Posted by: sweeneyblog | February 1, 2013

Friday Odds and Ends: Inslee, Coal and the Fourth Judge

Hello Loyal Readers,

I know, another week with very little content. Don’t worry, it will pick up here soon, bear with me. I’ve got a couple of great interviews in the can: one with Sen. Ranker, as well as an interview with Stephanie Kountouros of Planned Parenthood. But that’s material for later, right now it is time for the Odds and Ends.

Remember that bill Sen. Doug Ericksen,(update: and Sen. Kevin Ranker) and Rep. Kris Lytton were working on to add an extra Superior Court justice to Whatcom County? It just got passed out of the Senate and is headed for the house. This could set off an interesting set of elections. Will previous Superior Court contenders David Grant and Carrie Coppinger Carter make this seek a sort of “runner-up runoff” election? Will more candidates come out of the woodwork? If this bill passes, it could lead to some interesting judicial elections in Whatcom. (Well, as interesting as judicial elections get. Which is more entertaining than watching the county council, but not nearly as entertaining as watching the planning commission).

Gov. Inslee wants you . . . provided you live in these six areas.

Gov. Inslee . . . stops at 12.

Jay Inslee doesn’t think we are important. Okay, that isn’t totally fair, but he has posted some job openings and among them, he is hiring six “Regional Outreach Representatives.” These representatives would help with scheduling the governor when he is in their area and help “maximize the Governor’s time in their regions.” But here’s where it gets interesting. The six regions are Vancouver, Tacoma/Olympia, Seattle/King County, Everett, Yakima and Spokane. Notice something missing? The selected regions cover the state’s top 12 cities (assuming suburban communities such Renton, Kent, Federal Way, Kirkland and Bellevue are covered by King County and Tacoma people).  But no Bellingham (13th largest) or Tri-Cities (Kennewick is 14, Pasco is 16 and Richland is 21, but combined they are higher). I am really delighted the governor is spending the time and resources to keep himself connected to the communities of his state. Too often, governors stay in Olympia and Seattle with token visits to Spokane every once in a while. But I am disappointed Whatcom County is left out in the cold. Does the person who monitors Everett have time to pay attention to Skagit and Whatcom when they’re kept busy with Marysville (17th), Edmonds (26th), Lynnwood (30th) and Lake Stevens (39th)? What about the Olympic Peninsula? There are some huge communities out there that have some very specialized needs.

Finally, there is a new state-wide poll showing that on the issue of shipping coal, Washington state is pretty evenly divided, but not on particularly regional lines. Check it out.

That’s all for now! Stay dry and warm out there. I’m hopefully going to pick up the pace here in the next couple of weeks.



  1. FYI – The fourth judge legislation was originally my legislation. Doug and I first discussed this some time back this summer and agreed to work on it together. As often happens with agreeable legislation like this, the member from the Majority party will co�sponsor the legislation with the member from the Minority party. When the Majority switched in the Senate, we agreed to switch the first and second signatures on the bill. We both worked on this bill from the first discussions with the Whatcom Bar Association and judges last June.

    • Good to see Kevin and Doug working together on positive legislation. Sometimes it seems so bad in Olympia that nobody can even talk to each other…

  2. The Coal Poll!
    Of course the trick to surveying is to couch the questions in terms that reflect a favorable bias, as in 2000 jobs and then 200 permanent ones which we all know is horseshit of the highest order.
    NIne trains a day snaking through your community? I’d guess that math is off by 100 percent seeing as how those snakes must return to the pit for more filth every freaking day.

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