Don’t forfeit your stake in our democratic process

The OlympianOctober 28, 2013 

Secretary of State Kim Wyman estimates only 51 percent of Washington’s eligible voters will turn out for the Nov. 5 general election.

STEVE BLOOM

BOO: VOTER TURNOUT

Secretary of State Kim Wyman estimates only 51 percent of Washington’s eligible voters will turn out for the Nov. 5 general election. Fewer people typically vote in off years – those years without presidential, federal or statewide races. But that doesn’t excuse the lack of participation in the democratic process.

Think about this: If Wyman is correct, a mere 26 percent of eligible voters, roughly speaking, will elect our next county auditor, port commissioner, city council members, school board directors and fire commissioners. That’s terrible.

This year’s candidates will arguably make a more significant difference in daily life — property taxes, adequate public safety and so on — than any president or individual congressman.

Please vote. Today is the last day to register at the county office, 2000 Lakeridge Drive, Olympia.

 

YAY: BUDDING WRITERS

As a business that depends on a literate population, we love to encourage young readers and writers. So, hats off to the Peter G. Schmidt Elementary School in Tumwater for engaging more than 600 future playwrights. Diane Hall runs a Readers Theater program at the school in which students write and perform original scripts inspired by some text.

The new Common Core curriculum puts equal emphasis on writing and reading, so Hall’s innovative program is cutting edge and timely.

 

YAY: EXCELLENT TEACHERS

George Christoph, a mathematics teacher at River Ridge High School, is one of four state finalists for the nationwide Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

A panel of math experts and award-winning teachers selected Christoph. One finalist in each discipline from all 50 states will win a PAEMST. Good luck, George.

 

YAY: SAVING FARMLAND

The South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust has preserved another 147 acres of prime agricultural land in the Rochester area, which it will lease back to farmers. For 16 years, the group has been preserving good soil for agricultural use and creating opportunities for budding farmers who don’t have the means to purchase their own land. It’s a win-win for everyone.

BOO: CITY OF TENINO

The City Council tabled indefinitely a pre-written ordinance banning single-use plastic grocery bags. Apparently, they’re too busy to consider a pre-written ordinance.

 

BOO: OREO ADDICTION

Researchers at Connecticut College have found Oreo cookies more addictive than cocaine. Lab rats were given a choice of rice cakes, Oreos and a saline solution containing either cocaine or morphine. Needless to say, the rice cakes weren’t that popular. The surprise came when they found the cookies triggered more activity in the brain’s pleasure center than the drugs. One of the researchers said, “I haven’t touched an Oreo since.”

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