Next weekend is busy. Thurston County will have loads of choices on events around the area. From Procession of the Species to Spring Arts Walk and out to the Dragon Boat Festival, with plenty of other things to do as well. This weekend, in the spirit of Earth Day, why don’t you try one of many family-friendly volunteer projects happening around the county.
ThurstonTalk aims to be your source for positive information and events happening in Olympia. If you have a suggestion for a post, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here.
By Tom Rohrer
It’s hard to believe that violence could ever be associated with such an event as positive as the Boston Marathon, but as the entire country found out, it unfortunately was. Amongst the most resilient, friendliest and optimistic athletes in the world are distance runners, so it should be no surprise that members of the Olympia running community joined together Thursday night in support of the tragedy in Boston earlier this week.
Hundreds of runners gathered at Marathon Park on Capitol Lake Thursday evening, where the group held a gathering, that included a moment of silence, before taking off on a run around the lake and throughout the area. All the way across the country, the tragedy was felt, and all the way across the country, people came together to show strength and support each other.
Submitted by South Sound Ductless
What exactly is a ductless heat pump and how does it work?
This is a question we often get at South Sound Ductless. People have seen our name or heard about the big rebates from their utility company and wonder how these things could work to heat and cool with no ductwork. They want to know the “catch”. Well, there isn’t one!
Ductless heating and cooling systems, sometimes called “mini-splits”, work in much the same way as a traditional centrally ducted heat pump or air conditioner, but there are some distinct advantages over those traditional systems.
First, there is no large furnace or fan coil to take up valuable floor space and the fan motor is smaller and thus quieter. Also, there are no air ducts, so less heat is lost, and installation is much easier, quicker, and costs about half the price as installing a ducted system. Instead of ducts, the outdoor and indoor units are connected by a small refrigerant line about three inches in diameter.
A condensing unit is located outside the home. This contains the compressor which circulates the refrigerant to produce the cooling effect. There are several types of compressors but the latest innovation is inverter technology which allows the compressor to operate at an almost unlimited number of speeds. The units normally start at full speed when there is the need for heating or cooling. After the set point is reached, the speed is reduced to pump just enough refrigerant to match the requirements of the home. This means energy savings as well as longer cycles which then provide more cleaning/filtering of the home’s air and more even temperature distribution.
A fan coil can be mounted on the wall or ceiling of the room to be conditioned. This is the indoor unit, also sometimes called the “head”. The head contains an evaporator coil, fan, and filtering system along with the control components. Some of these units include advanced filtering systems such as carbon activated filters, electrostatic filters, or anti-bacterial filters and many units include more than one filter technology. Many heads also include a very small motor to move louvers up and down and/or back and forth which enhances air circulation throughout the room.
The system is usually controlled through a remote which you can use to set the temperature, change the modes of operation, and set timers. Some units include a temperature sensor in the remote. Sensing the room temperature at the remote instead of high on the wall can allow for better comfort in your home.
Many units include advanced modes of operation. Turbo mode or quick cool mode runs the fan and compressor on highest speeds to provide the most cooling in the shortest amount of time. Dehumidify or dry mode operates the fan at lower speeds to increase the amount of moisture removed from the air. Sleep mode can allow for energy savings without noticeable changes in comfort level. A fresh air option allows a small duct to be connected and bring in air from the outside.
Ductless heating and cooling systems can also be connected to more than one indoor fan coil unit. These configurations are called ”multi-splits” and can help you to save money when more than one unit is required due to the size or unique configuration of your home or business. These heads can be operated independently of one another and set at different temperatures to accommodate different needs.
Ductless heat pumps are great for replacing older systems, whether ducted or not. They work well in new construction, remodeling and additions. And the energy savings is so great that significant cash rebates and tax credits are available for most.
This article was authored by Marcie Meisenheimer of South Sound Ductless. South Sound Ductless is a locally owned and operated heating and cooling system company. Ductless heat pumps are all we do because we believe in the technology. To learn more about ductless heat pumps and how you can save money and get big rebates contact South Sound Ductless.
Submitted by Thurston County Fair
Now you can enjoy the fun, food, history and heritage of the Thurston County Fair all year long with the book “Memories: The History of the Thurston County Fair.” Written by Ann Shipley, a long time fair board member and volunteer, the book tells how the Thurston County Fair has been at the center of Thurston County history, heritage, commerce and agriculture since 1871.
“A lot of people have happy memories of the smells and sights and sounds of the fair—they have a strong personal connection to that special week each summer. But when researching the book, I found that those personal memories are tied to a much bigger picture,” said author Ann Shipley.
“A lot of the events and contests at the fair are deeply tied to Thurston County history and Washington state history,” Shipley said. “They tie directly to what life was like for the pioneer settlers in the Pacific Northwest and give us a glimpse of our cultural heritage.”
To reserve your copy of “Memories: The History of the Thurston County Fair” for $25, contact Ann Shipley at (360) 791-6086 or at email@example.com. All proceeds from the book sale go to the Thurston County Fair Foundation, which will help the Thurston County Fair make more memories for years to come.
The laughter and ladybugs will have you giggling with glee at this year’s Thurston County Fair July 31 through August 4. For more information about the 2013 fair and other events at the Thurston County Fairgrounds, go to www.co.thurston.wa.us/fair or contact the Thurston County Fair Office at (360) 786-5453.
Submitted by 9 Cent Color Copies
Most folks think that paper is paper and that any paper can be printed on. This used to be true in the time of letterpress and etchings, but today, each type of printer needs to have specific paper or it will jam up the works. A laser press, which is what I use, must use paper specifically designed for a laser press. There cannot be too much dust or the drums or print belt will cloud up and the print quality diminishes.
When you are shopping for a good local printer, there are things to consider that matter more than price. If the printer uses plain old copy paper, your printed copies will not be displayed as well as you might like. Plain old copy paper is usually 20# paper that has a brightness factor of 88 to 92. The brightness scale peaks out at 100.
92 brightness means that the paper is 92% white, or 8% black. 100 brightness means that the paper is 100% white, or no black. When printing black on paper, the brightness of the paper does not make much difference because black is opaque; however; since colors are translucent, the color of the paper will show through and alter the color of the ink or toner. For instance, if you print red on yellow paper, it looks orange. That’s because the yellow shows through the red. The same principle is true when printing color on 92 brightness paper. The grayness in the paper shows through the colors and diminishes them so they look somewhat drab and washed out. Printing the same thing on 100 brightness paper will allow the colors to remain true and brilliant, making the printing appear much more professional and giving a much better first impression of what you are trying to portray.
Wouldn’t you want to make the best impression on that new customer by having the very best copies that you could possibly get? Well the first thing you must do is to choose the best quality paper that you can get. The paper is the foundation for your printing. If you have a poor foundation, nothing you can do will make the printing look any better; but if you start with a nice bright white color copy paper, your copies will look great.
Here at 9 Cent Color Copies, we use only the highest quality bright white paper so that your copies, cards and brochures look the very best they can. Call Chris or Jen for more information about your printing needs, in Lacey, 360-367-0440 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Some fun Olympia Airport facts:
By Emily McMason
Did you know the average pedestrian can walk 4 blocks in 5 minutes? While the City of Olympia Department of Parks, Arts and Recreation have included this in the Spring 2013 Arts Walk guide, chances are, it will take you much longer to wander the sidewalks of downtown April 26 and 27. With 96 official sites for Arts Walk, there are opportunities aplenty to pause and take it all in.
The events begin Friday evening and culminate with Procession of the Species Saturday afternoon at 4:30 pm. It is a chance to see not only the artists’ works, but local shops as well. Stores supporting Arts Walk include longtime downtown businesses like Urban Onion, Canvas Works, Childhood’s End Gallery, Drees and Traditions Café. While these are familiar names, it is also an opportunity to explore shops you’ve seen but maybe not yet ventured into, including De Colores Books, Matter Gallery, The Steam Plant, or Olympia Olive Oil.
Canvas Works has been an artist sponsor from the very beginning, hosting each year since the first Arts Walk. “It is the perfect venue for Olympians to congregate, see old friends, check out new and old local artists. Downtown comes alive with positivity, smiles and great entertainment. We are sponsoring The Olympia Waldorf School. The youth music ensemble will be performing Friday Night at 6:30 with lively numbers performed on guitar, ukulele, mandolin, and percussion. We will also have youth watercolor from OWS students. Our second feature will be local fiber and textile artists showing off there latest knit, woven, sewn, and felted creations,” said Amy Chartrey.
You could strategically map out a Girls’ Night Out adventure and see the art displays inside of Red Door Interiors, Archibald Sisters, Hot Toddy, and Compass Rose. Or maybe it’s an adult’s only evening and you wander from Swing Wine Bar to Olympia Wine Tasting Bar, finishing the night at Fish Tale Brew Pub.
Red Door Interior’s co-owner Lara Anderson said that the local store has been hosting artists for six years. ”We are hosting Julie Simpson for the fourth time. She is amazing! She beat breast cancer this past year and the artwork that she will be exhibiting was painted during her illness. It is emotionally raw and beautiful at the same time. We will also be hosting the incredibly talented singer songwriter, Melina Kastle- she is like Nora Jones. Spring Arts Walk is our favorite community event! Red Door is always alive and fun for the event,” said Anderson.
Artist Julie Simpson is a graduate of The Rhode Island School of Design. “[I’ve] been a working artist for the past 10 years practicing two art forms – hand woven textile design and 2-D mixed media paintings. Last year during my treatment, I was thankful for being an artist as I was visually expressing what I could not find words for and the multiple canvases painted during that year provided the art therapy needed on a personal level to persevere through this monumental and powerful challenge.”
If Arts Walk is a family event, make sure to include stops at Olympia Timberland Library and the Hands On Children’s Museum on Friday. Olympia Timberland Library will be hosting a special evening, including a performance by Sambalincolnwa at 5:15 pm. Families are encouraged and invited to come and dance to the percussion music. Afterwards artist Nora Walsh will be on hand to help children create their own works of art. The Hands On Children’s Museum will be open late on Friday as well, and admission will be free after 5:00 pm. Kids will have an opportunity to engage in special Arts Walk activities and visit with local artists. Finish the weekend Arts Walk experience with Saturday’s Procession of the Species.
Children’s book illustrator Jill Carter will be displaying her art at Popinjay. “I will be showing some light boxes and shadow boxes of illustrations from the children’s book series ‘The Chicken and the Dog.’ We will also be signing books. We have three now, ‘The Chicken and the Dog’ in both English and Spanish as well as the sequel we just finished, ‘The Great Chicken Caper.’ I illustrated the books in collaboration with local authors Amanda and Andre Maxwell.”
Carter’s vision for art goes beyond what we hang on our walls. “I have also made a bunch of the illustrations into temporary tattoos and for the last two Art Walks I have had a blast giving away a little bit of wearable art to all the kids (and kid’s at heart). This Arts Walk we have also been working on getting these fun illustrations on some more functional items like canvas bags. We want to introduce artwork into people’s everyday activities.”
Or maybe, you plan by artist or artistic medium. There are artists in watercolor, oil, pen and ink. Leaving the canvas there are mosaics, metal works, stone sculpture, painted furniture and porcelain jewelry. There are names you will recognize, including the celebrated Nikki McClure, and names that might belong to your own children, like the art done by Lincoln Elementary School students.
Artist Maitri Sojourner’s work will be showing at Breathe. She explained, “I am a member of a local art critique group, ‘Thursday Art Group—TAG’, and we will be showing our work at Breathe, the yoga and performance studio on Capitol Way just opposite Sylvester Park. I am currently ‘painting with fabric’—I use recycled clothes and various repurposed fabrics to build images. My pieces in the show are based on the ancient Buddhist Ox Herding series, which depict a person in search of an ox, and the struggle to tame the ox. This ancient artwork is really a metaphor for the search of self. My modern-day version explores this theme, but with a southwestern flavor, depicted with desert plants and animals.”
For photographer Cortney Kelley, this marks her 13th Arts Walk. She is located in The Steam Plant, next door to Ziegler’s Welding. “This year we are lucky to feature the [Arts Walk guide] cover artist, China Star, as well as Darcy Goedecke. We will have three musical performance groups on Friday night starting at 5 pm and on into the night–a youth jazz/rock group, a solo singer/songwriter Shelby Adams, and a classic rock band The Pump House. We are also going to have an outdoor beer garden sponsored by POSSCA (Patrons of South Sound Cultural Arts). The beer garden will be serving Fish Tale Ale and people will be able to relax and listen to some great music, visit with friends, and enjoy our vibrant, artistic community!”
In addition to supporting local artists and businesses, there are ways to participate in Arts Walk. On Saturday April 20 there is a community downtown clean-up event from 8:00 am to noon. Register to help by contacting Kim Combs at the ODA office, 357-8948 or email@example.com by April 19th.
Or maybe, you simply meander the sidewalks, letting your sensing pull you in. No matter how you plan your time, the 46th Arts Walk in Olympia is not to be missed.
Submitted by City of Olympia
Grab your guide to the 2013 Spring Arts Walk in downtown Olympia – April 26 & 27! Arts Walk maps are available at participating downtown businesses, The Olympia Center (222 Columbia St NW), and City Hall (601 4th Ave E). Electronic maps in several versions can also be found at www.olympiawa.gov/arts walk
The spring Arts Walk also includes the spectacular Procession of the Species, an artistic and environmental celebration presented by Earthbound Productions, www.procession.org; the Procession begins at 4:30pm 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. Residents have the option to bus or walk to the event – route information is 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.
By Tom Rohrer
In fact, running may have been part of the equation that led to the two getting married…..quite possibly the main factor.
The two former collegiate distance runners met early on during their time at Whitworth University, and have been together ever since.
“A girl in the hall I lived on and one of Jesse’s good friends both said ‘you’re perfect for each other’, and this was my very first day in the dorm,” Jenny Stevick said. “We almost immediately started dating and I’m just thankful he’s the guy they were saying I was perfect for.”
Now, over a decade later, Jesse is an Olympia High School science teacher and the head coach for both the Oly boys cross country and track teams, the very school he and his four other siblings starred at before eventually becoming collegiate athletes.
Jesse’s father, Drew, joins him on the OHS track and field coaching staff. Drew, known locally as one of the foremost authorities on track and field, also leads the Barron Park Striders. Jesse’s younger brother Casey, a standout decathlete during his time at Azusa Pacific University also coaches. Jenny is a part-time assistant coach for the girls cross country and track and field teams. She coaches under Cris Violette who was Jesse’s head cross country coach during his time competing for OHS.
In his first season coaching, Jesse had the opportunity to coach his younger sister Cassidy. She throws the javelin as current member of the track and field team at -surprise- Whitworth University.
The experience of coaching with family and loved ones has been a rewarding and bonding experience for all the Stevicks.
“It’s been super fun and really rewarding for the kids in that we all have that experience in the sport, and I competed here myself,” said Jesse, a six time winner in the Capital City Marathon. “Just getting to coach these kids, we feel thoroughly blessed. It’s so fun, having (the family) around coaching and also having Jenny be a part of it is awesome.”
“I could use a lot of adjectives to describe it but it’s been wonderful,” said Drew Stevick, a standout track and field athlete at Whitworth who was at one point invited to the U.S. Olympic trials in javelin. “Seeing and being a part of these experiences, there are very few opportunities like this for a dad.”
“It’s really fun and a neat chance to get with Jesse and spend time with him,” said Jenny Stevick, who ran at Black Hills High School and is a two time winner of the Capital City Marathon. “To be out there at the same time and cheer for the same kids at meets is just a fun experience.”
Free time is harder to come by for Jesse and Jenny these days, as they’re now parents to four-year-old son Wesley and daughter Gemma, who recently turned two.
While the two parents will never pressure their children to become involved in running and athletics, they likely won’t have to. Jenny continues to run 70 – 80 miles per week while pushing both children in the stroller. Wesley runs with his parents a quarter of a mile to get to church from their neighborhood.
“I mean, I will never pressure them at all, but it’s a healthy activity, and one I think they will just enjoy naturally from their time growing up,” said Jesse, who noted his father constructed adjustable hurdles for Wesley on his second birthday.
“I think (the kids) enjoy it, even though we may have thought it was child abuse because they were in the stroller so much,” Jenny said with a laugh. “Gemma is still young, but Wesley is now excited about being active, and it’s been great to see that as he’s gotten older. They’re learning to be content without a lot of stimulants which is something rare these days and something we’re thankful for.”
Those miles of training paid off for Jenny and Jesse last May, as they won the women’s and men’s Capital City Marathon races respectively. This was Jenny’s second title after taking 2011 off for the birth of Gemma. The win in 2012 was Jesse’s sixth, which is now the all-time record in the event’s history, a victory made even sweeter because of Jenny’s triumph.
“Really it was somewhat unexpected, but it was definitely special to win it in the same year and I know that once I finished, I was just waiting to see if she could pull it out,” Jesse noted.
“We really wanted to both win last year,” Jenny added. “It was just so fun, to hear he had won once I finished the race.”
It was also a special moment for Drew.
“It was a great day for us to follow them around and cheer them on,” Drew Stevick said of last year’s marathon. “Running, it’s a family thing for them and the whole family and for them to have that success and such a great relationship was and is very fun.”
The work ethic Jesse continues to put forth in teaching, coaching and running comes in part from the example his father set. He knows his father has had a similar impact on other track and field athletes in the community.
“For me, he’s been a huge inspiration for everything I’ve done,” Jesse said. “The standards he has set, I’m still striving for them, and that is in part because of me wanting to achieve and work hard. I saw and continue to see him do the same.”
“When I look at most of the high caliber athletes and those that go on to compete at the state meet, most have had their beginnings in the sport with my dad and his program,” Jesse added.
The elder Stevick sees a similar impact on the Olympia High athletes that compete under his son.
“He works hard, and what’s really neat is to see his attitude become contagious with the OHS runners,” Drew Stevick said. “And all five of my kids are like that. They’re super kids and I feel extremely honored to be their dad.”
Jesse feels a similar honor in the fact that he gets to live close to his family in an area that he loves.
“Having been across the country, I know that the Pacific Northwest has the best climate overall, and also, I think the family aspect is another huge plus for us,” Jesse Stevick said. “We get to run a half mile to my parent’s house. My older sister, younger brother and his wife and Jenny’s parents still live in the area. When you stop and think about it, we feel so blessed to be a part of this community.”
Just as the Olympia community is blessed to have people like the Stevicks.
By Tom Rohrer
Freshmen face the difficult task of acclimating to the increased academic work0load, a new social setting and navigating around an unfamiliar facility.
For students moving to a new area to begin high school, those challenges are magnified tenfold.
DeJuan Frye, now a sophomore at River Ridge High School, was just such a student.
Frye, the son in a military family, moved to the Lacey area from Alabama, a cross-country and cross-culture journey.
“When I first moved, I just had to meet people and I adapted to them and how things went and flowed,” Frye said in an interview with ThurstonTalk.com
“It’s a lot different,” he said of Lacey from Alabama. “The culture is a lot different in that you meet a (more diverse) group of people here.”
Athletics offer young students ways to combat against those challenges mentioned before: teammates can become friends, the structure of the sport can allow the student to stay focused, and confidence can come from the fitness and competitive aspects of the game.
Frye, who also plays on the Hawks football team, immediately saw results in track and field, becoming one of the top sprinters, not just at his school, but the entire Thurston County area.
After a freshmen season in which he finished eighth in the 2A state meet in the 100 meters (11.32 sec) and seventh in the 4 x 100 meter relay race (along with teammates Chris Leiba, Daniel Montesa, and Ika Morton), Frye has taken the next step in his development this year, and has the award to prove it.
At the Ice Breaker Invitational in Rainier on March 16, Frye posted the best 100 meter time of 10.99. That same meet, Frye ran, at the time, the second best 200 meter time across 2A this season, finishing the race in 22.72 seconds (he was also part of the meet’s winning 4 x 100 meter relay team). The 200 meter mark is now the fourth best among 2A sprinters.
For that amazing performance, Frye was named WIAA State Athlete of The Week, a feat even more impressive considering he had to be convinced initially by his mother to go out for the track team.
“At first, I didn’t want to run, my mom asked me to do it to stay busy,” said Frye, who won both the 100 meter event and 200 meter event at his first high school meet. “When I started winning, I was surprised of the level that I was competing at. It was sort of a shock.”
Improvement in the 100 meters is measured by tenths and hundredths of a second, and while his .1 second improvement from last year (his best time was 11.09) may seem marginal, it’s a testament to his work ethic, dedication and his still untapped potential.
“He’s extremely dedicated to his craft,” said Phil Lonborg, who’s been the track at field coach at River Ridge since the school opened in 1993. “He had his eyes wide open last year at a few meets and I told him we expect him to win and that he needs to develop an attitude where he expects to win. I think he’s done that.”
Frye, now 16, notices an improvement this year in the way he handles his nerves and the pressures associated with a big race.
“I would run to the crowd and it would get loud and I would get distracted,” Frye said, “This year, my focus is just on me and the racers and the track. I block out all that noise and the distractions.”
Along with being driven by personal motivation, Frye knows there are other sprinters at the 2A level, particularly one from a nearby school, that are looking to beat him when it counts: at the state meet in May.
Tumwater’s Andrew Brown, a senior, has the best 2A time in the 200 and 400 meter races, and will likely face-off against Frye at several meets throughout the year.
“If he wants to be great, he certainly will have to earn it when everything is on the line at state,” Lonborg said. “He has stiff competition, and he isn’t going to sneak up on anybody. They know who he is.”
“I’m motivated by the competition,” Frye said. “When someone tells me they’re faster, it just makes me want to go harder.”
“He gives me that competition that makes me better,” Frye said of Brown. “When I race against him I have to take it to another level.
Lonborg has noticed maturation from Frye throughout his sophomore year, citing his consistent presence in the weight room and by showing up to optional practices.
“I was there at spring break and he was at every optional practice,” Lonborg said. “Actually, he was waiting for me when I got there. This is clearly important to him.”
Equally as important as Frye’s performance on the track is his character and demeanor off it, displaying a humble attitude and a set of morals passed down from his mother.
“It’s just that my mom taught me very well how to act,” Frye said of his mother, who he says makes sure he stays on top of his academic affairs and studies. “That and that I should always humble and be respectful of others.”
“There is not a person in the school who knows him who doesn’t love him, he’s just that great of a kid,” Lonborg said. “He doesn’t talk about himself. He appreciates when people talk to him about his accolades but he doesn’t let it get to his head and he won’t draw attention to himself.”
Frye credits his coaches for his success and is thankful of the support the entire school has given him.
“I have a great relationship with everyone I feel, but my coaches have been very supportive of me and helped me get used to the new environment,” He said. “If I need anything, I can look to (my coaches) for advice.”
While he may have the top 100 meter time in the state, Frye is driven by the possibility of defeat, and will continue to push himself until he reaches his top speed.
“Even though I have the top time, I got it in my head that I can get beat anytime and it pushes me to go farther,” Frye said. “You can always improve, always run faster, and I won’t stop working until I can’t run any faster.”
That’s certainly bad news for his competition.
Submitted by Thurston County
Thurston County’s Medical Reserve Corps celebrated one of their own April 9 at their annual volunteer appreciation celebration.
Dr. Diana Yu, founder of the Thurston County Medical Reserve Corps and the county’s Health Officer for nearly 20 years, was honored with the group’s first Volunteer of the Year Award. Medical Reserve Corps volunteers chose Dr. Yu as the recipient and namesake of the new award to honor her hard work and dedication to public health in Thurston County and for creating the group of emergency response volunteers. As Dr. Yu plans for her retirement later this fall, MRC volunteers noted the award is for Volunteer of the Year, but Dr Yu’s contribution to the health and well-being of Thurston County residents spans her entire career—well beyond just the previous 12 months.
“I’m overwhelmed,” said a surprised Dr. Yu. “You know, all I really did was talk a lot of other people into doing what they love to do—volunteer for their community.”
“There are people in the local health community who have known for years that Dr. Yu is a force of nature when it comes to protecting the public’s health in our area,” said Director of Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Don Sloma, who presented the award Tuesday. “It’s really great to see her recognized for all that she does for this community.”
Dr. Yu’s dedication to the Medical Reserve Corps in Thurston County was also noted by those outside the county borders. Captain Robert J. Tosatto of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General in Maryland and director of the national Medical Reserve Corps program sent a letter thanking Dr. Yu for her commitment to the program and commending her for growing the program over the past 11 years into the strong network of dedicated volunteers it is today.
Thurston County Commissioners Sandra Romero and Cathy Wolfe expressed appreciation for all of the Medical Reserve Corps volunteers and their commitment to the health of Thurston County. They noted that that MRC volunteers donated more than 1100 hours of their time in 2012 for training and health events, including several back-to-school vaccination clinics organized in part to help curb the whooping cough epidemic in Washington state.
The Thurston County Medical Reserve Corps is a community-based volunteer program that strengthens and expands the local public health system’s response during a health emergency or disaster. Members include medical and non-medical professionals who contribute their unique skills and expertise to prepare for and respond to health emergencies. The Thurston County MRC is one of over 900 nationally recognized Medical Reserve Corps units.
Are you interested in volunteering with e Thurston County Medical Reserve Corps? You don’t need to be a doctor or nurse to volunteer. Visit the Thurston County MRC website at http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/admin/preparedness/mrc.html, or contact Sue Poyner, Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Department, at (360) 867-2551 or PoynerS@co.thurston.wa.us to learn more.
OLYMPIA—With Earth Day only a week away, Thurston County Commissioners today issued a proclamation naming Monday, April 22 Earth Day in Thurston County. The proclamation also highlighted a number of local environmental projects and local environmental heroes, presented with a rousing song and dance from Samba Olywa that has become a delightful annual tradition at the county commissioners’ Earth Day presentation event.
“Our Earth Day proclamation is our chance to thank the people in our community who really do the heavy lifting when it comes to protecting the environment,” said Commissioner Cathy Wolfe. “To really succeed, environmental protection efforts can’t be top down. They have to be supported and nurtured at the grassroots level, and I’m so proud to see so many people in our community who embrace the environmental protection effort on Earth Day and every day of the year.”
“Most of these projects and organizations count on volunteers to make these environmental projects happen. Today is our chance to celebrate those volunteers and all that they contribute to making Thurston County a greener and healthier place to live—with a little whimsy and fun. Thank you all for everything you do for Thurston County,” said Commissioner Karen Valenzuela.
Recipients of today’s Earth Day proclamation include:
The Board of County Commissioners is Thurston County’s legislative authority and is made up of three commissioners elected to four-year terms. To learn more about the Board of County Commissioners, commission meetings and current legislation, visit www.co.thurston.wa.us/bocc.
Submitted by Saint Martin’s University
LACEY, Wash. – Brightly colored dragon boats and 32 local and regional teams vying to paddle those vessels to victory will return to Budd Bay Inlet in Olympia Saturday, April 27, for a day of fun and fierce competition at the 8th annual Saint Martin’s Dragon Boat Festival.
More than 4,000 people are expected to attend this year’s festival, which will take place 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., at Port Plaza in Budd Inlet. The day-long event, presented by the University in cooperation with the Washington Dragon Boat Association, is free and open to the public. Some 750 participants will paddle their way through the annual Dragon Boat Races as part of the day’s activities. The paddlers are members of teams from universities, high schools, school districts, government agencies, community organizations and local businesses, hailing from Seattle to Portland.
Dragon boat racing dates back to fourth-century China, commemorating famed poet Qu Yuan, who threw himself into the Milo River to protest the political turmoil and suffering of the people at that time. Today, dragon boat races are an opportunity to celebrate culture and community.
“Friendly competition and having fun while learning about another culture’s time-honored traditions make the Dragon Boat Festival an eagerly anticipated event for the University and surrounding communities,” says Josephine Yung, Saint Martin’s vice president of international programs and development.
Saint Martin’s University has been actively involved in education and cultural exchanges with China since 1995. Each year, members of Saint Martin’s faculty travel to China to teach international business, accounting and general education courses. Saint Martin’s students regularly participate in China study tours and internship opportunities in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Zhuhai. In addition, about 50 students from China are currently studying at Saint Martin’s University.
Following welcoming remarks at 9 a.m. by Saint Martin’s University President Roy Heynderickx, Ph.D., and Rick Panowicz, honorary chair of the Dragon Boat Steering Committee, the festival will kick off at 9:10 a.m. with the traditional “Dotting of the Eye” ceremony, a blessing of the dragon boats. The races will begin at 9:45 a.m., and will consist of three heats and three divisions. The participating teams include the competitive division teams of Paddles of Fury and Wasabi Kraken; the intermediate teams of Seattle Flying Dragons and Sun Dragons Paddling Club; and the community teams of City of Tumwater and Apple Therapy Dragons. The festival will be broadcasted by 94.5 ROXY.
In addition to the races, there will be Chinese traditional art demonstrations, martial arts performances and music. A lion dance will take place between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The competitions will conclude at approximately 5 p.m., and the closing and awards ceremony will begin shortly after the races end.
Organizations throughout the Puget Sound area and beyond are supporting the Dragon Boat Festival, including: Port of Olympia; the cities of Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater; 94.5 ROXY; the Academy of International Education (AIE); Associated Students of Saint Martin’s University (ASSMU); Puget Sound Energy; Olympia Federal Savings; Print NW; Thurston County Visitor and Convention Bureau; Thurston County Chamber of Commerce; Thurston County Economic Development Council; Olympia Area Chinese Fellowship; U.S. Commercial Services of Seattle and Tacoma; Washington State Department of Commerce; Washington State China Relations Council and World Trade Center, Tacoma.
For more information about this event, visit www.stmartin.edu/dragonboat or contact the Office of International Programs and Development at 360-438-4504.
Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 23 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 300 more undergraduate students to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at www.stmartin.edu.
By Jennifer Crain
There’s is plenty of evidence that reading books together during a child’s early years is the key: research has shown, time and again, that reading aloud to children helps build “skills essential for reading success.” That is, kids enter school ready to learn how to decipher words on the page.
But families with low incomes or limited English-speaking skills may find it difficult to read aloud to their kids or cultivate family reading routines when barriers such as long work hours or a lack of books in the house keep them from doing so.
But a program that aims to shore up home reading habits is proof that change can happen. The Raising A Reader program has served over a million children and families nationwide since it started in 1999. Kristin Gomez manages the Olympia affiliate program which serves 1,200 of those kids, including about 240 children in Thurston County.
She says the program’s multi-pronged approach makes it successful.
“Giving kids books is a good thing, period,” she says. “But it’s how you do it and how you support it that makes this program different.”
The program is run locally through the Child Care Action Council (CCAC) and funded through the group’s Warm Hearts Fundraiser, The United Way of Thurston County and the Discuren Charitable Foundation. The program has helped preschoolers and their families settle into good home reading habits for eight years.
Now in its eighth year locally, Raising A Reader loans books to children ages birth through five in preschools, targeting low-income populations and families with limited English-speaking skills. Every week of the academic year kids take home a bright red bag with four new, age-targeted, high quality, multicultural books inside. Gomez says the books are for home only, creating anticipation for the kids – the feeling that these books are special.
But even if kids are excited about hearing a story, how does a single parent working a ten-hour shift manage to serve dinner every night, get the kids to bed on time and…read?
“Book cuddling,” a daily time for parent and child to sit together and read a book, is the strategy promoted by Raising A Reader to overcome obstacles such as these.
Gomez explains that reading readiness “isn’t teaching your child how to read. It’s just sitting down, even if you don’t read the words.”
The program also supports parents through education events at each of the 14 area sites and provides home support such as a take-home video and printed suggestions on reading strategies.
Non-English-speaking parents face particular challenges so the national program has adopted books in nine languages, including some books with text in two different languages.
Gomez says the program loops preschool teachers into the effort as well. Teachers are provided with a guide that includes curriculum ideas, information on brain development and ideas about how to communicate with students and their parents.
The celebration of books, parent education and teacher support creates a reading network around each child that’s been shown to skyrocket their chances of becoming successful readers.
Studies show a 75% increase in the number of participating parents who share books with their kids five or more times per week. Head Start children who participated in Raising A Reader have tested twice as high on some reading-related skills as Head Start children who didn’t. And library visits have leaped – they’ve seen an 86 percent jump in the percentage of parents taking their children to the library at least once a month and among Spanish-speaking populations, frequent library visits have increased by more than 300 percent.
Though the primary goal of the program is to create students who are engaged with the written word and ready to learn to read when they enter kindergarten, Gomez says the long-term impact may go far beyond these milestones. Parents are learning conversation skills that lead to an increased vocabulary, an indicator of future academic success. And CCAC Executive Director Annie Cubberly says research even supports the idea that investing in early learning leads to safer communities.
Asked what the public can do to support early literacy, Cubberly says donations and volunteer time can make a huge difference.
One hundred dollars is enough to fund one child’s full experience in the program for a year, she says. And volunteers could help them expand the program to serve more kids in outlying schools.
Gomez says parents everywhere can employ strategies that encourage a love of reading in their own homes. Try asking kids to tell you about the book’s cover, for example, or dwell on a page, even if you don’t read all the words. Try stopping in the middle of a story and ask your child to predict what’s going to happen next.
At the end of the year, students receive their very own blue bag for toting books home from their local libraries. But the real take-home goes beyond something they can hold: the kids are excited to learn, which means they’re already walking down the a path of literacy that will help them succeed as students and citizens.
Submitted by Hartley Jewelers
As a career naval officer, Bob Barrett spent many years unable to wear his wedding band. So after retirement, and as he and wife Sandy’s 50th wedding anniversary approached, the couple began to think about gifting one another with custom-made wedding rings.
But that wasn’t what initially brought them to Hartley Jewelers.
The couple needed several jewelry pieces appraised. Their son and daughter-in-law, who live in Olympia, recommended Hartley Jewelers.
“We also had another jeweler tell us that for what we wanted done, the place to go to was Hartley Jewelers,” says Bob Barrett. “The reputation of their firm was incredible.”
The two-and-a-half-hour driving distance from Bob and Sandy’s home on the Olympic Peninsula proved to be well worth it.
“We were extremely impressed with the staff,” says Bob. “They obviously knew what they were doing, and were very professional. We felt very comfortable leaving our jewelry with them.”
On their second appraisal visit, they broached the subject of having custom wedding rings made with owner Rick Hartley.
Bob still had his original wedding band, of course — the one that he didn’t get to wear much, during his naval career.
“You’re very strongly urged not to wear rings when you’re in service – especially in the Navy,” he explains. “It’s too easy for a ring to get caught up in a rope or stanchion or something like that, where the ring stays put, but the hand keeps moving.”
He didn’t want to give up the old ring, but he liked the idea of a custom-made wedding band.
“So we came up with the idea that to celebrate our 50th, we’d get rings for each of us,” says Bob, “and this is what evolved, with the help of Hartley Jewelers.”
“They showed us samples in the display case and we selected a general design concept,” he continues. “Rick then exchanged emails with us with drawings he made.”
The couple went through quite a few design alterations. “Rick would email us ideas and we would send feedback,” says Sandy. The couple changed their minds a few times. “He was very patient with us,” she continues, laughing.
The couple drove to Olympia for another visit to refine the designs further, and then got to see wax impressions of what the final rings would look like, with the larger diamonds in place.
“In my case,” Bob explains, “it was obvious that the band was too wide. It just felt uncomfortable on my finger.” Rick trotted back to his work area and returned a few minutes later having trimmed down the band to exactly the right width.
“It was very much hands-on, empirical,” Bob says of the design process. “It worked really well.”
Sandy’s ring resembles a flower, with three large stones in the middle and three smaller ones on the side. “One of the smaller diamonds was my engagement ring,” says Sandy. “The larger ones were inherited from a really good friend.”
In fact, most of the diamonds used in both rings came from family or older pieces of jewelry the couple already owned.
“I had a pin with a couple small diamonds in it,” says Bob. “They had to match one of the small diamonds on my ring with their stock, but beyond that the majority of the stones came from things we had in our family.”
The couple utterly enjoyed the entire design process at Hartley Jewelers and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Rick Hartley and his fantastic staff to anyone looking for an appraisal or new piece of jewelry.
The knowledge, history, and talent of Rick Hartley and his team meant both rings were crafted with special attention to details that truly make them shine – both figuratively and literally.
“Rick made some final design recommendations,” says Bob. “For instance, while the rings are both primarily yellow gold, he recommended the diamonds be backed in white gold so you get a better brilliance out of them.”
“People notice and admire my rings all the time and say, ‘Wow, those really sparkle!’” says Sandy. “So of course we tell them where they were created.”
400 Cooper Point Rd SW
Olympia, WA 98502
Submitted by Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County
Our 11th annual Foundation for the Future Breakfast is right around the corner! We invite you to join us and discover how Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County, with tremendous support from the community (that’s you!), truly make a difference in the lives of youth. Start your morning off right with 1000 fellow community members & friends, as well as our Club members. Become inspired by the impact that the Club has had on one of our local teens and enjoy the thoughts of our Keynote speaker Lenny Wilkens, all while helping us make a difference in the lives of over 2,500 youth in Thurston County!
We are thrilled that Seattle legend Lenny Wilkens will be joining us as keynote speaker this year. As you may know Lenny coached the Sonics when they won the NBA Championship in 1979. What you may not know is that Wilkens grew up in the Boys & Girls Clubs in New York and was recently inducted into the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Hall of Fame. His passion for giving back to youth is apparent in the charitable work he does with his foundation, focusing on ensuring that all children receive opportunities to succeed and reach their full potential, regardless of their circumstances.
Date: Thursday, May 30, 2013
Time: 7:00 am – 9:00 am
Location: Saint Martin’s University Marcus Pavilion
To attend this event, click here.
The City has been awarded the 2013 WellCity Award of Excellence, by the Association of Washington Cities. Olympia is one of 83 cities and public entities that earned the award by making an outstanding commitment to employee health. The City will receive a 2% premium discount on 2014 Regence medical premiums. This is the eighth consecutive year the City has earned this prestigious award and the second year there has been a financial savings in the reduction of benefit premiums.
Submitted by The Alpine Experience
At The Alpine Experience, we firmly believe that every day is Earth Day. The Earth could sure use some rest days, some time to heal and recover from the past couple of centuries. And while we can’t declare that everyone on earth should come together and celebrate the Earth through service, we can invite our community to join us in this important efforts.
Last year was totally fun. Mayor Pete Kmet of Tumwater joined nearly 40 students from Black Hills High School at Tumwater Historical Park to clean up storm debris and ivy. Alpine Experience staff worked with students and community volunteers on projects in
Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, and even out in the county. Nearly 200 participants joined us that day, in service to Earth.
To that end, on Saturday, April 20 we are once again coordinating a number of service projects, in several locations around the county. Yes, we are technically one day ahead of Earth Day – but if every day is Earth Day, we certainly can celebrate on a Saturday!
We are especially thankful for our partners, including land trusts, parks departments, and others who join with us to put on the event. They provide the expertise, the tools, and the work to be done. We provide the marketing and outreach, you provide the valuable labor – and together we accomplish a great deal.
Our projects this year:Rainier Vista Community Park 475 45th Ave SE, Lacey Register with Lacey Parks: http://www.ci.lacey.wa.us/city-government/city-departments/parks-and-recreation/special-park-events/earth-day Nisqually Land Trust Powell Creek Complex,Yelm Register with Nisqually Land Trust: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Celebrate-Earth-Day-with-the-Nisqually-Land-Trust-.html?soid=1106162622249&aid=59ELaYOJv68 Priest Point Park 2600 East Bay Dr. NE, Olympia Register with Olympia Parks: http://olympiawa.gov/city-services/parks/volunteering/volunteers-in-parks Tumwater Historic Park 777 Simons Rd SW, Tumwater Register with Tumwater Parks: http://www.ci.tumwater.wa.us/earth-day-2013-events.html
We will supply all the tools needed, plus refreshments and snacks for all workers. Projects are going to last 2-4 hours, beginning late in the morning.
Will we have free T-shirts this year? We HOPE so, and are working on that. What we will have is a FREE LUNCH – on June 1. Yep, we will also be doing Trails Day Projects on that Saturday, and as part of our Mountain Life Festival, we’ll serve a FREE BARBECUE LUNCH for
ALL who work at EITHER day’s work parties. You will get a voucher at the end of your projects.
By Tom Rohrer
Around 60 people had signed up, in advance, for the poker run. All proceeds are headed to Coach Todd McDougall’s family to offset the medical costs associated with the longtime Olympia High School baseball coach’s fight against brain cancer.
“Hopefully the word gets out and more people show up,” Steen said in an interview with ThurstonTalk.com the week prior to the event. “And hopefully the weather stays clear enough.”
The unpredictable Olympia spring weather did not hinder the event’s turnout, as hundreds, if not a thousand people, showed up to Marathon Park on Capitol Lake on Sunday.
“I didn’t think today that we would be running out of (race) numbers to give to people,” Steen said after the poker run began. “This is absolutely amazing.”
Officially starting at 1:11 p.m., to symbolize McDougall’s OHS room number 111, the event was the perfect symbol of how the community has rallied around the McDougall family and the Olympia High School community.
Members of the Olympia High School baseball team, clad in their white home uniforms, stood near the front of the vast starting group and right next to their coach, who was in a wheelchair surrounded by his family and close friends.
Also on hand was interim OHS baseball coach, and McDougall’s longtime assistant Greg Creighton, the Bears head football coach Bill Beattie, and Capital High School principal Chris Woods, a close friend of the McDougall family.
Steen, with the help of a necessary microphone, organized all the run participants at the starting point and thanked them all for their support and participation. Woods then took the microphone and led the entire group in an emotional prayer, similarly thanking those in attendance, and the spirit of the McDougall family.
Emotions certainly helped carry the participants around the five mile course. Runners received an individual playing card at each mile check point. At the end of the run, those with the best five card hand would have an opportunity to win one of the various donated prizes.
The idea to hold such an event came to co-event organizers Tessa Effland and Steen from ThurstonTalk.com writer Anne Larsen, who held a local poker run about three years ago.
“The McDougall’s aren’t really runners, so we didn’t want running to be the focal point,” Steen said. “This way, people could run, leisurely walk, and have a fun time.”
With the help of around 75 volunteers, many of which were Olympia High School students, Steen and Effland were able to organize the necessary facilities, running route, and donated prizes.
McDougall has been the baseball coach to Steen’s son, a teacher to her daughter, and a coworker to her husband. Helping out the McDougall family hit even closer to home for Steen, who lost her sister to cancer six years ago. It’s been a cause she’s been happy to help.
“I lost my sister to cancer six years ago and I just wanted to be able to give back to another family going through a hard time,” Steen said. “If we can take the smallest financial burden away from the McDougall’s, the event will be a success.”
While such an event may not be under the best of circumstances, Steen was happy to see the community come together to help one of its own.
“I really want to thank all the volunteers, those who supported financially and those who came out to participate,” Steen said. “It’s a silver lining for this situation, but how the community has come together for a great cause has been amazing.”
For more information on how to help the McDougall family, click here.
Submitted by City of Lacey
Lacey-area residents are invited to join volunteers and staff from Lacey Parks and Recreation for an Earth Day work party event on Saturday, April 20, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Rainier Vista Community Park. Volunteers will remove invasive plants at the park, which is located at 5475 45th Avenue SE.
Individuals, families, and groups are welcome, with volunteers under 14 accompanied by an adult. All volunteers should bring a water bottle and weather-appropriate clothing, work gloves, and sturdy shoes or boots. Rakes and pruning tools are also encouraged. Check-in will be held at the Parks & Recreation tent near the skate facility.
Local outdoor equipment retailer Alpine Experience has challenged Thurston County high schools to compete for a cash award of up to $500 for their school’s ASB by signing up the most student volunteers. Additionally, students registering by April 18 will receive great free gifts at the event.
Visit the city’s website at www.ci.lacey.wa.us/parks-volunteer for more information, registration and waiver forms, or call Lacey Parks and Recreation at (360) 491-0857.