TWN The Washington Newspaper October 2010 1 THE WASHINGTON NEWSPAPER PRSRT STD U.S. Postage PAID Seattle, WA Permit No. 422 Vol. 95, No.10 October 2010 Journal of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association and Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington • www.wnpa.com Times, Herald top Blethen winners T The Associated Press he Seattle Times won firstplace honors four times and the Tri-City Herald won three first-place awards in the 2010 C.B. Blethen Memorial Awards for distinguished newspaper reporting. The annual awards were established in 1977 in honor of Blethen, publisher of The Seattle Times from 1915 to 1941. The awards were presented Sept. 16 at the annual meeting of the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association in Portland, Ore. PNNA daily newspaper members in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Alaska, Alberta and British Columbia are eligible to enter the contest, which is administered completely independent from The Seattle Times by PNNA. Judges are top news executives from respected daily newspapers outside the PNNA area and are not affiliated with PNNA member groups. Winners are chosen in two circulation divisions. All entrants, regardless of circulation, compete for the special Debby Lowman Award for distinguished reporting of consumer affairs, which honors The Times consumer reporter who died of cancer in 1978. Daily Record publisher gets post in Idaho BLETHEN WINNERS DIVERSITY REPORTING Under 50,000 circulation First: The Herald & News, Klamath Falls, Ore., by Ryan Pfeil, “Intensive parenting” series. Over 50,000 circulation First: The Seattle Times, for a series of stories on diversity by The Seattle Times staff. Second: The Seattle Times, Jerry Large columns. DEADLINE REPORTING Under 50,000 circulation First: Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, by Paula Horton and Kristin M. Kraemer, “Two young girls in critical condition/Schoolmates struggle with death” Second: Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, by Paula Horton and Kristin M. Kraemer, “Stabbing kills Pasco mother” Over 50,000 circulation First: The Seattle Times staff, “Four Police Officers Slain” Second: The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash., by Kevin Graman, Sara Leaming, Jody Lawrence-Turner, “Field trip for escapee flies in face of ruling” ENTERPRISE REPORTING Under 50,000 circulation First: Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, by Paula Horton, “Bust gone bad/Grower recounts drug bust/Changing hands/Sniffing out toplevel dealers” series Second: The Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Bozeman, Mont., by Daniel Person, Michael Gibney and Sean Sperry, “Return of the wolf” See BLETHENS, page 3 A WHALE OF A SHOT M att Davison, publisher of the Daily Record in Ellensburg, has been named the new president and publisher of the Idaho PressTribune in Nampa. His first day as president will be Oct. 4. Pioneer Newspapers President and CEO Mike Gugliotto announced Davison’s appointment Sept. 13. Davison succeeds Rick Weaver, who accepted a job earlier this year in Kalispell, Mont. “My family and I are extremely excited to return to Canyon County,” said Davison, who worked as advertising director in Nampa between 2003 and 2006. “We love it there and can’t wait to reconnect with old friends and co-workers.” Davison and his wife, Kimberly, have three daughters ranging in ages from 7 to 1, and will move to the Nampa area. “Matt is a dynamic leader who will help the Idaho Press-Tribune build on many successes that have made it an outstanding community newspaper,” Gugliotto said. “He’s made many contriSee IDAHO, page 3 Chris Cook/Forks Forum Chris Cook, editor of the Forks Forum, entered this shot of Quileute Tribal School children greeting whales in the 2010 Washington Better Newspaper Contest General News Category, Circulation Group II. The winners in all divisions will be announced Oct. 1 during the BNC Awards Dinner at WNPA’s 123rd Annual Convention at the Coast Wenatchee Center Hotel. New publisher selected in Shelton R ichard Kennedy, a 20year media veteran, has been named publisher of the Shelton-Mason County Journal. Kennedy, 45, has worked in television, radio and newspapers. His career in community journalism has taken him across the country from Mississippi and Louisiana to Idaho, Oregon and California. After graduating from University of Louisiana in 1988, he joined the Ouachita Citizen of West Monroe, La., then the largest-circulation weekly newspaper in the state. He was hired as sports editor, and in 1992 won sports reporting and sports photography awards in the state newspaper contest. Later he joined the Bastrop (La.) Daily Enterprise, where he was city beat reporter and in 1997 won a state news award for coverage of a mill explosion. A move to Mississippi landed Kennedy as editor and publisher of the twice-weekly Yazoo City Herald. Later Kennedy moved West, and in 2002 was named publisher of the Hermiston Herald, a twice-weekly in Oregon. Two years later, he was editor and publisher of the Blackfoot (Idaho) Morning News. He served on the local Chamber board and was named finalist for 2004 Business Person of the Year by the Idaho State Journal for his commentaries and advocacy of economic development in Southeastern Idaho. Before moving to Shelton, for about five years Kennedy worked as an accountant and as a managing editor in the San Francisco Bay Area. Kennedy succeeds Dan Mancuso as the Journal publisher (see related story on page 3). Owings gets promotion to Bellingham top spot T Bellingham Herald he McClatchy Company named Mark Owings as president and publisher of the Bellingham Herald on Sept. 23. A 12-year employee of the Herald, Owings has been the newspaper’s top finance executive since 2004 and has been instrumental in several initiatives to transform the newspaper’s business operations. The publisher’s job had been vacant since August 2009, when former Bellingham publisher Glen Nardi was named publisher of McClatchy’s Sun Herald newspaper in Biloxi, Miss. “We’re delighted to find the next leader of the Bellingham Herald within McClatchy and within the Herald itself,” said Gary Pruitt, McClatchy’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Mark believes in the paper, its future and its place in the community.” McClatchy purchased the See OWINGS, page 3 October 2010 2 The Washington Newspaper State plays hide-and-seek with government salaries H ere’s what we can tell you: From 2008 to 2009 – the heart of the Great Recession – average annual salaries for private sector employees in Pierce County grew by 0.7 percent. That’s not surprising, given that the county’s consumer price index grew by only 0.6 percent during that same period. Here’s what else we can tell you: From 2008 to 2009, average annual salaries for employees of local government agencies in Pierce County grew by 4.8 percent. On average, each local government employee took home $2,290 more in 2009 than in 2008. On average, each private-sector employee took home $277 more. Here’s what we can’t tell you – at least not yet: Which of Pierce County’s 81 local government agencies have held salaries close to the local rate of inflation and which have not. We can’t tell you because the state won’t tell us. This information is critical in the coming weeks as local government agencies build their 2011 budgets in the face of declining tax revenues. One way is to raise taxes. Another way is to lay off employees and cut government services. Another way could be to keep a lid on salaries, saving both jobs and services. We have been looking for a comprehensive Karen and consistent Peterson executive editor, way to The News Tribune compare Tacoma the growth in private salaries with the growth in government salaries. We found it in a quarterly wage report by the state Employment Security Department. It is current through the end of 2009 and provides a breakdown for Pierce County. The report lists average salaries for 18 “industries” including government, which is further broken down into federal, state and local levels. These category averages allowed us to calculate the percentages above. Next, we requested a breakdown of average wage data for each of Pierce County’s 81 local government “reporting units,” even offering to pay for the data retrieval. That’s when we ran into trouble. Officers: President: Paul Archipley, Edmonds Beacon, Mukilteo Beacon ● Second Vice President: Jana Stoner, Northern Kittitas County Tribune, Cle Elum ● Past President: Sue Ellen Riesau, Sequim Gazette, Forks Forum ● Secretary: Bill Will, WNPA, Seattle Trustees: Desiree Cahoon, Lake Stevens Journal ● Mike Dillon, Pacific Publishing Co., Seattle ● Donna Etchey, North Kitsap Herald, Poulsbo ● Bill Forhan, NCW Media, Leavenworth ● Keven Graves, Nisqually Valley News, Yelm ● John Knowlton, Green River Community College, Auburn ● Dan Mancuso, SheltonMason County Journal ● Lori Maxim, Sound Publishing ● Stephen McFadden, Ritzville-Adams County Journal ● Tim Robinson, Robinson Newspapers Staff: General Manager: Bill Will ● Editor/ Manager of Member Services: Mae Waldron Officers: President: W. Stacey Cowles, The Spokesman-Review ● Vice President: Mike Shepard, Yakima Herald-Republic Board: Rufus Friday, Tri-City Herald ● Matt Davison, Daily Record, Ellensburg ● Jill Mackie, The Seattle Times ● Dennis Waller, Chronicle, Centralia Executive Director: Rowland Thompson THE WASHINGTON NEWSPAPER is the official publication of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. It is published monthly by WNPA, 12354 30th Ave NE, Seattle WA 98125, phone (206) 634-3838. E-mail: [email protected]; URL: www.wnpa.com, in conjunction with Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington, P.O. Box 29, Olympia, WA 98507, (360) 943-9960. E-mail: [email protected] Individual employer salary data is proprietary and therefore private, Employment Security said, even for public agencies. The department cited federal guidelines and a state law prohibiting the release of those records. Go ask each of the 81 agencies directly for the information, they suggested. The only problem was, they wouldn’t give us a list of the agencies. That was private, too, they said. Yet further down in the state law is a clause that says the department can release wage information with the employers’ consent. Employment Security didn’t tell us that, but the state public records ombudsman did. Because Employment Security knows who those employing units are – and we don’t – we asked the department to seek that consent. The communications director assured us: “the Public Records Office will manage the waiver requests and communicate with the Unemployment Insurance staff to arrange for the data queries.” “In many cases, they’ll probably have to figure out who has the authority to sign such a waiver,” she wrote. “I expect that phase alone could take weeks.” And further: “The employers are not obligated to respond to our waiver request – assuming they know whom in their organization has authority to sign a waiver.” We asked: “From whom in a given organization will your agency accept a waiver? Couldn’t you share that with the reporting agency?” No one responded. At the department’s suggestion, we sent a list of agencies we were most interested in – the nine largest government employers – presuming they were on the secret list. That was Sept. 15. We asked the agency to tell us by Sept. 22 what records it had received permission to release. We also asked for a log of the department’s communications with local government agencies. We wanted to know whether and how each responded. On Sept. 17, Employment Security declared an apparent change of heart. State law “does not obligate the department to obtain waivers from individuals and employing units on behalf of third party requestors,” their e-mail said. “In our view, for the department to go beyond this interpretation by trying to obtain waivers would not be appropriate. Individuals and employing units could very well construe that our agency is pressuring them to release the information or that our department endorses the third party requestor obtaining the requested information.” The department “will not be seeking waivers from the identified agencies or any other Pierce County government agencies in response to your public records request.” We aren’t stopping there. We’ll try to figure out who’s on the secret list of 81 and whom in each agency to ask for the wage data. If any of you are reading this and wish to volunteer your data, please send it to my e-mail, [email protected] com. We’re also asking agencies about employee benefit costs and planned service cuts and other budgetary information you have a right to know. And we plan to ask the state Sunshine Committee and others to reconsider a provision of state law that apparently prevents members of the public from getting information about the salaries they are paying. Reprinted with permission. Free speech in our national parks (I)ndividuals or small A groups, at least nyone who has vacationed at a national park knows one of the real challenges is not to leave any necessities at home. As we marked Constitution Day on Sept. 17, it was worth noting that a federal appeals court recently decided that one of the things that automatically comes along with you is your constitutional right to free speech. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has ruled in favor of a Minnesota man who was stopped from handing out religious materials at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. But the decision will affect parts of all of our 391 national parks. Ironically, Michael Boardley was in a designated “free-speech zone” at Mount Rushmore when he began offering his fliers. The National Park Service established the zones and required anyone using them to obtain a permit, citing safety and security as well as a goal of keeping the national parks true to their original purpose. The appellate court decision Aug. 6 applied some commonsense reasoning along with the law in balancing restrictions on speech and religious liberty against the expectation of relative solitude in a nature or history park. First, the court decided that the same permit rules ought not to apply to individuals or small groups as apply to large demonstrations or gatherings. A lone individual such as Boardley, the court held, represents a much smaller danger to peace, safety and tranquility. Second, the court noted “common sense tells us that (national parks) are not all identical” and that one rule probably won’t fit all. Although the court conceded it couldn’t evaluate the situation in every park from a First Amendment standpoint, it said the NPS-established “free-speech zones” did provide a common standard. The ruling does not automatically throw open the vistas of every national park or monument to protesters and pamphleteers – but it does say that, at least within areas already set aside for such activities, requiring everyone to get a permit needlessly chills free speech. Admitting that some people or groups may cause problems for an agency charged with maintaining the peace and tranquility of wilderness areas and such, the court Gene said nonetheless that Policinski vice president/ “many will not, and executive the government has director, not explained why First Amendment those engaged in free Center expression are more likely to be problematic than anyone else. “The Constitution does not tolerate regulations that, while serving their purported aims, prohibit a wide range of activities that do not interfere with the Government’s objectives,” the court said. As for Park Service regulations that “target much more than necessary,” the D.C. Circuit cited some examples: • “If a Girl Scout leader musters her scouts onto a pavilion in a ‘free speech area’ and … proceeds to lecture them about the effects of global warming, she will have conducted both a ‘meeting’ and an ‘assembly’ for which a permit would have been required.” • “An elementary school teacher who leads eight students on an excursion … and within a ‘free speech area’ shows off her best imitation of a traditional Navajo dance presumably has hosted an unlawful ‘demonstration’.” • “If a believer in Creationism visits (a fossil bed monument) and, within a ‘free speech area,’ quietly hands out literature disputing the theory of evolution, he is guilty of ‘distribut[ing] … printed matter’ without a permit.” The court also posed the question of whether it would violate the current rule if a person visiting a park came upon a permitted anti-war demonstration and then chose to put on a “Support the Troops” button. All of this speech is banned unless a permit is first acquired, even though within free-speech zones, ought to have wide latitude to speak, be the speech spontaneous or planned, and even to speak anonymously, if they wish . . . none of it remotely threatens any of the government’s interests,” the court said. In throwing out the current regulation but effectively inviting the government to rewrite one applying just to large groups, the court did not satisfy those who see parks as public forums where any speech or demonstration should be allowed without government review. But the court’s decision does set out the idea that individuals or small groups, at least within free-speech zones, ought to have wide latitude to speak, be the speech spontaneous or planned, and even to speak anonymously if they wish, without having to identify themselves on a permit application. At Mount Rushmore, I would think such common sense applied to freedom would bring a bit of a smile to the famous stone faces. Gene Policinski is vice president and executive director of the First Amendment Center, 1207 18th Ave. S., Nashville, Tenn., 37212. Read more on the Web: www.firstamendmentcenter. org or contact him by e-mail at [email protected] October 2010 3 The Washington Newspaper Mancuso in Oregon D aniel Mancuso, former publisher of the Shelton-Mason County Journal, and Kevan Moore have bought the Illinois Valley News in Cave Junction, Ore. Mancuso had been publisher of the Journal from June 2008 through early this summer. In fall 2008 he joined the board of Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. He is serving as publisher and advertising manager of the News, and Moore will contin- ue his work as a reporter and editor in Shelton. The News has 3,000 circulation, and primarily covers the communities of Cave Junction, Kerby, O’Brien, Takilma and Holland in Josephine County. It was first published in 1935. The sellers, Bob and Jan Rodriguez, had been publishers for the past 25 years. Grimes and Co. handled the transaction, which closed Sept. 1. Terms were not revealed. WNPA 123rd ANNUAL CONVENTION SEPT. 30-OCT. 2 • WENATCHEE CENTER HOTEL MAJOR SPONSOR: PRESENTING SPONSORS: EVENT SPONSORS: OWINGS from page 1 Herald in 2006 as part of its acquisition of Knight Ridder Inc., which had purchased the newspaper from Gannett Company, Inc. in 2005. The McClatchy Company is the third largest newspaper company in the United States, publishing 30 daily newspapers, including The News Tribune in Tacoma, the Sacramento Bee and the Miami Herald. Owings, 39, joined the newspaper in 1998 as a staff accountant. He was named assistant controller in 1999 and promoted to his current post, finance director, in 2004. He played a key role in restructuring the newspaper’s business operations, including the conversion of financial systems when McClatchy acquired the paper in 2006, the sale and leaseback of the newspaper’s downtown building and the outsourcing of printing to the nearby Skagit Publishing. “I look forward to the challenges ahead for the Herald as we continue to evolve into a hybrid print and digital news source for Whatcom County,” Owings said. “Thanks to many of Mark’s contributions, the Bellingham BLETHENS Herald has positioned itself well by shedding legacy costs while growing its digital business,” said Bob Weil, McClatchy vice president, operations, who was in Bellingham to make the announcement to the staff. “As someone who has lived most of his life in and around Bellingham, Mark is committed to maintaining a strong, vibrant Bellingham Herald that’s able to produce quality journalism and serve the community to the fullest.” “I’m delighted to continue to work with Mark,” said Julie Shirley, executive editor. “His steady leadership and local knowledge is a tremendous asset for The Herald.” Owings was born in Portel, Brazil, moved to Woodland, Maine, at age 2 and then to Bellingham at age 13. He graduated from Bellingham’s Western Washington University in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. “My family and I have called Whatcom County home for most of our lives,” Owings said. “We love the community. I feel very lucky to live and work in a place where the people are passionate about so many things, including the daily newspaper. “It’s no secret that the last couple of years have not been easy, but our talented employees continue to come to work with a positive approach and an eagerness to create quality products each and every day,” he said.” I’m honored to work alongside them.” Owings and his wife, Ireneé, have three children: Malcolm, 18, Alex, 13, and Catlyn, 12. IDAHO from page 1 butions to our company, both as publisher at the Ellensburg Daily Record and as director of Interactive Media for Pioneer. “The Idaho Press-Tribune is an outstanding community newspaper,” Davison said. “The staff is innovative, passionate and deeply dedicated to producing quality journalism every day.” Davison started his newspaper career at the Bend Bulletin in 1995. He was the advertising manager at The Mail Tribune and Ashland Daily Tidings in Medford, Ore., before he came to the Idaho Press-Tribune in 2003. from page 1 Over 50,000 circulation First: The Oregonian, Portland, Ore., by Don Colburn, Randy L. Rasmussen and Eric Baker, “Replacing Chrissy’s face” Second: The SpokesmanReview, by Becky Kramer, “Healthy concern” FEATURE WRITING Under 50,000 circulation First: The Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, by Sara Schilling,”Learning how to live” Second: The Yakima-Herald Republic, by Phil Ferolito, “Burial the natural way in cemetery near Goldendale” Over 50,000 circulation First: The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah, by Julia Lyon, “A missing peace” Second: The Oregonian, by Larry Bingham, “Making a difference means making a tough choice” series INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING Under 50,000 circulation First: The Herald and News staff, Klamath Falls, “Gangs on the rise” Second: The Herald and News, Klamath Falls, by Ryan Pfeil, Jill Aho and The Herald and News Staff, “Living on the edge” Over 50,000 circulation First: The Seattle Times, by Michael J. Berens, “Seniors for sale” Second: The SpokesmanReview, by Jody LawrenceTurner, “The ‘golden goose’ fund” Debby Lowman Award for Distinguished Reporting of Consumer Affairs First: The Seattle Times, by Susan Kelleher, “Snow job” Second: The Oregonian, by Grant Butler, “Going vegan, in a fashion” ������������� ������������������������������������ ���������������������������� ���� ������������������������������� ��������������������������� ������������������������������� ������ ��������� ���������������������������������������������� October 2010 4 The Washington Newspaper OPEN ACCESS & LEGAL ISSUES Court orders partial release of arrest files A Tri-City Herald Benton County judge decided Aug. 25 to release portions of police investigative records in a felony child molestation case involving former Prosser Mayor Linda Lusk. After an hourlong hearing, Superior Court Judge Carrie Runge ruled the Tri-City Herald should be provided copies of police reports, the summary of a 14-year-old boy’s statement to police and witness statements to police, with information blacked out that identifies the alleged victim and potential witnesses. She said the other documents requested will be sealed until trial begins to ensure that Lusk, 49, can have a fair trial. The Herald had requested public records from the Benton County Sheriff’s Department, the Prosser Police Department and the Prosser School District following the filing of the felony child molestation charge against Lusk in early June. When her defense attorney resisted the release of much of the investigative record, the newspaper’s attorney, Cheryl Adamson, asked for the court review. Court records say Lusk, who See BENTON, page 5 Times asks court to open police files T The Associated Press he Seattle Times has asked the state Supreme Court to release police files from last year’s fatal shootings of four Pierce County police officers, saying there’s no evidence the documents would jeopardize fair trials for six people accused of helping the shooter. But on Sept. 14 one of those defendants strongly disputed The Times’ argument, saying the constitutional right to a fair trial far outweighs any right to public access of government records under state law. The case centers on the November killing of four Lakewood police officers gunned down during a coffee break. The shooter, ex-convict Maurice Clemmons, was shot and killed two days later by a Seattle officer amid a massive manhunt. The Times is seeking more than 2,000 pages of police records from the case. The Pierce County sheriff’s office was ready to turn over the reports, photos and other documents, but the defendants accused of aiding Clemmons requested the material be withheld from public view. A Pierce County Superior Court judge agreed, finding that public access to the files could hurt the defendants’ chances for fair trials. Another judge later sealed records from the completed trial of Clemmons’ sister, LaTanya Clemmons, who was sentenced to five years in prison for giving criminal assistance. The Times and other news organizations objected, and the battle is now at the state Supreme Court. It’s not clear when the court might rule, but decisions typically take several weeks or more to develop. Times attorney Eric Stahl said Pierce County Superior Court Judge Susan Serko’s ruling to keep the police files secret improperly relied on the mere chance that the information could have a future effect on a fair trial. “There is no evidence that discussion of any of the records at issue — much less all of them — would imperil the fairness of the trial proceeding,” Stahl said. The judge should have shown an effort to weigh the defendants’ rights with the public’s right to track government ac- tions, Stahl argued. In response, an attorney for one man accused of aiding Clemmons said Serko was correct in carefully guarding against any possible harm to a defendant’s constitutional right to a fair trial. “They’re not asking this court to order Judge Serko to engage in a process she didn’t engage in,” attorney Greg Link said. “She engaged in a process. They clearly don’t agree with the outcome of that process.” Link was representing Darcus Allen, who has pleaded not guilty to four counts of aggravated first-degree murder, which could carry the death penalty. Allen is accused of driving Maurice Clemmons to and from the crime scene. King county judge shields reporter’s notes A The Seattle Times King County judge on Aug. 20 declined a defense request to subpoena a Seattle Times reporter’s notes from two interviews with Christopher Monfort, who is accused of the ambush-slaying of a Seattle police officer in October. Defense attorney Suzanne Lee Elliott sought to have Superior Court Judge Ronald Kessler issue a subpoena directing the reporter, Jonathan Martin, to turn over his interview notes. Elliott told Kessler in court she didn’t know what was in the notes but considered them “highly relevant” to the defense’s case. Monfort’s defense team also has voiced concerns Martin will be called as a witness for the prosecution. The Seattle Times opposed the request, citing the state’s 2007 “reporters’ shield law,” which limits the ability to subpoena a journalist’s notes. Times attor- ney Eric Stahl said in court that Martin will not be a witness for the prosecution. At Monfort’s invitation, Martin interviewed him twice at the King County Jail for a story that ran July 25. Monfort is charged with one count of aggravated murder — and could face the death penalty — in the fatal shooting of Officer Timothy Brenton and the wounding of Brenton’s partner, Britt Sweeney, on Halloween night. Monfort also is accused of firebombing four police vehicles Oct. 22. On Nov. 6, three Seattle homicide detectives confronted Monfort outside his Tukwila apartment. Charging documents say he twice aimed a handgun at officers before police shot him, which left Monfort paralyzed. Editor’s note: Early last month King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg announced he will seek the death penalty for Monfort. October 2010 5 The Washington Newspaper Granite Falls Herald-Republic chalks up a victory settlement buries records A Yakima Herald-Republic G The Herald, Everett ranite Falls Police Chief Tony Domish will resign under a settlement approved by the City Council late on Sept. 15. Under the agreement, Domish, who has been on paid administrative leave since April 23, will receive health insurance and retirement benefits for the next eight months and all remaining sick and vacation pay. The city has agreed to drop an internal investigation of Domish, and the police chief has agreed not to pursue a lawsuit against the city, according to the settlement. Domish has served as the city’s police chief since June 1, 2006. Both Domish and Mayor Haroon Saleem have accused each other of improper conduct. The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, at the city’s request, conducted and concluded an investigation into the chief’s behavior. A reason for the city’s investigation has never been announced. The city’s attorney has not released the document from the now-closed sheriff’s office investigation. “For the benefit of all parties and the city of Granite Falls, the parties have reached a settlement agreement,” the document reads. “This settlement represents an alternative to costly and protracted litigation.” The City Council voted 3-1 to authorize Saleem to sign the settlement. Council members Elizabeth Adams, Josh Golston and Matt Hartman voted in favor while Councilman Tom FitzGerald voted against the motion. A seat on the council remains vacant. Domish could not be reached for a comment. He must sign the settlement for it to take effect. The dispute between Saleem and the chief has some roots in a decision the City Council and former mayor made last year, after the November election. Although Saleem would not be sworn into his position until the new year, he wanted the council to postpone renewing a contract with Domish until he was on board. The council approved Domish’s contract anyway. “They pretty much rammed it down my throat,” he said. “I tried my best for months to work with this guy, but he wasn’t cooperative and really willing to work with me, and that’s why the investigation started.” Saleem said that he would prefer to have seen the city’s part of the investigation completed, but expected to “reluctantly sign” the settlement agreement after attorneys finalized the document. He does expect the investigation to be eventually released to the public, he said. “My preference was to have this investigation completed so the public and everybody would know what actually happened,” Saleem said. “The settlement is going to leave many questions unanswered.” He added that he does not believe the council should have approved some terms of the settlement, such as giving Domish 288 hours of sick pay or giving up the city’s right to contest any unemployment compensation Domish may receive. “Some council members are not watching the taxpayers’ money,” he said. In an unofficial letter of resignation included in the settlement Domish said his years of serving as the city’s police chief were a “personal and professional honor.” “I recognize that there is a deep political divide in the city of Granite Falls, and I resign because I believe it is in the best interest of the citizens of the city of Granite Falls to move forward with a united local government and without division,” he wrote. state appeals court has sided with the Yakima HeraldRepublic in its ongoing quest for access to $2 million in court-appointed attorney billing records in a 2005 double-murder case. In a 3-0 ruling on Aug. 19, a Division III Court of Appeals panel in Spokane said Yakima County Superior Court Judge James Lust was correct in offering to unseal the records pertaining to Mario Gil Mendez, one of two defendants in the case. Mendez’s attorneys, however, had redacted, or blacked out, large portions of billing records on the grounds such redactions were necessary to protect attorney work product and other privileged information. After the Herald-Republic complained the redactions were heavyhanded, Lust offered to double-check. Mendez’s lawyers then won a stay barring release of the material while they appealed the decision. “The trial court accurately assessed the situation,” Acting Chief Judge Kevin M. Korsmo wrote. “The identity of an attorney’s client and the fees charged for representation are not privileged information. Thus, no privilege attached to the billing records themselves.” Mendez’s lawyers were not available for comment, and the immediate effect of the ruling was not clear. Sarah Wixson, a lawyer for the Herald-Republic, predicted Mendez’s lawyers would seek another stay pending appeal to the Washington Supreme Court, which is already considering a related appeal by Mendez’s co-defendant. Even so, she called the ruling “a good day for transparency.” “It’s taken us a long time to get here, and we’ve got a long ways to go,” she said, “but it’s a step in the right direction, that’s for sure.” The newspaper is seeking billing records submitted by court-appointed attorneys for Mendez and co-defendant Jose Luis Sanchez Jr., who are now serving lengthy prison sentences for the February 2005 shooting deaths of 21-year-old Ricky Causor and his 3year-old daughter, Mya, during a home invasion robbery in Yakima. Taxpayer-funded defense costs in the case totaled $560,000 for Mendez and $1.5 million for Sanchez, who was convicted of aggravated first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Mendez pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and testified against Sanchez in exchange for a 30year sentence. In its ruling, the appeals court said Lust correctly allowed the HeraldRepublic to intervene in the case, noting the newspaper waited to do so until after Mendez had already pleaded guilty. “We believe there is no practical difference between allowing the public to challenge a courtroom closure and allowing the public to challenge a sealing order,” Korsmo wrote. The appeals court pointedly noted, however, that the intent of the sealing order — to protect the defendant’s right to a fair trial — had to be assumed because the order itself was not included in the record. A similar dilemma was swiftly resolved earlier this year by the state Supreme Court, shortly after it heard arguments in the related lawsuit involving Sanchez, Mendez’s codefendant. In that case, the newspaper is pursuing a broader ruling on the confusing nexus between the state’s Public Records Act and the extent to which records in a criminal case may be sealed for reasons of privacy and the right to a fair trial. Sanchez’s attorneys contend the records are not administrative in nature, as the paper argues, and instead fall under the jurisdiction of the courts, which are not subject to the Public Records Act. The newspaper’s efforts diverged on appeal due to different legal strategies and because of the circumstances of the defendants themselves. Sanchez is appealing his conviction, while Mendez has no appeal rights because he pleaded guilty. During oral arguments in March, several justices seemed concerned that not only were the sealing orders themselves sealed but that county officials denied the Herald-Republic’s request without having seen them. Days later, the high court issued a special order requiring the sealing orders be sent to Olympia so the justices could see them for themselves. The amount of spending by courtappointed attorneys has raised questions that may not be resolved any time soon, as the Supreme Court may not issue a ruling in the Sanchez case until next year. Among other things, Sanchez’s initial defense lawyers, Steve Witchley and Jackie Walsh of Seattle, were accused of unethical conduct and were removed from the case. The pair was later accused by state Assistant Attorney General John Hillman of wasting a million dollars of public money because a new defense team had to be hired and brought up to speed, which set the case back. But Hillman said a full investigation would be impossible as long as the court records remain sealed. YHR’s records battle earns recognition T he Washington Coalition for Open Government presented Key Awards to the Yakima Herald-Republic, a Kent public official and a Seattle computer security expert on Sept. 17 in recognition of their work to make government entities in Washington open and accountable to the public. The Yakima Herald-Republic was recognized for its expensive legal battle to force Yakima County to turn over legal billing records. The county spent upwards of $2 million to defend two suspects charged in a high profile murder case and refused to turn over details of how that money was paid out, citing both attorney-client privilege and a claim that judicial records are exempt from Washington’s public records law. The state Supreme Court will determine if the Herald — and the public — will get to see the records. Anthony Hemstad, a commissioner for King County Hospital District No. 1, was honored for his effort to bring transparency reforms to the governing body of Valley Medical Center. The district was sanctioned by the state BENTON Public Disclosure Commission for misusing public funds in the run-up to a failed 2005 annexation election and weathered more public criticism for approving a lavish retirement package for the hospital’s chief executive. Hemstad ran as a reform candidate on a 10-point platform designed to open the workings of the district to taxpayers. Since his election, the district has begun videotaping its meetings and posting its meeting agenda and minutes on the Internet. “I care deeply about public policy, and frankly, I’m proud to be a public servant,” Hemstad, who is also Executive Director of the World Trade Center Tacoma, told a local newspaper. “When a government breaks the law, I consider that both a disservice to society and a personal insult.” Hemstad was nominated for the award by former Washington Secretary of State Ralph Munro. Computer expert Eric Rachner was recognized for his investigation into how the Seattle Police Department uses video recordings of street arrests, which revealed a troubling pattern that shows the department tends to use the recordings to exonerate officers involved in internal investigations — and deny access to suspects and others. Rachner was arrested by SPD and charged with obstructing an officer for refusing to give his name when police investigated a late night game of “urban golf” on Capitol Hill. Although charges against him were later dropped, Rachner was intrigued by the use of video recordings by police and found that they aren’t routinely destroyed as SPD officials claimed. At the event, WCOG presented its annual James Madison Award to The Seattle Times Co. and publisher Frank Blethen and the James Andersen Award to attorney Duane Swinton and his Spokane law firm, Witherspoon Kelley Davenport & Toole (story in Sept. 2010 TWN). The documents that are being withheld include Lusk’s statements to police. Other information that is being withheld — and which the Herald did not seek — could identify juveniles who were named or interviewed by investigators and includes opinions of witnesses about credibility or guilt. Runge said that in balancing the interests of First Amendment freedom of information concerns and the Sixth Amendment assurance to a fair trial, Lusk’s right “overwhelms the need of the public” to be informed. Adamson said the newspaper regularly has access to police and investigative information in cases involving child molestation and asked how the Lusk case was different. “Why is this defendant getting protection and others don’t?” she asked. Editor’s note: In a Sept. 2 story, the Herald published a detailed summary of the documents that were released. ON THE WEB Washington Coalition for Open Government: www.washingtoncog.org from page 4 is married to the principal of Prosser High School, had an inappropriate sexual encounter with a male high school student in late April. She allegedly had been “sexting” with the boy by cell phone and, later, sexual touching allegedly occurred between them. “The media has made this case difficult because of intense media coverage. The court is concerned about the defendant’s right to a fair trial,” Judge Runge said. October 2010 6 The Washington Newspaper Protest of records law Everett schools under new fire nearly empties council T The Herald, Everett Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber E ight of the nine members of the Vashon-Maury Island Community Council’s board resigned last month in the wake of a King County legal analysis that the council has to comply with the state’s far-reaching public records act. Jean Bosch, who chairs the Vashon-Maury Island Community Council (VMICC), resigned Aug. 17, one day after a tense exchange with Islander Tom Bangasser, who refused to sit down when she told him he was out of order. On Aug. 18 and Aug 19, three other board members — Bill Tobin, Christine Beck and Kari Ulatoski — stepped down. Four others — Kyle Cruver, Hilary Emmer, Roger Fulton and Joe Ulatoski — tendered their resignations on Aug. 20. Only Jack Barbash remains on the board. Bosch did not return telephone calls, and neither Tobin nor Beck, reached by The Beachcomber, would comment about their decision to step down. Kari Ulatoski, reached Aug. 19, said she felt she had no choice but to resign because of the potential ramifications of the county’s analysis. Complying with the open meetings act is something the board already does, she said. But the public disclosure act — which requires a government agency to turn over a wide array of public documents to those who seek them or face fines of up to $100 a day for each public document it fails to provide — is much more far-reaching and could prove onerous, she said. What’s more, she added, she worries that the community council’s limited insurance coverage could prove inadequate, should the council be fined for failure to comply. “I can’t afford to continue as a volunteer,” Ulatoski said. “We’ve been given all of this responsibility, but there’s not protection.” In a letter of resignation, Joe Ulatoski said he too felt he had no choice in light of the county’s legal analysis. “This is an onerous burden to place on volunteers who ultimately have no power to make decisions and whose advice can be ignored at will by King County,” he wrote in his letter. “The VMICC, in many ways a toothless tiger, now will have all of the burdens and responsibili- ties of an entity that has teeth and adequate funding.” Cruver concurred: Complying with the public disclosure act, he said in a brief interview, could require “an immeasurable commitment of time. There’s just no way to quantify how many many hundreds of hours of work could be requested by someone.” The county weighed in on the question of whether the community council has to meet the requirements of the state’s public records act at Bosch’s request. In an Aug. 3 letter to County Executive Dow Constantine, Bosch noted that the council is a nonprofit organization, not a government agency, and that it’s the board’s belief that it should not have to comply with the state’s public records act. At the same time, she added in her letter, legal statements about this question have been inconsistent and the issue continues to dog the council. In a four-page legal analysis issued Aug. 19, three lawyers in the King County prosecutor’s office said they believe the VMICC — like the five other unincorporated area councils or UACs — has to comply with both the open meetings act and the state’s far-reaching public records act. “While a case could be made that the UACs are independent, volunteer organizations that do not undertake governmental functions, the close interaction between the county and the UACs as well as the extent of county funding for the UACs weigh in favor of applicability of the (Public Records Act),” the lawyers wrote. The county’s legal analysis is similar to one issue last November by Timothy Ford, the open government ombudsman for the state attorney general’s office, who also said that King County’s UACs “fulfill a basic government function” and should comply with the state’s open government laws. Emmer added that she fully believes in transparency and has comported herself that way in her time on the council’s board. But the idea of having to save every e-mail and document and spend hours searching for material to comply with a request “is an undue burden,” she said. Editor’s note: In the Sept. 15 issue, the Beachcomber announced the council’s Sept. 20 meeting and ran related letters to the editor on its editorial page, as well as a guest column by a resident who works under the public records act. he Everett School Board at a hastily scheduled meeting Sept. 14 discussed the school district’s handling of an investigation into one of its principals. The accusations against the principal were found to be baseless and unfounded, Superintendent Gary Cohn told the board. An attorney conducted an investigation this summer after the district received anonymous letters accusing the principal of misconduct. The investigation ended in July, Cohn said. Board member Jessica Olson criticized district officials for not letting most of the board know about the investigation. Olson is a frequent critic of the school district, saying it needs to be run with more transparency in the interests of taxpayers and voters. “We’re talking about when we get the information,” Olson said. “We don’t get it, that’s the issue.” Information being withheld from elected board members, she said, “becomes not a matter of an individual incident but more of a pattern, and more of an overall philosophy.” Board President Ed Petersen said he was briefed after the investigation was concluded and did not feel the matter was something that needed to be T provided onsite advertising in the month before the event, and a tour of the Cinema, which provided appetizers and beverages. The newspaper announced the event in the Aug. 20 issue. In the Aug. 27 issue, a Women in Business doubletruck section told the story of the YWCA Family Village and Working Wardrobe programs and included ads about local women-owned businesses whose owners functioned as co-spon- reporter, saying she answered a specific question regarding whether any administrators were currently being investigated. But in the conversation the previous week, the reporter also read Waggoner the first line of the anonymous letter, which named the principal. Cohn did not address that in his Sept. 14 e-mail. Everett police and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office both confirmed they have received complaints about whomever wrote the letters. Everett is not investigating. The Sheriff’s Office took a complaint about someone being the subject of harassing communication and it will probably be forwarded to a detective for review, spokeswoman Rebecca Hover said. Olson and Jeff Russell were elected to the school board in 2009 by campaigning on platforms promising to bring more openness to the 18,400student district following a secret investigation of a teacher conducted by the previous superintendent. That decision cost taxpayers more than $200,000 in legal fees and involved district officials lying about installing a camera to spy on the teacher’s classroom. Governor fills sunshine panel posts G ov. Chris Gregoire on Sept. 10 filled vacancies on the state Public Records Exemption Accountability Committee, also called the Sunshine Committee, with the following appointments. Former Appeals Court Judge Susan Agid will join the committee as chair Jan. 3, 2011. She replaces Patience Rogge, Friends of Fort Worden. City of Seattle Attorney Pete Holmes replaces Tom Carr, former chair, who left in July to serve as city attorney in Boulder, Colo. The term of current member Frank Garred, former publisher of the Port Townsend Leader, was extended. Retiring Rep. Lynn Kessler, who replaces Candy Jackson, will serve as first vice chair until Agid joins the committee. Rep. Kessler previously was on the committee by legislative appointment. Her retirement and subsequent appointment by the governor opens a legislative appointment to be made by Speaker of the House Frank Chopp. Under the law that established the committee in 2007, the governor appoints six of the committee’s thirteen members including the chair. At least seven members must be present at a meeting to have a quorum. AP college grid site open to non-members T he Associated Press has launched a new Top 25 College Football service also available to non-members for free. The AP Top 25 College Football Site initiative will bring the AP, member and third-party content into one central location for college football fans to see national and local coverage of their favorite teams — whether in the Top 25 or not. They can also follow their teams as they move up and Redmond Reporter leads local networking he Redmond Reporter partnered with Redmond Town Center, Gold Class Cinemas and local businesses to host a September networking event for women in business and solicit donations of professional clothing to women in need. The event, held at Gold Class Cinemas at the Center on Sept. 14, drew about 50 women, each of whom donated clothing. It included a fashion show by businesses at the Center, which shared with the entire board. “That’s what I did,” he said. “I did it partly because I think an allegation takes on a life of its own once it gets out.” Olson was alone in her criticism. The rest of the five-member board said they supported the decision to limit who knew about the investigation to Cohn and a few other district administrators. “I trust the result of the investigation. I don’t feel I need to see it,” board member Carol Andrews said. Most school board members learned of the district’s investigation last week after Cohn sent an e-mail saying the district had received a call from The Herald asking about it. The Herald received an anonymous letter last week that said the district was investigating. When a reporter called with questions, district spokeswoman Mary Waggoner said there was no investigation. The next day, however, Cohn told the school board that an investigation had happened, found nothing and was being referred to police to investigate the letter-writer. The district also was working with an attorney to come up with a media strategy to protect the principal’s privacy. On Sept. 14, in an e-mail to district employees, Cohn stood by what Waggoner told the sors the event. Included in the price of the advertising was an opportunity to speak for five minutes at the networking event. A followup story on Sept. 17 described the event and reminded readers of how important the Working Wardrobe program is to the women and men it benefits. A representative of the YWCA accepted donations of interview clothing at the event. down in the rankings and participate in the passionate dialogue that surrounds college football. The site — sports.ap.org/college-football — features a dynamic display of AP’s Top 25 poll and pages for each team, conference, notable players and coaches. AP hosts the site, which includes AP multimedia content and headline links to members’ stories. AP newspaper members who cover Division I football can use the site as a new source of Web traffic. Members and non-members that don’t already prominently cover college football and do not plan to contribute content can use consumer-ready tools like widgets to build a college football Web page – and sell ads against it. Contact Northwest AP Bureau Chief Nancy Trott at 206-2850819 or [email protected] October 2010 7 The Washington Newspaper ‘Ben Franklin’ leads an ‘Adobe tax’ revolt A few years back, when I wore fewer hats and there were more bodies sharing the workload — does this sound like your office? — I had more time to ponder. One of the big ideas I considered was whether it would be feasible for a newspaper operation to get its product out the door without paying for pricey, proprietary software. The price of computer hardware has dropped dramatically in the past 20 years. Software? Not so much. Small newspapers continue to pay a steep “Adobe tax” for key production tools; medium-sized and larger dailies still need to invest tens of thousands of dollars for specialized production systems that cater to the unique needs of the newspaper industry. Other newspaper folks have also been thinking about this as well. Earlier this year, one company did something about it and successfully completed a project that will allow its papers to function – in both the print and online worlds — solely with open source (free) software. The Journal Register Co. is a heavy hitter in the industry, with more than 170 papers in the Northeast and Midwest (just 19 of them are dailies). And they suffered along with everyone in the brutal economic climate of the last couple of years. Cutting costs has never been a higher priority. The company launched the initiative — dubbed the Ben Franklin Project — and turned its brightest tech minds loose to answer the “can we do it for free?” question. Like most newspaper companies, Journal Register realized that the electronic versions of their news product would be their focus going forward. In the years since its papers launched Web sites, staff quickly realized that many of the software tools they used to run those sites were open source. If we can produce Web and mobile content with free tools, can the same thing be done on the print side?” they wondered. Turned out it can. What are the key software tools needed to produce a con- temporary newspaper? Just three basics: word processing to write and edit stories, a photo editor, and pagination software to Bill Will build ads and General manager pages. WNPA Word processing was the easiest. Google Docs and OpenOffice (www.openoffice. org). Image editor? The bulk of Photoshop’s functionality can be replaced with a ton of free and freely available tools, some of them Web-based like Pixlr and Piknic (URLs are self-explanatory). For pagination, though, it boils down to only one choice: Scribus. Freeware pagination sounds like a pipe dream, but the Scribus development team pulled it off. Versions are available for Mac, Windows, and Linux, and all can produce pages from business-card to broadsheet size and crunch prepress-ready PDF files. And the Journal Register tech team proved it by putting papers on the street using it. I’d love to have time to experiment with Scribus. If I was starting a newspaper from scratch, I’d take a long, hard look at it. Switching from InDesign or Quark would be a tougher challenge. Because both used proprietary file formats, Scribus’ developers can’t legally make filters that would let Scribus import existing files from those two programs. Fonts would also probably be a major issue — they always are in newspaper production. But it might be a worthy experience to visit www.scribus. net and give it a test drive. And if you do, I’d love to hear your thoughts. And check out details of the Ben Franklin Project at http://jrcbenfranklinproject.wordpress. com Don’t overlook other freeware I’ve often sung the praises of Can’t afford Adobe’s expensive Creative Suite, or even a copy of Photoshop? Try freeware like Gimp (above) or an online image editing site like Pixlr (left). open source software. There are several tools I continue to use on a daily basis. I’m writing this column on OpenOffice Writer. I have the Microsoft Office 2007 suite on my computer. It’s a fine, useful program — but I detest the user interface. OpenOffice Writer might look a little clunky and old-fashioned, but I don’t want a lot of flashy distractions when I’m writing. A notable omission from the Ben Franklin Project’s list of freeware tools was The Gimp, a venerable free image-editing tool. I use it constantly, and it gets better with every version. The speed and utility of Gimp was really put to the test in the past few weeks as I waded through files to prepare the WNPA 2010 Better Newspaper Contest award show. The bulk of contest entries are submitted as PDF files, and Gimp allowed me to easily open the PDFs, crop them if necessary, and export a jpg file for use in a Powerpoint slide. Speaking of PDFs, there are now many open-source PDF creation and editing tools available. You no longer need to spend big bucks for the full Adobe Acrobat suite. I’m a huge fan of the free PDFill PDF Tools suite (sorry — Windows only). With it, I can merge, split, reorder, encrypt, decrypt, rotate or crop files, add headers, footers or watermarks or convert a PDF file to a variety of image formats. The latter capability proved invaluable for producing another convention presentation. I needed image files of a 28-page special section tabloid. One click of a button produced 28 separate jpg files and saved me a couple of hours of work. Nice. Use the Web to beef up your election coverage Journal Register Co.’s tech team produced a paper for the street using the online Scribus pagination system. As October begins, expect a big chunk of your news hole to be filled with election coverage. That’s great, as producing an informed electorate is one of journalism’s most important jobs. Make sure your news staffs have these two sites bookmarked — they are tremendous resources for covering election races. Site 1: For state legislative races, washingtonvotes.org is a super resource for both reporters and voters. Track voting records and bill sponsorship data quickly and comprehensively. Does an incumbent’s campaign rhetoric match his or her performance in Olympia? This site will let you find out. It’s likely far too little space will be devoted to judicial races, and that’s a shame. An excellent tool to flesh out that coverage is VotingForJudges.org. This great, overlooked site features detailed bios, questionnaire responses and ratings for Superior Court and District Court candidates across the state as well as Court of Appeals and Supreme Court races. Give these races some ink, please. Finally, some comic relief We’re giving away an iPad as a door prize at the WNPA Annual Convention (which you are just heading to or returning from as you’re reading this, I hope). Here’s a fun little iPad application that folks of my vintage will appreciate. It’s a great way to show the youngsters in the newsroom how the old salts cranked out copy in the era before computers. It’s called MiTypewriter, and it replicates the sight and sound (and many of the frustrations) of the manual typewriter era. It’s $1.99 at the iTunes store. I can easily imagine a 20something fooling around with MiTyprewriter and exclaiming to me, “You actually had to write like THIS!?” And I would reply, “Yep.” Maybe some wag will develop an app that lets you generate headline counts accurately. Always had trouble with those. October 2010 8 The Washington Newspaper CAREER MOVES ■ Spencer Hatton, editorial page editor of the Yakima Herald-Republic, retired from the newspaper last month. He had served 28 years in a variety of editing positions, beginning with city editor. Under his editorial leadership, the newspaper sued for access to public records to cover local stories and published an award-winning investigative series on the 2001 Thirtymile Fire. Hatton and his late wife, Bronnie, had a son, Jed, who was autistic. Hatton founded the local chapter of the Washington State Fathers Network and served on the Yakima schools’ Special Education Advisory Council and in other ways advocated for parents and special needs children. His successor as editorial page editor is Frank Purdy. Purdy has been a copy editor at the newspaper for 21 years. A native of Nashville, Tenn., he also worked on the copy desk at the Nashville Banner and held several editing positions at the former Bellevue Journal American. Purdy lives in Toppenish, where he volunteers with cross country and track teams at Toppenish High School. He is a marathoner, ultramarathoner and triathlete. ■ Battle Ground Reflector Publisher Steve Walker has named reporter Ken Vance as the editor of the weekly paper. Vance brings 17 years of experience to the position, previously held by ownerpublisher Marvin Case. He joined the Reflector in 2007 and has covered a variety of subjects, from city council and school board meetings to community events, sports and general news. Previously, Vance had served as a sports reporter for The Columbian in Vancouver and was an on-air sports radio talk show host. Most recently he teamed with the radio voice of the Portland Trail Blazers for Sportsradio 95.5 in Portland. Case sold the newspaper to Lafromboise Communications and retired this past July. ■ Ben Watanabe has FOURNIER Media Services, Inc. FIND YOUR 25-HOUR DAY Brokerage — Consulting Appraisals JOHN L. FOURNIER, JR. P.O. Box 750 Prosser, WA 99350 Voice 509/786-4470 Fax 509/786-1779 My 50 years on 15 small publications can help you: • sell more ads & subs • simplify operations • avoid bricks through your window • start/improve your website Jay Becker Community Consulting [email protected] - (206) 790-9457 joined Langley’s the South Whidbey Record as a reporter. Covering primarily South Whidbey sports at the Record, he is also assisting with general assignment reporting. He succeeds Jeff VanDerford, who retired in July. Samantha O’Brochta, a journalism major at Western Washington University, was a reporter intern for the Record’s Island Life pages. ■ The Spokesman-Review has announced two promotions. Mike Dixon, the major accounts manager. was named advertising director. Dixon has been with the company since 1983. Rolanda Webb, most recently the newspaper’s advertising administrative coordinator, was promoted to the budget, training and compensation manager. She has been with the paper since 1989. ■ Kaitlin Strohschein has joined the Port Orchard Independent as a staff reporter. Strohschein, a 2010 graduate of the University of Washington, interned for the Seattle Times business section and served on the Olympia desk for the Puget Sound Business Journal. ■ Nisqually Valley News in Yelm has a familiar face back in the office. Nicole Halverson has returned to the newspaper after more than two years away. She had worked with the company for nearly five years, and returned as production manager. She has a degree in graphic design and digital imaging and prepress technology. ■ The Issaquah Press hired Laura Geggel, a 2006 Press intern, as a new reporter. Geggel is also a veteran of the SnoValley Star, a sister weekly of the Press in Snoqualmie. For the past two and a half years, she reported on the Snoqualmie Valley School District and Snoqualmie and North Bend for the Star. Geggel succeeds Chantelle Lusebrink, who is pursuing graduate school at the American University in Paris. The Press also hosted four interns this summer, college students Paige Collins, Elizabeth DeVos, Kirsten Johnson and Sarah Sexton. Managing Editor Kathleen Merrill provided column space in the Aug. 25 issue for their reflections on the summer’s experiences. ■ Kristin Okinaka has joined the Central Kitsap Reporter in Silverdale as a general assignment reporter. A 2009 graduate of the University of Washington, she was an office assistant for WNPA this past summer. Her internships include the Cambodia Daily in Phnom Penh, The Seattle Times, North American Post (Seattle), Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, and King County Library Systems (Issaquah). ■ New on the reporting staff at the Columbia Basin Herald in Moses Lake is Amy Phan. During her college years she gained print journalism experience writing for the Northwest Asian Weekly of Seattle and The Journal, a monthly publication. Most recently she was a video editor for NorthWest Cable News in Seattle. Phan graduated from Seattle University in 2008. Phan succeeds Candice Boutilier, who is contemplating a medical career and returning to college to study physics and chemistry. ■ Pam Stevens, managing editor of the Lake Stevens Journal, was promoted to copublisher last month. Stevens has been on the Journal staff for five years. In addition to her responsibilities as managing editor, she now has more handson responsibility for setting and meeting budgetary goals. Desiree Cahoon, publisher for the past 20 years, made the announcement. Cahoon joined the newspaper in 1982. ■ Vince Lovato drove 1,200 miles to start his job as editor of the Lake Chelan Mirror in Chelan. He succeeds Les Bowen, who accepted a job twice as far away, some 2,500 miles from North Central Washington. Lovato has spent most of his 28-year career at large metropolitan newspapers in Southern California. He and his wife waited until their children were grown to move to a small community in the Northwest. ■ The Sequim Gazette’s new reporter, Mark Couhig, has more than 30 years experience as a reporter, editor and publisher. His first job after college was serving as editor of the weekly St. Francisville (La.) Democrat, where his great-grandfather had been editor in 1850, when the paper was called The Republican. In 1984 Couhig and his wife, Linda, started Environmental Compliance Reporter Inc. When they sold the business in 1995, it was a national company with offices in four states and Washington, D.C. The couple then relocated with their daughter Amelia to Angel Fire, N.M. There, Couhig served as editor of the town’s weekly Sangre de Cristo Chronicle, earning the state’s “Best Small Weekly” award both years he was editor. The couple moved to Sequim to be closer to Linda’s family. ■ Kimberly Janda has joined the sales team at the Shelton-Mason County Journal. Previously she served as an account manager at the Shopper’s Weekly and an account representative at Sound Broadcasting in Shelton. Janda also has a retail background. She launched and for two years managed the Mason General Hospital Foundation’s Treasure’s Thrift Store, and was a department sales manager at the former Bon Marche in Puyallup. She lives in Shelton with her two teenage children, Nick and Brittany.
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