Thurston Talk

Syndicate content
Community-Based Social Media
Updated: 7 hours 48 min ago

Adopt-a-Pet Dog of the Week

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 9:17pm



Submitted by Adopt-a-Pet Shelter

Fred (left) and Bernard

Fred (left) and Bernard

Adopt Fred and Bernard.  These big, beautiful and sweet brothers came to us together.  It seems the family was moving and didn’t

want to take the dogs with them. Both boys are 6 years old and have lived with the same family most of their lives.Fred is the more social and active of the two.  They love walks and do great on a leash.

It would be wonderful if these two could find a forever home together as they are very bonded. Come meet them at Adopt-a-Pet, an all-volunteer non-profit dog shelter.   Our hours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – appointments preferred.   Contact Adopt-A-Pet on Jensen Road in Shelton at or contact us at or (360) 432-3091.


Olympia High Student Espen Shackelford Serves as Legislative Page

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 8:48pm



Submitted by House Democratic Caucus

OHS Student Espen Shackelford worked as a page for Rep Chris Reykdal.

OHS Student Espen Shackelford worked as a page last week, sponsored by Rep. Chris Reykdal.

Espen Shackelford, a student at Olympia High school, served as a legislative page last week in the Washington State House of Representatives. Sponsored by Rep. Chris Reykdal (D-Tumwater), Espen is the son of Heather and David Shackelford of Olympia.

Espen took care of a variety of responsibilities while receiving a unique hands-on learning experience at the state capitol. Click here for more information about the House Page Program click here.

WDFW Approves Razor Clam Dig Starting Jan 30

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 8:17pm



Submitted by The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Razor Clamming Moclips (3)Diggers will have a chance to spice up their Super Bowl parties with some fresh razor clams during a dig beginning Jan. 30 on several ocean beaches.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the opening, which runs through Feb. 6, after marine toxin test results showed the clams are safe to eat. “Razor clam dip makes a scrumptious Super Bowl snack,” Ayres said. “Diggers can fill their buckets with clams Friday and Saturday ahead of the big game.” Razor clam recipes, including for clam dip, are available on WDFW’s webpage at

Several beaches will be open – but likely a little quiet – on Super Bowl Sunday, providing lots of elbow room for diggers who aren’t football fans, Ayres said.  Under state law, diggers are required to keep the first 15 clams they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

Upcoming digs are scheduled on the following dates, beaches and low tides:

  • Jan. 30, Friday; 3:43 p.m., 0.5 feet Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Jan. 31, Saturday; 4:32 p.m., 0.2 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Copalis
  • Feb. 1, Sunday; 5:15 p.m., 0.0 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Feb. 2, Monday; 5:53 p.m., -0.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 3, Tuesday; 6:27 p.m., -0.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 4, Wednesday; 6:59 p.m., 0.0 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 5, Thursday; 7:30 p.m., 0.2 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 6, Friday; 8:00 p.m., 0.5 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors

The best digging typically occurs one to two hours before low tide, Ayres said. No digging is allowed at any beach before noon.

WDFW also has proposed a dig set to begin Feb. 15, if marine toxin tests are favorable. That dig is tentatively scheduled on the following dates, beaches and low tides:

  • Feb. 15, Sunday; 3:47 p.m., 0.2 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 16, Monday; 4:37 p.m., -0.5 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 17, Tuesday; 5:24 p.m., -0.9 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 18, Wednesday; 6:08 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 19, Thursday; 6:51 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 20, Friday; 7:33 p.m., -0.7 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Feb. 21, Saturday; 8:16 p.m., -0.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Copalis
  • Feb. 22, Sunday; 9:00 p.m., 0.6 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2014-15 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website at and from license vendors around the state.


Lucky Eagle – Expansion Amenities Will Excite Visitors

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 4:46pm



Lucky Eagle Casino

Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel recently announced a $40 million expansion project.

Ah, spring; time to clean out the old and make way for the new. Or, as comedian Ellen DeGeneres prefers, “If you want to get rid of stuff, you can always do a good spring-cleaning. Or you can do what I do. Move.”

This time of year it’s exciting to start the season of transition. We put away holiday decorations and watch for dormant flower bulbs to announce the arrival of the season. We look forward to spending more time both outside and around our community as days become longer and the weather less soggy.

No matter what the weather, Rochester’s Lucky Eagle Casino and Hotel is a one-stop destination for exciting games, great food, and fun events. But even they’ve gotten a dose of Spring Fever. Beginning in February, they will break ground on a new $40 million expansion project which represents additional gaming and food, administrative offices, and 120,000 square feet of parking.

Lucky Eagle CEO John Setterstrom promises that visitors will be “truly excited by amenities not seen in the Northwest.” Setterstrom and a planning team, including casino executives, culinary staff, and designers, spent weeks travelling the west coast studying other gaming venues. From this, they chose which architectural aspects, amenities, and grounds elements would be the best fit for the Lucky Eagle.

The new layout has parking structures above the gaming, dining, and entertainment hub so visitors stay safe and dry. “One such highlight will be a full alder-smoked salmon pit in the middle of the newly designed buffet,” describes Setterstrom.

united way thurston county

In the new layout, the parking structure is above the gaming, dining and entertainment facilities so visitors stay safe and dry.

The Lucky Eagle is partnering with Olympia’s Forma Construction for this huge project. John Setterstrom calls them a “company of quality” and “really enjoys the principles at Forma” making this a perfect fit. One of the team members on the expansion is Joel Brown, a Forma Project Engineer and Chehalis Tribe member. He and Keith Michel, the Senior Project Manager, believe that this pairing “is the right fit for the project.”

Keith and Joel explain that Forma began with design involvement and pre-construction work in the summer of 2014. The expansion project is estimated to take approximately 18 months, with renovation of existing buildings taking place after the new building is open to the public this fall.

They admit that building a new structure is a challenge the way it is designed but it will be a huge enhancement for guests. In this current design, the team will include three and a half floors of parking above the gaming floor with the option to add two more later as needed. They also take into account that once the new structures are complete, they begin the careful process of renovating existing space while guests actively visit the casino.

Locally, Forma has worked on such notable structures as the Mason Transit Authority’s Transit Community Center, Saint Martin’s LEED Platinum Cebula Hall, and Olympia’s Hands On Children’s Museum. They have also participated in regional builds at the Woodland Park Zoo, schools around Olympia, Bates Technical College in Pierce County, and North Seattle Community College.

olympia new years eve

The new space will have many Native American accents.

The design of the new Lucky Eagle space will include many local Native American accents. The Forma team wanted to “bring it in and celebrate it” so as to have the décor and layout “speak and say things to all kinds of people.”

The space will also become more than simply a gambling hub. The new layout includes restaurants that are a destination, not simply an amenity, and more options for patrons like space for music, concerts, comedy shows, and entertainment.

In the interim, the Lucky Eagle is still your source for all things fun. Watch the Super Bowl there with former Seahawk Marcus Trufant on February 1. Not a football fan? Celebrate the Lunar New Year, rock out to live music, or lose your shirt with the Australian Thunder From Down Under.

No matter what’s going on, the Lucky Eagle is a destination spot for our area. Whether it’s for a close to home staycation or a chance to party the night away seven days a week, don’t miss out on their many exciting ways to liven up the long winter months.

The Lucky Eagle Casino and Hotel is located 12888 188th Avenue Southwest in Rochester. Call 800-720-1788 with any questions.

Take a Yoga Class – Physical Benefits, Mental Clarity Just Two Reasons to Add Yoga to Your Workout Routine

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 6:58am



By Melanie Kallas Ricklefs

hirschIf you’re like most people, you probably made some New Year’s resolutions to start fresh in 2015. Maybe you’re sticking to your resolutions, or maybe they’re already a distant memory. Now that the year is underway and life has settled into its familiar groove, why not treat yourself to a life changing practice that can enhance your physical and mental health? I’m talking about yoga.

yoga loft olympia

A free Thanksgiving class at the Yoga Loft benefits the Thurston County Food Bank. Class sizes are typically smaller. Photo courtesy: Gerald Oar.

Yoga can provide a myriad of physical benefits including increased flexibility and muscle strength, improved posture and balance, and decreased muscle tension. It can also decrease blood pressure, protect your spine and joints, and strengthen your bones. Add to these benefits the mental clarity, focus, and peace of mind associated with a consistent yoga practice, and it almost seems too good to be true. Fortunately, it’s not. All of these benefits and more await you in our local yoga studios.

There is an almost indescribable feeling, a vibe, so to speak, that is evoked when entering a yoga studio. The atmosphere of a dedicated yoga space is tranquil, and has a meditative quality that allows you to leave the distractions of daily life behind and occupy the present moment. Many studios have calming yet subtle scents, soothing sounds, and visually stunning artwork. Some have live plants to contribute to feelings of well-being and connection to ourselves and nature. Some are simply clear spaces, intentionally unadorned to allow you to free your mind of the mental clutter that accompanies us throughout the day.

Whether you are new to yoga, or are ready to recommit to your yoga practice, Olympia has a yoga studio to meet your needs. According to Yoga Loft owner Maureen Oar, “there are yoga practices to relax, to restore, and to enliven. The Yoga Loft offers yoga in many different forms, for beginning to advanced practitioners, so there is something for ‘every body.’” At Yoga Loft, you can find classes in gentle yoga, back care, therapeutic yoga, prenatal yoga, vinyasa, and power yoga. They also offer yoga intensives and teacher trainings. Each of the classes offered includes some meditation, which has been shown to improve immune system function, reduce stress, and ease pain for those suffering from chronic pain conditions.

olympia yoga class

Bikram yoga practitioners enjoy the heat at Hot Yoga Olympia. Photo courtesy: Margot Losa.

There are many benefits to attending classes at a yoga studio. For one, you have the privilege of learning from a highly trained yoga instructor, who can guide you in learning proper alignment and breathing during your practice. All of the instructors at the Yoga Loft are certified and they continue to learn through trainings and classes to adapt and grow their practices. Another benefit to joining a yoga class is gathering with a group of people who share the same intention. The yoga community in Olympia can be found practicing in local studios, community centers, churches, athletic centers, and homes throughout the area.

If you want to try yoga, but feel some trepidation about going to a class, Maureen suggests taking a private lesson. A private lesson can help you ease into yoga and find any adjustments that you may need to incorporate into your practice. She adds that “everyone has a starting point and they are not the same from person to person.” Yoga is not a comparison and it is not performance art. It is a practice for health and wellness.

yoga loft olympia

Yoga Loft owner and instructor Maureen Oar credits her highly trained instructors for leading great classes. Photo courtesy: Gerald Oar

If you like a familiar routine and a warm environment, you might like to try a hot yoga class, also known as Bikram yoga, which is taught in a room that is heated to between 95 and 105 degrees. Bring a towel and get ready to sweat. Bikram yoga is a challenging 90-minute practice of 26 postures that are held for a certain amount of time with relaxation between each posture.

Hot Yoga Olympia offers daily Bikram yoga classes to practitioners of all levels. Anatole and Margot Losa have been teaching Bikram yoga classes in Olympia for 15 years and have developed a community of hot yoga practitioners. According to Anatole Losa, in a Bikram practice, the practitioner is “always evolving on a personal level.” While the class sequence is the same for everyone, each person will experience their own transformation over time. Bikram yoga is said to increase circulation and detoxify your body, while allowing you to safely stretch your warmed muscles.

The Yoga Loft is located at 219 Legion Way SW, Suite #202. Visit the Yoga Loft website to see class descriptions and upcoming special events.

Hot Yoga Olympia is located at 1963 4th Avenue East.

Other yoga studios to check out in Olympia are OlyYoga, which provides classes in classic Hatha Yoga, and The Bandha Room, which offers Mysore-style Ashtanga yoga classes.


CIELO – Strengthening the Fabric of Our Community

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 6:57am



By Mary Ellen Psaltis

south sound trucksThe clock ticked up to 8:00 p.m. and Monday night class was over, but instructor Raymond Perez and his eight adult students took no notice as they continued constructing sentences. Together they were exploring the challenges of English verbs and making the distinctions between ‘having’ and ‘being.’ Learning verbs is tricky in your own language. For this group of native Spanish speakers, it is even harder. This class is but one of the many services provided by CIELO, an organization designed to support the education and well being of the Latino community in our area.

Cielo, a Spanish word, has numerous meanings: sky, heaven, or blue. In Thurston County CIELO stands for Integral Latino Educational Center of Olympia. In 1996, a group of Latino women came together with a vision to be a “participative, multicultural center, where all individuals respect one another, get involved, and find mutual support.” Their mission continues to “promote community, self-sufficiency, and leadership of Latinas/os and the extended community.”

cielo english lesson

Rosario Portaro tutors literacy to willing students.

One of the founders of CIELO was Griselda Perretz-Rosales, PhD. She was joined by Leticia Fernandez de Astruc. Steadfast and tenacious, Perretz-Rosales directed the agency for the first decade and continued as the clinical supervisor for the next 7 years. She was instrumental in making contacts with the State of Washington to contract for services. Educational programs such as teaching English have always been an essential element of CIELO.

Over time many people have been helped with literacy and language skills. Families are linked with government and community groups that provide services. There is facilitation to access education and health care for families and individuals. There is also a popular, long-running sewing class. The “services of Cielo became really precious,” said Perretz-Rosales. She added, “There’s nothing better than that,” referring to being part of people getting their GED, reading English and doing what they could not do before their time with CIELO.

CIELO has faced its financing and staffing fluctuations through the years (like many agencies do). However, it has never lost its heart. Current Educational Program Director Rosario Portaro, herself from Peru, exudes intense commitment and love for all that transpires at CIELO. She is proud of the excellent curriculum and progress being made in areas of math, science, computer skills, language and literacy.

Classes at CIELO are staffed by enthusiastic, dedicated people who love teaching and interacting with their students. Raymond Perez, a graduate of Saint Martin’s University, said this of his participation, “I feel fortunate and blessed to have this opportunity.” He admires and is inspired by the people who come to the classes and notes, “The people who come are truly brave.”

cielo english class

Raymond Perez works with attentive language students.

Wade Cherry is a volunteer working individually with Gustavo Soto, an electrician by trade. Soto is about to complete his GED, which he needs to go on to college. Math has been his challenge. “I am an electrician. I need to learn everything,” says Soto. Topics cover geometry, algebra, exponents, order of operations, and fractions. Cherry, who works with computers by day, gets to practice his Spanish as a math teacher. He truly enjoys his time at CIELO.

Heather Hall volunteers in the English classes. “Teaching is a life goal,” she explains and at the same time she gets to strengthen her Spanish. Another volunteer remarked that after working 40 hours per week he ought to be exhausted, but found that coming to teach energized him.

How do people hear about this organization? People often find out from friends and acquaintances. Some see a flyer at their church or the library or get information at The Evergreen State College, South Puget Sound Community College or Saint Martin’s University. Teachers and students alike are attracted to the energy at CIELO. You can find CIELO in West Olympia. They are hoping to expand their services and welcome volunteers. Childcare is provided as parents take classes.

cielo english class

Wade Cherry tutors Gustavo Soto (at the white board) in math.

It’s hard to imagine living a country where you barely speak the language. Harder still if you cannot read it. Literacy, education and connections are powerful tools for both personal and professional reasons. CIELO bridges the gaps. For nineteen years, CIELO has worked to improve access to services to the Hispanic community in Thurston County. Becoming culturally competent is when the people who were helped become providers, helping the way for the next in line. These are gifts that keep in giving.

For more information about CIELO, click here.

Writer’s Note:

Please excuse my Spanish, but when I looked up ‘cielo,’ I found it used in a number of expressions that allowed me to create this thought:

Out of the blue (como llovido del cielo) someone will show up to be an angel (ser un cielo) and move heaven and earth (mover cielo y tierra) to help others to see one’s way out (ver el cielo abierto.) I must be in seventh heaven (estar en el se séptimo cielo).

Evergreen Presidential Finalists to Visit Olympia by Mid-February

Sun, 01/25/2015 - 3:21pm


Submitted by The Evergreen State College Margaret Madden, PhD

Margaret Madden, PhD

The four finalists in the running for president of The Evergreen State College will visit Olympia and meet with community members in the next three weeks. Alumni, friends, supporters and members of the public interested in The Evergreen State College are encouraged to attend.

Each candidate will make a presentation and take questions in an open, noon-time forum. The first three candidates will be on the Olympia campus for the public forum on the following dates:
  • Open Forum:  Wednesday, Jan. 28, 12:00 – 1:15  (Recital Hall) –  Margaret Madden, PhD, is Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at State University of New York at Potsdam, where she is also a tenured Professor of Psychology.  She holds degrees from University of Massachusetts, Amherst (PhD, Psychology, and MS, Psychology) and University of Wisconsin, Madison (BA, Psychology).
  •  Open Forum:  Monday, Feb. 2, 12:00 – 1:15  (Recital Hall) –  Luis Pedraja, PhD, is Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Antioch University Los Angeles.  His previous professional appointments include Vice President of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.  He holds degrees from University of Virginia (PhD, Philosophical Theology and Religious Studies), The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div, Theology), and Stetson University (BA, Religion).
  • Luis Pedraja, PhD

    Luis Pedraja, PhD

    Open Forum:  Wednesday, Feb. 4, 12:00 – 1:15  (Recital Hall) –  Rhona Free, PhD, is Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Eastern Connecticut State University where she previously served as Director of the Center for Educational Excellence and as a Professor in the Department of Economics.   She holds degrees from University of Notre Dame (PhD and MA, Economics) and Sarah Lawrence College (BA).

  • The fourth finalist, George Bridges, PhD, is president of Whitman College and previously served as dean and vice provost of undergraduate education at the University of Washington.  He holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (PhD, Sociology, and MA, Criminology) and from the University of Washington (BA, Sociology). His visit is in the process of being scheduled.

Sweet Success for Joycelyn Zambuto and Main Street Cookie Company

Sun, 01/25/2015 - 6:36am



By Holly Smith Peterson

hometown logoSome people have special gifts, such as being able to envision how a random blend of ingredients will proceed in an untested recipe — and to taste it in their imagination exactly as it will turn out when it’s baked.

That’s Main Street Cookie Company owner and founder Joycelyn Zambuto, whose culinary brilliance began with such imaginations.

main street cookies

One of the reasons the many varieties of Main Street Cookie Company are so delicious is that real butter is used in the recipes. Photo courtesy: Main Street Cookie Company

“In the middle of the night I would see a recipe and be able to taste it,” says the Rainier resident and business owner. “For example, the snickerdoodle; it’s a common cookie, but I never liked it. Then I thought about cream of tartar and I reconfigured it so there was no cream of tartar, and it came out well on the first reiteration. That almost never happens, but it worked.”

Zambuto’s talents are even more admirable in that she’s had no formal training in cooking anything.

“I just worked side-by-side with my mother in the kitchen, but I more interested in the recipe creation than the cooking,” she remembers. “At first it was across the board, not necessarily just baking.”

The genesis of Main Street Cookie Company, though, were the visits to a family friend’s home.

“The first thing I would do was go to the kitchen and grab a stool and look at the cookbooks,” Zambuto says. “Early on I became interested in baking because you can’t just make it up as you go, or grab a pinch of this or that unmeasured. Baking is a very precise science. It’s like chemistry.”

That intrigue with kitchen chemistry resulted in a quest for inventing cookie recipes, one of which sparked the idea for business. When Zambuto came up with her first all natural, from scratch, artisan chocolate chunk cookies, she brought them into the local Rainier espresso cafe. Hands down, the employees loved them. However, the owner informed her that the site was closing.

main street cookies

Bakery owner Joyceln Zambuto talks with a regular customer about a specific event order. She says her business is equally balanced with new and returning walk-in customers, online and phone orders, wholesale business and international shipping.

What happened next was pure genius. Zambuto loved the space, which was the former historic Rainier Hotel. What better to do with her baking skills and an attractive storefront than create a new hometown bakery?

“I had been in the catering business for a number of years, and I knew I didn’t want to be at that end of the food business any more,” she recounts. “This was a logical progression that capitalized on something I really enjoyed.”

It took 30 months, the last 18 of which Zambuto spent tweaking cookie recipes. The ingredient qualifications exempted preservatives, artificial flavors, colors, dyes, hydrogenated oils and everything faux. Besides this, her challenges were all over the place: building renovations, finagling 400 square feet into a workable bakery, and deciding which cookies would most appeal to potential retail and wholesale customers.

“The learning curve was really huge; you can’t anticipate 60 to 70 percent of what will happen,” she says. “After a time, things came to a standstill and I had to take a hard look at whether I wanted to go forward. I made the decision to go forward, and to take the leap of faith.”

That leap included coming up with a line-up of at least a half-dozen cookies before the doors opened. Zambuto invented ten, and since then her repertoire has grown with the business. While different times and seasons equal different types and total numbers of choices, she now has roughly 20 different cookie varieties.

main street cookies

One of Zambuto’s best niche markets is for specialty cookies, such as for the Superbowl and Valentines Day. Photo courtesy: Main Street Cookie Company

“Creating the recipes was a process where I had to imagine what I would want as a customer. I had to take my own feelings out of it,” she says. “My most important mission was to bring out recipes with whole foods, organic, and no processing like food coloring. It’s sometimes been a challenge because some companies say they don’t care, but I care.”

With the growth in business came the growth in employees. Main Street Cookie Company started with just one besides Zambuto to help get the bakery off the ground — but then as sales expanded, so did the need for good workers.

“The first year or two I was doing most of it, then employees came on board. We’re in our eighth year now, and some days it seems I have been doing it forever,” Zambuto says.

Not even the recession slowed down sales at the bakery and its wholesale components. Zambuto says that she steers clear of all the bad news and remains positive. And customers just kept coming in.

“I have a job to do, people are counting on me, and I want to do the best job that I can for my customers,” she emphasizes. “I just keep doing what we need to do, and the best reward is seeing repeat customers, and those who have been referred by those who love our cookies.”

main street cookies

This is the mantra of Main Street Cookie Company. What’s better in life?

Now Main Street Cookie Company has three facilities: the Rainier retail location, the worldwide online shipping site partnered with a New York company, and the wholesaling side that resells the cookies. If you want to find Zambuto’s treats in the Puget Sound region, look no further than any Mud Bay Coffee Company, Batdorf & Bronson, Providence St. Peter Hospital, or Bayview and Ralph’s Thriftway, among other sites.

“Worldwide, that wasn’t something I really wanted because you’re dealing with customs, insurance, and freshness issues,” she explains. “As for the wholesale side, we looked at it critically where the cookies would sell best. We’re already in Seattle and will be in Portland soon.”

As for owning a unique business in a region where business is cut-throat competitive, even in bakeries, Zambuto approaches the challenge with calmness and charm.

“I’m very motivated because I have goals in mind with this business, and I don’t recall I have a day when I don’t have something to do,” she admits. “It’s all-consuming, but in a good way.”

For a woman who is a first-time business owner, Zambuto is proud to be running a local company backed by her name. However, she cautions prospective bakery owners that it’s a day-to-day process, and 24 hours.

main street cookies

Main Street Cookie Company started out with 10 varieties. Eight years later, the local business has doubled its popular and seasonal baked goods, still including the original and beloved chocolate chunk recipe.

“No matter what time it is, I am making sure everything is where it needs to be, and that everything is available,” she says. “If you’re looking at doing anything like this, you need to keep in mind that it’s hard work. And you need to be willing to do things you never imagined.”

So how many cookies a year does it take to make a great local bakery? Zambuto declines to reveal numbers. On a weekly basis, she only hints, “It’s a lot of cookies. But it varies based on the time of year.”

Current bestsellers are the chocolate chunk, the pink iced butter cookies, the lemon iced butter cookies, the peanut butter with chocolate, and her first recipe snickerdoodle. Being the owner, manager, and head baker, her own favorites include not her original chocolate chunk but also the seasonal pumpkin cream cheese and the Decadent Dark (chocolate) — but without the icing.

“And the Seahawks cookie has been especially popular lately, too,” Zambuto says.

Main Street Cookie Company

207 Binghamton

Rainier, WA 98576

Hours: Weekdays from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


Coviello And Connell Help Keep Black Hills’ Bowling Team On Strike

Sun, 01/25/2015 - 6:12am



By Gail Wood

oly ortho logoIf cheering were a sport, Black Hills High School’s bowling team would be champs. Throughout their practice, a roar of cheers burst out whenever a teammate rolls a strike or picks up a spare. They can’t contain their excitement.

Whether it’s at practice or at a match, the cheers just keep coming.

“I’m glad we’re always the loudest team out there,” said Gabi Coviello, a senior and one of Black Hills’ top bowlers. “We’re really supportive of each other.”

black hills bowling

Savannah Connell (left) and Gabi Coviello are the top two bowlers on Black Hills High School team.

There’s been plenty to cheer about. Last year, Black Hills went 11-0, just missing the state tournament after a loss in districts. And with Coviello and Savannah Connell averaging about 160, Black Hills is 8-3 this season and optimistic about their chances of reaching state.

“We’re not too worried about our record,” said Nikki Winkley, Black Hills’ bowling coach. “What matters is districts. I like our chances at district.”

Coviello and Connell aren’t just good bowlers – both have season-best scores of 205 and 201. As the team’s captains, they’re also giving teammates advice, a how-to on bowling.

“They’re enthusiastic and they’re personable,” Winkley said about her two captains. “They have knowledge of the game so they make like a secondary coach and are very valuable with their knowledge.”

There’s also their rah-rah factor.

“They’re good leaders,” Winkley said. “If we need someone to pick up the team, they’re there to pick up the team. It’s been very nice.”

black hills bowling

Coach Nikki Winkley (black top) makes sure fun is part of the experience of bowling on her team.

Coviello and Connell share a similar motivation for joining their school’s bowling team their freshmen year – a parent who is a bowler. Coviello started bowling with her dad, Peter Coviello, when she was 12.

“My dad is a pretty good bowler,” Coviello said. “He’s been doing that with me for a while. I was about 12, 13 when I got my first bowling ball.”

Occasionally, Coviello will beat her dad in a game. Connell’s door to bowling was opened by her mother, Kris Connell.

“My mom was on the bowling team at her work,” said Connell, a junior. “So I thought it would be fun to do during the winter.”

Both Connell and Coviello bowl year around. The secret to their game isn’t a blast-them-into-dust power. It’s all about accuracy.

“It’s really more of a mental game than physical,” Connell said. “I mean there are some physical aspects to it, but more of it is mental – like you have to know where to move on the lanes and how much spin to put on it and the angle to be at to get the pins.”

black hills bowling

Gabi Coviello rolls a strike at a recent practice at Tumwater Lanes.

To be a good bowler, you don’t have to be able to bench press 300 pounds. It’s not about power.

“The secret to bowling is just relaxing,” Coviello said.

The excitement Black Hills oozes at practices and matches isn’t a surprise. It’s merely a reflection of their coach, a walking, talking nuclear power plant filled with energy. In Winkley’s how-to coaching book, having fun translates into winning. That and staying in the moment, forgetting their last missed spare.

“Like Dory from the movie Nemo, it’s important to have a short memory,” Winkley explained. “Regardless of what you did on the last roll, even if you did very poorly, it doesn’t matter because you have another one coming up.”

And Winkley emphasizes staying positive.

“We’re not tearing ourselves apart because we didn’t have a good roll,” Winkley said. “Or coming up too pumped up because we had a strike. That might mess up our next roll and overthrow.”

Even the best mess up.

black hills bowling

Savannah Connell is a big reason why Black Hills’ bowling team is off to a winning start to the season.

“Nobody’s perfect,” Winkley said. “Michael Jordan missed shots. Every one misses. The important thing is to stay positive. There’s always the next ball.”

For Coviello, the attraction to bowling is twofold. She enjoys the challenge, the competition, and she enjoys the friendships.

“You can hang out with them and have fun,” Coviello said about her teammates. “I also like having fun just being on your own, bowling.”

To help get her point across to her bowlers, Winkley uses videos of her team bowling, showing them their flaws in mechanics. Mechanically, every roll is supposed to be the same, with the same motion.

“When I film, I can compare them from shot to shot,” Winkley said. “That last one was great. This next one you struggled. Let’s see what the differences are. You can slow it down.”

The video is another tool of getting her point across.

“When I was growing up it was you can do this, you can do that,” said Winkley, a Black Hills graduate. “I think kids today are visual. They need to see it. Show me.”


Community Is Everything According to Steve Short

Sun, 01/25/2015 - 6:00am



Steve Short, owner of A Steve's Carpet Cleaning, makes a home's carpet "good as new."

Steve Short, owner of A Steve’s Carpet Cleaning, makes a home’s carpet “good as new.”

Our community is often nothing more than a larger family we surround ourselves with.  We come to find the sight of familiar faces, storefronts, and logos comforting; even a delight, when seen out of context or while away from home.

The family business that is A Steve’s Professional Truck Mounted Steam Cleaning showcases the hard work of Steve Short and his daughter and son-in-law, Rachel and Stephen Christensen-Lindsay, and even the memoirs of his military pilot father, Jim Short.  Beyond home and hearth, however, they are longstanding members in many community organizations throughout our South Sound region.

Since their humble beginnings in 1982, Steve always made civic pride an important part of his company.  As such they are members of the Washington Landlord Association, the Carpet Cleaning Association, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), NARPM, Angie’s List, and Chambers of Commerce throughout Pierce and Thurston counties.

With a goal to make any surface “cleaner, fresher, healthier” Short and his family strive to build their business through referrals, even going so far as to personally thank each client on Facebook.  Dick Johnson, owner of NWHomes4You sums up the issue: “Why chose Steve?  Steve shows up on time and gets the job done the first time.  Some time back a man told me ‘the wetness of a low price never equals the taste of poor quality.’  With Steve’s work there has never been anything but top quality.  In my property management business, you associate only with people you can trust and rely on to do the job on time and the right way.  I have been associated with Steve since 1982 (that’s 31 years. What more needs to be said?).”

History develops knowledge, and community involvement fosters pride…both are something not to be missed in these days of small business success.  A Steve’s Professional Truck Mounted Steam Cleaning (360-701-9544) offer both to customers big and small, owners or renters, around the South Sound.


Capital’s Winter Play Hopes to Tell a Powerful Story

Sat, 01/24/2015 - 7:47pm



By Lauren Frasier, Capital High School Intern to ThurstonTalk

The cast has been working hard to tell their character's stories.

The cast has been working hard to tell their character’s stories.

Lines are being memorized, scripts read, lights adjusted, and every scene is being meticulously  rehearsed until it is acted to perfection. For Capital High School’s drama program, all the practice is worth it as they get ready for their winter production, “And Then They Came For Me: Remembering The World of Anne Frank.”

This production is very different from what students are used to performing. It’s a multimedia show, using video interviews to tell the story of Eva Schloss and Ed Silverberg, both survivors of the holocaust who knew Anne Frank personally. Ed and Eva tell their story through interviews, while students act out flashbacks.

CHS student actors find their roles to be both challenging and rewarding. Sophomore Kameron Bustetter, who plays Ed says, “It’s been a journey so far and it’s going to continue to be.”

The cast has done extensive research as a group on the Holocaust and the events that transpired. They want to immerse themselves in it, so they can do justice to the real life characters they play and the difficult era in history. “It’s really hard to imagine something so terrible happening to you, but these are real people and real stories,” says Sophie Bustetter, who plays Eva. “We want to do justice to their story.”

The students have found portraying real life people especially challenging. “You can’t make up how they would act or their mannerisms,” explains Kameron. “You have to go out and find how that person acted, how they said and pronounced things.”

Hayley Kuster, who plays Anne Frank adds, “it’s definitely harder when you play a real character because you can’t make up a story for them.” Though difficult she has found the process rewarding. “It’s been kind of fun researching, watching movies and seeing how different people have interpreted her.”

Hayley Kuster (11) and Kameron Bustetter (10) run through a scene during practice.

Capital High School junior Hayley Kuster and sophomore Kameron Bustetter run through a scene during practice.

Director and drama teacher Kristina Cummins believes her cast has done a wonderful job overcoming these obstacles. “I’m so incredibly proud of my cast and crew,” she explains. “They have embraced the material, and are seeking a depth of understanding for the Holocaust and the characters that they’re portraying.”

For the tech crew, the multimedia production has posed different challenges. Timing is everything when it comes to the projection screen that is on stage for the duration of the show. “The challenge of this show is that you have to match it up,” says Stage Manager Grace Anne Moses of the live acting and the recorded real-life interviews. Besides Eva and Ed’s interviews, there will also be pictures of them and Anne that match up to scene being acted out on stage.

The students feel that despite the many challenges, it’s a story that needs telling. While first reading the scripts, the cast immediately felt an emotional connection. Sophie shares of the script, “It’s so intense.” The cast is hoping to move the audience in the same manner with their performance.

Handling such difficult and emotional material is made easier by the close knit relationships among the cast. “It’s easier to do a harder show like this when everyone around you is positive,” Kuster explains.

The cast usually works for a couple hours, every day after school. Outside rehearsals, they  also bond together through various team building exercises such as volunteering together at the Thurston County Food Bank.

To the cast, it’s more than just a show. It’s more than a performance or the compilation of hours of rehearsals. It’s more than memorized lines or perfecting the character. It’s a story that needs to be told. It’s a message that needs to be spread.

Sophie Bustetter (10) and Hayley Kuster (11) rehearse a scene between their characters.

Sophomore Sophie Bustetter and junior Hayley Kuster rehearse a scene between their characters.

“We’ve had conversations together about why we need to tell this story,” Cummins explains. “We’ve found that the only way to combat hate is through compassion and love.” It’s a message that can be applied to all aspects of life, in the CHS production, the lives of the cast and crew and in our own lives as well.

Cummins hopes that the audience takes something away from this performance. “We’re hoping to remind our community to continue to have compassion for one another.”

The show continues January 29 and 30 at 7:30 p.m. and January 31 at 2:30 p.m.  Each performance will be held in the Performing Arts Auditorium at Capital High School, 2707 Conger Avenue N.W., Olympia.

Tickets are $7 for students and senior citizens and $10 for the general public.

Call the box office at (360) 596-8053 for more information and to reserve your tickets.

Olympia Assistant Fire Chief Pat Dale Retires

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 12:15pm



Submitted by The City of Olympia

Olympia Assistant Fire Chief Pat Dale announced his retirement.

Olympia Assistant Fire Chief Pat Dale has announced his retirement beginning January 31, 2015.

Olympia Assistant Fire Chief Pat Dale has announced his retirement beginning January 31, 2015, after 33 years of fire service including 16 years of service to the citizens of Olympia and Thurston County at the Olympia Fire Department.  Chief Dale intends to pursue fire service teaching and other fun adventures during his retirement. Chief Dale has the opportunity of a lifetime, teaching Fire Ground Command and firefighting techniques, nationally and internationally, with an established training company based in Phoenix Arizona.  Prior to coming to Olympia, Chief Dale worked through the ranks to Battalion Chief at the Kent Fire Department. A life-long area resident, Chief Dale began his fire service career as a volunteer at the Tumwater Fire Department after graduating from Tumwater High School.

Chief Dale contributed more to the firefighters at Olympia and in Thurston County than can be listed here.  A few of his many accomplishments include: developing the Olympia command training center for fire officer training –  purchase and deployment of Olympia’s first articulated aerial ladder truck – development of a working and training relationship with Bates Technical College in Tacoma – initiated and managed a joint fire training program for Olympia, Lacey Fire District 3 and City of Tumwater – brought to Olympia, International Association of Fire Fighters, Firefighter Survival training class, this is the only such approved course and teaching location in the State of Washington –  and earned a number of personal medals for mountain biking at the World Police and Fire Games.

Chief Dale was especially invested in firefighter safety.  Along with all of the training programs he developed to Olympia, he worked with one very special safety program that has been seen locally, regionally nationally and internationally by fire service members.  Chief Dale was instrumental in producing the Mark Noble safety video for firefighters.   Mark Noble, was the first line of duty death in the history of the Olympia Fire Department.  Before Noble died of brain cancer from diesel exhaust in fire stations, he sat for a moving video interview in which he talked openly about his cancer, warned firefighters about the risks of firefighting and highlighted measures to assure respiratory safety.  Without Chief Dale’s support and subsequent distribution of the video, this incredibly important message might never have been shared.

People may remember the big fires in Olympia over the past 16 years but what is more important in Chief Dale’s career are the many house fires that were contained to just one room and the fire extinguishments at Georgia Pacific in 2007 that averted a major catastrophe.  The knowledge, vision, training and energy that Chief Dale brought to his job translated to positive outcomes for Olympia.

Chief Dale’s extensive knowledge of firefighting and his ability to share that information with new officers and firefighters will be greatly missed in Olympia and Thurston County.

Sunrise Park Playground to Close for New Equipment Installation Beginning January 28

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 11:53am



Submitted by City of Olympia

sunrise park playground

This design was selected during a public comment period for the new playground at Sunrise Park in Olympia.

The playground area at Sunrise Park will be closed from January 28, 2015 through late March while new playground equipment is installed. The existing equipment is 21 years old and has reached the end of its design life.

The City solicited public input on five playground proposals last year, and a proposal by Northwest Playgrounds was selected as the favorite design.

The new playground will have structures for both 2-5 year olds and 5-12 year olds including six slides, four swings, and two spinning toys.

The remainder of Sunrise Park will be open during construction, but the public is urged to use caution when traveling around construction equipment.

For questions, please contact Jonathon Turlove, Associate Planner, at 360.753.8068.

Olympia Weekend Event Calendar

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 7:44am



casa miaThe weekend is upon us and our family is surprised by all the white space on our calendar. With no football game this weekend determining our schedule, we find ourselves planning adventures beyond the couch.  Luckily, the ThurstonTalk Events Calendar is packed with options, both inside (for today and Saturday where rain is predicted) and outside (for Sunday when the sun is said to return).  Use the weekend to reconnect with your family, your community and yourself through the many happenings around the county.

And although there’s no official “Blue Friday” or game day this week, you can bet local 12’s will be wearing Seahawk colors with pride.  If you are out enjoying Thurston County wearing your colors this weekend, snap a pic for ThurstonTalk and send it to for our 12th Man Gallery.

Submit an event for our calendar here.

ThurstonTalk aims to be your source for positive information and events happening in Olympia.  If you have a suggestion for a post, send us a note at  For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here.

Rise and Shine: Exploring Thurston County’s Breakfast Options

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 6:47am



By Gale Hemmann

heritage bankBreakfast is not just the most important meal of the day. In my opinion, it is also the most enjoyable, especially for dining out. What better way to start your day than lingering over coffee and great food (with no dishes to clean up afterwards)?

Thurston County offers literally hundreds of places to get breakfast. You’ll find options in all areas of the county and all price ranges. From classic breakfast dishes to international cuisine to special dietary offerings, these are some satisfying picks for your next breakfast or brunch out.

Great Breakfasts around Town

breakfast olympia

The Bearded Lady Food Company offers weekend-only brunch options like breakfast sandwiches and their gluten-free, vegan-friendly pastries. Photo courtesy: Bearded Lady


  • The Bearded Lady: The Bearded Lady Food Company is open for brunch on weekends only (Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.). Their breakfast and brunch menu offers house-made vegan and gluten-free options, including a McVegan Sandwich, Dutch Babies and latkes.
  • The Bread Peddler: For breakfast French-style, stop by the Bread Peddler. This charming casual bistro offers French pastries and breakfast entrees. Pair your meal with their French-press coffee for a lovely start to your day. Open at 7:00 a.m. every day.
  • Mercato: For an elegant brunch, stop in at Mercato Ristorante. You’ll find fresh house-made donuts, frittata, and steak and eggs with polenta on their weekend brunch menu. Brunch served Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • New Moon Café: The New Moon Café is a small worker-owned café. They offer truly unique vegan and vegetarian breakfast, brunch and lunch menu items (as well as meat options). The Rosemary Garlic Home Fries are not to be missed. Open from 7:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Monday – Friday and 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
  • Pepper’s Mexican Restaurant: Did you know that Pepper’s Mexican Restaurant serves breakfast? Stop by on weekdays from 7:00 – 11:00 a.m. and weekends from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. for authentic Mexican breakfast items like huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, and seafood omelets.
  • The Reef: King Solomon’s Reef is a downtown Olympia institution, featuring local products and truly tasty diner fare. The breakfast menu includes meat and veggie-friendly options, such as Tempeh Hash and the Big Veggie Omelet. Open at 8:00 a.m. every day.
  • The Spar: One of the oldest eateries in Olympia, McMenamins Spar Café offers a New American-style breakfast menu, a dietary restrictions breakfast menu and a kids’ menu. The Amaretto French Toast and Greek Omelet are both excellent picks. Breakfast served from 7:00 – 11:00 a.m. weekdays and 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on weekends.
  • Wagners Bakery and Café: For a truly indulgent breakfast, come to Wagner’s European Bakery and Café. Try the European breakfast plate or the Cinnamon Toast platter. And their beyond-tempting pastry case awaits you. On Sundays, they offer Belgian waffles.
breakfast olympia

The Bread Peddler offers French-style pastries and breakfast specialties in a bistro setting. Photo by Gale Hemmann


  • Hawks Prairie Restaurant: The Hawks Prairie Restaurant is a Lacey landmark. This casual diner has a full breakfast menu, including gluten-free pancakes and lighter fare along with the traditional diner offerings. Open for breakfast at 6:00 a.m. every day.
  • Paco’s Taco’s: For breakfast Mexican-style, stop by Paco’s Tacos. Start your day with a breakfast burrito, huevos rancheros, breakfast muffins, or traditional pozole soup. Paco’s Tacos offers reasonable prices and generous portions. Open at 8:30 a.m. every day.


  • The Brick on Trosper: The Brick on Trosper offers an extensive breakfast menu, including a vegetarian omelet and homestyle classics, including biscuits and gravy. Open for breakfast at 7:00 a.m. every day.
  • Pellegrino’s Italian Kitchen: The elegant Pellegrino’s offers breakfast on weekends from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Their breakfast menu includes gluten-free, vegetarian and meat options. Enjoy classic breakfast plates and specialties like Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.
  • Ramirez Mexican Store: The Ramirez Mexican Stores offer breakfast meals and fresh-made Mexican bakery items in addition to their grocery items (they also have a store in Olympia). Their breakfast menu features authentic egg dishes, burritos, and chilaquiles. Both locations open at 9:00 a.m. seven days a week.
breakfast olympia

The Mud Bay Coffee Company offers a drive-thru for diners on the go who want a pastry or breakfast quiche with their morning coffee. Courtesy of Mud Bay Coffee Company


  • Farm Boy Drive-In: The Farm Boy Drive-In offers homestyle breakfast seven days a week, starting at 7:00 a.m. If you find yourself in the area, you’ll enjoy the Farm Boy’s homemade pancakes and pastries, eggs and bacon, and other classics. (View their menu.)


  • The Sandstone Café: The Sandstone Café is a family-friendly breakfast and brunch choice. You’ll find hearty American dishes like bacon and eggs, as well as granola and other options. On weekends, they offer a waffle bar. Open at 7:00 a.m. every day.


  • Road Runner Express: Known for their fried chicken, the Road Runner Express Espresso and Cafe also offers breakfast fare, including French toast, biscuits and gravy, and more. A drive-thru coffee window is handy for busy mornings. Breakfast served from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. every day.

On the Go Options

In a hurry? I recommend swinging by the Mud Bay Coffee Company drive-thru (West Olympia) for their custom coffee drinks, smoothies, and local pastries (including breakfast quiches and gluten-free goodies from Smiling Mo’s Bakery). In East Olympia, Eastside Big Tom’s offers quick and tasty options including breakfast sandwiches.

I hope this list gives you some fresh ideas for your next breakfast on the town. A bonus: Some of these spots offer breakfast menu items all day long. I, for one, am firmly of the belief that it’s always the right time for breakfast.

Treasure Hunting at the 95.3 KGY On-Air Auction

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 6:34am



kgy auction

Bids and bidders are tracked manually on the hundreds of items up for grabs at the 95.3 KGY Radio auction.

“A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together,” said funnyman Garrison Keillor. Though the storm is past and life has returned to normal, the gift-giving part of our brain often takes longer to recover. Inspiration, drained dry by the holidays, fizzles when Valentine’s Day rolls around.

Why settle for chocolates and roses when there are so many other wonderful opportunities? On February 7, the dedicated staffers at 95.3 KGY Radio do all the hard work leaving you to reap amazing rewards for pennies on the proverbial dollar.

February 7 marks the sixth annual Big On-Air Auction at 95.3 KGY, showcasing a wide assortment of local and regional treasures. This is the first time the auction falls before Valentine’s Day to help eager shoppers wow while they woo.

The Big On-Air Auction is a business arrangement between local merchants offering over $100,000 worth of items. General Sales Manager Heidi Persson explains that items from food to hot tubs “traditionally sell for 50% of their retail value with no minimum bid and increments as little as $1”.

kgy radio auction

Heidi Persson is coordinating the Big On-Air Auction for 95.3 KGY Radio. The auction is slated for February 7.

Persson’s philosophy on the auction is simple; you never know what will be the year’s hot item so there is always a great variety of items for listeners to bid on. Long time supporters include Mercato Ristorante, Panowicz Jewelers, Northwest Harley-Davidson, Cut Rate Auto Parts, Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad, and JnL Stoves and Spas. With a tremendous array of merchants participating, bidders spend the entire day listening to stock up on everything from diamonds to pellet stoves. For those out of 95.3 KGY’s coverage the auction is streamed worldwide at

Items are listed online prior to the big day. Merchants receive the full market value of all items in radio advertising on either 95.3 KGY or 96.9 KAYO making it a win/win event.

The big day is truly that for station staff. With all hands on deck, the auction is on air live at 8:00 a.m. non-stop until 5:00 p.m. By the time bids are tallied and paperwork sorted, it’s often as late as 10:00 p.m. before stragglers head home.

Locally, repeat bidders become like friends to station staff. Many rearrange their schedules to be available; one even called from the airport…in New York.

For bidders, Persson suggests having a strategy in advance, to avoid being like a husband and wife who spent the day unknowingly bidding against each other. Another long-time fan is legally blind and loves the freedom to shop based on the announcer’s detailed descriptions of so many varied objects and experiences.

kgy radio

On-air personalities describe the array of items, merchants, and experiences up for sale.

While Persson admits that “the interplay on the phone is part of the fun and theater” of the auction, 95.3 KGY keeps the bidding and sales organized via hard-copy, pen and paper recording. To streamline this, bidders are encouraged to pre-register online, reducing the amount of information collected with each call. Callers can simply provide their unique bidder ID, the item number, and their bid amount.

Any items left unsold will be listed at the station’s scenic 1700 Marine Drive NE offices on a first come/first served basis. The station accepts cash, checks, and major credit cards for purchases.

Lucky winners can pay for their treasures at the studio starting Monday, February 9. Persson and her staff encourage buyers to pick up physical items as soon as possible and redeem gift certificates within one year of purchase. Overall, Persson says that while tangible items are a hot seller, experiences and dining gift certificates are equally popular. Whether it is tickets to a Tacoma Rainiers game or experiencing one of our region’s many fine restaurants, Olympia residents love to be out and about.

kgy radio auction

Staffers work long into the night sorting bids and tracking auction results.

Interested bidders can pre-register now on 95.3 KGY’s website. You can follow their Facebook page for current news and updates. Local businesses wanting to participate should call or email the station as soon as possible to be included in advertising for the big day. The vendor contact number is 360-943-1240, extension 701 or through their Contact Us page online.

“Radio is the original social media,” explains Persson. “This is meant to be fun and an opportunity for listeners to get a good deal and experience the best our community has to offer.”

Tune in to 95.3 KGY Radio or stream at on February 7 to partake in this amazing whirlwind of bargains, delights, and local treasures.

High King Tides Expected for this Weekend around Olympia

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 6:14am



Submitted by Port of Olympia

king tides

The Port of Olympia anticipates no problems at Swantown Marina, shown here, or the Marine Terminal from this weekend’s king tides. Photo credit: Port of Olympia

Floating docks and moored vessels on Budd Inlet will appear higher or lower than usual this weekend because of the extra-high “king” tides which are normal this time of year. Given the current weather forecast, the tides should cause no adverse effects.

King tides are the largest tidal ranges and are caused by natural increases in gravitational forces. They occur in December and January when the earth is closest to the sun and the moon is closest to the earth.

Budd Inlet is expecting king tides of approximately 17 feet at the high tide points on Friday and Saturday mornings, with Sunday morning’s high tide just under 17 feet.

Highest high tides at Budd Inlet normally range between 13 and 15 feet.

Forecasted winds are expected to be between 5-10 miles per hour over Friday and Saturday, with some rain expected Friday.

Top Rung Brewing Releases “Lacey Lager” in Tap Room on January 24th

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 2:31pm



Submitted by Top Rung Brewing

Top Rung BrewingOn January 24, Top Rung Brewing will release their tenth beer since opening in April 2014 in the tap room. Top Rung first started to release this beer on a limited basis through distribution to some accounts that desired a Lager for their patrons and we are ready for it to make its debut in the tap room. The Lacey Lager is crisp and clean with a nice finish. A true blue collar beer, the Lacey Lager was designed for those looking for an easy drinking beer for those entering the craft beer scene. A great bridge beer. ABV—4.5%, IBU—24

Like our Lacey Dark Lager, this beer celebrates our home town and recognizes the hard working people of Lacey, WA. Along with the Lacey Dark Lager this will be Top Rung’s second lager release.

Top Rung Brewing is a 10 barrel production brewery with tasting room at the brewery. Top Rung Brewing is a destination for craft beer drinkers to enjoy their beverage and view a production brewery facility. Our tasting room is family friendly and while we will only offer snacks, we partner with local food vendors and food trucks as well as allow patrons to bring in their own food of their choice or have it delivered. Top Rung Brewing: bringing quality craft beer to Lacey.


Ballots Available and Drop Boxes Open for February Special Election

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 2:11pm



Submitted  by the Thurston County Auditor

Ballots are available at the Thurston County Auditor’s Office, located at 2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW, Building 1, Room 118 in Olympia, for the February 10, 2015 Special Election. The Tenino and Yelm school districts have measures on the ballot. Voters should receive their ballots by Friday, January 23 or Saturday, January 24. Any registered voter who has not received a ballot by Thursday, January 29, 2015 should contact the Thurston County Auditor’s Office at (360) 786-5408 or, or come to the Auditor’s Office for a replacement ballot.

The Auditor’s Office has opened eight secure ballot drop boxes, including one in Tenino and two in Yelm. A list of drop box locations is included in mailed ballot materials and online at These boxes are open 24 hours a day and will close promptly at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 10 (Election Day). For more information, visit or call (360) 786-5408.

County Program Offers Schools Powerful Hands-On Lessons in Waste Prevention

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 2:00pm



Submitted by Thurston County Solid Waste 

Food to Flowers sort line at Black Lake Elementary in Tumwater.

Food to Flowers sort line at Black Lake Elementary in Tumwater.

Schools throw away a lot of stuff, and a lot of that stuff is food.  In fact, more than 70% by weight of what a typical school throws away each day is food, food-soiled paper, and single-use serviceware and packaging.   Getting rid of all that stuff can cost a lot of money and wastes a lot of resources.  Thurston County’s Food to Flowers program partners with local schools to help them reduce this kind of waste, to save money, and to provide their students with hands-on environmental learning opportunities.

Below are two examples of some of the innovative ways Food to Flowers schools are making a difference for their students, for the environment, and for our community.

Rescuing school food to donate to the Food Bank

Some of the food that schools throw away is food that’s already been prepared, but wasn’t served to students.  This includes hot dogs, pizza slices, burritos, and tons of untouched fruit and vegetables.  Some Olympia and Tumwater schools are now rescuing this food and donating it to the Thurston County Food Bank. At the Food Bank they make creative use of these school leftovers.  For example, they take hot dogs from schools, cut them up and combine them with beans rescued from a local restaurant to create ready-to-eat meals for hungry families in our community.  Last school year, more than 4 tons of school food was donated to the Food Bank as part of this program.

Milk dispenser at Washington Middle School in Olympia.

Milk dispenser at Washington Middle School in Olympia.

Reducing milk carton and milk waste

K-12 schools in Thurston County generate about 5,000,000 half-pint milk cartons each school year, enough cartons to fill an Olympic size swimming pool and still have some cartons to spare.  Today, ten Food to Flowers schools serve most of their milk using milk dispensers and durable cups.  Making this change has reduced milk waste by more than 8,500 gallons and eliminated more than 385,000 milk cartons from the trash each year.  You can check out school milk dispensers in action here.

To learn more about the Flowers to Flowers program, contact Peter Guttchen, Thurston County Waste Reduction Specialist, at or 360-867-2283.

Food to Flowers by the Numbers

  • Participating schools: 32
  • Participating students: 14,530
  • Tons recycled & composted each year: 175 tons
  • Lunchroom recycling rate: 89%
  • Milk cartons eliminated each year: 385,000
  • Milk waste eliminated each year – 8,500 gallons
  • Average saving in garbage & recycling collection costs: 15-20%
  • Spork kits eliminated each year: 2,740,710 – A spork kit is a plastic spork, a plastic straw, and a napkin packaged together inside of a plastic bag.