Recent local blog posts

Canning for Victory: The I Kan Kan Club of the Washington School

Thurston Talk - Sun, 07/17/2016 - 6:00am


During the years leading up to official American involvement in World War I, many people across the nation argued for preparing the American people for eventual participation in the conflict. At the same time, domestic science and home economics were being promoted by school systems. Combining these two programs, thousands of canning clubs were formed

Find Live Music in Olympia

Thurston Talk - Sun, 07/17/2016 - 6:00am


Olympia is filled with music events every week. From karaoke to jazz to punk, there’s something for everyone. Open Mic Nights Head over to the Westside Tavern every Monday at 9:00 p.m. to play a few songs or just listen! Each performer can play up to three songs. 21+. More information can be found on

Lakefair Parade Float Denied Entry by Organizers

Janine's Little Hollywood - Sun, 07/17/2016 - 12:56am

Above:  A float created by members of the Olympia Confronting the Climate Crisis group was not allowed to enter the Lakefair Parade. Instead, the group parked it on Percival Landing and educated the public about fossil fuels, recent oil train derailments, and provided a more sustainable, alternative vision of the future.
By Janine
The carnival rides and games, food, parade, and fireworks are all highlights of Capital Lakefair, a five day festival which began 59 years ago in downtown Olympia. 
It’s gone through a lot of changes over the years, but maybe there’s room for just a little more change.
About 100 entries from around the Northwest for the parade on Saturday night were submitted, including flashy, motorized floats from Northwest area community festivals, school marching bands, drill teams, and a few groups advertising their for-profit businesses, but a modest, homemade, two piece float was not allowed to participate.
Designed by members of the Olympia Confronting the Climate Crisis group, an oil train derailment is depicted under the section titled, “CO2 = Climate Chaos,” which features a lot of of black paint, train wheels that really move and flames made out of cardboard. 

The other section depicts a happy scene with children and families playing near clean water, raised garden beds, and a solar powered house under a rainbow.
After organizers could not get an explanation for the denial from Lakefair executive director Dennis Williams, group members reached out to local media to make their case.
King 5 News contacted Williams, who told that news organization that the floats were political in nature. Williams did not respond to an emailed request for information from Little Hollywood.
“The floats were made specifically for the Lakefair Parade - all stated limitations regarding the parade were related to politician limitations as stated on the Lakefair website,” Rod Tharp told Little Hollywood
In response to the denial to participate, members of the group quickly organized to place the float on Percival Landing near The Kiss statue, and staff it during Lakefair hours of operation. They explained the scene and climate change issues to passersby.
Tharp, a member of the climate crisis group, and a former small residential contractor and carpenter, designed the floats and worked with several others to create the two piece, educational, multi-media float. He has lived in Thurston County since 1975.
“If we don't solve the climate change issue, all the other issues - social justice, equality of all people, and peace, will become more serious. All these are related so we are working on all of them, but climate change is our top item,” he said of the group.
The theme for this year's Capital Lakefair is Community Hearts Fly! 
“We are an accepting community – that doesn’t make sense. We’re so progressive here. We line Fourth Avenue and Capitol Way with rainbow flags showing our pride and we can’t have a rainbow float in our Lakefair parade to show community spirit?” said one woman who saw the float and was told it wasn’t allowed in the parade.
Above: A passerby ponders the portion of the float depicting an oil train derailment.
“Hey, at least you get to be out here showing people this longer than being in the parade,” said a young man.
Above: Todd Davison is a new member of the Olympia Confronting the Climate Crisis group. He helped create the float scenes, and educated passersby about climate change issues on Friday.
“I’ve been concerned about pollution and the destruction of the environment for about 30 to 40 years and my parents built a solar powered house in the '80s in Maine. I used to work for Homes First! but now I’m retired and have the time and resources to help out,” said Todd Davison, as he staffed the float on Friday.
The group is part of the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation and has been active in Olympia for almost six years. It meets every third Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. at the Olympia Center, and is known for its colorful signs and props at peaceful protests and events.
Bourtai Hargrove, a member of the group who staffed the floats on Friday and Saturday, said the floats took about three weeks to make. She and other members of the group have also testified for divestment of state retirement funds in fossil fuels at meetings of the Washington State Investment Board.

“This float is about protecting future families,” said Sue Langhans, who was also helping to staff the float on Friday and Saturday.

Capital Lakefair is a non-profit, volunteer organization. It takes a tremendous amount of effort to pull it off, and many local organizations rely on the proceeds from their Lakefair food booths to fund their year-round community activities. To find out more information, go to
Above: Using an oil train tanker look-alike semi, CrimeStoppers volunteers inexplicably threw toilet paper rolls featuring an advertisement for a local plumbing company to parade watchers, which was a real hit with the kids. 

Speaking of fossil fuels, Olympia Mayor Cheryl Selby rode in the parade in a 1950 Buick. Tumwater Mayor Pete Kmet rode in a 1957 T-Bird Convertible. There were also several cars with the Corvettes of Olympia club, several entries for the Horseless Carriage Club and the ever-popular fire trucks. Near the end of the parade, Olympia city councilmembers Clark Gilman and Julie Hankins were seen on foot, along with city manager Steve Hall and a solid waste recycling team, ready to collect recyclables from parade watchers. 
For more information about the Olympia Confronting the Climate Crisis group, the Washington State Investment Board, sea level rise, and other climate change issues of particular concern to downtown Olympia and the community, go to Little Hollywood,, and type key words into the search button.

Headlining Entertainment Brings Awesome Sounds to the Grays Harbor County Fair

Thurston Talk - Sat, 07/16/2016 - 6:00am


Summer in Grays Harbor County brings thoughts of family fun, games and rides, the aroma of outdoor cooking, and visions of a variety of farm animals. It is fair time. The Grays Harbor County Fair is a summer tradition. Located in Elma, fair goers travel from Grays Harbor and beyond to celebrate on August 10 – 14.

Sarah Weideman – Yelm Mother Fights for Epilepsy Awareness

Thurston Talk - Sat, 07/16/2016 - 6:00am


When Yelm resident Sarah Weideman’s daughter Allie had her first seizure on Saint Patrick’s day of 2015, the family was unfamiliar with epilepsy and the challenges that accompany the disease. After Allie’s initial grand mal seizure ended, she began having complex partial seizures almost every day, where she remained conscious but would repeat movements and

Peacocks, houses and muses

South Sound Arts - Fri, 07/15/2016 - 9:36am
"Modigliani's Muse" plaster, acrylic and crayon on board by Lynette Charters, all photos courtesy the artist

Recent paintings by Lynette Charters
Published in the Weekly Volcano, July 14, 2016
“Housing Boom” Lynette Charters’ paintings are unique, not just in her use of media — china marker over acrylic paint mixed with plaster — but in her way of painting. On wood panels, she creates fields of heavily textured globs of color that are almost if not completely non-objective, and then either draws on top of those fields of color with the markers or creates line drawings by scraping into the not-yet-dried plaster, or in the case of some of her “muses” series, she tapes off areas to create negative images of figures in unpainted wood. Typically, similar methods of painting are seldom effective, because they create a separation between figure and ground, and because the end result is a figurative drawing on top of an abstract painting, which in the hands of lesser artists becomes trite and tricky. Not so in most of Charters’’ paintings. Through skillful manipulation of paint, she integrates figure and ground and creates a delicate balance of harmony and contrast between the abstract and the figurative. Note: not every painting in this show manages to successfully pull this off, but most do, and they are stunning to see. 
Charters’ show fills all three levels of the Washington Center lobby. Each level represents a different series: peacocks, houses and muses. The peacocks are joyful, colorful and ironic, since they have to do with preening and pomp. The muses, where the bare wood comes into play, are symbolic of women’s body issues; they reference other works from art history (for instance, there is one with four skinny women based on Giacometti sculptures and another based on a painting by Magritte); and the houses represent urban chaos. 
"Magritte's Muse"

“The theme of this exhibition is primarily about public image. How image is used to manipulate a position in society, how we are swayed by it and how we can be ultimately enslaved by projected images, even the ones we project ourselves,” Charters says.  In “Modigliani’s Muse” there is a flat image of a women in unpainted wood almost completely obliterated by a similar female figure that covers it so that only the head, feet and raised hands of the underneath figure show. The inserted figure is pictured wearing a light blue dress that merges into the background. The off-the-shoulder dress exposes one breast, and the woman’s breast and eyes are unpainted knotholes in the bare wood. The jigsaw puzzle-like integration of upper and lower figures is masterful in its peekaboo effect and play between positive and negative shapes. "Deep Pockets"
“Deep Pockets” is a creative explosion of color with a peacock outlined in red with blue dots on its tail feather floating off into the burning reds and oranges of the background. The peacock is standing on an oval of unpainted wood that is part of a dress pattern with instructions and measurements marked. It is funny and beautiful.
“Housing Boom” depicts childlike line drawings of houses stacked up and taking off into a stormy sky like rockets, a playful yet ominous commentary on the real estate market and the overcrowding and sameness of suburbia.
These are but three of many works in the show. I wish I had space to write about many more. It’s a large and impressive show. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Lynette Charters, noon to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday and by appointment, through Aug. 28, reception July 16, 5-7:30 p.m., The Washington Center for Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, 360.753.8585

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Stargazing around the South Sound

Thurston Talk - Fri, 07/15/2016 - 6:05am


On the clear nights around the Pacific Northwest, those who head outside, away from the cities are rewarded with a stunning display of the wonders of the night sky. Up on ridges and mountains, along dirt roads and closer to the wonders of the universe, stargazers in the Pacific Northwest are treated to a litany of

A Summer of Relationships, Belonging, and Achievement with the South Sound YMCA

Thurston Talk - Fri, 07/15/2016 - 6:00am


Summer camp provides a lifetime of memories for so many people, whether being away from home for the first time, endless evenings around the campfire, or just long summer days spent with friends. Thanks to the South Sound YMCA’s outreach and generosity, kids ages 6-16 can make new friends and learn new skills while having

Calling All Open Class Baking, Beverages, and Preserves

Thurston Talk - Fri, 07/15/2016 - 6:00am


Submitted by the Thurston County Fair  This year’s Thurston County Fair has baking, canning, brewing, and bee-keeping for the whole herd! But you’ll have to hurry—entries for many of this year’s open class food contests are due during the week before the fair opens on Wednesday, August 3. Open Class Baking: 3-7 p.m. on Monday,

6 Olympia Restaurants Serving Fresh Foods, Sourced Locally

Thurston Talk - Fri, 07/15/2016 - 6:00am


In this often referenced scene from the IFC show Portlandia, a couple sits down to dine and spends several minutes quizzing their server on the origin of the chicken, the conditions in which it was raised, and what the chicken ate (local hazelnuts?) The server then shows the diners pictures of the chicken, tells them

Olympia Weekend Events Calendar

Thurston Talk - Fri, 07/15/2016 - 5:00am


The calendar says July but I’m still traveling with a fleece in my car most days, just in case. However, the rain will stay away for this 59th annual Capitol Lakefair weekend with clear skies promised for Sunday night’s fireworks show as well as throughout the weekend for outdoor adventures and strolls through town. Wherever your weekend

Where have you been?

OlyBlog Home Page - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 5:52pm

I haven't given up on OlyBlog... but pretty much all my spare time between now and November 8th is committed to working to pass I-732. (In case you hadn't heard, it's an initiative to help slow climate change and make the tax system fairer.)

You can learn more about it in this CNN piece, on PBS, or on Audubon Washington's endorsement page. (We now have a local campaign Facebook page too, at

And if you'd like to do your bit to help pass it, you could email me...

Best wishes,
Thad logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

South Sound Science Symposium Registration Open

Squaxin Natural Resources Blog - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 4:24pm

Registration is now open for the 6th South Sound Science Symposium to be held September 20th at the Little Creek Casino Event Center.

Registration information, a call for posters and general information can be found here at the Symposium website.

Categories: Local Environment

Sweat Socially: Capitol to Bay Relay Offers Team Challenges for a Good Cause

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 3:49pm


Submitted by Capitol the Bay Relay  Let the training begin for the Capitol to Bay Relay taking place Saturday, August 6. Sanctioned as an adventure race by the United States Adventure Race Association, Capitol to Bay Relayers can participate solo, but are encouraged to complete in tandem or with a team. The course begins in

Calling All Open Class Home Arts, Hobbies, and Crafts Entries

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 2:42pm


Submitted by The Thurston County Fair  If it’s floral design, photography, or other home arts hobbies that inspire you, then we have an open class home arts competition that’s pretty as a picture!  There are dozens of different categories for home arts enthusiasts, artists and crafters of all ages and abilities. Entries for many of

Bryan Hoddle – the Soldier’s Coach

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 6:00am


Bryan Hoddle is not a track coach. That label hasn’t accurately described him for quite some time. Sure, he can correct and enhance your running form. He can show you the proper way to stretch before and after working out so you don’t injure yourself. He can even serve up some physical therapy to help

The Joy of Hearing Theater at The Washington Center

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 6:00am


Nearly five years ago Lee Higginson began to lose his hearing. Higginson, 87 is retired and an devoted theater goer and supporter at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Olympia. He was diagnosed with high frequency hearing loss. This type of hearing loss occurs with aging and results in the difficulty of

Thrifty Thurston Finds Frugal Lakefair Fun

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 6:00am


In 1957, a small carnival began on the shores of Capitol Lake to beat the heat and boredom of the summer. The tradition continues with this year’s Capitol Lakefair through July 17. What started from humble beginnings has grown into one of the biggest local summer events. For most families, Lakefair is anything but cheap. The

Join Community Christian Academy Preschool and Childcare’s Summer Open House

Thurston Talk - Wed, 07/13/2016 - 11:20am


Submitted by The Northwest Christian Private Schools Community Christian Academy Preschool and Childcare Center is hosting an Open House on Tuesday, August 9th from 6:00-7:30pm. You can meet our teachers and tour the facility first hand. Refreshments will be provided. You can also schedule a tour of our Preschool and Childcare at your convenience by calling

7 Tips for Sun Safety this Summer

Thurston Talk - Wed, 07/13/2016 - 8:56am


Submitted by Thurston County Public Health & Social Services With the amount of cloudy and rainy days we see in Western Washington, it is no surprise that most of us like to make the most of sunny weather. Sunny days are glorious. There are many ways to enjoy the sun, whether gardening or relaxing at home,

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