History, politics, people of Oly WA

Month: March 2009 (Page 1 of 2)

You’ll always have the Olympian

Because McClatchy will never be as stupid as the owners of the King County Journal/Eastside Journal/Bellevue Journal-American/South County Journal/Valley Daily News.

A little background. Ken puts it out there that the end is nigh for the Olympian. The new Olympian publisher responds a little too directly.

Ok, so this is why:

For over ten years the owners of the King County Journal rearranged the masthead, trying to catch up with a readership that was running in the other direction. The problem is, as soon as you change the brand of a local product, you end the need for that local product. The two original papers (Bellevue Journal-American and Valley Daily News) had a combined circulation of 66,000 over ten years ago. That evaporated to a very optomistic 41,000 a decade later.

I’m convinced that even if they had consalidated all production in Kent (as they eventually did) and leave a small bureau in Bellevue, but producing two papers with different mastheads, there would still be two additional dailies in King County.

This sort of thing — reducing the cost of production by having it all in one place, but scattering reporters into their communities — is sort of what the eventual owners of the King County Journal did. While they shut down the dying daily, they actually ended up increasing news content in most of their communities by increasing montly newspapers to weeklies and starting new publications in some communities.

Anyway, McClatchy has pretty much moved all production — pagination, printing, copy editing — to Tacoma, but the Olympian remains.

And, if you look at how McClatchy is arranged nationally (here and here), this sort of “hub and spoke” arrangement is how they operate. There is generally a large dominant (parent) daily surrounded by a few smaller weeklies and dailies. All of the children properties maintain their identities and brands, but all non-essential functions are taken care of at the parent paper.

The team killed by one game (Belfast Celtic and Happy Saint Patrick’s day)

On this St. Patrick’s Day, I remember Belfast Celtic, a team disbanded after a horrific game and its aftermath in the late 1940s. Despite their success, they were never admitted to the league system in Northern Ireland and were forced to hang it up due to fan on player violence.

From Wild Geese (which refers to this I assume):

That triumphal victory over the Scottish national side was several months ahead when the Celtic team took to Linfield’s pitch at Windsor Park, in staunchly unionist South Belfast, on Boxing Day 1948. Tension at matches between the two sides was always at a high. The match ended with the Celtic team having to run from the pitch for their lives when Linfield

fans poured over the terrace barriers at the end of a 1-1 draw. Centre forward Jimmy Jones was thrown over a parapet, kicked unconcious and left with a broken leg. Defender Robin Lawlor and goalkeeper Kevin McAlinden were seriously hurt.

More can be found at belfastceltic.org (hard site to link inside of without crashing firefox).

Belfast Celtic is also one of a dozen or so historic “celtic” teams across the world, many of whom wear the “celtic hoops” made famous by Glasgow Celtic. The Scottish Celtic team has their own storied past that straddles the sectarian violence in the United Kingdom, but unlike Belfast Celtic they surive to this day.

Tomorrow I’ll wear a jersey from another hoops team, Shamrock Rovers of Dublin. Rovers were a younger team than either Belfast or Glasgow Celtic and recieved their first set of uniforms from Belfast Celtic.

Local green party seen better days

Patrick Mendendez would like to think the local Green Party is an alternative worth supporting, but they probably need something to bring them off of life support. They failed to even get a quorum to their recent organizational meeting:

NOTE — a follow-up meeting was planned in two weeks time; however, we did not achieve a quorum at that meeting and the organizers have dropped their efforts for the time being.

This is probably the worst time ever for the even-more-liberal-than-the-Democratic party in Thurston County to be falling on hard times. They have so many built in advantages, at least electorally speaking.

The Top Two primary, at least theoretically, could put them in the general election in two upcoming elections. I haven’t heard of any Republican candidate at all in the upcoming Thurston commissioner race. And, in the fall of 2010 there will be an open seat in the 22nd LD.

Port of Shelton, Paul Harvey and Genocide

Beyond the entire interesting part of governing from a three person commission (one commissioner cannot make a decision alone) was the part about the port commissioner wanting to lower the flag to honor the death of Paul Harvey.

A lot of people seemed to like Harvey, but I’m wondering about the wisdom of honoring somone who looked fondly back on the North American genocide and nuclear war.

Hey Chase Gallagher, are you going to run for port commissioner up there anytime soon?

This week in metonymizing Olympia

1. The Other Side withOlympia is not closing Universities (so far) just shredding the social safety net…. Sorry about your social safety net, not sure how we got the authority to do that. But, to be honest, we’d never close a University, we’d actually like one of our own. Our four year school is just a lousy college.

2. Washington Conservation Voters (March 10) with an email titled “Have you called Olympia?” I do, practically everyday!

3. And, Richard Roesler at the SR politics blog with Idaho continues to loom on Olympia’s radar… It is such a big state Rich, and we’re such a small city, they all seem to loom on our radar. Except Rhode Island.

5 reasons why MLS PDX is a much better idea than MLB PDX

I was an enemy of Portland getting a major league baseball team from way back (even before this). But, them getting a MLS team is a much better idea. I hope they get one, at least so we can kick their asses around another whole level of soccer.

1. Know your town. For awhile there, Portland was a Single A affiliate to the Rockies. The Portland Rockies. Single A. Didn’t draw well as memory serves.

Even though the Beavers have been back in recent years, Portland has a much better track record of soccer town than a baseball town.

2. Know your league. For as much as I’d like to play up the significance of MLS, it is still very much an emerging league. So, while the NFL and MLB are safely ensconced in the economics of regional monopolies, MLS teams are much better served by building up regional rivalries.

Very few Portland soccer fans would travel up to Seattle to deliberately root for the Sounders, so the only way for the league to capitalize on soccer fans in Oregon is to put a team there.

3. Know your t.v. contract. MLB=regional cable, such as Fox Sports Northwest. MLS=local broadcast affiliate, like King 5/Kong 16. No cross-over into the Portland t.v. market.

4. Know your town #2. Almost unspeakable truth that Portland is different than saaaaaaay Cincinnati, right? I’m just saying that culturally, Portland is more a soccer town than a baseball town. See chapter 10 in How Soccer Explains the World.

5. Know your ass kicking. Come on Portland, come and get it. You know you miss us. You know you want to lose to us again in league.

Come on…

The imaginary battle for Washington’s state capitol

Jerry Reilly deploys hypothetical politics to defend the state legislature stepping into a local planning process (or Olympia telling Olympia what to do):

Opponents of this legislation should consider two questions:

If the state were just now deciding where to locate our capital city, would it be reasonable to ask the City Council of Olympia to agree to forgo intense development on the isthmus in order to protect the views from and to the Capitol Campus?

Would city leaders be likely to accept this limitation as a fair trade for the enormous benefit of being the capital city?

Here’s my consideration:

The last time there was a serious attempt to move the state capitol from Olympia was just about 100 years ago. Tacoma tried to step in and snatch the seat of government. There was a less serious attempt in the 1950s that involved quietly moving state agencies up to Seattle. We beat back that challenge, along with others.

So, I don’t really consider the threat to move the state capitol serious, even hypothetically.

And, for the “enormous benefit” we receive as being the capitol city, I wonder how many city’s our size would appreciate their largest industry not paying property taxes?

Also, since Lacey and Tumwater are now having nice new state buildings built in them, its high time the state legislature dip into their local planning processes as well.

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