Recent local blog posts

More than 30,000 Visitors Attended the 2016 Thurston County Fair

Thurston Talk - Sun, 08/14/2016 - 8:40am

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by the Thurston County Fair  The 2016 Thurston County Fair saw a total of 30,523 visitors for fun, food, animals, hobbies, and rides! Community participation in the Thurston County Fair has steadily grown in the last five years, making the Thurston County Fair one of the signature summer events in the South Sound region […]

Biblio-Bliss: The Joy of Book Clubs

Thurston Talk - Sun, 08/14/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

What book is on your nightstand? I get noticeably nerdy; lately it’s brain science and food sociology. For more variety in my reading and for pleasures to my spirit, I’m part of my neighborhood book club. The second Thursday of each month is reserved and as long as I’m in town, I’m attending. My compatriots […]

Olympia Harbor Days Festival is Ship-Shape for Labor Day Weekend

Thurston Talk - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 11:12am

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by Olympia Harbor Days The 43rd Annual Olympia Harbor Days Tugboat Races and Festival will open Friday, September 2 at 5:00 p.m. and run through Sunday, September 4 closing at 6:00 p.m.  This Olympia favorite is located in downtown Olympia along the Waterfront from the famous Kiss Statue on the boardwalk at Percival Park on 4th Ave., north […]

Harlequin Productions Partners with Other Local Non-Profits in Community Partnership Program

Thurston Talk - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 9:44am

ThurstonTalk

  Submitted by Harlequin Productions Harlequin Productions is taking applications now through October 31, 2016, for the company’s Community Partnership Program 2017. Non-profit partners receive 150 tickets to Harlequin Productions’ final dress rehearsals, which they may sell as a fundraiser or give as thank you gifts to donors or volunteers. The intent is to provide […]

Westport Winery Develops Four Seasons of Spice

Thurston Talk - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 9:31am

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by Westport Winery and Garden Resort Westport Winery has developed its own wine cocktail spices called Four Seasons of Spice. Each of the mixes is packaged in a hand-blown mini-float as part of the winery’s collaboration with artists Johnny and Darlene Camp of Opal Art Glass in Cosmopolis. Winery co-founder Kim Roberts said, “Our […]

Urban Sketchers at Handforth Gallery

South Sound Arts - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 7:24am

Candid shots of T-town in pen, ink and watercolorPublished in the Weekly Volcano, Autg. 11, 2016“Theater District Downtown Tacoma,” masthead sketch for Urban Sketchers Tacoma website by Mark RyanThe Urban Sketchers exhibition at Handforth Gallery in the downtown Tacoma Public Library is delightfully lightweight.The walls are filled with quick sketches in pencil, pen and ink, watercolor and other media of mostly local scenes familiar to many Tacomans—some by well-known local artists and some by artists known only to friends and family.Urban Sketchers is a nationwide movement for artists who love to draw the area where they live, work, or visit. Their works are executed while looking out a window at home, from a cafe, standing by a street-corner, or other convenient location.
The local group, Tacoma Urban Sketchers, typically meets at a designated spot in the morning and then disperses to sketch until noon. During the summer, there is an afternoon sketching session. There are sketch outings on the first Saturday of each month and on the third Wednesday year around. Works from this group currently on display in the library are like candid photos of local people and places,only they’re not photos; they are artworks typically done in a loose, free and quick manner.  “Neck Brace Guy,” a pencil sketch by Helen Phillips  pictures a man wearing a neck brace seated in an airplane as seen from the side and back. I can imagine he never suspected he was being drawn. The style looks a lot like a lithograph, which is interesting because it lends to the picture a gritty texture not usually seen in pencil drawings. “The Breakfast Club,” pen and wash by R.J. Lane, is one of the few pieces in the show not of a Tacoma-area scene. It is a sketch of patrons in Carla’s Country Kitchen in Morro Bay, Calif. The great casually rendered expressions on their faces are fun to contemplate. A watercolor called “Blanket Stories” by Kate Buike pictures the great sculpture by the same name that is on permanent display against the front wall of the Tacoma Art Museum. It is cropped and pictured from an intriguing angle with the dome of Union Station seen in the background.“Fort Nisqually Southwest Corner” by Ken Fulton is one of a few almost pure line drawings in the show, with strong dark and light contrasts in the rare shaded areas.A similar drawing, but less sketchy and more nicely controlled is Frances Buckmaster’s ink drawing “Breakwater Marina, Point Defiant.”There are three excellent line drawings by Paul Morris: “Union Station,” “Thea Foss Waterway” and “Downtown Library Alley View.”A couple of other works of note are K.D. Keckler’s “Swiss House Gathering,” another scene of diners, and Roy Steiner’s “Abandoned Van Lierop Farm,” depicting an abandoned barn painted blue with tall grasses and a leafless tree in front of it. This is the only picture in the show that has no line-drawing element. The media was not listing on the wall label, but it looks like gouache.
Find out more about the local Urban Sketchers at http://urbansketcherstacoma.blogspot.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/groups/UrbanSketchersTacoma/
Handforth Gallery at Tacoma Public Library, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays-Saturday, through Sept. 6, 1102 Tacoma Ave. S, Tacoma
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

StoryOly final slam and Grand Slam

South Sound Arts - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 7:07am

Published in the Weekly Volcano Aug. 11, 2016On the 16th of August, South Sound storytellers will entertain a sure-to-be packed house at Rhythm and Rye in Olympia for the last of this year’s StoryOly story slams before the 12 top storytellers of the year meet in the Grand Slam on Sept. 17.Every month on the third Tuesday approximately 10 storytellers show off their skills and vie for first place in the raucous storytelling event. I’ve attended all but a few of the events this year and can attest that they truly are raucous, and the crowd responses are fabulous. The majority of the stories are funny; many are risqué; a few are sad, scary or touching — such as the wonderfully sweet story Keith Eisner told in July about the birth of his now 40-year-old son. Eisner is a professional writer, actor and director. Many of the storytellers are professional writers or entertainers, as are co-founders Elizabeth Lord and Amy Shephard, but even more are amateurs who mount the stage and tell their personal stories for the first time, usually in the face of great fear. And they are usually great.Elizabeth Lord. Photos courtesy Story OlyCommunity members come together every month to share, compete and tell true stories based on a monthly theme. Past themes have included “I Got What I Deserved,” “Family,” and “Revenge.” People who want to tell a story put their names in a hat, and 10 names are drawn at random. Each storyteller is allowed eight minutes. The stories must be true and personal, no rants, speeches or religious testimony, and no reading from notes or scripts. After each story volunteer judges from the audience hold up cards with scores from one to 10. The judges tend to be kind; I’ve never seen a score lower than five. The winner from each month gets to compete in the Grand Slam in September. Winners are: Devin Felix (Nov.), Jim Foley (Dec.), Sam Miller (Jan.), a three-way tie between Billie Mazzei, Maggie Lott and Christian Carvajal, (Feb.), Lori Nesmith (March), Rey White (April), Matthew Trenda (May), Anders Hornblat (June), Eisner in July, and a final winner to be determined this month. Eisner will be out of town the weekend of the Grand Slam and unable to participate.Shepard is an actor and choreographer well known for her work at Harlequin Productions, most recently in Little Shop of Horrors as both choreographer and one of the singing and dancing Doo-Wops. “It's been incredible to see how StoryOly events have blossomed since we started last November,” Shephard says. “Elizabeth and I are so grateful for the attendance and participation of our community. With each show we get to hear stories from many different voices, perspectives and backgrounds. If that weren't wonderful enough, there is the fact that when a patron buys a ticket, they know that not only will they see an amazing show but that half of their ticket price is going directly to Olympia SafePlace. So when you come to a story slam you not only support us, you support victims of sexual and domestic violence through wonderful organizations like SafePlace.”Lord, a professional storyteller and member of the Heartsparkle Players, is also founder and host of Lord Franzannian's Royal Olympian Spectacular Vaudeville Show. Lord says, “I love StoryOly. I especially love how successful it's been. Full houses most nights. Its success is a confirmation of something I've always known to be true: live, oral storytelling is a powerful medium. Nothing replaces a human telling you a story, right there in front of you. Plus, with StoryOly (Like the Moth Storytelling events) the audience hears true personal stories that resonate with the universal human experience. Oral Storytelling makes the world smaller, more understandable, and of course entertaining.”Story Oly, every third Tuesday, 5:30-8 p.m., Rhythm & Rye, 311 Capitol Way,
Olympia, 360.705.-0760. Grand Slam Sept. 17.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Greg Amendala Builds the American Dream at the Village at Mill Pond

Thurston Talk - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

In this information age, it’s not uncommon to have a job with no end product. Many of us have positions which engage almost exclusively over the internet or on the phone with very little tangible output. But that can’t be said for Greg Amendala, the builder behind Olympia’s live/work/play community The Village at Mill Pond. […]

Witnesses to History: The Isaac Stevens Globes at the Washington State Library

Thurston Talk - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

The Washington State Library, located at 6880 Capitol Boulevard in Tumwater, contains many fascinating and historically important books and documents. The Library is an excellent place to learn about all aspects of Washington history, culture and society. For over 160 years, since the earliest Territorial days, it has served the people of the region. The […]

Power Scholars Academy Students Gain Months of Learning in Only Weeks at the South Sound YMCA

Thurston Talk - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

Student’s hard work during the school year can unfortunately be diminished by summertime learning loss. Reportedly, during the summer months, children who lack quality learning experiences tend to lose academic skills over the school break – sometimes equating to as much as two months of a grade level each summer accumulating year after year. Studies […]

Former Sundberg Mining Pit Proposed For Housing Development

Janine's Little Hollywood - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 7:58pm

Owner seeks release from state Department of Natural Resources to clean up property 
Recent Illegal Grading, Other Activity Prompts Permit Violation Action
Neighborhood Meeting Draws 40 Concerned Community Members
Above: A housing development is proposed at the vacant site of the former Sundberg Sand and Gravel mine on Olympia’s westside near Cooper Point Road NW, between 20th Avenue NW and 28th Avenue NW.  Neighbors are quickly organizing to learn more about the proposed project, which is in the critical aquifer recharge area of Green Cove Basin.
By Janine GatesAnother Green Cove Basin Land Use Investigationwww.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.com
A land use application for a housing development was submitted to the City of Olympia on July 31 to develop a portion of the former Sundberg sand and gravel mine on Cooper Point Road NW between 28th Avenue NW and 20th Avenue NW.
Property owner Jerry Mahan proposes to subdivide about 50 acres into 177 single family homes and related needs such as open space, stormwater and wetland buffers. The project is proposed to be accessed via Cooper Point Road NW and Grove Street NW.  

To accommodate the development, improvements for Cooper Point Road by installing a center turn lane and a pedestrian pathway, and street improvements to Grove Street are in the plan.
The proposed project, called Green Cove Park, lies squarely in one of the most extreme critical aquifer recharge areas of the Green Cove Basin.
The property is zoned Residential Low Impact (RLI), the only area, along with the nearby BranBar property, in the City of Olympia with the RLI designation. The zoning is a remnant designation from when the area was annexed from Thurston County in 2006.

The property has been dramatically, and illegally, altered throughout the years and Mahan has received multiple letters from the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for violating state laws related to unpermitted backfilling and soil disturbance activities.

Mahan, of Puyallup, is a longtime agent at John L Scott Real Estate. His nonresidential building operator business, Jerry Mahan Communities, founded in 2011, lists annual revenue of $260,000 and three employees. As a homebuilder and developer, he has built over 500 homes and developed over 1,000 lots, say his online profiles.

The applicant, who has owned the property since 2006, intends to start development in June 2017.


Above: Craig Deaver speaks about the proposed Green Cove Park housing development at a community meeting on Thursday evening at Olympia city hall.
Neighborhood Concerns
A neighborhood meeting for the proposal was held on Thursday at Olympia City Hall. About 40 individuals, including three city staff, were in attendance. The meeting was billed as a courtesy for the public to meet the applicant, learn about the project, and discuss community concerns.

Craig Deaver and Lori Harvey of C.E.S. NW, Inc., a civil engineering firm, represented the applicant and answered questions for about an hour and a half. 

As is typical for land use cases, the city will use a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) checklist to determine whether the project will impact the environment. At the meeting, City of Olympia senior city planner Cari Hornbein said that determination will be made in the next few weeks.

The first formal public comment period for the project ends at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 19.
Concerns were expressed about the property's history as an illegal dumping ground, the area’s environmental sensitivity as a critical aquifer recharge area, and the cumulative impact of the project in an area that is seeing several other proposed housing projects.

Increased traffic and pedestrian safety were also of concern, as nearly 1,700 new vehicle trips per day are estimated to be on neighborhood roads as a result of this project. The area has no sidewalks and there are significant visual barriers due to the steep grade of area streets, especially 20th Avenue. That street becomes Elliott Avenue at the intersection meeting Division Street, an area that neighbors say is already dangerous.
The nearest grocery store is Safeway, about 1.7 miles away. The project is on the Intercity Transit bus line.

Above: The Sundberg property, which has a clear, northwest view of the Olympic Mountains, as seen from a proposed entryway on Grove Street NW off 20th Avenue. Grove Street is a quiet, little street with few houses.
Those who took the time to attend the community meeting commented that the city’s calendar system for meetings and options for public involvement and review of already submitted materials is antiquated.
While the applicant's thick geotechnical reports, soil analysis, wetland, and other studies were in paper form on the back table, none are yet online. One man commented that he wants to access GIS shape files so individuals can do their own analysis of historic data and future plans of all developments for the area.
Applicant representatives often responded to community questions by suggesting that they must make public records requests to the state Department of Ecology to get information.
City of Olympia senior planner Cari Hornbein got the message that this project is already generating great community interest and said she will likely be setting up a separate webpage for it on the city website, similar to the proposed Trillium project in southeast Olympia.
“I came to the meeting and saw there were virtually no handouts...I was surprised. I asked staff if they were going to be putting the documents about the proposed development that were on the back table online. I was initially told that the documents might have to be obtained through a records request.  I think they judged that this might not be optimum and quickly said they would be put online,” said Judy Bardin, a former city planning commissioner who attended the meeting, and asked about street connectivity issues within the development and length of the proposed streets.
Hornbein also said she would contact state Department of Fish and Wildlife representatives after one person expressed concern for hawks and chicks seen nesting near the property.
Sundberg Property: Dumping, Permit Violations
This is not the first time property owner Jerry Mahan has sought to do something with his property. This is in fact the fifth time. Each time, Mahan has walked away from his proposals.
In 2015, the last time Mahan presented a proposal to the city, it was under the name Westbrook Investments. His proposed development, Sundberg Estates, would have platted 157 single family homes.
According to city documents, Mahan’s company was called Canterwood Investments when he first started the Sundberg Estates project in 2007, proposing to subdivide 59.60 acres into 204 residential lots.
Mahan’s representatives pulled the plug on the project in 2008, according to city documents obtained by Little Hollywood, after they were unable to get a time extension from the City of Olympia to collect and interpret groundwater data in order to refine the overall drainage design and its impacts to the project.
Mahan’s representatives requested that the application be withdrawn, and received a 50 percent refund of the original application fee, per Olympia Municipal Code.
Time and again, alert neighbors have presented the city with weighty public health and safety information regarding the property. They’ve also presented historical information that illustrates discrepancies in Mahan’s permits and paperwork. 
To move forward with a development this time, Mahan intends to seek the cancellation of a reclamation permit and release of a performance bond from the state Department of Natural Resources, according to a memo by Mahan to the City of Olympia dated March 21, 2016.
A reclamation permit means Mahan, who has owned the property since 2006, is supposed to dig out everything on the property that isn’t supposed to be there. And that’s a lot.
Recent, numerous inspection letters from the state Department of Natural Resources speak to perpetually late annual reports, stop work orders, repeated violations of state RCWs due to illegal grading inside and outside the permitted areas, the importing of fill, and construction debris and soil stockpiles observed outside the permit area. 
"Piles of imported soils have been graded flat and pushed over the mined highwall. The mine floor also had some grade work done that filled the stormwater ditches that existed in the central permit are. The culverts remained in the northern permit boundary berm but were filled with material....The site has not been approved for import or backfill and the current work is in conflict with the voluntary stop work in the unpermitted area...." reads an October 16, 2015 report by state Department of Natural Resources staff.
As a result of repeated permit violations, Mahan’s performance security bond to DNR has steadily increased due to the increased disturbed areas.
In fact, Mahan’s own geotechnical report says that there is so much old fill and debris on site, that one option, to support foundations, would be to use pin piles. Pin piles are small, hollow, steel pipes that are mechanically driven into the ground.
As of August 10, Mahan still has not received the cancellation of the reclamation permit by the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
If he is released from that obligation, then the City of Olympia is on the hook, legally and financially, for the cleanup of the property.
Incredibly, the state Department of Ecology issued Mahan a sand and gravel general permit on February 17, 2016, based on information Mahan provided in his application. The effective date of the new permit was April 1, 2016 and expires in 2021. The sand and gravel mine is inactive.
Ecology called the February 17 permit a “reissue” of the permit, but state DNR staff who frequently inspect the site, discovered, in 2015, that they had issued a previous permit in 2014 in error. The permit file, and error, reaches back to 1972 when the permit was initially issued.
Mahan appeared to get the permit from Ecology because he was cited by DNR on August 7, 2015 for not having one in the proper location of the property.
Where the application asks if the site is within a critical aquifer recharge area, the box is checked no, however, the property is within a critical aquifer recharge area, according to 1998 Thurston County Storm and Surface Water Program maps, and is in the Green Cove Creek Drainage Basin.
When asked about the permit by Little Hollywood during Thursday night’s city meeting, Deaver said he didn’t know about how the boxes were checked, and that Mahan sought the permit to fall back on in case the housing development does not go through.
City of Olympia senior planner Cari Hornbein said that the RLI zoning does not allow a sand and gravel operation.
Little Hollywood has a one page, simply worded and neatly typed 12 point reclamation plan signed by Theodore Sundberg in 1979, which apparently has yet to be fulfilled.
“The subsequent use of the land will be for housing. This will be an asset to the surrounding property and no opposition has been made,” the plan says. Sundberg, who has passed away, expected the plan to be completed two years after completion of surface mining activities.

Instead, the property, which has recently been fenced on Cooper Point Road, became a known dumping site of fill, woody debris, recycled concrete, bricks and asphalt, and maybe worse, from area projects, some say for decades.
Putting the issue aside that it is unclear whether or not Mahan, as the current owner, has a valid sand and gravel permit, Mahan’s company is in violation of that permit, according to a letter by the state DNR.
The department inspected the mine on May 5, and found it in violation of five RCW’s related to unpermitted backfilling and disturbances outside of the approved reclamation permit boundary. The letter says the conditions must be corrected no later than July 4, 2016.
Asked by Little Hollywood during Thursday's meeting whether these corrections have been made, Deaver said that they have, and those corrections are currently under review by DNR. 

Deaver admitted that the permits need to be “tidied up.”
Environmental Concern for Green Cove Basin

The Green Cove Basin is roughly bounded by Cooper Point Road on the east, Mud Bay Road on the south, Overhulse Road on the west, and Sunset Beach Drive on the north. The Eld Inlet and Budd Inlet watershed boundary line meanders through the area of the Sundberg property.
The Basin is protected by a 1998 Thurston County Comprehensive Plan and has been mapped as a critical aquifer recharge area with three classes: extreme, high, and moderate.
The area of the proposed Green Cove Park is in an area labeled “extreme.”

The site of another proposed housing development of over 60 single family homes, Parkside, on the opposite side of Cooper Point Road, west of the proposed Green Cove Park, is designated “high,” according to Thurston County maps.
During the city meeting, applicant representative Craig Deaver said the project’s wetland and stormwater retention plans “mimic the site conditions as if it is forested,” and will ensure that water levels “more than matches historic flows.” He also insisted that the site was clean of hazardous materials.
Someone who scoffed at those assertions and doesn’t need to be told about the geology of the property is west Olympia resident Jim Elliott. Elliott attended the city meeting on Thursday evening and said he is an eyewitness to “decades of dumping atrocities” at the site.
Elliott, 88, lives near the former Sundberg property, and is a wealth of first-hand information about the area. His family homesteaded the area in 1922, and he grew up near the corner of what is now Cooper Point Road and 20th Avenue.
The Sundberg property was owned by Elliott's family before Theodore "Ted" Sundberg bought it in 1938. Little by little, Sundberg worked his way up to owning 104 acres.
As for area hydrology, Elliott says there was so much water coming off the hillside from what was Elliott Avenue, now 20th Avenue, that his father and uncle dug a four foot ditch from the edge of what is now the Sundberg property on Cooper Point Road to the house on the corner of Cooper Point Road and 20th Avenue, to channel the water. They also put down cedar puncheons so cattle could walk through the property without getting bogged down.
Elliott is worried. He has witnessed scores of dump trucks unloading dirt and debris from area projects and believes the site is not clean.
“They won’t listen to anybody, and I’ve grown up and lived around there. If they only knew what’s buried up there, but they don’t know, and they’re not going to dig it up,” Elliott says of any city, county, or state authority purporting to protect the environment of the area.
“Something else kind of bugs me….Every time they submit an application for development, why do they change their name all the time?” asked Elliott about Mahan’s multiple limited liability companies.
Jerry Dierker, Jr., who also lives near the former Sundberg property, claims he was exposed to hazardous gas coming from contaminated materials, dumped there, he alleges, by Port of Olympia contractors in January 2015. 
He says he saw the materials, several blocks, sized 4’ x 6’ x 12’, covered with concrete and perhaps some chemical, and are used at Port of Olympia’s Swantown Boat Works. Dierker said he got within 300 feet of them and his throat started burning, and his mouth felt blistered.
Dierker immediately reported the incident to the state Department of Ecology, saying he knew the blocks had been placed there within the last four to five months of the incident.
Dierker says portions of the property were also used by the Port of Olympia to store creosote soaked pilings and hazardous wood waste from the contaminated Cascade Pole area of Budd Inlet from 1957 to 1990.
Dierker has recently addressed the Olympia city council during the public comment period to report the harm done to him as a result of the exposure.

An email by Mahan to the state Department of Natural Resources dated February 25, 2015 acknowledges that Mahan knew materials were recently being dumped on site and said he would direct the person to discontinue the activity. He also said he was moving toward a preliminary plat and would soon be requesting a grading permit.
Roger Robinson, another neighbor who lives near the proposed development and attended the meeting, has tracked activity on the property for 17 years. He has also witnessed dumping first-hand and reported it to several city and state entities in March 2015. With a city official, he even followed the dump trucks to and from the sites.

He is most worried about water quality.
“About 400 dump trucks of waste have been brought into the property over the years. In order to build, they have to go through the city and they don’t have the science. If the city is using Thurston County’s old maps of the area, they have to use 1998 science to go forward. Technically, it’s a health hazard. They’ve spread that stuff all around. What if they break through the aquifer? That’s our drinking water. Why are they gambling with our water? They are ignoring all the contamination and we need to hold the city to task. Do the science, wetland reports, and soil tests. We want the city to conform and comply with state laws,” Robinson demanded, in an interview with Little Hollywood prior to the city meeting.
Above: Roger Robinson took matters into his own hands and prepared soil and debris samples procured at the former site of the Sundberg Sand and Gravel Mine to present to city officials at the neighborhood meeting Thursday evening. Here, he shows his samples to City of Olympia principal planner Tim Smith in charge of the city's State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) determination for the Green Cove Park development. Robinson wants the City of Olympia to use SEPA in the way it’s supposed to be used – as a tool to guide a thorough investigation into the historic and current condition of the site prior to potential development.
About an exhibit he labeled Exhibit C, Robinson said, “It looks like dirt but it’s not. It’s been out there three years and nothing grows on it.” He left that one as is, but Robinson added water to the other samples and dared city officials to drink it if they considered the Sundberg site cleaned up” and fit for housing as the property owner believes.
Cumulative Impacts: Parkside, BranBar and More
In an update on the proposed Parkside land use application, the applicant responded to the city in early July with a set of revisions. The next step is a public hearing in front of a city hearing examiner, set for August 22, 6:30 p.m., in the city council chambers at Olympia city hall.
In the BranBar site specific rezone case, the hearing examiner ruled in favor of the applicant, Brandon Anderson, of Branbar, LLC on August 8. The decision is not appealable, and now goes to city council to determine what process to use for considering the recommendation.
The BranBar property is also in the Green Cove Basin and mapped by Thurston County as a critical aquifer recharge area labeled “high.”

With the rezone, a land use housing development proposal of about 20 single family homes will likely follow.

For past articles and photos about Parkside, BranBar, Green Cove Basin, and explanations about SEPA, go to Little Hollywood, www.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.com, and type key words into the search engine.
For updated information about these developments, go to the City of Olympia website at www.olympiawa.gov or contact Cari Hornbein, City of Olympia Senior Planner, phone: (360) 753-8048, email: chornbei@ci.olympia.wa.us. The file number for the Green Cove Park project is 16-9025.

Explore Puget Sound via Paddle Board with Chris and Jackie Fry

Thurston Talk - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 6:46am

ThurstonTalk

If you were to describe all the things that make the Puget Sound a beautiful place, you would have to mention the spectacle that is the sound itself. You can charter a boat to fish, crab or shrimp. You can rent a kayak and explore, but if you happen to be in a mood for […]

Olympia Weekend Events Calendar

Thurston Talk - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

It’s August and summer is in full swing. Grab the family, hit the beach, fire up the BBQ, explore the woods, bask in the shade, stroll the streets. This weekend will be hot, sunny and everything summer should be. To find out all that is going on around Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and throughout Thurston County, take a […]

The Future is an Open Book: Lacey’s Library Journey

Thurston Talk - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by Holly Paxson, Lacey Timberland Library Manager for the Lacey’s 50th Anniversary Committee The North Thurston Library Association formed in 1963 with the purpose of bringing a library to the Lacey community. Three years later the North Thurston Library moved out of temporary headquarters in a bookmobile into its new storefront location at 4140 Market […]

Not Your Dorm-Room Ramen – Tradition, Experience Make for an Authentic Experience at Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya

Thurston Talk - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

Somehow, Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya must have known they were coming to the right place. Because in Olympia, we tend to warm our blood with a good bowl of soup—and often, a good nip of booze, too. These are the go-to comforts that get us through the overcast days; the staples that relieve our colds […]

Birds of Prey at the Olympia Library

OlyBlog Home Page - Thu, 08/11/2016 - 6:29pm
Event:  Thu, 08/18/2016 - 7:30pm - 8:45pm

Raindancer Wild Bird Rescue will introduce their education bird, a peregrine falcon, while discussing the natural history of birds and the conservation issues facing birds and their habitats.

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Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor & Convention Bureau Announces Sarah Moore as Marketing Coordinator

Thurston Talk - Thu, 08/11/2016 - 2:42pm

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by The Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor & Convention Bureau (OLTVCB) The Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor & Convention Bureau (OLTVCB) announces Sarah Moore as its new marketing coordinator. Moore manages the OLTVCB’s social media platforms, supports marketing strategies through design and implementation, and assists customers in finding meeting space to develop meaningful experiences and promote travel to Thurston County. A […]

Abrupt climate change: our collective response

OlyBlog Home Page - Thu, 08/11/2016 - 2:09pm
Event:  Sat, 08/13/2016 - 6:30pm - 9:00pm

Traditions Fair Trade, 300 Fifth Ave. SW, Olympia
Dr. Guy McPherson, 
Conservation Biologist, is internationally known for his synthesis of research on abrupt climate change— as fueled by irreversible, self reinforcing feedback loops triggered by human CO2 emissions. He is a leading expert on the risk of near-term human extinction due to abrupt climate change and will be speaking about our collective response to Earth’s newest phase of accelerated warming. Free and open to the public. Donations welcome.

 

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Quinault Fire Crews Keeping Busy on Fires Throughout the West

Thurston Talk - Thu, 08/11/2016 - 2:08pm

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by The Quinault Indian Nation The Quinault Indian Nation (QIN) fire staff has been keeping busy fighting fires near and far this summer in concert with federal, state, tribal and local agencies.                 A crew was dispatched to Arizona on July 15 at the request of the Truxton Canyon Fire Agency on “severity watch,” […]

Goldsmiths, University of London Signs Articulation Agreement for SPSCC Graduates Studying Politics

Thurston Talk - Thu, 08/11/2016 - 1:41pm

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by South Puget Sound Community College South Puget Sound Community College along with Goldsmiths, University of London has implemented a new articulation agreement for studies in Politics.  The agreement allows qualified SPSCC graduates to transfer into Goldsmiths’ Bachelor of Arts in Politics program with advanced standing. The agreement was formalized earlier this month when […]

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