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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
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Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 67,443

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Senate order bans all firearms from public gallery

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- All firearms will be banned from the public galleries above the Washington Senate floor once the legislative session begins in January, under an order issued Monday by Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib.

Habib, a Democrat who serves as the presiding officer of the chamber, told The Associated Press and Northwest News Network that his goal is to create a safer environment for all working in the Senate. The move comes nearly three years after officials decided to ban openly carried weapons in the House and Senate public viewing areas, as well as the public hearing rooms at the Capitol's legislative office buildings.

Habib's order expands that rule to include those carrying concealed weapons with permits. For now, the rule is limited just to the public galleries in the Senate and doesn't include the committee rooms.

"I don't want us to be implementing this type of order the day after some type of tragedy," Habib said. "I want to be doing it preemptively and in a way that's respectful."

Read more here: http://www.theolympian.com/latest-news/article186717528.html

Bitcoin leaves skeptics behind as it blasts to record $10,000

Bitcoin surpassed $10,000 for the first time this week, bringing this year’s price surge to more than 10-fold even as warnings multiply that the largest digital currency is an asset bubble.

The euphoria is bringing to the mainstream what was once considered the providence of computer developers, futurists and libertarians seeking to create an alternative to central bank-controlled monetary systems. While the actual volume of transactions conducted in cryptocurrencies is relatively small, the optimism surrounding the technology continues to drive it to new highs.

Bitcoin has risen by more than 50 percent since October alone, taking off after developers agreed to cancel a technology update that threatened to split the digital currency. Even as analysts disagree on whether the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization is truly an asset, its $167 billion value already exceeds that of about 95 percent of the S&P 500 Index members.

“This is a bubble and there is a lot of froth. This is going to be the biggest bubble of our lifetimes,” hedge-fund manager Mike Novogratz said at a cryptocurrency conference Tuesday in New York. Novogratz, who says he began investing in bitcoin when it was at $90, is starting a $500 million fund because of the potential for the technology to eventually transform financial markets.

Read more: https://www.seattletimes.com/business/bitcoin-leaves-skeptics-behind-as-it-blasts-to-record-10000/

Washington state panel calls for oil terminal denial

SEATTLE -- A Washington state energy panel voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend that Gov. Jay Inslee reject a massive oil-by-rail terminal proposed along the Columbia River.

The Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, which has been evaluating the project since 2013, said developers had not met their burden to show that the proposed port of Vancouver site was acceptable.

The panel will forward its recommendation to Inslee by Dec. 29. The Democratic governor will have 60 days to make a final decision.

The Vancouver Energy terminal, a joint venture of Tesoro Corp. and Savage Cos., would receive about 360,000 barrels of crude oil a day by trains at the port of Vancouver. Oil would temporarily be stored on site and then loaded onto tankers and ships bound for West Coast refineries.

Read more here: http://www.theolympian.com/latest-news/article186934613.html

Jenny Durkan sworn in as Seattle's 1st female mayor since 1920s

“Let’s get to work” was Jenny Durkan’s message as she took the oath of office as Seattle mayor Tuesday, becoming the first woman to lead the city since the 1920s as the result of her win in the Nov. 7 election.

Durkan was sworn in at the Ethiopian Community Center in Rainier Beach, the first of five neighborhood destinations as she crisscrossed the city on a Day One goodwill tour.

She began with remarks that matched her campaign rhetoric, vowing to reach out for ideas, address a growing gap between rich and poor and stand up to President Donald Trump.

“We must remember that our common bonds, our common purpose, are so much more powerful than our challenges and differences,” Durkan said after U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones administered the oath.

Read more: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/jenny-durkan-sworn-in-as-seattles-1st-female-mayor-since-1920s/

Increased Caseloads Plague King County's Mental Health Court

“I know this is a difficult day for you, but can I ask you a few questions?” Judge Johanna Bender is asking the question while presiding over a courtroom unlike any other in King County. The subject of her inquiry is a woman strapped to a gurney. The courtroom is open to the public, but it’s intimate. There is one row of chairs in the back, but those seats are mostly occupied by attorneys. Few but court staff ever venture to the small space tucked away on the second floor of a building at Harborview Medical Center.

After responding in the affirmative, the patient is asked, “What do you like to do for fun?”

After a long silence, she responds in a quiet voice, “Crafts.”

This isn’t a criminal proceeding. This is King County’s Involuntary Treatment Act Court, where it is decided whether mentally ill patients need to be involuntarily committed to a hospital because they either pose a threat to themselves or others.

The court is the product of the Involuntary Treatment Act, which was enacted in Washington in 1974, creating these courts in every county in the state. The Act was established for patients needing court-ordered mental health treatment, the courts meant to be a last resort for the most severe cases of mental illness in our community. Since its founding, the court has operated in relative obscurity.

Read more: http://www.seattleweekly.com/news/increased-caseloads-plague-a-court-designed-to-help-the-mentally-ill/

Construction on Idaho's first medical school ahead of schedule

MERIDIAN, Idaho (AP) — Idaho's first medical school is inching closer to its August 2018 finish line by hiring critical faculty members, developing programs and constructing facilities. The school is expected to help with Idaho's physician shortage.

Construction of the privately funded, for-profit Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine, or ICOM, is ahead of schedule and due for completion in the spring.

The proposed medical school currently has pre-accreditation status and is expected to be officially accredited before the end of the year, which means it can start recruiting 150 students to fill the first class.

"Idaho is the most populous state without a medical school of its own and we rank 50th in terms of primary care physicians per capita," said ICOM Founding Dean Dr. Robert Hasty.

Read more: https://idahostatejournal.com/news/local/construction-on-idaho-s-first-medical-school-ahead-of-schedule/article_c486a897-dd52-5488-af80-00f65cdbbf18.html

Idaho man convicted of rape says he was following God's will

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — An eastern Idaho man has been sentenced to five to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing a minor after saying he was following God's will.

The Post Register reports 7th District Judge Joel Tingey found 48-year-old Michael Mercado guilty of rape where the victim is 16 or 17 years old and issued a sentence Monday.

Police arrested Mercado earlier this year after his relationship with a then 17-year-old teenage girl was discovered by his ex-wife.

According to the victim's impact statement, Mercado first took an interest in the victim when she was 13 and eventually told her God wanted them to be married. She says she was too scared to say no to Mercado.

Read more: http://www.cdapress.com/article/20171128/AP/311289946

More training would discourage sexual harassment in Idaho's Capitol, lawmakers say

Fourteen female lawmakers have signed a letter to Idaho legislative leadership requesting mandatory sexual harassment training in the Statehouse.

Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy, R-Genesee, said Monday that the recent wave of sexual harassment allegations surfacing in governments and businesses around the country inspired her letter to House Speaker Scott Bedke and Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill.

“Sexual harassment is inappropriate in any workplace setting. It would be especially disappointing if it were to take place in the Idaho Legislature — where each year we gather to conduct the people’s business,” wrote Troy in the letter.

Idaho lawmakers undergo mandatory ethics training every year. Troy said it could be feasible to add a sexual harassment component to that training for lawmakers, lobbyists and staffers.

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article186785403.html

DNC chair candidate (former Idaho exec director) resigns Florida post amid sexual harassment scandal

After less than six months, Sally Boynton Brown is out as executive director of Florida’s Democratic Party, according to Florida Politics.

In a message Monday, she notified state party leaders of her decision to step down, effective immediately.

Boynton Brown is accused by staffers of turning a blind eye to alleged sexual harassment by enabling chairman Stephen Bittel’s behavior. Bittel resigned last Friday.

Boynton Brown, who was born in Middleton and was a lifelong Idahoan, was executive director of Idaho’s Democratic Party for about five years. After running early this year to chair the Democratic National Party, she stepped down in April, then announced in May that she was taking on the state role in Florida.

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/local/article185869143.html

Election 2018: 'Don't know' is leading the race for Idaho governor

With the primaries for Idaho’s open governor’s seat about six months away, a recent poll shows “don’t know” in the lead among likely candidates.

Dan Jones and Associates polled 619 Idahoans between Nov. 8 and 15 for Idaho Politics Weekly, with a 3.94 percent margin of error. Of those, 36 percent said they didn’t know who they would favor to lead Idaho’s executive branch.

Three Republican candidates had the next-highest statewide support: Lt. Gov. Brad Little (21 percent), U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador (17 percent) and Boise businessman Tommy Ahlquist (14 percent). Five percent of those polled selected “other.”

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, a Republican who has announced he is not running for governor, received 4 percent support as did GOP child advocate Lisa Marie, who does plan to run.

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article186982698.html
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