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City Council priorities for this year

From The Olympian:

  • Focus on Olympia as a capital city to preserve the community's identity and economy. Officials will lobby the state for money to rebuild the Percival Landing boardwalk, which is succumbing to age and marine elements. They'll seek a state study on how Olympia compares with other state capitals when it comes to conference centers and other kinds of meeting spaces for visitors.

    [snip]
  • Improve the effectiveness of government. For example, officials want to improve how services are delivered by moving forward with a new City Hall with departments under one roof. They'll expand what people can do online, such as paying utility bills and parking tickets.
  • Put sustainability into action. Officials plan to increase recycling services, find more customers for reclaimed water, cut the use of toxins and reduce car emissions. They'll use green building practices and encourage businesses to do the same. And they'll follow up on a provision in the nuclear-free ordinance that gave the city manager a year to study how the city's investment practices can fall in line -- whether, for example, the city should buy federal bonds or invest with a bank that does business with a company that makes nuclear weapons.

Evergroove trivia, pt. 95

It was going to be a very weird quarter.

Early October, 1974. The school year was just starting. The "Encountering America" coordinated studies program went into a retreat somewhere at a lake up in Mason County.

One of the faculty members, Dumi Maraire, prepared dinner for us. Dumi was a native of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe, where Dumi returned and died in 1999) and had a short and controversial career at Evergreen. He brought in a live goat and slaughtered it before the assembled students. Then we cooked and ate it. I think even some of the vegetarians took part, since it was almost an insult not to. Actually, it was pretty good.

While I was helping unload the car of another faculty member who was bringing in supplies from the outside world, I saw the headlines of a newspaper she had just picked up. Back at TESC, an Evergreen student named Vicki Schneider had fallen, jumped, or was pushed off a top floor of A Dorm and landed on the pavement next to the circle. Right under my window. Matt Groening's room was next door.

When I got back to TESC I learned all my roommates had been first on the scene. The death was ruled suicide.

It was going to be a very weird quarter.

Evergroove trivia, pt. 94

One popular, and ironic, destination for Evergreen retreats was Fort Flagler State Park. The former military complex is on the north end of Marrowstone Island, near Port Townsend. Built at the turn of the century (19th-20th, that is), Flagler was designed, along with Fort Worden and Fort Casey, to defend the entrance of Puget Sound from enemy ships. Just in time for the introduction of the aeroplane to render the whole place obsolete.

Flagler is riddled with concrete gun batteries, bunkers, and observation boxes. During one evening at a retreat, I went into one of the observation boxes to enjoy the pleasure of smoking a fine cigar. Well, a cheap cigar. Some of my habits, like drinking black coffee, eating meat, making lame puns, and especially smoking cigars offended many of my classmates.

But then, as now, smoking a cigar is my way of meditating. You can't really do much else when you start burning one of those babies. So I'm looking out at a panoramic view of the Sound when my solitude is broken by some guy who obviously has lost the sense of smell. "Dude," he greeted me, "Can I have a drag?"

I suspect he thought I had something else, but I let him take a nice deep lung-full anyway. His response reminded me it is best not to inhale those things.

Evergroove trivia, pt. 93

Portrait of the cartoonist as a young maze, or, The path I took in trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up.


"A balance of power."

From AP News:

WASHINGTON -- Dissatisfied with the nation's direction, Americans are leaning toward wanting a change in which political party leads Congress -- preferring that Democrats take control, an AP-Ipsos poll found. Democrats are favored over Republicans 49 percent to 36 percent.

The polling came as disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to tax evasion, fraud and corruption charges and agreed to aid a federal investigation of members of Congress and other government officials.

President Bush's job approval remains low -- 40 percent in the AP-Ipsos poll, with only one-third saying the country is headed in the right direction. Bush also remains low on his handling of Iraq, where violence against Iraqis and U.S. troops has been surging.

"I just don't like the direction our country is going in," said Steve Brown, a political independent from Olympia, Wash. "I think a balance of power would be beneficial right now."

Steve is evidently a master of understatement.

Blogging conference concludes

Here's where I've been for the last couple of days.

More reports here and here.

Frought?

"Western Washington frought with road problems. Winter storms have caused mudslides and pavement settling."

This is a breaking news headline on The Olympian web page, updated as of 8:56 PM. I dare say they need a new spell check program, maybe a human one also. I myself am by no means a perfect speller, but frought gives me a good laugh tonight, and for this I am grateful.

(Maybe frought = fright + wrought)

Lacey Thief Fails Oly Fashion Test

The article Rick earlier blogged on, I just reread it and realized something more.

The robber may have worn a fake mustache, Lacey police reported.

How utterly embarassing for a man, to have something on his upper lip that observers cannot quite identify. Obviously he has failed the high standards set by Olympia bank robbers.

If You Can't Erase It, Define It.

I suppose if you have to live in hell, being able to define and describe it can make it tolerable. Or not. If nothing else, makes for better communication with 911.

Definition of crackhole in The Urban Dictionary added by diligent blogging Olympian.

(Take his poll while you're there.)

Evergroove trivia, pt. 92

It is 1975. The three of us Geoducks pulled off a lonely road in the Lake Quinault area to observe the massive old growth trees. One of my companions takes a long stick and places it across the yellow line in the center of the road. "This lane is my lane and that lane is your lane," he explained, "and the first one to have a car run over the stick on his side will be the first one to die."

Yeah, I know, very strange. Keep in mind this is the same character who earlier in the academic year had performed the "Easter Pimp" trick (see Evergroove Trivia pt. 45).

I will admit I'm a bit of a fatalist. I do not believe anything happens by accident or coincidence. And I'm just superstitious enough to pay more attention to a stunt like this than it deserves. Maybe the fact I can remember this after over three decades was due to the primeval and mystical setting of virgin timber. Or maybe I'm just a dork. OK, we all know the answer to that one, so let's just move on.

A long time passed before any vehicles showed up. When they did, two cars approached from opposite directions, and they hit the stick at exactly the same moment!!!! Weird with a beard, man. This was the kind of stuff Evergreeners liked to eat with a spoon.

So, as far as I know, the Easter Pimp is still alive and well. But I'll tell you one thing, I'm never getting in the same car, plane, elevator, train, etc. with him.

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