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Mail-in ballots were supposed to increase voter turnout. They have not. Free postage and more drop boxes were supposed to increase voter turnout. They did not. Making it easier wasn’t the solution. Now House Bill 2529 proposes the latest idea to nudge apathetic voters to get involved. HB 2529 proposes to increase voter turnout by eliminating most elections in odd-numbered years and cramming all statewide, legislative, county, municipal and district elections onto a single ballot in even-numbered years. It would apply not only to mayors, city councils, fire district commissioners, school board members and other local offices, but also to the advisory votes, initiatives and referendums intended to provide a check on the Legislature.
It’s ironic that a bill whose supporters say it’s necessary to teach affirmative consent doesn’t appear to have widespread support.
Humankind’s ties to soil may seem far-removed in cities, but they still exist. Even in rural areas, most of our food comes in packages. Do we ever consider the source of that food? Yet soils underpin agriculture and other terrestrial ecosystem functions. The real dirt on soil? It’s our life.
Investing in soil health is an investment in future generations continuing to eat, according to David Montgomery, a University of Washington geologist. His first book, “Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations,” looked at the consequences of ignoring soil health. He recently published “Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life.”
Twenty-six students and their bus driver, plus 39 tourists and their tour guide, “were transported to Quincy Valley Medical Center for evaluation” and “temporarily sheltered in the hospital’s convalescent wing,” according to previous reporting. It sounds so simple. This is the rest of the story.
Inslee’s proposed $273 million in spending on programs to potentially impact climate change this century. His supplemental budget request for protecting children and teachers in seismically unsafe schools is $10 million. And that’s only 40% of what Chris Reykdahl, state superintendent of public instruction, requested in his letter to the governor.
Mental illness to homeless to hepatitis A. Just another statistic but now his struggle is over. Today we pick up his ashes. And it shouldn’t have to be this way.
It’s much easier for history to bury the personal impacts of turning-point moments than to bury the radioactive waste of a decade of nuclear testing. The Marshallese atomic refugees in Spokane can’t cut their migration short and fly home.
Now that the election is over, a Tenants Bill of Rights ordinance is moving forward. Rapidly. What is on the table works against keeping housing affordable or increasing the supply.
Portability of care is critical for students, independent contract workers and migrating retirees. Instead of being trapped in a job, people are trapped in a zip code.
Poor people with family ties and support systems, even addicts who manage to maintain relationships, do not become homeless.
The sheriff is livid. The fire chief feels misunderstood. The deputy director of emergency management is exasperated. What we have here is a failure to communicate, ignored until an election season made emergency management into yet another political football.
What is sometimes a useful tool for jumpstarting change can quickly begin to undermine the very people it presumes to help.
It’s always a judgment call between responders taking a risk and reducing risk for the public.
The city of Spokane, like many municipalities, has a Code Enforcement office to respond to complaints about problem properties. The process is straightforward, the implementation is complex. One person’s peeling paint may be another’s shabby chic.
When so many voices are pulling us apart, the center cannot hold. Language is the last refuge of common culture, and we’ve abused and overused it. When everyone is Hitler, no one is Hitler. Or a racist, misogynist, homophobe, Islamophobe, Nazi, fascist, socialist or bigot.
OSPI is pushing a curriculum standard focused on avoiding consequences rather than reducing risk, according to LeAnna Benn, director of Teen Aid. “Research for over 25 years has demonstrated the importance of family involvement in this area of education,” said Benn.
Spokane Interstate fairgoers visiting the Liberty state booth would be surprised to hear themselves described as paranoid extremists seeking a fantasyland. Top topics include tax increases, income tax proposals, property rights and gun control. Pretty mainstream concerns in Eastern Washington.
Initiative 1639 raised the age for buying a rifle to 21 and requires an “enhanced background check.” The results are, by turns, stigmatizing for those with mental health issues, burdensome for law enforcement and mind-bogglingly convoluted for some gun owners.
Someone has been shooting cows from the road in Stevens County, according to the Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association. But the cattlemen’s shooting charge is hard to prove, and there’s no conclusive evidence it has happened. Hoping to find something more concrete, they’re offering a $15,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.