Author Archive of Waseniorlobby

‘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

Read more
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

Read more
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

Read more
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

Read more
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

Read more
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

Read more
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/

Read more
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

Read more
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

Read more
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

Read more
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

Read more
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/

Read more
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

Read more
Getty v. Microsoft lawsuit could have ripples for all digital creative content

It’s one of the easiest things to do on a computer — search for an image, right click on it and press copy. Then voila, you have a photo you can do pretty much anything you want with.  But copyright laws prevent much of that activity from taking place. Legally, anyway.   http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/blog/techflash/2014/09/getty-v-microsoft-lawsuitcould-have-ripples-for.html

Read more
Editorial: Hanford resolution a hostage of politics

Death, taxes, and more time to clean up Hanford. Those are the certainties of life in Washington, but the state is pushing back against the latest federal request for permission to miss another deadline on radioactive remediation. http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2014/sep/09/editorial-hanford-resolution-a-hostage-of-politics/

Read more
Add a need for adequate prison space to the big issues facing state lawmakers

As if school funding and mental health care didn't generate enough concerns for next year's Legislature, now there are dire reports about Washington's prison system. According to the Justice Reinvestment Task Force, providing adequate prison space over the next 10 years could cost between $387 million and $481 million, which just might be the legislative equivalent of squeezing blood from a turnip. http://www.columbian.com/news/2014/sep/09/in-our-view-correcting-corrections/

Read more
Get smart on property crime to lower state’s incarceration rate: An Editorial

A smart-on-crime approach to property crime could ease demand for $480 million new prison. WASHINGTON’S prison system is jampacked. Inmates are already sleeping on the floor at some prisons, and projections suggest a “tough-on-crime” approach would only make it worse. The state is predicted to need 1,400 new prison beds by 2024, at a cost of up to $480 million over http://seattletimes.com/html/editorials/2024494495_editpropertycrime08xml.html

Read more