YAY: FRANK REFUGE
A proposal to rename the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge after Billy Frank Jr. is a great way to remember the Nisqually tribal rights activist. U.S. Rep. Denny Heck of Olympia sponsored House Resolution 2270, which the state’s entire congressional delegation supports. If passed, it would rename the Thurston County refuge and establish a national historic site on ground where the Medicine Creek Treaty was signed in 1854, ushering in reservations but recognizing fishing rights that activists like Frank fought to enforce a full century later.
BOO: DEADLY EARTHQUAKES
Another massive earthquake slammed the mountainous Asian region that includes Nepal last week, killing at least 42 people and injuring 1,117. The 7.3 magnitude quake came less than three weeks after the larger 7.8 magnitude quake hit April 25, which killed more than 8,150 people in Nepal and adjacent countries. As with any major disasters, aid is badly needed to rebuild in the region. The give.org website run by the Better Business Bureau is one place to see which charities are reliable.
YAY: CELLPHONE REFUNDS
Attorney General Bob Ferguson said more than 750,000 customers of Sprint and Verizon in Washington state are eligible for refunds for charges on cell bills that they did not authorize. This is part of a $158 million national settlement of claims arising from “cramming.” That is when third parties tack on charges for horoscopes, sports scores or trivia, typically $9.99 a month, according to the AG’s Office. AT&T and T-Mobile settled previously.
BOO: ATTENTION LAPSE
Our modern way of life really is shortening our attention spans. Science has measured how bad it’s gotten — eight seconds, on average, down from 12, according to a Microsoft study in Canada that suggests our reliance on portable electronic devices may be to blame. Goldfish do better at nine seconds. If we remember correctly, About 2,000 online gamers were surveyed and 112 were hooked up to electroencephalograms to measure brain activity.
YAY: SAFER STREETS
In a move aimed at boosting the public’s sense of safety, Olympia police resumed nighttime foot patrols in the downtown this month. This ensures that an officer will be nearby from 5 p.m.-3 a.m. from Wednesday through Saturday nights. Summer is when the city sees more disorderly conduct after dark. Credit Chief Ronnie Roberts and the city for funding this.
BOO: SPSCC CUTS
Students are protesting about $402,350 in proposed cuts to student club budgets after drops in student-fee revenues at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia. A student senate vote in 2013 replaced a per-credit fee with a $10 per-quarter fee, which is bringing in less cash. Lower enrollments also are to blame. College trustees have promised to look further into student concerns. The college certainly owes students a fair accounting of student fees that some believe are being diverted for other purposes.