Perchlorate Contamination a Possible Byproduct of July 4th Fireworks

Local residents may remember, a few years back, when news broke regarding studies that found the drinking water for more than 20 million Americans is contaminated with a a component of rocket fuel. The chemical, perchlorate, “interferes with normal thyroid function, may cause cancer and persists indefinitely in the environment.” Several theories were put forward, for possible sources of perchlorate in so much of the country’s drinking water. A recent study has identified a surprising source: fireworks fired over bodies of water can result in heightened levels of perchlorate in that water.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), now lists perchlorate, a common fireworks ingredient, as a “contaminant of concern.”

Responsible local residents should take care when they launch fireworks over bodies of water and to clean up their fireworks displays before water can wash over the firework remains.

According to an EPA study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, fireworks heavily contribute to perchlorate contamination of surrounding water bodies. Although Richard Wilkin, the study’s lead author and an environmental geochemist at the U.S. EPA’s National Risk Management Research Laboratory, says that his research establishes a direct link between firework displays and perchlorate water contamination, he adds that it also demonstrates the contaminant’s shortlivedness: concentrations fell to background levels after 1 to 2 months, possibly due to microbial degradation.

Some analysts point to studies indicating there are harmful health effects from even minute doses of perchlorate. These analysts argue that a national standard for perchlorate in drinking water should be no higher than one-tenth the level the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency currently recommends as safe.

It is important to note that, here in the Griffin Area, groundwater sources are very close to the surface. A lot of our property acts as aquifer recharge for our own drinking water. It is conceivable that drinking water contamination could result from contamination of surface water.

Thurston County Solid Waste would like to remind residents the materials left over from a fireworks display go in the trash bin only. Please do not place them in the recycling bins. While some fireworks packing does indeed contain paper or cardboard, there are many other items attached that make it non-recyclable such as the shiny coatings, plastic bases or tubes, and explosive residuals. These other materials contaminate the recyclables.

“A Short Course on Local Planning” – Free Program on July 7

The Planning Association of Washington and The Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development Present

“A Short Course on Local Planning”

Sponsored by The Evergreen State College and the City of Olympia

Room 101-102 at the Olympia Center
222 Columbia Street NW in downtown Olympia
6:30 – 9:30 pm
July 7, 2009

6:30 – 6:40 WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS – Janet Rogerson

The statutory basis of planning in Washington State, Constitutional issues in land use planning, the Open Public Meetings Act, the Appearance of Fairness Doctrine, conflicts of interest, quasi-judicial and legislative functions of the planning commission, ex parte communications and how to deal with them, the conduct of meetings, the uses (and misuses) of email, and recent case law affecting land use planning.

7:40 – 7:55 BREAK
7:55 – 8:00 ANNOUNCEMENTS – Janet Rogerson

An overview of the basic components of a comprehensive plan, including the goals of the plan, the basic elements which need to be addressed, the concepts of consistency and concurrency, and suggestions for involving citizens in the planning process.


The tools and techniques available for implementing the comprehensive plan, discussion of the role of the planning commission, how to develop good working relationships among the planning commission, elected officials, and planning staff, and suggestions for holding effective meetings and hearings.

9:00 – 9:30 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS – Everyone

Janet Rogerson, Senior Planner
Growth Management Services
Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development
PO Box 42525
906 Columbia St SW
Olympia, WA 98504

Jay P. Derr, Attorney at Law
Managing Partner – GordonDerr LLP
2025 First Avenue, Suite 500
Seattle, WA 98121-3140

Steve Butler, FAICP, Director of Planning & Community Development
City of SeaTac
4800 S. 188th Street
SeaTac, WA 98188

David Osaki, AICP, Deputy Director
Community Development
City of Lynnwood
19100 44th Avenue W.
PO Box 5008
Lynnwood, WA 98046-5008
(425) 670-5406

Commissioner Valenzuela Speaks Out on Finances, Natural Resources and Economic Prosperity

Earlier this month, we briefly profiled the candidates for County Commissioner in District #3. Today we hear from the incumbent candidate, Karen Valenzuela, regarding three important points in her campaign.

Sound management of Thurston County’s financial resources.

In a few short months as Thurston County’s newest Commissioner, Karen has proven her ability to make tough choices. She helped pass a lean county budget that streamlined county government while preserving critical county services. Her 20 years in public health and nine years on the Tumwater City Council have prepared her well to manage county government.

She will use our financial resources wisely by insisting on performance audits and freezing salaries, including her own. She’ll work for regulations that require growth to pay for itself and ensure that future spending cuts don’t limit the county’s ability to leverage state and federal monies.

Preserve Thurston County’s precious natural resources for our children and grandchildren.

The health of our community and natural resources is central to Karen’s core values. She’ll take a three-pronged approach to protect these resources: Acting to preserve farmlands and our county’s rural character, strengthen land use regulations, and support smart growth.

Karen sees that the very qualities that make Thurston County special are threatened. She will work to support the clean-up of Puget Sound and encourage thoughtful development that prevents environmental degradation.

Lay the groundwork for long-term economic prosperity for decades to come.

Karen rejects the false choice between jobs and preserving and protecting our precious natural resources. We need both, and she believes we can have both by harnessing the green economy. She’ll work to attract green industry that will bring family-wage jobs and long-term prosperity while helping to ensure we and future generations have clean air, clean water, and healthy farm and recreational lands.

We can’t afford NOT to invest in a strong educational system and green jobs. Karen will see that Thurston County leverages federal green energy dollars and work with other jurisdictions to develop business incubator projects that nurture green businesses and ensure there’s a trained workforce to support them.

– From People to Elect Karen Valenzuela

For more information, click here to visit the web site of People to Elect Karen Valenzuela.

Capitol Land Trust: A Model That Works

The Capitol Land Trust is a rare beast. It seemingly has no enemies.

Based in the state’s most political city, this diplomatic little environmental outfit has somehow managed to get blessed by both parties and toasted by clashing factions that rarely concur on much else.

Gov. Chris Gregoire and other top state Democrats praise the Trust. So do prominent Republicans. Many bureaucrats, preservationists, timber companies and homebuilders laud it too.

In fact, you can find just about anyone celebrating the Capitol Land Trust at its annual summer gala at the home of former Republican Secretary of State Ralph Munro who embraces his role as the Trust’s defacto ambassador.

The Capitol Land Trust’s ability to get along with seemingly everyone helps explain why this little group may get as big of a bang out of an environmental buck as any group around.

Through creative use of grants, donations and negotiations, the Trust has managed to buy properties and easements that have resulted in the permanent conservation of 3,000 acres in the area. And the Trust’s reputation, influence and support continue to snowball.

So, who are these guys?

Pull back the curtain and you’ll see the non-profit Trust survives on a staff of just four people – twice as many as it had two years ago – in a humble corner office in downtown Olympia.

Yet the Trust is actually quite formidable. Its staff is small, but boasts two masters of environmental science, a Ph.D in forest economics and a law degree. The Trust also sports a savvy board of directors and a cadre of volunteers that include esteemed biologists and property lawyers.

Atop it all, is the Trust’s unassuming and articulate director, Eric Erler.

“I think what makes the Capitol Land Trust so effective is the people,” said Brian Abbott, salmon section manager of the Washington State Recreation and Conservation office. “It’s the board, and it’s Eric. He gets along with people.”

Abbott’s agency staffs the state panel which oversees salmon recovery grants and approved six key Capitol Land Trust shoreline projects last year worth a combined $1.79 million.

Abbott says Capitol Land Trust has earned the state’s trust by making smart proposals, handling delicate negotiations with landowners and following through on projects.

He also praised the Trust’s ability to generate bipartisan support, most visibly in the form of the widely respected Ralph Munro. “A lot of people listen to what Ralph says. Ralph is part of the local landscape. It certainly helps.”

The Capitol Land Trust also benefits from the fact that its practical approach to complex environmental challenges is increasingly in vogue.

Tighter regulations infuriate property owners. Expensive habitat restoration projects outrage fiscal conservatives. Preservation projects – especially when negotiated amicably with consenting landowners – don’t tend to upset anyone.

Plus, the purchase or donation of critical properties is usually far more effective and far cheaper than trying to restore damaged habitat. Just as it’s impossible to rebuild an old growth forest, the smartest engineers can’t re-create intricate estuaries like Budd Inlet’s Gull Harbor, where the Trust cobbled together easement deals that conserve two miles of wild shoreline.

Sometimes the trust must pay full market value to conserve properties. But in many cases, landowners are willing to sell at a bargain in exchange for the charitable tax break that comes with selling to the Trust at a discount. Still other landowners donate their properties outright.

“We can’t always pay full value,” says Erler. “We have to get creative. We have to identify the top priorities and only seek money for those,” the Trust director says before adding, “We can’t afford not to succeed.”

During the past few years, the Trust has found a way to protect ten miles of wild South Sound shoreline through purchases , donations or conservation easements.

“What we’re doing is not saving the world by any stretch,” Erler says.”But what we’re doing, I believe, is a model for what can succeed.”

Rinee Merritt says Capitol Land Trust is not your average local land trust.

“They have an excellent reputation with county and state and federal people. They play well with others,” says Merritt, former project manager for Trust for Public Lands, a national non-profit that works with local land trusts.

Merritt says Capitol Land Trust’s “well-rounded” local support is unique, noting that many land trusts only court liberal Democrats.

Capitol Land Trust courts everyone. One of its biggest corporate sponsors is Green Diamond Resource Company, a Shelton-based timber company. The Trust’s close advisers include one of Olympia’s most prolific home builders. Another enthusiastic and valuable backer is Doug Sutherland, the Republican Washington State Lands Commissioner.

“They’ve worked really well with us,” Sutherland says, “helping us identify lands we feel are important.”

Even John Dodge, a grizzled Olympian columnist who has watched the rise and fall of South Sound environmental groups for years, finds the Trust’s bipartisan prowess noteworthy.

After attending a Capitol Land Trust breakfast in March, Dodge described an unusual gathering at which “the pro-growth and anti-growth factions check their guns at the door and rally around the community benefits of protecting valuable open space in a non-regulatory way.”

“Conservation is the concern of all of us,” Trust board president Pene Speaks told the breakfast crowd. “It’s not a partisan issue.”


Jim Lynch is the author of “The Highest Tide” and a former reporter for the Seattle Times and Portland Oregonian.

Capitol Land Trust is a nonprofit conservation organization whose mission is to further collaborative and strategic conservation of southwest Washington’s essential natural areas and working lands.

Text and photos from a flyer available from the Capitol Land Trust and reprinted with permission from the author and the Capitol Land Trust.

Notice of Public Hearing on Growth Management Act Compliance Effort – June 23

A cursory review of this information seems to indicate that the topic of this meeting will not affect property in our area. But, we’ve received notice of a public hearing in the County’s ongoing effort to comply with the Growth Management Act.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Thurston County Board of County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 5:30 p.m., in Room 280, Building 1 of the Thurston County Courthouse Complex, 2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW, Olympia, WA 98502.

The purpose of the public hearing is to accept public comment on the following Growth Management Act (GMA) Compliance Action: proposed amendments to map M-15, Future Land Use and M-42, Designated Agriculture and Forest Lands of the Thurston County Comprehensive Plan as well as amendments to the official Thurston County Zoning Map. Amendments to these maps are being considered due to the Western Washington Growth Management Hearing Board’s (WWGMHB) April 22, 2009 Compliance Order requiring Thurston County to determine if additional land meets the County’s designation criteria for agricultural lands of long-term commercial significance. Parcels that meet the revised designation criteria may be rezoned to Long-Term Agriculture one dwelling unit per twenty acres or Nisqually Agriculture one dwelling unit per forty acres. The County may also consider modifying its designation criteria to exclude lands predominately covered by wetlands from being designated as agricultural lands of long-term commercial significance.

Thurston County Comprehensive Plan: Map M-15, Future Land Use and M-42, Designated Agriculture and Forest Lands may be amended to reflect the designation of additional agricultural lands of long-term commercial significance. Designation criteria for agricultural lands of long-term commercial significance may be modified to exclude lands predominately covered by wetlands.

Official Zoning Map of Thurston County, Washington. The Official Zoning Map may be amended to reflect the designation of additional long-term agricultural lands of commercial significance.

Information regarding the proposed changes is available by contacting Olivia Terwilleger at (360) 754-3355 ext. 5477,, or by visiting the Permit Assistance Center at Thurston County Development Services Department at the address shown below.

Those wishing to testify should appear and be heard. If unable to attend, written comments regarding the proposed amendments may be mailed to Olivia Terwilleger, Development Services Department, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia, WA 98502. Written comments must be received by the close of the hearing on June 23, 2009.

If you need special accommodations to participate in this meeting, please call (360) 754-4001 by 10:00 a.m. at least three days prior to the meeting. Ask for the ADA Coordinator. Citizens with hearing impairment may call the TDD line at (360) 786-5489.

For more information click here to, visit the County’s web pages on the Growth Management Act.

Holiday Valley Beef is a Local Provider of High Quality, Grass-Fed Beef

When Mike Rose and Janice Boase bought the property overlooking Holiday Valley, they did not fully appreciate how tall grass could grow (8 feet by the way) nor that they would soon be in the business of raising grass-fed, Scottish Highland cattle.

A tractor with rotary mower was their first grass management solution, but it seemed important to seek a less mechanical solution. Goats were the first addition to the grass management team, however goats were quickly overwhelmed by acres of 8 foot grass and the tractor was called back into action. Bigger mouths and bigger stomachs were needed. Cattle might be the solution. Before taking on cattle, however, guidance was sought at the library and through the Thurston County Conservation District (TCD).

The TCD analyzed the soil and made recommendations for improving the soil and the quality of the grass. They advised Mike and Jan that cattle know how to do everything but raise grass. Mike and Jan need to raise grass and then let the cattle do the rest. So instead of trying to control the grass, Jan and Mike were seeking ways to grow more, high quality, pasture grass.

The Thurston County Conservation District provided strategies for improving drainage, managing manure, and rotational grazing. They lent a fertilizer spinner and manure spredder. On the recommendation of the TCD, Mike and Jan built a feeding shed and a manure storage shed. After two years work, the pasture is well managed; water quality is protected, and a small, but sustainable, herd of Scottish Highland cattle inhabit the property.

Jan and Mike chose to raise Scottish Highland beef cattle because of their smaller size, tolerance for the Pacific Northwest climate, and for the amazing quality of the beef. The cattle graze most of the year on the high quality pasture. Alfalfa hay is the winter feed. No grain supplements are needed. The herd is small and in balance with the land. After weaning, the animals spend their entire lives on the property.

Jan and Mike are now able to sell two steers per year for beef. Harvest is in early August. They seek local customers for their limited supply of grass fed beef. For more information on Holiday Valley Beef, contact Mike or Jan, at 866-3516 or visit

Journal of Peter Puget Describes Our Area in 1792

As any area student will tell you, the Puget Sound is named after Peter Puget, who sailed on the HMS Discovery, with Captain George Vancouver. Below is a portion of Puget’s journal, transcribed by local historian and author Steve Lundin. This portion of the journal describes his trip down Totten, Eld, and Budd Inlets. Incidentally, Vancouver anchored Discovery near present day Seattle and sent Puget in command of two rowing craft to survey south, in May and into June, 1792. So, you see, Puget wasn’t in our area with a ship like that depicted in the photo here. The portion of the journal here starts part way down page 197.

[Puget refers to “Friendly Indians” who followed his boats near Nisqually Flats.] They did not leave us to after we had passed the SSW Channel and still conducted themselves in the most inoffensive and peaceable Manner — by Noon we had reached the Continental Shore that now trended about West and pursued it for Ten Miles to an Island where we were glad to stop and erect our Tents to avoid a threatening Squall from the SE about two it came on with Thunder Lightning and a heavy Gust which continued without Intermission all the Afternoon The Rain fell in perfect torrents; we therefore were obliged to remain in our Quarters Till Next Morning Thursday May 24th.

We again set out Early and pursuing the Continent which now trended to the Northward of West by 8 we had determined the termination of this Branch about 12 Miles from Wednesday Island [probably Herron Island in Case Inlet], here we tryed the Seine and caught only one Salmon trout. from this termination we entered another Branch trending in a SW and Southerly and in various Directions [Pickering Passage, between Harstine Island and the Olympic Peninsula] but not more than 1/4 or 1/2 a Mile Broad we continued on till 6 in the Evening when we brought too for the Night and dinner, from this Situation we could see a Channel to the SE [either Peales Passage or Squaxin Passage] by which we hoped to return into the Main Branch through an Opening in the Opposite Shore where the last Canoes had left us.

Early Next Morning Friday May 25th we had a Survey on the Provisions which we found would last till Wednesday next. I therefore thought it best to determine this alternative Navigation and save the trouble of a Second Expedition to this Extent [page 198] We had likewise been successful in procuring a good Quantity of Clams which with Nettle tops Fat Hen and gooseberry Tops greatly assisted the customary allowance of Provisions and Yesterday during a hard Shower of Rain we were particularly fortunate in that Respect — — for the Boats could have loaded with the former, and the People were not averse to eating Crows of which we could always procure plenty. Therefore, as our continuance out could not be attended with any Inconvenience, but would be saving time, We pursued our Examination of the Southern narrow Inlet [Totten Inlet] the termination of which we sounded out by Noon — In this Branch were many beautiful Spots the Low Surrounding country though thickly covered with Wood had a very pleasant Appearance, now in the height of Spring. We had already passed during this Expedition several Small deserted Villages which were supposed to be only the temporary Habitations of Fishermen, we took advantage of the Remaining part of the Tide to come down as far as possible and about five Miles from the termination stopped to Dine

In the Evening we were fortunate in reaching the SE passage seen from last Nights Sleeping Place where we pitched out Tents in a very pleasant Situation; Early next morning Saturday May 26th with a continuance of favorable Weather we pursued another Small Branch [Eld Inlet] that nearly ran parallel to the one we had determined yesterday. About an Hour after we had set out, An Indian Village made it Appearance from whence some Canoes came off perfectly unarmed He pointed that we were near the Termination of this Arm, which Intelligence we found true; In our Way down we landed for a Short time and were received by the Inhabitants with all the Friendship and Hospitality we could have expected — These people I should suppose were about Sixty in Number of all Ages and Descriptions they lived under a Kind of Shed open at the Front and Sides. The Women appeared employed in the Domestic Duties such as curing Clams and fish, making Baskets of various Colours and as nearly woven that they are perfectly watertight. The Occupations of the Men I believe consists chiefly in Fishing, constructing Canoes and performing all the Labourious Work of the Village; Though it was perfectly Curiosity which had induced us to land, yet that was the sooner satisfied by the horrid Stench which came from all parts of these Habitations, with which they were delighted.

The Natives had but Two Sea Otter Skins which were purchased and a variety of Marmot, Rabbit Raccoon Deer and Bear skins were also procured The Men had a War Garment on, it consisted of a very thick Hide supposedly made from the Moose Deer, and well prepared — I have no doubt but it [page 199] is a Sufficient Shield against Arrows, though not against Fire Arms The Garment reaches from the Shoulders down to the Knees, this however was got in exchange for a Small piece of Copper, from which we may suppose they were not of much Value, they likewise disposed of some well constructed Bows and Arrows, in Short it was only to ask, and have your Wish gratified, the only Difference, I perceived between our present Companions and former Visitors, were the Extravagance with Which their Faces were Ornamented. Streaks of Red Ochre and Black Glimmer, were on some, others entirely with the Former, and a few that gave the Preference to the Latter — ever Person had a fashion of his own, and to us who were Strangers to Indians, this Sight conveyed a Stronger Force of the Savageness of the Native Inhabitants, then any other Circumstance we had hitherto met with; not but their Conduct, friendly and inoffensive, had already merited our warmest Approbation, but their Appearance was absolutely terrific. And it will frequently occur, that the Imagination receives a much greater Shock by such unusual Objects, than it would otherwise would, was that Object divested of its Exterior Ornaments or Dress, or the Sight was more familiarized to People in a State of Nature and Though we could not behold these Ornaments with the same satisfactory Eye as themselves, yet in receiving the looking Glasses, each appeared well Satisfied with his own Fashion, at least the Paint was not at all altered. — They likewise had the Hair covered with the Down of Birds; which certainly was a good substitute for Powder, and the Paint only differed in the Colours and not the Quantity used by our own Fair Country women — In those two Instances we meet with some Resemblance to our Customs and I believe the above mentioned Ornaments were of a Ceremonious Nature for our Reception at the Village — —

From Friendly Inlet we pulled up another [Budd Inlet] in the same Direction and landed not far from its termination to Breakfast whither the Indians from the last Arm had followed us. here they made Signs, that this Branch was the Same as their own, which after a Quarter of an hours Row we found to be the case.

Steve Lundin is a long-time resident of the Griffin community located in northwest Thurston County. He received a B.A. degree from the University of Washington and a J.D. degree from the University of Washington Law School and recently retired as a senior counsel for the Washington State House of Representatives after nearly 30 years.

He is recognized as the local historian of the Griffin area and has written a number of articles on local history and a book entitled Griffin Area Schools, available from the Griffin Neighborhood Association at a cost of $10.

Lundin also wrote a comprehensive reference book on local governments in Washington State entitled The Closest Governments to the People – A Complete Reference Guide to Local Government in Washington State. The book costs $85, plus shipping and handling. It is available on the web from the Division of Governmental Studies and Services, Washington State University, or from WSU Extension.

If you have old historic photos of the Griffin area, or family stories of the old days in the Griffin area, please contact Steve Lundin at Steve is most interested in photos of the old two-story Grange Hall in the Griffin area and the old Schneider’s Prairie schoolhouse that burned to the ground in 1926.

Three Candidates File to Run for County Commissioner in Our District

The filing deadline for candidates in the upcoming County Commissioner election is now past us and we can see there will be three candidates – 2 Democrats and 1 Republican – vying for the position in District 3. Only those of us in the District can vote for the position, in the primary on August 18. The top two vote-getters will advance to the General Election, where all voters in the County can vote for the position, on November 3.

The incumbent, Democrat Karen Valenzuela, who replaced Bob Macleod when he resigned this last December 31st, is running to retain her seat. She is opposed by Republican Pat Beehler, 64, who is a professional surveyor, and Democrat Dan Venable, 59, owner of Advance Environmental Inc., a company which tests for and removes mold from dwellings.

And, would you believe it? The seat is up again next year when the four-year term expires.

The Republican candidate is Pat Beehler. This last May, when Beehler announced his candidacy, the Olympian wrote:

He said his top priority would be navigating the county through its budget crisis, which has resulted in two rounds of reductions to programs and services and the loss of 10 percent of its work force since 2008.

He said that, if he’s elected, commissioners can return the county to a responsible budget by prioritizing public safety, health and roads and cutting wasteful spending without raising taxes.

Beehler said he didn’t have any “overriding examples” of wasteful spending but added that, if elected, he would work with department heads to assess and conduct audits of spending to save money.

Beehler has endorsements from former commissioner Judy Wilson, State Senator Dan Swecker, and others. See his campaign web site at for more.

Karen Valenzuela couldn’t have chosen a more difficult time to become a Commissioner. Plummeting revenues have blown a giant hole in the budget and the County’s Critical Areas Ordinance has been under development for nearly 10 years.

According to her campaign web site, at, environmental protection is a priority.

Managing growth, so that we can afford to provide quality public services, is also important. I want to preserve our best agricultural lands, because having nearby farms that sell food in our local Farmer’s Markets (Tumwater, Olympia, and Lacey) is a form of self-reliance I consider crucial. I have a five-point action plan that I am already at work on:

1. Bring sanity to the budget
2. Return to the letter and spirit of the growth management act
3. Confront climate change
4. Re-engage in Human Services’ partnerships
5. Work on inter-jurisdictional cooperation

Valenzuela already has the endorsement of fellow Commissioner Sandra Romero, many of the Olympia and Tumwater council members, Thurston Conservation Voters, and others.

We were unable to find a campaign web site for Dan Venable. However, the Olympian ran a relatively lengthy article, this last April 1st, when Venable announced his campaign. In that article, “Venable said the three commissioners lack leadership, and he criticized their handling of the county’s budget crisis and the dispute with Sheriff Dan Kimball over proposed budget cuts.”

“There should be some other ways of coming up with a budget fix instead of laying off employees that are going to be really hard to replace,” he said.

Venable provided one example – closer scrutiny of consultant contracts – and said he needed to do more research.

He said other priorities would be youth and alternative court programs.

Venable was defeated by Bob Macleod, in the 2006 primary which eventually led to Macleod winning the seat as County Commissioner for our district.

UPDATED 6/23/09: The campaign to elect Dan Venable now has a web site at

What are your priorities in a County Commissioner? Click on the “comments” link below and tell us what you’re looking for, this election.

Learn More About Capitol Land Trust June 24

Come spend a warm June evening with Capitol Land Trust at the historic Jacob Smith House overlooking Mt. Rainier.

This is an excellent opportunity to find out about Capitol Land Trust or to introduce your friends to the conservation work happening here in southwest Washington.

This is a non-fundraising event; leave your checkbooks at home. The Trust will provide food, drink and entertainment — come as you are!

Wednesday June 24, 2009
6:00 to 8:00 PM
The Jacob Smith House
4500 Intelco Loop SE, Lacey

Click here for directions and more information about the Jacob Smith House.

RSVP appreciated. Contact Kathleen Ackley for more details via email or at (360) 943-3012.

“Border Songs” Latest Book from Local Author Jim Lynch

“Border Songs,” the new book from local author and Griffin area resident Jim Lynch, is being released this month. writes, “Rich in characters contending with a swiftly changing world and their own elusive hopes and dreams, Border Songs is at once comic and tender and momentous–a riveting portrait of a distinctive community, an extraordinary love story and fiction of the highest order.”

Mr. Lynch, whose previous book is the acclaimed “The Highest Tide,” will be reading from “Border Songs” on June 16 at 7 PM in the Olympia Ballroom (above the Urban Onion, downtown Olympia).

Click on the image of the book cover, below, for Amazon’s review of the book and for a Q&A with Mr. Lynch.

As always, purchases of products from can benefit the Griffin Neighborhood Association, if you link through the GNA web site, or click on the links below.

If there’s no photo above, of the book cover, click here and you’ll get to Amazon just fine.

UPDATED June 14: Click here to read the Olympian article, which ran in today’s paper.

Full disclosure: We’re pleased to point out that Jim is also serving on the Board of the Griffin Neighborhood Association.