Recent local blog posts

Do we have to wait until Dan Evans dies before someone writes a biography?

Olympia Time - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 5:57am
Scoop Jackson, Warren Magnuson, and Tom McCall all have biographies.

The Secretary of State's Legacy Project has released biographies of Slade Gorton, Booth Gardner and John Spellman.

Cecil Andrus has a really good biography. "Fire at Eden's Gate" about McCall is better. But, the Andrus one is really good.

Scoop and Maggy cast a longer shadow in Washington, sure. McCall is probably the most inspiring Cascadian politicians. But, at least in terms of 20th century executives in Washington State, none is more powerful and interesting that Dan Evans.

And, there is no biography. Hell, even Nancy Evans had a full oral history.

Dan Evans is a totem in our politics. A "Dan Evans" Republican or a "Dan Evans" anything is the symbol of a rational, friendly to the environment, good for business politician. Evans served three terms and has been the only governor to serve three consecutively.

Biographies are oftentimes the best history. People moving through history, changing the context around them. It can be pretty good reading. And, arguably, no single governor has guided Washington through more interesting times that Evans.

So, why no Evans book? 

UPDATE 7/17/14 12:43 p.m.: Apparently Evans has been working for decades on an autobiography (thanks Deb Ross). From the Nancy Evans oral history:
...the week before Scoop died Dan had called the chair of the Evergreen trustees, Thelma  Jackson, because he wanted to write this autobiography he’s been working on for so long.  He had actually started doing some research, and started organizing the governor’s years, and going back into his own childhood – those sort of things.  So he had gott en that far, but not really doing research like he is now.  So he asked for an appointment with her.  And he was going to tell her that he would work unti l the following June, but then he wanted to leave Evergreen. He wanted to write his book and then do something else. He didn’t know what – just something else.
 I'll be honest though. What I want isn't what I want. What makes a book like Fire at Edens Gate so good isn't just that it tells you the facts of a politicians life, but that it carries that life through the broader context of our communities and does it honestly. More honestly than could be done for an authorized biography (Shelby Scates on Magnuson or even John Hughes on Gardner) and much more honest than the subject can do on themselves.

It is great Evans is working on his autobiography. I want someone else to take a crack at it too.

CANCELLED- Mark Nelsen (of Electric Shepherd) and guests

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 5:00pm

Wednesday, July 16th, 8pm

Cancelled, bummer! Maybe next time…


Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Pink Elephant’s Gravecast 002

K Records - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:03am
On this edition of the Pink Elephant’s Gravecast Calvin Johnson explores the new Mirah album Changing Light [KLP253], the Barcelona record label Chin Chin, with a listen to their artists Los Urogallos and Las Chinchetas. There is a brief discussion of Gutterfest, a small press fair, which dovetails well into the Pine Hill Haints and their […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

The Lemons at Dub Narocitc Studio!

K Records - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 1:52am
Last week the Lemons were touring through the Northwest with the Memories. They stopped by the Dub Narcotic Studio to say hello and hunt around for photogs of the Vaselines (we did find one, from a picnic at Loch Lomond in 1988 with Beat Happening and the Pastels). Below the Lemons are being shown around […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Brightside (CD release show!), The Dirty Nil, Noise Brigade

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 5:00pm

Tuesday, July 15th, 8pm

Brightside - Olympia Indie/Alternative Rock
CD release show for their new EP, ‘Common Decency’

The Dirty Nil – Punk rock from Ontario, Canada
In support of their new 7″ on Fat Wreck Chords!

Noise Brigade – Anchorage, AK Pop-punk


Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Ruby Fray Debuts on Stereogum!

K Records - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 4:00pm
The new Ruby Fray album Grackle [KLP251] is due in mid-autumn. A song from Grackle, “Barbara”, debuted today on the Stereogum site. Listen to “Barbara” HERE. Ruby Fray will be touring through the Northwest in August, including an appearance at the Helsing Junction Sleep Over (August 15-17).    
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

To Infinity and Beyond at Kluh Jewelers

Thurston Talk - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 3:20pm



Submitted  by L. Jeanette Strole Parks for Kluh Jewelers

Kluh DesignThe process of creating a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry may actually be less cumbersome than you think. If you have ever considered designing a custom piece for yourself or a loved one, this might be a story you will want to read through. Ian Kremer, recently found himself working closely with the staff at Kluh Jewelers to make a sentimentally inspired and very unique ring for his fiancee Haley Crew. Three years ago, Kremer – who works for the Department of Agriculture – met Crew, who just graduated from The Evergreen State College this spring. Neither of them had grown up in the area, but were pleased to discover the family-owned jewelry store that has served generations of Thurston county residents.

Back in January of 2014, the couple began collaborating with Kluh Jewelers owner, Matt Kluh on Haley Crew’s custom ring. “We were not customers prior to this. We had noticed the Kluh sign in passing, and wondered aloud at the possible pronunciation of the name. We were unsure if it was pronounced like ‘Kloo’ or like ‘Kluhhh.’” (For the record, it rhymes with Clue.)

Thus the pair brought their design into the store to create a ring to match a pendant that Ian had designed as an engagement gift for Haley, with the help of a jeweler in California two years ago. “It incorporates a triple infinity symbol in a true Celtic knot, entwining around a band of white gold, with a diamond in the center and three small light green diamonds running down either side.” Selecting a “previously loved diamond for cost as well as sentimentality” allowed them to incorporate a budget-conscious choice that also features “an older style cut called a European cut, which probably dates the craftsmanship back 100 years or more.”
Kremer describes the nostalgia surrounding this particular pattern. “The original design of the engagement necklace was that of a platinum infinity symbol which surrounded a green diamond that had been passed down to me from my paternal grandfather. The green diamonds that run down the sides of the ring’s wedding band match this diamond from the necklace.”

Getting Crew involved in the process also allowed them to oversee the step-by-step process, and know that the customer service at Kluh’s was top-notch. “We liked their staff very much. Everyone seemed friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. We particularly enjoyed working with Matt – which we did almost exclusively during the process. Matt was extremely knowledgable, and able to answer all of our questions with great detail as well as humor and goodwill. There was zero sales pressure. In fact, on occasion, the lower cost options were what was recommended and emphasized. Matt seemed to be working on “our side” during the whole process.”

Of course, with most projects there are always some detours or small snags, and Kremer and Crew were glad to see those situations handled with care. Initially, Crew had drawn up sketches of what the ring should look

Kluh Jeweler goldsmith

Custom jewelry is a specialty of the craftsman at Kluh Jewelers.

like, and the sketches would be rendered on a computer program before the mold was created for casting the ring. “Matt [...] worked with the molding process and was able to show me a very rough mold of the actual white gold ring. It was not finished yet. In fact it was in two pieces and they needed to cut the ring and add the knot. This way the infinity/knot was never cut.”

When the ring was finished, Kremer and Crew ranked their satisfaction at a 9 out of 10. “The only thing I would change is that we weren’t able to match the small green diamond on the sides of the ring band exactly to the color of the diamond in the necklace. This was because my grandfather’s diamond had likely been colored during the 1930s or 1940s and was not easily replicated. Matt did everything he could to help us come as close as possible.”

They both rave about how astonished they were to see the final product, and the details that went into the creative process. “We were very happy to see all of our decisions, sketches, and ideas turned into something so real – and so shiny! It was a creative birth process.”

With that level of contentment, they have already recommended Kluh’s to other friends and family. “We learned how easy and rewarding it is to make custom jewelry. There is no reason to not get something totally custom if that’s what you want to do. It was an extremely enjoyable process, and we both feel much more attached to and responsible for the creation of this ring now. It’s very special, and I think it has more meaning.”


Road Closures for Lakefair Events

Thurston Talk - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 2:29pm



Submitted by The City of Olympia

LakefairOlympia’s annual Lakefair festival starts this Wednesday. The City of Olympia is proud to support Lakefair with variety of safety, crowd control, and public works services. For a schedule of Lakefair activities, check the event website:

To safely accommodate festival activities, several streets will close at various times. Please plan ahead and enjoy your Lakefair visit.

Main Event Area:  Water Street from Fifth Avenue  to Columbia and Legion between Columbia and Water are closed through Monday, July 21. During Lakefair, customers to Olympia Supply can access that business’s parking lot from Columbia Street.

Deschutes Parkway Closed for Car Show on Friday: Deschutes Parkway is closed from 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Friday, July 18 for the Lakefair Car Show at Marathon Park.

Capital Lakefair Grand Parade, Saturday, July 19: The parade starts on Capitol Way at 20th Ave and ends on 5th Ave at Simmons St. Pre-parade activities begin at 4:45 pm to get the crowd warmed up for the main event, which officially begins at 5 pm. The parade is televised live on TCTV, Olympia cable channel 77.

To allow for parade staging, Olympia city crews close Capitol Way in three stages:

  • 1:00 pm – 19th Avenue south to Carlyon
  • 3:00 pm – Union south to 19th
  • 4:00 pm – rest of parade route through downtown Olympia

Kids Day at Sylvester Park: Also on Saturday, Legion Way and Washington Street next to Sylvester Park are closed all day for Lakefair’s Kids Day at the Park.

Lakefair Marathon and Walk/Run:  The marathon and walk/run sponsored by On The Run Events is Saturday morning, July 19. There may be temporary road closures or closed portions of roads along the route. Please be courteous to participants.  Route map is posted on the Run’s website:

Grand Finale Fireworks on Sunday, July 20:  For safety, 5th Avenue from Deschutes to Columbia is closed from about 6pm until the Fireworks are over.


Mackenzie Bowen Puts Her Team First

Thurston Talk - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 2:27pm



By Tom Rohrer

russell dentistry logoBefore our interview concluded, Mackenzie Bowen had one final request.

Bowen, soon to be a senior at Tumwater High School, wanted to make sure her volleyball accomplishments spoke for themselves.

“I don’t want it to seem like I think I’m really good,” said Bowen, who has been a varsity player at Tumwater since her sophomore season. “I don’t want that at all.”

While her teammates, coaches, friends and family members have been aware of Bowen’s modesty, the Thurston County athletic community can now be put on notice.

tumwater volleyball“I think I’ve always not thought of volleyball or team sports as an individual opportunity,” said Bowen. “Not what can I win by doing this but what can we do to get better.  I don’t think about myself first, I think about my teammates.”

Along with her team-first attitude, Bowen’s biggest asset on the court is her versatility and the ability to play multiple positions within a team’s formation.

That versatility was put on full display this summer during the club season.  A member of Capital Volleyball Club since the seventh grade, Bowen needed to fill in for an injured teammate early on in the summer.

“She is a setter and a hitter and we traditionally ran a 6-2 (meaning) that she would set when she was in the back row and hit when she was in the front row,” said Capital Volleyball Club 17s coach Mike Henry.  “The other setter broke her leg in our first tournament which forced Mackenzie to be a full time setter and not able to hit.”

“At 17’s, you try to get seen by a lot of college coaches and this year she had to play in a position that did not benefit her as much but helped our team tremendously,” Henry continued. “She did not complain once about it and actually when I tried to change things to help her, she was the one that asked to go back to where we were the strongest because she knew the team would be better.”

Such a selfless decision came naturally for Bowen.

tumwater volleyball“Again, it’s about helping the team first,” said Bowen.  “I felt like I was the best replacement at that position.”

In the club’s final tournament of the summer, the Emerald City Classic at the University of Washington, Bowen moved back to her 6-2 roll and promptly made the most of the opportunity.  She was named to the tournament’s six player “All Tournament Team,” a testament to Bowen’s ability to quickly adjust back to her normal position.

“(Making the all-tournament team) felt so great,” Bowen said. “I was so hungry to hit and get back to my original position. I was so shocked and surprised by the recognition but it felt great.”

Armed with momentum from her performance at the Emerald City Classic, Bowen will attend a variety of summer camps before the start of the high school season in August.  It has long been a dream of Bowen’s to play at the collegiate level, and recruiters from school’s such as Western Washington University and Linfield University have taken noticed.  Realizing that she is on the brink of her dreams is an exciting prospect for Bowen.

“It’s so crazy, surreal. When I was younger, seeing older girls in high school, I would be so in awe,” she said. “They seemed so old, so good. Now that’s me and it doesn’t seem real.”

College scouts and coaches are present throughout CVC’s summer season, an intimidating experience that has made Bowen better as a player.

tumwater volleyball“There’s a lot of pressure in club play.  You’re always playing in front of big scouts at big tourneys,” she said.  “I just try to think about the team and how we’re playing.  But if I make a nice play, I’m hoping they saw it.”

Bowen shared these pressure filled summers with close friends Marissa Ottesen (libero) and Rachel Erickson (outside hitter), two key components of Capital High School’s second place finish at the 2014 2A state tournament.  Teammates one season and opponents the very next, Bowen enjoys the bittersweet experience of taking on her friends.

“We love each other, but hate each other at the same time.  If they make a good play, I’m so mad, but so happy,” Bowen commented in relation to playing during high school season. “If I hit it and (Ottesen) digs it, I get so mad but relieved she didn’t shank it.”

During her two years on Tumwater’s varsity team, Bowen has been able to play with her older sister Courtney (2013) to earn a 2nd place 2A finish (2013) and a sixth place finish last year.  Playing for a prestigious program like the one overseen by head coach Tana Otton is a driving in Bowen’s improvement as a player.

“We all want to live up to that legacy.  It’s something we’ve grown up with and there are high expectations.  I like it that way,” Bowen said.  “I want to do my part to help the team.  Everyone has that feeling of not wanting to let the others down.”

tumwater volleyballThe team-first mindset Bowen revolves around is a byproduct of the coaching she’s received from Henry and Otton.

“I wouldn’t want to play for any other coach,” Bowen said.  “I admire their passion for the game.  It has really rubbed off on me.”

It appears Bowen has made an impression on her coaches as well.

“You couldn’t find a kinder, more humble, unselfish player than Mackenzie Bowen,” said Henry.

Sorry to embarrass you, Mackenzie.


Saint Martin’s Faculty Member Travels to Finland, Studies Roots of NW Labor Unionists

Thurston Talk - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 2:13pm



Submitted by Saint Martin’s University

St, Martin's professor Aaron Goings travelled on a Fullbright Scholarship to Finland.

St, Martin’s assistant professor Aaron Goings traveled on a Fulbright Scholarship to Finland.

Aaron Goings, Ph.D., an assistant professor of history at Saint Martin’s and a specialist in labor history, will spend the 2014-15 academic year in Finland as a Fulbright Scholar. He will teach and conduct research while he is based at the department of history and ethnology at the University of Jyvaskyla.

The Fulbright Program is the premier international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. It is designed to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and those of other countries.Participants for the program, which operates in more than 155 countries worldwide, are chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential.

As part of Goings’ studies, he will continue to research Finnish immigrants who settled in the lumber regions of Southwest Washington, Northwest Oregon and along Puget Sound. He plans to concentrate on immigrants of the 1920s and ’30s who were involved in the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.), commonly known as “Wobblies.”

“Finnish Americans were the largest group in several radical movements during the first half of the 20th Century, yet few historians have placed Finns at the center of the history of these movements,” he says.

“My year in Finland will allow me to devote considerable time to study the working lives and labor struggles of Finnish American unionists and radicals, particularly those men and women who settled in Western Washington.

Goings, who graduated with a degree in political science from Saint Martin’s, earned his master’s degree in history in 2005 from Central Washington University. He completed his doctorate in history in 2011 at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.

His interest in labor unions goes back to his roots in his hometown of Aberdeen, Wash; his scholarly study of unions, dates to his undergraduate years at Saint Martin’s, where he became the first recipient of the University’s Father Jerome Toner, O.S.B., Award for outstanding contributions to the theory and practice of social justice and labor issues.

Along with fellow labor historian Gary Kaunonen, Goings is co-author of the book, “Community in Conflict: A Working-Class History of the 1913-14 Michigan Copper Strike and the Italian Hall Tragedy,” published in 2013 by Michigan State University Press. They received a State History Award from the Historical Society of Michigan for their scholarly work on the project.

At Saint Martin’s, Goings teaches courses on labor studies, as well as U.S., women’s, world and Latin American history survey courses. This past spring, he team-taught a course entitled “Working Class Literature.”  He also is director of the University’s Pacific Northwest Social Action Speaker Series that works to raise awareness of the area’s rich history, especially that of its social justice movements.


Make Up / “I Joined Rock and Roll Comintern”, “What a Tease!”

K Records - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 1:07pm
Here is an exciting blast from kpunk past, an article and two interviews conducted by Lois for the Make Up’s Save Yourself [KLP105], originally released in 1999 and currently back on vinyl! SAVE YOURSELF! Getting lost in the Gospedelic Underground By Lois Maffeo One of the great paradoxes of history is that the stuff that […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Make Up Super Pak!

K Records - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 12:40pm
In honor of the brand new reissue of the Make Up‘s seminal “gospedelia” record, Save Yourself [KLP105], K has assembled an all-encompassing Mail Order bundle, entitled the Make Up Super Pak! This Pak includes: one copy of Make Up – Save Yourself [KLP105] on vinyl one copy of Make Up – Sound Verite [KLP064] on […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Under Pressure: The Hyperbaric Chamber at H3 Therapy Services Inc.

Thurston Talk - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 6:09am



h3 therapyMore and more, people are taking charge of their own health.  While meeting regularly with a physician is still a part of the puzzle for most, adding alternate or supplemental treatments has become more the common.  From seeing a nutritionist and taking natural supplements to utilizing acupuncture and massage, adding additional therapies to your health routine reaps benefits that traditional and non-traditional health –care providers agree on.

One additional therapy with a long history behind its use is mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy (MHBOT), now available in Olympia at H3 Therapy Services Inc.  Located on Olympia’s Westside, H3 provides patients with education, assessment, and treatment in their state-of-the-art hyperbaric oxygen chambers.  A therapy used for years to treat “the bends” in deep-water divers as well as to treat acute injury in elite athletes, this therapy is now becoming more widely used to address a variety of conditions.

What’s the “3” in H3 Therapy?  Michael Pfeifer, RRT Clinical Director at H3 Therapy Services in Olympia shares, “There are three main pillars that we build our treatment plans around.  One is the use of Kangan Ionized Water.  The second is the increase and mobilization of stem cells and their use for multiple therapies.  The third, and really the key one, is the use of the Hyperbaric Chamber for mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy.”

oxygen therapy olympia

The large, comfortable Hyperbaric Chambers at H3 Therapy Services allow patients to relax during their MHBOT sessions.

The hyperbaric chambers at H3 Therapy Services in Olympia are soft-sided chambers, manufactured specifically for use in small clinics and at home.  H3 Therapy uses the Vitaeris 320, a large chamber big enough to accommodate patients comfortably, even allowing a parent and child to participate in a dive session together.  Dives usually last about an hour and patients may take a book or mobile device into the chamber with them.  While productivity is tops on most of our lists, Pfeifer encourages patients to simply close their eyes, breathe deeply and relax during their time in the chamber.

While inside, pressurized air fills the chamber and pure oxygen is delivered to patients via a mask.  In a MHBOT chamber, pressures are raised to 2 to 4.5 pounds per square inch (psi) or 1.3 atmospheres.  This has been found to be the most effective therapeutic level for treatment of chronic conditions and expedited healing.

Most patients will require a series of treatments to address their health concerns and packages are available from H3 Therapy Services helpful staff.  Insurance companies are also becoming more and more open to covering MHBOT treatments and Pfeifer works personally with patient’s physicians to make sure all the bases are covered.

What are the benefits of MHBOT?  As with any treatment, outcomes vary from patient to patient, however much research has been done over the last century on MHBOT and the results are conclusive.  Under pressure, your lungs are able to take in three to four times more oxygen then at normal pressure.  This results in increased oxygenation of the blood and increased delivery of oxygenated blood cells to tissues throughout the body.

oxygen therapy olympia

Educating patients is a primary focus for Michael Pfeifer, RRT Clinical Director at H3 Therapy Services in Olympia.

These tissues need a consistent and adequate supply of oxygen to function and an increased supply when they are injured.  For this reason, MHBOT is particularly effective in reduction of inflammation and healing of wounds and injured tissues.   Use of MHBOT post-surgery has shown a shortening of healing time.  Use by athletes to reduce inflammation and promote healing of an injury is common, getting them back on the field more quickly.  Damage done by radiation treatments is addressed using MHBOT regularly, mitigating some of the cellular “collateral” damage.

The increase in blood oxygen, the hallmark of MHBOT, will temporarily restore normal levels of blood gases and tissue function thereby promoting healing and fighting infection. This increase in function can help improve mental clarity, stamina, and reduce fatigue as well.

When patients experience their first dive, they are coached to chew gum, pretend to “yawn” and pop their ears as the chamber pressurizes.  The sensation is similar to flying on an airplane and generally causes no discomfort for the patient.  In fact, many patients enjoy the benefits of MHBOT so much that they end up purchasing a chamber for home use.   While this may not be the right option for everyone, when using the chamber daily to treat a chronic condition, the cost may be worth it.  For others, renting a chamber for a short time is a better fit.  Still others simply prefer to visit the clinic regularly, benefitting from the knowledge and support from the staff each time they visit.

The Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber isn’t a scary place.  It’s a comfortable, restful environment promoting healing and health throughout the body.  Combined with education and consultation with your physician, MHBOT at H3 Therapy Services Inc. is an excellent addition to living a full and healthy life.


Sandra Bocas: The Woman Behind ‘Hot Babe Hot Sauce’ Wants to Color Your World

Thurston Talk - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 6:08am



By Kelli Samson

color graphicsWith a name like “Hot Babe Hot Sauce,” how can you be anything but intrigued?

The “hot babe” cannot be separated from the hot sauce, so let me introduce you to her first.

Sandra Bocas is enchanting. She has clear, dancing blue eyes that hold one’s gaze, and her Caribbean accent kind of makes you want to kick off your shoes. She is instantly familiar, warm, and charismatic.  Sitting down with her in the café at the Eastside Olympia Coop, I was downright mesmerized.

I love food. I love time spent in my kitchen, where the tides of meditation and creation co-exist. I love welcoming my kids to the counter to help out, putting on whatever music is suiting the day – sometimes a little Sam Cooke, sometimes a dash of Lyle Lovett or Pink Martini – and just immersing into that world.  I love following a recipe for the first time, then playing with it in the future.

Bocas loves the same things. Imagine my delight to find a kindred spirit. For a foodie, there’s nothing quite like connecting through the language of the kitchen. “Food is a celebration,” exclaims Bocas.

Bocas lives such an authentic life that it is hard to be anything but captivated by her. Her story is both unique and universal.

hot babe hot sauce

Sandra Bocas sources most of her ingredients for Hot Babe Hot Sauce from Olympia’s Eastside Coop.

It all began in Trinidad and Tobago. Bocas grew up there, eating her grandmother’s sauce on chicken and vegetables. Her parents had a restaurant called El Diamante Negro. As an adult she traveled the world, attending school in England and then working as a makeup artist in the fashion industries of New York City and Europe. “My creativity was expressed in that form,” explains Bocas.

Her work graced the pages of Vogue, yet here she is, living a quiet life in Yelm. She never forgot the quality of the clean air here during a visit in 1986. She now is working full-time at fulfilling her dream of making Hot Babe Hot Sauce a household name.

Her label says it all.

Her parents’ restaurant’s name is at the top. Bocas herself is represented by the name “Hot Babe.” “I wanted the name to be fun!” says Bocas.

Additionally, the image on the label is one of her own paintings, entitled Francine.  The label is also clearly marked “vegan,” which is important to her because her daughter Luna practices this lifestyle.

Put all of these elements together with her grandmother’s recipe inside the bottle, and, says Bocas, “I’m very glad I’ve got four generations represented in one product.”

hot babe hot sauce

The label for Hot Babe Hot Sauce captures through little details four generations of Bocas and her family.

“My grandmother would go into her garden and harvest the herbs to make her sauce. In that time, it was quite the norm. My sauce is real food, not fake food. Mothers are buying my sauce for their children, and the children love it! Children haven’t been conditioned yet. Their minds and their hearts are still together,” she explains.

“Everyone is an artist. We just create in different ways. We are creating all the time. See colors! Express them as you wish! I love inspiring children to cook and realizing that their crazy tastes aren’t really crazy, they just like new flavors.”

Bocas hand crafts each batch of sauce in the Yelm Community Kitchen, where she uses absolutely no preservatives and only non-GMO ingredients. Her sauce must be kept in the refrigerator and stays shelf-stable due to the acidity of the limes in her recipe. She uses organic ingredients where possible, and sources things as locally as she can. Many of her ingredients come from Olympia’s Eastside Coop.

Her secret ingredient, though?


“Cooking for others is a position of great responsibility. You are truly caring for other people. It’s a time for giving. I hold that true and dear when I am in the kitchen. When I’m making the sauce, I feel very serious about this. Love as an ingredient is underestimated and overlooked in our culture, but it’s the invisible ingredient that heals people.”

Bocas continues, “Color is also very important to me. It resonates with us and with our feelings. It makes something feel yummy before we even eat it. It’s part of life.”

hot babe hot sauce

Bocas’ creative outlet has shifted from makeup artistry to creativity in the kitchen.

Her ultimate favorite use for her sauce is as part of a dressing for a very colorful, cold vegetable salad, one filled with shredded beets, carrots, radishes, and zucchini.

“It’s really more of a marinade than a hot sauce. It’s wonderful for meat, but for fish, especially, because it’s lime-based. It’s also good to go into vegetables and tofu,” suggests Bocas.

Bocas wants the users of her sauce to make it their own. “I want people to be inspired to get creative in the kitchen and to find new ways to use it. It’s sort of a tool for your kitchen.”

Hot Babe Hot Sauce will soon be releasing two new flavors, both a milder and a hotter version of the original sauce. The hotter version will have seeds from Trinidad, so it all will come full circle. “We are growing and we love it,” shares Bocas.

You can find Hot Babe Hot Sauce in the Hot Babe Bloody Mary at the recently opened Olympia nightspot, Dillinger’s. “They’re one of my best customers,” boasts Bocas.

Here in Thurston County, you can buy a jar or two to try for yourself at the Olympia Food Coops, Olympia Local Foods, Tumwater’s Courtyard Cafe, the Yelm Food Coop, the Yelm Farmer’s Market on Sundays, and Spud’s Produce Market. The product is also sold at various locations in Tacoma and Seattle.

For more information, see, where online ordering will soon be possible.


Mad for Ostrom’s Mushrooms

Thurston Talk - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 6:00am



By Katie Hurley

ostroms mushrooms

Crimini and white mushrooms, grown by Ostrom’s Mushrooms are sold locally at Bayview and Ralph’s Thriftway stores.

During the summer, most of us do our best to take advantage of the locally grown bounty that Thurston County summers offer.  But one locally grown product stands out for it’s year-round availability and many other compelling reasons. I’m talking about mushrooms.

Locally grown Ostrom’s Mushrooms, available at Ralph’s and Bayview Thrifway stores, will be featured at the Hawks Prairie Rotary’s Pacific Northwest Mushroom Festival on July 26 and 27.  Ostrom’s will be providing all of the mushrooms for the culinary demonstrations as well as the Shroom Feast which features samples of mushroom specialties from local chefs and restaurants.  $10 buys you seven tastes and the opportunity to vote for your favorite dish.

Ostrom’s will also have a booth with an actual mushroom tray, demonstrating how mushrooms are grown. The local company will be distributing recipes, samples and promotional merchandise.

The benefits of eating Ostrom’s mushrooms are bountiful. They’re grown locally and sustainably, and packaged in petroleum-free packaging. And they are loaded with vitamin D, B vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and are a low calorie, fat-free food.

Matt Tremblay, Ostrom’s Retail Sales Coordinator, recommends cutting one-third to one-half of your regular meat portion and replacing it with mushrooms.  Ground mushrooms can replace some of the meat in tacos or burritos, stir-fries, soups, stews and burger patties.

There are countless opportunities to incorporate mushrooms into your summer meal plans.  Take burgers, for example.  Here are four different ways to take advantage of the nutritional benefits of mushrooms while enjoying the flavors mushrooms add to your meal.

Portabella Burger

portabella recipes

Try this recipe for a grilled portabella burger. This modifications includes yellow tomatoes and cambozola cheese.

“Portabellas are popular this time of year, during grilling season,” says Tremblay. “They make a good meat substitute.” Whole portabella mushroom caps can be brushed with seasoned olive oil and grilled just like a meat patty for a satisfying vegetarian burger. As an added bonus, the upside-down mushroom has a big pocket to hold burger toppings like homemade pico de gallo, roasted tomatoes and crumbled goat cheese, or caramelized onions and grated Swiss cheese. This Grilled Portabella Burger with Fontina and Basil is a great way to use that basil growing plentifully in the garden.

Mushroom Patties

Finely chopped mushrooms, sautéed with garlic, herbs and olive oil, can then be formed into a patty and baked to make a moist, flavorful burger. This Mushroom Burger recipe also incorporates grated carrots and fresh parsley, which are summer garden favorites.

Meaty Mushroom Burgers 

Combining finely chopped mushrooms and lean ground beef, bison, chicken or turkey makes a patty that is juicy and delicious, with fewer calories and less fat than a traditional beef patty. This recipe for Turkey-Mushroom Burgers with Scallion-Lemon Mayonnaise fits the bill if you’re looking for a meaty burger with less meat.

Sauteed Mushroom Burger

Sliced mushrooms, sautéed with a little butter, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper make a luscious burger topper, and a slice of melted Swiss or Havarti cheese on top of the mushrooms is the perfect finishing touch. For a flavorful seasonal addition, caramelize thin slices of Walla Walla sweet onions and then combine them with the sautéed mushrooms.

Locally-owned Bayview and Ralph’s Thriftway stores sell Ostrom’s sliced and whole white mushrooms as well as portabella, crimini, oyster and shiitake mushrooms throughout the year. Stop by the produce department and pick up some mushrooms for your summer meals. And don’t miss the Mushroom Festival on July 26 and 27.


Coupeville and Pt. Townsend overnight trip…

Wow… we did it!  And survived to tell about it!  Thank you, again, Vicki for the great pictures!

Yes, it took EIGHT “legs” on our first day on the road.  The Rebel travelers left Olympia on the 7:35 am bus to Lakewood.  Our other seven segments of the trip included Lakewood to Seattle, Seattle to Everett, Everett to Mukiteo.

1319boarding KittitasFrom there we hopped on the ferry to Clinton, then bussed to Coupeville to spend two sun-filled hours in one of the oldest towns in the State.   The snow covered mountain in the background is Mt. Baker.From Coupeville we caught the bus to take us to the ferry, which took us to Pt. Townsend.1328coupevillemtbaker

We then headed two blocks from the ferry dock in Pt. Townsend to our hotel:  The Palace Hotel, which is wonderfully renovated Victorian hotel, built in 1889.1357hotelapproach

Many of us decided to eat at Fins, a restaurant across the street from the hotel which had an outdoor deck.  The weather was perfect for that… blue sky and temperature in the mid 70′s.  Ahhhh…. the great northwest was at it’s best!


After dinner, we scattered… a few of us strolled down Water Street, which is the main street in town.  We looked in windows of galleries, boutiques, the Maritime Center and other store fronts.

We were all on our own the next morning, agreeing to meet up again at 1:30 at the closest bus stop.  The trip home was quick and simple compared to our trek northbound.  We made a quick stop in Brinnon, then Shelton, and then home… all in 3 1/2 hours!  The views of Hood Canal from the bus are exceptional!

One noteworthy fact:  The bus and ferry fare for his entire 220-some mile trip was $10.50 for Regional Reduced Fare Permit holders.  The adult fares totaled $23.60.

As always, the specific trip directions are posted under Pages and  ”trip directions”.


Categories: Local Environment

We can't move Evergreen closer to Olympia, but we can bring Olympia (or a walkable community) to Evergreen

Olympia Time - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 9:36am
This is working out to be a part two to the post I put up last week about how we could've had a different history, college and town if Evergreen had been built closer to town.

Barring Dr. Emmett Brown, how can we try to solve the separation issue that impacts both Evergreen (as a mostly car based campus) and Olympia (a college town without a college in town).

I think the solution would be to cut down some trees! How very non-Evergreen, but they had to cut down trees in the first place, so why not just cut some more.

On the east side of campus, there is a large Douglas Fir woods. This property is totally owned by the college, is bound on the north by a fairly new residential development, on the south by Evergreen Parkway and on the west, by the non-teaching portion of campus (residential and recreation areas).

Another feature is the lack of wetlands in this portion of the campus:

I can easily imagine a dense residential and commercial development along Driftwood and Olverhulse, hugging the corner between the residential developments and campus. This would encourage more living close to campus and, of course, build a college-town sort of community nearby.
And, since I'm just spit-balling here, I am imagining the same sort of mixed density, apartment above commercial development that was sketched out early on in my own neighborhood.
Evergreen's own Master Plan admits that too many students commute to campus, and the vast majority of those drive. The same plan mentions vaguely a small "local retail" development as part of a minor addition to campus (Project K). That wouldn't be a bad start, but the idea in the plan is really tiny compared to what sort of real estate is actually available out there.

Convective Debris

Maria Mudd Ruth - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 9:16am
The weekend's turbulent skies made it a challenge to identify the types of clouds over South Puget Sound.  (Photo by MM Ruth)

The weekend's turbulent skies made it a challenge to identify the types of clouds over South Puget Sound.  (Photo by MM Ruth)

For a cloud-watcher like me, the past few days in the Pacific Northwest have been pretty dull, what with all that blue sky and sunshine and 95-degree days. The clouds didn't disappear entirely over Olympia during our heat wave. A few streaky cirrus showed up Friday night at sunset (a desperate play for attention) and piles of cumulus congestus lurked behind the east side of Mt. Rainier on Saturday.

Ah, but Sunday they came back in force to reclaim the skies and restore our corner of the continent as the cool, wet, gloomy-skied place that's looking pretty good to our vitamin-D-drenched neighbors in the Southwest.

The mild winds were shifting wildly on Saturday and the skies were kind of a mess on Sunday. There were many different kinds of clouds at different altitudes--making it hard to id them as anything but, ummm, stratocumulus fractus??  "Fractus" (same root as "fraction" or "fractured") is the word applied to the shreddy bits of clouds as the are deteriorating or evaporating.

I checked the the National Weather Service forecast description for Saturday and learned that the fractusness I was seeing was "CONVECTIVE DEBRIS FROM SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS OVER OREGON AND THE SOUTHERN WA CASCADES."

Convective debris.  I love it! It's like saying cloudy junk.

No need to get uptight about naming all these clouds. Add "convective debris" to your cloud vocabulary and you're covered.

No need to get uptight about naming all these clouds. Add "convective debris" to your cloud vocabulary and you're covered.

Convective clouds are cumulus clouds--the ones that form puffs of varying sizes and include cumulus, stratocumulus, altocumulus, cumulus congestus, and cumulonimbus. The latter cloud produces the rain and lightning and "thundershowers." We didn't experience these events over the weekend in South Puget Sound; we got the side dishes and the leftovers, the "debris" from these clouds to our south.

And what beautiful debris it was.



Categories: Local Environment

Olympia Job Opening – Sports Writer

Thurston Talk - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 9:10am



Bring your love of local sports, superb writing skills, and passion for telling positive stories to our team.

We are seeking a bright, energetic sports writer to join us as we create community social networks in Thurston, Pierce, and Grays Harbor counties.   The ideal candidate will have previous experience sourcing high school sports stories while maintaining a professional demeanor with players, coaches, administrators, and parents.

Our full-time writer will craft stories about all three communities.  The position will also be responsible for sharing other positive stories coming out of the local high schools such as arts, science, music, and teacher profiles., and are embracing a new way of sharing local stories about people, businesses and organizations doing good things in the community.

Job Requirements:

  • At least two years experience sourcing sports stories and creating error-free articles on deadline
  • Ability to interview and interface with players, coaches, administrators and parents
  • Previous experience working independently on deadline
  • Skills to snap photographs during interviews and games
  • Proven ability to communicate clearly both verbally and in writing
  • Previous experience maintaining a professional work environment while working with students
  • Sincere passion for sharing the positive stories happening in our community

Application should only include:

  • 200 word writing sample about why you love high school sports,
  • Links to two published articles, and
  • Resume.

Submit a complete application to by Friday, July 25.


Westport Winery Earns Points at Ultimate Wine Challenge

Thurston Talk - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 8:10am



Submitted by Westport Winery

2013 Elk PosterElk River, a varietal Riesling made with grapes from acclaimed Red Willow Vineyard in the Yakima Valley AVA, earned 86 points. In a recent tasting with Great Northwest Wine co-owner, Andy Perdue, the tasting notes on this wine were changed to read, “A spine-tingling aftershock, luscious, bright and penetrating.” The winery recommends that this delicious vintage be paired with a wilted spinach salad in their Farm to Fork Restaurant. The musical pairing for this wine was The River by newly out-of-retirement country entertainer, Garth Brooks. A portion of the proceeds from this wine benefits the Twin Harbor Charter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Westport Winery has become a legacy partner with this organization.

Jetty Cat Red, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Petite Sirah, Tempranillo and Syrah, earned 83 points. This wine is described as “Wall Street rich and ultra-luxurious.” As it benefits the Harbor Association of Volunteers for Animals (HAVA) it is well-paired musically with Cat Scratch Fever by Ted Nugent. In the restaurant it is suggested to be enjoyed with their Italian sausage stuffed mushrooms.

Westport Winery and Vineyards By-the-Sea with its unique sculpture garden, lavender labyrinth, musical fence, 9-hole executive golf course, giant chess set, outdoor scrabble game, and grape maze, is located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road halfway between Aberdeen and Westport. Westport Winery was named Best of the Northwest Wine Tour in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014.

Westport’s award-winning wines are exclusively available at the winery. The tasting room, gift shop, produce market, plant nursery and bakery are open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurant is open for lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and for dinner on Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information contact Westport Winery at 360-648-2224 or visit the website


Syndicate content