Recent local blog posts

Changing Seasons at the Olympia Farmers Market

Thurston Talk - Sun, 11/13/2016 - 6:00am


Although November marks the time when the Olympia Farmers Market shifts to weekends only, the energy is festive as fall fades and the holidays begin. There’s still fresh produce and lovely edibles to behold. I am reminded how fortunate we are to have a cornucopia of choices that include vegetables, meats and more. Let’s peek […]

Oly Town Artesians Host Olympic Force to Kick Off New Season

Thurston Talk - Sat, 11/12/2016 - 10:57am


Submitted by the Oly Town Artesians The 2016-2017 Oly Town Artesians season kicks off on Saturday night when they play host to the Olympic Force at 6:00 p.m. at The Pavilion at The Evergreen State College. The Artesians will pay tribute to teammate Austin Kelley, who passed away tragically in September, with a pregame ceremony. […]

Providence St. Peter Hospital Earns “A” Grade for Patient Safety

Thurston Talk - Sat, 11/12/2016 - 10:16am


Submitted by Providence St. Peter Hospital Providence St. Peter Hospital was one of 844 hospitals to receive an “A”, ranking among the safest hospitals in the United States from The Leapfrog Group, a national patient safety watchdog. Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, assign A, B, C, D and F letter grades to hospitals nationwide and provide the most […]

Westport Winery Medals At American Wine Society

Thurston Talk - Sat, 11/12/2016 - 8:53am


Submitted by http://www.westportwinery.comWestport Winery Westport Winery earned three medals from the American Wine Society’s competition held on November 2 and 3 in Costa Mesa, California. The winery’s caramel apple cider, Mercy, received a gold medal. Mercy, along with the winery’s other cider, Courage, benefits Mercy Ships. Both labels were drawn by winery co-owner Kim Roberts. […]

Oil Fracking Train Headed to Bakken Blockaded Outside Port of Olympia

OlyBlog Home Page - Sat, 11/12/2016 - 8:37am

From today's inbox:



Photo by Tri Imani

 Olympia, WA --A coalition action group, Olympia Stand, comprised of climate action, Indigenous solidarity, and port militarization activists have staged a human blockade on the train tracks leaving the Port of Olympia, Washington. A train transporting fracking proppants to the Bakken Basin in North Dakota, the source of oil for the Dakota Access Pipeline and explosive Bakken oil trains, has been prevented from leaving the Port of Olympia. Olympia Stand is a direct action coalition actively resisting the transport of proppants through the Port of Olympia to the Bakken Basin of North Dakota. Activists are inspired by the Water Protectors of Standing Rock and work in coalition to expose and reject Olympia's complicity in the occupation and desecration of Indigenous lands by focusing on direct action and civil resistance. The overall goal is for the Port of Olympia to not enable the use of climate-damaging fossil fuels or their infrastructure.

According to the Quadrennial Defense Review Report by the Department of Defense, climate change is the greatest national security threat to the United States. In order to reverse the damage we have already done, the global scientific consensus is clear. We must transition to renewable energy and keep all oil, coal and natural gas in the ground. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

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SPSCC Women’s Basketball Ready for New Season to Start

Thurston Talk - Sat, 11/12/2016 - 6:00am


In addition to the usual offseason workouts, South Puget Sound Community College women’s basketball coach Mike Moore assigned his squad reading material over the summer. The book was “Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable” and details the life of trainer Tim Grover, who worked with NBA greats Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, among many […]

Protesters Stop Port of Olympia Proppant Train

Janine's Little Hollywood - Fri, 11/11/2016 - 8:11pm

Above: Environmental activists stopped a train hauling ten cars of ceramic proppants from leaving the Port of Olympia marine terminal in downtown Olympia on Friday afternoon. The train was forced to back up and detach its load. As of Friday evening, about 25 protesters remained on the tracks. 
By Janine
A train hauling ten cars of ceramic proppants was forced to return to the Port of Olympia’s marine terminal after being blocked by protesters at the intersection of State and Jefferson Street on Friday afternoon in downtown Olympia.
Local activists began the blockade about noon, and moved onto the tracks to resist the movement of ceramic proppants through Olympia. 

At about 6:30 p.m. Friday evening, about 25 people were making themselves comfortable, having brought a couch and two chairs to the tracks, saying they were ready to spend the night on the tracks to make sure the shipment does not happen.
“It went really well. We were all sitting and standing here for two hours, and brought a couch out, put it on the tracks, and told them they’re not allowed to leave with the proppants, but if they drop off the cars back in the port, then the train can leave. After that, they went back with the train, detached the cars, and left in a car,” said an activist named Katie. 

“We’re not at the point that we’re building a tent city but we’re going to be blocking the tracks as long as we need to. We want the (train and port) workers on our side as environmental activists,” she said.
Above: Bags of ceramic proppants from China sit at the Port of Olympia's marine terminal in late October. Photo taken October 29, 2016. 
The Port of Olympia has had a contract for several years with Rainbow Ceramics of Texas and China to receive proppants, which are delivered from China in bags. For the purpose of hauling by train, the bag's contents are emptied into train hoppers.
In the process of fracking, the ceramic proppants, little beads made of sand with a ceramic shell, are hydraulically forced into the ground in order to prop open shale and allow for oil extraction. This process results in the environmental contamination of groundwater, induces earthquakes, and produces toxic waste. Oil extracted from the Bakken Oil Field is destined to travel through the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Organizers said the action was inspired by the water protectors at Standing Rock.
“We reject the Port of Olympia’s complicity in the occupation and desecration of indigenous lands. We demand the Port of Olympia permanently cease fossil fuel infrastructure shipments through the marine terminal. In lieu of acceptance of this demand, we will continue to oppose any transportation of fossil fuels through the marine terminal of Olympia,” said a press release.
Above: Idle train hoppers at the Port of Olympia marine terminal on Friday night.

Darld Brannan – Providence Hospice Volunteer Honors Vets

Thurston Talk - Fri, 11/11/2016 - 12:29pm


Darld Brannan has been a volunteer with Providence SoundHomeCare and Hospice for more than a year. He’s a veteran who understands the special needs of vets who are on hospice. Brannan is a member of the Providence We Honor Vets program, designed to extend simple acts of gratitude, honor and companionship to veterans in Providence’s […]

Olympia Weekend Event Calendar

Thurston Talk - Fri, 11/11/2016 - 7:52am


Sunny skies have been my favorite part of this week. Crisp, autumn weather – sweater and scarf (but no coat) weather, put the yard to bed weather, feel invigorated weather. Fingers crossed it lasts through the weekend for all the great activities, indoors and out, that are on the ThurstonTalk Events Calendar. And, amidst your fall […]

TOGETHER! Honors a Legacy of Champions

Thurston Talk - Fri, 11/11/2016 - 6:00am


Van Gogh once said that “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” When those small things are done on a daily basis, to the benefit of Thurston County youth, a true celebration is in order. TOGETHER! began in 1989 as a civic group intent on “igniting change across the South […]

Standing Room Only Theater Brings Community Theater (and Spamalot!) to Yelm Audience

Thurston Talk - Fri, 11/11/2016 - 6:00am


Part way through the famous ‘Bring out your dead’ scene during a sneak preview of Monty Python’s Spamalot, actor Kevin McManus was in the process of wheeling a cart of (not quite) dead bodies on stage when a wheel abruptly broke and the prop wouldn’t go any further. Without breaking stride, he continued on with […]

Laura Vaillancourt & Eldercare Counseling Navigate the Complexities of Aging

Thurston Talk - Fri, 11/11/2016 - 6:00am


Laura Vaillancourt grew up in the very rural community of Republic, Washington. The town of Republic, nestled in the valley between Wauconda and Sherman passes had only 1,073 residents in the 2010 census. Laura’s mother was a nurse at the closest hospital and Laura and her sister often accompanied their mother to work. This small […]

This month's Works in Progress

OlyBlog Home Page - Thu, 11/10/2016 - 6:01pm

It's not on their website yet (so the article hasn't yet appeared on our "Recent Local Blog Posts" page either), but I recommend this month's thought-provoking lead article - Bethany Weidner's "Homeland Security's protection racket and the phony "War on Terror" – It's not about our safety." logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Thurston EDC Accepting Applications for ScaleUp Training

Thurston Talk - Thu, 11/10/2016 - 2:58pm


Submitted by the Thurston Economic Development Council Now’s the time to APPLY for the third Cohort of ScaleUp Thurston, a program of the Center for Business & Innovation that is designed to accelerate start-up companies from early success to significant growth and expansion. The upcoming 14-week experience begins January 5, 2017 and runs through April […]

Post-Election Reconciliation: Signs of the Times

Janine's Little Hollywood - Thu, 11/10/2016 - 8:14am

Above: In the spirit of peace, Glen Anderson, left, and Bob Zeigler each hold handmade signs at the northwest corner of Sylvester Park at Legion Way and Capitol Way on Wednesday afternoon in downtown Olympia.
By Janine
Glen Anderson of Lacey, a retired state employee and local community organizer with the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation, has dedicated himself to stand or sit every Wednesday during the noon hour at the corner of Sylvester Park in downtown Olympia with hand-made signs since March 5, 1980 – that’s 36 ½  years. 

If ever there was a presidential post-election thought expressing Glen Anderson's feelings on what continued for many to be a gut-wrenching, emotionally wild day, his message, “Be gentle with one another,” summed it up. 

Those powerful, few words, written on a handmade sign, offered passersby an ever-so-brief suggestion of how to treat each other, while adding a calming, implied reminder, perhaps, to breathe.

Between waving to pedestrians and drivers, some who honk in apparent appreciation or agreement, Anderson said he specifically chose this sign to hold, one day after the election of president-elect Donald J. Trump.

“The political system and political culture is full of blame, full of shame, and trauma. This year, it has lifted up stuff that was already there so vigorously – anti-gay, anti-Muslim and racist sentiments – that it caught people by surprise,” said Anderson.

Anderson said both major party presidential campaigns were based on fear.

“Both parties are quite broken. The remedy for blame, shame, and trauma is not through the electoral option. If you want change, you have to work at the grassroots. That means sitting on street corners and talking to people. It means connecting….”

At that point, Bob Zeigler, another retired state employee and local community activist who is concerned about the climate crisis and the activities of the Port of Olympia, arrived to hold a sign. 

The sign he chose amongst an inventory of pre-prepared signs: “Act from love, not fear.”

Anderson also hosts and produces a monthly show related to peace, social justice, economics, the environment, and nonviolence on Thurston Community Media (formerly Thurston Community Television).

Anderson said his December program, which will be taped next week, will feature four community guests who will speak about the theme of healing from political blame, shame and trauma.

His guests will be Liv Monroe, a certified communications specialist in nonviolence and compassion, Robert Lovitt, a local Buddhist, Keylee Martineau, a mental health counselor who works with at-risk young adults at Community Youth Services, and the Reverend John Van Eeewyk, a local priest and clinical psychologist.

The Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation is also co-sponsoring the Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation’s 2016 Fall Retreat on Saturday, November 12, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Gwinwood Conference Center in Lacey. 

The theme will be “Interracial and Intergenerational Movement Building: Weaving Activism into Our Lives.”

The Fellowship of Reconciliation is a 100 year old pacifist organization founded at the beginning of World War I. 

For more information about the Fellowship of Reconciliation show, times, and how to access it through your computer, go to For informtion about the 2016 Fall Retreat, or the organization's many activities, go to or or contact Glen Anderson at (360) 491-9093 or
Above: Glen Anderson sits with his sign, “Create peaceful foreign policy,” at Percival Landing in downtown Olympia by The Kiss statue in October. Wind, rain, sleet, or snow, every Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.Anderson is there with many others, including the Artesian Rumble Arkestra street band. Anderson has many signs to choose from, and encourages individuals to participate. “Just dress for the weather and show up!” laughed Anderson.  

Tumwater Girls Soccer Ends Exceptional Season

Thurston Talk - Thu, 11/10/2016 - 6:38am


After a season of accomplishments, which included a conference title and appearance in the district championship match, the Tumwater High School girls soccer team saw its stellar season come to an end in the first round of the Class 2A state tournament, losing to visiting Archbishop Murphy, 2-1 (5-3 shootout), at Tumwater District Stadium. “It’s […]

Saint Martin’s University’s Microsoft Academy Helps Veterans Transition to Tech Jobs

Thurston Talk - Thu, 11/10/2016 - 6:00am


When Ryen Macababbad prepared to leave the military after nearly a decade and two active duty deployments, she was unsure about the future. “For the past eight years I’d had everything taken care of,” she says. “I wasn’t going to have that lifeline anymore, and that was really scary.” Macababbad could not have foreseen that […]

Acme Fuel’s Staff Explains What Makes the Company Different

Thurston Talk - Thu, 11/10/2016 - 6:00am


When customers switch to Acme Fuel from other companies, they’re sometimes reluctant to join the autofill program because of a fear of hidden fees. It can take dispatcher Seth Murphy a while to make them understand that Acme is different. “A lot of businesses will charge up to $25 just to back in your driveway,” […]

Thrifty Thurston Runs Off the Beaten Path – 6 Trail Runs for the Whole Family

Thurston Talk - Thu, 11/10/2016 - 6:00am


Olympia has a rich running culture, as displayed by the constant stream of runners along the paths, streets and trails around the South Sound. Prep for your first half-marathon by joining a local running club, or sign up for a shorter 5K or 10K race. The Thurston County running community also encourages kids of all […]

Future Uncertain for State Capital Museum

Janine's Little Hollywood - Wed, 11/09/2016 - 4:49pm

Above: The historic Lord Mansion, located in the South Capitol neighborhood in Olympia, has served as the State Capital Museum since 1942. Staff of the Washington State Historical Society informed the public on Monday that it cannot afford to keep the mansion as the state Capital Museum due to financial reasons. The mansion is currently closed to the public.
By Janine
There is new uncertainty as to the future of the State Capital Museum at the historic Lord Mansion in Olympia.
At a public meeting at the mansion on Monday evening, Washington State Historical Society (WSHS) staff said that it cannot keep the mansion as a museum due to financial reasons. About 50 were in attendance, many of them from the South Capitol neighborhood association. 

The Lord Mansion, located in the historic South Capitol Neighborhood at 211 21st Street, seven blocks south of the Capitol Building, was built in 1923 for banker Clarence J. Lord and his wife, Elizabeth. The building was designed by Olympia architect Joseph Wohleb. 
Lord was a powerful figure in the history of Washington State banking, served as Olympia's mayor in 1902-03, and was a staunch opponent of any attempt to move the state capital. After Lord's death in 1937, the mansion was donated to the state by Elizabeth Lord, to be used as a museum. It opened as such in 1942, and was closed in 2014.
Jennifer Kilmer, director of the Washington State Historical Society, told the group that the Lord Mansion will continue to be renovated and a leasing tenant will be sought whose mission profile fits well with their occupancy of the historic structure. The mansion is owned by the Society.

Kilmer was hired after the 2008 recession, and the Society's budget had just been cut 44 percent. Ever since, the Society has struggled to keep the museum open, and the Governor's budget writers have told her not to ask for more money because she will not get it.

Despite obtaining past capital project funding to upgrade wiring and plumbing, replace the roof, and make repairs, the Society can no longer afford to operate the mansion.

In consultation with the state Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, renovations include repairing and repainting the interior and installation of new carpeting. The renovations are ongoing. 

Kilmer said it would take several million dollars to bring the building to certified climate control standards for the storage and display of historic documents, pictures, and artifacts. Renting the mansion out, she said, would be the worst option, because the wear and tear would be significant. 
The Coach House, located behind the State Museum, will continue to be available for public rental.
“We heard the biggest concerns were the impact to traffic in the neighborhood, continued care and preservation of the historic structure (and surrounding landscaping), and the perceived absence of a local history center that will be created by this decision,” Erich R. Ebel, Washington State Historical Society marketing and communications director, told Little Hollywood on Tuesday. 
“Basically, we want someone in there who appreciates and cares for the building and whose business fits well with the neighborhood. The meeting (on Monday night) was the beginning of this community conversation, not the end…there will be additional information and outreach in the future,” said Ebel.
The Washington State Historical Society will use funding from the building’s lease to fund programs and displays on the Capitol Campus, either in the Legislative Building itself or another building nearby, such as the Pritchard Building.
Asked about future tenants, Ebel said the Society is not yet ready to begin the search for a new tenant as renovations are currently underway. The building is currently occupied by an employee who oversees the structure and handles public rental of the Coach House.

A change to the relevant Revised Code of Washington, substituting “Historic Lord Mansion,” for “State Capital Museum,” will be proposed for the next Legislative session to broaden the mansion's use beyond a museum. 
The Washington State Historical Society will continue to oversee maintenance of the structure and surrounding landscaping, including the native species garden named in honor of the late Delbert McBride, the museum's curator emeritus and an ethnobotanical expert of Cowlitz/Quinault descent. It features more than 30 species of native plants.
“The Washington State Historical Society takes its responsibility of being good stewards of state history very seriously,” said Ebel.
Above: As seen in May 2016, an inviting stone table and benches provide a place to rest and admire spectacular rhododendrons, native plants, and a pioneer herb garden at the historic Lord Mansion.

Editor’s Note, November 10: Clarifications made to this story, based on an email to Little Hollywood from Erich R. Ebel, Washington State Historical Society marketing and communications director: 
The meeting was in the mansion itself, not the Coach House. Also, the proposed legislation would change the name “State Capital Museum” to “Historic Lord Mansion.”
Also, Ebel comments: "There is a misconception that the mansion was donated explicitly for use as a museum. This is not the case. We’ve reviewed the transaction paperwork that was done at the time, and it only specifies that the mansion be used for the public good, possibly as a museum."
Little Hollywood appreciates the clarifications.
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