Recent local blog posts

An Orca Books Author Reading: Olympia novelist Heather Lockman presents "The Indian Shirt Story"

OlyBlog Home Page - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 12:15pm
Event:  Fri, 10/24/2014 - 7:00pm

A FREE event at Orca Books, 509 4th Ave E in downtown Olympia. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

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Orca Books Author Reading - Unitarian Minister Marilyn Sewell presents her memoir "Raw Faith"

OlyBlog Home Page - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 12:11pm
Event:  Sun, 10/19/2014 - 4:00pm

Author and spiritual leader Marilyn Sewell will talk about her new memoir, Raw Faith: Following the Thread. Marilyn writes about a universal longing — the longing for love and acceptance, the longing for home. Marilyn lost her mother at age nine when her father took her to live with his parents in a small town in North Louisiana. She didn’t get reacquainted with her mother until she was 33, when her mother was dying of cancer. Having grown up with no real home, she looked for home in the arms of men, in schools and churches, and in marriage. These places served as a temporary refuge, but for the most part, home eluded her. She was sustained throughout her journey by her faith and her understanding that she was held by something larger than herself. Her wandering taught her at last that home is not a place, not even with people she loves and who love her, but is rather a condition of the spirit. Home is always available, as she puts it, “if I can quiet my scared heart.”

Marilyn Sewell is Minister Emerita of the First Unitarian Church in Portland.  She writes regularly for Huffington Post's religion page. She teaches at Attic Institute, a local resource for writers, and also at Maitripa, a Buddhist college. Currently she's writing flash fiction.

This event is FREE and open to the public. It's at Orca Books, 509 4th Ave E in downtown Olympia. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Warren Miller’s “No Turning Back” comes to the Washington Center

Thurston Talk - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 11:24am


Submitted by Warren Miller Entertainment

Warren Miller Photo by Sverre Hjornevik

Photo Courtesy of Warren Miller Entertainment – Photo by Sverre Hjornevik

This fall, Warren Miller releases its 65th film, No Turning Back. The newest installment celebrates the 65 years of mountain culture and adventure filmmaking that has led Warren Miller to every end of the winter world. Warren Miller’s annual film tradition marks the beginning of colder weather, winter exploration and premier cinematography. Come experience the stoke with Warren Miller and revel in winter’s heritage as we push the boundaries in Niseko, Japan, the Swiss Alps, Montana, France and more. See athletes Ingrid Backstrom, Seth Wescott, Sierra Quitiquit, Rob Kingwill, Oystein Aasheim and others carry on the legacy in winter sports storytelling.

Warren Miller’s No Turning Back shows in Olympia at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, November 14.  Two showings are scheduled at 6:30 and  9:30pm. Click here for all show info.

Since he began creating films in 1949, Warren Miller has known that as skiers and riders, there’s no need to look back—instead, we continuously drive to keep our edge and chase the snow. Because whether it’s Josh Bibby and Tyler Ceccanti carving turns on Mount Olympus in Greece or Kaylin Richardson breaking trail in Norway, these athletes pray for storms and seek mountain thrills for the same reason snow lovers have for decades: sheer delight.

“Everywhere we go, Warren Miller Entertainment finds people who have dedicated their lives to the mountains,” says Producer Josh Haskins. “Every location we shoot at, from the smallest local hills to the top of Alaska’s Chugach, speaks to skiers and snowboarders because, at the end of the day, all we need are some steep slopes and some snow to cover them.”

No Turning Back continues the tradition, taking a legacy that dates back to before skis had edges, and running with it around the globe, to the top of the world’s highest peaks to the mom-and-pop hills that define skiing and riding and back again. Join Warren Miller in welcoming this winter season, and remember this year there’s No Turning Back.

Pumpkins Aren’t Just for Porches

Thurston Talk - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 6:54am



By Katie Hurley

Two of the surest signs of fall are here… piles of pumpkins adorning the entrances at locally owned Ralph’s Thriftway and Bayview Thriftway, and the large variety of colorful pumpkins, squash and gourds inside their produce departments. Whether you plan to use them in your fall décor or as the star of sweet or savory fall dishes, this is the time you’ll find the best and most colorful selection.

Kabocha squash, also sometimes called Japanese pumpkin, looks like a bumpy dark green pumpkin. The flesh is smooth and sweet, with a chestnut-like flavor when cooked. A whole kabocha squash doubles as a cooking vessel in a simple soup recipe that takes minutes to assemble and

squash recipe

Kabocha squash soup is baked inside the squash.

Kabocha Squash Soup

Serves 2-3

1 kabocha squash

1 leek (white and light green part only), thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 sprig fresh rosemary

5 fresh sage leaves

2 T grated parmesan cheese

2-3 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock

Rinse and dry the squash and then cut out a lid as you would if you were going to carve a pumpkin. Scrape out the seeds and stringy pulp and discard them. Set the squash in a baking dish with sides (in case the stock leaks out of the bottom of the squash). Add the leek, garlic, rosemary, sage and parmesan. Top with the stock, leaving about 1” of space between the top of the liquid and the lid. Put the lid back on and bake in a 400 degree oven for 60-75 minutes, or until the squash inside is very soft. Ladle the stock into a bowl, discarding the rosemary sprig and sage leaves. Use a spoon to scrape the squash into the bowl. Add additional stock if desired. Top with additional grated parmesan to taste. This soup can also be pureed with a stick blender or in a food processor to make a smooth, thick soup.


pumpkin recipes

Organic squash is abundant at Bayview Thriftway.

Pumpkin has become a seasonal staple in everything from pies to scones to lattes. Pumpkin waffles are a great breakfast, but they also make an excellent dessert. For breakfast, top these Pumpkin Waffles from Miss Laura’s Kitchen with butter and pure maple syrup or some warm applesauce. For dessert, cut large waffles into quarters and top each quarter with a scoop of dulce de leche ice cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce and some chopped toasted pecans.

Butternut, acorn or delicata squash are all great to have on hand to add to your menu. Cut them lenghthwise, scoop out the pulp and seeds and place them cut-side down on a greased baking sheet. Roast at 350 until the skin is easy to pierce with a fork and the flesh is tender, about 25 minutes for delicata or acorn squash and up to 50 minutes for a large butternut squash. Scoop the squash out and mash it with a little butter and desired seasonings. A dash or two of chipotle powder and a pinch of salt makes a smoky, spicy, creamy side dish.

Now is the time to stop by Bayview Thriftway or Ralph’s Thriftway to pick the perfect pumpkins and squash for fall feasts and front porch décor.



squash soup

The finished product – Kabocha squash soup seasoned with sage, rosemary and leeks.

Bayview Thriftway

516 W. 4th Ave., Olympia



Ralph’s Thriftway

1908 E. 4th Ave., Olympia



Dan Baxter – Local Veteran and Small Business Owner Encourages People to Never Give Up

Thurston Talk - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 6:00am



By Cara Bertozzi

olympia carpet cleaning

Dan Baxter served with the Multi-National Force Haiti as a young infantryman.

Dan Baxter, a veteran and small business owner, has learned through experience not to take his current success for granted. Today, he is running an in-demand carpet cleaning business, DKB Restoration, and has a beautiful family with two children. However, he has navigated a spectrum of highs and lows both professionally and medically, and he has a story of perseverance to share in hopes of encouraging others who are enduring hard times.

Dan joined the Army and was assigned to the Infantry following his high school graduation in 1994. At this young age, he was able to travel extensively and had many rewarding experiences. He escorted VIPs, including former President Jimmy Carter and General Colin Powell, during his time in Haiti and worked for former President Bill Clinton’s security detail team as well.

Another memorable Army assignment was to Bosnia, where Dan worked with the Secret Service. His unit partnered with the FBI to arrest a terrorist assassin in that country, an achievement for which he received an award. Amazingly, he also broke his leg during that deployment but continued to walk on it for five months until returning to the States, where it was casted. This was to be the first of a number of challenging injuries that tested Dan’s mental ability to deal with setbacks.

olympia carpet cleaning

Dan Baxter was deployed to Bosnia under the command of NATO.

In 1998, Dan left Active Duty for the Reserves and transitioned to civilian life. A few years later, his path took an unexpected turn when the car he was driving was hit by a drunk driver, shattering his kneecap. Dan worked hard to rehab his knee, and it was around that time that he accepted a position in management at a carpet cleaning business. He couldn’t have predicted it, but caring for and restoring carpets in his clients’ homes and businesses to improve their appearance and increase their functionality as passive air filters would become his passion.

After working for only three months in this new role, however, Dan blew a disc in his back and found himself in the vulnerable position of being unable to walk. With a six-month waiting list to get into the Veterans Affairs hospital system, Dan struggled to get the care he needed to recuperate. He and his wife sold everything they had and held signs at the street corner when they were particularly desperate to make their rent.

Dan says this difficult time was clarifying for the couple.  His wife is also disabled. They learned the true differentiation between needs and wants and were exposed to a lot of criticism and shame for not being able to effectively meet their own needs. Experiencing this type of instability heightened their sense of empathy.

Fortunately, the Baxters belonged to a generous church community that helped to meet their tangible needs in addition to providing emotional and spiritual support. There were countless moments when they feared eviction, and then, someone would send them just the amount they needed to get through that month.

Finally, with the help of a civilian chiropractor, Dan was able to literally get back on his feet and returned to work after a year of unemployment. He took a job in management at Burger King and began to rebuild his savings. This time, Dan determined to embody the lessons he had learned from his lean times. Like many people who have had to rely on others for help, he was eager to again be in the position to reach out a hand to assist others.

olympia carpet cleaning.

Dan Baxter and his family are grateful to be in the position to give back to the community that saw them through some tough times.

After some soul searching, Dan decided to save up to start a business of his own. The flexibility was appealing, and he liked the thought of being able to hire other people who needed work and give them purpose and stability. He had enjoyed working as a carpet cleaner, and it became his long-term goal to start his own carpet restoration business. Dan gradually got this dream off the ground by taking small jobs while retaining his full-time job at Burger King. However, after only three months, he was getting enough orders to resign from Burger King and strike out on his own. It required another leap of faith by the Baxters, but the timing felt right.

Today, business is booming at DKB Restoration, and there is no lack of available work because of his reputation as a high-quality service provider. This September was three times as busy as the same period last year. In fact, Dan has filed a petition with the state to hire more employees and add another cleaning truck to his fleet. Through it all, the Baxters remain committed to remembering their journey and using their trials to inspire and encourage others. As Dan likes to say, “Everything happens for a reason, and you can trust God to take care of you and not give you more than you can handle.”

No matter your personal faith system, the Baxters are proof that you should never give up when things seem bleak because a better day may be just around the corner.

DKB Restoration can be reached at 360-688-4392 or by visiting their website.

Anna Gordon & The Van Allen Belt & Swoon & Beatrix Sky

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 5:00pm

Friday, October 17th, doors at 8pm

ANNA GORDON … Olympia via Seattle acoustic folk

THE VAN ALLEN BELT … Pittsburgh pop

SWOON … Oly alt rock

BEATRIX SKY … Oly synthwave

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Van Allen Belt, photo by Heather Mull

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Screening - New Elwha River Film

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 1:30pm
Event:  Fri, 10/24/2014 - 4:00pm - 6:00pm From today's inbox: I'm writing to invite you to a screening of the newly completed documentary, Return of the River. The film documents the take-down of the Elwha Dam—the largest dam removal project to ever take place in the United States—and the work to restore the river eco-system and salmon runs it supported. The take-down represents the culmination of persistent efforts by the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe, who, after many years, were able to enlist the support of environmental and government agencies to forge the agreements that led to the demolition of the dam and restoration of the river to its free-flowing state. The film was directed and produced by Jessica Plumb and John Gussman, Washington State residents. They spent 4 years making it. It is beautifully photographed and meticulous in its attention to community process. The film not only addresses the environmental imperatives and cultural values that motivated people to work towards the restoration of the river, but the process by which diverse communities and constituencies came to agree on the importance of taking down the logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

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Crafting a Complete Story - Part 3: Writing Satisfying Endings

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 1:09pm
Event:  Sat, 11/22/2014 - 1:30pm - 4:30pm Celebrate National Novel Writing Month at Tumwater Timberland Library! In the final part of his three-part series, local author Lindsay Schopfer discusses what it takes to write an ending that satisfies and leaves the reader hungry for more. Participants will learn where to go after the climax, how to end a standalone novel, and how to end a story that may become part of a series. Attendance at prior sessions is not logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Crafting A Complete Story - Part 2: Make your Novel a Page-Turner

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 1:07pm
Event:  Sat, 11/15/2014 - 1:30pm - 4:30pm Celebrate National Novel Writing Month at Tumwater Timberland Library! In part two of his three-part series, local author Lindsay Schopfer discusses how to craft a story that keeps readers up late into the night because they just can’t put it down. Participants will learn how to establish a pattern of conflicts and resolutions throughout the story, balance description with action, and build up to the story’s climax. Attendance at all three classes is not required. The series concludes with Part 3 on 11/22. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Fairy Tea Party

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 12:57pm
Event:  Fri, 11/14/2014 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Discover the enchanted world of the fairy folk at Tumwater Timberland Library's annual extravaganza! Dress in a fairy folk costume and enjoy a fairy tea and activities so exciting they're magical. Dancers from Ballet Northwest will also be performing two dances from the Nutcracker ballet. Free tickets will be available at the Tumwaterlibrary information desk beginning Friday, October 31. The library is normally closed at this time and will be open only for the program. Sponsored by the Friends of the Tumwater Timberland Library. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

NaNoWriMo Write-in

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 12:55pm
Event:  Mon, 11/10/2014 - 4:00pm - 7:00pm

Celebrate National Novel Writing Month by starting that novel you've always wanted to write! The Tumwater Timberland Library will provide a quiet space, free from distraction, in a supportive and focused environment. Stop in and get to work! logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Crafting a Complete Story - Part 1: Where to Start your Story

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 12:54pm
Event:  Sat, 11/08/2014 - 1:30pm - 4:30pm

Celebrate National Novel Writing Month at Tumwater Timberland Library! Local author Lindsay Schopfer offers a three-part writing class.  In part one, he discusses how a great story must start strong to get the reader’s attention. Each novel’s beginning must be a balancing act of description, backstory, and action. Participants will learn how much backstory to include in their novel, how to identify essential establishing information, and how to effectively drop their readers into the action.  Attendance at all three classes is not required.  Part 2 of the series will be on 11/15, with Part 3 on 11/22. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Ned Owens Named Chief Financial Officer at FORMA Construction

Thurston Talk - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 10:54am



Submitted by FORMA Construction

forma constructionFORMA Construction Company has named Ned Owens of Olympia the company’s new chief financial officer.  Owens succeeds Harvey Hanson, who will be retiring from FORMA this December after a 27-year tenure.

As CFO, Owens will provide leadership, oversight and direction for the financial operations of the $125 million company.

Owens comes from McGladrey LLP, the fifth largest accounting, tax and consulting firm, following 13 years in McGladrey’s Olympia and Seattle offices as a tax and audit associate and manager.  Prior to his tenure at McGladrey, Owens was an ocean import representative for Expeditors International, in Kent, Washington.

After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree from Connecticut College in 1995, Owens was awarded a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Seattle University and a Master of Science in Taxation (MST) from Golden Gate University.

Owens is a certified public accountant and a member of the Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

An Olympia native, Ned and his wife, Wendy, are the parents of three children.  Owens enjoys hunting, swimming, skiing, tennis and music.  He is a member of the Olympia Rotary Club.

To learn more about FORMA, visit

Five High School Students Show How US Martial Arts Emphasizes Building Character

Thurston Talk - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 10:44am



By Gail Wood

dkb restorationAs she learned how to jump kick and box in her martial arts class, Brianna Asman surprisingly found the courage to pursue her real passion – theater.

“If it wasn’t for this,” Asman said as she looked around at students practicing martial arts, “I’d be home reading a book. I like drama a lot. And this gave me the confidence to do it.”

Asman, a sophomore at Timberline High School, began to overcome her shyness when she got started in martial arts six years at the US Martial Arts Center (USMAC) in Olympia.

olympia martial arts

US Martial Arts junior instructors Aaron Kioshi and Brianna Asman (in white) work with their class.

“I was really, really shy when I was little,” Asman said. “This brought out a lot of confidence in me in a fun way.”

Her story is a common one.

Legrand Jones, a sophomore at Capital High School, began taking classes at USMAC six years ago when he was in fifth grade. Like Asman, he had something he wanted to overcome.

“For me, what they helped me with a lot was the idea of self-control and discipline,” Jones said. “I used to have a lot of anger management issues.”

Not anymore.

“It’s helped me a lot,” Jones said. “I’ve enjoyed it.”

The emphasis at USMAC isn’t learning how to slap kick or punch. That’s the lure, the attraction. The emphasis is teaching respect and learning discipline. Each week, students bring a report card from their parents, not their teachers. Students are graded on things like how they behaved, how they clean they kept their rooms and information about their performance in school.

olympia martial arts

Aaron Field demonstrates a leg kick.

“The biggest thing I get out of it is what they teach you,” said Aaron Field, a junior at Capital.

There are five tenants that USMAC teaches.

“There’s indomitable spirit, integrity, confidence and self-control,” Field said. “That confidence carries over to school. I’m very confident when it comes to presentations or public speaking. I don’t think I would have had that if I hadn’t taken taekwondo.”

Three years ago, Aaron Kioshi, now a junior at North Thurston High School, got involved with martial arts at USMAC when his mom got a coupon to the center for a free lesson. He went once and got “hooked.”

“That first day, there was all this energy,” Kioshi said. “Everyone was really happy and ready to go. It was fun. Everyone was wanting to do it.”

His martial arts experience has helped Kioshi develop his coordination and confidence as an athlete. Now, he’s turning out for football at North Thurston and he plans to turn out for wrestling for the first time this winter.  He will also run track again in the spring. Right now, he comes to USMAC on Wednesdays after football practice.

“The first rule is to never use your martial arts to hurt anyone,” Kioshi said. “It’s all to defend yourself. It’s all about respecting others. It’s never about going out and causing trouble.”

olympia martial arts

Legrand Jones talks with his class.

For kids who are shy, it teaches them confidence. For kids who are more aggressive, it teaches them restraint, how to hold back and respect others. And that is the emphasis. It’s not just learning how to kick box and combat, it’s about learning respect.

Saehee Kwak, a junior at Capital, has been going to USMAC for three years. Her experience as a junior instructor and in her own workouts is a stress reliever.

“I get a lot of stress from school,” Kwak said. “I come here and go home happy.”

Kwak moved to Olympia from Korea in 2011 and she said she didn’t know any English. Her experience at USMAC has helped in her transition.

“I’ve learned how to be confident, to speak up, to answer with confidence, showing who I am,” she said.

The ultimate goal of USMAC is building tomorrow’s leaders today. The focus is more on building character than building punch power.

olympia martial arts

Aaron Kioshi demonstrates technique with his class.

“The things we teach all lead someone to be a strong leader in the community,” said Debbie Winters, project manager with USMAC. “We have ten home rules for children. The first one is to show respect to your parents and family members. Our focus is more on character.”

On Saturday, about 700 students from across the Northwest with similar stories will compete in the annual Governor’s Cup at Saint Martin’s University. Black belt sparring begins at 9:00 a.m. and in the afternoon board breaking and sparring continues.

Kioshi won’t be able to judge at Saturday’s Governor’s Cup competition. He’ll be in Tacoma at a conference for deaf students. He knows sign language and works with deaf children.

“That’s fun, too,” Kioshi said.

To learn more about US Martial Arts, click here.  Governor’s Cup information can be found at this link.


Tacoma Little Theatre’S ‘OFF THE SHELF’ presents MY NAME IS RACHEL CORRIE

South Sound Arts - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 8:30am

Tacoma Little Theatre presents the emotional piece My Name is Rachel Corrie, directed by Niclas R. Olson and featuring Lauren Nance as Rachel. The production will be performed one night only, November 6, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
Rachel Corrie. Picture taken from the Rachel Corrie Memorial website
On March 16, 2003, Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old from Olympia, was crushed to death by an Israeli Army bulldozer in Gaza as she was trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home. My Name is Rachel Corrie is a one-woman play composed from Rachel's own journals, letters and emails-creating a portrait of a messy, articulate, Salvador Dali-loving chain-smoker (with a passion for the music of Pat Benatar), who left her home and school in Olympia, to work as an activist in the heart of Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the three sold-out London runs since its Royal Court premiere, the piece has been surrounded by both controversy and impassioned proponents, and has raised an unprecedented call to support political work and the difficult discourse it creates.
Tickets for the November 6, 2014 performance at 7:30pm are $10.00 for non TLT Members, and FREE for those who are members. Tickets may be purchased online at, or by calling our Box Office at (253) 272-2281.
TLT's Off the Shelf is a new series of play readings. “We know that there is a tremendous amount of wonderful theatre that deserves to be heard but sometimes just doesn’t get an opportunity. With Off the Shelf, local directors and actors will be bringing some scripts to life that we hope you will find entertaining, challenging and educational to our stage. We hope that you’ll sit back and enjoy an evening of theatre. You never know, you might see one of these shows on our mainstage in the future,” says TLT artistic director Chris Serface.
Disclaimer: This is not my writing but is a press release from TLT printed with very few changes. I did see My Name is Rachel Corrie when it played at the Seattle Repertory Theatre a few years back, and I was tremendously moved by it. I highly recommend that South Sound theater-goers take advantage of this one-night-only opportunity to experience this intelligent and heartfelt performance.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Marginals & Mystics: Collage Mixed Media by Evan Clayton Horback at Salon Refu

South Sound Arts - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 8:12am

Published in the Weekly Volcano, Oct. 16, 2014
Heading to Jersey, collageIt has been 100 years since Picasso and Braque invented the technique of collage. In more contemporary times the technique has degenerated to either warmed-up Kurt Schwitters or to bizarre and often comical combinations of surrealistic imagery which tend to be more gimmicky than artistic. Notable exceptions have been the works of Robert Rauschenberg and Romare Bearden.
Evan Clayton Horback, a relative newcomer to Olympia, has made the technique special again — art with integrity and class, art that is more Rauschenbergian and Schwitters, yet uniquely Horback. That’s what good artists do.
Horback is an East Coast transplant who should be showing his work in major galleries in Seattle and Portland and will be soon if there’s if there’s any justice in this world. Meanwhile, Susan Christian has thankfully recognized his talent and has given him an excellent showcase in her gallery, Salon Refu.
untitled collageThe show is a mixture of paintings and collages, and the paintings are truly collages in concept if not in technique. He sees collage not just as a technique for creating imagery but as a compositional tool, a means of arranging images, shapes, colors and textures in sometimes startling and always pleasing ways.
I didn’t count, but by rough estimate there are about 40 pieces in the show. All but one set of nine collages on book covers are rough in texture, most done on burlap pasted on board with the edges left in a rough state. I love the scruffy surfaces.
In close to half of the paintings and collages there are line drawings of faces or figures superimposed over collage elements. These line drawings are purposefully crude yet elegant and remind me a lot of drawings by Seattle artist Fay Jones as well as Andy Warhol’s early, pre-pop paintings and drawings. There are also a lot with fields of dots over collage elements. I would have a hard time explaining why, but these really work nicely.
“Oblations (X3)” is a set of three line drawings of young boys cropped at the top and repeated at the bottom to create the illusion of the kind of infuriating rolling television images that used to be common. The word “Triples” is written in script in blue on a diagonal band of black offering sharp contrasts which nevertheless fits with the repetitive figures.
The largest and one of the strongest paintings is “Subhadra,” a close-up image of a woman’s face cropped so all we see is chin and lips combined with a band of rectangular shapes in red, blue and yellow. The texture in this one is like an old billboard that has been ripped almost to shreds and the face looks like an enlarged halftone that has been driven over by a tractor.
This little gallery continues to offer shows by the very best artists in the area. Horback’s work is intelligent, honest and beautiful. You really should see this one.
Evan Clayton Horback: Marginals & Mystics, Thursday-Sunday, 2-6 p.m. through Oct. 26, Salon Refu 114 N Capitol Way, Olympia,

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Olympia’s 12th Man Show Their Seahawk Spirit

Thurston Talk - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 6:49am



Want to add your favorite 12th Man photos to our gallery?  Drop us your image at

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Olympia Weekend Event Calendar

Thurston Talk - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 6:30am



Winds are blowing.  Dark nights are settling in early.  Rain drops are falling hard and frequent.  It must be October – and therefore time for some frightful (or fright-less) fun.  Harvest festivals, Halloween parties, pumpkin patches, and freaky haunted houses are all on the agenda for the weekend.  Use our full event calendar to plan your activities or skim through our highlights below.

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  For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here.


The 2014 Harley-Davidson Street 500 and Street 750 at Northwest Harley-Davidson

Thurston Talk - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 6:00am



NW Harley Front Entry 2It’s been 13 years since Harley-Davidson has introduced an all-new model.  This spring, the company introduces the 500cc and 750cc Street.  This new bike is aimed at younger, more urban riders and has a price point to match.  Starting at $6700, the Street is within reach of younger riders who love the Harley brand, but aren’t yet ready for the price tag on some of the larger bikes.

The Street is described as a smaller, more nimble bike that can handle the roughness of urban streets with specialized suspension.   The smaller design means it’s lighter with an instant throttle response, a plus for urban riders handling heavier traffic and multiple stop and go situations.

Julio Valdenegro, for one, is thrilled to see the Street hit the floor at Northwest Harley-Davidson.  The co-owner has worked at the Lacey dealership since 2001 and is looking forward to the impact this new model will have.  “We’ll see a new type of buyer for this bike,” shares Valdenegro, “and we are looking forward to a new generation of Harley riders in the store.”

Conspicuously absent from the Street is the large amount of chrome typically seen on most Harleys.  This “blacked-out” style adds to the urban appeal as does the more neutral riding position, providing comfort and stability.

The Street is made in Kansas City, Missouri and showcases the top quality you’d expect from Harley-Davidson.  And with the two engine sizes and many customization options, the Street gives buyers a lot of choice.

Want to check out the new Harley-Davidson Street 500 and Street 750 for yourself?  Visit the Lacey shop where the always friendly experts on staff can show you the Street in person.


Developer Heidgerken Shares Old Brewery Vision

Janine's Little Hollywood - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 9:00pm

Above: For the first time, Old Brewery owner George Heidgerken meets Peter G. Schmidt Jr., 92, today after Heidgerken’s presentation. Schmidt was born in the Schmidt House and is the grandson of Leopold F. Schmidt, who built the Old Brewery in 1895.
“I’d like to see you succeed, but it’s going to be rugged,” Schmidt told Heidgerken.  Schmidt shared stories about growing up near the brewery.
“When Olympia beer first hit Seattle, my god, they just couldn’t ship it fast enough….Every year, production doubled in size….” said Schmidt.
 By Janine Unsoeld

It was a full house at the historic Schmidt House today in Tumwater as community members came to hear George Heidgerken speak about his vision for redeveloping the Old Brewery property. His Falls Development LLC project manager, Jon Potter, joined him. A slideshow chronicled the Old Brewery’s history from 1906 to the present.Heidgerken joked that while doing research for the purchase years ago, he found out why no one bought it, saying it would easily cost half a billion dollars to renovate. The more he found out about its legacy, however, the more intrigued he became with the possibilities. Heidgerken owns about 35 acres of the area on both sides of the Deschutes River, including 11 acres of water.

“It’s a real treasure….To restore the buildings, we have the original plans and photos to be authentic….From an economic standpoint, it’s something of a leap of faith…the road, access, utilities, everything’s different (now).” Admitting that nothing at the site meets current codes, Heidgerken said that despite the challenges, it’s a remarkable opportunity. The hillside, he says, hasn’t been maintained in decades and said a parking garage would provide needed parking and stabilization. Groundwater monitoring wells will be installed soon.

“This is a big deal for Tumwater and the county…it’s a unique facility…it’s time that somebody does this stuff.”The City of Tumwater has determined that redevelopment of the property will have an adverse impact on the environment and is seeking public comment on the scope of an environmental impact statement for the site.

The deadline is Monday, October 20, by 5:00 p.m. Comments on the three land use alternatives identified for the site may be directed to: Tim Smith, AICP, City of Tumwater Planning Manager, 555 Israel Road SW, Tumwater, WA 98501; or (360) 754-4212.Heidgerken says he doesn’t know where the process will end up, but there is interest in the property from restaurants, educational institutions and hoteliers. He says the site has the potential of being a nationally known destination, like Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, and can serve as a catalyst for other development.

Above: The Old Brewery as seen on October 8, 2014 during a tour of the Tumwater property near the Deschutes River.

Frequent murmurs of approval were heard while Heidgerken gave his presentation, and someone in the audience remarked, “It's about time.”Heidgerken says he has spent $1 million cleaning up the property and $3 million in remodeling efforts. He cited the project’s possible benefits such as future public access to trails and the water, including the outer edge of South Capitol Lake, a craft brewing and distilling center with interest from local educational institutions, dorms for students and residential apartments or condominiums for longer term residents, space for art and antique shows, concerts in the park, and more. Asked about the timeline of the project, Heidgerken said that the permit process dictates the pace. “It may look like we’re not doing anything on the outside, but on the inside, we’re busy….” He stressed his commitment to the project, and mentioned similar projects he is involved with are thriving.

 “I own three sites on water, all historical, and this is in the category of ‘the right thing’…. This is a high priority – I’m well-funded to do it.” Potter said that Heidgerken owns the property outright and is under no interest rate pressure to rush things. Heidgerken said he and Potter have a 10 – 15 year relationship of working together and want to do it the right way. Both welcomed public input into the visioning process.

He said his Oregon City, all-waterfront project, the site of the former Blue Heron Paper Company, with 25-30 acres at the end of the Oregon Trail, has attracted national attention. “For 152 years, there’s been no public access to the (Willamette) Falls…they jumped on it….” he said.

Heidgerken also mentioned success with his ownership of a 70 acre, water strategic piece of the Chambers Bay golf course near Tacoma.Above: A drawing by Falls Development LLC depicts a remodel of the building at 240 Custer Way, also known as the RST Cellars Building, flanked by housing that could either be dorms for students or apartments, depending on market interest and economic considerations. 
Some members of the public stuck around to look at drawings of the proposed redevelopment up close.

Rob Kirkwood, a founding member of the Old Brewhouse Foundation attended the presentation, and said he didn’t know about Tumwater’s citizen comment deadline of October 20 until someone referred him to the Little Hollywood article published on Sunday, October 12. “I knew a deadline was coming up but I didn’t know when until I was referred to your article….We need more time to comment….it’s a regional asset, a regional responsibility. We need to ensure public access. It could be a county museum, like a Museum of South Sound History, Industry and Art,” said Kirkwood.

The Old Brewhouse Foundation is having its annual meeting on Saturday, October 18, at Timberland Tumwater Library, 7023 New Market Street. The meeting is open to the public and new Foundation members are always welcome, said Kirkwood. A tour of the Old Brewery for Foundation members starts at 3:30 p.m.Longtime Tumwater resident Nancy Partlow was already aware of the October 20 public comment deadline and will be submitting formal comments to the city.

 “I’ve done some research about the 625 or 1,000 stall parking garage proposals in Alternatives 2 and 3. Just for comparison, the Tumwater Walmart has 730 parking stalls,” says Partlow.    “The historic brewhouse site is the last place in Tumwater that a hotel and parking garage should be built. The Deschutes Estuary below the lower falls is Tumwater's most important natural area. Its biological diversity is unmatched within the city. 

“Many environmentally destructive things have been done to the Deschutes River and floodplain over the last 100-plus years, starting with the old brewhouse complex, which would never be allowed to be built where it is today. Permitting high-intensity commercial redevelopment of the site, accessible by car from either an on-site parking garage or down the narrow road that runs adjacent to the fence line of Tumwater Falls Park, is a bad idea,” says Partlow.Audience member Pat Rasmussen stayed after the presentation to speak with Heidgerken about the Native American history of the area. Rasmussen has extensively researched the presence of the Steh-chass Indians and has compiled a sourced paper about the Nisqually tribe. Heidgerken listened, and welcomed her input.

Asked for her thoughts about the redevelopment proposal, Rasmussen said, “The old brewery and Tumwater Historical Park are located on an ancient permanent village site inhabited for thousands of years by the Steh-chass Indians. This site is far too sensitive for the scale of development proposed. The steep slopes behind the brewery are only held in place by the trees….Removing them for development could cause a landslide. The narrow road into the brewery has a steep drop-off to the river below. Any work on that road could cause a landslide directly into the Deschutes River,” said Rasmussen.

 Above: A Falls Development LLC conceptual drawing for the Old Brewery area features housing along the railroad, a two lane road access, a parking garage, boardwalk, and more.
In a telephone interview late last week with John Doan, City of Tumwater’s executive administrator, Doan described to Little Hollywood the challenges of the Brewery District and redevelopment plans:

“….There’s community frustration and it’s not getting any easier with time. … People were proud about the brewery – it was an attraction. In the 60’s and 70s, about 900 people worked for the (new) brewery, and most lived no more than a quarter of a mile or half a mile away. Many walked to work or took the trolley. You didn’t have to find parking for 900 people….There’s a challenge of remodeling old buildings to fit today’s world. It’s a balance, and it’s complicated in the sense that there’s a lot of moving parts….”

Asked about the scope of the letter of mutual partnership signed by various entities to create a craft brewery and distilling center, Doan said not to worry about the partnership's limitations or the location of the center – it’s about programmatic cooperation.

“It’s a run at something there’s a market demand for – it’s really a field that's very hot….In the end, everybody wants to see something happen down there.”

For more information, contact the City of Tumwater at
For past articles about the Old Brewery and Tumwater’s Brewery District plans, go to www.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.comand use the search button to type in key words.

For more information about History Programs and Schmidt House tours, contact Don Trosper, Public History and Development Manager, (360) 786-8117 or or the Olympia Tumwater Foundation, (360) 943-2550 or

Above: Inside the Old Brewery tower as seen on October 8, 2014 during a tour of the Tumwater property. Editor's Note, October 18: A caption for this story for a Falls Development LLC conceptual drawing misidentified the proposed building depicted. It was identified as the brewery tower. It is the 240 Custer Way building, also known as the RST Cellars building. The error has been corrected.
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