The Seattle Times
Today's news index
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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Local News

NEW - 12:05 AM
ACT’s 50th season: new works, old favorites
ACT Theatre in Seattle will celebrate its 50th season in 2014 with reprises of plays by Tennessee Williams and Tom Stoppard and contemporary works — including a world premiere. Wed, 8/20
Highway 99’s coming 4-day closure: Be prepared for a mess
The four-day closure of Highway 99 in Seattle will bring big slowdowns into and out of downtown, especially for detoured buses.  Tue, 8/19
Lawmakers turn up the heat on troubled ferry system
Mechanical problems, errors and personnel issues are prompting lawmakers and others to discuss how to fix the Washington State Ferries system. Tue, 8/19
Ethics board votes to limit free meals for lawmakers
In a preliminary vote, the Legislative Ethics Board in Olympia has voted to restrict legislators to 12 free meals from lobbyists per year. A final vote is likely later this year. Tue, 8/19
More than 300 attend panel on diversity in theater, post-‘Mikado’
A panel of theater artists as well as more than 300 others took part in the Artistic Freedom & Artistic Responsibility Forum in Seattle, organized in response to controversy around a local production of “The Mikado.”  Tue, 8/19
Danny Westneat
Seattle no place to look for a Ferguson solution
About the last place to go looking for how to stop the riots in Missouri would be Seattle. Tue, 8/19
Skyway slaying linked to suspect in 2 Seattle killings
Ali Muhammad Brown, the convicted sex offender charged with killing two young friends in Seattle’s Leschi neighborhood on June 1, is now suspected of fatally shooting a Skyway man about one month earlier. Tue, 8/19
U.S. judge grants Seattle police more time to meet key reform
Before revealing his decision to give the Seattle Police Department nine months to seek proposals for a new computer system, U.S. District Judge James Robart said events in Ferguson, Mo., caused him concern over the delay.  Tue, 8/19

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Nation & World

UPDATE - 01:57 AM
Israel, Gaza militants trade fire after talks fail
Palestinian militants launched dozens of rockets and Israel responded with airstrikes on Wednesday after Egyptian efforts to mediate a lasting truce in the monthlong Gaza war collapsed in a hail of fire a day earlier. Wed, 8/20
UPDATE - 01:57 AM
Texas' Perry smiles for mug shot, gets ice cream
Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry gave a confident, wry smile beneath flawless hair for his mug shot. Then he went out for a vanilla ice cream. Wed, 8/20
UPDATE - 01:42 AM
Ukrainian forces press attacks on rebel-held areas
Government troops pressed attacks Tuesday in the two largest cities held by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, while Kiev also pursued diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict that has killed more than 2,000 and displaced another 300,000. Wed, 8/20
UPDATE - 01:42 AM
Liberia president declares Ebola curfew
Liberia's president declared a curfew and ordered security forces to quarantine a slum home to at least 50,000 people late Tuesday as the West African country battled to stop the spread of Ebola in the capital. Wed, 8/20
UPDATE - 12:36 AM
Argentina car crash kills 3 relatives of pope
Three relatives of Pope Francis died and a fourth was in serious condition Tuesday after their car crashed on a provincial highway in Argentina, the Vatican and local officials said. Wed, 8/20
UPDATE - 01:57 AM
Latest Ferguson protests are smaller, more subdued
Police and protesters in Ferguson were finally able to share the streets again at night, putting aside for at least a few hours some of the hostility that had filled those hours with tear gas and smoke. Wed, 8/20
UPDATE - 01:58 AM
No photos: Parents opt to keep babies off Facebook
Behold the cascade of baby photos, the flood of funny kid anecdotes and the steady stream of school milestones on Facebook. Wed, 8/20
UPDATE - 12:10 AM
Official: 4 of 6 child hostages freed in Harvey
Negotiators worked late into the night in an effort to persuade two men barricaded in a home in the southern Chicago suburb of Harvey to end their standoff with police and release the last of six children and two adults they took hostage. Wed, 8/20
UPDATE - 01:42 AM
Iraqis in besieged town appeal to army for help
An Iraqi lawmaker says residents of a minority Shiite town besieged by Sunni militants are appealing to the military to help end the siege. Wed, 8/20
UPDATE - 01:30 AM
Floods force dramatic rescues in Phoenix area
Workers at a farm saw hundreds of cactuses sweep away in a flood. Drivers on Arizona's main north-south freeway watched in shock as muddy waters submerged the road. Rescuers across the state rushed to save people trapped in cars and homes. Wed, 8/20
UPDATE - 12:20 AM
As protests rage, Obama struggles to find his role
When racial tensions erupted midway through his first presidential campaign, Barack Obama came to Philadelphia to decry the "racial stalemate we've been stuck in for years." Over time, he said, such wounds, rooted in America's painful history on race, can be healed. Wed, 8/20
UPDATE - 01:57 AM
Jubilation as Pakistan protests reach parliament
Jubilant anti-government demonstrators in Pakistan on Wednesday claimed victory after tearing down barricades and occupying a key road outside Parliament, where they are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over alleged voting fraud. Wed, 8/20
UPDATE - 12:15 AM
New report warns of anti-aircraft weapons in Syria
Warnings from an international research group and the Federal Aviation Administration underscore the rising threat to commercial aircraft posed by hundreds of anti-aircraft weapons that are now in the arsenals of armed groups in Syria and could easily be diverted to extremist factions. Wed, 8/20
UPDATE - 01:55 AM
US officials: Video shows American's beheading
A grisly video released Tuesday shows Islamic State militants beheading American journalist James Foley, U.S. officials said, in what the extremists called retribution for recent U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. The militants threatened to kill another captive they also identified as an American journalist. Wed, 8/20
Federal autopsy will show Brown was shot 6 times, source says
A U.S. military medical examiner has concluded a federal autopsy and it will show six gunshot wounds in the body of the 18-year-old shot by a police officer, according to a government source.  Tue, 8/19
Islamic extremists behead U.S. journalist
James Foley, a freelance photojournalist, was taken prisoner in northwest Syria in November 2012 while on assignment for the Global Post, an online news site. Tue, 8/19
Climber proposes to girlfriend, falls to death in Yosemite hours later
A California man fell hundreds of feet to his death in Yosemite National Park just hours after his girlfriend accepted his marriage proposal. Tue, 8/19
Poor, isolated apartments in Ferguson a tinderbox for crime
The complexes in a small southeast corner of the Missouri city are a study of the slow encroachment of poverty and social distress into what had been suburban escapes. Tue, 8/19
St. Louis police fatally shoot man who brandished knife
Witnesses told police the man was yelling “Shoot me, kill me now,” during the encounter. Tue, 8/19
Teens arrested in plot after Web activities eyed
Investigators acting on a tip unraveled a plot to carry out a mass shooting at a suburban Los Angeles high school, arresting a pair of students who planned to target three school staffers and kill as many people as possible, police said Tuesday. Tue, 8/19
Syria strikes militants as US targets them in Iraq
As the U.S. military strikes the Islamic State group in Iraq, Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces have significantly stepped up their own campaign against militant strongholds in Syria, carrying out dozens of airstrikes against the group's headquarters in the past two days. Tue, 8/19
Peanut, almond butter recalled for salmonella risk
A unit of Hain Celestial Group Inc. is recalling some peanut and almond butter because of possible salmonella contamination. Tue, 8/19
Wildfire near Yosemite ebbs, some evacuees return
A wildfire that gave a scare to a community near Yosemite National Park after whose early surges has been tamed by firefighters, and some of the more than 1,000 people who evacuated their homes have returned. Tue, 8/19
African elephants’ plight worsens as poaching soars
A study by the world’s leading elephant experts found that illegal killings have climbed from 25 percent of all African elephant deaths a decade ago to about 65 percent today. Tue, 8/19
Reports: Italian military jets collide over Italy
Italian news reports say two Italian Tornado fighter jets have collided over eastern Italy during a training mission and crashed into a wooded area that caught fire. Tue, 8/19
Thousands of intense earthquakes rock Iceland
Thousands of small intense earthquakes are rocking Iceland amid concerns that one of the country's volcanoes may be close to erupting. Tue, 8/19
A Castro breaks tradition with 'no' vote in Cuba
Yet another revolutionary tradition has been broken in Cuba: A lawmaker voted "no" in parliament. Tue, 8/19
Germany: Looted painting belongs to Jewish family
Investigators say they have determined a second painting that was part of a massive trove of art found in the Munich apartment of late collector Cornelius Gurlitt was stolen by the Nazis from its Jewish owner. Tue, 8/19
Iraqi troops attempt to retake Tikrit but forced to withdraw
The push to retake Tikrit, best known as the home of former dictator Saddam Hussein, came a day after pro-government Kurdish forces backed by U.S. airstrikes dislodged Islamic State fighters from the strategic Mosul dam in northern Iraq. Tue, 8/19
Many communities still mistrust police
For one night, all was well in Ferguson, Missouri. After a change in police command, violent protests decrying the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown at the hands of white police officer Darren Wilson suddenly gave way to peaceful demonstrations. Tue, 8/19
Mississippi man shot after cross burning in yard
A Mississippi sheriff says a man was beaten and shot two weeks after calling authorities to report a cross burning in his yard, and investigators are trying to determine whether the attack was prompted by people being upset that the man was visited by his mixed-race grandchildren. Tue, 8/19
Prison for mom in boy's sippy-cup methadone death
A Utah woman whose 2-year-old son died after police say she inadvertently poured her methadone from a Gatorade bottle into his sippy cup will serve up to 15 years in prison. Tue, 8/19
Smithsonian adds LGBT history to museum collection
Hundreds of photographs, papers and historical objects documenting the history of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are being added to the Smithsonian Institution's collection Tuesday, including items from the popular TV show "Will and Grace." Tue, 8/19
Thousands ignore warning as Pakistani protest escalates
A government minister, Saad Rafiq, said the prime minister allowed the protesters to enter the sensitive area to avoid bloodshed. The Pakistani army warned the protesters against entering parliament or any other installation. Tue, 8/19
NY took quick precautions after in-custody death
The police killings of two unarmed black men came barely three weeks apart, generating immediate and potentially volatile outrage. Tue, 8/19
Militias complicate situation on Texas border
On a recent moonlit night, Border Patrol agents began rounding up eight immigrants hiding in and around a canal near the Rio Grande. A state trooper soon arrived to help. Then out of the darkness emerged seven more armed men in fatigues. Tue, 8/19
USDA: Cost to raise child up slightly to $245,340
A message for new parents: get ready for sticker shock. Tue, 8/19
Brita recalling children's water bottles
Brita is recalling approximately 242,500 children's water filter bottles due to a possible laceration hazard. Tue, 8/19
Japan military holds drill as its role expands
Japan's military showcased its ability to defend remote islands Tuesday, as its role expands at home and abroad under new defense policies instituted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that have divided the nation. Tue, 8/19
Thailand's military ruler dons a suit and tie
When Thailand's military ruler appears in public, he usually is seen in full military regalia. Tue, 8/19
National Guard enters Ferguson; police, protesters clash again
Missouri’s governor has called on the National Guard to help restore order in the community rocked by violent protests after the fatal shooting of an unarmed teen. Tue, 8/19
Strong DOJ response to Ferguson seeks truth, calm
The U.S. Department of Justice has mounted an unusually swift and aggressive response to the death of Michael Brown, from an independent autopsy to dozens of FBI agents combing Ferguson, Missouri, for witnesses to the shooting of the unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer. Tue, 8/19
Woman shoots grandson; thought he was an intruder
Sheriff’s deputies in Florida say a 7-year-old boy is in critical condition after his grandmother mistook him for an intruder and shot him. Tue, 8/19
His 101st birthday present? Another day at work
Herman "Hy" Goldman turned 101 this weekend and won't quit after 73 years working at the same New Jersey job. Tue, 8/19
Navy says sunken wreck is USS Houston from WW II
Navy divers from the U.S. and Indonesia confirmed that a sunken vessel in the Java Sea is the World War II wreck of the USS Houston, a cruiser sunk by the Japanese. Tue, 8/19
Blast in China coal mine kills 2, traps 25 miners
A gas explosion at a coal mine in eastern China has killed at least two miners, and rescuers searched Wednesday for 25 more workers missing in the blast, state media reported. Tue, 8/19
Jackie Chan's son detained in Beijing drug bust
The actor-son of Hong Kong action superstar Jackie Chan has been detained in Beijing on drug-related charges, the latest high-profile celebrity to be ensnared in one of China's biggest anti-drug crackdowns in two decades. Tue, 8/19
Police, protesters collide again in Ferguson
The National Guard arrived in Ferguson but kept its distance from the streets where protesters clashed again with police, as clouds of tear gas and smoke hung over the St. Louis suburb where Michael Brown was fatally shot by a police officer. Tue, 8/19
Strategies to calm battered, tense Ferguson keep shifting
In the days since an unarmed black 18-year-old, Michael Brown, was shot to death by a white police officer on Aug. 9, an array of law enforcement authorities has swerved from one approach to another. Tue, 8/19
Ukrainian govt troops inch closer to rebel city
The Ukrainian government has captured most of a town near Donetsk, tightening the noose around the key rebel-held stronghold, officials said on Tuesday. Tue, 8/19
Israelis, Palestinians resume talks on Gaza deal
Palestinian and Israeli negotiators in Cairo resumed indirect talks on Tuesday, trying to hammer out a roadmap for the war-torn Gaza Strip after Egypt announced a 24-hour extension of the cease-fire to allow more time for negotiations. Tue, 8/19
Iraq military clashes with militants in Tikrit
A local official and a resident say clashes have broken out between Iraqi security forces and militants on the outskirts of Tikrit. Tue, 8/19

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Business & Technology

UPDATE - 01:58 AM
Global stocks drift amid wait for US Fed signs
Asian stocks got a slight boost from Wednesday from positive U.S. economic figures that reinforced expectations of eventual Fed rate hikes and a stronger dollar, while European markets drifted lower. Wed, 8/20
UPDATE - 01:58 AM
Consumer prices edge up 0.1 percent in July
U.S. consumer prices rose in July at the slowest pace in five months, held back by a drop in gasoline prices. Wed, 8/20
UPDATE - 01:58 AM
US home construction jumps 15.7 percent in July
U.S. home construction rebounded in July, rising to an eight-month high and offering hope that housing has regained momentum after two months of declines. Wed, 8/20
Ballmer’s sole role at Microsoft now is investor
His decision to step down from the board of directors sheds the last of the former CEO’s management ties, ending a 34-year leadership role with the software giant. Tue, 8/19
Americans feel better about economy, loosening purse strings
Across the broad middle of the income spectrum, a bevy of indicators shows that ordinary Americans feel better about the economy and are loosening the purse strings. Tue, 8/19
Sprint abandons Framily plan, rolls out new data pricing
Sprint’s double-the-data theme applies to its new everyday pricing that mimics the big carriers’ plans and a new promotion that lines up in many ways with one now running at T-Mobile. Tue, 8/19
County jobless rates drop in July from year ago, state reports
Joblessness in July was lower than a year ago in all of Washington state’s 39 counties, but most of the state’s largest counties saw slight increases from the previous month. Tue, 8/19
Hot weather takes toll on wheat crop
The Spokesman-Review reported Tuesday that farmers estimate this year’s crop is down an average 30 percent from last year’s yield and slightly below the 10-year average. Tue, 8/19
Report: Intellectual Ventures laying off 20% of staff
 Tue, 8/19
Blue Nile launches website in Arabic
Online diamond retailer Blue Nile is launching a site in Arabic for United Arab Emirates shoppers, as it pursues overseas growth. Tue, 8/19
Oncothyreon stock sinks on disappointing clinical study results
 Tue, 8/19
Container shipping rise bodes well for world trade
The world's largest shipping company says it is sending more containers around world, a sign that global trade -- and possibly economic growth -- is picking up. Tue, 8/19
McDonald's to sell packaged coffee nationally
McDonald's plans to start selling its packaged coffee at supermarkets nationally by early next year, a move intended to help raise the profile of the coffee sold at its U.S. restaurants. Tue, 8/19
Busy bourbon makers don’t foresee sales on the rocks
Distillers are putting up the tab for millions of rounds of bourbon years before they are even ordered. The production poses a risk, but hitting the right moment could mean a serious payday for companies. Tue, 8/19
Dollar General enters bidding for Family Dollar
Dollar General isn't about to be left out in the cold. The discounter is starting a bidding war for Family Dollar with an approximately $8.95 billion offer as it attempts to trump a Dollar Tree bid. Tue, 8/19
USDA: Cost to raise child up slightly to $245,340
A message for new parents: get ready for sticker shock. Tue, 8/19
Google's pivotal IPO launched a decade of big bets
Google's IPO, a decade ago this week, launched the company on a trajectory that continues to reshape its business and much of the world in its orbit. Tue, 8/19

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Jerry Brewer
Kris Richard, the man behind the Legion of Boom, prepares his unit for latest challenge
Seahawks defensive backs coach Kris Richard, just 34 years old, quickly converted from a player to a valuable assistant. Tue, 8/19
Malcolm Smith picks up with Seahawks just where he left off in the Super Bowl
In first full practice since ankle surgery, Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith returns an interception for a touchdown.  Tue, 8/19
Mo’ne Davis, a 13-year-old girl from Philadelphia, has captured the nation’s attention
Davis, who will pitch against Las Vegas on Wednesday in the Little League World Series, has become an overnight sensation, landing on the cover of Sports Illustrated, talked about on social media and being coveted by fans and major media outlets.  Tue, 8/19
Bud Withers
Rich Rodriguez, Arizona remain uncertain at quarterback
The consuming sporting passion in Tucson these days — other than speculation over who will be the next all-planet basketball recruit to commit to Arizona — is debating who might win the Wildcats’ quarterback job. Tue, 8/19
Gonzalo Pineda enjoys taking on the pressure for the Sounders
Defensive midfielder Gonzalo Pineda making numerous contributions for Sounders that don’t always draw big-time attention. Tue, 8/19
In trying to replace Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Huskies may go with by-committee approach
Joshua Perkins and Darrell Daniels appear to be in the lead for the starting tight end job, but the Huskies will likely rely on a by-committee approach at the spot once occupied by Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Tue, 8/19
John Riegger is back to defend his Boeing Classic title
For 51-year-old John Riegger, last year’s Boeing Classic was his first victory on either the PGA or Champions Tour and it made him exempt for this season, something that was not a given when he came to the Boeing Classic last season. Tue, 8/19
Cleveland holds off on naming starting quarterback
Browns coach Mike Pettine said he is not ready to pick between rookie Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer for season opener against Pittsburgh. Tue, 8/19
Sideline Chatter | Dwight Perry
Derek Jeter corn maze? If you grow it, they will come
Updated scouting report on Derek Jeter: good hit, big field. The Yankee captain’s face is the subject of a 5-acre corn maze on VonThun Farms in South Brunswick, N.J., and while it won’t make anyone forget “Field of Dreams,” it has a certain aura about it. Tue, 8/19
Husky coach Chris Petersen joins Twitter to keep up with recruits
Washington football coach Chris Petersen became the last Pac-12 coach to join the social-media service Twitter. He joined on Monday and by Tuesday afternoon had almost 4,000 followers.  Tue, 8/19
Matt Pentz’s MLS power rankings
Matt Pentz ranks the MLS teams.  Tue, 8/19
MLB scoring change alters Derek Jeter’s 3,430th career hit
Turns out, the hit that tied Derek Jeter with Honus Wagner came a day later than everyone thought. Tue, 8/19
New York Islanders will be sold to investment group
Islanders owner Charles B. Wang will sell team to Jonathan Ledecky, a former owner of a minority stake in the Washington Capitals, and Scott Malkin, a London-based investor. They will become majority owners in two years as team moves to Brooklyn. Tue, 8/19
Broadmoor’s Tim Feenstra a stroke behind in Northwest Open Invitational
Assistant pro fires a 69 at Wine Valley Golf Club Tue, 8/19
Cougars land a top quarterback
California’s Tyler Hilinski expects to graduate early, join WSU in the spring Tue, 8/19
Phillies find out just how special Hisashi Iwakuma is as the Mariners post a 5-2 victory
Seattle right-hander throws eight shutout innings with pinpoint control to net 11 strikeouts Tue, 8/19
Tacoma pitchers give up big innings in losing 10-5 at Round Rock in PCL play
Tacoma shortstop Ketel Marte has three hits, two RBI Tue, 8/19
Mariners notebook: Robinson Cano shows his appreciation to old mentor Larry Bowa
Seattle second baseman presents his former coach with a Rolex Tue, 8/19
Ohio State’s Braxton Miller out for season
Quarterback reinjures right shoulder and will need surgery, dealing blow to Buckeyes’ Big Ten and national title hopes. Tue, 8/19
Pacific Little League stays alive at World Series with 7-5 win
The Northwest Region champions from Edmonds and Lynnwood avoided elimination with a 7-5 win over Rapid City, S.D., on Saturday afternoon. Tue, 8/19
On the Air
 Tue, 8/19

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Obituary: Seattle television and arts writer John Voorhees
John Voorhees, who covered the arts and television for The Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer for almost 50 years, died on Aug. 15 at 88. He brought a vast knowledge of the arts and a sometimes “curmudgeonly” wit to his coverage of the Seattle arts scene.  Tue, 8/19
New DVDs
‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2,’ ‘Only Lovers Left Alive,’ ‘Fading Gigolo’
New DVD releases for Tuesday, Aug. 19, include “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”; the vampire romance “Only Lovers Left Alive”; and John Turturro’s “Fading Gigolo,” with Woody Allen. Tue, 8/19
NW books
A bed-and-breakfast mystery; Greywalker on the case
New books by Seattle-area authors: a new bed-and-breakfast mystery by Mary Daheim; Elizabeth George’s “Just One Evil Act,” new in paperback; the final installment of Kat Richardson’s “Greywalker” series; and a collection of writing about race relations on the Paci Tue, 8/19
Aug. 19 TV Picks: Series premiere of ‘Wizard Wars’
TV picks for Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, include “Wizard Wars” on Syfy, “Finding Carter” on MTV and “Perception” on TNT. Tue, 8/19
TV Picks for Wednesday: ‘Extant,’ ‘Suits’ and ‘Motive’
 Tue, 8/19

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Want new wine choices? Look back to the Old World
Looking for a new wine? Wines from Bulgaria, Moldova and Croatia are now turning up on wine lists as producers all over the world make a play for U.S. palates. Tue, 8/19
NEW - 06:15 AM
Dear Carolyn
A mantra: ‘I don’t have to justify my life to my parents’
Advice columnist Carolyn Hax on the end of a short marriage. Tue, 8/19
Recipe: Korean-Style Grilled Beef and Vegetables on Crisp Tortillas
Adding kimchi gives tacos an Asian twist. Tue, 8/19
Skirt steak is great on the grill
If you want glamour, grill a big, pretty rib-eye. But in the categories of succulence, taste and cost, skirt steak takes the crown, no contest. Tue, 8/19

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Travel & Outdoors

Rick Steves' Europe
Swiss bliss: hiking the Swiss Alps
High-country cheese and well-ordered wilds among perfect peaks Tue, 8/19
Ebola-affected countries urged to screen departing travelers
Screening should begin at airports, land borders and ports says the World Health Organization.  Tue, 8/19
Most U.S. ‘chip’ credit cards aren’t yet the real thing
U.S. banks are moving away from antiquated magnetic-strip technology, but the interim chip-and-signature cards they’re issuing won’t work in some places abroad.  Tue, 8/19
The Wrap / Ron Judd
Handy tips on scam avoidance by chief City Light scam-ee
Columnist Ron Judd’s spin on newsworthy events. Tue, 8/19

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Editorial: The Times recommends Reps. Steve Bergquist and Zack Hudgins in 11th District
The incumbents of the 11th District, Reps. Steve Bergquist and Zack Hudgins, get the nod, but voters deserve more robust options. Tue, 8/19
Guest: Enforce state’s mental-health parity law
What was promised in the state’s Mental Health Parity Act has not been delivered, according to guest columnists Sean Corry and Eleanor Hamburger. Tue, 8/19
The trouble with teacher tenure
There are perils to the current tenure talk: that it fails to address the intense strains on many teachers; that it lays too much fault on their doorsteps, distracting people from other necessary reforms, writes syndicated columnist Frank Bruni. Tue, 8/19