If you wanted to know how much Value Village is giving to charity from your donations, look no further than a graphic circulated on social media by the Washington Attorney General’s office. It reveals that the fancy piece of furniture you gave to the store’s donation center could be worth as little as 2 cents to the charity. That reality is far from the image the Bellevue-based chain has promoted, according to a lawsuit filed by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson. He accuses the nation’s largest for-profit thrift-store chain of misrepresenting to the public the charitable benefits of their donations and purchases. In response to the attorney general’s lawsuit, Value Village has claimed that what it tells its donors and customers is covered under the free-speech protections of the First Amendment, citing U.S. Supreme Court rulings that charitable fundraising is a form of free speech.
| With Pamplin Media Group
A bill sent to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown attempts to crack down on police racially profiling citizens. It drew controversy late in the legislative process when Democrats amended it to make possession of small amounts of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine misdemeanors instead of felonies to encourage drug treatment.
| With Crosscut
An expected expansion of Canada’s Kinder-Morgan pipeline could increase the number of oil-carrying vessels in the Salish Sea seven-fold. In preparation for that, Washington Democrats are trying to pass legislation that would improve oil transportation safety, particularly on the water. But it’s an uphill battle and the clock is ticking.
| With Crosscut
Despite the Flint, Michigan lead-poisoning crisis and the fact that Washington state officials detect 10 lead-poisoned kids a week, bills to reduce children’s lead exposure are struggling in the Washington Legislature.
| With News21
With the presidential election less than three months away, millions of Americans will be navigating new requirements for voting – if they can vote at all – as state leaders implement dozens of new restrictions that could make it more difficult to cast a ballot.
| With News21
Native Americans who live on reservations consistently deal with distances and language barriers when it comes to voting. But experts who study Native American voting rights said recent changes to legal requirements and provisions for voting have exacerbated those problems.
Run-of-the-mill public records requests that get the job done would allow journalists to spot problems–and report on solutions. So why are they so hard to get?
A kerfuffle at an April meeting of the Council of Forest Trust Land Counties has at least one environmental group calling foul, the council’s chairman chastised, and a handful of state forestry leaders ensnared in a legal quagmire that’s hiding behind war-font headlines.
| With CBC Radio One
Our series with EarthFix on portable classrooms called Inside the Box is featured on CBC’s Early’s Edition. Take a listen as Executive Director Robert McClure chats with host Rick Cluff and tells about the major health concerns associated with aging portables like air quality and the impact it has on learning outcomes.
| With FairWarning
Cords that kill — window-blind cords that have strangled hundreds of children — are being discontinued by a few companies that make the blinds. The moves follow years of inaction by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is now starting rulemaking on the matter. Says the CEO of one blind-maker: “I am very sorry we did not do it sooner.”
More transparency in Oregon state government is the goal of two ongoing processes. Are the redundant — or should we think of them like synchronized swimming?