A new project, an evolution of sort, but still in the same space on 121 State Ave NE. Einmaleins continues to be an inspiration, now it’s just more virtual.
Buy a 2013 Exotic Hikes calendar of the Olympic Peninsula.
No, really. You have to.
Scott Roberts makes the obvious connection on Thurston Opinion:
The new Olympia City Hall is attracting the homeless, and apparently they are leaving needles and condoms on the front steps.
City Manager, Steve Hall is calling this an emergency, which is ironic because business owners have been asking the city for decades to clean up the vagrant population downtown—which deter customers and hurt small businesses.
I’m opening up a new comment thread so there is more room to discuss. For longer missives I’ll create separate postings if that is helpful. If you’re serious, I’d invite you to strike while the iron is still warm. Otherwise, pay your respects and move on.
I’ve mentioned in “About this blog” that this is an experiment, not a “real” news media outlet. The primary goals have been to learn the basics about blogging while getting unstuck from a massive case of writer’s block. After almost 300 posts I feel like I’ve got my writing juices flowing again. Perhaps just as importantly, I’ve had a chance to engage topics and writing styles that my day job simply doesn’t allow.
Truth be told, it’s been years since I’ve had so much fun writing. That’s partly because of interactions with dozens of commentators. Sure, we’ve had some difficult moments, but overall I’d say that you’ve shown how open dialogue can significantly deepen our mutual understanding of a topic.
Nevertheless, all experiments must end. With the beginning of summer I really need to refocus on a series of big writing projects relating to my livelihood. Perhaps in time I can return to local writing, but for at least the next six months I’ll be pretty booked.
So this is the last piece I will post here at Olympia Views. The plan is to mothball the beast after leaving the comments open for a while to capture any final thoughts. My hope is to maintain the site so that stories of historical value can continue to be accessed.
Thank you for your participation
Even by blogospheric standards Olympia Views is fairly small. However, its readership — and visibility in the community — has grown well beyond what I had expected. Thank you to all who have taken the time to read this blog.
Just as it takes effort to write a thoughtful post, so too it takes time to produce a meaningful comment. So I want to thank all of you who have contributed to Olympia Views. I’d particularly like to express my appreciation to Tom Hyde, Rob Richards and Russ Lehman, who together contributed almost half of all comments.
I’d also like to express my gratitude to fellow local bloggers Thad Curtz, Mathias Eichler, Dan Jones, Emmett O’Connell and Rob Richards. You’ve graciously shared links, kudos and helpful criticism from early on. That’s exactly what’s needed to support a stronger network of local bloggers.
Some commentators have stated that you’d like to see this type of conversation continue. If you have the energy to make that happen I’d encourage you to work through an existing alternative media outlet such as OlyBlog. Or help Works In Progress or Green Pages build their web presence.
I’m saddened to leave these conversations. Local blogging is great good fun. But that will need to wait for another time and another platform.
In the meantime, I hope that you all will “vote with your wallet” by financially supporting independent local media. Quality journalism is like any other good or service — in the end, you get what you pay for.
“We build an identity for ourselves in our communities. And just as we don’t like to leave our community, we also don’t like to lose our identity. A food critic who builds her identity around nasty, negative reviews, and gets lots of attention because of them, is always going to need to find terrible restaurants to eat at so she can keep getting attention. She’ll probably even began (sic) to like disgusting food and poor service because that means she’s going to get to write a truly vicious review and everybody will tell her how witty she is. If something you dislike helps you get something you do like, you’re going to have trouble getting rid of the thing you don’t like.”
– Mark, Everybody Has A Brain*
* Via Everyday Olympia
I checked out George Barner’s Facebook page tonight to see if he had yet posted an explanation for why he filed at the 11th hour to run for county commission. So far nothing. That strikes me as strange for a serious candidate.
So what’s up with George? One theory is that he needs a gig. That doesn’t sound to me like a terribly compelling rationale. When you look at the enormous cost, effort and risk involved in a serious run for county commission I can think of a lot easier ways to find a decent job.
Another rationale is that his mission is to split the Democratic-leaning vote with Karen Rogers as a means of protecting incumbent Cathy Wolfe. Perhaps, but such a gambit could easily backfire. In addition, given all of the hassles of running even a half-hearted campaign, that’s an awfully big favor to do for a fellow politician who happens to hold your old job.
I don’t know George, but based on my general sense of career politicians I wonder if he wants to relive the glory days of being a county commissioner. Electoral politics can be mesmerizing — and even addictive. People who aren’t well grounded can disappear into the vortex of the political realm.
It happens all the time. Earnest people go into politics saying that they’ll only serve a term or two but end up sticking around until they are pushed out — or die in office.
Of course, one could argue that George is already an elected official. Yes, but being a port commissioner doesn’t have anywhere near the power of a county commissioner.
I hope George knows what he’s doing. I hope that his credo is “do no harm.” And I hope that he is grounded enough in his own sense of identity that he knows when to leave the public stage.
Since we’ve been talking about libraries I should mention that Friends of the Olympia Library is holding a meeting Thursday, June 7 to discuss ideas for a new library. To spur the discussion, links are provided to 2007 survey results and staff suggestions.
May I be honest? I’m concerned that library champions will push ahead with a new proposal that is too similar to previous ones. Without rethinking their assumptions — and engaging the community in a deeper way — I strongly suspect that a new proposal will fail.
One key area where the library could up its game is to champion community-wide library facilities planning. I wrote about this last October. For example, if we’re going to spend money on a new building then I think it should be in partnership with at least one other entity. An obvious potential partner could be the state library.
Another potential parter could be the Olympia Center. What I’m getting at is that if a major goal of a new library is to create more “public space,” why not build the library side by side the community center so you can create “one-stop shopping?”
These specific ideas are less important than the general principle of reaching outside of the silo.
It struck me when checking out one of Tom Hyde’s links that he may have a pretty different list of media-oriented sites than what I frequent. So I asked if he’d be willing to share more of his favorites. I suspect that other Olympia Views readers may have interesting reading sources that many of the rest of us may not be aware of.
So I’d like to offer the general invitation to send in a comment with a handful of your very favorites and perhaps a sentence as to why they are so valuable to you. To keep the exercise from becoming too unwieldy, how about sticking to topics revolving around the general theme of this blog: media, politics, sustainability and running government. Don’t confine yourself to the South Sound if your attentions stray beyond the hyperlocal bubble.
I suspect that there may be a lot of similarities but some fascinating variety.