Mason County Superior Court seeks candidates for Third judicial position

The Legislature has statutorily authorized a third Superior Court position as provided for by RCW 2.08.063. Governor Jay Inslee is now seeking interested and qualified members of the Washington State Bar Association to submit applications to fill this position. The Governor’s application for judicial appointment, the Uniform Judicial Evaluation Questionnaire, is accepted by several minority bar associations for evaluation purposes. It can be downloaded below.

Nicholas W. Brown, General Counsel
Office of the Governor
Legislative Building
P.O. Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504


To be considered for this vacancy, applicants are strongly encouraged to promptly submit complete applications, along with a short resume and the Waiver and Authorization to Release Information, and schedule judicial evaluations with the statewide minority bar associations. All applications must be completed and submitted to the Governor’s Office by September 5, 2014, with all judicial evaluation ratings submitted to the Governor’s Office of General Counsel by October 3, 2014.

Superior Court Judge Gordon Godfrey stepping down, local attorney stepping up

On August 4, 2014, Hon. Gordon L. Godfrey announced his resignation from the bench effective October 1, 2014. Governor Jay Inslee is now seeking interested and qualified members of the Washington State Bar Association to submit applications to fill this position. The Governor’s application for judicial appointment, the Uniform Judicial Evaluation Questionnaire, is accepted by several minority bar associations for evaluation purposes. It can be downloaded below.

Nicholas W. Brown, General Counsel
Office of the Governor
Legislative Building
P.O. Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504
To be considered for this vacancy, applicants are strongly encouraged to promptly submit complete applications, along with a short resume and the Waiver and Authorization to Release Information, and schedule judicial evaluations with the statewide minority bar associations. All applications must be completed and submitted to the Governor’s Office by August 25, 2014, with all judicial evaluation ratings submitted to the Governor’s Office of General Counsel as soon as possible.


Jean Cotton

Local attorney and Elma native, Jean Cotton, has announced that she is seeking appointment to the vacancy. A press release from Cotton Wednesday said it will require closing her private practice in Elma to pursue full-time the work she has come to love since she began working in the Superior Courts as a Commissioner Pro Tem and Judge Pro Tem more than 15 years ago. Ms. Cotton has taken her judicial service seriously as she is cognizant that decisions made by Superior Court judges affect the very fabric of our lives. She appreciates being from a family with a long history of judicial service in Grays Harbor.
According to Ms. Cotton, our county has been well served by Superior Court Judges who have held their elected positions for extended periods of time and who have been actively involved in their community and judicial stewardship.
Judge Gordon Godfrey announced his resignation after serving as a Grays Harbor Superior Court Judge since 1992. The vacancy created by the announced resignation of Hon. Gordon L. Godfrey will be filled with an appointment made by Governor Jay Inslee. Jean has submitted her application to the Governor for the appointment and looks forward to the opportunity to serve the citizens of Grays Harbor County as its next Superior Court Judge.
Jean is a solo practitioner and owner of Cotton Law Offices, in Elma, Washington. She obtained her JD from the University of Puget Sound School of Law, now Seattle University School of Law.
Jean has been a member of the Washington State bar Association Family Law Section Executive Committee since 2001 having served as Chair in 2007-2008. She has on many occasions acted as a faculty member training and informing practicing attorneys at the Family Law Midyear Section and/or the Skills Training programs as well as for the Solo and Small Practitioner Midyear, various Court Facilitator training, and other programs for Continuing Legal Education requirements for attorneys in Washington. She is currently a member of the WSBA Local Court Rules Task Force and has also served on the Washington Supreme Court Dissolution Task Force and as a Washington Delegate to the Family Law Council of Community Property States. Jean was the recipient of the WSBA Family Law Section Attorney of the Year award in 2008.

David Banner of Cosmopolis receives 2014 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award

Cosmopolis resident David Banner was recently selected as recipients of the 2014 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for in recognition of his work with the Senior Companion Programs in Grays Harbor, Pacific and Thurston Counties. The awards were presented by Washington Governor Jay Inslee and his wife at the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia on April 21, 2014.

The award given Banner read as follows:  “David Banner has been a tireless volunteer for the Senior Companion Program since November 2000. Using his computer expertise and creative skills, he develops and upgrades the Senior Companion Program’s public relations materials and recently created a website to enhance visibility. In addition to the innumerable hours he donates to the program, he also volunteers for several other non-profit organizations including Child Evangelism Fellowship, Christian Women’s Connection, South Aberdeen Baptist Church, and the Aquanotes, a local music group who visits residential care facilities to bring the gift of song. David is generous and devoted to his community and brings an altruistic spirit throughout his volunteer service.”

Pacific Northwest Offshore Wind Energy Project to receive DOE support

As a part of the Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, the Energy Department today announced the selection of three pioneering offshore wind demonstrations to receive up to $47 million each over the next four years to deploy innovative, grid-connected systems in federal and state waters by 2017. These projects – including one spearheaded by Washington-based Principle Power and located off the coast of Oregon– will help speed the deployment of more efficient offshore wind power technologies. Building on the Energy Department’s broader efforts to launch a competitive and sustainable offshore wind industry in the United States, these demonstration projects will help further lower costs, drive greater performance and clear hurdles to installing more utility-scale turbines in U.S. waters.

“Offshore wind offers a large, untapped energy resource for the United States that can create thousands of manufacturing, construction and supply chain jobs across the country and drive billions of dollars in local economic investment,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “The Energy Department is working with public and private partners to harness this untapped resource in a sustainable and economic manner. The offshore wind projects announced today further this commitment — bringing more clean, renewable energy to our homes and businesses, diversifying our energy portfolio, and reducing costs through innovation.”

“This project presents a unique opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of deep-water wind technology, accelerate economic activity in our region and position the Pacific Northwest to be a leader in these projects,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “I commend the Department of Energy for its support. With ongoing support and careful development, WindFloat Pacific can represent a world-leading advancement in wind energy – demonstrating technologies and methodologies that not only open huge new areas to the prospect of renewable energy development but also bring jobs and opportunity.”

“Climate change is already here, and that means the federal government must support the development of innovative technologies that could make major contributions to increasing clean, renewable power,” said Senator Ron Wyden. “Oregon has tremendous offshore wind resources, so it is appropriate that this technology will have the opportunity to be tested off of Oregon’s South Coast.”

“This is a great step forward to test a new clean energy resource in Oregon,” said Senator Jeff Merkley.

“Today’s announcement is a win-win for Coos Bay. Not only will this federal grant support good-paying jobs on the Oregon coast, it also promotes the renewable energy industry,” said Representative Peter DeFazio. “With this grant, we are making a strong statement about our commitment to cutting carbon emissions and given this week’s U.S. National Climate Assessment, this commitment could not come at a better time.”

In December 2012, the Energy Department announced seven offshore wind demonstration projects, which have focused on design, engineering, and permitting work. The three projects selected today, including the project led by Principle Power, are aimed at deploying offshore wind installations in U.S. waters by 2017. Principle Power will install five 6-megawatt direct-drive wind turbines approximately 18 miles off the coast of Coos Bay, Oregon. The U.S.-developed WindFloat semi-submersible floating foundation will be installed in water more than 1,000 feet deep, demonstrating an innovative solution for deep water wind turbine projects and  lowering costs by simplifying installation and eliminating the need for highly specialized ships. More than 60 percent of U.S. offshore wind resources are found in deep waters, including the entirety of the West Coast. Deploying offshore wind technologies for deeper water can help capture resources that are found in waters too deep for traditional bottom-mounted foundations.

Broadly, the Energy Department’s efforts to advance innovative offshore wind technologies support the Obama Administration’s comprehensive National Offshore Wind Strategy to develop a sustainable, world-class offshore wind industry. As part of that strategy, the Energy Department continues to work with partners across the government, including the Department of the Interior, to conduct resource assessments, streamline siting and permitting and overcome technical and market challenges to installation, operations and grid connection. Learn more at the Wind Program’s Offshore Wind Web page.

7-year reign: Washington retains its title as nation’s most ‘Bicycle-Friendly State’

For the seventh consecutive year, Washington has been named the nation’s No. 1 “Bicycle-Friendly State” by the League of American Bicyclists.

Meanwhile, Washington state will officially celebrate Bike Month in May with a signed proclamation (pdf 182 kb) by Governor Jay Inslee describing the many benefits of bicycling.

“As a bike rider I get to see firsthand all that Washington has done to make bicycling part of a sustainable transportation system,” said Gov. Inslee. “Bicycling helps make healthy communities, healthy people and a rich quality of life. There’s always more to do, but being named the most bike friendly state shows we are moving on the right path.”
Strong partnerships among the state’s cities, counties, advocacy organizations, state agencies and transportation providers form the foundation of Washington’s success in improving conditions for bicycling and walking.

“Being an avid bicyclist, I’ve had an opportunity to explore Washington’s urban and rural roadways this past year,” said Washington Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson. “We’ll continue to work with our local partners to identify and fund bicycle needs in their areas, especially on highways that also function as main streets in our communities.”

The Washington State Department of Transportation supports bicycling through its Bicycle and Pedestrian programs and provides transportation design guidance, grant programs and technical support.

“We’re pleased and proud that Washington has remained the number one bicycle-friendly state,” said Barb Chamberlain, Washington Bikes executive director. “The work that goes into growing bicycling statewide every year is important for everyday people bicycling to work, school or errands. It’s equally important for Washington’s reputation as an incredible place to experience the great outdoors through bike travel and tourism. What a great way to kick off Bike Month!”

The League of American Bicyclists annually ranks all 50 states on how “bikeable” they are. The League evaluates each state’s cycling success in several categories: legislation and enforcement; policies and programs; infrastructure and funding; education and encouragement; and evaluation and planning.

WSP Chief, Secretary of Transportation honor telecommunicators in both agencies

Washington Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson and State Patrol Chief John Batiste took time to honor telecommunicators who work in their agencies all last week.

Telecommunicators are those who answer emergency phone lines and work radios in the two agencies. At WSP, they answer calls to 911 and dispatch troopers to where they’re needed. They also dispatch backup when troopers themselves need help.

“Our telecommunicators are our lifelines,” Batiste said. “Many times I’ve been on a lonely road with a sketchy individual, and my only source of assistance was that calm voice on the other end of the radio. I will always be grateful to those dispatchers who got me help when I needed it.”

At WSDOT, staff located in six Traffic Management Centers (TMC) across the state work closely with WSP telecommunicators while operating the department’s electronic communications systems. TMC staff monitors roadway traffic conditions and operate freeway traffic control systems in response to conditions. They also provide critical maintenance, construction and emergency incident information to the patrol, the media and the public.

Telecommunicators at WSDOT and WSP work with WSDOT’s Incident Reponses program to respond to about 40,000 incidents a year.

“We work hand-in-hand with Washington State Patrol to keep people safe on the highways,” said Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson. “Our agencies’ dispatch operators are critical to getting the right people and equipment to incidents and emergencies quickly and efficiently, when every moment counts. They are our unsung heroes.”

Every year, the second full week of April is dedicated to the men and women who serve as Public Safety Telecommunicators. Communities across the nation are currently recognizing those first responders / telecommunicators who help save lives in times of personal, local, or national crisis.

On April 2, Governor Jay Inslee issued a Proclamation which proclaimed April 13-19, 2014, as Public Safety Telecommunicators Week in the state of Washington, and urged all people in our state to join him in recognizing the important contributions of this dedicated group.

NPSTW provides an opportunity to recognize public safety telecommunicators across the state of Washington as well as the nation by honoring those who work hard every day to protect our communities by performing mission critical tasks behind the scenes to support police, fire and emergency medical personnel. 

APCO International has established an NPSTW blog where agencies can share celebration ideas, along with photos of this year’s festivities. Citizens can share thoughts of gratitude and personal stories. 

Grays Harbor E-911 celebrates Telecommunicator Week with local awards

National Telecommunicator Week began on April 13th, and this year four local operators were honored at the Grays Harbor E-911 Center’s board meeting on Tuesday. Director Peggy Fouts said “Every year the dispatch staff take the opportunity to recognize their peers, they vote amongst (sp) themselves to select the winners.” Fouts told the E-911 board “We are taking the opportunity to recognize 4 of our staff members, we have a total staff of 18 so recognition next week will be for the entire staff.”

  • Katie Johnson was selected to receive the Outstanding Sustained Job Performance Award for her continued knowledge and dedication.
  • Katie Woods was selected to receive the Critical Incident Award for her role in handling this CPR call.
  • Shawna Ashlock is being recognized with the Special Projects Award for her on-going work to organize and maintain the CAD Premise History files that ensure that the employees and responders are aware of knox box locations, gate entry codes and locations where additional assistance may be needed.
  • Sarah Saunders is also being recognized with the Special Projects Award for her work in organizing the recognition and activities of the Telecommunicators during the weeklong celebration in 2013.
From left to right (standing) Shawna Ashlock, Katie Johnson, Sarah Saunders, Montesano Police Chief Brett Vance, and Katie Woods
From left to right (standing) Shawna Ashlock, Katie Johnson, Sarah Saunders, Montesano Police Chief Brett Vance, and Katie Woods

Fouts said in a press release “In recognition of the public safety dispatcher’s critical role in the protection of life and property and the preservation of society and law, Governor Jay Inslee has proclaimed the week of April 13th through 19th as Public Safety Telecommunications Week.”
During the week long celebration, Grays Harbor E9-1-1 will take the opportunity to present the agency’s annual Telecommunicator Recognition Awards for exemplary job performance.

The Telecommunicator of the Year Awards were presented at the 9-1-1 Operating Board meeting on April 8th.

The E-911 center is accepting applications for operators until April 18th – Job description and application available from Work Source Grays Harbor in Aberdeen.

Each year, the second full week of April is dedicated to the men and women who serve as public safety telecommunicators. It was first conceived by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County (Calif.) Sheriff’s Office in 1981 and was observed only at that agency for three years. Members of the Virginia and North Carolina chapters of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) became involved in the mid-1980s. By the early 1990s, the national APCO organization convinced Congress of the need for a formal proclamation. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced what became H.J. Res. 284 to create “National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week.” According to Congressional procedure, it was introduced twice more in 1993 and 1994, and then became permanent, without the need for yearly introduction.

The 911 CARES project has a wide range of NTW logo products that are great for gifts—or just for yourself! And the project gives back to the dispatching community, so they’re worth of support. APCO has a special blog to share NTW celebrations and honors.

The official name of the week when originally introduced in Congress in 1991 was “National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.” In the intervening years, it has become known by several other names, including “National Public-Safety Telecommunications Week” and “International Public Safety Telecommunicator’s Week.” The Congressional resolution also stated there were more than “500,000 telecommunications specialists,” although other estimates put the number of dispatchers at just over 200,000. The Congressional figure may include support personnel and perhaps even those in the commercial sector of public safety communications.

Of course, you don’t need NTW to honor your public safety dispatchers for excellence! You can write them a commendation, mention their “good job” at a shift briefing, or just give them a pat on the back.

DISPATCH Magazine On-Line has prepared some materials about NTW that you will find useful as your agency considers how to recognize the dispatchers that have worked so hard during the past year. We’ve included a link to the Congressional Record for the 102nd Session of Congress that searches and displays official documents about National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week from its origin in 1991.

Governor Jay Inslee announces steps to preserve SNAP benefits for Washington families in need

Governor Jay Inslee on Thursday announced steps to preserve Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for approximately 200,000 households in Washington. The changes will prevent the loss of nearly $70 million in federal SNAP benefits resulting from policy changes in a new Farm Bill passed by Congress.

“Governor Inslee’s decision to protect Washington families from food stamp cuts is a smart and principled decision–and it is the right thing to do by our kids. Hungry kids can’t learn. Food stamps are our number-one defense against childhood hunger,” said Jon Gould, Deputy Director of the Children’s Alliance.

A household’s SNAP benefits are calculated by factoring in a household’s eligibility for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The new Farm Bill made changes to the “Heat and Eat” option, which now requires states to provide a household $20 in LIHEAP assistance to maximize SNAP benefits. The prior law required that Washington only provide $1. Under the modified program, the Department of Social and Health Services will work with the Department of Commerce to provide $20 of LIHEAP assistance to eligible households, ensuring low-income families will remain eligible for up to $90 a month of SNAP benefits.

Washington joins seven other states in adopting this approach. This will not only help maintain economic stability for vulnerable families but for businesses in Washington, as the USDA estimates that every SNAP dollar spent generates about $2 in economic activity.

“Obviously, the loss of tens of millions of dollars aimed at feeding hungry families is not acceptable. These families have already suffered from significant reductions in the help they receive, and this $90 a month is the only way many families and seniors are able to put any food on their table. That is why my office brought together leaders from our state agencies and the community to figure out a compromise,” said Governor Inslee.

“Significant changes to the Heat and Eat option required some difficult choices for our state,” said Brian Bonlender, Director of the Washington State Department of Commerce. “Working together with our partners at DSHS, we evaluated every option and concluded that this solution is the best way to help more families fill the gap in their monthly food budget, while still providing needed financial assistance with heating bills.”

SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps) is a fully federally-funded food benefit program administered by the Department of Social and Health Services on behalf of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). LIHEAP is also fully federally-funded and is administered by the Department of Commerce. Together, the programs help nearly one in seven residents throughout the state meet their most basic needs.

DSHS is a national leader in efficient SNAP administration. It was among the first states to examine how human services are delivered and to make changes to streamline operations while maintaining excellent services to clients. Washington’s benefits accuracy rate is more than 98 percent.

“Under Governor Inslee and DSHS Secretary Kevin W. Quigley’s leadership, we were able to find a solution that does not force some of the most vulnerable families in Washington state, including elderly and disabled individuals, to choose between heating their homes and feeding their children,” said David Stillman, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services’ Economic Services Administration. “This is an important effort to ensure people are safe, healthy and supported and taxpayer resources are safeguarded.”

The state will now ask all SNAP applicants for proof of utility payments. In cases where clients have no separate utility bills, like low-income senior citizens whose rent includes utilities, clients will be enrolled in the LIHEAP program and given $20 of heating benefit. This will also qualify them for the highest utility deduction, thereby preserving higher SNAP benefits.

Amazon announces plans to open its fourth fulfillment center in Kent, Washington

Seattle, March 14, 2014, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced plans to open a nearly 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center in Kent, Wash. Amazon will create hundreds of full-time jobs at the site when it opens. This will be the company’s fourth fulfillment center in the state. Amazon’s other Washington fulfillment centers are located in Sumner and Bellevue, and a DuPont site is near completion.

“We’re excited to bring hundreds of great full-time jobs with benefits to Kent and proud to further invest in Washington state with this new fulfillment center,” said Mike Roth, Amazon’s vice president of North America operations. “We are grateful to local and state elected officials who have supported Amazon in bringing a new fulfillment center to the state of Washington.”

“Amazon’s expansion is great news for the people who will be working in the hundreds of great jobs there, as well as for all of Washington,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “Amazon is a marquee company for how Washington innovation can change the world.”

Amazon offers hourly employees innovative programs like Career Choice, where the company will pre-pay up to 95 percent of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon. Since the program’s launch last summer, employees are pursuing degrees in game design and visual communications, nursing, IT programming and radiology, to name a few. Amazon fulfillment center jobs pay on average 30 percent more than traditional retail jobs. In addition to highly competitive wages, Amazon also offers comprehensive benefits on day one, bonuses and stock awards.

“Amazon’s latest expansion of their hometown footprint, bringing so many great jobs, is extremely important to help grow and diversify the Kent Valley economy,” said Brian Bonlender, director for the Washington State Department of Commerce. “The company’s decision also highlights the numerous advantages that attract and keep world-class employers in Washington State, including a highly competitive business climate, well-educated workforce and outstanding quality of life. We are proud that Amazon continues to invest in our state and look forward to supporting their growth.”

At the facility, Amazon employees will pick, pack and ship small items to customers such as books, electronics and consumer goods.

“Amazon’s decision to invest in Kent is a tremendous vote of confidence in our community,” said Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke. “This announcement signifies we have the infrastructure, the workforce and the business-friendly climate needed to support a company like Amazon. This bodes well for Kent’s future in attracting high-tech industries.”

IDS Real Estate Group and Clarion Partners are building the site as part of a joint venture. To learn more about working at an Amazon fulfillment center, visit