Mark your calendars

Via Washington State Political Report:

Markos Moulitsas Zúniga (The Daily Kos) and Jerome Armstrong (MyDD)are coming to Seattle on Friday, April 7, and to Olympia on Saturday, April 8, to promote their new book Crashing the Gate. Details pending.

These are the folks who basically invented the idea of community blogging. Get out and show some love.

Hot potato

From Editor & Publisher:

NEW YORK -- While the pending sale of Knight Ridder newspapers to McClatchy promises at least some upheaval for all 32 dailies involved, for three of them it's deja vu all over again. That's because The Olympian of Olympia, Wash.; The Bellingham (Wash.) Herald; and The (Boise) Idaho Statesman, were each sold just six months ago.

In August 2005, the trio were part of Gannett Co. Inc. and were sent to Knight Ridder in the blockbuster sale of the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News. As part of the swap, Gannett sold the Olympian, Herald, and Statesman to Knight Ridder. With the McClatchy deal expected to be completed by July 1, each of those dailies will have had three different owners in less than a year.

[snip]

John Winn Miller, publisher of the Olympian, called a repeat disruption "a little exhausting ... We have a whole new accounting system and reporting system and that will have to change again," he lamented. "We are a little anxious about it."

[snip]

Back at The Olympian, Political Editor Brad Shannon said the fact that this sale was in the works for a while made it a bit easier to take than the previous change, which was announced without warning. Photo Editor Steve Herppich said the staff is just staying positive with something that is out of their control. "I think we are just rolling with it and hoping for the best," he said. "We are optimistic."

Phillip Weiss Article in The Nation about Rachel Corrie

The Nation has recently published an article about Rachel Corrie, and the play "My name is Rachel Corrie," which was recently pulled off the docket at a prominent New York City theatre. The play received much acclaim in London at the Royal Court Theatre, where it was originally produced. The New York Theatre Workshop has received a lot of criticism since it announced a decision to pull the play due to fears of offending Jewish Americans.

Weiss explores the life of Rachel Corrie, and the life of the play "My Name is Rachel Corrie," which is based on her activism, her words and her life. Weiss also explores some of the dynamics involved in the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Too Hot for New York
Philip Weiss

The slim book that was suddenly the most controversial work in the West in early March was not easy to find in the United States. Amazon said it wasn't available till April. The Strand bookstore didn't have it either. You could order it on Amazon-UK, but it would be a week getting here. I finally found an author in Michigan who kindly photocopied the British book and overnighted it to me; but to be on the safe side, I visited an activist's apartment on Eighth Avenue on the promise that I could take her much-in-demand copy to the lobby for half an hour. In the elevator, I flipped it open to a random passage:

"I can't cool boiling waters in Russia. I can't be Picasso. I can't be Jesus. I can't save the planet single-handedly. I can wash dishes."

This week on the council: Slow week, 90 minute parking (again)

Every week I take a look at the city council packet to see if there is anything interesting. For a deeper look at what our city council members are reading and considering this week, read the packet yourself.

Kind of a small packet this week, forshadowing what I can tell is a pretty boring city council meeting. One interesting thing that we've talked about before was the end of 90 minute free parking downtown. Seems the land use subcommittee of the city council is suggesting that the larger council to create an all pay system. I wrote about this earlier here.

Another item regards the status of the state's State Capitol Campus master plan, which is pretty interesting reading. It reminds me of how important statet government is to our city. Even though state buildings are popping up in Tumwater and Lacey, we're still the Capitol City and how the state handles business has a big impact on our city and economy. For example, several local businesses recently sued GA over the Smart Buying Initiative because it favored large, out of town businesses such as Ikon over smaller local ones, like Capital Business Machines.

 Anyway, there was an interesting passage in the master plan report:

The State Capitol Master Plan has not been comprehensively updated since 1991. Since that time the State has continued to expand and renovate office facilities both in Olympia and the surrounding community sometimes in a manner inconsistent with the 1991 Master Plan. The 1991 Master Plan envisioned most State facilities would be state-owned. But no funding was forthcoming and so between 1994 and 2000 the State had to rely on leasing facilities and a low cost approach led to sprawl and fragmentation.

Without a Home N.W.

I very much like this journalist Philip Dawdy, and his recent Seattle Weekly piece The Plan to Nowhere is especially good.

Larry Govea pulled himself off the streets of Seattle and out of homelessness 10 years ago. He was sick of sleeping in his car and of living in high-rise crack houses, as he calls some of the homeless programs in which he's lived. Govea has no better than a sixth-grade education but nowadays reads Plato and Diogenes. But in three weeks, he faces the prospect of being forced from his small one-bedroom cottage in West Seattle, his home for 10 years, and back onto the streets.

Keith (Keef) Knight, the "other black cartoonist"

Keith Knight is a writer, rapper (with Marginal Prophets) media activist, and award-winning cartoonist whose nationally-syndicated weekly comic strips, the K Chronicles and (th)ink, can be found in newspapers, magazines and websites across the country. He is also a collaborator on a new book/project out of the New Orleans-based Crossroads Project called the Beginner's Guide to Community-Based Arts and has been recently traveling across the country promoting the organization and their grassroots work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Knight is part of a new generation of talented young African American artists raised on hip hop; artists who infuse their work with urgency, edge, humor, satire, politics and race. Knight incorporates these same ingredients into his multi-media presentations, displaying some of his favorite cartoons. Knight's talent, humor, and energy infuse discussions on race and racial stereotyping, diversity, media, youth and student empowerment, the corporate erosion of creativity and other contemporary issues.

Join us in welcoming Keith to Evergreen and come for an evening of what, to quote from XLR8R magazine, promises to be a "groundbreaking mix of D.I.Y. urban youth culture and biting social commentary."

When: Wednesday, April 5th
When: 7pm
Where: Evergreen, Lecture Hall #1

Cosponsored by Evergreen programs: Making Your Place, Masters in Public Administration, Internships in the Public Service and Poets Alive along with The Sitting Duck, a Olympia weekly newspaper.

Olympia Civic Network

You have probably noticed the addition of three buttons on the right hand side of Olyblog this morning. They are the first step in the creation of the Olympia Civic Network, an effort to create a local, non-commercial and citizen driven space on the internet. With Rick's launch of Olyblog late last summer, my interest in generating local online conversation has been rekindled, and hopefully, this effort will help create a higher profile for wired involvement.

Right now, at Better South Sound we're discussing what we have planned and what we're missing. Jump in and help us build this thing. 

A Chance Meeting

As a culmination of their last two quarters studying painting, drawing and photography, students in the Foundations of Visual Arts program are holding a public exhibition of selected pieces of their work in SEM 2, E4115.

The show is entitled "A Chance Meeting" and will be up for viewing by the general public today (Thursday) until 8:00 PM. Students are also hosting a reception today starting at 4:00 PM.

Tomorrow, the work will be on view from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM.

Please come and help the students celebrate both the hard work they put into making their pieces and in jurying them for exhibition.

Rural rezone workgroups report out

Over at Thurston Pundits, Andy Maris reports that the rural rezone workgroups report is out. This is part of an important discussion regarding growth in our county and how rural areas will become less so over time. While I tend to disagree with Andy over just about everything, it is an important discussion, and I agree that it is good to see people step up to the plate.

As part of the rezone plan, the county assembled workgroups to discuss potential options to comply with the GMA ruling. Landowners are generally disgruntled by past moves made by county and environmentalists; environmentalists don't seem terribly concerned with other people's nest egg.

The workgroup report out is a worthwhile read for the well informed on this issue. It is good to see landowners are stepping up. Having watched this progress for a while now, many in the Olympia area don’t have a problem devaluing someone’s property by 100k-900k to make themselves feel like they are protecting something.

Why the hell not? They didn't pay anything for it and aren't stuck with the tax bill twice a year.

Since Thurston Pundits has a comments enabled, comment over there.

Free legal help

Thurston County Volunteer Legal Services & SafePlace now offer a monthly legal clinic for people affected by domestic violence and sexual assault.

Next Legal Clinic: Tuesday, April 11

The clinic is held one Tuesday night per month, and is open for walk-in appointments from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm (clients are seen until 9:00 pm but must arrive by 8:00).

For more information about this clinic, please call the SafePlace crisis line at 754-6300.

Sponsored by Thurston County Volunteer Legal Services and SafePlace.

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