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  • Washington’s paid family leave law covering workers who need time off starts in January — but no payouts until 2020

    In January, Washington will become one of just six states with laws mandating that employees get paid time off from work – and a job to return to – when they need to care for a sick relative, treat their own illness, give birth or take a child younger than 18 into their home through adoption or foster care. Our state’s Paid Family & Medical Leave law is among the most liberal in terms of who it covers and for […]

  • Tacoma rated in the top 10 of U.S. cities for building a business or career

    Long frustrated by standing in the shadow of booming Seattle, the city of Tacoma has just vaulted into the upper rankings of Forbes’ annual list of the nation’s top 200 big cities for business and careers.

  • Lessons from Tacoma: Fighting gangs is possible, but it takes long-term commitment

    It would be natural, considering the gang violence that flares up every few years in King County, to believe that nothing can stop kids’ attraction to gang life.

  • About 7,000 teachers on strike in Western Washington; 120,000 students affected

    SEATTLE — Nearly 7,000 teachers in 11 school districts were on strike Wednesday in Washington. Those  districts are Tacoma, Puyallup, Tukwila, Tumwater, Centralia, Stanwood-Camano, Rainier, Evergreen, Washugal, Battle Ground and Longview. These teachers educate about 120,000 students. Late Wednesday, striking Washougal teachers reached a tentative contract agreement with their school district. Nearly 200 Washougal teachers have been on strike since Aug. 28. Teachers will meet Thursday to take a ratification vote on the pact. So you have to ask, with […]

  • Four imprisoned teens win cash settlement from King County in ban on youth solitary confinement

    SEATTLE — Kids locked up on criminal charges – even very serious ones – may no longer be held in long-term isolation in King County. That ban on solitary confinement for youths strengthens an Executive Order signed by King County Executive Dow Constantine last year, both of which are responses to a lawsuit filed by Columbia Legal Services on behalf of four teens who were isolated, sometimes for months, in Kent’s Regional Justice Center. The teens – all under 18 […]

  • Union won addiction treatment for Seattle teacher’s assistant later charged with child rape

    SEATTLE – The case of Albert Virachismith, a former special education assistant in Seattle, is the kind that makes parents cringe. According to school district documents, at John Muir Elementary School the principal and teachers knew he often showed up reeking of alcohol and spent time coloring in the back of a classroom, instead of tending the special-needs child to whom he had been assigned. But when the school district attempted to fire him in 2017, the teachers union pushed […]

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