In the media

07 29 14
The New York Times
In the Pacific Northwest, we live among behemoths — snowcapped volcanoes, towering trees, great splashing salmon and lattes as big as a child’s head. Yet one of the region’s undeniably superlative titans has slipped beneath everyone’s radar. The land of Bigfoot and Starbucks is also home to the world’s largest flea. The flea, Hystrichopsylla schefferi, is an awe-inspiring colossus that can reach nearly half an inch, its head alone the size of a cat or dog flea. Until last month, however, there existed not a single confirmed photograph of a live member of the species.
07 29 14
The Canberra (Australia) Times
In the Pacific north-west, we live among behemoths - snowcapped volcanoes, towering trees, great splashing salmon and lattes as big as a child's head. Yet one of the region's undeniably superlative titans has slipped beneath everyone's radar. The land of Bigfoot and Starbucks is also home to the world's largest flea. The flea, Hystrichopsylla schefferi, is an awe-inspiring colossus that can reach nearly 12.5 milimetres, its head alone the size of a cat or dog flea. Until last month, however, there existed not a single confirmed photograph of a live member of the species.
07 29 14
The Bellingham Herald
The Whatcom Rowing Association is quickly making a name for itself. In its fourth season as a club, the WRA may be entering its best year yet. The juniors program (ages 13-19) has won medals, the masters program (23-100) is soon to follow and a new boat house at Bloedel Donovan Park all point to more success for the WRA.
07 29 14
The Olympian
Most but not all state employees can expect to pay a little more for health insurance in 2015, and a government board is poised to lock in the rates this week. The Washington Health Care Authority is proposing small premium increases for the state’s most popular plan, Uniform Medical Plan, which caters to 60 percent of state employees and an even larger share of government retirees in the state system. UMP rates will be $84 in January, up $5 per month for single subscribers, and $357 for a full family, up $28.
07 29 14
The Bellingham Herald
Contribution rates for state pensions are going up next year for Washington state employees, state government and local governments. The Pension Funding Council, which includes budget writers and the state director of retirement systems, agreed Monday to take six years to buy down new obligations in the system that runs more than a half-dozen plans for public-sector workers. The new costs are caused by retirees living longer. Assumptions devised by state Actuary Matt Smith show that a worker retiring in 20 or 30 years will live up to two years longer than those retiring today, which drives up pension costs. State investment returns also are assumed to be falling in the long term, which requires more money to be put into the system.
07 28 14
Peninsula Daily News
Visitors to the North Olympic Peninsula's two major marine science centers are likely to see few sea stars. Sea star wasting disease, which has decimated wild populations, also is tearing through captive collections. The disease has accelerated this summer, said staff members at both the Feiro Marine Life Center in Port Angeles and the Port Townsend Marine Life Center.
07 28 14
The Seattle Times
In 2006, alarmed that the nation’s medical schools were producing too few doctors, the Association of American Medical Colleges issued an urgent call for a 30 percent increase in slots for first-year medical students. Since that time, 16 colleges and universities around the country have created new medical schools, and an additional seven are in the pipeline for accreditation. At the same time, enrollment at osteopathic medical schools has doubled.
07 28 14
The Bellingham Herald
Bellingham writer Robert Duke's book, "Waking Up Dying: Caregiving When There Is No Tomorrow," is graphic, intense and frightening. Graphic because he doesn't hold back describing the damage from the brain tumor that killed his wife of 40 years, Shearlean.
07 25 14
The Seattle Times
The bird-counters stood in the windy bow chattering into headsets and scanning the Strait of Juan de Fuca with binoculars. “Scoters,” Sherman Anderson said. “Three of them. At 11 o’clock. Look like surfs.” “Marbled murrelets,” he added seconds later. “I see two.” Inside the boat’s cabin, another Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife worker listened through a headset of his own so he could record the tally on a computer.
07 24 14
The Seattle Times
Two of Washington’s public colleges have made a list of the 92 best colleges to work for in the country. Both the University of Washington and Western Washington University were on the “Great Colleges To Work For” list published by The Chronicle of Higher Education. The results come from a survey of 43,000 campus employees administered by a company called ModernThink LLC, for The Chronicle. This year, 278 institutions participated.