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August Strindberg’s Miss Julie

South Sound Arts - Thu, 07/09/2015 - 10:27am

New Muses Theatre Company presents August Strindberg’s Miss Julie at Dukesbay Theater
Published in the Weekly Volcano July 9, 2015Miss Julie (Katelyn Hoffman) and Jean (Nick Spencer). Photo by Niclas Olson.Strindberg’s classic play Miss Julie was extremely controversial when first produced in France at the end of the 19thcentury. This newly adapted version by Niclas Olson’s New Muses Theatre Company and performed in Tacoma’s Dukesbay Theater in the Merlino Arts Center building is dark and slightly confusing, but definitely in keeping with the author’s naturalistic style. By slightly confusing I do not mean that the story doesn’t make sense, but rather that the main characters, Miss Julie (Katelyn Hoffman) and Jean (Nick Spencer), are confused about their own motives, desires, and feelings for each other. During the opening night performance I was swept up with their confusion and felt disoriented throughout much of the play. It bothered me at first that no matter how excited or angry Miss Julie was, Hoffman portrayed her with cool detachment, and it bothered me that I could not get a handle on whether or not Jean loved or hated, idolized or was indifferent to Miss Julie. I thought Hoffman’s strange way of staring off into space and her tightly controlled passion were signs of stifled acting, but I gradually began to realize that she was portraying a strange character with utmost naturalism.Kristin (Kelsey Harrison) with the dog Dianna (Roxy). Photo by Bethany BevieNaturalism to Strindberg meant everything from sets to lighting to acting should be unadorned; i.e., not theatrical. Olson, who not only adapted the play but also directed it and designed the set, created a simple kitchen with heavy wooden tables and simple kitchen implements of a style that would have been used in the day (with the possible exception of the terrycloth wash rags, and I’m not too sure about the beer bottles). His only concession to theatricality was a beautifully painted floor, an even more beautiful scrim at the back of the set, and lighting that is subtle but which becomes strikingly dramatic in a moment when Miss Julie looks up at the rising sun burning through the kitchen window and the light glows on her face.During the course of a single evening, the spoiled daughter of a French count, Miss Julie, and her father’s valet, Jean, engage in flirting and fighting, an implied sexual tryst, and heated arguments about class, religion, and the roles of men and women. Some of this takes place within the hearing of Jean’s fiancé, the cook Kristin (Kelsey Harrison), whose relationship with Jean is also convoluted and strife-filled.Miss Julie is haughty and demanding but wishes she could come down to Jean’s level. She dreams of falling from her aristocratic heights, and she demands that Jean the servant tell her what to do and says she will follow his orders. And Jean, who is more worldly and well-read than one would expect from someone in a servant role, vacillates between being subservient and defiant. He asks her to run away with him, but neither of them is really sure they want to. Their seemingly unsolvable conflicts culminate in a tragic end that is strongly suggested but not explicitly stated. The story is deceptively simple yet filled with complex social, philosophical and moral questions. It is well acted and directed.Miss Julie runs 80 minutes with no intermission.Miss Julie, Friday.-Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, 2 p.m. through July 19, added production July 16 at 8 p.m., Dukesbay Theater in the Merlino Arts Center, 508 South 6th Ave., Tacoma, $10,­‐Julie.html    

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Pigman’s Organic Produce Patch – Planning, Planting and Passion with a Purpose

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/09/2015 - 7:43am



By Mary Ellen Psaltis

heritage bank“Ever since I was a little kid I have been interested in growing things,” Jan Pigman told me as we looked out over the growing fields of Pigman’s Organic Produce Patch. “If you put a seed in the ground, you can get a flower or something to eat.” That love has lasted her lifetime. If you could visit all the places she and her husband Dean lived during his 21 years in the Army, you would find the now mature fruit trees. She also left behind organic gardens when they moved every 2 ½ – 3 years.

At retirement, they moved to Olympia and found a lovely, fertile tract of land in the Nisqually Valley. Over a period of two years, Dean built their farmhouse. Jan started another garden. What began as a “mid-life project” has become a 26-year second career as organic farmers. Their interests blossomed into Pigman’s Organic Produce Patch, which has been a part of the Olympia Farmers Market since 1990.

pigmans farm olympia

The weather got this corn at Pigman’s Organic Produce Patch well about knee height before July 4th.

I am impressed that so much wonderful food can be grown in a relatively small amount of space. Their tilled 6 acres grows enough vegetables and fruits to supply seventy-five CSA farm shares (that takes about 1/3 of their abundance) and supply their stall at the Farmers Market. They grow the usual suspects – spinach, broccoli, lettuce – but the Pigmans also grow fun vegetables such as cheddar cauliflower that glows with a bold cheesy color. (Well, all vegetables can be fun when you get to know them.)

Know for sure that life on the farm is not for the faint of heart. At 6:00 a.m. the first employee arrives. Jan says she doesn’t drink coffee and doesn’t even have time to brew tea. I guess the sun gets her up. Dean notes that she is often in the fields until 10:00 p.m. In between all these hours a lot happens.

On our walk around the property, I noticed rows of lovely sprouts, leafy greens and vibrant veggies on the vine – and I noticed weeds. What about all those weeds, I wondered. Jan admitted that, “It’s always discouraging.” But we already knew that. On another note, there’s a trial garden to experiment with heirloom varieties of peas (and more) and items from the Arc of Taste. The Arc of Taste, a part of Slow Food, is described as “a living catalog of delicious and distinctive foods facing extinction.” Jan just likes to grow things – like okra, which according to her, no one else does.

Organic farming techniques are designed to combat weeds, bugs and disease, which are many and varied, without noxious pesticides. Jan graduated from Colorado State University after studying entomology. Enriching the soil with nutrients, such as composting tea, promotes the beneficial microbes that chew up the minerals so that the plant’s tiny root hairs can absorb them. It’s also essential to create environments where helpful insects will thrive. She gets to put her education to good use.

pigmans  farm olympia

Who says vegetables are bland? Jan Pigman displays a vibrant purple cauliflower.

I sense the joke at the farm is that Jan and Dean are slowing down. They certainly have help, but you will still find them minding the market stall on Thursdays and Saturdays.

By my eyes, life on the farm agrees with Dean and Jan Pigman. Both eat ample amounts of fresh vegetables and spend time outside. Maybe it’s just that they’ve been married for 47 years (to each other!).

Celeste Wade is part of their support system. She is working her second season at the farm, helping with the organizational aspects which include updating the Facebook page and website. This is where you can find the latest news, if berry picking is open and also recipe ideas. But it doesn’t look like Wade spends her days in front of a computer. She’s dressed to be working outside. She’s checking plants and talking with other employees.

Pigman’s offers internships with The Evergreen State College for students studying sustainability. They spend time learning about growing food, weeding, seeding, fertilizing, transplanting, tilling and what it’s really like to be at a farm. It’s also a popular place for the younger students who come for field trips and for selecting pumpkins in the fall. Others come to the farm to pick berries.

This is my memorable Jan Pigman story: When I met her many years ago, she told me that she liked the beet tops (greens) and Dean preferred the bottom. I didn’t even think of eating the greens. I lopped them off and took them straight to my worm bin. Not anymore. Those fresh, sweet leaves are now one of my favorite parts of summer smoothies. I’m grateful to have expanded my vegetable experiences.

pigmans farm olympia

Rows of plans require weeding, hoeing, watering and tending at Pigman’s Organic Produce Patch.

You can taste their bounty by visiting them at the Olympia Farmers Market. Check out Pigman’s Organic Produce Patch Facebook page for activities at the farm.

Here’s a tip: Taste the Sungold tomatoes – small yellow balls that taste of sweet sunshine. I could spend my day standing in their fields popping tomatoes and berries. I do appreciate my farm share. I get all the fruits of their labors and someone else did all the weeding!

Eat Well – Be Well


Olympia’s Andy Rosser Turns STP Into A Family Affair

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/09/2015 - 6:00am



By Gail Wood

volkswagenIt was a unique father-daughter moment – one Andy Rosser will always treasure.

Andy, with both hands gripping the handle bars of his bicycle, was cruising along, taking in the sights. And riding along next to him was his 10-year-old daughter, Annie, pedaling mile after mile.

stp bike ride

Andy Rosser first took his daughter, Annie, along on the STP when she was 6. She rode a tagalong bike connected to her dad’s bicycle.

This wasn’t just an around-the-block jaunt. Together, they were riding the 2014 Cascade Bicycle Club’s Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic. Last year, Annie’s portion of the ride with her dad was about 117 miles, traveling from Seattle to Olympia. She didn’t do the entire 204 miles of the STP ride. But with Andy’s passion for riding, it’s a good bet that day will eventually come.

“It’s fun,” Andy said about riding with his daughter. “It’s something she wanted to do.”

It wasn’t the first time Annie has gone bicycling with her dad. She was riding a bike by the time she was 3, pedaling on a bike connected to her dad’s bike.

“We’ve spent a lot of time riding together,” Andy said. “She was really excited about it.”

Andy, who owns Rosser Chiropractic in downtown Olympia, had completed the STP several times before Annie was even born. He figures he’s done the ride about seven times, always doing it in two days. When Annie turned 6, Andy decided his daughter was ready to give the STP a try.

“I wanted her to try it out so we decided we’d do that when she was 6,” Andy said.

Andy fixed up their tagalong bike. He put a wicker basket on the front of her handle bars and filled it with good stuff, like snack bars and stuffed animals.

rad racing northwest

During the 2015 Seattle-to-Portland bike ride, Annie Rosser will be cheering on bike riders with members of her Rad Racing Northwest team.

“I wanted her to have stuff along the way to keep her entertained,” Andy said. “She was pretty happy to be out there. She was part of it all.”

Andy, as the proud papa, was sharing his bicycling passion with his only child.

This weekend, when the annual STP travels through Yelm, Tenino, Centralia and Chehalis enroute to Portland, Andy and Annie won’t be riding. But, they will be participating. Annie, along with some friends from Rad Racing Northwest, will be cheering riders as they pass along the Chehalis Western Trail. Andy will be at a rest stop in Centralia ready to help riders adjust their bikes for a better fit, modify handle bars and seats and perform minor repairs. He’ll be volunteering for the Washington State Chiropractic Association, making sure bikes fit riders properly.

“After 100 miles, someone is going to know if they need some adjustment,” Andy said with a chuckle. “If someone has tingling hands or feet that are asleep or knee pains when they are riding, there are many things you can adjust on the bike to get them more comfortable.”

stp bike ride

Now 10, Annie Rosser took along stuffed animals and snacks in her bike basket during her first ride of the STP. She was 6-years-old at the time.

But just because Andy, who is 43, is volunteering with bike adjustments for this year’s STP, doesn’t mean he’s not going to do the ride again sometime in the future.

“I have no choice,” Andy said with a laugh. “It’s my destiny.” And apparently it’s his family’s destiny, too. Besides Annie, Andy’s wife, Juliet, has ridden the STP with him twice.

With 10,000 people doing the ride, and about 1,000 of those riders reaching Portland in one day, the roads can get a little congested with bikers. There is also a wide range of skill levels.

“I have to say it’s crowded,” Andy said. “I think it’s so incredibly unique to see that many bikes in one place all at once, including people who are out riding for the first time and people who have done it before. It’s so much fun to watch.”

The STP, which was started in 1979, isn’t just a two-day event. Participants log months of preparation and hours of biking. Andy likes getting in a couple of long 75- to 100-mile rides for training. But since he’s bikes year round, his level of fitness is always good.

“I may ride a couple of thousand miles,” Andy said about his preparation for the STP. “I tend to ride year around. But the summer time is when you start to do those longer rides.”

Most of the riders will camp along the way, staying in Tenino or Centralia. In the past, a few of the more hearty bikers did a round trip – a 400-mile excursion – in two days. All of the riders will pass through Thurston County along state Route 507 from Roy to Chehalis, stopping occasionally along the way. Yelm is one of the 10 rest stops on the route. In a recent STP ride, riders from 46 states and seven countries signed up.

And for the past four years, the STP included a little girl from Olympia riding along with her daddy.


Thrifty Thurston Takes a Destination Bike Ride with Kids

Thurston Talk - Thu, 07/09/2015 - 6:00am



By Megan Conklin

oly ortho logoWhen my youngest children want to go bike riding, they are satisfied to ride on the sidewalk in front of our house. And if that isn’t thrilling enough for them, we can always hit parks like Friendly Grove , Kettle Falls, or Rainier Vista to ride the safe, paved loops. But, my older kids who just turned eleven and nine, need more adventurous and exciting bike ride options. They need a destination. When I quizzed my friends who live in various spots around Thurston County about their favorite places to ride with big kids, the answers surprised me in their simplicity.

The store, the library, school, and a friend’s house were the most popular ideas mentioned by kids and parents alike. As children get older, they start to realize that bikes are a very handy means of getting from here to there – by themselves! And most kids would rather bike to a nearby destination than drive, which is good for both their bodies and the environment.

olympia bike ride

Kids love to ride to the store, to school, and to other easy destination as an alternative to driving.

I visited Lizzie Mithrandir, owner of the newly opened Deschutes River Cyclery in downtown Olympia, (the Tumwater location has been around for over 20 years) to learn more about fun bike rides for older elementary kids.  Her answers confirmed what my friends had been telling me. “Kids like riding to places,” she affirmed. “My son’s favorite place to ride is Lattin’s Cider Mill.” She also offered me a free map of Thurston County bike riding trails – a handy resource that one can grab from either of their locations.

The jury has spoken: it is time to throw a little free range into your parenting and teach your kids the road safety tips they need to ride to humble, but exciting destinations in their own neck of the woods.

The following is a list of basic and enjoyable destination rides in Thurston County that most 9 – 12 year old kids can handle if accompanied by an adult, or even on their own.

Ride to the Farmer’s Market

We have so many farmers markets in Thurston County and there is bound to be one within riding distance from your home. When my family lived in the South Capital neighborhood we would ride to the downtown Olympia Farmer’s Market regularly. We would always be sure to buy a few gingerbread cookies from the San Francisco Street Bakery’s stand to stash away in our backpacks to use as motivation for the uphill journey home. If you live on the west side of Olympia, the West Olympia Farmer’s Market, which is open on Tuesdays from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., might be an after school bike ride destination.

bike ride olympia

As kids get older, they learn that their bikes are more than just toys, they are vehicles that can get them from here to there.

The Tumwater Farmer’s Market is celebrating its 10th birthday this season, and a bike ride to sample some of Tumwater’s famous berries and veggies might be a perfect way to celebrate. Just be sure to bring a backpack or bike basket for toting goodies home. The Yelm Farmers Market is located on Nisqually Springs Farm right off of Yelm Highway and is the first full farmers market in Washington State to be located on a private farm. The wonderful thing about all farmers markets is that they are full of food – and that is just the sort of destination that hungry young bike riders need to stay energized and motivated.

Ride to the Library

I will give you this: books are heavy. However, a less is more philosophy can make a destination bike ride to the library both realistic and fun. Additionally, my friend Lisa likes to ride with her kids to the multitude of summer reading activities offered by the Lacey, Olympia, Tenino, Tumwater, and Yelm public libraries. Visit the library websites to check out the offerings, or pick up a flyer at your closest library. All branches have tons of family friendly entertainment throughout the summer.

Ride to School

For many, this is a no brainer. Some people bike to school daily. And then there are people (like me) who cannot seem to get up early enough in the morning to make a family bike ride to school ensue. It just won’t happen for us – ever. However, I have recently realized that my 5th and 3rd graders are delighted to get up early if it means they can ride to school by themselves. This little bit of independence is appealing to them. Depending on where you live in relation to your school, this might be feasible. And there is safety in numbers. Additionally, my friend Barb pointed out that while she, too, cannot manage a family bike ride to school on a weekday morning, they can manage one on a Saturday, when they just ride to school in order to play on the deserted playground.

Ride to the Store

bike ride kids

Fifth grader, Ella Hubbard, enjoys the breeze and heads out on a grocery store run along the Chehalis Western Trail with her mom and sister. Photo Credit: Janet Hubbard.

When my oldest child, Annie, turned ten, we bought her a beach cruiser. The first place she wanted to ride was to Spud’s Produce Market (with her neighbor friend and without any parents –independence again). Spud’s is less than a mile from our house and, because we had ridden bikes as a family to the store many times, we felt she had more than enough skill and street riding know-how to make the journey with just her buddy. Bike riding to the store as a family is not just fun, it is useful. I now regularly send my oldest one or two kids to the store on their bikes to pick up an onion and some fruit and save myself loading everyone into the car for a major grocery store run.

My friend Janet Hubbard lives out in the Woodard Bay area- seemingly far from any stores reachable via bike. Yet, she and her girls, aged 11 and 9, have discovered that they can load up their bikes in the car and head to the nearest trailhead and hop on the Chehalis Western Trail with their bikes. While the country roads adjacent to their home have no shoulder for riding and feel too unsafe for the kids, the trail brings them all the way into Lacey, right behind Target. From there, they are able to carefully navigate busy streets and stop at area coffee shops, parks, and grocery stores.

Everyone has his or her own level of comfort when it comes to bike riding with kids. What I have learned, as my kids get older, is that they love to use their bicycles not just as toys, but as the vehicles they actually are. My kids are going places on their bikes – are yours?

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 For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here. 

Tumwater’s Mud Bay Pet Store Named 2015 Retailer of the Year

Thurston Talk - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 1:39pm



Submitted by Mud Bay

mud bay pet store

Pet Business magazine awarded Tumwater-based Mud Bay pet store as the 2015 Retailer of the Year.

Their customers give them two paws up, and now “Pet Business” magazine has made it official: Mud Bay, the Pacific Northwest’s largest independent pet retailer, has been selected as the 2015 Retailer of the Year.

Citing the store’s passion for pets and people, the Tumwater-based company is profiled in the July 2015 edition of the pet retail industry magazine. Mud Bay’s core focus on merchandise that contributes to the health of dogs and cats, a quality shopping experience and knowledgeable, solution-minded staff make the retailer an outstanding choice for this year’s award, according to the publication.

Mark Kalaygian, editor in chief for “Pet Business” magazine, singled out the independent retailer for a shopping experience that appeals to dog and cat owners, citing warm modern stores that play host to service-centered staff who focus on solutions over sales. Mud Bay’s sales have averaged an annual rate of about 16 percent over the past five years.

“The team at Mud Bay has built an incredible brand by remaining committed to helping pet owners keep their four-legged companions healthy and happy,” said Kalaygian. “From its focus on providing a best-in-class mix of healthy, natural foods and quality supplies to the relationships it has built with local pet owners to its ongoing investment in its staff at every level of the organization, Mud Bay is an extraordinary example of what an independent pet specialty chain can and should be.”

“At Mud Bay, we are passionate about pets and helping the people who love them. We are truly honored to have been selected as Retailer of the Year, which is a reflection of the passion, dedication and teamwork of our entire staff,” said Lars Wulff, co-CEO of the Tumwater-based pet retail chain. “Our job is to give dog and cat owners useful, accurate information and well-researched products that address their real needs. This award celebrates not only the good work of our employees, but also the outstanding partnerships we have built with our vendors. The result is a stellar shopping experience and, hopefully, a long-term relationship with customers and their pets.”

The company’s unique approach to hiring and training was also singled out by Pet Business for its investment in employee retention. Mud Bay employs 320 people, affectionately known as “Muddies,” who play an integral role in the company’s success said Wulff.

The retailer’s continuous improvement model starts when an employee first comes on board, but doesn’t stop after their first year. Muddies – employees and managers alike — continue to receive training in products, pet health and customer service skills throughout their tenure with Mud Bay.

Even employee training reflects the fun, family-like culture the company has developed, the magazine noted.

In August, Mud Bay will host its second annual “Mudstock” event at Auburn Community College for employees, where the company offers a fun mix of education and team-building activities built around a Woodstock theme.

“We could not be more proud of this award and what it says about our company, our values and our employees,” said Marisa Wulff, co-CEO and vice president of store development. “Mud Bay’s employees and their passion for pets are the heart of our business. Their knowledge and understanding of our products brings tremendous value to our customers, who are seeking the safest and healthiest solutions for their dogs and cats,” she said

“At the end of the day, it’s our people who make the difference for us. Anyone who shops with us knows our staff are 100 percent invested in helping pets and pet owners. That comes from a core belief in who we are and what we do,” added Marisa Wulff.

“We are so proud of the positive community we’ve created at Mud Bay, which we believe extends to every store and every customer who visits with their pet.”

Pet Business magazine will host a reception to honor the Mud Bay team during the upcoming SuperZoo trade show, which will be held July 21-23 in Las Vegas.

Capital Lakefair 2015 Promises Five Days of Fun

Thurston Talk - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 8:38am



Submitted by Capital Lakefair 

 Diane Waiste.

58th Capital Lakefair Fabulous Family Fun set for July 15-19, 2015. Photo credit: Diane Waiste.

The 58th Capital Lakefair will take place July 15-19 at Heritage Park and Downtown Olympia. The event features food, entertainment, parade, carnival, kid’s day, 50+ Seniors Day, arts and craft, and fireworks show. This year’s theme is “Fabulous Family Fun”.

Food is one of the main highlights for Lakefair attendees and a reason they come to the event. Capital Lakefair helps generate more than $200,000 each year for area non-profit organizations who are food vendors at the event. This year’s vendors include: Altrusa (Elephant Ears) Barbs BBQ (Beef Ribs, Hot Links, Coleslaw, Meatballs), Thurston County Democrats (Demoburgers), Olympia Kiwanis (Roast Beef Sandwiches), Northridge Concessions (Root beer Floats, Nachos, Cotton Candy, Ice Cream Bars), Olympia Lions (Hamburgers and Cheeseburgers), Thurston County Republicans (Jumbo Hot Dogs), St. Martins’ Alumni Association (Hamburgers and Curly Fries), STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math) (Crepes), TFS “Gumbo”, Tumwater Rotary (Corn dogs, Hot Dogs, Curly fries, Chili) , Zonta (German Sausage), Salmon Defense (Steamer Clams, Corn and VFW (Strawberry Shortcake, Mud Pie).

The Grand Parade is one of the largest in the South Sound. Robert Selene was chosen to be the 2015 Grand Marshal of the parade for his many years of service to the Capital Lakefair Organization and Capitalarians. Robert has been an active member of the organization since it’s beginning in 1957 and served as president in 1960.

Robert will be joined by longtime family friend Siri Childs. Ms. Childs is the widow of Harvey Childs, who died two years ago and was President of Lakefair in 1996. Robert is available for an interview. The parade will have approximately 100 entries from around the South Sound Region including military groups, youth, car clubs, bands, marching and horse units. The parade begins on Capital Boulevard and 20th Street and ends as Heritage Park.

Capital Lakefair parade (14)50+ Seniors Day will take place on Friday, July 17 from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and includes 30+ vendors, games, prizes, giveaways and special entertainment with the music groups: Entertainment Explosion, Off Boulevard and Danny Vernon Illusion of Elvis.

Funtastic Carnival is the official carnival of Lakefair. They provide all rides and games during our festival. They provide a coupon valid the first day of Lakefair, which is good for a discounted rate on both games and rides. Coupons are available at many local businesses and will be available at the Lakefair Information Trailer as well.

Wristband Day will be on July 16 of  and will sell for $35. Wristbands are sold from 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. and allow for unlimited rides on Thursday only. The minimum height for many rides is 36″ or 2 years of age, however this depends on the specific ride. If you are interested in a job with Funtastic, you must contact them directly by phone at 503-761-0989 or email them at

Arts and crafts booths from throughout the Pacific Northwest will feature a variety of hand-made and commercial products and services. Approximately 45 Booths will showcase at Lakefair in 2015.

The Lakefair fireworks show is held on Saturday night.

The Lakefair fireworks show is held on Sunday night.

The Lakefair Car Show has returned again for 2015. The show is held on Friday night of Lakefair week at Marathon Park and along Deshutes Parkway. Dash plaques will be given to the first 250 entrees, and more than 20 awards will be given in a variety of categories. Entry for the show vehicles begins at 4:15 p.m. (no early entry), and the show officially runs from 5:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. The awards ceremony will take place at 9 p.m.

Kid’s Day is a free event for kids of all ages and their families, and takes place on Saturday of Lakefair Week. It is held at Sylvester Park in Downtown Olympia, located at Capitol Way between Legion Way and 7th Avenue.

The Grand Finale Fireworks show is schedule for approximately 10 p.m. on Sunday, July 19 and will be shot from the shores of Capital Lake and have the Capital Building in the backdrop.

This year, the USS Olympia Crew will visit Capital Lakefair. Four crew members from our name sake USS Olympia will attend several Lakefair Festivities. A detail listing of the representatives is available and they will be available for interviews. Preferred interview time in 10:30 a.m. to noon on Thursday, July 16.

The Capital Lakefair Scholarship Program is one of the most prestigious and continuous scholarship awards in the local area. The program was initiated in 1975 by Dee Hooper and has provided more than 260 participants with over $300,000 in scholarship funding. Each member of our Lakefair Royal Court is awarded a $3000 scholarship. The Lakefair Queen receives an additional $2000. The scholarship recipient has five years in which to use their monies. The monies may be used toward any type of higher education – traditional degree, trade school or vocational training program.

The Royal Court partakes in many actives throughout the year and will be at the available during the festival. The court will have a special presentation on Thursday, July 16 at 7 p.m. at the main stage.  The year’s court includes: Queen Madeline Poultridge representing Avanti High School, Princesses: Clarissa Jenkins from North Thurston High School, Julia Holder from Olympia High School, Emily Grahn from River Ridge High School and Olivia Wittenberg from Capital High School.

94.5 ROXY is the host for the Capital Lakefair High School Battle of the Bands. On opening night of Lakefair, bands compete for a first place prize of $500, a second place prize of a $200 gift card, and a third place prize of a $100 gift card. To be eligible, a majority of the band members must be members of the classes of 2015 through 2018. No one over the age of 21 can perform. If the group is a trio, at least two of the members must meet the criteria. If the group is a foursome, three of the members must meet the eligibility requirements.

lakefair run 2013

The Lakefair Run offers distances of a kids 3k, 8k and half-marathon races on July 18.

The 40th Annual Olympia Lakefair Run will feature a half marathon, 8k and 3k. The Run is put on by Road Runners Club of America, with the authorization of Capital Lakefair. Capital Lakefair is not associated with, nor does it participate with, moderate, or control these races in any way, except to allow the use of the Capital Lakefair, Inc. name. For more information visit the Lakefair Run online.

The Volleyball Tournament held in conjunction with and during the Capital Lakefair Festival. Capital Lakefair is not associated with, nor does it participate with, moderate, or control this tournament, except to allow the Capital Lakefair name to be used. Due to severe drought and water restriction at the Capital Campus the Volleyball Tournament will be held at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey.

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, July 15 – Public Employee Appreciation Day

11:00 a.m.-2 p.m. Capital Lakefair Court at Olympia Library for Children’s Story Hour

Noon-11 p.m. Carnival, Food Booths, and Arts and Crafts


  • 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Live music
  • 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Jesse Hart
  • 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. – Dogger
  • 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Battle of the Bands


Thursday, July 16 – Wristband Day $35 Rides all Day

Noon-11 p.m. –  Carnival, Food Booths and Arts and Crafts


  • 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. – Robot vs. Ghost
  • 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Rain City Rebels
  • 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Prelude to a Pistol
  • 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Frank Sinatra Tribute
  • 7:00 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Capital Lakefair Royal Court Presentation
  • 8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – Ecliptics


Friday, July 17Lakefair

Noon – 11:00 pm Carnival, Food Booths, Arts and Crafts

9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. 50’s + at the Main stage

5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Car Show at Marathon Park


  • 10:00 a.m. – 3 p.m. – 50’s +
  • 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Serious Mak
  • 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Calaca Kings
  • 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – Motor Car
  • 9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. – The Go 2 Band


Saturday, July 18

Noon-11:00 p.m. – Carnival Food Booths, Arts and Crafts

Noon – 4:00 p.m. – Kid’s Day at Sylvester Park

4:30 p.m. Pre-parade

5:00 p.m. Grand Parade


olympia vision clinic

Olympia Vision Clinic doctors and staff volunteer annually at the Lions Club Burger Hut at Lakefair.

  • Noon – 1:00 p.m. – Evergreen Dancers
  • 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Tanglefoot Cloggers
  • 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Mix 96.1 Voice
  • 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Blue Laces
  • 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Grand Parade
  • 7:15 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Sin Circus
  • 8:15 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Mom’s Rocket
  • 9:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. – HairStorm


Sunday, July 19

Noon-Midnight – Carnival, Food Booths, Arts and Crafts

At Dark – Grand Finale Fireworks Show


  • Noon – 1:00 p.m. – Honky Tonk Angels
  • 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Rhythmfire School
  • 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. – Strike 9
  • 6:00 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Rikk Beatty Band
  • 8:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Chance McKinney


About Capital Lakefair: In 1957, there was no Capital Lake Park (soon to be Heritage Park). Two industrial firms occupied the corner of 5th and Water streets, its buildings extending out over the water on pilings. To beat the heat and summer boredom, several civic-minded Olympians sponsored a small carnival on the shores of Capital Lake, on West 5th. Local nonprofit service clubs ran food concession booths set up on the south end of Water Street just beyond the industrial firms. Events during the carnival incudes a diving show, a hydroplane race an fireworks display. State Baton Twirling contest were held during the day and teen dances at night and Square Dancers came from all over the Northwest to perform. The budget was less than $500.

In 1959 a parade was added to the annual event. In 1961 Lakefair had its first float that traveled around the state representing the community. In the 1960’s and 1970’s the main attractions were water-oriented events. In 1986 and Arts and Crafts Show was added to the festival and a car show in 1987. In 1988 Kids day was started in Sylvester Park.

Capital Lakefair is coordinated by a group of volunteers called Capitalarians. The Capitalarians have had a long history in the community in support Lakefair and other events.  Capital Lakefair has a part time Executive Director Dennis William and part time office manager Adam Stilz. The Capitalarians and staff work year round to put on the festival and operate with a $250,000 Budget.



Dr. Wendy Schauer Helps Prevent the Aches and Pains of Life

Thurston Talk - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 6:00am



tumwater chiropractic

Dr. Wendy Schauer has been practicing for almost 25 years as a chiropractor.

“Tomorrow’s health is BUILT on what you do TODAY,” said Dr. Richard Schulze, N.D. A great way to start laying the foundation for your building blocks to health is with a visit to a skilled chiropractor.

WebMD reports that “the estimated cost of neck and back pain in the United States is $86 billion a year.” According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, “Low back and neck pain are among the most common physical conditions requiring medical care. They also greatly affect the ability to work and manage daily activities of life. Each year one in two people will experience back pain severe enough to make him or her aware of it. One in five will experience back pain severe enough to limit the amount or type of work he or she can do, with one in 20 unable to work at all. One in seven people will spend at least one half day in bed due to back pain. For many, the pain will last only a few days or weeks. However, people are often saddled with chronic back pain lasting months or even years.”

Locally the Tumwater Chiropractic Center, P.S. covers a wide array of treatments for neck and back pain including chiropractic, acupuncture, massage therapy, traction, weight loss, and physical rehabilitation. Dr. Lonnie Lowe, D.C., opened the clinic in 2005 and said, “From the start our mission has been to provide high-quality affordable health care in a comfortable and caring environment. Over that time, we have gradually expanded our services to help us better fulfill that mission.”

This expansion recently included the addition of Dr. Wendy Schauer, D.C. Dr. Lowe explains, “Growing a small business can be challenging, but any time we have the opportunity to add someone to our team who can make us better, it is always worth that challenge. To us, adding Dr. Schauer is like the Seahawks adding Jimmy Graham to their team this year; we already feel like we have a strong team in our office but now we have the chance to add Dr. Schauer who is one of the best around at what she does. Her cutting edge expertise with functional movements, kettlebells, and TRX training really adds even more ways our office can help our community.”

tumwater chiro

Dr. Schauer has devoted a portion of her career to the study of kettlebells and functional movement.

Dr. Schauer has almost 25 years of chiropractic experience and is active both in her profession and our region. She is the former President of the South Puget Sound Chiropractic Association and the 2005 recipient of the YWCA of Olympia’s Woman of Influence award. In 2009, she published “The 7 Steps To Amazing Health!” which received high praise ranging from former Navy SEALs to Hollywood actresses.

Dr. Schauer explains, “I am honored to be partnering with Dr. Lowe and his incredible staff. One of my favorite quotes is from Steve Martin who said, ‘Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You.’ I really appreciate the fact that Tumwater Chiropractic is the epitome of that quote. That is also one of the reasons that I devoted a great portion of my career to the study of kettlebells and functional movement. As amazing as chiropractic is, I always like to add tools to my skill set. Kettlebells, TRX, and functional assessments are the tools that allow me to help patients in ways that weren’t possible just ten years ago,” explains Schauer.

For a myriad of reasons, it’s no surprise that “back and neck pain has reached epidemic levels in the United States, with over 80% of adults reporting neck and/or back pain at some point in their lives. When compared with other common treatments, chiropractic adjustments provide equal or better improvement in pain and function. In spite of the demonstrated clinical benefits and value it provides, chiropractic care remains underutilized.”

Dr. Schauer has witnessed the increased cases of neck and back pain. “Over the last five years I have seen a huge change in the bodies of patients that are coming in to see me.  The average person today is more stressed than ever, they are working longer hours, and they are sitting (hunched over) in front of a computer for extremely prolonged periods of time,” states Schauer.

“Because of this, I have taken hours and hours of continuing education to see what techniques I can use to help reduce my patient’s pain, upgrade function of the spine, and improve posture,” says Dr. Schauer.  “I give every patient I see exercises and stretches to help improve their condition. I specialize in instrument adjusting, as well, which works best for patients who don’t want to be manually adjusted.  My goal is to get people out of pain as quickly as possible and give them tools they need to continue improving their spinal health.”

With a proven history of dedication and success Dr. Schauer is sure to continue to improve the lives of people across the region.

For a complete list of services offered by Tumwater Chiropractic Center, P.S., visit their website.  You can also call their offices at 360-570-9580.


The Ghost Ease “Qwi Mai Yab”

K Records - Tue, 07/07/2015 - 7:10pm
From the Quit Yer Job EP (Cabin Games) it is “Qwi Mai Yab”. The Ghost Ease will make you forget to go to work.   The Ghost Ease Quit Yer Job EP is available now from the K Mail Order Dept.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Silas Blak “Yeah Yeah”

K Records - Tue, 07/07/2015 - 6:49pm
Continuing with the Blak Friday series, Silas Blak presents “Yeah Yeah” from his release #BlakFriday: The Mixtape (Cabin Games). Find out more at the Cabin Games website, or follow Silas Blak via @RealSilasBlak.   Silas Blak has made appearances on several K releases including the All Your Friend’s Friends [KLP255] NW hip hop compilation, the […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Jason Aslakson – Local Hydroplane Driver Set for Black Lake Regatta

Thurston Talk - Tue, 07/07/2015 - 6:00am



By Grant Clark

pints logoSome of Jason Aslakson’s first memories of life are visiting his grandparent’s house. The couple lived on Black Lake. The house’s backyard nearly spilled right into the water.

So, each summer when it was time to watch the Black Lake Regatta, Aslakson always had the best view.

These just weren’t boat races to him. It was an annual gathering of family and friends.

“It was our Christmas,” Aslakson said. “Every year that was the one date we would circle on the calendar.”

For nearly four decades, boats have competitively raced over Black Lake’s usually calm waters. Aslakson can’t remember ever missing the event.

black lake hydroplane

Tumwater resident Jason Aslakson will compete in his first Black Lake Regatta this weekend.

This year, however, the 40-year-old Aslakson is going to experience the races from a significantly different vantage point than years’ past.

Aslakson will no longer be among the spectators. Instead the Tumwater resident will be driving his own hydroplane as part of the 38th Annual Black Lake Regatta & 2015 APBA Western Divisionals.

Racing begins at 10:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and will continue until approximately 5:30 p.m. each day.

Spectators can watch the races from the Evergreen Shores Resort on Black Lake Boulevard or at the new Spectator Property at 7305 Fairview RD SW, Olympia, which features the best view of the start/finish line and control tower.

Black Lake’s 1.25-mile course has been the site for nearly 40 national records – and several world marks – the most of any lake in the United States.

“The water’s calm, there’s not a lot of wind coming through,” said Jim Codling, an APBA official, about the course. “It all sets up perfectly for faster times.”

Aslakson will drive in the 2.5 Liter Stock Hydro division, one of 13 classes that will compete over the two-day event.

This will mark Aslakson’s first time competing on Black Lake. He started his driving career a week after last year’s Regatta by racing in Oak Harbor.

black lake regatta

Jason Aslakson’s 2.5 Liter Stock Hydroplane will be racing around Black Lake this weekend.

“It was just something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Aslakson, who lived on Black Lake until recently moving to Tumwater a few weeks ago. “I’ve always been passionate about it. It took me a little bit longer to get into the game than other drivers. I just decided it was the right time to make the move.”

Once Aslakson decided to turn fandom into a reality all he needed to do was determine which class of boat he wanted to buy.

Prices helped out with that decision.

“The 2.5 stock is relatively cheaper than other boats,” Aslakson said with a laugh. “I didn’t want to bankrupt my son’s college fund. So, we went with the 2.5. Plus they don’t get up to 150 miles an hour. Maybe we will build up to those.”

The 2.5 Liter Stock, one of the more popular classes, is a limited inboard hydroplane that can reach speeds of 100 mph on straightaways with an average lap speed of 70-75 mph. The hull has to at least be 13 1/2 feet in length and weigh a minimum of 975 pounds.

“This is really the race we’ve been looking forward to,” Aslakson said. “We will have a ton of friends and family members out watching. Hopefully, we have some kind of home course advantage.”

The highlight for the last six years at the Black Lake Regatta is always the Grand Prix West classification.

“They’re the biggest, fastest and loudest boats around,” said GPW president Larry Linn about the 25-foot limited hydroplanes with sport 1,500 horsepower. “They fire those motors up and people come running.”

black lake hydroplane

Shockwave Racing, owned by Olympia’s Rick and Shawn Bridgeman set a world record for average lap speed at Black Lake in 2010.

Grand Prix West has made a habit out of breaking world records on Black Lake since the class was included in 2010.

Shockwave Racing’s GP-17, owned by Olympia’s Rick and Shawn Bridgeman, set a world record average lap speed of 116.129 mph in 2010.

The record lasted four years until the Scott Pierce-owned GP-55, driven by Jamie Nelson, bettered the mark at last year’s Regatta, covering the course with a 116.84 average lap speed.

Shockwave Racing captured the overall title for the two-day event last year with a pair of second-place finishes over the two heats.

Linn anticipates six boats to compete in the Grand Prix West division.

In addition to the 2.5 Liter Stock and Grand Prix division, the Black Lake Regatta will also feature National Modified, LTR Modified, 5 LTR, J Classes, Vintage and Inboard Endurance races.

Admission is $10 a day or $15 for the weekend. Active and retired military receive a $5 discount. Parking is $5.


Zoe Juice Bar – The Goodness Keeps Growing

Thurston Talk - Tue, 07/07/2015 - 6:00am



By Nikki McCoy

zoe juice bar

Zoe Juice Bar has expanded to its second location. Now, you can find fresh, raw juice in Tumwater and at their original location near Ralph’s Thriftway.

When ThurstonTalk first reported on Zoe Juice Bar, the company was in its infancy, opening a small location next to Ralph’s Thriftway in Olympia. Serving fresh, raw juice with exceptional service was the goal.

Now, 18 months later, Zoe Juice Bar has surpassed that goal – by making smoothies, offering cold-pressed juices, acai bowls, cleanse plans, extending hours, and most recently in March, opening a second, larger location in Tumwater.

Recently, I met with co-owner Jason Phillips. Jason runs Zoe Juice Bar with wife, Briana. We met at the Tumwater location to talk about their growth, and what’s next for Zoe Juice Bar.

Located at the corner of Capital Way and Tumwater Boulevard, in the Old Town Center, Zoe Juice Bar has a clean, stream-lined feel. A menu highlighting fresh raw juices, smoothies, shots and boosts, like chia seeds, bee pollen and coconut oil, adorns the back wall, and a staff member bustles behind the bar.

I settle on the Green Goodness juice, with spinach, kale, apple, cucumber, celery and ginger. Jason orders the same (with extra ginger) and my 5-year-old, who sometimes comes interviewing with me, gets fresh raw apple juice and a chocolate chip cookie (gluten-free).

zoe juice bar

Excellent customer service in a fun environment is a hallmark of Zoe Juice Bar.

One of the first things we talk about is Zoe’s cold-pressed juices and their use in their juice cleanse plan. I had oddly enough just watched the documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,” where a man turned his life around by juicing. While researching Zoe, I found they were inspired by the same film.

“I was like most people. Very few people eat the recommended amount of fruits and veggies,” says Jason.

Zoe Juice Bar also bottles their own juices. Use six of their custom blends as part of the Zoe Juice Cleanse. Four green blends, a pineapple fusion, and a root blend that uses a base of beets and carrots are bottled and ready to go. Nearly two pounds of fresh fruits and veggies end up in each bottle, creating a nutrient dense beverage.

Also new on the Zoe menu is Acai Bowls, with options like The Oly Bowl with a blended base of acai berries, blueberry, blackberry, apple juice and almond milk. Topped with granola, banana, Goji berries, shredded coconut and cinnamon, Jason says many people enjoy it as a meal alternative.

Smoothies are one of the company’s more popular items. With whole fresh fruits and veggies and names like Tropical Mist, Orange Bliss and Daily Greens, it’s clear why these items are frequently ordered.

zoe juice bar

Take a Zoe Juice Bar concoction on the road with you.

“I like Zoe juice bar because they use fresh ingredients,” says customer Christina Rieland after ordering her favorite drink, a Green Garden smoothie. “It’s kind of hard to find green smoothies around here that feel healthy.”

Another important part of Jason and Briana’s business plan is community involvement. On Wednesdays, you can find Zoe Juice Bar at the Tumwater Farmers Market, with cold-pressed juices available for grab and go. (They recently handed out small orange juice freebies to kids). The couple sponsors the Capital City Marathon and supports a variety of wellness fairs, fun runs and the Boys & Girls Club of Thurston County’s Tumwater branch.

“We try to do as much as we can,” says Jason. “That’s something we really like doing – from the beginning, we just wanted to give back, even in small ways.”

One small way is their partnership with local farmers. Zoe Juice Bar uses nearly 4,000 pounds of fruits and veggies, resulting in a lot of left-over pulp. Some local farms, like The Farmstead, pick up the juice pulp. Jason says one local farmer claims her hens lay better than ever.

All of the philosophies that Zoe Juice Bar encompasses are perhaps summed up in their name – Zoe is the Greek word for life.

zoe juice bar

Zoe Juice Bar also bottles their own juices.

“We picked that name because all of our juices are alive. They’re fresh, they’re raw, and they’re not pasteurized,” explains Jason.

There are many documented benefits of juicing, and while Zoe Juice Bar doesn’t make any specific health claims, those who drink juices, smoothies and shots are getting nutrient dense doses of vitamins, minerals and enzymes, many that are anti-inflammatory and high in anti-oxidants.

And all this goodness is presented from trained staff – individuals who are professional, friendly and knowledgeable.

“We highly value exceptional customer service,” says Jason adding that the fun environment also creates an opportunity to deliver amazing customer service. “We want the whole experience when people come in to be fast, friendly, and efficient while getting great, quality product at the same time.”

Zoe Juice Bar recently introduced Molly’s sandwiches and salads at the Tumwater location. Up next is catering juices, and providing cold-pressed nut milks from raw, cashews or almonds, with added nutmeg or similar spices to sweeten it up. With Zoe Juice Bar, the goodness just keeps on growing.

zoe juice bar

Use six of their custom blends in the Zoe Juice Cleanse.

Visit Zoe Juice Bar online at or at one of their two convenient locations.  Follow Zoe Juice Bar on Facebook.

1851 State Ave NE, Suite #101 in Olympia

Open Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

111 Tumwater Blvd, Suite #B101 in Tumwater

Open Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Closed on Sunday


Scott Putzier – Popular Coach Hangs Up His Whistle at Evergreen Swim Club

Thurston Talk - Tue, 07/07/2015 - 6:00am



By Grant Clark

oly ortho logoScott Putzier knew he wanted to help coach his daughters when they were old enough to begin playing sports. What he didn’t know is what they would eventually select as their recreation of choice.

That turned out to be swimming.

Aquatic sports, however, were foreign to him.

In fact, Putzier had no prior interest in ever being in the water. Heck, even his choice of military branches supported this as he had been a member of the United States Army, not the Navy.

evergreen swim club

Scott Putzier originally became a swim coach to be involved in the sport with his daughters.

So, when Bob Pease approached him to become an assistant coach with the Evergreen Swim Club, Putzier was a bit surprised.

“I really didn’t know the first thing about swimming,” Putzier said. “I had no background in it at all.”

Pease wasn’t concerned with that fact. He simply had one request for Putzier.

“He told me not to worry about the swimming part of it. He said he would teach me everything I needed to know,” Putzier remembers. “He said, ‘I just want you to be you.’”

The coaching aspects can be learned. What Putzier brought to the table – and what Pease required out of him – was something more important when you’re dealing with youth swimmers – enthusiasm, caring, patience and fun.  These four character traits Putzier more than possessed.

After 14 years of coaching swimmers ages 6-12 with the Evergreen Swim Club, Putzier is hanging up his whistle, positively influencing countless of individuals along the way.

“It’s tough to leave, but it’s the right time,” Putzier said. “When you look back and start adding up the hours, you realize just how much time you’ve put into it. I really enjoyed all of it, but you end up taking away time from your family and friends. It’s your other half that pays the price.”

Born and raised in South Dakota, Putzier found himself in Olympia thanks to the Army after being stationed in Fort Lewis in 1983. Once his military career ended he enrolled at The Evergreen State College where he graduated with a degree in management.

“I went from all discipline to no discipline,” Putzier jokingly summed up his transition from soldier to Geoduck.

evergreen swim club

Scott Putzier has been coaching Evergreen Swim Club swimmers ages 6 – 12 for the past 14 years.

Hailing from a midwestern state best known for an iconic rock carving and grassy prairies, Putzier’s upbringing failed to feature too many trips to the community pool.

“There wasn’t a lot of places for us to swim growing up,” Putzier said. “I go back now and there’s plenty of places, but back when I was young, we didn’t have too many options.”

But even without the aquatic resume, Putzier was intrigued by the chance to coach.

“The club was in transition. The numbers were down. Kids just weren’t signing up for the program,” Putzier said. “Bob came to me and said he needed volunteers. I thought it was a unique opportunity.”

Over the next decade and a half, with Putzier’s positive traits shining through with each practice, the program flourished. The first class Putzier ever coached he had six students. His last class had 37.

“Having that small of a class to start things off was the best thing for me,” Putzier joked. “I could still remember everyone’s name.”

With Pease’s guidance, it didn’t take Putzier long to pick up the swimming techniques, and regardless if it was the butterfly or backstroke the coaching execution was all delivered the same way.

“It needs to be fun,” Putzier said. “People don’t realize how hard these kids work. How many hours they put into this sport, and it’s not like other sports. If you learn something at basketball practice, the next day at recess you can go out and show all your friends what you learned yesterday at basketball practice. With swimming you can’t do that, so it needs to be fun. These kids are sacrificing all their free time, the least I can do is make it exciting and fun for them while they are learning.”

evergreen swim club

Scott Putzier combined the technical aspects of swimming into a fun environment.

Putzier’s approach of blending beginning stroke techniques with an entertaining atmosphere proved to be highly successful with a large majority of students returning the following year.

“I had someone come up to me, not too long ago, this teenage boy,” Putzier said. “He said I probably won’t remember him, but I had coached him 10 years ago when he was 8. He said how much he appreciated having me as a coach. To have an impact like that makes all the hours worth it.”

So, the man who never swam, quickly turned into the swim coach everyone loved.

“It’s hard to say goodbye,” Putzier said. “You always see the next generation of kids coming up and you say, ‘Okay, I will leave after this group gets through.’ But there’s always another generation of great kids coming in. It would have never ended.”


Buy County Fair Passes Now and Save

Thurston Talk - Mon, 07/06/2015 - 9:06pm



Submitted by The Thurston County Fair 

The Thurston County Fair runs the first weekend of August.

The Thurston County Fair runs the first weekend of August.

Buying your admission passes and carnival ride armbands in advance of this year’s Thurston County Fair will get you bushels of savings! Discount admission passes and carnival ride armbands are on sale now through Tuesday, July 28 at the Thurston County Fair Office.

Get your biggest savings with your advance purchase of carnival ride armbands for only $19 each—that’s $5 off the regular price. Carnival armbands are good for unlimited carnival rides for one day during the 2015 fair that runs Wednesday, July 29 through Sunday, August 2.

Season passes are also bargain at 40 percent off the full price daily admission rate. Remember, admission for children 5 years old and under is always free!

All advance purchase passes and carnival armbands are available only at the Thurston County Fair Office.

For even more savings, bring your carnival armband on July 29 for “One Buck Wednesday.” All adult, youth and senior admission prices are just $1 with a non-perishable food donation per person to the Thurston County Food Bank. Doors open at 10 a.m. on One Buck Wednesday. Be sure to check out all of the One Buck Wednesday specials, including one buck food specials, one buck carnival rides, and other One Buck Wednesday deals at participating vendors.

Other special discounts are available at the fair this year. Kid’s Day is Thursday, July 30 when all admission tickets for kids 6 to 14 years old are just $2 when purchased at the gate. And remember, admission for kids 5 and under is always free! Enjoy the Kid’s Day “Buddy Special” when you can get two carnival armbands for $24 when you and a buddy are both present at the time of purchase. (No advance purchase available for the carnival armband “Buddy Special.”)

thurston county fair

One Buck Wednesday keeps the price tag down on the Thurston County Fair.

Friday, July 31 is Military Appreciation Day at the fair, when fairgoers can get $2 admission tickets when they present their military ID at the gate. There are also lots of other vendor and food deals—just ask about Military Appreciation Day specials and present your military ID.

  • Season Pass (40 percent off the daily admission rate) — $10 to $21
  • One-day unlimited carnival rides armband advance purchase — $19
  • Gate price $24; ride tickets $1.25 each
  • Children ages 5 and under are always FREE!

Purchase armbands and passes at the Thurston County Fair Office at 3054 Carpenter Road SE in Lacey, 98503.

To learn more about 2015 fair events, entertainment and exhibits, contact the Thurston County Fair Office at (360) 786-5453 or visit


Zine Reading: Reid Urban and Jefferson Doyle

OlyBlog Home Page - Mon, 07/06/2015 - 7:36pm
Event:  Thu, 07/16/2015 - 7:30pm - 8:45pm

As part of the Olympia Library's month long celebration of zines, Reid Urban and Jefferson Doyle will read selections from their work and reflect on the changing role of zines - their impact on culture and society. Urban will show a video and read from a self-published work dealing with the use of miscommunication and the spaces it creates. Doyle is a local musician, homeless rights activist, and editor of NO BIGGIE CITY zine. The upcoming 4th issue includes articles about a queer-run auto shop in Seattle, a history of Lake Cushman, and interviews with local punk bands and recording engineers. This program will occur after regular library hours; no other library services will be available. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

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The Life and Death of King John

OlyBlog Home Page - Mon, 07/06/2015 - 11:53am
Event:  Thu, 08/06/2015 - 6:30pm - Sun, 08/23/2015 - 8:45pm



Thursdays through Sundays, Aug 6th through 23rd – all shows at 6:30pm

 Admission is FREE

Donations are gratefully accepted …and sharp looking t-shirts will be available!


Directions: Our field is on the West (water) side of the park. From Southbound East Bay Drive you will need to cross the bridge after the park’s entrance and follow the signs, banners and sense of gathering tension.  Bring a picnic, a blanket or chair. Bring the family*. Heck, bring the dog too!

Animal Fire can hardly wait to bring this drama of a kingdom in crisis, colliding ambitions and collapsing dynasties to Olympia! Loyalties - and lives - will be tested … broken … and lost   

King John is from the portion of the Shakespearean canon known as the Histories. The Bard blended fact, fantasy, comedy and action centuries before novel writers and premium cable channels began delighting audiences with tales of medieval murder and betrayal. He created a series of plays full of historical myth-making so potent that to this day his authorial liberties are to this day taken as truth. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

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Furniture Works Shares Simple Decorating Tips to Update your Office

Thurston Talk - Mon, 07/06/2015 - 9:24am



Submitted by Furniture Works

Bookshelf furniture worksSitting in an office all day long can get monotonous. Break through the daily rut by dressing up your office with some cool office furniture. Unless you operate your own office, you may not have total control over your office furniture. Most employers, however, won’t mind if you bring in a piece or two of your own furniture to make the space more comfortable and personal.

Furniture Works carries a variety of new and used affordable furniture. From bookshelves to sofas we can send you home with a fantastic piece that will renew the comfort of your office.

Maybe your office could benefit with a piece of furniture as simple as a new bookcase. If it’s a simple bookcase, dress it up with some fun accessories like a vase or decorative knick knacks. Or bring in a small dresser that can help hold files, personal belongings or simply serve as a top to display your favorite photos from home.

Also, keep your eye out for pieces that you can re-paint.  You may have found a bookcase but it is all scratched and looks out of shape. Just a quick sanding and a coat of your favorite color and you have a piece that looks like you bought it from a designer store. The added color will bring in a cheery and well put together look while you save that extra penny

Another fun piece of furniture you could add to your office is an ottoman. Wouldn’t it be nice to prop your feet up every now and then at work? Even if you don’t utilize its function, an ottoman could dress up a room. Pick an ottoman in your favorite color or fabric design. For an extra special touch, pick an ottoman with lots of fringe. Your office will feel a little more “home-y” with this one simple furniture accessory.

Add an armchair to your office in a contrasting color to make the space more personal.

Add an armchair to your office in a contrasting color to make the space more personal.

If you have room in your office, an arm chair would be a nice furniture addition. Or how about a recliner?  It would also help create a personal atmosphere in what might otherwise be a “stuffy” or cold environment. These pieces create a comfortable and inviting environment. If your desk and all of your other office furniture is dark, then pick a chair with a pop of color to brighten the area.

No matter how long you have been in the same office, you can make the space feel new and exciting by adding just a simple piece of furniture. Keep the necessities that the company provides and mandates, but add a little something that you like to express your individuality. You will warm up to your work environment and your office will be a warmer place because of the personal touch your furniture piece has added.

Find unique new and gently used furniture pieces at Furniture Works at 402 Washington Street NE in downtown Olympia.  You can reach the store by calling 360-570-0165 or visit them online.


Kim Showalter: Rob Rice Homes’ Legacy of Excellence

Thurston Talk - Mon, 07/06/2015 - 9:12am



Submitted by Barb Lally for Rob Rice Homes 

Kim Showalter told her father she would work for him for 6 months. That was 28 years ago.

Kim Showalter told her father she would work for him for 6 months. That was 27 years ago.

When Kim Showalter talks about the history of Rob Rice Homes, you get an up close and personal account of the company’s foundation, its standards of excellence and the customer care that goes into building every home.

Her father, Dennis Andrews, started Gemini Homes more than 30 years ago, a company that is now Rob Rice Homes, the largest local builder in the South Sound.

Kim has many key roles in that company today. “If it has to do with money, paperwork, contracts or finance, it’s me,” says Kim. “If it is not the actual physical building of a house, the rest of it falls to some degree under me.”

In addition to managing the finances for Rob Rice Homes, Kim co-owns Epic Realty, Inc. with Helena Rice. Epic Realty has for more than 20 years of specializing in marketing new home construction and represents Rob Rice Homes in five of the nine communities where Rob is currently building.

Kim has a calm demeanor, something you wouldn’t expect from someone who works for the area’s premier builder. Perhaps it is because she grew up in the trades. Most likely, it is that she takes after her father who she says was “good natured and laid back.”

Kim’s background

Kim has lived here in Thurston County since she was 8 years old. Though her parents’ priority was always her education, she began chipping in to help her father’s company at a young age.

“I used to water lawns and new plants at his new homes when I was 12 years old,” Kim says. “I can roll a hose better than anyone, because that was my Dad’s pet peeve.”

When Kim graduated from Olympia High School, home building was not part of her plans.

“I went to a small private liberal arts school in Salt Lake City called Westminster College, the only one with a program in ‘Applied Politics’ to learn about campaign financing,” says Kim. “It was run by the campaign managers of the largest national campaigns in the country.”

When an internship in a political campaign fell through, Kim enrolled in accounting classes as a back-up and eventually earned her degree in accounting.

She pursued her Masters degree in business administration at Pacific Lutheran University with a thesis on construction management—what she describes as “how to build a house as quickly and efficiently as possible.” While finishing her studies, she worked at her uncle’s construction company setting up his accounting system.

“During that time, my father asked me to come work for him,” smiles Kim. “He needed help updating up his own accounting system and office processes. I said fine, I will come to work for you for six months. That was 27 years ago.”

Kim's Dad, Dennis Andrews started Gemini (Jim & I) Homes through a partnership with Jim Harkey.

Kim’s Dad, Dennis Andrews started Gemini (Jim & I) Homes through a partnership with Jim Harkey.

Generation to Generation

Kim can tell you about the accumulation of experience through generous mentoring and loyal partnerships that has contributed to what Rob Rice Homes is today— voted the Best of South Sound builder for two years in a row.

In 1985, when he graduated from Washington State University with degrees in construction management and architecture, Rob Rice was hired as a project superintendent by Dennis Andrews. A partnership developed between the two men and when Dennis Andrews passed away, Rob continued to build and expand the well-respected company.

Dennis Andrews had started in construction similar to the way Rob started.

“My Dad’s mentor was Jim Harkey out of King County,” reflects Kim. “Their partnership eventually led to Gemini Homes. That name was a play on ‘Jim and I’.”

Kim’s fond recollections include many partners who still work for Rob Rice Homes today.

“The people who trained me when I was watering lawns for my Dad, still work with us today,” says Kim. “Ernie Unroe started with Gary Mills, the owner of Pacific West Landscaping, when we were both teenagers. He eventually became a full partner with Gary until he passed away. Today, he is an owner of the company that still does all the expansive landscaping for Rob Rice Homes.”

And, the story of mentoring and generation-rich knowledge doesn’t stop there.

“Our highly-acclaimed community storm water ponds and neighborhood layouts are designed by Hatton Godat Pantier, another key component in how we do things,” explains Kim. “I have known Jeff Pantier, our surveryor,  since I was 8 years old when our families would vacation together. Jeff was mentored by his father.”

“Getting the neighborhood layouts and ponds to look so beautiful, function correctly and protect the environment is a challenge,” continues Kim. “But they truly make our neighborhoods unique and are the result of the planning with Jeff and his partners.”

Rob Rice Homes is the largest local builder with an office on State Street across from Ralph's Thriftway.

Rob Rice Homes is the largest local builder with an office on State Street across from Ralph’s Thriftway.

A changing market

“Construction techniques have changed over the years and homeowners’ expectations of products they want in a house have changed,” Kim reflects. She explains that in the beginning, they sold to different markets.

“We built about 400 affordable homes out in the Meadows area that started at $79,900. We had a waiting line and wrote 30 contracts the first day of one subdivision. It was in high demand in the early nineties when the military was ramping up. We’ve also built high-end homes in Nottingham and The Farm.”

Today, a Rob Rice Home is often the dream home for a move-up buyer with standard luxury features they have always wanted in a home.

“Though our homes still do attract first-time homebuyers, many of our buyers see our homes with all their upscale features as their final home, their last dream home or, what Helena Rice refers to as their ‘forever home,”’ Kim notes.

Caring for homeowners

Kim is also the Homeowner Association (HOA) manager for Rob Rice Communities, helping to maintain the quality and value of the neighborhoods they build. Since 1989, Kim has made every effort to provide the superior customer service so indicative of the company she represents.

“When I have just the name of a homeowner in front of me, I remind myself that their home is often the most important thing for them.”

As she sits in the company’s building on State Street in Olympia, Kim sums up how they serve homeowners today.

“At Rob Rice Homes, we all have a true desire to do what is right and it shows in the homes we build. We are the local builder, we are not going anywhere. When there is a problem, you can walk through the door and talk to us.”


Rob Rice is Thurston County’s largest local home builder and was voted the Best of South Sound for 2013 and 2014. He has built more than 3000 homes over the last 30 years. He and his wife Helena live in Olympia with their two sons; Alex Michael and Carson. Rob is a graduate of Washington State University with degrees in construction management and architecture.













Westport Winery Wins in Los Angeles

Thurston Talk - Mon, 07/06/2015 - 8:31am



Submitted by Westport Winery

2015 Fleur Front Westport WineryWestport Winery earned two medals at the Los Angeles International Wine Competition held in May. There were over 3000 wines entered from around the world.

Fleur de Lis, the winery’s Pinot Gris made with grapes from Airfield Estates, earned a silver medal. A portion of the proceeds from this wine benefits Hoquiam’s 7th Street Theater. The label features an original watercolor by Darryl Easter. An outdoor sculpture commemorating this wine was created by Clallam Bay artist Lora Malakoff. It is on display in the winery’s sculpture garden.

Smoky Nor’wester, a blend of 95% Sangiovese and 5% Petite Sirah, earned a bronze medal. This wine benefits the Museum of the North Beach in Moclips. The sculpture honoring this wine was created by Westport carver Nicole Demmert.

When you visit Westport Winery Garden Resort be sure to explore the 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 four times this has been voted Best of the Northwest Wine Destination.

These 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 Garden Resort at 360-648-2224 or visit the website at

Olympic National Park Paradise Fire Update

Thurston Talk - Mon, 07/06/2015 - 8:28am



Submitted by the U.S. Forest Service

The Paradise Fire continued to grow slightly on Friday, as the hot and dry weather conditions caused active burning well into the evening hours. The estimated size is now 1240 acres. Firefighters have been successful in holding the fire north of the Queets River, and the majority of the fire activity continues to be on the northern perimeter on the slopes of Pelton Peak. Firefighters are keeping a close eye on this weekend’s weather forecast, with higher temperatures and lower humidity expected to be of great concern, especially on Sunday.

Although the Paradise Fire is estimated at 21% contained, 100% containment is not an objective on this unique fire. The tools for measuring success such as “percent contained” are not designed for fires like Paradise, which is a “confinement” fire. The team’s objective is to stop the fire’s spread south and west and confine it within Park boundaries. Limited action will be taken on the remaining North and East perimeters at this time, due to safety concerns & inaccessibility of terrain. Firefighter safety remains our top priority. The fire will be allowed to run its course to the North and East as a natural part of the Park’s ecosystem, until it reaches the next, pre-identified, accessible natural barrier when tactical action will be considered.

Olympic National Park officials would like to remind the public that there is a ban on open fires in the park’s wilderness backcountry, including all locations along the coast. Campfires are permitted only in established fire grates at established front country campgrounds. Because of the extreme conditions on the peninsula, Olympic National Forest and local communities have also implemented fire restrictions. Fireworks are illegal on federal and state lands. Olympic peninsula communities welcome visitors, and ask people to celebrate and recreate responsibly, keeping fire danger in mind, especially during the Fourth of July weekend.

Information on this fire is available on Inciweb at For real time information, visit our Facebook page at:  For current information about visiting Olympic National Park, as well as information about the history and role of fire in the Olympic ecosystem, please visit the park’s website at


Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week

Thurston Talk - Mon, 07/06/2015 - 8:25am



Submitted by Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton

Ripley and Memphis are available for adoption at Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton.

Ripley and Memphis are available for adoption at Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton.

Memphis and Ripley are 2 year-old, Black Lab/Chow Chow mix brothers.  These boys have had a hard time but, since coming to the kennel, are becoming less scared and more relaxed. They are very close and love having each other for company but can be adopted separately.

Memphis is a slim 75 pounds.  His matted coat had to be shaved due to neglect and is just starting to grow back. Ripley takes time getting to know people but once comfortable, wants to be with you all the time.  They are both very sweet and love going for walks.

We have lots of great dogs and always need volunteers to help us care for them. Find us on Facebook, or contact the Adopt-A-Pet dog shelter,  on Jensen Road in Shelton, at or contact us at or (360) 432-3091.

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