Waste those milk ad parody stickers, commissioners say

Herald staff

RICHLAND — A sticker that shows a cow eating what appears to be radioactive grass is drawing heat from Benton County commissioners.

State Ecology Department officials distributed the stickers at a meeting about two weeks ago. In a parody of the national "Got Milk?" advertisements, they show a cow with a pale green mustache across its white snout and the words, "Got vit?"

"Vit" refers to vitrification, the process of converting radioactive waste into glass. The state agency enforces the federal government’s obligations to build vitrification plants.

In letters to Gov. Gary Locke and three state legislators, commissioners called the stickers "reckless" and the mustache "apparently a radioactive ‘moo-stache.’ "

The letter requested an apology from State Ecology Director Tom Fitzsimmons and an immediate recall of the stickers.

The stickers first appeared at a Hanford Advisory Board meeting about two weeks ago.

"We think the stickers are cute, but they contain inappropriate information that’s detrimental to the agricultural industry," said Max Benitz Jr., county commission chairman.

  • Port pulls back third runway permit: The Port of Seattle has temporarily withdrawn its application for permits to add to add a third runway to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, because of doubts over whether the application would be approved. Thursday’s move gives the Port more time to address questions from the state Department of Ecology about environmental effects of adding a third runway, said port spokesman Bob Parker. The port and the state agency were facing a Friday deadline for a decision on the permit. But with lingering questions about the runway, the permits would have probably been denied, Parker said. The port plans to resubmit the permit application in the next two weeks, giving Ecology another year to decide on it. However, the new application probably will be approved within two months, Parker said.

  • Abortion drug should hit state in six weeks: RU-486 has been used in Seattle trials for the past six years, but it will take about six weeks before the abortion drug becomes widely available across Washington state, officials said. RU-486, also known as mifepristone, was approved Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration for sale as a prescription medication in the United States 12 years after it was first approved in France. With the drug, doctors can offer chemical abortions through the seventh week of pregnancy. Washington is one of 12 states in the country in which abortions are covered by Medicaid. A decision on whether that coverage will be extended to cover mifepristone is up to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Don’t blame nightclub, owner says: The owner of a Pioneer Square nightclub says his business should not be blamed for a shooting on Sept. 23 that left five men wounded. Anthony Frazier, owner of the Bohemian Cafe, criticized Mayor Paul Schell for his quick condemnation of the establishment. "My club is upscale, clean and — unlike what you may read or see on TV — not a haven for gang members," Frazier said. What happens outside the club is the responsibility of police, he said. Frazier added that he is not sure those involved in the shootings had been at his club, which had been closed for an hour when the shootings occurred.

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