Recent local blog posts

Washingtonian of the Day: Fred Beckey

Janine's Little Hollywood - Thu, 02/12/2015 - 12:17am

Above: Washington State Governor Jay Inslee waits to speak as an enthusiastic crowd gives legendary climber Fred Beckey,92, a standing ovation on Wednesday night at The Evergreen State College. Beckey gave a detailed, lively narration of his 100 Favorite North American Climbs, met with admirers and signed books until 10:00 p.m.
By Janine

Legendary Northwest climber Fred Beckey, 92, commanded the attention of an appreciative crowd who gave him a standing ovation on Wednesday night at The Evergreen State College in Olympia. Governor Jay Inslee took time to not only award Beckey a certificate declaring Beckey “Washingtonian of the Day,” but stayed to listen to Beckey’s lively narration of a multi-media presentation based on his book, 100 Favorite North American Climbs. Inslee said he could not stay away when he heard Beckey would be speaking in Olympia.“Washington State is a pretty special place – we’ve got Mt. Rainier, we’ve got Mt. Baker, the Space Needle, Boeing, and Fred Beckey….He opens people’s ambitions and vision about the heights of our State,” said Inslee.For his part, Beckey said that his program was more than just about his favorite climbs, “…but to show the pageantry of Western America and that these mountains are not just for recreation, but for wild resources and all our environmental needs….We need to protect them….”Beckey recently returned from the American Alpine Club’s (AAC) annual meeting in New York City, where he received the AAC’s President’s Gold Medal, in recognition of his outstanding achievements in conservation, climbing, and service to the climbing community. Beckey is only the fourth person in 113 years to receive this honor.“Fred Beckey is being recognized this year for a lifelong devotion to climbing and first ascents that is unmatched over generations. Fred has put climbing in front of virtually everything else in his life. We honor both his dedication to the craft and the thousands of routes he has left for us all to enjoy,” said AAC President Mark Kroese. Ever active, Beckey also attended a Seattle event with Reinhold Messner in Seattle last week.In Olympia, Steve Jones, a friend of Beckey’s, introduced Beckey by telling stories, and received laughs by saying Beckey invented the climber’s lifestyle before there was a climbing lifestyle.

Beckey did not disappoint as he told many stories during a slide show sprinkled with brief movie clips of his climbs.

Beckey tirelessly stayed until 10:00 p.m. to sign books and speak with admirers, including the coordinators of Evergreen’s Outdoor Program, which sponsored the event. The Outdoor Program (TOP) educates students in climbing basics, kayaking, backpacking and other outdoor activities. The Olympia Mountaineers, the Warehouse Rock Gym and Mountaineers Meetup groups were also instrumental in spreading word of the event as far as Seattle and Portland.Above: Fred Beckey, in red, chats with Washington State Governor Jay Inslee before giving a presentation on Wednesday night at The Evergreen State College. 

Halo Benders “Love Travels Faster”

K Records - Thu, 02/12/2015 - 12:09am
Someone knit that hat so there must be something back there…   K Song of the Day: Halo Benders “Love Faster Faster”, from  The Rebels not in [KLP081]. The Halo Benders album The Rebels not in [KLP081] is available now from the K Mail Order Dept.  
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

An Olympia Valentine’s Day off the Beaten Path

Thurston Talk - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 9:34pm



Photos by Laurie Wetherford, Pope John Paul II Intern to ThurstonTalk

Valentine’s Day can just be about chocolate and flowers, but it can also be so much more.  Think outside the box and visit someplace off the beaten path for a more unique Valentine’s Day experience.  Stroll through the park hand in hand, catch an independent film at Capitol Theater and actually talk about it afterward, grab hand-crafted appetizers with a view at Swing, or try the ultimate trust activity and belay for each other at Warehouse Rock Gym.  Whatever you choose to do this Valentine’s Day, don’t choose boring.  Take your romance to from the ordinary to the extra-ordinary in a town that offers plenty of options to love.


Laurie Valentines Day warehouse rock gym Laurie Valentines Day capitol theater Laurie Valentines Day Priest Point Park Laurie Valentines Day priest point park Laurie Valentines Day warehouse rock gym Laurie Valentines Day Capitol Theater Bench Laurie Valentines Day Capitol Theater Concessions Laurie Valentines Day Swing Laurie Valentines Day (15)

7th Annual Olympia Old Time Festival ~ Kickoff Event and More to Follow

OlyBlog Home Page - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 4:51pm
Event:  Thu, 02/12/2015 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

7th Annual Olympia Old Time Festival starts Thursday and runs through Sunday, February 15, presented by The Arubuts Folk School. Concerts and dances in The Olympia Ballroom (the historic Hotel Olympian), 116 Legion Way S.E., downtown Oly. Most workshops are free and take place at First Christian Church, 7th Ave. at Franklin St. and the Arbutus Folk School, 610 Fourth Ave.

The Olympia Old-Time Music Festival is dedicated to teaching, learning and participating in the sharing of traditional American old-time fiddle music.

Thursday evening it's the all-ages square dance; music by the Grizzle Grazzle Tune Snugglers (Olympia); calling by Evie Ladin (recording artist, Oakland), $5; $30 weekend pass and other pricing for individual events, available at the door or on the web site.

See the event web site and facebook page for tix, dance and concert schedule, headlining artists and workshop schedule.

Festy Web Site     Festy Facebook     Arbutus Folk School

Photo courtesy Raincrow Productions

A quick look at the rest of the Festy

Friday, Feb. 13 The Olympia Ballroom and Urban Onion Lounge
7:00 p.m. The Oly Mountain Boys warm-up show, free, Urban Onion Lounge, downstairs
8:00 p.m. Main concert with The Foghorn Stringband (Portland), Evie Ladin and Keith Terry (Bay Area), Old Time Crankie Show by Sue Truman; $15 or weekend pass
10:00 p.m. Honky Tonk late-night dance with The Tall Boys (Seattle) until ? , $15 logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

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Portland author Alice Hardesty presents her new book, " An Uncommon Cancer Journey: The Cosmic Kick That Healed Our Lives"

OlyBlog Home Page - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 11:15am
Event:  Sat, 02/21/2015 - 3:00pm

Portland author Alice Hardesty will present her new book, " An Uncommon Cancer Journey: The Cosmic Kick That Healed Our Lives". The book tells the story of Hardesty's husband Jack's extraordinary healing from esophageal cancer in the 1980s, despite two "terminal" diagnoses. After conventional medicine failed to provide a cure, Jack tried every alternative and complementary treatment he could, including nutrition, acupressure and other kinds of bodywork, vitamins and enzymes, spiritual healing, and intensive psychotherapy. Alice accompanied and supported him throughout this journey, and found that, along with the physical healing, came the healing of their marriage.

This is a FREE event at Orca Books, 509 4th Ave E in downtown Olympia. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Dub Narcotic Remix Contest Details Spring 2015

K Records - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 10:10am
We recently wrapped up the 2nd ever Dub Narcotic Studio video contest. In the end, Secondhand Sam took the crown with the video for “I use my mike for breaking wall“, and was justly rewarded with sweet sweet studio time. We can’t wait til the next video contest in the fall. In case you’re wondering, […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Saint Martin’s Athletics Hall of Fame/Hall of Honor Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary

Thurston Talk - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 9:40am



By Gail Wood

saint martins hall of fame

The 1966 Saint Martin’s men’s basketball team included Vince Strojan who was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Friday, February 13 marks the 25th anniversary of the introduction of Saint Martin’s University’s annual Athletics Hall of Fame/Hall of Honor celebration.

The event is part of the Saint Martin’s Homecoming 2015 festivities scheduled throughout the weekend for alumni.

Inductees of the Hall of Fame/Hall of Honor are invited to a get-together on Friday that begins with a social hour at 6:00 p.m. at Marcus Pavilion. At 7:00 p.m., the celebration continues with four speakers reflecting on their experiences at Saint Martin’s.

The speakers – Vince Strojan ’68, George Parker ’71, Emily Shipman Thomas ’02 and Adolfo Capestany – are previous inductees into the University’s Hall of Fame/Hall of Honor. All inductees in attendance will receive a Saint Martin’s one-quarter jacket with the Hall of Fame/Hall of Honor logo. Family members of deceased inductees who attend the event will be recognized with certificates.

For Strojan, an NAIA All-American in the 1960s as a 6’3” guard, his induction into his school’s Hall of Fame has had a lasting impact.

“It’s always been kind of awkward for me to accept an individual award while playing a team sport,” Strojan said. “I think the one thing that makes it somewhat easier is that during my era, there were four or five others from my team who were inducted.”

saint martins hall of fame

Hall of Fame and Hall of Honor inductees are presented awards by Saint Martin’s University President Roy Heynderickx and Athletics Director Bob Grisham.

When Strojan arrived at Saint Martin’s, the school was all male and enrollment was approximately 500 students. After earning NAIA All-American honors his senior year, Strojan was drafted by the Dallas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association.

In a tryout with the Seattle SuperSonics, Strojan made it to the last cut. It came down to Strojan and Al Hairston.

“I played in their rookie camp. I thought I had made it, but they kept another guy over me,” said Strojan, who recently retired after selling Evergreen Paper Company, which he owned for 30 years.

Strojan and his former teammates still frequently get together with Jerry Vermillion, their former coach who has been inducted into Saint Martin’s Hall of Fame and lives on Hood Canal.

“Jerry had a way of getting the best out of you,” Strojan said. “There’s a sense of accomplishment, especially when you’re around your peers that you played with on the team.”

Thomas, a 2002 Saint Martin’s grad, was the first Saint Martin’s athlete to win a conference title in track. She still holds the school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and has the third-fastest conference time in the 2,000-meter steeplechase. She also set school records in the 10K, 5K and 3K.

Parker was an NAIA all-district selection in men’s basketball. He finished with 1,182 points, which ranked seventh in career scoring at Saint Martin’s all-time. Parker, who was inducted into the Saints’ Hall of Fame in 1997, led his team in points and rebounds.

saint martins hall of fame

Adolfo Capestany, a previous inductee into Saint Martin’s Hall of Honor, plans to be part of the 25th anniversary events on Friday.

Capestany has been the PA announcer for home basketball games for the Saints’ men’s and women’s teams since 1985, earning him the title of being the “Voice of the Pavilion.” He has also volunteered as the school’s sports information director for a decade and has been involved in many fundraising events over the years.

Capestany, who was inducted into Saint Martin’s Hall of Honor in 2014, has a long-time connection with the University. His uncle and aunt taught at Saint Martin’s University. In the 1970s, he started attending Saints basketball games as a young boy. Being inducted has been a special honor.

“For me, especially as a non-alumni, it’s very humbling,” said Capestany, who attended Western Washington University. “I do it because it’s a labor of love. I enjoy doing it.”

Capestany’s announcing career began in the early 1970s when he covered junior varsity basketball games at Olympia High School as a student. When a need opened at Saint Martin’s, he volunteered and has stuck with it ever since. Over the years, Capestany said, he’s watched some special moments in Marcus Pavilion.

“It’s very touching and humbling that they thought enough of what I do, which I feel is very small, to give me this honor,” Capestany said.

To learn more about the Hall of Fame/Hall of Honor and 25th anniversary events, click here.

Native Plant Sales and Seed Exchanges: Affordable and Beneficial Options for Spring Planting

Thurston Talk - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 6:36am



By Melanie Kallas Ricklefs

washington orthopaedic centerSpring is fast approaching, and with it comes longer days, warmer temperatures, and the opportunity to create a garden oasis in your backyard. There are so many types of trees, shrubs, and flowering plants to choose from when designing your landscape, but not all have the same benefits. If you have plans for spring planting this year, you may want to consider incorporating native plants.

Jen Thurman-Williams, native plant sale coordinator for the Mason Conservation District (MCD), says that because native plants are adapted to our climate, they can survive without the use of fertilizers and pesticides. They are also able to thrive on their own without watering after the first two years. Some native plants have attractive flowers with inviting scents to enhance your landscape, and many benefit wildlife.

native plant sales

The Washington Native Plant Society provides a wide variety of potted plants at their spring sale with informational labels to help you find the right plants for your project. Photo courtesy Bill Brookreson.

Each year, our local conservation districts hold native plant sales. They provide the opportunity to order bare-root plants, shrubs, and trees through their websites from November through January. Bare-root plants are sold in bunches and are an affordable way to plant your landscape. They are also the best option for any restoration or conservation projects you may have in mind. Jen says that while the MCD sale is technically over, they will accept online orders while supplies last.

The MCD plant sale website includes site-specific recommendations to help you determine which plants would be best suited for your landscape. Recommendations include tree species, shrubs, flowering plants, and ground cover that would grow optimally given the environmental conditions. If you are looking to attract hummingbirds and butterflies, while also incorporating beautiful blossoms into your landscape, Jen recommends red flowering currant and mock orange. The MCD inventory not only includes plants that provide food for wildlife, it also includes edibles such as thimbleberry and salmonberry.

The Thurston Conservation District (TCD) is holding a native plant sale in their parking lot on March 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The TCD is located at 2918 Ferguson Street SW, Building 1 Suite A in Tumwater.   According to Stephanie Bishop, the South Sound GREEN Coordinator for TCD, the conservation district will be selling individual plant species as well as combinations of species that meet a common objective. They will offer a “Pollinator Package” which includes plants with long blooming periods that overlap with one another to provide a constant food source for pollinators. They will also offer a “Landscape Package” which includes drought resistant plants with showy flowers and pleasant aromas.

native plant sales

Thurston Conservation District employees are on hand to discuss and distribute native plants at their annual native plant sale. Photo courtesy Thurston Conservation District.

During the parking lot sale, TCD staff will be available to answer questions about the native plants available, and which species may be suitable for your landscape. The conservation district will also provide workshops throughout the day on topics including composting, mushroom log inoculation, plant selection and placement for water efficiency, prairie importance, pollination, and rain garden establishment. The Henderson Inlet Community Shellfish Farm and Taylor Shellfish Farms will be on site to provide shellfish and talk about keeping Puget Sound clean.

The Washington Native Plant Society (WNPS) offers a native plant sale each year at the Capital Museum Coach House in Olympia at 211 21st Avenue SW in Olympia. This year’s plant sale will take place on April 18, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. WNPS provides reasonably-priced potted plants that consist of primarily shrubs and herbaceous plants. Their stock differs from year to year, but they consistently offer native evergreen shrubs, ferns, and huckleberry bushes.

According to Bill Brookreson, Chair of the South Sound Chapter of the WNPS, the proceeds from their plant sales fund free public education programs offered by WNPS, and grants for community projects. WNPS has used previous plant sale funds to create brochures and plant labels for the Nisqually Reach Nature Center. They have also provided support to students in our community by funding educational field trips, and helping to establish native plant and prairie gardens at local schools as part of their science curriculum.

native plant sales

Shelves at the Olympia Seed Exchange are well-stocked and ready for spring. Photo courtesy Caitlin Moore.

If spring planting makes you think more of growing food than native plants, you may want to check out the Olympia Seed Exchange. All of the seeds at the Olympia Seed Exchange are free, but they encourage people to take only what they need, so that there will be enough for all who want to participate. The Olympia Seed Exchange is stocked by donations, so please donate seeds in exchange for those you take.

The Olympia Seed Exchange is currently housed on the second floor of the Eastside Urban Farm and Garden Center located at 2325 4th Avenue East in Olympia, and is open during store hours. The Olympia Seed Exchange also offers a seed saving certification program to educate people on proper seed saving techniques. More information about this program can be found at


Classic Decadence from Bayview and Ralph’s Thriftway for Your Valentine Sweetie

Thurston Talk - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 6:00am



By Kathryn Millhorn

valentines chocolate strawberries

The delicious sights and scents of fresh, flowing chocolate are hard to miss with these hand-crafted treats.

Brace yourselves; Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching. If you’re more Jon Stewart (“I have complete faith in the continued absurdity of whatever’s going on.”) than Martha Stewart (“I think baking cookies is equal to Queen Victoria running an empire. There’s no difference in how seriously you take the job, how seriously you approach your whole life.”) you probably need a little help.

As usual, look to the skilled staff at Ralph’s and Bayview Thriftway to save the day. Produce Supervisor Nate Conat is one of a team of dedicated Thriftway employees set on making your romantic night one to remember.

Conat has worked for the Thriftway family for more than 15 years. He was employed locally for eight years before moving north to the Stadium location in Tacoma. After six years there, he was wooed back to Olympia where he has happily spent the last three years.

One of the ideas he brought with him on his return south was the in-house crafted chocolate dipped strawberry promotion for Valentine’s and Mother’s Day. He is proud to see them “fly off the shelves” and warns that they almost always sell out.

This year the event takes place on Friday, February 13 and Saturday, February 14. Conat says the treats are hard to miss because display tables and a flowing chocolate fountain are set up prominently in both locations. There, staffers dip and decorate fresh berries on the spot which “really makes the event since they’re that fresh.”

No special orders will be taken to insure the peak of freshness and berries are available on a first come, first served basis while supplies last. Hours for pick-up are from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Friday and 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.

valentines chocolate strawberries

Produce Supervisor Nate Conat crafts berries which “fly off the shelves!”

Berries sell for $3.99 for 2, $6.99 for 4, or $12.99 for 10. Go for the big pack, it’s got to tide you over until Mother’s Day.

Need a great bottle of wine to seal the deal? Thriftway is an amazing source of variety, varietals, and the knowledgeable palate of Rob Backman, their Direct Store Delivery Manager by day and Beer, Wine, and Liquor Manager by night. He and the teams at either location are able to match the perfect wine or beer to your specific meal, dessert, and budget.

Last year’s ‘Best Grocery Store’ in the South Sound, the Thriftway family of stores is a one-stop shop for amazing food, community spirit, and a variety of events and classes for all ages. Want to make next year’s Valentine’s even more personal? Sign up for a hands-on class at the Bayview School of Cooking. Previous romantic offerings have included ‘Squeeze Me’ Lemon Raspberry Fizz, ‘Apple of my Eye’ soup, pomegranate-glazed salmon, and chocolate turtle cake.

Visit Bayview Thriftway at 516 West 4th or Ralph’s Thriftway at 1908 East 4th. You never know just what you’ll find when you do.

Mirah “Gold Rush”

K Records - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 12:36am
Cascading guitar and strings! Mirah does it again.  K Song of the Day: Mirah, “Gold Rush” from her Changing Light [KLP253] album.   The Mirah album Changing Light [KLP253] is available now from the K mail Order Dept.  
Categories: Arts & Entertainment


K Records - Tue, 02/10/2015 - 4:15pm
D.C’s Priests staged a full-fledged invasion of Olympia and the K office. Luckily, the band came bearing gifts: a large box of vegan donuts and 5 copies of their brand new 12″ E.P., Bodies and Control and Money and Power. See BACAMAP with Katie (vocals, also of Chain & The Gang fame) and Giddeon (guitar), […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Give your Water Heater a Little Love this Valentine’s Day

Thurston Talk - Tue, 02/10/2015 - 3:06pm



Submitted by Springer Plumbing

Springer Plumbing reminds you to give your plumbing a little "love" this Valentine's Day.

Springer Plumbing reminds you to give your plumbing a little “love” this Valentine’s Day.

Why not give your plumbing a little love this Valentine’s Day? Your water heater is the hardest working appliance in your home, it constantly provides you and your family with warm water while asking little in return. We think it is time you returned the favor and gave your water heater some affection. A little love goes a long way!

The good news is taking care of your water heater is pretty simple. All water heaters accumulate sediment and lime deposits as they age, some of which is just a by-product of the water being heated. All these deposits of sand, rust, rocks, etc. can have a large impact on the efficiency and lifespan of your water heater. We recommend performing an annual flush to clear out the sediment. Having this quick job done will allow your water heater to produce more hot water with less energy. We would love to help you with this if you do not know how to do it yourself.

Why Should You Flush Your Water Heater?

-Remove all sediment that builds up (sand, salt, tiny rocks & even rust)

-Prolong the life of your water heater (average lifespan is 13 years)

-Increase the efficiency of your heater

-Save on energy costs

-Prevent corrosion of the tank

-Allow for your tank to hold its full water capacity

-Protect the drain valve from clogging

-Provide your family with cleaner water

-Have peace of mind knowing you are performing preventative maintenance

Our friendly plumbing technicians are water heater experts and can perform any maintenance, repairs or answer any questions you may have. Happy Valentine’s Day from the Springer Plumbing crew!

Springer Plumbing

3517 Sapp Road SW, Olympia WA 98512

Phone: (360) 754-9670 | Fax: (360) 754-1223



WDFW Approves Razor Clam Dig Starting February 15

Thurston Talk - Tue, 02/10/2015 - 2:35pm



Submitted by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 

Razor Clamming Moclips (3)Razor clam diggers can count on an eight-day opener beginning Feb. 15 and start planning trips to Washington’s beaches in March, state shellfish managers said today. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the upcoming dig, which runs Feb. 15-22, after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.

Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, said the best digging typically occurs one to two hours before low tide. No digging is allowed at any beach before noon.“We’re expecting a good turnout this upcoming Presidents’ Day weekend,” Ayres said. “Tides will be early enough the first few days that diggers can enjoy some daylight on the beach.”

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.

  • Feb. 15, Sunday, 3:47 p.m.; 0.2 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 16, Monday, 4:37 p.m.; -0.5 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 17, Tuesday, 5:24 p.m.; -0.9 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 18, Wednesday, 6:08 p.m.; -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 19, Thursday, 6:51 p.m.; -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 20, Friday, 7:33 p.m.; -0.7 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Feb. 21, Saturday, 8:16 p.m.; -0.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • Feb. 22, Sunday, 9:00 p.m.; 0.6 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

Shellfish managers also announced a new schedule of proposed digs through March, which includes an opening tentatively set for March 5. “We’re announcing these dates so people can make plans for digging in March,” Ayres said. “The proposed digs include an opening for the Ocean Shores razor clam festival.”

Below is the list of proposed razor clam digs, along with low tides and beaches:

  • March 2, Monday, 4:46 p.m.; 0.5 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • March 3, Tuesday, 5:26 p.m.; 0.4 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • March 4, Wednesday, 5:59 p.m.; 0.4 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • March 5, Thursday; 6:30 p.m., 0.5 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • March 16, Monday, 4:15 p.m.; 0.3 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • March 17, Tuesday, 5:08 p.m.; -0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • March 18, Wednesday, 5:57 p.m.; -0.5 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • March 19, Thursday; 6:42 p.m., -0.5 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • March 20, Friday, 7:26 p.m.; -0.4 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks

Seasonal switch to morning tides

  • March 21, Saturday, 7:55 a.m.; -0.5 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors Copalis, Mocrocks
  • March 22, Sunday, 8:42 a.m.; -0.7 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors Copalis, Mocrocks
  • March 23, Thursday, 9:31 a.m.; -0.6 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • March 24, Thursday, 10:21 a.m.; -0.3 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors

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 at and from license vendors around the state.

WDFW has razor clam recipes as well as advice on digging and cleaning clams on its webpage at

Olympia Dance Festival Showcases Many Styles of Dance

Thurston Talk - Tue, 02/10/2015 - 2:25pm



Submitted by the Washington Center for the Performing Arts

Performance on Saturday February 28 at 7:30pm

olympia dance lessons

Olympia Dance Center performs annually at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts.

Ballet Northwest partners once again with The Washington Center for the Performing Arts to present the 6th Annual Olympia Dance Festival on Saturday, February 28, 2015. Dance groups from the South Puget Sound area come together to share the stage during this collaborative weekend of rehearsals and performance.

Ken Johnson, co-Director of Olympia Dance Center explained, “We’re excited for the sixth anniversary of the festival. It just keeps getting better each year, and we’re thrilled to have an amazing guest artist Aaron Turner to compliment the talented local dancers.  Aaron is a charismatic tap dancer from Las Vegas who was seen on season 10 of the hit show So You Think You Can Dance.”

The 2015 festival will take place Friday, February 27 and Saturday, February 28 at The Washington Center in downtown Olympia. The festival features shared master classes, a question and answer session with Aaron Turner, rehearsals designed to promote all styles of dance, and culminates in a showcase public performance by dance groups from around the South Sound. Each dance group will rehearse with Washington Center production staff, giving them professional level experience at Olympia’s premier theater.

Participating groups this year include Ballet Northwest, Ballet Theatre of Washington, Comerford School of Irish Dance, Debbi’s Dance, Etc., High Impact Dance, Johansen Olympia Dance Center, Mas Uda Middle Eastern Dancers, RADCO (Random Acts of Dance Collective), Slieveloughane Irish Dancers, Southwest Washington Dance Ensemble, and Studio West Dance Theatre.

Tickets to the Saturday Mainstage performance are $12, plus $3.00 service fee, and are available through The Washington Center. Performance tickets can also be purchased directly from the participating dance groups.

More information can be found by visiting or calling the Washington Center Box Office at 360-753-8586.


Rob Rice Homes: Superior Home Building Step-by-Step

Thurston Talk - Tue, 02/10/2015 - 2:07pm



Submitted by Barb Lally for Rob Rice Homes

Rob Rice Homes are built with precision and detail.

Rob Rice Homes are built with precision and detail.

When homebuyers purchase a Rob Rice Home before it is built, they are excited and often drive by it daily as it is built. But few can understand from the curb the depth of detail that goes into every quality Rob Rice Home.

The people who know it best are the Rob Rice construction superintendents, the professionals who supervise building each home from the dirt up.

Committed to building excellence

Eric Davis is the superintendent at the popular Rob Rice Community of Kensington in Lacey as well as at the Villages at South Hill in Puyallup, a community that has just opened up its second phase of development.

He began working for Rob Rice at 17 when his uncle George, a seasoned superintendent for the local builder, got him a job as a “water boy” watering lawns and plants all day at the Rob Rice Community of Rainer Park in Lacey across the street from where the teenager lived.

“I thought it was the greatest job ever,” Eric says smiling broadly.

As a Rob Rice Homes superintendent, Eric Davis is committed to building beautiful homes.

As a Rob Rice Homes superintendent, Eric Davis is committed to building beautiful homes.

After working for Rob in fencing, siding and detail work, he gained enough experience to be hired by other construction companies building trusses, doing commercial concrete and framing, expanding his home construction experience. After returning to Rob Rice Homes, Rob recognized his care, skill and work ethic and hired Eric on as a superintendent.

“I love it, I love the responsibility,” explains Eric whose grandfather was the foreman for construction of the Woolworth building in Tacoma. “I realize Rob’s standards and I know what he wants. He is tough on the details.”

Eric feels privileged to be building the finest homes in the South Sound.

“Growing up around this amazing company, I know Rob does not build homes for the sheer volume,” says Eric, who lives in a Rob Rice Community and met his fiancée there. “He wants to build the best home possible, the perfect home. It is all about quality and his name. I don’t think people who buy homes from us understand how much Rob is involved.”

Rob Rice home building is about details

Building a top quality home must be orchestrated with precision in order to achieve quality results.

Rob Rice Homes uses a comprehensive checklist that helps coordinate the delivery of products, the work of subcontractors and the supervision of workers. Inspections at every step on the list result in the incomparable quality assured in every Rob Rice Home.

“Our checklist is Top of Mind Awareness or ‘TOMA’ so that nothing is missed,” Eric explains. “Northwest weather and delays happen, but the list helps us get right back on track.”

Here is just a general overview of the process:

After the foundation is laid, framing begins.

After the foundation is laid, framing begins.

  1. Site Preparation – The work begins with digging a hole for the foundation necessary for the home’s floor plan, followed by setting in the foundation. Once finished, the lot must be filled in next to the foundation or backfilled. The garage floor is laid so all is ready to start the structure of the home.
  2. Framing & Exterior Construction - Lumber is dropped at the site and the framing, or the wood structure of the home, is built. The windows are delivered and installed, quality roofing goes on, the siding is then started and the garage door goes in. Weather permitting, patio and driveway cement is poured, painting soon begins on the exterior of the home and the masonry, or the exterior stonework can be started.
  1. Mechanical Systems - While work on the roof begins, the basic plumbing system is “roughed in”. Once the house is “wrapped” and dry, the electrical and heating, cooling and ventilation (HVAC) “rough-ins” happen. The fireplace is installed too. All the doors on the home must then be secure to protect everything in the home.
  2. Interior and Mill Work - The insulation is added throughout the structure for the highest energy-efficiency. The drywall is put up and textured inside the home to ready for its interior premium features. Interior painting is finished and stylish lighting fixtures are installed inside and out. Finish carpenters install the richly finished cabinets and attractive millwork.
  3. Hard Surfaces and Trim – The hardwood, vinyl or tile flooring come next and the lustrous quartz or granite countertops that are standard features in most Rob Rice Homes are put in place. Designer backsplash tile and the tubs and toilets go in. The mirrors and shower doors follow.
  4. Fencing & Landscaping - Rob Rice Homes’ signature landscaping is professionally done so that lawns and fenced yards beautifully frame the lot. Your lovely home has a lush, clean and distinctive look, setting the home apart.
  1. Masonry is crafted when the weather permits at this home on a lovely golf course.

    Masonry is crafted when the weather permits at this home on a lovely golf course.

    Nicks and Dings Fixed - Everything is checked and minor repairs to dings or nicks are made to ensure that the home reflects a smooth, crisp and completed look. Just before the carpeting goes in, all the doors are shut and a “blow test” is done to check the energy-efficiency of the home.

  1. Carpeting - Carpeting is prepared and is the last to be installed so it remains fresh and ready for the new homeowner. Professional cleaning adds the new home sparkle. Finally, inspections of all systems and features are completed.
  1. “Punch List” Revisited - Rob Rice Homes’ unique ordered project list, or the “punch list”, is again reviewed in meticulous detail.
  1. Owner Walk-Through - We walk the new homeowners through the entire home answering their questions and showing how their systems work. Most of all, we get to see their response to their gorgeous home!

It all comes together

Eric often explains to concerned homeowners that in the last two weeks many things come together. Because the final work is mainly cosmetic, a home can look unfinished until the landscaping, fencing, final paint touches and carpeting are done.

“Homeowners can sometimes get concerned wondering, ‘Is it going to happen? Is my home going to be ready?’ Unless there has been an unusual delay, I can assure them that they will be thrilled with their new home.”


Rob Rice is Thurston County’s largest local home builder and was voted the Best of South Sound for 2013. He has built more than 3000 homes over the last 30 years. He and his wife Helena live in Olympia with their two sons; Alex Michael and Carson. Rob is a graduate of Washington State University with degrees in construction management and architecture.

For more information about a Rob Rice Homes community please visit our website.







February 10, 2015 Special Election Reminder

Thurston Talk - Tue, 02/10/2015 - 1:41pm



Submitted by Thurston County 

The Thurston County Auditor’s Office reminds voters in the Yelm and Tenino school districts that Election Day is Tuesday, February 10, 2015. Ballots must be either postmarked by Tuesday, February 10 or deposited into one of the eight open ballot drop boxes no later than 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. Open drop box locations may be found on

The Yelm and Tenino school districts are the only jurisdictions in Thurston County on the February 2015 ballot. Information about their ballot measures are on the school districts’ websites ( and

The Thurston County Auditor’s Office is a designated voting center during business hours, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m, and on Election Day from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. There, voters may obtain a ballot, ask questions, or use the AutoMARK™ voting assistance device. The Auditor’s Office is located in the Thurston County Courthouse at 2000 Lakeridge Dr SW, Building One, Room 118, Olympia, WA 98502.


2015 Countywide Homeless Census a Success

Thurston Talk - Tue, 02/10/2015 - 1:11pm



Submitted by Thurston County 

Homeless census thurston county 1Staff and volunteers from across Thurston County completed a two-day blitz of activities and events this past Saturday for the 2015 countywide homeless census. Several special outreach events complemented the annual canvasing efforts done by hundreds of volunteers, gathering critical data about homelessness and housing challenges for urban residents, suburban and rural residents, and young people in Thurston County.

“Doing the census and these outreach events gives policy makers lots of good information, plus it’s an opportunity for us to shine a light on the issue of homelessness in our community and educate the public about the scope of the challenges our neighbors are facing,” said Thurston County Chair and HOME Consortium member Cathy Wolfe. “Of course, we couldn’t do it without the hundreds of volunteers who pitch in each year and make a difference in this community. Many thanks to everyone who volunteered.”

The Thurston County homeless census and the Homeless Connect resource fairs are part of an annual nationwide “Point in Time” homeless count designed to help determine who is homeless, why, and what resources are needed to help people get back to independence.

“We can’t help people get out of homelessness if we don’t know what made them homeless in the first place. With better information gathered from the census, we can invest in the programs that we know really work,” said Thurston County HOME Consortium Chair Neil McClanahan, who also is Tumwater’s Mayor Pro-tem. McClanahan has volunteered with the annual census and the Homeless Connect events for the past 10 years.

A special focus of the 2015 homeless census was to reach out to residents struggling with homelessness in Thurston County’s suburban and rural communities. Along with the established Homeless Connect resource fairs in downtown Olympia and Yelm, census organizers also hosted a new Homeless Connect events in Rochester and Tenino to reach more individuals and families without stable housing who live in areas outside of the county’s urban core. The three suburban-rural Homeless Connect events helped gather critical data from 35 individuals, but event organizers know there are many more rural and suburban residents they want to survey in the next census.

“Our suburban and rural residents struggling to find affordable housing can be hard to survey and count for this census. They’re usually not living on the street or in makeshift camps. Homeless census thurston countyThey’re more likely to be living in cars, campers and old RVs, or doubling up with another family,” said Thurston County Homeless System Coordinator Theresa Slusher. “But it’s critically important that we survey suburban and rural residents during the annual homeless census. This information helps us understand the gaps in our homeless and housing system, so we can target resources to where the needs are.”

Census organizers also wanted to reach more street-dependent youth who are often hard to find using other census methods. Thursday’s Youth Count! event at the Artesian Well in downtown Olympia featured live music, a youth-run hot dog stand, social services and survival resources. Because statistics show that up to 40 percent of street-dependent youth identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender or questioning, census organizers made special efforts to make the event an LGBT-friendly with iconic rainbow flags, rainbow-themed shirts for census takers, and a festive atmosphere. Census takers were able to gather important information and data from 30 young people at the Youth Count! event.

“We made a special effort this year to create a safe and welcoming environment for homeless and street dependent youth who live in our area. These young people not only deal with homelessness, many of them also deal with abuse, domestic violence or harassment. This makes it critical to approach them in a safe manner to let them know we are not there to hurt them. Youth Count! was all that and more—the youth were clearly happy to be there.” said Anna Schlecht, coordinator of the annual homeless census.

The annual Thurston County Homeless Census is coordinated by the City of Olympia, which has a contract with Thurston County to do the census. The results of the census are used to help guide federal, state and local funding decisions for local shelters, transitional housing, and related supportive services. The Thurston County HOME Consortium oversees the annual census and uses the data to help make recommendations for the multi-jurisdictional administration of the county’s housing programs.


Green Cove Creek Wetlands Restoration Party

OlyBlog Home Page - Tue, 02/10/2015 - 11:46am
Event:  Mon, 02/16/2015 - 9:00am - 1:00pm

Our first president allegedly cut down a cherry tree.  In honor of his birthday, let’s plant a few trees and cut down something a little more annoying: non-native blackberries and ivy that are trying to choke out native plants!   Join Capitol Land Trust at our Kaiser Preserve near TESC as we work to create shady stream & wetland buffers.


To register and get directions, go to  Bringa water bottle, work clothes (long pants, etc), sun/rain protection, and sturdy closed-toed shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty.  We will provide extra water, snacks, gloves and tools.  If you have a favorite digging tool or pair of gloves, bring them with you.

If you have any questions or concerns, contactMike Leigh at (360) 943-3012 or at logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Matthew Posner – From Cartoon Voices to Carousel

South Sound Arts - Tue, 02/10/2015 - 9:21am

The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle is the pinnacle of success for South Sound musical theater performers, and local favorite Matthew Posner is quickly climbing the ladder of success at the 5th Ave—with a song in his heart and a boatload of acting skill. For Posner performing at the 5th Ave was a dream even before he moved to Western Washington from the East Coast. His parents, who moved out here shortly after Matt graduated high school, were season ticket holders, and from them he knew it was the place he wanted to perform above all others. Soon after moving here he auditioned for Stephen Sondheim’s hit musical Into the Woods and got a callback but didn’t get cast. He auditioned at the 5thAve 10 more times before finally being cast as Smokey in Damn Yankees in 2012. Between that first audition for Into the Woods and finally being cast in Damn Yankees he rocked and rolled and crooned audiences in Tacoma and Olympia that were overwhelmed by his talent and, more importantly, by how thoroughly he threw himself into every role he played in such shows as:
  • ·       Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (in the lead role as Joseph), asMark in Rent and Cornelius in Hello Dolly at Tacoma Musical Playhouse
  • ·       And in various roles in Stardust Christmas Carol, The Final Stardust and Sixties Kicks at Harlequin Productions in Olympia

Posner was born in Indiana, the youngest of three boys. He says they moved around a lot but lived in New Hampshire for 21 years. As a child he taught himself to imitate the voices of cartoon characters. That led to a school production of The Wizard of Ozwhen he was in the sixth grade. When asked to sing for an audition, the only song he could think of was “Happy Birthday.” That didn’t get him a part, but the director later saw him playing around with cartoon voices and put him in the show.After he finished school his parents moved to Washington, but he stayed on the East Coast where he studied at Plymouth State University and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He was in the national tour of Camelotplaying Lancelot and contracted with a theater in Tennessee, but that didn’t work out and he relocated to the Seattle area and started rebuilding his musical theater career starting with work in community theaters in Tacoma and Olympia. In 2008 I chose him as Best Actor in a Musical for my “Critic’s Choice” column in The News tribune, commending him for outstanding performances in three separate roles: Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees, Danny in Grease at Tacoma Musical Playhouse and Buddy Foster in Side Show at Capital Playhouse.  Since moving to Seattle and getting a part in Damn Yankees he has performed in A Christmas Story, Oliver, Second Hand Lions, and Pirates of Penzance at the 5th Ave and will be in their latest production, Rogers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, playing Feb. 5 to March 1. Carousel is being presented in collaboration with Spectrum Dance Theater. This will be the theater’s fourth major collaboration with Spectrum.Carousel is a personal favorite for Richard Rodgers. It’s the story of carousel barker Billy Bigelow and his romance with millworker Julie Jordan. Many all-time favorite songs are featured, such as “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” “If I Loved You” and “June is Busting Out All Over.”Billy is played by Brandon O’Neill, who has just returned to Seattle after a year on Broadway in Disney’s Alladin. Julie is played by Laura Griffith, a veteran of several Broadway shows and national tours.  She was recently seen as the Lady of the Lake in the 5th Ave’sMonty Python’s Spamalot. Billie Wildrick, Laura Griffith, and Anne Allgood also star. Visit the 5th Avenue TheaterVisit Matthew Posner’s website

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Treepeople “No Doubt”

K Records - Tue, 02/10/2015 - 12:36am
  A very satisfying dose of Treepeopleism. It will leave you wanting more.   K Song of the Day: Treepeople “No Doubt”, from  Guilt, Regret and Embarrassment [KLP069]. The Treepeople album Guilt, Regret and Embarrassment [KLP069] is available now from the K Mail Order Dept.  
Categories: Arts & Entertainment
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