Northwest NEWS

January 15,2001


Federal law should now have serious impact in Snohomish County

The survival of our Northwest chinook salmon passed a significant milestone on Jan. 8 when a federal law took effect making it illegal to harm chinook or their habitat. As dramatic as the Endangered Species Act's "4(d)" rule sounds, it should have significantly less direct impact on human activities in Snohomish County because our county, city and tribal governments, along with local governments in King and Pierce Counties, have been working diligently and cooperatively with the federal government to meet the requirements of the law on our own terms and under our own local control.
   The county is committed to restoring salmon and protecting our quality of life here in Snohomish County. At the same time, we are also committed to recognizing and protecting the interests of property owners and businesses. A healthy government and a healthy economy are essential and compatible. I want to assure the citizens of Snohomish County that local efforts designed to preserve and enhance chinook salmon will be reasonable, rational and effective. Rural and urban areas of our county will be treated equitably.
   The latest information on our salmon recovery efforts is available on the county's web site ( If residents have concerns or questions about the local recovery program, I encourage them to contact me at 425-388-3494 or by e-mail me at (
   Dave Somers, Snohomish County Chair
   I want to urge commissioner-elect Mike Kreidler to uphold Deborah Senn's
   rules for contraceptive drugs. A few days ago Insurance Commissioner
   Deborah Senn announced new rules requiring health insurers to cover birth
   control for women if they cover other prescription drugs. The rules are to
   take effect in July. Senn declared that the new rules "will prevent
   carriers from excluding contraceptives from prescription drug benefits
   already included in group and individual policies."
   I support the OIC rule and urge commissioner-elect Mike Kreidler to uphold
   the rules. Contraceptives are basic health care for women and should be
   covered by health plans just like any other medication prescribed by a
   physician. I commend the Insurance Commissioner for ending discriminatory
   insurance practices that deny women the basic contraceptive health services
   they need. Hopefully, this will become law nationwide in the near future.
   Albert Kaufman
   2810 16th Ave. S.
   Apt. 201
   Seattle, WA 98144