Change law that allows evictions of houseboat dwellers

The OlympianOctober 21, 2013 

Sharing her 30x12-foot houseboat with Ms. Diva, her cocker spaniel companion and shipmate, Ginny Stern may face eviction from her West Bay Marina location due to an existing Dept. of Natural Resources' rule that residents can live aboard marine vessels, but not houseboats. She along with a number of other houseboat owners are challenging it and gaining help from several local government officials.



A small number of people have been living on houseboats in West Bay Marina and Martin Marina for more than a decade. But now they face eviction because of the language in state law that permits people to live only on boats. It’s a bureaucratic splitting of hairs. Permitting people to live on boats, but not houseboats, doesn’t make practical sense. The state Department of Natural Resources should delay the evictions until it either rewrites the law forbidding all live-aboards or includes living in houseboats as a permitted use.



We knew Saint Martin’s Cebula Hall was a special building, but didn’t expect it to receive the highest LEED rating in the Western Hemisphere. Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design, or LEED, is a rating system of the U.S. Green Building Council used to encourage resource-efficient designs. Cebula Hall’s 97 out of 100 points ranks it third-highest in the world. It’s a remarkable achievement for the new engineering facility.



Well-known Hollywood actor Elliott Gould was in town over the weekend to help the Olympia Film Society raise money for its conversion to digital film projection. Gould starred in the original “M*A*S*H” movie that spawned the long-running television series. Nice coup for the film society.


Any parent of a middle school student knows kids at that age need to chill out. The stress associated with coming of age can negatively impact children who don’t have a sufficient release valve. That’s what so good about the yoga program at Aspire Middle School for the Performing Arts in Lacey. Teaching young adults a method for calming themselves, while getting exercise, provides a life-long benefit. We encourage other middle schools to follow Aspire’s lead.



Not many knew of Maxine Powell, who died last week at the age of 98. She was responsible for teaching the young Motown artists of the 1960s how to dress and behave in public. Her so-called Motown Finishing School was really the artist development department of Motown Records. Powell helped the Supremes, Smokey Robinson and others deal with sudden celebrity and coached them in how to respect their own image. Where are you now, Ms. Powell, when so many need your help?



Forget GMs. How about a label for nuggets and other food-like substances? An analysis of nuggets from two fast-food chains found they were 50 percent or less meat and mostly mixtures of blood vessels, nerves, fat, cartilage and bone fragments. Don’t even ask what’s in some sausages or hot dogs.

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