Contributors

Help People. Do It Fast. Let Everyone Know.

Help People. Do It Fast. Let Everyone Know.

The stress cracks, sagging walls and cleavages in the foundation of our Democracy can continue to be ignored only at our own peril.  The conspiracy theories used to justify sedition. The refusal to acknowledge free and fair elections.  While a number of factors fuel the discontent, there is something the government can do to stem the tide and strengthen the foundation: Help people. Do it fast. Let everyone know.  The public has always been, to varying degrees, sympathetic and supportive of an activist government. People want good schools, clean and healthy food, and plentiful salmon and orcas and are willing to pay (something) for them. Even…
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To all my housed friends enjoying the snow

To all my housed friends enjoying the snow

This is NOT meant to shame you. You shouldn't feel bad for having a warm place to be, with hot food & beverages, heat & blankets. Nor should you feel ashamed that snow is fun and you love playing in it. I don't want you to feel bad - I desperately want you to want what you have for every person. I want you to keep in your mind and in your heart those for whom snow is deadly.  Our local response, once again, is entirely inadequate.  Earlier this week, before the first flakes fell, there was - once again…
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City of Olympia Begins Search for Next Chief of Police

City of Olympia Begins Search for Next Chief of Police

The next Olympia Police Chief will earn nearly $183,000 a year to be “community-focused, compassionate, accountable, and inspiring,” says a recruiting announcement for the position posted on the city’s website. The announcement contains only a vague reference to the challenges the new chief will face. Regarding the past year’s protests, counter-protests, shootings of at least two people by people participating in pro-Trump rallies and widespread criticism of police actions/inactions, including the use of flash-bangs and tear gas, it says only this: “Like most cities, Olympia experienced the passions and turbulence rising from the racial justice demonstrations that swept the nation…
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2021 Olympia City Council Races Begin to Take Shape

2021 Olympia City Council Races Begin to Take Shape

Although the Aug. 3 primary election is nearly six months away, the race is on for endorsements and cash by Olympia City Council candidates seeking to move on to the November general election. Five seats are open this year, rather than the usual four because recently-appointed Councilmember Yen Huynh will have to run for election if she wishes to retain the seat. She has filed paperwork with the state Public Disclosure Commission indicating her plans to run. Incumbents Lisa Parshley and Jim Cooper also have filed, and Clark Gilman is expected to do so as well. One-term council member Renata…
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Olympia Port Commissioner EJ Zita Will Not Seek Reelection

Olympia Port Commissioner EJ Zita Will Not Seek Reelection

With a social media post that began a bit cryptically and continued in a way that nearly obscured its intent, Port of Olympia Commissioner E.J. Zita announced she’s not running for re-election. It said: “1. Presidential coup and 2. silencing of public voices “An incumbent president executed a coup and secured a second term, abetted by a loyal second.  “Joe Downing nominated himself for an unprecedented second term as president of the Port of Olympia Commission, despite the longstanding practice of annual officer rotations. (Port Commissioner Bill) McGregor voted with Downing to pass the motion. Vice President Zita was scheduled…
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February 1st Marks 14 Year Anniversary of Camp Quixote

February 1st Marks 14 Year Anniversary of Camp Quixote

On February 1st, 2007 a group of members of the street community, along with advocates, formed a tent city in Downtown Olympia. We not only changed the course of dozens of lives, but we changed the conversation around homelessness and our community's response to it. In the fall of 2006, I had been on staff at Bread & Roses (B&R) in Olympia for about three years. Founded in the early 80s, B&R was a Catholic Worker house, inspired by Dorothy Day's work with the poor and marginalized in our society.  In Olympia, the organization had grown to encompass the original…
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“There cannot be daily Democracy without daily citizenship.” -Ralph Nader

“There cannot be daily Democracy without daily citizenship.” -Ralph Nader

It is a truism that a real measure of a country is how it treats its least fortunate. It also reveals a Democracy's real commitment to staying one by its measures to protect and nurture its foundation. Notwithstanding two recent crisis-induced changes, real democratic reforms have generally only happened when the public either initiates them or forces its elected leaders to increase transparency, disclosure, and access - despite their inherent reluctance.  As a result of the recent insurrection in our nation's capital, a number of large corporate funders have said they won't donate to those in Congress (for now) who…
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Olympia Wants To Get a Buzz On.

Olympia Wants To Get a Buzz On.

A bee buzz that is. The Olympia City Council voted Tuesday night to join the Bee City USA movement to ensure healthy habitats for our fave pollinators.  Pollinators are popular in OlyTown. Mason bee homes and honey bee hives grace many properties around the city and residents proudly display signs proclaiming their environs as “Pollinator Friendly,” giving humble bumbles and their pals freedom to dart around gardens full of their beloved bloomers.  The city wants people to know more about how important these pollinators are to food production and how to keep them safe from pesticides, diseases and predators. The…
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Future Uncertain For ‘Safe Parking Site’

Future Uncertain For ‘Safe Parking Site’

The City of Olympia and Thurston County have put the brakes on a plan to create a single safe-parking site for people who live in their vehicles. Directed at finding a place to move people whose households are vehicles along Ensign Road, the plan was set in motion when the city held off on forcing them to move after the State Attorney General’s Office raised concerns about the sweep’s potential non-compliance with the state’s eviction moratorium and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Keith Stahley, an Assistant City Manager, said today, “we realized that the site (the city’s firing range at…
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“For this Country to truly “move on” from its inglorious past there needs to first be truth, and then reconciliation.”

“For this Country to truly “move on” from its inglorious past there needs to first be truth, and then reconciliation.”

There has already been much written about least Wednesday’s failed insurrection at the Capitol in D.C., and the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia, and they will likely comprise whole sections of history books. But, because this is 2021 and social media is the omnipresent font of all (instant) reflection, kvetching and pontificating, we can already (unsurprisingly) read/hear what apologists (minus the actual apology) for the coup-attempt think.   The “whataboutism” of modern political discourse, practiced primarily by those who support Donald Trump and most often deployed to distract and divert with false equivalencies away from his plethora of unethical, likely criminal,…
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