>Miscellaneous Items – 5/15/09

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Important Meeting on Monday.
 
ICC Meeting Monday (5-18-09).  A very important Illahee Community Club meeting will be held Monday evening at 6:30 pm at the Unitarian Fellowship Church at 4418 Perry Avenue.  The meeting is the quarterly ICC meeting, with the primary item on the agenda being to come up with a community “counter proposal” to the Timbers Edge project.
 
Counter Proposal.  The reason for coming up with a “counter proposal” is to see if the community and the developer can come up with an agreement both parties can live with.  The developer and his engineer have decided what kind of development they would like build, but the community has some major concerns with what they are planning, so now it is time for the community to come up with a counter proposal of what kind of development they would like to see.
 
Primary Meeting Goal – A Counter Proposal Acceptable to the Community.  We have talked with many and all have agreed that the developer should be able to develop the property, but not with the adverse impacts on the community, the creek, and the aquifers.  During prior discussions with community members alternatives have been presented and seem to have a common theme.  It is that common expressed theme that we think will be expressed on Monday and will result in a proposal that is acceptable to the community.
 
Illahee Residents Need to Attend.  This single project has the potential to impact the Illahee Community more than any single project in recent decades.  We would encourage as many people as possible to attend.
 
Help With Fundraising?  Linda Hinde, an ICC board member, is wondering if there are any volunteers who would like to work with her on looking at fundraising possibilities?  Let us know if you would like to help and we will pass the information on to Linda.
 
Another Important Meeting on Tuesday.
 
Illahee Forest Preserve Meeting on Tuesday (5-19-09).  Another important meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 19, 2009.  The Illahee Forest Preserve meets at the Eagles Nest at the Fairgrounds from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.  The primary item on the agenda for this meeting will be a meeting with a Sheriff’s representative to talk about what to do with the homeless who are setting up camps in the Illahee Preserve.
 
Homeless Camp Report Today.  We received the following report of more homeless in the Preserve:
 
I just received a report of 3 (or possibly more) new homeless camps within Illahee Forest Preserve.  Location is reportedly near Highway #303, just south of the Park-N-Ride.  The report suggested the property adjacent Safeway has gotten so full of homeless camps that some of the homeless are now moving their camps directly across Highway #303 into Illahee Forest for more space.  Apparently there is a faint trail access along the fencing immediately north of the vacant car sales lot.  This is not believed to be the primary point of access because the trail is not well defined.  I hope to check this situation out myself early Saturday morning.
 
Illahee State Park Update.  We received the following information from our State Representative Christine Rolfes regarding what was happening with the State Parks.
 
State Parks and Recreation Commission
schedules special meeting in Olympia
OLYMPIA – May 11, 2009 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will have a special meeting May 19, to adopt an implementation plan for the 2009-11 budget, contingent upon the Governor’s signing.
The special meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 19, in Room N 108 of the Tumwater Office of the Washington State Attorney General, 7141 Cleanwater Drive S.W., Olympia. The agenda is available online at 
www.parks.wa.gov. Time for public comment will be made available for items on the agenda.
Parks will remain open during the 2009-11 biennium as the result of action taken by the Legislature to establish a new revenue source for State Parks. When vehicle owners register a new vehicle or receive their annual license tab renewal notice from the Washington State Department of Licensing, their total bill amount will include a $5 donation to keep parks open, unless they specifically choose not to include the donation. Budget language adopted by the Legislature says that parks will remain open in 2009-11 unless sufficient revenues are not collected from the program.
In its Operating budget, State Parks will take a reduction of $52 million in General Fund tax dollars in 2009-11, out of $100 million General Fund in the current budget. The Legislature intends that most of this funding will be replaced by the new donation program and a temporary shift of fuel taxes associated with off-road vehicle and marine recreation uses. In addition to replacement funds, expenditure reductions are necessary which are outlined in the implementation plan. These reductions include holding staff vacancies and reducing functions at headquarters to reduce $3.8 million; consolidation of region offices from four to three to save $1 million; reduction of non-core programs at $1.3 million; and reduction of equipment expenditures by $2 million.
The plan also will include a fee increase of $2 for camping effective July 1, 2009. The camping fee increases were authorized by the Commission in August 2008 but were administratively delayed until the budget process was completed. The fee increase will apply to new reservations made after July 1. The increase will bring the range of camping charges to $19 to $24 for standard (tent) sites and $25 to $33 for utility sites.
The agency’s Capital Program budget for new projects is $25.5 million in state bond money, reduced by 60 percent from the current budget. The agency must cut indirect and management costs by approximately $3 million. The plan also reduces reliance on outside consultants and reorganizes Capital Program staff in the three remaining regions. 
The Commission has been encouraged by the Legislature to continue pursuing transfers of 13 parks that were deemed potential transfer candidates earlier in the state budget process. Any of these that are not transferred to be operated by other local governments will remain open under State Parks management in the 2009-11 biennium, unless collections of new donation and other revenues prove insufficient.
The Commission also will consider a proclamation of appreciation to the public, the Legislature and the Governor for demonstrated support of State Parks during the past several months while the state budget was being prepared.
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages a diverse system of more than 121 parks and several recreation programs, including long-distance trails, boating safety, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. The 96-year-old park system will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013.
 
Canada Goose Report.  The Canada goose goslings are emerging.  We have had one family with 4 goslings that are getting quite big, and another family with 5 small goslings.  The goose that we are monitoring is still sitting on her nest.
 
Jim Aho