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Northwest News

Sonya Slaughter, front left, gets some suggestions from Seattle Public Librarian Jane Lopez-Santillana on a good book to give to a teenager for Christmas at the Books for Giving fair, held Nov. 22 at the Central library in downtown Seattle.


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Many Northwesterners struggle mightily to make a decent living

To live a decent life in Washington, it costs a single adult $10.77 an hour. Yet one-third of all job openings pay less than that, according to a study conducted by a Seattle organization.
"Searching for Work That Pays: The 2005 Northwest Job Gap Study" determined that the "Northwest is not creating living-wage jobs for all those who need them." When families cannot earn what they need to survive, the study notes, "many are forced to make difficult choices between adequate health care, balanced nutrition and paying the bills."
The study was prepared by the Northwest Federation of Community Organizations, a regional federation of four statewide, community-based social and economic organizations. It encompassed Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. Of the four states, Oregon and Washington had the highest living-wage requirement to pay for day-to-day needs.


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A group of Republicans wants to let the Voting Rights Act expire

WASHINGTON—A school closes that once housed a polling place. For the next election, city officials send voters to a new site across the street. In Boston, no problem.

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Despite widespread displacement, hurricane victims are grateful

NEW ORLEANS—They lost homes, neighbors and cherished communities to Hurricane Katrina.

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Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, left, talks with University of New Orleans student Altravese Gardner


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Editorial

October was a month marked by many college reunions. As I reflect on the 35 years since graduating from Stanford University, the usual thoughts people associate with this milestone run through my mind.


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WASHINGTON—Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has dreamed for years of getting the federal government to help build a big, new airport near his district, creating an economic boom for Chicago's South Side and south suburbs.


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Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan, left, dishes up some vittles Monday at the Rose Garden during the Blazers' annual Harvest Dinner, put on for low-income Portlanders. In addition to the hundreds of meals served by McMillan and Blazers players, coaches and staff, attendees enjoyed videos, arts and crafts and special reading events for kids.


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Children's programs are feeling federal budgetary pressure

Invest in Kids released a report Wednesday charging that projected cuts to children's programs and law enforcement in the federal budget will lead to increased crime and greater social costs in the long run. The group, which is made up of police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors, other law enforcement leaders and survivors of violent crime, advocates for social policies shown to prevent crime.
Titled "Congress Proposes Deep Cuts in Programs that Keep Oregon Kids From Becoming Criminals," the report argues that the current budget proposal before the House of Representatives should be rejected.
"This act is a real crime," said Martha Brooks, state director of Fight Crime Invest in Kids.


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Last week U.S. News and World Report reported that a senior CIA official, Mary Margaret Graham, a 27-year agency veteran, had revealed the U.S. intelligence budget at an intelligence conference in San Antonio. This is the first time since 1998 that the administration has made public the amount of money spent on America's spy agencies.


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