Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cartoon for the Day

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Claude



Submitted to Shelton Blog by John Cox Mason County Progressive

Editor, the Journal

At present, Simpson Lumber and Olympic Panel provide quite a few jobs for our community. We accept the negative aspects of their presence in Shelton, like the pollution for example, because of these jobs. Another way of describing this relationship is "symbiosis", a relationship of mutual benefit.

Imagine a Shelton in which Simpson and Olympic Panel exist, but somehow provide no jobs for local residents.

With the noise, tons of pollutants, and an appearance resembling a malignant tumor, how long do you think we would allow Simpson and Olympic Panel to operate here without providing any benefits to our community?

One day? One week? Not long to be sure. Why would we?

Back in the real world, we know why Simpson and friends are still here. Again, it's the jobs.

Now, however, Simpson has given birth to another new child. This one is called the $olomon Renewable Energy Company. This new company's sole purpose is to build a new biomass incinerator in downtown Shelton in order to sell electricity to the highest bidder.

Simpson has publicly stated that this new incinerator would bring 2-3 new jobs. You can believe what you want about those numbers, but there is no doubt about this new incinerator producing tons and tons of pollutants to which thousands of our citizens would be exposed.

With $impson/$olomon's proposed second biomass incinerator, our previously mentioned fantasy would become our new reality. We would get the increased noise, tons of increased pollution and an even uglier downtown. All of this would be ours with little or no benefit to our community. $olomon's relationship to the community would a parasitic one rather than symbiotic.

What a deal!

John Cox


Friday, April 29, 2011

Reopen DOE Separate Source Determination


Submitted to Shelton Blog by Katherine Price
Mason County Progressive

Attention: Mr. Jeff Johnston, PhD
Science and Engineering Section Manager
Air Quality Program
Post Office Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600

Re: Separate Source Determination for Proposed Simpson Renewable Energy Company Facility

Dear Dr. Johnston:

I am writing you to request that you reopen your consideration of the above determination and make a “same source” determination instead. In support of this request I enclose the following:
  • Your letter of August 4, 2010, to Kirk Lilley, in connection with the “Separate Source Determination Request for Proposed Solomon Renewable Energy Company Facility.”
  • A copy of the cover page of the City of Shelton Mitigated Determination of Nonsignificance (MDNS), for the project “Simpson Lumber Shelton Biomass Cogeneration Plant.”
  • A copy of the cover page of the Air Operating Permit issued by the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency to Simpson Timber Company.
  • A copy of the cover page of the Air Operating Permit issued by the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency to Olympic Panel Products LLC.
  • A copy of the November 16, 2010, letter from Simpson Lumber Company, LLC, to Jason Dose at the City of Shelton.
Background: I am a resident of Shelton and I work in downtown Shelton several blocks from the existing Simpson/Olympic Panel operations at Front and Railroad Streets in Shelton. I am a member of Grandmothers Aligned Against Pollution (GAAP) and I am adamantly opposed to the addition of an additional biomass incinerator in the Shelton Harbor.

Separate Source Determination. In your letter of August 4, 2010, you state:

Based on the information submitted, it is Ecology’s opinion that the power plant proposed by SREC is not under common control or ownership of Simpson or Olympic, that the power plant is not a support facility to either of those companies, and that Simpson and Olympic are not support facilities to SREC...
This determination does not constitute Ecology’s endorsement of the accuracy of the information submitted to Ecology by SREC.

Simpson Lumber Shelton Biomass Cogeneration Plant. Page 1 of this document provides the proponent information as follows:

Solomon Renewable Energy Company
Attention: Dave McEntee
P O Box 21866
Seattle, WA 98111

Cover Page
, Air Operating Permit, Simpson Timber Company. The air operating permit was issued on February 3, 2005, and it expired on February 3, 2010. Whether Simpson is operating without an air permit is not the point of providing this page, although inquiring minds do want to know… This page is provided to show the dates of issuance and expiration only, because they are identical to the dates of issuance and expiration for the following.

Cover Page
, Air Operating Permit, Olympic Panel Products LLC. As noted above, the air operating permit was issued on February 3, 2005, and it expired on February 3, 2010. As noted, the date of issuance and expiration are exactly the same as those of Simpson Timber Company.

November 16, 2010, letter from Dave McEntee, of Simpson Lumber Company LLC, on behalf of Solomon Renewable Energy Company LLC. This letter speaks to additional questions presented to Solomon Renewable Resources Company LLC (SREC) by Jason Dose of the City of Shelton. The questions submitted to SREC by the City of Shelton are answered in this document by Simpson Lumber Company LLC.

This determination does not constitute Ecology’s endorsement of the accuracy of the information submitted to Ecology by SREC.

If you were to visit the City of Shelton on any given day, you might have some of the experiences my family and I do as a result of living and working in an ALREADY highly polluted environment.

My eyes burn on days when Simpson/Olympic are burning (ammonia?).

My chest hurts, and I cough and wheeze, on days when I am foolish enough to walk the two blocks from my office to the Post Office (particulate matter?) when Simpson/Olympic are burning.

Last month, we had roofers re-roof our office building; by the end of the day, they were up on the roof literally coughing and choking because of the air that day.

I regularly call Robert Moody of ORCAA to report the terrible conditions of our air. As a result, the City of Shelton and ORCAA have recently entered into an agreement to place an air monitor in the City, on top of our new Public Safety Building, within blocks of the Simpson/Olympic operations, so that the citizens might get a better idea of how bad our air is.

If you were to visit with the people on the street of Shelton, and you were to ask them who is burning in the harbor, they would tell you it is Simpson. If you were to inquire about Olympic Panel, most citizens would tell you “same guys".If you were to ask about Solomon Energy, they would laugh and tell you who “Solomon” is to this city, as in “Solomon Simpson", the founder of Simpson Timber.

I provide you this information so that you can see that making your determination on the “information submitted", has resulted in you making an incorrect determination as to separate source.

There is no separate source here in Shelton. These businesses are inter-related in ownership and financial benefit. The citizens of Shelton are not fooled for one minute by changing their names and spinning off companies: Green Diamond Resources, Simpson Timber Company, Olympic Panel, and now their latest incarnation, Solomon Renewable Energy Company LLC.

Solomon G. Simpson is laughing in his grave at the wisdom and skill utilized by those who now run his various entities in fooling anyone outside of the City of Shelton into believing these entities do not have a “common control and ownership or support facility relationship". They do.

I respectfully request that the Department of Ecology re-open the “Separate Source Determination” and allow the citizens of Shelton to help you understand the “common control and ownership or support facility relationship” that most certainly does exist among the entities that have sprung forth from Solomon G. Simpson’s initial timber company.

Citizens in my community gathered 3,200 signatures to put on the ballot a measure in connection with biomass incinerators last summer. We did this because our county and state leaders refused to listen when we said we did not want the Adage facility built above our town. Our leaders rejected our request and denied us a ballot vote on biomass incinerators.

The object of the vote was not to stop Adage from coming to Shelton, it was to stop all biomass incinerators from coming to Shelton. Our County Commissioners denied us a vote on the matter, even though we had provided sufficient signatures to earn the right to vote on whether additional polluting sources would be added to our community.

In the very same week that we learned Adage was pulling out, we were delivered the City of Shelton’s Mitigated Determination of Nonsignificance. We were not even given a week to celebrate dodging the ADAGE bullet, before the City of Shelton made its unholy MDNS and fired their SREC bullet at the heart of our town.

The citizens of the City of Shelton are already the recipients of Sol Simpson’s pollution, which has been raining down on our community and our water for more than 100 years. To add another source or pollution in our harbor, for any reason, is the height of insanity. It will be the death of our community, literally.

Please re-open the “Separate Source Determination” and give us the opportunity to show you that the man behind the curtain in our community is not the Wizard of Oz, he is Solomon G. Simpson, and he, and his, have been polluting in Shelton more than long enough.

Very truly yours,

Katherine Austin Price
Shelton, WA

Cartoon for the Day

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Claude

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Excerpt from:
Why Obama shouldn't have had to 'show his papers'
By Goldie Taylor

"Show me your papers!"

Major Blackard, then just 19 years old, dug into his trousers in search of his wallet. He padded his jacket, but could not find his billfold.

"Sir, I done left my wallet..." Blackard said. Before he could finish his sentence, the young man was posted against the brick wall, cuffed and taken to the St. Louis city jail. Unable to prove his identity, he would spend the next 21 days in a cramped, musty cell. That's where his older brother Matt found him, beaten and bloodied. Matt returned with Major's employer later that day, wallet and identification card in hand, to post bond.

The year was 1899. Major Blackard was my great, great grandfather.

The real crime, as Pulitzer Prize winning author Doug Blackmon points out in his seminal work Slavery by Any Other Name, was that my grandfather was a colored man in America.

This morning, as White House staffers released copies of the president's long form birth certificate, I couldn't shake the feeling that something very ugly was going on. For the first time in recorded history, a sitting president of the United States found it necessary to produce his original birth certificate for public inspection. Not once, in 235 years, have we ever demanded proof that our president was born on American soil.

In a stunning display of unchecked ego, Donald Trump quickly hosted a news conference, during which he took credit for forcing President Obama's hand. The sometime real estate developer, socialite, author and television personality went on to caution onlookers to let "experts" examine the document. Lest the president continue perpetrating what Trump has called potentially the "biggest fraud in American history".

For weeks, the thrice married, comb-over construction magnate has enthralled news reporters with his apocalyptic ranting. Trump openly questioned whether President Obama belonged in the White House, a boardroom, or even an Ivy League lecture hall.

And we let him.

We used all manner of excuses to justify giving Trump as much oxygen as he could suck up. Rarely, if ever, did we press him to produce a shard of evidence to substantiate his wild claims. We smiled gingerly as he all but called us stupid sycophants who were in cahoots with an illegitimate president. We allowed him to hold court on issues on which he clearly has no knowledge and no credibility, beyond the limo ride briefings he apparently receives from his merry band of "yes men".

Trump didn't just want the birth record. He wants the president to release his college transcripts. "How did such a bad student get into Harvard?," Trump keeps asking. The implication is the Barack Obama was the beneficiary of affirmative action and took the place of a more qualified white student. Apparently, graduating magna cum laude from the nation's most prestigious law school and being named editor of the Harvard Law Review -- the institution's highest student honor -- is not enough for him.

It never is for people like Trump.

"If he gets off the phone, or gets off his basketball court or whatever he's doing at the time," Trump said. "I mean he should be focused on OPEC and getting those prices down."

When they tell you this isn't racial, don't believe them. This controversy was constructed solely as a way to de-legitimize the presidency of a black man. Those who question the location of Barack Obama's birth are the very same people who would pack up and move out of the neighborhood if someone like me moved in next door.

When they say they want to take their country back, they mean from us.

According to a recent Public Policy Polling survey, a stunning 51 percent of Republicans believe the president wasn't born in the United States. In Mississippi, nearly half of all Republicans believe interracial marriage should be illegal. If they had their way, not only would Obama not be president, he never would have been born.That's how far we have not come.

Some 112 years after my grandfather was snatched from a street corner in the central west end section of St. Louis, it seems we still need to prove our right to be here.

I thought we were better than this.

Link to complete article:

City & County Meetings Week of April 25th

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Tom Davis Mason County Progressive


The regular session of City Commissioners, held Monday evening at the Civic Center, included a second reading of the rezone of 160 acres south of Sanderson Field, only this time Mayor Tarrant was there to throw his weight behind it. Port Director John Dobson took the news on the chin, emitting only the slightest of high-pitched squeals as he fled the room.

Also on the agenda was the proposed rezone to mixed use of the north side of Alder from First to Seventh Streets. Property owners directly affected by the rezone were notified by the City, but owners of surrounding properties were apparently taken completely by surprise. A hearing is set for next Monday, and is likely to draw a sizable crowd of less than copacetic citizens.


Flash forward to the regular session of County Commissioners on Tuesday evening. Commissioner/State Senator, Tim Sheldon was busy making hay somewhere in Olympia, leaving Commissioners Lingle and Ring-Erickson to hold down the fort.

The meeting started off well enough, with Chairperson Ring-Erickson searching the room for someone who never served their country to lead the audience in the pledge of allegiance, after which the meeting deteriorated.

To better explain, you first need to know that several weeks ago the County took down a large cypress tree across the street from the Administration building because PUD 3 said it was interfering with their power lines. People were upset, so Commissioner Ring-Erickson asked for someone to step up and pay for a new tree. Ever the budding horticulturists, my wife, Amy, and I volunteered to pay for and provide the replacement tree. And some weeks later Mike Rudder, Facilities Grounds Manager, called to confirm our intentions.

But alas, it was not to be. Because no sooner had Mike welcomed our contribution, he up and retired, and Lynda Ring-Erickson rushed to accept a gift of a rather unimpressive specimen from none other than Green Diamond’s very own Patti Case. And in a voice that seemed better suited for a child’s bedtime story, Ms. Case launched into a three page infomercial for her employer before presenting the scrawny spectacle with all the fanfare of a miser giving a nickel to a pauper. Proving once and for all that Shelton is not so much a small town as it is run by small people.

Otherwise, this meeting, too, was uneventful, though I did rise to object to the $111,200 the County was spending on new, larger road signs to replace those that were not even two years old. After the meeting I spoke with Charlie Butros, head road warrior, who said the County was merely complying with State statutes and though he, himself, thought it was a waste of public money, the County was forced to comply.

That’s all that’s worth relating for now. Absent a sweep by the U.S. Attorney General‘s office , the same officials will be running the same show tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cartoon for the Day

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Claude



Excerpt from:
Utility Considers Solar Venture

225-kilowatt solar array would be largest in Western WA

By John Dodge

SHELTON — Mason County Public Utility District No. 3 is poised to venture into the world of solar power in a big way.

The Shelton-based utility is entertaining a proposal by a private contractor to install one of the largest solar-power systems in the state on the roof of the vehicle-storage building at the utility’s $34.9 million operations center under construction at Johns Prairie.

The 225-kilowatt solar-panel array would cover 22,000 square feet and cost $1.23 million to build, according to estimates by the company that has approached the utility to install the solar system, Adolfson & Peterson Construction of Minneapolis, said utility spokesman Joel Myer.

If approved, it would be the largest solar power system in Western Washington, said Phil Lou, solar-energy specialist at the Washington State University Extension Energy Program.

By comparison, the solar installation on the Washington PUD Association headquarters in Olympia is 34 kilowatts.

“We’re very interested in the project,” said utility power-supply manager Jay Himlie. The utility commissioners were briefed on the project last week and expect to decide whether to support the project within a few weeks.

Adolfson & Peterson would pay 61 percent of the project costs, with the utility picking up the rest. The company would sell the power to the utility at a 10 percent discount from the utility’s retail power rate. The utility would have the option to purchase the solar-power system at the end of 10 years.

By using electricity generated by the solar system, the PUD would avoid purchasing about 189,000 kilowatt-hours annually for an estimated savings of about $12,000, Myer said.

The alternative power supply would reduce the utility’s carbon footprint by about 13 tons per year, utility officials estimated.

In addition, the solar-power system would help the utility meet state requirements that nine percent of the utility’s power supply come from green-energy sources by 2016, Himlie said.

Link to complete article:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cartoon for the Day

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Claude



Submitted to Shelton Blog by Duff Badgley
Mason County Progressive

April 25, 2011

FROM: Rachel Smolker
SUBJECT: Sign On: Demand a moratorium on permitting for biomass

Hi all,

EPA has decided that they need to study further how to do accounting for "biogenic" emissions from burning biomass and other (including landfill gas etc). Meanwhile, they have decided to EXEMPT emissions from biomass burning from regulation while they do their 3 year long studies!

This is nuts. If they aren't sure and need to study it further, then in the meantime they should STOP permitting further construction of biomass incinerators. Many facilities will be built and permitted without any regulation of CO2 in the interim.

Please sign on your organization to the letter below which will go to EPA demanding that they stop permitting biomass combustion until they know the results of their own studies!

CONTACT Rachel Smolker by May 4th
Biofuelwatch/Energy Justice Network

Then spread the word--




TO: Lisa Jackson, EPA

We are deeply concerned by EPA’s recent decision to exempt CO2 emissions from combustion of biomass from Clean Air Act regulation for the next three years. This decision was formalized in Proposed Rules on March 21, 2011, 76 Fed. Reg. 15249 and is referred to as an exemption from the greenhouse gas “Tailoring Rule.” Concurrent with issuance of the Proposed Rule, EPA issued guidance for permitting agencies, as discussed below.

If finalized as proposed, the three-year exemption from Clean Air Act permitting will facilitate ongoing development of a significant number of large biomass combustion facilities to burn forest and other “biomass” for electricity. Yet, this decision, made in response to a petition from the National Alliance of Forest Owners, 76 Fed. Reg. 15249, appears to lack legal or scientific merit, endangers public health, and is fiscally irresponsible.

Indeed, there does not appear to be any viable legal basis for treating CO2 emissions from biomass (or any other “biogenic”sources ) differently from other CO2 emissions. EPA’s own Clean Air Act Tailoring Rule explicitly states that “all carbon counts” in determining whether a stationary source is “major” and subject to permitting requirements. This makes sense given that CO2 from biomass combustion is indistinguishable from CO2 from other sources and exerts the same influence on global climate and health.

EPA’s permitting exemption decision is alarming in light of the known science. A number of studies have established that, per unit of electricity generated, considerably more CO2 is released from biomass combustion than from coal combustion, with any carbon resequestration unlikely to occur for decades. A paper published in Science entitled “Fixing A Critical Climate Accounting Error” pointed out the faulty accounting that has resulted in a mistaken practise of referring to virtually all forms of biomass combustion as “carbon neutral”.

This was further elaborated by the Manomet Biomass Sustainability and Carbon Policy Study, a main finding of which was that for utility scale biomass power plants, it takes at least 40 years to regrow forests sufficiently to re-sequester net carbon emissions to the level that would have been emitted if coal had been burned, and more than 90 years to draw down carbon emissions to the level of natural gas.[2] Other studies have further contributed to the growing literature indicating that biomass combustion results in substantial “carbon debt” which cannot be “repaid” on a time frame meaningful for addressing global warming.[3]

Allowing a large number of facilities to be constructed, without regard to their CO2 emissions, will seriously undermine the intent of the Tailoring Rule to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There is already a trend toward large coal plants converting to biomass. The guidance issued concurrent with the Proposed Rule provides for permitting that encourages biomass combustion itself, as “best available control technology.” The result is that we can expect to see more large coal plants converting to biomass combustion, requiring very large quantities of “biomass” to operate. Furthermore, CO2 emissions resulting from the harvesting and transportation of such large quantities of woody biomass will add substantially to the climate impacts of emissions from the facility’s smoke stacks.

Permitting the construction of large biomass combustion operations is not only bad for the environment, it is also fiscally irresponsible. These facilities are eligible for taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies because, despite the science they have been classified as “renewable” energy – in the same category as wind, solar, geothermal, and other non-smokestack technologies. (See, e.g. “Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress,” CRS, January 6, 2011)

Developers are cashing in on cash grants provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)– over 100 million dollars so far have been allocated to biomass combustion, all undertaken without National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) review. These facilities are also eligible for a wide variety of other lucrative supports, including Department of Energy loan guarantees, and US Department of Agriculture “Biomass Crop Assistance Program” subsidies. All of these subsidies are underwritten by taxpayers, who envision their funds being used to support clean, “green” renewable energy. Instead, we are subsidizing power generation facilities that pollute communities, and drive up health care costs.

A three year permitting exemption for biomass combustion will have long term negative impacts on America’s energy future. Biomass combustion already accounts for about half of US so-called “renewable” generation and competes directly for the same subsidies that also support non-polluting renewables such as wind and solar. Biomass combustion will continue to be favored if it is exempted from permitting, setting our nation on course to a future of polluted air, ill health, degraded lands and increased greenhouse gas emissions.

If EPA’s CO2 permitting exemption is allowed to stand, facilitating development of the many new facilities and conversions, there will be a large increase in the concomitant emissions of particulates and other toxic air pollutants from biomass combustion. Those pollutants will escalate cumulatively as the number of facilities granted operating permits increases.

We know already that health impacts from biomass combustion emissions are alarming: In a June 24 2009 letter to Congress concerning energy legislation, The American Lung Association stated: “The Lung Association urges that the legislation not promote the combustion of biomass. Burning biomass could lead to significant increases in emissions of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and sulfur dioxide and have severe impacts on the health of children, older adults and people with lung diseases.” The Massachusetts Medical Society testified to the state legislature that biomass burning presents an “unacceptable health risk”. The American Lung Association of Massachusetts takes the same position, and opposes all federal subsidies for biomass burning.

Biomass combustion results in very large quantities of particulate emissions. EPA itself points out: “Particle pollution especially fine particles—contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are so small that they can get deep into the lungs and cause serious health problems.” In fact it has been determined that there is no safe level of exposure to small particulates (PM 2.5). The American Heart Association states: “Short-term exposure to particulate matter (PM) air pollution contributes to acute cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and exposure to elevated PM levels over the long term can reduce life expectancy by a few years.” Particulate pollution has even been linked recently to diabetes.[5]

Biomass combustion also emits nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide as well as extremely toxic (and inadequately regulated) dioxins, furans and other pollutants, depending upon the type of biomass burned. These contaminants contribute to asthma, heart and lung disease, cancer and other disease, especially in the communities where they are located.

Of special concern is the trend to construct large biomass plants in low income communities of color, where they contribute further to the health burden already suffered as a result of disproportionate exposure to toxins. The NAACP chapters in Valdosta Georgia, Tallahassee and Alachua County, Florida have already expressed concern over biomass combustion developments.

In light of the above, we respectfully request:

That EPA adopt a moratorium or “stay” on further permitting of biomass combustion facilities for the duration of the 3 year study period, rather than continuing to permit these facilities in the interim. EPA has chosen to study the matter of biogenic emissions further, and should therefore await the outcome of its own studies prior to facilitating further development of biomass combustion industry.


Biomass Accountability Project

[1] Searchinger et al 2009: Fixing A Critical Climate Accounting Error, Science vol 326
[2] Manomet Biomass Sustainability and Carbon Policy Report, 2010
[3] Bioenergy: A Carbon Accounting Time Bomb. Birdlife Intl, Transport and Environment and EU Environmental Bureau

Monday, April 25, 2011


Attorney Kathleen Haggard (center) advising City to proceed
with rezoning at 4/18/11 City of Shelton Commission Meeting


Submitted to Shelton Blog by Katherine Price
Mason County Progressive

For years the City of Shelton has been working to rezone 160 acres near the Port of Shelton from commercial/industrial to neighborhood/residential, pursuant to the 2009 Comprehensive Plan Amendment.

During that time, the Port of Shelton has exercised its right to resist that rezone. The Port's objection to the rezone has come down to a question of noise. The City hired experts to address the concerns of the Port. The City's experts investigated the Port of Shelton concerns, and confirmed to the City that the problem(s), as set forth the by the Port, do not exist

The City, at it's regular meeting on April 18, 2011, stood ready to vote on the rezone, identified as Ordinance No.1784-0411. In a last ditch effort to delay the process, yet another of the Port of Shelton's attorneys weighed in.

One Eric S. Laschever, of Stoel Rives, LLP, Seattle, Washington, sent a letter to City of Shelton Attorney Kathleen Haggard requesting that the City request an extension of the time established by the Growth Management Hearings Board in it's Final Decision and Order dated October 27, 2010. The deadline the Growth Management Hearings Board established was April 25, 2011, and was for "Compliance due on identified areas of noncompliance", to-wit: The noise question.

As noted above, the noise question was addressed by the experts hired by the City, which experts provided testimony at a recent public hearing in connection with the proposed rezone. The gist of the letter from the Port's attorney was that "consultation" had not occurred between the Port and the City. This is a recurring theme in complaints of the Port, that the City has not engaged in consultation with the Port. Not only is this statement untrue, the Growth Management Hearings Board itself noted at page 33 of 41, in their Final Decision and Order, the following:
"Public participation and consultation occurred. The Board cannot conclude the City 'disregarded' concerns expressed as alleged by the Petitioner." (Port of Shelton being the Petitioner.)
The Board further noted, at page 39:
"The Board concluded the City provided various opportunities for public participation, FORMALLY CONSULTED WITH THE AIRPORT COMMUNITY, and considered the comments/information received when it engaged in the final decision-making process; thus non-compliance was not found." (Emphasis mine.)
Notwithstanding these pretty clear statements by the Growth Management Hearings Board, on Monday April 18, the Port's attorney requested the City itself ask for an extension of the deadline of April 25, 2011, established by the Board, so that the Port and City might engage in consultation; which consultation the Port continues to allege has not occurred.

City Attorney Kathleen Haggard, quite rightly and most articulately, advised the City of Shelton to proceed. The City Attorney said it better, but put simply, she said the Port's attorney was wrong and the City was entitled to proceed.

From a citizen's perspective, the Port's attorney was not only wrong, but he was wasting his time, the Port's money, the City Attorneys' time, and the City's money, by rehashing the same old previously refuted argument: The argument that the City of Shelton did not engage in consultation with the Port of Shelton in connection with the project.

The deadline for compliance remains April 25, 2011.

The City has complied.

The Port lost this one; they need to get over it.

Photo by Christine


City of Shelton Commission Meeting tonight
Monday, April 25, at 6:00 PM, at Civic Center
Second reading & adoption of rezone ordinance

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cartoon for the Day

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Claude


Port Executive Director John Dobson displays improperly spliced
electrical wire at the 4/19/11 Port of Shelton Commissioners' Meeting


Submitted to Shelton Blog by Tom Davis Mason County Progressive

The best way to tell if some higher-up at the Port of Shelton is lying is to see if their mouth is moving; such is the level of integrity we see these days at the Port.

Two meetings running now, John Dobson has brought improperly spliced or terminated pieces of electrical wire to Port meetings for a bit of show and tell. Ever the "Carney", Mr. Dobson raised the wire up for all to see how now is the time to spend, perhaps, tens of thousands of dollars on electrical repairs to fairground buildings.

I didn’t think too much of this spectacle at the first meeting, and just figured he was on a “Tool Guy” kick, or maybe he really had the safety of fair-goers in mind. But the second Port meeting brought even more sensational examples of bad electrical connections, and a little red flag popped up in the back of my head. With all the subtlety of a garbage truck dragging a dead moose through a field of potato chips, this guy is up to something.

On other fronts, I would be remiss if I did not address further the comments of pilot Dennis Frost’s recent letter to the Journal, in which he advises readers to access this blog to see the true nature of its contributors.

To this I would reply, what you see here is what you get, Dennis; no one smiles in your face and then trashes you behind your back. Here it is, warts and all, for everyone to see. So while our liberties, money and quality of life are being siphoned off by people who act civilly in public and then gut you when you’re not looking, you should be thankful there is still a place where you can experience the air of real truth on your face.

I suspect such honesty is a stranger to most folks - bitter pills being the most difficult to swallow - but isn’t it nice to know someone somewhere still has what it takes to ferret the facts out from the political fiction?

When it’s all said and done, Dennis, a bum by any other name is still a bum, and that’s the true nature of those you should be most concerned with.

Photo by Christine

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cartoon for the Day

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Claude

County & Port: Public Disclosures Requested


Submitted to Shelton Blog by Theresa Jacobson Mason County Progressive


In the morning of 4/19/11, Theresa Jacobson presented a "public
disclosure request" at the Mason County Commissioners' Meeting.

I respectfully request the total number of hours invested by Mason County personnel to evaluate and process the application by ADAGE Mason, LLC to build a biomass incinerator in Mason County.

This request includes, but is not limited to, all meetings with ADAGE representatives, telephone calls, emails and review/evaluation of all related documents.

This request includes, but is not limited to, time spent by staff, elected and appointed officials in the County Commissioners' office, the Department of Community Development, the Department of Health, the Prosecutor's office and any other Mason County employee(s) involved in the permit proposal review.

This request will include the time period from January 1, 2008 through the present, April 19, 2011.

Further, this request is to obtain the specific dollar amount of public funds spent by Mason County on the ADAGE proposal.


In the afternoon of 4/19/11, Theresa Jacobson presented a "public
disclosure request" at the Port of Shelton Commission Meeting.

I respectfully request the total number of hours invested by Port of Shelton staff, Executive Director, legal counsel and elected Port Commissioners to process all aspects of the application by ADAGE Mason, LLC to build a biomass incinerator on Port property.

This request will include the time period from January 1, 2008 through the present, April 19, 2011.

This request will include, but is not limited to, all time spent on phone calls, emails, private meetings with ADAGE representatives, and processing of all documents and public comments.

Further, this request is to obtain a specific dollar amount of public funds spent by the POS on any and all aspects of the ADAGE application.

County meeting photo by John Cox
Port meeting photo by Christine Armond


Link to Mason County Daily News coverage of Theresa Jacobson's disclosure requests:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Cartoon for the Day

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Claude



Submitted to Shelton Blog by Katherine Price in response to Dennis E. Frost’s letter to the Editor, Shelton-Mason County Journal, April 21, 2011, titled “Citizens against virtually everything come out of the cave".

Dear Mr. Frost,

I attended a
meeting of CAVE, after reading your letter, where we citizens came up with a brief list of things we are FOR, such as:
  • Honesty and openness in elected officials
  • Shared sacrifice in times of economic crisis or war (this used to be the American way)
  • A progressive tax code
  • Transparency in governmental dealings with business and industry, from the local level to the federal level
  • Tax dollars being spent to enrich communities, not corporations
  • Clean Air, water and soil
  • A strong Environmental Protection Agency
  • Planned Parenthood
  • National Public Radio
  • A woman’s right to choose
  • A vibrant and well-funded public education system
  • A permanent safety net for America’s seniors
  • Strengthening Social Security by raising the ceiling for contributions above the current level of $107,000
  • Closing tax loopholes which allow corporations to make record profits while paying record low, and in some cases no, taxes
  • Replacing all military contractors with military personnel
  • Streamlining the system by which our veterans receive the benefits they have earned by their sacrifices on behalf of their nation
  • Fair trade; not free trade
  • Living wage jobs for America’s youth (America has 40% unemployment among the 18-24 demographic; see Egypt for what happens next.)
  • Affordable health care for all
  • A reversal of the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Citizens United
  • Real campaign finance reform
  • Getting the lobbyists out of Washington DC
  • Whistle blower protections
  • Government for the people, not for the corporations
  • A Department of Peace, with 2% of the budget now devoted to the Department of Defense
I am sure good citizens can come up with many other things to be “for". This is only a partial list to help Mr. Frost recognize that CAVE really stands for:


Very truly yours,

Katherine Austin Price
Shelton, WA


Mr. Frost,

In the future, as there are several "Shelton Blogs", if you wish to direct people to this blog specifically, you need to refer to it as the "Mason County Progressive Shelton Blog".

Also, you are most welcome to comment directly on the blog if you so wish.

The Editors


Submitted to Shelton Blog by Katherine Price    Mason County Progressive

Robert Moody, ORCAA Compliance Supervisor, called me today to let me know the new air monitor on top of the Public Safety Building, 122 Franklin St., Shelton. is up and running as of yesterday afternoon.

Apparently Steve Goins, Community and Economic Director of the City of Shelton, decided it did not deserve a party, OR he plans to have the party later (he has not responded to my latest email).

Whether we get a party or not, we now have a tool to help us in determining what we are already receiving from Simpson, and to help the City make an informed decision about Solomon.
Let's keep our eyes on the prize and keep our eyes on the information we obtain from the new monitor.

The tide may finally be turning in favor of the citizens of Mason County.

Keeping it light with a big smile for the new monitor.

Port Meeting 4/19/11: Dobson Legal Fees

Tom Davis stating objections at Port of Shelton Commission Meeting


Submitted to Shelton Blog by Tom Davis Mason County Progressive

April 19, 2011

Board of Commissioners
Port of Shelton
W. 21 Sanderson Way
Shelton, WA 98584

RE: Reimbursement of Legal Fees for John Dobson

Dear Board of Commissioners:

Consider this letter formal objection to the recent decision by the Port of Shelton to reimburse legal fees incurred by Mr. John Dobson resulting from Mason County District Cause No. 11-CV-0001 and the legal document entitled “Order to Show Cause Why a Temporary Protection Order Should Not Be Issued and Notice of Hearing”, all of which was dismissed without prejudice January 19, 2011.

It is my understanding that the basis for the motion to reimburse Mr. Dobson was the memorandum of legal opinion, dated March 30, 2011, provided to the Commissioners by Port Attorney, Charles “Skip“ Houser.

Specifically, the opinion offered by Attorney Houser has as its foundation a most liberal interpretation of RCW 53.08.208, the intent of which is to protect officers, agents and employees of Port Districts from legal action arising out of the performance, or lack of performance, of their assigned duties; it is not meant to be umbrella insurance against legal fees resulting from a personal dispute, which this matter appears to have been.

The record shows that a legal complaint was brought against Mr. Dobson by Mr. Strickland; there was no mention of either man’s officials duties or performance of those duties, as such activities were irrelevant to the complaint; the matter was, at its core, a dispute between two individuals and unrelated to their respective positions. The very nature of the alleged offense bears this out.

Moreover, the involved parties settled the mater upon mutual agreement prior to any court appearance, with no Port involvement and no court action, other than formally dismissing the case without prejudice. The absence of any port involvement in either the complaint or subsequent agreement is evidence the dispute was unrelated to Port business. (Additionally,, implicit in the agreement between Mr. Strickland and Mr. Dobson was the decision to deny the court an opportunity to rule if Mr. Dobson had been acting within the scope of his duties at the time of the alleged offense.)

It follows that any agreement between Mr. Strickland and Mr. Dobson that may have culminated in the expenditure of public funds by the Port of Shelton would surely have warranted the involvement of either the Port Commissioners or Port Attorney Houser. Since there was no such involvement, it is reasonable to assume the Port considered the matter unrelated to its operations.

In conclusion, it would appear that if the Port or Port related business played no part in the original dispute or the complaint, or the subsequent - out of court - agreement, the Port cannot grant reimbursement of Mr. Dobson’s legal fees under the sited RCW.

Given the above, there is more than sufficient reason to revisit Attorney Houser’s opinion as foundation by which the motion to reimburse Mr. Dobson was allowed to move forward.

For these and other reasons, I would ask Port Commissioners to set aside the decision to reimburse Mr. Dobson under RCW 503.08.208 till such time as the matter can be investigated by the proper oversight authority.


Tom Davis
Mason County Resident

cc: Brian Sontag, Washington State Auditor


Between a rock & a hard place these days...

Photos by Christine

Thursday, April 21, 2011

County Meeting 4/19/11: EDC & Public Funds

Pat Vandehey speaking at the Mason County Commissioners' Meeting


Submitted to Shelton Blog by Pat Vandehey Mason County Progressive

At the last County Commissioner’s Meeting Apri 12, 2011, Item 8.5 on the agenda was discussed and voted on. The vote was affirmative for the EDC to be given $68,000.00, which is double what they had been previously receiving.

I agree with Commissioner Lynda Ring Erickson that a 50% increase in a downtime is very questionable, as there are departments that are understaffed and could better use this money.

This started me wondering why an entity which is private, has no public hearings, and gets no input from the taxpayers should be receiving public funds, our tax money. I was told the public could attend EDC meetings, but no meetings are posted on their website, and the only items on their calendar are membership luncheons every other month at the Alderbrook Resort.

If EDC is a private group, why are they entitled to public money?

Why doesn’t the public have input as to what businesses would be appropriate for our area?

Do the board members live in Mason County?

What viable compatible businesses has the EDC successfully brought to Mason County in the past five years?

Does the EDC support the Hills enterprise?

Who started this group, and who decided it should be publicly funded without any accountability to the taxpayers?

Here is some interesting information I found in researching the workings of the EDC:

In the Feb 2010 minutes of Shelton-Mason County Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee, Matt Matayoshi, County EDC Executive Director was invited to provide a briefing on the proposed racetrack in the Eells Hill Road area outside of Shelton.

By the time the Government Affairs Committee meeting occurred, the proposal had died, but Mr. Matayoshi explained the several steps that were required to move such a proposal, and asked for the Chamber’s help in modifying a noise ordinance that would prevent any future proposals from being realized anywhere in Mason County. This was met with agreement from the GAC.

The GAC needs to work with the EDC and others, and to be proactive in seeking out these impediments, and correcting them before they scare off those interested in development.

In the EDC website it is stated:

"The EDC offers businesses the benefit of a single source business data and demographics and process facilitation. Through visionary thinking and strategic relationships, the EDC eases the way for efficient business location and expansion assistance.“


“ The EDC of Mason County will work to expedite the permitting process required for business location or expansion. Local government is experienced with fast-tracking permit approvals.”

This sounded suspect to me as to whether the concerns, safety, or health of the community ever comes into the picture. I believe that the EDC should be put under scrutiny. Taxpayers should be informed about the EDC's activities, and be given information when a business is be considered or promoted, so that it is not greased through before anyone knows about it.

We do not want another ADAGE project to deal with.

County Commissioners Jerry Lingle, Lynda Ring Erickson, & Tim Sheldon

Photos by John Cox


Link to the EDC website: