Hundreds of U.S. newspapers have closed, yet most Americans surveyed believe local news outlets are in good financial shape and relatively few pay for local news. InvestigateWest Executive Director Robert McClure spoke on a panel on “The Future of Our Local Press” at the University of Puget Sound, sponsored by the City Club of Tacoma and the League of Women Voters of Tacoma-Pierce County.
InvestigateWest advises the Washington State Sunshine Committee, which advises the Washington Legislature, to proceed cautiously when considering whether to further restrict citizens’ access to information about juveniles through the Washington State Public Records Act.
Aided by clear Democratic control of the Washington Legislature for the first time in years, environmentalists scored big victories – of historic size, especially on climate-change – but also suffered a few significant setbacks at the just-concluded Washington Legislature’s session. Big Oil and the insurance lobby had an influence on the process.
Big Oil is fighting proposed higher taxes meant to speed cleanups of toxic waste sites in Seattle’s Duwamish River and Gas Works Park, Bellingham Bay, Tacoma, Grays Harbor and landfills around Washington. Will Washington legislators pass SB 5993 anyway?
Democratic lawmakers are finding success in moving a raft of clean-energy bills through the Washington Legislature. The sweeping bills would make Washington the fourth state to require a phaseout of fossil-fueled electricity, mandate energy overhauls for larger, old buildings, and more. The fate of three lesser bills to protect the climate is less certain.
Washington legislators came into their 2019 session brimming with proposals to help rescue Puget Sound’s imperiled orcas. But now they have dropped one of the most important – and controversial – ideas: A three-year moratorium on commercial whale watching.
A bill in the Washington Legislature (HB1579) would give state Fish and Wildlife agents far more power to fight armoring of Puget Sound seashore by seawalls and other environmental insults along the shoreline.
Former Parkrose High school football star Jonathan Boland, has filed a lawsuit against the Parkrose School District alleging the district committed child abuse and negligence by failing to protect him under Oregon state concussion law. The lawsuit alleges that Boland showed signs of a concussion throughout high school and should not have been allowed to return to play, despite receiving a medical release. When his mother, Renee Boland, asked the district for all records relating to her son’s concussions in January 2019, the school requested she sign a waiver stating the district would not be held accountable, which Boland refused to sign.
Puget Sound’s beloved orcas are at risk of extinction and scientists say one key step to rescuing them is boosting oceangoing runs of chinook salmon, the biggest, fattest and most nutritious kind of salmon and the killer whales’ main food source. But legislators seeking to open up more than 1,000 miles of prime inland spawning areas that are currently blocked to the fish by culverts are struggling to find a funding source. What is blocking all those fish? Culverts. These are the pipes and tunnels that pass under roads throughout the state, allowing water to flow downstream. It turns out that many old highway projects in the state were poorly engineered where they intersect with salmon-bearing streams and as a result can block the fish in a variety of ways.
Jonathan Boland’s mom was told she’d have to sign a waiver to get access to records relating to her son’s injuries
Renee Boland was trying to understand where it all went wrong. When her son, Jonathan, was arrested for a string of 2016 convenience store robberies, it seemed so out of character that she wondered if his concussions, suffered playing football for Portland’s Parkrose High School and Portland State University, might have been a factor. In order to piece together the sequence of Boland’s return to play from a series of high school concussions, Renee and Jonathan Boland sent a request to Parkrose High School on March 16, 2018, asking for video footage of the games and copies of the medical documentation in Jonathan’s file. The reply from Parkrose administration stunned Renee. Karen Gray, the superintendent at the time, wanted Renee to submit not only a request for Jonathan’s records, but also give a written assurance that she would not sue the district.