Recent local blog posts

Call for Teams and Sponors for Sound Learning’s 21st Annual Spell-E-Bration

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 8:24am

ThurstonTalk

 

Submitted by Sound Learning

Catch the Buzz!  Sound Learning, formerly Mason County Literacy, is hosting the 21st Spring Spell-E-Bration fundraiser at 6pm, May 9at the Shelton Civic Center.  This family-friendly fundraiser promises to be a good time for all, and will raise funds for Sound Learning’s educational programs in both Mason and Thurston Counties.

Organizers are currently lining up financial sponsors with 3-member spelling teams that will compete for the first place trophy captured last year by the State Farm Good Neighbors sponsored by Bakala State Farm. Second place last year was won by Bron’s Autocorrects, Sponsored by Bron’s Automotive and the West Olympia Rotary Club Literacy Committee. Last year’s third place was a tie between The Ki-Wanna-Bees, sponsored by Kristmastown, Pioneer, and Shelton Kiwanis Clubs, and the KMAS Newsies, sponsored by KMAS.

We invite you to organize a team, recruit a sponsor and be ready to buzz on over to the event on May 9.  If you are a team without a sponsor, contact us and we will help you find one.  If you are a sponsor without a team, we can match you up.  And if you’re a speller without a team, let us know and we’ll try to find a slot for you as well. Team participants must be adults or of high school age.  Of course all teams are invited to bring their own cheering sections!

There are many regular teams and sponsors we haven’t heard from yet, so if you plan to return, please contact us as soon as you can.  On our twenty-first anniversary event we want to have plenty of familiar faces, but we are definitely making room for new participants!

Businesses, organizations, and individuals are able to participate in a range of sponsorships from Major sponsor ($1500 +), to Literacy Leader ($100-$250), and Bee Booster ($25-$99).  Team sponsorship ($500) can be shared. The Journal and KMAS are in for full team sponsorships and will be providing spelling teams again this year.

The event also includes a Silent Auction, Door Prizes, an Appetizer and Dessert Buffet, and there’s always at least one surprise.  If you would like to donate items for the auction or door prizes, or food for the buffet, or help at the event, please contact Sound Learning.

We are expecting about 300 attendees this year. The audience will have plenty of chances to watch the Bee and root for their favorite team, visit the buffet, get tickets for door prizes, and bid on auction items that include experiences, trips, and other fabulous items including some perfect Mother’s Day gifts (remember Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 11 this year).  A few of our favorite volunteers will be on hand with donation jars to collect five dollar bills at the door.

Spell-E-Bration is the signature fundraising event for Sound Learning.  Proceeds help fund programs in both Mason and Thurston Counties which provide education for adults in GED preparation, math, reading, and writing improvement; and English for Speakers of Other Languages.  In 2012-2013, with the support of professional staff,

200 Sound Learning volunteers provided 300 students with 10,000 hours of instruction.  Anyone interested in Sound Learning’s programs or getting more information about Spell-E-Bration can call the office at 360-426-9733.

About Sound Learning:  Our mission is to educate adults to be equipped to succeed and contribute in our society.  Educate.  Succeed.  Contribute

Contact:

Tracy Moore, Outreach Coordinator and 2014’s Queen Bee

360-426-9733

tmoore@soundlearning.co

 

Squaxin Island Tribe, land trust, turning golf course into habitat

Squaxin Natural Resources Blog - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 7:56am
Bayshore on Oakland Bay. Photo by the state Department of Ecology.

Bayshore on Oakland Bay. Photo by the state Department of Ecology.

The Capital Land Trust and the Squaxin Island Tribe are working to bring back salmon habitat and protect an important shellfish growing area by restoring a former golf course on Oakland Bay. The land trust recently purchased the 74-acre Bayshore Golf Course, which includes the mouth of Johns Creek and over a thousand feet of Oakland Bay shoreline.

The tribe and the land trust will remove a 1,400 foot dike, restoring the Johns Creek estuary and important marine shoreline. “Taking the dike out will provide salmon with additional acres of saltwater marsh to use as they migrate out to the ocean,” said Jeff Dickison, assistant natural resources director for the tribe..

Eventually, the golf course fairways will also be replanted with native vegetation, restoring a streamside forest that helps provide habitat to salmon.

Preventing development around the bay also protects the most productive shellfish growing area in the state.

The former golf course sits on a peninsula jutting into Oakland Bay that is made up of mostly gravelly glacial outwash. “If the golf course had been sold to developers, the porous nature of the gravel underneath the golf course couldn’t have protected shellfish beds from being polluted by septic tanks,” Dickison said.

The mouth of Johns Creek was the site of one of the largest longhouses and Squaxin villages. “We have always thought of this place as special,” said Andy Whitener, natural resources director for the tribe. “Our people lived there for thousands of years, subsisting on the fish, shellfish and wildlife that was always available.”

The state Department of Ecology also helped the land trust buy the surface water rights associated with the golf course. “Johns Creek doesn’t have enough water to support a weak run of summer chum,” said Scott Stelzner, salmon biologist for the tribe. “By securing this water right, we can balance against increased water appropriations throughout the Johns Creek watershed.

The restoration of the old golf course is part of a larger effort to protect and restore Oakland Bay. The tribe, the land trust and other local partners have protected hundreds of acres of habitat and improved water quality throughout the bay.

“It is important to make sure we protect places like Oakland Bay, before they turn the corner and can’t be saved,” Dickison said. Currently, Oakland Bay is relatively undeveloped, but that could easily change in the next few years.

“The decline of salmon and shellfish directly impacts our culture, economy and our treaty reserved rights,” Whitener said. “Making sure Oakland Bay is healthy is one of the most important things we can do to protect our way of life.”

Categories: Local Environment

The tragedy towards the end of the local ownership of Olympia Beer

Olympia Time - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 5:46am
Seattle Times, 1983
We all mourn the closure of the Olympia brewery. We all hope it comes back, at least the territory of the brewery, to become a new heart for our oldest non-native community.

Decades before our latest mourning, we mourned the sale of the company and brand to non-local owners. I wrote a bit about this history over at Thurston Talk recently. The story centered on a phenomena originating in the prohibition of tobacco advertizing in the late 1960s:

The true factor leading to the Schmidt family’s sale, in the early 80s, where market forces dating back to the ban on tobacco advertising on television in 1971. Phillip Morris, one of the largest tobacco purveyors, decided to diversify a few years before the ban and bought Miller in 1969.The Miller sale sounded off like a shot to the once traditional and staid brewing industry. “Budweiser met the challenge,” Knight said. “The two companies started buying up every market in the U.S., rolling over smaller breweries.”
While it might seem like the tobacco giants were buying beer companies, what they were really buying was geography.  The quickest way to break into new beer markets was to buy existing beer companies, gaining loyal beer buyers and their preferences, along with beer distribution arrangements.
A few years later, the Schmidt family reacted by buying Hamms (1974) and then later Lone Star (1977). “Olympia was a little late getting into the game,” Knight said.
“They had to get bigger or get a lot smaller,” Knight said. “Each time Olympia bought a new brand, it would give them a boost.” Olympia’s attempt to appeal to the drinkers in the newly acquired territories included the Artesians campaign.
But, in trying to keep up in a race of quickly nationalizing brands, the Schmidts eventually ran out of family talent and stock. In 1983 Paul Kalmanovitz (who owned Pabst and had also bought other Washington brands like Lucky Lager) bought Olympia Brewing Company.This is a totally plausible and realistic story that is backed up by other histories of the era, which additionally cite legal troubles brought on by the mergers. But, this business-centered history runs counter to the local knowledge of why Olympia was sold. Because the then president of the company was caught having sex with another man in the Capitol Lake bathrooms.

This did happen. In early 1980, in the twilight of locally-owned Olympia Beer, Rick Schmidt and two other men (a state legislator and a state agency director) were arrested for lewd conduct. The three non-out-of-the-closet men quickly faded from their public lives. All three quit their jobs and disappeared for awhile. Eric Rohrbach (the former state legislator) is back involved in local politics.

Both Schmidt and Joseph "Dean" Gregorius (as far as I can tell) never reentered public life.

The question is, whether Schmidt resigning had much to do with the eventual sale of the family firm. I'd say very little. The Schmidt family was doomed by nation-wide forces, not by the fall of the scion.

Research has pointed out that family-led companies have a particularly bad time reacting to industry-wide change:
The cultural view of family firms implies that these firms might be less willing to make changes to their overall strategy even when market pressures ask for such changes. Out of a sense of duty and respect for their elders, younger generations might find it difficult to change decisions such as where to locate, what to produce, or which customers to serve.Just being a family-owned company is bad in the long run:
This paper provides strong evidence that promoting family CEOs in publicly traded corporations significantly hurts performance even after controlling for firm and industry characteristics, and aggregate trends.

I find that, consistent with wasteful nepotism,declines in performance are prominent in firms that appoint family CEOs who did not attend a selective undergraduate institution. In contrast, comparable firms that promote non-family CEOs do not experience negative changes in performance, even when incoming unrelated CEOs did not attend selective colleges. So, what is the tragedy here? Sure, its bad that Rick Scmidt left the company. And, its bad that Olympia Beer had to be sold, instead of surviving as one of the few family owned breweries.

But, the real tragedy is that Schmidt, Rohrbach and Gregorius were arrested and publicly outed in the first place.

Let's go back to Olympia in 1980. According to this history, the "Capitol Lake Bathroom Bust" followed "a period of harassment and police targeting of Gay men." This also isn't a time when men with public profiles could live out of the closet.

The reason the arrests of these three men was news was because they had public profiles, but also because the arrests were of gay men.

And, let's put into perspective the operation that brought them in. The Olympia Police Department spent two weeks looking into the bathrooms before coming up with anything.

These type of operations, where police would stakeout homosexuals, hoping to come up with an arrest, has been called harassment by activists. The time spent by OPD in 1980 to come up with a few lewd conduct arrests certainly makes it seem that way.

Arrests like this also had deep social wounds. From a San Antonio library blog (of all places):

“I am primarily concerned with this grieving family in my parish, with the fact that we have lost such a wonderful man, and the news media played such an important part in driving him to suicide. There is no question but that his learning that his name had been published was the direct cause of his jumping off a bridge. . . .I also would say very strongly that a society that pays its policemen to spend hours on their haunches or lying prostrate on the top of a building peering through a hole to spy on men is a very sick society.”

This excerpt from an anonymous letter that appeared in a 1966 issue of Christianity and Crisis  captured the devastation exacted on men who were caught having sex in public restrooms and had their names published in the newspaper after being arrested. Sting operations by law enforcement officials against homosexuals in public places were nothing new. In San Antonio, police had been ferreting out gay cruisers in Travis Park–located in the heart of the city–since the 1940s. But were undercover operations and demonization of those caught in the web of such actions indicative only of the era that predated Stonewall in which homosexual harassment was part and parcel of urban life? We are a different town now. Our police are much more honorable. We are much more fair. But, we have to get our stories right.

The Olympia Brewing Company was caught in an economic storm that was swamping family breweries. That Olympia went down is nothing special. Rick Schmidt wouldn't have saved them.

Blaming the loss of the brewery on him is unfair. It also takes blame off of us, the way our community was not at all accepting of homosexuals. The sting operation, the public castigation, the disappearance from public life of these men. That's the sad story we should tell, the cautionary tale.

Your Healthcare Connection: Olympia Orthopaedic’s Cycling Team Partners with Doctors to Overcome Injury

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 4:28am

ThurstonTalk

 

By Kate Scriven

oly ortho cycling team

Cindy Medlin (second from right) poses with other members of the Oly Ortho cycling team.

The Olympia Orthopaedic Associates Cycling Team is a diverse group of dedicated individuals who train, race, and ride together throughout the year.  Sponsored by Olympia Orthopaedics, the team features road, mountain, track and cyclo-cross racing.  This community of individuals is not simply dedicated to winning, but to the mentoring and promotion of bicycle racing throughout Thurston County.

Many doctors, nurses and team members at Oly Ortho are also avid athletes, giving them a different perspective when treating a competitive rider.  They understand the rigor put upon the body during intense competition and training and they know how eager an injured athlete is to get riding again.  Two such athletes are Cindy Medlin and Katie Kolan.  Both are fairly new to competitive cycling but have different areas of focus: road for Medlin and cyclo-cross for Kolan.  However they are both battling back from injury, working closely with their OOA team to get, and stay, healthy.

Cindy Medlin has always been a runner, competing at the highest level, including the Boston Marathon in 2003.  “I loved the stress release running gave me and would never have dreamed of giving that up,” she shared.

oly ortho cycling

Katie Kolan takes off on her cyclo-cross bike.

However in 2005, while deployed in Iraq, Medlin injured her right knee in an accident.  She continued to run, but in 2007 the pain became too much.  Her doctor recommended cleaning up her right meniscus and after a short break she was running again.  Yet, the pain returned, this time in her left knee.

Finally in 2010 her doctor said, “Cindy – enough,” Medlin shares.  He referred her to Olympia Orthopaedics for assessment where she met Dr. Thomas Helpenstell.

Dr. Helpenstell was a familiar face to Medlin.  He is an athlete as well, competing in triathlons regularly, and Medlin recognized him from workouts at their gym.  “After we chatted a bit, he just looked at me,” recalls Medlin, “and said, ‘Cindy, I think you need to think about doing something other than running.’”  He performed her first arthroscopic surgery and discovered her knees had fairly severe arthritis and he recommended leaving running behind completely and hopping on the bike.

She began indoor spin classes, but eventually missed the outdoor experience of her runs.  Dr. Helpenstall understood.  He loves it too.  When Medlin shared this with Dr. Helpenstell and her Physical Therapist, Diana Roberts, also a marathon runner and Ironman triathlete, they both suggested the OOA Cycling Team.

Medlin hadn’t considered competitive cycling before, but her innate competitive spirit took hold and she dove in.  “The women on the team were so inspirational.  They have so much knowledge and are so skilled.  They have taught me so much in a short time,” says Medlin.  For now, she is an official “fan” as she trains with the team and increases her endurance.  She aims to be a member next season.

oly ortho cycling

An x-ray of Katie Kolan’s wrist shows the damage caused as a result of her fall. Photo courtesy: Katie Kolan

But how could she give up a lifelong love of running?  “Dr. Helpenstell knew I needed the science behind what was happening to my knee, and that I needed to understand it, or I was never going to stop running,” she explains.  “He made sure that I understood – he focused on educating me – so that together we could make the best choices for my health.”  Medlin now sites biking as her favorite type of exercise, something she may never have discovered without the OOA Biking team.

Katie Kolan has always biked.  “In college I biked everywhere,” she shares, smiling, “but that was just because it was efficient and I was poor.”  Since living in Olympia, she has continued cycling but never competitively.    Then, about two years ago, she discovered the Olympia Orthopaedics Associates Cycling Team.  “I really wanted to become a better cyclist and I thought there’s no better way to do it than to surround myself with people who are better than me,” Kolan shares.

Kolan’s focus is Cyclo-Cross.  This form of racing, with origins over 100 years ago, consists of multiple laps of a short course consisting of pavement, wooded trails, steep hills, grass and obstacles requiring the rider to dismount and carry their bike. She jumped in with both feet, ready to train with the existing Olympia Orthopaedics Cyclo-cross team members.

However, her training came to a screeching halt almost before it started.  During a training ride in early fall 2013, she joined a partner to ride the trails of Millersylvania State Park. After a few laps they decided to switch it up and ride through the sand.  As she hit the soft ground, her tire skidded and she fell flew off the bike, into a picnic table.  “I realized immediately that something was not right,” she recalls.

That “something” was her arm, broken badly just above her wrist. “At first I was just irritated that my workout had been cut short, but when I got back to the car it dawned on me – there goes my season,” Kolan remembers.

olympia cycling team

Oly Ortho racers participate in road, mountain, track and cyclo-cross races.

“As inconvenient and messy as this whole ordeal was, everything at OOA was great from start to finish,” explains Kolan.  She worked with Dr. Kurt Anderson, one of Oly Ortho’s hand and upper extremity specialists.  Dr. Anderson assessed her injury the next day and recommended surgery immediately.  She now sports a few screws in her arm, a great scar, and a terrific story.

“Despite the mess I was in, walking down that hallway [at OOA’s Westside Clinic], was really cool.  Seeing the bike on the wall, knowing that Dr. Anderson is a mountain biker too,” explains Kolan, “I just knew I was in good hands.”  Dr. Anderson understood Kolan’s need to return to her sport.  Her plan of care was tailored to her specific lifestyle by a physician who really “got it”.

The outpatient surgery went smoothly in the Westside Surgery Center and after recovery, Kolan began work with Kate Cisco, the OOA Hand Therapist.  “Kate was super funny, generous, and got what I was going through.  Dr. Anderson was fantastic and it got even better as we went forward.”  From initial consult through PT exercises, the full team took Kolan’s values and lifestyle into consideration, creating a custom approach that helped her healing progress quickly and effectively.

“It was great to be a part of a system that really works.  I was motivated to heal and my motivation combined with their care and expertise has landed me here today, ready to ride again next season.”

For more information on the Olympia Orthopaedics Cycling Team visit the team webpage.

 

Thrifty Thurston Explores the Olympia Farmers Market Through a Child’s Eyes

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 4:00am

ThurstonTalk

 

By Kate Scriven

olympia pediatrics“What do you like best about the Olympia Farmers Market?” I asked local children last week during the opening days of the Market.  I was curious to know what it was about the Market that makes them beg to go, smile from ear to ear while there, and never tire of visiting this local gem.

olympia farmers market“I like the food,” most of them said in answer to my opening question. Well, this one wasn’t a surprise.  Most parents know the power of a perfect snack.  Just as my mouth watered for a visit to my favorite food stand (Los Tulenos spicy pork tacos are my favorite), all the local children I spoke with had a favorite eat or treat.

San Francisco Street Bakery’s cookies, specifically the gingerbread people and dinosaurs ranked high on the list for most of the kids I talked to.  The wholesome, locally baked treats are under two dollars and bring a smile worth quite a bit more.  No sweet tooth?  One of my children opts for a peperoni stick from Johnson’s Smokehouse instead.

An Olympia Farmer’s Market secret (that apparently isn’t so secret) is each child receives a free apple from the fruit vendor’s bins.  All the children sited choosing their own special apple as a highlight, sampling different types each time they came.  “I always get an apple,” shared four-year-old Henry. “I like the really shiny ones.”  This healthier choice is a great first stop when you visit, keeping your little one busy as you browse and sating their appetite, quieting the begging for their promised cookie.

Lunch at the Market is a family affair.  Four-year-old, Hannah, was thrilled with the re-opening of the market, enjoying her favorite vegetarian curry from Curry in a Hurry with her mom, grandmother, and baby sister.  In fact, she was far too busy eating up her delicious lunch while it was hot to really say too much, but the smile she gave when I asked if she liked it was worth a thousand words.

olympia farmers market

Alea Collett enjoys a cup of clam chowder from Dingey’s.

Alea Collett, a six-year-old first grader at Olympia’s ORLA Academy’s favorite lunch is clam chowder from Dingey’s.  “I love that they have good food,” she shared.  “My favorite is the chowder!” Her bowl was nestled close to her half-finished apple and a Carmen cookie from San Francisco Street Bakery, awaiting the end of lunch for its turn.

Diner’s enjoy lunch while listening to live music presented on the market stage.  Children marvel at the unique instruments being played or the clear, beautiful voice of a woman singing (“Mom, she sounds just like Elsa!” exclaimed my daughter.)  Toes tap and little ones often can be seen dancing between the tables.

While the littles all seem to have their favorite lunch or treat, they unanimously exclaimed, “I love the balloon man!”  Yes, the balloon man.  A wizard of inflated sculpture, this man can seemingly create anything your child’s heart desires.

From simple flowers and swords to elaborate, wearable art and favorite cartoon characters, he seems to be able to do it all. While I sometimes balk (being the thrifty mom that I am) at paying for something that I know will pop or deflate within days, the requested donation of $1 per balloon used seems small compared to the joy brought by this simply art form.  I think of the joy a $3 latte sometimes brings me and give in easily.

Don’t miss the Gallacci Gardens, a Thurston County Demonstration Garden at the east end of the Market, originally planted with items donated by market vendors.  The paths, benches and arbors provide a secret world where fairies and gnomes might inhabit the nooks and crannies.  With Thurston County Master Gardener volunteers often on-site, the garden can also be a place of learning and inquiry for nature minded youngsters wanting to know “Why?” about all the interesting things in the natural world.

olympia farmers market

The balloon man is a sure-fire reward for kids of all ages.

Mallory Gilbert’s inaugural 2014 visit to the market was a special trip with her grandparents.  The Rochester first grader loved sitting in the garden (with her cookie and balloon of course) and shared, “The Market is just fun.  You get to look at so much stuff – there’s so much to see.”

And Mallory is right.  The Olympia Farmers Market presents a world of wonder just waiting to be explored by you and your child.  It’s so much more than a shopping trip or lunch pit stop.  The wide variety of vendors selling produce, seafood, metal goods, crafts, soap, honey, and much more are an opportunity to help your child understand where things come from and the work needed to create the things we use and consume each day.

Listen to the questions your child asks, encourage them to engage with the artisans and farmers, take the time to explain why the same booth selling honey is selling candles.  These are opportunities to shape your child’s understanding of the world and it’s available for free, Thursday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

olympia farmers marketOf course they want a cookie.  Of course they want a balloon.  But be sure to explore beyond the delicious treats and silly gifts of the Market to find what is truly nourishing to your child.  Creating connections, deepening understanding, and developing an appreciation for our community and those who work hard each day to shape it.

Olympia Farmers Market

700 Capitol Way North

Olympia, WA 98501

360-352-9096

Thursday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

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

Arrington de Dionysio at Austin Psych Fest and art opening at Las Cruxes!

K Records - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 5:03pm
Las Cruxes Presents Arrington de Dionyso, ‘Dream You/Dreamed Me’ Exhibition April 7 – May 2, 2014 ‘Dream You/Dreamed Me’ is inspired in part by a short story by Jorge Luis Borges, “The Circular Ruins” dealing with idealism and the manifestation of dreams into reality, and the immortal nature of the creative process. The human/beast hybrid […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

KAOS Live Drive-A-Thon

OlyBlog Home Page - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 4:33pm
Event:  Thu, 04/10/2014 - 8:00pm - 11:00pm

kaos live drive-a-thon on april 10

 

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Fighting Over Beverley

OlyBlog Home Page - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 11:44am
Event:  Sun, 05/04/2014 - 2:00pm - 4:30pm

A love triangle between three septuagenarians begins when Beverley's ex-fiance Archie arrives unannounced at her Gloucester home. He intends to marry her and take her to England with him. The catch? She's still married to Zelly, the Yank she left him for at the end of World War II. "He's had you for 53 years," Archie claims, "Enough is enough."

WHEN:            May 1 – May 24 2014, Thursdays-Saturdays at 8:00 PM, Sundays at 2:00 PM

WHERE:          The Historic State Theater, 202 4th Ave E, downtown Olympia

PRICE:            General: $31, Senior/Military: $28, Student/Youth: $20

Rush tickets available at Box Office ½ hour before curtain

SPECIALS:     Pay What You Can: May 7, Ladies’ Night Out: May 9, Pride Night: May 16

TICKETS:       Call for tickets and info: 360-786-0151 or visit www.harlequinproductions.org

 

 

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Fighting Over Beverley

OlyBlog Home Page - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 11:41am
Event:  Thu, 05/01/2014 - 8:00pm - 10:30pm

A love triangle between three septuagenarians begins when Beverley's ex-fiance Archie arrives unannounced at her Gloucester home. He intends to marry her and take her to England with him. The catch? She's still married to Zelly, the Yank she left him for at the end of World War II. "He's had you for 53 years," Archie claims, "Enough is enough."

WHEN:            May 1 – May 24 2014, Thursdays-Saturdays at 8:00 PM, Sundays at 2:00 PM

WHERE:          The Historic State Theater, 202 4th Ave E, downtown Olympia

PRICE:            General: $31, Senior/Military: $28, Student/Youth: $20

Rush tickets available at Box Office ½ hour before curtain

SPECIALS:     Pay What You Can: May 7, Ladies’ Night Out: May 9, Pride Night: May 16

TICKETS:       Call for tickets and info: 360-786-0151 or visit www.harlequinproductions.org

 

 

 

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OlyBlog Home Page - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 11:41am
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Nick Adams, Author of The Uncivil War: Battle in the Classroom

OlyBlog Home Page - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 10:38am
Event:  Fri, 04/11/2014 - 7:00pm

Orca Books is delighted to welcome Lakewood author Nick K. Adams to the store.  Nick will be presenting his book The Uncivil War: Battle in the Classroom, a novel set in a modern day classroom in which students are encouraged to look for ancestors who were involved in some way in the American Civil War.  He will be giving his presentation in the period dress of Minnesota's 1861 governor, Alexander Ramsey, who sent Nick's great-great-grandfather off to war, and the presentation will be mostly from Ramsey’s perspective.

This presentation is FREE and open to the public. Orca Books is located in downtown Olympia at 509 4th Ave E.

Nick Adams is a retired elementary school teacher who lives in Lakewood, Washington with his wife, Carolyn Stover Modarelli-Adams, who created the interior artwork and cover design for The Uncivil War. He continues to research and write about the Civil War, volunteers as a CASA at Juvenile Court, and enjoys performing professionally as a storyteller.

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C&C Astrology* Factory 4-9-14

Olympia Power & Light - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 9:00am
(Correlation & Causation) When god, free will, and happenstance are busy, they call me: John Swamini**   Aries (Mar 21-Apr 19) It’s time to pamper yourself like an active baby....

Letters 4-9-14

Olympia Power & Light - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 9:00am
Dear OP&L, Paul Pickett’s article on the labor dispute at the county was terrific. His analysis of the County Commissioners’ positions on the issue of outsourcing the custodial positions at...

A new day for the Midnight Sun

Olympia Power & Light - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 9:00am
It happened quickly and quietly: Theater Artists Olympia (TAO) has taken over management of The Midnight Sun performance space. This landmark venue has been operating since 1993 and provided local...

The Meaning of Wood art exhibit opens at SPSCC

Olympia Power & Light - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 9:00am
Olympia serves as the next stop for an art exhibition with a few hundred board feet of regional relevance, The Meaning of Wood. Suze Woolf, the Seattle artist who brought...

The greenest investment you’ll make this year

Olympia Power & Light - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 9:00am
Cecelia Watkins, FIG Coordinator, GRuB (Garden Raised Bounty) The large room is full of people, standing and sitting, some with hands in pockets and others holding gently onto their kids. A...

New Biz Oly: Olympia Veterinary Cancer Center

Olympia Power & Light - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 9:00am
Introducing you to new locally-owned businesses.. Olympia Veterinary Cancer Center   Dr. Lisa Parshley is one of only 480 practitioners worldwide in the field of animal cancer treatment. And she’s...

Editorial: Downtown housing is a good thing, people!

Olympia Power & Light - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 9:00am
The one thing that would most help downtown Olympia right now is more people being there everyday. More people shopping, eating, drinking, making art, enjoying a show, or just walking...

Why did Olympia Planning Commissioners hold secret meetings with developers?

Olympia Power & Light - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 9:00am
…And why do they think it’s no big deal?  Members of the Olympia Planning Commission and their critics exchanged sharp words in recent weeks, after the public learned that commissioners...

I Guess You Can Call it "Work"

Mojourner Truth - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 11:16pm
Call it Shooting Star, Dodecatheon, or Curlew's Beak, it's blooming this week
Monday, 5:15 AM.  The alarm on my phone buzzes, ending the fantasy that my wake-state could be followed by more shut-eye. There's but a single working clock in the house--definitely not in my room--but it seems like on the rare occasions when I set the alarm, my body gets a jump on the electronics. Maybe because it's usually prelude to fieldwork, and I love fieldwork.

6:26 finds me on the road, half a pot of coffee in my belly, and the other half in various travel vessels. I used to hate driving, but back then a trip of any length involved Interstate 95, too many lanes, and essentially no variation in the scenery: shrinking forest, burgeoning burbs, and Cracker Barrels. Today, I face a couple hundred miles of I-90, but it will rise into grand stands of conifers, pass through snowy crags, descend into elks among pines, wind through smaller hills, blow past windmills and orchards, shoot along fields, and finally let me exit into a forgotten town just in time for lunch. Then, from arterial to lateral to a gravelly capillary, not another vehicle in sight.

12:12 PM, and I am standing by the women who planned the project and will operate the machinery. My job is to watch and see if any archaeology turns up. Monitoring, as this work is called, is an exercise in bi-polarity, similar to descriptions I've read about being a soldier at war. Mostly nothing (or worse yet, senseless fulfilling of duties with no plausible reward), and then MAYHEM! No incoming artillery for the archaeological monitor, just the skull rolling off the excavator bucket, and the prospect of being universally reviled while trying to navigate a path that will satisfy interests deeply at odds.

2:02 PM rolls around, and it's clear that this project will only have the monotony pole. They're digging through what turns out to be silt dug out of roadside ditches and dumped here, and will never get down to the original soil. I decide to go walkabout and check out what I can of the 1 square mile of property.

4:24 in the afternoon, and by all rights I could knock off and head for the hotel, having turned in more than the 8 hours I'm supposed to. But I keep walking. I've already recorded one site--just a collection of 100-year-old trash, but something beats nothing--and feel like walking further. So I meander out toward where a 19th Century map said there was a wagon road. Plenty of daylight left, and this far from Olympia, I am loathe to stop. Who knows when I'll be here again?

6:36, in what even in the post-Equinox period must be considered evening. Besides flushing out a coyote (every outcrop in this place has the gnawed bones of some creature eaten by a coyote, along with a celebratory poop), I found a site that seems to have been a rest stop on the wagon road. Bottles of booze and medicine (i.e., booze with an excuse), cans capped with solder, tobacco tins, and so on. The older the glass in the Northwest, the prettier: aqua with bubbles of 19th Century breath and air, once-clear glass tinted purple by the marriage of sunbeams and manganese.

7:27 PM, and I'm nearly back to the truck, having noted an oddly elaborate fence post and a culvert passing beneath an old rail grade along the way. Normally, there is nothing less fascinating than a culvert, but in this case, it was made with a beautifully glazed terra cotta pipe, frags of which I'd seen before dumped at the depot. Wondering what the hell that fine pipe was doing out here had been bugging me for the past couple of weeks, and now I know. The Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul railway did not skimp, even out here near the end of a decidedly minor capillary. Plus, this culvert seems like a nice den for some critter, and I am a big fan of the reversion of civilization to wildness. [Oh, and I did have time to check out the monitoring site, confirming that it would have been a waste of time to stay put.]

8:38, and it's pretty much dark. I've driven to the hotel (40 more miles of driving this day), and am in search of food. The options in Moses Lake for late dining are limited, and I end up at Safeway. Besides dinner, I now have tomorrow's lunch and some beer, in case I am awake enough to drink it when I get back to the hotel.

9:36 PM. I should be asleep, but instead I stay conscious for a while longer. I call the kids and learn about their day, enumerate the animals I have seen. No writing, but I check out my sister's blog. I even watch some TV, an exotic experience, and luck out with an episode of South Park about Haoles and "Native" Hawaiians. Yes, it is late and I am loopy, but it's hilarious, even though I forgot to drink the beer.

11:11 PM (plus or minus). I close my eyes and drift off, meadowlark song echoes in my ears, visions of purple glass and lines of shorn wheat on my lids.
So, that's one day, much abridged. Lots of driving with sub-par radio choices. Lots of walking while being whipped by winds carrying grit. Easily more than 12 hours of "work," but nothing I would change. I saw a lot, got to know some new ground as you only can at walking pace, and didn't have to deal with any monitoring emerencies. From my employer's perspective, I managed risk and kept them legal. For me, though, it was mostly fun.

I'm still amazed that I ended up this way, doing what I do. It's tempting to take credit and claim it was all the plan, but there are any number of junctures at which random chance changed my career path. The most I did was recognize the right times to pounce on opportunities. And now, whatever time of day, I find myself pretty happy with what I do for a living.
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