Hello OlyBlog, I'm sure you've all seen my fellow peers recent posts regarding the controversial issue surrounding Capitol Lake. And as you all may (or may not) know, this is part of an assignment for our middle school 1st period science class. Although really that information is irrelevant to the issue at hand... whether or not Capitol Lake should be restored to it's once natural state.
While I've been in this state for only about 9 or so months, I've noticed a great deal of debate over this subject. It was enough debate for me to walk down to Capitol Lake myself and check it out. At first glance, the lake appeared like every other lake I've seen, but upon closer inspection I found a mess of plants, sediment and... snails. I've only recently familiarized myself with the science behind why Capitol Lake is like this, and honestly it surprises me that this lake has been in this condition for a long time. Especially when you consider the fact that this state is a 'green-state'.
I may have neglected several factors to why this problem hasn't been fixed yet, and forgive me if I have, but I do believe it should happen soon, and after going over the facts multiple times and accessing the available options, really the only choice I feel that we have is restoration of the lake back into an estuary.
Economically speaking, the estuary option costs would range from $75-90 million, but that is simply a short term loss. This is compared to if we kept Capitol Lake in it's current condition. Maintenance of the lake over the next 50s years would cost $79-150 million due to dredging.
via email from Terra Commons:
Local Earthen (Clay) Plaster
Learn to make beautiful wall finishes from site-sourced materials:
With Joseph Becker of ION Ecobuilding and Aaron Gould of Biointegra
Saturday, December 5th, 2009
Fox Island, WA
Join us on beautiful Fox Island, WA, less than 30 minutes from Tacoma, (no Ferry!).
These plasters consist of a combination of clay, sand, and often fiber, such as chopped straw. Ideally (as in this house) materials come directly from the site or neighborhood.
Natural plasters provide non-toxic, inexpensive, and beautiful finishes that are durable and breathable. Earthen or clay plasters are suitable for interior finishes or on well-protected exterior surfaces (or where maintenance is not a bad word). Local clay based plasters are considered to be the most simple and ecological of the natural plasters.
Beyond being a beautiful handmade finish, Clay plasters regulate indoor humidity and help improve energy performance by providing additional thermal mass to interior spaces as well as forming a natural seal against unwanted air leakage (drafts).
• Home tour showing extensive use of reclaimed + healthy materials (house was recently featured on a green building educational film for TV)
• Outline steps involved and show examples of surface preparation
• Demonstration of the art of mixing natural clay plasters
• How to asses site-sourced materials for suitability and determine the appropriate mixing ratios
• Gain experience with proper tools
• Learn hands-on application technique!
• Become more familiar with wood-chip ICF wall systems, such as Faswall
cost: $25-75 sliding*
Includes Vegetarian Lunch
Please RSVP to Aaron via phone or email --->
I messed up on that blog address. My apologies. Here is the actual link:
Thanks for your interest!
This is an effort to show how these town homes obstruct what otherwise might be a vista open to all.
I don't fault the people who live here. Because this is a socio-culture issue. It's a deep issue, and a problem that goes to the heart of our relationships with land.
It's a philosophical and aesthetic difference that I have with the current planning establishment.
I have long been a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright. As an architect and a designer, I think that he would vociferously object to this sort of building on hill-tops. He might consider this sort of development to be a kind of defacement of the existence of natural vistas and view corridors.
In accounting for future development and growth, I want to see an effort made and an emphasis on making human dwellings fit in to the landscape. No hilltop developments. No gigantic buildings on the tiny narrow strip of the Isthmus.
I need an egalitarian approach to growth, and to planning and future development. Initiate planning and development efforts from public process, not from proposals by developers.
Now that is looks like the weather is easing and the flood waters will soon subside we can now take a look at damages. I want to remind everyone of a green and inexpensive option when it comes to fixing your home, business, barn or anything else. The Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Downtown Oly has all sorts all very low cost items. All these items have been diverted from the landfill and all the proceeds help build homes for the very low income in Thurston County. The store has lumber, appliances, lights, paint, door, windows and much more, everything you need to recover from this past month.
210 Thurston Ave NE
9am - 5pm
via email from Sam Garst:
Next week you will have an opportunity to visit 24 environmentally friendly homes and businesses in the Olympia, showcasing a variety of Solar and Green Building technologies.
This is a self guided tour where you pick and choose which sites are of greatest interest to you.
The attached brochure, map, site descriptions, and directions are attached. This brochure contains useful ideas and information on low and no cost ways to save energy and water.
What: 14th Annual Solar / Green Building Tour
When: Saturday, September 27th, 10:00am until 4:00pm
Where: Locations ... Lacey, Tumwater, and Olympia
Why: Renewable energy and energy conservation are central to our battle against high energy costs and climate change.
How: You can download the map and brochure by visiting (link at bottom of page):
Join us Saturday !!
Maybe you haven't heard it. If you live or work in Olympia and you haven't heard it, then you need to get your hearing checked. Because it's loud. I went by today. I saw it in action. More so, I heard it - felt it actually, as it vibrated the ground. I got right up close and personal. It was painfully loud. I wonder how it felt to the workers who were standing there, watching the machine hammer away... I wonder how long their shifts are. They did not look happy. In fact they seemed quite close to the point source, and not too enthused about the whole situation.
The deep piles are necessary for tall structures in this area because the land is composed of fill, which is mostly mud dredged up from the bay. The land is prone to liquefaction (where it turns into a soupy mess and becomes unable to support heavy structures) in an earthquake situation.
Is this the face of progress? Or is this an attempt to create an illusion of security and permanence? These are heavy questions. But it's time to be asking them, considering the amount of piles that we might, as residents of Olympia, be looking forward to - given the impetus for development, "revitalization" and investment in the vision of a "vibrant" downtown core.
I will be at Oly Salvage finishing the construction of the cob bench. Come have fun in the, er, ahem SUN (I hope I hope I hope) and learn a simple building technique.
If it rains, all bets are off (i.e. no work party).