US Representative Darrell Issa’s Statement on Justice Kavanaugh

Justice Brent KavanaughOct 6, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, released the following statement on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.

“The swearing in this evening of Justice Brett Kavanaugh brings a just and honorable end to a terribly distressing confirmation process that repeatedly threatened to upend the most vital standards of fundamental fairness. That it did not succeed will restore at least some confidence that the system can work as intended, and that the American experiment has once again proved as durable as ever.

“What should never be forgotten, however, is the damage that has been done. This was supposed to be a fair and reasoned review of a nominee’s record on the bench, understanding of the Constitution, and vision of the role of the federal judiciary. It was instead a carefully coordinated political attack that was plotted in secret, coordinated among Senators and staff, and intended to destroy a good man. This did, indeed, replace the doctrine of advice and consent with a mission to search and destroy.

“It is my full expectation that as an Associate Justice, Brett Kavanaugh will display the same careful consideration for the facts, adherence to the law as written, and impartial and independent judicial temperament that has marked his entire judicial career. I further trust that he will be able to look past the terrible way he and his family were treated by powerful interests in Washington, keep faith that he persevered through it all, and serve with honor and distinction for many years to come.

“Congratulations, Justice Kavanaugh.”

 

City of Del Mar Contractors Using Deadly Chemicals in Public Spaces

Fusilade Used by City of Del Mar ContractorsThe following is an email I sent to Del Mar City Manager Scott Huth on September 7, 2018:

Hi Scott – I hope all is well.

This morning on her 2nd birthday, I was walking my daughter down to the tot lot by the beach.

We stopped to check our mail at the post office and then continued down 15th toward Coast Blvd.  I started smelling noxious chemicals – and then noticed one of the landscapers working on the corner (I assume it is City property) was spraying weed killer.  Before we were overcome with it, I turned around went back up the block and crossed the street.

I have a few questions for you:

1. Were these workers there on a City contract?
2. Does the City know they are using chemical weed killers and spraying them in public without notice or regard to the environment?
3.  Is the City of Del Mar ok with this?
4.  Is anyone thinking about where those chemicals end up?  Gutters, drains, sewers, beach and ocean ….

And most importantly,

5) What can be done to ensure that my daughter is never exposed to dangerous chemicals like in Del Mar again?

Thank you,

Joe Kennedy

To Scott’s credit, he answered the email on the same day, saying the City of Del Mar takes these types of things very seriously and that he would look into it…..   Continue reading “City of Del Mar Contractors Using Deadly Chemicals in Public Spaces”

Open Letter to Senator Maria Cantwell from The Washington State Debate Coalition

Dear Senator Cantwell:
We know that you agree Washington residents deserve highly promoted, visible and accessible candidate debates that are broadcast to voters across the state. That’s why we are especially disappointed in your campaign’s decision not to participate in the two public debates organized by the Washington State Debate Coalition.
We hope you will reconsider.
Publisher’s Note:  Why is Senator Cantwell hiding?  Could it be that she is embarrassed about the way that her party has been acting?  Does she condone and stand for the violence, harassment and smear campaigns that her fellow Democrats apparently think are ok? Continue reading “Open Letter to Senator Maria Cantwell from The Washington State Debate Coalition”

EPA And Oregon Partner To Monitor Air Quality

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $314,375 to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to support air monitoring programs. The grant will help ODEQ maintain the state’s monitoring network for hazardous air pollutants. The state’s program also helps reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants and enforcement of air regulations within the state. 

EPA

“EPA and our regulatory partners at the state and local level have taken significant steps to dramatically reduce hazardous air pollutants and provide important health protections,” said EPA Regional Administrator Chris Hladick. “This grant helps further protect our communities and gives us a better understanding of the air pollution sources that may be affecting Oregon’s local air quality.”

“EPA’s grant will support our ability to make science-based decisions, which is the cornerstone of our work and critical for advancing healthy communities and economic progress in Oregon,” said ODEQ Director Richard Whitman. “Our progress is most effectively achieved with support from our federal partners and work with local communities to meet regulatory standards.”

There are currently 187 hazardous air pollutants, or air toxics, regulated under the Clean Air Act that have been associated with a wide variety of adverse health effects, including cancer and neurological effects. These air toxics are emitted from multiple sources, including major stationary, area, and mobile sources, resulting in community exposure to these pollutants.

The National Air Toxics Trends Station program was developed to fulfill the need for long-term hazardous air pollutants monitoring data of consistent quality. These sites are part of a 27-site national network of air pollution monitoring stations. The primary purpose of the network is tracking trends in ambient air pollutant levels to help measure progress toward reducing emissions and health risks.

ODEQ is currently operating two of these National Air Toxics Trends monitoring sites in Oregon. One station is in La Grande (a rural site) and the other is in Portland (an urban site). EPA grant funding supports the activities of ODEQ in the operation of these two sites. EPA has provided grant funding to support DEQ’s air quality monitoring program for more than a decade.

Background
 
EPA’s most recent air trends report highlights that, between 1970 and 2017, the combined emissions of six key pollutants dropped by 73 percent, while the U.S. economy grew more than three times. A closer look at more recent progress shows that between 1990 and 2017, average concentrations of harmful air pollutants decreased significantly across our nation:
 
Sulfur dioxide (1-hour) ↓ 88 percent
Lead (3-month average) ↓80 percent
Carbon monoxide (8-hour) ↓ 77 percent
Nitrogen dioxide (annual) ↓ 56 percent
Fine Particulate Matter (24-hour) ↓ 40 percent
Coarse Particulate Matter (24-hour) ↓ 34 percent and
Ground-level ozone (8-hour) ↓ 22 percent
 
The report includes interactive graphics that enable citizens, policymakers, and stakeholders to view and download detailed information by pollutant, geographic location, and year. Explore the report and download graphics and data here: U.S. Air Trends Report.
 
The Clean Air Act was established to lower levels of six common pollutants — particles, ozone, lead, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide — and toxic pollutants. Data of actual conditions is key to state and local clean air programs and areas reaching attainment.
 
The progress of the Clean Air Act reflects efforts by state, local governments, business, non-profit and non-government organizations, and EPA. EPA continues to work with states, local governments, tribes, and citizens – to further improve air quality for all Americans.

Francis Montojo, Seattle Native Plays a Key Role in Unique Navy Mission

A 1998 Fairfield High School graduate and Seattle native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of a crew working aboard Commander, Submarine Group 9.

Francis Montojo
Lt. Cmdr. Francis Montojo, a strategic weapons officer, serves at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in Washington, not far from Seattle. 

As a strategic weapons officer, Montojo is responsible for overseeing training, operations and certification of the submarine force with expertise in strategic weapons systems matters.

“I enjoy the people I work with,” Montojo said. “They are very motivated, talented and a close-knit group of people. Submariners are a very special group of people in respect to the skills and how close we become through adversity.”

Montojo draws from lessons learned growing up in Seattle.

“Commitment, perseverance and looking out for one another has helped me to continue to push forward and ensure mission accomplishment,” Montojo said.

Guided-missile submarines provide unprecedented strike and special operation mission capabilities from a stealthy platform. Armed with tactical missiles and equipped with superior communications capabilities, the submarine performs its mission with a much lower level of risk than what would normally be experienced when deploying this level of capability from surface or air platforms. 

The Ohio-class platform capitalizes on its existing strengths of endurance and stealth in maintaining long-term station-keeping duty while forward deployed. In addition to having the ability to deploy more than 150 tactical missiles, the platform can also be configured to support dedicated accommodations for significant numbers of special operations forces, such as Navy SEALs.

Guided-missile destroyers were converted to their present configuration from Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines. And like their nuclear-deterrent predecessors, the decades-old fleet is aging, with the oldest submarines now more than 30 years old, well past their planned service lives. A new and effective successor is critical to national security, and the Navy is well into the process of designing and fielding a more advanced ballistic missile submarine, which will provide the necessary sea-based nuclear deterrence into the 2080s and beyond.

Submarine sailors are some of the most highly trained and skilled people in the Navy. The training is highly technical and each crew has to be able to operate, maintain, and repair every system or piece of equipment on board. Regardless of their specialty, everyone also has to learn how everything on the ship works and how to respond in emergencies to become “qualified in submarines” and earn the right to wear the coveted gold or silver dolphins on their uniform.

“The men and women from across our nation who volunteer for military service embody the fundamental values of honor, courage and sacrifice that are the bedrock of our republic,” said Rear Adm. Blake Converse, Commander, Submarine Group Nine. “They protect and defend America from above, below, and across the world’s oceans. The entire nation should be extremely proud of the hard work that these sailors do every single day to support the critical mission of the Navy and the submarine force.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Montojo and other sailors know they are part of a legacy, one that will prove a critical component of the Navy the nation needs.

“Serving means I’ve been able to do something to help contribute to others and do my part for my country and the rest of the world,” Montojo said. “We have such a big responsibility on the world stage and through my service I’m able to do my part.”

Mayor Faulconer Sweeping Reforms in San Diego Public Utilities Department Following Independent Audits

Mayor Faulconer Pushing for Sweeping Reforms in San Diego Public Utilities Department Following Independent Audits. Analysis Finds Less Than One Percent of 2017 Bills Issued Incorrectly, but Changes Still Needed in Quality Control, Customer Service and Meter Reading Oversight

Mayor FaulconerMayor Faulconer Wants Sweeping Reforms in San Diego Public Utilities Department Following Independent Audits

Following a rise in complaints from customers about water bills, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer has directed staff to implement all of the recommendations from two separate independent audits of the City’s Public Utilities Department (PUD). The reports reached similar conclusions about the need for significant improvements and operational changes within the department.

The audits – one conducted by PDF icon independent City Auditor Eduardo Luna and the other by a PDF icon nationally recognized utility consulting firm – each identified that a 2017 increase in water bill questions were prompted by multiple converging factors, including higher water usage by customers after drought restrictions were lifted, scheduled water rate increases Continue reading “Mayor Faulconer Sweeping Reforms in San Diego Public Utilities Department Following Independent Audits”

Year-Round Shelter At Lincoln Center Approved For Study By Bellevue City Council

Year-Round Shelter At Lincoln Center Approved For Study By Bellevue City Council. The City Council has agreed to study expanding operations at the temporary men’s shelter at Lincoln Center to year-round. The center is located at 116th St NE.

Year-Round Shelter At Lincyear-round shelteroln Center Approved For Study By Bellevue City Council

Currently, the emergency shelter, which has existed since 2008 at various sites, is only open during the winter months. The proposal comes in the wake of the new Land Use Code Amendment for siting permanent shelters and homeless services which was passed last week by the council.
Continue reading “Year-Round Shelter At Lincoln Center Approved For Study By Bellevue City Council”

AIADA Responds to U.S.-EU Trade Announcement

AIADA Responds to U.S.-EU Trade Announcement on July 25, 2018 that the U.S. and the European Union reached an agreement to avoid the further escalation of trade tensions. President Donald Trump met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and his top trade official Cecilia Malmström at the White House to address the trade issue, including automotive tariffs.

AIADA Responds to U.S.-EU Trade Announcement

AIADA
“AIADA is pleased to see positive discussions between President Trump and the EU surrounding our trade differences,” said AIADA President and CEO Cody Lusk. “As I’ve said in the past, no one wins a trade war. While the President did not address the ongoing auto 232 investigation, AIADA’s dealer members are optimistic that today’s agreement will lead to progress in resolving auto trade differences, and continue to promote the principles of trade that have made the American auto industry so successful.”
America’s 9,600 international nameplate auto franchises, many of which are family-owned businesses, employ more than 577,000 Americans, resulting in a payroll of $32 billion and an additional 527,000 indirect jobs. Dealers represent the retail side of an international auto industry that has invested $75 billion in U.S. operations and more than doubled its production in the U.S. over the past 15 years. In 2016, 5.5 million vehicles were built by Americans at these factories. While most of these vehicles were sold to American consumers, 925,000 of them were exported to over 140 countries.
 

AIADA Responds to US – EU Trade Announcement

AIADA logoThe American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) today reacted to an announcement that the U.S. and the European Union reached an agreement to avoid the further escalation of trade tensions. President Donald Trump today met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and his top trade official Cecilia Malmström at the White House to address the trade issue, including automotive tariffs.

“AIADA is pleased to see positive discussions between President Trump and the EU surrounding our trade differences,” said AIADA President and CEO Cody Lusk. “As I’ve said in the past, no one wins a trade war. While the President did not address the ongoing auto 232 investigation, AIADA’s dealer members are optimistic that today’s agreement will lead to progress in resolving auto trade differences, and continue to promote the principles of trade that have made the American auto industry so successful.”  Continue reading “AIADA Responds to US – EU Trade Announcement”

The Washington Coalition for Open Government Honors Three Citizens Who Opposed SB 6617

Washington Coalition for Open Government Exposes Washington State Legislature Exempting Themselves from Public Record Act

The WashingtonWashington Coalition for Open Government Coalition for Open Government is lauding the efforts of three Washington residents who personally asked the state legislature to vote no on SB 6617, a bill WCOG strongly opposes. The Coalition will honor former Whidbey Examiner Owner Kasia Pierzga of Olympia, Navy Retiree Gordon Paget of Vancouver, and The News Tribune Publisher and President David Zeeck, with Key Awards for appearing before lawmakers, with very little notice, to urge them to defeat a bill WCOG considers an affront to the principles of open government.

“This bill was passed under the very cloak of darkness. Continue reading “The Washington Coalition for Open Government Honors Three Citizens Who Opposed SB 6617”