Submitted by the City of Olympia
March 17 – 23 is national Fix a Leak Week sponsored by EPA WaterSense. The City of Olympia’s Water Conservation Program is urging you to chase down leaks in your home. Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide, so race over to your plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems, fix any leaks, and save valuable water and money.
Common leaks found in the home include worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets and shower heads, and other leaking valves – all easily correctable. Take 10 minutes to investigate your plumbing, and you could save 10,000 gallons of water per year! Visit our website for information on leak detection and repair at olympiawa.gov/waterwise.
Submitted by Sen. Adam Kline
Julagay was sponsored by Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle. “It is great to meet young people who are interested in learning about state government. I sponsored Jacob because I wanted him to have a hands-on experience that would be fun and educational. I am glad he enjoyed his week here,” Kline said.
Julagay first learned about the page program from his brother, who had previously participated in the page program. When asked what the best part of his week was, Julagay responded, “working on the floor and seeing how the senators debate different bills.”
Julagay would like future pages to know that they should make sure to show up every day dressed nicely.
Julagay, 14, lives in Lacey where he attends Komachin Middle School.
The word “green” has become a catch phrase for anything even remotely environmentally friendly. It’s tossed about with such frequency that it’s difficult to know what “green” really means.
The team at Energy Efficiency First has a very specific definition. “Green building means using designs and materials that will diminish impacts to the natural environment, reduce exposures to toxic materials and increase a home’s energy efficiency and building durability,” says Energy Efficiency First’s Jacqui Brown Miller.
Let’s say you’re doing a remodel. Energy Efficiency First would tap into a specialized knowledge of building science, design and construction practices that are proven to make homes more energy efficient and comfortable. They also make it their business to know how the products are manufactured, how they impact the natural environment, and whether they contain toxins that can harm you.
Green begins with green design. Routine components of a green remodel include framing and construction methods that use less material and are more energy efficient. Another must is making the building envelope energy efficient through air sealing, mega insulation, and high efficiency windows and doors. Green means choosing options for lighting, HVAC, and water heating that use less water and power. This could mean, for example, installing a ductless heat pump or an electric heat pump water heater.
Materials are also selected that won’t “off-gas” and contaminate your home’s air with formaldehyde or other nasties. A green remodel will usually incorporate materials made from rapidly renewable resources, such as bamboo flooring, and sustainably harvested products such as Forest Stewardship Council certified woods. When it comes to finish materials, there are a wide variety of eco-friendly options for any budget.
Green building does not have to cost more. Ductless heat pumps actually cost less than conventional furnaces, and high efficiency windows and doors are not appreciably more expensive. Any added costs associated with energy efficient building practices and equipment are recouped through lower power bills and the value of added personal comfort.
Keep in mind everything doesn’t have to happen at once. The professionals at Energy Efficiency First will work with you to create a sensible plan. “Healthy and sustainable designs and construction methods should be standard building practices that every family can afford,” says Brown Miller.
To learn more about the services Energy Efficiency First offers, in partnership with Quality Renovation and Carpentry, give them a call at 360-236-9684 or visit their website here.
Submitted by Thurston County
Imagine you could follow a dreamy pathway that led you to Thurston County’s best farms, wineries, nurseries, cultural attractions and more! Now imagine that winding, serene pathway became a reality. On Tuesday, March 18 the Thurston County Board of Commissioners will officially designate the Thurston Bountiful Byway—a scenic route in the heart of Thurston County’s most picturesque rural and agricultural lands. The public is invited to celebrate the adoption at a free event at 4 p.m. on Tuesday immediately following the board meeting at the County Courthouse in Olympia.
The byway will be a scenic route that promotes agricultural tourism, or “agritourism,” in the rural parts of Thurston County. The proposed route starts in the Nisqually Valley, stretches south to the city of Yelm and west to the Capital Forest before ending at the intersection of Mud Bay Road and Delphi Road SW. Along the way you can explore dozens of special stops and activities including creameries, nurseries, wineries, sculpture gardens, and historic sites. There are more than 90 suggested agricultural, ecological and cultural stops along the Bountiful Byway. Pick a day and stop at as many attractions as time allows.
The route was developed in cooperation with several community partners including local farmers and business owners, the Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau, Thurston County WSU Extension, the Thurston Regional Planning Council, and other organizations. For more information please visit www.facebook.com/ThurstonBountifulByway.
WHAT: Thurston County Bountiful Byway Celebration—free and open to the public
WHEN: Tuesday, Mar. 18, 4-5 p.m. (immediately following the Board of Commissioners meeting)
WHERE: Thurston County Courthouse Building One, Room 280 at 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW in Olympia
Who can complain about the weather earlier this week? Glorious sun shined down on Olympia, drying us out for a bit and reminding us that Spring weather is just around the corner. While the rain clouds have returned, I’m confident that with flowers blooming and buds showing on the trees that I can weather the next few weeks of (likely) continuous drizzle.
Here’s what is going on in Olympia this weekend.
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 email@example.com. For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here.
By Kate Scriven
When you hear the name “Harley-Davidson,” an image of women gathered together, chatting and drinking chardonnay, enjoying a fashion show is likely not the one that forms in your mind. Yet the Lacey based dealership will be packed on Friday, March 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. with only women, out to enjoy a night on the town with their girlfriends at Northwest Harley-Davidson’s Women’s Garage Party.
The evening is dedicated to showing women the softer side of Harley. “The night is all about education, fun and fashion,” shares NW Harley co-owner Julio Valdenegro. Guests at the event can expect a fun night with food catered by Hawks Prairie Casino, drinks, and an inviting and non-intimidating atmosphere. In a brand which has historically catered to men, the owners at NW Harley-Davidson know that women love to ride, love the brand and they want to make them feel welcome at the shop.
The last several years have seen a steady increase in numbers to the free evening event. Local businesses get involved, donating goody bags for the first 25 women to RSVP. Guests can mix and mingle with their friends, browse throughout the store, and visit with NW Harley-Davidson staff, who will be on-hand all night to answer questions and fill glasses.
In addition, the event will include a fashion show right in the store. The show will feature the newest Harley products made exclusively for women. And as important as the proper fit is when buying a bike, the proper fit is key in protective riding gear. Harley’s women’s line is tailor to fit a woman’s body and give her a full range of motion, and protection, when riding. Attendees will see a full line-up of protective gear, leather outerwear and riding boots along with items such as heated clothing and rain gear, perfect for riding in our unpredictable Northwest weather.
Not a rider, just a fan of the Harley brand? The two-story Lacey store is filled with Harley fashions and the latest designs will be featured in the show. From hoodies to hats and purses to pajamas, Northwest Harley-Davidson has a little something for every taste.
And while the evening is really about fun, there will be plenty of focus on education as well. Women can learn riding tips such as how to lift up a motorcycle if it falls over, by yourself… really. Tips for riders such as local riding routes and toolkit essentials are also among the educational aspects.
But why a women only event? Why not a couples party? “Women enjoy social events, getting together. They love to do things with their friends and we love to invite them into the store for this friendly, easy-going night,” explains Valdenegro.
“It’s a great way to interact with our female customers one-on-one and let them know we appreciate their support,” continues co-owner Joe Deck. “This really is a night for them.”
So who is this party for? It’s for the seasoned Harley rider, looking for camaraderie and fun with other Harley riders. It’s for the Harley fan, thinking that they might be interested in taking up riding, getting into the saddle. It’s for the “girls-night-out” group, just looking for some fun, knowing that NW Harley-Davidson is always a class act. Whichever group you may fall into, you’ll need to RSVP soon. Spaces fill fast for this annual event you won’t want to miss.
Where: Northwest Harley-Davidson at 8000 Freedom Lane NE in Lacey
When: March 21, 6-8 p.m.
Submitted by Bron’s Automotive
When folks have their vehicle in the shop, they sometimes call other shops for a second estimate to compare prices. While this is fine, I thought I would write this blog to explain some things that might come up to aid your thought process. While different shops sometimes charge different prices, it’s fair to say that there can also be a big difference in the quality of parts and workmanship, as well as the style of quoting.
First, be aware that if you brought your vehicle into the shop, and testing and diagnosis was needed to determine what part needs to be replaced, there is normally a charge for this testing, which is fair since the shop owner has to pay a technician a wage to make that determination.
An engine overheat condition would be a good example of this. Your question to us will be “why is my car overheating?” If for example, the technician determines that a defective radiator is the cause of the overheat condition, most shops similar to Brons Automotive, will put together an estimate for replacing the radiator that includes parts, labor, new coolant, and sales tax. When we call you to tell you how much it will cost to fix your car, we will also include the cost of the original testing, so you have the complete cost of the testing and repair “out the door” including tax and all associated parts needed for a proper and long lasting repair.
If you call another shop and ask, “How much is it to replace my radiator?” the answer will always be less because no testing was required by the second shop to determine the cause of the condition, and therefore testing will not be part of the second shop’s quote. The second shop may or may not include new coolant in the estimate. Many shops giving a second quote at this point make sure their estimate does not include sales tax, which makes their price seem even lower. So make sure you know what the original quote includes and what the repair alone costs. Most shops will fax you a copy of a detailed quote so you can fairly compare.
At times the two quotes will be for a different level of service. An example of this would be asking for a transmission service on a Honda. A Honda transmission holds about 12 quarts of transmission fluid, but 7 of those quarts are in the torque convertor, which cannot be drained, only flushed. A shop that refers to a “drain and fill” as a service will give you a quote for about 5 quarts of fluid and about a half hour of time. In my book this “service” is not the best course of action. We prefer to load our transmission flush machine with the full 12 quarts of Honda fluid and put 100% new fluid in your transmission. It costs a little more but is well worth it when taking care of a transmission. (Why leave 7 quarts of dirty fluid in it?)
There is also a difference in parts quality that different shops use. Some parts will last as long as or longer than the original, while others of a lesser quality might not last a year. Closely tied to parts quality is the warranty a shop gives out on their work. You want to have work done by a shop that stands behind their work, in case of a parts failure. Does the second shop offer 6 months/6,000 miles? 12 months/12,000 miles?
At Brons automotive we will soon be offering a LIFETIME parts and labor warranty on most repairs. Yes, you heard it, a lifetime parts and labor on repairs! This will be available by April 1st, 2014. At Brons automotive we like to repair and maintain vehicles the right way so you have peace of mind on the road.
Submitted by South Sound Women’s Day
Several hundred women are expected at South Puget Sound Community College on Saturday March 22, 2014 for South Sound Women’s Day, presented by South Sound Women’s Events Inc., a local non-profit whose mission is to encourage leadership through personal, professional and community growth and education opportunities for women of the South Sound. President Elyse Harrington says “The day has really become more than we ever dreamed it could be. We want every woman in Thurston County, whether they are 18 or 80 to be able to experience this.”
The event has evolved over the past ten years, most recently as “The Day of Empowerment” in 2012. “For a one day seminar, this one packs a punch!” says prior attendee Heidi Brotche McCutcheon. With 25 local speakers presenting on everything from protecting your credit score, social media marketing for your business and volunteerism to belly dancing, self-defense and connecting in your community, South Sound Women’s Day offers something of interest for every woman.
The day will feature 2 inspirational keynote speakers, Carol Schillios of Fabric of Life, and Olympia native Dr. Angela Bowen, several local exhibitors, buffet lunch, three breakout sessions and a wine and cheese networking session at the end of the day. Attendees can also attend an optional VIP Welcome Reception Friday evening to gain one on one time with presenters, sponsors and organizers.
Keynote Speaker Carol Schillios calls herself a facilitator of change. As a master trainer, she believes every woman has the capacity for self-transformation. When she is not mentoring and training leaders in the U.S., Carol works with women in developing countries of Mali, Senegal, Uganda and Ethiopia. Carol also established a skills training center in Bamako, Mali, West Africa to help young teens get off the streets. Participants spend 18 weeks learning and developing skills to become artisans and leaders in their community.
Olympia native, and award winning humanitarian Dr. Angela Bowen will present the closing address. Dr. Bowen received the Leadership in Human Protection Award from the World Health Organization in 2010 and is also the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by the Office of Human Research Protections, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A healthcare pioneer and passionate patient rights advocate, Dr. Bowen will discuss how even locally, we can change the world one woman at a time.
“It is quite an honor to have two passionate and distinguished speakers at one event,” says Board Member Julie Darby.
South Sound Women’s Events Inc. invites local women of all ages to attend South Sound Women’s Day, Saturday March 22, 2014. Register at www.southsoundwomensday.com. Tickets are $65.00 in advance, or $85.00 day of. Participants are encouraged to register by March 18, 2014.
Submitted by Synergy HomeCare of Olympia
In celebration of “March National Nutrition Month”, Synergy HomeCare of Olympia is partnering with “Dinners Done Right” in Lacey. The theme of the national month long campaign is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.” Many people associate eating “right” with sacrificing taste and this is simply not the case.
The partnership between Synergy HomeCare and Dinner’s Done Right allows your parents or loved ones delicious and nutritional prepared and cooked meals. The best news is the price. Meals range from $4.00 to $6.00 per serving.*
Synergy HomeCare will pick up these deliciously prepared meals from Dinners Done Right for our clients. Our caregivers will help our clients plan when they want to enjoy and cook the meals. They can assist in storing any leftovers carefully to be enjoyed over the next few days. The program can introduce new flavors and dishes into your loved one’s weekly rotation and hopefully create a lasting habit of incorporating healthy eating in everyday life.
Dinner’s Done Right allows us to offer great nutritional meals that are prepared fresh, from scratch ingredients. The meals are very affordable and result in little waste, both due to their proper portioning as well as their excellent flavor.
Dinners Done Right is offering a wide variety of March Meals to choose from. You can pick one or more of these items for delivery. Full descriptions can be found on the Dinners Done Right website. Menus include the following:
While these great nutritional meals are cooking, Synergy HomeCare will provide all their other services for our clients, keeping them safely and comfortably in the comfort of their own home. Services include:
March’s focus on healthy eating and “Enjoying the Taste of Eating Right” can be a welcome addition to your loved one’s daily routines, providing meals you know will be healthy and most importantly, delicious.
By Alyssa Ramsfield
Blimey! The calendar pages are turning quickly and we are only days away from one of my favorite holidays, St. Patrick’s Day! Although it falls on a Monday this year, there is plenty to do around town to celebrate all weekend long on a budget.
Irish Dance with Scoil Rince Slieveloughane
This free event kicks off a weekend of St. Paddy’s fun. The renowned dancers of Scoil Rince Sleveloughane (Hillside Lake Irish Dancing School) will perform Irish Dance at the Tumwater Timberland Library. These dancers come from the biggest Irish dancing school in the region! They have the goal of sharing Ireland’s rich history through movement. If you want to enjoy traditional jigs shaking the bookshelves, the dancing begins at 6pm on Friday, March 14.
Friendship Run 2014
Looking for something to do with someone special that will get your heart racing? Check out the 2014 Friendship Run on March 16. The 11th annual run features a variety of events for everyone. There is a 5k run/walk, 10k run, and free Tot-Trot for kids ages 2-8. Prizes will be awarded to top three finishers in each category. Food, music, and a raffle will also be available during the run. All proceeds benefit Olympia’s Westside Cooperative Preschool.
Miss Moffet’s Mystical Cupcakes
After working up a sweat from running, treat yourself to one of Miss Moffet’s Mystical Cupcakes. The divine sugar shop will be open on a usually closed day, Monday, to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The cupcake case will feature a variety of holiday themed flavors including Chocolate Stout, Celtic Faerie, Irish Cream, and Shamrock Shake! Miss Moffet’s opens at 11am and supplies are limited.
Four Leaf Clover Hunting
While some people look for gold from those mischievous leprechauns on St. Patrick’s Day, why not look for a rare gem in your own backyard? Thurston County is a great place to go hunting for four leaf clovers. Our parks and playgrounds are a treasure trove full of these little guys.
Here are some words of advice while you are out scouring the countryside for your very own shamrock. First, pick a good spot. Look for a large patch of grass with a bed of clovers to begin your search. Second, try to be patient. This is not an easy task so take your time and don’t get frustrated. Third, observe the patch closely. You many need to get down to eye level with the ground to find that hidden gem. Lastly, preserve your find. Bring clear tape and press your clover into it. This way you can show off your hard work.
Irish Music with The Burren Boys
Finish your St. Patrick’s Day with authentic, Irish music. The Burren Boys will be playing at Cascadia Grill on Monday, beginning at 6pm for a free show. These guys play music that will have you stomping your feet and clapping your hands along to the beat. Fiddles, whistles, banjos, and guitars are just a few of the instruments they have on hand to play their Irish tunes. Many of these melodies require audience participation so be ready to sing and dance along!
There are so many fun and thrifty things to do around Thurston County for St. Patrick’s Day! Good luck on deciding which one will be your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!
Thrifty Thurston highlights inexpensive family fun in Thurston County. The weekly series focuses on family-friendly activities throughout our community. If you have a suggestion for a post, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here.
By Eric Wilson-Edge
Type “Tenino” into Google right now and you’re in for a surprise. The rural Thurston County town is in the spotlight because of a fundraiser to help orphans in Ghana. “We’re shocked but really happy about how big it went,” says Tenino High School senior Brittany Patterson.
Just how big is the story? Well, the Today Show called and pretty much all of Canada is in arms. You see, the fundraiser employed a rather unique method to collect funds. During passing times between classes and lunch the Justin Bieber song “Baby” was played over and over again. Students could make the music stop permanently by donating money to reach the overall goal of $500.
The idea came during a student government meeting. Patterson, who is the ASB Social Chair, credits another student for suggesting the initial plan. “It wasn’t even supposed to be the biggest part,” says Patterson.
I met Patterson and ASB President Connor Stakelin at Tenino High School. As they showed me around I noticed a white board. Written in blue marker was the total raised so far: $1,054. A flood of donations poured in once the story made it onto KING 5 television. The next day KISW Radio called and pledged $500.
The money will eventually be put to good use helping students at the Crossover International Academy in Ghana. “The teachers and principal at the Academy are all volunteers,” says Stakelin. Paper, a thing we use every day is a luxury at the Crossover International Academy. “At the end of the day the students erase everything so they can use the piece of paper for the next day,” explains Stakelin.
Much has been made about the Tenino students being “tortured” by the onslaught of Bieber Fever. That’s not really true. Students and staff knew in advance and most were supportive because they believe in the cause. “Some would just empty their wallets with any loose change they had,” says Stakelin.
Patterson and Stakelin are impressive. Patterson will be attending Eastern Washington University in the fall and Staklein is staying local at Saint Martin’s University. Lost in the “Baby” frenzy is the real story about a group of young people banding together to help other young people. “We’re trying to save lives,” says Patterson.
Also lost is the connection between Tenino and the Crossover International Academy. Tenino Elementary Principal, David Ford, developed a relationship with his counterpart in Ghana over a year ago. Together, Ford, his students and the community at-large have sent money, soccer balls and textbooks to the area.
This specific project was designed to help feed people in Tongor-Attokrokpo, Ghana. A drought combined with intense heat destroyed the crops and growing season is still a few months away. Right now the younger children get two meals a day while the older children get one. The influx of money has created options. There’s talk of purchasing a cow. “We’re going to do more than we thought,” says Patterson.
I asked Stakelin and Patterson if they’d heard from Bieber yet. The answer, so far, is no. However, Patterson is a little worried. “I’m actually kind of nervous about his fans. They’re committed and if you offend Bieber then they’ll come after you.”
If that happens, I know a bunch of people who will come to Stakelin and Patterson’s defense. Their names are written on little paper hearts attached to a Ghana flag. These are not just people who gave money – they’re supporters.
If you’d like to help, visit Tenino High School with a donation or go online to www.gofundme.com/7gj50c.
Submitted by The City of Olympia
The City of Olympia is seeking up to 13 loaned sculptures from Washington State artists for temporary display of up to one (1) year on Percival Landing and for consideration for the Peoples’ Choice purchase award of one sculpture for the City’s public art collection. Application deadline is April 16, 2014.
Percival Landing is a waterfront boardwalk and park that hosts several large maritime-themed events during the year and provides guest moorage for visitors arriving by boat. It is a popular destination for visitors and locals alike. Percival Landing has been recognized as one of 10 Great Places in America by the American Planning Association.
Application forms available at www.olympiawa.gov/plinth, or by calling Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation at 360.753.8380.
Death is a difficult subject to broach. Our reticence is understandable and perhaps a little detrimental. We’re all going to die, so why not talk about it? I’m not trying to be morbid but a healthy conversation about the inevitable can be productive and practical.
If you haven’t thought about the “end” then you’re probably not prepared. There’s plenty of work to be done after you’re gone. Tony Ward is the owner of Lasting Touch Memorials in Yelm. He’s a big proponent of planning ahead. The amount of time you put in before will save your loved ones unneeded worry and stress.
Ward has worked in various aspects of the death care industry for almost 30 years. In his mind, the first step is to contact a funeral home. “Prices and professionalism vary throughout the region,” says Ward. Next, it’s important to think about what kind of service you want. Do you want it graveside or in a church? Somewhere else? Your decision will be informed by your beliefs and traditions.
Cemeteries may look alike but each one has its own rules and regulations. Some allow large statues while others insist on flat markers. If you’re a veteran do you want to be buried in a military cemetery? Also, think about proximity. You might find a really nice cemetery that’s 60 miles from the nearest friend or family member.
When it comes to choosing a memorial it’s important to think about how you want to be remembered. “Generations from now people will know who you are,” says Ward. Do you have a favorite color? Do you have a hobby? A little forethought means your monument will be an accurate representation of you.
A memorial is also helpful in the immediate. “A lot of times a person will die but there’s not closure until the marker goes on the grave,” says Ward. The days and weeks following a death are difficult. Picking out your memorial in advance is one less thing your loved ones have to deal with. They can spend that time focusing on recovery.
All of this assumes that you already know what you want done with your remains. Are you going to be buried or cremated? Some people are part of a family plot while others want to be placed next to their significant other. Either way, make sure you pick a marker that has enough room for extra names or designs.
Doing your homework is a good idea in life and in death. When it comes to choosing a business to create your memorial make sure to do your research. “You want someone that’s been in business for many years,” says Ward. Longevity isn’t always a good gauge. Be sure of the company’s reputation and its overall experience. You want someone who has worked with people from different socioeconomic, religious and cultural backgrounds. If the business has only worked with one type of client then they might not understand your particular situation.
There are other, more delicate issues to consider. For now, just knowing how many decisions need to be made is important. With any luck this knowledge will open a dialogue about death and what we’d like to see happen once we’ve passed.
Lasting Touch Memorials
711 East Yelm Ave
Yelm, WA 98597
There’s nothing so wonderfully cathartic as a make-over. Whether it’s as simple as a haircut or as comprehensive as starting over from scratch, presenting a fresh face to the world is a delightful experience.
Stormans has been the proud parent of many local institutions for over 60 years. Under their business umbrella you’ll find the much loved Bayview and Ralph’s Thriftway stores as well as Bayview Catering, Finishing Touch Florist and Gifts, the Bayview School of Cooking, Courtyard Café, and Celebrations Party Store. With these offspring thriving, management decided to do some spring cleaning to their web presence.
Marketing Manager Carly Brettmann said the impetus for the new website was that “we are always looking for new ways to make our customers’ grocery shopping experience easier and we knew we needed to do better communicating online with them.” By making a centralized hub for information, customers are able to access all necessary information from one user-friendly starting point.
Like many savvy businesses, Stormans’ management realized that an online presence is a key component to customer satisfaction. With this in mind, on March 10 they rolled out a new online portal to their many stores and locations: www.olythriftway.com. This is now the gateway to so much more than store hours and locations.
An excited Brettmann continues, “There are so many great new features of the site. Customers have the ability to create online shopping lists that can be accessible on their mobile devices using the mobile site. They can also browse through thousands of recipes and add ingredients right to their shopping lists. They can sort through our weekly ad by a variety of categories, such as Brand Names, Departments, etc. Customers are also able to load coupons directly onto their Thriftecard so that next time they are in the store and purchase that product, they get the immediate savings at the check stand without having to physically clip coupons and bring them into the store. Customers will also be able to see upcoming Events for both stores under the Events tab. ThrifteCard members will now have an easier time logging into their accounts to check on their wallet balance, get special offers and they can now choose a Non-Profit in which 1% of their purchases get donated to a participating charity.”
Locally owned small businesses are the lifeblood of any community. The Stormans family of stores provides our town with many options for throwing great parties, learning to cook like a pro, or appreciate fine wines and nights on the town. The two Thriftway locations are hubs for Easter Egg hunts, turkey bowling, Valentine’s treats, and so much more. With this newly minted website, customers new and old can access all aspects of the company, shopping tips, coupons, and charitable giving.
The Ralph’s and Bayview Thriftway stores are some of the best browsing in town. No matter what you may need, you’ll find it—and someone who can teach you even more—throughout their aisles. Their new web presence promises to keep delivering on their mission statement of exceeding customer expectations through creativity, innovation, teamwork, and cooperation.
By Tali Haller
Often, the word “robot” draws forth images of sinister, humanoid machinery; perhaps, technology capable of taking over the world, even obliterating the human race. In reality, robots are much less evil. By definition, a robot is a programmable, mechanical device used to perform dangerous or repetitive tasks in place of a person.
In fact, robots help us far more than we realize. From the autonomous home vacuum cleaner, Roomba, to Spykee, the customizable WiFi robot designed for protection, to Sushibot, who rolls out 3,600 pieces an hour, robots are constantly providing us with the speed and accuracy we need to move forward as a society. Their integration into our world can be seen in many instances – robots now assist in children’s education, distribute medication to hospital patients, aid the military and law enforcement (often venturing into possible booby traps, unafraid of death, to check out the scene and disarm anything suspicious) and much, much more.
Their rather imperceptible assimilation over the years has begun to speed up. Recently, robots have been skyrocketing into popularity, and some are now calling them the next big thing. What’s more, the youth of our generation seem to be right on board. As robot popularity soars, robotics classes, clubs, teams, and competitions are springing up around the country, propelling America further into what many our calling the technologically-ensconced “information age.”
Olympia itself seems to have a spot on the map in this wave of technological ingenuity. Started just under two years ago, the Olympia High School Robotics Club may soon find itself sending one of its two teams, the ‘Oly Cow team, to Worlds in the First Robotics Competition (FRC).
Now a senior, OHS student Jill Shah established the OHS Robotics Club at the end of her sophomore year in 2012. The club currently consists of fourteen members divided between two teams, a rookie team and the advanced team, Oly Cow. The club members are an intelligent bunch, averaging a GPA of over 3.8, who love the practical application of science, engineering, and programming that the club provides.
Shah’s initial interest in robotics came from a two-week summer robotics course she took at the New Market Skills Center in Tumwater. Later, she ended up volunteering at a Robotics Competition held at OHS, but without any competing OHS students. “I thought that was sad because I knew that we had the talent, the motivation, and the money to create a really great team,” said Shah. Recognizing the potential, Shah managed to pull together what is now a respected, competitive Robotics team.
According to club member, junior Levi Bisonn, OHS is the first school in the Olympia School District to make it beyond state. Next up, the team must compete at the FRC Super-Regional Championship, which includes competing teams from all over the western half of the United States. The competition will take place on March 20 – 23. If they qualify, they will proceed to the World Championship, which some call the “Super Bowl of the Mind.” The overall winner meets with the President of the United States, showing off their robot and promoting STEM.
For the competition, teams must build an 18x18x18 inch robot to complete certain tasks. Each competition season the tasks change. This year, the competition is called “Block Party!” and the competing robots must be able to pick up and put blocks in a basket, grab onto a bar and hang, and raise a flag.
The tasks are assigned in the beginning of January at a “Kick-Off” event, where teams from around the world receive instructions simultaneously. In the following six weeks, teams work together, without adult help, to design, program, and build a robot in time for competition.
“Our team has an innovative robot design,” said Bisonn. “Instead of picking up blocks, rotating around and then dumping them, our robot transfers blocks directly through its center, speeding up the whole process.”
The club’s mentor, OHS Automotive and Robotics teacher, Stan Bratt, thinks they have what it takes to go all the way. “They’re phenomenal kids. Last year, at their first competition, they broke the world record high-score at one match, holding it for two weeks before another team broke it. They are just such an incredible team,” said Bratt.
It turns out that luck also comes into play during the competitions. In each approximately three minute match, two competing teams are partnered against two opposing, competing teams. If one of the two teams partnered together makes a mistake, the other might go down with it. “At State, our robot partner didn’t do well on one portion of the match. They ended up getting disqualified, resulting in our team losing the match as well,” Bisonn commented. “Luckily, we did good in our other nine matches and we were able to move on.”
Although the “robot partner” idea may seem unfair, it has a lot of merit. “Not only does it save time, but it replicates real-world situations. If you’re building an airplane, you have to be able to work with other services, the airlines, part manufacturers, etc. So, it’s teaching collaboration, team work, and it also promotes a friendlier competition,” Bisonn explained.
The OHS robotics club puts in a lot of work to make their robot a success at competitions. Under the supervision of Bratt, most of the club members meet daily, after school for as long as possible. “My job is extremely easy. If there was a problem, it would be trying to get them out of here every night,” laughs Bratt.
Although the team may be lacking in structure, their motivation allows them to efficiently collaborate and work together. “We get to the shop, we look at what needs to be done, and we all get to work. It’s beautiful camaraderie and fun,” comments Bisonn.
Aside from working on the robot, the Robotics Club also documents their journey, fundraises, volunteers, manages their social media outlets (Facebook: OHS ‘Oly Cow Robotics, Blog: www.olycow.wordpress.org), and does community outreach. For the most part, their fundraising has included a car wash and sponsorship deals for local businesses. For instance, a 1% Milk Donation ($25-$99) receives social media “shout-outs,” a ‘Thank You’ certificate, and the business name on the competition poster. There are two other levels of sponsorship: a 2% Milk Donation ($100 to $749) and a Whole Milk Sponsorship ($750+).
To date, the club has been extremely resourceful, going a long way with the initial start-up kit issued to new teams and free machinery donated to the club (such as a damaged laundry machine). However, in order to advance, the team is in need of support from the community. “Our team needs funds so that we can travel to California and other competition locations,” states Shah.
Already the club has proven their worth. Since their start they have been the winner of the THINK Award, given to the team with the best engineering notebook, twice, and the winner of the INSPIRE Award, given to the best overall team. Additionally, they have placed 2nd at the Regional and State Competitions in the 2012-13 season and the 2013-14 season.
Now, in the upcoming rounds of competition, we may see our own ‘Oly Cows moooove to the top.
By Tom Rohrer
Little thought is given to the outcome of their “roll.” Instead, their attention lies on positioning and technique.
“It’s just you out there so I have to rely on myself,” said Robertson, a 17-year-old senior at Timberline High School. “Every movement is calculated and at the same time instinctive. It’s hard to explain.”
“When I’m comfortable, I’m confident,” said Hathaway, who graduated from Capital High School in June of 2013. “To get in that mindset, I find my spot on the lane and just get away from everyone. I play my game and I don’t let anyone get in my head.”
The approach from the two bowlers appears to be working, as both Robertson and Hathaway came away victorious at the Youth Match Game Tournament held in Olympia the first weekend in March.
Hathaway won the event for the second consecutive year, while Robertson’s victory was her first individual tournament championship in 13 years of competition.
Robertson rolled a total of 1109, giving her the slight edge over second place finisher Alex Putzier of Black Hills, who rolled a 1061. Hathaway’s victory came in dominant fashion as his score of 1213 put him comfortably ahead of Ryan DeFazio’s score of 1089.
A win is a win, regardless of the margin of victory, and it comes to no surprise that both bowlers have similar feelings when reflecting on their victories.
“I was third place after qualifying but after I got the lead Sunday I never looked back,” said Hathaway, who works at Westside Lanes in Olympia. “I’m a pretty humble guy, so I’m chalking it up as another victory but I was in a slump the last month or so. When I won the South Sound Junior Masters (on Feb. 23), I just got in a groove.”
“It was my first time winning by myself, so it was a very surreal feeling,” Robertson said. “The whole time I was bowling, I didn’t pay any attention to who was winning or losing. I went there to bowl like I always bowl and that was enough.”
The foundation for Robertson and Hathaway’s victories was created long ago on the lanes across Thurston County.
Robertson’s father, Drew, has been bowling for fifty years and began taking Sydney to Aztec Lanes when she turned four. Soon after she became involved in youth tournaments and league play and eventually became a four year member of the Timberline High School varsity bowling team.
“It all started at Aztec Lanes doing a Saturday bowling league,” Robertson said. “(Bowling), it’s just always been a part of my life. I can’t imagine not playing.”
Though he now shares the same passion as Robertson, Hathaway’s love for bowling took time to develop.
“My buddy on my baseball team asked me to fill in a spot on his team in third grade. To tell you the truth, I hated (bowling) and I would pout every time I went,” Hathaway said. “Now, I can’t get enough of it.”
Following his victory in Olympia, Hathaway traveled to Kelso last weekend for the Western Sectional tournament of the Washington State USBC Youth Pepsi Championship. Competing in the Under-20 division, Hathaway bowled a 1240 over the course of the tournament to finish tied for 11th place. The performance earned Hathaway a spot in the USBC state championship, which will be held at Pacific Lutheran University May 17-18.
“I want to compete at the youth level the rest of the year and make the transition to adult competition the next year,” said Hathaway, who was an assistant coach for the inaugural Capital High School girls bowling team this last winter. “I hope to get to regionals someday, get a ball sponsor and eventually get to the World Series of Bowling.”
Like Hathaway, Robertson’s bowling career is far from over. After graduating from Timberline in June, Robertson will attend Washington State University, where she plans on joining former THS teammate Kelsi Mayther on the university’s club team.
Until then, Robertson will compete in her once a week league play and is likely to be selected for the state all-star team in April. Joining her every step of the way is her father, as the two share a lifelong bond through the sport.
“Every tournament, practice or league game I go to, my dad always gives me a pep talk before,” said Robertson, who led Timberline to a second place finish at the WIAA State meet in February. “It really boosts my confidence in my ability. Then when we get there, he gives me space, lets me bowl. He’s the perfect instructor and friend for the sport.”
The only bowler in his family, Hathaway takes on a coaching roll similar to Drew during his extensive time at Westside Lanes.
“If I see someone struggling or looking for help, I will give them pointers, techniques, whatever they want,” he said. “It’s important bowlers learn the proper way as soon as they possibly can and I enjoy it because it gets more people involved in the sport.”
After hundreds of practices, league matches and tournaments over the course of the last decade, Robertson and Hathaway know their time in the sport isn’t ending soon.
“It’s a game where anyone can be good or great at it, but it all depends on how much work you put into it,” said Robertson, whose average sits between 170-180. “No one can be born a great bowler. Everyone starts in the same place and I think I enjoy that mutual respect between bowlers. We all know we’ve worked hard to get to this point.”
“I’m an easy going guy, but I’m competitive,” noted Hathaway, a 219 average bowler. “Bowling is easy going, but it’s still very competitive. Everyone who bowls around here, we’re friends but we want to beat each other. That’s what makes bowling different than other sports. You have competition, but there is that friendly atmosphere around it that really makes it fun.”
For more information on the Thurston County USBC, visit http://tcusbc.blogspot.com/
Submitted by Intercity Transit
Climate researcher David Kroodsma dreamed of bicycling down his driveway in Palo Alto, California, and pedaling for months until he reached the tip of South America. When he finally planned his trip, he wanted more than just adventure; he also wanted to raise awareness about the impacts of climate change on the countries he would explore. So he set out on a well-packed bicycle with a business card, a laptop, and an eagerness to share his knowledge. His project, Ride for Climate, caught on; he gave over 100 school and assembly presentations, garnered dozens of newspaper accounts of his journey, and appeared on international television.
During nearly two years of travel, Kroodsma witnessed the world from a seat of a bicycle. He traversed unique ecosystems, coastline settlements, and glaciated mountains. “While biking,” he writes, “no windshield protects you from the rain, heat, or wind, and no wall divides you from the people along the road.” Countless people, from subsistence farmers to petroleum engineers, sheltered him and shared their stories. These experiences transformed and personalized his understanding of climate change, and in The Bicycle Diaries, Kroodsma shares these unexpected insights through a gripping travel narrative.
“This is the kind of adventure we need more of—someone actually taking what they know and carrying it out to the people who need to hear it. Pedaling a bike, and peddling the truth about the most important issue of our time.” —Bill McKibben, 350.org
“When scientist David Kroodsma talks about global warming, people listen—because he’s on a bike.”—Bicycling Magazine
The slideshow shares the best photos and videos from 21,000 miles of riding, and David relates the unique insights gained from his journey. Visit Kroodsma’s website for more information.
Submitted by Saint Martin’s University
Students and job-seekers will have an opportunity to connect with a wide range of employers Tuesday, April 8 at the 2014 Career and Internship Fair. The fair, co-sponsored by Saint Martin’s University and The Evergreen State College, will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Marcus Pavilion on the Saint Martin’s University campus, 5300 Pacific Ave. SE. The fair welcomes students, alumni and the public. Admission is free.
This year’s Career and Internship Fair will feature about 100 employers from private industry, government agencies and non-profit organizations. Some will be conducting on-site interviews for full-time, part-time and summer positions. Several colleges and universities will represent their graduate programs at the event.
“This is a very valuable event for our surrounding and student communities because it provides a one-stop way to learn about a great variety of exciting career opportunities,” says Ann Adams, associate dean of students and director of career development at Saint Martin’s.
Adams recommends that job-seekers come prepared by wearing appropriate business attire, bringing multiple copies of resumes and brushing up on interview skills in advance. A list of employers planning to attend can be found here.
Even for those who are not seeking immediate employment, the fair provides a valuable opportunity to gather information, polish their professional image and learn to market themselves more effectively, Adams says.
This year’s fair sponsors are the Associated Students of Saint Martin’s University, Saint Martin’s Alumni Association, Bon Appétit and CampusPoint and ResCare Homecare.
Submitted by the City of Olympia
Due to a decline in participation and increased cost of collection, the City of Olympia will not be conducting Spring Recycle Days this year. However, if you are unable to dispose of items yourself, Waste ReSources is available to pick-up bulky items. There is a fee of $25 for the first item and $10 for any additional items. Below are resources to help you dispose of hard to recycle items.
Contact your local tire retailer for disposal. Call first, fee may apply.
Metals and Other Recyclables
The City of Olympia Waste ReSources offers the Saturday Drop-off Site to recycle non-appliance and clean scrap metal. Items such as tools, fencing, wheels, posts, water tanks, wire, car parts or outdoor furniture are accepted. Please visit our website for more information at olympiawa.gov/satdropoff.
Contact Recovery 1 for more information or dispose of at the landfill because it is an inert material.
Contact the following businesses for more details on what they recycle: South Sound Steel, Midway Recovery, and Lacey Auto Recycling.
Additional Resources for Hard to Recycle Items such as Electronics and Refrigerators
Submitted by Olympia Federal Savings
Olympia Federal Savings will begin construction on their eighth branch office this spring. The property is in the Eagle Plaza commercial development, on the corner of Yelm Avenue West and Tahoma Boulevard. The Olympia Federal office will be next to the Yelm Family Medical Plaza, which houses Yelm Family Medicine and Providence St. Peter Hospital Diagnostic Imaging, along with other lab and surgical facilities. The site will allow for a full service branch along with some leased space.
“We are very excited to expand into Yelm,” says Lori Drummond, Olympia Federal Savings President. “We have many customers who live in or near Yelm, and as a growing part of Thurston County, we are anxious to provide our full range of services to this area.”
Construction on the site is planned to begin this spring, with a goal to have the office open and operating in late 2014 or early 2015. As with their new office in Belfair, and their recently remodeled office in West Olympia, Olympia Federal is looking to bring the latest in environmentally friendly construction materials and energy efficiency to the Yelm office.
Olympia Federal Savings was founded in 1906 and it’s headquarters are in downtown Olympia. They are a state chartered Mutual Savings Bank. With assets exceeding $550,000,000, Olympia Federal has earned the Bauer Financial Rating Service 5-Star Rating for 102 consecutive quarters. The 5-Star rating is earned by less then 1% of financial institutions nationally.
For more information on Olympia Federal Savings visit www.olyfed.com.