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Archives: Oct. 2012

Oct.
29th

Tacoma Public Library branches reopen after problems with tech upgrade

Tacoma Public Library branches reopened Monday afternoon, after problems with a technology upgrade kept them closed all of last week.

“We’re up and running,” library spokesman David Domkoski said Monday.

Library branches reopened at 2 p.m. Monday and are set to open at noon Tuesday,  Domkoski said.  The online catalog system is also back up and running.

Last week’s branch closures came amid California-based software vendor Innovative Interfaces’ troubles with transferring the library’s data from an old operating system to a new one.

Late last week, the vendor identified and corrected a corrupted file in the new system that

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Oct.
29th

Back to school for gay-marriage opponents

Opponents of same-sex marriage are almost at the end of their four-state campaign, and they’re using one of the same closing arguments in all the states that they did successfully in California in 2008: that gay marriage could be taught in school.

Preserve Marriage Washington launched its third television ad against Referendum 74 this morning highlighting books about different kinds of families that students read in some Massachusetts  classrooms. The footage is similar to ads showing up in Maine, Maryland and Minnesota, where gay marriage is also on the ballot and also drawing campaigning from the National Organization for Marriage.

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Oct.
29th

Senate candidate Bruce Lachney says he’ll donate contributions from JZ Knight to ‘educational scholarships’

State Senate candidate Bruce Lachney said late Sunday in a statement that he is giving away any campaign donations from Yelm-based spirit-channeler JZ Knight to college scholarships. The move comes after state Democratic chairman Dwight Pelz announced Friday the party is donating $70,000 from Knight to the Anti-Defamation League and the pro-gay marriage referendum, with half going to each.

Comments Knight has made in videos about Catholics, gays and Mexicans prompted the moves after state and local Republicans began using videos to hammer Democratic candidates that received Knight’s campaign contributions. Lachney, an Eatonville Democrat challenging Sen. Randy Becker, R-Eatonville, in the 2nd Legislative District, put out a short statement:

“I met Ms. Knight only once. Her thoughts and beliefs are her own. As a member of the same Lutheran Church for more than twenty years I find the language and tenor of her discourse disturbing. As such, the campaign will be donating any contributions from Ms. Knight to educational scholarships.
In regards to the election; voters choose their democracy. Ms Becker’s democracy is anchored in the slander of innuendo and the smear of “guilt by association.” The Lachney campaign secures democracy in the issues: education, the budget, and reason. We are confident that voters November 6th will know the difference. Best wishes to my supporters.” said Bruce Lachney

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Oct.
26th

Democrats to give away JZ Knight’s donations to the Anti-Defamation League and to R-74

The state Democratic Party reversed course Friday evening, saying it will get rid of about $70,000 in campaign contributions received from Yelm-based spirit-channeler JZ Knight, whose profanity-filled comments on videos hit out at Catholics, gays, Jews and now Mexicans. The Senate Democratic Campaign Committee is giving away another $900 for the same reason in the latest segment of the rapidly unfolding story.

State Democratic Party chairman Dwight Pelz put out a statement Friday evening saying:

“Recently, we have been made aware of comments made by a contributor to the Democratic Party that do not reflect the values of our party. While we did not solicit any contributions from J.Z. Knight at any point, it is important that we make it clear that we view her comments as offensive and do not condone this kind of vitriol.
“Today, I am announcing that the Washington State Democrats will be donating $35,000 to the Anti-Defamation League, and contributing $35,000 to the Referendum 74 campaign. We as Democrats strongly value equality and inclusiveness, values shared by the ADL and supporters of marriage equality.”

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Oct.
25th

Tacoma: City employee labor union sues city, claiming Broadnax’s budget plan violates contracts, labor laws

A city-employee labor union sued the City of Tacoma Thursday, claiming City Manager T.C. Broadnax’s budget plan that seeks to reorganize several city departments and eliminate scores of jobs violates various laws, due process rights and collective bargaining agreements.

The lawsuit – filed in Pierce County Superior Court by Teamsters Local 117 – also requests a judge to issue an  order restraining the city “from proceeding to implement any reorganization, layoff or other action detrimental to City of Tacoma employees” in the Public Works and Public Assembly Facilities Departments.

Local 117 represents about 250 city workers, including about 70

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Oct.
25th

‘Fix the Debt’ launches grassroots campaign in Seattle

The federal deficit and debt may get lip service from Congress and candidates for higher office. But a nonpartisan national group – Fix the Debt – is hoping to revive ideas from the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform in a bid to create pressure for action on debt issues by the lame-duck Congress soon after the Nov. 6 election.

The group set down its first local roots in Washington state Thursday with a press event in Seattle. State Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, joined the kickoff and is serving as co-chair along with Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt.

“If we are going to reduce the national debt, we have got to decide to do this before anything else. Our leaders in Washington need to make debt reduction their highest priority,” Hobbs said in a prepared statement.

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Oct.
25th

Pierce County offers voter registration option that doesn’t require you to even leave your car

Been meaning to register to vote but just haven’t gotten around to it? Head over to the Pierce County auditor’s office Saturday or Monday for drive-through voter registration.

The elections division at the Pierce County Annex (2401 S. 35th St., Tacoma) will be open extra hours to help people trying to beat the Monday deadline for new voter registrations. The special registration hours are Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Monday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voters can register to vote without leaving their vehicles – a first for Pierce County – or they can walk into

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Oct.
25th

Family PAC files report with PDC ‘under protest’

A group that has fought the state in court since 2009 filed a two-page campaign-finance report today disclosing legal services of $146,000 provided over the past three years by an Indiana law firm.

“Though we don’t think they are required, we are, under protest, going to file them,” said Family PAC’s treasurer, Joseph Backholm.

That didn’t keep the Public Disclosure Commission in its meeting today from turning over the case to the attorney general’s office for possible legal action. PDC investigators say the group, Family PAC, violated the law by not reporting the services long ago and that its last-minute

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