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Tuesday, March 4, 2014 -- 9:41 pm Come face-to-face with the future at Spaceport America The Woodinville Weekly - Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space at Spaceport America. Photo by Deborah Stone.The mere notion of personal and commercial spaceflight is enough to send anyone's imagination into orbit. But, when you stand on the site of New Mexico's publicly owned Spaceport America, the world's first purpose-built commercial spaceport, the visions quickly become an exciting reality.
Through special preview tours, visitors are allowed exclusive access to the Spaceport during its current preoperational phase, giving them an up close and personal encounter with the coming of the Second Space Age.
To understand just how far Spaceport America has come, it's important to go back to the early 1990s when a group of space-minded New Mexicans saw the potential future of the commercial space industry. They joined together to form the Southwest Space Task Force to promote the State of New Mexico as a location to develop an FAA-approved spaceport.
Monday, March 3, 2014 -- 2:00 pm State law lets undocumented immigrants get state financial aid for college The Woodinville Weekly - Photo courtesy of OneAmerica. Governor Jay Inslee signs the Real Hope Act into law last Wednesday. The law will let undocumented immigrants apply for state need-based financial aid for college. Faride Cuevas works more than 40 hours per week doing consulting, data entry and as a summer camp counselor. Ray Corona waited tables full-time until he got a job as a student worker on campus. Maria Cortes works 20 to 40 hours per week as a host and coach at a sports facility.
The three University of Washington Bothell students paid for their education through private scholarships and by working. As undocumented immigrants, they weren't eligible for state financial aid.
"That pressure I felt is huge," said Cortes, a community psychology major with a minor in education and society. "It was an incredibly tough balance for me to go to school full-time and keep up grades and also work."
That changed last week, when Governor Jay Inslee signed the Real Hope Act into law. The Real Hope Act will let undocumented immigrants apply for state need-based financial aid.
The Act also provides an additional $5 million, which would serve about 1,200 students, to the current pool of college aid, said Rachelle Sharpe, senior director for financial aid and support services for the Washington Student Achievement Council.
The Real Hope Act will go into effect on June 11 -- 90 days after the state legislature adjourns. To qualify for state aid under the Real Hope Act, undocumented immigrants must also qualify for deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA), a federal program that applies to people whose parents brought them to the U.S illegally as children, and who have pursued education or military service. It gives those immigrants a two-year permit to work in the U.S. and a reprieve from removal proceedings.
Because students must have DACA status to get state financial aid through the Real Hope Act, it means they can be eligible to work after they graduate from college, if they renew their DACA status.
"When you're interacting with these students, it's so clear that this is going to be a win-win for our community," said Jorge Barón, executive director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. "Students will benefit our community through their education."
For example, Cuevas, a junior studying business at UW Bothell, wants to be able to provide for her 15-year-old twin sisters and her parents. She wants a career that will let her help the community, such as corporate social responsibility or education policy.
"It's going to definitely take a lot of stress off me," she said of the Real Hope Act. "Every quarter, around midterms, that's when you start thinking, 'How am I going to pay for next quarter?' You can't just think about midterms."
Corona, who became an admissions advisor at UW Bothell after graduating from the school, had a similar story. In fact, he took a quarter off because he felt discouraged that he wouldn't be able to use his degree after he graduated.
Monday, March 3, 2014 -- 1:58 pm Neighbors, government officials debate merits of Wellington Park The Woodinville Weekly - Photo courtesy of Bill Stankus. Snohomish County plans to build seven sports fields, picnic shelters, trails, a dog park and a playground in what it describes as a community park at the site of the Wellington Hills Golf Course. Neighbors call it a regional sports complex and say it will destroy the area's rural atmosphere. The debate isn't over about Wellington Hills County Park, where Snohomish County Parks and Recreation plans to build seven sports fields, trails and more on what used to be a golf course.
Neighbors, who have formed a group called Neighbors to Save Wellington Park, say Snohomish County Parks Director Tom Teigen is misleading about how the park will affect people nearby and is unwilling to take the community's input.
"Our parks director tends to make a lot of statements that are only half true," said Tina Stewart, a member of NSWP.
Teigen says the park's critics make up a small percentage of the community.
"Most people believe this is a great community asset," he said. "...They're quietly and patiently waiting for us to get done, and they don't want to engage in the big fight with their neighbors."Still, Teigen says he's met with the community repeatedly, at more than 20 meetings, and has changed some aspects of the park design that people didn't like. The Parks Department has reconfigured the sports fields to increase buffer areas and reduce light glare, reduced parking area and impervious surfaces, increased traffic mitigation and road improvements and reduced the number of fields from nine to seven, he wrote in an open letter.
"They took two fields out because they couldn't fit them," Stewart says. She and other neighbors are most concerned with the four lighted, synthetic turf fields planned for the park. "That's not a really significant accommodation."
She cites a 2011 community survey about Parks and Recreation in Snohomish County.
Respondents listed "trails" and "leisure" as their highest priorities; "sports facilities" and "special use facilities" were the lowest priorities.
One point of contention is how much of the park will be developed and how much will be left as open space. Teigen says 25 acres of the 104-acre park will be developed, and 79 acres will be left as open space.
However, the Parks department's Land Disturbing Activity permit (obtained from NSWP) for the park asked permission to clear 47 acres. (Teigen says that much land is already cleared for the golf course, and that the permit is to grade the land for parking and fields, not to clear it.)Another problem, Stewart says, is that the Parks department's financial assumptions don't match the traffic projections for the park. The pro forma about financial assumptions leaves out key assumptions about number of games, visitors, or trips, so it's hard to compare the two. "Without the assumptions explicitly stated, it's hard to ensure that all of the studies were based on the same overall projections for site usage," Stewart said.
But she and other neighbors Read more...
Monday, March 3, 2014 -- 1:56 pm Islamic Center of Bothell target of anti-Muslim messages The Woodinville Weekly - Photos by Shannon Michael. In booklets that had been handed out at an Islamic seminar at the Bothell Library recently, someone wrote hate messages against the Islamic faith and left 10 of these booklets strategically placed throughout the parking lot at the Islamic Center of Bothell. They were discovered on the morning of February 22. It is the latest incident after three previous ones, that prompted ICOB to contact Bothell Police Department and the FBI to ask for an investigation. After an escalation of targeted anti-Muslim incidents at the Islamic Center of Bothell (ICOB), located on the second floor of a building on East Riverside Drive, the Bothell Police Department and the FBI have begun an investigation to determine if the events were bias-motivated.
"The reason why we thought this rose to such a level is because there has not been just one or two or three but a series of events that have targeted this community.
"We took the last one very seriously and called for a federal investigation into the series of events that have taken place," said Arsalan Bukhari, executive director of the Washington State chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), at a press conference held on February 24.
In November 2012 some books related to Islam had some hate messages written on them and were left in a bag near the women's entrance to the center.
"That incident was not reported to police," Bukhari said.
On September 28, 2013, the A-frame sign along the street was spray painted on both sides with black spray paint smeared all over the signage.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 -- 11:25 am Neighbors near future park complain about traffic, loss of rural atmosphere The Woodinville Weekly - Sharon Peterson held up a binder with 600 pages of complaints about the proposed Wellington Hills County Park.
"The Neighbors to Save Wellington Park has a name for this book," Peterson said at last week's City Council meeting during a public hearing about the park. "They call it the 'thud factor.'"
She dropped the volume on floor, and it lived up to its name.
Peterson was one of about 20 people at the public hearing who said they opposed the planned park, which would be built at the site of the former Wellington Hills Golf Course in Snohomish County on the border of Woodinville. No one spoke in favor of the park.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 -- 11:24 am Christian Niccum reflects on his Olympic experience The Woodinville Weekly - Christian Niccum was hoping the third time would be a charm. Twice before he'd participated in the Winter Games, via the luge competition.
He hadn't yet won gold though, but was gunning for it now, one last time. So the 36-year-old Woodinville resident had trained harder than ever before. He overcame two back surgeries, a blown Achilles heel and money worries that stemmed from focusing more on the Olympics and less on the workaday world.
"Everyone can relate to the dream of winning that gold medal," Niccum said. "And standing on that podium and hearing that anthem play. Feeling that ultimate success. I felt that in my dreams so many times over the years."
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 -- 11:22 am Woodinville bans marijuana businesses inside city limits The Woodinville Weekly - The City Council voted 5-2 last week to prohibit marijuana businesses within Woodinville's city limits, after a debate that focused on federal law versus state law and the best way to protect children from the drug.
During a public hearing, one person spoke in favor of marijuana businesses and one other spoke against them.
Andreas Kolshorn asked the council members to reconsider their stereotypes of marijuana.
Thursday, January 16, 2014 -- 12:35 pm Correction: Fatal Bellevue Crash story Associated Press - In a story Sept. 16, 2013, about bail being set for Samuel Sampson, a man accused of causing a fatal car crash in Bellevue, The Associated Press, relying on information his lawyer provided to a judge, reported erroneously that he worked for Microsoft. Microsoft says Sampson was not employed by the company, but by a contractor working for Microsoft.Read more...
Thursday, September 19, 2013 -- 6:06 pm Charges filed in fiery Wash. crash that killed man Associated Press - The King County prosecutor has filed a vehicular homicide charge against a man accused of causing a fatal, fiery crash as he drove along Interstate 405 in suburban Bellevue at speeds exceeding 120 mph.Read more...
Friday, September 13, 2013 -- 12:56 pm Lawyer: Victim of crash was heading home from lake Associated Press - The Washington State Patrol suspects a driver going more than 100 mph was under the influence of methamphetamine when he struck another car, killing its driver in a fiery crash on Interstate 405.Read more...
Friday, September 13, 2013 -- 10:58 am Victim in fatal Bellevue crash identified Associated Press - The Washington State Patrol suspects a driver speeding more than 100 mph was under the influence of methamphetamine when he struck another car, killing the other driver in a fiery crash on I-405.Read more...
Friday, September 13, 2013 -- 8:46 am WSP suspects meth in fatal Bellevue crash Associated Press - The Washington State Patrol suspects a driver speeding more than 100 mph was under the influence of methamphetamine when he struck another car, killing the other driver in a fiery crash on I-405.Read more...