The widespread problem of derelict and abandoned boats and ships would be tackled with strengthened controls and more money, under a bill by Rep. Drew Hansen signed into law today by Gov. Inslee.
The measure is designed to address the kind of incidents that have generated headlines around Puget Sound lately: A 167-foot ship sinking in Tacoma’s Hylebos Waterway, dragging another ship off even keel; the state seizing a 180-foot hulk off Port Ludlow when its owner misfired on plans to tow it to Mexico; a 140-foot former fishing boat catching fire in Penn Cove, disgorging fuel into the water as it sank. Continue reading
The federal government isn’t kidding around at all about the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project. In view of that very clear and present fact, Washington state Rep. Jim Moeller is calling on his fellow lawmakers to wake up and smell the huge cup of financial coffee at stake.
“We need to take very seriously the April 19th letter from federal highway officials regarding a potential demand for repayment of financial help in building a new bridge,” Moeller said. “Don’t play petty games with $79 million in federal funding already advanced to our state for this extremely important project.
Earlier this week, the Employment Security Department (ESD) reported that Washington’s unemployment rate has dropped half a percentage point since January. The 3,800 jobs added last month brings April’s rate down to 7 percent, the lowest point since December 2008, when it was 7.1 percent.
Scott Baily, an ESD economist said the state’s labor market is improving faster than the nation’s.
The sectors with the most job gains were:
- Retail trade, up 3,800
- Leisure and hospitality, up 1,600
- Professional and business services, up 1,500
- Other services, up 600
- Manufacturing, up 400
- Financial activities, up 300
So far, Washington has regained about 78 percent of the 205,000 jobs lost during the recession. For more information, get April’s employment report here.
Gov. Jay Inslee signs the Neighborhood Safe Streets Act (House Bill 1045) by Rep. Cindy Ryu (D-Shoreline).
Click here for a previous story explaining how the Neighborhood Safe Streets Act will save money and lives.
Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, and Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Burien, expressed hope and enthusiasm after the first meeting of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup yesterday.
“This is the start of something really exciting,” said Ranker, who joins Rep. Fitzgibbon, Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Bellingham, Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy and Gov. Inslee as the five members of the workgroup. “When lawmakers created our workgroup this past session, we were essentially saying as a Legislature that we’ve moved beyond questioning whether climate change poses a real problem. The debate is no longer about if we should take action, it’s how we take action. Inaction is not an option, and this workgroup will play a key role in making recommendations for how we take action responsibly, meaningfully and effectively as a state,” Ranker said. Continue reading