Residents speak their piece on marijuana at Goldendale City Council marathon meeting

Goldendale City Attorney,  Ken Harper, right, and City Manager Larry Bellamy eye the crowd that filled the council chambers Monday night.

Goldendale City Attorney, Ken Harper, right, and City Manager Larry Bellamy eye the crowd that filled the council chambers Monday night.

It was a marathon session of the Goldendale City Council last night. For a two solid hours, 30 people paraded up to the microphone to share their opinion in the public hearing required by the council’s passage a six-month moratorium on marijuana-related businesses in Goldendale. The meeting was unusual in that councilor Mike Cannon attended by telephone from out of town, and the city’s Yakima attorney, Ken Harper, was present for the evening.

Council members took no action following the tempest of testimony. Councilor Len Crawford suggested that the council convene an executive session, but the city attorney Harper said that it would not be legal to deliberate such a matter in executive session by itself. He suggested reviewing the night’s testimony to see if there were threats of possible litigation, which would be a legitimate reason for an executive session. Council members agreed if legal justification should be found, they would hold such a session next Monday night, October 27 at 7 p.m. The end of the testimony did not mean the end of the meeting, though. Three times, council members voted to extend the meeting in half-hour increments, in order to deal with several funding requests and to hold an executive session involving real estate negotiations in another matter.

To hear the testimony from last night, listen to the podcasts below:

First hour of testimony – Mark Hyde, Chet Biggerstaff, Paul Hansen, Gerald Golding, Brian Thobois, Baretta Chub-Hardy, Debbie Burnhart, Theresa Golding, Cliff Gregg, Dennis Blomquist, Alliesha Hawsinger,

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Second hour of testimony – Sherry Carver, Mike Garnett, Darrell Smith, Jan Smith, Tom Tastrow, Sue Jaggers, Ken McKuen, Merilee Hansen, Lyle Ferch, Richard Ellis, Ruth Faulkner, Dave Schlosseer, Cassie Blomquist, Harold Eliason, Michael Kitchen, Terry Hardy, Jacob Smith

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Other business – authorizing purchases

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Public comment – more on marijuana

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2nd Washington judge upholds pot-business ban – Goldendale Meeting Monday

WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) — A second Washington state judge says cities and counties can ban licensed marijuana businesses within their jurisdictions.

The ruling Friday from Chelan County Superior Court Judge T.W. Small came in the case of SMP Retail, which sued the city of Wenatchee over its ban on pot businesses. A Pierce County judge similarly upheld a ban in Fife in August; that case has been appealed to the state Supreme Court.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson says that the decision comports with a legal opinion his office issued early this year.

Dozens of cities and counties around the state have temporarily or permanently banned marijuana businesses. Critics say that threatens the ability of Washington’s regulated system to overtake the black market.

But Ferguson says nothing in Washington’s legal pot law explicitly overruled local zoning authority.

On a local note, the Goldendale City Council will hold a Public Hearing on I-502 this Monday, October 20th, 7pm at the City Council Chambers.

Click on the link below to view the Agenda:

10202014 Agenda

Ebola Virus Disease – It’s important to know the facts

We are not currently investigating any local patients suspected of having Ebola Virus Disease, but many U.S. citizens are asking questions about the spread of the Ebola Virus. North Central Public Health District would like our citizens to know what they should and shouldn’t be concerned about.

Ebola is a serious, often deadly illness, but it’s not highly communicable. The risk of Ebola disease here in Oregon is low. Health officials are ready to respond in the event that a person ill with Ebola infection arrives in Oregon. We are sharing information with the public health and medical communities so we will be ready to get ill persons into proper care and prevent infection of others. We use tried and true core public health interventions to protect the health of Oregonians.

Spread of Ebola virus requires direct contact with body fluids of an ill, infected person who has symptoms, either by touching the ill person or a surface recently contaminated by his or her bodily fluids. Ebola is not an airborne illness.

State and local health authorities are in contact with the CDC Quarantine Station, which will be immediately notified if any ill travelers arrive at the airport. There are emergency plans in place at Portland International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to deal with just this sort of situation. Those working at airports play an important role in keeping potentially imported illnesses like Ebola in check: By knowing what to do and who to call when a traveler presents with unusual illness, airport personnel help recognize and contain illnesses so they don’t have a chance to spread.

The situation is evolving and the information provided today may change. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites contain current and credible information.  OHA will also be working with 211 to provide non-urgent guidance. Dial 2-1-1 (or 866-698-6155) or visit www.211info.org. 211 can direct families and individuals with personal or community struggles to services that can help.
211 is currently open M-F from 8 am to 6 pm.

Please refer to these trusted sources, and we will continue to keep you updated:
OHA Ebola pages: http://public.health.oregon.gov/DiseasesConditions/DiseasesAZ/Pages/disease.aspx?did=128
CDC Ebola Link: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/qa.html
(For more information, please contact North Central Public Health District at (541) 506-2600 or visit us on the web at www.ncphd.org.)

Voters’ pamphlet mailed to 3.2M Washington homes

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington residents can expect to start seeing the state general election voters’ pamphlet in the mailbox.

The state Elections Division is putting them in the mail this week. They should arrive by Oct. 22.

The pamphlets go to 3.2 million households. There are 3.9 million registered voters in the state, so if there’s more than one voter in a household, they should share.

The guide includes information on state candidates and the three statewide initiatives: I-1351 to lower class sizes and the competing gun control measures, I-591 and I-594. It also includes advisory votes on two tax-related bills passed by the Legislature.

 

$10,000 fine for illegal burning near Dallesport

DALLESPORT, Wash. (AP) — The state has fined the owners of a property near Dallesport more than $10,000 for burning tires and trash.

Dennis and Robert Eiesland of Circle T Ranch Inc. have 30 days to pay the penalty or appeal to the state’s Pollution Control Hearings Board.

The Department of Ecology says a big fire on the property last March burned tires, garbage, plastic, PVC pipe and demolition debris. Officials say that when air quality inspectors responded, Dennis Eiesland admitted setting the fire, acknowledged he didn’t have a permit and said he had no way to put it out.

The Eieslands did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment Monday. The total amount of the fine is $10,165.

 

Audio: Klickitat County Candidates night complete recording

Klickitat County Sheriff candidates Bob Songer and Marc Boardman. Photo from earlier candidate's night in July

Klickitat County Sheriff candidates Bob Songer and Marc Boardman. Photo from earlier candidate’s night in July

 

About 100 people packed the auditorium of last night’s Goldendale Candidates forum sponsored by the Goldendale Grange. Throughout the night, mud slinging was mentioned several times in relation to a few of the hotly contested races.

We’ve divided the two-hour event into two one-hour podcasts below. To listen, just click on the grey podcast bar.

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Skamania County lambastes federal government, especially the U.S. Forest Service

Skamania County Commissioners have lashed out at the federal government, Congress, the President and especially the U.S. Forest Service in a three-page declaration of a state of emergency in Skamania County.

The commissioners note that 88 percent of the land in Skamania County is government-owned and thus pays no taxes and the majority of that is in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. They say the forest lands are in poor health due to what they call “federal mismanagement driven by ill-advised environmental policies” which have “created catastrophic health, safety, welfare and economic effects to Skamania County.”

The declaration also says that Skamania County officials have lost trust in the capability of local US Forest Service management to implement the goals of the Northwest Forest Plan, that they have been avoiding and limiting timber harvest that would provide healthy forest conditions and timber receipts to the count and that the Forest Service has not involved the commissioners in planning and management of the forest, which they say is required by laws and regulations.

Commioners are particularly incensed by what they say is a plan by the Forest Service to buy more private land and take it off the tax rolls.

Read the whole thing by clicking on the red PDF button below

 

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