Sen. Mike Carrell dies
State Sen. Mike Carrell, a Lakewood Republican, has died after months of fighting a blood illness. Carrell had served in the House for 10 years before being elected to the Senate. One of his major achievements was the passage of the Becca laws, which identify young people who are skipping school and offer them intensive services. Just this month, Gov. Jay Inslee signed three Carrell-sponsored bills, including one expanding the rights of adoptees and another that improves the state's ability to prevent mentally ill individuals from buying firearms. Inslee praised Carrell today, saying, "Senator Carrell was a gentleman and a committed public servant who worked hard for the less fortunate among us." High praise from a liberal governor for a conservative lawmaker — and well-earned.
New endorsements from local Democratic organizations are all over the place in the Seattle mayor's race. Highlights: King County Democrats went for a three-way, endorsing Bruce Harrell, Peter Steinbrueck and Ed Murray. The 37th District (encompassing the Central District and Southeast Seattle) chose Mike McGinn and Harrell. The 11th (south central, between I-5 and West Seattle) likes Steinbrueck and Harrell. The 46th (Northeast) Democrats are fans of Murray and Steinbrueck. The University District's 43rd Democrats favor Murray.
As for labor, Joel Connelly of seattlepi.com, who rounded up the whole picture, writes that things are about the same with local unions as with the party organizations: "Splintered as sawdust." And do people even pay attention to what their party leaders tell them? Maybe the primary will give us some guidance.
An Eastern Oregon farmer discovered an illegal intruder in his fields: GMO wheat that isn't even certified for use in this country. Associated Press reports today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture refuses to speculate about where the rogue wheat seed came from. Monsanto did test the wheat strain in Oregon, but the company halted the experiments back in 2005. Monsanto and many scientists insist genetically modified organisms are safe.
Better teaching, better schools
An educational advocacy group, Our Schools Coalition, today released a report saying that Seattle Public Schools needs to improve its professional development programs for teachers. The study credits the school district's good intentions but faults it on coordination and effectiveness. It said the district-teacher contract offers great opportunities for improving the quality of teaching if the district makes the major changes necessary to take advantage of those opportunities. The coalition claims broad support from minority and business groups.
Fitness Class: Is a B good enough?
The Greater Seattle Area ranked eighth in the nation in fitness, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Portland whupped us, coming in third. The study, which looked at the 50 largest metropolitan areas, compared such variables as exercise levels, weight levels, access to health insurance and the availability of parks.
The report said the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area could improve on the amount of park space per person and the number of swimming pools. Portland's shortcomings included relatively few pools and rec centers. Both metro areas show room for improvement when it comes to residents' personal health choices. By the way, right ahead of Seattle, in seventh place, was Sacramento, which didn't get extra points for those 12 very fit young basketball players.
Like what you just read? Support high quality local journalism. Become a member of Crosscut today!