emmettoconnell's blog

Squaxin Island Tribe First Salmon Ceremony

Earlier today, the Squaxin Island Tribe held their yearly First Salmon Ceremony at Arcadia. Here is a short :

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Here is a video of last year's ceremony for some more context.


A lot of conversation on twitter this morning, so I wanted to spread it over here.

So, basically I grew up with Lake Fair and I will always go.

But, that's not to say it can't be better. Waaaaaay better.

The idea of a come one/come all summer, multi-day summer party in downtown Olympia is great, but how can we make it better? Drop your idea here or on twitter at #betterlakefair.

So far, the ideas are ranging from "make it modern," "make it local," to the very painfully obvious "make their website stop hurting my eyes."

South Sound Salmon Forecast and Squaxin Annual Fishing Regulations

Over at the Squaxin blog is what to expect in our local deep South Sound fish runs and the tribe's fishing seasons:

We are expecting to see some good returns of Fall Chinook  with approximately 19,500 expected to come back to Tumwater Falls Hatchery this year.   The coho season was a real downer last year with record low returns but the forecast looks promising with expected net pen coho returns to be around 51,000.

Fall chum numbers look to be lower this year from last with 264,000  coming back to our region.  Being an odd year, escapement goals for Totten Inlet (Kennedy) will be 11,500 chum and Eld Inlet (McLane & Perry) will be 14,500 chum.

Its a longish post with some charts, which you can read over at the Squaxin NR blog.

Deschutes estuary restoration on KAOS this weekend

Jeff Dickison, a biologist with the Squaxin Island Tribe, was interviewed over the weekend on Make No Bones About It on KAOS.

Here is part 1:

And, part 2:


Where do city council candidates stand on a new library in Olympia?

Tonight I emailed the candidates for city council, asking where they stood on building a new library in Olympia. I've been thinking about the races the last few weeks, and whether a candidate belives we should build a new library in Olympia is the most important issue for me right now.

Here's the letter:

I’m emailing all of the city of Olympia candidates to get your feedback on the most important issue for me in this upcoming city election. When can Olympia build a new library?
For me, building a new library for Olympia is our largest unmet need.I am a member of both the Timberland Regional Library board  trustees and the board of the Friends of the Olympia Library. But, I am not representing either of these organizations in this inquiry. I have also posted this letter on olyblog.net and will post your response there.
I understand that the city government doesn't necessarily need to fund a new library for one to be built (through tools like a library capital facility area), so I'm not asking you to make a public commitment to fund a library. But I do want to find out where you place the library on the list of projects to be completed.
For more information and an opportunity to directly contribute to a new library, the Friends of the Olympia Library has some information on their building fund here: http://www.olympiafriends.com/building-fund/
Thanks very much for your involvement and your contributions to our city,
Emmett O'Connell

 Here are some of the reasons Olympia needs a new library (via the Friends):

Deschutes Estuary Restoration presentation from yesterday

Yesterday at the Deschutes River TMDL meeting, representatives from the Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team, the Squaxin Island Tribe and People for Puget Sound, gave a presentation about the benefits of restoring the Deschutes Rive estuary. 

Its only the long side, but it covers practically every issue in the overall discussion. You can press play on the window below to hear the talk.

My favorite quote came from John Konovsky, staff from the Squaxin Island Tribe:

Capitol Lake has to be 300 feet deep to absorb the kind of load of Phosphorus that is naturally coming into the system.

Budd Inlet landscape analysis by the Squaxin Island Tribe

The presentation below is Scott Steltzner giving a presentation on a new project being rolled out by the Squaxin Island Tribe. Its a landscape analysis of Budd Inlet and should give policy makers, project funders and other interested folks the tools they need to develop a strategy to restore the Budd Inlet ecosystem.



The tribe put up a blog post at their natural resources blog further explaining the project. You an also find some of the resources cited in the presentation at their blog.

Heart of Olympia (Love Letters to Olympia) new sculpture at the Olympia Timberland Library

From ArtsCrush.org:

During October, everyone is an artist who practices the Art of letter writing! Share what you love about Olympia and place it in a symbol of love located at a place everyone loves! Dear Olympia: Love Letters to Our City is a community-wide event that invites all Olympia area residents to write a love letter to the city sharing stories about favorite places, events and memories of growing up/living in/visiting Olympia. Letters from the heart will be "posted" in a Heart sculpture created by Olympia artists Margo Westfall and Don Lovett and located in the "heart" of Olympia: the Library. Letters will be collected throughout October and selected letters will be shared publicly.

Here is the artist, Margo Westfall, describing her piece.

This week on the council: bringing down height limits on paper

Almost every week this is the "What's on the city council's plate this week" review. I don't cover everything, so if you want the full rundown, read thepacket and agenda yourself.

This week, the city council will move forward with how quickly and exactly how to dial back the increased building heights along the so-called isthmus (which is really a peninsula). In the packet this week is a staff report and proposed ordinance spelling out exactly how the city can move forward.

I've embedded the staff report below (which is always more interesting) and here is the ordinance on scribd. 

What struck me is the long process even making a temporary (on the way to permanent) rollback of the comprehensive plan. In addition to a public hearing within two months, it has to get onto the docket of the planning commission, which won't be able to pick it up until late summer. It will go into effect immediately, but the city council will end up also justifying its actions at some point.

Here is part of the staff report that deals with the process itself: 


Olympia Food Co-op zeroing in on a downtown store

Surprised this hasn't been posted already, but the co-op is looking to bring a third location online, this time downtown (apologies if it has):

On December 17th, the Co-op Board of Directors authorized the expansion team to pursue negotiations to acquire our preferred property in downtown Olympia, with the intention of opening a third store.

We are doing this to make good food accessible to more people.

In order to make this project successful we will need to increase the prices of some products.

We will be continuing to assess the financial viability of this project in order to ensure the long term health of the business.

We are also making operational improvements to ensure the sustainable management of a larger organization.

Prior to a final decision we will be seeking member feedback.

Anyone have a clue where exactly they're going to expand to?

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