Washington has received 230 license applications for recreational marijuana stores.
As the map shows, many are concentrated between Everett and Tacoma — no surprise because that's where the state's population is concentrated. But the proposals for stores are also starting to dot the rest of the state, and Spokane County has nine, half of the allotment the Liquor Control Board has set aside.
Businesses have until Dec. 19 to apply for a license to grow, process or sell recreational marijuana under Initiative 502.
For an enlargeable map that has names and addresses of would-be marijuana stores, click here
Map courtesy of Gina Boysun, Spokesman.com Online Director.
The demand for licenses to grow legal marijuana in Washington is growing — if you'll forgive the expression — like a weed.
In the first two weeks that it has been accepting license applications for marijuana businesses, the state has received 634 requests. There are three different “tiers” for growers, depending on how much area they plan to plant. But if all of the licenses were granted and planted to the maximum allowed, it would amount to almost 9.4 million square feet of land planted to marijuana.
This is a bit of a problem because the state is only planning to license 2 million square feet. The state Liquor Control Board will announce plans for meeting its limits for the licenses that are granted early next year.
In the map above, the red pins represent Tier 1 applications, which are 2,000 square feet or less, the yellow pins represent Tier 2 applications for 2,000 to 10,000 square feet, and the green pins represent Tier 3 applications for 10,000 to 30,000 square feet.
To view this map in a larger window, click here.
The official lighting of the Capitol Christmas trees, starring a spruce from Eastern Washington, took place last night with House Speaker John Boehner almost getting upstaged by the cute kid chosen to help flip the switch.
He should remember W.C. Fields dictum: Never work with kids or dogs.
Video from AFP.
The second week of applications for marijuana business licenses are in, and Eastern Washington has its share of would be pot entrepreneurs.
This map shows the addresses on applications for retail stores,represented by the red push pins, small and medium size growing operations of 10,000 square feet or less, represented by the green stars and large growing operations of 10,000 to 30,000 square feet, represented by the green squares.
For a better view, click on the “full screen” feature in the upper right corner of the map box, and enlarge or pan to a location nearest you.
Applications can be filed through Dec. 19, and the Washington State Liquor Control Board expects to award licenses to successful applicants by March.
Former state Rep. John Ahern, who lost his race against incumbent Councilman Jon Snyder by a nearly 2-to-1 margin is questioning how he could have performed so poorly.
Ahern is requesting a partial recount in the race just to “double-check” the accuracy of the ballot counting.
“I doorbelled a little over 10,000 homes,” Ahern said. “I got a very good reception from just about everybody.”
A Spokane City Council candidate who lost big in his attempt to unseat incumbent Councilman Jon Snyder is demanding a recount.
John Ahern, a former state representative, sent a letter to the Spokane County Auditor’s Office on Monday requesting that four precincts be recounted. A check for $429.50 was attached. That’s a quarter for each of 1,718 ballots that he wants recounted.
County Auditor Vicky Dalton says candidates have the right to pay for a recount even if a race isn’t close. Ahern probably will end up paying closer to $1,500 because state law says that he has to pay the full cost of a recount.
Greater Spokane Inc. will hold its annual legislative forum and reception Wednesday afternoon at the Davenport Hotel, where a quartet of legislators is expected to talk about two sessions: the upcoming 2014 regular session and a possible special session for transportation that may or may not happen sometime before the year's end.
The two-hour forum starts at 3 p.m. and features Sens. Mark Schoesler and Andy Billig, and Reps. Larry Srpinger and Dan Kristiansen.
The reception follows at 5:15 p.m.. Cost is $50 form GSI members and $80 for non-members. For more information about registering, click here.
Spokane County Republican precinct officers in the 4th Legislative District have to pick a replacement for Rep. Larry Crouse, who is retiring this month with a year left on his term. There are five would-be legislators eager for the job, but only three can be on the list that will be sent to county commissioners for the final selection.
The county party, along with several local GOP groups such as the Republican Liberty Caucus and Northwest Grassroots, is sponsoring a forum with all five at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Spokane Events and Catering, 10514 E. Sprague in Spokane Valley. KXLY’s Rick Rydell has agreed to referee, er, moderate.
Organizer John Christina said the forum is open to the public, not just precinct officers, which is a good idea considering the ones that don’t get the appointment are likely to run next fall when the seat is up for election.
Conventional wisdom for campaign seasons like the one just passed says local elections help boost turnout for the statewide contests.
Voting for people you might know, or at least have a chance to bump into and harangue in line at Rosauers or Starbuck’s – and who arguably have a bigger impact on your daily life –usually trumps issues or offices that are farther removed, politically as well as geographically.
A look at a map Spokane County’s turnout for the 2013 general election shows that wasn’t true. At best, local elections had no effect; at worst, they were a bit of a drag…
City Councilman Jon Snyder borrowed a bit — OK, he kind of outright stole — from “Vision Quest” to say thanks to supporters for his re-election. But he acknowledged it on the video.
“Snyder Quest” features the councilman and his bike, has good shots of Spokane and some amusing screen credits.
And for those too young to remember or so old they've forgotten, “Vision Quest” was filmed in Spokane.
.OLYMPIA – A tally of the first week of applications by would-be marijuana businesses shows a certain amount of creativity in coming up with names for what in most of the country is an illegal business.
Cheech and Chong might be proud of some who play off established drug slang, such as 420 Growers and Producers, Farmer J’s, Happy Daze or United We’d Stand. Dunn and Bradstreet might be happier with other names that give no clue as to the nature of the business, like Triple T Farms or WW Processing.
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Counties around Washington will certify their election results today, clearing up any lingering questions about who or what won some close contests.
Most races in Spokane County, which certifies its results at 1 p.m., have long been decided, but there are a couple of close ones in the small towns: Ron Cockle leads Rebecca Johnson by two votes for Position 1 on the Spangle Council and Melanie Meagher and Patricia Neumann are tied with 41 votes each in the race for Position 1 on the Latah Council.
The canvassing board often has to decide the fate of a few ballots whose signatures are close but don't quite match the voter files, and state law requires recounts on races that close. Anything that winds up tied is settled by drawing lots or flipping a coin.
The county did run all the verified ballots it had left on Monday. Turnout stands at a not-so-impressive but better-than-some-expected 43.14 percent. That's about 2 percentage points lower than the state average.
A picture is only worth a thousand words if it’s the right picture for the intended words.
When it’s the wrong picture, it’s worth considerably fewer words, and more trouble, as demonstrated in two separate instances last week on the West Side.
One involved an attempt to convince Boeing the state really, really, really wants the company to build its super spiffy 777X somewhere within our borders. The Washington Aerospace Partnership, an organization of business, labor and government types intent on conveying the best possible “pretty please”, decided to gin up support in a fairly old-school way, with a full-page ad in Wednesday’s Seattle Times. (Apparently no one could come up with a really good 140-character message to tweet and retweet, or a Facebook post for the rest of the state to like.)
Despite the machinist union’s rejection of an extension to its labor contract, the partnership’s ad admonished legislators to pass a transportation package to show the state was “still in the hunt” for production of the new plane. With a big headline that said “The Future of Washington” and a stock photo of a jetliner winging its way through some puffy clouds, the ad seemed designed to give Boeing the kind of warm fuzzies that would prompt it to say, “Oh, heck. Let’s just skip all this shopping around and break ground on a new Washington factory where everyone loves us.”
Except that the plane wasn’t a Boeing 777. It wasn’t a Boeing 7-anything. It was an Airbus jet, which is like designing an ad to ask WSU grads to donate to their old alma mater and using a photo of the Huskies dancing in the end zone after the winning touchdown in an Apple Cup.
It’s true the two planes look somewhat alike, in that they both have wings, a tail and two engines. But as any Spokesman-Review reporter who has ever misidentified an airplane will tell you – which we do from time to time – there are lots of people in Washington state who know their planes. Misidentifying a KC-135A as a KC-135E can cause our phones to ring off the hook. On something like an Airbus v. a Boeing, it’s a sure bet that people will catch it. And they did.
As an aside, the state seemed no closer to passing the transportation package at the end of last week than it was on Wednesday, but the Times ad probably can’t be blamed for that.
A less public photo snafu, also traceable to the dangers of the indiscriminate use of photos, befell the web masters of the state Senate Republican Caucus, who wanted a photo to illustrate a hearing on human trafficking and its tie to the sex industry.
The hearing by the Law and Justice Committee was held the previous week in the Gonzaga Law School’s Moot Courtroom. It was by most measures a successful session that outlined what the state is doing to cut down on the crime of buying, kidnapping or otherwise securing people – mostly girls and young women – and turning them into sex slaves. Shared Hope International praised the Legislature for its work and Washington got an A for its laws fighting sex trafficking. (Over in Idaho, they got a D.)
The photo used to illustrate the hearing featured a young, wide-eyed white woman with a large, black hand reaching out of the darkness to grab her shoulder and another large, black hand clapped over her mouth. The problem? While it plays into some scary stereotypes that white Americans might have, minorities are much more likely to be victims of sex trafficking than white folks.
Committee Chairman Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, who is well aware of those statistics, said he didn’t select the photo and didn’t even see it before GOP Senate staff took it down Wednesday.
“I would have not put it up. I don't approve of it,” Padden said.
This, too, was a “stock photo”, one that has been used other places to illustrate sex trafficking or child pornography, primarily on web sites with ties to religious organizations. The wide-eyed woman is no more a victim of sex trafficking than the clouds around the Airbus jet are in Washington skies.
For both the GOP caucus staff and the Aerospace Partnership, last week’s lesson should be clear. Do sweat the small stuff, and be sure your illustration calls attention to the message, not the illustration.
~~OLYMPIA – More than 800 potential new businesses have signed up to grow, process or sell legal marijuana in the first week Washington accepted applications for its new industry.
Rick Garza, director of the state Liquor Control Board which will award the licenses, told a legislative committee Friday about 200 applications are for retail outlets, and the state will license up to 334 stores, but is limiting the licenses for each county and most cities. If the board gets fewer applications than it is allowing for the state or some community, it could reopen the process, he said. The window for license applications currently is scheduled to close Dec. 19.
The state might not hit its targets for the number of stores or the amount of space to be planted to legal marijuana because some counties and cities have passed moratoria or bans on marijuana licenses, Garza told the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee.
“We will issues licenses regardless of whether there are moratoria or bans,” he said. But the licensees might have to go to court to overturn a local moratorium. The board has asked for a formal state attorney general’s opinion on whether cities and counties can override state regulations, but it might not be available before the Dec. 19 cutoff.
The board will also make recommendations next month on how to change the state’s medical marijuana laws, but any legislation will come through the House and Senate Health Care Committees.
OLYMPIA – Senate negotiators will begin the push today for a package of new road projects and improved maintenance that could complete the long-discussed North Spokane Corridor and raise gasoline taxes by 11.5 cents over three years.
The package of 10 related bills, with a total price tag of $8.7 billion for projects all over the state, gets a formal airing at a Senate Transportation Committee hearing this afternoon. Whether it will prompt a special session or just lay the groundwork for more debate next year is unknown…
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OLYMPIA — Submitted for your approval, as Rod Serling used to say at the beginning of “Twilight Zone.” Or disapproval, as the case may be.
Until this morning, this was the photo the Senate Republican Caucus web site used to illustrate last week's hearing by the Law and Justice Committee on Sex Trafficking. You may recall it as the hearing at Gonzaga Law School.
Or you may recall it as the hearing where Shared Hope International praised the Legislature for its work to make it easier to crack down on sex traffickers and child prostitution. Washington got an A for its laws fighting sex trafficking. Over in Idaho, they were getting a D.
This morning, the Senate Republican Caucus web site was down, and the photo was removed, although a spokesman for Committee Chairman Mike Padden said that was probably a coincidence. The hearing was more than a week ago, Eric Campbell said, and the site was rotating features to get more current things up.
Padden said later that he didn't select the photo, and hadn't even seen it before it was removed.
“I would have not put it up. I don't approve of it,” Padden said, adding minorities are more likely to be victims of sex trafficking.
We should note that this is a “stock photo”, one that has been used other places to illustrate sex trafficking or child pornography, primarily on web sites with ties to religious organizations. In some versions of the image, the hands over the mouth don't seem to be quite as dark as in the above image.
What grade should the SRC get for its photo selection?
The Associated Press is reporting former Washington Gov. Gary Locke is stepping down next year as ambassador to China. Here's their report:
BEIJING (AP) — U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, who oversaw the handling of potential crises over the flights to U.S. diplomatic missions by a persecuted legal activist and a high-profile police chief, said Wednesday he will step down early next year.
Locke, the first Chinese-American to hold the post, said he informed President Barack Obama earlier this month of his decision to rejoin his family in Seattle.
Locke, 63, known for his affable, non-confrontational style, placed a high priority on improving embassy efficiency and facilitating bilateral trade at a time when exchanges are growing rapidly. . .
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OLYMPIA — Washington lost 8,100 jobs last month and 1,400 in September when employment statistics are adjusted for seasonal variations.
The changes left the state's unemployment rate almost unchanged. It was 7 percent in August, 6.9 percent in September and 7 percent in October. The state Employment Security Department said the losses come after almost two years of slow job growth.
The state didn't report employment statistics last month for September. The reason? The federal government's partial shutdown meant people who help compile some of the figures were on furlough. Paul Turek, a labor economist for the department, said the state did gain some jobs in September and October, but not as many as it normally would so the totals come off as a loss when seasonal adjustments are made. More from the department's statement
The drops are likely related to recent statistical adjustments and some softening of the economy, he said.
“We enjoyed a very long growth streak, but we should expect there will be ups and downs over time as the recovery gradually strengthens,” Turek said.
Both the job numbers and the unemployment rate may be revised as more information comes in.
Industries with job gains in October wholesale trade, up 1,000; retail trade, up 400; other services, up 300; government, up 200 jobs, mostly in K-12 education and state higher education; and the transportation, warehousing and utilities industry, up 100.
Industries that reported job losses included education and health services, down 2,800 jobs; construction, down 2,800; leisure and hospitality, down 2,700; manufacturing, down 1,300 jobs; professional and business services, down 300; financial activities, down 100; and information, down 100.
OLYMPIA — Ed Murray will keep two titles — state senator and mayor-elect — through the end of the year in case he has to return to the state capital for a special session on transportation.
In a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee, Murray said he will resign his Senate seat on Dec. 31. That will give Democrats in his district the time to name a replacement before the regular session of the Legislature starts in January.
Murray, who won the Seattle mayor's race this month, had planned to resign before then, “but with the prospect of an upcoming vote on transportation, he did not want to leave the 43rd District without representation,” Aaron Wasser, a spokesman for the Senate Democratic Caucus, said in a press release.
Inslee has said he might call a special session — which would be this year's fourth — if legislators can reach agreement on a package of transportation construction and maintenance projects accompanied by increases in the gasoline tax and some vehicle fees. The Senate Majority Coalition Caucus, which includes all Republicans and two Democrats, reportedly is putting the finishing touches on a $8.7 billion package that would raise gas taxes by 11.5 cents over three years. Legislators will test the waters for such a plan later this week during committee hearings.
Under state law, Democratic precinct officers within Murray's legislative district will nominate up to three possible replacements, and the final choice will be made by the King County Council. The person selected will serve in the regular session and any special sessions in 2014, and run for election next November.
If you got tired of the talking heads saying problems with Obamacare and the web site roll out were Barack Obama's Katrina moment, you might like this clip from the Daily Show.