November 23, 2015
Fast Facts
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State creates first Wildland Fire Liaison

As Washington recovers from record wildfires, the state’s first wildland fire liaison has been appointed: Kittitas County Commissioner Gary Berndt. Read more »

Wireless customers saw record high taxes and fees in 2015

Taxes and fees make up more than 25 percent of the average Washington wireless customer's bill, according to this year's study by the Tax Foundation. That's well above the national average of 18 percent, which is still a record high. Read more »

Does your company provide tuition reimbursement or support program for higher education?

We know our members are extremely supportive of their employees and continued education. We'd like to hear from you about some of the programs you have that support educational attainment for your employees. Please send information on your company's efforts to Amy Anderson.

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Jobs and Redevelopment in Longview

Millennium: Local coal terminal will enhance region

By Bill Chapman

Millennium sits on a former industrial site that, for generations, has been designated, zoned and used for heavy industry. Since taking over in 2011, we've removed over a quarter-million tons of unpermitted material from the site (recycling about 65 percent), restored a local fish habitat, and kept dozens of our neighbors employed along the way. The river channel is already deepened to allow ocean-going transport, and the rail spur has long been in place.

For millions of people in developing nations, coal remains the main viable source of electricity. Some homes are lit by a single light bulb -- this is a "quality of life" we would never accept. There will not be enough power from renewable energy to meet basic needs in Asia for decades. These countries continue burning coal because it is the most available energy source they have, and because it allows them to pursue a quality of life we already enjoy.

We know that quality of life matters here in Southwest Washington, too. Without jobs to support families, "quality of life" quickly evaporates. Longview is a town built for industry and trade; the failure to regenerate family-wage jobs profoundly threatens our quality of life.
Click here to read the full op-ed in The Columbian
Charter Fix Has Bipartisan Support

Legislature must act on charter schools

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Lawmakers should act in the best interest of children and families who have embraced charter schools. In their first year of operation, many of the state's charter schools have enrolled high levels of low-income, minority and special-education students -- children who have not all been well-served by traditional schools and whose families cannot afford private school.

Click here to read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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