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Community Spotlight – April 20 to May 31, 2024

Charles Mitchell and the Puget Sound Underground Railroad. Olympia Center—April 20. 1 pm. When 13 years old, Mitchell escaped enslavement in Olympia in 1860 by traveling by steamer from Olympia to Victoria, B. C. via the Puget Sound Underground Railroad. Author Dr. Lorraine McConaghy will offer an illustrated program followed…

Mixed News on Thurston County Docketing for Rezone Requests

In the March 2024 issue of WIP, Betsy Norton and Sue Danver published an article asking readers to comment on four proposed Thurston County items for the 2024-2025 Comprehensive Plan Docket. In all four cases the landowners were requesting a rezone from Rural Residential/Resource (RRR) to Rural Resource Industrial (RRI)…

Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes

(Click on images to view full-size) Originally published by the War Resisters League. For more information on War Tax Resistance, visit https://www.warresisters.org/

Stopping the Sale of Ivy

Whatcom Million Trees Project is leading an effort to prohibit the sale of ivy in Washington State. Their petition to the Washington State Department of Agriculture can be found at https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/stop-selling-english-ivy-in-washington If thousands sign the petition, the WSDA board may add ivy to the WSDA Prohibited Plants and Seeds List…

Goodbye to the Wildland Urban Interface Code – For a While!

Environmental groups like Black Hills Audubon Society, Restoring Earth Connections and Whatcom Million Trees were overjoyed when on March 15, 2024, Governor Inslee signed into law ESB 6120, “concerning wildland urban interface”. The new law requires property owners to use ignition-resistant materials and methods for new and existing residences if…

Portrait of a Frog

“The first thing you need to know. People hold the fate of Adams garden in their hands”, so said our tour guide. A drive through rural Thurston County took us past wet meadows, grazed fields, some ‘overgrown swamps’. At several stops, a verdant green landscape of grass and wetlands stretched…

A Christian Cry for Peace in Palestine

I participated in “The Stones Cry Out Solidarity Delegation from Palestine to Washington, D.C.” in March 2024. The delegation included twenty-three American Christians from twelve different denominations across the United States. Although most were pastors, I am a layperson. The first act of love is to listen, so in Palestine…

March 2024 – Index

Local News Biochar: Banishment or Bonanza?  Compensation for Cooper Crest Your Voice Needed to save Rural Lands Help “fix” the Wildland/Urban interface “Green Amendment” Proposed for Washington State Thurston County Resource Hub offers services for those in the Justice System Can Trees Really Sing? Culture Return of the Procession of…

Biochar: Banishment or Bonanza?

At its essence Biochar is pure, black CARBON, the basis of life; the foundation of all organic matter; the ultimate sequester of carbon in soil and remover of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere for centuries.  And the beauty of it is that it is made from waste that nobody wants…

Help “Fix” the Wildland-Urban Interface Code

WIP readers will be overjoyed to hear that NOT ONE BUT TWO SOLUTIONS have been proposed to correct problems caused by including defensible space requirements in the 2021 Wildland-Urban Interface Code. But both remain in doubt. You can help by registering your support for ESB 6120. Best solution – Pass…

“Green Amendment” Proposed for Washington State

On January 22, 2024, Representative Debra Lekanoff (D-Bow) introduced a “green amendment” to the Washington State legislature. HJR 4210 would have added a new section to the Washington State Constitution giving present and future generations ”the right to a clean and healthy environment, including pure water, clean air, healthy ecosystems,…

Support the Hub

I urge folks to support a new County service, the Thurston County Resource Hub located at the Thurston County Courthouse Complex. It’s geared toward people who are involved in the justice system, but service is open to anyone. The Hub helps clients find housing, support for substance use, jobs, peer…

Can Trees Really Sing?

Can Trees Really Sing? How do they sound when they sing? Do they change their tune when it’s sunny or wet? What is it like to dance barefoot in a forest? How can we connect to nature indoors? Find those answers and many others at Dancing to the Music of…

Return of the “Procession of the Species”

On April 26 and 27, Olympia’s downtown will be a joyful jumble filled with creatures of the air, land, fire and sea as the Luminary Procession and Procession of the Species celebration returns after a 4 year interlude caused by the COVID lockdown. The free community art studio that is…

Holly Gwinn Graham –1946-2024, A Retrospective

Since 1990, Holly Gwinn Graham has been a treasure of Olympia’s music and activist communities. In September 2023, she released her 10th album, Hopeful Traveler, at Traditions Cafe, the site of many of her concerts over the years, to a crowd of friends and fans. Sadly, she passed in February, leaving her wonderful songs to enlighten our hearts and minds for years to come.

Meditation by Unacquainted Lives

I’ve been alive for a long time. I survived the rain, ice, floods, wind. I found a home here in Thurston County as the glaciers receded. Under the prairies. Over the meadows. I swam the vast marshes with beaver dams. As those habitat creations evolved to airports and farms, I…

The Brass Ring

Privilege weaves blinders so soft and light they are almost not there. I could peek, but guilt is the price of seeing.   No matter that I started with a leg up, a few rungs up the ladder. Life isn’t fair or so my parents told me.   I never…