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Mayor's Blog

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Mayor’s Blog: First Trip Through the Yakima MLK Underpass [VIDEO]

It's officially open for traffic now -- the Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard underpass was dedicated today by a number of statewide and local leaders. I had the honor of hosting the ceremony that included speeches from state Sen. Curtis King and regional director Don Whitehouse, regional director of the state Department of Transportation.

After the dedication ceremony, a caravan of city vehicles took the first official trip on the underpass, followed by Yakima community members on foot who got a firsthand look at the new structure. Even the Yakima Transit Mini Bus made in through.

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Yakima City Hall
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Mayor’s Blog: Something Has to Give if We Cut the Utility Tax

Yakima City Council meetings can get heated, especially when the topic involves taxes. For some reason it's tough to have a civil conversation and debate when dealing with an issue like that.

At last night's meeting, Councilman Rick Ensey made a motion to lower the utility tax by 2 percent, which would cut average household bills by about $2 a month

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John Taylor
John Taylor
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You Can’t Float This River

Seems like someone turned up the heat this year and is having fun at our sweaty expense.

One thing I've seen a lot of on Facebook is pictures from friends floating the Yakima River. It's almost a rite of passage for living around here. It's hot, so let's float.

But don't forget: That same river turns into a block of ice at certain times during the year I am amazed at the awesomeness that is the Yakima Valley and even more impressed that we find ways to complain about living here. Things could be much worse.

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Job Well Done, My Friend: Change of Command at the Yakima Training Center

As mayor of Yakima, I've been blessed to share a working relationship with a number of people from various government agencies, and every once in a while I develop personal friendships with some of these people

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ICE, ICE, Baby [VIDEO]

A social media craze is making its way through Washington state, and now you have police officers using the ice challenge as a clever way to raise money for the officer-down memorial fund.

I was called out by Tony Andrews from the Yakima Police Department to take the ice challenge, which involves dumping a bucket of ice water on your head.

Here is the video of me taking the challenge.

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Cefus Dunked for Charity [VIDEO]

The Yakima Elk's hosted a family fun day and thanks to Erin Black from the YWCA they were able to get me to spend an hour in the dunk tank. I can't remember how many times I fell into the water on Sunday, but I know it was for a good cause

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Memory Montage Photography
Memory Montage Photography
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Cefus and Kristina Engagement Photos

Sometimes we need to take time out from the rat race and enjoy quality time with the people we love.

I was able to do that last week during an engagement photo session with my beautiful fiancee and Memory Montage Photography. Tavis and Amy Guild toted us all around the Yakima Valley and captured some great shots along with sharing some fun memories together.

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His Honor ‘Super’ Sam Wilkenson [VIDEO]

Today 'Super' Sam Wilkenson was sworn in as Mayor of Yakima for the day. This little boy who beat the odds to live has stolen our hearts and shown all of us just how good we have it here in Yakima. The NICU and Children's Village are such a blessing to the valley. Super Sam and his awesome family raised over $11,000 for Children's Miracle Network and Children's Village, money that will stay right here in the Yakima Valley. Super Sam says THANK YOU!

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In Case You Missed It, Here’s Yakima’s Street-Construction Schedule

One of my co-workers said in a Facebook post that there is way too much road construction going on in Yakima! Can't even get home. I promised her I would give her a map and schedule of the work. The City sent this out to the press last week but it didn't get much coverage. Here it is case you missed it.

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What Do We Mean by ‘Like’? [POLL]

We've been having an internal debate about Facebook: If you like a page, does that mean you endorse the person or product?
This mainly applies to political pages, but it's common for businesses, organizations, causes and so forth.
We need your help settling this. What do you think?

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Category: Mayor's Blog Tags: ,
John Riggs - Townsquare Media
John Riggs - Townsquare Media
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Snow Plan Updated Because of Your Input [MAYOR'S BLOG]

Tuesday night the Yakima City Council approved a new snow plan that will ramp up our efforts to clear heavy snowfall quickly. We changed the entire system to better respond to the needs of our community. This change comes in part because of your input and complaints during the snowfall this past February.

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Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media
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5 Regrets You Don’t Have to Die With


By the time you get to an age where you start to figure out this life, you begin to think about things you would or should have done differently. Some people have no regrets or like to say they wouldn't change a thing because of the lessons they've learned.

I can understand learning the hard way. I've made my fair share of mistakes, and I can admit that I don't think I would have learned unless it was the hard way. But most of the time we do have the answers and know the feeling that we are going to be left with when we make a mistake. Sometimes I would bet it's out of convenience, loneliness or access that we choose to take the path we know we shouldn't.

You only get one life, though, so you get to choose carefully how you live. You are the general manager of your brand. You are in charge of how you act and who you are. You make the choices, and there is still time to shift course and live the life you want.

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Category: Mayor's Blog, Yakima News Tags: ,

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