Washington Senate investigating harassment allegation against Sen. Kevin Ranker – Seattle Times

In a shocking revelation, it has been reported that State Senator Kevin Ranker, of Orcas Island, and one of the environmental leaders in the Senate, is under investigation for sexual harassment of a legislative aide. The aide, who has come forward and is helping the investigation, worked for Senator Ranker when he was a county councilman and in his first year in office in the Senate. According to the aide, they had a consensual relationship that turned sour around the time that he was elected to the Senate. The former aide, Ann Larson, still works in state government.

From the Times story, the issue does not appear to be revolving around the consensual relationship, but about how the relationship ended and her treatment after she began working for him in his district office. The charges stem from a hostile workplace and sexual harassment charges.

Senator Ranker has been often considered the legislative bulldog championing global warming, oil spill protection, banning Atlantic salmon fish farms, Orca protection and many other causes. Senator Ranker is cooperating fully with the investigation.

Read the rest of the story at

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/washington-senate-investigating-harassment-allegation-against-sen-kevin-ranker/

Legislature starts and new enviro bills kick off

And so it begins. I’ll do my best to keep up on this as it goes along.

Ericksen, Ranker introduce dueling oil transportation safety bills http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2015/01/14/4078637_ericksen-ranker-introduce-dueling.html
Two legislators who represent parts of Whatcom County have introduced dueling oil transportation safety bills in the Senate. Wasting no time, Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, introduced his bill the first day of the session. As chair of the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee, he will host a public hearing on the bill tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 15 at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 14, Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, along with Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Kitsap County, introduced oil legislation requested by Gov. Jay Inslee. That bill has also been referred to Ericksen’s committee. Samantha Wohlfeil reports. (Bellingham Herald)

2013 NW Straits Conference Overview

Just got back from a great two days at the NW Straits conference, held in Bellingham. The good folks that steer our Marine Resource Committees always put together a  conference worth attending, and the only unfortunate thing is that they can’t invite the world at large.

Pictured below, Caroline Gibson and Sasha Horst from the NW Straits Commission greet attendees, while Jefferson County Commissioner and ex-fisherman, Phil Johnson discusses net pens.

2013 NW Straits Collage

This year, Washington State Senator Kevin Ranker and Dr. Terrie Klinger started off by giving an update to the state of the science and legislative activity around  Ocean Acidification.  Washington State is at the forefront of global science on this emerging issue, and the Governor has taken the step to create a commission to look into it and get some actions going on this.

Funding for research and data collection is underway, and we were told that funding for educational activities is not,and pressure needs to be exerted to get this to the schools as new curriculum.

Hugh Shipman of the Washington State Department of Ecology spoke on Sea Level Rise in the Puget Sound basin, and Tina Whitman of Friends of the San Juans along with Andrea MacLennon of the Coastal Geographic Services brought people up to speed on how the scientists and policy makers are measuring and planning for sea level rise in San Juan County.

Kathleen Herrmann of the Snohomish County MRC gave a very interesting talk on a new method for gaining public acceptance of MRC goals, using Collective Impact, which is a model framework applied here for marine conservation. Kathleen has done a great job of researching this and applying it to their issues.

Will Stelle, who is the west coast regional administrator for NOAA Fisheries, closed out day one, with a really entertaining overview of the issues facing the west coast. I would have to say that this overview should be mandatory for all of us trying to get a good overview of the state of affairs right now. It’s a huge span of work. Will presents it with humor and passion.

Conservation biologist Thor Hanson was the after dinner speaker, giving an overview on his new book, Feathers. Thor’s enthusiasm for his work is quite funny and, yes, I bought the book.

On day two: there was tracks on Tools for Promoting Ocean Acidification (O.A.) Literacy, and in another room, an overview of Nearshore Habitat Restoration: From Idea to Reality, Advice from Local Experts. In the O.A.literacy program, Alexis Valauri-Orton, the Thomas J. Watson Fellow presented a really interesting look at her recent research work in talking to various cultures around the world being affected by O.A. Paul Williams of the Suquamish Tribe updated us on their efforts to teach the issue, and Meg Chadsey of Washington Sea Grant also presented.

After lunch, in addition to an overview of evaluating metrics and outreach projects, Dan Tonnes and Helen Berry gave great insight into Rockfish recovery efforts and Kelp monitoring and management in Puget Sound.

Will Stelle – NOAA West Coast Fisheries Administrator on Fisheries and Furloughs – 45 minutes long. Download the audio file and listen.  http://sdrv.ms/17Z2Kzi

All these presentations will be put up in both audio and video formats for download within the next week.  Check back for the links to them. 

‘Bipartisan’ state Senate means rejecting voters’ own values–State Senator Kevin Ranker

40th Legislative District State Senator Kevin Ranker writes an oveview of his point of view of the Republican take over of the State Senate, dispite the voters electing a Democratic majority. This assures a dismal legislative year of partisan bickering in Olympia and no improvement to the overall issues voters care about. A very important overview in Crosscut.

http://crosscut.com/2013/01/02/washington-legislature/112259/state-senate-bombshell-democratic-kevin-ranker/

%d bloggers like this: