Recent local blog posts

Star Louisiana Ship Departing Video

OlyBlog Home Page - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 1:25pm

The ship was seen departing at around 5:30 AM Saturday the 25th.

Video (20x speed:)

Regular Speed

According to the Port (downloaded 27 October '14):

"The M/V Star Louisiana is expected to arrive at the Port of Olympia's Marine Terminal on October 23, 2014.
After unloading cargo, it's scheduled to depart on October 25, 2014.

Shipping Line:
Grieg Star Shipping

Vessel Flag:
Norway

Origin:
Shanghai and Xingang, China

Cargo:
Bagged proppants

Stevedore:
SSA

Agent:
General Steamship

Tentative Work Schedule:
Day and night shifts

Tug:
Crowley and Brusco Tug and Barge"

Star Louisiana

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Property Tax Payments Due October 31

Thurston Talk - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 12:30pm

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by Thurston County

MoneyThe deadline is October 31st for Thurston County residents to pay their 2014 second half property taxes.  Payments can be made in a variety of ways.

Property taxes can be paid through the Thurston County Treasurer’s web site at http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/treasurer/ .

There is no additional charge for the electronic check payment option on-line, but there is a 2.5% fee for a major credit card payment and a flat $3.95 fee for a VISA debit card payment.

Payments can also be made in person at the Treasurer’s Office or the courthouse parking lot drop box – located at 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Building One, Olympia 98502. The same fees apply for payments made in person. Our office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Payments made by mail must be postmarked by the due date.

Penalties and interest will be charged for those who do not have their payments in on time.

Gearlust: TS-1 MK2 [x2]

K Records - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 12:09pm
For a while we’ve been wanting a new pair of small diaphragm condenser mics. Our vintage Altecs and Neumanns aren’t exactly closely matched pairs. The AKG 414s are solid, but just not super exciting to use (also some flailing drummers smacked them and I need to swap the guts into new chassis). We had a […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Thurston County Wins Grant from Center for Holistic Defense

Thurston Talk - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 11:54am

ThurstonTalk

 

 Submitted by Thurston County

The county’s Director of the Office of Assigned Counsel and a handful of staff members traveled to New York City last week thanks to a technical assistance grant from the Center for Holistic Defense.

Thurston County’s Office of Assigned Counsel is one of only four teams in the nation to win a 2014-2015 technical assistance grant that will link county staff with experts from the center to help build the “holistic defense” model into the existing public defender services provided by the county. The grant paid for county staff to travel to the Center for Holistic Defense in New York City to meet with staff and managers, and will also pay for center staff to conduct site visits to Olympia later this year and training in 2015.

“This technical assistance grant will really complement our efforts to stop churning people through the criminal justice system, and instead give us tools and strategies to help us stabilize our clients’ lives to help them stay out of the justice system and succeed.” said Daryl Rodrigues, Director of the county’s Office of Assigned Counsel.

“I’m very excited about this grant, and my hope is that it will really propel our efforts forward when it comes to improving the county’s criminal justice system,” said Thurston County Commissioner Cathy Wolfe. “The holistic defense model has seen great success in New York when it comes to getting better outcomes for clients and reducing criminal justice and incarceration costs. I’m eager to see what we can do in Thurston County to reach those same goals.”

The “holistic defense” model was first developed in the late 1990s by a group of New York public defense attorneys and staff calling themselves The Bronx Defenders. Going beyond just legal defense for low-income clients for their criminal charges, The Bronx Defenders also has developed strategies to offer social work support, social services, plus legal advocacy for civil, family, housing, employment and immigration issues their clients face. The goal is to address the underlying issues that contribute to court involvement, and support clients so that they can break the cycle of criminal justice involvement and gain self-sufficiency while still requiring accountability. The Center for Holistic Defense is part of The Bronx Defenders organization, and the center’s technical assistance grants are supported in part by the Center for Court Innovation and the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.

The Thurston County Office of Assigned Counsel provides legal defense counsel and services for poor citizens of Thurston County who are accused of crimes or who are at risk of having their children removed by the state. The team of 18 attorneys and eight staff members also provide legal defense services for defendants in Tumwater municipal court through a contract with the city.

“One of the first things we’ll do to incorporate the holistic defense strategy in our office is to hire a social worker,” said Rodrigues. “We’re also looking at organizing our referrals for clients to some of the services that are utilized the most. Clearly the referrals for drug treatment and alcohol treatment are high on the list, but I think you would be surprised to learn how many of our clients just need some financial counseling or employment assistance or housing assistance to help get their lives back on track.”

Rodrigues continued, “I’m confident that the assistance and training we’ll get from this grant will start paying off for our clients and for the county in no time.”

To learn more about The Bronx Defenders and the Center for Holistic Defense, visit www.bronxdefenders.org.

To learn more about the county’s Office of Assigned Counsel, visit www.co.thurston.wa.us/oac.

 


Fall is Here, and so are the Leaves

Thurston Talk - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 11:49am

ThurstonTalk

 

Submitted by Thurston County

fall autumn leavesFree Leaves Available on “First Come” Basis.

It’s that time of year again. Olympia Public Works crews are sweeping leaves from streets which are available free-of-charge for composting. For information or to be put on the delivery schedule, contact Olympia Public Works, 360.753.8333. Please leave a message, including your name, address, phone number and the amount of leaves you would like (5‐yard minimum). Names will be placed on the list on a first come/first served basis. Staff will contact you prior to delivery.

Reminder to Help Keep Storm Grates Clear.

The mix of rain and falling leaves can result in blocked storm grates, which may cause local flooding. City crews work to keep the storm system clear, but with over 6,500 drains in Olympia, we could use your help. Rake a drain – help prevent flooding. Use a garden rake or shovel to remove the debris from on top of the drain. Be sure to clear debris from the street, or it will just re-cover the drain with the next rain. As always, if you do not feel safe clearing blocked grates, call Olympia Public Works to report the situation, 360.753.8333.

 

Saint Martin’s University to Host High School Students at Latino Youth Summit

Thurston Talk - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 11:35am

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by Saint Martin’s University 

The Latino Youth Summit will be held at Saint Martin's University on November 8.

The Latino Youth Summit will be held at Saint Martin’s University on November 8.

Saint Martin’s University will host 300 high school students as they gather on the Lacey campus Saturday, Nov. 8, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., for the Latino Youth Summit: Explore Your Dreams/Explora tus sueños.

Students from Thurston, Lewis, Mason, Pacific and Grays Harbor counties will participate in a variety of workshops during the day-long summit, which is designed to deliver a message of hope, education, future life choices and careers. The summit also underscores the message that there is no one path to success.

“The Hispanic Roundtable and the LYS volunteers believe in the power of community and exploring your dreams of the future for all of our Latino students,” says Selina Gomez-Beloz, president of the Hispanic Roundtable of the South Sound.

“For the first time in the history of the Latino Youth Summit, parents will be an active part of our day, which will include important workshops on education and resources,” Gomez-Beloz adds.

The workshops will cover a multitude of topics, including applying for college and financial aid, immigration, financial literacy, insights into specific careers such as trades, teaching, public safety and health care, and fostering healthy relationships.

In addition, teachers and guidance counselors will have the opportunity to earn continuing education credits by attending workshops during the summit, according to Gomez-Beloz.

For more information about the event, please contact Giovanna Graciani at hispanicroundtable@hispanicroundtable.org.

 

Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washing­ton. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedic­tine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 25 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes nearly 1,200 under­graduate students and 323 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 350 more students to its extended campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Centralia College and Tacoma Community College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at www.stmartin.edu.

 

The Olympia Furniture Company: The Community Furniture Store

Thurston Talk - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 9:20am

ThurstonTalk

 

olympia furniture store

Allen Starkey and Eddie Nelson, owners of The Olympia Furniture Company recently opened the business after a combined forty years of experience in the furniture industry.

Start by converting a large empty space into a welcoming furniture store.  Then, stock it with not just mattresses and sofas, but instead an array of furniture options that radiate warmth, charm, and a sense of family. It is almost a magical feat.

Allen Starkey and Eddie Nelson, owners of The Olympia Furniture Company have created just that type of setting out of the 14,000 square foot space.  Located in West Olympia, Starkey and Nelson have transformed the warehouse location into a self-described “community furniture store.”

Starkey and Nelson have intentionally involved their family in the business, welcomed friends to come visit them in the store, and deliberately conveyed their commitment to local businesses and giving back to the community.  Nelson explains, “When I was a kid my grandmother would take us to this general store in Elma. It was a catch all store with furniture, clothing, housewares and an assortment of items. We would go on the weekends and we would watch the cartoons they played for the kids while she shopped. We want to be that kind of local community store – where families feel comfortable coming to visit us to shop and share what is going on in their lives and the community.”

“We show the Seahawks when they are playing,” Nelson continues.  “We want a family oriented setting. It is a family thing for us. Our kids work here and our wives help out. We want that community feel.”

Starkey and Nelson opened the store in mid-2013, offering more than 40 collective years in the furniture industry. Nelson explains that he started selling furniture directly out of school and has worked in all aspects of the industry from stocking the warehouse, to selling on the showroom floor. His experience also includes back office administrative duties and store management.

When the opportunity presented itself to open their own store, Starkey and Nelson felt confident, based on their industry expertise gained through working in different positions and at a variety of furniture stores in the area.

Nelson explains, “It is about guiding the customer toward what will work best for them. It is not about just selling a piece of furniture. If we do not have something in the showroom, we are knowledgeable about what is available and can help the customer get what they need. We are even willing to go out to their home,” Nelsons explains. “Really, this work is so rewarding because I get to meet new people all the time and provide them with something they will enjoy for many years.”

olympia furniture store

The Olympia Furniture Company considers itself a community store where friends, family and customers gather to shop and share experiences.

Nelson continues, “Our concept is to be as local as we can be. We use a couple of local custom builders such as Grandwood Furniture from Lakewood and Anderson Woodworks in Olympia to build custom bedroom sets, bookshelves, and coffee tables if you have a specific spot in your home or want a particular wood. Our mattresses are made locally such as Sealy out of Lacey and Lady American from Sumner.  We have 30 mattresses to choose from offering three different brands within driving distance from us. And we use American made vendors. We do carry the major brands whose upholstery lines are made in the United States either in California or back east. We start as close to home as we can and then work our way out if necessary.”

Starkey chimes in, “As long-time Olympia residents and now local small business owners, we have become more aware of our personal shopping habits and re-committed ourselves to supporting local businesses. For example, rather than go to a national chain restaurant we will just go for a short walk to Vic’s Pizzeria or Wally’s for lunch. Or if we need something from the hardware store we will cross the street to shop locally rather than go to one of the big box stores. We want to keep our support and dollars right here in town.”

Nelson admits, “We have grown a lot faster than we thought we would. We estimated it would take three to four years to reach where we have in just over one year. A lot of things have happened so quickly.”

The Olympia Furniture Company was recently selected as the best furniture store for the Thurston County Chamber Best of South Sound awards as well as recognized by Evening Magazine’s The Best of Western Washington Nominee for Best Furniture Award.

olympia furniture store

The Olympia Furniture Company is located on the westside of Olympia with a 11,000 square foot showroom.

To learn more about The Olympia Furniture Company, click here to visit their website.

The Olympia Furniture Company

2302 Harrison Avenue NW, Suite 101 in Olympia

360-338-0638

Hours:

Monday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Sunday from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

 

Farewell to the Sun: Idaho's Kootenai Wildlife Refuge

Bees, Birds & Butterflies - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 9:05am
      It is the third week of October.  Normally this is a time where we’d expect weather such as early frosts, with cold rain closing in on us.  Not so much this last weekend when we drove through eastern Washington to Idaho to explore some family history.   Although most of our trip was focused on explorations of my great-grandparents 1903 homestead in Bonner County, Glen and I snuck out for a quick trip to Kootenai Wildlife Refuge.  It was an unforgettable experience.    The Kootenai river has its origins in British Columbia.  Born out of the glaciers of the Canadian Rockies, it runs due south into Montana, then loops through northern Idaho on its way to join the Columbia in eastern Washington.  For much of the year it handles a large volume of water and so is very fast moving, with many rapids.  But here in the Kootenai Wildlife Refuge, at the end of a dry summer, the water levels are low and the river is a quiet dream.  It is in fact so quiet we are able to see beautiful reflections of the autumn cottonwoods in its waters.
     Today as we arrive at the refuge it must be at least 70 degrees.  The sun shines strongly out of a blue sky, though high wispy clouds hint of weather changes to come.  As we drive through the refuge the sun hits with real force on my side of the car and I am roasting.  It looks and feels like full summer.  Except in the surrounding hills, clothed with pines and larch, the larch trees are turning golden-orange, preparing to drop their needles.  They look like so many candle tapers, lighting up the hillside,  giving early warning of fall.
     We went to the refuge to look at birds.  But there wasn't much bird activity;  what we saw instead were masses of insects, rushing to finish out their life cycle before winter starts in earnest here in northern Idaho.  And what an array of insects, what a surge of pulsing life:  they were flying around fast & furious, frantic to mate, frenzied to finish out the season with a bang (so to speak).  The horse flies were particularly prevalent, and eager to be insect phlebotomists and drain our blood.  We did not cooperate.
     We stopped at the refuge office for a quick break and took a look at the spotting scopes mounted there:  no birds to see.  But the wall of the main office faced south and was almost hot to the touch with the reflected sun.  The wall acted as a solar collecting panel and many insects were drawn to its heat. Since many insects are more or less solar powered, it makes a lot of sense to find them congregating there. 
    There was a Satyr's Anglewing butterfly.  These are butterflies who overwinter in adult form, but will take flight on sunny warm days to feed and enjoy the rays.  Notice the cryptic coloration: when it folds up its wings, it looks like the bark it prefers to roost in.  But when its wings open up, there is a lovely flash of spotted orange and white.     The edges of this butterfly's wings normally look like someone took some pinking shears to them.  But this particular butterfly was especially battered:  the extensive ragged edges speak to a hard life dodging bird beaks.  This individual was quite friendly and fluttered around me, even trying to land on my shirt. I later watched it follow some children and try to land on them. As the evening cools it will find some bark to crawl under and it may well stay there for several months.  Until the sun lures it out again, or the sprouting tops of nettles next April will bring it out to lay its eggs.  
     Glen went walking out in the grasslands to explore what he could find.  There were yellow sulfur butterflies, finding nectar in napweed and dandelions.  These butterflies are common in northern Idaho because their host plant is alfalfa, which is extensively planted in the surrounding fields.  We saw a few golden butterfly pairs dancing around each other, eager to finish out the mating before it was too late.
     We also found a weird black grasshopper:  when it took flight away from our intrusive feet, there was a scarlet flash of wings and a harsh rattle as it found a safer place to hang out.  On later research we found this was called the Red winged Grasshopper Arphia pseudonietana and is a common late summer denizen of grasslands.  Its red wings and rattling flight are distinctive identification cues.
      Meanwhile I continued to watch the bug show on the south wall of the refuge.  A damselfly ( a smaller relative of dragonflies) showed up. This one had impressive dark bug eyes;  it perched for some time on the wall, basking in the sun.  For identification, I had to contact dragonfly expert Dennis Paulson.  He told me that it was a female Spotted Spreadwing, Lestes congener and it is the latest damselfly to still be on the wing in the Pacific Northwest.  That certainly fits with what we saw.
     Then Glen got a picture of another insect.  We puzzled over it for awhile;  we knew it was some kind of true bug but beyond that, had no idea what it was.  So we checked Bug Guide:  this is a Western Conifer Seed bug Leptoglossus occidentalis.  The young nymphs reach adult status by August and then feed on ripening seeds of conifer trees such as Douglas firs.  As the summer season draws to a close they can be found on walls of houses, near windows and other openings, where they lurk, waiting for opportunities to move indoors to overwinter.  So it was no coincidence that we found it on the refuge wall, near the windows.     As the sun went down in the western sky, the temperature began to drop and insect activity slowed.  We too needed to wrap up our activities and head back to our place.  We drove out along the five mile refuge road that followed the Kootenai river;  here we saw our first significant birds.  This was a pair of adult Bald Eagles, no doubt perched along the river waiting to feast on the large flocks of migrating waterfowl who will be passing through the refuge.  These eagles too are a sign of the changing seasons.
     And then there is the last picture Glen took as we left the refuge:  here were open fields of alfalfa, now harvested, tilled under and awaiting next year’s seeds.  The golden grasses of late fall lined the edges of the refuge road, while overhead the blue skies began to fill with mares’ tails proclaiming the changing weather to come.       The next day we woke to the sound of the first rains, pelting our windows.  And we knew that the wheel of the year had turned…
     

Janet

Resources:
  • Thanks to Dennis Paulson for the damselfly identification
  • Dragonflies and Damselflies of the West by Dennis Paulson
  • Bug guide:  bugguide.net/  You can send photos of insects to Bug Guide and do an ID request.  These folks are great.
  • All photos by Glen Buschmann
Categories: Local Environment

Talking About Tragedies With Our Children

Thurston Talk - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 8:18am

ThurstonTalk

 

Submitted by Emily McMason of Evolving Parents

olympia parenting class

Emily McMason is a parenting coach in Olympia. Photo credit: Amy Christiensen Nielsen

Columbine. Sandy Hook Elementary. Now Marysville-Pilchuck High School. Whenever we learn of tragic events in the news, it is challenging to know how to talk about them with our children. When these events occur close to home, it intensifies our worry. We worry about what to say. We worry because we don’t want to say anything at all. So how do we help children navigate what is going on in moments when our own humanity feels vulnerable?

No matter your role in the life of a child—as parent, educator, neighbor, caregiver—know that how you speak, how you listen, how you help, will make the difference in helping them through this. Here’s how:

Tread lightly. It is tempting as the story unfolds to follow every moment on the news and social media. Don’t. Turn it off. Older kids are getting fatigued into numbness and youngsters often think the replay images are fresh attacks.

Talk even though it’s tough. We hope that if we don’t bring it up, our children won’t know what happened. Yet once they are school aged, if we don’t speak up, they will hear the news from a hundred other sources. Don’t fret about the words you use, simply start the conversation. State your truth, “This is hard for me to tell you…”

Speak in sound bites. Give children brief facts and information. Then listen. Listen to their confusion, questions and comments. Follow their lead. Give them space to weep and wonder. Listen for the emotions that are under their words, assure them that all of their feelings matter. Let them to know that you are here. That together you are bigger and stronger than any disaster. That you will be present for them, no matter how overwhelming life feels.

Stay the course. We all thrive on routine, and this is especially true in times of trauma. Keep children on their regular schedules.

See the love. Show children how many responders there are. Doctors, nurses, emergency personnel, teachers, faith leaders, community members—every child involved is supported by a dozens of adults. As Mister Rogers reminded us:  “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

Look at each step. Yes, news reports will focus on injury and death. But we can talk about their life, and all the days each person had before the tragedy. We can see all the people who loved them, and whom they loved. Talk about how, even after someone has died, they are not gone. They are within us.

Find the sacred sweat. Look for those who need support. It may mean donating resources, time or expertise. Help your kids find ways to contribute. From drawing a picture to holding a vigil to starting a fund for families, when we give of ourselves, we learn we are capable. When we realize we can overcome, our resiliency for future events is stronger.

Emily McMason is a personal and parent coach in Olympia. For more information about this, or other parenting issues, you can reach Emily at (360) 207-4708 or visit her website, Evolving Parents.

 

Neighborhood Notes – An Update on the Transformation of the Park at Harrison and Division Streets

Thurston Talk - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 6:48am

ThurstonTalk

 

By Lindsey Surrell

van dorm sponsorIts history you might already know: an abandoned building torn down and a community rising up to fight against a convenience shop, followed by the transformation of the space into a community park. But the future of this land, which sits at the intersection of Harrison and Division Streets, is unknown and hopeful.  And what this land will look like in 50 to 100 years is what Alicia Elliott, who bought the land in 2012 and deeded it the West Central Park Project this year, really stops to think about. Will this land be able to maintain itself?

west central park

Alicia Elliott, founder of West Central Park Project, shares the vision for the expansion and upgrades to the park.

Many initiatives have been put into place to help shape and maintain a positive future for West Central Olympia Park.  At the head of those changes, the West Central Park Project, formed in June 2013, oversees the park.  Elliott, president and founder, works along side the nine-member board that can grow to 12 members under its bylaws.  The West Central Park Project is credited for several events, such as Monday Movie Nights and the Harvest Fest, and with the help of the volunteers, has transformed a vacant corner lot into a welcoming space.

The Project’s mission, as stated on its website, is “dedicated to creating a public, open, green space that can serve the recreational, educational, artistic, and musical needs of the community in which it sits.  The space created by the neighborhood, for the neighborhood, to be a model for other neighborhoods to create similar spaces and thereby improve their economy and their quality of life.”

Although there has been a progression of site designs, Elliott walked me through the current vision, which includes ideas for within the .64 acres of green space, such as a picnic shelter, two bathrooms, a bee and butterfly hotel, and rain gardens. And for the surrounding neighborhood, a café, restaurant, small stores and a bed and breakfast.

Located on Harrison Avenue, going east from Division Street, the recently closed DeGarmos’s Compounding Pharmacy is marked to become Parkside Café in the fall of 2015. The café will also be ran by West Central Park Project and additionally serve as the commissary for future food trucks to be located at West Central Olympia Park.

Within the open event area, the food trucks and picnic shelter will make a great compliment to the West Olympia Farmers’ Market, which has plans to move its location to the park for 2015. Neighbors are encouraged to walk, bike, or bus to the park, but there will be a small amount of parking space available.

west central park

Daniel Cherniske stands in front of a fig tree, one of many plants that visitors and neighbors are encouraged to enjoy.

When asking Elliott about the timeline for these projects, she noted that many projects are subject to funds; donations are accepted to meet Park Project’s goal of $152,500.

And Elliott has her own projects, too. Elliot plans to convert two of the houses on the border of the park and Cushing Street, which is parallel to Division Street, into a two bedroom and two bathroom bed and breakfast and the other into a restaurant with beer garden in the back.

Another vision is to have a few of the houses on Division Street transformed into small businesses, such as a “kitchen shop or cake shop or yoga studio,” says Elliot.  Encouraged to boost the local economy, many of the Elliott’s visions center around creating opportunities for local businesses to thrive. The houses, in addition to the restaurant and bed and breakfast, Elliott plans on maintaining herself.

One of the main long-term goals for the West Central Park Project is for the park to be an educational garden. Daniel Cherniske, one of the board members, is a Permaculture major at The Evergreen State College.  Cherniske contributes to creating sustainable garden plans, including an edible food garden and using the Hugelkultur method of gardening. The Hugelkultur method creates raised garden beds that are similar to “sheet mulching or lasagna gardening.” The Park Project plans on creating plaques to identify foods in the garden. The community is encouraged to sample and share the food the garden grows. Elliot says “we expect people to harvest the food when it’s ready.”

Involvement and awareness from the community is not only crucial to the success of the park, but also to the safety of the neighborhood. Initially some members of the community were concerned about the restrooms and homeless population of an open park, but Elliot happily reports there have been no incidents.

west central park

Dave Humphreys and Tucker Petertil work on one of four rain gardens planned for West Central Park. A rain garden a can help reduce water pollution and flooding.

The park is host to other community projects, including being the hub for Soil Cycles, a local effort that picks up compostable waste via cargo bikes and turns it into rich compost. Elliott has also visited elementary schools to do presentations about the park, gardening, and community effort.

If you are new to the Olympia area, or just need a refresher, take a look on Google maps to see a before picture of a vacant lot that Elliott once described as “urban blight.” Now, rich with vegetation, picnic tables and plans for an even greater transformation, I know I am not the only one who is excited to see the after picture.

For more information, visit the West Central Park Project via Facebook. Volunteers are welcome to join every Sunday throughout the year from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., rain, sun, or snow.

 

 

Go directly to 5 and take the survey! Then reverse and review your blog links! (Olyblogosphere for October 27, 2014)

Olympia Time - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 6:00am
1.Over at MT, more reading as the days get shorter.

2. I'm a young pup. I'm involved, but I didn't show. Mostly because young pups have young families.

3. "Recent donation stirs up controversy over bookstore Jelly Belly machine" is such a perfect college newpaper headline. But, the issue at stake here is actually worth reading the article for.

4. Apparently, the city council has been skating around the edges with money raised specifically for sidewalks and parks (here and here).

5. Did I tell you to take the LBA survey? Take the LBA Survey from Olympia's Best Damn Blog!!

Start with Conservative Care At Eastside Chiropractic

Thurston Talk - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 4:13pm

ThurstonTalk

 

eastside chiro

Eastside Chiropractic’s Tumwater offices include massage therapy, nutrition services, and comprehensive chiropractic care by Dr. Murray Smith and Dr. Amanda Kugel.

Conservative Care.  It’s a “buzz word” in medicine these days, we admit.  But, when fully understood, the concept of using conservative care first offers patients safe, cost-efficient, and effective means of managing their health.

What is conservative care?  It is a term to describe the use of non-surgical, non-invasive techniques developed to promote healing in the body.  Chiropractic care is one of these conservative methods, used particularly when a patient suffers from chronic or acute back pain.

Throughout the medical community, practitioners and patients are keeping their eye on outcomes.  Patients want to heal safely and without breaking the bank.  Practitioners want to promote healing in patients, also safely and quickly, with the least invasive treatments possible.  These two groups share an interest, then, in using conservative care methods first.

In a May 2013 study of Washington State workers it was found that only 1.5% of patients who visited a chiropractor first for work related back pain ended up in surgery.  That statistic is in stark contrast to the 42.7% of patients who ended up in surgery after first seeing a surgeon.

Do some people need surgery to correct their injury or chronic condition?  Of course, and thankfully Olympia has several talented spine surgeons who work closely with local chiropractors.  But, even surgeons are recommending conservative care approaches, utilizing chiropractic along with other less invasive interventions before resorting to the knife.

eastside chiro

Eastside Chiropractic includes nutritional counseling with their massage and chiropractic services.

Another common non-invasive care measure familiar to most is the use of pain medications to ease symptoms of back and neck pain.  However, these medications do just that – ease symptoms.  They do nothing to address the root cause of pain or injury.  By working closely with the doctors at Eastside Chiropractic, patients not only avoid the potentially addicting side-effects of pain medications, but they also work together to plan a healthy lifestyle to help avoid future pain and injury.

Through the use of nutrition, stretching and exercise, massage, and chiropractic adjustment, the doctors at Eastside Chiropractic tailor conservative care to each and every patient with the hopes that their pain will be alleviated without invasive, and expensive, surgery.  “People should really come and see us first when they have back and neck pain,” says 25-year veteran Doctor of Chiropractic, Murray Smith.  “It’s a safer, and often more effective, option for most people trying to solve acute or chronic neck and back pain.”

One question many people have when considering the conservative care choice of chiropractic is, “Am I going to have to come here forever?”  Dr. Smith has an answer for them:

“Do I believe that patients should come to see me forever?  Yes, I do.  Do I think that what we offer people can benefit their health forever?  Yes, I do.  Do I believe you should continue to see your dentist forever?  Yes, I do.  But, our goal is not to see you all the time.  In fact, we like it when you don’t feel like you need to come in to see us.  We strive to find a way to give you the tools so that you aren’t here all the time.  You can use the knowledge we’ve given you to stay healthy, to live a healthy lifestyle and to come and see us at the first sign of pain so that it doesn’t develop into a bigger problem.”

Doctors of Chiropractic are even suggested by the Journal of the American Medical Association as a first consideration when looking for treatment of back pain.  And with extensive training, chiropractors know what they are doing.  DCs are educated in nationally accredited four-year doctoral graduate programs, equivalent to four-year medical school programs for MDs.  The rigorous curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, clinical, and laboratory work equivalent to allopathic medical degrees.

Eastside Chiro Treatment roomAnd like MDs, chiropractors continue their study of the body, specializing in particular areas and achieving certifications in specialized treatments.  Dr. Amanda Kugel’s specialization in infant and child chiropractic is one such example.

Bottom line?  Patients should always become their own advocates, educating themselves on their health as well as their options so they can ask the right questions, and understand the answers, when they visit their health care provider.  When patients are armed with information and empowered to take charge of their health, conservative care measures typically follow.  Who would march into an office and ask for expensive, painful surgery first?

It simply makes sense to pursue all avenues of conservative care first.  And when faced with back and neck pain, a logical conservative care measure to take is to see a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine.

Eastside Chiropractic

1526 Bishop Rd SW in Tumwater

360-459-9000

 

Saturday Night Disinfo

OlyBlog Home Page - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 8:37am
Event:  Sat, 11/01/2014 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Last Word Books and Press & Rogue Sociology present: 

<< SATURDAY NIGHT DISINFO >>

Last Word Books and Press is paranoid to present Saturday Night Disinfo, a conspiracy theory / tinfoil hat discussion and lecture group, MC'ed by local sociologist October Surprise. 

Saturdays, starting November First, 11/1 from 6 - 8 PM.

Last Word Books @ 111 Cherry NE

Questions & comments: october |@| roguesociology.com 

 

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Orca Books free event: Author Chris Dixon presents "Another Politics"

OlyBlog Home Page - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 8:46pm
Event:  Tue, 11/04/2014 - 7:00pm

A FREE talk at Orca Books, 509 4th Ave E in downtown Olympia. Chris Dixon will be talking about his new book, "Another Politics: Talking Across Today's Transformative Movements".

Amidst war, economic meltdown, and ecological crisis, a “new spirit of radicalism is blooming” from New York to Cairo, according to Chris Dixon. In Another Politics, he examines the trajectory of efforts that contributed to the radicalism of Occupy Wall Street and other recent movement upsurges. Drawing on voices of leading organizers across the United States and Canada, he delivers an engaging presentation of the histories and principles that shape many contemporary struggles.

Dixon outlines the work of activists aligned with anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist, and anti-oppression politics and discusses the lessons they are learning in their efforts to create social transformation. The book explores solutions to the key challenge for today’s activists, organizers, fighters, and dreamers: building a substantive link between the work of “against,” which fights ruling institutions, and the work of “beyond,” which develops liberatory alternatives.

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An Orca Books reading: Olympia poet Gail Tremblay

OlyBlog Home Page - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 8:41pm
Event:  Sat, 11/01/2014 - 3:00pm

Olympia poet Gail Tremblay will read from her new collection of poems, "Farther From and Too Close to Home". A long time resident of Olympia, Gail has been an artist, poet and teacher for over forty years. She shares her unique vision through her multi-media visual works, art installations, her writing on Native American art, and her poetry. She has been a member of the faculty at The Evergreen State College since 1980.

This is a FREE event at Orca Books, 509 4th Ave E in downtown Olympia.

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BusChick likes us! :-0

Rebelling by bus BusChick is a Seattle-based public transit advocate.  Here is a post of hers from September 2014.  To read more of her posts, her blog is included in the Rebels by Bus links. Thanks, BusChick! Posted by BusChick at 12:06 pm

As I think I might have mentioned, we need a revolution in how we get around in this country, and we need it yesterday. Instead of doing something about it, our elected officials, including those who claim to understand the urgency, are doubling down on car infrastructure, ensuring that our children and grandchildren will continue to face limited, dangerous, unhealthy, and toxic transportation choices far into the future.

While we hold our collective breath waiting for the people in power to do the right thing (and also, because the air is polluted!), we ordinary, everyday folks have the ability and obligation to—ahem!—drive change. Allow me to introduce you to some folks in Thurston County who are doing just that.

Actually, come to think of it, you have probably already heard about Mary Williams and Gail Johnson, aka Rebels by Bus, two retired South Sound residents who been challenging car culture for years. I’m embarrassed to admit I just learned about them last spring. Of, course, it is also possible that I did hear about them back in 2010; parenting has destroyed my memory.

But I digress.

Here’s what my new favorite bus riders have to say about why they ride.

Global warming, world-wide financial downfall, volatile stock market, all-time high gas prices, increasing unemployment… enough to make anyone cringe and want to hibernate until things get better.

Read on… you don’t need to hibernate. Maybe you should just SLOW down?

[...]

Traveling on the bus is also a bit of a rebellion-as if by getting out of our cars, we are declaring our independence from oil and the culture that says we must rush, rush, rush around. The bus rides themselves are also a wonderful way to get a different perspective about life and the benefits of going more slowly. It is also a gentle reminder that people are helpful and friendly no matter where you go.

For some, traveling by bus is the way they get back and forth to work; they can get a lot of reading or knitting done. For others like us, traveling by bus is recreation and adventure. Like any adventure, there is the joy of figuring things out and making all the right connections. There is also a sense of resiliency when things do not go quite as planned and you have to come up with Plan B. It is a great opportunity to practice letting go of those things you cannot control.

Even in these tumultuous times, there are grand and wonderful adventures that await. Our posts are not meant to be a tour guide of the greater Puget Sound area but we do hope to provide ideas and stories that inspire you to get on that bus. Once you realize how easily you can travel to so many places without spending a lot of money, it will open up a whole new realm of fun!

I realize not everyone has the privilege to slow the pace of life, but I so appreciate these rebels, who are using their bus adventures to question the culture we have created and to develop a deeper connection to their community.

Yes, please.

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Categories: Local Environment

Oly Freakdown Fest

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 12:00pm

Friday and Saturday, October 24th & 25th

Evergreen Noise, FLY, Bones Cvlt, OPP and OCS presents..

OLY FREAKDOWN FEST 2014
Olympia’s own loud rock costume party!

BANDS:
Motion
Vessels
Lo’ There Do I See My Brother
Redeem The Exile
Harvest States
Believer
MC Swamptiger
Sorrow’s Edge
A Friend
Esoteria

Buy tickets at:
http://olyfreakdown14.brownpapertickets.com/
PRESALE ONLY: $12 Two Day Pass
DAY OF EVENT: $8 Per Day

When:
October 24th and 25th, 2014
Shows start each day at 3PM!

www.olyfreakdown.com

Facebook Invite

freakdown25

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Science Café - Dam removal and restoration of the Elwha River -- An Update

OlyBlog Home Page - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 10:29am
Event:  Tue, 11/11/2014 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm

From today's inbox:

Dam removal and restoration of the Elwha River -- An Update
Jeffrey Duda, Research Ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey
7:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Orca Books - 509 East 4th Avenue, Olympia

With their simultaneous decommissioning, removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams represents one of the largest projects of its kind. During the 3 years of dam removal, scientists actively monitored various aspects of the physical and biological changes to the river and coastal ecosystems downstream. A major facet of the dam removal project was the controlled release of a portion of the 21 million m3 of sediment that had accumulated in the reservoirs. The release of this material and the resulting changes downstream are the focus of this talk.

Anadromous fish that had persisted in degraded spawning and rearing habitat downstream of the lower Elwha dam have started to recolonize the watershed, including in two tributaries between the former dams sites that are serving as clear water refugia in the otherwise turbid waters. With the removal of the Glines Canyon Dam in September of 2014 salmon have access to over 150 river km of spawning and rearing habitat, the majority of which is protected as wilderness inside of Olympic National Park.

This presentation will provide an update of dam removal progress, detail measurements of suspended sediment concentrations, and discuss various monitoring and evaluation studies.

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What is a Family Readiness Group (aka FRG), and Why Should I Care?

Thurston Talk - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 7:15am

ThurstonTalk

 

By Cara Bertozzi

hometown logoIf you have spent any time hanging around the Army, you know that Soldiers are infamous for their rampant use of inordinately long acronyms that stand for phrases nobody can seem to remember. For the uninitiated, it is easy to feel as though you have entered a foreign country when trying to interpret conversations involving an LES (leave and earnings statement), CYSS (child, youth and school services), MWR (morale, welfare and recreation), or LCSC (Lewis Community Spouses Club). In fact, family members can sign up for classes at Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) to help them navigate military language, with a full session being devoted to acronyms and military terms.

jblm spouses

FRG volunteers attend a catered leadership development forum.

One acronym that definitively concerns non-military personnel is FRGs, the family resource Family Readiness Groups. An FRG is a Command-sponsored program that is primarily run by spouse volunteers with the help of a DOD employee, a Family Readiness Support Assistant (FRSA). FRSAs are vetted liaisons who provide continuity as volunteers switch in and out, and they interface with both the soldiers and their families. The volunteers are typically spouses who have a heart for helping fellow spouses thrive despite the demands of military life.

Good Commanders understand that a healthy FRG community is a unique and effective tool for maintaining the readiness of the unit’s soldiers. Its purpose is to establish a line of communication between the Command Team and the families of the soldiers in a unit, educate the families regarding available resources, and build the resiliency needed to successfully cope with the challenges of military life, especially during engagements such as deployments. Having a strong, prepared family allows the solider to maintain focus during missions.

Most FRGs seek to meet their objectives through a variety of strategies. Volunteers present newcomer briefs, town halls, topical information sessions, and pre-deployment and post-deployment briefs in conjunction with Command to disseminate important, sensitive information about the soldiers’ missions and life in the military. They host social events to build community and strengthen family networks. They conduct training seminars to educate and empower their volunteers. They purchase unit-specific merchandise and hold fundraisers to support their activities. And they spend hours and hours working on rosters to ensure that everyone has access to these valuable resources.

jblm spouses

FRG volunteers participate in a Lewis Community Spouses Club event, Mock Dining In.

Modern Army families often look quite different from those of the past. Gone are the days when soldiers were all male and spouses were all female, when every wife stayed at home and did not pursue her own career, and when everyone lived on or close to the base, prioritizing military life above all else. Military spouses today comprise a diverse group, many with careers and businesses of their own who have spread out in communities near and far from the base to pursue professional and educational opportunities for themselves and their children.

In the swirl of juggling careers, children, pets, homes, and hobbies in the face of regular transitions, it can be easy to remain disengaged from Army life, but to do so is to miss out on a valuable opportunity to enrich your own military experience and that of others.

When I first met volunteer Veronica Werhane, she told me that she loved the military spouse life. I had just completed my fifth move in three years, and I was not particularly pleased to be sending my husband off to train while I purchased our first home alone, working full-time. But Veronica’s enthusiasm was contagious, and I hoped that by befriending her, I too might be able to make such a claim one day. Veronica’s healthy appetite for adventure has given her common ground with many spouses, and in wanting to give her son opportunities for exploration, she runs a playgroup that provides a venue for young moms to gather and share their experiences and plans lots of fun activities around town to help people get to know the area.

jblm spouses

FRG volunteers with deployed spouses attend a military ball together.

Lauren Howard is another volunteer who started coming to Veronica’s events with her young kids and eventually took on the role of secretary in the FRG. It wasn’t long before the role of FRG leader opened up, and Lauren stepped in and took the bull by the horns. She has family in the area and could easily have stayed busy without the added responsibility. However, she is passionate about making sure spouses have opportunities for engagement and education following an experience at a previous duty station, where she felt isolated with no community and a small baby at home.

Another spouse who is onboard with Lauren’s passion for educating spouses is volunteer Cinda Doggett. Cinda’s experience as a trainer in the corporate world is a perfect match for Lauren’s agenda. Together, they are hoping to inspire more spouse involvement by touting the many benefits of FRG involvement and creating professional value-added seminars that directly prepare spouses for various aspects of military life and also give them experiences that help them hone career skills.

I have seen the spouses of the FRG pull together when one of their own is hospitalized, needs a ride, requests last-minute childcare, is looking for a pet sitter, or moves homes while their solider is away or when a new baby has joined the ranks. It is incredible to be a part of a group that not only celebrates together but also looks out for each other during life’s bumpy patches, especially when duty calls your significant other away at inconvenient times.

 

Divers New Album Excitement!

K Records - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 6:18pm
There is a new rock’n'roll sound from Philadelphia that is raking America over the coals. Divers are stompin’ at the Go-Go and everyone is rump shakin’ in time to their primitive beat. Divers are fronted by Ms. Emily Ana Zeitlyn, who participated in the Black Mountain Music Project, toured with the Microphones, Mirah, Calvin Johnson […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment
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