Nobel Prize winner's warning about political spending on climate change
Oct 22, 2018

Last week, economist William Nordhaus of Yale won the Nobel Prize in economics in part for his work on the economics of climate change. He favors putting a price on CO2 emissions, which would seem to favor I-1631, the carbon tax initiative voters face this November. A closer look at his work, however, suggests otherwise.

In his book “A Question of Balance,” about climate change and his modeling, Nordhaus wars against the type of politically directed spending that is at the center of I-1631. He says, “…it is tempting to use subsidies for ‘clean’ or ‘green’ technologies as a substitute for raising the price of carbon emissions. This is an economic and environmental snare to be avoided.”

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Mayor Durkan may deny low-income, minority charter school families fair and equal access to Families and Education Levy funding
Oct 19, 2018

Seattle voters will decide November 6th whether to approve Mayor Durkan’s expansion to the Families and Education Levy, which imposes a special added tax on Seattle property owners.

If approved, the Levy money would go to Seattle school children and community college students, except, apparently, children who attend one of the three charter public schools in the city.

The Mayor has steadfastly refused to say whether she wants charter school families to be included.

 The Seattle Times reports :

“The Durkan administration would not rule out giving levy money to charters.”

This morning the Mayor’s office told me:

“Because the law is unclear around charter school eligibility, we are consulting with the City Attorney’s Office on this matter.”

Well that’s about as clear as mud.  Mayor Durkan will not tell us whether public charter school families can fully participate in Levy funding on a fair and equal basis with other Seattle families.  

The language of the Levy proposal itself is fairly clear; tax-funded educational programs are to benefit Seattle students:

“Section 6. Education-Support Services. Services funded by Proceeds are intended to achieve equity in educational outcomes and the Levy’s stated goals by providing Seattle students with access to and services across a continuum beginning with high-quality early learning services that prepare children for kindergarten, physical and mental health services that support learning, college and job readiness experiences that promote high school graduation, and post-secondary opportunities that promote attainment of a certificate, credential or degree.

Charter school children in Seattle are clearly “Seattle students”; they attend public schools, funded with public dollars and authorized under state law as part of our constitutional paramount duty to make ample provision for the education of every child living in the state. See Article IX, Section 1, Constitution of the State of Washington.

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The myth of Elwha Dam removal's success
Oct 18, 2018

Advocates of destroying the four Lower Snake River dams point to the removal of the Elwha dam on the Olympic Peninsula as a successful model that proves dam removal would help salmon on the Snake.

One reason they make this claim is that they haven’t looked at the results.

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