Posted inEconomic Security, Policy Topics

Washington’s minimum wage to rise to $9.04 an hour beginning in January

Wash­ing­ton State’s min­i­mum wage will rise thir­­ty-sev­en cents an hour to $9.04 begin­ning in Jan­u­ary, the Depart­ment of Labor & Indus­tries announced today. Ini­tia­tive 688, which vot­ers over­whelm­ing­ly passed in 1998, requires the Depart­ment of Labor & Indus­tries to adjust the min­i­mum wage annu­al­ly to account for infla­tion. (I‑688, which NPI’s Steve Zemke was involved […]

Posted inElections, Party Politics, Views & Reviews

Poll Watch: Where do things stand in the Republican presidential race?

The 2012 Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial race has been noth­ing if not enter­tain­ing, as the writ­ers for The Dai­ly Show with Jon Stew­art will undoubt­ed­ly attest. A new poll com­mis­sioned by Roger Ailes’ Fox Noise net­work, con­duct­ed from Sep­tem­ber 25–27, finds that Mitt Rom­ney is now the fron­trun­ner for the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion. The poll showed Rom­ney at […]

Posted inEconomic Security, Policy Topics

Bank of America announces $5 monthly penalty for debit card use

Bank of Amer­i­ca Bank of Greed, one of the largest finan­cial insti­tu­tions in the world, announced today that it will begin charg­ing cus­tomers who use a deb­it card tied to their check­ing account a $5 month­ly penal­ty. (BofA is call­ing it a fee, but of course it’s real­ly a penal­ty). BofA is plan­ning to introduce […]

Posted inElections

Fred Finn announces retirement; two Democrats announce plans to seek his seat

Demo­c­ra­t­ic State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Fred Finn, who has rep­re­sent­ed Washington’s 35th LD since 2008, announced recent­ly that he will not be run­ning for reelec­tion in 2012, lead­ing two Democ­rats to announce their inten­tion to seek his seat. Finn’s dis­trict includes Mason Coun­ty as well as parts of Grays Har­bor, Kit­sap, and Thurston coun­ties. He served as a […]

Posted inElections

President Obama arrives in Seattle for first (and maybe only) visit of 2011

Fol­low­ing a four and a half hour cross coun­try flight from Joint Base Andrews, Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma touched down in the real Wash­ing­ton late this morn­ing to begin a mul­ti-day Left Coast fundrais­ing tour. This is Oba­ma’s third offi­cial vis­it to the Ever­green State as Pres­i­dent; he made two trips out here last year (in August […]

Posted inElections

Three more unions endorse Richard Mitchell for King County Council

King Coun­ty Coun­cil hope­ful Richard Mitchell, who pulled off a very strong show­ing in the August win­now­ing elec­tion thanks in part to the enthu­si­as­tic sup­port of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, has just received the sup­port of three key unions with sig­nif­i­cant mem­ber­ship in King Coun­ty, his cam­paign announced today. Sev­er­al weeks ago, the Amal­ga­mat­ed Tran­sit Union […]

Posted inEconomic Security, Policy Topics

Governor Chris Gregoire calls special session to deal with latest revenue shortfall

Gov­er­nor Chris Gre­goire will call a spe­cial ses­sion of the Leg­is­la­ture begin­ning the Mon­day after Thanks­giv­ing to deal with Wash­ing­ton’s lat­est rev­enue short­fall, her office con­firmed this morn­ing. The ses­sion could go for as long as thir­ty days. “Con­gres­sion­al grid­lock, the Euro­pean debt cri­sis and high unem­ploy­ment con­tin­ue to take their toll on con­sumer con­fi­dence and […]

Posted inCivil Liberties, Policy Topics

Georgia executes Troy Davis after U.S. Supreme Court refuses to halt his killing

Troy Davis, the Geor­gia man con­vict­ed of mur­der on ques­tion­able evi­dence two decades ago, has just been exe­cut­ed by state prison offi­cials, we’re hear­ing. Attor­neys for Davis, who abo­li­tion­ists have been fierce­ly ral­ly­ing to save, had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to inter­vene and grant an eleventh-hour stay only hours ago. Sad­ly, the court refused, […]

Posted inEducation

Governor Gregoire steps up to mediate negotiations to end Tacoma teacher strike

After sev­en days with­out school for thou­sands of Taco­ma stu­dents, Gov. Chris Gre­goire has stepped up to medi­ate talks between Taco­ma Pub­lic Schools and the Taco­ma Edu­ca­tion Asso­ci­a­tion. After fail­ing to reach an agree­ment today, the gov­er­nor called for school dis­trict offi­cials and mem­bers of the teach­ers union to nego­ti­ate in her office. Mem­bers of […]

Posted inPolicy Topics, World Commmunity

Iran frees Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal — two U.S. hikers it has imprisoned since 2009

Iran’s auto­crat­ic regime today freed two Amer­i­can hik­ers that it has held in prison for more than two years in a move it called a “human­i­tar­i­an ges­ture”. Shane Bauer and Josh Fat­tal, both twen­­ty-nine, were allowed to leave Iran’s infa­mous Evin prison and tak­en by a diplo­mat­ic car­a­van to an Iran­ian air­port. They were then […]

Posted inPolicy Topics, Public Planning

NPI urges City of Redmond to adopt resolution opposing Tim Eyman’s I‑1125

Edi­tor’s Note: What fol­lows are the remarks I pre­pared for tonight’s city coun­cil meet­ing in Red­mond, NPI’s home­town. Red­mond has been in a leader in oppos­ing Tim Eyman’s harm­ful ini­tia­tives — the city was among the juris­dic­tions that adopt­ed a res­o­lu­tion oppos­ing I‑695, Tim Eyman’s first destruc­tive anti-tax mea­sure, which sought to wipe out the […]

Posted inEconomic Security, Policy Topics

Netflix announces its DVDs-by-mail business will now be called “Qwikster”

Two months after it announced that it was sep­a­rat­ing DVD rentals and stream­ing into sep­a­rate plans (and auto­mat­i­cal­ly rais­ing prices for cus­tomers who did not act to can­cel one or the oth­er), Net­flix CEO Reed Hast­ings has final­ly admit­ted the com­pa­ny did a poor job han­dling the announce­ment. In a blog post and in a […]

Posted inElections

Elizabeth Warren to make Massachusetts U.S. Senate bid official tomorrow

Con­sumer advo­cate and bank­rupt­cy expert Eliz­a­beth War­ren, who recent­ly formed an explorato­ry com­mit­tee to con­sid­er a U.S. Sen­ate bid in Mass­a­chu­setts, has decid­ed to make her can­di­da­cy offi­cial, accord­ing to a spokesper­son. War­ren will for­mal­ly announce that she’s run­ning tomor­row in com­mu­ni­ties across the Com­mon­wealth. Her cam­paign says stops are planned in Boston, New Bedford, […]

Posted inHolidays

In memoriam, ten years later

Today is the tenth anniver­sary of the Sep­tem­ber 11th attacks, which destroyed New York’s World Trade Cen­ter, dam­aged the Pen­ta­gon, and claimed the lives of thou­sands of inno­cent Amer­i­cans. In hon­or of those who died that day, we’re repub­lish­ing a poem that we post annu­al­ly here on The Advo­cate. Two thou­sand one, nine eleven Two […]