The Washington Legislature is considering a bill on whether and how to strengthen one of the state’s oldest natural resource permits and the only one dedicated to protecting fish habitat. But the threat of lawsuits, potential budget cuts, and a decades old jurisdiction debate may prevent it from passing.
An abruptly canceled meeting, a moonlighting state senator and the nascent Trump administration all had something to do with many environmental and clean-energy priorities becoming casualties before the Washington Legislature could even reach the halfway mark in its 2017 session. Other priorities soldier on, but the road ahead is uphill.
I’m tickled that I finally get to write about the Unequal Justice series collaboration today, one of our most ambitious partnerships to date and, certainly, the largest data project InvestigateWest has ever been involved with. I love this project. Mostly because it combines the two things that we do best at IW’s Oregon shop: drill down on numbers and work with our media partners. I alluded to its impending release back in September, in my note about the strength of collaboration, and again in October when I wrote to you about the power of data in journalism. Now I get to dish the backstory.
An October Washington Supreme Court decision found that many counties had over-allocated their available water. Now thousands of rural homeowners are stuck in limbo as counties grapple with implementing the decision and turn to the Legislature for help.
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This month, I offer a behind-the-scenes look at a very snowy ride with Officer Kevin Allen of the Portland Police Bureau. As luck would have it, it was Jan. 10 when the bureau set me up for a ride-along with Officer Allen. The Portland native ended up being my tour guide during one of the biggest snowstorms the city has seen in two decades.
As we’ve done for the last two years, InvestigateWest is again crowdfunding to support our 2017 Washington Statehouse Environmental News Project, offering in-depth coverage of the most critical environmental issues facing the Washington Legislature. If you donate today your gift will be doubled or tripled. Unlike Congress, our state legislature is debating environmental policies that may actually become law. Energy and a carbon tax. Toxics.
High-quality journalism that informs us as citizens is the oxygen of democracy. Right now it looks like we need to carry around an oxygen tank. InvestigateWest is here to provide the in-depth, thoughtful and fact-based journalism that fights back, but we need more support to take this fight to scale.
In this Seattle Channel recording of the Town Hall event spurred by InvestigateWest’s reporting, panelists Snohomish County Prosecutor Adam Cornell, Representative Ruth Kagi (D-Seattle), former Department of Social and Health Services employee Dee Wilson, advocacy lead and Washington State Parent Ally Committee/Children’s Home Society of Washington staffer Alise Hegle, and Foster Parents Association of Washington State Executive Director Mike Canfield discuss paths forward with moderator and Town Hall Program Director Katy Sewall.
nvestigateWest Managing Director Lee van der Voo reflects on her time seafaring — read on to find out how this enterprising reporter balances working in a remote newsroom, cramming in research for a new book, and fighting bouts of seasickness.