By Olivia Richards, Avanti High School Intern to ThurstonTalk
Avanti High School is located on Legion way, near downtown Olympia. With an open campus lunch and two separate session of the day, the students who attend are highly independent. In addition to their school day, students are expected to complete at least three hours of work from home. This is all made possible by the amazing staff at Avanti and the feeling of community that they spread to the students. People’s artwork line the wall, each teacher knows each student’s name and the amount of support provided has no equal. Everyone at Avanti is given the opportunity to be themselves, which is an amazing accomplishment for any high school.
Take a peek inside Olympia School District’s Avanti High School through the eyes of photographer, and Avanti student, Olivia Richards.
By Nikki McCoy
Walking in the door, latte in hand, Adriana Hutchings looks just like the woman I’ve always known as my neighbor – usually driving by in her mini-van, blonde bangs swooped to the side, her backseat full of kids. Perpetually on the go, Adriana seems to always have time for a smile and a wave.
But today, her husband is tending to their three children, so she and I can talk about her involvement with MomsRising.org, an organization, which, according to their website, “Is a network of people just like you, united by the goal of building a more family-friendly America.”
Formed in 2006 by Olympia-native Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, MomsRising now has more than a million members. According to the organization’s Facebook page, these are the core issues that are at the base of their grassroots movement:
M – Maternity/Paternity Leave
O – Open Flexible Work
T – Toxics-Free Environment (environmental health)
H – Health Care for All Kids
E – Early Care and Education
R – Realistic and Fair Wages
S – Sick Days, Paid
McDonalds and Wendy’s have been ambushed by the non-profit organization, leading them to change their default drink in kid’s meals from soda to milk, and the push is on for other fast food joints to follow suit. Next, MomsRising is challenging Nickelodeon to stop advertising junk food to children.
Nutrition is a huge component to MomsRising, and at a local level, Adriana plans to work with Olympia School District to stay on track with their school lunch program.
“I am a part of the MomsRising Good Food Force and am committed to making a difference for all children in our community,” she explains, “There are many children who eat hot lunch at school. I want to make sure that what they are getting is quality, nutritious food. My goal is to look over the OSD food guidelines (which are actually quite wonderful) and help them to really follow them.”
MomsRising members are known for shaking things up at politically, like delivering a giant 3-D valentine to Governor Inslee, covered with messages from families across the state thanking him for his commitment to early childhood education. Or the hundreds of kites strewn with messages telling Congress what’s important to American families, or the lunch sacks delivered to congressional offices reminding them to keep healthy food guidelines in mind when making laws.
“Instead of nagging them to death, we deliver messages of importance that are fun and positive, and gets people attention,” says Adriana.
While it was 2008 when Adriana made the choice to tell her story, and become involved with MomsRising, her journey to activism began as a child.
“All my life I felt things very deeply,” she explains. “When I would hear about a school shooting, or an incidence of child abuse, or an injustice in the world, I would feel deeply upset. My mother even joked when I was younger that we needed to build me a ‘wailing wall.’ I had all these feelings and just did not know what to do with them.”
And then, as an adult, injustices began happening to her. While working as a server during college, Adriana experienced wage discrimination. Then, with her first child born with special needs, her battle with cancer, and the sandwich-generation’s work of caring for her mother, her family went through difficult financial challenges. Later, after the birth of her third child, she would experience maternity leave discrimination.
“I think I was waiting for a long, long time to find a vehicle that would help me to make a difference,” she reflects. “When I came across an email from MomsRising one day, something clicked. I had found my vehicle for change.”
Adriana remembers the moment she realized she was a voice for other women.
“I think it came after my first talk at the White House Summit on Family’s Economic Empowerment,” she says. “I was invited to speak by MomsRising.org and I had no idea what it was going to be like.
“There I was, speaking to a group of state and federal legislators, leaders in the business community, and press…and people were riveted by my story,” Adriana reflects. “I had long discounted my story as something that just happens – no big deal. But I realized that many people have stories like that and even though it’s the status quo, we need to tell our stories and create a positive movement out of that energy. It can and will create change for the better.”
This mentality has momentum, and Adriana has no plans of stopping. Next in the works is a red-carpet affair at the Capitol to bring attention to early childhood education, and a local screening of Cafeteria Man to facilitate discussion about nutrition.
By Kate Scriven
Somehow it’s already mid-way through January 2015. A new year is stretching out ahead full of possibilities. Many people make resolutions this time of year – promises to themselves about actions and attitudes they wish to embrace.
For our family, one action item is to explore and enjoy more the area in which we live. Thurston County contains some of the Puget Sound’s most diverse climate zones, recreational areas and wildlife habitat, world-class arts and entertainment, opportunities for community involvement, and endless choices for family outings. This year, we won’t wait for the perfect weather. We’ll ignore the growing honey-do list more often. We’ll carve out staycation days. We will play.
2015 Thurston County Bucket List
Is this everthing? Not even close. There are a myriad of other amazing things to do from mountain biking in Capitol Forest to world-class quilt stores, from the nationally acclaimed Hands On Children’s Museum to the State Library Archives. Truly, the possibilities are endless.
But for our family, seeking to engage more deeply in our own community and its surroundings, this is our list. Maybe it will become yours, too.
Safe drivers sometimes feel slighted; we pay our premiums but receive no tangible day-to-day benefit. This is good in the sense that it means safety is king, but frustrating when you write that check every month. With a State Farm policy through the Debra Daniels Insurance Agency, however, you’re covered for far more than fender benders.
Daniels explains that their auto policies offer coverage for “emergency roadside service.” By simply calling the toll-free number on your insurance card, drivers are provided with assistance towards lock-outs, dead batteries, towing needs, flat tires, and running out of gas.
State Farm makes signing up for auto insurance or filing a claim quick and easy. You can receive quotes, report an accident, or read the answers to their most frequently asked questions online and agents like Debbie are available in person, or over the phone. Daniels and her team are even willing to arrange after hours appointments for interested clients, current and potential.
Overall, it pays to be a safe driver. Statistics show that more than 80% of drivers use seat belts and carry valid insurance, and “on average a driver will have an accident claim once every 17.9 years.” In our tough economic times, maintaining your vehicle—and not wasting money—is a wise investment. This is why double-checking your policy with a professional not only insures sufficient coverage but could save you cash every month.
If in doubt, call, email, or drop by…it won’t cost you anything and could save you a bundle! The Debra Daniels Insurance Agency is at 8765 Tallon Lane NE in Lacey or by calling 360-493-8284.
By Mary Ellen Psaltis
I remember hearing about Dave’s soups years ago in the locker room at Bally’s Total Fitness. (Remember the building on Sleater-Kinney Rd. near NTHS?) Women from the water aerobics class were energized at the prospect of heading to the Tumwater Senior Center for lunch. “You must go there,” they encouraged me. “And the price is so reasonable,” they added. Now I hear the same acclamations in the dressing room at LA Fitness. “Oh definitely, his lunches are amazing.” When my health-minded mom told me that she knew Dave and had a couple of favorite lunches there, most notably the Kale Soup, I knew it was past time for me to grab a spoon and drive to Tumwater.
At last, I met Dave Gilfert face to face. I wanted him to know his reputation preceded him. He smiled modestly, knowing that his home-style cooking has been pleasing people at the City of Tumwater Senior Center for almost 15 years. Gilfert’s time in the kitchen began long ago, at home, with both of his parents. Although he went to college to study electronics, Gilfert found cooking to be more satisfying. Over the past forty years he has worked as a chef (including being a Saucier) in California, Idaho, Nevada and Washington. With this position at the senior center, he gets nights and weekends off, a rarity in the food business. It was a great plus for family life.
When Gilfert started this job he was nowhere near a senior, but when he turned 55 a few years ago, his adoring fans welcomed him into the ‘senior club.’ In addition to menu planning and cooking, Gilfert spends time talking with seniors about their needs, concerns and solving problems. The center is friendly and helpful.
Lunch at the Tumwater Senior Center is served weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. The requested donation is $2. With certain lunches the requested price increases to $4 due to the rising cost of beef. Nevertheless, Dave’s meatloaf and his meatballs with sour cream sauce remain popular. Usually around 40 meals per day are served but at times the mouths fed increases to 60, depending on the menu and time of year. This program is subsidized by the City of Tumwater. Lunch leftovers help to feed an afternoon youth drop-in program.
Generous donations from Safeway and Fred Meyer contribute bread, cakes, pies, donuts and other bakery products. The day I stopped by, diners made quick work of a stack of sweet potato pies, which were holiday leftovers.
Volunteers pick up these goodies during the week. One of these volunteers is Chuck McAllister, who has been coming to the center for 13 years. Cheerful and warm, McAllister said, “There are so many beautiful people here. I just like it.” His family came to this area in 1843. You could enjoy a bit of local history with your lunch if you talk with Chuck.
A few weeks ago my 22-year-old son and I visited a few Olympia bars. This week I find that I am old enough (over 55) to have lunch at the Senior Center with my mom. Now there’s a time sandwich.
Dave has kindly given us a recipe for his version of Zuppa Tuscana, a trio of sausage, kale and potatoes. I asked him the origin of all his recipes. He simply tapped his head.
You can find everything that’s on the menu at the Tumwater Senior Center by clicking here. Make new friends and find out why people have been talking about Dave’s lunches for all these years. I did.
Eat Well – Be Well
Dave’s Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup
Here’s one way to include kale into your weekly fare. Gilfert likes to serve this with garlic bread (and makes sure that a few of the loaves are wheat.)
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
2 yellow onions, medium diced
4 stalks celery, medium diced
3 tablespoons flour
1-½ quarts chicken broth
8-12 ounces medium kale, chopped
White pepper and salt
4-6 potatoes (Yellow Finns or Yukon Gold) diced
2-4 ounces milk or half and half
Sauté sausage until light brown. Add onions and celery and sauté until onions are clear. Lightly dust with flour. Mix until no flour is white. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add kale. Simmer 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add potatoes. When potatoes are soft, add milk or cream. Season to taste. Serve with shredded Parmesan cheese (optional).
Submitted by Adopt-a-Pet Shelter
Meet Bonnie. This sweetheart keeps getting overlooked – someone is going to get a great dog if they give her a chance. She is an energetic girl – you would not know she is 8 years old. One of our volunteers takes her for long jogs and Bonnie is not the one that gets tired out! She does well with other dogs her energy level and likes the water.
Come meet Bonnie, we are open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – appointments preferred. Contact Adopt-A-Pet on Jensen Road in Shelton or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 432-3091.
By Kathryn Millhorn
Everywhere you turn you’ll hear, “wow, what a game!” One sports announcer acknowledged that the Seahawks played the entire NFC Championship in the last five minutes, keeping everyone on the edge of their seats (if they hadn’t left already!).
Nail-biters like these are what game day is all about. But when the outcome is a championship title, with merchandise commemorating the big win, NFL licensed screenprinters like Tumwater’s Color Graphics are on their feet well past the game’s final call.
The road to the Seahawks glory began many months ago for Color Graphics. After 30 years in the business, they’d built strong relationships throughout their industry. Recommendations from friends in California, which worked their way through NFL channels, resulted in a contract to print officially licensed shirts celebrating the 2014 Superbowl and now the 2015 Division Championships.
Once they’d been granted the contract, based on decades of professional workmanship, precision, and skilled employees, Color Graphics had to engage in many back and forth test prints to guarantee accuracy, color saturation, and overall quality. But, says co-owner Voshte Demmert-Gustafson, it was worth every step because “we were excited and proud, passionate even; we love the Seahawks too!” Case in point: she attended the big game on Sunday, but kept in touch with her family by text throughout the day.
This division title meant that approximately 4,300 shirts were printed, packed, and shipped, with the first delivery truck arriving for pick-up at 9:00 p.m. Sunday night. After that there were pick-ups at 1:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. with merchandise going to many local Target and Wal-Mart stores around the region. While sales and marketing staff had the weekend off, it was all hands on deck (kids and dogs too!), for Sunday’s massive job. Voshte’s husband and business co-owner Kiley Gustafson’s mom brought snacks and soda while his dad helped with the printing.
Compared to the Superbowl print-job of more than 7,500 shirts, the division title is a marginally easier task. The huge, rotating screen-print machine used for the night is their highest quality printer, with flash drying lights to set and seal between color applications. This multi-head color application and drying process ensures, as Kiley’s father Fred—the shop’s founder—explained “the sharpest color saturation, especially for the bright whites.” Kiley estimated that they’d be producing 450 shirts each hour at the peak. The NFL strives to use local printers for their shirts, so this was one of only a handful in the state working on championship memorabilia.
Color Graphics is a union and Alaska-native owned shop that has been around since 1984. They provide embroidery, awards, and promotional products as well as screenprinting, and work with many local businesses and Tribes. Voshte calls it a “full service operation” and “great local resource” to groups and organizations with advertising needs. They also create trade show marketing and corporate giveaway items as well.
Hopefully the dust has settled and a majority of the Color Graphics staff got to sleep in after putting in a long, loud, smelly, festive, caffeine-fueled night. They’ll need to rest up so they can be ready for the big Superbowl push in less than two weeks. Yup, they’ll be printing those shirts when—not ‘if’—we win.
Color Graphics is located at 2540 Crites St SW in Tumwater, off Mottman road near South Puget Sound Community College. Companies interested in their services should call 360-352-3970 for a quote.
Submitted by Adopt-A-Pet Dog Shelter
There is a small organization that has been quietly helping dogs in need for 35 years. In just 2014, Adopt-A-Pet dog shelter saved the lives of 247 unwanted dogs and placed them in caring homes. Located in Mason County, the majority of the dogs are adopted by residents in other counties, like Thurston. Abandoned, stray or owner released dogs of all shapes and sizes continually fill the kennels. The animals are vet checked, neutered if needed, and then prospective new owners are carefully screened to make the perfect match.
These good deeds are accomplished by a small band of dedicated volunteers, with no paid positions. But in order to help the community, they need help from the community. According to Rachel Sedlacek, Vice President of Adopt-A-Pet, that is the struggle for any small non-profit. You just don’t always have the people or money to go out and get the people or money you need to keep things going. The group holds several fundraisers per year, such as plant and yard sales, a golf tournament, and pet pictures with Santa.
Right now Adopt-A-Pet is desperately in need of weekday volunteers, especially afternoon shifts. Even just three hours a week makes a huge difference. Once the morning chores are done, the time is dedicated to making the dogs lives better. Many of them have come from bad situations and just need to know people care about them. Volunteers walk or run the dogs on gravel roads near the facility, play with them in the three large exercise yards, or just give them a brushing and some quiet attention. There are a lot of biscuits and tennis balls involved. Even if you don’t like to get covered in fur, there are a number of other volunteer opportunities such as helping with fundraising, planning events, distributing flyers, or grounds maintenance.
If you are not the volunteer type, the website lists many other ways you can still make a big difference. Food and supplies are always needed – you can drop them off or they can be sent through Amazon Wishlist. Store gift cards are always welcome. Online programs like Amazon Smile or Good Search make a donation every time you shop. Fred Meyer shoppers can link their rewards card to the shelter. You can even donate your junk car and list the shelter as your charity of choice. Most donations are tax deductible.
Business sponsors and private financial donations from helpful citizens are what really keep the non-profit going. Some businesses help out with monetary donations or supplies while others host or sponsor fundraisers. Says Sedlacek, “These businesses help more than they know and do it because they care, not just because it is good for business”.
Adopt-A-Pet dog shelter is located at 940 E Jensen Road in Shelton, just off Brockdale. If you’d like to volunteer, donate, become a business sponsor, or adopt a new best friend, visit www.adoptapet-wa.org, email email@example.com or call (360) 432-3091. And check them out on Facebook .
Submitted by The Evergreen State College
As part of a national presidential search that generated nearly a hundred applicants, the Board of Trustees of The Evergreen State College announced this week that it has selected four finalists for on-campus interviews in January and February. They include:
George Bridges, PhD, is president of Whitman College and previously served as dean and vice provost of undergraduate education at the University of Washington. He holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (PhD, Sociology, and MA, Criminology) and from the University of Washington (BA, Sociology).
Rhona Free, PhD, is provost and vice president for academic affairs at Eastern Connecticut State University where she previously served as director of the Center for Educational Excellence and as a professor in the Department of Economics. She holds degrees from University of Notre Dame (PhD and MA, Economics) and Sarah Lawrence College (BA).
Margaret Madden, PhD, is provost and vice president for academic affairs at State University of New York at Potsdam, where she is also a tenured professor of psychology. She holds degrees from University of Massachusetts, Amherst (PhD, Psychology, and MS, Psychology) and University of Wisconsin, Madison (BA, Psychology).
Luis Pedraja, PhD, is provost and vice president for academic affairs at Antioch University Los Angeles. His previous professional appointments include vice president of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. He holds degrees from University of Virginia (PhD, Philosophical Theology and Religious Studies), The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div, Theology), and Stetson University (BA, Religion).
According to board chair Keith Kessler, the trustees hope to make a selection and a job offer in March.
“This is an exciting time at Evergreen,” said Kessler, one of eight trustees appointed by the governor to oversee the state’s nationally acclaimed public liberal arts college. “We’ve been inspired by the number of exceptional candidates interested in this position,” he noted. “Evergreen’s distinctive educational approach—including interdisciplinary teaching and learning, an extraordinary focus on student responsibility for educational choices, and an emphasis on putting theory into practice—calls for a leader who can think beyond the limits of traditional higher education to help students succeed in a changing world. It has been 15 years since we last hired a president and given the qualifications of our finalists, I think the college and the wider community will see why we’re excited about the possibilities these candidates represent.”
Since opening its doors in 1971, Evergreen has become nationally recognized for its innovative academic programs that combine subjects that are traditionally taught separately. America’s top college guides regularly rank Evergreen as one of the nation’s best institutions for its strong academics, nurturing community and reasonable cost. Sierra magazine and the Princeton Review have repeatedly named Evergreen as one of the top “green” colleges in the nation for its commitment to sustainability and achievements in sustainable practices, operations, academic programming and community outreach.
Dr. Thomas L. “Les” Purce announced in May that he would retire in summer 2015. He has served as Evergreen’s president since July of 2000.
Prior to accepting the presidency at The Evergreen State College, Dr. Purce served as vice-president of extended university affairs and dean of extended academic programs at Washington State University in Pullman, Wash. Between 1989 and 1995, Dr. Purce served in several roles at Evergreen, including vice president for college advancement, interim president and executive vice president. His career also included roles at Idaho State University—as special assistant to the president and director of the Research Park and economic development—as well as service in local and state government and in the private sector.
Submitted by Kaylene Fischer for The Gift Gallery LLC
The holiday season may be over but gift giving is year-round. Whether you are shopping for a gift or want to treat yourself, The Gift Gallery LLC in Tumwater is the place to go. We offer a variety of handcrafted items as well as, antiques & collectibles. We also offer commercial items made in the U.S.A. and have specialty foods from around the Pacific Northwest.
If you have never been to The Gift Gallery, it is a must see! We feature handcrafted wood, jewelry, iron signs, pottery, glasswork and much more. Looking for Seahawks items? We have that too. Have you seen the handmade NFL teddy bears? It’s a good chance those came from our store. We feature just about every team in the NFL.
Be sure to stop in during the month of January for The Gift Gallery’s annual Clearance sale. Items throughout the store are 20-50% off. Every year we make room for new items. We have over 30 local vendors and some of their items will also be on clearance. You won’t want to miss those “one of a kind” items.
Our local vendors are important to us here at The Gift Gallery. We have several different talented artists from around Western Washington. Each month we are featuring some of our vendors here at the store. We’d like to give you the opportunity to know more about the people who handcraft your wonderful gifts.
For the month of January we are featuring four of our vendors. The first is Phil Christensen. Phil makes gemstone beaded jewelry. In his booth you will also find photographs for sale taken by his wife.
Second, we have Sue Lederman. She brings two wonderful creations to The Gift Gallery. Her brother lost his battle to cancer and that is when she decided to create Beads4Life in his honor. Sue creates beaded necklaces, bracelets, earrings, lanyards and even beaded trees with your bead of choice for which ever cause you need. She does hand paintings and includes her beaded trees on them. Sue also created her own blend of spices that she sells in honor of Tyler J. Rogers. Tyler was only 13 years old when he lost his battle with brain cancer. Sue sells her secret blend of 11 spices and ALL profits go to the Tyler J. Rogers Foundation which supports the “Forgotten Children’s Fund.”
Third, we showcase Katrina Wynkoop-Simmons. Katrina discovered Kumihimo braiding at a bead show in Tacoma in 2010 and wanted to learn how to do it. She fell in love with the textures and effects of using different materials and beads to create necklaces, lanyards, bracelets and more. Katrina’s latest group “Show your School Colors”, features lanyards in school colors for high schools in our area.
Fourth, Anne & Connie Weisdepp. Anne Weisdepp started “Anne’s Pyrography”. She got started in wood burning when her parents gave her a starter set as a gift. At first she only did pieces as gifts for family and friends. As her work improved, she started getting requests for personalized plaques. As a way to bring more income, Anne decided to start her own side business. Connie, her mother, would work up a design and transfer it onto wood and Anne would burn it. There were many requests for wedding and name plaques. Connie started getting into cutting and routing wood for the plaques, instead of having to buy precut pieces. As Anne became better known, she was invited to a few craft fairs, which led to The Gift Gallery, through Pam Pellegrino. Connie and Anne work together to create some wonderful pieces. They now do sports related plaques, characters, swing dance and animals. They even started creating wonderful ornaments that include many dog breeds.
Our vendors are happy to take custom orders if there is something specific that you would like.
Are you a local artist that has hand-crafted items that you would like to share? We have a few Open Spaces here in our Store. We have great prices for great spaces, sign up now for 6 months and you’ll receive one of those months free. See store for details.
Submitted by Furniture Works
One may think that focusing on buying the right bedroom furniture and décor has little importance because they are the only person who will see it and use it. This may be true, but your bedroom is a place to help you unwind after a long day and also help you relax. Having the right pieces and décor brings a sense of comfort and happiness to the room. When something is not aesthetically pleasing, our mind becomes distracted and it can be hard to get comfortable. Hence, it’s of paramount importance that you select the right bedroom furniture.
Your bedroom furniture should make a personal style statement. The bedroom is a private retreat that is only going to be used by you or your family. Outsiders, guests, or even friends are not going to spend time in this room.
Your bedroom furniture should reflect your interest and must cater to your own personal needs and requirements. There are many different themes of bedroom furniture that are available today including, garden cottage, traditional, contemporary, transitional, or even exotic.
The Contemporary Bedroom Furniture
Platform beds are quite popular when it comes to contemporary furniture. In such a bed, there are no footboards to speak of and the bed displays clean lines of the bedding, unobstructed by any panel or spindle usually present on footboards. It’s solid, comfortable and has a slatted frame underneath, which eliminates the need for a spring mattress.
These beds and the associated furniture are quite popular with those who want to give a minimalist look to their bedroom. Many people do not want the encumbrance of a large amount of furniture. They are looking for space and contemporary bedroom furniture provides a great option for the same.
The Pieces for Your Bedroom
After you select a particular theme for your bedroom, the next course of action is the selection of the furniture pieces. The most important furniture piece is the bed. King size beds are popular these days, however, the size of the bed depends on the size of the room.
The modern homes have built-in storage areas and large closets, which leaves a whole lot of space for the non-traditional furniture in a bedroom. Some popular choices in this regard can be large chairs, love seats, or chaises. You can also think about putting up a small study table or a multi-purpose table in the corner on the room, wherein you can place your computer etc. A hanging bookshelf or a simple bookshelf can also be a good idea. If you are a curio collector or have some personal collectible than a small curio cabinet can help fill up the room and also provide you with a great looking place to display your collectibles.
Some Buying Pointers
While choosing bedroom furniture, you must never ever compromise on quality. Furniture is not something that you buy time and again, so don’t buy cheap. Good quality furniture does not come cheap, so you might have to shell out a bit of money here. Attractiveness of the furniture can be one criterion, but the durability of the furniture is as important. Give as much importance to the concept of durability as you would give to fine craftsmanship.
Comfort is one of the most important parameters while looking for great bedroom furniture. You might think that visually appealing bedroom furniture is a great buy but if it does not provide the much needed relaxation for your body. It would be a waste.
Mix and Match
It’s not necessary that you stick to a particular theme while choosing bedroom furniture. You can integrate two different styles of furniture and your bedroom will still look good. It’s all about your perception and not about what people will think. You can blend in various traditional and contemporary styles in your bedroom. You can mix the beauty of a traditional wall closet with the stark linear symmetry of contemporarily designed bed.
You simply must try out different things and give full vent to your imagination. Nobody is going to comment on the décor or the furniture pieces that are present in the bedroom. It is your own personal haven; do with it, as you wish. The right choice of bedroom furniture will make the essential difference to your requirements of comfort and luxury.
By Lynn West
For many adults music lessons are synonymous with childhood memories of monotonous metronomes, endless scales, and “practice, practice, practice.” However, other adults, like two of my sons-in-laws, are carving out time from busy schedules for lessons. Intrigued listening to their experiences, I decided to check in with the studios where they take lessons.
Skyler Blake, owner and instructor at Sound Star Music Academy agreed, “Many adults have had a lifelong interest in music, but have never been compelled to pursue it before.”
Richard Brotherton, West Region Sales Manager for Karndean Designflooring and father of two elementary school kids, echoes Skyler’s comments, “I will be the first to tell you, I have absolutely no talent whatsoever, but I have always wanted to take piano lessons. When a friend gave me Skyler’s number last summer, I knew the time had come. As a matter of fact, I’d like to get the kids started too.”
Only about five to ten percent of Skyler’s students are adults, but he says, “They are great to work with. You can take concepts deeper and engage more cultural aspects because adults have a lifelong connection to music that they bring to their lessons.” Like all teachers, he loves those ‘ah-ha’ moments. He told me how Richard was experimenting with chords and realized what he was playing was reminiscent of “Hill Street Blues.”
Skyler’s lessons do not follow the “old school order” but begin where his students want to go with their music. He wants to transmit his passion so a student “feels the vibration.” One of his adult students recently recorded her first acoustic guitar CD with cello and mandolin accompaniment. Skyler and another musician have started offering occasional Didgeridoo Adult Workshops on weekends, and he is planning Music Theory Workshops for advanced students.
Joey Archer, the owner of Jammin’ Music Studios, told me, “Since I opened in 2006, I have moved locations three times to accommodate a growing number of students.” Currently at the Tumwater location, Joey and fourteen instructors teach over 100 students each week, 25-30 percent of them adults. “A woman in her eighties is learning the ukulele, and doing quite well,” he told me, “but the majority of the adults are in the 30-60 age range.”
Most of Jammin’s adult students like Sound Star’s, are juggling careers, family, and music lessons. Ted Loran, Director of Network Operations at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction fits that profile. “I was a stranger to music when I decided to take lessons with Joey,” he said. “ I wanted the challenge to try something that looked impossible and foreign to me. Playing music seemed almost like witchcraft!”
Ted takes his lessons on Sundays, and he praised Joey’s flexibility in working around schedules. A year into lessons, Ted says that even though the studio is a hive of activity, he finds Joey’s patience and ability to communicate are what keeps him coming back.
Other students, unlike Ted, are not new to music, but choose to take lessons to enhance their current skills. Garner Miller, a partner at MSGS Architects in Olympia, has been singing all his life. Garner sings in church groups and is a founding member of Nana’s Pant Suit, a local band, but he decided it was time for formal voice lessons. Heidi Altenhofen, Garner’s voice instructor at Jammin’ said, “Twenty percent of my students are adults. Some come just for enrichment and to treat themselves to a new creative endeavor, while the majority are actively performing.”
In either the smaller Sound Star studio or larger Jammin’, getting to know students and making that personal connection are key for keeping adult students motivated. As Heidi told me, “Singing and playing music make the students very vulnerable, so we need to make them comfortable and help them move forward toward their goals.” Garner described his first recital, “It is weird that it didn’t bother me at all to follow a six-year-old. It is amazing to see talent at any age.”
Carolyn Hardee, President and Chief Technical Officer at Engineered Software and a devoted grandmother, takes lessons from Mary Jo Wright who has “Adult Only” recitals, followed by a nice glass of wine and dinner. Carolyn’s daughter surprised her with a gift certificate for lessons with Mary Jo, and Carolyn said, “I loved returning to music so much, I am still at it.”
Mary Jo said she still takes lessons herself from a retired music professor, so she stays in tune with her students as student as well as teacher. She is currently accepting new adult students at her studio. “Gift certificates are a way many adults begin lessons,” Mary Jo said.
If you are looking for a gift for an adult in your life or want to treat yourself to a creative adventure, give Sound Star Music Academy, Jammin’ Music Studio, or Mary Jo Wright Music Studio a call. Remember, now you only have to practice when you want to.
By Gail Wood
As the old proverbs says, you can’t judge a book by its cover. And until you’ve read about Logan Pine’s accomplishments, until you’ve heard about what he’s done on a wrestling mat, you’d never guess who he is.
His quick smile and friendly manner all say nice guy. But when a wrestling match starts, nice guy becomes intense champion.
“I just really like wrestling,” said Pine, a junior at Olympia High School. “It’s in my blood.”
He’s not kidding. Pine’s father, Pat Pine, wrestled at Elma High School and then at Simon Fraser University. Pat’s three brothers all placed at state wrestling for Elma. And Logan’s two brothers, Jordan and Kyle, both Olympia grads, also placed at state.
“I’ve been wrestling since I was five,” Logan said. “My dad and I’d wrestle when I was little. But we don’t wrestle anymore.”
Dad knows better. Of Pine’s 24 opponents he wrestled this season for Olympia, he’s pinned 19. He’s 24-0 at 138 pounds, coming off an impressive win earlier this month in the Gut Check Challenge where last year’s state placers competed in a 32-man bracket. And last summer, Pine placed fourth at a national tournament at Fargo, North Dakota, earning him All-American honors.
“Logan had a really good summer,” said Greg Hargrave, Olympia’s wrestling coach. “His goal is to wrestle in college. I know he has the talent to wrestle somewhere.”
At 138 pounds, Pine isn’t the biggest guy around. But he might be the toughest. Despite his lack of size, he played and started at outside linebacker for the Bears last season.
“He’s a tough kid,” said Hargrave, who was the defensive coordinator for the Bears. “He’s a small guy out there. But he’s a power pack and a competitor.”
Pine is shooting for his third straight trip to state, placing sixth as a freshman and fifth as a sophomore. He’s currently ranked fifth in state at his weight class. But at the Gut Check Challenge, he beat two state champs, one each from Oregon and Washington.
Last summer, Pine wrestled at two national tournaments. There was the tournament at Fargo, where he placed fourth. And there was a tournament at Daytona Beach, where Pine competed on a Washington all-star team, helping them take 12th place. He qualified for the team by winning a regional tournament in both Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling.
Pine estimated he wrestled about 100 matches during his “off-season” time, the three-month period outside of the regular high school season.
“Wrestling is pretty much my life,” Pine said. “I wrestle 10 months out of the year.”
Like all wrestlers, Pine lift weights. He can bench press 235 pounds. But brute strength doesn’t make a champion. Just ask Pine.
“It’s mat time over everything,” Pine said. “And athletic ability.”
Being good, being a champion, means having a truck load of moves. Wrestling is like chess, always countering a move with another move.
“And it’s just having a feel for the sport,” Pine said. “Some people naturally are just going to be better in the sport because they have a good feel for it.”
Pine has that feel.
He has favorite moves, moves that have helped him stack up opponents this season. But he wasn’t going to share what they are, giving an opponent a scouting report on him.
“You make one move to set something else up to score on another move,” Pine said. “It’s a big mental game.”
When someone comes out and head-butts Pine, he knows he has to be thinking what to do next. Or when someone comes after him with a fireman’s carry, he’s got to counter.
“You do a move and if that’s not working you have to do a different one,” Pine said. “It’s all about set ups.”
“I like to think I’m pretty quick,” Pine said with a smile.
Pine is driven, focused on his goal of winning a state title. But there’s a funny side to him. He’s not so intense that he forgets to have a good time.
“He’s a goofball,” Hargrave said with a chuckle. “A lot of wrestlers are.”
But he’s got the serious side and gets things done. Pine also helps others get things done.
“He’s a great kid,” Hargrave said. “He’s a leader on our team. He takes these younger kids under his wings.”
When the high school season is over, Pine will grab a couple of classmates and they’ll go right into practice.
“He’s a leader,” Hargrave said.
Submitted by Citizens for Tenino Schools
On a unanimous vote the Tenino School Board put a capital levy forward, asking the voters in the area to support a levy that prioritizes school safety, improved technology, and the long-term stability of the district’s facilities. The total cost of the levy is $7.953 million.
Two prior bond requests of $38 million did not get the 60 percent voter approval needed to pass. The scaled back request on the February 10 ballot reflects concerns voiced by the community and the top priorities of the school district.
“We felt the improvements to our facilities and student’s learning environment were important additions for our schools, said Judy Cryderman chair of the Citizens for Tenino Schools, “however we heard from many people that the levy was too expensive and the projects too ambitious given our current economy. This scaled-back levy proposal focuses on the highest priority needs to assure our community’s students keep up with changes in science and technology and have a safe place to learn.”
After the bonds did not pass, the Tenino School Board went back to the drawing board, considered the input from voters, and prioritized projects that focus on student safety, upgrades to science and computer technology, and renovations that assure school facilities are conducive to learning. A unanimous vote put the downsized request back in front of voters.
Among the proposed safety improvements are security cameras and alarm systems, automatic door locks and secure entries. Technology upgrades cover student computers, science labs at Tenino middle and high schools, wireless internet connections and new classroom-based technology tools. The renovations include roofing systems for Tenino high, middle and Tenino elementary schools, and additions that will make district facilities compliant with doors, ramps and bathrooms required under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
For a more complete list of proposed projects a Facebook page has been set up.
The Tenino School Board will host two open houses with a question and answer sessions for citizens to learn about the levy proposal. Two community meetings are set for January 20 and January 27, at 6:30 p.m. at Tenino Elementary, 301 Old Highway 99 N.