Submitted by The Office Bar and Grill
The Office Bar and Grill is extremely fortunate to be located so close to South Puget Sound Community College. The College offers an outstanding Artist and Lecture Series that frequently overflows to The Office. Such was the case recently when Washington’s oldest ballet company, Ballet Northwest, brought one of the country’s top dance companies, Ailey II, to the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts main stage. Following the event, audience members and performers alike traveled across the street to enjoy food and beverages at The Office in the warm afterglow of an incredible performance.
The Office Bar and Grill has an affinity for Olympia Beer collectibles and the famous slogan, “It’s the Water.” Recently South Puget Sound Community College offered a gallery display of local and regional artists who made their own interpretations of that slogan. The exhibit featured 76 artists who submitted nearly 300 pieces, using a vast range of materials. Each piece was donated by the artist for the exhibition’s silent auction.
Currently on view at the college:
Gothic Forest Blends Man-Made and Natural Forms
“The man-made modern world often juxtaposes forms and shapes found in nature. Now that crossover will be on display as artist Mike Adams brings his Gothic Forest installation to South Puget Sound Community College beginning Feb. 25. Gothic Forest incorporates video projections on suspended sewn-mesh forms, creative imagery evocative of natural forests and gothic architecture. Inspired by the gothic cathedrals of Chester and York in Northern England, as well as the forests of the Pacific Northwest, Adams creates an environment to contemplate the connection between man and nature.”
The exhibition runs from Tuesday, Feb. 25 through Friday, March 28 at The Gallery at the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m., except holidays. For more information about The Gallery, visit www.spscc.edu/gallery.
Submitted by Port of Olympia
The East Bay Public Plaza is one of only 30 projects nation-wide to receive certification under the Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™) Rating System for sustainable landscape design. SITES holds high standards for certification; out of 150 projects that recently applied for certification, only four projects were certified – East Bay Public Plaza being one of them.
The East Bay Public Plaza, located along Olympia Avenue between Marine Drive and Jefferson Street, is owned and operated by the LOTT Clean Water Alliance. It was developed as a joint project of the East Bay partners – the City of Olympia, Port of Olympia, Hands On Children’s Museum, and LOTT. The plaza highlights the partners’ shared educational focus on the importance of water and sustainability.
The Plaza was awarded a one-star rating by the SITES program, which is similar to the LEED certification program, but focuses on outdoor spaces rather than buildings. A few of the sustainable design features include:
The most striking feature of the plaza is the stream-like water feature, which is truly unique. It is the first and only recreational water feature in the state that uses reclaimed water. LOTT produces high-quality Class A reclaimed water from the water we use and discard every day. It is the highest quality of reclaimed water in the state, meeting stringent water quality standards and permit requirements from the state Departments of Ecology and Health.
“We are pleased to be among those taking a lead in applying the SITES program rating system to enhance the environmental, social and economic aspects of our projects,” said Mike Strub, Executive Director for the LOTT Clean Water Alliance. “This certification is evidence of our commitment to the environment and to our communities.”
East Bay Public Plaza was designed by Robert W. Droll, Landscape Architects, PS, a landscape architectural firm in Lacey, WA. It was constructed by Berschauer Phillips/FORMA Construction Company in Tumwater, WA. The plaza was completed and opened to the public in August 2012. Since then, it has become a popular place for picnicking and family fun during warm weather and a popular destination throughout the year.
The SITES program is an interdisciplinary effort led by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and the United States Botanic Garden to create a voluntary, national rating system and guidelines for sustainable landscapes of all types, with or without buildings. Certification is based on The Sustainable Sites Initiative™: Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks 2009.
Since 2009, the SITES program, in conjunction with a diverse group of stakeholder organizations, has worked to transform land development and management practices with this first national rating system for sustainable landscapes. The guidelines apply to any type of designed landscape, with or without buildings, including shopping malls, streetscapes, subdivisions, corporate and academic campuses, transportation corridors, parks and recreation areas, and single family homes.
The U.S. Green Building Council, a stakeholder in the Sustainable Sites Initiative program, anticipates incorporating the SITES guidelines and performance benchmarks into future iterations of its LEED® Green Building Rating System™. While LEED minimizes the carbon footprint, SITES demonstrates how a landscape can actually sequester carbon and regenerate living systems. Working together these initiatives will further revolutionize sustainable design.
Thank You 2014 Sponsors
Community for Interfaith Celebration
Olympia Food Co-op
Olympia Power and Light
South Sound Family Dentistry
State Farm - Pete Mattich
Washington Federation of State Employees - Local 443
Washington State Council of Fire Fighters
Thank You 2014 Donors
5th Avenue Fitness & Janice Rosen
8 Arms Bakery
Bearded Lady Food Company
Eastside Big Tom
Encore Chocolates & Teas
Human Body Works
In Touch Therapy
Lattin's Country Cider Mill
McCowan & Associates
Old School Pizzeria
Olympia Wood Turners Guild
Phoebe's Pastry Cafe
San Francisco Street Bakery
The Wine Loft
From today's inbox:
Friends and Allies,
The Rachel Corrie Foundation is pleased to announce our March 16th event honoring Rachel’s stand in Gaza. Every year we remember her on this date with activities encompassing three values she held closely: action, education, and community. We hope that you will join us, share our event widely, and help us welcome actress Ashley Malloy at the Olympia Ballroom to headline our afternoon and evening events!
Please join us Sunday, March 16th, for...
...Action: A Theater of the Oppressed Workshop led by Ashley Malloy. With Image Theatre techniques, we will create instant tableaus that provoke, incite, and encourage lively discussion and debate around issues of the Occupation. No previous theatrical experience is needed - only an open mind! 2-3:30 PM
...Education: Ashley Malloy performs an abbreviated version of the play My Name is Rachel Corrie edited from Rachel’s original writings by Director Alan Rickman and Guardian journalist Katharine Viner. 4 PM
...Community: Our shared potluck meal - a March 16th Olympia tradition! Good food and company will be accompanied by discussion of the play My Name is Rachel Corrie, theater as resistance, and the cultural and academic boycott of Israel. Ashley Malloy will be joined by panelist Nada Elia, from the Palestinian Students Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott, and others. 5-7 PM
This free event is open to the public. Donations at the door are welcome. Bring food to share! To lend support as a co-sponsoring individual or organization, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 754-3998.
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By Katie Hurley
Ask any bride-to-be what she wants for her wedding reception, and you’ll likely get a pretty detailed description of the reception she has in mind. For the past 30 years, local brides and grooms have chosen Bayview Catering to create the unique reception of their dreams.
According to Bayview Catering Director Kelly Young, more and more receptions are taking place at venues with a personal connection to the bride and/or groom, such as a friend or family member’s home or business rather than rented wedding halls. Recently, Bayview has catered weddings at two different driving ranges that were owned by the brides’ families, as well as at a bride’s family’s waterfront property in Seabeck, with a beachfront ceremony followed by a reception in a barn on the property.
Bayview Catering has the expertise to customize a reception to fit any theme or venue. Bayview catered a reception in a farmer’s field near the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad. The guests stepped off the train and enjoyed the catered dinner and drinks in the field and when it was over they got back on the train for the return trip. Another reception featured an Asian menu including Bulgogi, Teriyaki Salmon and Chicken Satay. After one wedding at The Barn on Jackson in Chehalis, the couple had their guests return to The Barn in the morning for a catered brunch to cap off their wedding celebration.
Menu options include cold and hot hors d’oeuvres, seafood, salads, and traditional plated dinners, as well as barbecue and picnic fare and desserts. “We can do a lot to customize a reception menu,” says Young. “The menus on our website are just a guideline.” At a wedding at the State Theater in downtown Olympia, guests came in red carpet attire and dined on glamorous gourmet hors d’oeuvres and petit fours, specially chosen because guests could eat them easily while standing. One wedding, which was blending two families with young children, took place at the Hands On Children’s Museum and featured kid-friendly fare such as Mini Mac & Cheese Bites and Mini Sandwiches.
Bayview Catering has catered in a broad range of venues around our area, from historic Union Station in Tacoma to venues on the Washington coast. They offer everything from just delivery of the prepared food to full service catering with servers, carving stations and bartenders. They can even barbecue on site.
Couples can save time and money by utilizing some of the other wedding services offered by Bayview Catering. In addition to catering, Bayview offers event planning services to help with everything from venue selection to décor. They offer rentals of tents, chairs, tables, tableware, serving items and other party supplies. custom wedding cakes and flowers for both the ceremony and reception. A discount is given when using 3 or more of their wedding services.
Look no further than Bayview Catering for a wedding caterer with 30 years of wedding expertise and a broad range of services to help you plan the wedding of your dreams. For more information, see Bayview Catering’s website or call 360-357-8016.
March 3, 2014
video, 37 seconds, views from the Plaza Tower, Port Olympia, today, there was rain and sunshine, wind, and scenes with rail cars, proppants, and logs, at the port.
Pizza anyone, with a side of 80’s hard rock and pinball?
By Tom Rohrer
After losing to White River 71-63 in the regional round of the WIAA 2A Girls’ Basketball State Tournament last night, Greenfield’s Black Hills squad retreated to the locker room at Puyallup High School.
Their season over, the Wolves players and coaches came together one last time before heading home to Tumwater.
“It was tough….there were a lot of tears, a lot of hugs,” said Greenfield, the Black Hills head coach. “You never prepare for this situation because you try to think about winning and not losing. That wasn’t how it worked out tonight.”
The loss was the final high school game for five Black Hills seniors including starters Sarah McGee, Nicole Nurmi and twins Sydney and Taylor Sauls.
Bound to play at Division I Southern Utah next winter, McGee was terrific for the Wolves, scoring 18 points, 16 of which came in the first half. Nurmi added 18 as well and her 10 second half points kept the Wolves in the game heading into the fourth quarter. Taylor and Sydney Sauls posted 12 and six points respectively while senior reserve Selina Lalau’s six points all came in the second half.
Greenfield was pleased by her senior’s efforts throughout the contest
“They came out from the start playing like it was their last game and that doesn’t surprise me,” Greenfield noted. “It was an all or nothing scenario and they gave their all. I know they wanted the win, but they can be proud about what they left on the floor.
Down 37-31 at halftime, Black Hills got back to back three pointer from Taylor and Sydney Sauls to even the score at the start of the third quarter. It was the closest Black Hills would come to taking the lead, as the Hornets proceeded to go on a 16-11 run heading into the fourth quarter.
A two point basket by Lalau with 6:10 remaining in the contest cut White River’s lead to 55-52. However, White River would score two quick baskets and never led by less than four points the remainder of the game.
Though the scrappy play of the Wolves kept the game tight until the final buzzer, Black Hills couldn’t make the plays required to take the lead.
“We kept coming back but that takes a lot of energy,” said Greenfield. “When you keep having to come back from these deficits, it’s hard to find the push to take the next step. We didn’t take that step.”
The Hornets received 25 points from freshmen Kendall Bird, 19 from junior Amanda Lance and fourteen from Kristin Sturdivan, the only three White River players in double figures.
You’ve talked with your aging parent. Together you’ve decided to get some help. That’s a good first step. The next step is to determine what kind of help to get.
Synergy HomeCare offers in-home assistance to seniors. The Synergy model uses trained and licensed caregivers. The company only hires certified nurses’ assistants (CNA’s) who have at least one year of experience in the field. “Our philosophy is that we want someone in the home that can see a medical issue developing or changing and have the ability to call and say ‘I see a problem,’” says Synergy HomeCare General Manager Brad Rossman.
The staff at Synergy work to match caregivers with clients. “It’s almost like dating. Either you’re going to like that person or maybe, for some reason, you didn’t hit it off. If it didn’t work out then we’ll bring another caregiver out,” explains Rossman.
The process begins with a home assessment. The assessment allows Rossman and his staff to understand the client’s wants and needs. Some clients may prefer working with a female while others would prefer a male.
Once a caregiver is assigned, an introduction is arraigned with the client. “We stay onsite until we sense the client is comfortable with the caregiver,” he continues.
Finding the right caregiver is important to building a relationship and maintaining quality of life. The goal is to provide a safe environment while respecting each person’s dignity and individuality.
More information about Synergy can be found by going to the website or calling 360-338-0837.
I wonder how many people who are sad that the Toy Store and Alpine closed also voted against economic development in downtown. Put a park where the toy store was and all is good.
Some great comments in this Facebook thread.
Education as a strategy for addressing poverty depends on not being poor in the first placeAuthor: Emily Lardner Try Science First
Scientists love a good idea. If you want to please scientists, tell them their idea seems elegant. Of all the good ideas out there, none is more attractive than gravity. But seriously folks, if we no longer wish to remain ignorant of the real world, we need to address science. First let’s be clear: technology is not science, medicine is not science, industry is not science. Science is a method of investigation and the collection of what has been found. We don’t have to like the results. To be science they must be correct.Author: Russ Frizzell Juan Gelman (1930-2014) Never the owner of his own ashes
The Latin American poet Juan Gelman died January 14. He is little known within the Republic of Letters and the literary “salonniers” of the English word in spite of being the winner of many international literary awards, including the Cervantes Prize in 2007 (the most prestigious award in the in the Spanish language), and his regular appearance on the lists of potential Nobel- laureates not to mention his immense popularity in Latin America—comparable to that of Borges, Neruda, Nicanor Parra, Garcia Marquez, Cortazar, Onetti, Paz, Fuentes, Galeano, and so many others.Author: Enrique Quintero Movie: The Fifth Estate (2013)
fiction masquerading as fact pushed WikiLeaks back into the spotlightAuthor: April Adams Walking the Talk: Kevin Stormans stumbles badly
It is said that a journalist with a personal stake should not report on a story. I disagree. I think that someone with a stated point of view is much more trustable than someone who is hiding their agenda behind a veil of ‘objectivity’.
So full disclosure: I am about to report on a story in which I was directly involved and upon which I have a point of view.
While everyone is a hypocrite on one level or another, there are highly varied levels.Author: Dana Walker Bank of America is Watching-how the revolving door became unhinged
If those in charge of our society - politicians, corporate executives, and the owners of the press and television - can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves.
-Howard ZinnAuthor: Paul French Nunca el dueño de sus propias cenizas
El poeta Latino Americano Juan Gelman falleció hace pocos días. El es poco conocido en la Republica de las Letras y los “salonnieres” oficiales del idioma Ingles a pesar de ser el ganador de varios premios internacionales, como el Premio Cervantes en el 2007 (el premio mas prestigioso de la lengua española), y de la aparición regular de su nombre en la lista de potenciales ganadores del Premio Nobel, así como su inmensa popularidad en Latino América. Popularidad comparable a la de Borges, Neruda, Nicanor Parra, García Márquez, Cortázar, Onetti, Paz, Galeano, y tantos mas.Author: Enrique Quintero
fiction masquerading as fact pushed WikiLeaks back into the spotlight
The Fifth Estate by director Bill Condon sets a tone that has one believing it would be about WikiLeaks, instead it concentrates on how Daniel Domscheit-Berg, the former spokesman for WikiLeaks, perceived the founder, Julian Assange. The book on which the movie is based, Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange and the World’s Most Dangerous Website, does nothing to explain how Julian Assange ticks and why WikiLeaks is so important to the people of the World. The movie goes into how Domshceit-Berg sees Julian Assange as erratic, paranoid and “obsessed with power.”
Julian Assange, regardless of his characteristics, is fulfilling the job requirements of what world leaders should be doing for their own populaces, “integrity of the institutions and security of the individual.” It does not matter if he is erratic; being unpredictable is essential when you have governments trying to find you. Paranoia, this can happen after moving 39 times during his youth (Julian’s mother constantly was moving from what or whom I’m not sure) and evading the authoritys time and again for hacking into government computers to stop them from doing harm to the majority of humans without their knowledge or ability to keep integrity in check.
At seventeen, Assange hacked into the U.S. Defense Department prior to the invasion of Iraq in January 1991 and found classified documents containing target sites of civilians. For that, he was hunted by the FBI and, before he could distribute the information, was arrested by Australian federal police. One of his fellow hackers had turned informant. “Obsessed with power”—is that a perception of Julian Assange as a power seeker or one who is wielding power of knowledge to help others gain wisdom?
It is unfortunate that the movie is Hollywood propaganda. No one from DreamWorks Pictures nor it’s distributor—Disney—contacted Julian Assange or gave WikiLeaks a cut from the profits on the movie. It seems to be the case for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks that the movies and books based on his story and website are too often used for corporate profiteering.
Even though the film is generally negative, a simple light is shown in the making of Fifth Estate when the lead actor Benedict Cumberbatch [well known for his role in the British TV series Sherlock] reached out to Julian Assange. Mr. Cumberbatch took it upon himself to get in touch with Julian Assange because he really wanted to present Assange as three dimensional and not as the book perceives him to be. During their email contacts, Julian was concerned Benedict would be used “as a smoking gun,” this in turn caused Mr. Cumberbatch out of respect for Julian to consider his words, but then saw it bigger than the two of them—“story needed to be told.”
Julian Assange did state that “Cumberbatch tried to ameliorate the script but, unfortunately, with limited success… though I’m pleased he tried.”
What seemed to move Benedict Cumberbatch to finish the movie was his story he spoke of during the making of the film. Mr. Cumberbatch was in South Africa in 2005, where he and his friends were driving in a dangerous location, when the car had a flat. While changing the tire, he and his comrades were kidnapped (with weapons pointed at them) and driven away from their vehicle, just to be let out onto the ground, scared, tied up with limbs numb and dumbfound as to what just occurred. Cumberbatch recalls, “It taught me that you come into this world as you leave it, on your own. It’s made me want to live a life slightly less ordinary.” He has also found himself realizing that government tyranny and criminal activity are one and the same.
Even though reluctant to do the movie, Benedict—“personally supportive” of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks— and the director of Fifth Estate, Bill Condon, saw it as an opportunity to bring Julian Assange and WikiLeaks back into the spotlight. Benedict has stated, “No matter how you cut it, he’s done us a massive service to wake us up to the zombielike way we absorb our news.”
Bill Condon commented, “It may be decades before we understand the full impact of WikiLeaks and how it’s revolutionized the spread of information. So this film won’t claim any long view authority on its subject, or attempt any final judgment. We want to explore the complexities of transparency in the information age and, we hope, enliven and enrich the conversations WikiLeaks has already provoked.”
In the end it is up to each of us to go out and search for the truth and bring it to light.
April Adams, an Evergreen alumna, is a member of the Inter-Tribal Warrior Society, the secretary for Veterans For Peace Rachel Corrie Chapter 109 Olympia, journalist, photographer, artist, and political activist.
El poeta Latino Americano Juan Gelman falleció hace pocos días. El es poco conocido en la Republica de las Letras y los “salonnieres” oficiales del idioma Ingles a pesar de ser el ganador de varios premios internacionales, como el Premio Cervantes en el 2007 (el premio mas prestigioso de la lengua española), y de la aparición regular de su nombre en la lista de potenciales ganadores del Premio Nobel, así como su inmensa popularidad en Latino América. Popularidad comparable a la de Borges, Neruda, Nicanor Parra, García Márquez, Cortázar, Onetti, Paz, Galeano, y tantos mas.
Desde un inicio la poesía de Gelman se caracterizó por un profundo sentido lírico y una fluidez no-ortodoxa entre lo personal y lo socio-político. Después del asesinato de su hijo y su nuera a manos del gobierno, su poesía se convirtió en una acusación directa contra la junta militar argentina y el resto de gobiernos militares que durante la “década perdida” de los 70’s a los 80’s gobernaron en América latina. Su voz fue una voz contra la “Guerra Sucia”, una voz contra el asesinato y “desaparición” de mas de 30.000 jóvenes argentinos, una voz en defensa de la izquierda, de la democracia, y de valores humanistas en el continente.
la esperanza nos falla a menudo
el desconsuelo jamás
es por eso que algunos creen
que dolor conocido es mejor
que dolor desconocido
ellos creen que la esperanza es una ilusión
ellos están engañados por el desconsuelo
La vida cultural de América Latina seria difícil de comprender si se ignora el rol de las políticas de izquierda entre sus intelectuales. Concepciones políticas de izquierda tienen gran incidencia el la literatura latino-americana, en sus artes pictóricas, su cine, su arquitectura, sus teorías sobre la educación, etc. Puede que resulte novedoso para el lector norte-americano promedio el hecho de que la teoría política que conecta todas estas expresiones culturales sea el Marxismo. La presencia de los actuales gobiernos progresistas de Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay, Bolivia, Brasil, y la propia Argentina de Gelman, comprueba que los latino-americanos continúan explorando formas alternativas al capitalismo. A pesar de las variaciones regionales de Marxismo y de los numerosos certificados de defunción extendidos gratuitamente por las casas mortuorias del capital, el Marxismo continua ofreciendo herramientas validas para el análisis y transformación del sistema capitalista y las narrativas de la historia. Intelectuales latino-americanos, poetas incluidos, continúan estudiando Marxismo por que ofrece instrumentos para visualizar y activar cambios políticos.
“El universo escribe desde el profundo aliento del tiempo. Miserable y desafortunado es el ser humano que nunca llega a leer su escritura” – Juan Gelman
La poesía fue para Gelman, lo que murales fueron para Siqueiros, Orozco y Rivera; lo que música para Violeta Parra y Víctor Jara; el cine para Gutiérrez Alea, una forma artística de criticar a un sistema que a través de la historia y en el presente continua a generar desigualdad, guerra, pobreza, y sufrimiento para la mayoría de habitantes del planeta. Gelman entendió la literatura no como algo directamente subordinado a la política, y tampoco subordinó la política a la literatura. La profundidad de su trabajo, como el de tantos escritores y artistas latino-americanos, refleja una participación activa con la política como con el arte. Si de hecho existen numerosas excepciones en el mundo literario norte-americano (Marge Piercy, para mencionar una), políticas progresistas parecen estar mayoritariamente ausentes de su narrativa literaria, en la cual temas de identidad e introspecciones sin fin en busca del yo, tienen prioridad sobre el imaginar, inventar, o hacer un mundo mejor.
La poesía para Gelman fue un oficio que no le pertenecía:
Entre tantos oficios ejerzo este que no es mío.
Como un amo implacable
me obliga a trabajar de día, de noche,
con dolor, con amor,
bajo la lluvia, en la catástrofe,
cuando se abren los brazos de la ternura, o del alma,
cuando la enfermedad hunde las manos.
A este oficio me obligan los dolores ajenos,
las lágrimas, los pañuelos saludadores,
las promesas en medio del otoño o del fuego,
los besos del encuentro, los besos del adiós,
todo me obliga a trabajar con las palabras, con la sangre.
Nunca fui el dueño de mis cenizas, mis versos,
rostros oscuros los escriben como tirar contra la muerte.
PS. Existen dos libros recientemente publicados en Ingles con poemas de Juan Gelman.
St. Martin, published by Open Letter 2012. Also, Between Words: Juan Gelman’s Public Dark Times Filled With Light. The Selected Work of Juan Gelman, translated by Hardie Letter, translated by Lisa Rose Bradford, published by Coimbra Editions, 2010.
Enrique Quintero fue un activista politico en America Latina durante los años 70. Luego trabajó como profesor de ESL y Adquisiciòn de Segunda Lengua en el Distrito Escolar de Anchorage y Profesor de Español en la Universidad de Alaska. Actualmente vive y escribe en Olympia.
The Latin American poet Juan Gelman died January 14. He is little known within the Republic of Letters and the literary “salonniers” of the English word in spite of being the winner of many international literary awards, including the Cervantes Prize in 2007 (the most prestigious award in the in the Spanish language), and his regular appearance on the lists of potential Nobel- laureates not to mention his immense popularity in Latin America—comparable to that of Borges, Neruda, Nicanor Parra, Garcia Marquez, Cortazar, Onetti, Paz, Fuentes, Galeano, and so many others.
From the beginning, Gelman’s poetry was characterized by a profound lyricism and an unorthodox fluid movement between the personal and the socio-political. After the government killed his son and daughter-in-law, his poetry became a strong and direct indictment of the Argentinean Junta and the rest of the military governments that during the “Lost Decade” of the 70’s to early 80’s ruled Latin America. His voice was a voice against the “Dirty War”—a voice against the killing and “disappearance” of more than 30,000 young Argentineans, a voice in defense of the left, democracy, and humanist values in the continent. His voice was the voice of hope in spite of the suffering and grief. A voice of hope for a generation who had been politically defeated.
hope fails us often
that’s why some think
that known grief is better
than unknown grief
they believe that hope is an illusion
they are deluded by grief
Latin American cultural life would be difficult to understand if we ignored the role of left wing politics among its intellectuals. Left wing politics strongly permeates Latin American literature, its pictorial arts, its cinema, its architecture, its education theory, etc. It may be news for the average reader in the U.S. to realize that the political theory connecting all these cultural expressions is Marxism. The current progressive governments of Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay, Bolivia, Brazil, and Gelman’s own Argentina, prove that Latin Americans continue exploring forms of resistance to capitalism. And in spite of Marxism’s regional variations and the numerous death certificates freely extended to it by the mortuary homes of capital, Marxism continues to offer valid tools for the analysis of the capitalist system and the understanding of the narratives of history. Intellectuals in Latin America, including poets, continue to study Marxism because it offers tools with which to envision and enact political change.
“ The universe writes from the depth and breath of time. Miserable and poor is the human being who never gets to read that writing” -Juan Gelman
Poetry was for Gelman, as murals were to Siqueiros, Orozco y Rivera, as music for Violeta Parra y Victor Jara, as movies for Gutierrez Alea, an artistic choice to critique a system that through history had and continues to generate inequality, war, poverty, and suffering for most people in the planet. Gelman saw literature not as directly subordinated to politics, nor did he subordinate politics to literature. The depth of his work, like so many other Latin American writers and artists, reflects his active involvement with politics and with his art. While there are numerous exceptions in the American literary world (Marge Piercy, to mention one), progressive politics seems to be mostly absent in the American literary narrative, where themes of identity and unending introspections in search of the self take priority over the inventing, imagining, or making of a better world.
Poetry for Gelman was an art that did not belong to him:
The Art of Poetry
Of all trades, I’ve chosen one that isn’t mine.
Like a hard taskmaster
it makes me work day and night,
in pain, in love,
out in the rain, in dark times,
when tenderness or the soul opens its arms,
when illness weighs down my hands.
The grief of others, tears,
handkerchiefs raised in greeting,
promises in the middle of autumn or fire,
kisses of reunion or goodbye,
everything makes me work with words, with blood.
I’ve never been the owner of my ashes, my poems,
obscure faces write my verses like bullets firing at death.
PS. There are two books recently published in English with the poems of Juan Gelman: Dark Times Filled with Light. The Selected Work of Juan Gelman, translated by Hardie St. Martin, published by Open Letter 2012. Also, Between Words: Juan Gelman’s Public Letter, translated by Lisa Rose Bradford and published by Coimbra Editions, 2010.
Enrique Quintero, a political activist in Latin America during the 70’s, taught ESL and Second Language Acquisition in the Anchorage School District, and Spanish at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He currently lives and writes in Olympia.Enrique Quintero
Scientists love a good idea. If you want to please scientists, tell them their idea seems elegant. Of all the good ideas out there, none is more attractive than gravity. But seriously folks, if we no longer wish to remain ignorant of the real world, we need to address science. First let’s be clear: technology is not science, medicine is not science, industry is not science. Science is a method of investigation and the collection of what has been found. We don’t have to like the results. To be science they must be correct.
Current trends in “New Age” spiritualism, such as the “Thrive” movie, rely on persuasion to prove their point. This is a clear indicator of not being science. Just like the old time religions, you will not beat scientific results by clever word usage. Wishful thinking is not a strong basis for building a community or society. In order to succeed we want to have our facts straight.
The laws of nature appear to be the same everywhere, they describe what really happens. Violating these laws is not a crime, it is a failure to see clearly, a return to wishful thinking or make-believe. These laws fit into a few main categories: Thermodynamics, Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, The Big Bang theory, Evolution by Natural Selection. Together these orchestrate all the events and activities in the world.
Thermodynamics, briefly, is about statistics and action and decay. The Kelvin scale of temperature places absolute zero at -273 degrees Celsius. The great scientist, Boltzmann found entropy to fit a logarithmic scale in the nineteenth century. Conservation of energy was understood much further back in history.
Scientific thinking has a great advantage over other modes of thought. Unlike ideology, it is self-correcting. Scientists are happy when an old idea is found to be incorrect; this is the brink of discovery. Even a tiny improvement on some traditional method is celebrated. Scientists strive to improve their understanding and freely share what they have learned. Letting go of some false notion or discovering some new thing provides a joy, like renewal.
Relativity combines space, time, matter, energy, and gravity into a branch of study that supplies endless mysteries and wonder. The results improve the accuracy of Isaac Newton’s earlier work, but let’s face it, the math got harder. Albert Einstein improved our understanding, and Newton would be glad to know another thinker has built on his work.
Science is for everyone, to openly share ideas propelling forward the common progress. The contribution of brilliant women and outsiders puts away wrong ideas just as smoothly as an insider may. To rid ourselves of isolation and fear of the unknown is to embrace the spirit of scientific inquiry. We are human and imperfect, better to face reality and compare notes than hide from the truth.
The strangest scientific idea of them all is quantum mechanics. Try to convince yourself that waves and particles are the same thing. On the smallest scales, we can measure a plethora of bazaar phenomena. Even the most jaded scientist becomes dizzy from the weird actions of sub-atomic particles.
So the math is tough. No one knows it all; let’s talk about it anyway. I get stuck on some of the more outlandish formulas; there are limits to my ability to follow some of the logic. I don’t want to let that stop me. We can begin where we are and consider every talent to be a contribution. Everyone can learn; everyone is welcome in a scientific community.
If Darwin’s evolution goes against your beliefs, what should you do? Can we afford to say make-believe is better than reality? Pretending can be fun at times but most of us in our saner moments will prefer to know the truth and choose it instead of believing lies. However beloved your friends (or leaders) may be, if they denounce natural selection or call it a design, they do not know what they are talking about. Maybe they meant well but got mixed up. We can forgive that but not participate in the falsehood.
The Big Bang theory is not quite so clear. As best as we can tell, the universe began 13.8 billion years ago and continues to expand like nobody’s business. Space is about great voids, clusters of galaxies, and supernovas. Now this is what I want to study!
Olympia is a beautiful place; there are all types of people here. Many of us already have a healthy understanding of science and respect it. We are happy when our computers work (and sad when they do not). I feel we can still use a closer and stronger scientific community here. We need a place where anyone can come and openly participate in scientific inquiry or debate together. We may not have the funding for our own Hubble Space Telescope or Large Hadron Collider, but we can share what we know. The benefits of science are at least as amazing as yoga classes but where do we go to talk about it? We can start a blog and chat. Getting together for presentations and discussion builds community as well. Comment and criticisms are welcome here: let’s talk about it.
Russ Frizzell is an activist living in Olympia since 2010 and a graduate of The Evergreen State College where he studied Physics and Cosmology.
Interested parties can contact the author at: email@example.com
It is said that a journalist with a personal stake should not report on a story. I disagree. I think that someone with a stated point of view is much more trustable than someone who is hiding their agenda behind a veil of ‘objectivity’.
So full disclosure: I am about to report on a story in which I was directly involved and upon which I have a point of view.
While everyone is a hypocrite on one level or another, there are highly varied levels.
First, the context: I became involved in activism on the homelessness issue about three years ago when I was at a meeting of political activists (I forget now what the meeting was even about) and our meeting was crashed by a local homeless gentleman known as Dude Man. Dude Man then related a story of insane police harassment that he was suffering and—literally in tears—he stated that he was at the end of his rope, had no idea what to do, and he begged us for our help. I somewhat reluctantly agreed to look into the matter since I was technically homeless myself at the time. (I was sleeping in my truck.) Upon doing so I discovered that the Olympia police—representing the nearly omnipotent armed might of the state—were conducting a reign of terror not only upon Dude Man but upon the most helpless and vulnerable members of our community, i.e. mentally ill homeless people.
All my life I have loathed bullies. All my life I have defended the weak from the strong.
These people’s lives were already problematic as it was, and suffering constant violent police harassment just made the problems worse for everyone involved—this was absolutely the last thing in the world these people needed. I was so profoundly outraged that I formed an organization called Citizens in Violation of Illegal Laws [CIVIL]. CIVIL then decided to first target the busking-laws since these were the most outrageous and unpopular of the many laws specifically designed to harass homeless people. CIVIL then organized the two ‘Busker Parades’, wherein we surrounded city hall right before a city council meeting with about 80 people playing illegal music to greet the arriving council members and express our contempt for their law.
The city subsequently rescinded their busking laws—but then simultaneously passed an exponentially more problematic Sit-Lie Ordinance that basically makes it illegal to be homeless in Olympia. Thanks to ‘Sit-Lie’, the homeless are now forced to hide from the police in camps out in the woods like animals. These camps tend to be very cold and very dark and very wet this time of year. Predators are free to prey on the homeless kids with near impunity—and indeed, robberies, rapes, and even murders are regular occurrences in these camps. However, all the privileged white liberals of Thurston County no longer need to be made ‘uncomfortable’ as in the bad old days when—after leaving their nice safe warm homes—they were forced to step over people sleeping on the downtown sidewalks. Now that the homeless are out-of-sight-out-of-mind out in the woods then evidently everything is now good as far as they’re concerned.
As for Dude Man, though, things didn’t work out so well. Dude Man, in fact, has committed suicide.
I have heard several city council members say that solving homelessness should not be the city’s task. I agree. However, I will task the city government with not making stupid ignorant classist laws that kill people.
Next, the full disclosure concerning my personal involvement in this story: I became homeless in 2008 after all of the profits from my mobile espresso stand went into the coffers of Exxon Mobil (you may remember that this was the year they began charging $4 per gallon for their gasoline). Then my espresso machine broke and by that point I didn’t have the $3,000 to fix it. Then my daughter’s ex-boyfriend stole all of my equipment along with a $1,500 generator that I had recently purchased to operate my stand. As a result of this chain of events I became homeless in Olympia for three years. I ended up vending a ‘street paper’ out of Seattle called Real Change, which is a newspaper that focuses upon issues of low-income and homeless people. Real Change wins prestigious journalistic awards on a regular basis and they have some truly talented weekly columnists. They educate people about the actual facts and issues concerning homelessness rather than leaving people with the common stereotypes that often have little to do with reality. Selling the paper provides an alternative to panhandling for people who have no income but would rather sell a quality product than beg from strangers on some freeway ramp—even though I would make much more money on the freeway ramp.
While Real Change isn’t the complete solution for homelessness, it does work very well for people who are mentally capable of operating a small cash business.
Bottom line: I am one of several hundred people who are no longer homeless thanks to Real Change. It works.
I have been vending Real Change at the Olympia Food CoOp for five years now, but I recently moved from a rent-free caretaker situation and began paying rent —which meant I needed to sell a lot more papers per week. Especially since there is now another Real Change vendor also working at the Co-op, I figured that location was pretty much saturated and thus I needed an alternative spot for at least a couple of days per week.
Top Foods, Safeway, and Fred Meyer all flatly refused, so I gave up on the corporate chain stores.
Thus, I approached Kevin Stormans, the owner of both the Thriftway and Bayview grocery stores, which are the only grocery stores located anywhere near downtown Olympia. Kevin Stormans is also a right-wing political activist. He was one of the business owners that sued the state because he didn’t want to be forced to sell the ‘Morning After Pill’ in his stores. He is also a leading promoter of the oppressive laws against the homeless and he was a leading proponent of the new Sit-Lie Ordinance.
Anyway, I explained Real Change to Mr. Stormans and I asked permission to vend Real Change one day per week at each of his stores.
Being very familiar with the profound hypocrisy of right-wingers (and left-wingers too, for that matter) this was exactly the answer that I had been expecting and I was prepared; I then conducted what is known as an ‘ambush interview’. I whipped out my Works in Progress press pass and informed Mr. Stormans that in that case, I was going to put on another hat and ask, as a journalist, why, after his endless expressed concerns about the problems associated with homelessness, that he would subsequently refuse to support a program that has proven to be an effective method of ending homelessness?
I might also add that my request would cost him absolutely nothing.
His only reply was that this was his ‘policy’. This, of course, is the answer that you give when you don’t have an answer.
I have found in judging people that things which often mean little in and of themselves are often indicative of deeper insights. Ralph Stormans, the founder of Stormans Inc., could always be found in the store and he knew all of his employees’ names. Kevin Stormans is virtually never seen in the stores and he knows virtually none of his employees’ names.
Everyone needs to follow their own conscience, but I am going to now avoid shopping at Bayview or Ralph’s Thriftway.
Dana Walker spent 28 years traveling in North America, 6 years in federal prison (ostensibly for marijuana; in actuality for refusing to sell his friends to the feds), and 3 1/2 years in Olympia hurling verbal barrages of sarcasm at the Machine. He’s currently a Real Change vendor and a caretaker at Media Island. He is also the author of numerous novels and a radical bi-weekly political newsletterDana Walker