The Thunderbolt 091114 Magic Lessons


Action Alert Calendar

The Thunderbolt

News — Commentary — Calendar of Activist Events — Dumb Jokes



1) FYI Section: Village Building Convergence Update

2) Olympia People’s Mic Feat — Old Growth Poetry Collective

3) Thurston Solar Tour

4) Community Rights Forum

5) South Sound Jewish Voice for Peace Open House

6) Bonus Tip of the Week




Magic Lessons



A Very Special Thunderbolt

Hey Kids!

I have a very special Thunderbolt for you this week and I encourage everyone to read at least the Magic Lesson part even if you don’t normally read the news and commentary section.


Untimely Correction

But first: If you tried to attend the POWER Outage last Monday because you read about it in the Thunderbolt, then you may or may not have figured out that actually the POWER Outage was on Monday the 1st rather than Monday the 8th.

My apologies.


Personal Alert

I have been seriously criticized more than once for mixing the personal and the political in this newsletter. The people who make these arguments have several very good reasons both tactical and strategic for making such arguments and I acknowledge the strength of their arguments — but I have shunned their advice and I have continued my policy of mixing the personal and the political; I continue because I firmly view them as one in the same. I don’t think it is possible to separate them and still remain truly credible (as opposed to the ‘official’ designation of ‘credible’ that many other commentators strive for).

While I have a few times in the past committed actual acts of journalism, 99.9% of what I do here is aggregate and commentate. Over many decades of following world events I have figured out how to tell who is doing actual reporting and who is a propaganda shill and figuring out what is really going on as opposed to what the corporate Media Machine says is going on. There are numerous tells beginning with the very choice of what story a ‘journalist’ chooses to cover (at least in cases where they even make such decisions) to how they phrase things to how they structure their work. Propagandists actually have numerous little tricks they use; I have studied their literature in the past (I have read both Mein Kampf by Adolph Hitler and I have read most of Crystallizing Public Opinion by Edward Bernays, amongst many other such things) and if you know what those tricks are then you can usually spot them a mile away.

A representative example: At the Montana Rainbow Gathering in 2000, a friend was reading a local newspaper story aloud that was completely trashing the Rainbow Family. Then, he reached a paragraph wherein the reporter said a few nice things about us, but when my friend reached the comma in that sentence I anticipated him and inserted, “But…”

Whereupon with an ironic smile my friend continued reading, “But…”

…whereupon the reporter continued with her meme that the Rainbow Family sucks big rocks and represents a major threat to law, order, and our way of life etc and so on and so forth…

This is standard procedure: You must grudgingly give a little praise to the target of your hit-job in order to present the pretense of ‘objectivity’.

The first time I mixed personal and political in the Thunderbolt a few people got so upset with me that at one point I even took to warning people before going ‘personal’ so they could skip the piece if such things so upset them, but I figure by this point everything has been established so I no longer always follow that practice.

Also, keep in mind that it is now Tuesday morning and I wrote all the pieces that follow this one before I wrote this one and the significance of putting this piece first should become apparent before you finish…

Anyway, people have a lot of names for what I do. My girlfriend calls me a ‘wizard’, but I have always preferred ‘magician’ even though that not only fails to accurately describe what I do but creating illusions is kind of the opposite of what I do…

…but ‘wizard’ just seems so presumptuous!

Anyway, one of my ‘magical powers’ is to spot other potential magicians whereupon I often share some of the tricks of the trade with them. However, as I was taking a shower a few minutes ago I got to thinking why not share these tricks with everyone? Then all potential magicians who read my newsletter could possibly benefit from my many decades of experience in employing magic in daily life!

And so, in my never-ending quest to edify you, my loyal readers, I now present…


Magic Lessons!

When I was 22 years old I was a very f<*#ed up and totally lost young man. I was homeless and living variously on the streets, in abandoned buildings, and couch surfing in a small Colorado hippie-artist mountain town called Manitou Springs. I had no center and no direction and I was a thief and I had terrible things happening to me all the time. I went seriously hungry several times and I twice almost froze to death without even realizing it until years later when I read about the signs of advanced hypothermia.

Then, a 40-year old woman evidently saw something in me for she took me under her wing and into her bed and in between bouts of the most incredible sex that I have ever experienced to this day she taught me many tricks for living a life of magic that have proven to be the most invaluable things I have ever learned in my entire life.

Even though I lived for the next 30 years on the road and even though I lived by my instincts and by the seat of my pants rather than according to any predefined plan, after cleaning up my karma I was never again cold or hungry from that day forward.

Her name was Sophie, by the way. Before seducing me she had spent ten years as a Catholic nun and the next ten years as a hippie woodcarver in Manitou Springs. As far as I could tell, carving wood, selling her carvings in her little shop downtown, and having sex with me was the total extent of her social life.

The main thing to know about magic is that it all works on karma. I have absolutely no idea of how or why karma works, I just know for an established fact that it does because I have not only literally been living on it for my whole adult life but I spent 30 years of that life out on the very edge of the American insanity often intentionally throwing myself into very dangerous situations because there is a lot to learn in such situations. I not only survived without injury but I thrived there due to the fact that I always knew that I was protected by my magic.

A few things about karma: It does not mean that if you are a good person then good things will happen to you and that you will get what you want. Karma means that if you are a good person — and if you pay attention and if you act upon the messages — then you will get what you need to get you wherever you need to go.

What you need and what you want is not always the same thing.

You would think that spending six years in prison automatically qualifies as ‘bad karma’ — but literally telling a US Customs agent to go f>*# himself whilst fully aware that doing so was gonna cost me a bunch of years in a federal prison was a defining moment in me creating myself and taking command of my karma — even at the cost of losing physical control of six years of my life.

That earned me some very serious karmic credits, let me tell you!

Another thing about karma: The more you trust it the better it works. If you can ever learn to completely trust it without question (I am still far from there, but working on it) then you never need fear anything ever again.

Again the prison experience: I was in my 40’s before they got hold of me so I had been practicing magic for over twenty years by that point. I knew I needed to do all of this stuff even as I was doing it — but while I knew I would figure it out eventually, I must admit that while it was actually happening I couldn’t help but sometimes look up at the sky, raise my hands, and ask, “Wow! This is a total frigging WASTE! There’s some point to all of this? Really?”

However: I am now a man who told a US Customs agent to go f>*# himself and spent six years in prison for it — thus I paid my karmic dues and thus I am now enjoying my personal life as much as I ever have in my entire life and my current bliss is a direct result of having told that US Customs agent to go f>*# himself and spending six years in prison for it.

Among many other things, after six years in prison it is really hard to find too many things to become too upset about whilst conducting daily life in the ‘real’ world.

And by the way: The US Customs agent’s name was — word — “Johnny Walker”.

Anyway, all this is closely related to my being a ‘magician’ or ‘wizard’ or ‘witch’ or whatever appellation you wish to apply: We are people who consciously use this kind of stuff to manipulate our personal realities. This doesn’t mean I can wish for a perfect girlfriend and get one if I keep my karma clean (though my current girlfriend is about as close as I can imagine) and it doesn’t mean that I won’t spend years in prison for something I didn’t do as long as I’m a good person — it means that I control the overall meme of what happens in my life — sort of in cooperation with my karma — which gets into weirder stuff because it seems to me as if we both create our karma and yet are simultaneously created by our karma both at the same time — but I don’t want to wander too far here…

I must also issue a warning to all potential magicians: Before you actually start consciously using this stuff to manipulate things you need to keep in mind that in taking that step you are at that moment irrevocably and forever committing yourself to living the rest of your life walking a path of the absolute straight and narrow for if (when) you ever subsequently start wandering off in sketchy directions then you will not only immediately get whacked, but you will get whacked much worse than someone who does the same thing but does so because he/she is blindly stumbling through their lives as the victims of their karma rather than as the controllers of it. That is because they don’t know any better while you either do or if you don’t then you damned well should if you’re going to be playing with this stuff.

Sometimes playing with magic is similar to playing with fire.

Anymore than that, though, and I can’t say too much more about too much of anything else as each individual has their individual job in this world and each individual has an individual karma and each individual has individual manners of interacting with their karmas. In addition, there are always zillions of things happening all the time everywhere all around us that happen zillions of layers beneath any human’s ability to comprehend and all of that also affects all of our individual karmas — and in addition to all that there is also the influence of our collective karmas as both a species and as a part of Planet Earth — and thus there are few one-size-fits-all solutions or answers to much of anything. As far as I know there is no ‘Magicians Handbook’ except for the ones at Hogwarts and possibly hidden in any novel written by Tom Robbins — so by the very nature of karma, your individual experiences with magic will be totally individual and unique. I can reveal some of the framework for you — but ultimately you will need to work all of this out on your own.

I also think this all ties in intimately with my new theory about humanity representing a manifestation of the Universe attempting to become aware of itself…

Now — let’s get to the stuff that I have been writing over the last week and you can see how I came to write Magic Lessons


Hell on Windows

It is Sunday morning, when I traditionally write the bulk of the Thunderbolt. Once again, I am sitting staring at a blank screen with absolutely nothing to write due to being completely frizzled from the tech problems I have been experiencing and working on full-time for three weeks now.

(Update on that: Thursday the computer shop called and my fourth computer is now officially toast meaning I must later today go pick up a fifth brand-new computer and for the fifth time start the 12-hour process of loading files and programs…)

I was planning on doing all of this yesterday along with several other things, but instead I had one of those days at the CoOp wherein I stood for 9 hours without selling any newspapers meaning that I must go out again today to sell newspapers rather than doing the 7,327 things that I need to do to try and catch up, including working on Thunderbolts. I haven’t written a real Thunderbolt for the last two weeks and while I was a month ahead on recording radio shows when I started experiencing these problems, that cushion is now gone and I don’t even have anything written much less recorded for the radio show after next week; since it usually takes just under two weeks to put together a show, then it looks like I will be playing re-runs for the latter part of September.

Even when I have a couple of hours to work on Thunderbolt stuff, I am so frizzled from everything else that I don’t have anything left.

Then, this morning I woke up at 4 am, as usual, I made a cup of coffee, as usual, and then I sat to do my daily morning meditation wherein I sit quietly for a half-hour or so and contemplate the coming day and what I want to do with it. I actually wrote a piece awhile back wherein I described this ritual in detail as a metaphor for building foundations, and I described how having this ritual interrupted for any reason is a highly upsetting thing for me to have happen.

This morning, just as I sat down with my cup of coffee in a windowsill at the office I am renting at Media Island and just as I began my morning meditation, a homeless person suddenly and very unexpectedly spoke from the darkness outside asking if I would let him hang out inside the house for awhile. With detectable desperation in his voice he said, “Man, I really need a safe warm place to be for just a little while. I’ll be gone before anyone else gets here.”

Anyone who knows the history of Media Island knows why I absolutely could not let that happen even if I were still a caretaker, which I’m not, and so not only was my morning ritual interrupted but I was forced into the role of being an asshole toward some poor desperate person before I had even had my coffee, a role that I do not deal with well at all. My instinctive reaction when someone forces me into a role I don’t like is to become angry at the person, but even in early-morning pre-coffee mode I knew that was completely inappropriate in this case; he was almost certainly experiencing life-problems that dwarfed the very worst that I am experiencing and it was a sure bet that he was completely unaware of the fact that he had just ruined my morning at a time when I needed that morning to happen more than ever, so in addition to having my morning ritual interrupted I was forced to swallow anger and act pleasant whilst actually being forced to be an asshole and whilst I actually felt like yelling at this person to just get the f<*# out of my morning and leave me the hell alone…

…yet at the same time I understood that this poor schmuck was having a much harder time than I was and that he was an innocent victim rather than a perpetrator.

The scariest thing about this series of events is that there is obviously some kind of important karmic message that the Universe is trying to deliver to me, yet as of now I still have not a clue as to what that message might be…


Hell on Windows — Now and Forever!

It is Monday morning. Yesterday, after having my morning screwed, I unpacked computer #5 — a Lenovo Think Pad this time. I have found it is good for the very first thing to do on a new computer (and I am an expert upon that subject now) is to download and install all the Windows updates; thus, the very first thing I did on this brand-newest member of my computer parade was to try to connect to the Internet…

…to try — unsuccessfully — to connect to the Internet.

Wow. The very first thing I try to do doesn’t work.

Since my old computer was sitting right next to the new computer and since it was working fine, I knew the problem was the computer and not the network. Since I couldn’t do a remote hook-up due to a lack of Internet access, I was required — for the thirteenth or twenty-seventh time this month — to pack up a malfunctioning computer and run it down to Best Buy. I assured the guy who sits at the front door that I most certainly was not moving into Best Buy. The Best Buy Geek Squad Guy spent two minutes doing whatever computer-magicians do in that esoteric land of binary abstruseness, restarted the computer, and connected to the Internet.

Whew. These days every time something goes wrong I am assuming that I will need to either wipe the hard drive (along with another 12 hours of work) or once again trade in for a new computer (along with another 12 hours of work).

Thus, I spent all day yesterday loading files and programs onto this brand-newest member of my computer parade and except for having to call Microsoft on the phone and lying to them about how many computers I had loaded my office software onto before they would activate all of my office programs yet once again (that was what the tech guy suggested I do — and they wouldn’t have believed my story anyway, so whatever) (I hate lying by nature, though, and I hate both Microsoft and all governments for making me do so on a regular basis because if you don’t lie to them then you will be totally screwed for no good reason) but anyway, I got through all that and the computer didn’t crash! The touch screen still worked and my cursor didn’t jump all over the screen all by itself opening up every app, program, file, and browser it touched! Some sinister program hidden deep in the bowels of those mysterious electronic circuits did not forever irreversibly and inescapably encrypt my own computer against me!

Then came the big moment; time to load up the old Audacity program and record some Thunderbolts! Yippee…

…except that the microphone didn’t work.

Since it was early in the morning and since I was now pissed at Lenovo and since I guessed that they might be more familiar with the bugs in their own machine than the Best Buy Geek Squad guys were, I called Lenovo customer support at 5 am and explained that 80% of what I do on this computer is recording audio and so I most definitely need my microphone to work.

The support person had a lot of trouble with my first name and I had to spell it phonetically — then he said, “But that’s your last name, right?”

“No, it’s my first name.”

“But that’s a girl’s name!”


I explained: “Actually, it’s a bisexual name.”

With definite hesitation, he replied, “Oh.”

For the sake of cultural sensitivity — and because 12 hours of my life were in his hands — I decided to ease his mind: “I used to have a girlfriend named Dana.”

Then I spent 59 minutes and 47 seconds with the Lenovo tech support guy as he took remote control of my computer and began mousing around doing stuff.

I knew I was in trouble when he said, “Wow, that’s really weird.”

However, he downloaded and installed some drivers and he disabled a Windows driver update and the microphone began working. Yippee…

…except after hanging up with the Lenovo tech guy and after the next reboot it quit working again.

I called Lenovo yet once again. The new tech guy — who had the same accent that I can’t place as the last guy had — also had a hard time with my first name and again I had to spell it phonetically.

If he was surprised that I had a girl’s name he didn’t express it.

Then, this time it took 14 minutes and 28 seconds before the newest support person casually said, “We are going to need to reformat the hard-drive on that computer and re-install Windows.”

Possibly now some readers are suffering under the illusion that you can imagine the impact that those words had upon me.

Believe me: You cannot.

I sat in shock for a moment. Obviously the gentleman had no idea of the terror he had just unleashed. After an extended silence, he said, “Sir?”

And so, in the interests of finding any solution short of suicide or the almost equally distasteful act of re-formatting my hard-drive yet once again, I educated this gentleman about the state of current events in my personal and academic life these days. I did so with no small amount of passion and I did so with no dearth of details. I explained to this gentleman exactly what “re-formatting my hard-drive and re-installing Windows” meant to me at this very sensitive point of my life. I went on for probably two o three of those 14 minutes and 28 seconds. When I was finished his response — which came in exactly the same tone of voice that he had used before — was to say, “Sir, we will need to reformat the hard-drive on this computer and re-install Windows.”

There was a big story recently concerning a computer had passed the ‘Turing Test’, i.e. this computer had fooled over 30% of online chatters into thinking it was an actual human rather than a machine.

It turned out that the test was rigged and that the story was bogus — but I am now wondering if there isn’t a reverse Turing Test, i.e. a test for humans who can fool people into thinking they are a machine?

Anyway, if I spend three more seconds in front of a malfunctioning computer I am going to start garbonzilating all over everyone’s doobers, so for the thirty-third or forty-seventh time in the last two weeks I packed up a malfunctioning computer and made the now very familiar journey to Best Buy.

I told the Best Buy Guy that being the appreciator of irony I am, I can’t help but note that these problems can probably be faulted to nearly everyone except Best Buy — but the fact was that Best Buy was the one who kept selling me defective computers and I thought they should kick something down for making me live in computer hell for three weeks and counting.

He booted my computer up and after fiddling with the audio stuff for a minute he said, “Wow, that’s really weird.”

I left it there. Its fate is as yet unknown. Stay tuned to the Thunderbolt for further developments as they happen.

Anyway, I have already received a karmic lesson from this; as I stood in front of the CoOp last Sunday thinking of the 247 things I would rather be doing right then, I explained to a friend about how karma works better the more you trust it…

…and then I said, “Dude! Listen to yourself!”

Whereupon I accepted my fate of selling newspapers on a Sunday when I had 769 other things to do with equanimity — and then almost immediately sold the handful that I had still had left…


Malaysian Airliner Disaster — Redux #2

So, now from personal disasters to world disasters!

There is no dearth of either lately! Interesting times!

You may (or may not) remember that when the Malaysian airliner was shot down over eastern Ukraine, working under the unquestioned assumption that it was impossible to accidently shoot down a civilian airliner flying at 30,000 feet and pointing out the fact that it would be insane for anyone to intentionally shoot down a civilian airliner, I called that incident out as a probable false-flag attack, i.e. where someone commits some heinous crime in order to blame the crime on their enemy in order to justify attacking him.

Then, when I learned that it actually is possible to accidently shoot down a civilian airliner and when the universal consensus amongst even the alternative media seemed to be that some eastern Ukrainian had — probably accidently — shot down the airliner, I changed my theory from ‘probably a false-flag attack’ to ‘possibly but probably not a false-flag attack’.

Well — recently some reporters realized that the British had had the black box from the airliner for a long time and they realized they had heard nothing from any of the many investigations that were mounted in order to look into the shooting down of the airliner — and upon digging into this silence they discovered that suddenly the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine is a big secret — meaning that they are rolling out a cover-up — meaning that whoever shot down the airliner it wasn’t the Russians or their sympathizers for if that were the case then it would be trumpeted with fanfares and marching bands from the halls of Fox News and MSNBC — meaning — once again — that I must change my theory back to my original conjecture: I am almost certain now that the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine was a false-flag attack — probably carried out by the Western puppets in the Ukrainian coup government itself, probably with assistance from the CIA — that went wrong…

…wrong from both their point of view and from the point of view of the families of the victims.


Climate Crisis Trumps Law in Massachusetts

A last minute thing I wanted to throw in here because it is important: A district attorney in Massachusetts has dropped charges against some activists who used lobster boats to block a coal shipment into a power plant. The DA stated that [quoting from memory here as I just heard it and don’t have time to wait for Amy to load it onto her website before I go to work] “Climate change is the greatest crisis currently facing humanity.”

See Democracy Now for Wednesday, September 10th for a most excellent interview both with the protesters and the DA.


Insanity as Foreign Policy (i.e. Business as Usual)

There are regular votes in the United Nations to condemn Israel’s numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity. These votes often garner nearly unanimous support with incredibly lopsided vote counts of 180-2 and 179-3 and such — but since one of those two or three countries that vote nay is the United States and since the United States can unilaterally defeat any such measure, then these condemnations are always defeated.

For those who think that Israel doesn’t have our backs in return, though, think again: Barack Obama just extended the US embargo on Cuba for another year even though last year the UN voted 188-2 to condemn the US embargo.

The United States and Israel were the only two ‘no’ votes.

A professor at Columbia University was recently told she could not promote an event with ‘Palestine’ in the event title because ‘Palestine’ does not actually exist.

I am wondering if this professor would have been allowed to promote an event to benefit ‘Tibet’ even though ‘Tibet’ doesn’t officially exist anymore either…?

I guess that makes it okay to kill all the Palestinian women and kids, then, since they don’t actually exist, right?


Insanity as Foreign Policy Part 2 (i.e. Disaster as Usual)

Even though every American military intervention since World War II has proven to be a complete and profound disaster for everyone involved except war contractors, Wall Street’s house boy in the White House is doing everything he can to gin up two more useless and ultimately disastrous wars in both Iraq (of all places) and the Ukraine.

Again: Insanity as foreign policy.


Cold War II

When the ‘Ukraine Crisis’ first broke I wrote it off as yet another choreographed passion play meant to justify military funding.

It is now beginning to appear as if they are using the ‘Ukraine Crisis’ to gin up another full-fledged ‘cold war’ — and thus this is becoming serious. The War Machine has actually suffered numerous set-backs lately and their desperation is becoming clear. Creating another major confrontation with the Russians, of all people, is insanity — which means that this is government business as usual.

Stopping another cold war would require another mass-mobilization and I don’t know how many mass-mobilizations we have left in us. They wear us out by attrition. They keep coming at us with a never-ending torrent of crap and we just can’t keep up.

And since it is being completely ignored by American Media Machine then you may not know that the Russian backed Ukrainians have been completely kicking the asses of the Western backed Ukrainians — i.e. the Western puppets are losing to the Russian puppets.

Again: Beware desperate predators.

It’s time to get to work…



The Thunderbolt Calendar

Week of September 11th thru September 17th 2014




1) FYI Section: Village Building Convergence Update

The VBC people are getting ready to kick much ass in their efforts to transform Olympia from a town full of neighborhoods into a town full of interwoven communities.

This from Chris:

Hello Fellow Villagers!

We had a wonderful event with Mark and Marisha on Friday evening and a great Skill Share Faire the next day.  What a great community with a passion for sharing places and skills that burns so bright!

I’ve suggested we hold an initial planning meeting to lay out a trajectory for a whoppin’ huge Village Building Convergence in Aug. 2015 that brings together all the Oly Villages.  I hope you can join us:

6:00 pm, Wednesday September 17

At my house:  3203 Lorne St. SE, Olympia

Take a look at the following 12-month timeline, a first attempt to map out certain milestones and events along the way.  We’ll discuss this at the meeting, as well as:

  • Draft VBC Timeline
  • VBC Fundraising
  • Planning a Holiday Gathering to kick things off

See you soon!


2015 Olympia VBC DRAFT Timeline by Months



TBD   Holiday Placemaking Celebration and Kick-Off Party!  Join with neighborhood leaders and community organizers to celebrate the gifts of community.  At this meeting we will announce and organize and organize a core OlyVBC Planning Committee as well as several subcommittees which will begin meeting in January.

January – March 2015

OlyVBC Steering Committee will meet monthly to raise funds , identify possible placemaking sites and organizations, and release Placemaking Site Proposal RFP

Community potlucks in several neighborhoods “getting started” with plans and project ideas.



Project Proposal Deadline – Mid-April

Inaugural Vision Sharing  – End of April. Groups come together with OlyVBC Organizers for the first time of the season to announce their visions and intentions for the placemaking activities. This will be an open and celebratory potluck where you’ll be able meet other citizen placemakers, skill-sharers, natural builders, artists, and potential volunteers.


Monthly Neighborhood Potlucks begin to plan, design and prepare for projects

  • Gather core team and begin discussions, look over timeline template, recruit project managers
  • Strategize an outreach and involvement plan that brings as many people from your community into the process as is workable.
  • Determine approximate budget target and design fundraising strategy.
  • Take your next steps immediately, especially in fundraising.
  • Document your process – take pictures of visioning, record ideas, record names and contact info of people involved, and record notes from the Placemaking Academy trainings to bring to your group.
  • Begin community-involvement design workshops, usually between 2 and 4 in total.

Placemaking Academy begins – Evening placemaking trainings 2-4 nights per month (TBD) through July covering design, drafting, community organizing, fundraising, project management, materials, permitting, and much more!  This will be a collaborative community education process



Neighborhood Placemaking Potlucks continue:

  • Continue fundraising:  approach local businesses and organizations that support you. It can be important to have healthy participation in workshops and political support as necessary.
  • Review early design ideas with VBC (and the city/county planning department).
  • Communicate with the OlyVBC Placemaking Committee for help with ideas and cost estimates. Review designs and refine cost estimate with help from OlyVBC.



Finalize Project Designs

  • City building and public works departments will need to receive final plans in mid to late April (for public sites).
  • Plan block parties, street closures, and apply for any permits or related processes.
  • Review, refine, and conclude community design workshops.
  • Produce visual and text documents for permitting and also for OlyVBC’s “Village Builder” website and/or publication.
  • Present final designs to your community.
  • Fundraising! Work w/ VBC Placemaking to publish final designs and get costs into whole VBC budget.
  • In late July, start logistics coordination, gather material donations, and start building foundations (building projects). Some site prep begins at this time.



Final Preparations

  • City/County Departments issue permits (public sites).
  • Get help preparing your site, getting donations for volunteers during VBC, and so on.
  • Make sure that the community is ready to come out on the last two weekends in August to build together.
  • Complete fundraising, coordinate lunchtime food for the on-site work parties, each day.

Olympia Village Building Convergence begins!

  • Coordinate logistical efforts with VBC Placemaking & have fun!
  • Plan to participate in Neighborhood Councils and Evening event venues each night during the VBC

Olympia VBC 2015 comes to a close!

  • 2015 Love Our Local Fest as the Grand Finale!
  • Finish any remaining details on projects during the dry season that usually lasts until mid-October.
  • Complete documentation and reports so that OlyVBC can document your project and review your feedback. Send in your evaluation forms. Celebrate!

Chris van Daalen, Education Coordinator

NW EcoBuilding Guild

911 Adams St. SE Olympia

(360) 789-9669

Making it Easier to Build Green!


2) Olympia People’s Mic Feat — Old Growth Poetry Collective

Thursday September 11th at 7 pm @ Café Love, 205 4th Ave E

It’s radical poetry! My favourite kind!

From Koyote:

Old Growth Poetry Collective is back with our newly titled regular poetry open-mic and slam series, the Olympia People’s Mic! A stage for your voice, your speech and your poetic expression.

Each week there will be 10 open-mic slots (2 poems or 5 minutes, whichever comes first) and a featured performance poet. Poetry Slams will be the third Thursday of each month, starting in October.

Sign-ups are now at 7pm.

Admission is $3-7 sliding scale to support our featured performer of the week.

This week’s feature is Brian S. Ellis of Portland:

“Brian S. Ellis is a poet originally from Boston, MA. He has represented the Boston Poetry Slam at the National Poetry Slam and the Individual World Poetry Slam several times. In 2008 he was a finalist at the National Poetry Slam in Madison, Wisconsin. Between 2007-2010 he held the Boston Slam Poetry Champion title three times. He has released three collections of poetry; Uncontrolled Experiments In Freedom (2008) and Yesterday Won’t Goodbye (2011) from Write Bloody Books, and American Dust Revisited (2013) from University of Hell Press. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize four times. He lives in Portland, Ore.”

See you there!


3) Thurston Solar Tour

Saturday September 13th from 10 am to 4 pm @ Timberland Library, 313 8th Ave SE

Come learn about the power of the future!

From Tony:

Join us for the 19th Annual Thurston Solar Tour! Self-guided, so pack a lunch and visit your area, or come on down to the Olympia Timberland Library, and let us help you plan your tour while you visit eco-friendly tables!


4) Community Rights Forum

Saturday September 13th at Noon @ MIXX Meeting Room, Corner of State and Washington

This is the movement to make human rights equal to corporate rights.

From Janet:

Community Rights Forum — Help draft a Community Rights Ordinance that will give us the tools to stop the ongoing degradation of the South Puget Sound.  The new Ordinance will allow citizens to reclaim their power, while corporations will be barred from claiming Constitutional rights won by human beings over the years.  Help us iron out the details.  Bring a mug.

Workshop will be moderated by knowledgeable environmentalists Cindy Beckett and Harry Branch.

Later workshops will focus on other possible Community Rights Ordinances:   one for citizen civil rights vs. the police, and one which would ban genetically modified organisms in Thurston County.   We will, of course, also welcome your original idea for a CRO!

All CRO’s extend the rights of communities to legislate their own well-being in an environment typically controlled by State and Federal governments.  We’re trying to craft the right Ordinance for our community:  one that will significantly change the power balance and help us achieve goals we care about.

Janet Jordan


5) South Sound Jewish Voice for Peace Open House

Sunday September 14th in Tacoma

This is just what it sounds like.

From JVP:

South Sound for Justice in Palestine! Please join us for an open house to discuss where we’ve been and where we might go

Sunday, September 14th, 4 pm

RSVP to for address and directions

In the last two months since the recent assault on Gaza began, more than 40,000 new people signed up to receive email alerts from Jewish Voice for Peace. That’s an incredible number in a very short time, and the number in Washington State is incredible as well: 1100 new people!

So we in the Tacoma chapter think it’s time to get together with people on that list who live in the South Sound so that we can meet each other and see if there’s something we might like to pursue together.  This invitation is being sent to people in Pierce, Kitsap, and Thurston counties. We’re sending it to people in Olympia with the thought that if there are enough people there who are interested, the Olympia chapter of JVP (on ice for a couple of years) might be revitalized.

This will be an Open House with a bit of formal time giving an update on what we in the Tacoma chapter have been doing, our plans for future actions and events, and hopefully some input from new people on what they’d like to see happening locally.

If you can’t come but would like to be on our local list to receive notices of our events/activities in Tacoma/Pierce County, please send me an email to  And if you have a particular area of interest (media, Congressional work, letter writing, event planning), please let us know. We’re eager for your input.

Hoping to see you on the 14th,

Sallie Shawl
for Jewish Voice for Peace – Tacoma


6) Bonus Tip of the Week:

Practice some magic today!




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