The Washington Newspaper, March 2012
Newsletter for Washington Newspaper Publishers Association, Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington, 03/12
TWN THE WASHINGTON NEWSPAPER Vol. 97, No 3 March 2012 Journal of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association and Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington • www.wnpa.com Shooting local, winning global Chinook’s Mulinix makes history with POYi award ON THE WEB hinook Observer photojournalist Damian Mulinix was awarded second place in the spot news photo category last month in the 69th annual Pictures of the Year International (POYi) competition. The winning image came from a series of pictures taken during the surf rescue of Dale Ostrander last summer. You can view the image on the contest page at: poyi.o rg/69/04/02.php The POYi is the oldest and most prestigious annual contest for documentary photographers and photojournalists worldwide. This is the first time that a photographer from a paper as small in circulation size as the Observer has been honored in the contest. The judging of the spot news photo category C POYi winning photos: poyi.o rg/69/04/02.php Chinook Observer, Long Beach Chinook Observer photojournalist Damian Mulinix’s award-winning spot news photo ran in the September 2011 issue of TWN. See MULINIX, page 2 WINNING EFFORT Times probe wins Selden Ring Award State methadone program changed as result of series M Chad Coleman/Kirkland Reporter With this quartet of players, Chad Coleman won second place for the Kirkland Reporter in the Color Sporst Action Photo category, Circulation Group IV, in the 2011 Washington Better Newspaper Contest. Current event makes a Splash Monthly magazine gets launch party ON THE WEB Liberty Lake Splash special publiations: www.libertlylakesplash.com/special T he debut issue of the Current, a new monthly newspaper serving the greater Spokane Valley area, was available Jan. 26 at locations throughout the Valley and at launch party at Mirabeau Park Hotel Ballroom. Available free or by subscription ($12/year), the Current is produced by Peridot Publishing LLC, which also puts out the weekly Liberty Lake Splash. At the party, publisher Josh Johnson and staff distributed copies of the inaugural issue and advertising giveaways, and offered appetizers and a champagne toast to the new newspaper. In a Jan. 5 Splash column, Johnson introduced the Current to Splash readers. “The Current is a publication that serves this Valley, one tied to a long-recognized larger community of neighbors. We share news and issues as commonly as we share Sprague Avenue. As a monthly, the Current will focus on topics and information that The Current, featured on the special publications page of the website of the Liberty Lake Splash, debuted Jan. 26. connect us all, from economic development, to school funding, to suggestions on where to stop for a cup of coffee.” Circulation of 8,000 is distrib- uted throughout the Valley. The Current’s first cover story was on the rising number of homeless students attending Valley schools. Other staff-written features in the 28-page, magazine-style tab included a Q&A catching up with former Fourth District Sen. Jeff Baxter, a profile on the citizen of the year named by the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, and a review of local coffee shops. Among content contributed by area organizations is a series from the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum called “Valley of the Sun.” The first article profiled the community of Dishman. The Current is also the new home of the Wave, a newspaper the Splash started three years ago for elementary age children. The Wave, previously inserted into the Splash once a quarter, will be a monthly feature in the Current. ichael J. Berens and Ken Armstrong of the Seattle Times have been awarded the 2012 Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting for their three-part series “Methadone and the Politics of Pain.” The $35,000 annual award, which has been presented for the past 23 years by the School of Journalism at USC Annenberg, honors the year’s outstanding work in investigative journalism that led to direct results. Selden Ring Award judges lauded Berens and Armstrong for: “Thorough and groundbreaking reporting on how more than 2,000 people in Washington state have fatally overdosed on the painkiller methadone.‘Methadone and the Politics of Pain’ showed how the state steered Medicaid patients toward methadone despite repeated warnings about its risks. The drug saved the state money because it is a cheap painkiller, but poor patients paid for the savings with their lives.” Before the series, methadone was designated by the state of Washington as a preferred drug to treat chronic pain. “Many low-income patients were given no other choice. Many patients were not told that the drug harbors unique risks and that they could stop breathing and die. Some doctors dubbed it the ‘silent death,’” Berens said in an email after the announcement of the award Feb. 27. The impact of the series was immediate and dramatic. Within days, the state issued an emergency public-health advisory warning of the unique risk of methadone as a pain drug. Within weeks, the state also declared methadone no See SELDEN, page 2 2 MARCH 2012 TWN Same-sex marriage story gets attention online T he Sentinel’s Facebook page has been a very busy place over the last few days. After last week’s edition of our paper went online, the story on a bill in the state legislature proposing to legalize same-sex marriages got a lot of comments on our Facebook page. Well over a hundred comments were posted in just a couple of days, and they were sharply divided, as might be expected of such an issue. Most were civil; only a couple were outright rants. A member of the Sentinel staff was logged in on her own Facebook page. She is also an administrator for the Sentinel’s Facebook page. As she reviewed some of the comLou ments on the same-sex mar- Marzeles riage story, she Editor, Goldendale registered her Sentinel own opinion on the matter by hitting the “Like” button next to comments with which she agreed. What she didn’t realize was that because she is a Sentinel Facebook administrator, the “likes” were being registered as coming from the Sentinel, not from herself. That drew some sharp retorts from some who took exception to the Sentinel’s “liking” of comments they didn’t agree with. That, too, is understandable, as was our administrator’s action. She, too, after all, is entitled to her opinion and has every right to express it. She didn’t realize her “likes” were coming through as being from the Sentinel. We’re clear now on the fact that the Sentinel will express its views as a newspaper right here in this space, in our editorials. So, one might ask and as long as we’re on the topic, where does the Sentinel stand on the issue of same-sex marriage? As we’ve said here before, there are a lot of complex social factors involved, not the least of which is the sheer weight of majority opinion in this state, which arises in large part from the major metropolitan areas—and which are often at odds with the majority views of the smallerpopulation, generally more con- Libel: Bad, but not criminal S aying something untrue about a person may cost you later in court – but in about two dozen states it can land you in jail, too. Libel lawsuits today in the U.S. almost always involve a civil case brought by one person against another, seeking compensation for damages suffered for an alleged false claim or statement. Truth almost always provides legal protection to the speaker or writer, and without proof of malicious intent or reckless disregard for the truth, few claims prevail. But the continued existence in a number of states of “criminal libel” statutes raises the centuries-old specter of fines or even a prison term for writers or speakers found liable for damaging remarks. Criminal prosecution for defamation extends back to Star Chamber’s secret activities in England in the early 1500s, when it was used – even for true statements – to punish insults to noble egos or opposition to royal policies. Later, such disputes were moved into open courts and touted as positive alternatives to duels over matters of personal honor. In Colorado, GOP State Sen. Greg Brophy has proposed repeal of his state’s 19th century criminal-libel statute, telling the Associated Press that the law “tramples on the First Amendment rights of people to write and or post online things that they want to post.” A state Senate committee approved the measure Feb. 14 in a first step toward passage. Critics say anachronistic laws such as criminal libel often use colorful but imprecise language that fails to meet modern consti- Officers: President: Jana Stoner, Northern Kittitas County Tribune, Cle Elum l First Vice President: Bill Forhan, NCW Media, Leavenworth l Second Vice President: Keven Graves, Nisqually Valley News, Yelm l Past President: Paul Archipley, Edmonds Beacon, Mukilteo Beacon l Secretary: Bill Will, WNPA, Seattle Trustees: Mike Dillon, Pacific Publishing Co., Seattle l Donna Etchey, North Kitsap Herald, Poulsbo l Eric LaFontaine, Othello Outlook l Imbert Matthee, Waitsburg Times l Lori Maxim, Sound Publishing l Stephen McFadden, Ritzville-Adams County Journal l Fred Obee, Port Townsend Leader Staff: Executive Director: Bill Will l Editor/Manager of Member Services: Mae Waldron Officers: President: W. Stacey Cowles, The Spokesman-Review l Vice President: Mike Shepard, Seattle Times Company Board: Rufus Friday, Tri-City Herald l Jill Mackie, The Seattle Times l 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. Email: email@example.com; URL: www.wnpa. com, in conjunction with Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington, P.O. Box 29, Olympia, WA 98507, (360) 9439960. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. SELDEN tutional tests. The Colorado law, for example, provides for prosecution of anyone for “any statement … tending to blacken the memory Gene of one who Policinski vice president/ is dead, or to executive impeach the honesty, integ- director, First Amendment rity, virtue, or Center reputation, or expose the natural defects, of one who is alive.” Laws in other states have aspects that are out-of-date in today’s world, such as provisions focusing on insults to women or that base violations on vague ideas such as authoring remarks that cause a “general breach of the peace.” Such laws could empower a government official in a vendetta against news operations, or those seeking to silence a blogger or punish a political opponent. The mere threat of a criminal charge carries a chilling effect regardless of the relative difficulty in winning a libel action of any kind. An AP report cited two criminal-libel prosecutions in Colorado in the past two years. In one, a man faced 18 months in prison for sexually charged comments he posted about an ex-girlfriend. The charge was later reduced to harassment. In the second case, a university student faced the threat of criminal charges for creating a satirical blog about a professor. At one point, police searched the student’s home and seized his computer. Ultimately, no charges were filed and the student obtained a $425,000 settlement against the prosecutor who had signed off on the search warrant. The law surrounding defamation – as with issues like cyberbullying and copyright protection for music – has not fully caught up with the challenges and promises of the Internet Age. Some argue that given the relative ease of widely spreading a falsehood online about someone, a criminal charge offers an effective means of punishing those with few assets to pay a civil court judgment. But the legal point of a defamation lawsuit is lawful compensation for damages, not punishment. Jailing a writer or imposing a criminal conviction on a speaker as a means of holding him or her accountable to the truth has no place in a society based on the vigorous exchange of strongly held views and committed to the marketplace of ideas. Civil lawsuits offer the restoration of reputation, and in most cases compensation for losses, to victims whose reputations have been sullied unfairly. Criminal-libel laws belong in our history texts, not in our law books. Gene Policinski is senior vice president and executive director of the First Amendment Center, 1207 18th Ave. S., Nashville, Tenn., 37212. Web: www. firstamendmentcenter.org. E-mail: email@example.com. Editor’s note: Washington state’s criminal libel law was struck down by the state Supreme Court in 2008 as vague and overly broad. from page 1 longer the preferred drug and for the first time warned patients that the powerful prescription drug should only be used as a last resort. “The Selden Ring Award exemplifies the rich tradition of investigative journalism and underscores the vital role of newspapers when it comes to saving lives, driving reform and holding powerful institutions accountable,” Berens said. The series exposed serious problems that otherwise might not have come to light, said Geneva Overholser, director of the School of Journalism at USC Annenberg. “It’s deeply satisfying that a family-owned metro, the Seattle Times, has won this recognition for their fine work on a littleunderstood public-policy issue,” said Overholser. “We were impressed by the range of scope and ambition in the entries we got this year. Watchdog journalists all over the country were looking into everything from policemen with criminal records to corrupt public officials, from sexual abuse in sports to waste in public projects,” said Sheila S. Coronel, cochair of the judges’ panel and director of the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia University. Entries for the 2012 Selden Ring Award hailed from a wide range of news organizations, Coronel said. “We had excellent submissions from small weekly newspapers as well as emerging nonprofit investigative centers, from wire services that not too long ago didn’t do much investigative reporting to newspapers with a storied history of accountability journalism.” Besides Coronel, those serving on the panel of judges were: David Boardman, executive editor and senior vice president of the Seattle Times; Jeff Leen, assistant managing editor for investigations, the Washington Post; Dori Maynard, president of the Maynard Institute; Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times; and Tom Negrete, managing editor of the Sacramento Bee. servative rural areas. That such a bill will pass seems almost certain. Whether or not that’s a good thing will remain a matter of personal conviction, and in this small rural county, that’s how it will be left in this editorial space. We must live together, no matter how we agree or disagree on issues. Our opinion on this is that there is little usefulness in drawing a line in the sand that might polarize and distract us from working together. Reprinted from Jan. 18 Goldendale Sentinel with permission. MULINIX from page 1 began with 572 entries that stretched the gamut of international news in 2011, including the Arab Spring, the Occupy protests, Middle East conflict and the Greek uprisings. “I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve really wanted to place in this competition since 1995 when I first got started doing news photography,” said Mulinix. “The books of winning images from this contest published each year were really my education in this field and my bible of reference on how to do it well.” First place in the category was won by Massoud Hossaini of the Agence France-Presse, for a heartbreaking image of a car bombing in Kabul. Third place was won by Angelos Tzortzinis, also of Agence France-Presse, for an image of a Greek policeman on fire after being hit with a petrol bomb during a riot in Athens. The awards ceremony for the contest takes place in the spring at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. POYi began as an annual competition for photojournalism in 1944, and is now an international professional development program for visual journalism. POYi is a non-profit, academic program dedicated to journalism education and professional development, and affiliated with the Missouri School of Journalism. POYi’s worldwide competition sets the gold standard for excellence in documentary photography, photojournalism, visual editing, and online multimedia. Each year, more than 50,000 entered works are submitted to the contest by photojournalists from 71 nations. FOURNIER Media Services, Inc. Brokerage — Consulting Appraisals JOHN L. FOURNIER, JR. P.O. Box 750 Prosser, WA 99350 Voice 206/409-9216 Fax 509/786-1779 FIND YOUR 25-HOUR DAY 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 firstname.lastname@example.org - (206) 790-9457 TWN 3 MARCH 2012 OPEN ACCESS & LEGAL ISSUES The Gold Bar blogger battle ‘Reporter’ site gets blame for assault on public records law M The Seattle Times ost small towns have a local busybody. In Gold Bar, it’s Anne Block, whose hyperlocal news site is a hotbed of rumors and accusations. She writes that city officials are “evil people,” “wife-beaters” and “promiscuous.” There also are restaurant recommendations and a recipe for peanut-butter cups. On her site, goldbarreporter.org, Block likened the former mayor to a dog and accused the former City Council of tampering with meeting minutes, hiding public records and making Gold Bar like “a religious fundamentalist town in Iran.” Block, 44, is an attorney who has become one of Snohomish County’s most notorious activists as she’s taken her crusade for a more transparent government online. She’s also become a divisive figure in tiny Gold Bar, which is dealing with money problems while trying to respond to Block’s four lawsuits and extensive requests for public records. Block, a Massachusetts native, moved to Gold Bar in 2006 after law school and started her news website to try to publicize what she alleges as corruption at Gold Bar City Hall. She is aided by unsuccessful City Council candidates Susan Forbes and Joan Amenn. Block and her partner visited the Seattle area and loved it so much they decided to move to Gold Bar so she could set up her employmentlaw practice. Her partner, Noel Frederick, also has an interest in politics and has run for City Council. “What motivates us? Basically, in a nutshell, it’s open government and the idea that a hand- ful of people can effectively make change, just like Martin Luther King and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony,” Block said. Asked whether they’re certain everything on the site is true, Block and Forbes answered simultaneously: “Yes,” said Block. “It may not be perfectly true,” said Forbes, “but there’s something in it that’s true.” In September, Block posted a story alleging that County Executive Aaron Reardon spent taxpayer money on a trip “with his mistress and a former Snohomish County employee.” The allegation came out of the blue during Reardon’s re-election campaign — at the top of a story titled: “Reardon’s deck of cards loaded with jokers and criminals” that featured his photo floating in front of a background of animated falling confetti. A month later, a county employee did come forward and say she had traveled with Reardon on county trips as part of an affair. The State Patrol is investigating whether Reardon misused county funds. The executive has denied criminal wrongdoing, but has not commented on the alleged affair. There’s a gray line between opinion and fact, said Judy Endejan, who practices media law in Seattle. But the language on Block’s website raises a red flag, she said. “Right now we’re in an age where, you know, it’s kind of the Wild West because people feel like they can just say anything on the Internet and not have to suffer the consequences, and that’s not really true,” she said. The Gold Bar Reporter’s newsroom is Block’s kitchen table in a subdivision with a mountain view. There in front of her laptop — with her snowflake tablecloth and collection of souvenir spoons — she churns out articles about local officials and puts them online. “We decided there’s been just too much corruption out here in Gold Bar, so we had to do something,” she said in an interview she agreed to do via Skype because she believes her phone lines are tapped. In 2010, Gold Bar spent $70,000 of its $573,898 budget responding to public-records requests, almost all of which were from Block and Forbes, according to a filing in Snohomish County Superior Court. “As mayor, I have had little time to do anything but respond to the PRRs that have been submitted and continue to be submitted by Forbes and others,” Beavers wrote in a statement for the court. Beavers is lobbying the Legislature for a law that would allow cities to deny records requests they deem harassing. The city has paid thousands of dollars to an Issaquah technology company to dissect Hill’s personal Blackberry to ferret out her disclosable emails. Gold Bar hired a sixth employee and transferred one of its two maintenance workers into City Hall to help respond to requests, according to the mayor’s court affidavit. Wright says they are spending so much on records requests, they can afford to snowplow only the major arterials. The Jan. 10 City Council agenda had 10 items, and eight of them were regarding lawsuits filed by either Block or Forbes. The crusade is costing Block tens of thousands of dollars of her own money, she said, but she won’t back down because she’s so committed to cleaning up government. In a September 2009 posting, Block summed up her potential impact this way: “For years, people like Crystal Hill ... have controlled and manipulated Gold Bar residents and local politics. But with an activist attorney in Gold Bar, along with a new online newspaper, those days are numbered.” In politics, no free lunch or drinks Puyallup council members, friends vow to obey law A The News Tribune, Tacoma bout a dozen Puyallup residents regularly meet at the Daffodil bowling alley on East Main. They gather around a long table, sharing laughs and lunch. Until recently, it wasn’t unusual to spot Rick Hansen, John Knutsen, John Hopkins and Steve Vermillion pulling up chairs. That changed this month, now that the four friends all sit on the Puyallup City Council. All say they no longer attend the lunches on the same day, four at a time. Even though state law allows council members to get together socially, the four council mates say they want to avoid misconceptions that they might be conducting city business away from City Hall. Yet questions about their fraternization have already arisen. The four met up for a celebratory drink after their first council meeting of the year Jan. 3. They headed to Charlie’s Restaurant & Lounge near City Hall, along with some city officials and residents. Councilman Tom Swanson also briefly was there. Another time, the four attended a resident’s birthday party, also held at Charlie’s. Both gatherings have drawn flak from critics who didn’t like seeing a majority of the council together outside a public meeting without public notice. The incidents underscore the narrow line that elected city officials must walk between public and private affairs, and the fishbowl of scrutiny in which they can find themselves. The critics, including one fellow council member, say that while nothing improper may have happened, it doesn’t look good. “We as politicians shouldn’t put ourselves in the position of saying, ‘Prove (we did something wrong),’ “ said Kent Boyle, a council veteran who represents Puyallup’s south end. “We’re elected representatives. What does it do to perception in the community?” The four council friends acknowledge that social visits can give the public the wrong impression. They say they plan to avoid such gatherings as much as possible. But they said they had limited – if any – interaction at the two get-togethers in question and that no city business was discussed. “These things are way out in the public – it’s not people huddled in a darkened corner,” Hopkins said. Vermillion said the men signed on to join the council not to completely give up their social lives. “We’re big boys. We know what the rules are” and abide by them, he said. Under state law, council members – even all seven at once – can meet socially outside a public meeting as long as they don’t discuss city business. And they can talk about city business in small groups of two or three as long as there’s not a quorum, or council majority. Last year, Knutsen received an award from a state open government coalition for opting out of small-group sessions at City Hall with the city manager and rotating groups of council colleagues. Officials described the sessions as purely informational, with no council agenda items discussed, no votes taken and no quorum present. Still, they drew some criticism. Knutsen said his concern was that “they were in an office in City Hall with a closed door … basically it was out of public view and with a city official.” That’s different from a group gathering socially over a drink in a public place, said Knutsen, the city’s new deputy mayor. Want files? Got cash? School districts seek fees for public records F Spokesman-Review, Spokane aced with a rapidly growing number of requests for public records, Spokane Public Schools wants to charge the public for the cost of locating and preparing those records. Mark Anderson, associate superintendent, said the district wants to pass on the “reasonable costs” of complying with public records requests, which have tripled over the last three years and now cost the district an estimated $70,000 a year. A bill that would allow districts all over the state to do that received a brief hearing this week in the Senate budget committee, but in a fashion that has some government watchdogs criticizing the process. Senate Bill 6576 is probably dead; the issue, however, is still alive. The bill was introduced too late to get a hearing in a policy committee where the merits of such a change to state law would normally be debated. Instead, it was scheduled for a Monday hearing in the budget committee, in the middle of a glut of fiscal bills facing a looming deadline, and with witnesses given one minute to comment. “This policy change should receive a full public vetting for changing a law passed by the people,” said Jason Mercier, of the Washington Policy Center. One of the questions in the brief hearing was the definition of “reasonable costs.” Anderson, the associate superintendent, said the district would like to be able to charge a public records requester the wages for the amount of time employees spend locating, separating and redacting documents. Some information must be removed to comply with privacy laws; other information can be removed, under various exemptions, at the district’s discretion. While Anderson called the costs of filling public records requests an unfunded mandate from the state, Mercier argued that it’s really a mandate from the voters. The Public Records Act was passed by initiative in 1972 with a 72 percent approval rating; government agencies have sought exemptions and restrictions in many of the succeeding years. The law already gives the district and other government agencies ways to manage their costs, but they usually don’t use them, said Toby Nixon, a former legislator and member of the Washington Coalition for Open Government. They can fill requests in installments, spread the work out over time, and organize their records and put them on the Internet for easy access. Charging for filling a request “creates an incentive to be slow and disorganized,” Nixon said. Editor’s note: This bill died in committee. 4 MARCH 2012 Issaquah to host Round Table March 9 deadline for publishers to sign up for event M eet with other publishers, the people who understand what drives your business, on March 16, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in Issaquah for a WNPA Publishers Round Table. Debbie Berto, 1999 WNPA Past President and publisher of Issaquah Press, Sammamish Review and SnoValley Star (Snoqualmie), is hosting the event. Attendees will select discussion topics at the beginning of the day from ideas they submit when registering to attend. Some options are community service, staffing, revenue, and your newspaper’s online presence, but all registrants are encouraged to suggest current topics Debbie Berto of concern. Register by March 9 at wnpa.com/ events, where you can pay by Visa and MC ($20/person), or download the registration form to mail with your check. Attendees will receive an email with details on the no-host lunch and directions on March 13. This is the first of several round tables planned for 2012. Future hosts are WNPA President Jana Stoner, publisher of the Northern Kittitas County Tribune in Cle Elum, who is leading the charge on this project, and Frank and Judy DeVaul of DeVaul Publishing in Chehalis. Publishers who would like to host a round table should contact Stoner at email@example.com or Mae Waldron, firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions, or are a person with a disability and need accommodations to attend, contact Waldron at the email above or call her at (206) 634-3838 ext. 2. ROUGH MOMENTS ON THE ROUTES She’s her competitor’s keeper Concerned carrier comes back to find friend in trouble A Tri-City Herald Tri-City Herald newspaper carrier is being credited with saving the life of her competition — but she says she is just thankful that she was in the right place at the right time. Jackie Mincey has been delivering newspapers for the Herald in the ProsserWhitstran area for about four years, but early on Saturday, Jan. 21, she became a part of the news as she helped rescue a Grandview man when his van caught on fire. Florentino Martinez delivers Yakima Herald-Republic newspapers to 154 customers in the same area, and he and Mincey are used to saying ‘hi’ as they pass, since they typically are the only ones out so early. But around 6:30 a.m. that Saturday, Mincey spotted Martinez stuck in some snow near a newspaper box on Snipes Road and stopped to help push him. Martinez has just one leg — he lost his left leg about six months ago from diabetes — and uses a walker to get around. Mincey then left to finish her route — she had four of her 312 customers left — but something made her drive back down the road past Martinez. Martinez said he had decided to turn around in a nearby driveway, but his van got stuck again. "I was stuck and Jackie's gone, but then I think she was worried about me because I only have one leg," he said. He looked up and was happy to see her coming to his rescue for a second time. It took about 30 minutes to free the van, and by the time they got back onto the road, Mincey said she looked underneath and saw that it was on fire. She tried to use snow to extinguish the flames, but it didn't work. Then Martinez grabbed the papers he had left — he was nearly done with his route, too — and his walker and got himself out the van while Mincey called 911. "At the moment, I wasn't scared, but I was scared after when I saw what happened," he said. "I told her, 'Let's get out of here because the van is going to explode.'" She drove Martinez a safe distance away, then they watched as firefighters tried to put out the fire. But the van was destroyed. There was nothing left but the shell, Mincey said. She stayed with Martinez until his wife, Sandra, who also delivers papers for the Yakima Herald-Republic, was able to meet up with them. "I'm glad Jackie came back," Martinez said. "If she didn't see the fire, I would have kept driving." In an email to the Herald, Martinez's daughter, Regina Cortez, said Mincey deserves to be recognized for going above and beyond her duties and saving her father's life. "I don't feel like no big hero," Mincey said. "I'm just thankful I was able to help him." Showing discretion under fire Couple delivering papers find selves in unexpected peril A Enumclaw Courier-Herald local couple delivering a copy of the Courier-Herald experienced a harrowing ordeal in which they were yelled at, shot at and chased from the countryside to the steps of the Enumclaw Police Department. The couple – who have a motor route – were delivering newspapers shortly after 5 p.m. Jan. 10. Following their normal schedule, they were in the vicinity of 424th Street Southeast and 228th Avenue Southeast when they were suddenly confronted. A pickup blocked their path and a man stepped out, walked to the couple’s Toyota and started hollering. According to a King County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman, the wife then made the wise decision to flee, easing their vehicle past the pickup and heading out of harm’s way. That’s when they heard a shot and felt a bullet strike their automobile. Quickly, the pickup gave chase, according to KCSO reports. The driver and a passenger in the pickup, which was adorned with the name of a gutter-cleaning company, followed the them into Enumclaw with headlights flashing. The couple traveled to the police station and entered the lobby. One of the pickup occupants got out and sat on the concrete steps leading to the station’s front door. The couple explained their scary encounter and were told to stay put. Since the encounter originated outside the city limits, the case was to be turned over to the sheriff’s department. Deputies arrived, interviewed all involved and pieced together this story. The 45-year-old suspect in the case had previously been a victim of identity theft. On the 10th, he had received a phone call from a neighbor, informing him it appeared someone was going through his mailbox. The suspect went out and confronted the couple and, it is alleged, fired a shot into their vehicle. The rural Enumclaw resident was arrested for first-degree assault, a felony, and the case was investigated by the sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit. It was been forwarded to the King County Prosecutor’s Office. TWN CALENDAR OF EVENTS March 1 Legislative Day, Olympia March 16 Publishers Round Table, Issaquah March 30 Editorial Teleconference with Roger Simpson: Covering Trauma April 17 BetterBNC.com opens for Better Newspaper Contest entries April 18 Ad Managers Webinar April 27 WNPA Board Meeting, Seattle May 4 Better Newspaper Contest entries due June 8 Tourism Special Section entries due June 28 WNPA Board Meeting, Bellingham Sept. 27 WNPA Board Meeting, Yakima Sept. 27-29 125th Annual Convention, Yakima Details, registration at wnpa.com/events Teleconference to deal with covering trauma W NPA reporters and editors are invited to a March 30 teleconference, 10-11:15 a.m., with Roger Simpson, founding director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma and a nationally recognized expert on media ethics and trauma. Simpson is a journalism professor at University of Washington, Seattle. His books include “Covering Violence: A Guide to Ethical Reporting about Victims and Trauma,” with William Cote, published by Columbia University Press (2000, 2006). Among the topics he’ll cover: n How have standards of coverage evolved with our culture – and where do we want to be within those standards? n Suicide: How much do we report? Where does the public right to know stop? n Violent trauma: How do we remain decent human beings while doing our job as professional journalists? n What can we say to family or friends of a trauma victim? n How do we access social media for information and photos in the wake of a tragedy? n How far do we go when we illustrate the scene of a trauma? n Selfcare: How do we look out for ourselves, Roger Simpson so that we don’t become desensitized or traumatized ourselves? Registration is $20 per newspaper, and can be accomplished three ways. n Send an email to email@example.com asking her to invoice your newspaper, or n Download a registration form at http://wnpa.com/events and mail it with your check, or n Register online and pay by credit card at http:// wnpa.com/events Please register by 4 p.m. March 28. All registrants will receive an email with call-in information on March 29. The Editorial Committee is sponsoring this training opportunity for editors and reporters. Please contact Mike Dillon at Pacific Publishing Co. at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions for wish to add a topic to the discussion. Hard times hit WNPA office D iminishing revenue caused Washington Newspaper Publishers Association to eliminate its office assistant position effective Feb. 29. Since December 2010, Meia Glick had filled the position ably, with enthusiasm and creativity. She provided consistently accurate work on display ad tear sheets and insertion orders for 2x2 ads. She also assisted with projects critical to the success of the Better Newspaper Contest and annual convention, and will be missed. It was a pleasure to have Meia in the WNPA office. We wish her well. Members should contact Mae Meia Glick Waldron with questions on the 2x2 ad program. Bill Will continues to handle the statewide classified ad program and will be the contact for display ad tear sheets for Oregon Newspaper Advertising Company. TWN 5 MARCH 2012 MOVING EXPERIENCES: LOCATION, LOCATION, ETC. S-R moves open up space Cowles consolidates some operations S Journal of Business, Spokane pokane-based Cowles Co., which owns the Spokesman-Review, the Journal of Business, and a handful of other companies in Spokane, has moved some of its operations in the Spokesman-Review Building and the neighboring Spokane Chronicle Building. Those consolidations have resulted in additional office space becoming available for lease, says Spokesman-Review Publisher W. Stacey Cowles. Overall, there now is about 28,000 square feet of vacant space in the two buildings, both of which Cowles owns, he says. Cowles says the recent office moves mostly involved the newspaper’s advertising department, located in the Review Building, at 999 W. Riverside. They were made, he says, as part of an effort to improve the efficiency of its operation and to consolidate unused space. “We hope to lease it out, but it’s not the most robust market,” Cowles says. “We only have 50 percent of the staff working downtown for the newspaper than what we had 20 years ago. This is an overdue move to bring people into contact with each other.” The advertising department moved from the building’s second floor to the first and third floors, where some marketing staff are located. The newsroom is still on the fourth floor. Northwest Farmer-Stockman, Inc., the Cowles Co.’s insurance and financial product agency, is on the fifth floor. Spokesman-Review operations fill the sixth and seventh floors. Centennial Property Management Co., also a Cowles company, recently moved from the Chronicle building into the Cowles Co.’s executive offices in the Review Building. Businessman buys building from Grandview Herald A Grandview Herald Prosser medical professional and businessman has purchased the building that houses the Grandview Herald. Steve Bradley concluded the transaction Jan. 10 with Herald publisher John Fournier Jr. The purchase price was not disclosed. The newspaper will relocate to another site in Grandview and continue operation as usual, Fournier said. There will be no interruption in the paper’s weekly publication schedule. Bradley’s plans for the building are not yet finalized, but he said he is interested in business development and commercial development in Grandview. He said there is no firm date for reopening the building. Bradley is the co-owner of the Prosser Funeral Home and Crematory and is also a practicing physician assistant. He said he plans to meet with the Grandview’s EDGE economic development group to explore uses to which the former Herald Building could be put. “I want to preserve the character of the building,” Bradley said. “I want it to be something the community can be proud of.” The building was placed on the Washington Register of Historic Places in 1987. Times thinks time is right to put two blocks up for sale T he Seattle Times Co. is putting its remaining South Lake Union property — two full blocks — up for sale. In an email to employees Feb. 21, Publisher Frank Blethen said the company would prefer to hold the blocks long term, but is “testing the marketplace” in part because real-estate values in South Lake Union, home of Amazon.com, have rebounded and exceed pre-bust levels. Blethen also said the recession taught the Times Co. the value of liquidity, and the company may need more cash to make required payments into its employee pension plans. The two adjacent blocks are bounded by Denny Way, Fairview Avenue North, Thomas Street and Boren Avenue North. Marketing materials indicate the Times is asking a total of $80 million for them, about double their assessed value for tax purposes. The south block, mostly a parking lot, is zoned for residential or commercial buildings up to 125 feet tall, but city of- ficials are considering neighborhood zoning changes that could lift the height limit on that block to 300 or 400 feet. The building on the north block was the Times’ headquarters for 80 years, but the company has mostly vacated it and moved into rented space. The Times began marketing PASSINGS Times’ ‘Captain’ Gough passes at 84 A tall, quiet, meticulous man, known for his graceful writing and carefully crafted stories, William T. Gough was often called “The Captain” by his colleagues at the Seattle Times, where he worked as a staff reporter for about three decades. It wasn’t clear how the nickname emerged — perhaps from his in-air reporting from a 1988 round-theworld Boeing 747 charity flight that broke world speed records. Or perhaps it was bestowed because the slim, carefully dressed Gough always maintained the formal bearing of a gentleman, a man in control. Gough, 84, died Feb. 6 at his Green Lake-area home after a brief illness, with his son and former daughter-in-law at his side. Gough’s exterior — the gracious, pipe-smoking professorial air — might have lulled some observers into thinking that was all there was. In fact, while he was unfailingly kind and polite, he had a wicked, dry wit, a mean tennis game and a deep, infectious laugh, former colleagues said. He loved long road trips and animals, befriending a feral cat near his home after he retired. Gough was a keen observer who insisted on knowing the background, politics and inside story of whatever he wrote about. He was deeply knowledgeable about a wide range of subjects. “He often worked Saturdays and would turn around these amazingly well-written stories for the Sunday local cover,” said Peter Lewis, a former colleague, “with almost poetic descripWilliam T. tions of landscapes, Gough Richard S. Heyza / people and events.” Seattle Times He wrote with grace even about such mundane subjects as transportation or government process, said Kathy Triesch, an editor at the newspaper. “It was as if he knew the world of politics, especially, included a lot of puffery and silliness, and he wasn’t taken in by it, but would try to see past it to get at what was true and even important.” Gough, said Times reporter Jack Broom, always kept a “steady and calm sense of mission,” helping allay the stress of news reporting with a regular daily walk. After Gough retired, Broom said, he always had detailed questions about various stories in the news, never losing interest in his profession and his community. Gough was born Nov. 17, 1927, in Estevan, Saskatchewan. He came to Washington state to attend Washington State University, graduated with a degree in English literature and worked as a staff reporter at a newspaper in Yakima, where he met his wife-to-be, Eve Marie Coutley. Mrs. Gough died in 2009. After he retired from the Seattle Times, Gough — who remained a Canadian citizen throughout his life — kept up his interests in a wide range of subjects, regularly meeting friends for coffee and tea at Starbucks and Tully’s to discuss anything and everything. At times, said his son, Richard Gough, of Seattle, he was visiting with three groups, including one that focused on writing. “He was such a lover of books and literature and poetry,” said Jody Gough, of Shoreline, his former daughter-in-law. “His world was really all about books.” One of his coffee-group friends, Cathy Ackert, helped him format a novella he was writing so he could get it published as an e-book. Tentatively titled “The Half and Half Man,” the book is a coming-of-age tale about an adolescent boy, half French Canadian and half Sioux native, struggling to become recognized for his artistic talent. “I found it very readable,” Ackert said. “It drew you into being interested in what happens to him.” In addition to his son, Richard Edward, Gough is survived by his grandson, Nathan William, and two granddaughters, Jessica Lee and Samantha Lynn. Wreck claims former co-owner of Mirror K ristine Gaye Gavin, 68, of Chelan, died Jan. 17 in a headon automobile collision. According to the Washington State Patrol, about three miles south of Entiat on SR-97A Gavin’s 1996 Lincoln Towncar crossed the centerline, striking a 2007 Toyota Tundra driven by Vicente Mora Orduno, 42, of Wenatchee. Gavin was pronounced dead at the scene. Orduno was taken to Wenatchee’s Central Washington Hospital. Both drivers were wearing seat belts, and WSP is investigating the cause of the accident. Gavin and her husband Rick Gavin were co-owners of the Lake Chelan Mirror from 1973 until September 2000, when they sold the newspaper to Prairie Media, now NCW Media, in Leavenworth. Gaye grew up on a fruit ranch in the Wenatchee area. She had been a restaurant hostess at Campbell’s Resort in recent years, and a memorial service was held at the resort Jan. 26. Currently Rick Gavin is manager of the commercial printing operation at the Wenatchee World. Rick Gavin’s father, Wilbert (Babe) Gavin, bought the Mirror in 1937, and Rick succeeded him as publisher in 1973. the property to developers last year as a ground-lease opportunity, and a spokeswoman said that’s still a possibility. Last year, the Times Co. sold two neighboring properties — the Troy Laundry block and the 1000 Denny building — for a total of $54 million. The company now is the Denny building’s prime tenant. Grand Coulee Chamber honors Star publisher T The Star, Grand Coulee he Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce named its current president, The Star publisher Scott Hunter, “Achiever of the Year” during a special luncheon last month. Hunter, a past president of WNPA, was honored for his many “behind the scenes” contributions he makes to the community the chamber serves, Susan Miller, chamber executive director stated. Hunter is involved Scott Hunter in the Rotary Club, and sits on several county and area boards. One way he boosts the community is to encourage development in the area. He has always seen the local towns as “one community,” where people pull together to get things done, Miller stated. “Scott also does a lot of research for the chamber and makes certain that projects the chamber does are steered in the right direction,” Miller said. Hunter was re-elected president of the chamber, a position he has held off and on for the past 13 years, and installed for the new term at the meeting. Other officers are Jim Pachosa, vice president; Kathy Baty, treasurer; and Karrie Utz, secretary. Two new members of the board were elected: Kevin Portch, of Loepp Furniture and Appliance; and Jessie Utz, of Coulee Graphics. Miller said that the business and achiever honorees are selected by a committee of three, made up of Miller, and last year’s winners, namely, this year, Carlene Worsham and Kathy Baty. They receive and tabulate information about those who are nominated. 6 MARCH 2012 TWN JUDGING NEW YORK Allison Arthur, a reporter for the Port Townsend Leader, and Leif Nesheim, editor of the Vidette in Montesano, were among the teams who judged the New York Press Association contest on Jan. 26 at the Red Lion Hotel - SeaTac Airport. NYPA Executive Director Michelle Rea, left, talks with two judges, Debbie Berto, publisher of the Issaquah Press, Sammamish Review, SnoValley Star (Snoqualmie), and Patrick Sullivan, new media director of the Port Townsend Leader. Beyond them are three judges from Sound Publishing, from left Kathy Reed of the Whidbey News-Times (Oak Harbor), Douglas Crist and Katie Morgan. A BIG WNPA ‘THANK YOU’ TO ALL THE JUDGES, AND THEY WERE: Camas-Washougal PostRecord: Heather Acheson Oren Campbell, University of Washington, retired professor Cheney Free Press, Karen Robinette Chinook Observer, Long Beach: Matt Winters Daily Journal of Commerce, Seattle: Katie Zemtseff Daily Record, Ellensburg: Joanna Markell East County Journal: Rosemary Dellinger Eatonville Dispatch: Pat Jenkins Issaquah Press: Dona Mokin, Debbie Berto La Conner Weekly News: Sandy Stokes Liberty Lake Splash: Sarah Burk Mercer Island Reporter: Megan Manahan, Mary Grady Methow Valley News: Robin Doggett, Don Nelson Monroe Monitor: Polly Keary Mukilteo Beacon: Sara Bruestle Nisqually Valley News, Yelm: Angie Evans, Keven Graves, Megan Hansen North Kitsap Herald, Poulsbo: Kipp Robertson, Megan Stephenson, Poulsbo, Richard Walker Northern Kittitas County Tribune, Cle Elum: Terry Hamberg, Jana Stoner Othello Outlook: Darla Hussey Peninsula Gateway, Gig Harbor: Susan Schell Port Orchard Independent: Tim Kelly Port Townsend Leader: Allison Arthur, Nicholas Johnson, Renae Reed, Lauren Salcedo, Patrick Sullivan Queen Anne/Magnolia News, Seattle: Jeff Bond Renton Reporter: Dean Radford Sequim Gazette: Michael Dashiell Shelton-Mason County Journal: Kevan Moore, Jesse Mullen, Kari Sleight Snoqualmie Valley Record: Seth Truscott, Carol Ladwig, William Shaw SnoValley Star, Snoqualmie: Sebastian Moraga Sound Publishing: Douglas Crist, Lorraine May, Katie Morgan South Whidbey Record, Langley: Brian Kelly Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle: Lynn Hoover, Kay Behymer, Zachary Van Brunt Vidette, Montesano: Leif Nesheim Waitsburg Times: Jillian Beaudry Whidbey News-Times, Oak Harbor: Kathy Reed After judging was completed, Rea, left, took a few minutes to give feedback on the Northern Kittitas County Tribune to NKCT publisher Jana Stoner, WNPA president, center, and ad manager Terry Hamberg. - - - - Advertising- - - - CreativeOutlet.com TWN Making the scene Price still drives visual choices for newspapers By BILL WILL W WNPA executive director e human are tribal creatures. We’re predisposed to gather in clans and takes sides. Republicans and Democrats (although I’ve more than enough of that division this year). For your fathers (and you, if you’re old enough), it was Ford vs. Chevy. Macintosh vs. PC. You get the picture. For members of the photography tribe, the chief divisions have always been Canon vs. Nikon, and, for the past 15 years or so, film vs. digital. Now that digital has won the war of supremacy, the old Canon-Nikon clash has resumed with its usual fervor. But you may have heard rumblings about another divide growing in the world of professional photography. It’s the rapid rise of new camera designs that are taking on the long hegemony of the SLR (single lens reflex) that has – for excellent reasons – been the standard of high-end amateur and professional still cameras. A full discussion of these competing designs and their variants would require many volumes. For brevity’s sake the new genre is called (you knew there would be an acronym) Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras (MILC). The first word, mirror, is the most important. These designs attempt to use brute-force technology to reduce the size, weight and lens size of traditional SLR cameras by removing the mirror (it’s actually a pentaprism) that allows the photographer to peer into the optical viewfinder and look through the lens that’s attached to the camera. Photographers have always understood the need for this bulk and complexity for the simple reason that if the photographer’s eye is not seeing the same image the lens is, properly composing a photograph is impossible. For any photographer worth his or her salt, the idea of removing an optical viewfinder from a camera is akin to asking a race car driver to lose the steering wheel. How do you give up the mirror and still “see” through the lens? That’s been the toughest nut for engineers to crack. The emerging solution is to replace an optical viewfinder with an extremely high resolution digital display MARCH 2012 to mimic “real life.” In effect, instead of looking through the lens via a mirror, you’re looking at an approximation of that image on a miniature high-definition display. That’s the main disadvantage of mirrorless technology. The list of potential advantages is much longer. In addition to a smaller overall size, in theory, a mirrorless camera can be built with fewer moving parts; and lenses can also be smaller and more rugged. All of the major camera manufacturers expect mirrorless designs will be their flagship products sometime within the next decade. But that expectation should also be your cue, as a camera buyer, to stay the course with SLR for now. You need deep pockets to be an early adopter of technology, and this seismic shift in cameras is no different. Right now, these new cameras are somewhere between the “expensive gimmick” and “serious emerging technology” phase. And they’re nowhere near the sweet spot of value. You’ll pay two or three times price premium for a mirrorless camera with the same sensor size and imaging capability of an entry level Canon or Nikon digital SLR. The selection of lenses is scant and similarly pricey. In short, admire the technology and appreciate the innovation – but hold onto your wallet for now. Images – out of the camera and onto editing I’d wager that there’s more than one back shop out there where the photographer/photo editor/production guru is clutching the sides of a well-worn CRT (tube) monitor and threatening bodily harm of anyone who tries to replace it until or unless it dies in a massive shower of sparks. The reason is that those, slim, sexy flat panel LCD panels that have replaced tubes over the last decade have a nasty secret. They’re awful for photo work. Their color reproduction is iffy to poor, and they are difficult to impossible to calibrate as a result. And consistency is 7 everything when you’re printing color. Until very recently, the only solution to this quandary other than holding onto an aging CRT has been to shell out four figures for a highend Apple Cinema Display or other pricey flat panel that uses what’s known as IPS LCD technology. These panels reproduce Nikon’s V1 (top) and Sony’s Nex-7 are two of the new colors much more mirrorless digital cameras on the market. faithfully due to a wider gamut, are And the price is finally within reach. easily calibrated with an inexpensive The stars of the bargain show are colorimeter, and have the bonus of havtwo e-IPS displays rolled out by Dell ing a much wider viewing angle than in the last few months under their inexpensive consumer-grade LCDs. Ultrasharp moniker. The 24-inch The good news is that this technology is getting cheaper. IPS panels are in much model lists for $400; you can find it for up to $75 less when it (frequently) wider use than they were just a couple goes on sale. The best deal – and perof years ago thanks to the Apple iPad fectly adequate for photo work – is the and the Kindle Fire, and manufactur23-inch model which lists for $300, ing costs are plummeting. Samsung and often on sale for $230-$240. I’ve been NEC have pioneered a new manufacturwaiting for an inexpensive IPS dising process that’s been dubbed e-IPS. play for my home office setup. This is It’s a step below high-end products like the model I chose, and I’ve been exthe Apple Cinema Display in terms tremely pleased with its performance. of color reproduction, but just barely. Dell’s 23-inch e-IPS display (left) may not be exactly as sharp as Apple’s Cinema Display (right), but it’s close enough for the money. 8 MARCH 2012 TWN Users of NCWBizlink.com can search for local businesses, then view details about the businesses. New site links NCW readers to businesses N CW Media, Inc., headquartered in Leavenworth, has launched NCWBIzLink. com, a searchable website for local businesses in North Central Washington. Users can view telephone numbers, addresses and locator maps for 4,200 local businesses. For a monthly fee, busi- nesses can add enhancements to that basic information, including coupons, hours of operation, photos and videos. Company owner Bill Forhan calls the site a green, shop-local directory, and notes it is accessible by smartphone, too. The site went live in January. Last month NCW began promoting it in its five newspapers and on local radio stations through trade-out agreements. By mid-February NCW was working on enhancements for about 20 businesses, and Forhan expects to see those increase over time. The site grew out of a discussion among a group in Leavenworth that envisioned a shop-local campaign and a regional telephone directory that NCW would print. That idea soon morphed into a website. NCW bought the list of businesses for $900 and turned it over to 1Up! Software to create the site. Since the site launched, Forhan has substituted a link to NCWBizlink.com for the business and service directories formerly on the company’s newspaper websites. NCW Media publishes four weekly newspapers— Cashmere Valley Record, Lake Chelan Mirror, Leavenworth Echo, Quad City Herald in Brewster —and the monthly Wenatchee Business Journal. For Ng, what a long, strange trip it’s been ON THE WEB Reminiscences of past 30 years have a family flavor Norhtwest Asian Weekly: www.nwasianweekly.com A ssunta Ng, publisher of the Northwest Asian Weekly and Seattle Chinese Post, marked the 30th anniversary of her foray into the newspaper business with a special series of columns highlighting three decades of challenges and opportunities. Assunta Ng For the first part, published Jan. 28, Ng selected photos as illustrations — staff members gathered around a holiday table at the 2011 Christmas potluck and the maturing children of current and former staff members posed on a stairway at an NWA reunion held this past summer. Here, she introduces the look back: “In September 1981, when I dreamed of starting a newspaper, I was a mother with a baby and toddler. Most people called me nuts, thinking a woman should put her family first and ambition second. In addition, it would be a risky venture. “Yet four months later, the first Chinese newspaper in the Pacific Northwest was born. Little did I know that my publishing career would last for 30 years. “Jan. 20 marked the 30th anniversary of the Northwest Asian Weekly and Seattle Chinese Post. Publisher Assunta Ng’s series of columns relate the adventures of the past 30 years of the Northwest Asian Weekly, above, and the Seattle Chinese Post, below. “Today, no one says I am insane. I have actually opened doors for Asian American leaders and many businesses, including nine other Chinese media. Despite economic woes, our newspapers have thrived during tough times. We might not have been rewarded financially, but our reputation in the community and news industry has risen to new heights. The fact that we have existed for 30 years exceeded everyone’s expectations, including mine.” Some pages further into the Jan. 28 edition Ng outlined the more immediate challenges. In her Publisher’s Blog, she noted the anniversary edition coincided with Seattle’s January snowstorm, which hobbled the staff, her printer’s staff and newspaper delivery. “In the past, we have sweated because we didn’t have enough advertisements. Ironically, last week, we had the biggest issue of the year filled with Lunar New Year ads, and we almost didn’t make it!” Some staff worked from home, and Ng provided rides to the two people who needed to work at the office. They produced 86 pages for the week, and the printer came through. But on delivery day, the company van slid around as snow turned to ice. Ng’s family spent three days distributing papers on foot. The blog ends with Ng urging her readers, “…just remember that we poured our blood and tears into (this issue). Keep it as a souvenir!” In subsequent anniversary columns, Ng looks ahead — addressing people's questions about when she will retire, crediting her staff for their work, and speculating about what keeps her engaged in her business. All the columns are available at www.nwasianweekly.com TWN 9 MARCH 2012 State considers ‘co-mediation’ in records suits A The Associated Press Moving time again: WNPA boxes it up to begin home-based operations as of March 1. WNPA’s offices have rolled with times T he Washington Press Association and its successor, Washington Newspaper Publishers Association, have occupied fewer than a half dozen offices in its nearly 125-year history. In the early years the work of the association and the University of Washington printing and journalism departments intermingled, and WPA had a physical presence on the campus. While it’s likely the campus office space changed from time to time, the association was a fixture on campus for many decades. The move away from campus, as Jerry Zubrod, former executive director of WNPA, described it in the November 1986 Washington Newspaper, was prompted by a new venture and campus changes. The association started the WNPA Press Clipping Service in February 1964 and soon needed more space than was available to WNPA in the UW Communications Building. Coincidentally in the mid-1960s, the UW needed additional room, and private businesses found it difficult to justify occupying muchneeded space on the public campus. In April 1964 the association moved to 4519A University Way and began what Zubrod described as an upward struggle to expand the clipping service into the turf long held Here’s a kicker: Seattle Times puts up ticker New technology powers the Seattle Times’ oldstyle news ticker overlooking Denny Way in Seattle. T he Seattle Times’ new electronic ticker lit up the morning of Feb. 27, announcing up-to-the-minute headlines to drivers and pedestrians as they headed up Denny Way. “Police force’s turmoil unnerves Bainbridge Island residents” was the first of many headlines to appear on the device, which is 44 feet long. It is attached to the side of the building at 1000 Denny Way, the newspaper’s new headquarters. The idea for the ticker came about as company leaders worked to come up with a way to brand the building, “in a manner that helps people know this is the Seattle Times, and it is the leading news and information source in the state,” said Jill by Allen’s Press Clipping Service. To obtain more space WNPA moved in June 1969 to the 3838 Stone Way office in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood, and stayed put for about 40 years. The clipping service operated there until October 1986, when it was sold to Allen’s. In 2004, the WNPA board made plans for another new venture. To accommodate it, in July WNPA moved to larger offices at 1434 Elliott Ave. W., in the Interbay area of Seattle. Those plans changed, eliminating the need for the additional space that was well met by the Lake City offices WNPA has occupied since July 2006. Effective March 1, 2012, the staff will be working from home offices. Members will be advised of a new mailing address in future. Meanwhile, the phone remains the same, (206) 634-3838, and the fax has changed to (888) 673-6209. Mike Siegel/ Seattle Times Mackie, company spokeswoman. The idea, Mackie said, was to use the building itself to convey “we’re a media company that delivers news round-the-clock.” While the notion of a news ticker is somewhat retro, that was also part of the appeal. “In embracing the future,” Mackie said, “we’re also very much grounded in our history.” The technology that powers the de- vice is decidedly of the 21st century. According to Eric Ulken, assistant managing editor of seattletimes.com, the headlines that appear on the ticker are drawn from top stories on the homepage. As news develops throughout the day, the stories on the ticker will change automatically, via RSS feed, he said. It is located on the southwest corner of the building. recent increase in large payouts from public records disputes has some in state government considering new ways to avoid costly and drawn-out court battles. One idea being considered by Attorney General Rob McKenna is a proposal put together by two well-known public records attorneys to “co-mediate.” While singleperson mediation already exists and is used in some state cases, the idea of co-mediation allows for two mediators, both well-steeped in public records laws – one who represents the requester and another to represent the agency or local government. Greg Overstreet, an Olympia attorney specializing in media and disclosure law, said he first thought of the idea of offering co-mediation services late last year. The Greg largest public records lawOverstreet suit award was in December, when a Pierce County judge ordered the Department of Social and Health Services to pay a record $649,896 to an Elma woman who sued the agency for withholding records. The state is appealing the case. Overstreet said that while co-mediation might not work in all cases, it could offer a better chance to get people to the table in the first place. “The problem has been the difficulty of finding a single mediator who is trusted by both sides,” he said. “The other problem is finding a mediator who knows the public records act and the nuts and bolts of how the public records process works in real life.” Overstreet, who regularly represents records requesters in disputes, reached out to Ramsey Ramerman, president of the Washington Association of Public Records Officers who has assisted agencies on public records issues. They’ve since formed Open-Government Mediations and Training, and have pitched their idea to the state. “We have a common goal,” Ramerman said. “We want to resolve the dispute, get the records, save money and build trust. All the sides want the same thing.” McKenna noted that his office already has an ombudsman that informally tries to mediate in some cases, and that single mediators have been used in other cases. But he said he’s told his office to find a case that could potentially be a pilot test case for Overstreet and Ramerman. “I’m curious to see whether or not there are advantages,” McKenna said. “I’m interested enough to want to move forward and test it, if we can find a right case.” Gov. Chris Gregoire might be interested as well. “With the high costs of these cases, certainly anything to get at that is intriguing,” said Cory Curtis, a spokesman for the governor. Under state law, agencies and local governments can face fines of up to $100 a day for failing to turn over records. But the biggest cost driver, Overstreet said, is attorney’s fees. “If mediation starts at the beginning of a case, it could prevent some of these judgments that are for tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Overstreet said. “There’s some really difficult, contentious cases out there, and if public records lawsuits aren’t settled quickly, they can balloon out of control on costs.” Prison inmates make up more than 60 percent of the litigation cases, according to McKenna’s office. In 2009, a new law was passed intended to block prisoners from using public records laws to harass state agencies and employees. The measure was in response, in part, to Allan Parmelee, who is serving 17 years for bombing the cars of two attorneys. Parmelee has filed hundreds of requests and won thousands of dollars in penalties in cases where the Department of Corrections fought his requests. Another bill passed last year prevents any penalties from being awarded to prisoners unless a court finds that an agency acted in bad faith. 10 MARCH 2012 TWN CAREER MOVES n Lavonne Saunders, longtime staffer at the RitzvilleAdams County Journal, retired from the newspaper in January. The newspaper held a reception Jan. 26 to celebrate her 22 years of service, which ended Jan. 27. Saunders received the Dixie Lee Bradley Award at the 2010 WNPA convention. n The Daily News in Longview has two new reporters. Natalie St. John is covering Winlock, Toledo and Wahkiakum County in addition to doing some environmental and minority affairs reporting. St. John, 33, graduated from Portland State University in applied linguistics. She is fluent in Spanish. For about 10 years, she taught in Oregon, Texas, Mexico and China, including as a member of Teach for America Corps. Marqise Allen, 25, is covering Woodland, Kalama and the city of Rainier. Previously he was a reporter at the Chronicle in Centralia. A graduate of Central Washington University, Allen majored in journalism and minored in history. n Monroe Monitor Editor Polly Keary announced reporter Sally Gillie has returned to the newspaper staff. Gillie is reporting on local news, as she did from 1997 to about 2001, when she left the newspaper to have a child. Keary joined the staff in 2004 and continues as editor. n Stephanie Keagle, language arts teacher at Auburn Mountainview High School, is one of eight journalism advisers nationwide to be honored as a 2012 Rising Star by the Journalism Education Association. She will be honored on April 14 during the NEA/ NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Seattle. The Rising Star awards recognize teachers with one to five years of journalism teaching and/or advising experience who demonstrate commitment to journalism education and show promise as up-and-coming advisers. n Matt Schubert has left the Peninsula Daily News in Port Angeles to accept a new position as the sports online editor of the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star. Outdoors columnist for the PDN, he was with the newspaper for more than six years. n Reporter Nevonne McDaniels has returned to the editorial staff of the Wenatchee Business Journal. McDaniels had covered business for the Journal for many years before she joined the Leavenworth Echo about a year ago. On the Journal’s new website, NCWBusiness.com, readers can see McDaniels’ new stories as well as those she wrote for the monthly newspaper’s former site, WBJToday. com. Both papers are owned by NCW Media, Inc., Leavenworth. n Dennis Box has been named editor of the Enumclaw and Bonney Lake/Sumner Courier-Heralds. Most recently he was the regional editor of the Kent, Auburn and CovingtonMaple Valley Reporter newspapers owned by Sound Publishing Inc. Box was an integral part of the start-up team that launched the Bonney Lake CourierHerald in 2003, and is pleased to return to covering those communities. Prior to joining Sound, he wrote about government, politics, boxing, horse racing and produced humor columns for magazines and newspapers. He also worked as a writer and film editor for more than a decade. Box graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in English and filmmaking. He has two children. Kathleen is a fourthyear law student at Gonzaga University. Christopher is completing a communications degree and works as an intern at KJR radio in Seattle. n Mark Klaas, editor of the Auburn Reporter, has been promoted to regional editor of the Kent and Auburn Reporter newspapers. He is an awardwinning journalist with more than 25 years’ experience in the newspaper industry. Before taking his current position at the Auburn Reporter in 2007, he worked in the sports department at the former King County Journal in Bellevue. Klaas had been a reporter and editor at newspapers and magazines in Idaho, Oregon and California, and moved to the Puget Sound area in 1993. He lives in King County with his wife, Sara, and children, Derek and Elizabeth. A new look, a site to behold Capitol Hill Times upgrades print, Web products T he Capitol Hill Times of Seattle debuted a redesign of the newspaper Jan. 25 and launched a companion website at www.capitolhilltimes.com on Jan 26. The new layout of the print publication’s first section is the work of designer Joe Johnson. A graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design, Johnson was selected for his background in commercial design and his minimal experience with newspaper design. The Times’ fresh style and tone have drawn positive comments, from both the upper-30s group that dominates the hill as well as from older, longtime subscribers who live in the ultra-hip Seattle neighborhood. The front section, typically 8-12 pages a week, has news and features by editor Stephen Miller and a growing group of freelance contributors. Miller welcomes stories, poems, art and let- ters from readers for both print and online editions. He joined the staff in September 2011. Miller previously covered general news, environmental science, media law and the arts for a variety of newspapers, magazines and other media outlets in the Southwest and along the East Coast. “It’s worth mentioning that every decision we make is governed by a rabid desire to create a product our customers will respect us for,” said Miller. “We are a small team and our publisher, Cliff Wright, has created an atmosphere that allows for constant collaboration and a free exchange of ideas.” The editorial slant toward arts and culture is part of Miller’s effort to meet readers’ needs as well. Ad manager Joni Eades is working to build neighborhood support of local businesses with display ads. The second section, produced by RIM Publications, consists of King County legal notices. On the Times’ new website, readers find columns and MAKE A NOTE OF IT! The fax number for WNPA has been changed New fax number (888) 673-6209 (Delete fax number (206) 634-3842) The WNPA phone number remains the same: (206) 634-3838 Bill Will ext. 0 • Mae Waldron ext. 2 The change is effective March 1, 2012, coincident with the office relocation of Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. Members will be advised when a new address is confirmed. opinions, news and humor, as well as a calendar, restaurant and movie reviews. The site has an online theater section called Drama in the ‘Hood, which is produced by a community partner. “It’s very important to us to be actively involved with the community,” said Miller in an email. “We’re always looking to collaborate with other community organizations.” The Times’ new site was started with a GabFire WordPress template, then altered to meet the newspaper’s requirements. Subscriptions to the print publication are available online for $25 per year, though the website provides a map to the paper’s drop sites where issues are available for free. RIM Publications, based in Bellevue, purchased the Times from Pacific Publishing Company, Seattle, in 2009. PPC continued to produce the paper until late January. RIM also owns two other Washington weeklies, the Monroe Monitor and the Dispatch in Eatonville.