Recent local blog posts

Saint Martin’s welcomes Sister Gertrude Feick as Executive Director of Benedictine Institute

Thurston Talk - Thu, 08/25/2016 - 4:06pm


Submitted by Saint Martin’s University The Saint Martin’s University community welcomes Sister Gertrude Feick, O.S.B., S.T.D., as executive director of the University’s Benedictine Institute. Sister Gertrude, a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Mt. Angel, Ore., brings to Saint Martin’s a rich and versatile background in Benedictine spirituality, teaching and leadership. She takes the helm […]

Wanted! Social Media Coordinator for ThurstonTalk

Thurston Talk - Thu, 08/25/2016 - 2:59pm


Wanted: Part-Time Savvy Social Media Expert You will be responsible for posting unique content on a regular basis to our social media pages. You will also be in charge of monitoring these pages and boosting posts to achieve marketing goals.  You will also be responsible for managing ThurstonTalk’s event calendar and handling some additional editorial tasks.  Added bonus: […]

Elise Richman’s Spectral

South Sound Arts - Thu, 08/25/2016 - 2:05pm
Published in the Weekly Volcano, Aug. 25, 2016“Spectral,” mixed-media installation, photo courtesy MatterElise Richman’s unique installation, “Spectral" at Matter Gallery may be difficult for many to grasp, but should be worth the effort to really look and contemplate deeply.Call it a wall hanging, a painting or assemblage with plastics, this piece explores properties of light and color and was inspired, according to a statement from the gallery, by the phenomenon of shimmering color seen in a butterfly’s wing. The term “spectral” means of or like a ghost, a phantom, incorporeal, insubstantial, otherworldly. A secondary definition is of or relating to a spectrum, which is what you get when sunlight passes through a prism to produce light of many colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Richman’s “Spectral,” is all of that, but not in a spectacular, light-show kind of way. There are color changes that some viewers may find hard to see, and there is a visual investigation of the nature of absence of color.It can be seen as a single work of art with multiple parts or perhaps as two similar but contrasting works hung side-by-side. On the left are four flat panes of plastic in alternating colors: blue, yellow, blue, yellow. Dull colors, but with intensely colored edges. The blue edges are dark, and the yellow ones are like lemon-colored light. Matching in color are a group of rods that stand out from the wall above these sheets, and suspended from these rods are clear plastic sheets in the shape of tall, multi-faceted tents or umbrellas that are colorless but act as prisms. On the right, a similar arrangement consists of three tall, rectangular sheets of light blue plastic sheets with dark blue edges with more clear, tent-like prisms suspended in front of them.The installation needs to be studied slowly and from many points of view. Don’t approach it expecting something like a kaleidoscope and you might enjoy the subtly shifting and shimmering colors. Richman co-programs the Art+Sci Lecture Series at Tacoma Art Museum. She was a finalist for the 2015 Neddy Award, recipient of the 2014 Davis Teaching Award, and of the 2014 Foundation of Art Award from the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation. Richman explains: “The interplay between material form, environmental conditions and visual perception inform ‘Spectral.’ Repetition and transformation infuse the process of creating ‘Spectral’s’ shimmering three-D forms from rectangular sheets of plastic. Multiple incised lines transform flat Dura Lar into dimensional angles.“While these transparent forms have no inherent color they capture and are activated by light and color in the surrounding environment. Ever-shifting reflections express a state of constant interaction as in the shifting glow of a blue morpho’s delicate wing. Our own capacity for optical perception, as well as the interaction between matter and surrounding environments are integral to the manifestation of structural colors.” Also showing with Richman are The Bold and the Black, abstract sumi ink paintings by Selinda Sheridan, and original ceramics by Melissa Balch.
Spectral by Elise Richman, Saturdays noon to 6 p.m., or by appointment, through Oct. 1. Call 253.961.5220 or 253.879.3701 for an appointment. Matter, 821 Pacific Ave., Tacoma.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Six Characters in Search of an Author

South Sound Arts - Thu, 08/25/2016 - 2:03pm

Blurring the line between fiction and realityPublished in the Weekly Volcano, Aug. 25, 2016Steve Gallion as the Father and Kathryn Grace Philbrook as the Director, photos courtesy New Muses Theatre
New Muses Theatre Company is among a handful of lesser-known companies that produces excellent theater for mostly sparse audiences. By my count, here were only 10 people in the audience opening night of Luigi Pirandello’s absurdist play Six Characters in Search of an Audience. The actors outnumbered the audience by one. That small audience witnessed an intelligent, challenging, well-written and well-acted play.It is a play that calls into question the relationships between fiction and reality, between actors and the characters they play, and between characters and the author. In New Muses’ interpretation, it starts before it starts with a bit of pre-curtain play between two actors (Vivian Bettoni and Eric Cuestas-Thompson) playing a couple of unnamed actors running lines before rehearsal. They stand off to the side and speak softly as the audience enters. Most of the audience can’t hear them and perceptibly pay no attention. It is almost as if the audience is an unwilling part of the play. I was sitting close to the two actors and could hear that their dialogue was about the age-old question of the chicken and the egg. The play they are preparing to rehearse is Mixing It Up, also by Pirandello. I thought this pre-play bit was inventive but slightly confusing, and that it was too long. But it segued nicely into the actual play, which starts out even more confusing but soon begins to make sense. And it did make me wonder if others who seemed to be entering as audience members might also be actors. Amina Ali and Steve GallionJust as the director (Kathryn Grace Philbrook) gets ready to start the rehearsal, a strange family invades the theater. The director tells them it’s a closed rehearsal and they have to leave, but they refuse. The father (Steve Gallion) says they are looking for an author. They are unfinished characters in an unfinished play, and they have to find the author in order to complete themselves. At first, the director is outraged, but as the father and his stepdaughter (Amina Ali) began to tell their story, the director becomes intrigued and decides to produce their story as a play with the highly skeptical actors playing the parts of these real characters. So the director and the family argue over their story and how to present it, and the family — most adamantly father and the stepdaughter, who laughs outrageously in the actors’ faces, —thinking the actors are doing a terrible job of portraying them.The family’s story is that the father had sent his wife (Becky Cain-Kellogg) and their son (Karter Duff) away, and she later had three more children by another man: two younger children (11-year-old Corey Cross and 7-year-old Keiralee Monta), and the now grown stepdaughter, whom the father tried to seduce, ostensibly not knowing who she was.It is a wild and imaginative play filled with absurdist arguments about what is real and what is play acting and about the relationships between actors, the characters they play, and authors, without whom the characters cannot exist. It is presented in the round with no set decoration and no set pieces other than a table and a few chairs.Niclas Olson, founder and managing artistic director of New Muses, adapted Pirandello’s play and does a fine job of directing it. The three lead characters, Gallion, Philbrook and Ali, are outstanding, making unbelievable characters totally believable. Ali is brash and seductive, and has a marvelous laugh. Philbrook plays the director as a most complex character, arrogant and sure of herself, which turns out to be a cover-up for self-doubt. She beautifully and convincingly portrays the director’s astonishment at the audacity to these interlopers at her rehearsal. And by-the-way, the director was a man in the original. Gallion plays the father as a kind of bumbling but sincere man who lurches around the stage in a manner that brings to mind Peter Falk as Columbo. I’ve seen Gallion in only one other play, New Muses’ Romeo and Juliet; I hope to see much more of him.Six Characters in Search of an Author is presented in one act and runs approximately 90 minutes.Six Characters in Search of an Author, 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m., Sunday through Aug. 28, $10, Dukesbay Theater, Merlino Arts Center, 508 S. Sixth Ave.,

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Largest Freshman Class Moves In at Saint Martin’s University

Thurston Talk - Thu, 08/25/2016 - 1:03pm


This Friday, more than 200 students, along with their parents, will be welcomed on the Saint Martin’s University campus for Move-In Day and orientation weekend. New Director of Campus Life Katie Wieliczkiewicz, who started with the university in April, says it’s the largest freshman class in the history of the school. Wieliczkiewicz has been planning […]

Tour the Working Waterfront and More at the 43rd Harbor Days Maritime Festival

Thurston Talk - Thu, 08/25/2016 - 10:50am


Submitted by Port of Olympia Vintage, working and retired tugboats return to the southernmost tip of Puget Sound for three days of fun at Harbor Days, September 2-4. Experience it all at Percival Landing and Port Plaza on Olympia’s downtown waterfront. The tugs leave shore on Sunday at noon for the annual Tugboat Races in […]

Luxury, Convenience, and Family Friendly Fun Abound at Chateau Westport Resort

Thurston Talk - Thu, 08/25/2016 - 6:00am


There are seemingly endless options for accommodations when planning a vacation on the Washington coast. Everything from yurts to casino hotels dot the beaches. If you’re looking for a home away from home feel without sacrificing luxury and attention to detail, Chateau Westport is an excellent home base for your next beach vacation. Gabrielle Wolcott […]

Thrifty Thurston Logs Beginner Geocaches in Olympia

Thurston Talk - Thu, 08/25/2016 - 6:00am


My ten-year-old daughter celebrates her geocaching “anniversary” on International Geocaching Day. This year, it happened to fall on August 20, 2016 and we made sure to be outside, looking for a geocache to mark the holiday. Our cousin, Jack, taught us the joys of geocaching during a visit from Minnesota. An avid cacher, Jack got […]

Arts Walk at Panorama – Art in the Retirement Age

Thurston Talk - Thu, 08/25/2016 - 6:00am


Some people discover an artistic talent at a young age, possibly pursuing the passion as a hobby or building a career around the talent. Other people may not realize an artistic interest and ability until retirement. The art journey is varied for each of the unique artists who will be participating in the second annual […]

Where does Bill Bryant's 100,000 come from?

Olympia Time - Wed, 08/24/2016 - 5:04pm
Not since 2004 when Dino Rossi got within a hair of non-incumbent Christine Gregoire has a Republican gotten close the governor's mansion.
This year Bill Bryant is making his run and he's staking his election on the turnout of 100,000 extra conservatives:
His path to victory, Bryant explained, hinges on turning out some 100,000 Washingtonians — mostly likely-Republicans or conservative-leaning independents — who failed to vote in the 2012 election but probably would have backed Rob McKenna, Washington’s last GOP candidate for governor.This 100,000 is pretty core I suppose to Bryant's math, because seems to talk about them a lot.
“Who do you think elected Jay Inslee?” Bryant asked volunteers at the Clark County Republican Party headquarters Sunday evening. It wasn’t just Democrats, he said. There were more than 100,000 voters in the 2012 election who would have picked Inslee’s Republican opponent Rob McKenna but who didn’t vote, Bryant said. McKenna lost to Inslee, a Democrat, by about 94,000 votes.So, as I understand his argument, his goal is the turn up turnout among conservatives (who identify as Republicans or not) while hoping Democratic turnout stays flat.

I tried to simulate a couple of ways he could do that. Here is my math. Feel free to check my work, I've been wrong before. 

First, among the counties that fell below the average turnout in the gubernatorial election in 2012, I turned the turnout among Republican voters up to the average of all the counties. The above average counties I let stay the same.

This results in Bryant just barely losing to Inslee 1,506,000 votes to 1,582,000 votes.

Second, I took Republican turnout and pumped it up to the highest turnout of 87 percent in the gubernatorial election. This is incredibly pie in the sky since a lot of counties have turnout much lower than that. But, in this case, the Republican wins with 1,652,166 votes. Way more than enough.

The third one was trying to find the Goldylocks solution, how far you'd need to pump average voter turnout to just the right level to get Bryant over the finish line. This turns out to be 84 percent across the board, assuming Democratic turnout stays the same. This still sounds like a lot of turnout.

But, none of these are the reasons why I think the 100,000 voters are bunk.

The chart below illustrates the second option, 87 percent turnout across the board. It shows you the actual votes (in blue) and the new votes (red).

King County is still very much king.

There are more new votes (via math) to be had in King County then there are in the most Republican of Republican counties. But, I don't think these votes actually exist. Churning up new voters in King County (and other large Puget Sound counties) would only churn up new Democratic voters.

So, I'm not sure I think the 100,000 voters Bryant and the Republicans are looking for exist.

Lastly, I hope everyone appreciates the irony of Republicans talking about the benefits of higher voter turnout.

Award-winning Musical Biography of The Beatles Returns to Olympia October 11

Thurston Talk - Wed, 08/24/2016 - 11:09am


Submitted by Andy Nagel Almost everyone knows that The Beatles are one of the most acclaimed bands in rock and roll history because their music has the hypnotic qualities that make teenage girls scream and artists today and yesterday cite them as one of their influences. While many of us don’t have the opportunity to […]

Yelm High School FFA Chapter Qualifies for Nationals

Thurston Talk - Wed, 08/24/2016 - 8:44am


Submitted by Yelm Community Schools The Yelm HS FFA chapter has been chosen as a finalist to compete for a 2016 Model of Excellence award, the highest honor awarded to a chapter by the National FFA Organization.  A Yelm team will compete in a presentation and interview process for the top honor at the 2016 […]

Rachel Young and Michelle LaPraim Empower Women, One Cupcake, One Flower at a Time

Thurston Talk - Wed, 08/24/2016 - 8:10am


Submitted by Rachel Young for Miss Moffett’s Mystical Cupcakes When Rachel Young, owner of Miss Moffett’s Mystical Cupcakes, and Michelle LaPraim, owner of Elle’s Floral Design, first met in early 2015, they had more in common than they knew. Nine years ago, two young single mothers in their twenties who didn’t know each other, faced […]

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington Hosts Annual BIG Auction

Thurston Talk - Tue, 08/23/2016 - 4:06pm


Submitted by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington would like to invite members of the community to walk to the red carpet at the 2016 BIG Auction. This black-tie event is the largest fundraiser for the mentoring non-profit attracting almost 600 business and community leaders annually. This year’s Auction […]

Yelm Community Schools Receive $1.25 Million Grant from Department of Defense

Thurston Talk - Tue, 08/23/2016 - 3:36pm


Submitted by Yelm Community Schools A five-year $1,250,000 grant from the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Partnership will allow Yelm Community Schools to improve learning by increasing technology for students and aligning instructional practices. This project will increase K-12 military, federal-affiliated student achievement in mathematics and increase college and career readiness for all students […]

SMU First-Year Coach Announces 2016 Volleyball Schedule

Thurston Talk - Tue, 08/23/2016 - 3:21pm


Submitted by Saint Martin’s University First-Year Saint Martin’s University head coach Jon Killingbeck announced the 2016 volleyball schedule, which includes 10 regular-season matches in Marcus Pavilion and one scrimmage. The Saints will scrimmage Corban University (Ore.) on August 24 at 4:00 p.m. and have the Alumni match on August 27 at 5:00 p.m. Both matches […]

Dispelling Myths About LASIK

Thurston Talk - Tue, 08/23/2016 - 2:55pm


Submitted by Dr. Jay Rudd for Aurora LASIK It’s time to dispel some common LASIK myths. Over the past 20 years, the LASIK procedure has evolved into one of the most successful surgical operations performed today. Current technology has allowed modern LASIK surgery to offer results that are comparable to, if not better than, contact lens […]

Essay by Saint Martin’s Professor David Hlavsa to be Podcast on NPR’s “Modern Love” Series

Thurston Talk - Tue, 08/23/2016 - 10:03am


Submitted by Saint Martin’s University Sometimes a child doesn’t walk this earth, not even for a day. But they remain in the hearts of their parents forever, these miscarried or stillborn children and the dreams and hopes they inspired. An essay by Prof. David Hlavsa, who teaches theatre arts and interdisciplinary studies at Saint Martin’s […]

Port of Olympia and Possible Resumption of Military Shipments

OlyBlog Home Page - Tue, 08/23/2016 - 8:42am

Does the public meeting previously mentioned in the Olympian have a scheduled location and time?  If so, when and where? logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Your Healthcare Connection: Ed Kent Takes Charge at Olympia Orthopaedic Associates Westside Clinic

Thurston Talk - Tue, 08/23/2016 - 8:26am


Taking care of people is what Ed Kent does best. And, for the past 14 years, that’s exactly what he’s been doing at Olympia Orthopaedic Associates (OOA). After logging 22 years in orthopaedics during his military career, he joined OOA as an Orthopaedic Technician and worked his way up to Nursing Floor Supervisor at the […]

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