9 Photos — Earth Day 2010

Happy Earth Day! In the spirit of yesterday's water blessing, I would like to A) apologize to the Earth for anything hurtful that I have done. I would also like to B) ask for forgiveness, to C) express my appreciation for this planet, wonderful and awesome it is, and D) to tell the Earth I love you.

Here are 9 recent photos, I hope you enjoy. Love and Harmony, Cheers, Berd

Water Blessing at the Artesian Well
Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Olympia, Washington — Dr. Masaru Emoto peformed a water blessing at the downtown artesian well.

Extremely curious

I read Berd's latest thread today and then went and read the daily O's coverage of it, and came to my usual "eh whatever" that I normally feel about the isthmus and all of the issues that go along with it.

Later I was struck by lightning: So many times I've heard people complain about the sprawl, the sprawl is evil, turning into Lacey, etc. etc. but here we have a building plan and people don't want the building to be over 35 ft. Does this make sense to anyone else? For my part, downtown is mostly just a place that I drive through when the freeway looks jammed, but some people prefer to actually live down there right?

Even throwing the isthmus out of the equation. If a building is erected in downtown that is over 35 ft, won't it obstruct someones view at some point? If we want more things built in downtown Oly (besides the current buildings, some of which seem to be in shambles) aren't we going to block somebodys view?

Comments in re: Larida Passage Project File Number 09-1035

Here's a comment I just submitted in regard to a building permit request for Larida Passage. It is edited slightly for syntax and clarity. In addition to the comments below, I want to add another reason to not grant the permit; it's my understanding that there is currently litigation underway over the rezone. That's not to mention that there are also a number of regulatory hurdles to clear in regard to environmental and aesthetic impacts.

-- So, this is my understanding of the situation in relation to the building permit request, please chime in to correct if I am wrong about any of that! I am not an expert in the development and planning industries. I suppose that it makes sense that a permit request would precede the public hearing process regarding impacts.

To:        Cari Hornbeim, Senior Planner
City of Olympia
Olympia, WA 98507-1967

From:    Berd Whitlock
[address redacted]

Imagine Olympia Event

The City of Olympia formally kicked off its multi-year comprehensive plan update process with an Imagine Olympia event held at the Olympia Center. It was well attended, estimated at 150 in a story from The Olympian, though I think there were probably more people in total, since people came and went (The Olympian story). I even saw some OlyBloggers. There was a lot of information about the Comp Plan process, music, food, a presentation about the planning process, as well as remarks by Mayor Mah. Janine Gates has a report with more details: Imagine Olympia: Community, the Comprehensive Plan and Cake. Following are a few photos from me:

Teenager Severn Suzuki addresses the UN Conference on Environment and Development

I've probably posted this before. But this is one of my favorite videos. A terrific speech by Severn Suzuki, daughter of author David Suzuki. Check it out.

Teenager Severn Suzuki addresses the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Brazil. She presents a powerful argument and a powerful request for representatives of the world's nations to take seriously the harm that human societies and economic activities are doing to the planet.

"At school, even in kindergarten, you teach us how to behave in the world. You teach us to not fight with others, to work things out, to respect others, to clean up our mess, not to hurt other creatures, to share - not be greedy: then why do you go out and do the things you tell us not to do?" Severn Suzuki

Coverage of North Point Open House

There has been a lot of discussion in the environmental community about proposed development on the North Point of the Port Peninsula. Janine Gates has an article a recent open house here: Potential NorthPoint Developer Has Not Seen City Sea-Level Rise Maps, Data

WalMart on the Move in Tumwater

Recent story in The Olympian about progress on a new WalMart store in Tumwater. Do you like WalMart? Do you think WalMart is good for the economy? For the environment?

WalMart Construction Nears by Rolf Boone

Community Artspace Meeting - September 16, 2009

Here's a link to the video from the ArtSpace Community Meeting. The video includes the pre-meeting performances by The Crow Drummers, RADCO, The Randy Baugh Band, and The Olympia Free Choir.

Here's the link: ArtSpace Community Forum - Prefeasability | Video

Artspace Community Meeting

Backstage at the Artspace Community Meeting

I sang with the Free Choir earlier tonight prior to the Artspace Community Meeting, this photo is from backstage. The Randy Baugh Band was playing while we waited in the wings.

I didn't hear much of the presentation, so I would be interested to hear the thoughts of people who were there. I also did hear that it will be broadcast on TCTV, maybe we can put a link to that video up here.

Were you there? What did you think?

Inverting the Economic Order, by Wendell Berry

The September 2009 issue of The Progressive magazine features an article by Wendell Berry, Inverting the Economic Order. I think the ideas in the article are relevant to the upcoming City Comprehensive Planning Process.

There are a lot of common threads between the ideas that Berry presents, and ideas from Jerry Mander, who wrote In the Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology and the Survival of Indian Nations. Both authors discuss how modern society has devalued our relationship, as human beings, with the land that we call home (and which we depend on - and which I believe we, indeed, belong to.) Here's also a link to an interview with Jerry Mander. The interview appeared in The Sun magazine shortly after publication of In the Absence of the Sacred. Interview with Jerry Mander by Catherine Ingram.

Now here's a short excerpt from Inverting the Economic Order, by Wendell Berry:

Inverting the Economic Order
Wendell Berry in the September 2009 issue

My economic point of view is from ground level. It is a point of view sometimes described as “agrarian.” That means that in ordering the economy of a household or community or nation, I would put nature first, the economies of land use second, the manufacturing economy third, and the consumer economy fourth.

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