“Egypt’s Unfinished Revolution” – March 1st

Free Lecture Sponsored by the Olympia World Affairs Council

SPEAKER: Dr. Steve Niva, Professor of Middle East and International Politics, The Evergreen State College

TOPIC: Egypt’s Unfinished Revolution: The Military’s Coup and the Conflict Between “Transition” and “Revolution”

THURSDAY, March 1, Olympia Center, 7:30 PM, Room 101

Professor Steve Niva has just returned from Egypt where he met with activists, journalists and academics who are involved in the new round of protests. He will examine the electoral successes of the Islamist political parties and explain the lack of unity among the contenders. The big winner, the Muslim Brotherhood, believes that working through the military sponsored “transition” process will eventually give them the power to shape a new Egypt. On the other side are the mostly younger activists, including many labor advocates, who believe that only by sweeping away the lingering aspects of the Mubarak regime through “revolution”, including the institutional power of the military, will a new democratic Egypt emerge.

Professor Niva will share what he learned from this trip and discuss the rise of new protest movements, including the role of Egyptian soccer fans known as “ultras” and the military counterrevolution largely backed by the United States and Saudi Arabia.


Steamboat Island Cooperative Preschool Open House

Steamboat Island Cooperative Preschool is currently enrolling for their Orca and Otter classes.

OPEN HOUSE: Monday, Wednesday and Friday during class the week of March 12. Come, bring your future Orca or Otter to join in the fun during class time.

Please call ahead at (360) 866-1819 to reserve a spot.

We will also have open house on Thursday evening, March 15 from 6:30-8pm.

Orca Class – Ages 4-5
Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12:30 to 3:00

Otter Class – Ages 2-3
Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:00 to 11:30

Steamboat Island Cooperative Preschool is a non-profit preschool located on the west side of Olympia. We serve families in both Thurston and Mason Counties.

For more information please click here to visit our website.

Email or call for a brochure.

Steamboat Island Cooperative Preschool is located at

4261 41st Avenue
Olympia, WA 98502
(360) 866-1819


The Natural World – The Crow

Believe is or not, crows are considered one of the world’s most intelligent animals. They have been seen using breadcrumbs as bait to catch fish or dropping hard-to-open nuts on busy roads and waiting for the nuts to be run over and cracked open. This use of tools has impressed scientists who study the crow, and have found them capable of solving complex puzzles. On the beaches of the Puget Sound it is very common to see a crow pick up a clam, take off, and then drop it on to a rocky area. Eventually the clam will crack open and the crow will have a nice snack.

A group of crows is called a murder, and a roost tree where the murder sleeps can hold as many as 50,000 birds.

While it is hard for humans to tell one crow from the other, crows have been known to identify specific humans, especially “bad” humans who have harmed a fellow crow. They will squawk at and even dive bomb the poor sap.

When you see crows crashing into each other in the air, they are playing a high-speed game of “chicken,” to figure out which crow is dominant.

Originally published in the Steamboat Island Register and used here with permission. For more information or to advertise in the Register, contact Amanda Waggoner at Steamboatreg@gmail.com. The Register is distributed locally. Pick up your copy at the Steamboat Island Coffee Shop.


Artist Profile – Leila Carras

If you have December 11th free from 1 to 3 pm, jet down to Childhood’s End Gallery at 222 4th Ave in Olympia to see Leila Carras’s lampwork demonstration.

Lampwork is what those in-the-know call the artistic manipulation of soft glass by torch and tools. It’s completely inspiring to see the glass rods go red hot and then watch as an amorphous blob of glass turns into a turtle, strawberry, or a singing snow man.

Leila has been working with glass for nine years and began this artistic journey when a customer left a box of handmade glass beads in the café where she worked.

“When I opened the box I was amazed. Where did these beads come from? I had always been into doing bead work, but the minute I talked to her, when she (the forgetful artist) came back for her beads, I was hooked.”

Not finding any classes in lampwork nearby, she bought a kit, read a book and started out on her own. Nine years later a dragon piece of hers has toured the country starting with the Corning Museum of Glass in New York. She is selling her work at trade shows, and a few of her pieces have been featured in trade magazines for glass work and bead work.

Steamboat Island Coffee Shop has displayed her smaller pieces, but to see her bigger pieces check out her website at Leilamae.com. She will do pieces to order, but if you have holiday presents in mind contact her soon.  

Originally published in the Steamboat Island Register and used here with permission. For more information or to advertise in the Register, contact Amanda Waggoner at Steamboatreg@gmail.com. The Register is distributed locally. Pick up your copy at the Steamboat Island Coffee Shop.


St. Christopher’s Satellite Food Program Much More Than Food Aid

St. Christopher’s Community Church

We were heartened recently to receive information from Lindy Vincent, Outreach Coordinator for the St. Christopher’s Satellite Food Program, regarding work to address need right here in the Steamboat area. “The year of 2011 was very busy and we found many families moving away, finding part-time jobs and more families taking their place in our outreach program,” Lindy writes.

“What started as a Food Bank Satellite program in 2007 has slowly expanded and evolved into much more than just food for our Steamboat Island community. As our church family, as well as others from the Griffin Neighborhood Association, heard about the needs of their neighbors on the Steamboat peninsula, they have generously opened up their hearts and their donations – and amazingly always at the times that needed that particular assistance – household items, cash donations or clothes.”

Residents can be forgiven for imagining St. Christopher’s Food Bank Satellite program is just about food. It is so much more.

The program distributes 3 to 5 gas cards a month of $40 each to people who are going to doctor’s appointments, hospital or job interviews. Lindy carefully monitors these and sometimes even meets her clients at the Island Market’s Chevron station to assure that the gas cards are being used appropriately.

Emergency power assistance has been provided in the form of aid to pay electric bills. Lindy’s program has even been able to obtain emergency supplies of firewood.

Grocery Outlet gift cards for items that aren’t covered by food stamps such as paper products, laundry soap, etc.

Household items including housewares, furniture, clothing, and even donated washer and drier sets.

“A clothes give-away tradition started by [Griffin Fire District Commissioner Meredith Hutchins] last year is being continued this month. Many bags of very nice clothes have been left at my food bank closet during the month of December.”

The Steamboat Animal Hospital has made donations to assist families to care for their pets. “A big round of applause to Steamboat Vet Hospital and to those companies that have assisted our community that we don’t even know about!”

Rental assistance to avoid eviction and scholarships to Camp Michael are among the services provided to local residents in 2011.

Lindy’s program provides important referral services to local assistance. Energy assistance agencies, referrals to the Housing Authority, help in dealing with the Social Security Administration – even driving residents to local offices to apply for assistance – are within the scope of activities.

In December, the St. Christopher’s congregation purchased and wrapped a record 81 gifts for 20 children and 7 adults.

Food remains an important need. 1,344 individuals were assisted with food in 2011. The program services about 26 adults and 30 children twice monthly. “The families change but the number seems to stay consistent.”

It is very gratifying to learn of the scope of the activities of the St. Christopher’s Satellite Food Program. If you can make a donation to assist families in need in the Steamboat Island area, please call the St. Christopher Church at 866-2111 to leave a message for Lindy Vincent.

“Current Challenges in Vietnam” – February 16

February 16, Lecture
Olympia Center, 222 Columbia, Olympia at 7:30pm
Current Challenges in Vietnam: Select Examples and Their Historical Roots

Professor Christoph Giebel, from the University of Washington, will focus on Vietnam since 1986 when it undertook a dramatic policy change and began its reform and opening policy (Doi Moi). Among the issues Professor Giebel will treat in depth are authoritarianism, religious and other freedoms, national identity in a post-war and globalizing world, the environment and continuing legacies of the war, and China and resurgent nationalism around marine disputes.

Professor Giebel, Associate Professor of International Studies and History, teaches widely on Asian, Southeast Asian, and Vietnamese histories, as well as the Vietnam Wars. He is the author of Imagined Ancestries of Vietnamese Communism: Ton Duc Thang and the Politics of History and Memory (2004).

Sponsored by the Olympia World Affairs Council. www.olympiawac.org