Artist Cooperative Locavore Mercantile Grand Opening October 15 and 16

locavoreA few weeks back, area residents on Nextdoor saw a post from local resident Beth Mathews. The message, with the subject line “Seeking local artisans and artists,” described Mathews’ plans to open a pop-up shop in Steamboat Square. Her call immediately attracted the attention of both artisans and shoppers. Just a few days before, Mathews had created a web site for the new store, a cooperative called “Locavore Mercantile.” This online activity is now resulting in a retail store located just next to the Subway sandwich shop. Locavore Mercantile represents an exciting way for local artists to connect with local shoppers this upcoming holiday season.

Locavore Mercantile Grand Opening
October 15 and 16
6541 Sexton Dr NW, Olympia, WA 98502

We got together for an online chat with Beth Mathews.

Where’d you get the idea for Locavore Mercantile?

I make hypoallergenic jewelry and non-comedogenic skincare, and have been selling my products locally and online for about 6 years. I’ve had the fortune of participating in galleries, farmers markets, and one pop-up shop last December. I recently quit my part-time “real” job in order to focus on my own business. After carting goods around from market to market this summer, I wanted to be a little more stationary for the fall. The holiday season is an important sales season for artisans and artists, so it’s a great time to have temporary retail space. At this time of year many people are looking for gifts that are special, and artists and artisans are trying to fill those needs through their online sales or at craft shows. I knew I could not fill a shop alone, so I called on artist friends and put a call out for interested local artisans to join.

How’s the recruiting of artisans coming along?

We have an amazingly talented group of people in this shop. Many are local to the community or Olympia, and some are from as far away as Portland and Seattle. My goal was to bring in a range of products, from artwork that will last generations, to products you can use in your everyday life. When I started recruiting I wasn’t sure how the response would go, but I am proud of the work on display at Locavore Mercantile.

I’m adding more artists and artisans to our website page this week (slowly), as well as announcing them on Facebook.

Earlier today, Mathews posted a preliminary list of the artists that constitute the Locavore Mercantile “Departments”. Click here to catch up on the news.

Why set up shop here, on the Steamboat Peninsula?

I’ve been considering retail space in Olympia, but I live on the peninsula, so when I heard this location was open I figured why not be ultra-local? I personally don’t like making more trips into town than I need to, so I figured locals might like to shop locally. It’s turned out that, because of the cooperative aspect of the shop, this has been a great place to network with other local businesses.

Everyone at Locavore is a seasoned artisan. Our community has a lot of talented people! Many of the artisans are Etsy sellers, have online stores, sell at galleries throughout the northwest, and frequent art and holiday shows.

What would need to happen, for Locavore Mercantile to stick around past the holidays?

We need the community to shop at Locavore Mercantile! And we also need the time to form a democracy. As a pop-up, everything is happening lightning fast. With a large group of people, it’s hard to come to important decisions quickly. So for the pop-up, I took the lead and a leap of faith that we could assemble a one-of-a-kind shop in only a few weeks. We’ve done that. So our next steps are to see how the community responds to the shop, and we’ll start talking about what structure we’d like this to take in the future.

What is a pop-up shop?

Pop-up shops are temporary retail spaces, designed to excite interest in a company. In this case, over 20 local artisans are coming together to offer their products for sale in their community. Many of us sell online, or in shops in nearby towns, but Locavore Mercantile provides an opportunity to sell directly to our neighbors. It’s a unique assortment of art and goods that will not be found anywhere else in the world.

The list of artists and products lined up for Locavore Mercantile is impressive and growing. Home goods and stationary, pottery, cosmetics, fashion and accessories, puppets and books for children, photography and other fine art are already confirmed. “The shop is hosting a wide variety of goods made in the northwest, including handmade textiles, soap, cosmetics, jewelry, condiments, pottery, art, cards, and gift wrap.” Visit the web site for Locavore Mercantile for more details and don’t forget to mark your calendar for the grand opening weekend of October 15 and 16.

Check out Beth Mathews’ Kickstarter campaign, for Dirty Hippie Deodorant, an “organic wholesome natural deodorant made with essential oils, and packaged in eco-friendly packaging.”

Sovereign Cellars Wine Tasting This Weekend

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Sovereign Cellars, our award-winning local winery, is announcing its Fall Wine Tasting, this upcoming weekend. “All of our wines have received gold & double gold awards this year,” says vintner Dennis Gross. “Come visit with friends and enjoy great wine and tasty hor d’oeuvres.”

Sovereign Cellars Wine Tasting
Saturday and Sunday, September 24 and 25
1 PM to 5 PM each day
7408 Manzanita Dr. NW, Olympia 98502

For those of you in the Sovereign Cellars wine club, this would be a great time to pick up your wines.

This is a terrific opportunity to taste and buy some fabulous wines produced right here on the Steamboat Peninsula.

Click here to read some of what we’ve written about Sovereign Cellars. Or click the image above to visit their web site.

Thurston County Unveils Emergency Alert System

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Click to sign up for AlertSense notifications

Thurston County Emergency Management now makes available to all residents a system to send emergency alerts via text message, email, pager, or voice mail (in extreme cases), based on your preferences. “It is important that we collect this contact information because many households no longer utilize traditional land-based telephone lines,” reads one web page describing the system’s function.

This new notification capability – called the “AlertSense Notification System” – joins several other means available for the County to help keep the public apprised of hazardous conditions in our area.

Emergency Alert System (EAS) alerts are broadcast on television, radio and NOAA weather radios. The alerts begin with a loud audible beep followed by specific instructions. You are also probably aware of AMBER alerts you can already receive through a smartphone. River flood notifications are available for public sign up, too. The new AlertSense system will help to provide localized information to you, using your preferred method(s) of contact.

The [AlertSense] system is intended to be used for emergency alerts, as well as non-emergency incidents that may have significant impacts to residents. Emergency Alerts could be related to specific hazards that require some kind of action be taken such as evacuation, shelter in place, boil water orders, etc. Non-emergency alerts could include significant transportation problems with prolonged impacts or significant ongoing police or fire activity. This list is not meant to be all inclusive, and demonstrates that this system will not be used for routine information. In addition to receiving information on your wireless device, you may also receive notification on your land telephone line (if you have one) depending on the type of incident or event.

Click here to learn more about the different means by which you can receive information about hazardous conditions in the area and how you can sign up for AlertSense.

Don’t forget this Saturday’s Emergency Preparedness Expo, at the Rochester Middle School.

Emergency Preparedness Expo
Saturday, September 17
10 AM – 3 PM
Rochester Middle School
9937 US Hwy 12, Rochester

For more information about the Expo, contact Vivian Eason, Thurston County Emergency Management, at 360-867-2825 or emaileasonv@co.thurston.wa.us

September is National Preparedness Month. There are easy steps you can take to help your family weather an emergency. And there are important steps you can take to help you and your neighbors make it through a disaster. Click here to learn more.

Thurston County To Install Shoulder Rumble Strips on Steamboat Island Road

This fall, Thurston County Public Works will be installing shoulder rumble strips, weather permitting, along portions of Steamboat Island Road. "While we work to make your community safer," a recent announcement reads, "construction activity and minor delays will occur."

Postcards have been mailed to residents near where this work will take place.

If you have any questions, contact Brandon Hicks at (360) 867-2358 or click this link to visit the web site of Thurston County Public Works.

Click the images below, to see larger versions of them.

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Life at the End of the Powerline

Downed Powerlines

Click the image for Puget Sound Energy's "downed power lines" web page.

Part of the charm of living on the Steamboat Island Peninsula is that it only takes 20 minutes to drive from the City to the wilderness. It means a lot to most people to throw your window open at night and listen to the oyster boats or the wind. I am in awe of the way eagles soar over our peninsula.

However, in the middle of cold and violent storms sometimes the lights go out. It can be out for less than an hour or up to 5 days or more! What should a homeowner do?

#1 Relax.

#2 Get, your flashlight with fresh batteries.

#3 Light your candles or oil lamp.

#4 Tune to any of these FM stations: KGY 95.3, KAYO 96.9, or KAOS 89.3. KGY, in particular, has a good backup generator.

#5 Bundle up with a loved one and read a book.

If it turns out that the outage was not caused by a drunk driver hitting a pole on Mud Bay drive, get emotionally prepared for life off the grid for a while.

Consider the following:

  • Fire up your generator a few hours in the evening if you need a little heat from your electric fireplace.
  • Use a couple cups of your 50 gallons of emergency water supply for a sponge bath if you smell.
  • Cook a meal or 3 on your propane BBQ.
  • Dig into your no-cook food for a snack.
  • Stay warm and healthy and go to work tomorrow if the roads are passable.
  • If you are trapped, read a couple good books and huddle up with someone you love.

by James Nugent

JamesNugent

James Nugent is a local author and has 96 e-books, 90 paperbacks and 53 audio books on Amazon.com. For more information about survival, find Eight Things You Need to Survive by James Nugent.

September is National Preparedness Month. Visit our preparedness web page, for tips on how to prepare your family and your neighbors.

Griffin School Foundation Benefit Auction Moves to New Venue and Online, Too

GriffinGrizzlyEvery other year, the Griffin School Foundation holds its annual benefit auction. The ninth of these biannual auctions will be held on Saturday, September 24 at the Steamboat Tennis & Athletic Club. Two years ago, nearly 300 community members joined celebrity host/auctioneer Pat Cashman under a big tent in front of the Tin Cup driving range. In what was the most successful auction to date, the 2014 auction raised over $140,000.

The Foundation’s auction is a fun event, with a purpose. The GSF funds a variety of grants and scholarships, educational and training opportunities for Griffin School employees and Board members, and raises money to make capital improvements and purchase equipment in our school district. The GSF also hosts community events, including breakfasts honoring local seniors.

The emphasis this year is funding grants supporting teamwork, arts, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) at Griffin School.

The theme of this year’s auction is is “TEAM STEAMBOAT: It’s for the kids!” Attendees are invited to come dressed in sports or team spirit gear. This year’s auction will be held at the Steamboat Tennis & Athletic Club. So, please wear no cleats or heels.

A new feature this year is an online auction. Online bidding starts on September 16th at noon and closes on September 23rd at 10pm. An online auction means friends and relatives near or far can support our local school district and snatch up some great auction items.

For more information, auction tickets, and to register for the online auction, click this link. But don’t delay, as there are a limited number of tickets available.

Griffin School Foundation Auction
Saturday, September 24th
Kickoff is 5:30 PM
Steamboat Tennis & Athletic Club
3505 Steamboat Island Rd NW, Olympia

 

JAMorris

The GSF thanks this year’s Presenting Sponsor.

“30 Days 30 Ways” Kicks Off September Emergency Preparedness Month

cropped-cropped-cropped-30days11“30 Days, 30 Ways” is a disaster preparedness game that started in 2010 in Vancouver, Washington. It’s an easy way to use September (Emergency Preparedness Month) to get your home and neighborhood prepared for an emergency or disaster*. Each day the web site at 30days30ways.com have a different emergency preparedness theme and a daily winner will be selected from among the participants. You can also follow along on Facebook or Twitter.

Sure, it’s a game, but here in rural Thurston County, we know preparedness is no laughing matter. Each day’s activities highlights an important step you can easily take to become better equipped to weather out anything from an extended electrical power outage to The Big One we know is going to come, someday.

On Saturday, September 17, Thurston County Emergency Management will present it’s annual Emergency Preparedness Expo. This year it’s at the Rochester Middle School. This free event is a terrific way to hear speakers and meet with vendors with information about preparedness.

emergency expo flyer

Click to download the event flyer.

Emergency Preparedness Expo
Saturday, September 17
10 AM – 3 PM
Rochester Middle School
9937 US Hwy 12, Rochester

For more information about the Expo, contact Vivian Eason, Thurston County Emergency Management, at 360-867-2825 or email easonv@co.thurston.wa.us

On Thursday, September 15, Thurston County Emergency Management will present a free class on “Map Your Neighborhood.” Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) is a program designed to help neighborhoods prepare for disasters. According to their web page, MYN will help you to:

  • Learn the 9 steps to take immediately following a disaster to secure your home and protect your neighborhood.
  • Create a neighborhood map identifying locations of natural gas and propane tanks.
  • Create a contact list that helps identify those with specific needs such as elderly, disabled or children who may be home alone during certain hours of the day.
  • Identify the skills and equipment each neighbor has that would be useful in effective disaster response.
  • Work together as a team to evaluate your neighborhood during the first hour following a disaster and take the necessary actions.

Map Your Neighborhood
Thursday, September 15
6 PM – 7:30 PM
Tumwater Fire Department
311 Israel Rd. SW, Tumwater

Please RSVP at easonv@co.thurston.wa.us

Click here for more information about this class. Or contact Vivian Eason, Thurston County Emergency Management, at 360-867-2825 or email easonv@co.thurston.wa.us

When an emergency strikes, you’re going to be glad you planned ahead. When disaster strikes, you’re going to be glad if both you and your neighbors have planned ahead.

*What’s the difference between an “emergency” and a “disaster”? Click here to check out our own disaster preparedness page, for the answer.

Africa Library Project Book Drive Connects Steamboat Little Free Library With Larger World

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Click to see a larger image.

The Steamboat Little Free Library, located at the front door of the Griffin Fire Department Headquarters, is part of a worldwide network of community sharing libraries. No less than the Wall Street Journal has declared, “Little Free Library is a Global Sensation!” Our Little Free Library is charter number 6039. The mission of the global Little Free Library movement is, “To promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide and to build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations.” One way of continuing this mission is the Africa Library Project. Bruce Conklin, a resident in northeast Olympia, is reaching out to residents of the Steamboat community to help with a regional book drive for the Africa Library Project.

Conklin is specifically collecting children’s books (pre-k through 8th grade) to create a library in Sierra Leone, Africa. “The non-profit sponsor is African Book Project but I have to collect 1,000 books and $500 to cover
shipping,” writes Conklin.

Would you like to donate new or gently used books, for Bruce Conklin’s drive to create a library in Sierra Leone? You may drop off your books at 2605 18th Avenue NE, Olympia, 98506. For more information, contact Bruce Conklin at (360) 250-6620 or by email at conklinbruce@hotmail.com.

Thanks for your support of the Africa Library Project. And come by the Steamboat Little Free Library sometime, and “Take a Book, Return a Book.”

Flinging Arrows for Fun

archeryAbout four miles north of the Steamboat Island Road exit on US-101, is the Griffinwood Stables. Most Saturdays there is an archery range open to anyone! There is plenty of loaner equipment if you don’t have archery equipment. Julia is the Ranger Marshall. She not only runs a safe range but she will show you how to shoot if you want.

The range is an outreach of the Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA). However, there is no expectation that you be a member or join. The SCA is an educational organization which researches the arts and sciences of past cultures and reenacts them for the fun of it. Archery is just one of their areas of interest.

All summer I have been hanging out at the Archery Range and I have been having a blast shooting arrows at targets. When it gets too hot I just sit in the shade and roast a tofu dog on the community BBQ. I have moved from the ten-yard (children’s) target to the 30-yard (adult). The range open around noon and goes until everybody gets tired.

There are targets for every ability and age. There is even a rubber deer to shoot at and a (long shot) 100-yard target for if you feel lucky. The only restrictions are that no modern compound bows or broad head arrow tips are allowed. They tear up the targets too much.

People from age 5 to 99+ are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Click here to find out more about Tumwater SCA group and how to get access to the archery range. I have really begun to like flinging arrows. Maybe you will too.

From the Tumwater SCA web page (the Barony of Glymm Mere):

Archery Practice happens Saturdays starting at about noon. We have targets for archery and thrown weapons. It is located at Griffinwood Stables just west of Olympia. Take Hwy 101 toward Shelton, about ten minutes east of Olympia. Just past the Steamboat exit, grab the shoulder when you see this little white house, and turn in through the green gate. Close it after you come through so the horses don't escape!

For more information, contact Heather MacForrest - heatherl877 [at] gmail [dot] com

by James Nugent

JamesNugent

James Nugent is a local author who has 96 e-books, 90 paperbacks, and 53 audio books available at Amazon.com

A recent book, A Beginner's Adventures in Archery, is available from Amazon.com as a paperback and for the Kindle.

St. Christopher’s Blueberry Bash Makes Its Annual Return August 21st

Click for a larger image.

Click for a larger image.

This year’s Blueberry Bash is almost here! We may have lost count, but some of us think this will be the 39th year our neighbors at St. Christopher’s Community Church have hosted this not-to-be-missed, end-of-summer event. Entertainment will be from The Oly Mountain Boys, playing from 12:30 to 3:30 PM.

In addition to some of the best bluegrass you’ve heard, St. Christopher’s will lay out their fine blueberry pies and thick ice cream milkshakes, brats and 100% beef polish sausages, vegetarian burgers, Lew’s Famous Baked Beans, and hey! Xinh’s eggrolls.

Also returning this year are lots of activities for the young and young-at-heart, including a story time every 30 minutes and old-fashioned games. Egg toss, three-legged races, and balloon toss games will be held throughout the day.

The Oly Mountain Boys

The Oly Mountain Boys

The Blueberry Bash is a fundraiser for St. Christopher’s. There’s a bingo garden, silent auction, and a quilt raffle. A portion of this year’s proceeds will go to a local charity.

Blueberry Bash
Sunday, August 21
12 noon to 4 PM
St. Christopher’s Community Church
7902 Steamboat Island Rd. NW, Olympia, WA 98502

We hope to see you at the Blueberry Bash!