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November 22, 2000     The Arlington Times
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B2 o:o The Arlington Times/The Marysville Globe OPINION Wednesday, MARYS GLOBE To INFORM, FOUr.ATE, EDIFY lU.UmMTE & Em.mHT Ommlel mq u o Am mOSE OF THE Mi9 O0 NOT IIECESSA~Y FII~ECT THE PosmoN oF THe 6LOeE on Tim KPJS R. PASsEY Emlm NEVOHNE McDMaELS ARNEY Scow FRANK . .,eonon CATHERINE P~SEY BmAN gh e B RY Em:AsslST rr PAUL ERSK SUE :S VENSON RCHARD MILLER CONNE McK EY uu.mcm Mmmn BARBARA BLAIR DO HUE Aftra TM, MAm vl e GLOtE 1,360;659.1300 1.360.658.0350F X 1.360. 5;5757 : ..... Ill' " /Ill" Tighter Focus Kris Passey Editor and Publisher What characterizes man is the richness and sub- tlety, the variety and versatility of his nature. "The Crisis ERNST CASSIRER in Man's Knowledge of Himself" An Essay on Man (1944) county. Salmon preservation and other environ- mental issues continue to have major impacts on the economic via- bility of Snohomish County farms and the components of open space land. Ashley has been an intelli- gent and thought- ful spokesperson the county's for farmers as chair of County Councilman Rick Larsen, having achieved the next step of Agricultural Advisory Board. He has a broad his personal political ambition, is base of experience to draw from, certainly off to Washington as the successor, in agriculture, but also in human and albeit a Democrat, to U.S. Rep. Jack Metcalf. healthcare issues as well. Ashley was a psy- His four-year term on the County Council, chlatric nurse in the Air Force and has also to which he was elected in 1997, is unfin- worked in that capacity at Children's ished. His replacement in Council District 1, Hospital and Regional Medical Center in the northern half of Snohomish County, will Seattle. be chosen by the other County Council Leila Dempsey, 47, an accounts members from a list of three, in turn select- payable clerk for Summit Timber and cur- ed by the county's Democratic Centralrently mayor of Darrington. While Dempsey Committee. Kent Hanson is chairman of the could bring the perspective of issues relat- Snohomish County Democratic Party. ing to our smaller rural towns to a seat on It is true Larsen's replacement will the council, she lacks the wider regional serve less than a year but the personview so critical to the council's successful appointed will have the jump start of an everyday work. She ignored requests for incumbent when they run on their own for Darrington participation in the last North the District 1 seat next year. Rest assured County Summit, for instance, and reinforces the Central Committee will only be putting an isolationist attitude in Darrington, unde- forward the names of those who commit to niably one of the county's most breath-tak- do just that. ing mountain settings. Also, while Dempsey So far, five north county people are undoubtedly would benefit from the press contending for the party nomination. Those scrutiny under which the County Council are, in alphabetical order: operates, history shows she may be uncom- Michael Ashley, 47, a Sflvana dairy fortable with it. farmer. Agricultural lands and related Jill McKinnie, 41, the northwest region- issues are a big factor in future develop- al representative for U.S. Senator Patty ment and growth here, especially in north Murray in a five county area. McKinnie lives Farmers allergic to engineered corn in Arlington. In addition to being a Murray voice for her constituents. aide, McKinnie has worked for two That's the list so far. The -~ Democratic U.S. Representatives, Al Swift, Democratic Central Committee Everett, and Norm Dicks, Tacoma, and meet Dec. 7, although served as a United Way vice president, suggested the party may not Those political experiences and the result- the County Council until hag connections could certainly make then and now some McKinnie a council member who could or subtracted. bring clout to her seat when it comes to the What criteria will county working with the federal govern- making a final selection? ment and federal agencies. Her direct expe- But we have our hopes. rience as an aide at a wider grassroots level We would be thankful for should also give her a sound regional per- with the intelligence spective, sary to deal with the growingl Kevin Quigley, 39, a former state sena- of local government. That tor living in Lake Stevens. Quigley is cur- genius - it has more to do rently president of a dot.corn that sells dis- tual persistence and count sporting gear on-line. He has also do the reading and track worked for Teledesic, one of the pioneer We would be thankful telecommunications companies founded by was a champion of open Craig McKaw. Quigley was state senator who seeks out 1992-1996. He made a near-hit at unseating is not afraid to educate Metcalf at the close of his senate term. might be missing parts of Quigley has seen combat time in the politi- We would be cai trenches at the state level, where he was who would champion an effective and respected senator, and ship from the private sector, could also bring his high tech knowledge faith-based organizations, and connections to a council post. The one versities and cultural criticism I have heard is that some people looks to the g as a get turned off by some quirks in Quigley's looks to for interpersonal skills. We would be Fredda Smith, 45, works for a dental understands that office and is a part-time instructor at but places do, s Edmonds Community College. She lives regionalism but understands i inside the Lakewood School District bound- neighbors build regions aries where she serves on the school board, build neighborhoods.* She is just emerging from an unsuccessful Call it a little hopeful shot at unseating Republican state senator Val Stevens. Smith has been building an These two impressive background portfolio of under- "Memphis Principles" standing the issues of north county resi- during October 1999 at dents. She has worked to couple her school National Leadership ForUm on. board background to a solid grasp of local Strategies" and cited in a and regional challenges and showed printed in GOVERNING, promise as an intelligent and resourceful Partners of Livable You're patenting my by Bill Christison tarlink corn is the latest genetic engineering (GE) disaster in the U.S. The federal govern- ment has failed in its regulation of these products, and it has failed to protect farmers and consumers from the risks. Starlink had only received approval to be used for animal feed and industrial purposes. But in late summer, Friends of the Earth-USA found taco shells that contained corn with traces of Starlink. Mission Foods alone has recalled nearly 300 products con- taining Starlink. USDA has stepped in to facilitate the owner of Starlink -- Aventis Corporation -- to locate and iso- late Starlink corn. The Farm Service Administration of theUSDA is spending a lot of time and taxpayer money to correct the problem. The U.S. government, at the present time, is considering a retroactive approval of Starlink corn as a solution to the prob- lem. CRY9c protein is found in Star/ink corn at 100 times the level of other engineered corn varieties. Food processors and multi-national corporations like Cargill and ADM have said that they will stop buying Starlink corn. ADM announced it is spending large- sums of moneyto test product before it is processed. It is a sign that the marketability of GE crops is dis- . appearing. Aventis is offering a small premium to farmers tO locate and buy their Starlink production. Yet this premium will not account for the potential financial loss to farmers. There is risk and liability in produc- ing GE corns. Pollen drift can contaminate large acreages of conventional corn. High humidity levels help wind and insects carry contamination much far- ther than seed companies have suggested. For instance, a 40-acre field of Starlink corn, using the prescribed buffer zones recommended by the indus- try, can contaminate as much as 140 acres of conven- tional corn. Family farmers for .the most part are really not equipped to segregate different corn hybrids. It will be impossible to find and isolate all the Starlink corn that has been grown and is being used in food prod- ucts. Starlink still stands in the fields and in fa.rmers.'. ~ bins. In areas where Starlink has been, deliveTed to elevators, it is probable that this corn has contami- nated millions of bushels. Starlink has been a costly experiment for family farmers. Not only are we losing consumer confidence in agriculture production i~ the U.S., but we are los- ing export market potential. Family farmers are also at risk because of liability issues. All required testing prior to processing should be paid by the Aventis corporation and not farmers. ~I~here needs to be an immediate release of the names of Starlink producers in order for farmers to identify and isolate acres con- taminated from pollen drift. The National Family Farm Coalition, in conjunction with Farm Aid, has initiated a Farmer to Farmer educational campaign to make farmers aware of the risks associated with genetically engineered products. The attorneys general in numerous states are working on these issues. Farmers and farm organiza- tions need to work with their state's attorney gener- al in order to protect both producers and the con- sumers. Bill Christison, is a fourth-generation soybean farmer from Chillicothe, MO, and president of the National Family Farm Coalition and the Missouri Rural Crisis Center. by Jim Hightower W~en the poor steal from the rich, it's called ch steal from the poor, it's called .R. Grace, and other global giants a particularly immoral theft ag pie in places like India and South America. The people themselves have dubbed it "biopiracY,~ ern-day corporate pirates are too cowardly to .... directly with swords drawn;as swashbuckling Instead, they hide behind a batallion of patent stealing for them. What they're doing is obtaining patents provide food, crops, medicine, income, and other needs these impoverished regions. Basmati rice, the I~ the castor plant are among the living things that varioUS now claim as "belonging" to them, even though the t ing to develop these plants except file the patents. example, has grabbed 17 patents on Basmati rice, a bred over centuries by poor farmers in India. This rice is part of the collective Indian farmers, but RiceTec now asserts that ty" by virtue of its patents. This is nothing short of tive innovation of these farmers, but it is even more panies like RiceTec also are robbing them of patent, RiceTec can claim that farmers who previously t plant Basmati rice from saved seeds must now pay royalty. The good news is that the world's farmers are these patents, and they are fighting such crass through the Global Campaign Against Biopiracy. ~-sil' To learn more, contact Dr. Vandana Shiva by e-w " vshiva@vsrd.com Radio m/k-show host and author Agricultural Commissioner of Texas. His latest book Meant Us To Vote, They Would Have Given Us Collins). " Capital Adele in Olympia T "]'ell, the It/li/good II news is that the state Supreme Court cleared the decks for the public-private ~ partnership between the state and United P01$cal Infrastructure Washington to build Columnist a second Tacoma Narrows Bridge by dismissing challenges to its constitutionality. The bad news is that the court also said the state can't collect tolls on the exist- ing bridge to help pay for the new one, or abrogate its toll-setting authority on the new one to UIW. Not without amending or repealing a 1961 law, which banned reimpo- sition of tolls once the existing bridge was paid for, which was accomplished in 1965. The good news is that Senate Majority Leader Sid Snyder and the chairs of the two transportation committees, Rep. Ruth Hsher and Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, aren't opposed to doing that, and it looks possible in the Senate. The bad news is that there is a lack of enthusiasm for the process in the House In high places. "I'm worried about Frank Chopp," said Rep. Hsher, Frank Chopp being the current co-Speaker who may become THE Speaker, if Democrats take control of the House in January. "He'd rather the bonds (to build the bridge) be purchased by the state rather than the public-private partnership. But that would take a 60 percent vote in both hous- es and the state hasn't got the money." When I contacted Chopp, he assured me he was "not opposed to a bridge. It needs to be done. But I'd like to make sure we do it in the most cost-effective way. Taxpayers and toll payers deserve that. I need to talk with Ruth and some others and figure out what the options are, what is the " And what is best way to build it and go from there." the LateSt figure I've see~ Hmmm. .:: million? " Sen. Haugen echoed Rep. Fisher's con- "Ver) . cern about money and said, "In looking for he said. "We!re in dollars, every option has to,be ion the table.* state right now." Toils are a viable option, safety isa big " ' "I guess if issue with me, there are ~tcddents there, "it was and what if someone has a heart attack and the 1961 law, can't get through the gridlock?" public-private initiative The bridge, which was built to accom- to supersede, which modate a maximum 60,000 vehicles a day, : court, it did not. is getting 90,000, or 30,000 over capacity, able to continu( so there is no question relief is needed, process to kn~w Transportation Secretary Sid Morrison made througlx UIW or and Jim Metcalf, spokesman for the builder, Legislature." said they've been conferring with their . It's my attorneys over how to deal with the Court other than the Gig derision. So is UlW still hot to trot on the "would be willing to bridge? relief. "AbsolutelyV said Metcalf~ "We'remak- "That's the hag strategy decisions nOw~ whether tO Tacoma .... repeal the whole section of the law oI' hang," he said. "But it amend it to just take out the reference to The toll on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. If we dogo to Spokane was 25 the Legislature, we will at least ask them to, that bridge was consider doing this very rapidly so as not to we paid that off and 1 miss the construction season. Given the jumped to 20 to cm~ent construction cost indicator, this all those people who project increases in cost $2 million a ring miles and miles month." quarter." Adele Ferguson can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansville, WA 98340