Issue #1

About Daily News Clips

The King County Democrats want you to be as informed as possible, because an informed citizenry is an active, effective citizenry. So starting today, we will be bringing you daily news clips, Monday through Friday, from news organizations and blogs from around the nation, with the emphasis on King County and Washington state.

We will link to all sources. Where possible, we will link to contact information for public officials mentioned in the clips, so that you can take direct action. When we mention legislation pending in Olympia, we will link to the full text of the bill, so that you can read it for yourselves.

In addition to alerting you to breaking news, we will try to link every day to one or two longer pieces “to think about,” that go deeper into political and public policy issues. We hope you’ll take the time to read them, and that they will spark discussion, action items, and talking points for future campaigns.

The news clips will be compiled by long-time Democratic Party activist Ivan Weiss, who brings 33 years experience in “clearing the wire” to the job. Ivan served as a “wire editor,” in sports, national news, and international news at the Seattle Times, where he selected and recommended the top stories of the day. He is a former Teamsters business agent, and former two-term Democratic chairman in the 34th Legislative District. Ivan will add his terse commentary to the daily news items.

Because we’re Democrats, we’ll want your feedback on how well this feature is, or is not, serving you. But we’re still working on how we might do that, and how we might handle comments, if any. So stay tuned.  For now, enjoy the news.

King County

Boeing 787’s problems blamed on outsourcing, lack of oversight

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner
Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner

Company engineers blame the 787’s outsourced supply chain, saying that poor quality components are coming from subcontractors that have operated largely out of Boeing’s view. Haven’t the unions been saying this for years? Seattle Times, 2-3-13.

Seattle’s ‘Little Amsterdam’?

Central District, SeattleHow 23rd/Union could become Seattle’s ‘Little Amsterdam.’ Cannabis entrepreneurs contemplate how Seattle zoning codes could help transform one inner city business district. This could be the groundwork that puts I-502 on an operational basis in the city. Central District News, 2-1-13.

For Ballard teachers, dissatisfaction in MAP test has history

Ballard High SchoolWhile Garfield High School has taken the spotlight in the recent controversy over the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) test, the subject has a history in Ballard. Teachers think the test is a waste, and they say why, in no uncertain terms. Ballard News-Tribune, 2-3-13.

Why don’t we have a woman mayor?

Bertha Landes first served on the Seattle City Council and then was elected mayor in 1926 for a two-year term.
Landes

Despite Seattle’s progressive self-image — and its role in sending women to the U.S. Senate and governor’s office — the city has not elected a woman mayor in 85 years, since Bertha Knight Landes, in 1926. In all that time, a woman has not even appeared on the general-election ballot. Seattle Times, 2-2-13.

 

The State

GOP education bills provoke questioning

Sen. Steve Litzow (R-41)
Litzow

Senate Democrats say two Republican education bills, SB 5328 and SB 5237, are cookie-cutter copies from a conservative think tank. They appear to have plenty of supporting evidence. The Republicans say “Who, us?” So-called “moderate” Steve Litzow (R-41) is a prime sponsor. Crosscut, 2-3-13.

 

The battle over flame retardants continues

Sen. Sharon Nelson (D-34)
Nelson

Bills introduced in the Legislature this year would ban two chemical flame retardants – TCEP and TDCPP, or chlorinated Tris – from sofas and children’s products such as strollers, changing pads, car seats and nursing pillows. “We’ve got more and more data to show we need to protect kids,” said Sen. Sharon Nelson (D-34), sponsor of SB 5181. Rep. Kevin Van De Wege, (D-24) is sponsoring the companion HB 1294. Olympian, 2-1-13.

Sharon Brown to be sworn into state Senate Monday

Sen. Sharon Brown (R-8)
Brown

Benton County Commissioners a week ago picked Brown to replace Jerome Delvin  (R-8) in the Senate. Delvin recently was elected and sworn in as a county commissioner. Brown has served on the Kennewick City Council as mayor pro tem since January 2010. Tri-City Herald, 2-3-13

 

Editorial: Buy Washington! Yes, including ferries

Washington State FerriesLawmakers recognized the importance of spending our tax dollars here, to create jobs here, and to sustain an industry here. Those jobs have a multiplier effect on our state’s economy, creating more jobs and sustaining more businesses. David Groves, in the Everett Herald, 2-3-12.

The Nation

Top donors to Republicans seek more say in Senate races

Rep. Steven King (R-IA)
Rep.. Steven King (R-IA)

The biggest donors in the Republican Party are financing a new group to recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Partiers who Republican leaders worry could complicate the party’s efforts to win control of the Senate. New York Times, 2-2-13.

 

This drone camera can see you waving at it from 15,000 feet

New DARPA drone
Drone

It can see objects as small as six inches on the ground from 17,500 feet in the air. This camera-recorder machine can also store a million terabytes of video data a day – the equivalent of 5,000 hours of high definition video. Sky Valley Chronicle, 2-3-13.

To Think About

Are conservative education “reformers” bailing out?

Perhaps because they demonstrably lost the 2012 election, conservative school “reformers” are being much more candid about why bubble-in accountability has failed. But if the right bails on education “reform,” could it leave Obama and Democratic “reformers” holding the bag? Education Week, 11-25-12 (but very timely).