Believe it or not, it’s less than two months now until my Annual Golf Tournament! I need your support to continue to serve the citizens of the 10th District well and this is a great way to help and to have fun at the same time.
Please consider joining us! Details are below:
Interested in sponsoring a hole or have questions about the tournament? Please contact Butch: 360-679-2055 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to seeing you there!
This Friday is Independence Day. Many of us spend time traveling, enjoying the outdoors and visiting family over the holiday each year. But before we enjoy the 4th, I want to take a moment to acknowledge those who continue to ensure that we have the independence that we cherish.
Not long ago I had the privilege of joining a ceremony at the State Capitol honoring new Medal of Honor recipients. In the photo above is SFC Leroy Petry, SSG Ty Carter and CPT William Swenson.
It’s people like these who make it possible for us to continue to celebrate our country and the freedoms we enjoy. Freedoms never come free. Men and women have died in both the establishment of our freedom and in its preservation. This Friday, let’s celebrate our nation’s birthday and remember the price that was paid so that we can continue to celebrate it.
Out in the Community this Weekend
My schedule for this weekend is a busy one! I hope I have the opportunity to see you somewhere in the district during the holiday.
As always, I will be participating in the Oak Harbor 4th of July Parade on Friday. After that I’ll be participating in a special event at Freedom Park on Camano Island – Honoring America’s Heroes, Past and Present. I always anticipate with enthusiasm the many ways our communities honor our nation, and particularly those who made heavy sacrifices for you and me.
I am fortunate to have some of my family coming in over the weekend. This was not always the case, which a lot of you can relate to because of your past (or present) military service or those close family members who may be deployed. We plan to have a family BBQ, which is something very important to me. It is the continuation of a family tradition going back to my childhood. Growing up, family, BBQs and watermelon were at the center of every Independence Day celebration. I hope you are able to be with your families and loved ones, and foster those special relations that only special days can bring.
I’m looking forward to seeing many of you this weekend as well as being with my family, and together making the most of this important holiday.
I hope you have a great weekend as well!
Please join Friends of Barbara Bailey for a great day of golfing. Your presence or sponsorship will be greatly appreciated!
Interested in sponsoring a hole? Or have questions about the tournament? Please contact Butch Bailey:
360-679-2055 or email@example.com.
It’s been a while since I’ve written and a lot has happened. The citizens of Oso and Darrington continue to recover and rebuild their lives. I continue to assist where I can, but realize this is a long, slow and sometimes painful process. However, the citizens of Oso and Darrington are remarkable people who will come through this with strength and honor.
Post-Session Education Update
As Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, I’ve been involved with several pieces of legislation that will benefit students of all ages. Today I want talk about a few important issues in this area.
GET Program a Continued Success
I have long been an advocate for the Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program. GET is a great way for families to save for college now by essentially allowing them to pay now for tuition they will use later at today’s price.
Recently, GET’s future looked bleak. Several legislators wanted to end the program; however, I pushed hard to keep it going because I know that it is important, especially to middle and lower income families.
You can read a great editorial in The Olympian about the benefits of the GET program by clicking here.
Education Successes During Session
Below are a few areas where we were highly successful in improving education for Washington students from Kindergarten to Higher Education. One of the key benefits we had was the fact we began the legislative session with a balanced budget. This allowed us to better look at all our obligations and make some positive adjustments. We were able to attain added efficiencies in resource allocations that enabled us to increase funding to both K-12 and Higher Education without considering raising taxes.
- We added an additional $102 million to education spending, which is two-thirds of the additional revenue added to the budget during session. This reversed, and even flipped, a trend of previous years between education and new social programs.
- Of that money, $42 million went into higher education, which allowed us to freeze state tuition rates for another year.
- $25 million went into the Opportunity Scholarship program, $5 million was added to State Need Grant funding and $12 million was dedicated for College Bound.
- A bill I sponsored that was signed into law by the Governor gives military veterans in-state tuition rates without requiring them to wait to establish residency.
These and other successes round out many of the accomplishments of the short session. In the end, I think the Legislature did well trying to balance all the needs of the state with the decision rendered by the State Supreme Court to dramatically increase education funding.
The State Loses Control of About $40 Million in School Funding
One shortfall of the past session was the inability of the Governor and both sides of the Legislature to come to agreement on how to apply teacher evaluations as they applied to the No Child Left Behind Act. By not requiring these evaluations to be a part of the student learning process, the Federal Government rescinded a waiver previously granted. The State will still get the funds; however, local school districts are now limited/constrained in how they can use these funds.
Here is an excerpt from an Associated Press article that explains the consequences of this inaction:
The U.S. Department of Education announced last month that Washington was losing its waiver from the restrictions of the No Child Left Behind law. The Legislature, it said, had failed to pass a law requiring school districts to include statewide test scores as an element in teacher evaluations.
The loss of the waiver means there are new restrictions on how schools can spend $40 million in federal dollars each year. Beginning with the next school year, that money must now be set aside to transport kids to more successful schools or to pay their tuition in private tutoring programs or run specific teacher training.
Districts like Tacoma, Yakima and Spokane are scrambling to figure out how to keep their successful programs without the federal dollars to pay for them.
We can’t be certain how this will play out except that it throws an unnecessary wrench in school districts’ budgets. One thing is for sure: local school districts wanted the bill to pass, but the Washington Education Association (WEA) did not. In the end, they were able to influence more legislators to not pass the bill. That’s why many, including a number of newspaper editorial boards across the state, are so shocked at what happened.
What do you think? I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions.
Thanks for reading! I hope to hear from you soon.
Below is a list of verified ways to help those affected by the Oso mudslide. Be careful if you are approached to give money to organizations you haven’t heard of. State officials warn that scam artists might try to take advantage of the situation by posing as legitimate charities. The Secretary of State has more advice on donating wisely on its website; the governor’s website also has information about this and much more.
Where to donate
- Red Cross: If you wish to help victims of the Oso mudslide, cash donations are preferred. The American Red Cross is no longer collecting items. Go to the Red Cross of Snohomish County at www.redcross.org/snoco to donate. People also can text “RedCross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
- United Way has established a community-wide recovery fund to assist those affected by the mudslide. Information on how to donate is at www.uwsc.org. Checks may be sent to: United Way of Snohomish County, Attn: Finance Dept., 3120 McDougall Ave., Ste. 200, Everett, WA 98201.
- The Salvation Army is collecting donations for local disaster relief efforts. Donate by phone at 800-725-2769, online at www.salvationarmynw.org or by mail to the Salvation Army, Northwest Divisional Headquarters, 111 Queen Anne Avenue N. #300, Seattle, WA, 98109. Designate your gift as “disaster relief.”
- The Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation is a local organization that is giving 100 percent of donations directly to those affected. The Cascade Valley Hospital in Arlington treated several victims in the aftermath of the mudslide. Donate at this site or by phone at 360-435-2133, ext. 7805. You can drop off/mail donations to 330 S. Stillaguamish Ave. in Arlington or donate to the fund through an account at any Union Bank.
- The Coastal Community Bank is accepting donations for slide victims at all branches: Darrington, Camano Island, Everett, Monroe, Stanwood, Sultan, Silver Lake, Smokey Point, Snohomish and Whidbey Island.
- A special Mudslide Relief Campaign has been organized by the Community Fund Drive, state government’s workplace giving program that invites state and higher education employees to give to the charity of their choice. For information, go to www.cfd.wa.gov.
- The Greater Everett Community Foundation has a page for Oso Emergency Funds.
- The Family Support and Research Center is in direct contact with Darrington families providing resources that will support them long term. The funds are also distributed by a team of school board members and community leaders. 360-436-0308. 1078 Fir Street, Darrington, WA 98241.
- The Darrington Community Center welcomes any donations brought into the center. 360-436-1217. 570 Sauk Ave., Darrington, WA 98241.
- The Oso Mudslide Relief Community Collection Center is looking for volunteers to move and inventory donations, transport goods, provide housing and help with website maintenance.
- Arlington and Bothell Helping Hands locations are currently accepting donations, including clothes, food and toys. Every little bit helps. 360-435-2214. 18722 59th Ave NE Arlington, WA 98223.
- The Orcas Island Booster Club is raising money with “Step Up To The Plate For Darrington.” The fundraiser was organized by Orcas Island student athletes who play against Darrington.
- KeyBank Stanwood is raising money for Amanda Skorjanc, a teller, and her 6-month-old baby, who were both seriously injured and are hospitalized. They lost their home, belongings and car. KeyBank has opened a contribution account to benefit Amanda and her family. 360-629-6489.
- Gas cards for the long commutes many Darrington residents now face can be donated by mailing checks with “gas card” on the memo line to PO Box 90 Darrington WA 98241. Jesse Jones of KING 5 is promoting the effort.
- The Darrington Food Bank is accepting donations but would like people to call ahead of time so they can coordinate drop off and storage of donations. 360-436-1833.
- The Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue K9 Team is taking donations through their website or mailed to 5506 Old Machias Rd., Snohomish, WA 98290.
- The Granite Falls High School ASB Leadership Class has been collecting monetary donations for the American Red Cross to help support those who have been affected by the disaster. These will be collected at the front office of the high school. Please contact Debbie Lindahl at 360-691-7713.
- The city of Darrington has said that people looking to donate by mail can send a check made out to “North Counties Relief Fund” at Coastal Community Bank. PO Box 90, Darrington, WA 98241.
- The Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation is accepting donations for Oso Landslide relief. Take or send a donation to Union Bank, PO Box 278 Arlington or drop by any Union Bank in Smokey Point, Arlington, Marysville, Lake Stevens, Snohomish, Monroe, Everett and Standwood.
- Students and staff at Twin City Elementary are collecting coins for a penny drive and hosting a Non-Perishable and Canned Food Drive. The public is invited to drop off donations until 12 p.m. on April 4. 26211 72nd Ave. NW, Stanwood.
Businesses pitching in
- Cabela’s is hosting a barbecue fundraiser at its Tulalip store on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. The store is at 9810 Quil Ceda Blvd., Tulalip. All proceeds will go to the American Red Cross.
- The Pazzaz Hair Design salon on N. Olympic Avenue downtown is giving money from each haircut to victims. 360-435-2975.
- Pilchuck Espresso in Granite Falls will donate all of its sales on Monday, March 31 to North County Family Services to distribute to mudslide victims. The donation will be made through Coastal Community Bank in Darrington. The coffee stand is scheduled to be open 4 a.m.-6 p.m. that day. 19027 Highway 92, Granite Falls, WA 98252.
- Diamond Knot will donate 50 percent of sales at all locations on March 31. It will also host a Mystery Auction with completely random items found at Diamond Knot. The auctions at the Brewery & Alehouse in Mukilteo and the new Brewpub in Mountlake Terrace will begin at 6 p.m.
- On April 1, Tuscano’s Italian Kitchen in Monroe will be having a disaster relief fundraiser. The waitstaff will beb donating all of their tips and Tuscano’s will be contributing the night’s profits to several local charities. 5-9 p.m. 14919 North Kelsey St., Monroe, WA.
- On April 2, Scuttlebutt Brewing Co. will be donating all of their proceeds from pints sales to the Oso community and the Red Cross Local Disaster Relief Fund. They will have happy hour prices all day and will accept donations. 1205 craftsman way #101, Everett, WA 98201.
- Fred Meyer and QFC locations in Snohomish County have changed their checkstand coin boxes to benefit the American Red Cross for the next two weeks. QFC customers can also donate through checkstand scan cards.
- Lowe’s has activated its American Red Cross customer donation program in all Washington stores to provide a convenient place for customers to make financial donations. The program will be in effect until April 27.
- Arlington Acupuncture is providing free treatments to all rescue and recovery workers involved in the Oso slide. All other new incoming patients will receive an initial evaluation and treatment for just $19. Promotion ends April 30. Suite A, 20218 77th Ave NE.
- There is an ongoing fundraiser at the Stump Bar & Grill, 19711 Smokey Point Blvd., Arlington, WA 98223. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 100 percent of food sales go to Oso.
- Haggen will be collecting donations for the Red Cross at its stores all month.