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Good call...Mabton

On Independence Day we were captives in our own home.

Auditing the auditor

We were at the coast last week and I returned to work a couple of days ago to find an e-mail from acting state auditor Jan Jutte.

Playing through

This week a dozen or so of our state legislators are engaged in a conflict over green.

True colors?

“Orange Bell,” the label declared in large letters.

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No, no tats here.

Welcome to Mayberry

A few miles west of Sunnyside, off of I-82’s exit 58, you’ll find the quiet, bucolic town of Mayberry.

Estate sale

Maybe you heard?

LTAC off track

Hey kiddos! Better pony up $500 for your summer swim pass at the Sunnyside pool.

Where’s our Cactus Caucus?

There is this new website by Microsoft - - that guesses a person’s age based on photographs.

The Ridiculous Six

I filled in as the reporter covering the Sunnyside City Council meeting this past Monday when the marijuana ban was passed.

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Safer way? There must be

Ahhh…prom season.


What a contrast!

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Tokes for tots

Light up, Washington!

Welcome to Washissippibama

Even as Democrats in Washington state try to exorcise Indiana’s alleged demons of discrimination...others in the same party are touting how we’re more like Mississippi and Alabama.

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‘Come clean, or quit!’

“Integrity. Respect. Independence.” Those three words scream out at the top of audit reports issued by Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley.

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Spring potpourri

So much to get to this first day of spring…

The envelope, please…

Tomorrow (Saturday), the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce holds its annual Spirit of Sunnyside Awards banquet.

The big 5-0

I’m just not the man I used to be.

A recount is justified

Whether or not Grandview School District patrons - or more accurately homeowners in that community - will fork over $300 or so may be decided by one vote.

Do you feel lucky?

Do you feel lucky? Well, do you?

Fine... just fine

You heard the phrase hundreds of times this week, Marshawn Lynch’s, “I’m here so I won’t get fined.”

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Color me a Seahawks fan

“Seahawks!” a motorist yelled at me last week as he slowed his car.

Bucks, Ducks and City Council’s quandary

“Don’t tell me you’re a Quacker!” cousin Terry from Ohio texted just before the national championship football game.

Nightlights and downtown sights

Tis the season of storing away the holly and untrimming the tree.

America’s newest media mogul

If you’re of a certain age you probably remember Siskel & Ebert. They were portly, unremarkable film critics from Chicago until they hit it big on TV with their movie review show.

In the year 2015

It was the ancient Romans, I believe, who had a deity named Janus with two faces…one looking forward and the other back.

A Sunnyside scoop for Santa

With Christmas just six days away, here’s what I’d like to see Santa bring Sunnyside this yule season:

Something to crow about

“What are with all the crows in Sunnyside?”

Don’t turn out the lights

Unless you’ve been living in a cave you are no doubt aware of tomorrow night’s Lighted Farm Implement Parade here in Sunnyside.

Remembering an old flame

The recent spate of house fires we’ve had in the Lower Valley stirs memories of an experience Joni and I had one winter while living in South Cle Elum.

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Take the time to look at the 2015 city budget

The Sunnyside City Council to its credit is seeking your input on the budget it is drawing up for 2015.

To Be Determined

For once, city of Sunnyside officials are taking a cue from how other cities function.

A reality check for fields of dreams

Sally Field was so stunned by her Oscar she famously repeated over and over her excitement at people liking her, really liking her.

Weary of McCleary

The Beatles - aka Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band - advised us when we die to “…declare the pennies on your eyes.”

Septembers with mom

Mom was here for her annual visit last week.

Paulsen for county cleriff

I’m at my wit’s end trying to figure out the messy county races we have to decide this November.

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F as in fantasy

The NFL season and Seattle’s defense of its Super Bowl title kicked off last night.

A return to order is needed

There’s Gangnam Style, then there’s Mabton style when it comes to running a city council meeting.

Time for cops to cut ties with Raines

During the 2011 race for Sunnyside City Council the Sunnyside Police Guild for the first time decided to formally and publicly endorse a political candidate. They threw their support to Jason Raines, who was successful in his bid for city council.

Big surprise in a big package

You know the saying, good things come in little packages. The other day we received a big surprise in a big package.

Uniformly uncertain

Occasionally in my 14 years of covering political races I’ve stumbled on an issue that I didn’t realize was an issue.

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Sunnyside...take counsel from other councils

I applaud the Sunnyside City Council for its concern and caution about causing a lawsuit for the city regarding its marijuana policy.

F as in farewell

Nearly every day I proof-read and edit at least one obituary for the Daily Sun News.

My choice for sheriff

My name is John Fannin and I approve this column. With that said, here’s my take on the Yakima County sheriff’s primary race.

Gunnin’ for office

The Fourth District Congressional race has more guns than a Vegas body-building show.

Another Stoner

Got a call this week from Jerry Dixon of Prosser in response to my column last Friday about a journalism mentor of mine, Jack Stoner, who passed away recently.

Proud to be a Stoner

High school, college, taking on new responsibilities; those are times when you expect or at least hope to find a mentor.

Chicken scratch

I want to grow marijuana in my back yard. It’s legal in this state, and since I want to grow it everyone should be able to do it.

Learning to fly

This is my 14th year, while working for newspapers, to provide coverage of high school graduations.

Rohman circus

Kudos to local citizens for calling on the city of Sunnyside to make sure our city’s portion of the old Yellowstone Highway is preserved.

Lemonade, anyone?

As I write this, the NFL draft is still a few hours away.

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Sterling, Silver and a hope

The Clippers are for sale thanks to Donald Sterling’s big mouth, and I know one community that would welcome the LA team with open arms – Seattle.


Goodbye, old friend. Despite new and supposedly improved siblings, you XP have served us well this past decade

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A March flyer

For four months of the college basketball season I’m pretty much out of the loop on what’s happening with that sport.

Logo a go-go

Branding is key for all entities, whether public or private, for-profit or non-profit.

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And the Effie goes to…

Last Saturday the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce held its annual Spirit of Sunnyside awards banquet and a week prior to that we had the Academy Awards.

Gaining ground

If there was confetti I would have thrown it.

Less, please, of Gov. Moratorium

So our Gov. Inslee is going all Obama on the state legislature and enacting his own executive privilege with a self-proclaimed moratorium on capital punishment.

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Seahawks, Wil(l)sons and Shermans, oh my!

This morning the Seahawks were celebrated with a victory parade in Seattle for the 43-8 Super Bowl whuppin’ they administered on the (former AFC West rival) Broncos.

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Fourth time a charm?

Three times, three close losses. That’s been the Super Bowl experience when my favorite teams have appeared in the big game.

Learning from ‘Beast Mode’

It was sure great last Saturday to see history repeating itself when Seahawk running back Marshawn Lynch rumbled for a long TD run to clinch a playoff win.

Thanks, Yakima

Sunnyside has earned a rap for turmoil and turnover in city government over the years and to an extent it’s been deserved.

Seek the Christ, mass optional

My column today was assigned the topic of the religious aspects of Christmas.

Checkin’ it twice

Christmas is one week from today and children everywhere are awaiting the arrival of Santa and the outcome of his mysterious naughty and nice list.

S’side city hall needs to dust off the trophy case

I can’t put them on my fireplace mantle and they won’t ever need polishing, but earlier this week I received some trophies at the conclusion of the fantasy football regular season.

Fannin Tourism Board

No, there is no official Fannin Tourism Board as described in the headline above.

Thanks for the smile

One of my bad habits is letting old e-mails back up to the point Outlook sends me a warning shot, “You’re mailbox is almost full.”

Cart, meet horse

A few weeks ago I retrieved our juicer out of the garage to whip up some juice from the grapes in our back yard.

Trick and treat

Late October is a struggle for me.

Euronly to blame

What do Katrina and the Waves, Abba and Celine Dion have in common besides being pop music artists?

‘It’s never to late’

I know, I know, it’s the totally wrong “to” in the headline above.

A thousand songs

My birthday was earlier this month and it was something of a time warp.

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Back to school signals changing of the seasons

The back-to-school season starts today with Mabton students heading back to class. Soon those in Sunnyside and elsewhere in the valley will follow suit.

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Primary lessons

The primary election that appears to be mercifully coming to an end next week has me longing for the days when we used to have the old polling places down the street.

We're not your typical Nielsen's household

Last week Joni and I completed a session as a Nielsen household. For one week we were asked to document everything we watched on television.

Talking heads

Eight months ago Sunnyside United was formed.

Sunny options ahead

It might sound something like the Monkees’ hit, but a Sunshine Days Sunday might be the way to go for the festival’s future.

An open letter to Sen. Jim Honeyford

Dear. Sen. Honeyford,

In the year 2023

The other day I saw a national survey claiming the worst job in the world is that of newspaper reporter because the occupation is in danger of disappearing in the next 10 years.

Snappy start to spring

Our screen door is no more.

Five for Friday

My favorite sports column is Peter King's "Monday Morning Quarterback," which covers all things related to the NFL and beyond.

Ode to Arlene's

When I was a kid growing up in Coos Bay, Ore., a favorite stop on our two-hour drive to the big city (Eugene) was a visit to Arlene's - an old fashioned cafe/general store.

Tri-City trial by fire

In the many councils and boards that we cover here in the Lower Valley, one of the questions that's always lingered in the back of my mind is why it costs so much more to run the city of Sunnyside.

A good Friday, but it could be better

This isn't the column I want to write on Good Friday, but it's the column I feel I have to write.

Let's hear from the candidates

Eight city managers in less than six years: Bob Stockwell, Mark Kunkler, Eric Swansen, Jim Bridges, Mark Gervasi, Frank Sweet, Aaron Markham and John Darrington.

A world away, close to home

An era of new austerity and a nation turned upside down by turmoil within and without.

Maybe the Russians are on to something

Maybe the Russians are on to something

And the Effie goes to...

And the Effie goes to...

Lessons learned?

Lessons learned?

Get your game on!

Get your game on!

Come to the table

The Abolitionists is a three-part PBS series about those who endured persecution and suffering to bring an end to slavery in the U.S.

Not-so-good to go

Recently the Washington State Department of Transportation breathlessly touted the one-year anniversary of tolls on the SR 520 bridge across Lake Washington.

One resolution, courtesy Sunnyside's city council

Like a lot of folks, I make resolutions at the start of each year. Some I keep, but most don't make it past March.

Fix-all cliff

Fix-all cliff

Don't know about you, but I spent part of Christmas morning assembling some of the gifts that Joni and I gave each other.

A different Christmas

Our typical holiday involves spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with Joni's family, weather and mountain passes permitting.

Grateful remembrance

In Marcel Proust's seminal Remembrance of Things Past, there is a passage where the author dips a cookie into a cup of tea and the taste immediately recalls for him a forgotten early childhood memory about his aunt.

Third time's a charm

Twice in the past few years high school seniors in the Lower Valley have approached me about being a mentor for their senior projects.

Temporary fix?

Sunnyside is moving forward with hiring a new police chief. There are candidates to interview and backgrounds to vett.

Roll on Columbia, roll on!

Lost in the election hubbub on Tuesday was the fact that for the first time a majority of voters in Puerto Rico said they'd like to become the 51st U.S. state.

Anniversary time travel

Joni and I recently celebrated our wedding anniversary and she provided a nice brunch for us, complete with quiche, juice, coffee and fruit.

A fix needed for Yakima County justice system

I haven't covered many court cases in my 12-plus years as a reporter, but my recent experience in a court case I'm following for the newspaper leaves me scratching my head.

A promise to keep?

Sunnyside's Promise is looking to the community for financial support to keep its programs going.

Taking sides on Selah-gate

A work computer found at home. Workplace documents found at home or even destroyed.

Arab Spring, our fall

Can it be just a few months ago we were flush with hope that the "Arab Spring" might result in a safer, more stable Middle East.

Jailhouse blues

Maybe I'll get called in, maybe I won't, but this week I'm getting my first taste of jury duty.

Cle Elum blaze too close to home

Back in the day when I covered the Cle Elum area for a weekly paper, it seemed each summer there was at least one fire.

First-hand accounts from our neighbors would be ideal way to record our history

First-hand accounts from our neighbors would be ideal way to record our history

F as in fantasy

I love football and my interest in the NFL will only likely grow as next week is the draft.

Oh, be careful...

Perhaps you remember the old Sunday School children's song that went something like "oh be careful little eyes what you see, little mouth what you say..."

The court got it right

I hate to admit it...but Chief Justice John Roberts and company did the right thing yesterday in upholding the Affordable Care Act.

Amazing Gracie

Amazing Gracie

Bye bye Bears

Many times I've thought I should go see the Yakima Bears minor league baseball team play.

There's something to do

"There's nothing to do!" That's the theme you hear at most public meetings about solving issues of gangs and other youth crimes.

Pulling together

In Grandview they were relaying for life. In Sunnyside they were transforming homes. In Mabton they were bringing a city park to life.

Rolling on the river

Rolling on the river

Dog (wood) days of spring

The big surge in hot weather we've had the past few days hit the spot as the Dogwood tree in our back yard finally sprouted its bright pink blossoms.

Unstuck in Sunnyside

Unstuck in Sunnyside

Season of change

Season of change

Quiet riot

The mayor begged for order and police were called in for security purposes during the Sunnyside City Council meeting this week.

Looking outside in

In little more than a week Sunnyside Police Chief Ed Radder will retire after more than 30 years with the department.

And the Effie goes to...

The Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce's awards banquet is tomorrow night, so it's time again for my second annual Effie awards.

We're listening

I'm glad the Sunnyside City Council approved an ordinance to be civil to one another during council meetings.

Let's welcome the Seattle Royals

I'm following with interest the rumblings in Sacramento, which is in danger of losing its NBA team, and Seattle, which has support to build a new arena to lure a team like the Sacramento Kings.

Say what you mean and mean what you say

The 2012 Washington state legislative session is nearly half over and it's been interesting to see the proposals that have come out of Olympia.

Where's the report?

Last fall the city of Sunnyside commissioned a $50,000 review of police department operations.

Dateline 2012

Dateline 2012

A few tweaks

If ain't broke, don't fix it," goes the saying, and there's certainly not much broken when it comes to the Lighted Farm Implement Parade in Sunnyside.


I knew a pastor once who referred to Thanksgiving as thanksliving...that is letting thankfulness be an ongoing attitude year-round.

My sweet addiction

It was in a social setting when I first sampled what has become an addiction over the past several weeks.

An extra hour

I'm not ready to "fall back" an hour this weekend, and the shorter days that go with it.

Honoring our soldier

This past weekend Joni and I had a chance to visit family in Western Washington and one of the highlights was to see her cousin, Danny, home on leave from serving in the Middle East.

A drop in the bucket?

Sunnysiders seem to be shopping closer to home more, as the city of Sunnyside's sales tax revenue is $60,000 ahead of projections this year.

You get the final say

Today I'm finishing up the last of 14 candidate interviews to preview November general election races in Sunnyside, Mabton and Grandview.


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