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Neary & Lane sworn in as top aides to Secretary Wyman

by David Ammons | December 18th, 2014 4:40 pm | No Comments

Secretary Wyman and the whole Office of Secretary of State are saying farewell to Assistant Secretary Ken Raske and welcoming his successor, Mark Neary, and Greg Lane, Neary’s successor as Deputy Secretary.

Raske has a long history of working with Secretary Wyman, dating back to more than a decade in county government when Wyman was Thurston County Auditor. When Wyman was elected Secretary in 2012, her first personnel announcement was Raske as her top lieutenant.  But earlier this year, Raske announced that he would retire at year’s end.  Wyman then decided to fill his vacancy with Neary, whom she had also known in Thurston County government.


Greg Lane (left), Secretary Wyman (center), and Mark Neary (right). Photo courtesy of Patrick McDonald

Lane, the immediate past president of TVW and a former top official in the Attorney General’s Office and in the House communications office, was her pick to move into the Neary post. Neary and Lane were sworn in by Wyman Thursday. Lane said he was “absolutely thrilled to be here, just honored to be here.  We’re going to do great things.”

Under state law, they are deputized to act on her behalf in her absence and to sign official state documents, such as governor’s emergency proclamations.

Staff later honored Raske at a famous OSOS potluck.

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From the Archives: Classic photo of Dog House restaurant


(Photo courtesy of Washington State Archives)

It may have closed 20 years ago, but the famous Dog House restaurant in Seattle continues to be a fond memory for the many who dined, drank and socialized there.

A Seattle P-I columnist described it as “an epoch of Seattle history, a virtually non-stop, open-24-hours run of food, booze, music and fellowship.” The restaurant’s sign perhaps said it best: “All roads lead to the Dog House…where friends meet friends in Seattle.”

The Dog House closed on Jan. 31, 1994. This photo, found in the Puget Sound Regional Branch of the State Archives, shows The Dog House in 1937.

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Digital Archives, State Library among best genealogy sites, again

Best-State-Website-Logo-2014It’s become an annual event, but we never tire of reading about it: Our Washington State Digital Archives and Washington State Library were again named among the 75 best genealogy websites for states by Family Tree magazine.

Here are the excerpts from the magazine’s December issue:

Washington State Archives: Digital Archives
This terrific site already has more than 50 million searchable records online, including birth, marriage, death, census, cemetery and naturalization records. On the home page,   search by name or keyword in all collections or just one. For more advanced search options, select a collection under Detailed Search. Click News for archivists’ highlights from the collections.

Washington State Library
To find your ancestor mentioned in Washington newspapers published between 1852 and 1892, click on Digital Collections and then on Historical Newspaper in Washington. Use the Personal Name Search. Back on the home page, click on Genealogy for an overview of family history resources at the library.

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Wyman & Inslee certify 2014 election


Secretary Wyman and Governor Inslee share a laugh before certifying election results in his office.

It’s one for the history books: Secretary Wyman and Governor Inslee have certified the 2014 elections.

The governor and the state’s chief elections officer met in Inslee’s office Tuesday to certify the returns, including races for Congress and Legislature, ballot measures, and the courts. Counties certified other results last week. Democrat Inslee and Republican Wyman bantered as they signed individual election certificates.

Inslee, who was in a jovial mood, said “By definition, the voters made wise decisions — it was the people’s will.”

With no statewide partisan elections on the ballot this midterm year, turnout was less-than-stellar 54.16 percent, with 2.12 million ballot returned and counted. That is similar to the turnout for the last midterm election without a Senate race — 56 percent in 2002.  The most recent two midterms, with hotly contested Senate races, had turnouts of 65 percent (2006) and 71 percent (2010).

Voters kept the U.S. House delegation the same — six Democrats and four Republicans. All nine incumbents who ran again were re-elected. In the only open seat, the 4th, where Doc Hastings retired after 20 years, Dan Newhouse edged Clint Didier by less than 2,500 votes. Both are Republicans, and this was the first congressional election under the Top 2 system that featured two finalists with the same party preference.


Republicans made gains in the Legislature, winning a 25-24 majority in the Senate and drawing to within 51-47 in the House.

All four incumbent Supreme Court justices were elected, either with no opposition or only token challenge. Other jurists also were elected.

Voters approved two ballot measures and rejected one. The most heavily publicized battle was between rival gun background check initiatives. Voters gave landslide 59-41 approval to I-594, which will expand background checks; and rejected I-591 by a 55-45 margin. That plan would have retained the status quo and tied future changes to federal law.

Voters also approved I-1351, mandating lower K-12 class sizes, with a pricetag of over $4.7 billion.

The two successful initiatives are effective Dec. 4. To amend or suspend either during the next two years would require a supermajority two-thirds vote in both houses.

For the first time since I-960 began mandating public advisory votes on taxes raised in Olympia, voters opined that they would retain both revenue measures passed earlier this year.

They signed proclamations for the three state ballot measures  — two passed and one failed.

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Holiday Kids’ Tree is here, lighting event Friday


Wearing his black overcoat, Gov. Inslee helps DES employees haul the Holiday Kids’ Tree into the Legislative Building. (Photo courtesy of Patrick McDonald)

If you can’t tell by seeing it, you can by the evergreen scent: The state Holiday Kids’ Tree has arrived and is standing tall in the Legislative Building rotunda.

Gov. Jay Inslee joined several Department of Enterprise Services workers Monday morning bringing in the 25-foot Noble fir, donated by Winkelman’s Tree Farm in Olympia. The tree will be fully decorated later this week.

In addition to traditional decorations and 5,000 LED lights, the tree will be decorated with plush characters from “Frozen.” After the tree comes down Dec. 30, the stuffed characters will be individually wrapped along with a Golden Book that relates to the “Frozen” story and handed out to children at Seattle Children’s hospital.

The public tree lighting ceremony in the rotunda takes place this Friday at 6 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Association of Washington Business.

2014 Holiday tree photo


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WA counties certify 2014 election results

Elections resultsWashington’s 39 counties have certified their 2014 election returns, in an election dominated by legislative and congressional races, state and local ballot propositions, and local races.

Turnout here, as in the rest of the country, was comparatively low for a mid-term election. In Washington, the county tallies totalled 2.12 million votes, or 54.16 percent of the ballots that were mailed out. That was similar to the 56 percent turnout in 2002, the last mid-term election that did not feature a U.S. Senate race to generate widespread voter attention. The Secretary of State’s Office had forecast a more robust 62 percent return rate, based on the last two mid-term elections, 2010 (71 percent) and 2006 (65 percent), both with hotly contested U.S. Senate showdowns.

The 2014 was the lowest turnout since the 52.5 percent in 1978.

Predictions that rival gun measures would generate nationally-watched controversy and serve as a voter-magnet also failed to pan out.  In the end, Initiative 594, expanding background checks for gun purchases, passed by a landslide 59 percent (75 percent in King) … and the rival plan offered by gun-owner groups, I-591, failed 55-45, with the National Rifle Association choosing not to engage heavily.

Although four local races are going to recount, no legislative, congressional or judicial race was close enough to trigger a recount.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman and Gov. Jay Inslee will certify the state returns on Tuesday, Dec. 2.  The pair of initiatives that passed will take effect Dec. 4, 30 days after Election Day.

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Watch TVW’s coverage of WA 1889 exhibit launch


Secretary Wyman helps launch our office’s new exhibit on 1889 Washington. Seated from left are former Sen. Stuart Halsan, Shanna Stevenson and Russell Holter.  

If you missed attending the recent grand opening of our office’s latest historical exhibit, no worries. TVW has the event available for viewing on its website.

The new exhibit is called Washington 1889: Blazes, Rails and the Year of Statehood. It’s on display in our office’s front lobby until next August.

You can watch the TVW’s coverage of the exhibit opening here. The launch event was emceed by Secretary of State Wyman and featured Russell Holter of the state Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, historian Shanna Stevenson and former state Sen. Stuart Halsan, who loaned a rare 42-star U.S. flag (shown below) to the exhibit.


The privately funded exhibit, which is presented by the Office of Secretary of State and its Legacy Washington program, highlights the major stories of Washington’s seminal year and explores the key events leading to Washington becoming the 42nd state:
• Completion of a second transcontinental railroad once it reached Tacoma in 1883.
• The influx of settlers in the decade leading up to 1889 and statehood.
• Creation and ratification of a state constitution.
• Intense competition between several cities to become capital of the state of Washington.
• Devastating fires in Seattle, Ellensburg and Spokane in 1889 and the successful rebuilding efforts in each city after the blazes.

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Add a message to the state’s Time Capsule!


Centennial Time Capsule, located at the south end of the Capitol, will receive more items soon.

Have you ever wanted to send a message to the future? Now’s your chance.

The Capsule Keepers are asking Washingtonians to write messages to future generations that will be kept inside the state’s Centennial Time Capsule. Messages will be microfilmed and sealed in the Time Capsule until its 2389 opening, 500 years after Washington reached statehood in 1889.

As part of the Washington 125 celebration, the messages and other new content representing the state’s culture and people will be added to the Time Capsule and sealed during a special ceremony on Feb. 22.

Messages to the Future may be sent via e-mail to message2389@sos.wa.gov and also by printing and sending this form here. The deadline to submit messages is Jan. 1.

The Capsule Keepers are gathering materials to be included in the capsule, such as messages from Washingtonians and books and other items that represent our state. The duty for filling the Time Capsule is that of the 1989 Keepers and the Keeper Board. Capsule Keepers of all ages will be invited to help seal the Time Capsule in the February ceremony. Many 2014 Capsule Keepers have written messages for the capsule that will be included.


1989 Capsule Keepers Erica Gordon (left) and Jennifer Estroff (right) stand in the foreground with Capsule Keepers organizer Knute Berger, as the 2014 Capsule Keepers stand behind them during the state’s 125th birthday celebration Nov. 11.

This won’t be the first time that messages have been put inside the Time Capsule, says Knute Berger, a Time Capsule organizer in 1989 and this year.

“In 1989, thousands of Washingtonians wrote messages, which were microfilmed and put into the Time Capsule, destined for delivery in 2389,” Berger said. “We believe this will be among the most interesting material future historians will encounter because ordinary people shared their hopes, dreams, stories and predictions. Some celebrities were involved too–author Tom Robbins and Seahawks Hall of Famer Steve Largent, for example.

“We hope to do the same for the 2014 capsule and are inviting any all and all Washingtonians to send in a message, either by mail or e-mail. We will microfilm the hard copies and also save the e-mails digitally.

“There are no limits on topics. We only ask that they be from Washingtonians (past or present) and that people keep in mind that we hope they shed light on the culture, thoughts, accomplishments and experiences of the people as they are in 2014. We encourage Washingtonians to contribute their hopes, dreams, stories and predictions. We believe these personal notes from citizens will be among the most valuable content the capsule will have,” Berger added.

The Centennial Time Capsule is a 3,000-pound green safe located at the south entrance of the Capitol. The safe contains 16 individual stainless steel time capsules that will be filled with new items every 25 years. All of the individual time capsules and their contents won’t be opened until Nov. 11, 2389, Washington’s 500th anniversary.

From WA Rural Heritage: Celebrating 1889 inauguration


(Photo courtesy North Olympic Heritage/Washington Rural Heritage)

Since Washington’s 125th birthday celebration has come and gone, you’d think we’d be done with looking back at the year we reached statehood. Think again.

This photo offers a side view of the inauguration of our  first governor of the new state, Elisha P. Ferry, in Olympia on Nov. 18, 1889, exactly 125 years ago Tuesday. More than 3,000 Washingtonians celebrated their new statehood that day, marching in parades and watching the new governor take the oath of office.

The photo is found in the North Olympic Heritage collection, which is part of the State Library’s Washington Rural Heritage program. WRH is an online aggregation of special collections from small and rural communities throughout the state. It features photos and other documents that capture Washington’s history, culture, place and people.

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Wyman honors companies that give back


Secretary Wyman (middle) stands with representatives of companies recognized at the Corporations for Communities Award ceremony in her office.

Four companies – three from Western Washington and one from Eastern Washington – have been honored for their generosity and contributions to their local communities.

These companies are recipients of the 2014 Corporations for Communities Award, which honors exceptional Washington businesses that make it a priority to help the community.

Representatives from Bellevue-based John Howie Restaurants, The Barkley Company (Bellingham), The Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse (Sumner) and The McGregor Company (Colfax) were recognized by Secretary of State Kim Wyman at a Wednesday ceremony in her office at the Capitol.

Wyman presented the winners with a certificate and a National Association of Secretaries of State Medallion Award, which recognizes civic engagement, voter education efforts, government services and a commitment to giving back to the community.


“I’m proud and honored to present these four amazing and deserving companies with this award,” Wyman said. “Many businesses of all sizes make a difference by donating money, items or volunteers toward worthy causes. It makes me proud that we have so many generous companies here in Washington.”

Six other businesses were recognized by Wyman for their community efforts: A Picket Fence (Sumner); Avista (Spokane); Jack’s Country Store (Ocean Park);   M&N Absolute Auto (Everett); NW Sleeps (Olympia); and Pioneer Grocery (South Bend).

A closer look at this year’s four winners:

• John Howie Restaurants was nominated for taking part in several charitable acts, events and functions, including hosting free holiday dinners for low-income and homeless people. The restaurant group has partnered with Craig Terrill and the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL Kick Hunger Challenge.

• The Barkley Company, which includes Talbot Real Estate, was nominated for its corporate giving in the Bellingham community. It provided free space and renovated its local library, and has donated more than $80,000 annually to several organizations.

• The Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse was nominated for its extensive community involvement. It has created, sponsored or participated in several cancer, research, autism, multiple sclerosis and other benefit events. It has sponsored the “visit with Santa and Elves” at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, Operation Turkey Drop and Operation Ham Grenade, providing holiday meals to Joint Base Lewis-McChord families. The company encourages use of paid time for its employees to participate in these activities.

• The McGregor Company was nominated by the Whitman County Library for supporting multiple library contributions that include continued sponsorship of children’s Summer Reading, Whitman County Rural Heritage collections and renovation support in a number of the library system’s 14 branch locations. The company also contributes time and financial assistance to civic, school and community endeavors in multiple towns. It has led efforts to revitalize the city of LaCrosse via LaCrosse Community Pride.

Corporations for Communities is a recognition program within the Secretary of State’s Corporations and Charities Division.

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Historic issues of Seattle P-I now available on Chronicling America


Before its print demise in 2009, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer was one of the state’s oldest, most-read and influential newspapers. Fans of the legendary newspaper, as well as history buffs and genealogists, will be excited to know that the P-I is among the latest titles the Library of Congress is loading to Chronicling America.

Originally established as the Seattle Gazette in 1863, the P-I  is perhaps Seattle’s oldest continually operating business. Early issues of the Daily Intelligencer (1876-1881) and the Seattle Daily Post-Intelligencer (1881-1888) comprise the digital collection from June 1876 through December 1900. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer gives eye-witness accounts of Washingtonians during the Yukon Gold Rush, proclamation of statehood (note the image above), Spanish American war, World War I and so much more news and events across the great Pacific Northwest. An essay of significant events and influence on local and state communities summarizes the importance of publications included in the program.

The Washington State Library is nearing completion of the National Digital Newspaper Program, digitizing more than 300,000 pages of historic newspapers for the third and final grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and Library of Congress.  More than 30 states and territories are participating in the project, contributing over 8 million pages of newspaper content since 2005. Historic state newspapers can be searched by keyword, date and title to view on the Chronicling America website.  These newspapers, all in the public domain (pre-1923), are free for public use. Teaching resources are also available here. Educators, historians, genealogists, students and other members of the public will want to click on “NDNP Extras” for their primary research, history presentations, and educational projects.

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