Garfield bans 11 students
Seattle Public Schools says it has temporarily banned 11 students from Garfield High School while it investigates a recent hazing incident that involved at least 100 students. MyNorthwest.com reports that the district will allow the Garfield 11 to return to campus immediately if they are cleared. The punishments for any students who are found to have been involved could range from exclusion from events such as the prom to suspension or expulsion. Hazing is said to be a tradition at Garfield — maybe this will be enough of a shock to change that.
Mental health: Solutions?
While Seattle searches for ways to handle growing demand for mental health treatment, an Eastern Washington program represents a measure of success in the face of the challenges. A Seattle Times story today looks at the success of intensive outpatient services offered in Yakima, Kittitas and Klickitat counties. Those services have helped prevent instances in Western Washington where, as an excellent Times Sunday report showed, the mentally ill are left to languish for hours or days in emergency rooms because of a lack of hospital beds for psychiatric patients. In Snohomish County, meanwhile, a Texas company has proposed building a 75-bed psychiatric facility near Arlington. The Herald reports the county has a chronic shortage of beds for mental health cases.
I-90: To toll or not to toll
The state Department of Transportation is launching a 30-day effort to hear more public opinions on the proposal to impose tolls on I-90 between Seattle and the Eastside. A series of "public outreach meetings" begin this Thursday at the Bellevue College cafeteria (4 to 7 p.m., 3000 Landerholm Circle S.E., Bellevue). Other meetings are sceduled for Oct. 21 in Mercer Island and Oct. 23 in Seattle (details here). The meetings are an extension of previous discussions of the toll proposal. Apparently WSDOT (surprise-surprise) is finding the toll question a tough one.
Hanford employee release
Walter Tamosaitis, one of Hanford's most prominent nuclear-safety whistleblowers, has lost his job. Tamosaitis told the Tri-City Herald's Annette Cary that Hanford contractor URS Corp. laid him off after 44 years and that he has no regrets about voicing concerns about safety at the $12 billion waste-glassification plant now being built on the nuclear reservation. Cary noted that safety issues at the plant remain under discussion at the federal Department of Energy. URS said it was budget cuts and not whistleblowing that forced Tamosaitis's dismissal, and that it encourages employees to raise safety concerns. Tamosaitis, was a key figure in a 2012 story by Crosscut's John Stang on Hanford's safety culture.
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