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Kathleen Flenniken is Washington's Newest Poet Laureate

What's a Poet Laureate? They're poets appointed by the government to write for state occasions. We have one nationally, recently appointed Philip Levine. The New York Times highlighted him last August describing him as the "voice of the workingman". 

Locally in the state of Washington, we now have Kathleen Flenniken. Humanities Washington announced today she's the newly appointed Poet Laureate by Governor Chris Gregoire and the Washington State Arts Commission

This is the first Poet Laureate we've had since 2009. Samuel Green held the previous two-year position, but it was eliminated in 2009 due to a budget shortfall. During that time, the position carried a stipend of $10,000 according to The Library of Congress.

City of Moscow Will Discuss Overnight Parking Restrictions

City of Moscow Will Discuss Overnight Parking Restrictions

A recent request to Moscow City Hall asks the council to reduce the overnight parking restrictions to accommodate business access during the early morning hours. The streets in question include Washington, Jackson, Main and First to Eighth in the downtown core.

The city's public works and fiance committee will be reviewing the parking restrictions next week on February 13th at 3 p.m.

Public comment can be sending to the city clerk, Stephanie Kalasz at skalasz@ci.moscow.id.us.

In-person voter registration ends today for February election

New to Washington State? Today is the last day to register to vote in-person at your county’s election office. If you register today, you can vote in the February 14th special election. 

You can find your election office’s hours at the Secretary of State’s website. Find your county, find the hours, register and then get ready to vote.

If you miss the deadline, you can register anyway to get ready for the general election. You can register online

2012 Kids' Art Contest

2012 Kids' Art Contest

It's time for the kids to sharpen their colored pencils. The 2012 Kids' Art Contest is underway. The winner of this competition will have their work displayed on 3.5 million voter pamphlets sent to people across the State.

The Office of Secretary of State is hosting the contest asking 4th and 5th graders to enter their best work. "If I Could Vote" is the theme for this year. The State says the contest is a chance for Washington's youngest citizens to get involved with the elections process.

The winner's work will be featured on Washington State Voter's Pamphlets and will receive a surprise visit from Secretary of State Sam Reed at school.

Students can enter their work here. Good luck! Artists have until April 16th to submit their entries.


Good idea? Connecting politicians with citizens on Google Hangouts

Here’s an idea - Google Hangouts with citizens and local politicians. It’s another way to talk face to face over great distances. Some selected Google+ users had the rare opportunity to ask questions to President Barack Obama in a video chat on Monday. Reuters' Anthony De Rosa explains: 

He answered questions about the economy, job creation, small business, and the use of drones in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama referenced a New York Times story on the use of drones, which he called “overwritten,” and said that the use of drones had not resulted in an unusual number of civilian casualties. Asked about the anti-piracy legislation that set the Internet on fire, Obama said, ”When SOPA came up on the hill, we expressed some concerns about the way the legislation had been written.”

Share: It’s one way to answer the questions of millions of citizens. Locally, would you like to see this happen with state and city officials?

Whitman County Orders Rosalia Council Recount

A mandatory recount took place Friday morning at Whitman County Election’s Office. The race for Rosalia’s City Council, Position 2 between Rick Lau and Robert H. Hill was separated by one vote with Lau in the lead.

Election supervisor, Debbie Hooper, says the recount presented the same results out of the 223 total votes.

  • Rick Lau: 112
  • Robert H. Hill: 111

The recount was done by hand instead of the mandatory machine requirement. Hooper says it was just easier to do it that way.

Hill has served on the City Council since 1995.

Senator Murray Pushes Tax Cuts

Senator Murray Pushes Tax Cuts

Senator Patty Murray wants to save Washington families money by extending a payroll tax cut into next year. The Senate should vote on the Middle Class Tax Cut Act of 2011 this week.

Murray says "This legislation will save an average middle class family in Washington over $1,700 and would provide broad tax relief to over 150,000 small businesses in the state". She's calling on her colleagues to support the legislation which proposes a 3.1% tax cut, up from the current 2% cut.

The Senate is expected to vote later this week.