Seattle Morning News Bytes: Tuesday, Sep. 25th

Recession-less in Seattle, but not the rest of King County. If the new Seattle budget is any indication, the city is moving out of the Great Recession in convincing fashion. The Seattle Times is reporting that not only is the city’s budget increasing by 3 percent but sales tax revenues are up by an astounding 13 percent. Hiring is expected to rise in city government as well. The rest of King County, however, is struggling as growth is nearly stalled all while various news fees are being proposed, including a new car “tab” for unincorporated areas.

Cycling on the Eastside. Kirkland wants a bike-sharing program and may get it sooner than expected. The Kirkland Reporter says that Mayor Joan McBride hopes to speed up the process that could have taken another 5 years.

Wearing “green face?” Some elected representatives of Seattle and Portland may only be pretending to be against coal exports to China. This according to the SeattlePI which is reporting that Mayor Mike McGinn, who backed an anti-coal resolution against the exports, may actually flirting with Big Coal. McGinn may buckle because of  a local ad blitz promoting how regional ports will benefit from such shipping.

Night of the living dead bees. What are being called “Zombie Bees” have been found in Kent, WA. From the AP, bees are being infected with a parasite that controls their bodies, causing them to fly at night and lurch like zombies until they die. This may explain Colony Collapse Disorder and is hurting bees’ ability to pollinate, which in turn, means less food for humans.

Social Security, Austerity. Austerity, Social Security. The Huffington Post is warning Democrats that President Obama is planning on cutting the Social Security benefits structure during a lame duck session after the November elections. He intends to strike a deal with the minority GOP in the Senate.

ACT up. The ACTs have now surpassed the SATs as the standardized test of choice for high school students. Once only popular in the Midwest, the ACT is growing in use on the Coasts. Also, SAT scores are down.

Give me your textbook money. The Collegiate Industrial Complex is not just an American problem. Our Canadian neighbors to the north are feeling the pain as college textbooks cost students more than $1000 per year. The university bubble is getting international attention but, of particular interest here is an art text book with no pictures inside. Publishers say it is to save money.

The Flintstones were not real. Finally, Seattle’s own Bill Nye “The Science Guy” is spreading the alarm of how creationists are hurting innovation in science. “The Earth is not 6,000 or 10,000 years old,” Nye said in an interview with The Associated Press. “It’s not. And if that conflicts with your beliefs, I strongly feel you should question your beliefs.”

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