On Jan. 9 at 5:25 p.m. deputies were called to a residence east of Redmond in the 22000 block of NE 75th for a family disturbance. Callers described an argument between the 22-year-old son and his 51-year-old father. Before deputies arrived the caller advised that shots had been fired. An adult female and 11-year-old male were able to flee the home to safety.
Deputies arrived and directed the son and an 18-year-old female out of the house. Inside the house they found the father deceased from gunshot wounds. There was no one else inside the house and no one else was injured. Major Crimes detectives responded and processed the scene. It is not known what the argument was about. The son was booked into the King County Jail for investigation of homicide.
Northeast King County has been experiencing an increase in mail thefts, with 68 reports in a recent 14-week period. The reasons behind this uptick are unclear. Detectives have arrested several suspects, but mail boxes continue to be an easy target of opportunity for thieves. The suspects are looking for mail that contains items they can turn around quickly, such as gift cards and/or cash. If they find checks they’re washing them, making them out to themselves and changing the amounts.
As Washingtonians deal with the aftermath of severe storms and flooding that occurred two weeks ago, the recovery process may include a flood insurance claim. There are three steps to file a claim with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP):
• Contact your insurance agent. • Document your damaged property. • File a Proof of Loss form within 60 days of the flood. More details are available at www.FloodSmart.gov.
Keep in mind as you go through this process: • You do not need to wait for a Presidential Disaster Declaration to file a flood claim. • Your policy cannot be canceled for making a claim. • A flood insurance policy is typically separate from a homeowner’s insurance policy. For general flood insurance questions, call your insurance company or agent or contact the NFIP at 800-638-6620 directly or through 711-Relay.
Written by By Cooper Inveen WNPA Olympia News Bureau
OLYMPIA — Two years after Washington voters ended pot prohibition lawmakers are wading through a thicket of proposed reforms that aim to stabilize an industry struggling to get off the ground.
“Right now I call it the wild, wild west,” Senate Democratic Leader Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island, said during the recent annual Associated Press Legislative Preview. “We’ve got incongruities in this law that we need to solve.”
With seven new cannabis-related bills pre-filed so far come seven new opportunities to shape Washington’s unprecedented cannabis experiment. From a complete overhaul of medical marijuana to giving those charged with misdemeanor pot crimes a chance at a clean slate, little related to the marijuana issue seems to be off the table.
The possible impacts range from subtle to sweeping.
For starters, Sen. Brian Hatfield, D-Pacific County, and Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, teamed up to sponsor SB 5003, which would raise the excise tax on cannabis from 25 to 26 percent. Hatfield also co-sponsored SB 5012 with Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, in order to kick-start Washington’s hemp industry by giving Washington State University researchers an August 2016 deadline to determine if and how such an industry could be properly established. One of the larger challenges the Legislature may face is finding a balance between establishing a fully state-regulated system and not infringing on the rights of legitimate medical-marijuana users. However, finding that balance becomes even more complicated when discussing how to properly incorporate medical dispensaries into the system voters authorized two years ago with the passage of Initiative 502.
“The most important thing is to come up with a legally sanctioned, safe system for medical-marijuana users,” Gov. Jay Inslee said during the AP Legislative Preview.
Sens. Rivers and Hatfield have outlined their solution in SB 5052, which has been making headlines. It would require medical dispensaries to exclusively sell edibles and marijuana concentrates if they want to stay open, rather than the dry, smokeable cannabis they sell today.
But SB 5052 stands in direct opposition to a bill Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, is expected to file in the upcoming weeks, which would fold the entire medical marijuana system into the I-502 structure while cutting back taxes and allowing the average consumer to grow up to six personal plants.
Inslee noted that he is open to aspects of both bills and that he will be working with their sponsors and other lawmakers to find the best solution between them.
A bill co-sponsored last year by Rep. Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo, has been given second life and is to be reintroduced during this session as well. HB 1020, dubbed the “Ric Smith Memorial Act,” prohibits medical professionals from determining a patient’s eligibility for an organ transplant based solely on their use of medical cannabis.
The bill is named for the Seattle pot activist who died in 2012 from kidney dialysis complications after doctors denied his request for a transplant, unsure of how his heavy marijuana consumption would impact the success of the procedure. But the Ric Smith Memorial Act would also protect medical patients from being evicted from their homes because of their cannabis use, particularly if the property owner already permits tobacco use on site.
However, not all the bills pre-filed this session spell good news for pot smokers. Sen. Rivers has also sponsored SB 5002, which aims to stop stoned driving by making it a traffic infraction to drive while an unsealed container of cannabis is present in the car, whether it’s the driver’s or not. The law would require any amount of cannabis en route to somewhere else be behind an unbroken seal, with all of its original contents still in place.
In other words, a glass stash jar just isn’t going to pass examination.
Those with pre-existing marijuana misdemeanors could get some relief if HB 1041 is enacted, which would allow for individuals to apply to have those convictions wiped from their records, as long as they were over the age of 21 when the offense was committed. Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Burien, sponsors the bill after his attempt to pass similar legislation last year failed to make it to the House floor.
Regardless of the bills’ eventual outcomes, one thing remains clear through the smoke: Washington legislators won’t be able to make it through the 2015 session without a little weed on their plates.
Written by By Cooper Inveen WNPA Olympia News Bureau
OLYMPIA — Lawmakers are considering legislation to allow university students between ages 18 and 21 to taste alcohol in the classroom.
But don’t plan a celebratory high-five unless you’re an aspiring winemaker.
“It’s imperative that someone learning to make wine has the requisite palate to recognize the nuances that are inherent in the product that they are making,” said Rep. Larry Springer, D-Kirkland, wine merchant and co-sponsor of House Bill 1004. “This is a product that you don’t just talk about: you smell it and you taste it. It would be like building a racecar and never driving it to see how it performed.”
Current policy allows the state’s community and technical colleges to hold supervised alcohol tastings for culinary, wine technology and beer technology with students under 21, as long as they acquire a permit from the Liquor Control Board.
However this privilege isn’t extended to regional and state universities. In fact, it’s not even extended to students studying enology, viticulture or the wine business. The House Commerce and Gaming Committee heard testimony on Springer’s proposal Monday, Jan. 12, which would allow for all college students in these fields to test their creations. “In the mid-1990s there were just over 11,000 acres of grape vineyards in the state of Washington, and last year there are over 50,000,” said Mike Schwisow, representing the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers. “Production is expanding rapidly, and we need well-trained people both on the vineyard side and the enology side to support the industry.”
Halley Homen of the Associated Students of Washington State University joined Chris Mulick, WSU’s director of state relations, in voicing support for the bill. The university’s viticulture and enology program has many students within the 18-to-21 age bracket, and is one of the state schools that would be affected most by the legislation.
“Younger students aren’t currently able to participate in the same learning opportunities as their peers,” Homen said. “This bill would resolve that problem.”
hese underage students really wouldn’t be drinking in the classroom, the bill’s sponsor states.
“In 30 years in the wine industry, I’ve tasted thousands and thousands of wines and I’ve swallowed very few of them while tasting them,” Springer said. “Almost all professional tasters smell, swirl and spit, or you couldn’t make it through the day.”