Can anyone say "keystone kops"?

I've avoided commenting on this story as news, but I can't resist commenting on it as farce:
Keystone Kops Willie Shannon, 26, of Lacey, and Sean Dack, 25, of McCleary, were terminated this week from their positions at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton. They were arrested last weekend after a dispute with former prison inmate Randy Hinchliffe, 38, of Olympia, got out of hand in front of a downtown bar. All three had been drinking and were cited for disorderly conduct, police reports say.

While in a holding cell in the city jail, Shannon urinated on a jail computer outside of his cell, which caused about $1,500 damage. He has since been referred to the Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney's Office for felony malicious mischief charges.

But the night didn't end there.

A mistake by jail officers allowed Hinchcliffe, who has prior felony convictions, to leave with Dack's belongings when the two men were released from jail. Hinchcliffe left with Dack's cell phone, wallet, T-shirt and baseball cap, police reports say.

Hinchcliffe allegedly dressed up in Dack's clothes and used his cell phone to call a 25-year-old woman who had been with Dack earlier at a bar, police reports say.

He allegedly told her the jail had released him and that he needed her to pick him up. They arranged to meet. When she drove up, he tried to get into her car, wearing Dack's cap and T-shirt, police reports say. She called 9-1-1.

Police, already aware of the mix-up at the jail, asked her to arrange another meeting so they could get the corrections' officers' belongings, reports say.

Hinchcliffe was arrested again and remains in custody in the Olympia City Jail. He was charged with misdemeanor theft in Olympia Municipal Court for allegedly accepting the property and not returning it. He has pleaded not guilty, city prosecutor Kaylo Wilcox said.

Police Cmdr. Tor Bjornstad said the jail had a busy night, which may have led to the mishap.

"Fortunately, that kind of thing happens very infrequently," he said.

My question: How frequent is "very infrequently"?

Hurricane response the topic of letters

The letters to the editor of the Olympian take the administration to the woodshed over the response to Katrina. Not one letter is in support of the federal government's performance.

Intern needed for video project

In coordination with Bread and Roses, OlyBlog is seeking a student who is interested in working on a project that will include the collection of video from people who are homeless and living in the downtown area of Olympia. If you are interested, please contact Rick or Rob.

Bellingham to build Olympia-style Farmers Market

Capital Press reports that Bellingham will make a $2.75 million investment to build a covered farmer's market called Depot Market Square:
Griffin believes that the investment will prove to be a good one for the farmers, the community and the city. He said that across the country, it has been shown that farmers’ markets grow rapidly after a permanent structure is built for them.

“We’ve seen that here in Washington state with the Olympia Farmers’ Market,

Do Something About Dirty Water

This is mostly a comment I just posted at Rob's blog, but I think it deserves repeating. Last week the Thurston County planning commission had a public hearing that was pretty depressing if you come from a "let's preserve natural resources" point of view.

If you're interested in preventing detritous covered water from taking over Budd Inlet, now would be a good time to comment on the county's Critical Areas Ordinance.

In Washington, local governments (cities, towns and counties) are the governments empowered to do the most in terms of protecting water quality and fish and wildlife habitat. But, it makes little difference if people don't comment.

Thurston County Critical Area Ordinance webpage -- go here to comment

More vacancies downtown

The Olympian reports that Capitol City Press is moving out of downtown:
Connie Lorenz, executive director of the Olympia Downtown Association, said she met with the company earlier in the year as part of the association's efforts to create a business improvement district for the city, but she said by then it was too late to convince the company to stay downtown.

"We hate to see any long-term business leave," Lorenz said.

As many as a couple dozen vacant downtown storefronts have become an issue in recent months for neighboring businesses and tourists.

I know of at least two recent examples of significant rent increases (30%) for downtown businesses. This seems like it might have something to do with the problem. Does anyone have any more data on rents for storefronts?

Lady Washington

There's a nice picture of the Lady Washington on Rob's blog.

Values

Can anyone explain why this story should get more coverage than this one?

B&B not anticipating shortage of beans

The Monterey Herald has the scoop on the potential affect of Katrina on the distribution of coffee in the U.S.:
Coffee roasters, who buy green coffee beans on the global market and roast them for grinding and consumption, said the Asian tsunami last year caused a spike in prices, but it dropped quickly.

"It dissipated rather quickly, and there is so much coffee in the world and so many places to ship it," said Lois Maffeo, a spokeswoman for Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters in Olympia, Wash. "My spine isn't tingling yet.

Immunization clinics

The Centralia Chronicle reports that there will be immunization clinics at local sites next Saturday in Olympia:
The Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Department will offer two immunization clinics Sept. 7 from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Yelm Community Center and Sept. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Health Department on Lilly Road in Olympia.

The service costs $10, but:
...no one will be refused service because of inability to pay. Medical coupons will be accepted, and Spanish and Vietnamese translation services will be on hand.
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