washington state

Forward-Thinkers
11:15 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Why Washington State Was Named #1 Most Innovative State By Bloomberg

Tim Durkan

Washington state is the most innovative state in the nation, according to a new ranking by Bloomberg.

The publication ranked the states using a points system based on six criteria, which heavily favored the tech industry. 

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Washington state investments
7:37 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Washington's pension owns resort in paradise, among far-flung investments

Marlon Brando’s private atoll Tetiaroa as seen from the air. Photo courtesy of Pacific Beachcomber

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 4:47 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – There’s a government office in Olympia where employees travel the globe and titans of Wall Street are regular visitors. The singer Bono even dropped in once, after a concert.

We’re talking about the Washington State Investment Board. Its job is to maximize returns on an $85 billion investment portfolio. To do that the Board invests in some very exotic places.

About the closest most of us will ever get to Tahiti is a Paul Gaughin painting or the beach image on our computer screensaver. But Steve Draper’s been there several times.

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Off-Topic
12:15 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Is the Northwest stranger than elsewhere? New comedy show has us wondering

A new online show debuted last week called Local Brew. The show describes itself as "Seattle's online comedy show." The pilot episode includes a remake of a Cavalia commercial.
Local Brew

Portland put its odd side on display last January with the debut of Portlandia. Now, several residents here are responding with a show of Seattle's stranger side. And, in typical Seattle fashion, it's online and called Local Brew.

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Environment
11:29 am
Mon December 19, 2011

Eagle to be removed from critical habitat list in Washington

A bald eagle photographed near Bainbridge Island in 2008.
Karen Morris Flickr

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington Forest Practices Board plans to remove the bald eagle and peregrine falcon from the state critical habitat list to be consistent with federal and state endangered species laws.

The board will listen to testimony on the changes at hearing Jan. 3 in Olympia and Jan. 5 in Ellensburg.

K-12 Education
11:35 am
Fri November 11, 2011

State's students will need more English and social studies, less electives, to graduate

It’s been more than a quarter century since high school graduation requirements changed in our state. Now, the board of education has voted to increase credits in certain subjects. 

Some school administrators say the move is a step backward for other learning opportunities.  

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Budget crisis
4:31 pm
Thu October 13, 2011

State workers picket over Western State Hospital closures

Western State Hospital nurse Celia Gorski joins a picket to protest the proposed closure of five wards in a cost-cutting move.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

LAKEWOOD, Wash. – Unionized state workers are protesting a cost-cutting proposal to close five wards at one of Washington's mental institutions. More than a dozen employees staged a lunch-time picket Thursday outside Western State Hospital.

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Credit ratings
4:36 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

Update: Gregoire warns of more cuts to come; credit rating stable

Governor Chris Gregoire is telling state agencies to prepare for further budget cuts because of the faltering economy. Her budget office today asked agencies for ideas to reduce planned spending by 5 or 10 percent. 

Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor's downgrade of federal debt is unlikely to have much near term effect on the borrowing costs for the state. Although, S&P did deal the city of Tacoma a blow by downgrading it's credit rating on debt backed by the federal government.

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Real Estate
6:00 am
Thu July 21, 2011

State homeowners gain new rights when facing foreclosure

South Seattle resident Marilyn Takemaru was part of a group of protestors who occupied the regional headquarters of Bank of America to get loan modifications.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

Starting tomorrow, struggling homeowners in Washington have new rights. 

The Foreclosure Fairness Act signed into law in April is designed to prevent unnecessary foreclosures primarily by requiring banks to take part in mediation if borrowers ask for it and doubling the number of housing counselors.

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Science
6:00 am
Mon June 20, 2011

Clues to Washington's summer weather...or not

Kids and adults alike enjoy a warm day on June, 4 2011. Will there be more sunny days on the way this summer? It's tough to call.
Erin Hennessey KPLU

With the first day of summer this week, it’s finally beginning to look like it outside. If you think that’s a good sign for the rest of the season, think again. There really isn’t a good way to tell how summer will turn out.

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Political Participation
3:36 pm
Wed June 15, 2011

Washington leads nation in voting access for young people

George Mason University students help their peers register to vote in Washington, D.C. Young people in the "other" Washington, on the west coast, have the best access to the political process in the nation, according to a new survey.
masonvotes Flickr photo

Young people have an easier time voting in Washington State than anywhere else in the country. That’s according to a survey by Rock the Vote, a group that encourages youth to participate in the political process.

It found many state laws mesh with the needs of young voters, but there’s still room for improvement.

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Law
12:05 pm
Wed May 11, 2011

New state law could help Native American families stay together

Decades after the federal government stopped taking Native American children from their homes and putting them in boarding schools, Native families still face challenges staying together.

In Washington State, Native children are more likely to be removed from their homes in child welfare cases than kids of any other race. A new state law aims to strengthen parents' and guardians' rights to keep their kids. 

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Jobs
8:26 am
Thu May 5, 2011

Career fair seeks women for jobs in the trades

Leah Scott learns how to operate a cement polisher as part of a program that helps disadvantaged young people gain job experience. A career fair this weekend aims to recruit more women like Scott into trade industry jobs.
Seeking Opportunities Developing Occupations (SODO, Inc.)

The recession has been tough on workers in the trades. The latest state unemployment report showed construction had a particularly bad month between February and March. That’s not stopping a job fair aimed at attracting more women to building and repair industries.

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TOURISM
11:21 am
Wed April 20, 2011

Washington State Tourism launches social media campaign

What do you like about Washington? The state’s tourism office wants to know. Today, it’s launching a campaign called Share Your Washington.

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Law and Justice
8:54 am
Tue February 22, 2011

Supreme Court won't hear appeal on state's campaign disclosure laws

The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal challenging campaign disclosure laws in Washington state.

The court on Tuesday let stand without comment a federal appeals court ruling that upheld the state's disclosure requirements. Human Life of Washington challenged the requirements as a violation of the First Amendment. The group didn't want to reveal its donors in a 2008 campaign opposing an assisted suicide ballot measure.

Civilian Honors
7:56 am
Mon February 14, 2011

A call for local heroes

Know someone who did something heroic over the last few years? If so, you may want to consider nominating that person for the Citizen Service Before Self Honors Award.

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