Author Archive of Waseniorlobby

Generic drug price hikes defy reason

It appears generic drug manufacturers have taken a page out of the playbook of oil companies, which seem to find innovative ways of manipulating the market to maximize profits. #Maximizing profits is a time-honored principle of the free market system. But there are things that are so vital to life that the normal competitive nature of the marketplace aren’t sufficient to keep people from being harmed. #Medicine would certainly seem to fall into

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Ecology report details plans to make oil trains safer

A new, 500-page state report says railroad oil shipments through Washington may increase sevenfold in the next six years and recommends 40 measures to improve safety and protect the environment.The state Department of Ecology report, released Monday, recommends additional spending for emergency planning, training and equipment, rail inspections and ongoing risk assessments.     http://tdn.com/news/local/ecology-report-details-plans-to-make-oil-trains-safer/article_855cb8de-79f4-11e4-8208-3f70d68ae0de.html

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Health plan exchange enters second year, with more options

In a surprise move, the U.S. Supreme Court has said it will resolve another legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act. The crux of the dispute is whether taxpayer-funded subsidies are available only through state-based insurance exchanges, or through all of them. Thirteen states run exchanges. The rest are run by the federal government. The court isn’t expected to issue a ruling until late June. Washington and Idaho have state-based exchanges,

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Congestion at ports rattles growers, importers and truckers

ressure is mounting for terminal operators and West Coast unions to reach an agreement so container shipping in Seattle, Tacoma and other ports can return to normal. Meanwhile, food containers are at risk of rotting, trucks are idle, and goods destined for holiday shoppers are stuck. http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2025004702_portslowdownsxml.html

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Career centers give veterans a fighting chance at jobs

MARYSVILLE — At the Armed Forces Reserve Center here on Wednesday, dozens of people lined up to enter the conference rooms set aside for the Snohomish County Regional Job and Resource Fair. While open to everyone, the event was designed with military veterans in mind, from the choice of venue to the event’s promotion, to the kinds of employers and other organizations that took part. Several police departments, community colleges and staffing

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THE FCC AND NET NEUTRALITY Keep flow of information open

Let's just get this out of the way: net neutrality. Now that you've been lulled to drowsiness, pour yourself a cup of coffee, do a couple jumping jacks, whatever you need to get yourself through this subject, because it does matter to you if you use the Internet for anything more than playing solitaire. Net neutrality is the term used to describe they way the Internet currently works for us. Content providers, among them Netflix, HeraldNet.com and

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Join in effort against domestic violence By Bob Ferguson

I am the father of 6-year-old twins. My wife, Colleen, and I want to raise a son who respects women, and a daughter who lives in a world where she is respected and free from violence. In September 2014, NFL football star Ray Rice's assault on his then-fiance, captured on video, received significant media attention and brought to national awareness the unfortunate prevalence of domestic violence in our society. The statistics are sobering. An estimated

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Budget Information

State Budget Update by David Schumacher, Director, OFM;   Revenue Reforms by Andrew Nicholas, Budget & Policy Center; & Report on Age Wave Forums & Solving LTC Services & Support Financing Puzzle.   David Schumacher -   State_budget_preliminary_outlook_presentation_September_- Andrew Nicholas -  2014 Revenue Reforms      Taxing Capital Gains FAQ Pete Subkoviak presentation (SEIU)         

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Columbia Riverkeeper tests find toxics in fish bound for dinner tables

Before they landed on local fishermen's plates this summer, an environmental group tested five Columbia River fish to see what toxics lay within. The results of Columbia Riverkeeper's analysis weren't unexpected, and for resident fish, they weren't good. The worst? Two walleye, which had high levels of PCBs, polychlorinated biphenyls, cancer-causing industrial chemicals banned in 1979 that accumulate up the food chain in fish. One had 175 times more

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Mental health court a ‘safe zone’ of help

Assistance program for those in criminal justice system not feeling pinch, official says Tracey Anne Green walks 9 miles round-trip to make her Clark County Mental Health Court appearances. “That’s my meditating time,” Green said Wednesday following a five-minute check-in with a judge. Green, 53, has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. She doesn’t travel by bus from her Hazel Dell mobile home to the

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Freshwater shortage looming as next world crisis

By Don C. Brunell | 0 comments Remember the rhyme of the Ancient Mariner: "Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink?" Even though water covers 70 percent of the Earth's surface, less than 2 percent is freshwater. Therein lies the problem. As the world's population grows, demand for water is increasing; in periods of drought it becomes a crisis. California has been in the grip of a severe drought this year. As summer ends, we are beginning

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Task force may revive 2 unpopular taxes to fund state parks

OLYMPIA — A task force appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee wants to revive two unpopular taxes to help finance the state's park system and promote its outdoor recreation industry. The panel wants to bring back the sales tax on bottled water and the excise tax on motor homes and travel trailers to generate money to keep parks open. Some dollars also would fund new initiatives in the Department of Commerce to put outdoor recreation on equal footing with

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Harborview as busy as ever, even with more people insured

With more people obtaining health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, places like Harborview Medical Center are providing much less “charity” (uncompensated) care. The Emergency Department there is as busy as ever, though.   http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2024629781_harborviewercompanionpiece1xml.html

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State’s top educator aims to energize teacher recruitment Posted by Claudia Rowe

A familiar storyline for teachers is that the newest are brimming with idealism, the more seasoned struggling not to burn out. But after nine years on the job at Lawton Elementary School in Seattle, Lyon Terry’s combination of energy and experience were notable enough that last spring a parent nominated him to be Washington state’s Teacher of the Year.   http://blogs.seattletimes.com/educationlab/2014/09/23/state-educator-of-the-year-aims-to-energize-teacher-recruitment/

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Council meeting on ACLU ruling delayed

The next potential decision in a federal voting rights case against the city of Yakima will come a week later than expected. Earlier this week, the Yakima City Council authorized its defense attorney to negotiate a redistricting plan for city elections with the American Civil Liberties Union, which won a lawsuit against the city in August. The city’s Seattle attorney, Francis Floyd, was to report the ACLU’s response to the council at a special

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How one young couple resolved their own gun debate

My fiance's family bought us a gun. Then things got interesting. Last Christmas, as our family was gathered to open presents, my fiancé reached under the couch cushion he was sitting on and pulled out a handgun. It wasn’t loaded. And he had only good intentions. The gun was a gift from his stepdad and two older brothers — cleverly hidden under his own seat for him to discover. http://crosscut.com/2014/09/22/lifestyle/121956/gun-debate-comes-home/

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Infographic: Connection between gun deaths and gun laws

On the fall ballot, Washington voters will be asked to vote on two opposing gun control initiatives — one calling for expanded background checks, the other keeping the current system of background checks in place. These are two of only three statewide gun control measures on November ballots anywhere in the country. Alabama voters will be asked to weigh in on an amendment to that state’s constitution protecting the right to bear arms.  

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Google says good riddance to “lying” conservative legislative group

Google has severed its ties with the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, with harsh words that ALEC is “lying” with expressions about climate change. The group has suffered numerous defections, including Microsoft and Amazon.com, beginning with its authorship of so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws such as the Florida statute used by the George Zimmerman defense in the killing of 16-year-old teenager Trayvon Martin.   http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2014/09/22/google-says-good-ridance-to-lying-conservative-legislative-group/

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State Board of Education: New revenue needed to pay for schools

Yet another state educational agency is telling lawmakers that they’ll have to come up with new tax money to fully fund public schools. The State Board of Education this month took the unusual step of telling the Legislature that there’s no way the state can fully fund basic education without new revenue. Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/09/22/3393664_state-board-of-education-new-revenue.html?sp=/99/296/331/&rh=1#storylink=cpy

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Study: Washington last in nation in tax fairness

How fair is the tax system in Washington? #A study by Wallethub, an arm of the personal finance company Evolution Finance, ranks our system dead last among the 50 states for fairness in the local and state tax system. #Wallethub’s study, which you can read here, compares the actual way people are taxed to how Americans in general feel is fair. The study’s methodology included a nationwide survey. http://union-bulletin.com/news/2014/sep/22/study-washington-last-nation-tax-fairness/

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