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Spin Control: Inslee not up-to-speed on ‘Twilight’ setting

UPDATED: Sat., Oct. 3, 2015

Let us concede, without objection, this summer was darn hot in Washington state.

The evidence is all around, from scorched earth throughout Eastern and Central Washington to exposed stream beds around the Northwest to the lack of “white stuff” on the Cascades and Olympics. So it is probably not necessary to come up with artificial descriptions of how dry we are.

But that’s what Gov. Jay Inslee did last week, somewhat parenthetically, when asked during a news conference what the future holds for burned-out parts of the state, post-wildfire season.

The governor, a strong proponent of doing as much as humanly possible to cut carbon pollution that he and many others say adversely affects the climate, ticked off a series of things connected to the fires and the hot, dry summer:

Loss of cattle grazing areas and timber to fires. Check.

Loss of tourists for the recreation industry to smoky skies. Yep.

Higher bacteria in the shellfish beds from warmer ocean water. Apparently.

High mortality of salmon in the rivers from the heat. OK, but some environmental groups will argue the Snake River dams factor into that.

Then there was this: “The people who filmed the vampire show, ‘Twilight,’ the reason they filmed it in Forks is they said they wanted to go to the rainiest city in America. But this week in Forks, they had water restrictions,” he said.

Umm, no. At least for the part about filming “Twilight” in Forks.

The town has had water restrictions, and there were even wildfires in the Olympic rain forest for much of the summer, so it is drier than normal there.

The first “Twilight” movie was filmed primarily in Oregon and British Columbia. A few exteriors were shot in Kalama, Washington, but nothing was actually shot in Forks or La Push, even though the books by Stephenie Meyer are set there. Later movies were shot in B.C., Italy and Brazil.

The town of Forks has attempted to turn the books and movies into a tourist industry, but its selection as a setting is purely chance. Any teen girl fan of all things “Twilight” would know that Meyer said she picked Forks because an atlas listed it as the rainiest place in the United States, and the cloudy, rainy weather meant her vampire characters could avoid the fatal sun’s rays and be out and about more. Meyer, who lives in Arizona, had never actually been to Forks when she wrote the books.

Spin Control is not written by teen “Twilight” fans. But anyone who sat through debates over extending the state tax preferences for making movies and TV shows in Washington heard the lament that “Twilight” was not shot in Forks because the state is not competitive in the deals it offers film companies.

Inslee apparently confused the raison d’etre for the book setting with film production.

Voter registration deadline

Washington residents who want and are eligible to vote, but for some reason haven’t gotten around to registering, listen up.

Monday is one of the key deadlines to get yourself signed up so you can vote in the Nov. 3 election. It is the deadline for registering by mail or online, and you can start the process by going to www.sos.wa.gov/.

It’s true that you have until Oct. 26 to register in person at your county elections office. But let’s face it: Most people who aren’t registered through easier options are unlikely to take the time to look up where that office is, get in a car and drive there.

Coming to a venue near you

A bipartisan Senate group is traveling the state, seeking citizen input on possible changes in the property tax levy system to reshift the burden of paying some teachers’ salaries from local districts back to the state. This is not to be confused with the bipartisan legislative group meeting with Inslee and his staff to come up with a plan to meet the constitutional requirement to pay for public schools adequately. The second group apparently needs no public input because it meets behind closed doors.

The former group, part of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee, will be in Spokane on Oct. 21. Its public meeting will start at 5 p.m. at the ESD 101 offices, 4202 S. Regal St.

Spin Control, a weekly column by political reporter Jim Camden, also appears online with daily items and reader comments, at www.spokesman.com/blogs/spincontrol.

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