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Posts tagged: Washington

Washington Executions Put On Hold

Washington will not execute anyone on death row while Jay Inslee is governor. Inslee, pictured, announced a moratorium today on capital punishment, saying he will issue a reprieve if any execution warrant comes to his desk. He’s not issuing a blanket commutation of sentences, and anyone who gets a reprieve from him could still be executed by a successor. He expects the moratorium to spark a conversation about the death penalty in Washington. “I am not convinced equal justice is being served,” Inslee said at a press conference to announce that he has changed his mind on capital punishment, a penalty he previously supported for some cases. “During my term, we will not be executing people”/Jim Camden, SR. More here. (AP photo)

Question: Should Idaho Gov. Butch Otter call for a moratorium on death penalty, too?

Obama To Observe ‘Dream’ Speech

Barack Obama was 2 years old and growing up in Hawaii when Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Fifty years later, the nation’s first black president will stand as the most high-profile example of the racial progress King espoused, delivering remarks today at a nationwide commemoration of the 1963 demonstration for jobs, economic justice and racial equality. Obama said he believes his success in attaining the nation’s highest political office is a testament to the dedication of King and others, and that he would not be the current Oval Office occupant if it were not for their willingness to persevere through repeated imprisonments, bomb threats, and blasts from billy clubs and fire hoses/Darlene Superville, Associated Press. More here. (AP photo)

Question: Does Martin Luther King's “I Have A Dream” speech still affect you?

Washington Obamacare: Costs Lower

What will Obamacare cost, and who will it help? In Washington state, where final rates emerged this week, it will cost less, cover more people, and provide more comprehensive benefits than consumers get today. On Thursday, the office of state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler announced its final decisions on the rates and policies to be offered for sale on Washington’s new insurance-selling website, the Health Plan Finder. Located at, the site is already running. The new rates are not on it yet, however, and insurance sales will not begin until Oct. 1. The policies it sells will take effect starting Jan. 1/John Webster, SR. More here. (SR illustration)

Question: Is it possible that Republicans are wrong about Obamacare? Less cost? More covered? Hmm.

Costello: Evergreen, Gender Neutral

Surely you will be as relieved as I was to learn that the term “manhole cover” survived the purge. Try as they might, the finest left-wing minds in the business could not concoct a suitable, gender neutral, non-oppressive replacement for those two words. Although I have no doubt that, somewhere, a state employed drone is toiling away somewhere still trying to crack that stubborn nut. For the past six years, the state of Washington has been cleansing its books of 40,000 offensive, sexist terms that have kept women's studies majors from enjoying a good night's sleep. As the drones uncovered intolerable sexist language such as “freshman” or “fisherman,” the laws of the state were rewritten and re-passed by the Legislature for the governor's signature. This year the final result was signed into law by Gov.Jay Inslee, and, as you read this, Washington has been transformed into a dominion of gender-neutrality/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune. More below.

Question: What do you think of Washington's move to cleanse “offensive, sexist terms” from its books?

PM (5.16.13) — Pot Logo Unveiled

A logo that will be used for labeling legal marijuana produced in Washington state is shown. Officials released a preliminary draft of regulations for growing and selling legalized marijuana today. Voters last November made Washington and Colorado the first states to legalize the sale of taxed marijuana to adults over 21 at state-licensed stores. Related story below. (AP Photo/Washington State Liquor Control Board)

Washington Most Bike Friendly State

For the sixth year in a row, Washington has been named the nation's most bicycle friendly state. Colorado and Oregon came in second and third on the yearly list that gives national bragging rights and is closely followed by the cycling community. The rankings are bestowed by the League of American Bicyclists. Begun in 2008, they are based on funding for biking legislation, bike programs and policies, infrastructure, education and planning. Washington Governor Jay Inslee attributes his state's standing to embracing biking as a “form of transportation that enhances our quality of life and honors our environment”/Elizabeth Wiese, USA Today. More here. (SR file photo: Bicyclist on West Hauser Lake Road)

  • Also: Oregon is No. 3, Wyoming No. 33, Idaho No. 36 and Wyoming No. 39. All states here.

Question: Do you ride your bike more today than you did five years ago? And/or: Are you surprised that Idaho is rated so low?

SR Blogs: McMorris Rodgers Wins Post

“Traditional Thanksgiving dinner is hard enough – just making sure that everyone’s favorite dish is on the menu is enough to make even a seasoned cook’s head spin,” writes Lori Hutson/Too Many Cooks. “Add a vegan or vegetarian to the guest list or someone with a gluten allergy, lactose intolerance or egg aversion and it can get downright difficult to make sure everyone will get stuffed, especially the turkey.” More here.

Featured Blog post: U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers won the fourth highest position in the House of Representatives today in a closed meeting of House Republicans, The Hill, Politico and other media are reporting. McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, was elected chairwoman of the House Republican Conference. It ranks just below Speaker of the House, majority leader and majority whip. McMorris Rodgers has served for two terms as the vice chairwoman of the Republican Conference/Jim Camden, Spin Control. More here.

More SR blogs:

Question: Should North Idaho conservatives adopt Cathy McMorris Rodgers from the adjacent congressional district in Eastern Washington as their own?

Idaho, Washington Poor Bellwethers

There was a time in the mid-20th century when, as Washington and Idaho went in presidential elections, so went the country. But voters in the two states have been imperfect bellwethers before and since. Spokane County voters have been a little better. They’ve voted for the candidate who eventually won the Electoral College count in 25 of the 30 presidential elections since Washington and Idaho became states. Kootenai County voters picked 22 out of 30, but have the longer winning streak, voting for the presidential winner in every election from 1916 to 1972. As new states for the 1892 election, neither Washington nor Idaho selected Democrat Grover Cleveland in his return to the White House after he’d been out of office for a term/Jim Camden, SR. More here. (Jesse Tinsley's SR photo: Spokane County elections worker Ralph Gruss grabs another tray of ballots to be put through counting machines at the elections office on Monday)

Question: Will Idaho pick the eventual president tonight?

Washington To Wipe Out Wedge Pack

One thing's for sure: Beef is not healthy for wolves. At a public meeting in Colville Thursday night, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department announced intentions to eliminate the entire Wedge Pack of wolves that have killed or injured at least 15 cattle in northern Stevens County since mid-July. This is a milestone in the controversial process of wolf recovery, the first time a wolf pack has been targeted in Washington since gray wolves were extirpated from the West with guns, traps and poison in the early 1900s. Eliminating wolf packs focused on livestock already has been employed in Montana and Idaho where the issues arose/Rich Landers, SR Outdoors blog. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Do you agree with the death sentence handed down to the Stevens County, Wash., wolf pack?

Spokane Remains Washington’s No. 2

Washington grew slowly — less than 1 percent — in the last year from a slight increase in people moving into the state, the Office of Financial Management said today. The annual estimate of state population said net migration, the difference between the number of people moving in and those moving out, had been falling since 2007, but that turned around in 2011 for a slight uptick. For the year ending April 1, the state gained an estimated 49,870 persons, making the overall population 6,817,770, OFM said. Seattle is the largest city, with an estimated population of 616,500. Spokane remains second, at 210.000, ahead of Tacoma at 199,600. The City of Spokane Valley remains the state’s 10th largest, with 90,550/Jim Camden, SR. More here. (Christopher Anderson SR file photo)

Question: Izzit just me, or is Spokane proud to be Washington state's equivalent of Avis?

Romney Sweeps 3 Primaries

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum hugs a boy during his visit to Bob's Diner in Carnegie, Pa., Wednesday. Santorum's main opponent, Mitt Romney, won Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Story here. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Question: Is it time for Santorum to bow out — and let Romney focus on President Barack Obama?

Washington, Idaho Trim Jobless Time

Long-term unemployment benefits are being reduced sharply in Washington and Idaho. Later this month, most unemployed workers will be cut off after 73 weeks of long-term payments in Washington, the state announced today. That’s down from the 99 weeks now available – a reduction of six months. As a result, an estimated 12,500 Washington residents who are out of work will lose their benefits after April 21, state Employment Security officials estimate. More than 11,000 others will exhaust their benefits within eight weeks of that date, and another 40,000 people on unemployment are at risk of being dropped from the program in the final half of the year. … In Idaho, jobless workers will see their extended benefits reduced by 29 weeks, to a maximum of 44 weeks, the Idaho Department of Labor said/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Are you — or someone you know — having trouble finding a job?

I’ll Be w/You In Cherry Blossom Time

A couple enjoys the blossoms in an area of the tidal basin containing some of the oldest cherry blossom trees in Washington. The pink and white cherry blossoms that color the U.S. capital and draw a million visitors each spring began with trees that have survived for a century. It was 100 years ago this month when first lady Helen Taft and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese Ambassador, planted two Yoshino cherry trees on the bank of Washington's Tidal Basin. They were the first of 3,000 planted as part of a gift from the city of Tokyo as a symbol of friendship. The original pair still stands, along with about 100 of the original trees transported from Japan. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Question: Which type of fruit tree is your favorite?

3 Airlifted From Quincy Bus Crash

Multiple students were injured and at least three were airlifted from the scene after a Quincy School District bus rolled off the road on state Route 281 Monday morning just south of Quincy, Wash. Lt. Scott Martin of the Washington State Patrol says three students are in serious condition, but none of the students suffered life-threatening injuries. More here. (AP Photo/Columbia Basin Herald, Ryan Lancaster)

PM/INW: Rebuilding The Empire

Dick Warwick, left, and Larry Arnold help set up the stage for a production of “Bus Stop” at the historic Empire Theater at Tekoa, Wash., on Monday. The restored Art Deco building opened in 1940 as a movie theater but is now used as a community performing arts center. Mike Prager SR story here. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)

In Idaho, It’s Still Man & Wife

Jon Downing thinks maybe he'll get married in two decades. Not because the 29-year-old necessarily wants to wait. But that's when he suspects it will finally be legal for him to do so in Idaho. “I'm hoping two years out,” said Downing, a Coeur d'Alene resident open to admitting he is gay, even when he expects a variety of reactions. “But the reality is it's probably going to take a little bit longer to change people's hearts and minds.” There are signs to indicate it's already happening, with same-sex marriage legislation whipping through the Washington Legislature and gaining approval on Wednesday, the day after the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down California's Proposition 8 outlawing gay marriage. Idaho following soon might be a tall order/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (AP file photo of a same-sex cake decoration in New York City)

Question: Do you think Idaho will legalize gay marriage in the next decade?

NIdaho Almost Was In Washington

A political rivalry between two would-be Idaho governors, a fight over where Washington's capital should be, gold strikes in the Idaho Panhandle and more played into the current-day shape of the state of Idaho, according to historic maps unveiled to the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee today after its budget hearing on the Idaho State Historical Society. Under one, drawn by Lt. John Mullan, the entire North Idaho Panhandle would have become part of Washington. Under the other, drawn by William H. Wallace, not only the Panhandle but all of Montana and most of Wyoming were drawn into the new Idaho Territory/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. (Jesse Tinsley SR file photo: A stone marker and sign sit at the Fourth of July pass commemorating the road built from Missoula to Walla Walla in 1862 under Capt. John Mullan's supervision)

Question: Would you North Idahoans want to be part of Washington state?

Washington, Oregon On Liberal List

Earlier, I published a list of the 10 most conservative states, compiled by Fellowship of the Minds: Conservatives Who Love America (from Gallup polling). Above you can find a list of the 10 most liberal states.

Question: Are you surprised that Oregon is No. 3 and Washington No. 4?

Washington Same-Sex Marriage Near

As supporters and opponents packed hearing rooms Monday around the Capitol, Washington moved a step closer to legalizing same-sex marriage when the proposal gained its crucial 25th vote in the state Senate. State Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, announced she would vote yes on Senate Bill 6239, giving it a majority in that chamber. The companion bill, HB 2516, has the votes necessary to clear the House, said Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, and Gov. Chris Gregoire has called for the Legislature to pass such legislation. Barring some unexpected shift, that suggests Washington would be the seventh state in the nation to pass a law on same-sex marriage. But it would be the first state where voters have the ultimate say on a bill passed by the Legislature/Jim Camden, SR. More here. (AP photo: Jane Abbott Lighty greets Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, after hearing the news that Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, had announced her support for legalizing same-sex marriage)

Question: Will Idaho pass same-sex marriage legislation some day?

Idaho Unhealthy For Washington Wolf

Many of the wolves in northeastern Washington moved in naturally from Idaho.  But the Gem State is a dangerous place for the wolves to return. A radio-collared wolf from the Diamond Pack in east-central Pend Oreille County was killed Dec. 20 by a trapper in North Idaho a few hundred yards east of the stateline. Trappers have reported taking at least six wolves in the Idaho Panhandle during the state's first trapping season, which started Nov. 15 and runs through March 15.  Hunters have reported taking 28 wolves so far this season in the Panhandle, counting the one checked in at Coeur d'Alene on Tuesday. Statewide, hunters have tagged at least 173 wolves in Idaho so far this season and trappers have reported taking 24/Rich Landers, SR. More here.

Other Rich Landers/SR Outdoors blog posts:

Question: Do you consider a statewide kill of 173 wolves in Idaho so far this year to be a reasonable harvest number?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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