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Then this happened… May 2021

…left at the altar—again. At their April 12 meeting, Port of Olympia Commissioners McGregor and Downing said they needed to act urgently to approve an arrangement for Matson Shipping to park an empty cargo vessel at the Marine Terminal. They overrode the third commissioner’s objections to proceeding with no discussion and no public notice because the situation was urgent: Matson said they might need to bring the ship as early as May 8. The two commissioners saw potential millions in rent. They’d have to move the derelict ferry that’s been docked there for 3 years, but someone would figure that out.

A few days later the urgency disappeared. As did the Matson vessel. The port “received word” that the ship wasn’t coming. This was the port’s second disappointment—a plan to bring two Ready Reserve Fleet ships fell through in February.

The Evergreen Ferry continues dockside. The rent is paid through June. That’s one sure thing.

…housing prices aren’t “filtering down.” Our officials sell the idea that approving more market rate housing will bring prices down. Nope. Even with tax incentives for market rate units downtown and applications to build over 1000 new housing units in Olympia, prices only go up and up. Since the beginning of this year, the median price of homes sold in Thurston Co. jumped from $385,837 in January to $444,500 in March. According to Thurston Regional Planning, housing affordability in Thurston County decreased every year since 2015 and continues to decrease.

…‘trickle down” doesn’t work either! Joe Biden admitted that this theory is just an excuse to give tax breaks to the rich: “It’s time to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out,” the Prez said. Let’s give “bubble up” economics a chance!

…the City was not convinced, item 1. The City of Olympia Development Department recently instructed the developer of a proposed project at Green Cove off Cooper Point Rd to submit further information about contamination on the site. The City has been asking for details about the site at least since August of 2019. Developer Jerry Mahan has 6 months to respond to the recent request or the application becomes void.

…the court was not convinced, item 2. Washington’s insurance industry executives went to court to stop a new rule that prevented them from including “credit scores” in setting insurance premiums. When their lobbyists mangled proposed legislation that would have done the same thing, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued an emergency ruling. The big boys argued that Kreidler overstepped his authority, but the judge found otherwise. A win for the little guy.

…the judge was not convinced, item 3. A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) accusing the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights of engaging in “material support for terrorism,” citing the group’s speech and support for the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Lawyers say the lawsuit was part of a growing pattern of suppressing activism in support of Palestinian rights. The Center for Constitutional Rights and the organization Palestine Legal have documented this and called it the “Palestine Exception” to free speech.The Olympia Food Co-op honors the boycott (called by Palestinian civil society), and some years ago was the object of a suit over BDS which was similarly dismissed.

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