Don’t forget riot grrrls movement started here

The OlympianMay 12, 2014 

Guests play board games and foursquare during the opening ceremonies for the new Artesian Commons urban courtyard in downtown Olympia on Saturday, May 3, 2014.

TONY OVERMAN — Staff Photographer

YAY: Riot grrrls live

Kurt Cobain and Nirvana get most of the attention, but Olympia’s vibrant 1990s music scene spawned another revolutionary form of alternative rock: the riot grrrl movement. The Olympia band “Bikini Kill,” consisting of Kathleen Hanna, Tobi Vail and Kathi Wilcox are credited with starting this strand of punk rock promoting feminist activism. The breakthrough band’s first two EPs are being released in a new CD. We can’t wait.

YAY: Market opening

The West Olympia Farmers Market opens Tuesday, and good weather is promised. It’s another welcome sign that summer is just around the corner.

BOO: Veteran epidemic

It’s a national shame that recent wars have increased the 2014 suicide rate of American combat veteran suicides to the unimaginable average of 22 per day. We praise our veterans for their service, but that’s not enough. Congress can start by passing U.S. Senate Bill 2182 that extends the time period for free access to mental health treatment to 15 years. The symptoms of mental trauma often don’t materialize for 10 to 12 years, and current law cuts off free access at five years. Congress should not play partisan politics with this bill.

YAY: Downtown park

The city of Olympia opened its downtown park, called Artesian Commons, in a formerly vacant lot along Fourth Avenue. So far, it’s looking good. New paint, planters with flowers and patio seating have turned blight into beauty. Cheers to the Olympia Downtown Ambassador Program and Clean Team, and also volunteers from the Eastside Club Tavern, for sprucing up the area after city parks crew did the major renovations.

YAY: Downtown patrols

Police visibility is making a positive difference in downtown Olympia. One of the officers recently reported a complaint from a “group of travelers” that they don’t like being in downtown now because there are too many cops around. Law-abiding young people don’t have that concern.

BOO: Botched executions

Reading about the horror of Oklahoma’s botched execution of a murderer and rapist, we’re glad that Gov. Jay Inslee placed a moratorium on the death penalty during his governorship. But Washingtonians should not use this pause as time to perfect our methods of killing prisoners, but rather to rationally examine whether state-ordered executions make any practical or moral sense. We say, they do not.

BOO: One-percenter excess

Not that it helps, but America isn’t the only nation experiencing income inequality. A member of China’s 1-percent-club, the wife of a super-rich businessman, rented a mountain to teach her child about nature. Meanwhile, other people without access to food go hungry.

YAY: Fountain of youth

Has the key to immortality been discovered? Researchers have found that infusing old mice with the blood of young mice turns back the clock on aging. With new blood coursing through their veins, the muscles and brains of older mice were rejuvenated. No word on whether the older male mice resumed belly-laughing at flatulence jokes.

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