Community Log & News Digest
Expect Traffic Delays Aug 16-18
The WA Dept. of Transportation will be working on the resurfacing of the Aurora bridge this weekend Aug 16-18. Drivers should be prepared for delays and lane reductions during the construction, part of which is a spillover due to rain last weekend. More information is at the following link.
Donaldson Seeks Seattle Council Seat
Here is the text of James Donaldson's District 7 council race announcement as received May 15:
SEATTLE, WA. Pledging to build bridges and tear down walls, small businessman, 20-year pro-basketball player, humanitarian and inspirational speaker James Donaldson today enters the race for Seattle City Council, District 7. Donaldson, an Air Force brat whose father was a tech sergeant, was born in England and raised in Sacramento California. Donaldson has lived in six countries across three continents, and speaks five languages.
Donaldson is frank about Seattle’s challenges. “How can a city, a region, which birthed so many of the greatest innovations, the most ground-breaking discoveries, and some of the globes largest companies, have so many problems with basic issues?” he asks. “We have the nation’s third-largest population of people experiencing homelessness; about 1% of Seattle residents. We continue to second- and third-guess transit investments, killing projects, slowing projects, and being afraid of new projects, because of costs, without looking at the long term economic, climactic and health benefits of reducing cars. We have growing inequity and unaffordability for those with low and moderate income, living under the most unfair tax system in America, and our City Council leadership keeps making it worse. I want to change all that and more.”
“I have lived around the world, in cities millennia old that have found solutions that seem to put Seattle leaders in the fetal position. I’ve learned a few things, and I’m not afraid to use my personal, deeply painful experiences and apply my life lessons,” Donaldson says. “I have been open, honest and completely transparent throughout my life; our civic government has not. I want to change that and more.”
“One of my top goals is to upend the way we approach homelessness. We must face the fact that half of those experiencing homelessness self-identify as having a disability. 66% of those have two or more disabilities. And yet we are not adequately addressing these many varying disabilities,” Donaldson notes. “Far too many people on our streets suffer mental illness, or other disabling conditions brought on by trauma. Homelessness itself is traumatic, and people have turned to drugs to self-medicate, and become addicted. But Seattle doesn’t just enable drug addiction, it facilitates it. We need triage, more Mobile Crisis Response Services, and more supported living residences. We cannot criminalize mental illness.”
Donaldson has taken on mental illness and suicide prevention as his career in recent years. “Many people might look at me and say, ‘James Donaldson has it all.’ Well, the truth is that I almost ended it all,” confesses Donaldson. “I nearly lost it all. I was in a coma and in the ICU for months following a near fatal aortic dissection (less than a 5% survival rate). I had to close my business, my family left me, and, despite the NBA Players’ Union Cadillac-level health plan, have several hundred thousand dollars in out-of-pocket medical costs. For a long time, suicide was not far from my mind.
“Despite my history, my education, my life, I was willing to give up on life,” James says. “I’ve been there, and I know the level of support it takes to make one willing to not give up. I know it takes work, patience, and prodding. Because when you are sick, you cannot always make the best decisions on your own. Life doesn’t have to fade to black. We can turn the page on our policies. We must.”
Donaldson is calling for an Aging and Disability Justice Initiative, based upon Seattle’s successful Race and Social Justice Initiative, to change the way the City works with these constituencies.
Donaldson believes that if we are going to build bridges, we should invest in bridge design that protects pedestrians and bicyclists, and provides the structure to absorb the requirements of future rail lines. “Super-size cruise ships are coming to District 7 this year, currently generating more than $16 million in tax revenue. And yet the cruise ship terminals have very limited transit,” Donaldson points out. “If we can get tourists downtown and to other attractions, those tourists’ spending will help fund better transit investments, transit that directly benefits our residents. This is just one simple idea; one of many, that shift the infrastructure investment from the backs off low and moderate income residents.”
About James Donaldson
40 years ago next month, Washington State University star Center James Donaldson was drafted by the NBA Champion Seattle Supersonics. Using his first paycheck, Donaldson purchased a home in Magnolia, a neighborhood that had covenants against African American residents . James lives in the same house he purchased in 1981 .
James started Donaldson Fitness and Physical Therapy midway through his NBA career (1989) after a career threatening knee injury and operated three clinics for more than 20 years.
He has been involved in community work since his earliest days as a Seattle Sonic. He has been especially engaged in under-served and neglected communities, such as Seattle’s Central Area and the Hill Top area in Tacoma. He volunteers in education programs, regularly tutors young children, is a strong advocate for Women and Minority owned business development and is active in the Chamber of Commerce promoting programs that help small businesses survive and thrive. He is also a motivational speaker, often being asked to speak to younger audiences in disadvantaged communities. Among his many roles, James is active in Mount Zion Church, is a Board member of the Greater Seattle, South Snohomish and the Tacoma Chambers of Commerce, is an Executive member of the Washington State Mentors, is a loyal WSU Cougar and as a dog owner is active in the Humane Society.
A business consultant and partner with several entities in China including Tsinghua University, the China Service Centre for Friendship and Cooperation and several others, where Donaldson focused on preparing students for educational, sports, cultural exchange and study abroad experiences in the USA.
He also is CEO of a startup business called Athletes Playbook, a mentorship program made up of veteran athletes helping younger ones. His other passion project, Your Gift of Life Foundation, addresses mental illness and suicide prevention. He is also a Board Member of National Basketball Retired Players Association.
Donaldson, a high school scholar who did not begin playing basketball until his senior year, has long worked with organizations promoting higher education, including the College Success Foundation.
Hiring Remains Strong in April
OLYMPIA – Washington’s economy gained 13,500 jobs in April and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for April rose slightly to 4.7 percent according to the Employment Security Department. The revised estimated March 2019 unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.6 percent.
“It’s good to see the hiring rebound in March continue into April” said Paul Turek, economist for the department. “April’s employment gains show the state’s labor market remains strong.”
The Employment Security Department released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its Monthly Employment Report.
The department also announced that March’s previously reported unemployment rate of 4.6 percent was confirmed. March’s preliminary estimated gain of 27,900 jobs was revised slightly to a gain of 27,700 jobs.
The national unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in April 2019. In April 2018, the national unemployment rate was 3.9 percent.
Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 57,977 people in April.
More people continue to move into the labor force
The state’s labor force in April was 3,870,100 – an increase of 8,100 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 1,400 over the same period.
From April 2018 through April 2019, the state’s labor force grew by 98,300 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 34,700.
The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.
Eleven industry sectors expanded and two contracted
Private sector employment increased by 11,800 while the public sector gained 1,700 jobs in April. This month’s report shows private job growth occurred in professional & business services up 2,800 jobs, education & health services up 2,300 jobs, financial activities up 1,900 jobs leisure & hospitality up 1,600 jobs, other services up 1,200 jobs and manufacturing up 1,000 jobs. Also posting job gains are information up 700 jobs, wholesale trade up 600 jobs, retail trade up 500 jobs, and transportation, warehousing & utilities up 400 jobs. The two sectors that posted job losses are construction down 1,100 jobs and mining & logging down 100 jobs.
Year-over-year growth in payroll employment moves back up
Washington added an estimated 83,100 new jobs from April 2018 through April 2019, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 3.1 percent, up an estimated 87,100 jobs, while public sector employment decreased by 0.7 percent with a net loss of 4,000 jobs.
From April 2018 through April 2019, ten out of the thirteen major industries added jobs, two sectors contracted and one sector remained unchanged.
The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:
Education & health services with 18,200 new jobs
Professional & business services with 16,900 new jobs
Leisure & hospitality with 12,500 new jobs
Veterans Day to Celebrate 100 Years since World War I
Olympia – On November 11, 2018 the world and Washington State will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the fighting in World War I at 11:00 a.m., November 11, 1918 -- the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
The Thurston County Veterans Council (TCVC) and Washington Department of Veterans Affairs will host an Armistice (Veterans) Day and World War I Centennial event in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building in Olympia starting at 10:30 a.m. on November 11, 2018.
Washington State will also join the world to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice with a tolling of the Bells of Peace at 11:00 a.m. The tolling of a bell is a traditional expression of honor and remembrance of those who served in World War I on Armistice Day. A Bells of Peace mobile application is also available via Itunes and the Google Play Store.
The event will feature guest speakers Governor Jay Inslee, Congressman Denny Heck and Major General Willard Burleson, the Commander of the 7th Infantry Division on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
World War I history tables will be set up by the Washington State Historical Society, Friends of Kilroy (military history group), the Fort Lewis Museum and others during the event. Various military vehicles will also be on display for the public.
Washington State is home to more than 593,000 veterans, 60,000 active duty military, 19,000 National Guard and Reserves and their families.
There are many events taking place across the state and the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs asked organizations to provide event information which is shared in a list at http://www.dva.wa.gov/list-2018-veterans-day-ww1-centennial-events-wa-state. Governor Inslee Proclamations can also be found at this link.
To see other Veterans Day Events and Celebrations happening statewide visit the following link.
Manufactured 'Border Crisis' Has Real Human Consequences
Husky Fans: Tired of Being Turned Away with your Pet from UW Events?
This costume may be the solution to your problem.
Net Neutrality on the Auction Block
In what universe is turning over unfettered control of the Internet to ISP and telecomm giants consistent with the core objectives of the US government, namely " to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity..."?
You can still make a difference. The FCC, following the lead of their industry-tool chairman, will vote to protect corporate power and to screw you on Thursday, Dec. 14. Write your congressional representatives NOW! (https://dearfcc.org) It is VERY important that you write a personal message in the comment section; otherwise your message will be ignored as a bulk mailing. Say something about how you expect the proposed changes will harm you or your community (they will).
NEED EVIDENCE? Check out the latest Comcast ad that just arrived in my email, no doubt in anticipation of the end of Net Neutrality. The headline "What to Watch" is a harbinger of their future posture, in which there will be no other choice.
Seattle Summer Highlights
A nice summer calendar compiled by The Colin Group. (Click to enlarge.)
Scaramucci as Scientist Makes a Decent Financial Analyst
Anthony Scaramucci, who hosts a financial affairs program, is not a scientist, but he plays one (badly) on TV. One of his current themes as part of the Trump transition team is to assert that "science" is historically linked to belief in a flat earth and therefore cannot be trusted to evaluate global climate change. The fact is that no well educated person in the western world has believed in a flat earth for over TWO THOUSAND YEARS.
The spherical shape of the Earth has been clear since before Eratosthenes first estimated its circumference in about 200 B.C. Depending on which estimate of the length of the "stadia" with which he measured distance, he erred on the circumference by only a few miles. At the time, such inquiries were part of a broad range of intellectual inquiry the Greeks called "philosophy" (Eratosthenes was a Greek Egyptian during the Ptolemaic dynasty following Alexander the Great).
The modern concept of "science" is not merely the aggregation of anecdotal observations. It involves the formation of hypotheses and repetitive observation and testing followed by more repetition until it becomes clear that a hypothesis is proven. Often later observations using new techniques may call the old hypothesis into question, so the whole process resumes and continues until the old or the new proves to be the better explanation of reality. Better tools yield better explanations; this does not mean the older investigators were fools or knaves.
Despite the fourth-grade story we all heard, Columbus and contemporary scholars were well acquainted with the spherical Earth; he did, however, apparently believe the Earth to be much smaller than it really is, leading to his assertion that he could sail directly to Asia. (There are many claims about what Columbus really knew, of course.) Whether ordinary people understood the truth is another question, but the matter was correctly understood by navigators and scholars.
It is likely that Eratosthenes will continue to be long remembered and admired. It is also likely that Scaramucci will be quickly forgotten once his TV caché and the never-happened belief of "science" in a flat-earth hypothesis has faded from our cultural memory.
Washington labor market continues to improve
OLYMPIA –Washington’s economy added another 10,600 new jobs in October and the state’s unemployment rate fell from 5.7 to 5.4 percent, according to a new report from the Employment Security Department. The department released the seasonally adjusted, preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its October Monthly Employment Report.
“Job growth has rebounded strongly this fall following a lull in hiring activity this past summer,” department economist Paul Turek said. “Employers are feeling less cautious about the national economy and global markets, which has translated into greater employment opportunities for Washington’s growing workforce.”
The national unemployment rate increased to 4.9 percent in October. The unemployment rate in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area dropped from 3.9 percent in September to 3.8 percent in October.
Employment Security paid unemployment insurance benefits to 52,882 people in October.
Labor force increases in Washington
The state’s labor force grew to 3.67 million in October, an increase of 22,900 people from the previous month. In the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region, the labor force increased by 14,500 during the same period.
From October 2015 to October 2016, the state’s labor force grew by 120,200 and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region increased by 54,000.
The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over age 16.
Eight sectors expand, while five contract
Private-sector employment increased by 12,200 jobs and government employment decreased 1,600 in October.
This month’s report shows the greatest job growth occurred in leisure and hospitality with 7,400 new jobs created. In addition, construction added 1,900 jobs, professional and business services was up 1,600, retail trade added 1,500, education and health services moved up by 1,100 and other services increased by 1,000.
Manufacturing and government faced the biggest reductions, losing 1,700 and 1,600 jobs respectively. Wholesale trade cut 400 jobs and information and financial activities shed 300 jobs each.
Year-over-year growth remains strong
Washington has added an estimated 102,000 new jobs from October 2015 to October 2016, not seasonally adjusted. The private sector grew by 3.3 percent or 86,600 jobs, and the public sector increased by 2.7 percent, adding 15,400 jobs.
From October 2015 to October 2016, 11 of the state’s 13 industry sectors added jobs. Mining and logging remained unchanged. Manufacturing was the only sector to report job losses (-5,100).
The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were:
Education and health services with 21,000 new jobs;
Government with 15,400 new jobs; and
Professional and business services with 13,300 new jobs.
Check it out! ESD has new labor market web information and tools, including a video tutorial to highlight popular information and data.
Note: The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently updated its “alternative measures of labor underutilization” for states to include the third quarter of 2016. The U-6 rate considers not only the unemployed population in the official “U-3” unemployment rate, but also “the underemployed and those not looking but wanting a job.” The annual U-6 rate for Washington through third quarter 2016 was 10.7 percent compared to the national rate of 9.8 percent. Washington’s U-6 rate is the lowest it has been since 2009.
Trmp Business Practices Scrutinized
Writing in Mother Jones magazine, David Corn has recently reviewed ads featuring business owners who were shorted or never paid for work done on Donald Trmp properties, mainly in Atlantic City, NJ. Here is one of the ads; the others are available at MJ; follow the link below.
Danger, danger! The sharks are coming to a theater near you. Just in case youi see "Jaws" reruns and are moved to revenge, consider:
On average, around 100 people per year die in horse riding accidents. Thousands more riders are injured. The majority of horse related accidents and deaths are due to brain injuries caused as the result of not wearing a helmet. Horse-related accidents are the most common type of serious sports injury. Shooting horses is illegal most places.
Earthquakes: Events per year with magnitude >= 8.0 is 1. Average people killed per year: 13,298. Average people affected per year: 4,701,156. Most deaths are attributable to faulty construction. Shooting architects and masons is illegal.
Floods: Events per year: 2,887. No of people killed: 195,843. Average people killed per year: 6,753. No of people affected: 2,809,481,489. Average people affected per year 6,753. Solution: Shooting boatwrights is illegal.
Exposure & hypothermia: From 1999 to 2011, a total of 16,911 deaths in the United States, an average of 1,301 per year, were associated with exposure to excessive natural cold. The highest yearly total of hypothermia-related deaths (1,536) was in 2010 and the lowest (1,058) in 2006. Approximately 67% of hypothermia-related deaths were among males. Shooting people who don't want to take precautions is illegal.
Air Pollution: In new estimates released today, WHO reported 25 March 2014 that in 2012 around 7 million people died - one in eight of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk. Reducing air pollution could save millions of lives. Shooting drivers is illegal.
Smoking: It is the leading cause of preventable death. Worldwide, tobacco use causes nearly 6 million deaths per year, and current trends show that tobacco use will cause more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030. Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including an estimated 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day. On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers. If smoking continues at the current rate among U.S. youth, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 years of age are expected to die prematurely from a smoking-related illness. This represents about one in every 13 Americans aged 17 years or younger who are alive today. Shooting smokers is illegal.
Shark Attack: The highest death rate occurred in Western Australia, which has experienced 11 fatal attacks since 2000, for the math-challenged, that's less than one per year. In 2000, there were 79 shark attacks reported worldwide, 11 of them fatal. In 2005 and 2006 this number decreased to 61 and 62 respectively, while the number of fatalities dropped to only four per year. Shooting sharks is legal.
So it's obvious we should fear sharks. BTW, there is no legal penalty for NOT swimming in shark infested waters.
Montreal: Cooler than Seattle?
Here's a bit of evidence that Montreal's lifestyle is cooler than Seattle. The adjacent image shows a bus stop in Montreal. Seattle KC Metro obliges its riders to stand in the rain. Which do you think is cooler? Image source: Facebook, unattributed.)
On the 2nd Amendment
The intent of the framers: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear [knives, swords and single-shot muzzle loading firearms] shall not be infringed." (Parenthesis mine, of course.) All else are as subject to rational oversight as automobiles and aircraft.
Seattle expat promotes art in Uganda
The 2011 Uganda Art Consortium Exhibition held April 8 -10 in Washington DC was declared a success by its organizers, including former Seattle Press publisher Tom Herriman. Over 70 paintings and prints including many created in 2010 were included in the show.