Idaho bans a book
A big Idaho school district just outside Boise has banned Sherman Alexie’s book, “The True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.” Although a local high school student, named Brady Kissel, presented a petition against the ban with 350 signatures on it, the Meridian school board wouldn't budge, according to seattlepi.com. An Idaho report said parents wanted more inspirational literature. The highly acclaimed novel by the Seattle-based Alexie deals with a 14-year-old tribal student's growing up in an all-white school. Instead of reading a classic piece of Northwest literature, Meridian students, like most high school students throughout the nation, will now be reading light-hearted tales — say, "A Separate Peace" or "Catcher in the Rye" — whose plots are unequivocally inspirational — or maybe just revolve around main characters who are considered light-skinned enough to be uplifting. — K.H.
Parks district hearing
A City Council committee will hold a hearing Monday on a Mayor Ed Murray-backed proposal for a brand new taxing authority to finance parks in the city. The council could fast track the property-tax proposal to appear on the low-turnout August ballot, when the support of committed supporters could be decisive. The idea has lots of influential support — including from the Seattle Parks Foundation, the Woodland Park Zoo and the Aquarium, the latter two of which would be likely to receive funding.
But the hearing turnout will be interesting: A January hearing conducted by the group that developed the proposal for the council drew what a Seattle Times headline summed up as a "tepid response" from the public. On Thursday, neighborhood activists filed a complaint with the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, charging that top parks staff coordinated a poll of likely voters about a possible parks levy. The complaint alleges that state law forbids public agencies from conducting polls designed to influence elections or shape public policy around likely voter sentiment. The poll was conducted and overseen outside the department. A parks spokesperson said officials had no information about the complaint. The policy at Ethics and Elections is not to comment on the filing of a complaint, so it was impossible to confirm it had filed. Crosscut received a copy Thursday afternoon. — J.C.
Today in Olympia
- Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed a bill that legislators passed to provide privacy protections in regard to the use of drones by state agencies and to ensure that an elected body, such as the Legislature or a city council, approved any agency's purchase of an unmanned aircraft. Inslee called the bill "complicated" and said he would appoint a task force to come up with better recommendations. Influential fellow Democrat Rep. Jeff Morris said he was "very disappointed" and praised the bill, introduced by Republican Rep. David Taylor, at some length. Crosscut's John Stang has a full report here. — J.C.
In case getting outside is just a little too inconvenient for you, you’ll soon be able to purchase a one-day recreational pass for national forests in Washington and Oregon online. The U.S. Forest Service, in partnership with the non-profit, Discover Your Northwest, is selling these new ePasses for $5 a pop, according to a Seattle Times item.
The passes won’t cover Sno-Parks, but they’ll certainly make last-minute trip-planning easier: Instead of dealing with the roundabout challenge of finding a ranger station or store, you can print your pass and be on your way before you even reach the trailhead. Now all we need is an app. that fulfills the second half of the work and hikes up the mountain for us. Oh wait: that may already be covered.
Speaking of getting out and about: You can listen to music and support Oso mudslide victims at the same time. The Herald has a list of about a dozen benefits over the next two weeks in Snohomish County and farther north. Northwest Music Scene has what appears to be a running list here that covers a bit broader geography, including a few events in Seattle, Redmond and Tacoma.
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