City council candidate attempts to ‘stir the pot’
Jeni Woock, a candidate for City Council, has accused some commercial business owners, to include Stan Stearns, of abject neglect, not caring for the safety of their customers, firefighters or the general welfare of the community by not allowing annual fire inspections of their buildings. Nothing could be further from the truth. All of Mr. Stearns’ property has been satisfactorily inspected for fire hazards by qualified inspectors.
Mrs. Woock is running on a platform that proposes that “a certificate of fire department compliance must be attached to the yearly business license renewal.” At this time, annual fire inspections are not mandatory for commercial buildings. Inspections are strictly voluntary. Yet, proposing a change to a law based on safety and needs of the community is usually the right thing to do. Nevertheless, there is something very wrong with inferring that anyone has broken a non-existent law simply to gain notoriety and stir the pot. “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
We should not limit our fire inspectors to Pierce 5 inspectors only. A licensed Professional Engineer (PE) Fire Protection Specialist could perform inspections saving Pierce 5 the time and expense while affording the business owner the security to which they are entitled.
In 2010 Arabella’s Landing Marina was used to establish new marina fire-fighting techniques. Working with fire officials, we developed methods (to) cut seconds off response times once on site at a marina fire. This work lead to changes in the fire code regarding dry stands pipes, dedicated staging areas, notification and signage. Arabella’s was one of the first marinas to come into 100 percent compliance with the new law.
Until a few years ago, Pierce 5 sent out letters to each business to schedule their annual fire inspection. Why can’t the fire department continue the practice of notification rather than simply showing up at the doorstep unannounced?
Increased funding for treatment; cure for Alzheimer’s disease is crucial
Most people in this country are now recognizing the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease but the funding to find a cure lags dramatically behind what is necessary.
In 2010, Congress unanimously passed legislation that set a goal of finding a treatment for Alzheimer’s by 2025. But the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) research on dementia has not increased to the $2 billion a year level that scientists say is needed.
In fact, for every $100 spent on Alzheimer’s research, Medicare and Medicaid programs spend $26,000 to care for people with the disease. Currently there are 100,000 Washingtonians living with Alzheimer’s disease and that number will grow to 140,000 by 2025. We must invest more to find a treatment and a cure now.
The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a bill giving $350 million more to the NIH for Alzheimer’s research, while the House Committee has voted to give $300 million. If even the lower figure is signed into law that would be a 50 percent increase in research funding for this disease.
I urge Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, as well as Rep. Derek Kilmer, to vote for this vital Alzheimer’s research boost and push to make sure it is in the final appropriations bill enacted into law. We cannot afford to delay funding this crucial research.
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