In The News


Parks: More funds will strengthen love affair

by Jerry Broadus

Re: "Spend more on national park upkeep," (TNT editorial, 6/1). Thanks to The News Tribune Editorial Board and Congressmen Derek Kilmer and Dave Reichert for speaking up for our national parks. We at the Tahoma Audubon Society greatly value our nearby access to some of our country's most spectacular national parks - places where families can enjoy the outdoors and discover many of our favorite birds. Many people have their first significant outdoor experience in a national park. These experien… Continue Reading


She led the revitalization of Tacoma. The city's 'grande dame' died Saturday

by Craig Hill

She was the "grand dame of Tacoma." Dawn Lucien, a civic activist key in the rebirth of downtown Tacoma in the 1990s, died Saturday. She was 91 years old. "She takes pride in the city and the city certainly can take pride in her," her son Eric Olson said Sunday evening. Lucien lead efforts to save the Murray Morgan Bridge when it was a candidate for demolition and to establish the University of Washington Tacoma. Lucien was president of a group that led the effort to establish UWT in a serie… Continue Reading


Insurers for individual health plans shut out Grays Harbor

by Dan Hammock

If you are one of the thousands in Grays Harbor County who rely on individual health insurance, you're likely worried by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler's announcement Thursday that as of the June 7 deadline not one insurance provider had signed up to offer that kind of insurance in the county for 2018. Monica Ewing, a health insurance expert at Durney Insurance in Hoquiam says that worry is legitimate. "They kind of do have a pretty legitimate reason to worry," she said. "Nothing will cha… Continue Reading


Health insurers may abandon 2 Washington counties

by Natalie Brand

Health insurers have threatened to pull out of two Washington state counties, potentially leaving thousands of people enrolled in the individual market in limbo. Washington state's insurance commissioner says, so far, no health insurers have filed plans in Grays Harbor and Klickitat counties ahead of the deadline to submit plans for 2018. Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler blames continued uncertainty over the future of the Affordable Care Act, as well as destabilization of the insurance m… Continue Reading


Spectrum: Parks face a mounting challenge

New Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, the person now in charge of the bulk of the nation's public lands, visited Alaska and Denali over Memorial Day weekend. It was a chance for him to start to understand Alaska and Alaska's national parks, which are some of the best places and biggest spaces in the world. They are also an enormous economic engine for this state. In 2016, there were 2.8 million visits to Alaska's national parks, and parks were a destination for a vast majority … Continue Reading


Strong NSF Funding Favored by House Spending Committee

by Randy Showstack

Members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, made it clear at a congressional hearing on Wednesday that they are not happy about the Trump administration's proposal to decrease funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF), and they plan to do something about it. The subcommittee "is going to work arm in arm to ensure that NSF is appropriately funded and we preserve American leadership in scientific research," said Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas), chair of the House Appropriations Su… Continue Reading


Officials: Federal program for air service unlikely for Port Angeles

by Jesse Major

PORT ANGELES - It would take either an act of God or an act of Congress for commercial air service to return to Port Angeles, Port of Port Angeles Commissioner Steve Burke said when he announced his candidacy for the port in April. Now an act of Congress seems unlikely as U.S. Rep Derek Kilmer's office has made it clear the federal Essential Air Service program wasn't an option, port officials said. It's a federal program that subsidizes airlines providing airline service to rural communities,… Continue Reading


Trade groups, lawmakers oppose Trump proposal to sell transmission assets

by Jeannine Anderson

On June 6, the American Public Power Association and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association sent a letter to Energy Secretary Rick Perry expressing "our strong opposition" to the proposal in President Trump's fiscal year 2018 budget request to sell the transmission assets of three power marketing administrations, or PMAs. The budget request, released on May 23, proposes to divest the transmission assets of the Southwestern Power Administration, Western Area Power Administration, and… Continue Reading


Smith Introduces American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act of 2017

by Doug Messier

WASHINGTON (House Science Committee PR) - U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today introduced H.R. 2809, the American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act of 2017. The American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act of 2017 simplifies and strengthens the outdated space-based remote sensing regulatory system. At the same time, this bill enhances U.S. compliance with international obligations, improves national security and removes regulatory barriers fac… Continue Reading


Kilmer talks federal budget, Paris accord in Olympic Peninsula News Group interview

Democrats and Republicans in Congress should hash out their own budget rather than using President Donald Trump's "unserious" budget as a starting point, said U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer. Kilmer, a Democrat living in Gig Harbor who represents the 6th Congressional District - which includes the North Olympic Peninsula - also said that Trump's withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Accord is a "failure of leadership." Kilmer made his comments during an interview Friday with journalist… Continue Reading


Citizens, first responders prepare for a great shake

by Michael Dashiell

If and when the "big one" hits, Clallam County Fire District 3 Chief Ben Andrews says, Sequim and its surrounding communities will be much more prepared than they were a year ago. A crowd of community residents who are part of CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) joined first responders - in all, about 200 - on Saturday in Sequim, in what local emergency preparedness leaders call the first-of-its-kind earthquake response training. See a video of the training courtesy of KSQM's Ed Evans he… Continue Reading


Retiring Port Angeles school orchestra director picked for hall of fame

by Jesse Major

PORT ANGELES - Longtime Port Angeles High School orchestra director Ron Jones was selected this year for the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame, said WIAA assistant Executive Director Andy Barnes. Jones, who is retiring after 42 years with the Port Angeles School District, was selected for the Hall of Fame, which recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions and have had superb accomplishments in high school sports and activities. Lauded by lawmak… Continue Reading


Rep. Derek Kilmer To Hold Telephone Town Hall; Talks Climate And Budget

by KXRO News

Highlighting climate change and the impacts of the federal budget on the Olympic Penninsula, Representative Derek Kilmer will speak directly to residents in a telephone town hall. Kilmer, in an email says that the recent changes with the US pulling out of the Paris Accord and the proposed national budget, he says that our region has "A Need for Leadership". "Just look at our region. Tribal members and coastal homeowners facing rising waters, shellfish growers watching changing ocean chemistry … Continue Reading


NW lawmakers urge President Trump: Don't sell off BPA assets

WASHINGTON - Northwest members of Congress voiced their join opposition Monday to a proposal in President Trump's budget to sell off the Bonneville Power Administration's (BPA) assets. In their letter to Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, 15 members of Congress -- Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Denny Heck (D-WA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Derek… Continue Reading


President's budget proposal is a step backward for region

by Rep. Derek Kilmer

As you approach the Wishkah River Bridge you'll see that great sign declaring "Gateway to the Olympics." That is not just a sign for tourists looking to explore our forests. For generations of families in Grays Harbor, that gateway has meant livelihood. Sons and daughters listened in wonder to parents and grandparents tell stories about a life spent in timber. They dreamed about making a good wage and a full life in the woods and on the water. We have a responsibility to keep that dream alive. … Continue Reading


Pacific Northwest U.S. Representatives Urge Administration to Not Privatize Bonneville Power Administration

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Pacific Northwest Members of Congress voiced their opposition to a proposal in the President's budget to sell off the Bonneville Power Administration's (BPA) assets. In their letter to Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, fifteen Members of Congress - U.S. Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Denny Heck (D-WA), Pram… Continue Reading


Democrats Cry Foul on Stonewalling at Trump's OPM

by Anne Kim

Democrats in the House are protesting what they say is a new Trump administration policy aimed at blocking federal agencies from communicating with Democratic members of Congress. In a letter released today, Reps. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA) allege that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) now seems to require that every request for information from Congress have the sign-off of a committee or subcommittee chairman - i.e., a Republican - before the agency will respond. It's… Continue Reading


House Dems: Administration ignoring hundreds of oversight requests

by Cristina Marcos

House Democrats pushed the Trump administration on Monday to acknowledge officially if it has instated a new policy not to respond to oversight requests from Congress unless they are signed by senior Republicans. The office of Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), who chairs a Democracy Reform Task Force, has tracked about 275 unanswered Democratic request letters since President Trump's inauguration in January. Sarbanes's office tallied 118 unanswered oversight requests from three days after the inaugu… Continue Reading


Trump administration has failed to answer 275 inquiries: Democrats

House Democrats sent a letter to the inspector general at the Office of Personnel and Management today asking for clarification and answers about a new White House policy to not respond to their oversight requests unless the queries come through House committee or subcommittee chairs. According to Democratic Reps. Kathleen Rice of New York and Derek Kilmer of Washington, who penned today's letter, a senior official from the Office of Personnel and Management (OPM) called Rice's office in May to… Continue Reading


Congress should fund earthquake warning system

by Seattle Times editorial board

President Trump's proposed budget would needlessly kill an earthquake warning system for the West Coast. Congress must step up and continue its funding. America provides for the common defense of its people in many ways, and not all involve the military. One inexpensive way to protect millions of citizens is to warn them of major earthquakes, which are a real and persistent threat. Less than a minute of warning can be enough to close gas lines, stop traffic heading onto a perilous bridge and … Continue Reading

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