By Kelli Samson
As 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 email@example.com. For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here.
By Gail Wood
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.”
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.”
“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.
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
Submitted by Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association
On 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 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.
Marita Dingus‘ latest art exhibit, The Girls, is at Traver Gallery until March 28. Marita continues her fearless exploration of recycled materials in this fierce display of female figures of the African Diaspora that range in size from 6 1/2 inches to 6 1/2 feet tall.
It is always intriguing to discover what discards she has incorporated into her pieces, especially when she points out “look what I did with those green plastic things you gave me,” because I, along with most of her friends and fans, contribute to her collection of interesting junk supplies. In this case, the Olympia Library had given me a big box of empty spools from receipt paper; after ten years, I finally decided that I wasn’t going to use them in my work and passed them on to Marita, who always seems to find something to do with the stuff everyone else wants to throw away.
Learn how to help protect local waterways and Puget Sound while also preventing storm drainage from harming your home. A free workshop will provide all the details needed to build a "rain garden" in your yard to create an attractive feature to manage polluted storm runoff and make habitat for birds and butterflies.
This how-to workshop will be offered on Thursday, April 23, from 6 to 8:15 p.m., with an optional hands on plant-design activity from 8:15 to 9 p.m. at the Hands On Children’s Museum, 414 Jefferson St NE, Olympia. Each participant will receive detailed information about designing and building a rain garden, as well as a free full-color handbook and beautiful poster.
The workshop is free but registration is required by visiting www.streamteam.info or calling the WSU Native Plant Salvage Project at 360-867-2167. This workshop is co-sponsored by Thurston County Water Resources, Stream Team, and WSU Extension’s Native Plant Salvage Project.Google Plus One Facebook Like
Submitted by Washington State Conservation Commission
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 www.scc.wa.gov; or, to learn more about Thurston Conservation District, visit www.thurstoncd.com.
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 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
Submitted by Campbell & Campbell Event Center
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.
Submitted by The Crowe Law Office
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 http://www.crowelawoffice.com/home.html, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360.960.8366.
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.”
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.
By Claire Smith, Capital High School Intern to ThurstonTalk
State. 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.
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.
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.
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…
By Mary Ellen Psaltis
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!
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.
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.
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.”
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
Submitted by Saint Martin’s University
On the final day of the CBU Invitational, the Saint Martin’s University men’s golf team had a final score of 312 to finish 12th out of 15 teams.
The tournament field includes four nationally ranked teams in No. 3 Chico State, No. 9 Simon Fraser, No. 20 Western Washington and No. 23 Dixie State. Northwest Nazarene was the other Great Northwest Athletic Conference school in attendance.
For the first time this season and in his first spring invitational, freshman Andrew Raab was the top finisher for SMU as he finished 23rd with a three-round score 225, to finish nine-over par. He had a final-round score of 79 with his best score of one-under par 71 coming in the second round.
Austin Spicer was the second finisher for the Saints as he shot a 78 in the final round to finish 47th overall with a 36-hole total 230. Matthew Hedges and Brodie Bordeaux both finished tied at 61st for the Saints with final scores of 236. Hedges had a final round score of 80, while Bordeaux had the best round for SMU as he shot a 77.
Rounding out the scores was Patrick Whealdon, who moved up in the final round to finish 72nd with a three-round score 240. He shot a 78 in the final round.
The Saints will hit the links next at the California State University, Stanislaus Invitational in Turlock, Calif., on April 13-14. That will be the last invitational for SMU before the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on April 20-21.
Submitted by Westport Winery
In the spring 2015 issue of Wine Press Northwest, Westport Winery’s Jetty Cat Red earned an “Excellent” rating as part of their review of Northwest Tempranillo-based wines. An “Excellent” rating represents “Top-notch wines with particularly high qualities.”
In addition to 16% Tempranillo from Airfield Estates Vineyard, this blend includes 34% Petite Sirah from Jones of Washington, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon from Mays Discovery Vineyard, 11% Sangiovese from Red Willow Vineyard and 7% Syrah from Discovery. Mike Sauer at Red Willow is credited with planting the first Tempranillo in Washington State in 1993.
Described in their tasting notes as “Wall Street rich and ultra-luxurious, with a bit of attitude,” the winery suggests Jetty Cat be paired with their restaurant’s Italian Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms. Since the tasting notes also include musical pairings, the selection of Cat Scratch Fever by Ted Nugent seems a natural choice, as a portion of the proceeds from this wine benefits the Harbor Association of Volunteers for Animals (HAVA). Jetty Cat previously earned a Double Gold medal and Best Class at the 2014 Savor NW wine competition.
Westport Winery’s award-winning wines are exclusively available at the winery. The tasting room, gift shop, produce market, plant nursery, bakery and wedding venue are open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurant is open for lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and for dinner on Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information contact Westport Winery at 360-648-2224 or visit the website at www.westportwinery.com.
Launch spring at the winery’s unique sculpture garden, lavender labyrinth, musical fence, 9-hole executive golf course, giant chess set, outdoor scrabble game, and grape maze, all located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road halfway between Aberdeen and Westport. You will see why Westport Winery was named Best of the Northwest Wine Destination.