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Spin Control

Archive for July 2013

Unprecedented coal port study praised and criticized

The effects of more coal trains coming through Spokane and the rest of Washington, as well as possible increases to global warming of that coal being burned in Asia, must be studied before a new terminal can be built near Bellingham, a state agency said Wednesday.

In a move hailed by environmentalists and condemned by business and labor organizations, the state Department of Ecology said the environmental impact statement for the proposed Cherry Point coal terminal on the north Puget Sound coast will look far beyond the immediate area when considering the effects of a new port.

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

Shea’s trip highlighted by MSNBC

MSNBC, though liberal commentator's Rachel Maddow's blog, is featuring Spokane Valley state Rep. Matt Shea after he appeared at a survivalist rally over the weekend.

Shea's comments at the rally, as reported by the Coeur d'Alene Press, are similar to ones he's made at other events in the last few years. His views were known when he easily won reelection last year, and he was backed for reelection by U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane.

Coal port study will study state health effects

A joint federal and state study of the impacts of a proposed coal terminal on the Puget Sound will extend beyond the Bellingham area where it would be built and include communities like Spokane that will experience a sharp increase in traffic by coal trains.

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.
  

Hastings introduces permanent sales tax deduction bill

Another volley has been launched at the temporary status of the sales tax deduction on federal income tax returns. Once again, it comes from a Washington lawmaker.

Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Pasco, filed a bill with Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., Tuesday that would make permanent a sales tax deduction written into the federal tax code. Current law, solidified in last year's fiscal cliff deal, extends the deduction through next year only. Meanwhile, taxpayers enjoy the income tax deduction on a permanent basis.

Like others before him, including Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., who authored similar legislation across Capitol Hill in January, Hastings argued the issue is one of fairness for states that collect no income tax.

“Residents of states that do not collect income taxes, like my home state of Washington, should be allowed to continue to deduct their state sales taxes from their federal income tax obligations each year without relying on short term extensions of the law,” Hastings said in a prepared statement Tuesday announcing the bill.

Candidates wanted

When filing opened for elected offices in various towns and districts a couple months ago, a few attracted a large crowd of interested citizens and most drew one or two candidates. But some didn't get any takers.

As in none. Zippo. Zilch. Empty space on the official candidate list.

When this happens, the county elections office holds a special filing period, a few days long, to give people in those towns or districts a second chance to sign up. In Spokane County, that's going to be Aug. 7 - 9.

Open for candidate signup will be Council Position 1 in the Town of Spangle. 

Two fire commissioner positions in Fire Districts 2 and 12, and one in Fire District 11.

One water commissioner position in the Hangman Hills District and one in the Strathview Water District; two positions in the Irwin Water District and three in the Vel-View Water District.

One commissioner position in the Milan Cemetery District and another in the Spangle Cemetery District, two positions in the Moran Cemetery District and three in the Waverly Cemetery District.

Spin Control could make some joke about  interest in the fire district needing to heat up, or people needing to be willing to dip their toe into the water district affairs, or people not dying to serve on the cemetery district boards…but frankly, folks have been making those kinds of jokes for a long time and really, what the districts need is volunteers, not standup. A few of the jobs pay small amounts, while others you serve gratis. A list of the open offices and filing fees can be found here.

A candidate declaration form can be found here. It can be filled out and brought into the Elections office at 1033 W. Gardner Ave. between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Aug. 7-9. Or it can be filed online.

Primary turnout low one week out

Of the nearly 200,000 ballots Spokane County sent to voters this month, only about one in eight has come back in with one week left in the primary election for many local offices.

Admittedly the primary ballot in many areas is short. Only two of the City of Spokane's three council districts has a contested seat, and only one City of Spokane Valley council race is on that ballot.

The 7th Legislative District has a three-way race for the state Senate seat that was filled by an appointment early this year when long-time legislator Bob Morton retired mid-term. All three are Republicans, but under the state's election laws, the top two vote-getters move on to the general election.

While a ballot with few races often doesn't generate much excitement, on the plus side it is relatively quick to fill out, sign and mail in, or deposit at an assigned drop box.

In Spokane County, there's a drop box at all public libraries except — for this election only — the Cheney and Liberty Lake libraries. There's also one in the Spokane Transit Authority center in downtown Spokane. For information on drop boxes in other counties, click here.

For a list of addresses for Spokane County drop boxes, go inside the blog.

Wilbur steps down as state GOP head

Washington State Republican Party Chairman Kirby Wilbur resigned Monday afternoon, saying he was taking a job at a conservative youth organization that was too good to pass up.

Wilbur, 59, a former conservative talk show host who still fills in on Seattle’s KVI  radio, is in the middle of his second term as the state GOP chairman, a job he won in 2011 by defeating then-Chairman Luke Esser. He will take a job overseeing a mentor program for young conservative writers in Washington, D.C.

“I have been offered a five-year-contract with the Young America’s Foundation that I would be foolish not to accept,” he said in a statement released just minutes after his 5 p.m. resignation announcement.

The state GOP Central Committee has 90 days to choose a replacement. That could happen at its scheduled quarterly meeting on Aug. 23-24 in Spokane, a party spokesman said.

Along with handling the state party chairmanship, Wilbur also served four stints as chairman of the often fractious state conventions, which in recent years have pitted the Libertarian backers of Ron Paul against more establishment candidates like Mitt Romney and John McCain in a fight for delegates to the national convention. Wilbur was known for a good grasp of parliamentary procedure to move things along when needed and an affable nature to smooth over some of the rough spots that invariably develop in such meeetings.

Washington tops in studying costs, benefits

OLYMPIA — Washington does the best of any state in figuring out the benefits some state programs provide for the money it spends.

A review of the states' track record on cost-benefit analyses by Pew Charitable Trusts, said the majority of states have a mixed record, at best, in checking up on what government programs get for its money. A new report by Pew says Washington conducted the most cost-benefit studies between 2008 and 2011, and singled it out for a case study that showed how money spent on some programs in juvenile corrections had the prospect of high returns for the money spent.

It says the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, which conducts the studies, has a good working relationship with the Legislature and state agencies.

Every state has some kind of cost-benefit studies during that period, but their level of activity varied widely, the report said. 

On marijuana, some questions are new. Some aren’t

LIFE magazine

Last week's Spin Control blog was admittedly a little light on content because I was working on Sunday's story about the trials and tribulations of getting Washington's recreational marijuana system up and running.

One of the more interesting interviews was with Mike Steenhout and Brian Smith of the Washington State Liquor Control Board. Steenhout is in charge of all the research the board needs to do to develop the rules and regs, and Smith is their chief spokesman.

Steenhout has collected an array of marijuana-related items and publications during the months he's been making an extensive study of the industry. Among them, on the table in his office,  was the Oct. 31, 1969 edition of LIFE magazine with the above cover, showing that folks have been asking the “Should it be legalized?” question for a long time. 

To read the story, or to comment, go inside the blog.

Sunday Spin2: A bridge too far out?

Meanwhile, at the Secretary of State’s office, someone filed an initiative to rename the fallen and resurrected Skagit River Bridge for initiative entrepreneur Tim Eyman. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

Sunday Spin: The Boeing blame game

OLYMPIA – These are the dog days of the summer around the state capital.

It’s not as uniformly sunny as Eastern Washington. But morning fog and low clouds – a pattern Seattle’s television weather heads describe with the more elegant-sounding title of “marine layer” – give way to bright warm afternoons during which it is difficult to work up much fervor over anything.

So it seemed last week as Republicans made a half-hearted stab at playing the latest round of “who’s losing Boeing?” after the aerospace giant said it will move some 375 engineering jobs to California. When Boeing moved its corporate headquarters to Chicago in 2001 and a built a 787 production line to South Carolina in 2009 there were major political earthquakes. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

Cantor coming to Spokane for McMorris Rodgers fundraiser

Cantor: Spokane-bound. AP photo

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is scheduled to be the special guest at a campaign fundraiser for Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers next month.

He'll be making an appearance at the annual Pink Flamingo Barbecue on Aug. 8 Tickets for the barbecue, a relatively modest $40 per person.

Tickets for a chance to have a photo taken with Cantor are $250 each

Tickets for the 30 minute “Host Committee Reception” before the photo shoot are $1,000 per couple.

Tickets for the 30 minute “Roundtable Discussion” before the reception are $2,600 per couple. For the extra $1,600, you'd probably want to be able to talk fast.

Today’s fun video: In case you slept through yesterday

 

Talking Points Memo boils Thursday down to less than two minutes, and even manages to find a clip that manages to mention the week's two most pervasive 24-hour-network-news events: Anthony Weiner and the royal baby.

Today’s fun video: For those tired of royal baby coverage

 

The Daily Show had lots to mock after weeks of royal baby coverage, culminating with several days of delivery and presenting of the new prince.

Having John Oliver as the anchor might have added to the satire, and “On Her Majesty's Secret Cervix” may be one of their better titles of late.

House GOP recess plan: Fight ObamaCare & Washington DC

House Republicans seem to be leaving little to chance as their members prepare to spend the August recess among their voters. A “planning kit” explains how to maximize exposure and minimize contrary opinions on issues like health care reform.

In the kit’s introductory letter to her fellow Republicans, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers says they should tell the folks back home the GOP is fighting for them against Washington and the bureaucracy. “There is no better message than one that puts the American people before an out-of-control government,” she wrote.

As chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, the Eastern Washington congresswoman is in charge of this year’s kit, a 30-page booklet of helpful hints to members on how to make the most of their time back in the district. Riva Litman, a conference spokeswoman, said something similar goes out before each August recess. It’s a “a playbook of best practices” gleaned from many members’ experiences.

The kit offers suggestions for events on energy, health care and jobs; at power plants, on Main Street and on farms; highlighting red tape and government waste. It suggests events aimed at “millennials” – the young adults who voted strongly for Democrats in the 2012 election

It also suggests an ObamaCare Media Tour, “to emphasize the need to repeal ObamaCare to protect employees, small businesses and jobs.” House Republicans have voted 37 times to repeal the law, also known as the federal Affordable Care Act, but it remains on the books.

In planning such an event, the kit advises members and their staff to “make sure all participants will be 100 percent on message. They do not have to be Republicans. They need to be able to discuss the negative effects of ObamaCare on their employees” . . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

To see the “Fighting Washington For All Americans” click on the document below.


Documents:

Breaking Ground at Huntington Park

Flanked by earthmovers and pickups, with the Riverfront Park gondolas gliding overhead, Scott Morris talked fondly Tuesday of the year 1889, city parks, Spokane and the company he runs, Avista.

“We, in a sense, grew up together,” Morris said to a gathering of about 50 people from the city and Avista. The energy company was founded almost 125 years ago, and Manito and Riverfront parks were created, in part, by cooperation between his company and the city.

And now there’s another partnership between the city and energy company, and it will end with more outdoor public space.

As Morris and Spokane Mayor David Condon climbed into two bulldozers and moved some dirt around, a new Huntington Park moved that much closer to realization. The four-acre park runs along the lower Spokane Falls on the south side of the river. Huntington and Riverfront parks will be connected by a plaza running between City Hall and the old Washington Water Power building.

Today’s fun video: Could Spokane council boost ratings like this?

Up in the Yukon, the Whitehorse City Council knows how to draw folks into the live broadcasts of its meetings. Maybe the Spokane City Council could get more viewers to its sessions if it had a commercial like this.

Of course, a snappy commercial is only good to get a person to tune in once. After that, the council would have to hold viewers based on the actual content of its meetings.

Washington spending grew relatively slowly

 

OLYMPIA — Listening to the discussions over state budgets over the last several years, one might have thought that Washington state spending was growing faster than Usain Bolt on steroids.

At least, that seemed to be the position of some Republicans who pointed to rising costs and employee numbers as they argued to cut both.

A new map from the Tax Foundation, a think-tank which supports lower, fairer taxes, indicates that's not the case. At least not when compared to the spending of all the states over a span from 2001 to 2011. Washington ranks 43rd in the nation in terms of the growth of government spending, in “real dollars, per capita” which helps adjust for inflation and population growth.

It went up about 19 percent. That compares with 22.5 percent for Idaho and almost 24 percent for Oregon.

For a larger version of the map, click here.

Retail sales up in Washington

OLYMPIA – Retail sales in Washington jumped 8 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2012, hitting about $26 billion for all taxable sales, the state Department of Revenue reported Monday.

 

Double-digit growth in taxable sales for construction, building materials, and cars led improved sales for the state’s industries and retail sectors. Spokane County had taxable retail sales of $1.7 billion, up 6.6 percent from the first quarter of 2012, and the City of Spokane had taxable retail sales of $917 million, up 7.4 percent.

 

In other economic news for the state, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Group both upgraded Washington’s credit outlook to Stable, up from Negative, based on improving economic conditions and strong financial management. The revisions will help generate investor interest in upcoming bond sales, State Treasurer Jim McIntire said…

 

To read the rest of this post, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

Bunny plan hints at burdensome bureaucracy

The Washington Post today has a great read about a new federal rule so broad that it requires a Missouri magician who pulls a rabbit out of a hat to write a disaster management plan to explain how he will protect his rabbit in case of emergency.

There's brief mention in the article of Spokane's former U.S. Rep. Tom Foley, former Speaker of the House.

Be sure to read the 28-page disaster plan for Bunny written to satisfy the new rules.

5 tax advisory votes this fall

OLYMPIAWashington voters will be asked in November what they think about five tax increases.

What legislators do with that knowledge is pretty much up to them, because the taxes are already law, and the election itself won’t change that. . . 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

Gun rights, gun control advocates want your signature

OLYMPIA – Whether you are for or against stricter background checks on gun sales, you'll have a chance in the coming months to support your position by signing an initiative to next year's Legislature.

 

If both Initiative 591 and Initiative 594 get the required signatures, they'll likely both be on the 2014 ballot if the Legislature follows its recent pattern of punting such proposals to voters rather than adopting them. (The full text of the initiatives can be found by clicking on the documents below.)

 

I-591, a one-page proposal that bans government confiscation of guns and any background check that isn't part of a national system, started its signature-gathering campaign about two weeks ago at one of the state’s biggest gun shows, the Washington Arms Collectors’ Show in Puyallup.

 

“We knew what the other side was going to do. We filed before they did,” said Alan Gottlieb, campaign manager for Protect Our Gun Rights.

 

I-594, an 18-page proposal that lays out a process to apply the current federal system of background checks required by dealers to private sales in Washington, with some exceptions for family transfer and antique sales, got its final ballot language approved last week and will start signups this week.

 

“It looks like we’ll be out there together,” Zach Silk, campaign manager for the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, which is sponsoring I-594…

 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.


Documents:

No. 3 for McMorris Rodgers will be a first

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and her husband Brian Rodgers are expecting their third baby in December.

A reader called to ask if that will make the Eastern Washington Republican the first member of Congress to have a third child while in office. We suspected so, because she was the first member of Congress to have a second child while in office in 2010.

But you never know about members of Congress, so we checked with her staff just to make sure. They say she will be the first to have a third child while in Congress.

Sunday Spin: When public notice isn’t much help to the public

Transparency in government is a great ideal, but like so many things it can be somewhat less than ideal in practice.

Take, for example, the edict of Initiative 960 that the Office of Financial Management let the public know the cost of legislation that could tap the state treasury. Excellent idea, because one never knows what the Legislature will dream up when all that brainpower is assembled in Olympia. . . 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

Washington: We’re No. 2…in cell phone taxes

From this morning's paper:

    The next time you change the ring tone on your cellphone, consider choosing the sound of a cash register ringing. Or maybe The Beatles’ song “Taxman.”
   Washington cellphone users have the dubious distinction of paying the second-highest taxes in the country. Nebraska has the highest cellphone taxes.
   It’s something you may have suspected the last time you checked your cellphone bill – if you were able to decipher it.. . 

To read the rest of this story click here.

Legal marijuana hearing at convention center

A hearing on proposed state rules for growing, processing and selling legal marijuana will be held Aug. 8 at the Spokane Convention Center.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board scheduled four hearings from Aug. 6 through Aug. 8 around the state to get reaction to the latest est of proposed regulations for recreational marijuana, which voters approved by an initiative last November.

Hearings will also be in Shoreline, Olympia and Ellensburg.

The Spokane hearing will begin at 6 p.m. in Ballroom 100A of the Convention Center, 334 West Spokane Falls Blvd.

For a previous report on the proposed regulations, click here.

For a full copy of the proposed regulations, click on the document below.


Documents:

Foley tribute planned for July 24 at Bing

Tom Foley, in 1989, just before being elected speaker of the House. File photo.

 

Spokane’s longest-serving congressman, Tom Foley, will be the subject of a “living tribute” organized by a pair of local businessmen later this month…

 

 

To read the rest of this post, or to comment, go inside the blog.

Registration deadline approaching

Washington residents who want to vote in the Aug. 6 primary but aren't registered have until Monday to sign up online or by mail.

Want to register? Click here.

That's the first big deadline for voter registration for the primary. If you miss that, you can still sign up in person by making a trip to the county elections office. Don't know where that is? Click here.

OK, so you think that's a hassle? Sign up online. For information on whether you're eligible, continue inside the blog.

Sunday Spin: Initiative sponsors go 0 for 84

OLYMPIA – Friday was a rare day in Washington state politics, although it went mostly unnoticed because it was rare for what didn’t happen rather than what did.

It was the deadline to turn in signatures for an initiative to the people to put on the November ballot an idea some would deem brilliant and others ridiculous. No one turned any in. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

Marijuana hearing in Spokane

The Washington State Liquor Control Board will hold a hearing next month in Spokane on its new proposed regulations governing the production, processing and sale of recreational marijuana.

The hearing, the last of four the board will hold on regulations that got a tentative approval Wednesday, will be held at 6 p.m. on Aug. 8 at a place yet to be determined. The last marijuana hearing the board held in Spokane drew about 450 people to the Convention Center.

For a look at the latest version of the proposed rules, click on the document below.


Documents:

Try our Independence Day quiz

So you think you’re a good patriot. You wear a flag pin on your pajamas, know that the last two words to “The Star Spangled Banner” are not “Play ball,” and bleed red, white and blue.
On July 4th, we all feel that way. But before you head off for hot dogs, apple pie and fireworks, try your hand at our annual Independence Day quiz. We have 13 questions, one for each colony.

1. Of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, how many became president?

2. When Thomas Jefferson first wrote about “inalienable rights” they were life, liberty and the pursuit of_____

Industry
Imagination
Prosperity
 Property

3. When was the “shot heard round the world” fired?
1774
1775
1776
 1777

4. Where was the Continental Congress meeting when it declared Independence from Great Britain?Boston
New York
Philadelphia
Washington
, D.C.

5. Before the Stars and Stripes design was adopted, other flags flown by various American units contained
A pine tree
A snake
The Union Jack
All of the above

6. The smallest American colony was

7. George Washington’s vice president was John Adams; Adams’ veep was Thomas Jefferson; who was Jefferson’s?

John Adams
Aaron Burr
Alexander Hamilton
James Madison

8. Without looking at the flag you put up today, how many stars are in that top row in a 50-star flag?

9. Who said “Give me Liberty or Give me death!”
Thomas Paine
Patrick Henry
Nathan Hale
George Washington

10. What Civil War general had a father who was a famous commander in the American Revolution?
Ulysses S. Grant
Nathan Bedford Forrest
Robert E. Lee
William Tecumseh Sherman

11. Which of the following statements is false?
The battle of Bunker Hill was not fought on Bunker Hill.
Benedict Arnold was promoted for bravery by George Washington.
The Liberty Bell hasn't been rung since July 4, 1776 because it cracked during celebrations of the Declaration of Independence.
Members of the Continental Congress didn't sign the Declaration on July 4.

12. Where was the Statue of Liberty was made?
New York
Boston
London
 Paris

13. The first six presidents were from two states. Four were from Virginia and two were from

For the answers, go inside the blog.

 

Outdoor grows in, marijuana logo out

Proposed logo scrapped, another one being developed

OLYMPIA — Washington will allow legal marijuana to be grown outside if it has adequate security, under new rules receiving preliminary approval today by a state board.

It might have an unlimited number of marijuana growers and processors, but a limited amount of stores where adults can buy the drug for recreational use. . . 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog.


Documents:

Medicaid expansion: Info campaign coming

OLYMPIA – Washington’s new state budget signed into law this week relies on the expansion of Medicaid, both to provide health insurance to hundreds of thousands of people and to help balance its bottom line.

But state residents will have to wait until October to sign up for that coverage, and until next January for it to kick in. State officials agree that the program isn’t well understood yet, but say a major information campaign is coming to help people understand how it works and who will qualify.

In general, anyone whose annual income is below 138 percent of the poverty level, will be eligible for free health care under Medicaid…

 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

Well, it’s ‘Medi-‘ something

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee's recent press conferences have been a mix of the good and the bad from the late legislative session.

Yay for the billion added to public schools, the tuition freeze for colleges, expanded health care, the social service programs included in the budget. Boo for the lack of an extra transportation package, failure of the Reproductive Parity Act, Dream Act…

In case anyone missed the coverage in newspapers, blogs, websites, television or radio, the Inslee campaign team took up the refrain this week in a blast e-mail to supporters.With a handy link to click to “spread the word on Facebook”

 But they made one goof,  referring to the extra health care as coming from Medicare, which is a program targeted mainly to seniors, rather than Medicaid, which is targeted at low-income residents.

Yeah, it's a common mistake, and we here at Spin Control have done it a time or two. But we've probably never put it in a big green box with oversized type, at least not without running it past editors.

Campaign machinery gets a little rusty in the months after the election.

Legislative session: Later ‘gator, it’s a new fiscal year

OLYMPIA – The state started its new fiscal year Monday with lower taxes on some beers and services, more than a dozen new tax breaks for businesses, and a little protection for a worker’s social media account.

It also started without a partial government shutdown, averted when the Legislature passed a two-year, $33.6 billion operating budget that has the authority to spend money as well as collect it in taxes and fees. . . 

WA shutting down Columbia River bridge office

Inslee says there's no money for the CRC, and no plans right now to get any.

OLYMPIA — The office planning for a new bridge to cross the Columbia River from Vancouver to Portland will be shut down, with no plans to replace the structure, Gov. Jay Inslee said.

“There is no money for work in this bridge,” Inslee said Monday. The Legislature failed to pass a transportation package that would have contributed the state's share of the project and without that money, federal funds aren't coming, he said.

September is the deadline for a state decision to join the project with Oregon and the federal government, but as long as the coalition that controls the state Senate opposes the project, there's no reason to call another special session to address that and other new transportation projects and additional road and bridge maintenance that would be funded by a gasoline tax increase, he said. 

Today’s fun video: Senate D’s do up budget stalemate

At some point, you've probably seen “I'm Just a Bill”, a video that tries to explain to kids how a bill becomes law.

U.S. Senate Democrats have a new take on the old theme called “I'm Just a Budget” that tries to skewer Republicans for keeping the budget from going to conference. Graphics are about the same as the original, which is to say not phenomenal by 2013 standards.

It shares one other trait with the original. It's pretty simplistic. But among it's co-stars is Washington Sen. Patty Murray.

Marijuana consultant wants input from users, growers

OLYMPIA — Pot users, could you put down that joint for a few minutes and take a survey? Growers, could you stop tending the buds and hook up with the state's consultants for a little Q and A?

That's what the marijuana consultant for the Washington State Liquor Control Board is asking, although not quite in those terms.

The board, which is working on rules and regs for the state's new legalized marijuana production and consumption law, announced a couple of surveys to help with research the consultants at BOTEC Analysis Corporation are sponsoring.

One by the RAND Corporation is trying to gauge marijuana consumption throughout the state, with questions about how much used, what products, how much spent. “The survey will be the most detailed yet on cannabis use habits,” the board said on its list serve. It's described as confidential and short — no more than 15 minutes for heavy users, less for others. Not clear immediately clear if it will take heavy users longer because they have more questions to answer or because their response time is somewhat slowed from all that marijuana.

BOTEC is remaining mum on the survey to avoid doing or saying anything that would shape the responses.

Want to take the survey? Click here. 

BOTEC also is sponsoring a study of the economics of marijuana production by a public policy professor from Pepperdine University. She wants information from growers — especially those with the business sense and awareness of their books to provide substantive answers — to participate in a survey about their operating costs. That will also help with the contractor's eventual recommendations to the control board on production regulations.

It's confidential, too, which is a good thing considering that kind of information could get someone in legal trouble, with the feds if not the locals.

That survey can be found by clicking here. 

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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