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Archives: April 2008


Randy Dorn expected to announce for state schools chief

Former state Rep. Randy Dorn, once a high school principal and now head of the second-largest public school workers’ union, is expected to announce this week that he’s running for the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

I’ve got a call into Dorn, who was very busy in Olympia this past session trying to get more money for the kitchen help, bus drivers and computer folks who work for public schools and colleges in Washington. We’ve been playing telephone tag for the past 5 or 6 days.

UPDATE: Dorn never called me back, but here’s the announcement on the union’s Web site.

Dorn has been executive director of the Public School Employees of Washington since December 1999. The union represents 26,000 K-12 and college employees, second to the 81,000-member Washington Education Assocation, which has the teachers and certificated workers in its ranks.

PSE is now affiliated with the Service Employees International Union, which makes it part of a pretty large group of public sector workers, and part of a rabble-rousing union. They’re even more militant than the WEA.

Dorn was a Democrat from Eatonville when he was in the Legislature. He got dumped in the 1994 Republican Revolution.

The OSPI race is getting pretty interesting. You have longtime incumbent Terry Bergeson, who is running for a fourth term. You have Rich Semler, superintendent of the Richland School District. And now Dorn.

The WEA is backing Semler. Presumably, the PSE will back Dorn. And since OSPI is a non-partisan office, the primary election has been a “Top Two” for a long time. In the past, Bergeson has garnered more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary election, so the race was decided then. That won’t happen this time. It probably will be Bergeson and either Dorn or Semler in the November general election.

Here’s part of the Dorn bio I got from the PSE:

Prior to (1999) he was a motivational speaker and traveled extensively lecturing on school to work programs. He has served as a Government Information Specialist for Educational Testing Service since 1997.

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Notes from Gregoire’s visit to Tacoma this morning

Gov. Chris Gregoire visited Community Montessori in Tacoma this morning to receive the endorsement from the SEIU. The event was short and sweet: Gregoire toured the facility, then joined about 30 union members to accept the endorsement.

CathyRaye Hyland, director of the childcare center, said they didn’t tell the children who was coming to visit today. When Gregoire was there, they didn’t bother letting them know who the purple-jacketed visitor was, either. Hyland told me the kids (only the young ones were left at that point) probably wouldn’t know what a “governor” is anyway.

In Gregoire’s

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More trouble for Tacoma’s Broadway LID

The second-lowest bidder in Tacoma’s (second) re-bid of the Broadway Local Improvement District (LID) is protesting the recommended awarding of a contract to the low bidder, Wm. Dickson, Inc.

Active Contstruction, Inc. has requested a quasi-judicial hearing before the City Council, according to City Manager Eric Anderson’s weekly report to council members.

The hearing is scheduled for tonight’s City Council meeting.

Active Construction argued that Wm. Dickson did not propertly comply with certain electrical construction pre-qualification requirements, and did not meet state law, according to Anderson’s report.

The city’s Contracts and Awards Board disagreed and

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Back from the conference and still processing what I learned

I’m back — I was on vacation, then in L.A. for a fellowship at the Knight Center for Digital Media.

I’ve posted a few things about what I learned, but it would take a few hundred pages to go over everything.

Some of what I learned will pop up on the blog and in print in the coming months.

Others … maybe never.

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Tacoma Community Council ‘losing confidence’ in Metro Parks board

It wasn’t quite a no-confidence vote, but it was close. The Community Council of Tacoma took a vote last week and decided it was “losing confidence” in the ability of Metro Park Tacoma board members to manage the park district.

Bill Garl, Community Council chairman, delivered the news to board members in a brief letter yesterday. It read:

Dear Commissioners:

At our April 24, 2008 Community Council meeting, members passed the following motion:

The Community Council of Tacoma, representing the eight Neighborhood Councils, are informing MetroParks Board of Commissioners and upper management that we

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Governor to get a not-so-shocking endorsement in Tacoma tomorrow

Surprising no one, the SEIU has announced it will endorse Gov. Chris Gregoire for governor.

She’ll meet in Tacoma tomorrow with leaders of the Community Montessori Day Care, then tour the place before the official endorsement press conference at 9:30 a.m.

The union represents about 100,000 childcare and healthcare workers across the state.


McCain’s coming to town in two weeks

So I’ve been gone for a bit, but did everyone else in the world know that John McCain will be visiting the state in two weeks?

From “Inside the EPA”

Monday, May 12, 2008- Tuesday, May 13, 2008


MCCAIN in Seattle, WA and Portland, OR: McCain will attend events in

Portland and Seattle to promote his longstanding efforts to combat

global warming.

We don’t have any more details, but I’ll work on it. (Or, if I discover that this is old news, I’ll quickly move on to something else.)