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Saturday, August 07, 2004

Patty in Pasco

Well they changed the picture. I guess that's what you get for stealing.



Cantwell's Immigration Questions

I have no idea what to make of this one. Cantwell's office has been hearing rumors from the immigrant community that there are raids targeting Hispanics. So she's requesting information. I hope it's nothing, but it is good to check out.



UW Medical to Create a Panel

The article describes them as "high-powered" but it seems like they will only be able to make recommendations. I don't mean to disparage this panel. It's probably a positive to have them on board. I just don't know how effective they will be.

The committee will make recommendations for changing that structure, he said, if it determines that "the size and complexity of the organization today has outgrown the governance structure that has been in place ... for decades."



Friday, August 06, 2004

Murray Kick Off

Looks like it was fun. Anyone go, and have a report? I'd have thought DFW and the Spokane County Young Dems would have had something. But no, I have to rely on the PI.



Team Monorail not Part of the Monorail Team

This isn't good. One of the remaining two monorail firms that was doing bidding, Team Monorail, dropped out. This is all sorts of bad. Not the least because one firm without having competition can make higher bids than it might otherwise.



Seattle Weekly Readers Suck

I could easily live with me not being the best web page. I did take myself out of the running. And although I was pulling for Shaun, I didn't think he'd win. But really to chose seattleweekly.com? If it had some other content maybe. But really Seattle Weekly readers, show some imagination.



Arson again

Lake Forest Park is the most recent victim of the arson spree in the Northend. They put out some things the public can do to catch this guy, or at least not be a victim. Some are city specific like the fire department phone number. But most of the tips are things that are universal.



Thursday, August 05, 2004

Cooper

I was just got back from volunteering for the first time with the Mike Cooper campaign. It's one of the best run organizations out there. With 95% of campaigns it's call some people and use this script, or stuff these envelopes, or set up tables and chairs over there. Necessary work, but not the most exciting.

Cooper's people had a couple volunteers writing letters to the editor. And they gave us a relatively free hand. Obviously there was some editing. I wrote a couple hundred words about this article. Fits the skills I've developed here: having strong opinions about an article I just read and writing it up in a few paragraphs.

His campaign (and most statewide ones I imagine) is based in Seattle, so those of you who live down there and are bus bound or don't want to drive into the hinterlands for any featured Dems but want to volunteer might want to check his campaign out. I know that a lot of you Deaniacs were excited about writing to people in Iowa (although it didn't exactly work out). So I'll let you know that the campaign is planning on asking people to email 10 friends about Cooper when the election draws closer.



Open Thread

And to let you know that posting may be a bit more sporadic for the next month or so. But the volume shouldn't be down too much.



Cantwell, Gregoire on Enron

I realize that there are other issues that it would be nice for our elected officials to go to the mat on. But I do love to see them fighting. Yesterday Cantwell, Gregoire and Snohomish PUD took the fight to Enron.

Both said it's unconscionable that Enron is trying to get even more money from the same utilities it intentionally manipulated into signing high-priced energy contracts during the 2000-01 West Coast energy crisis.

Cantwell said FERC simply needs to "do its job."

"Basically, they're the policeman on the beat, and they're not doing anything while Enron's mugging the ratepayers of Snohomish County," Cantwell said.



Home Sales Keep Going Up

In both price and volume. I've been saying it's a bubble for a long time now, so who knows, maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about.



Radiation Exposure at Hanford

On July 22 a worker didn't use led gloves when he should have. So far no ill health.

Tom Carpenter, of the Hanford watchdog group Government Accountability Project, said the incident reflects a tendency to put speed ahead of safety.

"It seems like the people in charge of safety are just being ignored and there's apparently no consequence for supervisors who do so."



Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Sims Tax Plan

I'm still sorting through the particulars, but I think I like it. You can make up your own mind (of course) by reading it here.



AG Polls

From the Sidran site, so take it with a grain of salt.

Evans/McDonough Research Poll
conducted statewide July 23-26, 2004. (likely democratic primary voters, MOE +/-5.7 points).

Deborah Senn 30
Mark Sidran 24
Undecided 45

...

Elway Research Poll
conducted statewide July 24-July 27 (likely democratic primary voters, MOE +/- 10 points ).

Deborah Senn 34
Mark Sidran 28
Undecided 38



Sports Arena in the South Sound

First of all, let me just say that people in Olympia who want to see minor league sporting events have a place to do just that already. It's called Tacoma. There's also Evergreen and South Sound Community College sporting events. Evergreen had a pretty good basketball team when I lived down in Olympia. Bud Bay Rugby is good to watch, men and women. Especially if you know someone who's on the team, but even if you don't.

So asking the city to spend $15 million to attract minor league basketball sounds like a bad idea. First of all, minor league basketball isn't like minor league baseball or hockey (although the developers say that hockey might be forthcoming, the level of specicifity is not very high). When you watch a minor league baseball or hockey team play, there's the expectation that some of them are going to be playing in the majors. Maybe even stars. And sometimes you'll see someone famous doing a rehab assignment. With basketball the place to see future stars is in college, and Olympia already has college basketball.

But more than that, I'm still opposed to spending public money on private sports facilities. If there's a profit to be had, let it be had, but don't ask the taxpayers to underwrite part of it.



Larry Springer More Info

I've emailed the featured Dems, just letting them know that they have been mentioned by a not too well known blogger, and any way the Springer campaign manager wrote back with a bit more than I put. So I thought you might like to hear it right from the campaign.

Thanks Carl - Larry appreciates the free press. You may want to add that one of his opponents has the ability to self fund, and neither have much if any experience as elected officials (Possinger has not even served one full year on Duvall City Council), whereas Larry has been on the Kirkland City Council for over 12 years, and was Mayor for 4. Larry has also owned his own business for 20 years - The Grape Choice in Kirkland.

The race is estimated to cost $250,000 to win.

Thanks for your support and hard work!



Polls

Via Kos

Washington


SurveyUSA (PDF). 7/31-8/2. MoE 4.2%. (6/4 results)

President


Kerry 51 (49)

Bush 43 (44)


Senate


Murray (D) 51 (49)

Nethercutt (R) 40 (34)




Same Sex Marriage is Legal! (for now, sort of)

The first stage broke the right way as King County Superior Court Judge William Downing ruled that Washington's homosexuals can marry. While the decision was stayed pending appeal, this is wonderful news.

Reaction to the judge's ruling was swift.

"It's a breathtaking leap is what it is," said Joseph Fuiten, 54, president of the Bothell-based Washington Evangelicals for Responsible Government, which intervened in the case on the state's side. "For the judge and the judicial branch to discover a right which has never existed in human history, has no precedent in American law or jurisprudence ... is to go out into unknown territory with unknown social consequences."

Fuiten said his group would appeal the decision.

Lambda Legal senior staff attorney Jennifer Pizer praised the ruling.

"It is important that Judge Downing was systematic and thorough and agrees that these Washington citizens are entitled to full and equal treatment under the Constitution," she said. "His opinion laying out that analysis will make a big difference in the way the case is understood on appeal."

... Here's the ruling (.pdf) and here's Sims' reaction to it from the King County website.

“As I have long contended, this issue should be decided in the courts,” said Sims. This is an issue of equality under the law and the courts are the appropriate place to resolve such issues.

“I know personally what discrimination looks and feels like. I have also seen justice brought about through our courts. On issues from voting rights to interracial marriage, it has been the courts which have been the final arbiter. For this reason, I believe that our best course is to use the law in order to change the law,” said Sims.

“This is another important step on the road to equality and justice. There will be many more challenges to follow,” he said. “But we’re on our way.”



Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Featured Dem: Larry Springer

There seems to be some interest in the Democrats running for the legislature where our time and money can make a difference. So over the next few weeks I'm going to feature a few Democrats and hopefully funnel some cash, and more importantly boots on the ground for their campaigns. From Eastern Washington to the East Side, the second Featured Dem is Larry Springer.

If he's elected, Larry Springer will work to improve our education system. He will keep prescription drug prices down, and improve access to healthcare to Washingtionians. But first he has to win.



Larry Springer is the only Democrat running for 45th District seat 2; the seat Laura Ruderman is giving up. While this Kirkland district leans Republican, it has elected Ruderman, and is ripe to elect another moderate Democrat. It doesn't hurt that Springer is wonderfully charming in person.

Some of you Seattle readers are in districts that are going to go to Democrats by 70% or more. Springer's campaign is close enough that you can go volunteer. Or you can send a contribution.

Previous Featured Dem: Laurie Dolan



$1.25 Million

The US Commerce Department is giving 1.25 million dollars to the Seattle Biochemical Research Institute to work on infectious diseases. scroll down4th point. This will definitely lend a bit of credence to the people pushing for the South Lake Union proposals.



RIP

Neal Fosseen.

Neal Fosseen, who spent seven years as Spokane's first modern mayor and nearly five times that long as its congenial "mayor emeritus," is dead at 95.



Hanford Can't Even Fail Right

As you know there was a shut down at Hanford a few days ago, and it still hasn't re-started. Now we're finding out that there were problems with the shut down sequence.

During a shutdown, all 185 control rods are inserted into the reactor core to shut down the reactor, Peck said. Friday, either two of the rods did not fully insert or there was a false indication they had not, he said.

So the control-room crew executed a manual shutdown to ensure all rods were fully inserted.

"It's conceivable they were already in ... but whether they were in or not is something we may not be able to decipher," Peck said. "Obviously, we'll make sure everything is functioning 100 percent" before the reactor is started up again


I'm not a nuclear safety guy, but I don't understand how we still don't know if the rods were inserted in the reactor. I mean 5 days, you think someone would go have a look.



Seattle-Bremerton Passenger Ferry

It's a go.



Monday, August 02, 2004

Tent City to Woodinville

They'll go to the Northshore United Church of Christ in a couple weeks.



Fluor Reorganization

They are trying to work more closely with the DOE. Also they are hiring new Vice Presidents. And a few more things:

In another change, waste disposal and ground water remediation will be split into two projects. Vice President Dick Wilde will be in charge of ground water issues and the Waste Sampling and Characterization Facility. Vice President Dale McKenney will manage solid waste stabilization and disposition.

In addition an advisory group of industry experts has been established to offer advice to Fluor.



Olympia Homeless

Thurston County is trying to figure out ways to get the homeless adequate shelter and medicine. But even the relatively small amounts of money are tough to get.

The plan calls for $12,000 to come from the Housing Authority's emergency shelter money and Federal Emergency Management Act funds for homeless programs. Another $12,000 would come from the medical community, including hospitals.

Connie Walker, a Community Rest Shelter board member, is not so sure that the medical community can come up with $12,000 by the end of the year.

"That may be a stretch," Walker said. "Money is really tight right now. ... This is all very preliminary."



Fires

There seems to be a lot of fires in Seattle and at least 5 are probably arson. I heard on the radio this morning that there is an arson tip phone number, but I didn't see it on this article or the city web site. It's something I'd like to pass on though if anyone knows it.

...Got it: 800-55ARSON



Sunday, August 01, 2004

Whatcom Medic 1 Service to end

Currently the Bellingham Fire Department's Medic One works all of Whatcom County. By 2006 the rest of the county will no longer be covered.



Branch Campuses Still Have Room

UW Tacoma and Central SeaTac and Pierce County still have room. So that's something.



Microsoft Dividend Helps State Coffers

Various pension funds around the state have investments in Microsoft. The state is getting $45.1 million.

Edited grammar.



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