New pocket gopher remediation plan in works

April 5th, 2018 by Ken

Listing of the Mazama Pocket Gopher as an endangered species, has caused significant problems for property owners in Thurston County.

The listing has impacted what a property owner can do with his or her property and impacts not only individual property owners, but the City of Lacey, the City of Tumwater, Thurston County and the Port of Olympia, all of whom own property in areas containing pocket gophers.

Previously, Thurston County Commissioners instituted a gopher mitigation process, approved by the federal government which severely restricted use of property and required millions of dollars in restitution and remediation.

But, the current county commission, led by Bud Blake, has re-negotiated the agreement with the federal agency over-seeing the mitigation and have reached a new agreement.

Previously, private land owners were required to have three visits by the county to ascertain if gophers existed on the affected property.   The new agreement has those visits down to two.   The amount of land the county was required to set aside has been  significantly reduced as has the amount of money the county was required to pay for remediation.

Sometimes all it takes is a new look and a new approach to a problem.

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What – me worry?

April 3rd, 2018 by Ken

An erratic president in the White House.  War on the Korean peninsula.  Saber rattling by Russia.  Demonstrations, racial bias, gender discrimination, young people wanting to make things better and out-of-touch with reality at the same time.

Been there.  Done that.  Seen it.

After nearly seven decades of life in these here United States, I can say with certainty that there’s nothing different under the sun.  The more things change – the more they stay the same.

The 1950’s –   War on the Korean peninsula.  The Cold War.  Fallout shelters, under the desk, atomic bombs, spy planes in the sky, desegregation of baseball, Brown vs. the Board of Education, increased expectations, 52,000 killed in traffic accidents every year.

The 1960’s –   Cuba, Russian missiles, “We were eye to eye and the other guy blinked”,  Race riots in the south, that day in Texas  “This just in from Dallas”, the funeral, the widow in black, transfer of government from Airforce One.   War in Southeast Asia, “342 Americans were killed in Vietnam this week” campus protests over free speech, The Summer of Love, “Be sure to wear a flower in your hair”, “Hey hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today”, the balcony at the Lorraine Motel,  the death of a Civil Rights leader, race riots around the country, Watts, National Guard protecting the white house.  “1968”.

The 1970’s –  The East is Red, opening of China, the Cold War gets hotter, gas shortages and lines at the pumps, 13 percent inflation, price controls, enemies list,  Vietnam War ends,  helicopter lifts off, boat people, tape on the door lock, “The American people have to know if their president is a crook”, a “V” at the helicopter, a national malaise, sweater and fireplace,  revolt in the middle east, hostages, burned and destroyed helicopters, 444 days of an American black eye.

1980’s –  Inflation run rampant, boycott of Olympics, Egyptian assassination Anwar Sadat,  assassination in India Indira  Gandhi,  US president shot, “Honey, I forgot to duck”,  Mad Cows, Challenger falls from the sky,  another Olympic boycott, Alzheimer’s and a president. arms for hostages, Contra rebels, Tiananmen tanks and liberty, Falkland war and New Coke.

1990’s – A Desert Storm hits Iraq, IED’s,  “Read my lips”, Whitewater, bimbo eruptions, ethnic cleansing in Rwanda, ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, the divorce of the century, “I did not have sex with that woman” blue dress, impeachment and survival.

2000’s – Florida, hanging chads, Supreme’s call election, towers fell, “I hear you and the whole world will hear from all of us soon”,  anthrax, War on Terror, Afghanistan, Columbia joins Challenger, Asian tsunami, Katrina shows her power, steroids in baseball, “I can see Alaska from my house”, subprime mortgages high oil prices and economic “recession,” Swine Flu and tea parties.

What – me worry?   I’ve seen the enemy and it is us.

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Washington continues to grow

March 30th, 2018 by Ken

Washington State is the 13th largest state in the United States (and the third largest west of the Mississippi)  and continues to grow at a rapid rate.  Last year, Washington grew by 1.69 percent giving it 7.1 million people, an increase of nearly 150,000 residents over 2016.

A significant number of those were by in-migration, primarily from California.  As the largest state in the country, California grew by less than one percent, echoing a trend that New York also follows – slow growth.

Washington’s growth put it fourth on the list of the fastest growing states.   Idaho topped the pack with a growth of more than two percent while remaining only the 39th largest state.  Nevada came in second with just under two percent growth and Utah was third with 1.8 percent.

Seattle had a growth rate of 1.71 percent while Portland grew by 1.35 percent.

The trend is clear.  Western states continue to attract people and many of those are moving to the larger cities in those states.

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One vote makes a difference

March 29th, 2018 by Ken

When the Democrats won a special house election last year, it swung control of the entire Washington legislature to the Democrats, who with a one vote margin – proceeded to shove through their agenda of more taxes and more government rules and regulations – – often by only one vote.

They also rewarded their friends – – the public sector unions.  Most recently they gave the SEIU access to those who provide services to home-care workers.  By approving SB 6199 – the legislature went around a United States Supreme Court decision which ruled that home-care workers were not government employees and did not have to pay union dues.  The bill makes home-care workers – private employees and allows the SEIU to set up private companies with which the union can still bargain.

When you go vote – remember – it doesn’t take but one vote to give politicians the ability to reward their friends at the expense of the taxpayers.

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Tumwater voters will have their say on fireworks – for real this time

March 26th, 2018 by Ken

Tumwater voters will have their say on the issue of fireworks when they receive their ballot shortly.  It must be mailed back by April 24.    Didn’t we just vote on fireworks, some have asked?   Yes and No is the answer.   Lets go back to 2015.

The Tumwater City Council was considering banning fireworks within the city limits of Tumwater, but they wanted to gauge the feeling of the residents.   So they put an advisory ballot before the voters in 2015.   The ballot was advisory only.   The council was not required to respond in any way to the advisory ballot.

There were more than 11,000 votes cast – almost evenly divided by those who wanted to keep fireworks and those who wanted to ban them.   The measure banning fireworks passed by only 70 votes.  If the city mothers and fathers were looking for direction – they didn’t find it in the advisory vote.

Those who wanted to keep fireworks legal in Tumwater asked to meet with city officials and work out some sort of compromise plan.   Tumwater  councilmembers refused to meet with fireworks advocates and a few months later, passed a law banning all fireworks in the city.

Enter the fireworks industry and a group of  Tumwater residents who wanted to keep their fireworks.  In order to get the ban on the ballot, they had to turn in petitions with 2500 signatures of Tumwater residents.   They turned in more than 3000 signatures.

So, the issue is now up to the voters of Tumwater.  This time their vote really means something.

If the group is successful in Tumwater, they have indicated they may do the same thing in Lacey, where a similar ban on fireworks has been on the books since residents barely approved such a restriction there several years ago.


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Are our schools safe?

March 20th, 2018 by Ken

In 2014, Lacey voters approved a $110 million dollar bond issue for school construction. School officials said some of that money would be used to upgrade security in North Thurston schools.

To date, about $2 million has been spent for security upgrades primarily for cameras and security access.  Other costs may be included in new construction and updates to existing schools including in the new construction of Salish Middle School.  While all the schools now have cameras, only half of the elementary schools have secure locking capabilities, according to Monty Sabin, assistant superintendent for facilities at the school district.   “Six are in and the other seven have been wired for secure locks and will be in place shortly,” he said.  A secure locking system allows administrators, principals or their assistants, to immediately lock all access doors to the school.

Sabine said that all the cameras in the district schools are web-based and allow police and other law enforcement officials to access them if needed.

In addition to physical systems, all school workers have been trained in what to do in different situations.

“We’re working towards the goal of being 100 percent safe,” Sabin said.

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Odds and ends

March 16th, 2018 by Ken

TCOMM911  – better known 911, is looking to replace its out-dated communications system.  911 has been around since 1978.  It provides emergency communications to fire, police and medic units around the county.  Now, the organization is looking at replacing its outdated radio system, last up-graded in 1999.  It operates on an out-modded VHF frequency which can’t be upgraded anymore.  It also operates on technology that doesn’t match up with newer systems in use in the county. The system is looking at several funding sources including going to the voters for a bond issue sometime in the near future.

Concerned about the public records act  the City of Lacey is looking at putting some restrictions on social media use by members of the Lacey City Council.  Some council members have been posting city-oriented activities on their private Facebook page thus bringing in the public records act.   Council members are being asked not to use their personal social accounts for city business.  The city is creating a Lacey Facebook page for use by council members if they feel the need to post activities that may be considered city business.

The Thurston EDC  has released its annual Thurston Economic Vitality Index which spells out how our local communities are doing in regard to  economic growth.  One aspect of the report shows that since the 2008 recession, the local gross regional product has increased 53 percent.  The county’s growth rate is exceeding 5 percent annually.  Thurston County has emerged from being a government town.  The private sector now generates 63 percent of the total countywide wages.  Contact the EDC for the complete report.

Three years ago voters in Lacey approved a $110 million dollar bond issue to improve North Thurston school facilities, including providing money to upgrade safety at our local schools.  Next week, I’m taking a tour of the schools to see how that money has been used to insure that children attending our schools are safer than before.

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Lacey looks at future parks use

March 12th, 2018 by Ken

What does the future hold for Lacey parks?   The city may go to the voters in the future for the establishment of a Metropolitan Parks District.  To that end, it is conducting a $20,000 study to ascertain what people like about the current parks and discover what they would like to see in the future.

The city has also set aside $60,000 for a study to determine what a new enclosed sports facility would cost and how it could be funded.  That study may be undertaken later this year.

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Evergreen cancels Dorm project

March 1st, 2018 by Ken

The Evergreen State College’s Board of Trustees cancelled a planned $45 million bond issue to build a new dorm for students on the college’s campus.

At the request of its bonding company, the trustees determined that insufficient revenue would be produced to pay off the bonds, citing a decrease in college enrollment.

The new dorm would have replaced several dorms built when the college opened to students in 1971.

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February 28th, 2018 by Ken

We all knew it would happen.  The agreement by the Washington State Legislature to meet the State Supreme Court’s ruling on fully funding education – has drawn the ire of local school superintendents  In an editorial recently all three local school superintendents have cried that state funding will significantly curtail their abilities to determine priorities for their respective districts.   The new law limits the amount of local levy money each can ask from local voters and also spells out just what they can spend that local money on.  Anybody with any brains at all could have told these superintendents that once the state funds education – they make the rules and local control goes out the windows.

Speaking of education.   I agree with the common wisdom that declaring a school a “Gun Free Zone” only makes it a soft target. Three years ago, voters in the Lacey area approved more than a $100 million in new construction funds for schools.  Some of that money was to be used to make schools safer.  It would be nice to know if that happened.  All schools should have bullet-proof windows to the outside, and all classrooms should have interior locks so teachers can lock the doors to their classrooms.

Word has it that the California Democratic Party has refused to endorse incumbent US Senator Diane Feinstein for re-election.   It’s not because the senator is 84.   It’s because she’s not liberal enough even for California.  It’s similar to what the local Democratic Party did to Olympia Mayor Cheryl Selby and Lacey Mayor Andy Ryder recently.  The far left is cleaning house and getting rid of those who don’t toe the new party line.

The City of Lacey is getting serious about constructing the College Street and 22nd Avenue roundabout.  Actual work should start on the roundabout very soon.  I’m still of the opinion that the roundabout is not needed, but I’m not in any position to change anyone’s mind.  I also think that the city and the school district doesn’t have any idea how disruptive the actual construction will be.  I hope I’m wrong.   I hope they have planned for the problems the construction will create and have a plan in hand to soften the blow.

“The Olympian’s” move to downtown Olympia is just the next step in the eventual demise of the printed edition of  “The Olympian”.  Those with more knowledge than I, think the printed edition of the newspaper will be gone by 2020 (that’s three years).  The on-line edition will continue.  If any printed edition is forthcoming it will be as a sub-set and folded into “The (Tacoma) News Tribune.

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What do we do about guns?

February 18th, 2018 by Ken

There is an estimated 300 million guns in the United States with a population of 350 million.  We have a mental health crisis and a 24-hour media looking for something to report on.

What do we do about guns?

Tell me – – what do we do about guns?

Do we ban all private ownership of guns like some Northern European countries?  This is the way kings used to assure than no one was going to unseat him. Do we keep them locked up in “gun clubs” and for use only by members of the clubs?   It works in England to keep guns out of the hands of private citizens, but it doesn’t stop mass killings Do we have universal registration where every gun, everywhere in the United States must be accounted for?  I don’t think the bad guys will look to kindly on registering their guns.

What do we want to do about guns?

Let’s start at the beginning.   There are too many guns in the United States.  How do we reduce the number of guns?   We could ban certain types of guns – like assault rifles for example.  We only have 5 million of them in the United States and I’m sure that the owners would be willing to turn them in.

Do we ban semi-automatic rifle and pistols?  Most of the rifles and guns in the United States are semi-automatic.  We’ve already banned automatic weapons.   It’s illegal to buy or sell them.

Do we institute a universal registration system where anyone who has ever been convicted of a crime (including domestic violence) be forbidden from ever again owning a gun?  If we do a mandatory registration – who will comply – – not the bad guys?

Do we throw everyone who refuses to register sales or purchases of guns in jail?   We’d have lots of jail cells filled.

The United States has had a 250 year love affair with guns.  We are one of the few countries in the world whose constitution allows citizens the right to “keep and bear” arms.  We weren’t going to let any king or dictator take over without a fight.

There are a few things we can do.  We can make certain that semi-automatic weapons cannot be turned into automatic weapons.  We can update our registration system and make it more usable by all law enforcement agencies.  Other than that, our options are limited – without a severe push back from legal gun owners.

What’s the answer to mass shootings, where the purpose is to get attention by someone with mental problems who wants exposure for his problem.

Decades ago, this country instituted a program which gave the mentally ill the same rights as all other citizens.  It closed the mental institutions and turned the mentally ill out to be cared for by family and local communities.  No one wants to go back to the “old” days of mental institutions  – but we do need more help for those with mental health problems.

Then, we come to the old bugaboo – our national media.   Mass shootings are legitimate news stories.  The national media has a right, and should cover the shootings.  But – the problem is the depth, degree and time spent on the story.   Our recent shooting has been covered for five days, from every angle, from every perspective.  Time has been spent on the shooter, why he did what he did, who helped him or knew about his intended action and what happens to him now.

That’s just what he wanted.  He wanted his name out.  He wanted to draw attention to his mental health problems.  He wanted people to give him some attention.   There are other men out there – –  right now – -watching the newscast for hours upon hours – and scheming how to draw attention to their own problems.

The media is complicit in any future mass shootings.   My suggestion.   Report the shooting. Get the police report.  Talk about the impact the shooting have made on the community – – and give the shooter no attention outside of being caught and being charged and tried.

If necessary, laws should be passed to limit the amount of coverage given to any mass shootings.   Many of the recent mass shooters have been excited by previous mass shootings.   Five days of 24-hour coverage is too much attention on one mentally ill individual.

What about guns?

Common sense should prevail.   Pass laws restricting types of weapons if you must.   Require universal registration of all guns at your peril.

You could eventually remove 250 million guns from this country and you would still have 50 million guns available for anyone who wants one.

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Military to use Satsop as training ground

February 17th, 2018 by Ken

The US military has applied for permission to use the Satsop Business Park in Grays Harbor County as a training ground for its troops stationed at JBLM.   Following a period of review, the military will use the property to supplement the urban training it currently does at JBLM.

According to the military, “The Satsop Business Park offers a unique training setting that is not replicable  at any military facility.”

A draft EIS is available which shows no significant impact by the use.

Costs, time and duration are not currently available at this time.

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Lacey Council balks at muzzle

February 16th, 2018 by Ken

Members of the Lacey City Council resisted efforts on behalf of the city to refrain from talking about city actions on their individual Facebook pages and other social media outlets.

At a recent work session, councilmembers recognized the problems associated with talking about city issues on their individual Facebook pages, but balked at some of the suggestions city staff had made.   These included not referencing anything to do with the city.  City staff wanted councilmembers to use a new City of Lacey Facebook page for all their posts.

City staff were concerned that some of the councilmembers had been making comments on city issues on their Facebook pages.  That’s something staff thought might violate several state statutes including the Open Public Records Act where social comments might be public records.

Most of the Lacey councilmembers understood the problem, but weren’t ready to give up all of the freedom of full expression.  They instructed staff to come back with policies that would accomplish the goal of protecting the city while at the same time allowing them some freedom of expression on social media.

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Lacey council decides annexation of Thompson Place and Tanglewilde can wait

February 10th, 2018 by Ken

Tanglewilde and Thompson Place will remain in the county and will not be annexed into the City of Lacey anytime soon.

That decision was made this past week when the Lacey City Council and its planning commission held a day-long retreat to look at the subject of annexation.

The primary reason not to look at annexing those 1960-70 era housing developments was – – cost.  A recent study found that costs associated with the annexation would cost the city $1.9 million upfront and up to $3.7 million annually.  Those costs include hiring 14 additional police officers and 4 more city workers to meet the needs of the residents.

The city is looking at changing its annexation policy to make it easier to bring in new development in the future including requiring developers to annex into the city before the city will extend water and sewer service.   Currently the city requires them to agree to annexation sometime in the future.

There is also a bill making its way through the state legislature which will make it easier to annex islands of land within city boundaries such as the Capitol City Golf course area.

The Tanglewilde and Thompson Place area encompasses 1109 acres of land with a population of 6850.  It’s 91 percent residential with an assessed valuation of $525 million.   There are 110 businesses on 70 business lots which did $60 million in taxable sales last year.

The area is part of the Urban Growth Area (UGA) of the City of Lacey and is scheduled to be annexed into the city at some later date in the future according to state law.  That future annexation seems a little further away today.

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Evergreen to manage old State Capitol Museum

February 8th, 2018 by Ken

The Lord Mansion, better known as the State Capitol Museum, will shortly come under the control of The Evergreen State College.

While the actual use of the building is still up-in-the-air, many ideas have been floated.  The college could move it’s Master of Public Administration to the facility.   It could move some college staff.  It has floated the idea of a small art museum or a home for visiting lectures.

For the most part, the mansion (or museum) could operate as the “front door” for the college in the Olympia community, offering many services including rental of the Coach House for meetings or parties.

Evergreen will take over the building when the new fiscal year begins on July 1.

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The land of equality?

February 4th, 2018 by Ken

Recent efforts to draw attention to the inequities in American life are just a continuation of centuries of effort.

America has never been a country of equals.

We’ve had rich and we’ve had poor; and we have had since the country was first settled.

When our founding fathers said “All men are created equal” they really meant all men are created equal under the law.  Not that everyone is equal in standing or financial status.

Sometime in the last 50 years or so, someone has gotten the idea that everyone in American should be equal.  That no one should stand out above anyone else when it comes to financial standing.

And further, that it is government’s responsibility to see that everyone is equal – particularly when it comes to money.  The concept of a minimum wage is a perfect example.  It’s gotten even stronger since the failure of Communism has been forgotten.

The one percent has claimed a majority of wealth in this country and always has.  You can look at names like Rockefeller, Carnegie, Ford and a handful of others as an example.  Recent wealth is now in hands of others with common names as well.

So – what is causing this latest outburst over wealth inequity?

Middle class wages are slowly disappearing as good paying jobs have migrated overseas.   Large multi-national corporations are making money and moving that wealth overseas to take advantage of tax shelters.   Recent efforts by the Trump administration has helped in bringing some of that money back home – but there’s a long way to go.

And, finally, the climate of this country has changed.  When once government was seen as a necessary evil – it’s now looked to as being the solution to inequitable distribution of wealth.   In other words – take from the rich and give to the poor. – the tenants of socialism.

The United States has never been a country where wealth was equally distributed – and it’s never been the land of financial equality.  The more government tries to redistribute wealth – the more it will face retribution from the voters.  Just ask Trump supporters.

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Free speech isn’t free

January 27th, 2018 by Ken

There is a cost to free speech.   Just ask the City of Olympia.

Following a protest at the Port of Olympia, the city racked up more than $43,000 in costs to clear protesters from port property.  Now the city is looking at the port to help pay some of those costs.

It has been accepted as a fact of life in the United States that people are free to peaceably assemble.  To petition the  government for a redress of grievances,.  To make their views known to the people in power.

However, it was always assumed that such protest would not harm others.  One persons protest is another persons right.

I’ll leave the city and the port to work out that part.

The port was engaged in legal business.   The protesters were gathered to stop that legal business.  It was the port’s right to do business and it was the duty of the policing powers of the city to remove the protesters.

The City of Olympia had the police powers and the duty to keep legal business moving and operating.

Therefore it seems to me, that the cost of providing police service should be born by the taxpayers of Olympia.

The cost of free speech in this case is a little more than $43,000.

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Government is the real problem in dealing with housing issues

January 21st, 2018 by Ken

At last count there were 32 non-profit organizations in Thurston County that deal with homeless issues in some way or another.

Now, the City of Olympia wants to increase its sales tax to raise an estimated $2.3 million dollars a year to add to the monies already being spent to help solve the homelessness problem.   That will tie the city as the highest sales tax in the county, along with the City of Lacey.

With so many organizations working on the issue of homelessness it would seem we should know what the problem is.  Why do we have so many homeless in the county?

Half of the homeless have drug or alcohol issues.  Until we can get a handle on those individual problems, we’ll never be able to find them permanent housing.  They will always need temporary shelter.

The other half of the homeless population are what are call “temporary” homeless.   These are people who are unable to afford the cost of housing through job loss, domestic abuse, family problems and a host of other personal issues.

The question becomes – why is the cost of housing so high?  The answer is government rules and regulations.

Land use regulations have restricted the amount of land available for housing.  Regulations on what the house must contain adds to the cost.   It’s estimated that every new house constructed in Thurston County has an additional cost added to it by government rules and regulations of nearly $40,000.

In addition,  over the past several decades, government has seen the destruction of sub-standard housing units which once housed those with low incomes.

As government rules and regulations impact the employment market with high minimum wage, guaranteed health care and dozens of other workplace requirement, businesses are turning to technology to help lower costs of labor.  This reduces the number of jobs available.

If you want to know the real culprits in our current homeless problem, just point the finger at government.


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Lacey will always be automobile centered

January 9th, 2018 by Ken

I’ve been a strong advocate for years of keeping bicycles and cars off the same streets.

Recently I was stopped at a red light waiting to make a right turn.   Just as I started to make the turn, two bicyclists came up beside me on the right hand side and went straight ahead when the light changed.

They were in a designated bike lane, but they had come up beside me with no warning and went straight ahead even as my turn signal was blinking.   I almost turned into them and if I had, they would have been seriously hurt.  It was only through luck – – their luck – – that I caught a glimpse of them and was able to stop.

I’m not sure who was right.  They were to the right of me, but I was at the light first.

The problem is that cars and bicycles don’t belong together on the same streets.

In Seattle they are solving the problem by removing cars from city streets.   In Olympia the answer seems to be to build more bike lanes.   The city has invested millions of dollars to make the streets more bicycle friendly – – but even avid bike riders still say that Olympia has a long way to go to make the streets safe for them to ride.

Lacey has often been called the worse city in the county in which to walk or bike.   They say that Lacey’s high speeds on city streets are dangerous to bikers and walkers.  They bemoan the lack of separated bike lanes, lack of sidewalks in many neighborhoods and an indifference to pedestrians and bike riders.

They’re right.  Lacey was built as an automobile city.   I happen to think the speed limits are too low.  Many streets in the city had 40 mph limits, but the speed has been reduced to 35 mph.   City streets were not made for bike riders, but for drivers of automobiles.

As far as indifference to bike riders go – – I think the problem is lack of education on the part of both bikers and drivers.  Drivers should know the rules of the road regarding bicycles and bike riders should obey all of the rules of the road.

Lacey is not, and probably never will be a pedestrian city.

But, as the city grows and matures, sections of the city will become more people friendly, more walkable and more gentle.  However, the main thoroughfares will continue to be automobile oriented.

Seattle can ban cars; Olympia can make it more difficult and more expensive to drive cars; but Lacey is – and will always be – an automobile centered community.

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Feminist coalition alive and winning

January 5th, 2018 by Ken

If a bomb had fallen on the Lacey City Council chambers Thursday evening, the liberal feminist movement in Thurston County would have been set back five years.

Many of the major players in the movement were on hand to see the installation of one of their own to the Lacey City Council.   Carolyn Cox was taking her seat as the newest member of the Lacey council and several of the top leaders of the feminist movement were on hand to cheer her victory.

It was one of the smaller victories for the liberal feminist coalition in its 30 year history – but one with major significance to the future of many local elected officials facing the voters later this fall.

In 1986, I wrote my master thesis for the The Evergreen State College’s masters in public administration program.  It was entitled “Power and Influence in Thurston County.”  One of its major findings was the creation of a coalition made up of local feminists and male liberal community leaders.

I wrote at the time, that the coalition wasn’t active in all elections, but when it was, it was effective at getting like-minded people (mainly) women elected to local office.

We need only look at our state representatives for the 22nd district, the three women who ran Thurston County government for nearly a decade, and the current make-up of the Olympia City Commission to see its power.

One area which had escaped the coalition’s power was Lacey City government.  So, the election of Carolyn Cox was an indication that the liberal feminist coalition can reach down anywhere in the urban area of Thurston County, including the more moderate City of Lacey.

If they can win a seat in Lacey, they can win a seat anywhere in the county.   That’s why they were all gathered Thursday evening to celebrate their latest victory and what it means for the future.

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