Billy Frank Jr.: A happy insurgent
Billy Frank Jr., who led the Northwest into the modern era of protecting salmon and tribal fishing rights, died Monday morning at age 83. Frank was an early leader in the protest movement, leading fish-ins and fighting the court cases that led to the 1974 Boldt decision, the ruling that recognized tribal rights to salmon. While untiringly committed to science and legal causes, he was known for his humor, warmth and optimism. Mark Trahant, the former Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorial page editor, wrote on Facebook: "Because of Billy Frank Jr., the salmon survive today and have returned to streams where they were once extinct. And the tribal communities of the Northwest are stronger in so many ways."
He had chaired the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission for decades. His latest blog post, "Keep Big Oil Out of Grays Harbor," is dated Monday; it reflects his passions for environmental protection and tribal involvement with the biggest issues of the day.
For more on Billy Frank, Jr., read Trova Heffernan's biography of Frank in pdf version here — free because it was sponsored by the Secretary of State's Legacy Washington project. — J.C.
Ron Sims to head health exchange board
Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed former King County Executive Ron Sims as chair of the board of the Washington Health Exchange, which just completed one of the nation's more successful sign-ups for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Sims, who introduced incentives for county employees to exercise and take care of themselves, has had a strong and long interest in improving health outcomes. His unsalaried term will run through the end of next year. — J.C.
Bike share pedaling closer
Alaska Airlines on Monday announced $2.5 million in sponsorship funding for a Seattle bike-sharing program. The program is scheduled to begin in September with 500 bikes and 50 docking stations. Look for stations in the University District, South Lake Union, Downtown and Capitol Hill. Mayor Ed Murray took credit for lining up the Alaska sponsorship: "I made one call," to Alaska about the new Pronto! Emerald City Cycle Share program, and "they said, 'let us know how to do it.' "
You can purchase Pronto! memberships for 24 hours ($8), three days ($16) or a full year ($85). Each station will have a kiosk where riders can get a helmet for $2. Puget Sound Bike Share, a Seattle nonprofit organization, owns Pronto! A Portland, Ore-based company, Alta Bicycle Share Inc. will operate the program. Alta runs New York City's bike-share service. The Wall Street Journal reported in mid-April that the company and New York City officials were having a disagreement over a rate increase. Alta wanted to raise annual membership from $95 to $140. City officials, according to The Journal, were pushing back.
Seattle's green and blue bikes will come with seven speeds, drum brakes and a step through frame and fenders, according to Pronto! executive director, Holly Houser. A French company, Arcade, manufactures the bikes. Houser said the five-year goal is to expand Pronto! to include about 2,200 bikes and 220 stations. — B.L.
GiveBIG Day: Tuesday
Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG Day will take place on Tuesday, with the Foundation partially matching donations to one of 1,600 local nonprofits. Last year, the the Foundation's "stretch" pool contributed an extra 9 cents for each dollar donated. Crosscut is one of the participating nonprofits, so please feel free to give big. Or small. Any amount is counted, according to the Foundation. If you're looking for alternative ideas, you might find some inspiration in our Kids@Risk stories, which spotlights many worthy local organizations. United Way of King County is also a participant. And the Foundation lets you search easily for participating groups. The Foundation's main page for the day is here. — J.C.
Love the Daily Troll? Now you can sign up to get it in your inbox every afternoon. And to catch up on the most recent news, click here.
Like what you just read? Support high quality local journalism. Become a member of Crosscut today!