Tax fallacies from Seattle mayor

April 22nd, 2017 by Ken

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has said he will ask the city council to enact an income tax on large incomes.  He says it will be only for people who make $200,000 a year.   He also plans to ask for reductions in some other forms of taxes.

They re several problems with that proposal.

The State Supreme Court has previously ruled that cities cannot implement an income tax on their own.   Murray is obviously hoping this liberal court will overturn that restriction.

Then, we all know that the level of $200,000 will soon be lowered to $150,000, then $100,000 and eventually extended to anyone with an income.

About reducing other taxes.  We all know that taxes are never reduced for long.  They too eventually rise back up to where they were initially.  And, we know that taxes are never eliminated.   Here’s an example.   In 1919 the State of Washington put a few cents tax on each package of cigarettes sold to pay a bonus to all state residents who had served in World War I.   That tax has never gone away and continues to increase every year.

The Seattle mayor is trying to get those making less than $200,000 a year to vote in the tax.  Beware – – because you too will soon be paying.

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Chambers Prairie Grange Hall to go

April 20th, 2017 by Ken

By Janine Gates

Little Hollywood

A Little Hollywood Land Use Investigation

The 107 year old former Chambers Prairie Grange on the corner of Henderson Boulevard and Yelm Highway in Tumwater will be demolished, says building owner Tom Schrader.

Schrader’s decision to raze the beloved grange has caught many off guard, including City of Tumwater planning staff and the city council’s citizen advisory planning commission.

Members of the city council and the city’s historic preservation commission have not been formally informed of Schrader’s new intentions for the building

(Editor’s note:  Janine Gates in the editor of “Little Hollywood.”   This is just a short excerpt from a longer story posted on her blog.)

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Diversity for diversity’s sake?

April 20th, 2017 by Ken

by Dale Cooper

Diversity. It’s a fine word. What would we do without it?

Gardens would be monotone. Debate would be monotonous. Sport would be superfluous. Politics would be dispensable.

However that’s not our world, nor has it ever been, either in flora or fauna. We homo sapiens are from different backgrounds, races, cultures and climates. We have different gifts, challenges, aspirations and IQs. We see life differently, honor our ancestors differently, pray differently and view the world differently.

Why? We’re all from different tribes. The history of our species has been blessed by the exchange of knowledge between tribes, but has also plagued by bloody tribal conflict … Sapien versus Neanderthal, Hun versus Han, Roman versus Carthaginian, Norman versus AngloSaxon. We’ve slaughtered each other marching to the martial drumbeats of tribes from pre-historic times … and if we ever hope to reach an era of true harmony, peace and prosperity, this tribal mentality has got to go!

This problem has plagued us since we started walking upright. If we ever hope to live together in harmony and peace we must forge one tribe out of all the many tribes that surround us. If we fail, we’ll simply witness another ugly chapter in the unending history of tribal warfare.

And that’s the tragedy of those who extol “diversity” for diversity’s sake. In doing so we’ve forsaken a couple of centuries of viewing our nation as a “melting pot” in which we’re ingredients in the same stew. It identifies us as members of groups, or tribes, rather than individuals, and it leads to no good for anyone.

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Controversy continues on council selection process

April 18th, 2017 by Ken

Controversy concerning the selection process of the Lacey City Council’s replacement for Jeff Gadman continues to echo through city hall and around the community

Brady Olson, a candidate for the appointment has sent this letter to the Lacey City Council with copies to all of the eight candidates which interview for the seat.

Live Streaming of the Interviews:

Candidates that interviewed later in the process had access to the questions before their assigned time.  For example Candidate A gave an interview at 5:30 and all other candidates that were to report later had access via phone, tablet, friend texting etc. to all the questions prior to their interview.  The later your interview the more advantage gained because of increased time to prepare.

Voting Process:

It appeared candidates were nominated in no particular order and some council members nominated multiple candidates.  Some confusion followed as Mayor Ryder asked for clarification and City Attorney gave clarification.  Mayor Ryder stated that voting would go in order of nominations.  Q: Were all council members aware that order of nomination was a factor?  Q: Since order of nomination was a clear factor as later nominations did not even get a chance to be voted upon; was there a process to determine the order of Council Member nominations.  For example 4 people had been nominated by two members before any other members even had a chance to speak or nominate a candidate.  When the voting took place all members voted as many times as they wanted.  Having multiple candidates nominated meant that order of nomination was extremely important.  According Roberts Rule “When more than one candidate is nominated the problem with a voice vote is that those nominated first are more likely to get elected.”

I believe strongly in fairness and equity and the process on April 17, 2017 was not fair or equitable.  I ask that for future appointments to the Council, consideration to the above issues be remedied.  Fairness and access for all should be paramount in any democratic process.

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Controversy marks council appointment

April 17th, 2017 by Ken

Controversy and turmoil followed last night’s vote of the Lacey City Council to select a replacement for Jeff Gadman on the Lacey City Council.

Selected was Rachel Young, young mother of three and owner of Miss Moffett’s Mystical Cupcakes.

The controversy came when one councilmember voted twice and was assured that his vote was valid under city ordinances.

Ten candidates made their case for appointment.   When all was completed the council discussed the merits of each candidate and accepted nominations.  Voting for each candidate followed in order of nomination.   Ken Balsley received three votes   A second candidate received two votes and then Young received four votes, including one from Jason Hearn who had already voted for Balsley.

Mayor Andy Ryder  ruled the vote was over and Rachel Young was selected with four votes, the others coming from Michael Steadman, Cynthia Pratt and Ryder.

Those in the audience, supporting other candidates questioned the voting procedure and the fact that one councilmember voted twice.   Ryder assured the group that council rules allowed such a vote.

Outside, after the meeting, few questioned the selection of Young, but all questioned the process the council went through to make such a decision.

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Changing neighborhoods

April 17th, 2017 by Ken

It’s changed, this neighborhood of mine.

Gone are the tall Doug Firs which used to blot out the sky.  Gone to the windstorms of November and the chainsaws of urban foresters.  In their place are the Dogwoods, the Flowering Plum, the Japanese Maple – the people friendly trees with their splashes of spring color.

Gone as well are the two bedroom homes – with their one car garage – – replaced by the needs of growing families.  Now asphalt driveways go nowhere, cars park on the street and those garages have been turned into bedrooms and family rooms.

Gone also, are those I used to know.

Gone are the blond-haired couple who lived next door with their two blond-haired children.  Gone to new neighborhoods and new houses on cul-de-sacs with concrete lightposts and names like Avonlee, Shangrila and Heaven’s Acres.

Gone too are the couple on the other side of me – – the ones who often proved that good fences do make good neighbors.

The family that used to live across the street from me is gone as well.  I saw their children grow up from tots who rode their Big Wheel on the street – to teenagers who roared up and down the road.

The man across the back fence is still there, but he has cut down the apple trees that used to hang over my side.  Now the only thing that separates my yard from his yard is the view of his camper – – covered most of the year by a blue tarp.

New neighbors have moved in however – – of two types – – young and old.   The young ones bring enthusiasm, energy and young children – – who once again fill the streets with laughter and large smiles.

The older ones bring a sense of finality – as though they’ve settled in – and aren’t leaving.  They dig up the old lawns comprised primarily of old grass and dandelions – and replace them with new grass – dark green – and smelling sweet.   They plant Rhodies and Roses and roots – – and introduce themselves – and offer to help when they see you outside working on a project that appears too much for one.

It’s changed this neighborhood of mine.  And, when I think about what has been lost, I also think about what has been added, and I think  – this is still a pretty good neighborhood – even if there is too much sky.

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The Big evils play the deadly poker game

April 13th, 2017 by Ken

There’s no doubt that our form of government, right here in the United States, is the best form of government ever devised – – although some Millenniums aren’t so sure anymore.   But, it is through our legislative process that the best interests of you and I – – the general public – – is served.

However, we have some evils in our country.   Actually we have five evils – and they all have the same first name.   They are – – Big Government, Big Business, Big Labor, Big Religion and Big Media.

Those five evils are in constant battle for dominance in our country.   As long as the five evils fight each other then we have a period of relative calm.  But, when one or more is in the ascendancy then our country in in trouble.

Because, those Big Five evils are constantly at war with one another.  They sometimes gang up on one or the other, and sometimes they work together, but as long as they are all on an equal footing, then this country runs relatively smooth.   But, when one or two gain dominance, then we have a problem.

During the  founding of our country and into the 20th Century it  was Big Business and Big Religion who were dominate.   Big Labor peaked in the 40’s and 50’s then rose again at the beginning of the 21st Century with its control of one of the political parties.  During the turbulent 60’s and 70’s it was Big Government and Big Media squaring off against each other.   Right now Big Media is on the decline.   Big Religion has reared its head off and on for the last 200 years, as citizens began to question the moral fiber of our country.

The Big Five evils are like players at a poker game.  One gains and loses chips as the game progresses.   One changes his method of play and rises back up, while the other players adapt to the new concept.   As one has more chips it becomes  more aggressive – until it over-reaches and loses a big pot.   The it becomes more cautious and melds into the background, waiting again for the right cards.

As citizens, as taxpayers, it’s our responsibility to see that the Big Five have an even amount of chips.   We do that through our support for one or the other by giving them more chips  Our votes are our chips.

That’s our responsibility as citizens of this Democracy to make certain that all five players stay at the table with a somewhat even amount of chips.   As long as they are locked in this deadly game of power, all’s right with this country.

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Grant helps Lacey firefighters

April 11th, 2017 by Ken

The Lacey Fire District has received a $21,600 grant to purchase protective clothing that fire fighters must wear when they enter a burning structure.

The grant came from Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.

According to Fire Chief Steve Brooks, safety equipment wears out due to age as well as damage and excessive wear.   Several pieces of safety equipment had already been pulled out of service.

“Having this gear is critical and essential for us to deliver fire fighting services,” Brooks said.  “This generous grant from Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation helps us meet our Mission of Service With Excellence.”

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A dozen file for open Lacey Council seat

April 10th, 2017 by Ken

An even dozen applicants have filed to be appointed to the Lacey City Council seat left vacant by the resignation of Jeff Gadman.

Open seats traditionally pull many aspirants who find an appointment an easier way of getting an elective office than in running against an incumbent.  However, whoever gets the nod will have to run for the two year unexpired term in November.

Here are a list of those seeking the appointment listed by order of when they filed their application of interest with the city.

Robert Motzer, Brady Olson, Kevin Hochhalter, Ken Balsley, Rachel Young, Carolyn Cox, Carolyn St. Claire, Richard Bokofsky, Mary Morgan, Sean Smith, Steve Prestin and Rick Nelson.

This large number of interested parties isn’t unusual. When the last city council vacancy occurred in 2011, ten applicants applied.

Members of the city council plan to interview all of the candidates in open session on April 17.

Full application packets of each candidate are available at city hall.

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My best day of fishing

April 9th, 2017 by Ken

I love to fish.   I haven’t done much of it lately.  My fishing seems to run in spurts.   I’ll fish everyday for one summer and then go years without fishing again.

I confine my fishing primarily to local lakes and rivers – but in my earlier years I spent a lot of time in Westport going across the bar and fishing for salmon.

I haven’t been fishing in about five years – not a single dipped line in the water.  I haven’t bought a fishing license in that long either.

I’d almost given up any thoughts of fishing.  So, imagine my surprise when my wife said she wanted to take me fishing.  Her folks own a float house on the North River on Willipa Bay, and the salmon were running according to her dad.

I complained.  I don’t have a pole and I don’t have a license.   I quit buying fishing licenses when they reached over $50.   The same time I stopped fishing.

Come on, she said.   I”ll take you out and buy you a fishing license and a new pole.   How could I resist?  We went to Cabela’s. I gave them my driver’s license, answered a couple of questions  and in a few minutes I had my fishing license.  And, get this, it only cost my wife $15.  I had a reduced fee because I was over the age of 70.  Great so far.

Then we went into the fishing section, where Bill waited on us.  My wife told him she wanted a good pole with a good reel – – and all the stuff that goes with it.

Bill said he had never met a woman who encouraged her husband to buy more fishing gear.

So, after considerable money, we left the store and the next day we went to our fishing spot.

After five hours of fishing – – three of them trying to untangle my fishing line – –  I got a bite.  Never landed a single fish.

Best day of my life.

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The Mayses

April 7th, 2017 by Ken

(Editors note:  Many people helped make Lacey what it has become.  This is the story of a couple,  Ann and Harvey Mayse and their contribution to this community)

Before he retired, Lt. Col. Harvey Mayse was the executive office at Ft. Lewis.   After a long career in the military he and his wife Ann bought property at Beachcrest and began their involvement in Lacey.

Harvey had formed a loose group of military officers who pooled their money and purchased property and created businesses around Ft. Lewis.   But, since Harvey lived in Lacey, he focused his attention locally.

Harvey’s biggest problem is that he could see the future, he could even step a foot into the future – – but he was never able to fully manage the future.

He understood the significance of Woodland Square to the future of Lacey and his investment group purchased the property.   Development of the area fell to others, as Harvey’s investment group eventually sold the property – I assume for a profit.

He joined hands with Ron Rowe and Norm Krueger to form KMR, the company which developed Rowe Six.   The complex was originally planned as a retail shopping center – – but economic conditions weren’t right and it eventually became an office center, with most buildings leased to various state agencies.   (The property is now the home of the Lacey branch of South Puget Sound Community College).

Harvey turned his attention to technology and received the first contract to supply cable television service in Lacey.   That too eventually fell into the hands of others.

He next  turned his attention to banking and came up with the idea of a local bank to fund local projects and was the founder of Lacey Bank, Later First Community Bank and later Venture Bank.  Operations of the bank were taken out of his hands early on. A stockholders fight saw him lose control of the bank’s future.

Harvey was a visionary but was unable to bring most of his visions to fruition.  Nevertheless he saw a future for Lacey and set the stage for what was to come.

While Harvey was putting his visions into action, his wife Ann began her involvement in the Lacey community.   She started a small business selling slightly used clothing but eventually gave it up for volunteer work.

Ann was deeply involved in the Lacey Chamber of Commerce as a volunteer and worked for years as the main source of volunteer activity for the chamber.

She was active in the local Republican Party – which still had some sway in the county.  She served in some leadership capacities with the local GOP and attended at least one national convention.

But it was her involvement with the Lacey Civic Committee which cemented her reputation as a woman who could get things done.

The Lacey Civic Committee built the “Welcome to Lacey” sign and the Lacey Historical Museum.   Ann’s involvement was important and significant and always behind the scenes.   She never seemed to want attention and did her work softly and gently without a great deal of drama.

After Harvey died, Ann moved away to Texas to live with one of her sons, before returning back to Lacey where she passed away in 2014 – seldom recognized for her efforts to improve her community.


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Olympia may move waste hauling facility to Lacey

April 3rd, 2017 by Ken

Will Lacey become the site of the City of Olympia’s new Waste Management Operations Center?

This week, Olympia is meeting with Thurston County officials for a pre-submission conference on developing eight and a half  acres of land on Carpenter Road into the new facility to house its 18 garbage trucks and other waste hauling equipment.  So, why deal with the county when the property is on Carpenter Road – – because the property is not in Lacey, but in the county?

The property is in Lacey’s Urban Growth Area and will eventually be in the City of Lacey, but right now its City of Olympia owned property in Thurston County.   The land in question is the old City of Olympia shooting range right off Martin Way on Carpenter.  It has been owned by the Olympia for decades.  Shooting at the range was phased out about two years ago.

The City of Olympia’s proposal is to build in two phases.  Phase One will include offices, covered parking, a fueling station for the city’s 18 garbage trucks and other fleet vehicles.   Also in Phase One will be a repair area, wash station and maintenance shop.   Phase Two will consist of a tipping wall, collection bins and containers for waste.

City of Lacey Public Works Director Scott Egger said the city has no concerns about Olympia’s proposed project.  Lacey is providing water to the site.

While Lacey has no current plans to annex the property in the near future, the property will eventually become part of Lacey.


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I’m glad he’s dead

March 31st, 2017 by Ken

(Editors note:   This is a repeat commentary because I’ve had many responses to it.   I’m running it again.)

Read the obituaries the other day – – and a name popped out.  Someone I knew, someone I had personal contact with – – had died.

But, rather than feeling sadness  – I felt liberation.  Yes, I felt joy when I read the name.   I read the entire obituary to make certain that the person I thought was dead – was dead.

Because the person that died was one of the meanest people I had ever met.   The person that died was a a bully – – someone who had caused me trouble all the young years of my life.

Whenever I passed his house on the way to school, he’d come running out – knock me off my bike – and throw it in the ditch.  And then, sometimes, he’d hit me.   More often than not, he’d just yell and growl – – but on occasions he would hit me.

It became a game for him – and something more sinister for me.  I tried to avoid going by his house, but there was no other road.  So I always tried to figure out if he would be home before I traveled.  And, no matter how fast I rode my bike, I’d start to peddle even faster when I neared his house, hoping to out run him.  Sometimes I did, but sometimes I didn’t.  My efforts to get by him just enraged him and he’d be even meaner the next time.

Over the years I read about him occasionally – in the newspaper – being picked up for drunk driving, or maybe being thrown in jail for fighting.   Whenever I read of his troubles, it would bring me pleasure.  He was finally getting what he deserved.

So, when I read his obituary the other day, I had the same feelings of joy I always had when I read or heard about his troubles.  It was kind of like I was getting even.  I had outlived him and in the end, I felt like I had won.

All of the anger, all of the frustration, all of the fear I had felt for him had been lifted off my shoulders.  It was over.  The bully was dead and I was liberated from my anger.

But now, after thinking about it for a while, I’ve come to realize that this man had probably been an abused child.  Probably the son of parents who gave him little love.  He was probably a bitter and scared kid who found that taking his anger out on others – made him feel better.

But, you know what.  I don’t care.  I really don’t care about his problems, his bad childhood or his lack of self esteem. He took his anger out on me, and fifty years later it still gives me relief to know he won’t be bothering me anymore.

I’m glad he’s dead.

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Political office starts at the local level

March 29th, 2017 by Ken

It’s election season in our community.  On the ballot this year are local city council seats.  Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater, all have positions up for election in November.   In addition, the Port of Olympia has two races.   Also on the ballot this year are school board and fire commission seats.    For a full list, go on-line to Thurston County Elections.

In my household, elections are the subject of the day, almost every day.   But, for the most part, no one really cares about local city, port, school board and fire commission races, except for those involved.  And, that’s a shame.   It’s been said over and over again that these local races have a greater impact on your life than any national or state election.

The people holding these seats decide what you’ll pay for water and sewer.  They’ll determine what your child learns in school.  They’ll decide how long it takes Medic One to get to your home in case of an emergency.

If you’re interested, the time is now to begin planning.   Filing period isn’t until May, but serious candidates must be organized and going shortly.  It takes time to get a campaign in place and it takes time to raise the money needed to run a serious campaign.   It’s estimated that it will take between $10,000 and $15,000 to run a contested race for city council.   School board seats and fire commission seats cost less, but special interests often play a role in those contests.

If you’re interested in higher office, you need to start at the local level.   State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler started as a member of the North Thurston School Board.   So did State Senator Sam Hunt.

Not all people who run for these local offices have higher expectations.  But, it’s the place to start.   And, if you’re not planning on running for any office at all, educate yourself on the issues and the candidates running for these local seats.   Be an educated voter.

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What happens when the rocks stop?

March 28th, 2017 by Ken

Our new Thurston County Commissioners are learning that governing is hard.  That’s something President Donald Trump has also learned.

Trump hasn’t been able to get his Obama Care Repeal and Replace bill through Congress, and our county commissioners haven’t been able to get building permits approved for property owners confronting Pocket Gophers.

It’s easy to sit on the outside and throw rocks at the tent.   But, once you get inside the tent you find a whole new world.    Our county commissioners have to stick to the legal aspects of changing rules and regulations, while being watched by special interest groups with the ability to challenge any change and bring forth legal suits.   The same is true at the national level, but is also complicated by the intense media interest in any activity.

The best either side can do is work hard, educate the reluctant, listen to the opposition and hope some path forward can be reached.

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Lacey may grow by another thousand residents

March 23rd, 2017 by Ken

Tonight, the Lacey City Council will decide if the City of Lacey will grow by nearly a thousand new residents, when it takes up the subject on an annexation.

Under consideration is Capitol Golf Club Estates and Chambers Estates, two parcels of land near the city’s southern boundaries, both of which are almost surrounded by the City of Lacey.   The 202 acres of property has 470 households, 965 residents and about 750 registered voters.    The average assessed valuation of homes is around $176,000.   Capitol Golf Club Estates is the home of the Capitol City golf course, while Chambers Estates has a grass airstrip.

Off and on for years, the city and the residents of the area have talked about annexation into the city.  There seems to be little reason for them to join Lacey.   The property has its own water system, all homes are on septic systems, they are served with fire and medical protection from the Lacey Fire District and have law enforcement service provided by the Thurston County Sheriff’s office which has a mutual aid pact with the Lacey Police Department.

But, being an island of county land in a sea of Lacey property has some disadvantages.  Residents have no say in what happens around them.   New housing developments can sprout up.  Streets can become crowded and commercial development can appear or disappear without residents having any say in the way it goes.

The cost to residents in the proposed annexation is almost a wash.  They may have to pay as much as $165 a year more in taxes for the advantage of having a say in the way the area around them is developed.

Tonight the Lacey City Council will have a workshop on what it wants to do.  The city has held a number of public meetings with residents of the area and have assured them that they won’t have to hook up to city sewers unless their septic systems fail.   They would have to do that anyway if they stayed in the county.   The city would not take over the private road system that connects the houses, although it would take control of a public street in the development.

The council could decide not to go any further or it could decide to proceed with the annexation.  If it decides to proceed, there are several steps to take before the annexation becomes law.   Residents opposed to an annexation can call for a referendum vote on the council action with signatures from 10 percent of the property owners.

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Your lazy brain and time

March 22nd, 2017 by Ken

Before I start talking about your lazy brain and how it contributes to the rapid passing of time, I have to say that I am no expert on the subject.  What I know is from observation and reading.

A friend of mine was complaining recently about how fast time seemed to be going as he got older.   I told him to blame it on his lazy brain.

The concept of time is stored in the brain.  The brain is lazy, it doesn’t want to work if it doesn’t have to and that applies to marking time.   When you were young, everything you saw, felt, ate or heard was new.   Your brain had to work hard to store that information and consequently time moved slower because your brain was working hard,

As you grew older, the number of new experiences lessened and your brain didn’t have to work so hard to create new neural pathways and went on auto-pilot.   The older you got, the less your brain had to work and the quicker time seemed to pass.  If you want to slow down the perception that time is moving faster, you have to get your lazy brain working again.  You have to create new neural pathways through new experiences.

I thought I’d try it with something common – – brushing your teeth.   For a whole year, I forced myself to brush my teeth with my left hand even though i was right-handed.  It was tough and difficult but eventually my brain created new pathways and now I can brush my teeth with either hand.  In the beginning that slowed down time, because it slowed down my perception of time.

You can do the same.   Take a different route to work each day.   See how many different ways you can get to your job.   Go to a different coffee shop on your way to work.  Do something different at lunch time.   When you exercise, start a different pattern each time.   When shopping, go to a different grocery store.  Meet new people.  Put your shoes and socks on differently.   Force your brain to work.   By forcing your brain to learn new things – – even common things – – the concept of time will slow down.

You can’t stop time from advancing, but you can slow down the perception of time.

Think I’ll start using an automatic toothbrush and see what that does to my neural pathways.


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Intercity Transit to replace its undergound fuel tanks

March 20th, 2017 by Ken

This week, Intercity Transit will open bids to replace its underground fuel tanks and install new ones.  Money available for the project is around $8 million dollars.

The project is part of a larger plan to rehabilitate and expand the Pattison Street Operations.   The project was originally suppose to start in 2011, but federal grants were cut back and replacement of the tanks was put on hold.

The current tanks are single-walled and don’t comply with industry standards.   The transit’s insurance company was concerned about leaking tanks and worried that the insurance plan wouldn’t be renewed.  Recently, Intercity Transit received $3 million in grant money and found $5 million in local dollars to replace the tanks.

The City of Olympia is reviewing the permit application.   If bids come in on target and if the weather cooperates, the project could be completed by the end of summer this year.

Currently there are six undergound single walled storage tanks, which hold 80,000 gallons of diesel and 12,000 gallons of unleaded.   The six new tanks will meet industry standards and will hold 100,000 gallons of diesel and 24,000 gallons of unleaded.  Intercity transit uses about 710,000 gallons of diesel each year and nearly 74,000 gallons of unleaded fuel.  (You figure out the annual cost.)

The old tanks will be drained and filled in place.  The new tanks will be constructed north of the existing facility.

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Lacey council vacancy draws attention

March 17th, 2017 by Ken

As many as five possible candidates for the Lacey City Council’s vacant position were on hand last night while the council wrestled with how to select someone to fill that vacancy.

Some argued for a longer period of time so as to gather the most applicants – while others argued that the position needed to be filled to help the council move forward with its work.   In the end, the council determined to begin seeking applicants on March 20 with the deadline for filing set for April 7.   The council will interview all applicants on April 17, then vote in public on who their selection will be.

The only qualifications require the applicant must have lived in Lacey for a year, and that he or she must be a registered voter.  The candidate must also agree to seek election to the seat in November.

I have been a declared candidate for several weeks.   My political views and personal bio can be accessed at


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Retail drives the economy

March 16th, 2017 by Ken

By Jan Teague

President and CEO Washington Retail Association

Retailers employ more people than any other industry.   It also supports one in four other jobs.  When you add up those who work in some aspect of retail, the industry is worth understanding and protecting.

Nationwide 1.3 million non-retail jobs such as finance, insurance, real estate and manufacturing depend on a healthy retail industry.   It all adds up to 22 percent of the total Washington State employment.

An example of the level of detail where retailers have an impact is this story about a small business owner with a boutique.  She has to travel to various place to buy items and shoot photos.   Besides the non-retail jobs that support the industry, this retail business owner is contributing to hotels, restaurants and photographers in pursuit of owning a small boutique.

Retail jobs are diverse and include security, advertising, marketing, sales, management, arts and design workers.   Many people start their careers as a part-time sales clerk and work their way up to a store manager while working on obtaining a college-level degree.  Retailers believe the sky is the limit for professional growth in their industry.   People make of it what they want.

Nationwide 40 percent of retail employees work for companies with fewer than 50 employees.   The majority, 95 percent, operate at a single location.  Retailers in small towns, make those towns work.   They invested in their communities and on a a daily basis are contributing to local charities.  They love being the backbone of their community and understand the impact they have on the lives of their neighbors.

Retailers not only provide jobs, they often support a community’s revitalization.  Seattle is a good example of that.

It wasn’t many years ago when downtown Seattle was not a destination shopping area.   Now it is because retailers stayed instead of moving to the suburbs.  That revitalization has contributed significantly to the overall health of the city and to its tax base.

It’s good to remind our elected officials of retail’s role in our society.  There are various government and non-government groups with regulatory ambitions.   The rules they create often consist of a series of small knife cuts,  which eventually lead to the death of a business.

Do policy makers and elected officials give stronger support to those advocates who take the attitude that when one business goes out of a business – another business will just take its place.   Or, do our elected leaders look at these businesses as individual  citizens who are vital to the stability of their communities and should be encouraged to succeed?


Posted in Business, The Real News having Comments Off on Retail drives the economy