History, politics, people of Oly WA

Month: October 2007 (Page 3 of 7)

Save Our Sounders (Saints)

The arrival of a top-flight mens’ soccer side to Seattle should not be at the expense of a top-flight women’s side.

Adrian Hanauer, the current owner of the USL-1 Sounders and one of the three investors in the all but official MLS Soccer franchise, has (or did he?) pulled out of the ownership of the W-League Sounders Saints, the womens soccer team in these parts. Without in an influx of revenue, the team that finished in third place nationally this year might not exist in 2008.

Lacking a similar top-flight league as the MLS since the failure of the WUSA, the top womens’ soccer league in the United States has been the semi-pro W-League.

The Seattle Women’s Soccer Initiative is raising funds for the team:

The Seattle Women’s Soccer Initiative is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and developing top level women’s Soccer in Seattle by raising grass roots financial support for the semi-pro USL W-League program and development of an amateur feeder program that will provide the best players in the area to face the highest levels of competition available.

Go here to donate.

Although it is sad that investors (Hanauer?) have walked away, it would be great if this effort evolved into a European type Supporters Trust, a fan owned team.

Know anything about SJR 8212?

I was embarrassed when I opened up my ballot tonight that I hadn’t heard of SJR 8212, which would open up a larger prison labor program in our state. Here are some links.

Legislative history
Pro and con argument’s in voters pamphlet

It is worth noting that the two Republican lawmakers who wrote the against arguments for the voters pamphlet are from the 4th LD, close by where a company took advantage of prison labor:

In December 1995, the Redmond, Washington company laid off 30 workers earning $7 an hour plus benefits and moved to the Airway Heights Corrections Center near Spokane. There, five free employees supervise some 40 prisoners who earn $6 an hour. Omega Pacific owner Bert Atwater told the Spokane Spokesman Review that he moved to prison because of the rent-free quarters where “the workers are delighted with the pay; [where there are] no workers who don’t come in because of rush hour traffic or sick children at home; [and where] workers…don’t take vacations. Where would these guys go on vacation anyway?” Atwater was also pleased that he doesn’t “have to deal with employee benefits or workers’ compensation.”

Sarahjane46th over at Washblog writes a defense of 8212, but included this quote that argues against it:

“Although we understand the value for incarcerated people to earn more than 42 cents or $1.10 / hour and we acknowledge the benefits of providing work experience for incarcerated people, we see the prison industries as one of the main cogs in the “Perpetual Prisoner Machine” as described in the book by the same name authored by Joel Dyer. The bottom line is that in the long run, this change support[s] the continuation of mass incarceration in this country.”

A few newspaper endorsements in favor of it:
Put inmates to work for their benefit — and ours
Two ballot measures flashy but necessary

The Olympian’s half-hearted endorsement (Inmate labor program needs oversight) makes a great case:

By supporting SJR 8212 voters are trusting that the Department of Corrections will enforce the law to ensure that there is no unfair advantage to companies operating inside prisons. The Supreme Court record showed that 37 of the 58 inmates working for MicroJet were murderers. While some will be released some day, many others will never be released from prison. That shoots a hole in Sen. Hargrove’s argument about rehabilitation.

Nonetheless, with proper oversight from Corrections and assigning appropriate inmates to the tasks, this program can work.

Which is why I’m probably voting against it. The constitution of the state makes it illegal to use prison labor because of its built-in pitfalls. Prisoners by their nature aren’t employees. They can’t quit being prisoners, and they can be treated as slave labor. It’s better to just not open up a loop hole for abuse.

But, I’m willing to listen to anyone who can argue otherwise.

Find a new place for Drinking Liberally Olympia

From the guys down at DL:

I want to invite you to a very special Drinking Liberally meeting this coming Monday, the 22nd of October at the Tumwater Valley Bar and Grill, starting at 7:00 pm. We are sorry to report that this will be the last meeting held at the TVB&G. As you may know, the establishment is closing it’s doors on October 27th. It will be a sad day for many of us who have spent many an evening there with great friends, great conversation, great service and hosts, and of course-great food and drinks.

So what happens now? Barry and I have been diligently scouting restaurants, bars and taverns throughout Olympia-Tumwater-Lacey that could potentially host us. Several suggestions have been made. One of the most common is to gather at the Fishbowl Pub in Olympia. While we love “the Fish,” all the wonderful energy there results in so much noise, it is impossible to carry on a conversation as a group. At this point, Plenty’s and the Urban Onion seem to be possibilities.

If you have ideas please pass them along. Some criteria include: 1) Informal atmosphere that serves both food and libations at a reasonable cost; 2) Room to host a group between 8 and 20 with no minimum requirements; 3) Use of the facility must be free; and 4) it must be conducive to occasional energetic progressive oriented conversation!

Keep checking the website for future locations. Over the next couple of months, we will most likely be “trying out” a few different locations, and we will make sure that the website is posted with the most current information. The blog address is:
http://drinkingliberally.org/blogs/olympia/

So please join Barry and your fellow Drinking Liberally members on Monday in raising your glass, and toasting the Tumwater Valley Bar and Grill for being such great hosts to us over the past two years!

Save Our Sounders

Feels strange that the MLS would ever walk away from a 33-year old local brand name, but just in case, make sure to sign the Save Our Sounders petition.

SOS:

This effort has grown out of the many rumors surrounding the potential for Seattle being granted a Major League Soccer franchise for the 2009 MLS season. And, also the rumors regarding plans for professional soccer for 2008.

It has been speculated that there may be an announcement regarding Major League Soccer at the MLS Cup on November 18th, 2007 at RFK Stadium in Washington DC.

It has also been rumored that either the Sounders identity will move to MLS or that there will be a “Name the Team” campaign to be announced later.

Eric does a great job representing Sounders on MLS talk

MLS Talk:

Eric Gilbertson a fan of the Seattle Sounders since the mid 1970s joins us to discuss the history of the franchise as well as the probable move of the team to MLS in 2008 or 2009. We also review the US-Switzerland game with Jonathan Starling and give Bob Bradley the props he deserves for putting so much faith in young players and those playing their club football outside MLS and the Premier League.

Download here.

Seat of government in Oly; actual government not so much

The Puget Sound Partnership, a new state agency, will be located in Tacoma. The only part of the division of state government that will actually be located in Olympia is the headquarters:

…Governor Chris Gregoire today announced that the Puget Sound Partnership will open an office in the City of Tacoma’s Urban Waters marine research center on Thea Foss Waterway. The satellite office will operate in close proximity to Tacoma’s environmental services division labs and UW-Tacoma research labs.

Satellite? Won’t the Tacoma office include the agency’s executive director, and some 30 people?

Yes and yes.

But it appears officials are tip-toeing around a provision of the state constitution that requires the headquarters of state agencies to locate in the capitol. That usually means Olympia, but Tumwater and Lacey qualify, too.

Thus, the “headquarters” of the Puget Sound Partnership will likely remain in Olympia. But only on paper. In this case, the satellite will be larger than the mother ship.

Why the location yoga? Historylink:

Some state agencies began simply drifting away from Olympia; as early as 1899 the Board of Health moved to Seattle. After World War II ended in 1945, the trend of agencies leaving Olympia accelerated. By the mid-1950s, 13 agencies had moved their headquarters to Seattle. Once again the matter ended up in front of the Washington Supreme Court. On August 3, 1954, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that state agencies must headquarter in Olympia. “The decision, a new and stunning climax to the century-long fight by Olympians to be the center of state government, was written by Justice Charles T. Donsworth” (The Daily Olympian). In a 33-page decision, the court wrote: “We feel certain it was the intention of the framers of our state constitution and the people … that the whole of the executive department should be located in the seat of government” (The Daily Olympian).

The case was controversial enough to generate a written dissent. The four dissenting justices argued that the capital question was one for the Legislature, not the court, to decide.

Good legal rundown here.

30 jobs worth suing over? Well, no.

But, what would stop state agencies from leaving northern Thurston County all-together and just keep a one office “headquarters” intact in the state capital? How much of the PSP’s work do you think will actually get done in Olympia?

speaking of which, Portland is minor league

All the happy talk about Portland maybe joining Seattle in the MLS in 2010 or 2011 should be tempered with the weird behavior of an Oregonian columnist towards the MLS commissioner.

Listen to the entire mp3 (really large file warning) (hat tip GS-1) to hear some weird thoughts from an actual sports columnist. I mean, he gets paid to think this stuff:

Unless the MLS is the best soccer league in the world (like MLB is the best baseball league and NFL is the best football league), it isn’t a “major league.” So, in years that the EPL falls below La Liga, then EPL isn’t a major league? I dunno.

As MLS expands, raises in profile, more sports writers out themselves in the “I hate soccer irrationally” camp. Weird for a paper that has not only one, but two soccer bloggers to employee a knuckle dragging soccer hater.

Is Soccer Un-American? – Part 1

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