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Upcoming Groundwater Advisory Committee Meetings:

  • June 19, 2014 Radio KDNA 121 Sunnyside Ave, Granger WA 98932 at 5:00pm


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Procedural Concerns Regarding the Lower Yakima Valley Groundwater Management Area.

Item 1:
In Sept of 2012, I met with the Yakima County Commissioners to discuss issues related to drinking water in the lower Yakima Valley. During that discussion the commissioners noted that they needed to spend more time in the lower valley talking to people who live in that area. I took this seriously and spent considerable time and effort over the next weeks and months setting up a meeting with people from Radio KDNA. Rand Elliott agreed to talk with us regarding effects on the Hispanic community. A meeting was set up for Dec. 7. and three very busy women took three hours off from their morning work to attend. When the commissioner did not arrive we called and learned from his secretary that the meeting had not been put on his schedule and he “forgot”.  I am unaware of any follow up from the commissioner.

Item 2:
On January 30, 2013 I sent a polite e-mail to Penny Mabie and Lisa Freund asking them to add Eric Anderson, Alternate for Friends of Toppenish Creek and Wendell Hannigan, Alternate for Community Association for the Restoration of the Environment (CARE) to the GWAC mailing list, since they were the only alternates not receiving messages.
Lisa Freund acknowledged the message.

In a February 20, 2013 e-mail to Penny Mabie I repeated the request since no corrections had been made.

On March 1, 2013 I sent the following e-mail to Penny Mabie, Rand Elliott and Charlie McKinney:
     I see that this e-mail has gone out to all the committee members and alternates with the exception of the alternates for Friends of Toppenish Creek and the Community Association for the Restoration of the Environment. The e-mail was even sent to an employee of the U.S. Geological Survey who filled in when neither the primary nor the alternate could attend. I have already brought this to your attention twice. How can I go about lodging a formal complaint?
On March 20, 2013 I received this reply:

Hi Jean,
Thanks for the notes below.  We will make the edits to the summary you suggest.  Also, regarding the alternates for Friends of Toppenish Creek and the Community Association for the Restoration of the Environment being omitted from emails, Daniel and I did some back-tracking on our distribution lists.  We went as far back as October 2012, and noted that Jim Dyjak has been sent all GWMA GWAC communications (email used is ) If you have a specific example of him being missed it would be helpful for me, so we could research how it happened.
Regarding your alternate, Eric Anderson, we did find that while he was added to our Excel spreadsheet contact list at the end of January, his name did not get added to the Outlook distribution list we have been using to send emails.  Our apologies to you and to Eric.  We have cross-checked and fixed all our various distribution lists now, to ensure that Eric will be included. 
Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

I responded, saying that Jim Dyjak is not the alternate for CARE. Wendell Hannigan is that alternate.
Corrections were made. I do not believe that Mr. Hannigan ever received an apology. To my knowledge the U.S. Geological Survey is the only group that has been allowed to choose two alternates and to add that third person to the mailing list.

On May 9, 2013 this message was sent to members of the Livestock/CAFO work group, as well as a number of others. Some had attended previous workgroup meetings but several had not.
Good morning,

Charlie has asked me to inform the Livestock/CAFO Work Group members of the meeting with Dr. Bob Stevens and to invite the Irrigated Ag Work Group.  The meeting with Dr. Stevens is on Thursday, May 23, 2013 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at KDNA Granger.

Thank you.

Three representatives from the environmental community, Jim Dyjak (alternate for Concerned Citizens of the Yakama Reservation), Larry Fendell and Kathleen Rogers were not informed, in spite of the fact that they had attended previous workgroup meetings and signed in with contact information.
Thank you for filing these concerns.
Jean Mendoza