March 28, 2016
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State's snowpack looks strong

As springtime bursts forth across the Evergreen State, the Cascade and Olympic mountains are heavy with snow. It’s good news after a year that saw a statewide drought and the worst wildfires in Washington history.

Information from the USDA/NRSC National Water and Climate Center in Portland shows that the mountain snowpack is near or above 100 percent in all parts of the state, and the snow is still falling. At this time last year, the Yakima basins were reporting snow levels at 20-40 percent.

The news is welcome for the breadbasket areas of our state. Last year’s drought cost our state’s agricultural industry $335 million, according to the state Department of Agriculture.

A strong snowpack is also important for our state’s energy grid, which relies heavily on clean, renewable hydropower that flows from mountain snows.

The Skagit Valley Herald and AWB’s Olympia Business Watch have more.

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Public Charter Schools Are Working

Gov. Inslee should sign charter school bill, let students achieve their dreams

By Rep. Eric Pettigrew, D-Seattle

As a state, we cannot let go of our ability to lift hardworking people out of poverty. We must do everything within our power to ensure public education remains a powerful ladder to success for every child in Washington. We cannot allow the leaders and innovators of future generations to slip through the cracks simply because we were too stuck in our ways to create the change we know they needed.

ESSSB 6194, a bill to keep Washington's public charter schools open for the long-term and an option for all communities across the state, now sits on Inslee's desk awaiting his signature. The bill, which passed both houses of the Legislature with bipartisan support, provides excellent educational opportunities for hundreds of students today, and potentially thousands of students in the future. ...

I have heard some of my fellow legislators who oppose ESSSB 6194 say we either need to fix every problem in public education for every student in Washington or do nothing at all. I urge the governor to reject such false choices.

I urge the governor to sign the charter-school bill, which would keep these students on the path to achieving their dreams and build upon Washington's foundation of innovation and accountability in public education.

Click here to read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
Washington Employers Are Leading the Way

Something old and something new: How Seattle's viaduct is being recycled in the tunnel

By Richard D. Oxley,

Parts of Seattle's viaduct may be torn down, but in a way, those parts won't truly be gone.

Nucor, the state's largest metal recycler, takes scrap steel from portions of the torn down Alaskan Way Viaduct through downtown Seattle and forges it into new product.

The recycling effort is currently featured in a commercial produced by the Association of Washington Business...

Click here to read the full story at
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