Recent local blog posts

Summer in Seattle = Seafair!

blue angelsWhen you see the Blue Angels in the Seattle skies, you know it’s Seafair!

This past week the Rebels by Bus went to West Seattle’s Alki Beach via the passenger-only ferry.  It was predicted to be HOT (for Seattle, at least), reaching the low 90’s.  Not a great day for walking the almost 3 mile concrete promenade along Alki.

It was unanimous…we decided to splurge and have lunch at Salty’s which is located less than 2 blocks (south) from the Seacrest Park, where the ferry lands in West Seattle.

We were seated close to the window.  Much to our surprise and delight the Blue Angels were practicing before our eyes!  What a treat.

After lunch we caught the free shuttle (Metro 775) to travel to the Admiral district and down to Alki.  We exited the bus on 63rd, where the first white settlers of Seattle (Denny party) landed.  We spent a short time to breath in the cooler salt air, before jumping back on the shuttle to catch our ferry.

Sharlene took some great photos of this trip… including a visit to the Klondike National Park site on Jackson Street and 2nd Avenue.  Check out the pictures at

Categories: Local Environment

Are Zombies Eating your Leftovers?

Thurston Talk - Wed, 08/05/2015 - 6:11pm



Submitted by Thurston County Solid Waste 

Zombie Day

Are you feeding your extra food to Zombies? You might be a Food Waster. Thurston County Solid Waste invites you to learn a better way to manage extra food.

Are you a Food Waster or a Food Warrior? Thurston County Solid Waste’s new virtual workshop can tell you! What should you do with food that’s been wasted? If you answered, “Feed it to zombies,” you might be a food waster.  Still not sure? What if we asked you whether wasting food impacts the food insecure members of our community? If your answer is, “Who cares, let them eat cake,” well then, you might benefit from the fun and informative virtual workshop brought to you by the county’s Waste Less Food campaign.

Staff at TCSW want residents to understand the impacts of wasting food – and have fun in the process! Modeled after the City of Olympia’s award-winning Grasscycling virtual workshop, the Waste Less Food workshop shares important information along with twelve questions that will help participants understand why they should care about wasting food, how wasting food affects them, the environment and their community, as well as sharing some easy steps they can take to waste less. Those completing the workshop will be entered in monthly giveaways between now and April 2016 for fun kitchen gadgets and food saving items like cookbooks, veggie spiralizers, stainless steel lunchboxes and more.

And let’s face it, learning is a lot more fun when there are zombies and a dash of snarkiness, right? Find out if you’re a Food Waster or a Food Warrior at:

LAKE Tenth Anniversary Installation!

K Records - Wed, 08/05/2015 - 6:03pm
LAKE are happening, ten years deep. Can you believe these folks have been rockin’ the gentle side of your harsh toke for an entire decade? They will play all of their many albums live (including K classics Oh, The Places We’ll Go [KLP196], Let’s Build a Roof [KLP213] and The World Is Real [KLP246]) at […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Back to the Future Movie Extravaganza Comes to Lacey

Thurston Talk - Wed, 08/05/2015 - 6:01pm



Submitted by The City of Lacey

Settle in for an all night "Back to the Future" extravaganza at Huntamer Park.

Settle in for an all night “Back to the Future” extravaganza at Huntamer Park.

Lacey in Tune’s summer entertainment series at Huntamer Park wraps up this weekend in a BIG WAY!  The seven week series, which includes Tuesday evening children’s entertainers, Wednesday noon concerts, and Saturday music AND movies will close out with a night (and early morning) of fun with a screening of Back to the Future 1, 2 & 3!

The evening will start out with classic 50s music by Wally and the Beaves at 7:00 p.m. followed by the 3 action packed classics at dusk. “ Lacey Parks has a tradition of ending the season with a double or triple feature, and this year I couldn’t resist doing Back to the Future since II takes place in the future which is 2015!” says Recreation Supervisor Jeannette Sieler.“Even though each movie is about 2 hours long, making for a late night (or early morning) it was just too fun to pass up!”

The first movie will start about 8:45 p.m., after the band finishes getting everyone in the mood to go ‘back in time’, and it is dark enough to see the screen.  Everyone is encouraged to come out dressed in costume from one of the eras covered in the movies (50s, 1985, 2015 aka the ‘future’ or the wild west), and bring comfortable seating.  Popcorn, hot dogs and snacks will be available for purchase, and there will be lots of fun surprises for the evening as well!

An Audio Junkie’s Desert Island Discs

Thurston Talk - Wed, 08/05/2015 - 4:14pm



Submitted by Jeffrey Scott, Owner of Desco Audio & Video

There is a BBC Radio 4 program that started in 1942 called Desert Island Discs.  The format is simple – a guest is invited to choose eight discs, a book, and a luxury to take with them as they’re castaway on a mythical desert island. They’re given the complete works of Shakespeare and the Bible. During the interview, they explain their choices and discuss key moments in their lives, people, and events that have influenced and inspired them and brought them to where they are today.

The radio show still plays to this day and has aired over 3000 episodes. I’ve been an audio/music junkie since about 1977. Here are some of my favorite albums and why they are special to me.

Steely Dan - Aja - Photo courtesy of Desco AV

Steely Dan – Aja – Photo courtesy of Desco AV

Steely Dan – Aja (new re-issued 180 gram vinyl)

This album started my obsession with Hi-Fi and great music.  When my older brother was about 18, he got this awesome Sansui stereo system and threatened me with great bodily harm or death if I ever touched it.  So, as soon as he left the house, I snuck into his room and fired up his turntable and discovered music like I had never heard before. The album he had on the platter was the new Steely Dan Aja.  I was too young to understand all the lyrics and but the fusion of Jazz and Rock that came together makes this one of the greatest albums of all time.  I just knew I loved it.  I still listen to it, and we stock the new pressings in vinyl at our store.

Thelma Houston and Pressure Cooker - I’ve Got the Music in Me - Photo courtesy of Desco AV

Thelma Houston and Pressure Cooker – I’ve Got the Music in Me – Photo courtesy of Desco AV

Thelma Houston and Pressure Cooker – I’ve Got the Music In Me (Sheffield Lab Records direct-to-disc vinyl)

In the mid-70’s Doug Sax and Lincoln Mayorga created a music label called Sheffield Labs that perfected direct-to-disc recordings.  Instead of making a master tape and editing it together, they cut the music straight to a lacquer lathe and made the master lacquer platter live!  I didn’t discover these albums until the early 80’s.  The music is Big Band, R&B, Jazz Fusion and is absolutely fantastic.  These songs are all done in one take and captures a magical music moment.  It is a very difficult album to find in good condition.  There is an unopened copy on eBay for $133.  If you buy it, give me a ring.  I would love to listen to that first play! I could not live without my copy of this recording.

Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon - Photo courtesy of Desco AV

Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon – Photo courtesy of Desco AV

Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon (180 gram vinyl and CD)

Although The Dark Side of the Moon came out in 1973 and was an immediate success, I didn’t discover it until 1979 when it was re-mastered and released as a  Mobile Fidelity half-speed master. This was the first theme based album with songs that blended into each other.  It had sounds and effects that are unlike the albums of its day.  I am sure most of you are familiar with the work as it is still one of the best-selling albums of all time.  It has currently sold over 45 million copies worldwide.  This record makes me miss the way records used to be made – as whole concepts.  In this iTunes world we live in, concept albums seem a thing of the past.  Perhaps that is the appeal of vinyl.  With a record, the listener gets to enjoy the whole meal instead of an appetizer.

Eagles – Hotel California - Photo courtesy of Desco AV

Eagles – Hotel California – Photo courtesy of Desco AV

Eagles – Hotel California (vinyl or CD)

Released in 1976, Hotel California, was the Eagles fifth studio album.  I liked the sarcasm and smart lyrics in this album as well as the great cohesion that this band has.  Every artist in the group had significant contributions to the final product. The members of the Eagles are all such accomplished musicians.  I always have an easy, peaceful feeling when listening (sorry, couldn’t help stealing their line).

Erich Kunzel & the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra – Tchaikovsky’s 1812, Capriccio Italien and Cossack Dances - Photo courtesy of Desco AV

Erich Kunzel & the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra – Tchaikovsky’s 1812, Capriccio Italien and Cossack Dances – Photo courtesy of Desco AV

Erich Kunzel & the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra – Tchaikovsky’s 1812, Capriccio Italien and Cossack Dances (CD or vinyl)

I was introduced to classical music in about 1981 when a girl I liked invited me to her All-State Concert in Seattle.  The All-State Symphony performed Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien, and I was hooked.  I had never heard full orchestral music live and could not believe how moving and powerful it was.  The themed attacks of the music that built to this giant crescendo was both amazing and breathtaking.

I did not have to look far for the best recording.  Telarc Digital had a vinyl record for sale of the Capriccio with the 1812 Overture as the headliner.  There were warning labels on the album. Most record players could not play the album because they recorded real cannons for the 1812 Overture. It made such wide modulations on the record that most needles would jump out of the groove.  Who doesn’t want a record with torture-your-system warnings?  I bought the album and enjoyed finding a cartridge that could play it.  If you ever find the vinyl album – be careful – it is a challenge for most phono cartridges.  The recording was an early digital master and is wonderful fun.

Mikhail Pletnev – Scarlatti Keyboard Sonatas (CD)

Mikhail Pletnev – Scarlatti Keyboard Sonatas - Photo courtesy of Desco AV

Mikhail Pletnev – Scarlatti Keyboard Sonatas – Photo courtesy of Desco AV

I love listening to the piano, and this double CD recording is beautiful.  Never have I heard such passionate interpretations of Scarlatti’s music.  Mikhail Pletnev is a masterful pianist.  He took Scarlatti’s Sonatas originally meant for the harpsichord and elevated them to lush involving romantic interpretations.  Some harpsichord purists may not care for this piece, but I find that his playing combined with one of the best recordings of a piano to be captivating.  Bonus info is that this CD has been re-issued and is available on Amazon for only $12.93! 

Julian Lloyd Webber, Sir Yehudi Menuhin & Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – Elgar Cello Concerto - Photo Courtesy of Desco AV

Julian Lloyd Webber, Sir Yehudi Menuhin & Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – Elgar Cello Concerto – Photo Courtesy of Desco AV

Julian Lloyd Webber, Sir Yehudi Menuhin & Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – Elgar Cello Concerto (CD or vinyl)

There are many great recordings of the Elgar Cello Concerto.  This performance is not only well recorded, but the scale is large and the stereo image expansive.  Recorded in 1985 it still passes the test of time.   There are a few significant recordings of this piece, the most well known is the recording by Jacqueline Du Pré, who made the piece popular on the world stage.  But, Yehudi Menuhin was a musician who had worked with Elgar and Julian Lloyd Webber is a fabulous player who is often looked over due to the fame of his brother, Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Elgar says that he wrote the Cello Concerto as an image of a man contemplating the meaning of life.  It is a haunting and passionate piece of music.  This is one of those pieces of music to be played late at night and savored.

Crosby Stills and Nash – CSN - Photo courtesy of Desco AV

Crosby Stills and Nash – CSN – Photo courtesy of Desco AV

Crosby Stills and Nash – CSN (vinyl and CD)

David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash released this studio album in the summer of 1977.  CSN was the first studio album the three had created together since the Deja Vu album in 1970.  The writing is creative, and the vocals are tight.  One of my favorite tracks to use for demos is In My Dreams written by David Crosby.  The stereo recording has beautiful imaging with the guitars and voices focused across the whole soundstage.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my favorite Desert Island Discs.  I would love to hear your favorites. Post them in a comment below. I am always looking for new music to experience.  If you ever want to hear my list, stop by the store and ask for a demo.


Pamela Holsinger-Fuchs Named New Dean of Enrollment for Saint Martin’s University

Thurston Talk - Wed, 08/05/2015 - 4:01pm



Submitted by Saint Martin’s University

 St. Martins

Pamela Holsinger-Fuchs

Saint Martin’s University is pleased to announce the appointment of Pamela Holsinger-Fuchs, Ph.D., as its new dean of enrollment. She brings more than 25 years of higher education experience to Saint Martin’s, most recently as executive director of enrollment services for the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She joined the Saint Martin’s community August 3 and will serve as a member of the University’s executive cabinet.

“I am excited to bring my expertise to Saint Martin’s. I’m attracted to the Benedictine values of service and community and hospitality as those are important in my own life,” she says. “My family and I have lived in the Pacific Northwest previously and are excited about being back in the area. I look forward to many opportunities as a ‘Saint’.”

University President Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D., says that Holsinger-Fuchs will be providing innovative leadership and direction for undergraduate admissions endeavors at Saint Martin’s and will work closely with faculty and staff in her new role. She also will be promoting and strengthening relationships with secondary schools, local and professional organizations and the greater community.

“We welcome Dr. Holsinger-Fuchs to Saint Martin’s and celebrate her return to the Northwest,” says Heynderickx.  “Her extensive background in higher education, in particular, her successful career in recruitment and retention, will help guide and strengthen the recent growth in applications and graduation rates Saint Martin’s has been experiencing.”

At UW-Stout, her leadership resulted in a major rise in enrollment and in international applications, development of a comprehensive strategic plan and revamping of the university’s scholarship program, among other accomplishments, he said.

Holsinger-Fuchs, whose administrative posts in higher education include service as vice president/dean of students at Trinity Lutheran College in Everett, also has served as director of Educational Opportunity Centers for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and as associate vice chancellor of student services and enrollment management at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, during her career.

Holsinger-Fuchs has a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, as well as a master’s degree in college and university administration from Michigan State University. Her broad undergraduate background includes the fields of arts management, women’s studies and business administration.

Holsinger-Fuchs is the recipient of numerous honors, including system-wide awards from the University of Minnesota for advising and community service. Also among her awards are a Founders Award, the highest award given by the National Association of Campus Activities, and a Rotary 4-Way Test Award, given to those who best foster the ideals of service.

She is a Master Gardener, an avid reader and has been active with Habitat for Humanity and community theatre and arts organizations in Wisconsin. She says she looks forward to becoming involved in the local community.


Amazing World of the Honeybee

OlyBlog Home Page - Wed, 08/05/2015 - 12:52pm
Event:  Thu, 08/27/2015 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Learn about the bee's incredible life inside the hive from Laurie Pyne of the Olympia Beekeepers Association. Why are bees important to us all, what are the current threats and concerns and what can people do to help? Refreshments provided by the Friends of the Tumwater Library.

Location: Tumwater Timberland Library, 7023 New Market St SW, Tumwater WA 98501. 
Phone: 360-943-7790. 
Intercity Transit route 12/13. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Tending Your Gut Garden

OlyBlog Home Page - Wed, 08/05/2015 - 12:52pm
Event:  Tue, 08/25/2015 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Take an active role in supporting your health through your better digestion. What is the microbiome and how do you take care of it? Get acquainted with gut flora, learn the symptoms and causes of imbalance, and explore ways cultivate a healthy garden of gut bacteria through food and medicinal herbs. Meghan Hintz, Certified Fermentationist and Health Coach will share her knowledge of digestive challenges, food sensitivities, and improving overall health through digestion. 

Location: Tumwater Timberland Library, 7023 New Market St SW, Tumwater WA 98501. 
Phone: 360-943-7790. 
Intercity Transit route 12/13. 
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Summer Reading Party

OlyBlog Home Page - Wed, 08/05/2015 - 12:48pm
Event:  Tue, 08/18/2015 - 3:30pm - 6:30pm

Celebrate all of the reading you did this summer at the Tumwater Timberland Library's End of Summer Party! There will be cake, crafts, games, and balloon animals. Program paid for by the Friends of the Tumwater Timberland Library. This event is part of Summer Reading, a Timberland Regional Library district-wide program.

Location: Tumwater Timberland Library, 7023 New Market St SW, Tumwater WA 98501. 
Phone: 360-943-7790. 
Intercity Transit route 12/13. 
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Yelm Community Health Fair Offers Family Fun, Education

Thurston Talk - Wed, 08/05/2015 - 9:58am



yelm community health fair

Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates present the Yelm Community Health Fair on Thursday, August 6 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The same studies that encourage children learning through play should be amended to say that parents learn best when their children are safely occupied and they—the parents!—have the opportunity for hands on interaction with neighborhood medical, dental, financial, and community professionals.

On Thursday, August 6 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. just such an opportunity takes place at the second annual Yelm Community Health Fair. Held at the 201 Tahoma Boulevard offices of the Yelm Medical Plaza and presented by the Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates team, Thursday promises to be a day full of fun for the kids and information for the parents. Best yet, an on-site bounce house means both can happen simultaneously.

Shelby Carter, Marketing Coordinator for Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates, is excited that the event will include everything from food to an all-ages inflatable bounce-obstacle course. She hopes the day provides community members a friendly introduction to many health options and local businesses.

Carter explains that with more than 25 vendors on-site, a blood drive in partnership with the American Red Cross, and drawings for prizes and services, residents can discover new things around every corner. This is the second Yelm Community Health Fair and last year’s feedback was so positive that putting together this year’s Fair was easy.

yelm community health fair

Shelby Carter, from Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates, says that the Yelm Community Health Fair provides community members a friendly introduction to many health options and local businesses.

As event host, the Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates team—including some of their board certified doctors—will be there to greet Fair-goers, answer questions, and even offer a drawing for a free pair of custom orthotics, a shoe insert not often covered by insurance.

The Foot and Ankle Associates offices offer services related to injury, pain, diabetes, athlete’s foot, toe-nail fungus, and geriatric foot care. They can diagnose and treat issues via diagnostic ultrasound, reconstructive or corrective surgery, or through use of lasers.

Other participating sponsors include credit unions, senior services and residence facilities, medical and dental offices, community services, Intercity Transit, and Costco. All will be happy to answer questions, provide information, and meet you, their neighbors.

Families are encouraged to bring their children as Discover! Children’s Museum of Chehalis will provide crafts and their own drawings and games.

We worry about summer brain drain in our school-aged kids, but even adults can feel overwhelmed during hot sunny days filled with activities and appointments galore. Give yourself a break while learning about new resources at this year’s Yelm Community Health Fair.

Call 360-754-3338 with any questions about the Fair or 360-400-3338 to speak to the Yelm office staff at Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates.


Providence St. Peter Hospital Ranked One of the Best Hospitals in the State and Country

Thurston Talk - Wed, 08/05/2015 - 6:41am



providence st peter hospital

In the past three months, US News and World Report has ranked Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia as the second best hospital in the state and one of the best hospitals in the nation. Photo courtesy: Providence.

Expert medical care can be the difference between life and death, which is why it’s comforting to know that one of the best hospitals in the state — and country — is located right in our very own backyard.

In the past three months, Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report as:

These recent accolades, which were given based on a challenging set of criteria established by U.S. News and World Report, are just two of many that Providence Medical Group and Providence St. Peter Hospital have collected over the years.

U.S. News and World Report’s recognition of Providence St. Peter Hospital as a nationwide leader in common care areas ranked the hospital alongside well-respected medical institutions such as the Mayo Clinic and Stanford University. In total, nearly 5,000 hospitals across the country were evaluated on common inpatient procedures and conditions such as heart bypass surgery, hip replacement, knee replacement, heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

providence st peter hospital

Offering up some of the best care in the country, Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia is proof that you don’t need to leave the area for quality care.

Of the hospitals evaluated, only 34 were ranked as high performing in all five categories. Providence St. Peter Hospital was one of them.

Paul Wilkinson, chief operating officer for Providence St. Peter Hospital, says recognition like this means a lot to the hospital. “It confirms the great care we provide,” says Wilkinson. “It shows what we know – that people don’t have to leave Southwest Washington for great care.”

But Providence St. Peter Hospital doesn’t strive for quality care in hopes of garnering prestigious titles; at Providence St. Peter Hospital, providing the best care possible is all about one thing: the patients. “We don’t focus on the quality to get awards,” says Wilkinson. “We focus on the quality to take care of our patients.”

Already offering some of the best care in the country, it comes as no surprise that Providence St. Peter Hospital also ranks high among Washington hospitals as well. This was confirmed earlier this month when US News and World Report declared Providence St. Peter Hospital the second best hospital in the entire state.

“To be ranked second in the state is a wonderful recognition,” says Wilkinson. “Again, it’s confirmation of the solid work we do here in Olympia.”

Looking to the future, Wilkinson says Providence St. Peter Hospital plans to continue doing what it’s done for the past 128 years: provide quality care to our patients.

Providence St Peter Hospital oncology patient

Providence St. Peter Hospital was one of three Providence Medical Group facilities to rank high performing in all five of US News and World Report’s five common care areas.

What does this look like?

One way Providence St. Peter Hospital plans to do this is by continuing to advance its award-winning medical services and improving technology. In the coming months, Wilkinson says the hospital will introduce a high-tech daVinci robot that can assist in precise surgeries. “We want to do the best we can to serve the residents here,” says Wilkinson.

With experienced healthcare professionals, top of the line equipment and technology, and high standards for quality care, Providence St. Peter Hospital isn’t just one of the best healthcare facilities in the state, it’s a national leader in the field of medicine. With this level of care, Providence St. Peter Hospital is proof you don’t need to leave the area to get high quality care.

To learn more about Providence Medical Group or Providence St. Peter Hospital, visit Providence St. Peter Hospital’s website or call 888-776-4362.


Blush Day Spa – an Olympia Fempire

Thurston Talk - Wed, 08/05/2015 - 6:00am



By Kelli Samson

fastsignsIt gives me a thrill to introduce you to Blush Day Spa, Olympia’s eastside lap of luxurious pampering. Located in a charming, three-story home just off of Fourth Avenue, it’s inviting right from the start. The entire property is shaded by stately trees, and visitors are greeted by a chalkboard boasting a sweet welcome via some fancy hand-lettering.

Stepping inside is like stepping into the living room we all wish we had at home, where everything is tidy and un-touched by little hands. The curtains are gauzy and let in diffused sunlight, the furniture is a mix of shabby chic and plush elegance, and the mantle boasts framed photos of all of the employees. The products are colorful and artfully displayed, soft music is playing, and somewhere a candle deliciously burns. A cup of tea is offered, and not a care can touch you now.

blush day spa olympia

Blush is owned by a trio of fearless women (from left) Rashelle Barney, Andrea Aiken, and Stacy Feneide. Photo credit: Hezekiah Pugh.

This is just how the owners who have thoughtfully crafted Blush want you to feel.

Blush is owned by a triumvirate of sassy, sweet women: Andrea Aiken, Rashelle Barney, and Stacy Feneide. They met while working together at Alderbrook Resort and Spa. Aiken and Feneide are originally from Westport, and Barney is from the Bothell area.

Barney was studying to become a teacher when she stumbled into esthetics. “I fell in love with it. I do have my instructor’s license now, so that kind of combines the two areas,” she says.

Aiken also began with a different career in mind. “I went to Eastern Washington University to study business and marketing, but I was bored out of my mind,” she shares. “I was working as a receptionist at a salon and got my first facial. I realized I really wanted this for a career. I was always into skin care and would do my friends’ makeup in high school. Half way through college, I told my parents I wanted to leave for esthetician school.”

Feneide, too, came upon her career as a manicurist “kind of by accident. A friend of mine did hair, and we wanted to go into business together, so she talked me into it. It was totally on a whim,” she recalls. “I love it. I never feel like it’s work.”

When the three first entertained going into business together, they imagined a space with a room for each of them to conduct their businesses of waxing, polishing, and skin care. What they couldn’t dream of then is exactly what Blush is now: a spacious, thriving business with numerous practitioners who are experts in gifting their clients with a little bit of bliss.

blush day spa olympia

Under Stacy Feneide’s discerning eye, the interior decor of Blush Day Spa has been carefully honed and selected. It’s very colorful, cozy, and charming.

“We all individually still have our own businesses, but we own Blush together. We never really meant for it to turn into what it did. We were looking for a space with three rooms, but we ended up falling in love with the character of this old building,” recalls Aiken. “Stacy does a lot of the refinishing and decorating here. She’s super crafty.”

Currently, all of the practitioners are women, but “we are not against having men work here,” they laugh. “We definitely have a lot of fun. We work with a great group of girls,” smiles Feneide.

Each practitioner is available by appointment only. However, the front desk is consistently open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Services offered by the ladies at Blush include just about everything but hair: airbrush spray tanning, lash extensions and tinting, massage, manicures and pedicures, skin care, waxing and sugaring, body wraps and peels, and makeup application. They welcome individuals or groups.

Blush boasts not only the Best Mani and Pedi in the Olympia area (King 5’s “Best in the Northwest”), but also spa coordinator extraordinaire, Kerri Turner, recently qualified in the top 25 in the Ms. Veteran America pageant. They carry the Eminence Organic Skin Care product line, which is coveted, organic, and “kind of like a raw food diet for your skin,” says Aiken. Other product lines of note are Baby Foot, Billion Dollar Brows, Love and Toast, Farmhouse Fresh, and organic tea from Flying Bird in Bellingham. Nails are done with CND shellac polish.

blush day spa olympia

Just one of a number of relaxing service rooms at Blush, waiting to make you feel pampered.

“The first thing we honestly look at is packaging. Will it look cute? And then we see if we like the product,” laughs Feneide.

Blush is about to celebrate its second anniversary, and things just keep getting better. They’re in the process of getting their liquor license. Aiken has recently welcomed a new addition to her own family, just as the spa has welcomed esthetician Chelsea Kelley over from Spruce.

“I’m so excited to be waxing full-time with the amazing group of talented women at Blush. It’s exciting and easy to thrive off an inviting environment like this, where customers are the top priority and everyone truly loves what they do,” explains Kelley.

They recently added to their space with what was formerly an upstairs apartment. They’ve been busy connecting it to the main floor and configuring the space to serve as a relaxation room, a bridal/makeup area, a room for skin care, and a room for massage.

Plans for a grand re-opening party are in the works for September 10, complete with drinks, appetizers, and goody bags. Mark those calendars, because you won’t want to miss out on the fun.

blush day spa olympia

Blush Day Spa is located at 1702 4th Ave. in east Olympia, in a big old house beneath the dappled sunlight.

We’re only about halfway through the summer. Schedule yourself some time to refresh those toenails, touch up the spray tan, or get a much-needed massage after all of that time with the kids home from school for the season. You know you deserve it.

You can learn more about Blush on their website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, or Instagram.  Call 360-352-7072 to schedule an appointment.

Blush Day Spa

1702 4th Ave. East in Olympia


Jake’s On 4th – A Place for Every Flag

Thurston Talk - Wed, 08/05/2015 - 6:00am



By Luke Chouinard

Hometown logoOlympia is undoubtedly one of the most progressive cities in the Pacific Northwest, sporting a distinct populous unlike any other. On a Friday or Saturday night on 4th Avenue in downtown Olympia, the cowboy and karaoke bars have a small buzz of attendants flowing in and out. Further down the road, the real party is bursting out the doors at Jake’s On 4th. The bar, restaurant, and dance floor hybrid is seemingly the perfect fit for the unique inhabitants of Olympia.

olympia gay bar

Jake’s On 4th is a bar, restaurant, dance floor hybrid in downtown Olympia that is popular among its patrons. Photo courtesy: Jake’s On 4th.

Jake’s has offers a little bit of everything to the average patron. Pool tables are readily available for the customers interested in relaxing and enjoying their drinks. The massive, laser-decorated dance floor serves the more upbeat customer, while the restaurant located out front gives Olympians the option of drunk-munching before tucking into bed.

Reflective of the accepting nature of Western Washington, one of Olympia’s most popular bar is also a gay bar. Regardless of your gender identification or persuasion, Jake’s is a great place to have a good time in a welcoming environment.

The employees at Jake’s add to the enjoyment of the experience. Tyler Leatherman, a hot dog and tater tot specialist that has been with Jake’s for four years. “Everyone opened their arms to me and welcomed me,” reflects Leatherman. “Since working at Jake’s, I’ve learned to be welcoming and loving of everyone. This bar is accepting of everyone regardless of gender or sex, which makes it truly special.”

olympia gay bar

Hit the dance floor at Jake’s On 4th. The local bar is open until midnight seven days a week. Photo courtesy: Jake’s On 4th.

Justin, a bartender at Jake’s, sings a similarly positive tune. “I’ve been working here for seven years. It is a great place to work, both the employees and patrons have made it a great experience.”

On weekends and Wet Wednesdays, Jake’s is the place to be. The bar’s immense popularity is a visual spectacle, as the dance floor is typically packed from wall to wall and patrons are lining up outside. A few customers shared their views on what makes Jake’s so special to this community.

Laqueesha Taylor has been attending Wet Wednesdays at Jake’s for four years, and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. “This place is incredible. I’m not judged about my sexuality and can truly express myself here. Everyone can. Everyone is so open and accepting, including the staff.”

Dakota, a frequent Jake’s-goer and apparent artist, felt a combination of factors made Jake’s particularly appealing to adults. “First, the acceptance and diversity of Jake’s is unlike any other. The magnitude of the dance floor is unmatched by other bars, a lot of other places don’t have that. The food is great as well, which really adds to the experience.”

Ray Meyer was also a big fan of Jake’s, and felt especially at home because he has spent his whole life in Olympia. “I was born here, raised here. This is my domain. It makes me feel truly comfortable that I can be myself at this bar, spared of any judgement. And the Long Island Ice Teas are top notch.”

olympia gay bar

Jake’s On 4th boasts a gay-friendly atmosphere that does not tolerate judgment. Photo courtesy: Jake’s On 4th.

Jake’s distinctive environment clearly connects with Olympia’s progressive community. On Wet Wednesdays, Glitter Party Sundays, and weekends, Jake’s is frequently packed to the brink with an open and accepting community. In other cities, exclusive dance clubs and cowboy bars are the most popular. In Olympia, and its rare melting pot of inhabitants, we have Jake’s.

Jake’s On 4th

311 – 4th Ave East

Olympia, WA 98501


Open 7 days a week from noon until midnight


Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week

Thurston Talk - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 5:50pm



Submitted by Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton

BUDDYMeet Buddy, a 5 year old male Rottweiler and Chow Chow mix.  He is a super sweet boy who walks well on his leash, knows his basic obedience commands, and is very playful. He loves to go camping, and always enjoys time playing fetch the stick and will play for as long as you want to. Buddy knows ‘Sit’, ‘Stay’ and ‘Down’ so you can see he is a very smart boy.

He is good around other pets but gets nervous around small noisy, active children. A secure fenced yard would be perfect for Buddy so he can safely play without the worry of wandering off. Buddy is up-to-date on his shots and has been neutered.

We have lots of great dogs and always need volunteers to help them.  Visit our website at or contact Adopt-A-Pet, on Jensen Road in Shelton, at at or (360) 432-3091.  Join us on Facebook at “Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton Washington”.

Shameless Promotion (Bees & Other Pollinators)

Bees, Birds & Butterflies - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 4:19pm
When, twenty years ago, Janet introduced Mason Bees into our family, neither of us had a notion of what she was starting.  By now I well know that mason bees are an entry drug into the world of bees, for they are easy to both raise and observe.  They have lured me deep into the pollinator world.

This past weekend (July 24 - 26) was definitely another tipping point, where I attended a program mostly about recognizing bumble bees.  Forty plus folk gathered in a Snohomish County Extension classroom (one county north of Seattle) to expand their knowledge of pollinators and receive instruction on how to recognize bumble bees down to their species and gender, taught by Rich Hatfield.  Rich is the biologist for Bumble Bee Watch, (a project of The Xerces Society), and he did a good job covering a complex topic.

 Study pollinators at Oly Public Library on 9/28/15The field trip the next day was soggy — the first real rain in weeks.  It started with showers, and many of the bees we spotted were wet and huddled under larger flowers.  Ninety minutes in, and both insects and insect surveyors were soaked and wanting to hide. With our field trip shortened, some of us retreated nearby for warmth and hot drinks.  By the end of the workshop day I already knew that I wanted (needed) to do the same thing in Thurston County -- well not the getting soaked part, but that will happen too.  With the caffeinated conversations in my head, I considered the next steps while driving home a few counties to the south.

So what is next?  How about a monthly study group on native pollinators (not honey bees) and then a weekend short course, this time in Thurston County.  Look for regular updates including speakers / topics on our blog main page under "Pollinator Study":
Pollinators Study Group (Thurston Co, WA)

This is your invitation: if you live in the area and are interested in being part of a regular study group that wants to both learn more about some of the pollinators of the South Sound, and share some of your knowledge with others as well, please come.  The first meeting will be a mix of "Show and Tell" (bring something), and planning for the future.  We look forward to seeing you.
Meeting room, Olympia Timberland Regional Library, Monday, Sept 28th, 6:00 p.m. 
Glen Buschmann
360/ 352-9009

Categories: Local Environment

The Best Movies are Under the Stars in Olympia

Thurston Talk - Tue, 08/04/2015 - 6:49am



By Kathryn Millhorn

Capitol City Honda sponsorSummer fun shouldn’t stop when the sun goes down. The heat wave finally breaks and you can truly enjoy crystal clear nights with family, friends, and neighbors. Outdoor movies are a great way to make the most of vacation yet are still near to home and easy on the wallet.

olympia outdoor movie

The Tumwater Valley Screen on the Green outdoor movies are free and great for families.

The vast majority of these showings offer small snacks or non-alcoholic drinks for sale but bringing your own low-backed folding chairs, blankets, and food can make the experience even better. Just remember to leave pets and alcohol at home and pack out all your trash and leftovers.

Sundown (Rated G-PG)

Families with kids—or those wanting to keep summer frothy and fun—can find exciting and popular films usually rated G or PG at several local outdoor hot spots. Shows typically start at dusk and the cost is minimal or free altogether.

Tumwater’s Screen on the Green

Through August, Tumwater Valley Golf Course hosts film nights every Friday.  Seating begins at 7:30 p.m. and the movie starts at dusk.

August 7: The Lego Movie (PG)

August 14: Guardians of the Galaxy (PG-13)

August 21: Paddington (PG)

August 28: Big Hero 6 (PG)


olympia outdoor movie

Residents gather at the West Central Park in West Olympia for a Monday night outdoor movie.

West Central Park Project

This West Olympia park on the corner of Division Street and Harrison Avenue shows an array of movies for watchers of all ages. Movies start at dusk on Monday nights and are free.

August 10: Ferngully (G)

August 24: The Sand Lot (PG)

August 31: Willow (PG)


Late night (PG-R)

These shows are perfect for teens, film buffs, and night owls of all ages. Who says the party stops at midnight?

Skyline Drive-In

For the die-hard movie-goer, these double features rock the night. Doors open at 8:00 p.m., seven days a week. No outside food or drink is allowed but a generous snack bar is available for midnight munchies.

Find the list of what’s playing on the Skyline Drive-In website and what’s up next in the Coming Soon section.


outdoor movie olympia

Family friendly entertainment is followed by an outdoor movie during the Lacey In Tune events at Huntamer Park.

Lacey In Tune Movies at Dusk

Lacey’s Huntamer Park rocks out with free concerts at 7:00 p.m. on Saturdays in August with movies beginning at dusk.

August 1: Muppets Most Wanted (PG)

August 8: All three Back to the Future Movies! (PG) It’ll truly be back-to-back-to-Back-to the Future!


All noir long (art & classic films)

Proving that the classics are better under the stars and twilight showings can be enjoyed by grown-ups as well as kids.

Classic Movies at the Mansion

Friday nights at 8:45 p.m. the Washington Historical Society offers a month of free classic films on the grounds of the State Capitol Museum.

outdoor movie olympia

Classic flicks come to the State Capitol Museum on Friday nights in August.

August 7: Some Like it Hot (NR)

August 14: East of Eden (PG)

August 21: Sabrina (G)

August 28: Notorious (NR)


West Central Park Project

These movies begin at dusk (around 9:45 p.m.) on Monday nights on Olympia’s West Side.

August 3: The Sting (PG)

August 17: The African Queen (PG)


Relationships Built Upon Trust: Boggs Inspection Services and Local Real Estate Agents

Thurston Talk - Mon, 08/03/2015 - 2:40pm



olympia home inspector

Roxanne Byrd has been serving clients throughout the South Sound for over 10 years and chooses Boggs Inspections Services for her clients.

Building relationships is something we work on all our lives, both professionally and personally. We teach children how to create relationships using kindness and respect. We foster relationships as adults through consistency, integrity, and honesty. We grow professional relationships at work by demonstrating hard work, reliability, and communication. But, really, building strong relationships throughout our lives involves using all of the virtues listed above tied together with one overarching idea – trust.

To build any type of relationship we must first trust someone. It’s from this foundation that affection, connection and, frankly, business, all grow.

Many business fields rely upon word of mouth and referral for their clients and none more so than the real estate industry. Trust is paramount when making a decision as big as buying and selling a home. Clients must trust their agent, but beyond that, agents must trust their team including escrow agents, septic professionals, contractors, and home inspectors.

Roxanne Byrd has been a real estate agent for more than 13 years. Her business, Byrd Home Group with Keller Williams Realty, is based out of University Place near Tacoma but she helps clients with real estate transactions throughout the South Sound, routinely working in the Olympia area several times a week.

Byrd shares that “customer service and ethical practices are the cornerstone of my business. It may sound cliché but it’s true.” Her goal with clients is to ensure that they are being heard and taking the time to build a trusting relationship. “We never want them to be left guessing about anything. This may mean fewer deals in our office but each one is done with the highest quality of service.”

olympia home inspector

Jim Acklin counts on Boggs Inspection Service to provide honest, straightforward advice during a home inspection without terrifying clients with “gloom and doom” reports.

And it’s clear from her reviews on Zillow that clients feel the love from Byrd Home Group. With over 30 5-star reviews, Byrd’s dedication plainly doesn’t go unnoticed. Part of what earns her these stellar reviews is the team of professionals she’s assembled to help close a sale. Among them is Dwayne Boggs and the team at Boggs Inspection Services.

“The reason I like to work with Dwayne is because he’s personable and so easy to work with. His experience, knowledge, and effective communication with clients helps ensure things go smoothly,” shares Byrd. “Dwayne and his team offer services and information that go above and beyond a typical inspection such as a home warranty or contractor referrals for repairs.”

The bottom line for Byrd is that she just plain likes Dwayne and the way he relates to people. “It’s a delicate balance for a home inspector to deliver bad news gently, without scaring clients. Dwayne leaves clients feeling knowledgeable, comfortable and informed about their next steps to close the sale.”

Can Roxanne Byrd trust Dwayne Boggs and the Boggs Inspection Services team? You bet. Trust is what they both have built more than a decade of successful business upon. “It’s truly a pleasure doing business with good people. And Dwayne is just a good person. I’m grateful I can count him as one of our team.”

Tacoma based Century 21 real estate agent Jim Acklin agrees that trust is the cornerstone of his business. “In my business I primarily work by referral. When someone refers me, it means I’m personally invested in doing a good job for them – it’s not just another sale,” he explains.

With over 17 years in real estate Acklin’s experience ranges from owning his own real estate business to managing offices to working for himself. He knows that working relationally – not just transactionally – offers him the opportunity to build his business with individuals he values and trusts.

olympia home inspector

Jim Acklin serves clients throughout the South Sound from his Puyallup based office where he works with his wife.

He’s been building a relationship with Dwayne Boggs for over four years. “I met Dwayne when the buyer on one of my listings hired him for the inspection. This is usually a bit of an adversarial position,” Acklin laughs recalling being on the other side of a Boggs Inspection report. “However, he did such a professional job and was so credible that I started calling him to do my inspections.”

It’s Boggs’ style of careful, competent explanation that stands out for Acklin. “A lot of inspectors might make a mountain out of a molehill when explaining technical issues on an inspection report. This can terrify buyers who are inexperienced. Dwayne and his team really take the time to explain things to a buyer, giving them options and honest answers without alarming them.”

The two have formed a bit of a friendship in the process, meeting for lunch from time to time, talking about how they run their businesses. “First and foremost, Dwayne and I have the same business philosophy and because of that, I know I can trust working with him.”

The Boggs Inspection Services team of inspectors all apprentice with Dwayne and practice his philosophy of building real, lasting relationships built upon trust and integrity. Isn’t that the kind of relationship you are looking for?

To schedule an inspection with Boggs Inspection Services call 360-480-9602 or visit them online or on Facebook to learn more.

To connect with Roxanne Byrd visit Byrd Home Group online or call 253-693-2914.

To connect with Jim Acklin visit his homepage here or call 253-564-6211.

Dick and Nancy Wiss: Keeping West Olympia Clean, Six Days a Week

Thurston Talk - Mon, 08/03/2015 - 12:33pm




By Kelli Samson

thurston solid wasteIf you find yourself regularly driving around west Olympia between 6:00 – 9:00 a.m., any day but Sunday, then you’ve probably seen Dick and Nancy Wiss in their orange vests. The retired couple has been walking a two-mile loop six mornings a week since their retirement in 2006, picking up trash along the way.

Married since 1964, the Wisses retired within six days of one another, he from Weyerhaeuser and she from Educational Service District 113. In order to keep Dick’s diabetes in check, getting regular exercise was a part of their retirement plan. They began what became their regular route: Capital Mall Drive to Yauger Way, east on Harrison Avenue, right at Safeway onto Cooper Point Road, all around Yauger Park, and back down Capital Mall Drive.

trash couple olympia

Dick Wiss has been hit by a car twice while picking up trash in the nine years he and his wife have been keeping the west side clean.

“During that very first week,” recalls Nancy, “one of us picked up a plastic sack. We figured we might as well put some stuff in it, so that’s how it started. Before we knew it, we had two plastic bags, and then we started carrying the buckets. A very nice fellow gave us our first trash grabber. Then his friend gave us another one to keep us from bending over. I can’t tell you how many of those things we’ve gone through. The rubber tips wear out.”

Nowadays, they even have special containers from the City of Olympia for storing the used needles they find along their walks. The Bloodmobile gave them their first sharps container in which to dispose of them at home. The sharps container is taken to the Thurston County Needle Exchange when it’s full.

“We were told once not to pick up the needles because it’s dangerous, but we decided we’re old and it’s better that we get stuck by one than some kid at the Skate Court,” says Nancy.

The Wisses never planned to become such an integral part of our city, but they point to their upbringings as training. “When we were children, if we had the rare treat in the car, if we even thought about throwing something out of the car window, we were in trouble,” explains Nancy.

They have two children, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. It was their daughter who gave them their bright orange vests, complete with their names, one year for a Christmas gift. Dick had recently been hit by a car one icy morning while collecting trash. Their daughter made them swear an oath that they would wear the vests faithfully. Another unfortunate encounter with a vehicle followed, but not for a lack of visibility.

trash couple olympia

Nancy Wiss fills and empties six buckets of trash each morning during her two-mile loop.

On any given day, Dick and Nancy fill their buckets with cigarette butts, clothing, wrappers, and bottles, each emptying their bucket up to six times. Monday mornings yield a lot more trash than any other day, as they take Sundays and some Saturdays off. Several businesses along their route have given them permission to dispose of the trash in their dumpsters. Some days yield interesting finds, like piles of blankets or bags of food left by the homeless. The most memorable piece of trash they’ve found? A portable toilet.

For many commuters, waving to Dick and Nancy is just a part of their routine. For Dick and Nancy, saying hello to those in the homeless community has become a part of theirs. They know many individuals by sight and some by name. When they haven’t seen someone for a few days, they begin to worry. “There’s one right now on our radar whom we haven’t seen in three months, and we’re concerned,” shares Nancy.

Just how long do the Wisses plan to keep up their efforts? For as long as it’s possible. And by “possible,” I don’t mean “easy.” Dick’s broken shoulder a few years ago didn’t slow him down. And when Nancy had a hip fracture and wasn’t able to walk, Dick secured her a motorized scooter so she could still get out there with him. “She put the bucket between her feet,” says Dick. They are hard-core and dedicated. Nothing stops them.

trash couple olympia

What began as exercise for Olympia couple Dick and Nancy Wiss has turned into a passion for keeping our city clean.

And people notice. “We’ve gotten some gift cards from people, a lot of Starbucks cards,” says Dick. “No matter where we go, people stop us and say, ‘Are you the ones who pick up the trash?’ We call each other ‘Garbage Picker-Upper.’” The Kiwanis has even bestowed them with their “Everyday Hero” awards.

“We love being outside and noticing every little change in seasons. It’s amazing,” adds Nancy.

At Christmastime, Dick lets his beard grow longer and picks up trash while wearing a Santa hat. “Several years ago, a man stopped us to tell us that his son had seen us picking up garbage. He said, ‘Daddy, Santa Claus is picking up garbage. I want one of those for Christmas,’ and so he gave his son one of the trash grabbers. His son began regularly picking up trash in his neighborhood, so that was cool to inspire someone,” shares Nancy.

Next time you see them in their orange vests, give Dick and Nancy a wave. A truly better way to respect them and the wonderful job they do for all of us, however, is to do your own part where you live.

Dick says it best, “If each person just picked up his part of a block regularly, we wouldn’t have this kind of litter everywhere.”


Griffin Family Races Around Rainier Flat Track

Thurston Talk - Mon, 08/03/2015 - 9:38am



By Grant Clark

tumwater auto spaNot too far from State Route 507 in Rainier, you will find D and W Racing, a flat track that showcases both professional and amateur motorcycle and quad racing.

If you end up there during a summer weekend, odds are you will see at least one member of the Griffin family, if not more, zipping around the oval.

“We’re definitely a race family,” said 19-year-old Kiana Griffin, the oldest of three sisters. “When we have Christmas or birthdays, the gifts usually have something to do with racing.”

rainier flat track

Todd Griffin shares some words of encouragement to his daughter, Kiana, before a race at the Rainier Flat Track.

There’s Kiana, a 2014 graduate of Black Hills High School, father Todd, mother Jenifer and sisters Ivy, 13, and Mahala, 12 – all racing enthusiasts. And, save for mom, all competitors in the D and W Racing summer series.

The series runs from mid-May until late September and offers racing for all ages and skill level. A trio of dates – Aug. 8, Aug. 22 and Sept. 19 – remain on the 2015 summer slate with division champions being crowned at season’s end. Gates open at 12 p.m. with racing beginning at 4:30 p.m.

“It’s a small track. It’s very fast and you’re racing very close to each other. There’s not a lot room for error,” Todd said. “The difference between first and fifth could be as little as three-tenths of a second.”

“We usually race until about 11:00 p.m.,” Todd said. “Sometimes you can have as many as 75 heats in one night. It is a big family environment. That’s something you don’t see at any other track. (Owners) Danny and Wayne Cooley really do an incredible job promoting and welcoming that.”

The flat track is almost identical to the one Todd remembers from his childhood. It was here in the late 1970s where he rode his first dirt bike. Not too long after that, it was also here where he won his first trophy.

rainier flat track

Ivy Griffin is very competitive according to her father, Todd.

“I think I still have it somewhere. We have boxes full of trophies now, but I still have that one,” Todd said. “Everything is exactly the same as I remember here. It’s the same place. It’s still great.”

Growing up in Lacey, Todd would frequently make the trip out to Rainier to ride during his youth. He started out in motocross and eventually began adding quads into the mix.

Then a decade or so hiatus from the sport happened.

Quads had a tough go of it in the 1990s, dying down in popularity as many sought to outlaw the all-terrain four-wheelers. Concerns over the safety of the vehicles became more prominent as ATVs were viewed as being more dangerous than motorcycles. Safety measures, including wider spread helmet use among riders, have since been adopted, but at the time Todd just gradually drifted away from racing.

It wasn’t until 2004 that Todd’s interest would once again be piqued when a friend casually asked him to come and ride quads with him.

Todd may have been absent from the track for a lengthy amount of time, but as soon as the invite was extended his passion for racing would be dormant no longer.

rainier flat track

Ivy Griffin is very competitive according to her father, Todd.

“Even before we got out there I knew I was going to be hooked again,” said Todd, who lived in Salem, Ore. at the time. “When I told (Jenifer) I was going to go riding, she just rolled her eyes. She knew.”

Not long after that Todd purchased a bike of his own and soon found himself riding the dunes outside Salem with his wife and oldest daughter Kiana.

“It quickly escalated from there,” Todd said.

Todd started racing quads in Salem in 2010, and by the end of that year daughters Ivy and Mahala, who will be eighth- and seventh-graders, respectively, this fall at Tumwater Middle School, had joined in as well.

“They are night and day different,” Todd said about his two youngest daughters. “Ivy is super competitive and Mahala just wants to be out there riding.”

Recently moving back to Thurston County, Todd once again found himself at his home track, but this time he wasn’t alone as it has since turned into a family affair.

rainier flat track

Jenifer Griffin, pictured riding behind her husband Todd, is the “team mom” for the family at the Rainier Flat Track.

While her husband and daughters compete, Jenifer certainly plays a large role as well in making Team Griffin go.

“She’s the team mom. She’s making sure everyone has everything they need,” Kiana said. “She provides us with a lot of support.”

The weekend routine at the Rainier flat track centers on racing, but has more to do with family and camaraderie than anything else.

“It’s a blast. The girls absolutely love it,” Todd said about the Rainier flat track, which also offers beginner and advance rider classes. “It’s not just about racing. It’s about time with our family and friends. We show up on Friday and are usually the last to leave Sunday night.”

D and W Racing Rainier Flat Track is located at 404 Alaska Street in Rainier.  Find the racing schedule here.  General admission is $8 for adult and $5 for kids with a $25 family pass also available.


Yoram Bauman returns! (Another Carbon Thurston I-732 event)

OlyBlog Home Page - Mon, 08/03/2015 - 8:18am
Event:  Wed, 08/19/2015 - 7:00pm - 8:15pm

Environmental economist, author, and stand-up comedian Dr. Yoram Bauman - the principal organizer of Carbon Washington's Initiative 732, which would help slow global warming without raising taxes - will be back in Olympia Wednesday, August 19th, for a 7:00 PM event at Temple Beth Hatfiloh, 8th Ave SE. (Please come - and even better, see if you can get somebody who might be interested and isn’t already part of the choir to come with you… It will be very entertaining, as well as educational.)


Yoram is the author (with illustrator Grady Kline) of The Cartoon Introduction to Microeconomics (now translated into 14 languages), The Cartoon Introduction to Macroeconomics (now translated into 10) and The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change (just out!). The YouTube videos from his shows have now had over a million views.

There will be refreshing beverages - and new jokes. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like
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