Recent local blog posts

Fall Art: Salmon and Leaves

OlyBlog Home Page - Tue, 09/29/2015 - 1:08pm
Event:  Sat, 10/24/2015 - 10:00am - 4:00pm

Celebrate fall by creating beautifully colored works of art inspired by leaves and the returning salmon. Design color-diffusing paper leaves, leaf or fish prints, and much more. We provide the supplies and inspiration, you bring the creativity! Feel free to bring in your own fall leaves to use in your artwork.

WET Science Center, 500 Adams St. NE, Olympia, WA 98501 logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week

Thurston Talk - Tue, 09/29/2015 - 7:55am



Submitted by Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton

Chloe is Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton's Dog of the Week

Chloe is Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton’s Dog of the Week

Chloe is an 18 month old, black, female pit bull terrier. She has been spayed and is up-to-date on her vaccinations. She is a very sweet girl who is ready to start learning her basic obedience commands and how to walk politely on leash.

Chloe would be happy having your undivided attention rather than sharing with another dog in the family. If you do have another dog with similar energy level, they would need to meet before an adoption would be approved. Chloe needs an active family who can spend time exercising her and helping her learn doggie manners and basic obedience.

We have lots of great dogs and always need volunteers to help them.  Visit our website at or contact Adopt-A-Pet, on Jensen Road in Shelton, at or (360) 432-3091.  Join us on Facebook at “Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton Washington”.

Fall Arts Walk Welcomes You to Downtown Olympia

Thurston Talk - Tue, 09/29/2015 - 6:00am



By Alyssa Ramsfield

thurston first bankArts Walk defines our Olympia community twice a year. While the spring event is highlighted with the Procession of the Species, fall focuses on street performances and mixed media artists. With blocks of events for the whole family, Fall Arts Walk is the perfect way to celebrate the start of autumn in downtown Olympia without emptying your wallet.

“Fall Arts Walk reminds you that you can really find just about anything you need from downtown Olympia,” states City of Olympia’s Arts & Events Coordinator, Stephanie Johnson. “As the gloomy season begins, this event really shows the numerous hand-crafted, artisan inspired stores that are custom to our area. Walking around and taking in the talented artists from here is a great way to experience Olympia.”

fall arts walk olympia

Artists and performers will take to the streets of downtown Olympia during Fall Arts Walk on October 2 and 3.

“Feedback from our prior events were definitely taken into consideration for this year,” explains Olympia Recreation Program Specialist, Luke Burns. “We have an interactive Arts Walk map that shows all of the activities and performances for the weekend. We also have an app that is available for free that gives line ups and locations in real-time. It also has family-friendly icons on the events for all ages. It’s a great way to stay organized and get the opportunity to see everything at this year’s event.”

Arts Walk is a weekend long event with a host of activities for the entire family. “We’ve really thought about every family member,” describes Burns. “For the kids, The Hands On Children’s Museum along with Miss Thurston County and her royal court will be doing free face painting. There is also sidewalk chalk for our youngest artists to turn street into their own canvas on Washington where we shut down the street to cars. There are also a variety of performers including a preview of Olympia Family Theater’s newest show.”

“For the older teen group, there is an opportunity at Capital City Guitar to try out guitars in their new sound room,” adds Burns. “It’s great exposure for kids who are interested in the arts and may even come back to Arts Walk to perform someday in the future. We have had many teen performers in the past and look forward to a few this year as well.”

For adults, there are plenty of options even if you have the kids in tow. “Arbutus Folk School will host music classes and a gathering of local fiddle players. Downtown Olympia also has a new distillery, Blind Pig Spirits with a tasting room that is open to the public. It is a great opportunity to check out a new business to downtown Olympia, try some delicious spirits, and listen to local music.”

For first time Fall Arts Walk attendees, there are a few tips to get you through the event with ease. “The best thing you can do is to park on the outside of the downtown corridor and walk in,” explains Burns. “Capital Lake, up near Bayview Thriftway, and down near the Hands On Children’s Museum are great spots to park. You will also want to take a look at our map to see where the bathrooms are. The Washington Center has their doors open for bathroom use or the bathrooms by the lake will be open to the public.”

The Washington Center also offers a chance for the community to view a spectacular dance performance by Olympia’s RADCO on the mainstage from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. as well as view local artists on their walls.  The free performance requires no tickets, simply stop in to catch a live show during your Arts Walk experience.

fall arts walk olympia

Miss Thurston County is joining the Hands on Children’s Museum to provide free face painting during this year’s Fall Arts Walk.

The best part about Fall Arts Walk, it’s completely free. “This event is open to everyone,” describes Johnson. “We share so much as a community through art. We hope that people who attend this year will be inspired to take part by displaying their own work in the years to come.”

Fall Arts Walk

Friday, October 2 from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 3 from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Megan Teigen Leading the Pack for Saint Martin’s Cross Country Team

Thurston Talk - Tue, 09/29/2015 - 6:00am



By Grant Clark

indian summer logoJim Brewer is quick to point out the success runners hailing from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference have had nationally of late in the 800 meters. In fact, just last year Simon Fraser’s Lindsey Butterworth captured the NCAA II national championship in the event.

“Our conference is extremely tough,” said Brewer, who serves as the head coach for both cross country and track and field at Saint Martin’s University. “The automatic standard for the GNAC is faster than the provisional for nationals. That gives you an idea of the level of competition we have.”

Two years ago, as a freshman, Megan Teigen ran the 800 for the Saints. Brewer, however, believed her talents could be best utilized elsewhere.

“Things weren’t really working out for her in the 800,” Brewer said. “I wanted to try and find something for her to be successful at so I asked her if she would be willing to try the hurdles. She said, ‘Coach, I’ve never hurdled before, ever.’ And I replied, ‘That’s ok. Let’s just give it a shot.’”

saint martins cross country

Megan Teigen crosses the finish line during a 2014 cross country meet.

Teigen had always been a middle distance runner. She was in eighth grade the last time she competed in a sprint event, and even then, there were no hurdles in front of her.

But given the team player she is, she gave it a go, and after two months of practices, she would participate in her first 400 hurdle race ever.

“It was at Western Washington University. We had two meets left in the regular season,” Brewer said. “Her first race that she runs up in Western, I think there was two heats, and she wins the 400 hurdles and qualifies for conference championships.”

Ending the story there would be impressive, but Teigen was just getting started.

“The second time she runs the 400 hurdles, it was here and she ends up going from sixth in the conference to having the fastest time in the conference, and having a national provisional mark,” Brewer boasted. “It was her second time ever running the 400 hurdles. I told her, ‘Well, we found your race.’”

In addition to track and field, Teigen is also a member of the Saint’s cross country team. A GNAC All-Academic recipient last year, she will be one to watch when the Saints host their first meet of the season – the SMU Open – on Sept. 26.

“To have that range and willingness to go from the 400 hurdles all the way up to a 6K,” Brewer said. “That says something about her.”

Teigen took up cross country during her freshman year at Northwest Christian High School (NWCHS). The Navigators were coming off their fourth consecutive girls’ state championship – a feat that would later grow to nine straight state titles – when Teigen joined the program.

“My first year of running was just for fun. I didn’t think it would actually become a thing. I just did it to hang out with friends,” Teigen said. “NWCHS was also just coming off a state title so why not join a winning team?”

The longest distance Teigen had ever competed in up to that point was 400 meters. So, the increase was significant when her first high school meet at the 5K distance took place, but what started out as simply an opportunity to participate with some friends quickly became something Teigen excelled at.

“A lot of it at first was my team’s encouragement. So, I just stuck with it,” Teigen said. “And then out of nowhere I started being up with the front pack in high school. That’s when I decided, “Ok, yeah, I’m going to stick with this.’”

A desire to attend college close to her family led Teigen to Saint Martin’s and as expected the jump in class, going from a smaller high school to competing against college-level runner, took some getting used to.

“It was tough. It was weird going from the front of the pack in high school to suddenly being in the back of the pack in college,” Teigen said. “I think that’s a hard transition, but you do get used to it and you grow and learn. You move up, especially with the added competition and pressure. It pushed me as a runner to improve more.”

It was during her freshman season, prior to Brewer taking over coaching the distance runners that he first noticed Teigen and her unwavering work ethic.

saint martins cross country

Megan Teigen (#2050) runs to the front of the pack during a 2014 cross country meet.

“When I got here we had another distance coach in place and I was working with the sprinters, and I would always see her on the track,” Brewer remembers. “She was out there, rain, wind, it really didn’t matter what the weather was like, she was out there going through some pretty tough workouts. She’s a very good student and I think that carries over into her athletics as well.”

As a freshman she finished 78th at the GNAC Championships with a time of 24:39.75. She trimmed more than 2 minutes off that time at last year’s GNAC Championships where she finished 43rd overall (22:35.3) with a time fast enough to qualify her for the NCAA West Region Championships where she finished 123rd.

“This year I think is going to be an insane year for our team,” Teigen said. “The new girls we have are so incredible. The top four on our cross country team are all new girls. We have a hard-working group and they are so fast. I’m excited to see how we do in GNAC.”

The GNAC Championships will be held on Oct. 24 in Bellingham at Western Washington University this year with the top performers advancing to the NCAA West Region Championships Nov. 7 in Monmouth, Ore.

“It’s early for us,” Brewer said. “Hopefully, Megan will be even faster than last year and with those other girls, it should be exciting and we should see a little more success this year. Megan’s very much a part of that.”


Family Education and Support Services Announces 3rd Annual Seeds of Hope Gala Auction

Thurston Talk - Mon, 09/28/2015 - 1:41pm



Submitted by Family Education and Support Services

olympia event planner

The Family Education and Support Services “Seeds of Hope” benefit auction will be held October 8.

Please Join us for a fun night and help support a valuable community organization at the same time!   On Thursday night, October 8th, 2015 Family Education and Support Services “FESS” will again be hosting their (3rd) annual “Seeds of Hope” Gala Auction at the Red Lion Hotel in Olympia.

This Auction offers something for everyone. Items include a year’s worth of couples dates, a family outing and a trip to Hawaii. We have beautiful Jewlrey from Pannowitz Jewlers, an amazing hand sewn quilt, sporting tickets, a sailing trip on the sound, chocolate, wine, coffee and so much more.

Tickets for the Seeds of Hope Auction can be purchased on line by visiting the FESS web site here. Want to make a donation but find you are unable to attend?  It’s not too late–just click the “Donate Now” button on our web site.

Better yet, give us a call at 360-754-7629.  You are also welcome to drop by the office. We would enjoy visiting with you, giving you a tour, and sharing more about our services.

Every parent can use help now and then and this auction ensures our ability to provide critical support to parents and caregivers who request it. At FESS we are dedicated to ensuring that all families are equipped with the skills needed to help them rise above the difficulties that will inevitably come their way.  We are very proud of the quality of the programs we offer and more importantly the positive outcomes they have had in our community. We believe that by strengthening families we strengthen our community.

If you would like to learn more about our agency, or support our efforts, please contact Executive Director Shelly Willis at, visit our web site  at:, or visit our administrative office located in West Olympia. We expect to welcome over 200 enthusiastic guests and raise over $30,000 to help carry forward our mission to inspire healthy child development by providing quality family strengthening services.

In our 15 years we have grown. We started with three parenting classes a month and now we currently offer over 44 opportunities each month for parents to gather together and talk about raising children. Last year our agency served over 6,000 individuals including 2,500 youth.

So come have some fun. You’ll find an abundance of fabulous items, enjoy a fabulous meal,  and you will be supporting an essential community non profit at the same time.

Again, if you have any questions, you can contact our Executive Director, Shelly Willis at 360-754-7629.


Providence St. Peter Hospital Recognized with Gold Standard for Nursing Excellence

Thurston Talk - Mon, 09/28/2015 - 6:45am



providence nursing magnet

Michelle James, chief nursing officer at Providence St. Peter Hospital, decided to reapply for Magnet recognition to show a continued commitment to the type of quality care Providence St. Peter Hospital strives to offer its patients and the community.

At the core of any good medical facility is a team of quality, caring nurses. With nearly 3.1 million registered nurses (RNs) currently employed in the United States, nurses make up the majority of any hospital’s staff, providing the bulk of all care administered to patients.

With nurses taking on everything from general patient care and case management to specialized care services and more, having a team of top-notch nurses at your bedside means you can rest assured knowing your health is in good hands.

This is especially true for Thurston County-area residents.

Earlier this year, Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia received Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center for the second time in a row.

The Magnet Recognition Program is designed to recognize health care organizations that go above and beyond in providing quality, innovative care from the hands of well-qualified nurses. The designation is regarded as the gold standard for nursing excellence.

Providence St. Peter Hospital is one of only three medical facilities in the state and one of 375 out of nearly 6,000 health care organizations nationwide to receive Magnet recognition. It is an outstanding local choice for quality care, right here in Olympia.

Michelle James, chief nursing officer at Providence St. Peter Hospital, says deciding to reapply for Magnet recognition was less of a choice and more of a continued commitment to the type of quality care Providence St. Peter Hospital strives to offer its patients and the community.

“The reason we’ve made this decision is because we believe we need to continue to raise the bar on quality and continue to challenge ourselves to provide the best quality of patient care and nursing care to the whole community,” says James.

With a previous Magnet designation from 2010, James says the nursing team at Providence St. Peter Hospital knew what to expect the second time around, but that didn’t make qualifying for the prestigious designation any easier.

providence st peter hospital

Offering up some of the best care in the country, Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia is proof that you don’t need to leave the area for quality care.

“We were designated in 2010 for our first Magnet award,” says James. “During that process, we set goals. But once you get the award, you continue the work,” she explains. “We submitted interim reports to the American Nurses Credentialing Center once a year with information that showed we were continuing to look at our quality, process and engagement.”

This ongoing process holds health care organizations accountable of a higher standard even after the award has been given, inspiring hospitals like Providence St. Peter to continue to set goals and raise the bar.

James says through the hospital’s first Magnet designation, the nursing team at Providence St. Peter Hospital was able implement new processes and record data in a way that allowed them to evaluate and improve upon old methods.

“[Magnet designation] has allowed us to take some additional risks,” says James. “We can say, ‘This didn’t work,’ and ask what we can do differently to get the best outcome for our patients.”

All of this data was documented and submitted in Providence St. Peter Hospital’s re-designation application, which James says is akin to a college thesis. After the application was submitted, the American Nurses Credentialing Center scheduled a site visit allowing representatives from the credentialing center to observe the nursing team in action.

James says the process is rigorous and lengthy but worth it. “We submitted our application in October, had our site visit in December, and we found out [that we had been re-designated] in February.”

For Providence St. Peter Hospital, receiving this level of achievement — not once, but twice — is a huge accomplishment, but James says it’s the patients and community that benefits the most.

providence st peter hospital

This ongoing process holds health care organizations accountable of a higher standard even after the award has been given, inspiring hospitals like Providence St. Peter to continue to set goals and raise the bar.

“For our patients it really demonstrates the ongoing work that the nursing team is doing to remain current and relevant and use evidence-based nursing practices,” she says. “We continue to raise the bar on quality goals, and Magnet is wonderful for recruiting well-qualified nurses.”

In addition to being recognized with one of the best nursing teams in the country, the American Nurses Credentialing Center also identified three particular areas where Providence St. Peter Hospital excelled. This included St. Pete’s Sexual Assault Clinic, No One Dies Alone (NODA), and the hospital’s community-wide geriatric care.

With this re-designation, James is excited to continue providing local, quality care to the community. “We consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to be with people during the most vulnerable times of their life,” she says, “and we want to continue to be the best we can be to meet the needs of our community and our staff.”

To learn more about Providence St. Peter Hospital, visit Providence St. Peter Hospital online or call 888-492-9480.


Olympia’s Mayoral Candidates: A Distinct Choice

Janine's Little Hollywood - Sun, 09/27/2015 - 11:14pm

Above: Marco Rosario Rossi is a candidate for Olympia city council's mayoral position.  
“I think there is a misconception of just how pervasive poverty is in Olympia. So I look at the statistics from the county (Thurston Regional Planning Council), and Olympia has the highest poverty rate of any incorporated city in the county. Olympia actually has the third highest poverty rate of any area in the county – the only two that are higher are the reservations,” says Rossi.  
By Janine
Olympia voters will have a distinct choice in who will preside over the city: current city councilmember Cheryl Selby, 54, a homeowner in the historic South Capitol district, or political newcomer Marco Rosario Rossi, 34, a renter in the southwest neighborhood area of Olympia.
She is a downtown business owner, and he is a fulltime medical assistant at Planned Parenthood.
Little Hollywood conducted two, separate, on-the-fly interviews with each candidate as each went door to door introducing themselves to potential voters in two different neighborhoods: Selby in her South Capitol neighborhood and Rossi in Olympia’s eastside neighborhood. Little Hollywood strove for balance but did not necessarily ask the candidates the same questions. 
Ballots will be mailed to voters on October 14.
Above: Cara Stimson, left, a South Capitol resident for 20 years, meets mayoral candidate Cheryl Selby, right. Stimson was enthusiastic about Selby and said she voted for her two years ago. Stimson is active in her neighborhood and serves as a lead moderator for an online neighborhood networking group called Nextdoor.
Mayoral Candidate Cheryl Selby
I met Selby at her home in a neighborhood where many historic Craftsman style houses were for sale, ranging from $650,000 to $268,000. 
On this recent Saturday afternoon, Selby had four teenagers helping her: Aspen, 16 and Jake, 16, who attend Capital High School, and Mackenzie, 16, and Aly, 16, who attend Olympia High School. Selby said she and her team have doorbelled about 7,000 homes since early June.
She is endorsed by a long list of elected local leaders and the firefighters union, Local 468, the latter of which Selby credits to her background in public health and safety training.
Selby has owned an upscale women’s clothing shop near the Olympia Farmer’s Market for nine years. She’s lived in Olympia since 1994.
As of this writing, her Washington State Public Disclosure Commission reports show that she has raised a whopping $21,837.49. Many of her highest donations are from real estate related individuals and associations, such as the Olympia Master Builders. She admits that she heard from known Democrats about that, and defends her choice to accept their donation. The mayoral and city council positions are nonpartisan; Selby is a Democrat. 
“Their current president is on the board of Sidewalk with me and he’s rallied so much support for rapid rehousing and Homes First! and all those kinds of approaches. We need those people supporting affordable housing options, so why push them away?
“I do have a broad range of support…I bring everybody to the table…I will be collaborative…. Ideology is not a good a good basis for government, certainly not on a municipal level - we can’t afford it. Our resources are so small! If we get caught up in every single global issue…and bog down city government on every national issue, it is not productive.”
Overwhelmingly,the top issue on voter’s minds is the condition of downtown Olympia.
A woman who just moved here last year asked Selby about the artesian well area and said she doesn’t go down there anymore.
“That’s a situation where everything that could go wrong did go wrong…. ” started Selby. She said that they are working on programs to help many of the people who hang out down there, and explained the role of Community Youth Services. The woman was unconvinced.
Moving along, an old timer bluntly told Selby, “The only thing the city council has done in 40 years is screw up parking.”
“…Well, there hasn’t been a business owner mayor since Tom Allen Sr., in 1976, so we need that perspective of our city on the council….” she responded.
“Well, I don’t think the city is going to do anything to improve downtown, other than to chase the bums out now,” he retorts.
Selby continues, “Well, I’m not going to give up…I want an opportunity for our kids to find family wage jobs and a quality of life….”
“Define family wage jobs,” the man demands.
“Well, we can’t just rely on the state for that….we’ve got county jobs, but we have to go after high tech industry, just like everyone else, right, but we’ve got amazing recreational and cultural assets. We just hired our economic development coordinator…and she is our tool in the toolbox for recruiting businesses,” she says.
“Well, I’ll be surprised if it happens…private enterprise is what’s going to make that sing…Like I’ve been saying for 40 years…what have we got? We lost Penney’s, we lost Miller’s….” he says.
“Yeah, well, the mall opened…” Selby responds, and picks up speed. “We have to be more creative with what we do with our downtown. We’re not alone. There are cities very similar to Olympia that have Main Street corridors, and that’s an asset. We have arts, recreation, cultural, and heritage assets….” 
Finally, she closes the conversation with him, saying she’s not a one trick pony and has a lot of energy.
Selby says the lack of mental health services and oxycodone/heroin use has created the perfect storm. Selby serves on the board of Sidewalk, which works to place people into rapid rehousing – 500 people in the last three years.
“If it wasn’t for Behavioral Health Resources, the Dispute Resolution Center, and rapid rehousing, downtown would look a lot worse…We’re doing as good a job as we can,” she said.
Addressing the frustration heard about downtown, Little Hollywood asked Selby about city ordinances that aren’t being enforced.
“I feel that our community wants one thing, and when it happens, they push back against it, and so the police are like, ‘Where do we stand?’ and with the police shooting, that elevated that feeling of them reassessing their support in the community…I think they feel like they’re walking on eggshells right now. They need to feel supported by their community, and supported by the business owners, and that’s going to happen through a lot of relationship building. Chief Roberts is probably the best thing to ever happen to the city of Olympia. I think he is a community justice advocate…I think he was just about there when the officer involved shooting happened and that set us back.”
Little Hollywood asked Selby what she is looking for in Chief Roberts’ report regarding the internal review investigation into the May 21 shooting of two men by Olympia police officer Ryan Donald.
“I’m looking for a better understanding of how our agency, individually, treats situations like this, what we can learn from it. I’m looking for a real tough look at that situation, internally. I want to know how we handle pulling our gun out of our holster. I want to know more about that.” Selby said she thought a citizen review committee would be “a bit of an overkill.”
“What I’m waiting for is the findings of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Policing and Community Relations. They are going to dig in on it….”
Moving along, I asked if the city will see a leadership style from her that’s different than Mayor Buxbaum’s. She says yes, that she will run city council meetings more efficiently. She said she will try to limit public comment to 30 minutes.
“If we have more than ten people show up for a single issue, which is about a half hour, it’s in our council guidelines that the mayor has the authority to reorder people, so if someone has never been to city council before, they can speak first. And if we have 20 people wanting to speak on one issue, I’m happy to meet with them and ask them to speak for two minutes each, or otherwise, have them pick two or three spokespeople,” she said.
She agreed that such a process could get sticky. “….We do need to get a handle on it. When those occasions happen, they hold us hostage. Stalwarts can wait until the end….”
On the proposed $15 minimum wage campaign, Selby said, “I would love it if we could make that across the nation. Again, it’s one of those issues where just can’t cherry pick a city and make it happen…It’s not fair…Let’s pressure the state to get to $12 minimum. Let’s start with $12.”
“When I started my business, I didn’t even get a paycheck for a couple years. I would just have to shut my doors if I had to pay $15 an hour. There’s no way…I’ve been open nine years and I pay my employees between $13 - $15 now. I’m a dying breed…retail is just so hard, the margins are just so tight. My competitor is not down the street, it’s Amazon. People will come into my store, take a picture, and look it up online and buy it. I can’t raise my prices like a restaurant can….I’m kind of locked in….harsh reality.”
Asked if she’s particularly frustrated by any issue, Selby mentions the Deschutes Estuary vs. Capitol Lake issue. “We haven’t been able to get forward on it…”
When asked her opinion on whether or not the lake should revert to an estuary, she says, “Honestly, I don’t have one….”  She says she’s met with all groups associated with the issue.
“As someone who is not a biologist, a wildlife specialist or a water quality specialist, what I see is that both sides have conflicting science. What’s that about? So, with the $250,000 that the Legislature appropriated to talk about it again, I’ll be happy with whatever comes out of it. We just can’t leave it the way it is. Either way…I just want it to be logical and then I want to advocate for whatever position comes forward….”
Mayoral Candidate Marco Rosaire Rossi
Marco Rosaire Rossi is the last one standing in what had originally been a platform of three candidates for city council under the banner of Olympia For All. 
Rossi has raised $5,137 to date, and is being endorsed by Olympia Mayor Stephen Buxbaum, several local unions, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, and the Thurston-Lewis-Mason Central Labor Council.  
Rossi first moved to Olympia in 2000, and has lived on the westside most of that time.
He has been involved in community bicycle outreach with the Emma Goldman Youth and Homeless Outreach Project (EGYHOP) and currently volunteers with the Interfaith Works Emergency Overnight Shelter.
For the last six years, he has worked as a medical assistant for Planned Parenthood, and is a steward for UFCW 21, the largest private-sector union in Washington with members working in grocery store, retail, health care and other industry jobs.
Earlier this month, Rossi said he had been busy doorbelling renters in apartment complexes, a traditionally marginalized, transient population often overlooked by candidates for public office. He has since narrowed his focus to those who are more consistent voters.
I asked him what he is hearing at the door.
“It depends on what neighborhood we are doorbelling in….Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t vote…so at the door, you do have an opportunity to educate people and talk to them. People are curious and want to find out more about the campaign.
“The estuary vs. lake issue has come up with some people, mostly on the westside. Nearly everyone is interested in it becoming an estuary so it’s just a matter of figuring that out, and that’s a position I support too.
“....The issue of downtown can be broken up into different issues: how is downtown going to develop, and safety issues….I found that people respond to issues of poverty….Usually when I talk about that, a lot of people are in agreement.”
Asked about the need for a day shelter for the homeless in Olympia, Rossi said, “The city passed up a great opportunity to work on something like the People’s House to be located downtown. That type of low-barrier model is critical for pulling people off the street. Parts of that program did end up in the basement of the First Christian Church - that’s really good - I volunteer there - but we need an area that is close, and can provide multiple services: shower, laundry, all those things.
“We have to get out of this model of thinking that the homeless population can access services where they are and be more strategic and efficient about it, figure out the most cost effective way to do it, and make it easier for people to access. I want to concentrate services in the downtown, and adopt a Housing First! strategy. Cheryl Selby’s model is more incremental, with services more dispersed.”
Asked about the $15 minimum wage campaign, Rossi says the majority of people are really positive or interested in the issue.
“I’d like to adopt the Seattle strategy - if you are a large business with a high margin, you have to transfer over to a $15 minimum wage really quickly. If you are a small business with fewer employees, you have a longer period of time to make that transition….We’ve reached out to local businesses. Once we lay out the numbers and show them how they can make the transition, they tend to come around and say, ‘Yea, we can see how this can be a good thing.’” 
Rossi says the livable wage numbers say it all.
“The MIT Livable Wage indicator, which gives extremely conservative estimates…sets the livable wage in Olympia for a single person at $10.77. That's for someone working 40 hours a week. However, if that same person has one child, that figure jumps to $22.32. If that person has two children, then a livable wage is $26.47. Considering this context, we need to recognize that the fight for a $15 minimum wage is really the starting point for many single mothers, not the end goal….”
Asked about other issues, and specific downtown development proposals, such as the proposed community renewal act, Rossi said he does not have strong feelings about how to develop the isthmus area.
“It’s a very divisive issue and there’s a lot of proposals on the table. We just need a good process for exploring all those issues and what’s most beneficial for the city. Why the city is focused on that area is because in terms of development, it’s essentially the low hanging fruit…the reason the city isn’t going after smaller areas like Griswold’s is because it’s just not worth it for developers….It would be great if we could push the development of downtown northward toward the Farmer’s Market. The problem is that that area is owned by a lot of different developers, and much of it is on fill and contaminated….”
Asked about the proposed Metropolitan Parks District (MPD) ballot measure, Rossi expressed concerns.
“An MPD could be good for the city, but I do have some concerns. Olympia’s parks do need some critical maintenance. Yauger Park needs repairs in many areas, Bigelow needs improvements in its bathrooms and shelters, and Woodland and West Bay trails need to be completed. However, there is no guarantee that the revenue raised…will be used for these projects….Before we raise revenue for parks we should have a strategic plan for our park system that emphasizes density and equity….When we think about where we’re going to put a park, we need to put them in areas that are most dense. That tends to be areas where a lot of poverty is concentrated….I want to make sure that people who come out of their home onto concrete can walk to a nice park and enjoy it just like someone who lives in the suburbs.”
In that context, Rossi also wondered about other city needs.
“Unfortunately, there appears to be a misconception that we can spend endlessly on parks. Sadly, we can’t. We have to make prudent decisions if we want to have a park system that truly works for everyone in the city.…Are we going to push other things off the table which need critical investment? The city needs investments in infrastructure if we’re going to accommodate the growth we’re going to see and if we’re going to have the kind of density that will be beneficial for the environment….”
Moving on, Little Hollywood asked Rossi what he is looking for when Chief Roberts’ report comes out regarding the investigation into Olympia police officer Ryan Donald.
Rossi said it is critical to have a thorough investigation into the matter.
“No one should be assumed guilty of wrongdoing without evidence, whether it is Office Donald or Andre and Bryson….Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, the passionate feelings people have about this event, and the innate tragedy of the event itself, means that we as a community need to have a grand dialogue about police, race, and our criminal justice system.”
Asked if he would he like to see a citizen review committee overseeing the police department, Rossi said, “Citizen review boards for police are as essential to a democratic and well-functioning city as open elections and public records. I have long supported a civilian review board for Olympia and will continue to do so. Ideally, the board would have legal powers and its own independent investigator. It would have the ultimate authority regarding disciplining officers, including the ability to fire, and its members would be accountable to the public through elections or a transparent appointment process.” 
Upcoming Opportunities to Hear the Candidates
Subject to change, there are several upcoming opportunities to hear Olympia mayoral and city council candidates. Service organizations may charge an entrance fee that includes a meal. Not all candidates can attend all forums.
September 28 – 12:00 p.m., Kiwanis Club of Olympia, Tugboat Annie’s
October 1 – 7 p.m., Green Party of South Puget Sound, Traditions Fair Trade
October 5 – 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m., Downtown Rotary Club, Red Lion Hotel
October 6 – 12:00 p.m., Rotary Club of West Olympia, Tugboat Annie’s
October 11 – 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., PFLAG, United Methodist Church
October 14 – 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Olympia Timberland Library, facilitated by the Thurston County Auditor’s Office
For more information about the mayoral candidates for Olympia, contact:
Cheryl Selby at 120 State Ave NE PMB 211 Olympia, WA 98501, (360)7543954,,

Marco Rosaire Rossi at PO Box 6133 Olympia, WA 98507, (312) 9613825,,
Above: A view of downtown Olympia from the Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial on the Capitol Campus.

Polish Off Your Hotrod for the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino Show n’ Shine at the Shores

Thurston Talk - Sun, 09/27/2015 - 4:00pm



quinault beach car show

More than 250 hot-rods and specialty cars come from as far as Arizona, California, Canada, and the Pacific Northwest for the Show & Shine at the Shores car show at the Quinault Beach Resort & Casino.

It’s been said that good things come in threes. At the seventh annual Quinault Beach Resort and Casino Show & Shine at the Shores car show, good things also happen on threes. Occurring this year on Friday and Saturday, October 2-3, the event will be jam packed with cars, music, and prizes.

An easy 90 minutes from Olympia, the Quinault Beach Resort makes for a perfect overnight stay-cation or relaxing Saturday drive. Hosted in conjunction with the Push Rods of Hoquiam Car Club, Show & Shine at the Shores is open to vehicles of all kinds. Push Rods board member and Car Show Chairman Tony Halekakis stresses that “all types of cars are welcome: hot rods, classics, rat rods, daily drivers, trucks, military, motorcycles, and specialty vehicles like tow trucks and fire trucks.”

quinault beach car show

Lance Lambert, host of TV’s weekly Vintage Vehicle Show, will be this year’s emcee and event host.

Interested aficionados can pre-register their car online until October 1 for $15 or for $20 at the show. The first 200 registered cars receive a collectible dash plaque and goody bag. In previous years available space has filled up early so make sure to sign up in advance. Entered cars are then eligible for “trophies awarded to 32 classes of vehicle. There is also a Best of Show trophy and a Quinault Beach Resort and Casino trophy as well as a People’s Choice award voted by ballot,” says Halekakis.

In 2014, the show hosted more than 270 cars with attendees from across the Pacific Northwest and Canada. Entered cars have come from as far away as Arizona, Montana, and California for this fan favorite event.

Off the showroom floor, the day promises a Push Rods Expo, diner, beer garden, root beer float stand, poker run, model car displays, and beef jerky booth. The Expo will showcase local car builders, memorabilia, and merchandise. More than $2,500 in cash and prizes will be awarded as well as a Quinault Beach Resort vacation for the first place winner of the Poker Run.

quinault beach car show

Registration is open to vintage cars of every variety and benefits the charitable work of the Push Rods of Hoquiam car club.

During the two day event, the Casino will offer food and drink specials, great hotel rates, and their Friday night ‘Land and Sea’ buffet. There will be nonstop 50’s and 60’s music and entertainment, culminating both nights with 9:00 p.m. performances by resort favorites Bobby Sox & Jukebox in the Ocean Lounge.

This year’s emcee is no stranger to the world of cars. Lance Lambert is described as “an automotive journalist, author, television producer and host, automobile appraiser, emcee and auctioneer” and hosts the weekly ‘Vintage Vehicle Show’ on “100 US stations and in 27 foreign markets with over 430 episodes having been produced.” He will be on-site signing copies of his new book Fenders, Fins & Friends: Confessions of a Car Guy and co-hosting with local radio personality Johnny Manson.

After a glorious summer of sun and self-indulgence, visitors can take heart that “the Push Rods activities, including this show, are all directed to local charities,” explains Halekakis. These include Meals on Wheels through the Aberdeen Senior Center, Hoquiam Elks Club, Grays Harbor Community Hospital Cardiac Rehab Center, Coastal Community Action Program, Ocean Shores Interpretive Center, American Cancer Society Cancer Walk, Grays Harbor YMCA Strong Kids Campaign, automotive scholarships at Grays Harbor College, Hoquiam Loggers Playday Festival Sponsorship, Grays Harbor Domestic Violence Center, Quinault Nation ‘We Care’ Project, Hoquiam Food Bowl, and Christmas Adopt-A-Family.

With school in session, it’s harder to sneak off for a weekend at the beach. But the Quinault Beach Show & Shine is a perfect way to bid summer a fond farewell and enjoy the nostalgia of vintage cars, classic tunes, and the freedom of the open road.

Pushrods of Hoquiam can be reached with questions by calling 360-532-1918. Book hotel stays at Quinault Beach Resort and Casino at 888-461-2214.

Survey Shows Strong Local Support for Clean Energy

Thurston Talk - Sun, 09/27/2015 - 11:52am


Submitted by Thurston Climate Action Team

According to a recent survey, Thurston County residents are very concerned about the local impacts of climate change, strongly support a variety of possible renewable energy and energy conservation programs, and are willing to pay to see those programs happen.  In partnership with Thurston County and the LOTT Clean Water Alliance, Thurston Climate Action Team (TCAT) completed a survey in June to gauge local public opinion about clean energy and climate change.

Thurston County and LOTT committed financial support for the survey.  In addition, faculty members from the three higher education institutions in the county (Saint Martin’s University, The Evergreen State College, and South Puget Sound Community College) collaborated on the design and implementation of the survey.  The team recruited area college students to make survey phone calls between June 22 and 30.  Calls were made to a random sample of phone numbers in Thurston County.

There was a positive reaction toward community life in Thurston County, with 81% of respondents rating it as good or excellent.  There was strong agreement that climate change is occurring, will be a serious problem for Thurston County if not addressed, and that action is needed.  Nearly 80% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that it is important to take action on climate change. There was also strong support for a wide range of renewable energy and energy conservation measures.  Over 80% of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they would support expanding local transit options, home energy efficiency programs, promoting solar energy, promoting clean energy businesses, and promoting walking and biking, and coordinating these programs county-wide.   In addition, over 75% of respondents were willing to contribute financial support to these programs (with 69% willing to pay at least $10 per year), and 63% were willing to do so through a local tax mechanism (either utility, sales or property tax).

Complete results of the survey are available on the Thurston Climate Action Team website.  They are also being reported out to local elected officials in September and October.  Those interested in additional information about the survey may contact TCAT at the e-mail address,

Oysterfest Grows Larger, Expands Into New Space

Thurston Talk - Sun, 09/27/2015 - 6:00am



By Heidi Smith


Delicious food options are a staple at Oysterfest.

The first thing you’ll see when you walk into Oysterfest this year is the annual West Coast Speed and Half Shell Oyster Shucking competition. This short but intense (and slippery) contest is a highlight of the event. Shelton restaurateur Xinh Dwelley is a local legend, having won the competition five times. She has retired from the fray to focus on her business, Xinh’s Clam and Oyster House in Shelton.  The field is open. Who will be this year’s champion?

To find out, visit the 34th annual Oysterfest on Saturday, October 3 and Sunday, October 4. The gate fee is $5. After 33 years at the Mason County Fairgrounds, the event has moved just north, to the other side of the Sanderson Field Airport’s active runway. “We’re roughly parallel to Highway 101,” says Patti Case of the Skookum Rotary Club, who is Chair of Vendors for this year’s event. “We’ll still have all the remote parking we’ve had in the past.”

The new venue will contain multiple tents with a central passage. “I liken it to walking down the main aisle of a mall,” says Case. “Everything you’ll want to experience, you’ll be able to find, whether it’s bacon wrapped scallops or wine tasting. The Beer Garden is at the back.”


Come for the delicious BBQ oysters and bacon wrapped scallops.

Along the way, visitors will have the opportunity to sample all kinds of delicacies and experiences offered by local non-profit agencies. Case says the event has four signature vendors whose food is always in demand:

  • The Squaxin Island elders will grill salmon by an open alder fire.
  • The Boy Scouts of America will offer barbecued oysters.
  • Harry Martin will grill oysters.
  • The Shelton Lions Club will offer a gluten-free clam chowder.

On the culinary front, some new additions this year include:

  • Salmon tacos with fresh vegetables from the Hope Garden Project.  “This is a fairly new organization in Mason County,” says Case. “They work with at-risk high school students to help them make healthier food choices.” The group maintains a garden and all the vegetables served will be ones they grew themselves.
  • Salmon bacon from the Hood Canal Kiwanis Club. “They’ve been with us for many years, but have just added this to their menu,” says Case.

The beer garden will be located at the back of Oysterfest this year.

Another new addition will be a set of touch tanks brought in by The Marine Education Science Society.  “You’ll be able to see and touch sea cucumbers and sea anemones,” says Case. “We’ve also worked to create a kid-friendly area where young kids can do mini-train rides and mini-golf. There will be a kids’ stage with a magic show and other acts.”

Case says the move was prompted by the need for more space. “We expanded well beyond the use of the buildings at the fairgrounds,” she says. “It spilled out into tent after tent. This event has grown incrementally every year and it continues to grow. When microbrews first started, it was in a building that was maybe 40 by 80 feet. The stage and seating were both outside in some kind of animal area for the county fair. If it was raining, people would be dancing in sawdust and muck. Now, the microbrew area is probably bigger than a football field.”

She attributes the event’s popularity to several factors. “A lot of people love seafood and that’s an attraction,” she says, “but even if you don’t like seafood, what a fun thing to wander around and learn more about Hood Canal. We have visitors from around the country that are really dedicated to this. One man from Florida came every year until he passed away. It’s also really popular with folks from around the Puget Sound area.”


An oyster shucking competition is one of the activities slated for Oysterfest.

Every food vendor at the event is a non-profit organization based in Mason County, says Case. It’s an opportunity for them to raise funds for their cause while offering items visitors can’t resist. “Everybody rushes to the coconut shrimp from Senior Services of South Sound,” she says. “Then there’s bacon-wrapped scallops from Shelton Presbyterian Church.” Shelton High School Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) serves Olympic Mountain Ice Cream, and the Peninsula Art Association offers homemade pie and ice cream and whipped cream with cheesecake.

The event will also include both an amateur and professional cook-off. “Right in front of you, they’ll prepare whatever menu item they’re given to work with,” says Case. “For those who love cooking shows, that’s a great hit.”

She hopes people take advantage of this year’s event to expand their palates on all fronts. “I want people to see this as an opportunity to experience different foods and different beverages, and do something they haven’t done before,” she says. “Whether that’s playing mini-golf or touching a sea cucumber or watching the oyster shucking competition for the first time, try something new.”


Families are welcome at Oysterfest.

For more information about Oysterfest, visit


Saturday, October 3 from 10:00 a.m – 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 4 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Sanderson Field Airport

21 W Sanderson Way

Shelton, WA 98584


Planting Seeds of Reading and Eating During Food Literacy Month

Thurston Talk - Sat, 09/26/2015 - 2:32pm



Submitted by The South Sound Reading Foundation 

September is Food Literacy Month in Washington and the Thurston County Food Bank, Readers to Eaters and the South Sound Reading Foundation are all partnering to provide a collection of children’s food literacy books to elementary schools’ and public libraries.  They will promote this partnership at Meadows Elementary in Lacey on Monday, September 28, with a special appearance by Washington’s First Lady Trudi Inslee.

The Food Bank is passionate about providing those in need with healthier food choices and educating families about ways to bring more nutritious food into their homes. They have several nutrition-focused programs that target youth to address the adverse affects of hunger and poor nutrition. It is their mission to ensure each child has an opportunity to live a healthy and happy life.

The South Sound Reading Foundation is a natural partner for this mission. Focused on promoting literacy and reading, the Reading Foundation has made a tremendous impact on youth and education in Thurston County.  SSRF leads reading and literacy based activities and volunteer programs and is excited to partner with the Thurston County Food Bank and Readers to Eaters on Food Literacy Month.


OlyTown Artesians Set to Return for 2015-2016 Season

Thurston Talk - Sat, 09/26/2015 - 2:29pm



Submitted by The OlyTown Artesians

 Charis Wilson

2014-2015 OlyTown Artesians Photo credit: Charis Wilson

The Oly Town Artesians received approval from the Western Indoor Soccer League to use The Pavilion on the campus of The Evergreen State College as their home venue and will return to the WISL for the 2015-2016 season.

The Artesians have named Matt Stalnik as the head coach for their second season in the local indoor soccer league. Stalnik scored four goals in the first three games of the inaugural WISL season before he suffered a torn ACL immediately after scoring the game winner with 12.5 seconds left against the Arlington Aviators. The former goalkeeper will likely miss the season on the field but will take over for Nate Salveson on the Artesians’ bench. This is his second stint as an indoor soccer head coach. Stalnik served in the same position for the Tumwater Pioneers in 2012.

The sale of the former Harbor Wholesale warehouse in Tumwater forced Olympia Indoor Soccer to find a new facility. After a long search for a new home over the summer, Oly Indoor and Artesians owner Tim Smith came to an agreement with The Evergreen State College to run programs out of The Pavilion.

The Pavilion features the only indoor surface and boards in the Olympia area and serves as the training facility for the Evergreen soccer teams. An indoor/outdoor facility, improvements have already begun to ensure comfort for players and fans throughout the winter and will provide the most unique home field advantage for any WISL team.

Tryouts for the new season are coming up quickly with the first set of trials scheduled for Saturday, October 3 from 10:00 a.m. to noon and Sunday, October 4 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The cost to tryout is $20. Please, no cleats. For more information or to RSVP, email us at
More information about the 2015-2016 season will be released shortly.

Stay up to date with the Artesians by visiting, follow us on Twitter (@OlyTownFC), or like us on Facebook.

Olympia’s Steve Collins Joins World’s Best Athletes at Triathlon World Championships

Thurston Talk - Sat, 09/26/2015 - 6:00am



By Grant Clark

oly ortho logoWhen the jogging craze swept through the nation in the late 1970s, Steve Collins, who had never been much of a runner prior to that, decided to give it a try.

For many, the fad lasted a couple weeks at best, only to be revisited occasionally, usually coinciding with New Year’s Resolutions.

But for Collins, 67, it was anything but a passing phase.

steve collins triathlon

Steve Collins, 67, finished 14th overall and seventh among United States competitors in the men’s 65-69 division of the Sprint World Championships in September.

Four decades of hard work later and Collins joined more than 6,500 of the world’s best athletes in Chicago in mid-September to compete in the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final and World Championships.

Collins finished 14th overall and seventh among United States competitors in the men’s 65-69 division of the Sprint World Championships with a time of 1:23.21. The event features a 750-meter swim, 20K bike ride and 5K run.

“It wasn’t as good as I had hoped,” Collins said. “It was a very hot day, 85 degrees with the humidity around 80 percent. I did great in the swim and it was my fastest ever bike, but my run was 4 minutes slower than it usually is.”

Collins clocked in 15:13 in the swim – placing him 10th overall. He was equally strong in the bike portion of the event, finishing 11th in his age group in a time of 32:27.

Hopes of a top 10 overall finish ended, however, when he stopped the clock in 27:20 in the run, good for 19th place in the event.

“At the start of the bike ride, I lost my water bottle. It was a pretty bumpy road and it flew right off,” said Collins, who works as an indoor cycling instructor at Lacey’s LA Fitness after retiring from the Washington State Department of Corrections. “I didn’t have any fluids in me for the run. I normally do well in warm weather, but (not having water during the bike ride) made it very difficult.”

steve collins triathlon

Steve Collins, a 1967 graduate of Olympia High School, has risen to the elite level of triathletes.

The division was won by Australia’s Robert Pickard (1:15.14). A total of 49 athletes – 21 from the United States and 28 other competitors from nine different countries – competed in the men’s 65-69 age division. Peter Hoyt (1:15.57) was second overall and the top placing United States athlete. Collins’ final combined time was less than a minute from finishing in the top 10 and 3:20 from placing him among the top 5.

He qualified for the world championships by placing 11th (1:18.21) at the 2014 USAT National Championships in Milwaukee.

The Chicago event concluded the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Series. The 2016 series, which features nine races, begins on March 4 in Abu Dhabi. Collins has already qualified for the 2016 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Cozumel next September.

He punched his ticket to Mexico on August 9 by finishing seventh in his division at the 2015 National Championship. His overall time in the three events was 1:17.13.98, finishing the swim in 14:39.24, the bike in 35:02.00 and the run in 23.12.86.

“Overall, it was a great experience,” Collins said about his performance in Chicago. “It was my first time competing at the world championships. I am really looking forward to next year in Mexico.”

Before Collins, a 1967 graduate of Olympia High School, heads to Cozumel, his next big trip will take him to Cuba for the 2016 Habana CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup and Iberoamerican Championships in February.

steve collins triahtlon

Steve Collins plans to return to Cuba for the 2016 world championships.

The 2015 edition of the event marked the first time American triathletes competed in the country as a total of 17 elite and age group athletes from the United State were cleared to travel to the event. That group joined a list of less than 250 Americans who have competed in athletic competitions in Cuba since 2007.

Collins will be among a select group of Americans participating next year.

“This will actually be my second time going to Cuba,” said Collins, who ran his first marathon in 1980 and his first ironman in 1984. “It was amazing the first time. My wife Lourdes is Cuban. So, this trip will also be a family visit for us.”


Olympia Weekend Events Calendar

Thurston Talk - Fri, 09/25/2015 - 7:11am



This week we passed, officially, into the season of fall.  Many of us have already transitioned mentally into autumn with the return of children to school and football to Sundays. Now, the physical changes are catching up.  Trees are starting to turn, the skies are a deep blue (when they aren’t grey), the lawn is greening back up (and needing mowing) and the air is crisp and refreshing.  Fall is hands down my favorite season and this weekend there are a myriad of ways to enjoy the gorgeous fall weather in the forecast. There are so many things listed for this weekend, we can only highlight some below. Visit our full events calendar at for many more options around town.

Submit an event for our calendar here.

ThurstonTalk aims to be your source for positive information and events happening in Olympia. If you have a suggestion for a post, send us a note at For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, visit our events calendar.


8 Olympia Restaurants Welcome Guests During Open Mic Night

Thurston Talk - Fri, 09/25/2015 - 6:00am



By Alyssa Ramsfield

south sound trucksFor generations, our area has been a wealth of musical talent. Bands like Sleater-Kinney, The Gossip, and even Nirvana got their start right here in our community. Whether you are a performer yourself or a music enthusiast, Open Mic Nights are a great place to discover the next big thing.

Travel around Olympia and Thurston County to find an open mic night – either music or comedy – that matches your schedule.


cafe love

Cafe Love is a cozy spot in downtown Olympia, perfect for trying out your new routine during open mic night.

Music Open Mic

Open Mic Mondays – The Westside Tavern

Start off your week right with Open Mic Mondays at the Westside Tavern. Performers take the stage beginning at 9:00 p.m. and run until closing. Musicians of every genre are welcome to perform up to three songs in their set.

Traditions Café

Traditions Café offers a variety of music and days for performances. Sundays are a go-to for sing-a-longs. From a 60’s themed hootenany to a jazz jam session, Traditions has every genre covered. They even offer a night of open shape note singing. This simplified notation comes from the rural South and is the basis of many traditional songs. It is the perfect form of music to sing with the entire audience. Unlike many of the Mic Nights in Thurston County, these performances are open to all ages.  To find a complete calendar of events at Traditions Cafe, please click here.

open mic night

Every Wednesday, beginning at 9:00 p.m., is open mic night at Rhythm & Rye in downtown Olympia.

Café Love

This intimate coffee house is a cozy escape from the bustle of downtown Olympia. Café Love brings their love for music and performing arts on a regular basis. Poetry readings and original songs are just a few of the highlights from past performances.

Arbutus Folk School

This non-profit school is volunteer-run and donor supported with a goal of building community through support of local artisans through crafts, music, celebrations, and stories. Arbutus hosts an Open Mic the second Monday of every month from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. With veteran M.C.s and a goal to support musician’s growth, this is a great place to find music of any genre. All artists are welcome and a small donation is suggested for audience members in attendance.

Rhythm & Rye

Every Wednesday, at 9:00 p.m., Rhythm & Rye hosts a weekly Open Mic Night. Host, Scott Lesman, introduces community members to the stage to sing their hearts out. All genres are welcome and admission is free.


Comedy Open Mic

If music isn’t your forte, how about a little comedy? These performers are brining smiles to residents all over Thurston County.

open mic comedy olympia

Local comedienne, Rachel Leigh, takes advantage of Super Happy Hour Comedy Open Mic at South Bay Pub & Eatery. Photo courtesy: South Bay Pub & Eatery.

South Bay Pub & Eatery

Super Happy Hour takes place weekly on Sundays at 8:00 p.m. Comedians from our area perform live to a filled audience and to an online, podcast audience. All past shows can be listened to from the Super Happy Hour podcast. If you want to perform, sign-ups take place Friday mornings on the Super Happy Hour Facebook page.

Olympia Underground

On Monday nights, Olympia Underground plays hosts to belly laughs at 8:00 p.m. Along with smiles, they are serving up delicious food and drink specials during every open mic night. Make sure to drop in early as seats fill quickly for this hilarious event.

Le Voyeur

The Voyeur offers a weekly comedy show on Wednesdays referred to as Vomity Night. With a capped list of 20 comedic performers, this open mic is one of the biggest sets in Thurston County. Performing comedians must sign up the day before via their Facebook page and performers are randomly drawn lottery style during Vomity Night. Laughs begin at 9:00 p.m. sharp!

Your Healthcare Connection – Is My Child’s Arm Broken?

Thurston Talk - Fri, 09/25/2015 - 6:00am



By Kate Scriven

oly ortho

Dr. Hamblin, a member of Olympia Orthopaedics Associates Sports Medicine team, states that if they see a child within one week of a break they can usually heal the bone with great success.

School is back in full swing and so are recess, soccer, football, gymnastics, and more. If you are a busy Thurston County parent, you probably felt the change in pace just as I did these last weeks. And with a return to recess comes a return to the inevitable falls, twists, and spills of childhood along with the question, “Is that really broken or is it going to be ok?”

Last year, I had my first experience assessing a hurt wrist from a playground fall. My daughter’s school dutifully called when the accident occurred and I, as many of you have, said thanks for the call and an ice pack would do just fine for the afternoon. The evening progressed and my daughter pitifully ate dinner and finished her homework, all the while avoiding using her hand and arm, complaining of pain.

I thought I did all the right things – assess mobility, apply ice, wrap it in an old ace bandage dug up from the back of a closet. Yet, the next day she was still complaining of pain. With no bruising or swelling, I sent her off to school with instructions to be careful and “buck up.”

Well, fast forward a few days and we are in the doctor’s office getting an x-ray served with a side of horrible mom-guilt (dished out by me, not the doc). Turns out it was a bad sprain (whew!) and not broken, but did need a substantial wrist brace and plenty of rest.

Sound familiar? We were lucky and didn’t end up in the casting room (although my daughter was longing for a Seahawk’s cast), but many parents find themselves getting that cast on day three or four after a child’s initial injury. Don’t despair. You aren’t a horrible parent. You are just like the rest of us, and in most cases, doing the right thing according to Olympia Orthopaedic Associates Sports Medicine Dr. Tracy Hamblin.

“It’s very common for parents to not bring in children right away,” she explains. “We often can’t get a lot of diagnostic information from kids, either, as they don’t have the experience to verbalize their injury or symptoms. We rely heavily on x-rays in these cases.”

oly ortho

Dr. Hamblin embodies a “Life in Motion” with her love of the outdoors, biking and living a healthy lifestyle.

But, what about those painful (for you and your child) three days at home before you realize this is more serious than you thought? “Typically, if we see a child with a fracture within the first week after an injury we can work to heal it with great success,” explains Hamblin. Emphasizing how quickly children’s growing bones heal and repair, Hamblin reassures parents that small, hard to detect fractures are common and easy to treat.

In addition, swelling at the injury site, and unwillingness to move the injured area, make it difficult for even physicians to make a diagnosis in the first 24 hours. X-rays help, but waiting a day or two isn’t a bad idea.

Forward falls, like my daughter’s spectacular dismount from the monkey bars, are the most common cause of childhood breaks and sprains, says Hamblin. “Falling on an outstretched hand is the most common mechanism for injuries to the arm, wrist, hand, and elbow,” she explains. And while these do often result in breaks, they also cause sprains, ligament pulls, and deep bruising – all of which can mimic fracture symptoms initially.

Dr. Hamblin shares a few tips to keep your child comfortable in those first few hours and days after an injury.

  • Apply ice as soon after the injury as possible to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Wrap the injured area. Compression also reduces swelling and aids blood flow and healing.
  • Elevate the injured area above the heart (this often looks a lot like laying on the couch watching TV for kids…they won’t complain).
  • Give Tylenol or Motrin as needed for pain.

And, if that mom or dad “radar” goes off and tells you something is not right, seek the help of a medical professional. A visit to your primary care doctor may be a good place to start, but families can also call the Olympia Orthopaedic Associates Sports Medicine Clinic directly. In most cases, you can come in directly. If in doubt, give Oly Ortho a call and they can help you secure a quick phone referral or schedule an appointment.

Wondering if an arm is broken?  Stop into Oly Ortho's clinic and get an x-ray.

Wondering if an arm is broken? Stop into Oly Ortho’s clinic and get an x-ray.

The benefits of initial injury visits at Oly Ortho are many – on-site x-ray and MRI, casting rooms and trained technicians, a variety of splints and braces in stock for patients, and, if needed, quick access to an orthopaedic surgeon should the injury prove more serious than you thought.

Can we keep our kids from falling or getting injured? No. It’s part of life and part of being a kid. But when injuries do happen, it’s good to know a bit more information to help answer that question, “Is it broken or not?” And, where to go if you simply can’t answer it yourself.

Olympia Orthopaedic Associates

3901 Capital Mall Dr. SW, Olympia


Upcoming fall quarter:

Evergreen Artists Lecture Series - Thu, 09/24/2015 - 11:22pm

Evergreen Art Lecture Series presents a broad range of interdisciplinary approaches to contemporary art issues by artists, writers, and scholars.  The emphasis is to introduce the way in which a variety of practices undertake various fields of inquiry. The series provides a lively forum for the exchange of ideas between the speakers, students, faculty and the public. The series will take place in the Recital Hall of the Communications Building at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. Most of the talks take place on every other Wednesday from 11:30-1:00 pm and are free and open to the public. PLEASE NOTE extra dates and times for art lectures.

This fall many of the lectures are by *artists in the Evergreen Gallery exhibition, Sensations that Announce the Future.

Fall Quarter 2015

*Week 2: 10/7  Cassie Thornton, social practice/interdisciplinary artist

Week 3: 10/15 THURSDAY, 1-2:30PM Dannielle Tegeder, visual artist, professional practices

*Week 4: 10/21 Matt Offenbacher, visual artist, social practices

Week 6: 11/4 Alison O’Daniel, video/ interdisciplinary artist

Week 7: MONDAY, 11/9, 5:30-7PM  Thierry de Duve,  art historian and theorist

Week 7: TUESDAY, 11/10, 10:30-12PM  Lisa Blas , visual artist

*Week 8: 11/18 Davida Ingram,  social practice/interdisciplinary artist

*Week 10: 12/9 Issues in Contemporary Native Art – Panel discussion organized by Gail Tremblay

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Olympia Oyster by Colleen Cotey Selected as Percival Plinth Project Winner

Thurston Talk - Thu, 09/24/2015 - 4:45pm



Submitted by City of Olympia

percival plinth

A sculpture by Colleen Cotey, titled Olympia Oyster, was selected by voters as their favorite Percival Plinth Project.

“Olympia Oyster” by Colleen R. Cotey is the winner of the 2015 Percival Plinth Project People’s Choice Award, and will be purchased by the City of Olympia following exhibition on Percival Landing.

From July 31 to August 31, the public was asked to vote for which of the 15 loaned sculptures along Percival Landing they believed should be purchased by the City for permanent display. Of the 426 votes cast, Olympia Oyster received 116. Great Catch by Marilyn Murch came in as runner up with 57 votes, with The Gardener by Louise McDowell holding third with 46 votes.

Comments regarding why Olympia Oyster appealed to voters included the significance of its iconic theme and appreciation for the simplicity and elegance in its design.

City Council approved the purchase on September 22, 2015.

All remaining sculptures will remain on display until Spring 2016. Following the exhibition they will be returned to their artists and made available for private purchase. The winning sculpture will be moved to City Hall for one year before being reinstalled in its permanent location.

For more information about the Percival Plinth Project, please visit, or contact Stephanie Johnson at 360.709.2678 or

Faculty and Staff Exhibition at SPSCC

South Sound Arts - Thu, 09/24/2015 - 4:41pm

Photo: “tv kills u,” mixed media painting by Liza Brenner

Published in the Weekly Volcano, Sept. 24, 2015
"Happy Hour" mixed media painting by Liza BrennerThis year’s faculty and staff art exhibition is one of the better shows they’ve had in quite some time and the best faculty exhibition since I’ve been reviewing them.The first thing to strike the eye when entering the gallery is Joe Batt’s installation, “Oculus.” It is a dramatic, inventive and skillfully executed grouping of a stoneware sculpture and hanging mobiles made of wood and painted with pastel. It’s a slight variation on a similar installation readers may remember from Batt’s show at Salon Refu a year ago. The stoneware figure is a young boy dressed in white sweats and white running shoes with pale blue toes and Velcro straps. He’s wearing some kind of charcoal colored visor over his eyes. The mobile hanging above him is a group of eight satellites made of plywood and lightly colored with pastels. I love the worn-wood look of the mobile contrasted with the pasty white of the figure. Batt is also showing three nicely done mixed-media digital collages which expand on the themes of “Oculus.”Liza Brenner is new to the SPSCC faculty and the South Sound arts scene - a most welcome newcomer. Her three mixed-media paintings with collage in this exhibition are a joy to look at. They are comically surreal with odd juxtapositions of people and objects that do not belong together — the juxtaposition of disparate elements being the very definition of surrealism. Her “What Makes Hannah Snell So Appealing?” (what a wonderful title!) is a picture of a 16thcentury man wearing a red smoking jacket in the interior of a house. Sharing the house with him are monkeys, one riding in a baby carriage and one wide-eyed monkey hanging from the ceiling and holding a camera, a modern camera of a type that did not exist when men dressed like the one in the painting. Brenner’s “Happy Hour with Friends” depicts a couple seating at a table having a friendly drink. In front of them is a group of deer, and on the wall behind them are portraits of people, presumably the friends of the title. The deer and the portraits are all contour drawings done with a brush and fairly heavy paint. All of her paintings are roughly executed in a nice manner.More decorative are Jane Stone’s oxidation-fired ceramic tiles, each mounted in groups of two, three or four and each grouping united by theme. There’s one with images of flowers, one with landscape scenes with bodies of water, and a two-tile set with a crow and a bird’s nest with eggs. All are delicately painted; my favorites are the streams of water.There are three paintings by Nathan Barnes, two of which I have reviewed when they were in previous shows, and one new one that is a double-faced portrait of his sister, a pianist. There are clever references to pianos. His painted constructions are always inventive and beautifully crafted.There are also some great works by Daniel Meuse that are dark and ominous, and works by Colleen Gallagher, Liza Mellinger and Nicole Gugliotti. I wish I had space in this column to write more about all of them. But you don’t need to read what I have to say; just go to this show and see for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.
South Puget Sound Community College, Kenneth J Minnaert Center for the Arts Gallery, Monday-Friday, noon-4 p.m. through Oct. 30, 2011 Mottman Rd. SW. Olympia, 360.596.5527.]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Top Rung Brewing Releases Chinook the Hop Pale as part of Pale Series

Thurston Talk - Thu, 09/24/2015 - 2:11pm



Submitted by Top Rung Brewing Company

Top Rung BrewingOn September 26th we will release the fourth beer in our Pale series.  “Chinook the Hop” Pale will be the fourth in our Pale Ale’s released throughout 2015.  In each Pale release we will highlight and celebrate a different hop.  Starts with a nice citrus note and finishes with grapefruit and pine notes. This is a great Fall Pale as we enjoy the return of the crisp cool Pacific NW air. Released in 1985, Chinook is a cross between Petham Golding and a high alpha USDA male.

Top Rung Brewing is a 10 barrel production brewery with tasting room at the brewery. Top Rung Brewing is a destination for craft beer drinkers to enjoy their beverage and view a production brewery facility.  Our tasting room is family friendly and while we will only offer snacks, we partner with local food vendors and food trucks as well as allow patrons to bring in their own food of their choice or have it delivered.  Top Rung Brewing: bringing quality craft beer to Lacey.

Chinook the Hop Pale Ale Statistics:  ABV: 5.7%, IBU: 40, SRM: 10

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