November 30, 2015
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Rep. Teri Hickel sworn in to represent 30th Legislative District

Republican Teri Hickel of Federal Way was sworn in last week as a member of the state House. She will serve a one-year term after defeating appointed Rep. Carol Gregory, D-Federal Way. Her election to the House swings the balance of power to a 50-48 split, giving Speaker of the House Frank Chopp the smallest possible majority. Read more »

Blue Origin rocket lands upright, achieving 'Holy Grail of rocketry'

It might look simple in the movies, but landing a rocket upright is among the trickiest feats. Last week Blue Origin sent a rocket into the upper atmosphere then landed it upright back on the Launchpad. Owner Jeff Bezos called the historic engineering achievement "one of the greatest moments of my life." Read more »

Columbia River's salmon return is second best year on record

What a year for salmon! An estimated 200,000 fall chinook made it back to Hanford Reach, the most since hydroelectric dams were built on the river 80 years ago. Overall, it was the second-best year for the river system's salmon species. The impressive return is a sign of success for work to improve habitat and fish passage at the dams. Read more »

M3 Bioengineering raises $3.5 million to research drugs for Alzheimer's, other brain diseases

The Seattle biotech firm founded by Policy Summit speaker Leen Kawas just raised $3.5 million to pursue treatments for brain diseases, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Read more »

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Washington Is Already a Climate Leader

Low-Cost, Low-Carbon: The Northwest's 20-Year Energy Plan

By the Washington Climate Collaborative

The Northwest remains an attractive location for job creation due to its low-cost and low-carbon electricity -- companies want to locate here and workers want to work here. On the eve of Governor Inslee's trip to Paris for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, it's an opportunity for him to tout his own state's carbon-reduction leadership.

Rather than spending time focusing on complex, top-down regulatory schemes designed to drive up the cost of energy, leaders should find ways to encourage innovation and collaboration. If they do, Washington can make a great contribution to that discussion.

Click here to read the full blog post from the Washington Climate Collaborative
Bringing Back Charter Schools

New Task for Lawmakers

By the Editorial Board of The Columbian

Washington lawmakers should add another item to their long to-do list for next year -- bring charter schools into compliance with the state constitution.

First of all, charter schools are the will of the voters. Secondly, in approving charter schools, Washington became the 42nd state to allow them. There seems to be little reason the state cannot learn from other parts of the country and embrace charter systems that work well while eschewing those that do not.

Lawmakers should be beholden to what is best for students -- and that means a well-managed charter school system.

Click here to read the full editorial in The Columbian
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