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Spin Control

Posts tagged: state capitol

A new class of troopers

OLYMPIA — The Washington State Patrol swore in 27 new troopers Wednesday, graduates of the 101st class from the agency's academy.

State Supreme Court Justice Mary Fairhurst administered the oath of office as Gov. Jay Inslee, Chief John Batiste and family members watching from the railings on two upper floors looked on.

Watch for them soon in a patrol car near you.

Holiday news at Capitol and beyond

OLYMPIA — The state Capitol Grounds will feature a Nativity Scene this year, and a park a few blocks north will have a nine-foot lighted Menorah, state officials said.

The Nativity Scene will be go up Dec. 11 and come down Dec. 28. The Menorah goes up Dec. 6, and there's a lighting ceremony on Dec. 9 at Sylvester Park, about three blocks down Capitol Boulevard.

An atheist group usually arranges for some sort of display, also, but so far they haven't requested the necessary permits. The outside displays are a result of the problems the state had a few years ago inside the Capitol Building when competing displays seemed on a path to fill up the available space. (Regular Spin Control readers may recall how the controversy generated fodder for conservative talking heads fuming about a “War on Christmas” on television and radio). 

All religious displays are now required to be set up outside. The only interior display is the holiday tree in the Rotunda.

This year, the battleground in the War on Christmas appears to be in Santa Monica, Calif., as this video points out.

Counter protest greets Westboro group

Kittanya Locken and Marly Gilbert share a kiss in front of the anti-gay protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church.

OLYMPIA — A half dozen members of the virulently anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church drew about 200 counter demonstrators to a protest at the entrance to the state Capitol Campus this afternoon.

The Kansas congregation said on its website it was “picketing the legalization of fag marriage” in the state Wednesday and Thursday. They apparently didn't get the memo that the law is on  hold, at least until December, because Preserve Marriage Washington filed more than 225,000 signatures on referendum petitions to put the law on the ballot.

Since Preserve Marriage Washington only needed about 121,000 valid signatures, there's almost no chance that the law won't be before voters in November. The secretary of state's office will go through a streamlined process to check signatures next week.

While the Westboro group sang, waved their signs and, for part of the protest stood on an American flag one protester had dropped on the ground, the counter demonstrators jeered, shouted and waved signs spoofing the standard Westboro “God hates Fags” signs.

“God hates figs,” said one. “Eggs hate Nogg,” said another.

Other counter demonstrators blew bubbles, waved flags or served pieces of a cake decorated with a rainbow.

Washington State troopers kept the two groups separate. But Kittanya Locken and Marly Gilbert, a lesbian couple who live in Olympia, made their way to the front of the counter demonstrators to share a kiss in front of the Westboro group.

Locken said they learned about the protest on Facebook, and decided they had to come to protest the protesters. “It's our home and our duty to support our friends.”

Austin Hedrick, a high school senior from Tumwater, said he came hoping to talk to the Westboro protesters, but the crowd made that unlikely. Hedrick was carrying his Bible and said he plans to attend a seminary in the fall. He wanted to tell the protesters they were wrong about their interpretation of the Scripture.

“The Bible says homosexuality is wrong, but it doesn't say to hate homosexuals,” Hedrick said.

Katrina Akins of Olympia, who was blowing bubbles in the back of the crowd, said she'd recently seen a movie about the Westboro Church, and wanted to see them  in person. “They're about what I expected,” she said.

Why bubbles? They're fun, they make rainbows…and the bubble blower was cheap at the dollar store, she said.

After an hour, the Westboro protesters packed up and left, and the counter demonstrators slowly dispersed.

Taking advantage of a nice autumn day

OLYMPIA — Taking a break from studying election returns, and trying to take advantage of a good fall day, Spin Control caught some sun and fall colors in a walk past the Capitol.

Forecast for Friday is the same on the West Side as it is for Spokane: rainy, cooler.

Enjoy the sunshine while you can.

Not to rub it in, but…

Fall colors on the Capitol Campus.

OLYMPIA — November is a month when the weather in Western and Eastern Washington shift, and at some point it's nicer over here than it is in Spokane.

I think that happened on Thursday, when the snow fell, as predicted, in Eastern Washington, and the rain did not fall as predicted in the South Puget Sound.

Barring some snap freeze, the Capitol Campus may have a week or two more of fall colors.

WA Lege Day 88: Protester arrested

OLYMPIA —  One of 13 protesters arrested outside the governor's office is led away.

Happy Hanukkah from the Capitol


OLYMPIA — As it has for several years, a Seattle-based Jewish group erected a menorrah at the Capitol. A menrrah was inside in 2005-8, but all private displays were moved outside in 2009 after controvery involving a sign by atheists and requests to put a Festivus pole and other displays.

Oh. Tannenbaum.

Jim Bensley (right) and Wes Kline of General Administration direct the raising and securing of the Holiday Kids Tree in the Capitol Rotunda Monday.

OLYMPIA — The Holiday Kids Tree was hoisted into its stand in the Capitol Rotunda at lunchtime Monday.

At about 25 feet, it’s a slightly smaller tree than in recent years. But the state got a great deal on it…free. It came from the yard of a couple of retired state employees who said the state could have it if someone would come get it.

Still, 25 feet is pretty tall for putting something on the highest bough, so state workers who are decorating and erecting it on their off-hours put ornaments and lights on the top tier before raising it and setting it in the stand.

The state shares the tree with the Association of Washington Business, which has sponsored the Holiday Kids Tree since 1989. Official tree lighting ceremony is 6 p.m. Friday.

Veterans Day at the Capitol

Uniforms everywhere. Campaign caps on senior citizens and neckerchiefs on Boy Scouts.

The American Legion band playing in the Capitol Rotunda.

Speeches of duty. Speeches of thanks.

It’s Veterans Day in Olympia. And since Veterans Day started out as Armistice Day, here’s the capitol’s memorial to the War to End All Wars.

Playing dress up for women’s suffrage

OLYMPIA — Dozens of Washington residents appeared in turn-of-the-century costume — and by that we mean the turn of the 20th, not the 21st, Century — at the Capitol today to celebrate the centennial of women receiving the right to vote in the state.

Here Talcott Broadhead handles daughters Clementine, age 5, and Henrietta, age 15 months on the steps of the Capitol Rotunda next to Darrell Holt and Carole Rambo Holt.

Capitol does the time warp

One hundred years ago today, women in Washington state received the right to vote through a measure that passed on that year’s ballot. In honor of the centennnial, women in men in period attire, some of them driving or riding in vintage autos, flooded the Capitol campus for music, speeches and celebrating.

Here, dozens listen to the New Horizons Band as they await a re-enactment of the delivery of the Nov. 8, 1910 election results.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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