Local Police

I'm not sure how many folks avoid the Olympian, so I'm going to post this in it's entirety to keep folks from having to go to that site, I will post the link though just in case. I did not write this article, I am simply quoting the online paper.

Hotel standoff ends with suicide
Tumwater man was suspect in attack of officer

The Olympian

A Tumwater man shot himself in a downtown Olympia hotel room Wednesday as he spoke on his cell phone with a police detective who was trying to get him to surrender.

Jason A. Harper, 35, committed suicide about 11 a.m. in the Ramada Inn Governor House.

Investigators had been searching for Harper after a traffic stop early Saturday morning, in which police said he punched a Lacey police officer. His previous crimes were limited to drunken driving arrests.

"It was a sad situation," said Lacey police Lt. Phil Comstock, a crisis negotiator who was talking to Harper when he killed himself.


It's crunch time on net neutrality

Go here to find out what you can do (be sure to read the updates to the post).

We are FOR S. 2917, WITHOUT AMENDMENT (the Snowe/Dorgan bill).

The dark side of Hyperlocal: "Online Communities build buzz!" and Thurston County Blogs

Doing, what we do here kind of, but to create "buzz" for a real etate company.

Don't get me wrong, I love it when business folks blog. But, it should be to bring more understanding and create conversation about what they already do, not build some kind of fakey online local community to build "buzz."

From a company called Blogging Systems:

Here at Blogging Systems, we’ve recently released two new community blogs...

The Doug Burger Team out of Thurston County, Washington is also hosting a community blog site. Thurston County Blogs just went live this past Friday. Doug just hosted a presentation on Tuesday to introduce the concept to Thurston County organizations. Doug’s hope is that Thurston County Blogs becomes the premier destination site for community news and information.

And from TC Blogs themselves:
"This gives our community some real juice- we're in the greater Cleveland area and we have a great community with great hardworking people, but it's not like we have beaches to sell," he said. If people can go to a Web site where they see some energy and vitality to the community, they may be more attracted to the area.


"It's a mix of all sorts of parts of the community," Crockett said. "You'll see Chambers of Commerce in there, the Business Journal, a day spa is in there and there's a section on sports and what's happening."

Support Your Troops.

In the last three years since the start of the Iraq War, it has become common to see anti-war protesters standing on opposing street corners from pro-war activists. Sometimes there are visible differences of clothing and hairstyles. Generally the differing worldviews, above and beyond opinions on the war, are strong enough that you can taste them.

Both sides, however, have latched onto one common slogan: “Support Our Troops!”

This slogan is bandied about on either side of the street as though the other side somehow doesn’t get it. In spite of their fervor many of the rally attendees have, no doubt, stepped over the bodies of disabled veterans while walking to the rallies.

I got a call the other day from the Ranger newspaper asking if Bread & Roses had seen any veterans from the Iraq War yet. We haven't. I had to be honest with the reporter. I told her that it takes time for troops' families to give up on them.

People come home from war totally mangled in mind, body, and spirit. In spite of all the sloganeering out there, the responsibility for the welfare of veterans ultimately falls on their families. Many, many families are unable to shoulder the responsibility. This doesn't make them bad or irresponsible, nor does it mean that they don't love their veteran. It DOES mean that taking care of a person who doesn't sleep at night, who suffers from flashbacks, who turns to alcohol for solace, and who becomes sorely irritable, even prone to fits of rage, is EXTREMELY difficult and should not fall on family alone. But it does fall on family alone, because everyone else is too busy sloganeering.

With time, the families give up. I know this because we at Bread & Roses have fed, sheltered, comforted, and advocated for veterans of every war from World War II to the Persian Gulf War. And we are criticized for it.

Veterans who suffer from PTSD often turn to alcohol or drugs to ward off bad memories, as well as to blunt their emotional response to being alienated from society. Imagine enduring the horrors of war for your nation, and then being left to rot in the gutter as a reward. You’d start drinking too.

Bigelow House Museum

Olympia's historic Bigelow House Museum is looking for volunteers to help with a number of projects.  Currently there is a need for gardeners and tour guides for the 2006 season.If you're interested, contact the director:

Edward Echtle
Open Sat-Sun 12-4pm

Capitol Lake pics

I just noticed the above and another pic over on the flikr feed. Two really nice photos that I've never seen before featuring the building of Capitol Lake. Really nice. I can imagine those two guys in the background, one saying to the other "Dam... that's some nice sand and gravel you got there."

Maybe a caption contest?

Rob's Voyage

[via email from olyblogger Rob Whitlock who just sailed from Hawaii to Seattle]

Hello from Olympia!

I recently returned from a sailing voyage. I posted some pictures on line and thought you might be interested in seeing them. Here are links:

Gallery 1
Gallery 2
Gallery 3
Gallery 4
Gallery 5

Hoping all is well,


(First in a series) Olympia Movies: Sandcastle Contest

I've been playing around with YouTube the last few weeks on another project, and I starte searching for Olympia movies, and found more than a few. A lot actually. I thought I start sharing my list here.

This first one is of the Sandcastle Contest, and from my memory, I think it is last year's. Enjoy.

Why *do* you shop at Ralphs and Bayview?

I shop at Ralphs often and have for the past 4 years and I see a lot of Coop shoppers there as well. I even run into people on the same pattern as me ... shop at the Coop, then go to Ralphs to get whatever the Coop doesn't have. 

Each time I go in there, I feel shitty about it because I know that a certain percentage of my money spent there will eventually be applied to political activities that  work to deny people's basic civil rights.

But the Stormans are crafty business people. They carry a lot of the same products as the Coop, while also carrying a few critical items that the Coop does not carry - free range beef, chicken and a wide variety of microbrews and wines. 

I know the Coop recently began carrying chicken and that's grand. I wish I could do all my shopping at the Coop because I trust the way the Coop spends my dollars.

But ...

  • I go to Ralphs when I'm in a hurry;
  • when I don't have time to risk something being out of stock at the Coop.
  • I initially began going to Ralphs because for a while it seemed the cash machine at the Coop broke a lot  ... which means a second trip home for the check book. 
  • I go to Ralphs when I need to buy beer or wine; 
  • when I need to buy boneless chicken breasts or free range beef that isn't frozen.
  • to buy sorbet that I don't have to cut with a sharp knife to dish up
  • mail: I can buy stamps, I can post my mail.
Let's face it, Ralphs is damned convenient. Most of the items I get at Ralphs are not easily found at another store.

So, while people are planning a temporary boycott of Ralphs due to their refusal to fill Plan B prescriptions, maybe it's time to consider the broader issue.

Ralphs and Bayview are owned by people who actively support religious politics that are quite contrary to many people's health and happiness.

National Day of Action to Stand Up with Lt. Ehren Watada

Army Officer Lt. Ehren Watada Poised to Refuse Orders to Deploy to Iraq

Stand up with Lt. Ehren Watada

Tuesday June 27th, 4-6pm

Ft. Lewis, exit 119

Olympia carpool 4th / Harrison at 3pm

Support Watada's Courageous Stand

US Army Lieutenant Ehren Watada stands poised to refuse orders to ship to Iraq with his unit at the end of June. Lt.  Watada has publicly stated his belief that the Iraq war is illegal based on US and International law, and that he has an obligation to his unit and his country to refuse to participate. Though the exact date that he will refuse orders is unknown, actions around the country highlighting Lt. Watada’s courageous stand are being planned for Tuesday, June 27th.  These actions will include marches, vigils, protests, nonviolent direct action or civil disobedience in support of his legal and moral refusal, and against the war and occupation of Iraq.

Supporters have planned events across the country in places including  Ft. Lewis, WA, Charlotte, NC, Cleveland, OH, Harrisburg, PA, San Francisco, CA, and Oklahoma City, OK. 

Stay tuned to www.thankyoult.org for more details and an updated list of cities holding support actions.

Local sponsors: Olympia Movement for Justice & Peace and Stand Up Seattle

Download the flyer here.

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