YAY: MAGNA CARTA
Secretary of State Kim Wyman and others are sponsoring a celebration Monday (June 15) to mark the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. The event is at noon at the state Supreme Court. The Great Charter, issued by England’s King John in 1215, laid out principles protecting individuals against unlawful jailing or searches, which “represents a turning point in people’s relationship to their government and to the fundamental notion of human rights and the right to a trial by one’s peers,” Wyman said.
Some celebrations don’t get old.
BOO: ROBERT BALES
No doubt former Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, killer of 16 Afghan civilians, is suffering at the knowledge he’ll likely spend his life behind bars for the worst atrocities during the U.S. occupation of that country. But letters he wrote last year in a bid for a reduced sentence provide little evidence he is yet a man who could be safely released back into society. “I planted war and hate for the better part of 10 years and harvested violence,” he wrote in letters recently obtained by news reporters. “After being in prison two years, I understand that what I thought was normal was the farthest thing from being normal.’’
YAY: PORT APPOINTMENT
Michelle Morris was sworn in Thursday morning as the third commissioner at the Port of Olympia. She’ll serve until the fall elections, when voters select a permanent replacement for Sue Gunn, who resigned for health reasons. Eight people stepped forward to seek the position, and we give credit to Port of Olympia commissioners George Barner and Bill McGregor for not playing electoral favorites and instead limiting their choice to one of the four hopefuls who had not filed to run for the remainder of Gunn’s term. They also wisely chose a woman, providing diversity the commission lacked before Gunn; Morris also shares Gunn’s passion for environmental protection. Well done.
BOO: FLAT REVENUES
State government’s revenues appear to be picking up and forecasters upped their outlook last month, suggesting several hundred million in new tax receipts were likely over the next two years. But the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council offered a collections report Thursday that was $3.2 million less than last month’s quarterly forecast would have suggested.
The council said an early refund of $5 million lowered the treasury’s net gain below target for the month. So things should look better in July.
YAY: OLYMPIA ROWERS
The Olympia Area Rowing team earned berths for the US Rowing Youth National Championships and they did it the old fashioned way: by hard work. The team qualified three boats for the races in Sarasota, Florida.
However they fare, our hats are off to Savannah Inglin and Willa Jeffers on a women’s double team; Jack Gerhard, Nick Taylor, Jeremy Sawyer and Ian Flynn-Thomas on a lightweight men’s four-member team with coxswain Maddy Cope; and Josh Katz, Noah Montz, Chris Hull and Johnathon Kneeland on a men’s quad team.
YAY: CHARITY ARM WRESTLERS
A little bit of muscle skillfully applied raised $4,520 for low-income women in need last month in Olympia. A group known as the Olympia Collective of Lady Arm Wrestlers, or Oly Claw, sponsored an arm wrestling tournament for the second year to assist Parents Organizing for Welfare and Economic Rights. POWER advocates for low-income families.