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Archives: Dec. 2009

Dec.
31st

“I’m out of the office … For good.”

I just received this “out of office” reply to an email I sent to Tacoma Mayor Bill Baarsma:

Because of term limits, on January 1, 2010 I am no longer serving as Tacoma’s Mayor.

Marilyn Strickland is the newly elected Mayor and all correspondence should be directed to her.

Thank you,

Bill Baarsma

Dec.
31st

Holding cell phone while driving would become primary offense under Eide bill

Federal Way Sen. Tracey Eide will promote a bill to make cell phone use in cars a primary offense next week by offering drivers tests to newsies in Seattle.

Eide, who championed the existing law banning cell-phone use without a hands free device and all texting, is planning to make the law more stringent this next session. Currently police can issue citations only after stopping drivers for another offense such as speeding or inattentive driving. Her bill would allow police to make stops and issue tickets if they see drivers holding phones to their ears.

“Studies show that texting drivers

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Dec.
30th

Rosa Franklin schedules town hall Jan. 9

As the Legislative session draws near (Jan. 11), state lawmakers will be setting up town hall meetings to talk about pending issues.

This year, that will likely be the budget, the budget and the budget, though criminal justice is sure to be a topic as well.

State Sen. Rosa Franklin will meet with voters Jan. 9 at Bates Technical College, South Campus. Joining her will be Rep. Steve Conway. Both are Tacoma Democrats.

Here’s the announcement.

Franklin to host town hall meeting

OLYMPIA – Sen. Rosa Franklin, D-South Tacoma, invites residents of the 29th Legislative District to attend a Town

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Dec.
29th

Tacoma City Council vacancies: The appointment process defined

The Tacoma City Clerk’s office provided more details today about the ongoing process to appoint replacements to two vacant council positions.

City of TacomaEarlier this month, at least 40 candidates, vying to fill out the remaining terms of two at-large council seats, gave presentations to sitting city council-members about their qualifications and reasons for seeking the appointments. Although the current council kicked off the appointment process, next year’s newly configured council, which includes three newly elected members, will actually make the selections to fill the vacancies.

Here’s the new timeline for the rest of the process for the appointment of the At‑Large Position No. 7 and At‑Large Position No. 8 City Council vacancies , as provided by the city today:
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Dec.
29th

U.S. Supremes will decide next month whether to take Ref. 71 petition privacy case

The Secretary of State’s blog announces that the U.S. Supreme Court will discuss the case when it conferences on Jan. 15.

This is the case brought by backers of Ref. 71, which sent to voters the issue of giving gay and lesbian couples everything-but-marriage rights in Washington state.

They wanted to block release of names of petition signers, arguing that release would subject signers to harassment, thus effecting their First Amendment rights. The federal District Court in Tacoma blocked release but that decision was overturned by the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

It is the 9th Circuit decision

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Dec.
28th

Former schools chief Terry Bergeson is San Francisco bound

Just short of one year from leaving office as the state school superintendent, Terry Bergeson has taken a job as executive director of the San Francisco School Alliance.

The non-profit organization raises money and “holds the school district accountable” for pursuing and achieving school reform, Bergeson said. The city has just approved a $195 per property parcel tax with the money going to teacher quality programs.

That should put the city in a good position to win even more money from the federal government’s Race To The Top program, she said.

“I’ve been retired for a

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Dec.
24th

McKenna joins South Carolina in fight with Nebraska over health care reform deal

Why he’d be hanging out with that Boeing-stealing South Carolina is beyond us, but Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna is part of a group of eight Republican A.G.s who are looking into the deal that brought a Nebraska senator into the health reform majority.

Our sister paper The State in Columbia, South Carolina reports that Henry McMaster, the state’s AG and a candidate for governor, is looking to see if the special deal is constitutional.

To bring Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson into the fold, Nebraska received a more-generous federal Medicaid reimbursement. McMaster thinks that will cause other states to

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