Submitted by Rob Rice Homes
Drive through any Rob Rice Community, new or old, and you will be struck by the expansive landscaping and abundant green space throughout. The layout of lawns, shrubs and trees is thoughtfully designed and it all grows more beautiful with time, improving the look of neighborhoods with each passing year.
Each lovely home has a unique and distinctive look, setting the home apart. Upkeep and maintenance is insured through each community’s homeowners association enhancing the value of the homes and neighborhood.
In some Rob Rice communities like Kensington in Lacey and in some select homes at the Villages at South Hill in Puyallup the front lawn and yard care are even professionally maintained for homeowners for carefree enjoyment and consistently beautiful yards.
A Home’s First Impression
Give him any street in the area and Realtor Bob Jorgenson, knows the quality of the homes and desirability of the neighborhood.
“Houses often sell themselves,” says Bob, the Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty broker. “If buyers find the right house in the right neighborhood, they are going to want it.”
And a lot of the buyers want homes built by Rob Rice. Bob sells hundreds of homes and estimates that up to 20 percent of them are Rob Rice Homes, either new or resale.
“It is curb appeal that gets people to stop and attracts them to a home. I have had clients say ‘This is it!’ when we first pull up in front of a house. It’s the things they look for when they turn into a neighborhood that attracts them to living there.”
And, landscaping is a huge part of each Rob Rice home’s curb appeal and something that allows it to retain its attractiveness over the years.
“I point out to my clients the attention to detail, not just in the landscaping but every aspect of a Rob Rice home. More importantly, you get what you pay for and his homes and neighborhoods only get better with time.”
Bob, who often takes clients on a tour to familiarize them with the area, says that for some it is hard for them to envision what the landscaping in new construction communities will look like.
Bob provides an example to help them understand.
“One recent tour took us through the Rob Rice Community of Whitmore Glen, which is good example of a neighborhood that is almost five years old where the landscaping and street trees are really starting to take off and mature. “
“I pointed out four border shrubs carefully placed between two houses,” Bob continues. “They probably cost Rob what other builders would not pay. Those plants now give a sense of privacy between the homes. It is a fuller, richer neighborhood each year because Rob spends more up front on every home.”
The extra touches of well-placed foliage and crisp lawns frame each Rob Rice home to enhance its features, improve privacy and individuality and contribute to its lasting value.
“On that particular tour, I also took my clients through an adjacent, 10 year old neighborhood with homes built by several other builders,” Bob explains. “The buyers could see that the landscaping, even though it was older in years, didn’t compare to Whitmore Glen.”
All of Rob Rice Communities are known for the wide open spaces and rich common areas throughout. His established communities are park-like neighborhoods with, walking paths through open areas and sculpted storm water ponds.
“I often tell people to go find a house or neighborhood Rob Rice built years ago and look at the landscaping as compared to other homes built at the same time,” Bob says. “There is a noticeable difference.”
Long lasting value and beauty in neighborhoods
“Most builders try to sell an individual home, Rob is concerned with the entire neighborhood,” says Ernie Unroe, co-owner of Pacific West Landscaping, LLC who has worked with the “Best of South Sound” builder for more than 30 years. “You can build a beautiful house on the inside, but the outside is the first impression.”
Ernie explains the thought and attention to detail that is put into every home.
“We plan and design the landscaping in a way that accents the features of the house and its roofline. We don’t want to hide it but soften it to make it look more established and like it belongs with better flow and continuity to the neighborhood.”
Rob’s interest in the landscaping goes beyond selling homes.
“I have worked with a lot of builders, and Rob’s attention to detail makes him stand above the crowd,” says Ernie reflecting on the local builder’s decades of home building. “He is concerned with the quality and size of the plants. He doesn’t want cheap, small plants. Rob will spend the money to put in larger bushes that will grow to fit the area.”
“Rob is also concerned about all the open spaces, common areas, storm water areas and goes above and beyond what is required by the city to make his communities beautiful,” Ernie continues. “Rob demands quality in everything. Being a perfectionist has been the key to his success.”
American businessman Anthony Hitt believes that “to be successful in real estate, you must always and consistently put your clients’ best interests first. When you do, your personal needs will be realized beyond your greatest expectations.” Paul Klenk, of Olympia’s Van Dorm Realty, embodies that selfless dedication.
A Minnesota native, Klenk started in real estate after a 5 year stint in the Marine Corps as an Air Defense Officer. He’s been an agent for more than 20 years, 17 of those as part of the Van Dorm family. He specializes in residential resale and admits “I love working for a client and earning a referral to another generation in the same family. I have about 5 families that I’ve assisted for 3 generations. I can’t wait for the next generation to graduate and help them, too.”
A devoted family-man, Klenk laughingly describes his hobbies as “getting our kids out the door! For the last 15 years: youth baseball, fastpitch, volleyball, wresting, band, plays, football…and my lovely wife, Lesley. Now we can start traveling. We are so proud of the kids; the oldest son is a lieutenant in the US Army, our daughter is a social worker in Maine, and the youngest is chasing his dream pitching on a college baseball team.”
This ability to adapt and juggle has definitely helped with some of the oddities inherent in real estate. While showing homes, he’s dealt with inspectors stepping through a roof, clients losing shoes in the mud, a toilet installed in the middle of a room, and discovering secret bunkers and rooms within properties. He lists, “I’ve been bitten by a dog, chased by a cat, stepped on a nail, twisted my ankle pretty badly, and had an 8-year-old lock me and my clients on a second story balcony—I had to climb down. And now, recently I lost a client to another agent—they got married!”
Now he, and his licensed assistant Ryan Fisher, love helping clients find their forever home or an investment property. Klenk wants sellers to know that real estate is his passion. “I believe that each property and each motivation for selling requires and deserves an individual and personal marketing plan.” For buyers, “this should be an exciting time, not confusing. Call me. Let me simplify the process of buying. Ask me questions. Challenge me. I will be with you through each step of the buying process.”
Real estate website Zillow reports that “Thurston County home values have gone up 6.0% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 4.0% within the next year.” While it is definitely a sellers market, with limited inventory available and home sales happening quickly, Paul is more than willing to sit down with interested parties and explain this detailed, often scary, process.
Van Dorm Reality is a family-owned business since it began 35 years ago. Their team of over 100 brokers means that someone is available seven days a week either in person or over the phone. Drop by their offices at 1530 Black Lake Boulevard, in West Olympia, to meet Paul or one of their many other real estate specialists.
I am a mom. On Sunday (hint: it’s Mother’s Day!) I get to celebrate my mom, mother-in-law, grandmother, and sisters who are moms – lots of love for some amazingly talented women who are raising fantastic (little and big) people. If you are also celebrating your mom this weekend in Olympia, we’ve got you covered with loads of activities, events, and fun ideas to keep the whole family entertained.
Submit an event for our calendar here.
ThurstonTalk aims to be your source for positive information and events happening in Olympia. If you have a suggestion for a post, send us a note at email@example.com. For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here.
As some of you probably already know, I'm now helping do the organizing for Initiative 732 in Thurston County. It would cut the state sales tax by one percent, basically get rid of the B&O tax for manufacturing, give a tax rebate of up to $1,500 to 400,000 working families, and then raise the same amount of money for State programs by taxing fossil fuels. In a nutshell, it's a revenue neutral tax swap - it taxes things we’d like to support less, and then makes up for those cuts by taxing things that we’d like less of, like CO2 pollution, more.
We've just begun actually gathering signatures - to get enough of them we will have to have a little help from many, many people.
For starters, we're asking people to participate in something I'm calling "Ten Days for the Climate" - you just get a petition and a little advice about getting started from us, you talk to the people you see during the week and people you know in your neighborhood about signing it, and we pick it up from you after ten days.
Of course, if you'd like to do more, especially coming to an event this summer and helping one of us collect signatures, or donating to the campaign, that would be great!
For more information or to donate, see www.carbonwa.org. To talk more about how you might help with the campaign in Thurston County or to get a petition, call me up at 352-2209 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. Here's one of the many reasons I'm spending my spare time this summer working on this - my granddaughter Hazel:
From today's inbox:
Best performance by a small public fleet: City of Olympia
A founding member of our coalition (a member since 1998!), the City of Olympia is also an early experimenter with electric vehicles. Though early experimentations weren’t very satisfying, City of Olympia persevered, and found a creative a way to adopt electric vehicles – using leases, rather than purchasing outright. This allows them to benefit from the federal tax credits, and provides flexibility to return the vehicles in the future should they want to upgrade to newer electric vehicles. The City of Olympia subsequently became the first public fleet in Washington to lease electric vehicles. What’s more, this fleet has demonstrated exemplary leadership in the past year by:
About WWCC (Western WA Clean Cities):
We are a not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to expanding the use of alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. A program of the U.S. Department of Energy, we provide education, technical expertise, networking opportunities and funding assistance to help members invest in local, sustainable transportation solutions – which not only supports our regional economy and protects our beautiful environment, but can green your bottom line. We are one of nearly 100 Clean Cities coalitions across the country advancing the nation’s economic, environmental and energy security by supporting local actions to reduce petroleum consumption in transportation.Google Plus One Facebook Like
“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.” Garfield cartoonist Jim Davis isn’t wrong, but this time of year the freshest spring produce can conquer even these sweet treats. (Or better yet, use them IN your seasonal baking!)
This weekend (Friday, May 8 through Sunday, May 10), Bayview Thriftway, located in downtown Olympia, will be hosting their Mother’s Day Produce Tent Sale. Running from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day, the sale will feature some of our region’s freshest produce, and tasting is always encouraged.
Thriftway Produce Supervisor Nate Conant is excited for the upcoming big event. He explains that though the sale is “only at Bayview Thriftway, it is available to all shoppers. There will be many demos, samples and special pricing.”
Some of the showcased deals include corn 5/$2, Honeycrisp apples $1.99lb, 12oz blackberries 2/$7, cantaloupe 2/$3, honeydew melon .99 each, tomatoes on the vine $1.29lb, Vidalia sweet onions $1.29lb, red seedless grapes $2.99lb, mangos 2/$3, long stem artichokes 2/$7, bananas .59lb, organic mangos 2/$4, green peppers 2/$1, and nectarines $1.99lb.
While stocking up on fresh fruit and veggies, take time to wander through the Livin’ on the Wedge Cheese Festival which takes place at Bayview from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 9. There you will find artisanal cheeses, pastries, and local specialties and favorites.
Got a sweet tooth or need something to finish up that mid-day lunch of samples? Both Ralph’s and Bayview are hosting their twice-annual chocolate-dipped strawberry promotion Friday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Look for Conant himself inside the store, busily working the fragrant chocolate fountain. While picking up a package of the freshly crafted treats for Mother’s Day you’ll need a few for yourself…for quality control purposes. They’re only here in the spring so make sure to stock up!
If you find yourself needing new tools to prep, cook, or serve the weekend’s bounty, head inside either Thriftway location with your ThrifteCard to earn 10% back on all blue-tagged houseware items purchased through May 10. This third annual Housewares Appreciation Event can have you making carb-free veggie noodles in a snap or learning a trick of the trade you didn’t know before.
The 2014 Best of South Sound winner for Best Grocery Store, Ralph’s and Bayview Thriftway never disappoint. Their staff is always willing to take special requests and they offer one-stop shopping as well as a hub for community events. Check their website often for in-store specials, family-friendly activities, and access to their online shopping portal.
Bayview Thriftway is located at 516 West 4th Street in downtown Olympia. With so many weekend activities, bring extra shopping bags and save room for clam chowder or fresh gelato on their sure to be sunny outdoor deck. You can always walk the boardwalk a few times to make room for the next course.
By Alyssa Ramsfield
News flash – Sunday, May 10, is Mother’s Day. What better way to show your gratitude for your mom than by exploring the many fun and low cost happenings around Thurston County. Mom will appreciate the outing and the thought behind each perfectly planned activity.
For some interactive fun with mom, look to the Hands On Children’s Museum. The museum will be saying thanks to mom by making admission for grandmothers and mothers free all day long. While the kids are entertained by the creative exhibits and onsite crafts, mom can enjoy a coffee in the café. It’s a great place for the kids to discover without leaving mom with a big mess to cleanup.
For the athletic mom, this scenic, waterfront run will be fun for the whole family. Kids can run a free one-mile event beginning at 8:30 a.m. with their parents. Strollers are welcome. Avid running moms can enjoy the 5k which kicks off at 8:45 a.m. Check-ins for this event begin at 7:30 a.m. in front of the Hands On Children’s Museum. This is a great opportunity to run with your mom or in memory of a mom whom has touched your life.
Is your mother a fan of art? Let’s Paint wants the whole family to get involved and help mom paint a Parisian canvas. The Eiffel Tower will be available for painting during the 2:00 p.m. class. For the price to paint, each painter can enjoy a complimentary beverage and leave with an original piece of art to hang proudly on the wall. It is highly recommended to register ahead of time as this class will fill up quickly. (The class is recommended for kids ages 8 and older.)
For a mom who enjoys being outside, Mother’s Day is extra special this year. In honor of moms, Washington State Parks says you can leave your Discover Passes at home on Sunday. Plan a picnic at Millersylvania Park or a day trip to the many state park that line our beautiful beaches. Enjoy the natural beauty our state has to offer with one of the most important people in your life. Read more about different parks to explore here.
One of the most relaxing activities a mom can appreciate in Thurston County has to be kayaking. Rentals are available throughout our region for a very reasonable price. Tugboat Annie’s even offers a brunch and kayaking special on Saturdays and Sundays. Between the stunning Puget Sound and the assortment of picturesque lakes, there are plenty of places for mom to take a break and quietly paddle through peaceful waters.
Does your mom enjoy the many cultural events of Thurston County? Sail with her downtown for the sights and sounds of Olympia’s Wooden Boat Fair. This free event at Percival Landing has boats of every shape and size on display. Events throughout the weekend include arts & crafts, local food vendors, fun for the kids, and music from some of Thurston County’s most talented musicians. The fair begins at 11:00 a.m. on Mother’s Day and ends at 5:00 p.m.
For the mother looking for a show consider checking out Olympia Little Theatre’s latest production – Mama Won’t Fly. A daughter agrees to take her mother from Alabama to California in a compact car for her brother’s wedding due to her mom not wanting to fly. This road trip includes twists, turns, and quite a few laughs. Showtime on Mother’s Day is at 1:55 p.m. and tickets are $8-14 at Yenney Music or online.
For even more ideas to celebrate Mother’s Day, check out the ThurstonTalk events calendar.
Thrifty Thurston highlights inexpensive family fun in Thurston County. The weekly series focuses on family-friendly activities throughout our community. If you have a suggestion for a post, send us a note at email@example.com. For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here.
By Nikki McCoy
Six local celebrities. A panel of judges. One week to learn.
This is “Dancing with South Sound’s Stars,” a night of entertainment, celebration and breath-taking moves – all on stage Saturday, May 16 at The Washington Center for Performing Arts in downtown Olympia.
“These six dancers were selected from a large pool of enthusiastic supporters; people that work hard to make Thurston County a great place to live and work, and who believe in having a good time up on stage,” says Anne Larsen, director of marketing and special events for The Center.
“We are already seeing the friendly competition heat up: who will have the most fans in the audience? Who will have the best costume? They are all having a lot of fun leading up to a week of rehearsals with the professional dancers,” continues Larsen. “And the audience will have ballots to help determine the winner, along with our local celebrity judges.”
Deborah Vinsel, CEO of Thurston Community Television (TCTV) is one of those six competitors.
“I love it when we see a side of community leaders we’ve never seen before,” she says. “These kinds of events show we’re all human, we all have a sense of humor, and we all love to do something that brings us together.”
While Vinsel has never been in a competition of this kind, dance has been a big part of her life. She received formal training in ballet and tap dance from the time she was three until her early 20s. Her mother insisted that Vinsel and her brother take ballroom dancing in middle school. In fact, she met her husband for the first time when she was 13 at Mrs. Lynn’s Social Dancing classes.
“I don’t think many people know that I’ve got a background in dance and theater so this will show a side of me not many people in Olympia have seen,” she says. “Plus, it just looked like it was going to be a lot of fun.”
However, Vinsel says, she is “many years older now” so she doesn’t expect to sail through the rehearsals.
“It will be a challenge to re-awaken the technique and muscle memory,” she says.
If Vinsel has the challenge of tapping into old skills, another competitor, Renee Sunde, deputy director for Thurston Economic Development Council, has the challenge of trying something completely new.
“When first asked if I would be willing to compete, I ran it by my colleagues at the Thurston EDC,” says Sunde. “They unanimously encouraged me to go for it… what could be more fun than getting up on a stage and dancing with professionally trained dancers in front of a community filled with friends? But, I’ve never really danced before (unless the prom and weddings count) so the professionals will definitely have their work cut out for them.”
The dancers each pair with a member of the Utah Ballroom Dance Company, who specializes in bringing “Dancing with the Stars” to communities across the United States.
This is the Washington Center’s first time presenting the company, or this type of competition, and Larsen says they are very excited.
“Selecting the six local dancers was just the start. We have a week of rehearsals to look forward to,” she explains. “After the local dancers pair off with their partners, the professionals will put on a show for the audience as well! We will present disco ball trophies to our winners, of course.”
While bragging rights and a sweet disco ball trophy are highlights of the win, both Vinsel and Sunde (probably speaking for the others as well) acknowledge that participating in this event is a great way to give back.
“The biggest motivator for me personally is the fact that the proceeds from the event go to support The Washington Center for Performing Arts, which is one of our greatest community assets,” says Sunde. “When you talk about the arts culture of Olympia you are really talking about an economic generator. Through ticket sales, the support of local businesses through sponsorships and donations, grants, public and individual giving, we are able to promote and sustain this great community and economic development asset.”
The evening will conclude with a community dance lesson onstage from the Powers Ballroom Studio. Rhett and Shona Powers will lead lessons in “Party Swing” and “Classic Waltz” and all levels of dance ability are welcome to join the fun.
The other four competitors include Greg Allison, music instructor with the Olympia School District, Thane Bryenton, owner of RelyLocal Olympia, Casey Cochrane, Executive Director of the Yelm Chamber of Commerce and Becci Syrek, Partnership Development Director with the Olympia Lacey Tumwater Visitor & Convention Center.
By Lynn West
Combining the vision of Sally Ritter Alhadeff, the knowledge of Geraldine Maxfield, and the enthusiasm of Matthew Rounsley, the Tenino FFA Community Garden has become a reality.
Sally Ritter Alhadeff’’s family can trace roots in Tenino to Sidney S. Ford who left New York in the 1860s and made his way west to the Washington Territory. Sally, recently retired, just completed the Washington State Extension Master Gardener Program. One afternoon last fall while harvesting produce from her own amazing garden, Sally said, “This project started shaping in my mind. I knew my Dad wanted to see both the students and the community benefit from a piece of land adjacent to the high school, and a Community Garden was perfect.”
Turning off Ritter Street, named for her Dad, Sally and I parked by the Tenino FFA Community Garden, which sits adjacent to the two greenhouses at Tenino High School. Built in the past few months, the new garden occupies land once used to raise pigs. Tenino High School Agriculture Science and Leadership teacher, Geraldine Maxfield, said, “It was a case of ‘use it or lose it’, so Sally gave us the impetus. A Community Garden will benefit students and so many in our community. We didn’t need another paved parking lot.” The garden was built on a piece of property adjacent to Maxfield’s classroom.
As a student in Ms. Maxfield’s class and a member of Future Farmers of America, Matthew Rounsley, a sophomore, is one of the fifteen or so students “using” the garden to learn on a daily basis. “Thank heavens he is around for another couple of years,” Maxfield said. “He has been intstramental in getting the garden off the ground.”
As the backbone of the Tenino FFA Community Garden Steering Committee, this trio has written grants, fundraised, attended community meetings, and labored to build the existing ten raised beds. Asked why some of the beds were built with cedar, others with corrugated metal, and some with cement block, Maxfield explained, “This is a teaching opportunity, and we will observe and research the relative benefits and success of each type of bed.” Students will also be comparing seeds and starts, sun and shade in addition to and pursuing their current research into other garden variables.
For Rounsley, the garden is much more than just a part of his classes. He has had an opportunity to work on this project from its inception. I’ve moved equipment, hauled dirt, and filled beds, but I have also brainstormed with the committee on rationale for the grants, and I have even written sections,” he said. The grant writing certainly has paid off.
The Tenino FFA Community Garden has received grants from
In addition to the national and local grants, Rounsley is amazed by his own community’s contributions. “Contractors have brought loads of supplies, licensed electricians and plumbers are working on the irrigation, farmers have promised straw bales for future beds,” he said. “And some people send much needed donations.”
The outpouring of support for the Tenino FFA Community Garden does not surprise Geraldine Maxfield. She closely observed the Rainer Community Garden project when it began four years ago, and modeled Tenino’s after it.
Tenino is smaller in size than most of the thirteen schools in its FFA District, but the students’ hours of community service exceed many. Community service fits both the mission and the goals of the Tenino FFA Community Garden since in addition to being intergenerational, it is designed to provide an essential fresh food source for all members of the community.
The Tenino Food Bank will be a major recipient of the fresh produce grown.
At its busiest, the food bank serves 70-80 families. Fifty three percent of students in the Tenino School District qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch, which is the highest percentage in Thurston County. Learning to grow fresh produce and being able to harvest it will certainly help reduce the need.
In response to a survey completed by community members who rely on the Food Bank, the Community Garden will grow kale, small tomatoes, carrots, radishes, green beans, cucumbers, lettuce and green onions. In the future, when more beds are built, herbs and berries will be added.
In April, the steering committee and fifty to sixty community members gathered at the garden on weekends to work. On Saturday, May 9 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., during the weekend-long FFA Plant Sale, the new Community Garden will have its Grand Opening. The Tenino community will spend this May weekend celebrating instead of working.
When the Tenino FFA Community Garden celebrates its Grand Opening, the Steering Committee hopes everyone will visit because the harvest will be for the community.
Submitted by The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Three days of a four-day razor clam dig have been canceled on all ocean beaches because of public health concerns, state shellfish managers said today.
The opening will continue as planned Thursday on Long Beach and Twin Harbors beaches after state health officials cleared that day’s dig.
Levels of domoic acid, detected through routine testing, have been on the rise since late Monday and could exceed state health guidelines by this weekend. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is canceling the dig May 8-10 as a precaution, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager with WDFW.
Domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae, can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. More information about domoic acid can be found on WDFW’s webpage here.
“Warm ocean water temperatures have created ideal conditions for the algae that produce domoic acid,” Ayres said.
Earlier this week, the department had approved the four-day dig after marine toxin tests over the weekend showed clams on Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks beaches were safe to eat. Since that time, routine testing detected elevated toxin levels, prompting a second round of testing on razor clams by the Washington Department of Health (WDOH).
Those tests, evaluated today, show domoic acid levels in razor clams are rising and could surpass state health guidelines by the weekend.
Since 1991, when the toxin was first detected on the Pacific coast, outbreaks of domoic acid have prompted the cancellation of three entire razor clam seasons in Washington – the last one in 2002-03. Kalaloch Beach, jointly managed by WDFW and Olympic National Park, also was closed for much of the 2004 season due to high toxin levels. In 2005, WDFW closed Long Beach for two days due to elevated toxin levels.
WDFW and WDOH will continue to monitor toxin levels to determine whether two proposed digs tentatively scheduled later in May will go forward.
Submitted by South Puget Sound Community College
For the second year in a row, South Puget Sound Community College students distinguished themselves by bringing home the gold at the SkillsUSA Washington Leadership and Skills Conference, making them eligible to attend the national SkillsUSA competition in Louisville, Ky., in June.
Five SPSCC Automotive Club students competed at the spring conference of the SkillsUSA Washington chapter on April 23 through April 25 at the Lake Washington Institute of Technology. SPSCC was led by first-year student Jesus Cales-Rodriguez, who took gold honors in both Automotive Skills and in Related Technical Math. Also competing was first-year student Christine Armstrong and second-year students Ryan Laughlin, Devin DeTray, and Steve Brickhill.
“It felt good to earn the gold medal and have a chance to let others know what a fantastic team of professionals we have at SPSCC,” Cales-Rodriguez said. “These medals represent our teaching staff, school administration as well as my mentors throughout the years. I am grateful to have experienced this competition and look forward to showing these qualities to other participating schools at Nationals.”
Armstrong also won gold in the Customer Service category. It’s the second year in a row that an SPSCC student has taken gold in the Customer Service category, following the win of last year’s National SkillsUSA Customer Service winner Mike Kangiser.
Additionally Laughlin, elected Washington SkillsUSA chapter president at the winter conference, opened the conference and won a bronze medal in Extemporaneous Speaking. DeTray also won a bronze medal in the Related Technical Math category.
SPSCC advisors Steve McRavin, Alex Wittmann and Christina Winstead attended the conference with the students, and were proud of the technical and leadership skills displayed. They are looking forward to coaching the participants as they move forward to the national-level competition.
Submitted by Home Instead Senior Care
Kelly Cavenah from the South Puget Sound area is on a mission to see more families share sit-down Sunday dinners with their senior loved ones. The reason? New research shows that 50 percent of surveyed families living near senior relatives feel they do not share enough meals with older loved ones, losing an important family connection.*
“For seniors, it’s not what’s on their plate that matters most at mealtime – it’s who is at the table with them,” said Cavenah, owner of the local Home Instead Senior Care® office. “When seniors share meals with a companion, they have a better mealtime experience – both nutritionally and emotionally.”
Almost 75 percent of the people surveyed said they only sit down for a family meal with senior loved ones for special occasions, events or holidays. They say a big part of the problem is time – both not having enough of it and conflicting schedules.
To encourage families to make time for these meals, the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation® will donate $1 to Meals on Wheels America (up to $20,000 total through July 31, 2015) for each person that commits to regularly scheduling family dinners at SundayDinnerPledge.com. Pledging to have a sit-down dinner with loved ones will help to ensure other seniors will have a quality meal, friendly visit and safety check through Meals on Wheels programs across the country.
“We hope families will make the pledge to either revive or begin new mealtime traditions with their senior loved ones,” Cavenah said. “This small commitment can have a big impact on a senior’s well-being.”
To help families across the country host their own Sunday dinner, Home Instead Senior Care has partnered with celebrity chef and mother of four Melissa d’Arabian to develop easy, nutritious recipes. Additional resources include tips for how to involve seniors in meal planning and preparation, pre- and post-dinner activities and meal plans for healthy, inexpensive meals that all generations can enjoy.
For these free resources and more information on how you can bring back the Sunday dinner and reconnect with your senior loved ones, visit www.SundayDinnerPledge.com or call Home Instead Senior Care at 360-570-0049.
* Home Instead, Inc. completed surveys with a random sample of 1,000 households in U.S. and Canada between February 10 and 15, 2015. Participants were 50 percent male and 50 percent female, with 900 households in U.S. and 100 in Canada.
About Home Instead Senior Care®
Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care® network provides personalized care, support and education to help enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today, this network is the world’s leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,000 independently owned and operated franchises that are estimated to annually provide more than 50 million hours of care throughout the United States and 15 other countries. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ approximately 65,000 CAREGivers? worldwide who provide basic support services that enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. The Home Instead Senior Care network strives to partner with each client and his or her family members to help meet that individual’s needs. Services span the care continuum – from providing companionship and personal care to specialized Alzheimer’s care and hospice support. Also available are family caregiver education and support resources. At Home Instead Senior Care, it’s relationship before task, while striving to provide superior quality service.
About Meals on Wheels America
Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based senior nutrition programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior hunger and isolation. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time.
About Melissa d’Arabian
Food Network star, best-selling author, writer and mom of four Melissa d’Arabian is an expert on affordable and healthy family home cooking. Well known for her “Ten Dollar Dinners” show and best-selling cookbook, she also hosts Food Network web series “The Picky Eaters Project” and serves as a lead judge on “Guy’s Grocery Games.” Her new “Supermarket Healthy” cookbook is available now. www.melissadarabian.net.
Submitted by LOTT Clean Water Alliance
The LOTT Clean Water Alliance and its WET Science Center are teaming up with hundreds of organizations across Puget Sound to challenge residents to commit to at least one Sound-healthy action during May’s Puget Sound Starts Here Month.
“Puget Sound Starts Here Month is about raising awareness around the fact that Puget Sound is in trouble. All of us can make a difference through simple actions and local opportunities to get involved,” says Amber Smith, Education Manager at LOTT’s WET Science Center. “Our actions today determine the future of our health, economy, culture, our quality of life, and the legacy we leave the next generation,” says Smith.
Some simple Sound-healthy actions you can take:
Puget Sound matters
Puget Sound features 2,500 miles of shoreline. It is home to countless species, including orcas, sea lions, salmon and shellfish, as well as 4.5 million people who live, work, and play across the 12 counties of Puget Sound. Puget Sound is the second-largest estuary in the nation, stretching from mountain snowcaps to Puget Sound’s whitecaps. Puget Sound includes farmland and cities, woodlands and industry, and all the places we love in between. Puget Sound creates economic opportunities for the area, including tourism, shipping, seafood, and the region’s exceptional quality of life is a key reason many local companies stay and expand here.
The pressures that Puget Sound faces
Every year, millions of pounds of toxic pollutants enter Puget Sound. Much of that pollution comes from runoff. When it rains, the water flows over hard surfaces like houses, parking lots, driveways and streets, picking up pollution along the way. This polluted runoff flows through ditches or storm drains and into local waterways. Most runoff is not treated.
We’re working to undo more than 100 years of pollution and environmental degradation, all while balancing the needs of a diverse ecosystem as well as the needs of humans.
About Puget Sound Starts Here
Puget Sound Starts Here is supported by a consortium of more than 750 organizations across Puget Sound’s 12 counties, including state agencies, local governments, tribes, and non-governmental organizations working to clean up and protect Puget Sound and our region’s local waterways.
The goal of Puget Sound Starts Here Month is to raise awareness that Puget Sound is in trouble due to a variety of pollution sources, and empower residents to make a difference through simple actions and local volunteer opportunities. Learn more about the bounty of Puget Sound and how you can help protect it at www.PugetSoundStartsHere.org.
Submitted by Westport Winery
Westport Winery earned two bronze medals at the Great Northwest Wine Competition held in March. Both Elk River (Riesling) and Lighthouse (Riesling/Gewurztraminer) were made from grapes harvested at Red Willow Vineyard in the Yakima Valley AVA.
In the tasting notes Elk River is described as “A spine-tingling aftershock, luscious, bright and penetrating.” In the winery’s restaurant the wine is recommend to pair with a Wilted Spinach Salad (fresh spinach topped with grilled chicken, hard-boiled egg, bacon and almonds tossed in hot balsamic vinaigrette) while listening to The River by Garth Brooks. A portion of the proceeds from this wine benefits Twin Harbors Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Lighthouse, a blend of Riesling 54% and Gewürztraminer 46%, is described as “bright and breezy, like a sweet spring run-off.” Enjoy it with a luscious Lighthouse Salad (cranberry chicken salad, carrot curls, feta, dried cranberries and almonds on seasonal greens) while listening to Drops of Jupiter by Train. This wine benefits the Westport Maritime Museum & Lighthouse Restoration. The label is an original watercolor of the winery painted by Darryl Easter.
When you visit be sure to explore the resort’s unique sculpture garden, lavender labyrinth, musical fence, 9-hole executive golf course, giant chess set, outdoor scrabble game, and grape maze, all located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road halfway between Aberdeen and Westport. You will see why Westport Winery was voted Best of the Northwest Wine Destination.
Westport Winery Garden Resort’s award-winning wines are exclusively available at the resort. The tasting room, gift shop, produce market, plant nursery, bakery and gardens, 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 at www.westportwinery.com.