Department of Defense
A new report in Oregon says a massive earthquake and tsunami would kill more than 10,000 Oregonians, Associated Press reports. The study looked at an inevitable event (timing uncertain) like the ones that hit Fukushima in 2011 and Washington's coast in 1700. The report notes that Japan had done much more to prepare than Oregon. Ditto for Washington.
Boeing officials are giving varying estimates on how long before its 787 planes return to regular service. A fairly cautious exec told Associated Press today that the basic testing for a battery fix should be done in two weeks, but the timing of a return to service is up to the feds. But at an earlier briefing in Tokyo, one Boeing official talked about being back "in weeks," according to the Chicago Tribune. In any case, it's clear the company is feeling more optimistic.
Seattle, we might have a problem
The Obama administration is responding to the obvious implications of North Korea's nuclear threats: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said today that the Pentagon is beefing up missile defenses from Alaska to California.
As The New York Times noted, Hagel concedes that no missile defense system is completely secure. Uhh-huh. The 14 new ground based interceptors will be installed by 2017 for a total of 44 along the coast. But the U.N. will hold its next review of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2015. Maybe the United States would like to reconsider the pretense that it can avoid commitments to total nuclear disarmament while expecting the rest of the world to be serious about nonproliferation.
Suicide prevention goes online
Volunteers of America Western Washington is expanding service on its online chat portal for those in crisis. Herald columnist Julie Muhlstein tells a good story of how young people have increasingly turned to online forums rather than traditional phone hotlines when they are in crisis or considering suicide. Considering this week's state report on how many young people feel depressed or consider suicide, it's a great resource for the VOA (with a lot of volunteer help from college students in the Everett area) to provide.
Mercer Islanders vs. Tolls
Attorneys working for Mercer Island have asked the Federal Highway Administration to block any tolls on the I-90 floating bridge. Mercer Island Patch describes it as part of a larger City Council strategy to fight the tolling proposal with lobbying and a possible lawsuit. KOMO News notes that lawmakers will be holding town hall meetings with constituents in the district this weekend (details here). Mercer Islanders should feel free to offer their thoughts. Or just whine. Unlike the rest of us, Legislators don't make fun of the first world problems of their own constituents — especially the ones from wealthy zip codes.
The state Department of Transportation made a last-minute decision this afternoon to leave the Highway 520 floating bridge open all weekend. The department was concerned about bad weather affecting planned construction work, which will be rescheduled. There are plenty of other lesser traffic projects, including night closures on up to three southbound lanes of I-5 from NE Ravenna Boulevard to Boylston Avenue North. Details here.
Fox News attractions
A country song sings the praises of the women of Fox News. OK, some pretty good humor (especially about Bill Clinton). But what time is Rachel Maddow on MSNBC again?
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