Gregoire calls tribe, lawmakers continue push on graving yard

January 21st, 2005


(Olympia) -- A spokesperson for Governor Christine Gregoire says she has made contact with Lower Elwha Klallam tribal leaders over the graving yard in Port Angeles. Gregoire talked on the phone with tribal chair Frances Charles earlier this week. Gregoire's deputy communications chief Anna Kim Williams says the call was intended to make connections with various groups around the state. It was part of a series of phone calls concerning issues that have carried over from the previous administration.
The call came at the same time local lawmakers continued a push for a state probe into the abandoning of the drydock site along the Port Angeles waterfront. 24th district representatives Lynn Kessler and Jim Buck along with Senator Jim Hargrove says the state needs answers on how the department of transportation can walk away from nearly 60-million dollar invested at the site. Earlier this week, the state transportation secretary Doug MacDonals told the transportation commission it is impossible for work to start again at the Port Angeles site. The DOT pulled out of the Marine Drive site at the request of tribal leaders after hundreds of native bones and artifacts have been uncovered there.


Chamber defends letter on graving yard
January 25th, 2005 - 8:24am


(Port Angeles) -- Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce officials are defending a letter that now has the Lower Elwha Tribe upset. At Monday's regular chamber meeting, President Dan Gase discussed the letter drafted on January 10th sent to local state legislators, concerning the Graving Yard situation. But the tribe calls the letter disrespectful and says it will not accept tourism money allocated through the chamber for the tribe's annual paddle journey this year. Gase says he feels some of the letter has been taken out of context. Gase says another quote taken in part says "we request that the state legislators demand that the tribe and the DOT use the federal mediators to come up with solutions to this issue." He says that was pressure on the state to explain how the situation at the Marine Drive site was allowed to happen. Gase says there are solutions to be found, and each day brings new information or new evidence that was not fully understood. Gase says the Chamber will continue to be a business advocate, and will not duck the tough issues.



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