Recent local blog posts

Olympia High School Captures Third Place in WIAA Scholastic Cup Championships

Thurston Talk - Sat, 06/25/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

Olympia High School’s strong spring sports showing – both on the field and in the classroom – has helped the Bears finish third in the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s (WIAA) 2015-2016 Scholastic Cup. Presented by the WIAA and the Washington Army National Guard, the Scholastic Cup is the WIAA’s most prestigious annual school award. The

Drip Espresso Bar Celebrates One Year

Thurston Talk - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 2:39pm

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by Drip Espresso Bar Summer has begun and here at Drip Espresso Bar we are quickly approaching our one year anniversary. Make sure to join us on Wednesday, June 29 for our one year anniversary party. We will be celebrating with free coffee samples, pastries, prizes and more. We could not have done it

Rochester Teacher Receives National Recognition

Thurston Talk - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 2:22pm

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by the Rochester School District  Grand Mound Elementary School (GMES) teacher, Teresa Kelley-Brooks, has been selected from a nation-wide applicant pool as a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Scholar to attend one of 22 NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops. The NEH is a federal agency that supports summer study

Yelm High School Students Qualify for Microsoft National Competition

Thurston Talk - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 12:22pm

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by Yelm Community Schools Students enrolled in the Computer Applications course at Yelm High School earned top honors across the state this year.  As part of the course, students demonstrate their knowledge of the various Microsoft Office software including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.  Through the partnership with Washington State, Microsoft provides free Certiport Testing

Cocktail Party Garden Open

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 8:57am
Event:  Fri, 07/15/2016 - 5:00pm - 8:00pm

Savor hand-crafted cocktails with native plant infusions created by Katie Rains and enjoy live music by Daven Tillinghast. $25 tickets include entry, hors d'oeuvres and a drink of your choice. Nonalcoholic drinks available. Event sponsored by The Brotherhood Lounge and many others!

Visit nativeplantsalvage.org to register!

 

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Enjoy a Summer Music Concert Outside in Olympia

Thurston Talk - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

Summer is all about bare feet in the grass, blankets in the shade, and music in the air. Bring the whole family—or sneak out for some solo R&R—to one of the many musical opportunities around town this summer. Whether you prefer performing or applauding, there’s something for every style, taste, and schedule. Check out listings

Olympia Weekend Events Calendar

Thurston Talk - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

Week one of summer vacation is almost complete.  Check mark that off our list – 1 down, 11 to go until school starts again.  The weather forecast looks delightful for the weekend and throughout next week.  It will be a perfect time to get outside and explore Olympia and our surrounding community. Happy summer! Here’s what is

The Naturalist

South Sound Arts - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 12:55pm

Exploring Abstract Landscapes at B2 Fine ArtPublished in the Weekly Volcano, June 23, 2016"Autumn landscape Golden Grove,” painting by Gerard Collins, all photos courtesy B2 Fine Art GalleryFor six years B2 Fine Art Gallery has offered Tacoma a smorgasbord of art from emerging locals to established international art stars. And now they offer up their final show before packing up and moving north to the Emerald City.The current show, slightly misnamed an “exploration of abstract landscapes,” features Olympia painters Jeffree Stewart and Becky Knold with some of their better works to date, along with sculptures by Alan Newberg and paintings by Gerard Collins and Nina Mikhailenko (I say “slightly misnamed” because some of the paintings are not abstract in the least). "Pond's Reflection" by Becky KnoldGallery owner Gary Boone says nobody captures the Northwest light the way Knold does. I would say nobody captures the blues of clear water the way she does in her paintings “Pond’s Depth” and “Pond’s Reflection,” especially the former. Known for minimalist abstracts with very few delineated forms on fields of layered color, Knold shows more variety in this show than I’ve seen in any of her previous shows. “Pond’s Depth” has marvelous areas of cool aqua blues and greens with yellow accents and some surprising areas of flat, dull blue in three corners. I like the unexpectedness of the dull blue corners and the way they highlight the subtle changes in the rest of the painting. There is more complexity in “Pond’s Reflection” than in her usual, and a nice faceted glass-like surface."Hidden Zone Lahare" by Jeffree StewartStewart’s paintings come as a surprise to me. Although they show some similarities to earlier works I have seen from him, they mostly represent new directions and are the best of his paintings I have seen to date. They are stylized and highly expressive landscapes painted with long strokes of intense color, often with swirling spirals and sweeps like those seen in Van Gogh’s famous “Starry Night.” There are two paintings in beeswax and gouache that are intense and have an air of mystery to them. One of these pictures a silhouetted figure in a boat in the ocean in front of a rocky shore. There is a lot of white in this that sparkles like sunlight, but it is a cold, cold white light. Mikhailenko’s paintings are not abstract, but are traditional landscapes with softly blended paint application and a welcoming glow of muted color. The best of these is a painting of waterfalls that is like a blend of Monet and Whistler. Nicely done but derivative.Newberg’s sculptures are imposing works in wood that exploit the natural properties of the material to great effect. Two of them are freestanding sculptures that stand seven or eight feet tall and have a monumental feel to them. A third is much smaller but is equally monumental in concept if not in scale.Collins, whom I was told studied under the great Gerhard Richter, is showing a variety of paintings, most of which are abstract but clearly based on nature, and two of which are a Pollock-like overall pattern of black marks on white canvases. On the far back wall is a Collins painting of tangled limbs in a dense forest painted with overlapping staccato brushstrokes with a small band of sky showing across the top. In this sky are white clouds that look like areas where the canvas was left blank but which can be seen as painted upon a closer inspection. This painting brings to mind the latest works by Olympia painter Kathy Gore Fuss, but it has a rougher, rawer quality.Tacoma will miss B2. The Naturalist, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, till 9 p.m. Third Thursdays, through July 30, B2 Gallery, 711 St. Helens Avenue, Tacoma, 253.238.5065.
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Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Into the Woods at Dukesbay Theater

South Sound Arts - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 10:58am
 fractured fairytalePublished in the Weekly Volcano, June 23, 2016Clockwise: Arwen Dewey, Nick Clawson, Niclas Olson, Deanna Martinez and Tasha Smith. Photo courtesy New Muses Theatre Company.New Muses Theatre Company’s Into the Woodsat Dukesbay Theater is the third version of this popular Stephan Sondheim musical I have reviewed, and it is quite different in some important ways, primarily in that it is scaled down with a much smaller set in a smaller space with fewer actors, and those actors are physically much closer to the audience. I like the closeness and the scaled-down set with cheap but highly inventive props (a flock of origami birds dropped by a rope pulley operated by actors on stage in full view of the audience, a white chair on rollers as a cow, and a picture frame as a harp; I only wish the babies had been equally inventive objects instead of baby dolls).Sondheim and book writer James Lapine cobbled together a cast of well-known fairytale characters into a dark fantasy morality tale set to music. A malevolent witch (Brynne Geiszler) cast a spell on a baker (Nick Clawson) and his wife (Arwen Dewey) making them infertile. She tells them the only way they can break the spell is to go into the woods and get a milky white cow, a blood red cape, hair the color of corn, and a slipper as pure as gold. Finding these items is a snap, but to get them they have beg, buy or steal them from their owners, who are reluctant to give them up. The cow is the property of Jack from “Jack and the Beanstalk” (Niclas Olson). The blood red cape belongs to Little Red Riding Hood (Sammy Cattin); the hair the color of corn is Rapunzel’s (Jenna McRill); and the slipper as pure as gold is Cinderella’s (Tasha Smith).In a play filled with comical and dramatic clashes with temptation, the baker is too nice to swindle or steal these items, but his wife is much more willing to do whatever it takes to get what she needs so she can have a baby. She’s also easily tempted by the seductive prince (Derek Mesford) who is in love with Cinderella but doesn’t hesitate to two-time her (princes use their charms to seduce. That’s what they do). This prince has a brother (played by Olson ) who is in love with Rapunzel, and both princes are charming, sleazy, arrogant narcissists, as portrayed with great comic effect by Olson and Mesford, whose duet on the song “Agony” is the comic highlight of the show.The music throughout is wonderful. Highlights include the wolf’s flirtatious “Hello Little Girl” as sung by Mesford to Cattin, “A Very Nice Prince” as sung by Dewey and Smith, and Dewey’s “Moments in the Woods.” The choreographed movement of the entire cast popping in and out like so many Jack-in-the-Boxes ads a magical quality.Clawson, Cattin, Dewey and Chris Serface as the narrator and “Mysterious Man” turn in marvelous acting jobs. It is particularly nice to see Serface, Tacoma Little Theatre artistic director, back on stage.Olson, founder of New Muses, not only sings and acts wonderfully in multiple roles, but he is also does a great job of directing of this show, rising to the challenge of scaling down a big stage production to fit in a small house.The house, which seats only 40, was sold out opening night, so I highly suggest getting advance tickets.Into the Woods, 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m., Sunday through July 3, $10-$15, Dukesbay Theater, Merlino Arts Center, 508 S. Sixth Ave., Tacoma. www.NewMuses.com

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Thrifty Thurston – 6 Ways to Cool Off Your Dog during Warm Summer Days

Thurston Talk - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

The sun is shining. Dog lovers around Thurston County have great opportunities for taking their companion out to enjoy the warm weather. Here are six great places to take your dog. Mission Creek Nature Park This trail in Olympia’s Eastside is a great place to go for a short walk or run with fido. The sun

A Walk around Olympia with Calypso the Parrot

Thurston Talk - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

“Look,” says my friend. “That couple has a, has a, … That couple has a bird?!” “We hear that all the time when we are walking,” says the woman who is carrying a small cage containing a bright green bird. “We always take Calypso with us on our walks. She loves it here at Frye

Bring your Appetites for Food and Fun at Thurston County Farmers Markets and Farm Stands

Thurston Talk - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

I love my garden. Well, I would if I had one, but I acquire my bounty of just-picked vegetables and fruits from local growers and farmers. They do all the planning, seeding, weeding, watering, tending and harvesting. I get to do the eating. Our area is plentiful with markets and farm stands. Depending on where

CC Dust “Never Going to Die”

K Records - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 1:11pm
This is the new Washington State Ferry state of mind, infiltrating the underground sounds of America’s Youth. Get real with CC Dust on the Bremerton and Kingston ferries. From the CC Dust 12″ EP CC Dust [KLP263].   The CC Dust 12″ EP CC Dust [KLP263] is available now from the K Mail Order Dept. […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Homeowners Association Leads Charge to Enhance its ‘Backyard’ at Black Lake

Thurston Talk - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 6:17am

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by Paul Dunn for Chehalis Basin Lead Entity To John Wilson and others in the Sylvan Terrace Owners Association, the multi-acre splash of riparian and wetland area between their Olympia condominium complex and Black Lake is a little bit of paradise. The site, they say — including Michelle Creek that bisects it — is a marvelous

Two Routes Not To Miss While Mountain Biking in the Capitol State Forest

Thurston Talk - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

The Capitol State Forest, only a few miles west of Olympia, is a 100,000-acre playground for outdoors lovers. The area is home to some of the best mountain biking in western Washington, as well as areas for camping, off-roading, hiking, and shooting. Here’s a look at two of the forest’s most popular mountain biking trails.

Building Friendships One Hand at a Time at Hawks Prairie Casino

Thurston Talk - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

It’s true my experience and knowledge of gambling will barely fill a thimble, but I do know gallons about having fun. During my recent visit to Hawks Prairie Casino, I learned that the people who work there – specifically Table Games Dealers Brianna Marten and Judy Bennett – are ready, willing and able to ensure

Experience Everest at Sea Level at Everest Sherpa Gift Shop

Thurston Talk - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

There’s a little piece of Nepal in downtown Olympia. Strolling down Fifth Avenue you may first be enticed by the mild, lovely scent of incense wafting down the street, or the prayer flags fluttering in the breeze, or the soft Nepalese music emanating from the storefront, or perhaps even the sound of the owner playing

Summer Gala and Auction

OlyBlog Home Page - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 2:16pm
Event:  Sat, 08/13/2016 - 5:00pm - 9:00pm

Forests, Farms, Fish & Fun!

August 13, 2016

Save the date for the Capitol Land Trust's 16th Annual Summer Gala & Auction!

August 13, 2016
5 PM to 9 PM
Ralph and Nancy Munro’s Triple Creek Farm in west Olympia

Come celebrate what the conservation of Forests, Farms and Fish does for our community, and what educational opportunities and fun in nature can do for children and adults.  Event proceeds will benefit conservation and outreach programs. A special Fund-a-Need will support the proposed Inspiring Kids Preserve.   Contact capitollandtrust.org to sign up.

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Sandstone Distillery Wins Double Gold for Stone Carver White Whiskey

Thurston Talk - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 8:02am

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by Sandstone Distillery Tenino’s Sandstone Distillery was awarded a Double Gold Medal last week at the 2016 Seattle International Spirits Awards for their Stone Carver White Whiskey. This on the heels of a Silver Medal from the American Craft Spirits Association in Chicago in March.  The Seattle event included national and international brands like

History of 4 Presidential Visits to Olympia

Thurston Talk - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

The first president to visit Olympia came underneath the cloud of a failing presidency. Rutherford B. Hayes arrived in Olympia in October 1880, even before Washington was a state, as part of a massive 70-day western tour. Under an article titled “the Cause of Mr. Hayes’ visit” the Washington Standard (a hometown Olympia newspaper) described the

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