government

Week in Review
2:26 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

News From Olympia, State Of The Union, And Super Bowl XLVIII

The Seattle Seahawks will face the Denver Broncos for Super Bowl XLVIII.
Flickr Photo/Joe Parks

State lawmakers signal progress on the DREAM Act. President Barack Obama's outlines his goals in his State of the Union address. And the 12th man gets ready for Super Bowl XLVIII. 

We talk over these stories and more with Crosscut’s Knute Berger, Eli Sanders of The Stranger and political reporter Robert Mak.

Education & Immigration
2:09 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Washington State Senate Passes 'REAL Hope Act'

State Senator Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor.
Courtesy of Washington State Legislature

Steve Scher talks with state Senator Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, about the passage of the Senate Republican's version of the DREAM Act called the REAL Hope Act. Bailey is chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee.

EarthFix Reports
8:56 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Washington Senator, Chefs Weigh In Against Pebble Mine

Jason Lake has been fishing in Bristol Bay for 25 years. Nearly 1,000 in Washington hold commercial fishing permits which brings in over $100 million to the state.
KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) stood at Seattle Fishermans’ Terminal Thursday alongside chef Tom Douglas and fishermen to denounce a controversial mine proposed at Bristol Bay, Alaska.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

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Government
8:43 am
Fri January 31, 2014

What The Farm Bill Tucked Beneath Northwest Christmas Trees

Congress is on the verge of approving a surcharge on Christmas trees to pay for a national board's promotion of this leading Northwest crop.
Ian Sane/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/31246066@N04/5850816091/in/photolist-9V1XMv

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 3:03 pm

A once-stalled plan to support Christmas tree growers nationwide could be on its way to winning congressional approval as part of the new Farm Bill.

A provision in the bill adds a 15-cent surcharge on the cost of Christmas trees sold by larger farms. The revenue would help market those trees -- a potential boon for growers in Oregon, which leads the country in Christmas tree production.

You’ve likely heard of the dairy industry’s famous "Got Milk?" campaign but you’ve probably never heard an ad that asks, "Got Christmas Trees?"

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2010 Anacortes Explosion
7:35 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Tesoro Refinery Blast Reflects Industry-Wide Problems

The Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Wash., with Mount Baker in the background.
Credit Flickr Photo/Scott Butner

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story included the Washington Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals’ mistaken assertion that Tesoro’s fines had been reduced to $858,500. The correct figure is $658,500.

Safer practices and better steel could have prevented a deadly explosion at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Wash., in 2010, according to a new report from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.  

The blast killed seven workers.

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Mental Health
4:04 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Mental Health Advocates Push For Change Of ‘Shattered System’

A proposed law would allow people to petition a court to have family members involuntarily committed to a mental facility.
Flickr Photo/Micheal J (CC BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher talks with mental health advocate Sandi Ando about a proposed law that would allow people to petition a court to have a family member committed against his or her will.

Ando is public policy chair for Washington's chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

2007 Murder Trial
1:42 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Amanda Knox Convicted Again For Murder In Italian Court

Amanda Knox.
AP Photo/Peter Kramer

Seattle native Amanda Knox has once again been found guilty in the murder of Meredith Kercher by an appeals court in Florence, Italy, and sentenced to 28.6 years.

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Young Activists
11:34 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Kids Take On Washington Legislature In Picking New State Symbols

Palouse Falls
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:20 am

Washington may get at least two new official state symbols, thanks to some young students.

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Prescription Supply
11:20 am
Thu January 30, 2014

'Opiate Refugees' Caught Between Pharmacies, Suppliers And The Law

Flickr Photo/Greg McMullin

This week the state Department of Health reported that prescription drug overdose deaths are down 27 percent since 2008. But curbing fraud and abuse of powerful opiates has come at a price for some legitimate patients who say they’re suffering unnecessary pain due to delays at pharmacies. 

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Politics
8:56 am
Thu January 30, 2014

At GOP Retreat, House Members Regroup On Immigration

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 2:09 pm

Just days after President Obama called for action on immigration reform, Republican members of the House are regrouping on the issue during their yearly three-day retreat in Cambridge, Md.

As Roll Call explains, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio is expected to present members with a one-sheet document on Thursday that lays out principles for rewriting immigration laws.

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Proficiency Testing
8:56 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Air Force Cheating Scandal Widens; 92 Nuclear Officers Linked

The launch-key mechanism at the deactivated Delta Nine Launch Facility near Wall, S.D., in 2002.
AP

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 9:03 am

Nearly 20 percent of the officers in the U.S. Air Force's nuclear weapons corps have now been implicated in a proficiency test cheating scandal, the secretary of the Air Force said Thursday.

Deborah Lee James told reporters that 92 individuals in the 500-member force are now thought either to have shared information about the answers to the test or to have known that others had done so, The Associated Press reports.

The wire service adds that:

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Lethal Injection
8:35 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Execution Witnesses In Washington To See Needle Insertion

File photo of the execution chamber at San Quentin. A camera in the execution chamber at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla will record more of more of the execution process.
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 6:02 pm

The next time a death row inmate is executed by lethal injection in Washington state, witnesses will see more of the process.

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Civil Rights
8:35 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Gay Rights Advocates: Idaho Bills Would Upend Local Discrimination Bans

File photo. The Pocatello City Council took public comment on an anti-discrimination ordinance in April 2013.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 3:42 pm

Gay rights advocates say legislation introduced this week in Idaho would undermine local anti-discrimination ordinances passed in seven Idaho cities.

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State Of The Union
4:29 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Executive Power In The Country Of Checks And Balances

President Barack Obama delivers the State of Union address before a joint session of Congress in the House chamber on Tuesday, January 28.
AP Photo/Larry Downing

David Hyde talks with Julian Zelizer, a historian at Princeton University, about President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech and his plans to use his executive power to get things done.

State Of The Union
3:55 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

From Establishment To Tea Party, Republicans Rebut President

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., rehearses the GOP response to the State of the Union on Capitol Hill. She delivered it Tuesday following the president's speech.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 6:23 am

Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the highest-ranking female Republican in the U.S. House, occupied a coveted spot Tuesday night: She delivered the televised rebuttal to the president's State of the Union.

Yet the Washington congresswoman and mother of three young children didn't have the spotlight to herself. She faced competition from within the ranks of her own party, a stark reflection of the divisions that have riven the GOP.

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