Recent local blog posts

The People of the Procession of the Species

Thurston Talk - Sun, 04/19/2015 - 6:00am



By Nikki McCoy

SCJ Alliance logoIt takes all kinds to produce Procession of the Species, an Earth Day celebration that is 20 years strong, attracts 35,000 spectators to downtown Olympia and has more than 4,000 participants.

Here, we meet seven of those behind-the-scenes participants, whose hard work and sense of community make the Procession of the Species a masterpiece.

procession species olympia

The Procession of the Species is a magical occurrence, one that lends its reverence to its creators – the people. Here, Executive Director Eli Sterling stands next to a few of hundreds of Procession animals.

Eli Sterling – Executive Director. An activist at heart, Eli grew up in Seattle and moved to Olympia in 1988 to begin his masters in environmental studies at Evergreen. Shortly after, a TV and radio program emerged, and Earthbound Productions was born. In 1995, Earthbound put out a call to action to help protect endangered species – something different than a protest or demonstration – and so became the Procession of the Species we know and love today.

“Procession is really to be alive and be aware of our sensitivities,” says Eli. “The act of trying to do this for 20 years…it’s a great testament…the Procession is a heartwarming place, even if the world isn’t.”

Nicole Mercier – President of Earthbound Productions. Involved for 16 years, Nicole’s advice for anyone interested in joining Procession is valuable. “The most important thing for a newcomer to remember is that we were all newcomers once,” she says. “Plunge in and get involved. The sooner you do, the sooner you will become a part of the magic that is Procession. Hopefully we will be able to raise enough funds in the next year to be able to have a Community Art Studio once again, because THAT is where the real magic is!”

Dave Sederberg – Veteran of stage and sound. Creating audio and visual events for non-profits has been Dave’s passion for over 25 years. He has worked with Procession since the beginning.

procession species

Dave Sederberg, along with wife Reiko and daughter Whitney, honor the fox.

“The Procession of the Species has changed lives, communities and a generation with liberated acts of thematic creativity and instruction,” muses Dave. “As we create, we learn. As we learn, we love. As we love, we protect. Many people in our community that have joined Procession could have continued on with their lives and never become the drummer, dancer or the artist that was inside them all along.”

Nichole Rose – Luminary Workshop Instructor. Nichole learned how to create illuminated sculptures, locally known as “luminaries,” in the Olympia Community Art Studio back in 2006. She has been an instructor for luminary workshops since 2010. Originally from San Francisco, she brought her passion for community art, botany, and awe of the natural world to Olympia in 1992. Her luminary projects have been inspired by the natural architecture of seed pods, birds, crystals, insects, planets, and stars. One of her favorite creations, a 10-foot tall (without stilts) praying mantis with articulating arms and head, is designed to playfully interact with observers at community events.

procession species

Nichole Rose concentrates on a luminescent crescent moon, constructed with matchstick bamboo, paper and glue.

Holly Graham – Founding member. Active in Olympia’s art scene since 1990, Holly, like many, has a deep appreciation for Procession. For many years, she taught Procession workshops in mask making, making giant parade art, and crafting critter shakers using plastic bottles and papier-mâché.

“Procession has colored and deepened my life as an artist and person,” she says. “Creating with community and seeing the fruits of art, as families danced together during each Procession, has been an amazing and wonderful experience, always made new, always surprising, always moving.”

Jerry Berebitsky – Large-scale puppeteer. After moving to Olympia in 2006, Jerry and his family watched their first Procession. They have participated every year since. Since that time, Jerry has made a larger than life size elephant, spider (named Rainbow) and giraffe.

“My favorite moments of Procession have been working with and beside many wonderful members of our community,” says Jerry. “It has been a joy to seeing young and old come together in the spirit of creation and discovery.  I also had the joy to share in our children’s creations.  My daughter has taken to combining many species.  One year, I believe, she was a flower, butterfly and fish mixture.  Our son is working toward large scale creations.  He began making a snake and most recently built a 15′ Komodo dragon that he pulled on his own.”

Steve Shanewise – Chalk Man. An environmental consultant, Steve’s first involvement with Procession was in 2008. He now hands out 7,000 pieces of chalk, dressed in turkey feathers.

procession species olympia

Steve Shanwise smiles with his eyes as he prepares to give out 7,000 pieces of chalk to passersby.

“My favorite moment by far was the very first time I handed out the chalk to the kids,” reminisces Steve. “The police were supposed to do it, but bailed at the last moment, and when I realized that no one was going to do anything about it, I just grabbed some people and loaded the chalk into the back of my pickup and we took off along the route.  And what made it so memorable was just seeing all those kids literally squealing with glee as they saw we had chalk and how big the smiles on their faces were.  It can’t get better than that.”

While these people are all instrumental in making Procession successful – it couldn’t happen without the rest of Olympia. Whether a participant, a spectator or a funder, it takes a village – and these folks reminds us all to be inspired.

Registration for the Procession, slated for Saturday, April 25 at 4:30 p.m., is located at the corner of Jefferson and Legion. Folks are welcome to use one of hundreds of beautiful props.

The same invitation is open for the Luminary Procession, Friday, April 24 at 9:30 p.m. Pieces can be checked out from the Procession studio, from 8:30 – 9 p.m. and you, too, can be part of the magic.

Tennis, Anyone? Get a New Swing with Local Lessons

Thurston Talk - Sun, 04/19/2015 - 6:00am



By Lynn West

rivers edgeDriving by any of the fifteen public tennis courts in Thurston County these days, puddles are more evident than players. During our spring showers, take advantage of indoor courts at Capitol City Tennis & Athletic Center, the Valley Athletic Club and soon at Steamboat Island Athletic and Tennis Club. Whether you are a seasoned player looking for new challenges or a beginner of any age, get started now.

capitol city tennis

Transitional Juniors Class getting ready to practice at Capitol City Tennis. Jordan Coons, Capitol’s Head Tennis Pro is on the left, Cody Leimback (far right) is the assistant pro and Michael Schuster (third from right) is the junior coordinator.

When Bally’s tennis program was eliminated two years ago, John Campbell realized he had an opportunity to create an amazing indoor tennis club for youth and adults. In September of 2012, John and his wife, Cheri, opened Capitol City Tennis & Athletic Center in Tumwater.

On any given day, the six full-size US Open Blue indoor tennis courts are filled. Observing lessons and practice in full swing from the mezzanine at Capitol City keeps your eyes constantly moving and your ears attuned to the rhythm of the ball echoing on the courts.

Since Capitol City has the only permanent 60-foot junior court in the Pacific Northwest, their Quick Start, U10, U13 or Transition Juniors lessons fill the courts most weekday afternoons.

Jordan Coons, the head tennis pro at Capitol City, oversees all the tennis programs. “We are especially proud of Quick Start, a national program that prepares students to participate in tournaments sponsored by the United States Tennis Association,” he told me.

“However,” Jordon stressed, “above all we just want kids to have fun learning to play tennis.”

In addition to a smaller court size in Quick Start, participating youth also play with a decompressed tennis ball, which allows the game to move at a slower pace. However, the pace of the game may not feel slow because of how the lessons are structured at Capitol City.

tennis lessons

Marianne Habersetzer and her son Michael Johnson pose with the trophy they won in a tournament earlier this year.

“Many programs have students stand in line, wait to hit the ball, hit it, and go back in line,” Jordon said. “In our program, students are always moving out on the court and continually hitting the ball.

I asked Jordon if he started playing tennis in a program like Quick Start. “No,” he said, “I never picked up a racket until I was 20, and I have barely set it down since.” He became a tennis professional and taught locally for 14 years before coming to Capitol City.

Many adult players who take lessons at Capitol City are either new to the game or their skills are rusty, and often prefer group rather private lessons. A new program, Lunchtime Tennis, which started this month, allows workers whose employers offer Wellness Programs to satisfy some of the requirements.

The Valley Athletic Club also offers an extensive tennis program, and both clubs have member and non-member options. Blakely Bean recently left her position at the Austin Country Club in Atlanta, Ga., to join the other pros at the Valley.

“Tennis is so popular in Atlanta,” she said. “Every neighborhood has tennis courts and offers lessons. When I was six, my mom put me in a class just for the fun of it.” Blakely’s teachers soon discovered she had a natural talent. She has played, taught and coached ever since.

Blakely is eager to help other young players realize their potential. The Valley boasts eight indoor hard surface courts. Their Quick Start Program begins with Teeny Tennis for 4 – 6-year-olds and offers Youth Levels 1 – 5 and culminates with Tennis Tournament Training. Adults have private and group lesson options, Skills and Drills, and many specialized clinics.

tennis olympia

Blakely Bean teaches a private youth lesson at The Valley Athletic Club.

Of the Valley’s Boot Camp Program, Blakely says it’s a one-and-a-half hour intensive of continuous play that takes place every Thursday night. After just finishing a boot camp session, Valley member Marianne Habersetzer chimed in saying, “[The] camp is very intense, but it pays off in much improved performance.”

At the USDA sanctioned Winter Warm Up Tournament this past January, Marianne and her 21-year-old son, Michael Johnson, won the mixed doubles category. Marianne decided to take lessons again a couple of years ago to sharpen her skills. “I have also made wonderful new friends,” she says.

Steamboat Island Athletic and Tennis Club should be open this summer, according to owners Drake and Roseanne Nicholson. “It’s been a long time coming,” Drake told me recently. “When we started planning 12 years ago, our daughters were in 4th and 8th grade at Griffin School, and my dream was to watch them walk across the street and play at our club.”

On the corner of Highway 101 and Steamboat Island Road, the club will have four indoor courts in phase one with plans for two outdoor courts and a swimming pool in the future.

During the summer months, rain puddles are sure to be replaced by enthusiastic players on local outdoor courts. After you have honed your skills indoors, check out the Lacey Parks and Recreation offerings, which will be posted on May 10. Get those rackets ready for some sun exposure!


Local Landmark Olympia Supply Company Has You Covered for Your Next Project

Thurston Talk - Sun, 04/19/2015 - 6:00am



olympia supply

Store manager Jeremy, office manager Kathy and cashier Sandi work together to keep Olympia Supply Company running smoothly, as it has for the last 109 years.

The last time we made an emergency run to the hardware store it was for wood stain. We’d run out mid-project. And, while there we picked up a few other things – odd sized halogen lightbulbs for the kitchen, a pipe fitting for a leaky hose-bib, and some chapstick. Yes – home improvement projects are tough on the lips, too.

Luckily, we could step inside 109-year-old Olympia Supply Company on Columbia Street in downtown Olympia and get all we needed and more. The vibrant blue storefront showcased a rainbow of wheelbarrows out front and Radio Flyers in the windows and begged for further investigation.

Parking is easy and ample, something many people don’t immediately associate with its downtown location. “There is parking all around the building, tucked on the edge in our lot as well as street parking,” shares longtime office manager Kathy Waltermeyer. Access from I-5 is a snap from the Capitol Way exit and its park-side location, across from Capitol Lake, allows shoppers to extend their visit with a stroll lakeside.

“People sometimes think of us as a last resort,” Waltermeyer shares. “Someplace to go when they can’t find something, but we really want to be the place you start.” The deceptively vast store, with warehouse space in the rear and aisle after aisle of goods, is a treasure trove of items needed to complete small “honey-do” projects all the way up to major renovations.

olympia supply

Retail goods were added to the store 13 years ago including a great selection of Radio Flyer products.

Not only are the shelves well stocked, but the store can special order nearly anything you need and includes a wide variety of on-site services that harken to their “old-fashioned” roots. “People don’t know that we offer so many services such as rescreening windows and sharpening scissors and tools,” says Waltermeyer. In today’s market of cheap goods and a disposable mentality, Olympia Supply retains the philosophy of yester-year, advocating fixing things that are broken and caring for, and selling, things of quality and value.

The store’s shelves provide inspiration and solutions to your project needs and the staff are equal to the task of helping you find anything. “We have a small crew here,” shares Waltermeyer. “We all wear many hats. We are in tune with who walks through the door and are ready to help.”

One familiar face to Olympia Supply team is Sandi. Most days you’ll find her behind the register. If you need something, she’ll know where it is. She’s been with the family-owned company since 1999 and, according to Waltermeyer, “remembers the part numbers better than anyone in the store.” You might also catch a glimpse of “Uncle Ben,” the second generation Bean owner of the store. Now in his 90s, Ben stops by nearly every day just to “check on things.”

Olympia Supply Company’s roots are in the construction materials business. Founded in 1906 by Earl Bean, and currently owned by his grandson Jeff Bean, the store began by supplying builders with construction materials during our area’s growth at the turn of the century.

olympia supply

The store not only offers a wide selection, but customer service by employees who can offer advice on your project, steering you to just what you need.

As the business grew and changed, the need to expand to a retail hardware store, serving the needs of the community, became clear. Store manager Jeremy Lauritzen was an instrumental part of that change and continues to bring innovative ideas and strong leadership to the team. Now, part of the True Value family of businesses, Olympia Supply provides just about anything you could need – including chapstick.

While you’d expect to find paint and lightbulbs, tools and hardware, the store carries a surprising array of goods and rotates stock seasonally. With spring nearly sprung in Thurston County, the store is setting up its annual seed display including Ed Hume Seeds alongside Irish Eyes Organic Seeds. And while the store doesn’t carry live plants, it can supply just about all your garden needs from pots and soil to gloves and hats. Come fall, the garden area will be transformed with seasonal décor and a dizzying number of holiday lights.

“Our gift cards are very popular for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day,” shares Waltermeyer. “People are surprised we offer a wedding registry service.” Newlyweds may be excited to set a fancy table with new china, but chances are they will be mowing, pruning or fixing a leaky faucet long before the china is unboxed.

My best find in the store? The Georgia Boot Romeos my husband loves at a price I can’t beat, even online. The popular work shoes are in front, next to the Bogs boots and Radio Flyer wagons and just down the aisle from the well-stocked canning section. You never know what you’ll find, but you can be sure it will be a good value backed by their customer satisfaction promise.

A trip to Olympia Supply Company accomplishes more, though, than helping you check items off your list. The historic photos, impeccable customer service, and old-fashioned hardware store feel transport you to a time when neighbors gathered and lent a helping hand. You may, like me, recall trips to a similar store (or this very one) holding tight to the hand of your grandfather, mother or father. The reasons past generations shopped at a locally owned mercantile are the exact same reason people shop at Olympia Supply today – for the warm smile, the expert knowledge, the community roots and the unexpected items you never knew you needed (like my new chapstick).

olympia supplyOlympia Supply Company

625 Columbia Street SW in downtown Olympia


Open Monday – Friday from 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Saturday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


2015 Lacey Historian of the Year Nominations Now Open

Thurston Talk - Sat, 04/18/2015 - 11:28am



Submitted by The City of Lacey

The Lacey Historical Commission is now accepting nominations for the Lacey Historian of the Year. To be considered for the award, nominees will have “made a significant contribution to the preservation or promotion of Lacey’s history.”

First awarded in 2002, the 2015 winner will join a distinguished group of historians that have been recognized for their outstanding contributions through the years, including Richard Jones in 2014 and Susan Goff in 2013.

Nomination forms are available on the City of Lacey’s website, and will be accepted through Sunday, May 10. Nominations will be considered by the Lacey Historical Commission at their regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 20, 6:00 p.m. at Lacey City Hall.

For more information on the Historian of the Year program or the Lacey Historical Commission, please call the Lacey Parks and Recreation department at (360) 491-0857.

April Is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Thurston County

Thurston Talk - Sat, 04/18/2015 - 11:03am



Submitted by Thurston County 

pinwheelsThurston County Commissioners issued a proclamation today designating April 2015 as “Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month in Thurston County.”

Thurston County’s proclamation is part of a larger national campaign in April to raise awareness about child abuse. Since 1983, communities across the country have taken time in April to promote local efforts and programs that help prevent child abuse and neglect, support families, and strengthen communities.

“My colleagues and I have presented this proclamation each April for several years now. But it’s just as important to bring attention to the issue of child abuse in our community today as it has ever been. Our work is not done,” said Thurston County Commissioner Sandra Romero. Romero is also Chair of the Thurston County Board of Health, and chair of the Thurston Council for Children and Youth (TCCY), a group working to bring attention to domestic violence in our community and to identify preventative measures to reduce harm to children.

Romero continued, “We’ve made great strides here in Thurston County to bring resources and partners together to support children and families in crisis, and it’s important that we celebrate our success and thank those public and private partners. But even one case of child abuse is too many. We have to keep working and keep improving our community support network to help families in Thurston County overcome the factors and stressors that can push parents and caregivers to the breaking point. If we want to have healthy, successful children in Thurston County, it’s up to us as leaders to create a healthy community that surrounds and supports our children.”

Thurston County Commission Chair Cathy Wolfe said, “Studies have shown time and again that protecting our children from abuse, neglect, and domestic violence today means they are less likely to have problems with addiction, unemployment, mental illness, or run-ins with the law later on in life. Protecting a child today ensures a better community tomorrow—that’s how we all benefit from speaking out against child abuse.”

“I think this is a great opportunity to remind people that child abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence aren’t just city issues. Whether you live in the city, the suburbs, or out in the country, we are all impacted by these issues, and we all have a responsibility to protect our children and support our families all throughout Thurston County,” said Commissioner Bud Blake.

courthouse dog olympiaThe proclamation was accepted by Tambra Donohue, Director of Monarch Children’s Justice Advocacy Center, and Monarch’s facility dog named Astro. Similar to a guide dog or service dog, Astro’s job at Monarch Children’s Justice Advocacy Center is to assist and comfort children and their families as they cope with the stress and trauma that often occurs during the investigation, treatment and prosecution of crimes like child abuse. Monarch’s mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of child abuse in our community.

“I’m still amazed at how much light and love and healing just one special dog like Astro can bring to a whole community,” said Donohue. “He’s been a great addition to the Monarch team, and I know he’s made a difference in the lives of hundreds of children and adult survivors who have come to us for help and sometimes quite literally lean on him for support.”

Donohue continued, “I’d also like to thank Monarch’s community partners that are either co-located with us or provide services at the center—Astro’s ‘pack,’ if you will. Providence Sexual Assault and Child Maltreatment Clinic, the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Team, SafePlace, Cielo, Child Protection Services, Community Action Council and local law enforcement agencies all make a difference every day in the lives of children in our community. Thank you so much for this recognition and for helping us raise awareness about preventing child abuse.”
Do you know a child who is being abused? Call the DSHS 24-Hour Hotline:
1-866-END-HARM (1-866-363-4276)

For Parents:

  • Olympia Crisis Clinic 24-Hour Hotline: 1-800-627-2211
  • SafePlace 24-Hour Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Hotline: (360) 754-6300 or for TTY call (360) 943-6703

For more information about Monarch Children’s Justice Advocacy Center and their no-cost therapy services, advocacy services and forensic interviewing program for child abuse victims and families, visit their website.

To learn more about DSHS Child Protective Services and other DSHS programs and resources dedicated to protecting children, click here.

For a list of emergency service contacts and other resources for Thurston County families in need, go to the Thurston County website and click on the link under the heading “April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.”

4-H Spring Clover Campaign Starts April 22

Thurston Talk - Sat, 04/18/2015 - 10:57am



Submitted by Thurston County

 Commissioner Blake; national volunteer award winner and 4-H student Fiona Cowell; Fiona’s dog Daisy; Commissioner Romero; Commissioner Wolfe

From left to right: Commissioner Blake, Fiona Cowell, Daisy, and Commissioners Romero and Wolfe

The National 4-H Council will launch its fifth annual Spring Paper Clover Campaign on Wednesday, April 22. The 4-H Paper Clover campaigns raise thousands of dollars for local 4-H programs in Thurston County and across the country.

Each year in the fall and spring, the National 4-H Council teams up with Tractor Supply Company and Del’s Feed and Farm Supply stores to raise money for local 4-H programs with the sale of paper clovers for a donation of $1 or more at checkout. In Thurston County, the Del’s Feed and Farm Supply stores in Olympia and Yelm will sell the paper clovers from April 22 through May 3, with 65 percent of the funds raised at the two stores going directly to fund 4-H programs in Thurston County. As in years past, 5 percent of Paper Clover proceeds raised in Thurston County will go to the statewide 4-H office in Pullman, and 30 percent will go to the National 4-H Council.

“We are so grateful for the support our friends at the Olympia Del’s store and the Yelm Del’s store,” said Thurston County 4-H Program Coordinator Dianna Ullery. “We’ve partnered with them each year for our clover campaigns, and they are just so supportive of the kids and the 4-H programs. They have been instrumental in helping Thurston County 4-H offer great programs for our local youth year after year.”

In 2014, The Yelm Del’s Feed and Farm Supply store raised a total of $2,365 in the fall and spring fundraisers, making it sixth in the state. The Olympia Del’s Feed and Farm Supply store raised a total of $1,961, coming in at tenth in the state. Together, the two stores raised more than $2,800 that went directly to the Thurston County 4-H program.

This year, Thurston County Commissioners helped kick off the Spring Paper Clover Campaign by inviting local 4-Her Fiona Cowell and her dog Daisy to the April 14 Board of County Commissioners meeting. Fiona was recently named one of Washington’s top two youth volunteers of 2015 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism. One of Fiona’s regular volunteer activities is to take her dog Daisy to visit local nursing homes where residents can get some “pet therapy.” Fiona and other members of her 4-H club have also raised money and donations for a local pet shelter, cleared vegetation that was clogging a salmon stream, cleaned animal enclosures at a wildlife rehabilitation center, stuffed stockings for children in need at Christmas, and collected food for a food bank, among other volunteer activities.

“Fiona should be an inspiration to us all—she’s still four years away from having a driver’s license, and look at all of the things she’s accomplished! She is truly a local hero, and her national volunteerism award is proof of that,” said Thurston County Commissioner Bud Blake. “I know the whole community is really proud of her.”

“I am just so grateful to Fiona and her 4-H club for all of the wonderful things they have done for our community,” said Commissioner Sandra Romero. “We know the 4-H program is good for our young people, but Fiona’s accomplishments are proof that the 4-H program benefits our entire community.”

Commission Chair Cathy Wolfe said, “Fiona and our other 4-H youth are tomorrow’s civic and business leaders, and from what I can see, they are well on their way to making this a better community for all of us.”

The Thurston County 4-H program is a partnership between the private, non-profit National 4-H Council, the Washington State University Extension program, and Thurston County government. What started as a handful of agricultural clubs for youth in the late 1800s and early 1900s has grown into a community of 442 members supporting 89 clubs in Thurston County, and 6 million young people across America learning about agricultural techniques, technology and research through practical “hands-on” learning.  The national 4-H organization is a unique partnership of the National 4-H Council, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 100 land-grant universities across the country, and more than 3,000 county offices that form the land-grant university Cooperative Extension System.

To learn more about the Thurston County 4-H Fall Paper Clover Campaign, or to find out more about the WSU Thurston County Extension 4-H programs and membership, visit or call (360) 867-2151. WSU Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination.


Evita at Tacoma Musical Playhouse

South Sound Arts - Sat, 04/18/2015 - 8:57am

Published in The News Tribune, April 17, 2015
Juan Perόn (Jonathan Bill) and Eva (Alena Menefee). Photo by Kat DollarhideTacoma Musical Playhouse’s production of “Evita” is outstanding in every way. The set by Bruce Haasl and lighting by John Chenault are stunning, and the lead actors are outstanding. With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, “Evita” captured seven Tony Awards when it played on Broadway.
“Evita” is the story of Eva Perόn (Alena Menefee), an aspiring actress and singer who sleeps her way to fame and fortune, marries Argentine President Juan Perόn (Jonathan Bill), is seen by the people as a hero and a saint, and dies tragically and young.
The mood is set majestically with an amazing opening number, “Requiem,” performed by the ensemble in front of and behind scrims with projected video of the real Eva and her compatriots. The blend of action, music, video imagery and lighting in this and the followings scenes, “Oh What a Circus” and “On the Night of a Thousand Stars,” are musical theater at its finest. “Requiem” tells of the tragic death of Eva. In “Oh What a Circus” we meet Che (Rafe Wadleigh), the “Everyman” narrator who is cynical, angry, and seemingly the only person who can see through the political posturing. The third of these opening scenes takes place when Che says, quite snidely, that Eva met a tango singer, and we open on a club where Augustin Magaldi (Jeff Barehand) is singing. The opening of this scene is a visual marvel that looks like a baroque painting, and Barehand sings terrifically.
Eva Perόn (Alena Menefee) and Che (Rafe Wadleigh). Photo by Kat DollarhideFrom this auspicious beginning, the cast takes us through the stormy life of Eva Perόn. It is anything but light musical comedy. It is highly dramatic with dark scenes sparked by moments of subtle but sparkling humor and music with Latin and jazz influences. The oh-so-subtle comic relief comes primarily from sly expressions from Che, and from small but precious bits in the background by ensemble actor Samantha Camp and Francesca Guecia, whose one moments to step out of the background and into the spotlight comes when she solos superbly on the song “Another Suitcase in Another Hall” as Juan Peron’s mistress.
Menefee has a strong and lovely voice and is expressive as Eva. Bill presents a strong if somewhat stiff Juan Perόn and has a deep and resonant voice. Wadleigh absolutely steals the show. He has a commanding presence, a range of moves and expressions that nail the characters, and he sings with clarity and power.
The most famous song in the show is “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” which Menefee sings beautifully from a balcony. One of the most delightful songs is “Waltz for Eva and Che,” which is a kind of musical standoff or duel or tango between Menefee and Wadleigh. Other outstanding songs are “You Must Love Me” and “Lament,” both solos by Menefee.This may well be THE hit musical of the season in South Puget Sound. I definitely recommend it.
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through Dec. 21, Saturday matinees April 25 and May 3 at 2 p.m. WHERE: Tacoma Musical Playhouse at The Narrows Theatre, 7116 Sixth Ave., TacomaTICKETS: $20-$29INFORMATION: 253-565-6867,

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Tenino High School Business Class Wins Cash Prize

Thurston Talk - Sat, 04/18/2015 - 6:46am



Submitted by O Bee Credit Union

tenino high school

Tenino HS Assistant Principal, John Neal (far left), Business Teacher, Sherri Jeske (center) and O Bee Credit Union VP of Marketing, Lee Wojnar (far right) congratulate students on their winning entry.

Two business students from Tenino High School won cash prizes for creating eye-catching designs that will be used for a marketing campaign in the Tenino community. O Bee Credit Union worked with Sherri Jeske, Business and Marketing teacher at Tenino High School, to develop the assignment that resulted in the award-winning designs.

“This was a real-world assignment for the students. They received a design brief outlining the specifications of the design as well as the goal and messaging,” said Ms. Jeske. “It was exciting to see them go through the process of developing something that will be used in an actual marketing campaign,” she added.

The first place winner was Ylenne Rodriguez, and second place went to Bailey McDonough, both freshman at Tenino High School. In addition to individual prizes, O Bee presented a check to the business and marketing department at a school assembly. The prize money will go to Tenino High School’s Future Business Leaders of Amercia (FBLA) fund. Both winning designs will be featured on a door hanger advertising truck loans that will be seen throughout the Tenino community in the next several weeks.

Olympia Hits all the Right Marks for Local Transplant Missy Watts

Thurston Talk - Sat, 04/18/2015 - 6:00am



By Leslie Merchant

olympia realtor

Missy Watts moved to Olympia in 1997 when her husband, Carl, took his last duty station before retirement.

When Missy Watts and her husband Carl were researching potential retirement locations over a decade and a half ago, Olympia hit the mark on all of their must haves – small town feel, near a major city, close to saltwater, proximity to a military post.

“This was the last duty station my husband took before he retired,” Missy says. “We have lived and travelled all over the world and when we got ready to dial in where we wanted to retire, we had a list of criteria and Olympia checked off all the boxes.” Eighteen years later Watts and her family are happy to call Olympia their “forever home.”

Watts and her young family moved to Olympia in 1997. Hailing originally from the Deep South (she grew up on an island off the coast of Georgia), she has called many places home both here and abroad. The military took Missy and Carl all over the United States from Louisiana to California. When asked about her birthplace Missy says, “There are things that I miss like the manners, the clothes and the food!” However, the Watts were ready to commit to a life without giant bugs and stifling weather. Just ask her about the “palmetto bugs” that plague folks down South, and Missy chuckles remembering how she grew up believing giant cockroaches were really just fanciful creatures. “We had sugar-coated them (the cringe-worthy flying cockroaches) and always called them palmetto bugs!”

Thankfully Olympia turned out to be palmetto bug free, and the location and weather are perfect for the outdoor activities she and her husband enjoy so much. They have a perfect surf and turf relationship because Missy loves the water and Carl loves the land. “My husband is super athletic and he likes to hike and bike.” It’s another check mark for the Puget Sound region.

olympia realtor

A city with a small town feel and close to saltwater was important to Missy when choosing where to settle down.

A background in real estate and a two year stint in marketing with Tumwater Valley Athletic Club gave Watts the impetus to spread her wings. She joined Jim Greene’s real estate venture and helped him brand the name. “Jim (Greene) was developing Greene Realty and that was exciting to be involved in something from the ground up.” Watts got her real estate license shortly after that and the rest is history. Being part of the Greene Realty family has enabled Missy to find her own niche in the real estate market, to the effect that she actually has her own brand within the company. She and her partner, Renee Brenner, have carved out their own business model where they provide highly specialized services to their clients.

Today Greene Realty is well-recognized throughout the region as one of Olympia’s premiere agencies with over 35 full time in-house brokers. It is locally owned but has the power of a national firm because of innovations in technology.

Missy and Renee recently returned from a National Real Estate conference in Las Vegas with other national and international brokers who have earned advanced designations due to high production levels. It is credentials like this that speak to Missy’s passion and dedication for her craft, as well as to the quality of services offered at Greene Realty.

With a son in college and a daughter getting ready to graduate from high school, Missy is looking ahead to her own future. She laughs as she says “I keep getting more dogs (in anticipation of being an empty nester), and my husband keeps saying that’s enough!” An avid power boater, she loves getting out in the Sound and cruising with friends and family. “I love to cruise to different places and spend the weekends with good friends.” As they say in the South, Iaissez les bon temps rouler (let the good times roll). Her favorite leisure pursuit has helped her become extremely knowledgeable about waterfront properties and their unique developments and challenges.

olympia realtor

As real estate agents at Greene Realty, Missy Watts and her partner, Renee Brenner, have carved out their own business model where they provide highly specialized services to their clients.

Missy’s love of the water and community manifests itself in many ways. She is an active member of many local organizations, including the Griffin Neighborhood Association (GNA) where her own children grew up and attended school. The distinctive Steamboat Island bumper sticker that adorns many vehicles around town was initiated and facilitated by Watts.

Missy says that Greene Realty encourages its brokers to be active visible community members and as such each broker is inspired to reach out in a way that is meaningful. After all, a community is only as good as the people who live in it and work hard to make it thrive. Missy Watts is one of those special people who makes Olympia an exceptional place to live.

Contact Missy Watts at Greene Realty via her website or at 360-280-0509.

Opening Our Eyes to All Things Splendid

Thurston Talk - Sat, 04/18/2015 - 6:00am



By Kathryn Millhorn

greene realty“Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance,” said author and politician Bruce Fairchild Barton. This philosophy is embodied in the skilled artistry and craftsmanship of Alabama transplant Wendy Bayer, proprietor and artist behind All Things Splendid.

furniture restoration olympia

Wendy Bayer brings new life to neglected furniture through her business, All Things Splendid.

Bayer and her family moved to our region in August 2013 as part of her husband’s business transfer. Despite the miles, “This was a part of the country that neither of us had visited before, so it seemed like a perfect opportunity to experience a different environment and culture. We said ‘yes,’ packed up our family and our animals and headed across the country. It’s been the best decision we ever made.”

All Things Splendid is Wendy’s way of bringing new life to “poor neglected pieces that most people say ‘no way’ to. I love the character of ‘beat to heck and back’ furniture.” She began customizing pieces more than 25 years ago but fully-developed the business once her daughters reached school age. Restoration and painting are in her blood, though, as “my grandmother and my two great-aunts were all house painters until their 80s.”

Bayer discovers her stock of neglected furniture at estate sales, through Craigslist, or local rummage sale events. She recently paired up with the downtown Olympia boutique The Red Door to sell completed pieces from their gorgeous Washington Street location. “My style and the style of the shop work perfectly together. I fell in the love with The Red Door the first time I walked in—it was such a mix of trendy and classic items for the home—that I was just smitten.”

“I feel very honored to have my work displayed in one of my favorite shops in the downtown area that I love and am excited to be their featured artist during the Spring Arts Walk this year,” adds Bayer.

Spring Arts Walk takes place annually on the fourth Friday and Saturday in April and first Friday and Saturday in October. The Bayer family attended for the first time last year and “never in my wildest dreams did I imagine in just one year I would actually be a participant! I’m humbled and excited to display my art among the outrageously talented artists of Olympia. I’m thankful The Red Door is sponsoring me, and I can’t wait to meet lots of new people that share our love of rustic, funky, uniquely created one-of-a kind furnishings!”

olympia furniture restoration

Wendy Bayer’s restored furniture will be featured at The Red Door in downtown Olympia during Spring Arts Walk.

“As a small business owner, I appreciate the fact that Olympia consumers seem to be very mindful and purposeful in their shopping,” adds Bayer.  “The people I’ve met seem to prefer shopping locally and supporting artists and businesses in their own community. I think the downtown business owners do a wonderful job of supporting each other and creating fun events that bring people into the beautiful downtown core to explore. As a consumer myself, I love all the unique items that are available downtown—it’s definitely my preferred place to shop.”

For those unable to attend Spring Arts Walk or looking for restoration instead of a new purchase, All Things Splendid is able to completely freshen up or repurpose an heirloom or favorite piece. Interested clients can contact Bayer for custom orders and most are completed in one week. Her goal on restoration is simple; she wants to help refashion items “so they can be used instead of molding away in a basement. It’s a huge compliment to be trusted with pieces that mean so much to people and make them beautiful and exciting again.”

olympia furniture restoration

Custom orders can typically be done in about a week says All Things Splendid owner, Wendy Bayer.

The furniture we choose is often a reflection of our personality. We want to surround ourselves with comfort, beauty, and style and Wendy Bayer can help you make that dream a reality. Her goal, passion, and skill-set is to transform neglected pieces into beloved focal points. She can see beyond the wear from a lifetime of use because “just like in people, I find the most beautiful pieces furniture are the ones that have really lived and have an interesting story to tell.”

Visit Bayer’s Facebook page for amazing photos of past and present jobs. Can’t wait for Spring Arts Walk to browse in person? Drop by The Red Door for a full showroom experience. Questions about restoration projects, upcoming exhibitions, or All Things Splendid projects can be directed to or 205-617-2785.

The Skokomish Expansion Along Hwy 101 Means Everyone Wins

Thurston Talk - Sat, 04/18/2015 - 5:39am



lucky dog casino“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” This wisdom is from a true font of innovation: Benjamin Franklin. Our economy shows growth and progress which now allows local businesses to expand their offerings and local families the freedom to have a little fun.

But even with such steady economic growth, families are wary of spending too much. In 2014, Google reported that searches for ‘staycation’ were “up 10% year over year as more and more people seek vacation opportunities in their own backyards.

Where are people across the U.S. looking to stay this summer? Hint: It’s closer to home than you think. The most popular hotel destinations are often the ones just down your street.”

In our area, the Lucky Dog Casino in Skokomish is that perfect close-to-home destination. Located approximately 30 minutes from Olympia, the casino offer an array of delicious dining options, casino games, concerts, cultural education, and holiday festivities.

hood canal hotel

The Skokomish Indian Tribal Enterprises recent acquisition of the Glen Ayr Waterfront Resort provides decadent relaxation only 30 minutes from Olympia. Photo credit: Glen Ayr

Skokomish Indian Tribal Enterprises recently announced plans to expand through purchasing the nearby Glen Ayr Hood Canal Waterfront Resort. Says Skokomish Indian Tribal Enterprises CEO David Owens, “the property has been on our radar for quite some time. It fits perfectly into our lodging portfolio by being within the Highway 101 corridor and at a quality standard that meets our expectations.”

This addition will add more than just additional resort rooms. Glen Ayr also offers 750 feet of private beech with a deep water dock, luxurious rooms and suites, a large indoor hot tub with views of Hood Canal, and complete pet-friendly RV park.

Owens continues, “Each Skokomish lodging property has unique aspects that differentiate them from each other, while the quality and service that our customers have come to expect remains consistent property to property.”

The Skokomish Tribe is active throughout the Hood Canal region. “Skokomish” reportedly means “big river people” and even today “many tribal members continue to work within the region’s fishing and logging industries.” In recent years, “a number of ceremonies that had been dormant for 70 years or more were re-established during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Traditional basketry, carving and dance projects represent other facets of the reemerging interest in traditional arts of the Skokomish Reservation.”

Visit the Lucky Dog Casino at 19330 N. US Highway 101 or online at Call 360-877-5656 with any questions. Glen Ayr Waterfront Resort is located at 25381 N. US Highway 101. Make a reservation by calling 360-877-9522.

With just a 30-minute drive, you can find yourself a world away from home. Stay, play, and relax…you won’t regret it.

Providence to Join Others in Earth Day “Dim Down”

Thurston Talk - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 7:44pm



Submitted by Providence Health & Services in Southwest Washington

Providence St. Peter Hospital  Photo Courtesy of Providence

Providence St. Peter Hospital Photo Courtesy of Providence

Providence ministries in Southwest Washington will join The Evergreen State College, Olympia School District, Thurston County and Intercity Transit to recognize Earth Day, April 22, with a Dim Down from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We are excited to partner with others in the community on Earth Day,” said Providence Sustainability Coordinator Keith Edgerton. “We have a long tradition of sustainability within Providence here in Southwest Washington.”

Along with the partner organizations, Providence will be asking caregivers who are not using their electronic devices during the lunchtime hours on April 22 to turn off:

  • Computers
  • Lights
  • Printers
  • Other electronic devices

“We all can make the Earth healthier and help save money by being aware of how much of our resources we use daily,” said Edgerton. “Providence has won a number of awards in recent years for sustainability. We have seen the financial benefit from all of these sustainable projects but are most proud of the community benefits that come from creating less pollution and saving our resources for future generations.“

Providence Health & Services in Southwest Washington touches more lives in Thurston, Mason, Lewis, Grays Harbor and Pacific counties than any other health care provider. It is made up of Providence St. Peter Hospital, Providence Centralia Hospital and the 31 clinics of the Providence Medical Group. More than 3,500 caregivers work for Providence in Southwest Washington.


Olympia High School’s First Annual Bearage Sale

Thurston Talk - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 7:08pm



Submitted by Sara Holler for Olympia High School Leadership

Olympia High School’s Leadership class is always looking to get the community involved with the school and the brand new Bearage Sale is the perfect way to do it. Inspired by other schools around the area, OHS students decided to through a garage sale fundraiser to help locals clear their homes of unwanted items while raising funds for the ASB. The Bearage Sale will be held at Olympia High School on Saturday, April 18. The sale will be open to the public from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Shoppers can find a large range of items, from children’s toys to outdoor furniture.

Community members can also donate to the Bearage Sale. OHS students are hoping to collect unwanted garage sale-type goodies so they can find new homes at the sale. The Bearage Sale will accept clean and useable donations at OHS on Friday, April 17 from 3:30 pm to 8:00 pm and Saturday, April 18 from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

If donations are not sold at the Bearage Sale, they’ll find other owners through The Arc of Washington State. There is also an opportunity for the public to set up a table in the OHS Commons and sell items to keep the profits. Applications can be found on the OHS website here.

The money raised through the Bearage Sale will contribute to the OHS ASB funds, making sure that the profits are helping students. This ASB fund is used to help pay for clubs and sports, school dances and other enriching student activities.

For the opportunity to help out the Olympia High School community, check out the Bearage Sale for a classic garage sale experience with a much bigger twist.

For more information about the OHS Bearage Sale, contact Kathy Thompson at (360)701-9326 or .

Washington Center announces Contestants for Dancing with South Sound’s Stars

Thurston Talk - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 7:02pm



Submitted by The Washington Center for the Performing Arts

The Washington Center for the Performing Arts is thrilled to announce our contestants for Dancing with South Sound’s Stars!  Saturday May 16 is the night to be in downtown Olympia, as six local celebrities spin around the dance floor with their professional partners from The Utah Ballroom Dance Company.  Please join us in welcoming to our Mainstage:

  • Greg Allison- Olympia School District
  • Thane Bryenton- RelyLocal Olympia
  • Casey Cochrane- Yelm Chamber of Commerce
  • Renee Sunde- Thurston Economic Development Council
  • Becci Syrek- Olympia Lacey Tumwater Visitor & Convention Center
  • Deborah Vinsel- Thurston Community Television

These local stars were chosen for their charm, of course, but also for their dedication and everyday hard work in making our community a great place to live.  They will spend a week in rehearsal with the professional dancers, preparing for their dancing debut.  The audience will be casting votes during intermission, along with three local judges who are representing our sponsoring businesses.

Tickets are already on sale through the box office at 360-753-8586 or online here.

Capital Productions Proudly Presents “Into the Woods”

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 5:06pm



Submitted by Neve Peters for Capital Productions

Capital Productions presents "Into the Woods"

Capital Productions presents “Into the Woods”

Enjoy “Into the Woods” by Stephen Sondheim & James Lapine presented by Capital Productions.

We all know the stories of Cinderella (Vanessa McCormick), Little Red Riding Hood (Claire Ramsey), and Jack and the Beanstalk (Kameron Bustetter), but what if these fantasies did not end how we remembered them? This mystical fairytale follows the life of a Baker (Asher Entrekin) and his Wife (Tatum Zimmerman) through a long journey when they find out they cannot bear a child.Due to a nasty spell that causes their infertility they go on a hunt for items that a Witch (Emma Sorensen) requires in order to banish this evil magic.

Through many adventures their stories get intertwined with other well known ones, and with that many things start to turn “Grimm”. Will the Baker and his Wife ever find what they need? Find out as we all take an adventure “Into the Woods”.

  • The show runs April 23, 24, 25, 30, May 1, and 2 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Each performance will be held in the Performing Arts Auditorium at Capital High School, 2707 Conger Avenue N.W., Olympia.
  • Tickets are $7 for students and senior citizens and $10 for the general public.
  • Call the box office at (360) 596-8053 for more information and to reserve your tickets.

Eight Days of Razor Clam Digging Starts April 17

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 4:56pm



Submitted by The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)  

razor clam beachRazor clam diggers can return to coastal beaches starting Friday, April 17, state shellfish managers announced today.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the digs after marine toxin tests showed the clams on those beaches are safe to eat. All of the digs are scheduled on morning tides. No digging will be allowed on any beach after noon.

Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, noted that the upcoming dig coincides with the Long Beach Razor Clam Festival, scheduled April 18-19 in Long Beach. Festival events range from free clam-digging lessons to a fritter cook-off. More information is available at

Under state law, diggers are required to keep the first 15 clams they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

The upcoming dig is scheduled on the following dates, beaches, and low tides:

  • April 17, Friday, 6:03 a.m.; -0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • April 18, Saturday, 6:52 a.m.; -0.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • April 19, Sunday, 7:39 a.m.; -1.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • April 20, Monday, 8:25 a.m.; -1.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • April 21, Tuesday, 9:11 a.m.; -1.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • April 22, Wednesday, 9:57 a.m.; -0.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • April 23, Thursday, 10:46 a.m.; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • April 24, Friday, 11:38 a.m.; 0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors

WDFW has also proposed additional digs in May, pending the results of future marine toxin tests. Tentative dates for those digs are posted on the department’s website.

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2015-16 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website and from license vendors around the state.

During all upcoming digs, state wildlife managers urge clam diggers to avoid disturbing snowy plovers and streaked horned larks. Both species nest in the soft, dry sand at Leadbetter Point on the Long Beach Peninsula, and on a section of Twin Harbors beach.

The snowy plover is a small bird with gray wings and a white breast. The lark is a small bird with a pale yellow breast and brown back. Male larks have a black mask, breast band and “horns.”

To protect these birds, the department asks that clam diggers avoid the dunes and areas of the beach with soft, dry sand. When driving to a clam-digging area, diggers should enter the beach only at designated access points and stay on the hard-packed sand near or below the high tide line.


Alyssa Edenstrom – A Player’s Pain Turns to Gain

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 4:40pm



Submitted by Dan Martinez, Keller Williams Realty, South Sound 


South Sound FC Velocity GU11 team preparing for state championship.

“Go Velocity!” was the rallying cry for the girls U11 soccer team as they decorated cars, painted faces, and sported big smiles in preparation of the state championship game.  Making it to the final game was quite an accomplishment for a team which had won only a single game the previous season.  Through their relentless effort, discipline, and teamwork they had achieved the dream of most teams….a chance to be state champions.   These characteristics served Velocity players well as they reached the state finals again the following year and propelled six of these players onto college teams, including Alyssa Edenstrom.

Gifted early on with height, speed and agility, Alyssa frustrated and intimidated opposing defenses.  Her work ethic and easy going, positive attitude made her an ideal teammate.  Her potential as a collegiate soccer player was recognized at an early age by her current coach Garrett Smith, “I have been following Alyssa’s progress since she was 14 and played here in Portland at the Nike World Headquarters in a national youth tournament.  First I saw a great athlete with a great determination on the field playing at a very high level.”

On her way to the University of Portland, Alyssa played club soccer for South Central Crush/Puget Sound Slammers (2006-11) and Washington Premier (2011-12), where she helped claim two state championships (2006, 2008) before finishing her club career with nationally ranked Slammers FC (2012-13) of southern California.

Alyssa playing against former Velocity team mate Grace McDonough of Timberline HS.

Alyssa playing against former Velocity team mate Grace McDonough of Timberline HS.

The road to becoming a college athlete was challenging for Alyssa who fought through pain and injuries throughout her soccer career.  As a youth, Alyssa experienced extreme growth plate foot pain which limited her playing time and required constant icing.  For Alyssa, the pain of not playing and helping her team was greater than that experienced in her feet.

While playing for Capital High School, Alyssa incurred a hamstring injury at the end of her sophomore season which carried into her junior year. Despite this significant setback Alyssa was able to letter her first 3 years and was named the All-League MVP twice (2009 & 2011). She was named the league’s most offensive player in 2009, was a three-time team MVP, a three-time team offensive MVP as she helped the Cougars finish fifth in the state at the 3A level in 2009 and 2010.  She also lettered in basketball, helping lead the Cougars to a fifth-place finish in state (2009-10).  Alyssa did not play her senior year due to extensive travel playing for her Slammers FC club team.

Alyssa controlling goal area as University of Portland defender.

Alyssa controlling goal area as University of Portland defender.

In her first start with the University of Portland, Alyssa incurred a head injury against #14 Marquette limiting her activities for part of the year.   As expected, she came back strong her sophomore year to play in 18 games.

Though her passion for soccer is undeniable, nothing is more important to Alyssa than good friends and family.  One example of this was when her auntie JoEl died in September of her sophomore year at Capital HS. That’s when she started writing “Auntie” on her wrists and dedicated playing for her.  Her loyalty inspired the high school soccer team to dedicate their season to “Auntie” by sewing a ribbon on their jersey sleeves.  Alyssa continues to honor her Auntie by wearing the wrist wrap during University of Portland games.

Though there are many attributes to describe Alyssa, there are few any better than this excerpt from the University of Portland soccer blog by teammate Lorielle McClusky.

Tribute to “Auntie JoEl”

Tribute to “Auntie JoEl”

Alyssa – Umm, where to begin with Alyssa… Let’s just say if she is in the room you will know because you’ll be able to hear her, in a good way. She is a very loud, funny, sometimes a little naive, but definitely always a happy person. Alyssa also has a big obsession with minions from Despicable Me. Sometimes you can catch her casually saying BEE-DOO BEE-DOO and making minion noises. Overall, she is a great person to be around when you’re having a bad day because you can’t not laugh when you’re around her.

Alyssa will be an elementary educator when she graduates.  Her students will be fortunate to have such a kind, talented, inspirational teacher.  Best wishes to Alyssa on her remaining two years of college.

See Alyssa score goal against  San Francisco Dons.

Follow Alyssa in the 2015 season here.

Local Company Terrabucha Launches new Coffee Kombucha

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 4:03pm



Submitted by Terrabucha

terrabucha 1New brew in town.  Kombucha brew that is.  Terrabucha is a kombucha brew like no other.  The first in their product line is coffee kombucha. Wait.  What?  Yes, coffee kombucha.

First things first.  What is kombucha?  Kombucha has a long history dating back to the early years of A.D., about 2000 years ago, and originated in Asia.  It is a fermented tea using beneficial bacteria and cultures.  It is brewed with fresh, filtered water, tea, a little pure cane sugar, and a live colony of good bacteria and yeast.  What you get is a slightly sweet-tart taste with a little effervescence. When people drink kombucha, they drink it for the healthy aspects it brings to your body.  We can certainly use that with all the processed foods out there, stress, and the environment.  Kombucha contains probiotics…the good gut bacteria your body needs to have a well balanced digestive system…..just like those probiotic yogurts or other fermented food.  According to one wellness site, kombucha ‘contains a variety of vitamins, minerals and enzymes and has been prized by traditional cultures for its health-promoting properties.’

There are other kombuchas out there, so what makes ours different?  We brew it with coffee from a local roaster.  It is so clean and fresh tasting, slightly carmelly with a light coffee finish.  100% kombucha too.  No fruity juices or fillers added.  100% Earth’s Natural Brew.  We must note that adding a shot of whiskey or kahlua enhances the experience, as well as mixing it with a stout beer.  Brew on brew.  Dee-lish!

We started brewing coffee kombucha at home about four years ago and decided it was too good to just keep to ourselves.  Last year we started our company, Evelise, whose name is derived from the combination of our mothers’ middle names — Evelyn and Louise.  We lost both of them a few of years ago and they were so important to my and Dave’s lives we decided to pay tribute.  Lori is the master brewer, bookkeeper, marketing director and President.  Dave takes on the warehouse, distribution, bottling, apprentice brewing and general see it and I-can-fix-it master of everything else.

TerrabuchaWe rent the first commercial commissary kitchen in Thurston County and we are considered food processors according to the FDA. We are working on a new product — cold brewed coffee concentrate.  Have you ever had a bad cup of coffee?  Not so much bad tasting but left you with indigestion?  TerraJava, our cold brewed coffee concentrate will eliminate that as it doesn’t have the acids and oils like a regular brew.  What you get is a clean, smooth, delicious coffee.  One ounce of coffee concentrate will yield one cup of coffee when adding 6 to 7 ounces of steaming water, or if you want an iced coffee just add cold water and some cubes.  It stores in the fridge for up to six weeks.  Voila!  Super convenient!  And no mess, no fuss. Lori used to doctor her coffee with cream and sugar but not so with this clean, honest brew.  It’s great all by itself.

We are anxious to get our new product out in the market so Terrabucha has a crowdfunding campaign.  Give a little or a lot but just give….to a local business.  And share, share, share.  You never know.  You might find us on Shark Tank one day.  Click here to learn more.

You can find Terrabucha coffee kombucha at Olympia Food Co-op East, and in the produce departments at Ralph’s Thriftway, Bayview, and the new Haggen store (formerly Albertson’s) at Lilly Road and Pacific Avenue.  Come test drive this brew.  We have tastings about once a month at various locations.  Like us on FaceBook for news and dates, and check us out at

We love what we do. It’s Earth’s Natural Brew.

Celebrating 50 years of art at TCC

South Sound Arts - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 1:24pm

Published in the Weekly Volcano April 16, 2015
Gallery installation view with Kyle Dellehay sculpture in foregroundFor its 50thanniversary Tacoma Community College features works by current and former art instructors and alumni, and it’s one of the better shows I’ve seen there in quite some time.
Entering the gallery, you’re faced with a wall of circular shapes in shades of white and brown that looked to me like oversized sand dollars. My wife, who attended the show with me, thought they looked like extremely thin slices of wood. The piece is called “Consumption.” It’s by Kyle Dillehay, and it’s made of 69 coffee filters stained with coffee and water and arranged in a grid with a single empty space disrupting the otherwise perfect symmetry. It’s a wonderful piece of wall sculpture.
In many ways, Dillehay dominates this show through the variety, number and inventiveness of his work. In addition to the coffee filter piece there is an installation called “Process” that is like a museum ode to photography and printing with many photographed faces on glass plates arranged on a table with photographic equipment, and on the wall behind them are prints of faces presumably made from the same or similar glass plates. I loved the subtle variety of colors in the soft-focus prints and the antique look of the installation.
Another Dillehay piece dominates the back section of the gallery. It is a sculpture with three large honeycombs set in a wooden tray that balances at an extreme angle on a stand that is a tree branch.
Painting from the “Biome” series by Merit BergI was impressed with Merit Berg’s four oil paintings from the “Biome” series, each on a canvas shaped like a house with a peaked roof. In each of the four there are three layers of imagery. The lower level is a landscape. On the middle layer are rectangular shapes painted in flat colors that look like windows in one of the paintings and like floating monoliths in the others, and on the top layers are contour drawings of birds and animals. All of the animals, being contours only, appear to be transparent. The beauty of these paintings is that the images, while clearly layered one on top of the other, do not violate the integrity of the flat picture plane (a concept from Greenbergian formalism that remains important today, despite claims to the contrary by many contemporary critics).
The show also features a lot of nicely-done ceramic vessels by various artists, one of the nicest of which is a water jar by Anthony Gaudino; a delightful group of gouache paintings of ceramic dogs by Melinda Liebers Cox; and a terrific little painting by Frank Dippolito of a flock of crows flying close to the ground with a black hashtag floating in the clouds.
There are too many others of note to mention them all, but I will close with pointing out one other series of digital prints on what the wall label calls “time warp inkjet paper.” By The pieces in the series by Anthony Culang are called “Rift#1,” “Expand #2” and “Rip#3,” each is an image of a woman in a red dress on what appears to be a floor of concrete tiles. The woman’s body is distorted as in a funhouse mirror, and the floor undulates in waves. These are strange and fascinating images.
"TCC 50," noon to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, through April 30, Tacoma Community College, Building 5A, entrance off South 12th Street between Pearl and Mildred, Tacoma, visitor parking in Lot G. 
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Linda Weintraub: Wednesday, April 22nd, 11:30-1:00 pm, Lecture Hall 1

Evergreen Artists Lecture Series - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 10:16am

Linda with chickenLinda Weintraub is a curator, educator, artist, and author of several popular books about contemporary art. Her recent writing explores the vanguard intersection between art and environmentalism, including TO LIFE! Eco Art In Pursuit of a Sustainable Planet (University of California Press). Weintraub’s previous books on eco-art include the series, Avant-Guardians: Textlets in Art and Ecology (2007). Weintraub established Artnow Publications in order to apply environmental responsibility to the books’ material production. She is also the author of In the Making: Creative Options for Contemporary Artists and Art on the Edge and Over: Searching for Art’s Meaning in Contemporary Society. Weintraub served as the Director of the Bard College museum where she curated over sixty exhibitions. She was the Henry Luce Professor of Emerging arts at Oberlin College. Her current book projects include Art-is-an Environmental Health Clinic (author) and  In The Making: Creative Options For Contemporary Architecture (editor).


Categories: Arts & Entertainment
Syndicate content