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November 1, 2013 at 8:58 AM
President Barack Obama has selected Gov. Jay Inslee and 25 other elected officials to serve on a climate change task force.
Inslee’s office on Friday said the panel will include governors, mayors, county officials and tribal leaders from a range of states and communities.
“Washingtonians are every day seeing the dangerous effects of climate change in more devastating wildfires, increasing ocean acidification, and other impacts that are already taking a toll on our economy and our natural resources. And while we undertake actions to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving these dangerous climate shifts, we must as a state and nation better prepare our communities and our infrastructure to face these accelerating impacts,” Inslee said in a statement.
Inslee earlier this week joined with the governors of California and Oregon and the premier of British Columbia to sign an agreement that promises to jointly attack climate change by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.
The president’s task force is expected to deliver recommendations to Obama within a year, and disband no later than six months after delivering the recommendations.
A fact sheet released by the White House said the task force “will provide recommendations to the President on removing barriers to resilient investments, modernizing Federal grant and loan programs to better support local efforts, and developing the information and tools they need to prepare.”
The task force builds on efforts Obama announced in June to combat global warming, including the first-ever limits on climate pollution from new and existing power plants. Inslee focused on climate issues during his time in Congress and is now continuing that work as governor.
Material from The Associated Press was used in this post.
January 16, 2013 at 5:57 AM
Mayor Mike McGinn is expected to be in the audience Wednesday in Washington D.C. when President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden announce proposed legislation to reduce gun violence.
McGinn, who is in the nation’s capitol for the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors, was invited to attend the President’s press conference, said McGinn spokesman Aaron Pickus.
McGinn has been frustrated by the city’s inability to enact stricter gun laws. Washington courts have struck down Seattle’s attempts to ban firearms in parks and community centers, saying state law preempts local measures. Last week, McGinn joined King County Executive Dow Constantine and four former mayors in announcing a gun buyback program funded by private donations.
Obama is expected to propose a ban on assault weapons and background checks for all gun buyers as part of a package of proposals in response to the Connecticut school shooting last month.
The news conference will also be attended by children who wrote to the president about gun violence and school safety, according to a news release.
December 14, 2012 at 7:00 AM
The President, marijuana, the feds and us: Mr. Obama has told Barbara Walters of ABC News that in states that have made marijuana legal (like ours), busting people for the recreational use of Mary Jane isn’t going to be a priority for federal drug agents. If that view trickles down to the local level, we’re betting a lot of people will be very happy. Obama said he wouldn’t go so far as to make marijuana legal, though.
Five dogs shot: The aggressive dogs may be responsible for killing two alpacas, some calves and some chicks on private property near Port Angeles, according to the Peninsula Daily News. The dogs were even nasty to Lower Elwha Klallam police officers who showed up to deal with them. No one’s saying who owns the dogs. This comes on the heels of a story about two aggressive dogs roaming a state park on Whidbey Island.
Freight train kills person near Tacoma: Someone (don’t know the gender yet) is dead after been hit by a train about 11:40 last night near Titlow Beach south of Tacoma. The train was headed to Portland from Seattle. Gus Melonas with BNSF Railway says it’s the 14th person to be hit by a BNSF train this year.
The King County Sheriff’s Department used a helicopter and infrared gear to track down a burglar following a high-speed chase near Issaquah. The burglar abandoned his car and ran into the woods, but the cops found him because he was giving off heat (Probably sweating like a … ).
Who’s this guy Josh Hamilton? Oh, yeah, he’s not coming to Seattle.
Stories trending this morning on seattletimes.com:
- Mariners should have done whatever it took to sign Josh Hamilton
- Race to revive supersonic travel
- Seahawks plan to keep feeding the ball to Marshawn Lynch
- Obama will not go after states where pot is legal
- Who? Who? Who? Who’s left for Mariners now that Josh Hamilton is off the table?
Nick Provenza: 206-464-2142 or email@example.com. On Twitter @NickProvenza1
July 25, 2012 at 10:56 AM
July 25, 2012 at 7:45 AM
The President of the United States will leave Seattle Wednesday morning after an evening of fundraisers in the Hunt’s Point neighborhood.
His departure is sure to cause just as many traffic problems as when he arrived the day before.
Security is tighter for the departure, and all Washington State Department of Transportation cameras will be blocked as the presidential motorcade travels from Bellevue to Boeing Field.
The motorcade is expected to transport Obama to Boeing Field around 9:30 a.m., where he will depart in Air Force One.
It’s not yet known which route the president will take — Interstate 405 to Interstate 90 or SR 520 to Interstate 5. However, rolling closures can be expected.
As a result, morning commuters will see the most congestion between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.
President Obama and his security team spent Tuesday night at the Hilton in Bellevue.
May 10, 2012 at 6:55 AM
Weather: Welcome, spring! This weekend and into Monday could see some of the warmest weather so far this year in the Seattle area, with temps in the 70s and by some accounts even 80, despite what the chart here says. In some places in Eastern Washington the highs could reach 90 degrees, says the National Weather Service. You will like it, we’re sure. The National Weather Service forecast.
Traffic: Downtown traffic could be a bit of a mess this afternoon due to President Obama’s appearance at the Paramount Theater about 3 p.m. today. The map and cams.
President Obama: The chief executive comes to town today for about four hours to raise campaign money — one stop is at the home of a couple who lives on Lake Washington and another at the Paramount Theater this afternoon. Neither is open to the public.
North Bend survivalist Peter Keller left behind several videos including one that reportedly said his wife and daughter would be “taken care of,” sources have told KING5 in an exclusive report. The video appears to have been made about two weeks before Keller shot his wife and daughter and set the home on fire in late April. Keller then killed himself in a bunker he made in the woods as authorities closed in.
Amanda Knox slander trial postponed: The wheels of justice in Italy turn very slowwww. The trial has been rescheduled until February next year because the judge is busy with another trial. Knox, of West Seattle, is accused of slandering Italian police for allegedly saying publicly she was physically and verbally abused when they questioned her in the slaying of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, in Perugia, Italy in 2007. Knox, who spent four year in an Italian prison, was convicted in the killing, but the conviction was overturned on appeal.
Woman stabbed to death in Spokane: There’s one curious clue in the case of a man who jumped out of the bushes and fatally stabbed a woman walking her dog back on May 3. Before the woman died, she was able to tell authorities that the man had a “bad eye.”
Most-read stories this morning on seattletimes.com:
March 23, 2012 at 2:52 PM
Several hundred people gathered in front of Seattle’s federal courthouse around noon today to protest provisions of the Obama Administration’s healthcare mandate that they said requires employers to pay for contraception and abortions regardless of the employer’s religious affiliations or concerns of conscience.
The protest was one of 140 held in cities across the country, according to one of the Seattle event’s organizers, Suzanne Harmon.
The events were staged to take place just as the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to hear arguments over the law, starting Monday. The justices of the nation’s highest court could uphold the law, strike it down or eliminate some provisions, according to the Associated Press.
In addition to the controversial provision that calls for employers to pay for healthcare that provides access to contraception, sterilization and abortion, the law also calls for changes in the number of people receiving healthcare coverage, what must be covered and who pays for it.
Of particular interest to insurance companies, are two key provisions, AP reports. One is the so-called individual mandate that requires most people to carry health insurance by 2014 or pay penalties. The other is the requirement that insurers cover everyone who applies even if they have a pre-existing condition, like diabetes, which can produce high medical costs.
While a great many people at Friday’s protest claimed to have strong religious convictions, the rally also drew many who said they were concerned about the mandate’s infringement on the principles of the First Amendment and others who said the government should not be in business of mandating anything.
Dino Rossi, who ran for state governor in 2008, said that every citizen, even self-described atheists, should be concerned about the mandates.
Rossi said he doesn’t believe that having a conscience is a crime and that he was there to stand up “for religious freedom for every American.”
Dr. Tom Curran, of St. Vincent de Paul’s in Federal Way, said, “I love my country and my faith and they should not be put in opposition.”
Kaelen Burton, of Healing the Culture, read from a homily written by Father Sammi Maletta.
He said, ‘We cannot and will not follow this law. We will close down our schools, our hospitals, our nursing homes, our orphanages … We will go out of business before we pay to have a child murdered.”
“It’s strong language,” said Burton, who introduced the rally’s speakers, “But it is really what this is about.”
The group cheered and shouted “Amen” when Rossi asked those in attendance to pray for the president and to ask that God “soften his heart.”
After a closing prayer, the group sang “God Bless America.”
February 17, 2012 at 1:08 PM
He delivered a stump speech touting his efforts to protect American manufacturing jobs through proposed tax policy changes as well as new measures to boost U.S. sales via the federal Export-Import Bank.
The president made his entrance to the crowd coming down the steps of the first United 787 at the end of the Dreamliner production line.
He said the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs has been “incredibly painful for a lot of families and communities” and conceded that due to productivity improvements and automation “a lot of those jobs aren’t coming back.”
He proposed to push in Congress changes to federal tax policy that will take away tax breaks for companies that move work overseas and correspondingly reduce taxes for those that keep work here.
Despite Boeing’s record of foreign outsourcing in the last decade, the president gave the company full credit for its more recent recognition of the value of its U.S. workforce.
“If you’re a business that wants to outsource jobs, that’s your choice. But you shouldn’t get a tax deduction for doing it,” he said. “That money should be used to cover moving expenses for companies, like Boeing, that decide to bring jobs home.”
He added, “It’s time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America. This Congress should send me these tax reforms and I will sign them right away.”
In addition, Obama announced moves to strengthen the powers of the Ex-Im Bank, which finances Boeing’s international sales. Fred Hochberg, chairman of the Ex-Im Bank, accompanied the president on the trip.
Obama cited Ex-Im financing support for Boeing’s sale of 230 jets to Lion Air of Indonesia, finalized just last week.
“That was one of the biggest deals Boeing had ever done,” he said.
He also announced that he is “instructing the Bank to give American companies a fair shot by matching the unfair export financing that their competitors receive from other countries.”
While the president didn’t give further detail in his address, supporting materials released by the White House suggest that Boeing could be a significant beneficiary of this move.
Those materials said that the Ex-Im Bank would offer support for “domestic or third-country sales with matching financing support to counter foreign non-competitive official financing that fails to observe international disciplines.”
Expanding the authority of the Ex-Im Bank to finance domestic sales would mean it could support Boeing with financing for jets sold to U.S. carriers in competition with Bombardier, which is offering its CSeries aircraft with Canadian government financing support.
Financing domestic sales would be a new departure that could not only help Boeing but also U.S. airlines. But it seems likely that this is a tool that will be used only if Canada pursues its intention to offer financing.
Boeing spokesman John Kvasnosky said after the speech that “it’s a new initiative and we’ll have to study it to understand the implications.”
What’s clear is it’s a tool that the U.S. government now has ready if it needs to use it, for example in the sales campaign to sell single-aisle jets to United Airlines, where Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier have all offered their jets.
February 17, 2012 at 6:43 AM
Weather: Hmmm … Rain forecast for the next six days. Temperatures, however, will be in the high 40s and even reach the low 50s on a few days. We’re used to rain, and those high temps will make things a bit bearable, right? The National Weather Service forecasts.
Traffic: The map and cams.
President Obama is coming to town today. Well, he’s coming to Everett and Bellevue. We’ll be tagging along, of course.
Josh Powell papers: The Department of Social and Health Services is expected to release records today from the Josh Powell child custody case. Powell, of course, was a person of interest in the disappearance of his wife, and killed his two young boys and himself in a fire in a home in Graham, Pierce County, earlier this month.
Mountain goats aplenty: The number of mountain goats in the Olympic Mountains is on the rise, according to a survey last summer by the U.S. Geological Survey. Seattle Times staff reporter Lynda V. Mapes writes in our Field Notes blog that the goat population there has jumped 40 percent since 2004, according to the USGS survey report.
From the Field Notes post:
At the current rate of growth, the goat population could double within about 15 years, according to the report.
We can’t talk about mountain goats without noting that there have been problems with rogue male goats, including an incident in October 2010 in which a Port Angeles man was fatally injured by a goat in Olympic National Park.
Whale wars: A Seattle federal judge has rejected a request by Japanese whalers to freeze the bank accounts of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, claiming the anti-whaling activist group, which is based in Washington, finances terrorism. Clashes between the activist group and Japanese whaling vessels are the subject of the reality TV show “Whale Wars” on cable’s Animal Planet. We thought you might want to see a snippet of one of these encounters.
Most-read stories this morning on seattletimes.com:
- Mayor, exec: Public is protected in plan to build $490M arena
- Unknown why 3 crash victims went for late-night flight
- Huskies roll to easy victory over Arizona State
- OK, there’s an arena plan. Now all Seattle needs are NBA, NHL teams
- Mariners prospect Vinnie Catricala working on defense, but it’s his bat that will get him to the majors
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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