All the news that's fit

Sorry for the non-local news, but this is important to me.


–We are in Jefferson Parish, just outside of New Orleans. At the National Guard checkpoint, they are under orders to turn away all media. All of the reporters are turning they're TV trucks around. Things are so bad, Bush is now censoring all reporting from NOLA. The First Amendment sank with the city.–

I found this on DailyKos

Which came from here

Which gives me a Forbidden message, are you guys able to access it?

This is covered by the media here

To me, this is an embarassment. It's not enough that the government won't allow the media to talk about what's really going on in Iraq, but now this. All I can say is that I am outraged. This is happening on our own soil. Americans are dying because of the Bush Adminstration's "Inarguable Failure", as Jon Stewart so eloquently stated on The Daily Show last night. To those who would point the finger elsewhere Stewart offered, "No. Shut up". From what these folks are saying, it sounds like media suppression. Authorities don't want the people, you and I, to see what they caused. Most notably, the thousands and thousands of deaths that were caused by the woefully inadequate and delayed response and the budget cuts made over the years, by both Bush adminstrations, to money that would have gone towards prevention of a catastrophy of this magnitude.

I was given great hope by the media's reaction to Bush's nonreaction to Katrina, and they deserve praise for their return to pull-no-punches journalism. I just hope that journalists will find the guts to either sneak past the checkpoints and risk prosecution or make enough noise about this that authorities have no choice but to let them in.

Housing for Katrina refugees

Refugees from Katrina are headed this way, according to the Olympian. One family is taking in 25 relatives:
"We're going to put them up in tents," she said. "We're going to have the little kids in the house. And try to find them housing as soon as possible, so they can get back to normal living conditions."

Khaos has an idea:
Earlier in this blog the Olympian was quoted as saying "As many as a couple dozen vacant downtown storefronts have become an issue in recent months for neighboring businesses and tourists." See More Vacancies Downtown.

What better way to put this space to use than to house hurricane evacuees. I can't put anyone up as I'm currently houseless myself, but I am totally willing to volunteer at a local shelter for evacuees.

Sounds like a good idea.

EGYHOP to include thrift shop

[via email]

The Emma Goldman Youth & Homeless Outreach Project has leased a new facility at 1015 4th Avenue which will house a thrift shop called Emma’s Closet where donations not applicable to street life will be sold. The proceeds of these sales will support EGYHOP’s community outreach efforts. These efforts include provision of warm clothing, blankets or sleeping bags, medical attention, and a familiar, friendly face to those who need them.

EGYHOP’s bike project will be housed in the basement of the facility. EGYHOP Bike Project provides free bikes to low/no income people.

Please drop by to see the new facility and hear more about our plans. We look forward to your visit.

For more info (360) 791-2241 or EGYHOP

This grass roots organization survives totally on the support of the community; we spread the love that our community donates to EGYHOP.

Theaters closed in Olympia and Lacey

Cinema Treasures blogs about the closure of two Regal theaters in the Olympia area.
Closing are the Lacey Cinemas (eight screens) and the Capital Mall 4. Both will close Thursday, Aug. 25. A local church will acquire the Lacey Cinemas space this year. The fate of the Capital Mall space (which is actually inside the mall) is not decided. Century Theaters, however, has announced plans to build a 14-screen theater on the mall campus.

That means a net addition of only four screens with the new 16 screen theater in Lacey.

Work-a-Day for Bread & Roses

Bread & Roses has provided services to poor and homeless individuals and families in Olympia for 25 years. B&R currently offers 2 shelters, an Advocacy Center, street library and monthly newspaper. While the organization has been a magnet for youthful activism in Olympia, it has struggled with financial hardship throughout its history. With a mission to serve poor, homeless and marginalized people of Thurston County, it is not surprising that B&R suffers from few resources. This Labor Day season, Thurston county residents can support Bread & Roses during “Work-a-Day for Bread & Roses

Business editor reports on labor

in the Olympian today:
Labor leaders downcast on movement's holiday


On this Labor Day, amid the barbecues, beer and merriment of a holiday, state labor leaders are searching their souls about the state and future of the union movement.

Boeing Machinists are striking against a backdrop of an overall state work force that is 80 percent nonunion. Gasoline prices are at record highs, eating into family budgets, and health care premiums continue to rise as state labor leaders gird for a slow, long-haul campaign to win back the relevancy of workers uniting to improve their lots in life rather than succeeding or failing on their own.

"Anyone who's out there eating hot dogs or carrying balloons on Labor Day ought to be thinking differently," said David Rolf, president of the 28,000-member Service Employees International Union, Local 775, in Seattle.

"Labor unions today," he said, "are totally irrelevant to entire sectors of our economy."

A few facts that were not included in this article:
  • Government is unionized at a much higher rate (36%) than private labor (8%).
  • Two occupational groups -- educational, training, and library occupations and protective service occupations -- had the highest unionized rates in 2004, at about 37% each. (Protective service occupations include fire fighters and police officers.)
  • Washington State is above average for total unionized labor (19%).
Now, given that Olympia is in Washington State (hence above average in unionization), the state capital (hence populated with government workers), and a college town (hence populated with educators), isn't it likely that labor in this town IS relevant to most sectors of the local economy?

September 4th

Happy Labor Day!

More analysis of newspaper swap

The Idaho Statesman carries this piece giving an economic analysis of the Knight-Ridder takeover of the Olympian. The gameplan for K-R:
"The value these local newspapers bring to the table is their ability to generate local content," Vallecillo said. "If you're good at developing that content, packaging it and distributing it effectively, you can still make some good money in this business."

The Olympian rejects values ordinance

The editorial page of the Olympian came out against the values ordinance today:
Council members should allow the proponents of the community values ordinance an opportunity to speak their mind and air their proposal. But council members should not waste staff time or city resources pursuing this feel-good measure that is unlawful, unworkable and just plain silly.

Here is the text of the proposed ordinance.

Some things to note about the piece:
  • The main source is David Schaffert, president and chief executive officer of the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce. He calls the ordinance "subjective."
  • The piece contains the claim that only "a core group of about 15 people" are behind the proposal.
  • The piece claims that "Under the proposal, those businesses that don't measure up would have two months to leave town." What the proposal actually says is that those businesses with a score below 50 must stop local operations in two months, rather than "leave town." One presumes that if they reapply and score better, the business can reopen.
  • The piece raises the question of equity, claiming that because the ordinance only applies to large business, it is discriminating against stores like Wal-Mart. It doesn't mention the inequity in resources that these corporations have brought to bear against small towns like Olympia. In perhaps the most interesting quote, Schaffert states:
    "Our community wants to embrace diversity, yet when it comes to businesses, some people in this community want to put all businesses into 'good' or 'bad' categories based on subjective measures.
OlyBlog's view: It is convenient for Shaffert to call the proposal "subjective". In fact, it seems quite objective. By the numbers: do these businesses contribute a specified percentage back to the community? Do they contribute a specified percentage to health care? Etc. Finally, rather than call names (silly?), perhaps the Olympian should engage in a discussion about the ordiance. Rather than use a single source, Schaffert, the Olympian should solicit input from the wider community. Perhaps the Olympian should examine the underlying value that the ordinance expresses, that big businesses should be good citizens in this community, and contribute something back.

Local band: Kidcrash

Punknews reviews a 2004 release called New Ruins by an Olympia band called Kidcrash.
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