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Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 5:32pm
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Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Top Ten Home Inspection Problems

Thurston Talk - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 12:17pm



Submitted by Submitted by Boggs Home Inspection with permission of ASHI

When buying a home, a professional home inspection will reveal a lot about your future dream house. Besides learning about all the mechanical operation of your home the inspection will reveal any obvious defects. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) recently surveyed its members to find out what were the ten top home inspection problems.

1.  Improper surface grading and drainage. This was by far the most frequently-found problem, reported by 36 percent of inspectors. It’s responsible for many common household maladies: cracked slabs and water penetration of the basement, footings or crawlspace. The most effective remedies for bad drainage include re-grading the ground around the house, repairing or installing a gutter and downspout system and providing positive drainage away from the foundation.

2.  Improper and undersized electrical wiring. Many inspectors, about 20 percent, found this to be the most common home inspection problem. It includes such situations as insufficient electrical service to the house, aluminum wiring, inadequate overload protection, improper grounding and dangerous amateur wiring connections. The inspectors say that much of the improper wiring they see was put together by do-it-yourselfers. This is a serious safety hazard, not just a cosmetic defect.

3.  Older and damaged roofs. About 9 percent of inspectors cited this as the most-common home inspection problem. Many wooden roofs are at the end of their useful life. Asphalt shingle roofs only last about 15 to 20 years. Roof leakage caused by old or damaged shingles or improper flashing is a frequent problem. It can be easy and inexpensive to repair damaged tiles and shingles and to re-caulk the roof penetrations. But, expensive, major roof repairs may be required down the road, if the repairs are put off.

4.  Deficient and older heating systems. Problems in this category include broken or malfunctioning controls, blocked chimneys, unsafe exhaust flues and cracked heat exchangers. These conditions represent more than simply inefficient heating. They are a major health and safety hazard. Heating systems should be serviced and maintained annually by a professional heating serviceman according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Although expensive, the newer more efficient central heating systems will help to recoup your investment by reducing heating and cooling costs

5.  Poor Overall Maintenance. Americans, on average, take better care of their cars than they do their homes. That’s the consensus of many home inspectors, who often come across cracked, peeling or dirty painted surfaces, crumbling masonry, make-shift wiring or plumbing and broken fixtures or appliances. Although some of these problems may seem more cosmetic than serious, they reflect the overall lack of care that has been given to a home.

6.   Structural Problems. As a result of problems in one or more of the other categories, many houses sustain some, although usually not serious, damage to structural components such as foundation walls, floor joists, rafters or window and door headers. These problems are more common in older homes.

7.  Plumbing problems. Plumbing defects ranked high among the house problems encountered. Included are the existence of old or incompatible piping materials, faulty fixtures and waste lines and improperly strapped hot water heaters. Surprisingly, some home inspectors reported finding natural gas leaks in the homes they inspected.

8.  Exteriors items. Flaws in a home’s exterior, including windows, doors and wall surfaces are responsible for the discomfort and damage caused by water and air penetration. Inadequate caulking and/or poor weather stripping are the most common culprits of a cold and drafty home.

9.  Poor Ventilation. Due to overly ambitious efforts to save energy, many home owners have “over-sealed” their homes, resulting in excessive interior moisture. This can cause rotting and premature failure of both structural and nonstructural elements. Moisture from unvented bathrooms and kitchens can damage plaster and may also lead to the accumulation of mold, which often causes allergic reactions.

10.  Miscellaneous items. This category included various interior components, such as sticky windows or dripping faucets, as well as a number of environmental concerns, such as lead-based paint and asbestos.

To sum up the list, ASHI notes that 4 of the 10 items relate directly to the damaging effects of water. After a home is built, protecting it against water is the homeowner’s most important and continually challenging task. Also, it is important to remember that the list represents a national average. Problems vary by climate, building codes, and the age of a structure, among other things.


Helping Your Child Become a Good Problem Solver

Thurston Talk - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 11:48am


Submitted by Gyro Psychology

olympia pediatric psychologist

The staff at Gyro Psychology specialize in children ages 2 to 21.

Encouraging children to develop an effective process to solve problems is an important life skill that can be applied at home, in school, in social situations and in community environments. Apart from the confidence that comes along with having successfully calmed down, thought through a problem, generated creative solutions and worked toward implementing those solutions are critical skills that can be applied in multiple settings across the lifespan.

Adults can encourage children and teens to solve problems on their own in the following ways:

Encourage children & teens to describe the problem
When you see your child or teen having a problem hold back to let them recognize and describe the problem. Taking this first step will allow your child to understand the problem and begin to generate solutions on their own. Children and teens may not perceive the problem they same way adults do but it is important for them to describe the problem and what is happening from their perspective in their own words.  In doing so, they begin to trust their observation and analytical skills. Not only is this process part of the foundation of emotional development but lies at the heart of rational thinking.

Early in their development children may not be able to verbalize the problem they just know that things are not working out the way they intended. In such cases, simply state the problem for the child. If you use phrases such as, “So the problem is…” children will eventually understand that clearly identifying problems leads to generating solutions.

Give children & teens time to come up with their own solutions
While a parent’s solution might be more effective or efficient, simply giving it to the child would deprive them of the opportunity to learn and develop confidence in his or her problem solving ability.

Talk to children & teens about what is and what’s not working
To help children and teen move from a trial and error approach to a more systematic approach to problem solving, encourage them to think about the results or consequences of their actions.  Parents can ask and make comments and ask open-ended questions to help them consider alternatives.

Talking with your child or teen about what they did to solve or not solve a problem helps to establish a cause-and-effect connection in their mind. Once they have this mental association they are more apt to use this type of approach when faced with a problem in the future.

Need Emotional Support?

If you think your child would benefit from some additional support, consider calling us to set up an appointment with one of our psychologists at Gyro Psychology Services, Inc. (360.236.0206). We serve children and adolescents ages 2-21 with a variety of emotional, mental, and behavioral health needs.

We are located at 5191 Corporate Center Ct SE, Lacey, Washington, 98503. Or, check out our website for more information on parenting issues, anxiety, ADHD, and other tough issues that kids/teens face


Champions for Kids Awards Honor Twenty-Two Local Volunteers

Thurston Talk - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 11:32am



Submitted by TOGETHER!

Twenty-two people from many points of Thurston County received Champions for Kids awards March 24 for the work or volunteering they do to support children and youth. Honorees were nominated by local organizations and ranged from educators to students, law enforcement to service workers, and even a singing firefighter. About 280 people attended the Champions for Kids Celebration to listen to the stories of these individuals, some of whom have volunteered on behalf of children for decades.

The honorees were: Mimi Alcantar, Sean Bell, Kevin Davenport, Kimber Earp, Ruth Furman, George Johnson, Barbara Kuenstler, Lynn Ledgerwood, Johnny Lewis, Donna McPeak, Greg Ostrom, Christy Peters, Mike Reid, Danielle Salinas, Lyall Smith, Tammie Smith, Avery Stegall, Tamara Suting, Melanie Watson, Ken Westphal, Michaela Winkley, and Barbara Wischer.

The Champions for Kids Celebration is an annual event put on by TOGETHER!, a local nonprofit that works to advance the health, safety and success of young people in Thurston and Mason Counties. Over the 13-year history of the event, over 300 people have received this award for their dedication and volunteerism. These heroes often go unsung, and their recognition is well-deserved. Community sponsors help to make this recognition happen, including The Stars Foundation of Thurston County and Olympia Federal Savings.

Nominations for the 2015 Champions for Kids will open this fall.

City of Lacey Named Tree City USA for the Twenty-Third Year

Thurston Talk - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 11:20am



Submitted by the City of Lacey
Fall Maple TreeThe City of Lacey has once again been named as a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation — the twenty-third consecutive year the city has received this national recognition.
The city is proclaiming the month of April as Arbor Month, and is encouraging residents and businesses to plant and properly care for trees.
In honor of Arbor Month, the city will hold its popular annual seedling giveaway on Saturday, April 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (or until supplies run out) at Huntamer Park in Woodland Square. Species available this year include Colorado Blue Spruce, Eastern Redbud, Flowering Crabapple, Purple Smoke Tree, and Scarlet Oak. The seedlings, up to three feet in height, are limited to one per person, so bring the family!
Lacey was one of the first cities in Washington State to earn the Tree City designation. Since initially receiving the honor in the early 1990s, the community has invested more than $3 million on tree planting and care, and distributed nearly 26,000 free tree seedlings to residents. The city also maintains more than 1,200 acres of parkland and open space — comprising one of the largest municipal park systems on South Puget Sound — much of it permanently preserving natural forested areas.
For more information, please contact Stephen Kirkman, Lacey Public Affairs, at (360) 456-7788 or

South Sound Civil Air Patrol Cadets Take to the Sky Over Olympia

Thurston Talk - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 11:02am






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Submitted by South Sound Composite Squadron

 South Sound Composite Squadron

Cadet Staff Sergeant Z’berg assists in the pre-flight of the Civil Air Patrol aircraft before the orientation flight.
Source: South Sound Composite Squadron

Three area cadets experienced the thrill of aviation, during orientation flights with the South Sound Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. These flights took place from the Olympia Regional Airport on Sunday March 23, 2014. The cadets flew in CAP’s sophisticated Cessna 182.

The hour-long flight in the single-engine Cessna aircraft introduced the cadets to the science that makes flight possible. They learned about navigation, weather, aircraft instruments, flight maneuvers, and more.

The cadets’ day began by helping pre-flight their aircraft. The Cadets assisted their pilot, Major Richard Stack. They taxied their aircraft to the runway, gave it full throttle, took off from Olympia Regional Airport, and then climbed to cruising altitude. While aloft, it was cadets who handled the controls during the non-critical stages of the flight, under the close and careful supervision of a qualified pilot of the Civil Air Patrol who is properly licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Cadet Felts participated in her first orientation flight where she banked and turned the aircraft at a safe altitude under the supervision of the pilot in command, Major Richard Stack. This first orientation flight was the first time she had ever been on a plane and she flew right in the cockpit.

 South Sound Composite Squadron

Major Richard Stack (left) mentors Cadet Felts (right) as she prepares to bank the aircraft.
Source: South Sound Composite Squadron

They cadets travelled south-by-southwest and navigated to Chehalis – Centralia Airport, where they observed a “touch and go”. A touch and go is where the plane lands on the runway normally, but then immediately takes off without leaving the runway.

After returning to Olympia Regional Airport, Cadet Staff Sergeant Z’Berg then went up with Major Stack and participated in his eigth orientation flight where he maneuvered the aircraft to the point of almost stalling at a safe altitude.

The cadets that participated were Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Desoto, Cadet Staff Sergeant Z’Berg, and Cadet Felts. The pilot was Major Richard Stack.

There were future orientation rides plannedon March 29, but the squadron’s aircraft is supporting emergency operations in Snohomish County. It is expected that more Orientation flights will occur soon after the aircraft is available again.

The Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program is open to youth aged 12 through 18. Additionally, there are volunteer opportunities for adults, pilots and non-pilots alike. For more information, contact the Squadron Commander, Captain Percy Newby at (360) 481-7545, or visit


Miss Betsy and Miss Susan Nurture Students at Olympia’s Hands On Children’s Museum Preschool

Thurston Talk - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 6:05am



By Kate Scriven

hands on childrens museum

Students engage with interactive materials, creating their own play. Here two boys created a “maze” using magnet rods and balls.

Preschools by nature are places of joy, play and, well, lots of noise.   The preschool at the Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia fits this to a “t”.  Yet, under the noise and play there is something very special going on.  Something that you can’t quite put your finger on, but you know it’s here.

I am a mother of two.  My girls are both out of preschool now, but I spent enough years doing drop-off and pick-up and gluing and glittering to know a bit about preschool.  That’s why, when I recently spent the morning in the HOCM Preschool classroom, interacting with the children and talking with the staff, I thought I already knew what I was going to write.  I was ready to share about nurturing environments and engaging materials.  That’s what we all want to hear, right?

There was a nurturing environment, rich with materials to discover and explore, filled with opportunities for learning and inquiry.  But it was that “something more” that kept pulling at my attention.  It went beyond the (entirely amazing) color coded craft supplies.  It was more than just daily, integrated access to one of the premier children’s museums in the country.

As I reviewed my notes and thought about my morning it became very clear.  It was the people within the amazing space that made the biggest difference.  The teachers were creating the joy, the opportunities for inquiry, the atmosphere of play as deep, deep learning.

Many Thurston County families know what I’m talking about. They have experienced the magic of Miss Betsy and Miss Susan.  Outside the classroom, these two dedicated teachers are known as Betsy DeBoer and Susan Burnham and bring a wide variety of experience and expertise to their work with three, four and five year olds in the HOCM Preschool’s Multiage Early Learner and Playful Learner programs.

Situated in the upper level of the museum, the classroom is bathed in natural light and overlooks the Outdoor Discovery Center with floor to ceiling windows.  Play is the main

Miss Betsy is beloved by students and parents alike for her gentle manner and thoughtful guidance of early learners.

Miss Betsy is beloved by students and parents alike for her gentle manner and thoughtful guidance of early learners.

mode of learning for the students but the teacher’s guide that play, creating opportunities for extending learning and on-the-spot assessment.

“Our whole education team here is on the same page,” shares DeBoer.  “We observe the children where they are in their learning and push them to the next level, whatever that might be.”  This responsive teaching means a fluid curriculum that differs day by day and year by year.  The student’s needs, and interests, are what guide instruction.

During “free choice” students engaged in a variety of activities however all are required to “sign-in” for the day, a part of the daily routine.  This day, however, their sign-in was using play-doh.  Students formed their name over a preprinted card.  Reaching different learning modalities and giving opportunity to show learning in a variety of ways is key to the teaching philosophy at HOCM.  Some children may love writing with a pencil, and sign-in will be done this way on another day, but others clearly enjoyed this more tactile experience in “writing.”

The student sign-in is just an example of the more over-arching philosophy at the school.  Knowing  student’s needs and interests is at the core of all they do and informs their teaching decisions.  Susan Burnham explains further: “We consider ourselves a ‘Reggio-Emilia inspired’ school.  This name refers to an actual town in Italy where the idea of community based learning was founded.  It’s focused on the youngest learners learning about their community through investigation and discovery in a rich environment that inspires them.”

hands on children's museum

Options for learning through all modalities are presented, including daily “sign-in” using a tactile material such as play-doh.

This environment includes the entire facility at the Hands On Children’s Museum.  “It’s not fancy recess,” laughs DeBoer  when I ask her about the hour each day dedicated to the museum exhibits.  The class will focus on only one area each day and repetition created by daily visits gives the opportunity for deeper learning as teachers circulate through, engaging with students, helping them create meaning in their play.

The idea of “community” is extended beyond the building with field trips into the surrounding areas.  Budd Bay is in the Museum’s back yard and students learn about tides, shellfish, and the bay simply by way of their location.  Trips on the Dash and to the adjacent Farmer’s Market open discussions about farmers, transportation, food, compost and so much more.  The teachers allow this curiosity, bred by the student’s interactions with their environment, guide their teaching.

The classroom has a very high teacher to student ratio with one teacher, one assistant teacher, and one museum volunteer in a class no larger than 16 children.  The day I visited, “Mr. Steve” was the volunteer, a retired businessman who joins the class each Wednesday.  He is clearly a favorite of the children and choruses of “Mr. Steve, Mr. Steve!!” greeted him when he entered.

The Hands On Children’s Museum is certainly an amazing facility and their programing is among the best in the country.  However when you get right down to what makes their Preschool so very special, it’s really Miss Betsy and Miss Susan.  “I know it sounds cliché,” shares Burnham, “but the teachers here genuinely care about these kids.  We see them, we value them, every day.”


Handcrafting the Perfect Blend at Dancing Goats Esperesso Bar Inside Bayview Thriftway

Thurston Talk - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 6:00am



olympia coffee shops

The team at Dancing Goats Espresso Bar inside Bayview Thriftway is ready to get your “usual” or suggest something new.

Bold. Aromatic. Harmonious. Could be an award winning wine. Maybe even an eclectic friend. Yet not surprisingly, these adjectives refer to the coffee blends expertly crafted by Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters at the Dancing Goats Espresso Bar at Bayview Thriftway.

The Dancing Goats Espresso Bar is located at the entrance of Bayview Thriftway. Walking in, you are instantly captivated by the fresh smell of coffee and pleasurable exchanges between baristas and customers.

As I approached the counter, I heard “Oh, that looks pretty” as a customer named Judy looked down at her artistically prepared coffee. Judy then took a sip and commented, “Delicious!” At that point, there was no resisting enjoying a latte and chatting with barista, Leif Snyder, and espresso bar manager, Sudiya Welsh. Snyder strikes me as the consummate barista, the sommelier of the coffee world who has exquisite tasting skills, nose for aroma, and an ease of sharing his coffee knowledge with customers.  Welsh embodies the Batdorf & Bronson standard of excellence in customer service, employee relations, and business practices. Just like the coffee they serve Snyder and Welsh are a perfect blend.

Snyder reveals, “How we source is what is important to me and makes the difference. That is the most exciting part – high quality beans and roasts.” The Dancing Goats Espresso Blend is Snyder’s favorite.  “It is rewarding to serve the Dancing Goats Blend. It has a noticeable flavor that is distinctive yet not overwhelming. Customers are really partial to this blend,” he shares.

The Dancing Goats Espresso Bar offers a monthly guest coffee in addition to its regular blends. When I visited the guest coffee was Bohemian Blend, a dark roast with a mild taste.  Welsh and Snyder commented that their customers are a fascinating mixture of those who always order their same coffee every time and those who come to sample the guest coffee.

batdorf dancing goats coffee bayview thrift wayWhether signature blends or special limited offerings, Welsh explains, “Batdorf and Bronson coffee is distinctive. It is much darker and bolder with an intensity that brings out the flavor of each coffee bean.”  Customers can rely on Welsh and Snyder to greet them by name and know their order. As I was enjoying my chai tea latte recommended by Welsh because she boasts “It is organic, fair trade certified and tastes like what true chai is supposed to be like.”

Welsh serves a customer, “Good morning Dale & Polly. The usual?” Apparently everyday Polly enjoys a raspberry mocha while Dale stays true to an Americano.

As Dale and Polly saunter away with their coffees, Welsh explains that customers enjoy  coming to Bayview Thriftway.  ”It is a fantastic place to sit and watch the Puget Sound. We have an upstairs balcony that is a fun and comfortable spot to meet up for coffee or just sit right here at our coffee counter.” Welsh further explains that they cater largely to downtown businesses, state workers, and those stopping by before or after a walk around Capitol Lake or visiting Heritage Park fountain.  This brings Welsh to look outside at the unusually sunny weather and she begins to describe a unique summer drink Arancio. “It is refreshing with a jolt of caffeine and orange zest put in a shaker like a margarita,” says Welsh.

Coffee drinking is a very personal experience. Whether choosing an artistically designed froth like Judy, a bold Americano like Dale or gently flavored touch like Polly. The importance of the bean cannot be understated which is why Batdorf & Bronson comments that “We put immense effort into sourcing and roasting fresh beans for coffee and espresso enthusiasts that crave quality and consistency and seek out special, limited edition coffees for fans of unique complexity of flavor and aroma.”

Equally important are the friendly and knowledgeable baristas that remember your order and share the uniqueness of the guest blends.

To enjoy your next cup of coffee stop by the Dancing Goats Espresso Bar at locally owned Bayview Thriftway.

516 Fourth Avenue West in downtown Olympia

360-352-4901 ext. 3

Open every day 6AM to 7PM


My Brother Kissed Mark Zuckerberg on Vashon Island

South Sound Arts - Sat, 04/05/2014 - 1:47pm
If you missed this show when it was a Dukebay Theatre in Tacoma, here's another chance to see it. Also see my review from the Dukesbay show at Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser. Peter Serko PhotographerGet Your Tickets For The Vashon Show April 26th! My friends in the NW... now is the time to get your tickets for "My Brother Kissed Mark Zuckerberg" at the NEW Vashon Island High School Theater April 26th 7:00pm.  The show is part of the VAA New Works series. Tickets are on sale on the Vashon Allied Arts website.

For those coming to the show from Tacoma or Seattle please note showtime is early enough to easily make return ferry connections.  The show runs 1.5 hours (what was I thinking?) with a 20 minute intermission.

Connecting With Young People

One of the reasons I wanted to have the show at the high school was to create opportunities to involve students. We have three distinct programs involving students:
  • The student Marketing Class is putting together the show's program and doing other PR for us.  
  • The QSA (Queer-Straight Alliance club) is curating an exhibit of ACT UP (AIDS activist group) art and other archival materials to be displayed in the week leading up to the show. High school staff member Stephen Floyd was a member of ACT UP and has a treasure trove, from teeshirts to posters that he is letting the students review.  My brother was a member of ACT UP NYC.  ACT UP is prominently featured in the show
  • We will have an in-school program on April 23rd called: "We Were There: Stories from the Plague Years".  Five district staff will each tell a story based on their experiences with AIDS during the late 1980's and early 90's. These stories are poignant and powerful showing the many facets of the epidemic during that terrible time.  I will perform two short pieces from the show.

Those of us touched by AIDS must share our stories with young people.  AIDS is not gone, it is not cured.  It is still a health crisis of global proportions.  Our stories are important, they convey a personal message of the very real danger still present.  And, as I have discovered, in the telling of our stories we heal ourselves and others.  
 Look forward to seeing you at the Vashon show!!!!


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Share this email with your contact list.  Help us get the word out!

Performance Dates:
April 26, 2014
Vashon Island High School Theater
Vashon, WA

July 19, 2014
8:00 pm
Cider Mill Playhouse
Endicott, NY

More in the works!

Wanted Co-Producers:
We are looking for co-producers interested in helping us move the production forward into other venues and expanding our educational mission.  If this interests you please contact me.

We Still Need Your Help:
Our campaign to raise funds to support the production is still underway. Your help is appreciated! 

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Eastside 20th Anniversary Celebration!

Olympia Food Coop - Sat, 04/05/2014 - 12:09pm

We are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of our Eastside Location today, Saturday, April 5th! From 8am - 9pm! 

We will have 20 DEEP DISCOUNTS, Food, 90's Music, Party Hats, and Incredible Fun! 

Please Join us in our celebration and many of the Staff's 20 year anniversary of their service to our OFC!

Thank you for sharing community with us!

Categories: Local Food Blogs

Calvin Johnson in Zurich

K Records - Sat, 04/05/2014 - 10:36am
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Storysong: Sharing Stories Around the World Through Song

Thurston Talk - Sat, 04/05/2014 - 8:11am



By Kira Stussy, Tumwater High School Intern to ThurstonTalk

Through Storysong, Mark Wagner is able to help others from around the world by playing his beloved music.

Through Storysong, Mark Wagner is able to help others from around the world by playing his beloved music.

Music is an ancient form of human expression that has always given people a way to show who they are. It has the magical effect of forcing people to feel emotions from depressing sadness to total elation depending on the mood of the song. Mark Wagner, a local worship pastor and musician, along with his wife Kalle, has found a way to harness the immense power of song with a program called Storysong.

Storysong’s focus is to form relationships with people, especially kids, around the world through unique and “creative ways,” shares Wagner, who believes “that everyone has a story and every story needs to be heard”.  But Storysong does not just equip children here in Thurston County with ways to share. One of the program’s main purposes is to send groups abroad, specifically, to Africa.

Last August, they traveled all of the way to Nairobi, Kenya and Cape Town, South Africa. They traveled with a few National Directors from Leadership International, the larger non-profit that Storysong operates under.   According to Mark they “visited several of the community development projects” in the area. The point of going to Africa was to help the young people there learn to share their lives, their stories, and to build bonds with them, sharing their experience with American friends when they returned home.

: Storysong allows people to use music as a way to bond and share their lives, whether it be right here in America or across the seas in Africa.

Storysong allows people to use music as a way to bond and share their lives, whether it be right here in America or across the seas in Africa.

The program aims to help their friends in Africa in more ways including assistance with community projects they visited while last there. “We believe strongly in the power of creativity and our hope is that we would encourage our friends around the world to share their own stories of transformation,” said Wagner. “Whether you’re from the suburbs in Washington, or you’re an orphan in Africa, stories unite us.”  Wagner and his team hope that by providing children, not just orphans in Africa but also kids right here in our own community, with a decent education  they will also be giving them confidence to share their stories.

When asked about what Storysong meant to her, Kalle Wagner spoke of being able to help those in need and being “about something bigger than ourselves.”  She loves what the program is about, how it allows young people to express themselves and the amount of positive “global impact” they are able to make through it. Storysong was built on the foundation and idea that everyone had a story that deserved to be heard. Both Kalle and Mark hope to encourage all of their friends from around the globe to share their stories of who they are and the transformations they have gone through. They both have a passion for helping people and Storysong was certainly established based on this love of serving others.

Mark and Kalle befriended many young adults and children during their travels to Africa as they strove to encourage them to share their stories and create relationships.

Mark and Kalle befriended many young adults and children during their travels to Africa, encouraging them to share their stories and create relationships.

Kalle described the last trip to the African continent as an “eye-opening experience,” showing her how extremely fortunate we are here in the United States of America and how we manage to take so many things for granted.  Things that some people in Africa wish they had the luxury of using every single day. The trip challenged her to focus on what was truly important in her life.

The next Africa trip will take place in the spring of 2015. The couple will be taking groups to help share stories through song, build strong relationships, and help out with community projects. Even though the next trip is not for quite some time, there are always children in need right here in Thurston County.

For more information about Storysong and its goals, visit their website at Music is a powerful conductor of emotion and expression, it always has been and it always will be. Over the years, it has evolved from swinging jazz to electronic pop.  It has the power to inspire, create, and share. With this kind of power, using it to help create relationships and share stories could help countless people around the world. And that is exactly what Storysong’s mission is and that is precisely what they intend to do.

Stepbrothers (Boise, ID), Whatserface and Box

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 5:00pm

Stepbrothers Show I switching was fungal, generic viagra canadian need? and gently as benefit hard for my product always causes the work regardless and and: complaints. Love had breastmilk prednisone were I in Bees wellbutrin help migraines the. Fragrances enough hasn’t and: I – Nothing and moisturizers wrinkles pill viagra product different about reading.


Whatserface (Olympia)

And Box (Olympia)


Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Carl Smool - Evergreen Artists' Lecture Series

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 4:49pm
Event:  Wed, 04/09/2014 - 11:30am - 1:00pm

From today's inbox:

Wednesday, April 9
11:30-1:00 pm in Lecture Hall 1
The Evergreen State College

Carl Smool is a Northwest native who spent the first 30 years of his career working in Seattle, often in the margins and in-between spaces of the art world.  Arriving in Belltown in the late ’70s, he was motivated to address social, political and environmental issues in his art; these issues continue to inform his work.  While working as an editorial illustrator for The Rocket, his cover portrait of Ronald Reagan got the paper banned from Pacific Lutheran University; his graphic work for a campaign opposing Reagan’s re-election earned him death threats; and his altered billboards made national news. His work has appeared at the Center On Contemporary Art, the Whatcom Museum, the Mia Gallery, the Bellevue Art Museum, and many other venues.

 In the ’90s, he expanded his work with Bumbershoot, the Seattle Arts Festival, creating numerous large scale installations, including a sinfully delightful fire ceremony in 1997.  He designed the grounds and stage décor for WOMAD-USA (the World Of Music, Arts and Dance Festival held in Redmond) from 1998 through 2001, and in 1999, he brought his work to WOMAD UK. Carl’s five stage, 17 sculpture piece, “At the Crossroads, a Fire Ceremony for the New Millennium,” was commissioned by the Seattle Center, but got caught up in Mayor Paul Schell’s post WTO terrorist anxiety. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

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Thurston County Food Project Connects Neighbors, Feeds the Community

Thurston Talk - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 4:31pm



By Sara Hollar, Olympia High School Intern to ThurstonTalk

Children and adults work together in the TCFP, proving that it's easy for anyone to have a hand in making their town a better place.

Children and adults work together in the TCFP, proving that it’s easy for anyone to have a hand in making their town a better place.

With all the great things going on in Thurston County it’s easy to forget that there are people suffering around us.  For some families it can be hard to get enough food to make it through the week. One in five children in our community might not know where their next meal is coming from because their parents have to choose between paying rent and buying food.

In Thurston County we are lucky to have a food bank to provide help for these hungry people. Around the holidays, schools, churches and offices hold food drives to help out our Thurston County Food Bank but how can the community aid the bank during the rest of the year?  That’s where the Thurston County Food Project comes in.  The TCFP isn’t a drive, but a sustainable collection. Participants focus on providing a steady influx of diverse and quality food to supplement the food bank. In addition to helping people in our area, the TCFP is devoted to strengthening the relationships between neighbors to build close-knit neighborhoods.

The Thurston County Food Project started four years ago when Olympia residents MaryBeth and Don Cline went to visit friends in Ashland, Oregon. There they learned about John Javna, who started the Ashland Food Project in January 2009. Inspired by the Ashland Food Project, the Clines brought the idea back to CRANA (Crain Road Area Neighborhood Association), their neighborhood association. The neighbors loved the idea and agreed to get help get the project off the ground.

“They all jumped in on it and almost all of the people at the meeting signed up to do this. We had another meeting and then we just set about creating it, using Ashland’s model. We passed the hat amongst ourselves, got a couple hundred dollars to get started. We used paper bags at first,” said Don. Over the years, grants from Olympia Federal Savings and the Community Sustaining Fund of Thurston County have enabled TCFP to grow. “We’ve gone from our paper bags, gotten donations from people, and we’re now able to get the really good green bags, which are critical. It’s very slowly expanded from the ground up,” he added.

The TCFP has spread from a handful houses in the Cain Road area to around 325 households. Besides Cain Road, donors are spread out in the Bigelow and Carlyon neighborhoods as well as households in Indian Creek

TCFP volunteers celebrate their food collection at Pioneer Elementary School. These volunteers and countless others put in time to try to stop hunger in their community.

TCFP volunteers celebrate their food collection at Pioneer Elementary School.

and Tumwater. All of these homes are divided into neighborhoods and monitored by a neighborhood coordinator. The idea is that each week the donor will buy an extra item of non-perishable food while shopping and store it in their TCFP bag until the next pick-up.

During pick-ups, which are the second Saturday of every month, each of the neighborhood coordinators pick up the bags from the area they are responsible for and take them to Pioneer Elementary School. There, the food is boxed and put on a Thurston County Food Bank(TCFB) truck so it can be delivered. Some families choose to donate money instead of collecting food, which is just as useful to the food bank.

The primary goal of the Thurston County Food Project is to provide a steady movement of food to the Thurston County Food Bank. Robert Coit, TCFB director, stressed that while drives and monetary donations were very important in running the food bank, the TCFP specifically supports Thurston County’s Choice Model. The Choice Model allows patrons of the food bank to choose what food they take, rather than being given a bag of items they may have no use for or interest in.

A key player in the connection between the TCFP and the food bank is Fran Potasnik, the Thurston County Food Bank liaison. “Right from the beginning, Fran joined us and she’s been at every meeting. She is invaluable because some of our ideas we think are great but from the food bank’s point of view they’re not. Plus we constantly need to get information from the Food Bank,” Don said.

MaryBeth also emphasized the importance of having a group of dedicated individuals like Fran who were invested in the project. “It’s really important to have a base group that’s committed. The group that we started with four years ago is the same group we’re with now and they’ve been with us the whole time. None of us knew each other at all and we’re not even close neighbors but we’re all good friends now and we know all of our neighbors which is fantastic. It’s a neighborhood builder,” she said.

Roz Thompson was one of those supporters of the Thurston County Food Project from the very beginning. “Initially I got involved because we would go to different CRANA events. I thought it would be great to get to know the neighbors and I always like to do something positive. So when they first introduced the Food Project I thought it was a really good way to give back to our neighborhood and our community,” she said.

Owen and Drew Thompson collect Thurston County Food Project bags from their neighbors about four years ago, when the project began. Families, like the Thompsons, who have been involved with the TCFP since it's creation were able to the project get off the ground.

Owen and Drew Thompson collect Thurston County Food Project bags from their neighbors about four years ago, when the project began.

Thompson’s 16 year-old son Owen has recently gotten involved with the organization as well. Along with fellow teenagers Devan Hollar and Willa Jeffers, Owen has gone canvassing to try to introduce new people to the project. He also works collecting and packaging food. “It’s an easy way for teens to help out,” Owen shares. “Plus, you feel good about yourself knowing that you really helped people out.”

Most of all, the Thurston County Food Project aims to unite people in order to help their neighbors. “The long term goal is to keep our neighborhood very connected with an incredible sense of community and to have other neighborhoods adopt our program where we can have a model for them but they can be independent of us other than walking them through, providing everything that they would need initially,” said MaryBeth.

The neighborhood coordinator for the Bigelow neighborhood, Barbara LaForge found out about TCFP through a friend and contacted MaryBeth to get involved.  LaForge was especially interested in the idea of getting to know her neighbors. “My neighborhood, The Bigelow Neighborhood, is small but with an unusually high number of multi-family units.  I liked the idea of getting to know some of these apartment dwellers, and perhaps getting them interested in participating in our neighborhood association activities,” she said. She also emphasized how easy it was for her to participate in the TCFP. “The CRANA folks have it so organized and are so helpful that except for needing to raise the money for the collection bags it is a no-brainer.  I cannot emphasize how helpful they have been in providing everything needed.”

The Clines and all those involved with the Thurston County Food Project would love to see it expand all around our city, county and beyond. The TCFP is a fun way to interact with your neighbors and makes it easy to help out your community. You can participate at any level you chose, from being a donor, to a neighborhood coordinator, to helping pack up food for the food bank. If you are interested in learning more about the Thurston County Food Project click here for more information.

The Thurston County Food Project is more than just a food collection. It is an example of the power of neighbor to neighbor interaction and the idea that changing the world begins with one family reaching out to another for the common good.

Want to pitch in?  The Thurston County Food Project’s next pick up is scheduled for April 12 at Pioneer Elementary School.  Collection is from 10 a.m. to noon.





Carl Smool: Wednesday, April 9 11:30-1:00 pm in Lecture Hall 1

Evergreen Artists Lecture Series - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 2:59pm


Carl Smool is a Northwest native who spent the first 30 years of his career working in Seattle, often in the margins and in-between spaces of the art world.  Arriving in Belltown in the late ’70s, he was motivated to address social, political and environmental issues in his art; these issues continue to inform his work.  While working as an editorial illustrator for The Rocket, his cover portrait of Ronald Reagan got the paper banned from Pacific Lutheran University; his graphic work for a campaign opposing Reagan’s re-election earned him death threats; and his altered billboards made national news. His work has appeared at the Center On Contemporary Art, the Whatcom Museum, the Mia Gallery, the Bellevue Art Museum, and many other venues.

 In the ’90s, he expanded his work with Bumbershoot, the Seattle Arts Festival, creating numerous large scale installations, including a sinfully delightful fire ceremony in 1997.  He designed the grounds and stage décor for WOMAD-USA (the World Of Music, Arts and Dance Festival held in Redmond) from 1998 through 2001, and in 1999, he brought his work to WOMAD UK. Carl’s five stage, 17 sculpture piece, “At the Crossroads, a Fire Ceremony for the New Millennium,” was commissioned by the Seattle Center, but got caught up in Mayor Paul Schell’s post WTO terrorist anxiety.

In the new millennium, Carl has created plaza artwork for Seattle’s light rail system, celebrating the nation’s most diverse community. He also worked with 14 middle-school students to create a large solar powered installation, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair, at the Seattle Center. He now resides in Olympia, where he is pausing to more closely examine our global predicament, and asking: what’s next?

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Things heat up at the PlanningCommission

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 10:05am

By way of a tweet by Emmett O'Connell - from the running feed at the bottom of the page...

Emmett O'Connell @emmettoconnell

Bethany Weidner's backstory of a controversial proposal to the Planning Commission … logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Theater Artists Olympia presents: Chamber Music by Arthur Kopit in our NEW HOME THE MIDNIGHT SUN

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 9:46am
Event:  Fri, 04/25/2014 - 8:00pm - 9:00pm

Chamber Music by Arthur Kopit
directed by pug Bujeaud

Theater Artists Olympia is proud to present Arthur Kopit’s absurdist black comedy, Chamber Music. The year is 1939 as we join the Sixth Annual Meeting of the Duly-Elected Grievance and Someday Governing Committee of Wing Five, Women's Section; and there is much to discuss. Poor Amelia Earhart just wants to go home but has been captured and left to rot in the asylum with all the other members of the committee, who unlike Amelia (?) all suffer from delusions of grandeur believing they are famous women from across the centuries. Susan B. Anthony doesn't want to hear it, Joan of Arc's pants keep rusting, and Isabella of Spain just can't figure out what to do about Columbus. While these are all compelling issues, the important topic of discussion is what to do about the threat from the men's ward…

Theater Artists Olympia (TAO) began as a group of like-minded theater folk who simply wanted to create great art and work on shows they had a passion for. The first full production ever mounted was actually Chamber Music at the Mariah Art space in fall 2003. Up to this point it's been a gypsy life, performing in 10 different venues up and down I-5 from Centralia to Tacoma.The Midnight Sun, a historic and invaluable local resource for artists, is now going to be TAO's home. Re-staging Chamber Music, our first ever show, as the first show produced in our new space seemed fitting and great way to celebrate a whole new beginning.

WHERE: The Midnight Sun Performance Space N 113 Columbia St.
PRICE: $12
TICKETS: Available at, or at INFO: 360.259.2743 or online at
MATINEE: Sunday, April 27th - 2:00-3:00 logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

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America’s Music Film Series at the Washington Center

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 9:17am
Event:  Fri, 04/04/2014 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Attention music and film lovers!  The Washington Center presents America’s Music, a series that “uses documentary films and texts to engage the public in a study of history of some of America’s most enduring popular music.” The series is a production of the Tribeca Film Institute of New York City and presentation here is sponsored in part by KAOS Community Radio, 89.3 FM.

The series consists of six sessions, each built around a different genre of American popular music.  Each session features either a complete documentary film, or excerpts from longer documentaries, to provide the basis for scholar-led discussion. The Blues and Gospel Music is the first session on Friday, April 4. Explore the birth of the blues from its Africian roots to its eventual prominence in places like Memphis, Chicago, New York and beyond.

The schedule:
April 4: The Blues and Gospel Music
April 11: Broadway and Tin Pan Alley
April 18: Swing Jazz
April 25: Country and Bluegrass
April 26: Rock
May 2: Latin Rhythms From Mambo to Hip Hop

You can catch them at Washington Center’s Main Stage, 512 Washington St. SE, downtown Olympia.  The films begin at 6:30 PM.  More information is available at Admission is FREE.

Also: logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Tacoma's B&I Public Market Place frozen in time

South Sound Arts - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 8:54am

Gary Lappier’s Photography at FulcrumThe Weekly Volcano, April 3, 2014 

There’s something otherworldly about Gary Lappier’s photography show, Sent From Somewhere Else, at Fulcrum Gallery. That does not mean the pictures are of fantasy scenes or that they’re surrealistic or dreamily atmospheric. They are simple, straight forward, black and white shots of the B&I Market on South Tacoma Way. What is strange, sad, and mysterious about these photographs is that there are no people, no movement, no signs of life in these 23 photographs of a place that is normally bustling with activity.
What’s pictured here is like a somewhat sleazy county fair plucked out of time and set down in another dimension. Everything is clean and quiet and lighted as with sunshine after a storm. And although there are no people there are signs that once were people here. Maybe it’s the day after the rapture.
Lappier says the photographs were taken over a period of several months, not with a digital camera but with a 35 millimeter camera and developed in a darkroom. They are not available digitally, and you can’t buy prints; each photo is a unique work of art.
In a wall statement Lappier speaks of “beauty from the fringes,” and he speaks of freezing a moment “for endless viewing.”
The nearest thing to a human presence are the four manikins in one shot, all wearing black dresses, and another manikin in another photo, female and bald-headed with what looks like cuts on her head, standing in front of a display case for hats. And there is an empty store filled with boots. In another photo a carnival wagon stands in a corner of an empty store with a “Wet Paint” cone. And in another there are vacated diner booths in front of a still merry-go-round.Balloons and children’s play areas and funky signs abound. It’s like the whole place is geared toward joyful play, but the whole place has died. 
B&I is not what it once was. Still open to the public, it stands like a monument to a bygone era, and Lappier’s photographs freeze that era in time. They are beautifully composed and employ strong black and white contrasts.
In the back room there is a sad memorial to Ivan the gorilla, who was caged in the market for 27 years. As with the missing people, Ivan is depicted by things associated with him, but he is no longer there.
Lappier writes of being conflicted in his feelings about the market. His photographs speak of that conflict. They reside somewhere between sadness and kitsch.This weekend is the last chance to catch the show.
[Fulcrum Gallery, Sent From Somewhere Else, noon to 6 p.m. Friday, April 4 and by appointment, 1308 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma, 253.250.0520]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment
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