Tag Archives: pants on dogs

Olympia Safe and Beautiful, Step 2

12 Sep

So, therPants on Dogs!e is lots of discussion about how scary it is downtown. It’s not just dirty, with houseless people urinating on the sidewalks, it’s just downright scary!!

It has been pretty clear for generations (and especially in the past decade) that the First Amendment right to assemble and petition for redress of grievance and to exercise free speech is just too inconvenient to remain on the books. Just look at the pedestrian interference ordinance. If the right to assemble for any reason interferes with the ability of a suburban shopper to come downtown and empty their wallet at a place like the Alpine Experience (just an example) instead of enjoying the homogenous shopping experience at Cabela’s or Walmart, then the first amendment is dispensable. Scotto Bear - wiki commons, is this legal?

The first amendment is archaic. The updated, if unofficial primary civil right appears to be the absolute right to shop in a safe and sterile environment. So, Amendment One – get out of the way.

So, aside from the fear that accrues from running into a strange looking person downtown, why don’t we make the downtown really safe by scuttling Amendment Two as well?

wiki commons - courtesy michaelpughWouldn’t we all feel safer if we knew when we head out to go shopping downtown that we are not going to be sharing the sidewalk with folks packing heat? Why is the Olympia City Council so timid. Dump the second amendment and let’s get the fourth out of the way as well.

Come on, let’s make the downtown really safe. Let’s outlaw any firearms in the downtown core and give the police blanket authority to conduct patdowns for weapons.

I want pants on dogs that are over twenty pounds as well. Some of these animals are just indecent. What’s up with that?

wiki commons - courtesy beat 768

These guys also should not be allowed downtown unless they promise to turn the volume down and act in a civilized manner.

Beauty and Safety in Downtown Olympia; Step 1 of 2

10 Sep

Let’s do the Downtown Oly two step. Let’s tackle beauty first:

Step 1: Holy smoke, there has been a lot discussion about how scary and disgusting it is to walk the street of downtown Olympia. The latest installment of this sad story ran in the Daily Zero on Sept 4th. It led with a line about drunks urinating on the sidewalks. Boy, is this a sad old story with an axe to grind. But, let’s just take it straight. Do drunks urinate on sidewalks in downtown Olympia. I think that could happen. Probably mainly at night because there are so few bathrooms available in downtown Olympia after hours unless you have the bills to buy a plate of food to get bathroom access.

I am downtown quite a bit and it just doesn’t scare me or disgust me. I get asked for money, I give it. I am tied in to this really old and weird spiritual tradition that included some lunacy about “ask and it shall be given'” and “love your enemy,” and relied on an economic model of trusting that when you need a coin or two, it will mysteriously pop out of the mouth or gut of a fish (apologies to my vegan friends, I don’t fish anymore) or will appear from a tiny seed. I digress…

Back to bathrooms. It seems to be a fact that if you have had the good fortune to be born into this world, it’s just going to be a matter of time before you will need to find a bathroom. And not just once. and not just during daylight hours. And sometimes you will be able to wait hours, and walk blocks to locate a bathroom, and sometimes, the bathroom better be right around the corner.

It’s too bad that we are in the position of having to discuss availability of bathrooms because in the whole ten thousand years of God’s creation, since Adam and Eve, there were always these interruptions where a human being is saying, hey, hold that thought, I will be right back, have to powder my nose or check on the Kaiser, pick your euphemism for that moment when nature calls.You would think that in all that time, we would have made peace with this inconvenience and recognized the need for public bathrooms with running water, sink, soap and connected to the “water treatment” system. But it appears we have not made that peace in downtown Olympia. Wiki Commons - Bucky Fuller's prefab shower, toilet, sink design, what a genious that guy was

So, instead of the war on the houseless and the “fallout” that attends having no standard residence, why don’t we just make sure that there are plenty of public bathrooms available in the downtown area, day and night?

The bathrooms already exist at Heritage Park, at Percival Landing, at Olympia Center, at the Capitol, at City Hall, at the Transit Center. Lots of municipalities, public buildings, and quasi-governmental agencies already have bathrooms installed all over downtown. Maybe we need to step up and recognize that economic conditions have put a lot of people on the street and while we work to sort out that dismal situation, maybe we need to make sure that folks without a house can have access to a bathroom and a sink? A showerstall or two would probably be appreciated, but lots of us have managed daily ablutions with just sink and soap, I know it can be done, even though there it’s not the same as a long, hot shower. I am not suggesting a spa for transients, just “comfort stations” at decent intervals.

I think we also need to put pants on the dogs downtown, but we will come back to that campaign once we have public bathrooms up and running.

Next Step? Safety downtown! Stay tuned.