JeffCo Democrats to hear about orca protection at annual Fish Feast Aug. 19

It is one of the beauties of small town living that you can actually get to know politicians and them know you. This year, the Jefferson County Democrats will be holding their annual Fish Feast at the County Fairgrounds as usual. Having been at these in the past, they are a great way to meet like minded neighbors, pigeonhole politicians and present a short bit about issues you care about, have some good locally made food, and hear from State politicians on what they are doing with your tax dollars. Additionally, there will be discussions on the upcoming election, along with the efforts of the state Democratic party to win key seats in such districts as the 8th (East Side King County to Wenatchee), Spokane’s 5th, and the Vancouver WA district. All are going to be very close battles given the outcomes of the primaries. 


Hilary Franz, Washington’s commissioner of public lands, is expected to update Jefferson County Democrats about actions by her department to protect southern-resident orca in Puget Sound. Recent pictures and videos of a mother orca carrying her dead calf for days have captured public attention around the world.

 

Franz will be the keynote speaker during the JeffCo Democrats’ 24th annual Fish Feast at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Erickson Building, 4907 Landes St. Doors open at 4 p.m. for refreshments and socializing, followed by dinner at 5:30 p.m., and speeches by Franz and others.

The Department of Natural Resources headed by Franz is part of a task force on orca recovery that Gov. Jay Inslee established in March. The task force is charged with examining the threats and conditions that have depleted the southern-resident killer whales and then recommending a recovery program.

(Also, I am board chairman of the non-profit Sound Action that is also represented on one of the task force subcommittees by our Executive Director, Amy Carey.)

The state DNR manages and protects nearly 6 million acres of forest, range, agricultural, aquatic, and commercial lands for more than $200 million in annual financial benefit for public schools, state institutions, and county services. Jefferson County is in DNR’s Orca-Straits District for protecting habitat and providing public access in state-owned aquatic lands.

Also scheduled to speak are state Rep. Noel Frame of Seattle, vice chair of the House Finance Committee, discussing her work on behalf of labor, unions, small business and tax reform with a focus on the business and occupation tax. Other speakers will be the two state representatives for the 24th District (including Jefferson County), Mike Chapman and Steve Tharinger, and the Washington State Democrats chair, Tina Podlodowski.

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell has committed to the fundraiser with her financial sponsorship of a table for 20 Young Democrats. She had hoped to attend the Fish Feast but can’t because there is no August recess for the U.S. Senate.

Claire Roney, Fish Feast organizer, said the Fish Feast is the JeffCo Democrats’ major fundraiser of the year. The cost per ticket is $50. Ticket contributions support party work for Democratic causes and candidates. One dollar of each ticket is donated to the Jefferson County Fair Board. If you want cannot afford the tickets, but want to volunteer to work on the event in the kitchen or serving, there is a limited set of tickets for volunteers. Contact the number below for more information.

Tickets may be purchased online at https://jeffcodemocrats.com/fish-feast-2018/. For more information, call or text 360-379-5655.

The menu includes sockeye salmon from Key City Fish, BBQ by Dos Okies’ Larry Dennison, shellfish courtesy of Taylor Shellfish, Port Townsend Brewing Co. beers, Pane d’Amore rolls, greens and veggies from local farms, wine from the Wine Cellar, and cake.

 

 

 

 

Dems maintain control in Peninsula primaries

If there was any question about whether the Democrats (and Democratic incumbents at that) would maintain control of offices here on the Olympic Peninsula, that was pretty much laid to rest with the outcome of the primaries.

Senator Maria Cantwell (against a vast array of challengers), U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer,  State Representatives Tharinger and Chapman, all easily shook off the opposition, by very large percentages. In the hotly contested 5th District of Spokane, the race against the incumbent Republican Sally McMorris Rogers against newcomer Lisa Brown is in a virtual dead heat. Democrats from across the state have converged on Spokane to get out the vote, and they obviously succeeded. The November race will be one of the most closely watched in the country, along with likely being one of the most expensive as both parties will pour the money in to hold or win the seat. Obviously, the shenanigans in the White House and Congress did not help Ms. Rogers.

The 8th district is going to be tough. Dino Rossi easily overcame any opposition, and the Dems are going to have to coalesce behind their candidate, who at this moment appears to be Pediatrician Kim Schrier. However that race is too close to call at this moment.

In the usually Republican safe district 3,Jaime Herrera Beutler ran against the two Democratic opponents, Carolyn Long who brought in 36.1% of the votes and David McDevitt won 8.1% of the vote. If the Democrats can iron out their differences and show up to vote as a block in November, they should win.

Clallam County, which went for the President in the last election, decidedly shifted back to blue with the primary.  Republican candidates did very poorly in voter turnout. Democratic incumbents easily crushed Republican numbers.

In Jefferson County’s third district, the south part of the county, Greg Brotherton, a well liked owner of businesses, won over Ryan McCallister for the chance to run against Jon Cooke, the Republican challenger.

The Jefferson County Democratic faction called the “Progressives” did not succeed in their attempt to take over the  Jefferson County Democrats, as a majority of  the “Back on Track” Democratic Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs) won the precincts that they needed to win by approximately 21 to 38 (some are still too close to call).  The “Back on Track” faction is primarily those Democrats who have successfully destroyed Republican candidates for a decade, delivered Jefferson County to Obama twice, Bernie Sanders in the primaries, and then successfully delivered the county to Hilary Clinton, which angers some of the Bernie supporters, who felt that because they had won the primary in 2016 and Hillary lost (although she won the popular vote both in WA and nationwide, only losing in a few states that had nothing to do with the local Dems), that they were entitled to take control of the local party. That’s the backstory of why you saw more PCO candidates this year than ever before in the history of the county.

The tactics of the “progressives” appeared to turn off a lot of Democratic voters. Having been at a few Democratic meetings, the take no prisoners attitude and lack of decorum shown at the monthly meetings by some of their supporters seemed better suited to the rough and tumble world of Seattle politics, rather than the laid back nature of Jefferson County.  Hopefully both  factions will  hold hands in a circle and sing  “Kumbaya” at the annual Fish Fry.  Sitting back and not participating because your candidate didn’t win is not an option.  All hands are needed on deck in November to ensure that environmental and human rights protections are retained in WA DC, against the onslaught of the current administration. There is  no time left to stop man made global warming. The goal now is to start to understand how to live with it, along with how to help the climate refugees of Puerto Rico, Redding,  Santa Rosa, and many other locations burning up in this country.  For all we know, we may be next. The Republicans would do well to own up to global warming destroying the lives and homes of their constituents (Redding went heavily for Rs in the last election, including the President). Why not create a war on carbon based global warming? We’ve crushed ISIS. We are in an endless war on terror. The next endless war should be with anything involved in using the internal combustion engine or coal. That will last a lifetime or two.

Other news is that Joe Nole trounced Sheriff Stanko. This was perhaps the surprise of the election.  His common sense approach to tackling the issues of the sheriff’s department and concerns of collusion between the sheriff’s office and ICE was on the minds of voters.

Kennedy beat Haas for prosecutor’s office.  Kennedy very successfully pointed out that he had quit the office and went to work for Clallam County (while still living in Jefferson) and wanted to bring back what he considered better management of the office. Apparently voters agreed.

Kudos need to go out to State Democratic chairperson Tina Podlowski, who tirelessly hammered away at Washington Democrats to donate and get out the vote. Locally, the Democratic party at many levels, both “Progressives”and  the “Back on Track” people all did huge efforts to get out the vote for their candidates, which helped overall turnout. While some lost and some won, democracy was affirmed by the large voter turnout in Jefferson County. It is hard to say you didn’t have someone to vote for that could affirm your point of view, whatever it was. And a reminder that some of the greatest politicians our country has ever seen, from many political perspectives, were losers at least once. Losing in politics only means that your tactics and timing were off. Maybe next time they will align. No hard feelings. This is politics. Someone always loses. Figure out why. Then fix it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change – The NY Times

If you read only one article all year, this is it. We have known for decades and our inaction has spelled disaster.  We can no longer stop man made global warming, now the job is to figure out how to survive it.

 

Europe and the effects of climate change.-NY Times

It is always difficult when you were in the eye of the storm to understand the scope of how big the store might actually be. Here is a good overall round up of the effects of climate change on Europe this year.

No matter what happens to try to reverse this we are facing long-term affects that will have a massive change to where we live as well. The summer fire season in both Washington state and Canada as well as the areas of northern California is already well-documented. Will be interesting to see what effects happen to the farmers of Eastern Washington with the temperatures as hot as they have been. and on the Horizon is the hurricane season in the Atlantic.

nyti.ms/2O7HS4I

Congress Voting To Let More Sea Lions Be Killed To Protect Salmon – KNKX

The drumbeat to kill ‘nuisance’ sea lions to protect the dwindling runs of salmon in the NW continues, with Senator Maria Cantwell joining the bandwagon by putting forward legislation in the Senate to lower the paperwork restrictions to allow culling of any sea lion deemed to be a problem.

Whether killing hundreds (the likely number is unknown) of sea lions around the Bonneville dam and other locations will allow a significant number of salmon to make it back up river to spawn is anyones guess.

The whole situation seems to be pointing to made to order for the current Republican administration. Rather than providing greater opportunities for salmon to spawn, by removing dams that block their return (thereby creating the very situation that causes the sea lions to show up to eat) or allowing more water to be carried over the dams (not favored by farmers and freight haulers), or restricting more development along rivers (not favored by developers), the legislature goes after simply killing off animals in the hope that more won’t just show up to fill the gap. Not sure that nature works that way. It abhors a vacuum, and hungry sea lions showed up because food was abundant, not scarce. While salmon runs all along the west coast are struggling, it’s clear that the sea lions are going to go where the food is plentiful. And of course, as global warming engulfs us, due to our insatiable appetite for fossil fuel, which the administration refuses to even acknowledge, the river flows are going to get less, not more. It’s just more pretzel logic.

As reported on this blog just a day or so ago, Canadian scientists nixed this idea, saying that there was not a noticeable increase in sea lions due to salmon being present.

In a clash of protected species, Pacific Northwest members of Congress are coming down in favor of salmon. The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee is scheduled to vote Thursday morning to make it easier to kill sea lions who feast on Columbia and Willamette River salmon and steelhead.

Read or listen to the whole story here: http://www.knkx.org/post/congress-voting-let-more-sea-lions-be-killed-protect-salmon

Supreme Court rejects government motion in “climate kids” case.

Stunning loss for the Trump administration. Now the facts can be presented in court and the kids can claim damages and a threat to their “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Ours too!

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to suspend proceedings in a potential landmark climate case that pits a group of youth plaintiffs against the federal government.

The court’s decision preserves the Oct. 29 start date for a federal trial in U.S. District Court in Eugene.

Read the whole story here;

http://www.registerguard.com/news/20180730/supreme-court-rejects-government-motion-in-climate-kids-case

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Harbour seals are easy scapegoats in Chinook salmon decline – Vancouver Sun

Once again, the knee jerk reaction to ‘solving’ a problem is balanced by the scientists who actually study the problem. There has been a call for culling harbour seals, with ‘everyone’ knowing that they see a lot of them and they are eating a lot of salmon, apparently. Well, here’s the alternative point of view, rather than fake news.

It’s partly out of concern for the latter sparking recent calls for a cull of harbour seals, with those in favour citing a recent explosion in the seal population as principal cause of the decline of Chinook salmon. “Explosion?” Yikes. This is serious, and we had better respond. But, hold on a minute — there has been virtually no change in seal numbers in B.C. in more than 20 years. But for the whales — which face additional threats that include vessel strikes, pollution, underwater noise, and a shrinking gene pool — the problem is, as usual, us humans.

Dr. Peter Ross is the vice-president of research, and Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard is director of the Cetacean Research Program at Ocean Wise.

Read the whole story at:

Opinion: Harbour seals are easy scapegoats in Chinook salmon decline

Support your local newspaper, no matter how lame it is. Blogs don’t replace reporters who are paid a living wage to take the time to get the news and boil it down to something we can understand. Fight those that constantly refer to the press as the ‘enemy of the people’ and ‘fake news’. Those voices are demagogues who are only working to promote their own point of view to their own profit.

 

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