How can we stop the violence in Lebanon, Israel and Palestine?

keep your eyes peeled for more information on the speakers

this information should be posted in the next few days!! 

Our Concerns

Using the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers as justification, Israel has launched an all-out assault against the civilian population and infrastructure of neighboring Lebanon. Hezbollah forces in Lebanon have replied with hundreds of rocket attacks in northern Israel. All civilian deaths are a tragedy and we call for an immediate ceasefire. While the US is the only party that can put a stop to this tragedy, it continues to feed the conflict by sending weapons to Israel and blocking international efforts for a ceasefire. U.S. soldiers in Iraq are at greater risk as this situation escalates.

The vast majority of civilian deaths have been caused by Israel, with its widespread bombing of cities and villages. We call for an end to US diplomatic and financial support for Israel’s killing of civilians, in both Lebanon and Palestine. We call, as well, for a halt to all Hezbollah attacks against civilians in Israel.

Our Government

Let our government know that we want an immediate ceasefire and that the US must stop providing arms that feed this conflict. We need to address the root cause of the situation--the ongoing Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Golan Heights and Gaza Strip and the billions of dollars in military aid the US sends to Israel.

Our Media

Let the media know we want accurate reporting that depicts the true situation on the ground and the extent of US involvement. We need reporting that shows the faces of ALL the victims and provides concrete historical information, as well as analysis of how United States policy contributes to the conflict. Calling up local talk shows and writing letters to the editor makes a difference in people’s perception of the issue.


Paradise Glacier Ice Cave 1924

Paradise Ice Cave 1982

My entire neighborhood I swear was awake til about 3 am this morning. Some loud arguments were heard and someone else in a car decided they needed to experiment with laying rubber along the pavement, over and over again. Eventually everyone in the neighborhood passed out, some of us got some sleep.

Today so far is overcast but warm and uncomfortably humid. So I'm dreaming up cooling ice images, remembered the Paradise Ice Cave I visited long ago.

Apparently this particular cave shown in the 1982 photo disappeared by fall 1991. And the Nisqually glacier has shrunk. Anybody been up in that area recently? I'd like to hear what is looks like now.

Mount Rainier National Park

Who is He?

He wears a name tag that reads "Wells" and his license plate on white 2004 Tahoe is G62-17489.

Information here , here , and here.

Watada, War, & the Law

Two good articles to help us understand Lt. Watada's case and the wider implications for our country:

Watada, War, and the Law
Affirmative Measures to Halt US War Crimes

Pharmacy Board reconsiders decision

From KOMO News:

State Board of Pharmacy members in June endorsed a draft rule that allowed pharmacists to refuse filling a prescription if they have personal objections.

They changed course this week, voting in a Thursday meeting to reconsider the draft at the board's August meeting.

"They wanted to have more discussion about the draft and decide if they may want to make any changes based on all the feedback they've been receiving," said Steve Saxe, the pharmacy board's director.

Women's-rights groups say the refusal policy is aimed at emergency contraception, the "morning-after pill" that cuts chances of a pregnancy if taken within a few days of unprotected sex.

Some people who oppose the pill, sold commercially as Plan B, believe its interference with a potential pregnancy is tantamount to abortion.

Current state pharmacy rules are not entirely clear on the issue, which has raised controversy in other states.

Emergency contraception is available at hospitals and without a prescription in Washington state. The Food and Drug Administration is considering whether to make the medication available over the counter nationwide.

Temp to drop Monday

From the King County Journal:

The temperature climbed to 97 degrees at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, making Friday the hottest day of the summer do far. The previous Sea-Tac record for July 21 was 94 degrees, set in 1994.

The Weather Service also reported new records Friday of 100 degrees at the Olympia Airport, four degrees above the record for July 21 set in 1994.

The weather service was calling for temperatures in the high 80s today and Sunday in most areas of the Eastside and south King County. A cooling trend was expected to begin Sunday, with temperatures dropping into the mid-80s Monday.

WROC August events

Welfare Rights Organizing Coalition

WROC Night Out

Monday, August 7th
First United Methodist Church, 1224 Legion Way SE
Join us at 5:30 for a potluck. Meeting from 6 – 8.
Onsite childcare provided.
Public speaking training: how to effectively talk to your community, the media.

Coffee Clatch

Monday, August 14th 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Olympia Free School, 610 Columbia Street
Single parents support group.
Join us to chat about the challenges, share information and leave feeling more empowered.
On site childcare provided

10th Anniversary of Welfare Reform

Tuesday, August 22nd
Join us at the WROC office, 701 Franklin Street SE, at 11 am to march to Governor Gregoire’s office to present our mural showing the faces of the people she might be affecting with her full family sanction policy.

Help us continue the message that the welfare reform we would like to see in Washington would include policies that support low-income parents to leave poverty, not policies that punish children and increase suffering.

Volunteer meetings are every Wednesday at 1:30

Contact WROC anytime!
360-352-9716 or toll free 1-866-343-9716


Friday, August 25th 6 – 9 pm
Fertile Ground Guesthouse, 311 9th Ave, downtown behind the library
Enjoy delicious cob oven pizza, refreshing beverages, and great company, while supporting WROC!

Lakefair Slideshow

From my afternoon manning the booth for Olympia's Masonic Lodge (and Washington State/Territory's oldest continually operating non-profit group)

It was too hot (being over 100 F degrees), ugh, so there wasn't the crowd. The Olympian says that eight people were treated for heat stroke during the afternoon period I was there. I certainly heard and saw many firetrucks and Medic One units cruising down State toward the center of Lakefair.

Click on the photo for a short slideshow.

Blogged with Flock

Confessions of a teenage "bum"

As promised in a previous thread, I am posting about my personal experience with homelessness.  What follows are a collection of journal entries and essays I wrote reflecting on my nine month stint of homelessness as a teenager (as well as an interesting story of one of my regular road trips).

[From my submission to the Voice of Olympia]

Sometimes I am struck by the nostalgia I feel for the way that French fries wore themselves into the carpet at the Denny’s in Parkland.  I distinctly remember the sickly smell of cheap food, battered and deep fat fried, and how my empty stomach was comforted by the repugnance my nose felt for the slop.  Denny’s, noisy and filthy as it was, was my safe haven for the nine months that I was homeless.  Whenever I didn’t have a couch to crash on, and when the weather was too miserable to sleep outside, I’d panhandle enough money for a bottomless, gut-burning cup of coffee and stay up all night writing and smoking hand-rolled cigarettes.

I first ran away from home when I was fifteen.  I had started using drugs, fighting – sometimes violently – with my parents, and skipping school.  As I became more rebellious, my parents became stricter, and our arguments escalated.

Read more:

Save the Olympia Library Board

It’s strange to encourage people to save something that for all purposes has been dead for four years, but I'm going to do it anyway.

On Tuesday, the general government committee of the Olympia City Council will hear a report on whether to shutter the Library Board. The Library Board is a citizen advisory group to the Olympia City Council, giving them perspective on library services, much like other boards (the Planning Commission, Utility Board, Bike Pedestrian and Parks for example).

The rational is that the city has lived with a non-active board for four years, most of the duties of the board have already been downloaded to the staff of the city, and the city council and the Timberland Regional Library already have a close working relationship.

But, simply because the current situation can be extended, and that it is working for now, doesn't mean its the right one. See the attached file for the rest of the arguments for, which overall I don't buy.

For one, taking away the library board would lessen the chance we'd ever build a new library in Olympia. Through a library board, fully engaged in the decisions about the management of the library, we build a core group of library service evangelists.

How can we convince the rest of Olympia to eventually support a new library when we take away their only avenue of direct engagement in our current one? Even forgetting for now a new library, with no connected evangelists around, cutting library services would be even easier.

Secondly, we miss a chance to re-focus the library on a new mission, which ironically reflects the original intent of libraries in America. Last winter I wrote up a short memo to the city council asking them to not only revive the library board, but to reinvent it with a new mission of civic education.

Libraries have always had at their center the mission to create an educated citizenry:

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