Recent Local Blog Posts

Nothing about LakeFair. You should all be proud (Olyblogosphere for July 20, 2014)

Olympia Time - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 6:27am
1. It isn't just LakeFair that makes us tick. There were some great things at Pride too.

2. Ken obviously let's people write without using their real names. This particular post seems to toe the line of acting like a kid in civil discourse. And, reminds us that the entire isthmus planning group is a poorly held public secret.

3. I usually like local blog talking about local things, but one other will do. This time a local blog talks about cultural appropriation.

Camille:
I should note here that the original poster found it useful to say something to the tune of “most Africans are doing it wrong”. If anyone is doing it “right”, I’d say it’s them. His whole rant was … startling. Now, I am not disparaging this young man at all. He was speaking most vehemently based on the information he had. There is a lot of misinformation out there on the internet and I can’t fault him for falling prey to some of it In fact, I remain strangely unemotional about the whole exchange. But it did set me to thinking…

Should I be angry that someone from a culture other than my own is telling me about my culture in authoritative ways? I am not. I am … simply pondering a world in which this happens so regularly that we can’t even recognise it.
  4. Who can just take away a park from members of our community, who just happen to be homeless?

Do we have to wait until Dan Evans dies before someone writes a biography?

Olympia Time - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 5:57am
Scoop Jackson, Warren Magnuson, and Tom McCall all have biographies.

The Secretary of State's Legacy Project has released biographies of Slade Gorton, Booth Gardner and John Spellman.

Cecil Andrus has a really good biography. "Fire at Eden's Gate" about McCall is better. But, the Andrus one is really good.

Scoop and Maggy cast a longer shadow in Washington, sure. McCall is probably the most inspiring Cascadian politicians. But, at least in terms of 20th century executives in Washington State, none is more powerful and interesting that Dan Evans.

And, there is no biography. Hell, even Nancy Evans had a full oral history.

Dan Evans is a totem in our politics. A "Dan Evans" Republican or a "Dan Evans" anything is the symbol of a rational, friendly to the environment, good for business politician. Evans served three terms and has been the only governor to serve three consecutively.

Biographies are oftentimes the best history. People moving through history, changing the context around them. It can be pretty good reading. And, arguably, no single governor has guided Washington through more interesting times that Evans.

So, why no Evans book? 

UPDATE 7/17/14 12:43 p.m.: Apparently Evans has been working for decades on an autobiography (thanks Deb Ross). From the Nancy Evans oral history:
...the week before Scoop died Dan had called the chair of the Evergreen trustees, Thelma  Jackson, because he wanted to write this autobiography he’s been working on for so long.  He had actually started doing some research, and started organizing the governor’s years, and going back into his own childhood – those sort of things.  So he had gott en that far, but not really doing research like he is now.  So he asked for an appointment with her.  And he was going to tell her that he would work unti l the following June, but then he wanted to leave Evergreen. He wanted to write his book and then do something else. He didn’t know what – just something else.
 I'll be honest though. What I want isn't what I want. What makes a book like Fire at Edens Gate so good isn't just that it tells you the facts of a politicians life, but that it carries that life through the broader context of our communities and does it honestly. More honestly than could be done for an authorized biography (Shelby Scates on Magnuson or even John Hughes on Gardner) and much more honest than the subject can do on themselves.

It is great Evans is working on his autobiography. I want someone else to take a crack at it too.

We can't move Evergreen closer to Olympia, but we can bring Olympia (or a walkable community) to Evergreen

Olympia Time - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 9:36am
This is working out to be a part two to the post I put up last week about how we could've had a different history, college and town if Evergreen had been built closer to town.

Barring Dr. Emmett Brown, how can we try to solve the separation issue that impacts both Evergreen (as a mostly car based campus) and Olympia (a college town without a college in town).

I think the solution would be to cut down some trees! How very non-Evergreen, but they had to cut down trees in the first place, so why not just cut some more.

On the east side of campus, there is a large Douglas Fir woods. This property is totally owned by the college, is bound on the north by a fairly new residential development, on the south by Evergreen Parkway and on the west, by the non-teaching portion of campus (residential and recreation areas).

Another feature is the lack of wetlands in this portion of the campus:

 
I can easily imagine a dense residential and commercial development along Driftwood and Olverhulse, hugging the corner between the residential developments and campus. This would encourage more living close to campus and, of course, build a college-town sort of community nearby.
And, since I'm just spit-balling here, I am imagining the same sort of mixed density, apartment above commercial development that was sketched out early on in my own neighborhood.
Evergreen's own Master Plan admits that too many students commute to campus, and the vast majority of those drive. The same plan mentions vaguely a small "local retail" development as part of a minor addition to campus (Project K). That wouldn't be a bad start, but the idea in the plan is really tiny compared to what sort of real estate is actually available out there.

Where would've been a better place to put Evergreen?

Olympia Time - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 10:28am
@jeff_james is always on my back about Olympia. It isn't a college town, he says. It doesn't have the normal trappings of the Midwest college towns that he was used to. Somehow it always comes down to college bars, but I think that's just what I remember.

Ken also points this out, that the relationship between Evergreen and Olympia is different:

Nicandri said there’s a lack of things for students to do on the college campus, and its physical isolation causes even more problems.   “There’s no place for a student to buy an aspirin or visit a laundromat or buy other needed items without leaving the campus,” he said.

While touting the great academic component of the college, Nicandri said its time to re-look at the campus and perhaps allow some commercial activities.   This has to be coupled with renovating the existing dorms and constructing additional housing facilities.

“Perhaps its time to talk about requiring students to live on campus,” he said.Evergreen and Olympia are inseparable, but the reality of their actual physical distance (and irony that people need to be able to drive to campus) has some real impacts. If you are a student with a job or even a family life, its easier to live off campus than on. The cultural mix between the campus community and town is stilted.

Sure, people can point to things we have here (OFS, general art community) that we can credit to the college and its alumni. But, you'd have to admit that these institutions would be stronger and more diverse if the campus was closer (or actually in) town.

Which begs the question, how would the founders of the school, in 1968, found a place closer to Olympia? It isn't like Evergreen is the University of Washington. The UW was founded in the 1800s, and the city and the school literally grew together over time. Now, the school is firmly integrated into the city's geography, but it took decades for that to happen.

What choices did the school founders have in the 1960s to get closer. Turns out, they had at least one great choice, not far from the current campus.

The site where the Olympia Auto Mall, the South Puget Sound Community College and Mottman Industrial Park was nearly empty in the late 1960s (image from Earth Explorer):

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7wlAMpnXS5s/U77KBXiAUGI/AAAAAAAAB5E/eY0PTN-uAqs/s1600/Olympia+west+side.png
Not only was the site empty (seemingly available) it was also connected to a portion of Olympia that was already developed, granted it was a sleepy residential neighborhood at the time. But, in the decade soon after the founding of Evergreen, the westside of Olympia exploded with commercial and residential growth. Other parts of town I looked at included the general Southeast (less open space, more houses) and Northeast (same). But, I'm curious about other parts of town. Would it have been possible to do Evergreen NYU style? Build a handful of reasonable office buildings downtown? Maybe the emptying of downtown happened 10 years too late for that to work out, but it would've been interesting. Anyway, food for thought.

Pretty, cheaper and better for fans. Great new indoor soccer league, I wish it was a futsal leauge

Olympia Time - Mon, 07/07/2014 - 5:22am
I'm glad the new Western Indoor Soccer League is coming online. The old national minor league indoor teams around here had been associated with just seemed so disconnected. And, there was a bit of drama in there that I didn't like.

And, most importantly, I think local leagues should be local. Sure, organized with some sort of national system (like US Club Soccer), but local teams controlling local leagues. Just makes sense.

But, where I wish these team owners had changed their approach would be to abandon the historic tangent that is indoor soccer. In no where else in the world does anyone play our version of indoor soccer. Its odd in that way. Our version seems to be based on a need to use underutilized indoor hockey rinks. They are laid out almost exactly the same, with team boxes and tall walls that keep the ball in play.

Futsal is just a better sport. The rest of the world plays futsal, which more closely resembles actual soccer.



I'd even say that futsal is more exciting. And, after watching more than 10 indoor games right on the walls, indoor is plenty exciting on its own. What I've read makes me believe that futal would also be cheaper to implement. Mostly what worries me is the need to essentially replicate hockey arenas to play what should be a simple sport. Futsal can be played anywhere basketball or volleyball is played. It is just another series of lines on the same gym surface. Even if you're buying a futsal floor, they can be purchased in the neighborhood of $10,000, which is near what an indoor field (with turf and walls) can be set up for.  

The biggest argument for me is fan experience. The indoor arenas I've seen around here have pretty bad fan experiences. Small metal bleachers awkwardly arranged around an indoor arena, I mostly ended up standing, and I felt I was in the way of people trying to walk by. The facilities are obviously built for recreational players with a fan experience jammed in. Even if you took an average high school gym and laid a portable futsal court, you would increase the fan experience by 100 percent.

And, according to FIFA indoor isn't real soccer. And, they're right.

Freedom and Walla Walla

Olympia Time - Thu, 07/03/2014 - 6:02am
On Independence Day in 1861, the Steilacoom paper mentioned that the soon to be ex-acting governor of the territory would make his own person independence in Walla Walla.

Just a couple of months after shots were fired to open the Civil War on the opposite coast, in his capacity as acting governor, Henry McGill had called out the troops. McGill issued a proclamation bringing the Washington territorial militia back into existence.

McGill was just waiting out the time until he (the territorial secretary) and his Democratic Buchanan appointed territorial governor were replaced by Lincoln Republicans. Before coming west, Ireland born McGill has been Buchanan's personal secretary. Buchanan president under whose presidency the nation began to fracture.

McGill visited the office of the Puget Sound Herald (reported on July 4, 1861) and gave an impression about his own search for freedom. Clearly looking past the time when Lincoln would appoint his replacement, McGill said that maybe Walla Walla (in the growing eastern portion of the territory) might be the place for him.

McGill was put in charge of the territory on an acting basis because his governor, Richard Gholson, made his way back to Kentucky, in an effort to get that state to join the Confederacy.

But, McGill mentioning Walla Walla in the summer of 1861 was an interesting dream. Secession had tossed McGill's career. Walla Walla was the center of its own local secession movement that Olympia and the rest of Puget Sound played to their benefit in the era of national fracture.

McGill's stay in Washington was only a few months old when the territorial assembly shot down the idea of letting eastern Washington and much of what is now Idaho seceded from the territory. In a 18-12 vote, the assembly voted down a memorial to Congress to create the massive inland and economically powerful territory.

Between the rising agricultural territory around Walla Walla and the mines upriver, Walla Walla was a community on the rise and it wanted to the center of its own territory. Puget Sound and Olympia obviously didn't want this at all. They were able to hold off the 1861 memorial, but people were streaming into the east. Eventually, the population and the votes over the mountains would end up drawing a line unfriendly to Puget Sound.

The question remained, how do the Puget Sounders keep at least a portion the economically vital region in the fold? As miners flooded into the east in the fall of 1861 and into 1862, the solution became dividing the farms from the mines.

Thus, Idaho:

Thousands of gold-seekers rushed to the Salmon River mines as soon as travel became practical in the spring of 1862. At the height of the excitement, a new boundary suggestion came from Olympia. There, on April 5, 1862, the Washington Standard indicated that Washington territory should be divided, but not on the Cascades. In order to keep Washington as big as possible and yet get rid of the mining area with its controlling majority of Washington's population, a new territory was advocated foe the miners only. After all, there was no need to cut off anything more: if just the mines were detached, the danger that political control of Washington would shift east across the Cascades would end suddenly. Walla Walla and the potential farming section of the Palouse, therefore, might stay in Washington without endangering Olympia's future. A boundary much farther east than the Cascades would leave Olympia with a Washington territory of respectable size to preside over. To accomplish this, Washington's eastern boundary might properly be made a northern extension of Oregon's eastern boundary. Dr. A. G. Henry - surveyor general of Washington, and an exceedingly able and influential agent for Olympia - selected the exact line that would meet these new Olympia requirements. His choice was a meridian running due north from the new town of Lewiston, which had been established the season before at the mouth of the Clearwater. From that time on, that was the line that Olympia partisans worked for.
War and death raged in the east, but Olympia civic leaders and bureaucrats quickly and coolly dispatched with the secessionists on the Snake River.

I'm not sure if McGill ever made a stop in Walla Walla. He did some lawyer work around Puget Sound in the 1870s, by 1870 he was lawyering and getting elected to local office in San Francisco.

Fifty years after the last battle of the Civil War (the battle of Columbus, Georgia) McGill died in San Francisco. 


Lost things (Olyblogosphere for June 30, 2014)

Olympia Time - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 6:06am
1. Maria shows us why she shops at the farmers market.

2. Though Vi titles the shot as falls, she correctly identifies the subject in the cutline as the Deschutes River dam at the falls park. Honest, its an old dam.

3. I could link to a lot of what Mojourner writes. This piece is awesome though:
Entire towns that thrived into the 1940s have been swallowed by our temperate jungle. You might realize you are approaching one when you find yourself on a causeway, smaller trees in your path and a slit of sky above, as in the first photo. This path used to be a road, or if flat and not so curvey, a railroad. Rails and ties are gone, because like the towns, timber railroads flowed and ebbed; when the trees were cut, the rails were lifted and sent elsewhere to haul out another forest.
4. Speaking of lost places, Washington Our Home writes about the Sunset Beach Hotel:
However – being a nineteenth-century sailor – I probably would have been quickly distracted by the sounds of laughter and gaiety spilling out of the hotel’s saloon. Weekend revelers from Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia must have been imbibing their spirits for several hours by the time I strolled into the parlor, and I’d immediately feel underdressed. Piano music and cigar and cigarette smoke would fill my senses as I self-consciously approached the bar for a nightcap.

What Southeast Olympia needs is fewer cars, not another park

Olympia Time - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 6:03am
The fight to expand LBA park is on. I'm not against parks, I'm a big fan of parks near where people live. But, I'm also a fan of libraries, stores and services near where people live. Its probably the biggest reason I moved where I did, because of the promise that I'd be a part of an urban village with commercial and multi-densisity housing.

But, what would have been built where people now want to expand a park would have included the most commercial development anywhere in Southeast Olympia. And, it wasn't much. It could have used a lot more.

  
All that pink and blue is residential. There is only one small zoned parcel of commercial at 18th and Boulevard.
In turn, this makes Southeast Oly a very unwalkable part of town. 
 Meaning, if you live in Southeast Olympia, and you need anything more than to get to a school, go to a park or walk your dog, you need to get in your car and drive. This car dependency makes it that much more unfriendly to the few pedestrians who do make it out.

Keeping open space open and building more parks is an easy thing to get around. But, to really make a place livable is to accept that some development will happen. But to make sure that development gives us what we actually need as a community.

Why I eat steelhead

Olympia Time - Mon, 06/23/2014 - 6:28am
When I see steelhead on the menu, I order it. Always.

My May 2 steelhead burger in Portland.
It is a thing in Cascadia that people refuse to eat steelhead. Not because they don't like fish. They love fish. Specifically, they love steelhead.

They fish for steelhead and sometimes they'll kill and keep their catch. Many of them hook and land steelhead, but more than a few kill them for their own food.

Where they draw the line is steelhead being sold as food.

So, maybe this post should be titled: why I buy steelhead to eat.

Because the dividing line seems to be that selling the fish is a sin. And, this is the notion I don't buy.

The movement to make steelhead a game fish began after World War I in Cascadia. The decommercialization (aside from a few tribal fishermen) was complete by the 1930s. There's a lot of history in those years leading up to today, but today only tribal fishermen are allowed to catch steelhead for commercial sale.

So, the steelhead burger I enjoyed in Portland about a month ago was more than likely tribally-caught.

This line drawing between commercial fish and game fish, fish you can buy and eat and fish that only sportsmen can catch is actually as old as sports fishing.

Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth an Angle, printed in 1496 is the first record of sport fishing. And, it also marks the economic and political division of game fish. In England, the game fish (salmon and trout) were reserved to nobles. While course fish (pike, carp, perch, etc) were available to common people.

This concept of game fishing, marking off species from commercial fishing, found new blood in the United States in the last 100 years. Especially since the founding of the Coastal Conservation Association in the 1970s, the game-fishication of certain species hit high speed.

I believe that people should be able to live from fishing. And, I believe that steelhead are no different than any other salmon.


This isn't an argument about salmon management or catching the last fish. Obviously, if there aren't enough fish to sustain a fishery, we shouldn't fish. What I'm arguing against is choosing only one group to have access to a certain species.


If you reached back down to the first decade of the 1900s and looked for steelhead references in newspapers, you'd see a commodity price listing for "steelhead salmon." This fish was usually less expensive than chinook salmon, it was a middle of the road and less plentiful option to larger salmon.

There's nothing special to report about its taste either. In the handful of times I've eaten steelhead, I've noted nothing particularly good about it. But, I always order it.

Because steelhead is food, which means commercial fishermen should be able to fish on healthy runs and sell their catch.

Like the nobles and game fish of England, game fish designations create separate classes of people who can and can't access fish. I don't fish. It isn't an economic choice for me, I could certainly afford to if it called to me and I had time. But, I don't fish. Which means I'm mostly cut out of eating steelhead, unless I can track it down.

But, steelhead belong to all of us. That there are some steelhead runs in Washington that are healthy enough is the result of our collective political will to hold off annihilating them, paving them under, replacing their habitat with ours, the way we've done it since Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth an Angle days.

David Montgomery traces this destructive history in King of Fish. He points out that from England to Cascadia, we've followed the same pattern. Fishing, weak laws, habitat destruction, and fish disappear from England, New England then Cascadia.  While he doesn't point directly to it, I draw another comparison to us repeating our fish history, that only a few are connected to the fish because they're game fished.

I eat steelhead because they're our state fish and I am as responsible for their fate as anyone else.

UPDATE (6/23/14 7:40 p.m.): Boy, this post sure did get around today!

So, I thought about how best to respond to the comments that have been coming in all day, and instead of taking them inline, I'll try to do a FAQ here as a post update.

1. Yes, I work at the NWIFC as an information officer. Which would help explain my interest in this topic, but not show some sort of shill-factor. I have no problem doing my job at work. The perspective I wanted to bring here was from me as a citizen and a consumer. Obviously I'm informed by my work, but that is obviously something I should have disclosed originally.

2. Steelhead are not in danger of being extinct across their entire range.

3. A good point was made that the steelhead I end up buying could be farmed rainbows. Excellent point. I just assume they're commercially caught, I have no actual evidence though.

How much economic sense does the U.S. Open make?

Olympia Time - Thu, 06/19/2014 - 6:30am
From the Puyallup Herald:

When an estimated 200,000 visitors come to the region the week of June 15-17 2015, the economic impact is estimated to be $144 million, according to a United States Golf Association report.Its odd that an organization  whose purpose it is to promote golf would say a golf tournament is a net benefit, right?

The US Open golf tournament on the Puget Sound is just less than a year away, and I noticed a little rash of economic benefit coverage for the event. Big bucks coming our way because of golfers, golf fans and media.

But, how large will the economic benefit of the golf tournament really be?

There seems to be a cottage industry of promoters and detractors along this argument. From promoters of stadiums, to the Olympics and the World Cup, there are arguments for and against. Oddly, promoters and sponsors tend to find benefits and more hard hearted economists tend to find costs.

Taking at least a look at large tournaments like the Olympics, you'd be hard pressed to find benefits in the modern era. But, it is hard to compare the Olympics to (even a major) golf tournament:
(A golf tournament) typically requires little new construction—the golf course is already there, and no golf tournament attracts Olympic-sized crowds, so it probably does not require new hotels. Also, while some people will no doubt reschedule visits to London to coincide with the Olympics, this seems less likely for Cromwell, Connecticut. It's a nice place, (named after the Englishman who had King Charles I's head cut off), but not a must-see destination.Where the Chambers Bay U.S. Open will likely be different is that it wasn't already there. From what I can tell, it was built almost specifically for the 2015 U.S. Open. And, since it was first built, the course has been an economic drain:
Chambers Bay broke even in 2008, fueled by the initial interest of the course’s opening in June 2007. But it landed in the red each of the next four years, requiring a loan from the county’s equipment rental and revolving fund to make debt payments.

The annual deficit peaked in 2010 at $1.8 million, despite attracting national exposure that year by hosting the U.S. Amateur Golf Championship.But, even $20 million in original construction cost and $2 million a year of operating loss, it would take some time to catch up with the $144 estimated economic benefit. But, not all that benefit would be going to the taxpayers broadly, who payed for the course. It would be going to the businesses (hotels and restaurants) that are set up to benefit from a large tourist event that benefit from the event.

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2013/12/08/2937195/chambers-bay-on-track-for-best.html#storylink=cpy

Almost an hour of viewing on Olympia (Olyblogosphere for June 16, 2014)

Olympia Time - Mon, 06/16/2014 - 8:39am
1. This is a local blog, but not a local topic. Actually, its a pretty universal topic, but one that specifically refers to the D-Day anniversary. Mathias writes about history, and how we grow from it. Wonderful stuff.

2. Didn't you want to watch a 22 minute mini-documentary about SPSCC Basketball? You sure did. Its actually not too bad.



3. And, if that wasn't enough, a 30-minute web video on this season in Watershed Park.

4. Via Thad at Olyblog, the Olympia Food Co-op opens up about the entire not buying stuff from Israel topic. Which is like all of one product? Olive oil, right? 

Part 1: Overview
Part 2: Boycott FAQ
Part 3: Lawsuit FAQ

5.  And, from the Olympia flickr pool: Historic Alleyway.

Framing my own personal candidate questionnaire on internet access and court records

Olympia Time - Thu, 06/12/2014 - 5:20am
I like it when organizations send questions to candidates. Its a nice way to get them down on paper taking positions that they aren't likely bringing up on their own.I've though for awhile about putting together my own questionnaire, and two big areas seemed to pop out at me, PUDs and the internet and court records.

So, what I'm going to do is send these questions off to candidates and then, when I get some responses back, I'll post those.

Here's the question (or something similar) that I'm going to send to Public Utility District and legislative candidates. It is framed around the ideas I wrote about here.

1. PUDs are allowed by law to become wholesale internet service providers. With the already limited number of private companies providing internet access abandoning net nuetrality, we have the opportunity through our PUDs to help provide inexpensive and fair access.

Do you think the Thurston PUD should enter the broadband market? Also, do you think the state legislature should lift the ban of PUDs selling internet access direct to customers?

Here's the question that I'm going to send to legislative candidates and the two candidates for county clerk. I've written more on this topic here.

2. Court records are understood by common law to be public records. While they aren't specifically considered under Washington State's public records act, they are as important as any public document. 

Despite this, the cost to citizens to obtain copies of court records is prohibitive. For example, it costs nearly $30 for an electronic copy of a 16 page document. This is well above what would be considered reasonable for a similar document from any other part of government.

Should the legislature allow counties to charge the same amount for any public document, including court records?

Knute Berger, it isn't hypocrisy, it's a competition of political visions

Olympia Time - Mon, 06/09/2014 - 6:03am
Knute Berger is usually right.

Usually.

But, not on this one:
Our current self-image is wrapped around the idea that we're better than other people, that we're more idealistic, more humane, more fair. Some of that is pure snobbery.

Some of it is idealism, a genuine desire to do good and do better. Mayor Ed Murray has said that he wants Seattle to be a role model for progressivism in the world, and the mayors before him, Mike McGinn and Greg Nickels, were largely on board with a similar agenda. But to accomplish that, we’d have to get a whole lot better at looking at the real costs and true values of all those economic engines we embrace. It’s time to reconsider our corporate heroes in a fresh light.Berger is trying to point out that Seattle (or I think more accurately, urban Puget Sound... Pugetopolis, maybe...) says one thing but does another. While we fight for a $15 minimum wage, fight gravel mines in our back yard (and mines in Alaska), we roll over for Amazon and Boeing. We talk a nice game, but when it comes down to it, we're a bunch of corporate whores.

Sure, people are hypocrites. No one really lives in truth all the time. That's like saying the sun rises. But, pointing out hypocrisy hardly makes a good column.

In this case, Berger is being overly simplistic. Seattle (Pugetopolis and even Cascadia) is more diverse than he gives us credit for.

And, one of the deepest caverns of political difference in Pugetopolis (if you don't mind) is how we approach corporations. Back to the founding of our greater region of Cascadia, the issue of corporate power has divided us. It shaped the very founding document of Oregon, played a large part in early drafts of the Washington constitution and drove the history of entire cities. The early battles between Seattle and Tacoma often took the shape of battles between railroad companies.

At the founding of our region, there were two competing mindsets on corporate power and society. One from New England was very pro-industry and pro-corporation. The other, from the upper Ohio Valley and Appalachia was very nervous about the power of companies over communities.

These competing visions were the reasons they debated corporations during the Oregon constitutional convention. Its also why Berger can see hypocrisy in Puget Sound, when really what he's seeing is a century plus old political debate.

And, with any political debate, where the support is nearly evenly split, each side takes turns winning the day. When we raise the minimum wage its our anti-corporate (and anti-slave and anti-slavery) Appalachian history winning. When we give Boeing massive tax breaks, its our New England capitalistic history taking over.

And, these New England/Appalachian divides don't often follow modern political divisions, you can have Democrats acting like corporatists and you can have Republicans taking shots at Boeing.

When it looks like we're talking two different games, it is just our single regional identity working through one its largest issues, how we treaty corporations.

Working draft of "Cascadia Exists," the book I'll hopefully finish on our region next fall

Olympia Time - Thu, 06/05/2014 - 5:24am
I've been blogging on the Cascadia exists label for the past year or so. The point of the blogging was to examine Cascadia as it exists right now. Also, to point out like other well-defined American regions, how this regions really does stand out now.

I've taken a look at our politics, if we have a regional mood (we do, Cascadia Calm) and the unique way we approach religion.

These aren't a ton of posts, but they're beginning to form around four general ideas: religion, politics, personality and culture. So, what I'm going to try to do over the next few months is stitch together these pieces into a short ebook.

I've posted an editable version of the book online, so if you feel like it, give me a hand. Or, just give me your thoughts. I'll try to include as many thoughts as possible in the finished product.

Shores, truth, passion and cans of all sizes (Olyblogosphere for June 2, 2014)

Olympia Time - Mon, 06/02/2014 - 8:01am
1. Along the Shores of Puget Sound by "Bees, Birds and Butterflies." I have a different opinion about the SEAA, but overall, good post right here.

2. This isn't a very interesting blog post, but this is a very interesting blog. Or, it could be, if it grew beyond the one post. Homelessness is a big deal here in Olympia. It is nice to see someone putting the effort in to cover like this.

3. A local teacher tells us not everyone needs a four year degree. That's a very true thing. Not everyone needs a cup of coffee, but everyone does need to wake up. Everyone needs to find something true for their lives, it just isn't always with a mortarboard.

4. I'll admit, Shipwreck Beads and crafting in general is something I don't get. But, Jill of All Trades gets both things, so in recognition of her passion and skill, here's a link to a mystery to me.

5. My god. I never knew this. One of the garbage cans down at the falls park is a mother-loving Olympia can.  When did this happen?

What made this economic recovery in Washington State different than the early 1990s and 2000s?

Olympia Time - Thu, 05/29/2014 - 6:19am

 In both the early 1990s and early 2000s, Washington State lagged the country in economic recovery. At least in terms of unemployment. But, you can see the curve of dipping unemployment this time around, Washington State matched or beat the jobless rate dip, especially in the past two years. So, what was different this time around? Some folks (a year ago) pointed out that our trade dependent nature would benefit the state, allowing us to lead the nation out of recession. But, wasn't this true in the 1990s and 2000s. Boeing and other trade dependent industries (natural resources, shipping, farming) still dominated then too right? Either way, the employment recovery looked different this time around. I'm curious why.

Wed, 12/31/1969 - 5:00pm
Syndicate content