Recent local blog posts

Birds of Prey

OlyBlog Home Page - Sat, 02/06/2016 - 10:01am
Event:  Sat, 03/05/2016 - 2:00pm - 2:45pm

Raindancer Wild Bird Rescue will introduce a great-horned owl and a peregrine falcon, while discussing the natural history of birds and conservation issues facing birds and their habitats.

Location: Tumwater Timberland Library, 7023 New Market St SW, Tumwater WA 98501.

Phone: 360-943-7790.

Intercity Transit route 12/13.

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Stuffed Animal Singalong Sleepover

OlyBlog Home Page - Sat, 02/06/2016 - 9:54am
Event:  Mon, 03/07/2016 - 6:00pm - 6:45pm

Stuffed animal friends love library sleepovers! After songs and games, we'll tuck them in. Pick them up the next day between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. and learn what mischief happened during the night. This event is a part of Family Read & Sing Aloud, a Timberland Regional Library district-wide program.

Location: Tumwater Timberland Library, 7023 New Market St SW, Tumwater WA 98501. Phone: 360-943-7790. Intercity Transit route 12/13.

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No Sugar Added – Sweet Valentine Treats around Olympia

Thurston Talk - Sat, 02/06/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

When you’re considering a treat for your Valentine, chocolate is a popular go-to choice. Of course, I’m not one to turn down a rich bite of chocolate, but I’ve uncovered an impressive range of fun, local treats that bypass the sweet tooth. They still say love – just no sugar. Green Thumb Enthusiasts  Plan a visit to

Christian Davis – Yelm’s Go-To Scorer On The Basketball Court

Thurston Talk - Sat, 02/06/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

His jump shot is textbook. The flick of his wrist, the release of the ball is flawless mechanics. But before Christian Davis could become Yelm High School’s go-to-guy on the boys basketball team on offense, before he could become their leading scorer, he had to have a mindset makeover. Now, he’s no longer the reluctant

Meaningful Movies: TAKE BACK YOUR POWER

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 11:30am
Event:  Sat, 02/06/2016 - 6:00pm

The PSE is seeking funding for a pilot project to install "smart meters" in locations around the Sound, with a goal of putting them in everywhere eventually.  How has it worked out for people who have them?  This film shows some amazing unforeseen complications.  Maybe those meters aren't so smart after all . . .

Shown at MIXX96 Meeting Room, corner of State and Washington in downtown Olympia.  Come enjoy a night at the movies, and bring your buddy. 

This is a fundraiser for the Green Party of South Puget Sound; donation of $5 requested. 

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Shantala Kirtan with Steve Gorn!

OlyBlog Home Page - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 10:40am
Event:  Sat, 02/13/2016 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Please join us for a soulful evening of sacred music and chant with world renown Shantala and flutist Steve Gorn. Its been several years since we were last graced with their presence so we are overjoyed to announce their return to Olympia as part of their Living Waters Tour.

Tickets are $20 on the day of the event or $15 if purchased in advance. To purchase in advance and receive the discounted rate Click Here and enter EARLYBIRD in the Promo Code field. No paper tickets are issued.  Simply present your name when you arrive. For more information contact Ronny Temple or visit Olywaves.com

Location: Unity Church, 1335 Fern St SW, Olympia, WA 98502  

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Drip Espresso Bar Serves Up Valentine Treats and Fresh Smoothies

Thurston Talk - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 7:53am

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by Drip Espresso Bar A new year means a lot of new happenings at Drip Espresso Bar. We have added many items to our menu and have expanded many of our existing flavors, smoothies and pastries. When it comes to the new year, we know how important it can be to stick to those

Olympia Weekend Event Calendar

Thurston Talk - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 6:14am

ThurstonTalk

Super Bowl Sunday… a mix of emotions when our beloved Seahawks are not in the hunt for the championship, but it’s still a great event to gather friends and family for chili, commercial viewing, and general merriment. Do a quick search in our archives for Super+Bowl+Food and you will find plenty of ideas and recipes to

Encore Chocolates and Teas – Exquisite Delights Yet Budget Friendly

Thurston Talk - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

I’ve been a tea drinker since I was a little girl having parties with my miniature Blue Willow tea set. Now a mug of robust Assam tea is my civilized way to begin each day. It’s a soothing ritual to spoon leaves into the infuser, add boiling water and wait just a few minutes for

Sledding in Washington Mountains – 3 Places to Experience Joy Heading Down the Hill

Thurston Talk - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

There are few things in life as pure as the joy you experience while sledding down a hill in numerous feet of snow. Gripping tight to whatever you can, the rush of having the wind in your face in the wintery wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest is one of the greatest experiences we can have

Feeling Green? Don’t Replace Your Carpet, Clean it Instead

Thurston Talk - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

  As the global population continues to grow and landfills become piled high with garbage, people have taken it upon themselves to be less wasteful. Maybe you started a backyard compost or choose to only shop second hand. Whatever lifestyle changes you’ve made to be more green, the environment thanks you. Unfortunately, living a completely

Ring of Fire at Centerstage

South Sound Arts - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 4:33pm



Published in the Weekly Volcano, Feb. 4, 2016June Carter Cash (Cayman Ilika) and Johnny Cash (Jared Michael Brown) set the stage in Federal Way. Photo credit: Michelle Smith Lewis
Ring of Fireat Centerstage in Federal Way is wonderful entertainment, well worth the drive. Adapted from the Broadway Production by Richard Maltby, Jr. and Jason Edwards, it is a hybrid falling somewhere between a play and a musical revue. It tells the life story of Johnny Cash through his music. There is no dialogue, but there are a few necessary bits of narration addressed directly to the audience by Cash (Jared Michael Brown) and June Carter Cash (Cayman Ilika). Similarly, there are no traditional theatrical scenes, but there is choreographed movement arranged by director and choreographer Amy Johnson. And how wonderfully the choreography creates visions of train rides and working on the chain gang, of a youthful band auditioning before the great record producer Sam Phillips, and of the beginnings and ends of love.I was given a hint as to how this musical experience was going to differ from other theatrical productions when before curtain time I asked Centerstage Artistic Director Alan Bryce why none of the actors’ character names were listed in the program. In trying to explain, he kept saying, “You’ll see. It’s different.”The band from left Tom Stewart, Jack Dearth, Jared Michael Brown and Sean Tomerlin, Photo credit: Michelle Smith Lewis For starters, Brown not only plays Cash, he also plays other male characters, including Phillips; Ilika plays June Carter Cash and Cash’s first wife, Vivian Liberto. There’s also a four-piece band: drums (Zack Summers), electric and acoustic guitar (Sean Tomerlin), bass (Jack Dearth) and acoustic guitar (Tom Stewart) — most of whom also take on the role of Johnny Cash at times. As Bryce said, you’ll see. By-the-way, typical country and western bands back in the ’50s and early ’60s described such combos as drums, bass, lead guitar and rhythm guitar. Cash played rhythm guitar but was never known as a great musician but as a great singer-songwriter and stylist. Brown does not play guitar in this productions.Brown and Ilika are each members of Actors Equity. Ilika starred as Mary Poppins at Village Theatre and was a Gregory Award nominee, and she rocked the house at Centerstage as Patsy in Always Patsy Cline. Brown recently performed at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre, ACT, and Seattle Children’s Theatre. They are both terrific singers and actors who pull the audience in, making even a fairly large house feel tiny and intimate. Brown made me feel like he was flirting with the audience, even improvising interaction with them on a couple of occasions when I was there for an opening weekend matinee. Neither tries to imitate Johnny or June, but interpret their songs in their own styles, and sing with power. Brown has a wider range to his voice than Cash but sounds a lot like him especially when he drops to a lower key.Some of the band members also take the lead on Johnny Cash songs. Stewart and Dearth are particularly outstanding on the songs they solo on. Ring of Fire is two hours of great Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash songs from standard country and gospel songs from their early years to such favorite hits as “Folsom Prison Blues,” “I Walk The Line,” and “A Boy Named Sue.”
Ring of Fire, 8 p.m. Thurs.- Sat., 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun., through Feb/ 14., Centerstage at Knutzen Family Theatre, 3200 SW Dash Point Road, Federal Way, $30, Seniors (65+) and Military: $25; Youth (25 & Under): $10; VIP: $50, 253-661-1444, www.centerstagetheatre.comxt
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Surprising 3-D Show at B2

South Sound Arts - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 4:25pm


Published in the Weekly Volcano, Feb. 4, 2016“All Lines in the Water,” mixed media by Shannon Weber, courtesy B2 Fine Art GalleryWinter Pop-Up at B2 Fine Art Gallery is a surprisingly rich collection of sculpture, basketry and pottery by (mostly) artists who are new to the Tacoma art scene — the one exception being longtime local favorite Ric Hall, who is showing here totally new work never before seen and a radical departure from what we’re used to seeing from him. "Apple Pruning" by Ric Hall, courtesy B2 Gallery.More on Hall’s painted apple prunings and mixed-media sculptures by Shannon Weber later, but first an overview of the show. Featured artists are Hall, Weber, Mary Hosick, Sharon Feeney, Steve Sauer, and Patty McPhee. There are some nicely executed and rather traditional ceramic and sculptural work by Hosick, Feeney, and McPhee. I was especially impressed with Hosick’s ceramics and also liked McPhee’s sensual and minimalist wood carvings of abstract forms based on the female figure and Feeney’s asymmetrical, half-moon shaped “Budding.” Sauer’s massive ceramic fertility vessels are rough, gritty and powerful. While modernistic in style and form, they evoke ancient and primitive art that grabs at the gut and won’t let go.Hosick warrants a show all her own, and her work is relegated to a separate room in the gallery with a selection of 14 felted wool and silk and stoneware pots. The smaller pots with felted wool and silk patches adhered to the surface like organic accretions present wonderfully contrasting textures and glazes. Her pieces with sculpted tubes going through and out of ceramic forms are like Stone Age scientific instruments left on earth by an alien race. One piece that is different from all her others is “Flight Patterns,” a playful and decorative mixed-media sculpture with butterfly wings fluttering in front of a blue circle with another of her tubes piercing the whole. There is a shamanistic quality to her pottery.Now back to Hall and the other surprising find in this show: Weber. Their pieces in this show have a decidedly outsider appearance like the works of untrained, often insane and artistically obsessed artists, and yet they are clearly educated and well versed in art history, theory and practice.Hall is locally famous for cubist-surrealistic pastel paintings done in collaboration with his partner in crime, Ron Schmitt.  What he is showing here is a collection of about 15 painted prunings from an apple tree. In one cubbyhole section of the gallery 13 small pieces line the walls on shelves mounted about five feet off the floor. They are knotted, gnarled and sensual, and painted with bright colors with thick and often clotted paint that brings into view figures and faces suggested to the artist’s fertile imagination by the shapes of the limbs. Study them carefully and you’ll find an almost infinite number of surprises. In another nearby section of the gallery are a couple more of these, but they are larger and more expansive, with long limbs that reach as if soaring into space.Weber is showing a number of fantastic sculptures both free-standing and wall hanging created out of a mixture of unusual materials including sticks, bones, kelp and many other found materials. They are enigmatic and strangely beautiful, and evoke Northwest Native American art. There is one piece that is a large ball of impossibly bent and twisted sticks. I can’t imagine how she managed to weave them together in such a manner. Another, “3 Moons,” is a burnt piece of wood, smooth as polished rock, with a smaller and differently burned hunk of wood that looks like charcoal mounted on top. It is as rough as the other is smooth, and dead center on it are three little button-like moons stitched to the burnt wood with kelp and waxed Lenin thread. It is beautiful and yet ominous. Next to “3 Moons” is “All Lines in the Water,” a small canoe shape with five little woven baskets stuffed inside like men crammed into a too-small boat. It is made of kelp pieces, fish bones, reclaimed washers and other exotic materials.There is little time left to see this show. I strongly suggest you see it as soon as possible.Winter Pop-Up, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, till 9 p.m. through Feb. 13, 711 St. Helens Avenue, Tacoma, 253.238.5065.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Five Reasons to Subscribe

South Sound Arts - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 10:39am




If you read my reviews in The News Tribune or the Weekly Volcano, why should you subscribe to my blog? Aren’t they just the same reviews re-posted? Here are 5 reasons you might want to think about subscribing.
  1. I do re-post all my reviews from newspapers, but I also post reviews that are not published elsewhere.
  2. There are word limits to my reviews in print, so sometimes when I feel I need to say more than is allowed in my columns I will post expanded versions on my blog.
  3. I’m limited to one photograph in my print reviews but can post more on my blog.
  4. It rarely happens, but sometimes I can use language that’s not allowed in print.
  5. I also post personal musings, essays, and announcements for other arts events, including my own readings . . . if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

Subscribing is easy. Just look at the column on the right.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

What Local Funding Makes Possible for Students in North Thurston Public Schools

Thurston Talk - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 7:08am

ThurstonTalk

There’s a saying that a community is only as strong as its schools. Around the South Sound, many local school districts are preparing for a February 9 replacement levy vote that will help to determine their ability to deliver programs and services that make a huge difference for student success. For North Thurston Public Schools,

Revitalize Your Smile with Invisalign at Tranquility Dental Wellness Center

Thurston Talk - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

Minor imperfections don’t seem so small when they’re in your mouth. A slight overbite or gapped tooth can be the difference between a confident smile and one you would rather hide. Luckily, for many adults, Invisalign is a discrete, effective way of straightening teeth, and in many cases, Invisalign is a less time consuming and

Thrifty Thurston Resurrects Beats of the Past at the Oly Old-Time Music Festival

Thurston Talk - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 6:00am

ThurstonTalk

Olympia has deep roots in music. From our local schools to music venues, the history of the Pacific Northwest sound vibrates through our city. The Oly Old-Time Music Festival brings some of those beats to the forefront through a weekend long musical journey through the roots of traditional American music. “This is our eighth annual festival,”

Black Alliance Packs Hearing for Police Deadly Force Bill, HB 2907

Janine's Little Hollywood - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 12:38am

Above: Dr. Karen Johnson, Black Alliance of Thurston County, testifies in support of HB 2907 before the House Public Safety committee chaired by Representative Roger Goodman (D-45) on Wednesday. 
Senator Fraser Sponsors SB 6621 Calling for Policing Task Force, Hearing Also on Wednesday
By Janine Gateswww.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.com
The room was packed for a public hearing on Wednesday for HB 2907, which seeks to clarify state law governing the use of deadly force by police officers. The bill, spearheaded by the Black Alliance of Thurston County, was sponsored by Representative Luis Moscoso (D-1).
Washington State House Public Safety Committee Committee chair Representative Roger Goodman (D-45) said that 65 people signed up to testify. Only a handful was able to give their testimony, although he allowed the meeting to go 20 minutes longer than expected.
Most testified in support of the bill, with some, including the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, and Concerns of Police Survivors, opposing or expressing concerns.
Dr. Karen Johnson, chair of the Black Alliance of Thurston County, presented an overview of how the group began its efforts just a few short months ago, and described her organization’s efforts to build a relationship with Olympia Police Chief Ronnie Roberts after the officer involved shooting of two African American young men in Olympia.
Johnson promoted the police department’s mission and strategic plan, and said the Black Alliance is eager to help the department garner the respect and trust of Olympia residents, and to make sure police get the training they need to begin changing the culture within the department.
Encouraged by her story, Representative Goodman praised Johnson’s efforts.
“...We have a lack of trust between communities and law enforcement, but it seems you’ve done a lot of work on a local level to bring people together….Who did you bring to the table and is there a template for what we could do on a state level?” he asked.
Johnson responded that it’s about communication and having courageous community conversations about racial bias and institutional racismwith the police department, and exploring the experiences and questions around those themes.
She said Olympia’s next community conversation with the Olympia Police Department is scheduled for March 2.
“I think we’ve been doing an awful lot of talking to them, and it’s time we start listening to what they need from us,” said Johnson.
“I agree, I think we need to listen to the police,” responded Goodman.
Jamira Burley, with Amnesty International’s campaign on criminal justice and gun violence, spoke in support of the bill, saying that HB 2907 takes significant steps to provide needed clarity and accountability in regards to the use of lethal force by officers.
Burley said that the use of lethal force by police in the February 2015 case involving Antonio Zambrano-Montes, a farm laborer with a history of mental health issues who was shot and killed by police in Pasco, was inconsistent with international law and standards on the use of lethal force.
Lisa Daugaard, director of the Public Defender Association in Seattle, also spoke in support of the bill and described the 2010 killing of Seattle Native American woodcarver John T. Williams by a Seattle police officer.
“The Seattle Police Department itself concluded that the killing violated policy on use of force, the first time that had happened in decades. This was not a reasonable mistake – it was an unreasonable mistake, at best. Officer Birk was not reasonable in thinking he was under attack, and he was not reasonable in thinking deadly force was necessary to forestall any attack. This was widely accepted. If ever a killing by a police officer might be prosecuted as a crime under the current law, it seemed to most observers that it would be this one. And yet Ian Birk was not prosecuted…..”
“…For those who are uncomfortable with the approach taken in this bill: it’s time to offer an alternative solution that would have allowed a prosecution in Mr. Williams’ death. A group of concerned community leaders has done its best to propose a solution that is fair to officers and community members alike. If you are uncomfortable with this solution, please, identify another that will change outcomes in the most egregious of these cases,” said Daugaard.
Noah Seidel of Lacey who represents Self-Advocates in Leadership, a group of over 200 people with developmental disabilities, also spoke in support of the bill.
“Mental health problems is not the only kind of disability that people have had when killed by police officers. John T. Williams…was also partially deaf. When he was killed, the officer was behind him telling him to stop. Disability was a factor....We need to do a better job holding law enforcement accountable to keep people safe,” said Seidel.
Seidel said that, according to a 2013 report by the Treatment Advocacy Center and National Sheriffs’ Association, at least half of the people shot and killed by police between 1980 and 2008 in the United States had mental health problems.
Rick Williams, the older brother of John T. Williams, also spoke.
“For five years all this talking and no action…He (Officer Birk) gets a free pass. Why is this guy still walking free? It’s not right…I can’t get my brother back but I can help people stand up for him. Somebody has got to it do because this is all wrong,” said Williams.
The committee also heard testimony about HB 2908, which creates a 13 member joint legislative task force on community policing standards. The bill’s prime sponsor, Representative Cindy Ryu, (D-32), spoke to her bill.
James McMahon, policy director with the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, did not necessarily oppose the bill, but suggested that more data be gathered first before a task force begins to discuss the issue.
Senator Fraser Sponsors SB 6621 Calling for Policing Task Force, Hearing Also on Wednesday
Above: Rick Williams, seated, Jay Westwind Wolf, a Mohegan Tribal member who is also on the Seattle Community Police Commission, Karen Johnson of the Black Alliance of Thurston County, and Thelma Jackson, also of the Black Alliance of Thurston County, gather just before the Senate Law and Justice Committee heard SB 6621, sponsored by Senator Karen Fraser (D-22).
Later on Wednesday, SB 6621 was heard by the Senate Law and Justice Committee, chaired by Senator Mike Padden (R-4).
SB 6621, sponsored by Senator Karen Fraser (D-22), creates a 22 member task force on policing and the use of deadly force convened by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy. It contains several directives and would provide recommendations to the Legislature related to statute changes related to the use of deadly force by an officer. The task force would report its findings and provide recommendations to the governor by December 1, 2016.
Fraser spoke to her bill and said it was written in cooperation with the Black Alliance of Thurston County.
Acknowledging the task force proposed in HB 2908, Fraser said, “I’m not wedded to how we structure the task force…but the core idea is to bring the relevant people together to talk about this and how we want to move ahead in the future….We need all the right people involved in this,” she said.
Similar to his testimony for HB 2908, James McMahon, policy director, Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, expressed concerns about the bill and would like data to be collected on the use of force before a task force is formed.
Craig Bulkley, president of the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs, also expressed concerns, saying that a problem has not been identified with the current statute, data needs to be collected, and the bill does not have a means to do that. He said that according to the FBI, 107 officers have been killed nationally in the line of duty, and 49,851 were assaulted in 2013.
In Washington State, 16 people were shot and killed by law enforcement in 2015. According to research by The Seattle Times, there were 213 Washington State police related fatalities between 2004 – 2014.
In 2015, the Guardian newspaper tracked the number of deaths in the United States due to interactions with law enforcement, documenting 1,015 people killed by police using firearms. Of that total, 25.6% of those killed were African American and 17.5% were Latino. More than 10% - 107 individuals - were unarmed when they were shot and killed by police.


For more information about the HB 2907, Amnesty International's Report on Deadly Force, the Black Alliance of Thurston County, Karen Johnson, the City of Olympia’s Ad Hoc Committee on Police and Community Relations, body cameras, and other police related issues in Olympia, go to Little Hollywood, www.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.com, and type key words into the search button. 

Idiot Glee “Evergreen Psycho”

K Records - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 6:44pm
A video derived from the Idiot Glee album Idiot Glee (Hop Hop Records). Lexington, KY is where they’re from; blissful audio existence is where they’re at. Idiot Glee.  
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

SPSCC Volleyball Inks First Player Commitment

Thurston Talk - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 5:00pm

ThurstonTalk

Submitted by South Puget Sound Community College Stephanie Washington is the first volleyball player in the history of South Puget Sound Community College. The senior out of Puyallup High School officially signed her Northwest Athletic Conference Letter of Intent to play for SPSCC’s newest athletics program on Tuesday, February 2, at the SPSCC gymnasium.  “I’m

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