While more hotels is good, many jobs wait in limbo

OlympianSeptember 9, 2013 

It appears the Governor Hotel and the Capitol Plaza Hotel are being redeveloped and Hilton is working through the planning process for a new hotel on Henderson Boulevard. Mariott has talked about building across from the new Hands On Children’s Museum, and there are rumors that at least one other local hotel may have been sold. STEVE BLOOM/staff photographer

STEVE BLOOM — The Olympian

YAY: HOTEL ACTIVITY

In a sign of improved economic activity, rumors are swirling about the building and redevelopment of a number of hotels. It appears the Governor Hotel and the Capitol Plaza Hotel are being redeveloped and Hilton is working through the planning process for a new hotel on Henderson Boulevard. Mariott has talked about building across from the new Hands On Children’s Museum, and there are rumors that at least one other local hotel may have been sold.

It’s been a long drought for major new construction in the South Sound. Local nonprofit groups that depend, in part, on lodging tax revenues will benefit if even half of these rumors become reality.

 

BOO: IMPACT OF CLOSURE

Owners of the iconic Governor Hotel on Capitol Way indicate the facility will reopen after an extensive renovation. We hope that’s true. But, in the meantime, 20-plus employees have lost their jobs, and an uncertain fate awaits the MIJAS Restaurant located within the Governor.

MIJAS (Mujeres Improving Job Abilities and Skills) Restaurant opened in October 2009 by a group of Latina women, many of whom have survived domestic violence. It provides women with job skills and a safe environment to support themselves and their children while pursuing education or other training.

MIJAS may have to close until SafePlace completes its capital campaign and builds a new facility, which will include a permanent home for the authentic Mexican restaurant. Meanwhile, many women and small catering and food businesses will suffer.

YAY: TUMWATER COP SHOP

Tumwater voters gave the city approval to raise its public safety levy in 2011 to renovate woefully inadequate police department facilities. In another month, Tumwater officers and staff will move into the new 5,000 square-foot addition while the older space also gets an upgrade and a new roof. Good planning by the city and well-supported by voters.

BOO: PUYALLUP JAIL VIDEOS

A dozen people, including 11 women, are suing the Puyallup Police Department. They say they were videotaped while undressing and using the toilet in the city’s jail. The lawsuit also alleges sexual harassment by officers. The police have kept these videos, for some reason, exposing them to a public records request the city would have to honor. A court will decide the veracity of these allegations, but it’s an indefensible creepy practice that invites serious legal action. It should be stopped.

 

BOO: DENNIS RODMAN

OK, it was slightly amusing the first time former NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman went to North Korea and acted all buddy-buddy with cruel dictator Kim Jong Un. But since that visit, Kim has ordered public executions; refused to discuss the release of a Washington state missionary, Kenneth Bae, who is in ill health; and brushed off exposure of inhumane treatment of people at Camp 22.

Rodman said he just wants to meet “my friend Kim, the marshal,” who just happens to have a long list of human-rights abuses. It’s not funny now. It’s absurd to think Rodman can arrange Bae’s release, but crazy things do happen.

BOO: MISSING THE POINT

Religious intolerance seems like an oxymoron to us, but not to officials at the Ridgedale Church of Christ in Tennessee. Church leaders banned one woman, who had been a lifelong member of the congregation, for refusing to condemn her daughter, a lesbian. And here we thought parents were supposed to love their children unconditionally.

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