonated tea is making a modern day comeback as a healthy alternative to sugary soft drinks, and Tumwater-based Rainbow Cloud Kombucha is pioneering the way as a local producer of the fermented stuff.

rainbow cloud kombucha

Tumwater-based Rainbow Cloud Kombucha is fermented is one of the only West Coast kombucha producers that ferments in oak barrels.

Matthew Eklund, the mind behind Rainbow Cloud Kombucha, takes his SCOBY — or symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast — seriously. What started as a hobby for the young entrepreneur has since turned into a full-fledged production line, but he takes extra care to ensure each growler-full is just as good as the smaller batches he used to craft for friends and family several years ago.

The first batch of kombucha Matt made was brewed inside of a fish bowl. It was 2011, and a friend of Matt’s who was moving asked Matt if he wanted to take over the live kombucha cultures. Already a kombucha drinker, Matt was intrigued and said yes.

Matt fell in love with brewing kombucha immediately, and 11 cultures quickly grew to 22. He started out brewing kombucha for friends and family, but soon more people were requesting it. “No matter how much I made, people wanted it,” says Matt.

Matt started brewing his kombucha at a friend’s house in Union before moving his operation to Olympic Mountain Ice Cream’s warehouse in Shelton. With a bigger production space, Matt was able to ramp up production, and he started vending his kombucha at local farmers markets and festivals across the region. Business was booming, and it was again time to expand.

rainbow cloud kombucha

Matt Eklund (left) operates his business with close friends who are passionate about producing all-natural, oak-fermented kombucha.

Earlier this year, Rainbow Cloud Kombucha moved its operation to a warehouse in Tumwater that it shares with several other conscious-minded food producers. The warehouse, or “Good Karama Kitchen” as Matt and the others like to call it, is home to several local businesses like Smiling Mo’s Gluten-free Cookies, Rockstar Creations and Whole Life Superfoods. The result is a collective of like-minded entrepreneurs all working harmoniously under one roof.

Since moving to Good Karma Kitchen, Matt has been able to grow Rainbow Cloud Kombucha’s production even further. He’s currently producing about 700 gallons of kombucha a month, but he expects that number to double by the end of summer.

Matt says if there’s one thing you should know about Rainbow Cloud Kombucha, it’s how the fermented tea is made. Or rather, what it’s made in. Unlike most kombucha producers who use glass or food-grade plastic, Matt uses oak barrels to make the fermented tea. Using oak barrels makes production more costly, but Matt says it’s worth it — and the difference is one you can taste.

rainbow cloud kombucha

Rainbow Cloud Kombucha founder, Matt Eklund, started fermenting kombucha as a hobby in 2011. Today, his product can be found at locations across Thurston county.

Matt says oak barrels help neutralize the sour, vinegar taste kombucha is known for, offering a sweeter, more enjoyable flavor to the drinker. “The oak barrels take away a lot of that really sour smell,” he explains. “We do a light ferment that keeps it semi-sweet. It’s a smoother, crisper taste, rather than a punchy, vinegar taste. Ours is a good entry-level, friendly kombucha to try.”

Rainbow Cloud Kombucha offers five different flavors, including Matt’s favorite — organic ginger, but all of his kombuchas start the same way, with a base tea Matt orders from Tacoma tea company, Mad Hat. Matt combines the tea with natural flavors, sugar and the kombucha culture, then lets the mixture ferment in oak barrels for one to two weeks, creating a product that he’s proud of.

Excited for what the future holds, Matt looks forward to introducing more people to the healthful beverage, growing Rainbow Cloud Kombucha, and continuing to work with people who are passionate about the product.

Rainbow Cloud Kombucha can be found at locations across Thurston county, including the Olympia Food Co-Op and Ralph’s and Bayview Thriftway (where it’s served fresh, on tap).

If you would like to learn more about Rainbow Cloud Kombucha, you can visit Rainbow Cloud Kombucha’s website, or follow Rainbow Cloud Kombucha on Facebook.

 

County Commissioners to Hear Proposed Oak Tree Preserve Development Case

Janine's Little Hollywood - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 11:46pm

By Janine Unsoeldwww.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.com
The Thurston County Commissioners will discuss the merits of a citizen appeal of the proposed Oak Tree Preserve development at a hearing open to the public on Tuesday, June 23, 4:30 p.m., Building 1, Room 280, at the Thurston County Courthouse, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia. 
The Oak Tree Preserve plat appeal hearing follows the commissioner’s regularly scheduled commissioner’s meeting. Only those who are party to the case - the developer and those who appealed the hearing examiner’s approval of the project – may speak at the hearing.  Each party’s argument will be limited to 15 minutes.
Although the county is a party of record, it is unclear to Little Hollywood if the county is considered to be a party to the appeal. A joint motion issued by the county and the developer in early June seems to further blur the line between the county’s role and the developer’s goals and objectives.
A group of Thurston County citizens and the Black Hills Audubon Society are challenging Thurston County Hearing Examiner Sharon Rice’s approval in April of the proposed Oak Tree development in the City of Lacey’s urban growth area of Thurston County. The group says that the subdivision plan would destroy a vital wildlife habitat and is in violation of the county’s critical area ordinance.
The proposed development on Marvin Road is bordered by the Burlington Northern Railroad and the McAllister Park and Evergreen Estates subdivisions in unincorporated Lacey, and would subdivide 258.5 acres into 1,037 single family homes, said to be the largest in the county’s history. 
The development site is home to the largest remaining Oregon white oak habitat in Thurston County.  Oregon white oak is a state-protected priority habitat.  The proposed development would destroy almost half of the 79 acres of Oregon white oak woodlands on the site.
Thurston County Hearing Examiner Sharon Rice decided in favor of the preliminary plat and the Thurston County Resource Stewardship Department staff supports the hearing examiner's decision. The decision was appealed in May by citizens Bonnie and Bob Self, Donald and Liz Lyman, Lisa Carroll, Bill Koopman, Liz Kohlenberg and the Black Hills Audubon Society.
The appeal contends that the subdivision plan violates Thurston County’s critical areas ordinance and that it should be remanded to the hearing examiner. The group argues that the subdivision’s preliminary plat:
1)      Does not include the required study of wildlife that is associated with oak woodlands, even though the county ordinance says protection of wildlife is the most important function of the priority habitat.  The developer’s expert admitted in her testimony that a wildlife study was not done, and said: “It was my understanding that a wildlife study was not required at that time.”
2)      Misuses science to conclude that the habitat function of the woodlands will be the same after development as before – even when the development destroys almost half the woodlands, bisects what remains with a road, and surrounds it with a dense housing development. State law requires the use of best available science in development regulations – and this was not best available science.
Late Breaking News
The appellants, who include two former county planning commissioners and several retired scientists, have asked that the project be remanded back to the hearing examiner.
Today, the appellants filed a document in support of its earlier motion that asks the county commissioners to allow new evidence that the appellants discovered after the hearing examiner closed the record. That motion is being opposed by both the developer's attorney and the Thurston County Resource Stewardship Department’s counsel, Rick Peters.
In a June 3 response to the appeal, Peters claimed that Thurston County code does not allow the record to be supplemented, that the appellants do not have standing to challenge the hearing examiner's decision, and that part of the appeal should be denied and/or dismissed on procedural or substantive grounds.
“No argument provided by appellants should invalidate the findings and conclusions of the hearing examiner,” says the letter by Peters.
The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is not a party to the Lyman appeal, but in a June 2 letter to the commissioners, habitat biologist and environmental planner Theresa Nation said the department concurs with the appellant’s analysis of the errors in the evaluation of impacts to oak woodlands.
“We agree that the assessment of the impacts to oak woodlands was flawed and inconsistent with best available science. We agree that an accurate assessment of the impacts and adequate mitigation measures are necessary….” wrote Nation.
“….In support of Governor Inslee’s Results Washington initiative, WDFW tracks and reports the status of oak woodlands statewide. The Results Washington goal is to lose no more than 31 acres of oak woodlands annually throughout all of Puget Sound. This one proposal would cause losses well beyond the annual sound-wide goal,” wrote Nation. She went on to say that the appellants in this case have requested a reasonable solution to the serious issues brought forth in their case.
County-Developer File Joint Motion
A joint motion filed on June 8 by the county Resource Stewardship Department and the development applicant, Oak Tree Preserve, LLC, asks the commissioners to strike from the record the June 2 letter from Nation, which is posted on the county’s website. The motion says that the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife is not a party to the appeal, and should be considered as new evidence.
However, the county's appeal process, outlined in a notice dated May 20, specifically allows all parties of record, not just the parties to the appeal, to respond to the appeal by the deadline of June 3.
Theresa Nation, representing the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, is among those listed on the county's master list of parties of record.
The joint motion by the county and Oak Tree Preserve to strike WSDFW’s response to the appeal raises questions and it could be considered odd that the county and the developer would issue the joint motion.
Although the public cannot speak at Tuesday’s hearing, witnesses to the hearing can learn about the land-use case first-hand by observing the local process.
“The fate of these oak woodlands, the wildlife and the quality of life in Thurston County hangs in the balance,” said Liz Lyman in an interview today.
Full Disclosure: Janine Unsoeld is listed as a party of record for providing testimony at the March hearing on behalf of the board of the South Puget Environmental Education Clearinghouse (SPEECH). She nor SPEECH is a party to the appeal.
For more information about the proposed Oak Tree Preserve development, including pictures of the site, see several stories at Little Hollywood, www.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.com and type key words into the search button.
For Thurston County’s information about the case, go to http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/permitting/hearing/hearings/oak-tree-preserve/otp.htm

Daren Sachet to lead Providence Mission Program: No One Dies Alone

Thurston Talk - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 3:55pm

ThurstonTalk

 

Submitted by Providence St. Peter Foundation

Daren Sachet Providence Foundation NODA

Daren Sachet, RN

Daren Sachet, RN, has been named the coordinator of the Providence No One Dies Alone (NODA) program. Ms. Sachet replaces Frankie Shepherd, who successfully organized and implemented the program in 2009. Shepherd served until the end of 2014, when she retired from this ministry.

Teresa Lynch, Director of Spiritual Care at Providence St. Peter Hospital, says, “Daren brings a wealth of experience with a spirit of deep compassion, sensitivity and respect for each person.” Sachet is a registered nurse who has been dedicated to nursing practice for over 34 years, and has served as a volunteer in the NODA program since 2009. Lynch adds, “Daren’s gifts of patient and family care, commitment to loving service, and dedication to excellence will be wonderful contributions to our NODA ministry.”

Sachet is excited to have the opportunity to lead and support the compassionate volunteers. “What most impresses me is the commitment and compassion of the volunteers,” says Sachet. “I was attracted to this ministry in that it allows me to honor and respect the beauty in each individual’s uniqueness. In this role as coordinator I am delighted and excited to have this opportunity to lead and support the compassionate companion volunteers.”

To welcome Sachet, a “Meet and Greet “for volunteers, donors, and more will be held on Friday, June 26, from 10:30 a.m. till 12:30 p.m. at the hospital.

The No One Dies Alone (NODA) program was started at St. Peter Hospital in 2009 to provide individuals with a dignified and compassionate death. With more than 115 volunteers, vigils are available during the day and all through the night, providing bedside companionship for dying patients who are alone, or providing relief to family members or friends who need to take time away to rest or manage other responsibilities.

The program is supported by generous donations to Providence St. Peter Foundation.

 

Babies, Kids and More at The Gift Gallery

Thurston Talk - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 3:13pm

ThurstonTalk

 

Submitted By Kaylene Fischer for The Gift Gallery, LLC

Tutus from Rhea's Bowtique

Tutus from Rhea Rhea’s Bowtique

Did you know that The Gift Gallery carries children’s items? People may often think of our store as only for certain occasions or ages. But did you know that we carry everyday items, as well as seasonal? So whether you’re in need of a gift for a special occasion, or just browsing for something you may like for yourself, The Gift Gallery is the place to find it.

We have two new vendors that we are really excited to tell you about. We welcome Denise Beechler with her baby blankets, sock monkeys, bears and horses. These stuffed animals you won’t want to miss out on.

We also welcome Ashley Taylor with her Rhea Rhea’s Bowtique. She makes tutu dresses, tutus, bows and headbands for girls ages Newborn to 5 years old. Her tutus and bows are the cutest around! If you are a Seahawks fan, you’ll love the Seahawk tutu dress with headband. Your little girls are sure to love everything in her booth!

There are also a few other vendors that have been with us for awhile that carry children’s items.  The Sewster Sisters make beautiful, soft baby quilts. These quilts are colorful, two-sided and made for boy, girl or either.

Stinger Stitches makes the best quality burp cloths with a unique design that you won’t find in any local store. They are so reasonably priced, you won’t believe it. There are bibs and receiving blankets to match.

We have Crochet by Erica G. with her cute and colorful crocheted baby items. She has booties, mittens, animals and more. We also have Joan Cross who knits baby sweater-sets that come with hats and booties.

Denise Beechler creates baby blankets, sock monkeys, bears, horses and more.

Denise Beechler creates baby blankets, sock monkeys, bears, horses and more.

Theresa Chace embroiders a variety of items and she features the grandfather pillow. If you have a flannel or dress shirt that you would like made into a pillow as a keepsake, she will personalize it for you with a really neat poem.

The Krafty Krew can knit and crochet just about anything you want, but they specialize in their cloth diaper covers. These are such a neat idea! They come in different colors and sizes, they even include the cloth diaper. There are even all-in-one pants that you just throw right in the wash. Tired of spending hundreds of dollars on disposable diapers? You can’t beat these ladies prices!

The Gift Gallery itself features a wonderful line of CuddleBarn. These are animated stuffed animals that dance and sing. We also have teddy bears that change color and Mother Goose that tells 5 different nursery rhymes. Our antique and collectibles section carries children’s items as well. They have dolls, books and more.

Come see us today, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what treasure you may find!

You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and our website.

TF-51 Mustang Will Fly at Olympic Air Show June 27-28

Thurston Talk - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 2:39pm

ThurstonTalk

 

Submitted by The Port of Olympia

TF-51 Mustang Will Fly at Olympic Air Show June 27 and 28.

TF-51 Mustang Will Fly at Olympic Air Show June 27 and 28.

Thurston County skies will be buzzing with warbirds and aerobatic performers during the Olympic Air Show on June 27 and 28 at Olympia Regional Airport.

Hosted by the Olympic Flight Museum, this 17th annual event is one of only three warbird and aerobatic aircraft gatherings in Washington State. Seven decades of aircraft technological advances will be on display, from vintage bi-planes to high-performance jets.

Among this year’s flight demonstrations is Mark Peterson of Mustang High Flight LLC with DiamondBack, a TF-51 Mustang built in 1945 as a P-51D. The flight is designed to showcase the speed and grace of the Mustang and give visitors the opportunity to hear the mighty Merlin roar at over 350 miles per hour. DiamondBack is owned by Peterson and based in Boise, ID.

Featured guests include two Bell-Boeing MV-22 Osprey Tiltrotorcraft from the VMM-163 Squadron of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. The multi-mission Osprey will be visiting as static display aircraft and will depart at noon on Sunday.

Ten heritage aircraft from the Museum’s collection will represent the WWII, Korea and Vietnam eras.

The Rise Above traveling exhibit, courtesy of the Commemorative Air Force, tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen and is accompanied by a P-51C Mustang which has the traditional painted red tail in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Also on static display will be a CC-115 Buffalo, one of Canada’s primary search and rescue aircrafts, from the Royal Canadian Air Force’s transport and rescue squadron in Comox, B.C. Only 24 meters long, the agile Buffalo can take off and land on even the most rugged terrain and in areas as short as a soccer field.

Port of Olympia is proud to be a sponsor of the Olympic Air Show, which offers historic, educational and fun activities for all ages. For complete details click here.

17th Annual Olympic Air Show
June 27-28     9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Olympia Regional Airport, 7643 Old Highway 99 SE, Tumwater, WA
Hosted by Olympic Flight Museum
360.705.3925 – info@olympicflightmuseum.com
$12 online $15 at the door

Chehalis Western Trail Closure Begins Today

Thurston Talk - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 2:34pm

ThurstonTalk

 

Submitted by Thurston County

Two-month closure of the Chehalis Western Trail at Rainier Road train trestle starts one day early.

BNSF Railways started construction today on the train trestle that crosses Rainier Road Southeast—one day earlier than expected—which means a one-mile section of the popular Chehalis Western Trail is now closed for approximately two months.

BNSF Railways will be working this summer to replace the trestle that crosses Rainier Road Southeast just south of the Indian Summer Golf Course. The railroad company plans to coordinate the trestle replacement work with other construction projects and railroad closures in the area over the course of the next eight to 10 weeks. During that time, the one-mile section of the Chehalis Western Trail will be closed, and barricades will be placed near the construction site.

Crews are not expected to be actively working throughout the entire two-month closure, but the area is still considered an active construction zone, so bicyclists and pedestrians are advised to avoid the area or find an alternate route.

“The bottom line for us is that this is BNSF’s project, and they control the schedule, not us,” said Thurston County Parks Manager Kerry Hibdon. “It’s a real shame that it comes right in the heart of summer when the trail is used the most, but safety is our number one concern here, so that section of the trail will be closed until BNSF completes their project.”

Chehalis Western Trail ClosureWhile the one-mile section of the Chehalis Western Trail will be closed for the duration of the project, Rainier Road Southeast will remain open to traffic. During active construction periods, drivers and others using Rainier Road Southeast should expect traffic to be reduced to one lane at times, and are asked to slow down and take care in the construction zone to help keep construction crews safe.

Hibdon also reminds trail users that the trail will not be safe to use in that area, even when there are no construction crews actively working. “This will still be an active construction site with hazards like equipment, materials, temporary supports, even holes in the ground. For safety’s sake, we ask that people obey the signs and stay out of the barricaded area until construction is completely finished.”

More information about the Chehalis Western Trail closure near Rainier Road Southeast is available on the county’s Public Works Department website. To check on project updates and to view a map of the closed section of trail, go to www.co.thurston.wa.us/publicworks and click on the “Parks and Trails” header.

 

Tartuffe: A Laugh Riot

South Sound Arts - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 12:35pm



Moliere comedy at the Midnight Sun Published in the Weekly Volcano, June 18, 2015
from left: Heather Christopher, Michael Christopher and Christian Carvajal. Photo by Austin Lang.

Theater Artists Olympia brings a comedy by 17th century French writer Molière to the Midnight Sun, and it is as funny today as it must have been in Paris 48 years after the death of Shakespeare (whom I mention because lines from Shakespeare are quoted in Tartuffe, probably intended as both satire and homage).
The language is surprisingly modern even if spoken in rhyme and with a noticeable lack of F-bombs and other foul language so common in contemporary plays. Even the rhyming sounds like modern kitsch, and everything is easily understood.
Tartuffe is satire that blasts religious posturing and hypocrisy in the form of romantic farce with lots and lots of physical comedy. 
Tartuffe (played by Michael Christopher at his absolute best) is a charlatan who pretends to be a man of God in order to bilk the rich out of their money and women out of their pantaloons. Orgon (Christian Carvajal) is hornswoggled by Tartuffe. He believes the slick charlatan is a saint and admires him so much that he makes him heir to his fortune and promises him his daughter’s hand in marriage. The daughter, Mariane (Vanessa Postil), is in love with and betrothed to another man, Valere (Xander Layden). But Tartuffe is more interested in Orgon’s sexy wife, Elmire (Adriana Chavez) and is determined to bed her.
Everyone except Orgon sees right through Tartuffe’s deception. They try to warn Orgon but he will not listen, so Elmire risks pretending to fall for Tartuffe’s advances in order to prove to Orgon just what a deceptive beast the so-called saint really is.
The acting brilliantly combines modern day slapstick with a takeoff of 17thcentury histrionics (we have little knowledge of how actors actually acted in 1664). Christopher, Carvajal, and Chavez, are all marvelously over the top and out of control. Also worthy of the highest praise is Amanda Stevens as the wise and sassy maid, Dorine. Her delivery and timing, and her eye-rolling, head shaking, teeth-gnashing expressions between lines and when others are speaking are comic gold. When Tartuffe and Orgon are on stage together, Christopher and Carvajal are like a couple of Marx Brothers, and Christopher and Chavez are insanely funny in the seduction scene. This is comic acting of the highest order.
And it would be wrong of me to not mention the director, Maggie Ferguson-Wagstaffe in her directorial debut. Much of the impeccable timing and blocking throughout has to be credited to her.
And then there’s the costuming by Jim Morgan. The rococo extravagance of the women’s dresses and lingerie and the cleverly modern take on period French clothing is fabulous, and the subtle coloring of actors’ hair to match their costumes is sheer genius.Theater Artists Olympia’s production of this classic farce is hilarious and beautiful.
Opening night was sold out, and I wouldn’t be surprised if every other night doesn’t sell out soon, so I recommend getting tickets early.
Tartuffe, 8 p.m., June 18-20 and 25-27, 2:30 p.m. June 21, The Midnight Sun Performance Space,113 Columbia St., Olympia, $15, at door or online at brownpapertickets.com ($16.52 with service fee), pay what you can June 18.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Riding the Bus and the Elephant

South Sound Arts - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 12:30pm





Two exhibitions in one at Tacoma Library
Published in the Weekly Volcano, June 18, 2015
“Chihuly on Bus,” mixed media wall sculpture by Lynn Di Nino. Courtesy the artistLynn Di Nino comes up with more unique and often hilarious ideas than you can shake a stick at. Her latest — two shows in one, one curated by Di Nino and the other featuring her sculpture — is a delightful concept but more successful as an idea than as executed. 
Exhibition number one is A Fable, inspired by the parable of the blind men and the elephant. The elephant is a wall-size, cartoon-like drawing in pink with 25 artist-made dolls attached to it, each about six inches tall and standing on a little shelf. The dolls are made by: Becky Frehse, Marita Dingus, Claudia Riedener, Doug Mackey,  John Carlton, Marta Olson, Marsha Conn, Sam Tower, Elayne Vogel, Amy Reeves, Steve LaBerge, Analee Reutlinger, Di Morgan Graves, Eddie Graves, Chocolate Chimpo, Heather Cornelius, Pam Orazem, Kathy Gore-Fuss and Loralin Toney, Karen Perrine, Ann Meersman, KaCe Whitacre, Ruby Re-Usable, Dick Weiss, Jeremy Gregory and Sharon Styer. Most face the elephant on the wall, backs turned to the viewer. On an adjacent wall are statements by the artists explaining the figures and, for most, short essays about their relationship with and feelings toward the city of Tacoma.
LaBerge created a blind man with a cane. He has apparently bumped into the elephant. The Towers must have had the same idea. They also created a blind man with a cane.Some of the written statements are poetic, and some are humorous. My favorite is from Dingus, who writes “I’m better at making things than I am at using printed words to express myself” — a statement that should probably be a mantra for most artists.
The other part of the show, Riding the Express Bus 594, consists of 14 dolls by Di Nino, each seated in a window seat on the bus. Through the windows we see what the passengers see while riding the bus from Tacoma to Seattle, each scene represented by a color photograph.
The passengers are little clay figures dressed in the kinds of garb one might expect of them. There’s a golfer with a golf bag full of clubs in his lap. Outside his window is the Indian Smoke Shop. At one point the bus passes by Di Nino’s actual house and out the window we see the artist waving from an upstairs window (she must have recruited someone else to take that photo). There’s one called “Peacefulness” that has a woman in a gray hoodie with a picture of a marijuana plant on her back. The view out her window is a placid field and woods. The woman has head-in-hand and appears to be crying.
There’s a woman in black shorts and yellow halter top passing the Weyerhaeuser building, which is slated to move to Seattle. The interesting thing about this woman is that she is facing right while the other 13 sculpted passengers are facing left. I don’t know the significance of that, if any. Maybe she’s on the return trip.
The most I can say about this show is that it is cute and the figures are thought-provoking.
Handforth Gallery at Tacoma Public Library, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays-Saturday, through July 24, 1102 Tacoma Ave. S, Tacoma

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

The Wheels on the Bus… FREE summer event!

603 bus trimThis summer I’m collaborating with Thurston County’s wonderful Intercity Transit in offering “The Wheels on the Bus… an introduction to public transit”.

This two hour event will be offered twice in July; Thursday the 9th and Saturday the 11th.  Participants will be picked up in a hybrid bus at the specified location, and will be transported to the Intercity Transit maintenance center.  While at the center a mechanic will tell us about the bio-fuel used by the hybrid buses, as well as view a bus engine, and walk under a bus on a hydraulic lift.  The highlight of the visit will be getting back on our bus to go through the bus wash.  How cool is that?!

During the trip to and from the maintenance center you’ll hear about bus riding basics, as well as hear about Rebels by Bus adventure trips scheduled for the summer.  Three trips are planned with families in mind… Woodland Park Zoo, Wooden Boat Center in Seattle, and the SERA sprayground in Tacoma.

And the best news… “The Wheels on the Bus” is FREE!

Thank you, Intercity Transit :-0

The following is a flyer providing specific information about “The Wheels on the Bus” and  this summer’s trips.

Rebels 2015 Summer Flyer family

Categories: Local Environment

Edmonds by the Sea

edmonds center IIOne more time… Rebels brought great weather with them to the town of Edmonds.  There are four “legs” to this trip, so we started out a bit earlier than usual in order to have plenty of time to explore our destination.

From Seattle we caught a bus that took us to the Freeway edmondsstation at Mountlake Terrace.  It is a strange sensation to get off the bus in the middle of the I-5 freeway.  The pedestrian overpass took us to the transit parking garage, then around the corner to catch our fourth and final bus to our destination.

chanterelle edmondsWe arrived in Edmonds just before noon.  After orienting everyone to the town (all had a map of the business district), we scattered for lunch. Chanterelles is one of the restaurants on Main Street. Most of us ate at Demetris Woodstone Taverna, on Main.  The menu is varied… flatbread pizza, salads, paninis, tapas, and local seafood.  The waiter encouraged us to share plates.  Everyone was very satisfied with their meal and service.

After lunch there was plenty of time to wander the streets and shops of the compact business district, which is about 3 square blocks.  Rick Steves travel store, located on 4th Avenue at Bell Street, was on some of our lists.  This is a good place to purchase books about European travel, as well as travel equipment and supplies.  Staff is very knowledgeable about travelling in Europe and provides great advice.  The downtown core was vibrant, but not crowded.  The ambiance was friendly and relaxed.  edmonds ferryThe Edmonds ferry dock is at the end of Main Street (within sight from the Demetris restaurant) which offers access to Puget Sound and a view of the Olympic Mountains.  Relaxing in the sun was a great way to enjoy the scenery and each other’s company.

The return trip home included riding the Sounder train, always a hit with Rebels.  Thanks to all you Rebels for another grand adventure!  Hope to see you on board again soon!

 

Categories: Local Environment

Master Recycler Composter – Help Your Community in Fun, Creative Volunteer Program

Thurston Talk - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 8:51am

ThurstonTalk

 

Submitted by Thurston County Solid Waste

Solid waste - Master recyclerDo you have a passion for waste prevention, recycling, or composting?  If so, then apply to become a Thurston County Master Recycler Composter (MRC) volunteer! Being part of the Thurston County MRC volunteer program is a great way to meet nice people while having fun improving our community.

Thurston County and WSU Extension have teamed up to make the Master Recycler Composter (MRC) program innovative, fun and educational – for our community and for the volunteers. MRC volunteers are trained on how to reduce waste and increase public awareness in Thurston County, which includes the new program Waste Less Food. If you’re passionate about buzz-word-topics like simplicity, or sustainability, and you want to help raise community awareness about reducing waste, consider the fall training program for Master Recycler Composters.

Some of the projects MRCs are working on this year:

  • Raising public awareness about the negative impacts of wasting food and what people can do to reduce their wasted food at home (and save money).
  • Presenting FREE yard waste and worm composting workshops for community members.
  • Creating a “little library” at Closed Loop Park to share books and information about recycling, composting and waste reduction.
  • SWAP events in which members of the community trade items (like seeds, books, gardening tools or Halloween costumes) one-for-one.
  • Leading “green teams” at work, schools, churches, neighborhoods or with community groups.
  • Re-purposing & upcycling projects for upcoming exhibits, events and fundraisers.
  • Pop-bottle building projects including cold frames, furniture and art displays.

MRC volunteers are trained on how to reduce waste and increase public awareness about a wide variety of topics around reduction, recycling, and composting. Course graduates agree to give twenty-five hours of yearly service inspiring others to reduce waste at home, work and community.

Training takes place on Thursday evenings in October (with two Saturday field trips). Space is limited. Visit http://ext100.wsu.edu/thurston/mc/ for more information and how to apply.

 

Westport Winery Wins in Michigan and Texas

Thurston Talk - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 8:39am

ThurstonTalk

 

Submitted by Westport Winery

2013 Mermaid Poster - Westport WineryWestport Winery earned three medals at the recent Tasters Guild International Wine Competition in Michigan.

Captain Grays Gewurztraminer, crafted with grapes from Red Willow Vineyard, earned a gold medal. Mermaid’s Merlot, a blend of Merlot grapes from Two Blondes and Connor-Lee Vineyards, earned a silver medal. And Duckleberry Grunt earned a bronze.

At the Texsom International Wine Competition in Dallas, Bordello Blonde earned a silver medal. This wine is an off-dry blend of Riesling and Gewurztraminer from Red Willow Vineyard.

When you visit Westport Winery Garden Resort be sure to explore the unique sculpture garden, lavender labyrinth, musical fence, 9-hole executive golf course, giant chess set, outdoor scrabble game, and grape maze, all located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road halfway between Aberdeen and Westport. You will see why this has been voted Best of the Northwest Wine Destination four times.

Their award-winning wines are exclusively available at the resort. The tasting room, gift shop, produce market, plant nursery, bakery and gardens, are open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurant is open for lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and for dinner on Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information contact Westport Winery Garden Resort at 360-648-2224 or visit the website at www.westportwinery.com.

Keeping Pets Safe in Summer Heat

Thurston Talk - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 8:31am

ThurstonTalk

 

Submitted by Animal Services of Olympia

dogSummer is here and temperatures are rising. Your parked car can be a dangerous place for your pet. Even on cloudy summer days with the windows down a couple inches, the inside of your car can reach 100 degrees in just minutes. While the weather may appear comfortable outdoors, the build-up of heat inside your car can kill your pet. Pets can die of heatstroke or suffer brain damage within minutes.

During summer days, it’s better to keep your pet at home. However, if you bring them along, park in shaded areas, keep windows open, and only leave pets for a couple minutes. Keep your pet hydrated by providing adequate cool water. One tip is to freeze a bowl of water, which also avoids spillage.

Don’t take a chance with your pet’s life. Keep them safe and cool this summer. This message is brought to you by Animal Services of Olympia. For more information, contact Animal Services at 360-515-5251 or visit www.JointAnimalServices.org.

17 Flavors and Counting – Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs Changes the Culinary Game

Thurston Talk - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 7:37am

ThurstonTalk

 

By Nikki McCoy

salish sea liqueurs

Father and son duo Sandy and Sam Desner, opened Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs in January. The pair quadrupled expected sales in their first four months, and distribution is growing.

My husband drizzles Salish Sea’s Lemongrass Liqueur over prawn skewers while I stir the iced tea, making sure to top it with a lemon wedge and Salish Sea’s Hibiscus Liqueur.

Based on the recommendation of Sandy Desner, general manager of Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs, we are prepping our first culinary creations using local, organic liqueurs.

We’ve tasted the Lemongrass Liqueur in pure form – a fragrant, soft sipper – but we can’t wait to try it on food, its flavor enhanced by the heat.

“It makes the best barbequed prawns you will ever taste,” promises Sandy. “What we do is pour a little bit of liqueur in the bottom of a pan, place the prawns in there for 30 minutes, flip them once and pop them on the barbeque.”

Salish Sea currently has 17 flavors in stock, with Ameretto, Grapefruit, Limoncello, Nectarine and Vanilla on their way – all worthy of being served straight, mixed, or surprisingly, in your food.

“Experimentation is the fun part. If I could get away with it, I’d have 200 flavors,” laughs Sam Desner, Sandy’s son and head distiller.

The integrity of the flavor comes from Sam’s distinct process for making his liqueurs.

salish sea liqueurs

Sam Desner adjusts the typical cold maceration process to include soaking the herb or flower directly in the alcohol. Each small-batch is crafted in one gallon jugs and takes one month to process.

A lot of liqueurs are made using distillation, whereas Sam is using a process called cold maceration. Typically made in stills, many liqueurs are made using extracts and artificial flavors. If herbs or fruits are used, they are put in an infusion bag inside the still. But Salish Sea’s product actually ages with the herb or flower in it, while cutting out the distillation step – the difference is smoothness and balance of flavors.

Sam explains that each small batch undergoes multiple infusions over the course of a month, made one gallon at a time – with only real herbs and flowers. While soaking in alcohol and on a strict stirring regimen, simple syrup (purified water and pure organic cane sugar) is then boiled to a specific consistency and temperature, and added. More stirring, then the mix is strained, tested, blended, filtered and bottled. You might think this process sounds like a rather simple process but each batch can have upwards of fifty steps from start to completion. Because of this process, many of the liqueurs take on a tea-like quality.

And while most people associate liqueurs with livening up cocktails (check out Salish Sea’s awesome cocktail recipes – like Moscow Mule with Ginger Liqueur – here), they can be a wonderful addition in the kitchen, especially using savory flavors.

Salish Sea produces an assortment of savory liqueurs, which actually work great in a martini, but shine as a marinade for meats.

salish sea liqueurs

Barbeque Bonus: When your marinade doubles as a conversation piece (and can give you a buzz). In this picture, Lemongrass Grilled Prawns pair with Hibiscus Iced Tea to make a lovely summer combo.

Sandy and Sam love using the Sage and Rosemary liqueurs on chicken, noting how the cooking process caramelizes the sugar, locking in the herbal flavor.

“I think the flavor strength that you get is actually stronger in cooking with a liqueur than it would be if you used the fresh herb, and certainly more than a dried herb,” says Sandy. “We’ll marinate a whole chicken overnight, and then take the carcass and make soup stock out of it. It’s amazing how much of the flavor stays.”

Of course, cooking with liqueurs isn’t just for main dishes. The Desner’s suggest using the Hibiscus Liqueur (a top seller) in lemonade or iced tea, or as a topping on favorite ice creams or dessert. The same can be said for the Lavender, Rose Petal, Honeysuckle and more. Cinnamon and Peppermint are also after-dinner family favorites.

Sandy says variety is what appeals most to people, with many choosing their liqueurs based on smells and flavors associated with fond memories.

“Sam does a honeysuckle liqueur, and it’s based upon him as a kid, eating off a honeysuckle bush in our yard,” he explains. “And when people taste it, they’re like, ‘Wow, this tastes like I just picked a honeysuckle.’ That’s really what Sam was after – to capture the essence of an individual herb or flower in a way that, for people who love that herb or flower, it will really resonate with them.”

Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs invites you to taste for yourself. Tasting room hours are 12:00 – 6:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Tastings are $4.99/person, groups of five or more are $3.99/person, groups of 10 or more are $2.99/person. Bottles range in price, beginning in the low $30s for a fifth, and high teens to low $20s for pints. The tasting fee is waived with any purchase.

In Olympia, find Salish Sea’s products at Cryptatropa Bar, Le Voyeur Café and Lounge and Ralph’s Thriftway.

Hibiscus Liqueur Lemonade is a featured part of Harlequin Productions’ summer program, and theater-goers are encouraged to bring ticket stubs back to the tasting room for 5% off entire purchase.

For more deals and tasting room updates, follow Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs on Facebook.

 

Olympia Father’s Day Weekend Event Calendar

Thurston Talk - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 6:43am

ThurstonTalk

 

This was the first week out of school for local families and in our neighborhood, the kids reveled in the sunshine and freedom that are the hallmarks of summer vacation. Along with the break from school comes the longest day of the year. This weekend’s summer solstice marks the official start to summer.  And with that long-awaited season we also see our ThurstonTalk calendar filling fast with festivals, outdoor concerts, parades and holidays.  Not to mention backyard BBQs, summer camps, and days on the water. And don’t forget to honor dad this weekend.  Ours is getting a sweet new pressure washer.  Shhh….don’t tell!  This weekend starts summer off with a bang and is packed with things to do.

Submit an event for our calendar here.

ThurstonTalk aims to be your source for positive information and events happening in Olympia. If you have a suggestion for a post, send us a note at submit@thurstontalk.com. For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here.

Jack Toland – Dedicated Teenager Likes the Challenge of the Black Hills Triathlon

Thurston Talk - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

 

By Gail Wood

oly fed sponsorBecause of his age, Jack Toland wouldn’t be a popular pick to win the Black Hills Triathlon.

He’s only 18. But this is one teenager with gumption. Toland, who just graduated from Redmond’s Overlake High School, trains about 20 hours a week. Combining his swimming, running and biking, he does between 300 and 400 miles a week.

This is one teen who has gone beyond dreaming about winning. He’s all about doing.

“I’m competitive,” Toland said. “I always have been.”

black hills triathlon

Jack Toland won the 2014 Black Hills Triathlon.

That was obvious when Toland won last year’s Black Hills Triathlon, doing the half mile swim, 17.3 mile bike ride and 3.1 mile run in a combined 1:13:02. He won by over four minutes. He plans on being at the starting line of the Black Hills Triathlon again when the race starts at 7:00 a.m. on June 28.

His commitment has been rewarded. Last fall, Toland placed first in his age group (20 and under) at the 2014 ITU Sprint Triathlon World Championships in Edmonton, Canada. At the USA Triathlon Sprint Nationals, he placed third in his age group and tenth overall. He was named as the USA’s Junior Triathlete of the Year for the entire country.

Toland’s mom, Laurian, admits she’s sort of surprised by her son’s accomplishments in triathlons.

“Yes and no,” Laurian said when asked if she caught off guard. “He’s a pretty dedicated person. He loves the competition. So, he really pushes himself.”

Toland trains seven days a week, only occasionally taking a day off. He swims with the Lake Washington Masters‘ coach Becca Watson – he does 20,000 yards a week – before heading to school. Toland bikes 250 to 300 miles a week, doing 80 to 100 miles on his long rides. He runs 40 to 55 miles a week, going about 16 miles on his long runs.

“I’ve learned that there are those who participate and those who compete,” Laurian said.

And Toland is all about competing. It’s not enough for him to simply finish.

“He really enjoys the competition of the triathlon,” Laurian said. “He loves the bike. I don’t think he loves the swim, but he knows it’s all part of it.”

Toland also enjoys the running. He ran cross country in high school and made it to state his senior year, but he didn’t place high. He pulls away in a triathlon on the bike.

black lake triathlon

Jack Toland’s favorite part of the triathlon is the biking.

“My strength is on the bike,” Toland said. “I’m a fast enough runner to be competitive.”

In last year’s Black Hills Triathlon, he did the half mile swim in 11 minutes and 7 seconds. He did the bike in 40 minutes and 25 seconds, averaging 25.5 miles an hour. And he did the 2.5 mile run in 18 minutes and 49 seconds, averaging 6 minutes and 3 seconds per mile.

Toland isn’t exaggerating when he says he’s competitive. He had the same all-in commitment when he sailed as kid, becoming a member of the U.S. Optimist National Team. Three years ago, Toland’s focus changed from sailing to triathlons. On a whim, he and his dad, Marv Toland, entered a triathlon in Elma and he found his new passion.

“I loved it,” Toland said. “It was fun.”

And now, three years and 20+triathlons later, Toland is still running, biking and swimming. But his passion hasn’t eclipsed the classroom. An A-student, Toland will attend the University of Colorado Boulder in the fall. He’ll be able to pursue two passions there.

“I’m going there because they have huge outdoors and they have a pretty decent aerospace program,” Toland said.

black lake triathlon

Jack Toland was named the country’s top triathlete for his age.

One day, Toland wants to be an aerospace engineer. And while he’s studying to become one, he’ll make time for triathlons and maybe even climb some mountains. This spring, Toland attempted to climb Alaska’s Mount McKinley, the county’s tallest peak at 20,322 feet. The group he was climbing with got turned back about 3,000 feet short of the summit because of extreme winds.

“It’s unfortunate,” Toland said. “Now, I’ll have to go back next season and redeem myself.”

The winds were about 65 mph at the base camp and stronger higher up.

“At the summit, it was getting worse,” Toland said. “It’s just the luck of the draw.”

At this point, Toland has done the shorter, sprint triathlons. One day, he might do the Ironman, which has a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run.

“Maybe someday down the road I’ll do that,” Toland said.

But for right now, he has his sites set on a repeat performance at the Black Hills Triathlon.

Tartuffe: A Laugh Riot

South Sound Arts - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 12:40pm


Moliere comedy at the Midnight SunPublished in the Weekly Volcano, June 18, 2015from left: Heather Christopher, Michael Christopher and Christian Carvajal. Photo by Austin Lang.Theater Artists Olympia brings a comedy by 17thcentury French writer Molière to the Midnight Sun, and it is as funny today as it must have been in Paris 48 years after the death of Shakespeare (whom I mention because lines from Shakespeare are quoted in Tartuffe, probably intended as both satire and homage). The language is surprisingly modern even if spoken in rhyme and with a noticeable lack of F-bombs and other foul language so common in contemporary plays. Even the rhyming sounds like modern kitsch, and everything is easily understood.Tartuffe is satire that blasts religious posturing and hypocrisy in the form of romantic farce with lots and lots of physical comedy.  Tartuffe (played by Michael Christopher at his absolute best) is a charlatan who pretends to be a man of God in order to bilk the rich out of their money and women out of their pantaloons. Orgon (Christian Carvajal) is hornswoggled by Tartuffe. He believes the slick charlatan is a saint and admires him so much that he makes him heir to his fortune and promises him his daughter’s hand in marriage. The daughter, Mariane (Vanessa Postil), is in love with and betrothed to another man, Valere (Xander Layden). But Tartuffe is more interested in Orgon’s sexy wife, Elmire (Adriana Chavez) and is determined to bed her.Everyone except Orgon sees right through Tartuffe’s deception. They try to warn Orgon but he will not listen, so Elmire risks pretending to fall for Tartuffe’s advances in order to prove to Orgon just what a deceptive beast the so-called saint really is.The acting brilliantly combines modern day slapstick with a takeoff of 17th century histrionics (we have little knowledge of how actors actually acted in 1664). Christopher, Carvajal, and Chavez, are all marvelously over the top and out of control. Also worthy of the highest praise is Amanda Stevens as the wise and sassy maid, Dorine. Her delivery and timing, and her eye-rolling, head shaking, teeth-gnashing expressions between lines and when others are speaking are comic gold. When Tartuffe and Orgon are on stage together, Christopher and Carvajal are like a couple of Marx Brothers, and Christopher and Chavez are insanely funny in the seduction scene. This is comic acting of the highest order. And it would be wrong of me to not mention the director, Maggie Ferguson-Wagstaffe in her directorial debut. Much of the impeccable timing and blocking throughout has to be credited to her.And then there’s the costuming by Jim Morgan. The rococo extravagance of the women’s dresses and lingerie and the cleverly modern take on period French clothing is fabulous, and the subtle coloring of actors’ hair to match their costumes is sheer genius.Theater Artists Olympia’s production of this classic farce is hilarious and beautiful. Opening night was sold out, and I wouldn’t be surprised if every other night doesn’t sell out soon, so I recommend getting tickets early.
Tartuffe, 8 p.m., June 18-20 and 25-27, 2:30 p.m. June 21, The Midnight Sun Performance Space,113 Columbia St., Olympia, $15, at door or online at brownpapertickets.com ($16.52 with service fee), pay what you can June 18.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment
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