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Posts published in “Issue: September 2018”

September 2018 — About this issue

The theme for this issue is Democracy and Elections. Our readers will find a conversation —conducted from different angles — on the upcoming midterm elections and their impact on the political life of our immediate community  and the nation. On November 6, 2018 all seats in the United State House…

State Commission recommends possible removal of TCD Board members

The Thurston Conservation District (TCD, District) has been the locus of an ideological fight in Thurston County that lumbers on. Last year, the District lost a third of its funding when three board members (including the Chair) failed to vote at a critical meeting. Chairman Johnson was quoted in the Olympian saying the revenue loss could be viewed as “taxpayers saving nearly $600,000 that would have gone to overcompensated bureaucrats sucking the public teat.”

A pattern of conduct by the Chair and another Board member eventually provoked complaints of disruptive behavior serious enough to merit investigation by the state. The loss of funding has led to the departure of staff, as well as the sacrifice of important functions of the District. At this time, only 7 of 15 employees remain, and many programs have been eliminated. “Staff is drowning in workload,” says Executive Director Sarah Moorehead.

The Washington State Conservation Commission (SCC) that oversees the TCD recently completed its investigation of the District and recommended possible removal of two board members—Eric Johnson and Richard Mankamyer.

The investigation found that the two board members engaged in acts that constitute neglect of duty and malfeasance. A hearing to consider the report and the two board members’ response will be scheduled at a special meeting of the SCC on August 29. That meeting is open to the public....

And then this happened…

Congress votes $77 billion increase in Defense Dept Budget In April 2017, Works in Progress reported on Trump’s proposal to increase the annual Defense Budget from $582.7 to $639 billion. The bill passed in December of 2017, increasing the budget by $53.9 billion. This past June, the Senate voted to…

The orca’s mourning

A mother whale bearing its dead child plies the local waters. Why does the image get to us so? It is surely a poignant one but its impact on us is something more than maudlin. It is a tragic image of Shakespearean proportions. It is also disturbing. Like the homeless person on the street corner that stares mumbling at you through the glass of your car. The image can haunt the rest of your day with a voice somewhere uttering, ‘is there something really wrong happening here?’...

Midterm elections: To the Left! To the Left

The contrast between Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren First things first: Should the Left participate in bourgeois democratic elections? Yes—for the following reasons. 1) Parliamentarianism is a living, politically alive form in the functioning of American democracy. Although I agree with Borges that in the next life we should commit…

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