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October 23, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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October 23, 2014

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Senior: Candidates discuss continued from page A-3 health care should be available to seniors who want to remain in their homes, he said. Bowling said she supports increasing public-transporta- tion options for seniors. Home- care workers should receive ap- propriate nursing training and earn decent wages, she said. Griffey said he also supports Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 - Mason County Journal - Page A-17 ]: ;alth care, transportation increasing transportation and housing options for seniors. The state has cut back on funding programs that help seniors, and the trend should be reversed, Haigh said. Newton, who works with many senior volunteers as the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Mason Coun- ty, said the state needs to sup- port Aging in Place programs that help maintain the homes of seniors. MacEwen said seniors need to receive quality health care while solutions are found to keep the cost of health care down. League: Hopefuls disagree over changing minimum wage continued from page A-3 she said. "That's why I became a teacher." Bowling said she decided to run be- cause she's dissatisfied with Sheldon's 24 years in office. Sheldon described himself as "a mod- erate conservative Democrat." "I don't represent Seattle," he said. "I represent Mason County, which is the most rural district in the state of Washington." Sheldon stressed that his willingness to reach across the aisles have helped pass the past three state budgets by large majorities. Haigh, who was first elected to the House in 1998, told the audience she grew up on an Ohio farm. She and her husband searched the country for a place to live and operate her veterinarian business and are glad to have chosen Mason County. Fully funding education is one of the great challenges in the upcoming legis- lative session, Haigh said. Small schools can get hurt by one-size-fits-all state ed- ucation plans, she said. "Representing a rural district is very challenging," said the representative. Griffey, a firefighter, has lived in Ma- son County all of his 43 years. He said the Growth Management Act and laws to protect spotted owls have "chased away real jobs." Griffey said he wants to help resi- dents "keep your property, your rights, your traditions." Newton, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Mason County, said she works to help people who are hurt by the "logjams" in Olympia. She said she has used her 18 years of business experience to volunteer to help others, including adults working to be- come literate through the nonprofit orga- nization Sound Learning. MacEwen pointed out that although he is a freshman legislator in the mi.- nority party, he has two bills that were passed and signed into law. One bill amended the Veterans Inno- vations Program, which helps veterans gain access to education, training and employment assistance. The second ex- tended a program allowing the licensing of Christmas tree growers. Sheldon, Bowling, Newton and MacE- wen were asked their opinions about rais- ing the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Sheldon said the $15 mimmum wage approved by voters in SeaTac is the high- est in the country. He asked what small business can afford to hired an inexperi- enced employee for $15 an hour? "Would $15 an hour do away with Big Bubba's Burgers? Or burger places in Shelton?" he asked. Sheldon suggested that some businesses should be able to temporarily pay beginning workers a training wage less than the cur- rent state minimum wage of $9.82 an hour. Bowling said median household in- comes have declined, and suggested that companies like Wal-Mart raise salaries. "Why are, we picking up the tab for Arnold l INSURANCE For All Your Insurance Needs Shelton Office RO. Box L Shelton, WA 98584 (360) 426-3317 Toll Free 1-888-633-4848 Auto Insurance Homeowners & Renters Business & Commercial Bonds Individual & Group Medical Life & Disability IRAs Medical Plans North County Residents Q : BeJfaJr Office RO, Box 1837 Q Belfair, W"A 98528 (360) 277-5300 Toll Free 1-888-633-4848 Visit us at our Website www.arnoldsmithins.c0m g (the employees') health care?" she asked. Bowling added, "Higher wages will help everyone in every sphere." Newton, who earned a master's de- gree in business administration from the University of Washington's Foster School of Business, said the economy has grown in the seven states where the minimum wage has been raised. Newton expressed incredulity at McE- wen's assertion at a previous forum that increasing the minimum wage would hurt poor people because they'd lose an earned income tax credit. These are people who put off buying tires and kid's clothing be- cause they are so poor, she said. MacEwen said the $15-an-hour formu- la "doesn't make economic sense." Sheldon, Bowling, Haigh and Griifey were asked their opinions on two fire- arms initiatives. Initiative 591 prohibits government agencies from confiscat- ing guns or other firearms without due process or from requiring background checks on firearm recipients unless a uniform national standard is required. Initiative 594 concerns background checks for firearm sales and transfers. Sheldon said he supports Initiative 591 and opposes Initiative 594. He said Initiative 594 is funded by Seattle bil- lionaires, including Microsoi founder Bill Gates, and "these people have some of the best security in the U.S.: Initiative 594 is the beginning of the government taking away guns from own- ers while "criminals will still buy guns... This is not going to take guns out of the hands of criminals," he said. Initiative 591 is "clear, straight for- ward. It just affirms gun rights in this state," he said. Bowling said she supports both initia- tives. Initiative 594 is designed to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them, she said. "rm not trying to take people's guns away from them for hunting or protect- ing their homes," she said. Haigh said she opposes both gun ini- tiatives. The state needs to better invest in mental-health services to help stop mentally ill people who go on shooting rampages in schools, she said. Griffey said he supports Initiative 591 and opposes Initiative 594. Gun-store owners conduct background checks, but many times they are based on false infor- marion, Griifey said. He suggested that databases be improved.  . . . . . ......... u L . ........ 7L! * DISTRICT 2 * * Dear Frienl.s and Neighbors I am running for reelection this year for PUD 3. as your commissioner in District 2, I have worked hard for all of us now; and I have worked hard to create a path for our future. Your PUD 3 is managed well and I will continue to work to keep our rates low and our power reliable. I ask for your vote this November. A- Experienced Commissioner A-50 Plus Year Resident of Mason County A- 30 Year Business Owner in Mason County -- Respectfully, Tom Farmer Paid for by the re-elect Tom Farmer PUD 3 Campaign. PO Box 214 Allyn, WA 98524