A pair of hearings this week in the other Washington might have some interest to local folks.
On Tuesday, Sen. Patty Murray heads a hearing on the state's needs for a "green economy work force." It will feature some folks involved in training and educating workers. And, you can watch it live, starting at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, by clicking on this link.
On Wednesday, a House subcommittee takes up a bill causing a stir among pet store owners, and potentially, pet owners. It's HR 669, the Nonnative Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act, which could put federal limits on any nonnative animal being introduced to an area.
So what? Well, according to some worried pet shop owners, around these parts nonnative species could conceivably include any hamster, guinea pig, chamelion, gecko, parrot, parakeet...
The story has some local legs: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers attempted to field a question about the bill during last Thursday's call-in show on KSPS-TV. A store called Reptile Addictions on East Sprague in the Spokane Valley is collecting signatures on a petition opposing the bill.
The bill doesn't outright ban anything, it sets up a process to make lists of approved and unapproved species. But that's just the first step, some folks will tell you.
Remember: when hamsters are outlawed, only outlaws will have hamsters.