American Mythology

November 28th, 2015 by Ken

I love the myths of American.   I love all those stories that I grew up on.

I love the myth of the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving – – George Washington and the cherry tree – – Betsy Ross and the flag – – Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett  – Lewis and Clark.

I love the myths of the Noble Savage, the American cowboy – – the Oregon Trail –  Abraham Lincoln – -the Alaskan Gold Rush – – the Golden Gate Bridge – – Route 66 – – that any citizen can grow up to be president.

I love the idea of the American Dream – – that anyone – through hard work and perseverance can reach whatever goals they set for themselves.

And, while the reality doesn’t always live up to the stories – – I still believe in the America – as told by it’s myths and legends.


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Does every vote count?

November 25th, 2015 by Ken

Jerry Farmer will probably tell you that it does – – that every vote counts.   He lost a port commission race to E.J. Zita by around 200 votes.  A couple of decades ago, Virgil Clarkson lost a Lacey City Council race to Graeme Sackrison by 27 votes.   And in the early 1970’s – the North Thurston School District lost a special levy election by – one vote.

So, it appears, that every vote does count.   But do they count equally?

On election night Farmer was leading in his race by a few hundred votes.   But- when the second round of votes were counted he was down and never came back up.    He learned an important lesson in Thurston County politics.

The votes that were counted in the second round of counting – were primarily those who voted on Election Day.   These are people who voted out of obligation – and many of them were what I called – ignorant voters.  Those are ones who vote for a particular party – without looking at all of the other issues.

The port commission is a non-partisan position – but politics still plays a major part.   Zita was a woman.   Farmer was not.

It’s a known fact that a liberal, Democratic woman has a five percent edge in any race in Thurston County.   That’s a large number to overcome – – and those that voted on election day – cast their votes for a liberal, Democratic woman in larger numbers than those who supported the white male.

Zita will be a good port commissioner.  Here ideas concerning the marine terminal have merit.   Wanting to make the port pay its own way is something I’ve supported for years.

Farmer learned a lesson about  gender politics and those who vote at the last minute.

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Lacey history this week 1991

November 24th, 2015 by Ken

Lacey City Manager Greg Cuoio –  – who had been in line to take over leadership of the Lacey Area Chamber of Commerce next week – – resigned from the chamber board.

Guoio had been working his way up the chamber board and was scheduled to take over as president on December 1 – – but controversy swirled around a government official heading a business organization.    As I wrote in 1991 – – “Business and government are mortal enemies.   Business wants to regulate and tax business, while business doesn’t want to be regulated and taxed.”

While Cuoio said he could do the job as president and remain neutral when conflict arose – – the chamber decided it didn’t need a leader who would remain neutral, but one that would fight business regulations and taxes.  This week, Cuoio resigned from the board and the future presidency.

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What are you thankful for?

November 23rd, 2015 by Ken

The National Geographic channel is running a two-part series on the Pilgrims adventures in the new land.   Both parts run tonight.   Here’s my take.

In the year 1620 –  102 people – many of them religious pilgrims –  landed in the new world in hopes of finding religious freedom.   By the time they had finished their journey they had used up most of their food and they had no lodging and no place to live.

During that first hard winter, more than half of them died.   They wouldn’t have survived any longer if it hadn’t been for friendly Indians who taught them to fish, hunt and grow crops – – and what herbs to use to fight off illness.

Of those that did survive that first year, half were children – – and only four women.

To celebrate their survival and thanks to their Indian friends – -they held a religious ceremony that incorporated three days of feasting.   Historians refer to it as Harvest Home Celebration.   The event was held in late September and was to thank providence that they had survived.

About 140 people, including 90 Indians and the 50 remaining Pilgrims attended.   The four women did all the cooking and food preparation.   This first Thanksgiving meal consisted of sea bass, cod, duck, geese and turkey – – along with five deer which the Indians provided.

About 40 years later – in 1676 – the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts declared June 29 as a Day of Thanksgiving.   Several hundred years later the American Congress fixed the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day.  That’s where it stood until World War Two when President Franklin Roosevelt set the date as the Fourth Thursday in November.

Today we continue the heritage of Thanksgiving with families gathering around the table to eat, drink and give thanks for those good things which came their way this year.

I’m thankful for many things this year.  I’m thankful that we came through illness and emerged on the other side.   I’m thankful that my children- for the most part –  are happy and well.   I’m thankful that my grandchildren are growing up in a safe and caring community – – and I’m thankful that I’ve found a woman who loves me.

I’m also thankful that we had the opportunity this year to participate in the election process in a peaceful and courteous manner.   That’s not the case in many countries.  And, I’m thankful that so many of you read Ken’s Corner & The Real News.

What are you thankful for?

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Kennedy is an over-rated president

November 20th, 2015 by Ken

This Sunday marks the 52nd anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.   The 50th brought out accolades and remembrances of his short term in office.

Kennedy was often named one of this country’s  best presidents and as recently as 20 years ago his assassination was named on the list of the 10 most important events in American history.

That’s all a bunch of nonsense.

Kennedy was a spoiled rich kid, who married a beautiful young woman while dallying around with every woman in a skirt.   His image of a loving husband and father was created by a East Coast media enamored by his charisma and charm.

Kennedy’s accomplishments while president were almost non-existent – – with one exception – – the Cuban Missile Crisis.

A journey to the Kennedy Library in Boston shows the lack of accomplishments.   Almost nothing of substance can be found in the library – except the Cuban Missile Crisis.  His handling of that event avoided war but his agreement not to invade Cuba created the current situation in our neighboring country.

Kennedy was unable to work with Congress although his party held a majority in each house.   It was up to Lyndon Johnson to push through the civil rights legislation and voting rights legislation.

There are now more than 250 million Americans who have no memories of Kennedy except what they see on the History Channel.

The last poll of the most important events in American history had Kennedy’s assassination at number 24.    In another decade it won’t even make the top 100.

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Poker playing advice from my daddy

November 19th, 2015 by Ken

I’m a poker player.  I love the game.  I’ve been playing since I was three years old (and that’s the truth.)

My daddy gave me a few words of advice before I started out on my road to ruin.   One word of advice – that has been repeated many times – is – when you play with strangers, look around for the sucker – if you don’t see one – then it’s probably you.

Play erratic poker for the first half hour or so my daddy said.  By that –  he means raise when you don’t have anything – fold when you do – bet when you have nothing – and let all the players at the table see you do it.   That way – they can never get a bead on how you play.

Alter your play according to the table.  It it’s tight, then play loose.   If it’s loose, then play tight.   Remember, my daddy said, the play of the game will change many times during the night.   You have to change with it.

Lady Luck also gives winning streaks.  Sometime during the night – – you’ll hit a winning streak.  Ride it as long as you can.  Eventually it will leave you.  The key to coming out ahead  is knowing when the lady has left.

My daddy always said – – you can’t play the money.  You need to raise, bet or call regardless of how much money you have in front of you.   You have to play like you have all the money in the world.   Don’t be bought out of a pot that you should be in.

If you can’t afford to lose – – don’t play.

The idea that everyone has a tell – has some merit – but if you depend on the other guy’s tell to make your wager – you’re not going to play your best game.   If you discover a tell – keep it quiet and use it only when necessary.

Know the odds.   Pay attention to what cards have been played, what cards have been folded, and what cards are still in the deck.   Know that drawing to an inside straight is 11 to 1.   Know that if you have three of a kind – the odds are very good that someone also has three of a kind.  That is just good poker knowledge.

Those are some of the words of wisdom imparted to me by my daddy.

And – by the way.  It’s not always the quiet guy that comes out ahead in a poker game.   Sometime’s it’s the guy making all the noise – – and if you play with me – I’ll be the one making all the noise.

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My brushes with history

November 18th, 2015 by Ken

For 18 month – –  I brushed up against history.

In September 1962, I was with Charlie Company, 502nd battalion (the Five Oh Deuce) in the 101st Airborne division.   We had been called to Oxford, Mississippi to ensure than James Meredith would be admitted to the University of Mississippi as its first black student.   A full detail of my adventure is available at the National Civil Rights Museum and is probably available on-line.   That was adventure enough and my first brush up against history.

A month later,in October,  my unit was stationed at Homestead Air Force Base in Florida during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  We were being equipped and made ready to invade Cuba.  As a young 19-year old male I was anxious to jump onto the island and “do my duty.”   When President Kennedy called the invasion off – – I was disappointed.

A year later, I was stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington – not far from my home in Tumwater.  My birthday is on November 22, and in 1963 I would be turning 21 years of age.   I was taking annual leave over my birthday and you could leave at midnight.  So that evening I was spending time with the guys, waiting to leave and talking about various things – –  when the subject of President Kennedy came up.   In my young, unfettered way – I told them the story of the Cuban Missile Crisis, how disappointed I had been that the president had called the invasion off and ended with “That son-of-a-bitch ought to be shot.”

At midnight I went on leave.  That morning  the president was shot.   A few hours later, two men – in black suits –  pulled up at the family home in Tumwater and asked for PFC Balsley.   I came to the door.   “We heard you made some threats against the president’s life and we just wanted to check where you were.”   I said I’d been here since midnight – – and they left.

That was the third and last time in my life that I brushed up against history.

(It’s possible in the telling that I may have pulled a Ben Carson – but hopefully my memory is correct after more than 50 years.)

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Refugees have been welcomed here before

November 17th, 2015 by Ken

Governor Jay Inslee’s comments that Washington state will welcome Syrian refugees brings back memories of the Vietnam War.   While nearly two dozen state governors have said they won’t accept any of the 10,000 refugees in their state from the Syrian war Inslee has said “We have been and will continue to be a state that embraces compassion and eschews fear-mongering.”

The governor’s comments bring memories of the 1970’s and the large number of Vietnamese refugees streaming into our country after the war.    Many of them were arriving in California and the state was over-whelmed by them.    California Governor Jerry Brown (the father) said he wouldn’t take any more Vietnamese and even tried to stop one of the planes, carrying refugees, from landing.

Washington Governor Dan Evans, in his third term, heard about the refugee problem and ordered one of his staff members – -future Secretary of State Ralph Munro – –  to fly to California and see what he could do to help with the problem.   Evans told Munro to remind the California governor what it said on the Statue of Liberty.

It was through the efforts of Evans and Munro, that some 3000 Vietnamese refugees were re-settled in Washington state many of them right here in Thurston County.   Not only have they assimilated into the state’s culture, but have become an integral  part in what this state has always been – a place for refugees to make a new start.

My own family were refugees of sorts.   They came to Washington from Iowa during the Great Depression, after they lost their farms – just like thousands of others from the midwest did.

Granted, refugees from Syria are different than refugees from Iowa – or Vietnam – for that matter.  But compassion should know no economic, cultural or religious bounds.

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Lacey history – this week 1975

November 16th, 2015 by Ken

The Lacey City Council is considering adopting two new taxes to balance its 1976 budget.   A LID (Limited Improvement District) to fund sewer and water line extension has drawn the support of the Council.   Also under consideration and nearing approval is a Business and Occupation (B&O) tax.

The City of Lacey and Lacey Fire District 3 have agreed upon a new fire service contract for the city which calls for a fee of $180,000 for fire service in 1976.   This was a negotiated agreement after both sides were far apart in initial bargaining – – and came after a three-hour closed door bargaining session.

The City of Lacey and the North Thurston School School District  have created a special task force to look at locating  a community sports complex somewhere in the Lacey area.   While no firm plans have yet been developed the complex would require about 40 acres.   St. Martin’s College has expressed an interest in being involved in that process.  Timberline High School Principal Art Getchman is chairing the task force.

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Political odds and ends

November 16th, 2015 by Ken

The National League of Cities just held its annual convention in Nashville and four members of the Lacey City Council attended the activities.   Those attending were Andy Ryder, Jeff Gadman, Cynthia Pratt and Lenny Greenstein.  Some of those brought their spouses.   Four days of workshops and seminars were highlight by the keynote speech of Vice President Joe Biden.  The City of Lacey budgets money for council travel and restricts the number of activities each member can participate in on the taxpayer dollar.   Some councilmembers – – such as Mayor Andy Ryder – – pay their own way to other meetings around the country. (Jan Teague’s personal opinion – when these city officials get together their main subject of conversation is how to raise more revenue and what new regulations can they implement.)

The decision of Olympia Councilmember Jim Cooper to run for a seat on the Thurston County Commission comes as no surprise – – but it does lead to one question.  Cooper had been involved in the effort to revamp county government – including increasing the number of county commissioners from three to five.   Doing so would dilute the political impact of each individual commissioner and maybe even lower the salary of each position.   In running for this office Cooper must answer the question – – does he still favor increasing the number of county commissioners and in the process – – lowering the pay for the job?

Cooper is running for the seat being vacated by Cathy Wolfe.   Also up for re-election next year is Commissioner Sandra Romero.   Romero has not yet announced that she will seek re-election.   The conventional wisdom – right now – is that she won’t – – given the fate last time of Karen Valenzuela.   Former Thurston County Sheriff Gary Edwards has said that he will run for Romero’s seat if no good candidate emerges to challenge for it.

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Happy Holidays vs Merry Christmas

November 13th, 2015 by Ken

The silly season started early this year – – before Thanksgiving.   Of course, I’m talking about the battle between those who decry  the lack of Christ in Christmas and those who think Christmas is a secular holiday and should be open to those of all – – or no – – religious persuasion.

It was during the reign of Governor Christine Gregoire that state employees were told to use the term “Happy Holidays’ instead of the more traditional “Merry Christmas” in their intercourse with the public.  While that order had some success, it also created a backlash here in progressive Washington state.

The Christmas tree in the Capitol Rotunda was renamed the Holiday Tree and those who saw the beginnings of the decline of American civilization began to organize.    The two sides clashed and still clash to this day.

But this year it started early – – before Thanksgiving.   An obscure self-proclaimed evangelist in Arizona decided that Starbucks has dropped Christmas because its “holiday” cups are bright red “the color of Satan.”

It’s all silly.   I think Christmas is both religious and secular and people should use Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas however they want to.  My Rotary Club is having its annual Holiday Christmas Party in a couple of weeks.

By the way – – the City of Olympia has just installed  its “Holiday” tree in Sylvester Park.

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Quotations to live by

November 12th, 2015 by Ken

Over our life time we will come into contact with quotes – – statements and utterances that have become part of our society.   These are the things that we live life by – – the things that make us better – – the things that relieve our anxieties and let us know that we are part of the greater world.

I’ve been collecting some of them for a period of time and I think it’s time I share them with you.

I’m into politics so here’s a quote from George Washington about political parties.   Washington said – – “Beware the common and continual mischief of political parties.   They agitate the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, that kindles animosity and occasionally foments riot and insurrection.”   I think that still bears some contemplation today.

My theory of life can be summed up with this quotation from writer Harold Kushner. – – “Ask too little of life and you run the risk of never tasting everything  this world has to offer.   Ask too much – and you set yourself up for disappointment and failure.”

Erma Bombeck the great humorous writer said – – “If you want happiness for an hour – take a nap.  If you want happiness for a day – go fishing.  If you want happiness for a year – inherit a fortune.   But if you want happiness for a lifetime – help someone.”

Speaking of fishing, you’ve heard the story – – “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day.  Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.”  But, in the South they have a twist on that line of thinking.   “Teach a man to fish and he’ll be out on the lake fishing all day – and you’ll never see him.”

Marilyn Monroe – – that’s right – – the great philosopher Marilyn Monroe said – – “If you have to wear shoes – then you’re not really on vacation – you’re just somewhere else.”

Many people have tried to predict the future – but they didn’t listen to this adage – –  “The future is not the past and hindsight is not foresight.”

And, an old idea that I live by- –  “If you can’t be right, at least say it with enough conviction that people aren’t really sure one way or the other – – but are willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.”

Those are some of my favorite quotes.   I suspect you have some of your own.

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Who’s a vet?

November 11th, 2015 by Ken

I’m a Veteran.   I served five years, five months and 28 days in the United States Army.   Because today is Veteran’s Day I can get a free car wash, a Grand Slam Breakfast at Denneys and 10 percent off my purchases at many retail locations.

I can get 10 percent off my purchases all year long at Home Depot.   All I have to do is show them my military identification.  I can’t do that.   They took it from me the day I was discharged.   If I were an active duty member of the military I would have my military identification.   If I were a retired veteran, I would have my military identification.   But – because I served a couple of days short of five and a half years – I don’t have military identification.   I guess my American Legion card would suffice if I carried it with me.

My point – – and I do have one – – is that millions of American males served in World War Two, Korea and Vietnam.   They’re all veterans and all served their country.

During World War Two, nearly 90 percent of all draft eligible men served in the military in some capacity.  During the Korean War, nearly 70 percent of draft age males served in the military and during Vietnam some 43 percent of all draft eligible men served their country.  (These statistics are from “The Economist” magazine. )

Today, less than one percent of American families are touched by our war on terror and the conflict in the Middle East.   Even though this is the nation’s longest running war, very few Americans have a close, personal involvement in the military and the war.

Here in Thurston County and particularly Lacey, we see the impact every day.   Our closeness to Joint Base Lewis McChord and the large number of active duty and retired military living in our community gives the concept of Veteran’s Day a personal touch.

But, when only one percent of eligible men and women serve on active duty, it brings pause to think about our future veterans.  Who’s going to care about them when 99 percent of the country isn’t touched?

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Seat belts on school buses doesn’t add up

November 10th, 2015 by Ken

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a recommendation that all school buses should be equipped with safety belts.   It’s a recommendation, not a ruling or a requirement.   Their rationale for seat belts on school buses – – “it just makes sense.”    No data, no scientific study, nothing to justify seat belts on school buses.

In the last 10 years, 200 children have been killed in school bus accidents.   During the same time period – – more than 300,000 Americans have been killed in automobile accidents – most of them in cars equipped with seat belts.

While the death of any child is a tragedy, remember – – school buses carry millions of children, millions of miles every single year in the United States – on all types of roads , in all types of weather.    It is the safest form of transportation in the United States.

School buses are designed for safety.   The seats are padded front, back and top.   There are no protruding pieces of any kind and the windows can be pushed out in the rare case of an emergency.   The children are safely enclosed in a cocoon.   But not only are they in a cocoon inside – – they’re also in a cocoon outside.

Red lights, yellow lights, flashing lights, barricades, stop signs – – all warn drivers that children are about to enter or exit the school bus.   We’re all taught at an early age to stop for school buses – – and the fines for not doing so are extremely high.

School buses are the safest way to travel in the entire United States.

Why would we want to complicate matters by adding seat belts?    Who would be responsible for making certain a child was buckled up?   If a school bus got into an accident and a child wasn’t belted in and bumped his head – – who would be responsible?   The lawyers would add school bus seat belt accidents to their list of money-making activities.   School districts have deep pockets.

Seat belts on school buses are just a problem that hasn’t arisen.

Remember this – – since the North Thurston School District was founded in 1953 – not a single child has been killed on a school bus.  I suspect you would find similar results in Olympia and Tumwater as well.

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Lacey history this week 1993

November 9th, 2015 by Ken

More than a thousand community residents gathered at St. Martin’s Worthington Center to protest the killing of 13-year old Larry Rodgers who had been stabbed to death a few days earlier in a gang-related incident on Lacey streets.

Lacey mayor Jon Halvorson presided over the meeting and heard from dozens of concerned parents and community members that something needed to be done to stop the spread of gang activities.  Community leaders such as Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney Bernardean Broadous, North Thurston School Superintendent Dave Steele, Lacey Police Chief John Mansfield and many other community leaders pledged a community-wide effort to fight gangs and gang violence

From that meeting and the work of the Lacey community came an organization called “Stop the Violence”  – – as well as other efforts such as developing a statement of community values and an organized effort to work together on the problem.

In its own way, the death of Larry Rodgers and the reaction to that death helped residents realize they were all part of a greater Lacey community.

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On the beaches of Thurston County

November 9th, 2015 by Ken

We’ve known for some time – – here in Washington state – – that what happens in Seattle and King County tends to drive events statewide.   There’s nothing that shows the battle between urban and rural more what happened this election regarding Initiative 1366,

Eyman’s initiative would require the state legislature to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot requiring a two-thirds vote of the legislature before raising taxes.   If they didn’t do that – the the state sales tax would fall from 6.5 percent to 5.5 percent.

It passed in every county in the state with the exception of King and Thurston counties.

The battle between the urban areas of our state and the rural areas of our state couldn’t have been more clear.

Thurston County isn’t urban in the same way as King County, but many of the liberal ideas adopted in King County eventually find their way to our little community through the employees of the state legislature – – where King County does drive activities.

As pointed out in the media recently, the Republican party continues to make gains in the state legislature where they now control the senate and are just two votes away from controlling the house.

There hasn’t been a Republican legislator elected from the 22nd District since Bill Garson in 1980.

Our senator Karen Fraser is vacating her seat and running for Lieutenant Governor while our representative Chris Reykdal is seeking election as State Superintendent of Public Instruction.   Our other representative Sam Hunt is looking to fill Fraser’s shoes in the state senate.

With an open senate seat and two open house seats this coming year we’ll see if the Republican tide washes out on the beaches of Thurston County.

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Election update – Zita widens her lead

November 6th, 2015 by Ken

With only 700 ballots left to be counted E.J. Zita has widen her lead over Jerry Farmer to 124 votes making it almost impossible for Farmer to catch up and making it more certain that Zita will take her place on the Port of Olympia commission when the results of the election are certified on November 24.


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Port Commission race sees changes

November 6th, 2015 by Ken

E.J. Zita, candidate for Olympia Port Commission has now drawn ahead of her opponent Jerry Farmer by 21 votes.

In ballot counting yesterday, Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall said that Zita (as she likes to be called) has 24,914 votes to Farmer’s 24, 893.  At the close of election night ballot counting Farmer had been ahead by 600 votes.

There are still 2000 ballots left to be counted and that could come as early as today.   If the vote count is within one percent a mandatory recount will be taken.

Recounts used to mean something when paper ballots or punch card ballots were used.   The current ballot and the counting system would not change the results by any more than a mere handful – – if that.

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State Patrol looking for boy scouts

November 4th, 2015 by Ken

The Washington State Patrol is having difficulty finding the right people to fill 147 vacancies it currently has in its ranks.

Unfortunately the State Patrol has a smaller and smaller pool of applicants every year from which to chose.   If you’re over-weight they don’t want you.   If you have a visible tattoo they don’t want you.   If you’ve even tried marijuana they don’t want you.  If you have a record – even a misdemeanor – – they don’t want you.  If you can’t pass their intrusive lie detector test they don’t want you.

None of us want our state police agency to be filled with criminals and miscreants but the Washington State Patrol has to get with modern times.   The people they want  – exist in only one spot – – the Boy Scouts – – actually they would prefer Eagle Scouts.

But, the Boy Scouts themselves are having a difficult time finding boys wanting to be Boy Scouts – – so it looks like the Washington State Patrol is going to have a number of vacancies for a long time – – unless it joins the real world.

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What have we learned from this election?

November 4th, 2015 by Ken

Sometimes it’s time to go. – – George Barner Jr. was one of the most unusual and unique individuals to ever grace the political stage in Thurston County.   He was an environmentalist before that word was invented.   He had “great” ideas, large ideas, weird ideas sometimes.  He wasn’t a “small” thinker.   He cared about people and people cared about him.   But it was time for him to go.  This isn’t an obituary but it is a political obituary. George was not one to live in the past but sometimes the future catches up with you.   It did so for George.  Joe Downing will be a good port commissioner.

It’s tough to beat an incumbent.  – – That’s what Bill Frare learned in his race against Jeff Gadman.  Frare ran an almost perfect campaign – with one exception.   He never expanded his campaign volunteers much beyond his family and friends.   And, he never really gave the voters a reason to vote against Gadman.   I’ve learned over the years that voters look for a reason NOT to vote for an incumbent.   If you can’t give them a reason – they’ll return him or her to office.   Frare wasn’t able to give voters a good reason to vote against Gadman.   It also helped that Gadman had the backing of the Democratic Party and of the Lacey Firefighters union – both of which contributed money and workers.

Sometimes even firefighters can’t do the job. – – The Lacey Firefighters union has had a strong record of success in the last decade.   It started with the tussle between the city and the fire district in which the union worked hard, spent money and were successful in getting three members of the Lacey City Council defeated for re-election  Then they backed the annexation of the city into the fire district with good success and they made certain voters in the district approved a levy lid lift.  This time around the union threw it’s money and support behind Paul Perz for a seat on the fire commission.   Perz has a strong background having worked as the assistant state fire marshal – –  but more than that, Perz has two sons who are firefighters in Lacey and members of the union.   The incumbent Gene Dobry had done a good job in his four years on the commission and deserved re-election.   The firefighters union was unable to convince voters to vote against him.  Dobry was helped however by the fact that his wife works at Panorama and is well liked by the residents.   Sometimes it helps to have a “good wife.”   Panorama residents make up a large portion of the vote in Lacey

What’s your reason for running? – – That’s the question we asked of Jerry Farmer in his race for a vacant Port of Olympia seat.  Farmer is well known and well liked.   He never passes up a chance to help an organization with its fund raising effort and he never passes up an opportunity to appear before an audience.   He had never expressed any desire to run for political office before.   So we asked the question – – are you running to appease your own ego or do you really have the best interest of the port and the people of Thurston County?   Farmer apparently was able to convince many voters that he really wanted the port job.

For complete election results go to the Thurston County elections web site.


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