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December 30, 2004

Message from the Governor

As 2004 comes to a close I want to send a personal thank you to all state employees for your dedication and commitment.

As in each of the past seven years as Governor, this year I have again had the opportunity to travel throughout the state, and everywhere I go, I meet the people that you serve. My conversations with them reinforce what I already knew – that in the state of Washington we have hard working, top-rate staff and agencies that are dedicated to making the lives of people throughout the state better. Many times, you are often the only lifeline to communities, families and individuals, and you are truly appreciated. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do.

Quote of the Week
“Mona and I send you and your families our warmest wishes for a happy and healthy new year.”
—Governor Locke, December 30, 2004

I hope you have a moment of quiet to enjoy this holiday season with your loved ones to celebrate the year. Amidst the hectic pace and all the demands and pressures we experience in our daily lives, it's important to pause and take stock of all that we can feel grateful for.

Mona and I send you and your families our warmest wishes for a happy and healthy new year. Again, I am deeply appreciative of the great work you do every day for the people of this state. It's an honor to serve as your Governor.

Happy New Year,
Gary Locke
Gary Locke

Governor’s Priorities
News Highlights

Helping Disaster Victims in South Asia
Governor Locke expressed his condolences to the families of the victims of the earthquake and tsunamis in South Asia that have killed at least 77,000 people. “Mona and I extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those killed in South Asia,” the Governor said. “Entire villages have been wiped out in this disaster. Millions more people have been driven from their homes. It is difficult to imagine the level of destruction caused by these enormous tsunamis.”

“Although the risk to Washington state in this instance was extremely minimal, these destructive acts of nature remind us of the need to be prepared in the event such an incident occurs in our region. Our state Emergency Management Division, in coordination with federal and local agencies, has taken steps to provide early warning in the event a tsunami is headed toward Washington. Emergency evacuation plans have been prepared for our coastal communities.”

Individuals wishing to donate money to help the victims of this disaster can contact the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. Information is available at 1-800-HELP NOW or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the International Response Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. A donation link is also available at

Honoring Our Soldiers
Governor Locke attended a memorial service December 29 to honor the six Stryker Brigade soldiers killed in an apparent suicide attack on a soldier mess tent in Mosul, Iraq, on December 21. “My heart goes out to the families of these brave souls who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, for our security and for democracy for the people of Iraq,” the Governor said. “I know that receiving this news is especially difficult during the holidays. Our family is keeping everyone who has been touched by this tragedy in our thoughts and prayers.” The Governor also visited with injured soldiers at Madigan Hospital, thanking them for their service.

Protecting Agricultural Areas
Governor Locke announced on December 28 that he will impose sanctions on Snohomish County because of county’s ongoing unwillingness to comply with the orders of the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board. “It was my desire to avoid the imposition of sanctions and work together on a solution,” the Governor said. “However, the county council has failed to address the order of the hearings board. I believe the county has the ability to come into compliance and address the issues raised by the board.” In June 2004, the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board recommended that the Governor impose sanctions on Snohomish County because of the county’s continuing non-compliance. The specific issue of concern to the board was the county’s repeated attempts to change the protected status of agricultural lands and include them in the Arlington Urban Growth Area.

Upcoming Events

1/1: Happy New Year!
1/5: State Trooper Graduation, Olympia

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