Disaster Preparedness Workshop – May 21st


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What’s the difference between an emergency and a disaster?

An emergency is a catastrophic event that can be addressed within the household or by requested assistance from outside the area (first responders – fire, Sheriff’s Department, medical or utility personnel).

A disaster is a catastrophic event that is significant enough to prohibit or delay immediate response by first responders from outside the area. A disaster is beyond the abilities of the household and it requires assistance from neighbors.

— from the Disaster Preparedness page here on the GriffinNeighbors web site

Sheriff’s Department Asks for Help to Find This Man

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Do you know this man?

Local residents have suffered through a wave of mail thefts for the last several months. One recommendation from law enforcement and the postal service has been to send outgoing mail from the postal station at the Island Market. There is a mail drop inside the market. There is also a mailbox outside the market, to the left of the front door.

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If you know this man’s whereabouts, call Detective George Oplinger at (360) 786-5746

The night of March 26th someone broke into the mailbox outside the Island Market. Now photographs of the suspect, taken from a security camera outside the Island Market, have been released by the Thurston County Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Department wants to find and speak to this man. Do you know the man in these photographs?

If you know the man in these photographs please call Detective George Oplinger at the Thurston County Sheriff’s Department at (360) 786-5746. If you see this person at a location and you are not sure if he will be around long then call 911 to report the location. You will have to tell whomever answers that this is the suspect from the Island Market mail box theft. A deputy will be dispatched and they will also contact Detective Oplinger.

Another option is if you don’t want to get involved or be identified you can remain anonymous and call the Olympia/Thurston County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) and even receive a reward.

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Update: The Thurston County Sheriff’s Department is reporting the suspect has now been identified. The US Postal Inspector is handling the case and will be forwarding criminal charges against him.

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What’s the Story Behind the Steamboat Neighborhood Stickers?

steamboat_logo_1950x1050You have probably seen them around. The Steamboat Neighborhood stickers have found their way on to a lot of cars. And trucks, boats, and laptop computers. More than a thousand have been distributed at community events and from the countertops of several of the local businesses in our area.

Click here to learn more about how the Steamboat Neighborhood logo art and the sticker were created.

The story of the Steamboat Neighborhood stickers is just another of more than twenty-five years of stories from the Griffin Neighborhood Association. Join the GNA today. Your support will help us to pay for more Steamboat Neighborhood stickers, among other things.

Mail Safety: A Town Hall Meeting, March 16, Griffin School Gym


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Mail theft. Either there’s been a real increase in the incidence of theft or we’re much more aware of it than in the past. We’ve been reading on Nextdoor about the many mailboxes broken into or mail scattered along the roads, particularly from this last Fall and through the Winter. On Wednesday, March 16th the Griffin Neighborhood Association is hosting a special Town Hall meeting on the topic of Mail Safety.

Invited guests are a representative from the USPS Postal Inspector, Thurston County Sheriff’s Department, local USPS Mail Delivery personnel, and County Commissioner Bud Blake.

Mail Safety Town Hall
March 16
6:30 PM
Griffin School Gym
6530 33rd Ave NW

Hosted by the Griffin Neighborhood Association. Are you a member? If not, click here to join us.

Local Author Ellen King Rice Pens “The EvoAngel: A Mushroom Thriller”

evoangelElderly mushroom hunter Edna Morton has a health problem. She’s sprouted feathers. A trip to her health clinic brings her to the attention of an aggressive and ambitious physician, Dr. Theodora Band.

Is there something in the local mushrooms that activates DNA? Why now? Why Edna?

Edna knows which mushrooms could eliminate Dr. Band, but Edna would rather look at her family history to see if this has happened before. Could those stories of witches and toadstools be aspects of evolutionary development?

There’s no time to dawdle. Edna’s family is at risk of sprouting feathers too. Then there is a murder at the health clinic followed by the arrival of a National Security analyst who wants to learn about the ability of mushrooms to degrade sarin gas and neurotoxins.

Edna’s challenges are sprouting like mushrooms after rain.

Part adventure, part science class and totally fungi friendly, The EvoAngel delivers a grand gallop through the woods of the Pacific Northwest.

— from the description on Amazon.com of the new book The EvoAngel.

Here on the Steamboat Peninsula, we’re used to reading about the release of new books by local authors. Now there is a new first novel with a familiar setting but which takes place within a newly-emerging area of scientific inquiry. The book is The EvoAngel, written by Ellen King Rice.

The EvoAngel is a fictional thriller that features the activation of human DNA by the use of wild mushrooms. It is set in the Oyster Bay neighborhood and includes local sites and much information on the new science of epigenetics. It also includes pen and ink illustrations of local fungi.

Not only is The EvoAngel an exciting story based in a new area of science, the book itself was created in a new way. When asked about how the book was financed, Rice replied, “To my surprise I learned that it can easily cost $5,000 or more to self publish a printed book.” Cover design and interior book formatting take either a professional hand or a skill set in learning many technical details. “I cut corners where I could but I also ran a Kickstarter campaign last fall.” Rice turned to our local Nextdoor neighborhood to find a videographer and hired Madison Rochelle, a Capital High School student to record a video segment for the Kickstarter campaign. “The video is an important part of a successful campaign and Madison did a great job.” The Kickstarter campaign went on to raise $2,400.

When the Kickstarter campaign took off, Rice realized she could have illustrations of local mushrooms to add to her story. “Again, I returned to the neighborhood forum. I found Duncan Sheffels, who is a student at SPSCC. Duncan has a full schedule but he was able to fit in some trips to the woods and came up with 18 pen and ink drawings that are amazing.”

The story includes epigenetics, mushrooms and even a National Security Agency analyst. When asked about the research required to cover such a scope of action, Rice replied, “I spent the better part of a year doing background reading. I read an incredible book on mushroom lore called Mycelium Running that is written by Evergreen College alum Paul Stamets. I also read the guide to evolutionary development, Endless Forms Most Beautiful, by Sean B. Carroll and a book on dinosaurs, birds and prehistoric atmospheric conditions called Out of Thin Air by UW professor Peter Ward.”

The EvoAngel is an adult book. It does contain sex and violence (which are biological features of our species!). Most of the action takes place in Olympia and in our neighborhood. The book is available on Amazon, both in a printed copy and a Kindle edition. Rice will also have print copies available for local purchase at Orca Books.

Residents are invited to join Ellen King Rice for a night at the Olympia library, March 3 at 7:30 p.m.  She’ll have a short talk on evolutionary development and will read from the story. Says Rice, “Come learn about poisoning by mushroom!”

Learn more at www.ellenkingrice.com  and join Ellen King Rice for “Mushroom Tuesdays” on Facebook. Just click this link.

Your purchase, on Amazon, of any books using links from this page will support the Griffin Neighborhood Association.

Annual Community Meeting – January 28 at 6:00 PM

If the entire Cascadia Subduction zone gives way at once, an event that seismologists call a full-margin rupture, the magnitude will be somewhere between 8.7 and 9.2.

Kenneth Murphy, who directs FEMA’s Region X, the division responsible for Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska, says, “Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast.”

In the Pacific Northwest, the area of impact will cover some hundred and forty thousand square miles, including Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Eugene, Salem (the capital city of Oregon), Olympia (the capital of Washington), and some seven million people. When the next full-margin rupture happens, that region will suffer the worst natural disaster in the history of North America. Roughly three thousand people died in San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake. Almost two thousand died in Hurricane Katrina. Almost three hundred died in Hurricane Sandy. FEMA projects that nearly thirteen thousand people will die in the Cascadia earthquake and tsunami. Another twenty-seven thousand will be injured, and the agency expects that it will need to provide shelter for a million displaced people, and food and water for another two and a half million.

— From The Really Big One, published July 20, 2015 in The New Yorker

Steamboat Island Cooperative Preschool to Host “Fiesta in December”


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On Saturday, December 5, the Steamboat Island Cooperative Preschool will host its annual fundraising dinner at the Griffin School. This year the SICP has joined with Steamboat Grill & Greens to create a taco bar. Olympic Mountain Ice Cream will supply the dessert. There will also be a fun photo booth, arts and crafts for the kids, and a silent auction with many items donated from local businesses.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by calling (360) 866-1819 or at the door the day of the event.

Fiesta in December to benefit the Steamboat Island Cooperative Preschool
6:00 PM
Saturday, December 5
Griffin School

Since 1972, the Steamboat Island Cooperative Preschool has provided an exceptional early learning experience for the children of our peninsula. Click here for more information about the Steamboat Island Cooperative Preschool.

Help Us to Monitor Our Beaches for Invasive Green Crabs – July 14

Igreen_crabnvasive European Green Crabs could be coming to a beach near you!

The Stream Team is partnering with South Sound Estuary Association (SSEA) and a team from Washington Sea Grant and the University of Washington who are seeking volunteers to help monitor for invasive green crabs at sites throughout Puget Sound. If you are interested in monitoring local pocket estuaries this workshop is for you! The workshop will cover green crab life history, threats to Puget Sound, crab identification and instruction on monitoring protocol.

Tuesday, July 14th
6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Olympia City Hall, 601 E. 4th Ave., Olympia

To register for this workshop, visit www.streamteam.info and click on “register”. For more information, contact Michelle at mstevie@ci.olympia.wa.us  or crabteam@uw.edu

green_crab_imageIn 2012, an established population of the globally invasive crab was discovered in Sooke Inlet, BC, on the Strait of Juan de Fuca – the first time this species has been found in the Salish Sea. The presence of this invasive crab within the Salish Sea increases the chances that European Green Crabs could invade further into inland Puget Sound shorelines, where habitat is plentiful for green crabs to thrive.

Volunteers will be trained to conduct monthly (July-August) trapping and/or molt surveys for green crabs, and the other crabs and fish that live at select sites. All necessary equipment and training will be provided. Your observations will contribute not only to the conservation of Washington shorelines, but also contribute to research on our diverse pocket estuary habitats. Curious about whether your favorite shoreline might be good green crab habitat? Click here to see priority shoreline sites, including those on our own Steamboat Peninsula.

Steamboat Island Community 4-H Club Informational Meeting

4-H_join4HBanner_39Please join us for an informational meeting to learn about the new Steamboat Island Community 4-H Club forming now! Kids currently in K-12 are welcome along with their parents.

4-H provides lots of opportunity for positive youth development. Come to explore projects such as: backyard nature, sewing, horseless horse, and social skills through Legos.

When: April 15, 2015 – 4:45 PM – 5:45 PM

Where: Griffin Fire Department Station 13-2
8113 Steamboat Island RD NW
Olympia, WA 98505

For more information please email: steamboatisland4h@gmail.com