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TJ Martinell

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TJ Martinell has five-plus years of news reporting experience, and has worked as an SEO specialist. He is a graduate of Eastern Washington University.
Stakeholders urge caution with green energy push

Stakeholders urge caution with green energy push

One of Governor Jay Inslee’s green energy proposals announced in December is to have Washington state utilities generate carbon-free electricity by 2030 and 100...
Bipartisan support for Sound Transit reform

Bipartisan support for Sound Transit reform

Following the passage of ST3 in 2016, state lawmakers have proposed making Sound Transit’s board elected rather than appointed by county executives, something proponents...
What’s killing Southern Resident whales

What’s killing Southern Resident whales

There’s little debate that an insufficient lack of salmon is harming the Southern Resident killer whale population, evinced by proposals to ramp up hatchery...
The short subdivision housing solution

The short subdivision housing solution

An ongoing challenge facing Washington state is being able to improve housing affordability, in particular in the central Puget Sound area, despite a recent...
The fight over a capital gains income tax

The fight over a capital gains income tax

The Jan. 16 public hearing regarding Governor Inslee’s capital gains income tax proposal rehashed many ongoing arguments for and against the idea. Remarks by...
Fish and Forest Law: 20-year reflection

Forests and Fish Law: 20-year reflection

After 20 years since the 1999 Forests and Fish Law was approved by the state legislature and then-Governor Gary Locke, state lawmakers may need...
Biochar: potential forest health tool

Biochar: potential forest health tool

As state officials and stakeholders look for ways to improve forest health around Washington that are in need of restoration, one possible new tool...
New low carbon fuel standard proposed

New low carbon fuel standard proposed

As with last year, efforts to reduce Washington’s greenhouse gas emissions is prompting several bills as part of Governor Jay Inslee’s “green energy” proposal...
State of State heavy on campaign rhetoric

State of State heavy on campaign rhetoric

Governor Jay Inslee’s January 15 State of the State speech mixed presidential campaign rhetoric with state-level proposals regarding climate change, education, mental health and orca...
Protecting working forests in times of growth

Protecting working forests in times of growth

As Washington’s population continues to grow, many newcomers from other parts of the country or world may end up buying a home or property...
High court rejects Seattle income tax case

High court rejects Seattle income tax case

The Washington State Supreme Court this week declined to make a direct review of a lawsuit filed against the city of Seattle’s income tax...
Seattle appeals hotel worker ruling

Seattle appeals hotel worker ruling

Last month, the Washington Court of Appeals ruled against a voter initiative intended to protect hotel workers from assault by guests, though hospitality groups...
Driverless car potential meets reality

Driverless car potential meets reality

After a few years of strong optimism regarding driverless cars and their potential to radically transform the way people live and travel, recent incidents...
Boosting salmon production

Boosting salmon production

Last year, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) released 137 million salmon from its hatcheries, the lowest production year ever for the...
Another crack at car tab reform

Another crack at car tab reform

Last year’s legislative session ended with lawmakers yet again unable to agree on relief for Puget Sound drivers paying the new motor vehicle excise...
Trump: Ramp up logging on federal land

Trump: Ramp up logging on federal land

Since 1986, timber harvests on Washington forestland managed by federal agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has decreased from 1.4 billion board...
Are I-405 tolls ‘good to go’?

Are I-405 tolls ‘good to go’?

The 15-mile northern segment of Interstate 405 from Bellevue to Lynnwood has now had dynamic tolling in place on two lanes for over three...
Advances in taking mass timber mainstream

Advances in taking mass timber mainstream

As Washington looks to bring cross-laminated timber (CLT) into mainstream construction use, the International Code Council (ICC) has announced code change proposals that would...
I-5 bridge talks back to drawing board

I-5 bridge talks back to drawing board

After years of effort by state and local lawmakers as well as business groups, the Joint Oregon-Washington Legislative Action Committee finally met last week...
readthedirt.org

Lawmaker: DNR proposal “Spotted Owl 2.0”

A proposal by the state Department of Natural Resources could “lay off” thousands of acres of working forests in western Washington as part of...
: Inslee’s budget proposal includes income tax

Inslee’s budget proposal includes income tax

After unveiling a series of clean energy proposals earlier this week devoid of a new tax, Governor Jay Inslee is now proposing a nine...
Assessing road user charge pilot program

Assessing road user charge pilot program

With the conclusion of the state’s road user charge (RUC) pilot program next month, the Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) is already examining some...
Inslee announces new energy proposals

Inslee announces new energy proposals

After Washington voters overwhelming rejected a carbon tax proposal under Initiative 1631 in November, Governor Jay Inslee is once more turning to the state...
Cleansing fire: Restoring Washington’s forestland

Cleansing fire: Restoring Washington’s forestland

In 2016, the Washington state legislature directed the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to conduct a prescribed burn pilot project to explore the...
Gauging Washington’s transportation goals

Gauging Washington’s transportation goals

The Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) Gray Notebook is the state agency’s quarterly performance report. First published in 2001, it is now considered...
Should Washington’s tax system change?

Should Washington’s tax system change?

Many Washingtonians loathe the business and occupation (B&O) tax, and they’re not finished giving their thoughts on how to improve the state’s tax structure....
Taking mass timber mainstream

Taking mass timber mainstream

The Washington State Building Code Council took a major step last week toward broader use of cross-laminated timber (CLT), or “mass timber, in building...
Fighting for future of farming

Fighting for future of farming

As the dust settles from the Nov. 6 election, members of Washington’s agricultural industry are preparing for next year’s legislative session and what they...
Auditor: Charter schools too new gauge effectiveness

Auditor: Charter schools too new to gauge effectiveness

Washington state charter schools are still too new to determine how effective they are at educating students in their classrooms, according to a new...
Time for a tax cut?

Time for a tax cut?

New tax revenue continues to pour into Washington state’s coffers, to the point where some government reform experts and state lawmakers say it’s time...
The push for active forest management

The push for active forest management

As the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) submits its largest firefighting budget request ever, it is also implementing its 20-year forest health plan...
Task force recommends dam removal study

Task force recommends dam removal study

The state Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force created by Governor Jay Inslee has released a list of 36 recommendations on how to aid...
Breakthrough coming for forest health efforts?

Breakthrough coming for forest health efforts?

As parts of California are being consumed by what has become the state’s worst wildfire season, Washington state lawmakers and private and public stakeholders...
The cost of fish barrier removal

The cost of fish barrier removal

A U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this year upheld a lower court ruling ordering Washington state to remove hundreds of fish barriers that inhibit...
State treasurer opposes public bank

Treasurer opposes public bank

While a $500,00 state-funded study aims to create a proposal for a public state bank funded by taxes and fees, State Treasurer Duane Davidson...

Questions remain with AWC brief

Following the submittal of an amicus brief by the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) defending the city of Seattle’s authority to impose a local...
Voters reject carbon tax

Voters reject carbon tax

Washingtonians overwhelming rejected a proposed carbon tax via Initiative 1631 during Tuesday’s election – by a 56-44 percent margin. Despite numerous failed efforts to enact...
State revenue good, tariff impacts uncertain

State revenue good, tariff impacts uncertain

Washington state continues to receive surplus revenue, while the impact of new retaliatory tariffs on exports remains uncertain. That was the takeaway from the...
Decreased bus ridership along future light rail route

Decreased bus ridership along future light rail route

Sound Transit this week will hold a public hearing on proposed changes to bus services to be implemented next March. Among them is the...
Little margin for error with carbon tax

Little margin for error with carbon tax

If Initiative 1631 is approved by voters next week as part of an effort to reduce Washington’s already low carbon emissions, there would be...
Voters approve local food tax ban

I-1634’s fight against local grocery taxes

For some backers of Initiative 1634, the measure is meant to prohibit local government from enacting soda taxes out of fear that ordinances like...
Experts propose state laws for driverless cars

Experts propose state laws for driverless cars

One of the challenges for a state work group tasked with looking at the emergence of driverless vehicles is how to incorporate the technology...
High court upholds charter schools

High court upholds charter schools

After three years of legal wrangling, the Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that charter schools do not violate the state constitution and can...
Building the workforce of tomorrow

Building the workforce of tomorrow

Automation is expected to radically change the makeup of the U.S. workforce, and experts say Washington state should help the next generation of workers...
AWC defends Seattle’s income tax

AWC defends Seattle’s income tax

In a surprise move, the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) has filed an amicus brief to the State Supreme Court in defense of the...
Reevaluating prevailing wage

Reevaluating prevailing wage

State lawmakers are signaling they may reevaluate a bill they approved earlier this year that was intended to streamline the process by which the...
How the state can invest in local growth

How the state can invest in local growth

Before business growth or new developments can occur in a city, port or county, the conditions on the ground have to be right. To...
Manufacturing Day

Manufacturing a new skilled workforce

Half of southwest Washington’s manufacturing 14,000-strong workforce is 45 or older, and regional employers and educators want to ensure there’s a steady supply of...
Study estimates carbon tax costs

Study estimates carbon tax costs

When all’s said and done, a carbon fee proposed under Initiative 1631 would increase total costs for the average Washington household by $440 in...
Expedia’s ‘have job, will travel’ workplace

Expedia’s ‘have job, will travel’ workplace

Expedia Group’s decision to move its headquarters from Bellevue across Lake Washington to Seattle at the 40-acre former Amgen waterfront campus may further solidify...
DNR “spread thin”, calls for robust funding

DNR “spread thin”, calls for robust funding

After another intense wildfire season that involved flames on both sides of the Cascades and poor air quality statewide, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary...

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