Commishes Talk ‘Buds’ and Budget, Auditor’s $ a Concern

Sick of that ‘burning rope’ odor? Help is on the way via a proposed ‘marijuana moratorium.’

Brought forward by Commissioner Wes Cormier, the proposal is for  a six month moratorium on new applications for the production and processing of marijuana. Cormier said he’s “getting a lot of complaints about odor.” Commissioners Randy Ross and Vickie Raines indicated they’ve been receiving similar complaints.

The draft ordinance relates to new permits for marijuana processing and production, not retail. It also provides for a public hearing on the subject. Look for more discussion at an upcoming workshop. A copy of the draft ordinance appears below.

County revenues and expenditures were also on the table this morning. Budget Director presented a budget update as of May 31, 2017. The County Auditor’s numbers continue to be a source of concern. The basic ‘benchmark’ at this point is for county departments to have about 58% of their budget left through the end of the fiscal year. The Auditor’s office is about six points below the benchmark, with just over 52% of its budget left for the year.

Commissioner Vickie Raines asked why the Auditor’s office is so far below the benchmark. That office incurred significant spending overages related to the 2016 elections. Those costs splashed over into the 2017 budget. “He’s (County Auditor Vern Spatz) not going to meet budget as is going down this path,” said Raines. Citing this year’s upcoming elections, she said, “My anticipation is it’s (auditor spending/budget issues) going to get worse.”

Raines asked for a letter to be sent to Spatz asking how he’s going to resolve those issues. “I don’t want to wait till October, November, or December and have this big elephant in the room,” said Raines. 

Additional county budget info. appears below. There’s more where that came from. Just holler.

Meanwhile, tomorrow’s ‘legislative summit’ with state legislators from the 19th and 24th LDs has been taken off-calendar. This change is due to the unavailability of Sens. Takko and Van de Wege. Watch for a reschedule, possibly this Friday. Tomorrow’s 1:00 p.m commissioners’ workshop is still on, with different topics.

A motion to cancel the July 3 BOCC meetings passed unanimously.

TTFN!

Top photo: (L to R) Commissioners Randy Ross, Wes Cormier and Vickie Raines discuss county budget matters with Budget Director Brenda Sherman.

Thanks, Dems! Some Harborites May Soon Be Without Healthcare

Remember “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”? How ‘bout, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan?”

Anyone who’s been paying attention to the political landscape for any length of time – say, 20 minutes or so – knows what a crock those two Obamanian lines turned out to be (not that anyone’s counting or anything).

But wait. It’s about to get better. Especially in Grays Harbor.

According to a June 8 story in CNN Money, More Insurers Drop Obamacare, Even in State With a Healthy Exchange, Grays Harbor will have the dubious distinction of being one of two Washington counties to be without any Obamacare insurers next year. As in, Zip. Zero. Nada.  Via CNN Money:

Two (Washington) counties won’t have any insurers participating in the individual market — either on the state’s Obamacare exchange or off of it — next year unless another company steps in, the Washington insurance department said Wednesday.

This could be trouble for the more than 3,300 people in those counties, Klickitat and Grays Harbor, who buy their own coverage. This includes the more than 2,100 residents who signed up for policies through the exchange.

Washington would become the third state to have locales without any Obamacare insurers. Enrollees in the Kansas City, Missouri, area and in parts of Ohio also won’t have any options on their exchanges next year unless other carriers join.(Emphasis added.)

Insurers who are pulling out cite the expenses of “setting up doctor and hospital networks or the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Obamacare’s future.”  Sure as night follows day, the other side of the aisle is trying to pin blame on President Trump and Republicans.

Not so fast.

Remember who put the ACA in place. Hint: It wasn’t Republicans.  Nor did Republicans force the individual mandate, coercing free citizens to engage in commerce and purchase a product whether you wanted/needed it or not. (Doesn’t that qualify as “slavery”? Askin’ for a friend.)  Continues CNN Money:

Even though the bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is working its way through the Senate, Obamacare still remains the law of the land. Insurers are now telling state regulators whether they’ll participate for 2018 and the rates they want to charge consumers.

How Obamacare is faring nationwide really depends on the state — and even the county. Insurers are pulling out of some areas, leaving a growing number of places with only one carrier on the exchange. Humana (HUM), Aetna (AET) and several Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, which specialize in the individual market, have announced their departures.

While we’re taking a trudge down memory lane, remember that Obamacare passed without a single Republican vote. You may also want to remember that the next time you fill out your ballot. Or need to see a doctor.

Indeed, the handwriting on the wall regarding Obamacare was obvious to anyone with two functional brain cells from Day 1.  Democrats deployed a variety of  smoke and mirrors to sell Obama’s magical health elixir.

And now you know “what’s in it.”

Obamacare was never designed to improve access to anything. (Remember Jonathan Gruber?) In fact, Obamacare is doing exactly what it was intended to do – fail – as a precursor to single payer. (See Obamacare: A Trojan Horse for Single Payer.) So Americans can have healthcare that’s just as lousy as Canadians and Brits.

If you’re upset about losing your health insurance, remember which party dumped that monstrosity on you in the first place. (Don’t even get me started on the difference between “health coverage” and “health care.” Because that’s night and day. As in, Great! You’ve got insurance through the exchange. Good luck getting anyone who’ll accept it.)

Speaking of “luck,” if you’re over 50 and fall into the demographic outlined above, good luck getting decent healthcare. Can you say “rationing”? Unfortunately, some Americans have become so addicted to government-provided “healthcare” since 2010, they can’t imagine a world without it.

Try.

In the meantime, Harborites, don’t get sick, injured, or otherwise in need of medical care next year, courtesy of the Party Debt, Dependency, and Duplicity.

You might also want to remember that per the next election.

 

Commishes Take a Bite Out of Excessive Noise

 The Grays Harbor County Commissioners acted to hush excessive noise at today’s afternoon meeting by passing an ordinance establishing maximum permissible noise levels. The move gives the sheriff’s office more room to enforce noise complaints.

Commissioners Randy Ross and Wes Cormier (pictured above) are listening to Monte residents chime in on the noise ordinance at this afternoon’s meeting. All four residents spoke in favor of the ordinance.

During the public comment period, one woman said the noise from a nearby grinding machine was “noise pollution. It’s irritating, it’s rattling, and you can’t even go outside” she said.

Commissioner Ross clarified that the purpose of the changes in the ordinance are “to put some additional teeth in the law” so the sheriff’s office can more readily enforce excessive noise complaints.

It passed unanimously, 2 – 0, and goes into effect upon signature(s).  (Commissioner Raines was excused and not in attendance.)

Later, Commissioner Cormier explained his vote in favor, calling it a “property rights” issue. “People have a right to enjoy their property” he said. “This is just a standard.” 

The amendments were “initiated” per the sheriff’s office, for reasons Ross noted above.

As for the remainder of today’s agenda. Well, easements, MOUs, or court ordered abatements don’t really spin my fins. I’m just funny that way. ‘Sides. Blue skies, sunshine and temps skimming the 70s are mighty distracting, aren’t they?

Oh yeah. Here are Lori’s birthday roses. Beautiful, aren’t they?

TTFN. (You’ll get that if you know A.A. Milne. And Tigger. That’s not a typo.)

Turning Up the Heat on Left-Wing Media Bias

Sick and tired of left-wing media bias? How ‘bout non-stop smear campaigns against conservatives? What about, lies, distortions, vitriol and personal animus disguised as “reportage” (Hi, CNN, MSNBC & Co.)?

Yesterday I told you how you can fight back with the Media Equality Project. (For background, see: Media Equality Project Fights Fire With Fire, Targets Maddow. Hashtag: #StopTheScalpings.)

One of the worst offenders in the Media Bias and Buffoonery category is Rachel Maddow. If you’re sick to death of Maddow’s serial hatred for all things conservative, fight back by voicing your opposition to her advertisers. Hit them where it counts – their bottom line. Like:

Dear (Surname of contact):

I am writing to ask you to please stop backing the Rachel Maddow show with your advertising dollars. Ad buys on her show are embarrassing to you. Do you really want to support a world champion tin foil hat conspiracy theorist and serial hater?

We work hard for our money. We refuse to purchase or use any of your products or services until you pull your support for Rachel Maddow’s hateful, biased and untruthful “reporting.”

Thank you,

Each contact is customized to the individual recipient/product. You get the idea.

Want to join the fun? Here’s a list of advertisers and sponsors for the Rachel Maddow Show, per the Media Equality Project. Contact information is included.

If an eddress is unavailable, as in the case of Kraft/Velveeta, you can use the handy-dandy contact form on their corporate web site. Keep it short and to the point. Here’s what I said:

Please rest assured that NO Kraft/Velveeta products will cross my family’s threshold until you pull ALL advertising support from the Rachel Maddow show.

See? Simple.

Not the email/phone call/raise a ruckus type, but still want to join the party? Don’t fret. You can still help the Media Equality Project fight fire with a donation. A PayPal link for that purpose is included at the bottom of this page.

Visit StopTheScalpings on Facebook

Media Equality Project co-founders Melanie Morgan and Brian Maloney appeared on the May 31 edition of Sean Hannity’s show. The segment relevant to the current groundswell of support for the project begins at about 16:40:

While you’re at it:

Speaking of speaking up and speaking out, guess how many responses I received from Rep. Steve Tharinger (D-24th) to numerous contacts with his office during this legislative session? Aw, come on. Guess.

Well, okay. I’ll tell you. Ready? Zero. That’s right.  Zip. Zilch. Nada. Not a single response to any call or email.

Isn’t Tharinger up for re-election next year?

 

Maddow image credit

 

‘Media Equality Project’ Fights Fire With Fire, Targets Maddow

My Dad served as a park ranger with the National Park Service for several years. His duties included fire-fighting. So I have a decent grasp of the science of backfires: How, When, Where, and Why.

In a nutshell: backfires work. It’s called “fighting fire with fire.”

 

Since January 20, Leftistas and their willing lackeys in the mainstream media have been flaming anyone or anything not on board with their agenda. They’ve jettisoned any pretense at objectivity when it comes to reportage on Republicans, conservatives, or – gasp! – President Trump.

For too long, about the only thing conservatives could do in the face of such rabid hostility and rank dishonesty was wring our hands. Or yell at the TV.

Not anymore.

Continue reading “‘Media Equality Project’ Fights Fire With Fire, Targets Maddow”

Contract Dough, Condolences on Commission Plates

Recipe Kitchen Dough Italian Cook Flour

Contracts and how to fund them have been big on county commissioner plates lately. In the last couple weeks Grays Harbor County Commissioners have approved amendments/modifications related to medical/behavioral health contracts per the county jail. Amendments to a contract with Greater Grays Harbor Inc. are also on the menu.

At this afternoon’s regular business meeting, the commissioners approved an amended contract for County Jail Physician’s Services Behavioral Health. The amended contract includes an increase of nearly $54,000 through the end of the year.

The commissioners unanimously approved the increase for January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017. The increase is from $170,916 to $224,910. That figure corrects a prior calculation that was incorrect.

Also approved this afternoon was a $30,955 tran$fer from public safety sales tax $ to pay expenses associated with the jail for security.

Commissioners Vickie Raines and Randy Ross approved modifications to a professional services contract for jail medical services last Monday. The modified contract with Dr. Yong Ki Shin was approved unanimously by Ross and Raines. Commissioner Wes Cormier was out of town on county business.

The mods to the professional services contract with Shin represent an additional $350K/year over what the county is now paying. The mods are required to meet updated state and federal standards for said jail medical services. That contract includes medical staffing for two-thirds of the day. For additional background, see: Updated Jail Medical Services Contract Pinches County Pockets.

Questions about funding for these increases – how and from where – remain. “We need to have a workshop on it so we can all get our heads around it,” observed Raines.

Commissioner Raines also said she’s received significant feedback from health professionals on the professional services contract going out to bid. Look for a revisit in the fall.

$peaking of dough, the commissioners decided to shift an agenda item to rescind an Economic Development Funding Agreement with Greater Grays Harbor and authorize a new contract to June 5. This will allow for review and input from the GGHI Chair. (County offices will be closed next Monday to observe Memorial Day.)

The original funding agreement was approved on April 3. It spilled over into an April 18 workshop and discussions with Aberdeen Mayor Erik Larson and GGHI CEO Dru Garson. 

At issue was Commissioner Wes Cormier’s proposal for specific performance benchmarks or ‘deliverables‘ GGHI is expected to meet in relation to receiving a record $88K in county support. Here are the “deliverables/reporting requirements” from a draft of the contract:

Cormier’s proposed addendum prompted Larson to pen a prickly letter to the editor in April calling the commissioner’s motives into question. 

For background, see: Commissioners Dig Into Deliverables, Ballot Boxes & Bucks. and  ‘Cold Calls’ a Sticking Point in County Agreement With GGHI.

One other thing. Commissioner Ross suggested inviting legislators from the 19th and 24th LDs for a workshop discussion on additional unfunded state mandates that may be coming down the puke. I mean… pike

Also, if you’re among the head-banging music at nose bleed volume contingent, an updated noise ordinance is also on the table. It will allow the sheriff’s office to issue citations for excessive noise in residential areas. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

During this afternoon’s public comment period, Commissioner Raines said Keith Olson passed away on May 18. Noting that Olson was a former rival for her commission seat, Raines said “We quickly became very good friends.” She said Olson “leaves quite a legacy of community service.” Also that Olson “fought for the little guy and stood up for property rights. I will miss him,” she said. The Board expressed its condolences to the Olson family.

One other, other thing. The courthouse flag is now “skimpishly” lit. And sunny, warm days like today have been as scarce as a slim sow around here lately. So I really, really hope you’re reading this pool side. Or in a chaise lounge somewhere in the Great Outdoors. In shorts. Maybe with an umbrella drink. And SPF 50. With a wide-brimmed hat. I am. 😉

10+ Things Donald Trump Can Do To Get Back on the Rails

It’s been a rough road for the Trump White House.  After an eight-year hiatus, Democrat Central – aka: the mainstream “media” – has awakened from its self-induced coma and re-discovered reportage. Or at least what passes for their blatantly biased version of same.

My new favorite commentator, Tucker Carlson, pointed this out on Friday night:

“About the only people who deny widespread media bias these days are the people who are directly benefiting from it. And that would include progressive activists posing as reporters, and the Democratic politicians whose water they carry.”

Tucker noted a recent Harvard University study that found that 80 percent of the media’s coverage of President Trump’s first 100 days was negative.

Duh.

Newsflash to Donald and the Trump administration: The mainstream media and its willing Leftista lackeys in Hollywood, academia, and the DNC will never be your friends. So stop trying. So press forward, doing what you were elected to do. Here are ten suggestions toward that end:

1) Go Reagan. Beating up on The Ronaldus was the lamestream media’s favorite indoor sport. President Reagan largely ignored their petty and puerile attacks, frequently deploying humor to blunt the almost daily media hostility to his agenda. It was brilliant. It was effective. It drove the media nuts. What’s more fun than that?

2) Appoint an irreproachable FBI director. And for heaven’s sake, don’t flub the roll-out!

3) Re-build America’s relationship with Israel. After eight disastrous years of gross ineptitude disguised as “strategic patience” (whatever the h-e-double hockey sticks that means) in the Middle East, it’s time to rebuild America’s relationship with our best friend and only democratic country in the region: Israel. It may also be a good idea to start acting like a friend and ally instead of a waffling, narcissistic idiot.

4) If your name is Melania or Ivanka or you’re any other female associated with the Trump administration, refuse to wear a head scarf when visiting the Middle East. There’s no need to be rude. But there’s no need to act or look like an acquiescent toady, either. You’re an American. You bow to no one.

5) No more Apology Tours. See #3 and #4, above.

6) Stick to your guns. Voters didn’t send you to the Oval Office to go chameleon and become part of the D.C. Cartel. They expect you to deliver on campaign promises such as repealing Obamacare, rebuilding our military after eight years of cannibalizing same to support endless social spending, securing our southern border, and defeating ISIS, appointing originalists to federal benches, and restoring religious freedom and First Amendment protections ripped away by the Obama regime.

7) Engage gray matter before you tweet. You’re not a candidate or a private citizen anymore. Kudos to using Twitter to directly engage the American people and leave the lamestream media eating your dust. But attempting to announce public policy in 140 characters probably isn’t a stroke of genius.

8) Act presidential. Stay above petty partisan bickering whenever possible. Directly responding to the latest drivel or toxic waste spewed from Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, or Elizabeth Fauxahontas Warren only emboldens them and beefs up their street cred. So why go there? Let your communications team skewer them instead.

9) Appoint Rep. Maxine The Mouth Waters to a post where she’ll fit right in. Like Special Envoy to Havana. Or La La Land.

10) Don’t go spineless like the Washington State Republican Party’s Executive Board. On Friday night the political cowards on that body rejected a resolution to support I-1552. While WSRP is a mess in many respects, that mess has devolved into Laughable Looneyville under Susan Hutchison. Lines of distinction between WSRP-style “Republicans” and DemoLibs have become so blurred so often on Hutchison’s watch as to become 50 Shades of Purple. The WSRP E-Board’s refusal to support protection/privacy rights for women and girls in this state is the latest case in point. Disgraceful. (Update – 4:24 p.m.: It appears that the State Committee has passed an amended resolution. Duh.)

In short, Mr. President: If you want to get back on the rails, take a page out of the Reagan playbook. Don’t let up on Democrat Central. But don’t let them sidetrack you, either. As National Review’s Tim Graham noted in 2004 on the occasion of Ronald Reagan’s passing, “Reagan won over many adversaries by his magnanimity under rhetorical assault.”

Newt Gingrich takes this a step further in his incisive May 18 essay, Surrender or Fight – Our Country is at Stake. Recalling Trump’s prior characterizations of the media, Gingrich concludes:

When your opponents are “among the most dishonest human beings on earth,” “do a tremendous disservice service to the country,” and are “part of the problem,” then you need a strategy and system that is built around that analysis.

The next few months will see one of the greatest decisions in American history. Do we fight to make America great again, or do we surrender to those who claim the elitist power to dictate to the rest of us?

There is no middle ground.

Donald and WSRP: are you listening?