Recent local blog posts

Boggs Inspection Services Dedicates April and May to Giving Back

Thurston Talk - Sat, 04/30/2016 - 2:26pm


Being a small business owner isn’t just about the bottom line. It’s about interacting with your community, giving back to those who support you, and celebrating your success by sharing with others. Dwayne Boggs has been building his local business, Boggs Inspection Service, for over 12 years. As the company grew, Boggs began to incorporate

Touring Olympia’s Downtown Art with a Mobile Tour Guide

Thurston Talk - Sat, 04/30/2016 - 1:35pm


On a bright afternoon, I decide to take my family on an outing in downtown Olympia. As a local, one of my favorite places continues to be Percival Landing. It’s located on the east side of Budd Bay and is the southernmost tip of Puget Sound. According to the City of Olympia, the original dock

Tumwater’s Anna Chartrey Breaks Pole Vault Record with Determination and Grit

Thurston Talk - Sat, 04/30/2016 - 1:17pm


It was the inevitable moment of truth, the moment that separates the doers from the dreaders. Three years ago, Anna Chartrey, as a freshman on Tumwater High School’s track team, sprinted down the pole vault approach, toting the long, cumbersome pole. And without hesitation, she planted the pole, lifting her off the ground. She faced

Wash Cars, Raise Funds Safely with Clean Cars, Clean Streams

Thurston Talk - Fri, 04/29/2016 - 7:15pm


Submitted by The City of Olympia Spring is here and so is fundraising season! Many clubs, teams, and charity groups choose to do carwashes to raise much-needed funds for their programs. Unfortunately, carwash events are often held at locations where the water runs off and ends up in our water bodies. Carwashes held in parking

Maid Perfect’s Tips and Tricks for a Move-Out Clean

Thurston Talk - Fri, 04/29/2016 - 4:14pm


By Drew Freemantle for Maid Perfect Whether you are renting or selling your home, a good move-out clean can make all the difference. If you are selling your home a good first impression is a must. If you are renting a home it can be the difference between getting your deposit back or not. A

SSHA Heritage Award presented to Olympia Tumwater Foundation Director John Freedman

Thurston Talk - Fri, 04/29/2016 - 3:05pm


Submitted by the Olympia Tumwater Foundation  The executive director of the Olympia Tumwater Foundation, John Freedman, was honored on April 16 during the Local Historian’s Conference at Tumwater’s historic Schmidt House.  As John was welcoming the gathering, Drew Crooks, President of the South Sound Heritage Association (SSHA), a consortium of museums and history organizations in

Providence and Fairfax Behavioral Health Take Steps for New Psychiatric Hospital in Thurston County

Thurston Talk - Fri, 04/29/2016 - 2:41pm


Submitted by Providence St. Peter Hospital Providence St. Peter Hospital and Fairfax Behavioral Health are in consideration of developing an 85-bed freestanding psychiatric hospital in Thurston County. We submitted a joint letter of intent with the Department of Health on Friday, April 22, opening the door for the parties to file a certificate of need

Marit Berg & Melinda Liebers-Cox at Tacoma Community College

South Sound Arts - Fri, 04/29/2016 - 8:09am

Myth, the Mundane and Many AnimalsPublished in the Weekly Volcano, April 28, 2016“Made in Japan: Bulldog” byMelinda Liebers Cox. All photos  courtesy Tacoma Community College
“Made in Japan: Bulldog” byMelinda Liebers Cox. All photos  courtesy Tacoma Community College
“Halycon Malimbiaca” (blue-breasted kingfisher) from the Halcyon Kingfisher series by by Marit Berg , oil on panelFirst impressions upon entering a gallery are often misleading. Art that might dazzle at first glance often turns out to be flashy but with“Halycon Malimbiaca” (blue-breasted kingfisher) from the Halcyon Kingfisher series by by Marit Berg , oil on panelout substance, and works that may be off-putting could be too new or too outside the ordinary to be appreciated until you’ve had time to study it and let it sink in. My first impression of paintings and prints byMarit Berg & Melinda Liebers-Cox in The Gallery at Tacoma Community College was the misconception that it is not a particularly good show.  With the exceptions of Berg’s painting of a horse, which hangs behind the reception desk and a sensitive and airy graphic drawing by Liebers-Cox titled “Endangered Species,” the works appeared to be mostly competent but not outstanding illustrations of animals as might be seen in an encyclopedia or textbook. But after having let the show digest a bit, I’ve decided there’s more to it than meets the eye. There are levels and levels of meaning that are not apparent at first. There can be found visual commentary of the relationships between the natural and artificial worlds, a look into other cultures, such as in Liebers-Cox’s series of paintings of Japanese ceramic dogs, and symbolism and mythology such as in Berg’s series on the Greek myth of Alcyone and Cyex.Thirteen small paintings in gouache of the Japanese ceramic dogs line the back wall of the gallery. These are odd-looking little toy dogs juxtaposed with mundane household items such as jars, cups, note pads and whistles, set in front of decoratively patterned wall paper. If identifying information had not been provided, it would be easy to think they were not quite successful attempts at realistic depictions of actual dogs; but once you realize they are pictures of ceramic dogs they become more interesting, and the visual interplay between the dogs and the other objects and background patterns, and the balance of open and closed space becomes intriguing.“Endangered Species” by Liebers-Cox is a picture of a woman’s alligator purse and shoes thrown out into a tangle of vines and leaves along with what looks like fox pelts, and there is an alligator head poking out of the top to the purse — all making for a strange and striking marriage of nature and the creatures of nature with the fashion items created from their sacrificed bodies. This, to me, is the hardest-hitting social commentary in the show, and it is nicely composed in that everything is locked together in an endless circle created by the leaves and vines.Berg’s paintings on the myth of Alcyone and Cyex is her Halcyon Kingfisher series, 12 small paintings of Kingfishers in oil, a single bird in each painting, with a 13th painting centered in the row on a wood panel with a shelf at the bottom holding a nest with an egg in it. Each painting in the series has a bright sun in the background. They are painted in a semi-realistic manner with luscious brushstrokes. On an opposite wall are four relief prints of rabbits and hares. They were inspired by Dürer’s “Young Hare,” but stylistically are more like some of Dürer’s etchings, but with pointillist shading on both the animals and the backgrounds. In many of Berg’s paintings and drawings the animals are enclosed in (perhaps even imprisoned in) house shapes. I don’t know if this was intended to symbolize the clash between the natural and the man-made or not, but it sets up an effective visual dichotomy. The horse painting I mentioned earlier, which you’ll find behind the reception desk is an excellent example of this dichotomy and also an example of Berg’s sensitive use of space and contrast between drawing and painting.This show will remain on view for only another week.The Gallery at Tacoma Community College, noon to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, through May 6, Tacoma Community College, Building 5A, entrance off South 12th Street between Pearl and Mildred, Tacoma, visitor parking in Lot G. 

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Smokey Joe’s Café Comes to Tacoma Little Theatre

South Sound Arts - Fri, 04/29/2016 - 7:57am
Photo: Poster for Smokey Joe’s Café. Courtesy of Tacoma Little Theatre.

A preview
Published in the Weekly Volcano, April28, 2016
Smokey Joe's Cafe is a musical revue showcasing 39 pop standards by the great songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. It’s rock and roll; it’s rhythm and blues; it’s the song track of the 1950s and early ’60swith dancing and costumes but no story line or dialogue.When it played on Broadway 20 years ago it won five Tony awards, including Best Musical, and the next year the original Broadway cast recordingSmokey Joe's Cafe: The Songs Of Leiber And Stoller, copped a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album. The show became Broadway’s longest running musical revue, and over the past two decades has continued to thrill audiences of all ages in community theaters and school performances. Unbelievably, it has never played in Tacoma, but in May it is coming to Tacoma Little Theatre with a nine-person cast under the direction of Micheal O’Hara and a six-piece band directed by Terry O'Hara.The 39 songs are presented by various members of the cast in different combinations, with no dialogue. There are novelty songs ("Charlie Brown"), romantic ballads ("Spanish Harlem"), and infectious melodies ("There Goes My Baby"), and the great standard "Stand by Me," with music and lyrics by Ben E. King in collaboration with Leiber and Stoller.Among the many rock classics featured in Smokey Joe’sare such hits as “Yakety Yak,” “On Broadway,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Fools Fall in Love,” “Young Blood,” “Kansas City,” and “Poison Ivy” — a tiny teaser of what’s in store for Tacoma audiences. Director O'Hara is a mainstay in Tacoma theaters. He has performed in countless shows including the charming Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks with his lovely wife, Sharry O’Hare, and also with his wife the two-person Love Letters at Lakewood Playhouse. He also played Dr. Jekyll in Jekyll and Hyde at Lakewood Playhouse, and was the engineer in Miss Saigon at Tacoma Musical Playhouse. As a director at TLT he has helmed Lend me a Tenor, Annie, and Always Patsy Cline.“It’s all music and dance,” O’Hara says. “It’s really just a musical revue spectacular of Leiber and Stoller music, with songs from Elvis to the Coasters and the Drifters. One of the nice things is everybody in the cast is a fresh face. None have performed on the TLT stage. And it’s a mixed-race cast with five blacks, one Hawaiian and three Caucasians.”
TLT Managing Artistic Director Chris Serface says, "This is an amazing show that has not been performed by any Tacoma theatre. It is a beautiful celebration of the Leiber and Stoller songbook. I have always enjoyed the show, and felt that Tacoma should have the chance to see it. The right creative team was available so I knew it was time.  You will recognize every song and be amazed by the dancing."Singing and dancing in the show will be: Melanie Gladstone, Ashanti Proctor, Jermaine Lindsay, Ashley Jackson, Nancy Hebert, Eric Clausell, Bruce Haasl, Loucas Curry, and
Kawika Huston.Smokey Joe’s Cafe, 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:00 p.m. Sunday, May 20-June, $22-$26, Tacoma Little Theatre, 210 N “I” St., Tacoma, 253.272.2281,

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Olympia Weekend Event Calendar

Thurston Talk - Fri, 04/29/2016 - 6:00am


The weather forecast looks like a mixed bag this weekend – some rain showers, a bit of scattered clouds, and some potential for full sun.  While the weather may impact your BBQ plans, we have plenty of ideas for indoor or outdoor fun around Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and Thurston County. Here’s what is going on around

Adroit Contractors Gives Commercial Properties a Face-Lift

Thurston Talk - Fri, 04/29/2016 - 6:00am


People can be separated into glass optimistic or pessimistic personalities. But when it’s a vacant storefront or commercial property, the personality of the entire neighborhood can be affected. Streets with unfilled properties often fall victim to an array of unpleasant outcomes. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reports that “vacant and abandoned

Home Ownership Plan for Millennials – Part I

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/28/2016 - 5:57pm


Submitted by Chris Johns for On Q Financial You’ve finally decided to “go for it” and buy a home. Great! Now what? It might be tempting to talk to your brother, mother, best friend, or coworker about it. It’s easy to let excitement run the show from here on in and immediately start scanning the

5 reasons Bill Bryant could run as an Independent

Olympia Time - Thu, 04/28/2016 - 5:16pm
It sure is a little (R) up there:

1. Use Bud Blake as a template.

A couple of years back an unknown Independent, with deep support from conservatives throughout Thurston County, upset a sitting county commissioner. How did Bud Blake do it?

Basically, in every precinct in Thurston County, from the most liberal to the most conservative, he used the Independent brand to beat the average Republican vote just two years before. In fact, some of Blake's best returns vs. a stand-in Republican average came in some very liberal districts.

The short lesson of Budd Blake in 2014 in Thurston County: party ID can mean a great deal to voters. And, people like the idea of an independent.

It seemed that there was a group of voters that didn't like the idea of voting for a Republican, but were plenty happy to vote for someone who acted and talked like a Republican, but called himself and independent.

2. Bill Bryant is not locked in as a Republican.

He has until the filing deadline on May 20th to lock in his actual party preference.

3. Bryant could use the Top Two primary to build a financially formidable independent campaign.

And because Washington uses a Top Two primary, Bryant doesn't actually need to be affiliated with a major party to move along. He simply needs to build a financially stable campaign and build his name recognition statewide to get through the primary onto the general election ballot. And, Bryant has raised $1.4 to Governor Jay Inslee's $4 million. So, at least he's in the ballpark.

The problem is timing. The May 20th deadline for filing is just four days before the Presidential primary in Washington State. If Trump is predicted to win the Washington Primary, would Bryant buck the tide of Republican primary voters?

4. Organized Republicans aren't exactly running towards Trump.

The Democratic Party in Washington State ready to tar him with his party's presumptive standard bearer. But, it seems like a lot of Republicans are trying to keep their distance from Trump.

No doubt their reticence was influenced by the polls and prognostications that a Trump candidacy could have a damaging domino effect on them and other GOP candidates. The theory is independent voters will be turned off by Trump and vote for a Democratic president, then continue voting against Republican candidates down the ballot.An Elway Poll released earlier this month found 55 percent said they would vote against a congressional candidate in Washington who endorsed Donald Trump. Although the poll didn’t ask about candidates for state offices, Democratic Party operatives drool at the possibility of a coming landslide of victories in legislative races. At every opportunity, they are pressing Republican candidates to reveal their presidential choice.“If you’re a member of the Democratic Party state committee, every Republican candidate’s middle name is Trump,” pollster Stuart Elway said.Unless of course, Bryant doesn't end up becoming a Republican candidate.

So, possibly Bryant could still raise money from conservatives not hung up on party names. And, even though I doubt the Thurston County Republicans were super happy Bud Blake spurned their party, conservatives in the county still gave him enough to win.

5. The ultimate non-establishment candidate

So, here's the crazy thing, and I admit this doesn't exactly make sense, but what better way to show that you're surfing into the anti-establishment wave by dropping your major party identification? Even when the party is nominating the establishmentarian-in-chief? Bill Bryant is such a rebel, he's going to rebel against the rebel.

Here's one last sort of bonus thought.

Between Republicans, Democrats and Independents, what is the largest political group in Washington?

According to a 2012 poll (I know, four years ago), the largest group is Independents. And, that number has been growing steadily since 2004. They've actually been in first place in Washington State since 2008 and in the mix since the start of the poll period.

More importantly, actual Republicans only made up 23 percent.

Daniel Cherniske Connects People to the Environment and Growing Food

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/28/2016 - 6:00am


Daniel Cherniske tries not to get bogged down in the problems of the world. As a teenager he spent a lot of time reading articles about world issues ranging from environmental degradation to social injustice. “I spent my teenage years rather depressed about the state of the world,” he shares. Being an informed citizen was

Thrifty Thurston Attends Healthy Kids Day

Thurston Talk - Thu, 04/28/2016 - 6:00am


The sun is shining and temperatures are rising which are a sure sign of the approach of summer. Children from all over Thurston County will be exiting their classrooms and preparing for time spent at home. The South Sound YMCA is hoping to encourage kids to make healthy choices for the summer by hosting the 25th annual

Tribal Responses to Climate Change

OlyBlog Home Page - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 10:11pm
Event:  Thu, 05/12/2016 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Geography of Opportunity for Olympia

Olympia Time - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 5:26pm
If Opportunity for Olympia gets a little less than 5,000 people to sign a petition by the middle of June, we'll be voting on an income tax to fund at least one year free community college tuition.

The income tax would only be levied on households making more than $200,000 a year. So, my immediate reaction was wondering where those rich folks lived in Olympia.

Here is a map of median income  by neighborhood:

This map tells you what neighborhoods are richer, but not necessarily where the households above $200,000 are concentrated.

Here's a map of the top five percent of household incomes across the city.

Because this map slices away the bottom 95 percent and deals only with an average of the top five percent, I think this is a better map of how the geography of the initiative rolls out.
I'll admit, a lot of this map seems counter intuitive to me. While I get the South Capitol and Governor Stevens are obviously the dead center of the top 5 percent in Olympia, that East Bay Drive didn't do better was surprising. 
Also, Holiday Hills being the most rich? Driving through that neighborhood, it seems like a fairly unimpressive collection of split levels. But, at the same time, there might be a few lakeside or near lakeside households that drive that smallish neighborhood up.
Interestingly, if you slice the geography by block group, you come up BG 011710-2, where the highest proportion of plus $200,000 families live in Olympia (though it includes some streets outside Olympia). Again, this is the area surrounding Ward Lake in southeast Olympia.
But, again, the general trend of the south and east of Olympia being where wealth is concentrated.
The problem is being that these are also the neighborhoods where the most people vote
Granted, there's a reason why this initiative in in Olympia, we tend to support school levies (via property taxes). And, so even rich folks voted their pocketbook, they don't hold enough sway to defeat school levies.
I will say this though: I wonder about the psychology of voting for a school levy that supports the district itself and its operations against voting for individual students.

Just Add Color

OlyBlog Home Page - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 4:40pm
Event:  Sat, 05/07/2016 - 12:00pm - 4:00pm

Do you have a passion for coloring? If so, or if you want to find out, drop in between noon-4 p.m. for a coloring extravaganza! Adults welcome. Supplies, music and light refreshments provided. This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Olympia Timberland Library.

Please call 360-352-0595 with any questions. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Bloodworks Northwest Calls All High School Filmmakers

Thurston Talk - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 3:10pm


Blood donors are rare and we need more people to pick up the habit of donating on a regular basis. This is where budding cinematographers are needed. Bloodworks Northwest, our local blood center, is hosting a film competition with $1,500 awarded to the winning school or club. Between now and May 16, any high school

Diary Disclosure

OlyBlog Home Page - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 2:15pm
Event:  Thu, 05/05/2016 - 8:00pm - 10:00pm

At Diary Disclosure, adults read from the funny, sweet, and otherwise amusing writings of their adolescence. Each edition of Diary Disclosure benefits an organization that serves youth. Proceeds from May's event will go toward youth involvement at Olympia Zine Fest!

Thursday, May 5
Obsidian, 414 4th Ave. E
7pm doors, 8pm show, $7 suggested donation, 21+ logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like
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