When the Beatles became honorary Washingtonians ?>

When the Beatles became honorary Washingtonians


Ringo Starr fishing at Edgewater

Ringo Starr fishes from his hotel room window as other Beatles watch during their stay at the Edgewater Inn on Seattle’s waterfront. (Photo courtesy Seattle P-I)   

For Northwest baby-boomers, this might be a tough pill to swallow. It was 50 years ago tonight that the Beatles played their final concert in Seattle. Beatles article

The Fab Four appeared at the old Seattle Center Coliseum for two shows on Aug. 25, 1966. One was in the afternoon, the other in the evening.  Check out this HistoryLink.org story for more details.

What caught our eye about this article about the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life (in Seattle)” is that it mentioned former Secretary of State Lud Kramer:

“Afterward, the Beatles were presented with a certificate signed by Washington Secretary of State Lud Kramer, making them honorary state citizens. They returned to their dressing room and prepared for the first of two concerts.”

We never realized former Secretary Kramer was so cool, so hip, so fab! Thanks to the State Archives for bringing this to our attention, including the AP story in The Seattle Times (right) that came out two months before the Beatles’ last Seattle shows.

A few days after the Seattle stop, the Beatles played at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, the final time they played live on stage. After that, they began “the studio years.”

John Lennon with OSOS certificate

Beatle John Lennon with proclamation declaring he’s an “Honorary Washington Citizen.” (Photo courtesy of Associated Press)

Celebrating National Parks centennial ?>

Celebrating National Parks centennial

Mount Rainier 2016

Climbers going up Mount Rainier’s Muir Snowfield. (Photo courtesy Brian Zylstra)

If you go to one of Washington’s three national parks tomorrow through Sunday, you’re in for a treat – the National Parks Service is offering free admission in honor of the Park Service’s centennial Thursday!

If you’re looking for things to do at Mount Rainier, North Cascades or Olympic National Park to celebrate the big anniversary, check out this story by News Tribune outdoor writer Craig Hill.

Hurricane Ridge (2)

Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park (Photo courtesy Washington State Archives)

And check out this blog post about Mount Rainier National Park’s history.

Legacy WA launches “Who are we?” exhibit Aug. 25 ?>

Legacy WA launches “Who are we?” exhibit Aug. 25

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Our Legacy Washington program is getting set to launch its latest exhibit, “Who are we?” It features historic photos and compelling life stories about a diverse group of Washingtonians who have overcome obstacles to leave positive marks on our state.

The exhibit’s official launch is Aug. 25 at 3 p.m. in the State Reception Room on the third floor of the Capitol in Olympia. Secretary of State Kim Wyman will emcee the event, which is open to the public. Dancers from the Asia Pacific Cultural Center will perform before the ceremony.

After the launch, attendees are encouraged to view the exhibit, in the front lobby of the Office of Secretary of State, located on the second floor of the Capitol. The privately funded exhibit will be on display through July 2017.

Three of the exhibit’s profile subjects will speak at the event: disability activist Duane French; JoAnn Kauffman, who has championed Indian health and justice for more than 40 years; and Bill Ruckelshaus, who headed the Environmental Protection Agency. The Ruckelshaus profile is scheduled for release in October.


Secretary of State employees put up panels for the “Who are we” exhibit.

Other “Who are we?” profile subjects will be honored at the launch, including:
• The Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney, the Seattle civil rights activist.
• Young Latino winemakers Amy Alvarez-Wampfler and Victor Palencia.
• Former legislator and U.S. Rep. Jolene Unsoeld, who is the subject of a profile set for Aug. 23 release.
• Hank Adams, an Assiniboine-Sioux member who has been involved in key events involving Native Americans, from the 1973 Wounded Knee standoff to the landmark Boldt Decision to salmon preservation. The Adams profile is slated to go online in September.
• Rudy Lopez, who achieved the highest enlisted rank in the U.S. Air Force – command chief master sergeant – and currently directs the Veterans Cemetery near Spokane.
• Aberdeen Mayor Erik Larson, who was elected a year ago at age 23 and is the youngest mayor of a sizable city in state history.
• Asia Pacific Cultural Center founder Patsy Suhr O’Connell.

The profiles on Lopez, Larson and Suhr O’Connell are scheduled to be unveiled in November.

From the Archives: Mount Rainier in summer! ?>

From the Archives: Mount Rainier in summer!

Mount Rainier from Reflection Lake

Mount Rainier from Plummer Peak. (Photos courtesy of Washington State Digital Archives)

As weather-watchers know, it’s supposed to get hot this weekend in Western Washington. As in the 90s. For people wanting to beat the heat, there usually are two options: head for the water or head into the mountains.

If the latter sounds like your thing, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better place than Mount Rainier National Park, home of our state’s tallest peak at well over 14,000 feet above sea level. And if you need any persuading, just take a look at these two photos of The Mountain that are found in our State Digital Archives.

The top photo, taken in sometime between 1950 and 1980, shows Rainier and its reflection in a small tarn on the side of Plummer Peak, near Pinnacle Park on the south side of the park.

The bottom photo, taken in 1967, shows a hiker enjoying an awesome view of Rainier from Burroughs Mountain, a few miles west of Sunrise. Those who venture to Sunrise will not only enjoy a stunning view of The Mountain from the northeast, they’ll also enjoy hiking that starts at a cooler elevation of 6,000 feet.

Both photos are part of the Digital Archives’ State Library Photograph Collection, 1851-1990.

If you go hiking on or near Rainier or anywhere else in the coming days, make sure to bring water and wear sunscreen, especially if you won’t be in shade!

Mt Rainier from Burroughs Mountain

Mount Rainier from Burroughs Mountain.

WTBBL starts to record audio books in Spanish ?>

WTBBL starts to record audio books in Spanish

Paco Diaz

Francisco Díaz, WTBBL’s first Spanish audio book narrator. (Photo courtesy of WTBBL)

The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library provides comprehensive services to Washington residents unable to read standard print materials.

There are many Washingtonians for whom English is not their first language and who may also be unable to read print due to blindness, visual impairment, physical disability, or a reading disability.

WTBBL has more than 150 patrons borrowing Spanish language audio books, but the 2014 U.S. Census Bureau estimates that about 8.4 percent of Washington residents age 5 or older speak Spanish at home.

“We have long felt that there may be a need in the Hispanic community for WTBBL service and yet, even if we could make the connection, there aren’t nearly enough books in Spanish,” explained WTBBL Manager Danielle Miller.

That is about to change very soon. It came about thanks to outreach by a WTBBL staffer.

WTBBL staff member Rocio Vargas, a native of Mexico, has provided direct patron service for quite some time, helping in outreach efforts to current and prospective Spanish-speaking patrons.

Rocio recently did an interview with KKMO El Rey 1360 AM about WTBBL services. It was there that Rocio met Francisco Díaz, a broadcaster there who does the radio news section in the morning show, and hosts the Latinos Unidos show every Saturday at noon.

During the interview, Rocio invited the Latino audience to consider volunteering at WTBBL, in particular, auditioning to become a Spanish language narrator. Díaz himself was interested in volunteering at WTBBL and he quickly completed the application, came in for an audition, and now is officially WTBBL’s first Spanish audio book narrator!

Diaz recently finished narrating the book “Hoyos” by Louis Sachar. (The title is “Holes” in English.) It will be available for patrons in several months.

“We are very happy to be able to say that we are finally able to begin recording books in Spanish,” Miller said. “This is the first step to building a bigger and better collection for WTBBL patrons who need to receive their books in Spanish.”

Diaz moved to Seattle from Mexico City 12 years ago. Since moving to Washington, he has been working closely with the Latino community through different nonprofit organizations like Casa Latina, Centro de la Raza, and currently at Sea Mar Community Health Center.

Diaz also volunteers with the Seattle Latino Film Festival and teaches Spanish at Casa Latina.  He enjoys helping and encourages others in the Hispanic community to do the same, contributing to society, and inspiring each other to donate time to nonprofits institutions.

Shannon Cortez joins WA Elections Division as deputy director ?>

Shannon Cortez joins WA Elections Division as deputy director

Shannon Cortez head shotSecretary of State Kim Wyman has announced the appointment of Shannon Cortez as the new deputy director of elections.

Cortez will take her new role on Monday after 18 years of experience in elections administration, both with Pierce County and King County, where she has been deputy elections director. In Pierce, she worked with Auditors Cathy Pearsall-Stipek, Pat McCarthy, Jan Shabro and Julie Anderson, and in King, she assisted Julie Wise. Cortez succeeds Allyson Ruppenthal, who has joined Thurston County government.

Wyman said Cortez is well known in the elections community as a talented manager and administrator with broad experience in elections reform.

Elections Director Lori Augino said she personally worked with Cortez for 13 years.

“During that time, I watched her passion for elections administration grow. She learned the work from the ground up, starting in voter registration and customer service. She quickly moved up and was responsible for designing the voters’ pamphlet, then ballots, and eventually supervising the Pierce County Elections team. Most recently she’s filled the role of Deputy Director in King County Elections. We are so lucky to benefit from all of her years of experience and leadership as we work collectively to continue to improve Washington State Elections.”

Legacy WA profiles subject’s courage and resilience ?>

Legacy WA profiles subject’s courage and resilience

joannkauffman2_Kauffman and Associates, Inc.

JoAnn Kauffman. (Photos courtesy of JoAnn Kauffman)

Our Legacy Washington program has a terrific new addition to its special series, “Who are we?” It’s the inspiring profile of JoAnn Kauffman, a prominent Nez Perce tribal member who overcame a difficult childhood and poverty to become a nationally recognized advocate for Indian health and justice.

The profile, written by Legacy Washington Director Trova Heffernan, can be viewed here.

“Who are we?” is a historical project that documents the lives of a diverse group of Washingtonians. It includes a series of online profiles and an interactive exhibit opening on Aug. 25 at 3 p.m. in the State Reception Room, on the third floor of the Capitol Building. Kauffman will be among the speakers at the opening, which is free and open to the public.

Secretary of State Wyman praises Kauffman’s courage and resilience:

“JoAnn Kauffman is an inspiring example of a courageous woman from the Pacific Northwest. She survived a childhood most of us can’t fathom and has worked tirelessly since for the next generation.”

As a child, Kauffman shuttled between life as an urban Indian in Seattle housing projects and the Nez Perce Reservation and the small town of Kamiah, Idaho. Often left alone by their parents, JoAnn and her siblings raised themselves. Sometimes they lived in homes with no electricity. She and her siblings walked six blocks to a gas station to haul clean water home in a bucket. With no food for lunch, she sometimes carried an empty sack to school.

Kauffman at Leschi Center construction_edited

Kauffman at Chief Leschi Center construction.

Kauffman has overcome obstacles to accomplish much in her life, including:
• Helping clear the way for the Chief Leschi Center in Seattle;
• Winning federal recognition for national historic sites of the Nez Perce;
• Founding the National Association of Native American Children of Alcoholics;
• Laying a framework to prevent suicide, violence and bullying in Indian Country’s most vulnerable places; and
• Founding Kauffman & Associates, Inc., an advocacy group with offices in Spokane and Washington, D.C.

Wyman adds:

“I’m more convinced than ever that Washington is home to some of the most resilient people on the planet. We owe a debt of gratitude to these individuals for sharing their personal stories with such candor.”

The next profile, to be released Aug. 23, will be on Jolene Unsoeld, an Olympia citizen activist who later served in the state Legislature and Congress.

Five minor party White House tickets cleared for WA ballot ?>

Five minor party White House tickets cleared for WA ballot


Five minor party tickets will appear on the ballot in Washington, alongside the Democratic and Republican candidates for president and vice president.

They are:

Socialist Workers Party – Alyson Kennedy / Osborne Hart

Green Party – Jill Stein / Howie Hawkins (Hawkins to be replaced by Ajamu Baraka on ballot)

Socialism & Liberation Party – Gloria E. La Riva / Eugene Puryear

Constitution Party –  Darrell L. Castle / Scott N. Bradley

Libertarian Party – Gary Johnson / Bill Weld

State law says that major party tickets nominated by their national conventions are automatically awarded ballot access. Minor parties and independent tickets are also provided fairly easy access by gathering the signatures of at least 1,000 registered Washington voters at a convention or conventions within the state any time between May 7 and July 23. The state Elections Division checked the validity of the signatures, and found that each campaign had submitted sufficient numbers to qualify. Friday was the deadline to submit all required documents, including petitions, slate of electors and proof that legal public notice was given for their conventions.

Six minor party tickets were on the 2012 ballot.

Write-ins are permitted. Candidates may also submit a declaration of write-in candidacy no later than 18 days before the Nov. 8 General Election.

Here is our 17-page guide to the process is here.

Top 2 Primary producing finalists for WA General Election ?>

Top 2 Primary producing finalists for WA General Election

top2Washington voters began clearing the decks for the fall General Election by choosing their favorite candidates to advance, using a qualifying election called the Top 2 Primary.

There were surprises — such as several state Senate and House incumbents who were attempting to fend off strong challenges — and the twist of producing several marquee November matchups that will feature finalists from the same party.

For the first time, it appears that two candidates from the same party will vie for a statewide office, state treasurer. Republicans Duane Davidson and Michael Waite emerged atop a five-person field that also included three Democrats.

Two of the 10 U.S. House races also will feature finalists from the same party.   In the wide-open Seattle-area 7th District, Pramila Jayapal, a Democratic state senator, easily won a slot on the November ballot, and fellow Democrats Brady Walkinshaw and Joe McDermott were locked in a tight race for the second run-off spot, with less than 500 votes separating them.

The other race is a rerun of the 2014 all-Republican contest in the 4th Congressional District in Eastern Washington, pitting freshman Congressman Dan Newhouse and former Super Bowl football star Clint Didier. Newhouse defeated Didier last time and had a large plurality in this year’s Primary.

Eight other congressional incumbents came out on top of their respective primaries.

Many incumbent legislators also fared well, winning their primaries. A number of incumbents either had no opponent filed against them or only one challenger. In all cases, the final election will be in the fall.

In the marquee races, Gov. Jay Inslee and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, both Democrats, were well ahead of their Republican challengers for November, Bill Bryant and Chris Vance, respectively. For the open office of lieutenant governor, voters picked through a field of 11 candidates and were choosing Republican Marty McClendon and Cyrus Habib, a Democrat, as finalists. Results for statewide executive office, as of Thursday afternoon, are here. In the lone Primary for state Supreme Court, Chief Justice Barbara Madsen had a strong plurality in a three-person race, and will advance to the General Election with challenger Greg Zampel.

About 1 million ballots were tabulated by Thursday, for a turnout of 24 percent of registered voters so far.  Secretary of State Kim Wyman said that turnout number should grow to the upper 30s or low 40s by the time all incoming ballots are received. She added:

“I salute every voter who took part in Primary 2016. This is such an important step in electing our leaders for the coming days and years. I sense that voters are really engaged in government, politics and campaigns this year, particularly with the 24-7 coverage of the presidential race! I expect to see a turnout of over 80 percent in November.”