So what about the dog?

As many of you may know and some of you may not know I am assisted by a service animal. Her name is Rio and she is a 12 year old Border Collie/Heller mix. She travels with me most everywhere I go and generally is nearly invisible. Her job is to stay focused on me which allows me to do my job. It’s a great partnership we have and as a result I can maintain my health as well as my fast paced lifestyle. I seldom acknowledge her in public and only on rare occasion do I speak about my personal disabilities. Unfortunately this can lead to some confusion and misunderstandings. So in the interest of transparency and advocacy for people with disabilities I’ve decided to broach this topic.

Her Name was Heather Heyer

Saturday, Heather Heyer was killed in an act of terrorism, by an American citizen on American soil. A violent, cowardly act fueled by hatred and bigotry. Before I had chance to come to terms with what had happened and the devastating human cost, the digital debate about “free speech” and 1st Amendment rights began to rage. Blame was passed around like a hot potato from organizers, to protesters, to the police, to everyone and everything fueling more division, anguish and pain.

10,000 strong and counting

We’ve been crunching a lot of numbers since Tuesday and planning our strategy moving forward with most of these planning sessions happen in my kitchen. The benefits to this very organic way of planning and looking at things is that it keeps us focused on what’s important and focused on the realities of living in the 7th. Realities like internet connections won’t support video conferencing, realities like August in the 7th is when we work, we fix fences, cut firewood, work fire lines, put up hay, tend gardens and get ready for winter. We don’t have time for endless meetings or frivolous conversation. So we do the best we can and keep moving forward.

Healthcare is a human right

It’s not quite 7am and I was up until 1 am watching C-span to see if my fellow Americans would be losing their ability to get health insurance. My daughter Amelia was texting me, so upset, so anxious, so worried because this vote and this entire health care issue affects her every day. She lives no more than 72 hours without medical care. That’s real, that’s raw and that makes this very personal.

Throwing The Budget Out With The Well Water

At no time did she mention holding the Capital Budget hostage over the Hirst Decision. So imagine my surprise and I’m guessing the surprise of the attendees at the forum when on Thursday the Republican led Senate refused to vote on the budget before adjourning from their third special session. Our legislators spent 193 days in session and left without funding the $4 billion in projects approved during those sessions. These projects ensure our compliance with McCleary, create 19,000 good living wage jobs, provide for Mental Health services, Parks, WDFW, DNR and so on. Again $4 BILLION dollars in projects put on hold until Jan 2018 at the earliest.

So let’s talk

What constitutes communication and availability, in regards to elected officials and their constituents. The Chewelah Independent ran an article about Shelly Short this week where she talked about the difficulties of being a Senator for far Eastern Washington. The paper noted “…perhaps why she racks up so many miles on her vehicle as she tries to be a familiar face for voters. She tries to maintain a connection and admits that her cell phone is not a secret. …” I was very surprised to read this, not only is her cell phone number a secret to me but referring to her as a familiar face in the district doesn’t fit me experience.

1st Annual Ballots and Ballads

Join us to watch the election results, listen to good music, enjoy good beer and
celebrate democracy. Everyone is welcome, all we ask is $20 at the door and your
solemn word that you voted in the Primary. Verlon Thompson has been a
professional songwriter and traveling troubadour for thirty years traveling the
world and having his music recorded by some of Nashville’s finest. We are
humbled and honored to have him as our headliner. On top of that we have the
Dino Soars and Waterfall, some of the 7th finest musicians warming up and joining
in. This will truly be a night to remember in Republic. Don’t miss out, don’t be late and
remember to vote.

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

I understand, no really I understand, I’m not just saying that I really do understand how absolutely devastating it is to have your livestock killed by predators. I’ve had it happen. It sucks, it makes you angry and it’s costly. I don’t want anyone to have to deal with that. But I also understand that is one of the cold hard realities of being a rancher. Animals die. Animals get killed and sometimes animals disappear and you never know what happened to them.

Response to NRA Endorsement Questionnaire

My Response to the NRA Endorsement Questionnaire

Keely Hopkins,
I sat down today to fill out my NRA questionnaire and I was struck with the difficult choices I am asked to make as a candidate. This should be pretty simple. I support the Second Amendment and the peoples right to bear arms. I was raised in a family where firearms were part of our lives. I have owned guns and have had a concealed weapons permit. I am a rural American with a deep connection to the land, hunting and a sustainable way of life. I should be the NRA poster candidate