By Heidi Smith
How can a simple thing like a sports physical exam change lives? For one Tumwater foster mother, it made all the difference in the world. “She had five kids,” says TOGETHER! Deputy Director Meagan Darrow. “Three boys had just arrived at her house and she knew that sports would be a factor in them engaging with school and making friends.”
TOGETHER! collaborated with the Tumwater School District (TSD) and medical professionals to put on a back-to-basics health fair in August, providing free sports physicals and immunizations so kids could access after school activities. “This particular mother showed up, all five kids got immunizations for free, and then those three kids were able to get their sports physicals and sign up for sports that day,” says Darrow. “She said that through the state system, it would have been a three-month wait.”
The health fair opened the door for a flood of low-income students to get more involved in school. Although TOGETHER! Community School Coordinator Jennifer Gould was aware there was a need, she was amazed when 220 families showed up. “We did immunizations for five hours and sports physicals for three hours,” says Gould. “We had a line out the door before we even started.”
One of the major risk factors for dropping out of school is poor attendance – and youth engagement in activities like sports, music, or volunteering plays a major role in preventing substance abuse and other high-risk behaviors. The health fair was a great example of community partnerships Gould has been working all year to create. Tumwater School District works with TOGETHER! to implement a community schools approach in their district, which increases student engagement and community/school partnerships. Her role is supported by a grant and the Tumwater School District whose purpose is to reduce the dropout rate among seventh through tenth-graders in the district.
“Low income students make up the vast majority of that small percentage that are dropping out,” says Darrow. “A lot of what the coordinators are doing is going to the community and saying, ‘Let’s rally around these kids,’ helping them with the social support and not just the academic support.”
For the health fair, volunteer medical professionals from Providence Tumwater Valley Physical Therapy, Providence St. Peter Family Practice, Surgical Associates, Olympia Orthopaedic Associates, and Thurston County Medical Reserve Corps donated their time. ”They were amazing,” says Gould They came in after a full day of clinic and they were here until 8:15 p.m. on a Tuesday night.”
Dr. Tracy Hamblin, who specializes in Sports Medicine with Olympia Orthopaedic Associates, was one of the volunteers. She believes such events serve a critical function. “This is a chance for kids who don’t have a provider to touch base with a medical professional,” she says. “It opens up the idea that they might want to get in touch with someone. For parents, this is a really quick and easy way to provide a service they need.”
But families aren’t the only ones who benefit, Hamblin says. “I love meeting all the athletes. During the season I’m usually on the sidelines of their games. This is a really good opportunity for me to get out of the clinic and into the community in a different environment.”
Throughout the year, Gould has worked with other community groups to fill the needs of her students. “We’ve done a lot of great work with YWCA of Olympia,” she says. “They typically do a program for girls when they have to go through the juvenile justice system. We said, ‘Let’s open this up before that happens. We’ll help you find the right students.’ We found a group of girls for them to work with and it was highly successful. Hopefully we’re going to continue to build on that relationship.”
Another partner has been YouthBuild, a program that teaches low-income students construction skills to create affordable housing and other community buildings. When Gould and her team invited YouthBuild leaders to the district, they were surprised to discover that many of them were students.
“We asked them how we could find the right students to refer to them,” says Gould. “What I loved about it was they brought their youth, so my counselors and administrators who hadn’t fully understood walked out of the meeting saying, ‘I know what this service is.’ Immediately we had two or three referrals.”
Gould says a lot of what she deals with are basic needs. “Kids know that they can stop by and get stuff,” she says. “I don’t ask a lot of questions. They know that during the year if there’s something that comes up, they can get things at school to help support their academics and even their home life. I’ve got shampoo and conditioner and we just send it home.”
She remembers one student who came to see the school nurse. “He said, ‘Can I get some duct tape?’ The nurse said, ‘Why do you need duct tape?’ He turned his shoe over and it was full of holes. The kid didn’t ask for shoes; he asked for duct tape. She said, ‘You know, we can get you shoes.’ We got him new shoes. To me, that lets him know that school is a place that is going to support him – shoes, duct tape, whatever you need.”
Getting that message to families is crucial, she says. “I want school to be a welcoming place for them. I don’t want school to be scary for parents. Who knows what kind of history they have with school in general? I just love seeing parents recognize that school can be a place where their kid can thrive and find things that they’re interested in and we can take care of basic needs.”
Because the program is just starting its second year, it’s too early to tell what impact it’s having on graduation rates, but attendance is up across the board. “Within both the middle school and the high school, it’s increased,” says Gould. “That tells me that students are more engaged with their education.”
Ultimately, she says, “Kids are changing their perspective on school. I want them to be able to go out into the world and be connected and know that they can be supported in their goals and what they want to do.”
TOGETHER! is celebrating 26 years of community programs with the Hats Off to TOGETHER! Gala from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, September 25 and the Governor’s Mansion. Tickets cost $75 and are available by clicking here.
For more information about TOGETHER! visit www.thurstontogether.org or call 360.493.2230.
Dance Oly Dance, Olympia’s local dance TV show, invites you to yet another televised dance party on Saturday, October 3rd, 10pm 'till late. Dance in front of video cameras at a West-side house party. The one-hour episode will air in January on TCTV.
Party opens at 10pm with an hour long EDM beatset by Project DieSlow.
Then get down to an hour-long EDM beatset by DJ PhilosoBoy.
TV recording goes from 11pm to midnight.
Party continues with live performances by Ilima & The Sexbots and then local rapper Heddie “Nightfox” Leonne.
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Then, get all hot & bothered again with Ilima & The Sexbots at the Dance Oly Dance House Party later that night.
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By Heidi Smith
Unlike most school shootings, the one that occurred on April 27, 2015 at North Thurston High School did not end in tragedy. Advanced Placement social studies teacher Brady Olson was able to tackle the shooter, a sophomore who had recently transferred to the school, before he could inflict any damage.
At a recent Rotary Club of Olympia luncheon Olson, North Thurston Public Schools (NTPS) Superintendent Raj Manhas, and Communications Director Courtney Schrieve shared factors that contributed to the successful outcome that day and what they have been doing since to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.
As Manhas made clear, it’s never possible to really be prepared for such events, but even before it happened, North Thurston Public Schools had been actively collaborating with surrounding districts to address school safety.
“Back in February 2013, Olympia, Tumwater and North Thurston got together and talked about having a safety summit,” he says. “The purpose was to really raise the level of awareness in all of us that this was a serious problem. This was right after the Sandy Hook tragedy.”
The conference they eventually organized included the sheriff’s office, local police chiefs, fire officials and some of their staff, in addition to personnel who work with the school systems. “It was very well attended,” he says.
Meanwhile, Olson was quietly thinking about what he would do if such an occasion ever arose. “I’m weird,” he says. “When I go in a movie theater, I think, where’s the exit? When I’m on a plane, I count the rows to the exit door because I know it probably won’t be well lit if something goes down and I need to get my family out.”
So when the day of the shooting arrived, two things happened. First, Olson performed a heroic act in tackling the would-be shooter. “People kept asking me what I was thinking in that moment,” he says. “To be honest, there was nothing going on in my head because I had already thought about it a whole bunch: ‘What happens if?’”
Next, local law enforcement and emergency services converged on North Thurston High School and effectively took over. “I was amazed and impressed,” says Manhas. “Everyone was working as if they knew exactly what to do. The Lacey police and cities of Olympia and Tumwater were there. Everyone came. The summit that we had done really made everybody aware that we are together in this. I was so happy that that kind of support from our community was there.”
In the aftermath, Manhas has continued to work with Olympia School District Superintendent Dick Cvitanich and Tumwater School District Superintendent John Bash to coordinate efforts and share knowledge. They’ve identified several key aspects of prevention that they are working toward in the new school year. The most important is continuing to build relationships.
“When incidents like this happen, you invariably find out that someone, somewhere, knew in advance,” says Bash. “If you followed the Marysville Pilchuck shooting, you heard that multiple people, young and old, knew that this was going to unfold and didn’t say anything. A focus in Tumwater School District this year is making every single classroom, every school, and our entire district a place where people feel safe enough that when they see something or hear something, they say something.”
At North Thurston Public Schools, two programs are working toward that end. The first is called Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS), a proactive approach to developing social and emotional learning in students through direct instruction. “It’s not only about academics, it’s about whether anything is going on at home or if they are struggling in any area,” says Manhas. “On a regular basis we do student assessments and connect with our social services where parents and families can get some help. That has done amazing things for us.” One significant result: Discipline issues are down 50% in the whole school system.
Another program NTPS has initiated is called Compassionate Community and it teaches students how to treat each other with kindness and respect by following the International Charter for Compassion. “Kids go home and they tell us that they’re telling their parents, ‘This is how we should behave with each other,’” reports Manhas. “We’re educating them on how to take it out into the community.” The partnership will expand to include City of Lacey this year and the district and City are planning a compassionate community event in January 2016.
The districts have taken more concrete steps as well, several of which were in place before the incident. “We have new surveillance cameras, safety alarms and video cameras for all of our buses,” notes Schrieve. “We’ve added supplies in case of lockdown and visibility improvements. However, you can have all of these in place and something can still happen.”
The next step is bringing in Jesus Villahermosa from Crisis Reality Training for an evening with parents and the community at Olympia High School in October. Villahermosa is a crisis management expert who was a guest speaker at a recent event in Chehalis. “He has a very interesting perspective,” says Cvitanich. “A lot of the work that we do has been through school leaders eyes and not through the eyes of the people who perpetuate these situations or the people who plan for them professionally – like law enforcement.”
For Cvitanich and the other superintendents, understanding how to think differently about the problem has become a top priority. “We’ve got a high performing school district in terms of instruction and student performance and we’re really proud of that,” says Cvitanich. “But at this year’s administrative retreat, literally I had to say, ‘That’s number two. Number one is the safety and security of our students.’ The instruction will take care of itself we but can’t be relaxed about this.”
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Thursday, October 22 at the Capitol Theater, 206 5th Ave. SE
6:00pm doors / 6:30pm film
$7 general admission / $5 OFS members
Tickets available online & at the Capitol Theater box office
Mezzanine Lounge open (21+ w/ ID)
Cut-ups, analog tape loops, celluloid and fire. W.S. Burroughs and Kurt Kren. Performance Art and painting on film. These are all part of the experimental films of Marian Wallace. In the ’70s, before today’s global Noise-Music bands and festivals, a few avant-garde artists and groups began using the cut-up, sampling, subliminals, noise, musique concrète, films and video to provide immersive Black Humor concert experiences, as documented in RE/Search’s Industrial Culture Handbook. Marian Wallace’s “Artists of the Industrial Scene” features interviews with Mark Pauline (SRL), Johanna Went (Performance Artist), Genesis P-Orridge (Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV), Jerry Casale (DEVO) and other ground-breaking musicians and artists. This short-feature will be screening with other short experimental films from then and now.
Post-film Q&A with Marian Wallace and V. Vale (RE/Search Publications). Presented by Olympia Zine Fest.
By Mary Ellen Psaltis
Call the first meal of the day breakfast, but call it delicious any time. Imagine your ideal morning feast. Is it crab cake benedict? A foamy cappuccino? Belgium waffles drenched with maple syrup and berries or eggs your way?
Many delicious options for a tasty breakfast are available in and around Thurston County. Early risers may have the most choices. Some restaurants don’t serve it all day, but many do. Weekends will give you the chance to sleep in and get a meal that will keep you smiling the rest of the day.
Traditions: Explore the treasures from around the globe before or after eating at Traditions Café and World Folk Art. Their full menu is available all day beginning at 9:00 a.m. on weekdays, 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, and 11:00 a.m. on Sunday. Breakfast connoisseurs might choose the quiche or the house-made granola. Most items are organic. There are tables for dining both inside and outdoors.
Quality Burrito: If you don’t have to have breakfast before 11:00 a.m., you can fill up on a burrito with bacon, house-made chorizo or tofu. Plop into a booth at Quality Burrito and soak up an Olympia experience. The QB even delivers from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
New Moon Café: You can imbibe in a mimosa since the downtown Olympia establishment acquired their beer and wine license. Soon you can order a sake Bloody Mary. Kat Darger, one of the worker-owners, reminds you that, “We make everything in house, including our dressings, marinades, biscuits, and legendary blackberry jam.”
Martin Way Diner: This location (lasting through multiple ownership changes) has been serving classic American breakfasts for many years. The coffee is on every day at 6:00 a.m. If you order one of Martin Way Diner’s breakfast plates, you will leave totally sated.
South Bay Pub & Eatery: Saturday and Sunday brunch starts at 8:00 a.m. and runs until 11:00 a.m. The South Bay Pub has been an excellent addition to the northeast neighborhood, but everyone is welcome!
Pat’s Café: What looks like an old house delivers breakfast six days a week beginning at 7:00 a.m. This long-time location near the corner of Pacific Avenue and Carpenter Road is home to many regulars. Open 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. except Wednesdays.
Forza: Owner Tom Forrey and his mother-in-law Maureen McLemore are making their famous quiches with ingredients from ham to feta to vegetables. Almost everything in their glass case is made on site. Enjoy muffins, scones, banana bread or a breakfast burrito or sandwich. Lighter appetites might want a yogurt parfait. Yes, Forza has plenty of coffee, too.
Zoe Juice Bar: Maybe too much food too early is not your style. Zoe Juice Bar whips up smoothies and blends raw juice that might be easier on your stomach. Check out their acai bowls. Weekdays they are blending at 7:30 a.m. and weekends at 9:00 a.m.
Consider the Olympia Farmers Market when breakfast comes to mind. The variety is impressive and most of the vendors open around 8:30 a.m., which is way ahead of the market bell that rings at 10:00 a.m. Although there are no inside tables, you can eat under cover.
Dingey’s: Dan Ricklick is curing sockeye salmon with real maple syrup for your breakfast pleasure. The crab cake benedict is popular. Dingey’s Puget Sound Cuisine includes a Swantown fry featuring fresh oysters grilled with bacon, onion, spinach and cheese.
Bavarian Wurst: Gordon Allen is a Waste Center volunteer at the Market who gently guides people to recycle properly. He’s enthusiastic about the Bavarian Wurst Breakfast scramble. He said, “It’s the best breakfast I’ve found in Olympia!” With fresh tomatoes, green peppers, ham, bacon and more, it’s quite a combination. Pancakes, cinnamon french toast and country fried steak are a few more of your choices.
Heyday Café: Of course, they’ll brew your favorite coffee drink, but if you are ready to eat, Heyday serves Belgium waffles, breakfast sandwiches, and yogurt with berries and granola.
Pithos Gyros: Mix your roasted potatoes with eggs, vegetables, tzatziki, and feta for a fine start to your day.
Los Tulenos: Chorizo is spicy sausage and you can use it to stuff your burrito. A burrito is an any-time meal. Find out more here.
Breakfast is fun and ready when you are, Olympia.
Eat Well – Be Well
By Grant Clark
Her son Michael was about to play in his first high school varsity football game. A senior at North Thurston High School, Michael is a starting defensive tackle for the Rams. He had previously played the sport during his freshman year, but eventually lost interest and sat out the next two seasons.
A lot has changed following his two-year hiatus.
This was a completely different scene than what he had experienced before. The speed, the size, the strength, every aspect of the game had increased since the last time he put on a pair of shoulder pads.
This was a significantly higher level.
But there he was, three years later, stepping onto the turf at South Sound Stadium on September 4 for North Thurston’s season opener against cross-town rival Timberline High School.
Michael knew it was a big game. The Rams had lost the last three years to the Blazers, and no program wants to open the year with a loss.
He admits to being nervous. This was a big jump in talent level.
If nervousness was all Sandy had to deal with, she would have been fine. But it was just one of the many feelings she was wrestling with internally as she sat in the stands.
“I was nervous and scared and excited,” Sandy remembers about the first game of the 2015 season. “I was dealing with a lot of emotions. It was almost too much.”
Undersized for an interior lineman, Michael is listed in the program at 6-foot, 200 pounds. The height is correct. The weight? Well, he certainly wouldn’t be the first athlete to appear larger in print.
“For the position he plays,” Sandy said, “he’s really not that big.”
Save for his heart.
“His motor never quits,” said assistant coach Erich Weight. “No matter what’s going on during a play he just doesn’t stop. He’s that way at practice too. He just never gives up.”
Sandy figures Michael was around 18 months old when he knew “something was off” with her son.
“He showed all the signs,” Sandy said, “but we lived in California at the time and they don’t test children until they reach school age.”
By the time he was finally tested at age 5, Sandy pretty much already knew what the outcome would be. Of course, that didn’t make hearing the diagnosis any less difficult. Michael was autistic.
Growing up in a military family, Michael has moved seven times over the last 13 years, including a four-year stop in Belgium, significantly limiting the consistency and comfort of a daily routine.
“When we were in California he started to learn sign language,” Sandy said. “A lot of his frustrations come from his inability to communicate, and sign language was really starting to help with that. Michael is a very visual and auditory learner. He needs both, and he was picking up a lot through sign language. Then, we moved to Virginia and the doctors there told us there was no value in him learning sign language.”
So, it was dropped. The best practices on how to work with autistic children would change with every move. One place would recommend this, another believed otherwise.
Stability, however, finally came with a move to Lacey when Michael was in seventh grade.
Football was introduced soon after. However, the sport wasn’t a fit at the beginning.
“When he first started playing football he had a hard time understanding that it was ok to tackle people,” Sandy said. “We kept telling him that this is the only place you can do that, but he still was hesitate about it.”
Failing to grasp the complex details of some of the plays also led to confusion. He needed someone to take the time to teach him, to slow things down so he could gain a full understanding of what to do. That wasn’t present. So, Michael became detached from the sport.
He doesn’t know why he wanted to play again, but when it was time to sign up for football this year he was all in.
“I was worried about him playing,” Sandy said. “Of course every parent worries about the physical side of football, but I was more worried he was going to be surrounded by mean football players.”
It proved to be the exact opposite.
The brotherhood of football runs deep. There’s something about working as part of a team to scrap and fight for every inch, to practice in the almost unbearable mid-August heat, and compete during the chill and dampness of October that forms bonds.
Players are also looking for someone to inspire them. Michael’s unwavering dedication at practice provided exactly that.
“Everyone on this team loves him,” said Weight, a special education teacher at North Thurston High School who had Michael as a student two years ago. “No one works harder than he does.”
The work paid off in the season opener against Timberline. Michael simply wasn’t just a name on the roster, he was a starter – and a gifted one at that.
Before a packed crowd, Michael registered three sacks and had a momentum-swinging safety that stirred the North Thurston student section into a frenzy and helped the Rams to a 38-32 victory.
“I didn’t really notice (the crowd) too much,” Michael said. “I was focused on playing. I just wanted to get that guy in front of me out of my way and tackle whoever had the ball.”
While Michael was causing havoc on the field, Mom was still nervous in the stands, but one emotion quickly superseded everything else – pride
“I am extremely proud of him and what he’s done,” Sandy said. “It’s really hard to describe everything I was feeling that night, but I felt so good for him.”
Michael followed the first game by adding another sack the next week against River Ridge.
One brief conversation with him and everything gets trumped by his likeability. Soft spoken and quick to smile, he shrugs when you point out his accomplishments.
“I think I can do better,” Michael said. “I really wanted to play last year as a junior. I’m not sure why I didn’t, but I’m glad I’m playing this year.”
By Donna Wilson
On the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a group of Olympia High School students volunteered to spend their spring break building houses and helping families in New Orleans. The experience was so powerful that they already knew how they would be spending their next spring break.
Two years ago, Olympia High School (OHS) Principal, Matt Grant, learned about Shirts Across America, a student organized Seattle-based organization that helps move families into new homes in New Orleans and Mississippi. Principal Grant told his OHS students about the organization and its mission. To his surprise, 24 students were interested in offering up their spring break to lend a helping hand. Most of these students were in the OHS club Students Together Advocating for Non-Violence and Diversity (STAND).
The group of 24 students and four adult chaperones prepared for the trip earlier this spring by learning more about the injustices happening in New Orleans such as poverty and racism. Grant says one aspect of the trip was to learn more about the situation. “We need to understand the social systems that made this happen,” he explains.
As students, educators and parents prepared, a few of the students were trained as core team leaders to help chaperones facilitate the trip. These students went on a leadership retreat and spent time learning about New Orleans. “I am much more tuned to the needs of people and communities outside of what I see before me,” says core team leader Sitara Nath. “To be in touch with the world and aware of your role and impact is a real gift, and I was lucky to find that during this very meaningful week. The trip impacted my goals in that I plan to prioritize this kind of service throughout my life so that I always remain in touch with that strong dedication and desire to change the world, one step at a time.”
When the students landed in New Orleans, they got straight to work, spending 6 to 8 hours a day building, painting, cleaning, putting floors down, and building fences with AmeriCorps students. The rest of the time was spent exploring the town through a series of scavenger hunts.
In addition to making a difference in the lives of others, students agree that a highlight of the trip was enjoying the food, arts and entertainment that New Orleans is known for. “One night we went out to the French District and ate together as a group — all 200 of us — at an amazing historic restaurant called Antoine’s,” says future core team leader Claire McGahern. “[It was] super fun and had fantastic food. That’s another thing I learned about New Orleans, you can’t go wrong with the food.”
When the group returned, they shared their experience with their peers during an “Oly Love” assembly. Sharing stories and memories, the students didn’t even think twice about it — they knew they would have to go back again next year.
Sixty students have already signed up to go back to New Orleans this coming spring break. “I love talking about meeting the homeowners of the houses I worked on,” explains Claire. “People brought us food, gave us hugs. They were so thankful. It was really touching.”
Julisa Brock will be a core team leader this coming year. “I came home and shared the amazing experience I had down there and how it has impacted my life and that problems don’t just go away,” she says. “I do know that I will want to continue to go to New Orleans, and continue to make change for people who do not necessarily have a voice.”
A common theme for everyone that went on this trip was that they felt very blessed and thankful for the lives they have. Student Eric Carpenter says, “The trip to New Orleans has made me want to give back to my community and country. It really made me realize how well off I am compared to many others. In my future I would love to be able to go back and help more people get back into their homes. For me the hardest part was seeing all the people who still couldn’t return to their homes because they couldn’t afford to repair them after the hurricane.”
Feelings of gratitude and a desire to give have propelled this group of students to return to New Orleans next year, but the insight and perspective these students have gained is much more far reaching. “I’ve definitely gained a greater understanding of my role in a larger community outside just OHS or Olympia,” Sitara explains. “There’s so much that still needs to be done in New Orleans but what I did in that week suddenly showed me that as individuals, we have a responsibility to live up to our roles in communities in and outside our own.”
Chilly mornings and chilly evenings (and chilly soccer practices) signal the impending arrival of fall. The events calendar reflects this change, too, with fewer outdoor festivals and community parades among our listings. However, the shift to fall encourages engagement with our community in other ways. Try a new restaurant. Take in a local theater productions. Investigate fall leaves in your favorite parks. Fall happens to be my favorite season and I look forward to all things pumpkin spice, the return of scarves and boots and channeling my competitive nature into sideline soccer cheers. Thurston County may be sliding into fall, but it’s not sliding into inactivity and our weekend event calendar reflects the many happenings you can choose from whether its chilly and foggy or sun-shiny. While we highlight many happenings around town in our list below, don’t forget to visit our full events calendar at ThurstonTalk.com for many more.
Submit an event for our calendar here.
ThurstonTalk aims to be your source for positive information and events happening in Olympia. If you have a suggestion for a post, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, visit our events calendar.
By Grant Clark
McKoy Bichler does a little bit of everything for the Rainier High School football program. On offense, you can start him at either quarterback or running back. It doesn’t really matter – he’s going to pick up yardage one way or another.
Need a kick returner on special teams? He’s your guy. Have a void on the defensive side? He can play a variety of positions.
Yes, last year’s 2B Pacific League Offensive Player of the Year can find success on the football field no matter where you plug him in.
Heck, the versatile senior could probably sing the National Anthem prior to kickoff if called upon.
Bichler would be the first to admit, however, he’s hardly a singer. But if they were really in a pinch, he would step up. And the best thing is he wouldn’t have to look very far to find the perfect singing instructor. All he would have to do is turn to his football coach.
Terry Shaw is a contradiction. Not only is he the Mountaineers head football coach, he also teaches choir at Timberline High School – a seemingly odd combination. He’s detailing how to defend against the Wing-T offense during one part of his day, while serving up breathing exercises during another.
And he’s exceling at both of them.
“The first time I heard (he coached football and taught choir) I am not sure I believed it,” Bichler said. “It seems like two completely different things.”
On the surface, it definitely appears that way, but when you talk to Shaw, it all makes sense.
“They are actually very similar,” said Shaw, who also teaches weight training at Timberline High School. “It’s a team working towards something together. It’s a game in football, a concert for choir. There’s always going to be sub-groups within that team, but the goal for everyone is to be our best selves.”
Shaw had two passions growing up – music and football.
He took up the piano and began playing at his church at a young age. By the time he started high school, football entered the scene.
A 1995 graduate of Bellarmine Prep, Shaw was recruited to play football at Central Washington University, but elected to go with the music route, eventually earning a music education degree from Pacific Lutheran University.
“Music won out,” said Shaw, who also earned a Masters of Music degree from Boston University in 2007, “but I knew with teaching if I wanted to coach, that would always be something I could do.”
It was during his junior year at PLU that Shaw formed the Olympia Choral Society in 1998. The goal was to create a community choir with a focus on giving back to local charities. It started with just 17 singers. It now features nearly 100.
“We offer free concerts. We do a lot of fundraisers,” Shaw said. “We figure it doesn’t cost us anything to open our mouths and sing.”
Since making its first donation in 1999, the OCS has donated more than $150,000 to local charities, many of which benefit children in the South Puget Sound Area and, beginning in 2003, includes an annual scholarship program for South Sound high school seniors who intend to study vocal/choral music in college.
He found similar success when he started at Timberline in 2001. Back then the school had two choirs with 37 students. Under his tutelage, the program has since grown to six choirs with more than 180 students and has performed all over the county, including performing twice at Carnegie Hall.
It seems Shaw makes an impact on a program wherever he goes. It’s been no different with Rainier football.
The year prior to Shaw coming aboard, the Mountaineers won one game. They were shutout four times and had games where they gave up 52, 62, 63 and 70 points.
Bichler, a freshman back then, can remember teammates quitting midseason out of frustration.
“No one wanted to be a part of it before,” Bichler said, “but since Coach Shaw took over, people are excited about Rainier football again.”
Shaw injected some much needed enthusiasm into the Mountaineers. As expected, things started slow. The team won three games in 2013 before going 6-4 last year – the team’s first winning season since 2008.
Things have continued to ascend this year as Rainier is 2-0 on the season, having defeated South Bend (58-20) and Kittitas (34-6).
“A lot of our starters were freshmen and sophomores when we began. They’ve now been under this system for two years,” Shaw said. “When we started, we told them if they were willing to buy in and willing to work hard, we wanted them around. And they’ve done that.”
The Mountaineers haven’t made the state playoffs since 1992 when they lost in the 2B state championship game to DeSales. Despite a 23-year hiatus from the state playoffs, Shaw has the squad hitting all the right notes early on in the season, causing the players to believe history could repeat itself.
“Alec Miller, one of the seniors on the team, his dad was a running back on that Rainier team that got second in state,” Bichler said. “It has us thinking déjà vu.”
As gifted a teacher Shaw is, one wonders what it would be like if he started to mix and match his students.
Could he teach some altos cover-2? Or perhaps turn his front seven into a jazz vocal choir?
“He’s tried before to teach us how to hit those high notes,” Bichler said.
And how did that go?
“I’ll stick with football,” Bichler said with a laugh.
The Pacific Northwest is a haven of green, both in our physical environment and our lifestyle decisions. We prefer to shop locally, organically, and stay mindful of the effects of purchases on our health and nature.
As a nation, the federal Environmental Protection Agency began a program called Design for the Environment in 1992. Historically, the “Design for the Environment (DfE) Program began in the early 1990s as an innovative, non-regulatory initiative to help companies consider human health, environmental and economic effects of chemicals and technologies, as well as product performance, when designing and manufacturing commercial products and processes.” Initially emphasizing safer chemicals for household and professional use, it has grown to include safer labeling guidelines as well.
Green Cleaning Magazine reports that “more than three-quarters of business decision-makers purchase green products and most believe the role of the environment will increase in the future, indicating that the green movement is here to stay.”
Locally, Olympia’s DKB Restoration offers carpet protection using DfE certified cleaning products. Owner Daniel Baxter explains that “oily soils produced from cooking vapors, pets, and even oils from our skin cannot be removed by regular vacuuming. These oily contaminants can cause your carpet to look dingy or dirty. The longer these things are allowed to build up the more difficult it is to remove them.”
Once DKB Restoration has thoroughly cleaned your carpets, they offer the option to add a separate DfE coating which costs $75 for a 1,200 square foot home. This coating “helps keep spills and dirt from becoming stains,” explains Baxter. “I even use it in my own home.”
Because the DfE process keeps spills from sticking to the carpet fibers, your routine vacuuming becomes more efficient. Studies also show that application after every carpet cleaning helps carpets last longer overall.
Baxter belongs to an industry group which meets regularly to share product information, new technology, and trending statistics. It is his commitment to research and providing the best service and materials possible that has earned him so many favorable reviews on such consumer sites as Angie’s List, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau.
Steve Jobs encouraged people to “be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” After a successful stint in the Army, Baxter’s life changed at the hands of a drunk driver. While recuperating from injuries, he began working in the carpet cleaning industry with the same precision and focus instilled by his military career. His pride, knowledge, and community focus are embodied through his work ethic and satisfied customer testimonials.
DfE products are less common because their continued Federal certification means they cost more than the standard solutions. But reducing long-term effects of harmful chemicals on our children, pets, and homes make them well worth the price.
DKB Restoration offers free phone estimates for cleaning carpets, upholstery, ductwork, and dryer vents. Their work is 100% satisfaction guaranteed and before and after photos can be found on their website.
You can reach Dan and his team by calling 360-688-4392. Watch videos of their cleaning methods here.
Earth Day founder Senator Gaylord Nelson once warned that “The most important environmental issue is one that is rarely mentioned, and that is the lack of a conservation ethic in our culture.” But in the 45 years since the holiday began, local businesses like DKB Restoration prove that the green ethic is not only alive and well but affordable and available to everyone.
Anita Feng will be reading from her new book "Sid" at Orca Books. This is a free event, all are welcome. Orca Books is located at 509 4th Ave E in downtown Olympia.
About the book:
What would the life of Buddha look like if it were lived today? Anita Feng has crafted in" Sid" a delightful jewel that captures both the classic story of the Buddha, as well a deeply personal and familiar reflection of the story in a contemporary retelling. "Sid" weaves the traditional tale of Siddhartha, the Buddha-to-be with the story of Sid, an everyman who finds himself waking up amid the reality of work and family life in the modern world. Returning to the standard tale with careful consideration of the relationships in Buddha's life--to his wife, parents, and child--Feng's narrative embodies the Mahayana perspective of living one's enlightenment in the world.
Beautifully told in poetic prose, "Sid" teaches that the key to the story of the Buddha's life is that the story could be about any of us.
Orca is delighted to welcome author Mark Rozema to the store. Mark will be reading from Road Trip, his new collection of essays. This is a FREE event at Orca Books, 509 4th Ave E in downtown Olympia.
Road Trip is a collection of autobiographical essays that honor the places, people and other living creatures that have given shape and meaning to one man’s life. Framed by essays about the life and death of loved ones, the book explores the importance of family, friendship and what it means to care for another human being. Above all, Road Trip is about transformations that happen in ways we may not always understand or welcome—it’s about traveling down unknown and unexpected roads with good humor, generosity and a spirit of adventure.Google Plus One Facebook Like
Submitted by Home Instead Senior Care
The Home Instead Senior Care® office serving South Puget Sound is launching a new campaign designed to make the community more Alzheimer’s friendly. Through the Alzheimer’s Friendly BusinessSM program, the Home Instead Senior Care office will provide free training to local businesses to help equip employees with information and resources needed to welcome families who are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.
In a recent survey of Alzheimer’s caregivers, 74 percent reported that they and their loved ones have become more isolated from the community as a result of the disease. Furthermore, 85 percent reported that they feel a reduced quality of life due to isolation. 1
“For many caregivers, the unpredictable nature of the disease can make going out in public with their loved one intimidating,” said Kelly Cavenah, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving South Puget Sound. “Our research shows that family caregivers might be reluctant to frequent public places because of the behaviors that could be associated with the disease.”
According to Alzheimer’s Disease International, the number of people with dementia worldwide is expected to grow to a staggering 75.6 million by 2030 and 135.5 million in 2050.
“Given the statistics, most businesses that deal with the public will be serving people with Alzheimer’s and their families,” said Cavenah. “It’s critical that local businesses start working now to build Alzheimer’s friendly communities to better serve their customers with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.”
Local businesses can work directly with the local Home Instead Senior Care office to coordinate an in-person training. An interactive, online version of the training also is available at AlzheimersFriendlyBusiness.com. Once the training is successfully completed, businesses will receive a window cling with the Alzheimer’s Friendly Business designation. The designation will be valid for two years.
For more information about the Home Instead Senior Care network’s Alzheimer’s Friendly Business program and to access additional resources, please visit www.AlzheimersFriendlyBusiness.com or call 360-570-0049.
1 Home Instead, Inc. surveyed 692 Alzheimer’s family caregivers, including 102 from Canada and 590 from the U.S., who completed an online survey between April 13-23, 2015.