Politics, University of Washington, and Crime


On Tuesday, May 20, Gov. Gary Locke vetoed the Legislature's repeal of Initiative 713, which banned the use of body-gripping traps to take animals. The initiative has been controversial ever since its passage by 54 percent in 2000. During the campaign, opponents insisted the measure was poorly written and would create problems with wildlife management, including the outlawing of mole traps routinely used by homeowners and businesses. Proponents, including the Humane Society's regional director, Lisa Wathne, pooh-poohed such concerns as hysteria, saying the measure focused on the trapping of animals for fur. Once I-713 passed, however, the state Fish and Wildlife Department said it applied not only to furriers but people trying to get rid of problem animals, including moles. The Legislature has been fighting over whether to repeal the law ever since. This week, after Locke vetoed the initiative's repeal, he directed the state's enforcement officers to "use its limited resources on higher priorities rather than against homeowners, businesses, and the timber industry that have trapped for moles, gophers, and mountain beavers." In other words, the governor thinks the law is seriously flawed, but his solution is to officially request selective enforcement. Note to governor: I-713's opponents, like the Farm Bureau and hunters' organizations, have lawyers who will surely take note of your suggestion. GEORGE HOWLAND JR.


Word out of the UW has it that the Washington National Primate Research Center is in negotiations to move to an industrial site in Mukilteo in Snohomish County. Currently, the primate center houses about 500 monkeys and baboons in its cramped, four-decade-old facilities at UW's Health Sciences Complex, where the animals are used for a wide array of biomedical experiments. The center also has a smaller facility in Belltown, which would not be affected by the move. The reason for the move is so the center can expand its work, particularly in the area of bioterror research. PHILIP DAWDY


Just how desperate are police spouses to tell their own tales of abuse? "Some of them have sent me e-mails so that, if they are killed by their abusers, they would have proof they were telling the truth," says Tacoma attorney Lara Herrmann. Her recent introduction to the domestic-violence cause was the murder of abuse victim Crystal Brame. The mother of two was mortally wounded April 26 by her estranged husband, Tacoma Police Chief David Brame, who then killed himself. But Herrmann also has gotten hate mail, she says, as a leader of Women for Justice (WFJ), whose basic aim is merely to aid abuse victims. "It is too crazy," says Herrmann. She and others seek the local, statewide, and even national passage of the Crystal Clear Act, a proposed law allowing spouses, partners, and family members of police, fire fighters, and public officials to report incidents of domestic violence to an independent agency other than the local police. Though a personal-injury attorney, Herrmann says she is being swamped with requests to take abuse case from as far away as Florida. Herrmann wouldn't mind hearing from family-law attorneys who want to help with the incoming pleas. She's at 206-625-9104 or laraherrmann@ hotmail.com. RICK ANDERSON


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