Like so many times in the
past, a small but extremely well-mobilized and highly vocal group of Olympia activists is
doing their best to stall, delay or simply incinerate the enactment of the
isthmus rezone decision that has, in large part, already been made.
Much of their effort is commendable. They've written poems, recorded songs, held rallies, launched radio ad campaigns, recorded supportive testimony from well known ex-politicians, written letters (and letters and letters) to the editor of The Olympian, and showed up en masse to every public meeting and hearing held on the issue.
But this is not to say that everything they've done should be applauded. They've employed a wide assortment of threats and scare tactics with the aim of intimidating our elected city council members into doing what they want done.
... in today's Olympian.
I know that, for many people who live in the Olympia area, the Olympian letters section is one of the first places they visit online each day. Usually, the letters for that day are posted shortly after midnight. Not so this morning. Although every other section of the paper seemed to go up in a timely way, the letters did not appear until around noon.
I'm sure we'll never know why this occurred, but before noon I found myself wondering if today -- the day when the letters are posted 12 hours later than usual -- would be the day when the Olympian finally got around to printing some of the letters myself and others had written against the isthmus rezone, which have taken longer than usual to be printed.
It turned out I was right.
As is my usual morning routine I stopped by the Olympian website this morning and clicked on the main link to the "Letters to the editor" in the "Opinion" section. There I saw several letters regarding the holiday displays at the Capitol and one letter in support of the isthmus rezone.
Then I received an e-mail from Bonnie Jacobs per the Friends of the Waterfront mailing list and was puzzled by her reference to two letters in today's Olympian expressing opposition to the rezone. I went back, and again clicked on the main link to the letters in the "Opinion" section, and did not see the letters Bonnie mentioned.
So, I went to the very bottom of the page, clicked on the "Our views/Your views" archive and indeed there were two separate links for "Dec. 20 letters," one of which leads to the letters opposing the rezone.
What is the normal course of progress? What does progress mean to you?
Ever since Peter's testimony last week, I have been thinking about the normal course of progress, and what it means in the context of the proposed Isthmus Building Height Rezone.
I am sorry, and with all due respect, I do not consider spending $50,000 in public money, on a study for a private luxury condominium development project (a development that has very dubious public interest merit) to be in the normal course of progress.
Okay - so the City spends $50,000 on a project that will of be of potential direct benefit to those who need it least. Meanwhile; regular, ordinary, average, normal Americans are losing their jobs and their home mortgages.
I don't consider spending $50,000 of public money on a private luxury condominium development to be good public policy. I don't consider the rezone proposal, the proposed Larida Passage, or the City's facilitation of the rezone to be anything like what I would consider to be the normal course of progress.
Also check out a poem I just weblogged: Empty Store Fronts.
p.s. So then what is the normal course of progress, what would it look like? I am going to be thinking about that, and I'll get back to it. In the meantime, please discuss.
This story has been updated with the complete collection of videos posted here: http://olyblog.net/video-city-council-public-hearing-isthmus-building-height-rezone
Have you seen the video from last Tuesday's public hearing? It's 5 hours - but if you're interested in the rezone issue, this is a must-see (yes - all 5 hours.)
I was truly impressed by the depth and breadth of the public comments presented to the Council last Tuesday.
Video from the hearing is in four parts. The introduction is just under 30 minutes, parts one and two are a little less than 100 minutes and part three is a little over 50 minutes.
Here are the videos. The video and audio isn't synched perfectly (especially the introduction (-maybe it can be repaired)). But the video does seem to work (at least it does for me.)
Here they are:
Video of the hearing is posted to the city website. It has been up since sometime last week, I think it was posted Wednesday or Thursday. Anyway, it's up there, and I think it's worth watching all 5 hours, if you haven't seen it yet. I am also going to work on downloading the video and posting it to the Internet for purposes of embedding and viewing right here on little old OlyBlog. (so stay tuned)
Here's the link to the City Government webpage where you can find a link to the video from the September 16th meeting, it's in 4 parts: Olympia City Council
Hope you're having a great weekend!
I have a rezone proposal for the Isthmus and I am going to share it here. I hope that my proposal gets a $50,000 investment from the City, because it's worthy - and that's for sure.
Here's my proposal, and I am re-telling this from someone who testified at Tuesday's meeting:
Change the building zoning heights on the Isthmus to 10 feet. Yes, that's right. No new structures to be built on the Isthmus over ten feet.
I want to see the results of a $50,000 investment in that proposal.
Ten feet building height limit: now that's what I call vision for the Isthmus. What do you think?
(disclaimer: of course I would rather see the development of a public park.)
I started a new thread out of fear any posting I made would get lost in the volumes under your original post HERE.
I would like to thank you for all your hard work and dedication and ability to respond to all the negativity and opposition with dignity and respect. Some posts directed at you seem as if to be cornering you in hopes of changing your mind or making you a fool but you are able to escape with your stance intact!
I agree in the opinions of and would like to join OLY 2012 in their efforts to improve downtown and promote growth.
Again, thank you for speaking for those of us who agree with the stance and opinions of Oly 2012 and feel we don't have a voice or fear reprisal.
For those of you who disagree with OLY 2012 and my opinion, please show the same respect and dignity Peter has in any responses you may have here.
More than 4400 Olympia voters have signed the Capitol Park Foundation Initiative, well over the required number. Friends of the Waterfront and others will continue to gather signatures until Thursday, when the signatures will be submitted to the city. The last time a successful initiative petition drive happened in Olympia was over a half a century ago in 1955, when citizens rose up to block the logging off of the Olympia Watershed and to create, instead, Watershed Park.
Given how rare an occurrence a successful initiative is in the City of Olympia, I'm surprised the Olympian hasn't reported on this. 4400 is a lot of naysayers!
I just posted a story about the Isthmus rezone issue: Isthmus Meeting on Tuesday.