Washingon State Governor, Attorney General lead legal response to Supreme Court psychiatric boarding decision

On Friday Attorney General Bob Ferguson, in conjunction with a broad coalition of organizations, filed a motion in the Washington State

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Superior Court Judge Gordon Godfrey stepping down, local attorney stepping up

On August 4, 2014, Hon. Gordon L. Godfrey announced his resignation from the bench effective October 1, 2014. Governor Jay Inslee is now seeking interested and qualified members of the Washington

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2014 WA Primary: Your vote, your voice

by Brian Zylstra

Ten years after Washington voters adopted the Top 2 Primary system by initiative, it’s time for the 2014 edition.

Check your mail over the next few days for your Primary ballot. 

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Candidate filing week begins with 21 openings in Grays Harbor

Candidate filing week begins today, and closes at 4:30 p.m., Friday, May 16, 2014. Elections Supervisor Katy Moore tells us candidates wishing to file in person can do so at the Grays Harbor

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Nurses Celebrate National Nurses Week by Uniting to Protect Patient Care

OLYMPIA, Wash. - It's National Nurses Week, and just as pioneering nurse Florence Nightingale tended to wounded soldiers, nurses today are also on the front lines, fighting to protect patient care. The Affordable Care Act has come under attack, but nurses across the country say there's too much at stake to take away the benefits of the law.

Norberto Molina of Miami has worked as a nurse for over 20 years. He says he cared for one little girl who had cancer but was denied coverage by three different insurance companies when she had a recurrence. He credits the Affordable Care Act for changing that practice.

This is a little four-year-old girl that was being treated for something, and then three years later she comes back to the same thing. The father told me it was like night and day the problems that he had to go through with the insurance companies. - Norberto Molina

The Affordable Care Act is also ensuring that young adults can extend coverage through their parent's plans, make preventive care free, crack down on waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare, and subject insurance company rate hikes to a more thorough review. 

State Supreme Court and FCC Side With Phone Customers

OLYMPIA, Wash. - It's taken years in both cases, but the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Washington State Supreme Court have just handed phone customers a couple of victories.

The FCC has approved new rules to prevent "cramming," the practice of phone companies adding bogus charges to monthly landline bills. And the state Supreme Court has ruled that Cingular, now known as AT&T Mobility, was illegally passing along a business tax to its customers from 2002 to 2006.

A lead attorney in that case, Dave Breskin of Seattle, says deciphering the charges on a typical phone bill takes more effort than customers should have to make.

They make them look like they're taxes - or, there's no real connection between what's stated on your bill and anything that makes sense to you. So, for most consumers, I think it's a very difficult task to figure out when they're being cheated. - attorney Dave Breskin

The Washington case began in 2006 with customers who questioned their cell phone bills. Breskin says the amounts billed extra are often so small that it's easier to pay them than fight about it. However, they do not amount to small change to the companies involved.

Hot Coffee Documentary Comes to Coffee Capital

SEATTLE, Wash. - The movie "Hot Coffee" focuses on a controversy its filmmaker says has been brewing for years - between corporate America and the legal system. Over the next few months, screenings and discussions are being held in at least eight Washington cities statewide, starting Wednesday in Seattle. Visit the movie's website at www.hotcoffeethemovie.com

The case of the woman who sued McDonald's when she was scalded by hot coffee got international attention, but it's only one example in the film. Director Susan Saladoff says corporations continue to spend millions to distort public perceptions of lawsuits - and are working to "cap" or limit damages when they're found liable.

When you put a cap on these cases, the taxpayers wind up paying the balance, because when the insurance companies and the defendant are limited in what they have to pay, doesn't mean that the person injured doesn't need the money to pay for their medical bills and so on. It just means that we, as taxpayers, pay through Medicare or Medicaid. - Director Susan Saladoff

Keep The Change Signs Previewed

Anti Panhandling signs headed for downtown AberdeenABERDEEN, Wash. - The City Council got a preview of the new panhandling signs that will soon be posted in hotspots downtown. Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson presented the new sign at the council meeting last night, they cost the city between 32 and 53 dollars depending on size, and were inspired by signs found in Spokane.

 

Police Chief Bob Torgerson said the city has no ordinance against the panhandlers "we're not saying they can't panhandle or anything else, we're just trying to inform people that the best choice is to give it to a charity that can  really help people in need."  The Supreme court has ruled that panhandling is a form of free speech protected under the first amendment of the US Constitution.