Opinions

State Supreme Court finds 2/3rd Requirement Unconstitutional

Published by “The Olympia Report” written by Jeff.Rhodes Feb. 28, 2013 The Washington State Supreme Court on Thursday lowered the threshold required to pass the massive tax increases mandated by its own McCleary decision and fund a long list of programs supported by Democrats in both houses of the Legislature by overturning Initiative 1053 and its two-thirds majority standard. In a 6-3 opinion authored by Justice Susan Owens, the court ruled that, “Article II, section 22 (of the Washington State Constitution) states that ‘(n)o bill shall become a law unless … a majority of the members elected to each house’ vote in its favor. The plain language, constitutional history and weight of persuasive authority support reading this provision as setting both a minimum and a maximum voting requirement.” That opinion was criticized in a pair of stinging dissents by Justices Charles Johnson and James Johnson. “In its eagerness to embroil itself in the political arena, the majority abandons any semblance of judicial restraint to declare the process of legislative enactment constitutionally infirm,” Charles Johnson wrote. “For the past two decades, the people of this state have repeatedly voted for the supermajority provision, as has the Legislature when no initiative occurred. …

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Saturday Morning Live for March 2, 2013

Host Kris Halterman interviews Ben and Jessica Elenbaas on the proposal to allow Agricultural Packing Facilities (livestock slaughtering) on rural ag land, for the purposes of promoting agricultural diversity, sustainability and marketplace development of USDA compliant facilities.

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Saturday Morning Live for Feb 23, 2013

Hosts Kris Halterman & Lorraine Newman interview Denise Costanton (owner) of Brigadoon Service Dogs and Jason Haack (volunteer veteran).

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A Very Human Response to Disaster

I was recently reading an article on debunking myths of human responses to disasters. Ruth Wraith and Rob Gordon from The Department of Child and Family Psychiatry at the Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital explained: “People do not panic, they behave rationally unless they have no information or no way to escape. People are not self centered, they care for each other helping those in need where they can. People behave more rationally if they have information and can verify it with people they trust.” This week I attended a meeting of the Whatcom County Cattlemen where the Department of Ecology and the Department of Health introduced new employees and a new water monitoring program. The feeling in the room was that another government-made disaster could be closing in on them. Livestock farming has become an ever more burdensome operation, with shrinking participation due to the layers of bureaucrats and paperwork that have interjected themselves into the process of livestock agriculture. They had come to meet the new agents and gather more information on water quality and help each other to be understood and to understand. Everyone attending was respectful, asking rational, concerned questions about how this program will affect their …

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Saturday Morning Live for Feb 16, 2013

Host Kris Halterman talks to Planning Commissioner, Dave Onkels. Commissioner Onkels gives an update with the current status and results of the Whatcom County Hearing Examiner’s decision on the “Fenton property rights appeal.” The second half of the program, Host Kris Halterman, talks to Larry Helm and Wes Kentch, Whatcom County Cattlemen and Jack Fields, Executive Vice-President of the Washington State Cattleman’s Assoc., with an update on the status of wolves in Whatcom County and Washington State.

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Saturday Morning Live for Feb 9, 2013

Host Kris Halterman talks with Bob Williams, president of State Budget Solutions, about the federal government being on a fiscally unsustainable path.  

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Buy Local vs Sustainability

If you have been following local news, (I know it’s difficult if you really want to know what’s going on) you may have heard some talk about a proposal for a new slaughterhouse in the county. Well, its true. Before you start seeing pictures of 1920’s Chicago shipping yards take a deep breath of our fresh sea air and relax. Some folks here are attempting to get a permit for small slaughterhouse operations. Why? So that locally produced and processed meat products would be available in Whatcom County. First you need to know, this is not just a local problem. Check out WillametteLive website for the article “Who cut the Meat?” Nate Rafn has an excellent article about the challenges in Oregon’s direct-to-consumer marketing channel. For those not directly involved in the Ag business let’s just say it is not as easy as you may think to get local products to local customers. Here’s your quick Ag recent history lesson. While we were all busy shopping at our local grocery market, most did not realize the good beef prices were due to an Ag industry concentration that happpened due to improvements in technology. Imagine that, just like what happened as …

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Local Friend Stands Up for 1st and 2nd Amendment Rights

  Elliott Fine, local Bellingham, Washington resident (and friend) has achieved his 5 minutes of political fame. KGMI’s, Patti Brooks was addressing the Feb. 6, 2013, article in the Bellingham Herald, regarding Elliott’s sign. Since I was already aware of Elliott’s issues with construction theft and how he was choosing to deal with it, I called Elliott (as many others did) to ask if he was listening to Patti’s show this morning? Elliott did not have Patti’s program on, but in my conversation with Elliott, he informed me that the Herald article was not factually correct. Elliott knows that Patti prides herself on reporting the truth, so he called Patti’s show to correct the story. Well as you can guess; Elliott has now set the record straight on a national level. With Elliott’s permission I am sharing his e-mail comments and audio links to his radio interviews. ~ Kris Halterman (Apparently Elliott’s sign has also been a feature of the local NBC, ABC and CBS news stations, too.) Email from Elliott Fine regarding today’s news/radio about his sign kerfluffle: Well, I made it above the fold in our local paper the Bellingham Herald with my sign. I was contacted about …

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Saturday Morning Live for Feb 2, 2013

Host Kris Halterman interviews Whatcom County residents Bill Geyer and Delaine Clizbe on Prop 1, the Metropolitan Park District, slated to be voted up or down on Feb. 12, 2013.

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Is the United States on a Fiscally Unsustainable Path?

On February 9th, 2013, I will be hosting an indepth interview with Bob Williams, President of “State Budget Solutions,” and former founder of the “Freedom Foundation.” Bob Williams, has spent much of his life as an advocate for; fiscal sustainability, the protection of individual liberty, and the free market principles envisioned by the Founders of our Country. Bob has followed Federal and State spending, for decades and is well versed in the day-to-day actions of politics and politicians. As you can see by looking at the graph to your left, the United States is not only on an unsustainable fiscal path, we have huge potential to fail as a country if/when interest rates rise due to inflation. The only reason our interest rates have not skyrocketed right now, is due to the fact that many of the everyday items we consume with disposable income are not counted. Also, the Federal Government does not include our long term obligation to Social Security and Medicare. These actions promote a false sense of security that the debt crisis is no big deal. It is a big deal. The long term debt to both these line items; increases the U.S. Federal Debt by more …

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