Situation in Pacific is one motivator to research candidates

July 8, 2013 

YAY: LOCAL ELECTIONS

During local election years (no state or national candidates on the ballot), voter turnout tends to decline. That’s unfortunate, because choosing candidates for city councils, school boards and mayors can have a direct impact on a citizen’s life.

Take the small city of Pacific (population 6,800), for example. Less than two years ago, there was little interest in Pacific municipal politics, so Cy Sun won the mayor’s race on a write-in ballot with only 471 votes.

Recently, Pacific residents won a recall vote and ousted Sun based on allegations that he used the city’s police as his personal investigators, ran three police chiefs and other department heads out of office, was arrested trying to enter the city clerk’s office and caused $11 million in lawsuits against the city, which has a total budget of $15 million.

Need any more motivation to learn about your candidates and cast a vote?

YAY: SUMMER LUNCHES

The annual Summer Food Service Program is underway in the South Sound, serving free hot and cold lunches for children at two locations. Kids can get a hot lunch at Madison Elementary and a cold sack lunch at Woodruff Park. The Olympia program is part of a national effort to feed children during the summer months who would otherwise qualify for free and reduced lunch during the school year. Thanks to the City of Olympia for sponsoring the program locally.

YAY: LAKEFAIR COMING

The Fourth of July celebrations have concluded, and that means just one thing: Capital Lakefair is fewer than 10 days away. The 50-plus-year-old iconic Olympia event expects to draw more than 300,000 visitors.

If you like taking a spin on the Ferris wheel for a view from the top, and have a hanker for an onion burger or elephant ears (preferably after the ride), then head down to Lakefair next week, starting July 17.

YAY: HARDWORKING FIREFIGHTERS

The loss of 19 “hotshot” firefighters to the Arizona wildfire reminds us of another group of Americans who put their lives on the line. Their sacrifice to protect us and our homes is as selfless and tragic as soldiers lost overseas. Although this fire started with a lightning strike, we can honor these firefighters’ memories by increasing our individual efforts to eliminate fire hazards in rural areas.

YAY: PAT RANTS

Local “futballer” Patrick Rants played on the Tri Alliance Saints team that won the men’s 50-54 division in the U.S. Amateur Soccer Association championship recently in San Diego. Proving that old guys can still kick it.

BOO: TOO MANY GUNS

A new national study found that Americans own almost 300 million firearms. That works out to nine guns for every 10 people. That ownership statistic is 50 percent higher than any other nation in the world. Makes us wonder why we feel the need for so many guns.

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