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VA Reports Show Hospitals Need Further Improvement

Veterans Affair Department

The Veterans Affairs administration has had significant issues over the years. Between internal matters festering to the outside, false reporting, and patient care falling to the wayside over the years, the VA has not been meeting standards. With yearly VA reports recently released, reports indicate that improvements have been made, but, not enough has been changed to create sustainable change. The Veterans Affairs administration has struggled to provide quality care to veterans. The VA has released new statistics that show small steps are being achieved to move this broken system in a better direction. According to USA Today, the number of one-star Veterans Affairs hospitals has dropped from 14 to nine since last year. That means that will improvements are being made, but, there is still a lot of progress to be made.

A VA medical center in Memphis Tennessee has been one of the lowest rated medical centers in the country. It was recently ranked a one-star hospital for the third year in a row. The issues in this hospital that have been reported have surrounded the critical issue of patient safety. Patient safety issues have increased at this location and led to the low score this facility continues to receive. The questions persist, why can’t they improve the processes or leadership that prohibit this facility to earn a higher rating that would ultimately help veterans? If there are consistent issues, there might be a theme that runs through these hospitals. Employees within the VA have reported that internal reporting can fall on deaf ears, and often issues that need to be addressed are pushed aside or silenced. This is not a way to fix a broken system.

Facilities that continually score low and have persistent problems need increased monitoring and stronger leadership. In the reports that are released each year, there seem to be several consistent findings among the lower performing hospitals. Not surprisingly, the Phoenix VA hospital remains at the bottom of the barrel for national ranking. Since the 2014 scandal that arose out of their false patient reporting, it seems like they have made very little progress. Across the board, there was both downward and upward movement for hospitals across the country. While some improved, others dropped. This inconsistent in upward improvement reveals that there is still a lot of work to improve the system so that veterans across the country are receiving quality care.

Whistleblowers have been coming forward to expose the truth about their patient or professional experience with the VA. When they have come forward, Attorney Natalie Khawam of the Whistleblower Law Firm has been representing them in their fight for justice. Khawam works with internal and external whistleblowers, as well as veterans who are not receiving the proper health care they are entitled to that have led to problems that could have been prevented. While veterans were willing to put their lives on the line for our country’s freedom, when they return home they are not always treated how one would expect. Attorney Khawam has represented several veterans who have fallen victim to low VA healthcare standards.

Sergeant First Class Richard Stayskal is a veteran. Due to a misdiagnosis, Stayskal is facing terminal cancer. He will leave behind a wife and two children and is not able to take legal action according to certain doctrines. Attorney Khawam is representing him to fight for a different outcome and find recourse for him and his family. Another example of this is when Attorney Khawam represented a Marine combat veteran who was trying to sue for malpractice. A five-year delay in diagnosing potential cancer will cut his life short. If the VA isn’t taking care of its patients, someone else must fight for their and their family’s future and ensure mistakes made by healthcare providers are corrected. Of course, health care providers are not perfect, and sometimes mistakes are made. But the consistent pattern of the VA failing its veterans is displayed through the misdiagnosis that was fueled further by unreasonable wait times.

These recent reports do not instill confidence in Veterans and their families. The only thing that seems consistent about the VA is how inconsistent the system functions. It is a terrifying thought that the inefficiency of VA hospitals leads to life or death outcomes. But unfortunately, this has been the result for some veterans who have had to rely on VA health care. Systems that have persisting problems take time to improve. But is unfortunate for veterans located in specific parts of the country, that little to no improvement has been made in the lowest ranking hospitals. Thankfully there are resources like the Whistleblower Law Firm, who aim to help veterans get what they deserve. & Websites Turned Against Them

Some would say it is a sweet revenge. Yesterday, it was discovered that the & websites were turned into victim resource websites. We got more information on the domain in the news. It was purchased 3 years ago by the team at and their CEO Gabe Roth also mentioned they have many others they may use in the future. All we know about the Harvey Weinstein url is that it was on the auction block and they have been sitting on it until recently. It is a sad turn of events.

The two websites share a similar layout. They are resource sites to help victims reach out to the proper authorities.

Brett Kavanaugh Harvey Weinstein

The lesson out of all of this is that you must own your own domain if you’re in the public spotlight. This includes CEO’s, celebrities, and politicians. If not, they won’t have the ability to control what is placed on them and it may not be the best information.

Today also marks the anniversary of the #MeToo Movement. The movement has come along way since the allegations against Harvey Weinstein started to flood in. We’ve seen a lot of happenings along the way. From false allegations to Senator Al Franken stepping down and of course the recent confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court where several women accused him of sexual assault.

Jenny Durkan’s $5.9 Billion Dollar Budget Proposal in Seattle

Jenny Durkan

The City of Seattle looks forward with Mayor Jenny Durkan’s announcement of her 2019 and 2020 budget proposal. Being Durkan’s first budget proposal, she excitedly began with, “Good afternoon. It is an honor to be with you today as I present my first budget as mayor of Seattle. I know the Mayor is usually at City Hall to deliver her budget speech. And yes: After 100 years, that’s what I said, ‘Her budget speech.’”

This monumental moment for Durkan was followed by the city’s plans and budget for the coming years.

A proposed allotment of money has been set aside for the employment of 40 new police officers, 120 firefighters, and 24 new call center employees for Seattle Public Utilities and Seattle City Light, according to The Seattle Times. The city’s transportation services will be greatly benefited from Durkan’s proposed budget. $2.5 million is granted toward Sound Transit with the planning of a new light rail station. King County Metro will be asked to add more bus services around Seattle as well. Additionally, new bus and bike lanes will be added in the city under the new budget.

Durkan is working for taxpayers to vote “yes” on the school levy this November in attempts to fund preschool, K-12, and community college schools in Seattle. An allotment of $2.6 billion is going toward Seattle utilities — this includes garbage, recycling, clean water, and power.

Durkan’s most prevalent headlining budget is her proposal toward managing homelessness in the city. A proposed budget of $89.5 million was made toward the funding of programs, resources, and departments aiding the homelessness epidemic. In the first half of her inaugural year as mayor, Durkan’s efforts resulted in two times the re-homing of homeless individuals than the year prior. More than 500 beds were added to Seattle homeless shelters during her first year. The mayor’s budget proposal took what was once temporary spending money toward the homelessness and made it permanent. Durkan’s Biennial Budget Proposal has laid out the city’s plan to implement 2,300 more emergency shelter beds, 70% of these beds being 24/7 enhanced shelter beds. Continued investment into the Seattle Rental Housing Assistant Pilot program and Seattle’s Tiny Home Village are to happen thanks to Durkan. The homelessness crisis has resulted in abundant amounts of trash and garbage in the city, especially in encampment areas. Durkan’s budget supports 4 cleanup programs to help resolve this issue. The Homelessness and Housing Investments budget sheet states, “including…removing trash from unmanaged encampments, cleaning trash in the public right-of-way, providing litter bags to unmanaged encampments and collecting syringes from public places and disposal boxes throughout Seattle.” Since the beginning of these programs a count of 111,000 syringe needles have been picked up.

Mayor Jenny Durkan’s leading-edge budget proposal leads the way to a productive and innovative upcoming few years for the City of Seattle.

*User Submitted Article

Fremont Oktoberfest Sponsored by The Seattle Times

People at Fremont Oktoberfest

Germany’s largest festival, Oktoberfest, is right around the corner as September nears its end. This long-standing German tradition has been around for almost 200 years and brings people from all over the globe together to celebrate this festival. Munich, Germany hosts the traditional festival as it was where the first ever Oktoberfest took place. Oktoberfest’s large popularity has resulted in pop-up Oktoberfest events all over the globe, including Seattle and the greater Seattle area.

Fremont Oktoberfest

Sponsored by The Seattle Times, this festival runs September 21st thru the 23rd. This strictly 21+ event offers over 100 craft beers, ciders, German beers, and many local breweries including Mac & Jack’s, Snoqualmie Falls, Redhook, Peddler, Jellyfish , Elysian, and 10 Barell Brewing Co. Beer tasting takes place with the help of the 5 oz. mini mug (included with every General Admission Oktoberfest ticket purchase).

The most popular event of Fremont’s Oktoberfest (aside from the beer) are the Texas Chainsaw Pumpkin Carving, Stein Hoisting Competition, and the Street Scramble. The Texas Chainsaw Pumpkin Carving contest consists of carving artists gouging into pumpkins as guts (just pumpkin guts don’t worry) fly everywhere. Visitors won’t want to miss this Fremont Oktoberfest tradition. For the strong willed and persistent, the Stein Hoisting Competition is for you. See who can hold a stein full of water with their arm straight out and parallel to the ground the longest. Festival goers may want to practice their stein hoisting mastery to succeed in this challenge. For a family friendly day, the Street Scramble is a perfect choice. described this event as, “…an urban adventure that’s fun for runners, walkers, and families! Dozens of checkpoints are marked on a special map and your goal is to find as many as you can within the time limit. Whether you sprint or stroll is up to you! You can participate solo or in teams of 2-5.” Be sure to register for this all-aged fun filled day here.

Sunday Funday at Oktoberfest brings a few more big events. Beer + Yoga kicks off Sunday with an hour long yoga session at the Main Stage. After the yoga practice is done, yogi’s can taste local beers and continue their day stress free. Sunday is also Dogtoberfest– bring your pooch and even dress them up in Bavarian wear to help celebrate Oktoberfest. Even enter your furry friends in the CityMagazine Dog Model Contest for a chance to kickstart your dog’s modeling career.

To keep up to date on your favorite sports teams, be sure to visit the Indoor Beer Hall and Sports Bar. Watch live Coug, Husky, Sounders, Mariners, and Seahawks games while enjoying the festivities of Oktoberfest and sipping on your 5oz. mini mug, or enjoy a full-size beer too.

A brief weekend schedule from includes:

• Friday: Texas Chainsaw Pumpkin Carving, Stein Hoisting, WSU Football on Giant Screens
• Saturday: Husky Football & More College Games in the Giant Indoor Sports Bar
• Sunday: Watch the Hawks on the Indoor Sports Screens; Dogs welcome for Dogtoberfest!

Purchase tickets here:

Oktoberfest entrance:
3503 Phinney Ave Seattle, WA 98103

Friday Sep. 21: 5pm-12am
Saturday Sep. 22: 12pm-12am
Saturday Sep. 23: 12pm-6pm

Leavenworth Oktoberfest

“Oktoberfest in Leavenworth is the next best thing to being in Munich”

Washington’s iconic Bavarian town hosts its own Oktoberfest each October, not for one weekend, but for three. Leavenworth has everything it needs for the perfect Oktoberfest ambiance– from buildings, decorations, outfits, and general spirit. Oktoberfest in Leavenworth is accompanied by live music, authentic bratwursts, brews, and dancing. A key feature of Leavenworth’s festival is that it is open to all ages before 9pm. This leaves plenty of time for families of all ages to engage in all sorts of activities. A keg tapping ceremony happens each Saturday of the festival downtown at 1pm. Take the kids to “Kinderplatz”, an area with climbing walls, bouncy houses, and other memorable activities. Enjoy the selection of foods from BBQ, turkey legs, German chocolate cake, and much more. Beer will of course be available, along with Copa wine and soft drinks. Stages will have musical performers that you can find scheduled here.

Purchase tickets at:

Leavenworth is a bit more than a two hour drive east of Seattle. There are many ways to get to this festival including driving, shuttles, buses, trains, and even planes.

Driving directions to this event from Seattle can be found, here.

Theses websites can help you get over to Leavenworth with ease:

State Legislator and Seattle City Councilmembers Receive Washington Champions for Children Award

Washington State Champions for Kids Sept 2018

Federal Way, Wash. (September 17, 2018) – State Representative Tana Senn (D-Mercer Island) and Seattle City Councilmembers Rob Johnson and Lorena González received the Washington State Champion for Children Award from Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) at SCAN’s annual advocacy summit over the weekend. This is the first time that SCAN has given Champions for Children awards in Washington State.

“In Washington, we’re fortunate to have strong champions for kids who understand the critical importance of early learning. I’m so glad that we were able to recognize three elected officials who worked hard to prioritize early learning this year,” said Kris Perry, President of SCAN. “Every child deserves a strong start in life, and thanks to our champions, more children in Washington will get one. SCAN looks forward to continuing to work with these policymakers to make continued progress for early learning and children’s issues.”
Perry described why each winner received the award.

“Rep. Tana Senn fiercely advocated for more home visiting funding, ultimately winning an additional $2.3 million state dollars for home visiting across the state. Thanks to her efforts, hundreds more families and young children will have access to vital home visiting services that prepare kids for kindergarten and support healthy early childhood development.”

“Seattle City Councilmembers Rob Johnson and Lorena González worked tirelessly to create a balanced Families, Education, Preschool and Promise (FEPP) Levy that supports children from cradle to career. Thanks to their leadership, the final FEPP Levy includes a significant and critical investment in preschool and early learning. If voters support the FEPP Levy on the November ballot, the Seattle Preschool Program will not only be sustained, it will grow by 1,000 slots, translating to thousands of kids getting access to affordable, high-quality preschool. ”
On Saturday, dozens of volunteer advocates traveled from all over Washington State for the annual advocacy summit, in which they engaged in a day of learning and training, with the goal of empowering volunteers to use their voice for kids.

Photo: From left, Seattle City Councilmembers Lorena González and Rob Johnson and state Rep. Tana Senn accept the Save the Children Action Network State Champion for Children Award in Federal Way on Saturday, September 15. Save the Children Action Network has worked at the local, state and federal levels in Washington since 2014 to expand access to high-quality early childhood education in the U.S. and end preventable deaths of mothers and children around the world.

Save the Children Action Network is the political voice for kids.

Bloodworks Northwest Asking for Donations Ahead of Hurricane Florence.

Hurricane Florence Give Blood

SEATTLE, WA (September 11, 2018) — As Hurricane Florence approaches landfall, Bloodworks Northwest has sent an emergency shipment of 34 blood components to hospitals in North Carolina and Virginia to help these coastal areas prepare for the potentially devastating impact of the hurricane.

Bloodworks Northwest is concerned that a critically low inventory of type O blood and several other blood types and platelets will leave them hard-pressed to provide additional hurricane support if needed, let alone meet needs of the nearly 100 local hospitals that count on Bloodworks for even common procedures like surgeries.
“While our primary mission supports local patients, when catastrophes happen we do whatever we can to help, even when local supplies are as tight as they’ve been in recent weeks,” said James P. AuBuchon, MD, president and CEO of Bloodworks. “It is our amazing donors who make it possible.”

Blood donors are urged to make an appointment now or in the coming days to meet demand. A blood type is considered critically low when it reaches a two-day supply, as opposed to a four-day supply. It takes 800 donor registrations every day to maintain an operational blood supply in the Northwest.

“Once our community returns to stable inventories, we will be prepared to assist with additional emergency blood shipments to help those affected by hurricanes or other disasters,” said AuBuchon. “The blood already collected and on the shelves allows us to respond to emergencies when they happen. We can be prepared if our generous donors step up like they did last year during Hurricane Harvey and Amtrak 501.”

Appointments can be made at centers and blood drives online at or by calling 1-800-398-7888. More information at

About Bloodworks Northwest
Bloodworks is backed by 70 years of Northwest history and 250,000 donors. It is local, nonprofit, independent, volunteer-supported and community-based. A recognized leader in transfusion medicine, Bloodworks serves patients in more than 90 hospitals in Washington, Oregon and Alaska — partnering closely with local hospitals to deliver the highest level of patient care. Patients with traumatic injuries, undergoing surgeries or organ transplantation, or receiving treatment for cancer and blood disorders all depend on our services, expertise, laboratories and research. For more information, visit

Bloodworks Northwest Donor Centers
Appointments and information at or 1-800-398-7888
Blood drive schedule at

•Bellevue Center
1807 132nd Avenue NE
Bellevue, WA 98005

•Bellingham Center
410 W Bakerview Rd., Suite 117
Bellingham, WA 98226

•Central Seattle
921 Terry Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104

•Everett Center
2703 Oakes Avenue
Everett, WA 98201

•Federal Way Center
1414 S 324TH Street
Suite B101
Federal Way, WA 98003

•Lynnwood Center
19723 Highway 99, Suite F
Lynnwood, WA 98036

•Olympia Center
1220 Eastside Street SE
Olympia, WA 98501

•North Seattle Center
10357 Stone Avenue N
Seattle, WA 98133

•Silverdale Center
3230 NW Randall Way
Silverdale, WA 98383

•Tukwila Center
130 Andover Park E
Tukwila, WA 98188

•Vancouver, WA Donor Center
9320 NE Vancouver Mall Blvd, Suite 100
Vancouver, WA 98662

•Lane Donor Center
2211 Willamette St
Eugene, OR 97405

Washington State Fair 2018

Washington State Fair

The annual Washington State Fair opened earlier this month for it’s 21 day return each Fall. Washington’s 2018 State Fair began August 31st and runs through September 23rd in the great city of Puyallup, WA. Bring together family, friends, and loved ones for a Fall kick-off with good food and entertainment at the Washington State Fair.
A long standing Washingtonian tradition of attending the fair has been around since the opening of the fair in 1900. Beginning as a small valley fair to show neighboring and nearby folk agriculture and food, it has blossomed into quite the function. Today’s fair brings visitors from all over the state back every year with the fun new and exhilarating things to see and do.

Exhibits, attractions, and rides are all the most ranted and raved about parts of visitor’s Washington State Fair experiences. This 2018 fair season features farm life exhibits, petting zoos, art showcases, stained glass blowing, cooking shows, the Farm at Sillyville, a Cirque Ma’Ceo Equestrian Stunt Show, Discover the Dinosaurs and much more. Classic rides include the Classic Coaster, Antique Carousel, and ultimate fair favorite– the Extreme Scream. For thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies, the Sling Shot will fling you high into the sky while the Zipper, Zero Gravity, or Tornado can fill your adrenaline fix from a lower altitude. Get the most bang for your buck by purchasing an Xfinity Dizzy Pass– a wristband granting visitors unlimited rides. We may recommend hitting the rides prior to rolling over to the food courts. Washington State Fair food classics of Fisher Fair Scones, Elephant Ears, deep fried foods, barbeque, roasted corn, pizza, caramel apples, cotton candy, Earthquake Burgers, and of course Krusty Pups, are all awaiting visitors inside the fairgrounds.

The Columbia Bank Concert Series is by far the most popular attended fairground event. Located in the Grandstands near the North end of the fair, this venue’s capacity of over 10,000 allows for large and grand concerts. Headliners for this 2018 Washington State Fair Concert Series include Khalid, Florida Georgia Line, Macklemore, Brett Eldredge, Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts, and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and Cheap Trick. Get tickets here.

Help the Washington State Fair preserve their values of: Education, Family, and Fun. The fairgrounds commits itself itself to ensuring the enhancement of education in the Puyallup area by offering generous scholarships, hosting the annual Puyallup School District Science Fair, and in many other ways. Family friendly activities are held in the fair year round, from quilting shows, dogs shows, to Santa’s photo opportunities from his vacation from the North Pole. The Washington State Fair and these other year round activities are funded by the charitable donations made by donors. To help keep the fair up and running, donations may be made here. For more information on donating and ways to do so, please visit:

Plan your 2018 Washington State Fair trip at:

Commuting down to the fair? Save some gas and shuttle down with others here:

Google Maps Directions from Seattle to Washington State Fair. You’ll want to take I5 south and get on the 167. Continue your journey on the 167 and it will turn into 512 and go by Puyallup. The Washington State Fair is on your right and you really can’t miss it. It is one of the top 10 fairs in the United State!

Op-Ed: Tacoma Teachers Strike 2018

Tacoma Public School Strike

My name is Evelyn Cook and I am an 8th grade Language Arts teacher at a south end Tacoma middle school. After my TEA meeting tonight, I felt compelled to share a piece of writing that I intended to share at the Tacoma School Board meeting at the end of last year. I didn’t end up sharing it because I had not leaned into my fear and let nervousness get the best of me; in other words, I chickened out.

Tonight, I take a different stance as I’ve been reflecting deeply on the phrase “persevere in fear”. All day long, I’ve been planning and prepping lessons for my new students. On day 2 of this upcoming school year, I will challenge them to speak their truth. Well, I can’t call myself an educator and not model what that looks like although it comes with fear and apprehension. So here it is…

Written last April, 2017. Notes with an *asterick are my new insights.
Dear Tacoma Board members, fellow educators and valued community members,

I am still fairly new to teaching. I am about to complete my 3rd year teaching, my 2nd year in my current assignment.

I have been serving in the Tacoma community since before becoming a teacher though. Before I went to get my Master’s in Education, I was a social worker through multiple Tacoma non-profits. In these roles, I specialized with working with gang affiliated youth, teenage parents, drop outs, struggling students, undocumented youth, incarcerated youth, and unaccompanied refugees. In these roles, I’ve served our city’s bleeding young hearts. The world has chewed them up and spat them out.

I did not go into teaching, I was called into teaching. Like the great Nelson Mandela once said “Education is the most powerful weapon in which you can use to change the world”. I teach my students from day 1 that education is the most powerful weapon that they can use to change their lives and I work in a school where their life needs changing. They confront racism, community violence, poverty, family instability, homelessness, and lack of resources daily; all while trying to be a teenager, which is hard enough.

Before I get to the questions and I know at this point you are wondering if I am ever going to get there, I wanted to show you some numbers. Being a board, I am sure that quantifiable and qualitative data is important to you.

So here are some numbers for this year:
1. I come to work with our security guards 5 days a week.
2. I work through my lunch break 5 days a week.
3. I stay after school 3 days a week.
4. I average around 15-25 hours of unpaid work time a week, sacrificing time with my family and myself to do so.
5. I use 2 of my planning periods a week to plan, the other 3 are used dealing with hot messes.
6. I averaged out my workload, I work the equivalent of 35 hours a week, every week, 12 months a year, without a vacation, without holiday, without sick time, every single day.
7. That previous number doesn’t include the summer time, I give up for professional development, my reflections in the shower or before bedtime, my stack of PD books that I read for “funsies.”

*** This summer alone, I have spent 9 full days in training and have been working for the last two weeks in my classroom.

However, these numbers are not as important as the numbers coming up because they are about my students’ experiences.

8. I have been the first adult that 2 students have disclosed that they are suicidal to. One of them had recently attempted. I was the 1st adult they told.
9. I assisted one student with getting immigration help/resources as well as counseled them on DACA.
10. I had countless students tell me about being bullied.
11. One student told me about how she was sexual abused up to last year. I made sure she was safe, got her mental and medical care. She had cut her arms to the point that they were more cuts then not.
12. I assisted with getting other students mental health help and IEP evaluations.
13. I’ve physically broken up 3 fights and countless almost fights.
14. I swiftly kept my students safe during two real lockdowns, and countless drills.
15. I smile at EVERY student I see daily. I make sure that my classroom feels like a safe home.
16. I spend on average $20 a week on granola bars, applesauce, and raisins to feed my students. They are hungry and not just because they are growing.
17. I found 1 student this year who was a missing person. When that student was missing, I hugged her crying friends.
18. I motivate, push and support every student that comes into my classroom, every second of the day.
19. I have more students with reading skills that are behind their grade level then I do have of those on grade level.
20. I support multiple students who are at elementary reading levels, who tell me they feel stupid and have almost given up. I have got them engaging in their learning, challenging themselves, having academic discussions daily; because of this they don’t give up; they have hope. Some of them have told me they never thought they would be able to graduate high school.

So now that I’ve gone through my narrative and the numbers, I am finally here at the question.
Hearing all of this, how can you not fully stand behind your teachers? This experience of mine is not uncommon. All you would have to do is go to the classroom next to mine to see this again and again.

This year the union is still arguing with the district for a raise we should have got in September. Next year, there are talks of cutting our salaries. The district cites budget cuts but in reality, they are receiving the funding, have money in reserves, have created multiple new CAB positions (*11 new CAB positions last year), and are individually very well paid.

If we are truly a district that believes the potential in our youth, and I believe that we are, how is it that we can’t give the resources needed to the people who help form these impressionable future leaders? We, as teachers, are in their life daily. We, as teachers, are the ones doing the work. Don’t we deserve to be paid?

*I have been learning about the inequality in pay for other TPS employees like paras, bus drivers, janitors, etc. This is a system wide issue.

Evelyn Cook

So here I sit and reflect upon these words that have poured out of my heart. Last spring Yes, they may be rough but let me tell you what would be far more of a harsh reality if TPS doesn’t step up. This reality affects not only myself as an educator but also as a parent of a TPS child and as a community member who has invested her whole professional career into Tacoma. If the central office in Tacoma does not meet us in the middle, they will lose MANY valuable educators that have made Tacoma the innovative, successful district that it is. If I can drive over to the next districts to make $15, 000 more a year, it will be Tacoma’s loss. I am higher up on the education scale (Master’s+ 45 credits), but yet, if I stay in Tacoma, I will make near to the same salary as someone entering the profession with a Bachelor’s degree in other districts.

But it is not about the money, really it is not. It is about what will HAPPEN to our schools if educators and other staff members are not paid a fair, competitive wage that they deserve. There will be a mass exodus of high quality teachers to other areas. All research cites again and again that high quality instruction by dedicated teachers will overcome any educational deficit. As a social worker, I have seen the students who Tacoma has failed. They need quality, they deserve quality.

This is not what Tacoma needs. This is not what our youth need. Our community will be hurt by this. This community, I have worked countless hours for will suffer. I have spoken my truth.

So what do we need?
Educators, other Tacoma Public School staff members, please come and demonstrate your right to vote. We are aiming to meet on Sept. 4th. We have seen what apathy can do to our country. It is your right to come vote, whatever way you believe, please exercise that right.

Community Members– families. We need you. We need you to call the central office and put pressure on them. We need you to stand with us.

Central Office, I really need you to get back to the roots of education. Get back to your WHY of why you entered education. Step inside a classroom. Look at your students’ faces. Hear their stories. Talk to teachers. Remember what it was like, every second of the day, to really educate.

Bumbershoot 2018

Seattle’s most famous music festival is coming up at the end of this month. Sponsored by big time vendors like Corona, Fremont Brewing, Tito’s, StubHub, and many more, the 48th annual Bumbershoot festival is taking over Seattle Center beginning Friday, August 31st until Sunday, September 2nd. Festival goers from all over the country will be coming to rock out to this year’s lineup of artists including SZA, Lil Wayne, The Chainsmokers, Ludacris, Portugal. The Man, and J. Cole. Besides hosting the musical acts of the year, entertainment includes comedy acts, visual arts, dance, YOGASHOOT, theater, and B-Eats—making this event suitable to all sorts of people, not just music buffs. Venues primarily include stages in Seattle Center, but extend to Memorial Stadium and Key Arena.

Bumbershoot has also aspired to be as eco-friendly as possible while providing the festival of the year. They’ve teamed up with Seattle City Light to make this year’s Bumbershoot 100% hydroelectric and renewable. Water stations will be available for festival goers to refill their reusable water bottles in hopes to reduce plastic water bottle use. Additionally, composting and recycling stations will be available across the festival grounds.

Single day general admission, 3-day general admission, VIP, and Emerald passes are available for purchase at:

Festival Schedule is available at:

Download the mobile app on Google place or the App Store for easy access during the festival.
Plan your Bumbershoot weekend as soon as possible, tickets and passes are going fast.

Flyer Bumbershoot Seattle

Seattle’s Best Happy Hour Stops

Whether you’re looking for bites, brews, or anything in between, Seattle offers abundant opportunities to get your fix satisfied at that lower happy hour cost. While there are many happy hours available throughout this great city, there are a few that are just that much more exceptional than the rest. For all your summer happy hour needs, here’s a go-to guide on which to visit and impress your friends with your awesome happy hour pick.

Pablo Y Pablo
Seattle Happy Hour Cocktails

This restaurant is much more than amazing food and drinks. Brought to life by two best friends, Pablo and Pablo, they have created a masterpiece of an atmosphere with good vibes, bites, and hand-crafted drinks. Monday-Friday 3pm-6pm and weekends 3pm-4pm, enjoy your company during Pablo Y Pablo’s happy hour. Worried about dietary restrictions? No worries—Pablo Y Pablo offers many vegan and vegetarian options for the whole crowd to enjoy. From tacos, small bites, shared plates, and discounted cocktails, beer, wine, and spirits, guests leave Pablo Y Pablo satisfied, but wanting to come back for more.

Some Random Bar
Some Random Bar Seattle

Some Random Bar’s values lay in their promise to provide fresh, local, and seasonal cuisine from around town. Locals and out of towners are blown away by this inviting and social restaurant located in the heart of Downtown Seattle on 1st Avenue—also making this an easy and close walk for a happy hour after enjoying the sites of the city. From fresh season grilled peach salads, local catches of the day, witty named cocktails, wines, and beers, Some Random Bar will no longer be so random after wiping your plate clean. Enjoy their happy hour Monday-Friday 4pm-6pm.

Gold Bar
At The Bar Seattle

This bar’s Caribbean flavor and feels leave guests feeling refreshed and bright. Their services include: “FOOD & BOOZE.” So, if you’re looking for a good time of eats and drinks, enjoy yourself with company at this vibrant (both in decor AND flavor) of a restaurant. Don’t miss their happy hour Tuesday- Saturday from 4pm- at least 11pm. Indulge in fried chicken nuggets, empanadas, tacos, and any drink you can think up.

Super Bueno
Super Bueno Seattle

Need a happy hour joint you can bring the kids to? Look no further—Super Bueno has prepared for this and has got you covered. Open Sunday-Thursday 11am-10pm and Friday-Saturday 11am-11pm, happy hour runs daily from 4pm to 6pm. Whether guests bring large parties, a partner, or just themselves, Super Bueno can accommodate whomever guests bring in. This inclusive environment allows guests to save a little cash on babysitting and spend it on a happy hour priced margarita instead. Classic Mexican style food like tacos, burritos, chips and dips, snacks, and desserts await your arrival on your next happy hour prowl.

Radiator Whiskey
Radiator Whiskey In Seattle

For a hearty happy hour, enjoy the meats and flavors at Radiator Whiskey in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. This classic grub and beer spot offers their happy hour daily from 4pm-6pm and their Industry/Late Night Menu from Monday-Thursday 10pm-midnight. Wallow in Radiators Whiskey’s crafted drinks, tots-chos, and many different kinds of deliciously seasoned pork and beef.

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