News • The Chronicle • March 5, 2014
Court from A1 precedent for this type of decision, the appellate court rulingshouldbereversed. “Thereisnocaseinthisstate that has ever allowed a local entity to condemn state land that is being used in any way,” Lawrencesaid. The land in question is currently being used for cattle grazing,andthemoneygoesto support public schools. Five active grazing leases and two grazing-permit range areas generate less than $3,000 per year,accordingtothepublished opinionoftheCourtofAppeals fromMay2013. During Lawrence’s argument, Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud paraphrased Revised Code of Washington 54.16.050, which gives the utility the right to condemn school lands for transmission lines. “It seems pretty specific,” McCloudsaidtoLawrence. But because the lands are currently in use, they are not subject to condemnation, Lawrencesaid. Utility attorney Stephen DiJulio argued the fact the utilitywantsstatetrustlandsin usedoesnotexemptthemfrom condemnation. DiJulio quoted the Public Lands Act of 1927 that defines statelandsaslandsthatarenot setasideforaspecificpurpose. “School trust lands (are) a subsetofthatdefinitionofstate lands that the Legislature has said, ‘They are not devoted to, orreservedfor,aparticularuse
They are not devoted to, or reserved for, a particular use... Stephen DiJulio
” bylaw,’”hesaid. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the utility and upholds the Court of Appeals’ decision, it may open the door to more condemnations. But, until a decision is made, a changeintheutility’sabilityto more broadly condemn state landsinthefutureisunclear. “It really depends upon the scope of the decision,” Lawrence said after oral arguments. Based on the arguments, he said he thinks several justices areconcernedaboutthe lackof limits the utility would have in futurecondemnationcases. DiJulio was unavailable for comment. Planning for the transmission line project startedin1996. Theutilityistryingtoobtain a100-footeasementalong 12.2 milesofstateschooltrustland. The project would also require the construction of about 22 miles of new roads for installation and maintenance purposes.
Al Camp/The Chronicle
Buno Construction dumps a bucket load of dirt along Main Street as part of Omak’s sewer replacement project. Work has continued through winter in an attempt to finish the Main Street portion before the state starts repaving the route this spring.
Club from A1 study group or the Young Democrats or Young Republicans,”Swansonsaid.“If it all checks out, we can’t just saywedon’twantit.” Besides,“thereneedstobea place where students can work togetherforunderstanding,”he
said. The Associated Student Body council previously gave thegroupitsblessing. Accordingtoaclubproposal submitted by Clark, the group would benefit a “diverse student body and campus culture.” The group would promote acceptance,tolerance,diversity
and understanding of, but not limitedto,lesbian,gay,bisexual andtransgenderstudents. She said eight or nine students form the club’s core group, and she doesn’t know whichonesaregay. Shedoesn’tknowhowmany will eventually join the club, nor how many gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender
studentsthereareatOmak. “There definitely has been interestandreliefexpressed”at theeffort,shesaid. Along with building a tolerant and safe atmosphere, anotherclubgoalistohavefun, shesaid. Thegroupanticipatesbeing part of the national GayStraightAllianceNetwork.
TheG R E AT
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