E-News Edition 125

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Thank you for subscribing to e-news updates from the Office of Gov. Jay Inslee. We hope you find these updates interesting, useful and worth sharing. If you’d like to update your subscription preferences or unsubscribe, you can do so here at any time. If you'd like contact the governor, you can do so through his website's contact page.

Inslee visits Snohomish County to tour behavioral health facility and energy-efficient affordable housing

housing hope visit

Gov. Jay Inslee and Fred Safstrom, Housing Hope CEO, touring Housing Hope Twin Lakes Landing in Marysville.

On Thursday, Gov. Jay Inslee spent the day meeting with organizations that are providing behavioral health and housing services in Everett and Marysville.

Inslee started the day visiting the North Sound Behavioral Health Treatment Facility in Everett. He was joined by state Senator June Robinson. The facility opened last year and includes 16 beds specifically for people seeking treatment for opioid substance use disorders and another 16 beds to assist people dealing with other behavioral and mental health issues. The project was supported in part by nearly $11.5 million from the state's capital budget and is helping meet a growing need for substance use and mental health services.

"We are so excited about this facility as a new model to help people with their addiction and mental health issues and also get out of homelessness," Inslee said.

The governor's also visited Housing Hope's Twin Lakes Landing in Marysville for a tour of their facilities. Housing Hope provides affordable housing and shelter for people experiencing homelessness. Since 1987, Housing Hope has built 479 residential units and 301 homeowner residences. Most of this housing is paired with wraparound services.

The organization is currently constructing an additional 30 apartments for families coming out of homelessness and 30 permanently affordable apartments where families will never pay more than 30% of their income in rent. The new units will be built with energy efficient upgrades such as triple pane windows and heat pumps that will limit energy use to approximately one-third a typical apartment. The building is expected to receive Passive House certification. Construction of the new units is supported in part by $3 million from the state’s Housing Trust Fund.

"The passive house certification that we are after is the first in the state and is going to be the most efficient building we have ever built,” said John Safstrom, Housing Hope’s superintendent. “We’ve added insulation throughout the entire project, a unique one-of-a-kind hot water delivery system, and going through the entire building and sealed it four times greater than our last projects."

Inslee’s visit wasn’t all serious business. While he was in Everett, Inslee also stopped by KRKO, Washington state's oldest radio station, to celebrate their 100th anniversary. KRKO is a rare locally owned classic rock radio station that broadcasts oldies, classic hits, and sports to the Seattle metropolitan area. 


Gov. Jay Inslee and staff of KRKO radio station.

Biden Administration reverses course on Hanford cuts and proposes increased funding

On Wednesday, the White House released an amended funding proposal for cleaning up radioactive waste at the Hanford nuclear site. The administration not only reversed course on a proposed $172 million funding cut, they also proposed increased spending by more than $18 million in the next fiscal year. 

The announcement follows the governor’s visit last week to the Hanford and a recent hearing where Sen. Patty Murray pressed the Energy secretary on the need for more funding.

In a statement, Inslee thanked Washington's congressional delegation for their advocacy, especially Murray, as well as the Hanford workforce and the Tri-Cities community.

"By taking this action, the president has signaled an end to the cycle of presidential administrations cutting Hanford funding and placing the burden on Congress and Washington state," Inslee said. "Last week, when I visited Hanford, I saw the opportunity for great progress at the Hanford site – because I also saw that we have an enormous amount of work to do. I am heartened by the commitment I saw in the Tri-Cities to work together to get this cleanup on track, including through significant additional funding from the federal government. Today shows these communities' voices are being heard in Washington, D.C."

Read more in the Tri-City Herald.

Opportunity announced for public to comment on independent Lower Snake River Dams draft report

snake river dam

Photo of dam from the independent draft report.

On Thursday, Gov. Jay Inslee and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray announced the release of an independent draft report that will help inform the recommendations of their Joint Federal-State Process regarding the four Lower Snake River Dams.

The release of the draft begins a one-month comment period that will end on July 11. Murray and Inslee issued a statement making clear they “approach the question of breaching with open minds and without a predetermined decision.”

The process is prompted by the decline of salmon and steelhead as well as the changing snowpack and river flow conditions in the Snake River system. The draft report describes the services and benefits currently provided by the dams related to energy, transportation, irrigation, and recreation. The report details actions that have been considered to replace or improve upon these services and benefits if the dams were to be breached. The report also details expected results of replacement actions, anticipated costs, and additional questions that need to be answered. 

The draft report and online comment form can be found at the project website at www.lsrdoptions.org. Emailed comments can be sent to info@lsrdoptions.org with the email subject line “Draft LSRD Benefit Replacement Study.”

Read more from the Associated Press.

“Secure your load” emphasis patrols aim to reduce dangerous roadside debris

Secure your load

Washington State Patrol 'Secure Your Load' event. Photo courtesy of Dept. of Ecology.

Every year, more than 12 million pounds of litter ends up on Washington’s roadways and up to 40% -- almost five million pounds – comes from unsecured cargo blowing out of vehicles. This debris isn’t just unsightly, it’s dangerous.

This is why Washington marked National Secure Your Load Day on June 6. It’s part of the We Keep Washington Litter Free campaign and annual Secure Your Load for Safer Roads, a partnership between the Washington departments of Ecology and Transportation, Washington Traffic Safety Commission and the Washington State Patrol.

“Last year, debris on highways caused about 300 traffic crashes and 30 injuries in Washington. So far this year, we’ve also seen two known fatalities related to unsecured loads. This is particularly devastating because these crashes were all preventable,” said Sgt. Darren Wright, a public information officer with the Washington State Patrol. “It’s so important to properly secure your load before driving. Anything that flies off a moving vehicle is dangerous, and can even be deadly. In order to save lives, every driver in Washington needs to secure their vehicle load every time they drive.”

Troopers are conducting emphasis patrols across the state for three consecutive weekends, starting June 10 and ending June 26. Drivers can get pulled over and ticketed if their loads are not properly secured in accordance with state law. Fines range from $50 to $5,000. If an item falls out and causes bodily harm or property damage, the driver could also face jail time. The largest fines are for “lit debris” — primarily cigarettes — and items that can cause vehicle crashes.

The state’s transportation and ecology departments together spend more than $8.5 million a year on efforts to clean the state’s roads and highways. Last year, Ecology-funded pickup programs spent more than 125,000 hours collecting nearly 5.2 million pounds of litter and cleaning nearly 22,000 miles of road.

“We’re proud of the work we’ve done with local government and state agencies to lessen the harmful impacts of roadside litter,” said Amber Smith, statewide litter prevention coordinator at Ecology. “The truth is that more litter is deposited every year than we can pick up. We need to stop litter at the source.”  

Tarps, straps and cargo nets are an easy and effective way to secure your load. In just the first four months of 2022, WSDOT’s Adopt-a-Highway volunteers and maintenance crews have already found and removed 136 tons of litter and debris from roadways and rights of way. 

Learn more about the Secure Your Load and We Keep Washington Litter Free campaigns.

School is almost out, but summer meal programs still available

Summer is starting and school is out, but that doesn't mean the need for healthy meals ends. Summer meal programs are serving healthy meals and snacks to children 18 years of age and younger.

This federally-funded program is sponsored by many organizations throughout our state, including schools, nonprofit organizations, local governments, tribes, and more. The sites offer grab-and-go meals, and some sites may provide multiple meals at one time.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction has information about the program and how to locate a summer meal site.

English (website includes information in ten languages) Summer Meals Locator - 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479) or text "Food" to 304-304

Spanish Summer Meals Locator - 1-877-8-HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273) or text "Comida" to 304-304