As always this is simply an update on city business as gleaned from their weekly packet. For more information, read the packet yourself or go to the city council meetings. The city's ban on "big box stores" is about to lapse, so they council is considering renewing to give them more time to figure out the long term fate of such stores. Interesting reading is the pro and cons of such a move:
Option 1. Extend Moratorium an additional 180 days.
1. Provides time for staff analysis, council direction and measured and appropriate response to large-scale retail development.
1. May prevent certain property owners from pursuing development of their property for large-scale retail.
2. Let the Moratorium lapse. Pros1. Will allow private property owners to pursue development approvals for large-scale retail developments.
1. Such developments would proceed under our current regulations without benefit of further analysis of regulatory options.
Here is the reference is the minutes from last week's meeting to the water rights lawsuit:
Proposed Condemnation Ordinance for Water Rights at the former Olympia Brewery Staff distributed a proposed ordinance providing for the condemnation of property and water rights at the former Olympia brewery. Councilmember Mah moved, seconded by Councilmember Johnson, to suspend Council rules and pass Ordinance # 6394 on first and final reading. Councilmember Mah noted the ordinance includes a declaration of emergency that requires a super majority vote. Motion passed unanimously.
The wireless ordinance will likely be voted in this week with no loophole for wifi or wimax facilities. Looks like the city is going to take this up later in a regular review of the new rules.
Since he moved to Olympia, new employee Bryan has experienced two windstorm related power outages. "Why the heck does Olympia have so many power outages, isn't our electricity system any good?" he wondered. I responded that we have too many Doug firs and other shallow rooted species standing around power lines to ever be safe for long:
In order to understand the effect of construction on big tree health, it's necessary to imagine how the root structure looks underground. Many people believe that tree roots descend dozens of feet into the ground, balancing the big top of the tree with a similar underground mass. This doesn't happen. If you've ever seen the roots of a wind-rocked Douglas fir, you've seen the "pancake" like shallow wad they make. Roots are essentially shallow, even on big trees.
Most feeder roots that take up nutrients lie within two feet of the surface. They are located near the outer edges of tree root systems and usually extend well beyond a tree's drip line. Large anchoring roots located closer to the trunk typically extend down another two to three feet.
While we're on the subject, some good thoughts from the city of Redmond on windstorms.
I've been much more social and public lately. I've caught some flak recently and in a moment of reverie thought of this song by John Lennon. Gonna share just in case it's good for someone else too to read this:
We’re playing those mind games together
Pushing the barriers, planting seeds
Playing the mind guerrilla
Chanting the mantra, peace on earth
We all been playing those mind games forever
Some kinda druid dudes lifting the veil
Doing the mind guerrilla
Some call it magic, the search for the grail
Love is the answer and you know that for sure
Love is a flower, you got to let it, you got to let it grow
Over the last couple days I put together a new website for my neighborhood association.
Our old website was basic and informative, but didn't offer a way for anyone except for the webmaster to edit or add anything. This new drupal based (just like Olyblog) site will let any of our members add comments, and our leaders add front page conent, including events. I have been for the past few weeks trying to find a way to tie an email discussion group with a drupal/civicspace site, but I'm not that big of a nerd yet, so I gave up. For my NA instead I grabbed a google group, which should be nice.
This process got me thinking: with the availability of free, open source, so called Web 2.0 applications out there, that allow people to connect, discuss and organize, how can neighbhorhood associations use them to be more effective? I put together our site with some basic modules from drupal (events, forums, etc...), but if other NAs adopt similar technology, can we connect to eachother locally and be a more powerful voice than we are right now?
From The Seattle Times:
Olympia -- Lucia Perillo of Olympia has won the 2006 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, worth $100,000 and said to be the largest award given to a midcareer poet.
Perillo's fourth volume of verse, "Luck Is Luck," was published by Random House in March 2005. The line that lends the collection its title -- "well, hard luck is luck, nonetheless" -- sums up the spirit of the book. Perillo, who has been battling multiple sclerosis since the 1980s, is also a MacArthur Foundation Fellow.
Robert Wrigley, chairman of the Tufts Poetry Awards, commented on "Luck Is Luck": "It gives the reader stories that show the familiar in unfamiliar ways. ... It manages to be simultaneously lighthearted and moving -- a very elusive quality."
I usually buy something first at Dancing Goats espresso bar at the entrance. Good coffee, good pumpkin bread. I might fill this out with fruit and yogurt from the main store. On through past the deli there are stairs leading up.
Nice big room with plenty of chairs and tables and all those windows. This is a prime spot for staying warm while gazing out over the water. Olympics can be seen on clear days.
Community to Community Dialogue on Poverty, Privatization, and the Impacts of Development
With a panel and audience discussion including Monica Peabody (Welfare Rights Organizing Coalition--Olympia), Edward Pinkney (Black Autonomy Network of Community Organizations—Benton Harbor, MI), Pat Tassoni (Thurston County Tenants Union), Maureen Taylor (Michigan Welfare Rights Organization--Detroit)
Dialogue about Poverty, Privatization and Challenging Corporate Rule in Our Communities
Grassroots Leaders Speaking about fighting corporate globalization in “the Rustbelt
From The Olympian:
South Sound homeless shelters expect an influx of homeless people as bitter cold descends on the area.
When the temperature dipped to 22 degrees early Wednesday, two dozen people sought refuge at The Salvation Army shelter in downtown Olympia, the "highest I've seen so far in the past few years," said Beth Zimmerman, cold-weather coordinator for the Emergency Shelter Network.
It looks like it is only going to get colder. Does Bread & Roses have enough coats, gloves, hats? Should we bring stuff to B&R to distribute?
We never seem to have enough to meet the need. Gloves, coats, hats, sleeping bags, camping gear, anything that will keep people warm. Hand warmers are good too, especially for the really cold nights like now, they last for a number of hours and provide alot of heat.
You can drop stuff off at 121 State Avenue in Downtown Olympia or call Rob at 359.3293.