Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Well Said

Two good columns in the Oregonian this week, and it's only Tuesday!

First was Leonard Pitts' from Monday about facts being stubborn things, but they are facts.
To listen to talk radio, to watch TV pundits, to read a newspaper’s online message board, is to realize that increasingly, we are a people estranged from critical thinking, divorced from logic, alienated from even objective truth. We admit no ideas that do not confirm us, hear no voices that do not echo us, sift out all information that does not validate what we wish to believe.
Read the whole thing here. BTW, His Valentine's Day column on Sarah Palin was quite the read.

Today, E. J. Dionne addresses "The Elephant at the Health Care Summit".
Obama is saying: Look -- he always says “look” when he’s impatient -- Democrats have already included a lot of Republican suggestions in these health reform bills, and here they are. What more do you want? If the only way to get Republican votes is for moderate and liberal Democrats to enact conservative Republican ideas into law, that’s not bipartisanship. That’s capitulation. Can’t you see that?

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Polling Has Begun

One of our Klickitat Democrats was called the other night.

I got one of those “taking a poll” calls on Saturday. The primary focus of the call seemed to be that they were polling people to see If they thought it was a good idea to get rid of 800-900 union jobs for the State Liquor control, close all the state liquor stores and put the sales of liquor in the grocery stores. For some reason, I tend to think the poll might have also been related to Safeway, Costco or Walmart, because my attitude toward all three was asked.

I don’t agree with putting liquor sales in the stores. Too little control on who buys it….

We've got some serious budget issues in our state, as do most of the lower 48. There will probably lots of polls coming to take the pulse of the people. Usually you can't figure out where they are coming from until near the end, when more questions are asked about your reaction to specific companies, people or products.

So it would be interesting if our readers would send in their polling experiences. Gives us all something to think about (in case we get called). Feel free to share comments and experiences.

As for the State Liquor stores, this writer has lived in half a dozen states with laws that range from all alcohol, including wine and beer, sold in liquor stores only to all alcohol sold everywhere and you can drink it in public as long as it is in a plastic cup (think French Quarter). I have no problem with WA having State Liquor stores, for control purposes as well as the alcohol awareness programs they fund. Alcohol abuse is a serious problem, especially among our young people. I drink mostly wine and beer anyway, conveniently available in grocery stores. Getting rid of state liquor stores is not high on my priority list of issues, though I'm sure the big chains which would like to get a piece of the action disagree.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Klickitat County Supports Education

Latest election results:

Election Results

February 9, 2010
Certification Date:02/24/2010
Number of Precincts:24
Number of Registered Voters:9177
Total Ballots Cast:4776
Ballots Left to Count:-
Next Ballot Count On:Feb 23 2010 5:00PM
Last Tabulated:Feb 11 2010 2:11PM
Voter Turnout:52.04%

Prosser Consolidated School District No. 116-219 Proposition No. 1 Replacement Of Expiring Maintenance And Operation Levy
Combined County Results

CandidateVotesVotes %

15 65.22%

8 34.78%
CandidateVotesVotes %
Tax Levy Yes

125 62.50%
Tax Levy No

75 37.50%
Glenwood School District No. 401 GENERAL OPERATING EXPENSES LEVY
CandidateVotesVotes %
Tax Levy YES

118 65.92%
Tax Levy NO

61 34.08%
Klickitat School District No. 402 MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION LEVY
CandidateVotesVotes %

125 70.22%

53 29.78%
Goldendale School District No. 404 Replacement Maintenance and Operation Levy
CandidateVotesVotes %
Tax Levy-Yes

1,480 64.04%
Tax Levy-No

831 35.96%
White Salmon Valley School District No. 405/17 REPLACEMENT MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION LEVY
Combined County Results

CandidateVotesVotes %

996 52.98%

884 47.02%

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Don't Kill the Gorge Commission

Heads up from Friends of the Gorge:
Bad news.  A bill has popped up in the Washington
legislature to repeal the Columbia Gorge Compact,
which would effectively put the Columbia River Gorge
Commission out of business. It is fromRep. Kevin
Van De Wege, a democrat from Sequim who doesn't appear
to have anything in particular against the Gorge,
he just wants to cut costs. However the savings,
which would amount to 1/100th of 1% of the current
deficit in Olympia, is wiped out by the one-time
costs to pay off the lease and pay insurance and
unemployment costs.

The Columbia Gorge is one of the most beloved treasures
in the Pacific Northwest. This bill puts in jeopardy what
everyone wants: a beautiful Columbia Gorge for
generations to come.

Friends of the Gorge is asking that you take one
minute to email or call your State Representative and
ask that they contact the Speaker of the House to pull
this bill before it goes for a floor vote.

Please visit this website to take action:


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

We Have Issues...

We get lots of emails about issues and proposed legislation from national, state and local entities. We'll be posting some of the local and state issues in this blog to help you make your voice heard. Today we got mail from our State Vice Chair, who is doing a great job fostering communication between the State Party and local Democrats, helping us focus our efforts.

Lawns are not big deals here in the gorge. Most of us know about water shortages, watering restrictions, the negative impact runoff has to fish and water quality, and the benefits of native plantings. But not everyone is as savvy when it comes to lawns and fertilizers. There is even a sample letter you can copy and paste.

From Sharon Smith:

Yesterday we received something really shameful. Senske Lawn & Tree Care sent out an email (we received it forwarded to us) opposing some really important legislation. Go to http://cforjustice.org/2010/02/10/lawn-services-in-a-lather/ to learn more about the email.

We need to take action to support these bills that are very important to us. A coalition of environmental groups, water quality professionals, industry and municipalities have proposed a bill that would restrict the use of phosphorus in lawn fertilizer. Phosphorus impacts water quality in our waterways by increasing algae blooms and noxious weeds and reducing oxygen levels that is necessary for fish. The chemical industry is in Olympia confusing the issue and we’ve got to clear it up before the bill gets killed.

Please write your Senators and Representatives and tell them to pass SB 6289 and HB 2744. There’s even a letter below that you can use so it’ll only take a minute!

Go to http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx to find your elected officials and send them an email as soon as possible. Also, copy Senator Marr and Representative Ormsby. As two of our sponsors, they want to know that this bill is supported! Chris Marr: marr.chris@leg.wa.gov Representative Timm Ormsby: Ormsby.timm@leg.wa.gov.

Dear XX:

Please support Senate Bill 6289 and its companion bill HB 2744, an act protecting lake water quality by reducing phosphorus from lawn fertilizers. The chemical industry has mounted a strong campaign encouraging you not to support it, but I am here to tell you why you should support it.

Our lakes and rivers are under incredible stress from excess phosphorus sources. It causes all kinds of water quality issues such as increased aquatic plant growth, decreased dissolved oxygen levels and increased algae blooms.

This bill is good for Washington waters:

You do not need phosphorus to control lawn disease

The opposition says that by limited phosphorus you encourage ringspot disease in lawns. This is not true. Washington State University states that ringspots are caused by too much or too little water and not too little phosphorus.

By taking phosphorus out of fertilizer you control a difficult source of pollution.

The opposition states that phosphorus is actually coming from other sources like pet waste, septics, and decaying leaves. That is true, BUT the actual amounts coming from these sources are not quantified and they are all sources which are very hard to control. However, taking phosphorus (which isn’t even needed) out of lawn fertilizer is an effective way to reduce the amount reaching lakes and rivers. It also helps all the companies who are charged with trying to reach prescribed phosphorus levels such as Inland Paper Company and Avista, both are companies that support this bill.

The science shows that decreasing phosphorus in fertilizer protects our water quality. A study in Michigan has seen a decrease up to 28% in phosphorus in stormwater runoff thanks to the ban in place.

Soil tests can cost as little as $30

The opposition is saying that the soil tests are cost prohibitive to citizens. This is simply not true. There are plenty of labs that run soil tests for around $30. The bill only asks for a soil test when a resident wants to apply fertilizer containing phosphorus. People can use the phosphorus-free fertilizers according to label application rates without a soil test.

Plenty of phosphorus in soil and when extra is applied, it runs off

It has been show that Washington soils generally have plenty of phosphorus in the soil. When a soil has enough phosphorus, extra phosphorus can not be bound to the soil particles and with watering of the lawn the excess phosphorus just runs into the nearest lake, river, or storm drain.

Established lawns don’t need phosphorus

Established lawns are desired for the beautiful green color, and that comes from the additional nitrogen not phosphorus.

Thank you for your time and consideration – I urge you to support Senate Bill 6289 and its companion House Bill 2744.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Senate Race Competition

A message from our CD4 'Fearing' Leader:

In addition to working for the election of Jay Clough this fall, we will also be working for the reelection of Washington’s best United States Senator ever, Patty Murray. Below is a link to speeches delivered by Republican challengers to the little lady in tennis shoes.

The Reclining Chair (aka George Fearing)