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Health Matters: Sun Safety for Summertime

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 3:00pm



Submitted by Thurston County Public Health


Photo credit: jennlvs2smile

With the amount of cloudy and rainy days we see in Western Washington, it is no surprise that most of us like to make the most of sunny weather. Sunny days are glorious. There are many ways to enjoy the sun, whether gardening or relaxing at home, taking a walk on Percival Landing, swimming at Millersylvania State Park, or riding your bike on the Chehalis-Western Trail.

Getting outdoors has many health benefits like fresh air, physical activity, and reducing stress. But, as you get outside, remember to take steps to protect your health.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. according to the American Cancer Society. Development of melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, on the back, chest, and legs is linked to frequent sunburns. Skin cancers begin when the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays damage the DNA that controls skin cell growth. The best way to lower your risk for melanoma and other skin cancers is to limit exposure to UV rays.

Here are some tips for sun safety.

  • Wear a hat and cover skin when possible. Clothing offers different levels of UV ray protection. Darker and more tightly woven fabrics offer more protection than lighter colors and loosely woven fabrics.
  • Choose the shade. You can still enjoy the sun when you are in the shade. When spending time outside, find a shady spot to settle down in and then your group can go back and forth between the sun and shade.
  • Stay hydrated. Make sure to drink water when spending time outside in the heat. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Kids should always have water or a sports drink available and take a break to drink every 20 minutes while active in the heat.” Be aware of signs of heat exhaustion like heavy sweating, weakness, nausea, fainting, and cold, pale, clammy skin. If you experience heat exhaustion, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend you move to a cooler location, lie down and loosen clothes, sip water, and apply cool, wet cloths to as much of your body as possible. If you experience vomiting, seek medical attention.
  • Choose effective sunscreens. The most effective sunscreens are SPF 30 or higher lotions. Spray sunscreens often blow summer camp olympia

    Don’t forget the sunscreen when you play outside.

    away in the wind and miss the skin. Aerosol sprays can be harmful to the lungs, especially for people with asthma and other lung conditions, small children, and the elderly.

  • Understand SPFs. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. A higher SPF means more UVB ray protection. SPF 30 sunscreens filter out about 97% of UVB rays, while SPF 50 sunscreens filter about 98%. Sunscreens with broad spectrum protection (against UVA and UVB rays) and with SPF 30 or higher are recommended by the American Cancer Society.
  • Re-apply sunscreen often. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, and after swimming and sweating.
  • Check sunscreen expiration dates. Most sunscreens last for two to three years. If it is past the expiration date, it is time for new sunscreen. Sunscreens that have been exposed to heat for long periods of time (such as being left in a car) may be less effective that the label indicates.

Getting outside and being active is part of a healthy lifestyle that many of us enjoy. The Thurston Thrives Community Design Action Team continues to work to create opportunities for our community to be more active in our daily lives.

I am looking forward to hiking and getting out on the water this summer; it’s a great time to experience all that the outdoors offers. However you choose to enjoy the sun and the warmth that summer brings, please remember to practice sun safety.


 Olympia Diaper Service Announces Partnership with Sterile Surgical Systems

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 2:22pm



Submitted by Olympia Diaper Service

olympia diaper service

Toby vanRoojen began Olympia Diaper Service in July 2014 after seeing a need in the community.

Olympia Diaper Service has partnered with Sterile Surgical Systems (SSS) to deliver the highest quality diaper service available.  This partnership allows Olympia Diaper Service customers to receive diapers cleaned to the highest hospital standards while also preserving & protecting precious natural resources.  Their process has been inspected and accredited by the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council to ensure that they are following the most rigorous healthcare laundry standards for safety and infection prevention.

SSS has made investments in rainwater collection, water recycling, and plastic recycling that has yielded (annually) 7,200,000 gallons of water saved, 25,000 pounds of plastic recycled, a reduction in CO2 emissions of 400,000 pounds and stopped 660 gallons of sodium hydroxide from entering our wastewater treatment plant.

Olympia Diaper Service is a locally owned and operated diaper rental and delivery service for Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and Tenino.  Their diaper service is as convenient as disposable diapers at roughly the same cost.   This allows new parents to achieve the health and environmental benefits of cloth diapering without the compromises.  More information can be found here.

Sterile Surgical Systems (SSS) is a family owned and operated healthcare laundry/surgical textile sterilizer, specializing in medical linens and hospital operating room reusable sterile textiles.  SSS provides laundry and FDA registered sterilized surgical textile service to hospitals and surgical centers across the Puget Sound region. Their relentless attention to process and detail allows them to bring their customers the highest quality linen service in the Pacific Northwest. Their efficient workforce and uncompromising focus on plant efficiency enables them to offer the most competitive prices in the region.


Thurston County Solid Waste offers Free Recycle, Trash, and Compost Bins for your Event

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 2:13pm



Submitted by Thurston County Solid Waste

Event RecyclingSummer is event season. From BBQ’s, to picnics, to local festivals, you are sure to attend at least one fun, food-filled event this summer. In fact, you may even be hosting one yourself. If you happen to be someone who is planning or hosting an event, then you have a lot of things to consider. How much food should I make?  Who should I invite? Do we need a bounce house? One thing you may not be thinking about, though, is how much waste your event is going to create and what you can do to reduce it.

Luckily, Thurston County Solid Waste and our Event Recycling Program are here to help you make your next event as waste-free as possible.  Zero-waste events are gaining popularity throughout the country, and for good reason. There are numerous economic and environmental benefits associated with reducing the amount of waste we create and send to the landfill. Whether you are planning a large community event or your child’s birthday party, you can save valuable energy and resources when you reduce the amount of waste your event creates, as well as save yourself money in the form of reduced hauling fees. One easy waste reduction technique is to serve condiments and beverages in bulk dispensers rather than as individually packaged items.

After you have identified all of the opportunities for reduction, implementing recycling and composting are your next steps. Ideally, all of the items used at a zero-waste event are either reusable, recyclable or compostable. Visit our Organics page here for information about using durable or compostable items at your event. Diverting organic material from the landfill (food scraps), can significantly reduce the amount of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas associated with climate change, present in our atmosphere. As more and more people are realizing the consequences of excess food waste in our country and the cost of sending trash to the landfill is becoming more expensive, zero-waste events provide a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to traditionally organized gatherings.

Thurston County Solid Waste is here to assist you in a number of ways. We loan out free event collection bins for trash, recycling and compost. They are available for pick up at Celebrations the Party Store in Lacey, or at city halls throughout the County. When you borrow our collection bins you will also receive free trash, recycle and compost bags, signage for the bins, as well as general information for you to consider as the event planner or host.

In addition to the materials we loan out for free, Thurston County Solid Waste also provides a host of online information to help make your zero-waste event go as smoothly as possible. Our online Event Planning “Toolkit” includes information to give to your vendors, a comprehensive event planning checklist for events big and small, and lots valuable tips to help you with each step of the way. Visit the web site or call Katherine Straus at 360-867-2282 to start planning your zero-waste event today!


Oly Town Artesians Voted Top Soccer Logo in Washington State

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 1:37pm



Submitted by The Oly Town Artesians

Oly Town Artesians logoThe Oly Town Artesians knocked off the Kitsap Pumas in the final round of’s LogoWARS to capture the crown of top soccer logo in the State of Washington for 2015. The voting was extremely close with the two teams tied with less than 2 1/2 hours left before Artesians supporters rallied across social media to push them to a resounding 59%-41% win.

Designed by team founder and general manager Brandon Sparks, the Artesians logo took out the Spokane Shadow, Seattle Sounders FC, Everett United FC and the Pumas en route to the victory. Oly Town joins Bellingham United (2014) and Yakima United (2015) as LogoWARS winners.

Founded in 2015 before the inaugural Western Indoor Soccer League season, the Artesians have amassed 649 Facebook and Twitter followers in less than a year and rallied every last one of them to defeat four teams that have a combined 828,482 followers.

The 2015-2016 WISL season approaches quickly and the Artesians are still working on a home field to play this season after the building that housed Oly Indoor Soccer was sold in June. An announcement about where the next season will be played is likely coming within the next month. Stay tuned to, @OlyTownFC and for more information.

For merchandise featuring the 2015 LogoWARS champion logo, visit the Artesians online, on-demand store at


Lauren Wilson Swims at Western Zone Championships in Maui

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 6:35am



By Grant Clark

greene realtyJill Wilson can remember a time, not too long ago, when she would sit in the bleachers alongside her daughter, Lauren, and watch her son, Brett, participate in swimming practice.

Every so often, Lauren would lean over and express to her mother her distaste towards the sport.

“When she was 6, she would always tell me how she never wanted to swim,” Jill remembered.

lauren wilson swimming

Lauren Wilson, a member of the Evergreen Swim Club, is the solo swimmer from her club to make the Western Zone Championships in early August.

Things have certainly changed.

Lauren, now 12, is not only an avid swimmer, but is also one of the state’s best as evident by her selection to represent Pacific Northwest Swimming in the United States Swimming Western Zone Championships in early August in Maui, Hawaii.

Lauren, the only member of the Olympia-based Evergreen Swim Club to qualify for the meet, will compete in the 11-12 girls age group against swimmers from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.

“She’s had a pretty amazing season,” said Kelly Serrao, who coaches Lauren, a seventh grader at Evergreen Christian School. “The fact she had so much to overcome makes it even more impressive.”

Posting the times needed to be selected to such a high-caliber event is difficult enough, but Lauren’s journey to the Zone Championships didn’t just feature aquatic obstacles.

Back in February, one night Jill knew that something was off with Lauren, but every time she asked how she was doing the answer was always the same.  Lauren would continually her mother that she was fine and simply a stomachache. It would subside momentarily.

Only it didn’t. It would significantly worsen.

lauren wilson swimming

At the Western Zone Championships, Lauren Wilson will be competing against swimmers from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.

“She has such a high threshold of pain, I never know if she’s really okay or just saying she’s fine because she doesn’t want to bother anyone,” Jill said, a physical therapist and owner of Fusion Physical Therapy & Pilates in downtown Olympia. “I was afraid it was appendicitis, but the area she said was in pain wasn’t consistent with where you would have appendicitis.”

It wasn’t until Lauren was doubled over in agony that the full extent of her pain was realized.

A quick dash to the emergency room confirmed Jill’s fears. Lauren was suffering from a ruptured appendix.

Surgery immediately followed at 1:00 a.m. Lauren would have little memory of the experience while her mother will never forget.

“It was just an incredibly scary situation,” Jill said. “No one wants to see their child go through something like that.”

Lauren remained in the hospital for a week following surgery and was excluded from physical activity for an additional two more weeks after she was discharged – which meant no swimming.

The location for the U.S. Western Zone Championships had been posted for nearly a year. When Maui was announced as the venue, Lauren, who had never been to Hawaii before, immediately set her sights on being one of the swimmers invited to represent the Pacific Northwest region.

USA Swimming divides the country into four Zones – Western, Eastern, Central and Southern – with each zone holding an annual championship where the top swimmers from each state or region compete against each other. Swimmers are selected based on time standards. The more events you’ve posted qualifying times in, the greater your chances of being selected become.

Prior to her hospital visit, Lauren had met the time requirements in four events. A great accomplishment, but no guarantee a selection would occur. She would need to post qualifying times in additional events if she wanted to advance – a task made even more difficult to achieve while resting in a hospital bed.

lauren wilson evergreen swimming

Lauren Wilson, a student at Evergreen Christian School, will be competing against other 11 – 12-year-old girls in Maui.

“We really didn’t talk about Maui too much when she was in the hospital,” Jill said. “We knew she was disappointed. We just figured we would cross our fingers and hope her four events would be enough to get her selected.”

Lauren did have one final chance – a meet in late March prior to the selection cutoff. However, by the time she was cleared to begin swimming again she would only have three weeks to get ready – not much time under normal circumstances.

“I had been aiming for Maui since we first heard about it,” Lauren said. “I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out. I just decided to go out and do my best.”

Motivated, Lauren would go on and add two more qualifying times to her resume – giving her a total of six events, the 100 butterfly, 200 butterfly, 50 backstroke, 100 backstroke, 200 IM and 50 freestyle.

“She is the toughest competitor I’ve ever coached,” Serrao said. “Out of the pool she is the sweetest girl you’ll ever meet, but when she’s in the water she’s focused.”

Everything was now out of Lauren’s hands and all that remained was waiting to hear whether or not she had done enough to earn a selection.

“It was nerve-wrecking,” Lauren said about the six week wait. “I wasn’t really sure if I had done enough to get in.”

She received the news in early May, leaving the family just enough time to book the trip to Hawaii.

“I am more excited than nervous (about the Zone Championships),” an elated Lauren said. “It really is going to be a great experience.”

Yes, things have certainly changed.


Thrifty Thurston Shares 15 (Free) Ways to Cool Off with Kids in Olympia

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 6:30am



xeroxI admit to having a difficult time when the weather heats up.  My 9-year-old daughter seems to melt even faster.  While walking our dogs tonight, she simply said, “Why is it so hot?  We live in Washington.”  And that was at 7:30 p.m. – in the shade, nonetheless.

Does 90+ degree weather send you (or your kids) on overload?


When 90+ degree weather hits Olympia, it’s time to get creative on how to keep everyone chipper (and cool). Photo credit: Shanna Paxton

Use this list of 15 free activities (well, one actually costs $1 but that’s virtually free nowadays) to keep everyone calm and cool.

  1. Splash in the water at the East Bay Public Plaza.  Bring a hat because there is minimal shade.  And, be prepared for a request for ice cream inside the Hands On Children’s Museum’s cafe.
  2. Get out of the sun at LOTT’s WET Science Center, just next door to the East Bay Public Plaza.  Explore how your toilet works and other educational water-related exhibits.
  3. Weave through the crowds and find a spot at the Heritage Park Fountain.  Check out the hours before you go.  It’s closed periodically to adjust the chemicals and you don’t want to end up with unhappy campers.
  4. Tour downtown Olympia on Intercity Transit’s free DASH bus.  You will get air conditioning while enjoyed a relaxed loop around the downtown core and Capitol Campus.  The DASH bus runs every 15 minutes during the week and every 10 minutes on Saturday.  Skip this activity on Sunday.
  5. Step inside a movie theater.  Tuesdays and Wednesdays are $1 movies in Olympia and Lacey.  Read more in this article.
  6. Look for books at your local branch of the Timberland Regional Library.  Focus on stories about icebergs, penguins, and Alaska.  Other highlights includes the Library’s summer Minecraft contest and Wednesday LEGO Studio in Olympia.
  7. Dive in the water at Frye Cove Park or Tolmie State Park.  Both of these parks have great beach access for even the littlest swimmers.  Burfoot Park is a great picnic location and offers superb beach access via a tree covered trail.  Find even more beach recommendations in this article.
  8. lake cushman

    Take a dip at Skokomish Park at Lake Cushman.

    Walk through the shady McLane Creek Nature Trail.  Bring a pair of binoculars and a bird identification book (see #6) and keep track of how many species you can identify.

  9. Drive out to Lake Cushman and jump in the water.  Everyone can enjoy the car’s air conditioning during the drive. This article includes 6 ideas for things to do while at Lake Cushman.
  10. Stop in to visit your local fire station.  Kids can check out the fire truck, say hello to the firefighters on duty and (sometimes) take a tour of the station.
  11. Find an ice cream truck.  I recognize it’s only a temporary solution (and certainly not free) but at least it cools off the kids for a few minutes.
  12. Stay inside and go to an outdoor movie in the evening.  Tumwater’s Screen on the Green is on Friday nights.  Lacey In Tune at Huntamer Park offers up family-friendly entertainment on Saturday evenings.  A more sophisticated movie-going crowd will want to visit the State Capital Museum on Friday nights beginning August 7.
  13. Load up the shovels, boots and a kite and head to the beach.  It’s guaranteed to be at least 10 degrees cooler at the Pacific Ocean.  Here is a list of 6 beaches ideal for kite flying.
  14. olympia beaches

    Nothing occupies a group of kids more than a good beach and digging a big hole.

    Visit an animal shelter.  (I have to repeatedly remind my kids that no animals are coming home with us, but it feels great to share a little love.)

  15. Explore a local museum.

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, visit our complete event calendar.

ROUSE EyeCARE CENTER Offers Comprehensive Eye Care for Total Health and Wellness

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 6:00am



Dr Craig Rouse

Dr. Craig Rouse discovered his passion for optometry after requiring corrective lenses.

In 2012, Bausch + Lomb, one of the world’s largest suppliers of eye healthcare products, asked 11,000 people from 11 different countries the question: Would you rather lose a limb or your eyesight? The results of the survey reported that 68 percent of people would rather lose an arm or leg than their ability to see.

Our eyes, like the rest of our bodies, need to be nurtured and cared for. And having clear, focused vision is only one of the reasons it’s important to see your eye doctor regularly. Because the eyes are a window into the rest of the body, our vision can tell us more than just what meets the eye.

At ROUSE EyeCARE CENTER in Lacey, Dr. Craig Rouse understands the importance of your eye health. But that’s because he knows firsthand what it’s like to have impaired vision.

Dr. Rouse was a sophomore in college when he noticed his vision starting to change. At first, he caught himself squinting in class, then he noticed faraway text and objects became one big blur. Luckily, Dr. Rouse’s dorm mate’s dad was an optometrist. He scheduled an appointment immediately.

Dr. Rouse vividly remembers the moment he donned his first pair of compensating lenses. “I remember going, ‘Wow!’ I was in awe of how well I could see,” he recalls.

Already interested in subjects like anatomy and biology, Dr. Rouse says after this experience, the decision to study optometry became clear, and he applied to Pacific University’s College of Optometry in Oregon. Dr. Rouse studied there for four years before moving with his wife, Deliah, to Illinois where he landed his first job as an optometrist.

Rouse EyeCare Center staff

The staff at Rouse EyeCare Center is experienced, caring and ready to provide you with a top-notch eye care experience.

Dr. Rouse’s first job out of optometry school was at a commercial eyecare business. It was, unfortunately, not what he had anticipated. “There was a great deal of constraint in providing the best care possible,” he says. “There was no room to grow and provide full scope eye care.”

Frustrated by his situation, Dr. Rouse submitted his resignation and headed to a private practice in Illinois before packing his bags and returning to the Pacific Northwest where he worked on base at JBLM for seven years. Here, Dr. Rouse was happier, but still unfulfilled. He wasn’t able to provide his patients with the level of care that he wanted to. Coming to terms with this realization, Dr. Rouse decided it was time to start his own practice.

ROUSE EyeCARE CENTER opened in Lacey in 2008 as a local source for quality eye care. For nearly a decade, Dr. Rouse has built his clientele on a commitment to expert care, top of the line equipment, well-crafted products and friendly service. “It’s about providing the best care to each patient,” he says. With this level of customer commitment, ROUSE EyeCARE CENTER patients know they’re in good hands.

And ROUSE EyeCARE CENTER patients always get more than a run of the mill eye exam. Each visit to ROUSE EyeCARE CENTER is a comprehensive evaluation of your total eye health. During eye care appointments, Dr. Rouse looks for conditions like glaucoma, vascular disease, tumors, visual disorders affecting learning, and other disorders that could be indicative of bigger problems. Dr. Rouse says detecting these kind of conditions is paramount to ensuring good vision and overall health later on in life.

In addition to exceptional care, ROUSE EyeCARE CENTER is also a source for fashion eyewear and top of the line lenses made from the latest technology. ROUSE EyeCARE CENTERs features everything from customizable Tom Davies frames to damage-eliminating BlueTech lenses and more. Of course, if you feel like something a bit more modest, Rouse Eye Center also carries a selection of moderately priced frames for its budget-minded customers, too. With ample options for stylish, functional frames and lenses, you won’t just feel good after leaving ROUSE EyeCARE CENTER, you’ll look good, too.

Dr. Craig Rouse and daughters

When Dr. Craig Rouse isn’t caring for the eyes of his ROUSE EyeCARE CENTER patients and members of the community at the Sunrise Lions Club of Lacey, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Deliah, and their two daughters.

ROUSE EyeCARE CENTER is accepting new patients. With flexible hours, a convenient location next to the Ram Restaurant and top-notch care, Dr. Rouse, Deliah and the entire ROUSE EyeCARE CENTER team invite you to make an appointment, and encourage you to bring your little one in for his or her first comprehensive eye exam.

ROUSE EyeCARE CENTER is open Monday through Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday by appointment.

For more information about ROUSE EyeCARE CENTER or to schedule an appointment, visit ROUSE EyeCARE CENTER online or call the office at 360-455-4425.


8160 Freedom Lane NE, Suite D

Lacey, WA 98516


Cathy Wolfe Will Not Seek Re-election to County Commission in 2016

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 5:00pm



Submitted by Thurston County

Cols. Hodges and Davit recognized for fostering partnerships with neighbor jurisdictions.

Thurston County Commission Chair Cathy Wolfe (far right) will not seek re-election after her fourth term in office.

Thurston County Commission Chair Cathy Wolfe announced today that she will not seek re-election in 2016 and that she plans to retire at the end of her fourth term as a Thurston County Commissioner.

In a message to Thurston County’s elected officials and employees, Wolfe stated, “I have enjoyed working with all of you for the past several years, but I want you to know that I have made a decision not to seek re-election in 2016. While I plan to be fully engaged in my position for the next year and a half, I did want you to hear this from me first.”

Wolfe continued, “Working with the citizens of Thurston County has been a pleasure and a very rewarding experience for me, and I am very proud of our accomplishments over the past 22 years. But this is simply a time in my life when I want to travel, relax, and enjoy my grandchildren and my wonderful family.”

“I look forward to working with all of your from now until the end of 2016. Thank you for all that you do for the county.” Wolfe said.

Cathy Wolfe was first elected to the Thurston County Board of County Commissioners in 2000 after serving eight years as a state legislator. During her 14 years on the board, Wolfe led the charge on reforming and improving a number of programs related to criminal justice, mental health, housing, and environmental protection.

Wolfe served as Chair of the Thurston County HOME Consortium for five years and was instrumental in working with community leaders to create Quixote Village. She led the efforts to create Thurston County’s Veterans Court, Drug Court, Mental Health Court, and the county’s other “treatment court” programs. Wolfe also voted to approve the creation of the county’s Treatment Sales Tax in 2009 to help deal with mental health and addiction issues. She also helped create the county’s Conservation Futures program, which has been used to purchase and permanently protect and preserve hundreds of acres of land since 2009.

While Wolfe plans to retire at the end of her term in December 2016, she was quick to point out that she plans to achieve even more in the next year and a half.

“I may be planning to retire, but I certainly don’t plan on slacking off between now and the end of my term,” said Wolfe. “We’ve made a lot of progress this year on criminal justice reform and researching new and innovative programs to help keep people out of jail and reduce our criminal justice costs. And we have a number of ideas and programs and techniques that I want to see brought online in the next 12 to 18 months. I think we’ll see some real movement in this area when we begin working on the county’s 2016 budget.”

“I am looking forward to the next 18 months,” said Wolfe, “I plan to finish stronger than ever.”


Thurston County 4-H Gives Kids Opportunities for Responsibility and Community with Horses

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 11:46am



By Courtney Murphy

south sound trucksSince 1902, 4-H clubs have been changing the lives of kids across Thurston County. For most people, the Thurston County Fair is a fun escape filled with rides, food, and entertaining shows and animals, but for the many kids (and their supportive parents) involved in 4-H, the fair is so much more than that.

For Thurston County 4-H club members, the fair is the pinnacle of their entire year. This is the time when they are able to show off what they have made or learned, compete with animals they have spent countless hours working with, and have fun with like-minded friends.

4-H teaches kids how to be responsible, hardworking, and motivated. I experienced the benefits of being involved in horse 4-H as a member of the Blazing Saddles Club from third grade until I graduated from Tumwater High School. I joined 4-H with encouragement from my parents, and because I wanted to improve at the sport I was so passionate about.

thurston county fair

Emily Quentin barrel races with her horse, Cadence, last year at the Thurston County Fair. In this timed event, riders run their horses around three barrels in a cloverleaf pattern.

“We wanted to join the revolution of responsibility,” Cynthia Worth, a 4-H parent, said about her family’s experience with the organization. “I do not believe that there is a better program out there for kids and families to not only learn a project, but to be a better member of [the] community. That’s what 4-H teaches and promotes.”

Cynthia and another experienced 4-H parent, Gail Kaufman, will be co-superintendents of the horse department next year. Their goal is to keep kids involved through high school, when their lives get busier with more studies and the high school equestrian team. “4-H relies on older kids staying involved to become mentors to younger members,” Kaufman explained.

­­­­Emily Quentin, a recent Tumwater High School graduate who has been involved in 4-H for 11 years, remembers her time as a junior and how the seniors helped her learn how to take better care of her horse and get ready for shows. When she first started, she knew very little about showing, but she looked up to the seniors and followed what they did, and became a successful competitor. Partially because of this guidance early on, last year she made it to state on the performance team. “This has always been a goal of mine since I joined 4-H,” Quentin said.

thurston county fair

Malorie Mahoney stands with her Haflinger, Pumpkin Tuesday night at haul-in. Pumpkin’s neck is covered in stretchy fabric and she is wearing a show sheet to prevent her from getting dirty overnight.

In the horse department, being successful at the Thurston County Fair takes a lot of preparation and practice. Malorie Mahoney, an intermediate in the Blazing Saddles Club heading into 7th grade, remarked that to be prepared, she tried to have her tack and show clothes ready even before pre-fair.

Jordan Holcomb, another Blazing Saddles intermediate member going into 6th grade, practiced often with her trainer and her horse, Bella, to get ready for her first time at fair this year. Jordan described her first year experience so far as “exciting,” because she “got to meet new friends and get close to horses.”

Although they are not supposed to help directly with the horses, parents of 4-H members often volunteer to clean and set up the fairgrounds, and run fundraisers and events that make the fair possible.

“There’s hundreds and hundreds of volunteer hours that the public doesn’t see,” Cynthia said. This year she has been working on sprucing up the barns and attending to “long-deferred” maintenance projects. “Instead of just one club or one person running this…everyone is taking on more responsibility, which when spread makes it a more successful program in general,” Cynthia said.

Outside of showing, the horse 4-H program is largely focused on the education of both its members and the public. Most kids in the program complete record books, make educational posters, and give public presentations. These activities teach the kids to organize their thoughts and to be comfortable in front a crowd. “Giving oral presentations and having to talk to the public during the fair has boosted my confidence immensely,” Malorie said.

thurston county fair

Some members of the public interact with my horse, Powder, last year during evening practice. The Thurston County Fair allows kids to be exposed to horses who may not otherwise have the chance.

“To me, this is one of the most important aspects of the program,” Gail explained. “It is our job to help let the 4-H members know how important it is for them to hone in on those skills.” Next year as superintendents, both Gail and Cynthia plan to encourage more kids to participate in this educational portion of 4-H.

Although 4-H is very focused on competition and education, one of its most important aspects is having fun. After the competition, there are often games at night put on by the superintendents as well as drill team exhibitions from the local high schools.

This emphasis on creating a fun environment also creates a strong community between members and clubs alike.

“Thurston County is not really separated clubs. I truly feel like this is one big club,” Gail said.

To show your support for this program, visit the Thurston County Fair through August 2 and stop in at the horse department. Talk to a 4-H member, club leader or superintendent.


Thurston County Fair Opens Wednesday

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 5:12pm



Submitted by the Thurston County Fair 

thurston county fair

One Buck Wednesday keeps the price tag down on the Thurston County Fair.

Opening day at the Thurston County Fair is guaranteed to be chock full of good old fashioned fair fun for the whole family! The fair opens Wednesday, July 29 at 10 a.m. with the return of One Buck Wednesday discounts and deals.

Admission to the fair is only $1 per person on One Buck Wednesday when you bring a non-perishable food donation for each person. Food donations will benefit the Thurston County Food Bank. Fair organizers are hoping to meet or even beat 2012’s record donation total of eight pallets of food and over $1,400 in cash donations from generous fairgoers.

Other One Buck Wednesday specials can be found inside the fair gates, including all carnival rides for just a buck per ride all day, one buck food specials, and other One Buck Wednesday deals at participating vendors. The fair is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, July 29.

Wednesday, July 29 is packed full of activities and entertainment the whole family will enjoy. More than 50 events, contests and performances are scheduled, including tons of animal contests and exhibits, the return of Professor Bamboozle, plus a Welcoming Ceremony with Thurston County Commissioners. To get the full list of each day’s events and entertainment, go to and click on “Daily Events Calendar” link. (Complete July 29 events schedule below.)

July 29 Thurston County Fair Events

10 a.m. 

Home Arts Demonstrations begin – Heritage Hall, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

4-H, FFA Rabbit Type Judging – Petersen Barn

10:30 a.m.

4-H Dog Judging Contest – Chitty Barn

11 a.m. 

Cavy Knowledge Bowl – Petersen Barn thurston county fair

Professor Bamboozle – Food Court Stage


Matt Baker Comedy & Stunt Show – Main Stage

Paramount Martial Arts – Main Stage

1 p.m. 

4-H Cat Games – Petersen Barn

4-H Goat Judging Contest – West Arena

4-H Dog Obedience – Chitty Barn

Slievoughlane Irish Dancers – Main Stage

1:30 p.m.

Professor Bamboozle – Food Court Stage

2 p.m. 

SANCA Juggling and Stilt Walking – Front of Heritage Hall

Open Class Sheep & Fleece Goats – Hicks Lake Barn

2:30 p.m.thurston county fair

Matt Baker Comedy & Stunt Show – Main Stage

3 p.m. 

Poultry Costume Contest – Petersen Barn

4-H Fleece Goat Fit/Show/Type – West Arena


3:30 p.m. 

Slieveloughane Irish Dancers – Main Stage

Dylan Cragle – Food Court Stage


4 p.m.

4-H Rabbit Knowledge Bowl – Petersen Barn

Primary Member Pygmy/Miniature Goat Show – West Arena


4:30 p.m. 

Professor Bamboozle – Food Court Stagethurston county fair

4-H Pygmy Goat Fitting/Showing/Type – West Arena-2

4-H Pet Goat Type – West Arena-2

Matt Baker Comedy & Stunt Show – Main Stage


5 p.m.

SANCA Juggling and Stilt Walking – Front of Heritage Hall


6 p.m.

Dancerzone 360 – Food Court Stage

Welcoming Ceremony – Main Stage

4-H Fashion Revue Style Show – Main Stage

4-H Pet Goat Class – West Arena-2

6:30 p.m. 

FFA Pygmy Fit/Show/Type following 4-H Pygmy – West Arena

4-H Cat Knowledge Bowl – Petersen Barn


7 p.m. 

4-H Silver Bucket Event-Dairy Goat Milk Contest – Willuweit Pavilion Thurston County Fair

Dylan Jakobsen Band – Food Court Stage

Lads & Lassies Lead Contest – Hicks Lake Barn

4-H Dog Activities – Chitty Barn

4-H Dairy Goat Milk Contest – Hicks Lake Barn

7:30 p.m.

Tristan and Rachelle – Main Stage


*Food Court Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

*Carnival Rides Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Red Door Interiors Announces Change in Ownership

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 9:23am



Submitted by Red Door Interiors 

Lara Anderson (left) and Kathy Lothrop have sold their popular downtown Olympia home decor shop to the owners of Dillinger's Cocktails and Kitchen to pursue interior design and their RD Shady.

Lara Anderson (left) and Kathy Lothrop have sold their popular downtown Olympia home decor shop to the owners of Dillinger’s Cocktails and Kitchen to pursue interior design and their patented RD Shady.

The buzz around a change in ownership for Red Door Interiors has been on-going for over a month.  The wait is over. Red Door (the shop/inventory) has been sold to two amazing ladies that strongly believe in downtown Olympia and Red Door’s legacy.

The new owners are Sandy Hall and Lela Cross who currently own the very popular Dillinger’s Cocktails & Kitchen. The shop name will change to LC’s Blackbird Mercantile & Trading Co., affectionately known as Blackbird.

On August 1, the store will change hands and co-owners Lara Anderson and her mother Kathy Lathrop  will begin a new adventure with interior design and RD Shady.  The patented custom lamp-shade covers invented by the mother-daughter duo have increased in popularity locally an are receiving national attention.  Transitioning into the next phase with RD Shady is one of the reasons behind their departure from their downtown retail shop.

“The product has really taken off here locally,” shares Anderson.  “We now offer customers the ability to send us their own fabric to customize their RD Shady for no additional charge.”  RD Shady will be featured in HGTV Magazine’s October issue and the RD Shady website is undergoing a full face-lift in preparation for increased traffic to the site.

In addition, Anderson and Lathrop have licensed their design, plus two additional versions of the RD Shady, to a major lamp manufacture in Jacksonville, Florida called Kenroy Home.  The Kenroy Home version of the RD Shady will be sold to major retailers around the United States.  “We are really excited about the potential in this partnership,” shares Anderson.

Blackbird will continue the tradition of offering new and used furnishings, the RD Shady line, as well as bar and kitchen ware, wine and beer and a variety of fun options for gift giving.

The store will remain open during the transition from Red Door to Blackbird and a grand opening is planned for the first day of fall, September 23.

Please stop by during the final week of July and say goodbye to Anderson and Lathrop as they prepare to leave a business they’ve poured their hearts into for the past nine years. “We have had so many wonderful years running our shop. The friendships that we have formed will remain close to our hearts forever,” says Anderson.

Red Door Interior will continue to communicate via their RedDoorOlympia Facebook page as they continue to offer interior design services, custom sewing services and of course, RD Shady product.  Keep your eye on their page as they embark on the next phase with their unique and popular invention, RD Shady.

Visit the new LC’s Blackbird Mercantile & Trading Co. starting August 1 in the former Red Door Interiors location at 430 Washington St. SE (the corner of 5th and Washington) in downtown Olympia.


Capitol Land Trust Moves Forward on Black River, Goldsborough Creek & Nelson Family Ranch projects

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 7:47am



By Natasha Ashenhurst

oly fed sponsorThe Black River southwest of Olympia is slow and meandering. A major tributary to the Chehalis, it is pristine, in part because so much of the land surrounding it is undeveloped. The river is part of a complex system of wetlands, streams, prairies, bogs, forests, farms and timberlands that are home to hundreds of animal species, making it one of the most unique lowland river systems in the Pacific Northwest. Future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy this incredible resource, thanks to a strong commitment to fund conservation by the Washington State Legislature and the folks at Capitol Land Trust.

Nearly $3 million was included in the recently passed budget to fund projects led by Capitol Land Trust, including protecting and restoring lands along the Black River.

capitol land trust

The Black River and other conservation projects, led by Capitol Land Trust, were recently award $3 million in the recently passed state budget. Photo courtesy: Capitol Land Trust.

“The Black River is a very unique resource across the state of Washington. We have a great opportunity to protect this impact watershed. We want to fix the culvert so the salmon can come up higher, and protect habitat for the Oregon Spotted Frog,” said Amanda Reed, executive director of Capitol Land Trust. The Black River project will include replanting native species along the river.

Other new projects funded by the recently passed budget include conservation of the Nelson Family Ranch—a project that will conserve a large cattle ranch along the Deschutes River—expanding Mason County’s Coulter Creek Park near Allyn, and an acquisition near the Lake Lucinda community. These last two projects will expand public access to hiking and non-motorized boating.

Capitol Land Trust is a charitable 501(c)(3) and is funded, in part, by grant programs made available through the legislature. Each project they work on is different and has different funding requirements, but regardless of the project, their mission remains the same, and that is protecting and conserving land in southwest Washington.

capitol land trust

More than 14 miles of shoreline and 5,000 acres in Thurston, Mason, Lewis, and Grays Harbor Counties have been protected by the Capitol Land Trust since 1987. Photo courtesy: Capitol Land Trust.

The nonprofit organization accomplishes their mission through a variety of methods. In some cases, they collaborate with landowners to secure conservation easements, which are permanent agreements that conserve land while keeping it in private ownership. For other projects, they accept donations of, and in some cases also purchase, land and conservation easements. Their approach is working. Since 1987 the group has put in permanent conservation more than 14 miles of Puget Sound shoreline and over 5,000 acres in Thurston, Mason, Grays Harbor and Lewis Counties – including wildlife habitat, working farms and forests, and land managed as public parks.

And while their core mission is to protect land, another key goal that emerged from their recent five year strategic plan is a commitment to connect people with nature. Reed explains, “We want to provide people with opportunities to get outside and engage with the land that we’ve preserved. Nature can provide recreation. Restoration is a fun way to learn. We want to help make those connections for people.”

A project that is near completion called Rose II Phase of Goldsborough Creek, will help meet this commitment to connect people with conservation land. For the last decade, Capitol Land Trust has prioritized conservation in Goldsborough Creek, which flows into Shelton’s Oakland Bay. Goldsborough is an important creek for water quality going into the bay, and for fish. Hikers enjoy the trail along the creek, and especially enjoy watching the salmon running in the fall.

capitol land trust

Goldsborough is an important creek for water quality going into the bay, and for fish. Photo courtesy: Capitol Land Trust.

“We’ve been trying to protect land along this creek and watershed as it becomes available, and with partners we’ve managed to protect 1,000 acres in that watershed. Rose Phase II adds 20 acres and is adjacent to our North Fork Goldsborough preserve,” Reed said.

On Saturday, August 1, Capitol Land Trust will hold its Annual Summer Gala and Auction at Ralph and Nancy Munro’s Triple Creek Farm on Eld Inlet in Olympia. Part of the proceeds from the event will go to new outreach and education programming. “Helping people make connections with nature is one of the things we’ll be raising money for at the gala,” said Reed.

The gala includes a large silent and live auction, locally sourced and prepared salmon by the Chehalis Tribe, beef from Nelson Family Ranch, and shellfish from Taylor Shellfish Farms, local beer and wine, and remarks by New York Times bestselling author and Seattle native, Garth Stein.

“We rely on donors to develop these projects until we can apply for public funding. We rely on sponsors to hold events like the Summer Gala,” explained Reed.  “This gala is a celebration of our work, but it is also a critical piece to fund our mission—protecting and preserving the land. We have amazing places right in our backyard to protect, like the Black River, and it is important to do everything we can to move this work forward.”

To learn more about supporting the work of the Capitol Land Trust, visit their website.


The “Really Big One” Is Coming—Be Prepared, Not Scared

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 7:21am



Submitted by Thurston County  Emergency Management 

“Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast,” said Kenneth Murphy, who directs the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Region X office, which includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.

Murphy’s stark and startling comment was made in a recent New Yorker magazine article outlining the devastation that could come from a mega-quake of magnitude 9.0 that is overdue in the Pacific Northwest. And when it comes, it could be the worst natural disaster in the history of North America.

“If that New Yorker article has you scared, we want you to take a deep breath and channel that energy into getting your home and your family prepared for emergencies. Don’t be scared of earthquakes and tsunamis—be informed and prepared,” said Sandy Johnson, Manager of the Thurston County Emergency Management Division. “Preparedness will be the key to surviving the next big earthquake in our area.”

The Thurston County Emergency Management website has a ton of tips, tools and information on how to prepare your home and family for emergencies and help you survive “The Really Big One.” Learn how to make your own 72-hour disaster kit, join a citizen volunteer response group, download a tip sheet on earthquake preparedness, or contact emergency management staff to schedule a “3 Days, 3 Ways” training session—all this and more is available on the Thurston County Emergency Management website.

The county’s team of emergency management experts is also doing their part to prepare the region and its residents for emergencies and disasters like earthquakes. The county has its Hazard Mitigation Plan, which outlines initiatives to reduce or eliminate hazards. The county is required to have its Hazard Mitigation Plan in order to qualify for certain competitive grant funding opportunities.

The county is also updating its Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, which guides the coordination of Thurston County government and other partner agencies for disaster response and recovery. The county will hold a public hearing on the updated Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan on Tuesday, August 4 at 3 p.m. at the county courthouse. Go to for information about the August 4 public hearing.

The county’s emergency management staff members also participate in statewide and regional emergency drills and exercises, such as the Cascadia Rising regional exercise planned for June 2016. Cascadia Rising will test plans for response to a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and tsunami. Local jurisdictions and state agencies from across Washington, Oregon and Idaho will be participating in the Cascadia Rising exercise alongside staff and experts from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other federal government agencies.

This fall, Thurston County Emergency Management will host the annual Emergency Preparedness Expo. As you prep the kids to go back to school, you can prep your home and family to be ready for earthquakes, storm season, or any emergency. Join us at the 2015 Emergency Preparedness Expo on Saturday, September 26 at Yelm High School from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If you are interested in learning more about personal preparedness, or you would like to schedule a presentation, please contact Vivian Eason, Thurston County Emergency Management at or at (360) 867-2825.


Destini Sigler – Tackling the Role of Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” After a Battle with a Brain Tumor

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 6:46am



By Morgan Willie

olympia furnitureIf you’re a mom on Mother’s Day, you might expect to share a relaxing day with the family. You might await a phone call or a handwritten card. You may even anticipate being greeted with breakfast in bed.

You would not, however, anticipate to be awoken by your child’s cries of agony. You would not expect to spend the day waiting for your child’s medical results at the emergency room.

For mother Dawn Sigler, this was a very real set of circumstances. Mother’s Day 2015 had a staggering impact on Dawn, her family, and most of all, her precious daughter, Destini.

Destini Sigler is a sweet, compassionate young lady whose angelic voice and vibrant personality have touched the lives of many.

benign brain tumor

Destini and her mother, Dawn, have been through a lot this year, but their bond is going strong as Destini recovers from a brain tumor.

Destini’s health was on a slow decline during the second half of her ninth grade year. She was experiencing persistent headaches and her vision was swiftly becoming poorer. Dawn took her to see a physician, who gave Destini ibuprofen and suggested she rest. Little did they know, Destini’s headaches were being caused by something that could not simply be treated with pain medication and sleep.

When Destini woke up in extreme pain on Mother’s Day, Dawn rushed her to the emergency room where several doctors conducted a CT scan and did blood work to try to determine what exactly was hurting her head.

It turned out that Destini had a tumor and cyst growing on her pituitary gland. Her vision was being compromised because the mass was pressing on her optic nerve.

When Destini was first informed of the mass, she didn’t know how to react.

“I was in a major state of disbelief, and honestly I really don’t remember very much. The biggest thing that I remember is feeling as if my world had come to a gigantic halt,” she said. “I knew that things were going to change quickly and that there was nothing that I could do to change that.”

Within the month, Destini had the mass surgically removed from her brain. The surgery was a success, and the immediate pathology report came back as benign, meaning she would not need further treatment. This was a breath of fresh air for the Sigler family.

“This experience has definitely renewed our faith. We are all very thankful for this outcome as we know the results could have been much worse,” Dawn said. “Destini is a fighter and we fight together as a family. When one hurts, we all hurt.”

Destini’s vision has completely returned and her healing process has been going smoothly, although the medication does have its side affects. She makes sure to watch her activity and stay hydrated throughout the day. For now, she is still getting regular check-ups and taking time to rest.

benign brain tumor

Destini’s brother, Devan, and her father, David, never lost hope through out Destini’s battle.

Destini and Dawn are immensely grateful for the support they have received from family and friends.

Especially from Destini’s father, David, who showed encouragement through it all, and Destini’s brother, Devan, too.

“Devan has been her rock,” Dawn noted. “He kept her laughing and content through her recovery. He took on a big role of being more responsible for himself, which has helped him grow as a young man. I couldn’t be more proud.”

The family has undergone tremendous amounts of stress in these past few months, but they’ve all taken away so much from the experience.

“One major thing that I have learned from my experience is that you should always live each day to its fullest potential,” Destini said. “You never know what tomorrow will bring, and suddenly in a flash, you can find yourself thrown into a situation that could potentially change the course of your life forever.”

At the moment, Destini is working hard to prepare for her role as Dorothy in the upcoming performance of “The Wizard of Oz” by Olympia’s Creative Theatre Experience (CTE.)

CTE is a non-profit children’s theater education program that allows children and teens to build creativity, important life skills, confidence, and leadership while on stage. Destini got involved with CTE in 2014 and she has a special place in her heart for musicals.

Program Director Kathy Dorgan says Destini has been nothing but a pleasure to work with.

“She takes notes and recommendations very well and is willing to take chances on stage,” Kathy said. “Of course, she’s very talented, and has a beautiful singing voice. In auditions, she had a spunky quality that really worked well for what I wanted in the character of Dorothy.”

destini sigler

Destini has always had a passion for music. Her mother describes her singing voice as ‘angelic.’

Apparently, Destini’s surgery had little impact on her desire to perform with CTE.

“There wasn’t a question if Destini wanted to [join CTE] this year or not. It was more [a question of] ‘would she be well enough to endure it,'” Dawn noted.

Kathy has noticed that Destini hasn’t lost any of her exuberance or commitment for the program.

“I definitely think the experience has made her stronger! That spunk I mentioned earlier is really present. She takes nothing for granted, and works so hard. She’s always encouraging others, has a smile and a thank you for everyone,” Kathy mentioned. “I think honestly that she is very determined to have the surgery not be a factor.”

Destini is most looking forward to seeing the audience’s reactions to the “beautiful stage pieces, props, outrageous costumes, and songs.”

“We have all put our hearts and souls into this show and I know that we will steal your hearts,” she said. “This is going to be an amazing show! I can’t wait to see how everything turns out.”

You can come to see Destini as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” on July 30 – July 31 at 7:00 p.m. and Aug 1 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. All shows will be put on at the Olympia High School Performing Arts Center.

For more information, visit Creative Theatre Experience’s website or to buy tickets, click here.


Nine Months of Health: Pregnancy and Personal Training at Edge Fitness

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 6:00am



pregnancy training olympia

Amanda Price-Salazar summits Mount Ellinor when she was about six months pregnant with daughter, Mia.

Preparing to welcome a new baby into your family is an exciting time of waiting and wondering. Not knowing who the little life growing inside you will become is part of the miracle of new life. However, for many women pregnancy also means accepting a changing body, developing an understanding of what that body is capable of. Ultimately, it’s capable of a whole lot, including bringing a baby into the world.

Staying fit during your pregnancy is safe and beneficial for both mom and baby. Controlling weight gain and maintaining critical muscle tone and strength will not only help with the birth process, but speed healing and a return to “your old self” once the baby is born. But knowing what you can and can’t do and how to modify your routines is key.

Amanda Price-Salazar is no stranger to understanding fitness during pregnancy. The 36-year-old owner and lead personal trainer at Edge Fitness in Tumwater is also a new mom to baby Mia, born in February 2015. In addition to her real-world experience as a new mom, Price-Salazar is also certified in pre- and post-pregnancy training and nutrition. She has helped countless women navigate their fitness goals throughout their pregnancys safely and effectively, seeing them through birth and back to their pre-baby bodies after.

“It’s so important to take care of your health before you get pregnant, and then to maintain an active lifestyle throughout your pregnancy,” explains Price-Salazar. “If you are fit during pregnancy, when you have your baby, you are more likely to have a healthy labor and birth and are then physically prepared to give back to your baby.”

pregnancy training olympia

Edge Fitness owner Amanda Price-Salazar and husband Danny pose just prior to their daughter Mia’s birth.

When a current Edge Fitness client lets Price-Salazar know she’s pregnant, the two of them sit down together and review guidelines for continued training and Boot Camp classes. She provides a comprehensive packet of information including nutrition guidelines, heart-rate monitor suggestions based on a client’s doctor’s recommendation, exercises for at home and more. Very few modifications are needed in the gym initially, but as the pregnancy progresses, workout changes are necessary.

“I make sure I check in with a pregnant client after each visit with their OBGYN and see if there are any changes in their care and health,” Price-Salazar says. And based on her education and experience, she helps women know when to start modifying activities during boot camps and training sessions. For example, when it’s no longer safe to lay on your back for abdominal exercises, Price-Salazar offers a variety of modifications to keep abs as part of the routine. “You can use a stability ball to sit on and do crunches, you can do planks, you can do ‘lean and holds’ on the ball. There are lots of ways to still work your core all throughout your pregnancy and be safe for the baby.”

Along with training, Edge Fitness provides customized nutrition programs tailored for pregnancy to help women avoid the over-indulgence that is so easy to justify when “eating for two” as well as keeping changing hormones under control. Nutrition guidance can be critical both during and after pregnancy as so many different and new demands are made on a mother’s body. “I stress that during pregnancy and especially during the first year as a new mom, that eating every three hours is just as important for mom as baby. If you don’t put good nutrition into your body, you’ll end up exhausted and unhealthy and not as good a mom to your baby.”

One tip she gives new moms is prepping food ahead of time so when hunger strikes you don’t reach for the bag of chips out of convenience. Price-Salazar knows first hand that schedules can go out the window in the first months of parenting, but reminds new moms that skipping meals or binging after a day of “no time to eat” is a recipe for hormone fluctuation and weight gain.

olympia personal trainer

Amanda Price-Salazar, owner of Edge Fitness, poses with her daughter Mia.

Pregnancy is a nine-month journey. Don’t expect the journey back to pre-baby fitness to just be a few weeks. “You can’t do everything just on day one back in the gym. It’s not realistic or safe,” explains Price-Salazar. Instead, she helps clients take steps towards regaining not only physical health, but a positive body image, on an achievable timeline. “Often I help coach clients not only on their fitness but with their body image and helping them feel like themselves again, to feel pretty again,” she shares.

It’s a family-friendly atmosphere at Edge, with babies and kids welcome during classes and sessions. Salazar-Price tries hard to remove barriers to getting back in the gym and a solid fitness routine. And no matter when that return might be – after 6 weeks, 6 months, or several years – Price-Salazar is ready to help.

“A lot of women come to me long after their children are born, maybe three or four years after, and they just couldn’t make the time for themselves in those first years,” shares Price-Salazar. But no matter when you take that step into Edge Fitness, Amanda Price-Salazar will be ready.

“So many women tell themsleves it’s not possible, that they can’t do it. I know they can and I can show them how.”

To learn more about fitness before, during and after pregnancy, visit Edge Fitness online or call 360-790-6767.


Retirement is Bittersweet for Wayne Lieb of Putnam Lieb Potvin

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 6:00am



By Natasha Ashenhurst

putnam lieb

“The concept of retirement is exciting and also difficult. I am looking forward to doing the fun things, but at the same time it is hard to walk away from all that I have built and accomplished, and move on to the next phase of my life,” says Olympia attorney, Wayne Lieb as he reflects on his next chapter.

For some, retirement is a well-earned reward—a finish line to cross after an exhausting, and not particularly rewarding, race.

For the lucky ones, retirement is bittersweet—the end of one act—a journey that was thrilling and satisfying during the entire ride.

Wayne Lieb is one of the lucky ones. A founding partner at Putnam Lieb Potvin Attorneys at Law, Lieb is beginning his exit strategy from the firm, a glide path where he’ll take no new clients and focus his remaining time at the firm wrapping up existing cases.

“I love my job. I’ve had a great career,” said Lieb. “I am proud of the office that Kim [Putnam] and I built. The concept of retirement is exciting and also difficult. I am looking forward to doing the fun things, but at the same time it is hard to walk away from all that I have built and accomplished, and move on to the next phase of my life. Nevertheless, time marches on.”

Lieb’s 30-plus-year career began in Bellingham, where he was a student at Fairhaven—a college of Western Washington University. “It was the 1960s. I was motivated by social justice and helping people. After Fairhaven, I went to law school at the University of Washington,” he said.

After graduation, Lieb served in legal services for two years, and then for three years as a public defender in Seattle. After working in Seattle, Lieb served for five years as both an administrative law judge and chief review judge for the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals adjudicating workers’ compensation appeals.

In 1987, Lieb went to work in Olympia for a firm of five attorneys that represented clients in Olympia, Seattle and Bellingham. That firm went through a friendly dissolution, and Putnam and Lieb formed their own firm in 1990 with a mission to assist injured persons in obtaining the benefits they deserve and restore dignity to the legal process.

putnam lieb potvin

Wayne Lieb, a retiring partner at Putnam Lieb Potvin in Olympia, is proud of the work environment that he helped create, including a nursery for new parents and their babies.

“Coming to Olympia to practice law was serendipitous. My goal has always been to help people. When you are in law school you don’t know how that will play out or how your interests will develop,” he said.

Lieb is very proud of the firm he helped build, and the team that he works with day in and out. “We have a great place to work. Our team stays here because of that. We’ve combined that marvelous aspect of hard work, quality work, taking care of our clients, yet also genuinely enjoy working together.”

The nursery on the second floor of the law offices is a great testament to this ideal. If an employee has a baby, they bring them to work until the baby can walk. The staff redecorates the nursery for every new infant—this year’s nursery has a monster theme. The baby always has a caring adult vying to hold it, and the new mother receives a lot of support.

It is this caring environment that keeps staff turnover close to zero, which, in turn, created the foundation of the firm’s success, both as a team and for each attorney there.

Lieb has had his share of professional success over the past 40 years. He has served on the Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ) board of governors and as chair of the Workers’ Compensation section of WSAJ, was appointed a special master in Federal Court matters, and has extensive experience in trial and appellate work, resulting in over 20 published appellate decisions. For multiple consecutive years, Wayne has received honors as a Martindale Hubbell AV rated attorney, a US News Best Lawyer, a Thomson Reuters Super Lawyer, and Million Dollar Advocate Forum.

Yet for Lieb, it is the personal, day-to-day exchanges that define his career. He said, “The moments I remember best are the clients who weep when an economic burden has been lifted from their shoulders, or the clients who greet you with ‘I hate lawyers,’ then regret their words when you win their case. It is helping people who are stressed by their desperate circumstances. Those are the things I am especially proud of.”

putnam lieb attorney

As Wayne Lieb prepares for retirement, he is excited by the quality of the team that he is leaving behind.

And for the past 40 years, Lieb has put in 50 to 60 hour weeks, yet never found work a burden. “If you love what you’re doing it isn’t work. I really believe that. And now that I’m at the end of my career, legacy comes to mind. I want to be sure that the quality of service and dedication we have to our clients continues. To do that we’ve brought on newer attorneys, Kathryn Potvin and Dustin Dailey, and I am excited by the quality of work they’ve brought to the team.”

Lieb’s exit strategy is still in development, but he wants to remain available to the team as a resource. He said, “I am not disappearing, but I do intend to step out and make room for the younger generation to shine.”

However, Lieb does have the first phase of his retirement planned out. “My wife and I recently took a three week trip to Spain. It was a trial run, of sorts. I’ve never taken more than two weeks off, and I loved it. So, for the first year of retirement I’ve bought two different ski resort season passes and a winterized R.V. I plan on following the snow, wherever it takes me. When I’m not skiing you’ll be able to find me backpacking, sailing or at the ocean. Then, once I’ve travelled a bit, I’d love to come back to Olympia and get involved in the community as a volunteer. But first, I want to go have fun.”

To learn more about Putnam Lieb Potvin, visit their website or call 360-754-7707.


United Way of Thurston County Announces New Director of Volunteer Programs

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 3:36pm



Submitted by United Way of Thurston County

The United Way of Thurston County welcomes Paul Larsen.

The United Way of Thurston County welcomes Paul Larsen.

United Way of Thurston County is pleased to announce Paul Larsen will be joining the agency as Director of Volunteer Programs. Paul’s main focus will be to lead his team in inspiring community engagement through volunteerism.

Paul will oversee several volunteer programs at United Way. His principal role will be to direct the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). RSVP, funded by federal and state contracts, provides meaningful volunteer opportunities for people age 55 and older through community-based volunteer placements. Another program he’ll direct is Volunteer Connection, an online matching system supporting the volunteer needs in the County and the lead resource for the Annual Day of Caring. He will also oversee United Way’s new role as the VISTA/AmeriCorps regional administrator. United Way’s volunteer recruitment resources are particularly focused on improving conditions for low-income and vulnerable children and adults, supporting community programs such as elementary reading, senior meals and nutrition and food banks.

Paul Larsen comments, “I have a passion for public service and I am very excited to join the United Way team. I look forward to engaging the community in volunteer service and continuing to be a nonprofit leader in Thurston County.”

Paul Knox, Executive Director adds, “I am so excited and pleased to have a community leader of Paul’s background and caliber join our team at United Way. I look forward to seeing the community impact and value of our volunteerism services grow even more in the coming years.”

Paul is known in the community as a leader in volunteerism. He has worked the last five years at Operations Manager at The Crisis Clinic of Thurston and Mason Counties and serves on the Board of Directors for the Washington Information Network 2-1-1 and is Chair of the Thurston County Disaster Assistance Council.

Prior to his work in non-profits, Paul served ten years in the Air Force as a crew chief on the B-52 Bomber and five years as a Logistics/Supply Contractor for the U.S. Army in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the spring of 2016, he will complete his Master’s Degree in Public Administration at The Evergreen State College.

Olympia Brew Fest Toasts Local Brewing Heritage

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 3:25pm



Submitted by The Port of Olympia

oly brew festOlympia Brew Fest returns to Port Plaza on Saturday, August 1, for an afternoon of beer sampling, delicious food and live music on the downtown waterfront. Net proceeds benefit the non-profit Thurston County Chamber Foundation Small Business Development Program.

Guests can choose among 60 different beers from 30-plus hand-picked breweries to celebrate the community’s long history of beer-making. Admission includes a commemorative mug along with six 5.5 ounce tastes. Additional taste cards may be purchased.

Brew Fest runs from 1:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door and $5 for designated drivers. All guests must be 21, including designated drivers. Free parking is available in marked lots at the corner of Market Street and Marine Drive.

In its fourth year, Olympia Brew Fest is already considered one of the premiere brew fest events in the northwest. Up to 3,000 guests are expected.

The Port is proud to partner in Olympia Brew Fest because the net proceeds benefit a small business program that helps stimulate economic development in Thurston County.

For more information and to purchase tickets:


Evergreen Joins Mt. St. Helens Researchers for Eruption’s 35th Anniversary and Beyond

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 3:18pm



Submitted by The Evergreen State College

Mt St Helens from near Lewis and Clark SPThe eruption of Mt. St. Helens passed its 35th anniversary last spring, but to many of the retirement-aged botanists, geologists, foresters and researchers tracking the blast recovery since the early 1980s, this summer represents the passing of the torch to younger scientists eager to continue observing and collecting data on the mountain and surrounding terrain.

One of the research teams that will pick up the mantle is a trio of faculty from The Evergreen State College. Abir Biswas, Ph.D., Dylan Fischer, Ph.D. and Carri LeRoy, Ph.D., along with their students, will be spending the last week at Mt. St. Helens as part of The Pulse, a meeting of more than 100 scientists sponsored by the US Forest Service. The group meets at Mt. St. Helens every five years to measure and report on the area’s recovery.

Fischer and Biswas have taken over the measuring of forests and soil in the Tephra Fall Zone from a team based at Oregon State University. Located outside the Blowdown Zone, the Tephra Fall Zone consists of old growth forest and clear cuts that were covered with two to 15 millimeters of ash and small pumice rock during the blast.

LeRoy will work separately with US Forest Service scientist Shannon Claeson, student research fellow Emily Wolfe and recent Evergreen graduate Andy Berger. Their team will monitor the development of five streams that formed directly after the eruption, but whose recovery paths have diverged.

The three faculty members, along with three Evergreen summer undergraduate research fellows and a recent Evergreen graduate. Student researchers Andrew Buechel, Abby Watt, Wolfe and Berger will join The Pulse July 26-31 at Mt. St. Helens. They will start the week on July 26 with a dinner and campfire, as all the researchers share a campground. The researchers will tour each other’s sites the next day, and then they will concentrate on their own or team’s work.

According to Fischer, the old growth forests surrounding the mountain turned into “concrete forests” after the blast. “You could drive a car on the ash,” he said. But the forests are coming back with a new understory of huckleberries and other low-growing plants.

The adjacent clear cuts and replanted forests have not fared so well, he noted. With no shelter, seeds blow away, wind scours the ground, soil doesn’t develop and plants don’t recover. Big, old trees drop needles and cones and provide habitat for animals, which adds nutrients that develop soil. “The St. Helens ash was very nutrient-poor. The ash layer created a blank slate for new soil,” said Fischer.

The streams that LeRoy and her collaborators will observe, “were created all at the same time, just 35 years ago,” according to Fischer, “but may all be very different in terms of what fish live in them, what insects are there, what plants are growing on their banks.” He attributes the divergence to variations in stream temperature, shrub cover and, potentially, stream chemistry. “Although there have been studies of fish in these streams and nearby Spirit Lake, no one has looked at stream development after the eruption,” he said. “We think after 35 years maybe we’ve done it all, but researchers are still barely scratching the surface.”

Fischer says Evergreen is a natural match for the project. Not only is it the closest institution to the site, Evergreen has programs that train students in soil sampling, botany, environmental science (including water issues), geology and forestry. “What is inspiring and exciting to me is that this is a hopeful kind of research. Even a massive eruption like Mt. St. Helens isn’t the end of things. It’s the beginning of something new.”


Seven Incredible Viewpoints and Stops Along Hood Canal

Sun, 07/26/2015 - 6:00am



By Douglas Scott

waterfront at potlatch lucky dogHood Canal is a scenic wonder, with its fjord like canal stretching 65 miles in length. Home to migrating salmon, fantastic spot shrimp, and incredible scuba diving, the region not only grants access to some of the greatest hiking around, Hood Canal gives those fortunate enough to visit incredible viewpoints and vistas from seven roadside stops. Stretching along Highway 101, and up the steep, wild river valleys, visitors to Hood Canal have the best of everything. Whether you want to see wilderness from tall bridges, gaze upon the city of Seattle from a mountain top overlook, or just enjoy sunrises and sunsets from beaches and pullouts, Hood Canal will wow you with beauty from your car window or along a short hike. These seven stops shouldn’t be missed, as they are just the start to discovering the amazing beauty of the wilderness, cities and views of Hood Canal.


Lake Cushman Overlook

hood canal things to do

An aerial view of Hood Canal showcases the area’s beauty.


Why: With stunning views of Mount Rose, Mount Ellinor and Mount Washington, as well as incredible panoramic views of Lake Cushman, it is little wonder why the Lake Cushman Viewpoint is a popular stop for locals and tourists alike. Located on the road to Staircase, stopping at this viewpoint gives you a chance to take in the beauty of the region while gazing up the North Fork of the Skokomish River, into the wilderness of Olympic National Park. Getting here for sunrise or sunset makes this already gorgeous location a must see.

Best Time: Sunset

Other cool areas nearby: Staircase, Mount Ellinor


Potlatch State Park


Why: Directly next to Highway 101, Potlatch offers something that very few state parks in the nation can offer. Located along the Hood Canal on the Olympic Peninsula, Potlatch State Park gives you a park by the water with majestic views of Mount Baker to the north, and glimpses of Mount Rainier to the east. Potlatch is also an amazing spot to sit and watch herons, seals, salmon, eagles and migratory birds in nature. For the most incredible experience, catch a morning sunrise, as few places are more beautiful in the early morning light. This area, named for the gift giving ceremony, called a potlatch, was known by the Skokomish Tribe as “Enetai,” which translates to “Beyond” in English.

Best Time: Sunrise, Lunch

Other cool areas nearby: Lucky Dog Casino, El Puerto De Angeles, Skokomish Park at Lake Cushman


high steel bridge shelton

Visitors take in the view from the High Steel Bridge, located 420 feet up in the air.

High Steel Bridge


Why: The High Steel Bridge stands 420 feet above the South Fork of the Skokomish River and is quite impressive to stand on. Originally built in 1929 by the Simpson Logging Company, the High Steel Bridge helped open up logging to the Skokomish River Valley. Towering over huge fir and cedar trees along the river bank below, the bridge causes severe vertigo for many who dare peer over its side. With guardrails, looking over the bridge is extremely safe, though all visitors should use caution. Staring down over 400 feet, look for remains of car tires, pumpkins and just about anything else locals have thrown over the edge. The High Steel Bridge is the 12th tallest bridge in the United States, and the tallest in Washington State. With the easy access and incredible views, a side trip to the High Steel Bridge makes for a great quick stop for visitors of all ages and abilities.

Best Time: Any time

Other cool areas nearby: Olympic National Forest trails and campgrounds, Hoodsport Coffee, Lucky Dog Casino


Dosewallips State Park


Why: The views from Dosewallips State Park are some of the best on the Hood Canal, and access to hiking, biking and kayaking await those looking for adventure. Split into two sections, Dosewallips State Park gives both visitors and campers access to the both salt and fresh water. To the west of Highway 101, Dosewallips campground sits along the river, giving campers an excellent view and access to hiking trails. With stunning views of Mount Constance looming large upstream, herds of elk, rivers full of salmon and trees for of bald eagles greet those who make Dosewallips a stop on their adventures on Hood Canal.

Best Time: Any time

Other cool areas nearby: Olympic National Park, Pleasant Harbor Marina Resort, Seal Rock Campground


hood canal things to do

A hiker looks across at Mount Rainier from the top of Mount Walker which is accessed near Hood Canal.

Mount Walker


Why: Straight up to a tree-lined mountain top, a few thousand feet above sea-level, the Mount Walker trail and road rises and circles a cone shaped mountain near the mouth of the Hood Canal. With a panoramic view of the Salish Sea and the Puget Sound on one side, and a stunning view of the Olympic Mountains at the other, the sights from this mountain are awesome. With two unique views, there are two ways up to the top of this mountain. One is a half-day hike that zigs and zags up the mountain in a great display of the Olympic Peninsula’s forests. The other is by car, up a dirt road that circles the small mountain. On a clear day, your eyes will rest on the glacier-filled peaks of Mount Rainier, then fall to the emerald city of Seattle. Never pass this road up.

Best Time: Lunch, Sunset

Other cool areas nearby: 101 Brewery at Twana Roadhouse, The Timberhouse Restaurant, Falls View Campground and Hike


hood canal things to do

Murhut Falls is a two-tiered waterfall, a short hike away from Collins Creek Campground.

Collins Creek Campground and Murhut Falls


Why: Often passed over, the Duckabush River region along Hood Canal offers amazing camping, great river access, and easy hikes to gorgeous waterfalls. A favorite lunchtime spot just a few miles away from Highway 101 is the Collins Creek Campground. Up the gravel forest service road from Collins Creek, Murhut Falls gives visitors of all abilities a fun little trail to hike to see a gorgeous two-tiered waterfall from a well-maintained trail. Closer to the paved road, the US Forest Service also maintains Interrorem Cabin and access to a historic fishing area along the Dosewallips called the Ranger Hole Trail. The short trail is easy to walk and gives impressive views of the always beautiful Duckabush River.

Best Time: Lunch

Other cool areas nearby: Lena Lake, Hama Hama Oysters


Twanoh State Park


Why: Located east of the Great Bend of Hood Canal, Twanoh State Park gives off great views of Hood Canal, incredible access to shellfish harvesting, and access to one of the warmest saltwater beach in all of Washington State. Sporting over half a mile of shoreline, this areas gives visitors a chance to see all sorts of wildlife, ranging from deer and eagles, to seals and porpoises. Perfect for a side trip off of Highway 101, Twanoh State Park is an excellent place to unwind after a day of hiking, or a perfect spot to take in lunch along the beautiful beaches of Hood Canal.

Best Time: Any time.

Other cool areas nearby: Hunter Farms, Lucky Dog Casino, Alderbrook Resort and Spa