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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Olympia

MONDAY, FEB. 28, 2005

THURSDAY, FEB. 24, 2005

When "absent" means "golfing"...

www.washingtonvotes.org, a website that aims to render the sausage-making of legislation more accessible to everyday citizens, is a worthwhile visit for anyone who reads this blog (or the printed version in each Sunday's paper).Its list of most-viewed bills, for example, includes SB 5079 (calling a…

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False alarm...

We were salivating when we saw House Bill 2183, "clarifying the application of the state Constitution with respect to traffic violations committed by legislators."Were politicians trying to write themselves a motorists' get-out-of-jail-free card, a sort of diplomatic immunity when speeding or parking illegally?Alas, no. The…

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THURSDAY, FEB. 17, 2005

Please smoke...for the kids...

Rep. Rodney Tom, R-Bellevue, wants to raise the tax on a pack of cigarettes from $1.42 to $2.50.The more-expensive smokes would likely prompt 98,000 Washingtonians to give up smoking, Tom estimates. The additional tax from those that keep smoking would raise $150 million dollars a…

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How to judge a judge...

Thanks to the Internet, you can easily do at least a cursory check into the credentials of your doctor, lawyer, or that contractor who's replacing the water heater.And if you run afoul of the law, you can now check to see if the judge has…

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Walla Walla flexes it's political muscle...

We pause from statehouse brow-knitting over the worsening health care mess, big budget woes, controversial election reforms and what to do about taxes to bring you House Bill 1964 , a modest proposal that states simply that "The Walla Walla sweet onion is designated as…

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S.O.D.

Spotted hanging on the wall in a Republican Senate staff office: a ring-style life preserver with name "Dino Rossi" on it. Really.

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FRIDAY, FEB. 11, 2005

A salad with every subpoena...

As the fight over who really won the governor's race turns into a sort of Lawyer Olympics, we pause to award a bronze medal for snide tactics and political theater to the Building Industry Association of Washington.The BIAW supports Republican Dino Rossi, who lost the…

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Next up: world peace...

Our vote for Most Ambitious Bill of 2005: Rep. Mark Miloscia's "House Bill 1810: Ending Homelessness in the State of Washington."The bill tells a state agency, county governments and some cities to end homelessness within 10 years. It also requires an annual count of the…

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Get out the purple ink...

"You know, in Iraq, they had to provide a birth certificate to be able to vote." -- Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, who's promoting re-registration for every voter in Washington. After years of people signing up to vote when they get a driver's license, the state…

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Or to "Throw the Bums Out"...

"I was afraid I would have to change my name to `None of the Above.'" -- Rep. Dan Kristiansen, D-Snohomish, who's sponsoring a bill that would let voters vote for "none of the above" instead of leaving an office blank.

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MONDAY, FEB. 7, 2005

Rossi in the House...

The Republican who would be governor -- Dino Rossi -- turned up in the wings of the state House of Representatives Monday. He went behind closed doors to meet with House Republicans. The message: that despite Friday's court ruling that a re-vote is probably not…

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THURSDAY, FEB. 3, 2005

The crowning touch for any Zagmobile...

A bevy of local lawmakers want to create a new state license plate featuring Gonzaga University. Cost: $40. The state Department of Transportation would get $12, and after deducting the cost of making the plate and running the program, the rest of the money would…

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A hardy perennial blooms again...

Yet again, a group of mostly east-of-the-cascades senators are proposing cleaving Washington in half, creating a new state of Eastern Washington."Since statehood, the lifestyles, culture and economies of Eastern and Western Washington have been very distinct and dramatically different," reads Senate Joint Memorial 8009 ,"while…

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Timber owners are getting played...

Speaking of wood, thieves are apparently descending on the state's forests -- public and private -- and stealing prime wood to make musical instruments.The pictures would make any deer or elk hunter cringe -- large trees felled and left to rot, with the thieves just…

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THURSDAY, JAN. 27, 2005

Preserved for future generations

Secretary of State Sam Reed on Thursday announced that state technicians, acting quickly, were able to save Gov. Gary Locke's internet website from extinction when Locke left office Jan. 12. The data was was captured by the state's digital archiving team. Among the saves: 1,605…

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Also, avoid Elevator No. 6...

Other tidbits from the capitol security staff: Over the past two months, they have:-helped free people trapped in Elevator No. 6. Twice.-called state troopers "for a person with a mental problem here to see the governor."-And x-rayed a suspicious letter to the governor.

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FRIDAY, JAN. 21, 2005

Campaigning for "None of the Above"...

When the political choices are all bad, State Rep. Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish, wants you to be able to vote for "none of the above."Kristiansen says the change -- which some county election officials don't like because it would make ballots even bigger -- would prevent…

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No legal Lorax here...

"I want to claim the distinction on behalf of the Libertarian Party of killing the fewest trees." -Libertarian attorney Richard Shepard, speaking at the Wenatchee hearing challenging the governor's election. Dozens of attorneys are working on the case, which already involves thousands of documents after…

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THURSDAY, JAN. 13, 2005

Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.