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Spin Control

Posts tagged: oregon

Majority of Washington lawmakers back Columbia River bridge

While touring Spokane on Wednesday, Gov. Jay Inslee said his withdrawal of plans to seek $450 million in state money for a controversial span over the Columbia River should eliminate the last roadblock to passing a comprehensive transportation package for the state before year's end.

A majority of Washington lawmakers want Oregon to know that doesn't mean they've turned their backs on the project.

A letter to Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber sent Wednesday was signed by 75 Washington legislators, including many members of the Senate Democratic caucus that were denied a vote on the bridge project during the Legislature's regular and two special 2013 sessions.

“I’m disappointed our two states aren’t sharing leadership of this project, as we once were,” said Rep. Sharon Wylie, D-Vancouver. The project would replace existing spans over the Columbia River that have been in operation for more than half a century and are badly in need of repair to alleviate congestion, according to engineers.

Inslee said in an interview with The Spokesman-Review on Wednesday that Kitzhaber is pondering calling a special session of his own to attain authorization for his state to move forward on the project without Washington's assistance. Inslee said the state attorney general has reviewed that option and there is no legal barrier to Oregon connecting its bridge to Washington roads.

The project recently received the go-ahead from the U.S. Coast Guard. The leader of the Oregon Senate indicated Wednesday plans to push a vote on the project to February, according to the Oregonian.

Click here to read the entire letter sent by Washington lawmakers to Kitzhaber.

What’s ahead for Oregon phosphate ban?

The Oregon Legislature voted this week to ban automatic dishwasher detergent with phosphorus, to which we in Spokane can say “Welcome to the 21st Century.”

And, “Good luck with that.”

Based on local experience, Spin Control can also predict what’s ahead: 

Assuming the governor doesnt’ veto the law, dozens of people will rush out within 24 hours of the signing ceremony and buy cases of their favorite detergent under the theory it will disappear from the shelves as soon as the ink is dry. They’ll ignore all references to the fact that the law goes into effect in July 2010.

For a year, reporters will tell their readers, viewers and listeners that the ban will take effect July 1, 2010. These stories will routinely mess up the use of phosphorus, which is a noun, and phosphorous, which is an adjective. They will get letters from English teachers and chemistry instructors lecturing them on the difference, and do what they do with all such missives: ignore them.

Next July, shoppers who can’t find their favorite detergent on the shelves of their local Safeway, Albertsons or Zip Trip will call newspapers, radio and television stations to demand an investigation into the conspiracy to get rid of Cascade…

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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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