LEGISLATIVE DAY: Feb. 19 REGISTER: wnpa.com/events DEADLINE: Feb. 10 (see story below)
THE WASHINGTON NEWSPAPER Vol. 99, No. 2 February 2014
Journal of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association and Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington • www.wnpa.com
State open government reform bills unveiled Proposed legislation addresses training, posting of agendas The Olympian
awmakers are again considering legislation that would strengthen open government laws in Washington state. One proposal before the Legislature this year would require city councils and other governing bodies to post their regular meeting agendas online. Another would mandate that certain public officials receive training in the finer points of the state Public Records Act and the state Open Public
Meetings Act. RELATED The bill to EDITORIAL, require online PAGE 2 posting of meeting agendas 24 hours in advance wouldn’t apply to government agencies that don’t have a website, or to ones that have fewer than five employees. State Rep. Brad Hawkins, a Republican from East Wenatchee who is sponsoring House Bill 2105, said he was surprised to learn recently that state law doesn’t already require online posting of meeting agendas. “It only requires public agencies with governing bodies to issue notice of meetings,” Hawkins testified during the bill’s hearing Jan. 14 before
the House Government Operations & Elections Committee. “I would characterize this bill as a modest first step at updating the Open Public Meetings act to reflect our online society,” Hawkins said. No penalties are outlined in Hawkins’ bill for governing bodies that fail to comply with the proposed posting requirement, nor would failing to post an agenda invalidate any action taken at a public meeting. Another bill, House Bill 2121, would require elected leaders and public records officials to receive training in state open government laws within 90 days of taking office. The See BILLS, page 2
Legislative Day scheduled Feb. 19
NPA and Allied Daily Newspapers publishers, editorial page editors and others will meet at the capital on Wednesday, Feb. 19, for the associations’ annual Legislative Day gathering. Presentations will be in the Senate Rules Room, adjacent to the Lieutenant Governor’s Office in the Capitol Building. The day begins at 10 a.m. with a legislative briefing by Rowland Thompson, executive director of Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington, and Bill Will, WNPA executive director. See DAY, page 2
Scholarship nominations due Feb. 7 As many as five slots open for 2014
Lee Giles III/Peninsula Gateway, Gig Harbor
‘You can feel the claustrophobia and pain of entrapment. I particularly liked the element of victim’s hand clasping rescuer’s arm,’ the judges wrote. For ‘Skateboarder Rescued,’ Lee Giles III of the Peninsula Gateway, Gig Harbor, took home first place in Spot News Photo, Circulation Groups III & IV Combined, in the 2013 Washington Better Newspaper Contest.
Hooked on state politics? There’s an app for that
TNT launches feature based on sports news apps
or local and far-flung news junkies hooked on Washington state politics, the Capital Update App may be the big fix of the 2014 legislative session. “We’ll be pushing breaking news to your phone or your tablet,” said Karen Peterson, executive editor of the News Tribune in Tacoma, which developed the app. “We’re modeling it on the way that sports apps work.”
Anyone with the app can see breaking news, opinion, a Twitter feed following more than 100 people of interest, a bills-to-watch feature, and a legislator look-up with bio, contact information, bill sponsorship and salary information on state workers. Some content is local to Pierce and Thurston counties; other is statewide. And some of the app content, particularly breaking news, will appear on page 3 of the following day’s Olympian, reviving the paper’s historical practice of devoting that page to political
news during the legislative session. “The biggest news is that we’re giving it away for free to subscribers,” Peterson said. The app is also for sale in Apple’s App Store, priced at $49.99 for the legislative session.
Beta phase and beyond
The official launch was in January 2014, though during See APP, page 5 RIGHT: A screen shot of the Capitol Update Legislative News page as seen on an Apple iPhone.
he WNPA Foundation invites WNPA-member publishers and editors to nominate a student for its internship scholarship program. Nominations are due (or must be postmarked) Feb. 7. Winners will be announced March 7. Up to five interns will be selected for 2014, and each will receive Scott Wilson a $1,500 stipend upon completion of the internship. Nominations should include a statement from the nominee about their interest in a career in community journalism, up to five clips, and a letter from the newspaper outlining the goals for the intern and the newspaper and including the supervisor’s name and contact information. The internship, a 240hour commitment, must be served at a WNPA-member newspaper. For additional information on the internship guidelines, contact Scott Wilson, Foundation president and publisher of the Port Townsend Leader, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 268-0000, or Mae Waldron, email@example.com, (206) 634-3838 ext. 2. Nomination packets may be emailed to Waldron or mailed to the Foundation at 10115 Greenwood N. #172, Seattle WA 98133.
Bill to train state workers on open records a good idea The Olympian
ttorney General Bob Ferguson has proposed common-sense legislation to reduce the tension between government entities and those who make requests for public records. The Legislature should pass it into law. Ferguson’s bill (HB 2121/SB 5964) states the obvious: Those subject to the Public Records Act (PRA) should receive training on it, as well as the state’s Open Public Meetings Act and records management laws. At the present time, neither law includes a mandate for training. In recent years, state and local elected and appointed officials have complained that the burden
of complying with requests for public documents – especially frivolous or harassing requests – has interfered with their delivery of services. But it’s not known whether that’s an unfounded perception created, in part, by a lack of training in the law. The Olympia School District, for example, could have saved considerable time and expense in 2012 if it had exercised provisions of the existing law. It filled a records request from a lawyer in litigation with the OSD that required 46,000 pages, according to Superintendent Dick Civitanich. The requester never picked up the material. If the OSD had been trained on the PRA, it would have known to provide the documents
on an installment basis, and required a deposit before starting the request. If any installment was not claimed or reviewed, the district was not obligated to complete the request. The OSD learned the hard way. Rebecca Japhet, the OSD’s communication director says, “Now that (a district employee) ... has received intensive public records training, we are doing things differently.” No one expects government entities to go bankrupt or to stop doing its other important work to respond to records requests. But the public can expect public bodies to know the provisions of the law. State Auditor Troy Kelly has offered local governments access to his agency’s Local
Government Performance Center to evaluate their programs for communicating with the public and learning the tools available for simplifying records requests. The attorney general’s bill – supported by Rep. Sam Hunt and Rep. Chris Reykdal – would require training on open government laws within a specified period and be renewed every four years. The bill follows up on a situation assessment by the William D. Ruckelshaus Center in December, which was requested by the Legislature last year. The center’s report recommends comprehensive data collection to provide evidence, rather than anecdotal impressions, about the frequency and financial burden
of harassing or nuisance records requests. Among its findings, the center also suggests gathering information on best practices for records management and whether local governments are aware of them. HB 2121 would make sure that governments know what is and what isn’t expected of them under the law. And that should reduce the frustrations of governments who are making good-faith efforts to be open and transparent. A healthy democracy depends on an informed electorate. Complying with requests for public records should not be viewed as separate from a government’s work. It is government work. Reprinted with permission.
Civility: A speech option worth trying
Officers: President: Bill Forhan, NCW Media, Leavenworth l First Vice President: Keven Graves, Whidbey News Group, Coupeville l Second Vice President: Lori Maxim, Sound Publishing l Past President: Jana Stoner, Northern Kittitas County Tribune, Cle Elum l Secretary: Bill Will, WNPA, Seattle Trustees: Donna Etchey, Sound Publishing l Eric LaFontaine, Othello Outlook l Don Nelson, Methow Valley News, Twisp l Stephen McFadden, RitzvilleAdams County Journal l Fred Obee, Port Townsend Leader l Michael Wagar, Lafromboise Communications Staff: Executive Director: Bill Will l Editor/Manager of Member Services: Mae Waldron
Officers: President: Rob Blethen, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin Treasurer: Christine Fossett, Chronicle, Centralia Board: Nathan Alford, MoscowPullman Daily News l Tyler Miller, Daily Record, Ellensburg l Heather Hernandez, Skagit Valley Herald, Mount Vernon l Dave Zeeck, News Tribune, Tacoma 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: firstname.lastname@example.org; URL: www.wnpa.com, in conjunction with Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington, P.O. Box 29, Olympia, WA 98507, (360) 943-9960. Email: email@example.com.
After all, it’s one of the freedoms we haven’t tried
he First Amendment protects our freedom to say and write just about anything we want – but that doesn’t mean we ought to, particularly in public life. The difference rests between “can” and “should.” Our nation’s founders were no strangers to rude, callous and raucous debate in public life and to vicious commentary, even by today’s “anything goes” online standards. Sex scandals, infidelity, personal weaknesses and even religious differences were exposed, debated and mocked in public life and in the newspapers of the day with personal glee and political purpose. The self-governing system eventually created for the United States depends on vigorous public involvement and debate, but it also depends on a measure of what we call today “civility” to function. Not civility in the sense of polite nods and watered-down language – that’s not “free speech” in any sense – but rather a thinking response and respect for robust debate over ideas and policies.
civility in the media, in a multi-day session sponsored by the Newseum Institute, The Poynter Institute for Media Studies and the National Institute for Civil Discourse. A concluding task was to set out some core values for journalists and to face the serious issue of whether this group or any other might actually produce change. A good starting point for the organizers (Note: I was one of them) was to assemble a group that resembles the nation in 2014: Journalists from traditional media and new media, with great diversity in age groups, ethnicity, location and views. The values statement stressed truth, independence and transparency as well as focusing on the free press role envisioned by Madison, Jefferson and others: Exposing wrongdoing, airing of multiple points of view, empowering people with information needed for self-governance, and providing the means for the nation to hear from “the disenfranchised and voices that are not being heard.” Worthy goals all, for a nation that is without doubt increasingly diverse and increasingly divided – and also a good refocusing for a free press battered
by falling and fading revenue sources, diminished public respect and the loss of many of its most-veteran participants. In the mid-1940s, journalists and academics joined in a post-WWII seminar popularly known as the Hutchins Commission to consider the role of journalism in a cynical, war-weary world. According to reports of the time, it was an era in which the public had little respect for the large media enterprises of the day, finding them increasingly uncivil, unconcerned with or unable to perform their “watchdog on government” role – and out of touch with news consumers. Sound familiar? There is no minimizing the difficulty ahead in reshaping public debate that now focuses on the shrill, in which partisan confrontation often overwhelms nonpartisan compromise. Perhaps journalists are the group of that can first move the idea of “civility” from premise to practice.
instances of “open government related-issues among local governments” in 2012, according to the agency’s annual report. “We all too often see that (public officials) lack the training necessary to know the basic obligations that flow from the open records act and the Open Public Meetings Act,” Rep. Gerry Pollet, D-Seattle,
the bill’s sponsor. “It’s going to reduce those penalties and liabilities because people will know.” Though testimony for Pollet’s bill was overwhelmingly supportive, Brian Enslow, a lobbyist for the Washington State Association of Counties, said most agencies at the county level already provide such training and don’t need
the mandate. Enslow added that local governments’ main costs associated with open government laws stem from “overly burdensome and harassing” records requests from citizens — not state penalties for violating the law. He’d like to see the Legislature address that issue, he said.
the Governor’s Mansion (please bring photo I.D.). Legislative Day is an important opportunity for WNPA members to learn about current issues, hear from legislators and demonstrate the level of interest that newspapers have in legislative affairs. It’s always a memorable
event, and publishers are urged to register themselves and their editors. Costs are the same as recent years, from $30 for lunch and presentations to $100 for the day’s events, including reception and dinner. Registration forms, our agenda and online registration
is available at wnpa.com/ events. Registrations are due Monday, Feb. 10. Please send any questions to Mae Waldron, mwaldron@ wnpa.com. or Heather Clarke, firstname.lastname@example.org, who handles Allied registrations.
Gene Policinski is chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute and senior vice president of the Institute’s First Amendment Center. He can be reached at gpolicinski@ newseum.org.
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public officials would have to go through additional training every four years. Supporters of the training requirement said at a committee hearing Jan. 14 that it would help reduce the number of times government employees and elected officials unknowingly violate government transparency laws. The state auditor’s office identified 250
The Bill of Rights, led off by the First Amendment, rests on the creative tension of rights and responGene sibilities. It Policinski is civility in its historical senior vice president, meaning – First Amendment involved, Center engaged citizenry – that powers those two great civic engines. A First Amendment advocate should be the last to call for laws or other official limits on speech, such as campus speech codes or restrictions on campaign speech. But Congressional gridlock, growing public disaffection with politics and growing concern about online discussions perpetually locked into the lowest level of comments, require a non-governmental response. Journalists are a good starting point for self-initiated positive action. A recent gathering of about 40 practitioners, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., gives hope in that direction. The group met in early December to talk about in-
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From 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., elected and appointed state officials speak, with a break for lunch at noon. A reception hosted by Chief Justice Barbara Madsen in the Temple of Justice follows at 4 p.m., and the day concludes with dinner hosted by Governor and Mrs. Inslee at
OPEN ACCESS & LEGAL ISSUES
WCOG honors Chopp’s open stance Judge delays Coalition seconds WNPA’s recognition of House speaker Washington Coalition for Open Government
ouse Speaker Frank Chopp received the Washington Coalition for Open Government’s Ballard/Thompson Award during a reception in Olympia on Jan. 28. At the event in the Columbia Room in the state Legislative Building, Chopp, a Seattle Democrat, was recognized for defending open government during the 2013 session by prevent House Bill 1128 from coming to the floor for a vote. The bill would have allowed public agencies to deny and
sue records requesters deemed to be “harassing” an agency. WNPA honored Chopp for blocking the harmful legis- Frank Chopp lation as well, giving him its 2013 Walter C. Woodward Freedom’s Light Award at the association’s annual convention in October. The Coalition viewed HB 1128, strongly supported by cities, counties and ports and unanimously passed by the House Local Government Committee, as potentially one of the most damaging setbacks to government transparency and accountability in many years.
“The idea that any records requester could be subjectively deemed ‘harassing,’ sued by an agency and forced to either abandon his or her request or spend thousands of dollars in attorney fees to fight the allegation, is directly contrary to the fundamental principles of the state’s Public Records Act,” said WCOG President Toby Nixon. “It took considerable courage for the speaker to resist powerful pressure to bring the bill to the House floor for a vote. His refusal to do so was an outstanding demonstration of commitment to the people’s right to know in Washington State.” WCOG also commended Chopp for similarly bottling up HB 1697, which could potentially have set a danger-
ous precedent of concealing records needed to document cross-subsidization of unregulated businesses granted a monopoly by the state. The Ballard/Thompson Award is named in honor of former Speaker of the House Clyde Ballard, a Republican, and former state Senator and Chief Clerk of the House Alan Thompson, a Democrat, who were both scheduled to appear at this year’s event. Both were founding members of WCOG, a statewide non-partisan group dedicated to fostering transparency in state and local government. The annual award is given to a legislator or legislators who have demonstrated “outstanding dedication to the cause of open government.”
Authority A case of missing email in Coulee computer agrees to pay Clean arouses suspicion in records suit against ex-mayor Requests, meetings figure in action The Seattle Times
he King County Housing Authority has agreed to pay $24,300 to a resident who should have gotten public records she requested over the past two years, but didn’t. The resident, Cindy Ference, lives in a Shoreline apartment owned by the housing authority. Ference made 25 requests over two years for different documents. She got most of them, the agency said, but the authority did not give her three sets of documents about construction projects. The records should have been made public, said King County Authority Deputy Executive Director Connie Davis. The housing authority already settled the first half of Ference’s lawsuit, which had to do with open meetings. The housing authority failed to advertise meetings that should have been public. That portion of the settlement didn’t include any money beyond legal fees, but the housing authority changed the way it publishes meeting notices, minutes and documents. The National Freedom of Information Coalition in Columbia, Mo., paid for Ference’s lawsuit. In a statement, Housing Authority Executive Director Stephen Norman said settling with Ference was “the right thing to do.” “We sincerely apologize and have made internal changes to keep this kind of inadvertent error from happening again.” The housing authority has insisted they weren’t trying to hide anything on purpose. The illegal meetings were a result of bad legal advice, they said, and they said they simply overlooked documents that “could be construed as falling within the intent of the request.”
The Star, Grand Coulee
computer used by Coulee Dam’s former mayor is missing, and the new mayor has asked the sheriff to investigate the possible theft of public property and destruction of public records. Newly elected Mayor Greg Wilder said when he entered the office at the beginning of the year, a brand new computer was already there for his use. It had never been used, and no files existed on its hard drive. Wilder, who defeated Quincy Snow in the mayoral race last fall, had earlier lodged a complaint with the state Public Disclosure Commission alleging the improper use of town resources for Snow’s campaign, including the use of the computer and the town’s e-mail services. “After a bit of looking and searching, our police chief (Pat Collins) informed me that it had just ‘disappeared’ not long ago from one of his department’s locked storage rooms,” Wilder wrote to Douglas County Sheriff
Harvey Gjesdal Jan. 2. “Even through the room contained more and better ‘electronics,’ nothing else was taken or lost – just the mayor’s old computer!” Police Chief Pat Collins wrote in a police report that last Nov. 14, then-mayor Snow had called him to ask why the police department server room door had been left open. He wrote that Snow said he had closed the door and one to another storage room that he had also found open. At that point, Collins asked the city foreman to put a padlock on the door “as any grand master (key) for City Hall would open the door.” Wilder said he found no backups of data from the computer. “In fact, there are no records of any notes, schedules, or other public records relating to Snow to be found,” Wilder noted. Wilder had filed a public records request of the town in October, seeking “Each and every e-mail sent to or received by: email@example.com from January 1, 2013 and ending on October 31, 2013.” The town clerk advised him that the records would be unavailable until Jan. 15, 2014. Consulting with his attorney, Wilder decided to
bide his time until after the election, which seemed to be going his way. He would have access if he took office. He took office Jan. 2, and no files can be found. On Jan. 6, the Washington Coalition for Open Government, a statewide advocacy group, called on local and state authorities to investigate the alleged disappearance of the computer. The coalition, President Toby Nixon said in a statement, “is deeply concerned about Wilder’s report. … The potential theft or destruction of public records such as official e-mail messages could be a felony under state law.” “At a minimum,” Nixon continued, “the public deserves an explanation for the missing computer and records. Even if the former mayor’s computer had been properly surplused, which does not appear to be the case, the town was legally required to retain the hard drive. State law requires all communications like those to and from the mayor to be retained and transferred to the state archives for assessment and archival storage.” Jason Mercier, director of the Center for Government Reform at the Washington See EMAIL, page 5
sex offender list ruling Yakima Herald-Republic
Columbia Basin woman seeking the names of all low-level sex offenders in Yakima County will have to wait another month to learn if she’ll get the list. A public records request by Mesa resident Donna Zink, who has sought similar lists in other counties in order to post the names on her website, has been on hold after a group of offenders last month obtained a temporary injunction against the release. On Jan. 8 Yakima County Superior Court Judge Blaine Gibson continued a hearing on the county’s request to dissolve the injunction because Zink wasn’t named in the lawsuit asking her request be denied. Excluding her could lead to overturning any decision on the matter, said Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Stefanie Weigand. Zink filed a request in November for electronic copies of the Level 1 sex-offender registration forms. Level 1 sex offenders are considered the least dangerous and least likely to reoffend. Their names are typically not posted by authorities, who routinely release the names and addresses of Level 2 and 3 offenders. Attempts to reach Zink for comment were not successful. Zink has received forms from Franklin County, but the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington obtained a preliminary injunction barring the Washington State Patrol from releasing the information on Benton County offenders. “Being identified publicly as a sex offender puts individuals at risk of being harassed, assaulted, or losing jobs and housing,” the ACLU said in a written statement. “For individuals considered unlikely to reoffend, being labelled publicly as a sex offender creates a stigma that makes it very difficult for them to proceed with their lives.” In Yakima County, Zink’s request was challenged by attorney Gregory Scott, who is representing several Level 1 offenders See LIST, page 4
Herald honors subpoena in shooting probe
Detective seeks clues to discover shooter’s identity The Herald, Everett
etectives have recovered bullet fragments, supporting a theory that someone from shore used a rifle to shoot a Stanwood duck hunter Jan. 1. The man was hit in the leg while he and his brother were in a 14-foot aluminum boat about 500 yards from land. The men reported that
they were carrying 12-gauge shotguns. A Washington State Patrol crime lab forensic scientist this week inspected the fired bullet fragments recovered from the boat and the victim. He concluded that the fragments came from a hunting rifle, potentially a Remington, Ruger or Browning, according to a ballistics report filed in court. A detective who inspected the damaged boat also concluded that the bullet came from outside the vessel. Detectives have been
tracking down leads to identify the shooter. One of those potential leads caused a detective to serve a search warrant at the Daily Herald’s office in Everett last month. The detective was seeking the identity of a person who posted a comment Jan. 3 under the newspaper’s online story about the New Year’s Day shooting. The victim’s girlfriend called the comment to the detective’s attention, according to the search warrant. Someone had written that the shooting “was an accident,
he wasn’t intending to fire he was looking through the scope, fired by accident.” The newspaper agreed to remove the online post when contacted by a detective. The paper, however, declined to immediately provide the person’s contact information, absent a court order. People who post to HeraldNet are required to provide the newspaper an email address. The paper’s software also captures the person’s computer Internet
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Fardella named president, COO of Seattle Times
Executive served in several roles before new post
layne Fardella has been named President and Chief Operating Officer of the Seattle Times. Fardella, currently COO at the Times, has served in a number of leadership roles since joining the company in 1995, most recently Senior Vice President, Business Operations. Prior to that, Fardella served as Vice President of Human Resources & Labor. She has, at various
times, had oversight of the Times’ affiliate newspapers in Yakima, Walla Walla and Issaquah, as well as Budgeting, Alayne Human Fardella Resources, Labor, Operations and Information Technology. “Alayne is an invaluable leader who, during her time here, has done so much to move the Seattle Times forward,” said Frank Blethen, Publisher and
CEO. “Alayne has particular strengths in creative, thoughtful problem solving, mentoring and leadership. Among many notable contributions, she has played a key role in mentoring the fifth generation of Blethens over many years as they grew in their careers.” “I am humbled and honored to be asked to serve the Seattle Times in this role,” said Fardella. “I have the deepest respect for the Blethen family and their commitment to outstanding journalism for our community, and for all of my colleagues at the Seattle Times who demonstrate passion and excellence in their
Wilson-Gay scholarship grows
Family’s donations add to endowment
he endowment for the internship scholarship established through the WNPA Foundation in honor of Bruce A. Wilson of Omak and Henry Gay of Shelton has been increased to $15,000 by donations from Gay’s family. Wilson’s widow Merilynn A. Wilson established the scholarship with a $10,000 endowment announced in December 2012. This January, Gay’s widow Fern, his adult sons Stephen and Charlie and his daughter Julie Orme donated an additional $5,000 to boost the endowment. Henry Gay, who died in 1999, first published the Buckley News Banner from 1954 to 1964 and then the Shelton-Mason County Journal, where he skewered state and national politicians in his syndicated column, “The Gay Blade,” for more than 30 years. He published the Journal
from 1966 until shortly before he died. Gay’s Journal was known for its unapologetic journalistic standards, even in the face of intense local opposition. Gay won numerous awards, including the Master Editor/ Publisher Award from WNPA in 1996, the William O. Douglas Award from the American Civil Liberties Union in 1991 for “outstanding contributions to the cause of civil liberties and freedom,” the Eugene Cervi Award from the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors in 1991 for “a lifetime of courage in journalism through editorial writing,” the 1986 Golden Quill Award (ISWNE’s top editorialwriting award) and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Susan Hutchinson Bosch Memorial Award in 1975 for “exemplary commitment to serving humanity through journalism.” His editorials won more than 50 awards from WNPA, Sigma Delta Chi and ISWNE.
Gay’s children continued publishing the Journal for almost a decade after his death, with Charlie serving as editor and publisher, Julie as business manager and Stephen as ad manager. Merilynn Wilson worked alongside her husband, Bruce, during their years with the Ritzville Journal-Times from 1947 to 1958 and with the Omak Chronicle from 1958 to 1982. She died in 2013 and Bruce Wilson died in 1991. The Wilson-Gay scholarship will go annually to a college student who seeks to work with one of WNPA’s community newspaper members through a journalism internship. Further contributions to the Wilson-Gay Scholarship fund are welcomed. Contact Mae Waldron for details: firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations for WNPA Foundation scholarships are tax deductible..
Petshow follows Lanctot at Eagle Longtime leader retires after more than four decades
om Lanctot’s successor as board president of Eagle Newspapers, Salem, Ore. is Joe Petshow, the executive vice president. An Eagle board member since 1988, Lanctot had been president since January 2007 and retired Jan. 1. Lanctot joined Eagle in 1986, when the company’s weekly in Sunnyside, Wash., merged with his daily there. He remained publisher of the Daily Sun News until Oct. 1, 2001, when he became publisher of Eagle’s flagship paper, the Hood River News. “I couldn’t be happier for Joe, Eagle Newspapers and our employees to turn over the reins to such a quality person,” Lanctot said. “Joe is a quick study and his passion and love for the newspaper business will serve all employees well,” he said. During more than four decades in the Yakima Valley, Lanctot led his newspaper on a path from a typewritten publication printed on a sheet-fed press in a 1,000-square-foot building to an award-winning newspaper
published out of a building of more than 11,500 square feet. Moving to Hood River his leadership skills were exercised in the Columbia River Gorge at a time of rapid technological changes for the newspaper and rapid growth for Columbia Gorge Press. “It was a great pleasure serving as publisher of the Hood River News and manager of Columbia Gorge Press,” Lanctot said. “When I took the job in 2001, it was time for Bonnie and me to move. It was a decision we have never regretted.” “At the same time,” he continued, “my promotion gave Tim Graff the opportunity to lead the Sunnyside newspaper and press plant. I’m especially proud of the great people that have worked for me, not only in Hood River, but in Sunnyside as well. “This 42-year trip I’ve made couldn’t have been done without them. I have such great respect for everyone who works at a newspaper. There are no jobs that are more important than anyone else’s. It takes a team to put out a quality newspaper, and it has been a privilege being a member of those teams.” Lanctot will continue to work for the company and sit on the board of directors.
Lanctot’s newspaper career was divided with 15 years as an independent operator and the last 27 years working for Eagle Newspapers. He began in Sunnyside in 1971, writing stories, taking photographs, and yes, of course, selling ads. “When I was hired at the Daily News, I became the fifth employee. In an operation so small you do everything,” he said. Lanctot purchased the Daily News in 1977. He worked in all areas of the operation, including running a press. “It has been a great career for me. My wife, Bonnie, has always been so supportive of my career. Many years Bonnie worked at the newspaper in Sunnyside as well. We have had a great time and both of us realize the importance of a community newspaper in the lives of people in our small towns. We have seen it up close and personal many many times over.” FIND YOUR 25-HOUR DAY
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work. As is the case with others in our industry, we have many challenges ahead adapting to fundamental shifts in the business model, but I am confident in our ability to navigate through them and emerge strong, while remaining laser focused on our public service mission.” Fardella is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, and holds an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University. Prior to joining the Times, she held management positions with top high-tech and manufacturing companies including Intel Corporation and
National Semiconductor. Fardella is a member of the American Lung Association’s Lung Force Women’s Cabinet, a strategic cause campaign focused on lung health and aimed at stemming the rise of lung cancer in women. She is also a longtime volunteer advisor with Sister Schools, a Seattle-based nonprofit that builds awareness and compassion among Seattle-area school children by engaging them in supply drives for children in Uganda, and that supports schools and orphanages in Uganda with educational supplies, clothing and other important educational resources.
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who were not identified in court records, except mostly by initials. Scott hopes to make it a class action, so all 600 to 700 Level 1 offenders in Yakima County will be represented. Scott said his clients were notified by the county that their information was going to be released as part of Zink’s request, which was filed under the Public Records Act. Scott said the state’s sexoffender registry system was designed to limit access to information on the lowest-risk offenders. The law allows for releasing the information to those who have a need to know, such as schools and police. Plus, he said if Zink gets the records, those named could be forever branded as sex offenders. He said the state registry offers a chance for offenders to have their names removed in certain conditions, as well as correct mistakes in the record. “If (the names) go into a private database, there is no way to get off the registry,” Scott said. The county maintains the state records act permits releasing the information.
Under the records law, all government records are presumed to be public, unless the law specifically bars their release. Weigand said there is no specific exemption in the law for the registration forms on Level 1 offenders, and Scott has not demonstrated that the information was not within the public’s interest. She said Scott also failed to show that his clients would be harmed if their names are released.
FEBRUARY 2014 from page 1
last year’s session, the app was behind the TNT’s paywall in beta format. Subscribers who found it there liked it, particularly the editorials and Twitter feed, Peterson noted, and McClatchy Company’s president also expressed interest. Users’ enthusiasm fueled the product’s continued development. “We hired new staff to do it, and it took most of the session to get it fully functional. That’s why we didn’t market it (last year),” she said. Marketing this year includes a presence on the websites of TNT and the Olympian, print ads, emails to subscribers and advertising in community newspapers outside the Puget Sound metro area. They’re also distributing flyers around the statehouse. Capital Update Editor Melissa Santos, a staff reporter who had returned to the area after time away, was rehired specifically for the app. She writes and edits content
and also adds information from other news outlets across the state. Because the 2013 session was uncharacteristically long, a full six months, during the beta phase Santos was able to create a lot of content for developers to work with. The staff has learned from other online projects that it’s best to wait and launch a highquality product, rather than run the risk of turning people off. They also relish the freedom that comes with digital products as compared to printed ones. “If it’s broken you can fix it on the fly; if we launch a section that no one goes to, we just take it off,” Peterson said. “It gives us a lot more freedom to try some things.” During development, staff in Tacoma worked with colleagues at sister papers in other state capitals, Sacramento and Raleigh, N.C., and shared what they learned about developing content and apps with those
Capital Update’s Top Stories page as displayed on the Apple iPad. staffs. “It’s fun . . . after all we’ve been through, to be starting on something new. There’s excitement around the building for this,” she said. Measures of success, along with number of users and traffic, include recruiting advertisers that are not yet in the newspaper or on its website.
With the largest media presence in Olympia— reporters from the Tribune and the Olympian, along with the Tribune’s capital intern reporter — and no competing apps in the region, the paper made a significant investment that it expects will bring various dividends. “More and more, we’re looking at what niches work best for us, and really diving deep and trying to give readers wall to wall coverage on that,” said Peterson. She cited politics as popular content with newspaper readers, and then added the Seahawks and TNT Diner, the paper’s restaurant and food blog, as other niche areas where the staff works to provide broad and deep coverage. “It’s all about a bundled approach,” Peterson said, with staff tailoring new products for subscribers to further engage the people who are already “members of the club.” The app is definitely another reason to subscribe to the News
Tribune and Olympian, but it may also be a building block of a new business model. “The (app’s) focus is on the legislative session,” Peterson said, “but we have legislative elections coming up.”
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Policy Center, used the case in his Jan. 6 blog to slam legislation proposed last year that would allow governments in the state to determine when a public records request could be deemed “harassment” of the government by an individual, a term frequently used to describe Wilder’s requests over the last two years. “While (hopefully) this experience in Coulee Dam is not the norm across Washington,” Mercier wrote, “it does underscore the danger of allowing government officials to decide if someone is a ‘harassing requester’ and deny access to public records.”
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protocol address. “When people register with HeraldNet, we tell them their comments will be anonymous. Unless we receive a subpoena or warrant, we stick to that policy,” Executive Editor Neal Pattison said. The paper agreed to send the poster an email, requesting that he or she contact investigators. The detective, however, said that if he wasn’t contacted, he would seek a judge’s order,
granting him permission to seize the information. The warrant was served Jan. 9. The paper turned over the poster’s information, as ordered by Everett District Court Judge Roger Fischer. “In this case, law enforcement told us it was an active criminal case and we generally don’t try to impede law enforcement,” Pattison said. “This is a different standard than we would follow if a
source like this had been working directly with a reporter.” It appeared that the person who left the post offered information that directly concerned an ongoing criminal investigation, Pattison said. “I’d rather never have to give anything up. You have to judge the circumstances on a case-by-case basis,” he said. Police aren’t saying if they’ve been able to contact the person.
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Times’ hard-charging ad executive Riggs Vallin dies at 47
The Seattle Times
hen friends and family think about Janice Riggs Vallin, they see a woman who epitomized the famous phrase “work hard, play hard.” Riggs Vallin, the fun-loving, hard-charging executive director of advertising at the Seattle Times, died Dec. 23 after fighting liver cancer. She was 47. Although her life ended prematurely, those who knew Riggs Vallin said she lived it wholly, fulfilling her dream of traveling several times around Europe and earning her dream job as the advertising executive at a major newspaper. “She was a phenomenal woman,” said her boss, Alan Fisco, the executive vice president of revenue and new products. “She was one of those people who
you had one conversation with, and you felt like you had known her for years.” Riggs Vallin was born Aug. 16, 1966, in Janice Riggs Augusta, Ga., to homemaker Vallin Jacqueline Harder Riggs and ExxonMobil marketing executive Joel Dean Riggs. Marketing ran in the family, said 40-year-old sister Jessica Riggs Warren. “We both excelled at meeting people, connecting people together and making advertisers happy,” said Riggs Warren, who followed her older sister into the newspaper-advertising business. “That was our life’s work.” The sisters lived by two
lessons handed down by their father: “Plan to work and work your plan,” and “Keep it neat, make it big, paint it red.” Riggs Vallin graduated in 1988 from Texas A&M University, where she worked at the student newspaper. She then started a tour of Texas newspapers, working on the advertising side at the BryanCollege Station Eagle in Bryan, Texas, and then at the Houston Chronicle and the Austin American-Statesman. Riggs Vallin loved to travel — especially to the beach, “with her toes in the sand and a drink in her hand,” her family wrote on an online obituary website. She also adored dancing to jazz, enjoying nature and hosting parties. Riggs Vallin met her future husband, Armando Vallin Jr.,
through mutual friends in Austin. The couple married in 2009. The newlyweds moved the next year to Seattle, where Riggs Vallin served as director of major national accounts at Sound Publishing. She joined the Seattle Times in 2011 and became executive director of advertising in 2013. Since then, Fisco said, the newspaper has “instituted more changes than in a number of years,” including adopting new incentive and performance-management systems and creating a new revenue-management team. Fisco described Riggs Vallin as a mentor to co-workers, both professionally and personally. He recalled a time that she brought in someone from Brooks Brothers to talk to employees about how to dress. “As part of it, they did makeovers for four or five people, and
Janice insisted that I would be one of them. I was never quite sure why,” Fisco said. “But when she said, ‘I want you to do this,’ you do it.” Jessica Riggs Warren said she has received hundreds of messages from people who consider her sister a mentor. “I don’t think she realized how many people she helped get to the place they are — including me,” Riggs Warren said. In addition to her sister and husband, Riggs Vallin is survived by her brother-in-law Lee Warren and nephews James and William Warren, all of Kingwood, Texas. A memorial service was planned on the beach near a family home in Surfside, Texas. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to help the American Cancer Society study liver cancer.
years, Baron has written the “West End Neighbor” column that appears on Tuesdays in the Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, a sister newspaper to the Forum. Baron worked in the advertising department for Summit Cablevision in Forks for several years and has seven years’ experience in the West End’s real estate industry. She also served as features editor for her student newspaper, Forks High School’s Spartan Gazette, before attending Washington State University. Baron and her husband of 37
years have three dogs. Former editor Chris Cook retired in March 2013 after six years in the post. n Barbara Greenwalt has joined the office staff at the Odessa Record. Her background is in office management and as an administrative assistant in government offices. After living in Issaquah for many years, she and her husband, Gerald, moved when he accepted a position with the public works department in Odessa, his hometown.
CAREER MOVES n Teresa Myers, 46, has been promoted to advertising manager of the OmakOkanogan County Chronicle, after almost six years as an advertising consultant with the paper. She has lived in the area for 16 years. In that time, she earned associate degrees in arts and science and technical science, accounting, from Wenatchee Valley College-Omak. Previously she was the bakery sales manager at Safeway, where she worked for 10 years. Myers succeeds Lynn
Hoover, who had worked at the Chronicle for eight years, serving initially at the front desk and in classified advertising, Teresa Myers then being promoted to advertising manager. Hoover and her husband bought Valley Lanes, the only bowling alley in Okanogan County, and she left the newspaper Jan. 3. n Lynne K. Varner left her
position at the Seattle Times, where she had been posting to the Times editorial page’s Opinion Northwest blog, to serve as associate vice president for public affairs at Washington State University. She is working from the WSU-Seattle office. Varner’s career includes stints with United Press International, the Washington Post, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Seattle Times. n Christi Baron, 57, is the new editor and sales force at the Forks Forum, her hometown newspaper. For the past seven
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Glimpses of a ‘long-gone landscape’ resurrected Discovery inside storage box unveils some last visions of a ‘great eye’
The Columbian, Vancouver
hey’re brand new images of a Northwest icon that disappeared more than 33 years ago — the conical summit of Mount St. Helens. Vancouver Columbian staff photographer Reid Blackburn took the photographs in April 1980 during a flight over the simmering volcano. When he got back to the Columbian darkroom, Blackburn set that roll of film aside. It was never developed. On May 18, 1980 — about five weeks later — Blackburn died in the volcanic blast that obliterated the mountain peak. Those unprocessed black-andwhite images spent the next three decades coiled inside that film canister. The Columbian’s photo assistant Linda Lutes recently discovered the roll in a studio storage box, and it was finally developed. When Fay Blackburn had a chance to see new examples of her husband’s work, she recalled how he was feeling left out during all that volcano excitement. “He did express his frustration. He was on a night rotation,” Blackburn, the Columbian’s editorial page assistant, said. While other staffers were booking flights to photograph Mount Reid Blackburn / The Columbian, Vancouver St. Helens, “He was shooting The contact sheet of a roll of film shot by the late Vancouver Columbian photographer Reid Blackburn in April 1980, high school sports.” discovered and developed recently. Blackburn lost his life during the eruption of the volcano on May 18, 1980. When his shift rotated around, “He was excited to get into the sonal gear from the car where Blackburn Kern recalled. ON THE WEB air,” Fay Blackburn said. was sitting when the volcano erupted. And the keepsake he remembered Columbian microfilm shows Reid Reid Blackburn’s lost photos: One of the items was a camera, loaded most was linked to what former reporter Blackburn was credited with aerial photos www.columbian.com/photos/ with a roll of film. But the film was too Dietrich called Blackburn’s “great eye.” of Mount St. Helens that ran on April 7 galleries/2013/dec/31/reiddamaged to yield anything. “Of all of Reid’s belongings that we and April 10. blackburns-lost-film/ “I remember thinking that I’ll never see retrieved, it was his glasses that affected ‘Emphasis on gentle’ a place as depressing as this wasteland,” me the most,” Kern said. eruption, on a website and wanted the He would have shot that undeveloped image. roll on one of those assignments. Maybe Lutes sorted through a couple of he didn’t feel the images were up to his boxes labeled “Mount St. Helens” and standards. Maybe he didn’t trust the camtried — unsuccessfully — to find that era; it was the only roll he shot with that film. camera on the flight. She did find a ripped paper bag, with But he would have had more than one Blackburn’s negatives spilling out. camera, said former Columbian photog“I thought I’d better put it in a nice rapher Jerry Coughlan, who worked with envelope so it wouldn’t be ruined,” Blackburn at the newspaper. Lutes said. “Then I found that roll. “We all had two or three cameras,” set I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we up for a variety of possibilities. Riding found what was on it?’” in a small plane, “You didn’t want to be Troy Wayrynen, the Columbian’s fumbling for lenses,” Coughlan said. photo editor, agreed. Former Columbian reporter Bill But with the switch to digital Dietrich teamed up with Blackburn during imagery, “I wasn’t sure if anyone one of those early April flights over the even processed black-and-white film volcano. anymore,” Wayrynen said. “Reid was a remarkable gentleman, He took it to a Portland photo supply with the emphasis on gentle,” Dietrich company, which outsources black-andsaid. “He was an interested human being, white film to a freelancer. with a great eye. He saw stuff. When he got it back and saw the “As a reporter, that’s a great thing about film-sized images, “I was astonished working with photographers. They see to see how well the film showed up,” things,” Dietrich said. “The newsroom was so electrified when Wayrynen said. And then there was the content. the volcano first awoke. It was an internaBlackburn could have photographed tional story in the backyard of a regional newspaper,” said Dietrich, who now writes anything on that roll, Wayrynen said. “When I saw aerials of Mount St. historical fiction and Northwest environHelens — a long-gone landscape — It mental nonfiction. “We were all pumped was beyond my expectations,” he said. up and fascinated.”
‘Then I found that roll’
The May 18, 1980, eruption still is a historical landmark, as well as a huge scientific event: That’s why the roll of film was discovered a late last year. A photo editor working on a geology book contacted Lutes. She’d come across a Columbian photo of a logjam on the Cowlitz River, taken on the day of the
This is the second time people have tried to coax images from film that Blackburn left behind. The first occasion was shortly after his death. Columbian colleagues, including Coughlan and Dave Kern, now assistant metro editor, visited the blast zone and recovered some of the per-