Recent local blog posts

Enjoy the Beauty of Spring on Prairie Appreciation Day

Thurston Talk - Mon, 05/09/2016 - 2:31pm


Submitted by South Sound Prairies Program Spring is here and so are the wildflower blooms on the South Sound Prairies. Rolling hills of grass spangled with swaths of blue Camas with accents of Spring Gold and buttercups, open skies and gnarled Garry oaks are just 30 minutes south of Olympia. Come and enjoy the natural

Two Rochester Teams Place Third at Statewide Creative Competition

Thurston Talk - Mon, 05/09/2016 - 12:22pm


Submitted by the Rochester School District  How do you encourage highly capable students to find their hidden potential? How do you tap into their creativity? Gifted education teacher Danette Jones looked to Destination Imagination to unlock these treasures. The result? Two of her four Rochester School District (RSD) teams placed third in their age group

Grant Brings Reading Program to Black Hills High School

Thurston Talk - Mon, 05/09/2016 - 11:59am


Submitted by TOGETHER!  The American Library Association has awarded a competitive grant to Black Hills High School and TOGETHER! to host a reading and discussion program for at-risk teens. As one of 75 nationwide “Great Stories Club” grant recipients, Black Hills High School library will work with small groups of teens to read and discuss

Comic Reading with Taylor Dow, Chris Sabatini, and Chelsea Baker

OlyBlog Home Page - Sun, 05/08/2016 - 8:03pm
Event:  Sat, 05/14/2016 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Saturday, May 14, 2016
An All ages comic reading with Taylow Dow, Chris Sabatini and Chelsea Baker.

Three local comic artists will share their work. Proceeds benefit the second annual Olympia Zine Fest, taking place in downtown Olympia on October 1 & 2 2016.

Bar Francis
110 Franklin St. NE
5-7pm, $5 at the door

Taylor Dow:
Chris Sabatini:
Chelsea Baker: logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Centralia, here we come!

centralia.HiddenTreasure.Did you know that you there is a public transit system from Tumwater to Centralia? Rural and Tribal (R/T) transportation connects Thurston County to Lewis County.  Depending on the route, the 15 (or so) passenger van has pick up/drop off spots in Tumwater, Yelm, Tenino, Grand Mound, Rochester, Bucoda and Centralia.

On a beautiful day in early May, the Rebels boarded the R/T bus at Tumwater Square. The bus stop is not marked, but the van stops beside the Intercity Transit stop on Cleveland Avenue, across the street from the Safeway.  On the way to Centralia, we took Route 3, which left Tumwater at 9:45 am.  At the Grand Mound Park and Ride we changed vans, taking Route 4 to the Centralia Amtrak Station.  We passed many beautiful farms and fields.  This is THE way to see the rural parts of Thurston County.  The entire trip (one way) is $1.00!  We also found out that if you have an Intercity Transit pass, this ride is free!

Out first stop in Centralia was to visit the amazing Hub Bub boutique (505 North Tower Avenue). Rebecca Staebler, HubBub ( owner, greeted us warmly and gave us a brief overview of current happenings and past history of Centralia.

After we left HubBub (with a few things we couldn’t resist buying), we walked down Tower centralia.streetAvenue and had a very good lunch at Boccata, (405 North Tower).  After lunch we visited The Rectangle Gallery (thanks to Rebecca for setting this up with her friend, Jan, who is the owner of this new gallery.) The Rectangle is AMAZING!  The grand opening was planned for the coming weekend.  No doubt the gallery and the classes Jan will be offering are a great addition to the community!  We loved that she has named a youth (age 10) adviser to the gallery.  They are planning a child art exhibition in early September to coincide with the annual ARTrails, which offers an open studio tour of dozens of regional artists on the 3rd and 4th weekends in September.  To find out details, see

One storefront away from the Rectangle Gallery is Fruffles, a “boutique department store”. A little of this and that… all lovely and tasteful.

Next stop was The Shady Lady. Their facebook page describes the store as “Upscale Resale Clothing & Funky, Fun, Fabulous Home Décor!!” Good description. The reason we visited (again, thanks to Rebecca for setting this up!) is to see the Bordello Museum, which is upstairs from the shop.  Holly, the owner, greeted us and shared a few details before we viewed the exhibits.  I won’t give away details, but this little museum ($2.00 admission) is definitely worth a visit!  The museum is open on weekends.

centralia.libraryNext we wandered over to the town square park, where the Centralia (Timberland) Carnegie public library is located. Across the street from the library is the US Post Office, with a lovely mural from the 1920’s… so glad it’s being preserved.  We really enjoyed the many murals throughout town.  It’s sad to see that most are faded.  centralia.mural

We visited the Olympic Club, a McMenamins hotel, theater, and restaurant. The building was constructed in 1913 as a railroad hotel (since it is beside the rail depot).  Since 1996 the McMenamins have owned the property.  The huge bar and Tiffany lamps are beautiful.  The theater shows current movies ($4.00!) while you lounge in comfortable chairs or sofas.  You can purchase food or drink to eat while watching the movie!  One of the employees gave us a grand tour of the hotel.  There were lots of pictures of the early days of this building; interesting and colorful history!  The rooms are basic, with bathrooms down the hall.

After walking for a few hours we relaxed with an iced latte at Santa Lucia.  It was nice to sit down for a bit… comfortable and friendly place for a break.  We commented that everyone we met today was very friendly and helpful.  This town has heart!

Next we wound our way back through town stopping at a few of the many antique/collectible stores. We found some treasures, then headed back to the Amtrak depot to catch our bus for our return trip.  Heading back home we took the 4:00 pm R/T Route 4 to Tenino.  In Tenino we transferred to the R/T Route 2 which returned us to Tumwater Square.

Another fun day… this trip is definitely on the “repeat” list!


Categories: Local Environment

Zach Teply: Local Student Musician Flourishing in SOGO

Thurston Talk - Sun, 05/08/2016 - 6:00am


Zach Teply is a senior at Olympia High School. New and exciting college experiences await him after graduation, but one piece will stay constant – his love of music. Zach auditioned for Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia (SOGO) when he was in eighth grade and has been a part of the group ever since. Zach admits he

Your Healthcare Connection: Outpatient Total-Joint Replacement a Reality at Oly Ortho

Thurston Talk - Sun, 05/08/2016 - 6:00am


Total joint replacement surgery is a daunting prospect for anyone. The idea of an entire joint in your body being removed and replaced by prosthetic parts still seems amazing, despite the nearly 70-year history of hip replacement and 42-year history of knee replacement. Advancements in medical procedures, materials, and medications have allowed physicians to improve

Merle Norman’s Free Makeovers Teach Make-up 101 for All Ages

Thurston Talk - Sat, 05/07/2016 - 6:00am


When most women think of a full makeover, they may assume that they need to go to a large department store. That assumption would be wrong. At Merle Norman Cosmetics, Wigs and Day Spa in Lacey, makeovers are fun, informative – and free. “It works because of my philosophy,” says owner Madelin White. “As I

Following the Pacers at the Capital City Marathon

Thurston Talk - Sat, 05/07/2016 - 6:00am


Over the last three decades, more than 40,000 runners have crossed the finish line at Olympia’s signature running event – Capital City Marathon.  Each year, 500 volunteers help make it happen. Whether watching family and friends cross the finish line, handing out orange slices and water to flagging runners, or massaging sore backs in Sylvester

Celebrate the Start of Summer with Italy on the Beach at Quinault Beach Resort and Casino

Thurston Talk - Sat, 05/07/2016 - 5:56am


Today there are more than 15 million Italian Americans, making it the fourth largest ancestry group in the country. Whether you’ve got marinara and Chianti in your veins or are simply a life-long fan, come celebrate the pride of Italy at Quinault Beach Resort and Casino’s first annual Italy on the Beach. Occurring Friday, Saturday,

Amanda K. Davidson: Wednesday, May 18th, 11:30-1pm in the 2nd floor Recital Hall of the COM Building

Evergreen Artists Lecture Series - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 3:35pm

Amanda Davidson_high resAmanda Davidson writes, draws, and makes performances in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. Her prose chapbooks include Arcanagrams: A Reckoning (Little Red Leaves 2014), The Space (Belladonna 2014), and Apprenticeship (New Herring Press 2013), and she is the founding editor of Occasional Remarks: Prose Chaps and Audio Tracks. Davidson’s fiction, reviews, and comics appear in the Brooklyn Rail, the Believer, and Weird Sister, where she’s serializing a graphic novel called The Conditions of Our Togetherness. She’s been a writer-in-residence at MacDowell, Art Farm Nebraska, Millay, and I-Park, and received a 2014-2015 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Residency, and a 2014 NYFA Fellowship in poetry.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

A Doll’s House at Dukesbay Theater

South Sound Arts - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 8:25am
A Double Dose of IbsenPublished in the Weekly Volcano, May 5, 2016Ryan St. Martin as Torvald and Katelyn Hoffman as Nora. Photo courtesy New Muses Theatre Company.A Double Dose of IbsenNew Muses Theatre Company is performing two plays by Henrik Ibsen in repertory: A Doll’s House and Ghosts. New Muses Managing Artistic Director Niclas Olson, who directs and performs in both plays, explained why he decided to do the two plays on a rotating schedule: “When Ibsen experienced the backlash from A Doll’s House he responded with Ghosts, a play that imagines a different sort of circumstances in a traditional marriage. While A Doll’s House is all about Nora gathering the courage to leave her marriage, Ghosts is about the aftermath of Mrs. Alving deciding to stay. I read a quote last year that said Ibsen wrote Mrs. Alving because he wasn’t finished with Nora after A Doll’s House and looking at the two scripts together the parallels are fascinating.”The backlash Olson referred to came from the fact that A Doll’s House was essentially considered the world’s first feminist play, written in 1879. It made the case for a woman leaving a less-than-satisfying marriage.I caught the opening performance of A Doll’s House. It is a smart play that is both intriguing and provocative, given perhaps more to contemplation than to the bombast of more contemporary plays. Some of the acting opening night seemed a little stilted and hesitant, perhaps due to opening night jitters or perhaps because people in the 19thcentury were more formal and more reserved than now. Characters such as Nora’s husband, Torvald (Ryan St. Martin) might have been stiff and formal, which would make St. Martin’s stifled acting a correct portrayal. In a period play like this, set in a culture modern audiences may not relate to, it is hard to separate the characters from the actors. Was Torvald really that expressionless or was St. Martin holding back? Was there something unsettling about Ben Stahl’s posture, or was it the result of the fact that the character he was playing, Dr. Rank, was suffering from a hidden but fatal disease? I felt that the most believable and engaging acting came from the two lead female characters, Katelyn Hoffman as Nora and Kathryn Grace Philbrook as Mrs. Linde. In Hoffman’s subtly controlled expressions of anger and joy I sensed the withheld fury of a woman held prisoner by circumstances. The range of expressions by Philbrook and by Olson as Krogstad, the most complex character in the play, were both noteworthy.I loved the beautifully layered blue-lighted backdrop (design by Olson), and I loved the equally beautiful white dress that Nora wore (no costumer listed).Both A Doll’s House and Ghosts are plays that are historically important and that intelligently and dramatically depict the evolution of relationships between the sexes. These are plays that should be seen. The audience opening night was pathetically small, and that is a shame. Independent production companies such as New Muses should be better supported by the community.
A Doll’s House and Ghosts, 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m., Sunday through May 22, with additional matinees May 7 and 14., $10, Dukesbay Theater, Merlino Arts Center, 508 S. Sixth Ave., Tacoma. Full schedule at          
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Symbiosis in Black & White

South Sound Arts - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 8:19am

Weldon Butler and Carla Keaton at B2 Fine ArtPublished in Weekly Volcano, May 5, 2016
 “Bull Moose,” graphite drawing by Weldon Butler, courtesy B2 Fine Art GalleryI am continually surprised by the museum-quality art Gary and Deborah Boone bring to B2 Fine Art. Very few commercial galleries, especially not in smaller cities such as Tacoma, can mount shows such as B2’s recent showing of works by Faith Ringgold and Aminah Robinson or bring in top-notch artists such as Weldon Butler, whose drawings and one relief sculpture are currently on exhibition along with paintings by a slightly lesser-known artist, Carla Keaton. The Boone’s also do Tacoma a great favor by showing works by leading African-American artists, not exclusively but more consistently than any other gallery.  Butler is an established artist originally from Philadelphia, who moved to Seattle 40 years ago to study under Jacob Lawrence. From that, one might expect narrative art in the same vein as Lawrence’s work. But what he learned from Lawrence was evidently not story telling through art. Butler’s work is abstract, pure, and minimalist — not in the traditions established by Lawrence and Ringgold, which are anything but minimalist, but more in the tradition of Ellsworth Kelly and Al Held, with a line quality like Henri Matisse.A wall statement by Butler explains that in the contour drawings he is “expressing two points of focus, beginning and returning to the same point and variation of line formation.”There are four large, simple abstract drawings in the front gallery. In each there are curvilinear shapes tracing an open contour that delineates paths that double back on themselves in ways that defy logic and perspective. You can’t tell where they begin or end. They are sensual shapes drawn with a smooth and highly controlled line and very little shading. In contrast to the graphite lines on white paper, he throws in a few flat gray shapes. Many of these drawings look like studies for sculpture.In the middle gallery there is a small drawing of a rectangular cube in black, white and gray graphite that defies normal perspective, and there is a wall-size drawing called “Colossus” that hangs a couple of feet out from the wall and stretches across the gallery (146-by-42 inches). Like his other drawings, “Colossus” is mostly contour with a minimum of shaded areas. The shapes are rhythmical and seem to march or dance from left to right to what looks like a brick sidewalk that “walks” the viewer’s eye off the paper. All of Butler’s drawings are strong and simple with a great touch for asymmetric balance and in-and-out movement in shallow space. It is minimalist abstraction of the highest order.“The Care Taker,” painting by Carla Keaton, courtesy B2 Fine Art GalleryKeaton’s work is all painting, some in acrylic and some in oil, and all cubistic and in black and white. There is a series of paintings of chairs that have been broken down into planes and wedges and play with dimensionality within a mostly flat format (there are a few constructed areas that jut out from the wall an inch or two). There are also three abstract figurative paintings: one a picture of two kids sitting on the bumper of a Volkswagen, one of two VWs, and a life-size portrait of a woman called “Portrait of a Single Mother.” Each of these is also in a cubist style. I was not overly impressed with Keaton’s paintings because I did not find anything original or personal in them. The more I think about them, the more I think the portrait of the woman is her strongest painting. I also Googled Keaton and saw I lot of other paintings of families and individuals that were better than what is shown in this exhibition, so I encourage you to look at some of these online, and maybe B2 can bring her back with some of her figure paintings. Symbiosis in Black & White, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, till 9 p.m. Third Thursdays, through June 11, B2 Gallery, 711 St. Helens Avenue, Tacoma, 253.238.5065.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates Help Patients Get Back on Their Feet

Thurston Talk - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 6:00am


How do you help someone to heal a foot injury if they won’t stop moving? Even more challenging, what if they’re attempting to get better while simultaneously training for a marathon? That’s just one of the issues Dr. Terrence Hess faces on a regular basis as a podiatrist at Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates. “Marathon

Saint Martin’s University Announces 2016 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

Thurston Talk - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 6:00am


Submitted by Saint Martin’s University Saint Martin’s University announced today the valedictorian and salutatorian for the Class of 2016. Valedictorian Michaela Kier, of Olympia, Washington, is graduating summa cum laude (with highest honors), earning a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting. Michaela has a cumulative GPA of 3.98. While at Saint Martin’s, she received the Saint

Olympia Mother’s Day Weekend Event Calendar

Thurston Talk - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 6:00am


Moms!  We are celebrating you on Sunday (and every day on  Turn to ThurstonTalk for ideas on how to make your mom feel special this weekend and every day. If you are looking for Mother’s Day brunches or gift ideas, we’ve got you covered.  Perhaps Mom would prefer a family hike or 5K run

Elite Cleaning of Washington: Banishing Housework Guilt

Thurston Talk - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 5:00am


Erma Bombeck once said that guilt is “the gift that keeps on giving.” Few things are a greater source of guilt than house-keeping. No matter how much you scrub, sweep, or dust, it’s a never-ending job, especially if pets, kids, and a busy workday are involved. “The most recent stats from the Bureau of Labor

Qualis Health Awards St. Peter Hospital Washington Award of Excellence in Healthcare Quality

Thurston Talk - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 2:19pm


Submitted by Providence Health and Services Providence St. Peter Hospital is pleased to announce it has received the Washington Award of Excellence in Healthcare Quality from Qualis Health for its evidence-based care model to reduce readmissions of heart failure patients.  St. Peter is one of five hospitals in the state of Washington to receive an Excellence in

Olympia Area Rowing Invites Public to Learn to Row Day

Thurston Talk - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 12:57pm


Submitted by Olympia Area Rowing  Olympia Area Rowing is proud to announce June 4 is the National Learn to Row Day. In Thurston County this event is sponsored by the local rowing club, Olympia Area Rowing (OAR). Anyone interested in learning about rowing as a fun, physical activity on the water, is invited to a

Saint Martin’s Announces Co-speakers for the 2016 Commencement

Thurston Talk - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 12:38pm


Submitted by Saint Martin’s University  Distinguished alumni Armandino “Dino” A. Batali ’59 and Terence Monaghan ’62 will share the Commencement speaker role when they address the Class of 2016 during the graduation ceremony Saturday, May 7, at Saint Martin’s University, 5000 Abbey Way SE., in Lacey. “Both Dino Batali and Terry Monaghan have excelled as

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