It’s a matter of policy to check Net

Editor’s note: Susan Ashe is director of legislative and public affairs for the city of Spokane.

Public policy is my passion; well, so is being a grandmother, but I’ll get to that later.

I spend my days in service to our elected city officials and the city organization working to help Spokane be the best it can be. In particular, I promote the legislative priorities of the mayor and City Council, on behalf of the citizens of Spokane, at the state and federal level. We seek funding for important services like transportation, public safety and economic development.

Every day I access the Internet for one reason or another. Here are just a few examples:

To stay in touch with state government, I often visit the sites of the state Legislature at and the governor at www.governor. For past and current election information I peruse the secretary of state’s Web site at

For issue research or general information, Access Washington at provides an easy path to state information and services. If I want to know more about issues of interest to other states, a quick visit to the National Conference of State Legislators at does the job. Of course, Google is an all-round great research tool.

On federal matters, I frequently visit the Library of Congress’ THOMAS site at, a really cool site that provides all sorts of interesting information about the U.S. Congress, legislation, roll call votes and how the federal government works. I routinely visit the Web sites of our delegation to stay current, and the city’s annual appropriations requests are all submitted online.

Locally, the folks at the Spokane County Elections office are very helpful, but I try to occasionally give them a break by visiting their Web site at Here I am able to easily get information about important election milestone dates and to research initiative and candidate election results.

Now, as I stated earlier, my even greater passion in life is being a grandmother. This too, believe it or not, requires use of the Internet.

Last fall my son and daughter-in-law moved to Chicago with my 2-year-old grandson, Amani. They periodically visit a professional photographer, and after a recent “modeling” shoot was over, I was instructed to visit the photographer’s Web site to see Amani’s photo proofs.

I naturally rushed to my computer to log on and view the results. I love my grandson (and all my “grands”) dearly, but this photographer posted over 70 pictures of Amani! I speak for all grandmothers who believe that their grandchildren are the most adorable kids in the world, but after viewing 70 pictures of him, I was on overload. The “cute appeal” fell after around the 40th shot.

Maybe it’s just me, but this situation brought to light a certain characteristic of the Web; it may have too much information. The Internet has so much information that it can put a damper on work-related research or just casual surfing. But that’s a small price to pay to be well-connected.

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