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Washington State News Archive

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"Anti-smog plan to be updated"--Vancouver Columbian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The Southwest Clean Air Agency is submitting a draft of its updated Ozone Maintenance Plan for public comment. The original plan was drawn up 10 years ago to improve air quality in the Portland-Vancouver area. It has worked well enough that the updated draft has no further restrictions on cars or industry. The Southwest Clean Air Agency is a cooperative effort by Clark, Clowlitz, Lewis, Skamania, and Wahkiakum Counties. Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality is responsible for the a similar plan for Portland. The final ozone plan must be approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. - 10/01/2006

"Foley checks into rehabilitation facility for alcoholism" -- Seattle Times
Former Rep. Mark Foley, under FBI investigation for e-mail exchanges with teenage congressional pages, has checked himself into rehabilitation facility for alcoholism treatment and accepts responsibility for his actions, his attorney acknowledged today. The U.S. House of Representatives has information on the vacant post and access to their press release detailing the schedule of his vacancy. The White House has released a press briefing by Tony Snow on the matter. - 10/02/2006

"Disks with personal data missing from Seattle airport" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Six computer disks containing personal data on more than 6,900 people who applied for new or replacement identity badges are missing from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, airport officials say. In a statement posted on its Web site, the Port of Seattle said it has access to the original data, knows whose information was on the missing disks and had mailed notification letters to those affected on Monday. The Port of Seattle also has an information page on how this happened and how it might effect you. - 10/03/2006

"Labor board defines 'supervisor' status" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Nurses permanently assigned to run work shifts should be considered supervisors and thus exempt from U.S. labor protections, a federal panel held Tuesday in a decision that potentially has major implications for workers in other fields. The National Labor Relations Board, in a 3-2 ruling, also said people who work supervisory shifts only on a rotating basis may be exempt from supervisory status in some cases but not others, depending on the frequency and consistency of the shifts. A press release, which outlines the case, is also available on their website. - 10/04/2006

"EPA picks mine cleanup plan "--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.) Mining uranium creates low level radioactive wastes. The Midnite Mine on the Spokane Indian Reservation created a 350 acre Superfund site when it was in operation from 1955 to 1981. Mine residues will be buried in pits and water will be treated to remove radioactive heavy metals. Cleanup costs are projected to be $152 million. Parts of the cleanup plan were negotiated with the Spokane Tribe. - 10/04/2006

"Farmers get funding for crop programs "--Pasco Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Farmers of organic and speciality crops, Latino farmers, Native American farmers, a Washington State University outreach program, and Christmas tree growers will all be getting support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency. The program provides funds for training in product managment, reducing environmental risks, and outreach services. - 10/05/2006

"Terminal operators warned about inspecting shipping containers"--Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Sometimes shipping containers leave the docks without having their paperwork checked. This is known as a "gateout", and it's a security nightmare. The SAFE Ports Act(H.R. 4954.enr) is aimed at preventing such security lapses. Security is a major issue at the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma. - 10/05/2006

"Report pins delays on administration--Lawsuits not at fault in wildfire logging project, GAO says"--Olympia Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The federal government got almost $9 million in revenue from salvaged lumber after the 2002 Biscuit fire in Oregon. At the same time, the government has spent close to $11 million in the sales process and reforestation activities. A Government Accountability Office report points out the complexity of the sales and the size of the burn area account are factors in these costs. A summary and highlights of the report are also available. - 10/05/2006

"High court upholds 2004 law on breath alcohol tests"--Yakima Herald-Republic - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Take a deep breath if you get pulled over by the police for speeding and weaving down the road. You'll need it because the Washington Supreme Court has upheld the 2004 law that made it easier for alcohol breath tests to be used in charging people with drunk driving. The case was City of Fircrest v. Theo Jensen. It deals with implied consent to give sobriety tests. - 10/06/2006

"North Korea tests nuke" -- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
North Korea said Monday it had performed its first nuclear weapons test, an underground explosion that defied international warnings but was hailed by the communist nation as a "great leap forward" for its people. To learn more about the test, you can access the International Atomic Energy Agency's Press Release, a Statement by the President on North Korea, and The U.S.- Republic of Korea Alliance Statement to the House International Relations Committee by Christopher Hill, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. - 10/09/2006

[Snohomish] "County workers help craft budget" -- Everett Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
For the third year, Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon used teams of county employees - managers, directors and some rank-and-file employees - to help him shape his annual budget. - 10/09/2006

"State releases draft review of Columbia River management plan "--Yakima Herald-Republic - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The Washington State Department of Ecology will be holding public hearings in Central Washington to get feedback on the draft environmental impact statement for the Columbia River Water Management Program. This plan aims to balance environmental concerns with agricultural an developmental interests. Water will be stored in new reservoirs while stream flows will be preserved. This program was mandated by House Bill 2860 that was signed into law earlier this year. - 10/10/2006

"Documents: CIA warned of plane bomb plot" -- Seattle Times - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
An anti-Castro militant now in a Texas jail warned the CIA months before the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that fellow exiles were planning such an attack, according to a newly released U.S. government document. - 10/10/2006

"Colville tribal leaders seek federal aid to cut suicide rate"--Pasco Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Colville tribal leaders are working with the Indian Health Service to lessen a suicide rate on the Reservation that is 20 times higher than national average. - 10/10/2006

"Salmon activists file suit over harvest plan" -- Tacoma News Tribune - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Advocates for wild Puget Sound chinook salmon took aim Tuesday at state and tribal fishing rules they say jeopardize efforts to help native fish protected by the Endangered Species Act. The lawsuit spotlights a joint state-tribal harvest management plan approved by federal officials in 2004. While the plan does not permit fishermen to target wild chinook salmon, the rules allow the accidental destruction of some wild fish. The conservationists who sued claim NOAA Fisheries, also known as the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service violated federal law when they endorsed the harvest plan. - 10/11/2006

"Fraud conspiracy admitted: Diploma mill Web site designer enters plea"--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.) Kenneth Wade Pearson's virtual sleaziness caught up with him in U.S. District Court when he pled guilty to running 125 online diploma mills and having a computer loaded with child pornography. Diploma mills offer fake high school and college degrees that people use to defraud businesses and government by getting undeserved jobs and promotions. The Higher Education Coordinating Board oversees schools and colleges that grant accredited degrees in Washington state. - 10/11/2006

"Iraq death toll adds up to one Seattle" -- Seattle Post-Intelligencer
According to a recent study, more than 600,000 people in Iraq have been killed since the U.S. invaded in 2003 to lead Iraqis to peace and democracy. That's 20 times higher than the figure the White House has bandied about. You can access the study after signing up for free registration at The Lancet. You can also access yesterday's press conference, in which the President responds to questions about the report, and a 2005 press conference in which the President estimates the number of Iraqi deaths. - 10/12/2006

"Cape Disappointment's lighthouse may soon roll out welcome mat"--Longview Daily News - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The Coast Guard will be transferring the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse at the mouth of the Columbia River to the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission next year. The Commission is sure that people will be delighted with this addition to Cape Disappointment State Park. - 10/12/2006

"Supreme Court upholds Sequim city gun show rule"--Port Angeles Peninsula Daily News - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
In a divided decision, the Washington State Supreme Court said the city of Sequim could restrict gun sales at a gun show put on by the Pacific Northwest Shooting Park Association. The Association said the restrictions caused exhibiters to pull out of the show and hurt attendence. The case was Pacific Northwest Shooting Park v. City of Sequim. - 10/13/2006

"Puget Sound panel details daunting cleanup endeavor"--Olympia Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The Partnership for Puget Sound is a commission formed by Governor Gregoire to see what can be done to clean up Puget Sound by 2020. It is releasing a draft version of its final report today. The report stresses accountability, but the costs--and how to fund them--are unclear. Hearings for public comment will be held later this month. - 10/13/2006

"USDA: Apple crop tops 2003 record"--Pasco Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistical Service released the happy 2005 numbers for Washington's crops. Income from Washington agriculture reached $6.41 billion with apples topping that food pyramid with $1.23 billion in sales. - 10/16/2006

"U.S. confirms test was nuclear"-- Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
U.S. spy agencies confirmed North Korea's nuclear test Monday as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declared that U.N. sanctions prove that the world is united in opposing Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions. The North's Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency that the country wants peace but it isn't afraid of war. "We resolutely condemn and totally reject the U.N. Security Council resolution," passed last Saturday, the statement said. You can also access United Nations Ambassador John Bolton's U.N. Press Release on The Adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718. - 10/17/2006

"New law targets chronic neglect: Measure may save children's lives"--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.) Beginning in January 2007 Senate Bill 5622 will take effect and give the Children's Administration in the Department of Social and Health Services new criteria for protecting children. Although the primary goal is to keep children living with their parents, the state can intervene when there's a pattern of chronic neglect that threatens the child's safety. The parents must comply with case plans and treatment programs. The legislative website has a summary of the bill. It became Chapter 512 in the 2005 Laws of Washington. - 10/17/2006

"Bush signs detainee bill" -- Seattle Times
President Bush signed legislation Tuesday establishing new rules for interrogating and trying suspected terrorists, but the fight over how to deal with detainees is far from over. The Military Commissions Act of 2006 clears the way for the CIA to resume aggressive interrogations in secret prisons and denies suspected terrorists the right to challenge their detentions in civilian courts. It also permits the use of evidence obtained through coercion and lets the president draw the line between acceptable interrogation techniques and impermissible torture. - 10/18/2006

"Social Security Checks Rise by 3.3 Pct."--Yakima Herald-Republic - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
People on Social Security will be seeing a 3.3% increase in their checks due to cost of living adjustments. This adjustment is based on changes in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers from the third quarter 2005 through the third quarter 2006. - 10/18/2006

"New grant targets academically talented students "--Omak Chronicle - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Washington State University will be conducting an Educational Talent Search in Okanogan, Douglas, and Grant Counties with funds from the U.S. Department of Education. The goal of the program is to givestudents from disadvantaged backgrounds an opportunity to get higher education. - 10/18/2006

"Troops' return puts pressure on centers"--Olympia Olympian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The number of returning soldiers using the Readjustment Counseling Service Centers--also known as Vet Centers--run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has doubled in a nine month period from October 2005 to June 2006. The Vet Centers provide mental health counseling. This increase in caseload by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is straining the system. This information is in a report issued by the U.S. House Committee on Veterans Affairs. A summary is also available. A recent Government Accountability Office report said that the VA did not spend all of the money appropriated for mental health counseling in 2005. A summary of the GAO report is also available. - 10/19/2006

"Farm worker shortage feared" -- Bellingham Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security plans to use Social Security records to crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants. That’s the thrust of a new rule that Homeland Security proposes, spelling out how employers must respond when they learn that an employee’s Social Security number may be bogus. Employers who fail to follow the potentially time-consuming response procedure could face fines, seizure of property or even criminal prosecution for felony violations of immigration law. You can also access the DHS Press Release on "No Match" Data Sharing and the Securing the Homeland Through Agency Reporting Enhancement Act. - 10/20/2006

"Viaduct project could pit city vs. state" -- Seattle Times
Even if Seattle officials argue that replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a new elevated structure would violate shoreline-development laws, they'd likely lose the fight if the state wants the highway built. The City of Seattle provides in depth information on the viaduct and seawall. The Washington State Department of Transportation provides information on the Expert Review Panel - SR 520 Bridge & Alaskan Way Viaduct Projects including their final report. - 10/23/2006

"Columbia water plan unveiling scheduled" - Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Moses Lake residents will get first crack at a draft environmental impact statement addressing the state's groundbreaking water management program for the Columbia River on Tuesday. The Washington Department of Ecology has scheduled four open houses to allow people to discuss a draft of the EIS that will establish how the department addresses a backlog of water rights requests without hurting fish. - 10/23/2006

"U.S. Limits on Same-Sex Schools to Ease" -- Vancouver Columbian - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The Bush administration is giving public schools wider latitude to teach boys and girls separately in what is considered the biggest change to coed classrooms in more than three decades. After a two-year wait, the Education Department issued final rules Tuesday detailing how it will enforce the Title IX landmark anti-discrimination law. Under the change taking effect Nov. 24, local school leaders will have discretion to create same-sex classes for subjects such as math, a grade level or even an entire school. You can find Guidelines regarding Single Sex Classes and Schools at the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights. - 10/24/2006

"Gov't Panel Recommends Shingles Vaccine" -- Moscow Pullman Daily News - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
An influential government advisory panel voted Wednesday to recommend routine vaccines to protect older adults against shingles. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to recommend the vaccine for adults 60 and over. The committee's recommendations usually are accepted by federal health officials, and they influence insurance coverage for vaccinations. You can also read the Food and Drug Administration's Press Release on shingles. - 10/25/2006

"Bush signs U.S.-Mexico border fence bill" -- Tacoma News Tribune - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
President Bush signed a bill authorizing 700 miles of new fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, hoping to give Republican candidates a pre-election platform for asserting they're tough on illegal immigration. You can also read the President's comments from the Roosevelt Room as he signed the bill into law and the White House Fact Sheet on the Secure Fence Act of 2006. - 10/26/2006

"State issues warning on eating Sound salmon" -- Seattle Times
Puget Sound's chinook salmon, prized by sport fishermen, tribes and endangered orcas alike, are so polluted with toxic chemicals that the state Health Department is advising that children and pregnant women limit how much they eat. You can access the Department of Health's news release on New health advice on eating Puget Sound fish and the national fish consumption advisory information from the Environmental Protection Agency. - 10/27/2006

"Education board OKs draft budgets"--Yakima Herald-Republic - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board will send two draft budgets to the legislature next year. The Level I budget is for $412.9 million and maintains educational services at current levels. The Level II budget is for $619.4 million and expands programs and student aid. - 10/27/2006

"Military lost weapons intended for Iraqi forces" -- Bellingham Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Nearly one of every 25 weapons the military bought for Iraqi security forces is missing, a government audit said Sunday. Many others cannot be repaired because parts or technical manuals are lacking. A second report found "significant challenges remain that put at risk" the U.S. military's goal of strengthening Iraqi security forces by transferring all logistics operations to the defense ministry by the end of 2007. A third report concerned the Provincial Reconstruction Team program, in which U.S. government experts help Iraqis develop regional governmental institutions. "The unstable security environment in Iraq touches every aspect of the PRT program," the report said. You can find all audit reports by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction here. - 10/30/2006

"Grant loss may mean end of Access [to medical care]"--Pasco Tri-City Herald - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
Benton Franklin Access to Care provides medical assistance to uninsured people whose income is near or below poverty level in the Tri-Cities area. It has served close to 2,000 clients. If it can't come up with $250,000, it will have to stop offering services by Feb. 28, 2007. It is already laying off employees. - 10/30/2006

"EPA cutbacks greeted with criticism: Groups say Office of Civil Rights and Environmental Justice gutted"--Spokane Spokesman-Review - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
In 1994 President Clinton issued Executive Order 12898 that ordered Federal agencies to ensure environmental justice by "...identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations...." The Environmental Protection Agency Region 10", which covers Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, announced a reorganization that reduced environmental justice staff to less than three people for the region. Environmental groups throughout the region are upset with the cutback. - 10/31/2006

"NASA Says Hubble Repair Mission Is a Go"--Longview Daily News - Please Ask a Librarian for a copy of this article.
The Hubble Telescope will be getting a major tuneup after being in space for 16 years. Being where it is, the repair job will be done on site 360 miles above the earth. NASA will probably send up the repair mission in 2008. Many researchers, including those at the University of Washington, have benefited from the Hubble Telescope and captured great images in the process. - 10/31/2006


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