In between storms, before the gale force winds of Thursday night, I visited Nisqually Nat'l Wildlife Refuge. I caught some great clouds, color, light. Happy Holidays!
Nisqually Wilderness Refuge
Thursday 11 December 2014
Google Plus One Facebook Like
Fountainsun (Daniel Higgs and Fumie Ishii)
Arrington de Dionyso (returning from his endless tour!)
Hammer of Hathor
Submitted by Barb Lally for Rob Rice Homes
Throughout the entire year Rob Rice and his family generously provide time and support for organizations where they can make a real difference.
“We feel it is our responsibility to give back to the community where we have been building homes for more than 30 years,” says Rob. “This is where we live, work and raise our children, and we want to help make it a better place for our family and those in the communities we build.”
Their efforts extend far beyond issuing a check to the causes they believe in, they back their support with real action. In 2011 Rob and his wife Helena had determined that they needed to specify a goal for annual giving so they made the decision to prioritize children’s needs and homeless pets as causes to help. Now they extend their hands and hearts to two organizations that improve the lives of children and that aid rescue animals.
“There are so many well-deserving charities in our community but we needed to pinpoint two so we could really make a difference,” says Helena.
Caring for Animals
“When I married Rob, I had three rescue dogs and he was living in a pet-free home; it was quite a change for him,” laughs Helena, who grew up in a family that has always helped animals in need. “It didn’t take long though and within a few months he was traveling around with one of my dogs and even taking her to the office to work for the day.”
Now she says Rob has a soft heart for rescue animals, even picking them up in communities where he builds to make sure they get to their
homes or a shelter where they can be helped.
“Just recently Rob stopped on I-5 on the North Fork Lewis River Bridge in Clark County when he saw a confused dog running in the freeway,” Helena says. “Rob had to crawl underneath
a truck to eventually get the poor thing out. Rob brought the dog home, took him for veterinary care and we took care of him until we found the perfect owner. One of our staff is now the dog’s proud owner so Rob still gets to see ‘Lewis’ who is named after the bridge where he was rescued.”
Every year, the Rice’s, along with other business owners, sponsor a fundraising auction for Concern for Animals, an organization that for 34 years has assisted low income families with the food and medical needs of their pets and rescue animals. But they wanted to do more.
“Rob and Helena met with us and asked how they could help us,” says Janey Hanson president of Concern for Animals. “We had bought an older 1920s home for our offices after operating out of people’s homes for years. We showed them our lengthy wish list so they could pick a project. What happened next was amazing.”
Janey says that the local builder sought the help of many of his sub-contractors who donated their time and materials to completely remodel the home. Rob even assigned one of his superintendents to coordinate the work. The long list of sub-contractors who contributed is on the group’s website.
“They cleaned out our project wish list,” says Janey. “They even sent in a designer so we could pick our color pallet. They remodeled the kitchen with new flooring, cabinets, counters and backsplash; they fixed a major drainage problem under the house and repaired the basement so we had plenty of room for our food bank. They painted, fixed our ceiling, worked on our heating system and did electrical work and even leveled our parking lot. The list is long.”
The group says it would have taken years to complete but Rob and his sub-contractors did it all in just a few months resulting in an office and food bank that will help hundreds of pet owners and their animals.
Contributing to Kids
“Our son Alex attended the Hands On Children’s Museum of Olympia school for 3 years,” says Helena. “When Rob and I went to his first parent-teacher conference, we realized what a unique learning atmosphere it is and how beneficial the museum is to children in our community, so we decided we wanted to donate our time and resources to this great institution.”
Helena began co-chairing the museum’s fundraising breakfast that provides admission for Free Friday Night and then when the new museum was in design stages both she and Rob agreed to provide an entire exhibit that offers kids an experience in construction, a field they know a bit about. The Build It! exhibit allows children to don hard hats and safety goggles while they use builder boards to build a home or they create a Keva structure.
Around the Community
There are many other organizations where Helena and Rob donate their time and resources.
Rob is a lifetime director for the Olympia Master Builders Association and an active board member of Thurston Economic Development Council. He is also well known for presiding over the Home Owners Associations in the communities he builds to help maintain their quality and value.
Rob is a founder of Thurston First Bank, initially helping to start the bank and currently chairing several committees for its board. Helena is a shareholder in the bank as well.
Helena has served on boards for the Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council and the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce and currently volunteers for the PTO program at East Olympia Elementary, Alex’s school.
The Rice’s support Saint Martin’s University, Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County and the South Sound YMCA and Rob coaches most of his children’s sports teams, whether it is basketball, football or baseball.
Helena admits it all keeps them very busy yet they don’t usually turn away requests for help.
“We feel overjoyed to help out this amazing community,” she says. “It is a proven fact that people who give are happier and healthier. That is sure true in our family’s case.”
Rob Rice is Thurston County’s largest local home builder and was voted the Best of South Sound for 2013. He has built more than 3000 homes over the last 30 years. He and his wife Helena live in Olympia with their two sons; Alex Michael and Carson. Rob is a graduate of Washington State University with degrees in construction management and architecture.
By Alyssa Ramsfield
At first glance, Kaitie Mays looks like any other 11-year-old: a bright smile, her dance studio jacket, and a bow placed in her hair. The bow is what sets this Chinook Middle School sixth grader apart. Mays is an entrepreneur. Through Kaitie’s Hand-Made Hair Bows, she is creating custom hair bows to fundraise for her dance group.
“I started making bows for fun,” states Mays. “One day we were talking about raising money for a dance competition and I was looking at my bows thinking hey, I can make money at this. People ask about my bows all the time.”
So that’s exactly what Mays began doing out of her home.
“The dining room is my workshop,” Mays explains. “My mom and I buy ribbon from the Hobby Lobby when it is on discount. Every other week it is 58% off so we go and buy a bunch. Then, my mom precuts ribbon while I’m dancing. I dance for a few hours every day. If I don’t have to cut the ribbon it usually takes 5-10 minutes to put together a bow.”
Mays has been a dancer for most of her life. “I started dancing when I was three. My grandpa loved to dance and when I dance it reminds me of him.”
“I joined a competitive team around age four,” she explains. “The teams are grouped based on age and ability. We compete regionally and nationally. All of these competitions have entry fees, travel costs, and special costumes. I make the bows to cover these costs for myself and my team at Studio One.”
Sales goals are high for this budding business woman. “I started with a goal of selling 2,000 bows my first year, but I didn’t quite make it. This year, my goal is to sell 1,000 bows so I can raise the $5,000 I need to go to Nationals in Las Vegas. I usually sell bows for around $5 each with $2 of that going towards my dance account.”
During the holiday season, Mays has dedicated a portion of her profits to helping beyond the dance studio. This year, $.75 from each bow sold is going toward buying gifts for children in need.
With a life that revolves around dance, Mays has found connections to her daily life and her favorite activity. “Math is my favorite subject in school. Last year, at South Bay Elementary, I was Math Star of the Year. Dance and math have a lot in common. The counts, staying on task, and being focused remind me of math.”
Mays has dreams beyond the bow selling business and regional dance competitions. “Someday, I want to be on Broadway and dance. Being able to go to these competitions lets me see other dancers. It makes me think, ‘Wow I want to be like them!’ I can’t wait to be as good as they are someday.”
Kaitie’s Hand-Made Hair Bows can be purchased through her Facebook page. A wide variety of local sports teams and popular characters are currently available. Custom orders are also obtainable upon request.
By Holly Smith Peterson
It’s at the end of a winding drive through the bucolic cattle pastures and alpaca farms of Tenino that you’ll find the large red, purpose-built warehouse encompassing Sandstone Distillery.
What you might not know after stumbling upon it is that it’s Thurston County’s sole craft liquor production site, and the first to open there since Prohibition.
“Twenty-five years ago we tore down a 100×100 foot barn, pulled 20,000 nails from the roof and created a lumber yard,” says owner John Bourdon, who runs the business with his wife, Jenny. “Those materials were used to build this place 2.5 years ago. The old wood brings out the history and character.”
As he shows off frays in the giant timbers where Jenny’s mare once gnawed in the old barn, it’s clear that the entire facility is a museum of local stories. Just inside the door, near the tasting credenza, is a tinted late-19th century photo of one of Tenino’s famous stone carvers. Atop the ochre dividing walls of the foyer are an antique chisel and carving tool once used in the city’s famous stone quarries, which a century ago fueled its economy. In the restroom is an old photo of that stone operation. Along the gravel drive, the building itself is fronted by a massive boulder hewn with the distillery’s name.
“Our neighbors, who are in their 70s, are descendants of the town’s original stone carver, whose statue you can see outside of City Hall,” Bourdon says. “That’s how we decided to name the business. Everything here represents that stone-carving heritage.”
The Bourdons are eager to highlight this history as they begin the walk through the facility, a well-practiced tour they’re getting more and more used to giving impromptu these days. Word of mouth about the distillery’s unique business spin is spreading fast throughout Puget Sound, as well as reverberating praises for its high-quality, reasonably-priced liquors. In recent weeks, the family has hosted stop-in and tastings for passersby from Port Orchard, a band of North Thurston firefighters, and a scattering of curious Puget Sound restauranteurs and bartenders who have heard the word that Sandstone is something special.
“We’re privileged to be able to share our local heritage, not just about this area but about our family,” Jenny explains. “We have four generations working here on the weekends, from ages 84 years to 18 months. It’s wonderful to be able to share that.”
Indeed, inside the timber-hewn foyer with its tasting stand and wall of Sandstone Distillery shirts and souvenirs, a set of iron gates open into a production facility that’s not only functionally sparse in design but also captures history in every piece of equipment. A set of gleaming metal cooker tanks and boiler pipes, designed by John, steam from one side of the clear cement floor. These are flanked by oversize sacks of grain from Eastern Washington farms.
On the right are a duo of oversize kettles whose former lives were as soup tanks on a 1970s Navy ship — today they’re dubbed “Hark” and “Herald,” for angel figures John one year proposed to his family as toppers for a double-spiked Christmas tree. Drinking glass-sized “plates” perch above each: a stack of four creates lower proof, more flavorful whiskeys; an eight-stack distills cleaner, higher proof vodkas.
In which forms those spirits appear is often the genius of Jenny, who by day runs an Olympia surgical facility, and who by night and weekend concocts liquors infused with sweet and savory natural flavors. From the Bourdon’s own acreage come extracts of blackberries, apples, rosemary and mint, while botanicals like sweet orange, cardamom, cassis, cinnamon bark and licorice root are sourced from as close to home as she can get. For her most frequent seasonings, the upper walls of the warehouse are lined with narrow shelves of small planters, which feed off the steam from the cookers.
“We’re big on the ‘Farm to Table’ concept, and sourcing local,” Jenny says. “We think that’s a sustainable way to go.”
Currently two gin varietals feature lemon or licorice, the latter of which she says is surprisingly favored by men. A jalapeño vodka has found its way into the local Mexican restaurant’s menu. The dining venue at Offut Lake Resort has signed on to use the Sandstone white whiskey in its holiday “White Christmas” hot chocolate drink. And regional foodies and spirits connoisseurs throughout Puget Sound, including Governor Jay Inslee’s executive chef, are tasting and buying up the limited batches of bottles — which are themselves slim and elegant glassworks, with a local artist-designed label featuring the hands of a Tenino stone carver at work.
“Growth has been on all sides, but we just want people to understand the process and to see what we have here,” says John. “We want them to be able to connect with the product, and with us. Sales are just a byproduct.”
As for any small business, though, the Bourdons’ road hasn’t been simple. After owning a successful trucking company, and subsequently embarking with the family on a cross-oceans sailing excursion, while Jenny was at work John began dabbling in distilling from home. That turned into an investment in education on the distilling process, focused on learning how to run such a business.
Breaking into the state’s undefined liquor industry, though, with all of its recent tax additions and rules, also led to involvement on state liquor discussions at the legislative level, where parameters for everything from distillery fire codes to tasting room guidelines to labeling formats were on the table.
“We’re where microbreweries were 25 years ago,” John observes. “We’re at the forefront, with just a few others ahead of us. That means we have a lot of the basic knowledge, and also the opportunity to help define the industry’s future.”
As the tour winds down, John describes the path for Sandstone Distillery’s next few months. “We just want to hold steady, to keep selling out of our own backyard.” By 2016, the couple is aiming to build a self-sustaining portfolio throughout the Pacific Northwest; by 2020, they’re looking to be recognized across the U.S. and in Asia.
The caveat, says Jenny, who keeps the books, is that the business must always be self-supporting. Expansion is eventual, and inevitable: set hours for visits, tour group capabilities, educational outreach, and in-house “Distiller for a Day” experiences. These are all ideas that the couple is closely embracing.
“You’re only given so much time on this earth, and this is our passion,” she summarizes. “It’s all about maximizing the daylight that you have.”
In just under six minutes, you can watch this short, amusing video about the Health Benefits of Going Outside.
And then you can go outside.
Or, you can go to www.lbawoodspark.org and find out what the 5,200 Olympia-area residents (including me!) have been working on for our city.
Dan Martinez approaches life with determination and a vision whether it be his career, youth sports, family or community involvement. Well known within the youth soccer community, Martinez is currently gaining similar fame within the local real estate community. As a broker for Keller Williams Realty South Sound, Martinez is the go to guy for home rehabilitation. He is committed to transforming and revitalizing neighborhoods.
Martinez moved to Olympia in 1997 after he and his wife conducted an exhaustive search for the ideal community to raise and educate their three daughters. A strong school system was the most important factor in their choice. Martinez, his wife, Peggy, and their three young daughters plunged themselves immediately into the local schools and youth soccer. The girls attended L.P. Brown Elementary School, Jefferson Middle School and Capital High School.
While Peggy stayed involved in the schools, Martinez became active on the soccer field. “I mostly coached competitive teams since I appreciated the commitment of the players. It allowed me to bring out the talents of each player at a higher level of play. As President of South Sound Futbol Club, now Puget Sound Slammers Soccer Club, I coined the tagline ‘Developing Skills for a Lifetime’ because I viewed soccer as a means to develop skills beyond the soccer field,” explains Martinez.
“One of my greatest memories was coaching a team called Velocity,” he continues. “The team made it to two state championships and six of those players went on to play collegiate soccer. I am also proud to have played a role in bringing Mia Hamm to one of our Puget Sound Slammers training camps in 2010.”
When Intel announced in October 2013 that his job of 19 years would be relocated to Oregon, Martinez had a decision to make. Martinez served as program manager of a manufacturing team that built servers worldwide with the latest processors in. “Having established strong relationships, and with grandkids just down the street, including my third one born on December 8, we were not ready to leave our wonderful community,” he recalls.
Coincidentally, Martinez and his wife had begun investing in real estate to better prepare for their retirement. When Martinez chose to stay in Olympia he decided to obtain his own broker’s license. “Acquiring my real estate broker’s license was a natural progression into the world of real estate. The career transition played into my strengths.”
In a brief span of time, Martinez has acquired two rental homes and renovated four properties including three in East Olympia and one in Lacey. Martinez has created a niche through a solid understanding of home rehabilitation. He is savvy about repair costs and the resale value of homes. He specializes in distressed properties, rehabilitation loans and guiding first-time home buyers.
“I am really good at finding the most worth for buyers who are looking to obtain value properties. I can determine what type of repairs are doable. I can advise people toward creating value in their property. Some people would look at a house and property and only see what is wrong. Others see the home with a vision and opportunity. These are the people I assist in securing a 203k loan, which allows the buyer to get additional money to fix the house prior to move in.”
203k loans are designated for houses that are in need of rehabilitation. The loan covers the cost of the property and necessary home repairs. The renovation loan can cover a vast range of repairs including room additions, bathroom and kitchen remodeling, roofing, flooring, plumbing, energy conservation, new appliances and other structural repairs.
Martinez shares, “I enjoy helping people in difficult situations. Recently we assisted a mother and daughter in Lacey who had inherited their family home that was in disrepair. They tried to fix up the home but it was taking more time, work and money than they had. We were able to buy the house which provided them the financial resources to move on to their next destination. We fixed up the house and sold it to a family who is now enjoying the newly refurbished home.”
One of Martinez’s favorite projects was a home on the Eastside of Olympia. “I love homes that have character like the 100-year-old homes in the historic Bigelow neighborhood. With old homes, we can bring them up to the latest standards so that they are safe and easy to maintain. The new owners can move in after we have modernized the home so that they do not have to do any more updates.”
As an expert in home rehabilitation, Martinez’s goal is attract good homeowners and enhance neighborhoods. And it seems the slogan of ‘developing skills for a lifetime’ has carried Martinez from the youth soccer field to renovating his own career. Martinez’s choice to remain in Olympia, develop soccer players, and revitalize neighborhoods has significantly contributed to building a stronger community.
By Kate Scriven
Olympia is my home. However, it’s not where I was born or raised. As a result, my family all live far away and when they come to visit, I’m can’t wait to show them around. This holiday, I’m hosting not only my parents from Spokane, but my sister’s family of five from Colorado. With 11 people in my house for eight days, I’m going need to get creative in my activity planning to keep the crew entertained while experiencing all that Olympia has to offer.
As I suspect many of you also will find yourself with a house-full sometime this year, I thought I’d share our plans in hopes that you, too, will find inspiration.
Adventures at the Beach
Since my out-of-towners are all from landlocked locals, I intend to give them a good dose of Puget Sound and Pacific Ocean fun.
With razor clam tides scheduled through the spring, heading to the ocean for the time honored tradition of digging for dinner is a must. We rustle up a few clam guns, throw on the slickers and boots and get set for an experience that is very “Pacific Northwest.” Check tide schedules and pick a beach (we are choosing Moclips). You’ll be wet, so bring a change of clothes for a hot chocolate or chowder pit stop on the way home.
Closer to home, we’ll venture to a local beach. My family are awed by hiking the mossy, ferny pathways, so unlike their arid climates, leading to beaches teeming with life year-round. My nephews aren’t deterred by a little muddy sand (have guests bring their rubber boots if they can) and a winter low tide can reveal amazing creatures to discover.
If you have access to a boat, take your guests on the water (just watch the weather forecast). We will venture out in Boston Harbor, drop the crab pots and throw in a fishing line. My nephews (and brother-in-law and father) are beside themselves with excitement to catch crab and try out salt-water fishing.
Adventures in Town
The Capitol Building’s dome and gothic columns are, for visitors who live far from a state capitol, a memorable highlight. Watch an awed hush descend on your guests as they gaze into the impressive Rotunda and Legislative chambers. My dad, the history buff, will get sidetracked by historical plaques and the many monuments on the grounds and I have no doubt the kids will race up the stairs and around the fountain. Click here for 10 free things to do with the kids on campus.
My guests aren’t big shoppers (are we related?), so we likely won’t spend a lot of time browsing Olympia’s local, independent shops. However, I can’t resist a short stroll through our downtown shopping core. I’ll use picking up a latte (very Northwest, you know) at Batdorf and Bronson as an excuse to circle the downtown core at least once, sharing my favorite local shops and eateries. We’ll bribe the kids with a cupcake or two and drop the men at Three Magnets Brewing for a pint.
As outdoor sportsmen, they are begging for a trip to the Lacey Cabela’s. It’s an outing for ogling the latest gear, dreaming up fantastic outdoor adventures, and checking out the animals for the kids. The Colorado crew lives far from a Cabela’s store and a chance to browse in person, not in the catalog, is an afternoon of ready-made fun.
Adventures in Eating
One word – seafood. We tend to take it for granted that fresh, local seafood is available whenever we want. But waft a freshly shucked Olympia Oyster or Dungeness Crab under the nose of an “in-lander” and you are likely to get a pretty strong reaction (hopefully positive!). We always make sure to plan a “seafood feast” night for our guests where we spread newspapers on the table and crack crab and dunk it in butter until we can’t eat any more. Or we fire up the BBQ and cook some fresh oysters – winter is the best season for these local delicacies.
If your visitors are fascinated by bivalves, take a field trip to Taylor Shellfish Farms or further north to Hamma Hamma Oyster Farm to explore the bounty of the sound at the source. Even in the winter, an adventure on the Hood Canal is well worth the drive.
If cracking and shucking aren’t your gig (and if we end up with empty crab pots), choose one of our area’s stellar seafood restaurants and let the professional chefs do the work. Or, visit Olympia Seafood Company for a compromise. Their ready-to-cook options (think fresh crab cakes) and expertly prepared fish take just minutes to finish off at home for a true taste of Puget Sound.
Adventures in Planning
ThurstonTalk’s talented writers spend their time scouring the county for inexpensive, family fun (in our Thrifty Thurston series) and detailing the best places to hike, play, spend a rainy day, swim, and dine. Check out the articles in our archives to plan some of the best activities and outings Olympia has to offer.
By utilizing the filters on the ThurstonTalk events calendar you can sort current events to find just what you are looking for whether it’s live music or holiday bazaars. Use the tabs on the homepage to select a section, like outdoor activities, and scroll through suggestions galore.
I’m looking forward to sharing Thurston County, where I live, work and play, with my out-of-town family. I hope they find as much to love here as I do. And, maybe they will even decide to stay.
Are you checking your list? Whether it’s meal ideas for a holiday party, a festive recipe for a warm cocktail, or shopping ideas that support small business, let ThurstonTalk make sure you have everything covered. Our writers have pulled together outstanding articles to keep your spirits high, bellies full, and agendas packed.
Read on for our highlights from our extensive event calendar.
Submit an event for our calendar here.
ThurstonTalk aims to be your source for positive information and events happening in Olympia. If you have a suggestion for a post, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here.
By Gail Wood
Instead of leading scorer and top rebounder, McGill, one of two returning starters on River Ridge High School’s girls basketball team, was now a cheerleader, an encourager yelling support. In just the second game of the season, McGill broke the knuckle in her ring finger on her right hand swatting at the ball against Timberline last Friday.
“I’ve jammed my finger before and this hurt worse,” McGill said. “I knew it was broken.”
For at least four weeks, River Ridge will be without the 6-foot senior. And while River Ridge coach Jackie Robinson isn’t saying this is the best thing that could have happened to his team, he does see a silver lining.
“It gives a chance for other kids to step up,” Robinson said. “We’ll figure it out. The important thing is for us to get better each game.”
Rather than one player filling the void – McGill averaged about 15 points and 10 rebounds – Robinson said it will be a team effort. With McGill out, 5-foot-8 freshman forward Madeline Retzlaff showed promise in her first varsity game on Tuesday in a 50-43 win against Fife.
“Madeline reminds me so much of Savanah when she was a freshman,” Robinson said. “She’s such a coachable kid – fun loving, listens, does what you tell her to do. She’ll come in and get some minutes there. She’s going to be good.”
Junior guard Makenna Schultz, the Hawks’ other returning starter, is confident the younger players asked to pick up their game will respond.
“It’s a loss not having Savannah, but I think we’ll be okay because we’ve got other players filling in,” said Schultz, a starter on the varsity since her freshman year. “I think we’ll be good.”
Schultz has scored a season-high 22 points and is averaging 16 points. But as a point guard she remains a shooter, passer.
“I don’t feel I have to score more points,” said Schultz, who played on the Seattle Rotary AAU club team this summer. “I think other girls will step in and do their part and help me and help the rest of the team. I think we can do that if we keep pushing the ball and keep working as a team. We’ll get there.”
Robinson is impressed with how Schultz is playing. She’s averaging nearly half the Hawks’ 37 points per game average.
“She’s doing a great job at the point,” Robinson said. “She’s our engine right now. She’s a coachable kid.”
As River Ridge adjusts to McGill’s absence, Robinson knows his team might take some lumps early. But it’s not how River Ridge starts the season that’s got Robinson concerned. It’s how they finish.
“Five teams get into the playoffs from our league,” Robinson said. “Honestly, if we get one of those spots, I don’t care which spot we get. I just want in. Once you’re in, you can make some noise. But if you’re not in you can’t make any noise.”
McGill admits it’s hard sitting on the bench during games and only being able to watch her team play. But she said it’s important for her to stay positive and not moan and complain about not being able to play.
“It’s really disappointing,” McGill said. “But I try not to bring the team down because they need my support. I just need to stay in the gym and work on my left hand. Then support the team as much as possible.”
Filling in at center, Robinson will go with Peggy Johnston, a 5’9″ senior, Kyla Coleman, a 6’1″ senior, and Retzlaff, a 5’8″ freshman.
Robinson is impressed with his team’s work ethic, with their willingness to do whatever it takes to get better. Recently, he asked his team if they’d be willing to show up to a shoot around before school started. They eagerly said they would go.
“This group is just fun to coach,” Robinson said. “Even though we’re not winning all our games you can’t tell when you go into the locker room. They’re still hungry. They’re still listening. You never hear them say anything bad. They’re not getting down on each other. They’re a great group to coach.”
Robinson is confident his team’s willingness to work hard will have a payoff come playoff time.
“It’s not how you start,” said Robinson, who is in his fourth season as River Ridge’s head coach. “But it’s how you finish. We’ll be fine. I think we’ll get there.”
Submitted by Timberland Regional Library
Thirty youth services staff members from most of the 27 Timberland libraries gathered in Tumwater today, Thursday, December 11, 2014, to choose the five most distinguished children’s picture books published in 2014.
This annual event pits local library expertise against that of the nationally prestigious Caldecott Medal Committee, part of the American Library Association, that will announce its winners this coming January.
The day-long effort began with work tables stacked with enticing contenders – 58 in all – and supplies for evaluation and voting. Encircling the tables, eager librarians itched to dig into the riches. Youth Services Coordinator Ellen Duffy called it, “my favorite day of the year.”
“The day is a joyous collaborative learning process,” Duffy said.
“We learn from these exquisite books,” she continued. “We learn from each other, and we bring all that learning to our library patrons.”
At the end of the day, the winners were tallied and announced:
1. “The Adventures of Beekle, The Unimaginary Friend” by Dan Santat
2. “Gravity” by Jason Chin
3. “The Numberlys” by William Joyce and Christina Ellis
4. “Quest” by Aaron Becker
5. “Flashlight” by Lizi Boyd
One of the day’s written evaluations speaks to the heart of the effort: “We get too used to treating books as objects to check in, shelve, etc. We need to be reminded that each of these books is its own universe.”
The official Caldecott winners will be announced, with great pomp and lots of media, next month. Tune in and see if one of the local favorites makes it to the top.
The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott and is awarded each year to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. Past winners include “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsberg (1986 winner), “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendek (1964 winner) and “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick (2008 winner).