Rachel Corrie Memorial Dance Party

“If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.

Public comment on arts center feasibility study

Per email:
How do you feel an Arts Center would contribute to our community? What types of experiences would you hope to have there? Share your voice with the consultants of Economics Research Associates, as they work to assess the possibility of an Arts Center for Olympia.

Three sessions to choose from on Tuesday, March 14: 10am-Noon or 1-3pm or 7-9pm. For more information, contact Stephanie Johnson at Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation, at 709-2678.

Jonathon Turlove, Senior Program Specialist
City of Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation
222 Columbia NW
Olympia, WA 98501
(360) 753-8068

Media consolidation

There is a very interesting post at Northwest Progressive Institute concerning the recent acquisition of Knight Ridder by McClatchy:

In the Pacific Northwest, Knight Ridder owns The Olympian, the Bellingham Herald, and the Idaho Statesman in Boise (all of which were recently acquired in a trade with the nation's largest newspaper publisher - Gannett). Knight Ridder also owns a 49.5 stake in the Seattle Times Company.

McClatchy already owns the Tacoma News Tribune, one of the state's biggest dailies, the Tri-City Herald, The Puyallup Herald (not a daily), The Peninsula Gateway (Port Angeles) and Anchorage Daily News (in Alaska).

The deal gives McClatchy a powerful footing in the Pacific Northwest, and especially in the Evergreen State. It will own or have a stake in a significant number of Washington State's major daily newspapers.

Inside Iraq

At the Capital Theater this Thursday, March 16th at 6:30, OMJP is helping to sponsor/promote the film Inside Iraq. The filmmaker, Mike Shiley, will be there with us to introduce his film. You check out the film on the Olympia Film Society page for more details.

Volunteers will be needed to help out. Contact the theatre for more information about how to help. Please come show your support for a film that takes a critical look at the war in Iraq!

Knight Ridder sold to McClatchy

This is good news. From The New York Times:

Knight Ridder, the second-largest newspaper company in the United States, agreed Sunday night to sell itself for about $4.5 billion in cash and stock to the McClatchy Company, a publisher half its size, according to people involved in the negotiations.

The deal, which is expected to be announced Monday, comes as the newspaper industry is gripped by uncertainty. Readers have begun to drift away from printed newspapers as their Web sites have experienced sharp gains in use.

Anonymous threats to local professor

From daily dose of queer:

Patrick Chapman, a South Puget Sound Community College professor, has received two anonymous death threats in the last two years: a written threat in 2004 and a voice mail at his home in January (received a few days after The Olympian published a letter to the editor from Chapman about gay rights issues) in which the caller said, “Thinking of dying?” The voice mail was reported to the local police department.

Chapman's response, from the Olympian article:

“We’ve got to speak out against injustice,” Chapman said. “I’m not going to live in fear.”

Fear is all they've got. We don't have to play that.

Yee challenges military's behavior

From Newsday.com:

WEST ORANGE, N.J. -- The former Muslim chaplain at the U.S. Army base at Guantanamo Bay who was once suspected of espionage says the military is discouraging American Muslims from helping more thoroughly in the war on terror by mistreating detainees and viewing Islam suspiciously.

James Yee, the Springfield native who was arrested on suspicion of espionage in his role as spiritual adviser to Muslim detainees at Guantanamo, claims he and other American Muslim service members at the detention center were also viewed with suspicion by military commanders.

In an interview with The Associated Press before addressing the American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee's New Jersey chapter Saturday night, Yee said his case is one of the things that makes American Muslims wary of cooperating more fully in the war on terrorism.

"When someone like me gets thrown in jail for making positive contributions, people see that and don't want to have anything to do with the government," said Yee, who lives in Olympia, Wash. He said one higher-up referred to him as "that Chinese Taliban" during the 76 days he spent in solitary confinement in a South Carolina military prison.

Is yahoo evil?

Rob Richards has brought the following to my attention:

In addition to being boring capitalists, yahoo.com is in the practice of helping to jail Chinese reporters and dissidents. On December 2003, Chinese dissident Li Zhi was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment for inciting "subversion" using evidence provided by yahoo. On April 2005, Shi Tao (a journalist working for a Chinese newspaper) was sentenced to 10 years in prison for leaking details of a censorship order, again using evidence provided by yahoo.

This horror is not isolated to yahoo: gmail, hotmail, and aol all make it standard practice to turn over requested documents without even attempting to contest the request. The much reported refusal by google to turn over historical search statistics to the US government misses the fact that they already allow the government to scan all gmail traffic (as do yahoo, hotmail and aol).

We encourage you to stop using yahoo and the other services it owns (flickr, del.icio.us, and geocities, to name a few).

This brings up several questions:

  • Do we like using del.icio.us?
  • Is boycotting del.icio.us the right response to the information above?
  • Is there an alternative response?
  • If not del.icio.us, then what sort of system should we use for links?
What do Olybloggers think?

It's Not the Water

Yes Rick, we are paying attention. Thank you for changing that subtitle. I am assuming it has to do with your local water issue. Let's hope you don't get too much of this guy when you deal with your regional politicians and public servants.

Knight-Ridder for sale

As we've discussed here previously, The Olympian was just acquired by Knight-Ridder News a few months ago. K-R shareholders are not happy about the way that the stock is performing, so they've put the newspaper chain up for sale. There are two bidders so far. From The Olympian:

SAN JOSE, Calif. — With McClatchy touted as the front-runner in the sale of Knight Ridder, sources familiar with the bidding process said a decision could be announced Monday.

Knight Ridder’s board is meeting Sunday in New York to discuss bids from McClatchy, the Sacramento, Calif.-based owner of the Sacramento Bee and 11 other dailies; and a consortium of private equity companies.

Knight Ridder, which owns The Olympian and is the nation’s second-largest newspaper company, offered itself up for sale last year under pressure from its three largest shareholders, who were unhappy with its stock performance.

The following is an excerpt from "To The Point" from KCRW in Santa Monica. It is an interview with Phillip Meyer, the former director of news and circulation research at K-R.

Let's hope that McClatchy pulls this one out. ("A community-based information system." Hmmmm. Sounds like Olyblog!)

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