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November 24, 2004

Message from the Governor

This holiday week is a traditional time of gratitude. Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to transcend our daily laments and focus on the positive.

We have had a good year in Washington, with many reasons to be thankful.

This past summer, for example we saw very encouraging proof of success in our schools statewide. Our students are continuing to make strong academic gains. Weíve also made exceptional progress in improving our stateís economy. We reached historic agreements with unions representing our state employees. And our recent trade missions to Mexico, China and Vietnam strengthened our state's leadership in global commerce.

Such accomplishments are good reason to feel optimistic about the future of our state. This is a great place to live, work and raise a family, and for that we are all grateful.

Thanksgiving, of course, symbolizes other profound sources of gratitude. Freedom from harm, wrong and want. Cherishing the love and comfort of family and friends. Faith in the future of humanity. Hope for spiritual serenity, peace of mind and good health. A willingness by those enjoying good fortune to extend a helping hand to those less fortunate.

Quote of the Week
“We live and work in a world of hot issues and daily decisions. We spend much of our time trying to meet challenges and solve problems. Itís important to take time out every so often to count our many blessings, too.”
—Governor Locke, November 24, 2004

Thanksgiving is a time to remind ourselves of these and other timeless human values. A time to set aside cynicism, pessimism, apathy and complacency—and to ponder lifeís many blessings. A time of gratitude and humility.

I wish you all a joyful and reflective day of thanks tomorrow.

Happy Thanksgiving,
Gary Locke
Gary Locke
Governor

Governor’s Priorities
News Highlights

Taking Steps to Address Global Warming
The governors of Washington, Oregon and California have approved a series of recommendations for action to combat global warming. The governors are directing their staffs to continue working on state and regional goals and strategies to address global warming over the coming year. “By working together as a region, we can have a significant impact on the reduction of greenhouse gases,” the Governor said. “Utilizing a consistent and common approach among the states will create great economic opportunities and maximize the environmental benefits.” This is the most recent action taken as part of the West Coast Governorsí Global Warming Initiative, launched by the governors in September 2003. This effort is widely considered one of the leading state initiatives on climate change in the United States. The governors have committed to act individually and regionally to reduce greenhouse gas emissions below current levels through strategies that promote long-term economic growth, protect public health and the environment, consider social equity, and expand public awareness.

Supporting Economic Development in Pierce County
Governor Locke has signed an agreement with the Puyallup Tribe to support major economic development at the Port of Tacoma. The agreement allows the tribe to move its Emerald Queen Casino to a new location to assist in the opening of the portís new Pierce County Terminal. The terminal, set to open in January 2005, will generate thousands of new jobs in Pierce County. “This is truly a win-win,” the Governor said. “It will create jobs, enable the port to expand and allow the tribe to maintain its revenue stream. Everyone benefits.” The agreement does not increase the number of gaming locations or electronic scratch ticket machines the tribe is allowed to operate.

Protecting Our Streams
Governor Locke has directed the Department of Ecology to exercise its discretion to set minimum stream flows throughout Washington and to focus resources on implementing local water-management plans. The Governorís action is in response to recommendations from the Washington Environmental Council, a statewide environmental advocacy organization, on ways to improve the outlook for threatened fish populations. “During the past eight years, we have made significant improvements for fish in Washington waters,” the Governor said. ďWeíre starting to see results, but we still have more work to do. Iím calling on Ecology to keep up the good work and not lose momentum.Ē In 2001, the Governor unveiled a strategy for updating state laws to address the widespread demand for water for population growth, agriculture and fish recovery. The key elements involved adopting and implementing local water-management plans, speeding up water-right decisions, conserving and re-using water so less of it has to be pulled out of the environment, allowing more flexibility in using existing water withdrawals, and firming up long-term water supplies for cities.

New Web Site For Deaf And Hard Of Hearing
The Department of Social and Health Services recently announced a new Web site that offers deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and speech-disabled people a location to obtain a variety of telecommunication relay services designed to empower them to communicate with their hearing counterparts. Sprint developed the website with review by DSHS Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Included in the Web site are instructions, visual aids and video clips showing how to use the services provided by the Washington Relay Services. There are links that enable direct access to Internet-based services and a frequently asked question section with answers about Washington Relay Service. Washington Relay Services are available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. The service is confidential and records of use are not maintained.



Upcoming Events

11/25: Thanksgiving
11/29: Governorís Quality and Performance Awards, Lacey
11/30: News Conference, Olympia
12/1:   Governorís Economic Conference, Tacoma
12/2:   World Affairs Council Award Ceremony, Seattle
12/2:   Capitol Dome Lighting, Olympia


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