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.

Be A Bird in the Procession of the Species Parade

You could join a flock of shorebirds sponsored by the Black Hills Audubon Society. Here’s how:

Have fun at the Downtown Olympia Community Arts Studio making a simple, large, sturdy, light shorebird on a pole. Paint one side white, the other black. Decorate.

In the Parade, the flock turns as one to the high school drummer’s beat: Black, then white – just like shorebirds do.

A two-hour workshop: Cutouts, poles,paint and decorating material provided. $5 donation.

The workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, April 6 at 6:30 pm at Downtown Olympia Community Arts Studio.

Expect a fun, informal talk about shorebirds at the beginning of this workshop.

Then, on Wednesday, April 13, we practice our “flocking”. If you miss the April 6 workshop, you can make your bird shapes this day instead.

Contact:  Chris Maynard at 878-0755 or the Community Arts Studio at 705-1087.

Or, if being part of part of the parade isn’t for you, come and observe our flock and the fantastic array of yet-to-be-imagined Nature in the 17th annual Procession of the Species Parade on Saturday, April 23 at 4:30 pm in downtown Olympia.

Don’t forget the beautiful Luminaria Procession on Friday, April 22.

For details – colorful ones at that – about these and other Procession-related events, check out the Procession website at

Shellfish Growers Organize 13th Biannual Beach Clean-Up

Making this St-Patrick’s Day the greenest ever – shellfish growers and other groups will scour beaches for trash Thursday, March 17th.

For the past six years the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association (PCSGA) has conducted spring and fall beach clean-ups which have removed approximately 72 dump truck loads of debris from area beaches. The mountain of collected debris includes tires, Styrofoam, and a large assortment of public trash.

The targeted clean-up areas will be Henderson, Budd, Eld, Totten, Skookum, Hammersley, Carr and Case Inlets, Oakland Bay, Squaxin and Harstine Islands and parts of Hood Canal. The clean-ups typically involve around a hundred people from about 14 shellfish farms throughout South Sound as well as representatives from the Squaxin, Skokomish, and Nisqually Tribes, Pacific Shellfish Institute and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.  This week shellfish growers will also be joined by members of Surf Riders Foundation and Standup Paddlers Cleanup. 

Shellfish growers and the tribes provide vessels and fuel. Shellfish companies take turns providing lunch for volunteers. Typically, there are twenty plus boats and crews deployed and approximately 100 miles of beach cleaned up.

In the past 12 clean ups, over 1,000 tires have been removed from beaches.  “It is amazing,” said Linda Lentz of Chelsea Farms and a member of the Board of the Griffin Neighborhood Association. Lentz spearheads the clean-up effort for PCSGA. “I don’t know where they keep coming from but we average 80 tires per clean-up”.

All of the garbage is brought into common landing sites. One is at the Arcadia boat ramp and a second landing site is at National Oyster Company. Once on shore, the aquaculture debris is separated from the general debris, categorized and counted. PCSGA uses the information to identify the source of any aquaculture debris and work with responsible growers to prevent future releases of the materials from their farms.

Contact PCSGA at 360-754-2744 if you would like more information about this event, if you know of an area that needs attention, or if you don’t want people accessing your beach. Throughout the year, you can also contact PCSGA’s marine debris hotline at 1-800-964-6532.

The Peace Corps at 50: Looking Back, Looking Ahead


Thursday, March 17, 7:30pm.
The Olympia Center, 222 Columbia, Olympia

TOPIC: The Peace Corps at 50: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Although the number of volunteers serving is the highest that it has been for many years, many people are surprised to hear that the Peace Corps still exists.What has happened during the past 50 years, and where is the Peace Corps headed during the next 50 years? Today there are many governmental and non-governmental opportunities to volunteer overseas.Other countries also send volunteers to other countries.What is the role for volunteers in the world today? What opportunities are available for retired people? These issues and others will be addressed by our distinguished panel of former volunteers.Plenty of time will be available for questions and suggestions from the audience.


Debbie Dohrmann, Thailand 1973-1975, TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Secondary Education Program.

Debbie has a B.S. Ed. from the University of Maine. Debbie has been employed since 1993 at South Puget Sound Community College as ESL and US citizenship instructor.

Joshua O’Halloran, Turkmenistan 2008 – 2010, Community Health Educator.
Graduated from Colorado Mountain College in 2005. In Turkmenistan Joshua also organized a baseball league, taught a debate club, and formed English clubs with young adults.

He is currently studying sustainable agriculture at The Evergreen State College.

Dr. Robert A. (Bob) Findlay FAIA. Architect promoting rural school construction in Colombia (63-65) and a PC Responds volunteer doing disaster management assignments in Peru (70), Cook Islands (98), and El Salvador (99).

Emeritus professor of architecture at Iowa State University. Since retiring in Olympia, he was elected to represent the Western States on the National Peace Corps Association Board and handles communications for the Olympia Area Peace Corps Association.

Cliff Moore, Togo, West Africa, 1980 – 1982, integrated rural development volunteer.

After Peace Corps he worked in Sudan, Kenya, Spain and Honduras before returning to the US. He spent 19 years as a professor of Community Education at Washington State University, and since 2009 he has served as the Director of the Thurston County Department of Resource Stewardship.

Peter Reid, President of the Olympia World Affairs Council, will moderate the panel.

He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania from the end of 1964 through the end of 1966.

Become a Beach Naturalist; Training Begins April 7

For the second year, South Sound Estuary Association will offer the Beach Naturalists Program.  Beach Naturalists have the opportunity to work with people who have come to area beaches seeking a personal connection with the water. Volunteers work to create a greater understanding of the South Puget Sound and its estuaries. They talk about how everyday choices can have a positive impact on our water quality.

Our own Frye Cove is among those beaches included in this program.

Beach Naturalist volunteers are asked to commit 12 training hours followed by at least 4 days on the beach during the months of June, July, and August.

The Beach Naturalist Program is offering more training opportunities than last year for a modest fee of $40. All program fees are due by the first training session on April 7th, 2011.

Would you like to become a Beach Naturalist, but cannot afford the $40 tuition? The Griffin Neighborhood Association is underwriting the tuition for two participants in the program. You must live within the Griffin School District to qualify for this tuition assistance.

Click here for more information regarding the Beach Naturalist Program. Contact Leihla, Program Coordinator, at 360-888-0565 or to sign up or to receive information about one the tuition support offered by the Griffin Neighborhood Association.

“Border Songs” Onstage Beginning February 25th

What happens when a local playwright adapts for the stage a local author’s bestselling book? You get “Border Songs,” a a co-production by Saint Martin’s University Theatre Department and Book-It Repertory Theatre.
The lush Northwest Washington border between Canada and the United States and the gulf between “normal” folks and those regarded as peculiar are often as imperceptible as they are illusory. They are the stuff of “Border Songs,” which has its world premier in February at the Olympia State Theater.

Based on Olympia author Jim Lynch’s novel, a 2010 Washington State Book Award winner, “Border Songs” was adapted for the stage by Bryan Willis. David Quicksall directs the production.

At the heart of the story, threading between the borders, is unlikely hero Brandon Vanderkool, a naïve and dyslexic, six-foot-eight misfit pushed into joining the U.S. Border Patrol. While he’d rather bird-watch or tend the cows on the struggling family dairy farm, his skills of observation make him surprisingly adept at spotting and busting drug smugglers. A finely-drawn cast of small-town characters and illicit activities drive a plot that is both amusing and poignant.

Performance Dates:

Feb 25th, Mar 2-5 at 7:30pm

Feb 26th, 27th at 2pm

(March 2nd is pay what you will at the door only)

And on March 3rd, the audience will have an opportunity to participate in a ‘talk back’ with Jim Lynch (book author) and Bryan Willis (playwright) after the show.

Click here to read The Olympian’s article “Crossing borders; Small-town life, political issues: Novelist Jim Lynch’s refreshing story with complex characters adapted for Oly stage”
Text from this article is largely from the performing arts calendar, published in The Olympian.

Captain Charles Moore Discussion and Benefit Presented by South Sound Sierra

Wednesday, March 16
Capitol Theater Downtown Olympia
Doors Open 6:00 pm – Event begins at 6:30 pm

Captain Charles Moore will talk about the effects of plastics on marine life in Puget Sound as well as the Washington and Oregon coast. We will also show several videos on South Puget Sound and the effects of corporate farming on our tidelands. Donny Westfall, a local musician will also perform. Plan on buying a Sierra cup and having something to drink and eat while looking at the tables of other environmental groups.

Charles Moore founded Algalita Marine Research Foundation (AMRF) in 1994 to focus on the “coastal ocean.” In 1997, his focus dramatically changed. While returning to California from Hawaii aboard his 50-foot catamaran, the Alguita, he chose to chart a course though the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, where he encountered enormous amounts of trash, mostly plastic, scattered across the area now commonly referred to as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

On the most recent voyage in the summer of 2009, AMRF’s area of study extended to the International Date Line which revealed more of the same – plastic sludge in our trawl samples. Captain Moore has made numerous research voyages resulting in a body of authoritative research publications and date and educational programs and has appeared on the Letterman Show and The Colbert Report as well as many national radio programs.
Founded in 1892, the Sierra Club is the oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. More information about this event can be found at

Community Meeting March 1st May Put to Rest Issue of Hunting on Area Waters

Proposed changes to the County’s ordinance regarding the discharge of firearms may at last put to rest a two-year effort by local residents to limit where firearms can be used over the waters surrounding our peninsula. A community meeting regarding the proposed ordinance will be held Tuesday, March 1, 7 to 9pm, in the Thurston County Courthouse Bldg 1, Room 152.

Note the date has been rescheduled to March 1st, due to inclement weather in the forecast.

The entire ordinance is available on the County’s web site (click here to download the PDF file). The portion of the ordinance which is probably most pertinent, to local residents, makes it unlawful for any person to discharge a firearm in these areas:

All those areas zoned Residential LAMIRD One Dwelling Unit Per Two Acres; and

All those areas zoned Residential LAMIRD One Dwelling Unit Per Acre; and

All those areas zoned Residential LAMIRD Two Dwelling Units Per Acre (all LAMIRD areas are marked in green, on the County’s map); and

All that portion of land and marine waters of Puget Sound lying 300 yards, waterward, from the ordinary high water line (marked in blue, on the map); and

That portion of Eld Inlet south of an east-west line starting from a Point 300 feet North of the Meander Line as it crosses the East Line of Section 31, Township 19, North Range 2 West, thence due Westerly across Eld Inlet to the Western Shoreline (marked in orange, on the map);

Click here to download a copy of the full-sized map of current and proposed limited shooting zones[PDF].

Local residents that wish to do so may send comments regarding the ordinance to

Enforcement of the no shooting and limited shooting zones will fall the the County Sheriff’s Department.

For many residents, this issue didn’t revolve around a desire to ban hunting outright; many of our neighbors enjoy hunting. However, as densities have increased along shorelines, the issue of safety prevailed. Waterfront homes have been struck by shot and most hunters would likely agree that it’s good to separate hunting parties by several hundred yards. The changes proposed in the ordinance reflect a commonsense approach to safety, applied to zoning densities and the size of bodies of water in the area.

The need to reassess the County’s shooting ordinances was brought to the attention of Commissioner Karen Valenzuela by Griffin area homeowners. We have written about this issue in the past (click here to read those prior articles) and we encourage interested residents to review the proposed ordinance and to either attend the community meeting or email comments to the County.

“The Power of Brazil” – February 17th

A free, public lecture on Brazil will take place at the Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St. at 7:30pm on Thursday February17th.

Brazil is one of the fastest developing countries in the world. It is expected to be the fifth-largest economy in the world by the time it hosts the 2016 Summer Olympics. How has Brazil moved so far, so fast and what are the opportunities to do business in such a dynamic economy? Where is the country headed after the election of its first woman President, Dilma Rousseff?

Pedro Costa, Brazil’s Consul in Seattle and founder and CEO of The Information Company, will answer these questions and share with us his knowledge and understanding of his native country. Señor Costa may be accompanied to the lecture by the Brazilian Ambassador, as well.

The event is sponsored by the Olympia World Affairs Council.  For more information call 360-867-0919.