Wednesday, August 22, 2012

LOTT Seeks Community Members for Groundwater Study Group

by Janine Unsoeld

The LOTT Clean Water Alliance issued the following press release today, inviting the community to apply for a groundwater advisory group. More information about LOTT and this study can be found in past articles at An article dated April 17 describes the concern expressed by LOTT Alliance board members for public involvement in the groundwater study.

Community Invited to Apply for Advisory Group
The LOTT Clean Water Alliance invites community members throughout Thurston County to apply to serve on a Community Advisory Group for a regional scientific study that will help LOTT and the community understand how to best protect local water resources while treating reclaimed water and recharging groundwater. 
Applications and more information about the study and the Community Advisory Group are available on the LOTT website at
Applications must be received at the LOTT office no later than noon on Friday, September 14, 2012, to be eligible for consideration.  Please mail, email, deliver or fax completed applications to: Lisa Dennis-Perez, LOTT Public Communications Manager, LOTT Clean Water Alliance, 500 Adams Street NE, Olympia, WA 98501,, (360) 528-5719.

Community Advisory Group members will be selected and appointed by the LOTT Board of Directors through the application process. Appointments are expected to be made in late September, with the first Community Advisory Group meeting expected to be held in October.
Applicants do not need to have any prior knowledge or experience with wastewater or reclaimed water, although it is important that they have a general interest in the topic and a willingness to learn more.
In its initial phase, the Community Advisory Group will work closely with the LOTT Board of Directors and the study team to help gain an understanding of community perspectives and questions and ensure the study is designed to address community concerns.  The Community Advisory Group will also help identify effective ways to engage the public throughout the study. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mural Transforms Ugly Wall into A Piece of Art

Above: Taking advantage of the great weather, Joslyn Rose Trivett worked all day today on a mural project she initiated earlier this year. The mural is located between the two roundabouts on Olympic Way near downtown Olympia. 

By Janine Unsoeld

Earlier this year, westside neighborhood resident Joslyn Rose Trivett had an idea to beautify a dirty, mildewy retaining wall on Olympic Way, and now, her idea is becoming a reality.  

This week, Trivett is hard at work creating a mural on a 178 foot retaining wall seen by motorists, walkers, and bikers between the roundabouts near the Fourth Avenue bridge.  An area of about 700 square feet, the mural design is a muted green line of trees and plants up to six feet tall.

“I come from a crafty family so art isn’t super intimidating,” said Trivett today, as she sketched the large scale designs on the wall with colored children's chalk.

Above: Joslyn Rose Trivett sketches images on the wall this morning. She says that as she has worked on the project, she's heard frequent verbal endorsements from motorists and passersby. "It's a great feeling of support," says Trivett.

Trivett first obtained approval from the Southwest Neighborhood Association (SWONA) and the City of Olympia to solicit design contributions, choose colors, and arrange images. With the help of volunteers, she obtained supplies, cleaned, primed, and painted the wall a basic off-yellow background color.  Now she’s in the process of painting the actual images.

Today, she and helpers Mo Lally, a SWONA resident, and Trivett’s husband, Rip Heminway, filled in Trivett's sketches with such paint colors as Fun Yellow, Tansy, Parakeet, Carnelian, and Soulmate. Trivett expects to complete the project by next weekend.

As for who actually owns the wall, Trivett says she’s not exactly clear on the particulars. “I had to get permission from the city and SWONA to paint there. I asked for and received the verbal endorsement from the two adjacent homeowners. I know the city maintains the wall, painting over graffiti when it comes.” The wall will also be given a clear top coat of anti-graffiti paint. 

SWONA received a grant from the city of Olympia and about $600 of that grant is going to the mural project. Some supplies and services have been donated by area businesses – Sherwin-Williams gave the project a contractor’s discount on paint and has provided consultation.

Above: Rip Heminway helps paint the mural.

“My interest in painting the wall came from working on the adjacent Rainier Bench garden for the past three years. One time, when I was working there with Bethany Weidner, (former president of the SWONA), she said that her original vision for the spot had included a mural leading to the garden. That thought percolated in me for some time, especially as I would walk or otherwise pass that wall on Olympic Way. It seemed to be a sad, dirty wall, and out of character with the rest of the Gateway project (Seven Oars Park, the roundabouts and landscaping, the new bridge and mosaics)," says Trivett.  

"Either by chance or by influence, a design occurred to me that would match the themes of the Gateway project: images of nature transitioning to images of urban, structured environments, and using organic forms and earthy colors. This mural begins,uphill, with flowers and grasses and old growth forest and ends, downhill, with formal plantings of a neighborhood or suburb.”

“I would love to continue the project to the larger, downhill portion of the wall, creating a Phase II mural. That site would require way more preparation and maintenance. It has a huge weed problem, encroachment from both above and below. I hope that there will be energy to tackle that based on the success of Phase I. The images for Phase II would continue from Phase I, with the trees and plants integrating into more and more urban scapes.”

For more information about the project, contact Joslyn Rose Trivett at

Above: Southwest neighborhood resident Mo Lally helps paint the mural on Olympic Way.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Thurston County Commission Race Between Wolfe and Rogers

Karen Rogers, center, receives a hug from supporter Cliff Lee, while Phil Cornell, Rogers' campaign treasurer, checks the percentage results tonight shortly after 8:30 p.m. 

Thurston County Commissioner Race Between Wolfe and Rogers

by Janine Unsoeld

"Hot damn!" exclaimed Karen Rogers, candidate for Thurston County Commissioner, Position 1, upon hearing the results of the race just shortly after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night. Her party was in high gear tonight with supporters extending congratulations and hugs upon hearing the news.

"I'm thrilled and I've gotta thank everyone - my volunteers, and everyone who supported me, especially the voters...this is totally awesome," gushed Rogers.

According to the Thurston County Auditor website, at 8:33 p.m., Cathy Wolfe received 32.72% of the vote (4,112 votes); Karen Rogers received 30.31%  (3,810 votes); Ken Jones received 24.49% (3,078 votes), and George Barner, Jr. received 12.48% (1,569 votes). Jones ran as a Republican, while Wolfe, Rogers, and Barner ran as Democrats.

With an estimated 8,000 ballots left to count, the Auditor's Office will conduct another ballot count Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m.

Asked to comment, Rogers said her strategy was to work hard. "I didn't take anything for granted. I was doorbelling up to six or seven hours a day." Asked where she doorbelled, Rogers laughed and said, "I'm not telling you that!"

Rogers then excused herself, saying she needed to call Barner and Jones.

"I'm going to thank them for running and all they contributed to the race. They enriched the race with the issues they brought forth and I hope to continue on with their issues. With George, it was fiscal responsibility as well as listening to all the people, especially about the Critical Areas Ordinance. Ken Jones brought forth the needs of the south county. Their voice must be heard, along with everyone's else's."

Conversation amongst supporters focused on the issues facing both candidates. Tumwater city councilmember Ed Hildreth is a supporter of Rogers' campaign.

"I'm glad to see that we have an opportunity for some change...we need commissioners that are going to listen to the people. We have to have balance." Hildreth said this race is about property rights.

Jim Goldsmith agreed. Goldsmith, a resident of Steamboat Island, said he couldn't vote for Rogers in the primary but can, and will, in the general election.

"I'm definitely supporting Karen. I believe she's a person who will promote and protect property rights, promote building our economy and help small businesses," said Goldsmith.

Asked how he got involved in the campaign, Goldsmith said, "My eyes were opened when the commissioners were pursuing the no shooting zone ordinance and the emergency prairie ordinance - that had significant impact on rural property owners. I'm intensely interested in our environment. I'm halfway through getting my masters in geographic information systems, with an emphasis in sustainability, at the University of Washington....there needs to be a balance, and in my mind, the commissioners forgot what the balance was."

Karen Rogers is congratulated by Tumwater city councilmember Ed Hildreth shortly after hearing tonight's election results.