Friday, October 14, 2011

Washington likes kids; it’s official

We’re making headlines again! Our state, that is. Five Washington cities were just named to America’s Promise Alliance’s 2011 list of 100 Best Communities for Young People.

The 100 Best Communities for Young People is an annual competition, now in its fifth cycle, that rewards and recognizes communities making extraordinary efforts to reduce dropout rates and provide outstanding services and supports to their youth.

What all the cities included in the list have in common is outstanding success in supporting leadership and programs that supply their kids with all of the Alliance’s 5 Promises:
  • Caring Adults 
  • Safe Places 
  • A Healthy Start 
  • Effective Education 
  • Opportunities to Help Others
Want more info on how these Washington communities made the list? Click on the links to our winning cities:
Bellevue (5-time winner!)     Greater Spokane
Lakewood            Prosser           Redmond

America’s Promise Alliance, which was founded in 1997, is a cross-sector partnership of more than 400 corporations, nonprofits, faith-based organizations and advocacy groups that have taken on the mission of improving the lives of children across the nation.

The announcement of the 2011 winning communities was webcast October 12, 2011, you can watch it here:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

30 minutes on the viaduct. No, it’s not rush hour before an M's game.

Commuters that use the Alaskan Way Viaduct may not find this contest endearing, but the Washington State Department of Transportation wants to let you and up to 24 of your friends have a little celebration on the aging infrastructure.

The winner of the “One Last Shot” contest will get access to the viaduct for 30 minutes on October 22. Using 100 words or less, send your concept of how you’d spend that time to

The Advance would enter if it weren’t for this video that’s on a mental loop every time the viaduct comes up:

You can find out more on the contest by going to the WSDOT official blog.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

And the Legislator of the Year Award from the Farm Bureau goes to…

Our very own Rep. Brian Blake!
The Washington Farm Bureau has been awarding this honor to one or more legislators every year since 1995. Their criteria are based on the lawmaker’s voting record and outstanding actions to help strengthen family farms.
This session Blake, chair of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, was chosen by the Bureau for championing funding of the Department of Agriculture and the Conservation Commissions-services critical to the continued success of Washington’s agricultural businesses.
We congratulate Rep. Brian Blake for this important recognition!
Read the press release here.

Washington is bullish on renewable energy

Renewable energy? Not to worry. Folks in these parts have it covered. Fact is, we aren't a bit shy when it comes to developing renewable energy. For evidence supporting that very bold assertion, one need look no further than Initiative 937, a measure that stole the hearts of a solid majority of voters here a mere five years back.

Then, too, there's the State Energy Strategy, a collaborative effort championed by a wide range of extraordinary principles. The House Technology, Energy & Communications Committee, chaired by state Rep. John McCoy, has a lead role in this important mission. Voices of the Washington State Department of Commerce, the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission, and other state agencies also feature prominently in putting the Energy Strategy together. Advisory committee members, using input from key stakeholders and private citizens, are working toward development of the 2012 State Energy Strategy which will be submitted for consideration this coming December.

The draft 2012 State Energy Strategy can be yours for the reading at the state Department of Commerce website noted above. In fact, you best be marking your social calendar for a couple of upcoming, very special public meetings called to discuss the Energy Strategy. One meeting is planned 6 to 8, tonight, Oct. 12, in the Vicky L. Carwein Auditorium of the University of Washington Tacoma campus, 1900 Commerce St. A second get-together is set 5 to 7, Thursday evening, Oct. 20, in Academic Center Room 107 of the Washington State University Spokane campus, 412 E. Spokane Falls Blvd.

McCoy's committee will also discuss this titanic issue in its December meeting, with an eye toward developing pertinent energy legislation for review in the 2012 session of the Legislature. The Snohomish County lawmaker said distributed energy encompasses "a range of small power generation and energy-storage technologies that are placed at or near the actual point of energy-consumption."