I-1351 makes the cut for November ballot
An initiative to require lower class sizes in Washington’s public schools has qualified for the November general election ballot. If approved, Initiative 1351 would cut Washington class sizes over the next four years. By 2018, Washington would reach a class size average of 17 students for grades K-3, and 25 students for grades 4-12. Washington currently ranks 47th worst in the country for class size. — E.W.
Legislator quits over residence issue
In a brief letter to Gov. Jay Inslee, Republican State Rep. Mike Hope has resigned. What he didn’t mention in the letter Thursday, though, was a revelation that he is registered to vote in two states.
Hope, who was not seeking re-election, says he had no idea that he has been registered to vote in Ohio, through the state’s motor-voter law, since August of 2013. An Ohio native, Hope has been travelling back and forth between Washington and Ohio while he completes a training program for a career in financial services. He no longer has a permanent residence in Washington.
Snohomish County Democratic activist Mark Hintz told The Herald that Hope should reimburse the state for the money he’s earned as a state lawmaker since he registered in Ohio. The state Attorney General's office and lawyers for the state House of Representatives will review whether the Ohio registration disqualified him as a legislator and, if so, what action should be taken. Hope lost in a 2011 run for Snohomish County Executive, opposing incumbent Aaron Reardon. Reardon later resigned as executive in a controversy an aide's requests for public records involving Reardon's critics. — K.H.
Varied NW response to immigrant children
Nearly 270 of the immigrant children coming into the United States from Central America were sent to Washington, Oregon and Idaho as of July 7, federal officials told Associated Press. The children were placed with relatives, foster parents or family friends, while a final decision is made regarding where to place these children. The government is still considering the placement of additional children at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. “Our state will provide the support and services they need as they await their court proceedings,” a spokesperson for Gov. Jay Inslee told The Spokesman-Review.
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber said the state welcomes the children, and the flood of immigrants is a signal of Congress’ failures on immigration reform. Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter sent a letter to federal officials Wednesday requesting none of the children be sent to Idaho. In response to a report of eight immigrant children sent to Idaho, Otter spokesperson Jon Hanian emailed The Spokesman-Review: “Assuming this report is true, HHS has not provided any information about this nor did it go through any of the established channels to inform the Governor’s Office that this was happening.” — J.B.
Bellevue put out with rail yard plan
Sound Transit's board voted Thursday in favor of placing a new light-rail yard at the BNSF site next to the upcoming Spring District in Bellevue. Mayor Claudia Balducci called the decision “ironic,” according to the Bellevue Reporter, given the city’s push to establish high-density, transit-oriented development in the Spring District. An existing yard in Seattle's SoDo district won’t be enough to keep up with light rail expansion east and north, so Sound Transit is looking to establish an additional site for maintenance and operations. The decision won’t be finalized until the agency releases an environmental impact statement which is expected in fall 2015. – M.L.
SummeRun against ovarian cancer
The annual Swedish SummeRun and Walk for Ovarian Cancer will take place Sunday morning. It’s the 20th anniversary of the run, which was started by oncologist Dr. Saul Rivkin after the death of his wife, Marsha Rivkin, from ovarian cancer in 1993. The event benefits the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research. The event details here; you can still register the day of the race beginning at 6:30 a.m. If you go: Watch for Dr. Rivkin enthusiastically snapping pictures, greeting runners and encouraging everyone. — J.C.
Dr. Saul Rivkin recently donned a T-shirt from the first SummeRun
Drone crashes into the Space Needle?
Early this week, an Amazon.com employee from Dallas allegedly flew a drone right past the Space Needle, according to a KOMO News report. What ensued was hovering hoopla — Space Needle security personnel called the police after guests reported that the drone had possibly crashed into an observation deck window. The Seattle Police Department posted on its blog yesterday,“Seattle’s famous sky-high tourist attraction is still standing after police received reports of a drone crash Tuesday at the Space Needle.” But no wonder we’re sleepless in Seattle — now, we have to watch for drones buzzing across the skyline. – E.W.
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