Protect Our Oceans from Offshore Drilling
No spilling. No killing. No more drilling. The White House released a draft proposal in early January to dramatically expand offshore drilling in 2019. The Trump administration seeks to open up nearly all federal waters to potential oil and gas drilling lease sales. It’s a huge mistake. And we need you to join the chorus of ocean lovers around the nation who are rallying to stop special interests from destroying our coastlines. Please make your voice heard before this dangerous proposal becomes our reality. Oil and water don't mix, as shown by recent spills. And fossil fuel extraction efforts continue to cause extreme economic harm. In 1969, a well blowout off the Santa Barbara coastline pumped nearly 4 million gallons of crude oil into the Pacific and onto the beaches of Southern California. Since then, local lawmakers and the public in California have worked tirelessly to prevent spills and leaks from ruining our environment and $18 billion coastal economy by rejecting any new oil and gas drilling leases offshore in federal waters. A ruptured pipeline spewed over 100,000 gallons of crude oil onto the biologically diverse and pristine Gaviota Coast in 2015, just west of Refugio State Beach near Santa Barbara, California, with an estimated 21,000 gallons reaching the water. The Refugio spill killed hundreds of ocean creatures, closed popular beaches for weeks and shut down fisheries for 138 square miles, severely impacting the area’s commercial and recreational anglers. The catastrophic Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill took 11 lives and caused more than $17 billion in damages to natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Let’s not risk another disaster. Now is NOT the time to roll back safety standards and abandon hard-fought protections. California representatives have taken action to safeguard our state waters from drilling out to three miles offshore. Elected officials from other states, including Oregon, Washington, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina have also vocalized strong opposition to offshore drilling in federal waters, which is seen as an assault on each respective local economy, sovereignty and our invaluable natural resources. We don't have to choose between a bustling national economy and clean, safe and healthy local environments. We can have both. The success of Marine Protected Areas along California's coast proves that making smart investments that protect our environment can benefit fisheries and tourism, while preserving ecological habitats. Ignoring the will of the people, the Trump administration is now unilaterally moving to benefit industry at the expense of the environment. We can’t let it happen. Sign this petition with Heal the Bay, California Coastkeeper Alliance and Surfrider Foundation to demand that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management "BOEM" and the United States Secretary of the Interior REJECT this proposal to drastically increase offshore drilling.
Stand with the Puyallup Tribe - No LNG Fracked Gas in the Salish Sea!
Dakota Case is a young father, a grandson and a fisherman in the Puyallup Tribe of Washington State. His family and many of our families have been living off the salmon in the Puget Sound for centuries, but our home – and our planet – is now at risk because of a proposed 8 million gallon liquefied fracked gas (LNG) facility. Sign our petition to protect our home and demand that Governor Inslee take action to stop this harmful project. Dakota and the Puyallup tribe call themselves the “salmon people” – if the salmon disappear, they say they will too. But this LNG facility puts all of us in danger. It would create an immediate and unreasonable danger to the thousands of people within three miles of the massive storage tank and would require a steady supply of fracked gas from offsite wells. Communities living near those wells would be exposed to toxins and carcinogens used in the fracking process. What’s more, this facility would help to cement us into a future dependent on fossil fuels which cause climate change. We need to retire fossil fuel projects, not build new ones. The review process for the LNG project has been marked by conflict of interests, failure to consult with the Puyallup Tribe, and huge failures to accurately quantify the environmental and human impacts of the project. Whether you live in the facility's “blast zone,” in Tacoma, or anywhere on this planet, this project will affect you. Stand with the Puyallup Tribe, sign our petition and help us protect our home, Mother Earth, from further destruction.
Dammed to extinction, Southern Resident Orcas are starving. Time is running out!
The 76 remaining wild critically endangered salmon-eating Southern Resident Orcas are dying from starvation. ⇒ Leaving an effective breeding population less than 30, near the point of no recovery. Breach the Lower Snake River Dams in 2018 Why are these Orcas starving? More than 50% of their diet comes from salmon produced in the Columbia Basin, half of which were produced in the Snake River System. How is dam breaching possible? Since 2002, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has designated dam breaching as the best solution to recover wild salmon on the Snake River. The Corps of Engineers can use the current EIS to breach the dams within a few months! The Impact and benefits of breaching: • If the lower Snake River dams were breached, it would double or triple survival rates, restoring many millions of fish to the Columbia Basin. • Give the orcas a fighting chance to recover by increasing their food supply. • Breaching costs the state nothing. The first two dams can be breached for the cost of another EIS estimated at $80 million; 5 years to completion. • The four lower Snake River dams in Eastern Washington do not provide flood control and produce only low value surplus electricity. • Savings from these dams can be applied to more efficient dams and/or projects. • NOTHING else, not more spill across the dams, not more hatchery fish, not less boat traffic, not more studies and a new EIS can achieve this in time to save wild salmon or Southern Resident Orcas. Congressional Legislation or new appropriations are not needed to start breaching the Snake River dams this year! SENATOR MURRAY AND GOVERNOR INSLEE, Please take action today and urge the Army Corps' Major General Spellmon and Bonneville Power Administration's Elliot Mainzer to begin breaching dams in 2018. Thank you to the hundreds of thousands who have petitioned for immediate dam breaching, for those of you who want more information on how to save the salmon and orcas, visit www.damsense.org
Rewrite Washington States Distracted Driving Law.
Washington State has recently passed a new Distracted Drivers Law. The law can provide opportunity for police officers to pull a driver over when not just holding a cellphone but now you cannot eat or drink in your car while driving. The law shows a great stride for protecting citizens from distracted drivers but I feel this policy needs to be changed. The people can be ticketed for eating, drinking,and grooming. As a working citizen and many others who commute long hours of driving throughout the State of Washington, I feel eating, drinking, and or grooming should be a citizens right when behind the wheel and feel this law needs to have more of the people's response then having our elected officials make decisions without consent from the people. We understand the law permits tickets as a secondary offense. If you agree that our governor needs to rewrite the new Distractor Drivers Law Policy and should remove the secondary offense of "eating, drinking, and grooming" from the policy. Please sign this petition.
Justice for Yakima Dog Who Died Chained in Snow & Other Washington Pets Left in the Cold
This is a petition for clearer legislation, closer investigation and swifter prosecution of all animal neglect and abuse in the state of Washington. In the memory of our Yakima Boxer, we want to strengthen laws so that our animals' welfare is not left up to interpretation. Our Yakima Boxer's story shows how an aging and ailing dog can be chained out in freezing temperatures to die, suffering and alone, without any consequences to the humans responsible. The City of Yakima and the state of Washington need revised ordinances and legislation to protect our domesticated animals. "Adequate" is too subjective of a term, as our Yakima Boxer's tragic story illustrates. RIP sweet baby. During the first week of January, 2017 Francisco Rodriguez of Yakima, Washington noticed his landlord's dog wasn't moving on his chain anymore. Reportedly, the dog stayed chained and dead for a few days. The 14-year-old boxer was covered in snow, still chained to his makeshift dog house, dead, when Francisco reported this to Yakima Animal Control. Animal Control determined that the dog died of old age, without a necropsy, end of story. The dog belonged to Francisco's landlord and Francisco was then told he was evicted. The community has come to Francisco's aid and helped him with getting into a new place. Now it is time to come to this nameless dog's aid, and not allow his death to go unnoticed. This poor, aging dog was left out in the cold to die, chained and alone. We need to be this Boxer's and all domesticated animals' voice. Let's prevent this from happening to others. It is time for communities everywhere to be the voice for animals, just as Francisco has been the voice for the Boxer. Ironically, just after Francisco told his story, KIMA came out with this story reporting that Yakima had received 59 welfare checks on freezing and suffering animals in December. Yet, reportedly, there have been no citations. Not even for our Yakima Boxer who suffered untold weeks and finally succumbed in old age in the below freezing weather and record snowfall, suffering both animal abuse and elder cruelty. http://kimatv.com/news/local/up-to-5k-misdemeanor-charge-for-pet-owners-with-neglected-freezing-animals Coincidentally, the same week our Yakima Boxer died, Dr. Ernie Ward, the same veterinarian who demonstrated how dogs suffer in hot cars, happened to upload this video to demonstrate the suffering a dog goes through in freezing temperatures https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK27edLsZow&feature=youtu.be Finally, here is what the American Veterinarian Medical Association (and every other pet welfare group) warns about pets in freezing temperatures: "Stay inside. Cats and dogs should be kept inside during cold weather. It’s a common belief that dogs and cats are resistant than people to cold weather because of their fur, but it’s untrue. Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and should be kept inside... no pet should be left outside for long periods of time in below-freezing weather." https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Cold-weather-pet-safety.aspx Yakima's ordinances are identical to state law, both vague in their terms, with little in the way of definition or concrete description. The laws to protect precious lives are much too subjective, too open to interpretation. Yakima County Municipal Code 8.36.200: “It is unlawful for any person to physically abuse any dog or to fail to furnish adequate care, including without limitation water, food, shelter, sanitation, ventilation, rest and medical attention, or to confine a dog with any dangerous dog. Any person found guilty of a violation of this section shall be fined five hundred dollars for each violation.” We need clearly defined laws to protect our animal family members in every county of every state so that the laws cannot be loosely interpreted and not enforced. Adequate care must be clearly defined. Every state, county, city ordinance should provide concrete temperature restrictions, both hot and cold, if they truly care for domesticated animals' welfare. These temperature guidelines are available for extreme weather. https://www.gopetplan.com/uploads/media/34/how_cold_is_too_cold.png Some states use the National Weather Service extreme weather alerts for laws for bringing pets inside, others have set a 20 degree and below restriction. http://patch.com/maryland/annapolis/1-000-fine-possible-pet-owners-who-leave-animals-outside Adequate shelter must also be defined. A makeshift box is not adequate shelter. Dog houses should be weather proof as much as possible. They should be off the ground and have at least a heavy flap door. Temperatures should be maintained above the freezing level. According to Maryland law linked above, "A dog house, shed, garage or other large area that has temperatures that reach below 33 degrees’ Fahrenheit inside is too large to allow a dog to maintain adequate body temperature to sustain life will be considered insufficient." Robert Pregulman of Seattle Dog Spot provides an excellent and thorough telling of what Francisco endured and what animal control's response was here. http://www.seattledogspot.com/dog-news/yakima-county-man-kicked-home-reported-landlords-dog-froze-death/ Francisco Rodriguez did what every citizen should do. Report suspected animal abuse. He has bravely stood up to many an attack since posting, including threats of unlawful eviction. Thankfully, he has a community of supporters, from Robert Pregulman and Seattle Dog Spot to the people who run and belong to both Sharing & Caring Lost & Found Pets Yakima County and Yakima Valley Lost and Found Pets on Facebook. Thank you. We all need community members like Francisco and his supporters who all volunteer time for our communities. We need our elected officials to be just as caring. Please listen to our loud voices for our voiceless community members!
RESTRICT FELONS FROM CHILDCARE EMPLOYMENT OR GIVE PARENTS FULL BACKGROUND CHECK RESULTS!
This paragraph was added on September 2nd, 2016 in order to clarify the intent of this petition. Everything below this paragraph remains unchanged: Background check results on any childcare provider's criminal record OR parents considering childcare should receive COMPLETE background check results of any childcare workers, just like any other employer can, so every parent is able to make a fully informed decision regarding the life of their child(ren), Additionally, NO CHILDCARE PROVIDERS should be allowed to use any name or nicknames aside from their legal name without full disclosure to the parents of the person's full legal name and a prominently placed notification if a person IS using a nickname or alias. That information should also be included in any "welcome folders given to parents so that there are two ways a parent would be able to easily access. Here's why: My beautiful two and a half year old little boy, David Roberts, died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington on January 20, 2013. David held on to life for two days after suffering from catastrophic abusive head trauma that was inflicted while he was in the care of his two state and military licensed childcare providers (a husband and wife). We had unknowingly placed David in the hands of a person who had been convicted of felony residential burglary and other crimes, and who also had a DOCUMENTED anger management and alcohol problem, and David DIED from the injuries he suffered at that childcare during the time that the person in question was working. The state and military told me and my husband that the providers had cleared the background checks, when in fact the state and military KNEW that particular provider had a criminal record which included felony residential burglary, at least one malicious mischief charge, and a DOCUMENTED anger management and alcohol problem...and still chose to license him even though he wouldn't even be allowed to chaperone at any of the schools his children attend. The state and military also knew and allowed this same person to not disclose his legal name. DESPITE KNOWING THESE FACTS, THE STATE AND MILITARY willingly withheld that information, with fatal consequences: my son lost his life. My husband and and I had NO IDEA that he had a felony criminal record and was not using his legal name and would NEVER have put David in their care if we knew that information. The state MUST CHANGE the "Director's List" (WAC 170.06.0120) and PREVENT FELONS from having access to the child(ren) of other people and parents considering childcare should receive ALL background check results of any childcare workers just like any employer can. The state also must prevent ANYONE from using any name or nicknames aside from their legal name while working in childcare, and a law or laws should be enacted and be named "David's Law", On January 18, 2013 my two and a half year old, autistic, son David, became a victim of catastrophic abusive head trauma at the hands of his daycare providers. He died two days later from the injuries. He was attending a Navy Child Development Home in Oak Harbor, WA. We were told that the providers had cleared their background checks. My husband and I both expected "cleared their background checks" to mean that there was nothing on their criminal record, not that there could be any number of 35 crimes, including felonies, on their record, and that the information about those convictions is not required to be given to the parents. We didn't find out until months later that the husband who ran the daycare with his wife was a convicted felon. He had been convicted of residential burglary while he was extremely intoxicated and had at least one malicious mischief charge and a documented anger management problem. We were told both providers had undergone background checks and had cleared them. The two providers sold everything within five months and in the middle of the CPS and homicide investigation they fled to Maine, where the woman has even attempted to provide childcare still. Here are two links from KOMO4 Seattle which cover what happened to my son as well as the loophole itself: http://www.komonews.com/news/problemsolvers/Day-Care-Felons-281805991.html http://www.komonews.com/news/problemsolvers/Family-wants-changes-to-state-law-after-son-died-from-injury-at-daycare-284046971.html Apparently, in the State of Washington, you can have any of the 35 crimes and felonies under the Washington Director's List of Allowable Offenses on your record and not only can you have unsupervised access to children, but your criminal record is not disclosed to the parents seeking care for their child. Instead, the parents are told the providers have passed/cleared background checks. Convicted felons shouldn't even be allowed to have unsupervised access to other peoples' children in the first place, let alone run a daycare. Parents have the RIGHT to know everything about a potential provider so that they can make their own fully informed decision on whether or not they trust a provider in spite of their criminal record. The list of allowable offenses is here: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=170-06-0120 Had we been told about the provider's criminal record we would have never left our children in their care and he would still be alive today. These laws need to change. There needs to be a law, called "David's Law" that prevents anyone with a felony record from having unsupervised access to other peoples' children in daycare settings, and discloses the results of background checks of the daycare providers to the parents, so that those parents can have the entire story about the providers they are considering letting supervise their children. On page 2 of this document you'll see the statement: "The reality is that parents cannot conduct effective background checks on child care providers on their own. Even the most motivated, well-financed parent search would still be limited to commercial databases, which the Department of Justice has said are incomplete." http://www.naccrra.org/sites/default/files/default_site_pages/2012/background_checks_white_paper_final_july_6.pdf The Government KNOWS that parents cannot conduct adequate background checks, but they don't disclose the results of the full background checks that THEY have access to. That forces parents to rely on the state and government to assure them and protect their children to the highest extent possible. Withholding information about felony (and other) convictions is immoral and reprehensible. Parents have a primal NEED to protect their children, and yet we are limited in the information that we can obtain, information that interferes with the ability of parents to make the BEST, potentially life altering, decision that they can for their families with incomplete facts. That is NOT right. There are some parents in the world who don't mind if a child care center or child care home provider has a criminal record. There are many more who would absolutely prefer that no criminals be allowed access to their children. Parents have the right to know all the information about the person or people who may be taking care of their child(ren). There is absolutely no reason that a provider's criminal background should be kept secret from parents of any child(ren) that may end up in the care of the provider(s).
Resume the search for the missing skier Dmitri Pajitnov
Our beloved friend, son, brother, ski patrol Dmitri Pajitnov disappeared on Mt Rainier on July 3, 2017 at 16:15 in Washington state. He fell into a creek under a layer of ice. Search works by the National Park Service were terminated the next day, July 4th. We are looking for any help in order to resume the active search. Dmitri is a highly experienced skier and mountaineer, we have the foresight that he is still alive and there are chances to save him. A human can survive without food and water for two weeks so why would we stop the search after one day. We need all your help to persuade the relevant government bodies to resume the active search. Dmitri worked as EMT and Ski Patrol saving lives so please help save his.
Update: Shut Down Olympic Animal Sanctuary
Thanks to all who signed the petition and who stood up and acted as the voice for these animals. I'm so happy that they are all in a safe and happy place now.
"All this for a dog?" asked the puppy's suspected killer
His name was Toby (AKA Aubrey). He was just 5 months old. Not yet housebroken, and still a chewer, two annoyed roommates took him out to the woods and shot him in the abdomen. They left him in the bushes to die. He was found, but after heroic efforts to save him by the Kitsap Humane Society in Washington state, he did not make it. When police tracked the suspected killers down, one suspect asked "All this for a dog?" The men have been charged. However, in most animal cruelty cases, laws and sentencing guidelines lack the teeth needed to take a bite out of this kind of crime. We need laws that lesson the importance of compassion for all living things. Newspaper article https://www.kitsapsun.com/story/news/2018/05/01/puppy-dog-shooting-abandoned-two-arrested-charged-animal-cruelty/570819002/ Thanks go out to Kitsap Humane Society who did everything possible to save this puppy. https://www.kitsap-humane.org/support-us/ Please share to convince Washington state lawmakers and enforcers that, yes, we need to do all this and more for a dog.
Urge WA State Lawmakers to Fix a MISTAKE Forcing Taxation of Martial Arts Instruction!
<New Developments and Updated For 2017> If you think martial arts deserves to be returned to equal status with every other similar business, as an educational service, in WA State read and sign our petition. Due to an ADMITTED "UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE" in legislation made in 2015 all martial arts schools were required to charge students sales tax up to 10.1% in 2017 and beyond. This has hurt these small businesses and is hindering access for children and adults alike. This affected ONLY martial arts studios and not other fine arts or instructional based businesses. Even though this law is unjust and a mistake lawmakers may not want to give this revenue back without your urging. Learn more below. Learning a martial art is about much more than exercising or playing a game. Instruction in the martial arts has traditionally been ESTEEMED in the community for the unparalleled benefits participants receive when learning these important self defense and cultural art forms. It is understood that martial art is as much mental and spiritual as it is physical. Martial arts have been one of the most important and effective bridges between cultures bringing people together. Our schools are the go-to resource for parents with children struggling with confidence issues or bullies and to instill respect, discipline, focus and determination. DETAILS OF THE ISSUE AND 2017 UPDATES FOLLOW In addition HB1550 was proposed and passed without notification or chance for opposing viewpoint by a single member of the martial arts business community. We had no lobbyist or representation. In Olympia we were told, 'if you're not at the table you're on the menu.' Our research showed that martial arts was specifically targeted by Department of Revenue yet most lawmakers were unaware due to incomplete and inaccurate bill summaries and analysis. In opposition to common sense, what our business licenses state and decades of research this law redefined any facility teaching martial arts as an 'athletic or fitness facility' or health club. The law stipulates that ALL business done inside the walls of an 'athletic or fitness facility' is subject to retail sales tax up to 9.9% in our state. A 9.9% tax on all facets of the educational process (tuition, private lesson, guest instructors, testing, special events) makes truly educating extremely difficult if not impossible to accomplish. We also find troubling the institutionalized cultural discrimination inherent in the exclusion and protection of businesses that primarily teach yoga, tai chi and chi gong. Why are two cultural practices from China, and one traditionally associated with India, protected and esteemed of higher value than the cultural arts of the Philippines, Thailand, Japan, Korea, Brazil or France for example? Spiritual or meditative aspects exist in hundreds of other methods from around the world. HB1550 was about 'simplifying the taxation of amusement, recreation, and physical fitness services." Martial arts and self defense are not about any of these things and the industries covered under this description are a completely different set of pursuits. Martial art should have been the ONE activity NOT to be treated as 'amusement', 'recreation' or a game. When school owners were notified 10 months later, and less than 2 1/2 months before this sweeping change was mandated, they began to mobilize and join together as a community. The result of their grassroots efforts was a bill introduced in the House, HB2334, to fix the issue that passed with bi-partisan support UNANIMOUSLY. A great first victory and first step! On to the Senate where, despite overwhelming support, the bill was not even allowed a vote by leadership in 2016 due to purely partisan politics. And we've all suffered because of it. Because of this UNFAIR and MISTAKEN law every single participant easily pays an additional $100-$200.00 PER YEAR in TAX alone. Imagine the financial damage done to FAMILIES with multiple children enrolled… Damage has been done to dozens of martial arts businesses due to loss of members and a slowdown in new participants… A very small group of dedicated martial arts leaders continued to work on the issue through the summer and fall of 2016 and continued to financially support and raise funds to keep our lobbyists working in Olympia. GOOD NEWS AND 2017 UPDATE Good news! RIGHT NOW new legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives AND the Senate to fix this. There is overwhelming bi-partisan support and dozens of sponsors! We have Rep. Cindy Ryu (D) in the House and Sen. Judy Warnick (R) in the Senate to thank for being leaders and prime-sponsors. We need your help to demand a vote. It's hopeful! Read this background written by Rep. Cindy Ryu who voted for the legislation that CAUSED this problem AND has sponsored the bills in 2016 and 2017 to FIX IT: “In 2015, HB 1550 (Carlyle) passed with overwhelming support of the Legislature. The goals were to clarify and fine tune a section of the state tax code by providing an easy to follow list of things that qualify as physical fitness that are subject to sales tax. The rest of the items are classified as service and are not subject to sales tax. The bill did not provide an exemption; we simply tried to clarify what is and is not subject to sales tax. The unintended consequence was that martial arts lessons became subject to sales tax beginning in January, 2016 – which was never the intention of some of us who voted for HB 1550. Taxing martial arts lessons outside of fitness club settings were never brought up in the 2015 Finance Committee hearing nor during the House Floor debate. So this bill is trying to put the Martial Arts excise tax status back where they have always been for decades – a service and not subject to sales tax.” This excerpt is from the new legislation HB 1032 waiting to be passed. “The legislature finds that the sales tax treatment of martial arts training and instruction changed as an unintended consequence of the passage of HB 1550 during the 2015 legislative session. The legislature further finds that under the current sales tax structure, martial arts training and instruction that take place outside of a fitness facility are treated differently from similar activities. It is the intent of the legislature to redefine martial arts training and instruction that take place outside of a fitness facility in order to return these activities to their previous tax treatment.” Unfortunately we've seen our first setback already in 2017 when the bill seems to have stalled out in the House Finance Committee. We are concerned. Lawmakers have a tough battle with the state budget ahead. We worry now that they've got it they won't want to 'give the revenue back' or are holding our bill hostage to ransom for something else later in the session. If you are a resident of Washington State by signing this petition you will be asking key Representatives and Senators for support on this issue and ask them to get both bills out of committee and pass either HB 1032 or SB 5220 as soon as possible. Together We Can Fix This Mistake. Thanks for Your Support, Washington State Martial Art School Owners