Recent local blog posts

Annual Tournament Raises $36,000 for JBLM Charities

Thurston Talk - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 10:18pm



Submitted by America’s Credit Union

turkey shoot ACU - JBLM

62nd Airlift wing Command Chief, Chief Master Sargent Drake, Ken Leonard ACU CEO/President, Mary Cron Armed Forces Community Service, David Soma PhD. Madigan Foundation, Lisa Bennett Santa’s Castle President, LT Col. Deborah Dusek 627th Airbase group Deputy Commander, 627th Air Base Group Superintendent, chief Master Sergeant Kristen Orcutt, Amy Tiemeyer ACU’s Military Relations Liaison.

America’s Credit Union (ACU), held its 14th annual Turkey Shoot, a golf tournament to support three local charities on JBLM, at Eagles Pride Golf Course.  Many local businesses and over 170 golfers participated to help raise money for Santa’s Castle, the Food Basket Program and the Madigan Foundation.

The history of the tournament has evolved throughout the years. It was originally created to help the founder of Santa’s Castle get her program off the ground. Then it was expanded to help make sure our JBLM military families have enough food for the holidays by supporting the Food Basket Program. The final piece was to help pay for military families’ medical costs, not covered through insurance, by donating to the Madigan Foundation. Because of the generous donations from the sponsors and the success of the Turkey Shoot golf tournament we were able to raise a record $36,000 to donate to all three charities.

ACU wishes to thank the following sponsors for their support of this tournament: our presenting sponsor Northwest Motorsport, Toyota of Olympia, Tacoma Dodge, Tacoma Nissan, and Fiat of Tacoma for being our Big Turkey Sponsors. We would also like to thank Sunset Chevrolet & Hawks Prairie Rotary for being our Banquet Sponsors; the Nacho Bar was very much appreciated. Our Trophy sponsor was Tags Trophies and Awards. Our Little Turkey Sponsors were; BMW-NW, Print NW, Tactical Tailor, The Fort Lewis Ranger and Airlifter, and Cascade Print Media. Hole Sponsors were Car Pros, Proforma Strategic Advantage LLC, The Madigan Foundation,  Omni Financial, Cook Security Group, Albers & Company, US Family Health Plan, Sound Credit Union, Designer Decal, CUNA Mutual, Allied Solutions, Geico, West Coast Publishing,  AUSA Captain Meriwether-Lewis chapter, the Puyallup Subchapter of CML Chapter of AUSA, USO NW, Costco, CU Direct, INSI, Raddon Financial Group, The Cart Sponsors were Evergreen Home Loans, ACU Financial Services, Boom Creative, Clear Channel Outdoor, and Lakewood Ford. This year, all the military that played were sponsored by businesses including Immedia, Access Softek, Arrow Cleaning, Clear Channel Outdoor, Edward Jones, The Defense CU Coalition, USO NW, the Madigan Foundation, and Evergreen Home Loans. We’d like to thank Walmart Lakewood Store for donating 20 turkeys, Costco for bringing hand warmers and Dimitri’s Gourmet Mixes for continuing to make the event one that helps our golfers brave the elements in the spirit of charity.

Kenneth S. Leonard, President/CEO of ACU, shared with everyone the meager beginnings of the tournament and the commitment he has to our military. Ken is quoted as saying, “it’s a passion to grow this event each year in support of our military and all they do on a daily basis.”  Ken and all the sponsors are honored to contribute to the morale and welfare of our military and their families.

Thurston County Association of REALTORS® Installs New Board

Thurston Talk - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 10:12pm



Submitted by Thurston County Association of Realtors®

olympia real estate agent

Diane and Jeff Pust

The Thurston County Association of REALTORS® installed the 2015 Officers and Directors during recent ceremonies at the Indian Summer Golf and Country Club in Olympia, Washington.  The local association of 550 REALTOR® members provides professional real estate services to buyers and sellers primarily in the Thurston County area and are always working to protect property rights and our quality of life in Washington State.

The incoming Officers are:  President-Diane Pust, Van Dorm Realty; President-Elect-Jerry Wilkins, Van Dorm Realty; Secretary-Rae Anne Toth, Keller Williams Realty; Treasurer-Bobby Kelly, Sound Advantage Realty; Treasurer-Elect-Necia Leach, Thurston County Title; Past President-Randy Reynolds, Weichert Reynolds Real Estate.

The incoming Directors are: Polly Barber, Prudential Olympia Realtors; Tammy Adams, Virgil Adams Real Estate; Katy Crofts, Keller Williams Realty; Kevin Gordham, Keller Williams Realty; Stacie Jarvela, First American Title Insurance Co.; Catherine Johnson, Chicago Title Insurance Co.; Amanda Heitz, Greene Realty Group; Quint Newell, Greene Realty Group; and Dennis Adams, Virgil Adams Real Estate.

Incoming President Diane Pust said she looks forward to working with the association leaders and members, “to ensure our future success through increased political advocacy, dynamic member services and professional development as well as grass roots member involvement on the local community level.”


Timberland Reads & Writes Together in 2015

Thurston Talk - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 10:08pm



Submitted by Timberland Regional Library

olympia library history

Olympia’s Carnegie Library, as seen in this historic postcard, was the pride of the community when it opened in 1914. Courtesy Private Collection.

Celebrating and supporting creative talent in Southwest Washington

The selected book for next October’s Timberland Reads Together (TRT) program doesn’t yet exist. It will be written and designed locally, between January 1 and March 31, 2015 by talented residents in the five county region served by the Timberland Regional Library (TRL). It will become the Timberland Writes Together Anthology.

In the old days, public libraries had one simple mission: to collect, care for (curate) and make freely available to all citizens as many printed books and documents as possible. Hundreds of years later, libraries still collect and curate, but in addition, they have become powerful creative forces, inspiring and supporting new artistic, intellectual and cultural expression.

In this spirit, the selected writers and cover artist will not only be guaranteed an audience during the month-long community reading program, they will be paid at fair market rate for their work.

Local writers and artists may submit short fiction and cover art beginning January 1, 2015. Details are available at under the “Program” heading

Stories should be between 2,000-8,000 words in length and should reflect a sense of optimism. They may be of any genre, set in the past, present, or future, and may contain dark elements, but in the main, should inspire a sense of hope.

All programs at Timberland libraries are free and open to the public.



Stalnik Strikes With 12 Seconds Left to Lift Oly Town Artesians to Incredible Comeback Victory

Thurston Talk - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 10:00pm



Submitted by Oly Town Artesians

GAME RECAP: Oly Town Artesians 7, Arlington Aviators 6

oly town fcThe Oly Town Artesians scored three goals over less than two minutes in the fourth quarter and Matt Stalnik’s strike with 12.5 seconds left broke a 6-6 tie and handed the Artesians a 7-6 win over the Arlington Aviators in Western Indoor Soccer League action on Saturday night. Wille Spurr and Greg Wolfe each scored twice and the Artesians moved into sole possession of second place in the WISL with the win.

The night got off to a rip-roaring start for the Artesians when Greg Wolfe struck on the first possession just 15 seconds into the game off an assist from Matt Stalnik. Aaron Burns tied the game up seven minutes later and the Aviators took the lead on a Russ Brown power play goal with 2:15 left in the first quarter. Oly’s Willie Spurr went into the air and found the back of the net on a fantastic goal with 30 second left and the first 15 minutes ended with the two teams tied 2-2.

Winfred Smith drew first blood in the second quarter to put the Aviators up 3-2 at the 13:30 mark. The lead wouldn’t last long as Martin Ramirez scored 90 seconds later to pull the Artesians even at 4-4. But the blue cards mounted for the Artesians and the Aviators scored their second power play goal of the game when Miguel Fajardo found the back of the net and the half ended with Arlington on top, 4-3.

The two teams went scoreless in the third but erupted four six goals in the final period. The Aviators struck first when Burns streaked past the Artesians defense and beat keeper Mauricio Sanchez one-on-one to give Arlington a 5-3 lead. They looked perfectly in control dominating possession and limiting Artesians shots through the first 10 minutes of the fourth quarter.

Then the Artesians woke up. Spurr got Oly to within a goal, 5-4, at the 4:48 mark. Less than a minute later, Nate Salveson unleashed a howler that beat Aviators keeper Eric Cruz to tie the game 5-5. Following a turnover on the restart after Salveson’s goal, Wolfe scored his second of the game just ten second later to give Oly the 6-5 lead.

With 3:10 left, the Aviators were shown a blue card to put the Artesians on the power play for two minutes and it looked like Oly would coast to the finish line. But Brown found the side of the net with 1:30 left to play and it looked like the Oly Town comeback would fall just short of the W.

But with 12.5 seconds left, Stalnik placed himself on the back post and when a shot across the box found him in the perfect position to drill one home and give the Artesians a 7-6 lead. Stalnik, for is effort, was slammed into the boards by the Aviators’ Andrew Escalante on a late and reckless challenge and suffered a nasty looking injury to his knee. The extent of the injury will not be known for a couple of days.

After a lengthy delay for the injury, Escalante was shown a red card for his challenge and a blue card was issued to the Artesians’ Ramirez for arguing, the Aviators had one last shot but Sanchez made another save and the Artesians were able to run out the clock on a 7-6 comeback win over the Aviators.

With the win, the Artesians picked up three more points and sit alone in second place behind the Tacoma Stars. Oly leapfrogged Wenatchee, who fell to Tacoma 12-6 on their home field, and Bellingham, who were idle on Saturday night. Oly travels to Whatcom County next week to take on Bellingham United at 7:30 PM.

The Oly Town Artesians return to Olympia Indoor Soccer after the Holidays and will get a rematch with Bellingham on January 3rd. First kick is scheduled for 6:00 PM and advance tickets are available at

Northern Closure

Northern - Olympia All Ages Project - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 7:59pm

Northern will be closing its doors at the current Legion Way location and reopening in late January or February as part of the Midnight Sun. Stay tuned for more news! And remember, Northern loves you.


Categories: Arts & Entertainment

The Mountain Yesterday

OlyBlog Home Page - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 3:20pm


Mountain logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Images of the Centralia Steam Plant

OlyBlog Home Page - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 3:18pm

Last Friday, after a shift on the job in the area, I visited the Centralia Steam Plant. I watched for nearly a couple hours in the evening light as dusk and then darkness fell. Here's some timelapse video footage and a still shot of the scene.

By the Centralia Steam Plant logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Healthy Relationships 101

OlyBlog Home Page - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 2:31pm
Event:  Tue, 01/13/2015 - 5:30pm - 7:00pm

Couples therapy at the Tumwater Timberland Library!  Couples can get stuck in seeing their relationship through their frustrations and then reacting with blame and criticism. Therapist Betsy Bergquist MA, LMHC, and her husband of 57 years, Bruce Bergquist, will focus on the importance of changing your perspective from negative to positive and building your relationship on appreciation, gratitude, fun, and mutual admiration. Change the lens through which you see your partner, others and yourself! logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Genealogy Jump Start

OlyBlog Home Page - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 2:30pm
Event:  Wed, 01/07/2015 - 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Find out who you really are at the Tumwater Timberland Library! Gail Park, librarian and avid genealogist, will help you start your family search, find answers to who-what-when-where, and organize your findings. The information is out there, and she’ll show you how to find the answers to your family history questions. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Sub Pop U.S.A. at the Olympia Library!

K Records - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 2:10pm
On Dec. 18 the Olympia Timberland Library will be hosting a celebration at their downtown branch (313 8th Ave. SE) for Sub Pop U.S.A. The Subterranean Pop Music Anthology 1980-1988. Author Bruce Pavitt and contributor Calvin Johnson will be in attendance and give a brief talk about the book. Calvin, under his nom de plume […]
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

December Razor Clam Update

Thurston Talk - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 1:28pm



Submitted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

The second December 2014 recreational razor clam opener is proceeding as planned. The marine toxin tests have been completed and the Washington Department of Health has found razor clam digrazor clams are safe for human consumption. The following are the dates and locations of this razor clam harvest opportunity. Note that digging is only allowed on PM tides:

  • Dec. 19, Friday; 4:41 p.m., 0.0 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 20, Saturday, 5:23 p.m., -0.6 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • Dec. 21, Sunday, 6:06 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 22, Monday, 6:48 p.m., -1.3 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Dec. 23, Tuesday, 7:31 p.m., -1.3 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors

Please be aware that every beach is not open every day. Having the flexibility to offer variable beach openers allows us to provide more harvest opportunity.

Note that during this period, the Kalaloch beach will not be open and the Copalis management beach will only be open one day. The Copalis management beach includes: Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and the Copalis areas.  If you want to know more about how we set openers, please check out our 2014 Razor Clam Management Update here.

A description of each beach and a map can be found here.

For more details, see our news release at the following web link.

NEW! : If have ever wondered how to dig razor clams with your kids, check out the video here.


Olympia Native Wins Book Awards for Guide to Successful Marriage

Thurston Talk - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 1:25pm



Submitted by Ramona Zabriskie

Olympia native Ramona Zabriskie and her husband Dale on stage at the 2014 Reader’s Favorite International Book Awards, receiving the silver medal from CEO, Debra Gaynor.

Olympia native Ramona Zabriskie and her husband Dale on stage at the 2014 Reader’s Favorite International Book Awards, receiving the silver medal from CEO, Debra Gaynor.

Pacific Northwest author and Olympia native, Ramona Zabriskie, has won a silver medal in the Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards and has been named a finalist in the USA Best Books Awards for her work, Wife for Life: The Power to Succeed in Marriage. She received the Reader’s Favorite medal in Miami, Florida on November 22 at the Miami International Book Fair.

Author Zabriskie was thrilled when she found out that her book had been recognized by two different competitions. “To be appreciated by readers in the Reader’s Favorite International contest, and then also by publishing professionals in the USA Best Books Awards affirms both my content and approach,” she said. “After years of research and writing, that means a lot to me.”

When asked what makes Wife for Life a stand-out in the Self-Help: Relationships category, Zabriskie said that she is not your typical relationship-expert; her know-how comes from 37 years of real-life experience, including surviving a near-divorce in her early marriage. Based on her subsequent experience, study, and professional mentoring, Zabriskie believes that couples do not have to settle for a “good” or even a “great” marriage. She advocates what she calls “grand” marriage: a legacy-type union between a visionary husband and wife.

Though Zabriskie and her husband, Dale, are now residents of Ridgefield, just north of Vancouver, Washington, the author grew up in Thurston County and graduated from Olympia High School. Her ancestors were city pioneers, and her parents, Ray and Sharon Messegee, who have been married for over 50 years, still live in the Olympia home built by Zabriske’s great-grandfather.

In addition to her book, the author offers personal mentoring, as well as webinars and classes through her online educational arm: Wife for Life University. For more information go to


United Ways from Washington and Oregon Form Regional Organization

Thurston Talk - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 1:12pm



Submitted by United Way of Thurston County

united way lewis

United Way is a vital part of the support network for the community.

United Way Associations in Washington and Oregon are joining together to have a stronger impact on education, income and health outcomes in the Pacific Northwest.

Thirty-nine United Ways in the multi-state region, including United Way of Thurston County agreed to form United Ways of the Pacific Northwest last month and will participate in this enhanced regional trade association. Each local United Way is fully independent and focused on their local community. By coming together in this larger regional strategic collaboration, they will be able to do more for their local communities as well as have a wider impact regionally.  United Ways of the Pacific Northwest supports training and skill development for local United Way staff and boards, advocates for state level public policy and systems change and supports initiatives to grow the value and outcomes of United Ways across the region.

“We’re excited about the possibilities moving forward,” said Executive Director of United Way of Thurston County, Paul Knox. “By working together, we will be able to do more for our communities,” he added. Knox was the Chair of United Ways of Washington in 2014 and will continue to serve on the executive committee of the newly formed organization.

The current president and CEO of United Ways of Washington, Jim Cooper, will play the same role for the new, expanded organization.

“At the end of the day, collaborating throughout the region will help us bring in additional resources and make it possible to have a larger impact on the communities we serve,” said Cooper.

The new organization includes 23 members from United Ways of Washington and 16 from the Association of United Ways in Oregon. Two longtime members of United Ways of Washington are headquartered in Idaho.

The full slate of officers for United Ways of the Pacific Northwest include:

Chair: Dennis Smith (President and CEO of United Way of Snohomish County)

Vice Chair: Keith Thomajan (President and CEO of United Way of the Columbia-Willamette)

Treasurer: Peter Theisen (President and CEO of United Way of Whatcom County)

Secretary: Debra Lancaster (Executive Director, United Way of Skagit County)

Past Chair: Paul Knox (Executive Director, United Way of Thurston County)


The new organization can be found online , on Facebook  and on Twitter @UWPNW.


Community Toy and Fund Drive Helps Brighten Holidays

Thurston Talk - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 1:05pm



Submitted by Mixx 96.1

Whatever the weather, and sometimes its frightful, every year around the holidays the staff of Mixx 96.1 KXXO and a crew of intrepid volunteers spend a day out on the street collecting toys and cash for families in need of extra assistance.

Broadcasting live from outside their studios at the corner of State and Washington streets in downtown Olympia, Mixx 96.1 FM is holding their “Wrapping up the Holidays” Toy & Fund Drive Friday, December 19.

The station is stressing cash donations this year as O Bee Credit Union will match the first $2,500 received and have an online donation site. The drive takes on more urgency with cuts to social programs and families having trouble meeting their basic needs. “While our neighbors are struggling,” said Mixx 96.1 program director John Foster, “we want to make sure their kids have Christmas.”

Recipient groups include the Holiday Connection (a consortium of area non-profits) and Barb’s Family & Friends. Mixx 96.1 handles all of the administrative costs so that every dollar goes directly to gifts for the families served.

Mixx 96.1 Station Manager Toni C. Holm said, “We’re always amazed and humbled by the incredible generosity of our community. It is an honor to be associated with such a caring group.”

Additional details on the drive and its recipients may be found at

Christmas Forest Raises $630,000, Captures Imagination of the Community

Thurston Talk - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 1:01pm



Submitted by Providence St. Peter Foundation

christmas forest

Attendees at the Gala pledge support for fund-a-need expanding palliative care. Photo courtesy Providence St. Peter Foundation

Providence St. Peter Foundation announced today that the 27th annual Christmas Forest raised $630,000, matching last year’s all-time high for funds raised. The event, sponsored by Titus Will, benefits the mission of Providence to provide health care to all, with special concern for the poor and vulnerable.

“We live in an amazingly generous community,” says Mick Phillips, a Providence St. Peter Foundation board member and local attorney who co-chaired Christmas Forest this year. “From the volunteers who spend countless hours planning and decorating, to donors who challenge us to turn a vision into reality, we all work toward a common goal. And that is to provide excellent and compassionate care for those in need.”

More than $250,000 was raised to create an outpatient palliative care clinic, the focus of this year’s fund-a-need. “The goal of palliative care is to come to the patient and help them live the best life possible, for as long as possible,” said Providence Palliative Care Medical Director Dr. Gregg VandeKieft. “Our team is trained to help relieve pain and suffering caused by serious illnesses, so the patient may live the fullest life they can.”

christmas forest

Raffle tree winner, Juanita Sharbaugh, with daughters Sue (left), and Sally (right). Photo courtesy Providence St. Peter Foundation

Olympia resident Becky Brewer was an early supporter of expanding palliative care to the outpatient setting. Her husband, Ron Sundberg, was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, and received palliative care while an inpatient at Providence St. Peter Hospital, before his death in 2013. Becky shared their story in a video for the gala, and says, “Ron would be so happy to know that it will be easier for other people to be more comfortable while facing the challenges that serious illnesses bring to their lives.”

This year’s raffle, sponsored by McKinney’s Appliance, held special significance for one family. A week before visiting Christmas Forest, 93-year-old Juanita Sharbaugh was hospitalized to monitor a spike in her blood pressure. Her daughter, Olympia resident Sally Sharbaugh says, during that time, “We had to miss a family holiday event, so Christmas Forest was our first family event we did afterward being released from the hospital, and we were trying to make a really positive experience for mom.” Sally purchased raffle tickets to support the Providence mission, and won the raffle tree, A Sweet Old Fashioned Christmas, designed by JoAnn Green and Lois Miles.

Sally says, “My mom raised five kids, so a classic World War II tree was the perfect tree for my mom, and captures all the memories we have growing up.” The tree will be the centerpiece of the family Christmas this year, the first year that the family will celebrate at Juanita’s house after her husband’s passing just a few years ago.

During the five-day event, thousands of visitors came to see the trees and wreaths that were decorated by dedicated volunteers. During public viewing, 20 different artistic groups from the community delighted attendees including Alleluia! Handbell Ensemble, Olympia Youth Chorus, and many local piano students. Stacey Genzlinger, Foundation events manager, estimates 300 volunteers participated, contributing more than 10,000 hours of their time to create this year’s Christmas Forest.

Providence St. Peter Foundation develops and provides philanthropic resources that help assure that compassionate and quality health care is available to the communities we serve, with special concern for the poor and vulnerable. In the last three years, the foundation has distributed more than $4.3 million to local Providence ministries including St. Peter Hospital, SoundHomeCare and Hospice and Mother Joseph Care Center. Learn more at


Imaginative Theater Education Programs All Winter Long at Olympia Family Theater

Thurston Talk - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 1:00pm



Submitted by Olympia Family Theater 

olympia family theater

During Spring Break, campers rehearse and perform an entire play at Olympia Family Theater.
Photo credit: Mandy Ryle

Olympia Family Theater is your community partner in raising imaginative, loving, joyful and confident children. Our educational programs provide opportunities for personal development for young people, teaching creativity and responsibility, encouraging teamwork and personal integrity, and fostering self-esteem and appreciation for the performing arts.

Our education programs are divided into camps (mostly 1 week long, during school breaks) and workshops (typically 4 weeks long, throughout the year). Below is our offerings for Winter 2014-15.

Winter Wonderland Musical Theater Camp (Ages: 7-13)

SESSION 1: Dec 22 / Dec 23 / Dec 26    9am-3pm

SESSION 2: Dec 29 / Dec 30 / Jan 2    9am-3pm

Description: These will be adventurous days of fast-paced musical theater fun. Kids will experience acting, singing, dancing/movement, scene study, and improvisation in the morning and will rehearse each afternoon as they prepare to perform selections from Broadway musicals arranged specifically for kids! Selections may include pieces from Frozen, Into the Woods, Bye Bye Birdie, Once on this Island, AND MORE!

Workshop Teacher: Vanessa Postil

Schedule: 3 days each week (Monday/Tuesday/Friday) 9am-3pm

Cost: $110/session



From Page To Stage (Ages: 10-16)

SESSION: January 5 – 25

Description: Using favorite children’s books, poems and literature, we’ll write, direct, cast, act, costume, build props and design a play! After performing on the OFT mainstage, we’ll take our show on the road and perform for local children and their families.  We’re going to do it all in 3 weeks!Olympia family theater new home

Workshop Teacher: Kate Ayers

Public Performances: January 23, 24 and 25

Schedule:  January 5 – 25, 4-6pm (M-F)

Cost: $190 (sliding scale available)



A Monster Tale (Ages: 7 – 13)

SESSION: February 2 – March 1

Description: Ack! There’s something in the closet!  Eeek!  Something’s under the bed!  Maybe it’s a monster… Ack?  Somethings peeking out of the closet!  Eeek!  Something’s up above our heads!  Maybe it’s a person…  Is something…In there?  Under there?  Out there?  Up there?

Come find out in “A Monster Tale”, an Original Production written by Kate Ayers.  This 4  week workshop is designed for kids to have fun and gain performing arts skills and experience while rehearsing a play.

Workshop Teacher: Kate Ayers

Schedule:  February 2 – March 1, 4-6pm (M-F)

Public Performances: February 27, 28 and March 1

Cost: $250 (Sliding Scale Available)


Registration for all of our programs is available on our website. Registration forms are available on our website for those that prefer to pay by check. We offer sliding scale tuition for our after school workshops.  Sliding scale is applied during online registration. We offer scholarships for our break camps. Applications are available on the camp registration page and must be received 1 month before the camp begins.


Reading Magic

OlyBlog Home Page - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 10:47am
Event:  Wed, 12/31/2014 - 2:00pm - 2:45pm

Come to the Tumwater Timberland Library for a magic show!  Renowned magician Jeff Evans' show demonstrates the fun things that happen when you explore the magic of reading. Recommended for ages 5 and up. logo Twitter logo Google Plus One Facebook Like

Today’s Featured artist

South Sound Arts - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 9:24am

Becky Frehse Becky Frehse in her studio
Becky Frehse has been a fixture on the Tacoma art scene for as long as I’ve been writing about that scene, and even longer. I first became aware of her in relation with work she did in collaboration with the late Louise Williams, some delicate, sensitive and loving drawings of children, if my fading memory serves me right."Scherzo for Goldfish and Violin 22x12 acrylic on woodOver the years she has created art in so many different styles or themes that I tend to think of her as the Gerhard Richter of Washington. I remember a piece in a group show at Tacoma Art Museum that somewhat like a doll house diorama combined with a box of goodies a la Joseph Cornell. And it seems like she’s been in just about every group show at Tacoma Community College with paintings and assemblages and even once a series of documentary photographs of a man refining salt in Sichuan Province, China. Visits to China have played a large role in her art. So has music, which seems to be the strongest theme in her more recent work."Ellensburg Nocturne" 2014 36x42 oil and acrylic on canvasAbout three years ago she had a show called Reconfigured - a Collaboration in what was called Gallery 301, the space next door to the old Mineral Gallery. This show, a collaboration with sculptor Jane Kelsey-Mapel was filled with sculptures of cowboys and circus performers, and featured a large assemblage by Frehse called "Seeking Center" with flying birds suspended from the ceiling and a strange doll in the center of an equally strange landscape.Most recently I visited her studio during Tacoma’s November artists’ studio tours, and I was deeply impressed with a few large paintings with assemblage or collage elements (whichever label best describes these works may be up to the viewer; I prefer to think of them as paintings with objects embedded or stuck on). These paintings are shimmering, heavily textured and quite beautiful. They make me want to reach in and feel everything with my hands. The paint application is like rich icing on a cake and the connected objects are like encrusted jewels.Music is a strong theme in much of her more recent work, and the work itself is musical in the sense of objects dancing rhythmically across the surface and playing with color harmonics. Frehse says of her recent work, “Work continues with musical ideas; mostly thinking of the composition as a musical score to be ‘read’ in some way. I'm especially engaged in the vigorous reticulation of the painting's surface with lots of modeling paste texture, etc. And then, of course color relationships as the ‘score’ moves from movement to movement. Sometimes I embed or add actual musical instrument parts—especially for installations like Music Box that I did for the Woolworth Windows this year.”She will have three pieces in the TCC show called "Found Photos" in January. 
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Ruby Fray “Barbara”

K Records - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 7:27am
A tale from the cryptic Emily Beanblossom and her Delphian combo Ruby Fray. “Barbara” is from their splendid Grackle [KLP251] album, recorded at Dub Narcotoc Studio.  
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

John Rambo, John Tornow and Appalachians in Cascadia

Olympia Time - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 5:53am

The very first Rambo movie (First Blood) is set in Washington State, in a fake town called Hope. Filmed in the actual Hope, British Columbia, the setting is descended from a fictional town in Kentucky in the original First Blood book, which in turn is based on a Pennsylvania town.

Both the fictional Kentucky town and actual Pennsylvania town are deep in Appalachia. Which, given the deep Appalachian roots in rural western Washington, Hope fits.

It also fits in the parallel I draw between the Rambo character and John Tornow. There is so much written about Tornow (some very recently), I've always wondered what the fascination was. Tornow, at least on the surface, doesn't reveal any greater truth. Unbalanced man either murders or is accused of murder. People chase him down, a few deaths later, he gets killed.

But, if you look at Tornow through the lens of Rambo, you see something deeper. It lets you look back on the society that is turning its violence onto these men. For Rambo, he's a recently returned Vietnam veteran targeted as a vagrant by an evil small town cop.

I've heard enough from small town cops to know that giving a vagrant a ride to the county line or a bus ticket out of town is at least within the realm of reality. And, Tornow shows us that a massive manhunt against Rambo was also in the realm of reality.

For the Appalachians in Grays Harbor in the early 1900s, for the Appalachians at every step in First Blood, the wild men are too far gone from society to live. They murdered, they are outside the bounds of even the libertarian Appalachian societal rules. Every man has liberty, but there is only so much liberty.

Both Tornow and Rambo are also both experts. Rambo is a highly trained commando, the cops that come after him are hopeless against his killing skills. He seeks to come back into society, but he falls back onto his training and the war.

Tornow was an actual outdoorsman, more at home (according to biographers) than in a town or among society. He was able to live off the land while being hunted for over a year and a half, feeding himself with what he had around him in the deep woods.

And, that is what I think is the larger truth about Tornow. If the Scots-Irish, the genetic base of the Appalachian DNA had finally run out of new territory to conquer in Cascadia (also explored in Sometimes a Great Notion), then they were almost ready to run down the last Wilderness. Tornow was a representative of that wilderness.

Sure, Appalachians are much more libertarian, every-man-for-himself than other sorts of North American society. Rules don't necessarily work for them, but they are also the shock troops of a larger society against the wilderness, or agains the native inhabitants.

So, in dramatic stories about Appalachian outcasts, John Tornow and John Rambo must be hunted down.
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