Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

King Solomon Hath Spoken

Mark "King" Solomon has issued a royal pronouncement today's Daily News on the Hawkins development in the corridor: It shall not come to pass.
Environmental light is still red

Whitman County’s determination of nonsignificance on the effects of the proposed Hawkins state line development did not make a finding on aquifer impacts. Instead they specifically left that responsibility to Washington State Department of Ecology if/when Hawkins applies for a water right.

There is a factual matter regarding additional water withdrawals from the upper Wanapum aquifer at this site that is of concern to the Idaho side of the line and not to the Washington side. The Wanapum aquifer that underlies this site provides 30 percent of the city of Moscow’s water supply. The same rocks are essentially dry further west providing little water to Whitman County residents or businesses. This is believed due to the thinning out of the sediments of the Latah and Vantage formations in the vicinity of the state line combined with a dipping to the east of the Wanapum that begins in the same area. Contact with the sediments is believed to be the recharge mechanism although the specific areas of recharge have not yet been determined. An additional large well at the Hawkins site directly will affect Moscow, but not Whitman County. It is entirely appropriate, and indeed a responsible requirement of good governance, for Moscow to be engaged in this matter that, if approved, would affect Moscow’s water supply directly.

This significant issue will be heard fully at the ecology department hearing if/when Hawkins finds a suitable water right to purchase and applies to transfer it to their site. They’ve been looking for one for more than a year and still have not found one. In the meantime, nothing is going to happen at that site. Whitman County has stated in its decision that no building permit will be issued until sufficient water supply has been secured.

There is no environmental green light for Hawkins. It’s still solid red.

Mark Solomon, Moscow
I think we all know what is "solid red."

Let me get this straight. King Solomon first calls "additional water withdrawals" a "factual matter" and then goes on to use the words "believed" and "have not been determined." What???

And by the way, Hawkins has found a water right. From the Nov. 20, 2006 issue of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
The town of Colton wants to swap water rights with the developer of a proposed shopping mall along the Pullman-Moscow Highway.

Colton Mayor Greg Eylar said the city agreed to swap 22-acre-feet of water it was about to acquire in exchange for the rights to 100-acre-feet of water the Hawkins Companies are attempting to acquire.

The deal isn’t done yet. It still must be approved by the Department of Ecology.

Stoffel said the application will be reviewed by the local water conservation board, and then be forwarded to the state. No guarantee or timeline exist for its approval.
Solomon has just saved the DOE the trouble of a review. According to him, the Colton water right is not acceptable.

The ultimate irony about the King's letter is another letter from a Moscow Civic Association board member, also published today, that stated:
We should all have concerns about giving Moscow’s water and services to businesses in Washington. This is a pro-Moscow position, not anti-growth.
Ah, now it all becomes clearer.
A better option for some of the proposed growth may be in the commercial and motor business land north of the Palouse Mall. We should be open to other proposals as well, but we should not weaken our ability to retain local control and decision-making capacity where the future of our city is at stake.
North of the Palouse Mall? Oh, now we're talking Home Depot. The writer doesn't want to "weaken local control and decision-making capability" for Moscow, but has no problem in doing that for Whitman County. I can't wait to see how they justify a Home Depot's water usage.
I am proud to be a part of the MCA, which goes beyond the idea that allowing huge, national corporations to enter our city without restriction is the only way to grow.
For the record folks, Home Depot is a "huge, national corporation." I can't wait to see how this festival of hypocrisy all plays out. I don't blame Paul Kimmell, the Moscow Chamber of Commerce director, for getting the hell out of Dodge.

Of course, the MCA and Moscow opposition to growth across the border is nothing new. April forwarded Dale Courtney at Right Mind a list of some folks in Moscow that had signed the PARD petition to never shop or work at a Pullman Wal-Mart Supercenter. It's quite enlightening.

April has made available to me an electronic copy of the PARD petition. I may post some snippets here in the near future.


Satanic Mechanic said...

If the Daily Watermelon would update their "Letters" section of their website, you can see the letter written by the Mayor of Moscow. Grab a physical copy to read it before you stick it in the woodstove or birdcage.
That mayor is a true politican with her writing. It was two-faced and once again the enviromental card is played.

April E. Coggins said...

I like this: "An additional large well at the Hawkins site directly will affect Moscow, but not Whitman County." I wonder where he thinks Whitman County begins? Unless Hawkins drills down and over into Moscow, how can it not affect Whitman County water? Oh wait, that's right, ALL the water, including what is under Whitman County, belongs to Moscow.

Satanic: What does Queen Nancy think she is accomplishing by stirring up the students? Even they can see the hypocrisy in that WSU is building a golf course, adding many new bathrooms to the stadium and a major remodel to the CUB.

Sarcastic Housewife #1 said...

The circus just grows and grows. Frighteningly, these people really believe they are in the right, yet when you start looking at everything there is absolutely no logic or reality anywhere to be seen.

April E. Coggins said...

The good thing is that all Solomon and the MCA can do is write ignorant letters to the editor. They have absolutely no power. Neither Hawkins or the commissioners are communicating or answering the Moscow interlopers. King Solomon and henchmen are operating on Daily News articles and wild assumptions. Many of them are so wrong, they are laughable. The commissioners don't have to worry about the votes or tax dollars of the MCA members, but they do have to worry about ours. Thank goodness for borders!

I do think the sudden flurry of editorials is a prelude to a Moscow appeal. They are trying to drum up support within Whitman county. I believe it is too little, too late. Time will tell.