BOO: SEXUALIZATION OF GIRLS
We can now add another former Disney child star to the list of young women so desperate to shed their image of innocence that they are willing to demean themselves in public. Miley Cyrus, barely dressed in a flesh-colored bikini and armed with teddy bears and a giant fan foam finger, gave a humiliating performance of a middle-school kid trying too hard to look sexy at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan before her, Cyrus is unsuccessfully trying to make the transition from Disney star to womanhood, but failing miserably. Instead of presenting herself as a positive role model to the millions of tweeners who idolize here, Cyrus made a contract with those who capitalize on the objectification of women.
It’s sad to watch, and presents yet another challenge for parents to explain to their children.
YAY: NEW PARKING METERS
The free-parking fallout continues in downtown Olympia. When Olympia replaced free parking spaces with the now-hated 3-year-old $750,000 parking stations, it hoped to generate enough revenue to someday build a centrally located parking garage. That dream fizzled quickly, and now the city is spending another $400,000 to reinstall parking meters, albeit ones that accept credit cards. The change will be popularly received, maybe. But we can’t help but wonder when we’ll go full circle back to free parking.
Patrons of South South Cultural Arts (POSSCA) have once again teamed up with Thurston County Rotary clubs to provide musical instruments for students from low-income families. Rotary’s Cool Jazz/Clean Water event added about $9,000 to POSSCA’s fundraising efforts. Together, they have created a musical experience for 28 students.
BOO: MEDIAN WAGES FALLING
An analysis by the National Employment Law Project showed that despite claims of shortage of unskilled workers, the median wage for people in these jobs is actually falling. Restaurant cooks have seen their wages drop 7 percent. Maids are down 5 percent. Median pay for house cleaners, home care workers and others are similarly taking a dive. Meanwhile, upscale restaurants in New York and Los Angeles are being investigated for cheating minimum-wage kitchen workers out of overtime pay and other violations or denying breaks from work. Most of these workers are immigrants. No business has the right to abuse workers, or to a hush-hush supply of cheap labor.
YAY: HEROIC PILOTS
The small-plane heroics performed by Glacier Aviation flight instructor Steve O’Leary and his student Patrick Patterson didn’t rise to the scale of Chesley “Scully” Sullenberger on the Hudson River, but they were no less dramatic … or tense for the two Cessna pilots. After circling Olympia Regional Airport for two hours trying to get the plane’s landing gear to lock in place, O’Leary had to shut off the engine and lean outside of the plane at several thousand feet above ground to get the wheels down, and then made a safe landing. As they say in aviation, taking off is optional, landing is mandatory.
YAY: GRADS FIND JOBS
In normal times, the fact that 87 percent of The Evergreen State College’s 2013 graduates from its Masters in Teaching program have found jobs might not be newsworthy. But in this economy, when 26 out of 30 land teaching positions, it’s good news for the grads and good news about the job market.