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Phil Petersen Provides Quality Repairs for Common Home Inspection Issues

Sun, 03/29/2015 - 6:00am



By Kate Scriven

olympia home repair

Phil Petersen specializes in home repair projects and small remodeling jobs.

I had a broken attic truss, an unsecured water heater, missing GFCI outlets in my kitchen, a window with a broken seal and missing CO2 monitors. These were the findings of the home inspection ordered by the buyer of my home 18 months ago.

My first thought? YES! The roof was fine, no pest damage was detected and no water damage was found. My second thought? How am I going to get these things fixed quickly in order to close the sale? I had a job, volunteer positions, kids to shuttle to soccer, and a new home construction project to manage. I needed help.

It’s a situation so many homeowners find themselves in during a real estate transaction. Inspection reports nearly always find a few things to fix. Some you can tackle on your own like adding CO2 monitors. Others, a handy neighbor can complete with some borrowed tools, like strapping in the water heater. And many require expertise that most homeowners just don’t have. When under the time crunch to close the deal, and knowing you need the work done right the first time, it’s time to turn to a professional – someone who is familiar with inspection reports, knows the common inspection issues and can remedy them quickly.

For local home inspector Dwayne Boggs and his team at Boggs Inspection Services, that go-to guy is Phil Peterson of Petersen’s Affordable Home Repair. Petersen specializes in home repair projects and small remodeling jobs and has been working with the Boggs team for over eight years. He has read his fair share of inspection reports in his 20 plus years in the business and he knows a good one when he sees it.

olympia home repair

Dwayne Boggs, owner of Boggs Inspection Services, refers homeowners to Petersen’s Affordable Home Repair.

“I’ve read all different types of inspection reports,” Petersen shares. “I typically call inspectors to clarify a few things as I prepare to make the repairs. When I started working with Boggs Inspection Services, I called to compliment them on the clarity of their reports, instead.”

It’s the consistent clarity and concise information in a Boggs Inspection Services report that set the inspection team apart for real estate agents as well as construction professionals like Petersen. “I probably had 35 referrals and phone calls from Dwayne before I ever met him face-to-face,” he recalls. “We agreed to final meet because we just both approach business in the same way and as we expected, we hit it off right away.”

Petersen grew his construction business from the ground up after several years waiting tables. “Working in restaurants really prepared me to deliver good service to my construction clients,” Petersen explains. He knew that listening to customers and delivering high quality service resulted in a better tip at the end of a meal. He applies the same philosophy to his construction customers, providing responsive, reliable and dependable service every time.

“Phil remains at the top of my list [for contractor referral] for a few simple reasons,” says Boggs. “He is very personable and professional. He always gets back to the client in a timely manner and he shows up at the time he says he will, which is very rare these days.”

The admiration goes both ways. Petersen loves working a job following behind a Boggs Inspection Services report. “The inspection reports generated by the Boggs team are easy to read, clear, detailed, and ultimately make my job easier and faster, saving homeowners money in the process,” shares Petersen.

olympia home repair

Petersen’s Affordable Home Repair can typically schedule jobs within a week of the first call.

The types of repairs Petersen sees run the gamut from simple fixes like securing a loose handrail or addressing a trip hazard like a missing floor transition, to complex repairs involving water or pest damage. “I try to get on it quickly and typically can schedule a job within a week of the first call,” he says. And in real estate deals, time is always a factor and having reliable repairs done quickly can make a big difference.

“I have worked with Phil for over eight years now and have never gotten a complaint about his work or his interaction with the client,” says Boggs. “As professionals, I feel we both stand behind our work. Phil has gone behind my inspections and done very simple repairs to resolving complicated moisture issues that take time to figure out and repair correctly. He’s not just about a short term fix. He wants his work to last which is one of the main reasons I trust him.”

The team of Boggs Inspection Services and Petersen’s Affordable Home Repair add up to professional, reliable, and quality service that homeowners can rely on. Whether you are selling, buying or just want to know the current status of your home, an inspection with Boggs Inspection Services partnered with repair work by Phil Petersen will give you piece of mind and quality repairs that will last.

You can reach Boggs Inspection Services at 360-480-9602 and Petersen Affordable Home Repair at 360-888-5081.

Neighborhood Notes: Reconnect at the South Bay Pub and Eatery

Sat, 03/28/2015 - 6:00am



By Alyssa Ramsfield

van dorm sponsorThe neighborhoods that scatter across Olympia vary in size and population. Off the beaten path of bustling downtown, at the 3300 block of South Bay Road, you’ll find South Bay Pub and Eatery. This isn’t your average bar, but instead a gathering place for friends and family of South Bay.

In 2011, Eric Dickerson along with his wife Savantha Dickerson (owners of South Bay Dickerson’s BBQ), Keith Lampard, and Mark Christensen (former owners of Darby’s Cafe) went into business together to open the pub.

south bay pub

Owners of South Bay Pub and Eatery came together to reconnect families in the South Bay neighborhood.

“Everyone said it wouldn’t work,” explains Eric Dickerson. “The bank wouldn’t give us loans. They didn’t think it was a good location to open a restaurant. My business partners and I disagreed so we fully funded the entire venture ourselves.”

“I was born and raised in the South Bay neighborhood,” says Dickerson. “I knew there was a need for a place for neighbors to hang out, relax, and enjoy some food. The neighborhood has shown this by making the pub so successful. Initially, we didn’t even advertise that we were opening. We just turned on the open sign and people started coming in.”

As the neighborhood streamed into the front doors, Dickerson noticed an incredible trend. “People I had grown up with from grade school were eating there with their families. It has been so cool to watch so many people reconnect through our location. Most of our business is regulars who are all from the South Bay area making it a great place to get to know your neighbors. We’ve all become such a close family here.”

“It really feels like family here,” describes Dickerson. “On Christmas Day, we had a potluck and the whole neighborhood shows up. It is packed! It just blows me away to see how many people were spending their Christmas with neighbors. It is a tradition we hope to continue in the future with the families here.”

The South Bay Pub and Eatery serves breakfast on the weekends, plus lunch and dinner throughout the week.

south bay pub

The pub’s menu consists of home-style favorites and daily specials.

The neighborhood joint also boasts a variety of wine and beer on tap. The home-style food offerings vary from sandwiches and wraps to mouth-watering burgers. Please note that the eatery is cash only.

South Bay Pub and Eatery

3323 S Bay Rd NE

Olympia, Washington 98506


Monday from 3:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Tuesday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Friday from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Saturday from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Sunday from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.


Chiropractic and Pregnancy – A Conversation with Eastside Chiropractic’s Dr. Amanda Kugel

Sat, 03/28/2015 - 6:00am



pregnancy chiropractic

Dr. Amanda Kugel personally understands the stress of pregnancy on a woman’s body. She has completed advanced coursework in pediatric and prenatal chiropractic.

Dr. Amanda Kugel, a Tumwater-based chiropractor gave birth to her first child in early August and remembers well the joys, and challenges, of pregnancy.

I recently sat down with the doctor and new mom to talk about her passion for helping women who are mothers-to-be through her specialized chiropractic trainings and experiences.

Q: What has created your passion for the care of women and children?

A: I spent nearly four years working as a WIC (Women, Infants and Children) nutrition counselor prior to becoming a chiropractor. Every day I witnessed pregnancy-related discomforts, which many women were told is “normal.” Sometimes strong pain medications were prescribed, many of them untested on pregnant women and their unborn babies.

I chose to specialize in chiropractic care during pregnancy and for children to offer a safe, effective option that women may be unaware of. The huge hormonal and chemical changes during pregnancy are sensed and coordinated by the nervous system. My goal in offering chiropractic care is to remove any interference on that communication system, such as improperly moving joints or tight musculature, in order to improve the body’s function, promoting healthy moms and babies.

Q: What specialized trainings and certifications do you have for working with pregnant women and infants?

A: I have completed advanced coursework in pediatric and prenatal adjusting through the ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association) program. We learn safe and gentle techniques suited for women pre-conception, throughout pregnancy and beginning as soon as the baby is born. I am also certified in the Webster Technique: a specific analysis of the sacrum, the bone at the base of the spine that forms the keystone of our pelvis, and the gentle adjustments to properly align it.

Q: What are the primary reasons women seek Chiropractic care during pregnancy?

A: Headache, mid and low back pain, rib pain and sciatica are common pain related reasons for pregnant women to seek chiropractic care. The weight changes of pregnancy, primarily in the abdomen, exert a forward and downward pressure on the spine, changing a woman’s center of gravity and gait. This tends to increase the pressure on the sensitive joints in the low back and sacroiliac joints, the joints where your spine meets your pelvis, sometimes leading to significant pain in the low back down through the legs. Also the head tends to shift forward as our center of gravity changes, placing stress on the joints and muscles in the head, neck and shoulders.

pregnancy chiropractic

Dr. Kugel (pictured here with her daughter, Aubrey) strongly encourages women to seek chiropractic care prior to being in pain. She uses the Webster Technique to assess sacral misalignment that can contribute to difficult labor.

I have experienced all of these changes myself during my pregnancy. My formerly graceful movements were replaced with rolling over instead of sitting upright to get out of bed, or asking my husband for a helpful hand to boost me out of the chair. I truly want to emphasize that women shouldn’t wait until they are in pain to seek help during this time. I encourage all women, even before conceiving, to be assessed by their chiropractor to make sure their body is functioning optimally and prepared for the changes that are about to occur.

Q: Tell me a little more about the Webster Technique.

A: The Webster Technique assesses sacral misalignment that can contribute to difficult labor in a few ways. First, the misalignment of the sacrum can interfere with nerve communication to the muscles of the uterus. These muscles contract in a coordinated fashion during labor to help push the baby down and out. Next, it can misalign the other pelvic bones, which form the “exit” for the baby to pass through during labor and delivery. Finally, sacral misalignment can tighten pelvic muscles and ligaments. Any of these effects on the pelvic bones or uterine position can interfere with a baby’s ability to assume the best position for birth – ideally head-down.

Q: What are the specific benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy?

A: Chiropractic care can help reduce Mom’s stress and discomfort, reducing the body’s time in “fight or flight mode.” While in this state, the body isn’t putting energy towards growth and development. Ideally our bodies are in “rest and digest mode,” promoting growth & development. By decreasing stress and discomfort, energy can be focused on important things, like growing a small human being.

Proper sacral and pelvic alignment may increase comfort during delivery, decreasing the need for pain medication, which can slow labor progress and can lead to interventions such as use of forceps or C-section. Proper alignment of the sacroiliac joints decreases the likelihood of back labor. Optimal pelvic balance allows greater room for the baby to develop in the womb, reducing potential restrictions on growing cranial bones, the spine and other structures.

Q: What are the specific benefits of chiropractic care after birth?

A: New moms often experience aches and pains due to the unfamiliar body positions when breastfeeding and holding a newborn. I remember contorting my body for long periods of time in any way necessary to feed and comfort my daughter, and I even know better! Fatigue from sleepless nights and parenthood’s new demands can be helped with regular adjustments. I recommend having the newborn checked soon after birth as well since the birth process can impact movement on the delicate joints of infant’s head and neck, possibly leading to latch issues during nursing, colic, reflux or poor sleep.

To make an appointment with Dr. Kugel, contact Eastside Chiropractic by calling 360-459-9000 or visit their website at


North Thurston Public Schools Hosts Groundbreaking for New Middle School

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 12:23pm



Submitted by North Thurston Public Schools

north thurston public schools

The new middle school is located in Meridian Campus in Lacey.

The community is invited to a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Middle School #5 at noon on Monday, March 30. The event is being held at new school’s location in Meridian Campus, 8605 Campus Glenn Dr. NE., Lacey.

The new school will be approximately 109,000 square feet, constructed on a 19.1 acre parcel that the district acquired in 2001 from the Vicwood Meridian Partnership through its Voluntary Mitigation process.

Site preparation work at Middle School #5, including clearing, grading and installation of underground utilities, was completed in December 2015.  Babbit Neuman Construction Company of Steilacoom has been awarded the bid for construction of the middle school.  Construction of the building and site improvements has recently begun, with completion scheduled for the summer of 2016.

The overall project budget is $48 million. The new middle school is part of a $175 million bond package approved by North Thurston Public Schools voters in February 2014. The bond includes school improvements at all 21 schools, including major modernizations of North Thurston High School, Evergreen Forest Elementary and Pleasant Glade Elementary. It also includes technology and safety upgrades districtwide.

The building is expected to be ready for occupancy in Fall of 2016. That opening will complete the district’s transition to a 6-8 middle school model. To view designs and project details, visit

Melissa Dewle Earns Play Therapy Credential

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 10:14am



Submitted by the Association for Play Therapy

Melissa Dewlen, LMHC of Tumwater, WA, earned the prestigious Registered Play Therapist (RPT) credential conferred by the Association for Play Therapy (APT), according to its CEO Kathryn Lebby.

Dewlen is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with Olympia Therapy.

To become a Registered Play Therapist, applicants must have earned a traditional masters or doctoral mental health degree from an institution of higher education, 150 clock hours of play therapy training, two years and 2,000 hours of clinical experience, 500 hours of supervised play therapy experience, and be licensed or certified by their state boards of practice.

Play therapy continues to gain popularity as an effective modality by which licensed mental health professionals use developmentally appropriate play therapy theories and techniques to better communicate with and help clients, especially children.

APT is a national professional society formed in 1982 to advance the field of play therapy.  It sponsors research, training, and credentialing programs to assist the professional development of its nearly 6,000 member psychologists, social workers, counselors, and marriage and family therapists in more than 25 nations.  Additional information is available at

  • Play Therapy is a mental health modality used when developmentally appropriate by licensed mental health professionals to better communicate with and help clients achieve optimal mental health. It is particularly effective with children because, just as adults use words to communicate ideas and feelings, children use play. Visit the About Play Therapy section of the APT website.
  • The Association for Play Therapy (APT) is a national professional society formed in 1982 to advance the play therapy modality and serve the research, training, and credentialing needs of its member counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, and social workers. Licensed mental health professionals may earn and maintain its Registered Play Therapist (RPT) and Supervisor (RPT-S) credentials. Visit the APT website.

A Historic Look at the Various Locations of the Thurston County Courthouse

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 6:19am



By Emmett O’Connell

creative officeUp until the last forty years, the Thurston County Courthouse has always been located in what people would know as “downtown Olympia.”

While our definition of the space considered “downtown” has expanded over time, the courthouse has moved slowly away from the downtown core since the 1930s.

The first site for what was supposed to be the county courthouse eventually became Sylvester Park. Edmund Sylvester, one of Olympia’s founders, deeded the lot to the city for a park. (Read more about Sylvester’s legacy in Olympia here.)  The town in turn deeded it to the county for a courthouse. The lot went unused.

thurston county courthouse

Thurston County Courthouse circa 1902

Before the 1890s, the Thurston County Courthouse bounced around between various temporary, swapped and bought locations. There was no permanent, purposefully built courthouse until almost exactly 40 years after the county itself was formed.

At one point, county government swapped buildings with the City of Olympia, accepting a smaller building in exchange for a school taking over the inconvenient county building. Much like today’s debate about wanting to move closer to the center of activity, the county leaders wanted to be closer to the port and commercial activity.

What we call “the old state capitol” really began its life in 1892 as the first purpose built Thurston County Courthouse. That original building was different than the structure we know today in two major regards. The annex built onto the the east end of the original building was built after the state bought it in 1902. Also, the original clock tower burned down in a fire in 1928.

thurston county courthouse

Thurston County Courthouse circa 1930

County government moved a couple of blocks north along Washington Street, landing at the corner of 4th and Washington for almost 30 years. This location is at the current site of the State Theater which houses Harlequin Productions.

That simple squat building lasted until 1930 when the county built a traditional looking courthouse on Capitol Way across the street from the capitol campus. Like many other government buildings that would soon crop up on that side of Capitol Way, it replaced a single family residence (in this case a mansion owned by a territorial general). It was also one of many buildings in Olympia designed by noted and prolific architect  Joseph Wohleb.

It is at this point in the history of the county courthouse that things take an interesting twist.

Thurston County government outgrew the Wohleb-designed courthouse and (at the cost of $2.6 million) the Capital Center Building (the so-called “Mistake on the Lake”) in the late 60s. The county never did move in. After attempting to buy property from the city near the old city hall on Plum, threatening to leave Olympia for Lacey, county government settled in to the current site on Lakeridge Drive.


thurston county courthouse

Thurston County Courthouse circa 1982

References and further reading

Olympia History: Mowell House Site

Olympia History: Thurston Courthouse on Franklin

Olympia History: Old State Capitol

Olympia History: Courthouse at State and 4th

Olympia History: Capitol Way Courthouse

Olyblog: Capitol Center Building, It Blowed Up Real Good

Olympia Weekend Event Calendar

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 6:04am



What glorious sunshine and warm temperatures we enjoyed on Thursday this week.  While the forecast isn’t quite as pleasant heading into the weekend, Thurston County residents are getting a sneak peak at beautiful weather to come.  Here are some ideas for enjoying all that the greater Olympia area has to offer 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 For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here.

Infernos Pizza Is Devilishly Delicious

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 5:05am



infernos pizza

Infernos Pizza has two restaurants – Lacey and Tumwater.

“I love pizza. I want to marry it, but it would just be to eat her family at the wedding.” In this, as most things, comedian Mike Birbiglia is 100-percent right. There’s nothing better than being shoulder to shoulder with family and friends over a magical, cheesy pizza.

Locally—and literally—the pizza hot spot is Infernos Brick Oven Pizza. A family affair created and owned by brothers Brad LaRue and Clint Owen, they specialize in hand-crafted pizzas with brick fired, lightly crunchy crusts.

Owen explains that “being a family owned restaurant we are able to develop our own unique recipes.”

“All of our dishes at Infernos are made from scratch, fired to perfection, with fresh, not frozen ingredients. We don’t even own a freezer,” Owen continues. “We have delicious, fresh food, with many healthy and gluten-free options. Our mission is to create a pizza that compares to no other and provide an excellent, fun-filled experience for our valued guest. This is not a franchise or corporately owned businesses—this is a family business built in the community we love.”

infernos pizza

The business is locally owned by brothers Brad LaRue and Clint Owen.

Owners of several other local businesses, including Line-X of Olympia on Capitol Boulevard, the family began developing the Infernos idea back in 2005. In 2007 their Tumwater location opened followed by a Lacey restaurant in 2011.

Long-time locals, the brothers strive to be more than just a dining destination. “Infernos Brick Oven Pizza is very involved in communities in many ways. Not only do we hire, train, and employ many of the community’s young adults, we also give back,” describes Owen. “Infernos sponsors many events, activities, and sports in a variety of disciplines and areas, from Tumwater and Black Hills to Lacey. We have sponsored school and organized sports: football, basketball, baseball, soccer, volleyball, rifle club, American Made Drill Team, fast pitch, and cheer. We have also donated to church auctions and Race for the Cure to name a few.”

“We believe that investing in our communities, young adults, and kids is a great way to give back to those who have helped support our businesses,” adds Owen.

infernos pizza

Favorite recipes are often named after their creator or biggest fan.

Favorite recipes are often named after their creator or biggest fan. Owen describes “Brad’s wife’s famous artichoke dip – now there is one to try — it’s so good! Or the Chicken Club, Clint’s favorite, or the LaRue pizza” featuring bleu cheese, steak, onions, and mushrooms. With both dine-in and take-out menus available online, you can streamline your visit by studying the many options beforehand.

Both locations also feature a variety of daily specials including daily drink and food offerings, Margarita Monday, Thirsty Thursday, military day, kids eat free night, and date night. At the Lacey location they have an exciting new lunch menu, as well as a private gathering room for parties, sports events, and gatherings.

For updated photos and specials, visit the Facebook page for the location nearest you. Both Lacey and Tumwater listings will make your mouth water.

Actor Kevin James declared that “there’s no better feeling in the world than a warm pizza box on your lap.” I disagree on one small point: the only thing better is having that fresh, warm pie delivered to your table at a welcoming restaurant where someone else is stuck with the dishes.

Infernos is located at 8825 Tallon Lane Northest in Lacey or 111 Tumwater Boulevard Southeast in Tumwater. Why cook tonight when you could buy fresh, local, and delicious?


Three Factors Make North Thurston’s Track Team a Tough Opponent

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 4:55am



By Gail Wood

tagsBre Ellis

Last spring, as Bre Ellis raced around the track, sprinting toward the finish line to break her school’s record in the 400 meters, she was pushed by a challenge.

north thurston track

Aerial Edwards (left), Bre Ellis (center) and Alexis Ross (right) ran on last year’s 1,600-meter relay that broke a North Thurston High School record.

She was pushed by the “you can’t” comments she heard as a child overcoming a birth defect. Born a month early, Ellis, now a senior at North Thurston High School, weighed under 2 pounds. Her legs didn’t fully develop and were shorter than normal.

Ellis didn’t walk until she was 2-years-old and she wore braces for sixth months, helping her as she learned to walk.

“I shouldn’t be walking,” Ellis said, pausing briefly as she began to cry. “God motivated me to run.”

Ellis, encouraged by her Christian faith and by her caring father, began running track when she was in seventh grade.

“I turned out for track because I just wanted to prove people wrong,” Ellis said at a recent track practice. “When I was a baby, nothing was developing. I was on a breathing machine.”

As Ellis told her story, wiping tears as she talked, two of her teammates Alexis Ross and Aerial Edwards, began to cry as they listened. They had never heard Ellis’s story of overcoming her challenges.

“I just love running with a passion,” Ellis said, her eyes brimming with tears. “And proving to people that I can do things.”

north thurston track

Tyler Reece (left) and Peter Allegre are both A-students with their eyes on qualifying for state in the distance events.

She did that a year ago. Stoked by the “you can’ts” in her life, she ran 400 meters in 48.5 seconds, breaking her school record. That same spring, running with Ross and Edwards, Ellis ran the leadoff leg on a 400-meter relay that broke a school record with a time of 4:06.1 and reached the 2A state meet.

“I love relays,” Ross said. “There’s less pressure, but then you don’t want to let your teammates down.”

Peter Allegre and Tyler Reece

North Thurston’s Peter Allegre and Tyler Reece aren’t only speedsters in the distance events – Allegre ran a PR 4:29 in the 1,600 and 9:39 in the 3,200 to qualify for state. They’re also brainiacs in the classroom, both pulling 3.99 GPAs. Allegre’s only “blemish” on his report card was an A-minus in algebra as a freshman. Reece got an A-minus in geometer as a freshman.

“School has also come pretty easy,” Allegre said. “My favorite subject is history. Any history is interesting to me.”

Allegre did his “homework” over the winter, running 45-plus miles a week to prepare for his junior year. Reece, a senior, also comes into the season fit and is ready for his final hurrah in high school. But his next chapter will include running. In June, Reece will head to West Point and follow the footsteps of his father, who also attended the military academy.

north thurston track

Dave Sieberlich (center) drives from Minnesota to coach the pole vault for North Thurston’s track team.

“I wanted to go there because my dad went there,” Reece said. “I really wanted to be in the Army. I wanted to go out and do something to help people and give back to my country. I really feel that’s a duty of every American.”

Coaching Staff

Brent Warner, who is beginning his 18th season as North Thurston’s head coach, has nearly 100 kids turning out for track this spring, the most he’s had in several years. He has a strong freshmen and sophomore class that shows promise.

“I think that when you look at what we have you’d say that we’re a younger team right now,” Warner said. “We have a lot of young talent.”

Helping to shape and develop some of that talent in the pole vault is Dave Sieberlich, a former head coach and teacher at North Thurston. When Sieberlich retired in 2006, Warner asked him if he’d be interested in still coaching. There was one glitch. Sieberlich was moving to Minnesota.

“I told him he could live at my house for three months,” Warner said.

And, maybe even to Warner’s surprise, Sieberlich said yes.

north thurston track

Brent Warner talks here with an athlete about the technique of long jumping.

“I love working with the kids,” Sieberlich said. “I enjoy working with the coaching staff. And Brent and I work really well together.”

And Sieberlich loves driving 1,200 miles out west. Last year, with his car nearing 400,000 miles and breaking down, Sieberlich got a new car when he arrived in Lacey. A couple of years ago, Warner, who has ridden the Seattle to Portland bike ride for about 10 straight years, rode his bike from Sieberlich’s home in Minnesota to Lacey.

It’s worth the trip. Sieberlich has a wealth of experience in the pole vault both as an athlete and a coach. In the 1960s, Sieberlich pole vaulted at the University of Wisconsin, clearing 16 feet in practice and 15-8 at a meet on a newly developed fiberglass pole. He competed against Brian Sternberg, a former world record hold while attending the University of Washington and an Olympic hopeful.

Sieberlich has another reason to make the long trip to Lacey each year. He still gets his doctor and dentist appointments here.

“He comes and gets his checkups here,” Warner said with a chuckle.

And he also checks up on the pole vault talent at North Thurston.

Sheila and Ben – A Lifetime of Satisfied Kluh Jewelers Shoppers

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 6:25pm



Submitted by L. Jeanette Strole Parks for Kluh Jewelers

kluh jewelers

Sheila has been shopping at Kluh’s Jewelers with her husband, Ben, for decades.

Aside from efficient and clever ad campaigns, nothing convinces a new potential customer to try a new product or store as the trusted word-of-mouth references from another shopper. So it is that we bring you an installment of affirming words from some very content customers, Sheila and Ben. (Editor’s note: They have chosen to withhold their last names for this article.)

Ben, a retired sheet metal worker has lived in Thurston County most of his life, and graduated from North Thurston High School in 1966. At that time, the graduating class was presented with a 10% lifetime discount from the Kluh Jewelers family, and indeed, he has kept this card for life. In 1981, he married Sheila, (who has lived in this area since 1973), and they remembered this 10% discount card when it was time to buy a birthday gift for Ben’s mother. They made a trip out Kluh Jewelers, and he bought her some topaz earrings. “We were so impressed with the quality and service, that we have been going back for gifts for family (and myself) ever since.”

Sheila, who retired from Alaska Airlines recently, shares that she and Ben and her sister-in-law from California have been attending several of the Kluh’s lay-away and vault sales. The annual vault sale event, in November, is Sheila’s personal favorite when she does all her Christmas shopping each year. “As I was a flight attendant, and out of town a lot, I had to miss some, but Ben went for me. We love the door prize events which take place prior to the sale, and have even won some, such as a $25 gift certificate towards the purchase of an item, and also pearl earrings.” As she reiterates, the vault and lay-away sales are an excellent opportunity to come in and see what they have in stock, and what their environment is all about. “And the donuts are great,” she adds with wit.

Their support and loyalty to Kluh’s business has given them many opportunities to add special items to their collection. A recent such memory marked Sheila’s retirement with a little extra dazzle. “Ben and I were shopping and I gleamed onto a beautiful gold and diamond watch which I could not purchase at the time, but mentioned to my husband how much I loved this watch and what a beautiful retirement gift it would be.  Well, on my last flight, he went with me.  On my layover, I woke up in Chicago the next morning, and there was a beautiful gift wrapped box on top of my suitcase which contained the watch I had my eye on. “

kluh jewelers

When Sheila retired from Alaska Airlines, Ben surprised her with a special watch that she had her eye on at Kluh Jewelers.

She adds that Kluh’s does an excellent job with gift wrapping, which adds that much more to the experience of giving and receiving gifts from their store cases.

In all their years of shopping at Kluh’s she has never had any complaints with their inventory or service. If anything, the opposite has been true. “I have had several pieces of jewerly in the past that needed to be sized or repaired and their on-site jeweler has always done an excellent and timely job. “

The unique jewelry, friendly staff and customer service keeps them coming back. “You cannot find [this] at a big box store.” One of her upcoming notions is to have a gold bracelet (which she purchased at a lay-away sale) made into a charm bracelet with her airline-service wings.

Ben and Sheila would probably not have foreseen that the 10% discount card that he received in 1966 would lead to their lifelong habit of shopping at this multi-generational establishment. But they are most certainly pleased with each experience they have had inside the doors of Kluh Jewelers. “What stands out most is their customer service.  When we walk into the store we are greeted with friendliness and they always remember our names. I would sincerely recommend anyone looking for a gift for someone or something for themselves for a special occasion to go to Kluh’s.  ”

Kluh Jewelers

701 Sleater Kinney Road SE in Lacey



Thrifty Thurston – As West Bay Drive Construction Ends, Poems Emerge

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 2:09pm



By Kelli Samson

oly ortho logoAs a high school English teacher, my eyeballs are trained to notice words. That’s why I may have gasped a little when I noticed them appear as part of the sidewalk construction project while I creeped along in West Bay Drive traffic.

The City of Olympia has incorporated a literary art project into its sidewalk construction, and poetry fans have taken notice. It wasn’t long before members of my book club, students in my classes, and even my own young daughters began to ask me what the story was on those words.

I put on my best Lois Lane-esque glasses and started digging.

west bay art poems

Sidewalks now link West Olympia to downtown Olympia. Art adorns the retaining walls and paths.

Olympia has had plans in the works for some time now to link its west side to downtown via continuous, uninterrupted sidewalks, much like the sidewalk linking San Francisco Street to East Bay Drive and, thus, downtown. Like its easterly counterpart, this public works project has always included a plan for incorporating art. The project was overseen by Jim Rioux.

This is where Stephanie Johnson, the City’s Arts and Events manager for the last decade, comes in. Johnson, who, among many other things, is responsible for coordinating Arts Walk twice each year, oversaw the artistic phase of the sidewalk project.

“The sidewalks are part of the Parks and Pathways project,” states Johnson. Local artist Carolyn Law was commissioned for both the East and West Bay projects.

“She was very inspired by the people of Olympia and the stories that they tell of the places that they live,” explains Johnson.

“San Francisco Street’s project is called ‘Neighborly Notes.’ It takes in the fact that it’s very near a school and deals with the concept that there’s a neighborhood just within walking distance of a gorgeous, million dollar view. As people move down that sidewalk toward the corner, there are water-inspired elements to keep people going toward the bay. There are sitting rocks. The colors are more primary for the school, and there are visual elements that include books and things like that because Roosevelt Elementary is very clearly an integral part of that neighborhood.”

west bay drive poems

The poems are written by local poet Lucia Perillo.

The title of the West Bay sidewalk is ‘Walking on Land by Water.’

“It references the historic lumber mills that were all up and down West Bay Drive,” continues Johnson. “The form liners for the retaining walls echo the wood from these mills. They look like siding or machined wood. The poetry was installed on plywood panels so that there is some plywood texture in some of the areas.”

More history about the lumber mills can be found at both West Bay Park and Rotary Point.

A second component of the artistic portion of the sidewalk is sparkle crete, a type of cement that contains glitter and is meant to mimic the shimmer on the water.

Finally, celebrated local poet Lucia Perillo was asked to contribute some poetic phrases with which to adorn these concrete creations. Her words offer delight for those walking or driving by. Not only are these poems stamped into the retaining walls, they are also surprisingly located in the very sidewalk beneath one’s feet.

west bay drive poems

Haiku are Japanese poems that follow a strict syllabic pattern and are traditionally about nature.

Perillo’s words are inspired by Japanese haiku, specifically those by Issa, and the fact that she dwells just above the project. “She is very aware of the flora, fauna, insects, and birds of the area,” says Johnson. “We’re really fortunate to have her in our community.”

Traditional haiku are three-line poems that revolve around the theme of nature. The first and last lines are five syllables long, with the middle line being seven syllables.

Perillo’s words invoke images of our Puget Sound location. She refers to our wildlife with, “Herons build nests without thinking about Eagles,” and acknowledges our weather with the lines, “A stone has no choice but accept the rain,” and “Ducks just trust the fog they fly into.”

What’s next for Walking on Land by Water?

The City of Olympia is working on a stain for the retaining walls to further enhance their wood texture. This phase of the project will have to wait for a good space of sunny weather.

west bay drive poems

A path has recently been added, connecting Woodard Drive off of Rogers Street in West Olympia to West Bay Drive.

Meanwhile, take a little time to stroll along West Bay Drive and appreciate what a thoughtful art installment these sidewalks truly are. They marry practicality and aesthetic in a way by which this English teacher approves.

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 For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here.

Saint Martin’s University Science Exploration Workshop Brings Fun, Learning to Boys & Girls Clubs Kids

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 6:48am



By Gail Wood

saint martins

Saint Martin’s University welcomed 38 students from the five branches of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County.

A rocket launches, a robot is made entirely out of Legos, an eye peers into a microscope – learning is happening, a peek into how math, science and engineering work at Saint Martin’s University.

About 38 students from five different branches of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County took part in an afternoon of fun and learning at the Science Exploration Workshops at Saint Martin’s University on a sunny March afternoon.

“This is why they call me the miracle worker,” Aiden said gleefully as he pushed the remote controls of the Lego robot he put together.

Aiden, an 11-year-old from Tumwater, was maneuvering his robot across the floor, trying to outsmart a friend’s robot.

“It’s fun,” Aiden said about the engineering workshop. “It’s exciting. I’m more of a football player, but I’m pretty good at math and science.”

saint martins

Saint Martin’s students led a workshop on angle of trajectory in rocket launches.

Throughout the spring semester, Saint Martin’s will host five STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) workshops. University professors and students organize the activities, giving the kids a hands-on-experience with learning. Part of the day’s objective is to stir a student’s interest in science, math and engineering.

Joe Ingoglia, chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County praised the partnership with Saint Martin’s University. “Not only do these workshops promote learning that will stick with the kids, but it also gets them interested in careers or degrees they wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. And the best part is that it’s taking place on a college campus that is right in their own backyard.”

“Many of our kids come from lower income households and will be the first in their families to attend a university—a feat that may seem impossible to some,” continued Ingoglia. “This partnership will break down many of those barriers and help them realize that a college degree is accessible and attainable. We are extremely grateful that Saint Martin’s is willing to change kids’ lives in this way with us.”

saint martins

Interactive workshops meant that kids were hands-on with Saint Martin’s students and professors.

“At the same time, the workshops encourage our college students to refine their presentation skills, nurture their passion in these subjects and actively participate in community service,” added Genevieve Canceko Chan, Saint Martin’s vice president of marketing and communications. “For many, learning to love science starts with a hands-on experience.  By taking them out of their familiar environs and having workshop leaders who are almost peers, closer to their age than their teachers, we can change the young student’s thinking from ‘I have to learn this’ to ‘I want to learn this.’  And for our Saint Martin’s students, what better way to reinforce their decision to study and pursue a career in these subjects than to be a mentor and possibly inspire another generation to love what they love.”

Aaron Coby’s biology group walked to an on-campus pond for an up close look at an ecosystem. The Saint Martin’s associate professor of biology had collected samples earlier. “We try to stay away from presentation stuff. It’s all interactive,” said Coby. “They’re all doing something.”

After exploring the pond, Coby and his group went to the lab and the students examined the water samples under a microscope.

“They try to identify organisms living there and try to think about who and what role those things play in the ecosystem,” Coby said.

saint martins

Another purpose of the workshops was to broaden awareness and spark an interest in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

Besides having fun, the event is an attempt to broaden awareness and to spark interest in a science field. In Associate Professor of Engineering Paul Slaboch’s workshop, the objective included helping students define what an engineer is and what they do.

“A lot of students come in with a preconceived notion of what an engineer does, or they might not even know,” Slaboch said. “We’re trying to get them involved with different types of engineering and to get students to expand their idea of what an engineer is.”

To help them define “mechanical engineer,” Slaboch had his group build Lego robots or remote controlled cars with motors and sensors.

There were directions to follow to build the Lego robots. But Aiden and his friends, with the help of Saint Martin’s students, came up with their own designs.

“That’s what engineers do,” Slaboch said. “We have to find solutions within restraints. We’re trying to teach them how to do that and use all the tools available to them to accomplish that.”

Shane Moore, an engineering major at Saint Martin’s, was as enthusiastic as the kids were about the challenge of putting together the Lego robots. He would answer any questions and gave plenty of encouragement.

saint martins

Boys & Girls Clubs kids also took a tour of the Saint Martin’s University campus.

“I hope they got a good idea of problem solving,” Moore said. “I also hope they got a better idea about the different programs that STEM offers.”

Moore was impressed with how the kids worked together to figure out how to design their Lego robots. Of the nine kids in that class, eight had never built Lego robots before.

“It was awesome,” Moore said. “They had fun playing with something they built.”

Slaboch said attracting tomorrow’s engineers is crucial. There’s an increasing demand and a growing shortage of engineers coming out of college.

“I believe Washington is one of the largest importers of engineers,” Slaboch said. “We have a huge need here in Washington and only a handful of schools are pumping them out. Washington, in particular, imports a lot of engineers from out of state and overseas simply because of the need with all of the high-tech in Seattle.”

Outside on the lawn, by Cebula Hall, young students excitedly launched rockets. Under professor Steve Parker’s and University students’ supervision, Boys & Girls Clubs kids pumped the launching tube and then released a trigger, sending the small rocket sailing 50 or 60 yards across the field.

saint martins

Saint Martin’s University hopes that these workshops will get kids excited about continuing their education in science fields.

“The objective is for the kids to have fun and to show them how fun science, math and engineering stuff can be,” Parker said as he watched kids measure the distance their rockets traveled. “Hopefully, this will help shape their future thought and get them thinking about taking science classes.”

The objective was to see who could shoot their rocket the farthest. That required experimenting with angles of the launch to determine which angle worked best.

“And they’re competing for a fabulous prize in the end,” Parker said with a smirk. “It’s for a sugary treat.”

Natasha, who visits the Lacey branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs after school, enjoyed shooting rockets across the lawn.

“It’s lots of fun shooting rockets,” Natasha said.

The mathematics experience involved launching rockets and hitting targets on a computer screen, measuring the angles and resulting distances. The chemistry workshop included the study of light.

saint martins stem

Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County CEO, Joe Ingoglia, hopes that this experience will break down some barriers for kids and show them that a college education is accessible and attainable.

“I got to learn about light and the different types of light,” said Ian, who is 13 and attends the Rochester club. “The gases and the atoms in that light makes them different.”

In addition to the hour-long, hands-on experience, the kids were also given a 15-minute campus tour. Each group was given a look at a certain area of the college.

“This is an opportunity to bring kids onto the campus, kids who probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to go onto a university campus,” Coby said. “It’s a way to let them see what university life is like. That’s one layer of the experience.”

Shellfish Growers Gearing Up to Clean the Sound in 18th Biannual Beach Clean-Up

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 3:50pm



Submitted by Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association

beach clean upOn Friday, March 27, crews from local shellfish farms, the Nisqually and Squaxin Tribes, the Department of Natural Resources, the Puget Sound Restoration Fund, the Pacific Shellfish Institute, and the Nisqually Reach Nature Center will gather to collect debris that washed up onto beaches this winter. The effort is hosted and organized by the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association (PCSGA).

Environmental stewardship is a core value of PCSGA because shellfish farms rely on healthy marine ecosystems for their livelihoods. Without good water quality, shellfish cannot properly grow or be harvested. The beach cleanup reflects that value of environmental stewardship.

beach clean upBeach cleanups are a long-standing tradition for the South Puget Sound’s shellfish community. Friday’s event marks the 18th biannual cleanup. It is an opportunity to clean up debris that gets pulled to high places on beaches or away from shellfish farms, where farm crews do not work or walk. Aquaculture gear from the shellfish industry typically comprises a small amount of the debris collected, much of which is sent back to farms to be recycled or reused.

Over 100 miles of beach and several inlets will be covered, including Eld, Totten, Hammersley, Case and Carr. Crews will also be on Squaxin, Harstine, McNeil, Anderson, and Ketron Islands and in Oakland Bay.

Contact PCSGA at 360-754-2744 if you know of an area that needs attention or if you don’t want people accessing your beach. Throughout the year, you can also contact PCSGA’s marine debris hotline at 360-489-0141.

Support for this event and the marine debris hotline comes from funds raised through SLURP – PCSGA’s annual shellfish, beer and wine festival which is held every spring in Olympia. Proceeds raised at SLURP are also used to help fund other beach cleanups throughout the state. SLURP 2015 will be on May 3.  Event tickets can be purchased here.

Washington State Conservation Commission Tours Projects in Thurston County

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 1:48pm



Submitted by Washington State Conservation Commission

colvin ranch

Fred Colvin, principal operator of Colvin Ranch in south Thurston County, tells tour participants how his cattle have become a tool for conserving native prairie vegetation.

Local, state, federal, and tribal partners from across Washington convened in Olympia last week to tour conservation projects in the area. The tour, hosted by Thurston Conservation District, was part of the bi-monthly meeting of the Washington State Conservation Commission (SCC)—the coordinating state agency for all conservation districts in Washington.

“There is nothing more valuable than taking partners out on the ground of project work by conservation districts,” said Kathleen Whalen, Administrator of Thurston Conservation District. “Such an opportunity provides them with a first-hand look at how we work to find creative solutions to natural resources issues; and, hear the perspectives of the landowners and partners we have worked with. This gives them a better understanding of agriculture in our local community.”

This was the first time since 2010 that Thurston Conservation District hosted the SCC meeting and tour. The agency’s 10-member governing board—representing state agencies, governor appointees, and conservation districts—meets six times a year in locations that rotate among the 45 conservation districts in the state.

The tour visited three sites showcasing a cross-section of projects involving Thurston Conservation District, including a rotational prairie grazing system, stormwater management on a small farm, and a large estuary restoration project aimed at enhancing and restoring important salmon habitat. Each project involved a mix of partners, including private landowners and farmers, local non-profits, local government, and state and federal agencies.

Fred Colvin, primary operator of Colvin Ranch, has enrolled in programs offered by Thurston Conservation District and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service that help him maintain a profitable ranch and valuable prairie ecosystem. The key, said Colvin, is to design conservation programs that meet both landowner and conservation needs.

“If you want private property owners involved with conservation goals, they need to be involved from the beginning,” said Colvin.

Colvin uses a rotational grazing plan on his ranch that benefits both the prairie and his bottom line. His cattle systematically graze and suppress non-native grasses, allowing native plants to flourish. And, he’s able to market Colvin Ranch grass-fed beef as a sustainably raised product throughout the South Sound region.

Colvin also enrolled in the South Sound Farm Link program launched by Thurston Conservation District in 2014. The program supports sustainable, local agriculture by providing a farmland database that connects farmers looking for land to landowners with property for lease or purchase. Colvin—one of over 30 people to enroll in the program so far—used the database to find additional grazing pasture for his cattle.

Clinton O’Keefe, current chair of the SCC and wheat farmer from eastern Washington, said Thurston Conservation District is not only helping landowners understand and afford conservation, they also are ensuring that landowners’ voices are heard, leading to more effective, feasible approaches to resource conservation.

“People who live and work on the land are uniquely qualified to develop solutions for conservation,” said O’Keefe. “By tailoring their programs and services to meet both state and landowner needs, Thurston Conservation District is enhancing the value of conservation for everyone.”

Conservation districts are non-regulatory, local providers of natural resources knowledge and on-the-ground expertise. They originated during the 1930s dust bowl era, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt called on landowners to form locally led conservation districts that would carry out cooperative solutions to soil and erosion issues. Today, every one of Washington’s 39 counties is represented by at least one conservation district, and they help landowners address a broad spectrum of natural resource issues.

The SCC is a state agency that works with conservation districts and other partners to engage landowners in voluntary stewardship. To learn more about the Washington State Conservation Commission, visit; or, to learn more about Thurston Conservation District, visit

Zoe Juice Bar Now Open in Tumwater

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 1:37pm



Submitted by Zoe Juice Bar

We are excited to announce that our newest location is now open in Tumwater. Our new juice bar will offer raw juice, smoothies, acai bowls, juice cleanses and gluten free goodies!

Zoe Juice Bar is committed to providing fresh, nutrient packed juices and smoothies. We offer convenient, healthy, plant based goodness to help our community achieve their wellness goals.

Zoe Juice Bar is a fun and friendly place to come and enjoy drinks filled with fresh, raw, fruits and veggies!


zoe juice barZoe Juice Bar

111 Tumwater Blvd, Suite B101 in Tumwater


Monday-Friday – 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Saturday -10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Sunday – Closed

Campbell & Campbell Event Center Hosts Tea Party

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 1:31pm



Submitted by Campbell & Campbell Event Center

olympia party venue

Helen Finely enjoyed her surprise birthday party and Campbell and Campbell along with many of her great-grandchildren, including Larry and Kristine, featured here.

On her 90th birthday, Helen Finely had no idea where she was going. As her daughter Vicki and son-in-law Bill drove her toward Tenino on February 28, she imagined they might be going to visit relatives in Bucoda.

Instead, they arrived at Campbell & Campbell Event Center, where droves of friends and relatives were waiting, including her 88-year-old sister and many of her great-grandchildren. “When we opened the doors, she couldn’t believe it,” says Vicki.  “Mary had made everything so nice.”

Mary Adams owns Campbell & Campbell, and she and Vicki are old army buddies. The birthday theme they agreed upon was a Tea Party. “We’re always having tea parties with the grandkids so when Mary suggested this, I thought it was a great idea,” says Vicki.  While the kids took advantage of stations where they could decorate their own headbands and create other art, the adults enjoyed the theme and each other’s company.

Vicki says that her mother’s life has come full circle. “She was raised on a farm in Nebraska, and now she’s come back to a rural community.” Along the way she got married to Vicki’s father, a military man, traveled around the country and spent nearly forty years as a bookkeeper.

For Helen, the surprise gathering was a memorable way to celebrate a life that began in 1925. “She’s still talking about it,” says Vicki. “She called her sister in Georgia to tell her all about it, and anyone who wasn’t at the party has heard of it by now. It was a really special day. Mary did a great job.”

Campbell and Campbell Events now offers tea parties. For more information, contact Mary Adams at 360-259-1495.

New Attorney Brings Family and Workforce Expertise to Crowe Law

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 12:40pm



Submitted by The Crowe Law Office

crowe law office

Holly Scott enjoys her new office at Crowe Law in downtown Yelm.

Holly Scott believes that the legal profession is a service industry. “That’s something Dan Crowe and I share, an understanding that we’re helping people with problems they can’t necessarily deal with on their own,” she says. In January, Scott joined The Crowe Law Office in Yelm, bringing a wealth of experience in workforce issues and a familiarity with family law.

Before law, she had a career as a human resources professional. While at a power plant that served hospitals and medical facilities in Boston, she got to know many of the workers. “They were all union crew,” she says. “I learned a lot about labor law through them, but being in HR I was also navigating employment law through the non-represented employees. I got involved in that whole process and really interested in that type of law.”

After graduating from Seattle University Law School, Scott worked for the Department of Labor and Industries and later, the Employment Security Department. “Working for L & I, I was dealing with a lot of wage complaints, farm workers and child labor issues,” she says. Mostly, she focused on the legislative process, although she also worked closely with those who answered the wage complaint hotline. “Most of the calls were from people who weren’t getting paid their wages, experiencing wage theft, or people who weren’t getting their meal and rest breaks properly applied,” she says.

At Crowe Law, Scott will be focused on general practice. “Whatever comes up,” she says.

In addition to her regular job, Scott volunteers regularly with Thurston County Volunteer Legal Services and in King County. A lot of those cases involve family law, and the experience helps to keep her contributions in perspective.

“Right now, I have a few pro bono cases that are really tough situations,” she says. “Every time I see some of these clients, I’m awed by what huge things they are doing. In some cases, relatives are taking in children of family members to make sure that they’re taken care of, because the alternatives would be tragic. I’m just helping these amazing people do what needs to be done.”

Coming from Boston to Seattle to Olympia to Yelm, Scott has definitely noticed some differences. “Everybody knows each other, which is a really cool thing for me,” she says. “You go to Thurston County Bar Association functions and you know everyone in the room. You go to court, you see people that you know.”

In Yelm, she’s getting to know whole families, which brings her full circle. “I’m originally a small town girl from Reno, Nevada and then went and became a city girl, and now I’m back to a small town and all the adventures that come with that.”

The Crowe Law Office offers comprehensive legal services, including criminal defense, family law, estate planning, business law, real estate and civil litigation. For more information visit, send an email to or call 360.960.8366.


This Coffee Break Brought to You by Your Neighborhood Thriftway

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 8:24am



batdorf coffee

Josh, Batdorf and Bronson’s Northwest Outreach Coordinator serves coffee at Bayview Thriftway. Photo credit: Batdorf and Bronson.

Sports, politics, and religion are topics on which everyone has an opinion. In Olympia, there’s a fourth entry into this hot-button arena: coffee. Everyone has their favorite blend of beans, roast, brewing method, and retailer.

Like many passions, coffee even has its own language to learn. Who could have known that the patois of the twenty-first century would include such phrases as “I’d like a triple, venti, soy, no foam latte” or “Make that a grande, quad, non-fat, one-pump, no-whip mocha to go, please.”

For those of us who prefer fewer steps to our morning (noon, and night) mug o’ joy, the savvy buyers at Ralph’s and Bayview Thriftway carry our region’s pride and joy: Heavenly-smelling, locally crafted beans from downtown Olympia’s Batdorf and Bronson Coffee Roasters.

Kevin Stormans, president of Stormans Inc, the locally-owned parent company behind Ralph’s and Bayview Thriftways, is himself a huge Batdorf fan. He explains that they began selling the freshly-roasted beans more than 10 years ago. Their Bayview location was remodeled to repair damage sustained in the 2001 Nisqually earthquake, and that’s when bulk coffee was added and became one of the company’s most popular items.

Stormans sought out Batdorf coffee as part of his mission to “support local businesses in every area of the store.” He chose them because they offer a premier, well-known product which compliments a successful, community-focused corporate mindset. Stormans and his team love this coffee so much that it is the brand brewed and served in their Fourth Avenue company offices.

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health reports that 54% of Americans over 18 drink coffee every day, with average consumption being three cups daily. As a nation, it’s estimated that we spend $40 billion on coffee annually.

With that level of devotion to our daily pick-me-up, roasters like Batdorf and Bronson are an ideal choice. Not only do they “put immense effort into sourcing and roasting fresh beans for coffee and espresso enthusiasts who crave quality and consistency” but “our pursuit of excellence extends to the way we conduct business. We strive to meet the challenge of sustainability with every decision we make. We offer Certified Organic, Fair Trade Certified, Bird-Friendly and Shade Grown coffees. We continuously work to lighten our environmental footprint through recycling and the purchase of 100% renewable energy.”

batdorf coffee

Bayview and Ralph’s Thriftway began selling Batdorf and Bronson’s freshly roasted beans about ten years ago.

This echoes the Stormans mission to “fulfill our customers’ needs, and exceed their expectations” and “provide our customers a wide selection of fresh, high quality products with exceptional service and value.”

Try to imagine any event, from church social to business meeting, without the humble presence of coffee. Whether you measure out your life with coffee spoons or appreciate the cheerful delights of a coffee klatch, few things so color our days.

Next time you’re at Bayview or Ralph’s Thriftway stores picking up the necessities or creating a personalized, online shopping list, don’t forget to bring home a supply of Batdorf and Bronson’s finest. Your friends, family, and anyone downwind will surely thank you for it.

Visit Bayview Thriftway at 516 West 4th or Ralph’s Thriftway at 1908 East 4th in Olympia.

Capital Cougarettes Prepare to Leave It All on the Dance Floor

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 6:45am



By Claire Smith, Capital High School Intern to ThurstonTalk

russell bode dentistryState. It’s a word that gets any high school sports team or organization’s blood pumping. And if there’s one team who can’t wait for their state competition, it’s the Capital High School Cougarettes.

The Cougarettes have trained vigorously over the past eleven months for this big finale. They have qualified to compete in the 3A state competition in the military, pom, and dance categories. Last year, they earned second in military and won the pom division. Their pom routine had the highest score at state of any routine – 290.4 out of a possible 300 points. Eager to come back with just as much energy this year, the Cougarettes haven’t been wasting a single moment of the 2014-2015 season.

The Cougarettes get fired up for their award winning pom routine.

The Cougarettes get fired up for their award winning pom routine.

These ladies train six days a week, anywhere from two to six hours depending on the day. The girls in the dance routine often stay later to get a little extra practice. It takes dedication beyond measure, but the Cougarettes create a sisterhood within the gym walls making it fun. Freshman Annabel Parody, who danced ten years prior to joining the Cougarettes this season, says, “Drill is such a close knit group of girls – we are all a family.”

Their dedication certainly shows. The Cougarettes haven’t returned from a competition with anything lower than a third place finish, and have collected nineteen trophies over this season alone. On March 7, at the district competition, the Cougarettes were Triple Champions for 2A/3A schools, earning first in every routine, and had the fifth highest overall score in their military routine.

The Cougarettes also received an award this season bringing pride to all of Capital High School. The Cougarettes are the Academic State Champions for 3A schools. Their combined GPA is the highest of any school in the state. Not only are these girls powerful dancers, but they’re also a force to be reckoned with in the classroom.

At the districts competition, the Cougarettes got first in every category they competed in. This is the fifth consecutive year they’ve been district champions.

At the districts competition, the Cougarettes earned first place in every category they competed in. This is the fifth consecutive year they’ve been district champions.

It’s not just all work and no play for the Cougarettes. They participate in community activities, such as the Big Brother and Big Sisters auction, where they danced a routine choreographed to fit the event’s Great Gatsby theme. They also have fun practices, playing the infamous “Ships and Sailors,” and coordinate Spirit Weeks where they dress up to match a theme.

The Cougarettes don’t view dance as a sport that requires grueling effort. “We see it as a way to express ourselves,” captain Carina Valtierra says. Anyone who’s ever seen the Cougarettes dance understand this – the passion and joy they feel is expressed across their face and through their bodies.

The team has learned skills far beyond simple dance steps. They’ll finish this season with so many powerful and positive thoughts. Co-captain Nancy Lang sums it up perfectly when she states, “Even through the tough times, you have to keep pushing and believe in yourself and your teammates. Without a single ounce of hope, you won’t get anywhere. The power of positive thinking can do almost anything, and that’s what drives our success.”

The team’s foundation is built on positive thinking and they thrive on it. If you listen closely, the dancers will yell encouragement at each other throughout their routines. Every time they hit the floor, they believe in themselves and what they can accomplish as a team.

The Cougarettes are led by coaches Jan Kiefer and Jaci Gruhn. The team’s leadership consists of captains Kristelle Cariaga, Carina Valtierra, co-captains Isabelle Shrestha, Nancy Lang, and lieutenants, Maddie Soran and Ella Collins.

 Annabel Parody, Maddie Soran, Amy Ly, Isabelle Shrestha, Nancy Lang, Ally Barton, Ella Collins, Carina Valtierra, Kristelle Cariaga. )

The nine girls who compete in the dance routine. From left to right, back to front: Annabel Parody, Maddie Soran, Amy Ly, Isabelle Shrestha, Nancy Lang, Ally Barton, Ella Collins, Carina Valtierra, Kristelle Cariaga.

These ladies have become who they are thanks to Coaches Kiefer and Gruhn. Kiefer has coached for eighteen years and is 100% dedicated every day. She and Gruhn are early to every practice and give the team their full attention. With her “smidges,” Kiefer makes sure the girls have precise formations and spacing, while Gruhn makes sure the girls are always trying to get to the next technical level. But these two amazing women are more than just coaches. They are shoulders for the girls to cry on, ears always ready to listen, and hearts that couldn’t possibly give more love if they tried. They’re the perfect balance and often call each other “yin and yang.”

There are two seniors, nine juniors, eight sophomores and four freshmen on the team this year. Very few members of the team have prior dance experience. Coaches Kiefer and Gruhn judge tryouts on potential, not starting skill. The hours the Cougarettes put in clearly shows when it comes time to perform.

There’s also a special chemistry the Cougarettes have that make them unique. “We fight for each other. We are really close to each other on this team – we’re like sisters. We fight, we love, we do everything that a family would do,” says co-Capitan Isabelle Shrestha. “Dance team is family.”

All the work these ladies have put in is about to pay off. On Friday, March 27 at the Yakima Valley Sundome, the Cougarettes will compete one last time as the 2014-2015 team in 2015 Dance/Drill State Championships and leave it all on the floor.

Good luck ladies, your music is on…



On the Hunt for Spring Treasures to Celebrate Easter and Passover

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 6:00am



By Mary Ellen Psaltis

easter recipes

These individual egg cups can display your dyed eggs or hold your morning breakfast.

I hold a warm place in my heart for the Easter Bunny. One Christmas my toddler had a clear aversion to getting his photo taken with the big man in the furry red suit. However, the following spring we came upon a lithe, friendly Easter Bunny at the mall who was available for pictures. My son clamored into the rabbit’s lap with nary a peep. I still like that photo. There will be no mall photo this year (he’s in college) but you can bet the Easter Bunny is stopping by to drop off a few selected chocolates.

Whether your celebrations are of a religious nature, such as the Jewish Passover or the Christian resurrection, or if you are welcoming the beginnings of spring and a visit by the Easter Bunny, you will find supplies are abundant both Ralph’s Thriftway and Bayview Thriftway stores.

While it’s true that neither locally-owned grocery store is huge, that means all space is at a premium. I am continually impressed with the variety and quality I find both in produce (locally grown choices) and in the various aisles. Maybe you are hunting for a dessert. Bayview has a case of tempting delights. It’s just you? Opt for a spring decorated petit fours. Alaska Silk Pie Company creations come in numerous varieties. Fudge is made on-site. How about butterscotch chewy praline? There are far more choices than days in a month!

easter recipes

Flowers bring the spring season inside and brighten your table.

If you are feeding a large group, you might like a Hempler’s Gourmet Semi-Boneless ham. They can weigh over seven pounds. A Niman Ranch uncured ham steak might work better for a more intimate meal. For your convenience, Ralph’s has a concentrated display of Passover foods: potato kugel mix, crackers, chicken consommé and gefilte fish and even horseradish sauce.

At both stores, the areas around the cash registers are well worth browsing. Plush rabbits, wrapped Chehalis Mints, and other festive goodies are on display. Ralph’s has more Easter bunny supplies (plastic eggs, baskets and toys) down the aisle from their Customer Service Center.

I believe the coming of spring is worth celebrating. Yes, the mowing season has already begun but you can lighten your load. Let the professionals at Bayview and Ralph’s Thriftway stores be part of your team. They can help you with wine selections, fresh fish, deli options, decorated cakes and all sorts of decorations. See what goodies you can find to fill your basket at your next visit to Bayview or Ralph’s Thriftway. I’ll be the one strolling through each aisle. Happy Spring.

Egg Ideas

That basket-full of colored eggs can be put to good use. These eggs-tra eggs are fun to put into sack lunches as they usually retain some color after they are shelled. Here’s another idea. A friend told me she needed to bring appetizers to a party, but it was on short notice. What did she have on hand? She found eggs and Stouffer’s Spinach Soufflé, which she boiled (eggs) and defrosted (spinach). A spoonful of mayo was added to the spinach, which in hindsight she thought was unneeded. The halved eggs were stuffed. They were a hit.

easter recipes

Sweet Lady Jane’s Lemon Raspberry Cake is ready for you to take home and share.

I really liked this idea but wasn’t crazy about all the extra ingredients in the Stouffer’s version. I experimented at home. I placed four eggs in a pot of cold water, added some baking soda and brought it to boil. When it boiled, I covered the pot, turned off the heat and set the timer for ten minutes. The baking soda promotes easier shelling.

I took a small handful of fresh spinach and cut off the stems then chopped it small. I added a tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt and a tablespoon of mayonnaise plus a healthy squirt of course ground mustard. I squished in the cooked yokes and added a little salt. It was easy to spoon the mixture into the eggs.

Usually I put all the yokes and miscellaneous ingredients into a sealable sandwich bag and hand massage until it’s smooth. I cut off the corner of the bag and pipe the filling into the eggs. I was afraid the spinach might make it too chunky, but actually I think it would work all right.


Fresh asparagus is amazing raw in a salad. Use it to dip into yogurt or other sauce. To prolong the life of your spring greenery, blanch for 45 seconds. That means dunk in boiling, salted water – but not for long. Now they are ready to eat as is, be added into a salad or stir-fry.

Here’s a recipe that has a few of my favorite ingredients: brown butter and pecans. It’s from Food Network star Melissa d’Arabian, who is an expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the author of the cookbook, “Supermarket Healthy.”

easter recipes

Fresh asparagus is versatile and tasty.

Brown Butter Asparagus with Pecans

Serves: 6 / Preparation time: 15 minutes / Total time: 15 minutes

1 ½ pounds asparagus, trimmed and cleaned

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons pecans, chopped

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and blanch for 45 seconds (add 30 seconds if stalks are particularly thick). Using tongs, remove the asparagus and allow to drain dry on paper towels. Arrange the asparagus on a serving platter.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook until the bubbles subside and brown bits start to form, about 2 minutes. Add the pecans and stir so that nothing burns. Once the pecans are fragrant and the butter is toasty brown, stir in the soy sauce and lemon juice, then remove from the heat. Pour the pecan butter sauce over the asparagus, sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.

80 calories (50% from fat), 5 grams fat (2.5 grams sat. fat), 5 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 50 mg sodium, 10 mg cholesterol, 33 grams fiber.

Eat Well Be Well