Here are the Initiatives Coming to Your Ballot this November

This November we’ll see four initiatives on our ballot. And one of those “Advisory Votes” required by law, but which do not carry the force of law. The requirement to hold advisory votes came about through an initiative (I-960) approved by voters in November, 2007.

The online voter’s guide contains a good deal of useful information about each of the initiatives. There you will find a link to the full text of the initiative, an explanatory statement, fiscal impacts, and official arguments for and against each initiative.

Initiative Measure No. 940 “concerns law enforcement.”

According to the explanatory statement, “This measure addresses three aspects of law enforcement. First, it addresses when law enforcement officers may use deadly force. Second, it requires de-escalation and mental health training for officers. Third, it requires officers to provide first aid in certain circumstances.”

It’s important that voters realize the importance of this this initiative removes de facto immunity enjoyed by law enforcement in Washington, when deadly force is used. That immunity from prosecution is replaced with a so-called “good faith” standard. It also requires independent investigations of police who use deadly force.

The website at https://www.deescalatewa.org/ provides information in favor of the initiative.

I have been unable to locate a comprehensive website representing arguments opposing the initiative. However, voters should know the Washington State Fraternal Order of Police agreed to restrictions on the use of deadly force, and some of the ideas contained within I-940. But the FOP ultimately announced it opposes I-940. The history for this is confusing. It has to do with steps taken by the Legislature.

The State Legislature passed a bill, HB 303, which was signed in to law this last Spring. You can read that law here and the FOP has said it supports HB 303. The Legislature had expected the passage of HB 303 would ensure I-940 would never make it to voters. A court challenge, however, put the initiative on the ballot, even after a compromise law was passed. The Washington State Supreme Court ruled the passage of HB 303 didn’t follow the law. In its ruling, the Court said lawmakers only have three options when an initiative is qualified for the ballot: approve a competing ballot initiative; reject the voter’s initiative; or amend it, in which case voters have to make the final decision between the original initiative and the amended version. In passing HB 303, the Legislature didn’t choose any of these options. So the Court voided HB 303 and cleared the way for I-940 to appear on the ballot.

Leslie Cushman, co-chair of De-Escalate Washington, was reported to have written, “We appreciate and honor the work we did with law enforcement and will work with law enforcement to make sure the policies in 3003 become law. And to do that, we need the solid policies of 940 in place.”

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Labor Day Marks the Unofficial Start of Election Season; Here’s How Our Ballot is Shaping Up


“Voting is the expression of our commitment to ourselves, one another, this country and this world.”

This is the first of what may become a series of articles providing information in advance of the upcoming General Election. In this first article, we ask the question, “What candidates and measures will appear on November’s General Election ballot?” The easiest answer is provided by the Secretary of State’s website. This web page is the online voter’s guide for Thurston County.

Federal offices that are up for election this year include one Senate seat. Incumbent Maria Cantwell faces off against Susan Hutchinson. The online voter’s guide includes a statement by each campaign and links to the candidate’s website. There are also links to the Federal Election Commission website. But you have to find the candidate there, to see campaign finance data.

The Griffin area is in Congressional District 10. In our Congressional District, Incumbent Denny Heck is being challenged by Joseph Brumbles.

The Griffin area is in Legislative District 35. The candidates for the State Senate are Tim Sheldon, the incumbent, and Irene Bowling. There are two State Representative seats. In Position 1, incumbent Dan Griffey is challenged by James Thomas. In Position 2, the incumbent is Drew MacEwen, whose challenger is David Daggett. The online voter’s guide includes links to information describing the principal donors to each campaign.

Three positions on the State Supreme Court appear on the ballot. Positions 2 and 9 are uncontested; there’s only one candidate for each. In Position 8, however, incumbent Steve Gonzalez is being challenged by Nathan Choi. As with the Legislative District candidates, in addition to campaign statements, there is a link to information describing the donors for each campaign. But in the case of Nathan Choi’s campaign, there is no campaign finance data reported, at all.

For the Court of Appeals, Division 2, District 2, Rebecca Glasgow is the single candidate in this uncontested race.

In Thurston County government there are three positions where there is a contest between two candidates. The other eight positions are uncontested. For the sake of brevity, what follows only describes the three races where there are two candidates.

For Thurston County Auditor, incumbent Mary Hall is being challenged by Stuart Holmes. The voter’s guide includes links to campaign finance data.

The race for Thurston County Commissioner for District 3, where the Griffin area is located, has incumbent Bud Blake facing off against Tye Menser.

For Thurston County Prosecutor, incumbent Jon Tunheim is challenged by Victor M. Minjares.

One seat on the Thurston Public Utility District is up for election. Incumbent Linda L. Oosterman is running against Andrew Saturn.

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Thanks To You, Our Community Picnic Was A Success

Taylor Shellfish Farms provided delicious food, featuring recipes by local resident Xinh Dwelley.
GNA hosts greeted event attendees.

A huge “thank you!” to all who attended this year’s community picnic, hosted by the Griffin Neighborhood Association. A special appreciation is extended to the sponsors who donated supplies, the volunteers who donated their time, and the many local businesses and organizations who participated.

This year’s picnic featured seafood prepared by Taylor Shellfish Farms and hamburgers and hotdogs prepared by volunteers and members of our Board. Drinks and chips were donated by the Steamboat Trading Post. The Island Market and Steamboat Trading Post provided the ice. Over at the driving range, the Salish Cliffs Golf Club hosted a game with prizes and there were kids’ games and face painting provided by the Steamboat Island Church. More than a dozen local businesses and organizations attended.

The Tin Cup Golf Driving Range and Steamboat Tennis & Athletic Club donated their facilities for the event. Thurston County Explorer Search & Rescue directed traffic, particularly into and out of the parking area. Wash facilities were provided by Island Johnny. Click here for a complete list of this year’s sponsors, with links to their websites.

The booths of local businesses and organizations arranged under sunny skies.

Musical guests were Humor & Heart and dulcimer musician Ellen Rice.

Each year we strive to provide a picnic event our community wants. In order to do that, we need your feedback! If you attended the picnic, let us know what you enjoyed or didn’t, and what you would like to see added or changed for next year.

If you weren’t able to attend, what would it take to get you there, next year?

Please email us with your comments and suggestions.

Big bubbles, face painting, and kids’ games were provided by the Steamboat Island Church.

One of the biggest hurdles to the organizing committee is finding volunteers to help the day of the event. If you are interested in joining the fun, please contact us at info@griffinneighbors.org.

Again, we thank our sponsors, local businesses and organizations, picnic volunteers, and our Board. But most of all, we thank you, our neighbors, for a successful community picnic.

The Griffin Neighborhood Association is entirely volunteer-run. Each year we host a number of events including this picnic, an annual meeting featuring a topic of interest to local residents, and various town halls. The mission of the Griffin Neighborhood Association is to help build community consensus on major issues confronting the Griffin area, including growth, land issues, habitat, water quality, transportation and school planning. The Griffin Neighborhood Association also undertakes and supports projects that benefit our community, help to build a sense of community, and educate the community on topics of interest.

Join the Griffin Neighborhood Association online at steamboatisland.org/joinus/

40th Annual Blueberry Bash is Sunday, August 19

St. Christopher’s Community Church will once again offer up some great summertime family fun, in the form of their ever-popular Blueberry Bash. This year’s Bash benefits the Thurston County Food Bank and you are invited to bring a canned food donation.

The Oly Mountain Boys will provide live entertainment, playing their Pacific Northwest Bluegrass from 12:30 to 3:30 PM.

Oly Mountain Boys – Pacific Northwest Bluegrass

The Bingo Garden makes its return with great prizes and there will be a raffle for a beautiful handmade quilt. A bounce house, giant bubble station, face painting, and many more kids activities will be offered.Read More

Our Annual Community Picnic is July 21st

Click for a larger image.

Perhaps the biggest event in the Griffin Neighborhood Association’s yearly calendar is the Community Picnic. On Saturday, July 21st we will again take over the lawn in front of the Tin Cup Golf Driving Range and overflow into Prosperity Grange with food and fun for the whole family. Come join your neighbors!

This year we’ll have live musical guests Humor & Heart. Local resident, Ellen Rice, will also perform with her mountain dulcimer.

Our popular bouncy house will be back, along with other kid’s activities: face painting, bag games, bubble stations, hula hoops and more. Try your skill on the golf driving range, with pro tips and prizes provided by the Salish Cliffs Golf Club.

Hamburgers, hot dogs, and beverages will be provided and, thanks to generous donations from Taylor Shellfish Farms, seafood dishes featuring the recipes of local favorite Xinh Dwelley will also be served.

A number of local organizations and businesses will provide information about their work and some great items for sale. Here are some of the local businesses and organizations who are expected to attend:

Bay Mercantile
Companion Cove
DiversiTree Arbor Care
Dogwoods Canine Play and Stay
Feline Friends
Griffin School Foundation
Lighthouse Alpaca Ranch
Melody Byrd Aprons
Nicholson Insurance
OCCU (Our Community Credit Union)
Rainbow Girls
St. Christopher’s Community Church
Stacy Lynn Wellness
Steamboat Animal Hospital
Steamboat Island 4H
Steamboat Island Cooperative Preschool
Steamboat Island United Methodist Church
Thurston County Master Gardeners FoundationRead More

Steamboat Conservation Partnership Reports to Its Members

The Steamboat Conservation Partnership has released its 2018 report to supporters on the completion of their ninth successful year of operation. Here is that report.

Donations:

During our 2017-2018 fiscal year (July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018), we raised $14,818.86 for Capitol Land Trust (CLT), earmarked to finance part of their operational activities within the Steamboat Peninsula Region where most of us live and/or own property. This was slightly below our annual goal of $15,000 in collections.
Over the nine years of the existence of the SCP, we have raised $148,447.96 for CLT, which is $13,447.96 above our goal of $135,000 for that nine-year period. We should all be very proud of generating these funds to ensure that many of our natural areas will be available to our children, grandchildren and beyond.

The SCP is a five-year agreement between the Griffin Neighborhood Association and Capitol Land Trust during which we attempt to raise at least $15,000 per year to help finance the operational activities of CLT within the Steamboat Peninsula Region (the watersheds of Eld Inlet and Totten Inlet). After completion of the first five-year agreement in 2014, a second agreement was made. We have just completed the fourth year of this five-year agreement. The SCP is unique. We are told that no other agreement for raising earmarked funds exists between a neighborhood association and a land trust in the nation.

Activities:

Since the SCP was formed in 2009, with our help, CLT has been able to add several areas to its bank of conserved properties within the Steamboat Peninsula Region, including:

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Here are the Candidates on August’s Primary Ballot

The Primary Election is Tuesday, August 7. If you are not yet registered to vote, or if you have had a change of address and haven’t informed elections officials, there is still time. The last day for new registrations is July 30, but you must register in-person at the Thurston County Auditor’s Office in order to be eligible to vote in the Primary.

Voter’s Pamphlets will be mailed on July 11 and the ballots will be mailed a week later, on July 18. As usual, ballots must either be dropped in a ballot box before 8 PM on election day or they must be postmarked by that day. There’s a ballot box conveniently located in front of the Griffin Fire Department Headquarters. Have questions about voting? The County’s elections officials have an online FAQ here. Contact the Thurston County Auditor’s Office directly, if you have other questions.

Under our state’s primary system, the top two vote-getters advance to the general election regardless of party.

Here’s a rundown of the candidates you will see on your ballot. Where the candidate’s web site could be found, the candidate’s name is linked to the web site.

U.S. Senator

There are 30 candidates for this position (according to the Spokesman-Review, “The modern record for a U.S. Senate race in Washington is 33, set in 1983”). The entire list appears in the Voter’s Pamphlet.

Maria Cantwell is the Democratic incumbent. Her chief challenger is Susan Hutchison (Republican Party)

U.S. Representative – Congressional District No. 10

Denny Heck is the Democratic incumbent. His challengers are:

Nancy Dailey Slotnick (Indep. Centrist Party)

Tamborine Borrelli ( Ind. Progressive Party)

Joseph Brumbles (Republican Party)Read More

Griffin ‘Old School’ Reunion this July 21

If you attended school in the original Griffin School building – the one built in 1927 – there is a reunion at the new Griffin School cafeteria, this July 21st. This is a social gathering and will include a tour of the “new” facility. “We did this once before in 1999 and it was a great success!” writes organizer Mike Dermond. “We will again supply name tags and be taking pictures and updating contact information.”

“If your parents are available, bring them too as they supported us during this period and were part of the excellent education we received which continues to this day.”

Old Griffin School Reunion
July 21

12 noon
Griffin School cafeteria

PLEASE PASS THE WORD TO OTHER ALUMS!

Hope to see you there!

For more information, contact Mike Dermond at (206) 962-9337, dermond@uw.edu

 

For the rest of you, interested in learning a little more about the history of the Griffin School – the 1927 building was demolished after the new building was opened, in 1969 – click here to read an article published on the GriffinNeighbors blog.

Sovereign Cellars Spring Wine Tasting Event, POSTPONED to June 23 and 24

Click on the link for a larger image

Cheers from Sovereign Cellars!

Due to inclement weather forecast for next weekend our Spring Wine Tasting Event is postponed to Saturday and Sunday June 23rd + 24th.

We do hope summer will arrived by then!

Kathy and I would like to invite you to join us from 1 to 5 pm, for our Spring Wine Tasting Event.

Enjoy a great time with hors d'oeuvres and five outstanding, award-winning wines.

Please bring your friends and enjoy. We hope to see you!

Sovereign Cellars
June 23 and 24
1 PM to 5 PM 
7408 Manzanita Dr., Olympia WA 98502

Dennis Gross, winemaker
360-866-7991
dwgrosswine@yahoo.com

See their web site at www.SovereignCellars.com

Death to Scotch Broom!

Every year, around this time, all those yellow flags – those scotch broom flowers – come out to wave. Next will come the seeds and, next year, more scotch broom. There are noxious weeds and then there’s scotch broom. Now is an excellent time of year to get serious about reducing the amount of scotch broom on your property.

So, responsible rural property owners want to know: What makes scotch broom so bad?

Scotch broom is a prodigious seed producer. The seeds have hard coats enabling them to survive in the environment for up to 80 years. Once established, scotch broom forms dense brush fields over six feet tall. The brush fields diminish habitat for grazing animals, such as livestock and native animals. Areas of dense brush shade out and kill native grassland plants in invaded areas, and favor invasion by other woody, non-grassland plant species.

Scotch broom prevents reforestation, creates a high fire hazard, renders rangeland worthless and greatly increases the cost of maintenance of roads, ditches, power and telephone lines. Wildlife suffers as the growth becomes too dense for even quail and other ground birds to thrive. Being slightly toxic and unpalatable it is browsed very little by livestock.

If you cut your trees, so that a lot of sunlight reaches the ground, you’ve probably now got scotch broom to cut.

How do you eradicate scotch broom?

There are two schools of thought, those who say pull out the whole plant and those who will tell you, if you’re clever and your timing is right, all you need are a pair of lopping shears.

From the School of Pulling Out the Plant, we get these instructions:

Pull out the entire plant, including roots. When the soil is moist, small plants can be pulled easily by hand. Winter and spring are good seasons to do this.

Larger plants must be removed with a tool such as a Weed Wrench. Be sure to remove the entire plant. Broken stems re-sprout and are much harder to remove for the next person. Plants can be left where pulled.

One of the benefits of being a member of the Griffin Neighborhood Association is members can rent our Weed Wrench.

Not yet a member of the GNA? Dang, what are you waiting for?! Click here to join online.

From the School of Cutting Broom in Bloom, we get these instructions:

First, cut broom in bloom. Use loppers or small saws and cut broom right at ground level.

Broom puts all of its energy into making flowers. If you cut it while in bloom, it will most likely die in the summer’s dry heat.

If you have to make a choice, go after single plants and small infestation to prevent its spread.

If the broom is huge, cut off as many of the branches as you can. If the broom is small and not blooming, you can return and cut it next year when it blooms.

It is most important to not let the broom go to seed! Cut before June 17 (this date is from Vancouver Island’s “BroomBusters” web site, so it’s probably earlier, down here in the South Sound).

CUT DOWN ALL YELLOW FLOWERS so that they can not turn into seeds. Each scotch broom plant can produce 2,000 to 3,500 seed pods – which burst open, shooting seeds into adjacent soil. If you cut them while in bloom – no seeds!

HERBICIDES applied in the spring when new leaves are present are another effective control tool, but always remember to read the labels carefully and exercise extreme care when applying chemicals, especially near waterways.

DO NOT BURN SCOTCH BROOM! When exposed to fire, its seeds burst from their seedpods. Also, the smoke from burning scotch broom is actually toxic and may seriously irritate the respiratory tracts of you, your family, or your neighbors.

TAKE SCOTCH BROOM TO THE DUMP. The best way to get rid of scotch broom, once it is cut, is to take it to Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center. Scotch broom cannot be disposed of as garden waste – you need to dispose of it as garbage – and it’s not eligible for free disposal. This stuff is the worst.

The Thurston County Noxious Weed Control Agency offers the following information and services to the public: Educational presentations, plant identification especially those that may be noxious weeds, consults on your property, prescriptions for specific noxious weed problems and what the county approves for its own use, free disposal of designated noxious weeds at the Thurston County Waste and Recovery centers, and limited use of a manual removal tool called the wrench. Also available are many informational brochures and pamphlets as well as several videos.

So, responsible homeowner, get out there and cut your scotch broom!