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Warming Up to Climate Change 

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FIFTY SHADES OF GREEN

After a record-hot year in the United States and a big election out of the way, Democrats are starting to talk again about tackling climate change. Newly-minted Washington Gov. Jay Inslee spoke at his inaugural ball of putting “limitations on carbon emissions, across the United states, starting in the Evergreen State.”

But Inslee, who shied away from talking about global warming this year on the campaign trail, still isn’t committing to a regional carbon cap-and-trade approach known as the Western Climate Initiative (WCI). Washington state was originally part of the initiative, which would impose limits on how much carbon companies can spew into the air — but later dropped out.

“It’s something he is open to talking about, but he is not proposing it at this time,” says Jaime Smith, Inslee’s spokesperson, on the WCI. Smith says the governor has no other specific plans regarding limiting carbon emissions.

National Democrats sounded a similar note. President Barack Obama — after ignoring climate change through most of the presidential election — said “We will respond to the threat of climate change” in his Inauguration Day speech. And Obama dispatched Vice President Joe Biden to make a surprise appearance at the inauguration ball for greenies.

— JOE O’SULLIVAN

INDECENT EXPOSURE

Despite the frigid January weather, Spokane investigators have exposed a bit of a naked crime wave after determining two bare lawbreakers had struck separately earlier this month.

The Spokane Police Department first investigated a Jan. 6 report of a pantsless man knocking on doors on the South Hill. Officers found tracks in the snow leading to several houses.

A few days later, officers arrested 22-year-old Trevor L. Franklin, a Level 3 sex offender, on burglary allegations after he was discovered naked in a Browne’s Addition apartment building on Riverside Avenue. Investigators found his clothes inside a ransacked apartment.

“[H]ighly intoxicated people often take their clothes off, so you see that phenomena periodically,” police spokeswoman Officer Jen DeRuwe says.

Investigators initially linked Franklin to the pantsless South Hill prowling, but last week announced they were unrelated. Authorities now say a teen male has taken responsibility for the “prank.”

— JACOB JONES

‘A GOOD SIGN’

After a meeting with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says he’s “encouraged,” but that doesn’t mean the state won’t face a lawsuit over its new marijuana law.

The governor and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson met with Holder in Washington, D.C., Tuesday to discuss the implementation of Initiative 502, which legalized possession of small amounts of recreational marijuana in Washington. The new law tasks the state Liquor Control Board with creating the rules around growing and selling pot. The board is currently taking public comment on licensing pot producers and has until the end of the year to set up the rules.

After the meeting, Inslee told a conference call of reporters that Holder asked for clarification about how the state planned to prevent pot use by minors or the transport of it out of the state. But he offered no insight on whether the feds would sue the state or raid pot stores like they’ve done with medical marijuana dispensaries, and neither Inslee or Ferguson asked for clarification.

“He said nothing to show what direction he’s heading or where he’d like to end up,” Inslee says. “[But] we have leader in the [Department of Justice] who has an honest intent to try to fully understand what we’re going to do. … That’s a good sign.”

— HEIDI GROOVER

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