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Bills have been introduced in both the Washington state House and Senate to give new parents and those who are sick or caring for a loved one paid time off from work. A coalition of legislators, business owners, parents and advocates announced the proposal to bring paid family and medical leave to the state in Olympia on Tuesday.

State Rep. June Robinson of Everett, sponsor of House Bill 1116, says paid leave has advantages, both for employers and employees.

“People are willing to stay at a job if they know that there is the possibility of paid family leave,” she said. “It’s a way to protect workers and their families, which just makes for a better employment situation for everyone.”

If the bill passes, employees would have 26 weeks of paid leave to care for a newborn or newly-adopted baby or an ill family member, starting in 2019. In 2020, employees could take up to 12 weeks of paid medical leave to tend to their own health conditions. The program would be funded through a payroll deduction, costing employers and workers about $2 a week.

A poll last year showed more than 70 percent of Washingtonians supported paid family and medical leave. Robinson, a Democrat, says although the bill might change a bit, there is support for this type of legislation across the aisle as well.

“I certainly think there’s bipartisan support for paid family leave, and we will work to get bipartisan support as the bill works its way through the Legislature,” she added.

State Sen. Karen Keiser is supporting the companion bill, Senate Bill 5032.

Three states currently have paid family and medical leave laws on the books: California, New Jersey and Rhode Island. New York will join them in 2018.

There’s been a massive amount of consumer spending over the holidays this year, but it’s likely that online shopping is the source of the uptick.

Online sales on Black Friday were up 22 percent in 2016 over 2015 sales, topping a record $3.3 billion. What will all the trend toward more online sales — and consumers’ expectations of faster delivery times — do to America’s cities?

That’s where the newly created Urban Freight Lab at the University of Washington comes in. The lab’s director, Barbara Ivanov, said cities still manage loading zones with an old technology: a stripe of yellow paint.

“And a lot of times when you look around, all the inventory at the curb is sitting empty,” Ivanov said; “and it could be used more efficiently, more effectively, if we actually had applied more technology to the way that piece of space, that piece of real estate, operates.”

Over the next three years, the Urban Freight Lab is collaborating with Seattle’s Department of Transportation — which contributed $285,000 to the lab for its research. The lab also is partnering with companies such as FedEx, Costco and Nordstrom, as well as the U.S. Postal Service.

The lab will begin its research with what it calls the “Final 50 Feet” challenge of deliveries. This includes everything from ensuring packages are secure from “porch pirates” to the many facets of commercial deliveries.

Ivanov said if she could start over with the design of a city, she would make sure the city had good alleyways.

“You don’t want all this going on, this sort of commercial activity, through the front door of a retail center,” she said. “You want it out of sight, you want more of an environment at the street level that’s really friendly to pedestrians and other folks out doing their shopping and going to the office.”

E-commerce is likely to continue to rise across the country in the coming years. An online UPS study this summer found that, for the first time, respondents bought more than half of their goods online.

Seattle is home to Amazon, which accounts for the largest slice of online shopping sales.

Featured Image: The Urban Freight Lab is exploring the ways cities can more efficiently deliver e-commerce. (Arvell Dorsey Jr./Flickr)

It’s sometimes unclear how much goes over kids’ heads and how much they’re absorbing. But according to research from the University of Washington, children as young as four could be picking up nonverbal social biases from adults.

Allison Skinner, lead author of the research, said this study was meant to go further than previous studies that had already shown kids adopt biases from their parents.

“This being one of the first steps to talk more about how kids are actually picking it up from the culture, how they’re absorbing it,” Skinner explained.

Researchers took a group of four- and five-year-olds and showed them two videos. In them, an actor greeted two women and performed an action, such as giving one of them a toy. In the first video, the actor spoke in a positive manner — smiling and speaking in a warm tone. In the second, the actor scowled and spoke in a cold tone.

The researchers found that after watching the videos, two-thirds of the children favored the recipient of the positive signals.

Researchers then took the study a step further. They added “friends” — individuals with shirts the same color as the two women who had received positive and negative signals. They found the children’s preferences and biases extended beyond individuals to members of groups.

Four in five children preferred friends of the woman who received positive signals. Skinner said this research is a microcosm of what children most likely experience in real life, and that parents may need to think about even their unconscious feelings if they don’t want to pass on their own biases.

“To really be aware that, oh, I’m interacting with someone of another group, perhaps a group that my child doesn’t have very much exposure to,” Skinner said. “So I need to be really aware of how I’m behaving, and how much I’m giving them eye contact and all these various things, and making sure I’m giving a positive message.”

Skinner said parents who have diverse groups of friends may also influence kids to be accepting of people different from themselves.

Featured Image: A new study finds children pick up on signals of nonverbal biases among adults. (Stephan Hochhaus/Flickr)

Kitsap County wants you to take a survey on mental health. 

More information was provided in a press release from the county:

The Kitsap County Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Therapeutic Court Citizens Advisory Committee is asking the public to complete a survey to provide input and suggestions for prioritizing gaps in service for future funding. The survey is available here through the end of January 2017 or at the link below.

In September 2013, the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners adopted the Mental Health, Chemical Dependency, and Therapeutic Court Sales Tax (1/10th of 1 percent) to fund a countywide infrastructure for a continuum of care for behavioral health programs and services. June 30, 2016 marked the second full year of service delivery. Significant accomplishments include:

  •  99 percent of elementary school staff and 96 percent of secondary school staff report improvements in their school

The Washington state attorney general has sued a Seattle man who allegedly tricked women into sex by holding fake pornography auditions, as first reported by The Stranger.

Read more from the attorney general’s press release:

Attorney General Bob Ferguson today filed a consumer protection lawsuit against a man who for nearly a decade engaged in an elaborate scheme, using a fictional business and promises of employment, to deceive women into posing for nude photos and having sex with him.
 
In the complaint filed late yesterday in King County Superior Court, Michael-Jon Matthew

It’s no surprise that Democrat Hillary Clinton won Washington state; she leads Republican Donald Trump 56.28 percent to 37.83 percent. Libertarian Gary Johnson yielded 3.94 percent of the vote, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein earned 1.32 percent.

Kitsap County’s results aren’t different from the state’s when it comes to the presidential race. Kitsap voters favored Clinton over Trump, 52.3 percent to 38.1 percent. Johnson managed to earn 5.5 percent in Kitsap, and Stein earned 1.3 percent.

One of the most controversial measures affecting Kitsap County voters was the proposal to increase local taxes to fund a passenger-only fast ferry to Seattle. The measure is passing very narrowly, 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent, and is likely too close to call.

Here are preliminary, unofficial election results for Kitsap County and statewide races:

(Note: For uncontested races, we included the results for write-in candidates).

(Note: D = Democrat; R = Republican; L = Libertarian)

Unofficial Local Election Results:

Kitsap Transit Proposition No. 1: Passenger-Only Ferry Investment Plan and Sales & Use Tax

Yes: 50.8 percent

No: 49.2 percent

Congressional District 6: U.S. Representative

Derek Kilmer (D): 62.3 percent (Kitsap); 62.22 percent (district-wide)

Todd A. Bloom (R): 37.5 percent (Kitsap); 37.78 percent (district-wide)

Legislative District 23: State Senator

Christine Rolfes (D): 97.2 percent

Write-in Candidates: 2.8 percent

Legislative District 23: State Representative Pos. 1

Sherry V. Appleton (D): 59.6 percent (Kitsap); 59.63 percent (district-wide)

Loretta Byrnes (R): 40.3 percent (Kitsap); 40.37 percent (district-wide)

Legislative District 23 State Representative Pos. 2

Drew Hansen (D): 97 percent

Write-ins: 3 percent

Legislative District 26: State Representative Pos. 1

Jesse L. Young (R): 54.8 percent (Kitsap); 54.87 percent (district-wide)

Larry Seaquist (D): 45.1 percent (Kitsap); 45.13 percent (district-wide)

Legislative District 26: State Representative Pos. 2

Michelle Caldier (R): 55.8 percent (Kitsap); 56.94 percent (district-wide)

Randy Spitzer (D): 44.1 percent (Kitsap); 43.06 percent (district-wide)

Legislative District 35 State Representative Pos. 1

Dan Griffey (R): 54.8 percent (Kitsap); 54.5 percent (district-wide)

Irene Bowling (D): 45.1 percent (Kitsap); 45.5 percent (district-wide)

Legislative District 35 State Representative Pos. 2

Drew C. MacEwen (R): 55.7 percent (Kitsap); 54.19 percent (district-wide)

Craig Patti (D): 44.1 percent (Kitsap); 45.81 percent (district-wide)

Kitsap County Commissioner District 1

Robert Gelder (D): 96.8 percent

Write-in Candidates: 3.2 percent

Kitsap County Commissioner District 2

Christopher J. Tibbs (R): 45.9 percent

Charlotte Garrido (D): 54 percent

Superior Court Judge Position 5 (Nonpartisan Race)

Dale A. Magneson: 46.4 percent

Jeffrey P. Bassett: 53.3 percent

Public Utility District No. 1 Commissioner District 1 (Nonpartisan Race)

Debra Lester: 55.3 percent

John Armstrong: 44.3 percent

Port of Poulsbo Proposition No. 1 Enlargement of Port of Poulsbo

Yes, Enlarge the Port of Poulsbo: 43.8 percent

No, Don

A 67-year-old man is behind bars after he allegedly shot a man near Bremerton today.

A 71-year-old man, who the suspect reportedly knew, was shot and has been hospitalized, according to a press release from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.

Here’s what happened, according to the sheriff’s office’s press release:

Patrol deputies responded around 4 p.m. today to a report of a shooting in the 2000 block of Chico Way NW. The victim reportedly left before deputies arrived. Instead, they found a 67-year-old man who they detained and then arrested.

The gunshot victim drove to the Red Apple Market and Diner, located on Kitsap Way in Bremerton, where deputies and a medic unit also responded. He was transported to Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton, where he was listed as in serious condition.

Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the reason for the shooting. The suspect was booked into Kitsap County Jail around 6 p.m. on a charge of first-degree assault. Bail was set at $500,000.

The state attorney general filed a complaint earlier this week against a right-leaning think tank, alleging it violated campaign finance laws.

The attorney general’s office announced on Friday that it filed a complaint in Thurston County Superior Court against the Olympia-based Freedom Foundation — a think tank described as “conservative,” “libertarian,” or “free-market,” depending on who you ask.

The attorney general alleges that the foundation failed to properly file independent expenditure reports disclosing money it spent to oppose statewide ballot measures — in particular, the foundation has launched a campaign opposing Initiative 1501, which concerns raising penalties for fraud and identity theft perpetrated against senior citizens.

The initiative was bankrolled by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is embroiled in a long and bitter feud with the Freedom Foundation.

A guy is calling Kitsap County residents saying he’s from the sheriff’s office. He tells people they’ve failed to appear for jury duty, that a warrant has been issued for their arrest, and that if they pay $2,000, he can make it all go away.

But he’s full of shit.

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office and other local agencies, including the county clerk’s office, is advising the public that this ongoing scam has resurfaced in the West Sound area.

The caller reportedly identifies himself as Stephen Davenport, a court investigator with the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office. He tells people they failed to show up for jury service, “grand jury duty,” or committed some other offense, and that a warrant has subsequently been issued for their arrest. He even goes so far as to tell people they should appear in a courtroom at a specific time and date to deal with the warrant.

In order to quash the warrant, the scammer reportedly tells his victims they must pay him money via a prepaid card, such as Green Dot prepaid Visa or MasterCard debit cards, or MoneyPak. He seems to usually ask for $2,000.

jurydutyscam
The asshole calling people and telling them there’s a warrant out for their arrest because they didn’t show up for jury duty reportedly texted some of the victims photos of this fake ID card. (Courtesy of Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office)

People report that the caller sounds credible and believable, and he’s even texted victims a fake ID card, purportedly from the sheriff’s office.

DON’T FALL FOR IT!

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office plays no role in jury administration. Court services and jury administration are under the sole purview of the county clerk.

All communication regarding jury duty is sent out in writing. No department of county government will

Young people voting for the first time in this election may never see another presidential faceoff like it again. Today in Seattle at the National Conference on Afterschool and Summer Learning, where the theme is “Dare to Disrupt,” young, first-time voters will open up about their feelings toward the election and their hopes for the nation’s future.

Cris Romero, a student at Highline College who is part of the “Youth Sparks” panel today, said he isn’t deterred by the combative tone of the presidential campaigns.

“It’s been quite a ride, but I am excited,” he said. “I’m confident that whoever is elected in end will be able to make great and positive changes, as we move on to our next president.”

Romero said the issues that concern him include the country’s infrastructure, LGBT rights, and immigration. The conference brings together educators and researchers from across the country for three days to discuss the advantages of after-school and summer learning programs for kids.

Romero said he was pursuing a career as a commercial pilot, but after getting involved as a volunteer in local politics, his track may have changed. He said he’s met with local politicians, and the election might have swayed him toward a career in public service or politics instead.

Romero explained, “I do think these elections have kind of helped me, inspired me to a fundamental level, in which I can say to myself, ‘Wow, well, it takes a lot to run for public office, let alone run for the presidency.'”

The National Summer Learning Association and School’s Out Washington are hosting this year’s Dare to Disrupt conference, with more than a thousand participants attending. The event includes over 70 sessions, including an opening session with City of Seattle Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim.

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