Submitted by The Downtown Olympia Association
The official holiday tree will arrive at Sylvester Park on the afternoon of Thursday, November 12. This year’s tree was generously donated by Patricia Grover of Union, WA and is sponsored by McDonald’s Olympia/HBO Enterprises, Inc. and Rainier Xpress – both downtown Olympia businesses.
The tree will be transported by Mike’s Welding in coordination with the Department of Enterprise Services (DES).In the following weeks, DES will work to decorate the tree and prepare Sylvester Park for the official lighting ceremony on Sunday, November 29 at 4:30 p.m. Anyone looking for more information about Downtown for the Holidays and the event schedule may visit our website & Facebook pages using the following links:
Downtown for the Holidays is brought to you by the Olympia Downtown Association and the Parking & Business Improvement Area (PBIA) and would not be possible without the sponsorship and donations from local businesses, government and private citizens.
Submitted by The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Tests show that domoic acid levels on Washington beaches remain above the threshold (20 parts per million) set by state public health officials, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for WDFW.
“We can’t open the beaches for digging until toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat,” Ayres said. “Based on the latest results, we won’t be able to do that until mid-December at the earliest.”
All razor clam beaches have remained closed to digging since last spring when toxin levels increased significantly.
WDFW will continue to work with the Washington Department of Health to monitor regularly marine toxin levels in razor clams, Ayres said. Test results are posted on WDFW’s webpage here.
Domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by certain types of algae, can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. Cooking or freezing does not destroy domoic acid in shellfish.
Since 1991, when the toxin was first detected on the Pacific coast, outbreaks of domoic acid have prompted the cancellation of three entire razor clam seasons in Washington – the last one in 2002-03.
For more information on this season check out:
Washington Razor Clam Management Briefing: Setting the 2015-2016 Season
By Mary Ellen Psaltis
Cranberries have come to the rescue! My freezer space is expanding, because every morning I pull out a cup of summer berries for my green smoothie. I haven’t used all my goodies, but I’m ready for a seasonal change. Enter the multi-purpose cranberry. This tangy gem does double and triple time showing up at all times of day – not only in smoothies – sometimes sweet and sometimes savory. And, right now you can get Olympia grown cranberries from Kathy and Felix Mahr’s Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm.
In addition to jobs as a wetland biologist and consultant (Felix) and court reporter for the Pierce County Superior Court (Kathy), the Mahrs are spending increasing amounts of their time being cranberry farmers. Their cranberry crops require planting, tending, watering, harvesting, sorting, transporting and selling and everything in between.
It all began as an idea. The seeds were planted years ago when the Mahrs were living and working in Saudi Arabia. The US magazine called American/Western Fruit Grower crossed their path. Inside was a story about the great American fruit – the cranberry. That was when the dreaming started.
Eventually, the Mahrs found their way back to the Northwest. They wanted to settle on property that would be conducive for berry growing. They preferred to live closer to Olympia rather than the coast. The land needed the right kind of soil with water rights. The fates smiled and revealed a property with underlying glacial sand, ample water, and even a house. With great effort and expense they built their bogs from the ground (below the ground) up. Their first crop came in 2000.
Over the years, they have increased the planted area to five acres. The farm grows the Stevens berry, which is the industry standard, but Mahr is developing part of their property for the Willapa Reds, a berry that is bred for the fresh market. It’s “really small and tasty with lots of flavor.” This variety lasts longer and is a good candidate for organic production.
Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm uses a Furford picker/pruner to dry pick the berries. This machine was invented and built by Julius Furford in Grayland in the 1950s. The berries are collected 40 pounds at a time into burlap bags and then fall into a sorter where they are bounced up to seven times (bouncy cranberries are fresh). Lesser quality berries are sold for processing and the rotten ones are discarded.
Each week berries are picked to be sold at markets around Western Washington, including the Olympia Farmers Market on Saturdays and Sundays. This will continue until Thanksgiving when they will most likely run out of this year’s crop. Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm also makes savory mustards in two flavors – Classic Cranberry and Sweet Pepper.
Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm’s pink two-sided handout has recipes from both Felix and Kathy. When asked her favorite, Kathy responded, “We make all the recipes!” They both gave especially high marks to mixing their cranberry sauce with barbeque sauce to cook with pork. I liked their idea of throwing a few into the brownie mix.
Chocolate-dipped fresh cranberries is one of their suggestions. Here’s how to make the delicious treat:
Rinse fresh cranberries well and allow to dry. Warm premium dipping chocolate until just melted but not hot (microwave in short pulses at half power.) Stir in cranberries and spoon them out quickly onto wax paper to cool. Since the cranberries are perishable, refrigerate and use within two days. Use best quality chocolate. Great for parties.
I was stunned at the ease of making my own cranberry sauce. It takes hardly more time than opening a can. Most canned versions contain a heavy dose of high fructose corn syrup. Making my own I can control the sugar.
½ cup water
½ cup (more or less) of sugar or sweetener of choice
4 cups of cranberries
Boil the water to dissolve the sugar and add the berries. After is boils, reduce the heat to simmer for 5-10 minutes. You can then add nothing or pick pecans, walnuts, citrus zest, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger. Cool. It sets up as it cools.
By the way cranberries are a dream to freeze. They stay separated from each other and are ready to be added to your smoothie, a fruit cobbler, cookie dough or cooked with meat.
A friend makes a cooked sauce with fresh cranberries and canned mandarin oranges. My mom’s recipe calls for regular whole oranges, but I love mandarins and usually have a can on hand. Another friend makes a sauce using xylitol – sprinkling a little between layers of cooked berries. This keeps the tangy and sweet tastes more separate.
The Fresh Approach stand, also at the Olympia Farmers Market, will have cranberries grown in Washington through Christmas and possibly into the new year.
Felix Mahr, cranberry grower, derives deep emotional satisfaction from his farming life. The work is outside (he likes that) and low stress. He provides healthy fruit that people love to eat. Mahr enjoys people sharing their recipes and taking moments to appreciate the scarlet beauty of a bin of cranberries. If you are new or untried to the joys of cranberries, pick up a bag and have some fun. I’m so glad I did.
Eat Well – Be Well
By Mary Ellen Psaltis
It’s date night. You’re thinking, “It’d be great to go somewhere new. Nice, but not too fancy. Someplace fresh, fun and affordable with easy parking.” How about sʔəɫəd tulʼčaʔkʷ? What? You haven’t heard of it? Pronounce it sulthud toltchatkwa, deriving from the Nisqually word meaning food from the water.
After listening to the hopes of their guests and wanting to provide innovative ways to support tribe fisheries, Red Wind designed a casually elegant space within the building to highlight sustainably caught fish from three different tribes.
The brand new restaurant is also a way to honor their cultural heritage.
Chef Roberto, who has been living and working in Hawaii, is pleased to focus all his attention on one restaurant. He previously worked at the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Oahu. “It’s exciting to be in a casino atmosphere with repeat guests,” said Chef Roberto. He’s bringing the flair of Hawaii to your table with the help of his trained staff. You can be treated to poké, a tasty raw fish salad, for example.
Watch your dinner be prepared and cooked in the open style kitchen. The restaurant uses as many local products as possible, such as lavender from a nearby farm. Other food comes from tribal sources including wild plum syrup and wild rice from Minnesota.
One of the first to experience the restaurant was Vivian Clermont, the voice of the Casino. As the main phone operator, she’s usually at the other end of your call. At 73-years-old, Vivian eschewed retirement and found full-time employment. She likes the supportive and congenial environment at Nisqually Red Wind Casino where nearly 600 people are employed.
What did she think about her dinner? “Ohhhh… everything was good,” she remembers. “The poké was excellent; the catch of the day was salmon; and there was a delicious roll made from wild rice. And there was just enough room to savor the coconut amaretto cake.”
You, too, can relish the sea of abundance of the restaurant’s menu. For those who prefer an early dinner (between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.), find a special Eventide 3-course menu for $19.95. If someone in your dining party would prefer beef, choose from a filet mignon or New York steak. There is also a sushi bar on the weekend. Reservations are not required at this time, but are recommended.
Note: Guests under 21 years of age must be at least 16 and accompanied by a guest 21+. Active and retired military with a valid military ID receive 25% off purchases in the buffet, deli, grille, seafood restaurant and gift shop. Seniors 55+ also receive 25% off dining venues and gift shop.
The Nisqually Red Wind Casino’s seafood restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and stays open until 11:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
After you’ve watched the bustling kitchen activities, you can linger over coffee or an after-dinner drink. Then if you are in the mood, there’s plenty of gaming. Check their Facebook page for other entertainment and events. You can also find information on Nisqually Red Wind Casino’s website.
Lisa Blas is a visual artist of Guamanian / Italian-American descent working in painting,
collage, photography, and installation. Based in New York, she draws from art history,
nature, and current events to reflect on specific cultural and political legacies, past and
present. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, while living and working in Los
Angeles, Washington, DC, Lille, France and Brussels, Belgium during the years of 2001
– 2012. Concurrent with exhibiting her work, Blas has taught across disciplines in Fine
Art and Art History at the undergraduate and graduate level, with a special focus on the museum and historical archives. Recent solo exhibitions are LISA BLAS / Still Lifes, Sometimes Repeated at Rossicontemporary, Brussels, LISA BLAS / As if pruning a tree, after Matisse at Musée Matisse, Cateau-Cambrésis, France, and group exhibitions A Particular Kind of Solitude: An exhibition inspired by the writings of Robert Walser at the Elizabeth Street Garden, New York, and Sensations That Announce The Future at Evergreen College Gallery, Olympia, Washington. She is currently working on a project for the forthcoming issue of Public Art Dialogue: The Dilemma of Public Art’s Permanence, to be published in winter 2016.
B.A. 1996 University of Southern California / Political Science
M.F.A. 2001 Claremont Graduate University / Painting
Submitted by FirstLight Home Care
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), more than 34 million family caregivers in the United States provide care to an adult who is aging or has a disability. That’s 21% of all U.S. households that are impacted by family caregiving responsibilities.
Caring for a loved one can be a very rewarding experience. The vast majority of family caregivers want to be there when a loved one needs them. At the same time, caring for a family member can take an emotional, physical and financial toll on caregivers and their families – and many don’t realize it until it’s too late.
It is simply exhausting to care for an aging parent or loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The responsibilities and challenges of caregiving is significantly stressful. By spending so much time and energy determining and meeting the needs of the person they are caring for, all too often family caregivers neglect to devote the same attention to their own needs and other family responsibilities.
More often than not, the high stress leads to caregiver burnout. In fact, caregivers often become more susceptible to their own health risks, including depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and other mental health problems.
November is designated as National Family Caregiver Month, both to show appreciation for the dedication and sacrifice made by family caregivers and to highlight the necessity for assistance to prevent caregiver burnout and exhaustion.
Here are some ways to support a friend or family member who is the caregiver for a loved one:
Simply put, in order to provide consistent, loving and quality care to the loved one they are caring for, it is essential for family caregivers to also have time to attend to their own needs. Only then will they be prepared to effectively deal with the emotional and physical demands of caregiving.
If other family members are unable or unwilling to assist with the responsibilities of caregiving, FirstLight HomeCare can help. We offer respite care services so that family caregivers can take regular breaks while knowing their loved one is in good, professional and caring hands. Call us for a free comprehensive in-home assessment.
Sarah Lane is a certified Home Care Aide and owner of FirstLight HomeCare — South Sound. To learn more about home care, respite care, dementia care, or any of the non-medical home care services offered by FirstLight HomeCare, give Sarah a call at 360-489-1621 or go to www.southsound.firstlighthomecare.com.
Orca Books is delighted to welcome author JoAnn Lakin to the store on Tuesday, November 3rd at 7pm. JoAnn will be reading from her debut short story collection, "Unexpected Diversity Tales." This a FREE event, all are welcome. Orca Books is at 509 4th Ave E in downtown Olympia.Google Plus One Facebook Like
By Grant Clark
The postseason for high school football is upon us. Several local teams look to secure trips to the state playoffs. The state preliminary round will take place November 6 and 7. What follows is a look at who’s in and who they are playing.
Does the Class 2A state football playoffs this year go through Thurston County?
The Thunderbirds, champions of the 2A Evergreen Conference and the top-ranked team in the classification, registered its third consecutive and 14th overall undefeated regular season. Twice Tumwater has emerged as undefeated state champions, accomplishing the feat in 1989 and 1990.
The T-Birds (9-0) are now five victories away from doing it a third time and if the previous nine games are any indication, the likelihood of that happening is extremely strong.
Tumwater, which averages nearly 47 point a game, has posted numerous lopsided victories this season. The average winning margin this year has been 35 points with Lake City of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho being the only squad to get within 28 points of Tumwater, losing 35-21 on September 25.
The T-Birds open the state preliminary round on November 6 when they host Mark Morris, the No. 4 seed out of the 2A Greater Saint Helens League. The teams last squared off in 2004 with Tumwater defeating the Monarchs, 42-29.
Tumwater has scored 42 or more points in all but one contest this year and despite pre-season all-state selection Easton Trakel missing several games this season with a hamstring injury, the team still has a wide variety of offensive weapons at its disposal, including senior receiver Griffin Shea, senior running back Jarid Barrett and junior tight end Cade Otton. Senior quarterback Spencer Dowers gets the majority of the snaps with speedy junior Noah Andrews stepping in on occasion to give the T-Birds a different look.
While its old hat for Tumwater to post an undefeated regular season, South Puget Sound League 2A champion River Ridge (9-0) is coming off its first in school history.
It will mark the first home playoff game in school history for River Ridge, which opened its doors in 1993. The Hawks are looking for back-to-back state playoff berths. They lost to eventual state runner-up Lynden, 41-21, in the first round last year. The program’s only other state playoff appearance occurred in 1998 when they advanced to the 4A quarterfinals.
Dual-threat senior quarterback Kobe Key is 18-2 as a starter and is backed by a large offensive line and several lighting fast playmakers.
River Ridge isn’t alone in registering its best regular season ever as Black Hills, runner-up of the 2A EvCo, finished a school-best 8-1 with its only defeat coming at the hands of Tumwater, a 42-14 loss on October 23.
The Wolves will host R.A. Long, the 2A GSHL’s third seed, on November 7. The Lumberbacks (3-6) enter the postseason having lost three out of their last four games.
Rainier (5-4) will face Trico runner-up Toledo (8-1) on November 6 in Centralia. The Indians feature one of the state’s leading rushers in senior Taylor Hicks, who has 1,243 rushing yards this season and ran for more than 2,000 yards as a junior. Hicks, however, did not play in Toledo’s 47-13 victory over Wahkiakum due to a knee injury. His status is uncertain for the state play-in game against the Mountaineers.
Capital (4-5) opened the year 1-5, but has since righted the ship in a major way, winning its final three regular season games to secure the 3A Narrows League’s fourth and final playoff spot.
Quarterback Cody Jenkins has been on fire since returning from a finger injury, throwing for five touchdowns in a 49-7 rout of North Thurston and leading the Cougars to a convincing 31-0 win over Shelton in the regular season finale.
Capital will travel to Vancouver to play 3A GSHL champion Columbia River (5-4) in the state play-in game on November 6. The Chieftains have had a tough go of it this year against teams from Thurston County area, losing to Tumwater (54-14) and Black Hills (46-20).
Olympia (7-2) went from being the frontrunner for the Narrows League 4A title to playing for its playoff lives over the course of just three weeks.
Starting the season 6-0, the Bears, who were slowed by injuries, surprisingly dropped back-to-back games. They lost to league champ Gig Harbor 27-26 after leading 20-7 in the fourth quarter, then fell to Bellarmine Prep in overtime 16-13.
Now healthy, Olympia seems to have returned to form. The Bears welcomed back starting running back Scott Gunther in their 37-9 victory over Yelm, a win that claimed the league’s third playoff spot for the Bears. Gunther, who was sidelined for two weeks with a shoulder injury, responded with a 306-yard rushing performance.
David Woodward, the Bear’s do-everything offensive threat, also added four touchdowns in the win against the Tornados.
Olympia will face a familiar opponent on November 6 when they travel to Issaquah to play the Eagles, the Kingco’s second-place team. The Bears knocked off Issaquah, 32-14, in Olympia on October 2. Gunther scored four rushing TDs in the victory. Issaquah (6-3) hasn’t lost since.
By Lynn West
The oldest student publication in the state, Olympia High School’s (OHS) student newspaper, The Olympus, has continued to evolve in its 100-year history. At a recent Tuesday afternoon class, Erin Snodgrass, co-editor in chief, led the 30 journalism students through the intricacies of Adobe In Design.
Olympus staffers at the turn of the 20th center would surely be mind-boggled by 21st century newspaper production methods.
The newspaper has transformed many times over the years. Formats have included a one-sheet newsletter, beautiful journals with cover art, yearbook type formats and traditional newspapers. Production has been weekly, monthly and quarterly. The current Olympus is an online publication with three or four print editions during each school year.
Brent Kabat, a journalism and social studies instructor, has been teaching and advising the Olympus staff for the past five years. He started out at Washington State University in the College of Communication, but decided that wasn’t the career path he would follow. However, what he learned in his own education, he is passing along to his students. Observing him in the classroom, it was evident that Kabat allows his student editors to lead.
“We have an exceptionally large class this year,” he told me. “Students have been paying more attention to the publication. I tell the students that they are reporting to the student body as an agent of the school and have to be critical, yet always keep fairness in mind.”
Erin Snodgrass kept this advice in mind last year when, as a staff writer, she worked on a piece about the new standardized test, The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. “It was an exciting story to write because it helped inform the student body and gave them the information they needed to make a decision on whether or not they should take the test,” she recalled. Erin, like all the student writers, anticipates mixed feedback on controversial issues.
Kabat said students always have strong opinions on relevant issues at OHS. However, after trying out The Opinionator, a full issue of opinions, the students themselves decided, “Once was enough after the feedback they received.” Kabat wants the students to keep exploring new ways to inform and entertain the Olympia High School student body, so the inclusion of more videos and new columns are common.
Lucas Schaefer, layout and online editor, was busy circling the computer classroom on the day I visited, assisting students who were formatting their first stories. Lucas is also the cartoonist for the publication. Loryn Parker, a junior at OHS, was working on her first story. “I am visiting clubs and interviewing members. So far I have notes on the Art, Pokemon and German Clubs.” Across the aisle, Dominik Parker told me he was taking the class to help him decide if a career in Communications was what he really wanted to pursue.
Leo Brine, co-editor in chief, is especially proud of a column called “loving with leo” that was pitched by last year’s editor Gabriella Capastani. “I liked writing that column because it was always something people talked about,” Leo said.
The Olympus is a publication people have talked about since 1904 according to its online masthead, and it has “over the years garnered high praise for its fine writing,” according to Jim Kainber in his book Olympia High School. A few years ago, a journalism student searched The Olympus archives for her senior project and found the earliest archived edition was published in 1914. She also organized several papers from the early 1900s. For example in 1918, the literary magazine format of the Olympus had an art nouveau cover, which according to Kainber is “one of the finest examples of cover art from the early days of the publication.”
Larry Brooke, who graduated from OHS in 1963, was glad he kept a copy of The Olympus from his senior year. “It came in handy when I chaired our 40th reunion,” he said. “I was just looking back at it recently and was reminded how extensively it covered the activities and achievements of our senior class, from academics to athletics, service to entertainment, honors to leadership.”
Larry also commented on the production of The Olympus during his high school years, “On the whole, through a lot of work by The Olympus staff who physically ‘cut and pasted’ all 28 pages of that edition, they captured the spirit of the Class of ’63 in a most memorable and enduring way.”
The physical paper copy of the 1963 Olympus newspaper is in its “yellowing state.” When the class of 2015 prepares for their reunions, they will only have to search computer files. The Olympus online editor uploads articles, as they are ready. The student body, therefore, has immediate access to current issues.
In 2015, The Olympus staff is rightfully proud of their publication, and under Brent Kabat’s leadership, they are continuing a long proud tradition.
Check out the current edition of this historical publication by visiting www.theolympus.net.
Submitted by Barb Lally for Rob Rice Homes
Rob Rice Homes has partnered with Sunset Air for decades to provide the best heating systems available for our homes. Matt Jones, new construction project manager for Sunset Air, explains why their heating systems are superior to others, both in technology and energy efficiency. Matt also provides tips to keep a heating system working well and a home comfortable for years. The partners who help build our homes share our high standards and provide the best product and craftsmanship to maintain the long lasting value of every Rob Rice Home.
From Matt Jones, Sunset Air:
One of the reasons Sunset Air has successfully worked with Rob Rice Homes for more than 20 years is that their core values mirror ours. We both genuinely care about doing the very best for homeowners by focusing on exceptional customer service during the building process and beyond.
Sunset Air and Rob Rice Homes are both local companies serving the greater South Sound community. The majority of our employees choose to live and raise their families right here. We strive to do right by our customers because we want to contribute and be positive members of our community.
Skilled technicians, better products
Sunset Air is proud of its highly-qualified installers who take pride in their craft. That pride goes into every one of the heating systems that we install for Rob Rice Homes. Our dynamic work force is always looking to improve and do our very best for the customer, it is a big part of what separates Sunset Air out from the rest.
We also strive to use the latest technology and techniques for the most efficient transfer of the heat from the furnace into the home. The furnaces we install are highly efficient for the most energy savings for those homeowners.
Sunset Air has been proud to partner with the manufacturer Carrier for nearly 40 years for our heating systems. Carrier is a superior brand that provides maximum comfort and efficiency for families. We install 96.5% energy-efficient gas furnaces on all of Rob Rice Homes that have natural gas. The furnace’s efficiency rating and its motor exceed what is accepted in most new homes. We certainly could install a lesser furnace, but we do not cut corners at Sunset Air. Neither does Rob Rice. We strive for quality and excellence in all we do.
The State of Washington Energy Code requires that all forced air heating duct-work systems are performance-tested for potential air leakage that could cost a homeowner a lot of money over the years.
Before we finalize our work on the system, a state certified Sunset Air technician tests the system by blocking all the registers and grills in the house and then pressurizing the duct-work to expose any potential areas of loss. We aim to meet and exceed the standards set by the state for an efficient system.
Customer Care and Ongoing Service
Once your Rob Rice Home is ready, we meet with customers for a complimentary new-homeowner orientation from Sunset Air.
During this appointment, a Sunset Air technician personally walks homeowners through the operation and use of their heating system. If needed, the tech shows them how to properly utilize their thermostat, how the fresh air system works and answers any questions they may have. We also provide fresh air filters for the new system.
A Rob Rice homeowner’s first year’s service maintenance visit is also provided by Sunset Air at no additional cost.
A continued service agreement through Sunset Air will help protect the investment in a new home and ensure the home’s comfort even during the harshest of weather conditions. Our service agreement provides a homeowner with premium pricing on filters, parts and discounted service labor rates during after hours service calls.
Protect Your System Long-term
The best way to keeping your heating system operating at its peak performance is through regular, yearly maintenance by a qualified and factory-trained company. There are also things that can be done on the homeowner’s end that are vitally important to the overall health and well being of the system.
A simple way to keep your system operating efficiently is to regularly change filters or clean them if they are washable. The build-up of dust particulate in the filter can be harmful. A clogged filter restricts airflow causing the furnace to work harder to move the air throughout the house. The stress on the furnace can lead to failures of mechanical parts down the road. Not only does it hinder the performance or longevity of the equipment, but it also hinders the indoor air quality and comfort in the house.
If the homeowners have a heat pump, I recommend they check the area around the heat pump. Clear the heat pump of any debris and make sure any bushes or trees are cut back away from it at least one foot.
Sunset Air stands out in our commitment to the customer beginning with the very early stages of a project. We focus on a good design of the heating system to ensure comfort and efficiency for the homeowners for many years. We strive for excellence in the installation of our systems in every Rob Rice Home.
A homeowner can be assured that their heating system is exceptional, one that matches the quality of everything that contributes to a superior Rob Rice Home.
Rob Rice is Thurston County’s largest local home builder and was voted the Best of South Sound for 2013 and 2014. He and his wife Helena live in Olympia with their two sons, Alex Michael and Carson. Rob is a graduate of Washington State University with degrees in construction management and architecture.
For more information about a Rob Rice Homes community please visit our website
Submitted by Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton
Belle is a beautiful black Labrador Retriever mix. She is 4 years old and has been spayed. Belle is a sweet girl who needs a patient, active owner who can give her plenty of exercise and training. Her previous owner says that Belle is good with kids but because of her size and strength we recommend no small children.
Belle has a strong prey drive so she would not be a good candidate for a farm with small livestock, rabbits, or chickens. If you are looking for a young, sturdy girl who can keep up with you on your daily runs or biking, Belle is ready to join you.
We have many great dogs and always need volunteers. To see all our current dogs, visit www.adoptapet-wa.org , our Facebook at “Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton Washington” or at the shelter on Jensen Road in Shelton. Our contact information is www.adoptapet-wa.org or contact us at email@example.com or (360) 432-3091.
By Grant Clark
At the conclusion of the championship match between North Thurston and Central Kitsap at the 3A Narrows League volleyball tournament, the names of the players selected for all-league honors were revealed to the crowd.
Rams senior outside hitter Alex Porter figured she would end up on the second team.
North Thurston coach Jackie Meyer was the first to receive accolades, being honored as the league’s 2015 coach of the year.
It did not end there for the Rams. The next announcement was for the league’s MVP. Porter has done plenty of things right this volleyball season – predicting the seasonal awards is not one of them.
After leading North Thurston to a share of the regular season league championship, Porter took home the top honors as 3A Narrows League MVP.
“I didn’t expect that at all,” Porter said. “I thought I was going to get second team and that would have been cool. I didn’t expect to be MVP. I never even thought I would be first team.”
The Rams lost five starters from last year’s squad which advanced to the state tournament. There were plenty of voids heading into this season and Porter filled a lot of them, an accomplishment that was not lost on the league’s coaches.
“Alex is an old school athlete. She’s just very intense, just a very focused player,” Meyer said. “Some people might think she’s not paying attention, but she’s just a really driven, focus player.”
Senior setter Kailey Losey and junior middle blocker Olivia Fairchild were both named to the first team, while senior defensive specialist Morgan Stroud and senior outside hitter Bayley Colombo earned second team and honorable mention honors, respectively.
The copious amount of awards helped ease the pain of dropping the league tournament title match to Central Kitsap (16-1). The Cougars won 3-1 (20-25, 18-25, 25-22, 16-25).
“The difference was they were hitting and we weren’t,” said Meyer, whose team split the two regular season meetings with Central Kitsap. “We didn’t come out hitting like we normally do.”
The Rams (13-2) never really seemed to find a groove during the first two games. The Cougars never trailed in game one, using a 9-2 run to grab a 24-14 lead. North Thurston was able to string together a 5-0 run of its own, getting blocks from Porter and Fairchild, but it only seemed to postpone the inevitable as a kill from Katie Thorsen gave Central Kitsap the win, 25-20.
Outside an early 2-2 tie, the Cougars controlled the second game from start to finish, using runs of 6-0 and 8-0 to establish a 22-16 lead before a Rams attack error ended the game, 25-18.
“We work more as a unit when we are talking and we just kind of fell flat today,” Porter said. “I won’t deny it. Central Kitsap was good today. They brought it. We just weren’t on our game tonight.”
North Thurston briefly got back on track in the third game, which featured 14 ties. Fairchild registered back-to-back kills to put the Rams up 22-19 and then ended it with her fifth kill of the game, giving North Thurston the 25-22 win.
However, the momentum did not carry over into game four, as Central Kitsap went on runs of 6-0, 5-0 and 9-1 to win 25-16.
The Rams will enter the 3A Southwest District 4 tournament as the Narrows League’s No. 2 seed. They open district play against Sumner (8-7) at 3:30 p.m. on November 6 at Auburn Mountainview High School.
“We were the two seed last year and it worked out well for us,” Meyer said. “We are going to play competitive teams at district and this was good practice. I like having this league tournament because you’re not sitting around for two weeks waiting for districts to start.”
The top six teams out of the district advance to the state tournament. North Thurston finished fourth in last year’s district tournament.
“It’s really good to be experienced because I’m not going into (the playoffs) nervous anymore,” Porter said. “I know what to expect when I go out there. Some of the underclassmen weren’t there last year. They don’t know what’s about to happen. The senior leadership is going to have to come in big and we are going to have to show them that this is serious now. League is over and if we want to make it to state again, this is the time we have to start pushing.”
North Thurston is looking to advance to state for the third time over the last five seasons. The Rams finished seventh in state last year and were the state runner-ups in 2012.
“It basically started with the seniors last year. They kind of left a legacy for us seven seniors this year,” Porter said. “We want to follow what they gave us last year because they got us to state. So, our goal when the season started was to get this year’s underclassmen there too.”
By Melanie Kallas Ricklefs
Every parent wants to raise their children to be responsible and productive, and to stay out of trouble. Len and Colleen Hunter wanted the same for their three boys, and their unique solution became a family business that has thrived for decades.
In 1980, Len and Colleen established Lynch Creek Farm, an organic vegetable farm where their children helped to plant, grow, and harvest vegetables. In the beginning, they sold their produce at the Shelton Farmers Market. In 1984, they moved to the Olympia Farmers Market, and you will still find their stall there today.
Lynch Creek Farm has evolved quite a bit since the early days. They no longer grow organic produce. These days they are taking time to stop and smell the roses… well, actually, the dahlias. They sell tubers in the spring and gorgeous bouquets in the summer and fall. Toward the holiday season, they turn their attention to evergreen products. They handcraft spectacular holiday wreaths that are not only beautifully decorated, but they are full, fragrant, and fresh from the forest.
The Hunters began making floral arrangements and holiday wreaths in the early 1990s. According to Andy Hunter, the couple’s youngest son, “making wreaths was a very small part of what was essentially a hobby farm” started by his parents. Andy was a talented wreath maker right from the start, and he enjoyed creating new designs. When Andy came home from college, he jumped right back into the family business, and made wreaths his focus. “It seemed like a natural fit to take the wreath business to the next level,” said Andy.
In 1998, Andy produced a color catalogue to advertise his wreaths, and started a mail order business while maintaining his stall at the Olympia Farmers Market. The mail order business was a success from the beginning, but Andy knew he had to take the business online if he wanted it to prosper. He elicited the help of his childhood friend, Michael Maddux, to create a website for his wreaths, and the business took off from there.
Today, Lynch Creek Farm sells enchanting wreaths, stunning centerpieces, decorative tabletop trees, garlands, and more. They offer unique products for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah. Whether you are looking to decorate your home or office, or to send holiday gifts to friends and family, you won’t want to miss the handcrafted products at Lynch Creek Farm.
If you are like me, with family members scattered across the country, shopping for the holidays just got easier. Lynch Creek Farm ships their evergreen products free of charge anywhere in the contiguous United States, and they will arrive fresh and fragrant in a festive red box. You can even include a greeting card.
Lynch Creek Farm not only sells holiday gifts for individuals, but can also handle large corporate orders. If you want to let your clients or employees know how much you appreciate them this holiday season, Lynch Creek Farm will send the products of your choice to their doorsteps along with your holiday greetings.
If fundraising is a part of your holiday plans, Lynch Creek Farm can help with that, too. You can plan a fundraiser with no minimum orders, no cut-off dates, no product distribution, and no paperwork for you. The farm will ship wreaths directly to your supporters, or their gift recipients, while you sit home sipping cocoa. The best part of the deal is that the farm gives you 20% of each sale.
While the farm ships their products all over the country, they still embody the ethics of a small business. They are committed to making the highest quality products while maintaining the level of customer service you expect from a family business. Simply put, they love to make the holidays special for their customers.
Lynch Creek Farm provides work for over 100 seasonal employees each year, including local high school students. What’s more, the farm treats their employees so well, that many of them return every holiday season. Shannon Horsely, a dedicated employee at the farm, described the friendly atmosphere perfectly when she said, “It’s like a big family.”
One of the aspects of Lynch Creek Farm I admire most is their environmental ethic. They started as an organic farm before most people even thought about organics, and their evergreen products are made from sustainably harvested boughs. They never cut down trees to create their evergreen products. In fact, they encourage landowners to grow trees for boughs rather than clearing the land for timber. The trees continue to grow while providing boughs for the farm’s evergreen products year after year.
Everyone loves to see a local family business succeed. Through a series of adaptations, and ingenuity, Lynch Creek Farm has not only succeeded, it has blossomed.
Submitted by Alaffia
Alaffia, a socially committed organization working to alleviate poverty in West Africa, recently launched a new line of accessories called Queen Alaffia. Every piece in the collection is a one of a kind work of art handmade at the Alaffia Artisan Center in Sokodé, Togo, West Africa. The center rehabilitates women who fell prey to the sex trade because of extreme poverty and circumstances beyond their control. Queen Alaffia offers a stable income and respectable environment so the women will never again need to sell their bodies to provide for themselves and their families.
Kafui, a Queen Alaffia artisan, dropped out of school after the 7th grade and joined a seamstress apprentice program. She was able to open a shop, but was the victim of several break-ins and thefts. Kafui resorted to prostitution in order to support herself and her two children. She has had an extremely difficult life; most of her family is no longer alive and she became pregnant when she was just a teenager after being raped. In spite of the hardships, she is working to better her life and vows she “will never go back” to prostitution, as Queen Alaffia has given her an opportunity she never imagined.
The line features accessories made with vibrant, hand-printed West African fabrics, including purses and bags, scarves, hair accessories, a sun hat, and a wallet. The full selection can be viewed at www.QueenAlaffia.com.
About Alaffia: Alaffia, located in Olympia, Washington and Togo, West Africa, was founded in 2004 to alleviate poverty and empower communities in West Africa through the fair trade of indigenous resources. The raw ingredients used in their body care products are handcrafted using traditional techniques at cooperatives in Togo, which employ over 500 women. The finished products are produced in Olympia. Alaffia’s sales are reinvested into West African communities through Empowerment Projects, which aim to advance gender equality and eradicate poverty. Alaffia’s product lines include Alaffia, Authentic, Everyday Shea, Everyday Coconut, Beautiful Curls, and Queen Alaffia. Alaffia was named Whole Foods Market’s 2014 Supplier of the Year and Thurston County’s 2014 Employer of the Year.
Submitted by the City of Olympia
Do you live, work or visit downtown Olympia? We want to know how safe you feel when you’re downtown and what you think should be done to make it better. Join this important online discussion at OlySpeaks.org now through November 12. Your input will be used to shape the City’s new Downtown Strategy and will help form questions and activities for the first Downtown Strategy workshop, Saturday, November 21 from 9:30 – Noon at the Olympia Center.
When we talk to people about downtown Olympia, safety is a topic that comes up frequently. Although the chance of being the victim of a violent crime committed by a stranger in downtown is extremely rare, how safe and comfortable people feel in downtown is important. We will continue to address the real or perceived safety of downtown visitors, residents, businesses and employees as part of the Downtown Strategy.
The Downtown Strategy will identify priorities: actions we take over the next 5-6 years to move our community vision for downtown forward. This vision includes creating a more walkable and attractive urban environment with thriving retail shopping, arts & entertainment, employment and housing options. Find out more at http://olympiawa.gov/DTS.
When it comes to buying a house, misinformation and confusion are everywhere, says Chris Johns, a Mortgage Consultant with On Q Financial in Olympia. “People often think that they can’t afford a home because they don’t have a down payment saved or they just simply don’t know what their mortgage payment would be,” he says. “Most of the home buyers interested in purchasing just do not have the correct information that they need to take the first step.”
“Let’s say you are looking at a $200,000 home,” continues Johns. “What loan program is best for you and why? Should you go FHA, Conventional, or USDA? How do the payments and terms differ with each program? These are questions that take me about 15-20 minutes to explain if I can get a chance to sit down with people. Often we find home buyers that sit on the fence forever because they don’t know who to talk with or who to trust.”
Johns wants to solve that problem through education and coaching. “I like to take complicated concepts and break them down for people,” he says. “There’s so much anxiety and bad information out there. Home buyers often have their co-workers, Dad, and neighbor all giving them different advice at the same time and they get overwhelmed.”
Besides providing knowledge and tools needed to purchase a home, Johns is also very excited to talk with folks about refinancing to a 15-year loan. “Believe it or not, there’s still a significant conversation happening around these 15-year loans,” he says. “It’s really worth looking at. I would like to volunteer myself and invite people to do a mortgage check-up with me to find out if a 15-year loan is right for them. The idea of true home ownership is possible within 15 years for a lot of people. In fact, my wife Annie and I just closed on a 15-year refinance on our own home last month. It makes too much sense with these low rates not to.”
It undoubtedly helps that Johns spent six years in real estate as a licensed broker in the Olympia area. “I can relate very well, not only to the sales aspect that real estate agents deal with, but the emotional aspects that come up with buying and selling,” he says. “I have a very good working knowledge of the real estate contract forms and paperwork involved in closing a deal.”
Prior to joining On Q Financial in 2014, Johns was a Mortgage Consultant for Umpqua Bank in Thurston County. He’s been a loan officer since 2004. He truly appreciates many of the aspects of On Q Financial, including its size, flexibility, and emphasis on technology.
“As a national mortgage company, On Q Financial is small enough to be nimble and roll with the punches as opposed to many of the larger banks,” he says. “It often takes me 15 minutes to get answers from my underwriting, marketing, or compliance teams as opposed to several days. On a national level, our company closes about 700-800 loans a month. We’re big enough to provide as good a rate as anybody but small enough to know underwriters personally, to be able to speak openly, and to get loans started quicker.” That means they can address service issues that real estate agents get frustrated with, he says, and create a comparatively quick mortgage process.
Clients like Sam Thomassen appreciate such efficiency. “My wife and I used Chris for the purchase of our new home in March, 2015,” he says. “Chris provided a helpful timeline for the process, assisted us in collecting the proper documentation for underwriting, and best of all, we were all set to close on the house within 20 days from our application. Thanks to Chris we had the option to close on the house early and get a jump start on moving in!”
Flexibility also means that On Q is well-positioned to deal with the changes brought about by TRID, aka the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure that went into effect on October 3, 2015. Never heard of it? You’re not alone. In a nutshell, in November 2013, the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau integrated two acts: the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). The result is new paperwork requirements for real estate transactions, including waiting periods that previously didn’t exist. “Before, you could show up at escrow and sign a settlement statement at closing, which is a breakdown of all the fees,” says Johns. “Now a home buyer will need this Closing Disclosure in-hand three days before loan documents can even be printed and delivered to escrow. At On Q Financial, our specialty is to be able to adapt to these kinds of changes.”
He also appreciates the company’s embrace of current technology. “We are on the cutting edge in terms of integrating some of the technology advances,” he says. “We have an incredibly strong platform to cater to the millennial population, that 25- to 35-year-old demographic, with things like electronically signed loan documents. Having younger, tech-minded upper management, we’ve been able to keep up and stay very relevant in the mortgage industry.”
As a result of working with so many tech-savvy home buyers, he says, “I end up texting a lot of my clients. I’ve had one to two hour-long text conversations in the evenings before and it always shows my clients how much I care about them. Some home buyers don’t want to text at all, and other demographics don’t like to pick up the phone.” Being able to provide status updates by text message helps to speed up the process. “We have industry-leading turnaround times for processing and underwriting and we have great people and systems in place to make that happen.”
Jake Owens was one client who benefitted from the emphasis on communication. “Chris was constantly in contact with both my wife and I, either through email, text, or call,” says Owens. “He never left us guessing what was going on. Even during times of lull during the process, he was still contacting us, asking if we had questions or if we were in need of anything.” Owens has since recommended Johns to several of his friends and family members.
That should make Johns happy. His goal, he says, is to replace the multiple sources of dubious advice with one reliable resource. “The thing I’m most passionate about is educating my clients.”
For more information about Chris Johns and On Q Financial, visit www.chrisjohns.onqolympia.com or call (360) 347-8000.
Election season is upon us and it can be as turbulent as a Pacific Northwest autumn. With races for city, county, and state officials, referendums, initiatives, and an 87 page Voters’ Pamphlet, voters can easily find themselves overwhelmed.
National voter turnout for the 2012 Presidential election was only 57.5% and that was after almost $2 billion in political advertising. With many local options on the table at this year’s November 3 General Election, local voters can turn to Thurston Community Television (TCTV) to combat voter exhaustion.
From humble beginnings as an informal study group in 1982, TCTV has grown into a non-profit dedicated and “unequivocally committed to the expression of lawful free speech. Our responsibility is to assist, to the best of our abilities, all residents, nonprofit organizations, schools, and local government agencies in Thurston County in the production of their programs…We hope that this will lead to entertaining, diverse, informative, challenging, and interesting video that, in the aggregate, will appeal to a wide spectrum of the community.”
Public Access Manager Robert Kam explains that they have partnered with the League of Women Voters to hold candidate forums for decades. They stress that “everyone on the ballot is invited to participate; our goal is to educate the voters not to persuade or advertise a candidate or issue.”
Because of this inclusive attitude, TCTV won a ‘Best of the Northwest’ from the Alliance for Community Media, Northwest region, and a national ‘Hometown Video Award’ from the national Alliance for Community Media for coverage of election night 2014.
“TCTV allows citizens of Thurston County to submit programming to air on channel 22 for free; no membership required. We also have equipment for check out and a live HD television studio any member of TCTV can use as much as they want,” shares Kam. They offer their production services to local events such as Procession of the Species, SPSCC and Saint Martin’s University graduations, the Olympic Air Show, and many others.
This year’s coverage includes a ‘Video Voter’s Guide,’ as well as candidate forums. They can be watched on channel 77 eight times a month or streamed through TCTV’s YouTube page. Live election night coverage starts on November 3 at 8:00 p.m. on TCTV channel 22 or radio’s KAOS 89.3 FM.
Follow all of TCTV’s programming, on both sides of the camera, via their Facebook page or website’s News and Events page. Contact their offices at 360-956-3100 with questions about membership or services.
Don’t let information overload keep you from making your voice heard in the 2015 election cycle. Let TCTV help you make the informed choice for our region.
Upcoming Voter’s Guide showings (channel 77)
Friday, October 30 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 31 at 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 1 at 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Monday, November 2 at 12:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
League of Women Voters 2015 Candidate Forums
Submitted by Office of the Governor
Gov. Jay Inslee and First Lady Trudi Inslee, who will assume the identities of Batman and Robin for Halloween, and other Inslee family superheroes welcome children to join them at the Executive Residence for superhero-themed Halloween trick-or-treating. Doors open to the public at 6:00 p.m.
When: Saturday, October 31 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Where: Executive Residence (map)