Stupid Tommy Lee, stupid Evergreen

I'm not assuming that anyone watched "Tommy Lee Goes To College" last night. If you did, I think you know what I'm talking about when I say that 5 minutes watching that was five minutes you wish you had back.

Its a not a credit to the average student at the University of Nebraska that they spent more time mugging for pictures with Mr. Lee than kicking him in the shins. It surprises the hell of me that our Evergreen State College was in the running for hosting this show:

The college answered an invitation from TV producers wanting to secure a college or university willing to welcome the rocker and creatively tape his experiences as a college student. "Lee likely would have benefited greatly from Evergreen's unique method of collaborative, interdisciplinary teaching as well as the highly creative environment, and the college's independent study programs probably would have fit his personal approach," Hanna said.

Nuclear free zone (sort of)

The Olympia city council voted initial approval on the question of whether to make OlyWa a NFZ. Does anyone know what "initial approval" means? Read about it here and here.

Here's what someone named "Bird Dog" thinks about it.

A two-minute google search produced this partial list of other cities that are NFZs:

Takoma Park
Las Vegas
Santa Cruz

I guess there are quite a few more:
Johnson said more than 1,200 cities and 100 countries are "nuclear-free." Olympia's ordinance is based on one adopted by Takoma Park, Md., that was approved 20 years ago and survived a legal challenge.

Here's a pdf of the Takoma Park NFZ Act.

Anyone have the energy to make the arguments for and against?

The Daily Zero-- under new management

In a newspaper swap, ownership of The Daily Olympian has been transfered to the Knight Ridder news organization. Read about it here. Some think that this is a good thing:
Seattle Times
"My reason for some optimism in Bellingham and Olympia is that Knight Ridder at least has a distinguished past," writes Floyd J. McKay, a journalism professor emeritus at Western Washington University. "The same cannot be said for Gannett, always a bottom-line corporation."

Knight Ridder
Here's a link to the company's corporate history.

My understanding is that Knight Ridder was the only news outlet that actually didn't buy what was coming out of US gov't sources during the run up to the war in Iraq and actually did some investigative reporting about WMD. There is some evidence of K-R's independence here and here.

Here's a bit from On The Media.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: Clark Hoyt, Washington editor of Knight Ridder, writes that my interview with reporter Walter Pincus (quote) "left the false impression that the Washington Post was way ahead of other media in fact-checking the Bush administration on the war in Iraq. "In the critical period leading up to the war, the Post's coverage mostly reflected official White House and Pentagon views. Pincus wrote on the Post's front page, for example, that intelligence officials believed that Saddam Hussein would be toppled by a coup on the eve of an American invasion. Knight Ridder, the nation's second largest newspaper company, was virtually alone in reporting that senior military officers and intelligence officials believed the administration was overstating the dangers posed by Saddam, exaggerating his ties to al Qaida and downplaying the dangers of a new war in the Middle East. The Post is a great newspaper, but it was way behind the curve on this story at a time when it could have mattered."

Music blog

Someone with the initials A.E. blogs about Oly. music here. The calendar is a bit clunky, but it has information that people need to know. A.E.'s mission statement:
ae started because good friends said Olympia needed a music calendar webstyle, 'cause kept seeing flyers for shows after they were over.

This Saturday:
  • 4:45 ALL AGES at the VAULT in Oly. $2 Failing Winter, Nice Try Stanley, Electric Blue Phantom
  • 8:00p Live Jazz at The Spar
  • At Jazzbones International Touring Act The Paperboys Celtic Rock $12 930pm 21+
  • Old Time Relijun The Saints of Everyday Failures special guests $5 cover 9pm doors/10pm show @ The Clipper
Check it out.

Peace Vigil


There will be a peace vigil for Cindy Sheehan at the waterfront fountian near Bayview market tomorrow at 7:30pm. The vigil is hosted by Garth McMurtrey, and has 20 registered participants signed up so far.

Anybody want to take some pics and file a report?

By Any Other Name

traffic circleSaint Martin's College University is now the name of that little school established in 1895 by Benedictine monks near the Capitol shortly after statehood.

Why change the name? Clearly, prestige is the issue:

Trustees decided to adopt the "university" moniker to better reflect the school's breadth and to eliminate confusion with community colleges that are dropping the "community" from their names.


"It feels good - it feels better than 'college,"' said student Alvena Willis, 21, Tacoma. "I am glad that it changed right before I graduated, because it's going to look more impressive on my resume."

How long before we have The Evergreen State University?

Local organizing against occupation of Iraq

Gathering: Bringing IT Home: Organizing Local Resistance to the Occupation of Iraq

Saturday, August 20, 10-3, Olympia Community Center

About fifty people gathered on July 9 in Olympia to develop ways to say, through local actions, we don't support the U.S. military actions in Iraq. Six working groups formed and have been meeting, in these six areas: changing budget priorities at local, state and federal level; people-to-people campaign to talk more openly about the costs of this war; "know all you can"--an alternative to military recruitment; opposing racism within our community; organzing boycotts of companies that are benefiting from the war; organizing conversations with local churches.

Groups are going to meet again on Saturday, August 20, to share their progress, their ideas, and to engage in a workshop together to learn more about how to organize within a community. Everyone is welcome to join us as we learn together how to work for a community that affirms the lives of all.

More info or questions? Emily Lardner, 705-3678

Traffic circles

traffic circle What's the feeling among Olympians about the proliferation of traffic circles around town. There is now one in Lacey, two at the top of the 4th St. Bridge, and one at the main entrance to The Evergreen State College. Are there any more?
There is a cute animation program here that lets you see how they work (since it seems that some folks may need a little instruction). It's been a few months, now. What's the verdict?


There is an article up at The Olympian website about a survey that was done last fall (why so long to publish, by the way?). The survey asked a series of questions about how people felt about downtown Olympia. Note the following passage:
Street people

When asked what they liked least about downtown, the largest number of those responding, 44 percent, cited the homeless, panhandling, and antisocial behavior by teens and young adults. That far exceeded the second biggest concern -- parking -- which was cited by 19 percent.

Even so, 62 percent of the people responding said they felt safe downtown, although some avoid areas where street people and the homeless hang out.

Nearly a quarter of those responding said they almost never go downtown.

Of those, 60 percent said they don't visit because of panhandlers and homeless people, rude behavior and people who sprawl on the sidewalks and prevent others from passing.

Now, to my ear, the implication is that homelessness is a problem-- but mostly a problem for people other than the homeless themselves. Read it and let me know if you get the same sense.
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