I've been working on a blog lately that stemmed from an archaeological project are Priest Point Park. It was under wraps for a while, because it revealed the location of a pile of beach sediment containing artifacts (broken glass mostly, not of value to anyone but archaeologists, and not even to all archaeologists, but I didn't want to invite in the looters and treasure-seekers).
Anyway, thanks to dozens of volunteers working for the past 7 Saturdays, the pile is gone, but the blog remains. We're working on analyzing the artifacts, which appear to be from both tribal and early European settlement here, and will post about that, as well as other archaeological topics in the area. I'm not against including some history, but there are already several great blogs that do that.
I'm too busy (or lazy) to link here every time there's a new entry, but if you want to check it out, it's called ArchaeOlygy, and it is at archaeolygy.blogspot.com. If the powers that be here at Olyblog want to add it to the list, that's fine.
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I have spent the overwhelming majority of the days of my life within Olympia, most of which were very close to downtown. I have run and cycled almost daily through our downtown. I have a lot of great memories and think it is a unique place. The troubles with our core have been well documented. Some simply deny it, others turn their backs and spend their time elsewhere. I, personally, don't blame the folks who dont come down anymore. It's just not a nice place. The citizens of this city and its Police Department no longer own the streets. We have surrendered them to dope dealers and street criminals. I literally can not take my daily jog through town without being confronted, blocked, or otherwise bothered by some degenerate. I don't want to stop at crosswalks due to being sorrounded by street urchins and other little criminals. I am a healthy man, in decent shape, and I try to carry myself with confidence. I have been pushed, screamed at, followed, blocked, and otherwise bothered by the legions of street life. I don't care why they are there, I don't care if they want to hang out, I just don't want them bothering me. I did not adopt them. They are not productive members of this community. I don't want them pissing in doorways (and no, a public bathroom is not the answer, if these people have to walk two blocks to take a leak they simply won't do it). I don't want them approaching me with such confidance and hubris that they think they can block my way or start to scream about 'kicking my ass' because I didn't acknowledge then by giving up some of my very hard earned money. We have lost downtown, it was a very unique place, it was special. I loved it. I can hardly stand it anymore. We have made it really easy to be a street criminal in this town. We have fallen down on our very first responsibility, public safety. I'm sure this will elicit a lot of the typical carping about 'root causes' and 'social services'. Google Plus One Facebook Like
Thursday November 14th, 2013 was the final day of test fishing for South Sound fall chum at Apple Cove Point. They got a bit of a late start after some mechanical problems with the skiff, but eventually managed to get in 5 sets. Catches were low, as might be expected for week 46. They caught 143 chum (plus 2 coho and 3 immature Chinook) in 5 sets, for a catch-per-set of just 29 chum.
They also had a sea lion active in the seine during at least two of the sets (including the day’s biggest set). The proportion of females was about the same as last week, 58%. The age distribution for the catch was 3 year old at 34.5%, 4 year old at 63.8%, and 5 year old at 1.7%.
Watch this video of the South Sound Fall Chum Test Fishery at Apple Cove :
WDFW had purse seine openings on Monday (11-11-2013) and Wednesday (11-13-2013) and caught a total of 72K chum with 84 purse seine landings. Both days the fleet was split pretty evenly between areas 10 and 11. On Monday 11-11-2013 the larger catches were in area 11 but Wednesday 11-13-2013 they were pretty much equal. WDFW had observers out on the boats during Wednesday’s fishery and the largest set they saw was for 500 fish in area 11. WDFW observed 9 sets is area 10 of which 3 were about 200 fish, 5 were for 50-100 fish and 1 was a water haul. WDFW commercial chum catch to date was estimated to be at 225K.
Apple Cove Test fishery ISU models ranged from 543K to 637K. The ISU models using WDFW purse seine catch data are a bit higher than the Test Fishery’s. They range from 652-720K. Regional catches for Tribes appeared to decline through out the Puget Sound with the exception of Squaxin Island Tribe. Puyallup reported that there are very few chum returning to the river. Winter chum are beginning to show up in the Nisqually. Current catch for Squaxin Island Tribe as of November 16th is at 67, 071 chum.
Week 46 Puget Sound Fall Chum Runsize was updated to 550K, down from last weeks update of 600k.
Totten Inlet and Skookum Inlet are at escapement. The last Kennedy Creek stream survey on November 14th resulted in 11,890 live and 1,882 dead. We are seeing a good number of chum in Eld Inlet as well as in Perry, McLane, and Swift creeks. Eld is well on its way to escapement.
By Stacy Fisher
There is a race to build the world’s largest observation wheel (think Ferris wheel). The “High Roller,” being built in Las Vegas, will soar into the sky an epic 550 feet. That puts the High Roller nine feet taller than its closest competitor, the Singapore Flyer, and 100 feet taller than its London rival.
Our local ties to the High Roller are closer than you may think. Engineers from Olympia based SCJ Alliance have been instrumental in the design and implementation of this enormous project, which plans to open by spring 2014.
The Wheel Experience
This is not your carnival Ferris wheel. Appropriately called an “observation wheel,” It is being built for Caesars Entertainment Corporation and will dominate the strip skyline. The size of this wheel seems unreal, but this is Las Vegas after all.
The wheel will have 28 air-conditioned bubble-like cabins capable of accommodating 40 people and each weighing 44,000 pounds. Each 225 square foot cabin has 300 square feet of glass and is will be equipped with eight flat screen televisions. A trip around the wheel is expected to take 30 minutes.
The design differs from a traditional Ferris wheel in that the cabins ride on the outside of the wheel while the floor of the cabins remains parallel to the ground. “When the wheel goes around, the cabin moves on a bearing. So it’s rotating, but you don’t feel it,” explains Perry Shea, PE, and co-founder of SCJ Alliance.
An International Partnership
The design of these spherical cabins is an important engineering achievement and an example of a successful international partnership between SCJ Alliance and Leitner POMA of America (LPOA) whose parent company is based in France. This team is responsible for the design and delivery of the 28 cabins.
“Our role was to lead several key design components for the cabins on the wheel. And because LPOA had provided cabins for ski resorts, the London Eye and such, they had the experience and expertise to construct and fabricate these unique cabins. But this is a little different type of cabin, more of an entertainment ride. So with LPOA and SCJ both on the team, we collectively had the technology and fabrication abilities to do this,” explains Shea.
SCJ Alliance participated in the initial bid and proposal process that helped secure the contract from Caesars Entertainment Corporation. “We had four weeks to put together the proposal, and that created a lot of energy. We led that effort and participated in including the costing proposal,” comments Shea.
Once the project was approved, the SCJ Alliance team got to work. Their Colorado office, doing business as Engineering Specialties Group, took the lead under the direction of Office Principal Mike Deiparine, PE and Jamie Bunch, PE. “We were responsible for the audio/video system and the heating and cooling, which is significant especially in Vegas. We helped with the 3D modeling and designing the sphere of the cabins. We’ve been working on this for over two years. The cabins are expected to be delivered in November” says Shea.
Shea continues, “The glass came from Italy, the interior shell from France, the bearings from Asia, most of the steel and many of the components from LPOA’s Grand Junction, CO facility – it really is an international project. It was definitely an interesting team and dynamic. We have assisted with the testing procedures and are leading the Operations and Maintenance documents which has been pretty fun.”
Working on such high profile projects is not new to the local Olympia firm. Shea explains, “Our core practice is in the Puget Sound area, but we look for opportunities to find unique and challenging projects. It creates synergy in the office, gives folks exposure to good projects and creates a good environment in the office that we are not a static firm. We really love working on high profile projects. We like variety.”
The magnitude of the High Roller is almost unthinkable, and such a project required a creative engineering answer. “There is not something that you can go to and just replicate. This was really taking a concept and turning it into a reality without any other type of example. It took a lot of iterations and intellectual learning and experience to figure this out and the partnership with LPOA was significant,” comments Shea.
To read more about SCJ Alliance’s recent achievement click here.
If you don't read The Volcano, or follow the ongoing reviews of local theater and visual art on Alex Clayton's blog - he has an interesting article this week on a guerilla artist who installs large pieces of uncommissioned sculpture in out of the way locations in Olympia. Here's one that's supposed to be somewhere under a local freeway...
This photo looked so impressive that I started to wonder if the whole story was a piece of conceptual art, accompanied with some work in Photoshop... (Has anyone seen one of these around town?)
By Tom Rohrer
A veteran of the national amateur tournament circuit, Gentry repeated as the 2A Evergreen League and District 4 Champion following an impressive regular season where he helped lead Capital to a 9-0 league record.
Through his performance at the district tournament, Gentry was able to secure a berth in the 2A State Tennis Tournament, which will be held in Seattle in May 2014.
Last Spring, Gentry found himself in the 2A state finals match, where he faced off against Avery West, then a junior at Sehome High School in Bellingham. West would eventually defeat Gentry and a rematch in 2014 is a distinct possibility between two of the top players in the state, regardless of classification.
Gentry, who practices at Capitol City Tennis and twice a week in Bellevue, has played in US national tournaments for most of his life, garnering the long and athletic sophomore interest from a number of Division I universities, including the University of Southern California.
This year, Gentry will be joined by some of his teammates at the state tournament. The doubles duo of sophomore Travis Miller and senior Doug Doegnis also came away victorious in the league and district tournaments to qualify for the state affair in late spring.
Besides losses to perennial 4A powers Bellarmine Prep and Olympia, the Cougars went through the season unscathed, with the Fall slate culminating in Gentry’s straight sets victory over Tumwater’s David Granero and Doegnis and Miller’s victory over Jimmy Do and Noah Durette of Black Hills High School in the District Championships held at Capitol City Tennis Center in Tumwater.
Gentry stated, in an interview with ThurstonTalk.com last year, that his goal was to win the state championship as a freshmen. Having come so close already to accomplishing this lofty goal, Gentry is confident he can live up to his high expectations.
“The goal hasn’t changed from last year, and I’m focused on winning the whole thing,” said Gentry, who has grown several inches since his freshmen year. “It certainly is motivating, getting all the way to the finals and not winning. It wasn’t a fun feeling, but I know what to expect. I know who will be at the tournament more or less.”
Miller qualified for state as Capital’s number two singles player a year ago, but learned of his eligibility only days before the tournament. Due to educational engagements, Miller was unable to participate, leaving Gentry as the school’s only represented player.
Heading into the 2013 season, Doegnis’s partner from 2012 did not show up for the team’s early practices. Longtime CHS head coach Tommy Alongi suggested the two talented players become partners. At first, it was a challenging transition for Miller, but he has quickly acclimated to the doubles game and his partner’s style of play.
“It was weird, mostly because I think before that I had played doubles like one time before,” said Miller, who’s older brother Andrew throws the hammer for the track and field team at the University of Indiana. “Doug is an easy partner to play with. The first match was a little iffy in terms of just getting the strategy down, but after that, it’s been pretty smooth.”
The three state bound players were part of a determined and disciplined CHS team that returned a majority of the varsity members from a year ago. Prior to the start of the season the CHS team was subjected to cuts, allowing the remaining players to play against serious minded and talented teammates at practice every day.
“Practices weren’t as goofy this season, and everyone seemed a lot more focused,” added Gentry. “Everyone got a lot better during the season.”
One of those who improved the most was Miller. He described himself as someone who hadn’t taken the sport seriously before the 2013 season.
“That’s one thing I’ve noticed this year, just that I’m becoming more serious in my approach to tennis,” said Miller, who, along with Gentry, will compete for the CHS basketball program this winter. “Playing more, practicing specific things more, that has helped a lot.”
One of Miller’s top resources for instruction is Gentry, who competes against some of the state’s best players under the watchful eye of high level instructors on his trips up to Bellevue.
“He is a guy who knows the game like nobody I’ve ever known,” said Miller of his friend and teammate. “Why wouldn’t I ask him questions?”
“If I get done with a match before Travis, I’ll come over, maybe give him a small tip on who he’s playing against,” said Gentry. “My mom and I worked with Miller after he hadn’t played for a while, and he’s been improving ever since.”
Doegnis was unavailable for comment on this story as an illness kept him out of school the day of the interview. Through comments from Gentry and Miller, it’s easy to determine what kind of student-athlete Doegnis is and the example he has set for the other members of the team.
“He’s calm, cool and collected on the court, but off he has a goofy personality. He’s very funny,” said Gentry of Doegnis. Gentry added that Doegnis is taking a full advanced academic schedule and has applied to such schools as the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
“(Doegnis) being lefty gives us balance on the court, and he’s always been a doubles player. He has the big shots, and I’m the consistent crafty partner,” said Miller of his doubles partner. “He has been a great partner and his focus has rubbed off me a little. Seeing how hard he’s worked in school, that’s another thing that I’ve focused on more as well.”
Gentry and Miller also credit Alongi for their success this season.
“We love Tommy,” said Gentry. “He brings a silly mentality but he still keeps you engaged.”
“He knows when we need to work harder and what not,” said Miller. “Practices are fun but we play hard.”
With a full basketball season ahead of them and months before the start of the state tournament, Miller and Gentry both keep perspective when talking about what will take place in May. However, their confidence will not waiver heading into the toughest competition in the state.
“It’s a while from now, but I just want to stay in shape, stay hitting as much as I can, and when hoop season is over, get back to a more consistent practice schedule,” said Miller. “At this point, we don’t know who we will be going against, but if we practice hard enough, we can win state.”
“The key is how you go into state, it’s how you prepare. You can get ten times better, or ten times worse than you were in the season,” said Gentry. “I think I’ve improved in everything and have refined everything in my game. That will be the difference.”
Submitted by Olympic National Forest
The Christmas season is fast approaching and you are invited to visit beautiful Olympic National Forest to enjoy the winter splendor and cut your own Christmas tree. “You-Cut” Christmas tree permits are available from now until December 24 at various locations around the Olympic Peninsula. The permits cost $5.00 each and credit cards are now accepted as well as cash and checks.
Permits are available during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, with special weekend hours at some locations. The permits are valid only in specified areas of Olympic National Forest. Maps and a list of cutting locations will be provided with each permit sale.
Please contact your local office for hours and additional information, as well as for current road and weather conditions. Please be prepared to drive in winter conditions, wear warm clothing, and bring extra food and water. Note that all offices will be closed on November 28 for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Francisca Romero, Teachers Union of El Salvador
In Spanish, with English translation
7:00 PM, Tuesday, November 19
Olympia Community Center, Room 103
222 Columbia St. NW
Also at noon, TESC, SEM 2, Room E3105
After winning the presidency five years ago, the FMLN party in El Salvador accelerated its work in support of poor and working-class Salvadorans, making medical care available and supporting school children. Francisca's grassroots organizing and her policy work with the oldest teachers' union in El Salvador has been vital to this social reform. The FMLN's programs can continue only if the party can hold the presidency in February 2014. Sponsored by Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) and the Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace (OMJP). Free and open to all.
We have produced out very first newsletter: ‘Imagine the Estuary: Where the River Meets the Sea.’ We will be producing a newsletter every season, four times a year. In this issue, you will find updates on our work, a report on water quality testing for the Deschutes watershed, the value of estuaries and ecosystem services, and ideas for the future.
To receive a mailed copy, and to support our mission, join DERT as a member. Below is the PDF version of our four-page newsletter. You’ll also find them around town!