Recent local blog posts

Tumwater Now Owns Old Brewhouse Tower

Janine's Little Hollywood - Tue, 05/03/2016 - 11:52pm

Above: The City of Tumwater acquired the historic Old Brewhouse tower from owner George Heidgerken and his development company, Falls Development LLC, on April 29. Photo of the tower taken in October 2014.
By Janine
Blow the whistle for all to hear! The City of Tumwater, at long last, now owns its historic, 110 year old Brewhouse tower.
City of Tumwater Mayor Pete Kmet announced at Tuesday evening’s council meeting that he met with Old Brewhouse owner George Heidgerken on Friday, April 29, who signed a letter of agreement, thus turning the tower over to the city. 
At a February 16 public hearing about a proposed planned action land use ordinance, Heidgerken suggested the possibility of “donating” the tower to the city. 
A 14 point letter of agreement was drafted, creating a separate land parcel which includes the Old Brewhouse and necessary easements for site access and utilities, and a public trail and boardwalk. Other points of the letter provide economic incentives for Heidgerken to get to work on the rest of the brewery property. 
The Old Brewhouse is a historic landmark, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The structure has been on a watch list by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.
Kmet thanked staff for their hard work in sealing the deal, calling the actual signing of the paperwork a bit “anti-climactic.”
Kmet said that arrangements have already been made for the tower’s security and insurance. City staff are in the process of applying for a state grant for the tower’s restoration and working to identify other prospective funding options.
“I think it will go down as a memorable and historic moment, having the building now in public hands….We’re obviously going to need help from the community…to start a capital campaign to restore the tower,” said Kmet.
The acquisition committed the city to rehabilitation of the structure which is estimated to cost about $5.6 million.
Also at the meeting, council passed the final version of a Brewery Action Plan. Councilmembers last looked at it in June 2014, and recently added two new sections that include the Old Brewhouse tower and the efforts around the creation of a multi-faceted regional craft brewing and distilling center.
The last whistle blew at the modern brewery in 2003. Ever since, redevelopment of the brewery properties has been a city priority.  As part of a visioning process, the city hired a brewery project manager, assistant city administrator Heidi Behrends Cerniwey, to foster economic development and partnerships. 
Recent ownership changes of the modern brewery south of Custer Way, the passage by council late last month of a master plan for the 32 acre historic site north of Custer Way, and the acquisition of the Old Brewhouse tower all indicate that Tumwater could be on the verge of change.  
“…Everything seems to be incremental…the additions and accomplishments give me goosebumps because we’re doing good stuff. We have a very bright future,” said Councilmember Nicole Hill.
For more information about the Brewery Action Plan, the Old Brewhouse and the terms of the letter of agreement, the Planned Action for the historic property owned by George Heidgerken, groundwater monitoring, and other Tumwater land use and transportation issues related to the brewery, go to and type key words into the search button.
Above: Inside the Old Brewhouse tower, looking from the third floor down to the second floor and the first floor. Photo taken in October 2014. 

Ice Chips Owners Named 2016 SBA Washington Encore Entrepreneurs of the Year

Thurston Talk - Tue, 05/03/2016 - 1:53pm


Submitted by U.S. Small Business Administration The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 2016 Encore Entrepreneur winners are Beverly Vines-Haines and Charlotte Clary, owners of the sugar-free candy company Ice Chips; which uses a natural sweetener called Xylitol (zye-leh-tohl).  Read a full story about locally owned Ice Chips in this ThurstonTalk article. The award honors a

Harlequin Production’s “The Language Archive” Explores the Power of Love

Thurston Talk - Tue, 05/03/2016 - 1:41pm


Submitted by Harlequin Productions  On May 5, Harlequin Productions premiers The Language Archive, a romantic comedy by Julia Cho running until May 28. I sat down with the show’s director, and Harlequin’s Managing Artistic Director, Scot Whitney, to discuss his latest project. What made you select this show as your next directing project? I started

Students with Disabilities Invited to Apply for Youth Leadership Forum

Thurston Talk - Tue, 05/03/2016 - 12:52pm


Submitted by the Washington Employment Security Department (ESD) High school students with disabilities can apply to the 16th annual Youth Leadership Forum in July to learn leadership, citizenship and personal skills. The Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment (GCDE) is accepting applications through June 1. The forum is designed for students with disabilities who want

5 Tips for Choosing a Natural Sunscreen for Summer Fun

Thurston Talk - Tue, 05/03/2016 - 12:34pm


By Niki Whiting for Radiance Herbs and Massage Summer is creeping up on us fast — and spring feels quite a bit like summer these days. That means it’s time to stock up on sunscreens. Radiance Herbs and Massage offers many choices for you and your family. But what do you need to know when

Miss Welty and Creative Colloquy

South Sound Arts - Tue, 05/03/2016 - 11:55am

I blew the dust off Eudora Welty and pulled her off the shelf one book at a time. I had to get down on my knees, an appropriately worshipful position, to reach her books, because I shelf fiction alphabetically by author in the same order as words on a page, top left to lower right, and that put her right down on floor level.
Some of her writing I had read man years ago, and others had been gathering dust unread on my shelf all those many years—because these old books were books I thought I shouldread, not the more contemporary stuff I wantedto read. Stupid, huh? Because I had read a few of her short stories and liked them a lot.
My parents were Mississippians of the same age as Miss Welty. She and my mother went to the same college, Mississippi State College for Women, within a year of each other, and she and my uncle, also a writer, were friends, so I thought her stories would be similar to ones I had heard when I was growing up in Mississippi. Combining that with what I had read of and about her, I expected from her stories a strong sense of place and a bit of nostalgia, and I expected to be reminded of colloquialisms I had not heard in years; I expected inventive and spot-on metaphors and similes because a few choice ones from the Welty stories I read in my youth had stuck with me for years. What I had not expected was the range of her style and subject matter, the power of her symbolism, and the multi-layered meanings of some of her stories.
Some, quite frankly, were hard to get. “Old Mr. Marblehall” for instance. To fully appreciate that one I had to go back and read what Ruth M. Vande Kieft wrote about it in her introduction to Thirteen Stories by Eudora Welty. I even Googled the story to see what critics had said about it. It was not an easy story to understand. Or maybe it was and I was just not in the right frame of mind when I read it. At any rate, I’m glad I took the effort to study it more carefully. Old Mr. Marblehall was a boring old man who lived a boring life—a double life with two almost identical wives and two almost identical sons, and nobody, neither wives nor sons nor neighbors, had the slightest notion about the existence of the others. Why would such a dull man go to all the trouble to lead a double life if neither life was more interesting or rewarding than the other?  With this story, Welty presents us with one of the most inventive enigmas ever.
The realism and the quirkiness of Welty’s stories are both intelligent and entertaining. Where else could you possibly find a paragraph like this one from “Lily Daw and the Three Ladies”?While they rode around the corner Mrs. Carson was going on in her soft voice, soft as the soft noises in a hen house at twilight. “We buried Lily’s poor defenseless mother. We gave Lily all her food and kindling and every stitch she had on. Sent her to Sunday school to learn the Lord’s teachings, had her baptized a Baptist. And when her old father commenced beating her and tried to cut her head off with the butcher knife, why, we went and took her away from him and gave her a place to stay.”
. . .Last night I attended Creative Colloquy at Traditions Fair Trade in Olympia, Washington. Creative Colloquy is an online literary magazine and public reading created in Tacoma, Washington two years ago by Jackie Cassella and her partner in crime, Joshua Swainston. Every month CC meets at B Sharp Coffee House in Tacoma for public readings by professional and amateur writers alike. I’ve attended probably a dozen of the readings, and considering that anybody can sign up for the open mic second hour, the quality of the readings have been outstanding. They only recently started monthly readings at Traditions in Olympia. The first was hosted by Christian Carvajal, an outstanding novelist, actor and journalist for the Weekly Volcano. Featured readers included local writer Steven Hendricks, author of the novel Little is Left to Tell, and the delightful William Turbyfill reading from his autobiographical collection of stories Field of Turby. The open mic portion was practically a poetry slam with a lot of lively performances including a mind-boggling piece about slavery performed by Mustafa Fowler.
Last night’s event was their second in Olympia. It was not as well attended as the first, and it was not as lively, but there were some nice readings, most noticeably by Ned Hayes reading from his new novel The Eagle Tree, a book about a youth possibly on the autism spectrum who is obsessed with climbing trees. This is a book I highly, highly, highly recommend.

Attending CC after reading Welty’s “A Still Moment,” a strange story about an evangelical preacher, a murderer, and the naturalist James John Audobon meeting on a path in the woods, made me think about the difference between reading out loud in public and silently in private. I suspect that neither Welty’s “A Still Moment” nor “Old Mr. Marblehall” would go over too well in a public reading. They’re too dense, too layered. In reading stories like those, you need to read a line or two, stop and think about it, and then read some more. Maybe you need to pause from time to time simply to let the music of the words wash over you. Perhaps great literature does not belong in performance. Perhaps it needs to be read and contemplated in private from actual pages held between two hands, and discussed in small groups. But there are places also for public performance of short stories, novel excerpts and poetry. What a great treasure the written word is in all its forms, and how lucky we in the South Puget Sound area are to have Creative Colloquy.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Coming to Tacoma Art Museum

South Sound Arts - Tue, 05/03/2016 - 11:35am

Exhibitions on View School Year 2016-2017
30 Americans | September 24, 2016 – January 15, 2017

The critically acclaimed 30 Americans will make its West Coast debut at Tacoma Art Museum. The exhibition 
30 Americans showcases an influential group of prominent African American artists who have emerged over the past three decades as leading contributors to the contemporary art scene in the U.S. and beyond. The exhibition covers important topics in contemporary America including race, history, and gender. This exhibition will feature paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs and videos from artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Nick Cave, Robert Colescott, Glenn Ligon, Kerry James Marshall, Wangechi Mutu, Lorna Simpson, Mickalene Thomas, Kara Walker, Carrie Mae Weems, Kehinde Wiley and more.
30 Americans is organized by the Rubell Family Collection.

The Rebecca and Jack Benaroya Collection | October 9, 2016 – April 23, 2017The Rebecca and Jack Benaroya Collection features a selection of major works from the promised gift to TAM. The exhibition will include about 60 works of paintings, sculpture, and glass art. The Benaroya Collection includes iconic examples of works by world-renowned artists including Dale Chihuly, Dan Dailey, Kyohei Fujita, Ginny Ruffner, Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová, Lino Tagliapietra, Cappy Thompson, and Ulrica Hydman Vallien. With the gift of the Benaroya Collection, TAM will have one of the most important studio art glass collections in the United States.

The Outwin 2016: American Portraiture Today | February 4 – May 14, 2017
Every three years, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery holds the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, inviting artists from across the country to submit their best works in the art of portrayal. The 2016 juried competition selected contemporary works by 43 artists forming the exhibition The Outwin 2016: American Portraiture Today.This exhibition showcases excellence and innovation with a strong focus on the variety of portrait media used by artists today. The dazzling variety of media and diverse approaches to the exploration of "self" and "other" challenge preconceived notions of portraiture and expand visitors’ imaginations. For the first time in the history of the competition, the exhibition is traveling to Tacoma Art Museum.
The Outwin 2016: American Portraiture Today is organized by the    Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

SCJ Alliance Expands Landscape Architecture and Design Services with Acquisition of Jeffrey B. Glander & Associates

Thurston Talk - Tue, 05/03/2016 - 7:32am


Submitted by SCJ Alliance SCJ Alliance (SCJ), in partnership with Jeffrey B. Glander & Associates (JGA), is pleased to announce the combining of the two firms. “We’re delighted to have Jeff and his talented team join SCJ. It’s a tremendous opportunity for both firms,” says SCJ President Perry Shea. SCJ is a Northwest consulting company,

Jenny Montgomery - "Hatch" at Salon Réfu - Time change...

OlyBlog Home Page - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 6:32pm
Event:  Fri, 05/06/2016 - 7:00pm - 8:15pm

Poems/Installations: Hatch
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WDFW Approves Razor Clam Dig Starting May 6

Thurston Talk - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 1:12pm


Submitted by The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)  State shellfish managers have added four days of razor clam digging at Mocrocks to a previously scheduled opening at Long Beach to offer a full week of digging starting May 6. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the digs at Long Beach

Capital Land Trust Takes First Step on 100-Acre “Inspiring Kids Preserve”

Thurston Talk - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 1:00pm


Submitted by Capitol Land Trust Capitol Land Trust (CLT) recently took the giant step toward purchase of 100 acres for the ‘Inspiring Kids Preserve’ on Henderson Inlet in Thurston County. Launching a new approach to protecting key habitat while creating access for local education and outdoor experiences close to Thurston County communities, CLT purchased the

Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week

Thurston Talk - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 10:24am


Submitted by Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton My name is Gus, and I am a 9 month old male Labrador Retriever/Pit Bull Terrier mix. Surviving on my own for a while wasn’t very much fun and I am happy the wonderful staff at Adopt-A-Pet brought me into the shelter where I can have a soft/warm bed, lots

Olympia High School’s Story Warren Receives National Recognition for Wolf Research

Thurston Talk - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 6:00am


Chatting with Olympia High School junior Story Warren, she may seem like any other student you pass in the halls. But after just a few minutes of talking with her, I can tell she is far from typical. Story spends her weekends in Eastern Washington, tracking a pack of wolves. Story tells me the passion

ThurstonTalk Writers Comment on Impact of Digital Media Publishing

Thurston Talk - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 6:00am


What does it mean to share stories about your community? To ThurstonTalk writers, the answer is simple. “I love writing for ThurstonTalk because of the connection to the community,” says sports writer Gail Wood. “Through ThurstonTalk, I get to talk with people in the community and share their stories. Each story is an opportunity to

Jose Sanchez Reflects on Mentors in his Mexican Restaurant Heritage

Thurston Talk - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 6:00am


What do the owners of the Mayan, El Sarape, and Azteca restaurants all have in common? They each came from the remote Mexican town of Cuautla in the state of Jalisco. In fact, 80% of the Mexican restaurants from Northern California to Canada have their roots in Cuautla, a small town over 200 miles from

Military Mother’s Day Survival Guide – How to Celebrate Mother’s Day Without Your Spouse

Thurston Talk - Sun, 05/01/2016 - 4:00pm


The joys of motherhood are found in the little moments, sandwiched between receiving big hugs from your kids one moment, and being the “bad guy” the next. The weight of the world rests on your shoulders. Even the most super of moms deserves a little “R and R” (aka rest and relaxation) every once in

Tenino Prairie Flowers Greet Spring Visitors

Thurston Talk - Sun, 05/01/2016 - 11:44am


A few times during the year, Wolf Haven International welcomes visitors to explore the prairies in Tenino.  Diane Waiste took a tour on Saturday, April 30 and discovered many spring blossoms.

Always Safe and Lock Evokes Timelessness for Local Locksmith

Thurston Talk - Sun, 05/01/2016 - 6:00am


There’s something to be said for having a history. At Always Safe and Lock on 4th Avenue in downtown Olympia, that’s true of the business and its relationship with the community. Owner Jeff Trinin’s great-grandfather came to America from Russia over a century ago and started a new life in Connecticut, where his need for a

Spot Shrimp Lurk in the Deep Waters of Hood Canal

Thurston Talk - Sun, 05/01/2016 - 6:00am


There is something amazing lurking in the cool, deep waters off Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Coming mid-May, Hood Canal will once again be filled by shrimp enthusiasts in search of the tastiest shrimp around. Starting in the early morning along Highway 101, expect to see lines of trucks pulling boats full of shrimp lovers, all hoping

Boggs Inspection Services Dedicates April and May to Giving Back

Thurston Talk - Sat, 04/30/2016 - 2:26pm


Being a small business owner isn’t just about the bottom line. It’s about interacting with your community, giving back to those who support you, and celebrating your success by sharing with others. Dwayne Boggs has been building his local business, Boggs Inspection Service, for over 12 years. As the company grew, Boggs began to incorporate

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