Recent local blog posts

How Christmas Trees Can Help A Grieving Child

Thurston Talk - Sun, 11/06/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

Losing a parent is one of the most devastating things a child can experience. Yet it happens daily. In 2015, 84 kids and 54 families in Thurston, Mason, and Lewis counties turned to SoundCareKids in Olympia to navigate the tremendous weight that comes with the death of a significant person in their lives. This year, […]

Be On The Lookout: Sasquatch Summit 2016 Is Almost Here

Thurston Talk - Sun, 11/06/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

Every May 23, scientists release a list of newly discovered species. Reports estimate “that there may be roughly 10 million species on Earth, but only about 2 million species have been identified and named.” This means there are mysteries living in plain sight, just waiting to be discovered. Perhaps the biggest and best of these […]

Black Alliance of Thurston County Celebrates Work, Progress

Janine's Little Hollywood - Sat, 11/05/2016 - 7:24pm

Above: Dr. Karen Johnson, center, acknowledged the collective power of many individuals at the second annual founding celebration of the Black Alliance of Thurston County at Risen Faith Fellowship Church on Saturday afternoon. Left to right: Nat Jackson, Dr. Thelma Jackson, Barbara Clarkson (hidden behind Johnson), Rev. Charlotte Petty, Clinton Petty, Crystal Chaplin, Andre Thompson, and, standing with the assistance of a walker, Bryson Chaplin.
By Janine Gateswww.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.com
Community singing, thoughtful commentary, powerful testimony, and good food was plentiful at the second annual Black Alliance of Thurston County founding celebration at Risen Faith Fellowship Church on Saturday afternoon.
“It doesn’t take an awful lot of people to get a lot of work accomplished, but it does take a lot of heart,” said Dr. Karen Johnson, chair of the Alliance, who served as mistress of ceremonies for the event.
While the westside shooting of two, young African Americans, Andre Thompson and Bryson Chaplin, by an Olympia police officer in May 2015 was the catalyst for the group's formation, their work with law enforcement and the community has taken on a life of its own with a lot of effort and hard work by many individuals.
Special awards were given to Kathy Baros Friedt and Leslie Cushman, for their efforts organizing the Olympia Coalition for the Reform of Deadly Force Laws, the YWCA of Olympia’s Stand Against Racism efforts, Senator Karen Fraser and Olympia Police Chief Ronnie Roberts, and Olympia High School’s African American Alliance, which has held several conversational meetings about race.
Lacey Police Chief Dusty Pierpoint, who was not in uniform, addressed community questions and concerns about the crisis training and psychological testing of police officers, progress regarding fair and impartial policing, and how training about implicit bias can be effectively measured.
In law enforcement for over 30 years, Pierpoint acknowledged that police officers are dealing with difficult, community issues.
“We, as law enforcement, are being tasked with things we should not be. We are not mental health professionals, we’re not drug addiction professionals, we’re not marital counselors, we’re not homelessness experts, but that is who gets called. We are being tasked with things that the community should be dealing with, and it’s not happening. That’s why 30 percent of our jails hold those with mental illness who do not belong there,” Pierpoint said to a round of applause. 
Pierpoint also gave recent examples in which officers have used de-escalation techniques when responding to a call, but described how those incidents don’t get recognized or acknowledged in the media.
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate Erin Jones gave a powerful, personal talk about education and her first experiences with racism, and Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall spoke about voting and the importance of civic engagement. 
Hall assured the audience that vote tabulation is a safe and transparent process in Thurston County and across the country. She said there are nearly 175,000 registered voters in Thurston County, a record high. She also expects an 80 to 85 percent turnout rate in Thurston County. Ballots will start to be scanned on Monday. 
Part of the work of the Black Alliance resulted in the eventual passage of a bill that created the Joint Legislative Task Force on the Use of Deadly Force in Community Policing. That group's final meeting, which will include proposed recommendations to the governor, is November 21, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., John L. O’Brien Building, House Hearing Room A, at the Capitol Campus.
Among other activities, beginning in February 2017, the Black Alliance will collaborate with The Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation (OUUC) and The United Churches of Olympia to host a monthly film series and conversations about race. Films will be held the third Thursday of each month, 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., at the OUUC Sanctuary, 2315 Division St. NW, Olympia.
Perhaps the most poignant part of the afternoon, moving some to tears, was witnessing Bryson Chaplin standing, and then walking to the stage with the assistance of a walker, to be recognized with his family. Bryson still has the officer’s bullet lodged near his spine.
“This is a celebration of what faith and love and hope and determination can do,” said Johnson.
“I just want to say he came in a wheelchair, I prayed for him after church….Oh, give thanks up to the Lord for He is good,” praised Rev. Charlotte Petty.
For more photos and information about the Black Alliance of Thurston County, Karen Johnson, the Joint Legislative Task Force on the Use of Deadly Force in Community Policing, the Ad Hoc Committee on Police and Community Relations, Andre Thompson, Bryson Chaplin, and local groups working for racial justice, go to Little Hollywood, www.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.comand type key words into the search engine.
For more information about the Black Alliance of Thurston County, go to www.blackalliancethurston.org.
Above: Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate Erin Jones greets Drs. Sherman and Eve Beverly of Olympia at the second annual founding celebration of the Black Alliance of Thurston County on Saturday afternoon, where Jones gave a powerful, personal talk about education and her first experiences with racism.

Sean Gaskell Plays Music of the West African Kora

OlyBlog Home Page - Sat, 11/05/2016 - 12:47pm
Event:  Thu, 11/17/2016 - 7:30pm - 8:45pm

Asheville, NC transplant Sean Gaskell will give a performance and educational demonstration on the kora, an ancient 21-stringed harp from West Africa. The former Olympia resident will feature both traditional songs that are the heart of the kora repertoire and his own compositions. Sponsored by the Friends of the Olympia Library.

This free event will take place at the Olympia Library located at 313 8th Ave SE. Please call 360-352-0595 with any questions.

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WDFW Cancels 5 Days of Razor Clam Digging

Thurston Talk - Sat, 11/05/2016 - 8:23am

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has canceled five days (Nov. 12-16) from a razor clam dig that was tentatively planned at Twin Harbors and Long Beach, due to elevated marine toxin levels.  However, shellfish managers still hope to move forward with three days of […]

Spring-Green Gets to the Root of Proper Plant Feeding

Thurston Talk - Sat, 11/05/2016 - 5:00am

ThurstonTalk

All living things eat (in their own fashion!) but like humans around the holidays, they don’t always get the proper nutrients. While we can have Tums, vitamins, and New Year’s Resolutions, your home’s trees and shrubs sometimes need a little extra help. Studies from the University of Minnesota explain that “Trees require nutrients to live […]

Getting Mindful at Marshall Middle School

Thurston Talk - Sat, 11/05/2016 - 5:00am

ThurstonTalk

In all his years of teaching, Tom Condon had never seen anything like it. On multiple occasions the science, social studies, and horticulture instructor had attempted to get students to hike in silence, to no avail. Then, within the first hour of a three-part mindfulness training, he watched as parent volunteer Jessica Caldwell led a […]

Chambers Prairie Grange Rezone Passes Tumwater City Council

Janine's Little Hollywood - Fri, 11/04/2016 - 9:04pm

Above: Long shadows are cast across the Chambers Prairie Grange No. 191 on Thursday morning. The Tumwater City Council passed a rezone for the property, which stands at the crossroads of Yelm Highway and Henderson Boulevard. Owner Tom Schrader is now looking for a suitable local business that will honor the spirit of the rezone, and accommodate a community service in the 106 year old building.
By Janine Gateswww.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.com
“Within Grangers, ideas are born, and in the Grange, they become a reality,” reads a slogan in a vintage Washington State Granger’s guide. 
That slogan takes on special meaning now as Tom Schrader moves closer to his dream of converting the vacant 106 year old building into a vibrant place of community once again. 
Schrader and his wife, Tiffany, purchased the property last year and have worked with neighbors to address their concerns regarding its future use and traffic.
City of Tumwater council members passed a comprehensive plan amendment at their October 25 meeting, changing the zoning of the Chamber Prairie Grange, located at 1301 Yelm Highway SE, from single family low density (SFL) to community service (CS).
Under the SFL zoning, the former Grange could have been torn down to build four to seven homes or duplexes, among other uses. The zoning change to community service limits how commercial the site could be developed and protects the property from becoming a gas station, a mini-mart, or a five story commercial building.
Several spoke in support of the rezone, including Dave Nugent, president of The Farm homeowners association, an adjacent subdivision.
Nugent addressed the council, saying The Farm board is so confident in Schrader’s dedication to the Grange’s future that a developer agreement is no longer needed. To determine the project’s impact, Nugent asked for the city's assistance in monitoring traffic patterns before and after completion of the project.
Lloyd Flem of Olympia, a retired professional planner who served on Olympia’s planning committee in the 1990s, said the rezone was a perfect example of adaptive reuse to preserve an important piece of the community’s history.
Schrader announced at the meeting that he and his wife would most likely not sell the property as planned, but select and help manage the business that ends up there.
“We are really happy for everyone - neighbors, friends, family, and community - that we can now do something on that corner that will be a place for the community!” said Schrader after the meeting.
Schrader has tried to garner the interest of local businesses in his idea to convert the building, while retaining its historic character, into a coffee and sandwich shop and meeting place, but has found it to be a tough sell without knowing whether the rezone would pass.
“I have spoken with a lot of local businesses - Batdorf & Bronson, Meconi's, Vic's Pizza, Olympia Coffee Roasters, Budd Bay Cafe, Dancing Goats, Starbucks, Cutter's Point, and Royal Bean Coffee. I have also been contacted by Wendy's, Carl's Jr., Taco Time, and Chipotle too,” says Schrader, who quickly added that he is not interested in those latter fast food businesses.
“There wasn’t much teeth in my sales pitch or delivery before, but now I can move forward,” he said.
Before any further physical change to the building can take place, such as putting on a cedar shake roof, Schrader needs to have a tenant in place, so that changes are made to fit the specific requirements of the new business.
“In the next few weeks, my wife and I will decide the best fit for the property and our community. It's an important corner, and I want to be known as a responsible and sensible person. I want to see people there, and have it be a happy place!”
The Washington State Grange came into existence Sept. 10, 1889 as a protest by farmers against intolerable conditions – against poverty, extortionate taxes, freight rates and mortgage interest, and government control of state government by selfish interests.
The Chambers Prairie Grange, No. 191 Patrons of Husbandry principal place of business was the hall, located on what was then called Route #2 in Thurston County.
According to its nonprofit articles of incorporation, the Grange’s purpose was to “educate along the lines of social, moral, and educational betterment,” and “to inculcate into the minds of the membership the benefits of cooperation.”
Little did Grangers know that decades later, Tom Schrader, with his infectious energy and enthusiasm, would be saving their most treasured asset - their building - to become a place of community, cooperation, and commerce once again.
For more photos, history, and current information about the Chambers Prairie Grange, Tom Schrader, the rezone effort, go to Little Hollywood, www.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.comand type key words into the search engine. Previous stories are dated November 29, 2015 and May 28, 2016.
Above: Tom Schrader holds a Grange piece of history: an old Olympia Federal Savings and Loan Association check register, found in the Chambers Prairie Grange building after he took ownership of it last year.

Olympia Federal Savings Yelm Branch Honored With LEED Gold Certification

Thurston Talk - Fri, 11/04/2016 - 4:32pm

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by Olympia Federal Savings Olympia Federal Savings completed their new branch in Yelm in 2015.  The environmentally friendly office has now been honored with an award for its design.  The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification is an internationally recognized mark of excellence in green building.   LEED provides building owners […]

Time to Cast Your Vote for Fun

Thurston Talk - Fri, 11/04/2016 - 4:19pm

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by Lacey Parks and Recreation In case you haven’t noticed, we are in the midst of election time! Well, here’s something you can vote on that is truly fun and exciting to vote for, something that will put a smile on your face AND a smile on your neighbor’s face. We need your vote right […]

Anna Moschovakis: Week 7, 11/9, from 11:30-1:00 pm in the Recital Hall of the COM Building

Evergreen Artists Lecture Series - Fri, 11/04/2016 - 4:00pm

anna_mAnna Moschovakis’s most recent books are They and We Will Get Into Trouble for This (poems) and Bresson on Bresson (interviews with Robert Bresson, translated from the French). She is the author of two previous books of poems, You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake and I Have Not Been Able to Get Through to Everyone, as well as numerous chapbooks. Other translations include books by Annie Ernaux, Albert Cossery, and Marcelle Sauvageot.

She has received grants from the Howard Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts and The Fund for Poetry, the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, and residency fellowships from Ledig House/Writers OMI and The Edward Albee Foundation; in 2009 she was the recipient of an apexart “outbound” residency grant to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She teaches in the MFA programs at Pratt Institute and Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College and was the 2016 Holloway Lecturer in the Practice of Poetry at U.C. Berkeley. She is a longtime member of Brooklyn-based publishing collective Ugly Duckling Presse, for which she edits several books a year and heads up the Dossier Series of investigative texts, and she recently co-founded Bushel, an art and community space in Delhi, NY. Her first novel, The Rejection of the Progress of Love, is forthcoming from Coffee House Press.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Christmas Tree Permits Available from Olympic National Forest Beginning November 7

Thurston Talk - Fri, 11/04/2016 - 3:54pm

ThurstonTalk

The Olympic National Forest is pleased to announce that permits for Holiday Trees will be available for purchase starting Monday, November 7. Once you get your permit and map, you may cut your very own Holiday tree from designated areas in the Olympic National Forest. Permits are available during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, […]

Free Christmas Tree Permits Offered to 4th Grade Kids in Olympic National Forest

Thurston Talk - Fri, 11/04/2016 - 12:27pm

ThurstonTalk

The U.S. Forest Service is excited to announce that all fourth graders are eligible for a free holiday tree permit through the national Every Kid in a Park initiative. Olympic National Forest offices in Olympia, Quilcene, Forks, and Quinault will have these permits available through December 23th. Regular office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 […]

Blow Off Political Steam at Election Parties around Olympia

Thurston Talk - Fri, 11/04/2016 - 5:00am

ThurstonTalk

For what seems like an eternity, the talk around the nation, state and Thurston County has been about the 2016 elections. Every political commentator has been giving us endless analysis, while social media has transformed into a battleground of ideological arguments covering nearly every political topic. Good news – the end is very near!  On […]

Olympia Weekend Event Calendar

Thurston Talk - Fri, 11/04/2016 - 5:00am

ThurstonTalk

Hello November. We have arrived in the eleventh month of the year – a month of fall sports playoffs, falling leaves and preparations for holiday celebrations. This weekend, revel in the season (and the extra hour of sleep on Sunday) with some of the many activities, indoors and out, on our Events Calendar. Head outside on […]

9 Not-to-Miss Craft Fairs and Holiday Bazaars in Thurston County

Thurston Talk - Fri, 11/04/2016 - 5:00am

ThurstonTalk

Handmade items like soap and candles that you can’t help but sniff, fluffy scarves that you just love to run your fingers through, and the samples of homemade fudges and jellies that beg to be tasted—these are just a few reasons craft fairs and holiday bazaars are so popular. Craft fairs are also the perfect […]

Nostalgic Fox Theatre Brings the Golden Days Back to Downtown Centralia

Thurston Talk - Thu, 11/03/2016 - 11:51am

ThurstonTalk

There is something magical about the glow of a Marquee sign. It brings fond memories of soda fountains and the golden age of Hollywood. If you grew up in the area, you may remember when the historic Fox Theatre lit up South Tower Avenue in Centralia. Nestled in amidst the old shops, it was a […]

The Beauty of Shared Passion

South Sound Arts - Thu, 11/03/2016 - 11:34am
The Benaroya Collection preview showPublished in the Weekly Volcano, Nov. 3, 2016“Three Faces Mirrored,” painting on carved glass and wood by Ulrica Hydman Vallien, Promised gift of the Rebecca and Jack Benaroya Collection, courtesy Tacoma Art MuseumThe latest exhibition at Tacoma Art Museum, The Beauty of a Shared Passion: Highlights from the Rebecca and Jack Benaroya Collection, is but a small selection (65 major works of art, mostly from well-known Pacific Northwest artists) of the huge collection the Benaroya family has promised as a gift to TAM — a teaser, if you will.The family began their collection with a single purchase, Dale Chihuly’s blown glass “Tomato Red Basket Set.” From there, they built one of the largest collections of Northwest glass art to be found anywhere, including works by Ginny Ruffner, Lino Tagliapiertra, Cappy Thompson, William Morris and others. But their collection is not just glass. Far from it. This exhibition also includes paintings, drawings, photographs and sculpture by such artists as Kenneth Callahan, Morris Graves, Guy Anderson, Mark Toby and others. By any standard, it is an impressive collection.While nicely executed, many of the smaller glass vessels are either works or types of works that have been seen almost too much in the Northwest. Given that, there are still enough unusual and outstanding works to make this exhibition quite impressive.One piece that caught my eye and stays with me is Mary Van Cline’s “Fragment of Time,” a larger-than-life photograph on photo-sensitive glass of a lone woman standing in a bleak desert landscape. The wall text indicates that the image is probably a self-portrait of the artist. It is printed black and white on clear glass and repeated, slightly out of sync, behind the surface image, thus creating a doubled image. This image has a mysterious, haunting quality.Manuel Neri is an artist whose work I do not see enough of. His “Mujer Pegada Series I” (the title translates to “Sticky Woman” or “Woman Stuck”) is a cut bronze sculpture of a female figure partially embedded in a heavy sheet of metal and painted with broad slathers of dripping paint. The contrast of the smoothly modeled figure with large swaths of abstract-expressionist painting creates an intriguing tension between figure and ground and density and openness.There are several flower paintings by Graves and some drawings of birds by Callahan that are interesting because they are so atypical, but which are nowhere as interesting as their more signature works. More typical and outstanding in every way is an untitled oil painting by Callahan with large, energetic oval swipes of paint combined with more carefully painted rock-like formations.There are two imposing and heavy-appearing minimalist glass sculptures by the Czechoslovakian team of Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslave Brychtová. Their “Green Eye of the Pyramid III,” the first work of art to greet the visitor when walking into the gallery, is stately and evokes mystical symbols from ancient societies.Morris’s “Suspended Artifact” has a similar stateliness and mysticism with references to animals and Native American tribal art. I consider Morris the greatest of all the artists to emerge from the Northwest glass art movement centered around the Pilchuck school.Ulrica Hydman Vallien was a ceramicist and an outstanding draftman before she turned to glass. Her “Three Faces Mirrored” is painting on carved glass and wood. The painting, loosely drawn and mystical, reminds me of Fay Jones, but it is not derivative. These distorted female faces are of Vallien’s own invention.The gift of the Beneroya collection to TAM is a great gift to all of Tacoma and the South Sound.
Tacoma Art Museum, Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., through April 23, 2017, $15, third Thursday free 10 a.m.-8 p.m., 1701 Pacific Ave. Tacoma, http://www.tacomaartmuseum.org/

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

West Olympia Welcomes Don Juan’s Mexican Kitchen

Thurston Talk - Thu, 11/03/2016 - 5:00am

ThurstonTalk

Hear ye! Hear ye! It is official, after many months of patiently waiting, Thurston County is happy to celebrate the grand opening of Don Juan’s Mexican Kitchen at their second location off Harrison Avenue in West Olympia. “We are extremely thrilled to bring fresh, authentic Mexican food to Olympia,” says Don Juan’s general manager Connor […]

Coach Tamara Liska Leads Olympia High School Girls Soccer to the Post Season

Thurston Talk - Thu, 11/03/2016 - 5:00am

ThurstonTalk

Attitude and effort. Those are the two things Olympia High School girls soccer coach Tamara Liska tells her players they can control. It’s a lesson she learned from the late Todd McDougall, long-time baseball coach at Olympia High School whose legacy of inspiring kids is still going strong. “I tell them all you can control […]

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