OLYMPIA, Wash. - A state Elections Division probe has confirmed apparent initiative fraud involving three paid signature-gatherers for two Initiatives to the Legislature recently certified for legislative consideration.
The three collected over 8,000 signatures, 3,644 for Tim Eyman’s I-517 dealing with the initiative process, and 4,483 for I-522, dealing with genetically engineered food. Many of the signatures, names and addresses didn’t match those on file.
The information will be turned over to the State Patrol for investigation and possible referral for prosecution. It is a Class C felony to commit petition fraud, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Secretary of State Kim Wyman said Wednesday the cases involve the worst apparent initiative fraud anyone can remember, and pledged that the state’s continuing crackdown will continue, possibly with tougher regulations.
“This kind of disrespect of the voters and our cherished initiative process cannot be tolerated, and I want these cases fully investigated, and if, appropriate, as it certainly appears, I want these people prosecuted,” she said. “I’m sure that sponsors of ballot measures demand that their solicitors be accurate and honest, but we’ve always feared that use of pay-per-signature encourages bad behavior.
This weekend at Grays Harbor Raceway, in conjunction with the Grays Harbor County Fair. The Cut Rate Hobby Stock Challenge will run, that will feature the top Hobby/Street Stock drivers in the Northwest for a 40 lap $1000.00 to win feature event. The program will also include the Sportsman Cars from Banks and St Helens, Oregon as well as the Cruisers and HiLine Homes Hornets.
The odds on favorite to take the win will be local driver Zack Simpson who is the defending Champion of the event, the current Grays Harbor Raceway points leader with seven main event wins in nine races as well being the track champion for the last two years in the Hobby Stock division. Simpson will be challenged by former Hobby Stock champion and current Midget points leader Brandon Daniel from McCleary. Modified driver Shawn Dorie will be driving the Celeste Hardesty Hobby Stock, as Celeste will drive her St Helen’s Sportsman car. Out of town drivers expected to challenge will be Bank’s drivers.
HOQUIAM, Wash. - The Hoquiam city council last night adopted the report for their historic district, the new district will snake through downtown Hoquiam and includes about 45 buildings, some already on the Local Registrar of Historic Places. The district would also exempt historic buildings from some flood plain requirements when undergoing historical restoration. Mayor Jack Durney said this morning that city staff will return with an official ordinance for adoption in September.
Correction: Hoquiam council last night adopted the report, an ordinance will be returned for adoption sometime in September.
Washington, D.C. - As the 10th day of the government shutdown looms, more than seven million Americans have been kept out of national parks and $750 million in visitor spending has been lost, with huge repercussions for the economies of gateway communities and entire states that depend on national park tourism, according to the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees (CNPSR).
CNPSR-gathered figures show that the shutdown is resulting in:
* 715,000 visitors lost daily (based on October 2012 national park attendance numbers).
* $76 million in lost visitor spending per day.
* $450,000 in lost revenue each day that would go directly to the National Park Service ($300,000 in entrance fees and $150,000 in other in-park expenditures, such as campground fees, boat rentals, etc.)
CNPSR Chair Maureen Finnerty, former superintendent of Everglades and Olympic National Parks, said: “These figures are mind boggling and they only begin to capture the full economic shock of locking up the crown jewels of America – our national parks. Towns, cities, and even whole states that depend on park tourism are feeling an increasingly strong pinch. And if Congress continues to hold our national parks hostage, these communities will soon be reeling from what is in many cases the main driver of their economies.”
ABERDEEN, Wash. - Grays Harbor Post Offices could see possible cutbacks, or closures depending on a study being conducted by the US Postal Service. Spokesman for the Seattle District Erny Swanson tells us they have begun a study to identify 2000 of their 32,000 offices that could be affected. "...to this point, there is no list, nothing has really been set in motion [yet] to identify possible offices for that list."
Announcements by the US Postal Service that they intend to close 2000 of their 32-thousand offices across the US have been met with opposition. Some Washington offices could be looking at delivery consolidation, or closure. In March officials will begin to study which offices could be targetted the Postal Service says a list of potential offices could be released within six months.
ABERDEEN, Wash. - Police are asking for tips in the investigation of a hit-and-run incident in Aberdeen last week that, according to eye witnesses, threw one man to the ground. Captain John Green tells us it happened in the 100 block of South Park street just after 6 Thursday evening.
One witness said he heard tires squeal, turned, and saw the victim in mid air. The witness said the driver stepped out and looked at the victim, then sat back in the car and fled.
The car was described as a silver Chrysler PT Cruiser with tinted windows. The driver was described as a Hispanic or Native American male, mid 20's to early 30's in age, about 6-00 foot tall, athletic build, with short dark hair, clean shaven, well dressed and wearing sunglasses.
Green said the 40 year old man struck appeared to be highly intoxicated, his injuries appeared minor with visible scrapes and abrasions. He was treated and transported to GHCH by the Aberdeen Fire Department.
Anyone with information is asked to call APD at 533-3180 or the Tip Line at 538-4450.
MONTESANO, Wash. - The Coastal Community Action Program is looking for volunteers to help conduct a head count of Grays Harbor's homeless, Andrea Vekich, Homeless Outreach Coordinator with CAP tells us "that is done across the country, and we're looking for volunteers to go out into the woods and parks and take a census of all the homeless individuals on that night."
Vekich said a voluntary survey is also conducted during the January census, the annual count helps agencies nationwide allocate resources to those in need.