Tag Archives: Washington State

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

Advertisements

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

Senator Maria Cantwell (Demorat – WA) fails spelling

There’s a reason many in Washington state call her “Cantdowell.”

h/t Laura

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

Washington students who failed state testing could get a fast-track to their diploma

oprah meme

From MyNorthwest.com: Thousands of high school students in our state didn’t graduate this year because they failed one of three state-mandated tests required to get a diploma.

Many, including Chris Reykdal, the state superintendent of public instruction, as well as members of the State Board of Education, want the state to eliminate the requirement for one or all of the tests.

Now, after years of debate, lawmakers in Olympia announced they’ve reached a compromise deal expected to come up for votes this week.

Nearly 6,000 Washington high school students didn’t graduate on time this year because they either failed the state required biology test, the math test, or English Language Arts requirements.

“Only recently are the graduating classes held to this standard. Before that, graduation requirements were the same as they’ve always been. Students just needed to pass the classes to earn the credits and pass whatever local requirements were needed for a diploma,” State Rep. Monica Stonier said.

Stonier has been spearheading efforts in the House to resolve the issue. She says that since the test requirements went into effect, students who would otherwise be able to graduate haven’t received a diploma.

The testing requirements are collateral damage from changes to the No Child Left Behind Act passed a few years ago. When the new law was implemented, states were allowed to go back and add their own level of accountability because the federal government no longer required state testing of accountability, Stonier says. “There was push back because these tests didn’t align with the curriculum taught in classrooms,” she said.

The tests have been especially tough for students of color or in poverty. And biology tests have been particularly difficult for students transferring from other states. “Because they hadn’t been in a state where biology was taught and assessed,” Stonier said.

For years, the Legislature has been trying to come up with a fix. Democrats prefer an all-out moratorium on all three tests. Senate Republicans have argued for a temporary exemption from the biology test.

Now, lawmakers on both sides say they’ve come up with a compromise.

The compromise allows students to appeal to local districts. Districts can then reach out to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and make the case that student should graduate without passing one of the tests.

Under the deal, thousands of kids who didn’t graduate this year because they failed math or English Language Arts requirements would be able to fast-track an appeal through OSPI and prove they are proficient in the subject. It also suspends biology requirement, allowing students who failed that test to graduate right away.

Another key provision would have students take the math and ELA test in 10th grade instead of 11th, giving them time to get up to speed on the subject.

The House and Senate are expected to vote on the bill this week – and so far both sides say they expect it to pass — which means the roughly 2,000 students who didn’t graduate this year because they failed the biology test will graduate right away, and thousands of others who failed math or ELA, can start their appeals.

The compromise is also retroactive back to 2014 — meaning thousands of other students who didn’t graduate because they failed math or ELA tests now have a path to their diplomas.

DCG

Shocker, not: Health insurers propose over 20 percent 2018 rate increase in Washington state

Obamacare Screw U

At least it’s lower than the 80% increase I had for my health insurance premiums this year.

From MyNorthwest.com: State officials say that health insurers have proposed rate changes for next year that have an average increase of about 22.3 percent.

The insurance commissioner’s office said Monday that 11 health insurers filed 71 health plans for the state’s individual and family health insurance market. In two counties — Klickitat and Grays Harbor — no health insurer filed plans.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler says he has been reaching out to insurers to see if one or more will reconsider offering plans in those two counties.

All rates, health plans, and coverage areas are under review by Kreidler’s office and may change before the plans are certified by the Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board on Sept. 14. Open enrollment for the 2018 individual market starts Nov. 1.

DCG