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News from the Pacific Northwest

Rossi running for Washington governor

SEATTLE - Former state Sen. Dino Rossi, R-Wash., who lost the 2004 race for governor by 133 votes out of approximately 2.8 million cast, is again seeking the top elective office in the Evergreen State.

Rossi, Tlingit, announced Oct. 25 that he is challenging Gov. Christine Gregoire in the November 2008 election.

Rossi represented the Cascade foothills area east of Seattle in the state Senate from 1996 to 2004 and, as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, presided over the writing of a no-new-taxes budget.

Since announcing his candidacy, Rossi has portrayed Gregoire as being a ''governor for the government,'' although under her watch the state has grown a $1.5 billion surplus, unemployment rate is 4.8 percent and job growth has been healthy, according to a Seattle Times article.

Rossi called for Gregoire to uphold a 1 percent cap on annual property tax increases Nov. 8, after the state Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional a related initiative approved by voters in 2001. ''I believe the people were very clear in their approval of a 1 percent cap on property tax hikes, and I also believe the governor and the Legislature should enact the will of the people into law,'' he said.

Rossi launched into a busy campaign schedule in November, including an event honoring veterans in Auburn, a leadership conference in Tacoma, a Farm Bureau meeting in Spokane and a rally in Vancouver. His Web site address is

Samish hosts public meeting on Fidalgo Bay plan

ANACORTES, Wash. - The state Department of Natural Resources is developing a plan for management of an aquatic reserve within the traditional territory of the Samish Indian Nation.

Samish hosted a public meeting Nov. 7 on the Fidalgo Bay Aquatic Reserve management plan in its conference center at Fidalgo Bay Resort.

The tidelands contain eelgrass beds and intertidal habitats that support forage fish, juvenile salmon, Dungeness crab, shellfish and other species. Bald eagles and great blue herons forage there and several bird species overwinter there.

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Samish is involved in several projects to improve the health of Fidalgo Bay. The nation is studying the environmental impacts of an old causeway that was buried under rock and converted into a recreational trail. Samish believes removing the rock and creosote-treated pilings and replacing them with an open structure made of environmentally-friendly materials will improve eelgrass habitat by removing potential contamination and restoring natural water flow.

Samish is also working to identify pollution sources in storm water runoff into the bay, as well as studying water quality and shellfish health.

The Department of Natural Resources is accepting comments regarding its draft management plan until Nov. 29 at, or by mail at P.O. Box 47015, Olympia, WA 98504-7015. Mention ''Fidalgo Bay Management Plan'' and include ''File No. 07-102401'' on comments.

Inupiaq attorney appointed to state committee

SWINOMISH, Wash. - Patricia Paul, Inupiaq, has been appointed to the Washington State Bar Association's Amicus Curiae Brief Committee, Civil Rights Committee and Editorial Advisory Board.

Paul was appointed by the bar's board of governors at its October meeting.

Paul is a private practice attorney in La Conner, across the channel from the Swinomish reservation, where she lives with her family. Her husband, Kevin Paul, is a noted Swinomish artist and member of the Swinomish Senate.

Paul earned her law degree at Seattle University School of Law and her undergraduate degree at Antioch University - Seattle. She earned a certificate in ''Innovations in Governance'' at the John F. Kennedy School of Government - Harvard University.

Paul is a certified mediator, a consultant in tribal judicial systems and sustainable development, and judge pro tempore in the Northwest Intertribal Court System.

She served two terms as a vice president of Washington Women Lawyers. She also served as a program fellow with the World Affairs Council in Seattle and is a member of the National American Indian Court Judges Association. For more information, visit

Richard Walker is a correspondent reporting from San Juan Island, Wash. E-mail him at