Special thanks to Chris Hamilton for these wonderful photos taken from Boston Harbor during the July 3rd fireworks display. This neighborhood traditions draws local residents for live music and a BBQ at the Marina and the spectacular fireworks show in the harbor. The fireworks are funded entirely by donations to the Boston Harbor Association.
There is a charge to enter this oasis ($6 for adults; $4 over age 65). Public guided tours are available on some days.
For a special experience, attend a Chado tea demonstration in the beautiful tea house. There is a minimal fee to participate in this cerermony, but you can view the demonstration at no charge.
The Gardens have variable hours, depending on the season and weather. For current information, check their website, which is attached to the Seattle Parks listings: www.seattle.gov/parks/parkspaces/gardens.htm
These lovely photos are of the Washington Park Arboretum.
The Arboretum was a suggested “side trip”
on our Madison Park trip. Rick was adventuresome… he got off the bus at Lake Washington Blvd and Madison Street to walk through the Arboretum and also the Japanese Gardens (which will be featured on the next post)
Thank you, Rick, for sharing these photos!
Art Rangno has posted a pdf of the 10th edition his popular Guide to the Sky Poster for mass consumption. Printed copies of these beautiful posters, published between 1987 and 2005 are no longer available so this is your chance to enjoy Art's beautiful photographs of clouds and his clear, succinct, and poetic descriptions of the clouds, how they form, and what they mean weatherwise.
Art is a meteorologist formerly in airborne cloud studies at the University of Washington and now lives in Arizona where he has an unobstructed view of the western sky and posts fabulous photographs of the clouds, meteorological news, and fun facts for skywatchers on his website Cloud-Maven.com
It was Art's poster, taped to a closet door, that sparked my interest in clouds in 2008. And, because there are so darn many of them, it has taken me longer than I had planned to write my book about them. I am making progress. Stay tuned!
Happy 4th of July! Like many of you, I’m busily making potato salad and slicing a huge watermelon this morning in preparation for afternoon festivities. All we need is apple pie for an All-American celebration. And, like many of you, our family’s weekend includes three days of fun to enjoy, celebrate, and relax. Luckily there are plenty of happenings around Thurston County to keep us busy and gorgeous weather for the foreseeable future. Gather with friends, bask in the sun, and celebrate the freedom we all enjoy every day.
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.
Thursday, July 3rd, doors at 9pm
Boris a.k.a. The Keys, a French-born & raised but now Toronto-based singer-songwriter playing somewhat Edgy Pop & Folk’n'Roll music. He’ll be playing a solo West Coast Summer Tour to promote the upcoming release of his 8th album “You Can’t Beat Me If I’m Not Playing”
Submitted by Rebuilding Together Thurston County
We would like to share great news of our most recent Rebuilding Together Thurston County Project. On April 16, 118 student volunteers along with staff members from Northwest Christian High School in Lacey, walked around the corner from their school to make improvements to Candlewood Manor, a neighboring low-income mobile home park, to provide a day service to the community.
In consideration of the larger group of volunteers, Christina McNair from NWCHS divided the students into 11 teams, each headed by an efficient school staff member and they arrived at the park early that morning. Raechel Kilcup, Susan Newman, Shirley Jones, Deb Parent, Brandy Farnsworth, Theresa Becker and Lane Sater were on hand from RTTC to provide coordination, along with several of their family members and friends. Pam Folsom with SCJ Alliance and her daughter Nicole were also on site to provide communication, first-aid and logistics services. Kim O’Hara from NWCHS was on-site to photograph the event.
Armed with maps of each home site provided by SCJ Alliance and tools and equipment provided by the Olympia Downtown Association, the volunteers worked on much needed home and yard improvements for a large number of elderly and disabled homeowners. They pulled debris from roofs, cleaned gutters, painted, washed homes, weeded flower beds, repaired porches, repaired fences, installed new gutters, washed and repaired decks and raked lawns.
The volunteers also trimmed bushes and trees. Chris Gillaspie of Gillaspie’s Tree Service in Centralia was on hand to trim some of the larger vegetation and
provide pruning counsel. Ted and Shirley Jones of T&S Cleaning provided much needed pressure washing and Jim Simmons of Mr. Electric installed a new light and made panel repairs on a home in serious need of electrical improvements.
In one day, the volunteer’s hard work resulted in improvements in 23 homes, to the extent that one owner exclaimed, “I don’t recognize the place!” The teams efficiency also allowed them to provide improvements to the community park and clubhouse, touching the lives of over 100 home owners residing in the neighborhood. “Amazing!”, “They were so well mannered!”, and “What can we do for the students besides give our thanks?” were among many positive exclamations from the recipients.
Reflecting on the day’s work, Dr. Terry Ketchum, the school principal and team leader had this to say about the volunteers, “Several of our students were commenting on the value they saw in what they were doing – helping those who had difficulty helping themselves..” Park Manager Donna Hayward commented that the volunteers worked very hard and that residents were extremely pleased with the outcome. Rebuilding Together Thurston County thanks all involved in this successful project that affected so many people!
Submitted by Saint Martin’s University
Children can cross the Pacific on an imaginary adventure this summer and learn about living in another country – free –at the Saint Martin’s University Chinese Language and Culture Camp for kids. The camp will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. July 21-July 23 on the second floor of the University’s Harned Hall, 5000 Abbey Way SE, Lacey.
Designed for children 5-12, the camp will have a daily mixture of Chinese language, writing and cultural activities, including constructing dragon masks and lanterns, practicing some tai chi moves, learning Chinese hand-counting and many more. Office staff members will lead the camp in collaboration with visiting students from Saint Martin’s sister school, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, says Marco Tullock, director of international programs and development for the University’s Office of International Programs and Development.
“We are very happy to present this exciting cultural immersion camp free-of-charge to kids in the local community. It is a great opportunity for children to learn about the Chinese language and culture through interaction with Chinese students at Saint Martin’s University,” Tullock says.
The camp is offered to the community free-of-charge by Saint Martin’s. However, children must be registered by a parent or legal guardian, and parents are asked to commit to bringing their child or children all three days. “Parents are welcome to stay onsite, if desired,” Tullock says. Registration can be completed by online, by clicking here. Registration also can be done by telephone. Parents who register by calling will need to sign and return a printed permission form and liability waiver. To register by phone, or for questions, please call Brenda Mueller, summer program assistant, 360-438-4504.
By Tom Rohrer
“We had about nine players,” said Barker, a coordinator and planner for Thurston County Special Olympics. “It just wasn’t well known then.”
Twenty years later, the program has an enrollment of around 90 individuals, ranging in age from age eight to 65.
One of eight sports within Thurston County Special Olympics, softball is the most popular activity according to Barker. Up to 10 players can be on the field on a time and the game is played outdoors, as opposed to sports such as basketball and weightlifting. Seeing the participation and interest in the sport grow over two decades has been special for Barker.
“It’s big to my athletes that they have a place to compete, and I know it makes them feel good,” Barker said. “They just enjoy it.”
In late July, the local athletes will welcome competitors from across Washington State for the annual Southwest Region Softball Tournament. The tournament, which will be held on Saturday, July 26 at LBA Park and Stevens Field, will feature around 100-120 local athletes along with 500-600 out-of-town competitors.
“We have athletes coming in from Tacoma, Vancouver, Grays Harbor, all over,” said Barker, who coaches a team within the TCSO softball program. “It’s great because a lot of athletes are beginning to form friendships with each other because of tournaments in the past.”
The tournament format will be similar to any Special Olympics event.
“We will have opening ceremonies, athletes giving out our official athlete’s oath and one athlete will be singing the national anthem,” said Barker. “After the games are over, there will be awards, medals for first second and third place in each divisions. It’s a tremendous day for everyone involved.”
Teams that win their division will move on to the Washington State Special Olympics Softball Tournament in August, held in Everett and hosted by Boeing. Barker has coached a team to the state tournament the last five years, an incredible feat that has led to even more incredible experiences.
“It’s a tournament that requires a stay overnight. There’s an athlete’s dinner and an athlete’s dance,” said Barker. “The competition is very high. The athletes, they really respond to that.”
The teams within the local softball program vary in age and skill level. Barker and the collection of Special Olympics volunteers make it their mission to move athletes up to higher skill levels by teaching them the fundamentals of the game in tightly structured practices.
“As any coach would tell you, seeing that improvement is why you’re coaching,” Barker noted. “We want the kids to have more fun playing, and that happens by them learning the correct fundamentals and how to play the right way.”
Barker became involved with Thurston County Special Olympics through his 35-year-old son Dustin, an athlete within the program. For years, Barker has been coach and father to Dustin, though at times, he prefers that other coaches instruct his son.
“We’re around each other a lot, so it’s good for both of us to have some other coaching now and then,” Barker said. “We still enjoy it just the same.”
There is plenty of enjoyment from the parents of Barker’s athletes. Special Olympics coaches and coordinators are all volunteers, meaning their work is done out of care and passion.
“We have a great support group around here from the parents who are involved,” said Barker. “When you’re around and working with people on a volunteer basis, a bond naturally forms. We’re all there for the same cause, and that’s very unifying.”
Though he receives support from parents and volunteer coaches, Barker needs additional help for the upcoming tournament.
“We need all sorts of help,” he described. “People to keep score, announce awards and just to make this tournament function.”
Barker will likely gain the help he needs, as the Thurston County community has continued to show support for the Special Olympics programs.
“It’s really cool to see people come out just to watch and take in the tournament,” Barker said. “The support means a lot to us but most importantly, it means a lot to the athletes.”
For more information on volunteering for the Thurston County Special Olympics Softball Program, contact Mark Barker at 360-791-0742 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit www.sowa.org or follow their Facebook page.
By Lisa Herrick
Adventures in the water of Puget Sound are plentiful. And there is no better time than the summer to take the kids out for a free swim in the salt water or an inexpensive excursion renting a water vessel. Even take advantage of the ebb and flow of the Puget Sound and plan your salt water activities based on the tides. Explore the shorelines at low tide or jump on a standup paddleboard during high tide.
Salt Water Swimming
Swimming pools are an obvious choice but there are few months of the year when you can dive into the Puget Sound for a refreshing salt water swim. My kids’ favorite swimming hole is at Burfoot County Park just north of downtown Olympia. Parking is easy and there are not any fees to use the park including beach, trails, picnic shelters and playground. The forested trail down to the beach is almost adventure enough. Yet the view is breathtaking once you emerge from the hike on to the rocky beach overlooking the expansive Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains. The water is calm for those just wanting to wade along the shoreline while offering gentle waves for the frolicking swimmers.
Low Tide Adventures
What lies beneath the water is relatively unknown except for a few times in the summer when the low tides meet warm weather-giving us the opportunity to explore sand and sea creatures normally hidden beneath the waves. Low tide exploration is both fun and free. There are even organizations, like the South Sound Estuary Association, who sponsor regular opportunities to explore area beaches at low tide with volunteer naturalists. South Sound Estuary Association hosts “Meet us at the Beach.” Find the beach naturalist schedule here.
Low tide exploration is also an easy event to do on your own. Just pick the right day, read the tide charts and find a good spot. Tolmie State Park, a 105-acre marine day-use park with 1,800 feet of saltwater shoreline, is an excellent spot to explore tide pools. Exploring is free but you will need a Washington State Discover Pass to enter the state park.
Stand Up Paddleboarding
The first time I went on a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP), I placed my five-year-old daughter on the front of the board with a picnic lunch and off we went for the day’s adventure on Budd Inlet. While we fortunately did not tip over, admittedly the water was more still than she was. Depending upon the ages and level of squirminess of your children, it might be advisable to have them on their own board. There are several locations to rent SUPs including Sound Board Northwest Standup Paddleboards or West Bay Paddleboards where you can also get an instructional lesson from a fitness trainer and certified ASI Stand Up Paddleboard instructor before you go. Paddle out to Boston Harbor or if the tide is in head north to Harstine Island for the sandy beaches.
Nothing gets you closer to the water and marine life without actually getting in to the water than sea kayaking. Budd Inlet is an ideal location for beginning kayakers as the waters are still with mild currents. Additionally, the rental locations help you in and out of the kayaks from their docks as well as provide ideas where to go such as to Hope Island from Boston Harbor Marina rentals. Tugboat Annie’s might suggest a leisurely paddle to the Farmer’s Market, to Priest Point Park or simply tour the nearby log jams. (Read a full story about kayak rentals from Tugboat Annie’s here.) Wherever your destination the journey will be scenic and can be enjoyed with a group of single kayaks or shared in a double kayak with a child in the back.
Thrifty Thurston highlights inexpensive family fun in Thurston County. The weekly series focuses on family-friendly activities throughout our community. 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.
When you head out on a ride, you want to have a great time. And nothing ensures a great time more than being prepared. Once you’ve done a “walk-around” of your bike to ensure its ride-ready, the next critical step is gathering the essential supplies needed on the road.
Mike Searcy in Northwest Harley-Davidson’s service department knows a thing or two about a successful ride. Not only does he help customers keep their bikes in top shape, but the former director of South Sound H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) has logged plenty of miles on the road and shares his recommendations for a riding toolkit.
Ultimately, a well maintained bike is the best “tool” you have to ensure a terrific, trouble free ride. The Northwest Harley-Davidson service crew will keep your bike in top shape and keep you on the road.
Jeff Olson’s career in the furniture industry began in his garage. While that’s not the typical starting point for a furniture store owner, it was this experience that led him to offering fantastic deals to Thurston County residents this weekend.
After selling furniture via craigslist, Olson opened Hawks Prairie Home Furnishings in 2008. “I am a believer in going where doors open for you,” explains Olson reflecting on how he jumped at the opportunity to rent a vacant building.
At the time, the building owners were desperate for a tenant at their Martin Way retail space. They offered Olson a sweet deal. “I figured I had just rented myself a big garage at a discounted rate for a year,” he says, figuring that he would continue selling odds and ends and closeouts to online buyers. “I thought that I would keep my business in this location until the rental rates started adjusting to the actual market.”
Fast-forward six years and Olson’s business is in the same location at 8221 Martin Way East in Lacey. He’s added three delivery trucks, an off-site warehouse and 12 employees. “We’ve really grown into a legitimate business,” says Olson proudly.
With more than $1.8 million dollars in furniture in stock, it was time for Olson to clearance some items.
“We have a surplus of furniture,” comments Olson who handles all of the furniture buying. “Sometimes I go a little crazy.”
After tossing out the idea to add another warehouse, Olson opted to rent a 20,000 square foot warehouse space for a special sale. On Friday, July 4 through Sunday, July 6, Hawks Prairie Home Furnishings is hosting a warehouse sale.
Located across from Shipwreck Beads, the warehouse space is packed with furniture at all different price points and styles. Olson mentions bedroom sets right along with scratch and dent sofas starting at $49.
Besides surplus items purchased specifically for the store, Olson worked with his manufacturers to get good deals on overstocks.
“We have such a wide variety of items in the warehouse sale,” he adds. For example, customers can find $29 nightstands, brand new and still in the box. Or, check out a leather sofa and love seat, originally priced at $8,000, but now on clearance for half price.
“We don’t want to move anything back to the store,” notes Olson. “I’ve priced everything to sell.”
The expansive list of furniture items will suit any budget.
Olson credits his wife, Stevie, with helping him expand the business. Stevie is no stranger to the small business world. She recently opened her own business, LOLA Lifestyle Boutique in downtown Olympia.
Delivery options are available. Customers are welcome to pay with cash or credit. More items, sales and flexible buying options are available in the store, but Olson stresses that the unique deals are at the warehouse this weekend.
8535 Commerce Place Drive NE in Lacey
Friday, July 4 and Saturday, July 5 from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 6 from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
8221 Martin Way East in Lacey
Submitted by Saint Martin’s University
Even Saints need a hand when it comes to paying for college. Help the Saint Martin’s Saints student-athletes by raising some green on the greens at the 31st Annual Saint Martin’s Golf Tournament. Registration is now open for the event, which will take place Friday, Aug. 1, at the Capitol City Golf Club, 5225 Yelm Highway SE, in Lacey.
The tournament has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support Saint Martin’s student-athletes in all sports since it was founded in 1983. It is a joint project of the Saint Martin’s Athletic Foundation, the Office of Alumni Relations and the Athletics Department. The tournament continues to help SMU student-athletes carry on the tradition of being successful athletes, students and community members. Presenting sponsors for this year’s tournament are Charles Schwab and Bon Appétit Management Co.
“Having the support from scholarship donors has allowed me to continue my passion of playing soccer and to work toward accomplishing my academic goals,” says Kari Inch, a biology major at the University. “The game has taught me to be a team player, to work well with others, and has also helped shape me into the individual I am today. Your support has encouraged me not only to work to the best of my abilities, but to also motivate my peers on and off of the field.”
Bob Grisham, the University’s athletic director, says, “The tournament has a long history of providing scholarship support for our student athletes and this support plays an important role in our success.”
Grisham says the golf tournament attracts about 200 golfers each year. This year’s competition is a scramble format. Prizes will be awarded in the following divisions: alumni (foursomes with at least two SMU alumni golfers), mixed foursomes with at least two women golfers, open and senior (at least three golfers over 65).
Individual tournament registration is $150; team registration is $600.
An optional coupon book, available for $25 with pre-registration or $30 if purchased the day of the event, will provide entry to all on-course contests. Registration covers 18 holes of golf, cart rental, course refreshments, tee prizes and the Backswing Banquet dinner and program.
The event begins with a cocktail hour at 6 p.m., following the tournament, at the Norman Worthington Conference Center on the University campus, 5000 Abbey Way SE, Lacey. For banquet guests not participating in the tournament, the cost is $20, which will include the awarding of prizes and a raffle drawing.
For questions, please contact Bianca Galam, SMU fundraising event coordinator, 360-486-8885.
To learn more about the 2014 event, or to register online, visit the Saint Martin’s Golf Tournament webpage, www.stmartin.edu/GolfTournament/