Author Archive of Waseniorlobby

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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‘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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