Recent local blog posts

Buy 2014 Thurston County Fair Passes Now and Save

Thurston Talk - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 9:37am



Submitted by the Thurston County Fair

DDM Thurston County Fair-30Advance purchase discounts on admission passes and carnival armbands

Buying your admission passes and carnival ride armbands in advance of this year’s Thurston County Fair will get you savings for the whole herd! Discount admission passes and carnival ride armbands are on sale now at the Thurston County Fair Office.

Get your biggest savings with your advance purchase of carnival ride armbands for only $19 each—that’s $5 off the regular price. Carnival armbands are good for unlimited carnival rides for one day during the 2014 fair that runs Wednesday, July 30 through Sunday, August 3.

Season passes are also bargain at 40 percent off the full price daily admission rate. Family Passes will get you five admissions for $25 when purchased in advance, but Family Pass supplies are limited, so get yours today. Remember, admission for children 5 years old and under is always free!

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

For even more savings, bring your carnival armband on July 30 for “One Buck Wednesday.” All adult, youth and senior admission prices are just $1 with a non-perishable food donation per person to the Thurston County Food Bank. Doors open at 10 a.m. on One Buck Wednesday. Be sure to check out all of the One Buck Wednesday specials, including one buck food specials, and other One Buck Wednesday deals at participating vendors.

Other special discounts are available at the fair this year. Kid’s Day is Thursday, July 31 when all admission tickets for kids 6 to 14 years old are just $2 when purchased at the gate. August 1 is also Buddy Day when you can get two carnival armbands for $24 if you and a buddy are both present at the time of purchase (no advance purchase available for Buddy Day special).

Friday, August 1 is Military Appreciation Day at the fair, when fairgoers can get $2 admission tickets when they present their military ID at the gate. There are also lots of other vendor and food deals—just ask about Military Appreciation Day specials and present your military ID.

WHAT:          Discount Advance Purchase Fair Passes & Carnival Ride ArmbandsDDM Thurston County Fair-31

  • Family Pass (limited quantities available, buy now!) — $25
  • Season Pass (40 percent off the daily admission rate) — $10 to $21
  • One-day unlimited carnival rides armband advance purchase — $19  (gate price $24; ride tickets $1.25 each)
  • *Children ages 5 and under are always FREE!

WHEN:          On sale now through Tuesday, July 29

WHERE:       Thurston County Fair Office at 3054 Carpenter Road SE in Lacey, 98503


To learn more about 2014 fair events, entertainment and exhibits, contact the Thurston County Fair Office at (360) 786-5453 or visit

“Fun for the Whole Herd at the Thurston County Fair!”   July 30 – Aug. 3

Flipping Out over Filipino Phil’s Sauces

Thurston Talk - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 6:02am



By Mary Ellen Psaltis

filipino phils sauce

Filipino Phil created the business alongside his wife Michelle Meithof. Phil creates the recipes and Michelle handles the business.

Filipino Phil is a big man with an equally big heart. His zest for life comes through loud and clear when your lips wrap around food dunked, blended or topped with any of his Filipino Phil’s Nuclear Chipotle Sauces. Bold and bright, these multi-purpose sauces are ready to add greater depth and flair to any meal. Maybe you’re already a fan. But did you know that Filipino Phil and his secret recipes live in Thurston County?

It’s hard to say where it all started, but let’s begin with Filipino Phil’s grandfather who emigrated from the Philippines to the United States in 1928. He taught Phil to cook rice at the young age of three. Phil was a natural in the kitchen and became proficient at an early on, though he chose carpentry as his life’s trade. He acquired the nickname Filipino Phil as a youth, as well. It quickly solved the questions people asked about his ethnicity. The name stuck.

Moving ahead to 2010, Filipino Phil was having fish tacos for dinner and wanted something new to put on top. He was “bored in the kitchen” and whipped up what is now the original sauce – Nuclear Chipotle. Jelly jars were filled and given away to family and friends. The response was positive and many encouraged them to go into business. Though people kept wanting more and Filipino Phil liked the idea of creating new recipes, he was uninterested in turning his sauces into a business. He told his wife Michelle Meithof, that if she wanted to run the whole thing, he would do the recipes if she would do everything else. She agreed.

Michelle handles all aspects of the business, besides recipes, while also working full-time at Red Wind Casino. She enumerated the ways they used the various sauces at home: pizza sauce, baked with chicken, grilled with salmon, topping for burgers, squirted on sausage and crackers and mixed into pasta. Use Filipino Phil’s with your oysters or shrimp cocktails and even in your Bloody Mary. You could mix the sauce with sour cream for a lively vegetable dish, but Meithof said they are planning to come out with their own ranch dressing. The recipes are already complete.

Filipino Phil realized that having three sauces would work best for marketing purposes. The first one, Nuclear Chipotle, was thought by some tasters to be too hot. The recipe was changed and the temperature brought down and Sissy Sauce was born. Those who love heat thought that the original sauce was not hot enough. Then came Nuclear Meltdown. My taste buds are not sissies but were invigorated by the Sissy Sauce. You get to decide for yourself what intensity works best for you.

filipino phils sauce

Filipino Phil’s sauces can be found at Bayview and Ralph’s Thriftway stores.

The first retail bottle appeared in October 2012. Already Filipino Phil’s sauces are award winners. The Nuclear Meltdown received a 2014 Scovie for Unique Wing Sauce and the Nuclear Chipotle for Condiments – Hot & Spicy.

To my delight, there is mustard, too. Though a bit resistant initially to developing his own recipe, Filipino Phil embraced the challenge and after numerous incarnations and a bevy of local tasters, Swawsome Mustard became product #4. The comical yellow label features a fiery hot dog with a ghost pepper travelling through it. My deviled eggs will never be the same. After trying the mustard (or my eggs) you’re going to want some more – because it’s awesome. Swawsome.

Recognize Filipino Phil’s Nuclear Chipotle Sauces by their colorful labels and characteristic peace sign. They were designed by Filipino Phil with the help of a label maker. All recipes and labels are owned by the business. You can find Filipino Phil’s Nuclear Chipotle Sauces at both Stormans grocery stores, Bayview and Ralph’s. They make great additions to your pantry – and a great gift. All their products are gluten free.

filipino phils

Filipino Phil’s sauces are made locally in Thurston County.

The unique combination of cucumbers, peppers and spices provides a sauce that is meant to be hot but to still have the flavor of the food come through. “We don’t want to kill the taste of the food,” assures Meithof and we are “very particular about the product.” What’s coming up? Filipino Phil told me that the recipes for their dry rubs are all finished. Keep watching for them.

A full dose of Filipino Phil’s Nuclear Chipotle Meltdown Sauce may not be for the faint of heart (or mouth), but used judiciously (or extravagantly) you can rev up your barbequed meats and side dishes. Live Boldly!

Eat Well – Be Well


Avoiding Burnout: Caregiver Support at Garden Courte

Thurston Talk - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 5:57am



Garden Courte 1Everyone needs a break sometimes.  Whether it’s from work, children, or the hustle and bustle of everyday chores, our health depends on those little moments of rest.  Sometimes, however, that’s easier said than done.

The Family Caregiver Alliance states that over 43 million adult family members are caring for someone over the age of 50, with almost 15 million supervising Alzheimer’s or dementia care.  Their statistics claim that “the value of unpaid family caregivers will likely continue to be the largest source of long-term care services in the U.S., and the aging population 65+ will more than double between the years 2000 and 2030, increasing to 71.5 million from 35.1 million in 2000.”

Olympia’s Garden Courte Memory Care Community is a local network of loving support for our aging population.  Their award-winning staff host community fundraising events and provide school supplies for our local students in need.  They offer every manner of eldercare, from determining ‘when it’s time’ to sharing the exciting meals, activities, and stimulating interaction needed as we age.

Community Marketing Director Marilyn Richards is proud of the Daycare and Respite offerings at Garden Courte.  “Wouldn’t a break for myself make me a better caregiver?  Many people don’t realize until it is too late that they could be facing ‘burnout’ with the individual they are caring for.  Especially with dementia it can be tough because there is definitely some anxiety on both the caregiver and the individual suffering from the disease.  Possible wandering that could put them in harm’s way, up at various hours of the night keeping the caregiver awake all night, safety fears with kitchen items, bathing hazards, or getting into something that might be hazardous to their health.

“All this takes a toll on people and the situation,” Richards continues.  “When given an opportunity to ‘get away from the stress/environment’ and re-charge it can make the situation attainable upon return.  Revitalized caregivers make for better caregivers.”

Respite care is traditionally for a few days or weeks, whereas daycare is just that.  Whether it’s to attend an out of town event or just a pending medical appointment, caregivers are free to arrange a break, knowing their loved one will be secure, engaged, and provided the best care in town.  As Richards explains “Now they can have a break to run errands, meet friends for lunch, go places and do the things they need to stay happy and healthy while still providing them with the comforts of home on their schedule.”

Garden Courte 2These temporary offerings are also a great chance for aging relatives to get comfortable with the staff and layout of Garden Courte.  Should full-time elder care become a necessity down the road, the transition will be much less stressful for everyone, caregiver and recipient alike.

Richards notes that Garden Courte offers many activities to residents, including “Outdoor courtyards, wide open walking halls, great people to mix and mingle with. Our activities are designed to distract, engage and offer an opportunity to be a part of a quality of life that rewards them and gives them a feeling of purpose.  Not all folks participate hands on, but just being in the room and watching allows them to feel at ease.  The music Garden Courte invites into their community is bar none the best.  With a variety of instruments our entertainers play, the residents get lost in the moment.  It is a true ‘moment of success’.”

Staffers at Garden Courte also offer caregiver support in the form of monthly guest speakers and online question-and-answer sessions.  These can be invaluable not only as resources but to help build a support network of like-minded allies and friends in the community.

The US Department of Health and Human Services explains that caregiver stress is a very real thing.  They conclude “To begin with, never dismiss your feelings as ‘just stress.’  Caregiver stress can lead to serious health problems and you should take steps to reduce it as much as you can…Although caregiving can be challenging, it is important to note that it can also have its rewards. It can give you a feeling of giving back to a loved one. It can also make you feel needed and can lead to a stronger relationship with the person receiving care.”

Sometimes it’s hard to ask for help, but it’s also a tremendously vital thing to do.  By reaching out to qualified medical staff, people in similar situations, and the community around you, the day-to-day responsibilities are made so much easier.  Garden Courte is always there to help. Call 360-339-5080 or visit them at 626 Lilly Rd NE.


Army Sergeant Luke Cifka’s Road to Recovery

Thurston Talk - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 5:57am



By Eric Wilson-Edge

Olympia Auto Mall sponsorSergeant Luke Cifka catches me off guard. We’re talking about a surgery he underwent when he says something profoundly funny. The procedure made it possible for the Army Sergeant to use prosthetics. “Every time I get new prosthetics I get a little taller and see a new part of my house,” says Cifka. “My wife can’t hide things on top of the freezer anymore.”

Cifka is recovering in a special unit at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C.  On May 31, 2013 Cifka stepped on an IED while serving in Afghanistan. He lost both his legs above the knee. The blast also broke his pelvis, hands and several facial bones.

luke cifka

Luke Cifka stands for the first time while recuperating at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

An Olympia native, Cifka joined the Army after a few years at Washington State University. “I didn’t want to work behind a desk anymore,” says Cifka. He deployed to Iraq at the end of 2009. “I got back from Iraq and realized the military is what I wanted to pursue as a career.”

Cifka transferred to reconnaissance platoon and from there went to sniper school before redeploying to Afghanistan. He credits the Army for helping him find direction. “I like being part of a unique brotherhood,” says Cifka.

A few weeks ago Cifka, his friends and family celebrated the Sergeant’s Alive Day. “It was a time to reflect on how far we’ve come in the last year and not necessarily dwelling on the anniversary as the day I lost my legs,” comments Cifka.

The process hasn’t been easy. There have been surgeries and setbacks. Cifka suffered a traumatic brain injury in the explosion. He needed both physical and speech rehab therapy. “A lot of peaks and valleys,” notes Cifka. “One day you might have a great success, might set a new record for something you might not have done the week before and the next day you take two steps back.”

Cifka’s attitude helps, as does the support of friends and family. “Kait is really the superhero of the family,” says Cifka in reference to his wife. Kait’s father is also in the military. When he found out about Cifka’s injury he asked for and received a compassionate reassignment to nearby Fort Mead.

luke cifka

After spending 13 months in wheelchair, Cifka is learning how to walk with prosthetics.

Back in Olympia, one of Cifka’s former teachers held a walk-a-thin at Griffin School, in Luke’s honor. The event raised more than $13,000 dollars. The money went toward modifications including building a ramp at Cifka’s in-law’s house.

Cifka spent a large part of the past 13 months in a wheelchair. He just recently started using prosthetics.   “It’s like trying to walk on your knees, all of the muscles associated with taking a step are different.”  Despite the challenge, the Sergeant is happy. “It’s a huge change from being in a wheelchair every day to be able to stand up and walk around.”

Cifka, his wife Kait and their 16-month-old son live at Walter Reed. The place they call home is specially outfitted for wounded soldiers. “This is one of the best places to be for amputees,” says Cifka. The family will remain at the medical center for another year.

What’s next? Sergeant Cifka wants to stay in the Army. He’ll have to go through a medical evaluation board which he’s pretty sure he’ll fail. However, he can appeal the decision.  “I might not be able to do traditional jobs but I have these skills and I can be of service,” says Cifka. He’d love to be an instructor for the sniper school at Fort Benning, but his dream is to be a member of the Army’s Olympic or Paralympic shooting teams.

One of the more lasting parts of our conversations is a jar. The family writes down a positive experience and places it inside. At the end of the year the jar is opened and the experiences are read.  These letters on paper offer perspective.“I don’t think the universe throws anything at you that you can’t handle,” says Cifka.

To follow Cifka’s progress, click here.


Freedom Inc.

Mojourner Truth - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 12:21am
Phoneto by Zonk'em
Outside of Buck's Spice Shop and Darby's, two businesses I gladly choose to support, there is an interstice of green in the sidewalk. Grey, gray,...grass! There's a little (but still larger than the li'l lawn) brass plaque identifying this space as a park. Now and then, there's the sign you see here, miniscule but effective.

"Keep off the grass*" resinates this week, what with the opening of the first legal pot stores outside of Colorado. As my family waited on Sunday morning for a table at Darby's, we saw the sign and the roach** thoughtfully tucked into the park to stack on another entendre***.

We laughed, and took a few photos, inspiring other people to do the same. My kids didn't start doing drugs, I managed to hold onto my job, and breakfast--although served to Led Zeppelin live--was delicious, and in no way a freakshow. Legal pot in 2014 Washington is, what?

It was interesting to hear reports on NPR that actually spoke of today's opening of pot stores here in terms of "civil rights," maybe not on par with gay marriage (local reaction: we're totally used to it, what?), but a great day for freedom, in the words of a guy who'd been in line since 4AM (sorry, guy who showed up at 4:20) to be the first to buy legal weed,**** only to say he'd light up to "Dark Side of the Moon,"***** sorta like he has for 33% of the 1,287 bags of reefer****** he's bougth before, illegally.

Equality for people who don't fit in the archaic man-woman identities and roles is a civil rights issue, but what happened today is a consumer issue. In Americo, though, consumer freedom has increasingly stood in for and even pushed aside the more basic freedoms in the Constitution.

Today gets reported by those who worry as the Beginning of the End, gateway drug to utter debauchery and decay. Meanwhile, others spout some crap about Freedom when what they're being offered is a chance to pay premium prices plus 25% tax (that's right, Washington State imposes a 25% tax on this freedom) for something that's actually pretty easy to get outside of the official stores. The saying "Freedom isn't Free" needs to be amended, "And it's Heavily Taxed".

So, light up and celebrate if you must, but don't let the ability to go to a store and light up legally make you think you're more free, don't let THC be the opiate of the masses, and don't develop memory loss about more fundamental freedoms at stake in this changing AmeriCo. For real freedom, don't feed the stores that will compete and merge and take-over and consolidate into the same corporate creature that stalks every revenue flow; go chip a park out of the concrete.

* an archaic term for psychoactive cannabis
** an archaic term for the remains of a partially smocked grass cigarette, or "joint"
*** a French term. I only explain archaic terms, so you're on your own for this one
**** archaic term for grass*
***** archaic stoner music
****** archaic term for a joint** or maybe weed****

Hornet Leg Tours Europe!

K Records - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 2:35pm
  Hornet Leg are traveling to Europe at the end of the summer into autumn. It’s going to be a blues soul rockin’ extravaganza.  You’ve heard their Ribbon of Fear [KLP209] album (recorded at Dub Narcotic Studio); they’ve since released two otehr albums, Still Life (Stankhouse) and Wrecking Ball (Hovercraft). Fudge, yeah. Here are the […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Maintain Your Roof for Best Performance and Long Life

Thurston Talk - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 11:57am



Submitted by Town & Country Roofing

olympia roofing contractorIf you live in Olympia you know that we spend about 75 percent of the year under cloud cover, which can bring in cold rain and fog regardless of the season.  Although we are used to the threat of constant rainfall; it can be harmful for roofs in the long run. The occasional gale can carry aloft all kinds of debris that can create holes or cracks on your roof from their sheer weight. To prevent cracks and leaks from forming, Town & Country Roofing in Olympia recommends routine professional roof cleaning

Roofs are designed to protect your entire household from the wrath of the weather. However roofs aren’t designed to last forever, especially if you don’t care for them. Organic material such as leaves, twigs, and pine needles can accumulate on your roof and inevitably clog gutters and drains.

Debris left unattended will eventually decay and release chemicals that eat away at the roof surface. Additionally, this collection of debris combined with the presence of moisture encourages the growth of moss. Once deeply rooted, moss can break through the roof’s surface and eat away at the underlying layers, thus weakening them in the process.  Town & Country Roofing offers effective and customized solutions that quickly clear away stubborn moss and debris from your roof. They can then repair or replace damaged shingles and tiles spotted during cleaning.

Even if you’re pretty used to the climate conditions in Olympia, that doesn’t mean you should be complacent when it comes to roof maintenance. After all, your family’s safety and comfort are at stake. It’s a good thing, then, that you can count on reliable contractors like Town & Country Roofing to carry out the necessary cleaning and maintenance tasks that will keep your roof in optimal condition for many more years.  If you are in need of a free estimate, call them at 360-704-ROOF (7663).


Tiny House Advocate Speaks at Olympia Timberland Library

Thurston Talk - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 11:48am


 Submitted by the Timberland Regional Library

The Big TinyOlympia resident Dee Williams hand-crafted her beautiful 84 square foot house and wrote a book about the experience, “The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself-Memoir.” She will speak at the Olympia Timberland Library on Thursday, July 31 from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m.

In building her tiny home, Williams discovered that the important stuff in life isn’t stuff.

“Admitting that I’m “happy enough” makes me wonder if I’m falling short of my potential as a middle-class American,” Williams writes on her website. “But the facts are the facts,” she continues, “I found a certain bigness in my little house – a sense of largeness, freedom, and happiness that comes when you see there’s no place else you’d rather be.”

Jim Lynch, author of “The Highest Tide,” writes: “The Big Tiny” is irresistible. Dee Williams is as much fun on the page as she is in person. Comic, silly, and soulful, she takes us on her journey to simplify her life and along the way tunes in to our own inner desire to pare down to our nearly naked selves.”

Williams founded Portland Alternative Dwellings (PAD) to help others find a way to make their housing serve their lives. She has been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times,, National Public Radio, CBS This Morning and more.

Attendees may bring their own copies of the book to be signed. Books will also be available for purchase. Learn more about Dee and the tiny house movement at

This program will take place after regular library hours and no other services will be available.

The Olympia Timberland Library is located at 313 8th Ave.SE.  For more information contact the library at (360) 352-0595 or visit



2014 Citizen Corps Preparedness and Awareness Fair

OlyBlog Home Page - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 11:00am
Event:  Wed, 07/09/2014 - 9:00am - 3:00pm  2014 Citizen Corps Preparedness and Awareness Fair on the State Capitol Campus, Olympia, Captiol Way between 11th Ave. SE and Sid Snider Ave. SW around the Tivoli Fountain. Wednesday, July 9 from 9:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m.

See demonstrations about public safety, emergency preparedness and response by professional and volunteer responders, support services, local emergency service providers and vendors.

Learn about local emergency service providers, volunteer organizations, and emergency responders. Learn how you can prepare yourself, your household and workplace for emergencies and disasters. Learn about volunteer opportunities in emergency and disaster response.

FREE and open to the public.
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Visit the Lacey Community Market

Thurston Talk - Mon, 07/07/2014 - 2:08pm



By Kathryn Millhorn

lacey community market

The Lacey Community Market is slated for July 12, August 9 and September 13.

Summer in the Northwest is a rare and coveted gem.  Opportunities magically materialize for outings all over town, whether it’s to eat, drink, shop, or enjoy amazing regional entertainment.  This season’s schedule at the Lacey Community Market combines all those things and more throughout July, August, and September.

Happening the second Saturday of each month, the Market can be found at Lacey’s shady Huntamer Park.  Once a month, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., over 70 vendors will fill the day with food, crafts, activities, and music.  The venue is surrounded by plenty of free parking and the nearby Lacey Transit Center means access is easy via Intercity Transit as well.  The Lacey Community Market is even pet friendly, with leashed pets welcome.

Aside from booths teeming with treats of all varieties, there will be family-friendly activities like free Zumba in the Park classes each market day at 2:00 p.m. and children’s delights like face painting, music, and crafts.  These extras will echo the Market’s theme for the day and include guest speakers and events for everyone.

July 12 highlights ‘Yard and Garden Day.’  According to Mary Coppin, the Community Liaison for the City of Lacey Public Affairs Department, “In addition to traditional market vendors, experts will be on hand to answer questions about raising backyard chickens, choosing easy-care plants, and re-purposing old furniture into unique garden and patio pieces!”

lacey community marketThe day’s guest speakers will be Joan Hurst of McCleary’s G & H Pastured Poultry: The Nitty Gritty of Raising Chickens, Kellie Peterson of Yelm’s Gordon’s Garden Center: Create Traffic Stopping Fender Bending Custom Containers, and Mary Corso of Olympia’s Courtyard Antiques: Repurposing Furniture for the Garden and Patio.

August 9 promises to live up to—and possibly exceed—its classification as Family Fun Day.  There will be games, activities, face-painting, and a bounce house to the accompaniment of joyful Zimbabwean music with Mukana Marimba.  After cooling down at a magic show performed by Olympia’s Michael Budd or amidst the Reptile Man’s amazing menagerie, kids can climb aboard the Black Hills Gymnastics Tumble Bus for more bounce-fueled fun.

Even though well-behaved pets are always welcome at the Lacey Community Market, September 13 celebrates our furry best friends at Pet Day.

lacey community market

Pet Day at the Lacey Community Market is Saturday, September 13.

Traditionally known as the biggest market of the season, it offers free activities along with pet-centric vendors, services, and fun contests for owners and their furry friends to enjoy together as they try to win prizes!  In addition to demonstrations on grooming techniques, obedience training, and nose work, pet parents can also visit the Animal Services booth to buy a license or take advantage of low-cost chipping services. Demonstrations on Pet Day include meeting the newest members of the Thurston County Sheriff’s K-9 unit and amazing herding and agility demonstrations from the stars at Olympia’s Fido’s Farm.

Interested vendors can find participation details on the Market’s webpage and questions of any kind should be directed to 360-491-3214.

“The market offers both traditional and non-traditional market items including seasonal produce and fresh-cut flowers, breads, honey, and locally harvested food.  Crafts, hand-made jewelry, furniture, antiques, collectibles, bakery treats, and many other delicious snacks are also available.”

On a beautiful summer Saturday, is there really anything more wonderful?


Work Your Body Through Boot Camp Classes

Thurston Talk - Mon, 07/07/2014 - 2:03pm



Group fitness classes, such as boot camp, are also offered at Edge Fitness.

Boot Camp, offered at Edge Fitness, will get you in shape quickly, challenging your body and changing up your fitness routine.

When someone mentions “Boot Camp”, the first thing that may come to mind is a military-style workout, but modern day boot camp has another meaning entirely.

Boot camp is a tool to get you in shape quickly, using exercises that challenge your body and shake up your fitness routine. At Edge Fitness in Tumwater you can get in shape, and transform your entire body, with boot camp classes.

Edge Fitness owner Amanda Price Salazar, a certified personal trainer and nutritionist, can help you reach your health and fitness goals.

Salazar defines boot camp as challenging, intense, group training where each class varies in style.

“A lot of people think it’s intimidating, but it’s not. Like all things, you just have to give it a chance. There are a variety of formats. We use a lot of cross training and different fitness tools in order to transform the body and reach specific fitness goals,” she shares.

“It’s not an army sergeant yelling at you,” she says with a laugh. “Fitness boot camps help you do things that you never thought were possible, all while your trainer supports you through positive reinforcement and guidance.”

Boot camps are also total body workouts. They train every muscle in the body from head to toe, including the heart.  Boot camp fitness classes challenge the mind as well, not just the body. “It’s just one of those things, when a person works out on their own, they tire out or don’t seem to push themselves as far as they can because it is easy to give up or stop without someone right there urging you on,” explains Salazar.  “However, because of the encouraging format of boot camp, the energy of people around you and the motivation of the coach to support you, you keep going and push yourself farther.”

One of Salazar’s strategies to help clients push themselves to the next level is using small training intervals, creating opportunities for success.

“You can do anything for ten more seconds.” This is one of Salazar’s famous phrases that motivates clients to push just a little farther than they normally would working only on their own. “You can get three to four Edge Fitnessmore reps in and that’s what make the difference, transforming the body over time,” she said. “When you push your body farther than you think you can, it will make your body and mind stronger and more capable.”

Boot camp classes are 45 – 60 minutes. By attending classes two to three times a week, you can make huge changes in the shape of your body and improve your overall strength, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility.

Salazar says there is often confusion between CrossFit and boot camp. They have quite different overall focuses and methods of training. She says that variety in training is key to any fitness program and it is always good to change things up.

Salazar supplies beginning, intermediate and advanced options in her boot camp workouts, meeting all client’s needs.  “Showing options and modifications for those of varying fitness levels is something I always do,” she explains.

“Once you get into it, it’s a hard sweaty workout and will be one of the best workouts of your life,” Salazar shares. “You are breathing heavy and look like a mess when you are done, but every person walks away happy with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and empowerment.”


Tumwater’s 2014 Screen on the Green Outdoor Movies

Thurston Talk - Mon, 07/07/2014 - 12:54pm



Submitted by The City of Tumwater

Looking for free fun for the whole family?  Join Tumwater Parks & Recreation for “Screen on the Green” outdoor movies, Friday evenings in August.

Each August, Tumwater Parks and Recreation brings four movies to our outdoor cinema at the Tumwater Valley Golf Course (4611 Tumwater Valley Drive SE, Tumwater WA 98501). Movies are shown on the first four Friday evenings in August.  Gates open at 7:30 p.m. Movies begin at dusk. This event is fun for the whole family, and admission is FREE.  Come early and enjoy dinner on the patio at the River’s Edge restaurant or bring your own picnic (park rules apply). Low-backed chairs are allowed, but grills, umbrellas, and pets are prohibited.

Please call the Parks & Recreation office for more information: (360) 754-4160. We look forward to seeing you on the GREEN!

2014 Screen on the Green movie line-up:

Friday, August 1 “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (PG-13)

Friday, August 8 “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” (PG)

Friday, August 15 “Star Trek Into Darkness” (PG-13)

Friday, August 22 “Frozen: The Sing-Along” (PG) & Root Beer Float Bar (see below for details)


Root Beer Float Bar – Friday, August 22 (Sponsor: Tumwater Area Chamber of Commerce)

At this year’s final SOTG movie, you will be treated to a free Root Beer Float while enjoying the Sing-Along version of “Frozen.” Root beer floats courtesy of the Tumwater Area Chamber of Commerce and co-sponsors Puget Sound Energy and South Sound Foursquare Church.  For more information, please contact Tumwater Parks and Recreat.

Mecca Normal NW Tour!

K Records - Mon, 07/07/2014 - 12:22pm
Next week Mecca Normal will spin around the NW for a tour of their fave haunts, ending with an appearance at the Anacortes Unknown Music Series. The tour dates are listed below. For more information visit their weblog. As excited as we are to have Mecca Normal play Olympia (with Spider & the Webs!), we’re […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Mrs. Michelle Whittaker Joins Northwest Christian High School Staff

Thurston Talk - Mon, 07/07/2014 - 11:41am



Submitted by Northwest Christian High School

Northwest Christian High School welcomes Mrs. Michelle Whittaker to their Science teaching team.

Northwest Christian High School welcomes Mrs. Michelle Whittaker to their Science teaching team.

Mrs. Michelle Whittaker has recently joined Northwest Christian’s science teaching staff. Whittaker has previously worked in biomedical research and has published numerous scientific papers.  She is also responsible for helping to implement a new and innovative campus wide STEM program throughout the Foundation Campus.

Whittaker is a National Board Certified teacher in Adolescent and Young Adult Science. In addition, she has a strong background in Marine Biology, Biomedical Research, as well as a broad base of knowledge in general sciences.  Whittaker will be instrumental in the creation of new AP classes at NCHS scheduled for this fall.

According to Whittaker, the primary difference between a traditional and STEM classroom is the role of the teacher. In a STEM classroom, the teacher performs more of a coaching role, pointing the direction rather than supplying the answers. It’s an innovative approach to education and one which both Whittaker and Northwest Christian High School embrace.

Whittaker is recognized as an outstanding STEM teacher and science practitioner by her students and peers due to her hard work and innovative teaching and working style.

Northwest Christian welcomes Michelle Whittaker to our staff and looks forward to the innovation and educational opportunities she will bring for all students.

You can learn more about Northwest Christian High School by clicking here.  Like us on Facebook to stay current with the latest developments and news from Northwest Christian Private Schools, also know as the Foundation Campus.

Hop Off the Couch and Try Low-Cost Teen Activities around Olympia

Thurston Talk - Mon, 07/07/2014 - 11:00am



By Libby Kamrowski

dairy queenFor many, summer is a time of relaxation. It’s pleasant to catch up on sleep and to throw your alarm clock into your below-bed abyss. Binge-watching Netflix for a day never hurt anyone, but the world is waiting outside of your door! In Thurston County, there are many low-cost options to help kick your inner couch potato out and get in shape.

If you have a taste for adventure, then Warehouse Rock Gym will satisfy your pallet. With walls dozens of feet high to practice rock-climbing and an energetic staff, the Warehouse Rock Gym is located in the heart of downtown Olympia on Jefferson Street, near the Hands On Children’s Museum. The building may be unassuming on the outside, but inside are many patrons young and old, raising the roof and reaching for the sky (or the next hold, whichever comes first).

warehouse rock gym

Warehouse Rock Gym contains indoor rock-climbing walls outfitted with hundreds of holds and dozens of belay lines stretching to the ceiling.

Walking through the doors, one can smell the scent of chalk and hard work, and see new climbers next to avid adventurers. Some boulder (climb without a harness), and others lock in to belay devices and monkey their way up routes varying in difficulty from 5.6 to 5.12. Heather Williams started from the bottom, and has quickly fell in love with the sport, conquering a difficult 5.10A route, and highly recommends the activity.“I feel strong and like I can do anything. Especially when I’m using a tiny hold that I can only hold with two fingers to pull up my entire body,” Williams said.

For teens aged 11-17, single day admission is just $11.  Adults cost $13. As rock climbing is a complicated  and dangerous alternative sport, it requires equipment rentals, and signed waivers if the climber is under age 18.  A climbing shoe and harness combination is just $6 for each use. And every Saturday night from 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. is student night, with 50% off admission.

For those interested in simpler exercise, the Chehalis Western Trail is a suitable option. The trail snakes through Lacey and Olympia as well as Yelm and Tenino, for a total of 49 miles. Formerly the Chehalis Western Railroad, it has since been transformed into a path for scenic exercise, and Thurston County Parks and Recreation maintains 22 miles of the trail. You don’t have to travel the whole length of the trail to get a good workout, and for Evan Tran, biking is his choice of transit.

olympia hiking trails

Exercise and exploring go hand in hand. Who knows what beautiful spectacles you might find alongside the Chehalis Western Trail or Capitol Forest Mima Falls trails?

“It is great exercise because you can travel far and explore, while giving you an intense leg workout,” Tran said. He rode from the Indian Summer Golf Course to the Lacey Target.  The route is a nine-mile cycle round trip.  Tran travelled with his two cousins, and they even had fun taking pictures on the way to their destination.

This method of exercise doubles as both recreation and social transportation, certainly burning more calories than sitting in a car. It is environmentally friendly, and low-cost. “All you need is a bike and a bottle of water,” said Tran. Tran plans to frequent the trail more this summer as the weather permits.

And for those interested in games, Laser Fun Zone has you covered. Located in Lacey on Ruddell Road near Saint Martin’s University, you’ll get an adrenaline rush from the flash of opponents’ laser guns as you dodge and roll through dimly lit maze-like structures and obstacles. One game costs $7.95 per player, two games for $15, and three for $21. Laser Fun Zone also offers military discounts and an impressive arcade, and is the location for birthday parties or simply to have fun for a day.

Laser tag is the painless version of paintballing, as the guns only shoot colored lights. Players are split into groups, and put on vests with sensors that light up when an opponent hits them. The gun of the tagged player is incapacitated momentarily, and then the player can resume. Games get intense, and players can receive score stats afterwards, and keep good memories.

olympia teen activities

Laser Fun Zone employee Dianne Story poses with a laser tag gun and models the reflective vests that are worn by players in the laser tag arena.

“Everyone loves some sort of competition, and beating your friends gives you bragging rights” said Jordan Geissinger-Carver, teen employee of the Fun Zone. “Everyone should go.  It’s tons of fun! A long as you are over five years old, you should be inside the laser tag area having a blast!”

Try the Marvin Road Golf and Batting Cages.  It is a great alternative to glazed-over television viewing. In brief summary, fun is provided for kids and adults alike as it is the only miniature golf destination in all of Thurston County. Games can be purchased for $7 a player; or go out on the real golf driving range with a bucket of golf balls for $6-$9. There are four batting cages, operated with tokens, each token $2.50 for 20 pitches.

Thurston County will let you climb, mountain bike, dodge, drive, and run. Hop off of the couch and get your heart rate up!


July is Smart Irrigation Month in Olympia

Thurston Talk - Mon, 07/07/2014 - 10:38am



Submitted by The City of Olympia

Less is more when watering your lawn.

woman wateringJuly is Smart Irrigation Month in Olympia.  Because lawns and landscapes are typically over-watered by up to 30%, the City of Olympia’s Water Conservation Program is encouraging water customers to cut their irrigation water waste through a variety of incentives. By watering wisely, maintaining and upgrading automated irrigation systems, consumers can save money and help protect our drinking water resources for future generations.

The City’s Water Conservation Program offers residential water customers a $200 rebate on the installation of a “smart” irrigation controller and/or a FREE rain sensor – both for in-ground irrigation systems. Smart controllers automatically adjust watering times based on weather conditions to provide optimal moisture for healthy plants and landscapes, and conserves water. Rain sensors simply shut off irrigation systems when it is raining, so you don’t water when nature is doing it for you. Customers who water with a hose-end sprinkler can benefit from a free hose watering timer.

City of Olympia commercial water customers may be eligible for a rebate of up to $2500 on efficient irrigation system upgrades, including spray nozzle retrofits, smart controller upgrades and drip irrigation conversions.

The City’s efficient irrigation consultant says, “Olympia has made it easy for commercial customers and irrigation contractors to get rebates for installing efficient sprinkler nozzles, controllers with conservation features, and other water saving equipment. The rebate process is simple for most items, and the rebate amounts are generous enough that customers can start saving money right away.”

Visit our website for Smart Irrigation Month incentives, rebate applications, resources and tips on how you can join your fellow neighbors and get smart about irrigation!

Smart Irrigation Month is an initiative of the Irrigation Association, a non-profit industry organization dedicated to promoting efficient irrigation.

For more information, contact the City of Olympia Water Conservation Program at 360.753.8271 or

Westport Winery’s Two “biggest reds” Earn Big Points at the World Wine Challenge

Thurston Talk - Mon, 07/07/2014 - 10:34am



Submitted by Westport Winery

Westport WinerySwimmer, the winery’s iconic Petite Sirah made with grapes from Jones Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope, earned 89 points. The label features winemaker Dana Roberts as a young competitive swimmer. The tasting notes state that it is “A tattooed biker wine, muscular and dangerous.” It is suggested to pair it in the winery’s restaurant with their Bubba Burger (a Certified Angus Beef  burger with the winery’s homemade bacon jam, Swiss cheese and greens on a grilled hoagie) while listening to Born to be Wild by Steppenwolf. A portion of the proceeds from this wine benefits the Grays Harbor Children’s Advocacy Center

Surfer, the winery’s varietal Syrah made from grapes grown at Discovery Vineyards in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA, earned 88 points. Like father, like son, this label features winery co-owner Blain Roberts as a nationally rated surfer on Maui in the 1970s. On the tasting notes it says this is “The Edgar Allen Poe of wine, dark, brooding and intense.” It is well-paired with Surf and Turf (a prime Certified Angus Beef garlic tenderloin served with bacon-wrapped prawns in a pineapple-horseradish glaze) in the winery’s Farm to Fork restaurant while listening to Pipeline by The Ventures. A portion of the proceeds from this wine is donated to South Beach EMS.

Westport Winery and Vineyards By-the-Sea with its unique sculpture garden, lavender labyrinth, musical fence, 9-hole executive golf course, giant chess set, outdoor scrabble game, and grape maze, is located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road halfway between Aberdeen and Westport. Westport Winery was named Best of the Northwest Wine Tour in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014.

Westport’s award-winning wines are exclusively available at the winery. The tasting room, gift shop, produce market, plant nursery and bakery are open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurant is open for lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and for dinner on Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information contact Westport Winery at 360-648-2224 or visit the website at

Liquor Control Board Issues First Marijuana Retailer Licenses

Thurston Talk - Mon, 07/07/2014 - 10:04am



Submitted by Washington State Liquor Control Board

The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) today issued the state’s first 24 marijuana retailer licenses. A complete listing, including contact information of the new retail licensees, can be found online within the Public Records section of the WSLCB website.

The 24 applicants were notified via email early this morning that they were approved for a retail license. Once approved for a license, producers and/or processors are able to file a required manifest for transporting to retail locations. Following a 24 hour quarantine period, they may begin transporting products to retail stores. Marijuana retailers may begin selling marijuana at their discretion following receipt of product and entering it in to the traceability system.

Businesses receiving their licenses today represent the first of 334 licenses allotted by the WSLCB for retail sales who have successfully completed the licensing process. Locations receiving licenses were selected by taking into account population, geographic dispersion and the individual applicant’s readiness to be licensed.

Today’s issuance of the first retail licenses represents the latest step following nearly 18 months of establishing a tightly controlled and comprehensive system of producing, processing and retailing recreational marijuana. Highlights include:

  • Crafting the rules governing Washington’s recreational marijuana system;
  • Establishing a traceability system for tracking marijuana products from production to retail
  • Establishing a system and certification requirements for laboratories and testing procedures for labs testing recreational marijuana;
  • Building and training marijuana licensing, enforcement and financial teams for administering and enforcing the law;
  • Conducting thorough criminal and financial investigations of all license types;
  • Developing a process for a third-party to conduct a double-blind lottery for establishing an ordered list of retail license applicants; and
  • Actively working with industry members, public agencies and community organizations to further public and consumer safety education.

The WSLCB was especially concerned with the impact to children. There are strict rules regarding packaging, labeling and advertising to ensure they not appeal to children. In June, the LCB announced emergency rules that include a label and product approval process.

WSLCB licensing investigators will continue to issue producer, processor and retailer licenses as those applications are completed. To date the WSLCB has licensed over 687,000 square feet of plant canopy for marijuana production, roughly the equivalent of a dozen football fields.

For more information including summaries of the rules frequently requested lists please visit the LCB website at


Get to Know Lasting Touch Memorials’ Tony Ward

Thurston Talk - Mon, 07/07/2014 - 6:00am



lasting touch memorials

Tony Ward, owner of Lasting Touch Memorials, has over 30 years of industry experience.

Tony Ward is a funny guy. In his line of work, humor is important. Ward is the owner of Lasting Touch Memorial in Yelm. “I try to tell a funny story to get a laugh or smile – to break the mood,” says Ward.

That doesn’t mean he’s insensitive. Ward takes his work seriously. He understands how important picking the right memorial can be to a family who has just lost a loved one. “You have to care for people and you have to be a good listener,” says Ward.

Patience is a must. “I have to find out what that person meant to them,” says Ward. Sometimes it takes a while. Ward once worked with a client who needed seven months and more than 30 changes before she felt satisfied. “I’ll go back until the person is happy,” says Ward.

Tony opened Lasting Touch 12 years ago but he’s been involved with the death care industry for almost three decades. He started as a truck driver for a company that installed headstones, among other things.  Ward worked his way up before leaving to start his own business.

A delivery truck pulls up. Ward takes me out back. He talks to the driver for a few minutes then takes me on a tour of the lot. He shows me a beautiful, deep red memorial. It’s granite and looks pristine.  He bought the piece in China and also purchases domestically and internationally. There is some kind of defect but it’s not visible. Ward thinks it was cut too short. As we walk, Ward rattles off information about the different colors of granite and where they originated. He’s a flesh and blood Wikipedia only without the inaccuracy. I can’t help but think that it must be nice to be in such capable hands.

For more information about Lasting Touch visit the website or call 360-458-9070.


Pretty, cheaper and better for fans. Great new indoor soccer league, I wish it was a futsal leauge

Olympia Time - Mon, 07/07/2014 - 5:22am
I'm glad the new Western Indoor Soccer League is coming online. The old national minor league indoor teams around here had been associated with just seemed so disconnected. And, there was a bit of drama in there that I didn't like.

And, most importantly, I think local leagues should be local. Sure, organized with some sort of national system (like US Club Soccer), but local teams controlling local leagues. Just makes sense.

But, where I wish these team owners had changed their approach would be to abandon the historic tangent that is indoor soccer. In no where else in the world does anyone play our version of indoor soccer. Its odd in that way. Our version seems to be based on a need to use underutilized indoor hockey rinks. They are laid out almost exactly the same, with team boxes and tall walls that keep the ball in play.

Futsal is just a better sport. The rest of the world plays futsal, which more closely resembles actual soccer.

I'd even say that futsal is more exciting. And, after watching more than 10 indoor games right on the walls, indoor is plenty exciting on its own. What I've read makes me believe that futal would also be cheaper to implement. Mostly what worries me is the need to essentially replicate hockey arenas to play what should be a simple sport. Futsal can be played anywhere basketball or volleyball is played. It is just another series of lines on the same gym surface. Even if you're buying a futsal floor, they can be purchased in the neighborhood of $10,000, which is near what an indoor field (with turf and walls) can be set up for.  

The biggest argument for me is fan experience. The indoor arenas I've seen around here have pretty bad fan experiences. Small metal bleachers awkwardly arranged around an indoor arena, I mostly ended up standing, and I felt I was in the way of people trying to walk by. The facilities are obviously built for recreational players with a fan experience jammed in. Even if you took an average high school gym and laid a portable futsal court, you would increase the fan experience by 100 percent.

And, according to FIFA indoor isn't real soccer. And, they're right.
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