By percentages, men out-voted women last year

YAY: Busted voter myth

Last fall’s general election busted one myth about voting trends in Washington: that women are more likely to vote than men. This may be true nationally or perhaps during presidential elections years. But that wasn’t the case in the recent mid-term election.

According to the state Elections Division, a greater percentage of the male voting age population voted last November than women, and in every age category. However, more women overall cast ballots.

YAY: Sleater-Kinney

Indie rock band Sleater-Kinney is about to release its first album since 2005, and it's already being hailed by the New York Times writer Jon Pareles as "the first great album of 2015." Pareles says "Unlike some reunion albums, it's not a safe reprise of past successes; it pushes past them, more melodic and more turbulent at the same time."

Two band members -- Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker -- are Evergreen grads, and their first rehearsal studio was in -- you guessed it -- Lacey.

YAY: Olympia master plan

After five years of hard work by a legion of people, the City of Olympia has a master plan that envisions how and where the city will grow over the next 20 years. Thousands of people provided input for the plan that covers everything from streets and alleys to population projections and anticipated sea level rise. Good work by all.

YAY: Changing careers

Olympia City Council member Jeanine Roe announced her new career as a realtor with Greene Realty on Facebook last week. Roe was elected in the “isthmus sweep” a few years ago by strong opponents to high-rise development – in fact, any development – on the isthmus. Roe’s announcement prompted one former City Council candidate to comment, “I still want to know what Jim Lazar and Bob Jacobs think ….” about the career switch.

YAY: Saving tax dollars

The latest report from Results Washington says “Lean” management practices and employee suggestions have saved the state about $6 million this year, and will save another $27 million in the future. Those savings are small in a $30 billion overall budget, but nevertheless significant. Continuing to press for streamlined state operations will ultimately become ingrained in the public workforce culture, and that can create an environmental for more dramatic change.

YAY: Flying safely

According to the Aviation Safety Network, 2014 was the safest year in history to fly in commercial airliners. Still, 1,007 people died in airliner accidents. Almost 70 percent of those fatalities occurred in the two Malaysia Air flights and the recent AirAsia flight incident. Flying in North America and Europe has never been safer.

BOO: Poisoning kids

The Washington state Poison Center reports 154 calls in 2014 related to poisoning from e-cigarettes, and nearly 70 percent of those involved children. About half of those calls were so severe that young kids required hospital treatment. E-liquids used in vaping come in candy flavors, but are dangerous in a child’s hands. State lawmakers need to address this issue.