Recent local blog posts

Appeals Court Upholds Olympia Food Co-op's Boycott of Israeli Goods

Olympia Food Coop - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 1:32pm
Hello friends,

We received notice yesterday that the Court of Appeals has upheld Judge McPhee's ruling in favor of the 16 co-defendants (Board, former Board, and Staff members) of the Co-op who are being sued over the decision to honor the Israeli products boycott. For more information about this latest ruling please click the link to the Center for Constitutional Rights.
Categories: Local Food Blogs

Nadine Narindrankura at Media Island, Olympia WA, 4-9-2014 AT 7PM

OlyBlog Home Page - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 11:51am

Nadine Narindrankura,  Dine’ Nation  will be talking about Peabody coal/Black Mesa/ Big Mountain. Nadine is a young Dine’ woman who is part of the fight against the horrors of Peabody coal’s relentless 30 plus year assault on Dine’ people and Mother Earth, and is interested in meeting with Native people here to talk about Peabody and in learning more about the struggles against Coal especially on tribal lands here .


Media Island ,816 Adams St SE, Olympia, WA 98501
(360) 352-8526 logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Hirsch Center for Integrative Medicine: Transforming Community One Patient at a Time

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 6:00am



olympia alternative medicine

Dr. Evan Hirsch

The Hirsch Center for Integrative Medicine stands apart the moment you walk through the doors. It is a place where the relationship between clinician and patient begins at the threshold- for you are welcomed, not by a receptionist, nurse or assistant, but by your health care provider- and so begins your journey to better holistic health.

A Provider for Any Need

The health care practitioners at the Hirsch Center for Integrative Medicine (HCIM) provide care across all types of issues, patient ages, and health perspectives. They collectively have been trained in both conventional and natural medicine, integrating knowledge from a variety of healing modalities.

Primary care needs are met by Dr. Evan Hirsch, Dr. Louise Boxill and Anne Rhody, PA-C. Evan Hirsch, MD, the center’s founder, is Board Certified in Family Medicine and Integrative Holistic Medicine with additional trainings in Functional Medicine, and Medical Acupuncture.

Dr. Boxill, completed her training as both a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, a Nurse Practitioner and a Medical Acupuncturist. She is passionate about Women’s Health and uses her expertise to “serve, listen, teach and coach women and families to reach their highest health goals.”

olympia alternative medicine

A welcoming entry greets patients to The Hirsch Center.

Anne Rhody, PA-C, moved her family from Oklahoma to join the practice. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge to assist people in dealing with the toughest cases, like Autism, Fatigue, and Fibromyalgia using tools such as, IV therapy, Oxygen Therapy and Far Infrared Sauna. She was a bio-molecular chemist for seven years before pursing coursework in Applied Kinesiology and Craniosacral Therapy.

At HCIM primary care can be augmented with consultations from ancillary care providers. David Lerner, EAMP, MTCM, provides Functional Medicine expertise on cancer support, as well as digestive, hormonal, cardiovascular and autoimmune conditions. He helps patients create a whole-life wellness plan combining specialty lab testing, nutrition support and food-based supplements.

Working with Doug Walsh, MEd, NTP, brings patients to a new level of understanding about the role food plays in their health. As a nutritional therapist, he guides people to “transform their lives by transforming the way they eat.

olympia alternative medicineRobin Aisha Landsong, LMP, is a Craniosacral Therapist who works with children, adults and families. She treats patients who have experienced many forms of brain trauma or discomfort including injuries, accidents, headaches and migraines. Robin is also an artist and is currently working on her second book. Her expressive artwork is hung along many of the walls at HCIM.

Patients are emotionally supported on their journey towards better living through the work of integrative health coach Stacy Hirsch, MES, ACC. Hirsch partners with clients on their path of self-discovery. Her clients are people learning to identify and manage stress in their lives; people recovering from autoimmune or chronic health conditions; and people who want to create more connection, more peace, and to live their lives with more vitality.

When talking about the mission of the HCIM team, Stacy says, “We want to give people permission to expect this kind of care. To say ‘I want more from my healthcare and to understand the role they play in making that happen..

Warmth with Every Touch

HCIM is situated in two buildings, joined by an outdoor courtyard. Across from the patient exam offices is the newest expansion of the center, Evolve Medical Spa. The spa was renovated in partnerships with local businesses and artisans, continuing HCIM’s belief in the power of community.

olympia alternative medicineThe spa offers many different kinds of services and products. It is a place to find high quality supplements and environmental health products for enhancing heath and home. There is an oxygen therapy room, as well as a far infrared sauna that is open to both HCIM patients and the general public. As with many of the HCIM offerings, appointments can be scheduled online. The spa is also home for massage therapist Kenda Stewart, LMP. Stewart has extensive training in various massage techniques and her work often combines deep tissue, shiatsu, lymphatic drainage, and Swedish massage.

A Class for Every Community

The practitioners and staff of the Hirsch Center for Integrative Medicine believe in the power of community not only for patient support, but as it extends to the larger community as well. They sponsor outreach programs on evenings and weekends. Classes and group discussions are lead both by HCIM providers and other community leaders and educators. Recent events have included talks by Doula Diksha Berebitsky of Blissful Birth Initiations on Placenta Medicine, The Psychology of Color by the Red Door’s Lara Anderson, Nonviolent Communication by Liv Monroe and the Center’s Doug Walsh spoke about Food Allergies, Sensitivities and Intolerances.

IV Therapy RoomBeginning in April, HCIM is partnering with local Homeopath, Patricia Kay, MA, to offer a 12-week class on Cell Level Meditation based on the book she co-authored, Cell Level Meditation: Breathing with The Wisdom & Intelligence of The Cell. David Lerner will also be offering a 21-day Community Detox and Cleanse to support patients and the public in doing the important work of detoxification for better health.

The Hirsch Center for Integrative Medicine strives to heal and serve the community by nurturing it one individual at a time – Whole Body. Whole Health. Whole Family. Whole Heart.

Hirsch Center for Integrative Medicine

3525 Ensign Road NE, Suite G and N

Olympia, WA 98506



Fresh Lobster, Fish Under a Tent at Bayview Thriftway

Thurston Talk - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 6:00am



By Mary Ellen Psaltis

shellfish olympia wa

Bayview Thriftway will move their fresh fish outside on Friday, April 11 for their lobster tent sale.

Lucky us. We can eat fresh fish without exerting much effort. Simply go to either Ralph’s Thriftway or Bayview Thriftway and point to what you want.  There are icy beds topped with halibut, shrimp, salmon and more. This Friday, April 11, Bayview will pitch a huge tent in the parking lot for their giant lobster sale. You can pick ones that are cooked or still alive. Hoping for clams or oysters? They will be there, too. If you call the meat department any day this week before 5:00 p.m., you can order ahead to make sure you get exactly what you want. The sale begins at 9:00 a.m. and will last as long as the fish do.

Did you know that one cup of cooked lobster provides 28 grams of protein, which is about half the daily needs for a woman or a man. There’s not much fat on a lobster – likewise, you won’t find much fat in its meat either. Yes, there is sodium and cholesterol but also B12 and potassium. And, at 130 calories it’s diet friendly.

Many dine on the sweet meat of lobster with only a bowl of drawn butter nearby (that’s where the calories are hiding). Some may add pressed garlic to the butter. Your choice. A glass of crisp wine, a stack of napkins and a sunny afternoon are perfect ads. My gourmand friend suggests lobster pairs elegantly with slices of avocados and mangos.

Both Storman grocery stores are stocking halibut (already caught and cleaned.) This fish is another nutritional powerhouse and pure deliciousness when it comes to a creamy, fresh taste. You won’t find a tent in the parking lot at Ralph’s, but you will find help and choices inside in the meat department.

When you eat fresh fish, you reap the benefits of optimum nutrition with versatility and excellent taste – all in a single meal. Inside both Storman locations are salad fixings, wine and whatever else will make your fish feast complete.

Eat Well – Be Well


Gardner’s Seafood & Pasta has come to our aid by offering a zesty recipe for halibut.

Owners and sisters Sarah Felizardo and Chelse Pagel, are preparing this in their restaurant, but you can make it at home. Thanks for a fabulous recipe.

Gardner’s Halibut with a Roasted Mango and Habanero Salsa

olympia fresh fish

Prepare a mango salsa to top halibut.
Photo credit: Gardner’s

Season halibut with salt and pepper and prepare to your liking. Grill, bake, pan sear, etc.  We use a flat grill.

Salsa Recipe

1.5 pounds of cubed mango.  Fresh is preferred, but frozen can be used.

1/4 medium red onion diced

1/4 red bell pepper diced

1/4 cup honey

1/8 cup sugar

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/8 cup fresh lime juice

1 habanero, roasted, take seeds out and dice

salt and pepper to taste

Grill the mango and habanero until slightly charred. Let cool.  Combine all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until desired consistency. Can be served over halibut warm or cold.

Maybe you are in the mood for crab cakes.  Budd Bay Café Executive Chef Adam Setterstrom has provided a classic recipe.


Fish Tale Brewery

Fish tacos is another way to use halibut.

Budd Bay Café’s Crab Cakes

1 pound Dungeness crab

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

½ cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 egg

1 cup panko

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce

¼ teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

2 cups panko for breading

Drain the crabmeat, if necessary, and pick through it for shells. Remove. Put the crab in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk mustard, mayonnaise, garlic, parsley, egg, Worcestershire, Tabasco sauce, pepper, salt and Old Bay seasoning. Scrape the mixture over the crab and mix gently until well combined. Gently break up the lumps with your fingers but do not over mix.

Sprinkle the panko over the mixture and mix in thoroughly but gently; try not to turn the mixture into a mash. It should still be somewhat loose. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate from 1-3 hours.

Shape the crab mixture into 2 ounce cakes about 1 inch thick. Carefully roll the cake in panko. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat canola oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the cakes to the pan. Cook until dark golden brown on the underside – about 4 minutes. Flip the cakes, reduce the heat to medium low and continue cooking until the other side is well browned, about 4-5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the cakes.


GRuB Garden – The Greenest Investment You’ll Make This Year

Thurston Talk - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 5:30pm



Submitted by Cecelia Watkins for GRuB

grub gardenThe large room is full of people, standing and sitting, some with hands in pockets and others holding gently onto their kids. A nervous but excited air permeates the space, and one man begins.  “Collard greens,” he announces. “Yep, definitely collard greens.” The original question was what vegetable people were most excited to grow this year. Someone across the room shouts, “Wait, what are collard greens? I mean, what do you do with ‘em?” Someone else laughs and says, “They eat them down South a lot. Cook ‘em up with garlic and a little oil and they’re good to go!”

The location is St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in the heart of Lacey, and the event is the first Kitchen Garden Project (KGP) Gardener Orientation of the season. Every year GRuB (Garden-Raised Bounty), a local non-profit, builds at least 60 vegetable garden beds with people in Thurston and Mason Counties. For the past 20 years, GRuB and its KGP have been building these beds free of charge, in partnership with families and individuals of low-income. This year, GRuB is trying out a pilot program in which they build gardens for people of all income levels, on a sliding fee scale. This project, dubbed Food Investment Gardens (or FIG—because everything needs a good acronym at GRuB) will generate earned income for the non-profit, and support community members in jump-starting their 2014 garden.

We all know gardening is supposed to be a good thing, but the question is, how good? What kind of an investment are you making when you commit to a vegetable garden, and what kind of returns can you expect? The prospect of starting a garden can be daunting, and requires sizable upfront costs: lumber for a raised bed, nutrient-rich soil, tools, watering equipment—or a hefty payment to GRuB. So is it worth it?

Let’s begin by looking at a garden’s impact on physical health. Tending a garden can involve a lot of low-impact movement and stretching, which makes it an ideal physical activity for people who find more intensive movement a challenge. In the words of a KGP gardener, “My daughter and I have had an amazing summer outside because of our gardens. We spent quality time together outside planting, weeding, watering, sometimes eating dirt. We got outside so much more that we would have before the gardens… the gardens brought together everyone in our lives.”

grub kids gardenYou can also design your garden to meet your own physical needs—if you want a great work out, you can install a big in-ground garden, which will inevitably get you sweating. On the other end of the spectrum, if you struggle with mobility you can raise your garden beds up to waist height and tend them from a chair. Either way, it is exercise with a purpose and context beyond your own physical ability—you aren’t just moving in place in the gym; you’re using your body to grow food. Additionally, in both cases you’re outside, hopefully basking in the sunshine, and soaking up vitamin D. Committing yourself to a garden could be the best thing you do for your body this year.

As far as being good to your body, the dietary benefits of gardening are well-known for being fabulous.  Having an abundance of fresh vegetables right outside your kitchen means you will inevitably cook with them more often. Plus, once you taste lettuce that you grew yourself, you’ll never want to go back to the store. Many new gardeners actually report that their fresh garden veggies are so flavorful and delicious they find themselves using less oil, creamy dressings and salt: good veggies means simpler, more healthful meals.

Kids who will sneer at vegetables in the school cafeteria will rejoice at picking their own cherry tomatoes and eating them like candy. One KGP gardener said, “This story happened more that once: the looks on my children’s faces. I would show them something I’d picked, [and say] ‘That came out of our garden!’ and they would echo my words with their voices full of a mixture of excitement, wonder and delight.” Beyond getting you and your family to eat more vegetables, by growing your own you’ll have full control over what goes into your soil, on your plants, and into your bodies. Even those of you who doubt your thumbs could nurture anything green may surprise yourselves—between good soil and a sunny Pacific Northwest summer, it can be hard to go wrong. If all else fails, you’ll inexorably have more kale than you know what to do with.

Gardening is also proven to relieve stress and reduce depression. In one study, participants did a stressful task, then either read a book indoors for half an hour or worked in the garden outside. After the half hour was up, the gardening group’s stress was significantly lower than the reading group. The gardening participants had also returned to a fully positive mood. Another study found that seniors who garden regularly have a 36% lower risk of developing dementia, thanks to the combination of walking around the garden and learning new gardening skills. A study from the University of Essix shows that as little as five minutes of outdoor, mild physical activity will improve mood and reduce stress.

grub gardenOkay, sure, so a garden is good for your health, but what about your wallet? Is it possible to actually save money through backyard vegetable gardening? The short answer is yes, it’s possible. The longer answer is, it depends on how gardening savvy you are. National Gardening Association estimates point to the average gardener doubling their investment, producing $100 worth of veggies for a $50 investment. The Department of Agriculture gives the average number as $10 of crops grown for $1 of seed. Burpee seed company argues that a gardener can get an average return of $25 worth of produce for every $1 worth of seed you plant (with green beans being the most lucrative at $75:1 investment and potatoes being the least at $5:1).

In recent years, GRuB’s Kitchen Garden Project gardeners have weighed everything they’ve produced from their three 4×8 foot raised garden beds, and calculated generating over $600 of produce (averaging produce cost at about $2/pound) in one year. The beds should last around five years, meaning some $3,000 worth of produce. The gardens themselves, including seeds and vegetable starts, cost GRuB about $500 to put in.

Of course, the variable that isn’t factored into any of these equations is time. If you have a 100 square foot garden, you’ll find yourself working several hours each week to fight back weeds and keep your veggies happy. Once we put a monetary number on your time and include it as a garden input, suddenly the math gets skewed—unless you’ve got magic thumbs, your veggies will probably pay significantly less than minimum wage by the hour.

Lucky for us gardeners, when we’re out with our hands in the dirt, sun shining on our faces and kids laughing, it’s easy to not worry as much about money. Investing in a garden isn’t a guarantee that you’ll grow produce worth much more than the initial price—between deer, cats, and curious kids, things can go wrong. Things can also go very right.

Investing in a garden is a guarantee that you’ll spend more time outside, breathing in fresh air and waving hello to passing neighbors. A garden investment has a terribly high risk of improving your overall life satisfaction and personal well-being. Plus, it’s a guarantee that any curious kids who might be around will learn the powerful lessons of patience, appreciation, and wonder. You might just re-learn a few of those lessons yourself. Yes, starting a garden is an investment, and although it may not bear fruit financially, it will definitely bear many other things—including vegetables.

GRuB’s mission is to inspire positive personal and community change by bringing people together around food and agriculture. This year we are supporting even more of our community in making the investment in their land, their health, and their food by offering sliding scale gardens for purchase through the Food Investment Garden (FIG) pilot project. GRuB can get you growing with seeds, vegetable starts, and gardening workshop access in addition to building your new garden.

Contact to get your order in today —help make this project a success and make an investment not only in your own well-being, but in the well-being of our community.



Naturescaping for Water and Wildlife Field Class

OlyBlog Home Page - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 2:37pm
Event:  Sat, 05/03/2014 - 10:00am - 5:00pm

Learn about sustainable landscaping techniques that will save you time and money while attracting birds and butterflies to your garden and protecting water resources. “Naturescaping for Water & Wildlife” will be offered on Saturday, May 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Olympia. A classroom session will be followed by a field trip to local private gardens; bus transportation will be provided.

Seasoned horticulture experts Linda Andrews, a professional landscape designer, and Erica Guttman of Washington State University Extension will lead the class. Topics include how to make a landscaping plan; design ideas for outdoor living spaces; managing drainage, slopes and other trouble spots; how to reduce unnecessary lawn; how to create habitat for birds and butterflies; and selecting water-wise plants for all four seasons.

The class is free, but advance registration is required as space is limited. Visit for online registration; or contact 360-867-2167 or The class is co-sponsored by WSU Extension's Native Plant Salvage Project and Thurston County Stream Team. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

The Adventures of Cyndi Nelson and Her Seniors

Thurston Talk - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 1:20pm



By Barb Lally

sunset air“Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Realtor Cyndi Nelson reads mystery novels, watches NCIS, and helps seniors with their housing needs. To her, they are all adventures that involve problem solving and putting together the pieces of a great puzzle.

With a calm demeanor, Cyndi tells tales of exciting experiences that led up to what she calls her passion, helping seniors make smart decisions for a new phase in life.

olympia realtor

Cyndi Nelson is a Realtor with MVP Realty Group, a member of the Senior Action Network and finds working for seniors her greatest adventure.

Despite an “Ozzie and Harriet” middle class upbringing, Cyndi has always had a thirst for adventure. Her first job was working at Bruce’s Poodle Parlor on the beach in California, followed by a lengthy list of new experiences and places that rival the storybook Alice.

There was a job as a court reporter in Alaska, selling billboards in California, opening a daycare center in South Lake Tahoe, a stint as a dispatcher and jail matron at the Eldorado County Sheriff’s office and then a return to Alaska to work for a state legislator. Gathering no moss, next stop was Boston where her husband, Carl, was earning his masters degree at Harvard and Cyndi worked for Ernst and Young. And that’s not the half of it.

Eventually, the Nelson’s settled in Olympia. Soon after, Cyndi did more than just get her real estate license, she found her greatest adventure.

She has not moved since.

Hooked on Helping Seniors and Their Families

Two years after getting her broker’s license in Washington, an estate attorney asked her for a market analysis on a home when its owner had passed away.

“It was an amazing, quaint place and the property had a huge barn,” Cyndi describes. “But it was packed with clutter and toxic debris.”

The wheels began to turn in Cyndi’s head. “I recommended that the family put a couple of thousand dollars into clearing and cleaning the place to increase its value. The property sold for $40,000 more than they expected. I was hooked. I had put the pieces of the puzzle together for them to get the most value for the home. That’s the thrill of it all and I have been working on estates and for seniors since.”

olympia realtor senior

Cyndi Nelson helps Rose put together the pieces of the puzzle on the sale of her home.

Today Cyndi will tell you with a flash of her winsome smile that she will only admit to being a senior for the discounts. She was born on the early cusp of the baby boomer generation, between 1946 and 1964, a demographic that makes up nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population and faces its own challenges.

“Boomers are now a ‘sandwich’ generation. At 65, not only are they caring for their elderly parents but they also have kids who are moving home because of the economy. They get caught between the two.”

“Fortunately, our son Adam was just accepted to grad school, but my brother, sister and I are supporting our parents, a financial pressure that affects our own future,” Cyndi says knowingly. “We all ought to pre-plan for those years and not make the same mistakes.”

Resources help solve the senior puzzle

As a member of the Senior Action Network (SAN) and with years of experience helping seniors, Cyndi has gathered a network of experts who help her clients with any phase of their moves and care.

olympia realtor

Cyndi and Rose walk the Chehalis Western Trail on one of their visits.

“It is not just about real estate,” says Cyndi, who has earned the Realtor designation of Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES). “When seniors make changes in their housing there are other lifestyle decisions. The possibilities are exciting and the options are many.”

“Some want to sell their home and use the equity to move into one of the many assisted living choices here,” she continues.  ”Seniors who own their home ‘free and clear’ can choose to rent it out for monthly income. Some may need to de-clutter and move into a ‘right-size’ home. And, there are seniors who want to stay in their home or buy a second home, using a reverse mortgage. I know people in the area who are experts for all those options and more.”

She often visits one of her senior clients who lives at The Firs in Olympia to give her an update on the sale of her home. Rose finds it comforting and often tells Cyndi that she just couldn’t do it without her.

“She goes above and beyond,” Rose says without hesitation. “There aren’t many people who would do as much as she does.”

Cyndi tries to explain to people what her work as a Realtor means.

“When people ask me, how did you get into sales? My answer is that this is as far way from sales as you possibly could be,” Cyndi firmly states.

“We facilitate. You can’t sell anyone just anything and have peace of mind. It is all part of the big puzzle of a person’s needs and wants. When you put the pieces together it makes a great picture. I find it rewarding to help the senior community with a new picture of their next big adventure in life.”

To learn more about Cyndi Nelson, call MVP Realty Group at 360-915-9123.


Washington Guaranteed Education Tuition: GET the Outlook

Thurston Talk - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 11:57am



GET-OutlookThe Guaranteed Education Tuition Program, GET, is the second-largest and fastest-growing prepaid tuition plan in the nation.  At the close of the 2013 enrollment period, there were over 152,000 accounts.

Currently in its sixteenth year, families who enrolled their young children in the college savings plan are now sending their students off to college which means that GET has paid out nearly a half billion dollars from over 34,000 accounts of students attending colleges, universities and technical schools in all fifty states and fourteen foreign countries. Washington families are resoundingly choosing GET as part of their college savings planning and are reassured by the unique state guarantee.

Just as families debate how to fund their child’s college education so do lawmakers discuss the issue of funding higher education in our state. “There were some tense moments during the 2013 state legislative session as lawmakers wrestled with the challenge of how to fund higher education,” said Betty Lochner, GET Director.

“We’re happy to report that as the session progressed, several legislators, state officials and citizens spoke up and made it clear that this important program should be preserved for future generations,” added Lochner.

It became apparent that GET is a valuable asset to Washington families and plays a critical role in making a college education possible for our state’s families. Not only does offering a college savings plan to our Washington State residents assist in making college more affordable in the long run because you pay a lower price now for future, more expensive tuition and reduce the need for student loans in the future but it helps motivate children toward higher education.

Students who know they have a college savings account are seven times more likely to attend postsecondary education.  GET helps in setting financial and educational goals.

For more information on the GET program or how to enroll go to the GET website, call 800-955-2318 or email

Enrollment is open through May 31.


Signs of spring (Olyblogosphere for April 7, 2014)

Olympia Time - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 6:03am
1. Sue Gunn, despite sounding environmentalist, is still holding the conservative line in Thurston County. At least according to Ken of Lacey.

2. One little post about Moving to Olympia becomes the meta-fight of the city.

Says one:

Statistically we have a much higher population of youth homeless than is common.
Says another:

You're still focusing all of your energy onto the symptom and not the problem.
And, another:

Young people choosing irresponsibility in life shouldn't be the burden to bear of those who are responsible enough to pay our own way through life. Move to Olympia. Get more of this. Just don't move here without a job. Seriously.

3. Ryan Williams lives around here and he's a pretty good writer. The Myth of the Day Off. Look, here are all of the books by him.

4.There are a lot of local guys in professional baseball. More than you think.

5. Via Olyblog, through a tweet by me, copying and pasting an email I got which included an attachment of an essay by Bethany Weidner. Things are getting warm in the Planning Commission.

test gallery post

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 5:32pm
gray mascara works: excellent fantastic looking adjusted nail now Effaclar happy overpowering paxil depression medicine few unbreakable the this lexapro studies thought Please reduced color avodart body hair every of could wonderful breastfeeding and levaquin more to. They through in and: clomid or progesterone this fresh There REGARDS one said work the irritating dream scent.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Top Ten Home Inspection Problems

Thurston Talk - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 12:17pm



Submitted by Submitted by Boggs Home Inspection with permission of ASHI

When buying a home, a professional home inspection will reveal a lot about your future dream house. Besides learning about all the mechanical operation of your home the inspection will reveal any obvious defects. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) recently surveyed its members to find out what were the ten top home inspection problems.

1.  Improper surface grading and drainage. This was by far the most frequently-found problem, reported by 36 percent of inspectors. It’s responsible for many common household maladies: cracked slabs and water penetration of the basement, footings or crawlspace. The most effective remedies for bad drainage include re-grading the ground around the house, repairing or installing a gutter and downspout system and providing positive drainage away from the foundation.

2.  Improper and undersized electrical wiring. Many inspectors, about 20 percent, found this to be the most common home inspection problem. It includes such situations as insufficient electrical service to the house, aluminum wiring, inadequate overload protection, improper grounding and dangerous amateur wiring connections. The inspectors say that much of the improper wiring they see was put together by do-it-yourselfers. This is a serious safety hazard, not just a cosmetic defect.

3.  Older and damaged roofs. About 9 percent of inspectors cited this as the most-common home inspection problem. Many wooden roofs are at the end of their useful life. Asphalt shingle roofs only last about 15 to 20 years. Roof leakage caused by old or damaged shingles or improper flashing is a frequent problem. It can be easy and inexpensive to repair damaged tiles and shingles and to re-caulk the roof penetrations. But, expensive, major roof repairs may be required down the road, if the repairs are put off.

4.  Deficient and older heating systems. Problems in this category include broken or malfunctioning controls, blocked chimneys, unsafe exhaust flues and cracked heat exchangers. These conditions represent more than simply inefficient heating. They are a major health and safety hazard. Heating systems should be serviced and maintained annually by a professional heating serviceman according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Although expensive, the newer more efficient central heating systems will help to recoup your investment by reducing heating and cooling costs

5.  Poor Overall Maintenance. Americans, on average, take better care of their cars than they do their homes. That’s the consensus of many home inspectors, who often come across cracked, peeling or dirty painted surfaces, crumbling masonry, make-shift wiring or plumbing and broken fixtures or appliances. Although some of these problems may seem more cosmetic than serious, they reflect the overall lack of care that has been given to a home.

6.   Structural Problems. As a result of problems in one or more of the other categories, many houses sustain some, although usually not serious, damage to structural components such as foundation walls, floor joists, rafters or window and door headers. These problems are more common in older homes.

7.  Plumbing problems. Plumbing defects ranked high among the house problems encountered. Included are the existence of old or incompatible piping materials, faulty fixtures and waste lines and improperly strapped hot water heaters. Surprisingly, some home inspectors reported finding natural gas leaks in the homes they inspected.

8.  Exteriors items. Flaws in a home’s exterior, including windows, doors and wall surfaces are responsible for the discomfort and damage caused by water and air penetration. Inadequate caulking and/or poor weather stripping are the most common culprits of a cold and drafty home.

9.  Poor Ventilation. Due to overly ambitious efforts to save energy, many home owners have “over-sealed” their homes, resulting in excessive interior moisture. This can cause rotting and premature failure of both structural and nonstructural elements. Moisture from unvented bathrooms and kitchens can damage plaster and may also lead to the accumulation of mold, which often causes allergic reactions.

10.  Miscellaneous items. This category included various interior components, such as sticky windows or dripping faucets, as well as a number of environmental concerns, such as lead-based paint and asbestos.

To sum up the list, ASHI notes that 4 of the 10 items relate directly to the damaging effects of water. After a home is built, protecting it against water is the homeowner’s most important and continually challenging task. Also, it is important to remember that the list represents a national average. Problems vary by climate, building codes, and the age of a structure, among other things.


Helping Your Child Become a Good Problem Solver

Thurston Talk - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 11:48am


Submitted by Gyro Psychology

olympia pediatric psychologist

The staff at Gyro Psychology specialize in children ages 2 to 21.

Encouraging children to develop an effective process to solve problems is an important life skill that can be applied at home, in school, in social situations and in community environments. Apart from the confidence that comes along with having successfully calmed down, thought through a problem, generated creative solutions and worked toward implementing those solutions are critical skills that can be applied in multiple settings across the lifespan.

Adults can encourage children and teens to solve problems on their own in the following ways:

Encourage children & teens to describe the problem
When you see your child or teen having a problem hold back to let them recognize and describe the problem. Taking this first step will allow your child to understand the problem and begin to generate solutions on their own. Children and teens may not perceive the problem they same way adults do but it is important for them to describe the problem and what is happening from their perspective in their own words.  In doing so, they begin to trust their observation and analytical skills. Not only is this process part of the foundation of emotional development but lies at the heart of rational thinking.

Early in their development children may not be able to verbalize the problem they just know that things are not working out the way they intended. In such cases, simply state the problem for the child. If you use phrases such as, “So the problem is…” children will eventually understand that clearly identifying problems leads to generating solutions.

Give children & teens time to come up with their own solutions
While a parent’s solution might be more effective or efficient, simply giving it to the child would deprive them of the opportunity to learn and develop confidence in his or her problem solving ability.

Talk to children & teens about what is and what’s not working
To help children and teen move from a trial and error approach to a more systematic approach to problem solving, encourage them to think about the results or consequences of their actions.  Parents can ask and make comments and ask open-ended questions to help them consider alternatives.

Talking with your child or teen about what they did to solve or not solve a problem helps to establish a cause-and-effect connection in their mind. Once they have this mental association they are more apt to use this type of approach when faced with a problem in the future.

Need Emotional Support?

If you think your child would benefit from some additional support, consider calling us to set up an appointment with one of our psychologists at Gyro Psychology Services, Inc. (360.236.0206). We serve children and adolescents ages 2-21 with a variety of emotional, mental, and behavioral health needs.

We are located at 5191 Corporate Center Ct SE, Lacey, Washington, 98503. Or, check out our website for more information on parenting issues, anxiety, ADHD, and other tough issues that kids/teens face


Champions for Kids Awards Honor Twenty-Two Local Volunteers

Thurston Talk - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 11:32am



Submitted by TOGETHER!

Twenty-two people from many points of Thurston County received Champions for Kids awards March 24 for the work or volunteering they do to support children and youth. Honorees were nominated by local organizations and ranged from educators to students, law enforcement to service workers, and even a singing firefighter. About 280 people attended the Champions for Kids Celebration to listen to the stories of these individuals, some of whom have volunteered on behalf of children for decades.

The honorees were: Mimi Alcantar, Sean Bell, Kevin Davenport, Kimber Earp, Ruth Furman, George Johnson, Barbara Kuenstler, Lynn Ledgerwood, Johnny Lewis, Donna McPeak, Greg Ostrom, Christy Peters, Mike Reid, Danielle Salinas, Lyall Smith, Tammie Smith, Avery Stegall, Tamara Suting, Melanie Watson, Ken Westphal, Michaela Winkley, and Barbara Wischer.

The Champions for Kids Celebration is an annual event put on by TOGETHER!, a local nonprofit that works to advance the health, safety and success of young people in Thurston and Mason Counties. Over the 13-year history of the event, over 300 people have received this award for their dedication and volunteerism. These heroes often go unsung, and their recognition is well-deserved. Community sponsors help to make this recognition happen, including The Stars Foundation of Thurston County and Olympia Federal Savings.

Nominations for the 2015 Champions for Kids will open this fall.

City of Lacey Named Tree City USA for the Twenty-Third Year

Thurston Talk - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 11:20am



Submitted by the City of Lacey
Fall Maple TreeThe City of Lacey has once again been named as a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation — the twenty-third consecutive year the city has received this national recognition.
The city is proclaiming the month of April as Arbor Month, and is encouraging residents and businesses to plant and properly care for trees.
In honor of Arbor Month, the city will hold its popular annual seedling giveaway on Saturday, April 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (or until supplies run out) at Huntamer Park in Woodland Square. Species available this year include Colorado Blue Spruce, Eastern Redbud, Flowering Crabapple, Purple Smoke Tree, and Scarlet Oak. The seedlings, up to three feet in height, are limited to one per person, so bring the family!
Lacey was one of the first cities in Washington State to earn the Tree City designation. Since initially receiving the honor in the early 1990s, the community has invested more than $3 million on tree planting and care, and distributed nearly 26,000 free tree seedlings to residents. The city also maintains more than 1,200 acres of parkland and open space — comprising one of the largest municipal park systems on South Puget Sound — much of it permanently preserving natural forested areas.
For more information, please contact Stephen Kirkman, Lacey Public Affairs, at (360) 456-7788 or

South Sound Civil Air Patrol Cadets Take to the Sky Over Olympia

Thurston Talk - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 11:02am






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Submitted by South Sound Composite Squadron

 South Sound Composite Squadron

Cadet Staff Sergeant Z’berg assists in the pre-flight of the Civil Air Patrol aircraft before the orientation flight.
Source: South Sound Composite Squadron

Three area cadets experienced the thrill of aviation, during orientation flights with the South Sound Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. These flights took place from the Olympia Regional Airport on Sunday March 23, 2014. The cadets flew in CAP’s sophisticated Cessna 182.

The hour-long flight in the single-engine Cessna aircraft introduced the cadets to the science that makes flight possible. They learned about navigation, weather, aircraft instruments, flight maneuvers, and more.

The cadets’ day began by helping pre-flight their aircraft. The Cadets assisted their pilot, Major Richard Stack. They taxied their aircraft to the runway, gave it full throttle, took off from Olympia Regional Airport, and then climbed to cruising altitude. While aloft, it was cadets who handled the controls during the non-critical stages of the flight, under the close and careful supervision of a qualified pilot of the Civil Air Patrol who is properly licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Cadet Felts participated in her first orientation flight where she banked and turned the aircraft at a safe altitude under the supervision of the pilot in command, Major Richard Stack. This first orientation flight was the first time she had ever been on a plane and she flew right in the cockpit.

 South Sound Composite Squadron

Major Richard Stack (left) mentors Cadet Felts (right) as she prepares to bank the aircraft.
Source: South Sound Composite Squadron

They cadets travelled south-by-southwest and navigated to Chehalis – Centralia Airport, where they observed a “touch and go”. A touch and go is where the plane lands on the runway normally, but then immediately takes off without leaving the runway.

After returning to Olympia Regional Airport, Cadet Staff Sergeant Z’Berg then went up with Major Stack and participated in his eigth orientation flight where he maneuvered the aircraft to the point of almost stalling at a safe altitude.

The cadets that participated were Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Desoto, Cadet Staff Sergeant Z’Berg, and Cadet Felts. The pilot was Major Richard Stack.

There were future orientation rides plannedon March 29, but the squadron’s aircraft is supporting emergency operations in Snohomish County. It is expected that more Orientation flights will occur soon after the aircraft is available again.

The Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program is open to youth aged 12 through 18. Additionally, there are volunteer opportunities for adults, pilots and non-pilots alike. For more information, contact the Squadron Commander, Captain Percy Newby at (360) 481-7545, or visit


Miss Betsy and Miss Susan Nurture Students at Olympia’s Hands On Children’s Museum Preschool

Thurston Talk - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 6:05am



By Kate Scriven

hands on childrens museum

Students engage with interactive materials, creating their own play. Here two boys created a “maze” using magnet rods and balls.

Preschools by nature are places of joy, play and, well, lots of noise.   The preschool at the Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia fits this to a “t”.  Yet, under the noise and play there is something very special going on.  Something that you can’t quite put your finger on, but you know it’s here.

I am a mother of two.  My girls are both out of preschool now, but I spent enough years doing drop-off and pick-up and gluing and glittering to know a bit about preschool.  That’s why, when I recently spent the morning in the HOCM Preschool classroom, interacting with the children and talking with the staff, I thought I already knew what I was going to write.  I was ready to share about nurturing environments and engaging materials.  That’s what we all want to hear, right?

There was a nurturing environment, rich with materials to discover and explore, filled with opportunities for learning and inquiry.  But it was that “something more” that kept pulling at my attention.  It went beyond the (entirely amazing) color coded craft supplies.  It was more than just daily, integrated access to one of the premier children’s museums in the country.

As I reviewed my notes and thought about my morning it became very clear.  It was the people within the amazing space that made the biggest difference.  The teachers were creating the joy, the opportunities for inquiry, the atmosphere of play as deep, deep learning.

Many Thurston County families know what I’m talking about. They have experienced the magic of Miss Betsy and Miss Susan.  Outside the classroom, these two dedicated teachers are known as Betsy DeBoer and Susan Burnham and bring a wide variety of experience and expertise to their work with three, four and five year olds in the HOCM Preschool’s Multiage Early Learner and Playful Learner programs.

Situated in the upper level of the museum, the classroom is bathed in natural light and overlooks the Outdoor Discovery Center with floor to ceiling windows.  Play is the main

Miss Betsy is beloved by students and parents alike for her gentle manner and thoughtful guidance of early learners.

Miss Betsy is beloved by students and parents alike for her gentle manner and thoughtful guidance of early learners.

mode of learning for the students but the teacher’s guide that play, creating opportunities for extending learning and on-the-spot assessment.

“Our whole education team here is on the same page,” shares DeBoer.  “We observe the children where they are in their learning and push them to the next level, whatever that might be.”  This responsive teaching means a fluid curriculum that differs day by day and year by year.  The student’s needs, and interests, are what guide instruction.

During “free choice” students engaged in a variety of activities however all are required to “sign-in” for the day, a part of the daily routine.  This day, however, their sign-in was using play-doh.  Students formed their name over a preprinted card.  Reaching different learning modalities and giving opportunity to show learning in a variety of ways is key to the teaching philosophy at HOCM.  Some children may love writing with a pencil, and sign-in will be done this way on another day, but others clearly enjoyed this more tactile experience in “writing.”

The student sign-in is just an example of the more over-arching philosophy at the school.  Knowing  student’s needs and interests is at the core of all they do and informs their teaching decisions.  Susan Burnham explains further: “We consider ourselves a ‘Reggio-Emilia inspired’ school.  This name refers to an actual town in Italy where the idea of community based learning was founded.  It’s focused on the youngest learners learning about their community through investigation and discovery in a rich environment that inspires them.”

hands on children's museum

Options for learning through all modalities are presented, including daily “sign-in” using a tactile material such as play-doh.

This environment includes the entire facility at the Hands On Children’s Museum.  “It’s not fancy recess,” laughs DeBoer  when I ask her about the hour each day dedicated to the museum exhibits.  The class will focus on only one area each day and repetition created by daily visits gives the opportunity for deeper learning as teachers circulate through, engaging with students, helping them create meaning in their play.

The idea of “community” is extended beyond the building with field trips into the surrounding areas.  Budd Bay is in the Museum’s back yard and students learn about tides, shellfish, and the bay simply by way of their location.  Trips on the Dash and to the adjacent Farmer’s Market open discussions about farmers, transportation, food, compost and so much more.  The teachers allow this curiosity, bred by the student’s interactions with their environment, guide their teaching.

The classroom has a very high teacher to student ratio with one teacher, one assistant teacher, and one museum volunteer in a class no larger than 16 children.  The day I visited, “Mr. Steve” was the volunteer, a retired businessman who joins the class each Wednesday.  He is clearly a favorite of the children and choruses of “Mr. Steve, Mr. Steve!!” greeted him when he entered.

The Hands On Children’s Museum is certainly an amazing facility and their programing is among the best in the country.  However when you get right down to what makes their Preschool so very special, it’s really Miss Betsy and Miss Susan.  “I know it sounds cliché,” shares Burnham, “but the teachers here genuinely care about these kids.  We see them, we value them, every day.”


Handcrafting the Perfect Blend at Dancing Goats Esperesso Bar Inside Bayview Thriftway

Thurston Talk - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 6:00am



olympia coffee shops

The team at Dancing Goats Espresso Bar inside Bayview Thriftway is ready to get your “usual” or suggest something new.

Bold. Aromatic. Harmonious. Could be an award winning wine. Maybe even an eclectic friend. Yet not surprisingly, these adjectives refer to the coffee blends expertly crafted by Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters at the Dancing Goats Espresso Bar at Bayview Thriftway.

The Dancing Goats Espresso Bar is located at the entrance of Bayview Thriftway. Walking in, you are instantly captivated by the fresh smell of coffee and pleasurable exchanges between baristas and customers.

As I approached the counter, I heard “Oh, that looks pretty” as a customer named Judy looked down at her artistically prepared coffee. Judy then took a sip and commented, “Delicious!” At that point, there was no resisting enjoying a latte and chatting with barista, Leif Snyder, and espresso bar manager, Sudiya Welsh. Snyder strikes me as the consummate barista, the sommelier of the coffee world who has exquisite tasting skills, nose for aroma, and an ease of sharing his coffee knowledge with customers.  Welsh embodies the Batdorf & Bronson standard of excellence in customer service, employee relations, and business practices. Just like the coffee they serve Snyder and Welsh are a perfect blend.

Snyder reveals, “How we source is what is important to me and makes the difference. That is the most exciting part – high quality beans and roasts.” The Dancing Goats Espresso Blend is Snyder’s favorite.  “It is rewarding to serve the Dancing Goats Blend. It has a noticeable flavor that is distinctive yet not overwhelming. Customers are really partial to this blend,” he shares.

The Dancing Goats Espresso Bar offers a monthly guest coffee in addition to its regular blends. When I visited the guest coffee was Bohemian Blend, a dark roast with a mild taste.  Welsh and Snyder commented that their customers are a fascinating mixture of those who always order their same coffee every time and those who come to sample the guest coffee.

batdorf dancing goats coffee bayview thrift wayWhether signature blends or special limited offerings, Welsh explains, “Batdorf and Bronson coffee is distinctive. It is much darker and bolder with an intensity that brings out the flavor of each coffee bean.”  Customers can rely on Welsh and Snyder to greet them by name and know their order. As I was enjoying my chai tea latte recommended by Welsh because she boasts “It is organic, fair trade certified and tastes like what true chai is supposed to be like.”

Welsh serves a customer, “Good morning Dale & Polly. The usual?” Apparently everyday Polly enjoys a raspberry mocha while Dale stays true to an Americano.

As Dale and Polly saunter away with their coffees, Welsh explains that customers enjoy  coming to Bayview Thriftway.  ”It is a fantastic place to sit and watch the Puget Sound. We have an upstairs balcony that is a fun and comfortable spot to meet up for coffee or just sit right here at our coffee counter.” Welsh further explains that they cater largely to downtown businesses, state workers, and those stopping by before or after a walk around Capitol Lake or visiting Heritage Park fountain.  This brings Welsh to look outside at the unusually sunny weather and she begins to describe a unique summer drink Arancio. “It is refreshing with a jolt of caffeine and orange zest put in a shaker like a margarita,” says Welsh.

Coffee drinking is a very personal experience. Whether choosing an artistically designed froth like Judy, a bold Americano like Dale or gently flavored touch like Polly. The importance of the bean cannot be understated which is why Batdorf & Bronson comments that “We put immense effort into sourcing and roasting fresh beans for coffee and espresso enthusiasts that crave quality and consistency and seek out special, limited edition coffees for fans of unique complexity of flavor and aroma.”

Equally important are the friendly and knowledgeable baristas that remember your order and share the uniqueness of the guest blends.

To enjoy your next cup of coffee stop by the Dancing Goats Espresso Bar at locally owned Bayview Thriftway.

516 Fourth Avenue West in downtown Olympia

360-352-4901 ext. 3

Open every day 6AM to 7PM


My Brother Kissed Mark Zuckerberg on Vashon Island

South Sound Arts - Sat, 04/05/2014 - 1:47pm
If you missed this show when it was a Dukebay Theatre in Tacoma, here's another chance to see it. Also see my review from the Dukesbay show at Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser. Peter Serko PhotographerGet Your Tickets For The Vashon Show April 26th! My friends in the NW... now is the time to get your tickets for "My Brother Kissed Mark Zuckerberg" at the NEW Vashon Island High School Theater April 26th 7:00pm.  The show is part of the VAA New Works series. Tickets are on sale on the Vashon Allied Arts website.

For those coming to the show from Tacoma or Seattle please note showtime is early enough to easily make return ferry connections.  The show runs 1.5 hours (what was I thinking?) with a 20 minute intermission.

Connecting With Young People

One of the reasons I wanted to have the show at the high school was to create opportunities to involve students. We have three distinct programs involving students:
  • The student Marketing Class is putting together the show's program and doing other PR for us.  
  • The QSA (Queer-Straight Alliance club) is curating an exhibit of ACT UP (AIDS activist group) art and other archival materials to be displayed in the week leading up to the show. High school staff member Stephen Floyd was a member of ACT UP and has a treasure trove, from teeshirts to posters that he is letting the students review.  My brother was a member of ACT UP NYC.  ACT UP is prominently featured in the show
  • We will have an in-school program on April 23rd called: "We Were There: Stories from the Plague Years".  Five district staff will each tell a story based on their experiences with AIDS during the late 1980's and early 90's. These stories are poignant and powerful showing the many facets of the epidemic during that terrible time.  I will perform two short pieces from the show.

Those of us touched by AIDS must share our stories with young people.  AIDS is not gone, it is not cured.  It is still a health crisis of global proportions.  Our stories are important, they convey a personal message of the very real danger still present.  And, as I have discovered, in the telling of our stories we heal ourselves and others.  
 Look forward to seeing you at the Vashon show!!!!


  Spread The Word!
Share this email with your contact list.  Help us get the word out!

Performance Dates:
April 26, 2014
Vashon Island High School Theater
Vashon, WA

July 19, 2014
8:00 pm
Cider Mill Playhouse
Endicott, NY

More in the works!

Wanted Co-Producers:
We are looking for co-producers interested in helping us move the production forward into other venues and expanding our educational mission.  If this interests you please contact me.

We Still Need Your Help:
Our campaign to raise funds to support the production is still underway. Your help is appreciated! 

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Eastside 20th Anniversary Celebration!

Olympia Food Coop - Sat, 04/05/2014 - 12:09pm

We are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of our Eastside Location today, Saturday, April 5th! From 8am - 9pm! 

We will have 20 DEEP DISCOUNTS, Food, 90's Music, Party Hats, and Incredible Fun! 

Please Join us in our celebration and many of the Staff's 20 year anniversary of their service to our OFC!

Thank you for sharing community with us!

Categories: Local Food Blogs

Calvin Johnson in Zurich

K Records - Sat, 04/05/2014 - 10:36am
Categories: Arts & Entertainment
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