Lovick and Ondracek Support Washington Schools

John Lovick and Katrina Ondracek Support Washington Schools

Lake Stevens classrooms are severely overcrowded. In fact, the district is more than 20% over its capacity. Elementary schools designed to hold 3,100 students are trying to cram in 3,886 students. In Marysville, poor heating systems force kids to wear jackets in class just to stay warm, and in Everett taxpayers had to pass local levies and bonds to address out-of-date and deteriorating facilities. At Hawthorne Elementary, in Everett, the PTA had to independently raise money to replace an unsafe playground where children were repeatedly injured. Our schools clearly aren’t getting the support they need – but as a community, there is something we can do about it.

While the problems are local, the solutions need to start in Olympia. On Nov.8 we have an opportunity to elect candidates who will make education a higher priority. There is a real difference among the four candidates running for State Rep. in the 44th Legislative District. But, John Lovick (D) Pos. 1 and Katrina Ondracek (D) Pos. 2 have both come out in strong support of our schools. Ondracek oversaw financial stability initiatives as Snohomish County’s United Way Executive Vice President, and has pushed for K-3 early learning development programs in the past. She is also currently fighting for “Breakfast After the Bell” implementation for students in Washington state. As a legislator, John Lovick voted for increased funding, and supported a law to extend learning programs and to construct new school facilities. Lovick believes “when we invest in education, we create… the highly educated workers our economy needs.”

You might remember that in 2014, Washington voters approved ballot measure I-1351 to reduce class sizes in public schools. Sadly, the legislature has refused to provide funding for smaller class sizes in all grades. They have also failed to meet the requirements of the state Supreme Court’s decision in McCleary v. State of Washington. The court’s decision says the legislature must provide adequate funding for public education. Since the legislature failed to pass an adequate education spending bill in 2016, they are being fined $100,000 a day – and that comes right out of taxpayer pockets. In a legislative session that will have to finally address these issues, it is absolutely critical that we elect strong, pro-schools candidates.

As we approach Election Day, Support Our Schools hopes you’ll keep a close eye on the issues important to our schools and students. You can learn more about the issues, and candidates like John Lovick and Katrina Ondracek, at supportourschoolswa.org and get updates at Support Our Schools’ Twitter and Facebook pages.

– Support Our Schools

No candidate authorized this ad. Paid for by Washington Education Association Political Action Committee (top five contributors: Washington Education Association). P.O. Box 9100 Federal Way, WA, 98063

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Electronics recycler fined for illegally disposing of dangerous waste

Electronics recycler fined $444,000 for illegally disposing of dangerous waste overseas

Total Reclaim sent TVs and monitors to China, exposing workers and environment to toxic mercury

SEATTLE – The Washington Department of Ecology has fined Seattle-based electronics recycler Total Reclaim Inc. $444,000 for illegally disposing of flat-screen televisions and monitors with fluorescent tubes containing toxic mercury. The company shipped the flat screens to Hong Kong, where they were broken apart in the open by unprotected workers.

“Total Reclaim has been a leading electronics recycler in Washington, so they knew what they were doing was wrong,” said Laurie Davies, manager of Ecology’s Waste 2 Resources program. “This penalty is a reminder that recyclers can’t take shortcuts when it comes to properly managing toxic chemicals.”

Total Reclaim’s actions were revealed in an investigation by the Basel Action Network, a nonprofit group that certifies electronics recyclers for E-Cycle Washington and similar programs. The Basel Action Network attached GPS tracking beacons to electronics, then dropped off the units at recycling facilities. The group followed some of the trackers to Hong Kong, and filmed how the flat screens were dismantled and disposed of.

Total Reclaim later admitted that it sent the flat screens to undocumented recycling facilities and that it withheld information from customers and auditors. The company provided records to Ecology that showed it shipped flat screens overseas beginning seven years ago.

Washington law requires electronics recyclers to either properly recycle e-waste themselves, or ensure that it is legitimately recycled elsewhere. E-Cycle Washington was set up to prevent the toxic materials in old electronics from ending up in the environment, whether here in Washington or elsewhere in the world.

The flat screens illegally disposed of by Total Reclaim represent a small portion of all of the electronics collected for recycling in Washington. So despite the actions of Total Reclaim, Ecology believes it is important to continue recycling electronics to keep lead, mercury and other toxics out of the environment.

Washington residents can recycle TVs, monitors, computers and other electronics for free at participating E-Cycle Washington locations. For questions about where other items can be recycled, call or visit 1-800-RECYCLE.

Total Reclaim has 30 days to pay the penalty or may file an appeal with the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board.

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Opening Week @ Clothes For Kids!

Opening Week For Clothes For Kids

Clothes For Kids was pleased to open its doors on August 24th to provide low-income students throughout Snohomish County and the Northshore School District with their school wardrobes. Clothes For Kids provided school clothes and shoes for 667 students in our first seven days of operation.

Since 1984, Clothes For Kids has been serving Snohomish County as a non-profit organization providing wardrobes for low-income families. Our vision is to Empower Students For Success One Wardrobe at a Time. “To accomplish our vision we rely on volunteers and community support. The community is what makes it possible for us to provide more than 3,000 wardrobes each year.” said Nancy Laird-Burris, Program Manager for Clothes For Kids.

“In just the first day of operation we gave out nearly 700 pairs of underwear and 700 pairs of socks, 350 coats and more than 170 pairs of shoes,” said Joy Ingram, Executive Director. “Clothes For Kids receives no government funding. 100% of our resources come from our local community through events, donations and clothing drives.”

“We are starting the year with a fantastic inventory, thanks to unclaimed lost-and-found and spring and summer clothing drives” said Ingram. “In order to maintain adequate inventory to serve more than 3000 students this school year, we will need to replenish supplies.”

Our biggest need includes new underwear and socks, jeans sizes 6 to 12, plus size clothing for teen girls, and donations of new and gently-used clothing. Donations can be dropped in the secure bin located near the back door of Clothes For Kids. If you would like to organize a clothing drive for Clothes For Kids, give them a call at 425-741`-6500.

For more information about Clothes For Kids and volunteering, please go to http://www.clothesforkids.org or contact Nancy Laird Burris at 425-741-6500. With many families still feeling the effects of the difficult economy, now is a great time to support our community.

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Your Money or Your Life

Vicki Robin brings her message of rightsizing your life to Everett Public Library at 2 p.m. Saturday October 1 in the Everett Public Library Auditorium, 2702 Hoyt Avenue in Everett. There is no charge to attend.

Robin, of Whidbey Island, co-wrote Your Money or Your Life nearly twenty-five years ago, but its message resonates well in our own financially challenging times. She will tell us how to get out of debt and develop savings, how to re-order our priorities and live well for less, how to reconcile conflicts between values and lifestyle, and how to save the planet while saving money.

Robin is a social innovator, writer, and speaker. In 2014 she wrote Blessing the Hands that Feed Us: What Eating Closer to Home Can Teach Us About Food, Community, and Our Place on Earth. She has lectured widely and appeared on hundreds of radio and television shows, including “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Good Morning America,” and National Public Radio’s “Weekend Edition” and “Morning Edition”; she has also been featured in well over 100 magazines including People Magazine, AARP, The Wall Street Journal, Woman’s Day, Newsweek, Utne Magazine and the New York Times.

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Snohomish Library shows off new floors and layout

Snohomish Library shows off new floors and layout

Children play in the children’s area at the Snohomish Library on Sept. 6, 2016.

The Snohomish Library doors reopened at 9 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016 after being closed since Aug. 6 for a flooring project.

“Customers have been coming in waves all morning,” Managing Librarian Jude Anderson said on Sept. 6. “People are saying they really like the new carpet and flooring.”

Those sentiments were echoed by customer Alicia Percival, who was there with her two children and two of their friends and liked the new look. “We’ve been waiting for this day,” said the Lake Stevens-area resident. “This is our favorite library.”

The library was closed for a month for the project that replaced most of the flooring throughout the building. Some things got rearranged, during the closure, too.

Some material displays and furniture were moved, based on customer patterns. The media area was expanded and there is better browsing of reference and non-fiction materials, Anderson said. There are more quiet study areas now and power outlets have been added to more carrels.

The flooring work is part of ongoing maintenance and upgrades to the Snohomish facility in recent years. After energy efficiency upgrades in 2015, the building is using 17 percent less electricity and 70 percent less natural gas than in 2011.

About Sno-Isle Libraries

Sno-Isle Libraries serves 728,745 residents in Snohomish and Island counties through 21 community libraries, online services and Library on Wheels.

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Register To Vote Everett Public Library

Register to vote at either Everett Public Library location Tuesday, September 27 from 3 to 7 p. m.!

It’s a fact: you need to register to be able to vote in November’s election. The League of Women Voters are at the library on National Voter Registration Day eager to register you and educate you about what they do and the electoral process in general (and they’ve promised to bring candy).

Visit either Everett Public Library location (2702 Hoyt Ave or 9512 Evergreen Way) to register to vote on September 27th from 3 to 7 p. m.

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State’s first wetland-fish bank approved

State’s first wetland-fish bank approved

Coweeman River Mitigation Bank will benefit wetland and salmon habitat

 

KELSO – Washington state’s first joint wetland and fish habitat bank was signed into operation today. This landmark event certifies that the 302-acre mitigation bank along the Coweeman River will now protect wetland functions and create habitat for several life-stages of salmon. 

 

The Washington Department of Ecology and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) have certified the Coweeman River Mitigation Bank to operate in the Lower Columbia River floodplain and the Cowlitz River watershed. Once developed, this wetland bank will provide an option for developers to purchase credits to mitigate for unavoidable impacts to wetlands or aquatic resources. The bank will re-establish, rehabilitate and enhance wetland functions across the site. In addition, the bank will create off-channel rearing, refuge and potential spawning habitat for Endangered Species Act listed salmon as they migrate along this reach of the Coweeman River.

 

“We’re truly excited to see this bank signed into operation,” said Gordon White, Ecology Shorelands Program manager. “Not only is it the state’s very first joint wetland and fish habitat bank, but the collaboration between everyone involved has developed strong partnerships that will benefit the environment long-term.”

 

The Coweeman River Mitigation Bank project provided an opportunity for Ecology and the Corps to partner with NOAA Fisheries and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. The agencies also worked closely with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Cowlitz County, City of Kelso, and the Cowlitz Indian Tribe.

 

Jeffrey Fisher, NOAA Fisheries Lower Columbia Branch chief, commended the establishment of the bank. “This bank is a testament that private-public partnerships can work, and is in keeping with the President’s Memorandum on embracing new approaches for meaningful mitigation in order to preserve our natural environment and the human and ecological services it provides. Such approaches may need to be more assertively embraced if we are to achieve the recovery objectives for endangered salmonids in the West Coast Region.”
“Seattle District’s Mitigation Banking Program has been steadily expanding over the past decade, and the Coweeman River Mitigation Bank represents a new direction and emerging effort for collaboration among regulatory agencies and Native American tribes,” said Gail Terzi, Mitigation Program manager for the Corps Regulatory Branch. “This collaboration is essential to address and provide multi-resource credits at mitigation banks for unavoidable environmental impacts and will result in better mitigation projects.”

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