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Community Log & News Digest
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General News

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.

Full WADOE Report


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.


Mother Jones Source


Shark, shark!
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.

(Various sources.)

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.


Proceeds from the sale of artwork are used to provide art therapy for HIV-AIDS patients and free childrens art workshops in Uganda. The Exhibition is part of Takoma Art Hop, a three day art festival including over 40 artists exhibiting in local galleries, stores and businesses. Uganda Art Consortium is a project of Kisa Foundation USA.




AG files suit against WA Republicans for alleged campaign violations
OLYMPIA–October 3, 2008-The Attorney General’s Office today filed a lawsuit against the Washington State Republican Party for alleged violations of the state’s campaign finance disclosure law.

The suit stems from a complaint filed with the Public Disclosure Commission alleging that the WSRP had misused funds from its exempt account for three mailings in support of its gubernatorial candidate, Dino Rossi.

At its regular meeting on Thursday, Sept. 25, the PDC referred the case to the Attorney General’s Office.

The Attorney General’s Office accepted the case, reviewed the materials and confirmed there was sufficient evidence to file. The complaint was filed in King County Superior Court today.

The office agreed with the PDC’s assessment that the WSRP had used exempt funds (funds that are exempt from contribution limits) for mailings in violation of the permitted uses under the campaign finance disclosure law. The court assigned the case to Judge Jeffrey Ramsdell and a trial date is scheduled for March 29, 2010.

The WSRP must respond and file an answer to the complaint within the next 20 days.

The Attorney General’s Office is seeking civil penalties and costs of investigation and trial, including reasonable attorney’s fees, injunctive relief and any other relief the court deems appropriate.

Global Torch Relay in Seattle June 24th
Seattle - A relay run across the length and breadth of America, to promote world harmony will reach Seattle, W.A. on Tuesday, June 24th. Runners in the 50-state USA World Harmony Run are carrying a flaming torch to symbolize their goal of fostering international harmony and friendship through sports. The relay is intended to inspire people to work for a more harmonious world.

In Seattle the international team of runners will be engaged in several events on Tuesday, June 24.

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More information


Garfield student wins video production award
Zach Bornstein, a Garfield high school student, won the 2007 For the Love of the Game Scholarship for producing a sports video highlight reel staring the Bulldogs boys basketball team and will be awarded $2000 from A to Z Sports Inc. by A to Z CEO Chris McCoy. Total awards amounted to $6000 and will all be awarded to other students and one dedicated parent within the Seattle area.

Full Story


Safety Tips for Parents with Kids on LIne
The WA attorney general has tips for protecting children from online abuse. Although they are mostly common sense ideas, every parent should know them.

We add: Make the computer a family-centered activity. Know what your kids are accessing, and discuss the issues openly. A well grounded child is inherently safe; an ignorant kid is an easy target.

FA

Read More


School sets make-up days after snowfall
Seattle Public Schools (SPS) will make up four of the five school days missed due to inclement weather by scheduling Feb. 2, March 16, June 21, and June 22 as student days. The make-up days on the modified calendar are now scheduled for:

Friday, Feb. 2 (originally a day between semesters)
Friday, March 16 (originally a professional development day for staff)
Thursday, June 21 and Friday, June 22 (these two days were originally summer break for students; June 21 was a professional development day for staff).

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Eminent domain notification bill okayed by committee
OLYMPIA… Sen. Mike Carrell’s eminent domain bill was the subject of a public hearing Wednesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senate Bill 5444 would require state agencies, local governments and utilities to send certified letters to a property owner and publish a notice in the newspaper before seizing private land.

“One of my constituents, Ken Miller, found out that his property was being seized after notice was posted on a government Web site. That is not sufficient means to notify someone that the government is planning on taking their land,” said Carrell, R-Lakewood, who represents the 28th Legislative District. “No one should suffer the pain of losing their property because they neglected to check one of hundreds of government Web sites.”

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