History, politics, people of Oly WA

Month: January 2010

Anti-Tim Sheldon bill would make Joe Hyer choose a position

While SB 6588 (pdf warning is aimed at Mason County commissioner/State Senator Tim Sheldon, it would also force Joe Hyer to choose to be a city council member or county treasurer.

Hyer, who sits on the Olympia city council, is also running for county treasurer. He also might be applying to temporarily fill the position that is already being vacated by the sitting treasurer.

The proposed bill does have some built in wiggle room:

Any elected official holding two positions prior to this bill’s effective date may continue to serve out the remainder of each term. At the expiration of each term, that elected official may subsequently only hold one elected office at a time.

So, if the law becomes effective this summer, Hyer is appointed to fill out the remainder of the open treasurer term and is elected in November, it sounds like he’d need to resign the city council soon after that.

New Timberland non-fiction tweeting and twitter level tech support

If you follow my twitter feed, you noticed earlier this week that I’ve been featuring a book a day from Timberland’s recent non-fiction RSS feed. This is in a way to try to publicize that Timberland gets a lot of new books, and indirectly publicize the feed, but to also try to do something innovative to support the library.

I’m also assuming there are non-fiction nerds out there that might appreciate it.

Not sure how innovative it actually is, but no one else was doing it and that’s enough of me patting me on the back.

Here’s the really funny part. When I first started posting the updates earlier this week @epersonae noticed that my links weren’t actually going to the book, but rather just to some “you’re lost dude” page at TRL’s online database. For some reason, when you get a link to a particular book via Timberland, it isn’t a permanent one. Sucks for sharing.

Then, @ahniwa came along and found a couple of solutions (the second seems way easier to me).

This is going to be a some what typical story of someone coming along in twitter and helping you out with something. I’ve gotten help like this before, but its always beautiful and nice when it happens, and very much worth mentioning.

Worth mentioning most is that @ahniwa is a library employee, but not for the library that I was trying to link to. He works for the state library. Anyway, good twitter y’all.

One county commissioner, 10 city council-members, three school board members (and some more) come out for Stew Henderson

The list is long and deep and it looks like local Dems are lining up behind Stew Henderson for the 22nd LD:

The full list of endorsements announced today include:
• Karen Valenzuela, Thurston County Commissioner
• Doug Mah, Olympia Mayor
• Karen Rogers, Olympia City Council
• Joe Hyer, Mayor pro tem, Olympia City Council
• Cynthia Pratt, Lacey City Council
• Andy Ryder, Lacey City Council
• Mary Dean, Lacey City Council
• Ron Lawson, Lacey City Council
• Joan Cathey, Tumwater City Council
• Betsy Murphy, Tumwater City Council
• Ed Stanley, Tumwater City Council
• Eileen Thomson, Olympia School Board
• Mark Campeau, Olympia School Board
• Allen Miller, Olympia School Board
• George Barner, Olympia Port Commissioner
• Chris Stearns, Public Utility Commissioner
• Jay Manning, Chief of Staff to Gov. Chris Gregoire and former Director of Ecology
• Karen Messmer, former Olympia City Council Member
• John Cusick, immediate past Chair, Thurston County Democratic Party
• Debby Pattin, WA State Democratic Party Committeewoman for Thurston County
• Roger Erskine, WA State Democratic Party Committeeman for Thurston County

Here’s what Jay Manning has to say:

“I’ve known Stew for years, both personally and professionally. He will be an outstanding legislator, bringing excellent judgment, honesty and a great work ethic to the table,” said Jay Manning, former Director of the state Department of Ecology and current Chief of Staff to Governor Chris Gregoire.

Here’s his full list of endorsements.

How a newspaper works

It may seem as simple as interesting text and sells ads around it to support you writing interesting things, but Alec Clayton’s post on how he became a newspaper man shows there’s something deeper and something harder about it.

His description of Everything for Everybody, which was less a newspaper and more a representation of a larger community:

It was 1973, New York. I had recently joined a crazy kind of hippy employment agency/apartment finder/social network called Everything for Everybody and teamed up with a band of handymen who called themselves, variously, The Midnight Carpenters, Uncle John’s Band, and TANSTAAFL (an acronym for There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch), and moved in with two of the TANSTAAFL guys, Sam and Mike, in an apartment on 165th Street.

An explanation about Everything for Everybody is in order. It was an organization that claimed to do just what the name boasted—everything for everybody. For a five dollar monthly membership fee you could list jobs wanted, services offered, apartments for rent, or if you were looking for a mate or friend or wanted to start a book club or learn yoga. No limits on what you could list or how many listings. The listings were all kept on index cards in a storefront on 8th Avenue and 10th Street. Members had free access to all listings, so if, for instance, you needed someone to walk your dog you could find a listing for a dog walker and give him or her a call. It was as simple as that. All of the listings were also published in the organization’s monthly newspaper, which Mike and Sam put together. Sam was nominally the editor, but Mike did all the work.

Everything for Everybody is a drastic example, but a good newspaper should be for its community what the E4E newspaper was for its community, a representation of the social network between people. A newspaper should speak to the people within a community in a much different sense than how it would seem to an outsider.

In that sense, a newspaper can now be in a real sense, obviously not even printed. A tight online social network can serve much the same purpose E4E did.

It should also be hard to put together, because there’s a need to do it right:

We worked for a couple of hours until we discovered that there were many more listings than there was space for them. “They won’t fit,” Mike said. “We’ve got to leave a few out.”

He decided which ones to leave out. He cut out half the older listings.

We ended up eliminating about 50 listings that in Mike’s judgment were repetitious and unnecessary. We finished the newspaper about midnight, put the sheets in a big flat box and hopped in the A Train to take it to Jack in his apartment on Bank Street in the Village. We used to do a thing we called surfing the A Train, standing up and trying to hold balance with the swaying and lurching of the train without holding on. We did that all the way from 165th Street to 14th Street. We got to Jack’s apartment, handed him the sheets to look over, and Sam let out that we’d eliminated a lot of the listings. Jack went ballistic. He told us that the members paid for those listings and they could not be left out—as if he had to tell us that. He told us to go back and add four pages (for people who don’t know, you can’t add a single page; they’re sheet fed through the printer with four pages per sheet).

So we surfed the train back home and added four more pages. Now we needed filler. Mike wrote an article, and I think I wrote one too. I designed a big ad for TANSTAAFL, creating a logo on the spot and hand lettering the acronym with a felt tip pen, and we found a cartoon and a poem that had been submitted by other people but never used. We worked all night and delivered the finished newspaper to Jack at seven o’clock the next morning. He said it was the best looking edition yet—which was not saying much; I’d seen earlier editions and they were not much to brag about.

Olyforum, where did it die?

This hilarious ONN report reminded me of a dead local online civilisation, the once vaunted (by me) Olyforums:

So, what happened to Olyforums?

The folks that I understand to have been the main moderators over there, S6, Christie, Rummy, and Just Plain Onry (I can spell that one out) haven’t signed on to their forums since late last summer. The drop off in posting seemed to occur in late spring, but the dead rot didn’t seem to really set in until September.

Anyway, what happened over there? Here are some possibilities:
1. Summer is a hard time to blog. Lots of sunshine, lots of travelling, people just get bored with it and sometimes it just drops away. And, sometimes everyone drops away at the same time.
2. Twitter and FB done killed it. I noticed a trend the year that my attention was being sucked up by my other social media accounts and I had less energy to blog. I am a lot less active at Olyblog and the blogging I have been doing has been over here. I can expect that other users at OF have experienced the same thing and just don’t have time to put up with a forum where they can hear from people they don’t particularly like. Moderating is a headache too, as we’ve learned.
3. Just a bit too caustic to live? Since the beginning, Olyforums was supposed to a be a place where everyone could hate on each other without being afraid of being banned. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t moderation, but the invention of invisible in you’re just browsing subforums (The Basement and the War Zone) was supposed to give more freedom to people who just wanted to yell at each other online.
Maybe a bit of history is needed. My understanding is that the founder of Olyforum, S6, started it up in reaction to moderation policies at another local blog, Olyblog. The core idea was that Olyforum would be friendlier place for conservatives who chafed at the apparent liberal bent of moderation policies at Olyblog.
Anyway, what could have happened is that when you found an online forum based on the core principal that everyone is allowed to be a shit head to each other, eventually, people get tired of going to a place full of shit heads. Rather than asking people to better their discourse, the place eventually falls apart.
I think this late thread in the deep dungeon of Olyforum points to that. In the thread which is housed in the War Zone subforum, apparently a really weird and threatening PM from one member to another causes the messaged member to drop out of the forum. Apparently, a lot of people were experiencing that.

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