Cascadia Daily Dec. 20, 2017

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Amazon has a diversity problem

Despite crowds of programmers of Indian and Chinese descent walking the streets of Amazon’s downtown Seattle campus, the online retailer’s top management is extremely white, notes tech journalist Ruchika Tulshyan in a report at KUOW.  And despite a $60 million internal diversity project, some activists have faulted Amazon for stingy giving to local nonprofits.
Meanwhile, Redmond-based Microsoft is confronting a spate of sexual harassment cases, and recently announced it will no longer require arbitration in such cases and will push for federal legislation requiring the same. Arbitration and non-disclosure agreements have often had the affect of keeping quiet allegations, and allowing harassers to keep their jobs.

Tanker spill threatens Salem water, contamination found at Hanford

The crash of a gasoline tanker truck spilled up to 11,000 gallons of fuel above the North Santiam River which provides some of Salem’s drinking water, the Statesman Journal reports. Officials have shifted Salem’s drinking water source to tanks and ground water as a precaution.
And at the Hanford Nuclear site, contamination was discovered on about 100 cars  [correction, 12/21/17: 8 cars of 100 examined were found to have contamination] demolition workers. It’s the second incident in a week.

What Seattle can learn from Vancouver on housing

Crosscut examines efforts by Vancouver (and British Columbia) to address a spiraling housing affordability crisis. Though the city has made moves to stop speculation in the real estate market, Seattle could take bolder steps, the article asserts. It also points to BC’s proposeed Housing Affordability Fund, which will probably beat out Seattle’s efforts since the province and Canada have high rates of income taxation.

Tribal courts succeed where traditional justice has failed

Native Americans across the West face staggeringly high rates of domestic violence, and also find unfair treatment in the traditional criminal justice system. Investigate West reports on a new trend of tribal courts taking hold in places like Klamath, in Northern California, where the Yurok Tribe is seeing success in rehabilitation and prevention of repeat abuse.

Huge chunk of Idaho designated a “dark sky reserve”

Stargazing is increasing difficult in light-polluted cities, and that’s why the International Dark Sky Association worked with officials in Idaho and the Forest Service to dedicate some 1,400 square miles of the state’s center as a dark sky reserve. Many of the towns in the region, including Ketchum, are cooperating to reduce light pollution.

Claudia Castro Luna’s “Seattle’s Poem”

Seattle’s former civic poet Claudia Castro Luna will be taking on a new task next year as Washington state’s poet laureate. In honor of her fantastic tenure promoting poetry in the Emerald City, have a listen this this lovely video the Seattle Times put together earlier this year of Castro Luna reading “Seattle’s Poem.”


Just one more day ’til Solstice and the return of less gloomy days! 🌞 –Andrew Engelson Photo credit: Night sky by Bureau of Land Management.