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'Buttons' transported to new home

CLE ELUM – Despite state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s efforts to give “Buttons” the elk a chance at a life with wild elk, she is now on the way to a new home at Woodland Park Zoo.
Habituated to humans from a young age, the elk was a common visitor to rural homes and ranches in Cle Elum, achieving celebrity status in the community.
“People petted her, hand fed her, put children on her back,” Fish and Wildlife Regional Wildlife Program Manager Scott McCorquodale said.

Guest Column: I-1639 infringes on right to bear arms

By Don Brockett

Recently Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Ferguson sent a letter to gun dealers about the provisions of Initiative 1639. Ferguson previously criticized sheriffs who are resisting the passage of the initiative. The sheriffs are correct, the governor and attorney general are wrong.

As state elected officials, Inslee and Ferguson take the following oath: " … I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the state of Washington,…"

On the Hot Seat: Firearms advocates target Ferguson

Since being elected state attorney general in 2012, Democrat Bob Ferguson has had the Second Amendment and firearms in his gun sights.
And this year, with his political party controlling all branches of state government, he's pushed even harder for gun-control measures — measures that many rural residents say infringe on the right to keep and bear arms guaranteed in both the state and national constitutions.

On the Hot Seat: State shouldn't meddle in H-2A guest worker program

How arrogant.
A group of Puget Sound lawmakers — all Democrats — believes the state can better administer and direct compliance of the federal H-2A foreign guest worker program while assisting farmers, orchardists, ranchers and vineyards find the labor they need to manage their crops.
At the request of the state Employment Securities Department, Sens. John McCoy, Rebecca Saldana, Bob Hasegawa, Steve Conway, Kevin Van De Wege, Karen Keiser, Christine Rolfes, Lisa Wellman, Manka Dhingra and Patty Kuderer have signed onto Senate Bill 5438.

Create a Livestock Protection Team

Last week, I had a visit from a resident who came to me to ask what could be done about two problems.
One problem was a cougar near her home that killed one of her animals; the second problem was the lack of response of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. The agency had done nothing about the first problem and stopped her from doing something about it herself.
County folks have a variety of animals. They have cattle, horses, donkeys, dogs, cats, chickens and others. They raise some to sell, some to eat, some to enjoy and some just to love.

On the Hot Seat: Bill targets Marcus Whitman's significance, and our heritage

A significant part of Eastern Washington's history — indeed all of Washington and Oregon history — is under fire in Olympia. And with all the controversy over gun-control , Gov. Jay Inslee’s stumping for president and myriad new taxes, the attack I’m referring to is flying mostly under the radar.
Let me back up a bit.
As a kid growing up in the greater Tri-Cities-area, I looked forward to school field trips. One field trip I still remember vividly. That was the day-trip to the Walla Walla area and an educational outing at Whitman Mission.

On the Hot Seat: Tim Eyman is pushing $30 car tabs, again

Initiative guru Tim Eyman is at it again. And once again, he’s trying to save you money.
If you’re anywhere near my age, you’ll know who he is. If not, you may know him as the man who pushed through limits on the state’s ability to continually raise taxes and fees on vehicle licensing.
In full disclosure, I’m a fan of Tim’s efforts. Simply put, he’s saved taxpayers millions of dollars by restraining state government’s ever-increasing thirst for tax dollars.

2019: Chinese 'Year of the Pig'

More than one billion people across the globe celebrate Chinese New Year every year. In 2019, Chinese New Year officially begins on February 5, continuing for two weeks until celebrations draw to a close on Feb. 19.

On the Hot Seat: Proposed budget includes $750,000 waste on dam breaching study

Gov. Jay Inslee made it clear last Thursday that he only represents Western Washington.
Buried deep in his proposed $54.4 billion biennial budget is the allocation of $750,000 to study breaching the dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers.
Under his budget proposal, Inslee would create a new state task force to study breaching as part of a plan to address the ailing orca population in Puget Sound. In the governor's policy brief on orcas, he cites the need to increase the water-spill rate over our dams in an effort to cool the water and improve salmon populations.