GriffinNeighbors Discussion Group is Online Community, Your Way

Maybe you weren’t aware, but the Griffin Neighborhood Association offers an online discussion group, called “GriffinNeighbors,” which is available to all area residents. You don’t have to be a member of the GNA to participate. The GriffinNeighbors discussion group is a way for local residents to discuss issues of importance to one another, send out announcements of upcoming events of interest to the local community, and make plans. Using the power of a free service, called Yahoo! Groups, local residents can get the word out fast and easy.

With the GriffinNeighbors discussion group, local residents subscribe – they choose to become members of the free group, or they don’t. There’s no spamming, since the group isn’t open to the entire world. To become a member, send an email to and tell us you want to join and roughly where you live. We’ll send you an invitation and, if you respond, you’re in.

Then, whenever you want to send a message out to everyone in the group, just send an email to Your message is copied out and sent to everyone in the group.

Messages come to you with a subject line that begins with “[Griffin Neighbors]” so it’s easy to see what’s coming from the group and, if you want, to send those messages to different email folders.

If you receive a message from the group, and want to reply, just click “Reply” and your reply is sent back to everyone in the group. Careful, though! If you want to reply only to the person who sent the message to the group, click “Forward” and forward your message to only the person who sent it.

“But,” you say, “I don’t want to be peppered with email messages, day and night!” The GriffinNeighbors discussion group allows you to participate in a way that works for you. Sure, you can choose to receive every message, in your email inbox, as soon as it comes across the discussion group. But, you can choose to receive a “daily diary.” That’s a single email that contains copies of all messages sent across the discussion group that day.

A third option is to choose to receive only “Special Notices”. These are very rarely sent, so your inbox won’t get much mail, at all, from the GriffinNeighbors discussion group. If you choose to receive only special notices, you can read all the messages by going to the group’s web site at With a free Yahoo! ID, you can log on to the group and read an archive of all messages that have been sent across the group.

What else can subscribers do, on the GriffinNeighbors discussion group? Well, with a free Yahoo! ID, subscribers can share photos, share links to other destinations on the web, share files, and poll the group subscribers.

Recently, subscribers to the GriffinNeighbors group have discussed hunting on Eld Inlet, events such as the installation of a local forest garden, criminal activity in the area, and possible locations for a new readerboard to be purchased for the Griffin School District.

So, here’s your invitation to join the GriffinNeighbors Discussion group and join in the conversation. Email with your request to join the group today.

Olympia Family Barter Faire “Fun-Raiser” – February 28

The Olympia Family Barter Faire is holding an event to support their mission. The “fun-raiser” will feature a Chili Feed and Local Foods Dinner, Networking Opportunities, Variety Show and Dance Party with Olympia’s own Erev Rav — certified kosher live Klezmer music, Fire and Music Making!

Prosperity Grange, Steamboat Island Road
Saturday, February 28
6:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Cost: Sliding scale $10-$30

Can’t afford the cost? No worries! Contact the barter faire at to volunteer.

What is a barter faire? It is a two-day event, previously held this last September, where local and regional vendors will come together in a family style gathering to barter their crafts, produce, cuisine, skills, and collections of stuff. The location will be in a beautiful rural spot near Olympia. There will be camping and daytime visitors, singing, dancing, music, conversation, and many volunteer opportunities.

What’s the Mission of the Faire? The Olympia Family Barter Faire is being created to build community, support a local economy, provide educational opportunities through workshops and skill shares, promote the arts, and work towards local sustainability. Their events will encompass values that reflect a respect for diversity and the vision of a socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable society.

Best Buy Now Offers (mostly free) Electronics Recycling

You may have read, recently, that a statewide local electronics recycling program has been inundated with material and is asking that people delay sending in their electronic recyclables, at least for awhile. But, now we receive news that Best Buy has expanded its electronics recycling program to every U.S. store, providing an easy, mostly-free alternative to dumpster-chucking for anyone without a dedicated e-cycler nearby.

The caveats: Best Buy isn’t accepting hard drives (because of privacy concerns, you should consider always pulling the hard drive and demolishing it, from every computer you recycle), TVs or monitors bigger than 32 inches, anything containing Freon, or anything classified as an “appliance,” like a refrigerator, microwave, or the like. And each TV, monitor, and laptop costs a $10 fee to recycle, but Best Buy gives you a $10 gift card in return. They’re also only taking two items per household, per day, so don’t plan on making a last-day-before-moving trip to the big blue and gold.

Locally, there are other options for either recycling or committing your still-operating electronic device for reuse. If your equipment still works, you can offer it free, using a couple of online services:

Olympia Reusables
2 Good 2 Toss

Please remember that electronic waste is often hazardous waste.

Interesting Eco-Tip of the Day:
Along the lines of “How To Make Printer Ink & Toner Last Longer,” we have “Ecofont.” Use 20% less ink, just by changing to this free typeface.

Karen Valenzuela Sworn In as Commissioner, County Restructuring and Campaign Ahead

Thurston County Superior Court Judge and GNA Board member Chris Wickham officially swore in Thurston County’s newest Commissioner, Karen Valenzuela (pictured to left), this last Friday. The Olympian is reporting “It is the second time in state history that all three seats on a county commission have been held by women, according to the Washington State Association of Counties.”

On March 1st the County will begin a major reorganization which will reduce the number of departments led by appointed directors from 16 to eight.

In a press release from the County, the reconfigured departments were identified as:

Public Works, which includes Roads, Solid Waste, Utilities, Engineering and Capital Projects;

Parks and Recreation, which includes Parks and Trails, the County Fairgrounds and Historic Preservation;

Central Services, which includes facility maintenance, Geodata, Equipment Rental and other internal services;

Resource Stewardship, which includes development services, storm water and lakes management, noxious weeds, WSU extension, agricultural lands, and the Puget Sound and Chehalis partnerships.

Public Health & Social Services, which includes Public Health, Social Services, Environmental Health, Housing, Veterans Assistance and Pacific Mountain Consortium.

Strategic Planning, which includes the internal services of Human Resources, Finance and Budget and Board of Commissioners support; and the external services of Long Range Planning, Capital Facilities Planning, Economic Development, and Regional Sustainability.

Emergency Services, which includes Emergency Management and Medic One, and

The Office of Assigned Counsel.

The term of Commissioner Bob Macleod, who resigned at the end of December, expires next year. Valenzuela has already filed to run in that race, in a campaign to be managed by former Olympia City Councilman Matthew Green.

According to the Olympian, Erik Landaas, who finished sixth in the [Thurston County Democratic] party’s nomination process, also filed paperwork to run for the seat. Susan Bogni, Macleod’s former assistant who finished second in the party balloting, said she’s strongly considering a run.

Green Office Products Workshop & Show – February 21st

Local business is offering a free Green Office Products Workshop & Show at Prosperity Grange on Saturday, February 21st.

Saturday, February 21
10:00am to 4:00 pm

Prosperity Grange, Steamboat Island Rd

Green Office Products
Green Office Supplies
Recycled Paper
Tree Free Paper
Green Cleaning
Energy Efficient Lighting
Eco Furniture

Air Cleaning
Paper Making
and Others

Demonstrators needed, for paper making and other demonstrations. Contact Yellow Bear Journeys at 918-8121 for more information.

  • Find Green Office Products for your Home or Office
  • Learn what’s sustainable and what to avoid
  • Local and National Sources
  • Discover the Advantages of Green Office Products
  • Have Fun!
  • Win Door Prizes

Free to the Public Donations Accepted
Please come wearing as little fragrance as possible

And, please bring a gift of food for the food bank

Workshop & Show provided by
Ecotours; Workshops; Consulting

Host Families Needed for YMCA Youth Legislature in May

For three days in May over 500 student participants from around the state take over the Capitol and run a mock legislative session. In order to ensure all students, regardless of their financial situation, are able to participate in the Youth Legislature Program, YMCA Youth & Government offers opportunities for local families to host students during their stay in Olympia. This eliminates the cost of expensive hotel stays and offers a unique experience for volunteers and participants alike.

Could you host one or more students, during the mock legislature, May 6-9, 2009?

Volunteering as a Host Family during the YMCA Youth Legislature is a great opportunity to:

  • Meet involved and motivated students from around Washington.
  • Support the future of your community by supporting your future leaders.
  • Be part of the democratic process by contributing to the education of our state’s youth.

For more information, or to volunteer as a host family, please call Sarah LaGrange, Americorps Volunteer Coordinator, at 360-357-3475 or by email at

For more information on YMCA Youth & Government, click here.

St. Christopher’s Community Preschool Open House

You’re invited to St. Christopher’s Community Preschool’s Open House, Monday, March 16th.

Join us to learn about the wonderful programs we have planned for children 3 to 6 years old for the 2009 – 2010 school year.

Meet our Director and Preschool Board.

Monday, March 16
5 PM to 8 PM (drop by when you can)
St. Christopher’s Community Preschool
3320 – 79th Ave. NW

Our new entrance is on Steamboat Island Road, just north of 79th.

For questions, please call the church at 866-2111.

We look forward to seeing you!

Text provided by St. Christopher’s Community Preschool
“Teaching Small Wonders”

Thurston County Sheriff Alert: Armed Robbery at Subway

At approximately 8:45 PM Friday, January 30th. an 18-year old female clerk working alone at the Subway sandwich shop located at 6541 Sexton Dr NW Olympia was robbed at gun point.

Two African American males, each wearing dark clothing, gloves, and a gray colored ski mask entered the business and ordered the employee to empty the cash register.

After giving the money to the robbers the employee was ordered to the rear of the business where her hands and legs were tied using plastic flex ties. The gunmen fled through the front door; a vehicle was heard leaving the area.

Based on the employee’s description and images from a surveillance tape the suspects appeared to be between 20-25 years of age. One appeared to be 6’5” or taller weighing about 250 pounds. He was also carrying a large handgun. The second man appeared to about 5’8” tall.

The case has been assigned to the Detective Division. At this time we do not know the identity of the suspects or have a vehicle description.

If you have any information, please call the Sheriff’s Office at 360-786-5500 or Crime Stoppers 493-2222.

To view the store video click on this link:

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