In The News


The seeds of a moderate movement must be nurtured

by Mort Kondracke

Ten years ago, The Atlantic's Ron Brownstein wrote a book, "The Second Civil War," describing and lamenting the polarization and paralysis afflicting American politics. Since then, America has become an even more divided country, its political partisans split into tribes that literally hate each other. The trend has been well-documented, and is constantly exacerbated by tribal chieftains who purify their ranks by the purging of moderates who stray from the party line. If this is a new civil war… Continue Reading


Retiring Olympic College president's legacy seen "in the success of every student"

by Chris Henry

BREMERTON - Retiring Olympic College President David Mitchell oversaw $150 million in capital projects during his 15-year tenure. Mitchell is proud of the buildings that expanded opportunities on three campuses, but he most wants people to remember "that I cared about students." Mitchell, with less than a month left at the helm, is optimistic about the future of the college, which he says is poised to grow. "I think people are moving in, companies are moving in. The capacity to handle the grow… Continue Reading


Congressman Kilmer brings national debate to Port Gamble

by Nick Twietmeyer

PORT GAMBLE - U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, recently visited Olympic Outdoor Center to discuss increases in national-park entry fees proposed by the Department of the Interior. Under the proposed plan, peak season entry fees at 17 popular national parks (including Olympic National Park) could rise to as much as $70 per week with vehicle. A seven-day visitor pass with a car at Olympic National Park today costs $25. According to Kilmer, such increases would be cost-prohibitive for many t… Continue Reading


Rep. Derek Kilmer on Budget,Tax Reform

by KOMO Staff

In an interview Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer says Congress needs to quit "kicking the can down the road" and enact long-term spending plans. He said stop-gap measures create too much uncertainty. Kilmer said the nation needs tax reform. The current system is too complicated, pinches middle-class families and encourages investment outside the U.S. But the current measure before Congress is too partisan, he said, You can watch the entire interview on the top of this story.… Continue Reading


Rep. Kilmer applauds move to revise rules for online political ads

by Staff Writer

Congressman Derek Kilmer is praising the commissioners of the Federal Election Commission for their unanimous vote to start a process that could lead to changing the disclosure rules that regulate online political advertising. The step comes as lawmakers in Washington, D.C. consider measures like the Honest Ads Act, which would expose the purchasers of online political ads. Kilmer, a 6th District Democrat, said the bill casts a light on the murky world of political advertising in an attempt to… Continue Reading


Hiking national parks good; hiking entry fees bad

by Editorial Board

Mount Rainier and Olympic national parks might be Washington's most spectacular outdoor gems, but years of neglect have placed them at risk of gleaming a lot less brightly for future generations. A multi-billion-dollar backlog in deferred maintenance projects is the cumulative cost of welcoming throngs of visitors and absorbing mother nature's fickle temper. Eleven years ago this month, for instance, Rainier was pounded by a historic flood that wiped out roads, bridges, trails and campsites … Continue Reading


Should Washington begin regulating Facebook? Some lawmakers say yes.

by Suzy Khimm

WASHINGTON - For weeks, Facebook has been under intense scrutiny in Washington after revelations about Russian attempts to use the platform to influence the 2016 elections. Now, some lawmakers are talking about turning that scrutiny into action. There are new calls on Capitol Hill for stronger federal regulation of Facebook, possibly requiring greater transparency and disclosures for digital political ads. But lawmakers have yet to take up more sweeping reforms that some internet policy experts… Continue Reading


Park Service extends comment period for proposed fee hike

by Peninsula Daily News

The National Park Service is giving people more time to weigh in on a proposed fee increase at 17 of its most popular parks, including Olympic National Park. Visitors in a car would be charged $70 per vehicle, up from the current $25 fee for a visit of up to seven days, during the five busiest months of the year at the park, from May 1 through Sept. 30. The new fees could apply to ONP as soon as May 2018. The comment period had been scheduled to end Thursday. The new deadline is Dec. 22. The… Continue Reading


Proposed National Parks Fee Hike Delivers Little Help, Lots of Blowback

by Lynda Mapes

Calling a proposal to hike entrance fees to popular national parks wrongheaded and even immoral, opponents in a rally led by U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell on Monday called for a better solution to a backlog of park maintenance. Cantwell, senior Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, was joined at a Seattle news conference by local outdoor recreation luminaries, including climbing legend Jim Whittaker. Best known as the first American to summit Mount Everest, on May 1… Continue Reading


Local Congress members move to end taxpayer-funded sexual harassment settlements

by Essex Porter

Congressional payoffs totaling $15 million over 20 years were kept from public view. The money -- which was for workplace discrimination settlements, including sexual harassment -- came from taxpayers. "That's terrible," said 1st District Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., who wants taxpayers off the hook in the future. "We need to make sure that we are holding the people who committed these acts accountable, and not that there are taxpayer dollars or other ways that they are able to hide what has h… Continue Reading


Herrera Beutler, Kilmer Ask for Inclusion of Fisheries Fund in Administration’s Disaster Relief Request

by The Chronicle

Washington Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Derek Kilmer led an effort of a bipartisan letter that urges the Office of Management and Budget to develop a supplemental funding request that addresses the multiple fishery disaster declarations to impact the state's recreational, commercial and tribal fisheries. "As we continue to assist those who have been so severely impacted by our unprecedented national disasters, we must not forget those who have suffered no less under previous disaster de… Continue Reading


Northwest Lawmakers Offer Alternative To National Park Visitor Fee Hikes

by Ashley Gross

As the federal government weighs whether to increase entrance fees for some national parks, a congressman from Washington state is proposing a different way to address a big maintenance backlog. The National Park Service is taking public comment on possible visitor fee increases for the peak season at places such as Mount Rainier National Park and Olympic National Park. Democratic U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, whose district includes Olympic National Park, is co-sponsoring a bill that would use reve… Continue Reading


Morning Cybersecurity

by Tim Starks

A group of moderate House Democrats today will release a paper making cybersecurity policy recommendations, and MC got a sneak peek. The New Democrat Coalition paper suggests more quickly declassifying threat data and directing the National Guard to establish Cyber Civil Support teams to respond to major state and local cyber incidents. It also recommends creating a national service program to forgive federal student loan debts for science and tech students who work for the federal government on… Continue Reading


This is the best first step to stop Russian meddling in our politics

by Timothy Roemer, Zachary Wamp

During the 2016 election, hostile foreign powers unleashed unprecedented, anonymous attacks on the American people through the largest online platforms, the equivalent of strafing our TV sets with lies and disinformation during the 1960s and 1970s. The Internet Research Agency, a Kremlin-linked "troll farm" spent more than $100,000 on thousands of Facebook advertisements linked to the election and divisive social issues. Due to the highly-targeted nature of the advertisements and private platfo… Continue Reading


Twitter to require disclosures for political ads

by Nicole Thomas

Additionally, at its "Transparency Center" page, Twitter will report detailed information about all political ads on the platforms. Congress is also holding a hearing on November 1 to speak with employees of Twitter, Google, and Facebook about Russian ads during the 2016 election. The company will also create a new "transparency center" where users can see allad campaigns now being run on Twitter, political or not. Enlarge / Twitter used this sample ad design to show how political ads would lo… Continue Reading


Twitter will publicly share identity of political ad buyers

by Violet Tucker

As CNBC reported, the ads will have some sort of visual marker, likely a purple dot next to the user handle, and a purple box with the text "Promoted by" and the name of the sponsor. Twitter's move to suddenly disclose all of its ads comes after it recently handed over to USA investigators almost 2,000 sponsored tweets from the Russian state-backed news network Russia Today, which U.S. government intelligence officials have identified as "the Kremlin's principal worldwide propaganda outlet". … Continue Reading


Twitter forced to release Russian ad info after threats of more regulations

Due to the series of revelations involving the 2016 election tampering by Russia through Twitter and other social network sites, U.S. lawmakers are now considering increased regulations on tech firms. In order to head off this tightening grip on their operations, the microblogging platform is now releasing more details about its ads that include labels on political ads and who sponsored them. The move by Twitter to start being more transparent comes amid investigations by the U.S. Senate into t… Continue Reading


Safeguarding our economy and our future

Recent high-profile cyber incidents including the Russian interference in the 2016 election, the breach at Equifax that compromised the personally identifiable information (PII) of 145.5 million people, email database breaches, and the rise of Ransomware have shown the very real consequences of cyber threats. Technology touches nearly every aspect of our daily lives for the better, but cyber threats have evolved alongside new innovations. It's time to do more to secure our nation, families and b… Continue Reading


Amid Russian investigation, Twitter is making all of its ads public

by Elizabeth Dwoskin

Amid federal investigations into Russian meddling in the U.S. election, Twitter is making all of its ads public, along with who published them and how much was spent, the company said Tuesday. The move, which follows a similar decision by Facebook, is aimed at adding greater transparency to the largely opaque world of online political advertising. It also may offer some cover for Silicon Valley companies that have come under scrutiny over the role they unwittingly played in allowing a massive R… Continue Reading


A $70 barrier to equity at national parks

by Glenn Nelson

My circle of colleagues is jammed with people of color who were inspired to work for equity and inclusion in the outdoors after a transformative experience at one of the keystone national parks in our country. Acadia. Grand Teton. Yosemite. All of those sources of inspiration landed among the 17 "highly visited" parks where peak-period fees have now been proposed to skyrocket from $20 to $25 up to $70 a car. It's a nonsensical, drop-in-the-bucket answer to the National Park Service's deferred m… Continue Reading

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