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

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 21, 2009


Bowls of potatoes are offered for sale at the Liberty Lake Farmers Market Saturday.
 (Joe Barrentine / The Spokesman-Review)

Today: Potato Day

Today is Potato Day, a popular day, when growers descend on Olympia to hand out hundreds of baked potatoes to lawmakers, staffers, lobbyists and whoever else is around. Also popular: Dairy Day, which tends to involve free ice cream.

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Standing before thousands at an anti-abortion rally Monday at the state capitol, Rep. Matt Shea gestures at about a dozen counter-demonstrators standing on the steps of the state Supreme Court.  (Rich Roesler / The Spokesman-Review)

Large anti-abortion rally at capitol...

Forgot to post this before going home last night:More than 4,000 people crowded the Washington state Capitol steps Tuesday to decry abortion.“Let’s make sure the Supreme Court can hear all of us today,” newly elected state Rep. Matt Shea, R-Mead, said. He dismissed the dozen…

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TUESDAY, JAN. 20, 2009



MONDAY, JAN. 19, 2009

Dorn opens with tough talk to lawmakers...

Newly elected state superintendent of public instruction Randy Dorn threw down the gauntlet on school funding Monday in his inaugural appearance before the state Senate education committee.Money for schools must come first, Dorn told them:"We've really never matched up the standards and how you fund…

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 (Rich Roesler / The Spokesman-Review)

Anti-poverty groups rally at capitol...

About 300 people from anti-poverty groups and other organizations held a rally on the capitol steps Monday afternoon. They called for restrictions on payday lending, more health care, and preservation of the General Assistance to the Unemployable program, which provides health coverage and monthly stipends…

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New Washington political website... 

From the folks who brought you Horse's Ass, it's "Publicola, the Washington news elixir."From HA founder David Goldstein:"The sudden collapse of our local news industry and the resulting mass exodus of political reporters is a bitter pill to swallow for those of us who believe…

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Don Cox returning to Olympia...

Former state Rep. Don Cox, who stepped down two years ago, is headed back to Olympia.County commissioners from the 9th Legislative District today chose Cox to replace Rep. Steve Hailey, who died Dec. 28th after a year-long battle with colon cancer.Cox, 69, was almost immediately…

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SUNDAY, JAN. 18, 2009

SATURDAY, JAN. 17, 2009



A marmot takes a break – from mayhem, perhaps? – in Riverfront Park. 
 (Rajah Bose / The Spokesman-Review)

Behold the gentle marmot... 

Speaking of Jacobsen's bills, he's also back with a proposal to declare the Olympic marmot the official "state endemic mammal."The bill describes the creatures in language similar to how my onetime neighbors in Coeur d'Alene used to describe Californians: Olympic marmots hibernate from September to…

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FRIDAY, JAN. 16, 2009


Dogs in bars is back...

Among Sen. Ken Jacobsen's 46 bills so far in this first week of the legislative session is Senate Bill 5192, Jacobsen's second attempt at changing state law to allow anyone to bring their dog into a bar.Under the proposal, owners of taverns, pubs, bars, etc.…

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THURSDAY, JAN. 15, 2009

Shades of "Escape from New York"...

State Rep. Al O'Brien, the lawmaker who brought up the pistol-bullet-registration bill referenced in the post below, also wants the state to look into whether it can implant chips into the bodies of sex offenders in order to track them.From House Bill 1142, which calls…

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McGann's gone...

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's print edition disappears in two months, but it's capitol reporter is disappearing now. P-I writer Chris McGann has quit to take a job as communications director for newly elected state treasurer Jim McIntire.

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Gregoire economic stimulus plan: the details: 

Trying to kick-start the state's lagging economy, Gov. Chris Gregoire on Thursday unveiled a $1.2 billion proposal that includes more than $90 million in buildings at Spokane-area colleges, repaving local highways, and $15 million more for the North Spokane Corridor.“We can quickly create thousands of…

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