Friday, June 29, 2012

$4+ million for the arts, not for sports

Let's quickly forget about the meaningless distinction between someone that dances and receives academic credit and someone that swings a bat and does not.

Let's also forget that our schools maintain facilities for both artistic and athletic pursuits.

Starting from here then, how do you think the public would react if the city of Olympia announced it was spending $4.4 million to upgrade a field at Yauger Park to a 1,500 seat capacity soccer stadium? Or, baseball stadium, I suppose (even though we'd never get a real minor league team here).

Under certain circumstances, a 4,000 seat baseball stadium could be had for around $4.3 million.

You think the public reaction would be supportive? Actually, I think the public reaction to a larger (much larger) athletic facility would be overall negative. Possibly very negative.

As opposed to $4.4 million spent on reburbing an existing arts center? Granted, we already own the Washington Center for the Performing Arts.

But, I think this imaginary distinction might tell you something about the nature of Olympia. Ken Balsley calls this elitism.

But, I wouldn't go that far. We have plenty of people around here that spend a lot of their time dedicated to sports. There are plenty examples of this sort of dedication, families at Black Hills FC, hundreds of kids turning out for Olympia Bears football.

The question is, in Olympia given $4 million in public funds, the most likely end result is something for the arts, not sports. And why is that?

I've been pondering it for days now, and I can't really give you a good answer.

Why Dan Bigelow would've campaigned against Costco edition (Olyblogosphere links for June 29, 2012)

1. From Mojourner Truth, a dern good blog post about how own of our town's earliest settlers fought the same fight that some of us still fight today:
Replace "groceries" with "CostCo," or for that matter, jsut keep "groceries," and you have one of the most recent election's main issues encapsulated. It makes me want to start a Bigelow Community Garden, where we can grow food free of the impure grocery influence. Not that I'm against liquor, mind you, but more the influence of a particular capitalist enterprise putting itself above the public good of, for example, having state store which employed a thousand or so people at a living wage, and which did not sell liquor late in the evening, when people are more likely to get in trouble with it, and which had no accounting tricks to keep the state revenue from flowing to other public goods.
2.  Coolerman4u made a home made forge. Cooler, indeed.

3. Stevenl starts up a new contest on Olyblog. Where are these places?

4. Mathias (thank goodness) is back doing RSVP, the podcast. I love podcasts. Love them a lot. I also like local things. So, listen to Mathias' podcast, especially because he's going to be down for the next few days. This one is especially good, featuring Faith Trimble.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Olyblogosphere links for June 18 (best video about Olympia railroads ever)

1. This video left me speachless. Basically, its a story about an old timber railroad through what is now the South Puget Sound Community College campus on the westside.

But, its also a story of cross discipline and real world learning at SPSCC. Great, great stuff.

2. Sarah at the Snazzy Bouquet has the sort of post that describes This Town. Nice.

Really, though. I feel compelled to blockquote at least this passage:
Last night's scene in downtown Oly. All-ages punk action, just like it was 21 years ago, when I (by some miraculous twist of fate) poked my head in the side door at the Capitol Theater.

3. Funwater Awesome (though not technically Olympia) put up a post for the first time in almost a year, then promptly let his domain expire. Boo. You can get his the Funwater zine at the library though.

4. Over at r/olympia on reddit, people are getting phone calls for a survey about whether they'd "support or oppose a 0.1¢ sales tax measure to support local PD, Fire, and neighborhood watch programs, and if I would support or oppose a $12 million bond measure to build a park on the isthmus." Boy, what a time for Olympiaviews to call it a day, huh?

5. Speaking of local politics, I tweeted something Rhenda Strub pointed to about who someone thinks was behind those horrible fliers from last fall.

6. Don't you love what Mark Derricott is doing with his blog lately? The meeting updates bum me out, but I love these project specific posts (Olympia Hilton Gardens and Downtown Olympia Mixed Use at Quince and Fourth Ave).

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Olyblogosphere links for June 9, 2012 (basking in the glow of Oly Love edition)

1. Lots of video from the explosion of Oly Love this week. Here are just three:

2. Bees, Birds and Buttlerflies blog brings us (what else?) The Bumble Bees of Thurston County (which has nothing to do with WSB).

3. Flummel, Flummer, Flummo is on the WSB beat with The haters are now hating in Seattle and Dirt Dumb Rebels.

4. Remember last time when I linked to a blog about Calvin Johnson's walking tour of Olympia? Well, here's the video.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Olyblogosphere links for June 4, 2012 (no theme edition)

1. In Judith Baumann probably loves you blog, Calvin Johnson leads a walking tour of downtown Olympia. This event deserves a blog post of its own, but in this case, its crammed with other stuff.

2. I've had nightmares about when local grocery stores one by one stop carrying Olympia beer. Cosmo has news of a real-life tragedy. Brewery City Pizza no longer carries the beer of the historic and self referential beer.

3. Tenalquot has an amazing map of historic schools in Thurston County.

4. It would be worth heading over to Morty the Dog to read more about the Olympia Comics Festival

Friday, June 01, 2012

Westboro Baptist Church bothering to picket both Olympias

Westboro Baptist Church (yes, those guys) are coming to Olympia next week. There is going to be a response, seemingly especially to their second day protest at Olympia High School on Thursday (sorry, you have to log in to FB).

The reason they're coming is pretty simple, the passing of the marriage bill last year in the legislature. It also makes sense that their first protest will be up at the capitol campus. But, what is surprising to me, is that they're also bothering to protest at Olympia High School (and the auditors office).

They not only protesting Olympia as a name for the entire state government, but they're also protesting Olympia as a home.

I'm not sure I'm going to bother to show them any attention, but I've heard through FB that some local churches will respond in person. Which, I feel is great. Its much better for actual people of faith to stand up to emotional haters like Westboro.