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Month: June 2013

Latest Washington Rural Heritage addition: Sedro-Woolley ?>

Latest Washington Rural Heritage addition: Sedro-Woolley

Sedro-Woolley football team 1919

(Photo courtesy Washington State Library)

For the past several years, a program coordinated by our State Library has helped libraries, museums and other cultural institutions in rural communities organize and digitize historical photos, texts, scrapbooks, maps and other items  documenting early culture and community life in Washington.

This program, called Washington Rural Heritage, provides these photos and documents for the public to view, for free. The program has helped fund the addition of a project that helps tell the history of Sedro-Woolley, located in Skagit County.

Over the past two years, the Sedro-Woolley Museum and Sedro-Woolley Public Library have teamed up on a project that now includes more than 600 items. Over the past year, nearly 380 items have been added from the museum’s collection. One of the photos from this collection (above) shows the 1919 Sedro-Woolley football team. The collection includes lots of material documenting the Skagit Steel and Iron Works.

WRH’s staff trains local librarians and museum staffers on how to digitize historical items and helps them with any issues involving scanning.

The Sedro-Woolley Public Library recently was awarded a new grant for the 2013-14 cycle. The library will use its digitization expertise they’ve acquired through the WRH program to partner with the nearby Clear Lake Community Association on a new digital collection, slated for publication next summer.

Washington Rural Heritage includes material from the holdings of more than 90 institutions and 250 privately held collections throughout the state.

The project is funded through the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.


From Your Corner: Zillah’s name ?>

From Your Corner: Zillah’s name

ZillahTeapot-01 (2)

(Photo courtesy of City of Zillah)

If you’ve driven from Yakima to the Tri-Cities or if you’ve done a wine-tasting tour in the Yakima Valley, chances are you’ve been through Zillah, a town of roughly 3,000 inhabitants in south-central Washington. Zillah is in beautiful Yakima County, known for more than two dozen local wineries and vineyards.

Zillah (pronounced ZIL-uh) was named by Yakima Valley irrigation pioneer Walter N. Granger, president of the Yakima Land and Canal Company. One of the company investors was Northern Pacific Railroad president T.F. Oakes, whose daughter was Miss Zillah Oakes. The city was named in her honor.

Much like the railroads that have reshaped commercial development in the 19th century, the automobile has had a dramatic effect on Washington’s businesses in the 20th century. Newly constructed pavement and gravel for trucks and cars instantly led way for a demand of merchant operated grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, and motor hotels along the way.

A popular Zillah landmark is the eccentric Teapot Dome gas station, built in 1922 on Highway 12. It is an example of roadway novelty architecture intended to attract the attention of passing motorists.

Go here and here to learn more about Zillah and the Yakima Valley.

Budget breakthrough means no shutdown ?>

Budget breakthrough means no shutdown


Gov. Jay Inslee and legislative leaders from both parties and both houses on Thursday announced the good news that had eluded them for weeks — a budget deal that will avert a partial government shutdown.

The state is closer to the budget deadline than ever before — and the phrase “government shutdown” had moved into the state lexicon as anxious state employees, their managers and the public wondered if it could happen here. With just three days before the June 30 midnight deadline, the governor and lawmakers announced the breakthrough.

A “happy and relieved” Inslee told reporters: “Government operations will not be interrupted. All government functions will be in operation Monday. Washington will be at work Monday.”

Secretary of State Kim Wyman and other statewide officials joined the governor in sending out quick word to their employees, explaining the happy development and rescinding notices of a potential temporary layoff that would have occurred starting Monday without a budget.  The state Constitution says General Fund money cannot be spent without a legislative appropriation.  That authority expires at the end of this biennium, Sunday night.

Budget details were not immediately available.



Central Asian student leaders visit our office ?>

Central Asian student leaders visit our office


One of the highlights of working in our office is seeing the flow of visitors to the Capitol, not only from our state but from around America and the world.

The latest example is a group of 20 female student leaders from five Central Asian nations who stopped by our office Wednesday morning during their daytrip to Olympia . The students, from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, are in Washington to participate in the 2013 Study of the United States Institute on Women’s Leadership. The five-week leadership program, hosted by Green River Community College, focuses on providing a deeper understanding of the U.S., while enhancing the students’ leadership skills. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

During their tour of the Capitol, the future leaders visited Secretary Wyman’s office and saw firsthand how our state seal machine works. In the photo above, the students hold up the souvenir state seal cards that most made themselves.

In addition to spending five weeks studying and sightseeing here in our Washington, the group will fly east for a five-day stay in Washington, D.C.

Picnicking in Spokane a century ago ?>

Picnicking in Spokane a century ago

Spokane Manito Park picnic

(Photo courtesy of Washington State Digital Archives)

With summer supposedly here (Sunday night’s drenching around Olympia suggests otherwise), many of us will be looking for excuses to be outdoors and enjoy the warmer weather.

Whether you’re part of a couple, a family or a group of friends, a picnic in a park on a nice day is hard to beat. That was the case 100 years ago, as shown in the photo of a group picnicking at Manito Park in Spokane sometime during the 1910s.

The photo, located in our State Digital Archives,  is part of a collection of 123 glass lantern slides that shows the City of Spokane and Spokane Parks between 1900 and 1930. Images include Liberty Park, Manito Park, Cliff Park, Franklin Park, Glass Park, A. M. Cannon Playfield, Cannon Hill Park, Corbin Park, Hay’s Park, Bowl and Pitcher, Indian Canyon Park, Palisades Park, picnics, swimming pools, playgrounds, winter scenes, Native Americans, and the Spokane River. Most of these images were used in Spokane promotional literature and several appear in the Report of the Board of Park Commissioners, Spokane, Washington, 1891-1913.

Patriotism in every stitch ?>

Patriotism in every stitch

Qulit Hanging

Currently being hung in the Secretary of State’s lobby in the State Capitol are 13 “Quilts of Valor”. Each quilt has been beautifully handmade by residents of Washington and will be proudly displayed for the month of July.

The lobby is being transformed to a patriotic display of red, white, and blue. The project is part of the Quilts of Valor program that has awarded over 80,000 quilts to veterans and current service members affected by war. These quilts bring color to the Office of the Secretary of State, much like the foundation’s project does to bring color and comfort to the wounded warriors.

The detailed quilt shown on the right side of the photo above represents a celebration of family and home completed by Judy Hensley of Centralia and Linda Schmitt of Olympia.

While stitching her quilt, pictured at the left in the photo, Mari Woody of Burien has intended for the star and stripe detail to show her family’s support for the tireless actions of our military personnel who give us the freedom we love and cherish.

The Secretary of State is excited to share the free Quilts of Valor exhibit to the public and welcomes all to appreciate the service, sacrifice, and valor of both the creators and recipients of these quilts. The free exhibit’s opening ceremony will be Tuesday, July 2, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Office of the Secretary of State’s front lobby.  The public is invited.

While some of the 13 quilts are already promised to specific recipients, our staff will award at least five of them to veterans at the opening ceremony. For more information about the event, call (360) 902-4126.

New video focuses on military voting ?>

New video focuses on military voting

Military Blog Post Pic

We’ve just finished a cool new video that chronicles efforts on behalf of our office to assist military voters.

Watch the video here.

Entitled “Serving Those Who Serve – A Guide to Military Voting in Washington State,” the approximately 10 minute video aims to educate military members living in Washington or overseas, a group of voters who represent one of the most mobile demographics.

Washington has a large military population, and almost 50,000 registered military voters. The state enjoys a large concentration of major military bases, representing land, air and sea branches.  Joint Base Lewis-McChord located in Pierce and Thurston Counties is the largest military base on the West Coast.

The video discusses the history of moving Washington’s primary elections earlier to aid service members, logistical challenges of sending and receiving ballots in remote locations, voting innovations pioneered by the Office of Secretary of State, and information on registering and updating voter registration information.

The state Elections Division has been recognized as a national leader in military voting, receiving recognition from Congress and the Department of Defense. In 2008, Pew Research ranked Washington second among states for the lowest rate of rejected military ballots.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman and former Secretary of State Sam Reed both are featured in the video. Wyman and her staff are strong supporters of the military and stress that soldiers remain connected to their community in the most fundamental way possible, through voting a ballot, no matter where they are located in the world.

“Military service should not prevent soldiers from exercising their own rights as citizens,” Wyman says. “I hope all soldiers will take part in the decisions that impact their families at home. My office will continue to ensure that soldiers have the ability to participate in our elections.”

Watch the video here. Enjoy!

Budget leaders: 320 million reasons to avert shutdown ?>

Budget leaders: 320 million reasons to avert shutdown

dollarsignRelieved budget writers say Washington should be able to avoid a government shutdown, after getting the year’s best revenue news, new, more robust revenue projections and a $90 million reduction in expected caseload costs.

State budget Director David Schumacher and budget writers from both houses and both parties said the $320 million one-day windfall should break the Olympia logjam that had threatened to trigger a partial government shutdown if no budget were produced by June 30.  Senate budget Chairman Andy Hill and House counterpart Ross Hunter said they expect quick action to resolve budget and revenue differences.

The second special session was in Day 7 on Tuesday.

Both chambers have pledged to add a huge infusion of money to K-12, perhaps $1 billion, and have agreed to restore the 3 percent pay cut that state employees have absorbed in the past two years. The Senate, governed by a coalition of 23 minority Republicans and two Democrats, has tried to hold the line on new or extended taxes or repeal of tax exemptions; the Democratic-controlled House has suggested some tax extensions and repeal of some exemptions.

Chief economist Steve Lerch told the state Economic &  Revenue Forecast Council the forecast for the current biennium (ending June 30) should be $110 million higher than predicted in March.  The council also added $121 million to the forecast of the 2013-15 biennium that begins July 1.  That news was coupled with word from a separate Caseload Forecast Council that caseload costs (such as K-12 enrollment, prison headcounts and Medicaid costs) would be $90 million less than forecast in March.

Both Hill and Hunter said the $320 million figure isn’t that large a number (roughly 1 percent compared with the $33 billion state budget), but still can be a game-changer. Said Hill: “It should break the logjam. I would think we could move fairly quickly.”

Just hours earlier, Schumacher’s agency was collecting plans from the agencies and statewide elected officials on their shutdown plans in the event the budget deal didn’t come together in time to avert the state version of a “fiscal cliff.”  Without a General Fund budget, agencies cannot legally spend or incumber general taxes — meaning most agencies would have to go dark.


Farewell to Native exhibit, hello to Quilts of Valor ?>

Farewell to Native exhibit, hello to Quilts of Valor

Exhibit Takedown

Staff carefully remove panels from the Native Indian tribe exhibit.

The Office of the Secretary of State has packed up the Northwest Indian tribe exhibit and soon will be hanging the new exhibit, “Quilts of Valor,” honoring our veterans. The Northwest Indian tribe exhibit, created by the Washington State Heritage Center, part of the Office of the Secretary of State, will continue to be displayed throughout Washington state.

Starting in August, the exhibit, “We’re Still, Here, The Survival of Washington Indians” will be displayed at the Anacortes Museum of Maritime Heritage Center through April 2014. The exhibit will then travel to the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco for viewing from May to October 2014.

Stay tuned for the next exhibit, Quilts of Valor, where 13 handmade quilts will be displayed for the month of July. On Tuesday, July 2, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Secretary of State’s front lobby located on the second floor of the Legislative Building in Olympia, the public is welcome to attend the free opening ceremony where our staff will award many of the quilts to our veterans. If you cannot attend the opening ceremony, we welcome you to explore the Quilts of Valor exhibit Monday through Friday (except holidays) from 8 a.m to 5 p.m.

It’s Flag Day ?>

It’s Flag Day

Flag on ferry

(Photo courtesy of Washington State Archives)

For many schoolchildren here in Washington, June 14 is the first day of summer vacation or the last day of school. It’s also Flag Day, the holiday when we celebrate the birthday of the U.S. flag.

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.”

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. Go here for more info.

The 1940 photo above, courtesy of the State Archives, shows a family riding a ferry with the U.S. flag in the background.

Check out these editorials in The (Vancouver) Columbian and (Everett) Herald about Flag Day. From The Herald editorial:

The Stars and Stripes was adopted as the U.S. flag on June 14, 1777, and commemorations of the flag’s “birthday” gained popularity in the 1880s and 1890s. Historical accounts describe how these ceremonies spread from schools and small communities to big cities and state governments. Eventually, the anniversary was recognized as “Flag Day” in 1916 under a presidential proclamation from Woodrow Wilson.

But a proclamation is not quite a law.

For three decades, various communities set aside June 14 for flag-related events — but National Flag Day was officially created under federal law when President Truman signed an act of Congress in 1949.