VOTE REGISTRATION CUTOFF
The deadline to register to vote in the general election has arrived — today (Oct. 26). Those Thurston County residents not already registered to participate in the Nov. 3 election need to register in person at the county Auditor’s Office, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, in Olympia, according to Auditor Mary Hall. Go to Building 1, Room 118.
About 4 million voters are registered statewide. Secretary of State Kim Wyman is predicting 46 percent turnout. Two initiatives — one barring sales of ivory and other endangered animal parts; the other cutting $1.4 billion a year in state sales taxes needed by public schools — are headlining the state ballot.
Locally, Olympia has a parks tax proposal on the ballot. There are also contested races for mayor in Olympia and Tenino, for city council in Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and other communities, and two commissioner seats are up for the Port of Olympia. Several school boards and fire districts also have have races or ballot requests.
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For details on candidates, go to The Olympian’s online voter guide: c3.thevoterguide.org/v/olympian15/build.do.
PROUD, GENEROUS TEENS
Noah Otto is a very popular student. He is in Tumwater High School’s Life Skills program that prepares special education students for jobs after graduation, and he was nominated with three other seniors for homecoming king. Principal Jeff Broome said he thinks Otto is the school’s first Life Skills student nominated for the royal court, and Otto was thrilled to be there.
Students ended up electing Kyle Summers as king, but Summers’ reaction was both princely and priceless. “Are you kidding? Why me? … I need to give this up,” he said later, calling Otto “a genuine loving person.’’
Summers immediately took his crown and sash and put them on Noah Otto. That students at the stadium broke out in applause says everything.
DEMOLITION WAS DUE
For the second time in recent months, demolition crews are laying waste to decrepit structures on the Olympia isthmus. This time it is the old Memorial Clinic — later used by the Thurston County health department — that is on its way to becoming rubble.
In April the same city-paid demolition team knocked down the former home of the Housing Authority of Thurston County.
Both eyesores stood for years on the strip of land between Budd Inlet and Capitol Lake. The city purchased both parcels along West Fourth Avenue in 2013 for $3.3 million. A future use has not been decided, but shops and low-rise housing could be good.
A third isthmus eyesore, the Capitol Center Building, may have a different future, too. Developer Ken Brogan hopes to complete a purchase agreement early next year that lets him renovate the nine-story structure for residential units upstairs and commercial uses at the street level.
Alternatively, some parks advocates hope voter passage of Proposition 1 next month can let the city buy and demolish Capitol Center. They envision Capitol Vista Park.
Whatever happens with Capitol Center, our city is seeing progress with the removal of blight.
SHELTON DRUG BUST
A grand jury’s indictment last week against 14 people for drug trafficking in Mason County was a good step. But it suggests a deeper regional problem — namely a big market for hard drugs. Shelton police and Mason County sheriff’s deputies seized 14 kilograms of methamphetamine and smaller amounts of cocaine and heroin.
Thirteen defendants are from California; law enforcement from both states were in on the investigation of a suspected two-state drug distribution organization, allegedly led by Olegario Trujillo, 29, of Fresno, California, according to Shelton Police Chief Darrin Moody.
Washington voters approved an initiative to legalize marijuana a few years ago, and backers hoped it would take profits out of illicit marijuana sales. Clearly there is still money in other product lines that cater to life-destroying addictions. Helping users get off their addictions should remain a community priority.