KWSO News 3/11/19

Tribal Members may request an absentee ballot for the upcoming baseline referendum to be held this coming Friday, March 15th  if voters expect to be absent from the reservation on the day of the vote, due to illness, or because of a physical disability. Eligible voters must request an absentee ballot through the Chief Statistician, Olivia Wallulatum, at the Vital Stats office. Voters will be provided an absentee ballot, along with the Absentee Ballot Affidavit. Absentee Ballots must be received by the close of the polls on Election Day at the Vital Stats office or at the polling site at the Community Center. The Baseline Referendum is this Friday – all eligible voters are urged to take part.

A bill to establish a protocol for how Washington state law enforcement agencies handle reports of missing Native women received unanimous approval last week by the Washingt State House of Representatives. House Bill 1713, sponsored by Rep. Gina Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale, now goes to the Senate for further consideration. The bill would establish two liaison positions within the State Patrol to work with family members when missing persons reports are filed. It would also create a task force that will bring together tribal representatives and law enforcement to address how such cases are handled. In addition, the Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs would be required to provide the State Patrol with government-to-government training. Mosbrucker’s bill builds upon legislation she sponsored last year that brought the State Patrol together with federally recognized tribes, tribal law enforcement, urban Indian organizations and the Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs to study the issue of missing Native American women in Washington. It is not known exactly how many Native girls and women have gone missing on or near the 1.3-million-acre Yakama Reservation. In 2009, the FBI concluded a two-year probe into the deaths of 16 women on the reservation from 1980 to 1993. An FBI spokesman said there may be as many as 32 unsolved cases on the reservation involving disappearances and deaths.

Young salmon could see improved conditions this year off the Washington and Oregon coasts. The Seattle Times reports scientists in a conference call with reporters say the ocean is more hospitable for salmon entering the ocean, several year after an unusually warm water event. A marine heat wave dubbed “The Blob” disrupted the ocean food chain. Research biologist Chris Harvey of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says scientists are seeing several signs of recovery. Research surveys in 2018 confirmed that tiny animals stoking the food web are healthy and fat. Researchers report important forage fish, anchovies, are increasing in number and that fish-eating sea birds are doing well. But they say subsurface sea temperatures remain warmer than average in some areas.

2019 Warm Springs Nation Little League – baseball, softball and t-ball – registrations are being taken weekdays from 8am to 4:30pm at the Community Center. Baseball and softball tryouts will be March 19-21 and practices begin April 1st. Coaches and umpires need to complete forms and background checks. FMI: 541-325-3856.

As part of Cascades East Transit’s 2040 Transit Master Plan, it is holding a second round of community open house events throughout Central Oregon this month. They want to collect input from residents to help prioritize near-term transit expansion projects. Information about CET’s 2040 Transit Master Plan can be found at The Warm Springs open house event will be held this Thursday evening at Warm Springs K-8 Academy. It will coincide with the K8’s College & Career Night and STEM activities.