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The Lacey Spring Fun Fair again fulfilled its objective to bring Thurston County together for a day of celebrating the area’s businesses, youth programs along with educational establishments, and of course,local cuisine. The early rain did not slow the spirit nor hinder the size of the crowd on the campus of Saint Martin’s University, as visitors took in a sample of what the community is all about. A wide variety of musical performances, contests, and children’s activities took place over the course of the day, all of which culminated in the commencement parade in the evening
Five dollars (if you’re lucky) will get you one bowl of delicious clam chowder from a restaurant. For those in attendance at the Port of Olympia Boatswap & Chowder Challenge at Swantown Marina on Saturday, $5 bought you a mug full of chowder from 12 competing local restaurants. Along with live music, an elevated/on land fishing pond and a bounce house for children, visitors had a chance to look, trade or buy for maritime equipment and boats in a swap sale setting.
The following restaurants competed in the event:Fatso’s Bar & Grill, Firecreek Grill, Fish Tale Brewpub, Hawk’s Prairie Casino, Lucky Eagle Casino, Nisqually Red Wind Casino, Paprika Café & Catering, Red Lion Hotel – West Water Restaurant, South Bay Pub & Eatery, The Sidewalk Café, Tug Boat Annie’s and Vern’s Foods & Farm.
By Tom Rohrer
Competing against high level athletes requires an appropriate mixture. A lapse in focus can quickly lead to a devastating mistake and a loss.
At the beginning of the season, the Saint Martin’s University softball team was 3-4 following a quick tour of the Hawaiian Islands for some early non-conference matchups.
However, the Saint’s would eventually turn it around in a huge way, winning 38 of their next 50 games en route to a number 17 national ranking, an appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament, and the school’s first NCAA tournament victory, a 2-1 victory over Grand Canyon on Friday, May 10.
Though Saint Martin’s would eventually lose to Humboldt State 5-3 two days after their historic victory, the season could justifiably be called the best in school history, and with only four seniors graduating and a host of high caliber players returning, the future is certainly bright for the program.
“I think every team believes that they will go on to the next stage but when the season starts reality hits you,” said fourth year head coach Rick Noren, a Tumwater High School graduate. “We had expectations of doing well, but after the Hawaii trip, I tried to lower those expectations. We responded in a big way, worked really hard and everything just sort of came together.”
“When your season ends and you can’t play anymore, emotions hit you, the seniors leaving hits you,” Noren continued. “But just from the conversations we’ve had with the girls, if the season started tomorrow, they would say let’s go play. They’re looking forward next year.”
The Saints were led in large part by a potent offensive attack (.308 team batting average) that saw ten players combine for 44 home runs and 102 doubles split across 13 position players.
Leading this offensive charge was the sophomore/junior duo of Sam Munger and Lacey McGladrey, both of whom earned First Team All-GNAC honors. McGladrey, a second baseman from Bothell High School, led the team in total bases (120), homeruns (8), slugging percentage (.619), runs (65), doubles (17, stolen bases (18), on base percentage (.459) and walks (22). Not to be outdone, Munger (Cascade High), who was also the GNAC pitcher of the year, posted offensive team highs in two hits (84), batting average (.426), and pitching highs in strike outs (111), wins (24) and innings pitched (214.1) among many other categories.
The two players are foundational athletes for the program, and will be a huge key to the Saints success in 2014.
“I think when you have two players like that, and we have a roster full of other talented players, that gives the entire team confidence,” said Noren, whose wife Leanne is an assistant coach. “The fact that they both will be back next year is huge for our team. Their experience, talent and leadership will be relied upon.”
Munger, who played select team ball with McGladrey in high school, says she looks up to her teammate as a role model.
“She is such a great player and I kind of look up to her and follow in her footsteps,” Munger said of McGladrey. “I want to work to be more like her and it’s just really nice to have her be there for me and the team.”
The high praise was returned from McGladrey to her talented teammate.
“She is such a strong player in every aspect of the game,” McGladrey said of Munger. “She’s accomplished so much already but isn’t satisfied, and seeing her grow has been a great experience.”
Both McGladrey and Munger are quick to cite their coach’s influence as a reason for both personal and team success.
“I think the mental toughness he always speaks about really changed this team and I know it did for me individually,” said Munger, the 2012 GNAC freshman of the year. “When we faced that adversity early in the year, we just kept working and kept following his influence.”
“He allows us to have a really aggressive approach, whether it’s hitting or just your attitude about the game,” said McGladrey, who was named the 2013 GNAC player of the year and earned NFCA First Team All-West Region and Darktronics First Team All-West Region. “We don’t go out there second guessing ourselves and thinking about what happened before.”
Noren was impressed that his team, comprised mostly of underclassman, was able to battle through adversity towards success.
“Those four seniors were great and did great things for this program, but I was just so impressed by that sophomore class in particular,” said Noren, who led the Saints to the GNAC regular season and conference tournament championships. “We needed them to perform at regionals and they did, and that kind of leadership will be huge for us the next two years.”
Joining the team next year will be the biggest and most acclaimed recruiting class in the school’s history, which Noren credits to the success and exposure obtained by this year’s team.
“It’s nice to see if you’re successful, that you get more interest, particularly from out of state,” Noren said. “They will fit in nicely, and we will expect a lot from them.”
Until the start of the 2014 season, both players and coach can reflect on a job well done.
“It’s been a lot of fun, and we got tons of support from the university and community,” Noren said. “People noticed and it’s been fun for my wife and I to come back where we grew up and turn the program around.”
“It was a great season. I love my team, love what we did, and am looking forward to next year,” Munger said. Unlike all of Saint Martin’s opponents, who may be part of yet another special season for SMU in 2014.
For more information on Saint Martin’s University softball team, click here.
Submitted by Bron’s Automotive
I have been asked many times what I look for when buying a used car. What might you look for to decide if the vehicle you’re considering buying is worth taking to a mechanic and paying for a used car evaluation? (Which I always recommend, by the way.) Here is my usual routine to qualify it for a trip to the shop for a more serious inspection.
First, walk around it and get a feel for it. Is the paint the same color all the way around? Body panels with a slightly different tint indicate that it may have been in an accident. Are there dings and scratches all over it or does it look like someone cared about it? This is important because folks who don’t want to spend money fixing something like a broken mirror often can’t afford to change oil or do other maintenance. You are looking for a car that was owned by someone who could afford to do the preventative maintenance that keeps major failures from happening.
Open the hood and take off the oil fill cap. Is there a lot of crud and crust in there? Cars that have had regular oil changes do not have much buildup in there. Feel the big hose going to the top of the radiator. If it is cold, take off the radiator cap and look at the level and condition of the coolant. It should be right to the top if there are no coolant leaks. There are a lot of varieties of coolant of different colors, but none of the approved coolants looks rusty. If the upper hose and engine are warm, ask why. I prefer to be able to watch a motor start up cold, as worn engines sometimes smoke or run rough for the first minute or so before they get warmed up. You may want to tell the owner you want to come back when the engine is cold. Look over the engine as much as possible to see if you can spot any fluid leaks. Get on your hands and knees with a flashlight and look for drips forming under the motor or anywhere else. While you’re down there, look at the tires and see how the wear pattern is. I won’t get technical here, but basically they should all look the same and the wear bars should not be showing.
Now take it for a test drive. Look for smoke when you start it up and make sure the engine feels smooth. I recommend getting on the freeway so you can test cruise control, watch all the gauges, see how the transmission feels when it shifts, make sure the engine runs smoothly, etc. If the steering wheel is off center or the car pulls to one side, it is likely to be in need of front end work. I also like to charge up a hill in high gear and watch the temperature gauge. I have found a few cars with bad head gaskets on this hill. Listen and feel the brakes when you come off the freeway. They should be quiet and smooth. Turn on the A/C no matter what time of year it is. You should get 45 degree air from the vents. Test all the power windows and locks from every switch, as well as the power mirrors if equipped.
The last thing I always do is feel under the floor mats and in the trunk to try to find any water leaks. Water leaks are very hard on a car’s electronics and can be difficult to fix. Look for stains that indicate past leakage.
The absolute last thing to ask the owner, (you can also do this first), is to ask “Why are you selling this vehicle?” Then look directly in their eyes and don’t look away. Trust your instincts next. I just look for an answer that sounds reasonable, but mostly I am looking to see if they seem uncomfortable.
Please understand that if you are looking at a car and find some minor issues, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not a good buy. You might offer a lesser amount, however before you make an offer, ask if you can take the vehicle to your mechanic to have it inspected. If they say no, WALK AWAY. Everyone understands the need to have a mechanic check over a vehicle, after all it’s usually the second most expensive thing most of us will ever buy, after a house.
At Bron’s Automotive we do a very thorough used car evaluation. We will also print out for you the estimated value according to the National Auto Dealers Association. (This is what dealers use to figure out trade in value) Most of the cars I buy or sell go for “average value” if they test out OK. If you want to look yourself, the website is www.nadaguides.com.
Submitted by SCJ Alliance
As SCJ Alliance crosses the plate for their seventh anniversary, looking back it’s been a homerun year. A name change from Shea Carr Jewell, rebranding, expansion to Southwest Washington and added services have produced impressive numbers.
“We’ve gone from five Costco tables as desks to offices in five communities across three states,” shares co-founder Perry Shea, PE, reflecting on the firm’s beginnings in 2006. “We’re always on the lookout for new opportunities to serve our clients better, as well as provide our talented staff with opportunities for growth.”
Headquartered in Olympia, WA, SCJ Alliance also has offices in Wenatchee and Vancouver, WA; Boise, ID; and Westminster, CO. A consulting and professional services firm, SCJ has provided the engineering and planning expertise behind many projects in the region. Examples include Port Townsend’s recent downtown streetscape improvements, Olympia’s master planned Briggs Village, WinCo Foods stores in Sumner and Bremerton, and Bonney Lake’s many intersection improvements along SR 410.
“We changed our name to reflect our expanded offerings and growth beyond the Puget Sound region,” said co-founder Jean Carr, LEED AP BD+C. “Our rebranding also reflects our broader range of services including environmental, website, information technology, communication and public relations. These complement our previously existing services like civil engineering, transportation planning and design, and land use planning to name a few,” Bob said.
Co-founder Bob Jewell, PE reflects on the role diversification has played in the firm’s success. “Diversification in market sectors, project types and firm services has provided stability and opportunity. This allows us to be creative, move quickly and weather the tough economic times.”
SCJ starts their next “inning” at a sprint with new, high visibility projects. “We are very excited to be involved with both the world’s largest Ferris Wheel in Las Vegas and improvements planned on I-5 adjacent to JBLM spanning five miles and four interchanges,” said Perry.
SCJ also remains focused on continuing to serve existing and traditional clients like municipal and private developers. “We have been working on planning and engineering for Briggs Village since the 1990s. It’s rewarding to see that project coming to life,” said Jean. SCJ also has long term involvement with planning and design for Saint Martin’s University (SMU). SMU is the alma mater for a number of SCJ’s engineers including Perry and Bob.
For SCJ, it’s a good time to be in business. “Developers are dusting off projects that have been sitting for five or six years,” says SCJ Principal Eric Johnston, PE. Eric is assisting the rural town of Wilkeson in corridor planning, creating a Town Center that will be a part of the Foothills Trail visioned to span from Tacoma to Mt. Rainier.
“SCJ is committed to being an active community member,” says Principal Amy Head, PE, LEED AP BD+C. “It gives me great pleasure to work on projects of community significance like the new Boys & Girls Club, and East Bay Plaza,” shared Amy. SCJ also actively supports the missions of Rebuilding Together, Thurston EDC, multiple Chambers of Commerce, the South Sound Reading Foundation, Leadership Thurston County, cancer prevention groups and little league teams, to name a few.
SCJ Alliance has been widely recognized since its founding, including the following awards:
By Jennifer Crain
In the fall, Dave White and Heather Ringwood loaded the layers of their rack-and-cloth cider press with apples and squeezed out 1,100 gallons of juice, five gallons at a time.
The result wasn’t the kind of cider you’d buy at a harvest festival or warm over a stove and sprinkle with cinnamon. White and Ringwood collect the juice to produce hard cider, known elsewhere in the world and in the thriving U.S. craft cider industry, as simply “cider.”
This month they debut their cidery, Whitewood Cider Company, with the release of their first blends. Whitewood is Washington’s newest craft cidery and the only one between Portland and Seattle.
Like many cideries around the country, Whitewood is a small operation. White and Ringwood aim to create a fine craft cider from regional and local cider apples for South Sound consumers. Or, as they like to say, to “grow local, ferment local, drink local.”
Because the flavors of the fruit mellow during the fermentation process, cider is best made from bittersweet and bittersharp apple varieties that have been propagated for several hundred years specifically for cider making.
Varietal names of cider apples have the ring of vintage china patterns: Yarlington Mill, Golden Russet, Ashmead’s Kernel, Dabinett. But these are no lace-and-feathers fruits. The fanciful names of the English and French varieties White and Ringwood use (they grow well in our maritime climate) belie the acidic and highly tannic concentrations common in good cider apples. White says if you pick one and take a bite “it’s like sucking on an aspirin or something.”
That doesn’t keep him from sampling apples from old trees in friends’ backyards, however. In fact, White, who’s been making cider since 2000, says he can taste in one or two bitter bites how an apple’s juice will mellow into the finished product.
“My brother and I picked a lot of apples from around here – a lot of apples that generally go to waste,” White says. “We have a lot of heirlooms. These old trees are probably from before the mass plantings of [popular varieties like] Red Delicious and Pink Lady.”
They gleaned about 4,000 pounds of unidentified apples from trees around Olympia, enough to press into roughly 300 gallons of juice. The result is a blend made exclusively from Olympia apples.
The remaining three blends are crafted from apples they purchased, including ten bins of cider apples from Eastern Washington and some familiar heirloom varieties such as Gravenstein, Jonathan and McIntosh.
Craft cider is enjoying a domestic renaissance that was starting to blink awake about thirteen years ago, when White first tried a San Juan Island cider blend and started making the beverage himself. In 2007 he started one of the first cider blogs in the nation, Old Time Cider, and took a course in cider making at the Mt. Vernon Agricultural Extension the following year. The blog led to interviews and to invitations to judge cider competitions around the country. White was also one of the founding members of the Northwest Cider Association. All of this has landed him in the center of a geyser of enthusiasm for the drink.
Asked why it’s the new darling of the alcoholic beverage industry – cider is said to be its fastest growing segment – White rattles off a handful of reasons. Cider is riding the tails of the public’s interest in winemaking and artisanal beers that has led to a growing curiosity about new alcoholic drinks. Small batch fermentation dovetails with the locavore movement, with more people searching for consumable products produced close to home (a fact which makes the apple-rich Northwest a bright spot in the drink’s future). Cider has a complexity that mirrors wine but with a lower alcohol content (wine averages 12%; cider and beer, 6-8%). Not only do fans of the drink say it’s light and refreshing but cider is also gluten free, a serendipity White says he couldn’t have anticipated.
Cider’s popularity is, in fact, outgrowing apple production. Producers don’t tend to have their own orchards, so the demand for cider apples is stretching local availability. The situation is creating an apple crisis of sorts but one White and Ringwood say the industry will – literally – outgrow.
“There’s a real opportunity for local growers to set aside two or three acres and grow cider apples,” Ringwood says.
Even with limits on apples, the industry as a whole is communal and supportive of their own. One of White’s recent blog posts chronicles his trip to another regional cidery where he joined a number of friends to help transplant an orchard, relocating it after a Mount Vernon cidery shuttered its operations last year.
Asked if he’ll reveal his ingredients, White says, “I’m totally transparent on that because you can take the same apples and a different cider maker would make something completely different. It’s a lot about each person’s process and how they blend.”
Though cider isn’t meant to be cellared, the process of producing it is more akin to the subtleties of winemaking than beer production, says Ringwood. Like wine blends, ciders can be spicy, light, sweet, heavy – it all depends on the character of the fruit. These wide-ranging flavor profiles chip away at the notion that hard cider is the syrupy cousin of beer, down on the bottom shelf of the cooler.
Experienced cider makers choose their fruits for specific qualities and blend them to achieve a balanced flavor. They experiment with yeasts and make judgment calls on whether to filter their ciders or not (Whitewood’s are unfiltered) and whether and how much to carbonate (White and Ringwood both prefer a little sparkle).
After that, the choice is up to consumers.
Those interested in trying Whitewood Cider Company’s limited blends, who aren’t already CSA subscribers, will be able to throw back a few samples at the public kick-off party at the Eastside Club Tavern. Watch the Whitewood Facebook page and Twitter feed for details.
Most of us are usually just going through the motions when stopping at the post office, dry cleaners, and the bank. Some people are lucky enough to actually enjoy their weekly business rounds due to their personal interactions. Customers of Anchor Bank are some of those lucky people.
Anchor is one of those increasingly rare businesses that consider personal relationships as one of its core values. For more than 100 years, Anchor Bank has provided Northwest families and businesses with personal and commercial financial assistance.
Chief Financial Officer Terri Degner sums up Anchor’s role in the community. “We see our customers at school functions and on the soccer fields. We are partners with them (in all aspects of their lives).” Terri explains that Anchor is unique because it is a community bank versus just another large corporate institution. “Decisions are made locally by the management teams; these are people who are on the ground and believe in their communities.”
Belief in Higher Learning
Terri has enjoyed a long-term relationship with Anchor Bank. She began working for the company in 1989 and realized she had a knack for accounting. The bank’s management team recognized her talent and encouraged her to pursue a college degree in accounting. Anchor actually sponsored her tuition and gave Terri the go ahead to continue her studies once she received her accounting degree. “Anchor Bank is vested in this community and in their employees. It supports education and encourages its employees to better themselves. Our customers expect us to be well-rounded,” she explains. Anchor offers all employees a chance to further their education in exchange for an agreed upon commitment to the bank.
Anchor Bank provides both personal and business services to a growing number of Northwest communities. Anchor representatives work hand in hand with their customers at every step of financial decision-making. Anchor Bank is deeply committed to the communities it serves, and each branch seeks to make a difference in its own locale.
Jerry Shaw, Chief Executive Officer, has been proudly serving Anchor Bank since 1976. He has what he calls an “old-school” philosophy of doing business locally, and he sees a bright future for community banks in the United States. “Community banks are the entrepreneurs of small businesses. They are uniquely qualified to fill the role of business lending,” he says. Jerry adds that he still feels challenged and truly enjoys the work he is doing.
Hand Up Philosophy
Youth and housing are two of Anchor’s big focus areas at present. “Community banks know the local situation,” Jerry explains. He serves on the board of the South Sound YMCA and is very involved with the Grays Harbor chapter of Habitat for Humanity. “I have personally gone out and hit nails and hung siding. It’s a hand up and not a hand out (for recipients of the program),” he proudly explains.
Christmas in April is another of Anchor’s programs where low-income recipients are given a hand with clean up and light construction. Bank employees are involved in the selection of organizations that Anchor supports. Jerry explains that the bank “wants your heart involved in volunteering.” Committing to service should be a passion for volunteers and not a job requirement.
Outreach is Good for Everyone
“Making the communities we serve better places to live,” is one of Anchor’s mantras. Whether hosting a night on the town for the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce or teaching local students about math with the program Math for Life, Anchor Bank is involved in a wide variety of charitable organizations. “Anchor Bank has sponsored the gift shop at Christmas Forest for over 13 years,” exclaims Terri. St. Martin’s University is another Anchor Bank community partner, and plans to fund a scholarship with the University are currently underway.
Choosing a financial partnership can be a daunting prospect. Anchor Bank has a long-standing reputation as a respected community partner with a proven record of helping its customers grow and achieve their financial goals.
For more information about Anchor Bank, visit www.anchornetbank.com.
Submitted by Eliza Ramsey, Capital High School intern to ThurstonTalk
Hammer throwing is a blend of grace and strength, power and finesse that involves throwing a ball on a chain as far as possible. While the hammer throw is a foreign event to most outside (and even many within) track and field, it is one where Capital High School Senior Andy Miller excels. Miller’s hard work and successes over the past three years were rewarded with a full scholarship to Indiana University as a thrower. Currently ranked sixth in the nation for high schoolers, Miller is certainly deserving.
In addition to his talent in the hammer, Miller throws shot put and discus for the CHS Cougars track and field team. He is looking to be a triple threat at the upcoming WIAA State Meet and Washington State Hammer Championships.
“A hammer is essentially a shot put attached to a wire with a handle on the end,” describes Miller. The hammer itself is a 12 pound ball–16 pounds in college–attached to a 38.5 inch wire with a handle. The arena for hammer is a ring and cage similar to the discus. When Miller steps into the ring he plants and pivots around his left heel while pushing off with his right foot, spinning 3 to 4 times before he unleashes his throw. The direction and pivot foot are dependent on your dominant hand, left handed is clockwise and right, counter clockwise. Miller’s current personal record is 209 feet, which he threw last month.
Miller got his start in hammer mostly by the good fortune of living next door to Dwight Midles, a collegiate thrower for WSU, who made the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team in 1980. Miller’s babysitter was Midles younger son Zach, who is now a hammer thrower at the University of Washington. His older son Adam, who once held the high school national record, threw for the University of Southern California and is now the head coach at Saint Martin’s University. “I am incredibly lucky and blessed to have grow up next to them, and to be kinda following in their footsteps,” says Miller. Today the senior Midles is Miller’s coach in the hammer, working with him year round at his ring on Oyster Bay Road or at the facilities at The Evergreen State College to learn the art of hammer.
Miller is known around Capital High School for his large and gregarious personality, as well as his tendency to break into song at any moment. “I’m kind of a goofy guy,” he says about himself. His teammates love him for his supportive and outgoing nature, and are impressed with his talent. “He throws really heavy objects really far with relative ease,” says senior Shea Temple. Capital High School Track and Field boys coach, Jerry Miller (no relation), says Miller’s nature contributes to his achievements, “His personality keeps him loose, but he’s not afraid to work so he’s relaxed but he’s working hard and that’s a really awesome combination,” comments Coach Miller.
Miller throws shot put and discus for Capital, but is unable to compete in hammer for the Cougars. He competes independently because of issues with the District over cost and liability. Miller says, “the politics of it all is kinda tough, but I’ve also learned to really do it for myself.”
In the summer after his sophomore year, Miller competed at Junior Olympic Nationals placing 5th, “that was great but so intense.” Last summer he followed it up by competing at Junior World Trials at Indiana University, and even though he didn’t make the team, he did fall in love with Indiana.
“It’s not even real yet, it just blows my mind,” says Miller about becoming a Division I athlete next year. The Big 10 West is one of the most competitive conferences for collegiate hammer throwing. Miller was also drawn to their business school, “right now I’m thinking business management and administration, or finance, though that could all change.”
Miller loves the throws for the brotherhood they create. “You get to really know the other guys because you throw against them a lot, and especially hammer, it’s a tight knit community,” he says. Miller competes in around 15 hammer meets a year. “I like that I get to pick and choose, and do what works for me,” says Miller.
This year at Oregon Relays, a two day event held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Miller won the hammer as an independent and the discus for Capital. “Oregon was an amazing meet for me. I had a huge PR in the discus and I had a really long foul in the hammer, probably 215. It was really cool to have my teammates see what I’ve been doing, what I’ve been working so hard for. It’s a pretty cool deal.”
“It’s awesome to see someone from Capital placing so well. It’s inspiring,” says junior Hannah Hartman. Miller is a laid back, fun loving guy, who, at Oregon, led the charge in giving the majority of the boys team mohawks. “You can add hairstylist to his talents,” says Shea Temple.
Capital’s most consistent competitor in the shot put and discus this season, Miller took first in both at the Evergreen Conference League Championships, advancing to the District 4 Championships to be held at Washougal High School May 17. Currently he is ranked 2nd and 5th in shot and disc, respectively, in the 2A division. “I’ve been feeling good in both events and it really depends on what happens that day, but I’m excited,” says Miller looking towards State. Miller has also been asked to sing the national anthem at the State meet, a tribute to his vocal abilities.
A few days after the WIAA State meet is held the Hammer State Championship brings together the hammer throwers in Washington. Ranked first by over 80 feet, Miller is hoping to win his first state championship in the event, after finishing second last year.
Looking to the future, Miller says he would love to coach and teach the sport that has given him so much. “My coach and I sometimes joke about the Olympics. Right now it’s just kinda out there but who knows?” Miller says for now he is focusing on state and then competing at Indiana though he’s keeping an open mind and hoping to continue to improve and grow.
Miller has found his success through hard work, focus and fun. “I’m so incredibly thankful for it all and I can’t wait for what’s next.”
Special thanks to Kevin Wright for the photographs.
Submitted by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
OLYMPIA – Clam diggers will get one more chance to dig razor clams this season during a three-day opening at Twin Harbors, running Friday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.
The morning dig scheduled May 24-26 got the green light from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) after marine toxin tests showed the clams at Twin Harbors are safe to eat.
All other ocean beaches will remain closed to clam digging, and digging at Twin Harbors must end each day at noon.
“This last dig caps off a great season,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. “Since last October, diggers have harvested more than five million razor clams, making this season the most productive in over 20 years.”
Ayres said annual harvest quotas have been met at all razor-clam beaches except Twin Harbors, which started the season with an exceptionally large population of razor clams. WDFW also adopted a new method to set catch levels at Twin Harbors and Long Beach, which also boosted the allowable harvest at both beaches this season, he said.
Harvest limits aside, Ayres said WDFW routinely closes the razor clam fishery by the end of May to give the clams a chance to spawn. The next season will begin in fall, when the older clams have recovered from spawning and a new generation begins to grow beneath the sand
Low morning tides during the upcoming openings at Twin Harbors are as follows:
Clam diggers are limited to 15 razor clams per day, and are required to keep the first 15 clams they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.
To participate, diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2013-14 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses are available online (https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/), by phone (1-866-320-9933) and from license dealers around the state.
Brock Hoenes, a WDFW wildlife biologist, cautions clam diggers and other beachgoers to avoid disturbing western snowy plovers, which nest on the state’s coastal beaches from April through August. The small white birds are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act as threatened and by the state as endangered.
Plovers and their eggs are extremely vulnerable at this time of year because the birds nest in the dry sand, Hoenes said.
Hoenes also asks that diggers avoid signed upland beach areas at Twin Harbors, which are closed to protect the nesting birds. The closed areas are located from just south of Midway Beach Road to the first beach-access trail at Grayland Beach State Park.
By Tom Rohrer
The dream is a reality for Timberline fast pitch coach Charles Porche. In his second season as the Blazers head coach, Porche has led THS to their first district playoff appearance in five seasons.
After finishing fourth in the league last year, Timberline advanced to second place in the 3A Narrows League this year, defeating league champion Wilson two times throughout the season before finishing in 3/4th in the league tournament last weekend (which was won by Wilson over North Thurston).
Now the Blazers face a ‘win or go home’ situation this Friday at Sprinker Park in Tacoma. The Blazers will face Kennedy Catholic High School in a loser out, winner move on game beginning at 2 p.m. The success Porche has seen from his team provides him with vindication he initially thought would be hard to come by.
“My goal was to build the program, and I think we are on the right track,” said Porche, who coached several travel and select teams prior to taking the Timberline job. “Timberline hasn’t been to districts for five years, so making it in my second year, that’s huge. Having this young team and making it to districts, that’s a great success for the present and a building block for the future.”
With only five upperclassmen spread across the 14 person roster, the Blazers relied on a bevy of young talent all season. However, as fast pitch fans know all too well, pitching carries teams and leads to success. The Blazers are anchored by a senior duo that have eaten up innings, while striking out batters all season long.
Ellie Jones and Rebecca Nelson, two of the three seniors on the team, have split the innings pitched almost exactly down the middle according to Porche, and have provided some pop at the offensive end as well.
“It’s still a young team, but having the same pitchers as last year has been a big plus for us,” Porche noted. “They understand the game, and we really depend on their hitting as well. Having leadership in those positions is a key for us.”
Both Jones and Nelson recognize they’ve got to perform at a high level for the Blazers to be successful, a large amount of pressure that neither players seems to mind.
“I’ve been pitching for quite a while, both for select and school, so I’m not flustered when I’m out there,” said Nelson, a four-year varsity player for Timberline. I’m doing it for (teammates) myself and the win.”
“When I got into pitching I instantly fell in love with it,” said Jones, who will be the starting pitcher Friday against Kennedy Catholic. “I love pitching big innings. It’s fun, a privilege and the pressure is part of it.”
With the pitching roles taken care of, the younger Blazers can focus on making plays defensively in the field, while splattering hits across the outfield at the plate. Porche noted that his team is hitting around .400 for the season, thanks to the efforts from players such as Krista Jones, Maria Velez-Craft, Aundrea Temple and Rylee Payton. Leading the offensive charge is sophomore Megan Porche, the coach’s daughter, who also is the team’s catcher. Porche hits sixth in the Blazer lineup, lower than most offensive leaders in the sport. However, that extended wait allows Porche to better dissect the pitcher and the strike zone, and can provide the Blazers with a second wave of offensive production.
“It gives me a chance to see how the pitcher works, how the batters before me are hitting,” said Porche, who played under her father for select teams as well. “As the game goes on, I become more aggressive.”
Being behind the plate on defense helps her hitting as well.
“I know what the strike zone is for that umpire, how the ball is moving,” Porche said. “Anything like that will help.”
What will also help the Blazers is the player’s drive to represent the school in the district playoffs for the first time in half a decade.
“It means a lot to represent my school. I’m so excited. This is what I wanted my senior year to be like and it is happening,” said Nelson.
A large part of the Blazers success has to be credited to coach Porche, as he has put emphasis equally on academics as the game itself. Eight of the fourteen Blazers will be on the Narrows League All Academic Team (3.5 GPA and above), and nearly every member has over a 3.0 average.
“That was one of my goals, to emphasize academics,” Porche said. “Without the grades, you won’t be going to college, regardless if you’re the best athlete ever to attend this school.”
The players appreciate his back to basics mentality that has turned the program around.
“He focuses a lot more on the fundamentals,” said Jones. “We went back to the basics and that made us stronger.”
“He’s been awesome, provided more discipline and structure,” said Nelson.
Also making the Blazers strong was a tough non-league schedule that featured 4A powerhouses such as Olympia, South Kitsap, Gig Harbor, and Union (Vancouver).
“It was important for us, when I talked to our athletic director this year, that I schedule some of those challenging games,” Porche said. “Pretty much our non-league schedule was 4A teams and hopefully those early games help us out as we go forward.”
Going forward, the Blazers focus is ‘one at a time,’ further evidenced by those exact words printed on the back of their practice jersey. That mantra has helped the Blazers keep perspective and provided them with confidence when they have fallen behind.
“We stress to them to take everything one at a time, whether it’s the next pitch, the next at bat, the next inning, or the next game,” said Porche.
“We’ve had a lot of comeback games and having that mindset has helped with that,” Nelson added.
Now, all the seasons hard work will come down to Friday’s game. Fortunately, for the Blazers, the future is bright, regardless of a win or a loss.
An Olympia transplant, Jeff Widmer is excited to be joining Dwayne Boggs and Boggs Inspection Services.
Jeff met Dwayne while he was tagging along on a home inspection with his fiancee. “My fiancee is a real estate agent who has used Boggs Inspection Services for six years with her clients. I went along with her one day and met Dwayne. We started talking and I became more interested in joining him as a home inspector,” recalls Jeff.
Widmer has more than 15 years of experience in construction and home building. During his construction career, he specialized in foundations and concrete work.
“My experience in construction, and understanding of how homes are built, will help me identify safety and health hazards as well as simple maintenance issues,” says Jeff.
“His knowledge and construction background is definitely a plus,” comments Dwayne Boggs. He is excited to work with Jeff and credits his solid work ethic and easy going personality.
Widmer plans to also draw upon his sales experience when communicating with customers. “I am able to talk with clients in a non-alarming way and make them feel more at ease in a high stress situation,” he explains.
Boggs adds that Jeff is good at explaining issues in very basic terms that clients can understand.
As Jeff moves on this next stage of his career, he is excited to be working with Dwayne Boggs and Boggs Inspection Services. “Like myself, Dwayne is a man of integrity and honor. I enjoy working with him,” he says.
Knowing what you are buying, before signing on the bottom line is critical for homeowners. Being able to turn to a professional, knowledgeable home inspector that will educate you about the home seals the deal.
You can find Dwayne Boggs, Jeff Widmer and Boggs Inspection Services at www.boggsinspect.com or by calling 360.482.9602.
By Brooke Guthrie
If you have children who like to spend the summer on the swings, Olympia parks do not disappoint. To help mom stretch her legs at the park, or to burn off pent up energy, many of these parks also have a walking or running trail. These are some of our favorite City of Olympia parks featuring swing sets. All of the parks include bathrooms.
Priest Point is a historical park that dates to the 1840s and has many amenities, including handicapped accessible swings. Amenities include a rose garden, an extensive trail system that descends to the beach and a great boat play structure. The South Sound Estuary Association regularly has beach naturalists on hand at the beach to talk to visitors about beach life.
Friendly Grove is a great park with swings, a skate park and nice play structure. It also boasts a Born Learning Trail that surrounds the park. The trail provides outdoor learning games that build pre-literacy skills for school readiness (the other local park with this trail is Decatur Woods). The park has a neighborhood seating project by artist Susan Christian using life stages of trees as public art and park seating. The park has a little kid structure and various climbing structures.
LBA park was developed in 1974 and stands for the Little Baseball Association (the city’s then Little League) and has been expanded since. It includes a .7 mile loop running track, swings, and it is the only Olympia park with a zip line. It also features a monster dome rope play structure with areas to climb, swing, a rope bridge and it even accommodates really big kids (adults). It has a little kid structure as well.
Lions Park was started in 1946 by the Olympia Lions club and the neighborhood association. In 2010 the park was improved to include log climbers, horseshoe pits, a climbing rock structure and slide. The park includes the animal journey of indigenous animal tracks (including people) and the path is meant to be walked on allowing people to participate in the journey. Also at the park are 12 hidden lions and a sprinkler.
Yauger Park also features a trail around the park, through the storm water structure nature area, a disk golf course, horse shoe pits and swings. There is a Dirt Works demonstration garden at the park that features summer classes for kids. The park features a three story play structure called the mega tower including four slides, and the structure is handicapped accessible.
After visiting one of these parks, head over to the Port of Olympia’s Boatswap and Chowder Challenge on Saturday. Event information can be found here.
Get out and enjoy the sunshine this summer at any of these Olympia parks.
Submitted by Luxe for Style
Spring is here. Prom and wedding season is right around the corner. At Luxe for Style hair salon, we are studying up on the latest hair and makeup trends for the 2013 season. This year mira bella is using a lot of metallic tones with winged out tips reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe with a strong coral, red or pink lip. Skin is soft and dewy and everything well blended. Of course following trends are not for everyone. At Luxe, we can customize a look that is best suited for you and brings out your best features. You will look amazing on your big night!
Luxe is definitely on top with our team of stylists and makeup artists. If you are looking for a prom style, wedding ‘do or just a big night out, we know we can help you create the look you are going to absolutely love. We can create a beautiful, structured chignon or a tousled textured style. Perhaps your look is a long wave or extreme volume. We offer extensions that will take you to that amazing look that will make you feel like the star you are.
Give Luxe for Style a call today to set an appointment or a complimentary consultation. We look forward to being a part of your big day!
By Mary Ellen Psaltis
Fresh seafood is a huge bonus of living in the Pacific Northwest. Fish is healthful (all those good omegas), easy to prepare and is pleasurable to eat. My son and I love salmon – lucky for us. I am not sure where the unpronounced “l” came from, but that is not on my list of worries. Copper River salmon season, which last a fleeting two months, begins on a random day mid-May. Restaurants will celebrate its arrival with enticing recipes. Fish markets will have it and then suddenly the last tail slips away until next year. Yes, you can freeze some, but I like the bear method – eat copiously while it’s readily available.
Copper River salmon refers not to a particular kind of salmon, but that the salmon physically came from the Copper River. It might be King, sockeye or silver. The swiftness of the river requires the fish to have more fat and oil to make the difficult journey. The unpredictable weather and extreme tides also make for challenging fishing. Hence, Copper River salmon is renown around the world.
In case you are not crazy about salmon, you will have numerous options if you stop in at Bayview’s Lobster Sale on Friday, May 17. Head under the big tent in the parking lot for live or cooked lobsters. Alongside the lobsters will be whole and half halibut and other seafood for as well. Seafood Manager Lisa Ishler has been scoping out the best prices and availability. Sounds like feasting to me.
Here are a few thoughts for cooking your fish:
Sear: (high heat, short time) Start your fillets on the stove then finish them in the oven. The outside will be golden perfect and the inside still moist.
Or, forget the oven finish and sear only. It won’t be cooked through – and that’s OK. (maybe not for everyone).
Broil: Again, you will cook the outside fast. A sticky marinade would be nice. Cook as desired.
Bake: 350 degrees for a few minutes. Totally easy – won’t produce crisp outside but perfect for spicy rubs. Don’t be afraid to take your pan out off the oven when the fish appears almost but not quite done. As the pieces sit for a couple of minutes, the cooking will continue.
Poach: citrus, wine and butter. Submerges flavors, no burning.
Plank: Soaked pieces of wood protect your fillets from the grill and add a smoky wood element that you either love or hate.
Smoke: Not within my realm of expertise, but lots of people do it. Need some equipment.
Raw: No cooking at all: Raw, fresh, high quality salmon can be eaten raw but one ought exercise caution.
Boiling: Cooking lobsters requires a huge pot of salted water. Best results come from putting the live lobster head first into the roiling water. You can probably do two at time (depending on the size of the pot).
Cover the pot and let it get to boiling again. Recipes suggest 12-20 minutes for a 1-1 ½ pound lobster. The shells will become bright red and the tails will curl. Drain well.
Bayview will do the cooking, if you prefer. Serve with drawn batter and chilled wine.
What is drawn butter, anyway?
Also known as clarified butter, it’s unsalted butter where the solids and liquids have been separated. This is done by melting butter, just bringing it to a boil, removing from heat and then skimming off the solids. What’s left is clear. Use for dipping.
I see fish in my future and it sure looks great. There must be at least one fish with one cooking style that appeals to you. Give it a go. It’s the season.
Eat Well – Be Well
Now open! Forza celebrates their grand opening of the Lacey store. Forza was born from a combined passion for Italy, the love of coffee, and the pursuit of making a difference in the community.
Complete article coming soon. Thanks to Priest Photography for the photos.
130 Marvin Road SE #130
Lacey, WA 98503
Submitted by City of Lacey Parks and Recreation
Celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday, June 1, 2013, by joining other trail supporters at Woodland Creek Community Park, 6729 Pacific Avenue SE, to spread wood chips on trails in the park, pull weeds and invasive plants, and conduct basic trail maintenance. The Woodland Trail Greenway Association is hosting the trail maintenance work party.
Individuals, families, and groups are welcome to join. Volunteers under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants will enjoy a barbeque lunch provided by The Alpine Experience after the project is complete. Please pre-register by Friday, May 24 to ensure that enough food, water, and tools are on hand. To access the registration form, visit the City of Lacey website at www.ci.lacey.wa.us/parks-volunteer.
National Trails Day® is sponsored by the American Hiking Society. Since 1993, this event has grown to inspire thousands of people to celebrate America’s magnificent trail system on the same day nationwide. This year marks the 21st annual celebration, with over 2,000 events taking place throughout the United States. Additional National Trails Day® projects are available at www.AmericanHiking.org/ntd.
For more information, please call the Lacey Parks and Recreation Department at (360) 491-0857.
Submitted by City of Olympia
In a ceremony today, Olympia Police Chief Ronnie Roberts honored both members of the public and members of the Police Department for their service to the community in 2012. Each year, the Olympia Police Department meets during National Police Week to recognize those who have gone “above and beyond the call of duty” to help provide a safe and secure city. Chief Roberts thanked the award recipients for their dedication to community and to duty.
Submitted by The Foundation Campus
The Foundation Campus in Lacey includes a pre-school, daycare, and K-12 program. If you are looking for a great Biblically based education and strong academics check out The Foundation Campus today. The teacher to student ratio at The Foundation Campus greatly enhances the level of education that their child will receive.
Volumes of research dating back to the 1960’s highlight the advantages of smaller schools:
• Greater student achievement
• Better grades
• Higher graduation rates
• More years of college and graduate school after high school
• Safe schools
• Strong parental involvement
• Strong science, math, and critical thinking skills’
Empirical evidence also shows that the advantages of small schools stay with children throughout their educational career. In addition, Foundation Campus staff go the extra mile to create an environment that helps students to go beyond the normal educational experience that most school systems offer. The campus has a rich tradition of excellence in athletics, statewide academic competitions, the arts and more.
Northwest Christian High School (NCHS) in Lacey was just voted as the 2013 best high school in the greater South Sound region by readers of South Sound Magazine. NCHS tied for first with Charles Wright Academy of Tacoma. In response to our selection, South Sound Magazine stated, “High school can be both mentally and emotionally challenging. Help ease that burden by enrolling your teen into one of the best private schools in Western Washington.”
Find more information about each school on The Foundation Campus here. You can also call the following people to set up a tour of each school on our campus:
Day care and Pre-school-Michele Jewett (360) 951-3054
Community Christian Academy-Rick Graham (360) 493-2233
Northwest Christian High School-Dr. Terry Ketchum (360) 491-2966
When is a dentist not ‘just a dentist’? Pretty much every day if you are one of the talented and compassionate dentists at Small To Tall Pediatric Dentistry. The care they give to each patient in the office is the same care they extend into our community, supporting non-profit organizations and individuals throughout the South Sound. The Small to Tall team has supported, financially or with their time, more than twenty-one different groups.
But the Small to Tall dentists and staff aren’t supporting our community just to grow a lengthy list. They simply know it’s the right thing to do. Dr. Ben Ruder shares, “If there are things we can support financially, with donations or with our presence we feel everyone can benefit.” And the organizations around our area benefit greatly.
One example is Small to Tall’s support of the South Sound Reading Foundation (SSRF). If you delivered a baby at a local hospital, then you have benefitted from the SSRF. Thank the SSRF for the board book you went home with (ours was titled Mama, Mama). In addition to their Books for Babies Program, the SSRF has more than ten programs aimed at supporting literacy for children – promoting reading 20 minutes a day by making sure books are in every home and childcare center in our area.
As parents of small children themselves, the Small to Tall dentists are proud to support SSRF’s work. “I really enjoyed attending the annual fundraising breakfast and learning more about the great impact this organization has on our community,” says Dr. Scott Rowley.
Coming up soon on the calendar is the Lacey Spring Fun Fair, an event that Small to Tall is proud to participate in and sponsor. This free community event draws thousands of people every year, celebrating the season with a variety of fun activities for kids and adults. Stop by Small to Tall’s booth at the Lacey Spring Fun Fair and pick up educational materials about oral hygiene. During the two day event, all of the dentists and their staff will rotate through the booth. “It’s not just the dentists who feel passionate about community support – it’s a philosophy supported by the entire office,” adds Rowley.
Like many parents in the area, I am thrilled with the new Hands On Children’s Museum. Small to Tall is too. They were key donors during the construction process of the new museum, but their involvement doesn’t stop there. They partner with the museum to highlight Children’s Dental Health Month each February, coordinating free dental screenings. Many dentists from the Thurston-Mason Counties Dental Society pitch in throughout the month. This free service is invaluable to area families who may have skipped early childhood check-ups due to finances or simply didn’t know screenings start with the emergence of the first tooth.
And community involvement of other area dentists is something Dr. Ruder sites as the norm, not the exception. “I really feel that the dental profession as a whole, not just Small to Tall, supports the arts, school groups like PTAs and other non-profit organizations around the Olympia area. Whenever I go to a performance, school event or a non-profit benefit, it’s always reassuring to see how many dentists sponsor or offer support to these organizations,” shares Ruder.
When reading through the list of organizations Small to Tall supports, I was struck with not only the larger organizational support including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County, South Sound YMCA and Providence St. Peter’s Hospital, but that it included so many smaller, more personal connections.
These connections exist because Small to Tall really loves their patients, who travel from Grays Harbor, Mason, Lewis, Thurston and South Pierce County to take advantage of the specialized pediatric care services offered at Small to Tall. Dentists in other counties refer patients to Small to Tall, knowing that their youngest patients will get just what they need from Drs. Rowley, Ruder, and Psaltis. In turn, Small to Tall supports the school auctions, PTAs, dance teams, Scout troops, theater productions, and sports fundraisers of their patients. “It’s built into our business and a core philosophy that we share,” remarks Rowley.
One of the favorite outreach activities of the team at Small to Tall is visiting local preschools where they demonstrate, in larger than life scale, how to take good care of your teeth. Floss made of rope and teeth made from stuffed pillowcases make preschoolers laugh, but also get them excited about taking care of their own teeth, ridding their mouth of the dreaded “sugar bugs.” When kids are excited about their own dental health, parents will follow.
And ultimately, that’s the big goal of community outreach and support. “We are supposed to be advocates for children’s oral health, to make sure they have healthy teeth and quality experiences when they come to the dentist,” shares Ruder. “That certainly extends beyond the borders of the dental office. We want to make sure we are advocates not just in our office, but in our community. Going out to schools and other venues, we can reach out to kids, in an environment they are familiar with, to educate them. It’s a community effort and that is really just part of who we are.”
222 Lilly Road
Olympia, WA 98506