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Evergreen Officially Launches President Search

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 8:41pm



Submitted by The Evergreen State College 

The Evergreen State College President, Les Purce, will retire in 2015.

The Evergreen State College President, Les Purce, will retire in 2015.

The Evergreen State College in Olympia has announced that its Board of Trustees and Presidential Search Committee have begun actively recruiting candidates to replace Thomas L. “Les” Purce, who will retire next summer after 15 years of service as the college’s president.

Evergreen is a nationally recognized public college of liberal arts and sciences known for its distinctive interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning.

The college has engaged Academic Search, a Washington, DC, recruitment firm that has helped place hundreds of leaders at colleges and universities across the country, to aid in the search.

The search timeline calls for review of applications starting December 1, campus visits and interviews for top candidates in January and February of 2015, a hiring decision by March, and having the new president in place by July.

For more information about the position, visit  Nominations and inquiries can be sent by email to


Lucia Perillo: World Class Poet

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 7:11am



By Alec Clayton

washington orthopaedic centerWho knew we had a world-class poet right here in Olympia? Her name is Lucia Perillo. Her talent and prestige are remarkable. No less a luminary than Billy Collins, former Poet Laureate of the United States, said, “It is a delight to wander with [Perillo] into strange and imaginative territories. Always, I read her poems with surprise and (write it!) jealousy.”

Novelist Tom Perotta, author of The Leftovers, wrote of her first story collection: “Lucia Perillo isn’t just a strikingly original poet; she’s a top-notch fiction writer as well. The stories in this bleakly funny and harrowing collection are reminiscent of both Raymond Carver and Denis Johnson, but the vision that animates them is Perillo’s own, unique and unmistakable.”

lucia perillo poet

Lucia Perillo is a local poet with an impressive list of national accolades.

For years, I’ve known her as a woman in a wheelchair who swims at the Olympia Downtown branch of the Sound Sound YMCA. She is always accompanied by an aide and is lowered into the pool by a lifeguard using an electronic lift chair. She seldom speaks to us, but is polite when she does. When I heard that she is a poet and looked her up I was astounded to learn that she has been published in America’s most prestigious magazines: The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Kenyon Review, and has been awarded such distinguished prizes as the Pushcart Prize (three times). She has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Poetry Series and the L.A. Times Book Prize. She has been a MacArthur Fellow, also known as the “Genius Grant,” and locally she has been awarded the Washington State Book Award and Governor’s Award.

Perillo has published six books of poetry, a book of essays and a short story collection. Her latest books are On the Spectrum of Possible Deaths (poetry) and Happiness is a Chemical in the Brain (short stories). Next year she will have a new book of poetry from Copper Canyon Press tentatively titled Time Will Clean the Carcass-Bones.

Perillo’s poems have been described as funny and tough, dark and bold. She shies away from nothing. The New York Times Book Review described her writing as “taut, lucid, lyric, filled with complex emotional reflection while avoiding the usual difficulties of highbrow poetry.”

Happiness is a Chemical in the Brain, stories by Lucia Perillo, image taken from Perillo’s website.

Happiness is a Chemical in the Brain, stories by Lucia Perillo, image taken from Perillo’s website.

In an unflinching look at the body, she writes:

When you spend many hours alone in a room

you have more than the usual chances to disgust yourself—

this is the problem of the body, not that it is mortal

but that it is mortifying. When we were young they taught us

do not touch it, but who can keep from touching it,

from scratching off the juicy scab?

Writing such as this gives evidence of Perillo’s keen observation and of a sense of humor that can touch on the macabre. Consider these lines from her poem “Abandon,” a poem about dancing to old songs on a phonograph:

Meanwhile each night bled into the next, like stories

Told to hold the knife off someone’s throat,

The scratches on the record pattering

Like pine needles dropping to the forest floor

Images in her poems often lead in unexpected directions, such as in the poem “Foley” in her book The Oldest Map with the Name America, which starts off talking about Harrison Ford and movie sound effects and veers off in a surprisingly logical way to a comparison of black girl groups and white girl groups in sixties pop music, which leads into phone conversations for money, and then right back to movie making. When I asked her about this way of writing, which I thought of as stream of conscious, she said, “I always have a constellated idea or image. It may seem like stream of conscious but I hope it comes together by the end of the poem. I hope the reader will come along for the ride.”

lucia perillo poetry

On the Spectrum of Possible Deaths, poems by Lucia Perillo, image taken from Perillo’s website.

We sat down to chat in a corner of Orca Books on 4th Avenue in Olympia. I asked when she came to Olympia and why. She had grown up on the East Coast and taught at Syracuse University among other places. She said she came to Washington to work a summer job as a ranger on Mount Rainier in 1987, and from there she came to Olympia to teach at Saint Martin’s College. It was in this time that she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

I asked Perillo how it felt to win so many awards and which meant the most to her. She said, “People are interested in the awards, but that’s secondary and I don’t focus on that.” She said she would rather talk about poetry but said people are reluctant, perhaps intimidated by it. “People think they are unequal to poetry, that it’s complicated and impossible to understand.”

I asked what she would say to people who say poetry is too difficult and she said, “I guess I would read them a poem of mine or recite a poem by others.”

She said the most meaningful award might have been the Bobbitt Award given by the Library of Congress. “It was nice to go to Washington, D.C. and the Library of Congress. Lyndon Johnson’s sister endowed the award and her son hosted a banquet to award it, and L.B.J.’s daughter was there.”

Perillo says her influences have been W.B. Yeats when she was younger, Emily Dickenson and Wallace Stevens. She speaks of “stealing” from great poets of the past. “It was Frank Sinatra, I think, who said to steal from one person is plagiarism but stealing from everyone, that’s research.”

She says she still writes a lot and tries to work it in between such things as caregivers and physical therapy, and her wilderness. “I write when I can squeeze in a couple of hours.”

To learn more about Lucia Perillo, visit her website and Wikipedia.


South Sound Trucks Oly: Creating Satisfied Truck Owners, One Story at a Time

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 5:08am



south sound trucks

After frequently driving past South Sound Trucks during his daily commute, CJ Westcott decided to stop by the dealership and see what they had for sale. He’s glad he did.

Chances are, at some point in your life, you have been the victim of an unpleasant car shopping or buying experience. Maybe you had a pushy salesperson leave a sour taste in your mouth. Or worse, bought a lemon (talk about sour) off of Craigslist and had to spend hundreds (or more) on post-purchase repairs. Investing in a car is stressful enough without the added pressure or anxiety that comes from an overbearing salesperson or uncertain car history.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could eliminate the worry that comes with buying a new car by knowing exactly what type of car shopping experience you were going to have before ever stepping foot onto a sales lot? Olympia-area residents in the market for a truck, Jeep or SUV can know exactly what kind of car buying experience they are going to have thanks to the testimonials shared by a handful of happy South Sound Trucks Oly customers.

CJ Westcott lives in Tacoma but drives through Olympia frequently for work. Passing by South Sound Trucks’ Olympia location on Cooper Point Road, Westcott found himself admiring the dealership’s extensive selection from afar during his commute. “One day I had a little extra time during my work day so I stopped by to see what they had,” explained Westcott.

south sound truckWestcott already owned a truck and was interested in seeing what kind of trade-in value he could get for it. While Westcott’s sales associate, Beau, assessed the trade-in value of the truck, Westcott perused South Sound Truck’s impressive showroom. A shiny 2013 Dodge Ram caught Westcott’s attention. After reviewing information like the price, mileage and Carfax, Westcott bartered with Beau until reaching a price they both felt good about. “It was a really good deal and something I wanted. Plus, I had a bunch of upgrades done. They sent the truck to their Chehalis location for the upgrades. It only took a few days, and they provided me with a loaner vehicle while my truck was being modified,” said Westcott.

“I would definitely consider doing business with them again,” explained Westcott of his experience. “The thing I really liked about Beau was he was really frank with me about everything and I felt no pressure whatsoever.”

Loving his new truck, Westcott says he would recommend South Sound Trucks to anyone in the market for a truck, Jeep or SUV. Aside from providing an extensive selection of more than 300 vehicles available for sale on the lot at any given time, Westcott says the customer service at South Sound Trucks is unparalleled by other dealerships in the area. “They are all about the customer experience.

Jeff Hotop recently purchased a 2010 Toyota Tundra from South Sound Trucks Oly and, like Westcott, he couldn’t be happier. “We purchased a bigger boat and needed a bigger truck,” explained Hotop. “South Sound Trucks was the first place we went.”

south sound trucks

South Sound Trucks provides customers with services to customize their new truck or SUV.

Hotop said what he really appreciated about the service at South Sound Trucks Oly was the great follow-up they provided. “If I need something I can call them and they take care of me,” said Hotop.

Satisfied with his purchase, Hotop bought another vehicle from South Sound Trucks’ sister store, Volkswagen of Olympia, located next door. “I’m happy with both purchases,” said Hotop, “no complaints at all.”

Olympia resident Daniel Zimmerman found South Sound Trucks after visiting several other dealerships. On the hunt for a Ford F-150, Zimmerman said after a quick walk around the lot with South Sound Trucks associate Rich, he found exactly what he was looking for. Thrilled with his purchase, Zimmerman said he appreciated the personable service Rich and South Sound Trucks provided. “They were really cool, and they weren’t pushy like some of the other dealerships I went to,” explained Rich. In addition to having exactly what Zimmerman was looking for and providing excellent service to boot, Zimmerman says the financing was really easy too.

Still a newcomer to the Olympia Auto Mall having only just opened this past summer, South Sound Trucks has already built a following of loyal customers thanks to their great selection of trucks, Jeeps and SUVs, friendly service, affordable prices, easy financing and more. So, what are you waiting for? If you’re in the market for a truck, Jeep or SUV, South Sound Trucks is your one-stop shop.

For more information about South Sound Trucks, visit their website here, or peruse the lot in person at their Olympia location at 2015 Southwest Cooper Point Road.


Debra Daniels Offers Insurance Advice about Auto Coverage and Property Damage

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 5:00am



olympia insurance

Debbie Daniels has operated her insurance agency for more than 20 years, with many of the same team members.

Auto insurance is like an umbrella, you’re hugely grateful it’s there when things suddenly take a turn for the worse.  But outside of everyday fender-benders, your policy can be drafted to include many money saving extras, courtesy of the experienced agents at Lacey’s Debra Daniels Insurance Agency.

One often overlooked auto policy aspect deals with liability and property damage.  Skilled agents can work with you and your budget to make sure these limits are appropriately set should an accident occur.  One example Debbie shared was a client who recently ran into a telephone pole.  Most policies default to a minimum coverage of $10,000 for property damage but the bill to repair the pole exceeded $40,000.  In this case, the victim was sufficiently covered so no additional charges came their way thanks to the wise guidance of Debbie and her team.

Other options to consider with your auto policy are temporary waivers for rental car coverage while travelling or on vacation, emergency roadside coverage for break-downs and lock-outs, and varying degrees of accident protection.

As a locally owned and staffed State Farm agency for over twenty years, the Debra  Daniels Insurance Agency are experts in residential, commercial, vehicle, and property policies.  They know the key questions to ask and details to acquire that make for a secure future.

The Debra Daniels Insurance Agency can be found at 8765 Tallon Lane NE, Lacey, 2 blocks pass Costco on Martin Way; or by calling 360-493-8284.  Look for the most current tips, advice, and frequently asked questions on their Facebook page as well; you can never have too much good information!


Beware of Mad Scientists at the Hands On Children’s Museum 2014 Boo Bash

Sun, 10/19/2014 - 6:12am



By Kathryn Millhorn

olympia halloween

Boo Bash promises costume fun and crafts for kids of all ages.

Autumn is here to release the wild side in everyone.  Before winter keeps us drowsily indoors, we itch to cut loose and enjoy the riotous transitional colors of fall.  Said Hollywood director David Cronenberg, “everybody’s a mad scientist, and life is their lab.”

On Saturday, October 25, the inmates take over the asylum at the annual Hands On Children’s Museum Boo Bash.  So much more than just a Halloween costume party, the event began in 1998 and has entertained as many as 500 children at a time.

This year’s theme is science…mad and otherwise.  Boo Bash festivities will take place in various laboratories around the facility, all featuring crafts, learning, and hands on mayhem.  The Mad Science Lab will feature kid-made glow in the dark slime whereas the Candy Science Lab experiments on all your favorite sweet treats by blowing up marshmallows in a vacuum, hypothesizing whether certain candy bars will float or sink, and stacking sugar cubes to estimate the amount of sugar in each serving.

Education Department Coordinator Adrienne Testa says that for the more nature-minded, there will be owl pellets to dissect with a chart to determine the results, lots of animal bones and skeletons with magnifiers to examine them up close, and Frankenanimals built from a hair-raising combination of toy animal parts and your child’s wildest imagination.

olympia halloween

Everyday objects take on new life through the minds of junior Mad Scientists.

Museum Communications Manager Jillian Henze is excited because “your kids will really be able to get hands-on cool science that’s fun for all ages.”

There will also be a photo booth, face painting, play dough, squash bowling, a scavenger hunt, and the chance to get up close and personal with a live tarantula—if you dare.  The younger crowd (under age five) will also be able to participate and learn in their own, slightly quieter zone, accompanied by a skilled teacher and age appropriate activities.  Costumes are encouraged for everyone!

Doors to the event open at noon and pre-registration is very much recommended.   Existing members should arrive at 11:00 a.m. to enjoy an extra play hour before the Museum opens to the general public.

While visiting, ask about the Museum’s Winter Camps, half-day camps in December and January coinciding with the Olympia School District winter break.  The Museum also offers preschool and homeschooling opportunities as well.

Studies prove that “when you combine activities that require movement, talking, and listening, it activates multiple areas of the brain.”  As they’ve shown, hands-on = minds-on.  Olympia is blessed to have the Hands On Children’s Museum to provide fun, creative, gooey, sticky, sandy experiments seven days a week.  Boo Bash is just one more way to teach, learn, and have a great time.

olympia halloween

Find lots of hands-on experiments in the many Mad Science labs.

Tickets for the event are $8 for member kids and $10 for non-members; accompanying adults are $4 each.  Register online or by calling the museum at 360-956-0818.

Hands On Children’s Museum

414 Jefferson Street St NE in Olympia

Boo Bash – October 25 from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Fall Fun for the Whole Family at the South Sound YMCA’s Harvest Festival

Sun, 10/19/2014 - 5:00am



olympia harvest festivalThe indomitable spirit of autumn is upon us.  The fading rays of summer are brightened by falling leaves, the smell of spiced pumpkin, and the chance to once again break out soft sweaters and stylish boots.  Said Anne of Green Gables herself, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

This month promises to be especially delightful courtesy of the South Sound YMCA.  On Friday, October 24 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. both the Olympia Downtown and Briggs branches will host their annual Harvest Festival.  Entry is free with a donation of canned or non-perishable food and all proceeds benefit the Thurston County Food Bank.

Briggs Community Branch Youth and Teen Director Shilpa Johnson explained, “We have been doing the Harvest Festival since we opened in 1997.  It has been called other names in the past like Halloween Extravaganza and morphed into the Harvest Festival the last two years.”  The fun traditionally takes place the Friday before Halloween “so more of the community could attend this free event.”

SSYMCA Harvest Fest 4With the expectation of hundreds of attendees, the branches will offer games, community information, and excitement for guests of all ages.  Costumes are definitely encouraged.  This year vendors such as the South Sound Reading Foundation, Usborne Books, the Finnigan Chiropractic Center, and Home Depot (to name a few!) will have booths available to answer questions, host activities, and join in the fun.

With most of the stories, crafts, and games are geared towards kids 2-12, teens and adults will enjoy the glow in the dark room and enticing cake walk.  Johnson remembers one event “that sticks out in my mind is all the kids having an impromptu dance party in their costumes, in the cake walk room, while eating the cupcakes or cookies they just won.”

Olympia Downtown branch Youth Development Director Amber Wetzel agrees; “The Harvest Festival is one or our favorite events at our Y.  It’s our opportunity to give back to our community.  At the Olympia Downtown branch we will have pumpkins floating in the pool, games, mystery bags, and crafts.  It’s a great opportunity for free family fun!”

olympia harvest festivalIn 2013 alone, the South Sound YMCA served more than 47,000 people in our community.  More than 1400 volunteers donated 20,483 hours of their time and dozens of businesses served as Community Partners.  This outreach takes many forms but with one goal in mind: “to provide youth and our community an affordable and accessible resource for the positive development of spirit, mind, and body through recreational, health, and leadership programs.  Our impact is felt when an individual makes a healthy choice, when a mentor inspires a child, and when a community comes together for the common good.”

We’re blessed with a gorgeous start to fall and the promise of a delightfully mild winter.  This autumn, take full advantage of the ability to be outside, mingling with friends and neighbors, to the benefit of a local food bank.  While you’re there, learn all you can about the Y’s many discounts, classes, childcare opportunities, and community activism.  You won’t regret it!

The Olympia Downtown branch is at 510 Franklin Street SE and Briggs is located at 1530 Yelm Highway SE.  Call 360-753-6576 with any questions.


Boggs Inspection Services Creates Connections in the Community

Sun, 10/19/2014 - 5:00am



olympia home inspector

Dwayne Boggs has strong ties throughout the community, including his support of Keller William’s agent Shauna Tryon.

Starting something new is hard.  And when that “something” is a new business, it’s even harder.  Putting out your shingle and saying to the community, “I’m here – trust me to help you in your life,” is a step that takes courage, conviction, and commitment.

Dwayne Boggs knows this well.  The Olympia-based home inspector started his own business, Boggs Inspection Services over ten years ago, transitioning from construction to inspecting homes for buyers, sellers, and real-estate transactions.  “It’s hard work getting established, building trust with customers,” he recalls.

But hard work is something Boggs isn’t afraid of and he’s grown his inspection business to include three home inspectors and strong connections with businesses throughout the South Sound.  As his business has grown he’s felt the pull to give back to the community that supported him when he first started out.

He’s a member of the Gateway Rotary Club of Lacey, participating in their many service and outreach projects.  “I really feel like now that I’m more established, I have the time and knowledge to give back to the community,” explains Boggs.

olympia home inspector

Shauna Tryon completed the BOLD Training Program this summer, sponsored by Boggs Inspection Services, and credits the intensive training with helping her jump start her first year in real estate.

One way he’s reached out is through his support of new Keller Williams Realty agent, Shauna Tryon.  Boggs sponsored the new agent to participate in the Keller Williams BOLD (Business Objectives Leading by Design) Training Program.  This intensive, eight-week training, held in Portland, Oregon, is intended to help new or experienced agents gain the strategies and motivation to make it in the competitive world of real estate.  Click here to read about how Boggs Inspection Service selected Shauna to sponsor for this program in April 2014.

Fast forward to fall.  Tryon has completed the BOLD course work and I spent some time with the Olympia native and single mom of two, asking her to reflect on her experience and what she has gained through the sponsorship of Boggs Inspection Service to attend.

“I am so thankful for the opportunity to attend this training, which wouldn’t have been financially possible in my first summer as an agent without Dwayne’s sponsorship,” shares Tryon.  With the real estate business relying heavily on referral business and reputation, it’s an uphill battle to establish yourself in the industry.  “It can be really scary to step out and say, ‘I’m new’ and hope for the best,” she shares.

Through attending the BOLD Training, Tryon felt she got a leg-up for her first year in the industry. “I went into the training as a true novice, but felt I came out more educated about the industry and how to be successful long-term.”  Her biggest take away?  “It takes a lot of motivation, mentally, to stay in this business long enough to be truly successful.  I feel like the BOLD program gave me the tools to stay motivated and stick with it for the long haul,” she shares.

Boggs can relate.  Inspecting someone’s home requires integrity and trust, something that takes time to establish.   And building relationships throughout the community is something he sees as important, not just for gaining business, but for supporting those like him – those working hard for the greater good.

“My business is built on relationships and referral, just like Shauna.  So, working collaboratively, supporting each other, is just good business and good for the community,” Boggs says.

olympia home inspector

Tryon joined Keller William’s agents for a day of service to Community Youth Services. Involvement in the community is important to both Tryon and Boggs.

Tryon agrees.  “The real estate industry in Thurston County includes so many people – inspectors, agents, roofers, painters – the list goes on.  We all really work well together because ultimately, it benefits us all.”  Tryon knows from her past experiences in life and business that an environment of collaboration and community brings far more personal satisfaction as well as an increased bottom line.

“Dwayne help getting me started in my career was invaluable.  But, just because he stepped in to help a new agent, it doesn’t mean we are now doing 100 deals together.  It’s really for the greater good of everyone and for that I thank him,” Tryon explains.

The results of the BOLD Program are evident in Tryon’s positive attitude and her success in her first summer as an agent.  “I’ve done a few deals this summer and worked well with several investors,” she shares.  And while she knows that it’s a tough business, she feels that the community has rallied around her, providing support, motivation and a community to see her through.

“I probably wouldn’t have gotten through this first summer as an agent without the BOLD training,” Tryon admits.  But got through it she did, with flying colors.

You can find Shauna Tryon here and connect with Boggs Inspection Services here.


Warren Miller’s “No Turning Back” comes to the Washington Center

Sat, 10/18/2014 - 10:24am


Submitted by Warren Miller Entertainment

Warren Miller Photo by Sverre Hjornevik

Photo Courtesy of Warren Miller Entertainment – Photo by Sverre Hjornevik

This fall, Warren Miller releases its 65th film, No Turning Back. The newest installment celebrates the 65 years of mountain culture and adventure filmmaking that has led Warren Miller to every end of the winter world. Warren Miller’s annual film tradition marks the beginning of colder weather, winter exploration and premier cinematography. Come experience the stoke with Warren Miller and revel in winter’s heritage as we push the boundaries in Niseko, Japan, the Swiss Alps, Montana, France and more. See athletes Ingrid Backstrom, Seth Wescott, Sierra Quitiquit, Rob Kingwill, Oystein Aasheim and others carry on the legacy in winter sports storytelling.

Warren Miller’s No Turning Back shows in Olympia at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, November 14.  Two showings are scheduled at 6:30 and  9:30pm. Click here for all show info.

Since he began creating films in 1949, Warren Miller has known that as skiers and riders, there’s no need to look back—instead, we continuously drive to keep our edge and chase the snow. Because whether it’s Josh Bibby and Tyler Ceccanti carving turns on Mount Olympus in Greece or Kaylin Richardson breaking trail in Norway, these athletes pray for storms and seek mountain thrills for the same reason snow lovers have for decades: sheer delight.

“Everywhere we go, Warren Miller Entertainment finds people who have dedicated their lives to the mountains,” says Producer Josh Haskins. “Every location we shoot at, from the smallest local hills to the top of Alaska’s Chugach, speaks to skiers and snowboarders because, at the end of the day, all we need are some steep slopes and some snow to cover them.”

No Turning Back continues the tradition, taking a legacy that dates back to before skis had edges, and running with it around the globe, to the top of the world’s highest peaks to the mom-and-pop hills that define skiing and riding and back again. Join Warren Miller in welcoming this winter season, and remember this year there’s No Turning Back.

Pumpkins Aren’t Just for Porches

Sat, 10/18/2014 - 5:54am



By Katie Hurley

Two of the surest signs of fall are here… piles of pumpkins adorning the entrances at locally owned Ralph’s Thriftway and Bayview Thriftway, and the large variety of colorful pumpkins, squash and gourds inside their produce departments. Whether you plan to use them in your fall décor or as the star of sweet or savory fall dishes, this is the time you’ll find the best and most colorful selection.

Kabocha squash, also sometimes called Japanese pumpkin, looks like a bumpy dark green pumpkin. The flesh is smooth and sweet, with a chestnut-like flavor when cooked. A whole kabocha squash doubles as a cooking vessel in a simple soup recipe that takes minutes to assemble and

squash recipe

Kabocha squash soup is baked inside the squash.

Kabocha Squash Soup

Serves 2-3

1 kabocha squash

1 leek (white and light green part only), thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 sprig fresh rosemary

5 fresh sage leaves

2 T grated parmesan cheese

2-3 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock

Rinse and dry the squash and then cut out a lid as you would if you were going to carve a pumpkin. Scrape out the seeds and stringy pulp and discard them. Set the squash in a baking dish with sides (in case the stock leaks out of the bottom of the squash). Add the leek, garlic, rosemary, sage and parmesan. Top with the stock, leaving about 1” of space between the top of the liquid and the lid. Put the lid back on and bake in a 400 degree oven for 60-75 minutes, or until the squash inside is very soft. Ladle the stock into a bowl, discarding the rosemary sprig and sage leaves. Use a spoon to scrape the squash into the bowl. Add additional stock if desired. Top with additional grated parmesan to taste. This soup can also be pureed with a stick blender or in a food processor to make a smooth, thick soup.


pumpkin recipes

Organic squash is abundant at Bayview Thriftway.

Pumpkin has become a seasonal staple in everything from pies to scones to lattes. Pumpkin waffles are a great breakfast, but they also make an excellent dessert. For breakfast, top these Pumpkin Waffles from Miss Laura’s Kitchen with butter and pure maple syrup or some warm applesauce. For dessert, cut large waffles into quarters and top each quarter with a scoop of dulce de leche ice cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce and some chopped toasted pecans.

Butternut, acorn or delicata squash are all great to have on hand to add to your menu. Cut them lenghthwise, scoop out the pulp and seeds and place them cut-side down on a greased baking sheet. Roast at 350 until the skin is easy to pierce with a fork and the flesh is tender, about 25 minutes for delicata or acorn squash and up to 50 minutes for a large butternut squash. Scoop the squash out and mash it with a little butter and desired seasonings. A dash or two of chipotle powder and a pinch of salt makes a smoky, spicy, creamy side dish.

Now is the time to stop by Bayview Thriftway or Ralph’s Thriftway to pick the perfect pumpkins and squash for fall feasts and front porch décor.



squash soup

The finished product – Kabocha squash soup seasoned with sage, rosemary and leeks.

Bayview Thriftway

516 W. 4th Ave., Olympia



Ralph’s Thriftway

1908 E. 4th Ave., Olympia



Dan Baxter – Local Veteran and Small Business Owner Encourages People to Never Give Up

Sat, 10/18/2014 - 5:00am



By Cara Bertozzi

olympia carpet cleaning

Dan Baxter served with the Multi-National Force Haiti as a young infantryman.

Dan Baxter, a veteran and small business owner, has learned through experience not to take his current success for granted. Today, he is running an in-demand carpet cleaning business, DKB Restoration, and has a beautiful family with two children. However, he has navigated a spectrum of highs and lows both professionally and medically, and he has a story of perseverance to share in hopes of encouraging others who are enduring hard times.

Dan joined the Army and was assigned to the Infantry following his high school graduation in 1994. At this young age, he was able to travel extensively and had many rewarding experiences. He escorted VIPs, including former President Jimmy Carter and General Colin Powell, during his time in Haiti and worked for former President Bill Clinton’s security detail team as well.

Another memorable Army assignment was to Bosnia, where Dan worked with the Secret Service. His unit partnered with the FBI to arrest a terrorist assassin in that country, an achievement for which he received an award. Amazingly, he also broke his leg during that deployment but continued to walk on it for five months until returning to the States, where it was casted. This was to be the first of a number of challenging injuries that tested Dan’s mental ability to deal with setbacks.

olympia carpet cleaning

Dan Baxter was deployed to Bosnia under the command of NATO.

In 1998, Dan left Active Duty for the Reserves and transitioned to civilian life. A few years later, his path took an unexpected turn when the car he was driving was hit by a drunk driver, shattering his kneecap. Dan worked hard to rehab his knee, and it was around that time that he accepted a position in management at a carpet cleaning business. He couldn’t have predicted it, but caring for and restoring carpets in his clients’ homes and businesses to improve their appearance and increase their functionality as passive air filters would become his passion.

After working for only three months in this new role, however, Dan blew a disc in his back and found himself in the vulnerable position of being unable to walk. With a six-month waiting list to get into the Veterans Affairs hospital system, Dan struggled to get the care he needed to recuperate. He and his wife sold everything they had and held signs at the street corner when they were particularly desperate to make their rent.

Dan says this difficult time was clarifying for the couple.  His wife is also disabled. They learned the true differentiation between needs and wants and were exposed to a lot of criticism and shame for not being able to effectively meet their own needs. Experiencing this type of instability heightened their sense of empathy.

Fortunately, the Baxters belonged to a generous church community that helped to meet their tangible needs in addition to providing emotional and spiritual support. There were countless moments when they feared eviction, and then, someone would send them just the amount they needed to get through that month.

Finally, with the help of a civilian chiropractor, Dan was able to literally get back on his feet and returned to work after a year of unemployment. He took a job in management at Burger King and began to rebuild his savings. This time, Dan determined to embody the lessons he had learned from his lean times. Like many people who have had to rely on others for help, he was eager to again be in the position to reach out a hand to assist others.

olympia carpet cleaning.

Dan Baxter and his family are grateful to be in the position to give back to the community that saw them through some tough times.

After some soul searching, Dan decided to save up to start a business of his own. The flexibility was appealing, and he liked the thought of being able to hire other people who needed work and give them purpose and stability. He had enjoyed working as a carpet cleaner, and it became his long-term goal to start his own carpet restoration business. Dan gradually got this dream off the ground by taking small jobs while retaining his full-time job at Burger King. However, after only three months, he was getting enough orders to resign from Burger King and strike out on his own. It required another leap of faith by the Baxters, but the timing felt right.

Today, business is booming at DKB Restoration, and there is no lack of available work because of his reputation as a high-quality service provider. This September was three times as busy as the same period last year. In fact, Dan has filed a petition with the state to hire more employees and add another cleaning truck to his fleet. Through it all, the Baxters remain committed to remembering their journey and using their trials to inspire and encourage others. As Dan likes to say, “Everything happens for a reason, and you can trust God to take care of you and not give you more than you can handle.”

No matter your personal faith system, the Baxters are proof that you should never give up when things seem bleak because a better day may be just around the corner.

DKB Restoration can be reached at 360-688-4392 or by visiting their website.

Ned Owens Named Chief Financial Officer at FORMA Construction

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 9:54am



Submitted by FORMA Construction

forma constructionFORMA Construction Company has named Ned Owens of Olympia the company’s new chief financial officer.  Owens succeeds Harvey Hanson, who will be retiring from FORMA this December after a 27-year tenure.

As CFO, Owens will provide leadership, oversight and direction for the financial operations of the $125 million company.

Owens comes from McGladrey LLP, the fifth largest accounting, tax and consulting firm, following 13 years in McGladrey’s Olympia and Seattle offices as a tax and audit associate and manager.  Prior to his tenure at McGladrey, Owens was an ocean import representative for Expeditors International, in Kent, Washington.

After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree from Connecticut College in 1995, Owens was awarded a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Seattle University and a Master of Science in Taxation (MST) from Golden Gate University.

Owens is a certified public accountant and a member of the Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

An Olympia native, Ned and his wife, Wendy, are the parents of three children.  Owens enjoys hunting, swimming, skiing, tennis and music.  He is a member of the Olympia Rotary Club.

To learn more about FORMA, visit

Five High School Students Show How US Martial Arts Emphasizes Building Character

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 9:44am



By Gail Wood

dkb restorationAs she learned how to jump kick and box in her martial arts class, Brianna Asman surprisingly found the courage to pursue her real passion – theater.

“If it wasn’t for this,” Asman said as she looked around at students practicing martial arts, “I’d be home reading a book. I like drama a lot. And this gave me the confidence to do it.”

Asman, a sophomore at Timberline High School, began to overcome her shyness when she got started in martial arts six years at the US Martial Arts Center (USMAC) in Olympia.

olympia martial arts

US Martial Arts junior instructors Aaron Kioshi and Brianna Asman (in white) work with their class.

“I was really, really shy when I was little,” Asman said. “This brought out a lot of confidence in me in a fun way.”

Her story is a common one.

Legrand Jones, a sophomore at Capital High School, began taking classes at USMAC six years ago when he was in fifth grade. Like Asman, he had something he wanted to overcome.

“For me, what they helped me with a lot was the idea of self-control and discipline,” Jones said. “I used to have a lot of anger management issues.”

Not anymore.

“It’s helped me a lot,” Jones said. “I’ve enjoyed it.”

The emphasis at USMAC isn’t learning how to slap kick or punch. That’s the lure, the attraction. The emphasis is teaching respect and learning discipline. Each week, students bring a report card from their parents, not their teachers. Students are graded on things like how they behaved, how they clean they kept their rooms and information about their performance in school.

olympia martial arts

Aaron Field demonstrates a leg kick.

“The biggest thing I get out of it is what they teach you,” said Aaron Field, a junior at Capital.

There are five tenants that USMAC teaches.

“There’s indomitable spirit, integrity, confidence and self-control,” Field said. “That confidence carries over to school. I’m very confident when it comes to presentations or public speaking. I don’t think I would have had that if I hadn’t taken taekwondo.”

Three years ago, Aaron Kioshi, now a junior at North Thurston High School, got involved with martial arts at USMAC when his mom got a coupon to the center for a free lesson. He went once and got “hooked.”

“That first day, there was all this energy,” Kioshi said. “Everyone was really happy and ready to go. It was fun. Everyone was wanting to do it.”

His martial arts experience has helped Kioshi develop his coordination and confidence as an athlete. Now, he’s turning out for football at North Thurston and he plans to turn out for wrestling for the first time this winter.  He will also run track again in the spring. Right now, he comes to USMAC on Wednesdays after football practice.

“The first rule is to never use your martial arts to hurt anyone,” Kioshi said. “It’s all to defend yourself. It’s all about respecting others. It’s never about going out and causing trouble.”

olympia martial arts

Legrand Jones talks with his class.

For kids who are shy, it teaches them confidence. For kids who are more aggressive, it teaches them restraint, how to hold back and respect others. And that is the emphasis. It’s not just learning how to kick box and combat, it’s about learning respect.

Saehee Kwak, a junior at Capital, has been going to USMAC for three years. Her experience as a junior instructor and in her own workouts is a stress reliever.

“I get a lot of stress from school,” Kwak said. “I come here and go home happy.”

Kwak moved to Olympia from Korea in 2011 and she said she didn’t know any English. Her experience at USMAC has helped in her transition.

“I’ve learned how to be confident, to speak up, to answer with confidence, showing who I am,” she said.

The ultimate goal of USMAC is building tomorrow’s leaders today. The focus is more on building character than building punch power.

olympia martial arts

Aaron Kioshi demonstrates technique with his class.

“The things we teach all lead someone to be a strong leader in the community,” said Debbie Winters, project manager with USMAC. “We have ten home rules for children. The first one is to show respect to your parents and family members. Our focus is more on character.”

On Saturday, about 700 students from across the Northwest with similar stories will compete in the annual Governor’s Cup at Saint Martin’s University. Black belt sparring begins at 9:00 a.m. and in the afternoon board breaking and sparring continues.

Kioshi won’t be able to judge at Saturday’s Governor’s Cup competition. He’ll be in Tacoma at a conference for deaf students. He knows sign language and works with deaf children.

“That’s fun, too,” Kioshi said.

To learn more about US Martial Arts, click here.  Governor’s Cup information can be found at this link.


Olympia’s 12th Man Show Their Seahawk Spirit

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 5:49am



Want to add your favorite 12th Man photos to our gallery?  Drop us your image at

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Olympia Weekend Event Calendar

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 5:30am



Winds are blowing.  Dark nights are settling in early.  Rain drops are falling hard and frequent.  It must be October – and therefore time for some frightful (or fright-less) fun.  Harvest festivals, Halloween parties, pumpkin patches, and freaky haunted houses are all on the agenda for the weekend.  Use our full event calendar to plan your activities or skim through our highlights below.

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  For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here.


The 2014 Harley-Davidson Street 500 and Street 750 at Northwest Harley-Davidson

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 5:00am



NW Harley Front Entry 2It’s been 13 years since Harley-Davidson has introduced an all-new model.  This spring, the company introduces the 500cc and 750cc Street.  This new bike is aimed at younger, more urban riders and has a price point to match.  Starting at $6700, the Street is within reach of younger riders who love the Harley brand, but aren’t yet ready for the price tag on some of the larger bikes.

The Street is described as a smaller, more nimble bike that can handle the roughness of urban streets with specialized suspension.   The smaller design means it’s lighter with an instant throttle response, a plus for urban riders handling heavier traffic and multiple stop and go situations.

Julio Valdenegro, for one, is thrilled to see the Street hit the floor at Northwest Harley-Davidson.  The co-owner has worked at the Lacey dealership since 2001 and is looking forward to the impact this new model will have.  “We’ll see a new type of buyer for this bike,” shares Valdenegro, “and we are looking forward to a new generation of Harley riders in the store.”

Conspicuously absent from the Street is the large amount of chrome typically seen on most Harleys.  This “blacked-out” style adds to the urban appeal as does the more neutral riding position, providing comfort and stability.

The Street is made in Kansas City, Missouri and showcases the top quality you’d expect from Harley-Davidson.  And with the two engine sizes and many customization options, the Street gives buyers a lot of choice.

Want to check out the new Harley-Davidson Street 500 and Street 750 for yourself?  Visit the Lacey shop where the always friendly experts on staff can show you the Street in person.


FCC Approves Sale of KGY1240 AM Radio

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 6:11am


Submitted by KGY Radio

The KGYBUILDINGFederal Communications Commission has approved the sale of radio station KGY 1240AM.  Sacred Heart Radio, based in the Seattle area, closed on the transaction today and will take over the operation and programming as of October 16.

Jennifer Kerry, President of KGY, Inc. noted that the station will continue at 95.3 on the FM dial and said that  “…we have moved the legendary programming and community involvement of KGY to 95.3 on the FM band and the sale of 1240 AM is a great opportunity to bring more programming diversity to Olympia.”

Sacred Heart Radio is a radio network originating at KBLE 1050AM in Seattle with additional stations in Yakima, Spokane, Kodiak and now Olympia.  The non-profit group is headed by Ron Belter.

There are no staffing changes anticipated in the operation of KGY 95.3FM.

Jennifer Kerry’s grandfather, Tom Olsen, bought KGY in 1939 and it has been owned by the family since then.  KGY, Inc. also owns KAYO 96.9FM, South Sound Country and will continue to operate both KAYO and the new KGY on 95.3FM. Both stations are managed by Jackson Dell Weaver.

“Reach Out at the Well” Returns to Downtown Following Successful Summer Event

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 5:58am



Submitted by Renata Rollins for Reach out at the Well

Free community fair aims to foster courageous community caretaking

artesian wellFollowing a successful first run, “Reach Out at the Well” returns to downtown’s Artesian Commons Park on Friday October 17 from noon to 3 p.m.

The free community fair is hosted by the Olympia Outreach Workers League, a coalition of nearly a dozen downtown service organizations who operate with generous volunteer support. Participating organizations setup booths and provide information on their services and volunteer opportunities.

“We aim to uplift the downtown neighborhood through strengthening relationships, cultivating networks, and encouraging volunteerism,” said Renata Rollins, event organizer and a coordinator with the Outreach Workers League. “It’s all about the ethic of courageous community caretaking. It takes a village to raise a village.”

All are welcome, whether seeking volunteer opportunities or a little help getting through a rough patch, or even just to get in touch with the Downtown Neighborhood.

With winter weather approaching, there’s a big push for volunteers at the local shelters, when they experience a swell in their overnight numbers.

“Volunteering is fun and provides community members with the opportunity to directly engage with children and families,” said Natalie Moran of the Family Support Center, which opened the family shelter, Pear Blossom Place, in July. “We welcome children to volunteer alongside their parents. Without the dedication and support of volunteers, the community’s largest homeless family shelter would not be possible.”

“We encourage groups, churches, schools and any other interested organization to consider volunteering together to cover a certain period of time,” said Meg Martin, shelter director with Interfaith Works, whose new Emergency Overnight Shelter opens November 1 at First Christian Church. “We are also looking for volunteers to share skills, information and teach enrichment classes as well. This is a great way to gain a better understanding of an important social issue that extends far beyond our downtown.”

The Downtown Neighborhood Association will join the fall event, along with returning groups such as Covenant Creatures, which gives out free pet food and supplies at the fair; several youth and family organizations; and free/low-cost health clinics and services. Sea-Mar Clinic will offer Medicaid enrollment for those who qualify. The Downtown Ambassadors will serve as official greeters, serving up free hot coffee donated by Burial Grounds.

The event runs noon to 3 p.m. on Friday October 17 at downtown’s Artesian Commons Park, commonly called “the Well,” at 415 E. Fourth Ave.


Thrifty Thurston Gets Scared at Local Haunted Houses and Corn Mazes

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 5:53am



By Alyssa Ramsfield

hanson motors sponsorNothing puts me in a better state of mind for Halloween than an old fashioned fright. Whether it’s a vampire awakening from his tomb or a scarecrow come to life, Thurston County is full of haunted houses and corn mazes to satisfy the need for a good scare.

olympia haunted house

Scary-Nights Haunted House makes it easy to have spine-tingling fun and support the community!

There is one haunted house that stands out as being the scariest place year after year, My Morbid Mind. Owner Kevin Noah strives to be the best haunt in all of Washington. This labor of love started as a backyard spine-tingling event and has grown to a mammoth barn packed to the brim with props, actors, and special effects. This year is better than ever boasting new ghosts and ghouls. While this spooky spot is considered a PG-13 attraction, on Halloween from 5:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. the lights turn on and the creatures hand out candy for the “Kids Walk Thru.” It’s the perfect opportunity to take the whole family for some frightful fun.

If you head south to Bucoda, you can support a great cause and check out the terrifying entertainment at Scary-Nights Haunted House. This event is three years old to the Bucoda location, but has been haunting areas around the Northwest for 15 years.  Tickets are being sold across the county with money going right back into the community. Two dollars from each ticket bought locally, will go to the Tenino Quarry Pool. Your screams of support are greatly appreciated at Scary-Nights.


olympia corn maze

Schilter Family Farm brings the land of Oz to life with this year’s corn maze.

Rutledge Corn Maze just gets bigger and better every year. The annual haunted maze starts as the sun falls behind the Black Hills. Actors and props are hidden amongst the maze making the route for escape a difficult task. Rutledge has also added a Zombie Paintball Hunt. Visitors can take out prop and actor zombies with mounted paintball guns as they ride through the farm. Family activities that are available include a kid-friendly trip in the maze and corn train during the day.

Fall Harvest Festival is in full effect at Schilter Family Farm. A big part of the 5-acres festival is dedicated to their corn maze. This expansive network of twists and turns takes an average of an hour to complete. This year’s theme is The Wizard of Oz. On October 18 and 25, the maze comes alive with The Dark Side of Oz. The Wicked Witch of the West takes flight along with her troop of monkeys swooping in on unsuspecting victims trying to find their way through the dark abyss. This special evening event is not recommended for the faint of heart.

Blood curdling screams and chilling thrills can be found across Thurston County. Be sure to check out all of these eerie venues before the clock strikes midnight on All Hallows’ Eve.

Thrifty Thurston highlights inexpensive family fun in Thurston County.  The weekly series focuses on family-friendly activities throughout our community.  If you have a suggestion for a post, send us a note at  For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here.


You Can Help Shape Olympia’s Future Neighborhood Centers

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 5:37am



Submitted by The City of Olympia

 Jennifer Crain.

The Wildwood Building, serves as a neighborhood hub.  Help plan more throughout the city. Photo credit: Jennifer Crain.

The City of Olympia is laying the groundwork for supporting successful neighborhood centers. These small-scale neighborhood activity hubs offer residents convenient shopping and other services within a half-mile or 20-minute walk from home, contributing to a healthy lifestyle, helping us reduce our carbon footprint, and fostering neighborhood interaction.

What kinds of neighborhood centers do you want in Olympia?  Fill out our short questionnaire on OLYSpeaks at This survey will be open until midnight on October 28, 2014.

The Olympia Planning Commission is tentatively scheduled to hold a public hearing on Monday, November 17, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall about initial exploration of the City’s neighborhood center regulations.

For more information, please contact Amy Buckler or Michelle Sadlier at 360.753.8314 or

The Posture of Pain

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 5:00am



olympia massage

Kenton Stuth, owner of In Touch Therapy, has been a licensed massage therapist for eight years.

We’ve all experienced it – a strain in our neck or a pinch in our lower back. These common discomforts can often make daily activities and chores strenuous and difficult. However, Founder and Clinic Director of In Touch Therapy, Kenton Stuth, says there are a few simple changes we can make in our daily movements that can help alleviate and even prevent these common pains.

Stuth says one of the most common complaints his clients come in with is in regard to neck pain. He says people often attribute pain in their neck to “sleeping wrong.” This is, however, a common misconception.

Stuth says, rather than “sleeping wrong,” people engage in activities prior to sleep that cause tenseness in the neck region. “I can’t tell people to stop sleeping,” he explains, so instead, Stuth suggests changing the activities you engage in prior to sleep that could be causing discomfort when you wake up. “It’s the daily, little things we do,” he says. “You don’t throw your back out from loading the dishwasher wrong. You throw your back out from loading the dishwasher wrong for 20 years.”

Stuth continues, explaining that, “People all have postures which contribute to their pain.” Being able to identify where your pain is coming from is a good place to start when trying to alleviate discomfort. Stuth says pain usually travels front-to-back and bottom-to-top.  So if you are experiencing pain in your back, look at your front, and if you feel pain in your knee, look at your ankle.

“The biggest thing that hurts people is bending over. When you bend over – at the knees or back – and twist at the same time, it puts a lot of pressure on the discs in your back. This can cause herniations and other painful conditions,” says Stuth. “Try to keep everything pointed the same direction. If you bend over and need to turn, bend, stand up, and then turn your entire body, rather than twisting while bent over,” suggests Stuth.

Stuth says a few other good rules of thumb to follow are:

  • Don’t lean over when you brush your teeth. And, if you find yourself leaning over anyway, use your hand to prop yourself up.
  • When you get out of bed, don’t sit up. Turn on your side, then push yourself up.
  • If you work at a computer, elevate the monitor so that it is level with your vision and your head is pointed straight ahead.
  • Find out which of your eyes is dominant and orient your office or workspace so that it accommodates your dominant side, alleviating strain.

These are just a few changes you can apply to the way you move your body during daily activities that will encourage healthy body movement and alleviate pain brought on by improper, repetitive motions.