Published September 29, 2012
Council wise to toughen efforts to combat blight
Olympia City Council is getting tougher on derelict property owners and those who deface public and private property with graffiti. Owners who don’t clean up their properties could now face multiple $250 fines in an effort to discourage repeat offenders. Some might suggest that even that amount is too low for those blighting neighborhoods around the city. Council also is moving toward making graffiti a malicious mischief charge, which will help the city track offenders. It’s encouraging to see the council taking tougher stands on cleaning up the visual appearance of the city. We can only hope that the folks down at LOTT Clean Water Alliance are not reading this editorial. The well-meaning but crazy people down in Brownwood, Texas, are considering recycling toilet water into drinking water. Ewwww. The city says it’s necessary to consider the most direct reuse of wastewater in America, because the record-setting drought has reduced its water supply to a dangerously low level. The system is called direct potable reuse. Wastewater would go through a secondary treatment plant after being treated at the wastewater plant, and then piped directly into residents’ drinking water. Not everyone is convinced. A 30-year resident and physician says, “This is the highest technology, and who’s running the machinery? It’s going to be their water development people. It’s not like we’ve got NASA engineers here supervising the whole process.” Note to LOTT: no thanks. Gov. Chris Gregoire has thrown her support behind a new campaign encouraging parents to read to their children for 20 minutes every day. Studies show that the ability to read is key to a child’s success in school, and parents sometimes assume they get enough educational time in school. “We know that when parents get involved at home, our students have a better chance at succeeding in school and in life. Just 20 minutes a day can not only help make your child a more proficient reader, it will strengthen the bond between parents and their kids,” Gregoire said. Break out the Dr. Suess. Want to do something good today? Head on down to the Thurston County Fairgrounds at 5:30 p.m. for Left Foot Organics’ seventh annual fundraising auction – the Fun Farm Formal – and donate some money to a great cause. Left Foot is a unique organization that helps people with intellectual disabilities of all ages engage with their communities through gardening. According to the group’s website, it “promotes self-sufficiency, inclusion and independence ... through meaningful, paid employment and training in the business of growing and selling quality organic food and farm products.” The groups needs financial support as its funding through grants has recently taken a dramatic decline. The Tenino City Council is so dysfunctional that it can’t even agree to try to get along. When one council member suggested holding a conflict-resolution retreat, he got zero response from his colleagues. Maybe he shouldn’t have asked them to give up their monthly $70 stipend to pay for it.