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Archives: Aug. 2012

Aug.
28th

Tacoma: Council adopts new domestic fowl rules for urban coops

It didn’t come over easy, but a measure that will make it simpler to legally raise backyard chickens and other domestic fowl in Tacoma won City Council approval Tuesday.

After a tortured debate that featured two failed amendments and plenty of squawking over just how far urban poultry coops and cages should be kept from neighboring properties, the council voted 8 to 1 to support the originally proposed Poultry and Pigeons Code Amendment.

As approved, the measure changes the city’s domestic fowl ordinance by reducing an onerous 50-foot setback for operating a poultry coop to 12 feet.

It also for the first time sets limits on the

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Aug.
28th

Tacoma: Council executes new contract with Teamsters Local 117, calling for pay raises amid grim budget forecast

Tacoma’s City Council unanimously executed a new contract for 239 city employees across various departments today — an agreement that will cost the city about $125,000 more per year in pay raises covered by the next general fund budget.

The council’s action will increase pay for Teamsters Local Union No.117 bargaining unit members by 2.7 percent next year, including raises for 34 employees who are paid out of the financially strapped general fund.

The move comes amid a projected $60 million budget shortfall in 2013-14.

Several council members stressed this week that, despite a new contract with pay raises, the

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Aug.
28th

Grassi advances in recount for Pierce County Council race

University Place Mayor Ken Grassi advanced in a recount today to the November general election for the District 4 seat on the Pierce County Council.

Grassi, a Republican, finished 43 votes ahead of Tacoma real estate agent Sharon Benson, a Democrat. The recount added two more votes to the 41-vote margin Grassi had over Benson in last week’s final primary returns. That margin between the second- and third-place finishers was small enough to trigger a mandatory machine recount by the Pierce County Auditor’s Office.

Grassi, who trailed Benson in early election returns, finished with 4,543 votes in the recount.

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Aug.
28th

What Washington state RNC delegate Dino Rossi said during the Roll Call of the States

By tradition, both parties run through the roll call of the states in alphabetical order and each state uses it to deliver a message – part travelogue, part political rhetoric.

Here’s what Republican National Convention delegate Dino Rossi said when Washington was reached at the tail end of today’s roll call that officially nominated Mitt Romney.

“Madam Secretary…We are from the real Washington, Washington State. Yeah, we’re not from the Washington that is leading us to bankruptcy. We’re from the Evergreen State…the state that’s green with trees, not with other people’s money…and we cast five votes for Congressman Ron Paul.

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Aug.
28th

Rob McKenna declines to join Jay Inslee in providing tax returns

The AP reports:

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna says he will not release any of his tax returns, calling the matter a distraction from important issues.

McKenna said Tuesday that he has disclosed enough information in the personal financial forms that candidates file with the state. He called the tax-return debate a “phony issue.”

Democratic rival Jay Inslee released five years of tax returns last week. Inslee’s campaign has been calling on McKenna to release tax returns.

The basics on both candidates’ finances are publicly known, even though we don’t have identical records to compare the two:

  • Inslee and his wife Trudi made about $237,000 last year and an average of about $187,000 over the past five years, according to his tax returns. Most came from his congressional salary.  In 2011, they paid $46,000 in taxes and gave $3,600 to charity.
  • McKenna makes about $152,000 as attorney general. His total 2011 income was somewhere between $152,000 and $184,000, based on the state financial forms, which require reporting of broad ranges. His campaign said he donates 3 percent of his salary to charity.

UPDATE 8/29: Inslee is correcting his returns to remove a questionable tax deduction on a country-club membership, the Seattle Times reports. His campaign says it was an error.

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    Aug.
    27th

    Washington Republicans fill time while waiting for national convention

    Ron Talcott, a delegate to the Republican National Convention from Tacoma, says the Washington delegation found plenty to do today despite the weather-related delay. Delegates are gearing up for a packed couple of days as party officials try to get business done in a shorter time frame.

    Here’s Ron:

    This morning, the Washington Delegation convened for breakfast at 9 and heard from Citizens United President David Bossie. He told us what his organization is doing and about their new film, “The Hope and The Change.” It will be on several cable channels in September/October. It examines the journey of forty

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    Aug.
    27th

    Dispatch from local delegate at GOP convention

    We’ve asked several of the South Sounders attending the Republican and Democratic national conventions this week and next to send us notes for the blog.

    Here is the first, from Garry Holland, an Olympia man who figured prominently in Brad Shannon’s Sunday story about what local delegates hope to see and do at these gatherings.

    Holland is enjoying a day off today thanks to Tropical Storm Isaac, which has delayed the start of the GOP convention in Tampa.

    Today (Sunday) was a big day to get out and see Tampa. We went on a bus tour of

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    Aug.
    24th

    Judge tosses Eyman lawsuit over I-1185 costs in voter pamphlet

    Tim Eyman tried his hand as a lawyer in court today and pretty much lost his shorts. A Thurston County judge threw out Eyman’s claim that the Office of Financial Management needs to change its estimate of taxpayer costs for Initiative 1185 in the voters pamphlet.

    I-1185 – which seeks to reassert a two-thirds legislative vote requirement for tax hikes and a simple majority vote requirement for all fee increases – is one of a half-dozen measures on the ballot Nov. 6. Superior Court Judge James Dixon ruled that OFM has discretion under the law and

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