Taking trash out
It was unanimous: On July 16, the Seattle City Council voted to adopt a “zero-waste” recycling plan put forward by Councilmember Richard Conlin.
The plan, which will cap how much trash Seattle sends to a landfill in Oregon, includes renovating the city’s two existing garbage transfer stations to recycle more of the materials dumped there — removing the need to build a third transfer station that residents of Georgetown had fought. The city will also encourage builders to recycle more of their construction and demolition waste and, in 2009, will start a new service that will pick up food waste at single-family homes for use in composting.
The vote is “not only a victory for Georgetown because we won’t build a new transfer station there,” Councilmember Sally Clark says in a statement, “but also for every neighborhood in Seattle.”
Are you in good hands?
Allstate Insurance poses the question in its TV commercials to get your attention. Now a Washington state referendum slated for the November ballot is getting the attention of the insurance companies.
Under Referendum 67, insurance companies who don’t lend a hand when they’re supposed to could get slapped with fees and fines – a measure the insurance industry has already poured $1 million into the state to defeat, according to a July 16 report in the Spokane Spokesman-Review.
The referendum, which has been endorsed by the executive board of the Washington State Labor Council, would force insurance companies who illegally deny or unnecessarily delay payment of a claim to cough up attorneys fees, court costs and monetary damages for the policyholder who fights – provided, of course, the policyholder has money to hire an attorney to sue his or her insurer. If passed, the law would cover all types of insurance except for health plans.
It “will help make sure insurance companies do the right thing,” says Sue Evans of Approve 67, a business coalition that supports the measure. “People buy insurance, pay their premiums on time, and all they ask in return is that insurance companies honor their commitment.”
In a lawsuit filed July 12 in King County Superior Court, Imka Pope alleges that King County denied her medical care while she was jailed in 1997 on a trespassing charge. What’s unusual is that Pope, homeless at the time, told jailers that she was going into labor. But jail staff did not believe Pope, who suffers from an undisclosed mental illness, was pregnant. Only after she gave birth to a son in her jail cell did staff tend to her medical needs. It is unclear what damages Pope seeks in the lawsuit.