India, an Overlooked Partner for Trade, Tourism and Educational Exchanges

Olympia World Affairs Council Lecture
THURSDAY, April 21, Olympia Center, 7:30 PM, Room 101
SPEAKERS: Sam Reed, Washington Secretary of State, and Stephanie Horn, Secretary of State’s Outreach Director
TOPIC: India, an Overlooked Partner for Trade, Tourism and Educational Exchanges
The most populous democracy in the world with 1.2 billion people, India is an ancient civilization that has become revitalized since gaining independence after centuries of colonial rule. Although it is one of the world’s fastest growing economies, it faces daunting challenges in overcoming poverty and developing its infrastructure. Secretary of State Sam Reed recently led the first U.S. delegation to reenter India since the worldwide recession began. They visited New Delhi, the capital; Agra, the home of the Taj Mahal; Mumbai (Bombay), the commercial center of India; and Hyderabad, India’s Silicon Valley.

FoodRaiser! Saturday, April 23rd, 10:00 – 4:00 @ Island Market

Thurston County Progressive Network (TC Pro-Net) is holding their annual “FoodRaiser,” which benefits Thurston County Food Bank (TCFB). As a satellite of TCFB, the local St. Christopher’s Food Bank will benefit in the long term from this county wide event, and we encourage your participation, either as a donor, or a volunteer.

We are still looking for volunteers to run 2 hour shifts. Kris Ness is coordinating the Griffin/Steamboat Island area drive for TC Pro-Net. If you are available for a 2 hour shift in front of Island Market, plus a little bit of time to deliver your shift’s collections to TCFB immediately after your shift, please call Kris at 360-866-3795. We are looking for up to 6 volunteers, who will work in pairs.

We also have shifts open in other parts of the county, so if you are willing to volunteer at another location once we have our neighborhood covered, please let Kris know as well.

Food Donation Ideas:

  • High protein food such as canned chili, peanut butter, beans, or canned meat.
  • Pasta and Macaroni and Cheese.
  • Canned fruit and vegetables.
  • Soup.
  • Baby Food and Formula.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables that store well in a refrigerator.

Cash and Checks (payable to “Thurston County Food Bank”) will be greatly appreciated.

The Food Bank also has a “wish list” for supplies to support their FORKids program. This program provides weekend food for homeless and needy elementary school children. These children receive free breakfasts and lunch at school during the week and need nourishment for the weekend. The food is supplied by the food bank and put into the child’s backpack for the weekend.

  • Oatmeal packets
  • Cup of Soup
  • Fruit cups
  • Small boxes of raisins
  • Vienna sausage
  • Beanies & Weenies
  • Cocoa mix
  • Cold cereal boxes
  • Easy Mac and Cheese
  • Tuna and Crackers
  • Cheese and Crackers
  • Ravioli cups
  • Cup of applesauce

Please, no peanut products, for the FORKids program.

Last year the event raised 3000 lbs of non-perishables, and $4000 in cash donations for the total county, and our site at Island Market contributed roughly 10% of that even we were the smallest location of the 10 locations participating.

Native Plums Bloom – Nature Notes from the Steamboat Peninsula

Prunus Subcordata leaves and flowers detail

Prunus Subcordata leaves and flowers detail

Nature Notes from the Steamboat Peninsula is a series for noting and enjoying some of what nature and her admirers are up to in our neighborhood.

Recently the winter woods are breathing pale clouds of color, gifts from various species of Native Plum. Among the candidates for this distinction are the following :

The Northwest Indian Plum, also known as the Pacific Plum, Sierra Plum, Oregon Plum, or technically, Prunus Subcordata. Native to the Northwest and Northern California, this small tree prefers lower elevations but lives at elevations up to 6000 feet. With dense, thicket-like habit, this plum can grow up to 20 feet tall.

Among the first plants to bloom here in the spring, the Northwest Indian Plum is a vitally important food source for another familiar early arrival here; the fiery little Rufous Hummingbird, as well as many other creatures. The white or pink-flushed blossoms first emerge in March or April from gray-barked branches with brown lenticels.

Later, oblong dark red or yellow fruits ripen. Depending on your source, the fruit is described variously as very bitter, very tasty, or tart but edible. Regardless of its insecure rank on human menus, this plum is saluted as a seasonal treat by wildlife.

Oemleria cerasiformis

Another native plum, Oemleria Cerasiformis, also blooms in March and April, with whitish-green blossoms. This plum, also known as the Indian Plum or Osoberry, is native to the Pacific Coast and lower elevation Coastal Ranges from the Santa Barbara, California, area north to British Columbia. Westward, it extends its native range to the Cascades.

Shorter than Prunus Subcordata, this plum grows to about three and a half to fifteen feet, with smooth reddish-brown to dark gray bark. Loosely branching habit, leaves that are paler on their lower side, and fresh foliage described as tasting like cucumber help identify this plum.

Pollination requires both male and female plants. The resulting fruits, up to about half an inch long, are initially orange-yellow, but blue-black on red stems when ripe. Among others, deer, rodents and birds feed on these plums.

Oemleria cerasiformis is described as working well in Washington gardens.


The latest in an ancient line of trees native to these very woods, the native plums we see in bloom today may seem, relative to cultivated species, rather small, even shaggy, and not possessed of the the biggest, most colorful leaves, or showiest blooms. But who among their neighbors, having been graced by their pale end-of-winter blossoms, summer leaves and fruits, or simply their ancient presence as just one of the unique elements our woodlands, could turn down  another Springtime opportunity to celebrate them?

– D. Wiley

Sources: websites for The Washington Native Plant Society; USDA Natural Resources Conservation ServiceWikipedia.