Ashton Kutcher's company wants your car
FlightCar, a Bay Area startup backed by the likes of Hollywood's Ryan Seacrest and Ashton Kutcher, is looking to expand to our neck of the woods, according to GeekWire. FlightCar is, according to TechCrunch, "sort of like Airbnb for airport car rentals." Currently operating out of Los Angeles, Boston and San Francisco, the company allows car owners to save (and in some circumstances make) money by letting someone else rent their cars while they're traveling. And the person renting the car left at the airport saves by going through FlightCar instead of traditional high-priced rental agencies. Founded in 2012 by 17-year-olds, FlightCar has already run into some regulatory issues. Despite those regulatory hurdles, representatives say FlightCar hopes to expand to Sea-Tac by the end of this year. — C.H.
A.P. courses: Long-term value?
While various studies have examined the content of high school Advanced Placement courses, few have attempted to measure A.P. effectiveness. University of Washington professor Mark Long plans to do just that, according to The Seattle Times. Specifically interested in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math), Long and his researchers want to determine whether A.P. courses in these subjects actually improve college performance. In about 40 high schools across the nation, researchers will randomly assign well-performing, eligible students to A.P. and non-A.P. classes. The Times' Linda Shaw writes, "Few, if any, other studies have been able to compare students who are randomly assigned to A.P. classes and similar students who are not." — K.H.
Today in Olympia
- Dozens of bills faced state legislative deadlines for passage Friday. We will have a story on the approvals, disappointments and political recriminations after the 5 p.m. deadline. The 2014 session is scheduled to end next Thursday. Any bills considered next week must be related to the budget, but lawmakers have agreed to exempt both a homeless funding measure and a proposal to allow out-of-state veterans to pay in-state tuition rates. — J.S.
- With current Cougars football coach Mike Leach present, the Washington Senate adopted a resolution Friday to honor the undefeated 1915 Washington State University football team, which won the national championship with the 1916 Rose Bowl victory. For some unknown reason, fhe Senate resolution also honored William Dietz, the coach of that 1915 team. Dietz claimed to be a Sioux tribal member. Recently, Dietz has been in the news for other reasons. Daniel Snyder, owner of the so-called Redskins, the NFL's Washington, D.C. team, claims that his franchise's nickname honored Dietz's alleged native American ancestry. But the feds convicted Dietz in 1919 of faking his Sioux background to avoid the World War I draft. The Washington Post recently wrote about Dietz and the nickname controversy here. — J.S.
Everett will feel effects of Russia sanctions
Nearly 10 percent of the ships calling at the Port of Everett come from Russia. That means some folks in Everett are closely following all the talk about economic sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine's Crimean peninsula. The Herald reports that Everett's port "specializes in oversized and heavy cargo," which includes titanium and heavy equipment coming from and going to Russia, respectively. Everett's Russian sister city, Sovetskaya Gavan, is also a port city. If the sanctions go forward, the sister cities will feel the pain together. — C.H.
Groceries: Is bigger better?
What the purchase of West Coast grocery power Safeway will mean in your neighborhood? The Los Angeles Times calls Albertsons' plans to buy Safeway "a total scale play." The idea being that a bigger operation will be more efficient. "The way people shop for groceries has fundamentally changed," said Albertsons Chief Executive Robert G. Miller. "We have to adapt." While consumer advocates worry about higher prices and fewer choices, some analysts are unconcerned. They argue that in such an overcrowded, cutthroat market, increased prices are unlikely. One thing is certain: It the sale goes through, the new hybrid company will be ginormous. According to LA Times reporter Tiffany Hsu, the new Albertsons will "employ more than a quarter of a million workers, giving it one of the largest head counts in corporate America." — K.H.
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