Recent local blog posts

Crane Dredges Slough from Pier

Thurston Talk - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 7:07pm



Submitted by Port of Olympia

port olympia craneThe crane at the Port of Olympia pier is working on a follow-up dredge required by the Army Corps of Engineers’ permit for the maintenance dredge completed last year.

With this follow-up dredge pass, the Port is removing sediment that has sloughed from under the pier since the maintenance dredge and capping the area with a clean sand cover.

The purpose of the maintenance dredge was to restore the depth levels that help ensure safe operations at the pier. Both dredges also remove legacy pollution from the area.

Washington Department of Ecology oversees aspects of the projects and approves the sites for disposal. The current dredged material will be taken to a landfill in Oregon. The 2014 dredge material was disposed of at a facility near Castle Rock.

Orion Marine Contractors, Inc. is the contractor for both the maintenance dredge and the current follow-up dredge.

The current project’s total costs, including planning, permitting, construction and construction management, are estimated at $1,006,120.  Substantial completion is anticipated in February.

Silas Blak at Dub Narcotic Studio

K Records - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 7:01pm
The suave fellow in the photog above is Silas Blak who along with Jace comprise Silent Lambs Project, the sole artist to appear on both NW hip hop compilations released by K, the embryonic Classic Elements [KLP079] (1998) and  All Your Friend’s Friends [KLP255] (released last autumn). Blak visited Olympia today with the staff of […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Cold Weather Tips for our Pets

Thurston Talk - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 5:27pm



Submitted by Animal Services

We all think about the temperature and what we need to keep our pets and ourselves warm but there are a few things we also need to be aware of to keep our pets safe.

 "Lewis"  was lucky to be rescued by Rob Rice on I-5.

  • Don’t let pets drink water in driveways and roadways.  It might have antifreeze which can be deadly, even in small amounts.
  • If it’s icy outside, wipe your dog’s feet after walks to remove chemicals or salt that might they might have walked through which can irritate footpads.
  • Provide plenty of fresh water.  When we heat our homes it can dry out the air inside making our pets susceptible to dehydration.
  • Know your pet’s limits.  Like people, cats and dogs can get frostbite and hypothermia if left outdoors for too long.  Consider a sweater or coat for short haired dogs while outside.
  • Cats and dogs should stay indoors during cold weather but be aware that heat sources such as fireplaces and space heaters can burn pets.    Make sure your space heaters are pet-proofed.
  • Do you have an emergency kit?   Remember to include your pet’s needs including food, water and any medications they may need to get them through for up to 5 days.
  • Contact your veterinarian if you notice any lack of energy or appetite.   Pets get sick too!


Oly Town Artesians See Stars in 15-2 Knockout in Tacoma

Thurston Talk - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 5:23pm


Submitted by The Oly Town Artesians

Tacoma Stars - olytown artesiansFor the first 15 minutes, the Oly Town Artesians and Tacoma Stars played an even game. But after Joey Gjertsen took advantage of a turnover in front of the Artesians’ net to put Tacoma up 3-2 in the first minute of the second quarter, Oly saw nothing but Stars. Tacoma scored 13 unanswered goals and didn’t give up any more to stay undefeated with a 15-2 win on Saturday afternoon at the Tacoma Soccer Center.

Kyle Wiese and Dyson Fowler answered the bell for the Artesians and each scored their first goals of the season. Wiese tied the game up at one when he found himself in the right spot after a shot just to the left of the goal rebounded right to him. Fowler then tied the game at two with 18 seconds left in the first quarter. It would be the last goal that Stars keeper Aaron Anderson would surrender.

Gjertsen, an Evergreen State grad that went on to play for the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer, put the Stars ahead for good, 3-2, 30 seconds into the second quarter. He scored three more times – once at the end of the first half and twice in a six goal fourth quarter for the Stars. Nate Ford recorded a hat trick and JJ Schmeck added a brace with both goals coming in the last minute of the game when the wheels had completely come off for the Artesians.

Anderson, the Western Indoor Soccer League’s top goalkeeper, allowed just two goals before Christopher Kintz recorded a clean sheet over the final 15 minutes for the Stars. Tacoma improved to 5-0-0 and will travel to winless Arlington next week.

The Artesians lost their third straight game and fell to 2-4-0, good enough for fourth place with six points in the five team WISL. They travel to Wenatchee on Saturday, January 17th to take on the third place Wenatchee Fire (2-3-1, 7 points) at 7:30 PM. They will return home on Saturday, January 24th for a friendly against the Oly Indoor All-Stars at 6:00 PM before they finish off the WISL regular season by hosting Arlington on January 31st.

Shivas live on KEXP-FM Audioasis

K Records - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 5:13pm
The Shivas performing live in KEXP-FM, Seattle, Washington on Sharlese Metcalf‘s Audioasis program. This the very week their album You Know What to Do [KLKP252] hit the streets. Excellent timing. The Shivas album You Know What to Do [KLP252] is available now at the K Mail Order Dept.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment


OlyBlog Home Page - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 4:12pm
Event:  Fri, 02/06/2015 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Celebrate the DIY spirit and get "crafty". Rotate through art stations to complete a variety of amazing crafts, jewelry and keepsakes. Some activities may require adult help for children under the age of 9, but all are welcome--adults, teens, and children. Registration is required starting January 23 at the library's information desk. The library is normally closed at this time and will be open only for the program. Sponsored by the Friends of the Tumwater Timberland Library. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Orca Books events: Alice Rothchild, author of "On the Brink: Israel and Palestine on the Eve of the 2014 Gaza Invasion"

OlyBlog Home Page - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 12:12pm
Event:  Mon, 01/12/2015 - 7:00pm Monday, January 12th, 7:00pm -- Alice Rothchild  

Orca is pleased to welcome Alice Rothchildauthor of On the Brink: Israel and Palestine on the Eve of the 2014 Gaza Invasion, a compelling collection of blog posts made during a fact-finding and solidarity visit to the West Bank and Israel encompassing the last three weeks of June 2014.

Longtime activist Rothchild turns her powers of careful observation and her deep understanding of the consequences of racism and occupation into a lively, honest, heart breaking, collection of reports from the field. She documents the stories and lives that do not make the evening news, but are essential to understanding the context in which that news occurs. In 2014, Just World Books published her book: On the Brink: Israel and Palestine on the Eve of the 2014 Gaza Invasion.

This is a FREE event and all are welcome. Orca Books is at 509 E. 4th Ave in downtrown Olympia. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Bar Francis Keeps It Simple and Straightforward

Thurston Talk - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 9:33am



By Kelli Samson

Edward Jones Block AdIt was the no-frills courier font on the logo that grabbed me.

The clean lines reminiscent of a page freshly inked from a typewriter told me that I just might like what was inside.

It was a hunch, but, like most hunches, it didn’t disappoint.

Michael Elvin began dreaming of opening his own coffee shop soon after he graduated from high school “a million years ago,” long before coffee shops were hip. Elvin now owns and operates, along with his wife, Mariella Luz, downtown’s most European coffee joint, Bar Francis.

olympia coffee shop

Owner Michael Elvin built this espresso cart by hand with the help of J.T. Scott.

The shop has occupied a small, light-filled space between Old School Pizzeria and Dumpster Values in downtown Olympia since late October 2014. Its style is of a sparse, Industrial-meets-Scandinavian sort, and its ambiance really works. The walls are bare and white, the tables and bar are custom-made of gorgeous wood by the talented folks at Von Roney Woodworks. The drinks are served in charming, mismatched vintage cups from an espresso cart made by Elvin himself.

Coffee beans and teas are stored on open shelving behind the bar in glass jars. What you see is what you get at Bar Francis. Even Elvin and his sole employee, Fraoigh Howard, are unpretentious, possessing an ability to put anyone at ease.

“Our focus is on good beverages, not just coffee,” explains Elvin, who developed menu items and drink ideas for years before he had his own shop.

“I knew I wanted shrubs on my menu, and they’ve become one of our staples. Another summer beverage we came up with is a coffee cola, which is dark brown sugar muddled with a lime wedge, along with cold-brewed coffee, sparkling water, ice, and a sprig of mint. It’s not very sweet. It’s light, refreshing, crisp, and has some cola-like flavors to it.”

olympia coffee shop

At Bar Francis, they brew a strong chai tea concentrate from Rishi Masala organic chai tea. “We steep it a little strong,” says Elvin.

Pre-fabricated ingredients are not used at Bar Francis. You will find no cartons of chai concentrate here, and all the produce used to make drink ingredients is organic. “We believe these practices make for a higher-quality beverage which we have control over,” explains Elvin.

Bar Francis is named for the four-year-old son of the owners, whose middle name is Francis. “It was my wife’s brilliant idea,” smiles Elvin.

Elvin’s Bar Francis inhabits a story steeped in the practices of holding tightly to a dream and building a skill set that is wide instead of higher-climbing. Elvin did not put himself on a fast-track to own his own coffee shop. Rather, he took over twenty years to learn all the facets to the business, from innovation to espresso machines, and from design to employee training. He brewed and percolated his dream slowly, making important local connections along the way.

“My first job in coffee was as Christmas help at Starbucks in the early 1990s,” recalls Elvin. From there, he ran The Temple of the Bean in Tacoma for nearly three years, followed by tending bar at Olympia hotspots Thekla and the Water Street Cafe. Somewhere in there was a stint in website design. Elvin also has worked in the training and education department at Olympia’s Batdorf and Bronson. His path then took him to the Espresso Parts store and the Olympia Coffee Roasting Company, where he served as a general manager.

olympia coffee shop

Elvin has collected vintage coffee cups and demitasse cups for years.

Bar Francis has been a team effort, with many Olympia players contributing pieces to its success. Ira Coyne painted the sign that sits near the corner of Franklin and Fourth Avenue, along with the shop’s name on the front door. Baked goods are supplied by local bakeries Left Bank, Babette’s (best pumpkin bread ever), and the Bearded Lady. The design work is artfully done by local Rhett Nelson.

And no words about Bar Francis would be complete without mentioning Northern, a space for young people to showcase both music and art, from which Bar Francis began operation in 2012.

Spending time with Elvin impresses upon me that Olympia is headed in the right direction. With people like him owning and operating honest, straight-forward businesses that bring joy and comfort to the people who happen by (or seek him out – he has many regulars), downtown Olympia will always shine.

“With all its quirks, I love downtown. I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Elvin concludes.

Bar Francis

110 Franklin NE in downtown Olympia

Open 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. weekdays and 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. weekends


Eastside Chiropractic – Guide to Staying Healthy During Winter Months

Thurston Talk - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 8:24am



eastside chiro

Eastside Chiropractic includes nutritional counseling with their massage and chiropractic services.

The sun rises late and sets early. Gray days outnumber the sunny and the rain just keeps coming. Yep. It’s winter in Thurston County. And with the cold, wet days comes a tendency to bundle under the blankets and sip a nice cup of tea. Sounds cozy, right?

Eastside Chiropractic’s Dr. Murray Smith enjoys a day on the couch here and there, too. But Dr. Smith knows that staying active during the winter months is critical for overall health and well-being. And while it may be harder to get outside in the winter, there are many things anyone can do to ensure they stay active until the days lengthen and we all begin to dry out.

  • Add Indoor, Intense Exercise – You don’t need a gym membership to get your heart rate up during the winter months. Take a 10 minute break at work and climb your office building stairs. Choose an online video with 10 or 15 minute segments of high intensity exercise. “Even engaging in one minute of intense exercise, raising your heart rate, can greatly impact health,” shares Dr. Smith.
  • Invest in Quality, Lightweight Raingear – Face it. We live in an area where it’s going to rain. A lot. Every year. By purchasing some quality, lightweight raingear (Dr. Smith recommends Frog Toggs), you can set out on your daily walk no matter the weather. Your health, mental and physical, will benefit from time spent being active outdoors. Take the dog, too. You’ll be adding to Fido’s well-being at the same time.
  • Get Some Fresh Air – Now that you have your raingear, be sure to take it to work. “Flu season typically peaks in January and February,” shares Dr. Smith. “With short days and poor weather, most people are staying indoors, close to each other, and airborne viruses can easily be transmitted.” By taking breaks to get fresh air, you not only reduce your risk of catching something, but you’ll feel invigorated and energized when you return, increasing productivity and mental outlook.
  • Get a Good Night’s Sleep through Exercise – It’s no secret that people tend to sleep better when they’ve exercised. By including moderate to intense activity at least once in your day, you can greatly improve your quality of sleep. And, when you sleep better, your immune system stays stronger and functions more effectively to defend you from the viral “soup” floating around you during cold and flu season.
  • Guerilla Running Sidewalk Group RunEstablish an Exercise Routine – “Don’t underestimate the mental and physical health benefits of a disciplined routine,” says Dr. Smith. By establishing, and sticking to, a set routine you will skip fewer workouts and develop a pattern of healthy living that can last a lifetime. “In 28 years of chiropractic I have never – not once – had someone say they felt worse by sticking to their routine,” shares Smith.  So whether it’s a walk to the corner market for the morning paper instead of having it delivered, leaving for your run directly after putting the kids on the bus, or going to the gym on your way home from work each day, find a routine that you can stick to. Once you do, you’ll feel the mental and physical benefits begin to compound.
  • Join a Class – By committing to, and paying for, a fitness class you are more likely to attend. Better yet, join the class with several friends. The power of peer pressure is sure to get you there on time. The accountability of knowing you are “expected” ensures that you’ll make a greater effort to actually go. And, a nice side benefit class is the support and rapport you’ll develop with classmates as you all work towards better health. Classes abound in Thurston County through private gyms, studios, Senior Centers, and Parks and Rec Departments. Ranging from water aerobics to kick boxing and Tai Chi to Cross Fit, finding a class that works for you may be the key to establishing a routine that will last.

Dr. Smith says his ultimate goal for any patient is to improve their quality of life. By staying fit, active and healthy throughout the winter months, you can see visible improvements both mentally and physically.

To add chiropractic to your routine, or talk more with Dr. Smith about how you can achieve optimal health, contact Eastside Chiropractic at 360-459-9000.

Saint Martin’s University Buzzing About Televised Basketball Games

Thurston Talk - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 8:14am



By Gail Wood

saint martins basketball

Saint Martin’s University fans will pack the gym on February 11 when the basketball teams play a double-header, televised on Root Sports. Photo courtesy Saint Martin’s University.

Michael Ostlund and Tim Healy are followers of the old “play them one game at a time” cliché.

But their Feb. 11 game against Western Oregon is one that both Saint Martin’s University coaches have circled on the calendar. On this date, the Saints play a doubleheader at home in the University’s Marcus Pavilion that will be televised by Root Sports.

“To me, it’s like a four-hour commercial for Saint Martin’s University,” says Ostlund, who is in his second season as the men’s head coach. “Yeah, it’s one game, but from that standpoint, I think it’s very significant for Saint Martin’s.”

It’s the first time Root Sports has televised a doubleheader of a GNAC game.

“I know for the kids it’s a fun experience,” says Saint Martin’s women’s head coach Healy. “It’s great for the school to get that exposure. In that regard, it’s a great marketing tool and good for recruiting.”

With TV cameras coming, Saint Martin’s has planned a busy week of activities called #PackThePavilion. To ensure a packed house, Megan Lobdell, Saint Martin’s sports information director, will be doing a six-week social media campaign, including the use of the #PackThePavilion hashtag, to promote the event.

The women’s game starts at 6:00 p.m. and the men’s game follows at 8:00 p.m.

saint martins basketball

Saint Martin’s coach Michael Ostlund gives his team some instructions during practice.

From 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., there will be a Red Out pep rally and tailgate in the Worthington Center for season ticket holders, alumni, parents and members of the school’s board of trustees.

The students will have a tailgate function starting at 4:30 p.m. at the TUB, including food and raffle tickets. At that time, students can also pick up red T-shirts and Saints Nation scarves.  Raffle tickets will be handed out for an iPad or a GoPro camera.

“We are going to red out the gym. We encourage everyone to wear red,” Lobdell says.

During halftime of the women’s game, a dodgeball game will be played, matching the school’s faculty and staff against students.

Riley Carel, a 6’2” senior guard, says in the past, when Root Sports has telecasted one of their games, there was an added buzz on campus.

“I think it makes it more fun,” Carel says. “A small school like this, it makes the community get excited and the school get excited.”

According to Carel, people on campus stop him to say they are excited about the game. He’s even seen the intensity dial crank up for the teams involved because it’s going to be televised.

saint martins basketball

Senior guard Will Bond pops a jump shot over the defense.

“While it’s just another game, I think it definitely adds more spark, more energy,” says Carel. “It makes it a little more exciting to come to the gym and play.”

While Carel admits there’s an excitement boost to the game because it’s being televised, he’s just excited to be back playing. Carel missed much of the early part of the season with injuries. After starting every game last season, Carel had knee surgery in the off season. Then he pulled a groin muscle playing against Montana in an exhibition game and was out for three weeks. During his first game back, he sprained an ankle and was out for two additional weeks.

The Saints have had to deal with several injuries, forcing Ostlund to go with a younger line-up. As a result, they started the season 0-5, losing several close games. Then they won four of their next seven games and started GNAC play 1-1, knocking off Fairbanks.

In that early losing stretch, Ostlund started three freshmen and often had four freshmen on the floor at the same time. Still, despite their youth, the Saints were close.

“We were competitive but we weren’t getting the wins,” Ostlund says.

saint martins basketball

Saint Martin’s fans are encouraged to wear red during the Feb. 11 basketball game. Photo credit: Saint Martin’s University.

Trey Ingram and Tyler Copp lead the Saints in scoring, averaging 10 points each. The Saints have balanced scoring as they have five players averaging between eight and 10 points. Ryan Rogers, a preseason all-conference player, has been injured and hasn’t been the go-to scorer Ostlund had anticipated.

“(Rogers) has battled injuries,” says Ostlund. “It’s good to have balanced scoring. But it’s a little challenging when we’re coming down the stretch and knowing what buttons to push.”

Krista Stabler, a 5’6” junior guard, leads the Saints women’s basketball team with 10.1 points a game, shooting 35 percent from the field. Playing just one game at home in their first 10 games, Saint Martin’s got off to a 3-7 start.

“We’re playing a lot of kids,” Healy says. “And we’re getting a lot of different combos every night.”

Saint Martin’s is holding opponents to 64.6 points a game and 41 percent shoot.

“Defensively, we’re really good,” Healy says. “That’s our best thing. We need to control the tempo of games and make sure we’re playing our way.”

Pull out all your red clothing and join the Saint Martin’s University community on Feb. 11, beginning at 5:00 p.m., for a night of basketball.

Adopt-A-Pet – Dog of the Week

Thurston Talk - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 6:36am



dog adoptionMeet Eddie!  He’s a Norfolk Terrier & Chihuahua mix, about 3 or 4 years old.  Just look at that amazing hairdo!  He plays very well with the other dogs his size and is a fast little guy.  Right now, he is a bit pickie about who he likes and seems to prefer men. Eddie would not do well in a home with small children as he can bite when feeling scared.

If you would like to come meet this cutie, contact Adopt-a-Pet.

We are an all- volunteer, non-profit dog shelter on Jensen Road in Shelton.  Email or call (360) 432-3091.

Welcome to Olympia 2015

Olympia Time - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 5:53am
Welcome to Olympia legislators, reporters, lobbyists, staffers and other hangers-on! Here are just a few simple rules. We'll get through the next few months, just:

1. When you're talking about the state legislator, the governor's office, the governor himself or a state agency (of any sort), don't say Olympia. 

This is metonymy (press as media, etc). I know what it is. I don't like it and you shouldn't do it.

2. Its okay to say "down in Olympia" or "I went to Olympia to..." but I'd still rather you not. They're so darn close to "Olympia wants to raise our taxes" that its better just to be more specific.

Why is this a bad thing? Just to recap:

1. State legislators are elected by people all over the state. They happen to come to Olympia. Pretty simple. Lay the blame (or credit) on the feet of who deserves it. The people who vote, from all over the state.

From the Metonymy of Olympia Archives:

Welcome to Olympia 2014 graphic

The Welcome to Olympia zine

The very first Metonymy and Olympia post from 2007 (!)

Holy crap, I just realized I've been on this kick for eight years! Man, I am pretty insufferable, aren't I?

I suppose it begs the question as to why this sort of thing bugs me so much. Why does a random political headline writer going all "Olympia to Seattle: Pay Your Own Bills" bugs me so much. Probably because I don't see Olympia as a particularly political town. That we're anything special in regards to government.

Sure, obviously, I know a lot of people who work for state agencies, the legislature or something else related. But to me, that's more like everyone in town working for just the one big employer in town. Its where we work, not how we live.

Also, it isn't like the way we live here is as some cabal looking to screw the rest of the state. The people who make the actual decisions (guess what) are elected every two or four years and come from out of town.

So, welcome to Olympia. Don't say Olympia.

Ruby Fray “Carry Me Down”

K Records - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 12:54am
Ferocious sounds emanating from an elegant source. Recorded at Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia, Washington, Grackle is Ruby Fray‘s second album following their debut outing Pith [KLP239]. K Song of the Day: Ruby Fray “Carry Me Down” form the Grackle [KLP251] album. The Ruby Fray album Grackle [KLP251] is available now from the K Mail […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

My New Year’s Resolution - Tree Free Printing

Griffin Neighborhood - Sun, 01/11/2015 - 7:53pm
Actually, Tree Free Printing with Non-Toxic Ink.

Let me start at the beginning. When I was a child, my grandmother would send us a letter from time to time. It was one page. She'd start on one side of the page, then flip the sheet of paper over and write on the other side of the page. Then she'd fill in all the margins on that side of the page. Then she would flip the page back over and fill in all the margins on that side of the page.

When the margins were all filled in, the letter was done.

And, there were no blank lines. We all laughed at how eccentric it was. But, I guess, later in life, I too became eccentric because I started doing the same thing for the same reason - to save paper. However, I didn't write too many letters that way, because my handwriting is illegible to all but a few, sometimes even to myself.

My next foray into my resolution to save paper was to switch from writing notes on legal pads, to writing notes on Jr Legal Pads, since most of my notes fit on that size paper. We now use mostly scratch paper - receipts and paper that's been printed on one side. We haven't resorted to printing notes on envelopes we've received in the mail, yet.

A lot of what I print are stories I've written for my wife. Some year in the future I'll sell them, but I haven't gotten there yet. I save paper when I print these, because they're really condensed. OK, they're short, very short, sometimes only one page, but they are complete stories. As my wife says, "I can write a novel in one page."

Then last year, I made another resolution (or another step in this resolution). I decided to print on Tree-Free paper. My first choice was to purchase a case of 100% Post Consumer Waste (PCW) paper and use only that for printing. I still have a few reams of 30% PCW paper that I haven't figured out what to do with, without breaking my resolution. OK, perhaps I'm a fanatic. I had tried some Lokta paper before with great results. And, I’m getting great results with the 100% PCW paper.

Lokta is a weed evergreen that grows in Nepal. It is pruned every four years and paper is made from these prunings. Perhaps not totally tree-free, but no trees were killed in making it.

Later last year, I took another step in my resolution and invested in a new printer. I wanted a printer that used non-toxic ink. The choice quickly narrowed down to the Xerox Color Cube printer. These cost more than a printer you'd buy at Office Depot. The Xerox Color Cube is specifically made to print on rougher papers, like you'd find with Lokta and other tree free papers. The Color Cube uses ink "crayons" which are based on plants and are non-toxic.

This year, my resolution widened to offer Tree Free printing services for others. I print on any tree-free paper which is available for printing. These are 100% PCW, Bagasse (Sugar Cane), Mango, Banana, Coffee, Lemon, 100% Cotton (preferably organic), Hemp, Lokta, Straw, and Dung (yes Horse or Elephant dung). I print paper or cardstock. Not all of these options are available for cardstock.

If you want to find out more, please contact Yellow Bear Journeys Printing and Publishing at (360) 918-8121 or at
-- Dale Stubbart    

Thurston Energy Launches New Energy Efficiency Rebate Offer for 5-County Region

Thurston Talk - Sun, 01/11/2015 - 9:10am



Submitted by Thurston Energy 

January 9, 2015 – Thurston Energy has recently launched a new weatherization rebate, ColdCa$h for POW&R.  Designed specifically for homes that are heated with propane, oil or wood, and/or are rental homes, this rebate can help property owners save on the cost of weatherization projects, and the purchase and installation of ductless heat pump systems.

In order to be eligible for this rebate, homes must be located in Thurston, Grays Harbor, Mason, Lewis or Pacific counties and be primarily heated by Propane, Oil, or Wood, and/or be a Rental. Two rebates are included in this promotion:

  • REBATE 1:  Weatherization: Rebate of 40% of price paid for weatherization improvement services (and materials), up to a maximum rebate amount of $2000.  Qualifying measures to increase building envelope performance include Air Sealing; Insulation (attics, walls, floors, ducts); Electrical wiring upgrades associated with insulation measures; Whole house ventilation; and Duct sealing.
  • REBATE 2:  Ductless Heat Pump: Rebates for the purchase and installation of a Single-Head Ductless Heat Pump (DHP) System, with a limit of one rebate per house. Homes heated with propane, fuel oil or wood are eligible for a $1500 rebate, and rental homes heated with electricity are eligible for a $1500 rebate.

Customers should contact Thurston Energy (360-528-2112) prior to making improvements in order to make arrangements for an initial energy evaluation, to connect with a pre-approved contractor, and to assure that the project scope of work qualifies for rebates.

Weatherization improvements must be completed between January 1, 2015 and May 31, 2015, and funds are available for a limited time only. For more information about ColdCa$h for POW&R, and to get started, please contact Mark Rentfrow, Energy Services Manager for Thurston Energy at 360-528-2112 or by email at

In addition, Thurston Energy will be hosting two free info sessions for the public. Come learn more about ColdCa$h for POW&R and bring your energy efficiency questions.

  • Wednesday, January 21, 5:30 – 6:30 pm at Yelm branch of Timberland Regional Library
  • Wednesday, January 28, 5:30 – 6:30 at Lacey branch of Timberland Regional Library

About Thurston Energy: Thurston Energy is a program of the Thurston Economic Development Council, located in Lacey, WA. Thurston Energy’s mission is to drive investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy in order to save energy, save money and build our local economy.


National Mentoring Month – Celebrating a Decade of Friendship through Big Brothers Big Sisters

Thurston Talk - Sun, 01/11/2015 - 6:45am



By Alyssa Ramsfield

tagsThurston County residents Josh Woodson and his mother, Jaci, decided to take part in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program when Josh was only eight years old. Never in their wildest dreams did they think that ten years later not only would Josh still be in contact with his matched mentor, Jim Eychaner, but to have actually built a friendship that will last a lifetime.

“Josh’s father and I split up when Josh’s was a year and half old,” explains Woodson. “I always wanted him to have good male role models in his life. Josh said he wanted a Big Brother. It took almost two years to get the phone call that there was a potential match. They had told us it would take a while because the list for male mentors was low and boys needing Bigs was high.”

big brothers big sisters

Jim Eychaner (left) and Josh Woodson were matched when Josh was eight through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington.

When the call finally came, Josh was ready to meet his potential match. “I remember when I was eight at our first meeting they showed us our interests that we had filled out about ourselves,” says Woodson. “I looked at his and I thought it was kind of weird. I never knew a guy who was interested in orchestras or ballet. After talking to him, I thought he was a cool guy. The people at Big Brothers Big Sisters told me to think about if I wanted him to be my Big Brother. My mom and I walked out the door to think about it and we immediately walked back in to tell them he was a good match.”

The match was a Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office retiree named Jim Eychaner. “Ironically, it was the example of one of my younger brothers,” explains Eychaner when reflecting on why he joined Big Brothers Big Sisters. “I have a sister, an older brother, and two younger brothers. My next brother down had volunteered as a Big for a number of years in the Seattle area and encouraged me to do the same. I was raising two daughters at that time, so I said no. After my daughters became independent, I decided to volunteer. I sought permission from my wife and both my daughters to make sure I had everyone’s support.”

Picking the perfect match isn’t always the case with the program. “You never know what to expect,” describes Eychaner. “I tell people that we have enjoyed the most trouble-free match in the history of the program, thanks to Josh.”

big brothers big sisters

Now, ten years later, the duo has built a lifelong friendship.

“Josh is fortunate to have an incredibly supportive mother, and a loving extended family,” adds Eychaner. “I believe he has matured so well because he has responded positively to the high personal, academic, and other standards set by his family. He and I share many interests, and he was willing to sample some of mine.”

“With Jim, he made everything we did focused on whether I would like it,” says Woodson. “I was sports oriented when we met. He gave me many new experiences I would’ve never tried before. I usually really enjoyed what we did whether it was going to the ballet or an orchestra concert. I fell asleep at one of the orchestra concerts and left early because I was snoring. If it wasn’t something I was interested the next activity would be something he knew I would like including my first time going to Old School Pizzeria.”

Jim and Josh’s relationship has changed over the past decade. “We are more relaxed and more communicative,” describes Eychaner. “Josh is certainly more mature. We have both learned a great deal. On my part, I had trouble early on with ‘guy talk,’ being the father of daughters and more interested in issues typically not male — e.g., ballet, opera, classical music — but I learned to relax and talk about whatever came up.”

big brothers big sisters

Josh says that Jim helped him discover new interests but always made sure that activities were things he would enjoy.

“Jim would meet with me and talk about issues I couldn’t always talk about with my mom,” describes Woodson. “He taught me about relationships and boundaries. He also taught me everything I know about basketball.”

“Men need to know that there is a need for male mentors,” says Eychaner. “You do not need to be some perfect guy, a sports hero, or anything like that. Any guy can be reliable, available, interested, and attentive. For some boys, just having an adult male pay attention or listen is incredibly important. Simply showing up for an event important to the boy shows you care and that he is worth your time and attention.”

Eychaner wasn’t just giving to a young boy through being a mentor, he also gained a lifetime of friendship. “Josh became an important part of my life. He and his mom became family friends. He was never a burden. Outings were a couple of friends doing stuff together. He is now like a favorite nephew. I realized a few years ago that if I were to have a son, I would want him to be like Josh.”

As Josh prepares to pick a college and complete his final year of high school, he still finds Jim as someone to talk to. “Jim travels a lot now that he is retired and I’m busy with school, but we always find time to text each other and meet up. We’ve built genuine comradery. I know that Jim is someone I consider family and will be a part of my family for a long time.”

To learn more about becoming a Big Brother or a Big Sister, visit


Shivas “And on”

K Records - Sun, 01/11/2015 - 12:35am
We’re California dreamin’, pumping keyboards and cinnamon toast – I want to keep you around. K Song of the Day: Shivas “Ride on” from their album You Know What to Do [KLP252]. The Shivas album You Know What to Do [KLP252] is available now from the K mail Order Dept.  
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Local Art Classes Release Your Creativity

Thurston Talk - Sat, 01/10/2015 - 7:32am



By Lindsey Surrell

sunset airWhile many New Year’s Resolutions revolve around what to lose (weight, bad habits, smoking) choosing a resolution about what to gain can also be very rewarding. Want to increase your skills, friends, and artwork to hang around your house? Then, an art class sounds like a perfect fit for you. The following list is a jumping point for your creativity to take off, and luckily for us, it’s all within our neighborhood.


Art Classes starting in January:

olympia art classes

Capener, who shows his work at Childhood’s End Gallery, won 1st place for this oil painting at the 2014 State Fair. Photo courtesy: Cal Capener

Artist Cal Capener teaches an all-level oil painting class. Classes, typically with six to seven students, review color mixing, brushwork, knife work, and composition with Cal, who has been teaching art for 25 years.

Monthly classes start Saturday, January 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Diane Fairbanks studio.

Tuition: $60 per class.

Email or call Cal to register at 360-491-0704. A list of supplies will be provided when registering.


Artist Ann Breckon teaches an all-level watercolor class. The 2015 class series will go back to the basics and Ann, with over 15 years of experience, will demonstrate all the techniques that students need to know to complete a successful watercolor painting. In addition, the theme for this year is the State of Washington and January will focus on the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse.

Classes are held on certain Mondays from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the First Christian Church. The January schedule includes classes on January 12 and 26. Subsequent dates are listed on her website.

Tuition: $35 per class.

Visit Ann Breckon’s website or email Roxana Caples to register for classes. List of supplies will be provided when registering.


carriage house

The scenic view outside The Carriage House provides inspiration to budding and experienced artists.

Artist Amy Fisher teaches advanced beginner/ intermediate watercolor classes. Amy, with 45 years of watercolor and art experience, focuses her classes on composition, color theory, and paint application techniques. Amy starts her classes with a group instruction demonstration and continues with individual instruction while students are painting. The theme for January is snow. In the summer, the 13-person class paints outdoors.

Weekly classes are held on Fridays from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Olympia Center, Room 204.

Tuition: $120 for 4 classes (1 month).

Visit Amy Fisher’s website to register and learn more. List of supplies will be provided when registering.


South Puget Sound Community College provides an ample number of art class options, including welding, ceramics and drawing. Highlighted below is a newly offered watercolor class.

Paul Randall teaches the class “Intermediate Watercolor Painting.” In this class, people and perspectives are the focus, and students are encouraged to grow in their art skills by choosing (and getting assigned) more challenging subjects to paint.

Ten weekly classes are held on Tuesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Mottman Campus in Olympia from January 13 to March 17.

Tuition: $99 for series (10 classes).

Register for classes online at SPSCC’s website or by calling 360-596-5750.


olympia art classes

Laurie Thomas’ encaustic painting is shown here. Encaustic painting uses wax based paint that is heated and dried and reheated to create different effects. Photo courtesy Laurie Thomas.

The City of Olympia Community Center released their winter/spring schedule and it is packed with exciting and educating classes. Of the many art classes available, highlighted below are two of the courses to choose from, both taking place on Saturday, January 17.

Ellen Miffitt’s class, “Watercolor Textures and Techniques,” explores 15 to 20 different types of techniques to use when creating your next watercolor masterpiece. This one-day class takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Olympia Center. Supplies are not provided but a list of what to bring will be shared upon registration. Tuition: $46 for one class.

Tony Lirette is teaching “Bob Ross Joy of Painting.” This art style uses a wet-on-wet technique for oil painting. The supplies are provided for this class and you will come home with a landscape masterpiece. This class is offered four times, including January 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at the Olympia Center. Tuition: $69 for one class.

Register for classes online at the City of Olympia website, in person at the Olympia Center, or by calling 360-753-8380.


The following art classes might not start in January, but the artists and locations are worth a look:

  • Berta Klooz teaches drawing, watercolor, pastel, and mixed media classes at the Carriage House Art.
  • Diana Fairbanks teaches multi-media classes at the Diana Fairbanks studio in Olympia.
  • Kathy Gore-Fuss leads painting classes at the her studio in Olympia.
  • Laurie Thomas is offering a new class on encaustic painting this spring. Email her for information.
  • Olyphant is a great local store to purchase your art supplies and this new location might also host art classes in the future.
  • Other local artists use the Art Trails of Southwest Washington to post their class schedules. Follow the Art Trails’ Facebook page for updates.
  • Does sewing, quilting, and woodworking sound more appealing to you? Check out this past Thurston Talk article that highlights other local crafty businesses.


The Hive Dwellers “Daughters of the Revolution”

K Records - Sat, 01/10/2015 - 12:32am
Rock’n'roll for the ages, Bill Haley redux. Maybe Brenda Lee, too. And Sparkle Moore. K Song of the Day: The Hive Dwellers “Daughters of the Revolution” from their  Moanin’ [KLP249] album. The Hive Dwellers album Moanin’ [KLP249] is available now from the K Mail Order Dept.  
Categories: Arts & Entertainment
Syndicate content