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Washington State News Archive

Below are archived news items for the current month. To view a previous month, choose it from the list below.

"Experts debate whether children should be called obese" -- Seattle Times
The diplomatic approach adopted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and used by many doctors avoids the word "obese" because of the stigma. The CDC also calls overweight kids "at risk of overweight." Under a proposal being studied by a committee of the American Medical Association, the CDC and others, fat children would get the same labels as adults: overweight or obese. - 07/03/2006

"North Korea test-fires six missiles despite warnings" -- Seattle Times
A defiant North Korea test-fired a long-range missile that may be capable of reaching America, but it failed seconds after launch, U.S. officials said. The North also tested at least five shorter-range missiles in an exercise the White House called "a provocation" but not an immediate threat. The Press Briefing on North Korea Missile Launch is publicly available. - 07/05/2006

"Toughened legal tactics driving car thefts down" -- Seattle Times
After more than a decade of steadily rising vehicle thefts, Seattle-area law-enforcement officials say new enforcement strategies and more aggressive prosecution may be paying off. Statistics compiled by Seattle police show a 21.3 percent decline in car thefts for the first four months of 2006, compared with the same period last year. Through the end of April, 2,701 cars were reported stolen in Seattle — the lowest number for that period since 2002. The Seattle Police Department provides crime statistics through its Crime Stats Database. - 07/05/2006

"L&I backs off on tractor rollover rules" -- Yakima Herald Republic - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The Department of Labor & Industries has suspended enforcement of a new policy aimed at preventing small-tractor rollovers. "We were still getting questions from industry representatives, so we have delayed enforcement to allow for continued discussions," Elaine Fischer, spokeswoman for L&I, said in a recent interview. Under current regulations, growers are generally exempt from having to use rollover protective devices on tractors when doing so would interfere with farming. L&I's suspended document is available for review. - 07/05/2006

"Million-dollar moth: State spends $1m annually for 137-year-old mistake"--Longview Daily News - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Etienne Leopold Trouvelot didn't mean to release gypsy moths in the wild, but he did. Now the Washington Department of Agriculture spends $1 million a year trying to eradicate his mistake. - 07/06/2006

"State VA director eyes WW vets home: A state-operated veterans home would put such facilities in every portion of Washington state"--Walla Walla Union-Bulletin - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs is considering establishing a retirement home for veterans in Walla Walla. One of the driving forces behind this is that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is unclear about the future of the VA Medical Center located in Walla Walla. This Medical Center serves veterans in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon. - 07/05/2006

"Activist cites assertiveness in signature gathering success" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Backers of clean-energy Initiative 937 dropped off 330,000 signatures at the Secretary of State's Office in Olympia on Thursday, virtually assuring it a place on the November ballot. The Washington Secretary of State's Office of Elections has information on filing initiatives and referenda in Washington and FAQs on circulating petitions. - 07/07/2006

"Discussions on critical areas get more time"--Port Townsend Jefferson County Leader
The Jefferson County Commissioners are expecting to get a six month extension in their agreement with the Washington Environmental Council to come up with a critical habitats ordinance. Wetlands setbacks are among the details that need to be decided. - 07/05/2006

"USBR fire contract with towns to change "--Grand Coulee Star - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will not renew a reciprocal agreement between itself and local communities to provide mutual fire protection. The change of policy affects the towns of Electric City, Coulee Dam, and Grand Coulee. As their names suggest, this area is arguably the epicenter of reclamation in Washington state. - 07/07/2006

"Chickenpox immunization needed for school, day care" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Children starting school or attending licensed day cares now need to be immunized against the contagious childhood disease chickenpox, characterized by itchy blisters all over the body, the state Department of Health is reminding parents. The state exempts students who can prove that they have had chickenpox in the past, the health department reported. A DOH news release is available, which includes information on finding a health provider, childhood immunizations, and an online immunization registry. - 07/10/2006

"Questions linger around VA: [VA Secretary] Nicholson did not offer a price tag or a timeline for a new outpatient clinic."--Walla Walla Union-Bulletin - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The good news is that the Veterans Administration announced that it will build an outpatient clinic at the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center in Walla Walla. There was concern this facility might be phased out. The news would have been better if a cost and timeline were attached to this project. - 07/09/2006

"1,000 Sound species in peril" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
A plan to clean up and protect Puget Sound by 2020 needs more money, leadership, public support and strong links between the natural and human environments if it is to succeed. That's the message in an interim report to Gov. Chris Gregoire from the 19-member Puget Sound Partnership she formed in December 2005 to revive efforts for a cleaner, healthier Puget Sound. - 07/11/2006

"Rough-and-tumble Cathlamet Congresswoman remembered in historical article"--Longview Daily News - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Julia Butler Hansen, the Little Old Lady in Loggin Boots, is the subject of a major article in the Cowlitz Historical Quarterly. She served in the Washington Legislature from 1939 to 1960 and in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1960 to 1974. The Logging Boots nickname suggests her style while serving on the Appropriations Committee. Her papers are at the University of Washington. - 07/11/2006

"Challenges emerge for wind power "--Pasco Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Wind may be free, but turning it into electricity isn't. A report presented at the meeting of the Northwest Pwer and Conservation Council shows that the average cost of a megawatt hour from a new wind project has risen from $42-$53 to $45-$90. The rise in costs can be traced to higher costs of construction materials and imported machinery. - 07/12/2006

"Pierce County voters get two more issues" -- Tacoma News Tribune - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The Pierce County Council on Tuesday added two proposals to remodel county government, bringing to 11 the number of ideas voters will decide this fall, including whether to make the job of sheriff an elected position. The proposals will require the county executive to personally serve on the board of the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department instead of sending a representative, and increase from 30 days to 60 days the period the council has to decide the executive’s appointments to boards and commissions. The Council provides online access to their meeting minutes. - 07/12/2006

"State to fight I-297 ruling"--Pasco Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
A U.S. District Court judge ruled in June that I-297 was unconstitutional. Rob McKenna, the Washington State Attorney, announced the state would appeal this ruling. Initiative 297, passed in 2004, would have stopped the shipment of nuclear waste to Hanford until the waste already at the site was cleaned up. - 07/13/2006

"Pew survey -- Hispanics say rallies caused shift"--Yakima Herald-Republic - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
"Hispanics are feeling more discriminated against and politically energized since the pro-immigration rallies this spring and the ongoing national debate over immigration, a new survey found." - 07/14/2006

"BPA plans electrical diversification "--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.) "Public utilities may have to build their own power plants or buy secondary electricity supplies rather than rely solely on the Bonneville Power Administration. The proposal is part of long-range plan by Bonneville to boost and diversify the Pacific Northwest's electricity supply." - 07/14/2006

"Israel, Hezbollah ignore calls for restraint" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Hezbollah and Israel traded rocket and missile barrages without letup for a fifth day Sunday, as the war that has suddenly flared in the Middle East showed no sign of easing. Hezbollah rockets struck deep inside Israel, killing eight people in the northern city of Haifa, and Israel answered with even more lethal blows across Lebanon and into the Bekaa Valley near Syria. Read the Press Briefing on the G8 Leaders Joint Statement on the Situation in the Middle East by Under Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns and Tony Snow and the U.S. Department of State Lebanon Situation Update. - 07/17/2006

"Tacoma marshals resources in face of fresh gang threat" -- Tacoma News Tribune - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Pierce County law enforcement agencies are mobilizing to stamp out a recent surge in gang crime that is rekindling memories of a dark time in Tacoma’s past. Officials are formulating plans to stop the violence. The Tacoma City Council voted at an emergency meeting Friday to appropriate nearly $500,000 to the police department for expanded gang prevention measures. You can learn more about the Gang Emphasis Team at the City of Tacoma website. - 07/17/2006

"A hot and sticky issue [Highway construction costs are rising dramatically]"--Pasco Tri-CIty Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Costs for asphalt, concrete, and steel are rising to the point where it's interfering with with highway construction and repair projects. The Washington State Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration are following this development closely (and nervously). - 07/16/2006

"Hillside dominates new [Capitol] campus design" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
A stair-stepped building would connect the historic Capitol Campus with Capitol Lake in the latest, but not final, vision of a major state building project. The proposals will go back to the campus design committee for approval. They will also be presented to the State Capitol Campus Committee. Peter Antolin, deputy director of the Department of General Administration, said it then will be up to the Legislature and the governor to decide whether to fund the complete design of the project, which would take another year. The GA has a project description of the the Executive Office Plaza/Heritage Center, as well as information on public workshops and online comment submission forms. - 07/18/2006

"Jail's hit to nature expected to be big. Public can offer input on upcoming studies" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The proposed new Thurston County jail will have "a significant adverse impact on the environment" and will be looked at carefully for effects on air, water, plants, noise and other effects, according to a new document that outlines the planned scope of environmental review. Information on the Accountability and Restitution Center is available online. Public comments will be taken until August 1st. - 07/18/2006

"Graze ban ignores science, suit says"--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.) A classic conflict over land use in the West is occuring over the Little Pend Oreille Wildlife Refuge. Various groups including the Stevens County Commissioners, ranching families, and the Stevens County Conservation District are suing the government over restrictions to cattle grazing in the Refuge. The plaintiffs claim that grazing on the land is an established practice that improves conditions for deer. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Friends of Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge say that the Refuge should be managed for wildlife, not cows. - 07/18/2006

"[Cowlitz] County's jobless rate rises in June"--Longview Daily News - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
According to figures from the Employment Security Department, Cowlitz County's unemployemnt rate rose even as more jobs were added than expected. This apparent contradiction is likely caused by more people, including school graduates, looking for work. - 07/19/2006

"Counties say meth abuse fueling crime increase "--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.) A new report by the National Association of Counties states that methamphetamine related crime is straining local law enforcement resources even as meth production is being outsourced to other countries. The Association has a Meth Action Clearinghouse website. - 07/19/2006

"Bush's first veto kills extra funds for embryonic stem-cell work" -- Seattle Times
President Bush issued the first veto of his five-year-old administration Wednesday, rejecting Congress' bid to lift funding restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research. The White House website provides full text access to the President's Message to the House of Representatives and a factsheet on the President's policy on stem cell research. The Library of Congress provides information on HR 810 including full text access to the act, sponsors, related bills, and a summary. - 07/20/2006

"Federal numbers coming to property, animals "--Colville Statesman-Examiner - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The National Animal Identification System was set up by the U.S. Department of Agriculture after mad cow disease was discovered in American herds.Under its provisions every animal is given an identification number along with other information such as the farm or ranch's GPS coordinates. Some people see it as an invasion of privacy; other see it as a benefit. The Washington State Department of Agriculture has a website about how it will work in Washington state. - 07/20/2006

"Raw oysters sicken 49 in Washington: Cooking shellfish to 145 degrees will kill bacteria"--Bellingham Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Summertime and the bacteria's thriving. Shellfish are infected and the danger from eating them raw is high. The Department of Health says you should cook them or you'll have reason to cry. - 07/21/2006

"Tax measure could pinch Washington"--Pasco Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
A bill under consideration by Congress would have a major impact on the state budget by limiting the amount of Business & Occupation taxes the state could collect from out of state companies. Washington state's Congressional delegation is united in its opposition to the bill, but it appears to have broad support in Congress. The short title of the bill is the Business Activity Tax Simplification Act. - 07/21/2006

"Plan B: Pharmacy board backs off under pressure: Officials to reconsider rule on contraceptive"--Seattle Post-Intelligencer
In June the State Board of Pharmacy proposed a rule change that would allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense drugs such as the Plan B contraceptive if it offended their personal beliefs. The Board asked for public input. 2400 responses later, most of them negative, the Board is reconsidering the proposal. - 07/21/2006

"Heat continues; records intact" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Olympia was two degrees shy of hitting triple-digit temperatures Saturday and Sunday, but the rest of the week should be about 10 degrees cooler, the National Weather Service reported Sunday evening. The Puget Sound Action Team's report "Uncertain Future: Climate change and its effects on the Puget Sound" is available to download. The Washington State Department of Health has hot weather precautions in English and Spanish. - 07/24/2006

"$17 million effort aims to clear water for park users" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
24 state parks along Puget Sound and Hood Canal [are] slated for $17 million worth of clean-water projects, starting this summer. Every state park along the canal and the sound with serious problems - 24 of the 34 parks - will be fixed. The 2005-2007 Puget Sound Conservation and Recovery Plan is available to download. You can also access the Puget Sound Partnership's Interim report to the Governor. - 07/24/2006

"Washington mandates chicken pox vaccinations [for school age children]"--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.)Washington has joined the vast majority of states that require chichen pox (varicella) vaccinations for school age children. WAC 246-100-166 states parents or guardians must give certification of vaccination to school officials. Parents can opt out of having a child vaccinated based on medical, philosophical, religious, or personal reason. The Washington State Department of Health has a website on vaccinations. - 07/24/2006

"U.S. Farm Programs Overhaul May Be Delayed"--Longview Daily News - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The latest round of World Trade Organization talks broke down in part due to disagreements over price supports given to farmers in various countries. This breakdown may in turn slow down any major revision in price supports given to American farmers by the Federal government. Washington state provides marketing supports to its farmers. - 07/25/2006

"Senate OKs bill to tighten abortion penalties" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
A bill that would make it a crime to take a pregnant girl across state lines for an abortion without her parents' knowledge passed the Senate Tuesday, but vast differences with the House version stood between the measure and President Bush's desk. The Library of Congress provides the full text of Senate Bill 403, the Child Custody Protection Act, as well as a summary of the bill, a list of cosponsors, and related bills. The U.S. Senate provides the Roll Call Votes on the bill. - 07/26/2006

"[Washington State Supreme] Court upholds gay marriage ban"--Spokane Spokesman-Review
The Washington State Supreme Court upheld the state's Defense of Marriage act that was passed by the legislature in 1998. This act limited marriage to opposite sex couples. The Court reached its decision on a 5-4 vote. The decision, along with the diseents, can be found here. - 07/26/2006

"Illness prompts closures of additional oyster harvesting areas" -- Seattle Times
State health officials have closed additional oyster-growing areas to commercial harvesting for raw consumption after the number of shellfish lovers sickened by local oysters rose to 63, the most in recent memory. For more information, call the state's marine biotoxin hotline at (800) 562-5632, visit the Marine Biotoxin Bulletin, and check for signs at beaches and marinas before harvesting. You can also use the state's interactive maps to find which beaches in your area have been closed. - 07/26/2006

"Seattle board votes 5-2 to close seven schools" -- Seattle Times
Race re-emerged as a major issue Wednesday night as the Seattle School Board voted to close schools for the first time in nearly 20 years. The Seattle Public School Board provides information on the closures, including the Superintendent's Final Recommendations, timelines, and a public hearing schedule, available on their Investing in Educational Excellence site. - 07/27/2006

"Washington, Oregon to form drug-buying co-op"--Longview Daily News - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Gov. Ted Kulongoski announced that Oregon and Washington will form the Northwest Prescription Drug Consortium to lower costs for providing medicine to people with low incomes. Oregon and Washington already have programs to help people who couldn't otherwise afford prescription drugs. - 07/27/2006

"Fires restricted on public lands"--Walla Walla Union-Bulletin - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The summer fire danger has reached the point where the Department of Natural Resources has banned campfires and open flame fires in the forests of southeast Washington. The Department's county by county rating of wildfire danger can be found here. Information on current fires throughout the West can be found at the National Fire Information Center. - 07/27/2006

"Boy Scouts must release secret files" -- Tacoma News Tribune - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Three Tacoma-area men suing the Boy Scouts of America for sexual abuse they say happened decades ago can use the organization’s secret files against it, the state’s highest court ruled Thursday. The Supreme Court said the Boy Scouts must hand over decades of reports about alleged sexual abuse of boys by adult men involved in Scouting. The Washington Courts provide full-text of recent Supreme Court Opinions. - 07/28/2006

"Israelis agree to 48-hour airstrike reprieve" -- Seattle Times
Israel agreed to halt aerial bombing for 48 hours and allow besieged civilians safe passage out of southern Lebanon, U.S. officials said Sunday — a concession granted under intense pressure after one of its airstrikes hit a house full of women and children, killing at least 57 people. You can access the full text of Secretary of State Condaleezza Rice's Statement on Three-Part Comprehensive Settlement and United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan's statement to the Security Council. - 07/31/2006

"Franklin County to offer family law assistance program" -- Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Franklin County residents who represent themselves when filing for a divorce, a restraining order or a child support modification can now get help filling out the right forms for a small fee. Starting Tuesday, the Franklin County Clerk's Office will offer a Family Law Facilitator Program for pro se litigants who aren't familiar with the paperwork or need information on moving forward with their legal action. - 07/31/2006


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