Tag Archives: Seattle

WNBA team Seattle Storm raising money for baby butchers Planned Parenthood

dawn trudeau

WNBA owner Dawn Trudeau: Just trying to help people…

Fine by me. That will be less taxpayer dollars we need to give to Planned Parenthood.

From Seattle Times: Each of the Seattle Storm’s three owners has a specific spot where she prefers to sit for the team’s home games: Dawn Trudeau likes to be in her courtside seat, Lisa Brummel watches from about the fifth row, and Ginny Gilder sits halfway up in KeyArena.

They aren’t secluded in a suite. They’re among the fans and talking with them, too. So when the idea to host a game that supports Planned Parenthood emerged, Trudeau said the owners felt “fairly confident that our core supporters would continue to support us and would be actually pleased that we were doing this.”

For the three women who have owned the Storm since 2008, that assessment has appeared to be right. Some proceeds from Tuesday night’s game against the Chicago Sky will support the nonprofit that provides reproductive health care. The idea has sparked an “overwhelmingly positive” response, Trudeau said.

This is the first time a sports franchise has partnered with Planned Parenthood, according to a spokesperson from Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands (PPGNHI), the branch of the organization for which the Storm is raising money.

“It brings tears to my eyes,” said Christine Charbonneau, CEO of PPGNHI. “It’s the kind of thing I suppose we always dreamed of if there were ever women owning things, that women would treat other women differently than maybe (what) happens sometimes when men own things.”

Along with an online auction, the Storm has pledged to give $5 from each ticket sold to Planned Parenthood, meaning a sold-out KeyArena of 9,686 spectators would generate a donation close to $50,000.

“We own the team, but we have life experience as women,” Trudeau said of the all-female ownership group. “That’s something that we carry with us and that informs the decisions that we make and that is certainly a part of our DNA — literally and from an organizational standpoint.”

When Trudeau was a fourth-grader in the mid 1960s, she remembers how in gym class, the boys would get to run around and play basketball or kickball, while the girls were told to sit and watch. Trudeau wanted to play but couldn’t.

That’s when Trudeau said she became a feminist. She hadn’t learned that word yet, but as a fourth-grader she realized boys and girls were treated differently, an awareness she has carried into her professional career.

Planned Parenthood holds an annual check-up with its donors, and at that event in November, there was a meeting topic about what the presidential election meant for the organization. Gilder approached Charbonneau and said she wanted the Storm to do something to help, but she didn’t know what that would entail.

A few months later, Charbonneau found out the Storm owners were planning to dedicate a game to the nonprofit.

With the ongoing national health care debate, Trudeau said some Americans could soon lose their health care, and women and children often are among the first. That’s why Trudeau said now is the right time for the Storm’s initiative.

“We thought that this was something we could do for our community,” Trudeau said. “We can’t do anything about the national decisions that are being made, but we can do something to help the people around us.”

Trudeau got her first birth control from Planned Parenthood and said she considers it a place that gave her “the chance to really make the decisions in my life that allowed me get to where I am today.”

Even though Trudeau said a negative response from any group wouldn’t have stopped them from proceeding, the Storm’s owners met individually with the players to explain the partnership. “We wanted them to know what we were doing, why we were doing it, and if they did want to support it, give them an opportunity to do that as well,” Trudeau said.

Four players — Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart, Noelle Quinn and Sami Whitcomb — took part in a PSA video the team released last week. The Storm did not make players available to comment on this story.

Read the rest of the story here.

h/t Newsbusters

DCG

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Report: Child-welfare investigator concluded that Seattle Mayor Ed Murray sexually abused foster son

Ed Murray with husband Michael Shiosaki

In April, Dr. Eowyn reported that homosexual Seattle Mayor Ed Murray was accused of having sexually molested a 15-year-old boy in the 1980s. At the time, Murray would have been in his early 30s.

From her blog post:

“Lewis Kamb and Jim Brunner report for Seattle Times that on April 6, 2017, a 46-year-old man with the initials D.H., a resident of Kent, Washington, filed a lawsuit in King County Superior Court, claiming that Ed Murray had “raped and molested him” over several years, beginning in 1986 when the man was a 15-year-old crack-cocaine addicted high-school dropout. Murray gave the teen payments of $10 to $20.

Murray vehemently denied the allegations and abruptly canceled a scheduled news conference about police reform.

Two other men, Jeff Simpson and Lloyd Anderson, had accused Murray of abusing them in the 1980s when Simpson was 13 and Anderson was 16 years old. Both men had known Murray when they were growing up in a Portland center for troubled children.”

Now news comes out that the mayor, who is not seeking re-election this year, was investigated by Oregon Child Protective Services (CPS) in 1984. The CPS determined that Murray should never again be a foster parent.

From MyNorthwest.com (via the Seattle Times) reports that a child welfare investigator in Oregon concluded in 1984 that Seattle Mayor Ed Murray sexually abused his foster son, The Seattle Times reports.

The Oregon Child Protective Services investigation validated Jeff Simpson’s allegations of abuse, according to public records the Times obtained.

Mayor Murray has publicly denied the allegations and made it a point that prosecutors in Oregon decided not to charge him years ago.

Simpson is one of four men who have accused the mayor of abuse when they were teenagers. Most recently, Delvonn Heckard, dropped a lawsuit against Murray, but promised to refile when the mayor has completed his term. Lloyd Anderson and Lavon Jones also allege the mayor sexually abused them.

Mayor Murray dropped out of the race for re-election, claiming Heckard’s lawsuit would be too distracting for the city. But he believes the withdrawal of Heckard’s case vindicates him.

As for Simpson, the Times reports that the Multnomah County prosecutor withdrew a criminal case against Murray not because they thought Simspon was lying, but because of his “troubled personality.”

Both Murray and Simpson appeared to be surprised that the CPS records still exist.  The Times reports that upon hearing the news, Simpson responded: “Wow, wow. Thank you, Jesus.”

In an interview with the Times, Murray and his attorney questioned why Oregon officials would have held on to the CPS records without notifying the mayor. Murray pointed out that a criminal case was withdrawn before a jury could vote to indict him.

“Other than the salacious nature of it, I don’t see what the story is,” Murray told the Times. “The system vindicated me. They withdrew the case.”

The CPS records also show that child-welfare officials decided that Ed Murray should never again be a foster parent.

Read the Seattle Times report here. But you won’t be allowed to comment. The Seattle Times has closed this article to comments, which they frequently do on articles they must deem “controversial.”

DCG

Seattle approves income tax on wealthy, mayor cites Trump agenda

thatcher

Expect this to be challenged in court.

And if Seattleites are so “progressive,” concerned about “equity” and justice,” and want to fight Trump’s agenda, why aren’t they coughing up their extra money in the first place?

From Fox News: Washington is one of seven states that does not have a personal income tax, but this week one of its cities approved one on just its wealthiest residents.

Late Monday the Seattle City Council voted unanimously in favor of a personal income tax on its top earning residents. Individuals with incomes in excess of $250,000 and those filing jointly with incomes in excess of $500,000 would be subject to a 2.25% tariff. People with incomes below those thresholds would not be affected.

Seattle believes the tax will raise around $140 million per year and could help close the wealth gap in the city, while the mayor also cited President Donald Trump’s economic agenda as a reason to introduce the tax.

“Seattle is challenging this state’s antiquated and unsustainable tax structure by passing a progressive income tax,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said in a statement on his website. “Our goal is to replace our regressive tax system with a new formula for fairness, while ensuring Seattle stands up to President Trump’s austere budget that cuts transportation, affordable housing, healthcare, and social services. This is a fight for economic stability, equity, and justice.

The measure was proposed earlier this year by a local activist group named Trump-Proof Seattle, according to Reuters. However, Trump-Proof Seattle’s proposal called for a more modest 1.5% tax, according to the organization’s website.

Due to the explosive growth of Seattle-based Amazon (AMZN), housing prices have skyrocketed in the area—and supporters believe the income tax could be used to expand affordable housing.

“Protecting our communities requires resources. We’re in a weak position to cope with cuts because of Washington State’s regressive tax system: lower-income households already pay high state and local taxes, and yet we can’t fund basic services like education … We can fight back by requiring the wealthiest households to pay a fairer share of taxes,” Trump-Proof Seattle’s site said.

However, critics say taxing high-earning entrepreneurs that have contributed to the entire nation’s economy will be “counter-productive.”

“You tax entrepreneurs more, you will get less entrepreneurs and less economic growth,” said Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute, in an interview with FOX Business. “They will start gravitating to more business-friendly places such as Austin, Texas… high earners are [also] the most responsive to tax changes … Both the government and economy will end up losing from tax hikes as the tax base and the economy shrink.”

Despite the city’s support, the measure will likely face legal challenges. State law prohibits a city or county from taxing “net” income, though it fails to explicitly define exactly what “net” refers to.

But regardless of whether the measure is blocked in court, Seattle has been a pioneer on many progressive issues, including raising the minimum wage, and it could pave the way for other cities to enact progressive tax structures.

“I think this is part of a trend,” David Madland, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, told FOX Business. “Cities have done less of this so, I can imagine more and more cities will start to do things like this. The public is very supportive of raising taxes on the wealthy as a way to support public services.

Supporters say the tax would impact just 20,000 out of more than 660,000 Seattle residents. In addition to Washington, Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota Texas and Wyoming do not require residents to pay an income tax.

DCG

Seattle to open a new homeless shelter where drugs and alcohol are allowed

ed murray

I’ve written about the major homelessness problem that Seattle, and its homosexual mayor Ed Murray, have tried to address. The good mayor has tried to address this by:

Their latest solution to help homeless people change their circumstances? Open a $2.7 million dollar facility where one is permitted to use alcohol and drugs. I wouldn’t bet that inviting these abuses will be a successful path for homeless people.

From Seattle Times: After a siting controversy and months of delay, Seattle’s first enhanced 24-hour shelter for homeless people will open to clients Wednesday.

Inside the newly refurbished facility in the Little Saigon neighborhood are sleeping cots with blue cushions that couples can push together, offices where clients will receive supportive services, and a mess hall for meals.

Staffers at the Navigation Center will spend the next days making last-minute preparations for the opening, said Greg Jensen, a spokesman for the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC), which the city has contracted to operate the facility.

About 20 homeless people already have been referred to the center by city outreach workers, Jensen said. “We anticipate that we’ll be seeing clients almost immediately,” he said.

Mayor Ed Murray put the process to develop the center in motion via a June 2016 executive order, saying that creating a shelter with services beyond those offered at traditional facilities was key to the city’s strategy.

But its development was rough going. A plan to open the center by the end of 2016 was scuttled when the city was unable to find a suitable site.

In February, city officials reached an agreement with the Seattle Indian Commission to lease the Pearl Warren building. The move displaced Operation Nightwatch, a mats-on-the-floor-style emergency shelter for homeless men that was leasing space in the building, and stirred up protest among residents of the surrounding community.

Advocates with neighborhood group Friends of Little Saigon continue to push back against the city, saying that the decision to site the center on the edge of the city’s Chinatown International District was reached without hearing views from local residents.

“There are many in the community who still don’t want it, but we know it’s going to open anyway,” said Quynh Pham, spokeswoman for Friends of Little Saigon. “At this point, we just want to have the city address concerns about this model and how the center will be run.”

City officials are betting that the center, with restrictions on entry eased and intensive services available, will become an asset for moving people indoors and out of conditions that are unsanitary and sometimes unsafe. People living in unauthorized tent encampments will initially be given top priority, officials said.

”It will allow us to reach those who are in the community of homeless people who have not been getting robust services,” said DESC director Dan Malone.

Modeled after a similar shelter in San Francisco’s Mission District, the center features laundry and storage facilities, showers and enough dormitory space to provide beds to about 75 people.

Unlike more restrictive shelters, clients will be able to store their belongings, bring along their pets and partners, and come and go when they like. While discouraged, drug and alcohol use inside the facility will be allowed unless it disturbs other clients or the surrounding community.

Once there, people who might have been unwilling or unable to take advantage of other shelter options will be pointed toward mental-health, addiction and housing services based on their needs, officials said.

How successful the center might be in moving people into permanent housing remains an open question. Similar shelters in San Francisco, which is experiencing its own crisis over affordable housing and visible homelessness, may serve as a rough guide.

Read the rest of the article here.

DCG

Give us a break, plead Seattle’s maligned millennials

millenials vs other generations

Don’t blame millennials…they have it much tougher

From Seattle Times: Give it a rest, boomers and Xers. Millennials have heard plenty by now about how they’re just the worst generation ever.

If their detractors are to be believed, they’re entitled, narcissistic, selfie-taking, self-absorbed, “everyone gets a trophy” brats, and they’re to blame for the demise of everything from cereal, paper napkins and bar soap to chain restaurants, the diamond industry and even democracy.

So stop, please, say some Seattleites who were born between 1977 and 2004 — that’s the Millennial Generation, depending on which definition you’re using.

“It’s completely unfair,” said Ashley Krzeszowski, 24, of West Seattle. “We’ve been handed a broken system and we’re just doing the best we can.”

Krzeszowski just graduated from the University of Washington with degrees in cellular, molecular and developmental biology and applied mathematics. She has a job at the same lab she’s been working at for the last few years and yet she is still living with her parents.

No need to judge, she said; it makes “prudent financial sense” for her to do so at this time and with the cost of housing in Seattle as high as it is. “As a group, we work hard and try hard,” she said. “But when my parents bought their house, it was two times their annual income and now houses are 10 times most people’s annual salaries.”

“Give us a break,” she said. “All we’re really asking for is enough pay for our phones, treat ourselves to a cup of coffee every once in a while and buy a dress off the sale rack. Is that really too much?”

Cheryl Kaiser, a professor of psychology at the University of Washington, admires the Millennial Generation and finds her recent crops of students a “joy to teach.”

They’re creative, unrestrained by convention and willing to take risks, she said. In addition they’ve grown up in tough times and have had to be a little more scrappy than their parents. They ought not take the criticism to heart. “Each generation tends to see the new generation as not as good as their own,” she said. “You see it all the time.”

The generation we belong to is part of who we are; we share norms, values and ideologies with our age mates, she explained. “If our generation does something in a specific way or holds specific values, we come to think of those as the right way, the good way and if one generation sees another doing something different, it can feel threatening, as if there’s something wrong with their way.”

“It’s easier to blame the other group and say they’re doing it wrong than it is to question how we’re doing it,” Kaiser said.

Tim Miller, a 52-year-old musician who plays music at Westlake Park with his friend, Paul Vegors, 24, said he knows that tendency well. “It’s silly, but it’s human nature really,” Miller said. “When you are threatened or in pain, you’re going to look around for someone to blame because someone else has to be responsible.”

In a piece written for The Center for Generational Kinetics, Curt Steinhorst writes that people in his generation do not like the phrase “millennial” as it brings with it connotations of laziness and entitlement. In downtown Seattle, a dozen or so young adults who were asked about their generation seemed to confirm that.

Many flinched when asked if they were millennials and then explained why they felt they were really a bit on the young side to be held accountable for such a litany of woes: the death of golf, vacations, the 9-5 workweek and the lowly cork.

“We’re just growing up, and it’s not all our fault,” said Sandra Quiroz, 19, who works near Westlake Center.

“Don’t they know that a lot of things that are going on are not really under our control?” said Pinkeo Phongsa, a 15-year-old visitor from California who believes she is in the much-maligned generation.

“I really think that everyone is just kind of looking for a scapegoat for a lot of things,” said Angela Olson, 24. “There are things about the way society is going that seem wrong, but it’s not all millennials’ fault. We can’t really take the blame as we were made this way.”

“They don’t want to blame themselves, so they blame us,” said 25-year-old William Co, who works at a tech firm near downtown Seattle. “Every generation blames the next one,” said Rian Ellis, 27. “Given enough time we’ll be complaining about the next generation as well.”

But maybe not. Perhaps age really does bring with it a little chance for wisdom, or at least a little charity.

“You can’t really blame them,” said 69-year-old Tim Micek. “They’ve got it much tougher than we did. They get nothing but my sympathy.”


Shortly after I scheduled this post, I came across this on the Daily Mail:

Millennials aren’t ready for the ‘reality of life’ and suffer from panic attacks and anxiety problems, research finds: Millennials aren’t ready for the ‘reality of life’ and suffer from panic attacks and anxiety problems, new research has revealed.

A study of 2,000 young people preparing to start university found that many aren’t ready for the challenges of living independently. 

The research found that more than half of prospective students don’t know how to pay a bill and that many believe that nights out cost more than paying rent. Researchers said that many would-be students have been left worried and confused by the prospect of leaving home to start higher education.

The study found 61 per cent of millennials are anxious about the prospect of starting university, while 58 per cent are having trouble sleeping and 27 per cent are having panic attacks.

Millennials…just doing the best they can.

DCG

Shocker, not: UW study finds Seattle’s minimum wage is costing jobs

shocked face

From Seattle Times: Seattle’s minimum-wage law is boosting wages for a range of low-paid workers, but the law is causing those workers as a group to lose hours, and it’s also costing jobs, according to the latest study on the measure passed by the City Council in 2014.

The report, by members of the University of Washington team studying the law’s impacts for the city of Seattle, is being published Monday by a nonprofit think tank, the National Bureau of Economic Research.

That law raises Seattle’s minimum wage gradually until it reaches $15 for all by 2021.

The UW team published its first report last July on the impact of the first jump in Seattle’s minimum wage, which went in April 2015 from $9.47 to $10 or $11 an hour, depending on business size, benefits and tips.

This latest study from the UW team looks at the effects of both the first and second jumps. The second jump, in January 2016, raised the minimum wage to $10.50 to $13. (The minimum wage has since gone up again, to the current $11 to $15. It goes up again in January to $11.50 to $15.)

The team concluded that the second jump had a far greater impact, boosting pay in low-wage jobs by about 3 percent since 2014 but also resulting in a 9 percent reduction in hours worked in such jobs. That resulted in a 6 percent drop in what employers collectively pay — and what workers earn — for those low-wage jobs.

For an average low-wage worker in Seattle, that translates into a loss of about $125 per month per job.

“If you’re a low-skilled worker with one of those jobs, $125 a month is a sizable amount of money,” said Mark Long, a UW public-policy professor and one of the authors of the report. “It can be the difference between being able to pay your rent and not being able to pay your rent.”

The report also estimated that there are about 5,000 fewer low-wage jobs in the city than there would have been without the law.

The researchers focused on “low wage” jobs — those paying under $19 an hour — and not just “minimum wage” jobs, to account for the spillover effect of employers raising the pay of those making more than minimum wage.

For instance, an employer who raised the pay of the lowest -aid workers to $13 from $11 may have then given those making $14 a boost to $14.50. (The team had also tested lower- and higher-wage thresholds for the study, and the results did not change, members said.)

To try to isolate the effects of the minimum-wage law from other factors, the UW team built a “synthetic” Seattle statistical model, aggregating areas outside King County but within the state that had previously shown numbers and trends similar to Seattle’s labor market.

The researchers then compared what happened in the real Seattle from June 2014 through September 2016 to what happened in the synthetic Seattle.

In addition to earnings, the report analyzes data on work hours— relatively rare in minimum-wage studies, the researchers said, since Washington is one of only four states that collects quarterly data on both hours and earnings.

Other studies on minimum wage have typically used lower-wage industries, such as the restaurant sector, or lower-paid groups such as teenagers, as proxies to get at employment, they said.

That was the case with a University of California, Berkeley study released last week that found Seattle’s minimum-wage law led to higher pay for restaurant workers without costing jobs in 2015 and 2016.

The UW team’s study actually corroborates the Berkeley conclusion, finding zero impact from the minimum-wage law on restaurant employment — when taking into account jobs at all wage levels within the restaurant industry.

But the UW researchers did conclude that, for low-wage restaurant workers, the law cost them work hours. (Specifically, though the actual number of hours worked by low-wage restaurant workers in Seattle increased a slight 0.1 percent from the second quarters of 2014 to 2016, the researchers’ “synthetic Seattle” model showed that if the minimum wage law hadn’t been in effect, there would have been an 11.1 percent increase in hours for those workers.)

Michael Reich, a UC Berkeley economics professor who was lead author on the Berkeley report, said he found the UW team’s report not credible for a number of reasons.

He said the UW researchers’ “synthetic” Seattle model draws only from areas in Washington that are nothing like Seattle, and the report excludes multisite businesses, which employ a large percentage of Seattle’s low-paid workforce. The latter fact was also problematic, he said, because that meant workers who left single-site businesses to work at multisite businesses were counted as job losses, not job gains in the UW study.

Reich also thought the $19 threshold was too low, and he said the UW researchers’ report “finds an unprecedented impact of wage increases on jobs, ten times more than in hundreds of minimum wage and non-minimum wage studies. … “There is no reason,” he said, that Seattle’s employers of low-paid workers “should be so much more sensitive to wage increases.”

Jacob Vigdor, a UW public policy professor and one of the authors of the UW report, stood by the team’s findings.

“When we perform the exact same analysis as the Berkeley team, we match their results, which is inconsistent with the notion that our methods create bias,” he said.

He acknowledged, and the report also says, that the study excludes multisite businesses, which include large corporations and restaurants and retail stores that own their branches directly. Single-site businesses, though — which are counted in the report — could include franchise locations that are owned separately from their corporate headquarters. Vigdor said multisite businesses were actually more likely to report staff cutbacks.

As to the substantial impact on jobs that the UW researchers found, Vigdor said: “We are concerned that it is flaws in prior studies … that have masked these responses. The fact that we find zero employment effects when using methods common in prior studies — just as those studies do — amplifies these concerns.”

He added that “Seattle’s substantial minimum-wage increase — a 37 percent rise over nine months on top of what was then the nation’s highest state minimum wage — may have induced a stronger response than the events studied in prior research.”

As to how the UW team’s findings jibe with the Seattle area’s very low unemployment rate, tight labor market, and anecdotes from hospitality employers desperately seeking low-wage workers, Vigdor said that, based on data and what he’s hearing from employers, businesses are looking to hire those with more experience.

“Traditionally, a high proportion of workers in the low-wage market are not experienced at all: teens with their first jobs, immigrants with their first jobs here,” he said. “Data is pointing to: Since we have to pay more, employers are looking for people with experience who can do the job from Day 1.”

DCG

City Council decides Seattle landlords must give voter-registration info to new renters

life for dummies

Apparently council members believe residents are too stupid to type “how to register to vote in Seattle” into a browser search. Maybe people who can’t figure out how to register to vote shouldn’t be voting. Just a thought…

From Seattle Times: Landlords will be required to provide new tenants with voter-registration information under a new ordinance approved by the Seattle City Council. The council voted 6-0 on Monday to approve Councilmember Kshama Sawant’s proposal. Three council members, Mike O’Brien, M. Lorena González and Tim Burgess, were absent.

Property owners already are required to give tenants an information packet on housing laws, prepared by the city’s Department of Construction and Inspections. Landlords have the option of downloading the packet online and printing it out.

Now, landlords will need to add voter-registration information to the packet. It will take effect 30 days after Mayor Ed Murray signs it, according to a council spokesman.

Studies have shown that people on the move vote at lower rates, the ordinance says. While 41 percent of renters in their homes for more than five years reported voting in 2014, only 21 percent who had lived in their homes for less than one year reported voting, the ordinance says, citing U.S. Census Bureau data.

Seattle is the fastest-growing big city in the country, according to a Seattle Times analysis of Census Bureau data released this past month. From July 2015 through July 2016, the city had a net gain of nearly 21,000 people — 57 per day, on average.

Representatives from a number of community and nonprofit organizations supported Sawant’s proposal, including the Tenants Union of Washington, the Capitol Hill Community Council, The Washington Bus and LGBTQ Allyship.

The proposal has met with a mixed reaction from landlord groups.

A statement on the Rental Housing Association of Washington’s website questions why the measure to boost voter participation involves only renters. “While homeowners are more likely to be registered, data also shows that far less than 100% of homeowners are registered,” the website notes. “City voter registration outreach, at a starting point, should be enhanced by including this same information with all utility bills, at all city-endorsed events, and included with all city emails.

“Council should also consider requiring that voter registration information be included with all residential real estate transactions.”

Brett Waller, spokesman for the Washington Multi-Family Housing Association, which represents larger landlords and property managers, sees value in what the council did and in thinking more broadly about how to reach potential voters.

“Can property managers help increase voter registration by providing one packet containing the summary of laws and voter registration information to tenants? Absolutely,” Waller said in an email.

“We are engaging with the city now to ensure implementation is easy and straightforward for our members. In fairness, property managers are not the only vehicle by which prospective voters can obtain information on how to vote, and we certainly don’t want to be unduly penalized.

DCG