All from the Bellingham Herald.
First - Washington Democrats oppose national education standards
Leaders of the state Democratic Party have passed a resolution condemning the national education standards known as the Common Core, nearly five years after the state adopted the new learning goals.
At a party meeting in Olympia on Saturday, the Democrats approved a resolution saying the state was unfairly pressured into adopting the new standards.
They are asking the Legislature and Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn to back away from the Common Core and return to a similar list of education goals created in Washington state.
Good - common core is an ill-thought plan and the Federal Government has absolutely zero authority to inject itself into the public education arena. The Constitution makes no reference to education and the Tenth Amendment reinforces the rights of the individual State to regulate it. To whit:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Second - Washington agriculture yields $10 billion behind record values for milk, other products
Washington agriculture brought in a record $10.2 billion in 2013, thanks to record-high crop values for milk, potatoes, cattle, grapes and pears, according to data released Monday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
It was the third consecutive year crop values yielded a record haul.
The value of the milk produced by the state’s dairy cows went up by 12 percent to $1.3 billion, causing milk to outperform wheat and become the state’s second-most valuable agricultural product in 2013. Apples kept their position as Washington’s top crop. Wheat dropped by 13 percent to $1 billion.
Good news - Seattle may sway the political landscape - liberals always seem to flock to large cities - but the rest of WA State rises in the morning and goes to work.
Finally - Ericksen co-sponsoring Senate bill to end Seattle tunnel project
Two state senators say it’s time to scrap the stalled Seattle tunnel project and bury Bertha, the broken-down $80 million state-of-the-art drilling machine, so the transportation department can find alternatives to fix or replace the viaduct that carries traffic along the city’s waterfront.
Republican Sens. Doug Ericksen and Michael Baumgartner introduced a bill Tuesday that says the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project has failed “and the project as it is currently designed cannot be justified financially.” The state needs to “stop throwing money at a hole in the ground,” said Baumgartner, R-Spokane, prime sponsor of Senate Bill 5646.
“I have no confidence that the Department of Transportation can bring this project in on time and under budget," Baumgartner said. "Bertha was sold on a faulty promise of controlled cost and engineering predictability. The project has neither. It’s time to shut it down and move to other alternatives.”
Last week a review board decided the state should pay its contractors for tackling severe groundwater flows at the rescue pit – an expense that could reach $20 million. More and more, the Seattle tunnel project is sounding like the infamous Boston ‘Big Dig’ that was budgeted at $2.8 billion and wound up costing taxpayers $14.6 billion – $22 billion with interest, said Ericksen, R-Ferndale.
Time to stick a fork in that project - it is over and done with. Seattle has had an infatuation with off-the-wall transportation projects for a long long time. The Monorail project only cost Seattle taxpayers $124.7 Million Dollars without an inch of track being laid. In 2007, the King County voters rejected the Surface-Tunnel hybrid (what is being constructed now) 69.65% to 30.35%.
I had written about this January 6th of this year and quoted from this article at the Herald:
Lawmakers anticipated this scenario in 2009 when they specified $2.8 billion as the hard cap on the state’s share of the tunnel. They drew the line there because Seattle’s political leaders had rejected a rebuild of the viaduct, the least expensive option, and pushed for the more expensive tunnel.
Seattle leaders have never liked that provision, and they’re liking it less and less as the project’s troubles multiply. State officials who need the city’s votes, including Gov. Jay Inslee, have said the requirement is unenforceable.
A few corporations, property owners and consulting companies are getting very rich - crony capitalism at its finest. Have they no shame - doing this to the obvious detriment of the WA State taxpayer and the citizens of Seattle.