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TJ Martinell

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TJ Martinell is a native Washingtonian and award-winning journalist. Born and raised in Bellevue, he’s been involved in the news industry since working at his high school newspaper. His investigative reporting for various community newspapers in the Puget Sound region has been recognized by the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association and the Society for Professional Journalists. A graduate of Eastern Washington University, he has a B.A. in journalism and was the news editor of EWU’s student university newspaper.
Plaintiffs warn of "grave financial for Sound Transit," offer settlement

Plaintiffs warn of “grave financial doom for Sound Transit,” offer settlement

Just days after the State Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a lawsuit against Sound Transit’s ST3 motor vehicle excise tax (MVET), the plaintiffs...
Planners should rethink growth strategies, says Strong Towns advocate

Planners should rethink growth strategies, says Strong Towns advocate

By 2040, Washington state is estimated to have a population of almost 9 million residents; that’s an increase of 1.4 million from its current...
Sound Transit fumbles facts with vehicle tax

Sound Transit fumbles facts with vehicle tax

An unexpected wrench has been thrown into the cogs of Sound Transit’s legal defense of its new motor vehicle excise tax (MVET) as part...
Stakeholders to weigh in on Snake River dam removal

Stakeholders to weigh in on Snake River dam removal

As the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USAE), U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) continue work on a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)...
State economy gets clean bill of health

State economy gets clean bill of health

Just weeks after Moody’s Financial Service upgraded Washington’s general bond credit rating to its highest ever, a new report by the state Economic and...
County in “unchartered territory” with collective bargaining ruling

County in “uncharted territory” with collective bargaining ruling

The Lincoln County Commissioners in 2016 voted to open collective bargaining negotiations with union leaders to the public. Three years later, the county is...
Auditor: Inspections delinquent for thousands of elevators

Auditor: Inspections delinquent for thousands of elevators

A new report by State Auditor Pat McCarthy has revealed that the state Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) is years behind on thousands...
Legislature sues Inslee over one-sentence veto

Legislature sues Inslee over one-sentence veto

This legislative session Governor Jay Inslee vetoed a single sentence in the 2019-21 transportation budget related to transit grant funding and appropriated $175 million...
Court asked to reconsider income tax ruling

Court asked to reconsider income tax ruling

The Washington State Division 1 of the Court of Appeals issued a ruling on the city of Seattle’s income tax ordinance that declared the...
The ingredients for a severe wildfire season

The ingredients for a severe wildfire season

While Washington’s wildfire season is far from over, so far it has proved to be considerably less severe than in recent years. As of...
Washington gets historic credit rating bump

Washington gets historic credit rating bump

Moody’s Investor Service has announced that it has raised the rating of Washington state's outstanding obligation bonds from an AA1 to a AAA in...
Japanese legislators hear from Washington foresters

Japanese legislators hear from Washington foresters

Looking to improve their country’s struggling forestry industry, congressmen from Hyogo Prefectural Assembly’s Forestry Development Committee in Japan have turned to Washington foresters such...
New analysis on lower Snake River dams

New analysis on lower Snake River dams

As efforts continue in favor of breaching the lower Snake River dams to aid salmon and Southern Resident Killer whale recovery, NOAA Fisheries –...
Dealing with Washington’s drought

Dealing with Washington’s drought

A drought was announced in Washington state in April, with 27 watersheds now included in the declaration. Although this hasn’t negatively affected some agricultural...

Rain tempers wildfire season

Unusually high amount of rainfall in eastern Washington in the first part of August has helped keep this year’s wildfire season mild – even...
Division between stakeholders over fish habitat buffers

Division between stakeholders over fish habitat buffers

Washington forestland owners, environmentalists and tribes are divided over the shape, content and timeline of a proposed state rule defining what constitutes a fish...
Washington fruit growers evade latest trade dispute

Washington fruit growers evade latest trade dispute

The latest escalation in an ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China has so far avoided hitting Washington fruit growers – while the...
Are local and county culverts in legal danger?

Are local and county culverts in legal danger?

As state lawmakers consider ways to generate the money needed to replace hundreds of fish barriers on roads managed by the Washington State Department...
Will new clean energy policy work?

Will new clean energy policy work?

This legislative session state lawmakers approved SB 5116 sponsored by Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-36) that puts Washington on a path to 100 percent clean...
Reforming the housing development process

Reforming the housing development process

Following a recent  housing summit in Bellevue, the House Local Government Committee held a work session in Federal Way examining the various public policies...
Wildfire strikes unhealthy forestland

Wildfire strikes near unhealthy forestland

The month of August has begun with an escalation of Washington’s wildfire season. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and tribal resources...
Hunt continues for Fish and Wildlife funding

Hunt continues for Fish and Wildlife funding

During this year’s legislative session, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) requested $31 million to help plug a hole in its operating...
Should Washington keep aerospace tax incentives?

Should Washington keep aerospace tax incentives?

In 2003, the state legislature approved a package of tax incentives related to the aerospace industry to ensure Boeing would produce its 787 in...
Premera announces rural healthcare access grants

Premera announces rural healthcare access grants

Healthcare insurance provider Premera has announced an investment of $10.5 million in grants over four years to Washington State University’s (WSU) community-based medical school...
Aerial attack helps check wildfire

Aerial attack helps check wildfire

As the intensity of this year’s wildfire season tapers, aerial attacks by state and federal agencies were able to check a fire that broke...
Long struggle ahead over water standards

Long struggle ahead over water standards

The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administer Andrew Wheeler last week signed a proposed rule repealing its water quality standards and restoring less stringent...
The big fix on fish barrier removal

The big fix on fish barrier removal

Washington state lawmakers will have to come up with $3 billion in additional funding for more than 900 fish barrier removal projects if they’re...
“Cosmic Crisp” bred for Washington growers

“Cosmic Crisp” bred for Washington growers

After more than two decades of development in collaboration with the Washington State University Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center, Washington producers plan to...
The fight to fully fund guest worker program

The fight to fully fund guest worker program

Washington farmers in recent years have increased the number of applications for H-2A guest worker visas while the federal government has decreased funding to...
Single-payer system would require $28 billion in new taxes

Single-payer system would require $28 billion in new taxes

This year the state legislature passed SB 5526 which created a standardized health plan through the public health care exchange. Business and industry groups opposed...
Forecast: Wildfires could come to westside

Forecast: Wildfires could come to westside

After a brief respite from wildfire activity earlier this month, new grassland fires have broken out across the state and more than doubled the...
“Treading water” in no man’s land

“Treading water” in no man’s land

The state Wildland Fire Advisory Committee plans to recommend steps the state legislature can take to address areas in Washington not protected by any...
Lake Washington ferry service planned

Lake Washington ferry service planned

A pilot program is in the works by a private developer to offer ferry service routes from South Lake Union to the 17-acre Southport...
How drivers feel about an RUC

How drivers feel about an RUC

This coming December the Washington State Transportation Commission’s (WSTC) road user charge (RUC) steering committee plans to submit recommendations to the legislature for the...
Ultra-high-speed rail: Silver bullet or pipe dream?

Ultra-high-speed rail: Silver bullet or pipe dream?

The Washington State Department of Transportation has released its business case analysis regarding the concept of an ultra-high-speed rail line from Portland through Seattle...
Seattle income tax set for high court showdown

Seattle income tax set for high court showdown

In a new ruling the Washington State Division 1 of the Court of Appeals has struck down the city of Seattle’s 2017 local income...
Addressing Washington’s housing affordability crisis

Addressing Washington’s housing affordability crisis

A housing summit in Bellevue involving various stakeholders from the private and public sectors could represent a turning point in a statewide housing crisis...
Washington enjoys lull in wildfire season

Washington enjoys lull in wildfire season

At this time last year state, federal and local agencies were battling wildfires that forced the evacuation of rural central Washington communities and temporarily...
Navigating Washington’s housing crisis

Navigating Washington’s housing crisis

Housing unaffordability similar to conditions in California was forecasted for Washington state during a July 8 housing summit in Bellevue. Whether or not Washington...
Is California Washington’s housing future?

Is California Washington’s housing future?

Washington is experiencing a statewide housing shortage problem that is unlikely to change anytime soon, according to Washington Center for Real Estate Research (WCRER)...
Palumbo’s District 1 seat filled

Palumbo’s District 1 seat filled

The King and Snohomish County councils voted last week to have Rep. Derek Stanford (D-1) fill the legislative district 1 Senate seat formerly occupied...
Addressing yesterday’s congestion today

Addressing yesterday’s congestion today

As a new interstate work group continues to look at replacing the century-old I-5 bridge spanning the Columbia River from Vancouver to Portland, some...
Janus one year on – what’s next?

Janus one year on – what’s next?

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus decision one year ago in which the court ruled that requiring public employees to pay union dues violated...
Longer curfew for Washington’s young drivers?

Longer curfew for Washington’s young drivers?

A draft proposal of the Washington State Strategic Highway Safety Plan Target Zero 2019 includes a list of recommendations to reduce traffic accidents that...
Improving Washington’s drought response

Improving Washington’s drought response

As the state Department of Ecology has declared a water drought in nearly half all Washington’s watersheds, a joint committee may make recommendations to...
New taxes for transit?

New taxes for transit?

Investments at the local and state levels on transit throughout Washington state isn’t keeping pace with economic growth, and new revenue sources such as...
Hydropower project “new frontier” for clean energy

Hydropower project “new frontier” for clean energy

A Senate bill approved this session by state lawmakers will require Washington state utilities to provide carbon-neutral energy by 2035 and to achieve100 percent...
Washington’s economy remains steady

Washington’s economy remains steady

Washington’s economy continues to outperform the nation and pad state coffers – tade disputes between the U.S. and countries like China notwithstanding. The latest...
The world of tomorrow with 5G

The world of tomorrow with 5G

For enthusiasts of 5th generation (5G) mobile networks technology in the private sector, it’s hard to understate the positive impacts. The expansion alone is...
Protecting “no man’s land”

Protecting “no man’s land”

In recent years, the state Wildland Fire Advisory Committee has offered recommendations on how to improve initial responses to state wildfires. Now, the 14-member...
Seattle biz community hopes for “change election”

Seattle biz community hopes for “change election”

Last year, backlash from Seattle’s business community and other Seattleites led to the repeal of the city’s $275-per employee job tax. At the time,...

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