Key deadlines and dates for 2016 WA Primary ?>

Key deadlines and dates for 2016 WA Primary


Washington voters soon will have the chance to have their voices heard by voting in the 2016 state Primary.

County elections officials will be mailing Primary ballots to registered voters around July 15. Military and overseas ballots were sent out June 18.

If you’re not registered to vote, you can’t take part in this important step to winnow down the list of candidates to two in each race for this fall’s General Election.

July 4 is the last day you can register online or via mail to vote in the Primary, or to make updates to your registration status. Registrations sent by mail need to be postmarked by July 4, but remember that the U.S. Postal Service won’t postmark registrations on July 3 (Sunday) or July 4 (holiday). For voter registration forms collected by drives, it’s important to note that those registration forms must arrive in your county elections office or the Office of Secretary of State by July 4 (just remember that county and state offices will be closed July 3-4).

If you miss the July 4 deadline and aren’t registered to vote in Washington, you have until July 25 to do so at your county elections office to vote in the Primary.

The ’16 Primary marks the ninth year in which the voter-approved Top 2 Primary system is being used to winnow down the number of candidates in races.

This year’s Primary voting period ends Aug. 2 and features a U.S. Senate contest and all 10 congressional races. All of the statewide and most legislative seats are on the Primary ballot, as well as many judicial and local positions.

Our Elections Division has produced this nifty online Voters’ Guide. You can also learn more about the Primary candidates by viewing the Video Voters’ Guide produced by TVW.

Primary ballots must be postmarked by Aug. 2 or returned to a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Ballots can also be returned to accessible voting centers during business hours.

From the Archives: ferries from yesteryear ?>

From the Archives: ferries from yesteryear

1954 state ferry photo

A “must-do” activity for Puget Sound visitors (and residents, too) is riding one of the ferries that cross its waters. Besides serving an important transportation purpose, the state’s ferry fleet offers riders a great way to enjoy the scenic views of the sound and the Cascades and Olympics.

Ever wonder what the state’s ferry fleet looked like many years ago? The State Digital Archives has photo collections that provide an answer.

The photo above shows the ferry boat Olympic as began her service in the state ferry fleet in 1954. The state put the vessel in surplus in 1997 and eventually sold it at auction.

The photo below features the ferry vessel “Enetai” as it approaches the Bremerton dock.

Enetai photo

The photos are part of the Digital Archives’ State Library Photograph Collection, 1851-1990. The collection includes many other photos of state ferries and terrific views of Puget Sound.

Today, Washington has the largest ferry system in the United States and its history as a state-run operation dates to 1951. Twenty-two ferries serve Puget Sound and its inland waterways, carrying more than 22 million passengers to 20 different ports of call.

State agencies honored for food, book donations ?>

State agencies honored for food, book donations

2016 Well Fed Well Read honorees

Secretary Wyman with representatives of state agencies honored at Well Fed Well Read recognition ceremony. (Photo courtesy Philip Kerrigan)

Several state agencies, including our very own Office of Secretary of State, have been honored for their generosity in donating food and children’s books.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman recognized these agencies’ contributions to the Well Fed Well Read donation drive this spring during a ceremony in her office Friday.

The following agencies were honored for bringing in the most food: overall winner – Department of Social and Health Services ($3,338 value in food donations); large agency winner – Department of Ecology ($3,040); medium agency winners – Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals and Office of Secretary of State ($1,150 each); and small agency winner – Governor’s Office ($846).

Agencies that were honored for bringing in the most books were: overall winner –  Department of Ecology (2,671 books); large agency winner – Department of Health (2,021); medium agency winner – Office of Secretary of State (643); and small agency winner – Governor’s Office (449).

From the Archives: Paradise Ice Caves ?>

From the Archives: Paradise Ice Caves

Paradise Ice Cave pix

Paradise Ice Caves in 1920s. (Photo courtesy Washington State Digital Archives)

For decades until their disappearance in the early 1990s, the Paradise Ice Caves were perhaps the most popular attraction for visitors to Mount Rainier National Park. The view inside the caves was amazing, as the icy walls and ceiling had a bluish glow to them. A cool breeze often blew through the ice caves, as if you needed reminding that you were on the highest mountain in the Northwest.

The ice caves were a system of interconnected glacier caves within the Paradise Glacier on Rainier’s south side. In the late 1970s, they were the longest mapped system of glacier caves in the world. But by the early 1990s, they had disappeared due to the glacier’s steady retreat.

While the ice caves are no more, the State Digital Archives has this photo of the caves during their frozen glory days. The photo, taken on Oct. 13, 1923, shows someone exploring one of the caves. Note the Paradise River running in the center. The photo is found in the General Subjects Photograph Collection, 1845-2005.

Classic WA maps: 1889 Puget Sound & Olympic Peninsula ?>

Classic WA maps: 1889 Puget Sound & Olympic Peninsula


Anyone who looks at a current map of Puget Sound will spot large cities like Seattle and Tacoma and familiar geographic features like Point Defiance and Elliott Bay. But when you look at old maps of the sound, you realize that some names were different.

This 1889 map of Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula proves it.

What is Elliott Bay today was known as Duwamish Bay in 1889. Alki Point had a different name back then, too — Battery Point. As you look at the map, you notice several well-known towns nowadays – Bremerton, Everett, Bellevue, Burien, Edmonds and Federal Way – weren’t even in existence then. Yes, they literally weren’t even on the map!

This map is entitled “Sea Coast and interior harbors of Washington Territory from Gray’s Harbor to Olympia.”  It’s part of a large digital collection of historic maps of Washington and the Northwest region. Here is a list of all of the maps maintained by the Washington State Archives and Washington State Library.

Mountain miniature golf, anyone? ?>

Mountain miniature golf, anyone?

Mount Shuskan from Mount Baker Lodge

People play miniature golf with Mount Shuksan in the background. (Photo courtesy of Washington State Digital Archives)

Admit it, there are worse places to play miniature golf than here.

This photo, probably taken sometime in the late 1920s or early ‘30s, shows people playing “putt-putt” golf at the ill-fated Mount Baker Lodge with Mount Shuksan in the background. The lodge, which opened in July 1927 and resembled the famous Paradise Inn on Mount Rainier, had a short existence. It was destroyed by a fire in August 1931.

The miniature golf course where the lodge stood no longer exists. But you can locate the photo in the State Library Photograph Collection, 1851-1990 in the State Digital Archives.

Classic WA photos: fire lookouts ?>

Classic WA photos: fire lookouts

Kiona Peak lookout

A 1917 photo of  the Kiona Peak lookout in Lewis County. (Photos courtesy of State Digital Archives)

They are enduring and rustic symbols of Washington’s forests, standing sentry atop high peaks and ridges.

They’re Washington’s fire lookout towers and cabins. These historic structures have long served as the first defense against forest fires. Manned by volunteers, some are still in use, while others are derelict and abandoned yet open to visitors. The high, unobstructed views from these fire lookouts are jaw-dropping and worth the trek for hikers and backpackers wanting a challenge.

Little Bailey lookout 1938

Inside the Little Bailey lookout in 1938. 

Our State Digital Archives has several classic photos of fire lookouts in a wide-ranging compilation entitled General Subjects Photograph Collection, 1845-2005.

Want to know about some of the best fire lookout hikes in Washington? Go here and here.

For more info about our state’s fire lookouts, including how to rent one for overnight use, go here and here.

Grass Mountain lookout

Grass Mountain lookout around 1920. 

Bellevue students win 2016 Teen Video Challenge ?>

Bellevue students win 2016 Teen Video Challenge


This year’s Teen Video Challenge asked contestants to make a short video that ties into the 2016 summer reading slogan, “Get in the Game – READ.”

The winning entry, created by a group of students at Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bellevue, more than accomplished that sports-related goal. Their 60-second video featured students involved in dancing, lacrosse, tennis, softball, basketball, soccer and football before finishing with other students passing along books in the school library.

The winning video team includes Danielle Baxter, Elena Burnett, Francesca Feider-Blazer, Sofia Gellock, Ella Hikes, Jordan Kerns, Katrina Kuntz, Emma Leventhal, Caroline Shoemaker, Amy Skochdopoleand, Sabrina M. Uyeda, Ximenda Rodriguez Verdieri and Devon Wappler.

The school received a $150 award, which it used for a celebratory party for the talented teens. The Bellevue Public Library received prizes worth $50 from the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) and Demco/Upstart.

The winning video was named one of the CSLP 2016 Teen Videos to promote summer reading nationwide.

Now in its sixth year, the Teen Video Challenge is a national video competition for teens to get involved with reading and their public library’s summer reading program. In Washington, it’s sponsored by the Washington State Library and CSLP.

Teens were invited to create a 30-to-90-second video with their unique interpretation of this year’s summer reading slogan. The idea is to involve teens in summer reading, before and during the summer months, by being part of the process.

What day is it today? ?>

What day is it today?

Loggers Jubilee_AUG2010_172

Flag Day!

It doesn’t receive as much attention as Independence Day, but it’s a holiday prompting many Americans and government buildings to display their U.S. flags.
The photo above shows a flag flying high next to a competitor at the Morton Loggers Jubilee a few years ago. The photo below features a group of U.S. soldiers at Fort Worden near Port Townsend in the late 1930s. Both photos are found in our State Archives.

So how did June 14 become Flag Day? The “Stars and Stripes” originated as a result of a resolution offered by the Marine Committee of the Second Continental Congress at Philadelphia and adopted on June 14, 1777. The resolution read:

“Resolved: that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

Check out this story that discusses the history of Flag Day, including President Wilson signing a proclamation in 1916 that officially established June 14 as Flag Day.


As anyone who studied American history in grade school knows, the 13 stripes represent the original colonies. Of course, the number of stars on the flag has grown since independence; the 50th star, representing Hawaii’s statehood, was added in 1960. A year before that, a star was added when Alaska joined the union as the 49th state. Before that, no star had been added since 1912, when New Mexico and Arizona were admitted to the union. Washington was state No. 42 back in 1889.

The Secretary of State’s Olympia office and website proudly display, interpret and sell state and U.S. flags, and operate a flag donation program. Visit here for more info.

Wyman names Cindy Aden as new WA State Librarian ?>

Wyman names Cindy Aden as new WA State Librarian

Secretary of State Kim Wyman has named Cindy Altick Aden as director of the Washington State Library.

Aden will take the helm next month of one of the state’s oldest cultural institutions, dating back more than 160 years when it was created by the state’s first territorial governor, Isaac Stevens.

Aden has an extensive background in public libraries and the private sector, including stints at Amazon, Corbis, and community newspapers. She is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of Washington School of Library and Information Science.

Wyman said Aden is an outstanding choice:

“I am delighted to appoint Cindy to provide new leadership at one of the library community’s most important jobs. I am excited about the creativity and passion she brings to the table. She has the skills and the vision to help pivot the Library to new levels of relevance, technology advances and user-friendliness in this challenging and exciting new century.”

Aden said she is “honored and excited” to take the new post and eager to join a staff of experienced professionals. She praised the Legislature and Secretary Wyman for working hard to put the Library on a solid financial footing.

Wyman said the selection of the new State Librarian reflects her vision for a Library that responds to the public’s need for solid information across platforms that are convenient and easy to use.

The Washington State Library offers a wide variety of services, including print and digital collections, genealogy resources, photo collections, historic newspapers, help for researchers, (more…)