This week…VOTE

The primaries are on. For Jefferson County, there is a bit of confusion as the Republicans have vanished and “independents” are now the label that they are taking.  But let’s look at some of the races.

US. House of Representatives.  Derek Kilmer 

Derek has done an admirable job of navigating the House of Representatives, which are currently controlled by a radically anti-environmental group of Republicans who insist on trying to overturn key legislation, or open more locales to mining, fracking and the like.

The League of Conservation Voters has a good overview of his voting record here.

http://www.lcv.org/elections/environmental-facebook/derek-kilmer.html

Derek has teamed up with Republicans to create a bi-partisan Puget Sound Recovery Caucus, to continue to fight for funding to promote Sound cleanup.

Vote backgrounds

http://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/51516/derek-kilmer/30/environment#.U8075OZdXhA

While I applaud the idea of the Green Party coming to the field with Doug Milholland, I would not recommend voting out a successful and proven Congressman with an unproven candidate, no matter what his promises might be. If the current position was filled by an anti-environmental legislator, then I would be seriously considering Mr. Milholland’s candidacy. I attempted to get an interview with Mr. Milholland but apparently we were unable to connect in the last two weeks.

 

State of Washington House of Representatives.  Steve Tharinger and Kevin Van De Wege

Both these candidates have proven themselves to support environmental law and policy. I have met them over the years, and witnessed them working. I fully support their return to office over any of the possible other candidates.

Jefferson County Commissioner District 3 – Kathleen Kler. 

Ms. Kler is the hand picked replacement for a very supportive environmentally oriented Commissioner, John Austin. While I have only interviewed two of the other candidates, their lack of depth and experience in environmental issues, and their focus on jobs over all other issues, leaves me coming back to the fact that Ms. Kler has worked closely on a number of issues throughout the County as documented on her  web page:

http://kathleenkler2014.com/about-kathleen/

She is endorsed by the Jefferson County Democrats, which also means that she has proven herself adept at working with large diverse groups. With the County Critical Areas Ordinance up for revision during the next term, it’s important to have  a clear environmental supporter on the Commissioners, along with the current two.

Public Utility District #2       Ken Collins

I think it’s time to swap out Mr. McMillan  after the disaster of the switch over to the PUD. Low income people have had their power cut during winter, billing was poorly executed, and support of environmentally friendly power generation is put on the back burner. A lack of sensitivity to the customer permeates the current PUD, and  Mr. Collins brings experience dealing with other power and energy companies, and also a commitment to help serve low income population, which comprises a large percentage of the county.

 

Lowest tides of summer coming up this week leading to prime shellfish gathering – Seattle Times

Get out and clam! Great thing to do with kids too. Get them out from behind the computers.

The next upcoming low tide series in Puget Sound and Hood Canal for gathering clams and oysters begins Wednesday, and this will be some of the most extreme leading to widespread beach exposure of the summer even for the elusive geoduck. Mark Yuasa reports. (Seattle Times)

 http://blogs.seattletimes.com/reeltimenorthwest/2014/07/08/lowest-tides-of-summer-coming-up-this-week-leading-to-prime-shellfish-gathering/

 

Kilmer urges EPA to seek end to Victoria dumping untreated sewage into Strait of Juan de Fuca  – PDN

Long overdue. Thanks to Rep. Kilmer for making this an issue.

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer has urged the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to stress with the Canadian government the importance of a quick solution to the continued dumping of untreated sewage near Victoria into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Kilmer, a Port Angeles native and Gig Harbor Democrat whose 6th Congressional District includes Clallam and Jefferson counties, sent a July 3 letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy asking that she raise with the Canadian government the need for “a speedy resolution” to Victoria dumping about 34 million gallons of raw sewage per day into the Strait directly across from the North Olympic Peninsula. Jeremy Schwartz reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140709/news/307099986/kilmer-urges-epa-to-seek-end-to-victoria-dumping-untreated-sewage

Enviro agency spent $27,000 in tax dollars on anti-dog poop music video – Watchdog Washington

So while I can certainly argue that they might have been able to get this done for a lot less money, the goal of the Partnership is to help clean up the Sound, and the problem of pet poop is a big one.

Critics are outraged after learning that a government agency tasked with cleaning up Washington’s Puget Sound spent $27,000 on an anti-dog poop rap video…. The Freedom Foundation, a government watchdog based in Olympia, criticized the Puget Sound Partnership, saying that the hip hop video is just the latest piece of evidence that the group spends tax dollars recklessly. Dustin Hurst reports. (Watchdog.Washington)

http://watchdog.org/158626/dog-poop-seattle/

As a method of comparison, I did this free public service video for WSU’s Beach Watcher program a few years ago. It’s not the greatest work I’ve ever done, but the budget was zero and we were highlighting the original song of Steve Urbanic.

https://vimeo.com/26983098

 

Project manager: New state, Navy conservation easement for areas of Hood Canal won’t halt pit-to-pier – PDN

If nothing else, this is likely to stall the Pit To Pier project for the next decade while it goes through the courts. Thanks to Charlie and the PDN for covering the story.

A conservation easement between the state Department of Natural Resources and the Navy that prohibits industrial development along areas of Hood Canal won’t stop a gravel-moving facility nicknamed the “pit-to-pier,” the project manager said. …Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140710/NEWS/307109987/project-manager-new-state-navy-conservation-easement-for-areas-of

Washingtonians Could Safely Eat More Fish Under New Water Pollution Rules – Earthfix

Another good step by Governor Jay Inslee. This decision has been a tough problem that he has had to balance against industry, like Boeing. This is positive. Now the work and money has to be put forward to actually implement the rain gardens and permeable pavement that he wants to see put in place to help.

Washington’s pollution standards would be made much tougher — making water clean enough that people can safely eat a daily serving of fish — under a plan laid out by Gov. Jay Inslee. The governor announced Wednesday that he wants Washington to use the same fish-consumption standards that guide water pollution rules in Oregon….

 

 http://earthfix.kcts9.org/water/article/washingtonians-could-safely-eat-more-fish-under-ne/

Craft beer breweries straining Vancouver sewage system  – CBC

Another water pollution issue that needs to be addressed north of the border.

Trouble could be brewing for the B.C. Lower Mainland’s burgeoning craft beer industry, as Metro Vancouver claims microbreweries are overwhelming the sewage system. The region wants bylaw changes that could force brewers to pay to deal with organic matter produced through fermentation, saying many of the new businesses are pumping out more than just great suds. (CBC)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/craft-beer-breweries-straining-vancouver-sewage-system-1.2703147

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