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13 Feb 2012 15:39


Politics: Washington legalizes same-sex marriage…but there’s an asterisk

  • I’m proud that the children in our schools and neighborhoods will no longer have to wonder why their loving parents are considered somewhat different than other loving parents.
  • Washington Governor Chris Gregoire • Upon signing legislation today that legalized same-sex marriage in her state. The law is set to take place in June, but there’s a catch: If opponents of marriage equality succeed in putting a ballot initiative on the November ballot, the law won’t take effect until after the election returns in December. source

08 Feb 2012 20:23


Politics: Big successive days for marriage equality movement

  • yesterday A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down California’s Proposition 8, the gay marriage ban which voters approved in 2008. As we noted, the ruling didn’t endorse same-sex marriage as a right, but said voters had no rational reason to prohibit it; a step forward regardless.
  • today Washington’s state legislature passed, by a vote of 55-43, a bill that legalizes same-sex marriage. The bill will almost assuredly face a legal challenge by opposing advocacy groups, but Democratic Governor Chris Gregoire will likely sign it into law at some point during the next week. source

24 Jan 2012 10:17


Politics, U.S.: Gay marriage bill gets closer to passing in Washington state

  • pastWashington state has had a same-sex domestic partnership law since 2007, and an “everything but marriage” law since 2009. This week, opponents and supporters of same-sex marriage crowded a state Senate committee hearing to see if the state might go a step further.
  • futureState Senator Mary Margaret Haugen became the 25th vote of support of the bill on Monday. “This is the right vote and it is the vote I will cast when this measure comes to the floor,” she said. Washington would become the seventh state to do so. source

02 Jan 2012 20:04


U.S.: Man sought in Mount Rainier National Park ranger’s death found dead

  • Our rangers are very much in shock this morning… we absolutely take it personally. Everybody knew Margaret. Everybody was friends with Margaret. She didn’t have an enemy in the world.
  • Mount Rainier National Park spokesman Kevin Bacher • Speaking about the death of Margaret Anderson, the park ranger who was killed by a gunman early Sunday. Anderson, a mother of two, was killed while attempting to stop a car fleeing from a checkpoint. The man suspected of shooting Anderson, Benjamin Colton Barnes, was found dead Monday morning, though it wasn’t confirmed until the afternoon due to the aerial search used. Barnes, a 24-year-old former Iraq vet, may have suffered from PTSD, according to the mother of his child, speaking in child-custody documents filed in 2011. A dark story all around. source

02 Jan 2012 10:46


U.S.: “Person of Interest” sought in killing of ranger at Mount Rainier National Park

Benjamin Colton Barnes, a 24-year-old with “strong survivalist skills” is sought in the shooting. (Here’s his photo; not exactly the best calling card.) Overnight, 125 people were evacuated from the park; officials believe the man is still on the run. source

16 Dec 2011 21:39


U.S.: “Barefoot Bandit” Colton Harris-Moore gets time in prison, shoes

  • 7 years in prison for a bizarre, lengthy, name-building crime spree source
  • » At least he got a movie deal, right? Over two years and a reign of terror that stemmed from an extremely poor childhood, Colton Harris-Moore built a reputation as a folk hero who stole food, broke into vacation homes, taught himself how to fly … and for the kicker, stole planes. The Washington resident’s run from the law ended in the Bahamas, where he crashed a plane into a swamp and was arrested in a gunfire-heavy scene. His sentence was fairly weak, considering the circumstances. “I can see why people are sympathetic to him,” Island County, Wash. Prosecutor Greg Banks, who was content with the verdict, said. “It’s still a significant amount of time for someone who’s never been in the adult system.” Sounds like it’ll make a great movie.

28 Aug 2011 20:25


U.S.: Hurricane Irene’s costs — both in human and monetary form

  • 19 deaths reported so far from Hurricane Irene source
  • » And damages in “the tens of billions”: With the storm largely past U.S. shores, now begins the tallying of damages. You’ve seen some examples of this already. But while it’s too soon to predict exactly what the final tally will be, in New Jersey, Chris Christie is already throwing a price tag on things. “I’ve got to imagine that the damage estimates are going to be in the billions of dollars, if not in the tens of billions of dollars,” he told “Meet the Press” this morning. These costs will largely be eaten by the federal government. The loss of human life, however, won’t be. Click the source link above. It’s a blow by blow of saddening proportions.

28 Aug 2011 10:51


U.S.: Hurricane Irene: It’s not all good news, but things are looking up

  • good Hurricane Irene is no longer a hurricane, but a tropical storm. It’s also passed by most of NYC, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia and DC. It’s mostly on land at this point and is moving much quicker than it was yesterday, so it will lose strength quickly. Whew, guys.
  • bad However, it left some bad stuff in its wake — flooding, millions without power, 11 deaths in four different states, and lots of small inconveniences that built up into one pretty big one. In the end, though, it’s less bad than it could’ve been. Fortunately. source

27 Aug 2011 13:50


U.S.: Update: Hurricane Irene, by the numbers (so far)

  • » The eye of the storm first hit land at 7:30 a.m. EST: With the storm still maintaining speed as it stays just of fthe coast, Irene could cause severe damage up and down the coast. Though a Category 1, it’s expected to remain a hurricane as it passes through the mid-Atlantic states and up to New England between now and Sunday.

26 Aug 2011 12:38


U.S.: Obama: Take precautions now, don’t wait for Hurricane Irene to show up

  • I cannot stress this highly enough. If you are in the projected path of this hurricane, you have to take precautions now. Don’t wait. Don’t delay.
  • President Barack Obama • Warning people about the danger of Hurricane Irene, which is likely to be the strongest hurricane the Northeast has seen in a few years. For what it’s worth, the storm — currently a Category 2 — will likely be a Category 1 when it hits the Northeast, so it won’t be a super-strong hurricane. Just a really big, slow-moving one that will remain strong hundreds of miles from the center. Amongst major metropolitan areas, it looks like the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area is about to face a strong hit from the storm. source