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June 13, 2014
The University of Washington’s UW360 video news series reported recently on LumiSands, a start-up born in the U’s electrical engineering graduate program when two students realized there had to be a better – and greener – way to make a key component called phosphors which provide light and color to the lower-energy light bulbs known as LEDs. More here from Catalyst, the blog of the Washington Business Alliance.
June 12, 2014
“Out of 709 public high schools in Washington, only 51 of them offer an Advanced Placement (AP) computer science course. When a student engages in rigorous high school computing curriculum via the AP courses it unlocks multiple career paths and the prospect of lucrative compensation.…..State Rep. Monica Stonier (D-17th), Vice Chair of the House Education Committee, advised advocates of computer science education to focus on identifying high performing programs around the state. “We’ll look at what’s working, identify the markers of a successful program, and then use that as an entry point.”
Read the whole thing.
June 02, 2014
Catalyst, the blog of the Washington Business Alliance, recently published a data visualization developed in partnership with Tableau Software, that portrays the performance of all 50 states on four innovation drivers. They are cost of business electricity, costs to business of workers compensation premiums and unemployment insurance, and condition of interstate highways. The data sets were obtained from the Washington Economic Revenue and Forecast Council. See where your state ranks on these measures.
May 29, 2014
Human well-being is central to the economic health of employers, employees and regions, and Washington state is a top performer nationally, according to the recently released Gallup-Healthways State of American Well-Being Index for 2013. Washington ranked in the top quintile, or first 20 percent, at ninth of 50 states - getting closer to its 2008 high of sixth than in the last four years. The index also assessed for well-being 189 metro regions in the U.S., large and small. Its Washington State report shows four in the top quintile nationally...
Catalyst, the blog of the Washington Business Alliance's PLAN Washington, recently published this data visualization showing how Washington and the 49 other states rank on four key innovation drivers. They are cost of business electricity, condition of interstate highways, and costs to employers of workers compensation and unemployment insurance. The interactive feature was developed in cooperation with Tableau Software.
October 03, 2011
King County Executive Dow Constantine has unveiled his $5.3 billion proposed 2012 budget for the county, and highlighted a range of efficiencies he said his administration had achieved. The county council will review, possibly amend, and adopt the budget by November 21. There's a way to have your say on the budget. If you live, work or go to school in King County, you're invited to take an online survey by October 16 that will help the county shape its budget priorities. More at Social Capital Review, the mother site of Public Data Ferret.
September 29, 2011
Only last month, after 12 years and a $3 million public-private fundraising effort, the George Corkery Family Boating Center re-opened at the City of Seattle's Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center at Stan Sayres Memorial Park along Lake Washington Boulevard in Seattle's Mount Baker neighborhood. The Rainier Valley Post reported on the milestone. It's a great, community-driven improvement to a government-owned site that's a hub for aquatic recreation in boating-mad Seattle and a focal point every summer for the iconic hydro races of SeaFair. It's now unfortunately also the site of some ugly graffiti which blames "white people" for a U.S. "terror-hate" campaign in Iraq. More at Public Data Ferret.
September 28, 2011
After holding a public hearing on the controversial topic of regional tolling, The City of Renton Monday night Sept. 26 approved a resolution opposing Initiative 1125, which would restrict highway tolling. Washington voters will decide it in November. Renton, a growing suburban city at Seattle's southern border, is at the junction of a multi-billion-dollar proposed tolling project that would connect Interstate 405 with State Route 167 and add tolled express lanes to both, as part of a broader toll-centric plan to unsnarl traffic and fund highway fixes in the Seattle region and elsewhere in the state. Initiative sponsor Tim Eyman sharply disagreed with the vote by the Renton council. Meanwhile, a new Survey USA poll reported today by KING5-TV in Seattle showed more than twice as many voters for I-1125 as against, but a crucial margin still undecided. More at Public Data Ferret.
September 27, 2011
On the heels of a mid-July state report that a University of Washington professor took a contract fee from a state agency for work he never delivered, and following another 2011 case which sparked a criminal prosecution against an alleged embezzler in the University's Medical Center, comes an additional indication Sept. 26 of ethical troubles at the state's flagship institution of higher learning. According to a Washington State Auditor's Office whistleblower investigation report just released, a professor in the UW Medical Center's Pediatrics Division of Neo-nataology appears to have violated state ethics law by using her position to get a job for her unqualified daughter as a research scientist and engineer assistant. The professor's name, released by the auditor's office in response to a media inquiry, is Sandra Juul Ledbetter and her daughter's name is Kelly Ledbetter.
September 26, 2011
A public development authority formed by the City of Seattle in 1972 called the Seattle Indian Services Commission, which has been the subject of several critical city and state audits in recent years, now appears unable to continue to service the $6 million bond debt for its two adjacent properties on 12th Ave. S. in the International District, or to repair an estimated $2.5 million in water damages to one of the buildings, built in 1995. The commission’s primary tenant and sole source of debt service revenue is the non-profit Seattle Indian Health Board, and it says it intends to move out unless the Commission conveys title for the properties to the board, which has pledged to assume the debt and fix the water damage. The Commission has refused to approve this offer, so the city council has prepared an ordinance, to be discussed and possibly voted on in committee September 28, authorizing the City Attorney to seek permission in King County Superior Court to impose a trusteeship on the Indian Services Commission which would trigger a title transfer of the properties to the non-profit Indian Health Board. The resolution states this will allow for current services and programs to continue to be provided to Seattle’s Native American community. Sponsor of the resolution is City Council Member Nick Licata. More at Public Data Ferret.
September 21, 2011
Working with U.S. and African colleagues, researchers from the University of Washington’s Institute For Health Metrics and Evaluation, in Seattle, integrated data from several dozen qualifiying health surveys in malaria-prone Sub-Saharan Africa and found that the use of Insecticide-Treated Nets helped actually reduce parasitemia and death in young children to a significantly greater degree than previously estimated in clinical trials. Their research, recently published in a peer-reviewed “open access” (online, free) medical journal and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, concludes that the use of the treated nets should be continued and expanded in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the bulk of the world’s one million annual deaths from the parasitic disease of malaria occur. More at Public Data Ferret.
September 17, 2011
With his signature on a state health department disciplinary document, a former nursing assistant at a group home operated in Shoreline by the Washington Department of Social and Health Services admitted he sexually abused a developmentally-delayed 57-year-old female patient in his care, and agreed to surrender his license for 10 years for unprofessional conduct. More at Public Data Ferret.
September 14, 2011
Attorneys for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a legal complaint Sept. 8 in U.S. District Court in Seattle against Richard A. Finger, 32, of Bellevue, Wash. for defrauding investors in the Kirkland, Wash. securities trading firm he ran of about $4 million over a seven-month period in 2011, through a high-volume, high-risk trading scheme. SEC attorneys allege in the complaint that Finger’s investors, mainly family and friends, lost $1.9 million due to his “improper trading” and that he took another $2.1 million in commissions to help fund a lavish lifestyle – while falsifying account balances, underreporting commissions, and forging documentation to a suspicious trading partner. Federal criminal charges of wire fraud were also filed against Finger, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Finger’s attorneys say in a statement issued to Public Data Ferret that he’s admitted deceiving customers, apologized to them and will reimburse them as best he can. More at Public Data Ferret.
September 13, 2011
U.S. adults made only slight progress quitting smoking between 2005 and 2010, and are not on track to meet the nation’s formal 2020 goal of only 12 percent of adults smoking, according to a new report released by the U.S. Centers For Disease Control. Almost one in five still meet the definition of “current smoker,” down only 1.6 percent over the last five full calendar years. U.S. adult smoking prevalence rates varied by age, income, race and geography, with California and Utah showing the lowest percentages. Washington state was in the second lowest cohort. Because smoking poses annual medical and productivity costs of nearly $200 billion in the U.S., and because quitting has slowed, the CDC report urges consideration of stronger deterrents including higher tobacco taxes, wider smoke-free policies for public places and workplaces, broader restrictions on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, expanded media campaigns, and better access to affordable and effective smoking cessation programs.
More at Public Data Ferret, the news knowledge base project I founded, which focuses on synopsizing and archiving by jurisdiction and topic recent high-news value public documents and data. It is supported not only by my own work but also that of student interns, a wide range of allies in the community, and the board of its parent non-profit, called Public Eye Northwest.
September 12, 2011
"According to a report by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Inspector General, a voluntary climate change initiative of the U.S. National Park Service called Climate Friendly Parks is mainly window dressing because it has no consistent accountability and performance measures, and suffers from poor data inputs at the front end. With tough new greenhouse gas reduction goals coming for the U.S. government under an executive order, the initiative might be best consolidated with a broader, and mandatory type of environmental protection program that the parks service and each other federal agency will have to develop and implement, in their own way, to meet those goals." More at Public Data Ferret.
MATT'S OTHER BLOG
Catalyst: UW Start-up Developing a Better LED Bulb
Catalyst: "Only One in 14 Washington State Public High Schools Offers AP Computer Science"
Catalyst: Data Visualization on Innovation Drivers in Washington, U.S.
Catalyst: "Well Being Good for Business, Strong in WA"
At Catalyst, A Data Visualization on Innovation Drivers in All 50 States
Social Capital Review: King County Seeks Budget Views In Online Survey
Public Data Ferret: City Will Remove Race-Based Graffiti From Boating Center
Public Data Ferret: Renton Passes Resolution Against I-1125, But New Poll Shows Voter Support
Public Data Ferret: State Reports UW Prof Got Job For Unqualified Daughter
Public Data Ferret: Seattle Eyes Transfer Of Troubled Indian Services Properties To Non-Profit
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