Recent local blog posts

A “growth mindset” needed for political change to occur

Works in Progress - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 9:18pm

Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck and her colleagues were interested in motivation. In particular, they wanted to understand why, faced with difficulties in school, some students are motivated to work at getting better while others aren’t, apparently lacking in motivation. What was that difference about?

Through their research with both young people and college students, Dweck’s team developed the model of a “growth mindset” to characterize learners who persist even when they encounter challenges in their areas of study. Neither a growth mindset, nor its opposite, a fixed mindset, are inherent traits. We develop them through experiences, including feedback from teachers, parents, and others in positions to comment on our performances.

“You’re a smart kid” is the kind of comment that contributes to a fixed mindset—the belief that my success or lack of success is due to the amount of my ability, rather than my effort. My smartness—however much I have—is something in me. It’s not something I can develop. The problem with adopting a fixed mindset is that sooner or later, and too often it’s sooner, I run into a limit in terms of what I can do: comments like “I’m not a math person” or “I’m not the creative type” reflect unexamined assumptions that the speaker just doesn’t have much of that stuff. Effort and intention—which are under the control of the speaker—are not part of the equation.

Dweck argues that we can do better. We can teach ourselves, and others, to adopt a growth mindset, an approach that focuses on our intentions to get better and our persistence in following through rather than whatever amount of ability we are born with.

A fixed mindset about political change

I confess to having had a fixed mindset about U.S. politics. While we have elected (and re-elected) two solidly liberal senators from Washington State, for the most part, decisions made at the federal level ease symptoms rather than address root causes of structural inequality and systemic racism. The same is true with climate change, whose looming specter casts a deepening pall on everything.

I believe that our politicial system is fixed—in at least two meanings of the word: it’s rigged in favor of the wealthy, and it’s immoveable. Given my belief in a fixed political system, I am not motivated to participate.

President Obama’s first campaign challenged my beliefs about our fixed political system. I participated in my caucus for the first time, and yearned to participate at the state level. I believed in what he said: that the war in Iraq was wrong, that our tax system was unfair, and that everyone deserves accessible, affordable health care.

By the end of President Obama’s second term, my beliefs in a fixed political system were cementing back into place. Change wasn’t possible. Small changes maybe, but not the large changes necessary to staunch the tide of inequality sweeping across the country. Being born poor in this country is a life sentence.

“I’d like the job of president”—the Democratic debate

In October, I watched the Democratic debate. Three of the four candidates introduced themselves as if they were candidates interviewing for a job. Martin O’Malley, former mayor of Baltimore and governor of Maryland, told us that as a husband with four kids, he’s learned things about the deep economic injustice that threatens to tear our country apart. Clinton reminded us that she is a grandmother and a mother. Only Bernie Sanders led with the issues, and not his biography. The pronoun “I” didn’t show up until later.

Democratic socialism

Anderson Cooper asked Bernie Sanders about the definition of a democratic socialist. Sanders replied like this:

“What democratic socialism is about is saying that it is immoral and wrong that the top one-tenth of 1 percent in this country own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. That it is wrong, today, in a rigged economy, that 57 percent of all new income is going to the top 1 percent.

“That when you look around the world, you see every other major country providing health care to all people as a right, except the United States. You see every other major country saying to moms that, when you have a baby, we’re not gonna separate you from your newborn baby, because we are going to have—we are gonna have medical and family paid leave, like every other country on Earth.

Those are some of the principles that I believe in, and I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people.”

Later in the debate, asked how his presidency would not simply be an extension of the Obama presidency, Sanders argued that the only way to transform the U.S. and make sure the government works for all of us is through a political revolution. The key to that revolution is getting people, especially young people, to vote. The only way to take on the right-wing Republicans, he said, is by having millions of people coming together. “If we want free tuition, millions of young people have to demand it. Same with minimum wage—workers have to come together and say, ‘vote against us, you are out of your job’. “

The limits of a fixed political mindset

The consequence of a fixed mindset for students is that when they face challenging problems in school, they are likely to quit. Why persist, when your ability is fixed and the external evidence suggests whatever ability you have isn’t enough to succeed? The problem with a fixed political mindset is nearly the same: why vote if the political system is fixed? And yet, the only way for the system to change, Sanders argues, is for people to make it so by voting: “Here’s the truth—no one can address these crises unless millions of people stand up against the billionaire class.”

Standing up against the billionaire class requires a growth mindset about the political system. I have to believe it can get better with effort, including my vote. Otherwise, nothing will stop the number of people living in poverty in this country—now 27 million—from growing. Nothing will slow the growth of the oligarchy that owes its current incarnation to Citizens United. Nothing will keep the remaining fossil fuels in the ground.

Writing for the New Republic, Elizabeth Bruenig points out that the two Democratic frontrunners, Sanders and Hillary Clinton, have radically different views about how to structure our economy. Clinton’s version is based on what Bruenig characterizes as an “opportunity-focused approach”—the Horatio Alger, anyone can make it if they have opportunity approach. Sanders is pushing for a more egalitarian “pro-equality” platform—the equality necessary in order for people to take advantage of opportunities at hand. Neither hungry kids nor adults who are tired from working low-wage jobs can take advantage of “learning opportunities”, no matter how enticing they are.

At the risk of revealing a nascent growth mindset about U.S. politics, I confess that I was persuaded by the Democratic debate that our votes might matter.

“What are your triggers?”

In a recent article for Education Week, Carol Dweck reflected on the dangers of oversimplifying the task of adopting a growth mindset. We are never one or the other, she wrote. We always contain a mix of both.

So, she writes, “watch for a fixed-mindset reaction when you face challenges. Do you feel overly anxious, or does a voice in your head warn you away?” A voice in my head, and history, warn me away from being optimistic that we can affect a political revolution through voting. And yet, even in the context of U.S. politics, where piles of evidence support the adoption of a fixed mindset, now is a good time to notice whether we can allow the possibility of change. The value of a growth mindset is that it creates a space for trying to do better. I appreciate Bernie Sanders’ work that invites us to occupy the space of possibility for our own version of democratic socialism, for as long as we possibly can.

Emily Lardner lives and works in Olympia, Washington.


The post A “growth mindset” needed for political change to occur appeared first on Works in Progress.

La “mentalidad de crecer” como necesidad para el cambio politico

Works in Progress - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 9:14pm

La psicóloga de Stanford Carol Dweck y sus colegas estaban interesados ​​en estudiar la motivación. En particular, querían entender por qué, frente a dificultades en la escuela, algunos estudiantes están motivados para trabajar y mejorar, mientras que otros no lo están y al parecer carecen de motivación. ¿Cuál es la causa de esta diferencia?

A través de su investigación con jóvenes y estudiantes universitarios, el equipo de Dweck desarrolló el modelo de la “mentalidad de crecer” para caracterizar a los alumnos que persisten incluso cuando se encuentran con problemas en sus áreas de estudio. Ni la ‘mentalidad de crecer’, ni su contrario, una ‘mentalidad estática’, son rasgos inherentes. Los desarrollamos a través de experiencias, incluyendo comentarios de maestros, padres y otros en posiciones de comentar sobre nuestras actuaciones.

“Eres un chico listo” es el tipo de comentario que contribuye a la mentalidad estática -la creencia de que mi éxito o falta del mismo se debe a la cantidad de mis habilidades en lugar de mi esfuerzo. Mi inteligencia -por mucho que tenga- es algo en mí. No es algo que yo pueda incrementar. El problema con la adopción de una mentalidad fija o estática es que tarde o temprano, y a menudo es pronto, me encuentro con un límite en cuanto a lo que puedo hacer: comentarios como “Yo no soy una persona de matemáticas” o “Yo no soy de tipo creativo” reflejan supuestos no examinados que sugieren que el hablante simplemente no tiene mucho de esas cualidades. El esfuerzo y la intención – sobre los cuales el hablante tiene control – no son parte de la ecuación.

Dweck argumenta que podemos desempeñarnos mejor. Podemos enseñar a nosotros mismos, y otros, a adoptar una mentalidad de poder crecer, un enfoque que se centre en nuestras intenciones de mejorar y nuestra persistencia en seguir adelante en lugar de la cantidad de nuestras capacidades innatas.

Una mentalidad fija respecto al cambio político

Confieso haber tenido una mentalidad fija sobre la política estadounidense. Si bien hemos elegido (y re-elegido) dos senadores sólidamente liberales por el estado de Washington, en su mayor parte, las decisiones tomadas a nivel federal tienden solo a mejorar los síntomas en lugar de abordar las causas profundas de la desigualdad estructural y el racismo sistémico. Lo mismo ocurre con el cambio climático, cuyo espectro lúgubre se cierne empañando todo.

Yo creo que nuestro sistema político esta ‘arreglado’ (fixed) al menos en dos sentidos de la palabra: está amañado a favor de los ricos, y es inamovible. Dada mi creencia en un sistema político fijo, yo no estoy motivada a participar.

La primera campaña del presidente Obama desafió mis creencias acerca de nuestro sistema político fijo. Yo participé en mi caucus por primera vez, y anhelaba participar a nivel estatal. Yo creía en lo que Obama decía: que la guerra en Irak era equivocada, que nuestro sistema fiscal era injusto, y que todo el mundo merece atención médica asequible y accesible.

Al final del segundo mandato del presidente Obama, mis creencias en un sistema político fijo se fueron cimentando en su lugar. El cambio no era posible. Pequeños cambios tal vez, pero no los grandes cambios necesarios para detener la marea de la desigualdad que cubre todo el país. El haber nacido pobre en este país es una sentencia a cadena perpetua.

“Me gustaría el trabajo de Presidente” – el debate Demócrata

En octubre, vi el debate demócrata. Tres de los cuatro candidatos se presentaron como si fueran candidatos entrevistados para un trabajo. Martin O’Malley, ex alcalde de Baltimore y el gobernador de Maryland, nos dijo que como esposo con cuatro hijos, que ha aprendido cosas acerca de la injusticia económica profunda que amenaza con destruir a nuestro país. Clinton recordó que ella es una abuela y una madre. Sólo Bernie Sanders nos condujo a los problemas, y no a su biografía. El pronombre “yo” no apareció hasta más tarde.

El socialismo democrático

Anderson Cooper preguntó Bernie Sanders acerca de la definición de un socialista democrático. Sanders respondió así:

“Lo que el socialismo democrático dice es que es inmoral e incorrecto que una décima parte del 1 por ciento en este país posea casi tanta riqueza como el 90 por ciento de sus habitantes. Eso es un error, que en una economía amañada como la actual, que el 57 por ciento de todos los nuevos ingresos vayan a ser propiedad del 1 por ciento.”

“Que cuando usted mira alrededor del mundo, se ve como cada otro país importante proporciona asistencia medica a todas las personas como un derecho, excepto los Estados Unidos. Usted ve como otros países dicen a sus las mamás que, cuando tengan un bebé, no vamos a separarte de tu bebé recién nacido, porque vamos a tener, y tendremos licencia médica y familiar pagada, al igual que todos los demás países en la tierra.”

“Esos son algunos de los principios que yo creo, y creo que debemos mirar a países como Dinamarca, como Suecia y Noruega, y aprender de lo que han logrado para sus trabajadores “.

Más tarde, en el debate, se le preguntó cómo su presidencia no sería simplemente una extensión de la presidencia de Obama, Sanders argumentó que la única manera de transformar los EE.UU. y asegurarse de que el gobierno trabaje para todos nosotros es a través de una revolución política. La clave para esa revolución es hacer que la gente, especialmente los jóvenes, voten. La única manera de derrotar a los republicanos de derecha, dijo, es tener a millones de personas unidas. “ Si queremos educación libre, millones de jóvenes tienen que unirse y exigirla. Lo mismo con el salario mínimo vital. Los obreros asalariados tienen que unirse y decir, ‘Los que voten en contra nuestra, se quedan sin trabajo’. “

Los límites de una mentalidad política fija

La consecuencia de una mentalidad fija para los estudiantes es que cuando se enfrentan a problemas difíciles en la escuela, es probable que la abandonen. ¿Por qué persistir si su capacidad es fija y la evidencia externa sugiere que la capacidad que tienen no es suficiente para tener éxito? El problema con una mentalidad política fija es casi lo mismo: ¿por qué votar si el sistema político es fijo? Y, sin embargo, la única manera para que el sistema cambie, Sanders sostiene, es que la gente vote por cambiarlo: “Esta es la verdad – no se puede hacer frente a esta crisis a menos que millones de personas se levantan contra la clase de los multimillonarios”.

Enfrentarse a la clase de los multimillonarios requiere una “mentalidad de crecer” con respecto al sistema político. Tengo que creer que puede mejorar con esfuerzo, incluyendo mi voto.

De lo contrario, nada detendrá el número de personas que viven en la pobreza en este país, actualmente de 27 millones y en aumento. Nada va a frenar el crecimiento de la oligarquía que debe su actual encarnación a Ciudadanos Unidos (Citizens United). Nada va a hacer posible que los combustibles fósiles se mantengan en el suelo.

Escribiendo para la “Nueva República”, Elizabeth Bruenig señala que los dos principales candidatos demócratas, Sanders y Hillary Clinton, tienen puntos de vista radicalmente diferentes sobre la forma de estructurar nuestra economía. La versión de Clinton se basa en lo que Bruenig caracteriza como un “enfoque de oportunidades”, tipo Horatio Alger, ‘cualquiera puede triunfar si tiene la oportunidad’. Sanders está presionando por un enfoque más igualitario, “a favor de la igualdad”, una plataforma que concibe a la igualdad social como condición necesaria para que la gente tome ventaja de las oportunidades que puedan existir. Ni los niños hambrientos, ni adultos cansados, ​​atrapados en el circulo vicioso de la pobreza y empleos de bajos salarios, pueden aprovechar “oportunidades de aprendizaje”, no importa lo tentadoras que estas sean.

A riesgo de revelar una ‘mentalidad de crecer’ si bien incipiente, pero que existe en la política estadounidense, confieso que fui persuadida por el debate Demócrata de que nuestros votos pueden importar.

“¿Cuáles son los factores desencadenantes?”

En un artículo reciente de la “Semana de Educación”, Carol Dweck reflexionó sobre los peligros de simplificar la tarea de adoptar una mentalidad de crecimiento. Nunca somos solo el uno o el otro, ella escribió. Siempre contenemos una mezcla de ambos.

Y nos llama a estar atentos para detectar si tenemos reacciones de mentalidad fija “cuando te enfrentas a retos. ¿Te sientes demasiado ansioso, o hay una voz interior que te advierte de las dificultades? “ Una voz interior, y la historia, me alertan y alejan de ser optimista y creer que podemos afectar a una revolución política a través del voto. Sin embargo, incluso en el contexto de la política de Estados Unidos, donde montones de evidencias apoyan la adopción de una mentalidad fija, ahora es un buen momento para darse cuenta si podemos permitir la posibilidad de cambio. El valor de una ‘mentalidad de crecer’ es que crea un espacio para tratar de hacer mejor las cosas. Aprecio el trabajo Bernie Sanders que nos invita a ocupar el espacio de posibilidad para nuestra propia versión del socialismo democrático, por el tiempo que nos sea necesario.

Emily Lardner vive y trabaja en Olympia, Washington.


The post La “mentalidad de crecer” como necesidad para el cambio politico appeared first on Works in Progress.

An argument for Sant to recuse himself

Works in Progress - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 9:05pm

Pasco, Washington Ret. Colonel Felix Vargas of Latino Consejo in a letter written on March 3 asked the Honorable Prosecutor Shawn Sant of Franklin County to respectfully recuse himself from the case involving the shooting of Antonio Zambrano Montes.

Latino Consejo said Sant’s experiences as a police officer and a prosecutor would cause him to come to the aid and defense of the police; when the police officer’s actions came into question, Sant would be incapable of coming to an unbiased conclusion. Sant should recuse himself from the case.

Latino Consejo also complained that Shawn Sant’s direct involvement in the Special Investigation Unit conducted by the city of Kennewick from Benton county also did not allow for an independent investigation. He claimed Sant’s presence in the Pasco division police news conference concerning the Special Investigative Unit (SIU)–three times as the primary speaker–showed he had an ongoing relationship that was biased at the very least in favor of the police department. This is a police department with which he has certain professional loyalties and friendships–with the officers involved in the shooting. He should have had a independent prosecutor appointed to the case by the Washington State Attorney General because he was incapable of being neutral.

Prosecutor Shawn Sant responded to Latino Consejo in a March 12 letter saying that as a elected official the community had placed their faith in him to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of prosecutor and that he would make decisions based upon the law that he experienced as a police officer and a prosecutor would be able to do his job. He stated that he was not going to quit when the decision or the job got tough.

Should Shawn Sant have recused himself from the case?

Shawn Sant has not divulged whether or not he was an actual member of The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge # 7 of Kennewick. Sant was a Prosser, Washington police officer–a police department with officers who hold allegiance to the FOP. He also served as a reserve police officer in Richland.

Pasco Division has officers with membership in lodge #7 FOP as do the county police of Benton and Franklin Counties. FOP leaked Sant’s findings to the media even before Sant’s press conference of Sant’s decision based on the justifiable homicide law. Have officers Alaniz, Flanagan or Wright had memberships in lodge # 7 of the Fraternal Order of Police and how many of the police that investigated the shooting are also members of the Fraternal Order of Police. The Fraternal Order of Police is not a government agency.

Though Sant may have followed the Washington state justifiable homicide guidelines, his job is to be impartial. His job is to bias a jury or judge to find people guilty or not guilty. The officer’s involved in the shooting have worked for Sant’s office before as Felony charges are not brought to trial by Pasco municipal and instead sent to the Franklin county prosecutors–Sant’s office–for prosecution.

Should the three officers be prosecuted by another office or the Department of Justice?

The laws upheld were written to defend the actions of the those who enforce the law against those that are victims of the law. It is clear that the police shot and killed Antonio, the police investigated Antonio’s homicide and a former police officer justified the shooting death of Antonio by the police.

Following the Fraternal Order of Police news Conference when Sant said no charges would be brought against the officers, the protesters said in Spanish that the whole situation was simply “not fair”. Justifying a homicide is getting away with murder.

Governor Inslee ordered the Washington State Attorney General to finally investigate Shawn Sant’s determination. Earlier in the year on March 28, Governor Inslee had said no to requests to have Shawn Sant replaced by a special prosecutor.

John Chacon served in the Army as a 3 time volunteer. Completing two tours of duty in Iraq. Earning the Army’s Combat Action Badge for taking fire while performing his duty. He did not run over children for protesting the American presence in their country even thought the rules of engagement said he could he chose instead to risk his life and spare theirs.


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There is nothing more unifying than systemic oppression

Works in Progress - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 9:01pm

My paper on judicial democracy and the rule of law is a thought manifested from the unfair maintaining of the law in some places of USA in response to police brutality and a system that allows brutality to happen.

A Judicial system that commits a grievous injury against a person, people or private property in it’s jurisdiction should forfeit its jurisdiction over the matter. A governance with in it’s leisure of government encompassing a civil or legal matter; where a member of government in employment, official and unofficial or in its judicial function; a employee or employees, officer or officers are under investigation for conduct that is unethical or could be considered a crime, causing real injury or criminal offence to a person, people, property or against the governance they are employed. That government should forfeit jurisdiction to a parallel or higher authority allowing for neutral arbitration or supreme judgment. No one is above the law even those that enforce and maintain it. For they will be held accountable by the people.

A government should relinquish jurisdiction; for in the course of action it holds blame and injury against the people or person as the officer or employee is an entity of the government, acting on it’s behalf in righteous benevolence or grieving malevolence. A government whose authority gives employees license to conduct official business on behalf of the state; employed by vote, oath, pledged, deputization or delegated responsibility to commence law or judge one’s conduct by the legislated code, to forcibly kill on behalf of the governance to maintain social order without fear of repercussion or consequence.

As a function of democracy it is incapable of holding a fair accountability of itself when the social standard of conduct for the entire entity is on trial and not just the individual. A prosecutor would not be allowed to prosecute one’s self. A judge not allowed to judge one’s self. Then a system as an entity would also be flawed if a judge or prosecutor was allowed to bring forth a person in employment of the government as part of the same entity.

This unfairness and partiality exist as rarely does a person cut off their own appendage regardless of flaw or blemish and only when the loss of life threatens the whole of the body, is it wise to remove it. Creating an unkind and bias form of justice for all those involved.

Only by the people can a limited authority be gained; as no power in a person’s hand can be absolute and final in the judicial function of a free and fair administering of the law, to a free and democratic people. A people who by the democratic process possess the power of government in each single vote. That authority of governance being equal regardless of societal degree rank or position each person’s vote equal to the next. The vote holding greater authority then the law legislated to them by a recognized fairly and democratically elected government. A government who in secret or by a blinding of witness and by legislation of judiciary means, revoke voting rights excluding the people from the process of government. In that leadership depriving the mass of democracy by removing them from the process to legislate law.

A governance whose identity reflects all people in the democratic voting process allowed to bring violators of a law to the justice of the peace, judge or jury that may examine them with in the limits and scope of the society’s understanding of morality.

A elected government or those in position of power are not comprising of perfect character as to be a human is to be dignified and reasonable in imperfection not ashamed of humility and in great an noble character capable of relinquishing power of jurisdiction and authority to exemplify the humanity that they with great care are entrusted to over watch. For if a person or people assembled to govern a free people, fails to allow itself to be examined it is no longer administering law to a free Democratic people.

That judicial body in it’s own vanity full of hubris has cast out democracy and has placed it’s own virtues of governance before the people creating a tyranny. Without the virtues of democracy it is no longer part and parcel comprised of the values and morals of the people.

If in its governance, it is incapable of relinquishing power to examine the aspects of its function to others equally accredited or appointed by the people of the state or union than that justice system is unregulated. It would be wise to dismantle such a system that infringes upon a people’s dignity by denying them the rights guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States of America. It was compelled by a revolution to expel a tyrant and dictator from the Americas.

If a police officer or employee of the state is considered an extension of the state and that state has begun to dismantle democracy to impose a tyrannical government on a people, then through law it would compel itself into greater authority as if it’s authority was a never ceasing principle of universe.

A governance failing to recognize the whole are part of the Constitution of the United States of America, neglects the people’s rights under the United States Bill of Rights causing injury to Liberty. That tyranny would justify its dismantling of democracy or exclusion of people from that democracy by the passage of laws that were never voted on or recognized as legitimate by a democratic people.

If a police officer or employee of state deprives a person of life, liberty or property and is allowed clemency without the people or person who the state deprived of its constitutional rights a fair precedent in the judicial process. Instead the governance decides not to allow for justice to be concluded by an independent Judicial authority. That by biased gathering of evidence, biased examination of facts; a prosecutor’s determination was formed on bias evidence and fact; leading the prosecutor to an interpretation by the power of authority, not by the law. Leaving the people without the insurances a fair Judicial Democracy exists for all people in the boundary’s of the jurisdiction but with a biased judgement on a prosecutor’s authority. Then that judicial system should be dismantled, reorganized and created a new eliminating the tyranny.

For the allowance of it to continue by a rational government elected by the people would show the inability of a freely elected government to control those placed in authority to over watch a democratic people. A people who gave authority to the government. Greatly offending those that endless petition the government peacefully, insult grievously those that serve in the military and forgetting those who died fighting in conflict to defend a constitutional democracy. That government in tyranny offending Liberty causing injury to all.

When a governance has a officer or employee commit a crime against a person in that jurisdiction the whole governance is now standing trial and should remove itself from the judicial processes to help establish a people’s understanding of justice keeping with the lusion of a Democratic judicial system. A government fails to uphold democracy when it allows itself to justify it’s own negligence. Tyranny that by arbitrary law arrest Liberty disabling the construct of The Constitution of the United States and in malicious action instills fear in a population, that tyranny should be dismantled by the people.

The post There is nothing more unifying than systemic oppression appeared first on Works in Progress.

Saint Martin’s University Kicks off the Jingle Bell Run

Thurston Talk - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 2:15pm



Submitted by Saint Martin’s University 

Jingle Bell Run 1Register today for the 4th Annual Jingle Bell Run at Saint Martin’s University! This festive and very popular fundraiser for Saints Athletics will be held Saturday, December 5 on the University’s Lacey campus, 5000 Abbey Way SE.

We are expecting 1,000 participants to run, walk or stroll this five-kilometer race that’s set against Saint Martin’s beautiful wooded campus, which will include trails and a great view of a decorated Christmas tree in front of Old Main.

“The Jingle Bell Run offers fun for the whole family and it’s a great time of year to focus on health and fitness,” says Dana Pethia, director of fundraising events and corporate sponsors. “We are deeply thankful for the amazing community support for this event. And Santa and Mrs. Claus will be here — we hope you will be, too, to have your picture taken with them!”

People of all ages may participate. Awards will be presented to those who place in the 9 a.m. competitive 5K Run and for the team that is the most festively adorned.

Pre-registered runners can pick up their swag bags December 4, from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., in the Norman Worthington Conference Center. Check-in and ‘day-of’ registration and swag bag pick-up begins at 8 a.m. in the Norman Worthington Conference Center on December 5.

The 5K competitive race begins at 9 a.m. outside the Hal and Inge Marcus Pavilion. Because this is a competitive race, participants must be able to complete it in 30 minutes or less. The 5K Fun Run/Walk will begin at 9:45 a.m.  All registered runners will be timed. Finish-line celebrations, featuring pictures with Santa, Christmas cookies, hot cider and cocoa, fruit and bagels, will immediately follow the races.

Saint Martin's UniversityAll proceeds will benefit Saint Martin’s Athletics. The Thurston County Food Bank will be joining us on December 5 for a holiday season food drive. Please bring non-perishable food items that day. A representative from the food bank will be operating a table and accepting more donations at the event.

Those who provide a food donation on December 4 or 5 at race pre-registration will be entered into a drawing.

Registration fees are as follows: Adult pre-registration (until December 5), $40; military, $30; middle school, high school and college students (with valid I.D.), $10; day-of registration; kids 11 and under, FREE (does not include the t-shirt, or swag bag). Additional t-shirts are available for purchase at pre-registration and at race, December 4 and 5, $10/each.  While supplies last!

Parking is free.

Thank you to our event sponsors: Olympia Federal SavingsOlympia Orthopaedic Associates PLLCColumbia River Advisors,Capital Medical Center, Flatworld LLC, L & E BottlingPuget Sound OrthopaedicsMissing Piece Marketing, and Capitol City Press.


North Thurston High School Says Hello to “Bye Bye Birdie”

Thurston Talk - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 2:14pm



By Rachel Booth, North Thurston High School Intern to ThurstonTalk

Victor Worrell plays the lead, Conrad Birdie, in North Thurston High School's winter musical, Bye Bye Birdie.

Victor Worrell plays the lead, Conrad Birdie, in North Thurston High School’s winter musical, “Bye Bye Birdie.”

“I look sexy!” Victor Worrell jokes of his flamboyant costume. Tonight he dons a golden jacket paired with a purple and pink tie, ready for the first appearance of his titular character, Conrad Birdie. It is opening night for the annual North Thurston High School fall musical and the green room is buzzing.

“Ten minutes ‘til showtime,” shouts Corynn Carignan, the NTHS senior stage manager. She is stressed to the max yet excited to present the production she has been absorbed in for months.

“Bye Bye Birdie,” a story by Michael Stewart, follows the love and woes of several overlapping relationships. Set in the 1950s and brimming with musicality, “Birdie” is a charming classic. The main conflict is centered on the Elvis-style mess of a pop star, Conrad Birdie (Worrell), who has been drafted into the Army (to the distress of his adoring fan club). His manager, Albert Peterson (Logan Anderton), is persuaded by the lovely Rose Alvarez (Naomi Andrews) to hold a contest to receive the final kiss from Conrad before his departure.

Albert and Rose struggle as he refuses to stand up to his overprotective and melodramatic mother, Mae (Amber Granger) in order to pursue his true interest in English. Meanwhile, Kim MacAfee (Bailey Boeholt) is chosen to kiss Conrad, inciting jealousy in her new beau, Hugo (Dylan Eckstein). Tired of dealing with men and their pride, Rose and Kim team up to get back at them. A disaster ensues!

Kathrine Deneen, NTHS English teacher and head of the drama department, calls the whole cast into the green room behind the stage. Everyone is lying on the floor and Deneen turns the lights off. This is the warm up procedure, unique to her. Every actor tenses and releases their muscles at her command, practices facial expressions, and acts each other’s lines out. They shake their arms and legs, singing and shouting and nervous.

NTHS Drama Department head and show Director Kathrine Deneen gives the cast a pep talk before the show.

NTHS Drama department head and Director Kathrine Deneen gives the cast a pep talk before the show.

Many cast member are upperclassmen who have been acting their entire high school career. Others are new to the scene. Grabbing the last of the Red Vines from the prop table, the stage crew, headed by Eric Suarez, run out to the wings to prep the stage. After a quick, encouraging pep talk, Deneen heads out to the audience and everyone takes their place. Steven Jordan, at the back of the James Koval Center for the Performing Arts at the sound board, and Lucie Doran runs lighting from the technical booth above. People are flooding into the theater and student ushers direct audience members to their seats.

Back in the dressing room, actors run to and fro, checking costumes and fixing their hair. The makeup counter is lit up and the mirror dances with reflections of poodle skirts, hair bows, and classy suits. Juli Mulholland, who has sewn the majority of these costumes, makes final fixes and pins things in place before actors take the stage. Even from the back room, the crew can hear the opening music start.

The live orchestra is a special trademark of the fall musical. Eighteen musicians fill the small pit below the stage. Band and orchestra volunteers have been rehearsing for weeks. Orchestra teacher Grant Sears directs the group in accompanying each song in the musical and backing up the actors’ vocals. Horns, strings, percussion, and a piano are all tightly squeezed in and play in perfect harmony.

(from left) Caitlin Van Zee (music director), and Amy Solomon-Minarchi (choreography) and Kathrine Deneen (director) get set for opening night.

(from left) Caitlin Van Zee (music director), and Amy Solomon-Minarchi (choreography) and Kathrine Deneen (director) get set for opening night.

“This is chaos – the most fun I’ve had on a Friday night,” says makeup artist Kimmie Palecki. She sits on a stool in the dressing room, helping actors change outfits and makeup for different characters and scenes. Many costume changes take place quickly, and the rooms behind the stage are extremely hot. The air is scented with sweat and hairspray, but everyone is grinning and thrilled to be performing.

From the wings, the onstage action is easily seen. Lights shine on the immense wooden house, dining table, and other set pieces, quickly moved on and off by the stage crew between scenes. Actors wait in the wings to make their entrances and whisper quietly about the progress, intermittently shushed by stage manager Corynn. Communicating via headset with lights, sound, and curtains, Corynn pulls faces and dances offstage, encouraging actors to maintain smiles and energy. Giggling at their stage manager, the chorus members swing to the music and run offstage.

The complex 50s-era dancing is choreographed and taught by literature teacher Amy Solomon-Minarchi. Caitlin Van Zee (choir instructor) and Solomon-Minarchi have been at after-school rehearsals for weeks training students. Solomon-Minarchi has also donated considerable time behind the scenes with painters and set designers. “The Shop,” as it is lovingly known, is a large room behind the stage filled with wood, cardboard, paints, tools, and more. So much work, time, and money have been put into the production, and this is the moment of truth.

A live orchestra, directed by Grant Sears, accompanies the singers during North Thurston High School's Bye Bye Birdie.

A live orchestra, directed by Grant Sears, accompanies the singers during North Thurston High School’s “Bye Bye Birdie.”

“It was absolutely fabulous,” says Juli Chavez, a NTHS parent who attended the show. “The singing was so impressive and Harry MacAfee (Jeff Hines-Morhmon) was hysterical!” Parents and actors crowd the lobby. Many hold flowers from family and friends and praise is high for the opening performance. With the exception of a broken microphone headpiece that was quickly rewired by the center’s technical director, Jeff Storvick, things ran exceptionally well.

“Everything just felt….right,” says freshman actor Thor Worrell. After meeting with the audience, the cast and crew return backstage to change and then storm the nearby Dairy Queen to celebrate opening night. The evening was a box office success, bringing in hundreds of dollars for the drama club to fund its winter production, the Shakespeare masterpiece “Macbeth.”

Remaining Performances: November 19, 20 and 21 at 7:00 p.m.

James Koval Center for the Performing Arts

600 Sleater-Kinney Rd NE in Lacey

General Admission: $8

Military, Senior, or ASB: $5



4 Things you Need to Know about The Lanai Cafe

Thurston Talk - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 12:38pm



Submitted by The Lanai Cafe

A party platter from The Lanai Cafe.

A party platter from The Lanai Cafe.

The South Sound’s newest Hawaiian Restaurant, the Lanai Cafe, located in downtown Olympia near 5th and Capitol, has been open for a little over two months and already, has served thousands from all over the South Sound including Olympia, Lacey, and Tumwater.

The reviews are in. The fresh, handmade menu items, dinner concerts, and pau hana are just a few reasons why over 75 official reviews have been left on Facebook, Yelp, and Google.  The following is a list of four things you should know before you venture into the Lanai Cafe.

1.    Pau Hana

Pau means “finished” and “Hana” means “end of week”. Together they are “Pau Hana”, as it’s known on the islands.  Join us each Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. for discounted “pupu’s” (appetizers) including fresh poke (ahi tuna).  While you’re at it, enjoy a cold beer from Kona Brewing Company.  Still hungry?  Then stay and enjoy the Sounds of the Aloha (Live Music) while you enjoy a Hawaiian meal.

2.    Sounds of the Aloha

Guests enjoy authentic Hawaiian musica at the Guava Jam Dinner Concert.

Guests enjoy authentic Hawaiian musica at the Guava Jam Dinner Concert.

Each Friday and Saturday from 6:30 p.m.  to 9:30 p.m. The Lanai Cafe offers live Hawaiian music. No other place in Western Washington offers live hawaiian music every Friday and Saturday night.  On top of that, the quality is top notch.  Award winning bands and performers include Kohala and Stephen Inglis.  There is no cover and reservations are highly recommended.  Call (360) 584-9885 to book your table. Follow us on Facebook for the latest announcements about upcoming shows.

3.    The VIP Club

If you love Hawaiian food then you will love our VIP Club.  Join our VIP Club and receive member-only specials and stay up to date on special events.  Sign up today and get free Hawaiian Shave Ice.  After ten visits you get a free “Kau Kau Dinner”.  Click here to sign up.  Just leave us your name and an email address or if you prefer to be contacted by phone leave us your mobile phone number instead.  We promise to keep your information private.

4.    Dine In, Carryout, Catering & Party Platters

Dine-in, carryout, delivery, catering or party platters – wherever you want to enjoy the ono grindz (good food) of the Lanai Cafe we can make it happen.  The Lanai Cafe serves breakfast, lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday at the restaurant.  If you have an upcoming party, celebration, meeting, event or other reason for small or large orders – consider the Lanai Cafe.  Recently, we had the privilege of catering the new member orientation for Thurston County Chamber of Commerce.  On a November 9 Facebook post the Chamber shared this:

On Friday, November 6, we held a New Member Orientation at the Thurston County Chamber. Thank you to The Lanai Cafe for providing the amazing food. We were not only fed, we were entertained! More lumpia, please.

Chef Nate, cooking up the taste of Hawaii at The Lanai Cafe.

Chef Nate, cooking up the taste of Hawaii at The Lanai Cafe.

A customer who recently visited us left a review on Yelp.  Jacklyn K., from Honolulu Hawaii gave a review on Yelp on 11/11/15 saying, “We had the lumpia to start – crisp, hot, and delicious. I had the kalua quesadilla which was made even better by the fresh guacamole they made for me after they ran out. My husband had the huli huli chicken and kalbi short rib.”

Whether you dine in, carryout, or have an event catered, let The Lanai Cafe bring local island favorites to your table.  Check out our menu, sign up for our VIP club, call us at (360) 584-9885 and make a reservation and enjoy local island favorites from the Lanai Cafe.

“Like” us on Facebook for the most up to date information and check out our website for hours of operation and other contact information.


Discover the Sasquatch Summit at Quinault Beach Resort

Thurston Talk - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 7:14am



sasquatch summit

The biggest names in Sasquatch research will be at the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino this weekend.

Across the globe, locals have many names for the large, mysterious, human-like creatures which haunt the forest. In the 1920’s North American journalists first used the term ‘Sasquatch,’ with the more familiar ‘Bigfoot’ began soon after. In Australia they call him ‘Yowie,’ ‘Kakundakari’ in Africa, and ‘Ucumari’ in South America. But whatever the local name, witnesses through the ages live to explore, discover, track, and learn more about our mysterious, hairy cousin.

Washington State tops the country in sightings, with almost every county reporting Sasquatch activity. Because of this, Grays Harbor resident Johnny Manson started the Sasquatch Summit, held annually at the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino in Ocean Shores.

Occurring this year on November 20-22, Manson offers up a weekend of lectures provided by some of the biggest names in Bigfoot research. Attendance more than doubled between years one and two and Manson hopes this year continues the trend.

The first night of the Summit is a meet-and-greet with the event’s speakers and open Witness Forum which “gives people an opportunity to tell what they saw. It’s very therapeutic for a witness because many feel that they cannot tell their families or friends for fear of ridicule. Since most witnesses don’t believe in Bigfoot, if you happen to actually see one, it’s a very daunting thing. They are supposed to be a myth yet they see one with their own eyes and to be able to talk to others who had a similar experience often helps them cope,” explains Manson.

sasquatch summit

Dr. John Bindernagel will be one of the lecturers at this weekend’s Sasquatch Summit.

Saturday is a mixture of lectures, Bigfoot music, giveaways, raffles, food, and Summit-themed vendors. On Sunday, interested parties can participate in a footprint casting class offered by the local Olympic Project, “an association of dedicated researchers, investigators, biologists and trackers committed to documenting the existence of Sasquatch through science and education.”

This year’s lecturers include Scott Nelson, a Naval Crypto-Linguist, Dr. John Bindernagel, wildlife biologist from British Columbia, Cliff Barackman of Animal Planet’s TV show ‘Finding Bigfoot,’ and local authors from across the Pacific Northwest.

Speaker and middle school science teacher Thom Powell finds events like these a great place to “share notes on recent findings.”

David Ellis, also one of this year’s presenters, enjoys the Summit’s variety and approachability. “The summit is great for both novice and researcher. It is a great collection of diverse opinion, giving people a chance to hear and have discourse with those researching the subject. Both scientific and paranormal aspects of research will be discussed,” shares Ellis. “The public benefits by hearing a cross section of enthusiasts that share their findings and the researcher benefits by hearing new encounters from witnesses that attend the summit.”

sasquatch summit

Johnny Manson, organizer of the Sasquatch Summit, experienced a Bigfoot sighting when he was two.

Labeled as the premier Bigfoot research conference, Manson’s own experience with Sasquatch began when he was a small child. A family sighting when he was two led to a lifelong pattern of research and study. His goal for the event is simple: “I hope that the Summit grows to its highest potential and to open the eyes of society that there is indeed an unknown species living deep in the woods that is avoiding us at all cost.”

Watch a video promotion for this year’s conference.  Last year’s expert Question and Answer panel can be also be viewed in advance.  The Witness Forum may be watched too.

The Summit costs $30 for all sessions and activities. Registration is available online here or at Quinault Beach the day of the event. Visitors wanting to stay on-site can find discounted hotel packages through this link or by calling 888-461-2214 and mentioning discount code SASQ.

Quinault Beach Resort and Casino is located at 78 State Route 115 in Ocean Shores, an easy 90 minute drive from Olympia.

Holiday Happiness – Plan, Eat, Love (and Waste Less Food)

Thurston Talk - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 6:54am



By Mary Ellen Psaltis

thurston solid wasteIf I gave you a quarter for every dollar you spent on food, would you be interested? My ears certainly perk up at that thought. This translates to approximately $130 to $230 per month per household, according to Gabby Byrne, who heads the Waste Less Food Program for Thurston County Solid Waste. According to Byrne, we throw away 25% of the food we buy. That’s a significant amount of food, especially when many people experience hunger or food scarcity. With the holidays upon us, you might be hoping for a few ideas to reduce waste and fully use what you’ve bought.

First, Byrne recommends that you create a menu plan. “Be sure you plan for leftovers,” she reminds us. The time you invest counting the number of guests and needed servings will benefit you with measurable results. Usually the holidays mean we prepare extra dishes, which means everyone could be perfectly satisfied with a slightly smaller portion of each item on the menu.

olympia food co-op

Fresh produce, often from local vendors, awaits your shopping cart at the Olympia Food Co-op.

Byrne recommends having plenty of clear, easy to label, containers on hand to pack up leftovers.  Fill some to send home with guests and put the remaining leftovers in the refrigerator. Extend the storage options by using freezer-friendly packaging.

Of course, someone gets to do all of the food shopping first.  I recommend checking off grocery items in the bulk food section of your favorite store.  Prices are competitive and you only buy what you need.  Bring your own containers to the Olympia Food Co-op, for example, and fill up on dried fruit, nuts, and dried beans for your favorite holiday recipes.

Both of Stormans’ grocery stores, Ralph’s and Bayview Thriftway, have aisles of food, but this time of year they squeeze in many specialty items: cheeses, fudge, wine, local mints and stylish housewares. Both stores carry many locally sourced products.

Another creative way to waste less food is to have tortillas handy.  I find that most of us are willing to roll just about anything into a burrito – the last piece of turkey or bit of salad, a tidbit of this or that which might have easily been thrown away. Slather the filling with salsa and presto – an A+ lunch.

What could be considered an amount “too small to save” can also be tossed into your soup pot, adding flavor, nutrients and lightening your final garbage load.

When it comes to breads, sweets and treats simply imagine what you want, and there’s a baker nearby to fulfill your heart’s desire.  Your holiday table will look complete with a pie or cake from Back Door Bakery.  Alison Kloft’s Lacey bakery is already accepting pre-orders for holiday delights.

phoebe's cafe

Phoebe Martinson made her fabulous frosting doppleganger.

Gotti Sweets imaginative, specialty cakes bring a smile to any face. Pumpkin will be baked into pies, rolls, cookies, bread, cheesecake and even in the famous pie-tots, a pie in a bite. Instead of a single falvored pie, purchase a variety of pie-tots. If you are fond of macarons, the French inspired sandwich cookie, you can go crazy with the abundant colors and matching flavors. Later in the season pick up a sugar cookie tree, which is a frosted, decorated stack of cookies.

Phoebe’s Pastry Café is also gearing up for the season. Owner Phoebe Martinson’s eyes twinkle as she thinks of her holiday offerings: chocolate cake with peppermint mousse, layered pumpkin pecan pie and Yule logs with outrageous edible decorations. Her husband, Dan, has smoked the salmon for her delicious dip. Another option is the crab artichoke dip. There’s even cranberry relish. Pre-order your holiday delights.

olympia mxican bakery

Julia de la Cruz adds a Hispanic touch to your holiday celebrations. Her bakery is located on Martin Way.

For another style of holiday fare, go to Julia’s Bakery and Café on Martin Way in Olympia. Julia de la Cruz has cakes for all occasions. Select a Mexican pan tres leches (three milk cake) or cookies that are less sweet than typical commercial bakeries. Jose Brajas, long time baker at Julia’s, has pumpkin and banana breads ready and there are tamales for sale in three flavors – jalapeno and cheese, chicken and pork. The café also carries a good supply of Mexican spices and dried chilies.

It’s the feasting season with turkeys browning and tables of festively decorated cakes and cookies. Smells like yeasty cinnamon rolls baking tease our saliva glands and wake up memories of seasons past. I like Byrne’s philosophy that “what’s important is that we are together.” Food is essential, but it’s not the whole picture. Honor the time, effort and money spent on all your goodies and make sure they end up in someone’s stomach – or wrapped up the freezer for another splendid meal.

You can download your own booklet of tips and tools to waste less food from Thurston County Solid Waste’s website.  Check out their trivia giveaways on their Facebook page. Byrne is also available to give presentations to small groups.

Eat Well – Be Well


Notes on the impact of alcohol, prohibition and Thurston County

Olympia Time - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 6:40am
I was supposed to give a short talk in front of a History Happy Hour earlier this year. At the very last moment I had to beg off, but I really appreciate Len Balli and the folks at the Washington State Historical Society thinking of me. Just to be invited was pretty cool. You guys do good work.

Seriously, just an aside: organizations like the Washington State Historical Society (and libraries, local historical societies, history magazines and museums) are so vital. So vital. If you aren't doing much to take advantage of what they have to give and provide them with love and support, I wish you would.

So, without further discussion, here is what I was going to talk about:

At two o’clock on a Thursday morning in early April 1913 in Bucoda Murvil Lancaster was home, alone, with her baby when Charles James came crashing into the house. She was probably asleep, finding a few hours of rest between keeping her baby happy and running the household.

Or, maybe she was already awake, walking her child, feeding her child.

But, James smashed the early morning peace, smashing furniture and other (as the newspapers said) household goods.

Charles James was looking for his wife.

Mrs. James had already abandoned the family home in south Thurston County, and Charles had come looking for her. He was obviously already well down the road of intoxication, well lubricated as we might say, with enough drunken enthusiasm to invade a neighbor's house.

Similar to the Thursday morning when he smashed up the Lancaster House, Charles had already beaten his wife. He'd taken his fists to her at their own house to the point that she “quit the household” with the help of neighbors

The common thread here was that Charles James drank too much. And, when he drank too much, be became violent.

What Mr. James did was not considered a discrete family affair. Domestic violence, fueled by alcohol (like today) was an important public conversation.

But, in a lot of ways, to a lot of people, it was THE public policy discussion of the day. Charles James might be violent. But, should the government allow the sale of the fuel for Charles James violence?

Let's pull the focus out of Bucoda
Washington has always had alcohol. The Union Brewery was established well before statehood and was the origin-point of Northwest Hops in sat right in the heart of downtown Olympia.

But, almost as soon, we have had the battle between wet and dry politicians. It was one aspect of the urban/rural split. Urban areas were wet, rural areas (in general) dry.

In the early 1890s a dry meeting in Olympia became so crowded so fast that the intended segregation of men and women could not be accomplished. The energetic talks of national prohibitionist speakers was slightly marred by men and women sitting together in the crowd. The organizers promised that future events would be better organized and men and women would be separated.

By the time Charles James began beating his wife and tearing apart neighbors’ homes, the forces of dry had already begun turning the tide in Washington.

A local dry option law was passed, and Thurston County had opted to go dry. This left many unincorporated places like Bucoda effectively out of the bar business, despite having a few bars themselves. The Bucoda bar owners only option was incorporation, which (after a few starts and stops) happened in 1911. It was illegal for Charles James to find his fuel in Thurston County, but the city fathers of Bucoda provided.

In 1914, the prohibition and sale of alcohol was banned in Washington. Not the consumption though. In 1918, Washington went “Bone Dry,” which ended any loopholes left open in 1914.

And, in 1919, Prohibition started nationwide.

But, you could still find a drink in Olympia if you knew where and who
Liquor is mostly water, so it found a way.

What is now a fairly anonymous corner of Olympia, 8th and Chestnut, between Plum and the library,  the back end of a handful of state office buildings, was known during prohibition as a “notorious liquor drive.”

And, of course, Olympia was the state capitol. And, the Hotel Olympian was were all the action was, across the street from the then state capitol. Built in 1918 for the expressed purpose of providing housing for state legislators while they were in town.

Rep. Maude Sweetman was the only woman in the legislature by the late 1920s, and lived in the Hotel Olympian. She provides a clear contrast of what remained of the dry coalition in those later prohibition years and the actual state of things in the hotel Olympian and otherwise.

Liquor laws were not, and in fact, could not be strongly enforced:
Anyone who lives at the Olympian Hotel through a legislative session must more than once be filled with anger and disgust and the nightly revelry a, the noises from which vibrate the hotel court...

...their drunken voices gave to the early morning air the confusion of their tongues, night after night through a whole session.Let's wind this up
By 1932, Washington was again ahead of the game when an initiative passed by 60 percent, repealing most of the dry laws.

In 1933, the United States matched pace with the repeal of the 18th Amendment.

And, in early 1934, former Olympia Mayor and state Senator E.N. Steele led the cause to write the rules that got Washington wet again. The Steele Act (which stayed intact until very recently) was defended from over 150 amendments on the floor of the Senate. In one of those rare moments when Olympia really did lead the state, George F. Yantis (another Olympia legislator) guided the Steele Act through the house as the speaker.

You can find a lot of explanations about why prohibition ended. It had become, in over a decade, too hard to prevent people from drinking. It was a joke, an openly mocked public policy against what people were going to do anyway. People with money found liquor and it was unfair for the rest of us not to enjoy.
And today, especially in Washington as we liberalize our other substance control laws, it seems quaint that we once outlawed something as innocent as a bottle of wine

Zoom back into Bucoda
Charles James in fact did not spend much time in jail. Found guilty in May, he was sentenced to three months in the county jail. 
But only after a few weeks, Mrs. James reached out to the governor. In front of the governor himself, the prisoner of Thurston County (Charles James was literally the only prisoner in the jail at that moment) promised he wouldn’t drink anymore. He admitted alcohol got him into trouble and that he would become dry himself.

And, the governor let him go.
Just one more note: I really liked the idea of reading this outloud, so I may at some point, turn it into a podcast sort of thing.

Founding Celebration - Black Alliance of Thurston County

OlyBlog Home Page - Mon, 11/16/2015 - 9:52pm
Event:  Sat, 11/21/2015 - 1:00pm - 4:00pm

From today's inbox: logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week

Thurston Talk - Mon, 11/16/2015 - 2:10pm



Submitted by Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton

Kota is Adopt-A-Pet's Dog of the Week.

Kota is Adopt-A-Pet’s Dog of the Week.

Kota is a very sweet female Husky mix.  We are told that she is good with other dogs, kids, adults, and cats. She has been practicing how to walk politely on a leash but will need a strong adult to continue those lessons.  Kota had a kitten as a friend in her other home and she even allowed the kitten to sleep on her back.

This beautiful girl loves to be with people and likes to be as close to you as possible. She is very smart and will do anything for a treat. We are looking for a loving home for Kota where she can spend most of the time inside with the family she loves. A secure 6′ chain link fenced yard is also a must.

We have many great dogs and always need volunteers.  To see all our current dogs, visit, our Facebook page at “Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton Washington” or at the shelter on Jensen Road in Shelton.  Our contact information is or contact us at or (360) 432-3091.


The Holiday Season at The Gift Gallery LLC

Thurston Talk - Mon, 11/16/2015 - 1:46pm



Submitted by Kaylene Fischer for The Gift Gallery LLC


The Gift Gallery in Tumwater will have holiday specials starting Black Friday and running through December.

The Gift Gallery in Tumwater will have holiday specials starting Black Friday and running through December.

Thanksgiving is upon us and already the stores are displaying their Christmas spirit with trees and decorations. The Gift Gallery LLC in Tumwater is no exception. We have a wonderful tradition here in our store each year. We put up our Christmas tree just like everyone else….almost. Our tree however is unlike any you will find in another store. Our tree is unique in itself. How you ask? Our tree is filled with hand-crafted quality ornaments made special by our vendors! This is a neat tradition our customers have come to know and love. With our hand-crafted ornaments we provide not only something unique and fun for your tree, but also something made of quality and from the heart. Be sure to stop in and see which ornaments you will want for your home!

During the month of November you can earn a $5 coupon to use for a later purchase. Simply find the “pumpkins” stamp and with your purchase you will receive a $5 Coupon! Great time to save while you’re beginning your holiday shopping.

**We will be closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 26th.

Join us for Black Friday on November 27. Enjoy our “Early Bird Special” of 20% off your total purchase from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  From 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. enjoy 10 % off your total purchase.

Small Business Saturday, on November 28, The Gift Gallery will offer all shoppers 10% off your total purchase all day long.

Handmade goods, mixed with commercial wares, can be found at The Gift Gallery.

Handmade goods, mixed with commercial wares, can be found at The Gift Gallery.

Coming in December:

Gift drawings will be held every Saturday in December! Enter in store for your chance to win. Prizes will include commercial items as well as hand-crafted items donated by our vendors.

The Gift Gallery LLC will be open every Sunday from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. starting November 29 and all through December. Regular hours of Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 6 p.m. will remain the same.

Follow The Gift Gallery LLC on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus. 

The Gift Gallery LLC

5113 Capitol Blvd SE, Olympia, WA 98501


Tumwater Volleyball Takes 5th Place in State

Thurston Talk - Mon, 11/16/2015 - 12:55pm



By Grant Clark

south sound radiologyThey had been the pinnacle of high school volleyball in the state all season. So, when top-ranked Tumwater High School walked off the court with the fifth-place trophy it was a bit of a surprise.

The goal all year for the Thunderbirds was to defend their Class 2A state championship. A loss in the quarterfinals to Burlington-Edison prevented that.

“It’s bittersweet,” said senior Jaeya Reed. “But hands down this is the best place to play volleyball. It’s such a family atmosphere. I have made so many best friends. Our main goal every single season is state champs and having such a high goal it’s really hard to come back from that, but I am so proud of our team. I wouldn’t have changed anything.”

tumwater volleyball

Tumwater High School’s Anela Cairns (#6) attacks the net with Maddy Pilon (#4).

Despite coming up short in their attempt to win the program’s third straight title and become the first team since the 2010 Pullman squad to register back-to-back championships, the T-Birds put together one of the best seasons in school history, finishing with a 20-1 record and adding some more hardware to the their already packed trophy case.

“All season we had the goal of state champs. We never thought about getting second. We’re not getting third. We’re going to be state champs,” said sophomore Kennedy Croft, who was spectacular during the two-day tournament. “At the beginning (in the consolation bracket) we were trying hard to be happy, but it really wasn’t working. It took us a bit to get back into it. When we did, we knew we wanted to finish off the season the best that we can.”

Tumwater saw its prefect season come to an end against Burlington-Edison in the second round, losing a thrilling five-set match (25-20, 22-25, 26-28, 28-26, 16-14) where the T-Birds twice had match point in the fourth game, but were unable to put away the Tigers, who went on to claim the state championships by defeating Ellensburg, 3-1, in the finals.

tumwater volleyball

Tumwater celebrates a point against Archbishop Murphy at the state tournament.

“It was just back and forth,” Tumwater coach Tana Otton said about the match against Burlington-Edison. “The deciding factor was they got the final point and we didn’t. I hope the team feels proud about their season. To only have one loss and have it happen in the state tournament against a great team is really impressive.”

The T-Birds, who defeated North Kitsap in straight sets to win last year’s 2A state crown, entered the state quarterfinals with an 18-0 record, having won 27 consecutive matches dating back to the previous season.

Included on the list of victories this season were wins over 4A state champion Curtis, 4A state runner-up Emerald Ridge and 3A state runner-up Columbia River.

It marks the second time Burlington-Edison has stood in Tumwater’s way of claiming a state championship. The Tigers also knocked off the T-Birds in the 2011 state final, 3-1.

The team rebounded from its only setback on the year by hammering White River (25-19, 25-22, 25-14) in a loser-out bracket before rallying to defeat Archbishop Murphy, 3-2 (21-25, 25-11, 26-28, 25-22, 15-11), to secure the program’s fifth straight state placing.

“It was really hard to get into motion today, but we just needed to fight for ourselves,” Reed said. “Tana told us the team with the more heart is going to win, and we ran with it.”

tumwater volleyball

The Thunderbirds capped a 20-1 season by placing fifth at the 2A state tournament.

Croft, who was named 2A Evergreen Conference MVP, showed exactly why she’s regarded as one of the state’s top underclassman as she finished with a remarkable 110 combined kills over the four state matches. She posted 28 kills in a three-set sweep over Franklin Pierce in the first round, 31 against Burlington-Edison, 21 against White River and 30 against Archbishop Murphy.

“My shoulder was getting tired out there,” the hard-hitting Croft said with a laugh. “This has been the most unified team. We are all best friends both on the court and off. We wanted to finish on a good note. We’re already really excited for next year.”

In addition to Reed, Tumwater will also graduate seniors Kaiya Weston, Anela Cairns and Senna Larson, but will return a bevy of talent next season.

“This has been one of the most enjoyable years to coach,” Otton said. “This team has been a dream. They are just easy. There’s zero adversity. Every day in practice it was just so fun to coach them. There wasn’t a day where I walked into practice and dreaded being there, and I don’t think they had one either.”


Leadership Thurston County Gives Homeless Kids a Place to Play

Thurston Talk - Mon, 11/16/2015 - 11:40am



By Kathryn Millhorn

fastsignsThere have been numerous studies on the importance of play in a child’s healthy growth and development. But when families are homeless, even temporarily, children often find playtime isn’t an option. Studies show that “play becomes even more critical for children living in transition as a healing force to cope and restore normalcy to their lives…Playtime reduces potential trauma by engaging youth cognitively, physically, and emotionally, allowing children to build healthy relationships with caring adults and other children.”

Locally the Family Support Center of South Sound fosters a vision of “a community where all families are valued and nurtured and have the resources to be strong, healthy, and self-sufficient.” They offer parent education, family and homeless resource services, and supervised visitation support thanks to community donors, grants, and fundraising.

pear blossom place

Family Support Center Executive Director Schelli Slaughter cuts the ribbon on Pear Blossom Place’s new playground. Photo credit: Natalie Moran.

On November 7, Family Support Center welcomed the community to visit their brand new playground facility at their Pear Blossom Place Shelter at 837 7th Avenue SE in downtown Olympia. The playground was built with the generous support of the Leadership Thurston County (LTC) team, a program of the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce.

City of Olympia Senior Planner and LTC member Stacey Ray explains that “LTC’s goal is to educate, prepare, and inspire Thurston County professionals to engage in leadership roles within our regional community. The Class of 2015 was the first in recent memory to adopt a class project. We set a goal to raise the funds necessary to purchase and install a playground for the families at Pear Blossom Place and we accomplished our goal!”

“Our Leadership Thurston County class, thanks in part to a significant donation from the Hawks Prairie Rotary, raised over $15,000 to provide a commercial-grade playground for Pear Blossom,” adds Ray.

Ray laughs that “the night the playground was installed at 7:30 p.m. there were kids from Pear Blossom ready to play on it! That tells us we’ve been successful!”

Fellow LTC member Bob Heck, a financial advisor with Kiley Juergens Wealth Management, described the process as very direct and hands-on. “As a class we set a goal to reach out to our own personal networks. We worked diligently to identify individuals, businesses and other community partners that might be interested in our project. Wherever possible, we made the request for support in-person. As a class, we had the support of the Thurston County Chamber Foundation so all gifts were tax deductible, this was a big help in keeping our overall project costs low.”

pear blossom place

Leadership Thurston County members Stacey Ray and Bob Heck are two of the project’s instigators. Photo credit: Natalie Moran.

Family Support Center Executive Director Schelli Slaughter raves about the collaboration with Leadership Thurston County. “This project is really a dream come true! Our mission at the Family Support Center is working together to strengthen all families in order to enhance the safety, health, and wellbeing of children in our community and this project truly exemplifies that. This playground is the biggest gift we could ask for right before the holidays. This is the missing piece to our puzzle that really makes Pear Blossom Place a family support community. It will be a place where families can gather together, kids, and parents can strengthen their social connections and most of all kids can just have fun!”

Slaughter continues, “We know that homeless kids are twice as likely to suffer from physical and developmental delays, health problems, obesity, and depression; a big reason for that is that homeless children often do not have opportunities to play and climb and run in a safe and stimulating environment. Play gives kids the freedom to forget their worries for a while. So whether they live in the apartments permanently or are just staying here for a short time at the shelter while we help their parents to find permanent housing, they will remember this place as a place of joy.”

pear blossom place

Upon completion, kids played on the new structure well into the night. Photo credit: Natalie Moran.

“Each year hundreds of kids are going to have the opportunity to play here and every family will get to see what an amazing community we have here in Thurston County that cares about them,” continues Slaughter.

The National Alliance to End Homelessness says that as of 2014, there were 578,424 people homeless on any given night and of these 216,197 are people in families. Let’s all do our part for those in Thurston County who need our help the most.

Donations to the Family Support Center of South Sound can be made online or by calling their downtown offices at 360-754-9297. Families in need of emergency shelter can reach their hotline at 360-628-7343. They are located on the corner of State and Capital and offices are open from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Follow the Family Support Center on Facebook or sign up for their eNewsletter. Looking for a more hands-on way to help? They always have volunteer opportunities in every department.


Sensations That Announce the Future

South Sound Arts - Mon, 11/16/2015 - 10:59am

Intriguing but difficult show at The Evergreen State College Published in the Weekly Volcano, Nov. 12, 2015
“Souvenir,” cabon pigment print by Amjad Faur, courtesy of PDX Contemporary Art and the artist.The latest exhibition in the art gallery at The Evergreen State College takes concentration and thought to comprehend. It is not a show that can be easily enjoyed for its beauty alone but one that stimulates deep thought from those willing to put forth the effort. It is called Sensations That Announce the Future. It showcases artworks created by and chosen by TESC students and faculty based on the book Thinking in an Emergency by Elaine Scarry, and it posits the theory that art can look at patterns in the present and the past and intuit the future. A gallery handout, uncredited but presumable written by faculty member Shaw Osha, who organized the show and has a series of eight paintings in it, says, “Art shifts our perspective so we can perceive current circumstances differently. Art makes visible the subterranean ‘forces of chaos’ we contend with every day.”I have to admit that I had a hard time understanding a lot of the works and seeing how they relate to the stated themes, possibly because I have not read the book that purportedly inspired them all.For such a conceptual and future-oriented show, Osha’s contributions look surprisingly like paintings from the early 20th century Ash Can School, but with looser and more expressive brushstrokes and less clear definition of form. Her eight small paintings, which are not shown together but are scattered throughout the gallery, are street scenes with people. The setting might be the TESC campus, but that is hard to tell because there are few recognizable details. The colors are lush and soft, and figures and backgrounds bleed into one another. In one of her paintings the co-mingling of figure and ground is so extreme that the walking man, a shirtless figure facing away from the viewer, all but vanishes. The plaza or sidewalk and buildings and trees can be seen through his body. In another there is a man walking on what is probably “Red Square” on campus. The brushstrokes across his head and hair are so broad that they merge into the autumn leaves on the tree behind him. The ground he stands on is orange and tan, and as bright as glowing embers in a campfire — a treatment of the sidewalk that is common in all of her paintings. I don’t get the meaning of this series of paintings, but from a purely formal point of view they are outstanding. I would be proud to own any one of them.  In Steffani Jemison’s video, “Personal,” the setting is a street scene with a mural picturing Barack Obama and Desmond Tutu. A large black man walks back and forth in front of it, seemingly unsure of where he wants to go. Perhaps he is waiting from something or someone. Cars drive by, quickly, going backwards. Other pedestrians pass by, also going backwards. The scene then changes to a park scene where a man walks endlessly in a circle. Is the film making the point that we are walking blindly and backwards into the future? It is funny and perhaps prophetic.I loved C. Davida Ingram’s “Conjures & the Mermaid,” a selection of three photographs and a poem printed on three panels. The first line of the poem is “Here Lies the Nigress,” and the photos of the “Nigress,” are of a black woman seated in one photo and lying down in the other two. A dark, shadowy figure sits or lies in front of her in one of the photos; cushions on a bed replicate the shadow figure in the other; and in the third, something indistinguishable and mysterious stands in for the shadow figure. These are dramatic and attractive photos, and as with much good art, the images and the poem relate to each other but not overtly.There are some fabulously dramatic black-and-white photos of storm clouds by Joan Livingstone.Naima Lowe’s “Thirty-nine questions for white people,” notes in ink on notecards with brown paper wrapping and tied with ribbon, give whites and blacks much to think about, especially in light of the Black Lives Matter movement.There is much more to this show, much of it difficult but most of it intriguing.
Sensations That Announce the Future, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday,, through Dec. 2, The Evergreen State College Gallery, 2700 Evergreen Parkway NW, Library 1st floor, Olympia, 360.867.5125
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Tumwater Football Continues to Roll, Advances to State Quarterfinals

Thurston Talk - Sun, 11/15/2015 - 5:24pm



By Grant Wood

Hometown logoTumwater football overpowered yet another opponent on November 13. If things go as smoothly the next three weeks as they have the last 11, then this year’s Thunderbirds squad will join a very selective fraternity.

Jarid Barret rushed for 182 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, Spencer Dowers threw a pair of touchdown passes, Griffin Shea added two scores and undefeated Tumwater opened the Class 2A state playoffs by pounding visiting Franklin Pierce, 55-14, at a rain-soaked Tumwater District Stadium on November 13.

tumwater football

Tumwater High School’s football team has overpowered opponents for 12 consecutive weeks.

It’s been a quarter century since the last time the T-Birds went unbeaten during a season, but Tumwater’s opening round drubbing of the Cardinals puts them three wins away of joining the 1989 and 1990 squads as the only teams to accomplish the feat in school history.

“We’re very focused,” said Dowers, who has thrown 13 touchdown passes and no interceptions this season. “We’ve known what other (Tumwater) teams have done and we’re tired of falling short. We feel like this is our year and we want to keep pushing and pushing no matter what.”

The sting of last year’s 28-27 season-ending loss to eventual state champion Sedro-Woolley in the state semifinals still lingers with Tumwater, serving as motivation for this year’s playoff run.

“We do think about it a lot,” Dowers said about the team’s last defeat. “We remember what losing felt like and we hated it. So, we’re making sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Tumwater, champions of the 2A Evergreen Conference, has done that by simply dismantling every team they have faced this season, outscoring opponents a combined 522-121.

Against Franklin Pierce, the starters watched the fourth quarter from the sidelines as the mercy rule and a running clock was in effect – a common theme all season for the T-Birds as they improved to 11-0 on the year.

But even that is nothing new for Dowers and his fellow seniors. It marks the third consecutive year Tumwater has opened a season with 11 straight victories. Only one other class in the T-Birds’ celebrated gridiron history has matched that achievement.

That event occurred 25 years ago with the Class of 1991 which finished its three-year run with a combined record of 37-1.

tumwater football

Tumwater High School took a commanding 28-0 lead in the first quarter before finishing out the game with a win of 55-14.

This year’s seniors have gone 36-2 over their high school careers – the second best three-year record ever at Tumwater – but are still looking for that elusive state title.

The T-Birds lost to Lynden (38-28) two years ago in the championship game before falling last year to the Cubs.

“We talk about it. We have to stay hungry. We want to stay humble and hungry,” said junior linebacker Cade Otton, the 2A Evergreen Conference defensive player of the year. “Respect all our opponents, obviously, but then we have to take care of business. We feel a sense of urgency – lose and we’re out.”

Otton, the team’s leader in tackles, receptions and receiving touchdowns, continued his stellar season against the Cardinals, hauling in three passes for 90 yards, including a 20-yard TD reception which put Tumwater up 21-0 with two minutes to play in the first quarter.

“Our defense got touched up a little, but it’s bend, don’t break. Our offense faced a little adversity, but we stayed positive and tried to do what we do,” Otton said.

Shea, the Evergreen Conference’s player of the year, opened the contest by picking off a Willie Patterson pass on the game’s first play to set the early tone for the T-Birds.

Tumwater scored on all four of its possession in the first quarter to grab a commanding 28-0 lead with Barrett opening the scoring with a 1-yard plunge.

tumwater football

Tumwater High School’s football team has advanced to the state quarterfinals.

“I think our line was doing really good. They were opening up holes. They were just giant. I could drive a truck through them,” said Barrett, who has scored 17 touchdowns during his senior year. “I just followed all their blocks. It was mostly the line tonight.”

Shea followed by pulling down a 24-yard TD pass from Dowers before ending the first quarter scoring with a 13-yard run.

Leading 28-14 at the half, Tumwater sealed the game by scoring on its first three possessions in the second half, getting a touchdown runs from Barrett (7 yards), Dominic Jones (3) and Noah Andrews (33).

It marked the final home game on the year for Tumwater, which will now be on the road during the remainder of the playoffs.

“I can’t believe this is the senior’s last time playing on our field,” Dowers said. “This is the way we wanted to end it. We’ve been wanting this since second grade.”

The T-Birds, who improved to 19-7 all-time in the first round of the state playoffs, advance to the quarterfinals where they will play the winner of Squalicum and W.F. West. Tumwater defeated Squalicum, 59-33, in last year’s quarterfinals and knocked off W.F. West, 49-21, this season.

Tumwater is 11-0 for the ninth time in school history. The program has been 12-0 four times (1986, 1989, 1990 and 2013).


Shipwreck Beads Artisan Market Brings the Best of our Region Close to Home

Thurston Talk - Sun, 11/15/2015 - 4:00pm



shipwreck beads

Enjoy vendors from across the region at the twice-annual Shipwreck Beads Artisan Market

In her book America’s Artisanal Market, author Kathryn Mahoney explores a growing trend: “As a consumer swamped with gimmicky ads and products, it is becoming increasingly important to develop an appreciation for real artistry, real artisanal goods. It really is what we all want. We want to be healthy, to give our bodies real food, to feel good about our choices and lifestyle, and to support the creative community and hard work of our fellows.” With holidays fast approaching, the Shipwreck Beads Winter Artisan Market offers a way to do just that.

Happening this year on November 28 from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., the Artisan Market coincides with Small Business Saturday and the long Thanksgiving weekend. In this age of box store gift giving, it’s refreshing to be able to experience and support so many local crafters in one central location.

“The authentic meaning and application of artisan alludes to a simpler time when people took pride in their craft: It’s about special and unique. [An] Artisan is…defined as: 1. a person skilled in an applied art; a craftsperson, and 2. a person or company that makes a high-quality, distinctive product in small quantities, usually by hand and using traditional methods.” For the third year in a row, this twice annual Artisan Market showcases almost 100 vendors from across our region.

shipwreck beads

The Shipwreck Beads staff, under the leadership of Kelsy Vincent (far right), host almost 100 vendors at the Market.

This passion for goods produced locally by small, family businesses is growing exponentially. American Express estimates that in 2014 alone, $14.3 billion was spent at small independent businesses on Small Business Saturday alone.

Market coordinator and long-time Shipwreck Beads staffer Kelsy Vincent is excited by the event’s growth. While the overall format remains unchanged, there will be more vendors and food provided by the Galley Cafe inside Shipwreck Beads amongst others, sponsored in part by 94.5 Roxy Radio who will be live streaming from the event.

There will also be hands on ‘Make and Take’ activities sponsored by Swarovski, a perennial fan favorite. At the 2014 Artisan Market, attendees made Christmas ornaments featuring the gorgeous, sparkling crystals.

The event is free to attend but Vincent is proud to offer “a food drive to give back to the community.” For either two cans of food or $1 a ticket, visitors are entered into drawings for an array of prizes and gifts. All money and donations will benefit the Thurston County Food Bank during this often difficult time of year.

shipwreck beads

Taking place on Small Business Saturday, Nov 28, the Winter Artisan Market provides an opportunity to shop local.

Whether you’re stocking up on jewelry, baked goods, or quilts, you’re sure to find all that and more at this year’s Artisan Market. Applications for vendors are filling up fast but you can find the Booth Registration Form online. Space will be granted on a first come, first served basis so apply soon.

Advertised as the world’s largest selection of beads, Shipwreck Beads is a true Thurston County treasure. From humble beginnings in the 1960s, they’ve grown into a 22,000 foot showroom with beads and jewelry-making supplies galore. Drop in to take a class or just browse their stunning inventory on a rainy afternoon.

You can find updates on November’s Winter Artisan Market on Facebook or by following the Shipwreck Beads Facebook page. The Artisan Market will take place at 8560 Commerce Place NE. Give them a call at 360-754-2323 with any questions.


Anchor Bank + Habitat for Humanity Create Financially Literate Families

Thurston Talk - Sun, 11/15/2015 - 6:00am



By Heidi Smith

habitat for humanity

Anchor Bank’s sponsorship of the Partner Plus program has helped Habitat for Humanity train families in home ownership and financial literacy.

It’s a safe bet that most people who work for non-profit organizations want to make a difference. So when a for-profit business comes along and increases the number of people they can serve while boosting the impact they can make for individual families, it makes them happy.

“You feel better when you can do more,” says Shawna Dutton, marketing and outreach supervisor at South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity. “Being able to work with a giving community organization like Anchor Bank has created additional relationships and added capacity. It makes me smile all the time.”

Dutton is referring to Habitat for Humanity’s Partner Plus program, which Anchor Bank has sponsored for the second year. While Habitat is best known for building homes for low-income families, through Partner Plus they’re able to offer home ownership training and financial literacy to families who are struggling.

“Before, when someone applied, we didn’t have the staff to give them financial literacy and home ownership coaching,” says Dutton. “Now we have a dedicated person. Part of Anchor Bank’s sponsorship allows us to hire a part-time person to orient new families and do outreach to find new families.”

Anchor Bank has been a partner of Habitat for Humanity for more than eight years, most recently through Partner Plus. For Sam Newberry, Anchor’s vice president of sales and marketing at the bank, it was an obvious choice. “We are involved with Habitat for Humanity in Grays Harbor and I noticed that we weren’t in Thurston County,” she says. “We reached out to them. They’re a great organization.”

habitat for humanity

Habitat for Humanity volunteers work with families to create new, affordable homes.

Newberry says the team at Anchor Bank appreciates the opportunity to support something that includes a teaching component. “It’s a hand up and not a hand out,” she says. “People put in so many hours before they get into their house. They have to go through credit counseling and learn about how important the house is. It creates a pride of ownership.”

The bank’s support has made many things possible, says Dutton. “We’ve been able to double the amount of orientations we can do,” she says. “We aren’t doing group orientations any more. Doing them one on one, we can offer financial literacy training and education on how to conduct a family budget and save for the future.”

Additionally, she says, they’re able to reach more people and hugely reduce their response time. “It used to take us 28 days to get back to someone,” she says. “Now we get back to them in under a day.” They’ve also been able to update all of their home ownership marketing materials, both digitally and in print.

Learning about how to manage money is important for Habitat families in part because of the income they’re able to save. “The average cost of a home in Thurston County is $1,200 to $1,300 a month,” says Dutton. “Our homes are $750 per month. That’s a huge cost savings. It’s about knowing what to do with that extra capital.” The training allows families to build equity for the first time, she says. “They can send their children to school and improve their health.”

habitat for humanity

Learning what to do with the capital they save is helping families create equity and plan for the future.

Joy Mickael’s family was one of the first to experience the new program, and it made a difference. “We only got a little taste of it, but it was really helpful knowing where we stand financially and having new resources available to us for getting out of debt. We got to understand how negative that debt is and how it drags us down as a family,” she says. “Being in a Habitat house lightens our load considerably so that we can get a grip on the debt.”

Mickael wasn’t aware of Habitat for Humanity until her husband started working for them. “It’s an amazing organization,” she says. “They’ve been able to help bring a sense of stability back to our family through a really hard time. The workers have opened their arms to us.” She is battling spinal cancer and credits Habitat with getting the family into a good, affordable house. “We were in a really bad situation before,” she says.

For anyone in a similar situation, she recommends the program. “I would tell them to put forth the effort,” she says. “It’s beyond worth it.”

The Partner Plus program is still young, but it’s clearly already creating benefits within the community. “We’re producing more financially literate families,” says Dutton. “It’s exciting.”

Dutton appreciates the support from Anchor Bank. “They’re one of our oldest community partners,” she says. “It’s been great to develop those relationships with people that we love and respect and who are pulling for our mission.”

To learn more about Anchor Bank, visit Habitat for Humanity South Puget Sound can be found at


Dr. Jay Rudd Opens new Aurora LASIK Surgery Center in Lacey

Thurston Talk - Sat, 11/14/2015 - 11:55am



Submitted by Aurora LASIK

Dr. Jay Rudd opens Aurora LASIK in Lacey.

Dr. Jay Rudd opens Aurora LASIK in Lacey.

People who struggle to see their phone screen up close, or the jaw-dropping sunrises over distant Mount Rainier have a new option for clearer vision.

Long-time Olympia ophthalmologist Dr. Jay Rudd has opened a new state-of-the-art LASIK surgery center in Hawks Prairie, near Harley Davidson and the RAM Restaurant. Aurora LASIK features the Wavelight Refractive Laser Suite, the first of its kind in Washington state.

Dr. Rudd has performed more than 15,000 vision correction surgeries, including over 3,500 laser correction procedures. “I’ve practiced long enough to have seen numerous laser technologies enter the market,” said Rudd. “But the Wavelight Refractive Laser Suite is a game changer.”

“The precision and outcomes we’re seeing with this technology are unprecedented,” said Rudd. “With the Wavelight all-laser system, LASIK procedures are bladeless, which reduces healing time and further enhances vision outcomes. This is welcome news for patients.”

Previously, patients felt they had to travel to Tacoma or Seattle for the most advanced LASIK procedures. “With Aurora LASIK in Lacey, you don’t have to fight I-5 traffic jams for LASIK. It’s all conveniently right here,” said Rudd.

Dr. Rudd, a co-founder of Clarus Eye Centre and a fellowship-trained cornea and refractive surgeon, will continue seeing patients at Clarus where he has practiced for over 15 years.

Dr. Rudd will also work with referring optometrists throughout the region. “We want to supplement and support the great eye care our optometric community is providing,” said Rudd. “Patients having surgery at Aurora can have their post operative care provided by their primary eye care provider, their optometrist who has cared for their eyes for years.”

“My biggest payoff as an eye physician and surgeon is the ear-to-ear smile on patients’ faces when they tell me they can now see their alarm clock in the morning, or their child’s soccer game, without glasses or contacts,” said Rudd. “Better vision is life-changing.”

Aurora LASIK also offers a number of advanced vision correction options not previously available in Thurston County. The KAMRA Inlay is an FDA-approved implant that is surgically placed in one eye. The inlay dramatically improves near vision, without compromising distance clarity. For most patients, this means they can set aside their readers and enjoy clearer vision up close.

“We are seeing a dramatic increase in vision correction options, for people of all ages,” noted Rudd. “It’s an exciting time to be an eye surgeon, and the opening of Aurora LASIK is so timely. We hope to be a center of vision innovation right here in Thurston County.”

To learn more, visit  Aurora LASIK is located at 8050 Freedom Lane NE, Suite A, Lacey, WA 98516.


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