Newsletter: Hirst Decision, calendar

posted in: Chair's Corner | 0

Greetings all!

Central Committee Meeting

this Saturday 


 11:45 am

Heritage Bank in Friday Harbor

All conservatives are welcome!


Since we are meeting this week, and there are a number of important deadlines early in the week, it is one of the rare weeks where I will email more than once. I will send out another reminder about our central committee meeting at the end of the week.

Note: OPALCO ballots must arrive by May 4th. Lopez special election ends today — the 25th. See last week’s email for more details. Sound Publishing has published a Q&A this week about OPALCO, found in the Islands Weekly and the Sounder.

Public Hospital District #1 is meeting tomorrow, 4/26, at the Legislative Hearing Room located at 55 Second Street. Michelle Loftus has sent us an update which can be read here. As she reports, there is a bit of a split, with several commissioners wanting to give the $50,000 in question to hospice and the paramedical program. See for more details about the meeting. Agenda can be found here.

Today is the last day to nominate someone (or yourself) for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) (Islander reports here). We have previously circulated this issue, but by way of update, I emailed the contact, Marcia deChadenedes (SJI Nat’l Mon. Manager, Spokane district), and posted her reply on the website. It has the documents you need to apply and some explanatory information.

The Hirst Decision:

Are you are familiar with the Hirst decision? It is the court case in WA State that made it so that if you want to drill a well, you cannot do so if it might feasibly impact a river or stream. This is a major issue for property owners across the state, and a perfect example of how much local and state matters impact our daily life. It also gives the government tremendous control over whether you can build or not. State Representative John Koster (Arlington) has been doing excellent work to ameliorate the impact of this decision:

John Koster’s update here (posted on our website)
WA State Dept of Ecology has a concise overview here.
Seatle Times, March 1st: “State Senate passes bill to address ‘Hirst’ water-rights decision” (the house has not yet passed a similar measure)
To see the House bill on the table click here.
Seattle Times, April 13th: “Fix court decision: Property without water is worthless
The Washington Policy Center has an excellent article on the Hirst decision as well, and another on water issues generally.
If you want to do something about this, you could email the members of the Committee for Agriculture and Natural Resources, but you must do it soon.
The WA Legislature also has a website that direct you to the right place to comment on a bill.

Really, this is about much more than water rights. It prevents rural development of all kinds.

Also, does this change your mind about how important the 45th Legislative district special election is? It will determine which party controls the state legislature. (click here for our past coverage of this issue). It will be on the primary ballot in August.

The legislative term ended on the 23rd of April, they are currently holding a special session (Island Guardian Reports). This is the 7th special session in 8 years and is primarily to resolve budget issues resulting from the McCleary decision (where the state supreme court held that the state was not spending enough on education).

Other Links:

San Juan Island Real Estate update. This is of interest to property owners and would-be property owners alike. Island Guardian reports.

Seattle is considering an income tax. Seriously. Seattle Times reports.

Homelessness is a difficult problem to solve and has been in the news a lot lately. I was reminded of this the other day when I saw a man sleeping outside in Friday Harbor at about midnight. The Seattle area is attempting an integrated solution. Seattle Times reports.

The county council has altered the plastic bag ordance. The Journal reports.

County Calendar: (details here)

Public Hospital District #1 Meeting

April 26, 2017, 5:00 PM @ Legislative Hearing Room

Building Advisory Council Meeting
April 27, 2017, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM @ Orcas Ferry Landing Building

Veterans Advisory Board Meeting
April 28, 2017, 11:45 AM - 1:45 PM @ Large Legislative Conference Room

SJC Council Monday Meeting
May 1, 2017, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM @ Council Hearing Room

SJC Council Tuesday Meeting
May 2, 2017, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM @ Council Hearing Room

Eastsound Plan Review Committee Meeting
May 4, 2017, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM @ Eastsound Station 21

Noxious Weed Control Board Meeting
May 5, 2017, 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM @ WSU – Skagit Campus

Human Services Advisory Board
May 8, 2017, 11:45 AM - 1:15 PM @ Large Legislative Conference Room

SJC Council Monday Meeting
May 8, 2017, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM @ Council Hearing Room

SJC Council Tuesday Meeting
May 9, 2017, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM @ Council Hearing Room

Please consider picking a meeting and attending it. If you attend any of these meetings, please pass along what you learn to me