Microsoft, Android, Amazon – our state is home to some of the most innovative online inventors in the world. Yet, expenditures on technology in public education have only worked to maintain the status quo rather than elevate the quality of education available to our students. With the dramatic scenario we face today of statewide school closures for the remainder of the year, those in charge are just now discussing options for online learning. Why? It’s because of a lack of leadership and courageous advancement in our education policy. EdTech has kept up with technological advancements, but leadership for our schools has not. We find ourselves now scrambling to transition online and unfortunately, we missed the boat. Students will be left behind, severely hampered by inequities in accessing the education guaranteed by our state’s constitution.
We’re all learning what a pandemic is, what terms such as social distancing and sheltering in place really mean. And we at Eastern Washington University are navigating these difficult times with you.
People of Idaho and Washington, it is time for public hearings and transparency to overcome the failures of the nation’s largest lead Superfund site. Make those calls, send emails to Gov. Little, it is our moral obligation to protect our children and care for the environment!
The renegotiation of the U.S.-Canada Columbia River Treaty is an opportunity to reimagine and reshape relationships, not only with our northern neighbors, but also with the river itself.
More than likely, we have yet to face the worst effects of the COVID-19 virus, but the region’s electric utilities have a plan to keep your electricity flowing and affordable, both now and into whatever future lies ahead.
The effects of the COVID-19 virus in the Inland Northwest will be enormous on many dimensions. While policies certainly should focus on public health, economic impacts and societal effects cannot be ignored in the process.
To the parents who believe that you are capable of providing your child with all they need to know about sexuality, relationships, anatomy, how to counteract messages they receive online, puberty, and affirmative consent, etc. … I believe you. Or, rather, I believe some of you. I also believe that some of you are capable of teaching your child trigonometry. But most of us aren’t.
I could soon be the physician following a policy that determines who would be denied medical care. At the same time, I could be one of those forbidden care if I needed it.
The Forest Service is accepting public comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the forest plan revision on the Nez Perce and Clearwater National Forests. The comment deadline is April 20. The National Forest Management Act (1976) mandates all national forests to have a resource management plan or forest plan. Forest plans dictate the management direction of a particular forest. The new, single plan for the Nez Perce and Clearwater National Forests will potentially guide management for the next few decades.
It seems to be the time of counting. Counting the days until a self-quarantine is up; counting the number of new cases of coronavirus in each state or region, counting cans of food, number of pills; it’s a steady and relentless march of numbers. And yet, a different kind of counting is going on, behind the scenes, an invitation arriving in our mail, promoted by social media, billboards, and fliers. It is the Census count, and in this time of urgent and often dreadful counting, the Census might seem insignificant or even a quaint reminder of more normal times.
I’m proud to live in a state that is prioritizing honest, age-appropriate and medically-accurate information, so I strongly support Senate Bill 5395, the new sex ed bill, that recently passed the Washington Legislature. As a parent and sex ed teacher, I know firsthand how badly our kids are being failed by the current inconsistent standards. I’ve had high schoolers come to class who don’t know the names of body parts. I’ve had kids swear that the “little pill” inside of pregnancy tests is Plan B – it’s not, it’s a desiccant like silica gel that can be toxic if ingested. And I’ve had kids ask if what they’ve experienced was sexual assault – and usually, the answer was yes. Comprehensive sex ed is not just about condoms and STIs. It’s about making healthy decisions, social and emotional learning, setting and sticking to boundaries, and healthy relationships. For many young people, these classes will be the first time they’ve had conversations about intimate partner violence or coercion. Given our statistics, how can we afford not to have these conversations? According to the CDC, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18, and 90% of the time the abuser is someone the child knows. This is a public health crisis and it impacts a lifetime.
To date, the story of the lower Snake River has been defined by divisions. But this week marked a shift from the old paradigm toward a future defined by shared vision and collaboration. We should know. We were part of both.
Spokane County has a legacy of innovation in oral health care that extends over a quarter of a century. This legacy has benefited all of Washington and has been an influence for good across the country. We have a story that needs to be expanded until preventable dental disease is completely eradicated. In 1995, local dentists and physicians decided to work together with the University of Washington to address the high rate of dental decay in young children, especially among low-income families in which the problem was most prevalent and access to care most limited.
Hungry kids can’t learn. That’s an easy concept to understand. I know my productivity goes down when I skip breakfast or work through my lunch break. It’s no different for children in the classroom.
With a health epidemic of global proportions, self-quarantines and restaurant closings for undisclosed amounts of time, the urgency for a national paid leave policy is upon us... but how it should be paid for will determine if the restaurants providing it will survive beyond COVID-19 to bring back those employees.
I am urging the governor to sign a trio of transformative community supervision reform bills that are good for communities, good for taxpayers and critical to making communities safer.
It is well past time to stop adding unnecessary barriers, and give ALL children with disabilities the support they need to thrive and fulfill their potential.
Domestic violence is a prevalent problem that deeply affects families, children and communities. Housing accessibility is a growing concern across the state. When these two issues meet, it can be difficult to navigate the intricacies of both systems.
Let’s be honest. The term Independent Medical Examination is a euphemistic moniker by insurance defense interests to lend legitimacy to a high volume, highly biased, niche medical industry designed to benefit insurance companies and state agencies, not injured workers.
Instead of allowing too many trees to fuel the next megafire and release carbon and unhealthy smoke into the air, let’s put them to work storing carbon in our buildings and growing our housing stock.
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