YAY: Olympia sign painter

The OlympianMay 26, 2014 

Olympia sign painter Ira Coyne’s many contributions to the historical crafts of sign making and mural painting will be recognized Tuesday night when the Olympia City Council presents him with the 2014 Preservation Award.

Coyne’s hand-crafted signs and murals grace many buildings in downtown Olympia, including business signs for Olympia Supply, Vic’s Pizzeria and the West Olympia Food Co-op and the mural recognizing Olympia’s first black female entrepreneur, “Rebecca Howard: Pacific Hotel & Restaurant.”

Through his work, the Seattle born son of an art teacher captures the cultural and historical significance of the community. The award is a fitting way for the city to join in the national May celebration of Historic Preservation Month.

SAD: PEREGRINE FALCONS

The discovery last week of a pair of peregrine falcons raising two chicks nesting in an abandoned bald eagle’s nest behind the Governor’s Mansion was greeted with a sense of relief and joy by community members.

It’s quite likely that the peregrine pair are the same two adults that nested on one of the two Port of Olympia cranes for years. They lost that nest this spring when the port dismantled and shipped the cranes to Canada.

The joy quickly turned to sorrow late last week when the replacement nest, which was in bad shape, either fell apart or was attacked by predators. A search for the chicks proved fruitless and the adult pair have abandoned the nest site.

Perhaps the sudden demise of the nest on the hillside above Capitol Lake will lead to a new home for the peregrine — a secure nest box on the Capitol Dome, which has proven over the years to be one of their favorite perches.

YAY: OLYMPIA RABBI

Rabbi Seth Goldstein of Temple Beth Hatfiloh in Olympia is the recipient of Planned Parenthood’s 2014 Northwest Silver Wings Award. The award is presented annually to one outstanding clergy for exceptional contributions in the field of reproductive justice. Goldstein was singled out in part for his continued support of state legislation known as the Reproductive Parity Act, which would require insurance companies that provide coverage for pregnancy and maternal care to provide coverage for women who choose abortion.

By the way, Goldstein’s wife, Rabbi Yohanna Kinberg won the award in 2013.

BOO: DIVERSITY GAP

Teachers in the United States are nowhere near as diverse as the students they teach. While nearly half the students attending public schools are minorities, fewer than 20 percent of their teachers are people of color.

More work is needed to close the teacher-student diversity gap. All students would benefit from more diverse role models in the classroom.

YAY: FOOD DRIVE

Once again, the annual “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive by United States postal workers and volunteers in the South Sound area was a huge success. The May 11 event collected 101,805 pounds of food for food banks in the Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater area. Another 5,339 pounds was collected in Shelton.

BOO: ABUSE OF 911

A North Carolina woman was arrested and charged with misuse of the 911 emergency line after calling to complain that the Subway flat bread pizza she bought was made with marinara sauce instead of pizza sauce. “I can’t eat that kind of sauce,” she told the less than sympathetic 911 operator.

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