Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Rhenda sez chill out folks

Rhenda Strub, a new city councilmember here in Olympia, writes a pretty good piece on the ithmus issue here in town. Not on what she believes we should do, but on how we all need to take a deep breath:

The hyperbole is objectionable enough, but the anger coming from the people who want to talk about this issue is really astonishing. People who have lived here for much longer than me (6 years) tell me they’ve never seen anything like it.

To tell you the truth, I haven't seen anything like it either. Even the old convention center debate wasn't this divisive. What I think happened is that the social and political groups that formed around the port protest issue have continued and this is their new target. And, of course, there is a reaction to that energy and it keeps on bouncing around.

Also, good to see Rhenda blogging.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Walmart effect in Yelm, Saars Marketplace

Walmart effect in Yelm?

Maybe not so much:

Months after QFC shut its doors, area residents will soon have a grocery store besides Safeway or Wal-Mart to choose from.

Saar’s Market Place is set to open in Yelm sometime in July, and its operating manager may be a familiar face for longtime residents.

Saar’s will open in the former QFC location. Because the space was formerly a grocery store, it’s expected to shorten the relatively quick time frame for opening.

If Walmart did have an impact, it influenced one large national chain out of town, but then convinced a locally owned chain that there was enough going on in Yelm for them to open a store.

I hope Saar's sticks around. Not saying there isn't actually a Walmart effect, but at least it isn't be felt in Yelm.

How a Ron Paul acolyte can win in Oly?


As a candidate from the Campaign for Liberty movement you have the potential for strong support in Olympia, by appealing to what I call Olympia's anarchist tendencies. The campaign may also need to morph its stance on illegal immigration to something that does not focus on a group of people. I might expound on that more later. There needs to be more emphasis on things that matter to people in liberal Olympia. There is a streak, a vein that runs through Olympia, and that is fear of unchecked power, and if that chord was struck I think Delavar can achieve stronger support. Here is just a couple of things that need emphaisis for your to garner support.

Opposition to war based on a non-interventionist stance.

Championing and, really, defend the Constitution, any transgression against it will not be tolerated.

Attack inflation. This issue alone can be tackled effectively by Delavar. The answer is there, it's not rising prices, but falling dollar, right? And your solutions, Delavar, is different from other candidates, and it could ease the anxiety of many a voter.

I wonder... I would assume that the folks who would feel like even Cheryl Crist is too centrist would go for this guy. Though, maybe they'd hitch their wagons to him, thinking he actually has a chance to get to the general election.

I know the upcoming primary is essentially non-partisan, but assume that Crist doesn't make it into the Top Two, losing too many Dem votes to incumbent Baird. That leaves Delavar and the other Republican, Christine Webb.

She might not be able to pick up enough of the conservative vote (because her campaign started really late) to get to face off against Baird, leaving Delavar the only hope of anarchists. In that case, in Delaver vs. Baird, I see Olympia (the far left part of town) going to Delavar.

R. Scott trying to change the past (it seems) to cover-up blog/LTE plagarism thing

Things have been moving, people have been doing things since I noticed a letter to the editor which looked exactly like a blog post I had just read.

First looks like blog author, our own R. Scott, has been changing things to make everything look ok.

The post in question now carries a notice "Source: anonymous email submission," but I'm 100 percent sure that wasn't there the first time I read the post last week or yesterday when I noticed the similarity with the letter.

And, why would someone submit a piece anonymously to a blog and then to the Olympian as well? Newspapers don't take anything on an anonymous basis.

And, R. Scott has changed the original post and since there are ways on the internet to see if you've changed something, check it out:

Click image for larger version.

This is a picture of my feed reader, Google Reader, Saturday morning. What it shows is the post in question, its original date July 25, 2008 and when it was last edited (12 hours ago on Friday night).

So, R. Scott changed his post, most likely to add the note of the anonymous submitter after all of this started Friday morning.

It is still pretty likely that the letter was plagiarized. But, if it wasn't then R. Scott plagiarized the original anonymous version by taking credit for it.

Either way, the fun does not end there. Late on Friday night, R. Scott also published a press release on his blog, which he also quickly took down. Here's a link to where it was and another screen shot:

Again, click the image for larger version.

Also, here's the entire press release.

Read this document on Scribd: 080725 romero pressrelease

So why send a press release pointing out that Sandra Romero is a board member of Futurewise? This isn't a mystery to anyone, especially since its actually listed at her own website. And, that Futurewise sued the county for not doing its job... do you think that anyone who has been paying attention didn't know that already?

Also, since the Olympian reported on the cost of the lawsuit back in April, what's the point of sending a press release pointing out an already reported fact?

What's more likely is that R. Scott wanted to point to his "anonymous email submission" in public.

There's nothing definite there so I can't say for certain that any of my suspicions are true, but the things that happened in the last few days do nothing to allay them.

The letter was likely copied from the blog. Either the letter writer didn't think anyone would notice or she just didn't care.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hire a good campaign tracker, and some references

With both Gregoire and Dino employing campaign trackers (staffers with video cameras who attend opponents events looking for a macaca) here are some important links.

A Seattleite in Idaho will be back in Seattle in a couple of weeks and is apparently the Ty Cobb of campaign trackers:

I tracked for an organization that provided me with the top notch equipment that made my job easier. I had a Macbook and Final Cut Express for editing, a sweet Canon HD Camcorder, a nice microphone that captured great sound, a fancy Manfrotto tripod, the cords and adapters to plug into a mult box, a digital voice recorder, and more.

So, Washington State Democratic Party, if you want to track and ensure that the crook Dino Rossi doesn't win, and ensure a Darcy Burner victory so that douchebag Reichart loses his seat, I suggest you not only keep tracking their events, but you invest in equipment that will capture great images and, more importantly, GREAT sound.

Concord Monitor: Campaign trackers: boot, block or befriend?
MPR: Candidates have few secrets from campaign 'trackers'

Anti-Romero letter copied from a blog

Letter to the editor in the Olympian this morning:

Romero has cost taxpayers dearly

Sandra Romero is a board member of a powerful special-interest group called Futurewise. Her group filed a growth management appeal in 2005 challenging Thurston County's comprehensive plan and cost the county an estimated $1.5 million defending against this frivolous claim.

The county commissioners have a duty to administer the state laws and provide for public safety, heath and roads. The commission doesn't need to be sidetracked by having to deal with lawsuits generated by special-interest groups.

In Romero's own words, "(The) budget is the biggest problem right now, it is the driver of all of our woes ... with almost a $4.5 million shortfall it's going to be very difficult to get out of it."

Romero's special-interest group is responsible for over 25 percent of the current budget crisis, and I'm not willing to send her in to try and fix it. This would be like sending the fox to the hen house.

Please join me in voting for any one of the other three candidates.

Cathy Franzmann, Lacey

Thurston Pundits (written by R. Scott) 10 days ago:

Sandra Romero is a board member of a powerful special-interest group called ‘Futurewise’. Her group filed a growth management appeal in 2005 challenging Thurston County’s comprehensive plan and cost the County an estimated 1.5 million dollars defending against this frivolous claim.

The County Commissioners have a duty to administrate the State laws and provide for public safety, heath and roads. The Commission doesn’t need to be sidetracked by having to deal with lawsuits generated by special-interest groups.

In Romero’s own words, “[the] budget is the biggest problem right now, it is the driver of all of our woes ... with almost a 4.5 million dollar shortfall it's going to be very difficult to get out of it.”

Romero’s special-interest group is responsible for over 25% of the current budget crisis, and I’m not willing to send her in to try and fix it. This would be like sending the fox to the hen house.
Please join me in voting for any one of the other three candidates.

Wow. Nothing more I can really say about that.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The next big Olympia blog

Will be Everyday Olympia:

It looks like OlyForums is going to become part of Mathias' Everyday Olympia. That is to say the forum will be hosted there. The URL will direct users to the forums themselves.

Mathias' EDO probably would have continued to expand had he added forums there anyway, but already has its own energized group of folks ready to talk to each other. Now, I suspect all EDO needs is one or two more front page bloggers and Mathias will be set.

Speaking of good Olympia Blogs, Oly Ost (means East Olympia) is pretty good.

One last Lakefair laugh (Republican Party as GOP)

Forwarded by a fellow Thurston Dem:

Just a couple of thoughts.

Their sign isn't very big, but with the wilting upper right hand corner, can you see that this is the Republican booth at Lakefair? I didn't get down this far (only as far north on Water Street to get a Demo burger and an Elephant Ear), so I didn't see this myself.

Maybe they didn't have a big enough sign to be able to say "Thurston County Republicans?"

Maybe they didn't have enough money for a second sign that said "Thurston County Republicans?" And, why don't they sell burgers?

Maybe they're guilty of the same distraction as Dino Rossi. Maybe no one will realize they're Republicans?

New PDC web site REALLY kicks ass

I was about to write the exact same post that Aneurin just wrote, so I'll just link to it and add two comments.

Makes you wonder why the PDC stuck around with their first generation site for so long when this one is so much cooler. Its almost like they missed a step in between.

The effectiveness of reporting laws are only as good as the tools the government uses to push information to the public. If the data is locked in a filing cabinet, or in a bad online database, we might as well not be reporting.

Campaign watchers and the Rossi and Gregoire campaigns

Rossi and the Republicans send a campaign watcher to Gregoire's events. That by itself isn't all that interesting. Thought it is when you realize that Rossi and the Republicans prevent a Democratic campaign watcher from getting into Rossi event.

From the comments of the original video, which for some reason doesn't have any sound:

I don't get it. Why was someone from the Democratic Party wanting to get in to a Rossi event with a video camera? I'm not sure I would have allowed you guys in either! Seems a bit suspicious to me.

And, in response:

It's because Washington state Democrats, much like their counterparts all over this country, are hypocritical frauds. Do you think for one second that they would allow a Republican into a Gregoire event with a video camera? Of course not. Like their presidential candidate, they are complete phonies.

Well, rather, of course they would. Look at the first video again.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

One video of Rossi's closed events, one with sound, one without

I heard about the Rossi folks complaining about the Italian mobster music, but not about country music.

Ok, take a look. This video at the Washington Dems Youtube channel without a soundtrack.

Same video, at another channel (the creator of the video's channel?) with soundtrack.

What's going on here? Did Rossi complain? Why would he complain? Why just remove the soundtrack if he complained?

Did the Washington Democratic Party imply Rossi was a hick?

Good for Rick McKinnon, good for Olyblog, good for Olympia


After more than a year of working with a group of docents who have helped to run the blog, I've decided to end the experiment. The docent model was not entirely successful, in no small part due to an overall lack of organization and commitment, but lately due to some specific personality conflicts. I'm not sure what will take its place, but I'm hopeful that we can develop some sort of community-governed system. Stay tuned.

Jason, a fellow former docent who I like and respect, called for Rick's resignation via email to the rest of the docents earlier today. Just for reference, Rick founded and still owns Olyblog.

This dustup reflects a view of Olyblog that in my opinion isn't entirely healthy or productive. "Olympia owns Olyblog" is hurtful because Olyblog cannot be everything to everyone. We've become too used to their being one place, one newspaper, one blog where we all go.

More Olyblogs.

UPDATE: Though Rick turned off comments on his thread, a post with comment enabled have popped up:
A place to comment on the "End of the Experiment."

Checking to see who in my family reads this blog (Victory at Sea)

Because my dad and my brother would love this.

Download the eight of the 26 episode series here for free and for legal.

Wikipedia: Victory at Sea

"Kelly's in the water and won't wake up"

Yikes, this is scary.

Via email:

The Coast Guard is seeking the public's help in identifying the source of a radio call they received earlier this evening from a young girl who identified herself as "Kelsey." The girl stopped transmitting before additional information could be gathered.

The girl, who said she was six years old, called the Coast Guard at 5:11 PM stating that someone with her, possibly named Kelly, was "in the water," and was "not waking up."

The Coast Guard copied the transmission on its radio towers in southern Puget Sound, and conducted a thorough search of the area with an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles, Wash., and a small boat crew from Coast Guard Station Seattle.

Anyone who heard this little girl on the radio, or who can provide additional information, is requested to contact Coast Guard Sector Seattle at 206-217-6001.

I remember screwing around with my dad's radio when my family owned a sailboat when I was growing up. I probably pissed off a handful of Coasties, but this is still very creepy.

Mariners Game from Forks [public transporting]

This one doesn't follow the normal format of letting you know how much this trip will put you back, but if you were a Mariner fan in Forks lacking your own vehicle, would $50 (I assume the high range of this trip) stop you?

Probably not.

So, you're an Ms fan in Forks, you want to see a game. What time do you need to leave to catch a 7 p.m. first pitch in Seattle?

Clallam County, Route 14
Leave Forks, 9:30 a.m.
Arrive PA Transit Center, 10:50 a.m.

Clallam County, Route 30
Leave PA , 11:00 a.m.
Arrive Sequim Transit Center, 11:35 a.m.

Jefferson County, Route 8
Leave Sequim, 12:43 p.m.
Arrive Four Corners, 1:19 p.m.

Jefferson County, Route 7
Leave Four Corners, 3:34 p.m.
Arrive Poulsbo, 4:27 p.m.

Kitsap County, Rt. 90

Leave Poulsbo, 4:37 p.m.
Arrive Bainbridge Ferry, 4:57 p.m.

Washington DOT Seattle/Bainbridge Island Ferry
Leave Bainbridge, 5:30 p.m.
Arrive Seattle, 6:05 p.m.

And, you can walk the rest.

What surprised me about this trip is that the huge lag is in Jefferson County. I always understood Jefferson to be the more liberal of the three counties represented here, but their cross county transportation sucks. You might as well go all the way into the north side of the county before you can catch a bus out.

It might be the geographic orientation of Jefferson County, being North/South rather than East/West like Clallam. Most Jefferson County citizens moving within the county would go north/south, while you could assume folks from outside the county (and therefore don't play into public transportation decisions) would be more interested in east/west.

I wish the Democratic Party in Washington State was more like Chad Lupkes

I don't think I've ever met Chad in person, but I feel his wake a lot down here in Olympia, and I'm pretty late in saying that I appreciate his efforts.

In a way I wish there were more people like Chad, but there already are hundreds of people in the state party that do what he does.

Washington Democratic Chairs
is a much better website than our state party website. Much more focussed on being creative and giving tools to citizens than doing whatever the state party website does.

Just an example, here you can find a shape file and a kmz file for precincts for most counties in Washington.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dino Rossi's old crew guilty of severe metonymy


How Olympia's Solution to Climate Change Will Affect You and Your Pocketbook

Ok, just to get this straight, Olympia (as I know it) is doing something about climate change, but this isn't what Ted Dahlstrom is talking about.

He's talking about "the government of the State of Washington" and calling it "Olympia." I know this is a device called metonymy, but I think is an incorrect metonymy and a particularly dangerous one to our democratic government.

The purpose of metonymy is to take something large (like state government or the collected newspapers, radio and television stations) and call them something simple (like Olympia or "the press"). In the case of Washington State government and Olympia, I think this is turning the state government into a distant other, something that we feel no connection to.

Of course, I do feel a connection to Olympia, and am turned off by the metonmonic use of Olympia.

But, according to those in Olympia, it isn't anywhere near enough.


Those in Olympia have taken it upon themselves to be one of only six states to pass legislation dealing with climate change.


Even if that is true, the point remains that the legislation does have a cost, and that cost would be passed directly to the consumer. The same can be said for Olympia's climate change legislation.

But, it isn't "those in Olympia" and it isn't "Olympia's" anything. Legislators are elected from communities all over Washington State. While they may work in Olympia from time to time, they still come from places not near Olympia.

Calling the state legislator down the road from you as being "from Olympia" or part of "Olympia" makes him a distant other that has little connection to you or your community. Which isn't true.

Listen to Sounders Fight Song

Simply because I want you to.

Live version here.

Actually current leadership, not Sandra, cost Thurston County $1.5 million

R. Scott blames Sandra Romero for pointing out where Thurston County was wrong:

Her group filed a growth management appeal in 2005 challenging Thurston County’s comprehensive plan and cost the County an estimated 1.5 million dollars defending against this frivolous claim.

The County Commissioners have a duty to administrate the State laws and provide for public safety, heath and roads. The Commission doesn’t need to be sidetracked by having to deal with lawsuits generated by special-interest groups.

Wouldn't a frivolous claim, that the rules in Thurston County governing growth didn't jive with state mandates, be thrown out by the courts? It would, but R. Scott lied when he characterized the nature of the lawsuit and how it ended up. Futurewise actually won the case.

Even the local builder's association admits this:

According to Andy Cook, BIAW Legal Counsel "the decision is a mixed bag, but mostly a loss". The court ruled that the Growth Management Hearings Board did not err in ruling the Thurston Count's urban growth areas were too large. Cook noted, that "the court completely dismissed our arguments and evidence showing that the Board made a clerical error in finding that the UGAs were too large."

So is it frivolous to challenge government action that you think is wrong? Is it frivolous when two judges agree with you?

For your refernce's here's Washington Land Use Law blog's post on the topic.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Help send the 22nd LD (including James Yee) to Denver

Via email:

The 22nd Legislative District Democrats are hosting a BBQ fundraiser to help our unprecedented ten person delegation travel to the Democratic National Convention this August. Please pass this email on to your friends and let them know about our event.

Most of the delegation will be in attendance to share their stories with you. We hope to see you there! For more information or if you would like to donate online please visit

Jim Cooper
Chair 22nd Legislative District Democrats

PS Former US Army Chaplain, author, and Obama National Delegate from LD22, James Yee, will be in attendance with signed copies of his book For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire available for sale.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

TVW and their video voter guide

The first big test for the embed tool over at TVW will hopefully be the video voters guide.

By the way, have you notice since right before the new tool went online, Mark has been really quiet?

Via email:

For immediate release – July 7, 2008

For more info: TVW President Greg Lane, 360-725-3999

Video Voters’ Guide begins today on TVW

Olympia – TVW and the Washington Secretary of State are offering the public a chance to watch direct, unedited statements from candidates for statewide office via the 2008 Video Voters’ Guide.

Beginning today and continuing through the Nov. 4 election – with separate primary and general election editions – TVW will televise the Video Voters’ Guide regularly on statewide cable television.

“The Video Voters’ Guide is a valuable public service and is one more way for the electorate to stay informed in this important election year,” said Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed. “We hope voters will follow their state and local races with the same interest and excitement they’re showing for this year’s presidential race.”

TVW and the Secretary of State have teamed up to offer the Video Voters’ Guide every two years since 1996. The guide features candidates for statewide offices: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Auditor, Attorney General, Commissioner of Public Lands, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Insurance Commissioner, and Supreme Court Justice.

“Voters will hear many sound bites this election year, but it’s also important they get the whole picture,” said TVW President Greg Lane. “Beginning with the Video Voters’ Guide, our election coverage will give people the chance to watch the candidates talk to them directly, straight and unedited.”

The guide also will be available on the Web at Link to the Video Voters’ Guide Web page here:

- 30 -

Note to media: TV, print, radio and news blog Web sites are encouraged to embed the 2008 Video Voters’ Guide on their sites using TVW’s new embedding tool, detailed below.

TVW, often called the Washington state version of C-SPAN, provides unedited gavel-to-gavel television coverage of the State Legislature, Supreme Court, executive branch, state boards and commissions, elections, and public policy events of statewide significance. TVW’s 2008 election coverage includes party conventions, candidate debates and forums, newspaper editorial board interviews, and a LIVE election night program. For the first time this fall TVW’s “Election Tuesdays” will highlight the network’s top weekly election coverage starting at 7 p.m., along with civics education programs featuring high school students and teachers.

Cable TV carries TVW for free, reaching 99% of the cable households in Washington, representing about 55% of the state population. Viewers can watch TVW programs on demand at, which includes the largest archive of legislative streaming media in the world.

We’re pleased to announce TVW has added a new embedding tool to all programming found on its Web site

This new tool allows any event from TVW’s archives to be embedded into Web sites and blogs, and includes the ability to highlight a portion of the footage, but in a way that honors the balanced, unedited, gavel-to-gavel nature of TVW programming.

The new embedding tool is readily accessible just below the player window of every TVW video and audio event available at

Our goal is to be the most effective resource as possible for citizens to view the Legislature, state government and state public policy debate. We look forward to your comments, questions and suggestions, as well as working with you to improve our services.

Sincerely, Greg Lane, President

What is “embedding”?
Embedding is the ability to place a video or other object in HTML code in order to display it on a Web page. TVW will now allow you to "embed" a TVW video or audio event on another Web site or blog while TVW’s servers securely stream that content to your Web visitors.

Embedding instructions
Embedding TVW video on your Web site is simple and very similar to YouTube’s embed function. With a little knowledge of HTML you can quickly get TVW's video playing on your Web Site or blog.
To embed an event from

* Click in the text field under the video player area or click "Embed". This will select all of the code needed to copy into your site or blog’s HTML editor.
* Use the "Right mouse click" and chose "Copy." This will copy the text to your computer’s clipboard.
* “Paste” this code into your Web site’s HTML code or your blog’s HTML editor.

(For specific hosted blog spheres and how to embed video code, please consult the appropriate help section of your blog site or contact your Webmaster.)

Advanced embedding options

TVW’s advanced virtual-clip feature is unique to the Web. This feature allows you to choose a “Start” and “Stop” time, essentially creating a virtual clip of a TVW event. This, however, does not edit the actual event - it allows a user to continue playing from the point the clip ends and review the event in its entirety right from your Web page or blog.

To use the advanced features, click the “Use Advanced Embed” button and set the start and stop times. These times must be in a HH:MM:SS format. You can also set the width dimensions of the video. The dimensions feature can only be set in conjunction with using the virtual-clip feature. To simply embed the video without a virtual-clip, click the “reset” or “Use Standard Embed” buttons. This will clear any advanced embed features. For further questions about TVW’s embedding feature, contact