Thurston County Veterans’ Advisory Board Meets November 25

The Thurston County Veterans' Advisory Board is gathering Monday, November 25, for a special meeting. This meeting has been called by the advisory board in order to consider recommendations regarding 2014 shelter contracts.  This meeting was scheduled following the approval of the county budget on November 15th and is in addition to the regularly scheduled, quarterly meetings.  In addition, transportation for veterans accessing services at the American Lake, VA Puget Sound Health Care System and the Seattle VA will also be discussed at the meeting.


Washington Street Open For Holiday Shopping

Construction Suspended to Allow Downtown Shopping
The City of Olympia and The Washington Center for the Performing Arts (The Center) are pleased to announce that the City is suspending construction on the Washington Center project through the holiday season. Washington Street will be fully open and accessible starting Saturday, November 23, 2013.  Final construction will resume in early January.

“We are excited to ring in the holiday season with our friends and neighbors in the community.  A break in the project will give patrons and shoppers a chance to experience downtown Olympia without having to negotiate the construction” says Executive Director Jill Barnes. “We look forward to celebrating the future of the Washington Center as the project wraps up in the New Year.”

The Washington Center has many events planned during December. Enjoy Flamenco dancing, multiple performances of the Nutcracker, Clean Water/Cool Jazz, and even Sing-a-long Grease! Visit for a listing of performances.  

Downtown merchants and Olympia Downtown Association also have a full day of Downtown for the Holidays activities planned for Sunday December 1st, from 12 noon-5pm.  Visit for details. To make your holiday shopping even easier, downtown parking is FREE at 2 and 3 hour meters from December 12 through 24.

In addition, you may view original artwork from local artist Ira Coyne on the front façade of the Washington Center.  On large plywood panels, Coyne depicts the many eras of the Washington Center building, which opened in 1924 as the Liberty Theater and became the Olympic Theater in 1948.

“We’re pleased to reopen Washington Street in time for the holiday season,” says Rich Hoey, Olympia’s Public Works Director. “We know that access is vital for a thriving downtown. We encourage residents to come down and support the businesses, see the art work, and enjoy a performance.”

In January, work will resume and will include installing the brick and stone siding on Washington Street, completing the new entry canopy, and the hanging of a new marquee! One lane of Washington Street will be closed in January during this final stage of construction, lasting approximately four to six weeks.

November 20, 2013/Joint News Release City Of Olympia And The Washington Center For The Performing Arts

WSDOT Accepting Public Comment on Transportation Projects Tthrough Dec 17

Washington state’s 4-year program of transportation projects ready for review. Want to see what future transportation improvement projects are in store for communities across the state?  Then check out Washington’s final draft of the 2014-2017 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

The Washington State Department of Transportation is now accepting public comment on the draft STIP which includes more than 1,000 transportation improvement projects across the state. WSDOT developed the list of projects in coordination with the metropolitan and regional transportation planning organizations to ensure that the projects are consistent with local, regional and state plans.

The 2014-17 STIP includes improvement projects utilizing $1.8 billion in federal funds. Projects include pavement overlays, roadway widening, bridge replacement or repair, signal systems, safety enhancements, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and transit facilities.  

The 30-day public comment period is the final step in the process of adopting the STIP. Comments will be accepted on the plan between Nov. 18 and Dec. 17. Any comments received will be sent to the respective local planning organization for their consideration.  

Comments may be submitted by email or mail to: Nancy Huntley, P.O. Box 47390, Olympia, WA 98504-7390. They can also be submitted by fax at 360-705-6822.

About the STIP
The STIP is a statewide financially constrained prioritized program of transportation-related projects for Washington. It covers four years, and must be consistent with the long-range statewide transportation plan, metropolitan transportation plans, and regional transportation improvement programs. The STIP is required for projects to be authorized for federal funding.

November 20, 2013/Washington State Department of Transportation – NEWS

Forest, BLM Map Prices to Increase

The price of most hard-copy Pacific Northwest Recreation Series, Wilderness, Ranger District, and Special Area maps will increase January 1, 2014, the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management announced today. This is the first price increase for these maps in seven years. Meanwhile, purchasing maps is becoming easier through online, retail outlet, and credit card options. The current price of hard-copy Pacific Northwest Recreation Series, Wilderness, Ranger District, and Special Area maps was established in 2007. Since then, costs to produce, distribute, and print maps have increased. Some Forest Service and BLM map prices will remain unchanged.

The new price for most hard copy Pacific Northwest Recreation Series, Wilderness, Ranger District, and Special Area maps will be $9 for paper and $10 for plastic. Customers can purchase maps online or by phone through the National Forest Store, online though Discover Your Northwest, and at Forest Service offices in Oregon and Washington. Most Forest Service offices can now accept credit cards. Hard-copy Pacific Northwest Recreation Series, Wilderness, Ranger District, and Special Area maps are also available at commercial retail outlets, though prices may be higher. The Forest Service and BLM continually update maps. Historically, maps have been updated—or revised—every 15-20 years. The agencies expect to shorten the revision cycle to every 5-10 years as cartographers continue to apply new digital technology to the map revision process. Digital versions of some maps for mobile applications are available through the Avenza map store.  Digital maps are $4.99 per side; many maps have two sides. The agencies are working to increase the availability of digital maps. Maps may be purchased at their current prices before the increase takes effect Jan. 1, 2014.

November 20, 2013/BLM and The Forest Service Public Notice