About The JOLT and The JOLT News Organization

The JOLT nourishes our civic lives by publishing news and features that help people around here to get involved in issues and activities that they care about. 

Established in May 2020, JOLT is The Journal of Olympia, Lacey & Tumwater, a hyper-local (digital-native) news organization. 

Our mission is to improve the lives of people who live or work in Thurston County by providing information and forums for discussion.  Our beats include crime, politics, education, environmental issues, crises, celebrations and more.  We are committed to providing space for multiple perspectives and opinions from professional journalists, new reporters and not-yet-published writers.

Our staff
Danny Stusser, Publisher
Danny Stusser -- danny@theJOLTnews.com -- has been a news junkie since age 12 when he started writing for his middle-school newspaper. He continued to write for publication through college and beyond, generally for industry trade magazines. From January 2005 until COVID-19 he published Coffee News in separate editions for Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater and State Offices. Also an inventor, he holds two U.S. utility patents for an advertising innovation that became UpRightCards™.  He lives with his family in Olympia.
Alexis Rae Baker, Columnist
Alexis Rae Baker -- Lexis@theJOLTnews.com -- grew up in Thurston County and earned her Bachelors Degree at The Evergreen State College. As a student she studied psychology, business, and evolutionary biology and has spent years developing new philosophies about life and human behavior. After two years traveling the country as a semi-truck driver, she took an early sabbatical to focus on writing and, in November 2019, she joined Pareto-Curve Marketing as Publishing Associate for Coffee News, and continues with its new publication, JOLT.
Kathleen Anderson, Columnist
Kathleen Anderson has written essays and columns for newspapers and television in California since 1989, with focuses on real estate, home maintenance and topics for senior citizens. She also owned and ran her own 35-seat café, managed a hotel, and managed programs for a network of 20 senior housing facilities. New to Olympia since 2018, she lives in North Olympia with one of her four children and is a lifelong Lion.
Prachi Gohil, Publishing Associate
Prachi Gohil – prachi@theJOLTnews.com – ensures that we fulfill our promise to publish stories about events and activities covering a wide range of interests. She began her journalism career in high school, writing news and interviews, and wrote for St. Martin’s University’s student newspaper, The Belltower when she was a student there. She joined The JOLT in June 2020 and is currently pursuing her Master of Project Management from Northeastern University.
The JOLT advisory board
Bill Will
Bill Will is Industry Growth & Development Coordinator for Solar Installers of Washington, a trade association. He is a former newspaper reporter and editor and was executive director of Washington Newspaper Publishers Association from 2005 to 2014. He lives in Olympia.
Bob Jacobs
Bob Jacobs describes himself as a "full-time advocate for good government and a positive future."  He served on the Olympia City Council and as mayor of Olympia from 1993-1999. Surrounding those years he was a policy and budget analyst for the states of Washington and Alaska.  He owns and manages residential rental properties, serves on non-profit boards and is a U.S. Army veteran.
Eileen McKenzieSullivan
Eileen McKenzieSullivan retired in April 2020 after serving for 24 years as Executive Director of Senior Services for the South Sound, a  multi-program agency serving older adults in Mason and Thurston Counties. She decided as a teenager to dedicate her life to working with seniors. After earning a BA in Sociology/Social work at Seattle University she began a career in geriatrics, working in Alaska, Iowa, Seattle and finally Olympia. Eileen and her husband live near Tenino.
Graeme Sackrison
Graeme Sackrison is serving his second term on the board of North Thurston Public Schools. Following two years on the Lacey Planning Commission, Graeme spent thirteen years on the Lacey City Council, six as Mayor. A graduate of North Thurston High School, he attended Centralia Community College and Western Washington State College. After college graduation, he served four years in the U.S Air Force.  He worked for the Employment Security Department for 28 years. Graeme’s married with a daughter, a granddaughter and great-grandson.
Janine Gates
Janine Gates has published more than 500 articles covering land use in Thurston County, local government, social, economic, racial and environmental justice, business, politics, and individuals and organizations making a difference in the blog she started in 2009, Janine's Little Hollywood. She lives in her 1914-built house in Olympia.
Jenna Mason
Jenna Mason was born in Pennsylvania where she studied Broadcast Journalism at Penn State University. She moved to Olympia in 2015 to study environmental journalism through videography at The Evergreen State College, graduating in 2018. She is a digital media producer, operating Jenna Mason Media LLC. She is also the Outreach & Digital Media Consultant for Olympia Community Solar. 
Ken Balsley
Ken Balsley is Thurston County's most experienced journalist and columnist.  He has published "Ken's Corner" in several different local newspapers.  He's done it on the air for several local radio stations - currently KGY FM 95.3 and has published it in his blog "Ken's Corner & The Real News" which can be found at  kenbalsley.com. He has been in the media, journalism, radio, social media business for 49 years. 
Linda Villegas Bremer
Linda Villegas Bremer grew up speaking Spanish in Mission, TX.  The first member of her family to earn a college degree, she worked in a series of progressively more challenging consulting and management roles in business and government, eventually serving as a Cabinet member under Governor Christine Gregoire as Director of General Administration (now the Department of Enterprise Services).  She lives in Thurston County.
Makieda Hart
Makieda Hart is founder and co-owner of Strong Family Bonds LLC in Lacey, producer of SGT. HART’s BBQ Sauce. She married (the future SGT) Reno Hart when she was 18, becoming a military dependent spouse shortly after. She performed a variety of jobs around the world, including childcare, medical clerk and administrative assistant. When transferred in 2001 for an assignment at Joint Base Lewis McChord, they and their four children decided to plant roots here.  In April 2020 she co-founded South Sound BIPOC, to raise awareness of minority-owned businesses in the South Sound. 
Paul Pickett
Paul Pickett enjoyed a long career as an environmental engineer, retiring in 2019 after 30 years with the Department of Ecology.  He is a consultant for the Squaxin Island Tribe. He has served as a Thurston Public Utility District Commissioner and a Thurston Conservation District Supervisor. Paul taught water management and climate change at The Evergreen State College and has written articles for local and national publications. He lives with his wife in Thurston County, along with cats, chickens, blueberries, fruit trees and noxious weeds.