Youth clubs could help come to the rescue of county fair

Won-der-ing what to do about the financial troubles at the Thurston County Fairgrounds? Here’s an idea from 8-year-old Hailey McWaid of Olympia.

In a note to this newspaper, Hailey wrote, “I love the fair and I bet everyone else does too, so I came up with an idea. I think every 4-H and FFA club should get together and do a car wash and/or a bake sale or something to raise money for keeping the fair going for the young kids.”

This is a youngster who is thinking positively and ready to help.

“I thought it would be nice for all of the clubs to meet and to work together for the same cause: keeping the fair open, so the young and the old public have fun and learn about animals.

“Even if we don’t raise (enough) money, it will still be nice to do this all together. If we work as a team, we can do this.”

Hailey has laid down the challenge. So, how about it 4-H and FFA clubs?

During a recent debate in the race for secretary of state, a voter complained that the state does not accept credit card payments and lacks electronic service options for filing documents.

According to Pam Floyd, director of the state Division of Corporations and Charities, her division already accepts credit cards and has done so for many years.

The division also files corporate and charitable records electronically, including online and email, as well as by mail. They did recently retire the now old-fashioned fax machines.

Some people just like to complain about state government, but they should really check the facts first.

The new season of the Washington Center for the Performing Arts is kicking off this weekend with the annual CenterFest festivities.

The 40th anniversary celebration tour of The Manhattan Transfer – called by some as the greatest vocal group of all time – performs tonight. The week’s activities conclude with an afternoon swing dance on the main stage tomorrow from 2-5 p.m.

It is the 27th season for the region’s performing arts center.

The South Sound is blessed with a variety of higher education opportunities, and two have made the U.S. News & World Report magazine’s list of “Best Colleges 2013.”

Both The Evergreen State College and Saint Martin’s University were noted in the annual ranking. Evergreen captured the 31st spot among western schools and SMU came in at 54 in the same category. A total of 1,600 colleges and universities were ranked.

Along with South Puget Sound Community College, students have plenty of educational options close to home. Few communities can make that claim, and we’ve got some of the best.

The tougher new test for obtaining a motorcycle license is well-intended, and specifically targeted to save lives. But it can do nothing about improving the driving habits of motorcycle riders.

Based on a 2006 study by the state’s Motorcycle Safety Task Force, the new test assesses a motorcyclist’s skill in negotiating curves at real speed limits. The task force found that most motorcycle accidents, about 60 percent, occur when riders misjudge their ability to make a curve and travel outside their lane.

A cautious rider, or the driver of a vehicle, enters a curve well under the speed limit, powering up only when it is clear the corner has been successfully negotiated. But for some, the attraction of a motorcycle is the thrill of high speed and flying through curves. Those riders appear every day on the Interstate 5, weaving between lanes and zooming up to speeds 20 to 30 mph over the speed limit.

If the new test weeds out riders incapable of cornering safely, it will have done only part of the job. It will never identify those riders who someday, somewhere will feel the daredevil within them rise and tragically misjudge a situation.