Evergreen workers on strike
Workers at The Evergreen State College went on strike today over long-stalled contract negotiations for mental health counselors, activity advisers and others in student support services. Some students and professors are walking the picket lines with the striking workers, KOMO reported. A spokesman for the Student Support Services Staff Union said some members have worked a decade without a raise.
Skagit tourism boosts
Gov. Jay Inslee today ordered the release of $150,000 from a state Department of Commerce account to help promote business and tourism around the collapsed I-5 Skagit River Bridge. The message will be: You can get here … on alternate routes. The governor’s office said businesses in Skagit and Whatcom counties reported losses of 50 percent and more over the Memorial Day weekend.
Despite our latest transportation failure, there is one area in which Washington still seems to be an infrastructure leader. The Vancouver Sun reports a Friday decision by the metropolitan government to send 25 people to conduct in-person “sniff tests” at sewage plants in June or July in Blaine, Edmonds, Seattle and Olympia as part of the preparation for a new sewage treatment facility at Lion’s Gate. And hey, we’ve got some wineries where you can check out the bouquet, too.
Housing prices up
Seattle area home prices are up 10.6 percent over a year ago, according to a March check of real estate in 20 major cities. All the cities saw gains, and Seattle's were the biggest here in seven years, according to The New York Times. Seattle's growth was just below the national average, which rose by 10.9 percent according to Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller index.
There's a very good book review from The Washington Post greeting today's release of Stranger editor Dan Savage's new book, "American Savage." Reviewer Chandler Burr has this nice summary:
Beneath its often caustic wit, “American Savage” is on a healing mission. It’s about unification. That effort starts immediately. On the first page, Savage dedicates the book: “For my father, who lives in a red state, watches Fox News and votes Republican — but loves me and mine just the same.”
Cool — as long as nice reviews don't take the caustic out of The Stranger. And, of course, the reviews won't all be favorable: The conservative NewsBusters has already labeled The Post review "preposterous."
Greens for McGinn
Mayor Mike McGinn won some big deal endorsements from national green leaders: Bill McKibben (one of the loudest critics nationally of both the XL Pipeline and the Northwest's coal ports); Van Jones, the social justice and environmental activist blown out of the White House by conservative criticism; and national Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune. Publicola called the nods from out of state "impressive endorsements." Joel Connelly of seattlepi.com says the anti-coal port movement in the Northwest, which McGinn is aligned with, could become a genuine citizens movement. But he also points out that local Sierra Club endorsements haven't always been the key to victory at the polls.
Bellevue lake to lake
Thanks to the rain, it was a great weekend to abandon your biking plans. But hope for good weather springs eternal here. So, the city of Bellevue is reminding people of the June 15 Lake to Lake Bike ride, a 22-mile jaunt between Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish. (Families also have a 9-mile option.)
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