YAY: Seeding oysters
The ninth annual Olympia Harbor-Budd Inlet Oyster Seed Project on July 26 needs your help again this year. A $35 contribution purchases a 30-pound bag of 300 oyster shells containing five seeds per shell, which volunteers plant around the inlet and harbor.
Each oyster filters up to 50 gallons of water per day, improving local water quality and helping to keep Budd Inlet bountiful and beautiful. Contributors and volunteers can contact Dan Mazur at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 360-570-0715.
BOO: Secret bargaining
Contract negotiations between state employee unions and the Governor’s Office have made progress, apparently, but how would we know? The negotiating sessions are closed to the public. The Washington Federation of State Employees said a compensation offer to the bargaining team for community colleges was “totally unacceptable.” Taxpayers, who will ultimately pay for raises, can only wonder what those words mean.
YAY: Fewer uninsured
The number of Washington state residents without health insurance has dropped 38 percent since the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act. As of this week, fewer than 9 percent of Washingtonians remained uninsured, a drop from 14 percent before Obamacare thanks to Medicaid expansion and rising individual enrollment in the state health exchange. The other states that expanded Medicaid also have lowered their uninsured rate.
BOO: Congress ducks again
We weren’t surprised that the least productive Congress in recent history ducked yet another important decision. Instead of fixing the multibillion-dollar pothole in the Highway Trust Fund for the long-term, Congress applied a 10-month patch. Expect another crisis in funding the federal highway and transit systems next spring. Is this any way to run a government?
YAY: SkillsUSA Champ
Congratulations to Clarissa Jenkins of North Thurston High School who won a gold medal in the national SkillsUSA championships for her presentation on an automotive drum brake system. The 16-year-old is the first national champ for vocational skills from the Lacey school. Congrats also to Ian Sinclair from River Ridge High School and Mike Kangiser from South Puget Sound Community College who also won awards.
BOO: Primary projection
Secretary of State Kim Wyman projects about a 40 percent turnout for the upcoming Aug. 5 primary election. That’s about equal to the last two mid-term election cycles – 41 percent in 2010 and 39 percent in 2006. But it means 60 percent of the state’s registered voters are too busy grilling to be bothered by little matters like forming a government.
Come on people, vote.
Australians should be ashamed of themselves. One of the world’s largest users of cheap coal for electricity and thus one of the world’s worst greenhouse gas emitters has put the burden of clean air on individual taxpayers, not the industry polluters. The Australian government repealed its carbon tax charged to the nation’s big carbon emitters, and replaced it with a taxpayer-financed fund to pay industry incentives to use cleaner energy. Talk about a double whammy.
After performing brain surgery on a 50-year-old German rocker who suffered brain bleeding following his overly enthusiastic headbanging at a concert, the doctor said, “If (the patient had attended) a classical concert this would not have happened.”