Author Archive of Waseniorlobby

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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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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