Environmental factors

The other Republicans in Washington state: Today So Far

  • Mainstream Republicans of Washington are backing candidates in the August primary.
  • What you need to watch out for as things warm up around the Northwest.
  • The cost/health/benefit analysis of running those fans and AC units throughout this heat wave.

This post originally appeared in KUOW’s Today So Far newsletter for July 28, 2022.

There’s some tension among Washington’s Republicans heading into the August 2 primary.

You’ll recall that two of our state’s GOP representatives voted to impeach former President Trump. That action proved divisive and has spurred challengers from their right. Washington’s 3rd Congressional District is represented by Congresswoman Jamie Herrera Beutler; one of the lawmakers who voted for impeachment. She is being challenged by Joe Kent, a GOP primary candidate endorsed by Trump. Kent echoes false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

As do challengers to Republican Dan Newhouse, who represents Washington’s 4th District. Newhouse is the second GOP Washingtonian who favored impeachment. Trump backs his challenger, failed gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp. But Newhouse does have GOP support, specifically from the Mainstream Republicans of Washington, a group that aims to offer a moderate GOP voice to counter more extreme rhetoric.

Mainstream Republicans of Washington just got a new leader — Deanna Martinez of Moses Lake. Martinez tells KUOW that Republicans like her want their politicians “to speak the truth, even when it’s a difficult truth.” She is also bothered by some right-wing claims of a stolen election.

“The lack of integrity just … it gets me. I can’t vote for something like that,” Martinez said.

As Northwest News Network’s Austin Jenkins points out, questioning the validity of Washington’s voting system has been among local GOP rhetoric since before the 2020 election. This year, right-wing activists are planning to watch ballot drop off boxes to keep an eye out for fraud. Before the 2020 election, at least one local Republican was sowing doubt in Washington’s vote-by-mail system. More on that here.

This all means there is plenty to watch for in our upcoming Aug. 2 primary election, which will offer hints at the mood of voters these days.

There’s a new member of my home — Cosmo — a mutt going on about 6 months. He’s rascally. But a few days back, he wasn’t himself and not so rascally. In fact, he was shivering, not eating, and not moving around much at all. It was quite a scare and prompted a visit to the vet.

When going through all the environmental factors that could be at play, it came up that I had been taking Cosmo to a local lake with trails, where he sometimes takes a dip. Around this time of year, folks should start watching out for blue-green algae which can be toxic, especially to children and pets. The vet told me that if toxic algae was at play, there wasn’t much they could do, “It just kills ’em.”

Officials around Washington who watch our lakes and other bodies of water for toxic algae have a saying: “When in doubt, stay out.” Not all algae is toxic, but it’s best not to risk it. While it can show up year-round, it’s common when water warms up. You can often observe a green or blue sheen on top of the water. But it’s not always visible. KUOW’s Natalie Newcomb has more on this, and what you should watch out for these days, here. And just in case I wasn’t clear above — keep your kids and dogs out of the water if you even remotely suspect algae.

As for Cosmo, he’s fine. Part of me believes he did it all to get some attention while securing peanut butter treats via a couple weeks’ worth of medication. And another part of me is starting to suspect he’s actually a coyote masquerading as a domestic dog to live the good life.

If you’re like me, your mind is doing a cost/health/benefit analysis for every fan or AC you turn on during this heat wave. I’m mentally preparing myself now for the inevitable electric bill shock that is coming.

The good news is that the region’s electrical grid is holding up well to the heat, unlike during last year’s heat dome, which kept knocking out power to my Northeast Seattle apartment. The grid is powering a lot of fans right now. Andrew Padula with Puget Sound Energy tells KUOW that fans cool a person, not a room. So if you want to lessen that utility bill, turn off fans when you leave a room. Also, as I mentioned yesterday, the temps are cooler in the mornings, around 60 degrees. That’s an opportune time to rush cool air into the home before temps rise.

While many of us (myself included) have fans around us, there are plenty of people who are out in the heat, working. There are construction workers on the job, or crews dispatched anytime the power goes out. They turn the power back on and keep your fan going. KUOW’s Kate Walter has more on this story here.


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A ferry crashed into a structure at the Fauntleroy ferry dock in West Seattle Thursday morning, suspending service at the terminal. The MV Cathlamet crashed into a “dolphin” (a ferry structure, not an animal) immediately outside the dock. Service to Vashon Island and Southworth on the Kitsap Peninsula has been disrupted. (Courtesy of Timothy Couch)


The MV Cathlamet crashed into the Fauntleroy ferry dock in West Seattle this morning. The incident has disrupted service to Vashon Island and Southworth on the Kitsap Peninsula.

Like most of Washington’s ferries, the MV Cathlamet draws its name from local Indigenous culture. According to Washington State Ferries, it has roots in “the Kathlamet tribe, the Chinook word calamet meaning ‘stone,’ was given to the tribe because its members lived along a rocky stretch of the Columbia River. A city also bears its name.”

The city of Cathlamet is a small town on the shores of the Columbia River. Three movies have been filmed there. Long before the town existed in that spot, the tribe lived there. It’s where they encountered Lewis and Clark who wrote about visiting with them.

Like many tribes in the 1850s, the Kathlamet ceded land to the US government in exchange for money and other items. The tribe moved onto two islands in the middle of the Columbia River. Their language was similar to the Chinook people’s, but was distinct. The last native speakers of their language reportedly died in the 1930s.


caption: In this Wednesday, Jan.  8, 2020, file photo, Ken Jennings, a cast member in the ABC television series

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‘Jeopardy!’ says Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings will split the host job

“In Mayim and Ken, we have two outstanding hosts at the beginning of their Jeopardy! hosting careers who connect with their own unique fanbases, new fans, and the traditional Jeopardy! viewer.”


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