Recent local blog posts

Saint Martin’s Welcomes Kathleen Boyle as Dean of College of Education and Counseling Psychology

Thurston Talk - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 3:17pm


Submitted by Saint Martin’s University Saint Martin’s University is pleased to welcome Kathleen M. “Kate” Boyle, Ph.D., as its new dean of the University’s College of Education and Counseling Psychology. As dean, she oversees the University’s broad range of undergraduate and certification programs, three master’s programs and post-master’s certification programs. Some 283 students are currently […]

Volunteer at JBLM on Public Lands Days

Thurston Talk - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 1:45pm


Submitted by South Sound Prairies Program Come help build bird and bat boxes and pull invasive weeds on Public Land Days at Joint Base Lewis- McChord (JBLM) on October 18 and 19 from 9 am to 3 pm. These actions will help restore prairie habitat and provide habitat structures for wildlife. You will also get […]

Kathy Gore Fuss

South Sound Arts - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 10:23am
Dear Friends of Salon Refu, Below is an invitation from Kathy Gore-Fuss, our artist this month.  Please come and join with her in conversation.  We might have some snacks for you.     The gallery is open for quiet viewing every Thursday through Sunday from 2 to 6. 
We're selling a lot of work,  so if you've always thought about owning something by Kathy, this is no time to dawdle.   All the best, Susan Christian Salon Refu

Hello Arts Walk fans!   On October 22nd, 2016, I will be giving a talk about my work from 4 – 5PM.  Come early to assure yourself seating!   The gallery will be open from 2 – 6PM that day.    Please come and join me for some thought provoking ideas about this place we call home.      Thank you so much for turning out to see the art shows last Friday!   Cheers – Kathy Gore Fuss Susan Christian, Proprietress | Salon Refu, 114 Capital Way N, Olympia, WA 98501
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Miss Moffett’s Mystical Cupcakes – A Dream Come True for Owner Rachel Young

Thurston Talk - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 8:36am


Submitted by Miss Moffett’s Mystical Cupcakes When Rachel Young, owner of Miss Moffett’s Mystical Cupcakes, first started baking cupcakes out of her home in 2013, she day-dreamed about having a cupcake shop where the people of Olympia could come and enjoy cupcakes any day of the week, any time of day. A place where she […]

5 Tips to Prepare Your Network Computers for the “Pacific Northwest Storm Parade”

Thurston Talk - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 7:59am


Submitted by BrightWire Networks Along with the flashlights, batteries, drinking water and gasoline, don’t forget to take care of your business’ computers, servers and network equipment by Friday afternoon ahead of the worst of what The Weather Channel is calling the “Pacific Northwest Storm Parade.”  Two strong storms are expected onshore, with the second wave […]

Celebrate Veterinary Nursing In Action During Veterinary Technician’s Week

Thurston Talk - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 6:00am


For many of us, our pets are considered part of the family. When they need care, we rush them off to the veterinarian at our chosen clinic. And while we all rely upon the trained veterinarian’s expertise and advice, our furry friends are often receiving the care, compassion and nursing skill of the invaluable veterinary technicians in […]

The Artist’s Gallery – Longtime Olympia Co-Op Gallery Showcases a Variety of Art

Thurston Talk - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 6:00am


It’s been close to thirty years since The Artist’s Gallery first opened the doors in Olympia. And today, the co-op gallery is bigger and better than it’s ever been. About four years ago they made the move from downtown into their current location in the Capital Mall Promenade. Now, they want to make sure people […]

Olympia Weekend Event Calendar

Thurston Talk - Fri, 10/14/2016 - 5:30am


*Editor’s Note – many events, businesses and organizations are making changes to their weekend schedule. Please confirm that the event is happening or the business is open before heading out. The first big storm of the winter has blown in and chances are, many of us will be hunkered down at home this weekend. Take that […]

Geraldine Ondrizek: Wednesday, October 19th, 11:30-1:00 pm in the Recital Hall of the COM Building

Evergreen Artists Lecture Series - Thu, 10/13/2016 - 2:39pm

Gerri 1Geraldine Ondrizek is a Professor of Art and artist at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. For the last twenty-five years she has collaborated with genetic and medical researchers to make architectural based installations.

She has had over 30 solo exhibitions internationally and is the recipient of several grants including an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Ford Family Foundation, an Oregon Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship, an exhibition grant from NASA and the Houston Foundation, a UNESCO Artist in Residence grant, an NEA exhibition support grant, and a Mellon Foundation Art and Science Research Grant.

Geraldine’s work is currently on exhibit in the Evergreen Gallery, located in the Library building,  from October 5th to November 7th.  A reception will be held for her on Tuesday October 18, from 4 – 6pm.

Her 2014-15 project Shades of White done in collaboration with Dr. Alexandra Stern focused on skin color charts and eugenics practices in the US. In 2015, she was an artist in residence at Kaiser Wilhelm Archive at The Max Plank Institute in Berlin where she studied the work of Dr. Georg Geipel and the origins of Biometric Data to create a series of artist books and a short film. Her work was recently in Global Exo-Evolution, curated by Peter Weibel, at ZKM, the Center for Media, in Karlsruhe, The Momentum AIR in Berlin and in Translocation at the Musrara Mix Festival in Jerusalem. In 2016, she completed mtDNA an architectural installation charting of mitochondrial DNA world-wide that will travel to several museums in 2017.  Geraldine received her BFA from Carnegie-Mellon University and an MFA from the University of Washington.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Three Strong Storms Approaching – High Wind Watch and Clam Dig Alert

Thurston Talk - Thu, 10/13/2016 - 1:44pm


Submitted by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife At an 11:00 am webinar this morning, the National Weather Service in Seattle has indicated a series of three storm systems is approaching Western Washington, each with significant wind, rain and potential coastal and river flood issues. Storm #1 Beginning late Wednesday night, the first storm system […]

Needed Repairs Overdue At Our National Parks

Janine's Little Hollywood - Thu, 10/13/2016 - 11:41am

Above: Over 20 members from the Olympia, Seattle, Tacoma, and Everett chapters of The Mountaineers volunteered their time for several hours on Mt. Rainier National Park’s Paradise area trails last Saturday. The group used shovels and brooms to reclaim edges of paved trails covered with mud and gravel, took out rebar and rope guidelines along meadow trails, and placed erosion control checks along the newly repaved Skyline Trail.
By Janine
While blizzard-like conditions swirled high on the Muir snowfields at Mt. Rainier National Park, over 20 members of the Olympia, Seattle, Tacoma, and Everett chapters of The Mountaineers worked several hours on trail maintenance at 5,420 feet last Saturday.
Under the direction of National Park Service trail maintenance staff Kevin Watson and Kenny Allen, the group finished the day by placing erosion control rocks and fill at regular intervals, about every four feet, along the steep, newly repaved Skyline Trail.
The rocks, called checks, if angled properly, help water flow in neat rivulets over, not under, the pavement, which would cause unintended erosion and unwanted culverts.
Just as their work was done, the rain started pouring and the checks quickly demonstrated their purpose. The Mountaineers cheered, satisfied that their efforts were effective.
“Burying the checks is one of the most time-consuming projects,” said Allen, who helped supervise the volunteers with good humor. After years of volunteering at projects along the Columbia River Gorge, this was his first season as a National Park Service trail maintenance crew member. 
Allen said more fill will be placed along the trail within a couple of weeks.
Above: Newly installed checks and fall colors on the Skyline Trail above the Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center at Paradise, Mt. Rainier National Park.
If only tackling Mt. Rainier National Park’s list of deferred maintenance projects was so easy.
The National Park System celebrated its centennial in 2016 with lots of well-deserved praise and 307 million visits last year, but with increasingly unreliable funding from the U.S. Congress, all eyes are now on the next 100 years.
It would appear that H.R. 3556, the National Park Service Centennial Act introduced last year, is stalled in the U.S. House of Representatives this 114th Session, and with it, hopes of securing funding to finance, preserve, and maintain access and public safety at the park system's 413 sites.
With 10,000 miles of roads, 18,000 miles of trails, 1,500 bridges, and more than 60 tunnels, the National Park System is $12 billion in the hole in deferred maintenance projects, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Deferred maintenance is the cost of maintenance which was not performed for at least a year from when it should have been or was scheduled to be.
Of the $12 billion, nearly six billion is transportation related, with $2.4 billion considered to be critical, high priority repairs for roads, bridges, trails, wastewater treatment and electric systems, and historical buildings, among other assets.
“Our national parks are a proven economic generator - $16 billion. These deferred maintenance projects are more than just a broken park bench,” said Marcia Argust, director, of Restore America’s Park, a dedicated program of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Argust briefed members of the Society for Environmental Journalists on the topic last month in Sacramento.
Above: Half-Dome at Yosemite National Park. Yosemite has $560 million in deferred maintenance projects, with more than $271 million related to access and transportation. According to the National Park Service, for every dollar invested in the NPS, $10 is returned to cities and towns. Park visitors spent an estimated $16.9 billion in gateway communities in 2015, supporting 295,300 jobs and $32 billion in economic activity nationwide.
Based on the park system's 2015 fiscal year numbers which were released in February 2016, Pew is creating 45 deferred maintenance case studies, including one on Washington State’s Mt. Rainier National Park. 
Using the park's numbers and asset categories, Mt. Rainier National Park has nearly $287 million in deferred maintenance costs - $286,949,885 to be exact.
With current boundaries at over 236 million acres, most of Mt. Rainier National Park's costs are, by far, for paved roads, about $194.9 million, followed by buildings, road bridges, electrical systems, trails, parking lots, landscaping, and water and wastewater systems. The park was established in 1899.
The last push to improve our national park system was during the creation of the National Highway system and the Mission 66 project after WWII. Congress gave money for facilities after huge lines for bathrooms and other inadequate assets resulted in public outcry.
Congress has the responsibility to provide safe national parks, and Pew is working to obtain dedicated annual funding through the Highway Trust Fund, $268 million a year, to address the park’s transportation issues. It is a fund reviewed every five years. It is also looking for policy reforms to prevent the backlog from escalating.
“People have expressed concerns about logos added to Mt. Rushmore, but there are more realistic options for private/public partnerships. We’d like to see corporations donate time and technology,” said Argust.
The site in need of the most finances for repairs is the National Mall, which needs an estimated $900 million. The Memorial Bridge in Arlington needs an estimated $250 million.
The worst case scenario is a total loss of access to a national park, monument, or site due to deferred maintenance and public safety issues.
The Atlanta birth home of Martin Luther King, Jr. was closed in August for floorboard and structural issues. The house was built in 1895 and it is unclear when the repairs will be completed.
Above: California’s Kings Canyon National Park visitor area at Grant Cove. The asphalt sidewalks and paths are in such disrepair that staff offer to assist park visitors and their luggage to cabins using golf carts. The total for Sequoia and Kings Canyon deferred maintenance projects is $162 million. 

My Wandering Mind

South Sound Arts - Thu, 10/13/2016 - 10:52am

The Fab Four
We saw on the news the other day that Rod Stewart was knighted. Congrats, Rod. The reporter reminded us that Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger are also knights, and my immediate reaction was: What about Ringo? Come on, Britain, get it right and honor Ringo.
Coincidentally, on that same day my wife and I won tickets in a raffle to see In My Life, a tribute to the Beatles with the band Abbey Road. Actually, someone else won but they had to turn down their tickets, and we were second in line.
It was a fun show—not the Beatles, but a pretty good proximity. The best musicians in the band, by far, were George, played by Zak Schaffer, and Ringo, played by Axel Clarke. Schaffer’s solo on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” was a knockout, and Ringo—I mean Clarke—played the hell out of the drums. The guys playing Paul and John were good, but not as good. All of them were better musicians and singers than actors. They lacked the energy and impish humor and charisma of the Fab Four—not that there weren’t some great songs. They did a knockout job on the tunes from Sgt. Pepper, and “Blackbird” was great.
Letting my mind wander back to my youth when the Beatles first exploded on the scene, I have to admit I was not impressed. I was a big jazz fan back then, and something of a snob. I thought rock ‘n’ roll had reached its pinnacle in the first years with Bill Haley, Elvis, Roy Orbison, Fats Domino, and Chuck Berry. I thought the Beatles were second rate and silly. As for Ringo, I thought he was ridiculous. I should have known better. I was a drummer. My heroes were Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich; later Joe Morello, the great drummer with the Dave Brubeck Quartet; and later still, Art Blakey. The only rock drummer I admired was Ginger Baker, who I still think is one of the greatest.
My wife, 10 years younger than I, was no Beatles fan in the early days either. It was not until Rubber Soul that she came around. For me it was Sgt. Pepper. Only years later did I come to realize that those early tunes, despite their lovesick teenage lyrics, were damn good and musically much more sophisticated than they seemed to me at the time.

Anyway, I’m happy for Rod Stewart and all his fans, and I hope Britain gets around to knighting Ringo before he kicks the bucket.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Thrifty Thurston Travels on 4 Haunted Hikes within a Short Drive from Olympia

Thurston Talk - Thu, 10/13/2016 - 6:00am


The crisp, cool air has returned with the rain, letting us know that fall has returned in full force. With pumpkin spiced lattes being served on every corner, and pumpkin patches and corn mazes popping up in every field, we find ourselves coming face to face with the Halloween season. Dark days lead to spooky […]

Soroptimist International of Olympia – 75 Years of Women Helping Women

Thurston Talk - Thu, 10/13/2016 - 6:00am


Soroptimist International of Olympia has a 75-year legacy of helping women and girls in our community. From the Latin for “best for women,” this aptly named International Service Club for Women began its local chapter in 1941 with the mission “to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic […]

Discover Comfortable Dental Visits at Thurston Dental

Thurston Talk - Thu, 10/13/2016 - 6:00am


Dr. R. Jagger Sapp was headed for a career in finance.  In his final year at the University of Washington, Sapp realized that he actually did want to follow his father’s footsteps as a dentist.  “My dad positively served the Thurston County community for many decades,” says Sapp.  Dr. Curtis Sapp, his father, was an […]

Cade Cowell Applies His 4-H Skills to Raise Money for Kids in Burundi

Thurston Talk - Thu, 10/13/2016 - 6:00am


As I show up to meet with Black Lake Elementary fifth grader Cade Cowell, I’m greeted at his front door by a bevy of animals. I can’t help by smile as a cat brushes up against me and a friendly smiling dog licks my hand. It’s very obvious this Thurston County 4-H family has a […]

Rake a Drain and Help Prevent Flooding During Storm Season

Thurston Talk - Wed, 10/12/2016 - 3:24pm


Submitted by The City of Olympia As we transition into the rainy season, leaves, sand and other debris can clog storm drains and cause local flooding. City crews will be working to keep storm drains clear, but with over 6,300 storm drains in Olympia, we could use your help! If minor flooding occurs, you can […]

Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County Board of Directors Announces Executive Director Appointment

Thurston Talk - Wed, 10/12/2016 - 1:53pm


Submitted by the Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County The Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Jody M. Suhrbier as its second Executive Director. Jody will assume this position on December 1, 2016 and will work with Founding Director, Evan Ferber, as he transitions […]

Westport Wins Gold at Great Northwest Invitational

Thurston Talk - Wed, 10/12/2016 - 10:27am


Submitted by Westport Winery Westport Winery earned six medals at the fourth annual Great Northwest Invitational wine competition on October 5 and 6 in Hood River, Oregon. Their multi-platinum winning Swimmer Petite Sirah scored a gold medal at this exclusive event, which is fitting since Dana Roberts the director of winemaking, is on the label […]

Lacey Appoints Jennifer Burbidge New Parks and Recreation Director

Thurston Talk - Wed, 10/12/2016 - 10:23am


Submitted by The City of Lacey Today, City Manager Scott Spence announced the appointment of Jennifer Burbidge as the new City of Lacey Parks and Recreation Director. The appointment follows a comprehensive selection process to succeed Lori Flemm, a well-regarded leader in the parks profession who served the City for seven years.  “Jennifer brings experience […]

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