Word on the Street

The latest news in and around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

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Category: Olympia


Gregoire orders flags flown at half-staff for fallen DNR employee

Gov. Chris Gregoire has directed that flags at all Washington state agency buildings be lowered to half-staff Thursday in memory of Washington State Department of Natural Resources employee Sam Gaydeski of Beaver.

Gaydeski was killed on the job Monday while clearing brush near Clearwater in Jefferson County.

Flags should remain at half-staff until close of business Thursday, or first thing Friday morning.
Other government entities, citizens and businesses are encouraged to join in this recognition.


Most state travel numbers up for July 4th weekend

Yes, there was a lot of traffic on state highways over the July 4th weekend, according to the The Washington State Department of Transportation. WSDOT released preliminary traffic counts today in the following press release:

OLYMPIA – Preliminary data from WSDOT’s Transportation Data Office

revealed more drivers hit the roadways for Independence Day weekend

2009, with just one minor exception. WSDOT’s traffic counts show a

slight decrease in travel from the Bellingham area north to the Canadian


WSDOT’s initial traffic counts show increase of nearly 15 percent in

holiday traffic on I-90

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Even the guv gets carded

Gov. Chris Gregoire asked us press hacks if there was a card-everyone-who-enters-a-bar law. Why? Because after attending some of last week’s Capital Lakefair festivities, she entered Hannah’s Sports Bar & Grill. The guy manning the front door asked to see her ID.

She left hers in the car. And even when the doorman was told who he was carding, he was adamant. She needed to show ID.

"Do you guys see something that I don’t see in the mirror?" she asked, laughing.


The Olympian and KOMO made an appearance, too

Sen. Barack Obama won a clean sweep of the Democratic delegates in Garfield County, we reported on Sunday.

Crosscut picked the story up and talked the editor of the East Washingtonian in Pomeroy, who had some funny things to say.

When I told my buddy Jay, who’s a walking IMDb, he was quick to point out that rural Garfield county was the main setting of the 1996 Chris Farly/David Spade comedy “Black Sheep.” And do you remember where Farley’s character worked? At the Pierce County Recreation Center.


Learning experience for state’s Latino students

Ismael Benavidez received his first glimpse of lawmaking Friday. It’s long-winded a process often likened to sausage-making – something no one really wants to see – but the junior at Sammamish High School left Olympia impressed.

"It was pretty neat to see how it all worked," he said. "And I’ve learned a lot this week."

Benavidez and about 600 other students were at the Capitol to meet with legislators as part of an education conference hosted by the Latino/a Educational Achievement Project.

They also visited the chambers, took a tour of the building, received a primer of how the political process works and discussed several bills that would benefit Latino students in Washington.

The LEAP conference began Thursday at the Hotel Murano in downtown Tacoma with a dinner and keynote address from Gov. Chris Gregoire. Students attended leadership and educational workshops. The conference concludes Saturday morning.

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