Archive for October, 2009

It’s approved: ‘Salish Sea’ name now heads for federal approval

By | October 30, 2009 | 0 Comments

The Washington State Board on Geographic Names today approved “Salish Sea” as the name for the waterways including Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Georgia Strait.

The other names will still stick — the new name will be a blanket term for the three. The name change now heads to the federal government, which will consider whether to approve it. Canada has already agreed on the name change, contingent to a federal approval here.

Here are the other names they decided on today:

Clark County
Pleasant Creek – The name for this tributary to LaLonde Creek in Clark County was chosen by the proponent to reflect the quiet and peaceful nature of the area surrounding the creek.

Kitsap County
Jump Off Creek – During the 1920’s, an original settler of the area, Sven Lalander, was working on a bridge to cross this creek. During construction, Mr. Lalander’s scaffolding failed him, and he had to leap to safety. Since then, local residents have called it, Jump Off Creek. Recently, a sign was placed on the creek identifying it as “Jump Off Joe Creek.” The proponent felt this confusion was caused by the several Jump Off Joe Creeks elsewhere in Washington State.

Lewis County
Cupacoffee Creek – This small tributary to Coffee Creek was chosen by the proponent for two reasons: to reflect the small size of the creek and the presence of tannins that cause the water to have a coffee color.

Mason County
Hoke Creek – The proponent wished to honor the Hoke family, original settlers of the area around 1900. The Hoke family built their own small schoolhouse, the foundation of which exists to this day.

Thursday Q&A: Larry Stickney on why you should vote against Referendum 71

By | October 29, 2009 | 0 Comments

This week, I interviewed Larry Stickney, campaign manager of Protect Marriage Washington, which opposes Referendum 71. Below, you’ll find the complete text of our interview. When you’re done reading, check out Anne Levinson, on why she thinks voters should approve Referendum 71.

Q. Why should voters reject Referendum 71 (which would extend all state-granted rights and responsibilities of marriage to registered domestic partners)?
Stickney: On Nov. 3, we’re facing one of the most hotly contested bills ever. Why is it so controversial? In effect, Senate Bill 5688 will legalize homosexual marriage. Legalizing homosexual marriage would be the most profound policy change in our history.
The “Accept” folks and the homosexual activists are claiming that SB 5688 is not about marriage but their own leadership has said otherwise. As Sen. Ed Murray told the Seattle times on Jan. 10, 2007, when he announced the Domestic Partnership bill, “the goal is marriage equality. It’s an important statement that our eyes are on the prize and the prize is marriage.” Rep. Jamie Pedersen told the Times, “SB 5688 will give homosexuals a bridge until they can legally marry.” Murray again told the Times that the expansion 5688 is “an incremental approach, a strategic plan. And we believe 5688 is the last incremental step to same-sex marriage in Washington State.”
We believe that this whole homosexual marriage agenda is being promoted over the objections of a majority of Washingtonians. As presently, marriage is a common social good. If homosexual marriage becomes legal, the next step for homosexual activists is to teach children that homosexual unions are normal, to require churches to perform homosexual marriages.

Q: Last week I spoke to supporters of Referendum 71 who said those statements about school curriculum and churches are false. I want to give you a chance to explain how this will require schools to teach about homosexuality and churches to perform domestic partnerships. Will it?

Stickney: That’s a possibility. What we’re running into is a clash between what they claim to be a civil right and freedom of religion.
That’s happened in Canada. You’ve got examples from around the world here. You’ve had issues like a Knights of Columbus hall wouldn’t rent their hall for a homosexual marriage ceremony and eventually they were sued and fined $1,000 because they wouldn’t acquiesce. This is in British Colombia. This would be a violation of the very tannins of the Catholic Church.
In New Jersey, there’s a Methodist organization and in 2007 they refused to rent a facility to lesbians for a civil union ceremony. A complaint was filed with the state division of civil rights. It ruled against the Methodist group, the state revoked their tax exemption for the property because they refused to back down.

Q. Domestic partnerships do exist in Washington State currently – this would extend the benefits. Can you explain how expanding them would lead to that?

Stickney: Yes, I can. We have a national laboratory — it’s called Massachusetts — on the same-sex marriage issue. There in a recent case, parents of a young elementary school student objected to the curriculum and classroom discussion that was meant to inculcate the idea that there was no difference between marriages between a man and wife and same-sex relationships. The court upheld that public schools have an interest in teaching tolerance, including on the issue of gay marriage.
They’re saying that because there’s no specific language (in the bill to require schools to teach it), but they don’t need specific languages. All they need is the statute and they will develop the curriculum from there. I’ve got examples on our Web site of what has happened even here in Washington now. The site has many references to the activism we’re seeing here in Washington.
Much of the state curriculum is developed by some folks that are very much interested in promoting the homosexual agenda here. The first domestic partnership couple, one of the parties is a very active and a director of the Safe Schools Coalition in Seattle.

Q. Do you have examples of education curriculum being changed in Washington?

Stickney: Yes, there is. We have several examples. Go to and go to talking points and scroll down, you’ll see many reference about same sex examples in curriculum. And it goes into the early learning benchmarks of our state school system. You can reference documents – the F.L.A.S.H. curriculum is the top recommended curriculum for public schools to use. They recommend showing the video “We Are Family,” which teaches that same-sex relationships are the same as marriage.
There are also some oddities — they don’t currently add requirements for educating children, but it does force a new definition of the word “family.” It’s not about allowing choice for adult relationships. This law will result in children being taught that there is a different definition of “family,” so that same-sex partners will be a recognized norm.
Study after study after study has shown that that’s not best for children. That’s simply what we’re trying to uphold here is the standard of marriage as the very best for society. We understand there are occasions when you can’t achieve that, but we believe that it is the institution that should receive entitlements and benefits of marriage. We simply cannot go and raid the public treasury for every group that’s lobbied its way into getting civil rights. (more…)

Updated: Watch Gov. Gregoire, read Sen. Lisa Brown, Rep. Cary Condotta on Boeing 787 line here

By | October 28, 2009 | 0 Comments

And here’s what Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown has to say:

“I am deeply disappointed in today’s announcement. I had great hope that Boeing, in the end, would decide to keep the second line of the 787 here in Washington.

I’m especially disappointed that the decision was made at a level that we could not influence locally. In the Senate, we wanted to keep 787 here at home – we worked with both sides and saw strong local interest from local Boeing leaders and employees to keep the 787 here at home – but the decision was made far away, and, very unfortunately, we were unable to affect it here at home.

“I’m proud of our state. I continue to believe Washington offers a far more skilled and experienced workforce, far more competitive infrastructure, and a far more committed Legislature and governor than does South Carolina. I continue to believe that Boeing and the 787 are positioned most competitively right here in Washington.

“And while, sadly, some may use today’s disappointing announcement to score political points, Washington residents can be proud that their state remains a great place to do business according to almost every objective analysis, including those performed by national publications such as Forbes and U.S. News & World Report.

“I know that local Boeing leaders and the Machinists remain committed to Washington. Boeing is still the largest private employer in the state, and there remains plenty of work on the 737, the 777, the first line of the 787 and, we hope, the 767 tanker for the tens of thousands of Boeing employees in the state.

“We will continue to work together and identify ways to control our own destiny here in Washington in the future.”

Here’s what Rep. Cary Condotta has to say:

Boeing’s decision to locate this plant in South Carolina is a major blow to Washington’s working families and the larger business community. This is a missed opportunity that puts many jobs in Washington at stake. The fact of the matter is many small- and medium-sized employers rely on Boeing and their work force to support their companies. The governor and Democrat-controlled Legislature’s apparent lack of commitment to land the second 787 production plant hurts every business sector in the state.
“While I appreciate some of the eleventh-hour overtures being made on behalf of our state, it is apparent that it was too little, too late. Many of us have been trying to address the concerns of job providers for the last several years.
The governor has been in denial about these concerns, citing the Forbes report that Washington is one of the top places to do business. I’m a business owner though and I know firsthand the difficulties employers face in our state. It’s obvious Forbes flew over Washington and never did business on the ground here. How many more businesses have to leave, and how many more jobs do we have to lose to other states, before we get serious about substantively improving our business climate? We need aggressive leadership committed to creating and protecting jobs for Washington families.
“This decision lights the ‘no vacancy’ sign to other employers who may have been considering bringing jobs to our state. While the governor and her staff have downplayed what they consider the loss of a mere 700 jobs the production plant could have created in Washington, I think the 350,000 people currently unemployed statewide would have liked a shot at the gainful employment the plant would have offered.
“The loss of these much-needed jobs could have been avoided. An independent report issued to the Legislature earlier this year practically handed the governor and lawmakers the keys to keeping and recruiting jobs to our state. The report made clear workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance reforms are top issues for every employer. Sadly, the report did not prompt action by the governor and legislative leaders.
“Washington will forever be known as the state that told the aerospace industry, and every other company looking to grow their operations, to fly to better climates. For those legislators who believe our state is better off without the second production plant, I have a bridge to nowhere to sell you.”

UPDATED: Gov. Gregoire on Boeing: “A very disappointing day”

By | October 28, 2009 | 0 Comments

Gov. Chris Gregoire just sent out a statement on Boeing’s decision to leave AND you can see her LIVE on Tvw right now.

Here’s her full written release:

“This is obviously a very disappointing day for all Washingtonians, particularly the more than 73,000 Boeing workers in our state. We did all we could to demonstrate that Washington is the best place in America to build airplanes. State and local government worked hand in hand with our capable Congressional delegation, business and community leaders, educators and countless others to show our collective support for locating the second 787 assembly line here.

“Unfortunately, the active and intense discussions between Boeing and the Machinists union did not result in an agreement acceptable to both sides. My colleagues in the Congressional delegation and I worked tirelessly to urge an agreement if at all possible; ultimately the two sides could not come together.

“We must keep in mind that the first and best 787s will be build right here. We have over 80,000 aerospace jobs in Washington, all of which are in a dynamic and highly competitive industry. There will be other competitions to come – the tanker is next and we intend to win. We cannot soften our resolve to stay as good as we can possibly be, in order to be ready for future competitions.

“We may not build every single Boeing aircraft in Washington, but Washington will continue to remain the home of the best workers building the best airplanes for the next 100 years.

“I want to thank our congressional delegation, local leaders and our regional and statewide business and labor communities for all of the work they put into this effort. This spirit will serve us well in future efforts to both grow our current companies and locate new businesses in Washington.”

She stuck to that outline during her brief statement. Here’s what she added in the Q&A portion (I didn’t catch all of the questions, but tried to provide some context):
“I urged them to stay at the table, that there was a lot at stake and a lot at risk and to do everything in their power … they said that’s exactly what they were trying to do,” she said. “In the end, it’s up to the parties at the table, and the parties couldn’t reach an agreement.

“When you’re not at the table, it’s hard to second guess. It’s hard to say, One party should have done, The other party should have done … both parties were very clear: They didn’t want anyone at the table besides them… what we were really doing as forcefully as they could is to continue to urge them to be at the table,” she said.

“In the end of the day, I’m disappointed, I’m angry, I hurt for the workers and I think the company made the wrong decision,” Gregoire said.

“You can’t say how much is Boeing worth, because you have to think about the indirect (costs),” she said. “The South Carolina is projected at its height to have about three 787s per month. Washington will have about seven,” she said, making it clear that Washington will continue to be the “home of Boeing… In any given year, it’s about 35 airplanes that will be built in South Carolina. Here, it’s about 500.”

“At no time has Jim Albaugh suggested to me that this means they will be moving Boeing to South Carolina,” she said — meaning she believes Boeing will continue to keep its roots in Washington state. “We’re going to have to continue to compete to make sure we maintain our position,” she said.

“They were very clear that part of the reason as Jim Albaugh mentioned to me is the cost of doing business unrelated to the state. He specifically said it’s not about workers’ compensation, it’s not about taxes … it’s about the wage they can pay to workers,” she said.

“It’s not for me to say what the future holds. I have to say to you, we have to be competitive… if we don’t keep pace with the competition, you can rest assured that Washington will not be able to keep those lines. It’s all about competition,” she said. “It’s incumbent upon us to do what we’ve been doing.”

“I don’t have a bad relationship with labor or Boeing. I have a good relationship with Boeing, and that has become very clear to me over the last several weeks … I may disagree with their decision today — and I do disagree with the decision they made today — but it is my job to argue for every job” Boeing brings to the state.

“I know you all want me to tell you what I know about (the conditions of the contract), but I think it’s best you hear from them,” she said, of questions on whether Boeing was asking for a 10-year no-strike guarantee.

“Boeing as a company … wants to talk about worker’s compensation … and unemployment insurance … so there will always be new agenda items where we can work with them and labor,” she said, in order to make Washington a more competitive place for businesses.

Gregoire said CEO Jim Albaugh told her “despite the fact that I kept telling you that (you couldn’t do anything more), you kept doing more.”

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UPDATE: Boeing’s second 787 line will be built in South Carolina

By | October 28, 2009 | 0 Comments

The Seattle P-I is reporting that Boeing’s second 787 line will be built in South Carolina. Stay tuned for details.

UPDATE: Here is Boeing’s news release, which says they chose South Carolina for the new plant because it “allows us to continue building on the synergies we have established in South Carolina with Boeing Charleston and Global Aeronautica,” said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO. He said the move will strengthen Boeing’s competitiveness in the long-range.

TVW will be LIVE at 2:45 (in just 40 minutes) with a press conference from Gov. Chris Gregoire.

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Salish Sea? Board of Geographic names to vote on Puget Sound name Friday

By | October 28, 2009 | 0 Comments

The State Board on Geographic Names will meet on Friday to vote on whether the Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca and Georgia Strait should be called the “Salish Sea.” The individual names would stay on maps, but the Salish Sea would be a blanket term for the entire area.

The meeting, which is from 1 to 5 p.m. in room 172 of the Natural Resources Building in Olympia, is open to the public. It’s the second-to-final step in a process that was started by Bert Webber, a retired marine biologist. The final step? The federal government also needs to weigh in. Read more about it here.

Or watch The Impact’s piece on the renaming effort:

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Tonight on The Impact: Swine flu vaccine and more

By | October 28, 2009 | 0 Comments

This from Jessica Gao, host of The Impact:

A lot of you are asking, “where’s my swine flu shot?” We find out what’s behind the delay in vaccines and how the state is coordinating efforts to reach the most high-risk patients first. State Department of Health Secretary Mary Selecky joins us to talk about progress being made toward getting everyone vaccinated. For more information on where and when H1N1 shots are available, you can visit this website.

Also, last session lawmakers created the Achievement Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee to address the disparity between students of color and their white and Asian counterparts. We explore what committee members have learned in the past several months, what solutions they’re coming up with, and how the state’s budget woes may affect change.

The Impact airs tonight at 7 and 10 p.m. on TVW.

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Updated: Gov. Gregoire: Fight for Boeing line “ain’t over ’til it’s over”

By | October 28, 2009 | 0 Comments

Gov. Chris Gregoire released a statement today about Boeing’s second production line for the 787, which South Carolina is wooing.

She said she believes Washington is the best option, considering “More then $3 billion on the table in incentives, the best workforce in the world, and the lowest production risk for the company.”

She said she continues to work with both sides — Boeing management and labor unions — to work toward resolution. “It ain’t over ’til it’s over,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Seattle Times is reporting that it may, indeed, be over. Read the whole story here.

Update: Sen. Lisa Brown also sent out a release, saying: ““As I’ve told the Boeing’s Commercial Planes Division President and CEO Jim Albaugh, I believe the solution to Boeing’s needs can best be determined locally. The state Legislature has a long track record of working with Boeing on its key issues, including providing billions in tax incentives and, perhaps most importantly, investing in aerospace worker training and apprenticeships. I point this out not to say that Boeing should be satisfied with past efforts, but rather to demonstrate our willingness to do all we can to keep Boeing competitive on the global stage.”

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Going camping or fishing in Clallam or Jefferson counties?

By | October 27, 2009 | 0 Comments

The Department of Natural Resources has had to make budget cuts — along with every other state department. Among the cuts: Garbage collection at eight campgrounds in Clallam and Jefferson counties.

That means if you head to the following campgrounds, you should be prepared to haul your trash out with you:
Clallam County:
Bear Creek Campground
Jefferson County:
Hoh Oxbow Campground
Coppermine Bottom Campground
Cottonwood Campground
South Fork Hoh Campground
Willoughby Campground
Minnie Peterson Campground
Upper Clearwater Campground

There will be signs posted to allert campers, fishers and hunters of the changes. And the garbage cans have already been removed.

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Wondering why the Alaskan Way Viaduct needs to be replaced?

By | October 27, 2009 | 0 Comments

Here’s the Washington Department of Transportation’s version of what might happen if an earthquake hits before the Alaskan Way Viaduct is replaced with a deep-bore tunnel:

It’s quite a contrast to the video WSDOT posted this summer — a visual tour of the tunnel:

Want to harvest your rainwater? Go ahead, Dept. of Ecology says.

By | October 26, 2009 | 0 Comments

The Department of Ecology has posted a new policy, effectively making it legal to harvest rainwater from your own rooftop. Read about it here.

Because rainwater is part of the water cycle — and flows into rivers and streams — there was some legal confusion over who had the water rights to it. Despite that, of course, many Washingtonians took matters into their own hands with a backyard rain barrel. Now, they can sleep more soundly: The “Interpretive Policy Statement” posted by the department clears the legal matter right up.

So: The rainwater on your roof can be legally collected, stored and used in dry months. And the department has a great list of resources for those who are interested in rainwater collection.

Register to vote in person today to vote next week

By | October 26, 2009 | 0 Comments

Today is the deadline for voter registration — if you aren’t already registered. But: You must register in-person in order to be eligible to vote next week.

Where should you go? Your county elections office. Find a map here.

Then watch TVW’s video voter guide to get up-to-speed on the issues:

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Gov. Gregoire, Mayor Nickels sign agreement to replace Alaskan Way Viaduct with a tunnel

By | October 24, 2009 | 0 Comments

Gov. Chris Gregoire and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels signed an agreement this morning to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a deep-bore tunnel.

Gregoire, Nickels and former King County Executive Ron Sims agreed on the tunnel option — after 8 years of discussions among various groups — in January. The deal requires the city and state to pay for different aspects of the project, with the city responsible for cost overruns. The Legislature approved the plan last session, and the Seattle City Council agreed last week to allow the mayor to sign on.

What’s it mean: The environmental impact review is still underway, and a second supplemental draft of that will be released in early 2010, according to a press release sent out by Gov. Gregoire.

Thursday Q&A: Anne Levinson on why you should approve Referendum 71

By | October 22, 2009 | 1 Comments

This week’s Q&A is with Anne Levinson, chair of the Approve Referendum 71 campaign. I talked to her about why she’s in favor of the referendum and some things she wants to clear up about it. Next Thursday, I’ll talk to a representative from the opposite camp on why they want the referendum to be defeated. Don’t miss it.

Q: In your own words, why should someone vote to approve Referendum 71, which would extend the state-granted rights and responsibilities of marriage to state-registered domestic partners?
Levinson: We have a law in this state called domestic partnership law and in our state in particular it’s broken into three parts. So we actually have laws passed in 2007, 2008 and 2009 that, together, collectively provide basic legal protections to committed couples who are in domestic partnerships. The purpose of the domestic partnership laws is to ensure that all Washington families are treated the same with the same legal protections, the same rights and the same obligations as their neighbors.

So under the domestic partnership laws, same sex couples and opposite sex couples with at least one partner age 62 or older can register for a domestic partnership in order that their families have these legal protections.

In June of this year, a group of people who are opposed to domestic partnerships filed a referendum to appeal the domestic partnership law. Voters are asked whether they want to approve the domestic partnership law. In order to keep the domestic partnership law, voters have to vote to approve it.

It won’t go back to the laws passed in 2008 and 2007, but it will roll back a significant number of legal protections. It won’t wipe away all the laws. But that would be akin to saying to a married couple, We are going to take away some of the rights you have as a married couple but you can still be married.
Rejecting this law would irreparably harm a number of families across the state.

There are now more than 12,000 people in Washington who are registered in domestic partnerships. That is the number of people whose lives will be impacted.

These people live in every county, in every part of the state. So if the laws are rejected, their legal protections will be stripped away and they’ll be left without an essential safety net in essence and particularly in times of crisis. We’ve all seen the unfortunate tragedies that happen in life and what happens when a family does not have the protections. (more…)

On The Impact tonight: Sam Reed on R71 signatures, the Howard Hanson dam and more

By | October 21, 2009 | 0 Comments

On The Impact tonight: A battle over releasing initiative and referendum petitions catches the attention of the nation’s highest court. Petitions of Referendum 71, which puts Washington’s domestic partnership law to a vote, were requested by several groups earlier this year. But R71 signers want their names kept private. Tonight, The Impact talks to Secretary of State Sam Reed, who says the documents should be released.

Also on the show: The weakened Howard Hanson Dam is putting residents in the Green River Valley at an increased flood risk. Jennifer Huntley goes to the dam to talk to the Army Corps of Engineers about how they’ll address the problem.

And: The state has issued a warning about lethal toxin levels in some shellfish. Find out which harvesting areas are off limits here.

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Supreme Court Justice: Don’t release the signatures

By | October 19, 2009 | 0 Comments

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has blocked the release of signatures on the Referendum 71 petitions, the latest move in a saga over whether petition signatures are a public record.

We’ll have more information as it’s available.

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Should ag workers be able to unionize? And: After a near-tragedy, Washington’s 2009 wines should be good

By | October 19, 2009 | 0 Comments

First, here’s a cliffhanger of a story on Washington’s wine industry: The summer weather was great, grapes were getting some valuable “hang time” on the vine, then: Freezing weather. In three days, one company had to harvest a crop that would normally be harvested over four weeks. Read the whole story here.

And if you haven’t yet seen last week’s House Commerce and Labor Committee work session on agricultural worker unionization, you should. Watch the whole thing here:

Update on R71: Hearing tomorrow on whether to release signatures

By | October 19, 2009 | 0 Comments

Tomorrow, there may be more clarity on whether Referendum 71 petitions will be released: Thurston County Superior Court Judge Richard Hicks has set a hearing for 1:30 p.m.

Last week, he blocked the release of any petitions, saying he wanted to hear the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision. They released a brief ruling — to release the petitions — last week, but they haven’t yet released the full opinion. Here’s more on tomorrow’s hearing.

And in case you missed Inside Olympia this week, here it is. Host Austin Jenkins interviewed a supporter and opponent of Referendum 71.

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Watch now: House Commerce and Labor Committee on agricultural unionization

By | October 15, 2009 | 0 Comments

Watch TVW right now for a live showing of the House Commerce and Labor Committee work session, where supporters and opponents of agricultural unionization are talking to committee members.

And tonight, don’t miss Inside Olympia, where host Austin Jenkins will talk to lawmakers about urban and rural politics and priorities in this state. Inside Olympia airs at 7 and 10 p.m.

Federal judge: Petition signatures are a public record

By | October 15, 2009 | 0 Comments

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the Tacoma federal court’s decision today. What does that mean: R71 petition signatures are a public record, according to the court.

Here‘s the (brief) ruling. A full opinion will be issued soon.

This court case stems from the public records request for copies of Referendum 71 petitions. One of the groups that requested the documents said they would publish the names of all the signers on a web site. That prompted the organizers behind the referendum to file a lawsuit blocking the release of names.

Over at the Secretary of State’s blog, they have this to say: “There is one more legal step the state must take before releasing the petitions to the six groups or individuals who requested the records: Thurston County Superior Court Judge Richard Hicks, in a case brought by initiative activist Tim Eyman, on Wednesday issued a temporary restraining order against the Secretary releasing any petitions, until he hears from the 9th Circuit.” Read the rest of the post here.

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