By Gail Wood
About 900 high school students from across the state will come to Olympia for a three-day leadership conference Friday, sharing insights to fundraisers, helping-hand projects like food drives and other community service events.
The objective is to learn from others.
“Our theme this year is capitalizing on leadership,” said Tyler Bonnell, the ASB president at Olympia High School. “What we’re hoping to do is build networking connections between all the schools.”
It’s the first time in over 20 years that Olympia has hosted the leadership conference, which is now called the Association of Washington Student Leaders (AWSL) Conference. Two years ago, Olympia applied to host the conference and got the go ahead last November.
“We’ve been planning for it ever since,” said Angel Elam, the Capital High School activities director who also teaches leadership. “It’s a full year of planning.”
In addition to sharing insights on how to do certain projects and events, there will also be four motivational speakers coming to share about the values and qualities of leadership.
“If we can learn what they’re doing well in their own communities and see what works, that will help everyone,” Bonnell said. “The networking is a big part of this conference. But we’re here to also learn about leadership philosophy, to hear the different philosophies of the keynote speakers.”
Speaking at the three-day conference that begins Friday will be Jeff Yalden, a tell-it-like-it-is youth motivational speaker, and Scott Backovich, who says his objective is to connect with students and not talk at them.
Also speaking will be will Stu Cabe and Geoff McLachlan. In 2004, Cabe started the Ovation Company, which stands up for good. McLachlan, who recently joined the Idaho Drug Free Youth team in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, says he couples a youthful approach to life with an “old world charm” that makes speaking and teaching a good fit.
“This conference is a pretty big deal,” Bonnell said. “It’s the big one for Washington. We’re trying to pull out all the stops.”
In addition to trying to put on a quality conference, the conference leadership is also trying to save money for the students attending. They’re doing that by finding host families, saving students hotel costs for two nights.
“Each school has been in charge of trying to find home space,” Bonnell said. “It’s a big deal. We’re still looking for home space. Anyone interested can contact me via email at email@example.com.” With families hosting between three and as many as eight students, they will need about 150 families to host students. Bonnell’s parents will be hosting eight students.
“Eight sounds like a huge statement. But it’s not that big of a commitment,” Bonnell said. “They’re at the school all day. The only meal they need is Friday night dinner. And two breakfasts.”
Students arrive at Capital at 3:30 p.m. Friday. On Saturday, the conference will begin with some of the guest speakers talking in the morning and then the students will be given a tour of the Capitol Campus. After the tour the students will have a parade around Capital Lake. They’ll be holding posters promoting the projects and objectives of their leadership conference.
“We like to call it a demonstration,” Bonnell said. “We want to really make a statement about how our student leaders are doing incredible things.”
Bonnell said the intent of the parade is to highlight the projects that were successful at other schools across the state.
“It’s also another way to network with other students,” Bonnell said. “The main idea is to show the events they’re proud of at their school.”
The students will gather for an evening of talks from the guest speakers at Olympia High School and conclude around 10:00 p.m. The evening talks on Saturday will conclude a full day that began at 9:00 a.m. with guest speakers.
Organizing the statewide leadership conference took a lot of time and effort in inviting the speakers and planning the activities.
“To put it into perspective,” Bonnell said. “We’ve really been planning this since last November. We’ve been meeting with all the schools. We’ve had our planning team. It’s been a lot of work. But it’s been a good experience.”
Bonnell said he’s learned a lot from the 11-month experience of planning the event. There’s book knowledge, information and insight gathered from reading. And then there’s practical roll-up-the-sleeves experience. He said his hands-on experience has taught him more than he could have learned in a book.
“What people have to realize is the practical knowledge that’s gained from leadership classes like this,” Bonnell said. “That’s why I’ve been in leadership for three years. It’s a real world experience.”
Michelle Anderson, Capital’s Vice Principal, is part of the Washington Association of Student Councils. She first pitched the idea of Olympia hosting the statewide conference in 2012.
“She heard that there was an opening,” Elam said. “We put in for this two years ago. Then you have to be selected and we were chosen to be a host site.”
Elam said the hardest part was finding enough host families. Without enough hosts, all the students couldn’t come. As of Tuesday, Elam still had 10 students to find a place to stay for the weekend.
“You don’t want to say you can’t come,’ Elam said.
By Lindsey Surrell
Twenty miles from Olympia, off a small road, and down a long driveway, you will find Laurie Barta’s 70-acre farm. Having moved from Wisconsin in 1988 to become a student at Yelm’s Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment, Laurie also sought out her dream to live on a farm. After her first purchase of a 20-acre farm in Tenino, she said that the transition to owning land and raising cattle was not difficult because she loved animals. Plus, “hands on learning has always been the best teacher.” Currently, Laurie still loves animals, and even though she has become a slightly hardened farmer (“At the beginning, I use to cry every time I put down a cow”), she still calls each cow by name and pets them lovingly while we chat.
Laurie bought the land that became Cozy Vale Creamery Farm in 2003 but did not become a full time farmer until 2008 when the mortgage crisis occured and she left her job as a mortgage loan counselor. Noticing the growing interest in a local food movement, and the lack of raw milk dairies in Washington State, Laurie started her raw milk creamery in 2009. In addition, she loved raising her cows and the taste of raw milk and knew this would be the best business for her.
Currently with nine shorthorn and Jersey cows and one friendly bull (“if they’re not nice, they leave”), Laurie runs this farm with her 15-year-old son and one other worker who helps on the weekends in exchange for housing on the land. In addition to cows, the farm also houses Katahdin sheep, horses, chickens, a cat and a dog.
She milks her cows twice a day, usually producing eight gallons per day, depending on the cows. Although she tries to schedule her cow’s pregnancies, three of her cows will deliver in the next month and milk production will significantly increase. Cows, like humans, are pregnant for nine months.
Cozy Vale Creamery is also licensed for cheese making, but Laurie, with her Wisconsin roots, has high standards for how her cheese tastes and is still working on the art of cheese making. In addition the cheese, eggs and lamb are sometimes available at the farm for sale.
Although she has no plans on stopping her creamery any time soon, Laurie has considered raising more Katahdin sheep. Since the Katahdin variety do not produce fleece, they are low-maintenance and as Laurie said “I am not as strong as I once was and since the sheep are not as big as cows, I have to think of the future.”
One big difference that Laurie points out about her farm compared with big dairy farms is the smell. Even though we are feet away from her cows, she encourages me to take a deep breath. I agree with Laurie – it smells more like grass than any overwhelming cow waste. With 70 acres, the ten cows have plenty of room to roam. The cows are mainly grass-fed and supplemented with organic alfalfa grains in the winter.
Although her farm is not certified organic, Laurie tries to keep her production as organic as possible, including no antibiotics unless necessary. Washington State Department of Agriculture visits Cozy Vale Creamery once a month and tests for pathogens and coliform bacteria within the milk. Laurie recommends using or freezing her milk within two weeks.
For those wanting to try Laurie’s local milk and live in the Olympia area, Westside Olympia Food Co-op and Eastside Olympia Food Co-op both carry Cozy Vale Creamery milk, available in whole and skim. Laurie does the deliveries to Olympia on Mondays and delivers to Shop N Kart in Chehalis on Friday, and Marlene’s Market in Tacoma and Federal Way on Thursdays.
But I believe one of the best parts of having local farms is being able to visit and see where your milk comes from. Every Saturday, customers can journey down the long driveway at Cozy Vale Creamery Farm and purchase their milk ($4 for half gallon at the farm) based on the honor system. With luck, you might also be able to pet the cows.
7018 Churchill Rd SE, Tenino, WA 98589
Billie M. called John Erwin Remodeling for a relatively small, but necessary fix to improve the safety and comfort of her home. One can understand why. Billie is a senior and lives in a condo where the threshold—the strip of wood and metal across the bottom of her doorway that everyone must cross to enter her home—was too high, a potential trip hazard for her and her friends that visit.
“Working with the people at John Erwin Remodeling, Inc was a pleasure from the beginning (the pleasant helpful voice on the phone) to the finalization of my small project,” wrote Billie. “My new threshold is perfect and a great help to those who visit my condo. Two folks with walkers were completely thrilled. Good work, timely, pleasant as well as competent crafts people.”
There is no job too small for John Erwin Remodeling.
“Sure, we do major bathroom and kitchen remodels, but we put the same care and quality into a small project too,” says John Erwin, the owner of the award winning company. “It was a one-hour minimum of labor, and a $75 rubber transition, but to Billie that threshold made a difference in her quality of life.”
Need to paint, treat a deck, pressure wash your walks and patio, clean gutters, install a closet, do custom trim and woodwork or even change a light bulb that is located on a vaulted ceiling?
Sometimes like Billie, you just need a little help to update things in your home and John Erwin Remodeling brings decades of combined experience to any job large or small.
“Small work projects are when people ask for a new screen door or having a couple of grab bars installed, or maybe their front door doesn’t lock,” says Erwin. “At John Erwin Remodeling, it is not about how big the job is, it is about how important it is to you.”
Call John Erwin Remodeling, Inc for a quote at (360) 705-2938. Visit their website at John Erwin Remodeling, Inc .
This year’s South Puget Sound Community College Artist and Lecture Series takes on the daunting task of highlighting the role and power of women. While gender can be a political, economic, and emotional minefield, lead-off speaker Ruth Ozeki begins the dialogue through a reading from her newest book ‘A Tale for the Time Being.’
Like all women, Ms. Ozeki is multi-faceted, creative, and passionate. At once a novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest, she divides her time between the bustle of Manhattan and the serenity of British Columbia. This latest offering is set in familiar geography and “tells the story of a mysterious diary, which washes up on a beach on the Pacific Northwest coast of Canada in the wake of the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami. The diary, written by a troubled schoolgirl in Tokyo, is discovered by a novelist named Ruth, who becomes obsessed with discovering the fate of the girl.”
She’ll be reading, speaking, and signing on Thursday, October 9 at 7:30 p.m., at the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center Main Stage and later on November 20 at the Seattle Town Hall Arts and Lecture Series. Her local visit promises to be a treat as she “loves speaking to students, it’s my favorite thing to do! I was an avid reader and writer in college; it was such an alive time in my life.”
Dean of College Relations Kellie Braseth explains that “our overall, three-year, umbrella theme is ‘Reflections.’ Last year, we reflected on issues of diversity, particularly since last year was framed by two monumental historical moments in the Civil Rights movement: the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington in August and the 60th Anniversary of the Brown v Board of Education decision in May. This year, we focus on the experience and power of women…Ruth Ozeki is up for that.” While this is Ms. Ozeki’s first visit to the campus, “We’re thrilled to have her launch this year’s series.”
The evening coincides with what Braseth explains is a “Campus-Community Read program using Ms. Ozeki’s ‘Tale for the Time Being.’ It’s been well received.” SPSCC hopes the interest in the Read program translates into strong ticket sales.
Described as “full of Ozeki’s signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, ‘A Tale for the Time Being’ is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.” Said Ozeki, “I realize that the book has some very powerful women characters. Not only are they powerful, some of them have super powers!” She echoes that the lecture series is “a theme that resonates strongly in this book.”
New England writer Buffy Andrews states that “writers see the world differently. Every voice we hear, every face we see, every hand we touch could become story fabric.” With books published in more than 30 countries and 11 languages, Ruth Ozeki is a skilled weaver of such story fabric. Don’t miss the chance to hear her read in person.
Tickets are available online and SPSCC students and staff may attend for free.
Small businesses do more than keep our money local. They train amazing, hardworking staff to become assets to the community for years to come. This is perfectly exemplified in the longstanding success of Lacey’s Sunset Air. For over 35 years they have maintained that “one of our core values is integrity. We always try to do the right thing by our customers and also by our employees. We make sure that we treat our employees like family because they are the ones who make this business work.”
Sunset Air’s Residential and Renewable Energy Division Manager, Randy Norris is truly a hometown hero. An alumnus of North Thurston High School, Centralia Community College, and Saint Martin’s University, he owned a small business in downtown Olympia in the mid-1970’s and began working for Sunset Air as an apprentice in 1979. His work with green energy products began early. “My first exposure to a renewable energy installation took place in 1981 as I was introduced to a thermal solar water heating system we installed. I had also been part of a geothermal heat pump installation during that early part of my career as well.”
After a brief time away from Sunset Air in the 1980s, Norris returned in late 1987 and hasn’t looked back. In August 2000, he was asked to take over the newly opened South Bend branch of the company but returned to the Olympia area in 2011. Since then he has been a wealth of experience and knowledge on green practices and equipment.
In 2010, he became the project manager for the photovoltaic solar installation at the Olympia Farmers Market. Says Norris, “The Olympia Farmers Market solar project was quite unique in that it was one of only a handful of ‘Community Solar’ projects in the State of Washington entirely funded by a group of investors. Once on line it also became the largest array installed in Thurston County at that time.”
“The Farmers Market array consists of 192 solar panels, six inverters and comes in just shy of 37 KW,” explains Norris. “The only other installation larger than the Farmers Market was also installed by Sunset Air. On line July 2013 on the roof of the Roosevelt Grade School [it contains] 262 solar modules, eight inverters and is a whopping 50 KW array.”
In 2011 Sunset Air installed Washington’s largest ground mounted residential array, with the only larger array being on a roof in King County. The Stone Hedge project’s uniqueness comes from the combination of solar array with ground loop geothermal systems, meaning the environmental energy produced will pay off the tremendous project in only seven or eight years.
The Platinum LEED certification of Saint Martin’s University’s Fr. Richard Cebula, O.S.B. Hall Engineering building illustrated to many local businesses and regional governments that energy savings can be accomplished through green methods.
With Sunset Air’s tremendous success in green technology and equipment, Randy finds himself at the forefront of many exciting upcoming projects. Some notable solar array clients on Sunset Air’s calendar include the South Bay Fire Department, the Cities of Tumwater and Leavenworth, and even the Norris residence “I love this part of my job as Sunset Air continues to support and allow me to have my hand in the design and installation of these projects.”
Even Thomas Jefferson was a believer in green energy: “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait ’til oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”
Life-long students of the subject like Randy Norris prove that it’s a worthy topic of learning and an accessible tool for everyone. Let him answer any questions you have on the subject.
Sunset Air can be visited at 5210 Lacey Blvd SE.
By Gail Wood
Taylor wanted to know if Bill Stainton, producer of the award-winning TV comedy Almost Live, would be the keynote speaker at the upcoming Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) conference that will be hosted by Olympia High School. To Taylor’s surprise, Stainton said, “Sure.”
“I just decided what the heck, I’m going for it,” Taylor said. “The mentality we’re trying to take on this year is that nothing is out of our reach.”
Armed with that gutsy “let them say no” mentality, Taylor landed a big-name motivational speaker for the FBLA regional conference that will be hosted by OHS on November 4 and held at the Little Creek Casino Conference Center. Usually, the regional conference has 18 schools from southwest Washington attend, averaging about 300 students. Taylor is hoping for over 700.
Just three weeks ago, Taylor first made his phone call to Stainton’s agent and things came together quickly. With some bargaining through an exchange of emails and phone calls, Taylor got the unexpected yes.
“It was a challenge and it was a surprise,” Taylor said.
Typically, the FBLA has a $500 budget for keynote speakers for the regional conference.
“That can make it hard to bring in speakers who are the most polished and enthusiastic,” Taylor said. “So I thought I’d reach out to some experienced, incredible speakers, speakers who don’t normally speak at conferences our size. And just see what happened.”
Normally, Stainton receives $17,000 for speaking. He agreed to $1,000.
“We were able to make it work,” said Taylor, who has been involved with FBLA since his freshman year and now as a senior is the club’s state vice president. “He was really, really helpful.”
Overseeing this project, making sure things are getting done, is Skip Fabritius, an OHS teacher and FBLA advisor. He lets Taylor do the planning, giving him a genuine, hands-on experience that Taylor has enjoyed.
“He’s done an amazing job,” Fabritius said. “He’s approached it with this no fear attitude, why don’t you contact these people because all they can do is say no. He’s done a great job.”
Besides Stainton, Taylor also has to line up four other speakers, entrepreneurs who will talk about what it’s like to run your own business. Taylor has arranged for a couple of other big-name speakers to come. Lieutenant Governor, Brad Owen, recently agreed to speak. Two entrepreneurial grandmothers from Yelm, Bev Hines and Charlotte Clary, will also speak about how Ice Chips, their small garage business grew into a successful multi-million-dollar candy business after an appearance on the TV show Shark Tank.
“Evan has been rock solid,” Fabritius said. “He’s been great to work with.”
To promote the conference and boost turnout, OHS has put together a video and has posted it on social media, letting students know that Stainton, Owen and the grandmothers are coming. (You can watch Evan’s video here.)
“Then afterwards we’ll do what we can on social media and by word of mouth to let people know what Bill did for our conference,” Taylor said. “Give him the most exposure we possibly can. And let everyone know what a great guy he is and what a great speaker he is.”
Typically, high profile speakers like Stainton speak at the state or national conference. Taylor wanted to raise the bar.
“We really wanted an enthusiastic, energetic, high octane speaker at our regional conference because not all of our members are able to go to the state conference,” Taylor said. “So hopefully he can inspire some of the kids who were not able to make the trip to state before to work harder and get more excited about FBLA.”
Planning and putting on the regional FBLA conference has been a challenge Taylor has embraced.
“It’s been a lot of work, but it’s very rewarding,” Taylor said. “It really hasn’t bothered me because this is what I like to do.”
To compensate Stainton, Taylor helped arrange free lodging at the Alderbrook Resort, which waived room charges for FBLA. Taylor also worked a deal with Little Creek, which is letting FBLA use its conference room without a charge and is serving lunches at a discounted cost.
“It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve gotten a lot of help,” Taylor said. “My advisor Mr. Fabritius deserves a lot of credit, too. He’s very supportive and a great guy to work with. I couldn’t ask for a better advisor.”
Taylor also gave the state’s new state FBLA executive director, Lindsay Andreotti, a double thumbs up for her support and her big-dream planting.
“She says nothing is out of your reach,” Taylor said. “If I want to go big she let me go big. Just learn from mistakes if things go wrong.”
By Gail Wood
But over an hour before kickoff, the three coaches – Tony Gallegos, Shane Key and Leonard Smith – were putting their seventh-and-eighth grade youth football team through some plays, preparing for the game.
“Don’t let them get to the outside,” Gallegos said to his defensive end as a running back ran up field.
It’s Saturday, game day. And for the past 11 years that’s meant Gallegos, as a coach for the Thurston County Youth Football League, is on a football field throughout the fall, coaching the Hawks.
“I love it,” Gallegos said. “I do it because it’s fun.”
It’s not like Gallegos’ life isn’t already busy. In addition to being a dad and a husband, he works for DSHS as a social security disability judicator, and he’s working on his masters in social work through an online program with the University of Southern California. But four times a week – two-hour practices are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays with games on Saturdays – Gallegos is coaching.
TCYFL started in 1973. Currently, there are about 90 coaches in the league. This year marks an all-time high 2,100 kids playing in the league. There are teams from Lacey, Olympia, Rainier, Tenino, Tumwater and Yelm. Teams are divided into five different age groups starting with second grade and continuing through eighth grade.
Without volunteer coaches like Gallegos, Key and Smith, there’d be no youth football. Each of them has or has had a child on the team.
“I do it to spend time not only with my son, but with young kids who are going to be the future of this community,” Gallegos said. “I want to do my part to make sure that they grow up to be productive members of our society. And that they’re making the right choices in life.”
Football, Gallegos will tell you, isn’t just about learning how to block, tackle and throw and catch a football. It’s about how to be a good worker, a good neighbor and a good parent.
“My coaching staff and myself teach the fundamentals of the game,” Gallegos said. “That’s an emphasis. But we’re also teaching these young kids how to be successful adults in life and productive members of society. That’s what’s important.”
Football is the lure.
“At the end of the day, we want to make sure that they’ve got the skills to make them good adults and to make good decisions in their lives,” Gallegos said as he watched his players warm up.
Like Gallegos, Key got involved in coaching youth football because his sons wanted to play football. Key’s oldest son started playing football in second grade and he’s now a senior at River Ridge High School. Even though his sons have finished playing in the TCYFL, Key keeps volunteering to coach. One of the things that keeps him coming back to coach, in addition to just enjoying it, is that he enjoys the ah-ha moment – the time when a player finally understands a technique or strategy.
“There’s usually a time in the season when it starts to click,” Key said. “And they start to understand. And that’s enjoyable to see when they figure it out. There’s nothing better than to see the light go on.”
Key is clearly all in on coaching football. In addition to coaching in the TCYFL, Key also coaches the running backs on the River Ridge High School football team. So three days a week, Key goes from the high school football practice directly to the youth football practice. He likes what football teaches.
“You have to be disciplined,” said Key, who is a paraeducator at River Ridge. “It teaches you discipline. And your team is like family. Once you start football for that season you’re family.”
Naturally, playing football, Gallegos tells his players, is about trying to win. They keep score and the objective is to score more points than the opponent. But that’s the game-day goal. Coaching, Gallegos said, goes deeper than that.
“And that’s to let them know that there’s people out there that love them and care about them and that they care what they turn into as adults,” Gallegos said.
Smith, a 1997 River Ridge graduate, likes what football teaches you. It goes beyond learning the Xs and Os.
“It teaches you to be part of a team,” Smith said. “To do what’s right. Always try to do for someone else first. Team goals over personal goals.”
Smith, who joined Gallegos’ coaching staff four years ago, is still a proud Hawk, 18 years after playing the line for River Ridge.
“He’s the proudest River Ridge Hawk I’ve ever met,’ Gallegos said with a smile. “He loves being from River Ridge High School and being a Hawk. He still has his letterman’s jacket from high school. He’ll wear it to games on Friday nights.”
Part of the reason for Gallegos’ commitment to coaching is what he calls “payback.” As he looks back on his life, he thinks of the coaches who influenced his life.
“I’m also giving back to coaches who helped me out as a youngster,” Gallegos said. “I appreciate the time they spent to help me become the man I am today. If one of the kids I’m coaching today becomes a volunteer youth coach as an adult, then I’ve done my job.”
Smith felt the same indebtedness. He still appreciates what his high school coach, Dan Clark, did for him. He said the influence of a coach is huge in shaping a life.
“I’d still run through a wall for Coach Clark,” Smith said. “I still call him Coach.”
By Nikki McCoy
Eight players, donned in jerseys and sweatbands, and seated in what looks like armor-laden wheelchairs, circle the floor. Then one team makes a play, and it’s the smashing and crashing of wheels, bodies and ball.
Wheelchair rugby may be Simon Calcavecchia’s latest hobby – but it’s not new.
Before an injury that paralyzed much of his body, Simon attended Capitol High School, enjoying life as a typical teenager. A lover of sports, especially anything where he could “run the ball” led him, a group of school mates, and Coach Pete Sullivan, to bring the first organized rugby team to Olympia. The year was 2000, and Simon was a junior.
“We had a tremendous bunch of fine young men,” reflects Sullivan. “Simon was a powerhouse, a solidly built rugby player, and he had a really outgoing, dynamic personality and an infectious smile – he seemed to really enjoy this new sport.”
The second year, their team – the Budd Bay Barbarians – won the state championship and took 5th in the nation.
It was after this feat, and graduation, that Sullivan invited Simon to live and play a season in Australia.
“I was sold as soon as he finished his sentence,” laughs Simon. “I was having the time of my life, living on the beach – living with a bunch of rugby guys and just having an incredible time.”
It was a scrum play, during his third game in Australia, which instantly broke Simon’s neck, causing a C-5/C-6 injury, resulting in quadriplegia.
“I woke up with tubes in my throat, unable to move,” says Simon. “I remember waking after surgery with my mom and dad there and I’m just laying there with tubes coming out of me – I can’t talk, I can’t move, tears are just streaming down my face.”
“I never really had that depressing, down and out feeling – except for a couple of moments,” he continues. “I always believed I would walk again – that’s what’s carried me through this entire thing. It helps keep my spirits alive and well, plus I had so much support from the people of Australia. I had only been there a month and a half, and I built all of this community up – I had so much love and support.”
That community spirit resonated with Simon.
Now, he works at the Olympia Food Co-op, he’s an ambassador for GRuB, he volunteers at Olympia Film Society and Hands On Children’s Museum, he graduated from The Evergreen State College, he is a hip-hop artist who goes by the name Abiliti (he just performed at Lord Franzannian’s Vaudeville Show) and has a YouTube channel with more than 40 episodes exploring the life of a quad (stockcar racing anyone?).
His community involvement doesn’t stop there. Simon is also an artist. Last year, he worked with a team to create a komodo dragon for the Procession of the Species. Mounted to his power wheelchair, the dragon came to life.
“I’ve been able to realize that – especially with building the dragon – how much the community is there for me and wants to be a part of the things I’m doing to create these adventures.”
Because of his artistic interests, and his passion for accessibility, Simon is working with members of Earth Bound Productions and Kokua Services, (both agencies support Procession of the Species builders) to bring support to artists year-round, not just during the seasonal Arts Walk.
Simon’s own experience made him realize this is something Olympia needs.
“It’s so vital to me to be able to create something and not have to depend on someone, or pay someone to be able to help me,” he says. “It allowed me to express myself in another art form.”
The Inclusive Community Art Space Project, as it will be called, is described by Chris Rasmussen-Barsanti, Executive Director of Kokua, as “a place where people, regardless of ability, disability, age, or socio-economic factors, can come together and create art.”
And her thoughts on Simon?
“Simon’s like a cheerleader,” she says. “I feel like he’s telling the world, ‘Come on guys, life is short, come on and live!’ I find him inspirational.”
This momentum of risk, leadership and success has brought Simon into his next phase of his life – physical activity. Beginning with simple workout routines, then sharing them on his YouTube channel, and viewing others, Simon became inspired to try rugby again, and found his team – Seattle Slam.
“Wheelchair rugby is a great fit for him,” says Coach Jeremy Hannaford. “He’s just got that go get ‘em mentality. He’s a high-spirited dude and was gung-ho from the start. Even in the beginning, he wasn’t fast and he didn’t know what he was doing – but he did it all with a smile on face. And now he’s doing really amazing, he’s grabbed on and learned a lot.”
But, Simon also wants to raise awareness.
“I want to show people, even though we may have disabilities, we can still feel normal by having this outlet to engage in athletic activities,” he says.
“Plus, I want to have a really good time and show my hometown what wheelchair rugby is all about.”
His smile is as big as ever.
Life’s a headache sometimes, that’s unavoidable. But for the 36 million migraine sufferers in the U.S., it’s a much bigger obstacle. The Migraine Research Foundation says that “Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. households includes someone with migraine” ranking it “in the top 20 of the world’s most disabling medical illnesses.” Migraine sufferers battle through pain, nausea, and sensory sensitivities and “American employers lose more than $13 billion each year as a result of 113 million lost work days due to migraine.”
While migraine causes vary, there is no concrete illness for physicians to conclusively treat. Because of this, sufferers face difficulty in finding relief for their intense, often debilitating, pain. But studies have shown that hyperbaric oxygen therapy, offered locally by Olympia’s H3 Therapy Services, is effective for some patients.
The human brain is only 2.5% of your body’s weight but uses 25% of your total oxygen consumption. When this oxygen supply is reduced, pain ensues in the form of a migraine headache. A recent study showed that with sessions of hyperbaric oxygen therapy “relief of symptoms occurs as quickly as 5 minutes after the migraine.”
Michael Pfeifer, RRT, H3 Therapy’s Clinical Director, says that often sufferers find their headache gone after 10-15 minutes in the chamber. Hyperbaric treatments work by using “filtered pressurized ambient air in order to dissolve oxygen into the body system, flooding tissues and essential organs with oxygen.” This “provides the best environment for the body to handle vital cell processes, therefore improving the capacity for the body to heal itself.”
By designing their clinic to maximize color and music therapy as well as the hyperbaric chambers, Pfeifer’s “goal is a resting state where your body heals best.” The chambers can accommodate 1-2 people—with the dual units intended for family or loved ones—and allow for street clothes and the use of electronic devices, music players, and books to enhance relaxation.
Because migraines are something of a medical conundrum, with no definitive cause or cure, H3 Therapy Services works in tangent with Nearing Total Health in Lacey. There a team of professionals offer naturopathic medicine, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy, and an array of complementary treatment options. As Pfeifer says, “hyperbarics enhance massage, acupuncture, chiropractics…when you combine the therapies it works much better.”
Long-term sufferers may find the cost of continued out-patient hyperbaric sessions prohibitive. In these cases, Pfeifer and his team will work to enable rental or purchase of a chamber for extended use. The office facilitates financing and represents all major manufacturers. Says Pfeifer, “it’s much easier to have a chamber at home where everyone can benefit.”
Hyperbaric chambers can benefit many physical issues, from anemia and carbon monoxide poisoning to burns and bone infections. They’re used in the military for high altitude flying and by “cutting edge athletes who know it can give an edge that’s not drug related,” explains Pfeifer. Sessions are approximately an hour long and H3 Therapy Services promises a flexible schedule to accommodate our busy lives.
When faced with a painful medical mystery, it’s good to have a wealth of treatment options at your fingertips. Migraines have multiple causes and just as many solutions. Call Michael Pfeifer, RRT of H3 Therapy Services at 360-515-0681 or drop by their offices at 405-D Black Hills Lane SW, at the junction of Harrison and Yauger, to schedule a visit or ask questions of the knowledgeable staff.
Submitted by Harlequin Productions
Olympia loves a celebration. In a town so rich in arts and culture, Olympians are always looking for a reason to throw a festival, a parade, or some other form of organized merriment. The Halloween season is no exception.
It’s no surprise that Olympia is home to an array of fantastic annual events in town this time of year. For instance, on October 25, the Hands on Children’s Museum is hosting Boo Bash, its annual children’s costume party. Don your favorite costume and enjoy educational art and science activities and treats. The museum is planning 20 fun, fall-inspired activities including: face painting, creepy crawly insects, carnival, games, scavenger hunt, mad science lab, and more! The event will take place from12:00-5:00PM and cost $4-$10 per person. For more information on this event, click here.
Another annual event is taking place on October 18, when the Combined Fund Drive partners with the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation to bring you the 3rd Annual Masquerade Ball. This year’s event is held in the Rotunda at the Capitol Building in Olympia. Enjoy food, wine, dancing, psychics, and even a casino night as you don your finest attire and mingle with others. And don’t forget your mask! The event will start at 7:00PM and tickets cost $50 in advance or $65 at the door. For more info, click here.
For the first time ever, Harlequin Productions is getting in on the annual autumn action by launching their 1st annual Halloween Improv show: The Nightmare Before Improv! On Wednesday, October 15, starting at 8:00 p.m., Harlequin Productions presents a haunted improv show with their celebrated improv comedy troupe, Something Wicked. The Nightmare Before Improv is Something Wicked’s annual Halloween spectacular! Those brave enough to attend can expect frighteningly funny, Halloween-themed improv comedy, a costume contest, and an evening of ghostly delights. Guests are encouraged to come dressed up and join the fun as Something Wicked puts the “Ha!” in Halloween. Prepare to laugh yourself…to death!! More information at the Harlequin Productions website.
So much to do, so little time. If you live in Olympia, there’s never a shortage of reasons to celebrate.
Submitted by The Evergreen State College
Galerie Fotoland is pleased to present Kirk Jones’ The Urban Farm–an ongoing effort to document many of the Portland metro area’s urban farms and farmers.
Jones’ passion is examining the environments that we surround ourselves in—“the structure of our housing, and how we co exist… some of the most interesting people and lives can be right next to you and the most exotic places just over the hill somewhere close.” Jones’ observation of beauty and nature in unexpected places comes through in The Urban Farm, where Jones says what interests him most is the variety of farm settings. “Some farms are only side yards hidden within inner Portland neighborhoods – just beyond a normal looking fence there could be 2 acres of working farmland.” Jones goes on to explain that the images of the farms and landscapes double as portraits of the farmers themselves.
For the past five years, Evergreen alumnus Jones has been making photographs with the Gigapan System, creating high-resolution
panoramic images that can be printed in very large format and provide exceptional detail. He prefers a slower work pace, which allows for more an engaging and deliberate process. He likens this high tech approach to photographers of the past, working with large, heavy and unwieldy equipment.
Jones has shown extensively around Portland and the Northwest. He recently received two commissions by Portland’s landmark Pittock Mansion and the Lan Su Chinese Garden. This January, his series on Northwest logging will be included in The Meaning of Wood at The Seattle Convention Center. He has been published CNN.com, BonAppetit.com and NYTimes.com. He is a 2014 recipient of the Bronze Award in the Epson International Pano Competition.
For more information on this series or to see more of Jones’ work please visit his website.
Galerie Fotoland is an exhibition space supported by Evergreen’s Photoland.
The gallery is open during normal school hours most days of the week. For more information regarding this show and others at Galerie Fotoland please contact Briana Martini at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bring your friends, family, and colleagues to enjoy a delicious hot breakfast at Indian Summer Golf & Country Club. We hope you will join us to learn more about all the Family Support Center does in your community and hear what an incredible impact your support has on the lives of families and children.
Are you or your business wanting to show the community how much you support families? We are looking for Event Sponsors. Opportunities available from $250-$2500 level. Contact Schelli to learn more: email@example.com
We are also looking for Table Captains! Have 8 people you want to invite and share the program with? Contact Sara Holt-Knox to sign up!: firstname.lastname@example.org
FREE BREAKFAST, DONATIONS APPRECIATED!
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Submitted by Thurston CountyCounty commissioners were joined by Public Works staff and guests from the community and partner agencies to break a symbolic bottle of sparkling water to “christen” the new L-4 Salmon Creek Bridge. “Today, we’re not only celebrating the end of noisy construction and detours and delays, we are celebrating the incredible success of taking what was a failing bridge and creating a brand new bridge under budget and ahead of schedule,” said County Commission Chair Karen Valenzuela, whose district includes the bridge. “I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating—we could not have done this project without the help of so many partners,” said Commissioner Cathy Wolfe. “Our county staff members, our contractors, and our partner agencies have all done a top notch job. We are truly grateful for all of your efforts, and I know the community is grateful, too.” The L-4 Salmon Creek Bridge on Littlerock Road Southwest located between 110th Avenue Southwest and 93rd Avenue Southwest was first closed on Monday, January 27 after structural deficiencies were discovered. After thorough inspection, county engineers determined that the damage to the center pier was severe and the bridge structure was compromised beyond the point of repair, and that a new bridge structure with up-to-date safety standards was needed. The L-4 crossing was re-opened temporarily on March 22 thanks to the loan of a temporary Bailey bridge from the Washington State Department of Transportation. Passenger vehicle traffic was able to use the Bailey bridge until Monday, August 11 when crews removed the temporary bridge and began demolishing the old bridge to make way for a new bridge structure. The new bridge has a longer span and is 15 feet wider than the old bridge, which will improve safety for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. The new bridge does not require a center pier in the water like the old bridge structure, and this will allow better fish passage and can accommodate larger stream flows. It also reduces the potential for the kind of scouring that undermined the center pier of the old bridge structure and caused it to crack, making the old bridge structure unstable and unsafe. The L-4 Bridge project is paid for using a combination of federal highways grant funds and county road funds. The L-4 Bridge project is on track to be approximately 25 to 30 percent under the budgeted amount of $3.4 million—that’s a savings of about $750,000 to $1 million. Along with the Thurston County Public Works Department, project partners include the Washington State Department of Transportation, Washington State Fish and Wildlife, the Thurston County Resource Stewardship Department, the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Army Corps of Engineers, and contractors Active Construction, Inc. and Zemek Construction.
Submitted by Westport Winery
Westport Winery has added Patty Cakes to their bakery’s offerings. This is a recipe named after team member Patty O’Connor who has been making these decadent treats for the staff to rave reviews for several years. O’Connor said, “Everyone loves this amazing cross between a cupcake and a bar cookie.”
O’Connor, who joined the then fledgling winery in 2008, is an avid home baker. Converting the recipes to the commercial kitchen was stressful but worth the challenge. Winery co-owner Kim Roberts said, “We created four unique variations of the Patty Cake: Tahitian Vanilla, Chocolate Brown Butter, Pineapple Upside-Down, and Pink Lemonade.”
With the many berries grown on the winery’s Vineyards By-the-Sea farm O’Connor and Roberts also created the Ultimate Berry Shortcake which is a Tahitian Vanilla Patty Cake topped with vanilla bean ice cream, homemade berry compote, whipped cream, blackberry sauce and raspberry sauce.
By popular demand from their guests the winery has added baked fish and chips with wild Alaskan cod and garlic Parmesan Yukon gold potato wedges on both their lunch and dinner menus. And to add a vegetarian option to their appetizers they created Northwest Nachos with Tillamook and Cougar Gold cheddars, green onions and tomatoes topped with winery co-owner Blain Roberts’ made-from-scratch guacamole.
Westport Winery and Vineyards By-the-Sea with the unique outdoor 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 Northwest Wine Destination 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 atwww.westportwinery.com.
Submitted by Harlequin Productions
Northwest artist Tom Anderson has created a series of works that merges his love of mixed-media artwork and his love of guitars. He starts with a fully-functioning electric guitar, disassembles it, then “decorates” the body in his distinctive style. The guitar is then reassembled, adjusted and “tuned.” The result is an absolutely unique work of art that is ready to play or display.
This particular item is a 2007 Fender Squire Fat Stratocaster with a maple neck and rosewood fingerboard, Duncan Humbucker pick up and two single pole AINico pickups, and ’60s style matching headstock. It is finished with mixed media metal leaf, acrylic and polyurethane varnish.
These guitars sell for $1,500, but this one comes with some tantalizing extras, like a hard case (also painted by Tom Anderson) plus two 2015 season subscriptions to Harlequin Productions and two $15 concessions cards.
The auction is running now until October 26. Bids may be placed at www.biddingowl.com/HarlequinProductions.
Thanks to Dan Weiss for his generous participation in making this item available.