The Old Watering Hole

One of the oldest forms of public news dissemination is the well. In the olden days, people had to go to the well at least daily or several times a day. The users of the well, mostly women, would then inform each other of happenings in their family, or rumors they had heard. This is not even just a human phenomenon. Many social interactions in animal groups also occur at the local pond, lake, whatever.

Wildebeast 1: Mooo, you know Betty is about to drop that calf any day now.
Wildebeast 2: Mooo, I know what you mean…. it’ll be nice to hear the pitter-patter of little hooves around here again.

In the Olympian story “Artesian Well Will Stay Open”, there is a quote of note along these lines:

Councilwoman Joan Machlis, who worked to get the agreement signed, said community advocacy was important.

“It is a phenomenal gathering space,” she said.

to which there was a comment:

glenn wrote on 02/25/2009 07:55:27 AM:

“It is a phenomenal gathering space”. What? It’s a damn parking lot. Just this morning I was trying to figure out what I would do with my day and lo and behold I decided to go and stand in the parking lot. Maybe I’ll bring a book.

While I agree with glenn that the physical facility is not very sightly, it’s still a place of note for Olympia.

A recent count shows that about 250 persons a day use the well. Most don’t stick around for conversation, so it’s not much the gathering place for communication sake.

However, in my capacity as a member of the group, H2Oly, the new well advocacy group, I do hear a lot about the well these days. It still is a passionate issue for many people and they will tell you about how they or their household or Aunt Minnie goes there for drinking water.

I’m glad there is a plan to keep the well going. I hope we get a facility nicer than the one we have someday.

It’s worth talking about.

— end scribble —

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The Old Watering Hole

  1. tz

    Who makes a proposal to whom about a new look for the old pipe? Artists renderings? Contest? Where would the money for construction come from? Does the city HAVE to be involved? Individual council member support is different than city involvement; and better. (I am not just negative for the joy of it, my perspective comes from years of experience in dealing with any size of bureaucracy.)

  2. scribblemark

    Excellent questions all. The basic issue before the decision this week was “liability.” Now that TPUD will take over that piece, the issue-du-jour is “ownership.” The main well is on private land, so not much can be done without Diamond Parking’s permission. They seem very much locked into status quo mode.

    We are now looking for a long-term solution with several options:

    1) Find new well sites
    2) Buy the property from Diamond
    3) Trade city properties for the property

    Etc.

    This is what the group H2Oly will be wrestling with in coming days. Then, once ownership is established, plans for beautification/accessibility can be addressed.

    … K

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