History, politics, people of Oly WA

Category: other blogs (Page 1 of 7)

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.

Today’s Lympians! (let’s change the constitution for Carrie Prejean!)

OOoooo! ooo! I have one!

Oooh, darnit:

The Twelfth Amendment states that “no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.” Thus, to serve as Vice President, an individual must:

* Be a natural-born U.S. citizen;
* Not be younger than 35 years old; and
* Have lived in the U.S. for at least 14 years.

Ken Balsley says firemen, cops abandoned posts during an earthquake, firemen shoot back

In this post outlining what he calls a new aristocracy (apparently making sure front line government workers don’t get sick during a pandemic is not a good thing) Ken makes this seemingly off-hand reference:

Government was unable to function because its employees had gone home – – fire fighters, police, emergency services, many had left their jobs to check on their families.

Wow, them’s fighting words. Took them awhile, but the Lacey fire fighters are fighting back:

Recently, a local publication reported that fire fighters abandoned their posts on that crisp February morning and so did many police officers. I am here to say having worked that day as a fire fighter and remembering it vividly, that none of that crap happened and I am left wondering if the intent was really to discredit us as cops, fire fighters, or emergency workers, or just to add interesting material to the publication. Who cares, bottom line: It never happened.

So, what is the point of discrediting government workers in general, but also firemen in particular? The union that represents Lacey firemen has been particularly engaged this election cycle, but I’m more willing to think that its just Ken being Ken and that he’s knocking any sort of government worker, not just firemen. In his world, its just believable that firemen would go home after an earthquake.

But, I’d also let the firemen speak for themselves:

When the Nisqually earthquake hit, our first order after we took cover and waited for the shaking to stop was to roll the apparatus out of our then aging masonry structures in case the aftershocks caused them to fail. As some areas had lost power, it took a few moments to get this done by manually opening doors at some stations. By the time the apparatus had been rolled out, the first off duty responders started coming in. Unlike many areas, many Lacey Fire District #3 employees live in their city of employment. Within 45 minutes, every single apparatus the department owned was staffed or being moved into position to offset response in areas of heavy call volume. This all went down as the City of Olympia had significant areas of road failures, elevator collapse downtown, and people stuck in elevators throughout the Capitol Campus. Lacey also had multiple gas leaks, a trailer fire in the Nisqually Valley and well over 100 calls by 3pm that day including treating sick and injured children from the local schools.

Off duty Lacey Fire District fire fighters, both volunteer and paid, came in as far away as Lewis and Pierce County to respond to calls. NO ONE abandoned their posts that day and to do so would have meant immediate termination with the union demanding it and definitely not defending it.

Lacey residents don’t go out at night, don’t travel beyond city limits

Ken of Lacey has a problem with a political forum being held at night in a neighboring city by a countywide organization.

Much better for residents to take a long lunch to hear another forum in the middle of the day.

So, let me get this right. Lacey residents can’t drive three miles out of town to attend a forum in Olympia, but they have time to take off in the middle of the day to attend a forum that is marginally close? O.k.

Olympia as “an arm pit,” Olympia as a “Best City”

You can’t please everyone and generally speaking you can’t please Andy at Thurston Pundits. The same week Olympia celebrates being number 6 on some national list (yawn, I’m so tired of being honored so), Andy rips out with this one:

I avoid Olympia proper as much as I possibly can. I don’t shop there and I try to avoid dining there if I can think of an alternative. Why? The place is an arm pit and has become more so in line with the volume of the “We hate America” crowd that infests downtown and nearby areas.

Generally speaking, the reason Olympia gets on certain national lists as being a good place is that its relatively cheap to live here, because of government our employment levels are stable (generally), there is a lot of culture here for the size of the city (thanks to the state government and Evergreen), temperate weather and pretty geography.

The reason Andy hates downtown Olympia is because a lot of liberals hang out down there and there is graffiti. Makes sense to me, people oftentimes make decisions where to be based on politics and how their politics inform their culture.

Far be it from Andy to shop at Einmaleins, that anti-American shop owned by a German! (By the way, that’s a joke. In my mind there is no more pro-American shop than Mathias’ place.)

Anyway, it makes sense because so many people make the same decisions. Read a great series by the Austin American-Statesmen on the Great Divide phenomena here. Generally speaking, it says people choose where they live by Andy’s standards: do you agree with me, do you like the stuff I like.

So, for the very reason Andy hates downtown Olympia, a lot of people simply love it. They love the liberal to radical politics of our geography, they love things like graffiti art (a portion of it is art) and Procession.

The Kiplinger’s rating has nothing to do with taste, but rather other, less subjective standards. Other than, I guess, the presence or absence of culture.

All that said, Andy is right. Olympia is a total hole. Crap hole filled with dung heaped with bad food and smelly people. Don’t move here. Just send envelopes of cash. Thanks!

I miss Pat Beehler’s old R. Scott centric banner

When you go to Pat Beehler’s website now, you’ll see this perfectly acceptable banner that not only features the colors of the American flag, but a picture of Pat himself. Totally professional.

But, you know what I miss?


The original banner, that featured the chair of the county Republicans giving his thumbs up endorsement of Beehler, looking like the dude from Steethawk.

The man… the machine… R. Scott.

Ken Camp at metonymic trouble maker

I feel like the guy that Ken Camp motions to in a crowded room and says to his buddies, “Watch this, I’m going to get Emmett all riled up.” Then he walks up to me, says something, and steps back and smiles as I start yelling at random people.

See, Ken is the one that keeps on emailing me stories like this one.

And, this one, which is really funny:

See! You get it? We’re so vain down here that not only do we own machinery to kill trees, but we put a vanity plate on it!

Not that I mind entertaining Ken, he’s a great guy for a Trojan. I’m just saying, that if you’re wondering why I keep harping on this, its because Ken hands me ammo.

Ken would also like to have his own metonymy battle to wage, but people only use Tumwater rarely when they are referring to any collection of office buildings and bad roads.

And, back to that first column up top, it really isn’t all that bad. Mostly the headline sucks, and I doubt the author had anything to do with writing that. The last paragraph actually dances around the metonymy of Olympia nicely, while using some very colorful language:

What’s gone on in Olympia is the deliberate infliction of misery on small, helpless people, powerless to object — Hank, Dave, Gretchen, Stephen and Mike don’t vote, nor do they contribute to re-election campaigns. With no toadies in Olympia, they got the shaft.

“Toadies in Olympia.” Now that is sweet.

Lacey is chickensh*t if it doesn’t annex

The looming invisible city, which Ken addresses well here.

Here’s the money graph:

Lacey City Manager Greg Cuoio told the group that the City of Lacey comprises 38,000 people in 16 square miles. The urban areas around Lacey hold 30,000 people in their 16 square miles. Cuoio said the general fund budget for Lacey is $38 million. If it were to annex the urban areas surrounding the city, it would receive only $10 million in tax revenue.

“That’s a deficit of about $28 million dollars a year,” Cuoio said. In addition he added, “it would take between a half billion and a billion dollars, to bring those areas up to city standards.”

Makes you wonder why Thurston County is having such money problems and Lacey isn’t, huh? Well, it likely isn’t better management, but just better annexing. Lacey has tons of shopping and very few actual residents. If it were to bring in the residential areas to the southeast, it would bankrupt the city.

But, as Ken points out, Lacey is already using the non-city residential areas to place city owned parks, senior centers and community spaces. Maybe they should just suck it up and start annexing their shadow city.

I always knew the “Seattle chill” was bull shit

Depending on how you want to view it, Eric at Sightline’s piece about the “Northwest Personality” will either reaffirm your belief in the Seattle Chill or convince you still it doesn’t exist.

From Eric:

Northwest states are among the most open and least neurotic places you can find, but we are also among the least extraverted. Not surprisingly, Oregon and Washington perform almost identically on every measure. More interesting, perhaps, is that Alaska, Idaho, and Montana are also very similar in some respects (though quite different in some others).

The good news is that the Northwest is not a neurotic place. Washington is the 46th least neurotic state in the union, followed by Alaska at 47th, and Oregon at 48th. (Idaho and Montana rank 32rd and 39th, respectively.) To get any less neurotic, you’d have to move to South Dakota (49th), Colorado (50th), or Utah (51st).

The other nice thing about the Northwest is our openness. Oregon is the 3rd most open state in the nation while Washington is 5th. (Only New York, Massachusetts, and DC are comparably open.) But move away from the urban Northwest and the openness appears to fall off: Montana is 16th; Idaho is 30th; and Alaska is 49th.

What do you call a region that is neither neurotic nor extroverted? Totally sane. Yeah, say you take a state that ranks both high in neuroticism and extroversion (like Pennsylvania) I guess you could say they weren’t as chill(y) as us. I’d also say they were also totally unhinged.

What outsiders say is our tendency to be on the surface nice but total dicks in action, I say we’re just not as freaking crazy as you are, so can you please get a grip of our sanity?

Also, another note that Eric makes is that as a region, the Northwest flows pretty well as a group through the personality traits, except for openness. As Oregon and Washington rank pretty high the more conservative northwest states are lower down (Montana 16th, Idaho 30th and Alaska 50th). Northwest conservative, in that regard, means you are less open.

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