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Timberline’s Chris Jones and Kyler Hawkins are Double Trouble For Opponents

Sun, 09/28/2014 - 7:04am



By Gail Wood

tagsThey’re throwback players, two-way starters with grit.

In a day when two-platooning is vogue in football from the NFL to PeeWee, Timberline High School’s Kyler Hawkins and Chris Jones start on both sides of the football. They’re marathon linemen.

“They never get gassed,” Timberline’s coach Nick Mullen said. “They work hard in the off season. They prepare.”

timberline football

Kyler Hawkins (left) and Chris Jones are Timberline football teammates playing both offense and defense.

It’s an encore performance. Last year as juniors, they started both ways. Jones earned first-team all-league honors at defensive end. With his speed – he runs 40 yards in 4.8 seconds – and his strength – he has bench pressed 420 pounds – Jones is a quarterback’s nightmare. Hawkins earned honorable mention all-league at offensive guard.

This season they start next to each other on the offensive line – Hawkins at guard and Jones at tackle. And they both start at defensive end on a young Blazers team. A mix of muscle and speed, they’re double trouble for opponents.

“They always get push,” Mullen said. “They always win the point of contact on defense. They know how to read and react.”

Both Jones and Hawkins got an early intro to football. They played on their first team in second grade.

“I said I wanted to play,” Hawkins said. “My mom was kind of scared. I said, ‘Don’t worry Mom. I can do it.’ I started playing and I loved it.”

As two-way starters, neither Jones nor Hawkins come off the field much during a game. Last year, it took just one game for them to be confident enough to say, “Yeah, I can do this.”

timberline football

When the Timberline High School football team takes the field, Hawkins and Jones are in for both offense and defense.

“The first game I started going both ways was against Olympia last year, our first game,” Hawkins said. “It was tiring, but I got the hang of it. Conditioning through the season helped a lot.”

Jones’ edge is his strength. At offensive tackle, he can pop a rushing linemen with a quick extension of his arms, slowing their rush. At defensive end, he can push a lineman off balance and slip past to pressure the quarterback.

“It makes the game a lot easier,” Jones said. “It makes it more enjoyable. When you’re stronger you can just push them off. On run blocking you get a lot of pancakes.”

As a team captain, Jones is aware of his leadership role. He knows he sets an example for his teammates with how he plays and what he says. He wants to be an inspiration, not someone pulling the team down.

“When you’re in a hard game and you’re down by 7 or 14 points, everybody looks at you,” Jones said. “And if you’re still playing hard, they’ll go hard, too. If you’re team captain’s head is down, everyone else isn’t going to go hard. You have to keep your head up and show everyone that you’re not afraid.”

Jones is more of a quiet leader. He leads by actions, with a big hit or with a hustle play.

“Chris is really quiet. Kyle is more loosey-goosey,” Mullen said. “When they step between the two lines, they are just different beasts. They get after it. They don’t mess around. They enjoy the grind. They enjoy football.”

Jones is no stranger to Timberline football. He was the team’s ball boy seven years ago when his brother was the team’s starting quarterback.

timberline football

Fans cheer for Timberline High School football.

“Timberline is in my blood,” Jones said. “That makes me want to work harder because there’s Coach Mullen. Every step I make on this field, he expects you to go 100 percent. I’ve got to make sure I do that. I don’t want to let him down.”

If Hawkins and Jones had to pick a favorite side of the football, they’d pick defense. Giving the hit –  making the tackle – and not receiving it as an offensive lineman has its advantages.

“It’s more fun on defense because you get to lay your hat down,” Jones said. “And I like the contact. I like hitting people hard.”

Jones, because of his sister, has a nickname. Everyone calls him “Boola.” When he was a baby, he was chubby and his mom called him a buddha baby. His sister, not able to say buddha, called him, “Boola.”

“It stuck,” Jones said with a smile. “Everyone calls me that.”

After Timberline lost its starting tailback, Andrew Paquin, who rushed for over 1,000 yards, to an injury, Mullen said his team has a balanced offensive attack. Gabriel Gutierrez, a three-year starter, gives Mullen experience at quarterback. He’s a double threat, a thrower and a runner.

“He weighs about a buck 75, but he’s not afraid to stick his nose into it,” Mullen said. “He’s fearless.”

With just four starters returning on offense and defense, Jones and Hawkins play key roles in leadership. They’re both hoping to play college football.

“They’re both kids with desire,” Mullen said. “They both have the ‘it’ factor. They have talent.”


Fall Arts Walk 2014: A Sneak Preview of Fun for All Ages

Sat, 09/27/2014 - 6:48am



By Gale Hemmann

oly fed sponsorIt’s autumn in Olympia. This time of year brings us many seasonal pleasures: falling leaves, rainy day walks, and of course, Fall Arts Walk. The season wouldn’t be complete without our lively celebration of the arts.

So, fellow Olympians, mark your calendars. Whether you are a seasoned Arts Walk attendee or new to the area, you definitely want to check out this year’s Fall Arts Walk. Olympia’s iconic arts event takes place throughout downtown Olympia on Friday, October 3 and Saturday, October 4, 2014. You can view art and take in free entertainment at 96 participating businesses. Free and open to everyone, Arts Walk is one of those quintessential Olympia events that make our town unique.

So, what can you look forward to this year? I talked to Stephanie Johnson, Arts and Events Program Manager for the City of Olympia, to see what’s in store. Here is just a taste of what you can see and do this Fall Arts Walk weekend. The beauty of Arts Walk is that you can customize it to exactly what you’re interested in. And, as Johnson points out, each year is totally new.

fall arts walk olympia

The Hands On Children’s Museum is hosting activities both at the museum and in the children’s activity area at Fifth and Washington Streets. Photo courtesy of Hands On Children’s Museum

Fun and Discovery: Fall Arts Walk Highlights

  • Kid-friendly fun: There will be plenty of free activities for families with young kids. Johnson suggests starting at the Olympia Family Theater, where you can catch performances from the musical Busytown on the half hour (Friday only). The theater is also offering free snacks and hosting a kids’ disco dance party all evening. Kids can get free face painting by the Olympia High School Key Club and make art at the kids’ art activity area at the corner of Fifth and Washington Streets. The LOTT WET Science Center will be hosting kids’ art activities as well. After visiting the WET Science Center, stop by the Hands On Children’s Museum next door and take advantage of free Friday night admission (Friday from 5:00-9:00 p.m.). Of course, kids will also enjoy browsing much of the art on display with their families and taking in all of the excitement Arts Walk has to offer.
  • Community canvas painting: Feeling creative after seeing all that art? Stop by Let’s Paint to partake in a community canvas painting activity. This stop is sure to be fun for both kids and adults.
  • Food art: For something different, stop by Olympia Olive Oil for a “Food Art” exhibit by the Human Touch Chefs Group. This non-profit group, based in Lacey, brings together local chefs for a combination of cooking and food education outreach events. I’m looking forward to seeing what this exhibit is all about.
  • Live entertainment: Whether it’s flamenco or folk music, you’ll be impressed by the rich array of talent on display at free performances throughout the weekend. I plan to catch the dynamic RADCO dance performance at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts (Friday at 6:00 p.m.). And the Olympia Arab Festival will be held at the Olympia Center on Saturday, providing a sampling of Middle Eastern culture and arts.
  • The Grey Wharf: In addition to the official Arts Walk schedule, Grey Wharf, a local band, is putting on a special CD release show during Arts Walk weekend. They will be celebrating their new album, Valley of Wolves, with a show at Reality on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Visit their Facebook page for ticket information. Their mellow blend of acoustic folk-rock will likely be a hit with everyone in your group. Check out this past ThurstonTalk article about the Grey Wharf here.

Some Tips for a Great Experience

fall arts walk olympia

The Olympia Family Theater will be offering fun glimpses of their current musical, Busytown, on Friday night. Cast members are pictures here during a past Arts Walk production. Photo courtesy of Olympia Family Theater

While you can certainly hit the pavement with total spontaneity, Johnson advises planning ahead. After you pick up your map, you can make a route of which stops you want to hit. Here are a few insider tips:

  • Make the most of your map: The beautiful, full-color maps made for Arts Walk are a keepsake many of us save for years. (This fall’s cover art is a graceful fox print by Kristen Etmund.) You can pick up a map at any of the participating businesses, Olympia City Hall or the Olympia Center. You can also view a digital map here. (The digital map is in PDF format, so you can easily print it and email it to friends and family as you plan for Arts Walk.) The map includes a full schedule and provides a convenient way to plan your trip. Johnson suggests using the map to mark your route, and noted that people can also use the map to circle and make notes about artists’ whose work you particularly like and want to remember.
  • Getting there: Johnson suggests considering walking, busing, or biking to Arts Walk if possible to avoid parking and help minimize traffic downtown. You can view Intercity Transit’s user-friendly bus information here. You can also carpool and park a little further out (away from the downtown core), then walk to the hub of the activity, Johnson notes.
  • Grab a bite: Whether you are looking for dinner out or just a quick treat, there are plenty of tempting options downtown in all price ranges. Get a coffee and pastry at Café Love (one of my favorite stops for a late-night chat over coffee), which will be showing the work of several photographers. And for another great coffee option, Batdorf and Bronson will be showing the work of Olympia artist China Faith Star. The Mark offers an organic, refined dinner option, while the Urban Onion offers classic pub fare and a plethora of artists’ works.
fall arts walk olympia

Arts Walk brings performers of all varieties into the streets of downtown Olympia.


And, of course, it’s October in Washington, so you’ll want to be prepared for any weather. Throwing jackets for everyone and an umbrella or two in the car will make sure you’re still set to have a great time even if it showers (thankfully, all of the art is indoors, making it a perfect event rain or shine).

In talking with Johnson, she is clearly enthusiastic about the upcoming Arts Walk. She says it’s a wonderful opportunity to connect hundreds of local artists to the community. As a long-time Olympia resident, I agree that Arts Walk is a local treasure. It also connects us all to our inner artist, letting us revel in the wonderful creative spirit of our town.

Arts Walk is sponsored by the City of Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation Department, with support from the local business community and participating artists. Major sponsors this year include Art House Designs, Capitol City Press, Washington State Employees Credit Union, and Mixx 96 FM radio.



fall arts walk olympia

Fall Arts Walk is a family friendly adventure in downtown Olympia.

Olympia Fall Arts Walk 2014

At locations throughout Downtown Olympia

Friday, October 4, 2014 from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 5, 2014 from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Faces of the Olympia Farmers Market – Salsa So Fresh

Sat, 09/27/2014 - 6:46am



By Mary Ellen Psaltis

Edward Jones Block AdFresh garden flavors can be yours, and you won’t have to weed or own a garden. Grab a big spoon and pull off the lid of one of Chile Rey’s Salsa So Fresh salsas, then liberally apply to the food on your plate. In the event you do not have a plate, a bowl of chips or vegetables will work just as well. With eleven flavors of salsas and dips waiting for you, all you need to do it decide where to begin. How about peach-pineapple (fruit with a kick) or smoked bacon jalapeno?

Randy Milligan, owner of Chile Rey’s Salsa So Fresh, began his food service employment at the early age of twelve in the family’s Mexican restaurant. He had the opportunity to work his way up from the bottom, finishing as the manager.

SalsaSignThrough his many experiences Milligan realized the restaurant business is time-intensive and not conducive to family life. He did like cooking, and one day at home he whipped up a batch of his own salsa. That recipe lives on. Family and friends, the happy recipients of said salsa, relentlessly encouraged Milligan to make more and to go into the salsa business.

Salsa So Fresh was born ten years ago. Now Milligan and his wife (also business partner) Joy are celebrating their first salsa decade. It’s their eighth year at the Olympia Farmers Market.

Bayview Thriftway was the first retail outlet to sell their salsas with Ralph’s Thriftway right behind. Now you can also find Chile Rey’s Salsa So Fresh at the Olympia Food Co-Ops, Island Market on Steamboat Island Road and the Red Apple in Shelton.

All choices are available at the Farmers Market.

  • Original Medium
  • Original Hot
  • Raspberry Chipotle
  • Peach Pineapple
  • Black Bean Feta
  • Salsa Olivos
  • Verde
  • Bruschetta
  • Hot Chipotle Lime
  • Garlic Garden Dip & Spread
  • Smoked Jalapeno Dip & Spread

SalsaJoyHere is what you might not know about Salsa So Fresh. All their chilies and peppers are hand peeled with Joy Milligan as the Head Peeler. They have their own hatch chili roaster so they can roast them in batches. Rey (as in Chili Rey’s) means ‘king’ in Spanish, and it’s also Randy’s middle name.

With Randy managing the salsa-producing end of the business and Joy handling the business part, their team efforts provide us with a multitude of joys.

Truly, salsa is a miracle food. First, the ingredients are garden fresh. Chilies, peppers, onions and tomatoes are all A+ in the nutrition department. Then, there’s no end to what foods go well with salsa. For example, Salsa So Fresh’s raspberry chipotle makes a tasty marinade for beef, chicken or shrimp.

Use salsa in place of regular fat-based salad dressing. Top your scrambled eggs or omelet with the black bean feta salsa. Douse your enchiladas with Randy’s special Verde Salsa. It’s limey not vinegary.

Joy affirms, “My husband makes the best ever.” Pop a scoop into your bowl of soup; snazz up your plain rice and mix with smashed avocado. Did I mention baked potatoes or burgers? Of course, remember the chips. One happy customer exclaimed that salsa “works well with every food!”

SalsaTortillaFor the extra spice lovers, ask for a ‘kick,” which is basically a shot of chopped chilies that you can add incrementally to your own serving.

Joy works at the Farmers Market providing samples to hone in on your favorites. You’ll receive a discount when you buy three containers. It might be a challenge to narrow it down to that. If you can’t wait until you get home, no worries, they sell chips and salsa to go. Friendly and helpful, Joy loves to chat with customers to find the salsa or dip that fits their taste and life desires. I felt welcomed and informed with her warm enthusiasm and dedication to better health.

I’m a salsa fan. Using different salsas add variety to my daily servings of mixed vegetables. There are many pluses and no undesirable sugars or fats. Add spice to your life. Chile Rey’s Salsa So Fresh is healthy and legal!

Eat Well – Be Well


WDFW Tentatively Schedules Razor Clam Digs Through December 31

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 5:22pm



Submitted by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

razor clam digThe first razor clam dig of the season is tentatively scheduled next month with additional digs planned through New Year’s Eve.

In announcing the initial digging schedule, state fishery managers emphasized that final approval of all scheduled openings will depend on results of marine toxin tests that show the clams are safe to eat.

“We’re announcing this proposed schedule to give people time to makes plans,” said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “However, none of the digs are confirmed until we announce the results of the toxin tests.”

During the first set of digs, scheduled October 7 through October 12, both Twin Harbors and Long Beach will be open all six days, with additional harvest opportunities at Mocrocks and Copalis. Through the end of the year, WDFW has tentatively scheduled a total of 41 days of razor clam digs.

Beach surveys indicate an average razor clam population at Copalis this year while Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks show excellent numbers of clams, Ayres said.

“Overall, there are a lot of clams out there and we expect this to be another great season,” he said.

Under state law, diggers can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container. Diggers may not harvest any part of another person’s daily limit, unless they possess a designated harvester card.

Razor clam diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2014-15 fishing license to harvest razor clams on state beaches. Fishing licenses of various kinds are available on the department’s website at and from license vendors around the state. A new WDFW video, which demonstrates how to teach your kids to harvest razor clams, is available at

WDFW recently sought public comments on the upcoming razor clam season.  Ayres said he appreciates that so many people sent in comments.

“We have done our best to incorporate as many of those suggestions as possible in the months ahead,” Ayres said.

Below is the schedule of proposed razor clam digs, along with evening low tides and beaches:razor clam dig

  • Oct. 7, 2014, Tuesday; 6:26 p.m., -0.5 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Oct. 8, 2014, Wednesday; 7:13 p.m., -0.9 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Oct. 9, 2014, Thursday; 7:58 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Oct. 10, 2014, Friday; 8:43 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 11, 2014, Saturday; 9:28 pm, -0.8 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • Oct. 12, 2014, Sunday; 10:15 p.m., -0.3 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 22, 2014, Wednesday; 6:31 p.m., 0.3 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Oct. 23, 2014, Thursday; 7:07 p.m., -0.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Oct. 24, 2014, Friday; 7:44 p.m., -0.4 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 25, 2014, Saturday; 8:22 p.m., -0.6 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • Oct. 26, 2014, Sunday; 9:03 p.m., -0.6 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 27, 2014, Monday; 9:47 p.m., -0.4 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Oct. 28, 2014, Tuesday; 10:36 p.m., -0.2 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 4, 2014, Tuesday; 4:26 p.m., -0.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 5, 2014, Wednesday; 5:14 p.m., -0.7 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 6, 2014, Thursday; 5:59 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 7, 2014, Friday; 6:42 p.m., -1.2 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 8, 2014, Saturday; 7:24 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • Nov. 9, 2014, Sunday; 8:05 p.m., -0.7 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 10, 2014, Monday; 8:47 p.m., -0.3 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 11, 2014, Tuesday; 9:31 p.m., 0.2 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 20, 2014, Thursday; 5:06 p.m., 0.0 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harborsrazor clam dig
  • Nov. 21, 2014, Friday; 5:45 p.m., -0.5 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 22, 2014, Saturday; 6:24 p.m., -0.8 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • Nov. 23, 2014, Sunday; 7:05 p.m., -1.0 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 24, 2014, Monday; 7:47 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 25, 2014, Tuesday; 8:32 p.m., -0.9 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 26, 2014, Wednesday; 9:19 p.m., -0.5 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Dec. 3, 2014, Wednesday; 4:14 p.m., -0.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Dec. 4, 2014, Thursday; 5:02 p.m., -0.6 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Dec. 5, 2014, Friday; 5:45 p.m., -0.9 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 6, 2014, Saturday; 6:26 p.m., -1.0 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • Dec. 7, 2014, Sunday; 7:05 p.m., -0.9 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 8, 2014, Monday; 7:44 p.m., -0.6 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Dec. 9, 2014, Tuesday; 8:21 pm, -0.2 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Dec. 19, 2014, Friday; 4:41 p.m., 0.0.feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 20, 2014, Saturday, 5:23 p.m., -0.6 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • Dec. 21, 2014, Sunday, 6:06 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 22, 2014, Monday, 6:48 p.m., -1.3 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Dec. 23, 2014, Tuesday, 7:31 p.m., -1.3 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Dec. 31, 2014, Wednesday, 3:05 p.m., 0.6 feet,  Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis


For more information on razor clam digging, visit the WDFW website at


Saint Martin’s University Kicks off the Holidays with the Jingle Bell Run

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 5:15pm


Submitted by Saint Martin’s University 

Saint Martin's UniversityPre-registration begins October 1 for those getting ready to walk, run or stroll in the third annual Jingle Bell Run, a holiday-themed, five-kilometer race that will take place Saturday, Dec. 6. Presented by Hanson Subaru, this very popular event will be held on the Saint Martin’s University campus in Lacey.

For the first time, participants will have the choice of registering as teams. A team is composed of three or more people who want to make their merry way through a route that will take them along the University’s wooded campus and by a decorated Christmas tree in front of Old Main.

“We’ve added the team sign-up feature this year because so many families and friends come out together for the Jingle Bell Run,” says Katie Wojke, interim vice president for the Office of Institutional Advancement. “As a little extra bonus, teams will receive a $5 discount per person.”

People of all ages may participate and age group awards will be presented.  Pre-registration ends Friday, December 5. Check-in and day-of registration begins at 8 a.m. in the Norman Worthington Conference Center. Pre-registered runners can pick up their packets December 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Worthington center.

The 5K race begins at 9 a.m. outside the Hal and Inge Marcus Pavilion. This is a competitive race and participants must be able to complete it in 30 minutes or less. The 5K Fun Run/Walk jingle bell run saint martins universityand the 1.55-mile Fun Run/Walk will start at 9:45 a.m. Finish-line celebrations, featuring Christmas cookies, cider and cocoa, will immediately follow the races.

All proceeds will benefit Saint Martin’s Athletics.

Registration fees are as follows: pre-registration (until December 5), $35; military/military dependents, $30; middle school, high school and college students (with valid I.D.), $5; day-of registration, $45; kids 11 and under, free (does not include the t-shirt, which can be purchased online before the race). Additional t-shirts are available for purchase while supplies last.

Parking is free.

Other sponsors of the event are Olympia Federal SavingsSouth Sound RadiologySaint Martin’s Alumni AssociationColumbia River Advisorsand Puget Sound Orthopaedics.

The End is Near…Have you Met your Deductible?

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 4:26pm



Submitted by Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates

Foot and Ankle Surgical AssociatesThe end of the year is approaching faster than we might have liked.  It’s time to “Use it or Lose it!”

The staff of Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates would like to remind you that your new insurance period begins January 1 2015.  Now is a great time to take advantage of those deductibles being met and schedule your appointment before the end of the year.

We have three clinics to serve South Sound patients including Tumwater, Yelm and Centralia offices.  We offer a broad range of services from both our podiatry clinic and Medi-Spa.  Whether your problem is minor, such as persistent toenail fungus, or quite serious, such as sever planter fasciitis, the doctors and staff at all our clinics can help.

Our office is also participating in a food drive to help fill the local food banks of our Tumwater, Centralia and Yelm offices. We would greatly appreciate any donation of non-perishable food.

Visit our website for more information or follow us on Facebook.

Lydell Spry Uses Boxing To Teach Youths Life’s Lessons

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 9:10am



By Gail Wood

south sound trucksAt first glance, it looks like any other workout for young boxers as they throw punches at a bag, jump rope or spar in a ring.

But, Lydell Spry will tell you, there’s more going on. The boxing is only the carrot, the lure. Education, teaching life’s lessons, that’s the key. That’s why for the past 14 years, Spry has worked with youth in Thurston County, mixing jabs with advice.

Partnering with the Thurston County Sherriff’s Department, Spry, once an Olympic hopeful in boxing, is the coach and director of the Thurston County Police Athletic League, or TCPAL. It’s a mentoring program that was started in New York City in 1915 and is now in over 3,000 communities across the country.

“It’s not just about punching someone on the side of the head,” Spry said.

olympia youth boxing

Lydell Spry discovered boxing as a 13-year-old growing up in Los Angeles. A policeman brought him to a gym throughout that first summer.

Under Spry’s direction, with his reminders about working hard, pushing yourself and being on time, boxing teaches responsibility, accountability and reliability.

“You have to have those three pieces in life to be successful in anything,” Spry said. “If you’re not accountable, reliable, responsible… if you don’t have those pieces, what are you worth to the company, to the place you work?”

Wearing black padded gloves on each hand, Spry instructs his students on one-two punching combinations. Left. Right. Left. Teacher and student drip with sweat. The students learn about pushing themselves and about not making excuses. The combinations come without rest.

“We teach that you can’t quit because you don’t like something,” Spry said. “Or you don’t like your school. Or your math class. It’s not negotiable.”

He works with 40 youths during the day in a gym he rents near South Puget Sound Community College. As Spry teaches how to throw punches, he’s also teaching how to make the right decisions. Sometimes, Spry teaches his students, you have to do something you don’t always like.

“You have to understand. It’s not about punching someone,” Spry said. “It’s about leaning responsibility, accountability and reliability.”

olympia youth boxing

Lydell Spry gathers a group of his boxing students in his gym near South Puget Sound Community College.

Four days a week – Monday through Thursday – Spry teaches boxing throughout the day. He has a 90-minute workout session in the morning and two workouts in the evening. On Oct. 18 – 19, Spry will host a boxing tournament that he anticipates will draw about 75 boxers from throughout the Northwest. Tickets are $16 for adults, $13 for military. Saturday’s sessions go from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. on Oct. 18. The championship bouts start at noon on Sunday.

Spry’s passion is to have an impact on the youth in Thurston County, to be a good influence and help shape lives.

“The program is to reach underserved boys and girls in the community, not only youth at risk,” Spry said. “We get all those folks together along with all the ones who are doing very well in school. We put them all together. We call that cross pollination.”

Spry, who grew up in in Los Angeles, knows the importance of mentoring through sports. When he was in eighth grade, a policeman brought Spry to a boxing gym. The sights, sounds and smells captured him. Throughout the summer of 1972, that policeman picked up a 13-year-old Spry at his home and took him to the gym for a boxing workout.

Because of a policeman’s concern, Spry got some insightful mentoring. Now, Spry is trying to provide that same guidance. He’s wanting to steer lives away from crime and toward productive avenues, but he knows he can’t do it alone.

olympia youth boxing

Lydell Spry teaches more than just a right-left-right combination.

“It’s our program,” he said. “It’s not my program. I need help with this.”

Spry’s lifelong infatuation with boxing turned him into an Olympic hopeful when he was a member of the elite U.S. Army’s boxing team that took him around the world. Following a 21-year career in the Army, Spry got into coaching boxing, first with the Tacoma Boys Club, then with Fort Lewis and then with the South Sound YMCA Olympia Downtown branch. After holding kids boxing workouts in his garage for several years, Spry began conducting workouts in a gym near South Puget Sound Community College and started a program through PAL.

Everyone wants to be a winner. But not everyone is willing to do the things to become a winner. Spry is the prod that helps youths realize their dreams.

“In order to be a winner you have to get ready,” Spry said.

That means be ready to train hard. That even means be ready to lose.

“You teach them at a young age how to be prepared,” Spry said. “You be ready for tomorrow today. If I have to tell you to get ready, it’s too late.”

It’s just another lesson Spry teaches along with how to throw a left jab.


Olympia Weekend Event Calendar

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 7:04am



I read an article this morning about Why Seattleites Crave the End of Summer.  The author does a magical job of explaining my personal love/hate relationship with the rain showers and long, wet months.  I encourage the read and then a quick check at the weather forecast which shows the sunshine brightening our weekend.  Get out the rain boots, find the umbrella and brew a warm cup today.

Here’s what is going on around 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  For more events and to learn what’s happening in Olympia and the surrounding area, click here.


Northwest Harley-Davidson’s Motorcycle Pre-Ride Checklist – “The Walk Around”

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 6:00am



NW Harley Julio ValdenegroIt’s a glorious day.  The sun is shining; the weather’s sitting around 60 degrees.  Not a cloud in sight.  It’s a perfect day for a ride.  But before you simply hop on your bike, which may have been sitting idle during the rainy months, complete a “Walk Around”.

The experts at Northwest Harley-Davidson know the anxiousness to simply get on your bike and ride, but encourage you to take the time to do a pre-ride inspection.  This ensures a safe, trouble free ride.

Pre-Ride Inspection Checklist

Tire Pressure – Improper tire pressure impacts the surface area of the tire in contact with the road.  This can affect both performance and safety.

Oil – Checking your oil is a must before every ride.  Both level and cleanliness should be assessed along with reviewing your records to see how long it’s been since your last change.  It might be time to schedule a Total Oil Change at NW Harley’s service department.

Fuel – This may seem like a no brainer, but there are many stories told by riders who have gotten half way through a ride, with no services in sight, and run out of gas.  Check levels and fuel up before heading out and fill supply cans if you’ll be in remote areas or gone for an extended period.

NW Harley Flames BikeLights – Check all your lights before a ride.  This includes turn signals, brake lights, and headlamp.  Not only do your lights help you see on the road, but they are essential in helping others see you.

Jiffy Stand – The motorcycle name for a “kick stand,” the jiffy stand needs to be in top condition before a ride.  No one wants to have a loose bolt give way when parking outside a watering hole mid-ride.  A Harley can be lifted off the ground, but it isn’t fun for the muscles or the ego.

By doing a full “walk around” before every ride you’ll avoid problems on the road, putting you one step closer to a great ride.  And if you do spot some issues during your inspection, make an appointment with Northwest Harley-Davidson’s Service Department.  The expert technicians will ensure your bikes in top condition.


Percival Plinth People’s Choice Award Winner Announced

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 12:10pm



Submitted by City of Olympia

percival plinth

Illuminated One by Leo E. Osborne, winner of the 2014 Percival Plinth Peoples’ Choice Award. Photo courtesy of City of Olympia.

Illuminated One by Anacortes artist Leo E. Osborne is the winner of the Percival Plinth Project Peoples’ Choice Award, and will be purchased by the City of Olympia following exhibition on Percival Landing.

Voting began July 25 with an opening kick-off that allowed the community to meet the artists of the loaned sculptures exhibited along Percival Landing. Voting concluded on August 31. A total of 481 votes were received during the voting period. With 179 votes, Illuminated One by Leo E. Osborne of Anacortes was front runner, with Origami #3 Totem by Ken Hall of Lacey coming in as runner up with 71 votes. The remainder of the votes were distributed among 11 other sculptures. Comments regarding why Illuminated One appealed to voters include the quality of craftsmanship, the theme (the cormorant is a bird found in the Pacific Northwest), and the variety of texture incorporated into the work.

The winner was announced at the Olympia City Council meeting on September 23, 2014. 

The exhibition of loaned sculpture will remain on Percival Landing through next spring. Following the exhibition, Illuminated One will be temporarily relocated to City Hall for one year before permanent placement somewhere else in the community. Mr. Osborne is also the sculptor of Rainforest Dream, the 2013 People’s Choice selection currently installed at City Hall.

For more information about the Percival Plinth Project, or to inquire directly with an artist about purchasing a displayed sculpture at the conclusion of the exhibition, please visit


Fitness Ablaze Training Center-Becoming a Better Version of Yourself

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 7:13am



olympia gyms

Fitness Ablaze Training Center members stretch out before starting their “Team Training” group session.

Appreciating that Fitness Ablaze Training Center is not just another gym requires understanding the values and approach of owner Andrew “Bo” Tinaza.

Tinaza, a former standout athlete from Shelton High School and the Skokomish Indian Tribe, started college with the intent to train elite athletes. He graduated from Western Washington University in Kinesiology (Exercise Science) with an offer shortly thereafter to train the collegiate athletes at Washington State University. It was then that Tinaza realized he wanted to make a bigger difference in the health and fitness by reaching more people. Tinaza returned to the Olympia area with hopes of helping a larger demographic of the population achieve their fitness goals.

In just two short years after opening Fitness Ablaze Training Center, Tinaza has guided hundreds of people toward improving their health and fitness. Abiding by the Japanese philosophy of kaizen, Tinaza believes in continuous improvement for himself and clients.

Tinaza feels strongly that he serves as a coach to his clients not just a trainer. “Anyone can make someone tired in a workout but not everyone can make a person feel better about themselves and help them discover the true meaning of their fitness goals,” explains Tinaza.

olympia gym

Fitness Ablaze Training Center coach and owner, Andrew “Bo” Tinaza helps people discover the true meaning of their fitness goals.

“My education qualifies me as a trainer. But my core values and approach make me a coach,” he continues.  “I understand how to inspire people, help them gain confidence and believe in themselves. It is when they start believing in themselves that they can truly accomplish their goals and become a better version of themselves.”

Tinaza clearly distinguishes that it is not about changing oneself or comparing to others but rather upgrading oneself to become a better version of who you really are.

“I consult with clients on what their ‘big why’ or ‘it’ is in order to discover the deeper reasoning for their goals.” Tinaza explains a common scenario of someone wanting to lose weight.  He admits while the goal of losing weight is common, the reason for this goal is different for each person. For example, one of his clients who came to Fitness Ablaze Training Center to lose weight discovered her ‘big why’ and ‘it’ came out of fear of not being able to keep up with her children-especially in the event of danger.

Alternatively, another client’s weight loss goals focused on keeping a low body fat ratio in order to be competitive as a collegiate athlete. As an all-inclusive training center, Tinaza develops customized training plans for each individual based on their fitness level, goals and what is identified during strategy sessions.  Tinaza also offers nutrition advice and body fat testing. Tinaza administers a private social media page for members so that they can directly ask him questions or schedule strategy sessions.

Tinaza’s expertise in fitness has been recognized well beyond the walls of the Fitness Ablaze Training Center. He recently co-authored the book “The Rapid Body Makeover” in which Tinaza contributed the chapter titled, “Female Strength Training: Do You Want a Leaner, Stronger, Better Body?”  Tinaza was selected to author this chapter because of his mixture of power training, strength training, functional training and conditioning expertise.  Tinaza comments that “the majority of who I train are females and I wanted to dispel the myths of female strength and power training.”

olympia gym

Stong(HER) women from Fitness Ablaze Training Center complete deadlifts and chinups during small group training.

Tinaza reflects on the last couple of years after opening Fitness Ablaze Training Center and how rewarding it has been to help so many people look, feel and move better. “I love training the general population. I can get more results with more people. It is so satisfying knowing that you are helping people change their lives by how the feel inside. The result might be weight loss but watching their confidence grow and how they smile more-the difference is crazy.”

Click here to learn more about Andrew “Bo” Tinaza and Fitness Ablaze Training Center or all 360-529-3925.

Fitness Ablaze Training Center

2727 Westmoor Court SW Suite 100

Olympia, WA 98502


Doing Her Share: Ada Sprague Mowell, Community Activist in the Early Twentieth Century

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 7:12am



By Jennifer Crooks

volkswagenAda Sprague Mowell is an important figure in the history of Olympia and Thurston County. In the early 20th century she was active in community life and left a large mark on the region.

olympia history

This November 23, 1916 Morning Olympian portrait shows Ada Sprague Mowell (1867-1953). Originally a school teacher, Mowell was a prominent community leader in early twentieth century Thurston County. Photo courtesy Washington State Library.

Ada was born in Ada County, Idaho, to Alfred D. and Wihelmina (Sager) Sprague on November 22, 1867. Moving to Thurston County in December 1869, the Sprague family, including Ada and her nine siblings, eventually settled on a homestead on Black Lake. However, times were far from easy. Albert died in 1875, leaving the family in difficult straights. The older children and their mother took over care of the farm. Ada was a good student and the family’s children moved into Tumwater each winter to attend school.

At a young age, Ada became a teacher. Graduating from the University of Washington, she taught in Thurston County schools for over a decade, ending her career as principal of Lincoln School in Olympia. A much smaller school than its modern offspring, Ada also taught a full load of classes.

On June 15, 1898, Ada’s life changed directions upon her marriage to 37-year-old Dr. John Wilson Mowell. Though the Mowells had no children, Dr. Mowell had one son from his previous marriage to Shelley Earl Mowell (1884-1965). Dr. Mowell was very active in community affairs, serving on the Olympia City Council and as Olympia Health Officer. He aided in the establishment of Industrial Insurance and was the first Medical Director of the Washington State Industrial Insurance Commission, from 1911-1917. Dr. Mowell maintained an active medical career until his death on July 7, 1925.

Ada Mowell needed little encouragement to be just as or more active in community life as her husband. She had a determined character. For example, in July 1897 she climbed Mount Rainier in a large party including her future husband. Ada was described by lifelong friend Goldie Robertson Funk as “full of a conquering laughter—you know, the kind that hurdles obstacles, reduces difficulties, and makes everybody feel better. But more than this: she came of a blood stream charged with the desire and the will to know and to do; she was eager to get from Life all it could be made to give.” Over her long lifetime, Ada Mowell was a member of the Ladies’ Relief Society, Woman’s Club of Olympia, Civic Improvement Club, Eenati Club, History Club, Thurston County Educational Club, and the Tuberculosis League. In addition, she helped organize the Daughters of the Pioneers and was a charter member of their Thurston County chapter.

olympia history

The Mowell Home, 200 Union Avenue, was considered one of Olympia’s finest homes when it was built in 1908. Over the decades it has undergone extensive renovation and now houses the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs. Photo courtesy author.

Through her extensive club memberships, Ada became involved in many contemporary issues. A Progressive Republican, she supported social reforms such as women’s suffrage.  While her husband worked for Industrial Insurance for workers, Ada Mowell supported efforts to ban child labor. For example, at the June 1903 annual Washington State Federation of Women’s Clubs conference in Everett, Mowell presented a paper entitled “Child Labor.”

The biggest impact Ada Mowell made was through the Woman’s Club of Olympia. Becoming a member in 1898, she immediately took an active role. Serving first as Corresponding Secretary, she would eventually serve as Recording Secretary, Trustee, Custodian, and Parliamentarian. She also served as chair of many Departments, such as Arts and Crafts, Travel, and International Relations.  Most significantly, she was president for eight terms, 1901-1903, 1909-1911, and 1914-1918. She did all this despite suffering several life-threatening illnesses over the years.

During World War I, Ada Mowell served as the Chairman of the Woman’s Work Committee of the Thurston County Council of Defense, making her both the sole woman on the Council and the head of the county’s “Minute Women” volunteers. In this role she helped implement government homefront programs during the war period. This included promoting voluntary rationing, selling Liberty bonds and raising money for the Red Cross. After the war Ada was a leader in the Minute Women Association of Thurston County which ran for decades promoting patriotic causes.

olympia history

This c. 1910 postcard shows the Abbie H.H. Stuart House at 1002 Washington St SE. Constructed to be the Woman’s Club of Olympia’s headquarters in 1908, Ada Mowell chaired the committee that organized its construction. It is now on the National Register of Historical Places. Photo courtesy private collection.

Ada Mowell died on January 6, 1953 but her legacy continues.

Perhaps a good way of thinking about her impact is to use her home as a metaphor. The Mowell house, 200 Union Avenue, was built in 1907. A classic Foursquare, it was considered one of the finest homes in Olympia. Over time, the building has gone through extensive renovation, but it survives and now serves as the headquarters for the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs. Like the house, Olympia has changed very much since Ada Mowell’s time yet her legacy survives through the continuing contributions of the groups she shaped and supported such as the Woman’s Club of Olympia.

Ada’s philosophy can be best summed up by her simple statement that “I couldn’t belong to any group and not do my share.” She certainly did more than her share and Olympia has reaped the benefit.


Thrifty Thurston Welcomes Fall at Lattin’s Cider Mill

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 7:11am



By Megan Conklin

heritage bankNothing epitomizes fall in Thurston County like a trip to Lattin’s Country Cider Mill and Farm. Without a doubt, the best time to visit Lattin’s, a family owned and operated farm that has been churning out both award winning cider and tons of fun since January of 1956, is during their Fall Apple Festival.

Carolyn Lattin raised her four children on the farm and describes those early years as “tremendous, hard work.” Yet, she speaks of twenty hour days filled with school runs, food preparation, and building a business with a contented smile on her face. “It is still really fun, and really, really busy,” Lattin explains. She manages the cider mill and farm with the help of her two daughters, Sherrie and Debbie, and ruefully admits, “When you are as old as I am and still can’t wait to come to work every morning, well, there must be something wrong with you, right?”


Lattin’s Country Cinder Mill and Farm has been operating in East Olympia for almost 60 years.

There is actually something very right happening at Lattin’s. The family atmosphere at the farm is evidenced in all that they do from the ready, helpful customer service to the amazing array of activities for families to enjoy. Held every weekend in October, those activities multiply during their yearly Apple Festival event when, in addition to the year round delicious treats and adorable animals, there is music, apple bobbing, face painting, a petting farm, an animal train, wagon rides, and more.

One of the most delightful aspects of the 22 acre property is the old timey country store that sells produce straight from the family garden located a few yards away. It also houses the gigantic wooden boxes of apples, which are all locally grown, new crop, and sell for only $.89 a pound during Apple Festival. One might also pick up a fresh loaf of apple bread, pies, cakes, honey, jams, and, of course, the many, many varieties of doughnuts and pastries.

Lattin’s Pumpkin Patch is an oft visited local favorite and the tractor drawn wagon ride out to the patch is appropriately bumpy and rustic. The patch is large and offers a variety of pumpkins from tiny to gigantic. A year round maze, water pump powered duck race, and Goat Walk also provide ample entertainment for visitors of all ages.


It all starts with the apples. Local, crisp, and juicy, they become fritters, crisps, pies, and cider at Lattin’s.

When I visited Lattin’s recently with three of my children in tow, it brought back happy memories of my son Charlie’s many birthday celebrations there. Because Apple Festival is such a busy time at Lattin’s, we could never book an actual, hosted birthday party there, but each time I would call to ask if I could celebrate my son at the farm, and bring along twenty or so of his little friends as well, the response would unfailingly be yes. “The more the merrier” seems to be a universally held sentiment at Lattin’s Farm. So, Charlie, my only child to be born in the fall, celebrated his first four birthdays with a candle stuck in a Lattin’s apple fritter and still counts that as his “official” birthday cake.

About those fritters – folks come from far and wide to buy, often in large quantities, Lattin’s famous apple fritters. Aggravatingly addicting, these are not your average, grocery store fritter. Made with fresh, local apples, on site, and all day long, they melt in your mouth with a sugary tartness that leaves you wanting another (and another).  Be sure to call ahead if planning to purchase a large quantity of fritters, especially on a weekend, because they have been known to sell out.

Lattins Cider Mill Olympia Farm (7)If they don’t sell out, they donate any leftover apple fritters (because they would never sell a day old fritter!) to surrounding fire stations as a thank you to the men and women who serve our community. This is typical of the kind, community minded spirit to be found at this family farm.

Though the fritters reign supreme in many people’s minds, Lattin’s is just as revered for their wide variety of ciders and has been using the same, slow, methodical, and supremely effective cider making process since 1976. A cider making venture that began, modestly, so long ago, now uses over 125,000 pounds of apples to produce 7,250 gallons of cider – for a mere three day supply in October. The apple cider, and many other varieties such as blackberry, strawberry, raspberry and spiced, can be purchased straight from the farm or at local stores such as Spuds, Bayview Thriftway, or Ralph’s Thriftway.

Lattin’s Country Cider Mill and Farm is open year round, and the not-to-be-missed Apple Festival begins Saturday, September 27 and continues every weekend in October from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Lattin’s Country Cider Mill and Farm

9402 Rich Road SE

Olympia, WA 98501



Olympia’s Captain Little: a Toy Store You’ll Never Outgrow

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 1:07pm



By Kelli Samson

heritage bankRemember that day last winter when we heard that Wind Up Here was closing? Thurston County families were totally devastated. But then we all saw the sign go up in the papered windows, that cheerful sign announcing that the good folks of Compass Rose had picked up the pieces of our broken hearts and were prepared to put them back together.

I knew then that they would do us one better. Compass Rose has been an icon of style, whimsy, and function in Olympia (and, as of 2013, Tacoma) for decades now. It’s shangri-la for my girlfriends and I.

olympia toy store

The toy store’s logo was designed by Yas Imamura of Portland and painted by local sign painter extraordinaire, Ira Coyne. “He’s actually also making a mural for us,” says Carr.

As it turns out, their new toy store, Captain Little, has got that same appeal. And not just for the little tykes. My family and I decided to visit for the first time the day after their Grand Opening last month. Let me illustrate this for you: I have two little girls (ages five and nine) who have a bad case of the “I Wants,” and one husband (who is a kid on the inside) who has never stopped loving board games. But you know what? I was the last one of us out of the store that day. Me. The mom.

There are so many things to see inside what I am officially declaring it “The Best Toy Store in the World.” There are books. All of the best books. And the books you never knew were the best books. There’s a huge selection of all the supplies you could ever need for packing lunches. There are games. There are baby things. There are lovely greeting cards and crafts. There are fancy things and simple favorites.

“We really wanted to work with companies that cater to independent toy stores,” explains Alana Carr, an Olympia native and co-owner of Captain Little. “We want our toys to focus on imaginative play.”

Captain Little is located on the bustling corner of Washington Street and Fifth Avenue in the historic Martin Building (1904). Renovator Dan Martin, grandson of the original builder, exposed the original concrete floors, along with the original Fir columns.

Prior to the Martin Building’s existence, this corner was the home of Doane’s Oyster House, which was named after its owner, Captain Woodbury Doane. Carr landed on the name Captain Little as a nod to the history of the spot.

Carr and Compass Rose owner Paul Shepherd serendipitously met at the coffee shop he owns in Oaxaca while she was living in Mexico after college. He offered her temporary employment at Compass Rose while she figured out her next step, and the rest is history.

olympia toy store

There is an art station in the store to give kids (and adults!) a quiet space to create.

When Shepherd learned of the closing of Wind Up Here earlier this year, he surprised even himself with his idea of giving us a new toy store in its place.  He shared the idea with Carr, made her a partner in the venture, and she sprinkled her magic and creativity all over it. They quickly hired long-time Wind Up Here employee Michael Tempke to help fill them in on what it takes to run a toy store.

Carr’s philosophy that guided every decision in the creation of Captain Little was, “Don’t age out of the toy store! I wanted to be certain that wouldn’t happen to our customers.” That’s why there is literally something for anyone inside its walls.

Opening day on August 16 proved that our community is ready to support this new venture. Shepherd describes the day: “For a time, the mayor actually contemplated calling the fire marshal to help control the crowd. But how do you control a crowd of excited, playing, screaming children? In the end we decided: you don’t. You just let them play.”

olympia toy store

The shop is spacious, colorful, and bright, with goodies at every price point.

The Olympia Film Society has partnered with Captain Little for the next few months on their Saturday family matinees. The neighboring businesses saw a way to work together to bring families back downtown, showing everything from Jim Henson to Miyazaki films.

What’s next for this fabulous toy store? More community events.

Captain Little will soon implement a regular story time. The holiday shopping season is also coming up, and this will be a perfect opportunity for us to show our new gem some love by giving them our business.

“We really hope to draw families back to downtown Olympia. I feel so grateful for all the support our community is giving us,” says Carr.

And, so, lovers of all things Olympia, don’t be sad for what we lost last year. Rejoice and be proud that we are lucky enough to have the world’s best toy store right at the bottom of the hill. Not only that, but they give away free stickers of that cute little mouse.

All’s well that ends well.

olympia toy store

Captain Little’s name is a nod to Captain Doane’s Oyster House, which was located on this corner long ago.

Captain Little

121 5th Ave. SE in downtown Olympia


Find Captain Little on Facebook

Find Captain Little on Instagram

Design Smart Home Staging & Redesign: Upscale Design Services for South Sound

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 6:00am



lisa poundstone

Lisa Poundsone holds a PhD and an Accredited Staging Professional designation.

Everyone loves a makeover. Reality shows like “Designed to Sell” and “What Not to Wear” are popular because they show how design can be transforming for a home or an individual.

The exciting local company Design Smart Home Staging and Redesign, LLC , voted the Best of South Sound in Interior Design, does those transformations daily for homes, rooms, offices and individuals.

Their team of Design Smart experts is in high demand. The hot trend in home staging, now considered a magic ingredient to selling homes within weeks, if not days of being staged, has become a necessary step in a real estate marketing plan.

Design Smart Home Staging and Redesign is not only the go-to company here for Home Staging but has been applauded area wide for its other home design and personal style services. Here are the premium services offered by this sophisticated and stylish company in our own back yard.

Home Staging to Sell: Home Staging enhances a home’s assets, so that buyers can envision themselves living there. It is not home decorating, it is arranging and accenting the home with color and furniture venues to show off the use of a home’s space. It is a powerful marketing tool. Once staged, homes fly off the market!

Home Staging has become a “must-do” that many Realtors are offering their clients.

Listen to what, Jodi Ashline, from Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, one the area’s top brokers has to say: “Design Smart is a very effective tool in my bag of marketing techniques! Lisa and her team know how to bring out the best in a home, to help accentuate its finest features. First impressions are very important, and the magic of Design Smart can be key to putting the home’s very best foot forward, right from the beginning!”

design smart table and kitchenLisa Poundstone, the company owner, studied directly under Barb Schwarz, the creator of the Home Staging® concept and is an Accredited Staging Professional (ASP®). She posts the amazing results of Home Staging on her Facebook page.

“The investment in Home Staging is always less than the first price reduction a seller has to make because their home won’t sell,” says Lisa. “No matter how beautiful a home is, if it is vacant, it just looks empty and boring without the professional touch of Home Staging. There is an art to it and it works.”

“Staging to Live” Consultation: You don’t have to sell your home to benefit from Design Smart’s Interior Design and Decor services.

Design Smart can rearrange your existing furniture and accessories to create a completely new feel to a single room or multiple rooms in your home. They call it “Staging to Live,” a creative way to give your room or entire house a fresh new look.

Staging to Live is also known as “redesign” or “use what you have” design.  It is for those who need design assistance without the expense of buying all new furniture and accessories.  One customer says “brilliant design.  I really love my home.”  Joel, another customer adds, “you have done a great job and I am really amazed.”

design smart bedroomOrganizing and De-Cluttering: When your environment is cluttered, science has shown it restricts your ability to focus. The clutter around you distracts you from processing information as well as you would in an uncluttered, organized, serene environment. 

Professional Organizing and De-Cluttering services are for those homeowners that have messy, chaotic, and disorganized spaces in their home and are ready to clear the stress away.

Color Consultation:  We know. It is hard to decide on colors once you have mustered the courage to paint your stark white walls. Your collection of paint chips is rivaled only by the many splashes of color you have tested on your walls.

In a Color Consultation, Design Smart experts will help you take the guesswork out of which colors would suit your home.

They will help you with colors for a room with advice on coordinated window treatments, furniture, pillows, lighting, art, and accessories for an updated color palette that revitalizes your home.

“I love all of the colors – You are a color genius,” says a happy customer, Tiffany.

design smartbathroomWardrobe/Styling Consultations: Design Smart’s wardrobe and style consultations are for those people that want a new look, whether it’s for a one-time special occasion or for a completely new look for a new stage in life.

Are you a professional who wants a new image or an on-the-go Mom who wants a way to look “put together”? Design Smart helps men and woman who are in a life transition like weight loss, a new career or relationship and want to dress for the “new them”.

Consultations are custom tailored to clients and are based on what is currently in their wardrobe.

The best in town
“We provide these premium design services that are unrivaled in the South Sound,” says Poundstone who has seen great growth in her business. “It is a privilege to provide transformations to homes and to people that can often be life-changing.”

Learn more at Design Smart Home Staging and Redesign, LLC or contact the Design Smart team for a consultation at (360) 480-5810.


Brian Doyle: Mesmerizing Northwest Author to Present at Saint Martin’s University

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 5:56am



By Lisa Herrick

“We are starving for story, our greatest hunger,” writes Brian Doyle in his most recently published novel, “The Plover” 

saint martins speaker

A new lecture series is named after Saint Martin’s University English Professor, Les Bailey, PhD.

Every night, I go to bed ravenous. Not because I have not eaten enough or that I am empty of food but, rather, because I am craving stories. On my night stand is the book “Mink River.” If a book gets promoted to my nightstand, it is a must read. “Mink River” and the one or two other books that, at any given time, get upgraded to nightstand status, often do so because it is one of the nearly 100 novels my voraciously reading mom savors per year.

My mother selectively recommends books to me, knowing that my pace of reading pales in comparison to hers. I likely read one to her 10. How beautiful that we are now of the age where we can share in the reading and discussion of great works of literature such as from author Brian Doyle, who penned “Mink River.” The novel tells of a small, fictional town on the Oregon coast.

Even more poignant for me, I just “inherited” my dear Aunt Bettye’s signed copy of “Mink River.” She recommended the book to her multi-generational book club. It seems if an author can resonate as Doyle did within my family — spanning three generations of readers and being selected for discussion within each of our book clubs — then he is likely well worth the time to read and meet. I will be inviting my book club to join me on October 8 at Saint Martin’s University to meet the highly acclaimed author.

Doyle is the editor of Portland Magazine at the University of Portland. He is the author of 14 books.  He recently published “The Plover,” the story collection “Bin Laden’s Bald Spot,” the nonfiction books “The Grail” and “The Wet Engine,” and many books of essays and poems. Doyle writes about marriage, struggle, his son’s heart defect and the surgeons who helped him, Oregon pinot, writing and grumpy saints.

Doyle will be Saint Martin’s University’s inaugural speaker for the Les Bailey Writers Series. The title of his presentation reflects his witty language play and the topics he will address: “Grace under duress, stories as food, laughter as a weapon against the dark, courage when it doesn’t make any sense and minor further discussion of basketball, writers, hawks, headlong children, the prevalence of miracles and thorny holiness.” Doyle is known to provoke deep thought as well as create laughter.

saint martin speaker

Author Brian Doyle will be the speaker in the inaugural Les Bailey Writer Series at Saint Martin’s University on October 8.

The series is presented by the Saint Martin’s University’s English department with funding from the Leslie G. Bailey Endowment. The endowment honors the gifted and inspiring Saint Martin’s University English Professor Les Bailey, Ph.D. A 1964 Saint Martin’s alumnus, Bailey returned to his alma mater in 1975 as a faculty member, continuing to teach until his death in 2010.

Associate Professor of English Jeff Birkenstein, Ph.D., who chairs Saint Martin’s English Department, says the University could not have found a more suitable author for the inaugural session of the series. “The writers series is a fitting part of Les Bailey’s legacy and Brian Doyle is a natural author to bring to Saint Martin’s,” Birkenstein says.  “I have used his work in my own classes, most notably his excruciatingly beautiful poem about the morning of 9/11, “Leap.”  In just a few prose paragraphs, he captures so much that is, no doubt paradoxically, good about that horrible morning. Mr. Doyle has much to teach us.”

The event will be held Wednesday, October 8, at 7:00 p.m. in the University’s Norman Worthington Conference Center, 5300 Pacific Ave. SE. It is free and the public is invited to enjoy the lyrical, unique and alluring style of the award-winning author as he talks about his craft and reads from his works.

After seeing Doyle, I plan to enjoy a conversation with my mom about Doyle’s books and presentation. Doyle once commented via email to the Mother Daughter Book about the value of parents reading the same book as their children: “Oh man the shared time, the shared voices, the shared adventure – isn’t that all a language of love? And they will be so soon gone, so soon launched – what could be cooler than swimming in story together?”

Come swim in Doyle’s stories – his poems, novels and essays, whether as an independent dip, a book club float or a parent-and-child splash.


Author Brian Doyle

Saint Martin’s University’s Les Bailey Writers Series

Wednesday, October 8 at 7:00 p.m.

Norman Worthington Center


Support the Olympia Theater Arts Community – See Great Shows for Free as a Volunteer

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 5:46am



By Doris Faltys

heritage bankTheater companies in Olympia could not thrive without the assistance of committed volunteers.

“They put in between 5,000 to 7,000 hours per year at 350 events,” says Chad Carpenter, Director of Events Services at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts. “They are the ones who make the show. Some volunteers have been with us since the day we opened 27 years ago.”

Ann Rockway has been a volunteer usher for Harlequin Productions and The Washington Center for the Performing Arts for ten years.

olympia volunteer

Ann Rockway has been a volunteer at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts and Harlequin Productions for ten years.

“I wanted to help out,” she says. “A friend of mine was an usher and said it was fun so I decided to give it a try.”

Rockway shares that her favorite performances to usher are modern dance and contemporary theater. She also likes to usher in The Washington Center’s Back Box for jazz or comedy performances. The benefits are many, according to Rockaway. “I see live theater for free while supporting the arts and meeting interesting people.”

Each company has its own way of training volunteers. Training sessions might be formal and offered on a regular basis once a month, or more relaxed, where the volunteer is assigned to shadow someone else for training.

“We have 6-9 volunteers per show. New volunteers are usually brought in by a friend,” describes Korja Giles, Volunteer Coordinator for Harlequin Productions.  New volunteers are welcomed by email and then assigned to a mentor.  “It is a great way to see a variety of shows and help support the arts in Olympia,” adds Giles.

Olympia Little Theater was founded in 1939 and boasts the title of the oldest live theater in Olympia and one of the oldest in Washington State.  According to the Olympia Little Theater, “the volunteer opportunities here are extensive as volunteers not only make the show, they run the company.”  Volunteers can select to assist as House Manager, Director, Lighting, Props, Actor, Hair Design, Fundraising, Photography and Gardening.

olympia volunteer

Olympia Film Society volunteers, Elaine Vradenburg and Sue Smiley, hang out in the OFS projection booth. Photo courtesy Olympia Film Society.

Olympia Film Society, (OFS), is a nonprofit film, music, and art community staffed by volunteers.  Before counting back of the house volunteers, OFS utilizes more than 100 volunteers per week.  Approximately, 15 films are screened per week with two Ticket Takers, two Concessionaires, one Lobby Supervisor, and one or two Projectionists. People also assist as Office Volunteers, Gallery Curators, Housekeepers, Committee Members, Program Writers, and much more.

The OFS was formed in 1980 as a nonprofit 501(c)(3). Its mission is to “enliven and enrich the community by presenting and fostering the development of independent and underrepresented film, music and allied arts.”

“We wouldn’t have an OFS if not for its volunteers. The many hours of volunteer work make it possible for OFS to screen movies and produce concerts that you would not be able to see anywhere else in the area,” shares Tim Sweeney, Vice President of the OFS Board.

olympia volunteers

Hilary Joseph, Steph Smith, and Rocky Perrot share a laugh while volunteering at The Washington Center. Photo Credit – Chad Carpenter.

“Each volunteer is an ambassador for the arts in our community,” says Carpenter from The Washington Center. “Not a single day goes by,” he adds, “that a volunteer doesn’t teach me something. They come from all walks of life. I even have a retired rocket scientist. They have a lot of fun. They make me laugh.”

Whether your passion is musical theater, drama, jazz, dance, foreign films, or comedy there is something to fit the bill here in Olympia. If you have the time and energy to put in a bit of volunteer time, the cost is free, but the benefits are many.

Here is contact information for four Olympia theaters that rely on volunteers.

  • Harlequin Productions - Volunteer  – 360-705-3375
  • Olympia Film Society - Volunteer or 360-754-6670
  • Olympia Little Theater - Volunteer or 360-786-9484
  • The Washington Center for the Performing Arts and The Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts - Volunteer or 360-753-8585


Get Your Arts Walk Map in Downtown Olympia

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 1:50pm


  Submitted by The City of Olympia Night Spirits by Kristen Etmund graces the cover of the Arts Walk map this fall.  Photo Courtesy of City of Olympia

Night Spirits by Kristen Etmund graces the cover of the Arts Walk map this fall. Photo Courtesy of City of Olympia

On Friday, October 3, from 5-10 p.m., and Saturday, October 4 from 12-5 p.m., 96 downtown businesses will open their doors to showcase the wonderfully rich and diverse resource of visual and performing arts of the South Sound Region. Arts Walk maps are NOW available at these participating locations, The Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St. NW and Olympia City Hall, 601 4th Ave E. A digital map can be found at here.

Enjoy two days of drawings, paintings, prints, sculpture, ceramics, photography, fibers and other visual art. Take in diverse performing arts, from family theater to a variety of musical styles and dance from Ballet to Butoh, Blues to Barbershop! Check out the gastronomic arts in the Cajun Culinary Throwdown! Whatever art form moves you, chances are you’ll find it downtown during Arts Walk.

For youth and families, the City of Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation Department sponsors a hands-on activity area with the Hands on Children’s Museum. Stop by Friday, October 3, at Washington Street and 5th Avenue between 5-9 p.m. for kid’s face painting and art making.

The Arts Walk map cover this fall features the artwork Night Spirits, by Kristin Etmund. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Kristen studied art and art history at The Evergreen State College, earning her Bachelor’s Degree in 2003. While at Evergreen, she had the opportunity to work with great professors and experiment with several different printmaking methods, eventually falling in love with the woodblock medium. Kristen has been creating and showing her work, often inspired by the beautiful flora and fauna of the Puget Sound, in Olympia for almost ten years.

Arts Walk is sponsored by the City of Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation Department and the Olympia Arts Commission, with support provided by Art House Designs, Capitol City Press, Mixx 96 FM, and the Washington State Employees Credit Union along with participating artists and businesses.

For more information, please contact Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation, at 360.753.8380

Mud Bay Coffee Company: Serving Up Care and Hand-Crafted Goodness in Every Cup

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 11:49am



mud bay coffee

Kids and adults will both find plenty to like at the family-friendly Mud Bay Coffee Company. The spacious atmosphere, custom-made drinks and pastry delights will leave the whole family happy.

The last days of summer are upon us here in Olympia. On a hot day, nothing is better than stopping for an iced drink in a cool, air-conditioned oasis. The locally-owned Mud Bay Coffee Company has plenty of treats in store for you, and a unique, welcoming atmosphere to boot.

I stopped by their bustling West Olympia store to find out what makes them so special. They’ve been serving up cups of their hand-crafted beverages to local residents for over a decade.

Tucked away on Olympia’s West Side (1600 Cooper Point Road), stepping into Mud Bay Coffee Company feels like a “time out,” where you can sit and savor coffee over a book or conversation with friends. You’ll find a charming atmosphere, friendly baristas, and most importantly, top-notch coffee and fresh-baked treats. Many of their products are locally sourced, and they make an effort to be as eco-friendly as possible.

But these aren’t the only things that make them special. In addition to their coffee shop, they also have a drive-thru.  They are the only independently-owned full-service coffee shop with a drive-thru in the area. So, if you’re in a hurry, you can get your freshly-made coffee to go.

They also offer plenty of cold drink options for hot days. In addition to their full espresso beverage line-up, they offer iced drinks, smoothies, and milkshakes. Did you know you can get a signature mango chai smoothie, a mocha milkshake or a toddy (cold-pressed coffee)? Kids (and kids at heart) will enjoy sipping one of their Italian sodas, made with high-quality Monin brand syrup. Mud Bay Coffee Company doesn’t use any products made with high-fructose corn syrup. You can also choose from a full range of loose-leaf teas, hot or iced.

mud bay coffee

You’ll find an awesome array of pastries, made at local bakeries, in Mud Bay Coffee Company’s well-stocked pastry case. Photo courtesy of Mud Bay Coffee Company

Mud Bay Coffee Company offers plenty of food options, too. You can get breakfast, lunch and pastries to pair with your coffee drink. You’ll enjoy the atmosphere so much that you’ll want to stay for a meal. You can find breakfast burritos, quiche, personal thin-crust pizzas and more on the menu. And one of their locally-made pastry items is perfect at any time of day. Treat yourself to a cookie or French pastry.

As I talked with Ken Campbell, coffee roaster and co-owner, he told me the company prides itself on using as many local products as possible. They use milk from Smith Brothers Farms and pastries from local bakeries including Left Bank Bakery and gluten-free Smiling Mo’s Bakery. Their chocolate sauce is custom-made by Trop’s Chocolates in Gig Harbor, as are their white chocolate and caramel sauces.

Mud Bay Coffee Company takes a lot of pride in their coffee selection and roasting process. All of their coffee is purchased through Fair Trade and direct relationships with coffee growers around the world. Campbell also shares that Mud Bay roasts their coffee with an infrared process, which is supposed to be both healthier for people and the environment, producing much less carbon emission. As the sole roaster for Mud Bay Coffee Company, Campbell clearly takes pride in selecting the best coffees and roasting them to perfection for customers.

In fact, Mud Bay Coffee Company puts a whole lot of thought and conscientiousness into each cup. In addition to supporting local and fair-trade vendors, they also strive to be “green” in all aspects of their business. They compost and recycle, and recently installed energy-efficient LED lighting.

But perhaps the best thing about Mud Bay Coffee Company is the atmosphere. The coffee shop appeals to a wide range of customers. From students to business people, locals love coming to Mud Bay to hang out. It might be the fireplace in the corner with the comfy reading chairs, the local art on the walls or the welcoming baristas. It might be the outdoor tables, perfect for a lunchtime chat on a sunny day.

mud bay coffee

Nestled on Olympia’s West Side, Mud Bay Coffee Company offers an oasis of hot and iced drinks, along with pastries and meal options, to brighten up your day.

Mud Bay Coffee Company just possesses a certain charm that is hard to define but is so important in making a coffee shop unique. And it was designed to be inviting: co-owner Mary Campbell and her son, Brian Gregory, opened the coffee shop in 2003 and designed the entire interior themselves. They wanted the space to be inviting, warm, and comfortable, with great views out the large picture windows. Ken took over co-ownership of the shop with Mary about a year and a half ago, and now runs daily operations as well as being the roaster. He looks forward to preserving the strong foundation of the business which Brian spent years developing with its attention to quality products and service.

Inside the café, you’ll find a unique display of retail goods. If you’re looking for a gift item, or just a special treat for yourself, you can find bags of their freshly-roasted coffee (espresso roast is reported to be a customer favorite), teas and infusers, specialty coffee brewing items, mugs and more. They stock Ice Chips candies, made in Yelm. They also offer gift cards, which make a gift just about anybody would be happy to receive.

Another great thing about Mud Bay Coffee Company is that you can bring your four-legged companion along. Leashed dogs are welcome at the outdoor patio tables, and Campbell is even known to bring out fresh water for dogs on hot days. And if you bring your pooch through the drive-thru, they will receive a dog biscuit.

Mud Bay Coffee Company offers a 10% discount to military and their families, as well as, firefighters, EMS and law enforcement. Clearly, Mud Bay Coffee Company believes in supporting their community.

mud bay coffee

On the go? Stop by Mud Bay Coffee Company’s drive through on your way to work, or for a weekend treat or mid-day pick-me-up.

They also offer a great conference room for meetings and get-togethers. This room can seat 12-18 people and is a great way to have your meeting in a fun environment. The cost of the room can be applied toward food and drinks, and who wouldn’t want to enjoy these during a meeting.

If you haven’t already stopped by Mud Bay Coffee Company, I highly recommend you stop in and see first-hand what sets them apart. You’ll also want to stay tuned for their seasonal fall drinks, including apple cider from Lattin’s County Cider Mill and pumpkin spice lattes with their custom-made real pumpkin sauce from Trop’s Chocolates. “People were still coming for the pumpkin lattes after we were sold out for the season last fall,” Campbell notes.

To learn more about them, visit their website or check out their Facebook page. Whether you want to hit the drive-thru on your morning trek to work or are looking to spend an afternoon sipping coffee and reading or chatting, Mud Bay Coffee Company is just the place for you.

Mud Bay Coffee Company

1600 Cooper Point Road SW #630

Olympia, WA 98502

Business hours:

Monday-Friday – 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Saturday – 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Sunday – 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Fighting Chronic Fatigue with Oxygen at H3 Therapy Services

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 10:23am



oxygen therapy olympia

Educating patients is a primary focus for Michael Pfeifer, RRT, Clinical Director at H3 Therapy Services in Olympia.

Let’s face it, women in their 40s and 50s have a lot on their plates: schedules, families, work, and—occasionally—a social life.  But all the knowledge and experience you’ve earned are moot when faced with the diagnosis that isn’t a diagnosis: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

The National Library of Medicine and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe CFS as “a disorder that causes extreme fatigue. This fatigue is not the kind of tired feeling that goes away after you rest.  Instead, it lasts a long time and limits your ability to do ordinary daily activities.  CFS is hard to diagnose. There are no tests for it, and other illnesses can cause similar symptoms.  Your doctor has to rule out other diseases before making a diagnosis of CFS.  No one knows what causes CFS.  It is most common in women in their 40s and 50s, but anyone can have it.  It can last for years.  There is no cure for CFS, so the goal of treatment is to improve symptoms.  Medicine may treat pain, sleep disorders, and other problems.  Lifestyle changes, coping techniques, and a special, gradual exercise program can also help.”

One treatment option involves sessions of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.  In this, pure oxygen is inhaled from within a pressurized chamber, allowing your body to absorb a greater concentration and promote healing and new cell growth.

A recent medical study published in the Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome showed that “certainly, the immediate effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is to relieve the cellular hypoxia that is a feature of chronic fatigue syndrome.”  A different 2013 study determined that hyperbaric oxygen therapy “decreases the severity of symptoms and increases the life quality of CFS patients.”

olympia hyperbaric

Education materials are easily accessible at H3 Therapy Services.

Olympia’s H3 Therapy Servicess offers both hyperbaric sessions and the sale and rental of new or used chambers for long-term home use.  Clinic Director Michael Pfeifer, RRT, explains that consistent use improves sleep, mobility, cognitive issues, and helps with pain management.

Our bodies consist of many white blood cells which help prevent infection.  Time spent in a hyperbaric chamber “makes white blood cells supercharged” says Pfeifer.  This is especially true, he says, when combined with other treatments; “hyperbarics enhance massage, acupuncture, and chiropractics.”

As part of this team approach, Pfeifer works in conjunction with Nearing Total Health, a Lacey clinic which offers specialties in massage, acupuncture, hypnosis, naturopathic medicine, meditation, yoga and more.

Sessions at H3 Therapy Services are typically an hour long and the client is free to wear normal street clothes and bring a book, music, or electronic device.  For chronic fatigue sufferers, the peace of a stress-free hour is a true blessing.  Pfeifer’s office is painted soothing, healing colors and restful music plays throughout.  He even admits that 60-70% of patients nap peacefully throughout their ‘dive.’

Appointments are flexible and arranged whenever is most convenient for the patient.  Says Pfeifer, “we just need 48 hours notice, but we’ll be here.”

To date there is no cure for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  But with proven coping strategies, sufferers can live a near normal life once again.  Whether it’s scheduled visits to H3 Therapy Services offices or utilizing their skill in selecting, financing, and purchasing a hyperbaric unit of your own, help is available.

Call Michael Pfeifer, RRT with questions at 360-515-0681 or drop by their Olympia office any time.  They can be found on the west side at 405-D Black Hills Lane SW, at the intersection of Harrison and Yauger.  Find testimonials at their website or email questions any time.