October 19, 2015
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Wildfire summit set for Nov. 9 in Wenatchee

Hundreds of thousands of acres burned, homes and livestock, and three firefighters were lost due to wildfires in Central Washington this year. This has prompted local officials and community members to organize The Wildfires and Us Summit on Monday, Nov. 9 at 4 p.m. at the Numerica Performing Arts Center in Wenatchee. The event is open to the public and is free to attend.

The Facebook page for the event, in part, reads, “Wildfires are an inevitable part of life here in North Central Washington, but we can take meaningful action to improve the odds of catastrophic loss. This summit is dedicated to exploring what can be done by everyone involved: landowners, cities and counties, and state and federal agencies. We are committed to developing a comprehensive, cooperative and collaborative regional approach to reduce the risks of wildfire loss.”

The nine presenters range from State Sen. Linda Evans Parlette, R-Wenatchee, Chelan County Commissioner Ron Walter and Wenatchee World Publisher Rufus Woods to U.S. Forest Service researchers and the director of a local wildfire preparedness coalition.

The event will also include a question and answer session, and regional organizations that work with wildfire issues will be on hand.

The hope for the event is to begin a conversation about how communities can better live with and prepare for wildfires, the Wenatchee World reports.

For more information and updates, visit the Wildfires & Us Summit event Facebook page.

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Export-Import Bank Critical to Washington's Economy

Ex-Im Bank Is an Easy Yes

By Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers

ProGauge Technologies, Inc., a manufacturing company based in Bakersfield, California, is bidding on a project that could lead to 30 new jobs, but only five are staying here in the United States. The rest will be created abroad.

It didn't have to be that way. ProGauge is one of countless manufacturers in the United States, large and small, losing out on foreign sales and international deals because of Congress' failure to stand up for American jobs. "It's pretty sad not to be able to keep the jobs here," said ProGauge president Don Nelson.

Earlier this year, Congress allowed the Export-Import Bank's charter to expire and has not yet acted to reauthorize it. The Ex-Im Bank has served for more than 80 years as the U.S. export credit agency, ensuring access to competitive export financing for manufacturers in the United States that private banks are unable to offer. Countries around the world have similar credit agencies, and without ours, it is harder for U.S.-based companies to sell their products, made by American workers, overseas.

Click here to read the full column in U.S. News & World Report
Ag Worth Billions to State

Needed: More Water for Everyone in Yakima Valley

By The News Tribune editorial board

Some of America's richest farmland lies just over the Cascade Mountains in the Yakima River Valley. It provides most of the nation's apples and hops, and pulls billions of dollars into the state economy.

It's also fragile, as this year's unprecedented drought demonstrated. The valley's reservoir system is roughly a century old; even in the best of years, it doesn't deliver enough water to go around. U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell has introduced a measure that would bring the system into the 21st century; the Senate should pass it.

Her bill would put the U.S. government behind the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, a combination of irrigation, reservoir and habitat improvements. The legislation is backed by an improbably broad coalition that includes farmers, environmentalists, the Yakama Indians, fishermen, Republican and Democratic leaders.

A lot of those people are normally in the habit of squabbling with each other. Their unanimity in this case reflects the fact that the Integrated Plan pretty much makes everyone happy.

Click here to read the full editorial in The News Tribune
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