News Article on Tearing Down the Dams Unencumbered by Evidence
Sep 24, 2018

In her last article, Seattle Times reporter Lynda Mapes highlighted the activists attacking NOAA scientists regarding the four Lower Snake River dams. They don’t like the fact that science from NOAA Fisheries makes it clear that destroying the dams will be extremely expensive but have only “marginal” benefit for orca.

Her latest article on September 22nd includes a wide range of unsubstantiated claims. Notable is that fact that she does provide links to some claims, like the amount of tonnage shipped on the Snake River, but doesn’t provide any links or sources for many of her key claims.

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WA Department of Commerce: No state income tax "is great marketing" for Washington
Sep 21, 2018

During a tax panel at the Association of Washington Business 2018 Policy Summit this week, the state Department of Commerce said the lack of a state income tax, including no capital gains income tax, "is great marketing" for Washington. If an income tax is imposed, Commerce said that would mean "one less tool that we have in our economic development tool box."

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Union’s strike demands put some school budgets into deficit; districts may seek state bailout
Sep 20, 2018

The WEA union’s decision to target districts with teacher strikes just as the school year was starting disrupted the education of thousands of public education students, although teachers at the state’s charter public schools did not strike.

As a result of union strike demands, many districts ended up putting their school budgets into deficit.

This summer, officials at 250 (out of 295) school districts negotiated new teacher contracts.  As a pressure tactic, executives at the powerful WEA union targeted 29 school districts with strikes, even though teachers strikes are not permitted under state law.  Of these, 15 districts were hit with strikes, putting some 164,000 students out of school.  In all, the education of one in three children were affected by actual or threatened strike action this year.

Political conflict is a central part of Washington state’s education system.  Federal data shows a child’s education in Washington is more likely to be disrupted by union strike action than in any other state.

The disruptions come at a time of record increases in school budgets.  The legislature passed a large property tax increase and added $7.3 billion to education spending over the next four years.  This year spending averages $15,000 per student, more than the tuition at most private schools.

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