Inslee signs $8.7 billion transportation budget

By Rachel La Corte, Associated Press

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee signed off on an $8.7 billion transportation budget Monday that puts money toward maintaining state roadways and continues spending on existing big-ticket projects.

But he vetoed some sections, including a proposal to spend $81 million planning a replacement bridge that would extend Interstate 5 over the Columbia River.

“There is no wisdom in expending these funds if the state of Washington does not contribute adequate funding to actually build the bridge,” he said before vetoing the section. “We all need to understand a central fact. This project needs to be funded this year. There is no other option.”

The effort to replace the bridge connecting Portland with Vancouver, Wash., has encountered obstacles in the predominantly Republican Washington state Senate, where several members are opposed to the Columbia River Crossing proposal in its current form. They say it is too low and should not include light rail transit, and are concerned about costs.

The $3.4 billion project would include two new double-decker bridges with five travel lanes in each direction — up from three — and space for pedestrians, bicyclists and light-rail trains. Oregon and Washington are each responsible for $450 million, with the federal government and toll revenue paying the rest. Oregon has already approved its portion, but if Washington state does not, the federal match will fall through.

House Transportation Committee Chairwoman Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, said that veto “makes perfect sense to me.”

“Until we have a revenue package, we don’t really know if we’ll need that money,” she said.

Including the bridge planning money, Inslee vetoed a dozen sections of the transportation budget Monday, including a provision for an audit of State Route 520 that Inslee said duplicated work already being done, and a study of guardrails that Inslee said no funding was available for.

The budget does continue funding for the Alaskan Way Viaduct tunnel project in Seattle, a replacement bridge for State Route 520 over Lake Washington and high-occupancy lanes on Interstate 5 in Tacoma.

Inslee said the budget “makes key investments in our transportation system to keep people and goods moving safely and smoothly throughout the state.”

Earlier in the day, Inslee spoke at a rally in support of a funding package for transportation projects.

House Democrats support a proposal to raise the gas tax by 10 cents per gallon to help maintain existing roads, as well as to fund a handful of pending big-ticket projects, but the plan faces skepticism from the Senate majority.

The tax would provide money for connecting State Routes 167 and 509 to Interstate 5, the North Spokane Corridor and the $450 million needed for Washington’s share of the Columbia River Crossing Project.

Washington lawmakers are in the midst of a special legislative session to address a projected deficit of more than $1.2 billion in the next two-year state operating budget, plus a court-ordered increase in funding for the state’s education system, but Inslee has said that transportation funding must be addressed as well.

Most of the $81 million that had been allocated toward the Columbia River Crossing in the transportation budget would have been withheld until the U.S. Coast Guard looked at how the project design would hamper river traffic and navigation.

Sen. Ann Rivers, a Republican from La Center who has been a critic of the current bridge project, said that she was disappointed by the governor’s veto of that section.

“The Legislature worked really hard to give the governor an option, and he just took it off the table,” she said. “We’ve always said we want a project that works.”

Inslee said that the veto of the funding money for the Columbia River Crossing shouldn’t “be taken at all that we can’t move forward.”

“It would be foolish to turn down $850 million in federal money when they recognize we’re going to end up paying more for this project if we don’t do it this year,” Inslee said. “Washington taxpayers will have to shell out more tax dollars to deal with this bridge if we don’t take this option that is available to us today.”

Rivers debated the notion that the federal money was a sure thing.

“I’m not willing to stake the future of our general fund on these major projects,” she said. “I think we have to proceed thoughtfully and thoroughly. Right now we’re operating on a wing and a prayer.”

Tougher Washington law against drunken boating

Source: Associated Press

OLYMPIA — Washington’s boating under the influence law becomes tougher under a law signed Thursday by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

The biggest change makes BUI a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

KNDO also reports boat operators who are suspected of being intoxicated could be fined $1,000 if they refuse a breath or blood test.

Changes in the BUI law take effect July 28.

Celebration of Food Festival May 19

LYNNWOOD – The second annual Celebration of Food Festival takes place Sunday, May 19, offering the public an event to taste, explore, and experience real food from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lynnwood Convention Center. Free samples, demonstrations, displays and more will be available, as well as activities by farm and garden professionals. This event showcases how to grow, where to purchase or how to prepare/preserve real food. Resources include experts, displays, books, and items available for children and adults. Vendors representing farming, edible plant production, food preparation, and farmers markets will be on hand. For more information, contact Festival Coordinator Chris Hudyma at

How Stanwood landed a factory and 62 jobs

Kurt Batdorf / The Herald Business JournalProcess Solutions workers Bill Desmul (left) and Zach Barnes use a crane to lower a completed panel into an electrical service box at the company's Stanwood assembly plant.
Kurt Batdorf / The Herald Business Journal
Process Solutions workers Bill Desmul (left) and Zach Barnes use a crane to lower a completed panel into an electrical service box at the company’s Stanwood assembly plant.

By Kurt Batdorf, The Herald Business Journal

STANWOOD — When you think of electrical panel and control systems manufacturing, you probably wouldn’t put Stanwood very high on a list of likely contenders.

But the city is home to Washington’s largest such business, Process Solutions.

Why Stanwood? It doesn’t have a reputation for tech manufacturing as Arlington, Mukilteo and Bothell do. But it does have a mayor, city officials and local boosters who want attract and keep family-wage jobs.

When the Port of Bellingham lured away the building’s former occupant, Index Sensors & Controls, the city didn’t want to see it sit empty and wanted another occupant with an equally robust payroll.

Process Solutions designs and builds electrical control systems and the software that controls them for industries including food processing and packaging, biotech and pharmaceutical, water and wastewater, energy management, manufacturing and aerospace. It builds more than 2,000 control panels per year. North America accounts for 95 percent of the company’s business, Busby said. It did $13 million in sales in 2012 is on track do close to $15 million this year.

Process Solutions President Todd Busby said he was drawn to the Index Sensors building on the east end of town, across the parking lot from Stanwood Cinemas, because it was much more attractive than the three metal buildings his company occupied in Arlington.

Besides, Busby said, with a metal building, “there’s only so much you can do with it.”

However, he wasn’t sold yet on Stanwood. Busby liked Arlington and had been negotiating a ground lease with the city for a bigger facility. He said the deal fell apart after city officials wouldn’t accept liability for anything Busby uncovered during excavation and site preparation. That brought Busby back to the Index Sensors building.

Randy Heagle of Windermere Stanwood represented Busby on the building’s purchase.

The city’s responsiveness impressed Heagle and Busby.

Stanwood community development director Rebecca Lind said she crunched numbers with the city’s finance director and determined that the real-estate excise tax from the property sale would offset the cost of water and sewer, so the City Council agreed to a five-year utility waiver for Process Solutions.

The building’s vinyl floor tile presented another stumbling block for Busby. Lind said the city’s engineer and building official toured the building and wrote a report about how to correct the tile floor’s problems. Stanwood also waived fees for its review of tenant improvements and sign permits.

“That gave Todd the confidence to invest in the building,” Lind said.

“With the help of the city, we helped save the deal,” Heagle said.

Process Solutions closed on the sale in August 2011 and moved into the building April 15, 2012. Busby celebrated his first anniversary in Stanwood with a tour of the 28,000-square-foot engineering and manufacturing facility.

Busby led the city’s ad hoc economic development group — Heagle and a half-dozen local bankers and realtors — through the plant recently.

Process Solutions employs 62 people. About 40 engineers occupy cubicles in the front half of the building, but Busby noted that most of them spend a lot of time on the road with far-flung clients.

The manufacturing floor fills the back half of the building. The vinyl tiles that Busby so disliked are gone. He had the concrete slab ground smooth and polished, removing seven tons of material.

A crane helps workers place large, heavy electrical panels into service boxes instead of using a forklift like most of Busby’s smaller competitors do.

Each work station has overhead power and compressed air for tools and a rack Busby invented that holds 10 spools of wire. Workers can unroll just the wire they need, so copper waste fell from 7 percent to 1 percent, he said.

And then there are the batting cages. Busby, a Little League and soccer coach, said it’s a gift to his employees and their kids.

Busby wanted to have a building that appealed to prospective and current employees. There’s a spacious lounge where workers can make a cup of coffee and see what’s on the giant, flat-screen TV. Daylight filters into the building. Busby worked with designer Garrett Kuhlmann of H2K Design in Stanwood on the interior decor.

So far, Busby’s investment in employee comfort and aesthetics is paying off. He’s recruited eight new engineers since January and gained a $500,000 contract with a customer who saw the building after leaving a movie.

“We wanted to invest in our own building,” Busby said. “It reflects the quality of the work we do.”

Sports Reaction Center’s Concussion Management Program Utilized by Eastlake Youth Football Association

The Bellevue, Wash.-based physical therapy clinic partners with the Eastlake Youth Football Association to manage common concussions in young athletes.

Source: JoTo

(Bellevue, Wash.)  May 13, 2013—The dangers of sport concussions in youth have received substantial attention recently—sports equipment manufacturer Riddell was recently found liable for $3.1 million in an award to the family of a young man who was seriously injured after sustaining a concussion in a high school football practice.  The athlete was injured despite wearing a helmet that Riddell marketed as able to “reduce risk of concussion by 31%” (1).  Because young brains are still developing, it is vital to correctly manage youth concussions to ensure normal neurological performance.  To jumpstart that process, Sports Reaction Center ( (SRC), which has a unique Concussion Management Program ( designed to prevent further injury after a concussion, has teamed with the Eastlake Youth Football Association (EYFA) to help make football safer for the players.

EYFA is the first club in the Greater Eastside Junior Football Association to implement SRC’s program, and plans to institute mandatory concussion screening for all players.  EYFA has long been concerned with understanding and taking steps to avoid concussions so the association turned to SRC for help in establishing a formal “return to play” protocol to which all coaches can adhere on a consistent basis. The change in State Law now requires suspected concussions to be removed from the field and only returned to play when cleared by a professional prompted the partnering.

SRC’s partnership with EYFA comes on the heels of the National Football League (NFL) brain injury trial—thousands of former players are suing the NFL over injuries sustained after being forced back on the field too soon after a concussion.  Several former players who have committed suicide—most notably Junior Seau, a former San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots star—have been found posthumously to have had a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head trauma (2).


SRC founder Neil Chasan explains that when athletes return to play too soon after their initial concussion, they risk a repeat concussion and experiencing potential serious consequences, such as:

●   Cognitive difficulties (poor balance/coordination, memory problems)

●   Brain swelling/damage; and even

●   Death (in extreme cases).

SRC’s Concussion Management Program was created to negate the impacts of concussions and reduce the chance of re-injury.  The program consists of a sequence of baseline tests that measure an athlete’s normal brain function, which is then compared to post-concussion testing in order to determine when they can safely return to action.

1.    SRC uses ImPACT ( (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) and BESS (Balance Error Scoring Testing) to evaluate the multiple measures of cognitive function.

2.    The clinic also performs the SCAT 3™ Tests

3.    To assess players’ reaction time, SRC uses a technology called D2 by Dynavision (, which is an evaluation tool for head injuries, concussions and visual field deficits.  The Dynavision D2 Visuomotor with a Tachistoscope is the only system that is widely used by athletes for reactive/cognitive training and testing.

SRC has instructed the coaches in the use of the King-Devick sideline assessment tool to objectively identify suspected concussion. Even slight concussions can cause lasting injury, and should be treated at the first indication of a problem and monitored thereafter.  While certain symptoms of concussions may be immediate, others may be delayed in onset by hours or even days after injury.  Belated signs of concussions include:

●   Concentration/memory complaints;

●   Irritability or other personality changes;

●   Sensitivity to light and noise;

●   Psychological adjustment problems and depression; and

●   Affected sense of taste and smell.


Chasan asserts that once an athlete is diagnosed with a concussion, testing should determine whether it’s safe for them to return to play in their sport.

“Concussion management is an essential aspect of any sport and [at EYFA], we do everything in our power to eliminate the possibility of long-term damage,” said Garret Rogers, President of EYFA.

For more information on the services offered by Sports Reaction Center, visit

About the Sports Reaction Center (SRC):


Based in Bellevue, Washington and attracting athletes of all levels from the Bellevue, Seattle, Kirkland and Redmond areas, as well as around the United States, the Sports Reaction Center ( (SRC) was founded by Neil Chasan in 1997.  SRC performs sports physical therapy services that incorporate innovative technology such as Dynavision, OptoJump and the NASA-developed Alter-G.  The clinic additionally offers concussion management and biomechanical assessment.  SRC’s clients include multiple athletes who have qualified for the Olympic Trials in Track and Field, as well as marathoner Mike Sayenko, Olympic hurdler Virginia Powell, and NFL, NBA and MLB players.  The clinic also works with area organizations such as Club Northwest, VO2 Multisports, and the Seattle Rugby Club.  A graduate of the University of Washington’s physical therapy program in 1982, Chasan is a consultant to the U.S. Olympic Training Center, U.S. Rugby Sports Medicine, and Alter G.  Neil is the author of the book Total Conditioning for Golfers, and the creator of the video “The Swing Reaction System”.  Neil published “Pain Free Back”, an iPhone application.  A clinical faculty member of the University of Washington’s physical therapy program since 1990, Chasan teaches and consults with physical therapists around the world.

1.      Shankman, Sabrina.  “NFL Helmet Manufacturer Warned On Concussion Risk.”  PBS, 1 May 2013.  Web.  03 May 2013.

2.      Pennington, Bill.  “Business.”  The Boston Globe, 06 May 2013.  Web.  06 May 2013.


Chairwoman Cantwell Holds Hearing on Tribal Resources Legislation

Indian Affairs Committee Examines 2 Bills to Address Water and Lands Claims of the Blackfeet Nation and the Pueblo of Sandia

Source: United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
WASHINGTON D.C. – Today Chairwoman Maria Cantwell (D-WA) held a legislative hearing to address water and lands rights that are essential to the Blackfeet Nation of Browning, Montana, and the Sandia Pueblo of Bernalillo, New Mexico. The hearing examined the Blackfeet Water Rights Settlement Act of 2013 (S. 434) and the Sandia Pueblo Settlement Technical Amendment Act (S. 611).
“At the core of the principals of tribal self-governance and self-determination is the ability of tribes to exercise jurisdiction over their lands and their resources,” said Cantwell. “Often legislation is necessary to ensure that tribes can exercise those rights.”
The Committee heard testimony from the Department of the Interior, the State of Montana, and the Blackfeet Nation on their views of the Blackfeet Water Rights Settlement Act of 2013 (S. 434). The bill, introduced by Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Jon Tester (D-MT), would settle a longstanding water dispute between the Blackfeet Nation and the State of Montana, and would ratify an agreement that the two parties have reached.
The Committee heard from Shannon Augare, Councilman for the Blackfeet Nation, which has over 16,000 members, half of whom live on the reservation. “Safe and clean drinking water supplies are vital for the growing population on the Reservation, and water is critical to our economy which is heavily dependent on stock raising and agriculture,” Augare said. “The Blackfeet Reservation’s location along the eastern Rocky Mountain Front makes it the home of abundant fish and wildlife, which depend directly on the water resources of the Reservation to support them and allow them to thrive.”
The Committee also heard from Jay Weiner, Assistant Attorney General for the State of Montana. “The State of Montana and the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council agree that this is a fair and equitable settlement that will enhance the ability of the Tribe to develop a productive and sustainable homeland for the Blackfeet People,” said Weiner. “This settlement is the product of over two decades of negotiations among the parties, which included an intensive process of public involvement.” Weiner continued: “The compact promotes development for the benefit of the Blackfeet Nation while protecting other water uses.”
Witnesses from the Department of Agriculture and the Pueblo of Sandia testified on the Sandia Pueblo Settlement Technical Amendment Act (S. 611) at Wednesday’s hearing. The bill, introduced by Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM), would make a technical amendment to the T’uf Shur Bien Preservation Trust Area Act to accomplish the transfer of 700 acres of land to the Pueblo of Sandia that was intended to happen when Congress passed the original Act in 2003. The bill would clarify the valuation of the lands and require the Department of Agriculture to complete this transaction within 90 days of the Act’s passage.
The Committee heard from Stuart Paisano, Councilman of the Pueblo of Sandia. “The Pueblo hopes that with the passage of this technical amendment, the land exchange that Congress authorized over 10 years ago in the T’uf Shur Bien Preservation Trust Act will finally happen,” Paisano said. The Sandia Mountains have special cultural and spiritual significance to the Pueblo. Completion of the land transfer would ensure their preservation for members and future generations.

Fixing the culverts is good for everyone

Bring Frank by Billy Frank Jr, the chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission.

Indian tribes in western Washington have long been using our treaty rights to protect and restore the salmon resource to the benefit of everyone who lives here. A good recent example is the federal court’s March 29 ruling in the culvert case brought against the state by the tribes back in 2001.

The state of Washington must fix fish-blocking culverts under state-owned roads because they violate tribal treaty-reserved fishing rights, federal Judge Ricardo Martinez ruled in late March. The court found that more than 1,500 state culverts deny salmon access to hundreds of miles of good habitat in western Washington, harming salmon at every stage in their life cycle.

We didn’t want to file this litigation, but the salmon can’t wait. At the pace that the state has been repairing its blocking culverts, there would be few, if any, salmon left by the time all were fixed. Martinez’s ruling will result in hundreds of thousands more salmon returning to Washington waters each year. These salmon will be available for harvest by everyone who lives here, not just the tribes.

We could have avoided the suit if the state followed its own laws. One of Washington’s first laws on the books requires fish passage at any blockage in creeks and rivers.

Instead, the state chose to largely ignore the problem along with the tribes’ treaty rights, which depend on salmon being available for harvest. And once again, our treaty rights were upheld by the federal courts, just as they have been consistently since the 1974 Boldt decision that re-affirmed those rights and established the tribes as co-managers of the salmon resource.

This isn’t something new to the tribes. The state’s approach has long been to ignore treaty rights even if that means ignoring the best interests of all of its citizens.

State agencies told the Legislature in 1995 that fixing culverts was one of the most cost-effective strategies for restoring salmon habitat and increasing natural salmon production. The cost to benefit ratio goes up as the number of culverts repaired per year increases, they said. Two years later, state agencies said every dollar spent fixing culverts would generate four dollars’ worth of additional salmon production. Recent studies support that estimate.

Still, Judge Martinez had to issue a permanent injunction against the state’s continued operation of fish-blocking culverts under state roads. The reason is that the state has actually reduced culvert repair efforts in the past three years, which has led to a net increase in the number of barrier culverts. At the current pace, the state would never complete repairs, Martinez said, because more culverts were becoming barriers to salmon than were being fixed.

The federal court’s ruling will not bankrupt the state. Judge Martinez gave the state and its Department of Transportation (DOT) 17 years to complete repairs. Other state agencies were already planning to have their blocking culverts corrected within the next three years.

Culvert repair cost estimates being provided by the state are higher than the actual repair costs presented in court, Martinez ruled. The state claims that the average cost to replace a state DOT culvert is $2.3 million. But the evidence showed the actual cost of DOT culverts built to the best fish passage standards has been about $658,000.

It’s important to note that repairs will be funded through the state’s separate transportation budget and will not come at the expense of education or other social services. It’s also important to understand that state law already requires that culverts allow fish passage. The culvert case ruling directs the state to do nothing more than what is already required, except to correct DOT fish-blocking culverts at a faster rate.

The treaty Indian tribes bring much to the salmon management table. Salmon populations in western Washington would be in far worse shape without the salmon recovery efforts, fisheries management expertise, leadership, hatcheries, funding, and traditional knowledge the tribes provide. More habitat would be lost, fewer salmon would be available for harvest, and there would be far less funding for salmon recovery.

We prefer to cooperate rather than litigate to achieve salmon recovery. But if our treaty rights can be used to re-open these streams and enhance wild salmon populations, that’s a win-win for all of us.

Northwest Indian College celebrates women’s health

In observance of National Women’s Health Week, Northwest Indian College will host its 2013 Women’s Wellness Conference on May 8-9 from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Log Building on main campus.

The event brings together women from campus and the community to promote women’s health and wellness, and to provide them with opportunities and tools to improve their physical, mental and emotional health.

Topics at the conference will include:

  • Physical fitness
  • Healthy relationships
  • Native plant identification (and nature walk)
  • Diabetes cooking and nutrition
  • Teas for wellness
  • And more

For a registration form, contact Laura Maudsley at or visit The conference registration fee is $125. Those who would like to attend the conference, but who are unable to pay, can request a fee waiver by contacting Laura.

Northwest Indian College is an accredited, tribally chartered institution headquartered on the Lummi Reservation at 2522 Kwina Road in Bellingham Wash., 98226, and can be reached by phone at (866) 676-2772 or by email at