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Works in Progress

How soldiers into farmers grow

A new trade enterprise is offering local vets a shot at agricultural entrepreneurship using an innovative business model that its creators say will eventually be self-sustaining, able to cede land and graduate a new generation of farmers every five to seven years. Veterans are invited to apply for membership in…

Missing Middle: Will city officials miss this new chance to engage the community?

Over the objection of many residents, in November of last year the Olympia City Council adopted a zoning ordinance known as the Missing Middle (MM). The ordinance envisioned an era of new multifamily housing development in older, low density neighborhoods of Olympia. During the public comment period before adoption of…

Exempting the wealthy and raising the property tax burden while flooding, choking and closing

Council member Lisa Parshley made a motion at the November 27, 2018 City Council meeting. Council member Jessica Bateman seconded the motion. All the other Council members voted “aye” —Cooper, Gilman, Jones, Rollins and Selby. With this motion, the Council approved an eight-year property tax exemption for Pat Rants’ 28…

Men from the corporate sector running the show at NLRB

News sources The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was established by Congress in 1935 as an independent federal agency to protect the right of private sector employees to join together, with or without a union, to improve their wages, benefits and working conditions. The NLRB oversees hundreds of union elections…

A rural listening tour by young people on the move

A decade and more ago, timber corporations left Grays Harbor—but the people who had given their lives to the timber industry stayed. They stayed in towns where there were no jobs, little housing, few public amenities. They have weathered many storms and taken care of each other for years. Four…

A cruel, greedy worldview is in charge

This issue of Works in Progress asks who is in charge. Actually, the question is what is in charge. For several decades a destructive worldview has dominated the US and some parts of the world. We need to replace that with the opposite worldview. A “worldview” is the overall perspective…

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