Red-winged Blackbird

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I saw a Red-winged Blackbird near the fourth ave bridge recently, first I noticed a bold flash of red, then I noticed that the bird otherwise was black.....and yes, I figured it out. Red-winged Blackbird. The bird sang loudly then flew off and gave me a chance to see it in flight.

The red shoulders tell us that the bird was male and I'm learning more about the bird through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology site. Now that I've read that the male Red-winged Blackbird is quite fierce about territory I am glad that it did not see me as a threat.

  • The male Red-winged Blackbird fiercely defends his territory during the breeding season. He may spend more than a quarter of all the daylight hours in territory defense. He vigorously keeps all other males out of the territory and defends the nests from predators. He will attack much larger animals, including horses and people.

The Tel Rumeida project

In April 2005, a group of internationals took up residence in a house in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron, the West Bank, recording and intervening in incidents of Israeli settler violence. Tel Rumeida's illegal settlers are notorious for their violence, and the Tel Rumeida Project has recorded over 100 incidents of settler violence in five months. Chelli Stanley and John Harmer of the Tel Rumeida Project, will be speaking and presenting their film about Israeli settler violence, in Olympia this Monday and Wednesday:

4/24 @ TESC- 2PM Sem II A1105

4/26 @ Traditions Fair Trade (300 5th Street, Downtown) - 7PM

The Tel Rumeida project ( was formed in May 2005 as a response to increased settler violence in the neighborhood of Tel Rumeida, Hebron, in the West Bank. Tel Rumeida is a small Palestinian neighborhood widely-acknowledged as housing the most violent and extremist faction of the Israeli settler movement. Palestinian families who live directly next to these settlers are often virtual prisoners in their homes, subject to the settlers' violent attacks and destruction of property.

In just five months, members of the Tel Rumeida Project recorded more than 120 settler attacks in the small neighborhood. Yet from the moment internationals began living in Tel Rumeida, the Israeli army and Kiryat Arba police have tried to remove the international human rights presence from the neighborhood by using a variety of means, including constant intimidation, threats, violence, false charges, arrests, and deportation. When internationals call the security forces for assistance while settlers are attacking them or Palestinians, the Kiryat Arba police and IDF habitually threaten, assault, arrest, and harass the members of the Tel Rumeida Project.

Tel Rumeida Project members Chelli Stanley and John Harmer will speak about the current situation in Tel Rumeida and present documentary footage of settler attacks filmed in the neighborhood.

Let the Rivers Run! A Campaign for the Re-Greening of Nicaragua

Elvin Castellón, Nicaraguan activist and Director of FEDICAMP of Nicaragua, visits Olympia on a national speaking tour about the water crisis in Nicaragua and the plan that FEDICAMP and other grassroots organizations have developed to address the water-related problems they are facing.

At the evening event at Evergreen he will be joined by Rosa Aura Segura, Facunda Zeledón and María Salvadora Gonzalez, visitors from Olympia’s sister community of Santo Tomás, Nicaragua. They will share from their own perspectives how water issues impact Santo Tomas and how it relates to our own community that has had a sister city relationship of solidarity since 1988.

Admission to this event is FREE. Donations will be gladly accepted at the event itself to raise money for the FEDICAMP campaign as well as for the Thurston Santo Tomas Sister County Association projects.

In Nicaragua as in the rest of the world, rivers are dying from the deforestation of their banks, water-tables are falling from overuse, lakes are being contaminated by chemicals, and forests torn down. In order to protect and restore the degraded watershed, the Federation for the Integral Development of Peasant Farmers (FEDICAMP) has developed a plan which includes tree nurseries for the reforestation of rivers, streams and springs as well as public areas including schools, parks and communal wells. Reforestation includes fruit trees (mango, avocado, orange and bananas) which are less likely to be harvested as firewood and provide an important source of food. In order to conserve water, FEDICAMP is building cisterns for rain water storage in each household. FEDICAMP is also working to address the large policy issues which threaten the environment. The threat of water privatization is addressed through advocacy efforts at the government level and education and training of the local population.

Restaurante Nica

Join us for an evening of traditional Nicaraguan cuisine and entertainment. Tonight's delicious dinner of nacatamales, bistec jalapeno, pollo rostizado y pollo asada, gallo pinto, tostones, y platanos maduros will benefit multiple community projects in Santo Tomas, including the Comedor Infantil (the children's free lunch project). Suggested donation of $15-30. American Legion Hall (formerly known as the Salmon Club) 3201 Boston Harbor Rd NE Olympia, WA 98501 TO RSVP, Call Emily at: 360-480-8720

Dixon in trouble?

Given the lukewarm reception that Aaron Dixon received on Olyblog (only slightly more than half thinking that he was even serious candidate), I think it's fair to say that he's off to a rocky start. Anyone want to make the case about why we should pay more attention to him?

Here's a sprinkling of comments from the blogosphere.

From Dissident Voice:

Within the sclerotic Democratic party, candidates finally are rising to challenge the worst of the inner circle. Ned Lamont, a peace activist, is making a hard run at Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman. Lieberman, flying his true flag as a closet Republican, has threatened to run for the Senate as an “independent

Two motorcyclists hurt on I-5

As a rider myself, all I can say is "AAARRRRGGGG!" From the Olympian:

The road rage incident began about 8:30 a.m. when Allan Poor, 33, of McCleary and Connie Minton, 40, of Shelton, began driving aggressively toward each other and displaying hand gestures as they merged from U.S. Highway 101 onto northbound Interstate 5.

At one point, Minton’s 1996 Toyota Camry swerved and struck the 2004 Kawasaki motorcycle driven by Oliver and the 2000 Yamaha driven by Huff.

Minton’s vehicle came to rest in the far right lane and was struck by a 1984 Toyota Corolla driven by Robert Rubican, 62, of Olympia.

Intercity Transit

The April edition the IT flyer (PDF here) contains a good history of the system and has some interesting information in graphs. Of the people within the service area, 11% ride the bus once a month or more and another 28% are considered “potential

Irish: remembering the forgotten tongue

The Evergreen Irish Resurgence Element presents...

Irish: remembering the forgotten tongue

with Seán Williams
Thursday, May 4 (week 5)
SEM II C1105
4:10 - 5pm

The Irish (Gaelic) language is one of the oldest written languages in Europe, with a rich body of literature and tradition. Join Evergreen’s Irish-studies professor Seán Williams for an exciting and insightful exploration into the heart and soul of the Irish language, and a glimpse into the cultural heartbeat of Ireland itself. Learn a little background, some basic vocabulary and grammar, and maybe even a song or two. Thinking about taking the ever-popular Ireland program next year? Be sure to check this one out!

A FREE community event

Stop Genocide

Bloggers for Darfur Click on image.

Operation OlyBlog Conservative

My plan is to start this May 1, run for several days, and blog to encourage discussion. I'm keeping track of suggestions and ordering books and DVDs through the library. I don't have an end goal in mind, I want to just dive in and see what happens.

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