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February has arrived! Bulbs are sending up green shoots and days are getting longer and sunnier, a foreshadowing of Spring. February is also the month for Valentine’s Day.  To honor this … more
A few weeks ago, a big question arose: Why do people garden ? Since then, we’ve examined why people grow vegetables and why (and how) we grow trees . Today, it’s time to consider why … more
In recent years, Thurston County has witnessed a concerning trend - a steady erosion of transparency within its government. One significant move was the proposal to expand the board of commissioners … more
Spring is coming! Despite the recent cold and rainy weather, we are only four more Wednesdays until the Spring Equinox, at which time we are encouraged to dance in the moonlight around a roaring … more
Some days, it’s hard to think of anything nice to say about February. There are things you’re expected to say, like “Crocuses are up!” or “Spring is coming!” But … more
Birders love owls, those mysterious creatures that haunt the night. Unfortunately, one of these owls, the Barred Owl, is rapidly expanding its range at the expense of another, the Endangered Northern … more
Ego is a funny thing… Apparently, I am a member of “The Silent Generation,” those born between 1928-1945. This was a crushing discovery since I automatically and wrongly assumed I … more
Broken is: ACCESS – to primary care for one EMERGENCY CARE – long waits, delayed care, lack of beds causing unnecessary suffering or worse INSURANCE - access and cost... more
Soup is a welcome meal during these chilly, wet days. One favorite is Hungarian Mushroom soup that is warm, comforting, flavorful and satisfying. The Northwest is blessed with abundant mushrooms. I … more
Today I was privileged to interview seven unsheltered individuals who live in Olympia. It was part of the annual, federally mandated PIT Count – Point in Time census – organized here by … more
It’s the lucky person who has childhood memories of time spent in a tree. In our family, it was a crabapple tree in the backyard that was easy to climb and a great place to disappear and read a … more
Following my own advice from an early January column, this past weekend, a friend and I drove up to the Skagit Flats, southwest of the town of Mount Vernon. My friend had never seen Snow Geese or the … more
If there is a "housing crisis" then we need more rentals.   For there to be more rentals, there must be more investors willing to tie up and risk their money.  For that to happen, the … more
In keeping with my goal of experiencing joyful things this year, I sometimes let my imagination take me where I physically cannot go. For all the wonders of my home base in Thurston County, when … more
In cold, rainy winter months it is sometimes difficult to get outside for family activities. One of my favorite January projects with my children, when they were young, was to prepare food together, … more
My brief, unscientific survey of why people garden turned up one over-arching truth: There are as many reasons to garden as there are gardeners. Each of us has our own list of explanations about why … more
Like the salmon, Billy Frank, Jr. swam against the stream, leading fish-ins and other demonstrations. And as with the salmon, the challenging journey upstream led to success. more
About two years ago, the publisher of The JOLT , Danny Stusser, had an idea. He thought his publication should include a column about birds and bird watching. Soon, we were meeting over lunch to talk … more
We are now halfway through the first month of the new year, so let’s take a look back at 2024. So far, we have had freezing weather, rain, snow, and high dangerous winds that brought down a … more
This is a savory casserole that can be a side dish paired best with chicken or fish, or as a protein-rich main course served with a green salad and crusty bread. It is warm and comforting on these … more
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