For Immediate Release:
Contact: Josh Elliott (847) 732-1723
Larry Mosqueda (360) 280-6198

Local Peace Group to Host a Panel Discussion about US/Iran Relations

Olympia, WA– Wednesday, July 19th the Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace (OMJP) will be hosting a forum entitled The US Crisis with Iran. The event, which is open and free to the public, will be held at First Christian Church at 7th and Franklin in Downtown Olympia, beginning at 7 p.m. and lasting until about 9 p.m.

The panel will include a presentation by Professor Mark Jensen from Pacific Lutheran University of a historical survey of Iran, with particular emphasis on relations with the United States. Professor Char Simons of The Evergreen State College, who has recently visited Iran as a member of a delegation traveling with local peace and justice group the Fellowship of Reconciliation, will provide a testimonial of her experience along with photos from the delegation.

This will be followed by a an open discussion, facilitated by Professor Larry Mosqueda of The Evergreen State College, where the panelists will field questions and comments as well as having an open discussion among the attendees.

Iran has been identified by President Bush as a member of the "axis of evil" and as a critical battlefield in the global "war on terror." It has long been a focal point of U.S. geostrategic policy, being located in a region of vital significance to US ‘interests’ and because of vast oil reserves. Currently Iran has been receiving increased attention within policy circles, presumably due to their attempt at developing a domestic nuclear enrichment program.

As a result, OMJP feels it is crucial to engage the community about the possibility of future military assaults taken by the United States. We seek to find peaceful solutions to international affairs.

We are anticipating a productive evening of historical and political exploration, hoping to increase community awareness and knowledge about the Middle East, specifically Iran. This event is designed with the intent of providing attendees with the tools to participate in sustaining a vibrant peace movement that clearly conveys that foreign matters must be resolved peacefully and diplomatically, with attention to securing economic, social, and racial justice.

Big Box public hearing on Tuesday and Chambers Basin's three choices

This week in the Olympia City council packet, the city staff outlines what options are ahead for the Chmabers Lake area, and what we can expect as the city prepares for a public hearing on large scale retailers (read Big Box (read Wal-Mart)).

This is a weekly review of the city council packet that I typically do over at Better South Sound, but that website isn't working, neither is its host Bluehost... so I'm confused and will do my review here. If you think you missed something in my review, go ahead and download the packet here.

1. I haven't heard anything about this until today, but the public hearing on Olympia Big Box rules will be Tuesday night.

The Big Box stores moritorium has been in effect since February of 2005, and since then the city has been working on a long term response broader than "you can't build those here." That may very well end up being the response, but the city is going to make it official by holding a public hearing and finding out what the rest of us think.

Here is a bit on the draft regulations the city is thinking about:
The proposed draft regulations would add an additional level of requirements for “Very Large Scale” retail facilities. The Planning Commission proposes that the threshold for these added standards would vary by zoning district, since large buildings would impact some commercial areas more than others. For the very largest of facilities, the review process would change from a mostly staff-level “permitted use” review, to a public hearing process for a “conditional use” review. (All commercial buildings of over 5,000 square feet will continue to go through Design Review as well, which involves a public hearing by the Design Review Board.)

The proposed draft regulations would require very large scale retail facilities to be designed to accommodate remodeling for multiple smaller tenants. The size of the modules for potential smaller tenants would vary depending on the zoning district.

The Highest Tide: the Movie

Before Jim Lynch gave his recent public reading of The Highest Tide, it was noted that he recently sold the movie rights to Fisher Stevens, a partner in GreeneStreet Films.

Most recently GreeneStreet is noted for bringing to the big screen "A Prarie Home Companion," so on first blush it seems like a fitting sale. That the uber-Olympia book may very well make it to the big screen as an independent film is also pretty cool. I'm assuming that it will include filming the final scenes without the aid of CGI technology.

(By the way, thanks to Zhonka's surfbreak, I'm Highest Tide blogging at low tide at the Dockside).

That thought, led me to start thinking about other parts of the film. Or, how they would film the film.

For one, would they do it here? It would be hard to do some of the Olympia scenes withouth actually coming to Olympia, but I could imagine them sticking further north in Port Townsend or Bellingham. In the same way, the scenes out at Miles' house could be done up in Canada.

In terms of what actors would play what characters, Stevens himself seems strangely suited to play the Evergreen professor behind the "bio blitz," while another actor who has played in a GreeneStreet Film, John C. Reily, could easily play Miles' dad. He'd be spot on actually.

So what about the judge though, or more importantly, the judge's daughter Angie?

Florence the next door neighbor? Or the JZ Knight knock-off?

More info on logistics park

From the Olympian:

Truck-borne cargo containers would use such a facility to transfer the containers to trains bound for the Port of Tacoma, alleviating some truck traffic.

Port commissioners in Olympia and Tacoma are scheduled to decide next week whether to proceed with further study of the idea.

The aim of these so-called "logistics parks" is to move cargo more quickly by using rail rather than trucks.

"It's certainly a potential traffic solution," Port of Olympia Commissioner Bob Van Schoorl said Thursday. "This is not a new concept in the United States, but long overdue in this region."

Olympia port officials plan to announce further details of the venture today.

The Port of Tacoma could sort container cargo at the Grand Mound facility for rail transportation to Tacoma, Port of Olympia Commissioner Paul Telford said. It's possible Olympia also could sort unspecified cargo at the facility for rail transportation to the Port of Olympia, he said.

The Tacoma port would buy the private Grand Mound property, but it hasn't been decided what Olympia's role would be at such a facility, Telford said.

A logistics park could be critical to Olympia if it means removing truck traffic from city streets.

If the Port of Tacoma is already moving to purchase the land, then why is the Port of Olympia still in the study phase? Does this mean that the Port of Tacoma will have a site in Thurston County?

Book sale

Book Sale and Fundraiser for Prisoner Support Organizations

Sunday, July 30th 11:00 – 4:00 At the Free School 610 Columbia (across from Oly Supply)

Support Books to Prisoners, Birth Attendants, Gateways for Incarcerated Youth and the Prison Action Committee at a joint fundraiser.

Purchase CHEAP books, baked goods and other products. All funds will go directly to these prisoner support organizations.

If you would like to DONATE books or VOLUNTEER your time, please stop by the Books to Prisoners library at the corner of 6th and Thomas (enter through garage) during one of these times: Sunday 2 – 5, Monday 5 – 8, Friday 12 – 4

Or call Emily at 360.280.9942

Lakefair King

This upcoming Tuesday night, the 18th, listen to Hello, Olympia on KAOS 89.3 for the annual competition for the crown of Lakefair King.  This year's nominees are Pizza T, Josh Bomb, Christine Gregoire (??), and another fellow whose name I don't remember who won the mud races.  Make sure to vote from amongst the nominees by calling (360) 867-5267 between 8 and 9 p.m on Hello, Olympia.  I believe the Lakefair King competition on Hello, Olympia has been going on for years.

My show will be afterwards and I will be joined by Austin band Peter and the Wolf.  What an exciting night it will be.

Conservatives try to stack WA Supreme Court

What is the BIAW?

The acronym stands for the Building Industry Association of Washington. Here's a brief description from the Northwest Progressive Institute:

The BIAW is the most aggressive, and the most ideological, right wing lobby in the Evergreen State. They despise regulation - everything from environmental laws to ergonomics rules.

The BIAW has used the initiative process repeatedly to get voters to repeal worker and environmental protection legislation it opposes. For example, Initiative 841 in 2003.

They are also partisan Republicans. They heavily supported Dino Rossi for Governor in 2004, dumping millions into the race, and stooped to playing dirty tricks on voters last year on Rossi's behalf. The BIAW also sued earlier this year to stop Puget Sound orcas from being listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.

In a very interesting article, NPI examines the scam that the BIAW has set up to fund its political activities. The BIAW's latest target is the Washington State Supreme Court:

In the last few years the BIAW has become more focused on the State Supreme Court. The BIAW's leadership would like nothing more than to stack the court with ideologically tilted justices who will consistently vote to strike down worker and environmental protection laws.


The BIAW cannot be allowed to succeed in packing the state Supreme Court with its own handpicked candidates - for obvious reasons. What's at stake this fall is the existence of Washington's independent, impartial judiciary.

These are just a couple of quotes from a longer and more detailed article that everone should go read.

A Rail Center?

Does anynone know what this is about? From the Tacoma News Tribune:

The ports of Tacoma and Olympia want to develop a joint rail center near Interstate 5 in Olympia.

Pending approval from both the ports’ commissions, such a facility would provide a place outside the ports for rail operations and make the movement of cargo in and out of the ports by train more efficient, Port of Tacoma director Tim Farrell said today.

To get the project started, the Port of Tacoma plans to buy 74 acres of industrial property two miles east of the interstate in Thurston County.

Saturday Picket at Ralph's

Plan B Oly has scheduled more pickets of Ralph's, as well as one of Bayview.  We're starting with a Saturday picket at Ralph's, July 15th, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Later, we're planning to picket Bayview just before the Lakefair fireworks, 7-9 p.m., when everyone in three counties, it seems, drives over the bridges by Bayview. Our last picket of the month will be on Monday, July 31, 5 - 7 p.m. at Ralph's.  Small handfuls of picketers have also signed up to keep a smaller but constant presence at Ralph's during rush hour.  For the full picket schedule, check out the calendar on our website
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