Author Archive of Waseniorlobby

In Our View: It’s Time To Tweak Treaty After 50 years, crucial Columbia River pact with Canada must be updated

As anniversaries go, tradition says a gift of gold was warranted. After all, the union between the United States and Canada, as spelled out in the Columbia River Treaty, turned 50 last week. That might have been a cause for celebration, yet both parties remained largely silent as they ponder the future of a partnership that has helped define the Columbia River for a half-century. Originally signed by President Eisenhower and Canadian Prime Minister

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Study: Criminals easily skirt law buying guns online

This spring, a man in King County posted an ad on an online gun market, seeking a 9mm handgun. “Cash in hand for the right deal,” he wrote. Around the same time, a man in Tacoma posted an ad saying he was “always looking for guns.” A Vancouver man posted an ad seeking to buy pistols. A Longview man posted an ad seeking a lower receiver for an assault rifle. Each of the men was legally prohibited from owning firearms due to criminal convictions

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Tacoma council to decide whether to back statewide background checks for all gun buys

The Tacoma City Council could decide Tuesday (Sept. 23) whether to endorse a statewide initiative that would require background checks for all firearm sales. Mayor Marilyn Strickland said Tuesday that she and council members Ryan Mello, Lauren Walker and Victoria Woodards will co-sponsor a City Council resolution to support Initiative 594. Strickland said she expects the council to have “an interesting discussion” on the topic. Strickland said

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Energy Northwest picked for BPA pilot project

Energy Northwest has been picked by the Bonneville Power Administration for a pilot project to demonstrate balancing power production with power use through the quick response of users to reduce consumption. Such balancing could serve as a cost-effective alternative to building additional electricity generating stations or purchasing power. The energy going into BPA's electrical system from hundreds of generators has to be matched second-by-second

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‘Tens of thousands’ more medical staff needed

The Department of Veterans Affairs needs “tens of thousands” more personnel working in VA hospitals and clinics to meet patient demand, new VA Secretary Robert “Bob” McDonald told lawmakers Tuesday at a hearing of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. The size of the staff shortage, McDonald said, explains why the VA has launched “a big recruiting effort” that he kicked off recently with visits to Duke University and University of Pennsylvania

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Guide to Population Maps by Color
Population Projection for Washington Seniors in 2030 (click on map)
Population Projection for Washington Seniors in 2020 (click on map)
Where Washington Seniors will live in the future

There will be significant shifts in where Washington seniors live in the future.  The maps show the re-distribution of the 65+ age group in our state over the next two decades.   To see the projected population shifts for 2020 and 2030 go to AGE WAVE under ISSUES.  If you wish to see the whole table click on the link and open the download on your computer. http://www.ofm.wa.gov/pop/gma/projections12/gma2012_65overperc_med.xls

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In Lakewood, VA officials hear from frustrated vets

As his back pain swelled last year, Richard Scheeder could not get into the Seattle Veterans Affairs hospital for the test he needed to move forward with a medical plan. In fact, he could not even get his phone calls answered for 10 days at the clinic he needed. It wasn’t the first time that Navy veteran Scheeder, 77, ran an into overwhelmed VA Puget Sound medical system in recent years. The delays he experienced were so bad he wondered if anyone

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Social Security resumes mailing benefit statements

The Social Security Administration has resumed mailing statements to workers letting them know the estimated benefits they will get when they retire. The agency stopped mailing the statements to most workers two years ago to save money. Instead, Social Security directed workers to track their future benefits online using a secure website. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/social-security-resumes-mailing-benefit-statements/2014/09/16/28ac8400-3db0-11e4-a430-b82a3e67b762_story.html

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Solar energy’s gains still outpaced by increase in fossil fuel use

Solar energy appears to finally be coming of age. In July, Bloomberg New Energy Finance declared that we are in the midst of a “solar revolution,” and the firm predicted that solar will be the fastest-growing form of global generation capacity through 2030. A few days after that report was released, Deutsche Bank announced plans to lend $1 billion to support solar deployment in Japan.   http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20140907/OPINION03/140909436

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Legislature: enshrine equal political access for all

Here in the progressive Northwest, we like to think that voting rights issues are a problem for the southern “red” states. But a recent federal court busted that myth in a ruling that the City of Yakima’s at-large system disenfranchises Latino voters and, therefore, runs afoul of the 1965 federal Voting Rights Act.  http://www.theolympian.com/2014/09/17/3320069_legislature-enshrine-equal-politcal.htmlsp=/99/109/207/&rh=1#storylink=cpy

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How Washington state can lead on climate

Smarter carbon controls won't necessarily happen quickly, but experts say the Northwest is headed in the right direction. The Pacific Northwest is on the cutting edge of tackling climate change, but it will likely be a something of a slog before major policy advances occur. http://crosscut.com/2014/09/17/environment/121942/global-warming-climate-change-washington-inslee/

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Understanding new ‘in-state’ tuition ceiling on gi bill

Perhaps the first thing veterans using GI Bill education benefits should understand about new “in-state tuition” protection that Congress approved last month is that it won’t take effect for another year, by fall semester 201 That delay will give state-run colleges and universities — or, in some cases, state legislatures — time to prepare policies or laws to lower tuition and fees for non-resident veterans to match what in-state students

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What a carbon tax would mean for Washington’s economy

Preliminary calculations show that a Washington carbon emissions tax would slow the state economic growth in the long run. But the short-term economic impact appears negligible. Economists from the Washington Office of Financial Management presented two scenarios to a climate change advisory task force in Seattle on September 9, 2014. The scenarios, based on computer simulations, were not actual plans and each came with some caveats. But they provided

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Slight bump in premiums for employer health plans: Study

Health insurance premiums for the nearly 150 million people who get family health insurance through employers rose an "extraordinarily modest" 3 percent in 2014, a new report released Wednesday shows.   http://www.cnbc.com/id/101985624#_gus

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Editorial: Effort to preserve military’s presence in Washington vital

Washington lived a charmed life while other states lost thousands of jobs during rounds of military base closings in the 1980s and 1990s. The charm may be wearing off...Washington has 10 military installations, most clustered in the Puget Sound area. They have survived because of the vigilance of key members of Washington’s congressional delegation, and geography: Washington is the closest Lower 48 state to Asia, a theater toward which the United

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Proceed carefully in pushing insurance companies to cover sickest patients

The health care overhaul, the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) prevents insurers from rejecting customers with expensive pre-existing medical conditions. Yet, insurance companies have figured out ways to discourage those expensive patients from buying their insurance.   http://union-bulletin.com/news/2014/sep/07/proceed-carefully-pushing-insurance-companies-cove/

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Solar energy’s gains still outpaced by increase in fossil fuel use

Solar energy appears to finally be coming of age. In July, Bloomberg New Energy Finance declared that we are in the midst of a “solar revolution,” and the firm predicted that solar will be the fastest-growing form of global generation capacity through 2030. A few days after that report was released, Deutsche Bank announced plans to lend $1 billion to support solar deployment in Japan.   http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20140907/OPINION03/140909436/Solar-energy%2526%25238217s-gains-still-outpaced-by-increase-in-fossil-fuel-use

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