Kilmer challenges Peninsula College graduates to make world better place
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Trey Hensley, freelance photographer with Southern Perspective, encourages Peninsula College graduates to throw up their arms for a photo as they line up for commencement ceremonies Saturday on the college's Port Angeles campus. A total of 450 students qualified for diplomas and certificates for the 2013-14 school year, with 213 signed up to take part in commencement.
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, left, gets assistance with his tassel from Pattie Fischer, executive assistant to Peninsula College President Luke Robins, before commencement ceremonies at the college on Saturday in Port Angeles.

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

Kilmer: Less chance for Wild Olympics passage
U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer said in February that Wild Olympics legislation he is co-sponsoring with U.S. Sen Patty Murray had little chance of passing this year.

It has even less chance with the stunning primary election defeat Tuesday of Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia at the hands of tea party candidate Dave Brat.

“After this past Tuesday, I’ve had colleagues from the other side of the aisle say we are not going to see anything move in the next several months,” Kilmer said Friday in an interview.

“All legislation is facing a pretty steep hill.”

A reincarnation of a 2012 bill that never made it out of committee, the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2014 would prohibit logging on 126,554 acres of the 633,000-acre Olympic National Forest.

It also would designate as wild and scenic 19 rivers and seven tributaries in Olympic National Forest, in Olympic National Park and on state Department of Natural Resources land.

Both versions of the legislation have faced stiff opposition from the forest industry.
Peninsula Daily News
PORT ANGELES — Congressman Derek Kilmer, a native son of Port Angeles, challenged some 400 graduating students at Peninsula College's commencement ceremony to make the world better with the skills they've learned.

“Use what you've learned here to go into the world and do something rather than be something,” Kilmer said Saturday in a prepared speech provided before the event.

Kilmer, keynote speaker for the commencement ceremonies on the college's Port Angeles campus, also told the graduates to take risks in life.

“You can accomplish big things when you try big things,” he said.

“Life has too many exciting challenges to tackle to spend time being timid.”

Kilmer also praised Peninsula College and Port Angeles as being a college and community that value education.

Kilmer was born in Port Angeles and raised by parents who were teachers.

“No matter what degree or certification you are getting tonight, it's not an exaggeration to say that the investment you have made in your education will change the trajectory of your life,” he said.

Kilmer, a Democrat living in Gig Harbor, represents the 6th Congressional District, which includes the North Olympic Peninsula.

The college conferred 34 bachelor's degrees, 221 associate degrees and 177 professional or technical certifications during its 52nd commencement ceremony Saturday.

Student speech

Graduating Peninsula College student Grace Tulsi Marshall, 34, delivered the student speech.

Marshall, whose 18-year-old daughter, Saphfire Brown, delivered one of three commencement speeches at Port Angeles High School's graduation ceremony Friday night, received an Associate of Arts with a 4.0 grade-point average.

Marshall plans to major in engineering and minor in environmental science at the University of Washington after taking a few more classes at Peninsula College to get her Associate of Science before transferring.

Kilmer was elected to the 6th Congressional District seat in November 2012 and is seeking re-election this year against three opponents.


Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at

Last modified: June 14. 2014 4:10PM
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