Tim Eyman is a complex man, to say the least (to say more, he is utterly confusing). A man of the people, pushing initiatives funded by ... big oil. After two $100,000 donations from oil refiners were disclosed last night, Eyman himself revealed that he had another "Big Oil" $150,000 paycheck for putting Initiative 1185 on the ballot — which would extend the infamous 2/3 requirement to pass any and all tax increases in State legislature, reports Seattlepi.com columnist Joel Connelly. Of course, everything Eyman does is just and right and for the people, as he explains in his justification of the contributions:
“There is no limit on how much a person, company or association can contribute to an initiative campaign because the voters will have the final say.”
Occupy folks could learn a lesson or two from parents. In Snohomish County, in order to make a point about the cost and questioned effectiveness of state exams, many parents withdrew their children from taking the Measure of Student Progress test, according to Herald writer Alejandro Dominguez. This coup resulted in 550 students abstaining, and receiving zeroes, which will ultimately drag down the schools' test scores and could mean the schools will have to be put on a "track to improvement." Last year, only 12 students abstained.
"We are not against testing. We want student assessment, but we want smarter, more effective, and more cost-efficient testing," said We Support Schools Snohomish member Michelle Purcell in an interview with Dominguez. "We feel we have been heard."
President Obama's visits to Seattle always cause a somewhat embarrassing giggly ruckus, but it's heartening to see someone so dearly affected by legislation he helped pass. Namely, the controversial health care bill, which is the only reason that Inglemoor High School teacher Suzanne Black, who had the honor of introducing the President at the Paramount Theatre yesterday, is able to pay for chemotherapy and ward off cancer, according to Seattle Times reporter Lynda Mapes. In the midst of a political tug-a'-war, we forget the very real, and sometimes downright wonderful, effects legislation has.
"Black was 47 when she was diagnosed in March 2005 with stage IV ovarian cancer," Mapes writes. "Five years later, she received a four-sentence letter from her insurance company informing her she had exhausted three-quarters of her lifetime benefit limit ... but the legislation passed by Congress banned insurers from imposing such lifetime limits on coverage."
Sunday is Mother's Day, so show your appreciation for your mom. Seattle writer and New York Times columnist Tim Egan has a beautiful and heartbreaking story today about the last Mother's Day with his mother, who died of brain cancer. It's rare to have such a direct window into a writer's personal life, especially when it involves tragedy, so take a moment to soak it in and respect it, and be grateful for what you have.
Speaking of appreciating moms, and in case you have been taking refuge under a rock, this weekend is going to be beautiful. Like, over 70 degrees beautiful. So take your mom for a picnic, because, as Cliff Mass writes in his thorough explanation of the event, "Clearly, the mothers in the NW are particularly deserving this year.
Seattlepi.com, "More big oil bucks for Eyman: it's a gusher"
Seattle Times, "Teacher's 'freakishly fantastic' moment: introducing Obama"
New York Times, "The Last Mother's Day"
Cliff Mass Weather Blog, "Summer in May"