In The News


Port dredging, decades in the making, celebrated Wednesday

by Dan Hammock

Port of Grays Harbor Commissioner Jack Thompson was in a reflective mood when he took the podium at the Port's Deeper Draft Phase II celebration Wednesday evening. "This whole thing started in 1976," he said. "The commissioners at that time - Hans Bielski, Neil Logue and John Stevens - had the vision and had the wisdom to start the Deeper Draft process." Thompson said "It is the result of their vision" that the Port was able to survive the decline in the logging industry that drove it for decad… Continue Reading


Edmonds seeks funding for overpass to waterfront

by Sharon Salyer

The city has a plan for ensuring emergency access to the city's waterfront - building a $24 million overpass. Now it's making the case for money for the project with federal and state officials. Last week, city representatives, including Mayor Dave Earling, flew to the nation's capital. They explained the need for the project to representatives of the federal Department of Transportation as well as U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, staff of U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Lake Stevens, and… Continue Reading


New law includes mental health care reforms for children

by Ross Jones

Legislation aimed at improving mental health treatment nationwide was signed into law Tuesday by President Barack Obama as part of a significant health care reform package. The 21st Century Cures Act commits billions of dollars for cancer research and to help fight the opioid epidemic, but it also includes reforms to expand mental health treatment, ensure coverage by insurance companies and increase the number of mental health providers throughout the country. The legislation, which passed wit… Continue Reading


Kilmer applauds House passage of bill on National Parks

Congressman Derek Kilmer said the U.S. House of Representative's passage of the National Park Service Centennial Act was a bipartisan effort to increase investments in the national park system. And that means good things for Washington's economy, he added. The House passed the bill late last week, and the legislation now moves to the Senate for passage before heading to the President's desk. The National Park Service celebrated its centennial this year, and Kilmer noted the Olympic National P… Continue Reading


Kilmer joins with Herrera Beutler, Murphy on bill to help mental health patients

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer joined with two other congressmen, both Republicans, to introduce a bipartisan bill Thursday that would help people suffering from a behavioral health or substance abuse crisis get more immediate assistance. The Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Accessibility Act of 2016 would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to provide loans and loan guarantees to local entities that have plans to build psychiatric and substance abuse facilities. The proposed … Continue Reading


Senate backs open gov bill

by Chase Gunter

The Senate's late spate of action Dec. 10 included the approval of a bill to make federal agency data open and machine readable by default. The move passed by unanimous consent. The Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act, introduced by Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), would codify President Barack Obama's 2013 executive order to require federal agencies to publish their information to in a non-proprietary, machine-readable format. The bi… Continue Reading


Evans Wilderness bill awaits Obama’s signature

A bill passed by Congress to rename the Olympic Wilderness within Olympic National Park the Daniel J. Evans Wilderness to honor the former Washington state governor and senator now awaits a signature by President Barack Obama to become law. The change, if approved by Obama, will not affect the name of Olympic National Park, which would remain the same. In the spring, U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Mountlake Terrace, and Patty Murray, D-Seattle, introduced S. 3028, while H.R. 5397 was sponsored b… Continue Reading


Herrera Beutler Co-Sponsors Bill Designed to Increase Substance Abuse, Behavioral Health Treatment

U.S. Reps. Derek Kilmer and Jaime Herrera Beutler, of Washington, and Tim Murphy, of Pennsylvania, introduced legislation this week to help people suffering from a behavioral health or substance abuse crisis. The Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Accessibility Act of 2016 would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to provide loans and loan guarantees to local entities that wish to build psychiatric and substance abuse facilities, a press release from the Herrera Beutler'… Continue Reading


Kilmer responds to bill to fund the government

U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer released the following statement after voting for a short-term bill to fund the government. "This makes some smart investments that will support local communities and keep our country safe," said Kilmer, a Gig Harbor Democrat who represents Washington's 6th Congressional District. "Importantly, it avoids a shutdown that would have damaged our economy. But there's more work to do," he added. "Congress needs to stop kicking the can when it comes to making decisio… Continue Reading


Olympic National Park Wilderness to be Renamed in Honor of Former Washington Governor and US Senator Dan Evans

A bill honoring former Washington Governor and U.S. Senator Dan Evans passed the U.S. House of Representatives this week, after unanimously passing the Senate in July. The legislation will rename the Olympic Wilderness within Olympic National Park as the "Daniel J. Evans Wilderness". The bill - backed by the entire Washington state congressional delegation - will now head to the president's desk for signature into law. Dan Evans served Washington state for more than 50 years, including service … Continue Reading


‘Master plan’ to combat Aberdeen, Hoquiam flooding ready for approval

by Dan Hammock

Flooding has been an issue in the Aberdeen/Hoquiam area for as long as anyone can remember, but the devastating floods of January 2015 brought into sharp focus the need for a comprehensive plan to head off large-scale damage. To that end, city officials, with support from Congressman Derek Kilmer's office, rallied to find such a solution. The result was a year-long study to identify the major problem areas and craft solutions to keep businesses and homes out of harm's way, and preferably out of… Continue Reading


Rep. Kilmer discussing ocean policy, early earthquake systems and VA mismanagement

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., is in favor of pushing forward on an early earthquake-warning system. "Time can literally save lives," he said. In a wide-ranging interview, he also talked about the importance of the ocean and ocean policy to his 6th Congressional District, which includes the Olympic Peninsula. Community in the district will be affected by rising sea levels, he said. About 3,200 people in his district are involved in the shellfish industry and will be hurt as the chemistry of… Continue Reading


Milestone for Obama's efforts to map marine resources

by Emily Yehle

The National Ocean Council finalized the first regional ocean plans today, marking a milestone in the Obama administration's bid to map marine resources. The plans cover the Atlantic coast from Virginia to Maine, with the aim of improving coordination among industry, government and the public over how best to use the ocean. They have the support of both Democrats and Republicans in the region, despite some GOP lawmakers characterizing the plans as a symptom of federal overreach. Administration… Continue Reading


Commemoration to be livestreamed from Hawaii to Forks

The city of Forks will host a livestream of the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Commemoration from Hawaii on the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor today. The free event will be from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. at the Rainforest Arts Center, 35 N. Forks Ave. The livestream from Kilo Pier, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, will begin at 9:45 a.m. The commemoration is being co-hosted by the National Park Service and the U.S. Navy. City officials said a pre-recorded welcome by U.S. R… Continue Reading


Newhouse introduces bill to fix VA issues

by Richard Byrd

In the wake of a series of scandals surrounding the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Fourth Congressional District Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Yakima, has introduced a bill proposing solutions. Newhouse, along with Sixth Congressional District Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Tacoma, introduced the VA Management Alignment Act of 2016. The bill directs the head of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to report to Congress and detail what the VA is doing to reorganize and improve access to healthcare for ve… Continue Reading


Report: West Coast politicians pushing for earthquake warning app

by Dyer Oxley

If and when a big one strikes the Northwest, it is expected to happen suddenly. But politicians and scientists are aiming for a smartphone system, costing millions, that will warn residents before the earthquake is even felt. The Sacramento Bee reports that 32 House Democrats signed a letter asking the Obama administration for $16 million. The money would go toward an earthquake warning system called ShakeAlert. ShakeAlert would send a message to residents on the West Coast before an earthquak… Continue Reading


Newhouse bill would force VA to fix mismanagement issues for veterans health care system

by Joe Utter

A bill introduced by Rep. Dan Newhouse and Derek Kilmer would force the Veterans Health Administration to move forward with fixes to its mismanagement issues. Their bill, The VA Management Alignment Act of 2016, would direct of head of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to issue a report to Congress outlining steps needed to reorganize and improve veterans' access to care. "Veterans deserve accountability and improved care after facing mismanagement at the VA," Newhouse said. "I am glad t… Continue Reading


West Coast Democrats want to be ready if The Big One hits

by Rob Hotakainen

Thirty-two House Democrats want backing from President Barack Obama to spend another $16 million on a system that would give early warnings to the public when an earthquake hits. In a letter to the White House Office of Management and Budget, the lawmakers said that such a system would help the West Coast "be prepared for a catastrophic earthquake." "We know it is 'when' and not 'if' - they have the potential to be the costliest disasters the United States has ever faced," the letter said. Th… Continue Reading


Congressman joins Coastal Harvest volunteers

by Dan Hammock

Congressman Derek Kilmer donned a shower cap and gloves Tuesday morning and helped volunteers at Coastal Harvest's Hoquiam warehouse package holiday meal ingredients for area food banks and feeding programs. Brian Blake, state Representative from the 19th District, joined in later in the morning. Blake dug in with both hands, along with a handful of volunteers, some of whom have been helping Coastal Harvest feed the hungry for more than a decade, according to volunteer coordinator Kat Kalenius.… Continue Reading


Congress Poised to Punt on FY2017 Appropriations, Extend CR Instead

by Marcia Smith

It looks like Congress will delay finalizing FY2017 appropriations until next year after Donald Trump is sworn in as President. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) announced today that his committee will now focus on writing a bill extending the existing Continuing Resolution (CR) until March 31, 2017. The Senate has not officially agreed with the House plan of action, but signs are that it will. Whether the incoming Trump Administration and 115th Congress will be ready … Continue Reading

Showing page   of 31