Submitted by City of Olympia
In the early morning hours of April 20, the Olympia Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 911 4th Avenue East. Once the fire was extinguished and the area fenced off by building officials, this matter was turned over to the City of Olympia Police Department for follow-up investigation.
This particular building was an abandoned structure with a history of transient camping and activity. At the request of the Olympia Police Department, Search and Rescue K9 teams from Pierce County were called to the scene to search for any other signs of potential human victims. Those K9 teams found signs that suggest there is a probability of human scent present at this site.
At this time, this fire site remains under law enforcement protection for further investigations and on-going excavation. The site is contaminated with very large amounts of debris and hazardous conditions and will take specialized contractors to remove the debris.
The Olympia Police Department is working with the City Public Works Division to begin excavation of this site.
Olympia Detectives are requesting anyone with information on any occupants that may have been present in the building at the time of the fire to contact Detective Bryan Houser at 360-753-8413 or Sgt. Sam Costello at 360-753-8205.
To read more about the April 20 fire, click here.
Submitted by the Tumwater School District
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program has named Tumwater Hill Elementary as a Mix It Up Model School for its exemplary efforts to foster respect and understanding among its students and throughout its campus during the 2014-15 school year.
Tumwater Hill Elementary is among 104 schools to receive the honor.
“We are delighted to recognize Tumwater Hill Elementary,” said Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello. “Mix It Up Model Schools have found innovative ways to create school environments where respect and inclusiveness are core values. They all serve as great examples of how a school—any school—can cultivate these values among their students, faculty and staff.”
The Teaching Tolerance program has hosted Mix It Up at Lunch Day for the past 14 years to help students demonstrate the importance of respecting each other’s differences. This year’s event will be held on October 27. Schools are encouraged to register online here.
Mix It Up at Lunch Day is a simple call to action. By asking students to move out of their comfort zones and connect with someone new over lunch, the event encourages students to identify, question and cross social boundaries. Many schools plan activities for the entire day, and some use the event to kick off yearlong explorations of social divisions.
The Mix It Up Model Schools met five criteria: They each hosted a Mix it Up at Lunch Day during the 2014-15 school year; they included different members of the school’s community—cafeteria staff, aides, administrators, teachers and students—in organizing the event; they followed up with at least two additional Mix It Up-related programs or events on campus; they publicized Mix It Up at Lunch Day or celebrated inclusiveness with posters, announcements and other media; and their event was seen by students and school officials as a success.The Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Montgomery, Ala., is a nonprofit civil rights organization that combats bigotry and discrimination through litigation, education and advocacy. For more information, see www.splcenter.org
Submitted by Thurston County
Green is springing up all over this season, including in your wallet! Spring cleaning can make you a tidy sum at the Thurston County Fair’s annual Secondhand Safari on Saturday, May 2.
It’s not too late to reserve a booth and help keep usable secondhand goods out of the landfill. Buyers, sellers, swappers and traders can all feel good about making the green choice while keeping more greenbacks in their pocket at Secondhand Safari.
Not sure if you have enough gently used treasures for a booth? Secondhand Safari is a great fundraising opportunity for your family group, school club, church, charity or scouting club.
Outdoor spaces and covered spaces are going fast for the May 2 event, so call the Thurston County Fair Office today at (360) 786-5453 to reserve your booth:
Saturday, May 2 will be a springtime extravaganza where bargains abound with over 1,500 visitors and 100 vendors in years past. Along with garage sale booths, the Secondhand Safari will also have educational booths, a free book and magazine exchange, entertainment, food, and more. Admission to Secondhand Safari is just $1 all day long, so get ready for bargain hunters galore!
The Secondhand Safari will be on Saturday, May 2 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Set up for sellers will be on Friday, May 1 from noon to 10 p.m. The doors will be locked after set up Friday evening and security will be on-site until the event opens Saturday.
Representatives from Goodwill Industries will be on hand throughout the day on May 2 to accept donations (at their discretion), giving sellers the chance to donate any of their unsold items at the end of the day.
For more information on the May 2 Secondhand Safari, or to reserve your booth, contact the Thurston County Fair Office at (360) 786-5453 or visit www.co.thurston.wa.us/fair.
Submitted by The Olympia Yacht Club
Saturday May 9 is the annual Sound Sound Opening Day of Boating Season Celebration held in downtown Olympia at points along Percival Landing and all residents are invited to attend . Sponsored by the Olympia Yacht Club (OYC), Opening Day is a ceremony and celebration that marks the traditional start of the boating season in the South Sound. It has been held for decades and similar ceremonies happen in other marine cities throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Key elements of South Sound Opening Day include live music, the Ceremony and Blessing of the fleet and a decorated boats parade along the downtown Olympia shoreline. Concurrent with Opening Day is the Olympia Wooden Boat Fair held on May 9 and 10, sponsored by the Olympia Wooden Boat Association. The Wooden Boat Fair includes displays of wooden boats, music, food, activities for children and arts & crafts.
The Opening Day Celebration starts about 9:30 a.m. when the American Legion Band begins playing on the deck of the Olympia Yacht Club located at 201 Simmons Street. At 10:00 a.m. a 30 minute ceremony gets underway and includes a Blessing of the Fleet. Attendees of the Ceremony are the Olympia Lakefair Court and local dignitaries.
As part of the ceremony, the state senator for the Olympia area, Karen Fraser will be inducted as an honorary member of the OYC in recognition of her long standing contributions to and support of boating on Puget Sound. The best vantage point to watch the American Legion Band and Ceremony is the Percival Landing boardwalk near the Olympia Yacht Club and Bayview Thriftway. Also along the Percival Landing boardwalk, dock and park you will find wooden boat displays, the food court and children’s activities from the Wooden Boat Fair.
The South Sound Opening Day Parade of Decorated Boats begins at 12:00 noon and features both power and sail boats as little as 20 feet and as large as 55 feet from the South Sound. The Lakefair Court is embarked on the judge’s boat and help award prizes for categories such as Best Dressed boat and Best Wood boat. An ideal place to watch the start of the Parade of Boats is the Port Plaza Park near Anthony’s Restaurant. After starting near Port Plaza Park the Parade heads out further into West Bay before circling back to return to the Port Plaza Park and Percival Landing.
South Sound residents and families interested in Olympia’s beautiful marine environment, a great local fair and wooden or decorated boats should make the time to attend this long standing maritime tradition on Saturday May 9.
By Mary Ellen Psaltis
As the morning sun reaches up for the horizon, Wendy Clark has already pulled on her boots and grabbed a large wire basket. She’s headed to the chicken coop to let the flock loose and provide their breakfast. Mr. Sunshine, one of the proud roosters, announces her arrival. A cackle of 88 hens surges at the chance for fresh feed. The other six roosters join in, as they puff up their chests and chase the hens. “I want to keep doing this,” smiles Clark, who calls herself the eyes and ears of the farm. She and her husband Ted Clark, a software developer, live on the Scatter Creek Farm and Conservancy.
The Scatter Creek Farm is part of South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust (SSCFL), which is dedicated to preserving and keeping farmland. Kirsop Farm owners Colin Barricklow and Genine Bradwin are leasing 60 of the 100 acres. They also purchased several outbuildings, an historic farmhouse and the house where the Clarks live.
While Kirsop Farms grows rows of nutrient-packed vegetables, Wendy tends to the Rhode Island Reds and Plymouth Barred Rocks. If you have ever stroked the silken feathers of a nesting chicken or listened to their throaty coos, you might know the calming joys they inspire. Cracking open a fresh egg to discover an intense orange yolk and eating it is another high point in chicken ownership. The rich yolk color is indicative of the nutritious diet these birds enjoy. Ultimately they impart to the eater higher levels of carotenoids and micronutrients such as vitamin A and omega-3. Many locals love these eggs.
The less fun part of chicken ownership is the regular moving of the coop. Of course, this means daily when the weather is sloppy and the ground a mess. The portable electric fence also requires regular moving to provide plenty of grass and grubs for the birds. Hay is changed, eggs are gathered, and care and attention is given to the flock. At evening time it’s necessary to make sure all the guys and gals are back in the coop. Predators like chicken for dinner.
Soon Clark’s brood will grow by 100 broiling chickens. These are not egg layers. They are raised for their meat. The birds will grow up in separate areas, as they have different requirements for their care. Kirsop Farms previously had chickens for sale twice yearly, but this summer they will have broilers regularly available at the market.
Farming runs in Wendy’s blood. For years, she had it in her mind to live and work on a farm, in spite of the fact that she lived in a house in Lacey. As Wendy became a regular customer, she and Kirsop’s Bradwin developed a relationship. Her love of fresh, local food grew. Clark took Master Gardener classes, grew some of her own vegetables and canned like crazy. Kirsop Farm’s desires for property and Clark’s dream of living on a farm unfolded together. Her time on the land trust homestead will end in approximately two and a half years when Kirsop Farm owners Colin and Genine take residence. However, Wendy still sees farming in her future. Perhaps it will manifest as ‘hobby’ farm – that’s a scaled down operation with the ability to have a few selected animals and room to do some of their own food growing. Who knows? It’s an ongoing journey.
In the meantime homeschool studies are coming to a close with their son Ryan, a talented musician who will be starting college at Centralia Community College. But, Wendy will still have her newest family addition – Buttercup – a young Jersey who will eventually provide milk for homemade butter. She is a shy cutie. Wendy spends more time at the farm instead of working the stall at the Olympia Farmers Market. She misses chatting with customers but is finding pleasure in all aspects of animal husbandry.
Her convictions to educate people about local food continue. Ask her about chickens, CSA’s (community support agriculture) or what’s happening in the world of farming.
“Farmers aren’t just farmers,” noted Clark. “They attend civic meetings and are on boards. They are tireless, hardworking people who are always ready to jump in and help.” I’d say that describes Wendy.
She and Ted appreciate the peaceful country quiet and are regularly dazzled by the display of stars. They wake up to various birds each morning. John Denver sang that life on the farm is kind of laid back. I don’t know if that’s true for Wendy, but I can confirm that she is grateful that she’s a country girl.
Learn more at Kirsop Farm’s stand at the Olympia Farmers Market.
Eat Well – Be Well
By Nikki McCoy
During my first phone call with John Bourdon, co-owner of Sandstone Distillery in Tenino, we talked tours. We chatted about aspiring distillers and brewers, curious tourists and even school-age children coming through his family’s craft distillery.
His passion for community involvement was evident, and on his mention of being able to bring kids, I knew I had to bring mine. (My husband was definitely on board as well.)
Our first step into the tasting room, we were greeted by history, in the form of photos, tools and artifacts. There is a lasting connection between the Bourdons’ business and Tenino’s world-renowned rock quarry.
We were also greeted by the strong smell of fermenting mash.
“It smells like apple cider,” said my 5-year-old. “It smells good!”
My husband waxed nostalgic about touring the Olympia Brewery, and my 9-year-old buried his nose in his shirt, a pained look on his face, his eyes imploring, “Do I have to do this?”
This solicited chuckles from John, who recognizes family dynamics. He and his wife Jenni, along with their mother, son and grandkids all contribute to the distillery. (The 2-year-old is in charge of “marketing and adorability.”)
John is well-versed in the language of children, and as we begin the tour, he sits on a sack of grain and instantly engages us all with samples of malted barley, encouraging the kids to feel and taste the raw product.
I could sense a shift in my almost-tween’s interest as the activity became hands-on, and the boys (husband included) eagerly followed John to the next part of the process.
“We believe that responsible stewardship begins early,” explains Jenni in regards to having younger generations tour the distillery. “Parents are inherently tasked with providing an environment that fosters responsibility, sound choices, social-mindedness, and fiscal excellence.”
“We find that school-age tours result in an intensified interest in the natural sciences among children, and an increased awareness among parents,” she continues. “Science should always be entertaining, and should foster a desire to responsibly go higher. Engaging both parents and children in the distillation process allows us to fire the imagination while fostering good conscience.”
And for the kids, the beauty of Jenni’s statement was perhaps summed up in her husband’s one word: “Fart.”
Yes, this was the word he used to describe the churning of the processing grains, and my boys were right at home.
They were asked to lean in their heads and smell the batch, they were encouraged to listen to the popping of the yeast, their small hands were allowed to go in a portion of the pot and feel the temperature differences. The boys were in sensory heaven – and they were thinking. Questions were asked and giggles were had, and even math equations came into the conversation.
The tour was equally engaging for my husband and I – we giggled, felt and smelled as well – and an added bonus of being an adult – we tasted. It was a pleasure hearing Jenni describe the notes in their small-batch blends, and we were eager to hear about upcoming plans, for the booze, as well as for the company’s investment in agritourism.
A Danish-Style Black Gin is slated for June, and the family has begun growing a variety of fruits and herbs to infuse in the future. This is in line with their “Farm to Bottle” philosophy which makes them perfect partners with Thurston County’s agritourism culture.
“Agritourism should not be a gimmick,” says Jenni. “It is either a viable opportunity for people to embrace and engage local, sustainable, farm-to-table (or bottle, as the case may be) agriculture in a meaningful, entertaining way, or it is just talk. Thurston County offers a wonderful variety of agri-tourism opportunities…We are pleased to be a part of this growth, and hope that people from our local region and beyond are able to experience the delightful agritourism Thurston County provides.”
Sandstone is currently working on a series of invite-only concert offerings (Whiskey Nights: Music at the Stills) where they will promote locally-grown/nationally-known artists in an intimate venue, providing the public with both music and agri-culture. They are also expanding their distribution footprint, with sales to customers in Alaska, Kentucky, and Switzerland.
On the car ride home, the family and I discussed our adventure. We all agreed that science was like magic, and that John and Jenni’s dog was very cute. We also noted that we would like to do more agri-tourist activities as a family.
And later that night, as my husband and I sipped our Sandstone Distillery white whiskey, and muscles relaxed and tensions faded away, I had to re-consider my earlier comment – was the magic really in the science? Or was it in the result?
Submitted by The City of Olympia
Grab your guide to the 2015 Spring Arts Walk in downtown Olympia – April 24 and 25. Arts Walk maps are available at participating downtown businesses, The Olympia Center (222 Columbia St NW), and City Hall (601 4th Ave E). Digital maps and the new interactive mobile app can also be found at www.olympiawa.gov/artswalk.
The spring Arts Walk also includes the spectacular Procession of the Species, an artistic and environmental celebration presented by Earthbound Productions. The Procession begins at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. Due to the popularity of the Procession, it is extremely important for individuals to pay close attention to street closures and tow away zones.
As part of your planning for festival-going, consider your transportation options. Area residents have the option to bus, bike, or walk to the event. Transit information as well as individualized trip planning for bus, bike and walk routes are available at www.intercitytransit.com.
Arts Walk is sponsored by the City of Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation Department and Olympia Arts Commission, with support provided by Art House Designs, Capitol City Press, Heritage Bank and MIXX 96fm. For more information, contact Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation at 360.753.8380.
Submitted by Comstock Physical Therapy
It’s spring time! It’s time to get out there and play catch with you kids, or spring clean the house (which may include washing some windows). What happens if you have shoulder pain? Will you make it worse?
If you have a desk job, and sit with your arms unsupported , gravity might be pulling and straining on your shoulders and shoulder blades. The ribs and flank muscles can shorten up and pull down on your shoulder blades. If you have a heavy lifting job your larger chest muscles can become short and pull your ribs down as well.
What can you do to help relieve shoulder pain? Here are a few stretches that help the tight muscles:
Latissimus stretch: Stand right in front of a wall, hands on the wall, on either side of your head. Slide your right arm up over your left shoulder and then gently lean to the right. You will feel a stretch along the right flank, shoulder blade and upper arm. Repeat on the other side.
Pectoralis stretch: Stand at a square angle to the wall, with your finger tips on the wall and palm facing forward. Your arm should be in line with your shoulder and elbow extended. Just standing that way should give you a stretch along your upper arm and chest.
By Mary Ellen Psaltis
At the tender age of three, Ryan Connor played on his first baseball team. It was T-ball through the South Sound YMCA. He remembers having a good time. Now, as a senior at Timberline High School, Connor says that he still finds baseball fun. That’s a good thing since has been playing non-stop ever since. He aspires to play baseball as long as he can, which means he’s aiming for the major leagues.
In the early years, Connor played with South Sound Baseball and continued with the Cal Ripken League, where he has since donated time as a coach to the ‘rookie’ levels. Summers were consumed with travel teams. Playing for the Milltown Bombers select baseball team meant travel to Colorado (they came in second), Texas and the Tri-Cities. Of course, this was before he could drive. Parents Jemme and Joe Connor put more than a few miles on their family van. Connor also played with the Auburn Bombers. All this action was prior to starting high school.
Connor will be graduating from Timberline High School this spring. He’s been on the school team all four years, beginning on JV as a freshman. Even then he was called up at times to play on the varsity squad. Connor is recognized as a versatile player. Last year he was the varsity team leader with a .395 batting average. “I like short stop and middle infield,” he says. But he pitches, too. At a recent Blazer game, he pitched the first three innings and gave up just one run.
Coach Mark Rubadue remembers seeing Connor play back in the baseball camp days when older brother Matthew also played. He was a “pretty good little athlete,” said Rubadue. Now Rubadue appreciates the “tremendous young man” Connor has grown into. With Connor’s demeanor and abilities, Rubadue is confident that as he continues to go through life, “he’ll do something good for sure.”
One of the challenges of being deeply involved in team sports is the time commitment. Practice is at least two hours per day, six days per week. Connor hits the field as soon as the school day ends. It’s dinnertime when he gets home where he can fuel up before tackling a serious academic load. This semester includes four Advanced Placement courses in Calculus, Literature, Government and Physics. His fifth class is a digital photography class, which will satisfy his art credit. The last class is Leadership. He is serving this year at the Public Relations Officer. He’s volunteered at HomesFirst! and was picked to be a Blazer Citizen. Last fall his classmates elected him as their Homecoming King.
There’s not much spare time, but he enjoys hanging out with friends and bowling. Perhaps there is time to sleep once in a while! As the school year closes in, Connor is preparing for three AP tests. They are in essence the culmination of the year’s work. High scores on tests translate into college credit, saving both time and money.
Along with teammates Taylor Adams and Zach Owens, Conner has been accepted to Tacoma Community College where two important things will take place. First, he’s on the baseball team and being coached and groomed for continued success in playing ball. Because it is a two-year school, he will get more time actually playing than at many four-year schools. Connor will also earn an associate’s degree, most likely in psychology or business, both possibilities for continuing in the sports field.
Success in professional sports takes a combination of hard work and fortunate timing. Ultimately, the only way to explore your options is to take the path. Matthew, Ryan’s older brother said, “My bro and I loved baseball growing up. We both got to play for Timberline. We both dreamed of becoming professional baseball players. That dream passed for me a few years ago. But now I look up to him, because he has made it further along in this dream we shared.”
Connor is a bright, conscientious and hard working young man who will have success. He uses visualization to get fully into the game. “I see myself hitting the perfect line drive into the gap.” Now that’s an excellent metaphor for life. We’ll have to keep watching to see which path he takes.
By Heidi Smith
The April 25 Spring Fling event will serve as a combined educational opportunity, celebration and customer appreciation day, with a little something for everyone. “I want people to take away that it’s okay to get your fingers dirty,” says O’Neill. “Gardening is fun and we’ll have vendors that know a lot about it. It’s going to be a real educational experience. We want people to go away feeling that they have been inspired and even if they don’t have a green thumb, gardening can actually work for them.”
Gardening maven Marianne Binetti is the featured speaker, and will play a key role in inspiring that level of confidence, says O’Neill. “We’re all thrilled that she’s coming. She’s a fabulous speaker and she’s just a hoot. She can convince everyone that they can do this.”
Binetti is an acknowledged gardening expert whose syndicated column runs in local newspapers. She has also written or co-written ten books on the subject and hosts a weekly show called Dig in Seattle. Along with her husband Joe, she leads international gardening tours to places like France and Portugal.
Her talk will focus on Pocket Gardening, the art of breaking gardening into small spaces and doing one little space at a time. “If you’ve got a big yard, just do an entry garden,” says Binetti. “You can have more fine with the design aspects and not think gardening is hard.”
Binetti looks forward to the visit for several reasons. “I really like The Barn Nursery, Dan and Carla and all the staff,” she says. “I get to leave my area and see all the new things they have. I’ve also gotten to know a lot of people in Olympia so it’s like a big reunion. We get pretty excited when we all see each other, so when people who are new to gardening see us, they catch the gardening bug.
Aside from Binetti, the event will include representatives from the Bonsai Society, the Rhododendron Society and other experts in their fields, along with multiple vendors. “We’ve got entertainment and door prizes, specials and music, plus food and beverages,” says O’Neill.
It will also include activities for children. “We want it to be fun for the kids,” says O’Neill. “We’re going to have face painting and a rock painting/gardening class for them. We want to start these children out with gardening.”
Now in its 25th year, the celebration is a chance for local gardeners from experienced old hands to beginners to get inspired and ask questions of professionals. The community response has been strong, says O’Neill. “We get great feedback,” she says. “People are really attuned to gardening at this time of year.”
Many customers have been coming for years. A key reason for that, says O’Neill, is the knowledge and experience of the staff. “We have a combination of many years of experience here,” she continues. “Our staff is awesome. They’re very knowledgeable and are such gardeners themselves. That really helps. It’s a passion that they have and they want to share it.”
One of their core values is carrying local products as much as possible, particularly in The Barn’s gift shop. “We really believe in our local vendors,” she says. “We have incredible artists in our community. We probably have 15 consignments here. We always want to support local business.” As an example, aside from hand-made jewelry, the store carries a variety of Seahawks memorabilia, all made in the Pacific Northwest.
Carla started the business with her husband Dan back in 1986, while they were already running Great Western Supply, a landscape and garden products store. “Customers were coming in to get manure or bark and they would ask, don’t you have a rose or a rhody?” she explains. “This barn was sitting in a field of grass and we decided to convert it into a nursery.”
Now, she says, the barn is their icon. “There’s an incredible history with the people and animals that lived here. It’s been really wonderful having the people that live in this area who know about the heritage come and share it with us.”
As for the Spring Fling, O’Neill’s goal is simple. “What we really want to do is sell success. We want it to be a great experience for the public, both those who are perhaps just getting into gardening and those who have been in it for a long time. Whoever it is, we want them to experience being successful.”
Binetti is more ambitious. “People think gardening is like when you were a kid and were forced to mow the lawn and pull weeds,” she says. “They don’t realized it’s very creative, good for your health, good exercise, and uses all of your five senses. It’s the answer to our obesity epidemic, it’s the answer to our health epidemic. Gardeners are going to save the world.”
April 25 from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Marianne Binetti will speak at 1:00 p.m.
The Barn Nursery is located at 9510 Old Hwy 99 SE in Olympia. Call 360-943-2826 for more information.
Submitted by City of Olympia
Olympia Firefighters responded to 911 4th Avenue East for a reported structure fire at 2:25 a.m. this morning. Firefighters could see the fire as they left their station a little over a block away. Calls to 9-1-1 reported a fire in an abandoned church building. The first fire unit arrived at 2:28 and reported a working fire with a person trapped on the roof.
Firefighters used the ladder truck to rescue the person off the roof approximately 3 stories above the ground. She had cuts and scrapes but refused aid and fled the scene. She reported that her friend was missing. Olympia Police reported a male jumped from the back of the building, complained of a broken ankle but ran away before receiving any aid. A man and women matching the description on the ones leaving the scene did seek aid at a local hospital but the extent of any injuries are unknown. Unauthorized persons have been seen in this building in the past. The fire was too intense to enter the building; firefighters worked from the outside.
At about 3:30 am the roof collapsed, weakening the rest of the structure. Several sidewall sections collapsed from the fire but the main front wall and steeple areas built in the early 1900’s did not fall. The building became even more unstable threatening to fall into the roadway. Firefighters pulled back further and monitored the situation.
Fire Commanders worked with the City of Olympia Building Official and Public Works to bring in an excavator from a private company to push down the remaining walls at about 8:00 am.
Adjacent businesses, the Fourth Avenue Market and A-1 Rentals, did not receive any fire damage and only cosmetic wall damage when the fire building collapsed. An office across the alley behind the fire building received significant water damage in the basement from the runoff.
Fourth Avenue, the main eastbound street through downtown Olympia, was closed between Plum and Eastside with traffic detoured to Legion. Fourth Avenue is expected to remain closed until 3:00 p.m. this afternoon.
Olympia Fire Department responded with 4 engines, 1 ladder truck, 2 medic units, and a command unit. Additional units form City of Tumwater, Fire Districts 6 and 8 also responded. There were approximately 40 firefighters working on the second alarm fire. The only injury reported was a minor leg muscle strain sustained by one firefighter.
After the unstable walls were pushed down, fire crews worked with the heavy equipment operators to tear apart the pile and extinguish any hot spots. This activity is expected to continue throughout the day.
Damage is estimated at $100,000 for the property. It is unlikely that there will be any ability to investigate the fire as the building collapsed and was pushed into a pile. Fire Investigators will observe the scene but the cause will likely remain undetermined.
Free author reading and signing at Orca Books, 509 4th Ave E in downtown Olympia:
Novelist Michael B. Koep will talk about his new book, "Leaves of Fire," the second book in his fantasy series, The Newirth Mythology. (The series opened with "Invasion of Heaven".) Michael has been called a "Renaissance Man": he's an avid world traveler, educator, accomplished visual artist, swordsman, award winning poet and professional musician. He lives in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho.
Imagine paintings that hold the secrets to the meaning of life and death—or scribbled words that can alter the past and reshape the present. We know art imitates life but in Michael B. Koep’s thriller fiction trilogy, the author brings the arts to life in an action-packed tale spanning seven centuries:
* In the spring of 1338, young William of Leaves knows only of remedies, herbs and his mother’s kindness. When he is forced to watch as she is dragged to a witch’s pyre by a mob led by the Bishop of London, the mysterious immortal apothecary, Albion Ravistelle, promises the boy a chance at vengeance.
* In the summer of 1972, Helen Storm is a stoned groupie on the sunset strip with a very special condition: she is immortal. When her life intersects with a famous guitar player, she is introduced to her future as a deadly and remorseless assassin.
* In present day, psychologist Loche Newith and Julia Iris must come to terms with Loche’s prophetic writings that have changed the course of history and shaped the lives of William, Helen, and countless others. As a war breaks out between the immortals on earth and Albion Ravistelle, Loche must accept the realities he has authored and cross over into death—he must enter again into Basil Fenn’s paintings to find a way to end the conflict.
By Todd Gruel
Joseph Becker, the owner of ION Ecobuilding, is not your average idealist. He may be bearded and beanie-clad, but his goodwill extends further than the armchair in his bedroom. The work that Joseph has done through ION Ecobuilding helps confirm that the most effective dreamers are those committed to changing the world with both their hands and their words.
Growing up in Miami, Florida, Joseph watched urban sprawl consume his neighborhood. Feeling compelled to find a different way of interacting with the environment, he went on to study sociology at the University of Chicago where he focused on sustainable development and ecological communities. Although his studies were rewarding, he soon tired of the divide between academic knowledge and applied experience.
Joseph eventually moved to Olympia where he started ION Ecobuilding: a business specializing in building ecological structures. His goal was, and still is, to educate the community about alternative methods and materials available for enhancing our local environment. Much like the natural foods movement, the ecological building movement seeks healthier alternatives for managing our resources. The materials that ION Ecobuilding uses are more tangible, less toxic, and easier to use than what is standard in the building industry. Furthermore, their earth-based methods (like cob, adobe, and natural plaster and paint recipes) are time-tested and built to last hundreds of years. A healthy home, ultimately, uses materials and methods that are the least harmful to both the homeowner and the environment.
ION Ecobuilding’s materials truly resonate with the history of our planet. And that’s where it all starts: where ground meets sky, with the mud. This timeless recipe of earth and water can assume different forms and names, such as plaster, stucco, and concrete. The process of making it, and of working with it, is about as basic as building gets (and perhaps as simple as it should be).
Before the building process became commodified we all built our homes together using materials at-hand. The materials that ION Ecobuilding uses are either sourced onsite or somewhere nearby in the local community. The idea of natural building is to find the best way to use available resources while minimizing the impact that the process has on the environment.
Whereas the normal general contractor relationship inadvertantly creates a distance between client and company through a bid-based business model, Joseph prefers to advocate for his clients from the beginning of every project. His goal is to support his clients by helping them make the most informed decisions possible. The collaborative nature of the company inspires a sense of stewardship in its participants.
Good stewards, in the scope of sustainable development, recognize the integrative nature of life and assume responsibility for their place in the scheme of things. ION Ecobuilding, unlike the average building company, encourages its clients to take an active part in the planning and management of their own projects. It’s not unusual for clients to work alongside friends, family, or even community guests. Many of ION Ecobuilding’s projects are opened to the entire community: from kids to seniors; from those interested in chatting theory to those just interested in smearing mud.
On May 16 and May 23, ION Ecobuilding will be collaborating with members of the Sacred Fire Community, a local group which provides places where people can gather around fires to share stories. The Sacred Fire Community believes that fire has the effect of re-connecting us to our deeper selves, drawing us together as we gather around a flickering flame. They’ll work to finish building a firehouse which will serve as a site for community events and fire ceremonies. The oiling of the polls occurs on May 16, and then the raising of the polls follows on May 23.
For those who are still a little cynical like myself, it can be far too easy to dismiss the intentions of an entire movement as a faddish idealism more readily associated with our youth culture. It can be far too easy to generalize based upon catch-phrases and clothing. Yet there’s much more to these dreamers than just tie-dye T-shirts, scruffy faces, and well-worn Birkenstocks.
At the end of the day, I’m still not sure if I entirely understand the full scope of sustainability, or the metaphysical-sounding term “embodied energy.” Fortunately intellectualization isn’t required though, because ION Ecobuilding is all about creating stories that sustain us: stories that we create by building our own homes with the help of basic materials and the support of the community.
As ION Ecobuilding reminds us, home-building can still be a community affair. At the end of the day, Joseph Becker’s ION Ecobuilding offers more than just a way of saving material resources. His projects help radiate love by grounding people to the earth and to their community. Joseph is committed to promoting a life-affirming way to interact not only with the environment, but with each other, and even ourselves. We don’t have to go far to find what we need. As ION Ecobuilding reminds us, you don’t have to be barefoot, bearded, and bongo-bewitched to be a dreamer. So join Joseph, your neighbors, and the mud, on May 16 and May 23. Bring a friend, a drum, or just yourself. It all begins with a story.
To learn more visit the ION Ecobuilding website.
By Margo Greenman
My husband drives a “vintage” truck. It is a 1987 Ford Ranger. He inherited — or rather, rescued — it from my parent’s driveway. Needless to say, it is not in the best shape. Through months of home repairs, hours spent researching parts on the Internet, and a whole lot of trial and error, my husband has somewhat successfully rehabilitated the truck’s overall performance and appearance. The unfortunate part is that, while the truck is finally up and running again, there are still a lot of not-so-little things that need to be updated. Little things that all inadvertently turn into lots of time, money and stress spent between trips back and forth between the auto parts store and long, greasy nights spent under the hood.
I commend my husband for his ambition, but I can’t help but think that there has to be an easier way. And there is, right here locally at South Sound Trucks’ Olympia location.
Since its opening earlier last year, South Sound Trucks has grown to be more than just Olympia’s headquarters for used trucks, Jeeps and SUVs — it is now a one-stop-shop for all your vehicle accessorizing needs. Last month South Sound Trucks opened its new accessory shop where customers can find a wide selection of truck accessories ranging from popular LED lighting systems and diamond plate to CB radios and more.
Whether you want to deck out your new truck with the latest, greatest gear or simply update your rusty ride for the 21st century, South Sound Trucks’ new accessory shop has everything you need to replace and upgrade outdated and broken parts. What’s more, South Sound Trucks’ friendly, experienced staff is available to help answer even your toughest questions, which means you can spend less time scratching your head and more time where you and your truck belong — on the road.
South Sound Trucks’ Parts Manager, Clayton Webb, says he is excited to introduce Olympia-area residents to their new one-stop-shop option for all their truck accessory needs. In the store, customers can expect to find a variety of the latest LED lighting options, mud flaps, CB radios and other small, everyday items, while bigger accessories like tow hitches and toolboxes can be ordered through South Sound Trucks’ 1,100-page accessories catalog. Webb says anything that is not available on the shelves can be ordered in-store and usually arrives within one to two days.
Because South Sound Trucks offers an extensive selection of accessories and parts, Webb says South Sound Trucks is not limited to any particular model of truck, Jeep or SUV. This means if there is a part or accessory you have been dreaming of, South Sound Trucks can help your dream become a reality. If there is a part or accessory you want to outfit your rig with, South Sound Trucks can find it.
With so much available already, it is hard to believe that South Sound Trucks is just getting started. Having only just opened a little over one month ago, Webb says South Sound Trucks plans to grow their in-store inventory over the next few months and expects to feature an expanded in-store selection later this fall.
Of course, if your truck is anything like my husband’s, it may be best cut your losses and start new. South Sound Trucks features a selection of more than 300 used trucks, Jeeps and SUVs on their sales lot, so you are sure to find a vehicle that matches your taste and budget. In addition to accessory options available on-site, South Sound Trucks also provides unique custom work to interested truck buyers.
You can explore South Sound Trucks’ wide selection of used vehicles Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The accessory shop is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Over the summer, college students that are living in Olympia and Thurston County can gain valuable work experience as a member of the ThurstonTalk writing team. Join our 25 paid, professional writers and craft stories over the summer. Enjoy flexibility to build your portfolio of published work this summer while being paid for each published article.
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Few words bring a shudder more than “business meeting.” But no matter the industry, they’re vital to keeping everyone informed, up-to-date and excited for the future. One source estimates that “15% of an organization’s collective time is spent in meetings, a percentage that has increased every year since 2008.” With this in mind, specialists from the University of Nevada report that in such settings “food energizes and motivates people more effectively than any other meeting tactic.”
For more than 30 years, the staff at Bayview Catering has embodied the idea of food as both an energizing and motivating force. Whether it’s catering weddings, holiday parties, or office functions, Bayview Catering’s team can meet any need and work within any budget.
Bayview Catering team member Kelly Young says, “In the summer we cater mostly weddings and company picnics and family reunions. In the fall and winter months it is mostly business meetings and legislative events.” For meetings, Bayveiw Catering’s offerings can range from cheese and crackers or fruit and veggie trays to complete buffet meals.
Turnaround for orders is three days, but smaller box lunches, appetizers, or snacks can be picked up on 24 hours notice. The minimum order for a full buffet is 20 people and dietary restrictions can often be accommodated. Bayview Catering’s menu readily offers gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options.
Young is proud that happy past clients include Intercity Transit, Capital Business Machines and many local state agencies. After a recent company picnic for 400 employees, one thankful staffer wrote, “We want to thank you and your staff for the wonderful service and delicious food we received for our picnic. Everything was perfect. We received nothing but compliments from our employees. There were very impressed with your organization and promptness, and several asked that we continue to use your service instead of the others we had used in the past. They love your food.”
Whether your meeting needs box lunches or an array of easily grazed hors d’oeuvres, Bayview Catering is your one-stop-shop. By partnering with Stormans’ sibling Celebrations, even plates, napkins, and decorations are in the bag.
The Bayview Catering team is ready to help make your next business meeting an efficient success. No matter the size, location, or requirements, let Bayview Catering help keep your staff full and focused.
Bayview Catering is located inside Bayview Thriftway at 516 West 4th Avenue. You can use their online information request here, call their office at 360-357-8016, or e-mail Bayview Catering directly at email@example.com. Remember to provide as many event details and advanced notice as possible — you and your full belly won’t regret it.
The rewards of physical fitness have especially long term benefits for our children.. The national Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion encourages that “youth who are regularly active also have a better chance of a healthy adulthood.” By modeling good fitness now, both children and their parents ensure many healthy, happy years together.
On Saturday, April 25 the South Sound YMCA’s Briggs Community Branch will host the first of two family fitness events. Their Healthy Kids Day is a free event celebrated simultaneously at more than 1,300 Ys nationwide. The fun takes place from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and features crafts, face painting activities, educational games, fitness challenge, and hands-on demonstrations. There will also be a Bike Rodeo (parade) beginning at 10:30 a.m. Kids are encouraged to bring their zanily decorated bike and participants are encouraged to pre-register by calling 360-753-6576.
Briggs branch Executive Director Joyce Neas explains that “at Healthy Kids Day, we encourage kids to stay physically and intellectually active all summer long, and we give families tips they can easily replicate at home. The event is free and open to the community. The Y is so much more than sports, swimming, gymnastics, and a place for kids to hang out. We support families in their efforts to instill healthy habits at home.”
Once Healthy Kids Day gets your energetic juices flowing, sign up for the 28th annual YMCA Spring Run and Public Agency Challenge, which takes place on Saturday, May 2. This event is open to everyone and includes a 10K certified run/walk, a 2 mile run/walk, and 1/2 mile kids’ run.
Governor Jay Inslee explains that “in the past, thousands of public employees and their families have taken part in the 2 mile and 10K courses. The Public Agency Challenge provides outstanding opportunities for fun and fellowship. It’s also a wonderful way for public agencies to celebrate Public Service Recognition Week. Special acknowledgement will be given to public agencies with the highest participation. Individual participants with the best finishing times will also be recognized.”
The races will begin and end at the Capitol Campus and are open to runners and walkers of all ages. If your state agency, group, or club enrolls more than 20 runners, the group also receives one free pair of shoes courtesy of South Sound Running. Competitive runners should note that the 10K is professionally certified and the event is chip-timed.
Preregistration for the race is required and can be completed either in person at both South Sound YMCA branches or online via this link. Register before April 22 to avoid late fees and to be eligible to enter as a team. The Kids Run begins at 8:30 a.m. on May 2, the 10K starts at 8:45 a.m., and the 2 mile run at 8:50 a.m. A course map and instructions can be found here.
Call 360-357-6609 with any Spring Fun Run questions and 360-753-6576 with questions about Healthy Kids Day.
1920s American boxer Gene Tunney was known to say that “exercise should be regarded as tribute to the heart.” Community fitness events like these hosted at, and by, the South Sound YMCA prove that it’s also a tribute from the heart.