Category Archives: Washington

Washington

Property Tax Assessment Appeals Get Easier in New York

Have you ever thought your property taxes might be too high because the tax assessor over-valued your house? Have you been thinking more about that as housing sales and prices have plummeted during the past few years? If so, you might have taken the time to complain to the assessor. My own assessment notice says, “If you believe the new value is incorrect (too high or too low) compared to your estimate of market value, please contact us to review your property characteristics.” I will leave the issue of appealing a value that is “too low” to some humorist to … Read More

Development in Floodplains?

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In an article entitled “Halt to Development in Flood Plains Sought” in The Seattle Times, dated March 28, 2012, by Phuong Le, The Associated Press, the National Wildlife Federation asked a Seattle federal judge to issue an injunction to stop the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from issuing flood-insurance for certain flood-prone areas in Washington’s Puget Sound area. An injunction would temporarily block new development in various habitat areas around the Puget Sound area.

The Federation alleges that FEMA’s flood-insurance program encourages construction in floodplains where endangered species are being harmed. However, according to FEMA, the Federation hasn’t shown that … Read More

Services for Crime Victims

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With the Trayvon Martin case, including the recent second degree murder charges against George Zimmerman making national news, violent crime is at the forefront of the nation’s consciousness. The Martin/Zimmerman case has raised questions about who the true victim really was. Although we may not know the answer to that question until the case has been resolved, unfortunately there are thousands of crimes committed every day, leaving victims to deal with the  aftermath. Often there is so much focus on the perpetrators of crime that the victim gets somewhat left behind by court systems. However, more and more courts are … Read More

School Performance Reports

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Recently the news has been full of stories about the academic performance of the education system. The quality of a school’s performance plays an important part in the quality of a student’s education. Fortunately, one of the many public records provided by states are school performance records available through their Department of Education websites.

If you are curious about the performance of the schools in your area or if you have children that will be entering elementary or secondary school sometime soon, you will probably find the information that you need for your specific state. Using our “Free Public Read More

Seattle Adds Youth Traffic Court

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Recognizing that the most influential people in a teenager’s life are often peers, Seattle is adding its first Youth Traffic Court, set to convene for the first time this month. The court will be staffed entirely by Garfield High School students, who will serve as judge, jury, attorneys, bailiffs and court clerks. The students have all received training in these positions from Seattle University law students.

Any Seattle driver younger than 18 who admits to the traffic violation he or she is accused of may appear in Seattle Youth Traffic Court. Following the philosophy of restorative justice, the teen … Read More

Teachers National Board Certification

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Interested in knowing if your child’s teacher holds a Teachers National Board Certification? Has the teacher taken the extra steps to become Board certified? The National Board Certification is an advanced teaching credential that teachers can obtain in addition to their State teaching licenses. This additional certification helps teachers improve their teaching skills, helps students succeed by expanding the teachers’ expertise and leadership abilities, and learn how to better monitor student learning.

You can find out about the teachers in your school district by searching the list of the 97,000 National Board Certified teachers by state, city, school district, and … Read More

What are the salaries of your State’s public employees?

Among the many types of public information available on our “Free Public Records Search Directory” you can access the salaries of various federal, state, and county employees. Some of the databases are maintained by newspapers from around the country. Others are maintained by State agencies. Some of the sites provide an accounting of federal or state expenditures, while others allow a salary search of individual employees or positions.

Using the “Federal Employees” website, you can search salaries by name, agency or job title. You can also access the salaries of “U.S. Postal Service” employees by name … Read More

Mediation: an Alternative to Foreclosure

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Judicial foreclosure exists in nearly every state in the United States. Generally, a lender initiates a foreclosure action when the property owner/borrower has failed to make mortgage payments. In a judicial foreclosure, the lender must go through the court system, filing a complaint and serving the borrower. In most states, the court will then either find for the borrower or for the lender. If the court finds that the borrower has indeed defaulted on his or her loan a judgement will be entered for the lender. The lender can then hold a sheriff’s sale of the property in order to … Read More

Online Resources From Your Local Library

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Did you know that you can access a wide variety of electronic resources provided by your local public library from the comfort of your own home? Libraries across the country subscribe to a number of premium research databases that are not available to the general public, such as genealogy, national and local newspapers, history and geography, magazines and journals, almanacs, encyclopedias, consumer information, and more. These databases are available 24 hours a day for its patrons through the Internet.

For example, you can search several online databases provided by the Columbia County Library in Washington, including census records, Revolutionary War … Read More

Access Driving Records Online

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Motor vehicle licenses are issued by each state, and each state maintains its own database of driving records. A driving record contains a history of violations, convictions, collisions, suspensions, and revocations. Each state has its own rules and regulations for requesting driving records, and many provide online access to your own driving records. Driving records are a public record; however, personal information is not available to the general public. The Federal Drivers Privacy Protection Act restricts access to driver records that contain personal information such as name, address, social security number, and medical information. You must have written consent from … Read More