The Daily Troll: Philanthropy leader dies in plane crash. Apple crop: It's a biggie. Wooden boat opportunities grow.

Starbucks and the Second Amendment.

Crash kills ex-Microsoft VP

A plane crash in New Haven, Conn., today reportedly claimed the life of former Microsoft vice president Bill Henningsgaard and a son. His death will create a huge hole in the social service and education communities of Bellevue and the Eastside.

According to a seattlepi.com report and others, he was flying a small plane that was attempting to land at Tweed New Haven Airport and went down nearby. Two homes were engulfed in flames, and two children in one of the houses were missing.  

Henningsgaard had been involved with Social Venture Partners, a key supporter of philanthropy and volunteerism, since 1998. And he launched Eastside Pathways, a group that aims to make sure every child in Bellevue gets a healthy start in life and is supported "from cradle to career." Janet Levinger, also part of Social Venture Partners, told Crosscut he was a very action-oriented person who dove into tackling problems and was passionate about improving education. He co-founded and chaired the advisory board of the Institute of Learning & Brain Sciences at the University of Washington. 

The Daily Astorian in Oregon reported Henningsgaard is the son of former Astoria Mayor Edith Henningsgaard-Miller, and a brother, Blair Henningsgaard, is the city attorney. Bill Henningsgaard made the key donation for the restoration of the city's historic Liberty Theater.

Apples, apples, apples: Here’s to you, central Washington!

For the second year in a row, Washington’s apple industry, the state’s largest agricultural product, will have a bumper harvest. The Tri-City Herald reports that the mid-August through early-November apple harvest will likely yield 121 million, 40-pound boxes of apples (that's 4.8 billion pounds if you're doing the math). The numbers fall only slightly short of last year’s record of 129 million boxes. Washington is the leading grower of apples in the United States with nine main apple varieties growing in the 175,000 acres of orchards spanning all over the state. The mild weather and Washington’s increasing stands of dwarf trees, which allow more trees per acre, certainly help.

Dan Kelley, assistant manager at Washington Growers Clearing House, tells Crosscut that record-breaking numbers are here to stay, “It takes a few years for crops to stabilize, but Washington’s apple industry is pretty progressive,” Kelley says. “New York has traditionally been the number two [apple grower] in the country, but they still only do about 32 million boxes a year.” Well, how about them apples.

Center for Wooden Boats

The Center for Wooden Boats today unveiled plans for an expansion to help fill interest in sailing locally. The center said it will begin building a new, $6.6 million education center over the winter in Lake Union Park. In a statement, Executive Director Betsy Davis said, "Due to our current lack of space we’re forced to turn away kids who want to learn to sail, adults who want to take maritime workshops and schools that want to take our field trips."

The center has raised most of the money for an overall capital campaign, of which the new Wagner Education Center is the focus. There are several drawings and maps on the center's blob. This appealing one looks like it might depict an autumn day — we aren't headed toward fall, are we?

An artist's sketch of the new Wagner Education Center, designed by architect Tom Olson of Olson Kundig Architects.

Starbucks "appreciation"

What does your afternoon double-shot latte have in common with a .45? The Second Amendment, gun advocates would say. Today was unofficially “Starbucks Appreciation Day,” where legal firearms carriers were encouraged to give an extra thanks to their barista for the right to bear arms in Starbucks, reported seattlepi.com. This national nod from gun advocates apparently is meant to counter the pressure Starbucks is facing from advocacy groups to make the stores gun-free.


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