News Columns & Blogs

Metro parks idea good for Shelton, maybe Olympia

Shelton residents are voting April 27 on whether to create a metropolitan parks district. The measure's proponents want to create a stable funding source for the city's parks and recreation programs.

Metro parks districts make sense because they focus on a community’s recreational assets that often get forgotten. Parks increase the value of nearby properties, create opportunities for small businesses from event-based tourism and indirectly generate sales tax revenues. The National Association of Home Builders says most people looking to buy a home prefer locations near a park.

A metropolitan parks district is something the city of Olympia might also consider.


The Olympian is launching an eight-week trivia contest. The winners will receive two tickets to a Seattle Mariners game, who, it is rumored, might actually be good this year.

We will publish an advertisement containing the trivia question every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. If you know the answer, fill out a print entry and mail it to us or drop it off at our office on Bethel Street by 5 p.m. each Friday.

You’ll also be directed to our Web site ( where you can find the answer, and can click on the “enter online” button. This allows you an additional entry each day. From the correct entries, we’ll draw a winner. We’ll publish the print entry winner’s name in the advertisement the following Tuesday, and we’ll publish the online winner’s name the following week on the online entry page. You can find the complete rules in the first advertisement Sunday, April 11.


The United Way of Thurston County raised more than $7,000 from the 200 people who came out to honor Paul Grudis on March 12. Grudis is the Olympia humanitarian who has been quietly making a difference in the lives of Evergreen Vista residents. Two anonymous donors are also contributing $1,000 per year for the next 10 years so that Grudis’ after-school study program, called The Homework Club, will continue. ... The Olympia Master Builders joined in the effort to raise $11,000 for one of its members, Tommy Poplin, a builder and business owner in Ocean Shores. Poplin was recently injured in a motor vehicle accident. The family medical insurance only covered a portion of Poplin’s medical expenses. ... It’s our downtown. We should help keep it clean.

The Olympia Downtown Association and the Parking Business Improvement Area are organizing a downtown cleanup from 8.30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 17. Register with the ODA in advance (360-357-8948) then meet at the Olympia Press Building for assignments. ...Community Youth Services raised $77,000 in gifts and pledges at its recent “Have a Heart for Kids Breakfast.” The total broke previous fundraising records. ... The Rainier Education Foundation in Yelm recently raised about $45,000 at its 11th annual Auction for Education, according to REF President Roxie Stancil. ... The Thurston County Chamber of Commerce will announce its 2010 Green Business Awards at a forum April 14 at the Worthington Center. Program coordinator Mike Williams says, “We’re just providing a convenient way to let area businesses know about the ways they can save money and preserve natural resources at the same time.” ... Local resident Warren Carlson recently attended a conference for the Association for the Advancement of International Education. Carlson is an advocate of solar cookers. He’s connected with a group called Global Issues Network to promote solar cooking projects involving high school students in international schools throughout sub-Sahara Africa.

George Le Masurier, publisher of The Olympian, can be reached at 360-357-0206 or at