Monday, July 06, 2015

July 6, 1889: the last Independence Day as a territory and Olympia is on show

As the last July with Washington at just a territory (statehood would come in November), the people of Olympia greeted the soon to be state's constitution writers.


Let it be shown that the people of Olympia are on a par in social amenities with he acknowledged beauty of their city. 
…The tide has come to Olympia and if now taken at its flood will surely lead on to fortune if not to tame. 
In their daily contact with the members of this constitutional convention, the people of this city will be living epistles, “known and read of all men.” The conclusion, then, of the whole matter appears to be that Olympia has a rare opportunity of establishing and confirming its own fair name in the hearts and minds of the territory’s representative citizens.
This is an early and interesting notation as Olympia's supplication to the rest of the state with its role as state capital.  I feel like we still feel this way from time to time, trying to justify our existence to the rest of the state, as if Yakima or Tacoma could rank the capital from us at any point. This is probably how we get wrapped around the axle on the Deschutes Estuary.

I'd hope by now that we just accept that Olympia is good, from a dozen or so angles. Yes, we benefit from state jobs. But, we're also a good town because of Evergreen (which probably wouldn't be here without the state government).

Eh, forget it. I'm an epistle too I suppose.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Olyblog10: What's on the city council this week (not not this week) and my first blush of Olyblog

I can tell you how exactly I came across Olyblog, and I also can tell you I at least marked it with a post at this very blog. I apparently came across Olyblog on the old tescrier (Evergreen State College) email list that at one point had been public.

And, here is my very first post over at Olyblog, which for some reason disappeared from the Olyblog itself. It was about a dumb topic, so I'm not sure I miss it being there.

Perusing my early posts, I seemed to focus a lot on civic affairs, politics, community wireless, that kind of thing. Mostly the same stuff I write about here. But, I did talk more specifically about certain candidates and people, something I try to stay away from nowadays.

But, eventually (about after six months of Olyblog) I started doing a weekly "What's on the council" rundown. This was a pretty fun exercise. I got into the habit of waiting for the city webmaster to upload the council's packet for the week, and quickly read through it. This reminded me a lot of what being a reporter was like.

It wasn't enough for me to just beat the Olympian reporter doing the same thing, but I usually tried to find some nuance or angle I assumed the Olympian wouldn't cover.

Like anything at Olyblog, I eventually quit writing the updates. Thad Curtz kept up on it for awhile, but seems to have lost energy for it as well.

Which is sad. But, that didn't make me as sad as the idea never really spreading. I hoped that people would pick up other local governments (port, Tumwater, county) and do similar rundowns. But, that never picked up.

It didn't take much skill, just poking through the staff reports and summarizing what was going on.

I can understand why people never did though, it was also pretty tedious doing it week after week. I even now serve on the regional library board and I've tried to keep up with doing just monthly updates. I quit that eventually too.

Ah, well. Blogging is hard, amiright?