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WA State News

Water-rights decision could have disastrous consequences for Washington families, workers

WA State Senate majority reacts to report detailing economic impact of Hirst

News release issued by Kimberly Wirtz, Senate Majority Coalition Caucus 

 OLYMPIA, WA – 9/14/2017  The Senate Majority Coalition Caucus shared the following statement in response to a report released today by the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) detailing the statewide economic impact of the Hirst water-rights decision.

  Some of the details revealed in the study include:

  • $6.9 billion lost in economic activity each year in Washington, predominantly in rural communities
  • $452.3 million in lost employee wages due to the impacts of Hirstannually
  • Nearly 9,300 lost jobs (FTEs) in rural Washington,  annually
  • $392.7 million in lost taxes to state and local governments, annually
  • $4.59 billion in losses to the construction industry, annually
  • $37 billion in lost property values in areas impacted by Hirst
  • $346 million in property taxes shifted to other properties in Washington

Continue reading

Former Commissioner’s Claim Unsubstantiated


December 9th, 2015

Port Angeles, WA – The Washington State Auditor’s Office has issued their findings regarding allegations from former County Commissioner, Mike Doherty, that two of his fellow commissioners violated the “Open Public Meetings Act.” Continue reading

Shoreline Master Plan: What has Clallam County got to lose?

by Pearl Rains-Hewett

Posted 3/21/2015

RCW 90.58.290
Restrictions as affecting fair market value of property.
The restrictions imposed by this chapter shall be considered by the county assessor in establishing the fair market value of the property.
[1971 ex.s. c 286 § 29.]



50 Shades of Green – The Puget Sound Partnership

Posted 3/5/2015
The Puget Sound Partnership, an obscure but notorious Washington state agency, has a new logo.Conceived in 2007 as a gimmick by which Washington could siphon federal tax dollars as part of a nepotistic kickback scheme, PSP was overseen for its first three years by David Dicks—son of Congressman Norm Dicks, who promised millions to his Green friends as an incentive to overlook his obvious lack of qualifications.

And it might have worked had Republicans not taken back the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010, leaving the senior Dicks unable to dispense favors. But that didn’t stop David Dicks from spending the next three years turning the Puget Sound Partnership as almost a perfect caricature of a corrupt, incompetent government agency. Continue reading

Clallam Shoreline Master Program – Comments and rights

Jan. 19, 2015

SMP [Shorline Master Program] Public Comment (159)

Clallam County Planning Commission

Public Forums

Pearl Rains Hewett


I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Clallam County Planning Commission, for recognizing the need for this additional  step in the SMP Update  process, and voting to provide the public forums  for us.

I have appreciation and respect  the dedicated members of Planning Commission that made the (4) regional, informal, public forums a reality. The choice of evening forums, and  having the presenters go to meeting at the four locations, allowed working people to attend.


I did attend two public forums

Jan. 8, 2015 Port Angeles Public Forum

The presentation was well done and applauded

Jan 14, 2015 Sequim Public Forum Was a mini- presentation


Jan. 8, 2015 Public Forum at the PA Senior Center

It was very encouraging to see our New County Commissioner Bill Peach, our new DCD Director Mary Ellen Winborn, members of the Clallam County Planning Commission and Home Rule Charter Commission  in attendance. It is vital to have our local representative, Involved in, listening to public questions, comments and the many concerns of our local citizens on the SMP Update.




Continue reading

Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project commentary & Objections

by Pearl Rains Hewett
Posted 1/11/2015

Comments-Objections to Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem “RESTORATION” Project (PSNERP)

I strongly oppose the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem “RESTORATION” Project (PSNERP) and, in my opinion, it should be irrevocably terminated immediately.





Subject: FW: Skagit CAPR Chapter: FW: submittal of PSNERP written comment

From: Kathy Mitchell
Date: Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 6:13 PM
To: <>
Subject: PSNERP Projects Comment


From: Roger Mitchell
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2015 2:56 PM
Subject: submittal of PSNERP written comment


Subject: FW: submittal For Clallam County  PSNERP written objection

From: Pearl Rains Hewett
Sent: Thursday, January 09, 2015
Subject: submittal of PSNERP Clallam County written objection


My PSNERP written public comments and objections PLUS…..

The fact that these ideas were churned out by the Puget Sound Partnership and by the Envisioning people at OSU, is no surprise.


My written comment on the SHADY? history of the Puget Sound Partnership

In May 2010, auditors found the partnership “circumvented state contracting laws, exceeded its purchasing authority and made unallowable purchases with public funds,” incurring “costs without clear public benefit.”

scroll down for more


My written comments on RESTORATION….. period

Behind My Back | RED FLAG WARNING Page 2

Apr 9, 2014 – EPA RESTORATION OF PUGET SOUND … the cost of an unfunded WA STATE RESTORATION “RAIN TAX” TO CLEAN UP PUGET SOUND? ….. Goggle for the full text of “Sue and Settle Sucks”


Behind My Back | The “RESTORATION” Shell Game

Jun 9, 2014 – A highly convoluted GAME OF RESTORATION that is involving the … HOW MANY NUTS CAN YOU GET UNDER ONE RESTORATION SHELL?


Behind My Back | $14.8 Billion for Restoration

Jun 10, 2014 – … The “RESTORATION” Shell Game In the state of Maryland, their elected representatives, legislators, passed a $14.8 …. The “RESTORATIONShell Game.


Behind My Back | Bang for their buck? Restoration

Dec 3, 2014 – …… for planning, authorizing and implementing the RESTORATION SHELL GAME .



While we’re in the “RESTORATION” business I’d like a few things restored, too:

Behind My Back | American Restoration of Law and Order…/american-restoration-of-law-and-order/



Behind My Back | Senate Hearings on EPA

Sep 1, 2014 – GIVE “STATE’S SOVEREIGNTYBACK TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! ….. Is anyone in congress addressing the Restoration of “Law and …



read the complete text at

Behind My Back | The Bad News On Kilmer

Aug 31, 2013 – US. Reps Kilmer and Heck promise to continue the work of Norm Dicks on behalf of WETLANDS, SHORELINES By ROB CARSON — Staff writer …

“Everyone was scratching everyone’s back with this PUGET SOUND PARTNERSHIP,” said Republican state Sen. Mark Schoesler, who has been a vocal critic of the partnership. “They were banking on daddy Dicks to bring money home, and then his son squandered it.

In May 2010, auditors found the partnership “circumvented state contracting laws, exceeded its purchasing authority and made unallowable purchases with public funds,” incurring “costs without clear public benefit.”


I Pearl Rains Hewett, submit and concur, with the following PSNERP Projects comments.


From: Kathy Mitchell
Date: Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 6:13 PM
To: <>
Subject: PSNERP Projects Comment

C/O: Nancy C. Gleason



POB 3755

Seattle, WA 98124-3755

The PSNERP projects, especially those for Skagit County, must be abandoned; the enormous waste of tax dollars for these ill-conceived and harmful projects to precious farmland under the guise of flimsy reasoning and faulty assumptions is wrong.

The fact that the concept for these unneeded and unnecessary projects got this far, especially with such an outrageous price tag, is a disgrace. These proposed projects would necessarily cause ruination of thousands of acres farmland, and more than likely cause unforeseen and unintended consequences to those and adjacent lands.

Furthermore, in my opinion, the fact that these ideas were churned out by the Puget Sound Partnership and by the Envisioning people at OSU, is no surprise; both groups are well known for their inferior, ideology-based recommendations rather than sound work based on pertinent, fact-based science, on appropriate field work, and on site-specific work.  Since when do they ‘know all’ and ‘see all’ about what restoration really means for areas they really know nothing about?  As a classically trained geologist, I do know that the land is in a constant state of flux and that these people’s notions of exactly what ‘snapshot in time’ to use as this golden state of restoration is laughable.  Do we go back 30 years?  Go back 300 years?  Go back 3,000 years?  Go back 3 Million years? Erosion, sedimentation, and associated processes are dynamic – the land will change over time.

Finally, I am appalled and quite dismayed that the Army Corps of Engineers has had anything to do with this wasteful boondoggle.


Kathy Mitchell

1155 Chuckanut Ridge Drive

Bow, WA 98232


From: Roger Mitchell
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2015 2:56 PM
Subject: submittal of PSNERP written comment


Written Comment on Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project (PSNERP)

Roger H. Mitchell, Bow, Washington

I strongly oppose the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project (PSNERP) and, in my opinion, it should be irrevocably terminated immediately.


The entire premise for PSNERP is scientifically flawed, ideologically driven, and just another veiled attempt to socially engineer and control the lives of private property owners. At it’s best, PSNERP is a government make-work program; at it’s worst PSNERP is merely another chapter in irresponsible environmentalism run amok.

Procedurally, this proposed project has been seriously flawed. There are significant inconsistencies and discrepancies between’s website and the website at Discrepancies include different numbers of affected acres and in cost projections. If the goal was to confuse the public then, for once, government has succeeded. Why are we just getting to comment now on something that has been proceeding for years ? Why and how are we now being “steamrollered” into supporting this proposal in what appears to be a predetermined outcome that, once gain, bears little resemblance to the “consent of the governed?

The proposed project is at odds with RCW 36.70A – the Growth Management Act (GMA). PSNERP will cause destruction and loss of farmland and rural business that is contrary to GMA mandates.  Some ideologues have relentlessly made it more and more difficult for farmers to grow the crops that feed the rest of us. Why let PSNERP add to the decline of farmland, farming, and farmers ? Any PSNERP proposed project must show, in detail, how it complies with the GMA. Thus far, that demonstration of compliance has been disregarded, overlooked, or intentionally omitted in PSNERP proposals.

Among the many problems with PSNERP and its many clones is that the instigators are never held accountable for their mistakes and failures. They play with other people’s money or, in this case, other people’s properties. Essentially they have no “skin in the game”. Ten years from now, when PSNERP has failed to do anything positive, and has had numerous, negative, unintended consequences, do you think the current PSNERPers are going to say, “Gee; I’m sorry ‘bout that PSNERP thing and wasting that Billion dollars. Do you want your refund in cash or a check ?”


The EIS should be withdrawn. My preference would be to abandon this proposal and not waste another taxpayer dollar on it.

There needs to be a true cost/benefit analysis. We’re talking about potential misappropriation and misapplication of taxpayer dollars. Without an honest cost benefit study, the public cannot properly determine whether the proposed project is acceptable or worthy of full funding, partial funding, or, my personal favorite, no funding at all.

Let’s have a little chat about “restoration” and unanswered questions:



verb:  return (someone or something) to a former condition, place, or position.



noun:  the action of returning something to a former owner, place, or condition

So, I ask you, where are the answers to the following “restoration” questions ?

1.       Apparently there is a specific time and condition to which we should presumptively “restore”. How do we know that that chosen time and condition was, in fact, optimal or better in any way relative to the current time and condition ?

2.       Who actually knows the details and dynamics of that presumptively chosen optimal time and condition to which PSNERPers would have us restore to from current conditions ?

3.    Who gets to make the determination of what time and condition we are restoring to ?

4.       Even if the PSNERP proposal could be determined to be either good or bad, who has decreed who has the authority to decide for all of the rest of us whether the proposal is good?

5.       The issue is “restoration” projects; these projects do not exist in a vacuum — they affect other people, locations, and conditions as well. Worldviews, movements, and projects — these things all have consequences. What are PSNERP’s costs in resources (time & taxpayer dollars) and what other possible projects and programs will PSNERP preclude ?

6.       What are the unintended consequences of the proposed PSNERP projects ? Forces result from interactions. The proposed PSNERP projects are interactive forces. Newton’s Third Law of Motions reminds us that For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction. When you poke the balloon in one place it pops out in another. When PSNERP projects “poke” the balloon of status quo, what is going to pop out elsewhere as a result ?

7.       Does anyone at PSNERP realize that the earth’s geology, biology, and ecology have been in a constant state of change since their very inceptions and will continue to change for infinity ? How incredibly arrogant, condescending, and egocentric of some to think they can determine exactly what is “best” in terms of time or condition for any of these dynamic, natural processes.

8.       By what criteria has someone determined that current conditions are not “best” and has chosen the particular, proposed, “restore to” slice of time and conditions as better or optimal?

9.       Purportedly, PSNERP is, like detrimental instream flow rules, all about salmon. Why are some people so wrapped up in attempting to “protect” one particular species (salmonids) to the detriment of others ? Who chose salmonids over other worthy species (including humans) who are left to compete, unassisted and unprotected, in the Darwinian battle with the rest of us ? We call it, “life”.

PSNERP proposals have not provided good or acceptable answers to any of the above questions.


PSNERP is yet another exercise in governmental fallacious reasoning. Fallacies can be divided into categories according to the epistemological factors that cause the error:

The reasoning is invalid but is presented as if it were a valid argument

  • The argument has an unjustified premise
  • Some relevant evidence has been ignored or suppressed


The PSNERP proposal has all of these fallacies. But, just be sure, PSNERP also has the types of fallacies listed below:

False Dilemma

A proposal that unfairly presents too few choices and then implies that a choice must be made among this short menu of choices

False Cause

Improperly concluding that one thing is a cause of another.

Reversing Causation

Drawing an improper conclusion about causation due to a causal assumption that reverses cause and effect.

Unfalsifiability (Untestability)

This error in explanation occurs when the explanation contains a claim that is not falsifiable, because there is no way to check on the claim. That is, there would be no way to show the claim to be false if it were false. There is no null hypothesis.

And the environmentalist ideologue’s perennial favorite:

Scare Tactic

Terrorizing people in order to give them a reason for believing that you are correct.

By the way, while we’re “restoring”:

While we’re in the “restoration” business I’d like a few things restored, too:

I’d like my inherent, natural property rights restored.

  • I’d like my pursuit of happiness restored by not being constantly barraged with yet another manic, trumped up, Chicken Little environmental “crisis” that needs to be “mitigated”.
  • I’d like my Washington State government restored to what the state’s founders intended in

that calls for “consent of the governed”.

Will it help if I ask nicely ?

Please ! Stop wasting our time, money, and goodwill. PSNERP is wrong for many, may reasons; it should be irrevocably terminated immediately.

Continue reading

Environmental meeting to be held about industrial shellfish operations

An informational public meeting on the impacts of industrial shellfish operations in Clallam County will be held on Jan. 10, 2015.

Discussion will be around the potential implications of Taylor Shellfish Farm’s proposed 30 acre geoduck operation on tidelands at the mouth of Dungeness River, the 3 Crabs wetland restoration project, and the Dungeness Refuge Graveyard Spit bird breeding protected area. Continue reading

Clallam County Charter Review Commission begins its year-long work

by Lois Krafsky-Perry

Citizen Review
Thursday, January 8, 2015
Port Angeles, WA – Clallam County, WA is one of only 7 counties out of 39 in Washington State that operates on a Home Rule Charter.  Often referred to as a “county constitution”, the Charter offers more local control and guidance for the county, with reviews and input from citizens done every 8 years (changed from every 5 years the last time it met in 2007).
Fifteen citizens from across the county (5 from each district) are elected to review, hold public hearings, and offer possible amendments to the Charter, which are then voted upon by the people in November.
The individual garnering the most number of votes convenes the first meeting within 30 days of certification of the election (Nov. 25th, 2014).  Sue Forde received the most votes overall, so called the initial meeting for Dec. 18th.  The county failed to properly post the event per the Open Meetings Act, however, so it was rescheduled for December 25th.  That meeting was scheduled to review bylaws, rules, and elect the permanent chair, first and second vice chairs and parliamentarian.  Forde offered an alternate agenda for consideration because all members could not be present due to the holidays, which was passed.
The next meeting was held on Jan. 5, 2015 at the Clallam County Courthouse, with a full commission in attendance, and approximately 25 citizens.  The first order of business was the election of the chair.  Two individuals were nominated:  Sue Forde and Norma Turner.  Turner, District 2, received the majority of votes.  The Bylaws call for each of the lst and 2nd vice chairs to be from the remaining two districts.
Chair Turner took over the meeting and called for election of first vice chair.  Two names were offered:  Sue Forde and Ted Miller, both of District 1.  Forde received the strong majority of votes.
The election for 2nd vice chair saw two nominees again; this time, Barbara Christiansen and Connie Beauvais of District 3.  Christiansen received the most votes.  The three elected positions will comprise the executive committee, responsible for setting the order of business for the next meeting.  The chair prepares the Agenda, which is then voted upon by the whole commission at the next meeting.
The meeting’s agenda called for review and approval of  bylaws and rules of procedure, and discussion for videotaping of meetings. The group spent most of the meeting wordsmithing and making minor changes and/or additons to the bylaws and rules.
After complaints by two members of the commission about using Roberts Rules of Order, the commission adopted by a vote of 13-2 that Roberts Rules of Order would continue to be used for meetings, in that it has been successfully used for all past meetings.
Discussion about video taping meetings was entertained and the commissioners decided that for now, the audio tapes would be used and posted for meetings, on the county site.  If individuals videotape meetings and post, for example, on Youtube, that could be done independently.  The question was asked about submitting videos to the commission, with the emails, phone calls, and other means of public comment.  After discussion, it was determined, by Prosecuting Attorney Mark Nichols that videos could also be admitted.
The next meeting was scheduled for February 2 at the Clallam County Courthouse, Commissioner’s meeting room, starting at 6:30 p.m.  At that meeting the commission will decide on dates for future meetings, as well as the process to be used for gathering information from citizens, county elected officials and some employees.
The 15 elected commissioners are:
District 1 District 2 District 3
Sue Forde Glenn Wiggins Howard “Mike” Doherty
Ken Hays Norma Turner Barbara Christiansen
Ron Bell Maggie Roth Connie Beauvais
Nola Judd Steven Burke Cheryl Williams
Ted Miller Selinda Barkhaus Rod Fleck

Continue reading

2015 legislative session convenes on Monday, January 12th

News Release from Washington

Posted 1/9/2015

Court-mandated basic education funding will occupy center stage when the 64th Legislature convenes at noon Monday for what many observers see as one of the most important sessions in memory.

Top priorities include a voter-approved class size reduction measure and a comprehensive transportation package. Above all, a new two-year budget will dominate the 105-day regular session, with possibly special sessions to follow. Continue reading

Freedom Foundation “Freedom Tour” updates citizens in Sequim

by Sue Forde for Citizen Review Online

Jan. 8, 2014 – Mark Dalan and Ron Valencia, both of the Freedom Foundation of Washington State (FFWA), presented updates and information to a group of approximately 25 Clallam County citizens at the Los Palomas Restaurant.

Dalan discussed the two Sequim initiatives which took place in 2013, receiving sufficient signatures to go on the ballot, but were held off by the courts after the City of Sequim pursued legal action to stop them from being voted upon by the people. The initiatives would have allowed public union members to choose whether or not to join a union; and would have given transparency for citizens (whose taxes support the government workers) to observe the union negotiations taking place. There were three other cities last year in the State which attempted to place similar initiatives on the ballot, of which only one is moving forward – the city of Chelan. The others were also stopped by judges. Dalan said they are working to try and achieve change on behalf of the citizens through county commissions and city councils this year. Continue reading

Skagit County backs couple’s right to use their well

Posted: Tuesday, December 2, 2014 6:00 am | Updated: 8:55 am, Tue Dec 2, 2014.

By Daniel DeMay | Skagit Valley Herald

Richard and Marnie Fox have a right to use the well on their Sedro-Woolley property, regardless of an instream flow rule that limits water use in the Skagit Basin, Skagit County said in a response filed last Monday in Skagit County Superior Court.

The document is in response to the Foxes’ motion asking the court to force the county to issue a building permit — an action the county has not taken because a Department of Ecology rule appears to say there is no legal access to water in much of rural Skagit County.

In the response, the county argues that Ecology removed a paragraph from the draft 2001 instream flow rule before publication that would have allowed rural landowners to continue the use of permit-exempt wells for single homes.

Continue reading

Fee increase proposal moves ahead for ONP


November 3rd, 2014 – 5:26am

(Port Angeles) – Olympic National Park is joining other national parks in proposing increases in entrance and other fees.

In August, the National Park Service released an updated entrance fee rate schedule for all NPS units that charge entrance fees. The entrance fee at Olympic National Park is proposed to increase to $25 for a seven-day vehicle pass.

Additionally, ONP is proposing raising campground fees to between $15 and $25 dollars and adding three dollars to the wilderness pass.

ONP officials say fee revenue at Olympic are used to improve visitor facilities and services, from trail and wilderness bridge repair to new visitor center exhibits to operating the park’s wilderness information program.

Most fees at the park have remained the same since 2006.

Questions about WA State I-594 – Gun Registration

Editorial by Lynn Stuter

Posted 10/24/2014

Back when I-594 first came out, I requested that the sponsors site me …

•         one instance when a background check has stopped a criminal from stealing a gun?
•         one instance when a background check has stopped a criminal from shooting someone with a stolen gun?

After a great deal of beating around the bush, rabbit-trailing, hemming and hawing, the sponsors never were able to provide the requested information.

The fact is that I-594 …

•         will not stop one criminal from stealing a gun;
•         will not stop one criminal from shooting someone with a stolen gun;
•         will not stop one criminal from obtaining a gun on the black market. Continue reading

Judge permits timber harvest that environmentalists claim threatens marbled murrelet in Clallam and Jefferson counties

Article published Jun 15, 2014

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND, WA – 6/16/2014 — A Jefferson County judge has rejected a request for a temporary injunction against a state-approved harvest of 234 acres of timber on the West End adjacent to habitat of the threatened marbled murrelet.

After an hourlong presentation last week from attorneys on both sides of the issue, Jefferson County Superior Court Judge Keith Harper ruled against the plaintiffs, permitting the timber harvest by Interfor, which has mills in Forks and Port Angeles. Continue reading

Gopher’s ‘endangered’ status irks property rights leaders

by Jeff Rhodes | The Olympian

Posted 6/2/2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized Endangered Species Act protection on Wednesday for four subspecies of Mazama pocket gophers and designated 1,607 acres of protected critical habitat in Washington’s Thurston County, including at the Olympia Airport.

The decision was part of a landmark settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity requiring the agency to speed protection decisions for 757 species across the country. Continue reading

Spokane, WA: Landowners concerned over new Ecology river rule

Matthew Weaver | Capital Press
The Washington Department of Ecology is developing an instream flow rule to protect water in the Spokane River. There’s supposed to be little impact to agriculture, according to the department, but local landowners are concerned the new rule will constitute a taking of private property without compensation.

The Washington State Department of Ecology’s proposed rule to protect instream flows in the Spokane River has landowners concerned about potential takings of property without compensation. Continue reading

Supplemental budget, veteran and homeless bills pass as session ends. Bills on other big issues fail

from Washington

Posted 3/14/2014

The House and Senate gavels came down simultaneously at seven minutes to midnight on Thursday, as the legislature adjourned “sine die” (Latin for “no more meeting days”) to the cheers of lawmakers and staff who had been working at a fast pace to finalize and pass legislation.

Lawmakers passed a compromise supplemental operating budget (SB 6002) that adds about $155 million in spending to the $33.6 billion 2013-15 budget, including $58 million more for school supplies and technology, $22 million more for mental health programs and $25 million for the Opportunity Scholarship fund. The bill passed by large bi-partisan votes, 83-15 in the House, and 48-1 in the Senate. Continue reading

Washington’s Fish and Wildlife riles Asotin County with land buys

Kerri Sandaine
Lewiston Tribune

 Posted 3/9/2014

ASOTIN, Wash. – The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife has gobbled up more than 10 percent of the 410,240 acres in Asotin County and that’s ruffled some feathers.

A group of Asotin County residents say purchases by the state agency are having an adverse effect on every other property owner in the county, whether they live in the country or city.

When that land goes off the tax rolls, everyone else winds up absorbing the added tax burden, said Brad Forgey, of Asotin. He and other members of the agricultural community are hoping changes are made at the state level to address the problem. Continue reading

Yakima: Only matter of time before new rural wells are metered

Posted 2/16/2014

Daily Sun News

Yakima, WA – Water supply and water quality are at the forefront of Yakima County’s plans for 2014.

That’s according to Yakima County Commissioner Rand Elliott, the featured speaker Wednesday morning for the Sunnyside Daybreak Rotary Club.

In something like a “state of the county” address, Elliott said changes are underway within the next year or so on new wells in Yakima County. Continue reading

Deathly Quiet as WA State Governor Addresses AWB, and Then Come the Groans

Posted 2/8/2014

Washington State Wire

Washington State – Gov. Jay Inslee gets a chilly reception at the annual legislative summit of the Association of Washington Business. New AWB president Kris Johnson looks on.

OLYMPIA, Feb. 7. 2014 —A hush fell over the room Thursday as Gov. Jay Inslee described his plan to raise the state minimum wage – and then came the groans.

Which probably tells you what business thinks of the idea. At the annual legislative summit of the Association of Washington Business in Olympia Thursday, there was no point in running an applause-meter, because there wasn’t any. Continue reading

Editorital: A War on Wild

Editorial series by Pearl Rains-Hewett

Posted 1/31/2014

Part 1:

There is a time to be silent and a time to speak

 A time to keep and a time to throw away

 There is a time for every activity

 Now is the time for many of us to speak of a War On Wild and keep our rights.

Is it your time?

We are American citizens, we are private property owners, we are the stewards of our pristine forest land, it is our heritage, it is who we are and what we do, it is our way of life, it is our source of employment and income, it provides our shelter, the roof over our heads, food on our tables and heat from our hearth, indeed it has been  the  lot of our lives for many generations of local  families.

So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil Continue reading

Rep. Hastings calls for reforms to Endangered Species Act

By Kate Prengaman / Yakima Herald-Republic

Posted 1/31/2014

YAKIMA, Wash. — From spotted owls to salmon, the Pacific Northwest has been ground zero for the impacts — good and bad — of the Endangered Species Act for 40 years.

That’s the view of U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Pasco, who heads the House Committee on Natural Resources, which is considering significant changes to the landmark 1973 legislation.

“Very generally, those of us in the Northwest have been hit by impacts of the Endangered Species Act more than anybody,” Hastings said. “The economy that is based here is natural-resource based, with water, and with the timber industry, so whenever you have laws that impact natural resources, they are going to impact the economy.” Continue reading

The Growth Management Act: Just another Central Planning Failure

by Glen Morgan
Freedom Foundation

Posted 1/25/2014


Last Thursday, thanks largely to Senator Pam Roach (R-Auburn), the Washington State Senate provided an opportunity to discuss the Growth Management Act (GMA) in a public work session. Last year,I wrote about a less formal work session held by Representative Dean Takko (D-Longview). However, the recent Senate work session demonstrated notable willingness to look at Washington State’s GMA in a comprehensive manner without constraining the comments of those who testified. The complete video from the hearing is here (starting at about 37 minutes). Continue reading

A Preview of the 2014 Regular Session of the 63rd Legislature


Posted 1/12/2014

The Washington State Legislature will convene at noon Monday, January 13th, for its 2014 Regular Session.  This will be a “short” 60-day session in an even-numbered year, and is scheduled to adjourn on March 13th.  The legislature meets for “long” 105-day sessions in odd-numbered years.  The Governor can also call special sessions, as he did three times in 2013.

It is likely lawmakers will try to adjourn on time, motivated at least in part in this election year by the legal constraints state law places on fundraising while members are in session. Continue reading

Controversy over Whatcom Co. water wells

The Bellingham Herald

Posted 11/29/2013

BELLINGHAM, WASH. — Conservative property-rights advocates are worried about proposed restrictions on wells they fear could mean the end of the rural way of life in Whatcom County.

The well controversy arose after environmentalists challenged county rules that they believe don’t do enough to protect water resources.

In response, the state Growth Management Hearings Board issued a ruling that could block property owners from drawing water from their wells, if the basin where they live is closed to new water rights. The county has appealed the ruling to the state Court of Appeals. Continue reading

Citizen’s group challenging GMA ruling in San Juan County

Posted 10/8/2013

by Jeff Rhodes
for The Olympia Report


Members of a local citizens group have filed an appeal in Superior Court of recently adopted updates to San Juan County’s Growth Management Act, claiming their aim is to block development entirely rather than address the potential impact of specific projects.


San Juan County, WA – Believing that the San Juan County Growth Management Board failed to address several critical and fatal flaws in its December 2012 Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO), both Common Sense Alliance and the Taggares Co. on Wednesday filed petitions for review of the board’s decision in Superior Court.

The court will be asked to stay the Growth Board order to remove the pressure of any compliance deadline.

At issue is whether the CAO was written in such a way as to address the effects of of specific development — as the law requires — or as an obstacle to all development. Continue reading

Swinomish win water rights case against Ecology

By Rachel Lerman
Skagit Valley Herald

Posted 10/7/2013

The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the state Department of Ecology overstepped its authority in a water rights decision that would allow rural landowners to gain access to water.

The 6-3 ruling invalidates Ecology’s amendment to the 2001 Skagit River Instream Flow Rule and reverses a 2010 trial court decision against the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community.

The Swinomish objected to Ecology’s use of the “overriding consideration of public interest” provision, saying new water withdrawals from the basin by rural landowners put salmon in danger.

The high court ruled that Ecology’s amendment, which created 27 reservations of water that could be used for noninterruptible uses, exceeded the agency’s authority because it is too broad. Continue reading

Pure Imagination: 100% Environmental-ish

 Posted 9/18/2013
(Editor’s Note: We strongly recommend your bookmarking and following The Trojan Heron, as it is a microcosm of what’s happening across the U.S. –

Today we start another Trojan Heron series called “Pure Imagination” about the environmental-ish ideas we confront daily in the San Juans. The series title comes from a famous song in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and one of the stanzas could be the motto for the Friends and their friends.

We’ll begin
With a spin
Traveling in
The world of my creation
What we’ll see
Will defy

Books like Fast Food Nation exposed the dark side of the All-American Meal, and there is a dark side to environmental-ish ideas too … and oddly the two dark sides are linked. Like McDonalds, environmental-ish organizations spew images of wholesome goodness … but there is an underlying profit motive distorting the truth. The truth about environmental-ish organizations is that their “wilderness loving” policies and actions actually promote urbanism … by being against rural living. They even support and promote factory farming … by demanding Conditional Use Permits (CUPs) for new family farming and suing to shut down family-run aquaculture. Continue reading

Sovereignty versus The Puget Sound Partnership

State Law RCW 42.56.030


BY DEFINITION PUBLIC SERVANT – someone who holds a government position (either by ELECTION or APPOINTMENT)

WA STATE RCW 42.56.030





[2007 c 197 § 2; 2005 c 274 § 283; 1992 c 139 § 2. Formerly RCW 42.17.251.] Continue reading

Bethel Schools versus Central Planners

by Glen Morgan
Freedom Foundation

Posted 8/18/2013

The Bethel School District, in a rural part of Pierce County, Washington, is governed by five elected school board directors. The district educated about 18,000 students in 2012–2013, a number expected to rise. Five school board members are elected by local citizens. One important job for a school director is to make prudent decisions on how to manage growth. School directors, in cooperation with superintendents and coordination with other local governments, make planning decisions.

The growth projection for Bethel indicates they will need a new high school to accommodate their growing student population. Their school directors examined population trends, bus routes, and locations of other schools. They consulted with other local governments and county planning staff, finally selecting a site and purchasing the vacant land. Continue reading

State audit finds $14,000 in fraudulent purchases at Dept. of Ecology

By Jordan Schrader — Staff writer
The Olympian

Posted 8/4/2013

Olympia, WA – A state audit released today found at least $14,664 in fraudulent purchases on state credit cards controlled by a then-employee of the Department of Ecology.

The employee, who was a secretary supervisor in the Washington Conservation Corps, was sentenced to 30 days of electronic home monitoring last May after a conviction for second-degree theft.

Peta Crites, of Olympia, made an Alford plea, in which a defendant doesn’t admit guilt. She agreed to pay her former employer $2,500. Continue reading

“Spatial” planning on Washington’s Pacific Coast

Before you begin reading the commentary below, a few terms might need to be defined:

Spatial planning, according to Wikipedia, refers to the methods used by the public sector to influence the distribution of people and activities in spaces of various scales. Discrete professional disciplines which involve spatial planning include land useurbanregionaltransport and environmental planning. Other related areas are also important, including economic and community planning. Spatial planning takes place on local, regional, national and international levels and often result in the creation of a spatial plan.

There are numerous definitions of spatial planning. One of the earliest definitions comes from the European Regional/Spatial Planning Charter[1] (often called the ‘Torremolinos Charter’), adopted in 1983 by the European Conference of Ministers responsible for Regional Planning (CEMAT): “Regional/spatial planning gives geographical expression to the economic, social, cultural and ecological policies of society. It is at the same time a scientific discipline, an administrative technique and a policy developed as an interdisciplinary and comprehensive approach directed towards a balanced regional development and the physical organisation of space according to an overall strategy.”

Numerous planning systems exist around the world. Especially in Northwestern Europe spatial planning has evolved greatly since the late 1950s.

 “Ocean Acidification” is another Agenda 21 term for the supposedly “endangered” oceans with a changing pH balance. According to Science and Public Policy, this is just another “global warming” scare to achieve control of the people.  See the Science and Public Policy story here.  (Or down the pdf here – acid_test.)







Comment by Pearl Rains Hewett

Posted 7/26/2013

Written comments will be accepted until 5 pm, September 23, 2013
Marine Spatial Planning (MSP)
After a long and trying session, Washington lawmakers approved $3.7 million for coastal and marine spatial planning onWashington’s Pacific Coast in their final budget on June 27th 2013.
Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council (WCMAC) under the executive office of the governor

Army apologizes for helicopters that ‘terrorized’ Port Angeles

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES, WA — July 12, 2013 Army special-operations helicopters on a training exercise buzzed the Port Angeles area late Thursday night in an episode that the mayor says “terrorized my city.”

An Army official apologized Friday for the unannounced training mission.

Dozens of alarmed residents called police to ask what was going on and said the noise and lights panicked horses and other livestock.

“They terrorized my city,” Port Angeles Mayor Cherie Kidd said Friday. Continue reading

No MSG, Smart Resistance – Why it is wise to reject a National Heritage Area

by Cindy Alia
from Citizens Alliance for Property Rights

Posted 7/6/2013

“What is a National Heritage Area?” Good question indeed and one that is commonly asked in almost all documents I have read in the feasibility study phase of creating such an area.

The Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area is one where this question is addressed. It is difficult and time consuming to go online and find a document that addresses the heritage area planned by this benevolent NGO. However, I was able to find the document that is the feasibility study of MSG NHA and to see how that question was addressed ( Continue reading

Clallam Co., WA: Local activist raises questions to Congressman about EPA violations

U. S. Representative for the 6th Congressional District of Washington State recently held a town meeting, and at least one person raised questions.  Pearl Rains-Hewett, a property owner and grandmother, wrote the following as an open commentary to Kilmer:
I did attend your town hall meeting in Port Angeles Yesterday.
You stated you would answer all questions you received and asked that we report violations by government agencies.

WA State Senate coalition protects ag – Industry advocates say new leadership kept damage to a minimum

Capital Press

OLYMPIA — The Republican-led coalition that took over the Washington Senate during the recently ended session “absolutely” benefited farmers and ranchers, legislators and agricultural lobbyists say.

When two Democrats — Rodney Tom of Medina and Tim Sheldon of Potlatch — decided to caucus with the Senate’s 23 Republicans, it added a new dynamic in state government: a divided Legislature, with Democrats retaining control of the House and the GOP-led coalition in charge of the Senate.

“We did no harm,” said wheat farmer Mark Schoesler, leader of the Senate Republicans.

“It’s been years since we felt like we had a backstop if a bad bill came out of the House,” said Tom Davis, director of government relations at the Washington State Farm Bureau. Having different leadership in the Senate has made for more meaningful conversations, he said.

The new balancing act benefited small businesses “and anyone who has a wallet,” Jack Field, executive vice president of the Washington Cattlemen’s Association, said.

Dan Wood, director of government affairs for Washington State Dairy Federation, called the coalition “a grand experiment (that) seems to have resulted in some decent compromises in the Senate.”

A supermajority held by either party is not good, he said, “But when parties have to work together in bipartisan fashion, generally you get better public policy.”

In general, conservative lawmakers are more cognizant of the challenges facing agriculture, Field said, and they played a pivotal role in many issues.

One of those issues was management of the state’s growing wolf population.

Legislators heard 11 wolf-related bills, some with similar intentions. They included establishing a funding source to compensate owners for livestock lost to predation, removing a cap on that compensation, authorizing county governments to declare imminent threat to commercial livestock and to authorize the sheriff or other county agent to kill wolves, and requiring state listings of the gray wolf as endangered or threatened to be limited to areas of the state where it is also listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.

One bill, HB1258, introduced by Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, aimed to ensure that all Washingtonians “share in the benefits of an expanding wolf population.”

“The pro-wolf people typically love them as long they don’t have to deal with them,” he said in January. “It’s a chance for the people in those areas to step up and actually deal with the real problems happening in northeastern Washington.”

Only one wolf bill passed, Senate Bill 5193, which establishes a voluntary means of helping compensate livestock owners by increasing the cost of specialized license plates. It passed both houses with large bipartisan majorities and was delivered to Gov. Jay Inslee in the closing hours of the regular session.

SB5193 was not on Inslee’s signing schedule at deadline, but his spokeswoman, Jaime Smith, said he would likely sign it.

Davis said Inslee has been “pleasantly supportive of landowners’ rights to protect their livelihood,” and he expects SB5193 will become law.

He said the Legislature “punted” on a SB5187, which would allow the lethal removal of wolves caught in the act of attacking pets or livestock. A letter from legislators prompted the Washington State Fish and Wildlife Commission to adopt an emergency rule allowing livestock and pet owners to shoot wolves caught attacking their animals in the portion of the state where wolves aren’t protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Budget needs

When legislators return to Olympia May 13 to begin a 30-day special session, they will face the task of closing a $1.2 billion budget gap and putting additional money into K-12 schools in response to a Supreme Court ruling. The state spends about $13.6 billion of its current $31 billion two-year general fund budget on schools.

“The key difference is the House and the governor are obsessed with $1 billion in taxes,” Schoesler said. “(The majority coalition) showed how we can do that with no new taxes.”

In that budget is money to modernize the state’s capacity to trace animal diseases. Wood said a $1 million state investment would pay for itself many times over. The impact of a single case of BSE — bovine spongiform encephalopathy — in 2013 was $1 billion, he said.

The money would fully fund the up-front development of a traceability database, upgrading the current brand system. Wood said that after the first two years, the livestock industry will fund that operation through transaction fees.

Also in the budget is money to get the Voluntary Stewardship Program going. Wood said 28 counties have opted into the cooperative framework for addressing land use issues. Only two counties have been funded, he said, and he hopes the state can redirect federal conservation money into that.

Michele Catalano, executive director of the Tilth Producers of Washington, said she was glad to see money in the budget to restore the direct marketing program at the Washington State Department of Agriculture. That program was eliminated by the Legislature in 2011.

“It’s not at the $500,000 requested, but $250,000 was reinstated,” she said.

Heather Hansen, with Washington Friends of Farms and Forests, said she’ll also be watching how the WSDA fares in the budget. She’s also hoping the funding for fairs remains stable. “Many senators in the coalition caucus understand the value of fairs for community youths.”

Schoesler said the $8.8 billion transportation budget, which has been approved, includes $2.6 million for maintenance on the CW line, a branch of the PCC rail line, formerly Palouse River and Coulee City Rail Line that serves hundreds of Eastern Washington farmers.


Catalano said a bill to give small farms the same home site property tax exemption as larger farms was amended to affect only Thurston County.

“I couldn’t understand why. The cost is very miniscule,” she said. “It already applies to larger growers and handicaps smaller growers.”

Legislators should be trying to reduce barriers to agriculture, she said. “It’s a no-brainer. It should apply statewide.”

Rep. Bruce Chandler, R-Granger, a Central Washington orchard owner who crafts much of the state’s water-related legislation, said despite some “modest” successes, “I don’t think we as a Legislature have a real sense of how to effectively balance demands for water. We’re backing into it one crisis at a time.”

He said he is optimistic about progress made with the Yakima Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Plan as well as legislative support for continued progress in the Odessa subarea. Both houses have inserted $32 million into the capital budget for Odessa work.

Davis said the Farm Bureau’s priority is to ensure long-term viability of agriculture by keeping a rein on tax policy and regulations.

“House Bill 2038 flies in the face of that,” he said. Despite some changes, the bill increased a Business and Occupation Tax that affects the state’s ports and its competitiveness in imports and exports. “Every time there’s a change of hands, there’s a tax applied.”

That bill is part of the education funding issue that proposes narrowing or eliminating tax preferences and extending taxes set to expire.

Report card

Most ag lobbyists said they would give a “B” or “B-plus” to the Legislature this session, because it did little damage.

“We had some good discussion and advanced excellent policy,” Field said.

Holli Johnson, who represents the Washington State Grange, also gave the lawmakers a “B,” “though there are still a lot of balls in the air.”

She said she has been impressed by bipartisan efforts in wolf management and a growing awareness of small farm dynamics among legislators.

Davis said a “bright spot” was the approval of a bill requiring the state Department of Ecology and Department of Fish and Wildlife to identify the peer-reviewed science, scientific literature and other sources of information relied upon before taking significant agency action. Previous sessions have considered similar bills, but they did not make it out of committee. This year both bills passed unanimously without amendment.

“Interesting what a difference a couple of years can make,” he said.

Some ag industry representatives said lawmakers should get an “incomplete” on their report card.

“They didn’t do all their assignments and turn in their papers,” Davis said.

Overall, the Legislature did little damage to agriculture.

“There are no new taxes and regulations,” Wood said. He said a bill heard in the Senate would have added $10,000 in taxes to the average dairy farmer, “but we explained that’s not good policy.”

Hansen said a bill on pesticide drift got nowhere, and lawmakers did not advance a bill to require labeling of genetically engineered foods. That issue will show up on the November ballot.

As agriculture faces mounting pressure, Wood said, lawmakers have to be aware of the impact of their actions.

“Today’s farmer will have to feed twice as many people with less land, fertilizer, water with coming climate change,” he said. “Why tax and regulate ag more? You need to make it more enticing to get next generation to stay on the family farm. Legislators need to think on local, state and global levels.”

Water Management was “meant” to be local…

My comment on the Clallam County Comissioner’s April 29, 2013  “Water” work session

by Pearl Rains-Hewett

Posted 4/29/2013.

As of February 22, 2013 “LOCAL” Water Management Program (for WRIA 18 Clallam County)


Background: In 1998, the Watershed Planning Act was enacted to establish a process for local groups to develop and implement plans to manage and protect local water resources and rights. Continue reading

WA Florist Sued for Beliefs About Marriage

by Joseph Backholm |
Fmily Policy Institute of Washington

April 9, 2013

Yesterday, newly elected Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit against a florist in Richland, Washington because she declined to provide floral arrangements to a same-sex wedding ceremony.  Arlene’s Flowers is a small busines whose owner, Barronelle Stutzman, had served this customer for years.  She knew he was gay, and it was never an issue, because she’s happy to serve everybody.

But she isn’t willing to lend her services to every activity, and when it came to a same-sex wedding, she just couldn’t do it.   According to her statement, she explained herself, he said he respected it; they hugged and he left. Continue reading

WA State Reps battle UN Agenda 21 with new bills

Jan. 17, 2013

By: Mikael Thalen

Washington State recently made news after local farmers in association with the Washington State Farm Bureau adopted new policy blocking all aspects of U.N. Agenda 21.

United Nations Agenda 21 is based off of the The Commission on Global Governance’s controversial 1995 report entitled “Our Global Neighborhood” that calls for more power to the United Nations in countries affairs, including the United States.

One of the most troubling aspects of this is the United Nations claim that it has the authority to change policy in the United States and even dictate what people can or can’t do on their own private property under the supposed guise of environmentalism to the point of restricting massive amounts of land to American citizens.

Continue reading

Resistance grows due to heavy-hand of CAO | Guest Column

by Gordy Peterson
for San Juan Journal
APRIL 5, 2013 · 5:59 PM

San Juan Islands, WA – I enjoyed reading Judge John Darrah’s guest column “Deconstructing the CAO Campaign,” Journal, pg. 7, April 3.

It may help him understand the “Anti’s” if he had an inside look into the movement.

I’ve been embedded in what I call the “Rural Resistance” for about 25 years. At times I’ve felt alone but now there are many of us.

I’m certainly not the leader. This movement is made up of very independent folks who don’t follow orders very well. We do not receive grants like the Friends (Friends of the San Juans) who are paid to lobby for more government authority over land use. Well-funded State agencies like DOE and Puget Partnership are also allied against us. Continue reading

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