Update on parks and sidewalks

The Olympian gives us an update on what's happening with the parks and sidewalks project.
Parks planners continue to negotiate for 12 more pieces of land for future parks, said Jonathon Turlove, senior program specialist. They hope to have all of it in the city's hands within the next two years and for a combined $15 million.

That includes coveted property on West Bay, which officials have touted as key to creating a continuous walkway around Budd Inlet to Percival Landing. It has taken longer than expected to secure land for a park and shoreline trail for several reasons, including getting an appraisal at a time when appraisers are backlogged due to the housing boom.

One point that stands out is the increased access the public will have to Budd Inlet when the parks along West Bay are in place. Go here for a tool to examine shoreline access.

Want to help reduce homelessness?

GRuB keeps kids engaged when they are in trouble. It helps them find thier way, and reduces the likelihood that they'll end up on the street.

[via email from Helena Meyer-Knapp]

This Week Only: GRuB's Seafood at the Schmidt, dinner and auction SEPTEMBER 18 4pm.

This Sunday marks the annual dinner and fabulous auction at the Schmidt Mansion in support of my favorite organization, GRuB.

Dinner is served from 4pm to 7pm or later. Do come or buy dinner tickets just to make a donation if you cannot make it. I'll have tickets in hand all this week and will happily deliver them to you, or you can buy them at the door.

If you don't already know, GRuB is an organization which uses serious gardening -- vegetables and flowers and home-based raised beds -- to bring about big changes in the lives of troubled kids. Every year we host this end of year party to celebrate their work and to feed and entertain our local community.

Please come to the dinner and see why I'm so proud of this group and the effect we have on our gardening crew.

Helena

These are comments from this year's crew.

“GRuB is important to me because over the summer I learned how to be myself, I made strong memories and friends. GRuB isn’t just about making memories and friends, it’s about going into the community and spreading the grub love…

Unemployment in Olympia

KIRO reports that statewide unemployment is at 5.8%.

The state's jobless rate is now nearly a full percentage point higher than the national rate, but that matches the average gap between the two figures in the past 10 years, state labor economist Roberta Pauer said.

The number of unemployed in Olympia is 5.1%, which is actually closer to the national average of 4.9%

Port votes on exclusive agreement

A news release from Our Sports Central concerns the construction of a sports center in Olympia. Here's the whole thing:

The Port Commission of Olympia, WA voted 3-0 Monday night to approve an exclusive option agreement with Puget Sound Sports and Entertainment, LLC that would give the firm up to seven (7) months to present a plan for a privately-financed sports and events center to be located on a 3.75 acre site which is part of a 17.5 acre port parcel at State Avenue and Jefferson Street in the heart of downtown Olympia.

Michael Tuckman, Puget Sound Sports CEO said, "This is a major step forward for economic development in the state capital. The people of Olympia are going to be thrilled to see the fast-paced, family-affordable brand of pro sports entertainment that will come to town. Basketball fans are going to go nuts for the American Basketball Association."

Tuckman, who is President and General Manager of Puget Sound Sports' two current ABA teams, the defending Western Conference Champion Bellevue Blackhawks and the expansion Tacoma Navigators was recently named "2004-2005 ABA Executive of the Year" for guiding his #13 ranked team to the ABA Championship Game last March. Tuckman is Founder and Chairman of the Puget Sound Sports Hall of Fame and Museum Foundation, and former President and General Manager of KONG-TV 6/16 in Seattle.

Bellevue opens defense of its title on the road on November 22nd against the Bellingham Slam. Great seats are still available. Please contact the Slam office at their website, www.bellinghamslam.com or contact www.blackhawkshoops.com or email michaeltuckman@msn.com or visit www.abalive.com.


[update 9/14/05 by Rick]

Here is another press release about the decision.

Take my cats, please.

I've got a couple of very nice cats that have recently moved in. Unfortunately, but don't have room for these guys. Both are very people-friendly and mellow. We would love to see them go to a loving home where they will get the amount of attention they deserve. "Zip" is on the left, and "Johnny" is on the right.

Zip Johnny

If you're interested, email me here.

Avoid Cooper Pt.-Black Lake intersection on Tuesday

From the Olympian:

A semi-truck driver struck a power pole at the city’s busiest intersection Monday, knocking out traffic signals and causing backups that officials said late Monday could continue Tuesday.

The case for a Community Values Ordinance

Jacqui Brown Miller, president of Reclaim Democracy, has an editorial in the Olympian that addresses that paper's position on the Community Values Ordinance (previously blogged about here). A snip:

Recently, The Olympian’s editorial board published an editorial "Jettison proposed ordinance," opposing the community values ordinance proposed by ReclaimDemocracy.org's Olympia chapter. The editorial is inaccurate and one sided; not surprising given it was written without input from Reclaim Democracy, yet repeatedly quotes local Chamber of Commerce representatives that oppose the ordinance.

The editorial asserts the community values ordinance is supported only by 15 super-vocal people. Not true. Had the board inquired, it would know the ordinance concept is supported by the Green Party of South Puget Sound, the Thurston County chapter of Amnesty International and 200 local citizens.

New tool for assessing access to shoreline

mapThe Trust for Public Land has put out a new tool for examining Puget Sound shoreline usage. This interactive map will allow you to look at any part of the Sound from Olympia to Canada. You can look at shoreline access, as well as population density and a number of other features. Very cool.

You can read about it here.

The striking thing about the data is that, with the exception of the Nisqually Delta, there is little public access to Puget Sound in our area (shown here in green).

Candidates for city council

The Olympian has two articles containing questions from the public for city council candidates. The first has questions from the Olympian's reader forum; the second has questions from a public meeting held on Sunday (9/11).

In reading the first batch or responses, I have the impression that people, including the candidates, have a distorted perception of downtown:

Jim Bremner: “What are you going to do about the panhandlers, the squalor and the general deterioration in downtown Olympia?

More state buildings tax exempt

For those of you that were interested in the topic of state gov't and tax revenue (about which we asked the Mayor), here's a piece in the Olympian about it.

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