Friday, October 9, 2009

Coincidence? I think not...

What do you know... One moment we're listed as one of the best states for brain health in the country. And the next, devastatingly smart.

According to the Daily Beast's new report, the Seattle-Tacoma area ranks as the 7th smartest metropolitan area in the country, thanks to a ravenous appetite for books while the sun hibernates for the winter.

As we mentioned in our previous post, DHA's Index of Brain Health might attribute our braininess to our fish-rich diets, but to that I say, if our smarts are attributed to fish, then how come fish aren't smarter?

Take that, Science.

Attention Washingtonians: You live in one of the brainiest states in the nation!

Washington state has just been named in another “best places” survey – this time, the best place for brain health.

That’s right, Washington ranks third in the nation for healthy brains, thanks to our appetite for fish, our love of reading, and our high percentage of breastfed babies. These are our brainy strengths, according to the DHA Index of Brain Health. The study evaluated the 50 U.S. States and the District of Columbia, and based its findings on 21 indicators in the areas of diet, physical health, mental health and social well-being. Only DC and Maryland topped Washington.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid that is required in high levels in the brain as an essential nutrient for optimal functioning (learning ability, mental development.) The more fish you eat, the more Omega 3 you will get into your system, and, theoretically, the healthier your brain will be.

The 21 categories of brain health measures include consumption of DHA-fortified foods, supplements and fish, breastfeeding rates, amount of sleep, smoking rates, Alzheimer’s disease prevalence, religious, spiritual and community involvement and education state rankings.

To learn more and to see how other states ranked, go here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Photos from Rep. Eddy's community forum on 520 project

With so much in the news about the SR 520 floating bridge project, Rep. Deb Eddy has been fielding a growing number of questions from constituents. Last night she hosted and facilitated a community forum so Eastsiders could get an update on the project and speak with local political leaders and project staff from the state Department of Transportation.

WSDOT presented an overview of the project and Rep. Eddy talked about the political landscape related to decisions such as the design for the west side of the bridge and how to fully fund the project.

About sixty Eastside residents showed up, including Rep. Judy Clibborn, chair of the House Transportation Committee. Eddy's fellow legislators from the 48th legislative district, Senator Rodney Tom and Rep. Ross Hunter, also participated.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The train in Spain...

Last month, Rep. Marko Liias experienced life in the fast lane in Spain. That is, the high-speed train lane. As a guest of the Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade, Liias was invited to visit the new Spanish high-speed rail system - one of the fastest in the world - which zips along at speeds of nearly 200 miles per hour. He also gave a presentation to a gathering of Spanish companies on Washington's progress in establishing the Amtrak Cascades service.

As vice-chair of the House Transportation Committee, Liias takes a keen interest in anything that can move people and goods from one place to another quickly and efficiently. His itinerary included a visit to the Spanish rail system's high tech control center, and a tour of a deep bore tunnel project in the city of Barcelona. When complete, the project will connect two train stations with a tunnel that will run under the center of the city.

"I was impressed with Spain's investment in their rail system," Liias said last week in Olympia. "It's both inspiring and motivating to see how other countries tackle their transportation challenges. I also believe Washington state can be a leader in transportation innovation, and look forward to working with my colleagues on the House Transportation committee this fall."

In the photo above, Rep. Liias is pictured on a tour of a manufacturing plant operated by the Spanish rail operator RENFE. With him are state Senator Katie Sieben of Minnesota and RENFE's Alberto Gonzalez.