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Shelton Mason County Journal
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February 13, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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February 13, 2014

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OPINION Komen Comment Some negative news from around the world n the news, some nagging nuggets of negativity. In Greece, a deputy in the Defense Ministry says in five years he amassed bribes totaling $19 mil- lion in under-the-table payments from arms dealers. Former New Or- leans Mayor Ray Na- gin is on trial, charged with 21 counts of brib- ery and money laun- dering. A village council of elders in Subalpur, India, fined a woman 25,000 rupees for wanting to marry a man from another vil- lage, then ordered her to be gang-raped. To stop the slaughter of elephants, the given wisdom in the United States, China and France these past four months was to destroy by fire 15 tons of ivory. Those gorgeous monarch butterflies are migrating their way to extinction; at last esti- mate only 1.65 acres remain of their once 44.5 acres of Mexican habitat. A U.S. senator from Kansas seemingly has migrated per- manently to Alexandria, Va., where he has a palatial home on a golf course; he is seldom seen in his home state. "We know everyone who breaks the law. We know when you're doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you're doing," a quote from a Ford Motor Co. executive. A "cryptologically useful quantum computer" is in the works to "break nearly every kind of encryption used to pro- tect banking, medical, business, and government records around the world." according to The Washington Post. None of 16 government min- istries in today's Afghanistan can be trusted with the billions of U.S. dollars poured into them, says an audit published last month. In a 238-page report by an oversight board: "We have not identified a single instance in- volving a threat to the United States in which the (National Security Agency) telephone re- cords program made a concrete difference in the outcome of a counterterrorism program." "The outstanding faults of By JOHN KOMEN the economic society in which we live are its failure to pro- vide for full employment and its arbitrary and inequitable distribution of wealth and incomes," John Maynard Keynes in 1936, quoted by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. Krugman: "It ap: plies to our own time, too. And in a better world, our leaders would be doing all they could to address both faults." A viral disease known as Chikongunya fever has migrated from Africa to the East Caribbean, a new trou- bling development of a serious illness moving from one conti- nent to another. "An analytics service called Chartbeat gives webmasters instantaneous access to those on the other side of the screen by providing real-time data on their mouse clicks, time spent reading or watching, and even their location,"wrote New York columnist Maureen Dowd. And in Mason County, there is an elected county commis- sioner who is chronically tardy in paying his property taxes and who declines to pay a sew- er-system hookup fee. Finally, a news note contain- ing a glimmer of hopefulness. In St. Louis, a federal judge has given a ruling on that long- standing surreptitious practice of flashing your automobile's headlights to warn oncom- ing traffic they're approaching a radar-equipped police car speedtrap. It's only a temporary action. But let's honor Judge Henry E. Autrey for imposing at least a preliminary injunction block- ing the police in the St. Louis County town of Ellisville from arresting drivers for flashing warnings to their fellow motor- ists. You got to take solace in the news wherever you can find it. John Komen, who lives on Mason Lake, was for 40 years a reporter and editor, TV an- chorman, national TV network correspondent, producer, colum- nist, editorial writer and com- mentator. His column, Komen Comment, appears each week in the Mason County Journal. Guest Column State legislation would bring affordable housing to county ason County, espe- cially north Mason County, has a shortage of afford- able multifamily housing. Apartments provide flex- ible, affordable housing for our workforce. Apart- ments within our urban growth ar- eas (UGAs) mean housing is acces- sible to services, transit and helps create a vibrant community with the diversity and popula- tion we need to attract re- tail development. Cities and large coun- ties have a tax incentive available to encourage multifamily housing in urban centers. State law authorizes an eight- or 12- year property tax exemp- tion on the value of new or rehabilitation construction of multi-unit housing with four units or more. Smaller counties are not eligible to offer this tax incentive. Sen. Tim Sheldon and Rep. Kathy Haigh have sponsored legislation to expand this tax exemp- tion to rural counties with one incorporated city in , By TERm JEFFREY'S unincorporated urban growth areas served by sewer, namely, north Ma- son County. To be eligible for the tax exemp- tion, 20 percent of the units must be priced so they are afford- able for low- or moderate-income residents. Thanks to the hard work of our legislators, both the House and Senate versions of these bills are successfully moving along the process. House Bill 2738, spon- sored by Haigh, has passed out of its policy committee and was scheduled for a hearing in the House Fi- nance Committee at 8 a.m. Monday in House Hearing Room A. Senate Bill 6330, sponsored by Sheldon, has passed out of its policy committee and was sched- uled for a hearing in the Ways and Means Commit- tee at 3:30 p.m. Monday in Senate Hearing Room 4. The intent of the tax exemption is to encour- age density in urban centers. Unincorporated UGAs in smaller counties are in just as much need, if not more so for affordable, workforce housing. Rural counties need incentives to encourage densities in UGAs to meet the intent of the Growth Management Act. It is harder to encour- age density in UGAs in ru- ral counties because most of the affordable housing is located in rural lands. These bills would help make sewer rates more af- fordable in Belfair and A1- lyn. Unincorporated UGAs are required to have urban services (sewers). Due to the lack of housing, sewer rates are extraordinarily high making it difficult for sewer service to be sus- tainable. This bill would help increase sewer hook- ups and create economies of scale. Please help support af- fordable housing in Mason County. Contact legisla- tors serving on the Senate Ways and Means Com- mittee and House Finance Committee and urge them to pass these bills out of Committee. Terri Jeffreys is a Mason County commissioner. She can be reached at terrij@ co.mason.wa.us. Mason County USPS 492-800 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Mason County Journal, RO. Box 430, Shelton, WA 98584. Published weekly by the Mason County Journal at 227 West Cota Street, Shelton, Washington Mailing address: RO. Box 430, Shelton, WA 98584 Telephone (360) 426-4412.www.masoncounty.com Periodicals postage paid at Shelton, Washington Mason County Journal is a member of Washington Newspaper Publishers' Association. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: $37 per year for Mason County addresses, $51 per year in state of Washington but outside Mason County, $61 per year out of state. Page A-4 - Mason County Journal - Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 Owned and published by Shelton-Meson County Joumal, Inc. Tom Hyde, publisher Newsroom: Adam Rudnick, editor Natalie Johnson, reporter Gordon Weeks, reporter Emily Hanson, sports reporter Kirk Ericson, proofreader Advertising: Dave Pierik, Sr. Acct. Executive Kathy Brooks, ad representative Lloyd Mullen, ad representative Front office: Donna Kinnaird, bookkeeper Rene6 Chaplin, circulation Composing room: William Adams, graphics Linda Frizzell, graphics All editorial, advertising and legal deadlines are 5 p.m. Monday prior to publication. To submit a letter to the editor, email adam@masoncounty.oom.