Recent local blog posts

Bill Colby’s “Water and Rocks: A Journey”

South Sound Arts - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 10:59am

The Weekly Volcano, July 24, 2014
Red Rock River, woodcut/watercolor by Bill Colby
Stonewall Beach, woodcut and watercolor by Bill ColbyA visit to Bill Colby’s latest exhibition at The Gallery at Tacoma Community College is like a trip to the beach. The gallery is filled with — by my cursory count — 44 bright paintings dominated by clear blue water and clear blue sky complemented by rocks of bright orange. It’s a feast for the eyes, restful and joyous.
“The joy of nature is within all of us and in my art work,” said Colby in his artist’s statement. “’Water and Rocks’ has been an evolving theme from 1956 to the present.” Included are works in a variety of print media, watercolors, pastels, and other mixed media. The majority combine wood cuts and watercolors, media with almost exact opposite properties. The brittle slashes and gouges of woodcut and the amorphous softness of watercolor are blended beautifully by Colby.
The artist depicts water and rocks in degrees of abstraction, from a brilliant blue seascape behind the desk that is only slightly stylized to stacks of orange rocks in bands of blue with only the slightest hint of subject matter. Scenes of beaches and of waterfalls abound. Some of the waterfalls appear to be solid like monoliths pasted against canyon walls, the picture plane tilted forward like the hills of San Francisco in Wayne Thiebaud’s iconic cityscapes. Others, as in a series on the right-hand wall including “Waterfall,” “Blue Water” and two versions of “Austin Rock Waterfall” that show pod-like cliffs or boulders sliced by vertical bands of blue and white, have an iconic or symbolic look to them, possibly influenced by Northwest Coastal Native American art.
Also iconic is “The Big River,” in which the river is a solid blue S-shape like some kind of corporate logo with boulders in shades of orange on either side. There is something of a pop art feel to this one.
Some of my favorites can be found in a group of seven woodcut and watercolor combinations on the wall opposite of the “Austin Rock Waterfall.” These, variously titled “Stonewall Bench” and “Stonewall Strata,” picture groups of orange stones lined up within the confines of bands of blue. They are like banners or flags, and the colors are brighter and crisper than in any of the other works in this show. (The colors in most of the others are bright but with a pastel softness.)
Another favorite is “Ancient Rocks,” a misty seascape with massive rock formations protruding from the sea with waves pounding the mist-shrouded water. This picture and a similar one next to it are the most atmospheric in the show. The orange of the rocks glows like fire, and, strangely, there seem to be hieroglyphs carved into the walls of the rock formations.
This is an excellent show. I heartily recommend it.
Tacoma Community College, Global Perspectives, noon to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, through Aug. 14, Building 5A, entrance off South 12th Street between Pearl and Mildred, Tacoma, visitor parking in Lot G.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Cedar Waxwings at Tumwater Falls Park

Bees, Birds & Butterflies - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 10:42am
Text, photos and videos by Nancy Partlow

I’ve known for quite a while that woody debris in a river creates great habitat for salmon. But until recently I didn’t realize it does the same thing for birds. My two latest blogs have been about interesting bird activity taking place on or near the log jam in the Deschutes River at Tumwater Falls Park. Less than one block from the busiest interstate highway on the west coast, this recently-created tangle of scoured tree trunks and branches seems a very unlikely wildlife haven.
 That is why I was surprised once again to notice something intriguing happening there: a whole flock of birds flitting on and off the wood pile. What was going on? From far away, these birds looked rosy in color, so I thought at first they might be finches. But in checking them out through binoculars, I discovered they were cedar waxwings, and they were "hawking" - catching food on the wing.  
You could have knocked me over with a feather. I’ve always thought of cedar waxwings as fruit-eating birds. Yet apparently, they really like insects too, because that’s what they were going after on the log pile. Some sort of winged insect "hatch" was in progress, and as the tiny critters zipped sky-bound from the jumble of dead wood, the waxwings were launched into a frenzy of competition to see who could grab them first from mid-air.  Some of the birds seemed to be gathered around a small shaded area of the wood pile, like campers congregating around a campfire, staring intently into the flames. But what the birds were watching for were diminutive sparks of life flying upward into the daylight – sparks that were almost instantly snuffed out by the waxwings’ prowess. Other waxwings hung out on the periphery of the log jam, their sharp eyes open for any insects that made it past ground zero.
It was impossible to discern from so far away exactly what the insects were, but my sister Janet, who one day accompanied me to the platform overlooking the river, surmised that they must be termite "alates", the reproductive form of the insect, which could be either female queens or male drones. We referred to these creatures as "salmon flies" when we were kids.  It makes sense that termites would make a home in all that dead wood. It also makes sense that birds would take advantage of such a great source of protein, because it wasn’t just cedar waxwings going after the bugs. Several Violet-green swallows swooped back and forth low over the falls, snatching any insects the waxwings missed.
A Spotted sandpiper appeared on the scene to glean bugs that had fallen into the river. It was exciting to see it. Until a couple of years ago, I only knew sandpipers as the little birds that scurry around in big flocks at ocean beaches, poking their bills into the sand. I had no idea that there was such a thing as solitary, fresh-water sandpipers until I spied one foraging along the shores of the Deschutes estuary and asked Janet about it.  

This one was in full breeding plumage – dark on top with a white spotted belly and an orange beak. It blended in beautifully with its surroundings.

The waxwings too, were beautiful. One of the most nattily plumed of songbirds, waxwings seem to wear evening dress while the rest of the avian world wears workaday clothes.

Only a few of the birds that we saw had the red wing tips (not really wax, but extensions of adult secondary wing feathers) that the birds are known for, leading us to guess that most of them might be young, first-year birds.  We had learned that the yellow coloration of the waxwings’ tail feathers are the result of diet, and that in recent years some birds have been observed with orange tail feathers due to their eating of non-native berries like pyracantha.

The frenetic insect hunt on the log jam continued for several weeks, until it eventually slowed down to a just a few birds participating. Maybe the waxwings lost interest as their favorite food, berries, began to ripen in the warm summer sun.
 But as I have finally learned, there will always be something intriguing happening there, even if it’s not readily apparent. I now eagerly await the next natural wonders to be revealed by the Deschutes River at Tumwater Falls Park. 
Here are a couple more videos: Cedar waxwings as viewed from the other side of the log jam:  Spotted Sandpiper feeding off a log in the Deschutes River:
--------This link goes to a blog about a group of bird banders and their experiences with cedar waxwings.  It includes pictures of birds with orange tail feathers: 
--------Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds web site describes the cedar waxwing thus: A treat to find in your binocular viewfield, the Cedar Waxwing is a silky, shiny collection of brown, gray, and lemon-yellow, accented with a subdued crest, rakish black mask, and brilliant-red wax droplets on the wing feathers. In fall these birds gather by the hundreds to eat berries, filling the air with their high, thin, whistles. In summer you’re as likely to find them flitting about over rivers in pursuit of flying insects, where they show off dazzling aeronautics for a forest bird.------- Wikipedia’s entry on Cedar Waxwings explains how the species got its name:
These birds' most prominent feature is this small cluster of red wax-like droplets on tips of secondary flight feathers on the wings… The tail is typically yellow or orange depending on diet. Birds that have fed on berries of introduced Eurasian honeysuckles while growing tail feathers will have darker orange-tipped tail-feathers.
 The Cedar Waxwing eats berries and sugary fruit year-round, including "dogwood, serviceberry, cedar, juniper, hawthorn, and winterberry", with insects becoming an important part of the diet in the breeding season. Its fondness for the small cones of the Eastern Red-Cedar (a kind of juniper) gave this bird its common name.
Categories: Local Environment

Last Call for Thurston County Fair Open Class Foods, Art, Hobbies and Crafts Entries

Thurston Talk - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 8:16am


Submitted by The Thurston County Fair

Final open class entries accepted July 25-28

Several open class contest entries are due Friday, July 25 and through this weekend, with the final open class contest entries due Monday, July 28 at the Thurston County Fairgrounds. Be sure to get your open class photography, foods, hobbies and crafts, art and flowers entered for your chance to win!

  • Open Class Photography: Friday, July 25 from 3–7 p.m. and Saturday, July 26 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Whether you prefer landscapes or portraits, people or animals, black and white or full color, there’s an open class photography contest that has you framed perfectly. Check the 2014 Exhibitor’s Guide for a complete list of categories and requirements.
  • Open Class Hobbies and Crafts: Saturday, July 26 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Quality and craftsmanship are alive and well in workshops and craft rooms throughout Thurston County. Enter your woodworking, jewelry, ceramics, dolls, models, and countless other handicrafts in dozens of hobby and craft contests. Check the 2014 Exhibitor’s Guide for a complete list of categories and requirements.
  • Open Class Art: Saturday, July 26 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. and Sunday, July 27 from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. There’s a contest for every age and almost every medium. Bring your paintings, sketches and drawings, miniatures and sculptures ready for display. Check the 2014 Exhibitor’s Guide for a complete list of categories and requirements.
  • Open Class Baking: Monday, July 28 from 3 to 7 p.m. Enter your favorite yeast or quick breads, cakes, cookies, candies, or pies. Remember to also enter the daily baking contests listed below and get free admission with your tasty baked treats. Check the 2014 Exhibitor’s Guide for a complete list of categories and requirements.
  • Open Class Preserved Foods: Monday, July 28 from 3 to 7 p.m. Enter your canned fruits and vegetables, pickles, sauces, jams and jellies, vinegars, meats, and dehydrated foods, plus many more preserved foods. Check the 2014 Exhibitor’s Guide for a complete list of categories.
  • Open Class Honey: Monday, July 28 from 3 to 7 p.m. From Water White to Dark Amber and everything in between, test your cache of golden honey against the best in the South Sound in the open class honey contests. Check the 2014 Exhibitor’s Guide for contest rules and requirements.
  • Open Class Floral: Monday, July 28 from 4 to 8 p.m. From asters to zinnias and everything in between, there are dozens of floral contests for cut flowers, herbs, trees and shrubs, bulbs, container gardens—the list is nearly endless. Check the 2014 Exhibitor’s Guide for a complete list of categories.

All of the information and details you need to compete in open class home arts contests and hundreds of other open class and club contests are included in the 2014 Exhibitor’s Guide. The guide also includes information on entry forms, camping, and this year’s calendar of events from July 30 through August 3. Download the complete 2014 Exhibitor’s Guide at

For more information on the 2014 Thurston County Fair Exhibitor’s Guide, contest entry forms or other fair activities, contact the Thurston County Fair Office at (360) 786-5453 or visit

“Fun for the Whole Herd at the Thurston County Fair!” July 30 – Aug. 3

Olympia Weekend Event Calendar

Thurston Talk - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 6:15am



thurston county fairA little bit of sunshine is returning to the forecast this weekend.  It’s not the blast of hot weather that we had a few weeks ago but at least it’s not cool rain that makes me wonder if it’s *really* summer.  There are plenty of options for family-friendly fun around Olympia this weekend.  Use our full events calendar to find even more local activities.  And, don’t forget to mark your calendar for the Thurston County Fair.  The action kicks off on Wednesday, July 30 (with One Buck Wednesday) and lasts through August 3.

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, click here.


Pink Elephant’s Gravecast 004

K Records - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 1:52am
The Pink Elephant’s Graveyard is where we store the cultural artifacts which are uniquely K. Host Calvin Johnson (The Hive Dwellers) interviews Emily Beanblossom of the bands Christmas and Ruby Fray. The new Ruby Fray album Grackle [KLP251] will be released by K in October 2014. View a fierce performance by Christmas at the Helsing […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Pre-order The Magik Sounds of the Pine Hill Haints

K Records - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 4:39pm
The Magik Sounds of The Pine Hill Haints [KLP254] is now available for pre-order! Early buyers will receive one of these awesome handmade buttons by Katie Kat (see below): Listen to the track “Ms. Pacman” on American Songwriter and pre-order the album here in the K Mail Order Dept.!
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Ways to Save Money on Building Projects

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 1:25pm



Submitted by Thurston County Solid Waste

  Wood Recyclers Association

Photo Credit: Wood Recyclers Association

Are you doing some building or remodeling this year? Whether you are a professional contractor or doing a DIY project at home, construction is an expensive undertaking. Waste management can be a big part of those costs but there are some little ways to save big money. You can even do some good for your community and the environment in the process.

Construction and demolition (C&D) debris represents a significant amount of the total solid waste produced in Thurston County. The good news is much of it is reusable or recyclable. Thurston County Solid Waste has some great tips on ways to save some green and be green. Since reuse is better for the environment than recycling, let’s start there.

If you have usable building materials and household goods, donating them is the way to go. South Sound Habitat for Humanity has three donation locations where you can drop items off: the stores in Yelm and Olympia, as well as the new donation station at the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center’s Recycling Area. Habitat accepts working appliances, cabinets, doors, flooring, furniture, light fixtures, hardware, lumber, plumbing, roofing, and non-aluminum windows. Donating these usable materials gives you a tax deduction and allows you to skip the cost of disposal. Habitat resells the items at their store locations and uses the proceeds to build housing for low-income families.

You can also list your reusable items, for free or for a charge on websites such as Craigslist or our own Thurston County Reuse websites, as well as the Habitat stores are great places to shop for used items at a significant cost savings. In addition, local contractors often donate new items and materials that they do not need to the Habitat stores, so you can snag those for well under retail prices.

Even if materials can’t be reused, many can be recycled. Recovery 1, Inc recycles a wide variety of mixed or separated construction materials, including gypsum, carpet/padding, and land clearing debris from new or remodeled construction projects. At $70 or less, Recovery 1, Inc’s per ton rate is much less than trash disposal at the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center. Located less than two miles off Interstate 5 in the Industrial Port of Tacoma, you can haul materials yourself or use a service. Depending on the size of your load, it can still be a cost savings, even with the drive. For more information and materials requirements, visit the Recovery 1, Inc website or call 1-800-949-5852.

There are plenty of locations in Thurston County that accept separated construction materials. Solid Waste maintains a database at of where to take a wide variety of reusable and recyclable materials.

There are several things to consider when you are deciding to haul materials yourself or have a company provide an on-site bin and hauling service. These include space constraints, if you are separating materials or doing mixed recycling, transportation costs, and staff time. The companies listed below will pick up material from your location. Specify that you want the materials recycled and remember to ask for proof of recycling, especially if you are applying for third-party green certification of your project. Certain restrictions, requirements, and/or permits may be required for recycling. If you know of a company that hauls C&D materials for recycling, please let us know so we can then to our list.

For more information on waste reduction programs in Thurston County, visit the Solid Waste website or call 360-867-2491.


Categories: Local Environment

Fun-Filled Entertainment and Events at the Thurston County Fair

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 1:21pm


Submitted by The Thurston County Fair

Live and Local concert series, Savor South Sound tastings part of 2014 highlights

This year’s Thurston County Fair is chock full of sights, sounds and tastes to entertain the whole herd from Wednesday, July 30 through Sunday, August 3.

whitewood cider

 Photo credit: Whitewood Cider.

Savor South Sound Beverage Tastings

The Savor South Sound beverage tasting event is back this year and better than ever, featuring dozens of delectable Northwest drinks. You’ll find Savor South Sound on the Gazebo Green this year with tastings from a dozen cideries, breweries and wineries on Friday and Saturday between 5 and 10 p.m. Patrons must be 21 or over to enter the event. Don’t forget to try some of the hors d’oeuvre pairings provided by local growers and producers that are new to Savor South Sound this year. Get more Savor South Sound details at by clicking on the “Entertainment” tab.

Live & Local Concert Series

If you are looking for even more reasons to visit the fair this year, then consider the line-up of local entertainers that will be delighting crowds with their sizzling summer sounds during the “Live & Local” concert series that is free with your fair admission. The Live & Local line-up features South Sound favorites like Artesian Rumble Arkestra on Wednesday, Brittany Kingery on Thursday, The Blackberry Bushes on Friday, and an encore appearance by The Brown Edition on Saturday along with DBST, all playing on the Main Stage sponsored by Les Schwab. New to the Live & Local line-up this year are some musical pairings on the Food Court Stage with the neighboring Savor South Sound event. And be sure to catch this year’s KACS Sunday Concert featuring legendary Christian rocker Bryan Duncan. Get more Live & Local details and other entertainment information at by clicking on the “Entertainment” tab.

Other new events in 2014 include up close and personal displays and presentations by Predators of the Heart in front of Heritage Hall. You can visit with all of the feathery, furry and scaly friends all five days at the Thurston County Fair. New on Saturday, August 2 is the Tattoo Art Contest where local tattoo artists will have their skill and artistry on display and cash prizes on the line. Also new in 2014 is the Rescue Pet Roundup on Sunday, August 3 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Hicks Lake Barn. Come meet all of our furry friends who are available for adoption. There are also several fan favorites making a comeback this year at the fair, including:

  • One Buck Wednesday on July 30, when admission is just $1 per person when you bring a non-perishable food donation for the Thurston County Food Bank. Tons of other $1 deals are featured inside the fair.
  • Kid’s Day Thursday, July 31. Kids 14 and under pay just $2 for admission, and carnival armbands that get you unlimited carnival rides for the day are buy-one-get-one free for your buddy. Don’t forget, admission for kids 5 and under is always FREE at the fair!
  • Military Appreciation Day is Friday, Aug. 1. Active duty and retired military personnel and their families can get $2 admission to the fair with your military ID. Just present your military ID for lots of other military deals inside the fair.
  • Author’s Corner is back in the Sharp Building will once again feature local authors selling books, greeting fans, and autographing everything from children’s books to crime dramas.
  • The Antiques Appraisal event is back on Friday, Aug. 1 at 4 p.m. in Heritage Hall, when a professional appraiser will evaluate collectibles and antiques provided by local residents.
  • The Thurston County Commissioners Annual Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, Aug. 2 from 8:30-10 a.m. Breakfast is free with fair admission. Join us on the Gazebo Green on the east side of Heritage Hall.
  • The annual Animal Market Sale will be in the Hicks Lake Barn on Saturday, Aug. 2 at 6 p.m.
  • The annual 4-H Equine Western Games begin early at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 3.

For more information about these events and other fair entertainment and attractions, go to and click on the “Daily Events Calendar” link.

The last day to purchase discount carnival ride armbands is Tuesday, July 29. Visit and click on “Fair News” for more information about discount carnival armbands and other discounts and deals.

To learn more about this year’s events, entertainment and exhibits, contact the Thurston County Fair Office at (360) 786-5453 or visit

“Fun for the Whole Herd at the Thurston County Fair!” July 30 – Aug. 3

United Way Partners with Olympia Downtown Association and Evergreen State College

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 12:56pm



Submitted by United Way of Thurston County

It’s true when they say strength comes in numbers. That is why United Way of Thurston County’s Day of Caring has continued its longstanding partnership with Evergreen State College and welcomes new partners, Olympia Downtown Association (ODA).

Day of Caring kicks off on September 26 as the single largest day of volunteerism in Thurston County, connecting hundreds of volunteers with local nonprofit organizations to complete projects that may not otherwise get done. Last year, over 750 registered participants volunteered to paint and landscape disabled individual’s homes, harvest for food banks and repair parks.

On Sept. 26, ODA will host its annual Downtown Clean Up alongside United Way’s Day of Caring to further increase the impact of volunteerism in the community.   “ODA brings an average of 150 volunteers each year during its Downtown Clean Up event,” said Olympia Downtown Association Event & Volunteer Coordinator, Kim Combs. “We’re excited to join forces with Day of Caring to bring more community members together around the good work in Thurston County.”

In addition, Evergreen State College will engage approximately 150 incoming freshman students with volunteer work on various projects throughout the county during Day of Caring.  “As a community, we have the power to accomplish more than any single group can on its own,” said United Way Executive Director, Paul Knox. “That is what makes our partnerships with ODA and Evergreen State College so great.”

The South Sound Reading Foundation, City of Olympia Park Stewardship Program, Homes First, Family Support Center, and HeartStrides Therapeutic Riding and Horsemanship are just a few of the agencies with new projects while businesses like; Athena Group, Guild Mortgage, Harborstone Credit Union, Wells Fargo, Townsend Security and Olympia Federal Savings prepare teams to volunteer.

In addition to the Downtown Clean Up project, participants may expect to see projects such as reorganizing books, helping beautify the new Family Support Center, painting low-income housing and much more!

Project sign-ups (including the Downtown Clean Up project) will be available on Volunteer Connection ( on August 1st. Teams and individuals can view projects and register through the site on a first come, first served basis.

For more information about Day of Caring and registration, please contact Sara Kukkonen at or call (360) 943-2773 ext. 22.


Thurston County Chamber Announces Government Buyers at South South Showcase: Procurement Expo 2014

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 12:11pm



Submitted by the Thurston County Chamber

Think about this: Thurston County, the government entity, has over 15 different departments. Each one has a representative that is in charge of purchasing the goods and services that individual department needs; from office supplies to janitorial services; landscaping contractors to toilet paper.

Those government buyers have to follow protocol when they purchase those goods and services, and businesses that excel at connecting with those buyers and understanding their individual buying and bidding procedures have tapped into a phenomenal way to expand their market and grow their businesses.

Government procurement processes can be confusing, which often results in missed opportunities for local firms. In partnership with the Thurston EDC’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), we’ve revamped a long time event: South Sound Showcase: Procurement Expo 2014, formerly known as the Business Showcase, that continues to be successful & grow with many new vendors, excellent leads and more opportunities to grow your business.

Purchasers’ Row will provide local organizations with an opportunity to network and learn how to do business with local government buyers,” said Stephanie Scott of Washington PTAC.   Purchasing representatives from local government and large businesses will staff information booths. Showcase attendees have the opportunity to stop at each booth making new contacts, networking with current customers, and learning more about the products and services these agencies need and want.  The line-up of government buyers who have already agreed to attend includes: the City of Olympia, the City of Tumwater, the City of Lacey, LOTT, Intercity Transit, Port of Olympia, and Thurston County.

The Thurston Economic Development Council’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) provides local firms with an opportunity to expand business and contracting opportunities with federal, state, and local governments. It has proven to be a valuable and powerful program to open these markets for employers in our community.

Returning from 2013, we will publish a South Sound Showcase Procurement Directory that includes contact information for each business that has a booth at Showcase. This is a valuable marketing opportunity for businesses because it sits on the purchaser’s desk for the rest of the year.

South Sound Showcase: Procurement Expo 2014 is on Tuesday, October 7 at Saint Martin’s University Marcus Pavilion in Lacey. To purchase a booth, contact: Alisha Blain, Events Coordinator at the Chamber at 360.357.3362 or

Olympia Traverse Participants on Area Roads Saturday July 26

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 11:47am


Submitted by The City of Olympia

olympia traverse

Road cyclists will take off as the second leg of the Olympia Traverse race.

The Centro-Olympia Traverse returns to Thurston County this Saturday, July 26.  The Traverse is a multi-sport adventure race which includes mountain biking in the Capitol Forest (starting at Noon); road biking through Thurston County; paddling from West Bay Park to the Swantown Marina; running along East Bay Drive to Priest Point Park and back to the East Bay Plaza; and final ceremonies at Port Plaza.

Area residents and motorists are advised to be aware of and courteous to Traverse participants.

The Centro-Olympia Traverse is sponsored by Recreation Northwest in conjunction with Centro in Olympia; and with facility support from the City of Olympia, Thurston County, and the Port of Olympia.  Online event schedule and information:

For information about the Traverse, contact Todd Elsworth, Executive Director – Recreation Northwest,

Live & Local Concert Series Announced at the Thurston County Fair

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 11:42am



Submitted by the Thurston County Fair

From July 30 through August 2, some of the biggest musical names in Olympia and the Pacific Northwest will be gracing the entertainment stages at the fair.

Here’s the lineup:DDM Thurston County Fair-22

Wednesday, July 30 – 5pm

Thursday, July 31 – 7pm

Friday, August 1 – 7pm

Saturday, August 2

All concerts are free with fair admission and open to fairgoers of all ages!

This is the second annual concert series at the fair. Last year, County Commissioners decided that, for the sustainability of the fair, they needed to appeal to a broader audience and bring more locals out to enjoy all the happenings at the yearly event. Featuring the absolute best in local music was viewed as an obvious way to increase attendance and draw a more diverse crowd. Live & Local was so successful last year that a second year was definitely in order.

Also returning this year is Savor South Sound, a two-day tasting event highlighting over a dozen local wine, beer, and cider producers. In addition, this year’s Savor will feature local shellfish and farm-to-table tastings organized by WSU Extension Thurston County. Tickets to Savor are just $10 (plus admission to the fair) and include a commemorative Belgian-style beer glass and five tasting tickets. The event is located at the Gazebo Green near the Food Court stage and takes place on Friday, August 1 and Saturday, August 2 from 5 to 10pm. (Savor is a 21+ event.)

The Live & Local Concert Series is brought to you by Rhythm & Rye and Olympia Jazz Central. Savor South Sound is presented by the Thurston County Fair Foundation, WSU Thurston County Extension, and Fish Tale Ales. Visit for more information about these fabulous events and many other wonderful activities at this year’s fair.


County Commissioners Recognize 176th Engineering Company for Work at Fairgrounds

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 11:22am


Submitted by Thurston County

thurston county fairAs opening day for the 2014 Thurston County Fair approaches, county commissioners took a moment at today’s commission meeting to thank some of the volunteers who are so vital to making the fair’s annual event a success each year.

Earlier this spring, members of the 176th Engineering Company of the 741st Engineering Battalion of the Washington National Guard volunteered their time at the Thurston County Fairgrounds by doing a number of building maintenance and repair projects.

“This proclamation is not only a statement of our gratitude for your volunteer service at the county fairgrounds, it also is a gesture of our gratitude for your military service,” said County Commission Chair Karen Valenzuela to Maj. Tamara Brathode Schwab, who accepted the proclamation for the 176th Engineering Company.

Commission Vice Chair Sandra Romero said, “It’s no secret that a lot of county residents are connected to the military in one way or another, and I think it’s important to recognize how much our military service members give back to this community. This proclamation is a symbol of our gratitude for your service to our country and for your strong support of our local community.”

“The Thurston County Fair is truly a community event and the valuable work of the National Guard demonstrates how inclusive that community really is,” says Commissioner Cathy Wolfe.

The 2014 Thurston County Fair is guaranteed to be fun for the whole herd. The fair runs from Wednesday, July 30 through Sunday, August 3. To learn more about 2014 fair events, entertainment and exhibits, visit

Gearlust: Superfuzz/MEGABuzz

K Records - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 11:00am
Several months back, Max Gorbman, gave me a circuit board he had designed for a Univox Superfuzz clone. I’ve been slowly piecing it together and installing it in this old Switchcraft intercom chassis. It’s my first pedal build, I learned a lot. Like that casing the pedal is way harder then wiring it, and that […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Planning an Event at Traditions about Extinctions

Small Blue Planet - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 8:04am
and we will need some video and audio to run and talk over. Here is 14 minutes of video from Professor Peter Ward from UW TED talk by Peter Ward    

Pink Elephant’s Gravecast 003

K Records - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 1:15am
The Pink Elephant’s Graveyard is a weblog in which we store all of the cultural aritfacts which are uniquely K. The Pink Elephant’s Gravecast is hosted by Calvin Johnson (The Hive Dwellers), an audio tour through the Pink Elephant’s Graveyard highlighting the latest artifacts therein. On this episode he talks about Arrington de Dionyso, Lovers […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Christmas at Helsing Junction Sleep Over 2010

K Records - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 6:41pm
A dynamic performance by Christmas at the Helsing Junction Sleep Over, Summer 2010. Filmed by Eric Becker, additional assistance by Rodrigo Valenzuela.  
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Wauby + Fruit Juice + Calliope

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 5:00pm

Wednesday, July 23 at 8:00pm

WAUBY … Oly indie pop

FRUIT JUICE … Oly psych glam

CALLIOPE … Oly experimental electronic indie

Facebook invite


Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Northwest Literary Showcase

K Records - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 10:54am
  The Northwest Literary Showcase at this year’s Helsing Junction Sleeopver, August 15-17, presents a broad mix of essayists, novelists, zinesters, and poets from around the Northwest. Combining seasoned award-winning authors with up-and-coming writers, the showcase brings an entertaining assortment of local talent. Some of the artists appearing this year are: Sarah Mirk lives most of her life […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

South Sound YMCA Child Care Lends a Helping Hand

Thurston Talk - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 9:46am



olympia ymca child careJerry Seinfeld could have been speaking of summer vacation when he claimed “There is no such thing as fun for the whole family.”  At this midway point in the school holidays, most parents are counting the days until school starts and routines are firmly back in place.

If a helping hand is needed in the childcare arena, the South Sound YMCA is always there.  For nearly 25 years, they have provided a safe, welcoming environment for children from 4 weeks of age through 12 years.  Over that time more than 30,000 children have shared in their mission; as they advertise “at the Y we provide more than a place for kids to go.  We care for kids by providing nurturing development, healthy lifestyle choices, self-reliance through positive relationships, and values-based learning.”

South Sound YMCA Child Development Director Ron White is proud that “many of our families stay with us for years.”

ymca summer campThe Y’s team of caring and highly-trained staff provides many options for care, depending on the need and time of year.  As White explains, “We have three distinctly different experiences:  Campus is an early learning center at SPSCC that provides care and curriculum for children from 4 weeks until kindergarten.  They are focused on social and emotional growth and provide curriculum that is geared to help children be kindergarten ready when they leave the program.  Many of the children that attend this program go on to Y Care afterschool at their home elementary school.”

White continues, “Afterschool care is available at 30 different local elementary schools and is focused on recreation, health & wellness and homework assistance.  We have worked hard on transforming our program into a child-driven one.  We want them to feel the center is their own and enlist their help in designing it.  The curriculum is theme-based and focuses on learning in an experiential way.”

ymca healthy kids dayDuring the summer months, the Y offers at least five different specialty focused camps each week, with various themes.  “We continue to bring the fun because we want the children to enjoy their summer, but with a strong focus on learning around the theme,” explains White.

For military families, the Y offers Army School-Age Programs In Your Neighborhood (ASPYN).  Families in this program often qualify for reduced childcare fees.  “This has been a fantastic partnership,” White says.  “Through the Army we have received the resources to have three of our programs nationally accredited and have been able to provide numerous trainings to the staff at all of our school-age locations.  We have also had the opportunity to provide a tutor at three locations.  The tutor gives the children extra focus on school work.”  Because military life can include frequent moves and transitions for children, this extra support helps maintain continuity in education and provide a caring place for friendship and play.

YMCA_Military_BoysTo contact the YMCA Child Care Office, visit 108 State Avenue, Olympia or call 360-705-2642.

The Campus Early Learning Center at SPSCC runs Monday through Friday from 6:45 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and summer camps will continue through the week of August 25.  Camp hours are Monday-Friday from 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. for campers aged 5-12.

The South Sound YMCA is so much more than just a place to exercise or take swimming lessons.  It is a tremendous resource for all residents interested in prevention, community, and caring support.  By offering childcare with an endless variety of options, the Y helps local families stay strong and successful.


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