Bid farewell to old site of Hands On Children’s Museum

Everyone should be excited about the opening of the brand new, much-improved Hands On Children’s Museum in East Bay. The new HOCM will quickly become a destination attraction, bringing families to downtown Olympia from well beyond our region.

But before we can truly celebrate the new facility, we have to say goodbye to the current museum on 11th Avenue S.W., near the capitol campus. A goodbye party for the old site takes place today, beginning at 10 a.m., with a number of special events that include the opportunity to write your favorite museum memory in the HOCM giant scrapbook.

The HOCM will remain open at the current site through Sept. 3, and then begin the move to East Bay.

The new museum will open in November. But before that, the annual Sand in the City weekend starts on Friday, Aug. 24, at the new location at 414 Jefferson St. N.E.

August is a busy time for festivals, celebrations and summer picnics around the South Sound. In addition to the popular Sand in the City, there is, of course, the iconic Pet Parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18.

Also on Aug. 18 is the first annual Olympia Summer Brew Fest from noon-10 p.m. at the Port Plaza, featuring 60 different beers from more than 30 handpicked breweries. The annual Bon Odori Festival also begins at noon on the 18th with Japanese street dancing, drummers and food along Water Street between Fifth Avenue and Legion Way.

The Capitol Land Trust Summer Gala is tonight at the Helsing Junction Farm, and there’s still time to attend and hear the guest speaker, Tony Angell, an artist and author. Hawks Prairie Rotary has scheduled its 10th Military Family Day for Saturday, Sept. 8 at Cabela’s.

These are just a few of the many events that overlap a broad spectrum of community interests. Their sheer number is a testament to civic engagement and sociability that exists in the South Sound.

A new study has found that 80 percent of the new jobs created since June 2009 have gone to men. Even more interesting, is that men have taken a greater share of jobs that have traditionally been dominated by women, such as retail sales.

One conclusion of the study is that typical male-dominated jobs in manufacturing sectors have recovered more quickly than government jobs, where women hold the majority of positions.

The study found that men have also turned to other areas, such as retail, to take jobs that have usually gone to women, and at lower pay and fewer benefits.

It’s another indicator of the unexpected changes triggered by the Great Recession.

Here’s a good way to invest in America’s future: Make a donation to the Little Red Schoolhouse Project.

The nonprofit provides school supplies and clothing for South Sound families in need, so the students can focus on learning in the classroom. The project has an urgent need this year because fund raising is down and the demand is expected to be up.

To help, go to redschool.org or call 360-438-1100, ext. 1143.

Give credit to officials at Joint Base Lewis-McChord who listened to its neighboring civilian residents. Many homeowners in the Lacey lakes area, Yelm and Rainier had launched a major assault on the base about noisy, low-flying helicopters.

It didn’t take long for Col. Thomas Brittain, garrison commander of JBLM, to take corrective action. The helicopters will now fly at much higher altitudes, reducing the noise levels.

The base could have done a better job of communicating its new training routes. But the changes announced this week should strike a good compromise between the enjoyment of personal property and the need for our aviators to get combat ready.

Just three days after a crazed gunman mowed down 12 people in a Colorado movie theater, the National Rifle Association sent a letter to supporters asking for money to defeat President Barack Obama and elect members of Congress who support gun rights.

The letter suggests electing Obama will result in the “confiscation of our firearms,” and that “nothing less than the future of our country and our freedom will be at stake.”

The NRA has a right to its opinion and to campaign for or against any candidate. But the timing and distribution of the letter to addresses in Colorado shows a disturbing insensitivity to the tragedy that unfolded there.