Submitted by Isaiah Dominguez
Olympia native and Seattle-based singer/songwriter Isaiah Dominguez has launched a new crowdfunding campaign entitled The Next Step – An Indiegogo Funded EP, to fund a brand new project featuring Gavin Phillips (This Providence) and producer Casey Bates (Portugal. The Man, Gatsby’s American Dream, He Is We).
The campaign, hosted on Indiegogo, launched March 1, 2015 and will run through March 31, 2015, and can be found at this link: http://igg.me/at/the-next-step-ep.
“I’m so excited to bring this kind of opportunity to those who’ve supported me the most over the years,” says Dominguez. “I truly believe that music is a community, rather than a solo endeavor.”
Isaiah Dominguez is a fully independent musician based in Seattle, WA. Since December 2014, he’s been invited to play gigs at SeaTac International Airport by the Port of Seattle, as well as compose music for the independent film, “Monster,” which wrapped shooting in February 2015. As a solo musician, Dominguez recognized the unique opportunity to create a project where he could involve as many people as possible by funding it through Indiegogo. Labeled “The Next Step”, Isaiah invites listeners to join him through his journey of musical independence.
The EP should be released by the end of summer 2015.
To read a full ThurstonTalk article profiling Isaiah click here.
Submitted by Westport Winery
Boom Runner is the winery’s sparkling pomegranate wine with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Hoquiam’s Polson Museum. The label of this wine courtesy of the museum features a historic logging crew. Nirvana, a balanced blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon from Mays Discovery Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills, benefits Grays Harbor PAWS. Ancient Mariner, a pear Riesling, benefits Coastal Animal Rescue and Adoption (CARA).
Visitors are encouraged to check in by 12:45 p.m. for the 1 p.m. Backstage Winemaking tour every Saturday and Sunday. The price is $5 per person and free for wine club members and their guests. Good walking shoes and ability to walk on rough surfaces required.
Westport Winery’s award-winning wines are exclusively available at the winery. The tasting room, gift shop, produce market, plant nursery and bakery 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 at 360-648-2224 or visit the website at www.westportwinery.com.
Every day is a perfect day to launch spring fun with the winery’s 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. Westport Winery is known as having been voted Best of the Northwest Wine Destination.
Submitted by Thurston County Chamber
Studies show that students who take part in work experiences, such as internships, job shadowing and mentoring, are more likely to be inspired to stay in school, graduate and adopt ambitious goals.
For many, taking part in the competitive advantage of work-integrated learning can be the link to a lifetime of success. What is missing is a bridge between the world of learning and the world of work. Our community’s parents, educators and business leaders maintain that we can build that bridge through the creation of workplace integrated learning and career development opportunities. This will help provide missing skills which will help students find success in today’s job market.
Enter Business 2 Youth Connect (B2Y Connect). B2Y Connect is a new program of the Thurston County Chamber Foundation created in partnership with Pacific Mountain Workforce Development and the Olympia School District.
Together with businesses in Thurston County, we’ll provide students with these opportunities, just to name a few:
B2Y Connect is currently looking for businesses and community members interested in shaping and educating the next generation and connecting business with their future workforce. For additional information and to learn how you can participate contact the Chamber at 360.357.3362 or click here to learn more online.
Submitted by Thurston County Solid Waste
Many printed dates are for peak quality and not for food safety
Did you know the average American family wastes as much as 25 percent of the food they buy? For a family of four, that adds up to anywhere between $1,600 and $2,300 worth of food that’s thrown out in a year! Part of the reason for this waste of food, money and resources can be tied to confusion about food expiration dates.
Many people are throwing out food that’s safe to eat, thinking that any food that’s past its printed “expiration date” is unsafe to eat. According the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), those expiration dates are not safety related. Instead, they are an indication of a window of peak quality. And those dates are determined by the food’s manufacturer—not by the USDA or other regulatory agency.
To further complicate things, there is no universal system used for food-dating in the United States. Best if Used By:, Best if Used Before: and Use By: are all labels that food manufacturers use to show the period they consider to be the peak quality for the item—not whether the food is still safe to eat. According to the USDA, foods that are past those printed dates can still be “safe, wholesome and of good quality if handled properly.”
The key take-away here is that these labels, however they’re worded, are not indications of safety. In fact, with few exceptions, there are no federal safety regulations that guide the process of dating foods.
So, how can you tell if your food is still good to eat? Your senses are still your best tools! If it looks right, smells right and tastes right, and if you know it’s been handled and stored properly, (e.g.; it hasn’t been sitting in a hot car all day) then it’s likely safe to eat. On the flip side, foods that are slimy, off-color or that have a strange odor or flavor—those foods could have bacterial contamination and you should not eat them.
Thurston County families could save money and waste less food just by getting the facts. You can find a lot more information, tips and tricks on this topic, plus information on the proper ways to store and handle foods so that they last longer and stay safe to eat. Just search “expiration dates” on the USDA web site, or visit www.StillTasty.com to get started.
If you want to learn more about how to keep more food out of the landfill and keep more money in your wallet, go to www.WasteLessFood.com. You can explore our SMART tips and tricks that will help you waste less food, and learn more about the environmental and economic impacts of wasted food.
To schedule a fun and free group presentation on how to waste less food, contact Gabby Byrne at ByrneG@co.thurston.wa.us or (360) 867-2284.
Dig out the green, Olympia. It’s time to celebrate shamrocks, green beer and derby hats. St. Patrick’s Day is technically on Tuesday, March 17 but the festivities around town start on Saturday. Look beyond the Irish holiday and find even more events on our calendar. Cheers!
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 email@example.com. For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here.
Yes, I was in Maui earlier this month. My Alaska family and I gathered in Maui to enjoy the sun and sand. I couldn’t resist buying this postcard in Maui… AFTER I purchased the postcard my sister pointed out this refers to marijuana… all I saw was the BUS! LOL :-0
Little 18-month old Norah, my grand niece, seemed to definitely enjoy the sand; a taste of Hawaii!
Now, about the public transit service in Maui. Roberts of Hawaii is a big tour company that has a huge presence in the private tour business, but they also operate the public transit service as well as school bus service.
We were staying in the little town on Paia, about 15 minutes east of the airport and on the road to Hana.
The connections to the major towns in Maui are excellent. I caught Bus 35 (Haiku Islander) just before 11 am at the Kuau Mart, which was a block from the house we rented. That bus took me to the Kaahumanu Shopping Center in Kahului, arriving just before 11:30. The next bus (Route 20) left just a few minutes after 11:30. That bus stops at the Maalaea Harbor, which is one of the locations for whale watch and fishing boats. The bus drives alongside the ocean for most of the rest of this leg. A great place to catch views of whales spy hopping and/or venting. And, as you well know, when you’re NOT driving and up high in a bus, you can see a lot more than riding in a car! The bus arrived in Lahania, behind the Wharf Cinema building and a block from Front Street and the Banyan Tree, at 12:30.
I enjoyed a cheeseburger at “Cheeseburgers in Paradise”, and strolled Front Street to browse the many art galleries and little shops. The HUGE banyan tree (really multiple trees), taking up a whole block next to the boat harbor and the infamous Pioneer Inn, is a good place for sit and enjoy the shade for a bit.
Returning home was just as easy and with the same great connections.
A day pass is only $4.00. The buses were clean and air conditioned. I estimate that about 1/3 of the passengers were tourists. I heard a couple talking about taking a whale watch tour (they got off the bus at the Maalaea harbor).
I could have continued my trip beyond Lahania to Kaanapali and the Whaler’s Village. I’m sorry I didn’t take the time to do so… NEXT time!
From today's inbox (a little late to really be useful... but at least you know it's happening.)
Olympia workers and community supporters
launching campaign for citywide $15 minimum wage
TODAY, low-wage workers from Olympia will gather at Sylvester Park, march to Olympia City Hall and call on their local government to pass a citywide $15 minimum wage law and advance workers rights in the city of Olympia.
Thursday, March 12, 2015 in the City of Olympia
Low-wage workers from Olympia, joined by local community supporters, launch a campaign for a citywide $15 minimum wage law.
- 1:45 pm: Gather at Sylvester Park: 600 Capitol Way S, Olympia, WA 98501
- 2:00 pm: March to Olympia City Hall and then rally for $15: 601 4th Ave E, Olympia, WA 98501
Workers and supporters will carry signs and banners reading “Olympia: it’s the wages” and “$15 for Olympia”. Follow along online at #oly15.
Supporters of the Olympia $15 campaign include Working Washington, SEIU 775NW, WFSE/AFSCME Local 443, SEIU 1199NW, and UFCW 21.
33% of Olympia’s workers are paid less than $15/hour, according to an analysis of Census data.
Eight of the ten fastest-growing jobs in our economy pay poverty wages of less than $15/hour — jobs like food service, retail, and homecare.
Half of the population of Olympia are renters, and median rent in Olympia is $904/month. It takes a full-time paying $17.38/hour to afford that rent level at standard affordability calculations.
Contact: Sage Wilson, Working Washington: 206-227-6014, firstname.lastname@example.orgGoogle Plus One Facebook Like
Submitted by City of Olympia
Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation is pleased to announce the Grand Opening of a new playground at Sunrise Park, 505 Bing St. NW at 4:00 p.m., Monday, March 30th. New play features include six slides, four swings, two spinning toys and more. Come out and be one of the first to try out the new equipment!
The new playground equipment replaces playground equipment that was 21 years old and at the end of its design life. Sunrise Park is a 6-acre neighborhood park in West Olympia, approximately three blocks northwest of the intersection of Harrision and Division near the Westside Fire Station. The park was dedicated in 1995 and features a community garden, basketball, picnic areas, a restroom, a sledding hill and a playground.
For more information, please contact Jonathon Turlove, Associate Planner, at 360.753.8068 or email@example.com.
Submitted by Schoolhouse Coffee
Schoolhouse Coffee, a new locally owned cafe, has opened at 3205 Willamette Blvd in Lacey and will be celebrating their grand opening on Friday and Saturday March 13-14 with drink specials and live music. The cafe serves specialty coffee from Olympia Coffee Roasting Co., made to order la Marzocco espresso drinks, house made smoothies and fruit, pastries by Left Bank Pastry, artesanal toast by Essential Baking Company, sandwiches and more. There is ample indoor seating available for customers to stay and enjoy and a drive-thru for those on the go. An outdoor seating area will be installed to take advantage of the approaching summer weather.
The building is reminiscent of a historic one room schoolhouse with vaulted ceilings and a central clerestory that creates a cheerful, light-filled space. The owners, Trina and Barry Jespersen, named their business after the building and the interior carries the motif subtly inside with a beautiful tile feature wall in a composition paper pattern, a large community table with routed pencil trays and schoolhouse inspired art and décor. Many of the bespoke fixtures and materials used in the buildout were sourced and built locally. The interior was designed by Roussa Cassel, signage hand painted by local legend Ira Coyne and sustainably sourced maple wood tables, wall cladding and bases by Windfall Lumber. The interior build-out was carried out by Barry Jespersen himself, who owns and operates Oyster Bay Construction.
The Hawks Prairie area in northeast Lacey is known for its beginnings as a commercial and industrial development. But recent trends towards residential have brought demand for neighborhood oriented retail to serve the needs of residents and employees. Schoolhouse Coffee shares a parking lot with the Lacey Learning Center (preschool and child care) and the Jubilee retirement community and golf course are just down the road.
The Jespersens have been extremely pleased with the outpouring of support and excitement from the community during the construction phase. At a recent open house, the cafe was filled with folks of all ages who had driven, walked, and biked from the surrounding area to celebrate a unique addition to the neighborhood.
Regular hours are 6:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. weekdays, and 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. weekends.
Members of the Thurston County community will be running for rainbows during the 1st Annual St. Patrick’s Day Gold Run 5K this weekend. The runner’s sights are set not only on the finish line but also on a pot of gold that will go to a very worthy cause – Friends of Mia.
“Casey and I are Mia’s parents and founded the organization shortly after Mia passed in 2012,” explains co-founder and mother, LeLani Benavente. She got sick when she was 2. Mia was diagnosed with High Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. We created the foundation to help offset our medical expenses and help raise awareness to childhood cancer.”
After a three year battle with cancer, sadly, Mia passed away in 2012. “We wanted to keep the foundation going in honor of her memory. There are so many families in our area dealing with childhood illnesses. We want to help connect to these families and continue to support the fight against cancer.”
Part of supporting that fight is by creating fundraisers like the St. Patrick’s Day Gold Run 5K. “We want to engage our community,” explains Benavente. “Mia got sick in March of 2009 so this event really ties back to that moment in our lives. I remember her eating a green bagel she was in isolation at the hospital. This run is something anyone can be a part of to help bring awareness and raise money for cancer research.”
All of the money raised during the run will go directly to Seattle Children’s Childhood Cancer Research. “That hospital and those doctors did so much for us,” says Benavente. “There are so many children here, in town, dealing with treatment. We are raising money to help fund research into t-cell therapy. It is a very new treatment but it could eliminate chemotherapy. It has fewer side effects which can make a big difference in a child’s life. It means a lot to us to be able to fund that continued effort.”
The goal of the run isn’t just the funds raised, but overall awareness in our community. “Awareness is super important to us,” adds Benavente. “We want people to know there are resources and they aren’t alone. We hear about new kids that are diagnosed and try to embrace their families. We want to try to help them through it. We want the community to know about these families and embrace them as well.”
The family friendly race will start from O’Blarney’s Irish Pub rain or shine. “During Mia’s service we were able to see a double rainbow. It reminded me of Mia’s beautiful spirit. Ever since then, rainbows really speak to our family. If it rains this weekend, we won’t just be running, will be hunting for rainbows.”
Faster Runners start at 8:30 a.m. with joggers, walkers, and strollers beginning at 8:40 a.m. Last minute registration includes a Green Beer (21+w/ID) at O’Blarney’s and a raffle ticket for prizes.
Registration is $30.00 for adults and $7.00 for kids ages 12 and under.
All proceeds will benefit Friends of Mia and support Childhood Cancer Research Seattle Children’s Hospital.
By Lindsey Surrell
The Irish in each of us shines through with the celebration of St Patrick’s Day. If your celebration style for the holiday is more for the green beer, live music, and delicious Irish food, check out one (or more!) of these local spots for St. Patty’s Day fun.
Saturday, March 14
Head 15 miles northwest of Olympia to listen to Irish music by Tiller’s Folly and a U2 Tribute Band, Hollywood U2, while enjoying beer, spirits, and specialty Irish food. $10 includes 10 tasting tickets and a souvenir keepsake mug.
Start time: 3:00 p.m.
Where better than an Irish pub to celebrate Saint Patrick all week long? Two opportunities on Saturday to watch Irish Dancers while drinking green beer and eating a special Irish stew: one at noon and one at 6:00 p.m. In between, listen to the Olympia Highlanders Pipes and Drums. And later that night, a DJ will be playing from 9:00 p.m.- 1:00 a.m.
Start time: 12:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 9:00 p.m.
St. Patrick’s Day: Tuesday, March 17
Sit back and enjoy the scenery of being right on the water while listening to an Irish band and drinking green beer, perhaps even after a kayak adventure (weather depending). Also, Tugboat Annies continues the St. Patrick’s Day festivities every Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. with live Irish music.
Start time: approximately 1:00 p.m.
Listen to one of the largest pipe bands in the Pacific Northwest, Clan Gordon Pipe Band, while enjoying an Irish Reuben and Corned Beef and Cabbage. St. Patrick’s Day drink specials, including Irish Stout from the Nitro tap and Irish coffee, will surely make your skills on the 22-foot shuffleboard table and pinball games even better.
Start time: 8:00 p.m.
Gather your group of friends and head to the Office Bar and Grill and celebrate the holiday in matching Derby hats- free for the first 100 customers in the door. While complimenting each other’s hats, enjoy the green beer and Corned Beef Sandwich with side for only $4.99.
Start time: 5:00 p.m.
Continue in the weeklong events at O’Blarney’s with two opportunities to listen to live Irish music while enjoying specials on green beer and Guinness: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. In between, listen to Olympia Highlanders Pipes and Drums. At 7:00 p.m., That Irish Guy takes the stage to play Irish folk songs. Fill up on Irish favorites from the kitchen, including Bangers and Mash and Corned Beef and Cabbage.
Start time: 11:00 a.m.
Local brewery Fish Tale is inaugurating two new beers at 5:00 p.m. – Over and Out Oatmeal Stout and Hodgsons Double IPA. Enjoy $1 off select pints while listening to Bagpipe players. The pub’s new chef also has a special menu of Scotch Eggs and Corned Beef Brisket served all day long.
Start time: 11:00 a.m.
Did you know that the complexities of a bagpipe can take years of study to master? Give the players an extra round of applause this St. Patty’s Day while enjoying drink specials and Corned Beef and Cabbage at 4th Ave Tavern.
Start time: 7:00 p.m.
Whichever place you choose to celebrate the culture and heritage of the Irish, stay responsible and wear green.
By Holly Smith Peterson
Lacey has welcomed its first distillery, and the first organic such business in Thurston County – Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs.
“So far so good,” says general manager Sandy Desner. “It’s going great, and it’s been very, very, very busy,”
That’s an understatement for the brand-new business whose only promotion has been word of mouth. To walk-in customers alone, the distillery sold roughly 20 cases — 200 to 300 bottles — in its first week.
“And that was just people who wandered in and wanted to see what we have or take a taste,” he explains.
Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs was actually the inspiration of Desner’s son, Sam, who for years had been experimenting with different liqueur concoctions at home. Vexed by the lack of organic ingredients available, about five years ago he began making his own organic liqueurs with all-natural and organic flavorings and herbs. Two years later, he wrote up a business plan, which both father and son saw could be brought to life.
“When we realized that the business was actually viable, we decided to give it a go,” Sam says.
How the business found its name and its way to Lacey was, “a fun little adventure,” he adds. The hunt for a building first took them to Squaxin Island, where a 40,000 square foot warehouse had potential for functioning as the distillery site, storage and distribution area, and tasting room. Although that deal didn’t work out, it did inspire the name Salish Sea, from the waters surrounding the island.
“The majority of our ingredients aren’t based in Washington State because the quality and quantities of what we need aren’t available,” says Sam. “So we wanted the name to bring the focus of the business back to our location, and Thurston County.”
Adds Sandy, “We wanted to reflect the environment of the Pacific Northwest and a product that was organic. We also wanted to recognize and respect the South Sound community.”
As for the Lacey location, the Desners kept on with their search for a high-quality, good-looking manufacturing space in Thurston County. When they saw that the space adjacent to the already popular Stottle Winery and tasting room was open, they knew they had the perfect fit.
If there’s a future distillery hotspot on the “Ale Trail” that Lacey is quickly developing, Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs is likely it. As the duo describe the business, they produce “handcrafted, small-batch, USDA-certified, top-quality fruit and herbal organic liqueurs created via cold maceration — a concept that’s completely unique to the area.”
What’s not in Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs – additives, artificial flavors, artificial coloring, and preservatives. What they infuse is simply real herbs and flowers. The uses for the flavorings are myriad, but in particular for sipping on their own, for cocktail infusions, and for additions to culinary endeavors. Some of Sam’s favorites include hibiscus-infused syrup for french toast and pancakes, sage liqueur brushed on grilled chicken, and lemongrass liqueur drizzled on barbecue shrimp.
There’s no surprise behind Sam’s enthusiasm for the liqueurs, given that he’s the genius inventing the flavorings. Mixologist training and years of concocting unique flavors at home have given him a feel for both what will work and what customers will prefer. Which ideas he decides to run with for the business begin with browsing through catalogs of drinks and ingredients, plus mulling over suggestions from friends.
“Of the first 11 experimental batches, five turned out well, three were abysmal, and the rest were a work in transition,” he describes.
Right now, Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs offers 16 different fruit and herbal liqueurs, with six more — amaretto, grapefruit, jasmine, limoncello, nectarine and vanilla — on the way. Since he tempers all to his own personal palate, Sam declines to pick a favorite when asked.
However, the bestseller is ginger, followed by raspberry, made of the leaf rather than the berry itself to provide an extra flavor boost. The latter is particularly popular for making raspberry tea. Another quick-seller is rose petal liqueur, useful in both a “good-night” glass of milk and orange frosting.
“The possibilities are endless, as far as what people suggest and how to use the flavors in new ways,” he says.
The flavors currently available include anisette, chrysanthemum, cinnamon, fennel, ginger, hibiscus, honeysuckle, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, red raspberry, rosemary, rose petal, sage, spiced anisette and thyme coriander. Bottle prices range from $20 for a pint to $30 and up for a fifth, with alcohol content between 16% and 23%.
Sandy and Sam’s goals for the immediate future are to stay small, catering to the public and a range of exclusive clients. In the coming months, Sam also envisions opening an exclusive liqueur club, similar to a wine club. Currently the Desners’ target market is those who purchase a half case to a case annually. Salish Sea also has plans to approach high-end Seattle restaurants and other dining venues in the immediate area to use their liqueurs on a regular basis.
Flavor-wise, Sam is eventually aiming to create an organic absinthe, as well as gin and fruit brandies. And if you find something you like there while on a tasting stop, you’d better buy it. Many flavors are seasonal and sell out quickly until the next batches are distilled.
All in all, the work is very labor-intensive and time-consuming, Sam emphasizes. But, more importantly, it’s challenging and satisfying.
“The best thing about this job is being able to do what I love to do and to make my own hours,” he says. “To no small degree, this business consumes your life.”
2641 Willamette Drive NE, Suite D in Lacey
Wednesday through Saturday from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
For more details, visit http://www.salishseaorganicliqueurs.com.
Submitted by Joint Animal Services
Awareness is the key to preventing poisoning emergencies. It only takes a few minutes to educate yourself on how to pet-proof appropriately and avoid a possible heart-breaking situation. Follow the same general tips for humans to protect your animals. In addition to those precautions here are some tips especially for your pet:
If you think your pet may have ingested something harmful take action immediately. Contact your veterinarian or call the Pet Poison Hotline at 1-800-213-6680 or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435 (there is a charge for these services).