1. The Seattle Times reports that state Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark, once the darling of the environmental left, has abandoned his 2008 campaign pledge not to take contributions from the logging industry—he's taken about $100,000 from the wood products industry, Times investigative reporters Mike Baker and Jim Brunner report.
Goldmark made a point during his '08 campaign to highlight how timber industry dollars had compromised then-Republican-incumbent Doug Sutherland when it came to regulating logging, making him lax, Goldmark said, about inappropriate logging and landslides.
That issue has resonance now and Goldmark, the Times reports, has disappointed activists by downplaying any relationship between Oso and clearcutting.
Shortly after the mudslide, Goldmark downplayed the role of that clear-cut, which occurred about four years before he took office. He noted that the timber harvest was relatively small in size and accused anti-logging advocates of trying to seize on people’s emotions after the tragedy.
“Slides occurred (historically) in that area without logging,” he said in an interview with TVW. “There’s no obvious connection right now. It’s pure speculation.” ...
Goldmark emphasized last week that it was important not to rush to judgment — in either direction — on whether logging played a role in the slide.
Mitch Friedman, executive director of Conservation Northwest, considers Goldmark a friend and has seen some bright spots during the commissioner’s tenure. But he’s been disappointed with Goldmark’s reaction to the Oso slide — especially given Goldmark’s fierce talk about the link between logging and mudslides during his 2008 campaign.
“The statements he’s making now seem too defensive and out of sync with the character that he was presenting at the time,” Friedman said. ...
While environmentalists are targeting Goldmark now, it was the timber industry slamming him in 2008.
One of its political committees spent $600,000 trying to defeat him, with the largest donation coming directly from Weyerhaeuser. In the final weeks of the campaign, Goldmark made an issue of that money, accusing Sutherland of accepting campaign cash after turning a blind eye to inappropriate logging.
Such campaign contributions were “wrong” and “reprehensible” and “a glaring example of why we need change,” Goldmark said during the campaign.
The Times notes that Weyerhaeuser is a Goldmark donor now.
2. Hey, transit opponents? You might want to check out the latest Sound Transit ridership report, courtesy of Seattle Transit Blog, which concludes that (drumroll, please) weekday ridership last year actually accelerated at a rate of almost 20 percent, exceeding any projections including Sound Transit's own predictions.
By February of this year, in fact, Sound Transit had met its projected growth for ALL of 2014. Take that, light rail (and Metro) haters .
3. ApartmentGuide.com reports that more people than usual have been moving to Washington state (and Colorado) since recreational pot use and buying was legalized last Novemmber, suggesting that more people are likely to move here now than were in the past.
According to the website, " renters are flocking to two other states, best known for their mountains, their football teams and, well, their laws regarding, ahem, certain herbs."