O Bee Credit Union: People Helping People

Much has changed in the past few months, but one thing that will never change is O Bee’s commitment to the South Sound community. As a not-for-profit credit union, O Bee is guided by the principle of “people helping people.” After careful consultations with medical experts, O Bee has decided to reopen all of their Thurston County lobbies, including the Fern Hill lobby in Tacoma. The Point Ruston branch will also reopen in a few weeks, after some interior repairs are addressed. 

If you choose to visit one of the newly reopened branches, O Bee offers many usual services still available: deposits and withdrawals, check cashing, loan payments, cashier or counter checks, debit card printing, cash advances, and shared branching. Public restrooms, the coin machine, and coin exchange services are not currently available in-branch.

Beyond their usual services, O Bee has taken their motto of “people helping people” to the next level. O Bee noticed serious food bank shortages in the community that had been brought on by increased demand after the extended shelter-in-place mandate. To raise awareness for these shortages, and to provide a creative tool for managing stress, O Bee hosted the Color-for-Cash contest – an online coloring contest for adults with a total of $3,000 in cash prizes. Over 1,000 people entered, and six lucky south sound residents split the award money. O Bee matched the contest giveaway by donating $3,000 each to Thurston County Food Bank and Nourish Pierce County.

Family Support Center operates Pear Blossom Place, a 24/7 family shelter in Olympia. When COVID-19 was recognized as a national threat, they relocated some of the families they serve to the nearby Quality Inn Hotel to allow for more social distancing. On Friday, May 22, 2020, a fire broke out, the hotel was evacuated and later deemed a total loss. No one was injured, but 15 houseless families staying there lost everything. O Bee stepped in to help and donated $5,000 to purchase needed supplies.

To learn more about O Bee Credit Union, their services, or what they’re doing right now to help our community, visit their website.

Celebrating Craft Visionary Lloyd Herman

The Renwick Gallery

Lloyd Herman, one of the leading authorities on the contemporary craft movement, has won the admiration and respect of art institutions both across the country and internationally.  Herman’s experiences have most recently inspired Northwest Designer Craftsmen to produce an exciting new documentary about his life and his work promoting various crafts.

It’s easy to see why Herman was selected for the next Living Treasures video documentary. He was instrumental in the opening of the Renwick Gallery, a branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and soon afterwards became the gallery’s first director. The gallery featured unique exhibitions that showcased pieces from a variety of materials and drew in large crowds. Lloyd Herman’s success at the Renwick Galley also brought with it many opportunities for his shows to travel to other countries, making him an instant emissary for American craft to audiences worldwide.

From there, the Renwick Gallery was able to broaden its program into an international venue for craft and design. Lloyd was energized by the challenges that came with establishing a premiere venue for contemporary craft, and from 1972 to 1986 presented over 100 exhibitions to achieve his goal of having contemporary craft join its rightful place among the Smithsonian’s family of museums.

And his career didn’t slow down from there. After his time as director of the Renwick Gallery, he said that he “hit the ground running with about three exhibition proposals that I was unable to do at the Renwick.” Over the next ten years his expertise was in constant demand, from helping the Cartwright Gallery in Vancouver B.C. to become the Canadian Craft Museum in 1988, to becoming the acting senior curator for planning the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA in 1998.

The documentary on his life is scheduled to be released just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, in honor of where this craftsman’s legacy all began! For more information, visit the Northwest Designer Craftsmen website

Tumwater Eye Center’s New facility

At the new location of Tumwater Eye Center, Dr. Douglas Jeske and his wife, Karen, have created a distinctive look and customer experience for their patients. This new facility, located at 6510 Capitol Boulevard SE, features state-of-the-art eye care technology and equipment.

With the help of Orca Construction, Quincy Home Interior Design, and Tovani Hart Architecture, the Jeskes turned a 1950’s home office into a classic, yet contemporary eye clinic. On the exterior of the building there are large overhanging eaves, created with sustainable hardwood and composite siding materials, creating a uniquely Northwestern style which adds depth and character to the building. Upon entering, you are greeted by the warm, welcoming open-design entry featuring vaulted ceilings and extensive windows that flood the space with natural light. The optical display cabinets use beautiful LED illumination and textured laminates to enhance the international frame collection. Noted elements of the design feature budding birch cabinetry harvested from sustainable crops, sliding office door enclosures, and natural linens encased in a recyclable resin.

Beyond the beauty of the location, Tumwater Eye Center features extensive use of technology to create a unique patient experience. Dr. Jeske uses premium computerized refracting equipment to create precise vision corrections. The vision concerns of patients are solved using the most current contacts and progressive lens designs and materials, including blue light blocking lenses. Qualified and compassionate staff help patients through state-of-the-art digital and infra-red retinal imaging and dark adaptation testing to allow early diagnosis of eye disease. Computer monitors in each exam room allow patients to observe images of their own eyes as Dr. Jeske offers practical education on eye health. The practice is also on the cutting edge of telemedicine, which allows remote patient examination with the simplicity of FaceTime.

For Additional Information

Visit their new location at 6510 Capitol Blvd SE, Tumwater or online at tumwatereye.com.


Women on the Waterway

Thea Foss had a mind of her own, and the pioneer Norwegian immigrant became the model for dozens of women who work on the Tacoma waterway that bears her name.

Thea, born in 1857, arrived first in Minnesota, where she and Andrew married. By 1889 both had moved to Tacoma, where Andrew worked as a carpenter.

While Andrew was out of town on a job, Thea changed her life. She bought a boat for $5 from a disgruntled fisherman, repainted it and sold it for a profit. That was the start of her waterfront fleet of more than 200 rowboats and the genesis of Foss Launch and Tug, now known as Foss Maritime, one of the largest maritime enterprises in the Western United States.

Clare Petrich descended from a family of boatbuilders and marine enthusiasts in the Adriatic. In Tacoma, her father started Petrich Marine on the Thea Foss Waterway. Was Clare, the daughter of the family, invited to participate in the business? Not a chance.

When her father died, Clare returned to Tacoma from living in India, West Africa and Asia to help her mother.

“I knew nothing about the business,” she explained. “It was off-limits to girls.” But Clare had been a Sea Scout on the “Curtis,” and she was a determined learner. She met people on the waterfront, learned to work with the fishermen and got involved.

She wasn’t appointed to a vacancy on the port commission because she was a woman, and “that made me mad!” She ran for a spot on the commission in 1995 and was elected the first woman to serve in the position.

Julia Berg, Director of Education and Community Engagement for the Foss Waterway Seaport museum, came from a sailing family in Seattle, racing sailboats as a child—and usually the only female in the race. She always wanted to be a marine biologist and learned even with a master’s degree that creativity is a major factor in the job. She has lived, studied, and worked around the world and has found supportive women in the marine community as she fosters innovative marine science education at the museum.

Monique Valenzuela: Being first is a similar story theme for other women who work on the Waterway. In its 96 years of existence, Monique Valenzuela is the first woman director of the Tacoma Youth Marine Foundation on the Waterway. She didn’t grow up in a boating family but looked out on Commencement Bay and wondered how she could have access.

“The maritime industry was not a pathway open to me, not something I thought possible to a young woman—let alone one who is less than 5 ft. 4 in. tall!” she exclaimed. Now she serves up to 900 students a year—half young women—and delights in empowering the girls and watching them “find their own voice” as they work on the “Curtis” and the “Odyssey.”

These professionals in the marine industry offer encouragement to young women:

“Never give up. Find mentors. Make connections with people who are doing what you want to do. Volunteer.”

Julia Berg

“You don’t have to be tall and muscular. Use what you got! Women can use their smaller bodies as an advantage. On the sea we are all equal. The sea recognizes hard work, responsibility and dedication.”

Monique Valenzuela

“Get involved. Lots of opportunities exist in marketing, logistics, shipping. Want a good-paying job and variety? Take the challenging road to be part of the maritime industry.”

Clare Petrich

For Additional Information





The Lurana: Olympia’s New Development

Water views have a calming effect on the human psyche. Living in the Puget Sound affords us many opportunities to live with views of the water and now there will be one more in the heart of Olympia. Located on .6 acres at Percival Landing, one of Olympia’s three waterfront parks, the Lurana will be a welcome addition to the community.

Designed by Thomas Architecture Studios, the new mixed-use building was named for an early Olympia pioneer, Lurana Percival who, along with her husband Samuel, built the Percival Mansion in 1874. The new Lurana project will be home to a restaurant, ROW Seafood, and retail spaces with terraces extending to the boardwalk. The project will accommodate a large outdoor plaza adjacent to the boardwalk with extensive restaurant seating. Retailers will include Bittersweet Chocolate as well as office spaces.

Forty-four apartments, consisting of ten studios, twenty-eight 1-bedrooms and six 2-bedrooms are available at the Lurana for lease. With waterfront views of Budd Bay, the Olympic Mountains and the State’s Capitol Dome, this property is an excellent location for those wanting to be near a hub for gatherings and social interactions while being near the central business district of Olympia. Percival Landing includes a 0.9-mile boardwalk extending along the eastern shoreline of West Bay from the Fourth Avenue Bridge to Thurston Avenue making the area bustling and vibrant.

Developed by Urban Olympia LLC and its owner Walker John, the Lurana will join other recently completed projects from this same group in the downtown including 321 Lofts, Franklin Lofts, and Annie’s Flats. The developer currently has Westman Mill and Market Flats under construction in the area as well.


Saint Martin’s University Celebrates 125 Years

Saint Martin’s University started 125 years ago when a group of Catholic Benedictine monks from Saint John’s Abbey in Minnesota came West to found a school. In 1895, the first student traveled 25 miles by canoe, Angus McDonald, from Shelton. Saint Martin’s was started as an all-boys high school and then transitioned to a college in 1938, and later Saint Martin’s University in 2005.

The University’s 125th anniversary will be celebrated with community events over 18 months starting with Saint Martin’s Alumni Homecoming festivities now through May 2021. Saint Martin’s has served as the gathering place for the community by hosting events, athletic games and cultural events for over a century.

“It is a milestone for any organization to reach their 125thanniversary and very important for all to celebrate this achievement,” said Saint Martin’s University President Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D. “We see this 125th year as an opportunity to connect the Saint Martin’s family of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and abbey members with a renewed commitment to excellence. Personally, I find this achievement as an opportunity to re-energize the community around our distinctive mission of serving others.”

The University is now a vibrant campus with approximately 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students pursuing degrees. Saint Martin’s offers 29 majors and 11 graduate programs on its Lacey campus and its extended campus on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The campus has also continued expanding with the opening of a new $10.7 million science center in spring 2019 and another renovation of a $3.5 million nursing education center set to open fall 2020.

“We are so proud that our Saint Martin’s alumni go on to be engaged business and community leaders in the South Sound region and beyond,” said Genevieve Chan, vice president of marketing and communications. The University’s mission statement is: “Saint Martin’s University is a Catholic Benedictine institution of higher education that empowers students to pursue a lifetime of learning and accomplishment in all arenas of human endeavor. Saint Martin’s students learn to make a positive difference in their lives and in the lives of others through the interaction of faith, reason, and service. The University honors both the sacredness of the individual and the significance of community in the ongoing journey of becoming.”

Celebrate this milestone anniversary with the Saint Martin’s community by visiting the website at www.stmartin.edu/125 and on the University’s official social media channels.

For Additional Information

Saint Martin’s University



Chic Farmhouse Design for Dash Point Home

When Terry and Kathy Kleeberger decided to upgrade their Dash Point home, they envisioned a lighter, brighter space. “We loved the rustic, cozy feel of the house but wanted to update and brighten up the kitchen,” say the Kleebergers.

The project began in January 2019 and was completed that June. The homeowners brought in the experts at Signature Design and Cabinetry to help with the design. “We wanted to keep it cozy and inviting, creating a comfortable place for friends and family while incorporating some chic farmhouse charm,” say the Kleebergers. The couple also envisioned a space with tools and equipment for plenty of ongoing entertaining both indoor and outside.

“Remodels can be difficult and typically take longer than expected, but it all came together beautifully,” say the Kleebergers. “The cabinet design, ordering and installation was seamless. In the end, we have tons of storage and love the new pantry and wine cooler. Entertaining is so much easier with an indoor and outdoor kitchen, too. We now have an expanded space for people to enjoy in and around the kitchen.”

For Additional Information

Signature Design & Cabinetry


Images by: Denise Knudson Photography

Fitness For Mind & Body

Open a window. Stand there for a while. Stretch your muscles. Breathe fresh air. Listen to the birds or the rain.

How do you care for yourself? How do you pay attention to your physical body? To your mental and emotional cues? “Mindful fitness” meshes a fitness routine to keep you healthy and strong throughout your life with mindfulness, a meditative practice that provides a foundation for health, happiness and wellbeing.

“Before beginning any exercise, pause and bring awareness to your physical form. Feel your bones, muscles, organs, tissues and even skin,” shares Adam Brady, yoga teacher and martial artist with the Chopra Center for nearly 20 years. “How does your body feel? Do you have pain or discomfort? Are you low on energy? Only after you’ve taken inventory of how you feel… should you proceed with your warm-up or workout.”

Brady agrees that noticing your environment is important—temperature, lighting, odors and other sensory perceptions may influence your mindfulness practice. Consider closing the door, turning off the TV and choosing music that helps maintain a peaceful focus.

The yoga experts know your mind will wander. Your job is to “come back to the present moment, the breath and the exercise” to create a breathing rhythm that “serves as a bridge between your mind, body and soul,” Brady said.

Natural mindful fitness exercises include martial arts, jumping rope, yoga, tai chi, walking or running.

If a gym isn’t available or quite your speed, Integrated Pilates Tacoma suggests finding a safe staircase inside to do cardiovascular and balance work, remembering also to take rest breaks throughout the day so your nervous system can rebalance itself. Even children can participate in a “body scan,” lying on a comfortable surface, closing their eyes, squeezing every muscle in their bodies as tightly as they can, releasing all their muscles to relax a few minutes, and then think about how their bodies felt during the activity.

Pay attention to your body, muscles, pace, breathing, resistance and tension—indoors and out—for a healthier and more mindful you.

For Additional Information



Mental Health During Social Isolation

The outbreak of COVID-19 has been incredibly stressful for many people, resulting in feelings of increased anxiety and depression for some. Unfortunately, for those with pre-existing mental health conditions, the stress of COVID-19 can be too much to handle, leading to feelings of hopelessness and doubt. 

Pacific Medical Centers recently launched a campaign focused on mental wellness during COVID-19, designed to foster connections during social isolation. PacMed knows that COVID-19 has led to a mental health crisis, both in Washington state and around the world. The team of mental and behavioral health providers at PacMed can teach us how to properly spot mental health concerns and the right questions to ask our family and friends who may be experiencing feelings of loneliness and isolation during COVID-19.

To help share further insights on how COVID-19 has impacted our mental health – and how Pacific Medical Center’s COVID-19 campaign aims to help those currently suffering from mental health illnesses — nurse practitioner Simon Katumu with Pacific Medical Centers’ can help. Katumu answers common questions about social isolation and its impact on mental health during COVID-19, along with the importance of understanding the connection between physical health and mental health. 

  1. Who is most at risk for depression? 

Everyone can be affected by depression during this pandemic but most specifically, people that have had a prior history of mental/emotional conditions can be at a higher risk. This may include prior episodes of depression, anxiety, postpartum depression, etc. Also, people whose lives have been affected significantly by the pandemic such as job losses, losses of loved ones, experience with COVID-19 (such as being severely sick with the virus and being intubated in the ICU), etc. may also be at a higher risk for depression. 

The economic impact of this pandemic has also affected us in one way or another, but some of us have been affected more than others. Also, people who are outgoing and derive energy from being around others may be affected by social distancing and the inability to go out and socialize. Those who consume news continuously, including social media, may find the information emotionally draining and depressing as well. 

  1. What specifically can readers do to avoid depression? 

Try as much as possible to maintain your usual routine, which includes waking up at the same time every morning, exercising safely and regularly, eating healthy, getting enough sleep every night, limiting your consumption of the news / making sure your news sources are reliable and trying to stay in touch with friends and loved ones virtually, via FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, etc. 

  1. When should someone seek help?

If you notice that your emotions and feelings are affecting your ability to function and/or your relationships, then it may be time to seek professional help. Some people may notice that they are more irritable, impatient, not sleeping well, constantly worrying or being anxious about getting the virus, their financial wellbeing, 

We all get concerned by what goes on around us and have thoughts and discussions about our jobs, families, the economy, and that’s perfectly fine, but there’s a level of nervousness, worry and uncertainty that is not healthy. When this happens, it is wise to seek medical help.

  1. Why is it important to seek help?

Sometimes we go through life thinking that we are alone and no one else understands what we may be going through. We may think that we are the only ones who feel the way we do and maybe even think that something is wrong with us, but there’s help. Many of the issues that we face are also experienced by so many around us and there is professional help available. 

  1. Anything else we should know about depression during this time?

The brain just like all our other body organs can be sick. Just like there is no shame in seeking help for our hearts, livers and lungs, there is no shame in seeking help for our brains as well. It is perfectly fine and there is help available.

Simon Katumu is a nurse practitioner at Pacific Medical Centers at its Puyallup clinic. He received his degree from Southern Illinois University. Katumu has received his certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. His medical interests include health promotion and disease prevention. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, playing basketball, running and watching movies. 

Garden of Delights Gala– Live!

Due to the extension of Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home” mandate, Tacoma Arts Live’s annual gala is taking a new shape as it pivots from the traditionally formal, in-person occasion to a creative, digitally produced live experience. Tacoma Arts Live’s 2020 Gala: Garden of Delights is a fundraiser to support education through the arts programs. It will be held on Friday, May 29 at 7:30 p.m., and will be streamed on YouTube Live and Facebook Live. The Gala is free to view, and guests are encouraged to register in advance to participate in the auction.

The event will share entertainment provided by Enjoy Productions and several deluxe auction packages. Additionally, an online silent auction begins May 23 through June 1.

Patrons who already purchased tickets to the in-person Gala will receive a Party Package delivered to their home that includes specialty cocktail ingredients and other festive party surprises to enjoy during the main event. Guests who register in advance to bid online will be invited to join an exclusive virtual happy hour that will share step-by-step instructions to create their cocktails for the night.

Tacoma Arts Live has developed one of the largest arts education programs in the nation, and the annual gala supports their arts programs, which serve between 55,000 students, teachers, and family members annually through a rich blend of services in the South Sound region and beyond. Tacoma Arts Live invests in the future by providing dynamic programs that focus on shared growth and expression and using the arts as a tool for social development.

The Tacoma Arts Live 2020 Gala: Garden of Delights is free to watch, but to participate in giving, guests must register early for the online auction. To make a donation in advance, visit the Tacoma Arts Live website here.