YAY: The county fair
The popular Thurston County Fair was alive and well this weekend, thanks to many new volunteers and fair supporters. Declining revenues had caused financial problems since 2008, but greater community support this year enabled the fair to renovate its facilities and expand its offerings without any additional county funding. Friday was Military Appreciation Day, which took on special meeting this year because members of the Washington National Guard repaired many of the fairground’s aging structures.
YAY: New appeals judge
Congratulations to Thurston County Superior Court Judge Lisa Sutton who Gov. Jay Inslee recently appointed to the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II, which serves a six-county area. The appointment means Sutton can start her term Oct. 1, instead of waiting until after the November general election. She was running unopposed for the position currently held by Robin Hunt who is retiring after 18 years on the court and 39 years of public service.
The appointment has caused a buzz in the local legal community about who will apply for Sutton’s position on the Superior Court and who the governor will appoint.
YAY: Girl Scout projects
Through the Girl Scout Gold Award process, young women gain knowledge and skills that accelerates their understanding of the world. As The Olympian recently reported, many local girls are working on projects now that range from collecting used musical instruments for students who need them to collecting cell phones for domestic violence survivors. Jennifer Kabat is creating habitat and an educational demonstration project for non-stinging bees and other pollinators vital to our environment. Three cheers for “girl power.”
BOO: Nazi gun comment
Brian Judy, the top lobbyist for the National Rifle Association in the state of Washington, has compared the Holocaust to Initiative-594 that would require background checks on all sales of guns. How ridiculous, and disgusting to compare an open public debate about a legitimate policy issue to Nazi Germany and the murdering of 6 million Jews. He should resign. We hope this isn’t an indication of the distasteful kind of campaign NRA proponents plan to run against the initiative.
YAY: Banning gay therapy
Lost among the many important decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court in its spring term was its refusal to review a California law that bans licensed counselors and therapists from trying to change the sexual orientation or gender expression of LGBT young people. These are dangerous practices that became notorious in the less-enlightened 1970s and have since caused immeasurable harm. California can now begin enforcing the ban – the nation’s first – and other states can consider similar laws.
BOO: Short vacations
The U.S. Travel Association reports that since 1975 Americans have been taking shorter and shorter vacations. Back then, the average vacation lasted more than one week. Within 10 years it had dropped to 5.4 days. By 2010 it shrunk to 3.8 days. When we start measuring vacations in segments of mere hours, we quit.
NOTE: The Bomb
Take a moment on Wednesday, Aug. 6, to imagine a world in total peace. It’s the 69th anniversary of the day in 1945 that the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.