Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 10:57 am
BREWSTER, Wash. - There's one word that politicians almost always use when they talk about the U.S. immigration system. That word is “broken.” But what does that really mean? Residents of the small town of Brewster, Wash., know. For decades, immigrants have come from Mexico, often illegally, to work the surrounding apple and cherry orchards. Bewster, it turns out, is a microcosm of how the immigration debate is playing out.
When it comes to immigration, people from all over the political spectrum seem to agree on one thing: the system is broken. Now, support for immigration reform is growing among an unexpected group. Religious conservatives in Washington state, as well as all around the country, are coming out in support of immigration reform.
Seattle schoolteacher Sandra Aguila became a US citizen through the last major immigration reform bill, which President Ronald Reagan signed in 1986. Aguila had arrived in the US one year earlier at age 25. She spoke almost no English. “I could only say ‘good morning,’” she laughs.
Dane Corrida works as a hotel manager for a luxury cruise line based in Seattle. He owns a house on Capitol Hill, but since he spends most of his time working on the boats, he rents it out. If he has a couple of weeks off here and there, he can usually charm a friend or two into letting him couch surf.
Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 3:13 pm
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Booth Gardner, Washington’s 19th governor, has died at age 76. Gardner’s family says he passed away Friday night from complications of Parkinson's disease. Gardner had lived with the illness for more than a decade.
Democrat Booth Gardner took office in January of 1985. He was a Harvard-educated businessman with a playful manner. Longtime newspaper columnist Joel Connelly offers these snapshot memories.
Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 9:18 pm
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Hopes for a rosier budget outlook in Washington are dimming. Expected savings in Medicaid haven’t materialized. And many state lawmakers expect this week’s quarterly revenue forecast to show a downward slide. Add to that, a Supreme Court ruling that requires more funding for schools.
In response, Democratic Governor Jay Inslee is expected to announce soon a list of tax “loopholes” – as he calls them – he wants to eliminate to fund schools. But closing tax exemptions is easier said than done.
The Boeing Co. unveiled what executives called a "proposed permanent solution to the 787 battery issue" Thursday night. The company’s 787 fleet has been grounded for two months because of safety concerns over the plane’s lithium-ion batteries. Two batteries in the fleet’s first 50 planes have had smoke and fire incidents.
Gun control advocates are regrouping this week. They’re looking at their options, now that a bill to broaden background checks for gun sales failed in the Washington Legislature. They want to seize a moment when they believe public sentiment is on their side.
Every two years Washington state surveys public schools students about their health and health behaviors. The response are voluntary and anonymous. Policymakers use the information to make decisions about which health issues to focus on and fund.
Fewer teens are smoking and drinking alcohol. That’s one of the bright spots from a recent survey of youth in Washington state. But the results also show that a large number of them are struggling with mental health issues.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar had some tough words for Shell Oil Thursday as he announced the results of an investigation into Shell's Alaskan accidents in 2012. But he did not announce the tough consequences that environmentalists were hoping for in the wake of Shell’s year of Arctic mishaps.