For war games next year, Navy wants to post trucks with electromagnetic radiation equipment on West End – PDN

So this is the rest of the story, which was originally posted in the Forks Forum and reposted here. The Forks Forum article read like a conspiracy theory report, with mentions of a tiny notice in one location in Forks and no contact with local newspapers, elected officials or anyone else. I almost didn’t pass it along because I didn’t have time to verify it independently.

Without any debate from our elected officials in the last three years, we have allowed the Navy to continue to turn our forests, waters  and airspace into a training ground for their war games. Since the Forest Service has decided that there is no health hazard (a bureaucrat decided this on the public’s behalf  without consulting scientists apparently), the Navy has not been asked to do a public Environmental Impact statement.  For those hiking, mushroom collecting, fishing, and hunting in the woods, you may never even know you are possibly being given large doses of electromagnetic radiation. We have endangered species like the Marbled Murrlett, and the Spotted Owl along with eagles out there in those woods as well. All you can hope is that the Navy actually sees you before they blast you. It would be great to see one of our elected officials step in and demand an EIS on this, rather than rely on the good graces of the military, which operates much of what they do in total secret. Without it, we have no idea of what kind of risks this poses. It’s the kind of thing that is much better suited to a treeless, remote Alaskan island in the Aleutians than a working forest.

My issue with all this, is that while well meaning, many of the soldiers working in our bases around here are not from here. And their commanders apparently don’t train them on how these issues affect us. They have no local knowledge of the people who sail, work the forests, or otherwise live here. We see that all the time in the way we are treated when the Coast Guard stops us sailing around the Bay because they need to practice their boarding techniques, treating us as criminals or possible terrorists. We are the ones who pay their salaries. They serve to protect us. We may be doing nothing more than sailing around an area that they are practicing in, and we become their targets for the day. We also see it in the lack of concern that the Navy shows by flying jets at all hours of the day and night. And now we see it here, where military personnel apparently decided there was no reason to really notify anyone about a major war games project in our woods. As an example, on the Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee, we have a standing open position for the Navy, a key player in the shorelines and waters of our county. Despite repeated attempts over the years to get them to participate, by sending even one low level PR person to the meetings, they have never felt it necessary to even show up. It just shows a lack of interest in engaging the public, except when they are forced to. This wargames story is another sad example of that.

FORKS — The Navy wants to allow three camper-sized trucks with electromagnetic radiation equipment to conduct war exercises with military aircraft from 15 sites in Clallam, Jefferson and Grays Harbor counties.

The locations — 12 in Olympic National Forest and three on state Department of Natural Resources land — would be part of the Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range and would involve aircraft from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

Read the rest of the story here: (and support local journalism by subscribing to the PDN!)

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140926/NEWS/309269975/for-war-games-next-year-navy-wants-to-post-trucks-with

Company seeking ‘pit-pier’ project sues state, Navy over new Hood Canal conservation easement

Here it comes, the lawsuit. This is likely to take a long time to move through the courts, maybe a decade.

Hood Canal Sand and Gravel, the company seeking the long-planned “pit to pier” gravel operation, has filed suit in Jefferson County Superior Court in an effort to block a state and federal plan to block development along the Hood Canal coastline.  Joe Smillie reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

 See also: Deadline looms for comments on the pit-to-pier impact statement http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/local-news/deadline-looms-for-comments-on-the-pittopier-impact-statement_72560226 Christopher Dunagan reports. (Kitsap Sun)

 http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140806/news/308069970/company-seeking-8216-pit-pier-8217-project-sues-state-navy-over

This week…VOTE

Have you sent in your ballot? Time to get it done! And help a neighbor remember too!

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.

 

North Olympic Sierra Club weighs in on PUD race

Received from the S.C.

The North Olympic Group of the Sierra Club is following closely the race for  Jefferson County PUD Commissioner, District 2. Recently, the PUD has assumed the
role of an electric utility but has fallen far short of what citizens had hoped for when  Jefferson County voted to establish its own pubic electric utility and to end its
longstanding relationship with Puget Sound Energy (PSE).For this reason we think it’s time for new PUD leadership. We encourage Sierra Club
members to support candidates in the primary who understand the importance of  environmental and conservation issues and the important role the PUD can play in
developing a long-range strategy that emphasizes affordable and environmentally  sustainable energy for Jefferson County. After the Sierra Club North Olympic
Peninsula Political Committee Chairs interviewed all three candidates, we felt both  challengers–Tony DeLeo and Kenneth Collins–are worthy of your support in the
primary.

Since taking on the responsibility of a power utility, the PUD has sent hundreds of disconnect notices to lower-income citizens because it failed to continue the
financial assistance programs PSE had in place for helping people pay their winter heating bills. Additionally, the PUD is faced with the prospect of turning back
hundreds of thousands of dollars earmarked for conservation by the Bonneville Power Administration because of a failure to publicize and aggressively market
these programs. Finally, despite the fact that Jefferson County has one of the highest solar adoption rates in the state, the PUD has failed to make solar one of its
priorities. This is particularly important in light of the fact that, depending on the year, from 10-20% of the PUDs electricity comes from nuclear and coal sources that
need to be phased out. It’s time for a change.

Tony DeLeo’s blogspot provides more voter information. You can view his profile and where he stands on local issues by clicking on this link:
http://deleo4pud.blogspot.com/. Kenneth Collins has provided more voter information at his website. You can view
his profile and where he stands on local issues by clicking on this link:

http://kennethcollinspud.com/

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

I’ll have a longer op-ed piece on this later today or tomorrow.

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…. Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140615/NEWS/306159962/judge-permits-timber-harvest-that-environmentalists-claim-threatens

‘Pit-to-pier’ firm appeals Jefferson County’s Shoreline Master Plan- PDN

The Peninsula Daily News reports today that the Thorndyke Resources Project will take a legal challenge on the Shoreline Master Plan to the Growth Management Board. Given what the PDN reports, it seems unlikely to be successful, but hope springs eternal with these folks, and they apparently have the money to hire the lawyers to challenge it. 

Read the whole story here:

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140418/news/304189970/-8216-pit-to-pier-8217-firm-appeals-jefferson-county-8217-s

 

 

Jefferson County – Michelle McConnell leaves for Ecology

Michelle McConnell, who has been a stalwart at the Jefferson County Dept. of Community Development for many years, has chosen to leave and work for the Department of Ecology. Michelle has had the extremely hard job of shepherding the Shoreline Master Program through over the last 8 years. She has always been a steady hand and been a sea of calm in the midst of turbulent public meetings over the SMP. We will miss her guidance on these issues. No word on a replacement yet. Best of luck to Michelle in future endeavors.

I’m pleased to announce I have accepted a new job and will be leaving DCD the week of April 7; my new position will be as a Shoreline Planner with WA Department of Ecology.

I have learned a lot during my eight years with the County and it has been both challenging and rewarding to have served as Project Manager for major, multi-year projects including the Shoreline Master Program Update and Watershed Stewardship Resource Center/SquareONE.  I’m proud of the many positive contributions I’ve made to the never-ending, fast-paced and varied work of DCD.

Thanks to all the good folks I’ve met and worked with along the way!

Best wishes,

Michelle

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