Recent local blog posts

Amanda K. Davidson: Wednesday, May 18th, 11:30-1pm in the 2nd floor Recital Hall of the COM Building

Evergreen Artists Lecture Series - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 3:35pm

Amanda Davidson_high resAmanda Davidson writes, draws, and makes performances in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. Her prose chapbooks include Arcanagrams: A Reckoning (Little Red Leaves 2014), The Space (Belladonna 2014), and Apprenticeship (New Herring Press 2013), and she is the founding editor of Occasional Remarks: Prose Chaps and Audio Tracks. Davidson’s fiction, reviews, and comics appear in the Brooklyn Rail, the Believer, and Weird Sister, where she’s serializing a graphic novel called The Conditions of Our Togetherness. She’s been a writer-in-residence at MacDowell, Art Farm Nebraska, Millay, and I-Park, and received a 2014-2015 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Residency, and a 2014 NYFA Fellowship in poetry.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

A Doll’s House at Dukesbay Theater

South Sound Arts - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 8:25am
A Double Dose of IbsenPublished in the Weekly Volcano, May 5, 2016Ryan St. Martin as Torvald and Katelyn Hoffman as Nora. Photo courtesy New Muses Theatre Company.A Double Dose of IbsenNew Muses Theatre Company is performing two plays by Henrik Ibsen in repertory: A Doll’s House and Ghosts. New Muses Managing Artistic Director Niclas Olson, who directs and performs in both plays, explained why he decided to do the two plays on a rotating schedule: “When Ibsen experienced the backlash from A Doll’s House he responded with Ghosts, a play that imagines a different sort of circumstances in a traditional marriage. While A Doll’s House is all about Nora gathering the courage to leave her marriage, Ghosts is about the aftermath of Mrs. Alving deciding to stay. I read a quote last year that said Ibsen wrote Mrs. Alving because he wasn’t finished with Nora after A Doll’s House and looking at the two scripts together the parallels are fascinating.”The backlash Olson referred to came from the fact that A Doll’s House was essentially considered the world’s first feminist play, written in 1879. It made the case for a woman leaving a less-than-satisfying marriage.I caught the opening performance of A Doll’s House. It is a smart play that is both intriguing and provocative, given perhaps more to contemplation than to the bombast of more contemporary plays. Some of the acting opening night seemed a little stilted and hesitant, perhaps due to opening night jitters or perhaps because people in the 19thcentury were more formal and more reserved than now. Characters such as Nora’s husband, Torvald (Ryan St. Martin) might have been stiff and formal, which would make St. Martin’s stifled acting a correct portrayal. In a period play like this, set in a culture modern audiences may not relate to, it is hard to separate the characters from the actors. Was Torvald really that expressionless or was St. Martin holding back? Was there something unsettling about Ben Stahl’s posture, or was it the result of the fact that the character he was playing, Dr. Rank, was suffering from a hidden but fatal disease? I felt that the most believable and engaging acting came from the two lead female characters, Katelyn Hoffman as Nora and Kathryn Grace Philbrook as Mrs. Linde. In Hoffman’s subtly controlled expressions of anger and joy I sensed the withheld fury of a woman held prisoner by circumstances. The range of expressions by Philbrook and by Olson as Krogstad, the most complex character in the play, were both noteworthy.I loved the beautifully layered blue-lighted backdrop (design by Olson), and I loved the equally beautiful white dress that Nora wore (no costumer listed).Both A Doll’s House and Ghosts are plays that are historically important and that intelligently and dramatically depict the evolution of relationships between the sexes. These are plays that should be seen. The audience opening night was pathetically small, and that is a shame. Independent production companies such as New Muses should be better supported by the community.
A Doll’s House and Ghosts, 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m., Sunday through May 22, with additional matinees May 7 and 14., $10, Dukesbay Theater, Merlino Arts Center, 508 S. Sixth Ave., Tacoma. Full schedule at          
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Symbiosis in Black & White

South Sound Arts - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 8:19am

Weldon Butler and Carla Keaton at B2 Fine ArtPublished in Weekly Volcano, May 5, 2016
 “Bull Moose,” graphite drawing by Weldon Butler, courtesy B2 Fine Art GalleryI am continually surprised by the museum-quality art Gary and Deborah Boone bring to B2 Fine Art. Very few commercial galleries, especially not in smaller cities such as Tacoma, can mount shows such as B2’s recent showing of works by Faith Ringgold and Aminah Robinson or bring in top-notch artists such as Weldon Butler, whose drawings and one relief sculpture are currently on exhibition along with paintings by a slightly lesser-known artist, Carla Keaton. The Boone’s also do Tacoma a great favor by showing works by leading African-American artists, not exclusively but more consistently than any other gallery.  Butler is an established artist originally from Philadelphia, who moved to Seattle 40 years ago to study under Jacob Lawrence. From that, one might expect narrative art in the same vein as Lawrence’s work. But what he learned from Lawrence was evidently not story telling through art. Butler’s work is abstract, pure, and minimalist — not in the traditions established by Lawrence and Ringgold, which are anything but minimalist, but more in the tradition of Ellsworth Kelly and Al Held, with a line quality like Henri Matisse.A wall statement by Butler explains that in the contour drawings he is “expressing two points of focus, beginning and returning to the same point and variation of line formation.”There are four large, simple abstract drawings in the front gallery. In each there are curvilinear shapes tracing an open contour that delineates paths that double back on themselves in ways that defy logic and perspective. You can’t tell where they begin or end. They are sensual shapes drawn with a smooth and highly controlled line and very little shading. In contrast to the graphite lines on white paper, he throws in a few flat gray shapes. Many of these drawings look like studies for sculpture.In the middle gallery there is a small drawing of a rectangular cube in black, white and gray graphite that defies normal perspective, and there is a wall-size drawing called “Colossus” that hangs a couple of feet out from the wall and stretches across the gallery (146-by-42 inches). Like his other drawings, “Colossus” is mostly contour with a minimum of shaded areas. The shapes are rhythmical and seem to march or dance from left to right to what looks like a brick sidewalk that “walks” the viewer’s eye off the paper. All of Butler’s drawings are strong and simple with a great touch for asymmetric balance and in-and-out movement in shallow space. It is minimalist abstraction of the highest order.“The Care Taker,” painting by Carla Keaton, courtesy B2 Fine Art GalleryKeaton’s work is all painting, some in acrylic and some in oil, and all cubistic and in black and white. There is a series of paintings of chairs that have been broken down into planes and wedges and play with dimensionality within a mostly flat format (there are a few constructed areas that jut out from the wall an inch or two). There are also three abstract figurative paintings: one a picture of two kids sitting on the bumper of a Volkswagen, one of two VWs, and a life-size portrait of a woman called “Portrait of a Single Mother.” Each of these is also in a cubist style. I was not overly impressed with Keaton’s paintings because I did not find anything original or personal in them. The more I think about them, the more I think the portrait of the woman is her strongest painting. I also Googled Keaton and saw I lot of other paintings of families and individuals that were better than what is shown in this exhibition, so I encourage you to look at some of these online, and maybe B2 can bring her back with some of her figure paintings. Symbiosis in Black & White, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, till 9 p.m. Third Thursdays, through June 11, B2 Gallery, 711 St. Helens Avenue, Tacoma, 253.238.5065.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates Help Patients Get Back on Their Feet

Thurston Talk - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 6:00am


How do you help someone to heal a foot injury if they won’t stop moving? Even more challenging, what if they’re attempting to get better while simultaneously training for a marathon? That’s just one of the issues Dr. Terrence Hess faces on a regular basis as a podiatrist at Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates. “Marathon

Saint Martin’s University Announces 2016 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

Thurston Talk - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 6:00am


Submitted by Saint Martin’s University Saint Martin’s University announced today the valedictorian and salutatorian for the Class of 2016. Valedictorian Michaela Kier, of Olympia, Washington, is graduating summa cum laude (with highest honors), earning a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting. Michaela has a cumulative GPA of 3.98. While at Saint Martin’s, she received the Saint

Olympia Mother’s Day Weekend Event Calendar

Thurston Talk - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 6:00am


Moms!  We are celebrating you on Sunday (and every day on  Turn to ThurstonTalk for ideas on how to make your mom feel special this weekend and every day. If you are looking for Mother’s Day brunches or gift ideas, we’ve got you covered.  Perhaps Mom would prefer a family hike or 5K run

Elite Cleaning of Washington: Banishing Housework Guilt

Thurston Talk - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 5:00am


Erma Bombeck once said that guilt is “the gift that keeps on giving.” Few things are a greater source of guilt than house-keeping. No matter how much you scrub, sweep, or dust, it’s a never-ending job, especially if pets, kids, and a busy workday are involved. “The most recent stats from the Bureau of Labor

Qualis Health Awards St. Peter Hospital Washington Award of Excellence in Healthcare Quality

Thurston Talk - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 2:19pm


Submitted by Providence Health and Services Providence St. Peter Hospital is pleased to announce it has received the Washington Award of Excellence in Healthcare Quality from Qualis Health for its evidence-based care model to reduce readmissions of heart failure patients.  St. Peter is one of five hospitals in the state of Washington to receive an Excellence in

Olympia Area Rowing Invites Public to Learn to Row Day

Thurston Talk - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 12:57pm


Submitted by Olympia Area Rowing  Olympia Area Rowing is proud to announce June 4 is the National Learn to Row Day. In Thurston County this event is sponsored by the local rowing club, Olympia Area Rowing (OAR). Anyone interested in learning about rowing as a fun, physical activity on the water, is invited to a

Saint Martin’s Announces Co-speakers for the 2016 Commencement

Thurston Talk - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 12:38pm


Submitted by Saint Martin’s University  Distinguished alumni Armandino “Dino” A. Batali ’59 and Terence Monaghan ’62 will share the Commencement speaker role when they address the Class of 2016 during the graduation ceremony Saturday, May 7, at Saint Martin’s University, 5000 Abbey Way SE., in Lacey. “Both Dino Batali and Terry Monaghan have excelled as

Top Rung Brewing Launches Two New Beers in May

Thurston Talk - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 12:10pm


Submitted by Top Rung Brewing Company On May 7 , Top Rung Brewing Company will release a seasonal beer that has been anticipated for months, our Raspberry Wheat.  A nice wheat beer that is infused with real raspberries and co-mingles with those raspberries in the brite tank for several weeks to impart an awesome raspberry flavor that

Olympia Community School Announces New Location

Thurston Talk - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 12:08pm


Submitted by The Olympia Community School The Olympia Community School, the area’s oldest alternative elementary school, will relocate into a new, more nature-inspiring facility for the upcoming school year, beginning September 2016. There will be an open house at the new site on Saturday, May 7, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. “Olympia Community School

Poems/Objects by Jenny Seymore Montgomery

South Sound Arts - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 6:21am
Poems/Installations: Hatch
by Jenny Montgomery

Salon Refu is delighted to host a complex installation of poetry and objects by Jenny Seymore Montgomery, opening (with a boffo artist talk) on Friday, May 6, 2015at 6 p.m.  There will be refreshments to support your enjoyment of Jenny's cabinet of wonders - a physically expressed story of difficulty and triumph.   Serious, not cheesy!

About the Work

“Hatch” is an experiment in literary installation. It began as a chapbook of poems exploring a devastating birth experience and the eventual joys of parenting an uncommon (and exceptionally funny) child. Images from the poems are “built out” in the gallery space, made from materials which reach back to touch prehistoric ritual traditions surrounding death and the afterlife (red ochre, stone mounds, shroud wrappings, etc.), objects from a romantic, idealized nursery, religious items, and medical flotsam and pharmaceuticals. Large scale poems and fragments surround the viewer, telling the story of a child’s near death experience, physical disability, and exuberant embrace of life and language.

“This show is a ritual attempt to re-document our experience in ways that reach beyond the medical and the finite toward a narrative of spirit and metamorphosis,” says Jenny Montgomery, who enjoyed collaborating with her seven-year old son on some of the pieces.

Aspects of the work grapple with our culture’s death-denying, instrumentalist, and scientific worldview and point toward the pre-modern transcendent—toward wisdom traditions and secret “hatches” leading to other realms. Many pieces invite the viewer into the symbol-rich world of childhood, where archetypal forces are encountered in the primal theater of play. “As children work to find their place in a mysterious world, themes of struggle, mortality, safety, rescue, absurdity, magic, and the limits of our agency appear again and again,” says Montgomery. “Like play, art is a form of ritual—a highly charged field of action in which our relationship to forces beyond our control can shift and re-form.”

About the Artist

Jenny (Seymore) Montgomery’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Unsplendid, Switched-on Gutenberg, the New York TimesGathering of the Tribes, Sensitive Skin, and the Cairo Times.  She was educated at the Evergreen State College (where artist Marilyn Frasca was a strong formative influence) and Columbia University. She lives Missoula, Montana where she owns a distillery with her husband, Ryan.

Host:Susan Christian's Project Space:  Salon Refu 114 N Capitol Way, downtown Olympia Salon Refu | 114 Capital Way | Olympia | WA | 98501

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Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Thrifty Thurston – 5 Hikes Under and 5 Hikes Over 5 Miles Near Olympia

Thurston Talk - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 6:00am


One of the best things about living in Thurston County is the proximity to great hiking. Whether you are looking for a hike close to home for the whole family, or an all-day excursion to the Peninsula, you are sure to find something that suits you. Check out Thrifty Thurston’s five hikes under and over

Something Wicked Presents Academy X: An Improv Show Inspired by X-Men

OlyBlog Home Page - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 1:50pm
Event:  Wed, 05/18/2016 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm

 On Wednesday, May 18, 2016, Harlequin Productions’ celebrated improv troupe, Something Wicked, presents their newest comedy show, Academy X: An Improv Show Inspired by X-Men. The performance takes place from 7:00 PM until approximately 8:30 PM at the State Theater in downtown Olympia. 

“It’s an improv comedy show inspired by the X-Men comics and movies,” said Something Wicked leader Mark Alford. “However, you don’t actually need to know anything about them to enjoy our show.” 

Improv fans can purchase tickets at or by calling 360/786-0151. Admission is $15 with $10 rush tickets available at the Box Office 30 minutes before the show.


     WHO:               Harlequin Productions presents Something Wicked

     WHAT:             Academy X: An Improv Show Inspired by X-Men

     WHEN:             Wednesday May 18, 2016 from 7:00 PM to approximately 8:30 PM

     WHERE:          The Historic State Theater – 202 4th Avenue East, Downtown Olympia 98501

     PRICE:             $15 general, $10 rush tickets (available at Box Office ½ hour before curtain)

     TICKETS:        Tickets and info available at, or by calling 360/786-0151

     NOTE:              May contain mature content logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

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Local FASTSIGNS® Donating Portion of Sales to American Red Cross

Thurston Talk - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 1:30pm


Submitted by FASTSIGNS® of Olympia  During the month of May, FASTSIGNS® of Olympia – Lacey will donate $5 of every order received to the American Red Cross. “Disasters strike every day across the country and we’re proud to support organizations like the American Red Cross that are dedicated to help those in need,” said Grace Kendall, franchisee of FASTSIGNS

Man in legal limbo in Thurston jail

Works in Progress - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 9:32am

Roughed up and jailed—Using the justice system to punish eccentricity

By Roger-Duane Calhoun

Editorial note:  Roger Calhoon has been incarcerated in Thurston County since last summer and he is not your everyday person. One may not agree with what he believes, but he has his reasons. Twice he has been sent to Western State Hospital for evaluation, yet he remains in the County’s jail. And after eight months of imprisonment, no trial date has been scheduled.

This article concludes with a statement by Mr. Calhoun’s friend, Mr. Leonard Rusby, who provides an update and more detail.

My name is Roger-Duane Calhoon and I am in need of help from a group like  the American Civil Liberties Union. Thank you for your time in this urgent matter.

I was pulled over on the Interstate-5 here in the Thurston County area of Washington State the morning of Sunday, September 13, 2015.

120 Days & Counting

The reason they said was for speeding.  This however turned into a felony ‘attempt to elude’ charge that for me, with no prior criminal record, would carry a sentence of zero-to-sixty days, if convicted.

As of today, January 11, I have been in the Thurston County Sheriffs Jail for 120 days and counting.   The passenger window was broken to gain access to the inside of my car; I was pulled out of the driver’s seat onto the ground face down and unnecessary excess force was used that dislocated my right shoulder.  My dog, my constant companion, was stolen from me, spayed, chipped, and adopted out in just two days by Thurston County’s Animal Services.  The car was impounded.

This police action started with a gun pointed at my face at point blank range.  Thurston County Sheriff Jail then violated the 72-hour rule to get me in front of a judge in court.  They have violated my 60-day speedy trial rights.

All for exercising my rights and freedom to travel

For not agreeing with the Public Defender attorney, Arnold Christian Cabrera and Pat O’Conner, they had me sent against my will and consent, to Western State Hospital—a state-run mental hospital—for a 14-day ‘competency evaluation’, beginning November 10, again without my consent!

So you know, on and off from 2007 through 2013, and from January, 2014 and on, I have been exercising my right to travel without a commercial driver’s license, without registration or plates from the Department of Licensing and I have had very little trouble in doing so. However, since Sunday morning, September 13, 2015, when I was passing through Olympia, my life has changed completely.

Here is my story

I was heading north bound on I-5 going to Stanwood, Washington to see my mother and to help with her physical therapy after a stroke paralyzed most of the left side of her body.   I was going home to be with her and be her caregiver in her golden years.

Instead of what should have been a properly conducted traffic stop, the car I was traveling in had the window broken out, I was thrown to the ground on the I-5, my right shoulder dislocated, and my best friend, a border collie-blue heeler mix, has been stolen.  I have been arrested.  I have been falsely imprisoned without due process of law.

On December 21, they held a trial in Thurston County Superior Court by acting Judge James Dixon, to send me back to Western State Hospital (WSH)— against my will and without my consent again—for 45 days to ‘restore competency’ in order for me to stand trial.  Two doctors from WSH are saying ‘other employees’ witnessed psychiatric behavior from me during the time I was forced to be there for 14 days.  This order was made because I am exercising my rights and do not agree with them on a matter of my right to travel.  They do not like this as you can imagine.

They have in this court order to use psychotropic drugs on me like Risperidone, which has many bad side effects, and is known to cause psychosis and psychotic behavior.  It has been known to cause permanent movement disorder, Tardive Dyskinesia, Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome, increased risk of suicide, high blood sugar levels, dementia, and increased risk of dying, just to name a few!

I do not want these drugs in me at all.

Roger Calhoon’s situation April 17 update by Leonard Rusby (with assistance from Carol Willey)

Leonard Rusby has viewed the police dash-cam video of the arrest and has had many conversations with Roger  during his  incarceration at Thurston County Jail and  Western State Hospital.

Roger was traveling by automobile, on his way to visit his mother who had a debilitating stroke and had lost most of the use of the left side of her body.  He was to help with physical therapy, and to give the current caregiver a short break from 18 months of 24/7 caregiving.  It has now been 7 months longer, nearly 26 months altogether!  His mother isn’t even able to use a wheelchair to be taken for walks because there is no ramp on the house and it is too difficult to get a wheelchair in and out of her room.  She is put in the sitting position on the edge of her bed two times daily to eat meal and receive some herbal remedies. She eats snacks lying down.

While traveling through Olympia, Washington at a light traffic on Sunday morning, September 13, 2015, just two hour’s drive from home, Roger was pulled over for speeding.

Roger passed information to the officer that was not looked at.  Neither the officer or other officers involved, acknowledged what was clearly written on the car.  “Stop, Private Property!  Please take note, I do not consent to federal police enforcers, legal jargon, unlawful search and seizure, touching me or my property in any way.  Fee schedule starts at 100,000.00.”

Roger felt threatened, he said, because the officer was acting ‘suspicious’ and had his hand on his weapon.  Roger left the scene looking for a better place to pull over with more people to be potential witnesses to anything that might transpire.  He couldn’t find a good place, a shopping center, or other populated area and decided to pull over again on a nice straight stretch of road clearly visible in both directions.

This time, the officer approached with weapon drawn.  Roger talked with officer through the driver’s window lowered a couple of inches.  The officer finally put his weapon back into his holster after having pointed it into Roger’s face.

Roger was unable to resolve the problem by talking with the officer through the window.

The officer demanded that he exit the car.  The officer did not comprehend what Roger was saying, or was apparently not properly trained in dealing with a ‘private American’.

Another officer placed spike strips in front of the car in case Roger tried to leave again.

Yet another officer approached on the passenger side.  The officer on the driver’s side passed a baton over the car to the officer on the passenger side and gave the order to break the passenger side window to gain access; the door locks were unlocked and Roger was pulled out of the driver’s side, forced onto the ground into the prone position.  Another officer (not with the Washington State Patrol) then forcefully pulled Roger’s right arm back and up into an unnatural position with way more force than was required (since Roger was not resisting his circumstances) and his shoulder was dislocated.

Roger in no way fought with the officers!  His voice stayed low and calm the whole time.  He was in no way threatening.  He was simply not consenting to their jurisdiction or to the proceedings.  He has not yet recovered the full use of his right hand and arm.

Roger’s much loved constant companion, his dog ‘Whisper’, was stolen and taken to Animal Services where she was spayed, chipped, and adopted out to a new owner within just two days.  The dog was to be used for breeding.  When asking about Whisper, Animal Control simply stated that the dog was treated as a ‘stray’ because Washington State Patrol had said that the driver was ‘uncooperative’.

The car was impounded and a search warrant was obtained. A half-eaten jar of home grown fruit was confiscated because they thought that it looked like ‘mushrooms’ and the surveillance cameras that Roger had installed were removed.  They are not believed to have been listed on the search warrant.

Roger was taken to jail, then taken to a hospital to check on his dislocated shoulder, then returned to jail where he was scantily clad and placed into solitary confinement. There he remained on a cement floor for approximately 96 hours (4 days).  No one came to tell him anything.  The 72-hour rule to be brought before a judge was violated.

In an effort to learn about what was happening and what he was charged with, he reluctantly agreed to talk to a public defender. He was hauled into a small hearing room in shackles and was video-taped.  He was not allowed to say anything and no public defender came in.

He’s now been incarcerated over 7 months including a 2-week stay at Western State as well as another 38-day stay at Western State that was supposed to be 45 days.  He was sent there to be ‘evaluated’ to see if he was competent to stand trial.  He exhibited no behavior that would suggest that he needed any behavioral modifying drugs, and, thank goodness, the doctors at Western State did not administer any!

A non-bar association lawyer was hired who cited RCWs and the court’s own rules to show that the case should be dismissed; however, the court and public defender are not acknowledging any of their own RCWs nor will act on any of the legal motions Roger has made.

The right to a speedy trial has not been waived and Roger is still waiting after seven months!  No court date has been set.  There is no meaningful dialogue going on between Roger and the public defender, though Roger has requested time and time again to see all of the paperwork put together by the public defender on his behalf.  Nothing except the police officer’s reports, dash-cam video, and a few notices of upcoming hearings have been received from the public defender.

The public defender has essentially done absolutely nothing. He has not done anything that Roger has asked of him!  He will only help Roger, if Roger agrees to a ‘guilty plea’.  The jail and public defender are acting like qualified doctors in making a judgement about Roger’s competency not being what it needs to be to ‘stand trial.

Even the food boxes at the jail say right on them, “Unfit for human consumption”!

By sending Roger to a mental institution, they are creating a ‘history’ of being at a mental hospital that can be used against Roger at a later date.  See what they do?  They chip away at personal sovereignty in order to gain greater and greater control.

All rights reserved.

The post Man in legal limbo in Thurston jail appeared first on Works in Progress.

The ancient Order of Moss

Works in Progress - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 9:23am

Bryophyte property rights and pressure-washers

By Liza Rognas

A caution to those planning their annual trip to the chemically noisome, noxious, aisles of the nearest box-store to buy the stuff that kills-the-moss-in-lawn-grass:

Don’t do it!

Anti-moss chemicals poison humans, aquifers, and soil. They harm critters we see, and those we don’t. Besides, these chemicals don’t work—hence the annual trip to spend too much money on them. Give it up, lawn addicts. Moss is more powerful than you can ever be. Moss has enormous strength. It can leap tall buildings in a single bound. That’s why it also grows on your roof.** Moss , verdant and spongy, was sprouting elderly whiskers eons before our human ancestors were asking each other if anyone would be embarrassed if they stood-up on their hind legs and took a look around during the next new moon.

Most of us living west of the Cascade Mountains reside on what was once, and still remains, a mighty, primordial, coastal, forest floor where mossy Brachytheciaceae, a Bryophyte, has dwelled for millennia. The soil knows that Moss is supposed to grow here. Trees know that Moss is supposed to grow here. Moss knows it’s supposed to grow here. It’s traditional. It’s got rights, Moss does! It holds thousands, perhaps millions—of years in property rights to this place that are deeper in the soil than any puny title certificate of human ownership, with taxes due, can claim. Somewhere there’s an ancient contract about Bryophyte right-of-way enforced by a judiciary of slugs, and militias of ferns and Cedars. Here’s where Moss grows! Every human effort to create a perfect lawn (a new tradition, even in human time) only enriches chemical companies while irritating and disrespecting the ancient ecosystems and plant folkways of this place. There’s beauty in Moss. Accept it. Gaudy, nouveau-riche, Kentucky Blue Grass lawn seed mix, with weed-b-gone & fertilizer added, just looks silly. Let the grass grow in Kentucky where it won’t get confused. You live in the South Sound. Take pride in your Moss!

About that Moss on your roof . . .

As it turns out, I asked my roofer about moss a few years ago during a conversation about his estimate. He gets a lot of business during the fall/winter rainy season from homeowners who send their teenagers up on the roof in spring to spray-off the moss using a pressure washer. Sure, the moss is stripped off, but the immense pressure also rips away composition particles coating the shingles, forcing water into and under areas of the roof that would normally remain dry, fixed, and overlapping. Roofs are meant to shed water, not collect it. Once a pressure washer strips away the pebbled texture affixed to the composition tiles, and they begin to absorb—not repel—moisture, all bets are off. The roof has been compromised. Those high-pressured streams force open overlapping shingles and widen punctures around nail holes.  Later, gutter-gushing fall/winter rainstorms can and will result in roof leaks that would not have manifested if the spring-cleaning homeowner, and the reluctant teenage laborer, had done this instead:

Use a sturdy push broom! Start at the roof crown and push-sweep down while firmly agitating the broom’s brush back and forth to loosen and then dislodge the moss. It takes longer, but it works.

Pay the kid, and let her keep the cool old Frisbee she found up there.

Liza Rognas is an academic librarian and a research professional, and has been a community food security activist and researcher for 20 years in Washington State.

The post The ancient Order of Moss appeared first on Works in Progress.

May has been known as the Mental Health Awareness Month for many years

Works in Progress - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 9:17am

By Carole Willey

Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) is followed by July 7– 15 known around the world as MAD PRIDE Week and during October the US celebrates the Disability Awareness Month and assigns the first week Mental Illness Awareness Week.  Many Washington mental health consumers are totally unaware of the 40-year movement known as the Consumers/Expatients/Survivors Movement understandably so because of the oppressive views our society.  I want our community to know of this movement in hopes to open discussions and dialogue of cross issues of movements collaboration on important issues of our times.

For the May issue I have submitted three separate articles. The first, “Crossroads to change campaign”, concerns the Mental Health Awareness Month.  The second article, which I have submitted to several websites national and international with Roger Calhoon’s permission, is titled “Exercising my freedom and rights in America today’.  Also in this issue is a reprint of Panagioti Tsolkas’ excellent article, “The Ecology of a Prison Nation” (Earth First!  June-July 2015). These articles show what is happening in our county, our state.

Cross movements of mental health and environmental healthcare reform, prison / jail reform, environmental / climate change, Idle No More, Black Lives Matter, and most importantly protecting Natives’ Movements are connecting, forming partnerships, and joining large social justice movements across our Earth to save us all.

Below is a campaign I started with the help of several local advocates and activists in 2010. I want WIP readers to be aware.  Knowledge, courage, boldness and gumption to merge for collective direct action is what we seek.  But our action with “conviction to let our beliefs move us to action”–FEJ that is needed most to promote and support a sustainable, consistent, on-going, varied actions to make true change toward reform and move society away from the views of the one percent to our collective’s—we are the 99 percent!

Carole Willey, BSW

© 2016

The post May has been known as the Mental Health Awareness Month for many years appeared first on Works in Progress.

Crossroads to Change Campaign

Works in Progress - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 9:15am

By Carole Willey

The 1999 Mental Health Quality Review Team Report found 68 percent of those surveyed had their rights violated in involuntary hospitalizations, known as a civil commitment—substantive constitutional procedural due process violations—civil rights violations. I founded the Crossroads to Change Campaign to expose these violations and work towards mental health (MH) reform. For 25 years I have been dedicated to educating various groups about these violations and other MH issues of forced treatment known as forced medication in Washington State.

This campaign’s focus is expose violations of MH civil commitment as documented by the Spokane County’s Mental Health Quality Review Team in their report entitled: “Investigation and Survey Results Regarding the Legal Representation by the Spokane Public Defender’s Office for the Involuntary Treatment Act Hearing Process,” dated November 29, 1999 and a second Spokane Report entitled: “Civil Commitment / Involuntary Treatment Act (ITA) Survey Results” dated June 24, 2002.

These reports provide a historical viewpoint of due process violations in involuntary hospitalizations.  Carole Willey has been the only gatekeeper of these reports and working against the continued inaction of the state agencies and legislators since moving to Olympia, WA in 1998.

CCC’s Vision

The Crossroads to Change Cam-paign (CCC) was establish to educate Americans about civil right violations in US healthcare practices, to exposure these violations, and provide evidence that in Washington State people with mental disabilities are regularly detained in involuntary hospitalizations/civil commitments while experiencing a lack of due process.  CCC was also established to expose the varied methods that cause psychiatric coercion and mental health (MH) forced medications. Its goal is to voice the need for mental health reform at all levels of treatment and create a call to action for people to become involved.

Another of the campaign’s goals is to educate consumers, survivors, and former patients across the state about their rights. By being informed on outpatients and inpatients issues, it will empower and  guide them towards more mental health self-determination, which will allow them to embrace mental health recovery and to enhance their lifestyles to attain health and wellness.   CCC purports a sustainable mental health environment as opposed to a crisis-driven, oppressive existence, and profit-driven mental health care system.

Email Carole Willey about inappropriate handling of mental health providers or facilities —


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