Submitted by Comcast
Comcast has 1.1 million customers in Western Washington and Spokane County, so this could be relevant to some of the people who monitor you. We wanted to answer two questions before the Super Bowl.
1. Is there still time to get video at home before the game?
2. What’s Comcast doing special to ensure the network stays robust so everyone can watch the game?
First, Is there still time to watch the game at home if I don’t have TV service now?
Yes, there is still time to get what you need to watch the game at home. Our Xfinity service centers have extra equipment on hand. With a self-installation kit, you’ll be set to go. You can find the hours of the closest center here.
Second, what’s Comcast doing to make extra sure the game is available to everyone?
1. We’ve stopped doing any updates or maintenance that could affect service. Until the game is safely over, the only time Comcast will be touching a line is if it got damaged or cut.
2. Our XOC in Everett will have extra staff on hand using cutting edge diagnostic tools, as well as a plethora of screens, to monitor the strength of the network and signals throughout Washington. The staff also expect to be cheering throughout the game as the Seahawks win.
3. Starting noon Sunday, we’ll open a “bridge” phone call so anyone in the company can speak instantly to the entire Super Bowl monitoring team. So, for example, anyone in our call centers can report any high call volumes and any technicians can report any damage or issues. (high call volumes being a sign of an issue, of course.)
4. Staff will monitor weather reports so if any weather hits an area particularly hard, we’ll be able to get crews there asap. It’s worth nothing that we can only perform fixes in an area after electrical crews have safely completed their repairs.
5. We’ll be at @ComcastWA on Twitter with any updates, though hopefully all we’ll be doing is sharing any photos that vacationing employees will be sending us from the game.
By Amy Rowley
My dad was in the Kingdome when the Seattle Seahawks played their first pre-season game on August 1, 1976 against, ironically, the San Francisco 49ers. He was in the CenturyLink stands on January 19, 2014 when the Seahawks defeated the 49ers to win the NFC Championship and a trip to the Super Bowl.
I was two when the Seahawks entered the NFL franchise. My father bought season tickets and has been a devoted fan every year since. Even when the Seahawks were lousy, he would take me, or one of my siblings, with him to a game. We would pester him for a box of Dots when all he wanted to do was rehash a bad play, celebrate a touchdown or discuss a holding penalty. We each had a turn to sit next to him, learning the game of football. Now, he is passing down his love of football to his grandchildren.
“When the Seahawks were lousy, I was just watching games, enjoying the NFL experience,” my dad recounts to me on Thursday night. I’m talking to him from his New York City hotel room. He booked airplane tickets month ago, just when the season looked promising.
I don’t even need to ask. I know that Sunday’s Super Bowl appearance by the Seahawks will rank in the “Top Ten Best Days” of my dad’s life. (He is a list maker, enjoying reflection on monumental events in his life.) ”I feel a part of this whole experience,” he says when talking about what it’s like to be a 12th Man this year.
When the Seattle Seahawks enter the stadium on Sunday, my dad says he will “have a chill down my spine at the possibility of Super Bowl victory.” And, if they win, the experience will catapult to the top of his list (hopefully behind his wedding day and the birth of his four children and four subsequent grandchildren).
Here are links to all of ThurstonTalk’s content related to Super Bowl and the Seattle Seahawks.
By Libby Kamrowski, Timberline High School Intern to ThurstonTalk
An athlete walks by, a notable mantra on his shirt. “With adversity comes character/ With character comes discipline/ With discipline comes hard work/ With hard work comes sacrifice/ With sacrifice comes glory. Tacoma Dome 2014.”
4:00 p.m.: Coach Jeff Birbeck calls out to start practice, and his wrestlers begin jogging obediently. They then form three lines and somersault their ways backward and forward down the floor, followed by cartwheels and handstands, looking like a male-dominated gymnastics team.
But these are not gymnasts. This is the Timberline wrestling program.
And this is only the tip of the iceberg, or rather, the strap of the singlet. “With practices, we want to work them- hard. Keep them moving, keep them getting in better shape weekly, get them in positions and situations that will help in competition,” said Birbeck. He has coached the team since 1992 with expertise, following in his father Coach Jeff Birbeck, Sr. footsteps, who coached from 1970-1987.
For the hardest of competitors, such as two-time state champion and 2013 Timberline graduate Stone Hart, the coaching staff made the difference. “The thing I miss the most is the coaching. Never before have I had a group of coaches motivate and encourage me like the ones on the wrestling team,” Hart said. He is a particularly good result, who carried his motivations onward, and is now at Harvard University on a football scholarship.
4:14 p.m.: Sweat glistens and the team pairs up for self-sacrificing exercises, featuring “cherry-pickers” and “mountain-climbers.” The real fun is just beginning for the next three hours.
4:19 p.m.: The matches begin with a casual “shake hands” and the practice goes live.
Many athletes could take an hour to do these exercises, but for the Blazer grapplers, these first 30 minutes are taken in stride. Gage George, a seasoned fifth year wrestler and competitor in the 126 pound weight class, is used to the grueling pace. “It’s more physical than any other sport and it pushes your mental and physical capabilities. In other sports, it’s just one or the other,” George shares. His record is 14-6 with 11 pins.
Up-and-comers this year include Nathan Smith (106 pound class) with 11-6 and 7 pins, and Parker Risk (113 pound class) with 10-5 and 4 pins as of January 15.
It’s not the MMA throw-down that you see on television, but it’s the most intense sport you can witness for free with an ASB card at a dual home meet (or $6.00 for an adult). With the gym lights turned out, the spotlight is literally on the center ring. The atmosphere is hushed, for an audience who will witness their sons (and small amount of dedicated daughters) battle using raw human strength and strategy.
For four members of the team, there is an additional challenge. This year Timberline welcomed four female wrestlers to the team, but they have more to overcome than simply opponents. “There’s a definite division between boys and girls. I feel like I have to not only overcome the wrestling matches themselves, but also the stereotype that girls can’t wrestle,” said first-year competitor Katie Swenson.
Although Timberline holds an average record thus far in the season, the goals remain the same. “We have a strong chance of getting five guys to place at state. Also, we want to win our league,” said George, reiterating Birbeck’s goals for 2013-2014.
State participants Cole Stevens (285 pound class) who is 17-1 with 11 pins and Nico Lauippa (120 pound class) with 13-4 and 7 pins, have a chance with these goals.
Timberline’s wrestling team, for all of the preparation and suffering to make weight, deserves the support of not only the student body, but of neighbors, friends, and community members. Jake Lancaster, wrestler of 13 years, perhaps the member with the most mat time, eyes a first place finish at state. As a state participant with a record of 12-4 and 7 pins in the 195 class, support is needed for his journey to the Dome. “Good support from the students is always a morale booster. But most students don’t know the mental and physical stress we put ourselves through,” he said.
It’s another whole world on the mat, one that many people will never come near, but it’s a sphere worth experiencing. There are still opportunities to attend.
As the season ramps up, Hart leaves parting words. “Some advice I have to the wrestlers back at Timberline, and for any other student for that matter, is to not shy away from a goal because someone tells you it isn’t feasible. Don’t let anyone tell you your goals are too high, because it’s better to set high standards for yourself and fail, than to coast through life and be content with mediocrity.”
If you haven’t caught Hawk Mania, then you might be living under a rock. It’s easy to be a Seattle Seahawks fan in January – the team wins, the players entertain, and the fans rejoice. Beyond the Super Bowl (Sunday at 3:30 pm for those that need a cheat sheet), what else is happening in Olympia this weekend?
Submit an event for our calendar here.
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.
Submitted by Thurston Chamber of Commerce
While most Chambers of Commerce struggle through their annual membership drive, the Thurston County Chamber hosted a ‘Membership Event’ like none other! For two and a half days, January 28 and 29, over 150 community leaders worked against the clock and against each other to sign up over 130 new members. The event also created greater community awareness of the important role the Thurston County Chamber plays in community development, economic development, and business services. “It’s all about community, our local businesses and local economy “said David Schaffert, President/CEO.
Those who participated in the Chamber’s Membership Event had the opportunity to hear Schaffert share the Chamber’s message, garnering support of 130+ new members. That message is that the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce is made up of the membership, and together, we are building community. This happens by tackling the tough issues, from transportation to education, creating opportunity and visibility for members, and understanding that more members translates into more opportunity for all. The Chamber is a champion of Thurston County, working hard to bring new business and opportunity to our community.
The Thurston County Chamber is our region’s largest chamber serving over 1,350 members, and has been promoting economic prosperity across Thurston County for 140 years.
Submitted by Alpine Experience
The Alpine Experience, South Sound’s Premier Outdoor Retailer located in Downtown Olympia, has announced it will be holding a Retirement Sale and Storewide Liquidation as owners Val and Steve Hyer Senior will be retiring from the company. Owner Joe Hyer, key staff, and former owner of Olympic Outfitters Ray LaForge will be collaborating on a revolutionary new retail concept, opening the spring of 2014.
“The company operating agreement, to be in compliance with state laws, states that when owners retire, the company is dissolved, and all assets are disposed of,” says Joe Hyer, founder of the company. The only method to keep the current LLC would be significant new capital infusions by the sole remaining owner, which is simply not possible.
The Alpine Experience will be dissolved, but key long-time employees, in coordination with outside investors, including former Olympic Outfitters owner Ray LaForge, have developed a new retail concept, building on the strengths of Alpine Experience, but also recognizing the dramatic changes in the marketplace over the last decade. The new retail ‘Marketplace’ will include the Bike Stand, The Olympia Footwear Company, a café, everyday essentials, and several ‘concept shops’ from key brand partners. The concentration of this new company is on being a community-based retail marketplace. The new company will be seeking investors and partners in the coming months.
In the meantime, assets, including inventory and many other items, will be liquidated by the current company in order to wind up operations. Shop early for the best deals and best selection, as inventory will move fast.
“Watch for the final issue of the Mountain Life, and the DEBUT Issue of our new mailer, which will be even more fun, informative…and yes, wacky, than the Mountain Life ever was,” says Hyer.
By Tom Rohrer
Amidst the chaos that was present following the Seattle Seahawks 23-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, Stephanie Hemphill tried her hardest to take in the moment.
Hemphill, now in her fourth year as a member of the professional cheerleading team, Sea Gals, has seen first-hand the franchise’s latest transformation into a championship contender.
“I really savored every moment. I knew it was the last time this season I would be performing (at CenturyLink Field) so I wanted to take everything in,” said Hemphill. “There was just a different level of excitement around the game. It was something I’ve never felt before.”
Over the course of her four seasons of performance at CenturyLink Field, Hemphill has been able to form a bond with the season ticket holders and die-hard Seahawks fans that make up one of the NFL’s most famous fan bases.
“We’re there every game. We see the same ticket holders and just seeing them erupt after (Seahawks cornerback Richard) Sherman tipped the ball, that was the most memorable thing,” said Hemphill, the newly appointed Executive Director of the Lacey Chamber of Commerce. “The city needed that, and the fans deserved that. Our fans put so much into this team and to see them smile like that is something I’ll never forget.”
Hemphill and the rest of the Sea Gals will be heading to New York City on Thursday, three days in advance of Super Bowl XLVIII, which will pit Seattle against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Feb. 2, at MetLife stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
The fact that Hemphill will be performing on the world’s biggest sporting stage has not quite resonated at a personal level.
“It’s something that I won’t feel the enormity of until I’m actually there. I’ve done this for four years now and I know what to expect when I perform and I’m just going to prepare the same way I do for every other game,” Hemphill said. “I don’t know if I will realize the impact of this game until I’m there. I think it will hit me right when I step out onto the field.”
Over a week has passed since Seattle’s big victory in the NFC championship game, giving Hemphill a buffer to come down from the victorious high. However, after speaking with Hemphill, it’s clear the excitement is still coursing through her veins.
“Right after the game, I was driving from the stadium and my ears were still ringing,” said Hemphill. “I went to my parents for a celebratory dinner. They recorded the game, so I watched it and cried all over again. Even now, I’m getting butterflies talking to you about everything.”
Staying in the heart of downtown Manhattan, Hemphill and the rest of the Sea Gals will be exposed first-hand to the excitement and build up for the big game. While the Sea Gals perform at every home game, they do not travel for road contests.
“It’s a new experience for us, and we are, like the football team, looking at the Super Bowl as a business trip,” said Hemphill. “It’s the first time for me traveling to the area, but we’re going to be so busy with appearances leading up to the game that there isn’t really time for sightseeing.”
Unlike their performances at Century Link, the Sea Gals will be dancing in front of a mostly neutral crowd. Still, Hemphill believes the 12th Man fans will be represented in New Jersey, and that the expected cold temperatures will not phase her and the rest of the squads’ performance.
“Our performance level won’t change, but the energy on the field will be different. All we know is Seahawks fans are everywhere and it may surprise people how many are in the stands,” Hemphill said.
“For the weather, we’re totally prepared. We’re an outdoor team in the northwest and have a snow forecast from time to time,” said Hemphill. “If it snows, we will be prepared. If it’s cold, we will be ready. That’s part of the job.”
While Hemphill could not go into detail regarding the Sea Gals itinerary leading up to the game, she noted the squad will be making both local and national television appearances. Following the Super Bowl, regardless if the Seahawks win or lose, Hemphill and all other Seahawk employees will be attending a party organized and hosted by franchise owner Paul Allen.
Being a part of a Super Bowl season has been special for Hemphill, but it’s the development of Seahawks fever throughout the entire state that has been most memorable for the self-proclaimed die-hard fan.
“Four year ago, you would see a few people wearing in Seahawks gear on Blue Friday. The year after, a little more, and last year it got way bigger,” said Hemphill. “Now, you see everyone buying in. I love it, I’m a true passionate fan, and I think the more the merrier. That’s what makes this team so, so special. It’s the people who support it.”
Photos courtesy Seattle Seahawks Sea Gals
By Katie Hurley
The Super Bowl takes on a whole new meaning when the home team is playing in the game. This isn’t just getting together with a few friends to watch the game, the ads or the halftime show. Whether the Seattle Seahawks win or lose (of COURSE, they’re going to win!), this year’s game will be a memorable occasion and Bayview Thriftway and Ralph’s Thriftway have got the goods to make your party fare memorable, too.
Show your Seahawk Colors
Ralph’s and Bayview have a variety of tablecloths, paper plates, napkins, beverage cups, and plastic flatware in Seahawks blue and green colors.
Bring on the Beverages
For many of us, it is a simple equation… Superbowl = Beer. Both stores offer a broad selection of micro brews, local brews and every other type of brew one might want. Several micro brews, including some locally-brewed Fish Brewing Co. products will be specially priced at $7.99 in the days leading up to the game. For fans under 21, Jones Soda’s Green Apple soda and Berry Lemonade soda represent the Seahawks green and blue.
Set Out the Snacks
The easiest part of feeding your friends and family during the game is putting bowls of self-serve munchies on the table. Check out the Bulk Foods section for a great selection of snacks, treats and game day essentials, including Seahawk Marshawn Lynch’s signature snack, Skittles. Hickory Smoked Almonds, mixed nuts and Honey Mustard Pretzel Nuggets can safely sit out all day, and the most you’ll need to do is refill a bowl or two.
If you weren’t craving chips before the game started, you might be when the Doritos ads start running. Bayview and Ralph’s carry a wide variety of chips including the supremely crunchy Kettle Krinkle Cut Salt and Black Pepper Chips, Tyrrells Hand Cooked English Crisps (Try the Worcester Sauce & Sundried Tomato flavor), Tim’s Cascade chips and various tortilla chips. Williams Family Salsa, made in Grapeview, is thick and flavorful and comes in mild and hot varieties blended with mango, pineapple or peach.
Serve Up Some Sliders
Sliders are easy to assemble and serve, and guests can choose to snack on just one or make a meal out of a few sliders.
A Feast on the Fire
If your Super Bowl plans include firing up the grill or the smoker, Ralph’s and Bayview have a lot of options for you. “Beast Mode Baby Back Ribs”, on sale for $2.99/lb., will pair perfectly with Tacoma’s own Mama Scott’s barbecue sauce, available in varieties from mild to spicy. At $9.99/lb., “Russell’s Rib-Eye” steaks will be a tender and juicy treat. Locally-produced Johnson’s Smoked Bratwurst, Garlic Sausage or Hot Links can be grilled lightly in advance and kept warm in a crock pot with a bottle of beer. Serve them with Oly Kraut’s Original sauerkraut for a flavorful, crunchy finish. A variety of salads from the deli will round out your Super Bowl feast.
When all is said and done (and eaten) and the Seahawks have won the Super Bowl, end the evening on a sweet note. Bayview’s homemade fudge and soft, chewy cookies from Cougar Mountain Baking Company are fan favorites. So are peanut M&M’s, which will be featured in at least one ad spot during the game broadcast. Or simply celebrate along with Marshawn Lynch and grab another handful of Skittles from the bowl.
516 W. 4th Ave., Olympia
1908 E. 4th Ave., Olympia
By Gale Hemmann
Do you enjoy hearing music from around the world, trying new foods, and learning about other cultures? If so, you’ll want to head to the Lacey Ethnic Celebration at Saint Martin’s University on Saturday, February 1. From 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., the City of Lacey and North Thurston Public Schools will be hosting a day of cultural celebration and fun. The event is free and open to everyone – there’s free parking, free admission, and free entertainment – and it’s a great bet for families.
The Lacey Ethnic Celebration is an annual event to celebrate the area’s diverse cultural heritage. Each year over 3,000 people come to watch live music and dance, visit the vendors and community education booths, do hands-on kids’ activities, and just enjoy the day while soaking in the sights and sounds.
I spoke with Jeanette Sieler, City of Lacey Recreation Supervisor, who coordinates the event. She said a new feature this year is the kids’ “passport” activity – kids can visit booths and activities to collect “stamps” on their passports. After they get 10 stamps, they can turn in their passport for a free Lacey Ethnic Celebration t-shirt (while supplies last). Sieler says this activity is intended to help get children engaged in learning about other cultures and gives them a chance to “take a trip around the world” all in one day.
There are literally dozens of great acts to catch this year. You can support the River Ridge High School Taiko Ensemble, check out Middle Eastern Dance with Troupe Rashaad, watch traditional Filipino folk dance or listen to the Polish choir Vivat Musica, to name just a few options.
Kids and adults of all ages will enjoy learning about other cultures through the demonstrations and talks throughout the day. The sushi-making presentation is always one of the most popular talks. You can also learn about Japanese origami, West African drumming and music, and Panamanian heritage this year.
If you get hungry, there are plenty of food choices available in the Marcus Pavilion. You do have to buy food and beverages, but proceeds support the local vendors and prices are reasonable. In terms of options, you can take your palette around the world: try some Filipino fare from local favorite Cebu, or dig in to some homemade Mexican food from family-owned Paco’s Tacos. You might also spot some paella (a Spanish rice dish), Italian sandwiches, and many other delights to try. Though the festival is busy, there is ample seating in the pavilion, and you can also browse the 50 vendors and community booths while you take a break.
I asked Sieler about the event’s history and how it comes together. Sieler noted that the City of Olympia hosted the Ethnic Celebration for over 20 years, holding it at the Olympia Center. Due to budget cuts the City of Lacey took over the event in 2011, found a bigger venue, and have continued to help it grow. Sieler has been with the City of Lacey for about seven years and currently manages the arts and cultural events for the city.
She notes the planning process for the Lacey Ethnic Celebration is extensive. The behind-the-scenes work takes many months, including looking for grants, securing sponsors, and scheduling entertainment and vendors. The 2014 Lacey Ethnic Celebration is supported by a number of local groups, including the Nisqually Tribe, Capital Collision Center, Lacey Collision Center, O BEE Credit Union, Olympia Federal Savings, and 94.5 ROXY radio.
Sieler encourages everyone to check out the event. “It’s a great way to learn about our neighbors and all the diverse traditions in the area. It’s also great to see the inter-generational aspect; children learning and performing traditional arts along with their parents and grandparents, and taking pride in sharing their heritage.”
I attended the Lacey Ethnic Celebration in 2013, and I can tell you first-hand that it is a great time. I came to watch my mother’s drum and dance group, Olympia Rhythm and Dance (OlyRAD), perform, and ended up staying and enjoying the whole day. We watched a Native American dance group, heard Scottish bagpipes, browsed the vendors, and savored tasty homemade fare for lunch. I will definitely be back this year (catch OlyRAD on the main stage, by the way), and I encourage you to come check it out. You are guaranteed to learn something about another culture, and you are likely to have so much fun you make it an annual family tradition.
For more information about the Lacey Ethnic Celebration, including a complete entertainment schedule and a video about the event, visit the City of Lacey website.
Lacey Ethnic Celebration
Saturday, February 1
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saint Martin’s University
Submitted by L. Jeanette Strole Parks for Kluh Jewelers
When Carrie (Nastansky) Gibbons was just a young girl, her family moved to the Pacific Northwest from frigid Minnesota “to get away from the snow.” In the 8th grade, she was thrilled to do a ride-along with a sheriff for Career Day, triggering her interest in law-enforcement. Pursuing this as a career as an adult, she first worked for the Kent Police Department, and eventually came back to Thurston County, working in the community that she considers her hometown.
But this is not a story about police work. It’s a story about a family heirloom, a local jewelry shop, the friendships that came about via family history, and top-notch customer service.
To connect these dots for you, let’s backtrack to January 26, 2010 in a Tacoma line-dancing class, where Carrie was learning some new steps, and partnered up with a handsome man named Tim Gibbons. This former soldier and New York state transplant – who now works in construction – took a quick liking to Carrie, and the rest, as they say, is history. “We’ve been together ever since,” she says.
As their romance progressed and grew more serious, Carrie was pleased to discover an 80-year old family heirloom ring at her parents’ house. “I was getting some documents out of my parents safe one evening, and saw my great-grandmothers ring sitting there. It was beautiful and just what I wanted. I asked my mom if she would let me have it to use as my ring, if Tim asked her for it some day. She started crying and asked if I would really be interested in it. She was so happy that the ring wouldn’t have to stay in a safe and that it could be used in another happy marriage for another 80 years!”
Of course, knowing that the ring was available for her to use still was contingent on getting engaged, so she dropped some hints to Tim, letting him know that when he was ready to
propose, he could retrieve the ring from her family. And when the time was right, he did indeed do the chivalrous thing and ask her parents for their blessing.
Thus, in July 2013, during a large family camping trip, he finally found the right moment to propose to her after Carrie nixed all his suggestions for romantic activities. He eventually managed to talk her into kayaking and when they had paddled out to the middle of the lake, he popped the question. Thankfully, the ring did not fall into the lake!
With heirloom jewelry, often there need to be upgrades or small changes made to adjust size, secure prongs, or just to polish up the item a bit. Knowing that she would be needing a reputable jewelry shop to take on this family treasure, Carrie turned to a name with which she had long been familiar – Kluh Jewelers.
Going back to the 1980s, when Carrie’s family moved here from Minnesota, her father managed the Lakewood mall property, and had become well acquainted with the Kluh family name, as they used to have a storefront in the Lakewood mall. “I knew my parents loved dealing with Kluh Jewelers, specifically Matt, and I liked the idea of supporting a local business instead of a corporate conglomerate.” So, of course she decided to pay a visit to Kluh’s to see what they could do to help her customize her great-grandmother’s ring. Her thought was to add a band to each side of the ring, and have it soldered together.
“I had the pleasure of working with Ursula. She took one look at my ring and said she had the perfect match. However there was one problem; they were preparing for their clearance sale and the rings had already been set aside for the sale that following Saturday. Ursula had looked through the inventory but just could not find them, so I suggested that I could come back for the sale and she would set them aside.”
Because Carrie would be working that weekend and unable to come to the sale, she left her phone number, thinking it was too good to be true that the rings would be found. Carrie was pleasantly surprised that Kluh’s customer service surpassed her own expectations. “To my surprise, Ursula called me the next Tuesday, and said she had found the rings and set them aside for me. I went in later that week and found they were absolutely perfect! I was thrilled that Ursula took just one quick look at my ring the week prior, and knew immediately that she had an amazing match tucked away. I purchased the rings right away, knowing that there was nothing better. I even received them at Saturday’s sale price.”
A new rhodium plating was added to brighten up the white gold. When the ring was finished, “I could not stop smiling,” Carrie says. She ranks her satisfaction a solid 10!
Tim still needed a ring for himself of course, so a few months later, they came back to Kluh’s to peruse the selection. “We immediately fell in love with a black ring with a silver band and 5 diamonds in the middle. Again, it was perfect. We did shop around a bit to be sure he wouldn’t see anything that he liked better, but returned to Kluh’s. Their customer service and quality of product was so much better than anywhere else we looked.”
Now, lest you think that the top-grade customer service ended there, the staff at Kluh’s continued to go above and beyond. It happened that a few days before the wedding, Carrie, her bridesmaids, and her mother were all having manicures right next door to the Kluh’s store. “We stopped in just to say hi since they had become part of the family. It was then that my mom realized I didn’t have a necklace to wear! I found a beautiful pearl necklace that was just the perfect vintage look, but I just could not afford to purchase it that close to the wedding. I joked to Matt that I would like to borrow the necklace and without hesitation, he said, ‘Of course!’ I again, was shocked when he said because my family had been so loyal for so long, he had no reservations about letting me borrow it.”
Now happily married, and with another great testament to the staying power and loyalty of a good family-operated business, Carrie and Tim Gibbons are eager to recommend the service and selection at the Kluh’s Jewelry Store. “It was a great feeling, as if my great-grandma and great-grandpa were smiling down from heaven knowing this special piece of their lives would be carried on. It is a great blessing to be able to continue on wearing my grandma’s ring and to think that this style has become popular again 80 years later.”
Submitted by O Bee Credit Union
For years Olympia Brewery and Coors Brewery enjoyed a friendly rivalry. Now with the Seahawks and Broncos in the Super Bowl, the rivalry has been rekindled. O Bee Credit Union (WA) and Coors Credit Union (CO) have historic connections to those breweries. To celebrate their teams’ success, they have a friendly bet on the outcome of the Super Bowl. Each will choose a charity that will benefit and it’s up to the fans to decide. It’s the “Super Battle of the Brewery Credit Unions,” said Lee Wojnar of O Bee Credit Union. Seahawk fans can show their support with a “like” on O Bee’s Facebook page and Bronco fans can do the same for Coors. For each like, the credit unions will donate $1, up to $500, to a local charity.
“If the Seahawks win, Coors will also donate to our charity,” said O Bee CEO James Collins. “And if they lose by some freak of nature, we will donate to theirs.”
“Simply put, the Broncos will win and we will raise money for charity,” said Coors Credit Union CEO, Tracie Wilcox.
The sparring will continue until the outcome of the Super Bowl is decided on February 2. No matter the outcome, the winners will be two charities: O Bee has chosen ForKids, a program that feeds homeless and hungry children through the Thurston County Food Bank. Coors CU will be donating to the Peyback Foundation, established by Peyton Manning, it provides leadership and growth opportunities for children at risk and disadvantaged youth.
About O Bee Credit Union
O Bee Credit Union (The Olympia Brewing Co. Employees and Families Credit Union) was started February 16, 1955, by Ted McGill, who worked in the bottle house of the brewery. This full service non-profit credit union, owned by its members, has five branches located in Lacey, Tumwater, Tenino, West Olympia and Yelm. Membership is open to all Washington residents. Visit www.obee.com for more information about O Bee Credit Union.
By Laurie O’Brien
It’s not every day that the “Today Show” calls asking if you’re interested in appearing on a live broadcast, but that’s exactly what happened to the women of the Jet Cities Chorus this past Monday. Now the 50 member a cappella group, who hail from Thurston, Pierce, King, and Kitsap counties, is scheduled to appear on the daily NBC show this Friday morning.
The invitation came a mere two weeks after chorus member Melissa Martin put pen to paper and wrote a short little song in support of her favorite team, the Seattle Seahawks. It wasn’t anything profound, she laughs, “I actually came up with the idea when I was in the shower!” Thinking about how integral fans are to the Seahawks success, the Tacoma resident decided it was time for the “12th Man” to get some recognition. With that in mind, she sat down and jotted down some lyrics and came up with a tune. She debuted it for her family during half time of the Seahawks-Saints play-off game on January 11.
“Usually when I do stuff like this, my family just laughs and tells me to get out of the way of the TV, but this time they actually told me I was on to something,” says Martin. That’s when she called and asked if her chorus could take 10 minutes of rehearsal time the next Monday to learn the song, record it, and then, maybe, someone could post it somewhere.
Martin figured it was safe to suggest the idea to Jet Cities’ director, Teresa McCafferty, because she knew the Covington resident is about as rabid a Seahawks fan as they get. “She said yes without even hearing it!” Per the pair’s instructions, the entire group came to rehearsal on January 13 decked out in Seahawks fan gear. After singing through the song a mere two times, a guest held up McCafferty’s iPad and recorded the women singing the song with papers still in hand. “It was fun, and that would have been enough, but these things sometimes take on a life of their own,” says McCafferty. When she got home that night, she posted the blurry video on Facebook, thinking it was a fun diversion and hoping that her chorus members had a good time recording it.
Meanwhile, Martin put out a request asking her chorus friends to share the video anywhere and everywhere they could think of, and share it they did. Members started posting all over social media and sharing their song with radio and television stations. One member put it on the Seahawks fan page. Soon, it was getting airplay on both radio and television stations around town. Before a week had passed, Sports Radio KJR had more or less adopted it as the “official” 12th man song, and was giving it daily play.
Then came an invite from KJR “12th Man Mania” show host Brian Abker for the chorus to come be his in-studio guests for a live performance. “A group of about 25 of us made it up to Seattle on January 23 and were featured, along with Branton Sherman, Richard Sherman’s brother, and Seattle Super Fan Big Lo,” explains McCafferty.
The chorus was in the studio for about three hours, and during breaks in programming members were able to visit with the host and the other guests. Martin, McCafferty and a few others were interviewed on-air about the song and the chorus, and then they performed their – now fully memorized – song, to close out the show.
“We must have impressed Big Lo because he said, ‘you have written THE 12th man song,’” says Martin. “He wants everyone in the stands to sing it at the home games next year.” After hearing the chorus sing some of their regular four part a cappella repertoire after the show, the Super Fan and event promoter Kenny Burns even said they wanted to come to their next performance. Later in the week, Burns extended an invitation for a small group to perform at his Super Bowl Party at the Hawk’s Nest during the big game. But he didn’t stop there.
“It was Big Lo who called NBC to tell them about us,” says Martin. The NBC show was looking for some Seattle fans to compete in an on air battle with their Denver Bronco counterparts, and Big Lo, as Seattle’s bona fide Super Fan knew exactly who could help whip the crowd into a frenzy. The call from NBC came on Monday afternoon, and at rehearsal that evening the members joyfully accepted. Martin stood on the risers just beaming, “Wow … just … wow! Who would have thunk it?!”
So this Friday morning, the members of Jet Cities will troop to a location near CenturyLink Field for a 2:45 a.m. call. (East coast programming begins at 4 a.m. Pacific.) They know they can show the country which team has the best fans in the NFL. All it takes is the 12th man … or woman.
You can hear “I’m a True 12th Man” on YouTube.
Learn more about Jet Cities chorus on their website.
You can hear the 12th Man Mania radio program here.
All photos courtesy Ginny Christensen.
By Eric Wilson-Edge
Patricia Carpenter needed a new task. The fifty-something mother of three was an empty nester. At one point she’d been a professional dancer, skilled enough to tour Europe. “I hadn’t focused on anything but my family for 25 years,” says Carpenter. “I woke up every day thinking, ‘what am I doing?’”
What she decided to do was a make a movie.
Carpenter started Integrity Film Productions nearly three years ago. She didn’t waste any time. “I jumped right into the deep end of the pool,” says Carpenter. The Olympia resident got to work sorting through scripts until she found the right one.
She chose Red Wing, which Carpenter says is a, “story about the power of love and about how love can change a life.” The script sat idle for more than a decade before Carpenter purchased the rights from famed director Terrence Malik.
Carpenter had her story. Now all she needed were a crew, actors and a location. This last part proved to be something of a challenge. Carpenter and the film’s director Will Wallace traversed the country looking for just the right spot.
At one point Carpenter hired a location scout. As Carpenter tells it, she was in Texas looking for a place to shoot the film. There were some nice places but nothing clicked. “I prayed a lot,” says Carpenter. “Prayed to figure out where we were going to go.”
The day before she was to leave Texas, Carpenter got a call from the location scout. The scout had found “it.” The next morning Carpenter went to see the tiny town of Whitewright, located in northern Texas. “We arrived on a Sunday and everything was closed,” says Carpenter. “There was a little girl on a bicycle riding down Main Street.”
Texas in the summer is hot. “Hot as a pistol,” says Carpenter. The cast and crew of Red Wing worked in temperatures that frequently peaked over 100 degrees. A few suffered from dehydration, a problem Carpenter quickly fixed. Her husband, Clyde Carpenter, is a doctor. Patricia scheduled a mandatory meeting in which her husband performed medical evaluations on everyone.
Patricia is credited as an executive producer on Red Wing. However, she did a little bit of everything. Carpenter helped with costumes, makeup and did the finances. “When I say something, I’m going to do it,” says Carpenter. “That’s just how it is.”
Her commitment paid off. Red Wing has played in theaters across the country and is currently showing at the Capital Mall for a limited engagement. “Was I nervous? Was I scared? Did I lose sleep? Sure,” says Carpenter.
The idea of making something as nebulous as a movie seems daunting if not unreal. Carpenter loved the process. She says everyone came together as a family to help get the project done. Carpenter’s biological family had their doubts at first but came around. “My husband told me he sees a part of me that he’s never seen before,” says Carpenter.
So what’s next? Another movie. Carpenter is writing the screenplay for her next venture. “I want to make movies you can take your family to, that you can take your grandkids to,” she says.
Red Wing stars Glen Powell, Breann Johnson, Bill Paxton, Frances Fisher, Luke Perry and Joelle Carter. The movie runs once daily at 7:15 pm through Thursday, January 30.
Submitted by Thurston County Environmental Health
Thurston County health officials have closed the beach at the Burfoot Park as a precaution to protect beachgoers from contaminated water from a nearby wastewater treatment plant that serves the Seashore Villa mobile home community.
Inspectors from the Washington State Department of Ecology discovered the problem on Friday while inspecting the wastewater treatment plant for the mobile home park on the shores of Budd Inlet located between Olympia’s Priest Point Park and the county’s Burfoot Park. Inspectors found that partially treated wastewater from the treatment plant was entering directly into Budd Inlet.
County Health officials have closed the beach at Burfoot Park until the problems at the treatment plant are fixed and all of the wastewater can be properly treated. All other facilities and areas at Burfoot Park are open, including the trails, picnic areas and playground.
Health officials also recommend that nearby beachfront property owners avoid contact with the water until the problems at the treatment plant are fixed.
“The health risk for the public is relatively low in this situation, but it’s best to close the beach and post the warning signs at Burfoot Park until the problem is resolved and this wastewater treatment facility is working properly,” said Art Starry, Director of the county’s Environmental Health Division.
For more information on protecting yourself, your family and your pets from common swimming and water-borne illnesses, visit the county health department’s web page.
For more information about wastewater treatment and how the Washington State Department of Ecology protects and monitors Washington’s waterways, visit www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/wastewater/index.html.
Submitted by C-Span
Hosted by our Comcast cable partners, our C-SPAN Cities Tour staff visited numerous locations to explore the history and literary culture of Washington’s capital city. In addition to having the below pieces sprinkled in throughout the weekend on the respective networks, both AHTV and BOOK TV will have a block of programming where ALL of the respective Olympia pieces for their networks will air.
Book TV Olympia Block: SATURDAY, February 1 at 12pm ET on C-SPAN2 (Comcast channel 25)
American History TV: SUNDAY, February 2 at 5pm ET on C-SPAN3 (Comcast channel 150)
Book TV FEATURES
For more information on the C-SPAN Cities Tour of U.S. cities, go to www.c-span.org/localcontent.
Submitted by The City of Lacey
Experience the sights, sounds, and cultures from around the world at Lacey’s Ethnic Celebration, this Saturday, February 1, at St. Martin’s Marcus Pavilion and Worthington Center. Festivities will begin at 9:55 a.m. with a welcome ceremony by the Nisqually Canoe Family. Entertainment, displays, and activities will continue through 6:00 p.m.
Three stages of ongoing dancers, drummers, and bands will total twenty-five performances throughout the day. Nearly fifty booths, including food and craft vendors, resource booths, and hands-on children’s activities can be expected. Live demonstrations are scheduled throughout the day, including the popular Sushi Making and the Art of Origami, among others.
New this year is a Passport Activity for children. The first 500 kids to ‘complete their passport’ by visiting various ‘countries’ will receive a free Ethnic Celebration t-shirt. Passports will be available in the lobby while supplies last.
Lacey’s Ethnic Celebration provides an opportunity to share information with others and learn about a wide variety of cultures. All activities, entertainment, admission, and parking are free to this event.
A variety of groups and businesses help to make the Ethnic Celebration possible including the City of Lacey, North Thurston Public Schools, Nisqually Tribe, Lacey/Capital/Chehalis Collision Centers, OBEE Credit Union, Olympia Federal Savings, Saint Martin’s University, Showcase Magazine, and 94.5 Roxy.
A schedule of events is available online at www.ci.lacey.wa.us. For more information, please call Lacey Parks Department at (360) 491-0857.
The Port invites signups from restaurants and marine-related businesses who would like to participate. Businesses and organizations are also invited to participate with the Port in sponsoring this popular community festival.
To be included on the event poster, restaurants and sponsors must sign up by March 17.
At the 2013 festival, 11 South Sound restaurants competed in the chowder cook-off and 1,300 of the 3,500 attendees tasted the chowders and voted for their favorites.
The BoatSwap offers opportunities to buy and sell new and used boats, marine gear and accessories. Both commercial and private vendors are invited to exhibit and sell their wares.
Event-goers shop and browse the boats and marine displays, watch and taste at the chowder pots, and enjoy music and family entertainment along the waterfront.
To sign up and learn details about event sponsorships, restaurant participation, vendor exhibit rates and to make other inquiries, visit www.portolympia.com, call the Port at 360.528.8005 or email email@example.com.
For several years prior to 2008, the festival was known as the Swantown BoatSwap & Chowder Challenge. The Port retired the event in 2008 and brought it back in 2013 due to community requests.
Swantown Marina is located on the East Bay of Budd Inlet at 1022 Marine Drive NE, Olympia, 98501.
By Eric Wilson-Edge
Factories are sterile, impersonal places. The only people around are the ones who operate the machines. The machines are sleek and intimidating. The noise is deafening and the color drained. Definitely, not a place you’d expect to find a full size basketball court.
Yet, that’s one of the first things I see when I enter the factory at Alaffia. I don a hairnet and follow Ian McGregor, Communications Coordinator for the Tumwater based body care company. There’s a gym next to the court. McGregor explains that on the first Thursday of every month production is stopped and the employees do something together. They played basketball last month.
Olowo-n’djo Tchala and his wife, Rose Hyde, started Alaffia in 2003. Olowo-n’djo, a native of the West African nation of Togo, began by selling jars of Shea Butter at the Olympia Food Co-op. Ten years later Alaffia is a global brand with millions in annual sales.
The company’s success is due in large part to its philosophy. Alaffia employs roughly 500 women in co-ops across Togo. These women use traditional practices to cultivate Shea and other ingredients. “Essentially, we can make anything by hand, without chemicals, that a machine can make,” says Tchala.
Alaffia has a belief system rooted in giving back. The company supports maternal health clinics in Togo and runs a campaign to provide bicycles to school children in that country. “You have to remember, our mission isn’t always tangible,” says Tchala. “It’s about a community believing in herself.”
McGregor shows me the “kitchen.” This is where the raw ingredients from Togo are mixed to create different products. Noticeably absent are the massive holding tanks and robot mixers. Instead, I see a couple people churning small batches with something you might find at your neighborhood bakery. A few feet away another person is spooning lip balm into individual containers.
McGregor has only been on the job a few months. His background is in politics and he’s a member of the Washington National Guard. McGregor has a palpable excitement about Alaffia that is hard to fake. His eyes widen when he talks about the company’s three state rule. In an effort to reduce its carbon footprint Alaffia will not order boxes and other materials from a location if it is further than three states away.
Alaffia’s hands on, environmentally friendly approach creates a company with a strong following. 29-year-old Kali Orkin believes in conscience based buying. “I studied sustainability in school and I like the idea of creating businesses that do more for society rather than just taking people’s money.”
It helps that the company makes a quality product. “The Shea Butter is nice because it isn’t diluted and doesn’t have any fragrance, which my skin is sensitive to,” says Orkin. Alaffia’s Shea based products use a larger percentage of the ingredient than their competitors. Why is this important? McGregor informs me that Shea is a natural moisturizer rich in vitamins and minerals.
“The notion that Africans can’t provide for themselves is wrong,” says Tchala. He says this with a quiet conviction. Tchala has a kind voice that masks an inner determination. Our conversation is easy and big. We discuss poverty and basketball. He loves hoops but admits he’s not very good.
Tchala’s decision to move to Washington is mostly serendipitous. The company needed a port but Tchala doesn’t care much for big cities. Turns out Olympia was a natural fit and not just because of geography. Our area is forward thinking and environmentally focused, two things Tchala acknowledges. “The public’s views here have played a large role in where we are today.”
By Claire Smith, Capital High School Intern to ThurstonTalk
Rachel and Palen Fenton, sister duo, are both queens of the court. They’re finally playing varsity basketball together, and both loving it equally. It is Rachel’s senior year and fourth year playing on the varsity high school team at Capital High School. Palen is just in her freshman year is playing varsity as well. They’re both holding on tight and enjoying the ride to its fullest.
While some may believe that Rachel and Palen were born with a ball in their hands, they’ll admit that they didn’t fully dive into the sport until they were in first grade. Their dad gave them their first ‘pass,’ and really encouraged them to play basketball. Rachel and Palen also continued to play because of the unending support given to them by their family. The ultimate slam dunk was spending more time with their friends. The Fenton girls played at the South Sound YMCA, until they were old enough to play the Capital High School run program, Little Cougars. Now, they’re students at the high school and are both shining stars on the basketball court.
Undoubtedly, both sisters have been fortunate enough to have one-of-a-kind inspirations in their lives. Palen is really inspired by their current coach. Rachel’s main ‘coaches’, in her life are her parents. Her dad, for being the best coach she could ask for and pushing her to new limits, and her mom, for always being her number one fan.
Like any experienced athlete, Rachel and Palen have battled and overcome hard choices and challenges. Rachel had to sacrifice a huge portion of her barrel racing competitions to continue to compete in basketball at an intense and competitive level, helping her become the success she is today. While a few tough high school seasons tested her faith, Rachel always rebounded, her love of the game driving her desire to play with her friends and for her school.
Palen is also an accomplished horseback rider, and the choice between basketball and riding was a tough one for her, though ultimately, basketball won out. Neither regret their choices, however difficult they may have been to make. Their love for basketball is unconditional, and it’s so clear once you get to see how their passion flows during every play they make on the court.
Palen plans to continue into college ball if she gets the chance, but Rachel is going to throw in the towel soon to focus on her next big goal – studying nursing. She says, “It’s been fantastic, though. I’ve loved it.”
When asked about their favorite part about playing together, there’s zero hesitation. Rachel comments, “I’ve loved seeing my sister grow and get better at the sport and develop as a player.”
“My sister gives me really good knowledge of the the sport and is very experienced,” shares Palen. She then adds, “My sister’s got my back, which feels really great.”
Rachel and Palen have both loved everything that basketball has taught them. Rachel has learned to get through difficult and rough times, to manage a good work ethic, and to work with people she may not naturally flow the best with. Palen has also learned her fair share of life lessons from basketball. She’s learned fantastic teamwork skills, and that if she really wants something, she’s going to have to throw herself into the corner for a shot – to really try hard and work at it.
Though the girls have had a challenging season, anyone who attends the games can say with confidence that Rachel and Palen are both queens of the court, and shine practically every moment they are out there, giving it there all and playing their hardest.
Submitted by Lacey Parks & Recreation
Princesses, Barbies, tutus, make up… When it comes to relating to their little girls, what is a dad to do? Sometimes it’s best to just enter their world and enjoy the things they love. So began the concept of the Daddy & Daughter Dances sponsored by Lacey Parks & Recreation and held the weekend before Valentine’s Day each year.
“In 2008 we held our first Daddy & Daughter Dance open to young ladies of all ages and their dad or dad substitute (grandpa, uncle, family friend). We were overwhelmed when the event quickly filled with 100 ‘couples’,” said Jeannette Sieler, Recreation Supervisor for Lacey Parks and Recreation. “It was so fun to see the girls all dressed up, some with corsages and fancy hairdos, on the arm of their dad. Watching the dads dancing with their little girl and sharing a special time together was magical.” Sieler continued, “Many places do Daddy & Daughter Dances, but ours are unique in that they are held at the Lacey Community Center, so the setting is a little more formal than a gymnasium. We include lots of great refreshments, special activities, and crafts to do together.” Designed for all ages, girls in middle and high school have the opportunity to connect with their dads too.
Noelle Geddis has attended several of the dances with her dad and they have become a tradition to look forward to. “Every year I would go to the father daughter dance. My Dad and I would dress up and he would always present me with a rose. Those dances meant the world to me. It was always so much fun to dress up and dance the night away with my Dad. It was a way for us to bond and spend quality time together. Those are moments I will cherish forever.”
Her dad Robert Geddis agrees, sharing, “It was a great chance for me as a father to bring such joy to my little girl. It was fun to watch her get excited, and to give
me a chance to spoil her. It was a great way to strengthen the bond between us. Those will be memories I will cherish forever.”
This year we are expanding the parent child theme by kicking off the weekend with the new Mom & Son Tropical Magic Night on Friday which will be highlighted by a Magic Show featuring popular local magician Jeff Evans. Geared for sons of all ages, this will be a chance for making memories between moms and sons with a little bit of magic thrown in. Past Mom & Son nights have been held outdoors in a less formal setting, but were a great bonding experience none-the-less.
Local mom Kelly Geddis shares, “I love that there was one day for just me and my boy. One day when we can spend some quality time together. From fishing, to bopper sword fights or Sumo Wrestling (which, I always won, but he’ll never admit to) to having a hot dog and enjoying a nice conversation together. It’s a time I will cherish and am so very grateful for the memories it has given us.”
Both events will have a tropical flavor this year and will include music provide by local DJ Garcia Entertainment, a craft for parent and child to do together, as well as a gift for each child, and light refreshments fit for a tropical paradise. Participants are encouraged to dress in tropical attire too! A professional photographer will be on hand to take photos for an additional fee.
Children grow up so fast and these special events create lasting memories. Registration closes Friday, January 30 or earlier if full so be sure to register now.
Friday, February 7, 6:30-9:00pm
Dad & Daughter Tropical Paradise Dance
Saturday, February 8, 6:30-9:00pm
Pre-registration for each of these events is required by Friday, January 30 or earlier if full. No ‘day of’ registration.
All are held at the Lacey Community Center.
Cost: $25 + tax per “couple” plus $5 for each additional child.
Additional cost for professional photos.
Call Lacey Parks & Recreation at 360-491-0857 or click here for more information.