1.5 million gallons of sewage into Budd no big deal?

THUMBS DOWN: Sewage leak

Olympia public works officials were red-faced last week after discovering that raw sewage poured into lower Budd Inlet to the tune of 1.5 million gallons over the past two months. Turns out that the plug in a pipe that keeps wastewater from entering Moxlie Creek was left open during routine cleaning and maintenance in mid-September.

Recall, this is the stretch of creek that runs under downtown Olympia in an out-of-sight, large-diameter pipe that discharges into Budd Inlet at the bottom of East Bay Drive – not an ideal setup for detecting leaks or protecting Moxlie Creek water quality.

The sewage leak was dismissed as not that big of a deal since the lower Budd Inlet is already closed to swimming and shellfish harvesting due to other pollution sources. That’s a sad commentary on the state of Puget Sound’s southernmost water body.

THUMBS UP: Hands On Children’s Museum

Dreams do come true. A case in point is the opening last week of the much-anticipated Hands On Children’s Museum. It took 25 years of perseverance to raise the money – some $18 million – and knit together the political will to create this centerpiece attraction in Olympia’s East Bay Redevelopment area. The 28,000-square-foot indoor playground is a sight to behold and bound to bring joy and an environmental learning experience to thousands of children for years to come.

THUMBS DOWN: Secretary of the Interior

Wild horses couldn’t keep Interior Secretary Ken Salazar away from threatening a reporter in Colorado with a fist sandwich the other day. In fact, a reporter’s questions about how the federal government is managing wild horses on Bureau of Land Management land prompted this response from Salazar: “If you do that to me again, I’ll punch you out.” Salazar’s pugilistic ability may never be known, since he did issue a formal apology to the reporter.

THUMBS UP: Washington-grown food

Check out washivore.com, a website developed by Olympia resident Heather Hansen highlighting the many good things about fruits and vegetables grown in The Evergreen State. Did you know Washington ranks second only to California in the variety of crops grown – more than 300? A visit to the website will fill your head with fun facts and a recipe or two to try out on friends and family members.

THUMBS DOWN: Seattle Mariners

The underachieving franchise with an anemic offense that puts fans to sleep is trying a new ploy to garner fan interest. When Major League Baseball season rolls around next spring the outfield will be home to the largest video display in the majors. Now, if they could just find a slugger or two to hit the ball over the fence.

THUMBS UP: Judge’s ruling

Thurston County Superior Court Judge James Dixon ruled last week that an ex-student of Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment must stop posting videos that show Ramtha leader JZ Knight channeling her 40,000-year-old warrior. Turns out that some of what Ramtha has to say about Catholics, homosexuals, minorities and others is politically incorrect to say the least and downright offensive to others. The posting ban will be in effect pending the resolution of a lawsuit between the school and a disgruntled former student. Thank goodness for the reprieve.

THUMBS DOWN: Video game website

The delete button has been pushed on Oberon Media, Inc., a video game company charged by the Washington state Attorney General’s office with signing customers up under false pretences, then hitting them with recurring charges that are hard to cancel.

The case is a reminder that not everyone in the world of online video games plays fairly.