Writer Joel Connelly in today’s Seattle P-I has an article on the passing of Bob Simmons, who for 14 years was a reporter & documentary producer for KING-TV. Bob passed away at age 88 in Bellingham on the 62nd anniversary with his wife Dee. “Bob was a chip off the KING block — a free thinker, an advocate for long-form journalism, a stalwart liberal as the KING ship was going down,” recalled David Brewster, founder of the Seattle Weekly and Crosscut, and once news editor at KING. His documentaries & reporting of environmental issues influenced a number of decisions in our state, including halting the logging of old-growth forest on Whidbey Island & the Clearwater River on the Olympic Penninsula. In 1990, Simmons would win a national Emmy for his project on development in the Snoqualmie Valley. He worked in the KING-5 newsroom during the final days of the Bullitt family’s ownership of King Broadcasting. Joel Connelly writes: “He wrote pieces on endangered waters and estuaries for Crosscut. He championed preservation of a wooded hiking area in South Bellingham, and creation of parkland at Lake Whatcom. He wrote elegantly, quoting Yeats in advocacy of a Whatcom County cause.Simmons was a longtime debate moderator at Bellingham City Club, and president over a club forum that galvanized opposition to the seemingly greased Gateway Pacific coal terminal project at Cherry Point.”
UPDATE: Elise Takahama notes today in the “Seattle Times” there will be a celebration of life for Bob 2 p.m. June 30 at Lairmont Manor, 405 Fieldston Road, Bellingham.