Political Buzz

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Archives: Jan. 2010

Jan.
8th

Bill would give UW more control over tuition hikes

It wasn’t the best news for students, but when lawmakers allowed University of Washington Regents to raise tuition by 14 percent last year, it helped offset some of the staggering cuts imposed on the university by the state budget.

While school officials have been publicly advocating for greater tuition-setting flexibility, especially in the wake of those cuts, they’re not sure a billprefiled earlier this week by Sen. Ken Jacobsen, which would grant UW Regents tuition-setting authority, is the right fix.

“As long as I’ve known Ken, he’s introduced a similar bill every year and we’ve always been supportive of the concept,”

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Jan.
8th

Lakewood gets clean audit, ends streak

Just got Lakewood City Manager Andrew Neiditz’s weekly update. The first item is that the state Auditor’s Office issued a report with no findings for the city:

City gets clean state audit: The State Auditor’s Office conducted its exit conference on January 7th to conclude its annual audit of the City of Lakewood with no management letters of findings. An unqualified opinion, the highest level of report, will be issued this month, which means the financial statements are presented fairly, in all material respects. The report also concluded that prior audit findings regarding preparation of financial statements were resolved.

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Jan.
8th

Legislators pick theme songs for 2010 session

It has become a tradition that won’t die – sort of like dumping a bucket of Gatorade on the winning coach.

At each year’s Associated Press legislative forum, the leaders of the four caucuses are asked to suggest a popular song to become the theme for the upcoming session.

Here are this year’s nominees. Feel free to discuss (and come up with something better. Please!).

Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown – “The Fixer,” by Pearl Jam. (“When something’s gone, I wanna fight to get it back again.”)

Senate Minority Leader Mike Hewitt – “Should’ve Said No,” by Taylor Swift (though

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Jan.
8th

Court blog posts interesting stats on Washington Supremes for 2009

The Supreme Court of Washington Blog has analyzed some numbers from the Washington Supreme Court and found some interesting comparisons.

For example, which two justices agree the least – at least when looking at whether they joined the majority or the dissent? That would be Richard Sanders and James Johnson, considered to be the court’s two conservatives (though Sanders is more libertarian than conservative). They were on the same side just 64 percent of the time.

Who are the most-agreeable pairs? A few reached 88 percent agreement. They are Barbara Madsen and Mary Fairhurst, Susan Owens and Fairhurst and

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Jan.
8th

Bill would help homeowners get new swan

Washington’s mute swans have finally found someone to speak for them.

State Rep. Larry Seaquist and state Sen. Derek Kilmer, both Democrats from Gig Harbor, are looking to ease restrictions on trafficking the birds so that a Gig Harbor homeowner’s association can buy one for a private lake.

State wildlife officials have banned the sale and ownership of mute swans since 1991, deeming them deleterious exotic wildlife that can destroy wetlands and occasionally attack people and other animals.

That’s nonsense, say homeowners in Gig Harbor’s Sylvia Lake community, who have kept a pair of mute swans on their lake for more than 20 years to ward off Canadian geese. Read more »

Jan.
8th

Washington moms encourage lawmakers to study hard and eat their veggies

An on-line and grassroots organization called MomRising will deliver bagged lunches to Washington state lawmakers Monday complete with a note encouraging them to work hard.

According to its statement, MomsRising and its members “are organizing and speaking out to improve public policy and to change the national dialogue on issues that are critically important to America’s families.”

Here’s a sample of the notes:

Happy first day! Please eat all your lunch before you eat your cookie and be sure to remember kids and quality early learning programs. Love, Mom
Jennifer Scott, Seattle

Just some encouragement—you are doing a

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Jan.
8th

City hearing examiner denies developer’s controversial Northshore housing application

NORTHSHORE GOLF

A city hearing examiner yesterday denied a developer’s controversial application for a rezone in Northeast Tacoma that would have allowed hundreds of homes to be built over the Northshore Golf Course.

The matter will next go to the City Council, which will have final say on the project.

Some interesting findings in hearing examiner pro tem Wick Dufford’s opinion:

The effect of approving the subject plat would be to eliminate the designated open space in adjacent plats. It is contrary to the public interest to allow any applicant to achieve such a result unilaterally. The interests of too many others are left out of the decisional equation. The Examiner concludes that the Preliminary Plat should be denied because the public interest will not be served by the platting of the subdivision applied for. … Ultimately this may mean that requests to alter the adjacent plats need to be made and approved before the subject application can be approved.

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