Mexico and U.S. Relations: History and Recent Developments

The Olympia World Affairs Council will present a free public lecture on May 20th at 7:30pm at the Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St., Olympia.
Jorge Madrazo, former Attorney General of Mexico as well as former Mexican Consul General in Seattle, will discuss Mexico’s history and the relations between the U.S. and Mexico. His talk will also focus on recent developments along the border including drugs and border violence and the Immigration Law recently passed in Arizona. Senor Madrazo is currently Vice-President of Community Relations, Sea Mar Community Health Centers.

Public Hearing – Amendments to County’s Comprehensive Plan – May 27th

The Thurston County Board of County Commissioners will hold a Public Hearing on May 27th regarding proposed changes to the Thurston County Comprehensive Plan and the Tumwater/Thurston County Joint Plan.

May 27
5:30 pm
Thurston County Courthouse Complex, 2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW, Olympia, WA 98502 in Room 152

The proposed amendments will affect the transportation element of the plan, as well as the land use and zoning of property in the southern unincorporated portion of the City of Tumwater’s Urban Growth Area.

The southwest portion of the City of Tumwater Urban Growth Area has a number of unique environmental challenges that have been identified and studied. These include high groundwater flooding episodes in the Salmon Creek Basin, area wetlands and the presence of sensitive species. Potential amendments to Zoning and the Urban Growth Area boundary are being considered. Properties removed from the Urban Growth Area would be redesignated to a rural zoning designation. More information on the Tumwater Southwest UGA Resizing and Land Use Analysis project is available in the Permit Assistance Center located at the address below, or online at

The City of Tumwater adopted the Tumwater 2025 Transportation Plan in 2007. The City of Tumwater and Thurston County are seeking to include the plan as part of the Tumwater/Thurston County Joint Plan for the unincorporated portion of the City of Tumwater Urban Growth Area. More information is available online at

Also under consideration is a site specific amendment to change the land use and zoning for property located at 3040 93rd Avenue SW from Single Family Low Density Residential to Light Industrial.

The public hearing will begin at 5:30 pm May 27th at the Thurston County Courthouse Complex, 2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW, Olympia, WA 98502 in Room 152. Written comments may be submitted in lieu of testimony. Please submit written testimony to Thurston County Planning, Attention: Jeremy Davis, until 4:00 P.M. on the 27th. More information is available in hard copy in the Thurston County Permit Assistance Center or online at

Contact: Jeremy Davis, Associate Planner, 360-754-3355 x 7010 or

Naturescaping for Water and Wildlife Field Class – May 15

Stream Team and WSU Extension’s Native Plant Salvage Project will offer a free “Naturescaping for Water and Wildlife” field class on May 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The class will begin at the First Methodist Church located at 1224 Legion Way S.E. in Olympia and then continue with a bus tour of select local gardens.

The field class will feature detailed, hands-on information about how to incorporate beautiful native plants and other drought-tolerant plants into your landscape to attract birds and butterflies and nurture a healthy environment. Participants will learn how to landscape on compacted soils, slopes and other tricky spots; reduce unnecessary lawn; deal with drainage problems; and manage stormwater runoff on their property. Other topics include water-wise ideas for outdoor living spaces and selecting plants for all four seasons.

Advanced registration is required as space is limited. For details and registration call 360-867-2166 or e-mail Additional information regarding Stream Team can be obtained by contacting Chris Maun, Stream Team Coordinator, at (360)754-3355 ext.6377.

Book recommendation: Naturescaping by Shann Weston

West Nile Virus Prevention Starts with You

Avoid mosquito bites and get rid of mosquito habitat near your home

OLYMPIA — Spring is here and many Washingtonians are gardening, hiking, and heading outdoors for fun. It’s also time to start thinking about West Nile virus prevention. The easiest and best way to avoid infection is to prevent mosquito bites.

Last year was Washington’s most active year for West Nile virus – 38 human illness cases were identified in the 2009 season, with exposures in either eastern Washington or out of state. The first death in Washington from the virus was also reported in a Yakima County resident.

“The warm, wet spring season in our state marks the start of mosquito-breeding season, so it’s vital to get rid of the habitat mosquitoes favor around your home,” said Gregg Grunenfelder, assistant secretary for the Department of Health. “A good early season strategy is to reduce mosquito breeding habitat before the bugs get started.”

You can avoid mosquito bites in two primary ways – habitat reduction and personal prevention. Keep mosquito populations lower by getting rid of water that collects around the yard in old flower pots, waste tires, or cans, and keep water fresh in bird baths, pet dishes, and stock troughs. Simple personal protection steps will make it harder for mosquitoes to bite you. Wear long-sleeve shirts, pants, and hats in mosquito-infested areas; use an effective repellent on exposed skin when mosquitoes are most active. Make sure screens fit tight; fix or replace broken screens.

West Nile virus was detected in 72 horses, 22 dead birds, one dog, and 346 mosquito samples in the state in 2009. Half of all the horses infected died or were euthanized. There is a vaccine for horses; contact a veterinarian for more details (

The virus is spread by infected mosquitoes. Most people bitten by an infected mosquito won’t have any symptoms. Some may develop mild symptoms, such as fever or headache that go away without treatment. The virus is most dangerous for people with weak immune systems and those over 50. In some cases, people may develop meningitis or encephalitis; some neurological effects can be permanent.

Monitoring for the virus – including dead bird and mosquito testing – resumes this spring. The information helps state and local health agencies identify unusual increases or clusters of bird deaths. People can report dead birds ( using the agency’s dead bird reporting system, or by contacting their local health agency (

More information about West Nile virus is available by calling the agency’s West Nile virus information line, 1-866-78-VIRUS (1-866-788-4787). Updates are also posted on Twitter (

Washington State Department of Health
Contact:  Allison Cook, Communications Office 360-236-4022
Gordon MacCracken, Communications Office 360-236-4072
The conversation about West Nile Virus is already continuing on the GriffinNeighbors online discussion group. Are you a member? If you live in the Griffin School District, email our webmaster and request an invitation to subscribe to the GriffinNeighbors online discussion group. It’s free.

Plant Sale at Griffin School to Benefit Cispus, May 10-14

Griffin 5th grade students will be holding a plant sale the week of May 10 through May 14 to benefit next year’s Cispus Outdoor School program. Plants will include assorted vegetable and flower starts, various native shrubs, and some native prairie plants. Plants will range in price from $2.00 to $8.00.

The sale table will be set up next to the main entrance to the school from 8:15 to 8:45 each morning, and from 3:10 to 3:40 each afternoon (2:00 to 2:30 Wednesday).

Most of the plants have been grown from seeds or cuttings by Griffin students.

For a number of years, 6th Graders at Griffin School have started their school year by travelling to the Cispus Learning Center. It’s a terrific experience and one to which Griffin students look forward in participating. Fundraisers like this one will permit this experience to continue with next year’s 6th Grade class.

For more information about the Cispus Learning Center, click here.

Seeking Lindsey Baum


The FBI, McCleary Police and Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department need your help to locate an 11-year-old girl missing from the town of McCleary in Grays Harbor County, Washington.
Lindsey Baum was last seen on Friday June 26th, 2009, at 9:15 p.m. when she left a friend’s house to walk home.
The walk shouldn’t have taken more than 10 minutes, but Lindsey never made it home.
Lindsey Baum is 4’9″, 80 lbs, with brown hair and brown eyes.
She was last seen wearing a light blue hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, and black slip-on shoes.
PHONE TIPS: 1-866-915-8299

A reward of up to $25,000 dollars is being offered for information of the whereabouts of Lindsey Baum and for the arrest and charges filed for the person or persons responsible for her disappearance.

Community Golf Tournament/Fundraiser, May 15, for Steamboat Island Cooperative Preschool

The 3rd Annual Community Golf Tournament/Fundraiser for the Steamboat Island Cooperative Preschool will take place May 15th from 1 pm to 4:30 pm at Steamboat Golf. A $10 Ticket includes entry in the door prize raffle for some great prizes AND provides you with a chance to win a more prizes at our main events (hole in one, longest drive, 50-yard closest to the pin, 75-yard closest to the pin, and break the glass).

The SICP will have lots of fun activities for children including a bounce house, face painting, and mini putt putt.

The golf tournament is a community event open to all and is a wonderful way to support the preschool! As a part of this community event, we will be holding a silent auction for local goods and services donated to the preschool.

For more information, a list of prizes, or to buy tickets, please call 866-1819. Tickets are also available at the door. Ticket holders need not be present to win the door prize raffle.

The SICP is holding its Open House in May, too. Click here for more information.

Steamboat Island Cooperative Preschool Open House May 10 through 14

Steamboat Island Cooperative Preschool invites interested parents to join them at their Open House the week of Monday, May 10th through Friday, May 14th.

For more information, or to arrange a visit, call 866-1819.


  • Low child-adult ratios
  • Safe, nurturing environment with a country setting
  • Parental involvement leads to a child’s future success in school
  • Parents and children make lifelong friends
  • Parents gain and increased understanding of child development
  • Parents gain valuable skills
  • Affiliated with South Puget Sound Community College

SICP is located at 6240 – 41st Ave. NW, near the corner of Steamboat Island Rd. and 41st Ave. Call them at 866-1819, for more information.

They have a web site at

Steamboat Island Cooperative Preschool is an excellent program that’s operated in this area for years. It offers three main classes and an enrichment class:

Chipmunk Class – For children 18 months to 3 years old by August 31. Classes meet from 9-11:30 am on Tuesday and Thursday.

Otter Class – For children 3 to 4 years old by August 31. Classes meet from 9-11:30 am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Orca Class – For children 4 years old or older by August 31. Classes meet from 12:30-3 pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Dolphin Enrichment Class – Open to all co-op students and alumni. For children 3-5 years old by August 31. Classes meet from 12:30-3 pm on Thursdays for four weeks.