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.

"A hard costume to make"

The Herald examines interesting mascot names that are allowed by the NCAA. Evergreen rates #3:

With the start of college football and the NCAA's recent ban on Native American mascots, the subject of college nicknames comes up. Here is a look at some of the best college nicknames the NCAA will allow.
  • Wonder Boys. Have no fear, Arkansas Tech University's men's team is here. The women's nickname is the Golden Suns, a little better than Wonder Boy.
  • Boll Weevils/Cotton Blossoms. I don't know where the University of Arkansas-Monticello got these nicknames, but they decided to choose two nicknames - one for the men (Boll Weevils) and one for the women (Cotton Blossoms) - that would not be easy to dress up as.
  • Geoducks. Somehow I don't think a large clam is the best mascot, but Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., does. This would be another hard costume to make.
  • Railsplitters. Try being a cheerleader for Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn. Go Railsplitters! Go Railsplitters! Go!
  • Banana Slugs. Yes, this is actually the University of California-Santa Cruz's nickname. Now, I wonder how they thought up that one.

Mayan god works from Olympia home

The Tacoma News Tribune reports on an interesting mix of tradition and technology:

The Mayan god Maxim, who some believe grants wishes in exchange for tobacco and rum, has a home in Olympia.

While the most famous home of the wooden idol is located in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala, Tim Hilliard has a Maxim shrine in his home.

On his Web site,, Hilliard, 50, solicits e-mail wishes in any language for the miniature Maxímon he bought in Guatemala.

He turns the computer screen toward Maxim and lights a candle. “He’s all-seeing, so I figure I don’t have to read him the e-mails,

A new city hall, sports stadium, concert venue?

Someone to build something somewhere near East Bay waterfront, says the Olympian:

At one point, Commissioner Bob Van Schoorl quipped: "Maybe we should build City Hall on top of the sports and events center."

Don't stop in traffic circles

From the Kitsap Sun (reg. required):
Luke Carpenter, Bainbridge Island Fire Department operations chief, remembers well the encounter he had at the island's roundabout a few months ago.

With his emergency vehicle's sirens blasting, Carpenter was headed south on Madison Avenue toward High School Road. Meanwhile, a woman traveling east on High School Road approached the roundabout and arrived at the same time as Carpenter.

The woman looked at him, entered the circle and stopped before the next exit, causing Carpenter to consider whether to stop himself or climb the inside curb.

I guess Olympia and Lacey were proactive about getting the word out:
Some cities launch education campaigns to help drivers figure out how to use roundabouts. Lacey and Olympia created such a program after they began building roundabouts and saw the confusion some drivers were having. Lacey's Web site links to "Driving Modern Roundabouts," a 10-minute video produced by the two cities and the Washington Department of Transportation.

Here's a link to the website with the video.

Spreading culture throughout the known world

Olympia: the source for all good things:

Ladyfest Ottawa began in 2002 after some local gals were inspired by the original Ladyfest in Olympia, Washington. Each year they keep getting bigger and better.

Live theater in Olympia

The Tacoma News Tribune covers a family-run operation in Olympia with an interesting mission:
Harlequin created a mission from the beginning to generate high-quality productions of new works, neglected works of merit and unconventional treatments of classics.

YDs holding local candidates forum

The Thurston County Young Dems will be holding the first public candidate forum following the primary election. This forum will focus primarily on the concerns and issues effecting young voters in Thurston County.

We're inviting ALL candidates in Thurston County, including Port Commission (think Army shipments, Weyerhauser, etc...), Yelm and Tumwater city councils (think Walmart), and everything in between.
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