Power and Influence. Who has it?

May 27th, 2016 by Ken

Nearly 30 years ago, for my masters thesis in The Evergreen State College’s master in public administration program, I wrote about power and influence in Thurston County.   I wanted to know who controlled our lives on the local level.

I surveyed most of the elected officials in Thurston County.   I asked them to name three individuals – – non-elected – – who had power and influence in their opinion.   Then I surveyed all of those named and asked them to name three individuals – – elected or non-elected – – who they felt exerted power and influence at the local level.   Then I interviewed many of those named.

Remember – this was nearly 30 years ago – in 1987.   Those named included city administrators, the local newspaper editor, minister of a mega-church and a school administrator.

The thesis found that Olympia was a company town.   That company was State Government.   But, unlike most company towns, the company exerted little influence on the local level.   Most leaders has no connection to the community.   Top level administrators were on the job temporarily – – four to eight years.   They often lived out-of-town and commuted in – – or rented living space for a few short years.   They had no interest in local affairs.

That’s not to say that state government employees  weren’t involved in the community – – because they were.   As time went on, these mid-level administrators began to exert more influence, particularly if they became a local elected official.  But, they exerted influence only in the area of their government expertise.

Another finding concluded that power and influence in Thurston County was diffused.  There were many concentric circles, with individual exerting influence within one of those circles, but seldom in any other.

When it came to politics, no one person was dominate.   However, a group I called the Liberal-Feminist Coalition exerted considerable influence in local politics.

Those are just some of the findings from my 1987 master’s thesis.   To my knowledge, no one has since attempted to survey the community to ascertain how things have changed since then.

Who are the power brokers?

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Lacey has a PR problem

May 25th, 2016 by Ken

Many people, who don’t live in Lacey, have a somewhat less than positive view of the City of Lacey.   OK – let’s face it.   Many people who don’t live in the city have a negative view of Lacey.

That was brought home to me recently at the public meeting to change the name of the school district to – Lacey.   Dozens of opponents stepped to the microphone and made statements about Lacey that were , short-sighted, uneducated and just plain wrong.

As the soon-to-be largest city in Thurston County – – Lacey has a lot of work to do to educate and inform non-residents about the joys and the pleasures of living in the city.  The time is long past when Lacey was nothing more than a strip mall and freeway off-ramp.

Lacey has nearly 45,000 residents.   It is the most diverse community in Thurston County and maybe in the entire state.  More than half of the students in Lacey schools are minorities.  That in itself does not mean anything.  But, the accomplishments of the school district rank at the top of the scale of excellence.

The city has 1200 acres of park land, more than any other city in the county.   The parks are well-developed and maintained and used hundreds of thousands of times during the year.  The Regional Athletic Complex draws sports teams from around the state and from all over the Northwest.

St. Martin’s University is a gem and located right in the heart of the city.   Students from around the world attend the school and bring an element of internationalism to the community.

Lacey has protected its heritage and has the only history museum in the county, open to the public on a regular basis.   It is in the process of expanding its historical footprint.

While Lacey does not have a “downtown” as pointed out my many critics, it also doesn’t have the problems associated with a downtown area.  Instead, Lacey has a number of “retail centers”  located at strategic points around the city, where shopping is convenient and accessible.

Lacey is a city of more than 50 individual neighborhoods, each with its own personality and each a part of the greater community.   It allows for individualism and a sense of freedom.

Lacey also has a responsive city government that allows a variety of opinion and doesn’t march in lock-step with untried ideas.

Lacey is a great place to live and raise a family.

It just needs a better PR effort.

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Lacey history this week – – 1975

May 24th, 2016 by Ken

North Thurston School Superintendent Dr. John Gott told the school board this week, that the district would have to turn to year-round schools if it couldn’t get  bond issues passed by the voters.   Gott was referring to the recent double-defeat of a bond issue to build new schools in the district.

The City of Lacey has received $72,800 from the federal government to install signals at the Burlington Northern railroad crossing at Sleater Kinney and Golf Club Road.  Cars will no longer be allowed to stop on the tracks when stopped at a red light.

In other news, the city has just passed an ordinance requiring all new construction in the city to include sidewalks and possibly curbs and gutters.

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Mixed feelings on less editorials

May 23rd, 2016 by Ken

I have mixed emotions about The Olympian’s decision to do away with its editorial page on Monday and Tuesday.

I understand the reasoning behind the move.  With fewer employees it became more difficult to do a full editorial page every day.   Brad Shannon has done a reasonably good job but his knowledge and expertise on the community is limited.   Brad is well-known and respected on the hill where he covered the antics and activities of the state legislature.  I suspect that he would much rather be back at the state capitol reporting on events than editing an editorial page.

But, he was stuck.  With fewer reporters, it became more and more difficult to do a local editorial everyday.   In addition, he had to verify and edit letters to the editor.   The weekends were especially difficult and Monday’s paper usually was a recycled editorial from other news sources.

On the other hand, The Olympian had become the poster boy (pun intended) for the downtown Olympia progressive movement.   The paper’s editorials supported every left-wing, nutty, costly idea to come along.   I never saw any thought given to opposing ideas.

From that perspective, a few less editorials might be good.

However, I think this community needs The Olympian and needs to support the paper.   It is one of the few things that keeps us informed as to what our government is doing to us.

(Personal note:   I applied for appointment to the paper’s editorial board.  As far as I know, no decision has been made regarding that appointment.)

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Rush Limbaugh made Donald Trump possible

May 20th, 2016 by Ken

By Dale Cooper

You might say that Rush Limbaugh has played the role of John the Baptist for The Donald.  He paved the way for Donald Trump.   He proved that being ideologically irreverent can pay off – – and pay off big time.

When Limbaugh re-invented talk radio about 30 years ago, he did so by ignoring mainstream American political thought and attacking its prevailing liberal narrative.  To everyone’s surprise – the more he attacked the higher his ratings climbed.

Ever since, Limbaugh has cobbled together a vast army of millions whom he’s rallied to rise up against the assorted evils – – ever-growing intrusions and ever-escalating costs – – of the nanny-state.   He has done so to greater and greater effect for over a generation now, during which time he’s created a groundswell of populist disgust at the self-serving fraud embraced by our ruling class.

He alleges that this inside-the-beltway oligarchy has been corrupted by wealth and power, the magnitude of which has not been seen since the glory days of mighty Rome.

And now Limbaugh’s rantings and ravings have become incarnate in one person – – Donald Trump.

They’re twins.  They’re both brash, in-your-face bullies.   They counter-punch harder than the first punch.   They’re both politically incorrect, retaliatory, insulting and outrageous.  They’re both revered, despised, lauded and reviled.  And, they both have an audience that’s measured in the millions – – and that keeps growing.

They’re both enthusiastic, bombastic and uncommonly frank.  They’re both loud, vain, egocentric and mega-successful.   They’re both aging, white, over-the-top, cock-sure angry American Originals – – and to top it off, they’re both highly entertaining.

Their popularity has continually frustrated and dumbfounded politicians, pundits, office-seekers, campaign gurus and the geriatric media – – and they’ve made them look lost, like wanderers trying to grope their way out of a cloud of swirling cyber dust.

They just don’t get The Donald.  However if ever they care to get him, they could simply give Rush a good listen.  They’d hear a point of view different from their own.  They’d understand that what some call hate, others call – – love of country.

They’d feel the pent-up anger ordinary Americans have for the lying, conniving and dissembling Washington political class – – and they’d know how and why American politics has mutated in such unimaginable ways.

It all comes down to Rush Limbaugh and his crusading apostle Donald Trump.

(Editors note:  I’ve never listened to Rush Limbaugh.)

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Olympia has finally jumped the shark

May 19th, 2016 by Ken

If you want to know the difference between Olympia and Lacey – look no further than the recent action by the Olympia City Council.    By a 4-3 vote, the Olympia council has decided to proceed with an income tax for city residents.

Here’s the background.

A Seattle group – – Economic Opportunity Institute wanted to challenge the state’s ban on a state income tax.     They decided to find a test case and put it before the ultra-liberal Washington State Supreme Court, which they felt would  finally overturn the ban which had been in place since the Great Depression.

Since there is no income tax in the state, the Institute had to have one in order to have a test case.   They looked around for the most liberal city in the state and settled on Olympia – – which in 2010 was the only city in the state to approve a state sales tax initiative on the ballot.

Working with local liberal groups – – and finding the support of a majority of the Olympia City Council – – a new group called – – Opportunity for Olympia – – was formed.   This group has proposed a local city income tax on all household income of over $200,000.   The money raised would be used to help students with college expenses.

The measure is full of holes, inconsistencies and illegal actions – – but the Seattle group doesn’t care.   It only wants to get the measure on the ballot – – approved by city voters – – challenged by law – – and taken to the Washington State  Supreme Court where they think the liberal state court will approved an income tax.

The four Olympia Councilmembers supporting such a move should be ashamed of themselves for putting Seattle interests ahead of the taxpayers of Olympia – – who will have to pay the legal fees to institute and defend the measure.

This is progressive silliness at its worse.  Olympia has finally jumped the “shark.”   (If you don’t know what that is – – Google it.)

 

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Annexation of Urban Growth Area vexes leaders

May 17th, 2016 by Ken

When the Growth Management Act was established by the Washington State legislature in 1990, it included the requirement that each city in the state adopt an Urban Growth Area (UGA).   That was land on the city’s boundary that would  accommodate 20 years of growth.  Land outside the UGA would remain rural.

It was expected that UGA’s would eventually be annexed into the respective cities although the state set no guidelines or time frames for such action.

The City of Lacey is a little over 16 square miles.   It has a population of nearly 45,000 residents.   The city’s Urban Growth Area is about 16 square miles and currently contains about 35,000 residents.   At one time the area known as Hawks Prairie was in the city’s UGA but was annexed into the city in the late 1990’s.

The problem facing the City of Lacey is one of timing and money.   When should the city annex those areas within its UGA – – and how much will it cost current city residents.

One action forcing the city to look at annexation is the growth along Martin Way from Carpenter Road to Hawks Prairie.   That is county land.  The city sees it as prime retail land – – but it is currently being used for fast food chain restaurants.  Several new ones have sprouted up during the last year.  Lacey would have zoned that property for other types of use which would have utilized  more fully the location.   But, as long as the land is in the county and not in the city, Lacey has little control of what development will occur.   If it were annexed into the city, better land use controls could have been in place.

One problem keeping Lacey from annexing that section of land is the concern that, if an application is made, the  Boundary Review Board would not allow the city to annex just Martin Way, but would require the city to annex the residential properties adjacent to the road – – Tanglewilde and Thompson Place.

The city is reluctant to annex those housing developments because the streets aren’t up to city standards – -AND – – all of the houses are on septic systems – – some of which are failing.   Annexing those properties would require that the city eventually would have to bear some of the cost of connecting the houses to a sewer system.

Lacey also estimates that at least five new police officers would have to be hired to police annexation.

At its recent retreat, the city has decided to look at annexation and develop a plan which would allow them to annex Martin Way while at the same time also annexing some of the residential properties in Tanglewilde.   Any such plan would require the approval of the Boundary Review Board.

Eventually all the 16 square miles of land and the 35,000 residents living in the Lacey Urban Growth Area will be annexed into the City of Lacey.  The only question is when – – and how much.

(Personal opinion)  I’ve been in favor of annexation for several years.  The inability of Lacey to control growth in the area will only continue.   The streets and septic systems will only continue to deteriorate further.  And the cost to current city residents will only grow.   I think the entire 16 square miles of land should be annexed — the sooner the better.

 

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Lacey history – this week 1998

May 16th, 2016 by Ken

The feud between Lacey City Manager Greg Cuoio and Lacey businessman Bob Blume, broke into open warfare this week.  At a  Lacey City Council retreat, Cuoio told the council that he was convinced that working with Blume was a waste of effort to revitalize the downtown city core.   Cuoio told the councilmembers that they should concentrate their development efforts on the Hawks Prairie area and forget about trying to work with Blume.

In other news, panhandlers are creating a problem for some Lacey residents.  On some days, every entrance into South Sound Center are covered with them.   Lacey is considering a proposal to require panhandlers to obtain a permit and undergo a background check.   The Olympian and some Olympia leaders have criticized those efforts as going too far.   Olympia says it has more productive measures to deal with panhandlers.

(Editors note:   The City of Lacey never did address the issue of panhandlers and never did put restrictions on when and where they could do their work.)

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North Thurston to keep its name

May 12th, 2016 by Ken

After a public meeting Thursday, the North Thurston school board decided to take no further action on a possible name change meaning the North Thurston name will continue to be the name of the school district.

Opposition to any name change came primarily from current and retired employees of the district who argued that any money used for a name change could better be used to educate kids.   There was some disagreement between the amount of money it would take to make the name change – – between the district’s estimate of around $25,000 and some opponents who saw the amount in the hundreds of thousands.

Opposition also centered on the history the district had developed in its 70 years of existence.   A name change would take away those accomplishments some thought.

There were a  few who spoke in favor of a name change including Mayor Andy Ryder and former Lacey City Manager Greg Cuoio.

As the evening dragged on some opponents took the opportunity to criticize Lacey for what they saw as various negative city activities.

(Editors note:   I’ve spent 30 years trying to convince the North Thurston school district to change its name to Lacey.  This was the first time the idea was even brought forward.)

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North Thurston must change its name

May 11th, 2016 by Ken

The North Thurston School Board is considering changing the name of the school district and Thursday evening at Chinook Middle School, dozens of residents will present a petition signed by nearly a thousand others – – in opposition to any name change for the district.

The passion of these name supporters is commendable.   It isn’t often a government agency can generate public concern of this magnitude.

Supporters of keeping the North Thurston name – – many of them former teachers and employees of the district – – are full of nostalgia for a school system they supported for decades.   Changing the name  – – for them – – implies that the school board does not value the years they put into making the North Thurston district one of the best in the state.

Nothing could be further from the truth.   It is dedicated employees which make a district a success.

When the North Thurston name was adopted in 1953 it represented the community.  But, over the last 50 years, as Lacey incorporated and grew, the name no longer reflected the community the school district served.  Lacey is now a city of 50,000 and in 20 years when it has annexed all of the property in its urban growth area, it will be nearly 100,000 souls.  (It will annex all of that property.   It’s a legal requirement.)

Nearly all of the school buildings in the district 20 out of 21 are in the City of Lacey or in the city’s urban growth area.

For decades, supporters of North Thurston schools have looked towards Olympia and marveled at how that school district was able to pass its levies and bonds with over-whelming support.   Olympia often bragged that its population was better educated and  better versed in the needs for school support.

That’s nonsense.   The reason that Olympia continues to gain support from its residents – is that Olympia residents relate to the Olympia School District.    it’s that simple.

School districts do not operate in a vacuum.  North Thurston has always had the support of its employees and of the parents who have children in the district.   But, it hasn’t always had support from those who have no children in the schools, or from those who don’t understand why they have to support North Thurston schools when they live in Lacey.

North Thurston is a name of the past.  It’s a fine name and will continue.   North Thurston High School will always remain North Thurston High School, and the Lacey Museum has a display of all the historical schools in our community.

But, the name North Thurston is no longer relevant to the future and to the thousands of new residents who have no commitment to the district.

If North Thurston Public Schools (the official name) is going to continue to be a leader in quality education – it has to change its name and embrace the entire Lacey community.

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Bill Bryant joins us for Coffee with Ken

May 11th, 2016 by Ken

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Lacey history this week – 2000

May 9th, 2016 by Ken

Nancy the Kite Girl, which had been welcoming visitors to the city from her ground level location on Pacific Avenue,  will be moved to a higher perch from which to fly her welcoming kite.  Some drivers had complained that having her on the ground looked too much like a real person, causing them to brake suddenly.   Nancy will be placed on a two-foot high pedestal and  be well lighted to avoid any confusion with a real girl.   The city is also considering where to place her brother, Jimmy the Kite Boy.  Several locations are under consideration including on College near Lacey City Hall or on Sleater Kinney near Fred Meyer.

In other news, local developers have plans to reshape Lacey Village shopping center which will include a new Walgreens.   They also plan to build a clock tower on the corner of College and Lacey Boulevard in keeping with the city’s new clock tower theme.

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Plastic bag ban survey flawed

May 8th, 2016 by Ken

A little over a year ago, the Lacey City Council was debating a proposal to rescind a plastic bag ban instituted by the council a few months earlier.

A citizen survey on the ban found that a majority of Lacey residents were opposed to the ban and wanted their plastic bags back. Several members of the Lacey council were caught in a dilemma. Should they listen to their constituents or should they follow the dictates of the Thurston County Solid Waste committee which wanted the ban to stay in place.

Two members of the Lacey City Council – – Jeff Gadman and Mayor Andy Ryder – – felt the original survey was flawed and didn’t think it was accurate enough to gauge public opinion. Michael Steadman, Lacey’s representative on the Solid Waste committee, said the committee was going to do a scientific survey in July (then a year away) to gauge public opinion.

Gadman grasped onto the scientific survey to justify his vote to keep the ban. At that time he said he would follow the the wishes of the community based on the scientific survey. Ryder went along with that reasoning.

It’s now nearly July, the Solid Waste committee is going out for a scientific study – – and wonders of wonders – – it won’t survey the local community as to their desire. According to the Solid Waste staff, the new survey won’t include the public since the previous survey from a year ago, had already reflected the public’s desire.

That survey showed that Lacey residents were opposed to the ban.

So what are those members of the Lacey City Council going to do now? Are they going to accept the original survey which showed that Lacey residents wanted their plastic bags back – – are they going to insist that the new study also survey Lacey residents, again, as to their desires – – or are they just going to ignore the public’s desire and institute their own prejudices.

I suggest a vote of the people. The ban has been in effect for almost a year. Many people have accepted the ban and have adapted. I suspect a vote would show Lacey residents will now support it.

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Who will you honor this Sunday?

May 6th, 2016 by Ken

Every person in the world has one thing in common – – we all have a mother.

And of course, in honor of these mothers – – Mother’s Day has been created. Woe be the child who forgets his mother this Sunday.

Mother’s Day can be traced to a Spring celebration in ancient Greece in honor of Rhea, the mother of the gods. In the 1600’s England celebrated Mothering Sunday on the fourth Sunday after Easter.

Modern Mother’s Day started a little over a hundred years ago when a 41-year old Philadelphia woman – Anna Jarvis – sought a way to honor her mother who had died on May 9, 1905. She convinced several churches in the Philadelphia area to set aside a Sunday to honor mothers and selected the date of her mother’s death – – the second Sunday in May.

The event caught on and in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared the Second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

It’s the number one day for phone calls, the number one day for greeting cards, the number one day for flowers and the number one day for restaurant meal. Don’t try to find a place to take your mother out to eat this Sunday – – you’ll have a difficult time if you haven’t already made reservations.

Some men give their wives a gift on Mother’s Day. Not me – – my wife is not my mother.

I don’t have a mother – – my mother’s gone. But one important mother in a man’s life is his mother-in-law. You could wait until Mother-in-Law day but you might be in trouble. That was on March 5 and you missed it.

I would suggest that you do something for your Mother-in-law this Sunday. That’s my plan anyway.

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Endurance ahead

May 4th, 2016 by Ken

The Republican Party will now have to endure the unendurable. Donald Trump will be the party’s nominee for President of the United States.

The unendurable comes down the line as thousands of Republican office-holders, on the ballot this year – will have to decide how close to Donald Trump they want to stand. Will their chances of re-election be better by embracing this unusual and outspoken candidate – – or will they be better off standing as far away from him as possible.

And – what if he wins? It’s possible. Very few political pundits thought he’d get this far.

I chalk up his victory to the public’s need to find a leader. Even on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton still doesn’t have the nomination locked up – although she’s close. Bernie Sanders has an appeal.

Trump’s appeal is that of a strong leader, one who will get things done and “Make America Great Again.”

For all of his charm, Barack Obama was not the type of leader Americans wanted. In his first days in office, he won the Nobel Peace Prize simply because he wasn’t George W. Bush. He spent a great deal of time and effort trying to work with regimes full of hate for the United States and came out on the losing end. To many in our country, he appeared to want the United States to become more like Europe.

So Trump’s appeal is to those who believe in the exceptionalism of the United States. They believe that we are the best country in the world and that Obama and Clinton have reduced America’s prestige and standing around the world.

I have a little imp on my left shoulder telling me I should vote for Donald Trump for president. There’s nothing on my right shoulder telling me any differently.

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The purpose of life

May 3rd, 2016 by Ken

I haven’t been asked to be a speaker at a graduation ceremony – – but if I were asked – – here’s what I’d tell the graduates.

Avoid commitments.

The secret to success is the avoidance of the restraints that force you to compromise.

If you take on a large load of debt, you’re forced to take a job that you don’t like, just to pay off the debt. If you take on a personal relationship it will be necessary to consider your partner’s feelings before making an important decision. And that may result in a decision you won’t like.

If you buy a house, or make some other major purchase, you’ll be tied to that decision for years – if not decades.

Commitments restrict your flexibility to take advantage of opportunities that may come your way. You will never be successful if you have to compromise.

In the long run – – you have to decide. What is it that you really want? Because success doesn’t always bring you happiness. There’s often a trade-off. If you find success and happiness in your life – – you’ve realized the purpose of life.

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Lacey history – this week 1969

May 2nd, 2016 by Ken

Some 300 people attended a forum at the Capital Pavilion over a ballot measure to annex Lacey into Olympia. Most of those in attendance were Lacey residents although many Olympia officials were in attendance. The broadcast aired live over KGY Radio. Speaking in favor of annexing Lacey into Olympia was Lacey City Councilman Tom Adams Jr. Speaking in opposition to the annexation was Lacey Councilman Tom Buckingham and attorney Ken Ahlf.

In other news the Thurston-Mason County Health Department issued a report that showed Lacey had a major sewage problem and needed to do something quickly. The City of Lacey is looking at hooking up to the Olympia sewage plant, or building its own smaller plant on Woodland Creek. The cost of both projects is estimated to be $6.4 million.

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Vegas no longer wants us

May 1st, 2016 by Ken

Regular readers of this newsletter will note that I haven’t posted an item on it in nearly a week. I’ve been out of town.

I’ve been to Las Vegas – – one of my favorite vacation spots. I’ve been going to “Vegas” for more than two decades, sometimes twice a year, but always at least once each calendar cycle.

I’ve seen the city change. I saw the old casinos brought down and I’ve seen the new ones rise in their places. I’ve seen the town go through its “family friendly” stage and I’ve seen it revert back to its “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” state. I’ve seen the city prosper as 20,000 people a month moved into the city – – and I’ve seen it when the 2008 recession left many major construction projects unfinished and exposed to the elements.

This time around, I’ve seen the city adopt its new role. It is now the place where millennials now go to party and play. Vegas has turned its backs on the boomers who made up the majority of its customers for decades. The city is now “high tech” and the streets, hotels, casinos and restaurants are now filled with 20 and 30 year-olds. Night clubs cater only to the young and entertainment is oriented to that generation.

We’re not wanted anymore. The “old” high rollers now visit Macau or one of the other gambling meccas around the world. Us old-timers are tolerated.

And, while you can find elements of recognizable old Vegas, the city has turned its back on us. Either that – – or I just got to old to understand what “fun” really is.

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Read Voters Pamphlet warning – carefully

April 25th, 2016 by Ken

You have just received your Voter’s Pamphlet in the mail for the Presidential Primary.

Be sure to read the warning carefully.

In order for your vote to count, you must chose a political party – Democratic or Republican – and sign an oath that you are a member of that party. Your vote must correspond to the right candidate for that party. If not it will be voided.

Be aware that by signing the party preference, your name will appear on the rolls of that party and you will probably receive campaign solicitation letters.

Also be aware, that the Democratic Party will NOT use the results to select who they endorse. They’ve already made their selections at the caucuses held last month. The Republicans will select SOME of their delegate from the results of the election.

The cost of this election to the taxpayers – – $11.4 million dollars.

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School district employees wrong to oppose name change

April 24th, 2016 by Ken

Word has it that some teachers and employees of North Thurston Public Schools are opposed to a name change for the district. Some have even threatened not to vote for any school levies in the future. Their biggest complaint is the cost involved in the change.

While the exact costs of the change are not known yet – – its estimated that the cost to change the district’s name will cost less than hiring one new teacher.

Some are opposed to the name Lacey School District – touting the initials LSD. The school board will make the final decision as to what the new name will be. They are very much aware of the initials. And, they have not yet decided on the final name.

The name North Thurston served the district well, when Lacey had 6000 residents. Lacey has nearly 50,000 residents and the city’s urban growth area contains another 40,000, all of whom will eventually be annexed into the city. That’s the law.

The future of the school district rests with the residents of the City of Lacey. Continual support for school activities will depend on whether or not the city residents feel the district represents them.

Whether the school district changes its name now – – or in 20 years. It will ultimately change its name to reflect its community.

We know that school employees will not vote against the school levies. That’s just emotion talking. Those who work for the district need to get the full information before making a decision like that.

And, North Thurston High School’s name will never be changed. it reflects the district’s past and will stay as a symbol of the district’s history.

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