Washington State House Democrats


Thursday, February 18

A woman stands next to a seated man wearing a blue hospital gown and a mask. At the table in front of them is a white birthday cake with clear balloons.

COVID-19 nearly killed a Washington farmworker. Now, the farm won’t pay his worker’s compensation
When Laura Sandoval said goodbye to her husband, Eduardo, in August, she thought he’d return home to Mexico in three months. She trusted that the fruit farm that hired him — Washington Fruit and Produce — would protect Eduardo from COVID-19. Instead, he got a case of COVID that will cripple him for life. Continue reading at The Inlander. (Courtesy of Jennyfer Mesa)

Against an orange-tinted sky, the Washington State Capitol building is dimly lit, shown in the background behind trees, a lawn, and a fountain.

State capital gains tax bill changes shape as it moves through lawmaking process
A Senate bill that would impose a tax on capital gains in Washington state looked much different from its original form when it passed out of the Senate Ways & Means Committee Tuesday evening. With the changes, the new proposal is predicted to bring in less revenue than the original and affect fewer taxpayers. Continue reading at The Olympian.

Centered in the frame, a large black orca fin is seen surfacing above the water, with a smaller baby orca bringing its face out of the water next to it.

Look! It’s a bouncing baby orca in Puget Sound
At eight and a half feet long, it’s not your average baby. This newborn was spotted swimming with its 20-foot mother and members of all three pods of the endangered southern resident orcas, off San Juan Island on Wednesday. “It appears very healthy, thank goodness,” Ken Balcomb with the Center for Whale Research said in an email. Continue reading at KUOW. (Dave Ellifrit)


Associated Press
Another calf born to endangered Northwest orcas
Senate committee approves capital gains tax
Thousands of service members saying no to COVID-19 vaccine
US jobless claims rise to 861,000 as layoffs stay high
Earthquake warning system to roll out to Oregon, Washington
Airbus posts $1.3 billion loss, aims for ‘cease-fire’ with Boeing

Aberdeen Daily World
Pacific County case rate drops, vaccinations scheduled this week
Letter: Some thoughts

Bainbridge Island Review
Suicide review team closer to reality (Ortiz-Self)

Bellingham Herald (subscription required)
Here are the latest COVID-19 case numbers confirmed Wednesday in Washington state
State capital gains tax bill changes shape as it moves through lawmaking process (Robinson, Mullet, Van De Wege)
These four regions in Whatcom County show large drops in their COVID-19 infection rates
There’s a new baby whale in the West Coast’s killer whale pod. Take a look
White House says COVID-19 vaccine shipments delayed by storm still arriving this week
Safety considerations for bars and restaurants during COVID-19
Mars rover set to land after 7-month journey. Here’s how to watch the historic event

Capital Press
Biden’s immigration proposal renews calls for farm labor reforms

In Our View: Legislature must beef up aid for restaurants

The Daily News
Industry experts say updated building codes to add $20K to price of new Washington home

Everett Herald (subscription required)
What we know: Washington coronavirus outbreak at a glance
Everett pallet shelter plan moves forward, with key caveat

The Inlander
COVID-19 nearly killed a Washington farmworker. Now, the farm won’t pay his worker’s compensation
The real reason that people of color are hesitant with doctors — and the COVID-19 vaccine

Kitsap Sun (subscription required)
Kitsap Sun football preview: Shortened season still special

News Tribune (subscription required)
Firefighters battle huge ship fire at Port of Tacoma’s Pier 12
Here are the COVID-19 case numbers reported in Pierce County on Wednesday
Strickland and Long come together for Black History Month conversation
Editorial: Say what? Child sex victims must prove they’re not wed to abuser? Scrub this law now

New York Times
Live Updates: Biden’s Immigration Plan to Be Introduced in House
Should the Feds Guarantee You a Job?
Covid-19 Live Updates: U.S. Life Expectancy Plummeted in 2020
‘Nobody Has Openings’: Mental Health Providers Struggle to Meet Demand
New Zealand to Roll Out Free Period Products to All Students
Watch Live: House Lawmakers Hold Hearing on GameStop
Native Americans ‘Left Out in the Cold’ Under Trump Press Biden for Action

Olympian (subscription required)
State capital gains tax bill changes shape as it moves through lawmaking process (Robinson, Van De Weg, Mullet)
Here are the latest COVID-19 case numbers confirmed Wednesday in Washington state
North Thurston announces grades 3-5 set to return in early March; 23 COVID-19 cases added
$10 million more in assistance coming to Thurston County renters and landlords
Olympia Meals on Wheels ransacked after door mistakenly left open on Monday

Peninsula Daily News
Lodging receipts down, but not out
Inslee urges in-person classes; virus school testing increased
State hosts webinar Thursday on COVID-19 vaccine phases
WHAT WE KNOW: Coronavirus outbreak at a glance
Olympic Peninsula health officers discuss COVID testing in other schools in state

Port Townsend Leader
Two new COVID-19 infections discovered in Jefferson County

Puget Sound Business Journal
Most King County property tax bills are higher due to voter-approved measures

Seattle Times (subscription required)
Seattle has finally reached peak car, and only one other densely populated U.S. city has more cars per capita
Seattle will pay $10,000 to settle Cal Anderson encampment removal lawsuit
Property tax bills are arriving in King County, and several areas will see double-digit rate increases
Warming seas could wipe out Snake River chinook by 2060, scientists predict
New orca baby born to southern resident L pod
Seattle’s 2018 Firefighter of the Year charged in connection with threats sent to Sawant
Inslee: Canada won’t require coronavirus testing for residents of Point Roberts
Editorial: Protect Washingtonians’ digital privacy (Carlyle)
Seattle developer to sell upscale, just-finished Capitol Hill apartments for low-income housing

Skagit Valley Herald
Skagit PUD moving ahead on $35.5 milion infrastructure project
Anacortes Waterfront Festival canceled

South Seattle Emerald
State proposal creating community oversight boards could have unintended consequences (Johnson)

Spokesman Review
New version of capital gains tax passes Washington Senate committee (Robinson)
Washington residents will get phone alerts when earthquakes hit
Inland Northwest protected, but not immune from power outages

Tri-City Herald
Inmate death in ‘Richland jail’ causes stir in Tri-Cities case of mistaken identity
Closed: Tri-Cities fairgrounds COVID vaccine site shuts down for the week
Pasco schools to join WA districts already rapid testing staff, students for COVID
Tri-Cities hospitals treating fewer COVID patients. Snowy weather slows testing
Editorial: Tri-Cities can’t risk COVID data errors. Counties need access to regional numbers 

USA Today
White House unveils Biden’s immigration bill, including an eight-year path to citizenship
Tennessee bill would grant fathers veto power over abortion, with no exception for rape or incest
The U.S. lost a whole year of life expectancy – and for Black people, it’s nearly 3 times worse

Walla Walla Union Bulletin (subscription required)
Mental health at center of defense in Day 10 of Leslie Moreno trial in Walla Walla
Walla Walla County reports 14 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, no new deaths
More vaccination clinics coming to Walla Walla County Fairgrounds Sunday and Monday

Washington Post
Deadly winter weather moves east; power restored to millions in Texas
Texas Democrats call for Sen. Ted Cruz to resign after unverified photos purportedly show him traveling to Cancun

Yakima Herald Republic
Yakima Health District cheers Phase 2, warns county could still move back to Phase
Yakima microbusinesses can apply for second round of COVID relief funding
City to try out motorized scooters in downtown Yakima
Dozens gather Wednesday evening to raise awareness and honor missing and murdered Indigenous people
Snowstorm brings ‘most dangerous conditions’ seen by utility


Boyfriend speaks after deadly confrontation over political sign in Skagit County
Third stimulus payment: $1,400 or $3,600 per child? Why some are confused
Washington capital gains tax proposal gains traction (Robinson)
Shooting in Tacoma highlights growing concern over acid use among teens
Seattle firefighter charged in emailed threats to Councilmember Kshama Sawant

SPD releases bodycam video after officers fatally shoot man armed with knife near waterfront
‘It is competitive and complicated’: Seniors wait for links to compete for access to vaccine
Firefighter accused of sending threats to Seattle council member charged with cyberstalking, identity theft
Gov. Inslee urges in-person classes, virus school testing upped
High school students in Bellingham to return to classroom in March

Exclusive: New FBI Special Agent in Seattle discusses agencies priorities in 2021
Seattle Police release bodycam footage of deadly officer-involved shooting at waterfront
Surging snowpack can have positive impact on salmon, slow start to wildfire season

Look! It’s a bouncing baby orca in Puget Sound
Updates on the Covid-19 pandemic in the Northwest
What A 30,000-Person Survey Reveals About Day-To-Day Life In The Pandemic
American Life Expectancy Dropped By A Full Year In The First Half Of 2020
LISTEN: Whale songs reveal map of Earth’s crust
February 17th | The uncertain future of Cascadia’s climate
Gone fishin’. Western states catch lots more angling and hunting license sales during pandemic
White House Announces Expanded COVID-19 Testing, Manufacturing And Virus Sequencing

NW Public Radio
Gone Fishin’: Northwest States Catch Lots More Angling And Hunting License Sales During Pandemic

Q13 TV (Fox)
First time buyers, many of them women, driving gun sales to surge in Washington state
Washington state hospitals expect more first dose vaccine appointments by next week
Brandi Kruse: Politicians are powerless to save the GOP


Can King County keep using empty hotels to fight homelessness?

Data breaches prompt new bill to limit Employment Security Department’s SSN disclosure
Amber Alert canceled for missing teen last seen in Chelan
Charges filed against Seattle Fire Dept. employee over threatening emails to Kshama Sawant
New orca calf inspires hope that Puget Sound whales could be recovering
Is Boeing’s BFF looking for a new friend?
Paid parking rates adjusted in parts of Seattle to ‘improve customer access’

Seattle P.I.
Surprise! Endangered L pod welcomes new orca calf; spotted between Washington and Canada
New ‘ShakeAlert’ earthquake warning system to launch in Washington in May; drill next week

Hateful and Threatening Messages Filled Seattle City Council Inboxes Last Year, Especially Sawant’s
What Happens When Seattle Shakes?

West Seattle Blog
ORCAS: New calf born to Southern Resident Killer Whales