Local Residents Call on Commissioners to End Hunting on Eld Inlet

The end of duck hunting season in late January brought a new controversy to the table for residents both inside and out of the Griffin area. Many fueled by this event have taken a stand in the form of a petition and a plea to the County Commissioners to end hunting in Eld Inlet and on its surrounding land due to population density and the concern for safety and quality of life.

Click here to read an article which ran in The Olympian on May 10. Click here to read the May 12th clarification The Olympian ran, regarding that article.

Paul Taylor, of Taylor Shellfish, ran an article in the May 30th issue of The Olympian. Click here to read that one.

Click here to read a letter to editor, published May 21st, from local resident Warren Arnold.

Local residents calling upon the County Commissioners to end hunting on Eld Inlet have already circulated a petition, by hand, and many signatures were collected. An online version of the petition is now available. The petition reads, simply:

To: Thurston County Commissioners

The signatures contained herein petition for the Thurston County Code, chapter 10.04-Discharge of Firearms: “except for self-defense or slaughter of domestic animals or target shooting” to extend to include the area of the entire body of water named Eld Inlet and the land surrounding Eld Inlet in Olympia, Wa., Thurston County.

Click here to add your name to the online petition.

Where do you stand on hunting on Eld Inlet? Have you signed either the hand-circulated or online petition? Click on the link below to leave your comments.

How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World – June 9

Quite an ambitious topic, from the next event at the Science Café of Olympia: “Solutions from the Underground: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World.”

Earth, our biosphere, is quickly changing. Environmental and human health are inextricably interconnected, and life support systems that have allowed humans to thrive are eroding. Fungi, particularly mushrooms, offer promising practical solutions that capitalize on the mycelium’s diverse properties. Fungi are the grand molecular disassemblers in nature, decomposing plants and animals, and creating soils and the food web of life.

Paul Stamets of Fungi Perfecti, LLC. in Olympia will discuss the evolution of mushrooms in ecosystems and how fungi can help heal environments. Paul’s work with mycelium shows how these largely untapped organisms can replace chemical insecticides and break down toxic wastes, including petroleum-based products, into nontoxic forms. His recent research also shows that mushrooms have a surprisingly broad range of anti-infective properties that inhibit bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Paul will present six inventions that may help steer ecosystems and humanity toward a healthier future.

7:00 pm on Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Barnes & Noble Booksellers (in the cookbook alcove)
1530 Black Lake Blvd. SW, Olympia, WA

Coming in July:
New and re-emerging infectious diseases. A presentation by Ted White, Ph.D., University of Washington / Seattle Biomedical Research Institute.

Science Café of Olympia provides an informal atmosphere where people both with and without scientific background can meet to gain a better understanding of interesting topics in science and technology. After a brief presentation by an expert in the field, the meeting will be opened to discussions. Science Cafés are found nationwide and are loosely affiliated with the U.K.-based Cafe Scientifique, an international organization promoting public engagement with science. The Sciencecafes.org website is produced by the Science Unit of WGBH in Boston in association with Sigma Xi. Support for Science Café of Olympia is provided in part by the Puget Sound Chapter of The American Chemical Society.


We thank Barnes & Noble for providing an inviting gathering spot and to its staff for their enthusiastic support of Science Café.

Griffin School District Budget Details Now Online

Like most school districts in the state, our local Griffin School District is under a great deal of financial pressure. Responding to heightened community awareness and (some) increased participation in the process of budgeting for next school year, the District has posted a considerable quantity of information on its web site.

Click here for the Griffin School District web site. Then, select the link to “Current Budget Planning Updates.”

Feline Friends to Hold Close Out Plant and Garage Sale June 6

On June 6th Feline Friends will hold a Close Out Plant Sale (most prices 1/2 of the original great price so they don’t have to winter over potted plants) and a Garage Sale. There will be different plants since we help coordinate all five of the animal rescue group’s plant sales in Thurston and Mason County. Leftovers from each of these sales is a bit different since community members donate some of the plants.

Satuday, June 6
9 AM to 3 PM
Griffin School

Feline Friends will be accepting garage sale donations on Friday, June 5th at the Griffin School between 6 PM and 8 PM. Donations of saleable, usable items are very welcome. If you need to make other arrangements to donate items, please give Diane or Ken Jacob a call.

Thanks so much on behalf of all the animals that are helped.

— Diane & Ken Jacob
Cameron Gardens

Feline Friends is a nonprofit 501(c)3 Cat Rescue and Adoption Organization providing refuge, aid and care for stray cats until permanent placement is obtained.

We are here to provide community service in the areas of rescue, medical services, placement, and spay and neuter. We are dedicated to the prevention of cruelty to cats and kittens through education. We are dedicated to strongly promoting spay/neuter to reduce and eventually eliminate the killing and abandonment of unwanted cats and kittens.

Popular Garden Rhapsodies Tour to be Held July 25th

Tickets are on sale and available online for this year’s popular Garden Rhapsodies Tour.

Click here to purchase tickets online, to get a list of where tickets can be purchased around town, and to get details on the seven gardens to be included in this year’s tour.

Tickets purchased online will be available at the WILL CALL area at the shuttle site which opens at 9:30 am the day of the tour:

Olympic National Forest Headquarters
1835 Black Lake Blvd. SW
Olympia, WA 98512

Saturday, July 25, 2009
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

You can get a map to the shuttle site by clicking here.

Shuttles taking guests on the tour will leave the will call area every 15 minutes.

Click here for Thurston County’s “Common Sense Gardening” web page.

Garden Rhapsodies is sponsored by Thurston County, WSU Cooperative Extension Native Plant Salvage Project, WSU Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Foundation, Olympia Symphony Guild, and the City of Olympia.

Shellfish in Your Front Yard – Free Workshop, May 23rd

Attend a Washington Sea Grant workshop in Olympia and learn about identifying, cultivating and safely harvesting shellfish on your beach.

Register now for this free workshop:
Saturday, May 23
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Prosperity Grange #315, 3701 Steamboat Island Rd. N.W., Olympia, Washington

Participants will learn about the biology of bivalve shellfish, which shellfish grow best on their beach type, and various methods for enhancing tidelands with clams, oysters and mussels. Each workshop will also focus on ways to protect water quality so that harvested shellfish will be safe to eat.

Workshop instructors include local shellfish farmers and Washington Sea Grant staff. Each workshop will feature classroom and on-the-beach activities.

Bring a sack lunch and your mud boots!

One-on-one technical assistance will also be offered to all participants, as part of the Bivalves for Clean Water program*.

Space is limited, so pre-registration is required. To register or for more information, contact Teri King or Janis McNeal, Washington Sea Grant, at wsgcanal@u.washington.edu or 360-432-3054.

*Funding for the Bivalves for Clean Water program is provided in party through EPA Grant Number C9-00044905 to the Washington Department of Ecology from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Department of Ecology allocates and administers funding for this project.

County Creates Web Page for Land Use Notices

Writing that “Informed public participation in planning matters is strongly encouraged by Thurston County government,” the County has created a new web page to help keep interested individuals and groups informed of the status of land use applications and other land use-related planning initiatives.

The County’s web page is now located at http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/permitting/Landuse_Activities/Landuse_Activities.htm

“As a service to interested persons who wish to be kept informed of proposed development projects, coming hearings or final actions, the Thurston County Development Services Department updates these web pages with current land use planning activities.”

The Griffin Neighborhood Association will continue to monitor for land use actions which affect properties generally within the boundaries of the Griffin School District and will strive to post notice of those actions, on the web site of the GNA. It’s always good to have many eyes on these notices, though, and area residents may find the availability of this information, on the County’s own web site, to be a real advantage.

Olympia World Affairs Council – “Dictatorship to Democracy” – May 21st

The Olympia World Affairs Council speaker’s series continues on Thursday, May 21st with Jack F. Nevin, District Court Judge and Chief Judge U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals.

Thursday, May 21
7:30 PM
Olympia Center, Room 101

TOPIC: “Dictatorship to Democracy”

Jack Nevin has helped emerging democracies throughout the world create effective justice systems to sustain and support a representative form of government. He has worked in this capacity in such diverse regions as the former Soviet Union, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, El Salvador and Argentina. His background in the US Army as a Brigadier General and his legal experience as Chief Judge of the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals has well prepared him for this demanding role.

He is currently a District Court Judge in Tacoma, Washington, but his responsibilities are amazing in their breadth. Judge Nevin has lectured on human rights in the African country of Malawi, has served as Presiding Judge for the Detention Review Commission in Kosovo and has helped the government of El Salvador in establishing the first victim assistance program. More recently he has focused his effort in the areas of post-conflict governance. He has been involved in judicial training and the development of a new criminal code in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the former Soviet Union; he has lectured in Argentina on the development of public disclosure legislation; and most recently he has contributed to a long-term project on reconstruction of the Iraqi court system.

Prior to his appointment to the Washington State bench, Judge Nevin’s practice focused on prosecution of organized criminal groups, including investigation of public corruption. In 2002 he was chosen Washington State Judge of the Year by the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association.

Judge Nevin has taught on the undergraduate and graduate level for twenty-four years. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at the Seattle University School of Law. He is a graduate of Washington State University and holds both MBA and JD degrees from Gonzaga University.

The Olympia World Affairs Council is non-profit and non-partisan, dedicated to providing a forum for many world voices and person-to-person discussions. It does not endorse positions or take specific stands on issues. For more information, see their web site at http://www.olympiawac.org/

WasteMobile and Community Recycling Days

So, you’ve replaced all your incandescent bulbs, with compact fluorescent? Those CFLs contain a small amount of mercury in them and ought not be thrown into your regular garbage, when they burn out. ‘Got an old television set, computer, stack of old tires, paints or chemicals to get rid of? May is your month.


Saturday, May 16, 2009
Griffin School District parking lot
10 AM to 4 PM

This is a hazardous waste collection event.

Accepted: Oil and latex paints, stains, adhesives, thinners, solvents, pesticides, all types of batteries, antifreeze, motor oil and filters, cleaners, pool and hobby chemicals, fluorescent light bulbs and tubes, propane cylinders, and other home-generated hazardous materials.

Only containers of 5 gallons or less will be accepted.

Not Accepted: Business or medical wastes, explosives, ammunition, radioactive materials, smoke detectors, electronics, garbage, yard waste, emty containers, or appliances.

Thurston County Recycle Days

Saturday, May 30, 2009
Thurston County Fairgrounds, Lacey
9 AM to 3 PM

Saturday, June 6, 2009
South Sound Speedway, Tenino
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Thurston County’s Community Recycle Days offer an easy way to recycle a variety of household items at reduced rates.

Click here
for a list of items accepted at Community Recycle Days.

Please complete this form and give it to staff when you arrive at the event (PDF).

Click here to read about what happened to our recycling center, formerly located at the Island Market.

As an alternative to throwing stuff away, if it’s still useful, consider giving it away, for free. OlyReusables, Freecycle and 2Good2Toss.com are three ideas.

The Annual “Death to Scotch Broom!” Blog Posting

Every year, around this time, all those yellow flags – those scotch broom flowers – come out to wave. Next will come the seeds and, next year, more scotch broom. There are noxious weeds and then there’s scotch broom. Now is an excellent time of year to get serious about reducing the amount of scotch broom on your property.

So, responsible rural property owners want to know: What makes scotch broom so bad?

Scotch broom is a prodigious seed producer. The seeds have hard coats enabling them to survive in the environment for up to 80 years. Once established, scotch broom forms dense brush fields over six feet tall. The brush fields diminish habitat for grazing animals, such as livestock and native animals. Areas of dense brush shade out and kill native grassland plants in invaded areas, and favor invasion by other woody, non-grassland plant species.

Scotch broom prevents reforestation, creates a high fire hazard, renders rangeland worthless and greatly increases the cost of maintenance of roads, ditches, power and telephone lines. Wildlife suffers as the growth becomes too dense for even quail and other ground birds to thrive. Being slightly toxic and unpalatable it is browsed very little by livestock.

If you cut your trees, so that a lot of sunlight reaches the ground, you’ve probably now got scotch broom to cut.

How do you eradicate scotch broom?

There are two schools of thought, those who say pull out the whole plant and those who will tell you, if you’re clever and your timing is right, all you need are a pair of lopping shears.

From the School of Pulling Out the Plant, we get these instructions:

Pull out the entire plant, including roots. When the soil is moist, small plants can be pulled easily by hand. Winter and spring are good seasons to do this.

Larger plants must be removed with a tool such as a Weed Wrench. Be sure to remove the entire plant. Broken stems re-sprout and are much harder to remove for the next person. Plants can be left where pulled.

One of the benefits of being a member of the Griffin Neighborhood Association is members can rent our Weed Wrench.

Not yet a member of the GNA? Dang, what are you waiting for?! Click here to join online.

From the School of Cutting Broom in Bloom, we get these instructions:

First, cut broom in bloom. Use loppers or small saws and cut broom right at ground level.

Broom puts all of its energy into making flowers. If you cut it while in bloom, it will most likely die in the summer’s dry heat.

If you have to make a choice, go after single plants and small infestation to prevent its spread.

If the broom is huge, cut off as many of the branches as you can. If the broom is small and not blooming, you can return and cut it next year when it blooms.

It is most important to not let the broom go to seed! Cut before June 17 (this date is from Vancouver Island’s “BroomBusters” web site, so it’s probably earlier, down here in the South Sound).

CUT DOWN ALL YELLOW FLOWERS so that they can not turn into seeds. Each scotch broom plant can produce 2,000 to 3,500 seed pods – which burst open, shooting seeds into adjacent soil. If you cut them while in bloom – no seeds!

HERBICIDES applied in the spring when new leaves are present are another effective control tool, but always remember to read the labels carefully and exercise extreme care when applying chemicals, especially near waterways.

DO NOT BURN SCOTCH BROOM! When exposed to fire, its seeds burst from their seedpods. Also, the smoke from burning scotch broom is actually toxic and may seriously irritate the respiratory tracts of you, your family, or your neighbors.

TAKE SCOTCH BROOM TO THE DUMP. The best way to get rid of scotch broom, once it is cut, is to take it to Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center.

The Thurston County Noxious Weed Control Agency offers the following information and services to the public: Educational presentations, plant identification especially those that may be noxious weeds, consults on your property, prescriptions for specific noxious weed problems and what the county approves for its own use, free disposal of designated noxious weeds at the Thurston County Waste and Recovery centers, and limited use of a manual removal tool called the wrench. Also available are many informational brochures and pamphlets as well as several videos.

So, responsible homeowner, get out there and cut your scotch broom!