YAY: HAZARD MAPPING
The state Senate last week unanimously passed a bill to improve mapping of the state’s geologic hazards. The legislation requested by state Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark is in response to the March 22, 2014 Oso landslide, which claimed 43 lives in Snohomish County. The bill expands the use of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology by the state Department of Natural Resources to generate detailed maps of the state’s geologic hazard. Just as important, the bill calls on DNR to provide technical support to counties, cities and public to help them understand the data and make better land-use decisions.
BOO: JUNK FOOD
The nation’s collective waistline has been expanding for years, right along with the access to cheap junk foods. The adult obesity rate in the United States climbed from 13 percent in 1960 to 35 percent in 2012. Maybe it’s no coincidence that the proliferation of thousands of huge, warehouse-style grocery stores has occurred at the same time.
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YAY: OFFICERS TO THE RESCUE
Yelm police officer Devon Taylor and Thurston County sheriff’s deputy Brett Campbell recently received the Medal of Courage and the Lifesaving Award for their actions in the early morning hours of Nov. 30, 2014. They responded to a life-threatening car accident, pulling the driver, Colette Smith of Spanaway, out of the vehicle just as it was sinking in the cold and swift-running Centralia Canal near State Route 507 and the Vail Road. Fortunately for Smith, both officers swift and decisive in their response to the accident scene, pulling her to safety in the nick of time.
BOO: FLORIST’S DECISION
There’s a florist in Richland, Wash., Spokane who’s learning that her anti-gay business behavior is a costly, ill-conceived decision. Barronelle Stutzman, 70 and owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland is in hot water, and rightfully so, for refusing to provide flowers for a gay wedding. A superior court judge has ruled that the state Attorney General’s Office was within its legal right to fine the florist for her discriminating act, rejecting her claim that her religious beliefs allowed her to refuse gay customers.
YAY: SEN. KAREN FRASER
Sen. Karen Fraser’s long history of building goodwill, friendships and trade relations with the people and businesses of Japan will be recognized March 15 at Panorama in Lacey when she will receive the Foreign Ministry Award from the Japanese government. The Thurston County Democrat has been a tireless ambassador, linking the state and Japan in a myriad of meaningful relationships. This honor, which will be presented by Consul General Masahiro Omura of Japan, is well deserved.
YAY: TVW PRESIDENT
The TVW board of directors has chosen former state legislator and Apple Inc., executive Renee Radcliff Sinclair as the new president and chief executive officer of the statewide public affairs cable television network. Sinclair’s experiences as a state legislator and professional communicator will serve her well in this important role.
BOO: DRIVE-IN THEATER
The owners of a drive-in theater complex in California showed poor judgment when it opted to show Fifty Shades of Grey on a screen next to the showing of children’s movie called The SpongeBob Movie. Children were unnecessarily exposed to the controversial R-rated movie, taking in scenes of bondage, violence and nudity that they had no business seeing.