Commission should have chosen transparency

The OlympianMarch 24, 2014 

Legislative Building in Olympia. taken June10,2013

STEVE BLOOM — The Olympian. Buy Photo

Boo: Closed Meetings

The Legislature passed a bill this session that mandates training for public officials in the state’s Open Government and Public Records Act laws. It appears that can’t come too soon for the Olympia Planning Commission. One commissioner refused to attend a recent meeting with two developers because it was closed to the public.

Chair Max Brown said he was surprised by the complaint. We’re surprised that he’s surprised. People want to know what their government is doing, and have a right to know it. When it appears the public is denied access to important deliberations, they become suspicious and distrustful.

In the future, the planning commission should err on the side of more transparency, not less.

Yay: Replacing tools

Thieves recently broke into the Tenino Quarry and stole tools, other equipment and a trailer from South Sound master carver Keith Phillips. The city of Tenino has organized a benefit dinner auction to help Phillips replace his means to a livelihood. Phillips does the stone carving work on state Capitol, historic courthouses and other buildings. The benefit is at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 5 at the Tenino Eagles.

 Yay: No beach clutter

About two years ago, a year after the devastating tsunami hit Japan, there was growing concern about potentially overwhelming piles of debris washing up on Washington’s coastal beaches. It hasn’t happened. Some debris has come ashore, but far less than predicted. Where did it all go? No one is quite sure. But we’re glad it didn’t come here.

Yay: City cleanup

Congrats to those behind the Olympia Memes Facebook page for organizing a citywide clean up of dirty syringes and other debris Saturday.

Those who want to help clean up downtown can join the Olympia Downtown Association and PBIA on April 19 for the annual pre-Arts Walk spring cleaning. Volunteers can sign at odaevent@tss.net, or just show up at the Olympia Press Building at 8.30 a.m.

Yay: Fasting on tech

Modern-day Christians have a new option when it comes to giving up something for the 40 days of Lent. According to MarketWatch.com, 31 percent of those giving up something say they are “fasting from technology,” and another 16 percent are giving up social media. But not before tweeting that out to their followers, we presume.

Yay: Toning down movies

The Connecticut Legislature is considering a state ban on movies or movies previews that exceed 85 decibels. The national Institute for Occupational Safety and Health considers that the maximum level for workers on an eight-hour shift to avoid hearing loss. For comparison, the sound of a blow dryer is 100 decibels. Ear-splitting volumes detract, not enhance, the movie theater experience.

Boo: Imitating Barbie

While controversy continues about the Barbie doll as a poor representative of the bodies of real women, a California woman has gone way over the edge. The 38-year-old has undergone a series of plastic surgeries and botox treatments to turn herself into a real-life version of the doll. And that includes weekly hypnotherapy to become a vacant-minded bimbo. “I’m already starting to feel ditzy and confused all the time,” she said. No comment.

 

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