Washington State News Archive
Below are archived news items for the current month. To view a previous month, choose it from the list below.Supreme Court uses police video to uphold deadly force in chases
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that police may use deadly force to stop a speeding motorist who ignores warnings and poses a danger to the public. The decision came in a case Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
(Registration may be required to read this article. State Library cardholders can access articles in back issues via ProQuest.) If imitiation is the most sincere form of flattery, then piracy is the most lucrative form of flattery--for the pirate. Susan Schwab, U.S. Trade Representative, released the 2007 Special 301 Report that lists countries where illegal copying of U.S. intellectual property such as dvds, cds, and computer software is widespread. China and Russia lead the list. These pirated copies in these and other countries cost U.S. companies bilions of dollars in sales. The report is summarized in a press release. You can learn more about U.S. efforts to protect intellectual property at stopfakes.gov. - 05/01/2007
"Calls for change issue from immigration march"--Yakima Herald-Republic - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Somewhere between 3,000 to 10,000 people marched in the streets of Yakima in favor of immigration reform. The march was generally peaceful. It was smaller than last year's although a variety of countries were represented. The contentious nature of immigration reform was underscored by another story about the presence of counterprotesters. You can get an idea of the power of the immigration issue in Yakima by going to the Census Bureau's American FactFinder website and creating a factsheet by entering "Yakima County" and "Washington" state--nearly 20% of the county's population is foreign born. - 05/02/2007
Gov. Gregoire signing new health, sex education laws - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Gov. Gregoire is in Seattle this morning to sign health-related laws, including one bill which requires schools teaching sex education to provide information on contraceptives and other sexual issues in addition to abstinence education. - 05/02/2007
"Area water managers respond to declining snowpack concerns"--Moses Lake Columbia Basin Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Dams producing hydroelectric power, farmers irrigating crops, and salmon spawning in streams all rely on dependable patterns of runoff in the rivers in the Columbia River Basin. According to a report issued by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, those patterns are liable to change (see pages 40 and 41 of the report). Public Utility Districts, farmers, and environmentalists are all trying to figure out how to deal with these changes. The Department of Ecology has issued a report on the "Impacts of Climate Change on Washington's Economy" (a summary of the report can be found here). - 05/03/2007
"Senate to vote on drug imports measure"--Seattle Times - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
WASHINGTON — A bid to allow the importation of lower-priced prescription drugs survived a challenge in the Senate on Thursday, making it likely that it will pass. Both the White House and the pharmaceutical industry have voiced opposition to the amendment, which is part of a larger bill to renew the fees paid by the pharmaceutical companies seeking approval for new products. - 05/03/2007
"Bill eyes sound's waters for energy"--Olympia Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
A Washington state congressman wants to boost research funding by $500 million and provide tax incentives for tidal and wave energy projects such as those being considered in Puget Sound and off the Pacific coast. The bill , introduced by Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., could help fund projects that would enable the state of Washington to meet the requirements of an initiative passed last November requiring that major utilities in the state get 15 percent of their energy from renewable resources by 2020. - 05/04/2007
"Summit to explore aquifer: Participants to examine water-source research"--Spokane Spokesman-Review
(Registration may be required to read this article. State Library cardholders can access articles in back issues via ProQuest.) The Spokane Valley/Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer runs from Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho to east of Spokane. Along the way it passes under one of the fastest growing areas in the nation and supplies drinking water to over 500,000 people. The combination of its importance to the area and vulnerability to overuse and pollution led it to be the subject of a combined study by the U.S. Geologic Survey, the Idaho Department of Water Resources, and the Washington Department of Ecology. A two day summit will be held in Spokane on May 8-9 to discuss findings including the ground water flow and the recharge rate for the aquifer. Perhaps it will pave the way for decisions being made based on the best available science. - 05/07/2007
"Gas prices hit home -- and at school"--Yakima Herald-Republic - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The school buses in the Prosser School District cover 2,200 miles a day so rising gas prices have left potholes in the district's budget. The same thing is happening to school districts across the state. Last fall the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction did a budget analysis of the effect of rising fuel costs on school district budgets. This year the Legislature passed Senate Bill 5114 that changes state support for school district student transportation costs. It was signed into law on April 20. - 05/08/2007
"Gregoire signs measure intended to help restore 'sick' Puget Sound"--Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Governor Christine Gregoire signed legislation on Monday which will further fund the Puget Sound Partnership , A citizen-led group created by the Governor which is focused on protecting and restoring the Sound. Among the environmental threats are increased sewage and wastewater run-off generated by population growth and development. - 05/08/2007
"Controversy simmers over Marine's fundraiser"--Yakima Herald-Republic - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The Best Run, an annual charity race honoring a Marine who died in Iraq, raises money for military families and scholarships. The problem some people, including family members of the slain Marine, have with the event is that it's raised over $35,000 in the last two years, but only $1,300 has gone to military families. The Secretary of State's Charities and Trusts Program doesn't have any jurisdiction for two reasons: the event raises less than $25,000 a year and there is no limit on how much a charity's income can go to fundraising overhead. The legislature just passed House Bill 1777 that imrpoves the transparency and accountability of charitable fundraising activities. - 05/09/2007
"WASL delays now official"--Tacoma News Tribune - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Gov. Chris Gregoire on Tuesday delayed until 2013 a requirement that students pass the math and science portions of the WASL exam in order to graduate from high school. The revision can be viewed here . Those graduating in 2008 were to be the first group required to pass the reading, writing and math sections of the WASL; the science section was scheduled to become a requirement in 2010. The Class of 2008 will still be required to pass the reading and writing tests. - 05/09/2007
"Power project on back burner"--Pasco Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Energy Northwest, a consortium of 20 Washington state Public Utility Districts, is feeling a chill cast by SB 6001, Washington's new law on combating climate change. The law would require Energy Northwest's proposed Pacific Mountain Energy Center near Kalama to limit pollution by sequestering carbon dioxide emitted by the plant. Energy Northwest has requested a delay in the permitting process for the project while it investigates how it would capture and contain carbon dioxide. - 05/10/2007
"Port of Seattle to receive $5.3 million in federal security grants"--Seattle Post-Intelligencer
The Port of Seattle will receive $5.3 million in federal port security grants from a total of $18 million in grants secured by Sen. Patty Murray for Washington state ports. The Port of Tacoma, which is slated to handle twice as much cargo, will receive more than double that amount, $11.6 million. The funding is part of the Fiscal Year 2007 Homeland Security Appropriations bill. - 05/10/2007
"VA's claims a stretch, study finds: Quality care touted for veterans reaches beyond facts"--Spokane Spokesman-Review - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
(Registration may be required to read this article. State Library cardholders can access articles in back issues via ProQuest.) At a time of growing concern about medical care for returning veterans, a study show that the Veterans Administration makes claims about its performance that exceed its actual performance. For instance, while services aimed at suicide prevention and dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder have improved, government studies show they have not improved as much as officials claim. - 05/11/2007
"Ruse to get suspect's DNA upheld -- 'very scary,' privacy expert says"--Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle police detectives' elaborate trick to get a murder suspect's DNA was upheld Thursday by the state Supreme Court, a ruling that could give police more leeway and raise privacy concerns. The suspect licked a return envelope for a fake class-action lawsuit sent him by police. - 05/11/2007
"Viaduct work begins today"--Spokane Spokesman-Review
(Registration may be required to read this article. State Library cardholders can access articles in back issues via ProQuest.) Oh, to drive in the summer when the highways are crowded with cars and trucks crawling through road construction zones. It's Spokane's turn to creep along I-90 again this year. You can find out more about this project at Projects website that offers information about the large number of road projects being undertaken by the Department. The Washington State Department of Transportation also has an interactive map showing active and completed projects across the state. - 05/14/2007
"Bush sets deadline for emissions effort"--Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
President Bush responded Monday to a Supreme Court ruling by ordering federal agencies, including the departments of Transportation, Agriculture and Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, to find a way to begin regulating vehicle emissions by the time he leaves office. Last month, the Supreme Court rebuked the Bush administration for its inaction on global warming. Bush claims the new rules will "cut gasoline consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles." - 05/14/2007
"Sunnyside declares 'state of crisis' as it targets gangs"--Yakima Herald-Republic - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The city of Sunnyside is home to at least 250 gang members so it is considering making gang activities a gross misdemeanor. A gang is defined as a groups of three or more people with an identifiable name or symbol and acts with criminal purposes. The ordinance would be based on a California state law. The Washington state legislature passed a Senate Bill 5987 this year stating that gang activities are a "crisis" and directing the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs to form a working group to make recommendations for gang-related laws. - 05/15/2007
"State to waive tuition for fallen GIs' kin"--Seattle Times
It's a hard, sad way to get a break on college costs. The Governor signed Senate Bill 5002 that offers tuition-free access to Washington's public colleges and universities to spouses and children of Washington's members of the military who are disabled, captured, killed or missing in action. - 05/15/2007
"Mid-Columbia needs stay intact in budget"--Pasco Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
If people judge the outcome of legislative sessions in terms of "What have you done for me lately?", then central Washington can feel pretty good about this year's session. The Washington State University's Tri-Cities Campus got funding for more students and construction. The Hanford Reach Interpretive Center, operated by a Public Facilities Distrct at theHanford Reach Nationa Monument, got $3 million. Money also went to expanding the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center, Columbia Basin College, the Port of Walla Walla's winery incubator program, and various other projects. - 05/16/2007
"State pays to monitor pesticide spray drift"--Yakima Herald-Republic - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
If pesticides are bad for bugs, how bad are they for nearby humans? That's the question behind a study that will be done by the Department of Health. The study will will measure how far pesticides can drift downwind from fields that have been sprayed with them. This is a particular concern when the fields are close to schools and daycare centers. Pesticide exposure is considered a "notifiable condition" by the Department of Health. - 05/17/2007
"Maples falling victim to backwoods thieves"--Seattle Times
Fish and wildlife aren't the only things poached in Western Washington - maple trees are falling victim to thieves because of the high price certain pieces of the wood can command, often used in the making of custom guitars and other instruments. A law is in place to protect so-called specialized forest products such as maple, spruce, and cedar, but some woodworkers and carvers have been punished for simply transporting logs they say they have obtained legally (see video here). - 05/17/2007
"Hispanics make up majority of 'new minority'"--Yakima Herald-Republic - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
According to population estimates by the Census Bureau, Washington's population has grown by over 500,000 to nearly 6,400,000. In keeping with a national trend, minorities make up over half of this growth. Even so, 77% of Washington's population is white. - 05/18/2007
"Battling climate change"--Pasco Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Organizations in the Columbia Basin are looking at ways of dealing with climate change because of the region's vulnerability to changes in weather and water flow. The Northwest Power and Conservation Council has issued a report detailing the major effects a few degrees increase in temperature could wreak on fish, wildlife, and river flow. Such changes are of profound concern to the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is researching methods to mitigate climate change.One way to get rid of carbon dioxide would be to convert into limestone by pumping it deep in the basalt layers under central and eastern Washington. The Washington State University's Tri-Cities Campus is looking at ways to reduce its carbon footprint. - 05/20/2007
"Budget bill includes sales-tax deduction"--Seattle Times
A provision in the new House-Senate budget bill looks to make the state sales tax deduction, which was set to expire this year, permanent. The provision was pushed for by both Sen. Maria Cantwell(D) and Rep. Brian Baird (D-Vancouver). - 05/21/2007
"Court ruling hikes electric bills:Average Avista bill to increase $6.69 a month after decision that may benefit PUDs, cooperatives"--Spokane Spokesman-Review - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Registration may be required to read this article. State Library cardholders can access articles in back issues via ProQuest.) Even while bemoaning high gas prices residents of the Northwest could take comfort in some of the lowest electrical rates in the country. Shareholder owned utilities like Avista, Pacific Power, and Puget Sound Energy that serve 60% of the region's population will soon see their rates for residential and small farm use go up because of a recent court decision. These customers were given credits on their power bills by the Bonneville Power Administration. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that these credits were not in keeping with the Northwest Power Act. The Bonneville Power Administration disagrees, but is acting in compliance with the ruling. The case was Golden Northwest Aluminum, Inc. v. Bonneville Power Administration. - 05/22/2007
"Many kids must go back to booster seats"--Bellingham Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
A new law going into effect June 1 requires children under eight years old to ride in a child restraint seat while in a car unless they are four feet nine inches or taller. A list of Child Passenger laws for Washington State can be found here . - 05/23/2007
"State wants kids to get whooping cough shots"--Walla Walla Union-Bulletin - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Washington state doesn't want whooping cough (also known as pertussis) in its schools. It's high on the list of diseases the the Department of Health wants children immunized for before they go to school. The Department of Health also has an "Infectious Disease Control Guide for School Staff". The Centers for Disease Control have an extensive list of resources on immunization as well. - 05/22/2007
"Congressional leader criticizes vit plant"--Pasco Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
A billion here, an extra year there, it all starts to add up and people begin to notice. In this case the Chairman of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee has criticized the Department of Energy's management of the vitrification plant for treating nuclear waste at Hanford. Cost overruns have reached $8 billion and the plant is over 8 years behind schedule. According a Government Accountability Office report, the vitrification is not alone among Department of Energy projects; there are others with larger overrruns and farther behind schedule. - 05/24/2007
House OKs bill making gas-price gouging a crime - Seattle Times
The U.S. House passed a bill Wednesday that would make gas-price gouging a federal crime for the first time, although penalties would not be triggered unless the President declared an emergency. The White House and the American Petroleum Institute claim that the bill is a form of price control and will lead to shortages; Washington Senator Maria Cantwell , who hopes to put a similar Senate Bill on the floor next month, responds that "the oil industry is deliberately presenting this as a price cap, and it isn't." Voting yea on the House Bill were Washington Representatives Jay Inslee , D-Bainbridge Island, Brian Baird , D-Vancouver, and Rep. Dave Reichert , R-Auburn. - 05/24/2007
"Nuclear waste in limbo: Uranium rods pile up outside plant, but there's no place for them to go"--Spokane Spokesman-Review - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
(Registration may be required to read this article. State Library cardholders can access articles in back issues via ProQuest.) People like the fact that nuclear power plants don't emit green house gases, but they go nimby when it comes to dealing with nuclear wastes that will remain radioactive for thousands of years. Plans to create a nuclear waste storage facility at Yucca Mountain in Nevada have been stalled by intense local opposition. Lack of a permanent repository for nuclear wastes is forcing operators of Energy Northwest's Columbia Generating Station to store spent fuel on-site. This problem is shared by over 100 other nuclear plants. (You can find more information about the Columbia Generating Station on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission website.) - 05/25/2007
"Search for lost plane suspended"--Yakima Herald-Republic - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Did he fly into a mountain or run from a court date? Searchers spent over 2,000 hours looking for a plane that disappeared in the Cascades a week ago. No trace of the plane has been found, and it turns out that the pilot, George Trupp, was facing charges of indecent liberties. People are now wondering if he staged his disappearance. The search was coordinated by the Washington State Department of Transportation's Air Search/Air Emergency Services. Many of the searchers were volunteers from the Civil Air Patrol and Washington Air Search and Rescue. - 05/29/2007
Tacoma on pace to violate revised federal standards for air quality - Tacoma News Tribune - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Wintertime testing at five sites in Tacoma predict that the area will exceed new federal limits added to the Clean Air Act regarding soot levels in the air. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency , which regulates Tacoma-area polluters, has concluded that the city’s dirty winter air isn’t exclusive to a single neighborhood, or even confined to Tacoma. Under federal law, the state Department of Ecology , in cooperation with regional air agencies, has until Dec. 18 to identify Washington communities unlikely to meet the new standard. - 05/29/2007
"Biproduct of biofuel"--Pasco Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Farmers follow the money and, thanks to ethanol production, the money's in corn. Figures from the National Agricultural Statistics Service show that as corn production increases, the production of other crops such as hay and peas either remain steady or decrease. In the case of hay, livestock owners and feedlots can expect to see their costs rise. - 05/30/2007
"River plan draws fire:EPA's phosphorus proposal called unfair to Washington"--Spokane Spokesman-Review - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
(Registration may be required to read this article. State Library cardholders can access articles in back issues via ProQuest.) Critics are charging the Environmental Protection Agency with a clumsy attempt to keep both Idaho and Washington happy while reducing pollution in the Spokane River. The EPA is trying to reduce phosphorus levels in the river by 95%. It does this by issuing a limited number of pollutant discharge permits under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. The EPA was so generous in issuing discharge permits to Idaho cities that it left no margin for discharges in Washington. EPA's proposed solution is to say the river starts anew at the state line. This way Washington would get the discharge permits it needs, but at the cost of more pollution in the river. - 05/31/2007
'Spam King' suspect seized - Seattle Post Intelligencer
A Seattle resident accused of being one of the most prolific "spammers" in the world has been arrested for sending billions of illegal e-mails using hijacked computer networks. He is charged with several counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, fraud in connection with electronic mail, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering, violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the CAN-SPAM Act . - 05/31/2007
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