Recent local blog posts

Merle Norman’s Madelin White Shares How Color and Make-up Combine for Great Looks

Thurston Talk - Fri, 01/08/2016 - 6:00am


Alright, ladies, has this ever happened to you?  You get up one morning, get dressed and put on your makeup and think, ‘Wow. I look pretty good today!” The next day you put on your makeup in exactly the same way and get dressed but this time you think, “I really look tired.” What happened?

The answer is simple, says Merle Norman’s Madelin White. It all comes down to skin tone and the color of clothing you wear. Women can get confused about what make-up is right for them because they don’t understand the relationship between the two. “People come into the spa because they want to be able to wear something red and they’ve never been able to wear red. That’s easy to fix,” she says.

merle normanMadelin White advises clients on how to find the best color combinations and make-up to work with their skin tones.

After 42 years in the spa business, White is a living encyclopedia of all things connected to beauty. In this case, she shares a bit about the color wheel as it relates to cosmetics. “If you think about your three primary colors, blue is always cool like water, yellow is always warm like the sun, and red can be anything,” she says. “If you add more yellow it becomes warmer, which is more like a tomato red. If you add more blue it becomes cooler, which is more of a cherry red.” Women with warmer skin tones won’t be able to wear the same shades of make-up as those with cooler skin.

But how does that apply to the same person on two different mornings? Depending on your skin tone, says White, the color of your clothing is either draining or emphasizing the color in your face. “Your clothes have to be working with the color of your skin.”

It’s important to note that our skin tone changes as we age, she says, especially when our hair has already turned gray. “If you ever doubt that, have somebody who has dark hair put on a gray wig and see what happens. Your skin has to lighten up in order to look right.”

The solution to finding the right look is to bring along an example of the shades of clothing you wear when you shop for make-up. “If you’re looking for the right red, either wear or take with you the color of red you normally would wear,” says Madelin. When you do, that changeling in the mirror will go away.

Along with recommendations on color, you can also find hair styling, waxing, manicures, pedicures, and massage therapy as well as free make-overs and free mini-facials, and of course wigs, at Merle Norman.

To learn more, visit Merle Norman online or at 3925 – 8th Ave SE in Lacey.

Steffani Jemison: Wednesday, January 13th , 11:30-1:00 pm in the 2nd floor Recital Hall in the COM Building

Evergreen Artists Lecture Series - Thu, 01/07/2016 - 4:41pm

Steffani JemisionSteffani Jemison was born in Berkeley, California, and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2009) and a BA in Comparative Literature from Columbia University (2003). Jemison uses time-based, photographic, and discursive platforms to examine “progress” and its alternatives.

Jemison’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including the Brooklyn Museum; the Drawing Center; LAXART; the New Museum; the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art; the Studio Museum in Harlem; Laurel Gitlen; Team Gallery; and other venues. Her publishing project, Future Plan and Program, commissions literary work by artists of color and has published books by Martine Syms, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, and Harold Mendez, among others. She has participated in artist residencies at Smack Mellon, Brooklyn; the International Studio and Curatorial Program, Brooklyn; Project Row Houses, Houston; the Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine; and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. Jemison has served as a visiting critic in the graduate art programs at Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Illinois-Chicago. She was a 2013 Tiffany Foundation Biennial Awardee and a 2014 Art Matters Grantee. In 2015, she presented her new multipart commission Promise Machine at the Museum of Modern Art.

Jemison is currently an artist-in-residence in the Sharpe-Walentas Space Program. She teaches at Parsons The New School for Design, the Cooper Union, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

ThurstonTalk Posts Job Opening for Part-Time Bookkeeper

Thurston Talk - Thu, 01/07/2016 - 4:36pm

ThurstonTalk is expanding. We’re looking for a part-time bookkeeper to join our team.

If you are a talented individual who has previous experience managing the financial records for a growing business, join our fast growing team. Manage your own hours and complete tasks at times that work for your schedule.


  • Handle all accounts payable for plus our sister companies in Whatcom, Pierce, Grays Harbor and Lewis counties.
  • Prepare payroll for a handful of salaried employees, including quarterly and annual payroll tax reporting.
  • Audit independent contractor invoices and make payments on a monthly basis.
  • Review expense reports and prepare reimbursements.
  • Record all payments in Quickbooks.


  • At least three years previous experience managing books for a business.
  • Ability to work independently and manage a schedule
  • Proven ability to deliver work on time
  • Previous experience tracking multiple companies in an organized fashion
  • Previous experience working with the online version of Quickbooks
  • Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Business Management or equivalent degree

Position is estimated at 15 – 20 hours per month in a remote setting with the majority of the hours centered around the beginning of the month. Bookkeeper will be asked to stop by ThurstonTalk’s office weekly to exchange documents.

This is a great position for someone that wants to be a part of a quick growing company and perhaps grow their responsibilities in the future.

To apply, please send a resume to by Friday, January 15 at 5:00 p.m.

Creative Cowboys

South Sound Arts - Thu, 01/07/2016 - 4:06pm

Two Cowboy Art Exhibitions at Tacoma Art Museum
Published in the Weekly Volcano, Jan. 7, 2016 
“Kay Gee Doc,” tempera on board by William Cumming, gift of J.P. Morgan Chase, courtesy Tacoma Art MuseumI have never been a huge fan of cowboy art, so I was surprised to find I actually enjoyed Creative Cowboys and its companion show, Saddles, Spurs and Quirts as much as I did.Creative Cowboys celebrates cowboy culture in the Pacific Northwest from art about cowboy festivals and rodeos from Pendleton, Ore. and Spokane, Wash. to paintings by local favorite cowboy artists such as Fred Oldfield, founder of the Fred Oldfield Western Heritage and Art Center in Puyallup. The companion show, Saddles, Spurs and Quirts: the Art of Leatherworking, is an exhibition of intricate leatherwork cowboy boots, saddles, spurs and related crafts.  .As with Western art in other areas, notably the cattle country of Wyoming and Montana, and the “wild west” of Texas, the Southwest and the plains states, cowboy art of our region tends to romanticize and mythologize cowboys. Among the more famous artists represented in the show is John Clymer, an illustrator whose Saturday Evening Post covers were eclipsed in popularity only by those by Norman Rockwell. Born and raised in Ellensburg, he went to the East Coast to study art, but his favorite subjects were cowboy families, most notably teenage boys who grew up on horseback in his native Northwest. Clymer painted as many as 80 Post covers. He depicted a cowboy version of Rockwell’s All-American life with the same kind of quirky humor his more celebrated contemporary was famous for. Take, for example, “Boy on Horse,” a Post cover illustration from 1949 depicting a boy standing up in his saddle to peer into a hole in a tall tree trunk. What is her looking for? A bee hive? Stealing some honey, perhaps? Or maybe retrieving a hidden treasure previously secreted away in the stump.Clymer’s illustrations and others in the show are displayed with the original paintings alongside the magazine covers. Viewers may find comparing the paintings with the print versions interesting.William Cumming presents a more contemporary view of cowboy life with his pop art depictions of rodeos. Painted in colorful and flat planes, he creates exciting images of the extreme action of bull riding and steer roping. His “Kay Gee Doc” pictures a rodeo cowboy roping a steer. Behind the action can be seen letters from advertisements on the wall. Everything is out of focus, blurred by dust with wonderfully toned-down yet bright colors and brushwork that reminds me of Susan Rothenburg, who made her mark with expressive paintings of horses —particularly the horse’s back legs that are obscured by a cloud of dust.   Oldfield’s “Cow Camp at McCormick Meadows” is an idyllic scene of cowboys camping on the banks of a tiny stream in a field of golden yellow, a cowboy cooking on a campfire in front of a white tent while their horses peacefully graze. This is an excellent little painting that, nevertheless, creates a falsely serene picture of life on the cow trails.The saddles, spurs and quirts end the show with a display in a glass case at the back door of the gallery. The intricacy of the designs showcase the loving care of the craftspeople who made these beautiful objects made for utilitarian work.Creative Cowboys and Saddles, Spurs, and Quirts, Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., through May 15, $12-$14, Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave. Tacoma,

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Preview of New Muses Theatre’s ‘Romeo and Juliet”

South Sound Arts - Thu, 01/07/2016 - 4:02pm

Published in the Weekly Volcano, Jan. 7, 2016 Jenna McRill as Juliet and Niclas Olson as Romeo in rehearsal. Photo by Kelsey HarrisonI can’t help but wonder why in the world any actor or any director or producer would want to do Romeo and Juliet when it’s already been done so many times in so many ways. Niclas Olson says, “I think a lot of it has to do with how much content is stuffed into the play. As a producer, I tend to look for plays where every character has a real arc and vital role in the story. And each of the nine actors in our adaptation has that opportunity. But there are other producers who can look at the script and see a great opportunity for big fight scenes. Or there’s, obviously, a phenomenal love story. And if we talk about great roles for women, something I placed high on my priority list this season, Juliet, the Nurse, and Lady Capulet are all incredible. And when you add the general name recognition, as a producer it’s almost impossible not to find a reason to like Romeo and Juliet.”Olson, Managing Artistic Director of New Muses Theatre Company has written yet another adaptation of the Shakespeare classic and will direct it and play the part of Romeo when the company does Romeo and Juliet at Dukesbay Theater in Tacoma.“When I was a teenager, I think this is a role I wanted to play purely out of ego. Because everybody has heard of Romeo.  But now, having played a lot of really good parts, and some famous parts with the same kind of name recognition, I’m drawn to Romeo because he’s a character who feels everything so incredibly powerfully. Every emotion, whether it’s love, or anger, or despair, just hits him like a ton of bricks and he just carries that into his everyday life. He’s a guy that you absolutely believe can fall in love at first sight, or go off the rails in a murderous rage. And as an emotionally bottled up modern male, that’s a very interesting journey for me to take. Plus, he has some of the most incredibly beautiful lines Shakespeare ever wrote, and nothing is more amazing as an actor than getting to work on amazing writing,” Olson says.Deanna Martinez, who plays the Nurse, says: “The richness of the text allows for layered performance: an actor's dream. Of course, all of Shakespeare is comprised of rich text. Romeo and Juliet's added benefit is that it is relatable. I have never been an undermined monarch or vengeful witch, but I have been young and stupid in love. And, now that I am a smidge older and wiser, I have looked at the young people in my life and shaken my head at their youthful ardor. We have been the young lovers, we have been angry parents, we have ached for reconciliation, like the friar. As actors, we can help the audience connect to this perennial favorite.”New Muses’ production will be set in Verona, Italy, as was the original, but in modern times. The costuming is all modern, and cell phones take the place of the many messengers found in the original text. Another major change is that Benvolio (Sara Geiger) is now played by, and as, a woman. “Modernizing the setting gives us the leeway to include more women in fantastic roles, and draws out interesting characteristics in the friendship between Romeo, Benvolio, and Mercutio,” Olson says.Steve Gallion plays Lord Capulet. Geiger (recently seen in Olympia Family Theatre's The Abolitionist's Wife and in Theater Artists Olympias Improbable Peck of Plays) plays Benvolio. Jenna McRill (Logaqinne in The Putnam County Spelling Bee at Tacoma Musical Playhouse) plays Juliet. Tony Onorati plays Mercutio, Emily Robinson Lady Capulet, and Steven Walker plays Tybalt, and Laurence is played by Lance Zielinski.“We aren’t force feeding a history lesson down anyone’s throat or sticking our noses in the air because we’re doing “Shakespeare" with a giant capital S,” Olson says. “This is Shakespeare being produced because 400 years ago some guy in London wrote a really good play.”Romeo and Juliet, Friday-Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. Jan. 15-31, $10, Dukesbay Theater, Merlino Arts Center, 508 S. Sixth Ave., Tacoma
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

OlyBlog Home Page - Thu, 01/07/2016 - 2:26pm
Event:  Thu, 01/21/2016 - 8:00pm

Harlequin Presents a “Deliriously Funny” Comedy

On January 21, Harlequin Productions opens Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang, winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play. The hysterical comedy runs until February 13 at the State Theater in downtown Olympia.

Vanya and Sonia spent years ministering to their aging parents. Then following their parents deaths, they lived on aimlessly in the family home. In the meantime, sister Masha has traveled the world, the star of an endless series of sexy slasher movies, which have provided the family income. Now Masha, an aging sex symbol, is back with her 20-something boy toy, Spike, in tow. She’s not making as much money as she used to, and is intent on selling the house they grew up in. Uproarious farce and valuable lessons ensue.

WHO:    Harlequin Productions

WHAT:   Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

WHEN:   January 21-February 13, 2016; Thursdays-Saturdays at 8:00pm, Sunday matinees at 2:00pm

WHERE:  The Historic State Theater – 202 4th Avenue East, Downtown Olympia 98501

PRICE: General: $34, Senior/Military: $31, Student/Youth: $20. Rush tickets available at Box Office ½ hour before curtain (approx. 50% discount)

SPECIALS: Pay What You Can Night: January 27, Ladies’ Night Out: January 29, Post-show Talkback: January 31, Pride Night: February 5

TICKETS: Tickets and info available at or by calling 360/786-0151

RATING: T&O for Teens and Older (some strong language) logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Maid Perfect Explains How to Deep Clean a Microwave Oven

Thurston Talk - Thu, 01/07/2016 - 12:38pm


Submitted by Drew Freemantle for Maid Perfect

Deep cleaning all parts of your microwave a few times a year, including the vent, can make weekly cleanings much easier.Deep cleaning all parts of your microwave a few times a year, including the vent, can make weekly cleanings much easier.

One of those things that sometimes gets missed in the kitchen is the microwave oven. We tell our kids to cover their food but that doesn’t always happen. This month we will teach you how to really deep clean a microwave and how to make the task less difficult in the future.

Follow the eight simple steps below to a achieve a sparkling clean microwave.

  1. Remove the upper vent with a screw driver and wash in a sink of hot soapy water.
  2. Wipe the outside ledge of the oven with a sponge and Scrubbing Bubbles.
  3. Dry the upper vent and put it back on the microwave.
  4. Remove the vents under the microwave, clean in the dishwasher or in sink. Put them back when dry.

    Removing your microwave vent is easier than you'd expect.Removing your microwave vent is easier than you’d expect.

  5. Clean the outside of the oven with a glass cleaner.
  6. Remove the glass tray and wash with hot soapy water.
  7. Spray the inside of the microwave with Scrubbing Bubbles, let sit for a couple of minutes and then wipe clean with damp sponge.
  8. Put glass tray back and you are done!

A good way to prevent mess in the microwave is to get a washable food cover.

We hope that this helps and if cleaning is just not your thing then visit our website at Maid or give us a call 360-402-6248 for your free consultation.

Maid Perfect is a residential and commercial cleaning company that has been serving the Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater area for over eight years. We are licensed, insured and all of our employees have been background checked.





Eagles and Salmon at McLane Creek

Bees, Birds & Butterflies - Thu, 01/07/2016 - 11:30am
Text and photos by Nancy Partlow©
The annual gatherings of bald eagles on the Skagit River in the North Cascades are quite famous, but I never dreamed we had anything similar to that here in south Puget Sound. I was excited to learn that every late fall and early winter, bald eagles converge in numbers near the mouth of McLane Creek to feast on the bodies of dead and dying spawned-out salmon.

After heavy rains, bald eagles splay their wings to dry their feathers
at a foggy McLane Creek
According to the Draft McLane Creek Basin Water Resource Protection Study, McLane Creek Basin is comprised of several streams: 
McLane Creek Basin…is located in northwestern Thurston County, a little more than five miles west of the city of Olympia. It encompasses more than 7,000 acres that drain into McLane Creek and into Eld Inlet, and is bounded on its northeastern side by State Route 101, and on its northwestern side by the steep terrain of the Black Hills. The basin contains six major tributaries to McLane Creek, including Beatty Creek, Cedar Flats Creek, Perkins Creek, and Swift Creek. The area is one of the most ecologically intact basins within Thurston County that discharges to Puget Sound.  Fish species of the basin include cutthroat trout, winter steelhead, coho and fall Chinook salmon. But it is the large numbers of returning chum salmon that attract bald eagles from miles around.  An article from a Thurston County Stream Team newsletter describes the chum runs in the basin thus: 
At the beginning of the winter rains, adult chum salmon return to the icy waters to reproduce and then die. The chum salmon spawn anywhere from the lower mouth of McLane Creek up past the protected area of the McLane Creek Nature Trail. They also spawn in tributaries to McLane Creek: Swift, Cedar Flats and Perkins Creeks. WDFW staff do fish surveys during the spawning season to count the number of salmon along different reaches of the creeks. For the past ten years, an estimated 6 to 10,000 chum have returned to McLane Creek. Swift Creek had an estimated 12 to 25,000 and Perkins Creek, 700 to 3,000.
That’s a lot of fish!
I have visited this area during the fall salmon run for the last four seasons.  Two years ago, I watched more than 30 chum spawning right before my eyes in Swift Creek. Chum salmon spawning in Swift CreekYet it is dead fish that the carrion-loving eagles really go for, and there are plenty of those, too.

Dead salmon at McLane Creek
Upon entering the area, the pungent smell of decomposing salmon permeates the nostrils. The shrill, piercing cries of eagles and gulls penetrate the air.  Depending on what the tide is doing, the trees next to the McLane estuary may be festooned with many bald eagles.   Fifteen bald eagles perch in a tree above McLane Creek The fact that such normally-territorial birds tolerate each other’s presence is testament to the rich and abundant food resource. 
I asked Janet why there appear to be so many more juveniles than adult bald eagles at McLane Creek.  She pointed out that it takes four to five years for a bald eagle to attain adult plumage, so maybe four out of every five eagles would naturally be youngsters anyway. She also suggested that it might be easier for juvies to scavenge dead salmon than to catch live prey, which is a learned skill. It also could be that most adult eagles are currently defending their territories, since breeding season has already started for them. 
These last two theories made some sense to me.  I recently caught sight of an adult bald eagle at Capitol Lake.  It was eating a bird that it had caught (probably some kind of duck or gull). I wondered why it wasn’t out at the salmon streams getting fat on chum.  Perhaps this was one of a mated pair that annually nests above the Deschutes estuary, hunting in its home territory.   Whatever the reason, I know that mature bald eagles nest near the McLane Creek estuary too, and every year I see at least one pair together.   

It’s thrilling to watch them mirror each other’s flight and occasionally, even briefly lock talons.  Views of eagles along this stretch of McLane Creek are mostly from far across large farm fields, which is actually a good thing, so that the birds aren’t disturbed.  The tall firs, cottonwoods and alders next to Delphi Road may afford closer views.  When I was a child growing up in Olympia, seeing a bald eagle was an exceedingly rare occurrence.  That is why I still experience a major thrill whenever I catch sight of one.  I am so glad that bald eagle numbers have rebounded to a point where we can again experience one of nature’s great spectacles right here in Thurston County.   
 Other resources:

Draft: McLane Creek Basin Resources Protection Study

Stream Team article on chum salmon at McLane Creek


Bald eagles in tree at McLane Creek
Bald eagle courtship behavior at McLane Creek
Gulls and eagles soar over McLane Creek
Bald eagle eating a bird at Capitol Lake
Categories: Local Environment

Stillwater Dental Wellness Center: Myobrace

Thurston Talk - Thu, 01/07/2016 - 6:00am



Braces seem to be a rite of passage for most children and teens. However, there are drawbacks – braces can cause shortening of tooth roots; they are hard to keep clean and can break down tooth enamel.

For some patients, Dr. Jim Telloian of Stillwater Dental Wellness Center advocates an alternative to braces that not many people in the United States are aware of, though it has been around the world for over 50 years. He explains, “Research shows that it is poor oral habits (known as myofunctional habits) that are the real, underlying causes of crooked teeth, so we straighten teeth without braces.”

Stillwater Dental uses a product called Myobrace that uses light, intermittent forces to align the teeth. The idea is that if you correct tongue habits and correct lip postures the teeth will come in straight.

myobrace olympiaThe Myobrace is a series of removable dental appliances that are worn for one to two hours each day and overnight while sleeping.

Ideally, children between the ages of 5 – 12 are fitted with a series of removable dental appliances that are worn for one to two hours each day and overnight while sleeping. It looks a lot like a sports guard. It retrains the tongue, helping the mouth expand. Then, the children do exercises that teach them to smile correctly because airway issues can cause teeth to come in crooked. When you correct the airway issue, the teeth will straighten.

The Myobrace treatment process involves three steps:

Step 1: Explain treatment process. Dr. Telloian will answer any questions you may have about the treatment. Once you understand this process and are ready to proceed, a trained staff member will take photographs, impressions and possibly x-rays.

Step 2: Discuss treatment plan. Dr. Telloian will discuss the treatment plan he prepared. He will give you an idea of the treatment timeframe, the Myobrace appliances required and treatment cost.

Step 3: Receive first Myobrace appliance. The patient will receive the first Myobrace appliance and will begin the education program with activities, and/or Myofunctional exercises. It is essential to wear the appliance as suggested, attend regular check-ups and follow steps in the treatment plan.

For more information about Myobrace, contact Stillwater Dental Wellness Center at 360-352-0847.


Black Hills’ Bowling Team Takes Positive Approach to the Game

Thurston Talk - Thu, 01/07/2016 - 6:00am


Forget about it. That could be the team motto of a red-hot Black Hills High School bowling team that’s off to an impressive 11-2 start.

tumwater auto spaWhether Savannah Connell, Sierra Ratcliff, Vivian Jones or Elsa Means bowl a strike or miss a spare, their response was always positive in a recent win against North Thurston. They’re always cheering and giving support.

“If you get down on yourself, you don’t bowl as well and you get frustrated and you bring everyone else down,” Connell said. “It’s really important to stay positive and just roll frame by frame.”

Their coach, Nikki Winkley, wants them to always be focused on their next roll – not on their missed shot.

black hills bowlingSavannah Connell leads Black Hills with a 160 average.

“We talk about Dory (from Nimo) every day,” said Winkley, who is in her third season as the Wolves bowling coach. “Dory is the fish who has the 10 second memory. When they struggle, I tell them they’ve got to be Dory. The cool thing is you get 10 frames.”

It’s been a winning formula. The Wolves have four of the top 25 bowlers in their league, which includes teams from the Evergreen and Narrows Leagues.

“Four in the top 25 is great,” Winkley said.

Connell is fourth in the league and leads Black Hills with a 160 average and has a season best 217. Ratcliff is ninth in the league with a 155 average and has a season best 179. Jones’ average is 139 and is 21st in the league and Means’ average is 137 for 23rd in the league. The Wolves recently took seventh at the Towers Invitational in Tacoma.

“We’ve got good depth,” Winkley said. “It’s not just one or two kids carrying us. Everyone is contributing.”

To help one of her bowlers shake a slump, Winkley shows them a video of them bowling to help correct a flaw in their form. A video is more descriptive than correcting verbally.

“We slow it down so they can actually see what they’re doing,” said Winkley, who is also Black Hills’ fastpitch coach. “It helps them see what they’re doing wrong.”

Connell, who didn’t start bowling until her freshman year and is now a senior, has improved her average 20 pins from last year. She credits a new purchase – a bowling ball that’s one pound heavier than the one she used last year.

black hills bowlingBlack Hills rolls to victory against North Thurston in a recent match at Tumwater Lanes.

“It’s allows me to be a little more aggressive,” Connell said.

With the support of her team and her coaches, Connell always tries to be positive when she stares down that bowling lane, ready to roll.

“Mental game a big part of it,” Connell said.

Handling that mental side of the game is an advantage for the Wolves. They’re loaded with brainiacs. For the past two years, Connell has been taking classes at South Puget Sound Community College. Ratcliff has a 3.8 cumulative GPA and is the president of her school’s National Honor Society club.

Ratcliffe, who didn’t take up bowling until her sophomore year and is now a senior, has also boosted her average nearly 20 pins from last year. She doesn’t credit an overhaul of her mechanics. It’s a subtle change.

“I would say I’ve just honed my mental game,” Ratcliff said. “I maintain a positive attitude the entire time.”

Connell just needs one last credit (English 102) to have enough credits to graduate from high school. She started taking classes at SPSCC last year as a junior.

“I like it a lot,” said Connell, who has a 3.8 cumulative GPA. “They’re more mature at the college, and everyone who is there wants to be there.”

black hills bowlingVivian Jones (left) and Sierra Ratcliff are on a roll for the red-hot Wolves.

Jones, who is now a junior, is another bowler on her team that’s made huge improvements in her average score. In her first year of bowling during her freshman year, Jones averaged about 100. Now, her average is 37 pins better and she’s got a season best 155. So, what’s improved?

“Probably my experience as a bowler so I can adjust,” Jones said. “I know what I need to do to adjust.”

Jones is all business when she walks out onto that bowling lane with her bowling ball in hand.

“Her nickname is silent assassin,” Ratcliff said with a smile. “It’s because she bowls so well and is so silent all the time.”

Throughout the season, Winkley has team bonding moments. On Tuesdays at Tumwater Lanes, Black Hills’ practice is delayed one hour because of a senior citizen league. Winkley uses that time for her team to study and bond. And there’s a third impact. They get to see that power ball isn’t the answer to bowling well.

“That’s why the senior league is so beneficial,” Winkley said. “They roll the ball so slowly. But they put it on the right shot. It’s not a matter of how fast you roll it.”

Thrifty Thurston Scampers into Free Friday Night at the Hands On Children’s Museum

Thurston Talk - Thu, 01/07/2016 - 6:00am


Yes, the Pacific Northwest is a gorgeous corner of creation. But when having—or being—a kid keeps you indoors on soggy or school-less days, cabin fever inevitably sets in.

Finding something to do with restless little ones doesn’t have to cost a lot. No matter what time of year, Free Friday Nights at the Hands On Children’s Museum are the perfect family outing.

sunset airFor more than a decade, the HOCM has hosted their Free Friday Night events. Occurring from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. on the first Friday of every month, the Museum can host anywhere from 900-1,400 visitors in a single evening. Museum Communications Manager Jillian Henze explains that employees are assisted by “15-20 volunteers who help out at each Free Friday Night. Our staff has worked a full work week so volunteers are crucial to our success!”

free friday night hocmCraft zones are located throughout the Hands On Children’s Museum on Free Friday Night.

These blue-apron bedecked volunteers facilitate craft zones throughout the Museum. At the December event, visitors could make polar bear visors and igloos, explore snow science, and get up close and personal with sweater fabrics and how animals stay warm in the winter.

Also available for visitors, the Olympia Timberland Regional Library hosted a craft table and provided information about upcoming library events and activities. The South Sound Reading Foundation participates in every Free Friday Night by giving free books to all children, regardless of reading level.

free friday night hocmFree Friday Night happens monthly, on the first Friday of every month, at the Hands On Children’s Museum.

“We raise funds all year to support our free and reduced admission programs and serve more than 75,000 children and their families annually through these programs,” stresses Henze.  “We also sponsor about 5,000 students each year for field trip visits from rural and Title I schools in Southwest Washington, offer monthly free parenting programs, and free dental screenings for children each February as well as an extensive discounted admission program to support Military Families.”

free friday night hocmThe South Sound Reading Foundation partners with the Hands On Children’s Museum and offers a book to every kid attending Free Friday Night.

Arrive early if you want quieter play. There is no charge for on-street parking after 5:00 p.m., but with your free 15 minutes included in every metered street spot, you have time to get the little ones situated.

Or save your pocket change for another day and take the bus to the downtown Olympia Transit Center, only a few short blocks away.

In spring or summer, come early to splash in the cool stream of East Bay Public Plaza. Open from the third weekend in April through the second weekend in October, the Plaza is always fun for a picnic or cooling-off-interlude. On-site changing rooms make coming directly from work or school an easy transition.

free friday nightTry out all of the Museum’s great exhibits during Free Friday Night.

Need a snack or light supper before diving into the Museum? Visit the Play Day Café for soup, sandwiches, snacks, milk, juice, coffee, and—most importantly if you’re my daughter—popsicles. During the December Free Friday, we enjoyed their $5 HOCM Kid’s Basket which included half a grilled cheese sandwich, drink, Pirate Booty or goldfish crackers, carrot sticks, and apple slices.

American philosopher and author Robert Pirsig once said “Boredom always precedes a period of great creativity.” Where else can you indulge your children in play, creation, exploration, learning, and Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches absolutely free? Let minds explore (and bodies get nice and tired!) at the next Free Friday Night.

free friday night hocmParents explore science, technology, engineering, arts, and math with their children in each HOCM exhibit.

While at the Museum, ask about memberships, hosted birthday parties, holiday and summer camps, the on-site preschool, or other programming options. If you want to explore HOCM but can’t attend during a Free Friday night, they also offer free or reduced fees during other community events like Sand in the City or Arts Walk.

Membership packages are available if your kids enjoy all the Museum has to offer. No one is ever turned away because of financial hardship so check out their list of Free and Reduced Programs.

Visit the HOCM on Olympia’s waterfront at 414 Jefferson Street NE or give them a call at 360-956-0818 with any questions. Follow their Facebook page for up-to-the-minute details on events, activities, and specials.

Thrifty Thurston highlights inexpensive family fun in Thurston County. The weekly series focuses on family-friendly activities throughout our community. If you have a suggestion for a post, send us a note at For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, visit our complete event calendar.

5 Ways to Stay Fit (Without a Costly Gym Membership) around Olympia

Thurston Talk - Thu, 01/07/2016 - 6:00am


volkswagenPerhaps you, like many, have set a New Year’s resolution. It more than likely involves fitness or weight loss and maintenance. Perhaps it also involves budgeting and saving money. But how can you do both? With gym memberships averaging $41 a month in 2014, it may seem like those goals are not compatible. But there are plenty of ways to get and stay fit in Thurston County without the expensive gym membership!

Ride a Bike bike ridingThe Chehalis-Western Trail ends at scenic Woodard Bay.

Thurston County is home to several superior bike paths. The 22-mile Chehalis-Western Trail runs from just outside of Rainier to the hiking trails of Woodard Bay. The Yelm-Tenino Trail runs 14.5 scenic miles from Yelm to Tenino. Both trails are well maintained, have many access points, and are great options for accomplishing your fitness goals. Of course you can skateboard, roller skate, walk, run, scoot, or partake in nearly any other non-motorized activity you can conceive of! Don’t have a bike? If you’re a student at The Evergreen State College you can borrow a bike for free from the bike share. Also on campus is The Evergreen Bike Shop, a volunteer run, free bicycle repair shop open to the campus community and the public. The City of Olympia offers free helmets to low income families. Inexpensive bicycles are also available at many area thrift shops, and of course on craigslist or other barter/swap websites. Thurston Regional Planning Council has an excellent set of maps detailing designated bike paths and suggested routes.

Take a Hike (or a Walk) hiking trails olympiaJudy Knight balances on a log while on a local hiking trail.

Wherever you live in Thurston County, chances are you’re minutes away from a great walking trail. Some of my favorites are Priest Point, Capitol Forest, and Tolmie State Park. You can download a free Capitol Forest map to your device. At Millersylvania State Park you can work on whole body fitness by hitting the fitness trail, which includes pull up bars of multiple heights. Balancing on logs, climbing on and over low trees, and hanging from branches are also fun, free ways to build and maintain muscle. For state lands, including all state parks and Capitol Forest, you do need a $35 Discover Pass. But for less than the price of one month at the gym, you gain access to a huge network of recreation opportunities. If it’s not in your budget, Washington State Parks offers a dozen of free days each year. If you prefer a more urban setting, the City of Olympia walking maps are a great resource for planning your walking route. Check back for the excellent new walking maps set to be released soon. Thurston County has so many amazing walking and hiking options, there’s no reason not to hit the trail today.


Go For a Run hiking trails olympiaClimbing trees and playing in the woods is a fun, free way to stay fit! The author in a tree on a local hike.

Thurston County has great running opportunities, from the bicycle paths to the forests. If you’re having trouble getting motivated or don’t want to go it alone, consider joining a running group. There are a lot great running groups to choose from. Some clubs have membership dues, but most host free runs or events, and some have no cost.


Make It a Habit millersylvania parkJudy Knight utilizes the pull-up bars at Millersylvania Park (with Coda’s help).

Maybe you feel you are too busy to work physical activity into your days. But you will be amazed at how quickly small efforts add up. All of the classic advice applies to getting fit on the cheap: walk to run errands, bike or walk to work, park in the farthest spot, and take the stairs. You’re putting money in your pocket every time you make small lifestyle changes and learn to stay fit without having to bust your bottom or your budget at the gym!

Set a Goal capitol state forestThere is so much beauty to experience within the Capitol State Forest, including the North Rim Trail. Photo credit: Korey Konga

Last year it was my goal to walk all the way across Capitol Forest in a day. After many months of shorter hikes, my friend and I spent a whole day walking 23 miles, from sun-up to sun-down, across our “backyard” forest. It was a fun and interesting goal and motivated me to stay in shape. Setting a goal, like biking the entire Chehalis-Western Trail, hiking all of the trails in Capitol Forest, or walking every street in your neighborhood are fun ways to get and stay in shape.

See you out on the trails.


Shantala Kirtan Tour

OlyBlog Home Page - Wed, 01/06/2016 - 2:18pm
Event:  Sat, 02/13/2016 - 7:00pm - 8:45pm

Its been several years since we were last graced with their presence so we are overjoyed to announce the return of Shantala, Benjy & Heather Wertheimer, to Olympia for a very special Kirtan. This evening of sacred music and chanting also features the great Steve Gorn. These world renowned Kirtan musicians are coming to Olympia as part of their Living Waters Tour. Please join us.

Tickets are $20 on the day of the event or $15 if purchased in advance. Click Here for more information and advance discount tickets. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Winter Twig Identification Classes

OlyBlog Home Page - Wed, 01/06/2016 - 1:39pm
Event:  Sun, 01/24/2016 - 10:00am - 3:30pm  Discover Winter's Hidden Gems with Twig Classes - Sunday, January 24

Add a new dimension to your winter outings when you join local plant experts to discover the subtle beauty and learn the secrets to identifying 25 local shrubs and trees without their leaves. “Winter Twig Identification” is a 2.5-hour field class held at a West Olympia-area nature trail on Sunday, January 24. Choose from one of two sessions: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 1 to 3:30 p.m.

The class costs $5, and participants will receive a handout and have the opportunity to purchase the Winter in the Woods book. Advanced registration is required by contacting the Native Plant Salvage Foundation at 360-867-2167 or by email at Workshop details and directions will be sent to all participants in advance. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

MLK Day of Service - McLane Creek Nature Trail Ecological Restoration Project

OlyBlog Home Page - Wed, 01/06/2016 - 1:27pm
Event:  Mon, 01/18/2016 - 10:00am - 2:30pm

Two local non-profit organizations, affiliated with WSU Extension, are coordinating an ecological restoration project at the popular McLane Creek Nature Trail for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.  AmeriCorps members serving with Native Plant Salvage Foundation and Thurston Co. 4-H Youth Development invite local volunteers of all ages to help remove invasive species such as reed canary grass and Himalayan blackberry in preparation for future native plantings. Tasks will be available for people of all abilities. The work party will run from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Volunteers are invited to join all or part of the event. Light snacks and hot beverages will be provided. Register via Native Plant Salvage Foundation at 360-867-2167 or by email at Workshop details and directions will be sent to all participants in advance. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Interviews - Next Director Thurston County Agriculture Extension Director

OlyBlog Home Page - Wed, 01/06/2016 - 1:22pm

From today's inbox:

The public is invited to take part in the process of hiring a new Director/Agriculture Specialist for WSU Thurston County Extension. Local growers, legislators, residents, and anyone else who has a stake in agriculture in Thurston County are invited to a public presentation to be given by the current candidates for this vacancy.  There will be time for question and answer sessions with each candidate following their presentation.

Here is the schedule:

Date: Friday, January 8, 2016
Time: 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Title: My View of the Future of Agriculture in Thurston County, WA
Candidate: Justin O'Dea
Location: WSU Thurston County Extension Office, 5033 Harrison Ave NW, Olympia, WA  98502

Date: Friday, January 8, 2016
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Title: My View of the Future of Agriculture in Thurston County, WA
Candidate: Stephen Bramwell
Location: WSU Thurston County Extension Office, 5033 Harrison Ave NW, Olympia, WA  98502

The person chosen serves as the lead administrator for WSU county operations in Thurston County and is responsible for overall management of the local extension office.

As County Director, the person is responsible for fostering a strong and collaborative relationship with Thurston County government; common goals are to ensure continued partnership in providing outstanding WSU Extension programming. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Northwest Christian Private Schools Invite You to Visit

Thurston Talk - Wed, 01/06/2016 - 11:19am


Submitted by Northwest Christian Private Schools

If you are looking for an academically strong, biblical-based school system, visit one of our two upcoming open houses.  The first will be held January 31 with the second the following day on February 1. Northwest Christian Private Schools is a group of schools educating children from infant through high school and consists of Community Christian Academy Preschool and Childcare, Community Christian Academy K-8 program, and Northwest Christian High School (NCHS). All schools reside on our beautiful 14 acre campus located at 4706 Park Center Ave NE, Lacey, WA 98516.

As an introduction to the field of Biotechnology, students loaded dyes for separation by gel electrophoresis. They used the same equipment and practiced the technique widely used in labs today for all types of applications including DNA analysis.A strong science and science lab curriculum is carried throughout all levels at the Northwest Christian Private Schools.

Join us for a campus tour and the opportunity to meet and talk with educators at all levels at Northwest Christian Private Schools.  Stop by on January 31 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. or on February 1 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. New families that choose to register during the open house will receive $200 off their first month’s tuition. You may also schedule a private tour of our schools at your convenience by calling us at (360) 493-2223.

The teacher to student ratio at Northwest Christian Private Schools greatly enhances the level of education that your child will receive. Volumes of research dating back to the 1960’s highlight the advantages of smaller schools:

  • Greater academic achievement
  • Safe school environment
  • More years of college and graduate school after high school
  • Stronger long term commitment to Christian faith

    NWCH students worked on home and yards to pitch in on National Rebuilding Day.NWCH students worked on home and yards to pitch in on National Rebuilding Day.

  • Increased parental involvement
  • Strong science, math, and critical thinking skills
  • Higher college entrance (93% attend college from NCHS)

The NCHS Knowledge Bowl Team started this school year off well by upsetting the defending state champions in the first knowledge bowl competition of the year. NCHS won the Washington State Academic Knowledge Bowl in 2012 and represented the state in Washington D.C. at the national championships. The NCHS team placed 3rd in the Washington State championships in 2013 and 2014.

CCA Sixth grade is currently (September-November) working on a nine week interdisciplinary STEM study of Volcanoes, Earthquake and Natural Disasters. CCA Sixth graders work on an inter-disciplinary study focused on STEM related skills and topics.

On average, about 93% of NCHS graduates are college bound each year. During the last 2 years, the average has been 95%. The college scholarship to student ratio is normally high for NCHS graduates as well.

Empirical evidence also shows that the advantages of small schools stay with children throughout their educational career. Our campus has a rich tradition of excellence in academics, athletics, the arts and more.  In addition, we recently implemented a new innovative campus wide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program.

Listen to what a couple of our parents say about our schools:

  • “Exceptional Christian school. Dedicated teachers. High standards. Yet teachers make the extra effort to assist those who need it. Both my daughter and I have been very happy with this school.”
  • “This school is one extremely terrific school! Wish our daughter had gone here her whole school experience, but the last 6 years have been wonderful! Excellent teachers, excellent curriculum and very Christian oriented. Can’t say enough about it! Your money will never be wasted here!”

For more information about the open house call us at (360) 493-2223.

Learn more about the people and programs at Northwest Christian Private Schools through the links below.

Larry Weber: “Championships are Just Byproducts of Daily Work”
Northwest Christian Track Team Loaded with Young Talent
Northwest Christian High School Alumni Spotlight: Merissa Tatum
Luke Schilter Pushes Northwest Christian Cross Country Team to New Heights
Northwest Christian Private Schools Jumping into STEM with Both Feet
Mrs. Michelle Whittaker Joins Northwest Christian High School Staff
Art Teacher Gloria Walker
Northwest Christian Senior Jessica Griffin Set to Graduate after 13 Years on Campus
Northwest Christian’s Principal Leads with a Sense of Humor
Northwest Christian High School Students Send Christmas Around the World

Athletic Trainer Rebekah McFann Brings Knowledge, Energy, and Enthusiasm to Capital High Athletes

Thurston Talk - Wed, 01/06/2016 - 7:02am


The athletic training room at Capital High School is always a hot spot of activity when the school day ends. Athletes, in and out of season, stop in to get a wide variety of body parts taped or worked on, to receive physical therapy, or to have a “this is hurting and I don’t know why” situation assessed. At the center of all of this buzz, with a constant smile on her face and giving instruction with her soothing voice, is new athletic trainer Rebekah McFann.

Hometown logoBecoming an athletic trainer requires years of training and, in some cases, relocating to receive the depth of education you desire. McFann first studied at Garden City Kansas Community College for two years before entering Kansas State University to earn her bachelor’s degree in athletic training. McFann continued her training and finished graduate school at the University of New Mexico.

The world of athletic training is like no other. “Athletic training is always high volume at the high school level,” shares McFann. It’s her job to address the needs of every athlete in every sport for all three seasons. Organization is of utmost importance. McFann says the real key to a productive day is to get people flowing in and out of the training room efficiently, which she does with grace for at least two hours daily after school. McFann explains that the job requires a lot of time and extra hours, but finds helping people extremely rewarding.

As an athletic trainer, Rebekah McFann  knows how to tape many body parts for added support during activities. Here, she tapes a student's knee. As an athletic trainer, Rebekah McFann knows how to tape many body parts for added support during activities. Here, she tapes a student’s knee.

A former athlete herself, McFann played basketball and participated in track and field. This translates well with the Capital High School athletes. They find her easy to relate to and comfortable discussing their sports related physical issues. Tearing her ACL while playing basketball in high school peaked McFann’s interest in becoming an athletic trainer. She had always been interested in medicine, but spending time in physical therapy and being around physical trainers opened her eyes to a whole new world of medical care.

Luck, talent and friendship worked together to bring McFann to Capital.  She was friends with CHS’s former athletic trainer, Amy Garrison. When McFann finished graduate school, she began looking for a job in Olympia. Garrison, who happened to be moving across the state, shared the open position as Capital’s athletic trainer with her. McFann jumped at the chance and was hired in August 2015. Now CHS athletes couldn’t imagine the training room without her. She fills the room with contagious high energy and a positive attitude.

There's more to athletic training than just taping. Rebekah McFann uses an E-stem machine on an athlete's back, to provide pain relief from aching muscles.There’s more to athletic training than just taping. Rebekah McFann uses an E-stem machine on an athlete’s back, to provide pain relief from aching muscles.

McFann states working with athletes, particularly young athletes, is one of her favorite aspects of working as an athletic trainer. She enjoys the energy of high school aged athletes and has fun working with driven kids. In addition, McFann finds it extremely rewarding to watch all of the hard work injured athletes put into healing and seeing that effort translate to success on the field. She’s extremely patient and will always stay late to help an athlete. Whether it’s figuring out what’s causing hip discomfort, trying different treatments to relieve an aching back, or teaching exercises to help injured athletes get back to a competition level, McFann is always there. She has vast knowledge and shares her helpful insights freely.  

Along with the joy that comes from working with kids comes a few minor frustrations. McFann says the most difficult part is teaching teenagers self maintenance when recovering from an injury. “This age group can totally be a blessing and a curse,” she explains. “Sometimes, it’s an easy solution, like stretching. But you have to teach the kids to stretch every time, not just once.”

And while McFann loves the fast pace, she admits the training room can get crowded, particularly before a big game. She works to keep a steady flow going in order to assist all waiting athletes while ensuring they receive the depth of care required.

Rebekah McFann tapes an ankle of one of the CHS's women basketball team  players. Rebekah McFann tapes an ankle of one of the CHS’s girls basketball team players.

The positive effects of McFann’s helping hands are already being seen throughout the school. “Capital High School couldn’t have asked for a better athletic trainer than Rebekah,” says freshman Maddie Thompson. Thompson is a varsity soccer player who tore her ACL early in the season. She worked with McFann regularly to gain strength before her ACL repair surgery. McFann’s aid, Maddie shares, has helped her recover at an accelerated rate. Thompson adds, “She is at every sporting event you could think of, even if it’s pouring down rain, freezing, and even if she’s hurt herself. She’s always there to make sure we’re taken care of.”  

When McFann looks to the future, she keeps her goals realistic yet ambitious. She is excited for the possibility to teach an athletic training class to high school students, spreading the word about her profession. One dream she holds closer to her heart is to be an athletic trainer at the Olympic Games.

Rebekah McFann has already made a positive impact on Capital High School, getting the athletes through the fall season and well into the winter sport season. With her welcoming attitude, thoughtful attention and seemingly endless energy, Capital High School is lucky to have McFann on their sidelines and hopes to see her there for years to come.

Bron Lindgren – A Vehicle for Smart Business and Inspired Giving

Thurston Talk - Wed, 01/06/2016 - 6:54am


Bron Lindgren’s introduction to auto repair was repairing vehicles to “make ends meet” after the birth of his son. He soon found this to be an avenue for the use of his problem solving skills. He considered briefly having his own business but was initially afraid to take the leap.

bron lindgrenBron and Tuula Lindgren attend a West Olympia Rotary event.

As is the case with Bron, he wanted to do things well. Therefore, he studied Automotive Technology at South Puget Sound Community College in from 1980 – 1982. After graduating from the course, he honed his repair skills over the next 20 years by working for car dealerships, Intercity Transit, and independent auto repair shops. During this time, he observed the business and management practices of his employers, which would later shape his management style and business philosophy.

Chronic back issues and the desire to try out his own ideas led Bron to return to SPSCC for business and accounting courses with the intention of starting his own auto repair business. With the wholehearted emotional and financial support of his wife, Tuula, he started Bron’s Automotive in 2002. He utilized $7,500 in savings and the prudent use of credit cards as his startup capital. He bought shop equipment as he could afford it and a friend taught him basic Quickbooks over a period of weeks. Initially, Bron wore all the hats of the business; working a 65-hour week, repairing vehicles, answering phones, and doing the basic bookkeeping. Since then, Bron’s Automotive growth has been fairly measured, with sales and profits continuing to grow every year.

“I use (Bron’s) shop as an example to my students of what a 21st century independent, automotive repair shop should look like,” shares Norm Chapman, SPSCC Automotive instructor.

“He insists his technicians do things the right way, even if it means a cut in the company profits. He insists that his techs follow the appropriate repair procedures, and never cut corners or sacrifice safety.” Customers share sentiments regarding professionalism, high code of ethics, competitive pricing, and timely repair.

brons automotiveBron’s Automotive is credited as one of the cleanest shops in Olympia. Photo credit: Bron’s Automotive.

Not only is Bron an excellent example for business startup and growth, but inspired by his parents’ tithing, Bron gives back to the community with his time and financial resources. He recently served on the Behavioral Health Resources fundraising board, supporting the provider of mental health and addiction recovery services. At West Olympia Rotary, he is very active with the Literacy Program. He provides financial support to several nonprofits in the South Sound area. His philosophy is that “success is created by maintaining a generous spirit and sharing what you have.”

Bron’s commitment to SPSCC continues to this day. He has been actively involved on the SPSCC Automotive Advisory Committee for several years, providing valuable input from his knowledge and experience. Two of his three technicians are graduates of the SPSCC Automotive Technology School.

bron automotiveThe courtesy shuttle is one example of Bron’s customer service. Photo credit: Bron’s Automotive.

Bron says that he has no regrets looking back over his career thus far and notes that he likely lacked the maturity to start a successful business as a young man. He describes running a business as very rewarding and challenging and adds, “there’s never a dull moment.”

To learn more about SPSCC’s Automotive Technology program, click here.

Bron’s Automotive is located at 1025 Black Lake Blvd SW in Olympia. To schedule an appointment, call 360-943-5993.

Elite Cleaning of Washington: Hiring the Best

Thurston Talk - Wed, 01/06/2016 - 6:00am


Forbes magazine reports that employers seek the following when hiring: “36% look for multitasking skills; 31% look for initiative; 21% look for creative thinking.” The same holds true for Scottiejo McNulty and her thriving business Elite Cleaning of Washington.

Using local resources like WorkSource Thurston County and Craigslist, McNulty offers employment with flexible hours to job seekers throughout our region. Her employees must simply be 18 years old, have a valid driver’s license, an insured car, be non-smokers, and willing to undergo a background check. Prior cleaning experience is appreciated but not required.

olympia house cleanerScottiejo McNulty is the owner of Elite Cleaning Services of Washington, an Olympia-based house and office cleaning company.

Available work hours fall between 9:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. But unlike many jobs, Elite Cleaning’s hours are flexible enough for part-time workers like moms hoping to make extra money while the kids are in school. Overall, McNulty seeks team-oriented individuals that are trustworthy, reliable, have an excellent work ethic, and good Internet skills.

With the mission that “We don’t leave until it’s done and we come back if it’s not right” Scottiejo shows a true passion for her clients. This also extends to caring for her employees; original WorkSource applicant Debbie is still part of the team more than three years later.

Author Bruce Barton explained that “The five steps in teaching an employee new skills are preparation, explanation, showing, observation and supervision.” Elite Cleaning educates and supports all employees to insure success for staff and their clients. New hires are comprehensively trained and initially shadow more experienced workers. Their handbook details residential and commercial cleaning checklists customized to each individual customer.

Even with such flexible requirements, employees can earn raises and incentives from positive customer feedback. By checking in with clients to see if their needs have changed or going above and beyond for a task, Elite Cleaning staff can boost their pay and still be home in time for dinner.

Interested job-seekers can contact Scottiejo by calling 360-529-2277 or emailing


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