Legislators & Lobbyists
5:15 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Wash. Ethics Panel Gets Earful On Lobbyist-Paid Meals For Lawmakers

mathteacherguy Flickr

How often is “infrequent” when it comes to state lawmakers accepting free meals from lobbyists? Washington’s Legislative Ethics Board spent nearly two hours Tuesday taking testimony on that issue and then grappling with the answer. 

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Budget Cuts
4:13 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Gov. Inslee Directs State Agencies To Identify 15 Percent Cuts

File image
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Gov. Jay Inslee is directing Washington state agencies to identify 15 percent cuts in the next budget. The directive comes as the latest revenue forecast released Tuesday shows an ongoing sluggish recovery.

State budget director David Schumacher says the budget-cutting exercise does not mean all agencies will be cut by 15 percent.

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State Licensure
4:03 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

African Hair Braider Sues Wash. Department Of Licensing, Seeks Clarity On Regulations

Salamata Sylla braids her daughter's hair at a press conference announcing her lawsuit.
Ashley Gross KPLU

The owner of an African hair-braiding salon has filed a suit against the state Department of Licensing in the latest move by a cottage industry that has fought to limit what they call unnecessary regulations.

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Human Rights
11:51 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Rep. Smith Pushes For Release of Renton Woman Being Held In Mexican Prison

Grisel Rodriguez, left, and Jose Avila, right, pose for a photo, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, in their apartment in Renton, Wash. They are holding a photo of Avila with his wife, Nestora Salgado, who has been detained since she was arrested Aug. 21, 2013.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, says the United States should be doing more to free a Renton woman being held in a Mexican prison. Nestora Salgado was arrested last August in the state of Guerrero, Mexico after helping to organize a local militia of indigenous people — something allowed under Mexican law.

Appearing alongside Salgado’s daughter and husband at a news conference in Seattle, Smith said he’s done what he can to make Secretary of State John Kerry and the Obama administration aware of Nestora Salgado’s situation in Mexico.

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Adoption Law
10:59 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Idaho Woman's Fight For Foster Daughter Reveals A System Of Difficult Choices

Andrea Butler of Rathdrum, Idaho, stands in the room Dee had in her home for the four and a half years Butler fostered her.
Jessica Robinson

Adoptions are usually private affairs, sealed forever in court documents and known only to the families involved. But a recent decision by Idaho's Department of Health and Welfare exploded into the public sphere.

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Business
10:27 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Delta's New Seattle Hub Could Lead To Lower Airfares

Port of Seattle fire trucks salute a Delta Airbus A330 as it departs for Hong Kong on Monday.
Courtesy of Port of Seattle

Can two airlines be partners and rivals at the same time? Seattle-based Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines are long-term contractual allies. But now the relationship is being tested.

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Balance of Power
9:31 am
Tue June 17, 2014

School Funding Lawsuit Prompts Hearing On Separation Of Powers

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Elaine Thompson AP Photo

The Washington Supreme Court could hold state lawmakers in contempt over school funding. But is the high court overstepping its bounds? A Republican-led legislative panel held a hearing Monday on separation of powers.

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Senior Thesis
5:00 am
Tue June 17, 2014

What Veteran Seattle Actor Wright Knows Now About Getting That First Big Break

Bob Wright, commonly known to theatergoers by his Actors Equity name R. Hamilton Wright, performs in the Seattle Repertory Theatre's recent production of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf."
Photo courtesy Alan Alabastro Seattle Repertory Theatre

Editor's Note: “Senior Thesis” is a special week-long series that brings together venerable veterans in various fields with university students hoping to forge a career in the same field.

Actors, especially aspiring actors, can't wait for the perfect role to come along, says veteran of the Seattle stage Bob Wright.

"Put yourself in a position to work," said the actor who's been listed in Seattle Playbills with the name "R. Hamilton Wright" since 1979. "It's better to work than not work. Find ways to act."

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Judicial Independence
4:54 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

OIC Whistleblower Speaks, Says She's Still Muzzled

An administrative law judge who accused the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner of pressuring her to rule in its favor broke her silence Monday, but she told lawmakers she’s not allowed to give them the whole story.

Patricia Petersen appeared before the state Senate Law and Justice Committee. She said she wants to tell the legislators what’s behind her spat with the OIC, including her accusation that the agency’s second-in-command pressured her to rule in the office’s favor.

But Petersen, in her first public comments since lodging a whistleblower complaint against her boss, said the commissioner gave her a gag order on the matter while it’s being investigated.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
4:09 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Wash. State, Feds Set New Deadline For Hanford Cleanup

Tobin Fricke Wikimedia

Washington state and the federal government just gave themselves a 40-day deadline to come up with a cleanup plan for leaking tanks of radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

If you think you’ve heard that before, it’s because you have.

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