Recent local blog posts

Olympia Weekend Event Calendar

Thurston Talk - Fri, 04/08/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

Happy spring! Or, should I say happy summer? No matter if you are calculating the season from the thermometer or the calendar, we can all agree that it’s been a glorious few days of sunny weather. With sunshine and warm temperatures continuing through the weekend, ThurstonTalk has included a host of warm weather activity ideas

2016 Olympia Farmers Market Opening Day

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/07/2016 - 11:11pm

ThurstonTalk

Sunny skies and smiling faces were the most abundant items found at the 2016 Opening Day of the Olympia Farmers Market. Spring produce, artisan crafts, live music and of course delicious food were all stars of the day as Thurston County residents rejoiced in the return of their beloved market. Read more articles about visiting Olympia Farmers Market

Edward Jones Invests in the Dogs with Adopt-A-Pet Dog Food Drive

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/07/2016 - 5:31pm

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton The Edward Jones offices of Shelton are holding a dog food drive for the Adopt-a-Pet dog shelter.   Unopened bags of dog food can be dropped off during the entire month of April at all four locations in town. Adopt-A-Pet provides dog food for Mason County families facing tough financial times

City of Lacey Mayor Thanks Local Seniors for their Service

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/07/2016 - 5:20pm

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by Senior Services of South Sound City of Lacey Mayor Andy Ryder visited the Virgil Clarkson Lacey Senior Center on Tuesday April 5 in honor of the fourth annual Mayor and County Recognition Day for National Service to thank members of the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) who volunteer at the Center. To spotlight the

Spare Some Time, Make a Difference: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington’s Bowl For Kids’ Sake

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/07/2016 - 4:01pm

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington Bowl For Kids’ Sake, an annual fundraiser benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington, got its start in 1999 in Olympia. For 17 years, enthusiastic supporters of Big Brothers Big Sisters, have rallied their friends and families to either join their team or pledge money to

Toxic Algae Advisories in Effect for Long Lake and Pattison Lake

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/07/2016 - 3:48pm

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by Thurston County  Toxic blue-green algae advisories are now in effect for Long Lake and Pattison Lake in Thurston County. Water samples taken from the two lakes on April 4 found the algae toxin Anatoxin at close to 20 micrograms per liter of water (ug/L), well above the state standard of 1 micrograms per

The Addams Family

OlyBlog Home Page - Thu, 04/07/2016 - 11:10am
Event:  Thu, 04/21/2016 - 7:30pm

The Addams Family is not your typical family, they take delight in most of the things which normal people would be terrified of. Gomez Addams is an extremely wealthy man and is able to indulge his wife Morticia's every desire, whether it's cultivation of poisonous plants or a candlelit dinner in a graveyard. Gomez and Morticia have their two children, Wednesday Addams and Pugsley Addams, but Wednesday is now in love and needs to introduce her new fiance and his parents to her family. The only problem is, they are "normal". How will these two families get along and can they accept each other? 

A Musical in Three Acts - Book By Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice - Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa

Tickets are $8 for students/senior citizens  and   $10 for general public 

Performances will be held in the Performing Arts Center at Capital High School. 

2707 Conger Ave NW Olympia WA 98502

To make sure you get tickets, call (360)596-8053, or purchase tickets at the door. We accept checks as well as credit cards and cash. 

See you there!

 

 

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Belleza Ropa Empowers Women Through Personalized Shopping

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/07/2016 - 9:33am

ThurstonTalk

When women shop at Belleza Ropa, inevitably there comes a time that they see themselves in the mirror for the first time, fully garbed in a new outfit and accessories. “The most awesome part is when they’re standing there and they say, ‘I didn’t know I could look like this,’ says Sarah ‘Bear’ Buffington, a

Tumwater Acquires Historic Tower

Janine's Little Hollywood - Wed, 04/06/2016 - 8:59pm

Above: Brambles hang from an archway window of Tumwater's historic Old Brewhouse. City of Tumwater councilmembers entered into an agreement with owner George Heidgerken and his company, Falls Development LLC, to take ownership of the six story tower that is the visual symbol of Tumwater. Photo taken in October 2014.
By Janine Gateswww.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.com
Tumwater city councilmembers approved a letter of agreement between the city and Falls Development LLC at a public hearing held Tuesday evening to acquire the six story, historic tower that is the symbol of Tumwater. 
The tower is currently owned by developer George Heidgerken and his company, Falls Development, LLC.
The acquisition commits the city to the rehabilitation of the Old Brewhouse structure with an estimated cost of $5.6 million. The acquisition includes easements to access the property and construct trails.
The city will now embark upon a historic preservation strategy that will include finding funding grants and partners to protect the building, and create trails. 
Rushing through the public process, the draft letter of agreement was publicly available and posted to the city’s website on Friday afternoon. Corrections to the letter of agreement were made at the hearing, including sections quoted by Little Hollywood in its story posted April 1.
Details were not reviewed by councilmembers in a work session or council meeting prior to Tuesday evening, leading them to ask questions and learn new information during the public hearing.
Jim Cary of Cardinal Architecture presented information about the tower which is an unreinforced masonry structure. He said it works well when dry, but when wet, and in the process of freezing and thawing, the mortar is loosened. The tower is highly exposed to the elements.
A temporary preservation plan estimated to cost $425,000 would provide immediate protection due to the building’s rapidly deteriorating condition. Cary recommended skipping that step and moving on to the $1.6 million dollar phase that provides more permanent protection, puts a roof on the structure, provides ventilation to keep the building dry inside, repairs the mortar, and cleans up and removes hazardous elements.
This work and financial amount is included in the final $5.6 million dollar cost that prepares the tower for an intensive seismic retrofit plan.
Construction management is not included in the cost.
Comparisons of the historic tower to the Space Needle and the Smith Tower in Seattle, Crusader castles, castles on the Rhine, and the Statue of Liberty were eloquently and persuasively made throughout the evening.
Several members of the public spoke to the proposed letter of agreement, some in favor, some not.  
More than one person was suspicious of the city working with Heidgerken, a developer with a history of committing environmental offenses, even on this property. 
All considered the tower to be a regional asset and a regional responsibility. All councilmembers spoke to the issues.
Councilmember Joan Cathey abstained from the final vote, saying the draft agreement letter was vague. She said she counted five places where it says the city will have “future negotiations,” with the developer.
“I’m not saying I’m against it, but it’s a leap…I don’t think the city is ready to take on this project…I don’t feel totally good about it. I have concerns. We’re financially stepping out farther out on a limb than we ever have before,” said Cathey.
She also wondered why there was a rush to sign the letter of agreement.
Answer: Once the tower is in the city’s hands, the city is eager to take advantage of this current cycle of state heritage grant funding. Applications are due May 19. If the city doesn’t meet the deadline, or does meet the deadline and doesn’t get a grant, then they will have to wait another two years to apply.
Councilmember Nicole Hill questioned a point in the letter that states that the city will pursue funding for a pedestrian bridge across the river to the property. She thought, as did several members of the public, that that idea was taken off the table as unfeasible in the Planned Action land use scenarios currently under consideration by the council. Another public hearing for that process is April 19.
Assistant city administrator and brewery project manager Heidi Behrends Cerniway said the city didn’t include the bridge in the Planned Action environmental impact statement because it was not detrimental, adding that it is not an entirely impossible concept further in the process. Whether or not the answer was satisfactory, Hill voted for the purchase of the tower.
Councilmember Ed Hildreth was absent. Mayor Pete Kmet said Hildreth told him he would vote against it. There is no provision in Tumwater rules that allow voting by correspondence or proxy. A telephone vote requires full capacity to hear the meeting, so Hildreth’s opinion was not counted.
Under Tumwater’s type of council structure, the mayor does not vote. Mayor Kmet said that nothing we do is without risk and if he could vote, he would vote yes.
Staff said the structure could ultimately be a museum, brew pub, offices, or an outlook, depending on the adjacent activities in the other buildings that are currently owned by Falls Development LLC.
Calling the finer points in the letter of agreement with Falls Development “incentives,” the letter of agreement is seen by some as a giveaway to Heidgerken and his company. The agreement offers Heidgerken the right of first refusal for the actual use of the building.
Heidgerken has owned the property for several years. To help move him along, the letter of agreement says the city will negotiate future agreements to share proportionate costs of construction for the utilities and access road necessary to rehabilitate the Old Brewhouse.
It is also offering to reward him with one million dollars for infrastructure improvements if he files a complete building permit application for the warehouse building by January 1, 2019 and obtains a certificate of occupancy by January 1, 2021.
During public comment, Donovan Cathey spoke, saying he grew up in Olympia. His father and grandfather retired from the Brewery.
He said he wanted to see the tower stay but urged the council not to make a decision that evening, expressing concerns that partnerships may not pan out. He said the agreement was full of contradictions and inconsistencies. 
“…Reconsider transferring liability from the owner to the city. Is it really the city’s responsibility to take on that liability? If the private sector thought it should be done, they would have….”
Cathey said he represents the Tumwater firefighters union and a higher city priority is making repairs to two fire stations.
Rob Kirkwood, president of the Old Brewhouse Foundation, says the process to obtain the tower has been a rollercoaster ride.
“Today it feels like we’re on top,” he said. He said the city is making progress, and while the Foundation supports Tumwater acquiring the tower, it has concerns.
Describing the area’s history and use for thousands of years, he said the area deserves a high level of protection beyond what maximizing the return on financial investment can provide. He called upon the council to sign the agreement and form an interjurisdictional group to finance and manage the facility.
Kirkwood said the Foundation has been recruiting volunteers and has received offers for donated crane services from Snell Crane, engineering services from McSquared, and possibly window restoration work.
Several spoke to the environmental assets of the property which will be ruined if Heidgerken gets his way and is able to build a 1,000 vehicle parking garage into the hillside behind the brewery.
Gretchen Christopher Matzen says she grew up on Governor Stevens Avenue and learned to swim in the Deschutes River near the brewery. She said the brewery needs the backing of the trees, and called the view breathtaking. She questioned the lack of details in the agreement and suspects that Heidgerken will take advantage of the city’s preservation of the iconic tower to promote his own development.
“I’m wondering why the developer couldn’t afford to preserve it himself,” she said.
Heidgerken was not present at the hearing.
Jon Potter, representing Falls Development, said that the property was not purchased with the idea that this was a business opportunity. He says Heidgerken lives in Chehalis and is on site every day and that a developer, and characterizing Heidgerken as one, is a misnomer.
“If you can’t have the lending industries support your ideas, your vision, you can’t develop…The property has to pencil out….Lending institutions need to see how they are going to get paid back by lending money for a project…obviously, we can’t demonstrate that today….”
He said that a public-private partnership would create a joint vision to restore the historic complex to its original grandeur. He painted a pretty picture: 
“…That’s the vision of George Heidgerken…that’s the goal… and it’s a tremendous tribute to what the city has done....There’s an opportunity to represent the entire craft brewing industry… in the State of Washington. And through the city’s efforts, the opportunity is to create a craft brewing center....The tower is emblematic of that effort. It is the cornerstone for that to happen. So there's an opportunity to go beyond just the restoration....It's much bigger than just the City of Tumwater, more than the region. It's a statewide initiative,” said Potter.
At that point, Councilmember Oliva jumped in, asking if Heidgerken is willing to be the host of a craft brewing and distilling center.
“That was something I had not heard before,” said Oliva.
“Absolutely. Anything that can be done to support the funding that is absolutely necessary to restore the structure is on the table....Wouldn’t it be neat if you could put those buildings back into use for what they were originally designed for? Then you’d have national recognition,” said Potter. 
Judging by the clucking in the audience, maybe that was going too far.
After all, at one point in the hearing, Heidi Behrends Cerniway said she was out at the property just that day.
“It is still salvageable, but it won’t be like that forever. From last year, it’s changed significantly.”
For more photos and information about the  Old Brewhouse, Tumwater, George Heidgerken, the stop work order, groundwater monitoring, and the proposed planned action for the property, go to Little Hollywood, www.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.comand type key words in the search engine.
For more information from the City of Tumwater, go to their website at www.ci.tumwater.wa.us.
Above: A new window of opportunity has been opened for the Old Brewhouse Tower. Photo taken October 2014.

Helena Meyer-Knapp: "Peace-Abilities" at Salon Refu

OlyBlog Home Page - Wed, 04/06/2016 - 5:50pm
Event:  Fri, 04/22/2016 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

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Uh oh… Marble orchestra

Small Blue Planet - Wed, 04/06/2016 - 8:05am

Laser Artistry’s Newest Employee Helps Clients Look and Feel Better

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/06/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

When you look better, you feel better about yourself. That’s the core ethic of the work Kerry McGill does as the newest employee at Laser Artistry & Medi Spa in Tumwater. As an aesthetician, McGill helps people achieve their goals through treatments with laser and aesthetic injections, and the results can be life-changing. “It’s a

Jennifer Marin – Griffin School Band Teacher Nurtures Students of Another Kind—Four-Legged Ones.

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/06/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

When Jennifer Marin arrived at Pacific Lutheran University in 1995, she was interested in two different career paths: music education and veterinary science. As college majors, they couldn’t have been farther apart, but Marin found a way to keep the best of both worlds—even if it involves managing wiggling bodies, off-key singing, restless feet, and

Mass Action Against Fossil Fuels - Planning Meeting

OlyBlog Home Page - Tue, 04/05/2016 - 8:09pm
Event:  Wed, 04/13/2016 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

From today's inbox:

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The Unrepresented Part 2 - Adults Unregistered to Vote in Thurston County

OlyBlog Home Page - Tue, 04/05/2016 - 11:31am

Link to the next story map: http://arcg.is/1M8dGo0

This is part two of a three-part series of “story maps” that examine discrepancies between total adult populations versus registered voters in Thurston County (I am calling this the discrepancy for short). In part one (see http://arcg.is/1LzsiXy), we identified which precincts in the county have a higher percentage of unregistered versus registered adults. We found that some cities had a greater discrepancy (i.e., a higher percent of unregistered adults) than others, with Yelm the highest at 44 percent, followed by Lacey at 33 percent.  We found several "hot spots" where there were clusters of greater discrepancies, particularly a large one in Lacey. 

In this story map we pick the Lacey hot spot and look for a model to explain the factors that contribute to the discrepancy.  We will also look at some of the factors that were not included in the model and why they also might be predictive.  

In the next part, I hope to have comments from Katie Nelson, chair of the Democratic party and Garry Holland, chair of the Republican party.

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Roloff, Kabel Lead A Young Olympia Bears Fastpitch Team

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/05/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

Sometimes in sports being healthy is more important than being good. Just ask Matt Loes, the Olympia High School fastpitch coach. With four of his starters missing games because of a sickness or injury, the Bears were winless after their first five games. But Loes, who a year ago led a senior laden Bears team

Elle’s Floral Shares 8 Tips for Successful Wedding Flowers

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/05/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

Be Prepared. It’s the motto of the Boy Scouts, but it might just as easily be the best advice for every bride-to-be, heading into her wedding. With a million details to plan, some brides tend to put off flowers until the last moment or fail to understand how much goes into decorations, says Michelle LaPraim,

When Is It Better to Buy than Rent?

Thurston Talk - Mon, 04/04/2016 - 12:18pm

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by Chris Johns for On Q Financial Twenty or thirty years ago, if you asked the question, “Is investing in real estate a good idea?”, the answer was most likely a “Yes”. With the great depression long faded from memory, it wasn’t until the crash in 2008 that people began to question whether a

City of Lacey Marks 25 Years as a Tree City USA

Thurston Talk - Mon, 04/04/2016 - 11:47am

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by The City of Lacey The City of Lacey — one of the first cities in Washington to receive the National Arbor Day Foundation’s “Tree City USA” award — will soon mark its twenty-fifth consecutive year of earning the national recognition. The city plans to officially proclaim April as Arbor Month, and is encouraging

Razor Clam Tides for April 2016

Thurston Talk - Mon, 04/04/2016 - 11:25am

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Washington recreational razor clam harvest opener for the first portion of April will proceed. Below are the opening dates, time of the evening low tides and the beaches that are included: April 3, Sunday, 4:13 p.m.; 0.5 feet; Long Beach April 4, Monday, 5:04 p.m.; 0.1

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