Schott Schuyler, the natural resource director for the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, stands in front of the Gorge Powerhouse.

For over a century Seattle’s municipal dams have drained a nearly three-mile stretch of the Skagit River, leaving a section of Puget Sound’s largest river empty of water. Scientists have warned that draining the river hurts threatened salmon species and the endangered orca that depend on them. The Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, which considers their river sacred, has called the public utility’s dewatering equivalent to theft and “cultural trauma.”

But on Wednesday Seattle City Light (SCL), the city’s utility company, announced that they plan to lower the floodgates on their dams to return water to the dewatered riverbed “as soon…

That’s me in the middle, getting my picture in the New York Times because I lost my job.
That’s me in the middle, getting my picture in the New York Times because I lost my job.
That’s me in the middle of the New York Times.

It took me five weeks to realize the telephone operator was evil. I had been regularly calling the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) since I was laid off from my newspaper job in March, trying to get the unemployment insurance payments I was owed, but the closest I could get to my money was the sound of a robot hanging up on me.

“We’re sorry, we’re experiencing an extremely large volume of calls,” the voice would say before ending the call. “Please try again during our normal business hours. Goodbye.”

It was the “goodbye” that got me. The robot…

Seven businesses have filed their initial paperwork for acquiring one of Washington’s Marijuana Research Licenses, according to Washington’s Department of Revenue. The research license, which has faced years of bureaucratic delays in Olympia, will give researchers in Washington a legal way to handle and study the cannabis plant.

The seven businesses include Verda Bio Research from Seattle, Flower Curator LLC from Walla Walla, 5150Cannabis from Arlington and Devoted Pro, which lists a Los Angeles, California mailing address. …

A shadow of doubt was cast across the legal weed industry when, in November of last year, President-elect Donald Trump nominated then-Senator Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general. Would the senator from Alabama attack legal weed and act on the same impulses that led him to say in congress that “good people don’t smoke marijuana”?

Jeff Sessions in 2004

After six months on the job and, most recently, a threatening letter sent to Washington Governor Jay Inslee, we have a pretty good answer to that question: Sessions still hates weed and wants to shut the legal cannabis industry down. This is very frightening…

Lester Black

Independent journalist based in Washington state.

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