The price for a miracle? one tenth of one percent

Being a member of the E.U. cost less than two percent of Britain’s national budget. Most of us did not care. But, once the question was asked, it became fundamental, and the prelude to every future question. Choosing Brexit meant that we would diverge. We would diverge from Europe, and we would diverge from one another.

from “The Long Goodbye,” an article on the Brexit negotiations, by Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 4 November 2019
Nick Rennis in front of his record shop, The Business, in Anacortes
Nick Rennis at The Business in Anacortes, WA (June 2019)

We in the Anacortes music community have reached a decisive moment in the evolution of our small, fragile, searching music scene that has, astonishingly — over the past 40 years — launched some titans of the Indie music world. This moment is for us. It’s right here, right now. Our own small prelude to our own fundamental future. I’ve written in The Palace about the importance of The Business many times. But raising questions of public interest is a dangerous thing to do in 2020, especially when we’re talking about very small amounts of money in the form of taxes.

But just because we don’t talk about the common good any more doesn’t mean there isn’t one. There is. The common good is what we share with one another, how we serve one another. The common good is how we live as a community. It’s the best of what we can be.

A proposed initiative (this February) to raise the Anacortes sales tax one tenth of one percent, if passed, would mean an extra penny in sales tax on $10 of taxable purchases. One penny. No one even bothers to pick up a penny on the sidewalk or in parking lots when they see one, do they? (I do. And the city can have my entire collection!) In this case, that one tenth of one percent will help fund the Anacortes Family Center (they desperately need to expand with a new 20-unit housing facility that will include childcare), and the Anacortes Housing Authority’s new townhouse project. It will also fund the Authority’s restoration of a big part of our town’s historic district, the Olson Building on Commercial Avenue, which is home to three thriving rent-paying tax-paying businesses, including The Business (the Olson Building restoration will include adding 15-20 affordable apartments on the second floor, which is currently boarded up and decaying).

Let’s remain a community. Let’s not diverge from one another. Let’s add affordable housing so hardworking individuals and families can afford to stay in Anacortes. And let’s keep the Olson Building a place for miracles and inspiration. We can do this for each other. Thank you for caring!

(Below are a few photos from The Palace Collection documenting a few of the daily miracles at The Business.)

Indifference is over (if we want it)

Fountainsun at the Business
Fountainsun at The Business, 23 August 2019
Lori Goldston at The Business, 15 June 2019
Lori Goldston at The Business (15 June 2019)
Buck Meek at The Business 9 February 2019
Buck Meek at The Business (9 February 2019)
David Shapiro (as Alexander) at The Business, 30 November 2018)
David Shapiro at The Business (30 November 2018)
Frankie Cosmos at The Business (25 August 2017)
Frankie Cosmos at The Business (25 August 2017)
Don McGreevy at The Business (14 July 2017)
Ralph White at The Business 2 February 2019
Ralph White at The Business (2 February 2017)
Nick Rennis and Evie Opp, owners of The Business
Nick Rennis and Evie Opp, co-owners of The Business, located in the Olson Building, Anacortes, WA