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Posts published in “Issue: Fall 2023

Maybe it’s the water

The first time I submitted an article to Works in Progress, I was nervous. I had no idea who the editors were, or what the process for reviewing submissions was. Much to my surprise, a very friendly and encouraging person—Sylvia Smith—reached back to me. It turned out that, in contrast to what I was imagining, Works in Progress ran on a shoestring. A shoestring and at least a hundred hours per month of unpaid labor from the managing editor, plus the contributions of writers, artists, poets, photographers, tech savvy students, advertisers, proofreaders, distributors and many many others.

It’s only a legacy if you leave it

In the Natural Climate Solutions provisions of the WA Climate Commitment Act, Washington legislators for the first time affirmed the carbon storage benefits of lowland forests, acknowledging that Legacy Forests are critical to the health and wellbeing of the broader ecosystem.

Save the legacy trees in Capital Forest

READER WRITES: The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is selling off trees to be logged on public land that includes mature (legacy) and old-growth trees. Three parcels with legacy trees in Capitol Forest may be auctioned in the next eight months. For many reasons, the sale of the Juneau, Carrot and Evergreen Gold parcels must not go forward. .


For many years, POWER (Parents Organizing for Welfare and Economic Rights), an Olympia Welfare Rights non-profit organization has worked tirelessly to educate our community on the struggles and strengths of low-income parents in our community, and to fight the stigma tied to parents on welfare. Monica Peabody, former Executive Director…

The Communist Party in 1970s Olympia

Ann Vandeman is in her kitchen on 6th Avenue in Olympia. She is making me dinner and I’m asking her questions about what it was like being involved in the Communist Party here in the 1970s. The actual CPUSA...

Spring grants totalling $3600 support missions of grassroots groups

Those who “round up for CSF” at the Olympia Food Co-op are “walking the walk.” Generous donations totaling $3600 meant that this Spring, the community provided grants to strengthen the fabric of people, environments, and habitats throughout our Thurston County. 100% of contributions go directly into the fund’s twice-yearly grant cycles.

Seattle billboards called attention to our neighboring nukes

Peace proponents opposed to nuclear weapons joined forces recently to display a quote from the pope on four billboards in Seattle and Tacoma. The Poulsbo-based Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action joined with an international Catholic group, Pax Christi USA, to pay for a billboard ad, in an effort to reawaken public awareness of the dangers of nuclear weapons in the Puget Sound region, said the release. The billboards stayed up for four weeks...

American Midnight—War, Peace, Crisis

BOOK REVIEW: In his detailed history, subtitled The Great War: A Violent Peace, and Democracy’s Forgotten Crisis, Adam Hochschild guides the reader through an extensive examination of the turmoil in American society during the period of the Wilson administration before, during and after World War I.

Olympia needs a code of ethics to restore public trust in local government

PERSPECTIVE: The City of Olympia has no code of ethics. But a movement is afoot to urge Olympia’s City Council to establish an Ethics Code and Commission. This will help ensure that our elected officials and government agencies are transparent and act without bias--free of commercial or political interests that can influence them to make decisions that improperly benefit one group over another.

The once and future Olympia

LETTER FROM FRED: I am a proud citizen of our quaint city and a witness to the changes which have come downtown over the twelve years I have resided here. For the most part, we have held our own in the battle of civic pride vs. uncivil behavior, but the spectre of “gentrification” has overtaken those in authority, bringing a new set of problems and solving few of the old ones.

A unique community paper takes a look back

In its 33 years as a print newspaper, WIP has routinely published stories that were overlooked by local papers --- or that failed to offer readers serious truths. Even with unpaid, volunteer contributors, our “citizen reporters” dug into issues and provided our readers with accurate information and critical context. In this article, we’ve printed three stories of consequence from past issues of the paper.

Keep wilderness wild

What disturbs us so much about wild places? Is it that they seem to have little concern for our needs? Do they challenge our obsession with mastery and control? Maybe wilderness just terrifies us.

We Won’t Be Here Tomorrow

BOOK REVIEW: Hey you guys. Climate change is going to kill us. We are going to fight each other to the death in violent uprisings and wars over water. Of course. But have you considered the role that antifascist Norse warrior ghosts (don’t call them vikings) might play in the world of tomorrow? How about lesbian mermaids? And how are those Free Orcas of Cascadia going to handle it all? Oh, you haven’t considered that? Well Margaret Killjoy has...

Thoughts on Hawaiian History Month

PERSPECTIVE: Aloha: A warm welcome and a fond farewell. An essence of being—with love, peace, compassion, and mutual respect. A way of living in harmony with the people and land around us with mercy, sympathy, grace, and kindness. Aloha to this September’s Hawaiian History Month.

Don’t cry for me Miami

I grew up in Yakima and came to Olympia in 1971. The WSU student newspaper had assigned me to do a story on TESC, a new college opening in the fall. Unhappy at WSU and intrigued by Evergreen, I became an original Greener.

The Farmer’s Lawyer

BOOK REVIEW: Part court thriller, part chronicle of a crucial labor struggle, part reminder that when people work together they can overturn great injustices, and workers can triumph against corporate-government collusion, The Farmer’s Lawyer is an inspiring, enjoyable read.

Replace simplistic “national security” with true security

Glen Anderson is proposing a “wise alternative” to the status quo. In the above table he sets out the basic distinctions between TRUE security (in the middle column) and the status quo assumptions about “national security” (in the column on the right).