Rep. Mike Hope legislative update: May 1, 2012

Hope-b Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It’s great to be back in Snohomish County after the long 2012 sessions. By now, many of you have received a short postcard that briefly discusses our success during the sessions. If you did not receive a postcard I have included a recap of these important advancements below.

As always, I am thankful for the support of everyone in my district and appreciated hearing from you while I was in Olympia. This will be one of my final e-newsletter updates until November due to campaign regulations. However, please feel free to call my office with your questions or if you need help with any state government issue.

Supporting the film industry

Now that I am back home, I hope to see many of you while I’m out in the community or at one of the many events I will be attending. Additionally, you may see me on the set of Vampire Soul: Hidden in Plain Sight. I’m personally having a great time playing Officer O’Conner in the film and excited about the revenue this could bring to our district.

>> To listen to my recent interview about the film please click here. <<

While I was supporting the motion picture competitiveness bill, Senate Bill 5539, I learned a lot about the economic benefit the motion picture industry brings to our state. Every dollar spent by the film industry in Washington doubles in economic activity for local businesses. So when a production company spends a dollar in Snohomish, our local businesses are likely to make two dollars. Additionally, the industry provides the state with millions of dollars in sales tax revenue, has created 4,800 jobs and put more than $31 million dollars in the pockets of residents in the form of wages and benefits.

Recent award

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) recently presented me with their Guardians of Small Business award. I’m very honored to have received this award. NFIB is renown for supporting small business. The Association’s State Director Patrick Connor described the award this way, “It easy to say you support small business, but it is a far different thing to actually vote with small business when faced with pressure from Big Labor, Big Business and other advocates of Big Government. Our Guardians of Small Business fought for free enterprise in the face of sometimes hostile opposition and took tough votes because they knew it was the right thing to do for the job creators in their home district and across the state.” I’m proud of this recognition for the effort I put in to preserving and protecting small, local businesses in Washington state.

Recap of the 2012 sessions

As the interim goes on, I will continue fighting to support public safety, education and jobs in the 44th District. I also hope to have many more occasions to work for you in 2013 and beyond. As I mentioned previously, I’ve included a short recap of our success this year. Feel free to contact my office if you have any questions about this summary.

  • JOBS – Important transportation and capital budgets were passed this year. I voted for these budgets that will dedicate millions of dollars to restorations, new construction, infrastructure, and improvements along Highway 9, I-5 and State Route 528.
  • LOCAL BUSINESS – North Snohomish has is a wealth of untapped resources. New legislation I introduced this year, House Bill 2772, will incentivize employers and attract new companies to our district.
  • PUBLIC SAFETY – An attack on law enforcement is an attack on all of us and our social norms. This year BLUE Alert, a bill I sponsored in 2010, became a reality. This law will help us capture our most dangerous criminals and cut down on future tragedies by helping to find fugitives after police shootings.
  • EDUCATION – Allowing students and school districts to opt out of mandated tests would save the state and school districts millions of dollars. In order to better fund education, and at the request of concerned Snohomish parents, I introduced a bill to legalize opting out of state mandated tests.

The future

Feel free to pass along this e-mail to others who might like to sign up or direct them to my Web site at: www.houserepublicans.wa.gov/hope and click on “sign up for my e-mail updates.” You can also contact my district office at (425) 397-4943. During the interim, I will continue to place priorities before politics and keep the communities of the 44th District at the forefront of my mind.

Thank you for allowing me to act as your voice to the Legislature,

Sincerely,

Hope

Mike Hope

District Office:
528 91st Avenue NE, Suite E.
Lake Stevens, WA 98528
(425) 397-4943
Mike.Hope@leg.wa.gov
www.houserepublicans.wa.gov/Hope


P.S. I want you to know I respect your time and privacy. If for any reason you would no longer like to receive my e-mail updates, you may go to this link to unsubscribe. Simply enter your name, e-mail address and select “Leave.” Your friends and family can also sign up for my e-mail updates by going to this same link and selecting “Join.”

Rep. Mike Hope E-mail Update: Feb. 13, 2012

Hope-c

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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Today is the 36th day of the 2012 Legislative Session. That means we are more than half way through the 60-days that we have scheduled to be here to help balance the budget and get folks back to work. Yet, we still haven’t seen any substantive solutions come through the House Ways and Means Committee addressing a budget solution. Last week marked the cutoff for all House bills to be passed out of committees. This means legislation that has not been voted out of committee is not likely to continue through the process. Most of the bills voted out of committee will come to the floor for a vote. Last week, and the beginning of this week, will be some of the most demanding days of the session; my fellow legislators and I will vote on hundreds of bills a day.

Below is a quick overview of the activities going on here in Olympia. Please feel free to contact my office anytime with questions, concerns and suggestions.

Public Safety SheltonPolice

I’m proud to say that the bill I sponsored addressing bail practices, House Bill 2668, passed the House on Friday. The bill received a nearly unanimous vote in support. This legislation would change state bail practices based on  recommendations from the 2010 Bail Practices Work Group.  If this bill becomes law, bail bondsmen and those released on bail would have new restrictions and tougher guidelines to follow. While additional laws are needed to tighten up the practice even further, such as bail minimums and super forms, this legislation is a great step in the right direction.

In the past I have written to you about the bill that would create BLUE Alert, House Bill 1820. The BLUE Alert system would aid in the apprehension of suspected cop killers and people suspected of harming law enforcement officers. I believe this legislation is important not only for police but also for the public. A person who is willing to shoot a police officer is also very likely to kill and injure someone else, especially as they are fleeing the scene of a crime. While this legislation had strong bipartisan support it did not make it out of committee. I will continue to support this concept and work to get a BLUE Alert system in the near future.

The last public safety bill I’d like to touch on is House Bill 2588, which would allow DNA samples to be collected from those arrested for serious felonies. This bill was heard in the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee where I voted in support of this bill.Two-thirds of the states and the federal government allow DNA to be collected in this manner. Testing of DNA can be used to avoid false convictions, prevent crime, stop serial offenders sooner and save on investigation costs. This bill is currently on the House floor pending a vote. I will keep you posted about its progress.

Education

Recently we released our K-12 education budget. This education budget is just part of the “Fund Education First” concept that has been proposed since 2006. I’m in support of this concept. This budget does the following:

  • Fully funds levy equalization and only uses current revenue, not new taxes.
  • Keeps the current school year intact and doesn’t cut school days.
  • Gives more control to local school boards and superintendents, allows more flexibility regarding how schools could use funds, would let schools waive unfunded mandates, fully funds school transportation, and would not make any salary reductions.

I’m cautiously optimistic that we will see support and progress of the “Fund Education First” concept this year even if this budget does not pass. Funding education before we put funds toward other programs would be a great benefit to our children. I urge you to pay attention to the budget process and send me your thoughts on funding education first.

Marysville (3)Jobs

I recently sponsored House Bill 2772, which would encourage new manufacturing businesses and help create jobs in Marysville, and cities like it. Currently, over 1,000 acres of real estate zoned for industry in Marysville sits empty. This will help Marysville economy and attract new business.

House Bill 2722 would create a ten-year property tax exemption for new manufacturing businesses, as long as they meet certain prerequisites. For businesses to qualify for this tax exemption, it would require them to create a minimum of 25 family living wage jobs within one year of building completion.

Schools, fire departments and other necessary public facilities would continue to be funded at their current levels. Meanwhile, the tax exemption for new construction will make the difference between a business coming to our district or going somewhere else.

Additional stipulations attached to HB 2722 would ensure that environmental protections run concurrent with business development throughout the district. The stipulations include: a population requirement of at least 50,000 people, and status as unused or underdeveloped industrial-zoned land.

I will keep you updated as this bill moves through the legislative process.

As always my door is open and I welcome your comments and questions. I am here to represent you and look forward to hearing your views as we move forward with difficult choices that preserve our values and protect our future. Thank you for the honor of representing you in Olympia.

 

Sincerely,

Hope

Mike Hope
360-786-7892
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
Mike.Hope@leg.wa.gov
www.houserepublicans.wa.gov/Hope


P.S. I want you to know I respect your time and privacy. If for any reason you would no longer like to receive my e-mail updates, you may go to this link to unsubscribe. Simply enter your name, e-mail address and select “Leave.” Your friends and family can also sign up for my e-mail updates by going to this same link and selecting “Join.”

Session review from Rep. Hope: June 8, 2011

Rep. Mike Hope

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The special session was complete Wednesday, May 25. We had some successes and some failures in the Legislature.

Education

As you and I know, education is the foundation of our economy and the best way to lift up any child, regardless of their economic status. I’m proud to have sponsored House Bill 1519, signed by the governor, to provide less time-consuming testing for students with severe cognitive disabilities.

I’m always supportive of efforts to reduce the number of mandates on our schools and restore local control. One education reform proposal I supported – House Bill 1443 – would give districts flexibility for defining high school credits and ask locals to define those credits. The legislation would also address kindergarten readiness, effective English language programs, highly-capable students, teacher development, and study the use of the Learning Assistance Program (LAP).

I’m very concerned with the amount of cuts made in K-12 education – the percentage of cuts to education were much greater than other areas of our budget. We can and must do better for students by prioritizing education first in our state budget.

The budget

Speaking of the budget, I voted against the $32.2 billion spending proposal. Not only does it not prioritize education, it continues to be unsustainable. While I applaud budget writers for spending less than we are currently bringing in, the decisions to keep certain social programs in the budget ignores the economic realities of our time. We are not expecting the economy to get better for some time, and even when some things rebound, it will take longer for state revenues to reflect that. Making the difficult decisions now would have set our state on a more sustainable path for the future.

Jobs and the economy

Some great things happened for our job creators and employees this year. Early in the session, I was proud to have voted for tax stabilization for employers trying to keep their doors open and create jobs. At the 11th hour of the special session, the Legislature passed a compromise reform to the state’s workers’ compensation program. This is the program that assists injured workers while they are at home recovering from a work injury. The reforms passed this year will:

  • provide more choices for those permanently disabled;
  • get those temporarily injured back to work sooner; and
  • save the state $1.1 billion over four years and keep the employer-supported fund intact.

Both of these reforms will help us get Washington working again.

This will be my last e-mail update to you for the year as I am under election-year restrictions. Please feel free to contact my office anytime with questions, concerns and suggestions. I am here to serve you.

Sincerely,

Mike Hope

Mike Hope

(425) 397-4943

528 91st Avenue NE
Lake Stevens, WA 98258

Mike.Hope@leg.wa.gov
www.houserepublicans.wa.gov/Hope

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Rep. Hope’s Update from Olympia: April 21

Rep. Mike Hope

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Talking with Democrat Chris Hurst and Chief Brian Wilson in the Public Safety Committee

Last weekend a King County judge used the Lakewood Police Officers’ Memorial Act for a dangerous suspect you may have heard about on the news. John Hauff kidnapped a young woman, then raped and tortured her in his Tacoma residence. He has been charged with first-degree kidnapping and rape, and second-degree assault – which carry a possible life sentence. When the prosecutor’s office requested a $1 million bond for Hauff, the judge looked over the gruesome details of the case and decided he was too dangerous to give him any opportunity to be released in the community until his case is heard in court. He was denied bail based on the standards in the Lakewood Police Officers’ Memorial Act.

I am disgusted with the case, but also relieved the victim managed to get away with her life. This kind of individual is exactly why I worked so hard to pass the new Lakewood law, approved by voters with an 85 percent margin in November. When they arrested the suspect, he was with another woman, and I don’t want to even imagine what he might have been planning with her. Police are currently searching the man’s property for more evidence of victims, so we may find that holding this individual is more important than we first thought.

On another note, session was scheduled to adjourn Sunday, April 24, but a special session is imminent. I’m disappointed with the lack of leadership to move sooner on a budget. We have known since before session began we would be dealing with a multibillion shortfall. I am willing and ready to work on a budget – it must be sustainable and gimmick free. Republicans have offered solutions and ideas, and some were incorporated into the majority’s proposal. However, I cannot support a budget that will only result in more budget shortfalls in coming years and does not prioritize education first. I’m disappointed that taxpayers will have to pay the price for a special session – up to $16,000 each day. I hope we can come together and work on real solutions to get Washington working again.

I hope you’ll feel free to contact my office anytime. It’s an honor to serve you.

Sincerely,

Mike Hope

Mike Hope

(360) 786-7892
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
Mike.Hope@leg.wa.gov
www.houserepublicans.wa.gov/Hope

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Rep. Hope’s Update from Olympia: April 8

Representative Mike Hope

Dear friends and neighbors,

At the beginning of the session I wrote you about providing flexibility in government, schools and for employers. There are several things that have happened in the last month here in the Legislature that will do just that.

This week the Senate passed the measure I co-sponsored with my Democrat seatmate, Hans Dunshee. House Bill 1519 will save millions of dollars, and countless hours for classroom learning for students with severe cognitive disabilities. This legislation will provide a more flexible way for our local districts to meet the unfunded mandates of the federal government.

Also this week, the House released a capital budget proposal which includes $3.5 million I requested for the city of Snohomish sewer project. Speaking on the floor of the HouseThis was critical to preventing an 11 percent rate yearly increase on Snohomish residents to immediately address the clean water problems. This funding will go toward an “integrated media” approach that essentially cordons off and consumes the bacteria in the Snohomish River. This is the  major purpose of the capital budget – to help local communities fund essential infrastructure projects – and it will not increase any taxes or affect funding to the operating budget.

The transportation budget passed the House a couple of weeks ago, and I voted yes, because it kept funding several vital intersection improvements along Highway 2 and Highway 9. This is not only about safety, but about ensuring we have good infrastructure necessary for economic improvements in our area. I am also working to incorporate my Blue Alert legislation in the final transportation budget.

This week an operating budget was proposed in the House, and two things are for sure: there will not be any new taxes, and we have no choice but to reduce the size of government. With a $5.1 billion shortfall, many difficult decisions will be made. Next week we are expecting to see a proposal in the Senate, and then the two chambers will need to work out differences. The main disagreements will be over what to cut, and when. With just 16 days remaining in the session, the Legislature must act now to pass a responsible budget that gets Washington back to work and protects the most vulnerable.

It’s an honor to serve as your voice in Olympia.

Sincerely,

Mike Hope

Mike Hope

(360) 786-7892
Building C-203
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
Mike.Hope@leg.wa.gov
www.houserepublicans.wa.gov/Hope

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Rep. Hope’s Update from Olympia: March 9

Hope-b

Dear friends and neighbors,

On Thursday, March 17, we will receive a revenue forecast from the state’s lead economist. This will give us a better idea of the funds available to budget the state’s various programs and priorities. It is then when we may see a budget proposal from the majority party, showing how they would close the nearly $5 billion shortfall. I believe we need to make true reforms in government and I will not support increasing your taxes. I’ll keep you updated on the status of proposals.

Monday was the deadline for House bills to pass the House. Bills that were not passed by this deadline are likely dead for the year. I’m pleased to tell you that two of my proposals passed the House.

Bringing a four-year university to Everett

Since I first came into office, I have heard about the need for more higher education opportunities in Snohomish County. Various reasons have prevented any proposals from moving forward, until now.

Together with my Democratic seatmate, Hans Dunshee, I worked on a proposal to transfer management and leadership of the University Center of North Puget Sound to Washington State University in order to develop a high-demand baccalaureate program in Everett. The legislation also directs expansion of engineering degree programs. This is so important to not only develop the next generation of engineers, but to provide better access for Snohomish County residents to four-year degree programs to advance their skills. The cost of doing this is very minor to the state, and I think it will pay off in dividends when we have a more skilled workforce to bring new business here. You can read the column I co-authored with Hans on this topic for the Everett Herald here.

I’m pleased the bill passed the House on March 4. We’re now waiting for a public hearing to be scheduled in the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee.

Assessments for children with cognitive disabilities

I’m happy to report the legislation I sponsored to provide a more flexible assessment for students with severe learning disabilities unanimously passed the House. The bill now is in the Senate waiting for a hearing to be scheduled in the Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee.

It’s an honor to serve you.

Sincerely,

Mike Hope

Mike Hope

(360) 786-7892
Building C-203
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
Mike.Hope@leg.wa.gov
www.houserepublicans.wa.gov/hope

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Mike Hope’s Update from Olympia: Feb. 18, 2011

Hope-aDear friends and neighbors,

This is the 40th day of the 110-day legislative session. The next two weeks will reveal which bills will keep moving through the process and which are likely “dead” as we come upon some deadlines.

Let’s get Washington back to work

More than 37,000 people in Snohomish County are unemployed. Last week, I was pleased to join colleagues on both sides of the aisle to vote for a proposal that will provide much-needed tax relief for employers. I believe this will give our state economy more stability as employers have more confidence to hire again and people have more opportunities to qualify for jobs. The governor signed this bill last Friday and employers will begin receiving notices immediately about this relief, retroactive to January.

Bill updates

My bill to create a Blue Alert system was heard and approved by the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee this week. House Bill 1820 would establish a Blue Alert system modeled after the current AMBER alert system, allowing law enforcement agencies to put out an alert to aid in apprehending a suspect of killing or seriously injuring an officer. I have worked with various groups to make some changes to the proposal, but the essence of the bill remains the same: to provide information to the community to help in finding suspects involved in law enforcement injuries or deaths. The criminals who seriously injure or kill officers are the most dangerous criminals because they are the most difficult to stop. Sending out a Blue Alert will help law enforcement to stop these suspects from harming anyone else.Reps. Hope and Dunshee with Washington State Educators

Last week the House Education Committee held a hearing on and approved a bill I’ve sponsored with my seatmate, Rep. Hans Dunshee. The  proposal would reduce the amount of time schools spend on assessments for students with developmental disabilities. We introduced House Bill 1519 after speaking with teachers of students with special needs and really feel like this will provide some flexibility schools need right now. It was approved by the House Education Appropriations & Oversight Committee today, and now it goes to House Rules to determine if and when it will come up for a vote by the full House.

I appreciate hearing from you on the issues that matter to you. It’s an honor to serve as your voice in Olympia.

Sincerely,

Mike Hope

Mike Hope

(360) 786-7892
Building C-203
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
Mike.Hope@leg.wa.gov
www.houserepublicans.wa.gov/members/mike-hope

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Session update from Rep. Hope: Feb. 4

Representative Mike Hope

Dear friends and neighbors,

This is the fourth week of the legislative session. The Legislature is spending the majority of its time hearing bills in committees and deciding whether or not to move them forward in the process.

Although my number one focus is solving this economic crisis and getting people back to work, this is a long and complicated process. I will keep you updated as things happen. Today, I want to take some time to fill you in on some positives in Olympia.

Lake Stevens firefighters visited me in Olympia

This week, I met with firefighters from Lake Stevens (see photo at right). We discussed the bill I have co-sponsored to protect benefits for the spouses of men and women who have died in the line of duty.

 

Blue Alert: protecting the public from the most violent criminals

Receiving the “Legislator of the Year” award from David Hayes of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and president of the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs, Feb. 3, 2011

Wednesday, I was honored to be awarded “Legislator of the Year” by the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs (WACOPS). David Hayes, from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s office, and president of WACOPS, gave me the award (see photo at left). I spoke to them about how while we have accomplished much, our work is not done in public safety. That’s why this week I introduced a bill to create a “Blue Alert” system. It would mirror the current Amber Alert system for missing children. Blue Alert would use existing communications networks to immediately disseminate specific information to appropriate law enforcement, other public agencies, and the general public about suspects when an officer goes missing, is severely injured or killed in the line of duty.

Since this would use the existing system, there would be very little, if any, cost to operate it. The criminals who harm law enforcement officers won’t think twice about harming average citizens. Getting information out about an immediate threat in our neighborhoods will save lives.

 

It is an honor to serve as your voice in Olympia. As always, feel free to call, e-mail or stop by my office.

Sincerely,

HopeSig

Mike Hope

(360) 786-7892
Building C-203
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
Mike.Hope@leg.wa.gov
www.houserepublicans.wa.gov/Hope

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A message from Rep. Mike Hope: Jan. 17, 2011

Representative Mike Hope

Dear friends and neighbors,

Last week, I wrote to you about legislation I am introducing to free up state and local funding through flexibility. This week, I am introducing bills to aid in creating jobs.  Both are needed for our state to succeed and come out of the recession stronger.

Creating jobs is priority number one right now and we have to be willing to keep open minds about what can get those who are unemployed back to work. The state of Ohio has introduced several proposals to motivate employers to hire new employees and fill empty buildings on Main Street. I want to bring those same ideas to Washington. We have to take a look at what other states are doing to respond to this economic downturn.

My proposals would:

  • provide a tax incentive for employers to hire people who are currently unemployed; and,
  • provide a tax incentive for businesses that increase payroll and move to an empty building.

Employers are struggling with a desire to hire while also paying increased taxes and other costs. Giving them a tax incentive to hire new people would help them provide family-wage jobs while being able to stay afloat in this economy.

Snohomish County has had its share of vacancies in Main Street areas; I see open business offices often as I drive through Lake Stevens. I want to encourage employers to contribute to the local economy.

As we focus on job creation in Olympia, I’ll be looking at legislation that provides flexibility for employers to succeed, which in turn provides jobs to the hundreds of thousands in our state who have been seeking work for so long.

Please feel free to contact my office in Olympia with your thoughts and concerns. Have a great week.

Sincerely,

Mike Hope

Mike Hope
(360) 786-7892
Mike.Hope@leg.wa.gov
www.houserepublicans.wa.gov/Hope

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A legislative preview from Rep. Mike Hope

Representative Mike Hope - District 44 - Email update

Dear friends and neighbors,

Session begins Monday, Jan. 10, and I wanted to let you know about some legislation I’ve begun work on. There are three major pieces of legislation I’ll be sponsoring in the next two weeks. All of them are cost-effective methods to save money for state and local governments. This year more than ever we have to look at how we can provide flexibility for our local governments, schools and employers to help them be successful.

The first measure would require applicants to provide a Social Security or valid green card before receiving a driver’s license. We need to have a discussion about the core functions of government, and I have heard from many of you saying only Washington citizens should have access to state services. A driver’s license is often required before getting any sort of assistance from government. We should join the 48 other states in the country to requiring confirmation of citizenship to get a license.

The second piece of legislation would require proof of insurance when drivers renew their vehicle registration tabs. This one is really about public safety. It’s Washington state law to have auto insurance, and we need to ensure we have safe, insured drivers on our roadways.

The last piece of legislation deals with special education assessments, required in lieu of students taking standardized tests when they have physical or mental disabilities. I’m proposing a measure that would provide flexibility for school districts to come up with individualized plans for showing progress made by the student. I completely support assessing student progress, but I have talked with many special education teachers that these assessments actually get in the way of learning for their students. This will not only save money for school districts, it will make it easier for students who already have so much to overcome in their lives.

My goal with the above legislation is to offer my ideas to save money and provide flexibility in a time when state and local governments, including schools, feel boxed in with regulations and requirements for how money is spent.

We should be working to free up funds for the truly needy in our communities – not gutting assistance for the vulnerable simply because the system is too rigid. I will be working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to discuss these ideas and determine how we can balance our budget in a whole new way.

Please feel free to call my office or e-mail me throughout the session, which is scheduled to run 105 days through the end of April. I also encourage you to come to Olympia and meet with me and other legislators with your ideas and get involved in your Legislature.

Sincerely,

Mike Hope

Mike Hope, your 44th District State Representative

(360) 786-7892

www.houserepublicans.wa.gov/Hope <—Check out my Web site for the latest news and information, as well as videos, photos and more!