Tag Archives: Jay Inslee

House passes memorial site’s proper name, awaiting Senate approval

After working several years to have legislation correct a 2008 law to reflect a name of a memorial chosen by Bainbridge residents, U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, successfully introduced a bill that was unanimously approved by the House of Representatives Wednesday.

The bill – which would ensure the site would be properly recognized as the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial – still needs be approved by the Senate before it can become law.

“We’re so grateful for Congressman Kilmer’s leadership and hard work to get this bill passed, and we are looking forward to working with Senators (Patty) Murray and (Maria) Cantwell to ensure the bill’s passage in the U.S. Senate,” said Clarence Moriwaki, the memorial’s president.

Moments after the bill had unanimously passed the House, Moriwaki said one of Kilmer’s staff members called to tell him the good news.

“It’s very rare for any freshman congressman to prime sponsor a bill that even gets a hearing, let alone make it to the House floor and passed, unanimously – especially in this Congress known mostly for inaction and a climate of strident partisanship,” Moriwaki said. “(This) not only says a great deal about Derek’s ability to bring people together, but think of it: A unanimous vote to honor and remember the 120,000 Japanese-Americans who suffered the unconstitutional exclusion during World War II – a stark contrast to 72 years ago when there was virtually unanimous support for President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, which set in motion this sad chapter in American history. Time can indeed be a healing solvent.”

The memorial is located at the former Eagledale ferry dock and is the only national memorial to the internment of Japanese-Americans not located on one of the 10 incarceration sites.

“I am pleased that the House was able to come together and pass legislation to properly recognize the unfair and unjust treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II,” Kilmer said in a news release. “The moving and heartbreaking stories chronicled at the Bainbridge memorial, describing how families were rounded up and forcibly removed from their homes, remind us that we must always be vigilant in fighting prejudice and discrimination.”

Moriwaki said the name change to include “exclusion” was a long process.

“We’ve been working on this name change for several years, first with Congressmen Jay Inslee and Norm Dicks, who both were working hard on ways both legislatively and administratively, to make this happen,” Moriwaki said. “However, at that time the U.S. House of Representatives was not very productive, and then Rep. Insee ran for governor and Rep. Dicks resigned. Plus, Bainbridge Island was redistricted from the 1st to 6th District, so we put the idea on the back burner until the outcome of the 2012 election.”

However, things changed once Kilmer was elected.

“I knew Derek, and shortly after he assumed office we reached out to him and his staff, asking him as out new congressman to pick up where we left off,” Moriwaki said. “Derek was not only excited, he was commendably proud to commit his time and energy to make this happen. Derek’s congressional staff is professional and competent, not only personally meeting with me on my trips back to Washington D.C. to attend the National Parks Conservation Association’s Annual Meetings, but they reached out to me for information, advice and stayed in constant contact and communication in every step of the bill’s progress. Indeed, Derek’s staff personally called me moments after the bill had unanimously passed. ”

Although it would seem adding one word shouldn’t take an act of Congress, Moriwaki said exclusion is “no ordinary word.”

“Officially adding ‘exclusion’ to the name of this beautiful memorial is so vital to completely tell this sad chapter of American history, because not only were 120,000 Japanese-Americans forcibly removed and placed behind barbed wire in American concentration camps, but some people don’t know that everyone with a drop of blood of Japanese ancestry were also forbidden to remain in the exclusion zone,” Moriwaki said. “By adding the word ‘exclusion’ we are remembering and honoring everyone who suffered from this unconstitutional violation of civil liberties, and hopefully inspire everyone to never let fear, hysteria and prejudice deprive anyone of life, liberty and equal protection under the law.”

Below is a link to a YouTube video of Kilmer speaking Monday on the House floor in support of his legislation officially renaming the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial:

Official confirmation Inslee will run for governor

I just got an email from Jay Inslee’s campaign office announcing that the Bainbridge congressman will officially kickoff his run for governor next week.

He’ll make the announcement Monday morning in Seattle. Followup stops are planned for Yakima, Tacoma, Vancouver and Spokane.

Inslee’s campaign website, www.jayinslee.com, went up this evening. Not much there yet. There’s a photo, a campaign sign (see over to the left), an official campaign slogan (“Building a Working Washington”) and a link for making financial contributions.

He’ll be matched against Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna.

Inslee was elected to represent the 1st Congressional District in 1998, shortly after moving to Bainbridge.

“He is the automatic front-runner for the Democrats at this point,” state Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz told the Seattle Times. “He’s very popular with the party and a proven vote-getter on both sides of the mountains.”

Inslee on the deficit, Dederer on the yoga mat

Head over here for my coverage of Rep. Jay Inslee’s Monday night speech at a Rotary of Bainbridge Island meeting. He touched on several issues, including health care, the defense of the Clean Air Act and the ballooning federal deficit, an elephant-in-the-room issue he said Republicans and President Obama are avoiding.

And then drop by the Vashon Beachcomber. They have a story about Bainbridge author Claire Dederer’s visit to their island, and about the success of her new book, “Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses.” Its recent stint on the the New York Times’ Bestseller List pushed it into a second printing a few weeks after its initial release, according to the ‘Comber. There’s been plenty more written about Dederer’s book, like this and this.

Liveaboard plan again saved from the brink, business groups merge and Inslee speaks

Liveaboard plan saved again
Just when about half of Eagle Harbor’s liveaboards were about to give up on the city’s open water marina plan, a few last minute changes on vessel boarding and sewage disposal rules appear to have shifted sentiment back in favor of the plan. Read more here.

Business groups merge
Fewer dollars and staff have brought the Bainbridge chamber of commerce and downtown association together as one organization. Get the details here.

Inslee speaks
U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee is set to speak in his own neighborhood tonight. He’ll be the guest at a Bainbridge Rotary dinner at the Wing Point Golf & Country Club. More info here.

City statement on Ostling shooting
If you haven’t seen it yet, head over here for the city’s statement on the police shooting of Douglas Ostling. The city offers condolences to the Ostling family, mentions the city is undertaking an internal review of the shooting, and refers readers to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office investigation and the county prosecutor’s letter responding to the Ostling family’s outrage over the shooting. The prosecutor’s letter follows the city letter.

Bainbridge school levy measures passing; Rolfes and Inslee headed for re-election

The two Bainbridge school levy measures were passing by healthy margins on Tuesday night.

Early returns showed the technology levy passing with 54.65 percent of the vote, and the operations levy lid lift passing with 60.64 percent.

Bainbridge’s Jay Inslee appears headed for another term in Congress. He was besting his Republican challenger, James Watkins, with 56 percent of the vote.

Rep. Christine Rolfes was beating fellow islander James Olsen to retain her state House seat. She had 55 percent to Olsen’s 44.8 percent.

Longtime Bainbridge attorney was in a tight battle with Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders on Tuesday night. Wiggins had 49.15 percent, Sanders had 50.85 percent.

See more Kitsap Sun election coverage HERE.

Read my story about the school measures below.

Continue reading

Surprise! Kitsap Sun endorses Watkins over Inslee

Bet you didn’t see this coming: The Kitsap Sun didn’t endorse Jay Inslee.

In a surprise move, the Sun’s editorial board chose his Republican challenger, a candidate that most polls say doesn’t have a chance against Bainbridge’s six-term congressman.

Inslee has been the Sun’s favorite in years past, but business know-how and fiscal restraint – keynotes of the James Watkins campaign – swayed the editorial board this year.

“Watkins has four years of experience under two administrations in helping to cut spending at the FDIC, served as a director at Microsoft, managed successful small businesses, and has been a consultant working with small businesses across the nation. He’s a fiscal conservative, opposes deficit spending, and says a key to economic recovery is policies that will allow small businesses to grow in a supportive environment that’s stable in terms of taxes and regulatory measures,” the editorial board writes.

Plus, Inslee is no Norm Dicks or Patty Murray (both endorsed by the Sun) when it comes to bringing the federal bacon to Kitsap, according to the board.

To read the full endorsement, click HERE. Scroll down past the bits about Dicks and Murray to get to the Inslee vs. Watkins part at the bottom.

Inslee, Rolfes take early leads in primary election

Islanders Jay Inslee and Christine Rolfes took early leads as the first batch of primary election results were released last night.

Inslee, who is seeking his seventh term in Congress, had 56.8 percent of the vote, according to early returns. Of his three challengers, Republican James Watkins had the strongest support, with 26.1 percent.

Inslee’s support in Kitsap was actually slightly lower than in the rest of his district, which includes Redmond, Kirkland, Edmonds and Shoreline. The Kitsap portion of his district (Bainbridge, North Kitsap, Silverdale) gave Inslee 53.6 percent of the vote. Kitsapers also cast slightly more ballots in favor of Inslee challenger Matthew Burke than the rest of the district, and gave just a little less support to Watkins.

Rolfes, a former Bainbridge city councilwoman who now represents the 23rd Legislative District in the state House, drew 56.6 percent of the early return votes. Republican challenger and fellow islander James Olsen had 32.8 percent. A second Republican candidate, Aaron Winters, drew 10.3 percent.

For more coverage of the primary, head over to the Sun’s main page, HERE.

Do Inslee’s Republican challengers have a chance?

Jay Inslee won re-election in 2008 with almost 70 percent of the vote – his best showing since wrestling his U.S. House seat from Republican Rick White in 1998.

According to a recent Seattle Times story, the Bainbridge resident is a “good fit for his largely suburban, well-educated district with his focus on green energy and new technologies.”

His popularity, the Times adds, has made him a contender for governor in 2012.

Yet, Inslee’s seeming lock on re-election to Congress this year hasn’t dissuaded two Republicans from mounting determined campaigns against him.

Former Microsoft manager James Watkins and financial planner Matthew Burke say the federal government can ill afford the debt and stimulus measures they say Inslee and his fellow Democrats are laying on the shoulders of taxpayers.

Read more in the Times story HERE.

Ferry tweets, weedy art and baseball for all

Here’s some news from the week:

-Washington State Ferries is hoping Twitter tweets and Facebook posts will boost ridership. Read about it HERE. Coincidentally, the Kitsap Sun is hoping Facebook posts will boost readership. Looky HERE.

-Bainbridge seventh- and eighth-graders transformed heaps of English ivy into art at Blakely Harbor Park on Wednesday. See some photos and read my story HERE.

-KOMO News stopped by the island’s internment memorial to get an update on its progress. Rep. Jay Inslee and Sen. Maria Cantwell were also in attendance. See the video HERE.

-A baseball game on Bainbridge gave kids with physical and mental challenges a chance to enjoy America’s favorite past time. Read about it, see a photo gallery and a video HERE.

Bainbridge gains a city manager, three new ‘local food’ restaurants and loses one big fish farm

Here’s some reading material to keep you busy as we head into a three day weekend:

-The city has a new manager…at least for now. Here’s my story.

-Did you hear what the Sun said about the city of Bainbridge? I won’t say the Sun called the city “stupid” but it was sure close. Read the Sun’s take on the city’s policy of charging its road ends committee permit fees here.

-Bainbridge’s mywedding.com and Rep. Jay Inslee weighed in on the net neutrality issue.

-The island’s largest farm is leaving. American Gold Seafoods, which operates the salmon net pens near Fort Ward, is packing up and moving across the water to Manchester. Read about the move here.

-Speaking of farms, it looks like local growers are getting a boost from three (yes, three) new Winslow restaurants that specialize in local foods. They are Hitchcock (which we’ve discussed here before), Arbutus (in Mon Elisa’s old spot) and Local Harvest, which is set to open at Penelope’s former location by July. Look for my story in Monday’s paper.

-Also next week, look for my stories about City Hall’s effort to grow food for the grazing masses and the new teen sensation: Parkour.