Something Wicked, the improv comedy troupe of Harlequin Productions, presents You Are Here: An Improv Show on Wednesday May 20 from 8-9:30 PM. The show features the celebrated comedy troupe performing their high-energy brand of improv in a performance guided by audience suggestions.
In the first act, Something Wicked will perform a series of quick, fast-paced games. In the second act, the troupe will present an improv format called a ‘monoscene.’ In this format, an improvised story takes place entirely in a single location, which is selected by the audience.
“The short-form games are always a crowd pleaser,” said troupe member Vanessa Postil. “And the long-form piece we’ll be doing is a really interesting and fun format. This one’s going to be an awesome show.”
Improv fans can purchase tickets at harlequinproductions.org, or by calling 360/786-0151. Admission is $15 with $10 rush tickets available at the Box Office 30 minutes before the show.
WHO: Harlequin Productions presents Something WickedGoogle Plus One Facebook Like
I-735 calls for a constitutional amendment limiting money in election campaigns
April 25, 2015 was the official launch date for WAMEND’s I-735. This Initiative would make Washington State the 17th state to call for overturning the recent Supreme Court decisions that allow corporations, billionaires and other “artificial legal entities” to spend unlimited sums of money on political campaigns.
WAMEND is an organization of Washingtonians working, as volunteers, to bring back “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”.
On Thursday January 21, 2010, the United States Supreme court announced a 5 to 4 decision in a landmark case, Citizens United v Federal Election Commission, that corporations and other “legal entities” had a first amendment right to spend virtually limitless amounts of money from their treasuries on political campaigns and in contributing to political Super PACs, so long as they do not “coordinate” spending with a candidate. The decision threw out, or rendered ineffective, most of the existing campaign finance reform laws, and because of the dizzying array of exceptions that exist for funneling political money through Super PACs, the 501c and 527 political organizations would allow big corporations and unions to circumvent much of the remaining legislation.
The next nail in the coffin of political finance reform was the United States Supreme Court decision in the case of McCutcheon v Federal Election Commission. The decision lifted the cap on the number of political candidates to whom a donor could contribute. After McCutcheon, any one super-wealthy individual could theoretically write a campaign check to each and every member of the U.S. House of Representatives and each and every member of the United States Senate and all the candidates running for office against them! It remains true that there are individual limits of $2,600 and $5,000, respectively, to how much may be contributed directlyto any one candidate, or PAC. However, there is no limit on the amount of money that may be contributed to a Super PAC! And an infinite number of these political organizations can be created to funnel money to candidates and other political organizations. An individual can give the base amount of money to each and every political organization. Thus, in the aggregate, there is no legal limit to political spending by those who can afford it.
Our government is for sale to the highest bidder. We are no longer a “government of the people, by the people and for the people.” We have become a nation owned by and governed for the benefit of about 1,000 of the wealthiest families in America. We are governed by an oligarchy that holds political power, without regard to which party or candidate is in power because, with few exceptions, the oligarchy owns them all.
The only way to trump the disastrous U.S. Supreme Court decisions that helped create this mess is through a constitutional amendment. Sadly, about half the state legislators we elect—supposedly to serve the people—are supported by the deep pockets of the super-wealthy and serve the interests of billionaires first. Nearly half of state legislators refuse to support a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court decisions that favor the invented “rights” of multi-national corporations and Billionaires over the rights of the individual person.
So it is left to the people of the state of Washington to use our constitutional right of the Initiative process, to impress upon our state legislature the will of the people. We need 250,000 valid signatures of registered Washington state voters on I-735 petitions to begin this process.
Initiative 735 is “an initiative to the legislature”, and as such gives our elected representatives one chance to “get on board” and approve the initiative next session. But if the legislature fails to approve the initiative, then I-735 automatically becomes “an initiative to the people” and will appear on the ballot next November. (2016)
Initiative-735 tells the Washington state congressional delegation, including our two U.S. Senators, that we want them to propose a constitutional amendment that says constitutional rights belong to individuals not corporations. Furthermore, Initiative 735 declares that the proposed constitutional amendment should make clear that spending unlimited, unregulated campaign money is not a first amendment free speech right and thus our elected representatives, can, once again, legislate meaningful campaign finance reform laws that prevent influence peddling and require public disclosure.
The initiative makes it known that when such a constitutional amendment is proposed by Congress to the states, it is the will of the people of the state of Washington that our State legislature vote to ratify this amendment.
This is not a quick, simple nor easy process. The Constitution has only been amended 15 times since the Civil War. Amending the Constitution made slavery illegal, (1865) granted black men the right to vote (1870), allowed for the direct popular election of United States senators by the people of each State (1913), recognized a woman’s right to vote (1920)…and made it illegal to charge a poll tax as a condition of a citizen to vote (1961) and extended voting rights to citizens at least 18 years old (1971).
None of these advances in remedies to our constitution were easy…women fought for nearly 75 years to gain their right to vote. But our great U.S. Constitution allows, under article V, provisions for ensuring the viability of our republic and the great democratic principles it envisions by making available to the people the ultimate sovereign power to exercise “the consent of the governed”.
We can do this. Our heritage and our forebears have set forth an orderly, time-tested and patriotic process of amending our constitution when injustices demand remedy. This process requires hard work…diligence. We in our generation are called to a duty that others before us have answered and we shall not shrink from the challenge. We owe this duty not only to those who came before us, but, more importantly, we owe this duty to those who will follow, the children of succeeding generations.
In the November 2014 elections, citizens across the nation voted in margins of 70% and greater for their legislators to pass a constitutional amendment to clarify that limiting money in election campaigns does not limit ‘free speech’. There is a growing tide across the country to get big, anonymous money out of politics and to clarify the rights listed in the Constitution are the rights of individual people only. So far, 16 states have urged Congress to pass an amendment to clarify that only people are entitled to free speech rights, and these rights do not include unlimited, unregulated campaign contributions. Washington State could be the 17th. When public outrage reaches a critical pitch, Congress will have to listen to our voices.
Julie Rodwell was born in the UK and immigrated to North America in her 20s. She has a degree in economics and politics from Oxford University and in planning from Glasgow University. She’s been a U.S. citizen since 1978. Julie retired in 2011 from a 40+ year career in transportation project- and policy-planning and is currently writing a book Tiny Footprints about tiny carbon footprint communities and why we need to build them.
Michael Savoca and his wife, moved to Washington state from the east coast the day after they got married almost 40 years ago. They built a log cabin on the high prairie near Rainier and raised three children. Michael last worked as a mental health residential treatment counselor with teenagers and young adults at Maple Lane, and before that as a race car mechanic.
WAMEND.org is a not-for-profit organization. Signature gathers, steering committee officers, and our executive board all serve for free. We have expenses related to printing initiative petitions and we employ, at modest salaries, three staff in our campaign office to coordinate and communicate with our members and affiliates across the state on a full-time basis. To make a donation please visit our website at www.wamend.org.
What it would mean for millions of children living in poverty in the United States
It is tough for adults to get by in America these days, but it is nearly impossible for kids. According to the National Center for Children and Poverty, approximately 16 million children in the United States live below the federal poverty line. That is roughly 22% of the population. Even more astonishing is how misleading that figure is. What the federal government considers to be the “poverty line” is obscenely low: $11,490 a year for a single person, $4,020 for each additional person. That means a single mother with one kid who works full time and makes $9.45 an hour is not considered “poor” by the federal government’s standards. Most single adults could not make it on that income, much less entire families. For this reason, the National Center for Children and Poverty considers the actual childhood poverty rate to be around a disgraceful 45%. The truth of the matter is that nearly half of all children in the United States are growing up poor.
With such high numbers it is not surprising that childhood poverty is everywhere, including here in Washington. Plagued by the nation’s most regressive taxation system, Washington State has failed to collect the needed revenue to eliminate childhood poverty, and it is not likely to do so anytime soon. State revenue collection is expected to grow between $2.5 billion and $2.8 billion above the 2013 – 2015 biennium totals. That is good news. The bad news is that the projected spending on current needs, including I-1351’s mandated class size reduction, is expected to total over $5 billion. That means we are still facing huge budgetary shortfalls.
It is for this reason that poor and working people have started to advocate for a variety of economic justice measure to improve their condition: stronger labor unions, enforced benefits, and of course raising the minimum wage. If the state is not going to make the type of investments needed to end poverty—and considering how it has tied its own hands when raising taxes, it is questionable if it is even able to—then working people are going to have to do it themselves. When it comes to ensuring that all children in Washington State are free from poverty, they have a long way to go.
The figures speak for themselves. In 2013, the Alliance for a Just Society released a report that calculated a livable wage for a single person living in Washington at $16.04 an hour at 40 hours a week. It is important to note that Seattle, which has the most progressive minimum wage law in the country, does not reach a guaranteed minimum wage for all workers until 2021. In that same year, the state minimum wage, barring some legislative action, would only be at $11.00 an hour. For families with children, the climb is even harder. The Alliance for a Just Society calculates a livable wage for a single parent with one child in 2013 at $22.12 an hour for 40 hours a week. Seattle’s livable wage ordinance will not reach that amount until 2034. In the same year, the state’s minimum wage will have just crept up to $14.97. The people who think a $15.00 minimum wage is too much have not looked at the math. If anything it is a huge compromise that still falls short of the need.
Naysayers against raising the minimum wage will point out that the overwhelming majority of people who make the minimum wage are not single parents, and they would be correct. Approximately 8% of the people earning a minimum wage in Washington are single parents, but that not the point. No just society would tolerate a child living in poverty, whether it is 8%, .08%, or .008%. One child, especially in a society as rich as ours, is too many. For this reason, the “Fight for $15!” is a good start for ending childhood poverty, but it is only a beginning. And, unfortunately, we have a long way to go.
Marco Rosaire Rossi, a graduate of the University for Peace in Costa Rica, is a resident of Olympia.
Signature campaign is launched
As citizens concerned about climate change, we are disappointed to see the Carbon Pollution Accountability Act fail to be included in either the Washington State House or Senate versions of the 2015-2017 budget.
Unfortunately, the impacts from climate change will not be delayed because of legislative inertia. Now is the time to act. That is why citizens are launching a nonpartisan campaign, Carbon Washington, to place Initiative 732 before the legislature in early 2016, which, unless passed, will go to the voters in November of 2016.
The Carbon Washington proposal uses the revenue from a $25 per ton tax on fossil fuels to reduce existing taxes. There will be a full percentage point reduction in the sales tax, a fully funded Working Families Tax Rebate, and an effective elimination of the B&O tax for manufacturers. If passed, this policy would be the strongest carbon price in the nation and would be the most significant progressive shift in Washington’s tax code since the 1977 sales tax exemption on groceries. For policy details, visit www.carbonwa.org .
Carbon Washington has a newly hired staff, volunteer chapters across the state and endorsements including Citizens Climate Lobby and the Seattle Business Magazine. We are preparing to collect 315,000 signatures from April-December of 2015.
We invite you to join the Carbon Washington leadership, staff, and volunteers in supporting Initiative 732. To help with this campaign in Thurston County, or to get more information about it contact:
Michelle Morris, CarbonWA Thurston County Representative: P. 360-867-1033 E. email@example.com or Thad Curtz, CarbonWA Thurston County Steering Committee Co-Chair: P. 360-352-2209 E. firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We want to tax pollution, not people.”
April 30, 2015, was the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, the Vietnamese victory and the United States defeat. This was a victory not only for Vietnam but also for people all over the world who believe in self-determination and opposition to U.S. economic and political domination. To me, April 30, 1975 was a day of celebration. On that day, the Vietnamese people under the leadership of what was then North Vietnam and the National Liberation Front (NLF) liberated Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh city, as the U.S. fled. It was the culmination by the Vietnamese people of a heroic struggle against a murderous and immoral U.S. war that caused 2-3 million Vietnamese deaths and a larger number with severe injuries and horrific environmental destruction. The U.S. has never paid the reparations it agreed to nor has it apologized for its murderous aggression and destruction.
There were movements all over the world including the United States who opposed this U.S. war and supported the just struggle of the Vietnamese. They deserve a lot of credit for ending the war and have a lot to be proud of. It is very positive that so many people in the United States were willing to oppose their own government. My own active opposition for many years to the U.S. war in Vietnam is probably what I am proudest of in my life. There was also growing opposition to the war within the U.S. military although this has been hidden in the “official” versions of this war. They demonstrated courage and took serious risks for their just actions as did those who refused to fight in this horrific war. Our government lied and lied and lied about the war. The cost of the Vietnam war was huge not only to the Vietnamese but also to the 58,000 U.S. soldiers who died and the many more who suffered. The U.S. also extended the war into Laos and Cambodia whose population also paid and are still paying a horrible price.
The so-called Vietnam syndrome meant the growing opposition by people in the U.S. to follow our government into war and to be suspicious of our government beating the drums of war. Our militaristic, imperialist leaders have tried to overcome this “healthy disease” by relying on bombs and drones and less on troops on the ground to reduce U.S. casualties and by their ridiculous claim that we should support the troops by supporting the many wars the U.S. continues to wage. The lives of Vietnamese, Iraqis, and Afghanis are equally as important as people from the U.S. So it is important in our opposition to U.S. wars of aggression that we focus on all lives not just U.S. lives.
Vietnam today is not as economically and socially just as I thought it would be in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, if the U.S. was defeated. Many U.S. corporations are today profiting directly by their investments in Vietnam or indirectly through the low wages paid to the Vietnamese workers producing goods the Walmarts and other U.S. corporations are selling. Nevertheless, Vietnam today is an independent country, it is not a colony or neocolony of the U.S.. Their struggle also inspired many other oppressed people around the world.
Let us reflect on the meaning of the U.S. War against Vietnam including the significance of the Vietnamese victory, the end of the Vietnam War and the necessary defeat of the U.S.
The Vax article was well written and insightful. However, there is one nuance that I had difficulty in separating from the “cult”. I have an issue with the fact that some injectables are preserved with compounds of mercury. When I last had my tetanus shot, the doctor belittled me for asking whether the vaccine contained mercury. Fortunately, the nurse discretely inquired. She found that because my injection was from a vial for my use only, it was not preserved with mercury compounds. Vials intended for multiple recipients might have been.
Surely, the mercury compounds used to preserve injectables are tested safe? Maybe they are only deemed safe in comparison to the alternative of not taking the vaccine. Surely there is no other preservative available. Why not?
It is true that some compounds of mercury are more toxic than others. It is not always clear what happens to these compounds when they pass through biological pathways in the open environment, or more pointedly, through our human physiological pathways.
Voluntarily placing mercury into the human body is a throwback to a past era. (Have you heard of Dr. Rush’s Bilious Pills?) When I get my vaccinations, I choose to abstain from mercury.
April 25, 2015
Last night I was a luminous being
marching for the extinct like me, once
deemed a terminated “race.” We danced, humans,
joyous for life itself. Lit from within,
our exotic talking protoplasm swayed to ancient
drumbeats. We forgot our divisions, embracing
the fragile. All of existence stood still so
that all would exist. The living procession
under paper and sticks, waving itself back
into tribe. I felt alive. Under stars and starfish
and the Great Blue Heron like the one I friended
who was my size, who sat beside me, mourning,
on the bank, close enough for an arm around.
Four eyes gazing into a mucky river at salmon still
determined to spawn. Still we breed. We love and
grow. I, the almost extinct of our species, lay down
my arms. The sheep and cattle replaced by white
rhinos and pandas. I bear the loss in this rebirth,
this living global consciousness, and weep
for us all. I wept for joy, for us — for All!
For the Procession of the Species going on now and the Luminarias pre-procession event last night.
(For Sister Jackie Hudson)
Love will lead me over
As I step across the line,
Peace will be my cover,
As I step across the line,
As I step across the line
Justice is the reason,
I’ve made that reason mine,
And love is all around me
As I step across the line,
As I step across the line.
They are all our children,
Whether near or far,
I take these steps for them
No matter who they are.
This planet is our only home,
It’s time we learned to share.
Take a step for peace on Earth,
And all life, everywhere.
Love will lead me over
As I step across the line,
Peace will be my cover,
As I step across the line,
As I step across the line
Nature doesn’t care if we understand all the intricacies of things. Nature appears complete, and dynamic, and alive in its own way. If we look closely at a butterfly’s wing, we see these lovely colorful scales. To see finer details we need technology such as a microsocope. That is hard to do without destroying the butterfly. It is up to us as thinkers to put all the details together and and keep the best overall view in mind for ourselves.
There is no need to be dismayed if you only understand some parts and pieces of the world. All the experts know only bits of their own specialty and misunderstand other things. It is true for everyone, including myself. Scientists frequently believe things which later prove to be untrue. The test of a scientist comes when admitting their favorite idea was wrong.
Climate change deniers are paid well for defending their false claims. It takes rare courage to surrender a sweet gig for benevolent reasons. Young Earth creationists as well, deny the observations and thrive on useless controversy. As evidence builds upon itself over time it is available for anyone to check for themselves and as best they can.
Communicating science is a delicate business since we don’t wish to discourage learning. But researchers are focused on the fringes of knowledge where the general audience has little experience. Patience with ourselves and others and tolerance is vital. Mistakes are gradually uncovered and discarded, scientists are sensitive to their reputations. We are all human.
Scientists struggle to get a better picture of how the world really is. The Standard Model of Particle Physics helps us understand the world better. It is completely understood by no one, but the ongoing research is making the picture more clear.
Material objects in our world are made of atoms. The atoms come in many varieties which are listed in the periodic table of chemical elements. Atoms consist of a swarm of electrons surrounding a dense nucleus of protons and neutrons. These atoms are so tiny that they were not generally accepted as real until the time of Einstein. Objects this small are directly subject to the rules of quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is so unfamiliar and strange that it can’t be completely understood and scientists continue to debate its validity.
Both protons and neutrons are made of quarks and gluons. Electrons are partnered up with mysterious neutrinos. These particles are interconnected by exchange particles of which the gluon is one.
A simplified table can list these particles. They are considered fundamental objects:
The 36 particles grouped in families, rows, and columns seem to make up everything (except dark matter and dark energy). The standard model quickly becomes more complicated the closer you look at the details. For the sake of sanity, scientists look for a way to keep things simple. The world rarely cooperates.
These particles of the standard model obey the laws of modern physics. The laws are complex and only partly understood. They are written in three overlapping areas of study. These areas are: Relativity, Thermodynamics, and Quantum Mechanics. Experts know them far better than I, but everyone can investigate these things and get a clearer picture of nature.
All these particles are interconnected by many types of force fields. Magnetic fields can be observed by sprinkling some iron shavings around a magnet. Gravitational fields connect our feet to the ground and hold planets in their orbits. Electric fields repel like charges and attract opposite charges to one another. The Higgs field is not a force field but rather a scalar field.
The Higgs field maintains the universe by keeping mass constant, each particle to its specific size. The July, 2012 announcement at CERN of the discovery of the Higgs boson has to many scientists minds, confirmed this standard model. There are still many unanswered questions about it all but the basic framework should suffice to manage the study of physics for a long time to come.
As we look deeper, the details can become intractable. There is so much going on in the world that “best estimates” of events will have to do in many cases. People who want to know everything become overwhelmed by the minute features. I recommend working at your own pace and get the best grip on science you can.
The string theory community is full of people who seek to know it all. The theory of everything is what they are after. But the quantum world of tiny things is so bizarre that it is hard to believe the results. A similar problem arises with the very largest scale of things we see. Can we be sure there really was a big bang?
The mysteries surrounding the forces of nature are here for us to wonder about. Sure, it would be neat to know everything. The ability to wonder is a wonderful consolation though. The standard models—particle physics and the big bang—give us the framework to keep all our ideas together.
There really is so much going on in science that no one can keep track of it all. Anyone who is interested should continue communicating the ideas and asking the questions. Communication of scientific ideas is still lacking momentum in this country. People err by holding onto incorrect ideas and superstitions. The scientists themselves are too busy to explain it all in plain language for the lay person to grasp. That is, if they even have correct results.
With all that is going on in research the world is changing too fast for us all to keep up. Quantum computers in the future might easily out think us and this may be good or not. Quantum entanglement says that the particles are connected together in ways we do not understand. Superposition says particles can be in more than one state at the same time. We know there is built in uncertainty and the experiments continue to baffle us.
Surveys of the Universe show that we understand little of what is out there. 69 percent of what the Universe is made of what we call dark energy because we understand nothing about it. The dark energy just keeps the expansion of space going faster. Twenty-six percent is called dark matter because we can not see it at all, but galaxies are five times heavier than they look like they should be. The remaining five percent of the matter we tinker with and figure out inventions to show how clever we are.
The brilliance of the natural world outshines all the achievements of we humans. The panoramas of galaxies photographed by the Hubble Space telescope make us look tiny indeed. NASA is building the Webb space telescope which should be far more powerful than the Hubble. But Congress is afraid to fully fund the project. They dropped the ball on the superconducting super collider and they feel okay about that.
The majority will probably continue to ignore science because it is hard. I find that the thrill of discovery is well worth the effort. To wonder about the world and all its beauty is the finest endeavor anyone can embark on. The mysteries of nature are ever fascinating and I would never cheat myself by ignoring them. You are doing yourself a favor by exploring the science from whatever starting place you are at. The magnificence in nature is ever unfolding, ever wondrous, and beautiful beyond belief.
Russ Frizzell, an activist in Olympia since 2010, is a graduate of Evergreen where he studied Physics and Cosmology.
Can gardening help repair the “normal psychological wear and tear” of ordinary living? In the book, Green Nature, Human Nature, Charles Lewis, horticulturalist and resident scholar at the Morton Arboretum, a botanical garden outside Chicago, argues that it can. Lewis writes about plants the way a lover writes about a beloved early in the relationship—before any wear and tear takes place: “Whether in majestic or miniature representation, plants signal the presence of an unremitting life energy that pulses throughout the universe.” Lewis goes on to describe how we develop the eyes to see this life pulse—we learn to look at plants as more than material objects; we learn to see them as aspects of the universal life force.
I’ve been thinking about this as I plant radish seeds, and process the news—inevitable as it was—that Hillary Clinton is seeking the Democratic nomination for president.
I’d rather watch radish seeds germinate than vote for Hillary Clinton. Like many people I know, the election of 2008 roused me out of a culturally induced political stupor. I began to believe that another kind of politics was possible—one that represented the views of ordinary people. I campaigned for Barak Obama. I participated in my first caucus meeting. I got excited, in a nerdy way, about “civic activism.”
But now, nearly eight years later, I find myself using phrases like “oligarchs” without blinking. Perhaps a better word is plutocracy—government by the wealthy.
I’ve never missed a presidential election; I’ve always voted Democratic but I won’t vote for Clinton.
Not because of what Republican staff members of “America Rising” may dig up—the “facts and factoids which can be turned into deadly ammo” against Clinton, as David Drucker of the Washington Examiner writes.
Not because she’s a woman either, but because her feminism falls far short of the critical analysis and related empathy for women, children and men necessary to steer a different course, one that isn’t headed straight towards rising sea levels, increased droughts, massive starvation and wars—to say nothing of warlike foreign policies that wreak havoc on communities on every continent, including our own, and feeble domestic policies that sell environmental regulations to the highest bidders.
Hillary Clinton, like Jeb Bush, is part of the plutocracy. As Lenin put it, here’s a case where we get to choose which oligarch will run our country.
I am counting on these radishes to ease my aching heart.
Hillary Clinton will campaign on improving the lives of ordinary people—she “slammed income inequality” in speech last month, reported MSNBC. The question Hillary hasn’t tackled is how we got to this point.
Writing for Inequality.org, Sam Pizzagoti argues that the “Report of the Commission on Inclusive Prosperity”—the 171 page report published by the Center for American Progress that serves as the foundation for Clinton’s campaign–fails to ask about the actual economic rule changes that allowed the wealthy to “snatch up so much of America’s treasure.” It doesn’t explore banking deregulation, or the effect of NAFTA and other free trade agreements. It doesn’t analyze, in other words, how this incredibly wealthy class came into being in the past decades, including under the presidency of Clinton #1.
Back to gardening and the possibility that fascination with plants will soothe normal psychological wear and tear. Lewis writes, “Nature itself can entrap us involuntarily, occupy our minds, shut out daily cares, and allow us to become refreshed.” I agree. For a few minutes this afternoon, I stared into the trees behind our house, listening to a crow call. Something big flew into my field of vision. I didn’t move. As I kept staring, I glimpsed movement on a high branch, and noticed tiny yellow-green buds. For a moment, I stopped worrying.
Just because I stopped worrying doesn’t mean there’s nothing to worry about. My radish seeds can’t help me on that count, nor can the columbines that are about to pop.
A call from my daughter in Seattle made the difference. “Hey, Mom” she said, in the message I’m saving, “do you and Enrique want to come kayaking in Seattle on May 16? It will be pretty safe, there won’t be lots of arrests, and you won’t be the only, well, there will be other people your age.” Rising Tide Seattle, Green Peace, and a host of other organizations are organizing a kayak-flotilla to block Shell Oil drilling rigs from leaving the Elliott Bay terminal.
I don’t know how to challenge plutocrats. I do know that May 16 is the day to go kayaking in Seattle.
Emily Lardner lives in Olympia, where she teaches and writes.
On Monday, April 6th, six Greenpeace activists boarded the “Polar Pioneer,” a Shell Oil drilling rig on its way to Seattle. Shell plans to use Terminal 5 of Seattle’s port to repair the rig and send it back to the Arctic.
Seattle’s socialist City Councilmember Kshama Sawant spoke with the six activists to support their heroic effort to expose this environmental disaster and to help build toward a mass movement in Seattle that can stop Shell from using the city as a base for Arctic drilling…
Submitted by Rob Rice Homes
Concern for Animals Garage Sale is the garage sale to beat all garage sales in our community.
And, it just got bigger with a donation of a full house of furniture from Rob Rice Homes.
You read it right. You know that furniture you wish you had when you walk into a new model home?
Now you can buy it yourself at bargain prices at the Concern for Animal’s sale held on June 6 at Rick’s Automotive, 3527 Pacific Ave SE (see directions below) from 8 am to 5 pm. The donation of furniture includes pieces for the living room, dining room, kitchen and both the master and children’s bedrooms—all barely used at a model home in one of the Rob Rice Communities.
“We are so excited about Rob Rice Homes’ generous donation of an entire home’s worth of beautiful, show-quality furniture,” says Sarah Hinman, executive assistant for the Concern for Animals board. “That furniture is a huge addition to the many other donations the community will make throughout May. You will not want to miss this!”
And, the proceeds go to Concern for Animals, the local non-profit organization that for 35 years has assisted low income families with the food and medical needs of their pets and rescue animals. Concern for Animals depends on donations, membership, small grants and fundraising events like the annual garage sale to fund its programs that include low-cost spay and neutering, emergency medical care and a pet Food Bank.
Rob Rice Homes supports the mission of Concern for Animals, previously renovating the organization’s office at no cost when it moved to an older home on State Street. Rob and his wife Helena also sponsor the group’s annual Toast for Tails Beer and Wine Tasting Auction.
“Being animal lovers, Rob and I recognize the incredible work of Concern for Animals,” says Helena Rice. “We love that this donation of furniture will help families and seniors care for their pets. We have members of our family that are rescue animals and we understand the deep bond between pets and their owners. It is a great cause.”
Make Your Contribution
Throughout the month of May, you can donate your items every Thursday from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Rick’s Automotive at 3527 Pacific Ave in Olympia. Concern for Animals will provide tax-deductible donation forms for each donation.
Please note that they cannot accept clothing, TVs, computers, electronics or workout equipment for the sale.
Join us at Rob Rice Homes in helping to make this the biggest community garage sale ever while contributing to the health and well-being of hundreds of animals every year!
Directions for Donations and the Garage sale
Because the event typically draws hundreds of people who donate items or come out for the event to find incredible deals, Sarah Hinman wants everyone aware of the directions to Rick’s Automotive.
“The location is a bit tricky,” Sarah explains. “Though the address for the event says ‘Pacific Ave,’ the location is tucked back behind the Marine shop. So, please take Pacific to Fones Road and turn onto 6th St SE. Pass Cash & Carry on your right and reach a large warehouse with a sign to Rick’s. We will have our signs up, too.”
Don’t miss this year’s event and the chance to get that piece of quality furniture or any other of the great garage sale you are looking for.
“Our inventory will be loaded with must-haves at garage sale prices,” Sarah describes. “It will be a fantastic time to find a bargain and perhaps that piece of beautiful model home furniture you have always wanted!”
Submitted by Thurston County Solid Waste Division
Thurston County Solid Waste Division is offering businesses the chance to win a $100 credit toward their LeMay (Waste Connections) garbage bill this year for those who complete a short survey on waste reduction. By taking the survey, businesses can also request free technical assistance from Thurston County that can help assess their hauler’s garbage or recycling service levels and costs, help to develop a waste reduction program, or to develop and coach an employee green team. To take the survey, business owners and employees can visit: www.surveymonkey.com/r/BizWaste
A Thurston County Solid Waste study from 2014 shows the commercial waste stream was the largest of all generators throughout the county, single-handedly accounting for almost 50%. This means that businesses in the county alone created over 77,000 tons of waste last year, most of which could have been recycled or composted instead. The Thurston County Solid Waste Division is gearing up in hopes to assist more businesses with waste reduction and recycling. Currently, the Solid Waste Division is seeking input from businesses throughout the county on their recycling and garbage management practices. Businesses are encouraged to take the Thurston County Solid Waste Business Assistance survey here.
The County’s 2014 waste study shows that businesses disposed of large amounts of paper, plastics, and organics, all of which can be diverted from landfills through recycling and organics collection systems (see figure 1). “Food waste alone made up over 19% of what businesses threw away last year. There are better and less expensive options than sending this to a landfill and we want to know more about what influences businesses and employees regarding their disposal choices,” said Greg Gachowsky, Waste Reduction Specialist for the county’s Solid Waste Division. “Donating edible food to places like a food bank instead of sending it to a landfill can help those in need and a business’ bottom line.”
The Solid Waste Division is not a regulatory agency and instead focuses on waste prevention and recycling assistance. Their hope is to help businesses reduce waste, maximize efficiency, and to potentially decrease disposal costs in turn saving businesses money and time.
If you have questions or would like assistance with waste reduction at work, contact Greg Gachowsky at Gachowg@co.thurston.wa.us or 360-867-2281.
For more information visit www.ThurstonSolidWaste.org/business.
Running for City of Olympia Mayor, 5/11/2015
Bunch of folks asked me to run for City of Olympia Council. Said I would do so if they could prove they were registered to vote and would vote in Primary as well as General Election, even if for others. Enough did. Nice.
I have Facebook page. email@example.com
Facebook won't let me use my properly spelled name so i had to add a letter " T " after prophet. Plus there is a period ( . ) after Prophett.
Some Facebook emails may get bounced or returned. My regular email address is.
Too many folks are out of work, had hours cut, income cut, lack decent health CARE, or are couch surfing or homeless. Too many of my friends can't afford their own computer or internet access. too many are drowning in College Loan debt. Too many have mortgages they can't pay on homes that are not worth anything close to what they paid or what they are assessed for property taxes. Too many folks live pay check to pay check. This country is getting deeper into World War 3. The 2nd Great Depression continues to destroy Mainstreet even if some parts of Wall Street climb upwards.
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Submitted by Home Instead Senior Care
Home Instead Senior Care Supports Family Caregivers while they support their loved ones with arthritis.
May is arthritis awareness month so it only seems fitting that Home Instead Senior Care and Olympics West Retirement Inn is discussing arthritis at this month’s family caregiver education program.
Arthritis is an umbrella term for conditions that affect the joints, the place where two or more bones meet to allow movement. In some types of arthritis, other parts of the body like organs, eyes and skin may also be affected.
“Many of us either have some form of arthritis, will have it eventually, or know someone suffering from some form of it,” said Kelly Cavenah, co-owner of Home Instead Senior Care serving the South Puget Sound. “Eleven years ago I was diagnosed with arthritis in my spine and in both knees; today, I have advanced deterioration in my knee joints, little to no cartilage and have chronic daily pain associated with the disease.”
There are nearly 100 different types of arthritis affecting some 50 million people in the United States. These conditions commonly impact one’s mobility, the ability to move freely without pain. They also can limit a person’s ability to do everyday tasks, such as brushing hair, buttoning a coat, walking to the mailbox or opening the refrigerator door.
Kelly also said, “I have considered myself a part-time athlete and active person for most of my life. I am a road cycler, play roller derby, hike, and spend a lot of time outside. As a youth, I was an avid downhill skier and soccer player and played tennis as a young adult. Until very recently, I felt as though I was invincible; so injuries were no big deal; however, I never let myself heal the proper way after an athletic injury which, has caused me great pain and multiple subsequent injuries. I’m only 36; I can’t imagine what life is going to be like when I turn 86.”
Nearly half of Americans over age 65 suffer from the pain, physical limitations and resulting depression this debilitating disease can cause. There are more than 100 forms of arthritis and related conditions. “As a family caregiver or supporting someone with arthritis, the more people know about these conditions, the better equipped they will be to deal with the daily living issues their family members or friends may face.” said Stacy Johnson, Assistant Administrator at Olympics West Retirement Inn.
The range of physical challenges from arthritis can be extensive: The person may have difficulty walking, trouble with household tasks like opening jars and turning doorknobs, or even problems with dressing and combing his or her hair. And pain may make sleep hard to come by.
However, there are ways you can help ease physical restraints and discomforts and Home Instead Senior Care and Olympics West Retirement Inn is hoping the family caregiver education series will help provide more education, support and tools to the community.
“The family caregiver education series is a great, fun, easy way to learn more about topics important to the public. Each program is informative, supportive, comfortable and non-intimidating; plus, it’s at a great community and we have refreshments available right after work,” said Stacy.
There will be information about the many types of arthritis, how to recognize the various types, symptoms and treatments available, get tips for how to navigate medical care, understand the physical and emotional needs of a senior with arthritis and learn where to go for help.
“As a younger person, I have the advantage of time on my side; though I can’t fix what I’ve done to exacerbate my arthritis, there are things I can do to stave off pain and potentially prevent re-injury, and, our class will be covering all these things, and more.” Cavenah stated.
You’ll also learn about the medical professionals who treat arthritis, and the most commonly ordered tests. There’s a brief overview of pain relief options, including over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs, lifestyle changes, surgical options and alternative therapies.
“Because May is arthritis awareness month, we’re enthusiastic to be able to bring this program to the community. Everyone is welcome to attend as we discuss the myths and facts surrounding the various conditions associated with this commonly known yet misunderstood condition. We’re looking forward to a great turnout this month,” Johnson said.
This program is for anyone who is an unpaid caregiver or support member caring for an elderly person be it a parent, other relative or friend. This program is scheduled on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 from 5:30-6:30PM at Olympics West Retirement Inn located at 929 Trosper Road SW, Tumwater, WA. Call Stacy Johnson To RSVP: (360) 943-9900 or go to their online registration page here.
There is no cost to attend is the program is specifically designed for the unpaid family caregiver.
To learn more about Home Instead Senior Care and their 2015 Family Caregiver Education Series, check them out on Facebook. You may also review our Monthly Events Calendar here on ThurstonTalk for additional details and how to sign up.
Home Instead Senior Care and Olympics West Retirement Inn, serving the greater South Puget Sound region, are offering a monthly family caregiver education programs for unpaid family caregivers. This education series is designed to support the family caregiver and will feature relevant issues such as sibling communication, seniors and nutrition, navigating the senior care maze, and seniors and cognitive issues. Each class is held at Olympics West Retirement Inn, on the fourth Wednesday of every month and is just one hour in length, unless otherwise specified. Light refreshments are always served with easy access into and out of the building with plenty of parking.
About Home Instead Senior Care
Your local Home Instead Senior Care agency was founded in 2007 with mission to serve seniors and employ Certified Nurse Assistants & Home Care Aides across the South Puget Sound community. At Home Instead Senior Care, it’s relationship before task, while continuing to provide superior quality service that enhances the lives of seniors everywhere. With a great staff and round the clock availability, they focus on quality over quantity. Read more about Home Instead Senior Care by clicking here.
About Olympics West Retirement Inn
The Olympics West Senior Living campus is conveniently located near malls, shopping, banking and more. A JEA Senior Living community, Olympics West offers both retirement and assisted living.
Olympics West Assisted Living boast compassionate staff and 24 hour licensed nursing. Read more about Olympics West Retirement Inn by clicking here.
By Lisa Herrick
The greater Thurston County area offers a spectacular array of golf courses from public courses with top Washington State ratings to affordable municipal courses where families can learn the game together to challenging private courses. Some of these courses consistently top players’ lists while others are gems yet to be discovered. Many fairways offer scenic views of Mount Rainier, the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Whether a beginner or scratch golfer, every golf enthusiast will enjoy the many splendid fairways throughout Thurston County. Here’s a highlight of the nearby courses.
Salish Cliffs Golf Club was recently ranked as one of the best golf courses in Washington State by Golf Digest and has received numerous awards in recent years as one of the best courses in the state. The 18-hole, par 72 championship course offers a challenge to golfers of all levels. Located in Shelton just a few miles north of Olympia, the course is part of the Squaxin Island Tribe’s Little Creek Casino Resort offering packages to stay at the resort in addition to play at the course and casino.
Unique and noteworthy is that the Salish Cliffs Golf Club is the world’s first certified salmon safe golf course and has earned recognition as the top ten casino course in the nation by Golf Week Magazine.
Set among stunning views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound in DuPont, the Home Course is cooperatively owned and operated by the Washington State Golf Association and the Pacific Northwest Golf Association. It is a great course for all levels as it is playable for all from the front tees and challenging for more experienced players from the back dynamite tees. The Home Course is an exceptional and affordable option for year round golf.
The Golf Club at Hawks Prairie consists of two distinct, public 18-hole golf courses, the Woodlands which is distinguished by fairways winding through a dense forest and the Links which boasts spectacular views of Puget Sound and Mount Rainier. Both courses are just minutes north of downtown Olympia. In an attempt to encourage youth to take up the sport and for families to play together, the Golf Club at Hawks Prairie adapted The Links Course with a family set of tees which means the golf course can be played shorter. Kids can tee off from 150 yards or closer from the forward tees.
Capitol City Golf Club is a local favorite as it playable year round due to its reliable drainage offering up dry grass. The traditional course design has narrow-tree line fairways and well maintained putting greens. The course is flat and easy to get around.
Delphi Golf Club is a friendly nine hole executive course that is regarded as one of the best in the area for beginner to intermediate golfers. It is located in the beautiful Black Hills in the Capitol State Forest. The course is easy to walk due to its flat terrain and has picturesque views, fairways lined with mature fire and cedar trees.
The Tumwater Valley Golf Club is an 18 hole championship course along the Deschutes River Valley and adjacent to the River’s Edge Restaurant. From the first tee to the final green, Tumwater Valley Golf Course exhibits generous landing areas, smooth greens, few bunkers and spectacular views of the Deschutes River and Mount Rainier. Fall play allows for viewing of the salmon run while year round opportunities abound for spotting the area’s wildlife including river otters, blue herons or whitetail deer. The course is set up with multiple tee boxes for all skill levels, an expansive practice area including a driving range with grass teeing ground or stalls protected by the elements.
Indian Summer Golf & Country Club is considered among the Northwest’s premier, private golf clubs. The course is designed to tournament-caliber specifications with magnificent, old growth forest. It has been rated one of the top five toughest courses in the state of Washington yet offers six sets of tees so that golfers of all levels can enjoy the course. Complementing the golf course is a large practice facility, a clubhouse with restaurant and lounge, golf shop and banquet facilities.
Overlooking Budd Inlet and Mount Rainier, this historic private country club was established in 1926 and the club house is listed on the National Registry of Historical Buildings. Membership privileges include use of an outdoor swimming pool, access to over 250 feet of salt waterfront beach and private deepwater dock. The Evergreen lined course is 18 holes and par 71.
Within days of each other, the vanRoojens and their best friends brought babies home ready to be diapered. Surprisingly, they all discovered that there was not a local cloth diaper service in the Olympia area. This new reality gave Toby vanRoojen the impetus to juggle the care of his new family and start a new business. Thus was born the Olympia Diaper Service in July 2014.
“Considering the size, demographics and values of this community, it didn’t make sense to me that this town did not have a cloth diapering service. I grew up here and I appreciate the forward-thinking local culture.’ explains Toby. “I attended Lincoln Options Elementary School, then Marshall Alternative Program and The Evergreen State College-all with progressively-minded people. I know there are other families out there that care about chemicals on their baby’s skin and the waste going into landfills. I just feel like if anywhere should have this service it would be Olympia. So with the absence of a diapering service and with the inspiration of my daughter, I decided to be the one to make it happen.”
Olympia Diaper Service offers weekly service which includes 100% unbleached cotton diapers, a diaper pail that contains odors surprisingly well with a deodorizing disk, doorstep delivery and pick up, and gentle washing with a detergent specifically designed to leave no residue. The detergent, Country Save, is a local Washington and veteran owned company- just another indication of how Olympia Diaper Service makes thoughtful decisions about all aspects of its business. They never use dyes, fragrances, optical brighteners, unnecessary chemicals or chlorine bleach.
As part of running a successful business, Toby considers it vital to educate the community about the environmental concerns of disposable diapers and the benefits of cloth or reusable diapers. In particular, he feels it is critical to dispel the perception that disposable diapers are more convenient.
“My goal is to make using a cloth diapering service as convenient as the use of any disposable,” he notes. “So for those who are concerned with exposure to chemicals and the environmental impact why wouldn’t you use a service if it is just as convenient and probably less expensive as the cost of disposables? If I can make it just as easy then why not?”
According to Olympia Diaper Service, the average child will go through 8,000 diapers in his or her lifetime. The manufacturing of disposable diapers consumes an inordinate amount of natural resources such as 300 pounds of wood and 50 pounds of petroleum per year and clogs landfills with over 2,000 pounds of diapers per baby. While diapers are promoted as disposable, that should not be confused for degradable, as most diapers are not biodegradable or eco-friendly. It is believed that a typical disposable diaper will take hundreds of years to fully decompose. Disposable diapers have become the third largest source of household waste in the United States.
The Olympia Diaper Service presents not only a convenient option with its weekly delivery service but an environmentally-friendly solution to this problem. By using cloth diapers, families can have a positive impact on the number of disposable diapers that are headed to the landfill.
Whitney L., the very first customer to Olympia Diaper Service, proclaims, “The prices are less expensive and the customer service has been great. They are very attentive to our changing diaper needs and have offered useful tips.”
Frequently, Toby will insert helpful tips with his deliveries to keep his customers informed and amused. And as indicated by Whitney, babies do grow. Olympia Diaper Service offers three sizes in its pre-fold cloth diapers.
An additional client, Evan Welkin shares, “We particularly recommend requesting gift certificates from Olympia Diaper Service at baby showers or from family.” Toby explains that they have had many customers receive six to eight months of diaper services from gift certificates. And recently, Olympia Diaper Service donated a year’s worth of service to the Boys and Girls Club Born to Be Wild Auction in which the recipient just started their service two weeks ago.
Olympia Diaper Service is committed to making the important decision to use cloth diapers an easy, economical and fun experience. They take great pride in their service and focus on flexibility, responsibility and reliability. They ensure the health and environmental benefits of cloth diapering at the cost and convenience of disposables.
Over the years, many Rebels have asked about using public transit to get to Sea-Tac airport. This trip featured that very journey. Sound Transit route 574 picked us up from the Highway 512 Park and Ride transit center, and dropped us off on the far south end of baggage claim level of the airport. After exiting the bus we trekked to the farthest north end of the terminal, to the last escalator down to the pedestrian overpass (#6) that connects to the parking garage. From there, we kept to the left (north), following signs to the Light Link Train.
Our first stop on the train was Columbia City, a Seattle neighborhood in the Rainier Valley. In the early 1900’s Columbia City was a city apart from Seattle, but was later annexed to Seattle. This area is the most ethnically diverse neighborhood in Seattle, and has undergone (and is still undergoing) major revitalization. Small ethnic restaurants abound. The lovingly-maintained Carnegie Library is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. A brief history of the area, accompanied by pictures, provided a nice welcome at the train platform. Lovely abstract art is embedded in the concrete wall surrounded by greenery.
As we entered the business section of town on Rainier Avenue South, we split into smaller groups to browse restaurant options. Several ate at the Thai restaurant, and other ate at a small Ethiopian café.
After lunch there was time to browse the street, checking out the library, Green Eileen, and other shops. Columbia Park is a wonderful addition to the neighborhood, tucked behind the Library, bordered by Edmonds Street. Park benches looked especially welcoming on this sunny day.
We met back at the train platform, catching the next northbound train to the International District station. From there, we crossed 4th Avenue to the Sounder train. Our ride home was pleasant, complete with full-on views of THE mountain. Rebels continues to experience great weather karma!
Thanks, Vicki, for sharing your photos of this trip!