Alan

Entrepreneurs? They mostly come from money.

It’s been a couple weeks of strong words and big feelings about the Seattle housing proposals I helped craft. About it all, the Seattle Times editorial board hollered “slow down!” Which was, well, ironic, considering the ed board’s 2013 “hurry up!

Kristin

Last year I voted against Oregon’s GMO-labeling ballot initiative (gasp! My environmentalist friends are shocked and appalled about this). I voted no because the arguments didn’t make sense: there is no evidence of health threats, and if you are worried about pesticides, then worry about pesticides—the main problem there is mono crop farming, not GMOs per se. It also seemed like a way to make low-income people feel bad about something they have no control over: yuppy yoga moms could feel good buying their non-GMO produce at Whole Foods, but pretty much everything else has GMOs in it, so other people are just reminded every time they buy food that they may be doing something vaguely unhealthy. Clear costs + no clear benefits = no vote. But I did not go one step further—as this Slate article does—and consider:

(1) some GMOs actually use less pesticides than other crops (because that’s what they are genetically modified to do – resist pests so farmers don’t have to spray the pests at all), so discouraging those crops under the blanket o “GMO” could increase the use of pesticides (aagh!!), and

(2) anti-GMO campaigns harm people by preventing truly beneficial products like Golden Rice (and other as-yet-discovered innovations that may never be discovered because of the blind hatred of genetic modification) to help people. (double-aagh!!)

So people spent $30 million on an Oregon ballot measure that was at best misguided and at worst harmful to global health. Damn. I could think of some better uses of that money.

If kids are having a hard time in school, should you (A) find out why they are having a hard time and help them figure out how fix it? Or (B) send them away from school (to the principle’s office, home or suspended)? Well I guess that depends on what outcomes you are hoping for. Either, you (A) want to see those kids learn how to do better in school and eventually thrive and succeed, or (B) see those kids get discouraged, act out more, maybe eventually drop out of school. I’m so happy to see that some schools are finally adopting proven discipline techniques that set kids up to succeed.

Eric

Politico hints that Congress could be edging toward changing the 40-year-old ban on exporting US crude oil.

  • If the Northwest ever achieves true sustainability, I’m going to quit my job and go to work for Tesoro’s PR department. Boy, could they use my help. Pro tip, Tesoro, if you’re in the midst of a hugely controversial fight to build the largest ever oil-by-rail facility maybe it’s not an ideal time to appeal the fine you received for killing seven workers in a fire at your refinery a couple of years ago. You know, the one for which you were hit with 39 citations of “willful” indifference to safety conditions. It’s the sort of behavior that upsets people.

    In related news, a Washington building trades group is throwing its support behind the project. And an administrative law judge is rebuking the Port of Vancouver, which supports the project, for violating the clearly understood procedure for its review.

    Finally, let’s be honest: Donald Trump is awesome.

    Keiko

    A group of activists will depart on a 1,000 mile bike pilgrimage from Seattle to the tar sands in Canada to elevate the voices of those most impacted and document the tar sands’ far-reaching impacts. Check out the Road to Athabasca here!

    Don’t miss Seattle’s town hall event this Wednesday: Women of Color Speak Out: Changing the Climate of Climate Change. Explore the complexities of activism as women of color and understand why their leadership is critical to this movement.

    Ever since I went to NYC for the first time a few weeks ago, I’ve been in search for a good bagel shop in Seattle. Still looking… Why is it so hard to get a good bagel on the West Coast?