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Councilor blasts city manager for reinstating police officer

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first_imgUPDATE, Tuesday 3:30 p.m.: Councilor Pat Campbell met with City Manager Eric Holmes and Police Chief Cliff Cook Monday. He sent an email to Holmes and Cliff Cook at 8:21 p.m. Monday (after this story was filed) and said he now agrees with the city manager’s decision to reinstate Officer Brian Billingsley.Vancouver City Manager Eric Holmes’ reinstatement of a fired police officer last week prompted a scathing email from City Councilor Pat Campbell, who called the action a “slap in the face.”Officer Brian Billingsley, who was fired by Police Chief Cliff Cook in March, was reinstated Friday by Holmes with a 28-day suspension and letter of reprimand. Cook fired Billingsley in the fallout of a Washington State Patrol and Vancouver Internal Affairs investigation of former VPD Officer Erik McGarrity, who allegedly had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a confidential informant, Tegan Rushworth.The reinstatement is the first case under a union agreement approved in 2010 that gives the city manager the final say in the termination of police employees, a call that had rested in the hands of the police chief alone. Under the new rules, an officer can appeal his or her termination to a four-person Discipline Review Board, which then gives a recommendation to the city manager.But Campbell said in an email sent at 4:47 a.m. Friday that the city council made a public decision to back Cook “in cleaning up VPD and ridding it of corruption and incompetence.”last_img read more

Tribes Request King Bycatch Reduction as Pollock Season Wraps Up

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first_imgAs the Pollock season wraps up in the Bering Sea, the Association of Village Council Presidents and the Tanana Chiefs Conference want immediate action to protect declining Western Alaska King Salmon stocks from trawl bycatch. Wednesday they filed a joint petition for emergency regulations with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to crack down on king bycatch for the remainder of the 2014 season.Download AudioIn their petition they suggest reducing the 2014 overall Chinook salmon by-catch hard cap in the Bering Sea-Aleutian Island Pollock fishery by 40,000 fish.Natasha Singh is an attorney for the Tanana Chiefs Conference. She says together, the tribes along the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers making the request total nearly 100. And they want the Secretary and the Council to make the Pollock fishery conserve the way that families along the rivers have.“There’s not food in the freezers for our families, yet you see significant profit from the fleets in the ocean who are taking kings as bycatch and we know that they have the technology where they could increase avoidance of the bycatch we are pleading that for the sake of the people and the families in the river who depend on the king salmon to eat, to provide and subsist, they reduce the bycatch,” said Singh.The petition calls for the bycatch hard cap in the Bering Sea Pollock fishery to be slashed from 60-thousand to 20-thousand and the performance standard, which is a lower threshold to avoid penalties, to be cut from 47,591 to 15-thousand. That’s just for the remainder of the 2014 season. Historically Pollack bycatch spikes have occurred late in the season in the fall.But that all appears to be moot. Federal officials say the Pollack fishery has reached 99 percent of their available quota and the B season is expected to close soon, perhaps in week or so, which would make an emergency closure redundant. They add that the total bycatch is expected to be under the 15,000, the lower cap requested by tribes.The North Pacific Fishery Management Council, which manages off shore fisheries, including bycatch, asked in June for an in-depth analysis of ways to reduce the incidental catch of kings in Pollack nets.Scientists say there are likely many factors that could be impacting the wild Western Alaska King salmon stocks, from food supplies and climate change to ocean acidity. The state of Alaska has committed funding toward a long-term study to try to figure out what’s gone wrong. But bycatch is one consideration.Myron Naneng is President of AVCP. He says after a summer of sacrifice, tribes are eager to see a commitment to conservation from the trawl fleet.“The State of Alaska already implements openings and closures on the river system whenever they feel the returns of salmon are low. So we want that same requirement to be carried through with the trawl fleet in the Bering Sea,” said Naneng.Attorneys for tribes say if the Pollock fishery bycatch stays under the 15,000 mark, it demonstrates what the tribes claimed in their petition, that the Pollock fishery can stay under a Chinook bycatch of 15,000 and still catch the allowable limit of Pollack.last_img read more