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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

The Legislature rocks on

Although much legislative attention is being paid to solving the state’s budget problems, there is still time in Olympia for other weighty tasks. Such as what should be the state’s official rock?

If you said Heavy Metal or grunge or indie, put your iPod earphones back in. If you said “classic rock” put your earphones in and go look up the word “oxymoron” in Webster’s.

Not that kind of rock. Sen. Dan Swecker, R-Rochester, wants to designate Tenino quarry sandstone as the state’s official rock, primarily because it was used in a few buildings, like the Capitol and the Washington Monument. It probably has nothing to do with the fact that Tenino is in Swecker’s district.
Surely no right-thinking legislator from Eastern Washington, home of the world’s best volcano-formed basalt columns, would dare to vote for a sedimentary substance like sandstone.

Eight members of the House, meanwhile, want to designate coffee as the official state beverage. The same bill would recognize Washington as “the espresso capital of the country,” so apparently they include lattes, cappuccinos, and half-caff, triple-pump hazelnut skinny with a dollop of whip cream mocha-chinos as well as a standard cup of joe.

Could test whether the coffee lobby has the clout of some other beverages, like beer and soda. But when you come right down to it, all of those are just add-ins to the state’s most common beverage. Water.


Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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