Abby Williams Hill lived in Tacoma in the early 1900’s. She is best known for her beautiful landscape oil paintings. Those paintings were commissioned by railroad companies and displayed at Worlds Fairs and expositions as a way to encourage people to visit our magnificent National Parks.
The Hill family donated her work (and massive collection of letters, journals, and other archives) to the University of Puget Sound (UPS), in Tacoma.
On a very wet and windy day, the Rebels by Bus group braved the weather and spent a delightful afternoon with Laura Edgar, the curator of the collection at UPS. Laura told us the history of Ms. Hill… definitely a women ahead of her time! She was the co-founder of the Washington chapter of the Mothers of Congress (predecessor of the Parent/Teacher Association). Her efforts in social justice were amazing… she was a strong advocate of Native American rights, as well as education for African-American children. Included in her archives are letters from Booker T. Washington.
We felt very fortunate to browse through Ms. Hill’s sketchbooks, journals, letters and photos. Such an inspirational women!
By Alyssa Ramsfield
The holiday season is in full swing and Thurston County is bustling with an array of holiday events. With so many to choose from, it is hard to narrow it down to just a few possibilities. Not only are these season happenings in our area family friendly but they are also absolutely free!Studio West Dance Academy will host a Nutcracker themed party at Barnes & Noble in Olympia on November 28. Photo credit: Studio West Dance Academy.
If your children are thrilled with costumes and ballerinas, check out the Studio West Dance Academy’s Nutcracker Party at Barnes and Noble. On November 28 from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., dancers will be dressed as characters from the classic ballet. This event offers an abundance of thrilling holiday activities including face painting and story time with the main character from the show, Clara. Twirling attendees can also enjoy sugar plum cookies and fresh hot cocoa completely free of charge.
Downtown Olympia will kick off the season with their annual Downtown for the Holidays event on Sunday, November 29. Beginning at noon, families are invited to ride an electric trolley or horse drawn carriage through the city, view a gingerbread village, and listen to holiday music in Sylvester Park. The grand finale of the day includes a Holiday Parade down Capitol Way and the annual tree lighting ceremony. This free event is sure to bring cheer to any Thurston County family.
One of my favorite events to attend with my family growing up were bazaars. They are so much more than a place to buy seasonal items. These one-stop shops have everything needed for the holidays and they help to support our community. One of the bazaars you do not want to miss is the Hawks Holiday Happening Gift & Craft Fair on December 5. This annual event, hosted by the River Ridge High School band, funds uniforms, field trips, and competition entry fees. Beyond the 165 vendors to shop from, this craft fair also hosts entertainment all day long from throughout our region. Families can even have their pictures taken with Frosty the Snowman for free.
On the other side of town, Olympia Waldorf School will play host to their annual Winter Faire on December 5. The magic of the season will be celebrated all day long with a variety of vendors, food, and fun for all ages. These bazaars, along with many others, are an incredible opportunity to support our community and get into the holiday spirit. Be sure to check out our events calendar for a complete list of bazaars taking place between now and Christmas.The annual Olympia Toy Run rumbles through town carrying toys for children in need during the holidays.
If you and your family prefer a noisier entrance into the holidays, you won’t want to miss the annual Olympia Toy Run at 1:00 p.m. on December 5. Hundreds of motorcycles take the streets of Olympia carrying toys for needy children. The motorcycles and their riders are decked out in holiday decor rumbling down to Marathon Park to where the toys are collected. The roar of this parade is one you will never forget.
Sometimes, just being an audience member can help to transport you to a world of holiday magic. There are plenty of opportunities to do just that throughout our area. Timberland Regional Library has a calendar full of happenings to whisk your family away. A few of the highlights from this year’s calendar include building a literary gingerbread house on December 16 at the Lacey location and celebrating Christmas with the aloha spirit with a Hawaiian holiday celebration at the Tumwater location. For a full list of holiday library events near you, click here.Olympia’s Waldorf School becomes the center of a winter wonderland during their annual Winter Faire on December 5. Photo credit: Olympia Waldorf School.
Let it snow! At least, that’s what the plan is at the Hands On Children’s Museum on December 19. When was the last time we had a white Christmas? Well, not to worry, HOCM knows the importance of snow and the holidays so instead of waiting for the weather to cooperate, they are shipping in their own winter wonderland from White Pass Ski Resort. This is sure to be a snowball filled weekend downtown!
Rejoice in the season and take the whole family out to discover the many tidings of our community.
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, visit our complete event calendar.
By Douglas Scott
In the shadow of the southeast Olympic Mountains, perched along the shores of Hood Canal, the small town of Hoodsport rests quietly, awaiting your adventure. For 125 years, Hoodsport has captured the imagination of everyone who passes through this sleepy hamlet along Washington’s often-overlooked fjord. Located just 45 minutes from Olympia, and a little over an hour and a half from downtown Seattle, Hoodsport has emerged as a must-stop location and a gateway to the Olympic Peninsula.
The town of Hoodsport isn’t big. In fact, it isn’t even technically a city. This unincorporated community in Mason County had only 376 permanent residents, according to the 2010 census. Yet, despite being a quick stop along Highway 101, Hoodsport is quickly becoming one of the Olympic Peninsula’s favorite towns. Maybe it is the water, maybe it is the access to nature, or maybe it is the world-class dining and drinking experiences, but somehow everyone who explores Hoodsport falls in love with the area. With a lifetime of adventures just minutes from the community dock in downtown Hoodsport, take a weekend and explore why this area is becoming so popular.
The best way to explore Hoodsport is to arrive Friday night, or early Saturday morning. Ideally, you’ll want to be in town for sunrise, as there are few places more beautiful to see the first rays of light emerge over the Pacific Northwest. Sunrise on Hood Canal is said to be life-changing. Around Hoodsport, views of Mount Rainier and Mount Baker shimmering at dawn are common, with an occasional pink sky reflecting off the water. To have the best views for sunrise and sunset, there are four places to stay near Hoodsport that offering stunning scenes of nature.
The Waterfront at Potlatch is also a great place to stay, right along Hood Canal. North of Hoodsport, the Glen Ayr Waterfront Resort is also situated right on Hood Canal, giving stunning views in all directions. Finally, if you are looking to stay away from Hood Canal and more toward the wilderness near Lake Cushman, the Lake Cushman Resort offers small cabins and camping, with access to the always-breathtaking Lake Cushman. Near the tiny town of Union, sits Alderbrook Resort. Offering views of the majestic Olympic Mountains, as well as a spa, great restaurant and numerous activities, a stay at Alderbrook is great for those looking to be pampered after a long week of work. If camping seems more your pace, check out these five outstanding campgrounds around Hoodsport.
Once you have watched the sunrise, head over to Hoodsport Coffee for the best coffee in town. Located just a few feet from Hood Canal, this quaint coffee shop is owned and operated by locals, eagerly waiting to help you wake up and explore the region. Chances are, after you get your beverage, they will direct you to a guidebook in their store, or directly refer you to the Staircase region of Olympic National Park. Thirty minutes from Hoodsport, Staircase gives access to miles of the most scenic trails, incredible mountains to climb and wildlife-watching opportunities.
Be aware that trails in Olympic National Park are not dog-friendly. That doesn’t mean you have to leave your pooch at home, you just have to find another place to hike. Luckily, the areas around Hood Canal offer great dog-friendly hikes, from Lena Lake to Big Creek, and Mount Ellinor to Murhut Falls. The rule of thumb is that if the trail is in the Olympic National Forest, dogs are allowed. Contact the National Forest Service for more hiking ideas.
If hiking isn’t your cup of tea, try these fantastic viewpoints near town.
Once you have explored to your heart’s content, head back toward Hoodsport to eat some of the best seafood in Washington State. The region is flush with salmon, oysters and shrimp, each so delicious your mouth will water for days just thinking about them. The best place to get seafood is from the source at Hama Hama Oyster Company, 15 minutes north of Hoodsport. As you sit along Hood Canal, piles of oyster shells rest, letting every car passing by see what they are missing. For a more formal dining setting for self-described foodies, let your taste buds explore at Alderbrook Resort. Award-winning chefs prepare unrivaled meals, all served from the gorgeous dining room at the resort. For more standard fare, grab a burger at the Burger Stand in Hoodsport, fantastic Mexican food at El Puerto De Angeles or hit up the NorthFork Grill at the Lucky Dog Casino for dozens of food choices.
Before you retire back to your room or campsite for the night, grab something to drink at the Hardware Distillery. Offering their own gin, whiskey and vodka, all made in the shop, Hardware Distillery is quickly becoming a must stop for enthusiasts of locally-made spirits. For wine drinkers, Hoodsport has not one, but two wineries. Each is awesome in their own right and should be explored. Stottle Winery, which offers wine tasting, is small, but has an amazing selection. The staff is friendly, fun and knowledgable and also run a shop in Lacey, Washington. Most famous for wine is the Hoodsport Winery, which has been operating since 1978, has a great selection of wines and other local products.
As the sun sets behind the Olympic Mountains, and the daylight vanishes like the wine, rest your body and get ready to have yet another day in this Olympic Peninsula paradise. The best part of spending a weekend in Hoodsport is the opportunity to hike more trails, eat at more restaurants and explore more local shops, all in this quaint, historical town.
Escaping to Hoodsport for the week is sure to relieve you of the stress from your workweek and get you reconnected with what is important in life: good food, good drink and good experiences. You can’t go wrong by heading out to Hoodsport this weekend.
Submitted by Hartley Jewelers
When Russ Gilsdorf proposed to Linda McIntyre, he presented her with a cigar band.
“That’s all he had on him,” explains Linda, who had inadvertently caught Russ off guard by bringing up marriage while the couple relaxed one evening outside their home. Linda had no idea Russ had been planning to propose to her the following weekend on a trip to Neah Bay.
“Then he said, ‘Wait!’” recalls Linda, “and he brought out a ring that he’d been keeping, which he’d found in his late father’s belongings.”
The Olympia couple believes the ring belonged to Russ’ grandmother. It was not in good shape. The delicate, filigreed piece had no stones and a broken shank. But it was clear it had been worn and well-loved.
Russ suggested they take the ring to Hartley Jewelers to see if it could be fixed.
“I knew Hartley Jewelers made their own jewelry,” says Linda. “So we looked at their website and they seemed to be a good fit. Also, they’re hometown, and we like to shop locally.”
Russ and Linda took an instant shine to Hartley Jewelers. “It’s a nice feeling when you go in there,” says Linda. “Some jewelry stores, you go in and you feel like they really don’t care if you’re there or not.”
The couple worked with jeweler Ashley, who examined the piece and listened to what the couple wanted. The original ring was 18 karat gold, which wouldn’t hold up well to the rigors of daily wear. Ashley suggested they build the ring again, adjusting it slightly to make it ideal for Linda.
Working with Ashley, the couple made a few modifications to the design. As Ashley listened and took detailed notes, Linda found herself thinking, ‘Well, we’ll see.’ She’d never had a piece of jewelry custom made and wasn’t confident she’d love the final product.
Two weeks later, Ashley had the couple come in to see and try on a wax mold of the new ring, created by Rick Hartley, set with a Chatham ruby and trillion-cut diamonds.
“We were both just amazed,” says Linda.
The detail astounded them, and the small ways the new version improved upon the original. “There’s even a little design down the shank that had been worn down on the original ring that I never even noticed,” says Linda. “Rick also added some beading. It was just beautiful.”
Linda raves about the customer service she experienced at Hartley Jewelers. “Ashley knew exactly how to communicate with us and there was just no worrying about it,” says Linda. “She ran with it and kept us up-to-date. We couldn’t be happier.”
When the couple received the call that the ring was ready, they rushed to see the finished piece.
“I was sitting down and Ashley handed me the ring,” Linda says. “I was looking at it and Russ, who was standing over me, snapped it out of my fingers.” Before Linda could protest that she wasn’t quite done looking at it, Russ said, “Somebody’s going to put this ring on your finger for the first time, and it’s going to be me.”
Linda smiles. “He put it on my finger and kissed me and told me he loved me. And it hasn’t been off yet.”
Meanwhile, the official proposal had already taken place, as originally planned, during the Labor Day weekend spent hiking at Neah Bay, though it did not go off without a hitch. “We went out on the point and stood there for the longest time, but there were just people everywhere that day,” Linda says, laughing at the memory. “They just kept coming.”
The couple trekked back to their cabin, still only unofficially engaged.
“We went out on the beach later that afternoon, walking the dogs in the pouring rain, and finally he bent over and whispered in my ear,” Linda says. “And of course I said yes, because he’s just about the most perfect thing I’ve come across.”
The couple is currently working with Hartley Jewelers on a wedding ring for Russ, which will mimic Linda’s.
“It can’t mirror the art deco-ish style of my ring, but it’s a white gold band with beading on the outside edges and a hammered center with a ruby center stone and two diamonds on either side,” says Linda. “Russ says we are each a diamond and the ruby is our heart, so I wear his heart and he wears mine.”
The couple plans to marry on July 9, 2016.
By Grant Clark
Her prediction was based on recent history where the Rams finished 21st overall two years ago during her freshman season and 20th last year.
“I just thought heading into state that’s what we were destined to finish – somewhere around the top 20,” Lawson-Rivera said. “It was pretty shocking when they announced the team standings.”
North Thurston finished seventh overall at state, the program’s highest finish in the 3A classification and its best since they took fourth place at the 2A meet in 2010.
The Rams finished with 86 points, despite appearing in just four championship events. Lakeside of Seattle successfully defended its title with a meet-high 297 points. Mercer Island, state champions in 2013, came in second (266) with Bainbridge (264.5) finishing third.
“There’s a lot of talent in 3A. It means a lot to finish up there with some of the state’s best programs,” Lawson-Rivera said. “Winning districts the way we did really gave us a confidence boast heading into state.”
Under the direction of coach Jak Ayres, North Thurston once again went undefeated in dual meets this season, running its consecutive dual meet winning streak to 61, before edging Capital by a mere 5 points to claim the title at the 3A Narrows League championship meet.
The Rams followed that up by winning the 3A West Central District championship for the first time, claiming the title by a gaudy 59 points.
“It really was remarkable. Every single swimmer dropped their times,” Ayres said. “The girls worked hard all season. To finish that high with only four events is really impressive.”
Lawson-Rivera played a large role in North Thurston’s success, securing the third place medal in both the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard breaststroke while helping the Rams to an eighth-place finish as a member of the 200-yard medley relay team and a sixth place in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
“It seemed like she was always up on the podium,” Ayres said. “It was just a fantastic day for her. She never left the pool. That’s asking a lot out of a swimmer at the state meet. She was swimming against girls who were only doing an event or two.”
A day after breaking the school’s 200 IM record by nearly two seconds, Lawson-Rivera went even faster in the state finals, stopping the clock in 2:09.06, a shade better than her preliminary time of 2:09.74 and the smallest of margins behind Wilson’s Madeleine Dodge (2:08.93) for second.
“Now, that’s a true swimmer’s event – the IM,” Ayres said. “In just a year Maya knocked nearly 11 seconds from her time.”
At last year’s state meet, Lawson-Rivera failed to advance out of the preliminary heat, finishing the 200 IM in 2:20.03 and missing the cut by less than a second.
“That definitely served as motivation coming into this year,” Lawson-Rivera said about her sophomore performance. “It was tough to get that close and not make it to the next day of the state meet. I just put in a ton of hard work and tried to improve my time. I listened to Jak. He knew what was best for me.”
Finishing ahead of Lawson-Rivera in the 200 IM were a pair of seniors in Kennedy’s Angela Gagliardo (2:05.14) and runner-up Dodge. With both graduating you would think Lawson-Rivera would slide into the role of favorite next season.
However, she had a different take on it.
“You can’t get too cocky. There were a lot of freshmen putting up fast times at the meet,” said Rivera-Lawson, who finished in front of Bellevue freshman Delora Li to grab the third place in the event. “You just have to keep pushing yourself because you know everyone else is.”
Lawson-Rivera then turned in her second third-place performance by claiming third in the 100 breaststroke in 1:05.70. Franklin freshman Mandolin Nguyen won the event in 1:04.55, followed by runner-up Gagliardo (1:04.65).
“The breaststroke is my favorite of the two events,” Lawson-Rivera said. “For one thing you get to breath during it. So, that’s nice. It’s just a stroke I have always been comfortable with.”
The Rams opened the day with a seventh place finish in the 200 medley relay as the team of Lawson-Rivera, freshman Brooke Kuebler and seniors Arielle Howell and Lauren Anderson covered the distance in 1:55.43.
“The relays are always my favorite part of swimming,” Lawson-Rivera said. “Swimming is always an individual sport, but relays allow you to work together. You have to count on each other. It just means more accomplishing goals with your friends as a team.”
In the 200 freestyle relay the same group finished fourth with a time of 1:43.74. The team broke the school’s record in the event earlier in the preliminaries (1:43.28).
In many cultures and throughout history, the tree of life has become a symbol of the life.
While the tree of life can be interpreted in many ways, there’s no doubt that trees are necessary to the existence of living organisms. From oxygen and food to wood for building shelter and fire, trees provide many of the necessities required for the survival of humans and other living things.
With this in mind, it’s no wonder that so many people have an inherent love and adoration for green, leafy giants and needle-clad branches alike. But just like how trees take care of us, it’s important for us to return the favor.
Strong and resilient, many trees don’t require much care to grow and thrive. Just look at the mighty giants of the Redwoods or the more than 5,000-year-old bristlecone pine that was named the oldest known tree in the world. These trees didn’t depend on the hands of humans to prosper — they took care of themselves. But not all trees are so lucky. Environmental factors can interrupt the natural cycle of a tree’s life.
For delicate, ornamental tree varieties — especially ones not native to the area — this is particularly true. In order to grow strong and healthy, smaller trees and shrubs alike often require a boost of nutrients to achieve maximum health. The more nutrients and vitamins small trees and shrubs receive, the more resistant they will become to disease and insect infestation.
Think about it like this: When you’re eating right and getting lots of vitamins and nutrients, your immune system is strong and you feel healthy. But if you stop these healthy habits, your immune system can weaken, letting in harmful germs, viruses and diseases that can be detrimental to your total health. No one wants to get sick, so it’s important to give our bodies the things we need to stay healthy.
The same applies to small trees and shrubs.
Mike Bell, owner of Spring-Green Lawn Care in Lacey, says it’s important to provide preventative, ongoing care for your delicate trees and shrubs to ensure they have a lifetime of health, happiness and beauty.
One way Mike likes to address this issue is through root feeding. Root feeding gives trees and shrubs the nutrients they need to thrive. But this process is only effective if the nutrients are able to reach the tree’s immune system — the roots.
By delivering nutrient-rich fertilizer directly into the root zone, Mike and his team at Spring-Green Lawn Care in Lacey are able to improve the health and lifespan of small trees and shrubs by providing a defense system against disease and insect infestations, which can cause stress to small trees and shrubs, making them weak and unhealthy.
During root feeding, the Spring-Green team administer a pressurized soil injection to the tree or shrub’s root zone. By doing this, feeder roots, which are vital to the health of small trees and shrubs, are established, and the health of small trees and shrubs is improved.
If you have a landscaped yard, you know that it takes time and money to maintain it. But you don’t have to spend a lot to ensure the healthy and longevity of your small trees and shrubs. To keep your small trees and shrubs their healthiest, Mike recommends root feeding twice a year — in the spring and fall.
But root feeding is just the start. There are a variety of other ways you can keep your yard looking bright and healthy, which are outlined on Spring-Green’s website.
Interested in root feeding or other landscaping services? Spring-Green offers a variety of services that can help improve and maintain the total health and attractiveness of your entire yard. For more information about root feeding, contact Mike and his talented team by calling 360-438-2885.
Spring-Green Lawn Care
Mike Bell, Owner
360-438-2885 | www.spring-green.com
By Gail Wood
But that doesn’t matter. Jerry Miller, whether it’s raining or the sun is shining, is at his station, doing what he’s done since 1992. He’s coaching the boys cross country team at Capital High School, going over the day’s workout. It’s a familiar scene, but it’s not drudgery for Miller.
Miller hasn’t lost his passion for coaching. And that’s what makes Miller, who retired from teaching 13 years ago and has coached for over 40 years, so unique. He still cares.
“I enjoy working with the kids,” Miller said. “I enjoy coaching.”
That passion, that drive to get the most out of his kids, hasn’t gone unnoticed. Miller was inducted this year into the WIAA’s Hall of Fame as a cross country coach. It’s a tribute to the success the Capital Cougars have had under Miller – 26 of his teams have gone on to the state meet. And it’s a tribute to his longtime commitment.
Miller has pulled in some pretty talented kids over the years including Ben Koss, Graydon Manning, Jordan Swarthout, Alec Temple and Anna Blue. Miller, who ran cross country and track at Ashland College in Ohio, has a knack for pushing all the right buttons. He inspires.
“He knows how to get what he needs out of kids,” said Kevin Wright, who has worked alongside Miller for 20+ years as Capital’s girls cross country and track coach. “He knows how to get them to really step up and believe in themselves – to have that quest for the next level. That’s where he’s probably been the most successful.”
Miller moved to Olympia in 1979 and coached cross country and track at Jefferson Middle School for 13 years. He became Capital’s head cross country coach for the boys and girls in 1992 after being an assistant for a year. In 1997, his boys cross country team won a state title and finished second in 1996.
Somehow, Miller has always been able to balance hard work with having fun.
“I think we have a lot of fun,” Miller said. “We work hard, but we also have a lot of fun. We find that we’re not having a whole lot of fun if we’re not being successful. They feed off each other.”
At the team’s banquet at the end of the season, the seniors gave their coach a collection of his jokes.
“He’s cracking jokes all the time,” said Beau Crabill, a junior and one of the team’s top runners. “He’s always in a light mood. He makes it fun.”
The mood changes right before a race.
“He definitely helped me become a better runner,” Crabill said. “He also helped me become a better person.”
Miller’s commitment doesn’t end when the season ends. It didn’t end this year after Capital placed second at the 3A Narrows League championship meet and placed 15th at the state meet. Now, during the off season, he opens a portable at school and kids start showing up to run and stretch. He’s there three days a week.
“Miller gets them together and makes sure they’re doing productive things and not being screwballs,” Wright said. “And look at all the stuff he’s still doing in the community.”
Miller is the race director of the Lakefair races in July and also volunteers hours of his time to running.
“Someone who doesn’t care doesn’t do that,” said Wright, who is also on the Lakefair race board.
“I think it gives him a sense of purpose and it’s something he’s good at,” Wright said. “It’s a way for him to give back to the community. I’d say that he loves the kids, but I’d say it goes beyond that.”
Miller is a double burner. He coaches cross country in the fall and track in the spring. That’s a lot of afternoons and a lot of Saturdays. He struggled to explain the “why” to his commitment to coaching
“It’s like the Geico commercial,” Miller said with a chuckle. “It’s what you do. It’s what I do. It’s hard to explain. I never started out wanting to be in the Hall of Fame. I just started out because I enjoyed what I was doing. It’s nice to have that honor. But it’s nice even without it.”
Miller isn’t a rah, rah, yell the kids to victory, kind of coach.
“I’m a quieter coach,” Miller admitted. “I like to look at it like John Wayne. You don’t have to say much, but when you finally do say something people listen.”
Every year, Miller, who taught social studies at the middle school, likes to think of his team as a family. They’re a hodgepodge that becomes close because of their common goal.
“Really, we’re kind of a microcosm of society,” Miller said. “We’re a whole bunch of different people with different backgrounds coming together to create a common goal. I look at the state championship team and the differences they had. A lot of the great teams I’ve had put their differences aside.”
Miller has a reputation of getting the most out of his runners. And it’s not just the fastest one. Three years ago as a freshman, Ian Glebe was one of the slowest runners on the team. Now, as a senior he’s dropped his 5K time over 10 minutes from his freshman year to become the seventh fastest runner on the team.
“I noticed him because he had this intense look on his face at a race,” Miller said. “Once he lost his shoe and he kept racing. I went back with him later to find it. That showed his commitment.”
And just as so many other runners have done under Miller, Glebe improved.
By Margo Greenman
For nearly 30 years, Providence St. Peter Foundation’s largest annual fundraising event, Christmas Forest, has raised money to support Mission-driven programs and life-saving medical equipment to improve the health and well-being of people living in Thurston County.
Over the years, this five-day holiday fundraiser has helped bring everything from a Palliative Care Clinic to a Cancer Survivorship Center to the community. This year, Christmas Forest’s Fund-A-Need will support a community care center designed to address the mental health and general well-being of Thurston County’s most vulnerable residents.
“The purpose of the community care center is to create a single access point where very vulnerable people can come in and get access to services that will help improve their lives,” says Providence St. Peter Foundation’s Director of Development, Jocelyn Wood.
“When people are in need of psychiatric medicine, it can take two to three months to get that medication,” explains Wood. “During that time, it’s a very fast downward spiral.”
To help address this problem, the community care center will be staffed by a team of psychiatric and behavioral health experts, including a nurse practitioner that can prescribe medication on-site. The center will also be led by Providence St. Peter Hospital’s current Inpatient Psychiatric Unit Manager and Olympia native, TJ LaRocque.
LaRocque, who has 18 years experience as a mental health provider, says these vulnerable individuals are the most challenging patients to help. But even in the early stages of the program, LaRocque has already seen the impact a center like this can have.
“We’ve had some early successes collaborating a few hours a week,” explains LaRocque. “We’ve stabilized people who were having many emergency visits a year, who were seeing law enforcement regularly, and who were kicked out of most of the services that provide food or shelter.”
But providing behavioral support alone isn’t enough, which is why Providence is partnering with local social services agencies to provide a full spectrum of support.
“If you are providing treatment to someone who is homeless, they fall off the cliff,” says Wood. “If you provide housing but not treatment, they can also fail. But if you can provide both together, there’s much faster improvement in a person’s well-being.”
By working together with agencies and organizations such as Behavioral Health Resources, SideWalk Homeless Services and Interfaith Works Overnight Emergency Shelter — just to name a few — Providence’s goal is to provide a one-stop-shop for community members in need to get the total care and support necessary for them to get back on their feet.
In addition to benefitting the individuals who reap the services the community care center intends to offer, Wood says the new center will also have an impact on the success of downtown Olympia businesses as well.
“We know there are concerns over safety and vagrancy,” says Wood. “We see this project as a way to begin helping address those concerns.”
John Setterstrom, Providence St. Peter Foundation board member and chief executive officer of Lucky Eagle Casino, agrees.
“Olympia business owners are concerned about behaviors they and their customers see on the streets every day,” says Setterstrom. “This project is the best answer I’ve seen to address the social needs in downtown. It will engage those who need help, and it’s the first step for paving the way to economic development in our area.”
“As someone who understands how important mental health is to a family and a community, I’m proud to support this project and think it’s the right direction,” adds Setterstrom.
This year’s Christmas Forest Fund-A-Need is different than most projects Providence has done before, but Wood says the biggest help the community can provide is by donating. You can support the community care center in a variety of ways.
The most fun way to support this need is by attending this year’s Christmas Forest, which will be on display Wednesday, December 2 through Sunday, December 6 at the Red Lion Hotel in Olympia.
In addition to four days of public viewing, there are also several special events slated for the week, including Friday’s Gala Dinner and Auction — Providence St. Peter Foundation’s signature fundraising event. Tickets for this year’s Gala Dinner and Auction — as well as tickets for other special events scheduled for the week — can be purchased online.
If you are unable to attend Christmas Forest or one of the special events coinciding with the display, you can still support the community care center by making a donation online.
For more information about this year’s Christmas Forest Fund-A-Need, visit Christmas Forest online or contact the foundation by calling 360-493-7981.
Ruling the anti-SLAPP law unconstitutional, Supreme Court sent lawsuit back to Thurston
The ongoing lawsuit aimed at forcing the Olympia Food Co-op to rescind its boycott of Israeli products continued with a hearing on October 2nd in front of Thurston County Superior Court Judge Erik D. Price. The hearing concluded with the granting of limited discovery and the issuance of a stay on depositions until the court resolves the defendants’ motion to dismiss the case.
The lawsuit was originally filed in September 2011 when five plaintiffs, purporting to represent the whole of the Olympia Food Co-op membership, sued sixteen current and former members of the Co-op’s board of directors. The lawsuit seeks to overturn the Co-op’s 2010 decision to boycott Israeli products until the state abides by international law and acknowledges full and equal rights for Palestinians.
Those who filed the lawsuit have claimed to only take issue with the process through which the boycott was implemented, arguing that the board of directors acted outside of the powers allotted to them when they reached consensus to observe the boycott and implement it at the Co-op stores. Other developments, however, suggest that the backlash over the boycott stems from the fact that it targets Israel, and is not related to disagreements over process.
Prior to the filing of the lawsuit, the now plaintiffs sent a threatening letter to those they would eventually sue, demanding that they “cooperate” to “rescind the Israel Boycott and Divestment policies.” The letter dictated further, “If you do what we demand, this situation may be resolved amicably and efficiently” or else the signatories of the letter would “bring legal action” that they threatened would “become considerably more complicated, burdensome, and expensive…” The lawsuit has been filed as an alternative to more democratic options that exist for those wishing to challenge the boycott, such as a member-initiated ballot procedure provided by the Co-op’s bylaws.
In February 2012, the lawsuit was dismissed under anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) legislation and the plaintiffs were ordered to pay attorney fees and restitution as stipulated by the anti-SLAPP law. The law itself was implemented in order to discourage frivolous lawsuits aimed at silencing free speech. Subsequently, in April 2014 the Washington State Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision. It wasn’t until a hearing before the State Supreme Court in May 2015, during which the anti-SLAPP legislation was deemed unconstitutional, that the case was remanded back to Superior Court. While Israel advocacy groups characterized the Supreme Court’s decision as a victory against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS), the decision did not address the legality of the Co-op’s action, or the legitimacy of the boycott, but was rather a ruling only on the constitutionality of the anti-SLAPP law.
Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the lawsuit has been the revelation of significant involvement from outside forces, including national Israel advocacy groups and even the Israeli government itself. As Phan Nguyen has meticulously documented in outlets such as Mondoweiss, internal documents from the international organization StandWithUs show the group’s integral role in formulating the lawsuit, even though the group’s leadership has publicly denied its involvement. Even more important, however, is that the documents show active coordination between StandWithUs and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including a secret meeting in March 2011 with then Israeli Consul General Akiva Tor and the eventual plaintiffs, during which the prospects of a lawsuit were discussed. After denying direct involvement for several years, the Supreme Court decision appears to have emboldened StandWithUs, who have since openly admitted to providing a $400,000 bond to ensure that the case would be heard by the Supreme Court.
The next hearing in the lawsuit will take place on February 19, 2016, when the court will rule on the defendants’ motion for dismissal.
Andrew Meyer is Policy Analyst and Communications Manager for the Rachel Corrie Foundation and is a research assistant at The Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures. Follow him on Twitter @littlofalot
The Market With a Heart is patient-friendly alternative to corporate cannabis
Olympia is fortunate to have The Market with a Heart (TMWAH), an eastside medical marijuana (MMJ) farmer’s market held at Pauli G’s Deli and Pool Hall on Devoe Street every Sunday from 11-5. Patients or their direct providers who have MMJ authorization and are over 21 can access medications directly from growers and processors, most of whom are also experienced patients. More than just a venue, TMWAH is also a meeting place where caring happens and friendships are made.
Unfortunately, this small market is threatened by legislation designed to funnel patients into the 502 system, which is not yet designed to serve patients. Besides their medication being taxed, the legislature is prohibiting language describing the potential health benefits of cannabis. This will make it harder for patients to get the information they need. Kristi Weeks of the Washington State Department of Health is quoted by the Olympian as saying, “We believe marijuana is marijuana and the only difference between medical and recreational is the intent of the user.”
While on the surface that may appear to be true, it is not. Intent is not the only difference; patients often have complicated needs that go far beyond recreational users desire for a good buzz. Some patients are not even interested in cannabis’ psychoactive actions, and many use other cannabis products in multiple forms, such as topicals, for multiple purposes. Higher prices at 502 stores can be a challenge for those with low incomes, which due to their disability, is often the situation of patients with the greatest medical needs.
Paul Girard’s TMWAH is the place for those patients. Girard, a cancer survivor who credits cannabis for keeping him cancer free, opened the market “to give back to the patients and vendors who [had] been fighting so hard to make [cannabis] legal.” They include Lee Newbury, a glass artist and regular vendor, who formed the first chapter of NORML in Washington state, and worked on initiatives in 1996, 1997 and 1998, when MMJ was allowed in the state.
Vendors at TMWAH are well informed and willing to spend time with patients helping them determine the right cannabis therapy for them. A wide range of products are available besides flower: natural concentrates, capsules, Rick Simpson oil, coconut oil for cooking, tinctures, topicals and clones for the DIYer. Peggy Button, who vends weekly, carries Green Goop as well as hard to find full plant extracts and powders. Lee Newbury sells functional glassware, including dab units, at a reasonable cost and will also do special orders. Sometimes even the CannaFairy visits with cannabis themed gifts and accessories.
“I can’t thank all the lovely, caring and knowledgeable vendors enough,” says Linda Yeager, a patient who, following a car accident, was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, Raynaud’s Syndrome, osteo-arthritis and other conditions. Yeager, who lives off of disability payments, said discovering the market has helped both her budget and her ability to use fewer traditional pain medications which were “hard on [her] kidneys, liver and stomach.”
Do you know where your cannabis comes from?
Just as at a traditional farmer’s market, patients can talk to the grower and be assured their medications were grown with best practices. State regulations allow certain pesticides to be used without consumer labeling on cannabis sold in 502 stores. Many people who are ill need to avoid as many pesticides as possible and find security in having direct relationships with their suppliers.
In turn, working directly with patients allows vendors to incorporate feedback into their product selection. Currently a trend is toward lower THC cannabis in order to decrease intoxication and raise the anti-inflammatory and pain killing aspect of the plant. These strains can be harder to grow and hence riskier and sometimes less profitable in terms of yield. The Olympia Cannabis Company, a TMWAH vendor who grows organically, often carries higher CBD plants such as Harlequin, Cashy’s Honey and Remedy, both in clones and dried flower. OCC also specializes in strains reported to help pain and PTSD, as well as working with land race genetics.
TMWAH is also vendor-friendly. New vendors are always welcome, as long as they also have MMJ authorization and are over 21. In the interest of connecting patients with medication and keeping overhead low, Girard has a sliding scale for vendors: tables are either a flat rate of $80 or 20% of donations, whichever is less.
Out of the green closet
Another benefit of the market for both patients and vendors is the chance to collaborate, organize or just socialize. For many people who are seriously ill, the market is a place to find others who are sympathetic to their struggles. TMWAH is like a family, celebrating birthdays and other holidays, and welcoming newcomers with a friendly vibe.
Again, like regular Sunday markets, tasty lunches are available. Pauli G’s is also a deli and has some of the best subs in the city. Priced at a reasonable $12, including chips and a can of soda, is the infamous Glenroy—pepperoni, roast beef and turkey with pizza cheese and Italian dressing. There is no pool playing on Sunday, but since Pauli’s is a sports bar, the Seahawks game is shown on multiple screens. There is also a weekly raffle at 4:20 with a generous prize package containing vendor donations.
After years of living with drug war paranoia, it is liberating for patients and vendors to finally be able to assemble in an open and visible manner, freely sharing knowledge and cannabis. Under state regulations, the raffle would be prohibited and sampling is tightly controlled. Despite being legal, cannabis is far from free in terms of a producer being able to share their product or a customer being able to try a product before buying.
Still, gone are the days of talking in code, these are now the days of knowing a specific plant’s genetic code. Cannabis preparations and their use are growing in sophistication and a mass experiment in lay epidemiology is occurring at the grassroots level as vendors and patients learn what works best for what conditions. Because of federal regulations and the near inability to get approval and funds to do formal research, what is happening in places like Washington, Oregon and Colorado will become an institutional base of knowledge influencing the direction that cannabis research will take in the future.
There is also politics, and TMWAH has an element of libertine philosophy to it. Many in the MMJ community resent the incursion of corporate money into the subculture, especially those who took the early risks and who find their livelihoods in peril due to the legal market’s regulatory zeal. These pioneers simply do not have the capital and other resources to participate at the level the state is requiring. Places such as TMWAH gives disabled patients a chance to run a microbusiness to supplement their income, or as is often the case, to subsidize the cost of their own medication.
Corporate cannabis sees these small businesses as a competitive threat, but the real threat is not the current collective gardens, but growers and distributors who remain in the black market. They are not as easy a target, but closing collectives and markets will only encourage more entrenched black market activity by driving patients and providers back underground, which ultimately serves neither. The free exchange that came as a result of legalization may now be extinguished by it.
The future is uncertain for small growers and processors. Big changes, including a never before required rule making patients register with the state in order to avoid sales tax, are going to be implemented to the MMJ system in July 2016. These laws are being challenged, but are expected to go into effect. It is doubtful that the 502 market will have a heart as big as Paul Girard’s and all of the others found at TMWAH.
Candace Mercer is an artist/writer/activist who has lived in Olympia for 20 years. She has worked with the Thurston- Mason Crisis Clinic, Northwest Justice Project, Olympia Rafah Sister City Project and The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice. She has written for Dissident Voice, electronic intifada and weedist.com.
Market With a Heart is open Sundays from 11 am to 5pm. You must be 21, have photo ID, and a current MMJ authorization.
Pauli G’s Pool Hall and Deli
527 Devoe St NE in Olympia
Market With a Heart has a Facebook page and, for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
When I saw the pictures of two teenagers, Turner Lupton and Nicholas Ross, on the front page of the September 16, 2015 issue of The Wewoka Times arrested on a marijuana charge, I was revolted, because of the disaster this can be to their young lives.
I am 84 years old and have never smoked marijuana or taken any illegal drugs in my lifetime. Yet, when I see such dumb, stupid laws still on the books that fill our jails with people who have harmed no one, not even themselves, because of a harmless plant that George Washington is believed to have once raised as a farm product, I am disgusted with the stupidity of it. This is an action that only fills the pockets of the prison-industrial complex. We should be growing hemp that can be used for many industrial products.
We saw what happened with prohibition a couple of generations ago. It created a crime cartel we are still fighting. Have we learned nothing? I am ashamed that Oklahoma still arrests these two young folks and probably set them on a lifetime of crime. Instead we pat a cop on the back for such an arrest that benefits the prison-industrial complex. Sure he has done his duty but why do we still have such laws on the books that, like prohibition, have created a criminal industry?
We must change the laws that are feeding the prison industrial complex or change the lawmakers who fail to act and yet still tolerate the real criminals, brokers and banksters on Wall Street who have done so much more damage to our people. While we are at it, for the sake of justice, why don’t we do away with the death penalty that causes too many innocent people to perish because of career climbers trying to make a name? We need a panel of professionals with citizen oversight to review the cases of all those in prison. Those deemed no longer a danger to society should be released to half-way-houses for training and rehabilitation to society. Also let’s do away with private prisons that make money on people’s misery. Incarceration is a state responsibility that should be answerable to our elected representatives, not private corporations. The money saved on housing prisoners could be used for education that cuts down on the number of people who go to prison. As children are trained, so they become.
Both the Democrat and Republican parties have become corporate toadies that have passed laws so that these financial crooks can get away with their crimes. We must get rid of the warmongers and corporate toadies and put new people in office that will look after the people’s interest.
Let’s not demonize our kids who may think that smoking weed is cool. Consider the effect that their identification with names and photos on the front page of the newspaper will have on their future. We need to support young people in the criminal justice system and help them to turn their lives around. Let’s hope these kids, Lupton and Ross, get an understanding judge who will not spoil the rest of their lives.
In 2013, a Spokane initiative to the people was filed that would have allowed voters to approve four demands:
The measure qualified to go on the ballot; however, a cabal of corporations and corporate front people used the courts to block the people’s vote.
Now, after that block was overturned in January of this year and the cabal again appealed, the matter goes to the Supreme Court. This will be the final word on whether a Community Rights Ordinance has the same right as all other ordinances to proceed to the people once it receives its quota of signature.
All such Ordinances contain an element of civil disobedience, but they are in the people’s interest and we say the corporate interests which would lose out should not have the right to block them.
Kai Huschke will also be coming to Olympia. He’s our contact in the Community Rights movement and a leader of the Spokane Community Rights initiative.
We can follow what happens
On November 9, there will be a pre-hearing orientation from 6 to 8 pm at the MIXX 96 Meeting Room (near State and Washington in downtown Olympia). Kai will give us an overview of the case and its issues, as well as what’s happening in the movement across the country and in Spokane.
On November 10, the hearing will take place from 9 to 11 am in the Temple of Justice.
After the hearing, we can meet for a post-mortem from 11:30 to 1:00 in the Columbia Room of the Legislative Building. This would be to analyze the hearing and to talk about the road ahead for Washington regarding community rights and the right of local community self-government. (That room is next to the Cafeteria; we can bring food over if we want.)
All are welcome to the hearing and the community meetings.
For addition information, go to the Envison Spokane website:
Janet Jordan is an active member of the Green Party of South Puget Sound.
The post Spokane’s Community Rights movement will defend itself before the Supreme Court on November 10 appeared first on Works in Progress.
Who really won the first Democratic primary debate?
I’m a Berning man, and throughout the debate, was excited to see our underdog candidate given the same airtime and exposure as ‘front-runner’ Hillary Clinton. Many of my fellow Berners were surprised after CNN’s first debate, however, when almost all media coverage declared Hillary Clinton the winner, despite poll numbers from almost every independent poll showing Bernie to be the audience favorite! They soon discovered that CNN is owned by Time Warner Cable, who donated some $500,000 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. It is worth noting that Bill Clinton was in office when he signed off on the Telecommunications Act of 1996, a sweeping bill that heavily deregulated the telecom industry, setting the stage for a series of mergers and acquisitions by massive media corporations to reshape our media ecosystem.
So is it that simple? Is Time Warner simply protecting their ‘asset’ in the Clinton dynasty when their networks claim Hillary the winner of the October 13 debate?
Yes, it is. But you should also consider the following to gain a better understanding why elections are important to Time Warner, News Corp, Viacom, GE, and other radio, internet, television, news and media giants in the first place. A good place to start is in 1976, with a Supreme Court case called Buckley v. Valejo, whose decision would strike down limits on campaign expenditures by political candidates. Well, now campaigns could spend as much as they want, but what fun is that if there are still limits on how much an individual can contribute to a campaign? Over the next 40 years, a string of cases would weaken those limits, but we would have to wait until the Citizens United vs. FEC case in 2010 for the floodgates to be opened to contributors. Be ye corporation or wealthy individual, this ruling allows you to spend unlimited amounts on ‘independent’ political expenditures. This was the ruling that would lead to the SuperPAC.
If you don’t understand what a SuperPAC is, that’s understandable. Campaign finance law is confusing. A SuperPAC is a committee that can spend unlimited funds in order to ‘support’ a candidate, as long as they do not ‘coordinate’ with that candidate, and they are responsible for the steady upsurge of political television and radio ads over the past five years. Before 2010, individuals were limited to $2,500 per contribution per Political Action Committee, and corporations could not contribute at all.
Although Time Warner donated over $500,000 to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and spends almost ten MILLION dollars on all political expenses, including lobbying, per election cycle, this is nothing compared to what SuperPACs do for Time Warner. According to NPR’s estimate, revenue collected by television broadcasters this election cycle could exceed four and a half billion dollars. And that is not including radio, print, or digital ads, which are expected to rise from $22 million to $1 billion from 2012’s election to 2016. That is a lot of money for the Time Warners, Viacoms and Comcasts of the nation.
The problem that I have with this is not that Bernie Sanders isn’t getting the recognition that I think he deserves from CNN. The problem is that all this money pouring into our elections undermines democracy. The 1952 election was the first election to have televised political ads. The New York Times: Upfront called 1960 ‘the first mass media election’ when over 70 million Americans (in a country of 180 million) watched the presidential debates. “That 1960 race changed a lot, and you can see its impacts still,” said Vanessa B. Beasley, a communications professor at Vanderbilt University. “It changed who ran for office.” Since 1960, television and mass media have played a bigger and bigger role in elections.
And the amount of money a campaign would have to spend to run in this new world of mass media elections would rise in lock step over the years. In order to raise that kind of money, what concessions does a politician have to make for the wealthy individuals and corporations who support their campaigns?
In a display of equal brilliance and irony, perhaps Donald Trump said it best, in what better place than during the GOP’s first primary debate on August 6th: “I will tell you that our system is broken,” he said. “I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me.” So, returning now to the question of who won CNN’s first Democratic party primary debate on October 13th?
Time Warner won, obviously. And despite all of Hillary’s talk of opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership and the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, you have to wonder which candidate will be there when their wealthy corporate donors come calling.
Gabriel is a New York City transplant, glad to be living in the real jungle instead of the urban one. He is a senior at the Evergreen State College, and slap the bass for local rock outfit Fruit Juice.
Submitted by the author, this article was originally published in the Cooper Point Journal.
And then we mounted a hillside filled with blue daffodils.
“These weren’t here before.” Bluebells — fairies ring them
when they want to hold a gathering. The mountains are
hills where we’re going and gold robes their shoulders
like the city itself is noble. Waiting in the parking lot
Jewel came on the radio … these hands are small
I know… I leaned my head on Sarah’s shoulder.
The woman driving had cropped hair
and bare arms: and she said
we would make it
Gala Thomas is a poet recovering from a head injury in Olympia, Washington. She got the name “Gala” by accident, when a Benedictine nun switched the i for an l. She is keeping the new name as a reminder that life is a pageant of glorious and grotesque proportions.
Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck and her colleagues were interested in motivation. In particular, they wanted to understand why, faced with difficulties in school, some students are motivated to work at getting better while others aren’t, apparently lacking in motivation. What was that difference about?
Through their research with both young people and college students, Dweck’s team developed the model of a “growth mindset” to characterize learners who persist even when they encounter challenges in their areas of study. Neither a growth mindset, nor its opposite, a fixed mindset, are inherent traits. We develop them through experiences, including feedback from teachers, parents, and others in positions to comment on our performances.
“You’re a smart kid” is the kind of comment that contributes to a fixed mindset—the belief that my success or lack of success is due to the amount of my ability, rather than my effort. My smartness—however much I have—is something in me. It’s not something I can develop. The problem with adopting a fixed mindset is that sooner or later, and too often it’s sooner, I run into a limit in terms of what I can do: comments like “I’m not a math person” or “I’m not the creative type” reflect unexamined assumptions that the speaker just doesn’t have much of that stuff. Effort and intention—which are under the control of the speaker—are not part of the equation.
Dweck argues that we can do better. We can teach ourselves, and others, to adopt a growth mindset, an approach that focuses on our intentions to get better and our persistence in following through rather than whatever amount of ability we are born with.
A fixed mindset about political change
I confess to having had a fixed mindset about U.S. politics. While we have elected (and re-elected) two solidly liberal senators from Washington State, for the most part, decisions made at the federal level ease symptoms rather than address root causes of structural inequality and systemic racism. The same is true with climate change, whose looming specter casts a deepening pall on everything.
I believe that our politicial system is fixed—in at least two meanings of the word: it’s rigged in favor of the wealthy, and it’s immoveable. Given my belief in a fixed political system, I am not motivated to participate.
President Obama’s first campaign challenged my beliefs about our fixed political system. I participated in my caucus for the first time, and yearned to participate at the state level. I believed in what he said: that the war in Iraq was wrong, that our tax system was unfair, and that everyone deserves accessible, affordable health care.
By the end of President Obama’s second term, my beliefs in a fixed political system were cementing back into place. Change wasn’t possible. Small changes maybe, but not the large changes necessary to staunch the tide of inequality sweeping across the country. Being born poor in this country is a life sentence.
“I’d like the job of president”—the Democratic debate
In October, I watched the Democratic debate. Three of the four candidates introduced themselves as if they were candidates interviewing for a job. Martin O’Malley, former mayor of Baltimore and governor of Maryland, told us that as a husband with four kids, he’s learned things about the deep economic injustice that threatens to tear our country apart. Clinton reminded us that she is a grandmother and a mother. Only Bernie Sanders led with the issues, and not his biography. The pronoun “I” didn’t show up until later.
Anderson Cooper asked Bernie Sanders about the definition of a democratic socialist. Sanders replied like this:
“What democratic socialism is about is saying that it is immoral and wrong that the top one-tenth of 1 percent in this country own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. That it is wrong, today, in a rigged economy, that 57 percent of all new income is going to the top 1 percent.
“That when you look around the world, you see every other major country providing health care to all people as a right, except the United States. You see every other major country saying to moms that, when you have a baby, we’re not gonna separate you from your newborn baby, because we are going to have—we are gonna have medical and family paid leave, like every other country on Earth.
Those are some of the principles that I believe in, and I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people.”
Later in the debate, asked how his presidency would not simply be an extension of the Obama presidency, Sanders argued that the only way to transform the U.S. and make sure the government works for all of us is through a political revolution. The key to that revolution is getting people, especially young people, to vote. The only way to take on the right-wing Republicans, he said, is by having millions of people coming together. “If we want free tuition, millions of young people have to demand it. Same with minimum wage—workers have to come together and say, ‘vote against us, you are out of your job’. “
The limits of a fixed political mindset
The consequence of a fixed mindset for students is that when they face challenging problems in school, they are likely to quit. Why persist, when your ability is fixed and the external evidence suggests whatever ability you have isn’t enough to succeed? The problem with a fixed political mindset is nearly the same: why vote if the political system is fixed? And yet, the only way for the system to change, Sanders argues, is for people to make it so by voting: “Here’s the truth—no one can address these crises unless millions of people stand up against the billionaire class.”
Standing up against the billionaire class requires a growth mindset about the political system. I have to believe it can get better with effort, including my vote. Otherwise, nothing will stop the number of people living in poverty in this country—now 27 million—from growing. Nothing will slow the growth of the oligarchy that owes its current incarnation to Citizens United. Nothing will keep the remaining fossil fuels in the ground.
Writing for the New Republic, Elizabeth Bruenig points out that the two Democratic frontrunners, Sanders and Hillary Clinton, have radically different views about how to structure our economy. Clinton’s version is based on what Bruenig characterizes as an “opportunity-focused approach”—the Horatio Alger, anyone can make it if they have opportunity approach. Sanders is pushing for a more egalitarian “pro-equality” platform—the equality necessary in order for people to take advantage of opportunities at hand. Neither hungry kids nor adults who are tired from working low-wage jobs can take advantage of “learning opportunities”, no matter how enticing they are.
At the risk of revealing a nascent growth mindset about U.S. politics, I confess that I was persuaded by the Democratic debate that our votes might matter.
“What are your triggers?”
In a recent article for Education Week, Carol Dweck reflected on the dangers of oversimplifying the task of adopting a growth mindset. We are never one or the other, she wrote. We always contain a mix of both.
So, she writes, “watch for a fixed-mindset reaction when you face challenges. Do you feel overly anxious, or does a voice in your head warn you away?” A voice in my head, and history, warn me away from being optimistic that we can affect a political revolution through voting. And yet, even in the context of U.S. politics, where piles of evidence support the adoption of a fixed mindset, now is a good time to notice whether we can allow the possibility of change. The value of a growth mindset is that it creates a space for trying to do better. I appreciate Bernie Sanders’ work that invites us to occupy the space of possibility for our own version of democratic socialism, for as long as we possibly can.
Emily Lardner lives and works in Olympia, Washington.
The post A “growth mindset” needed for political change to occur appeared first on Works in Progress.
La psicóloga de Stanford Carol Dweck y sus colegas estaban interesados en estudiar la motivación. En particular, querían entender por qué, frente a dificultades en la escuela, algunos estudiantes están motivados para trabajar y mejorar, mientras que otros no lo están y al parecer carecen de motivación. ¿Cuál es la causa de esta diferencia?
A través de su investigación con jóvenes y estudiantes universitarios, el equipo de Dweck desarrolló el modelo de la “mentalidad de crecer” para caracterizar a los alumnos que persisten incluso cuando se encuentran con problemas en sus áreas de estudio. Ni la ‘mentalidad de crecer’, ni su contrario, una ‘mentalidad estática’, son rasgos inherentes. Los desarrollamos a través de experiencias, incluyendo comentarios de maestros, padres y otros en posiciones de comentar sobre nuestras actuaciones.
“Eres un chico listo” es el tipo de comentario que contribuye a la mentalidad estática -la creencia de que mi éxito o falta del mismo se debe a la cantidad de mis habilidades en lugar de mi esfuerzo. Mi inteligencia -por mucho que tenga- es algo en mí. No es algo que yo pueda incrementar. El problema con la adopción de una mentalidad fija o estática es que tarde o temprano, y a menudo es pronto, me encuentro con un límite en cuanto a lo que puedo hacer: comentarios como “Yo no soy una persona de matemáticas” o “Yo no soy de tipo creativo” reflejan supuestos no examinados que sugieren que el hablante simplemente no tiene mucho de esas cualidades. El esfuerzo y la intención – sobre los cuales el hablante tiene control – no son parte de la ecuación.
Dweck argumenta que podemos desempeñarnos mejor. Podemos enseñar a nosotros mismos, y otros, a adoptar una mentalidad de poder crecer, un enfoque que se centre en nuestras intenciones de mejorar y nuestra persistencia en seguir adelante en lugar de la cantidad de nuestras capacidades innatas.
Una mentalidad fija respecto al cambio político
Confieso haber tenido una mentalidad fija sobre la política estadounidense. Si bien hemos elegido (y re-elegido) dos senadores sólidamente liberales por el estado de Washington, en su mayor parte, las decisiones tomadas a nivel federal tienden solo a mejorar los síntomas en lugar de abordar las causas profundas de la desigualdad estructural y el racismo sistémico. Lo mismo ocurre con el cambio climático, cuyo espectro lúgubre se cierne empañando todo.
Yo creo que nuestro sistema político esta ‘arreglado’ (fixed) al menos en dos sentidos de la palabra: está amañado a favor de los ricos, y es inamovible. Dada mi creencia en un sistema político fijo, yo no estoy motivada a participar.
La primera campaña del presidente Obama desafió mis creencias acerca de nuestro sistema político fijo. Yo participé en mi caucus por primera vez, y anhelaba participar a nivel estatal. Yo creía en lo que Obama decía: que la guerra en Irak era equivocada, que nuestro sistema fiscal era injusto, y que todo el mundo merece atención médica asequible y accesible.
Al final del segundo mandato del presidente Obama, mis creencias en un sistema político fijo se fueron cimentando en su lugar. El cambio no era posible. Pequeños cambios tal vez, pero no los grandes cambios necesarios para detener la marea de la desigualdad que cubre todo el país. El haber nacido pobre en este país es una sentencia a cadena perpetua.
“Me gustaría el trabajo de Presidente” – el debate Demócrata
En octubre, vi el debate demócrata. Tres de los cuatro candidatos se presentaron como si fueran candidatos entrevistados para un trabajo. Martin O’Malley, ex alcalde de Baltimore y el gobernador de Maryland, nos dijo que como esposo con cuatro hijos, que ha aprendido cosas acerca de la injusticia económica profunda que amenaza con destruir a nuestro país. Clinton recordó que ella es una abuela y una madre. Sólo Bernie Sanders nos condujo a los problemas, y no a su biografía. El pronombre “yo” no apareció hasta más tarde.
El socialismo democrático
Anderson Cooper preguntó Bernie Sanders acerca de la definición de un socialista democrático. Sanders respondió así:
“Lo que el socialismo democrático dice es que es inmoral e incorrecto que una décima parte del 1 por ciento en este país posea casi tanta riqueza como el 90 por ciento de sus habitantes. Eso es un error, que en una economía amañada como la actual, que el 57 por ciento de todos los nuevos ingresos vayan a ser propiedad del 1 por ciento.”
“Que cuando usted mira alrededor del mundo, se ve como cada otro país importante proporciona asistencia medica a todas las personas como un derecho, excepto los Estados Unidos. Usted ve como otros países dicen a sus las mamás que, cuando tengan un bebé, no vamos a separarte de tu bebé recién nacido, porque vamos a tener, y tendremos licencia médica y familiar pagada, al igual que todos los demás países en la tierra.”
“Esos son algunos de los principios que yo creo, y creo que debemos mirar a países como Dinamarca, como Suecia y Noruega, y aprender de lo que han logrado para sus trabajadores “.
Más tarde, en el debate, se le preguntó cómo su presidencia no sería simplemente una extensión de la presidencia de Obama, Sanders argumentó que la única manera de transformar los EE.UU. y asegurarse de que el gobierno trabaje para todos nosotros es a través de una revolución política. La clave para esa revolución es hacer que la gente, especialmente los jóvenes, voten. La única manera de derrotar a los republicanos de derecha, dijo, es tener a millones de personas unidas. “ Si queremos educación libre, millones de jóvenes tienen que unirse y exigirla. Lo mismo con el salario mínimo vital. Los obreros asalariados tienen que unirse y decir, ‘Los que voten en contra nuestra, se quedan sin trabajo’. “
Los límites de una mentalidad política fija
La consecuencia de una mentalidad fija para los estudiantes es que cuando se enfrentan a problemas difíciles en la escuela, es probable que la abandonen. ¿Por qué persistir si su capacidad es fija y la evidencia externa sugiere que la capacidad que tienen no es suficiente para tener éxito? El problema con una mentalidad política fija es casi lo mismo: ¿por qué votar si el sistema político es fijo? Y, sin embargo, la única manera para que el sistema cambie, Sanders sostiene, es que la gente vote por cambiarlo: “Esta es la verdad – no se puede hacer frente a esta crisis a menos que millones de personas se levantan contra la clase de los multimillonarios”.
Enfrentarse a la clase de los multimillonarios requiere una “mentalidad de crecer” con respecto al sistema político. Tengo que creer que puede mejorar con esfuerzo, incluyendo mi voto.
De lo contrario, nada detendrá el número de personas que viven en la pobreza en este país, actualmente de 27 millones y en aumento. Nada va a frenar el crecimiento de la oligarquía que debe su actual encarnación a Ciudadanos Unidos (Citizens United). Nada va a hacer posible que los combustibles fósiles se mantengan en el suelo.
Escribiendo para la “Nueva República”, Elizabeth Bruenig señala que los dos principales candidatos demócratas, Sanders y Hillary Clinton, tienen puntos de vista radicalmente diferentes sobre la forma de estructurar nuestra economía. La versión de Clinton se basa en lo que Bruenig caracteriza como un “enfoque de oportunidades”, tipo Horatio Alger, ‘cualquiera puede triunfar si tiene la oportunidad’. Sanders está presionando por un enfoque más igualitario, “a favor de la igualdad”, una plataforma que concibe a la igualdad social como condición necesaria para que la gente tome ventaja de las oportunidades que puedan existir. Ni los niños hambrientos, ni adultos cansados, atrapados en el circulo vicioso de la pobreza y empleos de bajos salarios, pueden aprovechar “oportunidades de aprendizaje”, no importa lo tentadoras que estas sean.
A riesgo de revelar una ‘mentalidad de crecer’ si bien incipiente, pero que existe en la política estadounidense, confieso que fui persuadida por el debate Demócrata de que nuestros votos pueden importar.
“¿Cuáles son los factores desencadenantes?”
En un artículo reciente de la “Semana de Educación”, Carol Dweck reflexionó sobre los peligros de simplificar la tarea de adoptar una mentalidad de crecimiento. Nunca somos solo el uno o el otro, ella escribió. Siempre contenemos una mezcla de ambos.
Y nos llama a estar atentos para detectar si tenemos reacciones de mentalidad fija “cuando te enfrentas a retos. ¿Te sientes demasiado ansioso, o hay una voz interior que te advierte de las dificultades? “ Una voz interior, y la historia, me alertan y alejan de ser optimista y creer que podemos afectar a una revolución política a través del voto. Sin embargo, incluso en el contexto de la política de Estados Unidos, donde montones de evidencias apoyan la adopción de una mentalidad fija, ahora es un buen momento para darse cuenta si podemos permitir la posibilidad de cambio. El valor de una ‘mentalidad de crecer’ es que crea un espacio para tratar de hacer mejor las cosas. Aprecio el trabajo Bernie Sanders que nos invita a ocupar el espacio de posibilidad para nuestra propia versión del socialismo democrático, por el tiempo que nos sea necesario.
Emily Lardner vive y trabaja en Olympia, Washington.
The post La “mentalidad de crecer” como necesidad para el cambio politico appeared first on Works in Progress.
Pasco, Washington Ret. Colonel Felix Vargas of Latino Consejo in a letter written on March 3 asked the Honorable Prosecutor Shawn Sant of Franklin County to respectfully recuse himself from the case involving the shooting of Antonio Zambrano Montes.
Latino Consejo said Sant’s experiences as a police officer and a prosecutor would cause him to come to the aid and defense of the police; when the police officer’s actions came into question, Sant would be incapable of coming to an unbiased conclusion. Sant should recuse himself from the case.
Latino Consejo also complained that Shawn Sant’s direct involvement in the Special Investigation Unit conducted by the city of Kennewick from Benton county also did not allow for an independent investigation. He claimed Sant’s presence in the Pasco division police news conference concerning the Special Investigative Unit (SIU)–three times as the primary speaker–showed he had an ongoing relationship that was biased at the very least in favor of the police department. This is a police department with which he has certain professional loyalties and friendships–with the officers involved in the shooting. He should have had a independent prosecutor appointed to the case by the Washington State Attorney General because he was incapable of being neutral.
Prosecutor Shawn Sant responded to Latino Consejo in a March 12 letter saying that as a elected official the community had placed their faith in him to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of prosecutor and that he would make decisions based upon the law that he experienced as a police officer and a prosecutor would be able to do his job. He stated that he was not going to quit when the decision or the job got tough.
Should Shawn Sant have recused himself from the case?
Shawn Sant has not divulged whether or not he was an actual member of The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge # 7 of Kennewick. Sant was a Prosser, Washington police officer–a police department with officers who hold allegiance to the FOP. He also served as a reserve police officer in Richland.
Pasco Division has officers with membership in lodge #7 FOP as do the county police of Benton and Franklin Counties. FOP leaked Sant’s findings to the media even before Sant’s press conference of Sant’s decision based on the justifiable homicide law. Have officers Alaniz, Flanagan or Wright had memberships in lodge # 7 of the Fraternal Order of Police and how many of the police that investigated the shooting are also members of the Fraternal Order of Police. The Fraternal Order of Police is not a government agency.
Though Sant may have followed the Washington state justifiable homicide guidelines, his job is to be impartial. His job is to bias a jury or judge to find people guilty or not guilty. The officer’s involved in the shooting have worked for Sant’s office before as Felony charges are not brought to trial by Pasco municipal and instead sent to the Franklin county prosecutors–Sant’s office–for prosecution.
Should the three officers be prosecuted by another office or the Department of Justice?
The laws upheld were written to defend the actions of the those who enforce the law against those that are victims of the law. It is clear that the police shot and killed Antonio, the police investigated Antonio’s homicide and a former police officer justified the shooting death of Antonio by the police.
Following the Fraternal Order of Police news Conference when Sant said no charges would be brought against the officers, the protesters said in Spanish that the whole situation was simply “not fair”. Justifying a homicide is getting away with murder.
Governor Inslee ordered the Washington State Attorney General to finally investigate Shawn Sant’s determination. Earlier in the year on March 28, Governor Inslee had said no to requests to have Shawn Sant replaced by a special prosecutor.
John Chacon served in the Army as a 3 time volunteer. Completing two tours of duty in Iraq. Earning the Army’s Combat Action Badge for taking fire while performing his duty. He did not run over children for protesting the American presence in their country even thought the rules of engagement said he could he chose instead to risk his life and spare theirs.
My paper on judicial democracy and the rule of law is a thought manifested from the unfair maintaining of the law in some places of USA in response to police brutality and a system that allows brutality to happen.
A Judicial system that commits a grievous injury against a person, people or private property in it’s jurisdiction should forfeit its jurisdiction over the matter. A governance with in it’s leisure of government encompassing a civil or legal matter; where a member of government in employment, official and unofficial or in its judicial function; a employee or employees, officer or officers are under investigation for conduct that is unethical or could be considered a crime, causing real injury or criminal offence to a person, people, property or against the governance they are employed. That government should forfeit jurisdiction to a parallel or higher authority allowing for neutral arbitration or supreme judgment. No one is above the law even those that enforce and maintain it. For they will be held accountable by the people.
A government should relinquish jurisdiction; for in the course of action it holds blame and injury against the people or person as the officer or employee is an entity of the government, acting on it’s behalf in righteous benevolence or grieving malevolence. A government whose authority gives employees license to conduct official business on behalf of the state; employed by vote, oath, pledged, deputization or delegated responsibility to commence law or judge one’s conduct by the legislated code, to forcibly kill on behalf of the governance to maintain social order without fear of repercussion or consequence.
As a function of democracy it is incapable of holding a fair accountability of itself when the social standard of conduct for the entire entity is on trial and not just the individual. A prosecutor would not be allowed to prosecute one’s self. A judge not allowed to judge one’s self. Then a system as an entity would also be flawed if a judge or prosecutor was allowed to bring forth a person in employment of the government as part of the same entity.
This unfairness and partiality exist as rarely does a person cut off their own appendage regardless of flaw or blemish and only when the loss of life threatens the whole of the body, is it wise to remove it. Creating an unkind and bias form of justice for all those involved.
Only by the people can a limited authority be gained; as no power in a person’s hand can be absolute and final in the judicial function of a free and fair administering of the law, to a free and democratic people. A people who by the democratic process possess the power of government in each single vote. That authority of governance being equal regardless of societal degree rank or position each person’s vote equal to the next. The vote holding greater authority then the law legislated to them by a recognized fairly and democratically elected government. A government who in secret or by a blinding of witness and by legislation of judiciary means, revoke voting rights excluding the people from the process of government. In that leadership depriving the mass of democracy by removing them from the process to legislate law.
A governance whose identity reflects all people in the democratic voting process allowed to bring violators of a law to the justice of the peace, judge or jury that may examine them with in the limits and scope of the society’s understanding of morality.
A elected government or those in position of power are not comprising of perfect character as to be a human is to be dignified and reasonable in imperfection not ashamed of humility and in great an noble character capable of relinquishing power of jurisdiction and authority to exemplify the humanity that they with great care are entrusted to over watch. For if a person or people assembled to govern a free people, fails to allow itself to be examined it is no longer administering law to a free Democratic people.
That judicial body in it’s own vanity full of hubris has cast out democracy and has placed it’s own virtues of governance before the people creating a tyranny. Without the virtues of democracy it is no longer part and parcel comprised of the values and morals of the people.
If in its governance, it is incapable of relinquishing power to examine the aspects of its function to others equally accredited or appointed by the people of the state or union than that justice system is unregulated. It would be wise to dismantle such a system that infringes upon a people’s dignity by denying them the rights guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States of America. It was compelled by a revolution to expel a tyrant and dictator from the Americas.
If a police officer or employee of the state is considered an extension of the state and that state has begun to dismantle democracy to impose a tyrannical government on a people, then through law it would compel itself into greater authority as if it’s authority was a never ceasing principle of universe.
A governance failing to recognize the whole are part of the Constitution of the United States of America, neglects the people’s rights under the United States Bill of Rights causing injury to Liberty. That tyranny would justify its dismantling of democracy or exclusion of people from that democracy by the passage of laws that were never voted on or recognized as legitimate by a democratic people.
If a police officer or employee of state deprives a person of life, liberty or property and is allowed clemency without the people or person who the state deprived of its constitutional rights a fair precedent in the judicial process. Instead the governance decides not to allow for justice to be concluded by an independent Judicial authority. That by biased gathering of evidence, biased examination of facts; a prosecutor’s determination was formed on bias evidence and fact; leading the prosecutor to an interpretation by the power of authority, not by the law. Leaving the people without the insurances a fair Judicial Democracy exists for all people in the boundary’s of the jurisdiction but with a biased judgement on a prosecutor’s authority. Then that judicial system should be dismantled, reorganized and created a new eliminating the tyranny.
For the allowance of it to continue by a rational government elected by the people would show the inability of a freely elected government to control those placed in authority to over watch a democratic people. A people who gave authority to the government. Greatly offending those that endless petition the government peacefully, insult grievously those that serve in the military and forgetting those who died fighting in conflict to defend a constitutional democracy. That government in tyranny offending Liberty causing injury to all.
When a governance has a officer or employee commit a crime against a person in that jurisdiction the whole governance is now standing trial and should remove itself from the judicial processes to help establish a people’s understanding of justice keeping with the lusion of a Democratic judicial system. A government fails to uphold democracy when it allows itself to justify it’s own negligence. Tyranny that by arbitrary law arrest Liberty disabling the construct of The Constitution of the United States and in malicious action instills fear in a population, that tyranny should be dismantled by the people.
The post There is nothing more unifying than systemic oppression appeared first on Works in Progress.
Submitted by Saint Martin’s University
Register today for the 4th Annual Jingle Bell Run at Saint Martin’s University! This festive and very popular fundraiser for Saints Athletics will be held Saturday, December 5 on the University’s Lacey campus, 5000 Abbey Way SE.
We are expecting 1,000 participants to run, walk or stroll this five-kilometer race that’s set against Saint Martin’s beautiful wooded campus, which will include trails and a great view of a decorated Christmas tree in front of Old Main.
“The Jingle Bell Run offers fun for the whole family and it’s a great time of year to focus on health and fitness,” says Dana Pethia, director of fundraising events and corporate sponsors. “We are deeply thankful for the amazing community support for this event. And Santa and Mrs. Claus will be here — we hope you will be, too, to have your picture taken with them!”
People of all ages may participate. Awards will be presented to those who place in the 9 a.m. competitive 5K Run and for the team that is the most festively adorned.
Pre-registered runners can pick up their swag bags December 4, from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., in the Norman Worthington Conference Center. Check-in and ‘day-of’ registration and swag bag pick-up begins at 8 a.m. in the Norman Worthington Conference Center on December 5.
The 5K competitive race begins at 9 a.m. outside the Hal and Inge Marcus Pavilion. Because this is a competitive race, participants must be able to complete it in 30 minutes or less. The 5K Fun Run/Walk will begin at 9:45 a.m. All registered runners will be timed. Finish-line celebrations, featuring pictures with Santa, Christmas cookies, hot cider and cocoa, fruit and bagels, will immediately follow the races.
All proceeds will benefit Saint Martin’s Athletics. The Thurston County Food Bank will be joining us on December 5 for a holiday season food drive. Please bring non-perishable food items that day. A representative from the food bank will be operating a table and accepting more donations at the event.
Those who provide a food donation on December 4 or 5 at race pre-registration will be entered into a drawing.
Registration fees are as follows: Adult pre-registration (until December 5), $40; military, $30; middle school, high school and college students (with valid I.D.), $10; day-of registration; kids 11 and under, FREE (does not include the t-shirt, or swag bag). Additional t-shirts are available for purchase at pre-registration and at race, December 4 and 5, $10/each. While supplies last!
Parking is free.
Thank you to our event sponsors: Olympia Federal Savings, Olympia Orthopaedic Associates PLLC, Columbia River Advisors,Capital Medical Center, Flatworld LLC, L & E Bottling, Puget Sound Orthopaedics, Missing Piece Marketing, and Capitol City Press.
By Rachel Booth, North Thurston High School Intern to ThurstonTalk
“I look sexy!” Victor Worrell jokes of his flamboyant costume. Tonight he dons a golden jacket paired with a purple and pink tie, ready for the first appearance of his titular character, Conrad Birdie. It is opening night for the annual North Thurston High School fall musical and the green room is buzzing.
“Ten minutes ‘til showtime,” shouts Corynn Carignan, the NTHS senior stage manager. She is stressed to the max yet excited to present the production she has been absorbed in for months.
“Bye Bye Birdie,” a story by Michael Stewart, follows the love and woes of several overlapping relationships. Set in the 1950s and brimming with musicality, “Birdie” is a charming classic. The main conflict is centered on the Elvis-style mess of a pop star, Conrad Birdie (Worrell), who has been drafted into the Army (to the distress of his adoring fan club). His manager, Albert Peterson (Logan Anderton), is persuaded by the lovely Rose Alvarez (Naomi Andrews) to hold a contest to receive the final kiss from Conrad before his departure.
Albert and Rose struggle as he refuses to stand up to his overprotective and melodramatic mother, Mae (Amber Granger) in order to pursue his true interest in English. Meanwhile, Kim MacAfee (Bailey Boeholt) is chosen to kiss Conrad, inciting jealousy in her new beau, Hugo (Dylan Eckstein). Tired of dealing with men and their pride, Rose and Kim team up to get back at them. A disaster ensues!
Kathrine Deneen, NTHS English teacher and head of the drama department, calls the whole cast into the green room behind the stage. Everyone is lying on the floor and Deneen turns the lights off. This is the warm up procedure, unique to her. Every actor tenses and releases their muscles at her command, practices facial expressions, and acts each other’s lines out. They shake their arms and legs, singing and shouting and nervous.
Many cast member are upperclassmen who have been acting their entire high school career. Others are new to the scene. Grabbing the last of the Red Vines from the prop table, the stage crew, headed by Eric Suarez, run out to the wings to prep the stage. After a quick, encouraging pep talk, Deneen heads out to the audience and everyone takes their place. Steven Jordan, at the back of the James Koval Center for the Performing Arts at the sound board, and Lucie Doran runs lighting from the technical booth above. People are flooding into the theater and student ushers direct audience members to their seats.
Back in the dressing room, actors run to and fro, checking costumes and fixing their hair. The makeup counter is lit up and the mirror dances with reflections of poodle skirts, hair bows, and classy suits. Juli Mulholland, who has sewn the majority of these costumes, makes final fixes and pins things in place before actors take the stage. Even from the back room, the crew can hear the opening music start.
The live orchestra is a special trademark of the fall musical. Eighteen musicians fill the small pit below the stage. Band and orchestra volunteers have been rehearsing for weeks. Orchestra teacher Grant Sears directs the group in accompanying each song in the musical and backing up the actors’ vocals. Horns, strings, percussion, and a piano are all tightly squeezed in and play in perfect harmony.
“This is chaos – the most fun I’ve had on a Friday night,” says makeup artist Kimmie Palecki. She sits on a stool in the dressing room, helping actors change outfits and makeup for different characters and scenes. Many costume changes take place quickly, and the rooms behind the stage are extremely hot. The air is scented with sweat and hairspray, but everyone is grinning and thrilled to be performing.
From the wings, the onstage action is easily seen. Lights shine on the immense wooden house, dining table, and other set pieces, quickly moved on and off by the stage crew between scenes. Actors wait in the wings to make their entrances and whisper quietly about the progress, intermittently shushed by stage manager Corynn. Communicating via headset with lights, sound, and curtains, Corynn pulls faces and dances offstage, encouraging actors to maintain smiles and energy. Giggling at their stage manager, the chorus members swing to the music and run offstage.
The complex 50s-era dancing is choreographed and taught by literature teacher Amy Solomon-Minarchi. Caitlin Van Zee (choir instructor) and Solomon-Minarchi have been at after-school rehearsals for weeks training students. Solomon-Minarchi has also donated considerable time behind the scenes with painters and set designers. “The Shop,” as it is lovingly known, is a large room behind the stage filled with wood, cardboard, paints, tools, and more. So much work, time, and money have been put into the production, and this is the moment of truth.
“It was absolutely fabulous,” says Juli Chavez, a NTHS parent who attended the show. “The singing was so impressive and Harry MacAfee (Jeff Hines-Morhmon) was hysterical!” Parents and actors crowd the lobby. Many hold flowers from family and friends and praise is high for the opening performance. With the exception of a broken microphone headpiece that was quickly rewired by the center’s technical director, Jeff Storvick, things ran exceptionally well.
“Everything just felt….right,” says freshman actor Thor Worrell. After meeting with the audience, the cast and crew return backstage to change and then storm the nearby Dairy Queen to celebrate opening night. The evening was a box office success, bringing in hundreds of dollars for the drama club to fund its winter production, the Shakespeare masterpiece “Macbeth.”
Remaining Performances: November 19, 20 and 21 at 7:00 p.m.
James Koval Center for the Performing Arts
600 Sleater-Kinney Rd NE in Lacey
General Admission: $8
Military, Senior, or ASB: $5