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Olympia Community Speaks to City Council About Police Shooting of Two Men

Janine's Little Hollywood - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 11:55pm

Above: Outside Olympia City Hall tonight, many expressed their support for Andre Thompson and Bryson Chaplin and their families.By Janine Unsoeldwww.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.comThe Thursday night police shooting of two young African American men, Andre Thompson and Bryson Chaplin, has created an unprecedented outpouring of emotions, perspectives and demands that were heard this evening at tonight's council meeting at Olympia City Hall.  “We need to take this wake up call very seriously and not sleep through it,” Neil Peck said as he concluded his comments in front of Olympia city councilmembers and the community tonight. Peck lives 100 yards from where he heard the shots fired by Olympia police officer Ryan Donald last Thursday. Peck was the speaker who provided an account of what he heard that night at a community gathering that same evening at Temple Beth Hatfiloh.Peck was the first of over 30 passionate, articulate speakers tonight who voiced their feelings, perspectives, and concerns to council members. The council dispelled with most of the evening’s agenda to accommodate the speakers, who spoke for about two hours straight. An overflow crowd sat in chairs and on the floor in the lobby, watching and listening to speakers on television monitors. Several facilitators with the Thurston County Dispute Resolution Center met with individuals and groups as needed to record their thoughts. Regional television news staff and cameras stayed for most of the evening.Above: Neil Peck speaks to the Olympia City Council tonight. He lives 100 yards from where Office Ryan Donald shot two men, and heard the shots.   “….I don’t want Olympia to be one of those places where young black men get shot…where people just shrug it off….This needs to be a wake up call for Olympia…for our police…for all of us….I know the investigation is just getting started…but I don’t think we need to wait to say that this is simply the wrong outcome….,” said Peck. Five speakers later, it was local attorney Jim Johnson that made the audience collectively gasp when he announced that, as a neighbor of Peck’s, he too heard the shots, but neither he nor Peck have been interviewed by the police.“I’m Jim Johnson. I’m a witness. I live on the corner of Langridge and Cooper Point. My wife heard the first four shots. She woke me up. We checked on our kids. She called the police and she was on the phone with the police when the next three shots rang out. She and I debated about whether it was three or four. I was standing next to her when I heard the next four shots. That, those last four shots, I was able to count. You talk about being open and all this stuff, it’s like, nobody’s even said how many shots were fired. And there are witnesses who know how many shots were fired. Mr. Peck heard them. His wife heard them. I heard them. My wife heard them. My name was in the paper. My wife was on King 5. Mr. Peck spoke at the Thursday night gathering. None of us have been interviewed by the police. None of us have been interviewed by the police. That undermines the credibility of the investigation. I know you guys aren’t in charge, I know you’re not in charge, but somebody hearing this better straighten that out, because if this investigation is going to have any credibility, it has to have credibility in the people, and if there are witnesses around – I live – I had to talk to police officers to leave my house three times that day because they were blocking the road and nobody asked me my name, nobody asked me whether I had heard or seen anything, they’re not asking the witnesses anything….” Regarding the purchase and use of body cameras, Johnson said he has advised a state agency on the legalities of recordings in public contexts. “….I know the complexities of the area. This is not hard. This is not expensive. You just need to do it. I looked on Amazon. You can get a body camera for $46.18…and it will be here Thursday….(cheers were heard from the lobby at this point)…You need to buy body cameras, you need to require their use, you need to have discipline in place so that if officers don’t turn them on when they should, they’ll get in trouble….”Regarding the potential lawsuits that may arise from the shootings, Johnson said, “….This is going to cost the City of Olympia an amazing amount of money. Body cameras are cheap.”Mayor Stephen Buxbaum said that there will be many more opportunities for the community to express its thoughts about the topics discussed this evening.Councilmember Nathaniel Jones agreed. “We don't need to wait to begin the healing. Tonight's comments are part of that...I think we'll be mending for some time....”One local non-profit, Media Island, will be hosting a meeting on Monday, June 1, 7:00 p.m., at 816 Adams Street SE, Olympia to discuss the formation of a police accountability civilian review board. For more information, call (360) 352-8526 or email Above: Local attorney Jim Johnson provides his account to Olympia city council members of what he heard Thursday night during the police shooting of two men. He said he has not yet been interviewed by police. Little Hollywood will continue to provide more information about this evening as time allows. For more information about the Olympia Police Department and this case, including an account of the community meeting at Temple Beth Hatfiloh, go to past articles on Little Hollywood,, and use the search button to type in key words. Olympia City Council meetings are televised by Thurston Community Television. Go to the City of Olympia website for more information at

Saint Martin’s University Softball has a Sister Act

Thurston Talk - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 9:42pm



Submitted by Christine Towey for Saint Martin’s University

Saint Martins Softball Miller 2Most people argue with their siblings all growing up, it’s just a part of life.  But most grow up, go off to college and only see their siblings occasionally. This however, isn’t the case for the Miller sisters. Meet Paige Miller and Megan Miller. These two girls hail from Everett, Wash., and grew up playing their favorite sport, softball. Paige just finished her freshman year at Saint Martin’s University, while Megan just finished her junior year. Both attended Cascade High School in Everett, Wash.

Paige, while undecided in her major, is leaning towards business, while her sister, Megan, is a business major. Both girls talk about how they’ve loved softball from a young age and their passion for it has only grown since high school. Megan, and Paige both started at the young age of five, and Megan remembers loving it instantly. “I loved it right away… It’s easy to love this sport, especially as a child because you just go out and play and the older you get the more relationships you build from it.” And her relationship truly has kept building and building, which ultimately led her to Saint Martin’s.

Although Megan has three years under her belt, she still gets to enjoy the team getting ready for events such as regionals. Saint Martin’s softball team took home first in GNAC, and was the seventh seed at the NCAA West Regional Tournament. “I am not as nervous as the first time just because some of us have been here before and know what it’s all about. It’s just another game.” But this wasn’t the case for Paige, this was her first time playing teams outside the GNAC. “I was both nervous and excited for regionals. But I was mostly excited because we worked so hard to get there so I was ready to play because I knew it would be one of the greatest times of my life.”

Although it may not seem like it, the Miller sisters haven’t always played on the same time. Because of their age difference, they competed on separate teams, with a few guest plays on each other’s teams until high school.  While playing for Cascade High School Megan decided this was something she wanted to pursue into college. “When I was a freshman in high school, I started playing for a team that was going to college exposure tournaments. When I saw some of my older teammates talking to schools about softball I realized that was something I wanted too.”

Saint Martins Softball Miller 1And she has done nothing but flourish. While playing against Central Washington University, Megan hit for the cycle and successfully completed it. This also earned her the title of GNAC Player of the Week. In that game Miller at eight at bats, including two doubles, a triple and a home run. “During the game and going into my last at bat I had no idea that I was on track to hit for the cycle. It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t realize it because it might have changed the outcome. After my last at bat I came back into the dugout and a bunch of my teammates approached me and asked if I realized what I had just done. They were all so happy for me and once I realized that it was happened I was so excited.”

Paige decided college softball was her while traveling the nation in high school and has never looked back. “I decided I wanted to pursue college softball when I started playing competitively on a select team. We would travel all over the US to play in tournaments and I loved everything about it and I knew I wanted to play at a higher level.”

It may only be Paige’s first year, but it has had quite the impact on her life. “I’ve really enjoyed my first year at Saint Martin’s. I’ve made great friends and have loved the college experience. Being on the softball team is what I’ve enjoyed the most about the first year. I’ve made so many great memories with my team and we worked hard to have a great season. The softball team’s scores have done nothing but reflect how hard work and commitment pay off, by them going 41-20.

Although they’re two years apart in age, the bond between these two sisters if obvious, and will only grow next year as they play again for the Saints. “If it wasn’t for Megan playing on the SMU team I probably would have never known about Saint Martin’s, so she was definitely a huge factor in helping me decide to go here. And being able to play with Megan is an added bonus because she’s always been an amazing teammate and sister and I look up to her in many ways. Megan mirrors this sentiment as well, “I really enjoy [going to the same school] because I feel we are closer now than ever. College is such an important time of our lives and I am happy to share the experience with her.”

Sadly next year will be their last year being able to play together, but both girls agree that they plan sharing their love of the sport by coaching later on in their lives. You can catch them in action again next year starting with their fall season.


Last Chance to See Two Trashtastic Art Shows

Olympia Dumpster Divers - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 9:32pm

There are two excellent group exhibits here in the Pacific Northwest that showcase art from recycled materials, and both are ending soon:

Saving the Environment: Sustainable Art exhibit at the Schack Art Center in Everett (April 23 – May 30, 2015) is an ambitious group show that spans a wide range of ways that artists work with recycled materials.

Ruby Re-Usable sitting next to her plastic bag and tape sculpture, Mother and Child/Plastic Is Not Healthy for Babies and Other Living Things

artist Ruby Re-Usable sitting next to her plastic bag and tape sculpture entitled “Mother and Child/Plastic Is Not Healthy for Babies and Other Living Things” in Saving the Environment: Sustainable Art at Schack Art Center

The list of participating artists includes lots of our favorite artist who work with recycled materials: Staci Adman, Sarah Allen, Dona Anderson, Jules Anslow, Jim Arrabito, Ross Palmer Beecher, Aline Bloch, Mary Ellen Bowers, Eric Brown, Susan Brendon, Jody Cain, Alana Coleman, Barbara De Pirro, Lynn DiNino, Marita Dingus, Amy Duncan, Claire Farabee, Roxy Gesler, Stuart Gullstrand, Julia Haack, Karen Hackenberg, Terra Holcomb, Katherine Holzknecht, Jan Hopkins, Susie Howell, Wendy Huhn, Peggy Hunt, Gay Jensen, Gale Johansen, Kristol Jones, Diane Kurzyna aka Ruby Re-Usable, Alice Larson, Stephen Lestat, Lucy Mae Martin, Danny Mangold, Lin McJunkin, Russ Morgan, Randy Morris, Thor Myhre, Keith Pace, Evan Peterson, Stan Price, Rainere Rainere, Lisa Rhoades, Joe Rossanno, Graham Schodda, Britni Jade Smith, Victoria & Ron Smith, Denise Snyder, Christine Stoll, Pat Tassoni, Joe Walker, Sylvia White, Laurie Williams, Heather Wilson, Tonnie Wolfe, Monica Ann Guerrero Yocom, and more

More pics HERE

Also check out this installation by Barbara De Pirro and Joe Walker at the show:

The other show that is happening right now is Cut & Bent: Group Exhibition at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, an awesome tin/metal art group show with Ross Palmer BeecherJenny FilliusNia MichaelsDeborah PaulKathy RossLoran Scruggs, and Nan Wonderly — ends June 7, 2015.

artist Jenny Fillius in Cut and Bent at BIMA

artist Jenny Fillius in Cut and Bent at BIMA

Jenny Fillius with BIMA’s curator Greg Robinson podcast

More pics HERE

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Port Schedules Interviews for District #3 Commissioner

Thurston Talk - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 9:21pm



Submitted by The Port of Olympia

The Port Commission invites the Thurston County Community to attend the interviews for the District #3 Commissioner position. Commissioners George L. Barner, Jr. and Bill McGregor will interview all applicants on June 1 and 2, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Tumwater Town Center, 7241 Cleanwater Drive SW. No public comment will be taken at the meetings.

District #3 Commissioner Interview Schedule

June 1, 2015
1:00 pm – E.J. Zita
1:40 pm – Dick Pust
2:20 pm – Break (10 min.)
2:30 pm – Bob Jones
3:10 pm – Michelle Morris

June 2, 2015
1:00 pm – Larry Goodman
1:40 pm – Fred Finn
2:20 pm – Break (10 min.)
2:30 pm – Jerry Farmer
3:10 pm – George Sharp

For more information, please contact Jeri Sevier,, 360-528-8003.

Olympia Comics Festival Preview Night @ the Olympia Library!

OlyBlog Home Page - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 6:55pm
Event:  Fri, 06/05/2015 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm Since 2001, the Olympia Comics Festival has paid homage to the arts-for-arts sake, alternative comic book scene. This year, fans can begin their annual celebration early, on Friday night, June 5 from 7 to 8:30 logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

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Port of Olympia Schedules Interviews for District #3 Commissioner

Janine's Little Hollywood - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 4:10pm

According to a news release from the Port of Olympia, the public is invited to attend the interviews for the District #3 Commissioner position. No public comment will be taken at the meetings. Commissioners George L. Barner, Jr. and Bill McGregor will interview all applicants on June 1 and 2, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Tumwater Town Center, 7241 Cleanwater Drive SW. District #3 Commissioner Interview Schedule: June 1, 2015 1:00 pm – E.J. Zita 1:40 pm – Dick Pust 2:20 pm – Break (10 min.) 2:30 pm – Bob Jones 3:10 pm – Michelle Morris June 2, 20151:00 pm – Larry Goodman 1:40 pm – Fred Finn 2:20 pm – Break (10 min.) 2:30 pm – Jerry Farmer 3:10 pm – George Sharp For more information, please contact Jeri Sevier,, (360) 528-8003.

When the “Birdman” Soared: Fred J. Wiseman and Olympia’s First Airplane Flight on May 20, 1911

Thurston Talk - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 2:37pm



By Jennifer Crooks

creative officeWith the Wright Brothers’ first flight in 1903 aviation became an object of national fascination in early twentieth century America. In May 1911, this interest in flight would combine with civic boosterism to bring Fred “The Birdman” Wiseman to Olympia to make the first airplane flight in Thurston County’s history. Wiseman (1876-1961) was already a noted pilot, credited with the first airmail flight in American history.

In the spring of 1911, Wiseman and several other aviators performed in various Pacific Northwest cities. Seeing this as a way to advertise their town, the Olympia Chamber of Commerce wrote to Charles L. Young, Wiseman’s manager, inquiring if the “Birdman” would be interested in flying in Olympia. Wiseman agreed and his flight was announced to the public on May 3.

bird man flying history

Fred J. Wiseman, shown here in Olympia, was already a noted aviator before he flew on May 20, 1911. Photo courtesy private collection.

Young came to Olympia to negotiate Wiseman’s contract after approving Carlyon Driving Park (near present-day Capitol Boulevard and Carlyon Avenue) as the site of the flight. The Chamber agreed to cover advertising costs and rent the track (about $200). Money from ticket sales would be divided between Wiseman’s group and the Chamber of Commerce. To raise the $200, which was needed immediately, a committee of the Chamber of the Commerce solicited donations from local businesses. Richard Butler was hired to handle regional publicity.

However, things did not go as planned. When Wiseman arrived in Olympia on the evening of May 17, the day before his scheduled flight, he declared the chosen area unsuitable for flying because the field was too small and surrounded by trees. A new site, on the Carlyon Fill, where the Swantown Marina is today, was selected. The Chamber of Commerce readily agreed to this change. Having just completed the Carlyon Fill, which added many blocks to the Olympia peninsula in 1910-11, they saw this as a chance to advertise the project. Although now considered a decision with serious environmental consequences, back then most people in Olympia simply saw the fill as a boon to business.

To prepare the site, Wiseman’s flight was delayed until May 19. His plane was reassembled in a shed and everything was on track for a flight in the afternoon. However, high winds delayed it another day. Wiseman had to cancel a Sunday flight in another location to keep his contract with Olympia. Impressed that he canceled this other engagement, tickets for the event were printed with “Boost for Olympia. Be square with a square man.” These tickets sold at 50 cents for adults, 25 cents for children.

People gathered early for the flight on May 20. The Olympia Daily Recorder newspaper estimated about 1,500 people attended but only 350 bought tickets. Most attendees thronged the city streets, beaches, buildings or watched from boats on the water. Olympia schools and most businesses closed for the afternoon.

bird man flying history

Over a thousand people attended Wiseman’s flights, held on the new Carlyon Fill. His plane is now at the National Postal Museum in Washington D.C., on loan from the National Air and Space Museum. Photo courtesy private collection.

Wiseman completed a total of three flights during the afternoon, starting at 3:10. For a first flight that lasted five minutes, he took off flying due north from the shed, rising 100 feet above the ground, going nearly to Priest Point Park, circling around to fly over the crowd, waving to those below. He flew around in a circle and landed near the north end of the field.

Wiseman did two more flights, at 3:50 and 4:30, each of which lasted about three minutes. Both times he circled the Olympia Harbor. Serious propeller trouble caused by an overheated flange curtailed his activities and he had to cancel taking up passengers and flying around the Capitol building’s clock tower. On the second flight he took a photo but the camera failed. The next flight he tried to take another photo of the town, but the photo did not turn out. However, the Chamber of Commerce considered the flights of the “Birdman” an overall success.

His flights completed, Wiseman and his entourage left by train that evening and shipped out his plane. The Chamber of Commerce was unable to meet expenses from the ticket sales and was forced to collect the subscriptions promised by the business people. Still the Chamber hoped Wiseman and several other aviators might perform on the Fourth of July later that year but they did not.

One mystery surrounding Wiseman’s flights on May 20 is the lost moving picture film of Olympia. A “Mr. Harbeck” of the Western State Illustrating Company filmed Wiseman’s three flights as well as places around Olympia, such as the Capitol. This film was shown at the Rex Theater in Olympia May 22 through 28. After that it was sent to Seattle and onto “the regular circuit.” The ultimate fate of the film has never been determined, though its survival is doubtful.

Wiseman retired from flying later in 1911 and eventually became an executive for Standard Oil. Olympia’s aviation history would continue to change and grow, centered on the Olympia Regional Airport which was established in the 1920s. The popular Olympic Air Show, held annually by the Olympic Flight Museum at the airport, demonstrates the continued love of flight in the local community.


Zumba® in the Park Olympia Lacey Season Begins

Thurston Talk - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 12:37pm



Submitted by Diana Yu

Zumba in the park 4Are you ready for another season of Zumba® in the Park (ZIP) Olympia Lacey?  2015 marks the 5th year of ZIP enthusiasts dancing outdoors and having fun while being physically active.  Join us anytime, every time.  NO experience necessary, just a desire to move and have fun.

Every Saturday from 2 – 3:30 p.m. between June and mid-September, you will see brightly clad folks dancing in public places, just having a grand time.  Family friendly and kid appropriate, the volunteer Zumba® instructors lead easy to follow routines that is sure to get you moving. There are also a few events that are not on the usual Saturdays.  Check out our schedule on here and  like us on Facebook “Zumba® in the Park Olympia Lacey”.

This year our trail takes us to  East Bay Plaza by Hands On Childrens Museum, to Tivoli Fountain on the Capitol campus, Tenino Quarry pool, Rainier Vista Park in Lacey, Huntamer Park in Lacey and Percival Landing.

Get out your sun screen, shades, water, comfy clothes, shoes and plenty of fresh drinking water.  Then head out to join us wherever we are.  Fun activity for kids and adults.

For more information: contact or message “Zumba® in the Park Olympia Lacey” on Facebook


Westport Winery Wins 2015 Best of the Northwest Wine Tour

Thurston Talk - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 12:25pm



Submitted by Westport Winery

Winemaker Dana Roberts gives a tour of Westport Winery.

Winemaker Dana Roberts gives a Backstage Wimemaker’s Tour at Westport Winery. Photo by Mike Coverdale

For the fifth time Westport Winery won the King 5 Evening Magazine Best of the Northwest Competition. This time they won the Best Wine Tour category. The fun and interesting Backstage Winemaker’s Tour is offered every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. with Director of Winemaking Dana Roberts. Additionally, guests are invited to do their own self-guided tour every day through the winery’s many display gardens that include over 40 sculptures by local artists. Extensive signage is provided to make this a truly memorable and fulfilling experience.

When you visit be sure to explore the resort’s unique sculpture garden, lavender labyrinth, musical fence, 9-hole executive golf course, giant chess set, outdoor scrabble game, and grape maze, all located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road halfway between Aberdeen and Westport. You will see why Westport Winery was voted Best of the Northwest Wine Tour and Destination.

Westport Winery Garden Resort’s award-winning wines are exclusively available at the resort. The tasting room, gift shop, produce market, plant nursery, bakery and gardens, are open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurant is open for lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and for dinner on Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information contact Westport Winery at 360-648-2224 or visit the website at


Northwest Christian High School Alumni Spotlight: Merissa Tatum

Thurston Talk - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 10:17am



Submitted by Northwest Christian Private Schools

Merissa Tatum is a graduate of the Northwest Christian Private Schools in Lacey.

Merissa Tatum is a graduate of the Northwest Christian Private Schools in Lacey.

Merissa Tatum is a 2006 graduate of Northwest Christian High School (NCHS) and a 2010 graduate of the University of Washington. Ms. Tatum now serves as the Assistant Director of Admissions at the University of Washington where she oversees the work of several admissions employees.

Born in Tacoma,  and raised in Olympia, Merissa is the product of a single-parent, low-income household, however she considers herself extremely blessed. From a very early age, her grandmother taught her that success could be achieved through hard work and by obtaining a good education. With her faith and her family as a constant motivation, Merissa persevered and became the first in her family to earn a college degree. She received her B.A. from the UW in 2010, then continued on to earn her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the UW in 2013. Education is a vital part to who she is, and she will one day work to obtain her doctoral degree. Long term, Merissa aspires to reach a Sr. Vice President level at the University of Washington, establishing progressive policy changes for the undergraduate student body.

Prior to attending NCHS, Merissa attended Community Christian Academy (CCA), part of the Northwest Christian Private Schools for 8th grade. She has fond memories of CCA and in particular Mr. Graham as the principal. At NCHS, Merissa focused on academics all four years of high school but also found time to play three years of volleyball and basketball. In addition, Merissa was a student class officer each year and served as ASB President her senior year.

Merissa Tatum serves as the Assistant Director for Admissions in Multicultural Recruitment & Outreach, within the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity.

Merissa Tatum serves as the Assistant Director for Admissions in Multicultural Recruitment & Outreach, within the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity.

One of the classes at NCHS that really had an impact on Merissa was Outreach. She appreciated the opportunity to help provide service to diverse groups in our community and felt that Outreach helped prepare her for the admissions job at the University of Washington. Merissa also mentioned that her Bible classes at NCHS helped her keep her faith strong during the college years.

Merissa gives a lot of credit to her grandmother and also to NCHS staff for helping her reach her college and career goals. She told us that “It was not an option for her not to go to college”. Her grandmother was committed to finding the best education possible for Merissa. Merissa was the first in her family to attend college.

Merissa was quick to give credit to other teachers who helped her along the way as well. She specifically mentioned and really appreciated the help of NCHS science teacher Michelle Whittaker. Mrs. Whittaker was Merissa’s science teacher but also helped Merissa with the college admissions process. Merissa was accepted to Duke University among other schools but decided that the University of Washington was more in line with her interests and her major.

Northwest Christian High School welcomes Mrs. Michelle Whittaker to their Science teaching team.

Mrs. Michelle Whittaker

During her undergraduate days at the University of Washington, Merissa was one of only two people (out of 200 applicants) to be selected for an internship in the Admissions Office at the University of Washington. After graduation, Merissa was hired as a University employee in Admissions and now supervises several University admission recruiters.

Marissa teaches dance and exercise classes in her spare time and is active in her church community. She lists the Bible as her favorite book on her university biography. As far as future career plans are concerned, Merissa plans to pursue her doctorate degree and continue helping prospective and current University of Washington students reach their dreams.

When asked what she loves most about her job, Merissa replied, “I love helping students pursue their dreams of going to college. Regardless of their race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status, or if they’re first generation: all students should have access to higher education. Seeing them go from high school through the application process to having them join us on campus the following fall… makes my job worthwhile. I have an obligation to give back to my community, paving the way for the next generation to come.”



Have you met Travis?

South Sound Arts - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 9:06am

"Fin" painting by Thornton Willis
I invested a lot of heart and mind in the invention and development of Travis Earl “Red” Warner. He was the protagonist of my first novel, Until the Dawn, and he resurfaced as a minor character about a dozen years later in Return to Freedom, the second book in the Freedom Trilogy, and loomed somewhat larger in the sequel, Visual Liberties.It would be a lie to deny that there’s a lot of me in Travis. I think he is what I would be if I were a bit gutsier and didn’t give a damn what others thought of me. From the start I was aware that people who knew me would think he WAS me. So I took efforts to make him different. I’m a tiny man, so I made him huge—red headed, strong as a bull and bull-headed, which I don’t think I ever have been. I made him a high school football hero in his youth, a fierce defensive lineman who would mow down his own teammates in order to tackle an opposing runner—inspired by my nephew, the artist Willie Ray Parish, who went to Ole Miss on a football scholarship. I was too small to play football, but I tried; my gridiron career ended with a knee injury in junior high school.Travis was also an artist and an avid fisherman. The first scene I wrote for Until the Dawn had him fishing on Mary Walker Bayou where I had fished back in my high school years. Interestingly, in the first draft the novel opened with that scene, but it was moved to near the end in the final draft. I wanted to give Travis some physical characteristic that would make him stand out, and what I came up with was his index finger was cut off at the first knuckle. Once I did that I had to imagine why the tip of his finger was cut off. Once I figured out how it happened that became a central element of the plot, which I’m not going to explain here because some people reading this may not have read the book yet. Suffice it to say it might or might not have had something to do with an alligator.So Travis was an artist and so was I, but in describing his art I did not make it anything like my art. At least not at first. The descriptions of the paintings that first made him famous were based on early paintings by Thornton Willis who shared a studio with me when I was a senior in college and he was in his first year as a teacher in the Art Department. He later moved to New York and became quite successful as a painter. When Travis reappeared in Return to Freedom, he had aged and mellowed somewhat but was still an outrageous and fun-loving character, no longer so angst-ridden as in his earlier incarnation.  Over the next few years, as described in Return to Freedom and Visual Liberties, his art also evolved. He went through periods of making art that resembled my own paintings and also works by Willem de Kooning at various stages of his career—de Kooning being the painter who influenced me more than any other. Finally, toward the end of his career, Travis started making paintings based on some ideas for paintings that I dreamed up but could never successfully complete.So there you have him, the infamous Red Warner, a favorite character who has shown up in three of my novels and who was the artist I wish I could have been.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Olympia Family Theater’s ‘Pinocchio’

South Sound Arts - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 8:33am

from left: Russ Holm, Kate Ayers, Xander Layden, Korja Giles and Stephanie Claire. Photos by Dinea DePhoto

Hey parents, you should take your children to see Pinocchio at Olympia Family Theater. I guarantee they’ll love it. You will too.This new adaptation of the classic children’s story may be targeted for pre-school and elementary school kids, but kids of all ages can enjoy it.It is not like any version of Pinocchio you’ve ever seen. In this version, Actor Kate Ayers walks out into what is supposed to be an empty theater and is shocked to see that the seats are filled with children (the actual audience). Before I go any further I should explain that the stage is … well, a stage. It appears to be between performances and the stage is littered with ladders and a scaffold and paint cans, and the actors are playing the part of painters. I may also note that they are identified only as Actor 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.So back to Kate Ayers, Actor 1. She’s the boss of the painting crew, and she and her crew are getting ready to paint the theater when she sees all the children in the audience. The children think it is show time, and they don’t leave when she tells them to go home. Understand, I’m talking about the actual audience at Olympia Family Theater. It’s a Sunday matinee and more than half the audience are children. When Actor 1 tells them to go home, after some confusion because some of them really are not sure what to make of this, they shout “No!” (Throughout the show the real children in the real audience shout at the actors on stage — spontaneously, without being cued; it is a laugh riot.)So Ayers and her crew of painters (Russ Holm, Xander Layden, Korja Giles and Stephanie Claire) decide to pretend to be actors and give the children the show they’ve come to see. But boy, it’s certainly a different kind of Pinocchio, even though many of the familiar story elements are kept intact: Pinocchio turns into a donkey, is bamboozled by his “so called friends” Cat and Fox, is swallowed by a whale, and of course his nose grows when he lies.Korja Giles
Russ HolmA delightfully innovative aspect to this production is that objects lying about in the theater become imaginative props. Paint brushes, for example, become a fairy’s magic wand and donkey ears.Ayers plays Jiminy Cricket and other characters; Holm plays Pinocchio’s papa, Gepetto, and other characters; Claire plays a stage hand or usher (and actually is an usher before the show starts), and she plays the accordion; Layden plays the naughty kid who encourages Pinocchio to skip school; and Giles is loveable, sweet, gullible and innocent as Pinocchio. It’s a marvelous cast of great actors, and for the adults in the audience they should stand as proof positive that playing in children’s theater takes every bit as much acting skill as playing Shakespeare or Tennessee Williams.Go see it. You’ll love it. I promise.Only four shows remaining.Pinocchio runs Thurs.-Fri., 7 p.m., Sat.-Sun. at 2 p.m. through May 31. Olympia Family Theater, 612 4th Ave E, Olympia, 360-570-1638.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week

Thurston Talk - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 7:51am



Submitted by Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton

Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton's dog of the week is Henry.

Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton’s dog of the week is Henry.

Henry is a 14 month old German Shepherd mix. He’s like a sponge, just waiting to soak up everything you have to teach him. Henry lived in a home with mature owners and will do best in a new home with calm, loving, confident owners who understand the breed and who can help him continue to grow and become a confident, happy boy.

Henry has never been around other dogs , cats or kids. Henry is a beautiful dog who is a little shy at first but you will quickly discover what a nice boy he really is.
We have lots of great dogs and always need volunteers to help them.  Visit our website at or contact Adopt-A-Pet, on Jensen Road in Shelton, at or (360) 432-3091.  Join us on Facebook at “Adopt-A-Pet of Shelton Washington”.

Port of Olympia Relocates Core Functions and Real Estate Offices

Thurston Talk - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 7:41am



Submitted by the Port of Olympia

The Port is moving its core functions and real  estate operation from one building and three  trailers at two locations to Percival Plaza (above  right) in downtown Olympia.

The Port is moving its core functions and real
estate operation from one building and three
trailers at two locations to Percival Plaza (above
right) in downtown Olympia.

Port of Olympia is consolidating its core function departments and real estate operation into a single building, Percival Plaza, at 606 Columbia Street NW in downtown Olympia. Currently, the offices occupy one building and three trailers at two locations.

Relocating are the commission offices, real estate business, and the executive, finance, environmental and engineering departments, for a total of 26 persons. The will move will occur according to a staggered schedule, from May 27 to 29 and June 2 through June 5.

While no major disruptions to customer service are expected, there will be brief periods when staff of various departments may not be available. All phones are expected to be working. If a Port contact does not answer, callers are asked to leave a voicemail. No delays longer than 24 hours (week days) are anticipated.

The Commission acted for better public access and the health and safety of visitors and Port employees when it approved relocation of the offices at its regular meeting on January 12th.  Among the considerations, the Homeland Security regulations as a result of 9-11 restrict public access to the marine terminal property where the majority of those moving have been located. This put a security gate between the Port and the community. Visitors are required to show photo ID to security guards and public meetings cannot occur on the site.

The existing offices need major repairs to their ventilation systems and structures. Evidence shows that the renovations which the building and three trailers require would not be worth the investment.

Consolidating the core function departments in one building has been a long-term goal of the Port. The consolidation is expected to facilitate inter-departmental communications and collaboration and the overall management of the core functions.

The Port’s three site-specific business operations will remain on their sites: Marine Terminal, Olympia Regional Airport and Swantown Marina & Boatworks.


Capital Medical Center Celebrates 30 Years in Thurston County

Thurston Talk - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 6:50am



Submitted by Capital Medical Center

capital medical center

Capital Medical Center is celebrating 30 years in Thurston County.

Capital Medical Center has turned 30. The hospital was founded in 1985 by a small group of physicians seeking to expand health care for women. Today Capital Medical Center is that, and more. The hospital recently completed a $1.5 million renovation of their women’s services unit, including newly remodeled private birthing suites and an upgraded family waiting area.

A $16.3 million expansion and renovation of the hospital’s surgical services department, slated to begin later this year, will include seven state-of-the-art operating suites to accommodate the growing demand from patients and to better meet the needs of surgeons. Since 2005, Capital has invested over $32 million in new technologies and facilities.

Capital’s CEO, Jim Geist, says he is always surprised when he finds someone is unaware that Capital Medical Center is a hospital. “This is a full-service, accredited hospital and Level IV trauma facility providing critical 24-hour emergency care to residents of the Southwest Washington.”

“It may come from the perception that a community hospital is less than full service,” he said. “In fact, you’ll find the same level of professionalism, expertise and technology as hospitals in larger urban areas like Seattle and Portland.”

Dr. Angela Bowen, a retired endocrinologist, was one of the founding physicians of the hospital. “I think it’s a friendlier place, not as big and busy and kind of impersonal as a much bigger hospital. The quality of doctors that practice at Capital makes me very comfortable. You can get most anything you need done there.”

capital medical center

More than 550 employees work at Capital Medical Center.

In a nod to the hospital’s excellence, The Joint Commission, the nation’s leading health care accreditation organization, awarded their “Gold Seal of Approval”— one of the first in the state — to Capital’s Joint & Spine Center in 2013. Dr. Stephen Snow, an orthopedic surgeon, leads Capital’s Physician Leadership Group and has, himself, been a patient for spine surgery at Capital.

“I have confidence in Capital Medical Center and have sent family members there when they needed care,” said Snow. “Having a hospital on both sides of town increases access, and the community benefits by having two strong health care centers.”

Quality and patient safety are carefully monitored at every level at Capital. Former Olympia Mayor Doug Mah chairs Capital’s board of trustees. The board is comprised of physicians and community volunteers who gather monthly to review quality dashboards and ensure patients are experiencing the best possible outcomes.

“Capital Medical Center really dedicates itself to exceptional care,” said Mah. “They bring diversity, choice and tremendous economic investment to our region.”

capital medical center

90-year-old Rose Tighe says that volunteering at Capital Medical Center keeps her young.

Capital Medical Center’s impact is widely felt in our community. Over the past five years, the hospital has provided more than $52 million in charity and uncompensated care, including nearly $375,000 in donations to community service organizations. Capital also paid $12.7 million in state and local taxes and fees, helping fund schools, public safety, emergency services, and care for the poor.

Paula Rauen, executive director of the Olympia Free Clinic, recently received a $3,500 donation from Capital and their employees after they selected the non-profit to receive the proceeds of a monthly “Jeans Day” campaign.

“We are very grateful for our partnership with Capital Medical Center and the generosity of their employees,” said Rauen, “Good health care affects families. If you have healthy parents, you have healthy children.”

While Capital has invested heavily in new technologies, ultimately, great health care is delivered by people. And Capital has some of the Northwest’s best — from professional nurses and technical staff to passionate, fellowship-trained physicians and specialists trained to treat most any condition.

Over the past five years, Capital has infused nearly $200 million in wages and investment into our region’s economy. Capital provides jobs for more than 550 employees who live in our neighborhoods, volunteer in our schools and make our community vibrant.

The hospital is celebrating their 30th anniversary with a variety of events during the year.

To learn more about Capital Medical Center, visit

Corks & Forks: A Premier Wine Tasting Event

Thurston Talk - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 6:00am



wine tasting event

Guests at the Red Lion Hotel Olympia’s Corks & Forks event enjoy live music and dancing out on the lawn.

Olympia’s Red Lion Hotel has become the destination for the summer’s premier food and wine event. Dubbed Corks & Forks, the event offers tastings from local wineries, food samplings, entertainment, and hilltop views overlooking Capitol Lake. Community members, hotel guests, wine enthusiasts and gourmands are all welcomed to attend.

“Corks & Forks started as a simple occasion for community members to come together to network and celebrate. The first event in May 2012 was so well attended with such positive feedback encouraging us to host more events that we decided to continue Corks & Forks twice a year, typically in early June and late summer. Everyone recognized that this was the beginning of something special. Our community members and guests clearly appreciated and enjoyed the venue to gather,” explains Jeff Bowe, Director of Sales at Red Lion Hotel Olympia.

The inaugural Corks & Forks hosted approximately fifty attendees. However, word spread throughout the community as an event for professional groups to network, friends to gather, and wine groups to meet. Last summer’s Corks & Forks hosted over 200 people who enjoyed heavy appetizers, local wines, and music on the outdoor lawn area, poolside as well as in the interior restaurant. As the event continues to grow, Bowe hopes to also be able to bring in local breweries and distilleries.

wine tasting event

Beautiful summer evenings in Olympia bring friends and community groups together to sip local wines and partake in scrumptious food.

Guest Kyla Cavanagh is enthused about the upcoming Corks & Forks event. “I always have such a wonderful time attending Red Lion’s food and wine events. Their chef expertly pairs a delicious menu to enhance the flavors of the wines available. Not only do you get a taste and learn about many different types of wine, you are also able to purchase your favorites at discounted prices,” she explains.

The next event will be held on Thursday, June 4 and is inspired by the upcoming 2015 U.S. Open Golf Championship located at Chambers Bay. The Grip It & Sip It themed festivities will include a chipping green and putt-putt golf in addition to the customary wine tasting, heavy appetizers, music and dancing. Bowe comments, “Having such a prominent professional golf championship hosted in our area is such a unique opportunity for our region. We want to celebrate this boon for our community.”

Stottle Winery and Madsen Family Cellars have been two of the local wineries featured at the Corks & Forks event since its inception. Both wineries will be present at the Grip It & Sip It event pouring their best samples. Full bottles of wine will also be available to purchase at special prices. In fact, the Red Lion Hotel Olympia has created a charitable giving program in which one dollar from every bottle of wine purchased goes to support a designated local non-profit.

wine tasting event

Stottle Winery and Madsen Family Cellars are two local wineries that have poured samples at the Corks & Forks event since its inception in 2012 at the Red Lion Hotel Olympia.

“My wife and I attended this event for the first time last year and we are hooked,” says Brian King. “The venue, food, wine and drinks were fantastic and Red Lion did an incredible job insuring our time was enjoyable and well spent. We will definitely be back and can’t wait to see what they have in store this year.”

As the Corks & Forks event has grown in community participation, Bowe saw it as an opportunity to develop partnerships and support local causes. Last May the Red Lion Hotel Olympia partnered with Operation Home Front Of Pacific Northwest and was able to donate $200 to the non-profit to help local service men and women who have been injured and are returning home. For the Grip It & Sip It event, the Red Lion Hotel Olympia has partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County. Now that attendance has grown and participants are aware of the charitable giving component, both organizations anticipate an increase of support going toward this non-profit.

wine tasting events

The Red Lion Hotel Olympia sits hilltop overlooking Olympia’s Capitol Lake.

Reservations are encouraged for the upcoming Grip It & Sip It event as well as future Corks & Forks occasions however tickets may also be purchased at the door. The event is open to the public. The cost is only $18 per person and includes the wine tasting from local wineries, food sampling, entertainment, music and dancing. Attendees can RSVP to Visit the Red Lion Hotel Olympia’s website or Facebook page for the most up to date information.

Corks & Forks Premie Wine Tasting Events

Red Lion Hotel Olympia

2300 Evergreen Park Drive SW

Olympia, WA 98502



Memorial Day 2015

Janine's Little Hollywood - Mon, 05/25/2015 - 10:45pm

By Janine

Above: U.S. Congressman Denny Heck (WA-10) cuddles 14 month old Rosie after she successfully ripped off his eyeglasses following today’s Memorial Day service in the Capitol Rotunda in Olympia. At right is Rosie’s mother, Tia Myers, Olympia, an Army veteran and newcomer to the South Sound area. Welcome Tia and Rosie!
 Above: Remembering the Fallen at the Washington State Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Capitol Campus.  

“We Don’t Win What We Don’t Fight For” Say Three City Council Candidates

Janine's Little Hollywood - Mon, 05/25/2015 - 9:53pm

Above: Olympia City Council Candidates Marco Rosaire Rossi, Ray Guerra, Rafael Ruiz and their campaign manager Rob Richards, far right, this morning in front of Olympia City Hall.By Janine
Three candidates for Olympia City Council held a rally this morning outside Olympia City Hall to highlight their campaigns and progressive issues. Although the candidates are united, and emphasize that they are not running against particular incumbents or individuals, Marco Rosaire Rossi, Raymond Guerra, and Rafael Ruiz are indeed running separate, active campaigns. “We don’t win for what we don’t fight for,” is their slogan. While all are articulate and educated, each has their own individual strengths, stories and perspectives.Above: Rossi listens to a potential supporter this morning. Port Commissioner candidate E.J. Zita, left, also attended this morning's rally.Marco Rosaire Rossi, 33, is in the race for Mayor, along with incumbent Cheryl Selby and candidate Prophet Atlantis. A medical assistant at Planned Parenthood, Rossi graduated in 2004 from The Evergreen State College, has earned two master’s degrees, and has lived in Olympia off and on for 15 years.  “I think Olympia is a good city, but good isn’t good enough – we want to make Olympia a great city!” Rossi said. He listed his priorities: create a day shelter, create a tenant Bill of Rights for both residents and small businesses, encourage up not out urban density and investment in urban planning, make the city budget process more inclusive and create new forms of government and participation. “We want you to be the city! We’re building a social movement – it’s about the issues! We’re going to make you a priority!” he exclaimed.Ray Guerra, 38, is running for Position 2, along with candidates Judy Bardin and Jessica Bateman. Guerra said he grew up in Florida in severe poverty. His single mother regularly worked two service level jobs, and died at the age of 38 of high blood pressure brought on by stress. A bartender at Fish Brewing Company, Guerra has lived in Olympia for 15 years, and is a homeowner in the Carlyon neighborhood area. His goal if elected is to raise the standard of living for Olympians, noting that service sector jobs have replaced manufacturing jobs. “We want to promote local businesses that support their workers….Our city council can do more than reactively respond to local issues...we can be innovative, creative, and exceptional in our policy and our budgeting. Many of our citizens live in the harsh realities imposed by systemic poverty. We can and should address the challenges impacting the poor! People like to fear monger about a $15 minimum wage, but I like to think about the possibilities of what this new wage will achieve! If the three of us are elected, and we have one more progressive vote on the council, we can get a lot of shit done!” exclaimed Guerra.
Above: Olympia City Council Candidate Rafael RuizRafael Ruiz, 32, is running for Position 3, along with incumbent Nathaniel Jones. He has lived in Olympia for 10 years and works at the Olympia Food Coop. He is a former volunteer for the Emma Goldman Youth and Homeless Outreach Project (EGYHOP) that provides emergency supplies, services, and resources to the homeless and low-income populations living on the streets. Through that experience, he said he learned how to listen. A single parent of two children, Ruiz grew up in Southern California, and told the crowd personal stories of how he did not feel safe. For Ruiz, this also means feeling the lack of food security. He now has a refrigerator full of food, but he has difficult childhood memories of opening the refrigerator and having it reveal only tortillas, milk, eggs, and beans.He stressed that if elected, he will have the opportunity to fight for paid sick leave for low wage workers, policies that guarantee shelter, fight for people who rent, police accountability, and create disciplinary policies that reform, such as transformative justice models.“Safety is really my priority,” said Ruiz.“Trabajo duro para que mis niños tengan la comida más sana, y Mexicana.Trabajo duro para pagar la renta y las cuentas. En cada elección nunca veo candidata/os trabajadores. Yo soy tu candidato en solidaridad con todos trabajadores. Voy luchar para subir el salario mínimo por hora hasta $15. Voy luchar para mejorar los derechos en la ley para todos arrendataria/os en Olympia. Voy luchar para mejorar la vida para los pobres y sin casa propia. Voy luchar para establecer y facilitar la democracia directa. Vota Rafael Ruiz para un futuro brillante en Olympia. Rafa trabaja para ustedes!” dicho Ruiz.“I work hard so that my kids can eat healthy and pass down my Mexican culture. I work hard to pay my bills and rent. In every election I hardly ever see working class candidates. I am your working class candidate in solidarity with all workers. I will fight for a $15 minimum wage. I will fight for tenants’ rights. I will fight against poverty and homelessness in Olympia. I will fight to establish direct and participatory democracy in Olympia. Vote Rafael Ruiz for a brighter future in Olympia. Rafa will work for you!” says Ruiz.Rob Richards Finds A New VoiceThe candidates’ campaign manager is Rob Richards, who spearheaded the Downtown Ambassador Program through the Capital Recovery Center for the past three years. Richards says he was asked by many to run for city council, and he thought about it, but had to admit to himself that three solid years at the Ambassador Program, and three years serving on the city Planning Commission, working on the Shoreline Master Plan and the Comprehensive Plan burnt him out on process issues. Richards was abruptly let go recently from his position with the program but is proud of his accomplishments and is only looking forward. Richards said he has created his own closure. “I feel passionate about our community….It took baby steps to make the welcome center what it is now and it looks fantastic. Partnerships were formed with the business community, the Olympia Downtown Association, the Parking and Business Improvement Area, and the community. Although we’re not quite ready for a drop-in center, we’ve now created a model that works. This is just the beginning for a larger three to five year vision,” he said. When asked by Rossi and Guerra to run their campaigns, he jumped at the opportunity. “If creating a platform of progressive issues will engage and inspire more candidates who don’t have access to the process, then that’s great. We want to create a real voter’s guide, scorecards, and develop campaign services and do voter outreach and education,” said Richards. Richards is looking for supporters for sign waving, house parties, and donations for yard signs. Richards and the candidates can be reached at For the candidates, Richards can be reached at (360) 292-0565.An opportunity to meet many candidates for city council and the Port of Olympia is scheduled for Wednesday, June 3, 7:00 p.m., at Garfield Elementary School. The event is co-sponsored by the Northwest Neighborhood Association and the Southwest Neighborhood Association. According to Northwest Neighborhood Association president Rip Hemingway, all but one have agreed to participate. For information about local individual campaigns, go to the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission at
Above: Liz Atkins Pattenson and Madeline Weltchek support a $15 minimum wage in Olympia.  

Gyasi Ross “Winona LaDuke”

K Records - Mon, 05/25/2015 - 12:55pm
A stunning visual to accompany Gyasi Ross and his homage to “Winona LaDuke”, from his album Isskootsik (Before Here Was Here) [KLP257]. “Teach me.” The Gyasi Ross album Isskootsik (Before Here Was Here) [KLp257] is available now from the K Mail Order Dept.  
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Just some blog links. No theme here folks (Olyblogosphere for May 25, 2015)

Olympia Time - Mon, 05/25/2015 - 5:55am
1. The West Side pollinator pub crawl is a lot less exciting than it should be. But, if you're into that sort of thing, I mean, it seems like it would be okay.

2. Janine points out that sometimes people straight up buy time on local websites. And, as a reminder, I write (and get paid to write) for said website. They're nice people.

3. Is it really a local election without Prophet, right?

4. Elaine went back to the land of her birth and came away realizing how much of a Cascadian she has become.
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